Archive for ‘My Reports’

August 30, 2011

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August 19, 2011

August 19th, 2011

Tomgram: David Bromwich, George W. Obama?

Tomgram | David Bromwich

Those first acts of that first shining full day in the Oval Office are now so forgotten, but on January 21, 2009, among other things, Barack Obama promised to return America to “the high moral ground,” and then signed a straightforward executive order “requiring that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility be closed within a year.” It was an open-and-shut case, so to speak, part of what CNN called “a clean break from the Bush administration.” On that same day, as part of that same break, the president signed an executive order and two presidential memoranda hailing a “new era of openness,” of sunshine and transparency in government. As the president put it, “Every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information, but those who seek to make it known.”

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Are You Authorized to Defend Yourself?

Mises Daily | Wendy McElroy

What will you do if rioting sweeps US cities as it did British ones last week?

Vigilantism is defined as “Taking the law into one’s own hands and attempting to effect justice according to one’s own understanding of right and wrong.” Typically, it occurs when traditional law enforcement is absent, ineffective, or corrupt. When exercised in defense of person and property, vigilantism is the direct expression of an individual’s right to protect himself or innocent others against aggression. It is also defined as “action taken by a voluntary association of persons who organize themselves for the purpose of protecting a common interest.”

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Dennis Kucinich: Constitutional scholar Obama ignoring the Constitution

Raw Story | Eric W. Dolan

Appearing Wednesday on Fox Business, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said the the Congress was “catching up” to President Barack Obama on the issue of the conflict in Libya.

“The Constitution makes it manifestly clear that only Congress has the power to send our young men and women into war,” Kucinich said. “Unfortunately this administration, even though it is headed by a constitutional scholar, now is ignoring the Constitution.”

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You’re Appointing Who? Please Obama, Say It’s Not So!

Institute for Responsible Technology | Jeffrey Smith

The person who may be responsible for more food-related illness and death than anyone in history has just been made the US food safety czar. This is no joke.

arguments related to food safety. No, he was going to do what corporations had done for decades to get past these types of pesky concerns. He was going to lie.

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Think gold may lose some lustre? Eric Sprott sees a silver lining

The Globe and Mail | tim kiladze

Eric Sprott, the perennial gold enthusiast, has his sights set on a new precious metal.

Mr. Sprott’s charitable organization, The Sprott Foundation, is selling two million units of its gold holdings and using the money to buy silver.

The move comes as gold veers close to $1,800 (U.S.) per ounce, and less than a week after Mr. Sprott had declared the metal “the investment of the last decade” in an interview with GoldMoney Foundation. “I think silver is going to be the investment of this decade.”

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Chavez Launches War Against US Dollar

The Daily Bell |

Dominant Social Theme: The government knows best how to manage the money supply; Chavez will lead the way.

Free-Market Analysis: Whoa! Hold the US dollar horses, folks… the global reserve currency game just got a whole lot more interesting. There is, in our humble opinion, a whole lot more to this story than just the repatriation of gold being held at foreign central and commercial banks. It is perhaps the biggest story to unfold in the currency markets in many years.

One thing everyone with an inkling of monetary knowledge is familiar with is that central banks’ monopoly over the issuance of fiat currency is a destructive process of wealth redistribution – ultimately enslaving nations under a perpetual sea of debt. International money power ends up controlling the targeted nations’ media, government (including the courts) and, via mercantilist corporate activities, its natural resources and productive capacity.

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Social Degeneration: Part 3 | Thomas Sowell

The orgies of violent attacks against strangers on the streets — in both England and the United States — are not necessarily just passing episodes. They should be wake-up calls, warning of the continuing degeneration of Western society.

As British doctor and author Theodore Dalrymple said, long before these riots broke out, “the good are afraid of the bad and the bad are afraid of nothing.”

Not only the trends over the years leading up to these riots but also the squeamish responses to them by officials — on both sides of the Atlantic — reveal the moral dry rot that has spread deep into Western societies.

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A Young Man’s Guide to Understanding Retirement Accounts: IRAs

The Art of Manliness | Brett & Kate McKay

Today we continue our two-part series on understanding retirement accounts. Last time we took a look at employer-sponsored retirement accounts like 401(k)’s and 403b’s. Today we’ll be discussing retirement accounts that you can open up on your own without the need for an employer–the Individual Retirement Account or IRA.

Let’s get started.
What Is an IRA?

An IRA is simply an account that you can shelter your retirement in to help you save on taxes. It’s super easy to open an IRA. You just need taxable income and to complete a little paperwork. You can open up an IRA at most banks or investment firms.

After you open an IRA, you can fund it with any type of investment you want–stocks, mutual funds, bonds, or index funds. I have an IRA with Vanguard and use a simple index fund to fund it.

Note: What follows is based on the tax laws governing IRAs in 2011. They’ve changed before and will change again. Check out the IRS’ page on IRAs to stay up to date on IRA rules.

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S&P and the Bilderbergers: All Part of the Plan?

Web of Debt Blog | Ellen Brown

What just happened in the stock market? Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose or fell by at least 400 points for four straight days, a stock market first.

The worst drop was on Monday, 8-8-11, when the Dow plunged 624 points. Monday was the first day of trading after US Treasury bonds were downgraded from AAA to AA+ by Standard and Poor’s.

But the roller coaster actually began on Tuesday, 8-2-11, the day after the last-minute deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling — a deal that was supposed to avoid the downgrade that happened anyway five days later. The Dow changed directions for eight consecutive trading sessions after that, another first.

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But America IS A Police State

Lew | Steven Greenhut

Six Fullerton cops, responding to a phone call alleging that someone in the downtown area might be breaking into cars, approached a 130-pound homeless man named Kelly Thomas, grabbed his backpack and, according to eyewitnesses, began Tasering him and beating him into a pulp. He died a few days later at a local hospital.

According to eyewitnesses, Thomas, although schizophrenic, did nothing to warrant arrest, let alone a savage beating. He was a local fixture around the bar scene, a gentle figure who bummed cigarettes and slept in the park. Videos made by bystanders showed pure aggression on the part of the cops, while locals expressed horror and Thomas cried out for his dad as he was being beaten.

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Don’t Swallow the Fed’s $16 Trillion Dollar Suicide Pill |By Michael McKay

In case you missed it, on July 21st 2011 the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a 266 page partial audit of the Federal Reserve (FED).

Here is the punch line: The Federal Reserve secretly kept the Phony-Fiat-Money-System afloat by “lending” out $16 Trillion Dollars to various corporations and banks, many of which were foreign, non-U.S. entities like The Bank of Scotland, UBS (Switzerland), Deutche Bank (Germany) and Societe Generale SA (France) between December 1, 2007 through July 21, 2010 (read this as: Created-Out-Of-Thin-Air and had refused to tell us). The details are on page 133 which you can read here.

How big is $16 Trillion Dollars? Well, to get a basic idea please review this excellent presentation. Here are some other ways to try to get your head around this astounding number:

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August 18, 2011

August 18th, 2011

Zoning infringes on property rights and increases cost of education

Thomas G. Brown |

Zoning infringes on property rights and increases cost of education
Well school starts next week at Penn State and many other Universities across the nation. As students come to college towns all across America those who do not reside in campus housing will be staying in apartments and houses around the university. Sadly the cost of housing is a burden that in higher than it ought to be due to zoning which restricts where students can reside. Often they site unruly behavior by students and noise as a reason to keep them out of their neighborhoods. Below I will discuss what restrictions have done to housing prices for incoming students in the town of State College, PA the home of Penn State University.

Regulations and the harmful effects they have on everyday life. Let’s take a look at one intrusive set of regulations known as zoning ordinances that are imposed on property owners in every state in the nation by local and county governments. These regulations contribute to higher cost of housing, a reduction in small locally owned and run businesses and stores in addition to the reduction of income from properties.

I will take the example of what is going on here in State College, PA as an example. State College for those of you who are not familiar is the home of Pennsylvania State University. There are about 44,000 students attending the main campus during the school year so a majority of the population has to live off campus in apartments, townhouses, and single family dwellings that are rented to the students by their owners. This is a great for the economy of the area since there is always a demand for housing by the constant stream of students moving in and out of the area each year. This would seem to be something to embrace by the folks in State College Borough and the surround area as there would be a steady stream of rental income not to mention what they spend at the local businesses. But this would be a wrong assumption as the Borough currently restricts housing used to house students to certain areas and requiring registration of the properties used by students. Below is the requirements that must be met in order to use a property for student housing.

6) Student Home. Student Homes are permitted in all zoning districts that allow residential uses pursuant to district regulations applicable for 1- and 2-family home use. However, in the R-1, R-2, and R-3 zoning districts, student homes are permitted only when all of
the following standards are met:

(a) Occupancy in a 1-family or 2-family dwelling used as a student home shall not exceed three unrelated persons, as prescribed in Section 501.l.3.
(b) No student home shall be located on a lot any portion of which is closer to another lot used for a student home than a distance determined by multiplying 3 times the minimum lot width required for a 1-family dwelling in the district in which the student home is located.
XIX-D-R1.6 (c) No more than 1 dwelling unit in a 2-family dwelling may be used as a student home.
(d) No more than 1 building on a lot may be used as a student home.
(e) A student home shall have a minimum of 1,500 square feet of floor area per dwelling unit, exclusive of floor areas contained in basements, garages or accessory buildings.
(f) A minimum of 2 parking spaces shall be provided per dwelling unit in
driveways or off-street parking areas.
(g) No student home shall be occupied or used as such until a zoning permit and rental housing permit have been issued. Plans showing the lot’s layout, parking area, landscaping and floor area are required.i
According to an article in the Centre Daily Times only 289 units are available for students to live within the borough. Now this works out to a maximum of 867 students due to the limit of three unrelated persons being able to occupy the units used as student housing. “Currently, 289 student homes are registered in the borough, with an additional 36 possible in the one-and two-family homes where they are allowed. With a tripled buffer, only eight additional student homes could be permitted, according to information presented by zoning officer Anne Messner”ii. Anyone with commonsense can see that the three person limit would not be needed if property owners where able to rent to students without getting permission from the nanny state. The students would also benefit for lower cost of housing while attending college as an increase in available housing would drive down rent. This is but one example of what zoning will do in the name of the greater good. All the while they are infringing on the rights of property owners to do as they wish and increase the cost of housing for students who are already dealing with steep prices tied to higher education.


When Germany and France Both Agree on Something, You Can Safely Assume It Is a Terrible Idea

Peter Mitchell | International Liberty

I’ve joked on many occasions that bipartisanship occurs in Washington when the evil party and the stupid party come up with an idea that is simultaneously malicious and misguided.

The international version of two-wrongs-don’t-make-a-right occurs whenever the French and the Germans conspire on economic policy. The latest example is a joint proposal for “economic governance” for eurozone nations. Here are some blurbs from the BBC’s report.

The French and German leaders have called for “true economic governance” for the eurozone in response to the euro debt crisis. Speaking at a joint news conference, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged much closer economic and fiscal policy in the eurozone. …They also advocated a tax on financial transactions to raise more revenues.

