Crony Communism

Hayek’s Road To Serfdom Had Several Prominent Bumps

The phrase Crony Capitalism is being bandied about a lot lately, with the usual implication being that Capitalism, of the laissez faire sort, is just peachy, and it is only when the poor, innocent, just-fell-off-the-turnip-truck-last-night Capitalist is seduced by yon Politician, dressed in red with fishnet stockings, and hanging out beneath a street lamp, that  miscegenation occurs, and an illegitimate bastard named Crony Capitalism, pops its little head out of the birth canal and proceeds to pay Mommy and Daddy back for their illicit tryst, at a murderous rate of interest. And, the only way to keep this type of third rate rendezvous from occurring,  is to end all government regulation that stands in the way of said Capitalists from making as much money as their grubby little yacht can ferry to the Caymans.

But, this type of apologetic, is NOT new. It has been pushed before by the unlikeliest of propagandists, the Apologists for Communism. While Karl Marx was able to conceive of a economic/power system whereby the means of production were centrally planned and controlled, it took the non-philosopher types like Lenin and Stalin and Mao to move the process along from books to bullets, so to speak. And here is where the problems with Communism arose.  It is hard to push the ersatz compassion of from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs when millions are being slaughtered or condemned to various gulags and labor camps.  Even for those who could swallow the twin bo-bos of death and imprisonment, and still mumble something about sacrifices,  the common good, and omelets,  the comparison between Communist and Free Market economies was unsettling.

People behind the Iron and Bamboo Curtains were hungry, cold, and condemned to suffer shoddy goods, when goods could be had at all.  Vehicles, affordable by only a few, were complete pieces of crap, if home made. Meanwhile, on the other side of The Wall, people ate well, sat warmly in winter, coolly in summer, and could afford to trade in their clunker every three years for a brand new clunker! Dead Kulaks notwithstanding, this kind of stuff was giving Communism a bad name. People were beginning to snicker.

Sooo, the idea of Crony Communism (although not called that)  was invented. The trick was to divorce the theory of Communism from the reality of Communism by blaming the problems on the political side.  Communism per se wasn’t bad, it was just the way pure Communism was hijacked by these evil and/or misguided folk like Stalin. What people were seeing in The USSR and Red China wasn’t REAL Communism at all! It was just the perversion of Communism by intercourse with the political class, and if only you could go back to pure laissez  faire economic Communism, free from all that transitional political pollution stuff, then Communism would work like a charm!!!

Now, the same silly argument is being advanced by the Apologists for Capitalism. The last three years, and arguably the last thirty or so years, have been nothing if not a complete indictment of the failures of either under-regulated or stupidly-regulated Capitalism. Mark Rosenfelder (Zompist) wrote of this several years ago, and used the Banana Republic meme so rare then, and so common today.

http://www.zompist.com/libertos.html

Economics and Politics are just nicer names for Money and Power.  Perhaps the two were not so intertwined in The Garden of Eden, but outside the East Gate,  past the Cherubum and the Fiery Sword, the two have been getting it on for quite a while.  Read the Code of Hammurabi and see how many of the laws relate to contractual and economic rights. What is particularly ironic is that the damning of Crony Capitalism is pouring out of the same mouths who then turn right around and beg the government for favors! Gee, sometimes the best favor a cop can do for a crony is to just look the other way while a crime occurs.

While rightfully castigating  the recipients of bailouts for having privatized their profits while socializing the costs, or interfering in the process, the same  advocates then plead for the government to interfere in the process, and end  regulations–including  minimum wages, worker’s comp, and pollution laws or, begging for tax breaks to locate their new Widget Factory in the Lucky State or Fortunate Nation, all so that they might make a few extra bucks while passing the costs along to society. I am reminded of Me, as a teenager, begging for the car on Friday night because I was mature and adult enough to be careful and get home on time, and then Me,  locking my bedroom door, laying on my bed with my stuffed animals, kicking my feet, and crying because Daddy said, “No.”

