THE AGE OF MAMMON (Featured Article)

108 comments

Posted on 29th August 2010 by avalon in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

, , , , , , , , , ,

“Financiers – like bank robbers – do not create wealth. They merely distribute it. While the mob may idolize holdup men in good times, in the bad times it lynches them. What they will do to the new money men when their blood is up, we wait eagerly to find out.”  - Mobs, Messiahs and Markets

  

As our economy hurtles towards its meeting with destiny, the political class seeks to assign blame on their enemies for this Greater Depression. The Republicans would like you to believe that Bill Clinton, Robert Rubin, Chris Dodd, and Barney Frank and their Community Reinvest Act caused the collapse of our financial system. Democrats want you to believe that George Bush and his band of unregulated free market capitalists created a financial disaster of epic proportions. The truth is that America has been captured by a financial class that makes no distinction between parties. These barbarians have sucked the life out of a once productive nation by raping and pillaging with impunity while enriching only them. They live in 20,000 square foot $10 million mansions in Greenwich, CT and in $3 million dollar penthouses on Central Park West.

These are the robber barons that represent the Age of Mammon. The greed, avarice, gluttony and acute materialism of these American traitors has not been seen in this country since the 1920′s. The hedge fund managers and Wall Street bank executives that occupy the mansions and penthouses evidently don’t find much time to read the bible in their downtime from raping and pillaging the wealth of the middle class. There are cocktail parties and $5,000 a plate political “fundraisers” to attend. You can’t be cheap when buying off your protection in Washington DC.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Mammon.Matthew 6:19-21,24

It seems that Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, may have been overstating the case in saying his firm is doing God’s work. With his $67.9 million compensation in 2007 and payment of $20.2 billion to his co-conspirators, Blankfein appears to be a proverbial camel trying to pass through the eye of a needle. This compensation was paid in the year before the financial collapse brought on by the criminal actions of Lloyd and his fellow henchmen. After having his firm bailed out by the American middle class taxpayer at the behest of  fellow Goldman alumni Hank Paulson, Lloyd practiced his version of austerity by cutting compensation for his flock to only $16.2 billion ($500,000 per employee) in 2009. I’m all for people making as much money as they can for doing a good job. But, I ask you – What benefits have Goldman Sachs, the other Wall Street banks, and hedge funds provided for America?

Never have so few, done so little, and made so much, while screwing so many.

In 2005, the top 25 hedge fund managers “earned” $9 billion, or an average of $360 million. One year after a financial collapse caused by the financial innovations peddled by Wall Street, the top 25 hedge fund managers paid themselves $25 billion, or an average of $1 billion a piece. For some perspective, there were 7 million unemployed Americans in 2006. Today there are 14.6 million unemployed Americans. While the country plunges deeper into Depression, the barbarians pick up the pace of their plundering and looting of the remaining wealth of the nation. Bill Bonner and Lila Rajiva pointed out a basic truth in 2007, before the financial collapse.

“On the Forbes list of rich people, you will find hedge fund managers in droves, but no one who made his money as a hedge fund client.” - Mobs, Messiahs and Markets

Ask the clients of Bernie Madoff how they are doing.

1920′s Redux

The parallels between the period leading up to the Great Depression and our current situation leading to a Greater Depression are revealing. When you examine the facts without looking through the prism of party politics it becomes clear that when the wealth and power of the country are overly concentrated in the clutches of the top 1% wealthiest Americans, financial collapse and depression follow. This concentration of income and wealth did not cause the Stock Market Crash of 1929 or the financial system implosion in 2008, but they were a symptom of a sick system of warped incentives. The top 1% of income earners were raking in 24% of all the income in America in 1928. After World War II until 1980, the top 1% of income earners consistently took home between 9% and 11% of all income in the country. During the 1950′s and 1960′s when average Americans made tremendous strides in their standard of living, the top 1% were earning 10% of all income. A hard working high school graduate could rise into the middle class, owning a home and a car.

From 1980 onward, the top 1% wealthiest Americans have progressively taken home a greater and greater percentage of all income. It peaked at 22% in 1999 at the height of the internet scam. Wall Street peddled IPOs of worthless companies to delusional investors and siphoned off billions in fees and profits. The rich cut back on their embezzling of our national wealth for a year and then resumed despoiling our economic system by taking advantage of the Federal Reserve created housing boom. By 2007, the top 1% again was taking home 24% of the national income, just as they did in 1928. When the wealth of the country is captured by a small group of ruling elite through fraudulent means, collapse and crisis becomes imminent. We have experienced the collapse, while the crisis deepens.

It’s Good To Be the King

The Wall Street oligarchs  were able to accumulate an ever increasing portion of corporate profits by inventing securitization, interest-rate swaps, and credit-default swaps which swelled the volume of transactions that bankers could make money on. These products were originally introduced as a means for corporations to hedge their risks. Wall Street shysters chose to use their “creative” financial products to build the biggest gambling casino in the history of the world. They functioned as the house, siphoning off billions in profits, but then got caught up in the hysteria and placed billions of bets themselves. This resulted in the financial industry generating 41% of all business profits in 2007. From World War II through 1980, financial industry profits ranged between 10% and 15%. Simon Johnson explains the despicable hijacking that has taken place since then.

From 1973 to 1985, the financial sector never earned more than 16 percent of domestic corporate profits. In 1986, that figure reached 19 percent. In the 1990s, it oscillated between 21 percent and 30 percent, higher than it had ever been in the postwar period. This decade, it reached 41 percent. Pay rose just as dramatically. From 1948 to 1982, average compensation in the financial sector ranged between 99 percent and 108 percent of the average for all domestic private industries. From 1983, it shot upward, reaching 181 percent in 2007. 

The original robber barons amassed huge personal fortunes, typically through the use of anti-competitive business practices. These well known titans of industry included Henry Ford, Andrew Carnage, John D. Rockefeller, and JP Morgan. They may have practiced questionable business ethics, but they did create wealth while benefitting the country as a whole. They introduced the automobile, provided the nation with steel, produced the oil that powered our economy, and brought order to industrial chaos of the day. It seems their fortunes were built by creating rather than destroying.

The disgustingly rich Wall Street wheeler dealers who live in Greenwich CT and NYC and summer in the Hamptons have created nothing. Their immense wealth has been created through draining the economic system of its lifeblood. Their financial innovations have created no lasting benefit for our society. Wall Street knowingly created no documentation (liar loans) mortgage loans, Option ARM loans, and subprime loans. You do not create products that beg for fraud unless you want fraud. The packaging of these fraudulent mortgages into CDOs and CDSs by Wall Street’s crime machine benefitted Wall Street only. Those who got the loans defaulted, lost the homes, and had their credit ruined. Wall Street financiers have lured the American public into debt with easy credit and a marketing machine geared to convince the average Joe that he could live just like the rich. Simon Johnson explained the phenomena in a recent article.  

 
“Excessive consumer debt is an outcome of prolonged inequality – in trying to remain middle class, too many people borrowed too much, while unscrupulous lenders were only too willing to take advantage of such people.” 
 

You Call This Capitalism?

Capitalism is supposed to be an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned and operated for profit; decisions regarding supply, demand, price, distribution, and investments are not made by the government; Profit is distributed to owners who invest in businesses, and wages are paid to workers employed by businesses. The American economy is in no way a free market capitalistic system. It has become a oligarchic consumer capitalist society that is manipulated, in a deliberate and coordinated way, on a very large scale, through mass-marketing techniques, to the advantage of Wall Street and mega-corporations.

When you hear the Wall Street class on CNBC argue against tax increases for the rich, they hark to the fact that small businesses would be hurt most by the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. There are 6 million small businesses in the US, with 90% of them employing less than 20 employees. These are not the rich. The vast majority of these businesses earn less than $1 million per year. There are only about 134,000 people in America who make on average $2.5 million per year. There are another 600,000 people who make on average $760,000 per year. Out of a workforce of 150 million, less than 1 million rake in over $750,000 per year. These are not small businesses. They are the Wall Street elite, corporate CEOs and the privileged classes that control the power in NYC and Washington DC.