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0% Interest Rates Lock in Inflation

USA | Greg Hunter

The decision by the Fed, last week, to keep a key interest rate at near zero percent for 2 years is historic because the Fed has never done this before. This action will have profound negative effect on the U.S. dollar and its buying power. It also signals that even the Fed thinks the economy is not going to get better for at least 2 years. This action will affect every American and telegraphs a policy of inflation by the government. In November of 2009, I predicted this very path in a post called “The Fix is In.” Back then, I said, “It appears the “fix” is in as far as the road plan for the U.S. dollar and economy. The government and the Fed appear to have chosen a path of inflation for America and the world. This is not an official announced plan but it might as well be.”

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Vaccination Controversy Follows Perry on Campaign Trail

New American | Jack Kenny

Controversy over an executive order issued by Rick Perry in 2007 is following the Texas Governor on the presidential campaign trail. In New Hampshire on Saturday and in Iowa on Monday, Perry faced questions about his order to have girls entering the sixth grade in Texas vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, a common sexually transmitted disease and the cause of about 70 percent of all cervical cancer, according to the federal Center for Disease Control.

Girls would be exempt from the order only if a parent or guardian signed an affidavit claiming a “conscientious objection.” The order, signed by the Governor on February 2, 2007, became the subject of sharp and widespread criticism and the Legislature promptly passed a law revoking it. According to the ABC News blog, “The Note,” Perry was asked about the controversial order during a backyard reception for the candidate at the home of state Rep. Pamela Tucker in Greenland, New Hampshire.

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Gold miner minting its own gold and silver coins – looking to pay dividends in kind! | Lawrence Williams

Junior, U.S-headquartered gold miner, Gold Resource Corporation (GRC) has entered into a position of holding some of its in-house treasury in physical gold and silver rather than cash in a move that will undoubtedly further increase its appeal to the gold-owning fraternity..

In reporting strong second quarter figures which have seen new production, revenue and dividend payout records, the company’s board has announced that it has approved the company minting approximately US$1 million worth of its own one ounce gold and silver coins

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Foodborne Illnesses in America

Global Research | Rady Ananda

A close look at the people behind the raw milk scare, and the actual numbers of foodborne illness, reveals that politics more than science drives the food safety agenda in the U.S.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack just appointed Susan Vaughn Grooters to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF), which is also served by Dr. Wafa Birbari of junk food giant, Sara Lee Corp.

Lacking a PhD, Grooters will serve her two-year term on NACMCF as a “consumer representative.” She currently works with STOP Foodborne Illness (formerly Safe Tables Our Priority), an organization that condemns raw dairy and urges broad expansion of federal control over food.

Grooters hopes to federalize state reporting of contaminated food, as explained to Center for Science in the Public Interest:

“States’ systematic differences in response to foodborne illness case reporting may also explain variations in rates,” said S.T.O.P’s public health specialist, Susan Vaughn Grooters. “Time differences in surveying cases of foodborne illness and lack of integrated data collection may also affect how well states accurately capture data.” [1]

In a playful charade calling for stricter controls on food, she recently tweeted:

“Really??? Really? I would beg to differ Sec. Vilsack! ..unless of course you’re proposing a change to policies… 😉”

With these opinions, it’s almost a joke to say she represents consumers.

Though the Food Safety Modernization Act is characterized as promoting “science-based” food control driven by “risk-based” analysis, [2] instead, under FSMA authority, the FDA has claimed power to seize food without evidence of contamination. [3]

Evidence is the foundation of science and law; removal and destruction of evidence is anti-science and fraudulent. (See Victor Rawls’ well-argued essay on this. [4])

Contrary to “risk-based” control, the FDA continues to seize and destroy food that sickened no one, while knowingly allowing tainted meat on the market and doing nothing about it until someone died, as in Cargill’s 36-million-pound turkey recall.

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The Death Penalty Is a Miscarriage of Justice: It Should Be Abolished

Lew | John W. Whitehead

“The reality is that capital punishment in America is a lottery. It is a punishment that is shaped by the constraints of poverty, race, geography and local politics.” ~ Bryan Stevenson, death row lawyer

“Imposition of the death penalty is arbitrary and capricious. The decision of who shall live and who shall die for his crime turns less on the nature of the offense and the incorrigibility of the offender and more on inappropriate and indefensible considerations: the political and personal inclinations of prosecutors; the defendant’s wealth, race and intellect; the race and economic status of the victim; the quality of the defendant’s counsel; and the resources allocated to defense lawyers.” ~ Gerald Heaney, a former appellate judge

There is nothing moral or just about the death penalty – certainly not the way it is implemented in America, and anyone who says otherwise is either deluding themselves or trying to get elected by appearing tough on crime. Take Troy Davis, for example, a 43-year-old black man from Georgia who has spent the past 20 years of his life on death row for allegedly shooting and killing a white off-duty police officer – a crime he very well may not have committed.

According to Amnesty International, the case against Davis consisted entirely of witness testimony, which contained inconsistencies even at the time of the trial. Since then, all but two of the state’s non-police witnesses from the trial have recanted or contradicted their testimony. Many of these witnesses have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements against Troy Davis. One of the two witnesses who has not recanted his testimony is Sylvester “Red” Coles – the principle alternative suspect, according to the defense, against whom there is new evidence implicating him as the gunman. Nine individuals have signed affidavits implicating Sylvester Coles.

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Obama’s Feared “Lone Wolf Attack” Could Save His Presidency | Paul Joseph Watson

arack Obama made headlines yesterday when he spoke about his fear of a “lone wolf attack” in America carried out by an individual with a “hateful ideology”. But far from striking a blow against his administration, such an attack would galvanize Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, as many political strategists have pointed out.

The most likely scenario that we have to guard against right now ends up being more of a lone wolf operation than a large, well coordinated terrorist attack,” Obama told CNN during a campaign stop in Iowa.

“The risk that we’re especially concerned over right now is the lone wolf terrorist, somebody with a single weapon being able to carry out wide-scale massacres of the sort we saw in Norway recently,” said Obama.

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Plan B for Obama family vacation

St. Petersburg Times | Daniel Ruth,

It’s merely idle speculation, but this is one of those moments when Barack Obama misses Rahm Emanuel, who once held the role as the first, uh, chop buster in the White House.

Imagine sitting around the Oval Office discussing presidential travel plans and someone says: “Hey, I’ve got a great idea. Let’s have the president travel to the Midwest for several days talking to people about jobs, their struggles with unemployment and basically how fouled-up everything is and then POTUS can leave for his vacation on a 28-acre compound in tony Martha’s Vineyard.”

“Why Haversham, that’s a simply bully idea. Let’s do it.”

Emanuel, the president’s former chief of staff and the master of the well-turned phrase, likely would have responded: “Are you &%$#*& people ^%$#$@!*&%$# crazy?!?!?” Or words to that effect.

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August 17, 2011

August 17, 2011

Next housing Crisis

The TGB Report | Thomas G. Brown

Next housing Crisis

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program or more commonly known as a reverse mortgage fist made its appearance in 1989 as a pilot program. The program became permanent in 1998. A reverse mortgage is available to home owners 62 and older through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It is equity release which simply the ability to retain the use of your home (or other object) while obtaining a lump sum or stream of income. The loan comes due when the borrower dies, sells the house, or moves out of the house for more than 12 consecutive months. Once the mortgage comes due the borrower or heirs of the estate will have an option to refinance the home and keep it, sell the home and cash out the equity, or turn the home over to the lender. If the property is turned over to the lender the borrower or the heirs have no more claim to the property or equity in the property. The lender has recourse against the property, but not against the borrower personally nor against the borrowers heirs, referred to as “non-recourse limit.” Once all borrowers on a reverse mortgage passes away the heirs are granted 6 months to sell the home, refinance it, or to make the decision to turn the home over to the lenderi. The problem with these mortgages is that the owner or their heirs can pay off the loan by selling or purchasing the house at the current appraised value even if the price is less than the original loan. The lenders than receive the difference from the FHA.
A 2010 analysis of the reverse mortgage portion of the Mutual Mortgage Fund program projects $503 million dollar loss in 2010ii. The MMF is the fund that pays out the lender if mortgagor defaults. So like any other “insurance” the government offers it is just a Ponzi scheme like social security, unemployment insurances to name just a few.
By 2020 according to the GAO 55 million Americans will be 65 or older. This number along with the dismal outlook of the economy leads me to believe that this market will explode in the near future. This set up if you step back and look at it is doomed for failure even if you know nothing of what I have stated in the above paragraphs. You will be able to continue to live in your home if you pay all expenses related to home upkeep, insurance, and taxes. This is great if you have money coming in or if the loan covers your expenses and you cash out before you run out of funds. But with inflation (despite what the government states) continues to increase and the cost of living continues to rise. You increase the risk that you will default on your mortgage and the home will be forfeited to the loan originator (more likely the people who bought up the loan). You’re not only out of money but homeless now and at a time when you are probably not going to find work competing with younger workers who can’t even find jobs at the moment. Sadly the Federal Housing Authority does not require a income requirements or a credit check to see if the homeowner is even credit worthy. This is the problem with government programs which try to accommodate everyone without the incentive to make a profit that is require by the free market. If these loans where not backed by the government if the defaulted there would be more focus on the ability to the homeowner to comply with the agreement of the mortgage and avoid default. This is just yet another reason that the housing market will be depressed for a while longer.


Al Gore’s Climatological “Meltdown”

New American | James Heiser

In recent years, former Vice President Al Gore has been the object of a great deal of humor — and ire — for his extremist views and hypocritical actions when it comes to the environment. But a bizarre rant from the man who was once heartbeats away from becoming President of these United States calls forth a term which Americans want nowhere near the Oval Office: unhinged.

The ideology of manmade global warming has fallen on hard times in recent years due to a series of revelations that have fundamentally undermined the credibility of the “science” and its advocates. Beginning with “Climategate” and “Glaciergate” and continuing through such public spectacles as the implosion of the December 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, polling data has repeatedly demonstrated that the claims of climate change scientists have fallen on hard times with the public.

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Too Many Emergency Meetings in Europe

Lew | Gary North

If the sovereign government debt situation in Europe is anywhere near a final economic solution, why do the heads of Germany and France keep meeting? These meetings are getting more frequent.

Why didn’t all the previous meetings solve the economic problem of PIIGS debt?

What public relations statement do they expect will bring financial stability to the PIIGS?

What new program will they suggest, only to be disavowed as impractical by the European Central Bank, and then adopted a week or two after the official denial?

What program will they ever submit to their respective parliaments, to be debated openly in front of voters? None, you say? I see. Just like before.

What opportunity will voters in France and especially Germany be given to express their view of the new program? None, you say? I see. Just like before.

What indication will investors see that there is any new program that is not merely another Band-Aid?

What program, other than more deficit spending by France and Germany to lend more money to the PIIGS, will ever come forth from one of these meetings?

What solution, other than more purchases of the IOUs of PIIGS bonds by the ECB, will ever be presented?

What will they ever suggest, other than more of the same?

What evidence will ever be presented that the latest round of more of the same will not be followed in a few weeks and months and years by even more of the same?

