Friday, September 25, 2009

Stupidity is a crime... and this man should not pass go.

I was reading an article referenced by Lew Rockwell on China's diminishing taste for the dollar and it's implications to world trade. Decent article, little light on effect, but it's just a quick editorial. They didn't go deep, but they didn't really get anything wrong, either.

Then I read some of the comments. Some, on all sides of the issue, were quite good. Then there was this idiot:


I'd like to see China or anyone come and try to claim debt from the USA. We still have the big red button biaaaatches!!
on September 24, 2009
at 06:08 PM

and they don't!!!"

Let's just pick this apart.

First, China doesn't have to call in their markers. In fact, they are unlikely to do so as it would adversely affect THEIR currency faster than they are likely to be able to deal with. All they have to do to put an end to the dollar as the world's reserve currency is STOP BUYING THE GUARANTEES that the FED likes to sell to them. A refusal to take on more American debt is non aggressive and indefeatable.

Then the last part. The willingness to initiate a nuclear war over a disagreement on DEBT. This moron would kill BILLIONS over a trade dispute. Never mind the wrong idea that China doesn't have nukes (they do, they can reach us, they are probably targeted on us), but just look at that mindset. If the United States gets called on it's default, this moron wants to shoot at the DEBTHOLDER.

See how well that one flies next time you're late on a loan payment. Yeesh.

There are moments when I'm ashamed of being born American. This is one of them.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More on survival.

Bugout Kits. Gold. Passports.

All of the above.

As the dollar continues to decline, it becomes increasingly obvious that at some point, the currency will reach a negative value. The question is really only "when".

So, what are some of the signs?

Well, historically, the most obvious sign that the line has been irrevocably crossed is when merchants stop taking the currency in favor of something "a little more real". That hasn't happened yet, though more are giving preferential treatment to gold and silver.

On this issue, I'm going to take exception with Murray Rothbard and state that a dual metal standard might be desirable, as gold is TOO scarce for small purchases. However, I would state that the use of which metal, and it's price relative to the market, should probably be left entirely up to the actors rather than any sort of imposed or regulated standard. Not that there is any problem with a PUBLISHED standard, or series thereof, just no requirement that it be followed.

So, I'm all for purchasing silver. I in fact intend to start doing so on my next available payday, as a hedge against inflation and a preparation for when the Shit Hits the Fan.

In a previous post I talked about some of the things you should have for very basic survival. But that's only part of the equation. Eventually, and not very eventually, after a currency/regime collapses, trade must resume. Thus, part of preparing for the end of a system is to establish the beginnings of another. As an anarchist, this means preparing to both stand alone AND voluntarily trade your goods and services as necessitated by both survival and your long term goals.

Survivalism, despite the bum rap it gets in the media, is a good strategy for the short term. Worst thing that happens if you train regularly for basic survival is that you never need the training. Since it's a lot of fun, that's not a terrible consequence, eh?


Survivalists often paint their scenarios as if the "post apocalyptic" world will never renew itself. This has never been the case. Trade will always re-establish itself. It always have. If there are humans alive, there will be trade. So, in my arrogant opinion, way too much of the survivalist's focus is on the near term. Now, I know this is not universal, but I've been involved in survivalism to some degree since I was a young boy. The attitude is prevalent. When the SHTF, the fan will keep spinning and the shit keep flying. I don't buy either side of the equation.

So, what should your plans include for the mid and long term?

The above mentioned precious metals are a good start, so you have something to trade that has always been of general utility in markets. After that?

SKILLS. Multiple skills. Learn how to do things that make you marketable. Not artificially marketable, as you and I have NO CLUE how the market will shape up after a major collapse. If the dollar falls, a lot of the world's accumulated capital goes with it. In the short term, that will be disastrous. In the mid term, it'll probably be a new renaissance, as people rediscover that spirit of individualism that made their ancestors brave 3000 miles of ocean in crude sailing vessels to start a new life. The more things you can do, the better.

Now, as I know that a lot of my audience are familiar with Austrian economics and the division of labor theories, you might wonder why I have and continue to promote the "jack of all trades, master of none" philosophy. It's because I don't believe in specialization at an individual level as a defensible paradigm. Sure, you might want to master one or two trades, but NOT exclusively! A guy who is a great programmer, but can't fix his car/plumbing/clothes/etc. is at a huge disadvantage over the guy who's a good programmer and can do all these other things and many more. Specialization in employment makes a large amount of sense, and in fact drives major economies upwards. Specialization in your life HARMS you.