The following charts clearly show that  perverse incentives in the US financial system that have allowed corporate executives to reap ungodly pay packages, while the middle class workers who do the day after day heavy lifting in corporations have been treated like dogs. Considering the S&P 500, which measures the stock returns of the 500 largest companies in the U.S., has returned 0% for the last 12 years, the CEOs of these companies should be slightly embarrassed paying themselves 300 times as much as their average workers. Not in the age of mammon. Big time CEOs are rock stars. Outrageous pay packages are a medal of honor in a world where humility and true honor don’t exist.

The Depression that currently is engulfing the nation was 30 years in the making. The criminal Wall Street financiers are the modern day John Dilingers. They have mastered the art of stealing from the masses while convincing these same people that they should admire them because they are rich. This is the oddity about Americans as pointed out by Bill Bonner and Lila Rajiva.

“The poor genuinely believe the rich are better than they are. They are smarter and better educated. The poor even support low tax rates for the rich, as long as they have a lurking chance of joining them.” -   Mobs, Messiahs and Markets

The truth is that the poor have no chance of joining the the rich. The game is rigged. The poor have admired the rich for decades. But, hard times have arrived. And they are about to get harder. The rich have armed guards to keep the poor at bay. They will need an army of guards before this crisis subsides.

Leonard Cohen sums it up perfectly in his song Everybody Knows:

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

 

  
108 Comments
  1. Persnickety says:

    Terrific article, Jim.

    29th August 2010 at 11:55 pm

  2. Reflecting on crony capitalism « kansas reflections says:

    [...] http://theburningplatform.com/blog/2010/08/29/the-age-of-mammon-featured-article/ [...]

    30th August 2010 at 12:34 am

  3. SSS says:

    Admin

    A tour de force. But I have a question, based on what you said.

    “The original robber barons amassed huge personal fortunes, typically through the use of anti-competitive business practices. These well known titans of industry included Henry Ford, Andrew Carnage, John D. Rockefeller, and JP Morgan. They may have practiced questionable business ethics, but they did create wealth while benefitting the country as a whole. They introduced the automobile, provided the nation with steel, produced the oil that powered our economy, and brought order to industrial chaos of the day. It seems their fortunes were built by creating rather than destroying.”

    This is not a question of “seems” to have created wealth because IMO the so-called robber barons DID create enormous wealth. Their industries made stuff, they grew, and millions of jobs were created. Life got better. I grew up in a town where people made stuff (the machine and tool industry). If you weren’t a farmer, you made stuff. My town advertised itself as “The Crossroads of Agriculture and Industry.”

    Let’s switch to today. Very few wealthy people make stuff. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are primary examples. Two of the three richest animals on the planet who don’t make a fucking thing except software programs and an investment program. Apple’s Steve Jobs at least makes stuff. The rest of our “robber barons” live in NYC and DC.

    Here’s my solution and question. First, I would cut off any further federal support to the TBTF banks and businesses (AIG, etc) in NYC. It is NYC which should be absolutely dying today, not Main Street America. NYC is the most corrupt and dangerous threat to liberty in the country.

    On to the question. What would you do?

    30th August 2010 at 1:26 am

  4. J says:

    Right!,Right! Now what? Wait for Robin Hood to come along and do justice for the masses.
    The slave owner cared for his slaves,the feudal cared for his vassals, the capitalist cared for his workers.They all depended upon the masses for their wealth.The swindler rulers of our day don’t give a f%#$k about the masses.They now own enough to live in their guarded castles for the next 1000 years.They simply don’t need the masses anymore.Thus the masses are going to be reduced in great number and what is left of it will be put on a short leash.

    30th August 2010 at 2:13 am

  5. llpoh says:

    SSS – Although I tend to be in agreement with you in general terms as a rule, referencing Gates and Buffett I disagree. I believe that software is in fact “stuff” – and is at times very valuable stuff indeed. I don’t like the monopoly power Microsoft has acummulated but that is another matter. Re Buffett, he is indeed an investor. Through his career he has generally concentrated his investing on companies that make stuff. I think therefore he qualifies as making stuff.I own a manufacturing company but I don’t work on the factory floor. I have grown and managed the business and I think that qualifies me as a maker. Unfortunately Buffett has shown other less agreeable traits, especially in recent years
    With regard to the comment in the article that the poor cannot become rich, it depends on the definition of rich. If it means billions then the statement is largely true. If rich is a personal wealth of a few million then the statement is false. It is still possible to become reasonably wealthy but the odds have worsened substantially.
    I despise the absurd salaries of the financial class as much as the next man. However, unskilled and poorly educated persons can no longer expect middle class wages in a global market. This is clearly evidenced by the unepmploymet levels of unskilled male whites. As a result this group is doomed to be relatively worse off and a shift in income way from them into more skilled and better educated hands is to be expected.
    The world is becoming an increasingly grim place. Being unskilled and uneducated will be a recipe for a life of poverty. No point in blaming the better prepared for the plight of the short sighted.

    30th August 2010 at 4:30 am

  6. Links 8/30/10 « naked capitalism says:

    [...] The Age of Mammon Jim Quinn [...]

    30th August 2010 at 4:43 am

  7. somebody says:

    answers to all your quuestion.

    1. the arrivals on youtube
    2. phase 3(of the arrivals)
    3. the divine book

    all on youtube. be sure to watch all so that u’ll have all the answers.

    30th August 2010 at 5:11 am

  8. StuckInNJ says:

    Interesting ….

    1) Mammon — a biblical term for money

    2) Quoting Matt:6:19-24 … about laying up treasures in heaven

    And the point is???

    The point is, the Age of Mammon has been with us for at least the past 2,000+ years …. according to the very Scriptures quoted.

    Today is NO different. Perhaps the only difference is the SCALE the worship of mammon has reached. But make no mistake, even Jesus realized via his parable that most humans love money more than God. Always have … always will.

    30th August 2010 at 8:26 am

  9. StuckInNJ says:

    SSS –

    I’m going to have to agree with llpoh that Gates produces stuff with his software.

    A million or so lines of code just in Excel is certainly stuff. When people shell out bucks to buy his software they are certainly buying SOMETHING … rather than nothing.

    No, he’s not actually “manufacturing” anything in the traditional sense, such as a Model-T or a Corsair fighter ………… but that’s sooooo 20th century man! We’re in the Information Age now!

    Care to modify your views …. or explain them?

    30th August 2010 at 8:34 am

  10. CashCowEquity.com says:

    [...] Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform [...]

    30th August 2010 at 8:57 am

  11. Smokey says:

    Nice article that provides needed context for the new normal of the middle class taking it up the ass from the political whores who are in bed with the financial elite thieves. There is not a fucking thing in the world wrong with wealth or even extreme wealth that is earned legitimately. But there is now in this country a WHOPPER of a problem with laws being bent, changed, overlooked or ignored to enrich a small minority of people at the expense of the rest of society. Articles like this resonate with pissed of people in the underclass who can identify very well with the content of the post. Zero Hedge is also keenly aware of the broad daylight fucking of the middle class, which is why they immediately run with this article on their site too. Which surely has David Pierre crying to his mommy.

    30th August 2010 at 10:31 am

  12. Administrator says:

    SSS

    I’d take the Depression like a man. Own up to our mistakes, take the medicine, and try to right this sinking ship. Spending needs to be slashed. No one would be spared. Scrap the entire tax system and make it consumption based. Bring ALL the troops home. Place a good chunk of them on the Arizona/Mexico border. There is no way to avoid immense pain.

    Lastly, and most importantly, decriminalize pot. We are going to need to be high to get through the next 10 years.

    30th August 2010 at 11:35 am

  13. Administrator says:

    Without Bill Gates the Harvard MBAs on Wall Street wouldn’t have been able to create the models that spun subprime pieces of shit into bars of gold.

    30th August 2010 at 11:43 am

  14. John says:

    Jesus was preaching against the upper-class Jews of his day, and they killed him for rocking their boat. “Laying up treasures upon earth” has always been the Jewish way. What else did Lloyd Blankfein mean when he said that GS is “doing God’s work”?

    30th August 2010 at 11:56 am

  15. Derek says:

    Great piece. Many, many historians and decent economists have warned for years that a bloated financial sector outpacing actual industry is a sign of the demise of an empire. For a great read about the topic, Kevin Phillips “American Theocracy.” Great book that sounded the warning a few years ago (and even that was repeating warnings from other ignored authorities).

