It is not easy to destroy the greatest empire in the history of mankind. The 20th Century was the American Century, but as with all empires, the combination of hubris, monetary debasement, imperial overreach and delusional overconfidence have set in motion the inevitable downfall of the American Empire. The policies, decisions, beliefs, and institutions implemented over decades have led the country to the threshold of financial disaster. Based on my observations, a catastrophic combination of demographics, fiat currency debasement, titanic levels of debt, smothering taxation, power in the hands of the few and Wall Street greed have led us to peak Empire. It will be downhill from here as we experience collapse, revolution and ultimately, retribution for the guilty and presumed guilty. I have already addressed the Baby Boomer generation’s contribution to our current plight, to the delight and accolades of Boomers across the land in For a Few Dollars More – Part One. The Boomers were a victim of their size and the timing of their arrival on the scene of empire collapse. Their delusions of debt based wealth and me first attitude could not have been satiated without the creation of the Federal Reserve and the institution of the personal income tax in 1913.

“When a man’s got money in his pocket he begins to appreciate peace.” – Joe – Fistful of Dollars


“Every town has a boss.” – Joe – Fistful of Dollars 

In the Old West of the 1800’s, before the creation of the Federal Reserve, money in your pocket meant gold or silver. If Joe were to repeat that line today, he would change it slightly:

“When a man thinks he’s got money in his pocket he begins to appreciate the good things in life like McMansions, BMWs, government provided retirement, government provided healthcare, and delusions of ever increasing wealth.”

Man made inflation is a glorious invention for the men who invented it. For the people who deal with it every day, not so much. Joe knew that every town had a boss. If you didn’t know who the boss was in the United States of America before 2008, you know now. Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States is the boss of this town.

Crony Capitalism Pays for the Cronies

Without Federal Reserve intervention in the financial markets since September 2008, the biggest banks in the world would have entered bankruptcy liquidation. The U.S. economy would have experienced a 10% to 20% fall in GDP. The unemployment rate would have soared above 15%. The stock market would have fallen 70%. Wealthy bondholders and stockholders would have seen their wealth cut in half. Incumbent politicians would have all been thrown out of office. The richest Americans, constituting the ruling class, would have borne the brunt of the pain.

In a true capitalist system, organizations and people who assumed too much risk and made poor decisions would have failed. But the United States does not have a capitalist system. We have a corporate fascist economic system where a small cartel of bankers, military weapons suppliers, and mega-corporations set the agenda for the country through their complete capture of politicians and the mainstream corporate media. At the height of the crisis in 2008, President George Bush revealed whose side he chose:

“I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system, to make sure the economy doesn’t collapse. I feel a sense of obligation to my successor to make sure there is not a, you know, a huge economic crisis. Look, we’re in a crisis now. I mean, this is — we’re in a huge recession, but I don’t want to make it even worse.”

George Bush was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He was not trying to save the free-market system, because we didn’t have a free market system. He was saving his fellow billionaires under the cover of saving the average American. Bush knew as much about saving our economic system as he knew about when to declare mission accomplished in Iraq. He turned the task of saving the free market system over to his multi-billionaire Goldman Sachs Secretary of Treasury Hank Paulson and the real boss of Washington DC, Ben Bernanke. These noble American patriots proceeded to save the top 1% richest Americans on the backs of the American middle class. They did it under the guise of keeping the country out of a Depression. Those who committed the crimes and destroyed the worldwide financial system not only didn’t get punished, they were enriched by the actions of Paulson and Bernanke. This entire sordid chapter in the history of the American empire from 2008 until the imminent collapse, sometime before 2015, will leave future historians dumbfounded at the utter insanity and foolishness of the decisions that were made during the death throes of the empire. Not only did George Bush not save the free-market system, but he drove a stake thru its heart.

To boil the entire 2008 financial collapse down to one word, it would be: DEBT.

Three decades of ever increasing levels of consumer, corporate, and government debt eventually led to an unprecedented implosion. It was as predictable in 2008, to those who understand the fiat monetary system, as it was to Ludwig von Mises decades ago: 

 “There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.”    

Federal Reserve – Destroyer of Worlds

The 2008 crash and the 1929 crash were manmade disasters. Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke created the atmosphere and conditions that led to the risk taking by bankers, home buyers and consumers. Monetary expansion, excessively low interest rates, the Greenspan/Bernanke Put, disinterest in regulation, and pandering to politicians allowed the party to get out of control. Taking away the punch bowl never crossed their mind. The Federal Reserve is controlled by the major Wall Street banks. These banks were partnerships until the 1980s, with partners personally liable for the actions of their banks. Excessive risk taking meant possible personal bankruptcy. Once they became corporations, excessive risk meant excessive compensation for the executives, with the downside being borne by the shareholders.

But that wasn’t enough. The executives were large shareholders, so they convinced the Federal Reserve to bail their corporations out whenever they made bad bets. It was a sweet deal if you were a banker. Knowing their lackeys at the Fed had their back, the goliath Wall Street banks used their power and wealth to convince the SEC to waive the 12 to 1 leverage rules so they could leverage their balance sheets 40 to 1. This meant that a 5% loss in their capital and they would be insolvent. The Harvard MBA CEO titans of the financial world created the housing bubble through their creation of fraud inducing mortgage products, a bewildering array of derivative products that even their MBA geniuses didn’t understand, and betting against the derivatives they were selling to their clients. When this toxic brew of fraud and debt exploded in their faces, the value of the assets on their books plunged by 30% to 40% in 2008 and 2009. The 10 biggest financial institutions in the country were effectively bankrupt. An orderly bankruptcy liquidation that wiped out the bondholders, stockholders and top executives was the solution to excessive risk taking and failure.  

This was an unacceptable solution to the billionaire class that owns half the financial wealth in the country. The President was a multi-millionaire. The Treasury Secretary was a billionaire. There were 250 millionaires in Congress. The top executives of the banks that own and control the Federal Reserve are multi-millionaires. The owners and talking head pundits of the mainstream media are all in the billionaire/millionaire class. The cover story used to bilk $700 billion from middle class taxpayers into the coffers of Wall Street mega-banks was that if we didn’t hand over the loot, the financial system would collapse and a Great Depression would ensue. Every program, policy, and rule change that has been rolled out since September 2008 by the Federal Reserve, Treasury, and Congress has benefitted billionaires, bankers, and politically connected corporations. The Federal Reserve has printed over $2 trillion out of thin air to save the billionaires that have been pillaging the middle class for decades.

