Of Avalanches and Tipping Points

Of Avalanches and Tipping Points

What a difference a few days can make. Less than a week ago, it appeared on the surface that the powers that be were firmly in control of the reactor control room, the core was safely contained and electricity was being produced to power the promised economic recovery. But underneath the facade, it was becoming increasingly obvious that maintenance had been deferred for years, the staff was woefully inadequate for the task ahead, someone was sabotaging the system and we were headed for a meltdown of biblical proportions. But all that has changed now that Goldman Sachs (GS) has been hauled before the bar, right?

Well………could someone please tell me exactly what has changed over the past week, other than the emotional perspective of the Zero Hedge community? While it’s been immensely gratifying to discover that the SEC may have actually grown a set of big ones, how long has it been since it became obvious that GS and company were manipulating the markets with their thumbs on the scale? And yet only now is there a lawsuit and only civil in nature? Instead of focusing on the facts of the lawsuit itself, shouldn’t we instead be asking the not so obvious questions of why now, why this, why so little, why not before and what is to come?

Was the near parabolic stock market pump of the past 6 weeks the normal blow off phase of a bear market rally or did the powers that be (TPTB) encourage the market rise in anticipation of an intended change of direction? Are they about to plunge the market into a tailspin in order to produce the expected fear and divert attention from the distorted legal machinations or are they just reloading the shorts? If we are to accept that there’s a Plunge Protection Team (PPT) and the Ponzi is being pushed forward in the interest of the powerful, or even for national security reasons, then why confuse things now? Why introduce legal jeopardy when it’s so vulnerable to reversal, why push the market’s progression for an entire year without a reasonable pause somewhere along the way and then introduce an unknown? One should be spurred to ask basic questions, though the Ponzi would prefer we lay back and enjoy the nonstop ride to nirvana and seventh heaven. They’ve conditioned us not to question the surprise offer of water after we’ve wandered for years in a parched and barren desert. But I will ask questions.

The danger lay in accepting superficial answers to satisfy hard questions, of accepting the self deception that’s offered to satisfy our ego, bias or prejudice. If one accepts the Ponzi’s presumption that “We the People” are essentially powerless, that our efforts to restore our liberty and freedom are useless, then why bring this lawsuit to begin with? If we’re only now beginning to understand that most of what we see and perceive as reality is all a carefully constructed illusion, doesn’t logic dictate that we view this lawsuit and every associated player with a great deal of skepticism? Isn’t it time to abandon the familiar hamster wheel and seek new ways of perceiving that which stares us in the face? For all that we don’t know about the masters of the universe, we do know one thing; they will continue to weave their web of deception and subterfuge until it’s no longer effective.

In no way am I saying that it’s a waste of time to cheer on this lawsuit or any that follow. Nor am I saying that the results of the lawsuit are preordained and we cannot change the path or the result. What I am saying is that if we accept that the SEC has finally grown a pair and thus back off in the hope they’ll actually use them, we’ll soon be handed our own on a silver (plated) platter. This entire affair is being orchestrated (how little or how much can be endlessly debated) and as long as we play our expected part, it will progress more or less as planned. From the Ponzi’s point of view, it really doesn’t matter how the actual details unfold because if they have anything to say about it (and they do) they won’t allow it to result in power being returned to the people, assuming we ever had any power to begin with. But this by no means implies that it’s hopeless and thus futile. On the contrary, I firmly believe just the opposite.

Of concern to me are the increasingly loud proclamations that a rising tide is building against the Goldman Sachs machine and its various cohorts in crime. I see comments suggesting this is only the beginning, that other Ponzi machines such as Bank of America, Citigroup or J.P. Morgan are next in line for the chopping block. I hear talk we’ve reached a tipping point now that the SEC has revealed its new found manhood, that an avalanche is about to be released upon the mighty powers that be and their Ponzi machine. But I hear nothing about the need for continued individual effort or the necessity for us to remain at the oars. And why should we, you might ask, now that the SEC is on point and fully loaded for bear? Wait, what’s that I hear? Ah yes, don’t we just love the seductive call of the beautiful temptress Siren?