    30th August 2010 at 1:10 pm

  16. SSS says:

    OK, fine, I’ll bend on Bill Gates, but not Buffett.

    My point about making stuff is valid.

    I went to Ace Hardware a couple of weeks to buy some wire mesh fencing and fence posts to put around my wife’s tomato and herb garden, which was doing nothing but fattening up fucking rabbits for the coyotes to eat. Both the wire mesh and iron posts were made in China.

    The only steel mill on Earth which makes nuclear reactor shields is in fucking Japan. But we’ve got the planet covered in one area. Yessiree, Bob. If you want to buy a pinball machine, you’ll have to order it from a maufacturing plant in Illinois. It’s the only one on Earth. This shit just makes my blood boil.

    And I saw your comment on marijuana, Admin. You’ll start smoking pot right about the same time I have an opportunity to jump Sarah Palin’s bones.

    30th August 2010 at 6:28 pm

  17. Smokey says:

    Slowest day ever for the internet connection on this site. If it worked properly, this article would probably have at least 150 comments by now. This site is beyond ready for ICU and should be put on life support. Either it is fixed / replaced or that’s the end of TBP.

    30th August 2010 at 6:31 pm

  18. Gemini says:

    I was promised a pop culture themed article, on the Talking Heads, I believe. Apparently the popularity of your last few articles has inspired you to continue spitting out the same boring fact based economic analysis that I could get from your side board.
    You should title this one “Jim Quinn sells out his creativity for 5000 members” :)

    Seriously, that was a great read. I have a folder on my computer where I stick all the stuff that explains what the fuck happened in a way that anyone who doesn’t know shit about the financial system can understand. This is going into it, with a few other of your more, entertaining articles…

    SSS, I am in love with the space program. I want to get the hell off this womb planet and build a moon base. I want to fuck my wife in zero G. I want to send my grand kids of to college on mars. But I’m willing to scrap that part of the budget, in addition to the Administrators suggestions.

    30th August 2010 at 6:51 pm

  19. Dave says:

    I think when 19 motherfucking islamists flew planes into the WTC, Pentagon and a PA field, it had the intended effect of bringing down the economy. In response, the government felt obliged to spend huge fucking amounts of fake money, not only to pump up the economy, but in creating new bureacracies like security and homeland defense and wars. All this money created many of the mammon tit suckers spoken about above. Not all of course, but many. Now all the Islam fuckers have to do is sit back and keep us scared and they win. At least in their economic war.

    30th August 2010 at 6:53 pm

  20. LLPOH says:

    SSS – Steve “buy my shit even if it don’t work I better hurry up and put something else on the market before the suckers wise up no you can’t have a white one because we can’t figure out how to make it” Jobs doesn’t make stuff – he makes stinking piles of shit and flogs them to the sheeple. Apple could serve as the fucking poster child for what is wrong with the western world.

    Buffet has invested billions in manufacturing companies. That sure as hell is making stuff. He has taken a major u-turn in recent years, and has of course become a self-serving bastard. But my understanding is he has never sold a single share of his stock. The US needs more investors in manufacturing, and I give him credit for that. He can stick his forays into insurance and hedge funds up his ass, tho.

    30th August 2010 at 8:28 pm

  21. Administrator says:

    Smokey

    Lloyd Blankfein has ordered his minions to destroy me and my website.

    30th August 2010 at 9:04 pm

  22. Administrator says:

    Gemini

    The Talking Heads article is under way. I started a Green Day article called Static Age 3 months ago.

    30th August 2010 at 9:08 pm

  23. Administrator says:

    Dave

    I think that was Osama’s plan all along and we fell for it.

    30th August 2010 at 9:12 pm

  24. jmarz says:

    Jim,

    Great article! Keep them coming….

    30th August 2010 at 10:00 pm

  25. Gemini says:

    heheheh…
    If its anything I understand Its a procrastinator.
    Very well. I demand my article by the end of the week or I’ll start uploading goatse pics.

    30th August 2010 at 10:42 pm

  26. SSS says:

    LLPOH

    Uh, oh. We’re in a pissing contest about Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett. Fine, we disagree.

    Perhaps I shouldn’t have gotten too specific about super-wealthy people in America today, but I was trying to point out what Calvin Coolidge said when he was president, “The business of America is business.” When it comes to our economy, I would hope that most Americans understand that and agree with it.

    Can we agree that Lloyd Blankfein is the Shitstick Poster Child of what’s wrong with today’s economy?

    30th August 2010 at 10:54 pm

  27. LLPOH says:

    SSS – I am feeling down-right cranky today. I’ll defer to your Emmy award winning Shitstick nomination, but Apple still pisses me off. (Smokey – if you are out there, I am in fine fettle, so if you want to help me select some socialist fuckwit to make cry, I’m in.)

    I am having a battle with a local government over a town planning issue at the moment, for something that has been in place for 30 years, and I am ropable. Unfortunately the business of business these days is fighting fucking bureaucrats, and making a profit is secondary. I swear I am tempted to throw in the towel, and see how they’d like another 100 or so jobs to go to China. I will eventually overcome the roadblocks, but I am getting too old to keep battling the bastards (it ain’t the years but the mileage). Between trying to keep my multinational customers happy, keep up with the red-tape, comply with EPA and safety regs, be government tax collector, and keep my darling employees working instead of on the net (that’s my fucking prerogative!), I don’t get to have a lot of fun. At this stage, I have enough “get fucked” money, and it is getting increasingly tempting to use it.

    One of my managers wanted to buy in to the business. Until he realized he would have to take a pay cut (his wage is more than mine), put his house on the line, and go without a return for a few years while he paid off the loan. Really what he wanted was for me to simply give him some equity. Like hell.

    Anyway, as you can see, I am in a ranting mood. The example above indicates that there is still opportunity for the “poor” to get rich (the manager in question isn’t poor, but he won’t ever get rich), but there is a general unwillingness to make the sacrifices necessary to reach up to the next rung. They prefer to have “free shit”. The hell with it. Back to my drink – Laphroaig. Mmmm.

    30th August 2010 at 11:23 pm

  28. SSS says:

    LLPOH

    That’s about the most depressing comment I’ve read on this site. It’s like something I read in a chapter of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.”

    Please tell me you live in some place like San Francisco and not Bowling Green, Kentucky. If it’s Bowling Green, I’m buying more gold, silver, and a shitload of canned soup.

    31st August 2010 at 12:49 am

  29. LLPOH says:

    SSS – my partner and I call it being “incrementalized”. The bastards slowly, steadily and with malice crush you under ever more layers of paper and taxes, and customers (auto/truck) screw you on quality, then fuck you on price with the Chinks. There is but a grim future for small manufacturers. We are on the outskirts of a large city – not one you mentioned – problems are the same everywhere.
    As an example, a friend of mine in an allied industry was being screwed unto broke by his customer. He took his fucking books – all of them – into his auto industry customer. The customer told him – ahah, I see your problem. You owe to much money and your margins are too low. No price increase for you until you pay off your loans and fix your margins.
    As God is my witness, the VP of a multinational actually said this. My friend closed his business the next day. He had a couple hundred employees. He made more renting out his factories than he did trying to run a business
    What a future we face. .

    Again, apologies for the funk. Garcon, more Scotch!

