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If you have wondered why ~600 measles cases in a nation of 328,000,000 people is headline news, you might also wonder why 100,000 measles cases in Europe is not headline news.

The median income in the U.S. is $62,000 (half make more, half make less).

The base Congressional salary is $174,000 and they are once again whining about a pay raise.

I say when the median income is $150,000, they can have one.

1970's flu treatment: Drink two liters of sugary acid and put a poison-filled glass tube in your mouth.

If you survive the treatment, you should have no trouble kicking the disease.

The latest round of bank failures will be explained by MBA-types using abstractions and jargon of which the average consumer will only feign understanding. The reality is that the financial system is a Ponzi scheme not at all dissimilar from Bernie Madoff’s. Decades of cheap money (low interest rates) have created an addiction to debt, leverage, and over-extension (think sugar-binge).

Now that the Fed has taken away the sugar (raised interest rates), an economy that they built on free samples is now jonesing for a fix and the DT’s are kicking in.

Outside observers have noted for years that the Fed did not fix the problems that created the crash of 2008, but only kicked the can down the road by pumping yet more money into both the public and private sectors of the economy (and by more, we’re talking at least fifteen trillion dollars of low interest loans that did not create reciprocal value in the economy.).

Although the Fed is taking half-measures to prevent an overall run on the banks, the most likely outcome is that we’ll see a majority of regional banks fail or be absorbed by the megabanks (JP Morgan Chase, BOA) driving the world further toward monopolistic control by global corporations.

Worst case scenario (that will happen eventually) is that the Fed allows the Dollar to bottom-out and be dropped as a preferred reserve currency, finally and permanently ending the hegemony of the American financial system. Considering that the four largest banks in the world are Chinese, it’s not out of the bounds of reason. It’s only a matter of time before the private banks that control the Dollar decide that their perennial pursuit of power and wealth lies with the Yuan.

“No one gets upset when everything goes according to plan – even if the plan is horrifying.” — Joker

You may be aware that the U.S. abdicated its Constitutional duty for maintaining the money supply when it passed the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, relinquishing the authority to issue currency and print money to a private banking cartel. Official documents will tell you that the Federal Reserve System (“the Fed”) is a quasi-governmental organization accountable to ‘the people’ (whatever that means), but history has demonstrated the Fed is accountable to no one but itself. In the history of the Fed, the government has not audited it even once.

What you may not know is that the Fed is a Ponzi scheme. Simplified, it works like this: The Fed creates $200 and lends $100 to Bob who then owes the Fed $110 with interest.

The Fed lends $100 to Jane, who then owes the Fed $110 with interest. Bob pays the Fed $110. Can Jane pay the Fed $110? No, because $200 – $110 = $90. There are only $200 in circulation, so there is no way for both Jane and Bob to repay the loans plus interest.

The ‘economy’ works because the Fed is continually creating new money, just as a Ponzi operator continually recruits new investors to reward previous investors.

There are other complexities that inure to the Fed and its member banks, such as the creation of even more phantom money via the fractional reserve system and the $640T derivatives market. Regardless of the layers of complexity in the financial system, the amount of money in circulation is determined solely by the Fed* and so the 4% deposit fee and 4% interest the U.S. Government owes to the Fed for each dollar created can never be repaid.

*Removal of paper dollars from circulation does not count toward issued currency

After the reported 'surprising' GOP victory in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, some Democrat personalities have suggested that the party needs to be ‘more progressive’. Aside from being dismissive of observed reality, this statement belies an ignorance of two-party electoral theory.

Winning an election is a simple formula – but difficult to execute: Mobilize the base (get them out to vote) and appeal to moderates and independents. This is the ultimate paradox, because any platform that appeals to one usually alienates the other.

It also illuminates the insidious power of the disenfranchised minority in a two-party system. The base never, ever, votes for the other guy. The base might stay home, but it does not cross party lines. Therefore, when a candidate wins 51% of the vote, they did not “win a majority”. They won a one-percent minority – just enough to squeak over the finish line. The other votes were already in the bag (one way or another ???? ).

As a rule in a two-party system, the winner is determined by the 5-10% of voters who disavow rigid ideology or structural affinity. This may ultimately be better than putting elections in the hands of zealots, but it is an unacknowledged antagonist of the general notion of democracy.

Some people think of democracy as oppression of the minority by the majority, but I say democracy is oppression of the majority by the minority.