Communism and all other systems where the government has too much power are going to degenerate into the Monstrosities of People’s Republics. Capitalism and all other system where the few have too much power are going to degenerate into the Monstrosities of Banana Republics. I think the Human Race can do better than either of those.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Bonus: Tito and Tarantula’s “After Dark” – From Dusk Till Dawn

I’m Too Sexty!!! – A. Weiner Parody Song

In An Effort To Outdo Charlie Sheen, A. Weiner Rolled His Pants ABOVE His Ankles

I’m Too Sexty – A. Weiner Parody Song
by Squeeky Fromm
To the Tune of Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy

I’m too sexty for my wife,
Too sexty for my wife,
Wife’s going to leave me.

Chest. A Gigolo.

I’m too sexty for my shirt,
A flirty extrovert.
(Pssst! Keep this covert!)

And I’m too sexty for this phone
Did I just hear you moan???
Erogenous zone???

Oh, I’m too sexty for my party.
Too sexty for my party,
No way that I’m resigning!

I’m A. Weiner, you know what I mean
And I sext-message chicks on my BlackBerry
Yeah BlackBerry, yeah on my BlackBerry
I am very fast on my BlackBerry

I’m too sexty for my job
Sooo sexty that I throb.
I’m my own Flash Mob!

A. Weiner Schnitzel

And I’m too sexty for my Twitter
Such a sexty critter,
And smarter than Vitter!

I’m A. Weiner, you know what I mean
But I’m starting to fret about a perp walk,
Oh yes a perp walk, please not a perp walk,
‘Cos underage chicks can mean a perp walk

I’m too sexty for my
Too sexty for my,
too sexty for my

He talked To Strangers

I’m A. Weiner,  you know what I mean,
And it might be my turn to do a  perp walk,
Oh yes a perp walk,  a lousy perp walk
They’ll lock up my tush after a perp walk

I’m too sexty for my cats
Too sexty for my cats
Poor pussy poor pussy cats

Midnight, Not A Sound From The Pavement

I’m too sexty for my wife,
Too sexty for my wife.
Wife’s going to leave me.

Am I too sexty for Craig’s List???

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

BONUS:

The Original “I’m Too Sexy” YouTube Video by Right Said Fred.

The Rape of Greece: Leda And The Black Swan

Caressed By The Dark Webs

This deal may never transpire, but Karl Denniger reports on Market Ticker this ECB Statement:

The government is committed to significantly accelerate its privatization program. To this effect it will create a professionally and independently managed privatization agency, and has drawn up a comprehensive list of assets for privatization with the aim of realizing revenues of EUR 50 billion by the end of 2015. The government will assess progress against intermediate quarterly and annual targets.

http://www.ecb.int/press/pr/date/2011/html/pr110603_1.en.html

Denninger’s take is:

Ah, here we are.  What the EU/ECB demanded (and apparently got) is for the government to sell public assets (the things that all Greeks own collectively) and use that money to pay the banksters.

This is a direct financial rape of the Greek people and should be met with immediate refusal – not acceptance – by the Greek population.

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?blog=Market-Ticker

There is in Greek Mythology, the story of Leda and the Swan.  Wiki notes: Zeus took the form of a swan and raped or seduced Leda on the same night she slept with her husband King Tyndareus.  From this union came Helen (of Troy fame) and Pollux. In some versions, she laid two eggs from which the children hatched.

In other versions, Helen is a daughter of Nemesis, the goddess who personified the disaster that awaited those suffering from the pride of Hubris.  Nemesis is the one taken by Zeus in the form of a swan and Leda merely finds the egg and hatches it.

The similarity to the present situation of Greece is obvious. Zeus, The Master of the Universe, takes the form of a swan and will have his way with Leda no matter what. Likewise, the Banking Class, the Modern Day Masters of the Universe, will attempt to have their way with Greece.

But there is one big difference.  Should the Greeks put up a better fight than helpless Leda, and Just Say No, the Black Swan may rape the Banking Class instead. Let us devoutly pray for this.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

NOTE: The picture is by Nicholas Kalmanov (Nikolai Konstantin Kalmakoff). For other paintings he did, simply Google his name. His “Rat With Jaws of Gold” is particularly interesting.

Bonus I:

W.B. Yeats’ Poem, called by Camille Paglia “the greatest poem of the twentieth century.”