The Federal Reserve bought $1.25 trillion of toxic mortgages from Wall Street, allowed these banks to borrow at 0%, threatened the FASB into suspending mark to market accounting so banks could fake the value of their loans, instructed banks to rollover commercial real estate loans as if they weren’t really worth 40% less than the value on their books, and rolled out $600 billion of QE2 in order to create a stock market rally, benefitting their billionaire constituents. The $800 billion stimulus program was shoveled to the corporate friends (contributors) of Congressmen across the land. Cash for Clunkers benefitted government owned car companies. The home buyer tax credit and changing loss carry back rules benefitted mega home builders. Every one of these deeds enriched bankers and billionaires while further impoverishing the working middle class. Real middle class wages continue to fall, unemployment remains near record levels, real inflation in food and energy is running above 10%, senior citizens haven’t gotten a Social Security increase in two years, savers are getting .25% on their savings, home prices continue to fall, and future generations will be stuck with the bill for the billionaire bailout.

The standard of living for the average American continues to fall. Real household income is lower than it was in 1999. The only reason it increased in the 1980s and 1990s was the huge influx of women into the workforce. Two earners were needed to try and maintain a constant standard of living. Real average weekly earnings are lower today than they were in 1970, even using the government bastardized CPI calculation that has been so massaged since 1982 that it has only resulted in a happy ending for government bureaucrats at the BLS. Calculating the CPI exactly as it was calculated in 1980 reveals the truth of what the Federal Reserve has wrought on working class America, a drastic decrease in their standard of living. The insidiousness of Federal Reserve created inflation has sucked the life out of the middle class and enriched the cocktail party class.

Real Average Weekly Earnings

The stealth transfer of wealth from the working middle class to the richest in our society was done through convincing the middle class that buying things with debt made you richer. This delusion was sold by the billionaire owned corporate mainstream media and peddled by billionaire bankers to the masses through credit cards, “creative” mortgage products, easy access to home “equity”, auto leases, and easy financing products. Only in a society where a fiat currency could be printed by a central bank with no requirement that it be pegged to an anchor such as gold, could such a staggering amount of debt be accumulated.

Delusions of Debt

The bill that has been rung up is in the form of a national debt that has increased by $4.6 trillion since September 2008, a 48% increase in two and a half years. Over this same time frame real GDP has increased by $200 billion, a 1.6% increase in two and a half years. Over this same period, the Federal Reserve has tripled their balance sheet by adding $2 trillion of debt. Think about this for one second. The leaders of the great American empire have burdened future generations with $6.6 trillion of new debt and increased the Gross Domestic Product by $200 billion. Is this a good return on investment? Did the 30 million unemployed and underemployed Americans benefit? Did the 45 million people on food stamps benefit? Did the 11 million households who are underwater in their mortgage benefit? Did the 3 million people who lost their homes in foreclosure since 2008 benefit? Are Americans paying twice as much for groceries and gasoline benefitting? Did the Tunisians, Egyptians, and other poor people around the world benefit?

The answer to all these questions is NO. The only beneficiaries have been bankers, billionaires, mega-corporations and the politicians who were bought off by these greedy traitors to the Republic. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows the country got into this mess due to the issuance of mountains of debt that was un-payable based upon any reasonable assessment of future cash flows to service the debt. Consumers could never have increased their wages enough to pay off the credit card, mortgage, home equity, student loan, and auto debt they accumulated since 1980. The government could never collect the amount of taxes needed to pay for the $100 trillion of entitlement promises they have made over the last four decades. By 2008 we had reached peak debt delusion.

The only questions that remained were how would the debt be defaulted on and who would bear the brunt of the default. The Federal Reserve Chairman and the U.S. Treasury Secretary rolled out a master plan that revolved around convincing the masses they were being saved, while actually enriching their masters on Wall Street. Their PR machine and captured mouthpieces throughout the mainstream media and in Congress spun the fear mongering message of Depression if the mega-banks were not handed trillions of taxpayer funds.

The proof of what did not happen is borne out in the chart below, showing the total credit market debt in the U.S.at $52.6 trillion, $200 billion higher than it was in 2008. If those who had collected billions in fraudulent profits while using unprecedented levels of debt were rightfully required to take responsibility for the catastrophe they caused, the debt levels would have dropped dramatically. The losses would have been borne by those responsible. The economy would have taken a body blow, all Americans would have been hurt, and many billionaires would have become millionaires or even paupers. The debt would have been written off and lessons would have been learned. The remaining banks (there are 8,000 others besides the 10 who control 50% of the deposits) would have followed traditional risk mitigation methods and the economy would have recovered.

But, as you can see, debt was not written off. No bankers were harmed during the making of this fake recovery. No criminal bankers were prosecuted. No government drones took responsibility for their failure. While the masses were distracted by stimulus packages, mortgage moratoriums, Obamacare and reality TV, the debt was shifted from the criminally negligent banks to you. The proof is right on the Federal Reserve website for all to see:

  • Financial institutions reduced their debt from $17.1 trillion in 2008 to $14.2 trillion today.
  • The Federal & state governments increased their debt from $8.7 trillion in 2008 to $11.9 trillion today.
  • The GSEs (Fannie, Freddie, Sallie) increased their debt from $3.2 trillion in 2008 to $6.4 trillion today.
  • Corporations increased their debt from $7.0 trillion in 2008 to $7.4 trillion today.
  • Household debt declined from $13.8 trillion in 2008 to $13.4 trillion as the Federal Reserve backstopped the write-off of $600 billion of bad debt by the banks.

Over $6 trillion of toxic debt was shifted from the insolvent financial industries to the middle class taxpayers under the guise of “Saving the System”. Bad debt does not become good by shifting it to taxpayers. The story line about Americans embracing austerity is false. Household debt rose from $8 trillion in 2000 to $13.8 trillion in 2008, a 72% increase, and has declined by 3% due to write-offs, not austerity.

Champion of the Middle Class

By extending the debt, shifting it to the taxpayer and pretending it is payable, the Federal Reserve and your government have chosen, to use its weapon of choice since inception in 1913 – INFLATION, to default on the debt. It is not a new tactic, it is their only tactic.

The Federal Reserve has slowly and methodically destroyed the American middle class through relentlessly printing more money and purposefully creating inflation, since its reprehensible creation in 1913. For the last three decades only one voice in the wilderness of Washington DC has fought this banking cabal.

“Since the creation of the Federal Reserve, middle and working-class Americans have been victimized by a boom-and-bust monetary policy. In addition, most Americans have suffered a steadily eroding purchasing power because of the Federal Reserve’s inflationary policies. This represents a real, if hidden, tax imposed on the American people.

From the Great Depression, to the stagflation of the seventies, to the burst of the dotcom bubble last year, every economic downturn suffered by the country over the last 80 years can be traced to Federal Reserve policy. The Fed has followed a consistent policy of flooding the economy with easy money, leading to a misallocation of resources and an artificial “boom” followed by a recession or depression when the Fed-created bubble bursts. In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to stand up for working Americans by putting an end to the manipulation of the money supply which erodes Americans’ standard of living, enlarges big government, and enriches well-connected elites, by cosponsoring my legislation to abolish the Federal Reserve.” – Ron Paul – Sept 10, 2002

His colleagues in Congress did not stand up to the Federal Reserve in 2002. Instead, they cheered them on as Greenspan’s ultra loose monetary policy led to the greatest housing bubble in history and a financial collapse unparalleled in human history. As the collapse was hurdling down the track in 2006, Representative Paul once again rose in protest against an organization that is rapidly destroying the American dream.

