Tag Archives: Ron Paul

The Cosmic Improv Group Puts the Robber Barons in Stitches*

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HUMOR/SATIRE

by Dr. Kathorkian, an alter-ego of katharineotto.wordpress.com
Inspired by The Robber Barons, by Matthew Josephson, 1934, 1962

Monday, December 24, 2007 – I speak to others’ souls.  This is why I can nab JP Morgan in the Cosmic Commune and discuss his debt to society.

“Are you satisfied,” I ask, looking up from my knitting, but only briefly, so as not to lose any stitches.

 

“No,” says he.  “I’m miserable.”

“Good,” I say.  “You’re finally getting honest.”

“I always was honest,” he says.  “I named my three yachts Corsair I, II, and III, after all.  ‘Corsair’ means ‘pirate.’  Everyone knew what I was doing.”

“And no one stopped you.”

“No one even tried.”

“You made their chicanery look innocuous.  You were used by the thieves to cover for their less evident dishonesty.”

“I showed how easy it is to corrupt everyone.  They can all be bought.”

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Twenty dollars in pennies.  A penny buys a penny’s worth every time it changes hands.  If it changes hands 100 times in a day, it stimulates the economy more than a dollar kept in a wallet.  Adam Smith, author of Wealth of Nations, recognized the value of a penny.

“You haven’t named a price that can buy this free market capitalist,” I say.  “What’s it worth to you, to help fix this mess?”

“Everything I have,” says he.

“Well, you are morally bankrupt, and in so much debt it will take several lifetimes to work it off, so it’s up to you whether you want to be a New York City bag lady next time around.”

I go back to knitting.

JP Morgan sits, sweating bullets, but too embarrassed to remove his jacket, because he has severe BO.

Meanwhile, Andrew Carnegie is hanging around, hopping from foot to foot, waiting to be noticed and invited to participate.  I see his ankle is in a golden shackle, attached by a golden chain to a bejeweled shackle around JP Morgan’s ankle.

 

I invite Andy to join us, but make it quick, because I need to leave soon, to pluck the fruits of my cosmic garden, tax-free products that have grown without government help and in spite of favoritism to people like them.

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Pecan tree and Spanish moss

I know John D. Rockefeller is listening from a table on the other side of the honeysuckle hedge.  He is sneaky, doesn’t want to admit he’s interested.  He is slowly getting drunk and justifying his actions to himself.  Besides, he hates JP Morgan and doesn’t like to deal with him at all, if possible.  He merely wants to sabotage him.

So I count rows and stitches while JP and Andy unburden their weary souls. Rockefeller’s presence is known–he is bound to the others by his own shackle and chain–but he is not acknowledged.

Other Cosmic Communists are coming and going, but the three souls within range don’t see or hear them.  They feel alone and abandoned but for each other and me.  This makes our discussion semi-private, for their purposes, which is fine with me, because it eliminates distractions.

Andy is the most heterosexual of the bunch.    JP and JD prefer to sublimate sexuality to imperialism, so lust after domination for its own sake.  Because they are cowards, they make a show of being otherwise, in true reaction formation style.

“You become what you hate,” Buddhism states.

“Or what you love,” I add.

Suddenly JP and JD realize they spent their lives symbolically sodomizing each other and everyone else who crossed their paths.  Now they wonder why no one in the Cosmic Commune invites them to parties.

“You’re boring, that’s why,” I tell them.  “What can you do that’s useful?”

I hear JD comment on Rockefeller Plaza. I remind him he didn’t build it, it’s an insult to the people who paid for it, and it’s ostentatious.  Ditto for donations to the Met, Carnegie Hall, and Carnegie Mellon.  “You people wanted to buy love and respect with other people’s money,” I say.

So now we know Rockefeller is participating, too, even though he remains at his table.

“What about abolishing income and payroll taxes and the Federal Reserve System,” I ask JP Morgan.  “Even though you have no credit with me, if you help undo that tangle in this time knot, it might improve your seedy image and win you a friend or two.”

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JP gets restless and starts looking at his watch.  He hems and haws.  Andy looks on.  He has suddenly become very quiet.  Rockefeller pours himself another drink, and I hear the tinkle of ice against glass as his hands shake.

“Well, you boys think about it. These are my terms, for the moment, but no promises.  Things are likely to change any time.”

I poof out of their milieu and return to my cosmic home, where everything is free, and money doesn’t exist.

 

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Knoxville, Tennessee City Market, with Tennessee Valley Authority twin towers at far end. Kco0206

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 – Later, I revisit the area in the Cosmic Commune where JP Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller are chained together by golden chains.  This place reminds me of the “revitalized” Knoxville, TN City Market.  It is a wide, concrete wasteland with no human beings in sight.  The twin towers of the Tennessee Valley Authority loom over one end.

I have poofed myself a garden in this heat sink.  The garden has grown since my last visit.  Now, there are trellises and vines of roses without thorns.  Confederate jasmine, wisteria, and the like.  There is a water fountain, where birds drink and splash around.  The mass of vegetation creates the effect of a giant atrium, open to the breeze but protected from the sun.

 

I see Clarence Thomas’ higher self happening by, so I invite him to join us.  The older boys are impressed and a little afraid of ole Clar, because he is a Real Man, a black male, Supreme Court Justice, and Southern gentleman, despite what Anita Hill claims.  They want to impress him.  I show the chain gang I mean business.  CT is on my side, whether he knows it or not.

JP starts kissing up to Justice Thomas, explaining how taxpayers weren’t ready to manage their own money back in 1913, but he thinks they may have matured enough by now.  Ole Clar says don’t talk to me.  Talk to your boys on Wall Street, like Rupert Murdoch.  If you people can shape up real quick-like, we won’t have to embarrass you in front of your international friends.