Try to make an effort to either learn something completely new or expand your knowledge and skill on something you already know EVERY DAY, and when the shit stops flying, you'll be in a better position to prosper in the coming world.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Ron Paul blew it.

The Congress shall have power to[..]
To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States; -Constitution of the United States of America, Article one, section eight.

Ron Paul, in a recent speech before Congress, has pointed out that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve in his stated opposition to the bill requiring an audit of that same body that such an audit would "politicize monetary policy" and allow Congress to SET monetary policy. Dr. Paul goes on to say that his bill does no such thing.

Now, even though I think he's tilting at windmills, I usually admire Dr. Paul. He's a believer. A man who thinks that the constitution means what it says, and that a minimal state is both possible and desirable. As an anarchist, I completely disagree and thus could not support him or any other Statist.

But this time he fuckin' blew it. His response SHOULD have been to tell Mr. Bernanke straight out:" CONGRESS ALREADY has that authority, you mealy mouthed, arrogant, scum sucker!"

Of course, Dr. Paul is much more polite than this, but he's never really held back before on issues where congress' mandate is obvious, such as this case. While I suppose it could be argued that Congress made no legal transgression in outsourcing one of their duties, the idea that the contractor can keep itself separate and secret from the body FROM WHICH IT SOLELY DERIVES IT'S AUTHORITY TO EXIST is outrageous.

The moment the Federal Reserve started objecting to this, they should have been fired. Yes, that's right, FIRED. Terminated. Sorry, but your services are no longer required due to demonstrated incompetence and malfeasance, nevermind that part that you've hidden.

Central banking schemes have never worked, even when they are transparent. Secret banking schemes such as the Fed have ONLY one purpose: The absolute denial of the free market.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Some general thoughts on things and such

Ok, so I didn't get to it on Thursday. Life is full of mostly unpleasant surprises and many tasks, none of which ever seem to come when you plan for them. But enough whining.

Some things I've been thinking about, given the disastrous state of the American Dollar and the vacuous state of the American public...

One, if the dollar fails utterly (hyperinflation, loss of faith, Chinese Foreclosure) what will happen?

While I think in the long run, such a thing will be good for the whole world since the collapse of the dollar would take the empire with it, in the short run it will likely be catastrophic.

The United State of America (s deliberately omitted) is ill prepared for individual survival. A great many people are so interdependent and straight up dependent upon the "system" that even a week without officially sanctioned commerce would probably lead to starvation for a lot of people. Ridiculous, but there it is.

So what do you do?

I highly advocate, right now, that as many people as possible (this means YOU) put together an emergency survival kit. Actually, two of them. One portable, one not. Canned goods and water reserves, dry beans, rice, corn and possibly jerked meat. Not foods that depend on refrigeration, as power might fail. This is the non portable, or limited portability.

Portable? TWO good knives. They don't have to be the hyper expensive sport model, just a good long and short knife. A backpack. A sleeping bag. A tent. An endless match (magnesium strip). Some rugged clothes, hiking boots, raingear, and a small cooking kit. First aid kit and sewing kit (I also highly recommend dental floss. It's a fantastic thread for quick and durable repairs to things like your backpack and tent). A good compass, if your knife don't have one. One hundred feet of light gauge rope. A hammer and a multi tool like a leatherman. Do your best to keep it all under 40 pounds. I know that don't sound like a lot, but after a day with it on your back and belt, you'll sing another tune :)

I would add some weapons to that if possible. A bow is probably better than a gun for hunting and defense as well, for two reasons. In a SHTF scenario, you don't want to draw attention to yourself, and guns are noisy, and arrows are reusable. You might not be able to acquire bullets. Nevertheless, a gun is probably good to carry as well, for Mr. Case.

This emergency kit should be with you at all times. In the trunk of your car if you are away from home, or easily to hand while you are. You should check it frequently to be assured that it's intact. This is a good idea even in GOOD times, because things happen without your planning or consent even when you think you got a handle on things. Being the kind of guy that trouble seems to know where I am no matter how hard I try to avoid it, I can personally attest to this.

I had more, but it escaped. Later!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Anarchy is not the answer!

Once again, someone more eloquent than I has said what I'm trying to say better.

Dale Everett, author of the web comic "anarchy in your head" wrote an excellent article on this, linked here, and I encourage everyone to read it!

Also, check him here, where like me he talks about building better humans instead of better empires.

On to other things.

