Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Azer VS Mantessa - The Illusion Standard of Living

Azer: This is the third time he called me asking my help regarding his debt.
Mantessa: Credit card thing again?

Azer: Yeah.
Mantessa: Avoid him then. He’s a typical guy who’s been heavily hacked.

Azer: Hacked?
Mantessa: Yep. He’s been hacked by the banking system that has been hacking people all over the world since the dawn of time. So avoid him. He is full of diseases with many kinds of viruses, worms, prontox, trojans, spyware whatever, you name it.

Azer: I don’t get it. What do you mean by being hacked?
Mantessa: He is a typical guy who just has no protection upon himself and the banking system knew it. He is without dignity, understanding and emotional control. He never practices safe thinking. Avoid him totally. I won’t blame him though. In fact, the whole nation is hacked.

Azer: Hey man, I still don’t get you.
Mantessa: This is what happens when people start buying what the government is campaigning for. The government wants all of us to keep spending in order to keep the economy rolling. Malaysia’s economy is a purchasing economy. Purchasing economy needs the purchasing power. In order to provide us the purchasing power, the government provides us, you know who … the banks.

Azer: What’s wrong with purchasing? Don’t we all need to eat, to shelter, to wear clothes, to move around, to have fun among so many other things?
Mantessa: Exactly.

Azer: So?
Mantessa: What do you need in order to eat, to shelter, to wear clothes, to move around, to have fun among so many other things?

Azer: Money of course.
Mantessa: Where do you get the money?

Azer: From my salary and don’t you dare telling me that it is wrong for me to receive my salary. The company is working hard for the profits you know.
Mantessa: Exactly. The profits come from sales minus expenses minus tax. Sales come from the current assets being sold which are assets. Assets, well, the company’s assets probably the biggest chunk of origin which come from liabilities. Liabilities are the loans. Loans are from the banks. You are lucky that the salary is from profits. It could be from another liability.

Azer: So what’s wrong with spending? Is it wrong to keep the economy rolling?
Mantessa: Depends on how you spend. If you are not hacked, then it is okay. Trust me, you are hacked too :-)

Azer: I’m hacked?!!
Mantessa: Aren’t we all :-) In many ways, we are all hacked as I told you that the whole nation is hacked. The difference is the level of us being hacked.

Azer: I just don’t get you. Now you really have to explain.
Mantessa: Okay. Sit down and listen. Have pop-corn too.

Azer: Am listening.
Mantessa: When the government decided to go with the Purchasing Economy, they risk us all into this horrifying concept where purchasing power gained by debt creation is always equaled by purchasing power lost by debt liquidation. Same thing, Economic expansion gained by debt creation is always equaled by economic contraction caused by debt liquidation. Thus the purchasing economy is a borrowed economy.

Azer: A Borrowed Economy?
Mantessa: Purchasing power is temporarily borrowed from the future by debt. Your trouble friend should understand this simple reality.

Azer: How does the borrowed economy started?
Mantessa: The minute our nation gained independent of course. Since then, the politicians keep on promising people that they will provide developments. So we start as a developing country. How do we start? They setup Bank Negara which the main function is to borrow money from outside. To make it even worse, they started issuing bonds which is something like . . . look here, I will tender you this much money in the future if you give me this much money now. The minute we borrowed and issued bonds, that is the minute the nation is hacked. Another function is of course to setup other banks for the public.

Azer: That thing about bonds scares me a bit.
Mantessa: Scare you? You should be at least double scared!

Azer: Double scared?
Mantessa: When Bank Negara issued bonds to the outsiders, somebody from the inside have to issue Bank Negara bonds in order to get the money. They are the bankers of course.

Azer: Okay, but double scared?
Mantessa: Let me simplify it to you. Immediately after issue the bond creator and seller has gained: 1) One hundred thousand ringgit units in legal tender currency. 2) The current purchasing power of one hundred ringgit dollar units. Bank Negara pays one hundred thousand ringgit in currency for the bond from a banker. Bank Negara still has the purchasing power of one hundred thousand ringgit units, as long as the bond is liquid and stable in value. Immediately after purchase, Bank Negara neither gained nor lost dollar units or purchasing power. The bond seller or the banker has gained the current purchasing power of one hundred thousand ringgit units. This is called double double expansion.

