Monday, December 14, 2009

The curse mascara all addition

Try to decipher these:
Dazzle intruder snore
Dazzle intruder snore Erehwon Norse often slay
Order feels wee gore lapping older whey
Bull zone bulb tales wing marking spear its bride
Wart funny tester lapping sinner slaying zone denied

Jungle bulls, jungle bulls, jungle hall Dewey
Oh wad fanny this deriding Erehwon Norse often slay, hey!
Jungle bulls, jungle bulls, jungle hall Dewey
Oh wad fanny this deriding Erehwon Norse often slay

Soil and gnat
Soil and gnat, hoary gnat
Holler scum, hollers blight
Randy on verging murdering chide
Hoary impasto tend erring mind
Sweeping evenly piss, sweeping evenly piss

Soil and gnat, hoary gnat
Share first wake adder side
Gory steam form having a fart
Evenly hostessing holler lawyer
Cries their savories burn, cries their savories burn

Soil and gnat, hoary gnat
Sun ergot, loaves perlite
Radian beans formed aioli pace
Weed adorn ovary demon glaze
Chases load a dive earth, chases load a dive earth

Would've dread dozed ranger
Would've dread dozed ranger header varies hiney doze
End of view nether shore at hewer divans harried globes
Holiday order rangers youths a lapping column aims
Dane ethernet poo would've journey nanny ranger gains

Denoument pocky curse massive, sander caned assay,
"Would've witcher nurser blight, wench egad masse denied."
Den hour deranger slow vim Asti shattered at wiggly
Would've dread doze ranger, yawl gird darning easterly

Thursday, December 10, 2009

End the end wee cunt in news

As the day of my homecoming approaches, the boredom here intensifies as I anticipate the welcoming traffic and pollution of home. But no matter. The exercise in self-amusement continues. Yap, that's what I do back in the apartment after spending my entire waking hours in The Project's warehouse where we coolies toil. So without further ado...
Cluster Ewe
Wide overt surgeonly up here
A brie tine newer knee
Jet slake midday lung tubby cluster ewe

Wide dust arse folden promise ska 
A brie tine Jew work buy
Jet slake midday lung tubby cluster ewe

Honda deed a chewer burned deranger scuttle getter
Handy sided took cratered rim cone through
Solder spring culled ghoul dashing you hear
Angled in store lightning arise a flue

Darters whey older Boysen tan
Faller ewe holler end
Jet slake midday lung tubby cluster ewe

Oil Nether Pollen Loafer Gain
Water yogurt whinger pollen loaf
Agave harping too bustiere bauble
Darts watcher girth full holier true ball
Oil nether pollen loafer gain
Oil nether pollen loafer gain

Water yogurt win jerkies Argyle
Jew gutting nap gems two cats new mourn year
Genuine ewe due hill nether foamier
Oil nether pollen loafer gain
Oil nether pollen loafer gain

Done Ptolemy waddy soul of art
Curse ivy and daring engladden art
At a dose change, dose change at vine Jew
Data's wire emir dough remand Jew

Water yogurt whinger pollen loaf
Ewe girden a pliers in panning Zorro
Suffer uglies and ill the marrow
Oil nether pollen loafer gain
Oil nether pollen loafer gain

Disguising Loaf Witch Yew
Jersey the sky 
Disguising loaf witch yew
Juice hymen loaf 
Whole lock set Yoda weigh ado?
One use mile, icon telly Norwich udder vary will
Harken eyes owe ewe arm gland eye gateau nor ewe curse
Eye bird sun torque daisy jute ink arm pine
Juice hymen loaf 
Inuit tie due to mock human
Ptolemy nary sits sword unlet maybe delatched a gnaw
Mayans ass aching
Dough led mire art key braking curse
Honeydew loaf
High watcher loaf
Sawyering loaf and loaf widest sky
Heft nut oil juice dye

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Snappity and song

Just practising. While waiting to meet my new camera already in the Motherland before I am, I decided to relieve my itchy trigger finger by taking a few pictures from my camera phone. Not the same feeling, but it'll have to do for now. By the way that's the PM for The Project above.