While I cautiously encourage such bold discussion for it helps rebuild much needed morale among the depleted and exhausted Zero Hedge community, let’s not be foolishly blind as we drink the communal victory wine. Let me offer up some questions for all of us to ponder. What will trigger this avalanche and from what energy source will it derive its destructive power? Who would be so foolish as to think they can control this rampaging white death once it’s been released from captivity or does it even matter? Are we so hopelessly witless that we’ll once again lay down arms and quickly back off when we hear their whispered words of contrition and remorse? Will we prove once again that there are no bigger fools in the house than us or will we finally learn that when we find one cockroach there are hundreds left to be discovered? There’re a few more questions I could ask but I suspect you’re getting the message.

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to remember the title of an article I read some months ago about avalanche and landslide formation to offer as a reference. But the source escapes me so I’ll simply explain what it has to do with where we are today. In an effort to understand how natural avalanches and landslides form (as well as those caused by human activity) and what is the trigger or tipping point that turns what appears to be a stable formation into a raging rush of destruction, researchers modeled avalanche and landslide creation inside a high speed computer. For simplicity, a mathematical representation of a particle of snow/sand was created and then pile after pile of these particles were fashioned one particle at a time, each falling in random locations in order to watch the process unfold. After running the high speed program thousands of times, some interesting observations were made.

The prior assumption was that whole areas of instability slowly built until one last particle overwhelmed the bonds between each particle and their natural resistance to movement, setting the avalanche in motion. What the scientists found instead was something quite different than expected, with fingers and threads of instability weaving their way in and out, around and through the pile, fingers that were slowly but inevitably changing from one dropped particle to the next. At times and as expected, a large mass of instability would develop and suddenly let go. But more often than not, what happened was that small and sometimes insignificant fingers of instability would suddenly extend or broaden over a very short period of time to create an avalanche in unexpected areas or ways. They found that there was a significant amount of randomness in the formation and creation of avalanches and that the tipping point was rarely obvious or quantifiable. Thus the illusion of easily triggered avalanches using explosives hid a much more complex dynamic playing out, which helped to explain sudden and unexpected avalanches in mountainous terrain.

The one thing that remained assumed and thus essentially unspoken was the power source behind the avalanche, something immediately obvious when you think back to your high school physics class and ponder the difference between potential and kinetic energy. Each particle of snow contains a tiny amount of potential energy as it rests on the mountain side. It is the tiny kinetic energy release of a few final falling particles that suddenly unlocks the vast available potential energy of sections of the pile. But it wasn’t so much the cumulative weight added by the final particles (or other energy inputs from wind, sun or other falling items) that breaks the bonds that bind but rather a complex sequence of shifting forces between particles and the fingers of instability that actually triggers and releases the avalanche to plunge down the hill on its path of massive destruction. Let’s not forget that it’s the unseen and often unnoticed force of gravity that is the ultimate source of the potential energy inside each particle and thus of the avalanche. While our gaze is fixed upon the illusion that the snow is the culprit and the explosive a trigger, it’s gravity that’s actually doing most of the work. Let’s keep that in mind as we return to the SEC.

From my point of view, there’s no way in hell the powers that be would have allowed the SEC to file this lawsuit unless they felt they could control the avalanches triggered by the lawsuit, including those not of their own making. And the reason for this supreme confidence can be summed up by their experience in avalanche control, accumulated over thousands of years and from countless complex political and social situations. They play upon our desire to self deceive rather than face the monster within our own borders and our own minds. When measuring a man’s fight one must always examine his psychological will, not just his physical being. The powers that be are experts at feeding our propensity to self deceive while building up and then destroying the individual and collective will to resist. But of equal importance, they skillfully dissipate potential energy by way of strategic releases, such as the public bloodletting of the Roman Coliseum, the righteous religious wars of the Crusades, the politically orchestrated charade of the ballot box or the perp walk and SEC lawsuit.