“The coming dollar crisis is not likely to be “fixed” by politicians who are unwilling to make hard choices, admit mistakes, and spend less money. Demographic trends will place even greater demands on Congress to maintain benefits for millions of older Americans who are dependent on the federal government.

Faced with uncomfortable financial realities, Congress will seek to avoid the day of reckoning by the most expedient means available – and the Federal Reserve undoubtedly will accommodate Washington by printing more dollars to pay the bills. The Fed is the enabler for the spending addicts in Congress, who would rather spend new fiat money than face the political consequences of raising taxes or borrowing more abroad.

The irony is that many of the Fed’s biggest cheerleaders are the same supposed capitalists who denounced centralized economic planning when practiced by the former Soviet Union. Large banks and Wall Street firms love the Fed’s easy money policy, because they profit at the front end from the resulting loan boom and artificially high equity prices. It’s the little guy who loses when the inflated dollars finally trickle down to him and erode his buying power. Someday Americans will understand that Federal Reserve bankers have no magic ability – and certainly no legal or moral right – to decide how much money should exist and what the cost of borrowing money should be.” – Ron Paul – July 11, 2006

The dollar crisis is upon us. Congress and President Obama are avoiding the day of reckoning. The Federal Reserve is enabling profligate spending by politicians, while at the same time enriching their masters on Wall Street. Everything being done in Washington DC seems to be the exact opposite of what should be done. I think the fable of the scorpion and the frog describes our situation best. The scorpion asks a frog to carry him across a river. The frog is afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it stung, the frog would sink and the scorpion would drown. The frog agrees and the scorpion stings the frog during the crossing, dooming them both. When asked why, the scorpion points out that this is its nature. The Federal Reserve is printing money, creating inflation, enriching billionaire bankers, and dooming the country to certain collapse because that is its nature.

My intentions have been foiled again. I realize that my attempt to put our current economic predicament into perspective will now need to be a five part series. . For a Few Dollars More addressed the Baby Boomer impact on America’s decline. A Fistful of Dollars examined how the Federal Reserve’s actions over the last few decades have impoverished the middle class and has placed the country at the brink of collapse,   The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly will address the nefarious creation of a central bank and the implementation of a personal income tax in the dreadful year 1913. Outlaw Josey Wales will scrutinize the looting of America by a small group of powerful, connected, super rich men lurking in the shadows, but pulling the strings on our puppet politicians. Lastly, Unforgiven  will detail the impending collapse of our economic system and the retribution that will be handed out to the guilty.

I can’t wait to see how it ends.

104 thoughts on “A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS – PART TWO”

  1. They know what they need to do to fix the problem [just go away] but will refuse to do so in order to cling to power wealth brings them.

    Its like they have slid the ring of Sauron on one of their digits.

  2. Communist revolutions used to appall me. To read Solzhenitzyn etc, one imagined ‘enemies of the people’ were victims of a political correctness gone mad and, I suppose, many were. But then I, as an American , had never really felt oppressed, ripped off and fearful for my future in the way I do now.

    I don’t mind people making more than I do. Others work harder, are smarter or have talents I lack. That’s life. I also accept that some people are born to wealthy families or are just lucky in being in the right occupation or situation when opportunity beckons. I’d take advantage of that too. What I cannot accept and what fills me with anger is seeing people prosper through corruption and evade
    any consequence for that, even when the corruption is blatant and flagrant. That a Robert Rubin, Franklin Raines or Joe Cassano can bring ruin to the shareholder, the taxpayer even the very nation
    they are citizens of and enjoy a luxurious retirement even as they denied even a basic one to countless others.

    Yes, I now understand what an ‘enemy of the people’ is and how putting such people in camps to be worked to death a just an condign fate. Stealing a man’s wallet is a crime but a man can recover that
    loss. When you steal the future from millions of people they can’t recover they can only demand revenge.

  3. If there was a point in all that, then sorry I missed it.

    You really need to keep your articles short and to the point.

  4. Article is right on .

    A capitalistic society has to have morals to operate if not this
    is what happens.

    Called a friend of mine on his cell phone for meeting the other day, he said
    he was out of town I asked were are you, he said driving down the street
    in Hanoi Vietnam. I thought to my self w t h did all those people die for and
    why are they still dying.
    I wonder what’s coming to this country.

  5. i’m going to pick a nit. admin wrote:
    “The richest Americans, constituting the ruling class, would have borne the brunt of the pain.”

    i disagree (and this is just speculating/guessing about what would’ve/could’ve/should’ve). i think the richest americans would have shared the pain; but the brunt would’ve been borne by everyone else.

    the sentence i quoted i think implies that the middle class, the lower class, whomever would’ve been spared a measure of pain.

    as it stands, all of us are bearing the brunt, and the ruling class have been spared any share of the pain.

    if the leaders did the right thing in 2007-2008, (and if the people had demanded this of the leaders, instead of trusting them), everyone would’ve sucked shit, the ruling class and the ruled.

    instead, the ruling class not only skated, but got richer. and the rest of us have had the shit sucking prolonged, and intensified. plus, a two-year long and counting delusional respite, to indulge in the fantasy that we avoided, rather than merely delayed, the big collapse assfucking yet to come.

  6. I am eagerly awaiting the segment “Unforgiven”. I’ll even read it with my trusty Schofield revolver at my side.

  7. When you get to “The Outlaw Josey Wales” post, don’t forget to use my favorite qquote from that movie “Get ready Little Lady, HELL is Coming to Breakfast” 🙂 Also thhe Lone Waite “Endeavor to Perservere” quote.

    Insofar as what would have occurred in 2008 is concerned iif we had just let the TBTF Banks fail, I think it would bbe a lot worse than a 20% hit to the economy. If the CBs weren’t propping uup the markets and rolling over worthlless sovereign debt, we would all be dead broke INCLUUDIING the Chinese since our Treasuries would be worthless.

    So what we have now is a Zombie Economy,, whereas what we would have had was a ttotally DEAD economy. We eventually of course will get the completely DEAD econoomy, but for a while here we get to be Zombies doing BAU, least if you are still employed.

    This whole Bizness never could have been saved,, once we hit local Peak Oil we HAD to either reduce our energy consumption or go into debt to keep the illusion of wealth and the CCapitalisst system going. The people benefitting most from this system squashed the Back to the Land “drop outs” of that era,, and took us whole hog on the debt driven consumer binge of the last 40 years.

    Nobody wwanted to admit in 1971 that we were not going to be Trekking the Stars, it was sold to all of us that Capitalism would make us all enjoy the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. If wwe had admitted back in 1971 that our society was a FAKE,, perhaps we might havve then createed something more sustainable. But that was not of benefit to those at the top of the food chain, so we got sold another bill of goods.

