Babylon is Falling

Gold and Silver Chess Game
Gold and Silver Chess Game

Miles Franklin sponsored this article by Gary Christenson.

The opinions are his.

Christopher Whalen wrote “ Trump is Right to Blow Up the Fed .” He stated: “Anybody who cares to read the 1978 Humphrey Hawkins law will know that the Fed is directed by Congress to seek full employment and then zero inflation. Not 2 percent, but zero. Yet going back a decade or more, the Fed, led by luminaries such as Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke, has advanced a policy of actively embracing inflation.”

From the Federal Reserve’s web site : “The Congress established the statutory objectives for monetary policy—maximum employment, stable prices , and moderate long-term interest rates—in the Federal Reserve Act.”

Prices during ZERO inflation never double.

Prices during 2% inflation double in 35 years.

A new truck fifty years ago cost $2,500, and today it costs $50,000. This is a compound rate of inflation of 6.2% per year. Yes, the truck is better, but that doesn’t reduce the dollars you must pay.

Motel Six rented no-frills rooms for $6 fifty years ago. Today they cost $50.00 plus higher taxes. The rate of inflation is 4.3%.

A postage stamp fifty years ago cost $0.06. Today that stamp costs $0.55. The rate of inflation is 4.5%.

Cigarettes in 1913 cost $0.10 per pack. Today the cost is $6.00 to $10.00, depending upon the tax load. The rate of inflation is about 4.4%.

Gold in 1913 sold for $20.67 per ounce. Today gold sells for about $1,300. That rate of inflation is 4.0% per year for 105 years.

A house in 1913 cost… you see the pattern. Except for televisions and computers, almost everything costs more than 10 years ago, considerably more than 20 years ago, far more than fifty years ago, and outrageously more than in 1913.

So What?

1)   Prices were stable for the one hundred years before the Federal Reserve’s “takeover” of the money supply in the U.S. The rising prices problem occurs because of Fed policies, not time.

2)   The above are examples of price inflation. You can add 999 more from your personal experience. The official numbers from the government are… well… untrustworthy.

3)   Prices rise more rapidly than the Humphrey Hawkins law (zero percent) specifies.

4)   Prices rise more rapidly than the 2% inflation target that the Fed endorses. [Why 2% instead of 3.96% or 0.22%?]

5)   Congress could vote to audit the Fed. It does not.

6)   Congress could demand the Fed follow law. It does not.

7)   Congress could dissolve the Fed and return to a modified gold standard. This would encourage government accountability, stable prices, and decrease Wall Street’s influence over our lives and economy. For obvious reasons, it does not.

The Fed (and other central banks) engaged in massive Quantitative Easing—bond monetization or “printing currencies” for the past decade. Other central banks created currencies and bought bonds, stocks, ETFs, gold and politicians with their created “from thin air” currency units. QE works well for the financial and political elite, but not for “Main street” USA, the French “Yellow Vests” or most of the bottom 90%.
Continue reading “Babylon is Falling”

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Swarming and Warfare

Swarming in Warfare
Swarming in Warfare

Very little historical research has been conducted on the use of swarming. This work seeks to address this deficiency by analyzing twenty three case studies of past swarming in order to derive a framework for understanding swarm outcomes. The conclusions of this historical analysis are then applied to a discussion of future swarming by both friendly and enemy forces.

This dissertation should be of interest to both military historians and analysts in the defense community concerned with understanding the potential of swarming for future rapid reaction forces and enemy ground forces. The results of the study highlight the limitations and constraints of swarming for both future friendly forces and for current insurgent swarms today (indeed, while this work is primarily theoretical and broad-based, it might be considered sensitive material in so far as it could be put to use by our enemies). The methods used to arrive at those results highlight how qualitative techniques can be used across many complex historical case studies.

This research was supported by RAND’s Arroyo Center, a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) sponsored by the United Stated Army; the International Security and Defense Policy Center of RAND’s National Defense Research Institute, a FFRDC sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified commands, and the defense agencies; the Strategy and Doctrine Program in RAND’s Project AIR FORCE, a FFRDC sponsored by the United States Air Force; and finally, the Department of the Army, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2.

