The Swagger #6 — Thursday Edition

Can't Vote With Dollars or Feet; Backup Generators; Fascism-Corporatism; Morgan, uh Moron...On Ukraine?

In partnership with

Sorry sorry sorry. I've been saying that a lot, lately, to a lot of people. ... Just yesterday, for instance, I was getting up off the sofa and my iPad-like tablet slipped out of my hand and banged my Thai lady friend right in the noggin. That's not good, and there's just no quick recovery from accidents like that. They will milk it. They will punish you. No getting around it. I tell this story to imply that I've had far worse than you can dish out for my tardiness. This is supposed to go out Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday AM, NYC time, sharp. The target is 08.30, Times Square.

... The holdup, by way of excuses, is that yesterday's post at FreeTheAnimal (my day job) was quite a boon in terms of enthusiasm for new memberships, and questions. Holy shit do a lot of people want to get their hands on that Mother of All Peptides. Apparently, many have already been hearing 1st hand from others what a—non-patented and thus, uncontrolled-by-pharma—widespread healing compound it is. Available as injectable and now, caps. More here:

One other related item is that after 17 days off, I'm back in the gym full force...this, after completing a grueling 18-week program. Only this time, I'm back with my own home-grown, self-designed program. It was time. So why so long? Well, the story is that just as I was ready to jump back in a week and a half ago, I noticed that that magical peptide mentioned had done more to heal my left shoulder in a few days that has a year of doing anything else. I'm only being serious. Anyway, I still need one more volunteer.

In The Swagger This Thursday

1. You Can't Vote With Your Dollars and Soon They'll Amputate Your Feet. A sort of followup to one of my first articles in this Newsletter, Is It Embarrassing To Be An American? Been a while since I got that level of pushback in emails...which means I'm onto something. I don't know who needs to hear this, but you people keep taking in the same info, regurgitating the same stuff, and going along with the crowd (Left or Right) over and over and getting royally pawned with your short pants bunched around your ankles. So what do you do? You get butthurt when someone like me laughs at you, and you lash out.

2. Bonus! Poor Low-Carb, Ketogenic, and Carnivore Diet Messaging (again); Fire Up Your Backup Generator, Keep The Tank Topped, and Cut Power to the Grid. It's just my continuing saga of challenging the purveyors of otherwise decent interventional diets...trying to help by improving the messaging. Of course, the fan ladies and gentlemen don't tend to see it as help...

3. Will People Who Use the Word Fascism Ever Learn What It Means? This is kind of like the 2/2 article to #1's 1/2, above, if you know what I mean. Goes hand in glove. Like that. Once you get this down pat, you'll never forget it. I'm living proof. It took one ah-ha moment 34 years ago, in 1990.

4. Piers Morgan Always Morphs to Moron, Given Sufficient Time. A treatment of an interview of Columbia economics professor, Jeffrey Sachs, on the Russia/Ukraine fiasco. ... Piers is an enigma. At times, really cool, on the ball, prescient. But just wait long enough, and the Morgan ALWAYS morphs into Moron eventually.

1. You Can't Vote With Your Dollars and Soon They'll Amputate Your Feet

What comes through in this piece I'm going to quote by the eternally astute @jeffreyatucker is a sort of bewilderment or despair (this isn't your mom's & pop's capitalism vs. socialism/communism debate).

In other words, few are addressing the essential issue, which I would put as: fascism done leapfrogged them both. It leapfrogged capitalism and socialism in the West, and it leapfrogged communism in China.

The problem is, my pet peeve since at the age of 29 in 1990—learning for the first time what "fascism" really means, as a concept; i.e., is actually defined as—via the writing of Ayn Rand—is that most people in 2024 have nary a clue what fascism is, or they have it completely ass-backwards.

So, conducting conversations or debates, even in some cases with conservatives or libertarians, is rather like striking up a conversation with screeching monkeys in the jungle.

... Or perhaps not. The monkeys might actually be screeching about the elephant (the fascism in the room).

