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Invisible Hand Episode 24: Interview with E. Morgan Kelley on the Iconography of Stocks and Bonds


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This episode of The Invisible Hand features my recent interview with E. Morgan Kelley of Stocks and Bonds Galore, an expert on comparative mythology and language who collects and analyzes interesting stock certificates covered with amazing symbolic imagery. His website is full of images from vintage stocks and bonds, from big companies, like Con Edison, AT & T, Halliburton, Monsanto, Anheuser-Busch, etc. The artwork is amazing, but even more amazing is some of the subject matter, featuring figures from classical mythology. In particular, Kelley has identified several themes pertaining to Mercury, the god of commerce, Athena, the goddess of wisdom and the state, Vulcan, the blacksmith god, and Demeter, queen of the harvest. There is also a vein of Promethean or Luciferian imagery that he has located, in which scientific progress in industry is portrayed as analogous to stealing fire from Mount Olympus or stars from Heaven. Other common symbols include the winged wheel and the caduceus (both usually shown alongside Mercury or Athena), along with the Cornucopia (shown with Athena or Demeter), the Hammer and Sickle (associated with Vulcan), as well as the Fasces, and the Liberty Cap.

American Cyanamid Company 1966

Monsanto 1970

Halliburton 1975

United Air Lines 1960

Stauffer Chemical Company 1966

Brill Corporation 1940

Admiral Television Corporation 1972

Thiokol Chemical Corporation 1967

American District Telegraph Company 1971

United Aircraft Corporation 1976

American Radiator & Standard 1951

Also, here are some of the news stories included in this edition of the podcast:

  • Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are spearheading a bipartisan effort to draft and pass a China currency bill aimed at forcing China to revalue their currency. For some time now the US Treasury Department has alleged that the yuan, also known as the renminbi, is being kept artificially undervalued by the Chinese Treasury to decrease China’s imports and thus boost their exports. The more their money is worth, the more stuff they can buy from the US and Europe, which is what the beleaguered West desperately needs China to do.

    That puts us in the unfortunate position of needing China to increase the value of their currency, which will necessarily have an inverse effect on the value of the US dollar. The House Ways and Means Committee has set a hearing on the matter for September 15th. The Senate Banking Committee may also discuss the issue on September 16th with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

    Congress is presently looking for someone outside of the US government to blame for the country’s soaring unemployment rates and horrendous trade imbalance with Asia. However, the Treasury Department continues to keep its accusations verbal, rather than making them formal by writing about it in their semi-annual reports, which would automatically initiate discussion about trade sanctions. So far nobody in government has indicated any real intention to do so.

  • The Texas Court of Appeals has rejected an argument made by a defendant in a traffic violation case who said that he was exempt from the law because he was a sovereign citizen. As we’ve discussed on this program before, sovereign citizens claim that most of the laws in the United States and the 50 states therein apply only to the corporate legal fictions that are created by corporate governments.

    In this worldview, both the US government and each of the 50 states are not legitimate political sovereigns, but merely for-profit, privately-owned corporate entities. When citizens are given social security cards and birth certificates, their names are spelled in all capital letters on each. Sovereign citizens believe that this amounts to the state creating a “straw man,” a corporate entity that stands in the place of each individual, and which is owned, as a subsidiary company, by the corporate state.

    The way sovereign citizens see it, the laws of these corporate governments apply only to this fictional figure. Therefore, if you “redeem your straw man” and divorce yourself from it, the law, which is really just Universal Commercial Code based on international trade agreements, no longer applies to you.

    The Texas Appeals Court rejected this argument from Justin Wayne Gray, and convicted him of driving with a suspended license, as well as going 44 MPH in a school zone. However, it is important to note that they did acknowledge his claim that writing his name in all capital letters constituted a misidentification. Justice Bob Pemberton stated:

    “The record reflects that at the beginning of the proceedings, the state misspelled Gray’s middle and last names in the manner indicated above. However, Gray brought the misspelling to the attention of the trial court and the misspelling was subsequently corrected. The amended information, jury charge, and judgment of conviction all reflect the correct spelling of Gray’s name…”

  • If you commute to work on the PATCO train from New Jersey to Philadelphia each morning, be advised that the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution, protecting against unwarranted search and seizure, no longer applies to you. On Thursday the Transportation Security Administration began conducting random pat-downs on commuter trains there, with explosive-sniffing dogs. They check pockets and bags, and although they say they are looking for weapons, they’re also arresting people for other contraband, such as drugs and drug paraphernalia. The searches are being done without warning on a random basis, with the help of newly-hired Delaware River Port Authority police. DRPA Chief David McClintock was quoted as saying:

    “We can conduct any kind of search we want. We could ask TSA to bring wands or X-ray machines like they have in airports, though we don’t think that’s appropriate for PATCO riders at this time.”

  • A bomb squad in Orlando, Florida made headlines this week when a toy pony was detonated in a park next to Waterbridge Elementary School. The police apparently found the presence of a child’s toy in the proximity of a school to be suspicious of terrorist activity, and acted swiftly, lest the hobby horse turn out to be a Trojan horse. Students at the school were on lockdown until the pony was exploded.

  • A Fox News affiliate in Washington state has some advice on how you — yes you — can catch a terrorist at the airport. Just be on the lookout for suspicious activity among your fellow passengers.

  • If you live in North Carolina and you take pain medication, the police want to know who you are so that they can arrest you for drug abuse. This applies to about 30% of the state’s population. The state sheriff’s association asked the state’s legislative health care committee last Tuesday for permission to access a database, now only available to doctors and pharmacists, on an ongoing basis. The whole reason why the database exists in the first place is to allow doctors to decide whether or not people are “abusing the system,” but only 20% of the state’s doctors presently use it at all. The ACLU, which has opposed similar measures in the past, has vowed to do so again.

  • Fortune tellers in Romania have demonstrated a unique way of keeping the government’s thieving hands out of their coffers: threaten to curse any lawmaker who votes to levy a tax against them. Members of the Democratic Liberal Party, looking to increase tax revenue as part of austerity measures imposed by the IMF and World Bank, were proposing a bill that would have forced all soothsayers to produce receipts for their sales. It also would have somehow held them liable for making wrong predictions. But the senate voted it down, leading those behind the proposal to conclude that the senators were afraid of retribution through witchcraft. Now if only their curses would have a similar effect on the IMF and World Bank.

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