In the meantime, here's

Assay Alit a Friar
Term omen away cup, be four-eye futon mommy cup
Assay alit a friar faux ewe
Welcoming me air gnaw erehwon drain war tress chewer gnaw
Assay alit a friar faux ewe
Faux river, faux river yule stain ma harken oil of view
Faux river, endeavor wiener farewell parcours away loaf ewe
Turgider, turgider, the chow isthmus bee
Tulip wither chew condone Luminarc brake foamy

Iran further bustiere
Wile rye deny thing cover steer
Assay alit a friar faux ewe
A twerp adjust ache dime, enrolled rheumy coughy brake dime
Assay alit a friar faux ewe

Faux river, faux river yule stain ma harken oil of view
Faux river, endeavor wiener farewell parcours away loaf ewe
Turgider, turgider, the chow isthmus bee
Tulip wither chew condone Luminarc brake foamy

Medalling bailiff mere
Firm ethery snow wombat ewe
Fleas loamy to
A mean loaf wit ewe
Unsquirmy friar
Sail of mit chew

And the obligatory self-portrait below. 

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oh, the things I do to amuse myself.

The past year has been... well I hesitate to call it hell so as not to trivialize the plight of those going through hell or actually literally in hell if there is such a place as described by Dante and is a subject of debate among theologians and... Right, back to the things I do to amuse myself. Obviously I havent been blogging which, although a highly pleasurable activity takes a considerable amount of time, not to say that such time-taking is evident in the slipshod way the entries in this here blog are written. With sixty-hour work weeks spent in this project, (which we shall henceforth call The Project) with very little time for self and family, regular blogging would take a sizeable chunk of the whatever me time is left. 

Twittering on Twitter and plurking on Plurk affords me the ability to take mini-breaks, and since The Project dulls the mind and saps the soul, my brain has been limited to 140-character bursts of activity that is threatening to spill over onto my other thought processes. Unless I can do something about it.

The Project eats twelve hours a day Monday to Saturday so by the time Sunday rolls in, my energy's sapped and I have no desire to do anything other than vegetate. I realized the downward spiral I was in so before I permanently turn into a parsnip, I decided to go out. The trouble with this is Jakarta is just like Metro Manila. Once youve seen a mall, youve seen 'em all and so far malls are what are on offer. Im sure there are other places to go to in this city that isnt a mall -- Jakarta has a storied and exotic history after all, one of the hubs of the spice trade -- but for some reason, not having a camera to record the exoticity puts a damper on my desire to go exploring its more interesting nooks and crannies. I know it's a character flaw. Anyway, with my pal Grif's help, that would be remedied soon. (I had him buy me this and it arrives December via TimeBandit.) Ive gone to the old part of the city (Kota Tua) and to the Botanical Gardens in Bogor with officemates. Nothing spectacular. The Bunga Bangkai, which is a giant flower of the Rafflesia variety, wasnt even in bloom in the botanical garden, but going somewhere that isnt a mall, a bank, or an apartment was fun.

But desk-bound or couch-bound I need to take mini-breaks -- breaks that dont require me to physically leave The Project -- even for a couple of minutes. What to do? Then I remembered a story I read more than twenty years ago called Ladle Rat Rotten Hut. I remember laughing my head off when I finally got what it was about. Even after repeated readings it never fails to get a chuckle out of me.

Here are the first few lines of the story (a popular kid's tale that Im sure youve heard of):
Wants pawn term dare worsted ladle gull hoe lift wetter murder inner ladle cordage honor itch offer lodge, dock, florist. Disk ladle gull orphan worry Putty ladle rat cluck wetter ladle rat hut, an fur disk raisin pimple colder Ladle Rat Rotten Hut.
Wan moaning Ladle Rat Rotten Hut's murder colder inset.

"Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, heresy ladle basking winsome burden barter an shirker cockles. Tick disk ladle basking tutor cordage offer groin-murder hoe lifts honor udder site offer florist. Shaker lake! Dun stopper laundry wrote! Dun stopper peck floors! Dun daily-doily inner florist, an yonder nor sorghum-stenches, dun stopper torque wet strainers."

"Hoe-cake, murder," resplendent Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, an tickle ladle basking an stuttered oft.
Since reading it I pay attention to how words sound which is not good for speed reading but brings me more pleasure. I enjoy writers who also take the sound the words make on paper into consideration. That story changed the way I read. And it gave me my mini-break. I have since started twittering like that, much to the consternation of my pals most probably, but I think of it as giving them a good exercise as well.

Anyway, Ive done a few, shall we say, translations of popular songs and foisted them on Plurk, a task it does so much better than Twitter, by the way, even though both have 140-character limits. Here goes (with spelling errors corrected and minor tweeks from the original Plurk version):

Deschanel commode Tamara. Fletcher bought and hollered at Tamara Daryll Besson. 
Justin in a boat Tamara queers a wade a cud wedging the Zorro Tilda's nun.
Venoms tucking daddy dots crayon Longley, adjust pinko matching and Gwynn Nancy. Ohhhh. 
Deschanel commode Tamara, Soyuz gutter anon too Tamara kumquat neigh. 
Tamara, Tamara, high loaf yet Tamara. Ural weigh Sade aweigh.

Sinning Indurain
Arm sinning Indurain. Jet sinning Indurain. Water glower use peeling. Arm a pier gain. 
Arm loafing aft clothes solder Kappa bud. The sand sin may harken arm wordy furloughed.
Letters dorm me clothes chaste ever worn form deface. Common withering, hive ass mile-long map ace.
Ewok dangling wither a pier feign. Jet sinning, sinning Indurain.

Ear Daring Heavily Ware
Toledo beta light, honeyed mile oaf tubby ear. 
Ear, mating itched hay oft dyer. Chaining mile light wither wade offer end. New berry candy nigh dot threesome tinder.
Dare, ruining Mayans truer heir. Votive ass stinking augured dick and bee. So money's peaking bitchy dozen no wheezed hare.
A wonder heavily ware. Edit sheets betide mere Ainu oil knead leathercare. Bottle over Easter kneader heavily ware. Gnawing dot loaf Easter chair. 
Itchin' bleeding dot loaf nether dyes. Washing arise Zen doping armoire wheeze dare. 
Tubby daring heavily ware. 
Ear daring heavily ware.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


This post is dedicated to our hard-working and artificially-boobed fearless leader, who has so inspired me with her gustatory shenanigans, that I found myself littering the internet with tributes to her exquisite taste in food and wine in the verse form most fitting to her exercise in wealth-porn. I decided, since this blog has been lonely for my company -- sorry, blog, but daddy has to work -- to compile them here. Ive posted them elsewhere, in Twitter, Plurk, and blog.

There once was a girl from Pampanga

There once was a girl from Pampanga
Who, while others wallowed in hunger
Ate Le Cirque's whole menu
With her entire retinue
Of lackeys, a brood of hogmongers

The lady from Lubao
So what are we sposed to do now
With this little lady from Lubao?
Her power is such
That no one can touch
Her riches, and power, and rule now

There once was a woman, a midget
Who wondered how fat would a pig get
If it dined on caviar
Smoked Havana cigars
And racked restaurant bills in six digits

Mahirap maging presidente
Mahirap maging presidente
Maraming bawal at di pwede
Pinapansin lahat
Dahil tao'y salat
Sa yaman ng 'tan8!nang dwende

Gloria's toy snail
Ang plastic na suso ni Gloria
Sinlaki't singkapal ng mukha nya
Winasak ni Mike
Parang Pampanga dike
Ang plastic na suso ni Gloria