Leda and the Swan
By W. B. Yeats

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.

Being so caught up,

So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

BONUS II: A YouTube Video, with Nudity, of the Poem, In English and German (how Apropos!!!) I can’t tell if it was made by AMR0758, or just uploaded. Just left click when it starts and it takes you there on YouTube.

Tres Outre’ – A Poem

Coiffure de la HedgeRows???

Tres Outre’ – A Poem
by Squeeky Fromm

I thought that I would never see
The FLOTUS looking like a tree!!!

But there she is, with Royalty,
Just standing there like shrubbery.

I bet she does not have a clue
The imagery of her hairdo.

Or how ironic it must be
That it is really he, not she

Who should be seen like potted plant.
For giving in to “Yes, We CAN’T”

For Hope and Change he did not push.
He is The One resembling Bush.

Squeeky Fromm,
Girl Reporter

NOTE:  This poem is based on a beautiful one by Joyce Kilmer, which is short enough to enjoy here:

Trees
by Joyce Kilmer

I THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

I Am Thy Fool – A Sonnet For Romantic Obotski!!!

DOWN The Creek Without A Paddle Is A Bad Thing, Too.

I Am Thy Fool
by Squeeky Fromm

How do I worship thy One-derfulness?
Shall I measure slobber by the barrel,
Or celebrate thy Blessed Birth in carol
Circulated free by the Main Stream Press?

Or shall I be discreet, and not confess
Nor speak of fascination so feral?
Hiding away Love’s risque’ apparel
As if it were but some blue stain-ed dress.

Yet, when every momentary stutter
Or pregnant pause is cause for happiness,
Must I draw the shades and close the shutter?

There, in Dark, lest thrill’d legs and lips a-drool
Proclaim, in involuntary mutter
For all the world to know. . . I am thy Fool.

==========================================

Here is the background for this Sonnet. This is from Skookum at Flopping Aces, and you can find all the links to the original story there:

MEGHAN DAUM, a reporter for the LA Times, has once again tried to promote this lost and forgotten cause or at least has decided to give the dead jackass another sound thrashing, by creative use of weak metaphors. In the true wide eyed form of the typical Useful Idiot that caused Stalin the only laughter in his life that we know of, she explains Obama’s apparent speech impediment without a teleprompter as a true sign of genius. Have patience, the Times actually gives her column space for this lunacy.

Admittedly, the president is given to a lot of pauses, “uhs” and sputtering starts to his sentences. As polished as he often is before large crowds (where the adjective “soaring” is often applied to his speeches), his impromptu speaking frequently calls to mind a doctoral candidate delivering a wobbly dissertation defense.

But consider this: It’s not that Obama can’t speak clearly. It’s that he employs the intellectual stammer. Not to be confused with a stutter, which the president decidedly does not have, the intellectual stammer signals a brain that is moving so fast that the mouth can’t keep up. The stammer is commonly found among university professors, characters in Woody Allen movies and public thinkers of the sort that might appear on C-SPAN but not CNN. If you’re a member or a fan of that subset, chances are the president’s stammer doesn’t bother you; in fact, you might even love him for it (he sounds just like your grad school roommate, especially when he drank too much Scotch and attempted to expound on the Hegelian dialectic!).

So the president’s inability to speak fluently without a tele-prompter and sounding like a drunk, according to Ms Daum, is a direct result of intellectual stammering, not to be confused with the more common stuttering that afflicts many mere mortals. Woody Allen, the man who married his daughter, portrays this genius in comedic form and that should help those of us that aren’t sycophants believe the lie. Well done, Ms Daum, your lies are so preposterous that people may be hesitant to laugh at them.

Here is the link to this HILARIOUS and well-written Internet Article, which inspired my Sonnet for the Romantic Obotski—I Am Thy Fool.:

http://floppingaces.net/2011/05/28/la-times-compares-obama-iq-to-characters-portayed-in-woody-allen-films/

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Clownfish, Lesbian Lizards, and Casey Anthony

Friday Night Happy Hour at Cnemidophorus Neomexicanus Cocktail Lounge, Whiptail, New Mexico

Poor Nemo, the Clownfish. Now he must Find Himself.  Nemo is now an object lesson in transgendering for elementery age school children.

