"You donít have to be the first one to get your money out of an ATM. You just want to be sure you get your money before the machine runs out of cash."  ~Bill Bonner 

    "Curmudgeon's Archive.

  A good word for      Deflation
   Reythia gets it wrong.
    Swapping Skiff for Krugerrands
    Bailout Blues
    The Party Fades
    God and Public Schools
    Commitment to Posterity

    Money Magic
   Twittering to Death
   Posterity's Debt

   Honest Money
   Coping with Deflation

   Heavenly Sex

   FDR & History
Chicken Little Convention  
Lead us not into temptation
   My Obituary
   Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive
   What Fools, We WeMortals

   Unvarnished Truth
   End-of-everything Blues
   My Immigrant Relative
   The Eloquent Pogo
Nesta's Complaint
   Hucksterism Gone Wild
   Unmanageable Religion


Columbia  Weather
















































































July 2nd, 2015

Greeks grapple with a mounting cash crisis as Athens continues its bailout standoff with creditors.

   A lot of pensioners in Greece are appalled that cash in their very own bank account is not readily available to them.  They may have debit cards that used to work very well, but what good is a piece of plastic if a merchant insists on CASH?

  83 year old Angeliki Andreaki of Athens told a reporter "At this age I can't believe I have to line up to get rationed cash."

  But she has no choice. It will take several days of standing in lines at the ATM to get enough cash to pay her €300 rent.  Greeks who had the foresight to stash cash before the current crisis came to a head are not inconvenienced like Mrs. Andreaki.  

  Most Americans are confident there is no parallel between the present debt-driven Greek financial drama and the phenomenal level of public debt in the United States.  "We only owe it to ourselves," we smugly say.  But there's a bit of a buzz going on in the background about the $18+ trillion debt and the fact the Treasury Department froze the debt level several weeks ago and Congress has not addressed the question of raising the official debt ceiling. The silence on the debt matter is making some people skittish.

   Speaking of skittishness...ponder this:

   "The Wall Street Journal notes that ó 'Only 38% said they could cover a $500 repair bill or a $1,000 emergency room visit with funds from their bank accounts.' A person quoted in that article said ó 'A solid majority of Americans say they have a household budget, but too few have the ability to cover expenses outside their budget without going into debt or turning to family and friends for help.' Further on in that article a survey noted that ó 'Ö an unexpected bill would cause 26% to reduce spending elsewhere, while 16% would borrow from family or friends and 12% would put the expense on a credit card. The remainder didnít know what they would do or would make other arrangements.' Basically, people donít have any money. But how can that be? Hasnít Obama saved the American economy? Isnít the official unemployment rate near 5 1/2 %?"  American youth...ready for conscription?  

   Jay Johnson speculates that youthful unemployment will be met with a program of national service. Not the draft, or conscription or any other word that would have negative connotations. National Service! For your patriotic duty! 

   National Review addressed this issue when it wrote óď Require virtually every young American ó the civic-minded millennial generation ó to complete a year of service through programs such as Teach for America, AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, or the U.S. military.  

   Once again a kindly government says:  "Got a problem?  We're here to help!"

    A friend grabbed this poster in rural South Carolina back in the early 1960s and gave it to us.  It has languished in our history file ever since.  Frankly, we thought the days of the klan were coming to and end and never dreamed they'd stage a rally barely a mile from our house in July, 2015.  

   But the Klan will rally on the statehouse grounds July 18ih in support of the Confederate battle flag.  We have no intention of attending because we won't take seriously anybody who appears in public in hoods, masks, or other means of concealing their identity be they Klansmen or ISIS or other anonymous propagandists.  

   We've long supported one's right to free speech, but we have big problems with people who try to do it anonymously.  It strikes us as cowardly - even when attempted on the Internet.  

    So, the masked Coneheads are coming to our fair city on July 18th and South Carolina will return to its usual role as laughingstock for the national press corps.  

    Battling over a bit of bunting seems incongruous in a time when the world is unsettled and serious political questions must be answered sooner rather than later.  Just think what could be accomplished if the time and energy spent on this flag flap could be channeled toward searching for answers to the really pressing social and monetary problems.

    "Beginning in the 1930ís, under the aegis of Franklin Roosevelt, the nation began a drift to the left as a reaction to the Great Depression. However, those truly committed to socialist/Marxist philosophy and tactics remained in the shadows until the 1960ís. The Viet Nam war protests unleashed far more than just a demand for an end to the war. Those that blamed America for all manner of alleged sins in the past and determined to transform the United States into a socialist/Marxist nirvana were able to step out from behind the shadows and enter the mainstream of national legitimacy. This swarm of locusts soon enveloped the higher levels of academia spawning countless clones to further infiltrate all strata of society -- most notably the mainstream media, the entertainment complex and the ultimate target: the Democratic Party. These vital segments of the culture are now instruments of indoctrination, propaganda and political power."  America's Destiny

   Yikes!  Somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed when he decided to write something about how the USA will fare in its present socialist experiment.  Talk about gloom and doom!