    31st August 2010 at 1:40 am

  30. Debra says:

    So… what interested me in this article is the artful way that you have woven the biblical references in…
    Our PURITAN ancestors in England were asking themselves THE SAME QUESTIONS that you, I, and others are asking in this article. And they were arguing with, and through the Bible, too…
    From the biblical quote you just gave, the problem is IDOLATRY (of ANYTHING, and not just Mammon, but we’ll get back to that. Our Biblical heritage/tradition warns against ALL idolatry).
    Our ancestors FOUGHT RELIGIOUS WARS (and yes, they were RELIGIOUS too, not “JUST” political, economic, whatever, contrary to our limited knowledge and belief) about idolatry AND WHAT IT MEANT AS AN IDEA.
    Because IDOLATRY OF MAMMON is not just hoarding up your stash of stuff, liquidites, stocks, bonds, whatever. THAT WOULD BE TOO EASY.
    So that means that it is not just something that “the rich man” or the “robber baron” is afflicted with.
    It is not JUST the MOTE in HIS eye, if you like.
    Idolatry of money is ALSO what happens when you translate ALL PERCEIVED VALUE in your social body into monetary terms. When you ask the question “What’s it WORTH” and the answer comes in dollars and cents. When the question “how much does it cost” is the FIRST question on EVERYBODY’S lips. When MONEY is the first answer that everybody has to a problem, or a question. That’s large scale idolatry of Mammon for you.
    Under this definition, which is much more complicated than what most people think, the TOTALITARIAN FORM OF DECADENCE that is upon us is NOT JUST the work of an isolated class of people, it is something THAT ALL OF US PARTICIPATE IN DAILY.
    That’s what decadence is. It is an inclusive phenomenon, not one limited to ONE social class.
    It touches all of society.
    Another idea that you contribute to resurrecting in this article (Remember that irony is nevertheless giving lip service to the idea that you may think you’re ridiculing…) is the monarchy…
    Yep.. I predict (lol) that there is going to be a certain NOSTALGIA for the monarchy coming around again… already is. (By the way, you know, I hope, that the French people were VERY VERY ATTACHED to their king, and it was largely because the individual Louis XVI badly bungled the episode of the French Revolution that things turned out the way they did ? There was nothing.. INEVITABLE in the outcome of the French Revolution…)
    Human time is cyclic, and not linear. We wear out ideas, discard them, and turn to new ones that we resurrect from the past to give new life to. And then we go back to the ones we’ve discarded.
    Nothing new under the sun.
    I suspect also that a good part of the MOTOR of this crisis is located PRECISELY in the retirement pension problem, and the necessity that large sums of LIQUIDITY be available at a much later date (anathema to a healthy economy based on day to day exchange of goods, services, and liquidity) that is VERY RESPONSIBLE for our current predicament.
    But then again, as I like to say, THIS crisis is a symptom of THE MONEY problem IN OUR CIVILIZATION. It will not go away any time soon.

    31st August 2010 at 3:47 am

  31. therooster says:

    Good article , Jim. I’m just wondering when you’re going to focus on solutions like real-time gold backed digital currency. You seem to be aware of debt acting as the backbone to all the crap the world is suffering through.

    The solution only lacks some marketing punch. There’s nothing top-down about it, but your gaze seems to be fixed there. When your gaze is fixed on the beast, you honour the beast. Ignore it.

    31st August 2010 at 9:01 am

  32. Nur says:

    Bismi-lah. Dave, if you believe that 19 so-called Islamists flew planes into buildings in New York and Pennsylvania you need to do more research. A man named Bill Nixod has a good article for more insignt. There are too many intelligent posts here and intelligent people here for you to be that naive. You hate Islam fine. You hate Muslims fine. But do some research.

    31st August 2010 at 10:19 am

  33. deedee says:

    I recently started reading Crime School: Money Laundering by Chris Mathers it was written in 2004. Not to old, for corruption has been going on for decades. What I really laughed at in the book was this, organized crime takes in over $40 billion dollars a year. LOL

    Can you imagine that crock of bull, $40 billion. Most of our economy is driven by illegal drugs, banksters, and pimps.

    Don’t you ever wonder how shoe stores, and markets with no customers stay in business.

    31st August 2010 at 11:23 am

  34. deedee says:

    i recently started reading an interesting book on money laundering called, Crime School: Money Laundering. The policeman who wrote this book in 2004, states that it is a $40 billion dollar a year illegal business in the United States.

    After watching our country for many years I tend to doubt that it is $40 billion dollars a year. Just look at the bail out’s alone.

    No, I view it differently then this cop does, I look now at all the businesses surrounding us, you know the one’s like market chains, shoe store chains, any of them that are no longer doing a good foot traffic business, and it makes me wonder.

    Much of our economy is built on the illegal drug trade, pimps, and bankster’s. Where does the money go?

    31st August 2010 at 12:17 pm

  35. Gaffer says:

    DeeDee – have you been running around in Dexter’s Lab again?

    31st August 2010 at 3:03 pm

  36. tim guitner says:

    gd item
    — “its the (2 big) debt stupid,”
    - – - 1 web site calcuates West can pay off debts if gdp grows x amt/y
    and c7% seven per is devoted to paying it off, down, otherwise it grows forever.
    . .
    (add sound bytes: This land is yr land…Wooody guth-
    ree written as counter foil to G-d bless America, Cate Smith style c 1936)

    31st August 2010 at 3:13 pm

  37. tim guitner says:

    gd item
    — “its the (2 big) debt stupid,”
    - – - 1 web site calcuates West can pay off debts if gdp grows c4%/yr four per.ea.year
    and c7% seven per of gdp is devoted to paying it off, down, otherwise it grows forever.
    . .
    (add sound bytes: This land is yr land…Wooody guth-
    ree written as counter foil to G-d bless America, Cate Smith style c 1936)

    31st August 2010 at 3:17 pm

  38. Smokey says:

    Nur—- Are you and David Pierre doing each other?

    31st August 2010 at 5:01 pm

  39. The Political Divide says:

    [...] The Age of Mammon As our economy hurtles towards its meeting with destiny, the political class seeks to assign blame on their enemies for this Greater Depression. The Republicans would like you to believe that Bill Clinton, Robert Rubin, Chris Dodd, and Barney Frank and their Community Reinvest Act caused the collapse of our financial system. Democrats want you to believe that George Bush and his band of unregulated free market capitalists created a financial disaster of epic proportions. The truth is that America has been captured by a financial class that makes no distinction between parties. These barbarians have sucked the life out of a once productive nation by raping and pillaging with impunity while enriching only them. They live in 20,000square foot $10 million mansions in Greenwich, CT and in $3 million dollar penthouses on Central Park West. [...]

    31st August 2010 at 5:59 pm

  40. DP says:

    Smokey:
    U + RubMy1 + FatAss = m0r0nS

    31st August 2010 at 6:52 pm

  41. matt says:

    LLPOH,
    I work for a mid-west manufacturer in the auto industry and the Chinese shit is difficult to compete with. For the most part it is junk, but my customers will hold you hostage over the price knowing full well they would prefer the U.S. made version. I also heard yesterday that U.S. Bank is closing it’s capital equipment leasing division for automotive equipment. I wonder how many bad leases it took for them to make that decision. Fun times.

    31st August 2010 at 7:20 pm

  42. Smokey says:

    DP—–I thought Quinn banned your sorry psychotic ass from this site. Please tell me how it feels to be a coward. To abandon your country of birth because of fear. And how it feels to then spend the rest of your miserable, wretched, shallow existence trying to deceive yourself into believing you fled based on principles. How does it feel to be a traitor who fled under cover of darkness because he was afraid to defend his country? I have a question for you DP. There was a very popular television political analyst who had a high profile career, spent largely criticizing politicians. She was conservative and a bestselling author. Her name was Barbara Olsen and on 9/11/2001 she had been happily married for several years to Ted Olsen, then Solicitor General of the United States. Ted Olsen was also the attorney who had represented George W. Bush in the 2000 Presidential legal proceeding versus Al Gore. Anyway, there are transcripts of Ms. Olsen on the phone to her husband as her hijacked plane was en route to and aimed for the Pentagon. She of course has never been heard from again. George Bush is a close personal friend of Ted Olsen. My question, DP, is where do you think Ms. Olsen is? Sipping a martini by the pool in Brazil? Or maybe in a villa in the south of France? I ache to hear your sick, convoluted explanation for this. Or will you ignore the question, being the coward you are?

    31st August 2010 at 7:38 pm

  43. Smokey says:

    DP—-For your conspiracy theory to be valid, Barbara Olsen had to be in on it. Or do you think Bush just decided to sacrifice the wife of the good friend who had won him the election? You don’t have an answer because this one simple circumstance, of hundreds, obliterates your 9/11 conspiracy theory.

    31st August 2010 at 7:49 pm

  44. matt says:

    Smokey,
    The Pentagon incident has always bothered me and I am not siding with Double Penetrated at all. But the impact area of the Pentagon seemed much smaller than what I imagine a jetliner would cause. And your point about what happened to a packed jetliner, with school children on board, puzzles me as well-it didn’t just vanish into thin air. I wish I could make sense out of that part of 9/11.