I've moved, and FINALLY have high speed internet access again, so I'm going to try to be a lot more regular on the blog. In fact, I'm now intending to put up a post every other Thursday, starting next week. Why Thursday? Well, why not? Ok, it's not that arbitrary. I'm usually off on Thursday. I'll post more often if the urge strikes.

Further, as soon as I get my basement "hideaway" properly set up, I'll be doing videos again. Hopefully better production, as I've learned a lot of stuff that I didn't know before AND have a dedicated space. I'll probably be posting most of the new ones to filmrookie instead of Youtube, since I don't intend to stay inside the ten minute time limit, nor do I really care for the direction Youtube is taking. I'll probably do the random vlog over there, and trailers to the stuff I put real work in to.

Well, enough babbling for today. L8R!


Saturday, June 13, 2009


I thought I'd talk a little bit about establishing a separate gold standard that we could all use. I'm not sure how to go about it, but I did discover that you can buy gold in one troy grain coins, which is rather small. market value on that right now seems to be around four United States Fiat Dollars, which means in all likelihood you'd double your purchasing power by investing in such coins within the next few months. I base that on the inevitability of hyperinflation now that King Obama and his loyal henchmen have doubled the M1 monetary base over the last few months.

But to get more basic, why gold in the first place? Rothbard and his peers have gone very in depth on this, and I'm not going to retread them at this point. Instead, I'm going to do it very simply. Since a great many anarchists are NOT market oriented, I hope this will educate somewhat on the market anarchist's stance.

Gold is not the only possible money. Most of us adhere to it for a multiplicity of reasons, though we know other things could be used. Here's the main reason:

It's scarce, valuable for many things, and does not tarnish.

Money is not a magical thing. It's not some "grand system" that must be overseen by overlords. It is simply something commonly accepted IN LIEU OF goods and services to facilitate trade. Without money, direct trade is the only real possible way to exchange goods and services. Direct trade, while definitely valid, has serious problems of both scale and reach. With accepted monetary standards (plural deliberately), one person can leverage their goods and services to a much greater degree. This allows specialization without enslaving the specialist. Direct trade runs against serious problems of comparative value, whereas money can be set according to what the market will bear.

So, what are the main things a good needs to be useful as money?

First, Scarcity. Paper ain't scarce. The less of a desired thing there is, the more valuable it is. Too scarce, and it won't work as a unit of exchange, but that's an argument for another time.

Second, and probably just as important, portability. This is why gold makes good money and oil doesn't. Oil is more useful to the general public, but it's basic unit of sale is a 55 gallon drum. You can't really put that in your pocket.

Third, durability. This is less important than the first two, but not much.

Gold meets all of the above better than just about any other substance, though silver and other precious metals can be used as well. In the open market, any set of standards or even just two people agreeing is good enough.

But for wide trade, there need to be published and accepted standards. They don't have to be "one size fits all", as the market will weed out the poor or less popular ones without any external interference. To that end, I'm trying to work out a gold based monetary standard that anyone who can acquire gold could accept. I'll post it as I go. At the moment, I'm basing it on one grain of gold as the base unit, which is 480 grains to an ounce. Currently, this would be about two to three dollars per base unit. And yes, smaller divisions than that are available on the market.

Comments are greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm Back, sort of.

Hello everybody.

Sorry for the immensely long absence. I've been through several kinds of hell lately, starting with the sudden and untimely death of my mother in law. We never got along, but I miss the crazy old lady. I think there is something inherently self destructive in the genetic predisposition for diabetes. She, like many other diabetics I have known, was casual at best about maintaining her health, and usually could be seen consuming more sugar than would be healthy for anyone, ever, under any circumstances. Her disregard for her health cost her her life on September 20th of last year.

This was a devastating blow to my wife who was extremely close to her mother, and has been a difficult time for me as well. It's a harsh revelation to find you loved someone after they've died.

As she died intestate and heavily indebted, we have been through financial hell as well. Raising a small child in this chaos has been quite a challenge, even though he's a marvelous young fellow.

We are recovering. The process is slow and the grief, both emotional and financial, is far from over.

It is my intent to blog more regularly, both because I think the message of liberty is important, and because it's a mental outlet for an incredibly stressed out man. But the demands on my time are such that "more regularly" doesn't mean much. I'm not gonna vanish for seven months again, but don't expect a high output either.

Those of you who still look, thank you for hangin' in there. I've missed this place, and the comments from my readers.

Kevin Karl Biomech