You have to hand it to Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve. He is not the sort to let economic reality interfere with any proposed action by the central bank of the United States. Today's big story is that "Bernanke Sees More Scope for Easing to Spur U.S. Economy." You know what a spur is. It's a little pointy thing on a horseman's heel that he or she digs into the horse's flank to force it to do something it wouldn't do naturally, causing unnecessary pain and sometimes bleeding. Spur a horse enough and it can run itself to death.
Thus, the headline makes perfect sense. Pour enough funny money into the economy in the hope that the banks will start lending or the corporations start spending, thereby giving the illusion that things are going fine when all you're really doing is killing the economy. It would make so much more sense just to adopt Capital Homesteading, but then, who said that current monetary and fiscal policy make any sense?
On to this week's news items:
• Thanks to a number of bulk orders, CESJ's best-selling book at the moment is Dr. Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir's Notes from a Prison: Bangladesh (2010). You can order individual copies of this and other CESJ books from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, or special order at many bookstores. For bulk orders on quantities of ten or more, you can order direct from CESJ at a 20% discount off the cover price, plus shipping. Send an e-mail to publications [at] cesj [dot] org for ordering information.
• Speaking of books, we submitted The Restoration of Property by CESJ Director of Research Michael D. Greaney to the printer this week. We expect the proof copy sometime next week, which means we can anticipate that bulk orders will likely be "acceptable" (meaning they can be filled) the week after next. The cover price is $10.00, so an order for ten or more will be $8.00 per copy, plus shipping.
• We couldn't resist this one. Occasionally we get a comment or two (or six or a thousand) to the effect that the writing on this blog is a little above the head of the "average reader." The obvious response, of course, is, "Why do you think that readers of this blog are in any way 'average'?" Anyway, just in case someone makes that remark in the near future, please direct them to the "Distributism" blog. It's a treat . . . sort of. Brief sample: "If one examines Sartreist Sartre-concepts, one is faced with a choice: either accept dialectic neotextual theory or conclude that narrativity is used to oppress minorities. In Madonna-works, Madonna reiterates deconstructive economics situationism; in Madonna-works, however, Madonna affirms Sartreist Sartre-concepts. Derrida promotes the use of precultural t-shirt discourse to challenge hierarchy. But if the neoconstructivist paradigm of reality holds, the works of Madonna are not postmodern." Sweartagod Ah din't make that up. It's in the second paragraph. It is the second paragraph. Quick — what does "Postsemiotic T-shirt Narrative and Dialectic Distributionism Nationalism: Realities of Rubicon" mean? (In 2 million words or less.)
• You want to know the worst of it? CESJ is listed first in the Distributism blog's library under "The Just Third Way: Basic Principles of Economic and Social Justice." Actually, we think the whole thing may be a computer-generated gag, playing on the pomposity and, frankly, general obtuseness of today's neo-distributist movement, which even the noted distributist Joseph Pearce said, "is sometimes as far from real distributism as neo-conservatism is from real conservatism."
• We don't really need the 200 mph (although it certainly played well for Bill Cosby's comedy routine — "I need a car that goes at least 180 mph to get to work in the morning"), but the 69 mpg and 2,000 miles to the tank sound pretty good. Of course, a true alternative fuel like hydrogen or something would sound even better. Trident is taking orders next month for fulfillment starting in December for a car that claims all this at the low, low, starting price of $119,000 . . . and, in a pinch, can run on used McDonald's fry vat fat. You just have to beat Homer Simpson to the fuel supply.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 47 different countries and 51 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, Canada, India, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom. People in Nepal, Spain, Qatar, Indonesia and Poland spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings this past week were "Aristotle on Private Property," "Thomas Hobbes on Private Property," "The Coming Crash," "Lies, Damned Lies, and Definitions, XXVI: The Depression," and "Lies, Damned Lies, and Definitions, XXIII: Hijacking the Federal Reserve."
Those are the happenings for this week, at least that we know about. If you have an accomplishment that you think should be listed, send us a note about it at mgreaney [at] cesj [dot] org, and we'll see that it gets into the next "issue." If you have a short (250-400 word) comment on a specific posting, please enter your comments in the blog — do not send them to us to post for you. All comments are moderated anyway, so we'll see it before it goes up.