Swarming and the Future of Conflict

Swarming and the Future of Warfare

Principles of Scientific Management

Principles of Scientific Management
Principles of Scientific Management

The principal object of management should be to secure the maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with the maximum prosperity for each employee. The words “maximum prosperity” are used, in their broad sense, to mean not only large dividends for the company or owner, but the development of every branch of the business to its highest state of excellence, so that the prosperity may be permanent. In the same way maximum prosperity for each employee means not only higher wages than are usually received by men of his class, but, of more importance still, it also means the development of each man to his state of maximum efficiency, so that he may be able to do, generally speaking, the highest grade of work for which his natural abilities fit him, and it further means giving him, when possible, this class of work to do.

It would seem to be so self-evident that maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with maximum prosperity for the employee, ought to be the two leading objects of management, that even to state this fact should be unnecessary. And yet there is no question that, throughout the industrial world, a large part of the organization of employers, as well as employees, is for war rather than for peace, and that perhaps the majority on either side do not believe that it is possible so to arrange their mutual relations that their interests become identical.

The majority of these men believe that the fundamental interests of employees and employers are necessarily antagonistic. Scientific management, on the contrary, has for its very  foundation the firm conviction that the true interests of the two are one and the same; that prosperity for the employer cannot exist through a long term of years unless it is accompanied by prosperity for the employee, and vice versa; and that it is possible to give the workman what he most wants—high wages—and the employer what he wants—a low labor cost—for his manufactures.

Principles of Scientific Management

Unfolding the Future of the Long War

Divive and Conquer
Divide and Conquer

The United States is currently engaged in what has been characterized as the “long war.” The long war has been described by some as an epic struggle against adversaries bent on forming a unified Islamic world to supplant Western dominance, while others characterize it more narrowly as an extension of the war on terror. But while policymakers, military leaders, and scholars have offered numerous definitions of the long war, no consensus has been reached about this term or its implications for the United States. To understand the effects that this long war will have on the U.S. Army and on U.S. forces in general, it is necessary to understand more precisely what the long war is and how it might unfold. To address this need, this study explores the concept of the long war and identifies potential ways in which it might unfold as well as the implications for the Army and the U.S. military more generally.

Divide and Rule

Divide and Rule focuses on exploiting fault lines between the various Salafi-jihadist groups to turn them against each other and dissipate their energy on internal conflicts. This strategy relies heavily on covert action, information operations (IO), unconventional warfare, and support to indigenous security forces. Divide and Rule would be the obvious strategy choice for the “Narrowing of Threat” trajectory as the United States and its local allies could use the nationalist jihadists to launch proxy IO campaigns to discredit the transnational jihadists in the eyes of the local populace. In the “Holding Action” trajectory, Divide and Rule would be an inexpensive way of buying time for the United States and its allies until the United States can return its full attention to the long war. U.S. leaders could also choose to capitalize on the “Sustained Shia-Sunni Conflict” trajectory by taking the side of the conservative Sunni regimes against Shiite empowerment movements in the Muslim world.

Unfolding the Future

The Basics of Semiotics

Coca Cola 1900
Coca Cola 1900

Beyond the most basic definition as ‘the study of signs’, there is considerable variation among leading semioticians as to what semiotics involves. One of the broadest definitions is that of Umberto Eco, who states that ‘semiotics is concerned with everything that can be taken as a sign’ (Eco 1976, 7). Semiotics involves the study not only of what we refer to as ‘signs’ in everyday speech, but of anything which ‘stands for’ something else. In a semiotic sense, signs take the form of words, images, sounds, gestures and objects. Contemporary semioticians study signs not in isolation but as part of semiotic ‘sign-systems’ (such as a medium or genre). They study how meanings are made and how reality is represented.

Theories of signs (or ‘symbols’) appear throughout the history of philosophy from ancient times onwards (see Todorov 1982), the first explicit reference to semiotics as a branch of philosophy appearing in John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). However, the two primary traditions in contemporary semiotics stem respectively from the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (1857–1913) and the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce (pronounced ‘purse’) (1839–1914). Saussure’s term sémiologie dates from a manuscript of 1894. The first edition of his Course in General Linguistics, published posthumously in 1916, contains the declaration that:

It is . . . possible to conceive of a science which studies the role of signs as part of social life. It would form part of social psychology, and hence of general psychology. We shall call it semiology (from the Greek se¯meîon, ‘sign’). It would investigate the nature of signs and the laws governing them. Since it does not yet exist, one cannot say for certain that it will exist. But it has a right to exist, a place ready for it in advance. Linguistics is only one branch of this general science. The laws which semiology will discover will be laws applicable in linguistics, and linguistics will thus be assigned to a clearly defined place in the field of human knowledge.

