News for August 4, 2011

Debt Deal Establishes American Oligarchy

MikeChurch.com | Allison Bricker

This Tuesday’s past saw the culmination of the political theater over the debt deal in the passage of “S. 365 BUDGET CONTROL Act of 2011.” This act signed into law by President Obama, establishes upon these states an absolute Oligarchy via its concentration into the hands of 12 individuals chosen by the “leadership” of both houses. Thus we have elected public officials who themselves elect their leadership who then select the inner circle of a new “Super Congress”.

This legislation is an act of overt treason purposefully designed to fundamentally alter our system of government. We have at long last passed through the “Transitional Democracy” begun in 1913 with the subversion of federalism via direct elections and now upon signature of the President crossed the threshold into an oligarchy both in form and law. The Act wholly bypasses ARTICLE 1, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme law of the land via the establishment of a 12 member committee authorized by the bill’s own language to supplant the legislative powers of the Congress.

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GATA Gold Rush looking to make its mark in London

Mineweb.com | Lawrence Williams

Whatever one thinks of the Gold Anti Trust Association (GATA) there is little doubt that this U.S. based pressure group, founded as it says on its website, “to advocate and undertake litigation against illegal collusion to control the price and supply of gold and related financial securities”, does have a considerable impact in some areas of the gold investment sector. Largely scorned by mainstream gold analysts, GATA has been making a strong case since its foundation 12 years ago, regarding what is sees as gold price suppression and manipulation by a cartel of central bankers, bullion banks and some major mining companies, to control the gold price and, in effect to prevent it rising to its equilibrium level.

GATA does have a point, although why some of the presumed participants would do this is a moot point – it would seem to be against their best interests. But, given central banks have an ultimate aim of maintaining a balancing act between currencies and, despite their so-called independence in a number of cases – in supporting government financial stability, then there is probably little doubt that gold price – or currency – manipulation does occur at this level.

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The Moral Equivalent Of Boor

Personal Liberty Digest | Ben Crystal

If I wrote film scripts, I might simply transcribe this week’s events in Washington. Actually, if I wrote film scripts, I’d be drinking champagne on the French Riviera with Cameron Diaz (because she seems really nice). Mere days after I penned the column The Oslo Discord, comic serendipity served the Democrats with a come-to-Jesus moment.

While the appalling “conservatives = terrorists” rhetoric reached hysterical volumes, something important happened. I am decidedly not referring to the ridiculous budgetary “deal” struck by the suits in Washington, by the way. Granted, the “deal” is important, in the sense that political histrionics followed by a gross dereliction of duty are important. But the serendipitous event to which I refer took place Monday afternoon on the floor of the House of Representatives. Amid the cacophony of virtually every liberal in the country trying to smear his or her opponents with the fecal falsehood of terrorism charges, there was a smile: Representative Gabby Giffords walked back onto the House floor and cast her first vote since Jared Lee Loughner tried to kill her.

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America’s Fiscal Collapse

Global Research | Michel Chossudovsky

“We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger” ( President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address 24 Feb 2009)

“Those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account—to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day—because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.” President Barack Obama, A New Era of Responsibility, the 2010 Budget)

“Strong economic medicine” with a “human face”

“Promise amid peril.” The stated priorities of the Obama economic package are health, education, renewable energy, investment in infrastructure and transportation. “Quality education” is at the forefront. Obama has also promised to “make health care more affordable and accessible”, for every American.

At first sight, the budget proposal has all the appearances of an expansionary program, a demand oriented “Second New Deal” geared towards creating employment, rebuilding shattered social programs and reviving the real economy.

The realities are otherwise. Obama’s promise is based on a mammoth austerity program. The entire fiscal structure is shattered, turned upside down.

To reach these stated objectives, a significant hike in public spending on social programs (health, education, housing, social security) would be required as well as the implementation of a large scale public investment program. Major shifts in the composition of public expenditure would also be required: i.e. a move out of a war economy, requiring a movement out of military related spending in favour of civilian programs.

In actuality, what we are dealing with is the most drastic curtailment in public spending in American history, leading to social havoc and the potential impoverishment of millions of people.

The Obama promise largely serves the interests of Wall Street, the defence contractors and the oil conglomerates. In turn, the Bush-Obama bank “bailouts” are leading America into a spiralling public debt crisis. The economic and social dislocations are potentially devastating.

Obama’s budget submitted to Congress on February 26, 2009 envisages outlays for the 2010 fiscal year (commencing October 1st 2009) of $3.94 trillion, an increase of 32 percent. Total government revenues for the 2010 fiscal year, according to preliminary estimates by the Bureau of Budget, are of the order of $2.381 trillion.