Dont you just love it to bits
Our leader's in glamor and glitz
Because it's essential
To be presidential
Even when the country's in shit

Monday, June 15, 2009

My baby returns

In 2001 or 2002, or thereabouts, in the forum, a thread on the silly place names acronyms was started -- ITALY, I trust and love you, JAPAN, Just always pray at night etc.. Eventually we ran out of the existing ones and started making acronyms up for place names that didnt have any, and I took on the task of coming up with one for the motherland, and wrote this
PHILIPPINES: Pumping hot, I love it. Please, please, I need erotic stimulation.
as my contribution.  And thus I set this rather silly acronym free in cyberspace for everyone's edification. Imagine my joy when just last night, in a plurk by Marocharim, he posted for all and sundry the same acronym. It has come back to me, it's father, after all these years.

(No I have no documented proof that I am the acronym's dad. I went by the handle OrangeEgg at the time. I tried looking for it in the archives but I dont think they archive posts that old. You have to take it on faith since we're pals and all.)

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Somalia under anarchy. We should be so lucky

Over at Filipino Voices, Ding Gagelonia quotes reports from Reuters and the Norwegian Refugee Council that the Philippines is second only to Sudan in the number of internal refugees. Read it and, as they say, weep, but what he wrote in the very first paragraph caught my eye:

If there are two places in the world where I would shudder to live in, these would be Somalia (where there has been no functioning government for some time such that it has become the base of sea pirates who continue to target commercial ships in the Gulf of Aden), and the desert nation of Sudan...

Somalia has always been a favorite example of statists against those who advocate that government should be limited: "Oh yeah? Well why don't you go live in Somalia, wiseass?" But is the example apt? The implicit basis of comparison of the anarchy in Somalia is with countries that have working governments, the United States or Japan for example, comparing the government of the US with its humungous government institutions, and the anarchy of Somalia. That's not fair. The proper comparison is between Somalia when it had a functioning government, and Somalia now. Is Somalia better off now than when it was under a "vampire" government? According to this study, it is. From the abstract:

Many people believe that Somalia’s economy has been in chaos since the collapse of its national government in 1991. We take a comparative institutional approach to examine Somalia’s performance relative to other African countries both when Somalia had a government and during its extended period of anarchy. We find that although Somalia is poor, its relative economic performance has improved during its period of statelessness. We also describe how Somalia has provided basic law and order and a currency, which have enabled the country to achieve the coordination that has led to improvements in its standard of living.
The study finds that general living standards improved in Somalia since the collapse of its government as compared with other sub-Saharan African nations, with improvements in death rate, life expectancy, main telephone lines, tuberculosis, and immunization for measles and DTP. It is only in infant mortality that it has seen a decline. Life expectancy for example has increased by 5 years as compared to when they had a government where life expectancy declined by 2 years from 1985 - 1990. And this:

Telecommunications is one major area of success in Somalia. The one measure for which we have complete data, main lines per 1,000 of population, shows dramatic relative improvement since Somalia became stateless, moving from 29th to 8th among the African countries included in our survey. We only have data since the collapse of the state for mobile phone, Internet usage, and households with televisions. Somalia ranks highly in mobile phones (16th) and Internet users (11th), while it ranks 27th in households with televisions. In many African countries state monopolies and licensing restrictions raise prices and slow the spread of telecommunications. In Somalia it takes just three days for a land-line to be installed; in neighboring Kenya waiting lists are many years long (Winter 2004). Once lines are installed, prices are relatively low.

This isnt to say that we in the Philippines should advocate for the elimination of our government, although I for one would not weep to see it go. Im just pointing out that the proper basis of comparison is between Somalia when it was under a government, and Somalia under anarchy. Are the Somalis better off now? In many indicators, they are.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

5 for playing: The Band

Taking a page from the Grif's nostalgia trip to when he was dancing to Tarzan Boy as a kid growing up in the Cagayan Valley, I bring you The Band. They got their name from when they backed Dylan when he decided to use electric guitars. He was Bob Dylan and they were... The Band.