(Saussure 1983, 15–16)

The Basics of Semiotics

Concepts of Semiotics

Physical Control of the Mind

Human Brain Chips
Human Brain Chips

Manifestations of life depend on a continuous interplay of natural forces. Worms and elephants, mosquitoes and eagles, plankton and whales display a variety of activities on the land, in the air, and in the sea with a purpose or lack of it-which escapes human understanding, obeying sets of laws which antedate the appearance of human intelligence. In the animal kingdom, existence of the genetic code represents a biological determination of anatomical and functional characteristics in the newborn. The growth and development of organisms after birth proceed according to a natural fate imposed by the correlations between individual structure and environmental circumstances. The fact that about 300 million years ago all the world’s creatures lived in the sea did not depend on their own volition but on biological evolution and ecological factors. The appearance of dinosaurs 180 million years ago in the Triassic period, their supremacy on earth, and their peak in power 30 million years later were determined not by the will of these animals, which had disproportionately small brains and were probably ·rather stupid, but by a propitious warm and sticky climate which provided a soft slosh of water everywhere and land covered with a tangle of greenery, juicy palms, and huge fern like trees extending almost to the North Pole.

Physical Control of the Mind

The Shape of Things to Come

Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the story of mankind upon this planet undergoes a change of phase. It broadens out. It unifies. It ceases to be a tangle of more and more interrelated histories and it becomes plainly and consciously one history. There is a complete confluence of racial, social and political destinies. With that a vision of previously unsuspected possibilities opens to the human imagination. And that vision brings with it an immense readjustment of ideas.

The first phase of that readjustment is necessarily destructive. The conceptions of life and obligation that have served and satisfied even the most vigorous and intelligent personalities hitherto, conceptions that were naturally partial, sectarian and limited, begin to lose, decade by decade, their credibility and their directive force. They fade, they become attenuated. It is an age of increasing mental uneasiness, of forced beliefs, hypocrisy, cynicism, abandon and impatience. What has been hitherto a final and impenetrable background of conviction in the rightness of the methods of behaviour characteristic of the national or local culture of each individual, becomes, as it were, a dissolving and ragged curtain. Behind it appear, vague and dim at first, and refracted and distorted by the slow dissolution of the traditional veils, the intimations of the type of behaviour necessary to that single world community in which we live to-day.

The Shape of Things to Come

Organic Farming and Gardening

Organic Gardening
Organic Gardening

Teaching Organic Farming and Gardening: Resources for Instructors is a tool intended to increase and improve education in practical organic agriculture and horticulture skills and concepts. While the majority of the manual is devoted to practical training, the instructional materials also cover the science behind the practices, and provide a detailed introduction to social and environmental issues in agriculture. Although much of the material is designed for field or garden demonstrations and skill building, most of the units can also be tailored to a classroom setting. The manual is designed so that units or even individual lectures or demonstrations can be pulled out to be used on their own or in any sequence.

This manual is divided into three sections:

Part 1: Organic Farming and Gardening Skills and Practices

The eleven units in this section emphasize the “how-to” aspects of organic gardening and farming, including propagation, irrigation, tillage, transplanting, and compost production. This section also introduces students to critical skills and considerations in the management of soil fertility and agricultural pests (arthropods, diseases, and weeds) in organic systems. The information included in the manual is based on certified organic production practices that meet or exceed the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP)
standards. Included throughout is an overview of principles and practices used in NOP certified production.

Part 2: Applied Soil Science

This three-unit section covers basic information on soil physical properties, soil chemistry, and soil biology and ecology, providing a more detailed overview of the underlying scientific principles that inform many of the organic farming practices covered in Part 1.

Part 3: Social and Environmental Issues in Agriculture

This four-unit section first outlines the history and development of agriculture in the U.S. and then introduces students to social and environmental issues associated with conventional agriculture practices and the current organization of the food system. This section also introduces students to the various forms of resistance and alternative movement to the dominant systems.