The predicted budget deficit (according to the president’s speech) is of the order of $1.75 trillion, almost 12 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

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Detainee Suit Against Rumsfeld Allowed to Proceed

Lawfare | Benjamin Wittes

I have only had a chance to skim this lengthy opinion by U.S. District Judge James Gwin allowing a suit against Don Rumsfeld and others to proceed on some counts. But it appears to allege quite remarkable facts. The John Doe plaintiff, a U.S. citizen and Army veteran who was serving as a contractor in Iraq in 2004 as an Arabic translator, was “detailed to a United States Marine Corps Human Exploitation Team operating in the United States military bases along the Iraq-Syria border.” Doe alleges that he was detained by U.S. forces and held for more than nine months at Camp Cropper and subjected to various coercive interrogation practices there–before being released and allowed to return to the United States. For three months, he was held, he claims, in communicado. At other times, he was held with hard-core Al Qaeda. His personal property, he claims, has never been returned, and he remains on a terrorist watch list that makes him subject to scrutiny whenever he returns to the country from international travel.

Judge Gwin handled Doe’s various claims differently. He concludes:

For the foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES Rumsfeld’s motion to dismiss Doe’s substantive due process claim. The Court GRANTS Defendant Rumsfeld’s motion to dismiss Doe’s procedural due process and access to courts claims.

The Court further GRANTS the government’s motion to dismiss Doe’s return of seized property claim; the Court permits Doe leave to amend his complaint if he can plead, in good faith, factual allegations supporting a reasonable inference that the government’s refusal to return his property was a “final agency action.” Finally, the Court DENIES the government’s motion for a more definite statement of Doe’s right to travel claim.

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Peter Schiff on Freedom Watch-You Cannot Own The Dollar Or Dollar Denominated Debt!

NaturalNews publishes Rawesome Foods raid search warrant; reveals government agents violated search guidelines

Natural News | Mike Adams

The recent act of government-sponsored terrorism against Rawesome Foods in Venice, California was authorized by a woman named Michelle LeCavalier. She signed the warrant which stated that she believed there was property at Rawesome Foods that was “used as the means of committing a felony.” (What, the raw cheese? Did someone cut the cheese and cause a silent-but-deadly felony nuisance?)

The warrant goes on to state that the law enforcement agents should search “all rooms, attics, refrigerators, freezers… purses, wallets, briefcases and vehicles of both James Stewart (Rawesome Foods) and Sharon Palmer (Healthy Family Farms).”

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Saved by a Trillion-Dollar Coin?

Mises Daily | Robert P. Murphy

Now that the “crisis” over the federal debt ceiling has been averted, we can leisurely explore two of the wackier proposals that emerged during the state of panic. Not surprisingly, the schemes involved the Federal Reserve and its ability to circumvent, not just standard accounting, but also the traditional divisions of political power. It’s worth studying the episode carefully because we will probably see one or more of these “solutions” promoted as the only answer to another crisis in the not-too-distant future.
Bernanke and Geithner Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Debt-Ceiling Increase

Late last week, when more and more analysts contemplated the horror of a US government default and partial shutdown, Jack Balkin — a professor of constitutional law at Yale — outlined strategies that the White House could use to evade the pesky borrowing ceiling imposed by a fickle Congress:

Are there other ways for the president to raise money besides borrowing?

Sovereign governments such as the United States can print new money. However, there’s a statutory limit to the amount of paper currency that can be in circulation at any one time.

Ironically, there’s no similar limit on the amount of coinage. A little-known statute gives the secretary of the Treasury the authority to issue platinum coins in any denomination. So some commentators have suggested that the Treasury create two $1 trillion coins, deposit them in its account in the Federal Reserve and write checks on the proceeds.

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Our Commando War in 120 Countries: Uncovering the Military’s Secret Operations In the Obama Era

AlterNet and TomDispatch | Nick Turse

Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you’re done… for the day. Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret force within the U.S. military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world’s countries. This new Pentagon power elite is waging a global war whose size and scope has never been revealed, until now.

After a U.S. Navy SEAL put a bullet in Osama bin Laden’s chest and another in his head, one of the most secretive black-ops units in the American military suddenly found its mission in the public spotlight. It was atypical. While it’s well known that U.S. Special Operations forces are deployed in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, and it’s increasingly apparent that such units operate in murkier conflict zones like Yemen and Somalia, the full extent of their worldwide war has remained deeply in the shadows.

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Japan acts to tame yen, follows Swiss move

Reuters | Stanley White and Leika Kihara

Reuters) – Japan sold one trillion yen ($12.5 billion) and loosened its monetary reins on Thursday, joining Switzerland in efforts to tame currencies buoyed by safe-haven demand from investors fretting about the deteriorating health of the global economy.

