Let my prices go!

What a free market response would’ve looked like after any natural disaster, including last week’s Hurricane Sandy. Great explanation from Bob Murphy. Stop interfering with human action, government.

Let prices rise!

 

Status + Jacob Van Loon

Man. I miss posting to my blog. It’s been a while since my last post. Suffice it to say, I am in the middle of being back in the grind, and juggling a handful of wonderful personal projects. I have a queue of things I’ve been wanting to share. But, sadly, it would be silly to share them at this point. After a while, information ages, wrinkles, un-virals, and I need to throw it away. Some things are timeless, though.

Art, even with all the theory and historical contexts, still just comes down to if you like it or not. A yea or a nay. Or a meh. That is all that is required. And with that. This is Jacob Van Loon. From Chicago. I like his stuff.

see more Jacob →

Gibberish

When you live in LA for 10 years, and all your friends are actors, I can only guess, even for an engineer, like myself, some of that “actor stuff” is just going to rub off on you.

I’ve been stressed out lately, trying to do too many projects at the same time. I had no intentions to do any kind of performance piece. I hadn’t planned anything. But once, all the poets and storytellers had gone,  the emcee asked “Is there anyone else who wants to go next,” and those faces, all across the room, turned their heads and stared at me, well, geez, I guess I had to go up and do something. Talk about pressure and expectations.

This was, more or less, my entire thought process in my head, “Okay. Well, I’m stressed out and I want to get it off my chest, but I really don’t want to tell people anything about it … I know! …” And go! This is my off-the-cuff performance piece.

 

Oh Snap!

Say what you will on how wrong Milton Friedman was on money theory, and on the nature of the state, but man, seeing him take down young Michael Moore has renewed my spirit about the world. Michael Moore really hasn’t learnt much since then. Sad.

 

Correction: Apparently, it is not Michael Moore. Just someone who “looks like” a young Michael Moore. My spirit has now been returned to despair. It’s still good though. Just not as epic.

Capital vs. Consumer

Robert Wenzel explains why the Fed must constantly pump new money into the system just to keep the desired capital-structure in place. The malinvestments are significant when the economy has a higher time preference, prefering present goods over future ones, and will outbid those wanting resources for capital goods. So, once the money flows into the economy, beyond the hands of the FED’s BFFs, consumer goods will try to outbid the capital goods, increasing prices. So he looks at money supply rates of change instead the total money supply.

The FED has significant control on which way things go: 1) another boom and price inflation 2) another crash. It’s a nice read to help better understand the Austrian Business Cycle Theory. Of course, most of that money really has not hit the system yet. Most of it is sitting in excess reserves, waiting, looming, breathing heavily, ready to hit the shores and take us into an America we have not yet known.

Absolute Money Growth versus Percentage Change in Money Growth by Robert Wenzel, reprinted from EPJ.

A commenter asks below:

Why do you consider the percent change in M2 more significant than the total M2? M2 has been consistently growing, has it not? That’s despite how erratic the percent change has been.

The fact that M2 has been growing consistently is not as important as the percentage change. Here’s the absolute growth since 1980:

Here’s quarterly money growth on a percentage change basis since 1980:

Here’s why looking at the percentage change is more meaningful.

According to Austrian Business Cycle Theory, the economy gets distorted in favor of the capital goods sector whenever money is printed.  The money flows into the capital goods sector and distorts the structure of the economy away from consumer goods and towards capital goods .

For example, if the Federal Reserve prints up  $100 billion dollars on a base of a trillion dollar money supply (a 10% increase in money supply), this will distort the economy in favor of the capital goods sector by $100 billion dollars. But, this money eventually works its way through the economy with prices being bid up so that in order to maintain the distorted capital goods structure, the Fed will next have to print up $100 billion plus. It must be a $100 billion plus because the structure needs to be maintained and the increase in prices must be adjusted for to maintain the structure.

If the Fed only prints on the second round $50 billion (a 4.5% increase over the new $1.1 trillion in money supply), this will not be enough buying power to maintain the earlier Fed manipulated $100 billion capital  goods structure–even though it is an absolute increase in money supply.

Thus, it is very necessary to know the percentage of new money that is being printed rather than just whether new money is coming into the system. As can be seen by the charts, the Fed is almost always printing money, but it is much more erratic in the percentage of new money that it adds to the system. Just watching absolute money growth, without reference to percentage change will not provide any clue as to whether the Fed is shrinking or expanding the capital structure it is manipulating and thus provide no clue as to whether we are headed for a downturn or Fed manipulated boom.

Andrew Salgado

My practice explores the correlation between the concept of masculinity and the properties of the medium …. The objective of this pursuit is to challenge a perspective of identity through heightened, purposefully self-aware representation, in which these representations refer to their own physicality and question their legitimacy and even the very nature of my practice. The approach taken toward my practice is largely the result of a cathartic incident in 2008, in which a hate-crime assault led to a fascination with the notion that substance might overcome the limitations of its physicality 

I am interested in how my paintings might operate independently from their literal figurative foundation and engage with an exploration of color, reduction of forms, and triumph of substance as imbued with meaning and metaphor, overt, and suggestive. My practice is a process encumbered by the reduction of literalness in preference of a sensual and topographical painted surface. Through this process of discovery, I hope to create work that engages with a continuously forming language of painting and representation. By drawing attention to the tangibility of the work, I introduce extra-diegetic readings, pulling the viewer from the sutures of the represented subject and inviting readings beyond the confines of the painted picture.