How Did American Capitalism Mutate Into American Corporatism?

In the 1990s and for years into our century, it was common to ridicule the government for being technologically backwards. We were all gaining access to fabulous things, including webs, apps, search tools, and social media. But governments at all levels were stuck in the past using IBM mainframes and large floppy disks. We had a great time poking fun at them. 

I recall the days of thinking government would never catch up to the glories and might of the market itself. I wrote several books on it, full of techno-optimism. 

The new tech sector had a libertarian ethos about it. They didn’t care about the government and its bureaucrats. They didn’t have lobbyists in Washington. They were the new technologies of freedom and didn’t care much about the old analogue world of command and control. They would usher in a new age of people power.

Here we sit a quarter-century later with documented evidence that the opposite happened. The private sector collects the data that the government buys and uses as a tool of control. What is shared and how many people see it is a matter of algorithms agreed upon by a combination of government agencies, university centers, various nonprofits, and the companies themselves. The whole thing has become an oppressive blob.

Jeffrey Tucker, Brownstone Institute -

The article reflects on the transformation of technology companies and their relationship with the government from the 1990s to the present. Initially, technology companies, characterized by a libertarian ethos, distanced themselves from government, aiming to pioneer a new age of freedom and people power. However, over time, this landscape dramatically shifted. The government has become a significant, if not the primary, customer of tech services, deeply intertwining public and private sectors. This shift is evident in the extensive government contracts awarded to companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, totaling billions of dollars, which support various government operations, including data hosting and cloud services.

This relationship has evolved into a form of corporatism, a system where private property exists but industries are cartelized to primarily serve the state, blurring the lines between public and private sectors. This corporatism extends beyond technology to pharmaceuticals and agriculture, with government actions and subsidies significantly influencing market outputs and practices. The consequences of this shift include a surveillance-driven complex that impacts virtually every aspect of civilian life, from information access to consumer goods.

This corporatist state, which came into full display during the COVID-19 lockdowns, represents a departure from traditional capitalism and socialism debates, pointing to a new reality where the distinctions between public and private sectors are increasingly meaningless. This new reality presents significant intellectual, juridical, and political challenges, as it complicates efforts to address economic inequality and safeguard individual freedoms against state and corporate overreach. The transformation from a market-driven economy to a corporatist system is seen as a gradual process that has now reached a critical and pervasive extent, necessitating a reevaluation of how we understand and engage with the interplay between government, corporations, and individual rights.

... So, what this boils down to is corporate capture. Now, what exactly is that, and why does it happen? Well, essentially, it's as the term suggests: corporations taking control over the state's machinery. They hold it captive, having the state do their bidding. How does this occur? It's a two-way street. Corporations approach government representatives with propositions of mutual benefit, or vice versa, government officials approach corporations. This interaction is predicated on the notion of a win-win situation, a quid pro quo—"you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours," leading to an unholy alliance.

People often say, "follow the money," attributing everything to financial incentives. Sure, it's about money, but that's an oversimplification. Saying it's all about money is akin to stating life is solely about air, water, geography, gravity, or the weather. While these elements are crucial, they're simply the environment we live in. In the realms of business and statecraft, money translates to profits for companies and tax revenues for the state. However, corporations have been profitable and expanding long before they entwined with government. So, what drives them to seek governmental partnership

There are other elements at play here. It's about influence, power, maintaining the status quo, and ensuring safety and security. The very essence of free enterprise is predicated on the principle of competition. Capitalism thrives on the accumulation and concentration of capital towards specific goals. If everyone has the opportunity to raise capital and start a business, competition flourishes. Capital then flows towards the most competent, the best. Yet, even if you're at the top, it doesn't guarantee perpetual success; someone could always come along with a better idea.

Corporate capture, therefore, is fundamentally about protectionism. It's a case of, "I've got my niche, I love it, and I want to keep it that way. Can you help me maintain it?" What corporations can offer governments, as exemplified by incidents like the Twitter files, is the execution of tasks that are legally or constitutionally problematic for the government. This circumvention of legislative and constitutional limits on power benefits both parties, fostering a scenario where the lines between corporate and state interests blur.