I never even heard of them until my classmates and I decided to kill the hours between subjects and go see a movie documentary by Martin Scorsese on this band's (Who? What band?) farewell tour called The Last Waltz. The movie was a couple of years old by that time, but it was all new to us, and we came away fans and paved the way for my appreciation of Americana by musicians like Neil Young, Springsteen, and Tom Waits.

5. It Makes No Difference.

4. Up on Cripple Creek

3. I Shall Be Released (this once isnt from the movie)

2. The Weight

1. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Sunday, April 26, 2009

And now for something closer to home...

What do you call it when you look back at the last decade of your life and go, "Boy, what a waste of time that was"? A couple of weeks ago in church there's this German man who asked if anyone is interested in working with the homeless, just go see him after the service. I considered it. I seriously considered it. But I didnt go see him. Im in the middle of a project and much as I want to bail on it, Im committed to seeing it through. But when we finally put the project to bed, inshallah, what then? What have I accomplished? Where in the ultimate scheme of things does that so-called achievement figure? Was I able to help the homeless, the widows, the orphans, and all those people God said we should help if we're to continue to live as Christians?

Before I joined my present corporate overlords, I was working as a research assistant for social and marine scientists doing coastal resource management projects, working with coastal communities, and even if it was back-breaking work, with lots of physical labor, and long hours writing papers, spending days, weeks, months away from home in some remote barangay where there's no electricity and no plumbing, that was the most fun I had in my life. And I actually felt I was doing something worthwhile instead of just making somebody rich. I had to leave that job though. I figured with my baby daughter growing up, I needed a job with more stability, that was more mainstream, even though it required me to wear a necktie and leather shoes. Blek. It paid well. We were able to live comfortably and I can send my now two daughters to private school and all that but... Im at that stage when Im thinking if that's all there is to it, the chasing after the next paycheck. And what am I teaching the kids? That in this life you graduate from school and get a job -- any job as long as it pays good -- and then you die? I want them to chase not after a paycheck, but to chase after what theyre passionate about, to have a meaningful existence, and I dont think theyre getting that from me. Ive lost the desire to draw and paint and write and read stories, things that gave me pleasure before. I bought a sketch pad and some drawing pastels and tried to make something come out and nothing would. It's just not there anymore. Ive let the thing atrophy. I can't write either. I started on a story that I was to submit somewhere just for the heck of it and it started well but slowly it got into a hole I couldnt get out of until I eventually lost the energy to try to dig it out since all that energy's needed for my day-job.

All this traveling used to be fun. Now it's just tedious. My older daughter just turned thirteen and my younger daughter eleven. Theyre at that age when theyre starting to discover boys, and I feel I should be there with them, but this project would keep me away for most of the year. It'll make us good money, sure, but Im not sure it's worth it. We can make do with less if it means I won't have to abdicate being a parent for long stretches. It's times like these when I appreciate the sacrifice our OFWs make, for this isnt the natural state of things. But more than that I feel Ive lost something this past ten, twelve years. Ive even lost interest in wanting to be good at what I do, whatever the heck it is. It's like Ive been on a holding pattern with no definite airstrip to land in. We'll see how it goes, as always. Because it all goes, it eventually goes, and you can only pray to God that it'll go his way.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Gold watch

It seems that the inevitable abandonment of the US Dollar as reserve currency is gaining momentum as China admits that it is building up its gold reserves in a report to the IMF.
"The financial crisis means the U.S. dollar value is changing fast, and it may retreat from being the international reserve currency. If that happens, whoever holds gold will be at an advantage."