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Tomgram: Chris Hellman, The Pentagon’s Spending Spree

Tomgram | Christopher Hellman

China just launched a refitted Ukrainian aircraft carrier from the 1990s on its first test run — and that’s what the only projected “great power” enemy of the U.S. has to offer for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, the U.S. Navy has 11 aircraft carrier task forces to cruise the seven seas and plans to keep that many through 2045. Like so much else, when it comes to the American military, all comparisons are ludicrous. In any normal sense, the United States stands alone in military terms. Its expenditures make up almost 50% of global military spending; it dominates the global arms market; and it has countless more bases, pilotless drones, military bands, and almost anything else military you’d care to mention than does any other power.

In other words, comparisons can’t be made. The minute you try, you’re off the charts. And yet, in purely practical terms, when you take a shot at measuring what the overwhelming investment of American treasure in the military, the U.S. intelligence community, the Department of Homeland Security, and the rest of our national security establishment has actually bought us, you come up with a series of wars and conflicts headed nowhere and a series of post-9/11 terror attacks generally so inept it hardly mattered whether they were foiled or not.

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Rick Perry Was Al Gore’s Texas Campaign Chairman in 1988

EnviroKnow |

olitical observers have noted that Jon Huntsman is likely to take some flack from conservatives for having served as President Obama’s Ambassador to China until recently. But Huntsman isn’t the only prospective GOP candidate who has worked for a prominent Democratic politician in years past.

Rick Perry, who entered the Texas legislature as a Democrat in 1984, served as Al Gore’s Texas Campaign Chairman in the 1988 presidential campaign. Soon after the campaign, Perry switched parties and was elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner as a Republican in 1990. “Going through that (Gore experience) was part of what started me through the process of changing parties in 1989,” Perry later said. “I came to my senses.”

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Update: 120 tax protesters gather at Warwick City Hall

Providence Journal | BARBARA POLICHETTI

WARWICK, R.I. — A taxpayer rally to protest the city’s substantially increasing local car taxes got off to a slow and damp start at City Hall Monday but grew quickly with protesters opting to avoid the wet sidewalks and instead assemble in the council chambers to await the 7 p.m. start.

By 6 p.m., more than 120 people had gathered and were conducting their own meeting, taking turns at the podium to decry the tax increase.

The council, which was holding its committee meetings, as usual, in a small basement room, was intermittently off-limits to protesters as people with business before the committees took up the available 49 seats.

Fire officials were on hand to keep count of the number of people in the room in the basement. As seats became vacant, uniformed police officers allowed protesters in.

At one point, rally organizer Rob Cote asked the council if they would move upstairs to the council chambers where the larger crowd was waiting. They declined.

About 30 minutes after the 5 p.m. scheduled start of the rally, only about 24 people had braved the rain to gather inside and outside City Hall in Apponaug.

Cote said he wanted to start the rally at 5 p.m. to make a statement to council members as they arrived at City Hall for the subcommittee meetings.

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When will two faced silver start to move again – and which way? | Lawrence Williams

Silver – ‘the devil’s metal’ – has a reputation for being extremely volatile – as witness its price movements in the past couple of years where investors could have made fortunes, or lost their shirts by playing its huge price movements right or wrong, but in the past several weeks, while gold has seen some wild fluctuations up to above $1800 and back down again and stock markets have also fluctuated wildly, silver has hardly moved at all staying firmly in the $38-39 range. Indeed silver has been probably the least volatile investment of all over the period.

So what has been behind this apparent stability in the face of turmoil elsewhere in the markets?

Silver has been showing its two faces which have been working against each other in the most recent environment. It is considered both a precious metal with monetary overtones and also an industrial metal – two faces controlling its investment parameters

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The Fix Is In

The Daily Bell | Peter Schiff

Peter Schiff

This week’s wild actions on Wall Street should serve as a stark reminder that few investors have any clue as to what is really going on beneath the surface of America’s troubled economy. But this week did bring startling clarity on at least one front. In its August policy statement the Federal Reserve took the highly unusual step of putting a specific time frame for the continuation of its near zero interest rate policy.

Moving past the previously uncertain pronouncements that they would “keep interest rates low for an extended period,” the Fed now tells us that rates will not budge from rock bottom for at least two years. Although the markets rallied on the news (at least for a few minutes), in reality the policy will inflict untold harm on the U.S. economy. The move was so dangerous and misguided that three members of the Fed’s Open Market Committee actually voted against it. This level of dissent within the Fed hasn’t been seen for years.

Many economists have shortsightedly concluded that ultra-low interest rates are a sure fire way to spur economic growth. The easier and cheaper it is to borrow, they argue, the more likely business and consumers are to spend. And because spending spurs growth, in their calculation, low rates are always good. But, as is typical, they have it backwards.

I believe that ultra-low interest rates are among the biggest impediments currently preventing genuine economic growth in the US economy. By committing to keep them near zero for the next two years, the Fed has actually lengthened the time Americans will now have to wait before a real recovery begins. Low rates are the root cause of the misallocation of resources that define the modern American economy. As a direct result, Americans borrow, consume, and speculate too much, while we save, produce, and invest too little.

It may come as a shock to some but just like everything else in a free market, interest rate levels are best determined by the freely interacting forces of supply and demand. In the case of interest rates, the determinative factors should be the supply of savings available to lend and the demand for money by people and businesses who want to borrow. Many of the beneficial elements of market determined rates are explained in my book How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes. Allowing the government to determine interest rates as a matter of policy creates a number of distortions.

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16 Statistics Which Prove That The American People Are Absolutely Seething With Anger

The Economic Collapse |

According to a whole host of polls and surveys, the American people are incredibly angry right now. The American people are hopping mad at the government, the American people are hopping mad about the economy and the American people are hopping mad about the direction that this country is headed. Never before in modern U.S. history have the American people been this angry. There is vast disagreement about what the solutions to our problems actually are, but what everyone can agree on is that the American people are absolutely seething with anger right now. The statistics that you are about to read are mind blowing. We used to be such a happy country. Once upon a time we were one of the happiest places on earth. But as the economy has fallen to pieces anger has been steadily growing. If something is not done to turn the economy around eventually this anger is going to erupt in frightening and unpredictable ways.

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Social Degeneration | Thomas Sowell

Someone at long last has had the courage to tell the plain, honest truth about race.

After mobs of young blacks rampaged through Philadelphia committing violence — as similar mobs have rampaged through Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee and other places — Philadelphia’s black mayor, Michael A. Nutter, ordered a police crackdown and lashed out at the whole lifestyle of those who did such things.

“Pull up your pants and buy a belt ’cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt,” he said. “If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you? They don’t hire you ’cause you look like you’re crazy,” the mayor said. He added: “You have damaged your own race.”

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S&P States the Obvious

Texas Straight Talk | Congressman Ron Paul

Politicians did not get much time to pat themselves on the back for supposedly rescuing the economy with the debt limit deal last week. The ink was barely dry when Standard & Poor’s downgraded the US debt ratings anyway, roiling world financial markets. Anyone who has taken an honest look at the government’s fiscal situation, taken into account how Washington works and the direction it is going would have a very difficult time arguing with S&P’s decision, although a strong case can be made that this was too incremental a downgrade and that it took far too long for S&P to admit the obvious.

Nonetheless, the administration nitpicked over a $2 trillion “mistake”. S&P rejoined with the fact that $2 trillion here or there hardly makes a difference in the time frame under discussion. That, if nothing else, should tell you the magnitude of the problem. $2 trillion has become a drop in the bucket.

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Gold Swizerland | Egon von Greyerz

he Stealth Market in Gold

Gold has gone up for 12 straight years in a stealth market. In the last ten years gold has had a compound annual growth of 20.5%. This is an absolutely outstanding return but investors should not look at gold as an investment but as money. Gold reflects governments’ deceitful actions in totally destroying the value of paper money by printing unlimited amounts of it. With gold up 7 times since the bottom in 1999, is it too late to jump on the Goldwagon?

The answer to the above question is a categorical NO. Virtually no major investor group has participated in gold’s spectacular rise. In spite of a seven fold increase in the gold price, only circa 1% of world financial assets are invested in gold. Whenever I talk to major institutional investors, not only do they not own gold, but they don’t understand gold either. I was speaking at a conference for Family Offices recently where there were circa 250 family office managers present representing substantial funds. Not only did no one own gold, but they had no understanding of gold’s role as an investment class or the fact that measured in real money, i.e. in gold, their investments were declining precipitously. It must be unprecedented that an important asset class can go up for such a long period with so few investors participating. In my view this is the most bullish sign ever for gold. The mess the world is in will lead to unprecedented money printing in the US, EU, the UK and many more regions. And gold will continue to reflect the destruction of paper money. In addition, investors will increasingly mistrust paper gold and invest in physical gold only. Due to the very limited availability of physical gold, the increase in demand can only be satisfied at substantially higher prices.

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Is GoldMoney A Gold-Backed Bitcoin? | Bill Rounds J.D

Bitcoin is new. There has never been anything like it before. It is also risky. A lot of things need to happen for it to be successful in the long term.

But many intelligent people have missed the fact that Bitcoin is new. I am not an economist or investor, but I have not seen any economists or investors analyze Bitcoin correctly because they do not fully understand what Bitcoin is. This is a serious mistake. Failing to analyze based on correct facts can lead to wrong conclusions.
Bitcoin Reduces Privacy Cost

The main benefit of Bitcoin is vastly reduced costs. Bitcoin eliminates many costs, but one of the most important is the cost of providing personal information to participate in the economy; the privacy cost.

Cash and precious metals have the lowest privacy cost of any medium of exchange. But cash and metals are mostly limited to small, in-person transactions. The world needs something more.

Before Bitcoin, every other financial transaction had an extremely high privacy cost, along with lots of other costs. Checks, credit cards, and bank wires require a significant disclosure of personal information to banks and governments.

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August 12, 2011

August 12, 2011

Pseudofacts from the MSNBC Three |

The latest data on unemployment show little improvement in economic conditions. The official unemployment rate is down slightly to 9.1 percent from 9.2 percent in June:

Some of the facts regarding unemployment are clear. Net increases in jobs were small, but more importantly labor-force participation declined. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data the number of “discouraged workers,” people who have given up looking for work, increased sharply over the last month. A broader measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers (U-5) was unchanged at 10.9 percent.

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RIC airport protester, federal officials present arguments in lawsuit

Richmond Times-Tribune | Reed Williams

Authorities involved in the arrest of a protester who removed his shirt and pants at a security checkpoint at Richmond International Airport were doing their jobs and acted appropriately, a government attorney argued Wednesday in Richmond federal court.

Carlotta P. Wells, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, argued in favor of a motion to dismiss Aaron B. Tobey’s lawsuit, which claims his constitutional rights were violated. Wells said Tobey had made his point by removing his shirt to display words from the Fourth Amendment written on his torso but went too far when he disobeyed a command to pass through a security scanner.

But Anand Agneshwar, an attorney representing Tobey in his lawsuit against airport and federal officials, said the 21-year-old Charlottesville man obeyed the commands of authorities. Agneshwar said it was the authorities who went too far by detaining Tobey for 90 minutes or longer with his hands cuffed behind his back.

“This was one long process to determine if this gentleman was a security risk,” Agneshwar told U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson.