Redwood Heights Elementary School, in Oakland,  is in the hot-seat after the school decided to education students about gender diversity.

On Monday and Tuesday, students of every grade were taught what the school called age-appropriate lessons about gender differences. Some lessons included all-girl geckos, a transgender clownfish, and boy snakes who act “girly” reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

“That’s a lot of variation in nature,” Gender Spectrum trainer, Joel Baum, told the students. “Evolution comes up with some pretty funny ways for animals to reproduce.”

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Transgender-Clownfish-Controversy-122617749.html

This is not the first time that reverse-Anthropomorphism has been used to explain or justify some aspect of human sexuality and it certainly won’t be the last. For example, the poor New Mexico whiptails (Cnemidophorus neomexicanus) are an entirely female species of lizard that reproduce by parthenogenesis.  Parthenogenesis is a form of asexual reproduction found in females, where growth and development of embryos occurs without fertilization by a male. They also engage in mock mating behaviour and have the nickname of Lesbian Lizards. Apparently, these girls kiss girls and they like it. A whole lot.

Anthropomorphism is the act of ascribing human emotions and characteristics to animals or non-human things.  It is what made Disney rich. Think Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck here. Reverse-Anthropomorphism, which may be a term I have coined, is the opposite–ascribing animal characteristics to humans. This practice is on very solid ground because like it or not, human beings are part of the animal kingdom. We eat, sleep, breathe, reproduce, and poop right up there with the bears in the woods.

But still, we draw the line somewhere. We have to, or there would be no civilization. For example, no one gives Casey Anthony, who allegedly killed her two-year old daughter, a pass on the grounds that certain animal species kill their young. No, Casey is on trial for first degree murder. Similarly, the “But Spiders Do It!” defense has never been successful for those accused of murdering their spouses. The same is true for rape, killing sexual rivals, and cannibalism. Among humans, these are classified as felonies.

I suspect we are also missing the point on the clownfish and Lesbian Lizards. Both species manage to propagate and reproduce. To my knowledge, with humans, it still takes a male and a female.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Droit Du Seigneur – Cherry Popping On Wall Street

The Banker Had A One Track Mind

Wiki defines Droit du Seigneur as “a term now popularly used to describe an alleged legal right allowing the Lord of an estate to take the virginity of his serf’s maiden daughters. Little or no historical evidence has been unearthed from the Middle Ages to support the idea that such a right ever actually existed. Droit du seigneur is often interpreted today as a synonym for jus primae noctis, although it originally referred to a number of other rights as well, including hunting, taxation, and farming.

In fact, this whole idea may have been a form of revenue generator, in much the same way as speed traps are utilized:

We have quite a few examples showing how the popular belief in a former jus primae noctis influenced social relations between lords and peasants in Switzerland, France and Catalonia in the 15th and 16th centuries. One of these stems from a Swiss village in the vicinity of Zurich. In a customal from about 1400 A.D., the rights of the inhabitants of Maur were itemised by the local “Meier”, a representative of the lord of Maur, which at that time was the convent of Zurich. “Item, who wants to enter the holy state of marriage in the village and court of Maur, whoever he may be, shall hand over the woman to Us for the first night or he may buy her out, as it is custom and tradition and written in the old customals. If he doesn’t do so, he must pay a fine of 30 pennies.” (STAZ [Staatsarchiv des Kantons Zürich]. Urkunden Stadt und Land Nr. 2563; copy of the 15th century, cf. Wettlaufer 1999: 251).

One hundred and fifty years later, the text had been slightly altered: in the 1543 version, written by a successor of the first editor, one reads “… and when the wedding starts, the bridegroom shall allow the sergeant to lie with his bride for the first night, or he shall buy her off with 5 pounds and 4 pennies.” (STAZ C. I 2562, [1543 AD] cf. Wettlaufer 1999: 255).