Japan’s intervention, which it continued in London trading hours, pushed the yen to a three-week low of 80.20 per dollar from around 77.10, a more extensive yen move compared with intervention in March this year and September 2010.

Tokyo’s action followed days of official warnings that the yen had risen so much that it threatened to derail Japan’s recovery from the destruction wrought by the March 11 magnitude 9.0 earthquake, a deadly tsunami and an ensuing nuclear crisis.

Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Japan had consulted its international partners, but intervened on its own to stem what it considered speculative and disorderly currency moves.

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Hide Your Assets In The Caymans Or The Frontier City

Weakonomics |

You’ve probably heard of Swiss bank accounts which were Hollywood’s favorite tool for movie characters who were supposed to be rich. It was a way to hide money from the government. In the 2000s it got more difficult to hide money there so people moved their assets elsewhere, much of it ended up in the Cayman Islands.

But these days the new place to hide money might be in a new place, the Frontier City. Where is this city you ask? Some small town in the Caribbean or Panama? Maybe it’s the poor translation for an area in North Korea or something? Nope, it’s Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Wyoming is like Nevada and Delaware, they have some loose laws when it comes to creating corporations. Most of us think of corporations as an organization that employs people and makes money. But a corporation is just a legal entity that largely exists to separate the liabilities of a company from the company’s owners. Said another way, a corporation is just another person in the eyes of the government. And it’s pretty cheap to make this “person”. These “people” can be used to hide money and anyone can set up a corporation in one of these states.

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Rothbard’s The Mystery of Banking

Lew Rockwell.com | Gary North

The Mystery of Banking is a unique academic treatise on money and banking, a book that combines erudition, clarity of expression, economic theory, monetary theory, economic history, and an appropriate dose of conspiracy theory. Anyone who attempts to explain the mystery of banking – a deliberately contrived mystery in many ways – apart from all of these aspects has not done justice to the topic. But, then again, this is an area in which justice has always been regarded as a liability. The moral account of central banking has been overdrawn since 1694: “insufficient funds.”[1]

I am happy to see this book back in print. I had negotiated with Dr. Rothbard in 1988 to republish it through my newsletter publishing company, but both of us got bogged down in other matters. I dithered. I am sure that the Mises Institute will do a much better job than I would have in getting the book into the hands of those who will be able to make good use of it.

I want you to know why I had intended to republish this book. It is the only money-and-banking textbook I have read that forthrightly identifies the process of central banking as both immoral and economically destructive. It identifies fractional-reserve banking as a form of embezzlement. While Dr. Rothbard made the moral case against fractional-reserve banking in his wonderful little book What Has Government Done to Our Money? (1964), as far as I am aware The Mystery of Banking was the first time that this moral insight was applied in a textbook on money and banking.

Perhaps it is unfair to the author to call this book a textbook. Textbooks are traditional expositions that have been carefully crafted to produce a near-paralytic boredom – “chloroform in print,” as Mark Twain once categorized a particular religious treatise. Textbooks are written to sell to tens of thousands of students in college classes taught by professors of widely varying viewpoints. Textbook manuscripts are screened by committees of conventional representatives of an academic guild. While a textbook may not be analogous to the traditional definition of a camel – a horse designed by a committee – it almost always resembles a taxidermist’s version of a horse: lifeless and stuffed. The academically captive readers of a textbook, like the taxidermist’s horse, can be easily identified through their glassy-eyed stare. Above all, a textbook must appear to be morally neutral. So The Mystery of Banking is not really a textbook. It is a monograph.

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‘Science’ and America’s Police State

Anti-War.com | Justin Raimondo,

So, you’re sick and tired of being hassled by Transportation “Security” Administration (TSA) thugs, who fondle your “junk” and force 95-year-old grandmothers to take off their adult diapers?

Well, that’s tough – because it’s about to get worse.

Since 2006, the TSA has been developing a $1 billion program called “Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques” [.pdf] (SPOT) whose proponents – notably, one Rafi Ron, an Israeli airline security “expert” – claim it enables screeners to detect dangerous passengers via nonverbal signals, including facial expressions. The program is undergoing a test run, starting today [Tuesday] at Boston’s Logan airport. So before you wrinkle your nose at that Epsilon-Minus Semi Moron rifling through your suitcase, please be aware that the “micro-expressions” you exhibit can and will be held against you.

As the TSA gropers assaulted Americans at airports, the outraged response of the public was taken up by some conservatives, who promptly declared that we need to organize our air safety campaign along Israeli lines – and now they’ve gotten their wish. Which just goes to underscore the old aphorism about being careful what you wish for.

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