Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bubbles and the Collapse

Commentary By Ron Beasley

I used to worry about peak oil but not so much now.  The thing that is going to get our civilization first is the 30 plus year old leverage bubble bursting.  The tech bubble and and housing bubbles were just sub bubbles of the over all leverage bubble and this is nothing new.  Nichole Foss explains at from about 13:00 to 19:00 in the video below.

Foss had a great line at the beginning of the video when she described the politicians.  She said they are a crowd who only looks back never forward.  It's like pressing the accelerator to the floor and only looking in the rear view mirror - a horrible accident is bound to happen.

It was also interesting that one of the reasons for the dark age was a leverage collapse in 1294 so this is nothing new.  It was the the Italian banks then as she points out but she leaves out the Jewish money lenders who for the most part were deported of "disappered".

You can see part 2 here.


  1. Just curious about one sentence, and would appreciate some clarification.
    "It was also interesting that one of the reasons for the dark age was a leverage collapse in 1294 so this is nothing new."
    WHAT "dark age?" If it's a reference to the conventional historical notion of the "Dark Ages," then that "leverage collapse" had NOTHING to do with it. The year 1294, in fact, was the tail end of the Dark Ages, especially for the Italian peninsula. (I apologize. I didn't watch the video but if someone made the comment about the collapse in 1294 being a reason for the "dark age," I don't really see any need to endure the entire piece. That's some really shabby history.)
    Further, there was no deportation or "disappearance" of Jews from ALL of Italy in the 1290s. (For starters, there was NO "Italy" in 1290. The Italian peninsula comprised a number of smaller states. Many of the southern Italian states, especially Naples and the Papal States, expelled Jews in several waves, but many of the northern states, especially Florence, remained open to Jews.)

  2. I once wrote up an evaluation for our homeowners' association board regarding how our landscaper was doing things wrong. They thought it was "only fair to get his input" on my critique and, of course, he said I was wrong and provided a bunch of bogus reasons why what he was doing was correct. The board "didn't know which one of us to believe." I pointed out that I had eighteen years experience in landscape management and nothing to gain other than improving the HOA; while Frank was defending his job and that I would hardly expect him to agree with my evaluation. I tactfully did not point out that I thought they were idiots to ask his opinion.
    My point is that, as the lady on stage pointed out, of course governments favor the status quo ante, and are never going to say, "Oh, yes, we're doing it all wrong so let's change." So long as we reelect 85% of Congress and elect a president who voted to immunize the telecom industry as to spying on Americans, we are not going to see change coming from the top.

  3. The underlying problem appears to be that economies are based on endless growth. We're now at a point where that endless growth is threatened by overpopulation, resource limitations, and because more mature economies just don't grow as fast as developing ones. To try and keep that growth going credit has been made cheap, which by its nature creates bubbles. The only way to solve these problems is to move to a more steady state economy rather than one based on growth. What are the odds of that happening? Practically zero cosidering, as mentioned in the video, politicians and economists look backwards to the status quo rather than think outside the box and look forward.

  4. @Doug
    You are right of course but as Joseph Tainter points out people rarely if ever voluntarily give up growth and it has to be forced on them. Unfortunately the thing that forces them to do it is collapse of the existing system. The current financial system is going to collapse and very soon.