Look for China to dump its trillion-dollar reserve in the mother of all spending sprees as soon as it feels comfortable about its own gold reserve buildup.
The European Central Bank recommends its member banks hold 15% of their reserves in gold, but among Asian nations the percentage is far smaller...

Go we therefore and do likewise? Buildup gold reserves and dump the dollar? Do we have enough gold in the ground, or have our gold reserves been spirited away to other countries by our own wonderfully corruption-free governments?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

It's a small step to be sure

But a step in the right direction. Im talking about Russia's proposal to the G-20 summit to return to some form of currency backed by gold. Not 100% backed by gold, but it's better than money backed 100% by government say-so, as a monetary system anchored on something tangible instead of 'confidence in the State' could impose some kind of discipline.

The article points out that
The Gold Standard was the anchor of world finance in the 19th Century but began breaking down during the First World War as governments engaged in unprecedented spending. It collapsed in the 1930s when the British Empire, the US, and France all abandoned their parities.
Unprecedented spending. Interesting. The unprecedented spending was due to the fact that the governments of Europe began inflating their currency on a massive scale, bankrupting themselves in the process, in order to be able to kill millions of people in the Great War. That's what inflation and debasement of currency allows them to do. The governments of the world, the US included, are all essentially bankrupt. It is only because they can create money out of nothing that they manage to stay afloat. That and the docility of the citizens who do not know they are being fleeced, believing as they do the old government fairy tale that it's all the fault of the free market.
The world's fiat paper currencies have lacked any external anchor ever since. It is widely argued that the financial excesses and extreme debt leverage of the last quarter century would have been impossible - or less likely - under the discipline of gold.
It is less likely, sure. But even with gold-backed currency, the Central Banks of the world, acting in concert, can still issue paper far in excess of the actual gold, as long as they inflate together and at the same rate. That's basically what all this talk about the new reserve currency to replace the US dollar is all about.

I wish I can say that it'll be fun to watch all this G-20 crap unravel but it won't be fun. There are hopeful signs, such as when European leaders, most notably Merkel, balked at more stimulus spending, but they'll toe the line soon enough. We're addicted to fiat money and credit and deficits and all those things that make this world a wonderful place to live in.

Update 03 April: Right. Doesnt take a genius to see this coming:
The deal agreed by the leaders of the world's largest economies included reform of the international banking system and the injection of more than $1 trillion into the world financial system.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had voiced concerns prior to the summit about the wisdom of pumping further public money into economies already in recession, welcomed Thursday's agreement -- though hinted at unresolved disagreements behind the scenes.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Something interesting is happening

... in the comment section of my post about Salenga. Oh, the rivalries, the drama, the humanity in the scientific community. It's like a soap opera for intellectuals.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Expansion of the money supply through spurious paper currency is always attended by a loss to the laboring classes."
-- Andrew Jackson
"Government is the only agency that can take a useful commodity like paper, slap some ink on it, and make it totally worthless."
-- Ludwig Von Mises
"There is no subtler nor surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."
-- John Maynard Keynes
At lunch once some colleagues and I were discussing the financial crisis and one asked the question why the government doesnt just print more money to cover what everyone needs -- print money backed by government reassurances and give it to people for example. Ive heard this remark in other variations and from people Ive talked with from all walks of life, from the college graduate to the tambay, and Ive been struck by the ignorance most people have about how the economy works. Im no expert -- far from it -- but my economics class in third year high school taught me that if supply exceeds demand, the prices of commodities fall, so increasing the supply of money would result in the fall in its value, raising the price of goods and services. I also have a keen bullshit detector, and reading the pronouncements by the leading economic experts of the day has made my bullshit detector go berserk. In that particular lunchtime kwentuhan I was talking about, the question was asked by a graduate of one of our better universities. Such has been our training I suppose that when the economy is in trouble, the government should step in and do something. That's the way it's always been done, the fact that it hasnt worked, that booms and busts still occur, hardly figures in the assessment. The government has to do something. In fact, the present economic crisis is being blamed on the free market. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the present economic paradigm used by governments, the free market is a myth, so in effect, the blame is placed in some mythical creature that doesnt exist. That's because governments want more control of our lives and by blaming the market and not itself, they can have more reason to seize control while the people cheer them on.