But still we must not forget that ultimately they’re playing with an all consuming fire which acknowledges no difference between fire starter and fireman and which can always reverse course and consume the agent that ignited it. The elite fear this hidden weakness and hope we remain ignorant of their Achilles Heel, which explains their constant propaganda barrage and skilful use of fear and reward to mold us to their will. Their egos are fanned by the supreme confidence born of countless victories over the plebs and their dizzying array of wealth and power. So they confidently run the same suite of confidence games time after time with only minor variations to suit current conditions and they appear to succeed in their quest for overall control. After all, the oldest tricks are the best tricks, particularly when the con is welcomed by the majority as an excuse to remain victimized and powerless and thus safe from the boogeyman created within the propagandized and conditioned mind.

However, while the powers that be may appear to control the avalanche, they’re seduced and blinded by their own illusion. They can never control the fingers and ribbons of instability woven throughout the pile. They can only trigger the avalanche using relatively crude tools while also distracting and confusing those who remain in its path below. And while up to now this has been sufficient to realize their goals, I believe their methods will ultimately lead to severe problems for them if we can introduce additional and unexpected instability into the mix. For it is within these fingers of instability that I find the greatest hope that the tide can be turned. And they recognize this as well. As proof, all I need do is point to the growing defensive positions the elite are erecting to illustrate that my outlook is realistic and not simply a self delusion or fantasy. They recognize their own weakness and are mounting the classic defense, one of overpowering force against an equally powerful foe. You do not defend yourself from that which you do not fear. So if they do not fear us, who or what are they preparing to defend themselves from? If you think it is Al Qaeda, it’s time you backed off the Kool-Aid.

Let’s look at the SEC lawsuit from a different point of view. In the ultimate game of freeway chicken between the Ponzi and “We the People” the Ponzi just blinked big time. Since early 2007 it’s been obvious that corruption, self dealing and influence peddling were rampant within the securities and banking industry and yet collectively the SEC, FINRA, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC did ZIP, as in Zero Interest in Prosecuting. Even leading up to the 2008 election, when you would have thought considerable political pressure to prosecute would have been exerted on the SEC, nothing was done; there wasn’t a peep from any of these agencies. Now out of nowhere comes a fraud lawsuit against Goldman Sachs and plenty of huffing and puffing to boot. After three years of silence and stonewalling, a time during which the powers that be supposedly exercised their ability to do as they please, suddenly they allow a move against Goldman Sachs? Really? I call that a big time flinch and I don’t care why they acted. In fact, the why doesn’t matter at all because they have two paths they can take and both can be covered.

If the SEC is really sincere (please don’t laugh) then we should applaud their efforts and ask for more. “Thank you SEC for your diligent efforts against Goldman Sachs. Give me more. In fact, what can I do to help?” If they really want to jail the bad guys we should not only loudly encourage them every step of the way but demand more of the same. Since they now have claimed the moral and legal high ground after years of silence, let’s give them all the rope they need to hang themselves. It doesn’t matter what the reasons are for the political stagecraft. I agree, the lawsuit could very well have been initiated to smooth passage of a new regulatory bill or to revive sagging poll numbers before the off year elections. It doesn’t matter one bit. Give them more rope than they can handle and then help them tie the hangman’s knot.

If on the other hand they’re going through the motions in order to continue the illusion that we live in a representative republic, we simply call their bluff and shout as loud and as often as we can the same thing. “Thank you SEC for your diligent efforts against Goldman Sachs. Give me more. In fact, what can I do to help?” It matters not their real motives because no matter which way they turn, we will vigorously support them by demanding even more. They either bring many more prosecutions or they shut up and remove all doubt that we now live in a fascist state. A salesman is taught that after the product pitch has been made and the prospect is primed, you ask them to buy and then you shut your mouth, regardless how long the uncomfortable pause drags out. The first one to speak loses and in my book the SEC lawsuit was a very loud and public admission that the powers that be lost this round. They blinked, so now no matter what we press. They claim they wish to corral the bad guys so let’s offer them plenty of help. We must demand more snow and make the pile even more unstable.

A friend among the Zero Hedge community asked me some months ago to write an article describing how the professional class, that group of people who in effect support the elite while supporting themselves, could mount a coup and take down their own masters. I protested that I couldn’t see how this could be accomplished and thus I couldn’t write it. But still I left the door open and placed this kernel of an idea in the back of my mind with the hope that it might one day germinate and find its way onto paper. My objections were many but they boiled down to a few. I could not see where the spark needed to light the flame would come from nor could I imagine how the energy source for the revolt could be generated or sustained. Unfortunately, I based my thinking on the belief that the items needed didn’t already exist, which meant I was thinking with the placated mind of the well adjusted and conditioned slave.