Azer: I don’t think you really simplify it.
Mantessa: Haiya. Say in the beginning, Bank Negara received RM 100,000 by issuing bonds to the outsiders right?

Azer: Okay.
Mantessa: The nation then has an asset of RM 100,000 in cash and a liability of RM 100,000. I will come to you about the liability later. The nation then is having RM 100,000 to spend.

Azer: Okay.
Mantessa: When a banker issued a bond to Bank Negara to get the money, the banker then has an asset of RM 100,000 in cash and a liability of RM 100,000 to Bank Negara. The bank then is having RM 100,000 to spend. When Bank Negara bought the banker’s bond, the cash asset then is transformed into another kind of asset which is the bond. In other words, bank Negara still having RM 100,000 to spend. Therefore, from RM 100,000 of purchasing power, the nation now has RM 200,000 of purchasing power. This is the Double Double Expansion.

Azer: That’s great!
Mantessa: Oh you forgot. The nation has RM 200,000 of purchasing power but at the same time RM 200,000 of liabilities :-)

Azer: Oh!
Mantessa: Yeah … and what do the bankers do? They started to provide loans to the people. What does Bank Negara do? It provides loans to the government. From here onwards, The Multiple Expansion starts. Note, with both purchasing power and liabilities :-)

Azer: So that’s purchasing economy.
Mantessa: It’s the banker's illusion. The economic prosperity of a debt expansion is illusionary. That economic prosperity is based on the banking illusion that two or more people can each totally own and spend on demand, the very SAME ringgits and the very SAME purchasing power at the very SAME time. Some of the ringgits that you have available to spend in your bank account; another bank customer also has those SAME ringgits ready to spend because of a bank consumer loan. By the accounting illusionary trickery of our banking system; you can both simultaneously spend the SAME ringgits and your collective purchasing power is essentially doubled, but only temporarily. The general economy functions with a highly elevated false prosperity and a highly elevated false standard of living, as if the illusion is reality.

Azer: Errr … Regarding that we are hacked?
Mantessa: In due course, society reaches a point of collective debt saturation - the compound interest of ever increasing debt creates a widespread inability to pay; and, the banker's illusion collapses in a massive debt liquidation and its corresponding massive collapse in purchasing power and an extreme collapse in the general standard of living. Thus, debt liquidation, no matter how it is accomplished, always destroys the purchasing power gained by the original debt creation.

Azer: Again, that we are hacked?
Mantessa: It is the great paradox of our time, while our culture worships the practice of debt as a religion; the concepts and the understanding of the practices of debtism, is perhaps the most obscene taboo in our culture. The debtism that we so devoutly worship and practice to such an extreme, is paradoxically such an obscene intellectual taboo that even the word "debtism" is banished from our dictionaries, our libraries, our classrooms and hence our minds and our thought processes.

Azer: Let me get back to you. Debt liquidation destroys the purchasing power?
Mantessa: Told you! Calculate well and you’ll find out that the interest compound effect is horrible. The bankers or in fact the whole financial community just know the way to fool us with their word jargons. One of the quaint perversities in the use of the language is the practice of calling something the exact opposite of its true meaning. For example, 'sickness insurance' becomes 'health insurance'. 'Death insurance' becomes 'life insurance'; and, 'debtism' becomes 'capitalism', and a 'liability' becomes an 'asset'; and debt becomes a 'credit (card) account'. All the more easy to sell you and me things that are most unpleasant, when they are wrapped in words and concepts most pleasing to the mind. Once our minds are please, our hacked levels increase. The idea is to make us all to spend, spend, spend, spend …

Azer: I don’t really spend on these financial products.
Mantessa: You bought your house on cash? Your car on cash?

Azer: Err
Mantessa: Both the bankers and the government really know how to make us spend. Our kids enter colledges on loans of at least RM 15,000. The government can always change the text books even into another language and they will give us all kinds of reasons. The never-ending road maintenance. Awards via sms like Akademi Fantasia. Build another bridge. Many ways. It is a common that you will hear 'Well, I am going to go to the bank and get some capital and start my own business'. WRONG! You do not get business capital from a bank. You get business debt from a bank. The only business people who get business capital from a bank are embezzlers and bank robbers.

