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 Persistently Out Of Step

February 21, 2017

News media:  All Trump all the time.

    "The country will be grateful for a fairer, simpler tax system, and a better health-care plan than the Obamacare fiasco. If that is what emerges, the atmosphere will settle down in Washington, and the Republican stragglers will stop playing footsie with the opposition and the Democrats will start to rebuild, as parties do after defeats. No one but a centenarian of faltering mind could regard Schumer and Pelosi as the future."  Press vs. Trump Conrad Black does an intelligent job of reviewing the constant war between the mainstream news media and President Trump.  

        We think the anti-Trump bias among the liberal press tends to make him an "underdog."  Many of us have a soft spot in our hearts for underdogs.  Hillary Clinton labeled us "deplorables" and the ranks seem to be growing as more citizens cling to the hope of tax breaks and an improved sickness care insurance system.  

        Voters rejected Hillary's liberal agenda.  This was not the objective the media worked hard to prevent.  They refuse to get over it.  

     "Gold is extremely rare, impossible to create out of 'thin air', easily identifiable, malleable, and it does not tarnish. By nature of these properties, gold has been highly valued throughout history for every tiny ounce of weight. That’s why it’s been used by people for centuries as a monetary metal, a symbol of wealth, and a store of value."  Gold Visual  

   If you had to choose between receiving payment with a $50.00 (face value) U.S. gold eagle coin or a $50.00 Federal Reserve note, which would you choose?

    Silly question. Unless you were totally unenlightened you would choose the $50.00 coin because its intrinsic value is in the neighborhood of $1,300.00, although its legal tender status is only $50.00.  The $50.00 paper note, on the other hand, has no intrinsic value at all.  It is merely an IOU representing debt.  

    Does it matter?  A growing number of skeptics believe the present fiat currency system is doomed on the grounds that creating large volumes of the stuff leads to economic breakdown.  Even former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has been on the interview circuit suggesting that the old-fashioned gold standard is worth reviving. We wonder what Treasury Secretary Mnuchin thinks about it?

The Road to Dictatorship.
Sen. McCain sees danger in Trump's push-back against news media.

    (Reuters - 2/19/'17) Senator John McCain, defending the media against the latest attack by President Donald Trump, warned that suppressing the free press was "how dictators get started".

     The Arizona Republican, a frequent critic of Trump, was responding to a tweet in which Trump accused the media of being “the enemy of the American people”.

    "I hate the press. I hate you especially," he told interviewer Chuck Todd from an international security conference in Munich. "But the fact is we need you. We need a free press. We must have it. It's vital."     

     "If you want to preserve - I'm very serious now - if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press. And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That's how dictators get started."

<   There's no question President Trump holds the mainstream press in low regard.  There's also little question the mainstream news media did a thorough job opposing Trump in his campaign and his first month in office.  Journalists say that's their job - to be critical of the politically powerful.  Senator McCain tells "Met the Press" That Trump's push-back is dangerous.  It could lead to dictatorship.  

          After an experiment in democracy begins to peter out it's not unusual  for voters to install an autocrat into power.  Professor Alexander Tytler explained the cycle in his work in the 18th century.  (Cycle of Democracy.)

           Tytler may be right.  In the case of the USA a republic was established.  It eventually morphed into a a democracy.  Since the 1930s it has been leaning toward Socialism.  The media vs. Trump episode we're now experiencing may be history repeating itself.

      We consulted Thomas Jefferson for a comment about mainstream media....which, in his day were mostly newspapers.  In 1807 he wrote the following to Mr. John Norwell - - "Perhaps an editor might begin a reformation in such a way as this:  Divide his paper into four chapters heading the first, Truth.  2d, Probabilities. 3d, Possibilities.  4th, Lies.  The first chapter would be very short."

       That opinion of 210 years ago may seem quaint today.  Today's ews media would work very hard against Jefferson run for the presidency, just as it did in the campaign of 1800.  He prevailed and became the nation's third president. (We are not suggesting,of course, any similarity between Thomas Jefferson and Donald Trump.)

    "I am confident that President Trump and the tough guys in his cabinet will root out the saboteurs, leakers, manipulators, and liars who infest the intelligence services and who conspire with the liberal media to invent fake-news charges against a duly elected administration. But the danger is real, and the fact that the intelligence community is playing games with domestic politics is a danger to our liberties." ~Peter G. Goldman, aka SPENGLER  

   We've heard for years there was a Shadow Government or "Deep State" functioning in the shadows of Washington, DC, but haven't done any research into it.  Our personal opinion is that the constant erosion of the fiat currency afloat in the world is enough for us to worry about.  We shall go to our grave believing that abandoning money in favor of irredeemable currency was a major mistake.  

             But Mr. Goldman calls our attention to the "Deep State."  He writes, "To speak of a 'deep state' in an American context is to say that the United States is turning into a banana republic."

              Quite likely. But we've never known a banana republic to make life happy for its citizens under a system of debauched currency.  Nor do banana republics do much in the way of promoting individual freedom and liberty.  We aim to keep our eye on the money muddle.  Sooner or later the question of restoring honest money will edge its way into  nightly news.  

Overdosing.  A popular but dangerous fad.

   As publisher Bill Bonner points out in a recent column, the world is overdosing on debt.  The tab, he says, is $200 trillion and an uptick in the interest rate of only 1 percent would run the annual interest on world debt to $2 trillion.  Even in this age of debauched currency that's a helluva heavy tab to bear.  

  Debt, well managed, can be a good thing. But as our paternal grandmother was fond of saying, "Too much of a good thing can lead to trouble."  For instance, a suppertime dollop of wine can be beneficial but downing an entire bottle every evening can lead to big trouble.

  Overdosing on debt almost always comes to a bad end.  So does overdosing on drugs.  We're told that self-abuse with opioids is running out of control in some areas in the U.S., and only recently we hear that carfentanil overdosing is killing people in rapidly increasing numbers. The stuff is about 10,000 times more powerful than morphine and only a couple of grains can be lethal. It's used to sedate large animals, like elephants. 

   Debt and drugs. . . a couple of millstones that hang heavy around too many necks.

                                                                             A philosophical comment from Phrendly Phred.
    "Trump did not cause the deep division in the country. It caused him.

A Timely Word from very different Americas. I suspect  that the half of the country that voted for Trump, that voted with wild enthusiasm, that roared at huge rallies, was not so  much voting for Trump as against the other America. It was just that they had never had a chance before. The two countries have little in common and do not belong on the same geography." FRED

< Readers can count on the curmudgeonly Fred Reed to say what he thinks.  And he thinks the USA is politically split right down the middle.  The political left vs. the political right.  

      He's right.  But it shouldn't surprise anyone.  The political left vs. the political right.  Add the mainstream news media whose bias runs to the left and it's little wonder there's a distinct clash between political viewpoints.  Hidden in all the furor are the fundamental differences between the two political extremes.  Common sense debates are long overdue.