    31st August 2010 at 8:02 pm

  45. matt says:

    DP,
    Fuck Off!

    31st August 2010 at 8:12 pm

  46. Reverse Engineer says:

    This problem is easily rectified by igniting a large bonfire, binding the Mammon Worshipping scumbags to large Wooden Stakes and holding the first Global Pigman Roast. A simple Means Test will do, anyone with a net worth over say $10M qualifies. After the smoke clears, we enjoy the roast with a little Chianti and some Fava Beans, followed by redistribution of their ill-gotten gains.

    RE

    31st August 2010 at 8:15 pm

  47. DP says:

    Hey!… Smokey/NeoCon/RubMy1/Jim Q/or whatever your handle is today:

    Do your own fucking homework… Moron!

    Barbara Olsen = Just more Bull Shit = a “Red Herring” along the path to TRUTH.

    Maybe you can do a little presentation for the Special Class?
    Look up what the meaning of “Red Herring” !

    31st August 2010 at 8:18 pm

  48. Smokey says:

    DP—Why do you continue to lie about the names used by people who blog here? Everyone here knows that Jim Quinn blogs as the Administrator. I blog as Smokey and sometimes Neocon. Robmu is himself and SSS is himself. There are DOZENS of conversations readily accessible on this blog of conversations between Jim Q and SSS. And between Jim Q and Smokey(me). And between Jim Q. and Robmu. My question to you is why you insist on continuing to lie, when your lies are so easily exposed and, in fact, so absurd that they are laughed at by regulars here? And where is Barbara Olsen, you fucking idiot—she threw her life away so thousand of innocents could be fried? That lady was on television EVERY FUCKING WEEK until her plane crashed into the Pentagon.

    31st August 2010 at 9:01 pm

  49. Administrator says:

    It seems sheep mating season is over for DP. Amazingly, as soon as he appears, the site is functioning normally. DP evidently murdered another family in the backwoods to get a new computer so he could spew his warped psychotic cut and paste bullshit on TBP. He did send me pictures from his summer family picnic this year. They sure look like a fun bunch.

    redneck%20family%20car.gifundefined

    redneckfamily.jpg

    636-redneck-family.jpg

    redneck_wedding_07-x600.jpg

    Rednecks%20swimming%20pool.jpg

    Rednecks_Christmas_cheetos_budweiser.jpg

    RedneckFamilyCar.jpg

    31st August 2010 at 9:08 pm

  50. Smokey says:

    DP—-That chick with the red umbrella. Is that your mama or your sister?

    31st August 2010 at 9:18 pm

  51. LLPOH says:

    Smokey – I am really pissed. How come DP doesn’t think I am anyone else? I do my best to ridicule his sorry ass, and don’t even rate a mention. Shoot, I even pointed out you’ve offered to sodomize him a few thousand times, and still I get no respect from him. I won’t feel I have made it until I draw him out.

    Matt – people not involved in manufacturing, esp. for big multinationals/automotives really can’t grasp how difficult and ruthless the bastards are. They are so incredibly short sighted, and despite their claims to being quality driven, by far the most important thing is price. I had a GM buyer once brag to me that he had driven 200 small suppliers out of business in his career. These auto companies create systems which dehumanize the entire process, and reward unethical and ruthless behavior from their employees. I really do not think it is sustainable unless a major shift in their attitudes occurs.

    31st August 2010 at 9:38 pm

  52. SSS says:

    Reverse Engineer

    Welcome back. I see you signed in and have an avitar at least as goofy as mine.

    You said, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, “This problem is easily rectified by igniting a large bonfire, binding the Mammon Worshipping scumbags to large Wooden Stakes and holding the first Global Pigman Roast. A simple Means Test will do, anyone with a net worth over say $10M qualifies. After the smoke clears, we enjoy the roast with a little Chianti and some Fava Beans, followed by redistribution of their ill-gotten gains.”

    Want to rethink that $10M “Means Test” before burning someone at the stake? Do you really want to fry all those Amish and Mennonite (we’ve had a discussion about these religious sects before) FARMERS whose landholdings and personal wealth far exceed $10M. Make no mistake, there are many, many Amish and Mennonite families whose wealth ROCKETS past $10M.

    And how about the hundreds of thousands of small businessmen (less than 400 employees, per federal definition) who are worth far more than $10M? Up in smoke and flames?

    As I said, you may have posted tongue-in-cheek. But I replied just in case you didn’t.

    31st August 2010 at 11:42 pm

  53. SSS says:

    Can’t sign in again. This site is just as bad, meaning slow, as yesterday.

    LLPOH

    DP is unreachable. Even Smokey, of all people, tried to engage him with a modicum of civility (for Smokey) with a simple question about Barbara Olsen. DP replied, “Barbara Olsen = Just more Bull Shit = a “Red Herring” along the path to TRUTH.”

    BTW, and I may regret asking this, but what does LLPOH mean?

    1st September 2010 at 12:06 am

  54. LLPOH says:

    SSS – Life, Liberty, Pursuit Of Happiness! The three real and original rights granted us, and from which grew the once, and I hope, still and future, great Nation of the United States. There is a lot of work to do, I am afraid, and those in charge do not seem up to the task. But so far, we can still lay claim to these three rights, but at times they seem to be slipping from our grasp.

    I get all steamed up whenever people yammer on about their “rights” to thousands of things, that in many cases are really just a claim for more “free shit”. If we focus on these three, things are really so much clearer.

    I thought Smokey would have turned the flame thrower up a bit, but it really is too easy, I suppose.

    1st September 2010 at 1:32 am

  55. Debra says:

    AHEM, the LADY that just took a peek into your little saloon here wonders when you have time to plug the neurons in during all the SHOOTING that’s going on ??
    The post’s QUALITY deserves a BETTER RESPONSE.
    At least, if you’re going to roughhouse, try to introduce a LITTLE BIT OF ON TOPIC STUFF TOO.
    I like to play (but shooting, well, it’s SO UNFEMININE…) too, but WITH MY WORK.
    Show me your stuff, boys…
    You can do better than THIS, I hope.

    1st September 2010 at 3:13 am

  56. Amman Mohammed says:

    As a person familiar with the United States and the American people, I have to finger DRUGS as the root cause and ultimate bane of the nation.

    1st September 2010 at 3:36 am

  57. llpoh says:

    Debra – boys will be boys! We understand the seriousness of the topics. We contribute to the topics as seems appropriate but we also have some fun too. We thank Jim for his efforts, and I think even the most jaded of us value the dialogue that filters thru the shooting. Many of us are true believers in Jim’s base message but you should hang around for the fisticuffs re the mid-east. He even throws in a good conspiracy theory post now and then. You’ll get the hang of it. You will find your own tone, I’m sure.
    Amman – must say you have a point. Perhaps not quite so simple as that but much truth in what you say.

    1st September 2010 at 3:56 am

  58. deedee says:

    Drugs is what I discussed earlier, it is what is driving the economy of our country right now.

    1st September 2010 at 7:55 am

  59. Gemini says:

    Nur,
    Google couldn’t find “Bill Nixod”, your full of crap.

    To the infamous DP,
    Why do you peddle your 9/11 conspiracy here? It’s not an issue people care to discuss. There are others who do, who can offer you stimulating conversation, elsewhere on the web. Go there. People here loathe the government not fear it, and generally seek to take responsibility for the state of affairs, not lay blame on some vast conspiracy. Also, kudos to you for realizing Smokey and neocon are one and the same. I mean how many people use the phrase “half pint of throat yogurt”? and what are the chances Smokey would allow someone to steal his favorite taunt? But how do I know that YOU are not JQ?

    Debra,
    Sometimes we get around to sharing ideas, stick around. Take off a few heads. I am nonreligious so I really don’t have the knowledge to add to or respond to your previous post, but I liked it.

    Amman,
    Drugs are just a thing, ADDICTION is what is destroying us, in all its forms.

    1st September 2010 at 8:59 am

  60. Smokey says:

    LLPOH—-DP is a dumbass. It was all he could do to remember Smokey, Robmu, SSS, Jim and neocon. Any more names and that microscopic brain would have short circuited. Gemini–Well said, but I have some rough news for you. I’m not finished with you yet. RE–Welcome aboard, just don’t piss me off.