Azer: I spend on necessities.
Mantessa: Right. You spend on your expensive so-called quality polished white rice rather beras kampong which is good for your health. You spend on Starbucks rather making your own coffee, coke rather on plain water and so on. They will make you spend. The menu is young girls, nice vacation, sex, ciggerettes, air-conditioners, perfumes, movies, pubs, bla bla bla bla bla … and if you don’t spend enough, they will offer you the credit cards :-)

Azer: So what should we do?
Mantessa: Start with, if you can't pay cash, don’t try to afford it! There is ONLY ONE exception whereby debt was permissible. One could use debt in order to purchase a home residence. No other exceptions! If you can’t afford a car, take the bus!

Azer: Anything else?
Mantessa: Plenty you can do but have something involving investment on where you should live, what business you should run, what kind of assets you should posses but I am not a financial advisor so I can’t talk to you about it. The government requires the license for many kind of financial advises. Oh yes, nearly forgot. Have a low key life style. Protect your dignity at all times. Avoid euphoria, greed and investment traps. Advise yourself carefully.

Azer: So what is going to happen in the future?
Mantessa: The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis is the beginning. The worst is yet to come. While we all are rolling the economy, actually we are rolling a wheel and the wheel is getting bigger and bigger. Once the wheel is big enough to crush us down, the result is devastating.

Azer: What is happening now as the nation is hacked?
Mantessa: Well … The creditors have all the say. For sure, they can always tell … Malaysia! Sit down and shut the f*ck up!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Selected Picture: A Helping Hand


If you see a helping hand
As emptiness can eat you up …


If you see a helping hand
Though emptiness can eat you up …

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Azer VS Mantessa – The Chicken Crossed the Road

Yesterday, I made the effort to buy a pack of cigs on the other side of the road. Before crossing the road, wham bam bam! There, a chicken hit by a car… flat dead.

Azer: Why the chicken crossed the road?
Mantessa: The chicken is destined to cross the road.

Azer: You mean the chicken is predestined to cross the road?
Mantessa: Yes, the chicken is predestined to cross the road.

Azer: Then what about the rule of determinism and freewill? Don’t you think it is the determinism and freewill that made the chicken crossed the road?
Mantessa: In many cases, the chicken found itself things do shape and reshape which are beyond its control. Certainly the chicken can’t control the weather and least the speed of the car.

Azer: But despite all odds, the chicken had marvellous achievements and it is difficult to believe that the chicken is a mere puppet in the mighty hand of Nature.
Mantessa: The chicken is neither completely the master of its fate nor is it bound to the blind law of predestination. It is the sovereignty of The Greatest Designer's Will. It is all pervading and nothing falls outside its orbit. It is His Will that prevails everywhere. The chicken, therefore, completely subordinate to the overruling power of God, it cannot do anything unless God wills so.

Azer: So you are telling me we are mere puppets of Nature and God?
Mantessa: No but The Almighty, Who has created everything and has determined its nature and course, has in His infinite wisdom and mercy conferred upon man a limited autonomy according to which a man is free to do or not to do a certain thing. It is because of this autonomy enjoyed by man that he is hold accountable for his deeds.

Azer: So it’s predestined but we are given the freewill of autonomy and we must hold accountable for our deeds.
Mantessa: Man shall have nothing but that what he strives for.

Azer: So what’s the idea of everything is predestined in the first place anyway?
Mantessa: The idea is to prove that the creation of this universe is not accidental but something preplanned and pre-conceived and it was shaped according to the Grand Design of the Greatest Designer. There is no element of chance in the creation of this Universe. Everything is well-set and well-planned.

Azer: And what’s the idea of freewill autonomy?
Mantessa: The idea that God has a foreknowledge of everything that He created and the events unfold themselves exactly according to it, does not imply that human beings have been completely deprived of the freedom of action. The foreknowledge of God is an acknowledged fact, but it should not be interpreter in the sense of predestination, for if we do so we shall have to conceive of eternity as a storehouse of ready-made events, from which they drop one by one like particles of sand in a glass hour. If we take the foreknowledge to be a reflecting mirror we shall have to deprive the Creator and the Controller of the Universe of His Creative Activity.

