Date: Thu May  1 08:18:21 1997
Subject: TURMEL: Astrologer batting 100% on LETS

Date: Wed Apr 30 09:33:09 1997
Subject: Sophisticated international barter system in sight
SKM: Jonathan Cainer, the astrologer of the DAILY MAIL, writes today:
"There has been a lot of argument lately about the proposed single
European Currency. I predict that, early in the 21st century,
regardless of how many politicians hold how many referendums, a
sophisticated international barter system will develop. At first,
this complex medium may be used only be a few multi-national
corporations but eventually it will form the basis of what, to all
intents and purposes, is a fixed global currency. Like it or not, all
nations will end up obliged to peg their internal markets to this."
     JCT: Thank you Sabine for catching this accurate prediction about
LETS. When LETS becomes a big enough sophisticated barter system,
eventually, it will form the basis of what, to all intents and
purposes, is a fixed global time currency. Like it or not, all
nations will end up obliged to peg their internal market Dollars,
Pounds, Acorns or Cranes to Global Hours.

Date: Wed Apr 30 10:24:06 1997
From: ("P.J.North")
Subject: Re: Sophisticated international barter system in sight
To: Cc:
PJN: Flame alert - flame alert - flame alert.
     JCT: Why would you want to flame Sabine for relating what I also
find to be a very important piece of information about future Global

PJN: Sabine - while respecting absolutely your right to say what you
think  about what you want - really!!!  On the last day of a Tory
government here in the UK when millions are voting for some sort of
social change as well. Come on, posting astrological hocus pocus from
the Tory supporting Daily Mail as a serious discussion - like as if
any one wants to know - on econ-lets really does no favours to either
yourself or anyone in LETS who really does want to see LETS making a
real impact on the lives of those in poverty.
     JCT: I'd bet she interpreted the message in the same way I did
and you missed the message because of the hocus-pocus style. I rarely
read astrology myself but I looked past to my initial hesitation
right to the message before judging. If you had been told that a well-
published futurist had made the same statement, I'm sure you might
have come to a different conclusion.
     You didn't see the link to Global LETS. Sabine and I did. And
even if Sabine were a devout astrology fan, it would not detract from
the respect she is winning by what she is doing. If I, a Bible reader,
want to argue that it looks like the old debt slavery is in its last
death throes because my interpretation of the Bible seems to indicate
that the Jubilee liberation from debts is a millennial possibility and
the speedy technological engineering of Global LETS also seems to
forebode the usury system's demise, it has no bearing on whether
people are going to choose to try a LETS life-boat or drown. What
religion or astrologer I read doesn't matter.

PJN: While the prejudice is that LETS is only for lentle-eating
hippies who want to knit their own wind-powered currency system,
postings like this unfortunately only perpetuate the prejudice.
     JCT: Sadly, all those who considered first who the writer was
and had their reading shaded by that perspective must have also come
to that same conclusion, it is true. No matter how true and accurate
the writer's prediction, many readers will not have heard what he said
like Sabine and I heard. And yet, this guy spends his life dealing
with questions of the future. Besides, I, like millions, read
astrology. Does that make me part of the discreditable herd? If all
his predictions are as right on as this, I should follow what what he
has to say about Pisces.

PJN: How is any sensible politician or unemployed person from a
council estate going to take LETS seriously while this is paraded as
serious argument?
     JCT: I hope you've changed your mind about that by now.

PJN: I not plain daft, its lining up with right wing nutters like
James Goldsmith's referendum party, who promote scare story talk of
euro-plots that we will be forced to go along with. If this did happen
- are you saying that a multi-national dominated system would be of
any benefit to working people anywhere?
     JCT: I keep trying to explain how centralization confers no
domination of the Global banker on anyone. Just like Local operation
confers no power on the computer operator of the system. Most LETS
handle their operators with democracy, after all.

PJN: Keep sterling if that's what you want! Perhaps we should set up a
new discussion group for stuff like this? In jest, I suggest a title
for a web site: http//.alt.hippies-lets@nonsense.cockaigne.utopia.
Respectfully (believe it or not) as I know you really are on the
right side of the barricades. Pete North
     JCT: I'll let you explain how nonsense.cockaigne.utopia
translates into respect.

