Friday, July 22, 2011

Printing Warrior, Smiling Chamberlain

"A loaf of bread, please." Weimar Germany in the 1920's.

It's the eve of Ben Bernanke's QE III, the Yanks are running a teabagger's bible breadth from default, and the Euro crisis keeps grinding away as we wonder how long it'll take for that continental shelf to snap. NZ is running its own proud train wreck with a record high dollar, near record unemployment and 5.3 percent inflation.

Thank Dagg for Private Schulz, an old BBC comedy drama based of real Nazi events. Fantastic cast led by Michael Elphick with Ian Richardson in many roles. Take it away, Schulz:

Browne: "Do you know what a monstrous crime it is to forge somebody's currency?"
Schulz: "Yes sir."
Browne: "Have you ever thought what harm it could do to the savings of widows and orphans? How it can destroy the value of  hard earned pensions? Don't you think that's a horrible thing to do?"
Schulz: "Oh yes, sir."
Browne: "Do you know that the deliberate forging of an enemy currency might be considered a war crime?"
Schulz: "Like the forging of clothing coupons and ration books, sir?"
Browne: "No, no. Not at all like the forging of clothing coupons and ration books. The two things are entirely different. The forging of German clothing coupons was just a joke, really. A bit of fun. Good god, haven't you Germans any sense of humour?"
Schulz: "Not a lot, sir."
Browne: "Well the forging of an enemy currency is a criminal act of wanton recklessness. It has no regards for the rules of war or the ordinary decency. You can't fight a war like that."
Schulz: "Why not, sir?"
Browne: Well, for one thing nobody would know who was paying for it. It would destroy the whole purpose of war. The loser might end up better off than the winner. You couldn't have that."

The plot of Private Schulz involves forging millions of British Five Pound notes, each the rough equivalent of about a British 200 Pound note today, according this calculator:

Strangely, it isn't a war crime to inflict printed paper on one's own economy.  No-one hassles Mugabe about the lightspeed inflation of the Zim Dollar. That is one bloody obvious reason no-one sane uses the Zim Dollar to trade. The US dollar is supposed to mean something entirely more stable. It wouldn't be so bad if the Greenback wasn't relied on by America's alleged allies as the world standard, but it is. And that Greenback is turning to slime.

With this and, as I said at the start, the record high Kiwi to the Greenback in mind, I understand that John Key has a few blind spots in his head. He can't remember what he was doing during the '81 Springbok Tour. The Bolger years are another blank. John Key was overseas trading widgets for fidgets, so his ignorance has an alibi at least. So I'll cut him some slack that he is likewise ignorant of the Battle of Manners Street.

It's quite important because Audrey Young has announced that Key has invited US marines into the country. The last thing you should be doing when sacking hundreds of our own military is invite those pricks in. When the US military goes in, the mercenaries can't be too far behind. There's frankly no good reason for Key to plant US soldiers on NZ soil without a better reason than a photo op.

Key must be channelling Rob Muldoon. It was Muldoon's gambit to flag up public opinion by getting a US ship to visit. Sure enough, Johnny's asked for a ride with the US Coastguard. There's another photo op with absolutely no downside. Coast Guard ships are smaller than the USS Buchanan, right?