After reflecting for some time on the subject and after several e-mail conversations with my friend, both before and after Goldman Sachs had been hauled into court, I realized I’d been thinking about this problem from the wrong perspective. Sometimes the questions asked are more important than the answers could ever be and by altering my thought process and asking things in reverse, I began to see more clearly that most of the answers were already provided. We don’t need to generate the spark nor most of the energy because the powers that be are providing them for us as they attempt to dissipate the energy already deposited upon the slopes. The energy source is already there for if it were not, what then were they trying to dissipate when the SEC lawsuit triggered a release of regulatory pressure along with a national sigh of relief? What was the purpose of the SEC lawsuit other than to dissipate growing anger over regulatory and judicial entities missing in action just five months before the off year elections? Sure there were secondary and even tertiary reasons, but let’s not get bogged down in the weeds and play mind games with our self.

The SEC avalanche ski patrol has begun to fire mortar rounds over our heads into the avalanche danger zone in an effort to create controlled avalanches to dissipate the stored energy lying in plain sight. There’s no need for us to generate the energy needed to fight back for not only is it already produced but it’s being stored on the slopes around us. We are the energy source they’re trying to defuse, only we don’t recognize it for what it is because to us we’re ineffective and the proof is years of silence by the SEC. But the very fact that the SEC has filed a serious fraud charge against GS indicates that the powers that be are aware of growing public grumbling and resentment and that they need to appease and defuse it. The centuries long government propaganda effort is designed to convince us we’re powerless when in fact we’re surrounded by all the energy we’ll ever need. Once we open our eyes to see, it is they who can be forced to flee.

There’s no need to rally the troops, to find willing volunteers to be assembled and trained. We’re already mustered by our very own hands and while we can’t see this, the Ponzi certainly can. All we need do to become an effective fighting force is to decline to be dismissed and discharged, to refuse to succumb to the illusion that we don’t already exist. There’s no need to generate the spark that ignites the fight for the Ponzi’s already done that with the first match struck the other night. The key is not only to see that their Achilles Heel is already exposed but to continue to rain down blows upon this vulnerability rather than cease and desist as we will no doubt be told. Now that they’ve offered up one junior sacrificial squid, we must continue to press for those that are more senior and not be satisfied with the illusion that they’re on the run so we may rest. It doesn’t matter if they offer us GS, JPM or BAC calamari for the Ponzi is interconnected and it matters not where we bite, just that we never be sated and always demand more. Rather than complain that our protestations have no effect, recognize that the whistling sound from those mortar rounds passing over head is stark evidence that we’ve not only been heard loud and clear but our presence has been acknowledged.

Their method of operation has always been to offer false hope (most recently as “change you can believe in”) along with instructions to back down and wait now that something is being done. But this only works if we consent to stand down and muster out. If we simply remain where we are, at our current state of readiness demanding more and more, they will fail to dissipate the potential energy and will be forced to work even harder. Their own increasing efforts to appease our unrelenting demands for more will introduce additional instability into an already unstable pile.

Best of all, regardless of whether you believe the SEC’s motives for the Goldman Sachs lawsuit to be honest or not, there are hundreds if not thousands of judicial, legislative and non-profit troops already forward deployed in foxholes waiting for covering fire in order to act on orders in hand. Many state Attorneys General and prosecutors are waiting to bring additional law suits against all aspects of the Ponzi and the elite, but they will not do so if it means they embark on a suicide mission. Would you? We’ve complained that the state AGs aren’t doing their jobs, yet would we under similar circumstances? Would you stand front and center and lead a crowd know to dissolve into narcissistic naval gazing once falsely dismissed?