Hudson said he hopes to rule on the defendants’ motion to dismiss in the next two weeks. The judge also set a trial date for Jan. 18.

Tobey claims that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration and airport officials violated his constitutional rights.

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Obama Is Implementing Plans For War Throughout the Middle East Created 10 Years Ago by the Neocons

Washington Blog |

The U.S. has dramatically ratcheted up the pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad, slapping new sanctions on key companies Wednesday as White House press secretary Jay Carney said the leader is guilty of “heinous actions” and the country would be better off without him.


President Barack Obama and other administration officials have already said publicly that Assad has “lost legitimacy” and must begin the push toward democracy in Syria or step down. A few weeks ago, after months of protests on the streets of Syria and little progress from Assad without explicit U.S. calls for his resignation, administration officials began to consider calling for Assad to step down, CNN said.

The new push from the White House, officials said, will make clear Assad is no longer a credible reformer and should give up his post.

A Nato plan for a post-Gaddaffi Libya – carving up the country, and giving the richest spoils to the UAE – has been leaked.

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Assault by TSA

Canada Free Press | – Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh

Last week, at Reagan National Airport I was chosen in line to be screened by the naked scanner. I knew that this technology had been rushed to market and had not been properly tested for the amount of radiation exposure and its concentration in skin, which increases the risk of cancer.

AIT (Advanced Imaging Technology) uses backscatter x-rays, which emit ionizing radiation. The cumulative effect is absorbed almost entirely by skin and underlying tissues. The dose is believed to be 20 times higher than estimated by the manufacturer. Repeated scanning may cause significant health risks particularly in people who are more susceptible/sensitive to radiation and are prone to DNA mutation.

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A “Humanitarian War” on Syria? Military Escalation. Towards a Broader Middle East-Central Asian War?

Global Research | by Michel Chossudovsky

An extended Middle East Central Asian war has been on the Pentagon’s drawing board since the mid-1990s.

As part of this extended war scenario, the US-NATO alliance plans to wage a military campaign against Syria under a UN sponsored “humanitarian mandate”.

Escalation is an integral part of the military agenda. Destabilization of sovereign states through “regime change” is closely coordinated with military planning.

There is a military roadmap characterised by a sequence of US-NATO war theaters.

War preparations to attack Syria and Iran have been in “an advanced state of readiness” for several years. The Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 categorizes Syria as a “rogue state”, as a country which supports terrorism.

A war on Syria is viewed by the Pentagon as part of the broader war directed against Iran. President George W. Bush confirmed in his Memoirs that he had “ordered the Pentagon to plan an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities and [had] considered a covert attack on Syria” (George Bush’s memoirs reveal how he considered attacks on Iran and Syria, The Guardian, November 8, 2010)

This broader military agenda is intimately related to strategic oil reserves and pipeline routes. It is supported by the Anglo-American oil giants.

The July 2006 bombing of Lebanon was part of a carefully planned “military road map”. The extension of “The July War” on Lebanon into Syria had been contemplated by US and Israeli military planners. It was abandoned upon the defeat of Israeli ground forces by Hizbollah.

Israel’s July 2006 war on Lebanon also sought to establish Israeli control over the North Eastern Mediterranean coastline including offshore oil and gas reserves in Lebanese and Palestinian territorial waters.

The plans to invade both Lebanon and Syria have remained on the Pentagon’s drawing board despite Israel’s setback in the 2006 July War: “In November 2008, barely a month before Tel Aviv started its massacre in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military held drills for a two-front war against Lebanon and Syria called Shiluv Zro’ot III (Crossing Arms III). The military exercise included a massive simulated invasion of both Syria and Lebanon” (See Mahdi Darius Nazemoraya, Israel’s Next War: Today the Gaza Strip, Tomorrow Lebanon?, Global Research, January 17, 2009)

The road to Tehran goes through Damascus. A US-NATO sponsored war on Iran would involve, as a first step, a destabilization campaign (“regime change”) including covert intelligence operations in support of rebel forces directed against the Syrian government.

A “humanitarian war” under the logo of “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) directed against Syria would also contribute to the ongoing destabilization of Lebanon.

Were a military campaign to be waged against Syria, Israel would be directly or indirectly involved in military and intelligence operations.

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The Stock Market Crash Of 2011?

The Economic Collapse |

How far does the stock market have to go down before we officially call it a crash? The Dow is now down more than 2,000 points in just the last 14 trading days. So can we now call this “The Stock Market Crash of 2011”? Today the Dow was down 519 points. Yesterday, an announcement by the Federal Reserve indicating that the Fed would keep interest rates near zero until mid-2013 helped the Dow surge more than 400 points, but all of those gains were wiped out today. It turns out that the Federal Reserve was only able to stabilize the financial markets for a single day. Fears about the European sovereign debt crisis and the crumbling U.S. economy continue to dominate the marketplace. With each passing day, things are looking more and more like 2008 all over again. So what is going to happen if “The Stock Market Crash of 2011” pushes the U.S. economy into “The Recession of 2012”?

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Gold to hit $2,000 in 2012 – Deutsche Bank |

Deutsche Bank maintained its 2012 gold price target of $2,000 an ounce with a bias towards even higher prices, saying the precious metal would benefit from the low interest rates in the United States.

“We believe the main beneficiary of super low interest rates in the United States, a weak U.S. dollar, a view that central bank holdings in the U.S. dollar are still excessive and ongoing questions over the stability of the financial system will be gold,” the investment bank said.

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London Riots: What Nobody Dares To Say

Lew | Gary North

On August 11, 1965, the Watts riot began. South Central Los Angeles went up in flames for five days – preceded by a night of rock throwing.

Five days earlier, Lyndon Johnson had signed into law the Voting Rights Act, which set up Federal procedures to enable blacks to vote in the South, where state laws had made this difficult for all but the most dedicated and strong-willed blacks to do since 1877.

The South was changed politically forever by this law and its updates. White politicians who had said “never” counted noses – black noses – and said, “soon.” Within five years, the political issue was settled.

The issues in Watts have not been settled.

I remember Watts. I lived in Southern California. In 1959, I sometimes drove to Watts to photograph a track meet or watch a high school sporting event. It seemed safe.

Today, I would not drive into Watts. Some resident would have to drive me. Watch Grand Canyon for a taste of what can go wrong. The ghetto today is far wider than Watts was in 1965. I went to kindergarten through the third grade in what is now referred to as “the hood.”

It all blew up in August 1965. That was one year after the Civil Rights Act was passed. That was a landmark piece of Federal legislation, which only a President from the South (Texas) with enormous clout could have rammed through. Johnson said at the time that it would forever cost the Democrats the South’s votes. So far, he was right.

The Civil Rights Act became law on July 2, 1964. New York City was hit by a race riot two weeks later. Here is an account posted on the site of the University Systems of Georgia, in a section devoted to the civil rights movement.

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The Effects of a Financial Repression

The Daily Reckoning | Adison Wiggins

Something — we’re not altogether sure what — touched off MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan yesterday.

We love it when these guys lose their cool. This is not nearly as entertaining as Jim Cramer’s tantrum imploring the Fed to “open the discount window” in 2007, but pay attention to the content…

We’re not 100% sure what Mr. Ratigan means by “extraction.”

“Privatized profits, socialized risk” is a theme you should be familiar with here in The 5. “Financial repression” is another we heard a lot about during the Symposium in Vancouver.

“Extraction” sounds more like a dental procedure, but from the context, we believe he means a class of financial engineers intentionally stripping the productive classes of their remaining assets.

That’s our best guess… considering his rant came two hours after the Federal Reserve made its own extraction plans known to the world.

Yesterday, the Fed put savers on notice: You’re screwed for the next two years. At least.

The pertinent background: On Dec. 16, 2008, the Federal Reserve launched the first round of “quantitative easing,” accompanied by a decision to slash the federal funds rate to an unprecedented 0-0.25%. The Fed statement said conditions would warrant these “exceptionally low” levels “for some time.”

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Gerald Celente | The Trends Journal

Everything is not all right. And things are going to get worse … much worse. The economy is on the threshold of calamity. Wars are spreading like wildfires. The world is on a razor’s edge.

Not so, say world leaders and mainstream media experts. Yes, there are problems, but the financiers and politicians are aware of them. Policies are already in place and measures are being taken to correct them.

Whether it’s failing economies, intractable old wars or raging new wars, the word from the top always maintains that steady progress is being made and comforts the populace with assurances that the brightest minds and the sharpest generals are in charge and on the case. On all fronts, success is certain and victory is at hand. Only “patience” is required … along with more men, more time and more money.

As far as these “leaders” and their media are concerned, the only opinions that count come from a stable of thoroughbred experts, official sources and political favorites. Only they have the credentials to speak with authority and provide trustworthy forecasts. That they are consistently, if not invariably, wrong apparently does nothing to diminish their credibility.

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Back to the Future on Poverty Policy

City Journal | Heather Mac Donald

Selective amnesia is an essential trait in anyone promoting government antipoverty initiatives. Last week, as he announced the Young Men’s Initiative, a government effort to improve the life outcomes of black and Hispanic males, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to assert the radically new nature of the program. The “pioneering new initiative” (which will cost taxpayers $67.5 million, with another $60 million thrown in by George Soros and Bloomberg himself) represented “an entirely new approach” to poverty reduction, said Bloomberg. The “across-the-board policy reforms” of the “action plan” would “fundamentally change the way our agencies interact with black and Latino young men,” leading to “systemic change.”

In fact, the Young Men’s Initiative consists largely of warmed-over policies dating from the War on Poverty, such as job training,

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8 Years In Prison for a Harmless Prank? Handcuffed for Doodling? The Increasing Criminalization of Students

Amazon Disarms Brits By Banning Self-Defense Items | Paul Joseph Watson

Following calls by politicians, media and the police for Brits not to buy baseball bats and engage in what was disparagingly termed “vigilantism,” Amazon UK has followed suit by banning self-defense items from its online store, after sales of makeshift weapons soared through the roof as a result of riots plaguing the country.

In the immediate aftermath of widespread looting and rioting which was directed primarily against private homes and local family businesses, Brits left defenseless by a blanket gun ban that makes it virtually impossible to own a private firearm rushed to Amazon to purchase whatever could be used as a weapon to protect their families and property from attack.

The need for self-defense was exacerbated after police in London were ordered to stand down and let the rioting take place for the first three nights of chaos as a result of a Scotland Yard directive.

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AlterNet | Rania Khalek

A few months back, 18-year-old Tyell Morton was enjoying his senior year at Rushville High in Indiana. Today, he faces the prospect of being labeled a felon for the rest of his life for a harmless senior prank.

Morton was arrested for putting a blowup doll in a bathroom stall on the last day of school. He was caught when video footage showed a man entering the high school in a hooded sweatshirt and leaving a package in the bathroom. Fearing the package might be a bomb, school officials evacuated the premises and called the Indiana State bomb squad. Although no one was injured, no property damaged and no dangerous materials found, Morton, who had not been in any trouble prior to this incident, is being charged with disorderly conduct (a misdemeanor) and institutional criminal mischief (a class C felony), carrying the potential of two to eight years in prison.