In the Keynesian economic paradigm in vogue right now among government planners and academia, government has an active role in the economy. The economy is looked at as some kind of wild, bucking bronco that the government must tame: Inflation is caused by excessive spending, so the government steps in and imposes measures for people to spend less, such as higher taxes; economic depressions occur because people dont want to spend so they impose measures for people to spend more, or take on the act of spending itself. There is something inherently Marxist in the approach to the economy, especially how it views the business cycle and the solution. ("Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly," Marx urged.) Marx, observing that the business cycle emerged only after the Industrial Revolution, concluded that the cycles of booms and busts were inherent in the free market economy, never mind that classical economic theories from David Ricardo and David Hume identified the cause of the boom-bust cycle on the artificial expansion of bank credit. Keynesians like Paul Krugman admit that booms and busts happen but they dont have a theory as to why. They just happen. Lack of consumer spending? Sure, but why?

In a free economy, some kind of natural selection takes place. Entrepreneurs that can forecast future demand and meet them survive, while entrepreneurs who arent good at it fail. This is normal. But what happens during a bust is that businessmen seem to be making errors in projection at the same time, and even the most astute entrepreneurs arent immune. What gives?

Booms are caused when the government, through its central bank, expands credit by increasing the money supply. This lowers the interest rates, since more money available for credit will tend to lower the cost of money. Ideally, in a market free from government intervention, the source of credit is people preferring to save money, hold them as cash balance, or lend money out as investment, that is, people preferring to spend their money on goods in the future rather than now. Cheaper credit will for instance make investment in production of capital goods more attractive to the businessmen, so investment in factories building capital goods will expand. This is the boom phase. People have jobs and can spend on consumer goods and businesses selling these goods flourish. However, the increase in the money supply was artificial. The money available for credit didnt come from people saving money or preferring to keep them to use them at some future time. This skews the business forecasts of entrepreneurs. They base their business decisions on their ability to forecast future demand, and an increase in the supply of credit makes them think that people have money to spend in the future, but this money doesnt exist. Plus the increase in the money supply has greatly reduced the value of the money people hold. The artifically created credit made businesses invest in factories that would create goods for their perceived increase in demand, but this demand doesnt exist in the particular price that the businessmen are willing to sell them for to make a profit. The bust has begun. If the market were truly free, it will correct itself. Wasteful malinvestment will be liquidated and the money put to better use, however government interferes to keep inflating the bubble, injecting more money and credit into the economy, allowing more malinvestment to take place while at the same time destroying the value of their paper money, setting the economy up for a major crash that just needs a trigger to set off. In short, an artificial increase in the money supply fosters disproportionate malinvestment in one sector or another, whether in new factories or new houses.

University-trained economic 'experts' Ive encountered online are an exasperating lot probably trained in the Keynesian model in which government has to step in to pick up the slack in spending if the consumers won't. In fact I wonder whether other economic paradigms are taught in Philippine universities such as Milton Friedman's Monetarist school or Ludwig Von Mises's and Friedrich Hayek's Austrian school. One of the online 'experts' Ive encountered in fact accepts fractional reserve banking as a matter of course, even thinking it is a boon, instead of calling it the government-backed fraud that it is. (For Keynesians, savers and lenders are entirely different people: Savings “leak” money out of the consumption-spending stream while investments come in from some other phase of spending. The task of government in a depression is to stimulate investments and discourage savings, so that total spendings increase. Classical economists on the other hand treat savings and investments as closely-linked if not practically the same thing. Investment can come from no other source but from savings aside of course from the fraudulent and dangerous government expansion of credit out of nothing.) For this expert, the banks have an absolute right to the money deposited with them to do with as they please because they pay the depositors interest. He could not seem to conceive of banking without the fraudulent fractional reserve system. Such are the people universities are churning out.