    1st September 2010 at 9:18 am

  61. Robmu1 says:

    DP is a big fucking pussy. He uses a name I gave him – David Pierre. His original post on TBP used the name David, and he recommended that we all run to Canada as scared little school girls like he did. I called him out as a coward and traitor, and gave him the name David Pierre, which of course refers to the white flag waving french as well as the french flavor in parts of Canada (Canada’s only fault here is allowing such a person as DP to live there, although we can rejoice that he’s not in the U.S.). Everything DP posts is lifted from someone else. He even posted on another site an entire post of mine claiming it as his own. A pure fucking weasel.

    1st September 2010 at 10:39 am

  62. SSS says:

    Amman Mohammed

    Are you posting from Jordan? Thanks for the comment on drugs, which continue to tear at the fabric of our society in many ways. I think, however, that the biggest problem facing the U.S. is the incestuous relationship between the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve, and the banksters on Wall Street. These idiots have put the country on a path to bankruptcy.

    LLPOH

    Thanks for the Life, Liberty….clarification. That was driving me nuts, and I knew it had to have a simple explanation. Did I just say something that will prompt another funny picture?

    1st September 2010 at 12:37 pm

  63. Administrator says:

    SSS using the cone of silence with Chief

    1884

    1st September 2010 at 1:39 pm

  64. Gemini says:

    Smokey,
    Seriously? I’m so far down the TBP pecking order you’ll have to lift me up three notches to kick my head in. In this thread alone I have called the Administrator a sell out, insinuated that he may be a closet 9/11 truther and threatened to plaster his blog with senseless filthy pictures. All without a single trip to the ER. Shit, I ain’t even on his radar screen.

    Go drown some kittens if you want to feel like a man.

    1st September 2010 at 3:18 pm

  65. Administrator says:

    Gemini

    I would have kicked your ass, but I was too distracted by the fucking site not working.

    1st September 2010 at 3:27 pm

  66. Gemini says:

    BTW I was kidding about goatse, I would never deface this upstanding site with such garbage. I patiently await your words of wisdom. I’m mulling “losing touch” right now, thanks for that.

    1st September 2010 at 3:59 pm

  67. Pitchman says:

    Jim I have really enjoyed your articles over the last couple years. I posted the beginning of your article THE AGE OF MAMMON on my blog Inflection Point @ http://notionalvalue.blogspot.com/ with full credit and links directly to your site (see below). If this is a problem please advise.

    Keep up the good work!

    -Eric C.

    THE AGE OF MAMMON
    From: TheBurningPlatform.com

    “Financiers – like bank robbers – do not create wealth. They merely distribute it. While the mob may idolize holdup men in good times, in the bad times it lynches them. What they will do to the new money men when their blood is up, we wait eagerly to find out.” – Mobs, Messiahs and Markets

    Pic

    As our economy hurtles towards its meeting with destiny, the political class seeks to assign blame on their enemies for this Greater Depression. The Republicans would like you to believe that Bill Clinton, Robert Rubin, Chris Dodd, and Barney Frank and their Community Reinvest Act caused the collapse of our financial system. Democrats want you to believe that George Bush and his band of unregulated free market capitalists created a financial disaster of epic proportions. The truth is that America has been captured by a financial class that makes no distinction between parties. These barbarians have sucked the life out of a once productive nation by raping and pillaging with impunity while enriching only them. They live in 20,000 square foot $10 million mansions in Greenwich, CT and in $3 million dollar penthouses on Central Park West.

    These are the robber barons that represent the Age of Mammon. The greed, avarice, gluttony and acute materialism of these American traitors has not been seen in this country since the 1920′s. The hedge fund managers and Wall Street bank executives that occupy the mansions and penthouses evidently don’t find much time to read the bible in their downtime from raping and pillaging the wealth of the middle class. There are cocktail parties and $5,000 a plate political “fundraisers” to attend. You can’t be cheap when buying off your protection in Washington DC.

    From 1980 onward, the top 1% wealthiest Americans have progressively taken home a greater and greater percentage of all income.

    Chart
    From: TheBurningPlatform.com

    Read More: THE AGE OF MAMMON

    “Never have so few, done so little, and made so much, while screwing so many.” – Jim Q., TheBurningPlatform.com

    1st September 2010 at 4:52 pm

  68. Reverse Engineer says:

    In response to SSS:

    Amish, Mennonite, Buddhist, Wiccan whatever, $10M in about any farming community at say $1000/acre amounts to around 10,000 acres. Given that it takes approximately 1 acre to feed a person and an Amish family might be large, say 10 with kids and elders, I’d say said farmer has about 9990 acres more than he needs. Meets the definition of a Pigman. Hang ‘em High.

    RE

    1st September 2010 at 7:18 pm

  69. SSS says:

    RE

    And aw-a-a-a-y we go.

    $1,000 an acre? Are you serious? You can’t buy Arizona desert shrubland for a grand an acre, much less than Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where a ton of Amish live. Lancaster County has some of the richest and most productive farmland on the entire planet. The soil is so rich that you can grow tobacco and cotton there, despite the vastly shorter growing season than exists in the South. Let’s try $25,000-30,000 an acre as a starting point.

    Do you know how big your 10,000 acre farm scenario is? 15.6 SQUARE MILES to be exact. A Texas rancher would be happy with that size spread. Where on God’s green earth are you going to find a farm that size in Pennsylvania or Ohio, which host a large majority of Amish and Mennonites? Answer. No where.

    As for your “Hang ‘em High” comment…….Oh, what a wonderful reward for two of the most peaceful, hard-working, and community-oriented people in this country.

    Glad you posted. Shows your shallow knowledge, poor math, and shoot-from-the-hip intellect.

    1st September 2010 at 8:16 pm

  70. LLPOH says:

    SSS – I let RE slide ’cause I figured you’d call bullshit better’n me. I love the Amish. When you run ‘em over they won’t even sue you, and don’t believe in insurance. They work hard, mind their own business, and produce great stuff. Wish there were a few million more of them.

    1st September 2010 at 8:26 pm

  71. Administrator says:

    The Amish won’t even notice the Fourth Turning. Unless they are attacked and stripped of their land.

    1st September 2010 at 8:58 pm

  72. SSS says:

    LLPOH

    My paternal lineage is Mennonite that goes back to the 17th Century. The first mention of my ancestors, written in a 1925 geneology, mentions a Swiss national who was burned at the stake for his apostatic beliefs. You can see why I didn’t like RE’s suggestion of a “Pigman roast.”

    Admin

    I agree wholeheartedly. Neither the Amish or Mennonites will notice the Fourth Turning, just like my farm girl mother-in-law never noticed the Depression. She and her family got up in the morning, slopped the hogs, fed the chickens, and tended the fields. And made enough money to do it all over again the next year. They lived simply, but ate well. What depression?

    If TSHTF, it is my view that the largely rural and small town communities where the Amish and Mennonites have a predominent presence will be PROTECTED by others in the community who have the firepower to do so. It is my fervent hope and prayer that this symbiotic relationship will come to fruition immediately should civil unrest become widespread.

    2nd September 2010 at 12:23 am

  73. LLPOH says:

    SSS – you are but a Johnny -come-lately. My heritage is Choctaw (my bloodline is very fractional but I am a card-carrying member of the tribe, as are my young-uns). Our roots were in North Florida, then they were pushed steadily westward, finally ending in the trail of tears to Oklahoma. While they were burning your folks at the stake, they were starving and freezing mine. I too get a little tetchy about a couple of things. Now I suppose I will have to endure Smokey calling me Chief and the like. I’ll just go sharpen my tomahawk just in case.

    I wasn’t fooling – I love the Amish/Mennonites.

    2nd September 2010 at 1:17 am

  74. LLPOH says:

    just thought I would log in. This pissy little Avatar doesn’t really capture my inner bastard very well, so I tend to ignore it.

    I just wanted to point out how infrequently we get a hot debate. Either everyone jumps on board kissing or kicking the posters ass. People, we need insight! Hell, I prodded the goldbugs with a big stick on “why you should buy gold” and haven’t had nary a nibble, pro or con.