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August 11, 2011

August 11, 2011

Freedom to Feudalism

Activist Post | Ethan Jacobs, J.D.

When the Freemasonic “republic” called the United States was founded in 1776, there was no income tax and the people were generally free to do what they liked, so long as they did not injure the person or property of another. Unfortunately, each year the state and federal governments, which have always been controlled by “special interests,” passed more and more laws, destroying the people’s freedom – death by a thousand cuts. The United States and the rest of the world now live under the New World Order’s refined neo-feudal system.

Feudalism was present in medieval Europe:

Feudal systems in antique societies usually had the common feature of being ruled by an extremely wealthy and powerful upper class (nobles and aristocrats) with nearly complete legal power over the lives and well-being of the impoverished lower classes of laborers, craftsmen, service professionals, farmer workers, and bond-servants (individuals with debts so excessive that their only legal options were debtor’s prison, life as homeless ‘outlaws,’ or service to the upper class as serfs or houseservants). The feudal upper classes were not subject to the same set of laws as the lower classes. Thus one of the basic criteria for categorizing a society feudalistic might be simply that its laws and customs are designed to best

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The Prelude to a Financial Collapse–Part 2

Preparedness Pro | Kellene Bishop

o, S & P downgraded the U.S. credit rating, but what in the world does that mean to you? Well, unfortunately, the personal impact will come at us from several different directions but you’ll be able to see them coming if you understand one fundamental component.

If you recall, in my last article I mentioned financial instruments. A financial instrument is really just a hoity-toity word for an I.O.U. Financial instruments are assigned a value based on what asset is backing them. It could be gold, oil, rare art, or even the faith and name of a creditor. Understand that every single piece of our paper U.S. currency is nothing more than a financial instrument; after all, they are labeled as Federal Reserve Notes. Currency was created because it was much more convenient than carrying around gold and silver to make one’s purchases.

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Silver mining stocks as seen in the front mirror

Stockhouse | Thom Calandra

“The bull market in gold and silver equities started after the 2008 Lehman Bros. bust. If you look at the increased cash flows and raised dividends from miners, their output prices (of gold, silver, etc) are far exceeding the input prices. The major trend is much higher for gold and gold stocks.”

To be candid, puzzlement splayed itself across people’s faces this past week in central London. And this was before the riots started over there in north London.

GATA’s Gold Rush gathering examined gold (and silver) as money, and why governments, central banks and the IMF, among others, have it in their interest to deflate prices for precious metals. And quite possibly, why public institutions mislead market about the number of metric gold tons – is it the World Gold Council figure of 29 thousand tons or is it 19 thousand or nine thousand tons – that central banks hold securely, with no fiscal or figurative tethers attached?

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End This Agony

Mises Daily | Robert P. Murphy

In the wake of the stock-market plunge and S&P downgrade, economic pundits of all stripes are rushing to explain events. But as so often happens in economics, “believing is seeing.” Keynesians, monetarists, and Austrians can all look at the slow-motion train wreck and feel vindicated by the data.

Naturally, I agree with Jeffrey Tucker that of the major schools of economic thought, the Austrians have been the best guides through the crisis. But the champion Keynesian, Paul Krugman, has been running victory laps for a long time now, claiming that he has been right while the free-market folks have been dead wrong. His column late last week beautifully illustrates that the facts can always be molded to fit a preconceived narrative.

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Two Opposite World Views: Agency or Victimhood

The Daily Bell | Joel F. Wade

What causes poverty and hardship? Is it scarcity – not enough stuff to go around? Or is it a result of violence and enslavement of one class of people by another?

Your answer to this question will fundamentally determine whether your political allegiance is with the Right or the Left.

Under the French Monarchy and the Catholic Church of the time, there was some truth to the oppression/victimhood view of poverty. There was a ruling class who were corrupt and an unbelievably impoverished populace – by our standards, and by the standards of the young United States.

Thomas Jefferson wrote about France at the time: “of twenty millions of people… there are nineteen millions more wretched, more accursed in every circumstance of human existence than the most conspicuously wretched individual of the whole United States.”

The French revolution introduced this mass of people living in poverty and misery to the realm of political power. In 1789, most peasants were sharecroppers or laborers on church lands – or lands of feudal lords to a lesser extent. By 1793, they owned their own land bought from the revolutionary government, which had confiscated all church lands. Peasants were now landowners who grew food abundantly and prospered – and thus became the Revolution’s biggest supporters.

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Don’t Bet Against Gold or Silver

USA Watchdog | Greg Hunter

You have to respect the power of the Federal Reserve when just a statement can turn the entire stock market around in a day. Yesterday, the Fed admitted the economy was not good and in a statement said, “. . .downside risks to the economic outlook have increased.” Because the economy is tanking, the Fed promised to keep a key interest rate at near 0% for “. . . at least through mid-2013.” The Fed is essentially handing out free money at negative interest rates for 2 years. The Fed also seemed to signal that a third round of quantitative easing (QE3 or money printing) was being considered. The Fed statement went on to say, “The Committee discussed the range of policy tools available to promote a stronger economic recovery in a context of price stability. It will continue to assess the economic outlook in light of incoming information and is prepared to employ these tools as appropriate.”

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Debt ceiling bill’s super committee has lobbyists preparing

Politico | ANNA PALMER

K Street wasted little time putting clients on notice about the next phase of the debt ceiling debate with a simple message: Nobody is safe from the super committee.

Lobby shops say a much-broader-than-expected range of budget cuts and tax provisions could be in play, especially compared with the relatively small group of industries that were afraid of getting a haircut during the earlier debt ceiling negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden.

And although the defense and health care industries have the most to lose from the way the debt ceiling bill is set up, that doesn’t mean everyone else can sit on the sidelines

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Helicopter Shootdown in Afghanistan Hits Navy SEALs

Global Research | Patrick Martin

The shooting down of a US Chinook helicopter early Saturday morning in Afghanistan killed 38 soldiers, including 30 Americans and eight Afghans. Among the dead were 22 Navy SEALs, an elite special forces squad. Seven helicopter crew members and air combat controllers, a dog handler, seven Afghan soldiers and an Afghan interpreter died along with the SEALs.

According to press reports citing unnamed military sources, the SEALs were called in for a rescue operation after a small unit of US special forces, from the Army Rangers, was pinned down by Taliban fighters. The SEALs flew in on the helicopter and drove off the Taliban attackers, killing eight of them. They had just reboarded the helicopter for the return flight when a rocket-propelled grenade or surface-to-air missile hit the Chinook and destroyed it in mid-air.

A conflicting account of the attack, also citing military sources, suggested that the Taliban fighters were killed after the helicopter was shot down, not before, when a second US helicopter-borne special forces unit landed, attacked the Taliban, and then sought to retrieve the bodies and the wreckage.

Saturday’s disaster reproduces exactly the pattern of the previous worst tactical defeat for US forces in the war, when a US helicopter was shot down in Kunar province in June 2005, killing 16 soldiers. Those troops were also engaged in a rescue operation for a smaller group of special forces who were surrounded and ultimately killed by Taliban fighters.

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Bull’ market in gold or ‘bear’ market in currencies? | Julian Phillips


Last Friday the S & P ratings agency dared to downgrade U.S. debt from triple to double ‘A’, and quite rightly. It was not a reflection of the ability of the U.S. to pay their obligations, but of the politics that allowed partisan interests to take higher priority.

The message was sent to Congress over the entire period of the ‘debt-ceiling’ soap opera, even by the most responsible of U.S. monetary figures, Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke -to no avail.

When the wrangling finally stopped and an agreement was reached, it was totally inadequate -cutting spending by 1/2 % of GDP against a deficit of 10% of GDP-for addressing the U.S. debt situation. Confidence visibly withered last week ahead of the downgrade and when it came, the emerging world, the largest of U.S. creditors, ran for the hills and announced the world needs a new global reserve currency.

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A Pyrrhic ‘Victory’ | Thomas Sowell

n Don Marquis’ classic satirical book, “Archy and Mehitabel,” Mehitabel the alley cat asks plaintively, “What have I done to deserve all these kittens?”

That seems to be the pained reaction of the Obama administration to the financial woes that led to the downgrading of America’s credit rating, for the first time in history.

There are people who see no connection between what they have done and the consequences that follow. But Barack Obama is not likely to be one of them. He is a savvy politician who will undoubtedly be satisfied if enough voters fail to see a connection between what he has done and the consequences that followed.

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The Crack in the Ice

Lew Rockwell | Gary North

ce skaters who go out onto lakes or large ponds are told from their early years not to skate on thin ice. The sound of cracking ice is a signal to skate toward the shore.

On Friday, August 5, 2011, the world heard the ice crack. Late in the day, Standard & Poor’s downgraded American government debt by one point: from AAA to AA+.

The decision of the U.S. Congress the previous Tuesday to raise the debt ceiling by over $2 trillion was a real crack in the ice. Standard & Poor’s only made it semi-official. “Yes, the loud noise you heard on Tuesday really was what it sounded like.”

That was not all. The European Central Bank on Friday announced that it would hold yet another a weekend meeting to deal with yet another crisis in the bond market for European national government debt. This time debts issued by the governments of Italy and Spain were coming under attack in the bond market. Lenders were demanding higher rates.

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The Simple Explanation For What’s Happening In Global Markets

Weakonomics |

the last few days of trading, stocks have sort of nose-dived. This was previously a result of people being worried about the economy after we got over the whole debt ceiling thing. But then as we entered the weekend investors started to worry about a possible downgrade on the debt of the United States. The downgrade came and on Monday (call it “Blackish Monday”) stocks were slammed hard. But what does all that even mean?

For the record, I’m going to focus on domestic issues but you should know that Europe is dealing with all kinds of crap too.

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August 10, 2011

August 10, 2011

Futures Rout Accelerates: Emergency Fed Announcement Possible

Zero Hedge | Tyler Durden

The last time we had a modestly comparable collapse in overnight trading, a certain futures trader from SocGen whose gimmickry had been uncovered, caused the Fed to lower its Fed Funds rate in an emergency meeting first thing in the morning. Which is why we wonder, should the ongoing rout accelerate, to an extent driven by the decimation in the Korean Kospi, down -9.5% at last check, but also due to increasing worries the Fed may not announce QE3 tomorrow (or if it does, it will be OT2-like and won’t have any actual LSAP component to it), whether Bernanke will be forced to have an emergency address with market in the morning, around 7 am, in order to prevent what is shaping up to be a market collapse of epic proportions. And certainly not helping matters is either Chinese inflation coming in hotter than expected, (see prior post), nor the fact that in the People’s Daily, PBoC advisor Xia Bin said that China doesn’t rule out “normal market operations” to promotes is own interested when necessary amid the US debt turmoil.

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Iowa Caucus: Bachmann, Romney and Paul on Top

Rasmussen Reports |

In the Iowa caucus race for the Republican presidential nomination, five candidates are in double digits, and many voters are open to changing their mind before caucus day arrives.

The first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Iowa’s Likely Caucus Participants shows that Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann attracts 22% support, while former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney earn 21%. Just slightly behind is Texas Congressman Ron Paul at 16%, followed by Texas Governor Rick Perry at 12% and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty at 11%.