The amount of money mentioned in both texts was affordable for a peasant, and although customals generally reflect the lords’ claims about their rights over the people under their jurisdiction, these rights must nevertheless have been accepted by the peasants. Such texts were read aloud in front of the assembled village and everybody had to agree with them.

http://www.fibri.de/jus/arthbes.htm

While there might be some question as to whether the Royal “Right to Deflower” existed in the past, (notwithstanding the recent example of Dominique Strauss-Kahn) The Masters of the Universe seem to still have the first right of refusal on all non-sexual commodities. For just one example, oil. Stop Oil Speculation notes that a barrel of oil may trade over 20 times before it hits the gas pump. I have seen other estimates that range between 26 and 43 times. One problem is, that no one is actually sure.

http://www.stopoilspeculationnow.com/Pages/problem.aspx

It takes time to dig out even illegal speculation, and arguably it is more difficult to uncover than legal speculation. Within the last few days, May 24, 2011, Federal regulators charged five oil speculators Tuesday with manipulating the price of crude over three years ago and making a $50 million profit from the scheme. (A drop in the barrel.)

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission alleges the speculators bought enormous amounts of actual crude oil for sale in Cushing, Okla, during the early months of 2008.

This created a perceived shortage of oil in Cushing — a major point for oil delivery — and drove the price of oil futures contracts higher.

The speculators then bet the price of oil would fall by selling so-called “short” contracts to other investors. When the speculators sold their actual oil holdings in Cushing en mass, the price of oil did fall, netting the group a hefty profit.

The alleged scheme took place between January and April 2008, a time when oil prices were gradually climbing toward their all-time record of $147 a barrel set in the summer of 2008.

The price of crude during the months of the alleged misdeeds changed very little, generally staying within a $10 range but the traders made their money off the daily fluctuations. Crude traded at $99 a barrel Jan. 2, 2008, and ended March 2008 at $101 a barrel.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/24/markets/oil_price_speculation/index.htm

Yet, the author of the above Internet Article also feels compelled to assure us later that speculation is NOT responsible for the huge increases in price. Paul Krugman has expressed similar opinions, stating that if speculation was behind the price increase, oil inventories would be increasing. Yet, as was noted in February at Yves Smith’s Naked Capitalism blog:

As naked capitalism poster Audrey recently wrote:

The only people with ability to really hoard oil are oil producers – by not producing as much as they could and leaving oil in the ground. So the speculation scenario would go like this – an oil producing company is producing and selling oil at $5/barrel. For whatever reason futures speculation drives prices up $10. Consumption shrinks, and the company cannot find buyers for all the oil it produces. At this point the company can either sell at $15/barrel, or reduce production. It reduces production, supply meets demand, price stays $10 higher.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/02/guest-post-the-price-of-oil-%E2%80%93-where-the-outrage.html

This might be a difficult issue to fully analyze, but the commodity speculation mop has been wrung out before:

But it’s important to remember that chasing destructive speculative activity out of a commodity market is not an impossible task. In January 1980, the Federal government and the exchange overseeing silver futures trading, the COMEX, took collaborative action: In a series of draconian but necessary measures, the exchange instituted a “liquidation restriction” for the market, forcing speculators to either take delivery of contracts or find massive credit for their holdings while the Federal Reserve blocked commercial lenders from extending that credit. The impact was immediate: Within three months, prices dropped 77%.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-dicker/oil-speculation-continues_b_844663.html

Just for curiosity, how does that 77% price drop compare to the drop in Oil Prices when the market hit bottom???

Here is a link to a chart where you can see for yourself:

http://www.moneyweek.com/news-and-charts/market-data/oil

Let’s see, $144.95 less $38.12 = $106.83.

$1o6.83 divided by $144.95 = 73.7% Price drop.

I am sure this is a coincidence?  But really, do we need 20 to 43 traders in between us at the gas pump and the oil in the ground??? Aren’t we just playing out the same old drama above where, “Such texts were read aloud in front of the assembled village and everybody had to agree with them.”

Why don’t we PEASANTS just stop agreeing???

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

UPDATE!!! The day after this was published, this Internet Article came out confirming the impact of speculation. Wikileaks says the Saudis informed Washington that oil supply was ample and speculators were driving up the price:

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/05/wikileaks-saudis-warned-about-oil-speculators-in-2007-and-2008.html