    The site is running great – let’s get after it!

    2nd September 2010 at 1:29 am

  75. Debra says:

    BAD BOYS… ;-)
    You got me all worked up reading the comment section…
    And just when I keep telling myself that THE INTERNET (the blogs, the blogs) ARE EATING UP ALL MY TIME and turning me into an INTERNET JUNKIE !
    (Does anybody remember that OLD OLD Star Trek number where MY HERO, CAPTAIN KIRK, got into a HOT (for 1960′s television) affair with a cute underling and couldn’t understand why HE was so worked up ? It turned out that THE ALIENS who WERE REDUCED TO BRAINS (presumably from too much Internet connected time…) felt SO STARVED for real physical contact that they couldn’t get from their brains, that they resorted to colonizing OTHER PEOPLE’S BODIES to get some hot stuff (translate FEEL SOMETHING…).
    If you get me hooked here, I’m going to turn into a brain !!!
    AARGH !
    (I LIKE debate, by the way, and AM REALLY GOOD AT IT !!!)
    (No, modesty is not one of my virtues…)

    2nd September 2010 at 5:52 am

  76. StuckInNJ says:

    Debrah –

    That episode explores issues such as slavery and totalitarianism. Those are themes Roddenberry explored on several previous episodes. Of course, with the 3 brains, Roddenberry also examines the evolution of cultural and intellectual superiority. (People who think Star Trek was just a sci-fi series really don’t get it.)

    You can read all about the episode – Gamesters of Triskelion – here. Cool pics too;

    http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/The_Gamesters_of_Triskelion_(episode)

    Do you remember the BIG thing that happened on that episode? A HORRIBLE thing!!! See below.

    A Kirk quote; “My people pride themselves on being the greatest, most successful gamblers in the universe. We compete for everything — power, fame, women — everything we desire, and it is our nature … to win.” Kirk … the Bernie Madoff of outer space. Lol

    On this episode Kirk kissed Uhura. I believe it was the first inter-racial kiss ever on TV.

    2nd September 2010 at 6:22 am

  77. StuckInNJ says:

    RE

    Remember when I called you a monster on the old TBP?

    For folks that weren’t around then — here is bottom line; RE advocates killing old people and young people — anyone who is not productive — when times get tough.

    For this I called him a monster.

    Now you advocate killing Amish because their farms are big.

    You are a fucking piece of shit douchebag. If you had Power — you would be worse than a Hitler, Stalin, and Mao combined. Killing Amish. My god, you despicable worm of a human being (my apologies to the worm).

    2nd September 2010 at 6:29 am

  78. Debra says:

    Muchas muchas gracias SINJ (…) for those precious references that I will set up an altar to when I disconnect.
    You are absolutely right, StarTrek was the most exalting show that American TV produced before jaded appetites set in, and television had to become a thrall media (TO MAKE MONEY, hint, hint).
    I read on occasion that William Shatner has identified to a great extent with Captain Kirk, and the Star Trek legacy, for which I definitely admire and excuse him.
    After all… when you finish playing Julius Caesar, (Abraham LIncoln ? George Washinton ?) for example, doesn’t life look a little tame afterwards ?
    He is also a great Shakespearian actor. (Boy, what would I give to see him take a shot at King Lear.
    (Boys, if we is going to hang out together, you best know right now that SHAKESPEARE is my friend, father, idol, God, and lover. In turns of course… ;-) )
    Good job he’s dead, right ? ;-)

    2nd September 2010 at 8:16 am

  79. Administrator says:

    SSS

    When TSHTF we’ll all want to be Amish. I successfully had my first vegetable garden this year. Tomatoes, Eggplant, Squash, and Lettuce were successful. Peppers failed. I will expand next year.

    2nd September 2010 at 9:01 am

  80. Administrator says:

    LLPOH

    I’ve posted this before. This is a real world example why you should have some gold. If you lived in Germany on Jan 1, 1922 and had 100 Marks or the amount of gold equal to 100 marks, you would be in an equal place. By Nov 30, 1923 it took 1 trillion Marks to buy the same amount that 100 Marks bought in 1922. Your original 100 Marks became worthless. When the government hit the reset button and started over with a new currency those who held Marks were out of luck. Those who had gold could convert it to the new currency. They retained their wealth by holding gold.

    Do you get it?

    2nd September 2010 at 9:22 am

  81. Administrator says:

    Stuck

    Remember when you threatened to come to my house and beat me up?

    2nd September 2010 at 9:29 am

  82. Debra says:

    i got it.
    That’s why I’m currently practicing acquiring gardening skills.
    My mother’s cousin made it through the Depression with 13 kids (Mormon family) BECAUSE THEY HAD A GARDEN.
    I’m also getting used to living with less, and USING MY NEURONS to wade through all the prefabricated mindwashing hype that IS EVERYWHERE, so that I can USE MY MIND and think on my little old lonesome (with a little help from my friends, too, and a LOT of help from my enemies…).
    My daughter wants to become a string instrument maker, but she’s a little depressed these days with THE WORLD ATMOSPHERE, and the increasingly restricted place reserved for the younger generation…
    By the way.. HOW DID I GET THAT UGLY FACE ?? Very unfeminine.
    Could SOMEBODY drop their hand down into the hat and fish another face out for me ??

    2nd September 2010 at 12:21 pm

  83. llpoh says:

    Admin – in a hyperinflationary situation, anything beats paper money. No argument from me there.

    2nd September 2010 at 1:09 pm

  84. StuckInNJ says:

    I remember. It is still in force. Just waiting for the right timing. Do you have Brinks security?

    I also sent you the article to post.

    Thanks.

    2nd September 2010 at 1:14 pm

  85. Administrator says:

    Stuck

    I didn’t have a shotgun back then. I’ll post it shortly.

    2nd September 2010 at 2:04 pm

  86. Reverse Engineer says:

    @ StuckInNJ

    You forgot Robespierre :-) The main problem with the French Revolution was they let too many Pigmen escape the Guillotine by hiding in Switzerland. This time round hopefully the Revolutionaries will be more thorough.

    RE

    2nd September 2010 at 4:48 pm

  87. SSS says:

    Debra

    You said, “Boys, if we is going to hang out together, you best know right now that SHAKESPEARE is my friend, father, idol, God, and lover. In turns of course.”

    Count me among the unwashed masses, but Shakespeare bites it big time. I never could understand that 16th Century English prose he used and found it immensely boring. Hell, I waded through Washington Irving’s 19th Century prose in his mid-century and trend-setting biography of George Washington, and I didn’t like it one bit.

    Shakespeare is WAY overrated. The line to be his lover will be short. You should be next.

    2nd September 2010 at 9:07 pm

  88. Kill Bill says:

    good article. try explaining it to a mountebank beck or greed is good ayn rand disciple. This economic inequality is what beck rants FOR. His disciples coflate economic inequality with communism. no. as the article points out much of the inequality is due to fraud IE wealth destruction. robber baronism. I dont know anyone in this country that wants us to be like a pack of aliens all looking and acting the same like an ant colony. greed is not good. it abrogates demo [people] cracy [rule] and creates what jefferson calles the pseudo aristoi or false elite. That many people fall into the charlatans fear mongering act is mind boggling. beck as a disc jockey has lone used charity events to promote himself thru these and publicity stunts,. 9-28 was a four way publicity stunt for a: beck b: politics c: charity d; religion. as beck said ;’if you take what i say as gospel your an idiot. I call bs. enough of mondor.

    ennyhoo i dont know what god blankfein is talking about [etymology of the word here : http://www.logon.org/english/s/p220.html ] and many assume its the god jesus or moses experienced but, in short the babylonian god was baal-gad where as the ancient anglo-saxon was goot or guude and comes from the hebrew guwd. the baal-gad was a conquering god of fortune. so personally i would think he was talking of baal-gad,

    3rd September 2010 at 12:08 am

  89. Reverse Engineer says:

    @SSS

    Silly Strawman argument. How much acreage the typical Amish farmer has in Lancaster PA is irrelevant, as is the price per acre. The underlying point is that a farm worth $10M is most certainly larger than said farmer needs for his personal survival. Therefore, by maintaining personal hegemony over said property, he becomes a rentier demanding others pay him for the produce of that land. The more land you control, the larger the population you can hold in thrall in serfdom. This is how Feudalism worked, dimwit.