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Ramifications of a U.S. Debt Downgrade

USA Watchdog | Greg Hunter
he U.S. debt downgrade is really more than a tiny one notch cut in the credit worthiness of the U.S. One talking head on television said yesterday that there was never any question that the U.S. would repay its debt because the country can print money. The talking head is correct but does not take into consideration the future buying power of the repayment dollars. Printing money at the rate the Fed has been doing devalues the currency and, in effect, allows the government to default with dollars with reduced buying power. This is precisely why Bill Gross, head of the world’s biggest bond fund, PIMCO, said recently that people who invest in Treasuries will “get cooked.” In my mind, the debt downgrade by S&P last week was really a downgrade of the U.S. dollar. There are going to be many more downgrades to come.

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Barbara Ehrenreich, On Americans (Not) Getting By (Again) |

It was at lunch with the editor of Harper’s Magazine that the subject came up: How does anyone actually live “on the wages available to the unskilled”? And then Barbara Ehrenreich said something that altered her life and resulted, improbably enough, in a bestselling book with almost two million copies in print. “Someone,” she commented, “ought to do the old-fashioned kind of journalism — you know go out there and try it for themselves.” She meant, she hastened to point out on that book’s first page, “someone much younger than myself, some hungry neophyte journalist with time on her hands.”

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Court Rules That Police Cannot Use Warrants to Obtain Cell Phone Location of Person Who is Subject of Arrest Warrant

The Volokh Conspiracy | Orin Kerr

Imagine the police have an arrest warrant for a crime suspect, and they want to find the suspect to arrest him. They happen to know the suspect’s cell phone number, so they want to go to the phone company and have the phone company tell the police the location of the suspect’s phone. The phone company refuses to let the police get that information without a warrant, so the police police go to a judge and apply for a search warrant based on the probable cause to believe that the location of the phone will help them execute the arrest warrant. Here’s the interesting question: Should the judge sign the warrant application and issue the warrant? Or should the judge deny the warrant application?

On August 3, Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey issued a fascinating opinion on this novel question: IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FOR AN ORDER AUTHORIZING DISCLOSURE OF LOCATION INFORMATION OF A SPECIFIED WIRELESS TELEPHONE, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85638 (D.Md. 2011). Her answer: The Judge must deny the warrant application, as location information is broadly protected by the Fourth Amendment and government cannot use warrants to find out the location of people who have warrants out for their arrest. The timing of the case is extremely unusual, as it seems the case is moot and this is only an advisory opinion. If I understand the timing, Magistrate Judge Gauvey denied the application over a year ago, and the government was able to arrest the suspect some other way in the meantime. Judge Gauvey decided to hand down an opinion on the legal issue anyway, appointed defense counsel to argue for defense interests, and now, a year later, has handed down the opinion on why she denied that application back in 2010.

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Despite revised production guidance, Silver Wheaton net earnings triple | Dorothy Kosich

Silver Wheaton reported adjusted net earnings nearly tripled during the second quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, quarterly silver production was impacted by operational challenges at the Peñasquito mine in Mexico and a one month mill strike at the San Dimas mine, both in Mexico.

Quarterly sales lagged production over the past year, said Randy Smallwood, Silver Wheaton CEO, primarily due to a build-up of concentrate inventories at Glencore’s Yauliyacu mine in Peru and Goldcorp’s Peñasquito mine.

Silver Wheaton has already reduced its 2011 attributable silver equivalent production guidance from 27m – 28m silver equivalent ounces to 25m – 26m silver equivalent ounces including 15,000 ounces of gold.

However, during the second quarter, attributable silver equivalent production increased 5% to 6.2 million ounces (5.9 million ounces of silver and 6,500 ounces of gold).

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‘I can smell QE3, QE4 and many more,’ says Marc Faber

Business Intelligence Middle East |

NTERNATIONAL. Marc Faber the Swiss fund manager and Gloom Boom & Doom editor spoke today about the Standard & Poor’s credit rating downgrade of US sovereign debt, and how the downgrade was long overdue as the ‘junk bond’ was no longer worth of an AAA rating.

He views the downgrade as moderately positive for equities because it shows investors there is a risk in holding government bonds and discusses the conditions that will lead to QE3.

Speaking in an interview from Chiang Mai, Thailand, with Susan Li on Bloomberg’s “Asia Edge” this morning, Faber said a government bond is rated AAA when the issuer is willing to pay the interest in a stable currency. “We are not dealing, in the case with the US Dollar, with a stable currency.”

“The downgrade was overdue,” Faber told Li, adding that the agency “basically downgraded a junk bond because it was no longer an AAA”

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Ignorance, Stupidity or Connivance? | Walter E. Williams

President Barack Obama has called for a luxury tax on corporate jets as a means to generate revenue to fight federal deficits. The president’s economic advisers ought to be fired for not telling him that doing so is unwise and counterproductive. They might have already told him so, only to have the president say, “Look, I know you’re right, but I’m exploiting the public’s envy of the rich!” Let’s look at what happened when Obama’s predecessor George H.W. Bush signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 and broke his “read my lips” vow not to agree to new taxes.

When Congress imposed a 10 percent luxury tax on yachts, private airplanes and expensive automobiles, Sen. Ted Kennedy and then-Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell crowed publicly about how the rich would finally be paying their fair share of taxes. What actually happened is laid out in a Heartland Institute blog post by Edmund Contoski titled “Economically illiterate Obama, re: Corporate Jets” (7/12/2011).

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The Refusal to Think | William (Bill) Buckler

Early this year, Cornell University in the US did a “study” which was designed to see if Americans equate the money they receive from the US government with government “programs”. They asked a large number of “ordinary” Americans if they had ever used a government program. The findings – as reported by the New York Times in February this year – were astonishing. Forty-three percent of Medicare recipients said NO. Forty-four percent of those on Social Security said NO. Forty-three percent of people on unemployment “benefits” said NO. And to crown the whole study – FIFTY-THREE percent of those getting student loans – likely including Cornell students – said NO.

The Internet postings of participants at “Tea Party” rallies holding signs up saying “Hands Off My Medicare!” have been proliferating for months, to the great glee of the Democrats. In late July as the debt limit circus was ratcheting up by the hour, President Obama mentioned a letter he had recently received from a Medicare recipient. He quoted the letter as follows: “I don’t want government-run health care. I don’t want socialized medicine. And don’t touch my Medicare!”

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Markets collapse, silver static, platinum falls below gold. | Lawrence Williams

Realisation has dawned, not before time, on the investment community and the general population, that the global financial problems are, indeed, serious and gold appears to have been the major beneficiary to date. Interestingly, other precious metals have not moved up alongside gold, as has tended to be the norm – indeed they have either fallen back or stuttered. But if one looks at demand for these other precious metals this is not really surprising. Indeed, it is surprising that they have not fallen back as much as might have been expected under the circumstances, particularly in the case of silver.

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August 9, 2011

Debt Ceiling, Balanced Budget Amendment, Real Tea Party Congressman

Thomas G. Brown |

John Boehner (R-OH) is out and about trying to sell the Balance Budget Amendment to the American public. He has sent his minions home over the August break to sell this bill as a way to end the spending spree that has gone on in Washington for over 100 years. Sadly this bill will do nothing if passed but give more lip service to making hard decisions while doing nothing in terms of actual cuts. We already have a way to prevent the budget from being riddled with debt. This is the debt ceiling. All a member of Congress has to do to show he or she is serious about cutting spending is to vote no whenever they are asked to raise the debt ceiling. But sadly most of Congress had gone along with the vote to raise the debt ceiling, sending our grand children’s future further down the toilet.

A part of the debt deal with increased debt by $700 billion (much of which has already been spent) and will add another $1.5 trillion increase if recommendations by the gang of 12 are passed or if the Balanced Budget Amendment is passed (see that BBA is a backdoor deal). The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction will work to increase the debt by $2.3 trillion dollars in total by 2013. So twelve folks who are selected by party leaders along with the President are going to make the hard decisions that they were unwilling to make with the rest of Congress? Well at least the lobbyist won’t have to drag themselves all over DC they can meet all twelve members at one time and tell them what should and should not cut. This will most likely create complex bills similar to the Health Care Act and with the added caveat that Congress as a whole can only vote up or down on the bill without filibuster or amendment. What a sweet deal for K Street.

If the recommendations are not voted in by the rest of Congress automatic cuts in the budget will go into effect. Now I am all for cutting the budget, but down to what is allowable by the Constitution and not just arbitrarily cutting percentages form various programs. One cut will target Medicare providers (physicians). This will reduce the number of doctors who offer services to those on Medicare and make a system already strained by a limited number of doctors that much worst. Those who continue to offer services will be paid less and will have their workload increase rapidly due to the reduction of providers. Only true Patriots in Congress

After taking a look at who voted for and against the Debt Ceiling last week. I decided to take a closer look at the members of Congress, the Republicans as they are traditionally the fiscally responsible ones (on paper). After compiling a list of those folks who voted against raising the debt ceiling I realized that they may have just voted that way once the bill was sure to pass. So to look a little deeper I looked at several votes which I believe points out who are on the side of liberty and freedom and who is just paying lip service. After taking a look at votes on re-authorizing the Patriot Act, and the voted on Libya and its unjust war I was surprised to find just 6 members in the House of Representatives who actually care about the budget waste and the illegal wars in Libya. One member did not surprise me and that is Congressman Ron Paul. But the others are also to be commended and supported for their votes. The members are listed below and I ask that you take time out of your day to thank them for actually upholding their oaths and support their re-election campaigns when they come about.

HR 3162 Reauthorized Patriot Act Oct. 24th 2011
S. 627 Budget Control Act of 2011
HR 2278 Limit funds of DOD in Support NATO w. Libya
HJ Res. 68 Authorizing the limited US Armed Forces in Support of NATO in Libya H.Con Res. 51 Directing the President, pursuant to section 5© of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the US Armed Forces from Libya
Justin Amash (R-3-MI)
Paul Broun (R-10-GA)
Tom Graves (R-9-GA)
Tim Johnson (R-15-IL)
Tom McClintock (R-4-CA)
Ron Paul (R-14-TX)

Justin Amash

110 Michigan St. NW, Suite 166 Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Phone: (616) 451-8383 Fax: (616) 454-5630

Paul Broun

Augusta / Evans District Office Mailing Address: 4246 Washington Road, Suite 6 Evans, GA 30809 Phone: 706-447-3857 Fax: 706-868-8756

Athens District Office 3706 Atlanta Highway, Suite 3B Athens, GA 30606 Phone: 706-549-9588 Fax: 706-549-9590 Toccoa District Office 194 Remsdale Street Toccoa, GA 30577 Phone: 706-886-1008 Fax: 706-886-1009

Tom Graves

311 Green Street, NW Suite 302 Gainesville, GA 30501
T (770) 535-2592 F (770) 535-2765 DALTON, GA OFFICE
702 South Thornton Avenue Dalton, GA 30720
T (706) 226-5320 F (706) 278-0840

Tim Johnson

Champaign Office 2004 Fox Drive Champaign, IL 61820 Phone: 217-403-4690 Fax: 217-403-4691
Tom McClintock
8700Auburn-Folsom Road, Suite 100 Granite Bay, CA95746 Phone: (916) 786-5560 Fax: (916) 786-6364

August 9, 2011

August 9, 2011

Resource nationalism, capacity constraints the biggest risks facing global mining | Geoff Candy

Supply capacity constraints and changing notions of exactly who should be allowed to extract resources and how much they should pay for that privilege dominate the list of the top 10 business risks facing mining companies.