    Now we exist as Zombies for a while longer, until this monetary system well and trully dies completely. Then the fun really begins.


  8. I wouldn’t count the ‘boomers’ out yet. They’re not stupid. They just have the most to lose.

    For the most part everyone here on this board understands the ‘crash’ to be a financial crisis remorselessly intertwined with reduced energy supplies. However, it is also a crisis of conscious on an individual level. Many ‘boomers’ only get through each day by abusing alcohol and prescription drugs which alter their perception of reality. It is only natural that the recognition of any crisis would take longer and have a stronger effect on their consciousness.

    Once someone ‘wakes up’ to their crisis (perhaps even unrelated to the financial crisis such as being horrified by the senseless murder of children) they will react as an individual. They try to get reassurance from their peers that they are not crazy. We all have first hand experience as to how that usually goes and we were not talking to other ‘boomers’.

    Hell, if our peers would have ‘woken up’ we wouldn’t need blogs to discuss these issues because we would be talking about them within our own social networks.

    This crisis is not over. Deepwater Horizon and Fukashima have exacerbated the problem. Fukashima is orders of magnitude worse than Deepwater Horizon. How much is irradiated property worth?

  9. Howard, I remember the banking crisis of 2008; there were people out protesting the bailout then. The fact is that DC doesn’t care what the people think and they won’t care until the people show up with shotguns and pitchforks. And by that time it’ll be too late.

  10. The latest mess and the real tipping point of the coming collapse has a poster boy: Angelo Mazilo who at the height of irresponsible lending had his minions seeking out the homeless to sign on the dotted line.

  11. KaD–you are absolutely right. i was one of them. we were ignored.

    worse. before they ignored us, they listened to us.

    the house of representatives, voted to defeat the TARP bill. largely as a result of the outcry of ordinary americans, and our phone calls, letters and emails urging a ‘no’ vote.

    then they took the members of congress aside, twisted arms, added pork and bribes, and passed it a few days later.

    this episode should not have been tolerated by the people. either at the ballot box a few weeks later (at the very least, vote out the incumbent congress and senate, if not reject both major party presidential candidates), or in the streets.

    and that is what i mean when i said above that the people allowed the leaders to do what they did.

    both obama and mccain supported the bailout; 99% of those who voted cast their votes for these two clowns. and most of the house and senate members returned to office as well (sorry i don’t remember the numbers, and i’m too lazy to look it up).

  12. Bravo using a series of movies such as these to get your message across. Clint Eastwood is the baddest ass outlaw this side of Hell. I want to go out guns ablazin with with yhe fine, honest truthseekers found on TBP.

  13. Admin – many thanks for the article. Above you said “To boil the entire 2008 financial collapse down to one word, it would be: DEBT.” I do not disagree. That society as a whole stopped valuing education, work ethic, honesty and integrity, etc., set the stage for rush to debt. We came to want something for nothing, and as a society believed we had achieved the equivalent of the perpetual motion machine – we thought we were getting outputs without the need to put anything in. It is now time to pay the piper for the stupidity of it all.

  14. That Shadow Stats graph shows average weekly earnings falling by roughly TWO-THIRDS since 1980. Wow, that’s just incredible. I don’t want to believe that, it’s so depressing, it makes me worried for my future. In fact, when you consider that the wealth distribution has been increasingly concentrated over the same time period, you realize that the MEDIAN real income must have fallen by an even more drastic amount. No wonder people don’t have as many kids as they used to, or as early: they can’t afford them! Wait, there’s something else other than sadness. Anger. Hate. Yes, that’s it.

  15. I’ll believe the gunslinger motif when I read reports of dead bankers and Wall Street executives.

    Where are the lone gunmen when we need them?

  16. This type of stuff has been going on since, the inception of the fed. I first learned of the PTB in the early 70’s from my dad. Over the years and everyone I have tried to talk to just don’t want to believe the degree of evil that walks this earth.

    Now, they are so confident there is nothing we can do to stop them, they have the pedal to the metal.

    We can…
    Ron Paul 2012

  17. “Where are the lone gunmen when we need them?”

    Maybe when a few of these banksters start mysteriously dying of lead poisoning and terminal perforation, then that will give the ones left something to think about when they contemplate scamming the public again. The retribution these people have coming to them is beyond the trillions of dollars they have stolen and the countless lives they have ruined with their naked avarice and their rigged derivative casinos.



    The sad fact is, we do have an elite that has put themselves above the law. And, it’s their their self serving interest, driven by a complicit government, that’s responsible for most of our wows. These are not hero businessmen who build enterprise’s enriching our society and communities. These are parasitic looters with no interest in creating anything. They have captured our ‘representative’ government and regulatory bodies and bend them to their will. Lawmakers and regulators are minions, with benefits.

    “Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.” – Thomas Jefferson

    Our nation was founded on the principles of a democratic republic and free market capitalism that no longer exist. The choices presented on election day amounts to no more than peanuts or plain; no choice at all. “The illusion of democracy is an insult to our intelligence.”- Zeitgeiest II

    Both parties are of the same spinning coin, serving corporate masters in a system of predatory capitalism where profits are private and losses are socialized. Such a system, controlled by a small group of oligarchs and governmental officials, who stand above the law and direct economic outcomes, is not democratic or capitalist. It is by definition, fascist. Yet, the majority of “we the people” stand on the sidelines as if we have no stake in the game.

    “You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul. – Mahatma Gandhi

    As a percentage of our economy, the financial industry has never been so heavily weighted. This weight has nearly ceased to create wealth, except that which is spun off into the pockets of a very few. From a Logical standpoint the Banks no longer serve their purpose of capitalizing a vibrant business community but generate bonuses by extracting rents. Further, they fabricate the illusion of viability covering up losses or not realizing them. According to Christopher Whalen of Institutional Risk Analytics, “The fraud and obfuscation now underway in Washington to protect the TBTF banks and GSEs totals into the trillions of dollars and rises to the level of treason.”

    In spite of $Trillions in government backstops and $Trillions more in bailouts the biggest banks still sit atop $trillions in non performing debt and highly speculative derivatives, (toxic assets). Instead of cleaning up their mess, funds have been used to further consolidate (to bigger to fail) and in speculation; creating bubbles. Financial reform and FASB accounting gimmicks aside, the money center banks are worse off than two years ago. Forced to Mark assets honestly many, are insolvent….

    “if the king and his princes aren’t going to punish the people’s tormentors, isn’t it the right of the people to unseat the king? Didn’t a document some rubes signed back in 1776 say just that? To be perfectly clear, this unwillingness of current leadership to “shake up the tree” while the fruit of that tree is poisoning us, gives us the right to defy that leadership.

    We the People accept that Justice is not divine and have thus acquiesced that justice must be guided by process to minimize error and the persecution of the innocent. However, the king’s abandoning the pursuit of justice is not a legitimate use of process, it is an unjust act favoring one group of citizens beyond all others, to which the People have every right to respond, including decorating lampposts with tyrants and banksters….”