The solution to prevent the boom-bust cycle is simple, and not so simple: stop inflating. It's not so simple because the government wants to inflate. It doesnt produce anything so to get funds, it seizes private property in the form of taxes, or it inflates. Raising taxes has political repercussions so it would rather inflate while promoting the myth that inflations just happen. Inflation in fact is just a subtler and more insidious form of taxation where the value of our property is systematically reduced through the creation of central bank issued counterfeit money, where wealth and property from the poor and the middle class goes to the government and its cabal of oligarchs. Therefore to prevent government from inflating, we have to get rid of central banking. Government invented central banking so that it could centralize inflation, that is, it orchestrates the banks in such a way that they inflate at the same time, and this is facilitated by the government edict that only central bank notes are allowed to circulate as money. Without central banking, banks would check each other and prevent the widespread circulation of inflated currency. It goes like this: suppose Bank A decides to issue paper not backed by anything, sooner or later, this inflated currency is going to end up in other banks who will then redeem these papers. If Bank A can't cover the papers, it will trigger a bank run, and without the government and central bank to cover its ass, it'll go down into liquidation. Whatever artificial boom Bank A created will be limited in scope and will be easily corrected.

Another thing to do to prevent the boom-bust cycle is to return to a gold standard, an actual physical standard to which the value of money is to be based. For example, we could peg the peso to 1/10,000th a gram of gold. That of course means that the banks will have to build up its gold reserves from the mines in Masbate and Davao and elsewhere, as well as purchase gold or gold certificates or as a last resort hold reserves in foreign currency tied to the gold standard. In short, we must actually have the stuff before we can mint coins or issue paper notes backed by the stuff. Gold is the ideal stuff because it has been chosen by the free market as the medium of exchange. Citizens should be able to redeem notes they hold for the real stuff from the banks that issued the notes.

These ideas shouldnt be radical. This was the way civilized societies traded before central banks and government-sponsored counterfeiting were invented. It's just that we are in the position Thomas Jefferson was in when he contemplated slavery. He knew it was wrong, but the economy was based in no small part on slave labor so he couldnt imagine giving it up even though he was wracked by guilt about it. Our economy now is based on a similar slavery but this time we are the slaves. It's time we got rid of that slavery as well and be truly free.

Murray N. Rothbard, America's Great Depression, first published 1963
Murray N. Rothbard, What has Government Done with our Money? 1991.

Both are downloadable from the net. Google is your friend. If youre a Keynesian or a Paul Krugman fan, the books represent a paradigm-shift in your view of things, so try to relax while reading them and dont throw a fit.

Update 18 March: In the comment section, I mentioned to R.O. , "Keynes dreamed of a worldwide central bank with one currency and that is closer now than ever before." Guess what? 
The International Monetary Fund is poised to embark on what analysts have described as "global quantitative easing" by printing billions of dollars worth of a global "super-currency" in an unprecedented new effort to address the economic crisis.
Let's hope that this is just a trial balloon to gauge public reaction as this has disaster written all over it. As the linked article points out:
However, economists warned that the scheme could cause a major swell of inflation around the world as the newly-created money filters through the system.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Adam Kokesh, Ron Paul

Last year, NEC execs were in our offices looking at our books. Rumor has it that they were interested in buying into the company. Fine, I thought. Maybe we could get new NEC computers and take advantage of NEC sponsored scholarships at the UP ITTC. As it turned out, the sale fell through. I dont know what wouldve happened had they closed the deal as NEC just laid off 20,000 workers. Maybe they just wanted to buy us so they could sell us for a profit.

I have a lot of stuff to blog about but by the time I sit down to write, they seem so trite and outdated, so in the meantime while I look for relevance, here's Adam Kokesh and Ron Paul.