Azer: So let me get this straight. The future certainly pre-exists in the organic whole of God's creative life, but it pre-exists as an open possibility, not as a fixed order of events with definite outlines.
Mantessa: Yes. The idea of put, present and future is something relative and is conceived by the inite wind of man. It is however, a great now in the eye of the All-Seeing God. The whole expanse of eternity lies before Him in the shape of now. Knowledge is, therefore, an act of creative activity and not the mere reflection of it. When He decrees a thing it happens and He knows it before it happens. He is a free Creator.

Azer: So the whole idea does not in any way mean helpless abandonment of oneself to otherwise unwelcome fate.
Mantessa: No. It means rather co-operation with God, studying His will and bringing oneself into unison with His Planning Will. Thus, by no stretch of imagination, fatal to the freedom of conduct and unfoldment of one's inherent possibilities; it is a source of inspiration and encouragement and opens up vast fields of human activity. It is not a message of despondency and despair, but a source of solace, comfort and inspiration and a powerful means of evoking a sense of piety and humility and self-surrender to the Will of God. It does not inculcate in mind frustration and pessimism, making his life dark and dreary, devoid of hope and promise for the future, but it teaches him to put his heart and soul in the sublime work as assigned to him by his Master.

Azer: How about the span of life and livelihood. Do these not increase or decrease beyond what is laid down?
Mantessa: God would not do anything earlier before its due time, or He would not delay anything beyond its due time. The death of the chicken is according to the due time. Everything is fixed.

Azer: So what should I do?
Mantessa: Well, before the due time, the best thing to do is to perform good deeds and to ask God about your safety from the torment of Hell-Fire and from the torment of the grave.

Azer: Anything else?
Mantessa: Try to pertain to strength, shedding off weakness, seek help from God and trust in the measures set by God.

Azer: …
Mantessa: …

Azer: Pity the chicken that crossed the road.
Mantessa: Yeah … chicken can’t fly and neither can I!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Azer VS Mantessa - Money Evil?

As crude oil hit > USD 75/barrel today…

Azer: So what is happening?
Mantessa: Just EXACTLY what it deserves.

Azer: Oh, how cruel! Don’t you believe in the operation of the moral law?
Mantessa: I do but you know money is the root of all evil and people like you are typical product of money.

Azer: Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value.
Mantessa: Money is the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force.

Azer: When you accept money as payment for our effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others.
Mantessa: It is the moochers or the looters who give value to money. The value of money is measured through those pieces of paper not gold. The Arabs are selling their oils to the Americans via these pieces of paper. Why not gold as the ultimate currency? Burn your RM 10.00 now and will you still consider the ashes as RM 10.00?

Azer: Those pieces of paper — your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil?
Mantessa: Money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak, by the intelligent at the expense of the fools, by the able at the expense of the incompetent and by the ambitious at the expense of the lazy.

Azer: To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort.
Mantessa: Money will not purchase happiness. Money will not give a man a code of values. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent.

Azer: Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth — the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir: his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?
Mantessa: I feel so sorry that money is your means of survival. The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence.

Azer: Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?
Mantessa: Are you telling me the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it? I don’t agree with you but I can’t answer you. I don’t have any answers, my mind doesn’t work that way, but I don’t feel that you’re right, so I know that you’re wrong.

Azer: How do you know it?
Mantessa: I feel it. I don’t go by my head, but by my heart. You might be good at logic, but you’re heartless. Now you must excuse me!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

You Are Beautiful

Wrote this song not so long ago for a friend who just broke up with his girl. What motivated me was his YM status saying "I saw your face in a crowded place and I don't really know what to do". Told him what a creative status there but he replied as it was from a song by James Blunt.

He then requested me for a song based on that line so here it is:

Picture above is "Charlie's Angels" Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith - 1976 ABC. Jaclyn Smith is responsibled for my puberty :-)