Teaching Organic Farming and Gardening

Master Gardeners Manual

Organic Gardening for Dummies

Delphi Technique Part II

Delphi Greece
Delphi Greece

In 1969 the number of Delphi studies that had been done could be counted in three digits; today, in 1974, the figure may have already reached four digits. The technique and its application are in a period of evolution, both with respect to how it is applied and to what it is applied. It is the objective of this book to expose the richness of what may be viewed as an evolving field of human endeavor. The reader will encounter in these pages many different perspectives on the Delphi method and an exceedingly diverse range of applications.

For a technique that can be considered to be in its infancy, it would be presumptuous of us to present Delphi in the cloak of a neatly wrapped package, sitting on the shelf and ready to use, Rather, we have adopted the approach, through our selection of contributions, of exhibiting a number of different objects having the Delphi label and inviting you to sculpt from these examples your own view and assessment of the technique. For, if anything is “true” about Delphi today, it is that in its design and use Delphi is more of an art than a science.

However, as editors, we would be remiss if there were not some common thread underlying the articles brought together in this volume. As long as we restrict ourselves to a very general view, it is not difficult to present an acceptable definition of the Delphi technique which can be taken as underlying the contributions to this book:

Delphi may be characterized as a method for structuring a group communication process so that the process is effective in allowing a group of individuals, as a whole, to deal with a complex problem.

To accomplish this “structured communication” there is provided: some feedback of individual contributions of information and knowledge; some assessment of the group judgment or’ view; some opportunity for individuals to revise views; and some degree of anonymity for the individual responses, As the reader will discover, there are many different views on what are the “proper,” “appropriate,” “best,” and/or “useful” procedures for accomplishing the various specific aspects of Delphi. We hope that the reader will find this book a rich menu of procedures from which he may select his own repast if he should seek to employ the Delphi technique. When viewed as communication processes, there are few areas of human endeavor which are not candidates for application of Delphi. While many people label Delphi a forecasting procedure because of its significant use in that area, there is a surprising variety of other application areas. Among those already developed we find:

· Gathering current and historical data not accurately known or available
· Examining the significance of historical events
· Evaluating possible budget allocations
· Exploring urban and regional planning options
· Planning university campus and curriculum development
· Putting together the structure of a model
· Delineating the pros and cons associated with potential policy options
· Developing causal relationships in complex economic or social phenomena
· Distinguishing and clarifying real and perceived human motivations
· Exposing priorities of personal values, social goals

Delphi Book

Delphi Method

Delphi Technique Modified

Delphi Technique Tool

Delphi Technique

Urban Warfare

UNIFIL
UNIFIL

In the future, Marine will face urban environment situations where different categories and activities will be conducted concurrently. Missions such as humanitarian assistance operations; peace operations; and full scale, high-intensity combat may occur simultaneously within three city blocks. The Commandant of the Marine Corps has labeled this concept the “three city block war.” Integrating and coordinating these varying missions each of which has its own operational characteristics will challenge Marines to use their skill and determination in imaginative ways. The presence of large numbers of noncombatants and the potential difficulty in distinguishing noncombatants from hostile forces will further complicate the task of operating in the urban environment.

The Marine Corps has recognized these challenges and is staging URBAN WARRIOR exercises to test new tactics and equipment designed to make the USMC the leading U.S. force in MOUT. For example, as part of URBAN WARRIOR, the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL) has sponsored:

■ Three URBAN WARRIOR Limited Objective Experiments that examined small unit combined arms operations in the urban environment;

■ Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (MOUT ACTD) experiments that examined the use of man-portable shields and breaching technologies; and

■ The first Responder LTA, a medical assessment examining new tactical possibilities for hospital corpsmen in urban warfare.

FM3-06 Urban Operations

FM3-19.40 Interment Resettlement Operations

Reception and Placement of Refugees

Re-imaging the Character of Urban Operations for the US Army

Resettlement Handbook

Urban Warfare Study City Case Study

US Army Internment Resettlement

JP3-06 Doctrine for Joint Urban Operations

Urban Combat Service Support Operations The Shoulders of Atlas

Urban Battle Command 21st Century

Notes on Urban Warfare

MCRP 12-10B.1 Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain

Policing Urban Space