    Read more here: http://notionalvalue.blogspot.com/2011/05/rule-of-law-must-apply-to-all-americans.html#more

  19. “This entire sordid chapter in the history of the American empire from 2008 until the imminent collapse, sometime before 2015,”
    JQ – Using Niall Ferguson’s “one grain to many “Sand Theory ,I believe your estimate to be somewhat conservative.

    “No bankers were harmed during the making of this fake recovery.” Classic.
    And this is why I keep coming back to TBP. Where the flames wars are hotter’n Hades.
    I tip my Guiness to you, Jim.

  20. Administrator says:

    Look at me and flash

    I can’t hold your birthday against you. And lucky for you you’re Irish too.

  21. Thank you Admin

    I’m on the verge of being banned from discussing reality with my husband. Thank goodness for the sanity I find here.

    When you were naming the millionaires/billionaires that were bailed out, you neglected the union bosses (Gettelfinger pops to mind immediately). Their bailout disgusts me most of all. While they asked their workers for (primarily bullshit) concessions, they never lost a dime. Hell, since they refuse to be audited, I’ll be their salaries went up.

    One, rich, great big, fucking conspiracy to take more and more from our pockets. Since 2008, Congress has enacted more and more laws that will chip away at the remaining wages we have.

    Health care – up to 10% (I believe that was the final figure, will find out next year) of your gross wages. Since 2008 my business paid employee health insurance has doubled. DOUBLED.

    Tax returns, unemployment, food stamps, a percentage of all these necessities (for some) now goes straight through the banksters greedy hands. No wonder Visa and Mastercard are raking in record profits.

    Increased bank charges, from monthly fees, to having your damn statement mailed to your house

    Federal transfer tax on home sales

    Reduced credit (and revoked) for small businesses at the direct order from the FDIC and Sheila

    The FDA/USDA law – adding costs to fresh, American processed, food and moving more of our food processing outside our borders.

    Child’s Lead Law – increased cost of kids clothes by over 30%

    Allowing/encouraging the lowering of the cholesterol limits resulting in Lipitor (with its increased risk of cancer) to become the world’s top-selling drug.

    Don’t know about you all, but utilities in Michigan have been going up and up, just learned they are going up AGAIN in July. In our state, unlike most of yours, I also get to pay my full 6% sales tax on the utility (and on the federal and state excise taxes, yep, in Mich we pay taxes ON taxes, paid for with dollars that were already taxed).

    The list goes on and on.

    Recovery my ass. Most of that “gain” of $200 billion in increased GDP can be directly attributed to mandates from our elected officials.

    I just wish I could see, or some of you could see, a way that this won’t end badly. Ah well, at least I get to feel sane for a few minutes a day by visiting. Thanks again Admin.

  22. Terrific article.

    Patchman has this right: if this doesn’t rise to the level of treason, what does?

    As Howard notes, the House voted the bailouts down at first. For the first time, I wrote my congresscritters, and received a very nice “go fuck yourself” form response as they went ahead and voted for TARP.

    All complicit in treason.

    No justice, no peace.

  23. Jim, thanks for the great 2nd installment. Can’t wait for the rest.

    The biggest problem I have in my community is getting anyone to believe me about all this truth. The entire town is screaming about the food and fuel prices yet they trash me on every blog that I post. I have been yelling at them for years to stockpile food and gold and silver and they continuously trash me and call me every name in the book associated with Gloom and Doomer and “End of the World” barker. They have watched every thing I have told them about come true but they still hold on to their limitations and fight me with delusion and disbelief.

    Nice to see it all out in the open here.
    Jim Quinn is brilliant.

  24. Although this article was better than the first, it is hard to share with others who are “not awake” to the situation because it’s overly wordy and some times rambling. The message is spot on, please try to make it more accessible to the uninitiated audience.

    Thanks for the work and helping me to reaffirm my own thoughts.

  25. ” Baby Boomer impact on America’s decline”

    Collectivist thinking ,be it fascist or communist is what destroyed civilization. The individual reigns supreme. Individuals , not a generation are responsible for achievement or calamity.

  26. All+Your+Banks+Are+Belong+To+Us.jpg

    This will be an fanfuckingtastic set of articles, Admin. I liked this one better than the first one, bommers suck but banksters piss me off. I get daily reminders from friends and family that most people do not even know that something is very wrong with the economy. Even if I told them, they would not understand why.

    “The Federal Reserve bought $1.25 trillion of toxic mortgages from Wall Street, allowed these banks to borrow at 0%”

    The revenue streams that those bonds represent are dead. Defaulted. Unrecoverable. The properties are worth fuckall, not that any court in its right mind can seriously find a legal connection to those bonds and the property it is supposed to represent. Is this trainwreck going to addressed in one of the articles? It should. MERS is a fucking joke but I suspect that houses might become free in the future. As in… Pick one you like, get a battering ram and bust down the door, move in.

    “threatened the FASB into suspending mark to market accounting so banks could fake the value of their loans, instructed banks to rollover commercial real estate loans as if they weren’t really worth 40% less than the value on their books, and rolled out $600 billion of QE2 in order to create a stock market rally, benefiting their billionaire constituents.”

    I doubt that the FASB took much threatening to roll over like fucking curs. They, like every other government agency, eats shit. The porn freak peter beaters at the SEC and the limp dick knob gobblers at FINRA have the banks best interest at heart, not ours. I do hope you don’t leave them unscathed in this epic immolation.


  27. Do you really think that Bernanke is the boss of Immelt, Dimon and Blankfein, or is it vice versa? The Fed can not be the boss when the PDs are the boss of the Fed.

  28. flash says:

    Do you really think that Bernanke is the boss of Immelt, Dimon and Blankfein, or is it vice versa? The Fed can not be the boss when the PDs are the boss of the Fed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    …not that I disagree, but not I.

  29. Mr. Quinn:

    Have you considered or tried submitting your brilliant, deserving-of-much-wider dissemination (I prefer “carefully crafted criminal cases”) pieces to Henry Blodget of “Business Insider?”

    I think you might be surprised at the many critically important writers he posts there including Charles Hughes Smith and Gonzo Lira.

    Most importantly, as a testament to his fearless courage, he does not censor honest, thoughtful, fact-based commentary EVER so long as it remains within the boundaries of good tastes.

    1. Stephanie

      Zero Hedge posts all my articles. Business Insider picks up everything posted by Zero Hedge, so all my articles end up on his site.

  30. Stephanie – you must not have been watching to write “so long as it remains within the boundaries of good tastes.” Actually the Admin’s articles are probably within the bounds but boy, watch out for some of his comments!


    1. Stephanie

      My dad was Mr. Quinn.

      I prefer fuckwad, doomer lite, douchebag, Boomer hater, or fat ass.

      I’m sure the members have a few more.