    If said Amish farmer is only going to retain the property required for himself and his family, he doesn’t fall into the category of Pigman. Its only if he controls that which others need for their survival beyond what he needs for his survival. Get it? Or does the density of your skull reside in neutron star territory?

    RE

    6th September 2010 at 8:44 pm

  90. LLPOH says:

    RE – You could fit your brain inside a peanut shell and there would still be room enough for the peanut. Socialist fuckwit.

    6th September 2010 at 8:50 pm

  91. Smokey says:

    Put RE’s brain on the edge of a razor blade and it would look like a BB rolling down a four lane highway.———If RE’s brain were gas, there wouldn’t be enough fuel to power an ant’s minibike halfway around a BB.

    6th September 2010 at 9:19 pm

  92. Reverse Engineer says:

    @LLPOH

    Socialists are morons only slightly less deluded than Capitalists. I’m a Tribalist Fuckwit.

    Have a Nice Day.

    RE

    6th September 2010 at 9:20 pm

  93. LLPOH says:

    RE – tribalism usually has as a key tenet that “the least of ours is better than the greatest of yours”. Although I am not real keen on multiculturalism, tribalism, or offshoots thereof, has shown a very dark side on occasion (Nazism comes readily to mind), owing largely to the above tenet. Tribalism also is very socialist by definition. And we all know how successful socialism has been.

    6th September 2010 at 9:33 pm

  94. Reverse Engineer says:

    The fundamental difference is one of scale. The problem lies in the distance between Da Goobermint and Da Gooberned at the Nation-State level. Too many degrees of separation, which allows for corruption of the type systemic to Capitalist, Socialist and Fascist Nation States. Tribal culture functions at a much smaller size range, bringing the folks responsible for administering to the needs of the Tribe closer to those they represent. Generally said folks are directly related by blood. I wouldn’t favor any sort of Goobermint past around 10,000 Human Souls as being valid on a representative level, such Goobermints are always corrupt regardless of their philosophical underpinnings.

    RE

    6th September 2010 at 9:43 pm

  95. LLPOH says:

    RE – too bad there are so many people in the world. You are most probably right re the corruption. If anyone actually wants the job of politician, by definition they are the wrong one to have it. We probably should draft the bastards. But then there is democracy to think of. Crap.

    Smokey – LMAO!

    6th September 2010 at 9:54 pm

  96. Reverse Engineer says:

    The number of Human Souls currently living on the surface of the Earth is an aberration resulting from the one-time discovery and thermodynamic application of a massive amount of easily captured energy in the form of fossil fuels, most particularly Oil. As said energy becomes increasingly expensive in real terms, the overall food supply will drop accordingly, leading to massive worldwide Famine on an unprecedented scale in all of Human History. I fully expect 90% of the Human Population to die off within the next 100 years as an outside parameter. Famine, War and Pestilence, Tribalism isn’t coming back tomorrow, but give it some time here. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse haven’t hardly got out of the starting gate yet.

    Revelation 6:8
    And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

    25% in Da Olden Days of Apocalypse. Not this time around. 90%, possibly greater. Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You. RE

    6th September 2010 at 10:07 pm

  97. SSS says:

    RE

    You said, “The more land you control, the larger the population you can hold in thrall in serfdom. This is how Feudalism worked, dimwit. If said Amish farmer is only going to retain the property required for himself and his family, he doesn’t fall into the category of Pigman. Its only if he controls that which others need for their survival beyond what he needs for his survival. Get it? Or does the density of your skull reside in neutron star territory?”

    Here’s what you don’t get. The Amish and Mennonites consider land as a gift from God. They don’t think of land in terms of dollars, as you and I might think. They think of it as something that belongs to God for their temporary use to sustain their brief existence here on Earth. They are also willing to share their bounty from that land with their neighbors, whether or not those neighbors share their beliefs.

    Can you wrap your mind around that most Christian of concepts, RE? I hope so.

    7th September 2010 at 1:13 am

  98. LLPOH says:

    SSS – Never wrestle with a pig. You only get dirty and the pigs like it.

    7th September 2010 at 1:20 am

  99. SSS says:

    LLPOH

    I can’t help myself. I want to see RE’s response.

    7th September 2010 at 1:39 am

  100. Reverse Engineer says:

    So Amish people don’t pay for their land? God gives it to them? Does God pay their Property Taxes also? They don’t sell what they grow on the land God gives them? They give all the surplus away? If this is the case, said Amish person is not a Pigman, and thus not in danger of Burning at the Stake.

    RE

    7th September 2010 at 1:25 pm

  101. SSS says:

    RE

    Loaded questions, but I’ll respond in caps. So Amish people don’t pay for their land? YES, THEY DO IN SOME CASES. IN MANY CASES, IT IS PASSED DOWN TO HEIRS. God gives it to them? NO, HE DOESN’T. Does God pay their Property Taxes also? NO, HE DOESN’T. They don’t sell what they grow on the land God gives them? YES, THEY DO. They give all the surplus away? NO, THEY DON’T, BUT THEY DO GENEROUSLY SHARE, FOR FREE, WITH THOSE IN NEED.

    Look, RE, you know very well that the Amish and Mennonites have to live within a larger society which sets rules which they may or may not agree with, but they nonetheless obey peacefully. And they are pretty clever at using their work ethic to profit from those rules to IMPROVE their own community. Build their own schools and churches with money they’ve earned from their farms and stores. Build their own outbuildings (barns, silos, etc). Lend money to and/or provide free labor to a church member who may have fallen on hard times (house burned down).

    I hope you have no objection to this.

    7th September 2010 at 2:12 pm

  102. Reverse Engineer says:

    I have to live within a society which sets rules I don’t agree with also. This doesn’t make me right or wrong, just different from the society at large. Same would be true for the Amish. However, based on your fairly laudatory description of the archetypical Amish farmer, he’s unlikely to be a Pigman, since he would give away food to those in need whether they have money or not. Which would mean he was NOT worth $10M, since his land would be worthless if he gives away the produce for free :-)

    RE

    7th September 2010 at 4:59 pm

  103. SSS says:

    RE

    I sense a tone of compromise in your last post. Let’s leave it at that. On to the next verbal firefight we’re likely to have.

    7th September 2010 at 7:28 pm

  104. Reverse Engineer says:

    I don’t have anything against the Amish. I direct the blame where it belongs, in the hands of the Pigmen. I ballparked a figure of $10M, at which point YOU brought up the Amish. However, ow you say said $10M Amish man will give away his food to help the needy, so he isn’t worth $10M really, since he gives it away. Really, that’s all you have to do to avoid the Guillotine. Give away your money and you will be safe.

    RE

    7th September 2010 at 9:11 pm

  105. LLPOH says:

    RE – You say “Give away your money and you will be safe”. So you are a just a terrorist and thief at heart. Stunning. I suppose the first clue should have been that you were/are a schoolteacher, a profession I have found to harbor some of the most bitter and twisted of society.

    In my experience those individuals worth $10 million or so are generally worthy of their wealth, very often having made their money honestly. It is those who are worth $100 million that make their wealth as EMPLOYEES that are the problem. It is generally accomplished in public companies, and is effectively a result of stealing from the shareholders. Even then, I am generally more inclined to blame the shareholders for letting it happen.

    7th September 2010 at 9:28 pm

  106. Gemini says:

    RE, Does that mean Bernanke is safe? He seems to give more money away than anyone.

    7th September 2010 at 9:33 pm

  107. Reverse Engineer says:

    I would only be a thief if I took the Pigman’s money. I’m not taking anybody’s money, I don’t need it. I am merely passing out some free advice on how to keep your head attached to your body. It has been my experience that most business owners make money by stealing it from their employees who actually do the work. However, I am giving a bye to up to $10M just because otherwise we would clutter up the street with too many detached heads. If you need more than that to live, this is your problem, not my problem.

    RE

    7th September 2010 at 11:40 pm

  108. Reverse Engineer says:

    Bernanke is not safe because he steals from the Poor to Give to the Rich. Hang ‘em High.

    RE

    7th September 2010 at 11:42 pm

Leave a comment

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.