    Peering into the future and attempting to make predictions about it is very iffy exercise, but the author of this exploration of the future has made some rational points about what may lie ahead for a nation that has drifted so far from its founding principles.  

    For one thing, he predicts China will take over the status as the world's super power as the United States voluntarily casts itself into a subservient role.  

     Unpatriotic to make such a prediction?  No - it's a rational conclusion given the long history in the U.S. of having chosen a kind of Marxian approach to governance and doing it on the shaky foundation of debt-based money.  With the 4th of July celebration on our doorstep this might be a good time to ponder the matter and push for going on a different tack.    

"Keep Hamilton on the ten, dump Jackson from the twenty."
If pocket cash is going to disappear, what's the point of debating this proposal at all?

    "When Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced last week that a womanís portrait will be added to the $10 bill in 2020, there were a few initial grumblings. Wouldnít it be better to redesign the $20 bill to oust Andrew Jackson, notorious for his appalling record on Native Americans, not to mention his opposition to the central banking system?  But a closer look suggests a less triumphant conclusion. If women are getting a seat at the table, itís the seat by the dishcart. Cash today is less important than at any point in American history."  Troubled $10.00 bill < This author think Pres. Andrew Jackson was pretty much a scoundrel.  Among his unfavorable traits was his fierce objection to a federal central bank.  Huh?  Actually, Jackson is admired by many for his efforts in dumping the nation's first central bank. 

     The nation is supposed to be focused on whether or not South Carolina will remove the controversial Confederate battle flag from its north lawn.  But the plan to replace Hamilton on the $10.00 bill with the likeness of a woman in 2020 is already raising another divisive topic.       

Former Congressman Ron Paul sees danger on the doorstep.
He writes a too-long analysis of the situation here.

    His conclusion: "Federal Reserve policy removed gold and silver as the monetary reserve and replaced it with a promissory note issued by our government to pay in another promissory note of less value. The fractional reserve system and the pyramiding of debt that has been a driving force during this 35 year bull market in bonds, with abnormally low interest rates, will be reversed. It will then be necessary for the current monetary system to be replaced by a new monetary order based on honest commodity money and elimination of the fraudulent system forced upon us in 1913. Defining this replacement in a positive manner should occupy our attention in order to promote peace and prosperity."

   Pretty cocky of him to make this prediction that our present monetary system will meet its Waterloo and must be replaced with a system of sound money.  But if history is a guide (and in the matter of the money experiments it IS) the present fiat currencies of the world cannot endure. The fundamental flaw with modern currency is it is supposed to be a reliable measure of value so it can be counted on as a medium for exchange of goods and services.  Just as the pound contains 16 ounces and scales keep the butcher honest, the dollar is supposed to contain a specific measure of intrinsic value.  Since 1971 the dollar has been an "I-owe-you-nothing" and the deceit is fooling fewer people with the passing of each day.  


     <  Perhaps this bumper sticker could be translated into Greek and distributed to citizens of Greece as a reminder of the difficulty into which they and their elected officials have gotten themselves.  It's a classic case of excessive welfarism coming to its inevitable conclusion.  

         A temporary deal may be struck to buy a little more time, but plenty of other loan deadlines lie ahead for Greece and they just don't have the cash to make their payments.

    "Pay what you owe and you'll know what you own."  ~Benj. Franklin

   The Greek monetary tragedy is a clear example of what happens when you persist is spending beyond your means to settle your debts.  Politicians got elected by promising generous government doles and finally got so deep in the hole lenders balked.  Officials in Athens are begging for more time (and funds) but Greek citizens don't like the idea of being forced into lower living standards so terms of the national debt can be met.  

   It's easy to say that what's going on between Greece and its creditors has little or no bearing on we-the-people of the United States, but there's this:  Our own public debt is growing now 2.7 faster than the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and is the only source for "recovery" and "stimulus" .  

   No one has a plan to apply the brakes to the ballooning debt, least of all the army of candidates running for their political party's nomination for president, nor the Congressfolk who hope to be put back into office.  But there is no escaping the debt trap.  When it will snap shut on the U.S. is anyone's guess, but history is clear about what happens to nations that persistently live beyond their means.  Even the great ones