So all these men start telling me how to pull this off.  They tell me to mail some of my improved-upon news clippings to Paul Gigot, editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal, specifically my GE cartoon of CEO Jeffrey Immelt.  I should include a copy of my letter and GE’s 43-cent check SunTrust bank wouldn’t take.

So I say okay.  I’ll do it when the spirit moves me.  I’ve already started making copies.

Meanwhile, women are beginning to show up, because they like rich, influential men.  I’m fine with this, because I’ve solved enough of their problems for one day, and I have homework to do.  I poof myself back home, while they hang out and chitchat.

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Book Commentary: End the Fed

bkspaulfed2009by katharineotto.wordpress.com:  At the national Libertarian convention in 2004, I blocked the exit and forced then US Congressman Ron Paul to meet me and shake my hand.

In 2008, when he was again campaigning for president, I wrote him and Ralph Nader, and asked them to run together for president and vice-president respectively.  Each has a history of breaking precedent, so I figured they could pull it off.

In 2009, I read End the Fed, and wrote the following book commentary and review.  Yesterday, I caught part of a live interview with Dr. Paul, in which he warned of a coming financial crisis.  While I agree with his assessment about the present situation, I believe the future needn’t be as dark as he fears.

The nation’s debt is unsustainable, and those dependent on the government stand to lose the most if the US declares bankruptcy.  That includes the elderly and the indigent, but it also includes all government employees, retirees, elected and appointed government officials, all the federal bureaucracies, the military, and government contractors.  That’s why Congress is so heavily invested in raising the “debt ceiling” until after the 2016 presidential elections.

We must remember that all of these people have generous benefits and retirement plans invested on Wall Street, in Treasuries, and in other places “too big to fail.”  Unfortunately for Wall Street and the federal government, the Baby Boomers are beginning to retire, withdrawing money from Wall Street as well as beginning Social Security, two huge money drains on the federal coffers.

Step number one to protecting yourself against loss is to get out of debt.  There is a move to abandon Wall Street for Main Street, where you have more control.  Dr. Paul’s concept of free coinage is good, as is the notion of returning to the stable gold standard.

And with that, I offer the 2009 review of a book that remains current.

End the Fed

by Ron Paul, 2009
Book Commentary by Katharine C. Otto
Written November, 2009

US Congressman Ron Paul’s latest book, End the Fed, raises more questions than it answers, but they are questions every taxpayer needs to ask. The representative from Texas’ 14th district, Dr. Paul, an obstetrician and gynecologist, has long advocated sound money and the gold standard.  This year, he has spearheaded a move in Congress  to audit the Federal Reserve (Federal ReserveTransparency Act, HR 1207).  The bill is now co-sponsored by over 300 members of the House of Representatives.

End the Fed is a personal account of Representative Paul’s interest and track record in economics and monetary policy.  He tells us his decision to enter politics was inspired on August 15, 1971, when President Richard Nixon defaulted on the US pledge to exchange gold for $35 per ounce from foreign governments.  “This was the third broken promise by our government regarding gold backing to our dollar.  Lincoln did it in the Civil War, and FDR did it in 1933 when he confiscated gold from the American people and made it illegal for American citizens to own gold.  Roosevelt took the gold at $20 an ounce and promptly revalued it at $35.  The citizens lost, the government profited.” (p. 45).

Dr. Paul hoped a seat in Congress would provide a forum for examining and helping to restructure the United States’ economic policies.

Simply and concisely written, End the Fed starts with a brief overview of the Fed’s creation, ostensibly to provide for “elastic” money through “fractional-reserve banking, the notion that depositors’ money currently in use as cash may also be loaned out for speculative projects and then redeposited.  The system works so long as people do not attempt to withdraw all their money at once.” (p 15)

He claims the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 is unconstitutional and immoral. It shifts wealth from the poor and middle-class to the privileged and favored few.  It debases the currency by allowing the Fed to expand the money supply without limit.  This has led to relentless inflation, boom-and-bust business cycles, vast expansion of the federal government, and perpetual war, all at the expense of taxpayers whose buying power is reduced while their taxes go up.

End the Fed gives a short history of banking in the US, the role of central banks, and the rationale behind Paul’s call for a return to the gold standard.  He says the Fed creates money out of thin air, but he doesn’t go into the method of doing this.  In this sense, the book oversimplifies in favor of readability.  (A more thorough explanation of the Fed’s creation and methods, as well as banking in general, is contained in The Creature from Jekyll Island:  A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, by G. Edward Griffin, 1994, realityzone.com.)

Born in 1935, Congressman Paul says he started working in his family dairy business at the age of five, checking milk bottles for cleanliness.  He remembers the tail end of the Depression and World War II rationing.  He developed an early interest in coin collecting that evolved into a fascination with economics.  He tells us he was heavily influenced by the Austrian school of economics, primarily Ludwig von Mises.  He also cites F. A. Hayek of The Road to Serfdom fame, and several other Libertarian-minded thinkers. He gives an account of his experience in Congress, pertinent committees and legislation, and conversations with current and former Fed chairmen Ben Bernanke and Allan Greenspan.

Although the book makes no attempt to delve into the intricacies of economics, or the methods by which the Fed has been able to create our current Ponzi dollar—he calls it a Ponzi scheme—Ron Paul has provided a highly readable insider’s view of the devastation wrought by the Federal Reserve Act and the departure from the gold standard.  He ends the book by suggesting several possible and relatively painless ways to restore integrity to our monetary system.

The book’s title came from a University of Michigan student-initiated chant, “End the Fed!” during a presidential campaign tour in October, 2007. The author ends by saying, “Freedom and central banking are incompatible.  It is freedom we seek, and when that precious goal is achieved, the chant ‘End the Fed!’ will become a reality.”