Topping the 2011 edition of Ernst & Young’s annual Business risks facing mining & metals 2011-2012 publication is resource nationalism. Up from fourth place in last year’s survey, the concerns come on the back of a significant increase in focus from tax authorities across the globe on the resources sector.

As the report explains, “As many governments struggle with deficits or hold concerns over the effects of a two speed economy, the continuing boom in commodity prices has seen the mining and metals sector targeted as an area in which they can raise revenue” As a result of this,

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Sunshine in Litigation Act Reported in Senate

Secrecy News | Steve Afterwood

A bill that would curb the ability of courts to impose secrecy orders on public health and safety information was favorably reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. See the report (pdf) on the Sunshine in Litigation Act of 2011, August 2, 2011.

“Court secrecy prevents the public from learning about public health and safety dangers,” the Committee report said. “Over the past 20 years, we have learned about numerous cases where court-approved secrecy, in the form of protective orders and sealed settlements, has kept the public in the dark about serious public health and safety dangers.”

Such cases, many of which are cataloged in the report, have included “complications from silicone breast implants, adverse reactions to a prescription pain killer, ‘park to reverse’ problems in pick-up trucks, and defective heart valves.”

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What’s in a Downgrade?

Capital Gains and Games | Andrew Samwick

Not much, in my opinion. In my last post, I argued that I’d take the debt deal even at the expense of the negative publicity we got for the juvenile way the negotiations were conducted. So we avoided default and got downgraded by S&P anyway. S&P’s arithmetic mistake aside, I don’t think potential investors in U.S. Treasuries relied too much on its previous AAA rating in actively valuing the bonds and bills. And even if they did, they should be only minimally bothered by its current AA+ rating. Potential investors have plenty of public information on current and projected cash flows of the U.S. government. In those circumstances, there is little value added by a ratings agency’s grade.

Where ratings agencies can add value is in rating securities that are harder to value. I cannot say it better than E.J. Dionne did:

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Super Congress A Gift to K Street

Texas Straight Talk | Congressman Ron Paul

The Super Congress created by the recent debt ceiling increase deal is a typical example of something nefarious attached to a bigger bill that is rushed through Congress without giving Members ample opportunity to consider the full ramifications. This commission may turn into an early Christmas present for the well-heeled lobbyists of K Street. This is because the commission presents a huge opportunity for lobbying firms to sneak their client’s pet projects and issues into whatever legislation is created by the commission. The fact that automatic cuts to defense are named if the committee deadlocks simply signals to the military industrial complex to bring their A game to the lobbying effort.

One red flag I am constantly aware of in my position as a Congressman is that highly complex and convoluted legislation frequently has dangerous provisions hidden in the fine print. Elaborate legislative packages force lawmakers to take the bad with the good, and often if they refuse, they are accused of voting against the positive provision – never mind the blatant Constitutional violations in the bill, the spending, the waste, and the unchecked expansion of government

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Barney Frank: Military spending to blame for U.S. credit downgrade

Raw Replay | David Edwards

ppearing on CBS Monday, House Financial Services Committee ranking member Barney Frank (D-MA) pointed to growing military spending as one of the causes of S&P’s downgrade of U.S. credit.

“I would hope there would be one bipartisan agreement we can reach and I’ve been working for,” Frank told CBS’ Nancy Cordes. “There is one area in American policy where we are doing things disproportionate to the rest of the world. We don’t give our older people more medical care, we don’t have a better retirement, we don’t spend more on the environment. Where America is disproportionate is our extraordinary willingness to be the military policemen for the whole world.”

“We spend far more of our economy as a national percentage on the military than just about any nation except a beleaguered nation like Israel, which has to do with self defense.

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Why Is the Stock Market Plunging?

Daily Mises | Robert P. Murphy

Investors the world over are still reeling from last Thursday’s massive plunge in the US equity markets, in which the major indices all gave up more than 4 percent. It was the worst day for the US stock market since December 2008.

None of this should surprise those conversant with Austrian economics. The “fundamentals” of the economy have been and remain awful because the government and Federal Reserve are consistently doing the wrong things. The apparent recovery, fueled by Bernanke’s sheer money creation, has been bogus all along.

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Brace for Impact

USA Watchdog | Greg Hunter

“Brace for Impact.” I have thought about this economic collapse title for months. I held onto it and figured I would know when the right time was to put it out there. Today is the day. Watching mainstream media (MSM) this weekend, you would think a one notch downgrade to America’s debt doesn’t really matter. For example, former CNBC anchor Erin Burnett said Friday night on CNN the downgrade was “already priced into the market.” The panel spoke as if the first U.S. debt downgrade in history was no big deal. To that I say, positively absurd!

The gold market must think the same thing I do because when the Asian market opened, the price of the yellow metal shot up more than $27 an ounce, which is another all-time high. At around 1:30 am today it was up $50 and ounce another all-time high

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The Market Has Spoken: Austerity Is Bad for Business

Global Research | Ellen Brown

It used to be that when the Fed Chairman spoke, the market listened; but the Chairman has lost his mystique. Now when the market speaks, politicians listen. Hopefully they heard what the market just said: government cutbacks are bad for business. The government needs to spend more, not less. Fortunately, there are viable ways to do this while still balancing the budget.

On Thursday, August 4, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 512 points, the biggest stock market drop since the collapse of September 2008.

Why? Weren’t the markets supposed to rebound after the debt ceiling agreement was reached on Monday, avoiding U.S. default and a downgrade of U.S. debt?

So we were told, but the market apparently understands what politicians don’t: the debt deal is a death deal for the economy.

Reducing government spending by $2.2 trillion over a decade, as Congress just agreed to do, will kill any hopes of economic recovery. We’re looking at a double-dip recession.

The figure is actually more than $2.2 trillion. As Jack Rasmus pointed out on Truthout on August 4th:

Economists estimate the “multiplier” from government spending at about 1.5. That means for every $1 cut in government spending, about $1.5 dollars are taken out of the economy. The first year of cuts are therefore $375 billion to $400 billion in terms of their economic effect. Ironically, that’s about equal to the spending increase from Obama’s 2009 initial stimulus package. In other words, we are about to extract from the economy – now showing multiple signs of weakening badly – the original spending stimulus of 2009!

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Ron Paul Slams Obama’s “Monstrous Creature,” the Super Congress

The Daily Bell | RonPaul2008dotcom

Congressman Ron Paul is interviewed on CNN by Lou Dobbs about why he voted “NO” to raising the debt ceiling. Ron said the following:

“Mainly because I have never voted for any of the spending essentially over the many years I have been in Congress … I believed that debt was going to be a real problem many years ago and debt is the problem. So you don’t get out of the problem of having too much debt by allowing the Congress to spend a lot more and granting them another $2.4 trillion worth of debt. So it never made any sense to me to do it that way; it just digs a hole much deeper and it gets harder for us to get out. So it was a very easy vote for me, but it became much easier for me when I saw this vehicle they were using to create this ‘Super Congress.'”

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Chomsky: Public Education Under Massive Corporate Assault — What’s Next?

AlterNet | Noam Chomsky

The following is a partial transcript of a recent speech delivered by Noam Chomsky at the University of Toronto at Scarborough on the rapid privatization process of public higher education in the United States.

A couple of months ago, I went to Mexico to give talks at the National University in Mexico, UNAM. It’s quite an impressive university — hundreds of thousands of students, high-quality and engaged students, excellent faculty. It’s free. And the city — Mexico City — actually, the government ten years ago did try to add a little tuition, but there was a national student strike, and the government backed off. And, in fact, there’s still an administrative building on campus that is still occupied by students and used as a center for activism throughout the city.

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Celente: Dollar not worth its paper, Greatest Depression up ahead

August 8, 2011

August 8th, 2011

After Debt Downgrade

The TGB Report | Thomas G. Brown

“The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default” said Greenspan on NBC’s Meet the Press. This is just some more lying by Former Fed Chair Allen Greenspan when discussing the possibility of the government defaulting on debt now that it had been downgraded. He like all other government officials cannot admit that the scam that is the Federal Reserve, the Ponzi schemes that are Social Security and Medicare as well as the wars overseas all contributed to the present situation.

The day after the Budget Control Act (S. 365) where 163 House members voted against it and 28 Senators did the same the bill passed despite it doing anything to cut the debt or make any actual changes to our spending habits as a nation. $400 billion was spent the first day due to a increase in the debt by $239 billion dollars. When the President certifies that we are within $100 billion of the debt limit the Joint Committee will have the ability to recommend an increase of the debt ceiling by $1.2 and $1.5 trillion.

Until we get rid of the Federal Reserve (Central Bank) and the fractional reserve system of banking and get back to a system of money that is backed by gold (or silver). Why back the system with one of these two metals? Simple, gold and silver have been money for over 5,000 years. In addition they are both mined from the ground and cannot be inflated like fiat paper currency or in current situation by computers. Yes, it is true that banks can manipulate the amount of gold/silver certificates (paper money) by creating more than they have in gold/silver reserve. But, If we had banks that competed for our businesses much like any other business this would not happen that much as most banks would want a good reputation in order to gain your business. In addition with today’s technology it is easier carry gold around with you in the form of a debit card or on your smart phone. Take GoldMoney for instance. This company allows you to purchase products and services with your gold using computer technology to transfer the amount needed to complete your transaction from your account to the store. This service has been around for several years and continues to grow more each day

Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself From “Hurricane Reality”

The Daily Bell | Anthony Wile

Anthony Wile

Last week I discussed the nature of the “time taxers” and how easy it is for people to blindly be lulled into living their life in service of the State – or those who control it. And in that editorial I suggested that time, being the most precious commodity of all, is ours and ours alone to spend as we individually see fit – but that it takes knowledge of the world around us to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

Having said that, this week’s editorial will deal with some personal ideas and beliefs with respect to how people can protect their wealth amidst a global decline in confidence in fiat currencies – one that is justly going to propel the downward trajectory of them all and none more rapidly than the US dollar.

Now it has been said many times before that knowledge is power. And certainly that is true. However, I would argue that it is a certain type of knowledge – free-market thinking in its purest form – that enables one to perform a macro assessment of the world around them and to adequately predict the likely impact of major geopolitical actions and events on the overall business cycle. It involves assessing the dominant social themes being spun by the parasites who desire to siphon off the productivity of others by promoting the masses on an array of solutions to their manufactured fear-based problems. It involves a realistic assessment as to whether the larger segment of the population that tend to “dream” rather “think” will hand over their wealth and savings to the “dream weavers.”

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The Mysterious Death of Osama bin Laden: Creating Evidence Where There Is None

Global Research | Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

The New Yorker has published a story planted on Nicholas Schmidle by unidentified sources who claim to be familiar with the alleged operation that murdered Osama bin Laden.