    1. I forgot to tell Stephanie that she must click the google ads to gain admittance to the site.

  31. These excellent articles need to be sent to a lot of people.I made sure to buy some vaseline today i think ill be needing plenty the way things are going.

  32. And Sylvester the Cat will play the part of Bawney Fwank in the Looney Tunes production of … “H.R. 1512”, in which he falls into unwequited love with the Bernank.


  33. Jimmy – the U.S. is running out of oil – hahaha, lmao. Just found this article that I knew YOU would love Jimmy:

    “U.S. becomes net fuel exporter,” dated May 3, 2010. No Jimmy, the U.S. and the world are NOT RUNNING OUT OF OIL. Oil is plentiful. (I found the link to this on FinancialSense.Com).


    So relax Jimmy. Fill up your tank and step on the gas for me Jimmy, even if you do drive one of those stupid Smart Cars. BTW Jimmy, Peak Oil is a New World Order SCAM.

    1. Titanic appears to reveal his conspiracy deluded mad cow diseased brain is still functioning on the level of a 3 year old mogoloid shit eating monkey.

      Thanks for letting us know that you haven’t offed yourself in some stupid manner worthy of winning a Darwin award. I’m sure you still have a shot.

  34. Yikes! The country must be poorer than I thought if we’re selling gasoline and it’s >$4.00 a gallon here.

  35. “Lastly, Unforgiven will detail the impending collapse of our economic system and the retribution that will be handed out to the guilty.”

    For me, parts 1-5 are and will be boring. ‘Cause I read them all already years ago. I rather see part 6, still un-named. Well, I might have a name for part 6. Some have been calling it Fourth Turning. But maybe it’s time to be more specific. I call it Post-Imperial America. It somewhat like UK after WW2. It’s not pretty, but hey, I did not say post-Roman Dark Age!

    Why did they called the few hundreds years after the collapse of the Roman Empire Dark Age? Were there famine, disasters, etc? Were there endless holy wars? No, not really. Everything was still pretty bright, except the ‘barbarian’ states got to share Roman wealth. Hell, for the ‘barbarians’ in northern Europe, it was the Bright Age. It was dark because the mind was dark. Education and knowledge pretty much ceased and European intellect declined substantially for a few hundred years. But at the same time, Middle East and Oriental cultures remained robust and moved forward.

    American wealth (except the extreme wealthy) will decline substantially the next 10-15 years. And yes there will be social upheavals. But these are symptoms of a root cause deficit. The root cause is not money. It is lack of adequate education, intelligence, expertise and will-power to deploy them. So while part 6 will be about the downsizing of USA from an imperial arrogant power to just another major power, it may also be about America finding a solution to arrest the decline further. That solution must be young people getting educated. I mean educated with real knowledge and the creative arts. Just like the much-blamed Boomers who propelled the Apollo program to the moon, who invented electronics, who harnessed nuclear power, who created the aerospace and advanced pharma industries. These are very very hard things to do. They required a great deal of education and expertise. [Now you know about ‘Apollo’ – I started my career working on the Apollo program.]

    Educated, I hope, about the limits of resources and the intelligence of sustainability in society. In such a society, Fico score has no value. Instead, the score in the saving account has. And with such intelligence, people won’t elect the kind of politicians who have governed so irresponsibly.

  36. “I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system, -GWB

    What bovine plop. The con-men parasites committed suicide and GWB saved them. What he saved wasnt the free market but the long running scheme to fleece the sheople

  37. Apollo,

    I agree with a great deal of your post. However, holding out the Nuclear industry (can you say Fukushima?), Big Pharma (where do I begin), and the Apollo program (can’t get to the moon now, so certainly couldn’t have done it then) are not exactly beacons of light.

    Debt based society….absolutely has to be dismantled.
    Saving over consumption….another very valid point.
    Education needs to change & become relevant.

    Boomers made a lot of advances; but they lost sight of the goal.

  38. @TTFN

    I mentioned these industries as illustration of the need to re-educate as one of a few critical steps to arrest decline. These industries have generated great wealth, and are still industries worthy of admiration today. They still employ millions with good pay. But other countries are catching up, some even exceeded America (such as Japan in electronics). Others are doing their mightiest to invest. Faced with such competition, there is absolutely no alternative but to invest and harvest new advanced knowledge and expertise. Further failure to achieve re-education at all levels, and create new industries, will guarantee national failure.

  39. Apollo

    My curiosity is getting the better of me. Since you have shown your hand, and admitted your credentials, I have to ask:

    1. Were the Apollo astronauts given specific protocols not to discuss any extraterrestrial sightings on their missions? What of Buzz Aldrin’s accounts of sightings? What about Edgar Mitchell? What do you make of the Disclosure Project (where individuals with government and military clearances have come forward to admit having seen evidence of extraterrestrials)? What of your knowledge?

    2. TTFN has clearly thrown down a gauntlet, unless I misunderstand him, when he says, “can’t get to the moon now, so certainly couldn’t have done it then”, which I interpret to mean that he does not believe the moon landings were real. Were they real? If they were, please state with a clear “yes”, if they weren’t, and you might endanger your life by saying so, they say something other than a clear “yes”, such as “I believe they were”, or “I was not part of the program at that time, but I watched it on television.”

    Now I wait eagerly for your answers, my curiosity piqued…

  40. Apollo – I agree wholeheartedly re education. Unfortunately I fear there are a great many people that will prove impossible to educate in modern society. There is much to learn, and even if there is universal acceptance of the need and universal willingness to undertake the process, I am concerned that a great many still will not have the intellectual capacity required. What happens to them?

  41. Good question, lloph.

    Sure looking grim for a lot of peeps in a downward spiral. I think I need more ammo.

  42. Well, I wonder how the next 60 years will play out…

    Can’t you write a positive article for once? You make it seem like there’s going to be an economic collapse by 2015 in about 90% of what you write, I mean sure that’s mostly whats going on, but there has to be some good news SOMEWHERE.

  43. Has anyone noticed how the google ads switch between debt collection companies and anti-debt collector attorney ads?

    Even Google algorithms don’t know where the wind’s blowing.

    Admin: I can’t wait for part 3!

  44. @Yojimbo – I started my career in the Apollo program designing and constructing spacecraft and related equipment. I have nothing to do with astronauts. I can confirm that the Moon landings were real. But it is possible that the TV broadcast of these missions into the homes of billion people was a complete fabrication by NASA under order from the White House in the world biggest conspiracy strategy to fool the Soviets into believing the USA has superior technology. I notice that to this day, only large number of Americans remained fooled.

    @LLPOH – America has lost the culture of learning below university level for a long time. At U and graduate levels, it is still world-leading but a lot of that is due to vast number of foreign students who took the trouble to enroll in US U’s. I.e. the quality of teaching at the advanced level is excellent, but the quality of US students has degraded in line with grade schools. Such wholesale degradation of the mind, lasting some 3 decades, and thus inflicting 2 generations of students, has resulted in today’s society.