 

see more here →

Le Ballet

 

Occupy Jews!

Man, have you been watching some of these Vice videos, like the one they did on those marxist-militia-ladies of Kurdistan? Cool, hip, and informative, is all I can say.

Milène Larsson of Vice Magazine interviewed those involved in J14, a protest movement in Israel, involving hundreds of thousands of protesters, very similar to the Occupy movement here in the States. And just like Occupy, the goals are a little all over the place, even though it all started with the high costs of housing, focuses on changing the economic system, and are heavy, heavy on the socialist demands.

Larsson, also, interviews anti-war activists Ronny Edry and Michal Tamir, creators of the Facebook page “Israel-Loves-Iran.” The page has gone viral, and is a thorn in the side of Israeli government propaganda. It’s wonderful to see a strong anti-war message, from ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to no war with Iran, have a strong presence in Israel. Especially with a hard-right government foaming at the mouth for more war. Antiwar protesters in Israel? They must be antisemitic agitators!

Oh BTW, Prime Minister Netanyahu sounds like a mobster thug from Goodfellas or something . Seriously.

Enjoy. And notice the interesting parallels between the current situations of warmongering states U.S. and Israel — BFFs!

 

Atlas Shaped

Fernando Vincente is a painter from Madrid, who has this wonderful penchant collecting old maps and atlases from flea markets and painting over them. I’m a sucker for artists who morph shapes into other shapes. Seeing shapes has always been a favorite pasttime of mine, partly from all the acid I’ve done, what I call the “this looks like a …” game, something similar to seeing shapes in clouds, you just don’t limit yourself to clouds .

Anyway these are great.

 

see more here →

He Said, State Said

It’s been a few weeks since Ademo’s trial. Luckily, the motion for appeal was submitted on August 23rd. That was an awful day for me. There was nothing good about the whole ordeal. Nothing. Below I’m sharing a transcript from the sentencing. It’s an example of language. How language is used to claim moral righteousness. Who is the real criminal? This is what happens when the powerful see those, whom non-violently protest against the illegitimate use of force, as a threat. The camera-recording vigilantes, the transparency-fighters, the king’s-clothes-snatchers, the ones keeping tabs on the shenanigans, keeping count, are, apparently, the aggressors, deserving imprisonment, possibly, indefinite detention, and, possibly, torture. Or at least that is how the state sees it, despite the evidence and hypocrisy. And let me tell you, the law enforcement, particulary in New Hampshire, is a bit sadist, and a bit thuggish. Maybe just a little.

 

Judge

The state will be explaining its rationale for the sentence and the terms.

 

Prosecutor

The fact of the matter is, your Honor, you know that the defendant has a prior criminal history of the felony from Wisconsin for drugs and then the Manchester District Court sentence that he is currently serving for resisting arrest. The simple fact, your Honor, is that the defendant’s purpose in committing these crimes and undertaking the behavior he has is to disrupt government. It’s to disrupt public officials. It’s to disrupt the court system. His stated goals, including you can see him wearing a “Never take a plea” shirt, is to actually to clog the court system and to try to make it so onerous that the state can’t prosecute these crimes. The jury very clearly rejected his attempt to nullify. It wasn’t even a question of guilt. It was simply that the defendant didn’t want to be held accountable for that. This case, while there’s an obvious punishment component, and, to the extent there can be rehabilitation, the rehabilitative component of the suspended sentence, this sentence is primarily about deterrence, both to the defendant as well as to the many supporters here today. The fact of the matter is, that’s the only thing that the state can do to Mr. Mueller to communicate that this behavior won’t be tolerated. That he doesn’t get to make his own definition of crimes and that he has to follow the law. The effect, your honor, the communication through both his own website as well as other sites obviously serves to disseminate that message. And to uphold that society is expected to follow those laws. The defendant has known, and knows full well, that the law is in effect. He’s well aware that the legislature can change it and that they haven’t changed it. And given all of those facts and circumstances, I obviously at this point am not going to suggest that you go peruse copblock.org, … but the fact of the matter, your Honor, his purpose: it is to disrupt, it is to be disobedient. And I think the only appropriate response, at this point, is an incarcerated sentence …… [I got lazy]

 

Adam Mueller

I don’t know if this is the part where  I tell you “I didn’t touch the little kids” or “steal the stuff” because I have some sort of mental problem or remorse. I don’t regret what I did. I was fully aware of what I did. I think that jails weren’t built for people who make phones calls or use chalk, and maybe, there will come a time where this court will have to make a decision on whether using up government’s resources on the bed I will occupy as oppose to someone who is actually violent. Michael brings up my intentions. You know, my intentions are about transparency and accountability, something that doesn’t seem too popular in government these days. It’s not about disrupting things or violating laws. I mean, well, certainly bad laws like this one. But there’s going to be no rehabilitation for me. I’m not ever going to think that what I did was wrong. If you think deterring me from trying to be an activist by locking me in jail, you can go ahead and think that, but I don’t think it’s going to work. I don’t know. You should just let me go home.