The Attorneys General, prosecutors and other troops on the front lines have learned through shared experience that once the angry mob disperses, those who previously acted against the Ponzi will be cut off at the knees when the public pressure has been released. By simply maintaining the pressure at current levels, additional lawsuits will quickly germinate and blossom as if fertilized by squid compost. There’s no need to organize and deploy a legal strike force because the brigade has already self organized and is deployed. We simply need to continue to apply the same pressure already exerted for the rebel force to move to the next level. By redirecting out current efforts towards a more focused soft spot, we will germinate additional dormant seeds. This is not a call for a final push forward or even an escalation, just a request to hold our ground, fine tune our current efforts and maintain the resolve we already possess.

Most importantly, we must signal the various state Attorneys General and prosecutors that it’s safe to leave their fox holes and begin their assault in this battle. Because they’re understandably gun shy and have been burned many times by us, we must repeatedly and continuously reassure them that we will not stand down. This must be done by e-mail, phone and fax, in person and at strategic ballot boxes. I’m not saying we wait for the November elections because “throw the bums out” is just another ploy to convince you and me to stand down and disperse. But there are many AGs and state prosecutors that do need our political support and this is just one of many ways to move that particular ball forward. We must spread our assurances across state lines, for while the AGs will be acting on the state level, they’ll be vigorously opposed nationally and thus must receive reassurance from a national audience. Everyone who works within the Ponzi machine is not corrupt, but many of them are frightened and demoralized and will not show their true colors unless we give them realistic hope they will not be picked off by sniper fire because we deserted our posts.

Finally the most reluctant of troops, the remaining professional citizens who have been thoroughly demoralized and have mostly given up, will begin to see results and will eventually join the force. As I’ve explained in a previous article, the herd mentality works both ways. Once the doctors, lawyers, financial brokers, community bankers, mid level administrators and small business owners see that the hard work has begun, they’ll become more willing to join simply because they want to be part of the solution and on the winning team. They are demoralized and disgusted, not neutered, and will respond to realistic and effective activity.

This will add additional pressure to the fingers of instability not because you and I are stepping up our game, but because more and more of them are stepping into the game. It will be noticed and it will be effective primarily because it will be totally unexpected, with the elite caught off guard and unprepared for the change in sentiment. Even the Congressional whores who have been completely captured will think twice if they see a ground swell of the professional class, something unprecedented in America. Look at the polls, the professionals don’t trust either party, but they do trust themselves and they trust each other. By simply standing our ground we will give them reason to do so as well.

We don’t need to know exactly how this will work in order to know that it will work. Anyone who insists they know every detail before they stand fast is showing their cowardice and should just be ignored. We have no need to listen as the trolls and operatives tell us it’s impossible because we are already positioned, angry and energized, a fact that’s obvious and self evident. It can work because it is working. The doomsayers and frightened will try to convince us to leave our posts so that they won’t be identified as already deserted. Ignore them all and don’t back down. No one is being asked to step out in front and suffer a barrage of slings and arrows, only that we remain where we are and not release the pressure we’ve already applied.

All we need do is apply some leverage and the biggest object can be moved. Archimedes once said “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it and I shall move the world”. Since the lever and fulcrum have already been supplied by the powers that be and are already in place, our sheer size and numbers assures us that not only do we have all the force that’s needed but in fact it’s already applied. If this were not so, why are they trying to release the pressure and send us all home? You and I must simply remain on duty and continue to apply stress to the multiple fingers of instability.

Despite my suggestion that we can move a large object, I stand firmly in reality when I say that in practice we should expect to move just one particle at a time, that particle which is directly in front of where we currently stand. Once we recognize that the process has already started, gravity will take over and the heavy work will be more easily accomplished. I’m not saying it will be easy, just that we alone decide if we fail. Each of us must look within and decide if we wish to succeed by standing firm or do we break ranks and return to familiar patterns.

I ask that we remain on duty and continue to apply pressure, that we ignore the call to stand down and to be blood sated. Remain ravenously hungry, demand to be continuously fed. Never be satisfied with the gruel we are handed, take anything offered and everything demanded. Rather than complain that the gruel doesn’t fill, think like Oliver Twist and declare you want more swill. Be the voracious mindless consumer that the Ponzi claims they don’t forbid. Become a blood sucking vampire and plunge into the blood funnel of your favorite giant squid. 

Cognitive Dissonance   4-21-2010

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