    The degradation of learning in America is faster and deeper then all other developed countries. While major developing countries (especially China, S Korea, Taiwan, Singapore) continue to invest mightily in grade and advanced education. Example: S Korea has over 40 U’s and institute of technology, all hooked up in the world’s most advanced network. They have a dozen of the biggest super-computers, and funded most generously by state and corporations. (Go read up at Wikipedia.) Ask yourself: how in the hell Samsung and LG and produce such advanced flat-panel TV? Or, do you know that some of the world’s biggest and most luxurious cruise ships built in the massive yard in S France (such as the Queen Mary) is in fact owned by S Korea. Yes, S Korea designed these massive ships. Proper education can do wonders but to do amazing things and reap great profits, you must have a national culture.

  45. Apollo

    I’m not sure if you were being sarcastic. Would you please clarify?

    Your last sentence confuses me. Are you saying that Americans largely have been fooled, but other nations are not?

  46. Apollo

    I asked these questions because I saw a fascinating analysis of The Shining, which argues that Stanley Kubrick filmed a fake moon landing for television for the public, and was symbolically expressing his participation in the project through variations he added to the original story for the Shining. It really resonated with me, having read and loved both the book and the movie, and I always wondered about the differences between the two.

    Here is the link:

    Here is another article where the author explains how Kubrick did it (although the bit about the saucer technology seems far-fetched):

    The more I think about it, how would the astronauts been able to get the photos in focus, when wearing large oversize gloves and having a spherical helmet on their heads? How could they have seen through the viewfinder? Where are the bad photos – the photos out of focus, or taken of their feet mistakenly, or jittery photos, or simply composed poorly? It does seem odd…

  47. @Yojimbo

    “I’m not sure if you were being sarcastic. Would you please clarify?”

    How old are you? Not able to tell real from bullshit?

    Look, I and thousands others were deeply involved in the Apollo program. It’s ain’t no bullshit. Have you seen the Saturn V rocket on display at Kennedy Space Center? You think the people who built that thing is a bunch of nuts? Who was the chief designer architect of the Saturn V, the Moon rocket so big, so powerful, so advanced that the Soviet failed to make one despite extreme national effort? That designer was Wernher von Braun – yes he was the German rocket genius who created the V1/V2 rockets on WW2 fame and almost won the damn war by it. We got him to come over and give us a hand after the war (not that he had much of a choice). Now do you think our dear Dr von Braun, whose 40,000 little V2 babies almost wiped out London, would build the Saturn V at a cost of $100 billion in today’s money just to bullshit the Moon mission??

    I am going to give you one piece of scientific evidence on the Moon landing independent of TV and the media.

    We know the distance from Earth to Moon to about 10 digit accuracy – within about a cm. Using such accurate knowledge of the distance, we can calculate Moon motions, thus Earth rotation wobbling due to the Moon, to an amazing accuracy. Such calculations is confirmed by measurements all around the world by all kinds of experts.

    How the hell we know Earth-Moon distance to within 1cm? We fire a beam of laser to a reflector, a special mirror, on the Moon and measure the return. How come we have such a special mirror on the Moon, and know exactly where it is?


  48. @Apollo, Yojimbo and all others who are curious about the Moon Landings.

    This has gone far enough that I feel it NECESSARY to weigh in on this topic. LOL. I will be posting up some questions of basic physics tomorrow for the group to chew on with respect to Rocket Science. I promise you some very difficult to resolve questions of fundamental physical principles to resolve.

    Mr. Know-it-All is Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You.



  49. Reverse Engineer

    When you post, please label statements either “real” and “bullshit” so I can tell the difference.

  50. Apollo

    I thought we were discussing this sentence:

    “But it is possible that the TV broadcast of these missions into the homes of billion people was a complete fabrication by NASA under order from the White House in the world biggest conspiracy strategy to fool the Soviets into believing the USA has superior technology.”

    not whether astronauts actually made it to the moon.

    The underlying issue is the degree to which public perceptions of events are manipulated by the government. Mr. Quinn has made it quite clear that he believes The Big Lie of Hermann Goering and the Propaganda of Edward Bernays are fully and powerfully operational in our culture and are actively used to deceive the public and steer them.

    I was merely asking you, as an authority on the Apollo Missions, to weigh in on the possibility that the televised landings had been faked to deceive the Soviets. It does seem like a lot of American prestige was on the table, and perhaps the Americans wanted to have a back-up plan so that if there was a tragedy or malfunction, the appearance of a successful landing was assured.

    The issue is appearances versus truth.

    Perhaps when you reflect on the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, the attack on the USS Liberty, and the recent Death of bin Laden, you will understand where my youthful curiosity comes into play. After all, I am only 6 years old.

  51. @RE

    Sorry to give you a hard time. But that Newton First Law, so well illustrated, is not valid. It has since been replaced by Einstein general relativity law, a more accurate ‘refinement’ but which is based on entirely new concepts. In fact, Einstein relativity laws replaced the entire set of Newton laws. That happened almost a century ago, on 1915. Hey, Time magazine didn’t name Einstein Man of the (20th) Century for nothin’. Einstein ain’t no bullshit. But Newton is no bullshit either – his stuff is correct as an approximation. I say about a quarter of what you see around you today is based on Einstein discoveries.

    There is appearance, and there is mass media. There is government propaganda, and there is *American* mass media.

    Appearance is simple enough – it is what you and I see everyday. While that’s OK for daily life, appearance seldom reveals the correct physical reality. Which is why smart people developed the scientific method to discover physical reality after being bullshit by religion for centuries.

    Government propaganda is entirely up to the government. If you’re on the government side, you win. Check out the Vietnam war. Or the Iraq invasion.

    American mass media is a strange thing. It can tell the most devastating truth, and a second later the most absurd lies. That’s because, unique in the world, the American mass media only purpose is to make money by playing with information. So if you listen to US mass media and conduct your life accordingly, you too will become minced meat. A commodity where profit is extracted.

  52. Apollo – In my humble opinion, Newton’s greatest contribution was calculus (also give credit to Leibniz, but I think Newton got there first although Leibniz published first. Pretty good case can be made that Leibniz saw Newton’s work and semi-plagiarized it, but whatever). Calculus has had an enormous impact on the world. A very small percentage of the world uses calculus, but it has an enormous impact nevertheless.

  53. @LLPOH

    Sure, both are giants of physics. Both contributed and changed humanity far more than anybody in their times.

    On the math front, I consider both made equal contribution. Newton on basic calculus, the first to apply calculus to the physical world, the first to demonstrate the power and accuracy of the tool. By doing so he initiated a series of development that enabled the Industrial Revolution and emergence of European powers, later American power, to dominate the world. This is because of Newton that western civilization surpassed Oriental and other Eastern civilizations, who have been dominant since the end of the Roman Empire.

    Einstein on a new kind of calculus, which he invented, called tensor calculus. Without tensor math man will not be able to exploit & investigate space, do astronomy. Hell, satellite TV and GPS won’t exist.