This partnership leads to an illusion of choice for the consumer. In various sectors, whether it's utilities, technology, automobiles, or airlines, the market has consolidated significantly over the years. Despite the appearance of choice—symbolized by trivial options such as selecting from dozens of bagel varieties or ice cream flavors—the reality is a stark contrast in terms of meaningful, impactful decisions. This pseudo-choice is a facade masking the erosion of true competition and freedom in the marketplace.

This brings me to my concluding point: if you can't "vote with your dollars" due to the lack of genuine options, what's left? Voting with your feet becomes the alternative. This is precisely why I no longer reside in America. The oft-repeated mantra of the "land of the free" rings hollow when contrasted with the actual limitations on choice and freedom. Living in Thailand, I can list numerous freedoms and choices unavailable to those in their so-called "land of the free." So, my lingering question is, how long before the system tries to restrict even that last resort of voting with your feet, and they "amputate" them?

2. Bonus! Poor Low-Carb, Ketogenic, and Carnivore Diet Messaging (again); Fire Up Your Backup Generator, Keep The Tank Topped, and Cut Power to the Grid

Came across this one on social media, as I frequently do. Several years away from it, I come back, and people still saying the same nonsense, though the deceptive part is that they're often the new crop, harboring enthusiasms like all this stuff was discovered just last week.

To their credit, many of the old hands who were spouting the nonsense a decade ago have moved on and are doing fine on their own?

So who benefits? The purveyors. So long as they have an endless stream of newbies to influence and who then spread the gospel, they maintain their influence and profits.

Poor LC/Keto/Carne Messaging (again).

It goes like this:

Hey everybody!!! Guess what??? Well, it's weird, see. Our bodies have this very strange requirement where our brains have this no-less-than need for sugar. It's an essential need. That's right. Sugar. Call it "glucose" if you like. But it's sugar by any other name.

The gods must be crazy!

Anywhoooo... The minimum is about 120 grams per day. Think 30 teaspoons. You don't get them, you go into a coma and die...

Now here's the really weird part. Sugar is so important and tightly controlled that our bodies have a number of backup metabolic pathways. See, if you just eat carbohydrates, the main pathway takes them right up, satisfies the need, and you're good to go.

But sometimes there are no carbs, or not enough. Let's say you're skiing...or doing an Arctic trek, something like that. Well, you don't want to die, do you?

No worries. You have muscles. Turns out, your body can break down your muscles and convert that to brain-sugar. It's the long way around, and you might get a bit tired, but it gets the job done. You're alive. Maybe just barely, but you've lived to fight another day.

Sometimes, maybe there's protein and fat available to eat, but no carbs. Or, you just don't want any carbs. In either case, reluctantly and with a little pushback and complaining, your body will take the protein you've just eaten and make sugar for your brain from that.

(This would all be so much easier if the brain didn't require sugar to live. A TOXIN!!! But like I said, the gods must be crazy.)

Now here's what even weirder.

Sugar is toxic; and carbs? ...even though they supply that sugar for the brain easily? They're Devil's Sperm. They just are. They make you fat.

It's crazy. So, rather than putting the protein you eat to your muscle development and maintenance, and letting the carbohydrates you eat take care of the sugar for your brain, we believe with a solemn faith that would make Moses blush, that our bodies instead turn the carbohydrates to fat rather than supply the brain and other immediate energy needs, and then it goes right ahead and uses the protein for sugar instead.

Amazing, huh?

It's all weird. It's like having a backup generator in the basement of your condo complex that's so reliable, you just shut down your connection to the electrical grid...just make sure that baby is loaded up with diesel fuel at all times because you don't want to go dark, y'know? So just do that, and it's just better than using the electric grid from the power company.

Why's it better, you ask?

Don't. We know it's better. And that's all we need to know.

Didn't you hear? Sugar it toxic. Carbs are Devil Sperm.

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