Date: Wed Apr 30 12:27:01 1997
From: (John Hollingsworth)
Subject: Re: Sophisticated international barter system in sight
To: Cc:
JH: Hello Sabine. This was cited for ironic intent, no? A LETS for
multinational corporations?  If LETSers think of this as a positive
development, our movement is in real trouble. Solemnly,
     JCT: John Hollingsworth, I can always count on you to stick your
nose in on the wrong side of every issue. You're batting 100% too.
Always wrong. So you don't mind admitting that you were so preoccupied
with the occupation of the writer that it got in the way of your
seeing the substance. I'd point out that you have been instrumental in
keeping the Ottawa LEATSystem as small and dysfunctional as you can
and you've been quite successful at tinkering with Ottawa's new LEATS
engineering design. Solemnly.
     You noticed that I've usually ignored your posts on Ottawa
newsgroups. Maybe you thought it meant your points were valid and I
was ducking but I was just treating it like I treat the drivel from
many other pests.
     I've  been wanting to cull my archives and do a number on your
erroneous and ignorant posts for along time. Normally, I would have
just added your failing to see the relevance to LETS to the list of
your other errors. But your suggestion that Sabine had to be ironic
goes in with the ignorant posts. Handy you've provided an ignorant one
as a sample of the kind of nasty personality you are.
     If I read another insulting post out of you about anyone,
including me, I will take the time to parse and publish your thoughts
and make joke of every nasty and erroneous statement you've always
made but thought you were getting away with. Think about whether you
want many of your less intelligent statements published for all to
see. Remember that I don't have the time but if you don't watch your
mouth, I'll take the time to rip your posts apart with a righteous

Date: Thu May  1 00:23:42 1997
From: (James Stodder)
Subject: Re: Sophisticated international barter system in sight
To: ("P.J.North") Cc: sabine@
Dear LETSers,
While only viewing the UK election from across the Atlantic, I do so
with considerable interest. I will not presume to comment on who is or
is not a "right wing nutter," since many British nutters often seem
disarmingly normal to my jaundiced US eyes.
However, I do will leap to the defense of Sabine's posting on
corporate barter, however little she may need such defense. There is
no way to stop multi-national corporations from being interested in
barter exchange, and trying to exploit it. That is part of the
inevitable price of having some economic mechanism that is both
efficiency-improving and growing.
Besides, corporations ALREADY barter quite nicely, thank you.  In the
US there is over 8 billion $ per year of bilateral corporate barter
accounted for by the tax authorities, and a lot more that doesn't get
reported. And most serious studies of international countertrade put
this market at 10 to 20% of total world trade, to be counted in the
trillions of dollars.
A LETS association might well decide to exclude larger businesses, as
the Wirtschaftsring (WIR) in Switzerland decided to do back in the
1970-80s. They are still doing well, with over 20 billion Swiss Francs
a year in volume. (I therefore disagree, by the way, with a recent
comment that Ithaca NY is the largest or most successful community
barter scheme in the world.) But this was only after 40 years of
existence, and the WIR still includes a large amount of largish profit
making Swiss businesses.
I tend to agree with the view often expressed by Michael Linton and
Richard Kay, as I understand them, that it is a mistake to try to keep
LETS "pure" from the profit motive, or from much else in the way of
pre-specified motives. That's not how succesful economic institutions
evolve, in my view.
LETS are still going to "leverage" many kinds of progressive social
change, to use an evil-sounding financial metaphor. But trying to
restrict them too much in the early stages is a recipe for self-
marginalization, and a virtual guarantee that the most succesful
schemes will be devoid of social conscience.  //js
     JCT: Game, set, match. This is what I should have said. Calm,
detached, scientific, logical. By the way, do you read your horoscope?
     Sorry, but my previous vehemence was a function of a pain I've
had in my neck for the last year or so.
     And I didn't say Ithaca was the largest. I said it was the best.
I rated it best because of its efficiency, not its size. I don't hear
of Paul excluding anyone who has product to trade and I'd have to
knock WIR down a grade if they've excluded their most powerful
producers from using their currency, thus strengthening the confidence
of the more doubtful in LETS and weakening their reliance on the usury
     Paul, if Coca-Cola wanted to start accepting Hours from all their
local outlets, would that bother you or any other traders?
     James, thanks for a great message.

Send a comment to John Turmel