    Such is the power of knowledge.

  54. newton, the central banker/’Master of the Mint’, who manipulated the value of silver downward? i guess we all have our dark side, even the great ones.

    (i keed, based on the little i know of newton’s life, and his career at the mint, he was kick-ass in that role as well)

  55. Apollo,

    Maybe you can shed some light on something that has been bothering me since 1966.

    I was woriking late at a microwave station in Indiana, testing modules for the next days’ maintenaance. Someone had an old Hallicrafter S-38B multiband receiver. There was a ‘secret’ longwire antenna, so I fired it up, poking around the upside of the 20 meter band.

    Suddenly, a signal came in: “This fucker is going everyway but loose” or some such. Eh? The more I listened, I knew it was to do with the first docking in space — a Big Deal, I thought, WTF? And more commentary, indicating Armstrong and Scott were having a little bit of trouble up there. My first question is, Why is this signal here? But I finished my work and went home.

    “Hi, honey, I’m home. How’s the space project going?” Barbara had the TV on and said, “There was a technical problem and they can’t relay the actual docking just now.”

    Uh huh. ‘Live’ TV coverage?

    I’ll tell ya, whatever I heard was not ‘the right stuff’ nohow. To make sailors blush. I have no doubt I heard the real story, but why? Was the signal I picked up a relay in a ‘dead’ area? More questions than answers, but yeah, I can see how a test of new technology had to be presented to the American public clean … for all I know, that downlink signal came from the Parkes dish and retransmitted on a ‘dead frequency’ I just lucked out on.

  56. Novista
    Cool story. You were working on microwave radio telescopes? or was it communications? My dad had a shortwave radio I used to play with when I was a kid. I would hear all kinds of cool shit. Broadcasts in Russian and French, crazy beeps my dad told me was Morse code. It was a lot of fun. I liked to imagine I would find old TV or radio broadcasts from years before bouncing around the ether, don’t know if that actually happens but I was sure I would find them at the time.

  57. @Novista
    Look, spacecrafts do not use microwave for comm. In 1966, the technology was C-band and S-band. There ain’t no way you can pick those up. Not only because of the high frequencies but because they are complex modulated – equivalent to military gear. You need very fancy gear to pick those up, and you need all kinds of code.

    That said, it is true that March 1966 was a momentous mission. Armstrong & Scott was on the most challenging mission to date – docking with an unmanned vehicle. As soon as they docked, the two vehicles started to spin out of control. Were it not for Armstrong super human nerve, it was certain they will not survive. It may be possible that during this dangerous spin, emergency on-the-clear channels using lower frequencies were used. And which can be picked up.

    It was because of Armstrong performance in this mission that he was picked to be the first to land on the Moon. And that ain’t no bullshit.

  58. Punk,

    Back then, I was an AT&T tech, so point-to-point microwave repeaters. I’d gotten my FCC 2nd and then 1st class radiotelephone license, and was also considering a ham license, had built a 5-band receiver from a kit, learning Morse code. Never got to that, leaped at the chance to get away from Ma Bell and into TV engineering. Worked at several stations, helped build the original Ch 18, WXIX-TV, in Cincinnati.

    I used to listen to shortwave radio a lot, comparing the spin on stories. Radio Free Havana was interesting, Radio Moscow, ham bands, 20 meters was better, some actual convos, rather than just people making contacts for their logbook, like people collect ‘friends’ on Facebook now. LOL.

    Only 2 or so years ago, I discovered a new thing: number stations.


    I know there was one around Jupiter, FL, maybe still is. Strange stuff.

    Speaking of strange, I remember reading, long time ago, of an early TV reception picked up well after the station was long off the air. May have only been a test pattern, station ID, and easily explained by someone fooling around with second-hand gear, ham operator maybe. Hard to say.

    @ Apollo

    Thanks for the reply. No, I knew there was no way this came from space; as I said, retransmitted. Maybe not even authorized … and I’d listened long enough to get a clear picture of the initial attempts at the Agena — it sounded real. And arriving home an hour or so later, learning of a ‘technical delay’ according to network TV was, things that make you go ‘hmmmm’.

    So, what was that signal? A hoax seems stretching a bit, how many radio geeks would be looking for it? Disinformation from the Soviets? Possible, I guess.

    At any rate, this is one of those (personal) mysteries not intended to diminish the skill and ability of the astronauts. I’ve read a lot about that mission, definitely hairy and worthy of admiration.

  59. ” the greatest empire in the history of mankind”? By what measure? Certainly not by territory controlled.
    Are you using the same economic “achievements” that you are deriding here as a giant cosmic joke on the average citizen of ” the greatest empire in the history of mankind”? Since 1913 was essentially the end of the republic, does that not mean that the “American Century” is basically a lie?
    Hell, the main reason the US came out of both world wars in the best shape was because it had the two biggest moats (the Atlantic and the Pacific) around Castle America. Indeed, much of the “greatest” of the US can be laid at the feet of geography, not any American spirit. Put the colonies in the same geographic location as, say. Poland, and what do you think would happen?

  60. Mr Fishy

    Interesting you pick 1913. I would have said 1861 did the most damage.

    I really doubt moats had anything to do with WW1. Getting in late helped and that only because of the communication that, if jolly old England lost, they could never repay their war debts. As for WW2, no significant danger would have come from the Atlantic side. And on the Pacific, FDR had cleverly positioned those carriers in that moat far away from Pearl Harbor.

    Perhaps Admiral Yamamoto said it best, “We have awakened a sleeping giant.”

    Again, late to the WW2 party, that helped. It was a nice distraction from the Great Depression, too — getting 12 million in uniform sure solved the unemployment problem. Manufacturing rose to the occasion, and available to ‘help’ rebuild Europe and Japan. Knock ’em down, prop ’em up, good market engineering.

    America in Poland, interesting concept. So many others have been there …

  61. Apollo says — “Just like the much-blamed Boomers who propelled the Apollo program to the moon”

    Am I wrong in believing that the Apollo program ran from 1961 to 1972, with manned Moon landing in 1969? In 1961 the oldest Boomers were 15 years old, and the youngest were not yet born, by 1972 the oldest Boomers were 26 years old and the youngest were 8 years old. Buzz Adrin and Neil Armstrong were both were born in 1930. Suffice it to say that Boomers had little-to-nothing to do with the Apollo space missions other than watching it on TV.

    Now, the Challenger space shuttle disaster in 1986 was no doubt the era prime of Boomers at NASA.

  62. Apollo says “Just like the much-blamed Boomers… who created the aerospace (industry)”

    Am I wrong in remembering that Pan Am began civil aviation and commercial airline travel in the 1920s, and ushered in the golden age of the aerospace industry by ordering a couple dozen of the brand new Boeing 747 in 1966, which then went into service in 1970? Again, the Boomers were mere children and not only had nothing to do with creating the aerospace industry, back then children didn’t really go on airplane flights, as there were much more clear boundaries between the worlds of children and adults.

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