There is no useful information in the story. Its purpose seems simply to explain away or cover up holes in the original story, principally why did the Seals murder an unarmed, unresisting Osama bin Laden whose capture would have resulted in a goldmine of terrorist information and whose show trial would have rescued the government’s crumbling 9/11 story?

The gullible Schmidle tells us: “‘There was never any question of detaining or capturing him–it wasn’t a split-second decision. No one wanted detainees,’ the special-operations officer told me.” In other words, the SEALs murdered bin Laden, because the US government did not want detainees, not because trigger-happy stupid SEALs destroyed a font of terrorist information.

Why did the SEALS dump bin Laden’s body in the ocean instead of producing the evidence to a skeptical world?

No real explanation, just that SEALS had done the same thing to other victims. Schmidle writes: “All along, the SEALs had planned to dump bin Laden’s corpse into the sea–a blunt way of ending the bin Laden myth.” But before they did so, the US checked with an unidentified Saudi intelligence operative, who allegedly replied, “Your plan sounds like a good one.”

I mean, really.

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United States loses prized AAA credit rating from S&P

Reuters | Walter Brandimarte and Daniel Bases

The United States lost its top-tier AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor’s on Friday in an unprecedented blow to the world’s largest economy in the wake of a political battle that took the country to the brink of default.

S&P cut the long-term U.S. credit rating by one notch to AA-plus on concerns about the government’s budget deficit and rising debt burden. The action is likely to eventually raise borrowing costs for the American government, companies and consumers.

“The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics,” S&P said in a statement.

The outlook on the new U.S. credit rating is “negative,” S&P said in a statement, indicating another downgrade was possible in the next 12 to 18 months.

The move reflects the deterioration in the global economic standing of the United States, which has had a AAA credit rating from S&P since 1941, and it could have implications for the U.S. dollar’s reserve currency status.

“The global system must now adjust to the many implications and uncertainties of the once-unthinkable loss of America’s AAA,” said Mohamed El-Erian, co-chief investment officer at Pacific Investment Management Co which oversees $1.2 trillion in assets.

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Ultra bearish Marc Faber says current gold price ‘low’, investors must prepare for the worst as ‘it will come to war’

Business Insider Middle East | BI-ME staff

NTERNATIONAL. Marc Faber the Swiss fund manager and Gloom Boom & Doom editor said markets are “extremely oversold” and a “snap-back” rally – 50 points on the S&P – could start as early as today.

However, he sees no new highs for the year, and expects markets to drift lower to a mid-term target of 1,050-1,100 for the S&P by October- November of this year.

In one of his gloomiest predictions, he tells investors to prepare for the worst by buying precious metals on dips.

Markets oversold

Speaking in a phone interview from Zurich with CNBC this morning, Faber said: “The market has experienced huge technical damage. Near term as of today, all markets are extremely oversold, so a rebound will happen.

“The damage technically is so great that the rebound, no matter if QE3 happens right here, is unlikely to lift the markets above the May 2 high on the S&P at 1,370,” he added.

Faber has set a mid-term target of 1,050-1,100 on the S&P 500 by October-November of this year. After, “we will have to see if QE3-QE4 will come and whether markets will stabilize.”

In general, the renowned investor said he would use rebounds as selling opportunities.

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Ron Paul Introduced Pro-gun Legislation

New American | Raven Clabough

Texas Congressman and GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul continues to champion constitutional rights. His latest endeavor is a bill that would abolish “gun-free zones,” ultimately permitting teachers to carry firearms on school grounds. Predictably, anti-gun groups are calling the legislation “extremist.”

CNS News reports, “H.R. 2613, the Citizens Protection Act of 2011, would repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and remove all federally created criminal safety zones.”

The Gun-Free School Zones Act was first enacted as section 1702 of the Crime Control Act of 1990. The text of the act reads, “It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.”

Paul’s bill will permit individuals, including teachers, to carry firearms onto high-school and middle-school campuses.

The Gun-Free School Zones Act faced adamant opposition from Second Amendment advocacy groups like Gun Owners of America, which has indicated its support for Paul’s legislation.

According to a news release from Gun Owners of America, the Gun-Free School Zones Act protects criminals. The release points to attacks at Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Fort Hood, all of which are “government facilities where the private possession of firearms was prohibited.”

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The Nixon Shock

Buisness Week | Roger Lowenstein

How Nixon stopped backing the dollar with gold and changed global finance, a 40-year-old decision that still echoes in Greece, Ireland, and the U.S.

“Inauguration Day was cloudy, grim,” wrote Arthur Burns in his diary on Jan. 20, 1969. As he watched President-elect Richard Nixon, Burns—an immigrant from Galicia, the son of a housepainter who had risen to become the foremost expert on U.S. economic cycles and chief economist to Dwight Eisenhower—saw a man with “a look of exaltation about him.” It was not a feeling Burns shared. “I would have felt better if his head were bowed and his body trembled some.”

Nixon was inheriting an overheated economy—inflation was already a concern. Burns, 64, would be joining the Administration as a uniquely trusted adviser. In 1960, when then Vice-President Nixon was seeking the White House, Burns had warned him that if the Federal Reserve tightened interest rates, it could damage Nixon’s chances. It had played out just so: The Fed tightened, the economy suffered a recession, and Nixon lost to John F. Kennedy. Nixon never forgot the power of the Fed, and he remembered Burns as an economist with political savvy.

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Debating the Constitution

City Journal | Gerald J. Russello

During the recent debt-ceiling standoff in Washington, some observers debated what role, if any, the Constitution might play. An obscure provision of the Fourteenth Amendment states that the “validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions . . . shall not be questioned.” Some argued that this provision required that the debt ceiling be raised, so as to avoid a government default. Others said that the clause didn’t require raising the debt ceiling if resort to other means (such as higher taxes or reduced spending) could service the obligations. Also at issue was the question of who could make this determination—Congress or the president. Lawrence Solum and Robert Bennett have built careers exploring such questions. In their new book, they build state-of-the-art cases for the two main schools of constitutional interpretation. Each contributes a generous essay presenting the merits of his own approach and offering a thoughtful rebuttal to the other’s argument. If you’ve been seeking a concise introduction to the central debate in American constitutional theory, this is the book for you.

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Raising The Debt; Lowering The Boom | Chuck Baldwin

he big story this week is the decision of the US Congress and Senate to raise the debt ceiling. Did this really surprise anyone? Despite millions of pieces of communication from their constituents to the contrary, congressmen and senators voted by substantial margins to increase the debt ceiling by up to $2.4 trillion. The House vote was 269 to 161. The Senate vote was 74 to 26. Coincidentally, the amount of this increase to the debt ceiling is now the largest debt-limit increase in US history–all the rhetoric by politicians in DC that they are serious about “cutting” federal spending notwithstanding.

See Terence Jeffrey’s report at:

Here is a recent report regarding the debt-ceiling votes via C-SPAN:

And here is the liberal NPR report with more details:

At this point, I think it is fitting to quote Congressman Ron Paul. Dr. Paul is one of the very few people in Congress that has consistently warned the American people about the foolhardiness of America living beyond its means. Here are some excerpts from Dr. Paul’s statement regarding the debt ceiling deal:

“This deal will reportedly cut spending by only slightly over $900 billion over 10 years. But we will have a $1.6 trillion deficit after this year alone, meaning those meager cuts will do nothing to solve our unsustainable spending problem. In fact, this bill will never balance the budget. Instead, it will add untold trillions of dollars to our deficit. This also assumes the cuts are real cuts and not the same old Washington smoke and mirrors game of spending less than originally projected so you can claim the difference as a ‘cut.’

“The plan also calls for the formation of a deficit commission, which will accomplish nothing outside of providing Congress and the White House with another way to abdicate responsibility. In my many years of public service, there have been commissions on everything from Social Security to energy policy, yet not one solution has been produced out of these commissions.”

Congressman Paul went on to say:

“What should bother Americans most is that under cover of this debt ceiling circus, we learned from a recent GAO one-time, limited audit that the Federal Reserve secretly pumped $16 trillion into American and foreign banks over three years. All of the Fed’s fat cat cronies were taken care of at the expense of the American public.

“To put that into perspective, our entire national debt is $14.5 trillion, and our annual deficit will be about $1.6 trillion, meaning the Federal Reserve created and appropriated more than our entire national debt to banks around the world in a few short years. We have been fighting in Congress these past few weeks over raising our debt ceiling by $2 trillion, an amount the Fed secretly gave away to just one big bank.

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How Predatory Lenders Are Leaving Veterans Homeless, Broke and In Debt

AlterNet | s.e. smith

Last week, Andrea Chandler opened her mailbox in rural Virginia to find an official-looking envelope warning her that an immediate response was requested, with a Washington, DC return address and ominous logos to suggest it was a communication from a government agency. She knew what she’d find inside: a solicitation from a firm offering to refinance her home and lower her monthly payments.

Chandler is a US Navy veteran with almost 10 years of service, from June 1998 to January 2008, and she’s been getting these solicitations since she bought her home with the assistance of a Veterans Administration (VA) loan guarantee in 2008.

She’s a target of pre-screened credit offers, a practice used throughout the financial industry that violates consumer privacy and sets people up for identity theft. These offers prey upon people who may lack the financial savvy to understand the truth behind the appealing terms. In pre-screening, financial institutions take advantage of vast amounts of data on consumers and their habits to tailor offers of credit cards, home loans and other financing. While it is possible, when companies follow the law, to opt out of pre-screening and stop getting such offers, the fine print about how to do that is on the back of the notices, and no mention as to why people might want to do that is provided.

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Fannie Mae seeks $5.1 billion more from taxpayers

Reuters |

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae said it would ask for an additional $5.1 billion from taxpayers as it continues to suffer losses on loans made prior to 2009.

The largest U.S. residential mortgage funds provider on Friday also reported a second-quarter net loss attributable to common shareholders of $5.2 billion, or 90 cents per share.

Including the latest funding request, Fannie Mae has needed $104 billion in government capital injections since the U.S. Treasury seized control of it in 2008 during the financial crisis. Fannie Mae has paid back $14.7 billion in dividends.

Fannie said in a statement that its second-quarter loss “reflects the continued weakness in the housing and mortgage markets, which remain under pressure from high levels of unemployment, underemployment and the prolonged decline in home prices since their peak in the third quarter of 2006.”

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The loss of the gold standard and why US foundations are firmly in foreign money | Ben Traynor

Perhaps it’s coincidence, or perhaps The Connells were onto something, but the years 1974 and 1975 stick out as key dates in the economic history of the United States.

December 31 1974 was the day Americans finally regained their right to own gold. The US removed the last of its significant capital controls in 1974, while 1975 was the time it ever ran a trade surplus.

That’s not all. According to data from the US Treasury and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 1974 was the year US national debt stopped falling as a percentage of economic output.

For the rest of the 1970s, national debt held constant at around a third of gross domestic product, before beginning the long climb that would lead to the debt ceiling theatrics we’ve seen in Washington over recent weeks.

To understand why this was, we need to go back to August 15 1971 – the day Richard Nixon cut the Dollar’s convertibility to gold. Take a look at what has happened since to the US federal deficit:

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