Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Where We're Headed Folks

Total Government

Am I speaking or writing about the War of Northern Aggression, incorrectly called the ‘Civil War’? Not on your life. I am talking about North and South Korea, and North and South Rhodesia. America is rapidly approaching the condition of North Korea and Zimbabwe, which used to be Southern Rhodesia.. Look at the absolute facts, and shudder.North Korea is total government, as is Zimbabwe, or any other totalitarian state. Zimbabwe used to be Southern Rhodesia. Southern Rhodesia had thousands of individually owned, prosperous farms. Southern Rhodesia exported food, and was an extremely rich, white ruled, free nation. It became independent from Britain in 1965. It was bordered by Zambia, (Northern Rhodesia, which was never free), Mozambique, (formerly a Portuguese colony), and Botswana. In 1978, after years of incredible pressure from the United Nations, Rhodesian President Ian Smith, signed an agreement with three black African leaders, with the promise of white protection. Fat chance. That sealed the doom of Rhodesia. I can still hear Smith begging for help from the free world, as his nation was being overrun, smothered and ruined, but there was no help. Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, and with it, total government, poverty, deforestation, inflation, murder, and seizing of white farms. Total government, in short, took what used to be prosperous Rhodesia, and turned it into total poverty, no freedom, and actual slavery. Whites are gone, as are their farms, which have been divided up and given to blacks, ‘who needed them.’ Whites are also gone or leaving South Africa after being murdered and their farms and businesses seized.North Korea, as opposed to South Korea, is the difference between night and day. North Koreans are starving, regimented, murdered, and live in abject poverty. North Korea does not lack natural resources, farm land, rain and sunshine, but it has total government. Total government has enslaved, and is literally starving the populace. South Korea makes things, sells things, and is happy and prosperous. South Korea’s government is miniscule, compared to America’s, and that’s why Korean cars are excellent, and lots of things are made and exported in and from South Korea.

In 1935, Amos Pinchot wrote that, “Today the nations in the world may be divided into two classes. The nations in which the government fears the people, and the nations in which the people fear the government.” And that sentence speaks volumes.When America was founded, the government was at the will of the citizens and states. Today, central government in Washington D.C., with thousands of branches and bureaucrats everywhere, are ruling us, rather than us ruling them. We are afraid of government, whereas government should be afraid of us. It isn’t, and thus we have the addendum to the health care bill, which was passed without a single Republican vote, part of which says that any sale over $600 must be reported on a 1099 form to the IRS, beginning Jan. 1st, 2012.This is fantasy, as far as I can see. Buy a new refrigerator and get a 1099? Buy a new sofa and get a 1099? Buy lots of groceries at one time and get a 1099? Buy a new or used car and get a 1099? Transmission job and get a 1099? How about a yard sale of a $600 something or other? Buy a row boat or canoe and get a 1099? Buy or sell a single Gold Eagle and get a 1099? Millions of forms flooding the IRS, and thousands of new employees to handle them? In addition to the 17,000 new IRS employees to search out everyone to be sure they have health insurance? That would make the IRS probably the largest bureaucracy in D.C. It’s simply too absurd to contemplate. There’s already a bill in Congress to delete this provision of the health care bill, and why not get rid of the whole thing? When idiotic Congress does a 2,000 page bill, and inserts a provision in it, without even a particle of thinking; obviously it must be deleted, or we will become a slave state almost overnig ht! This absurdity doesn’t take place till Jan. 1st, 2012, and by that time, this provision will no longer exist, I am certain.Which brings us back to North Korea and Zimbabwe, which have total government. As my son David’s bumper strips say, “Government is not the answer.” This fact is becoming quite obvious to millions of Americans, and we have the Tea Party as proof. The socialistic Democrats are scared to death of November, and I don’t blame them. They’ll do everything in their power to change America’s disgust with them, but hopefully it won’t work, because they’d all be lies.We’re on the march, via Obama and his henchmen in Congress, towards total government, total poverty and enslavement, a la North Korea and Zimbabwe. We cannot allow this to happen. Why isn’t it so obvious to Democrats, that the more government we have, the less responsibility we have, the less prosperity we have, the less jobs we have, and the less freedom and happiness we have? It is as plain as the nose on their faces. Why should it be necessary to clean out Congress? The Democratic platform of 1924 read in part: “We demand that the states of the Union shall be preserved in all their vigor and power. They constitute a bulwark against the centralizing and destructive tendencies of the Republican party.” Got that? The Democrats were worried about the Republicans, back in 1924, and now just the opposite is true. In 1930, as part of a speech, FDR said, “The individual sovereignty of our states must be destroyed.” A lot changed in six years, a nd the change has stuck with the Democrats.As I finish this; last week, an additional 464,000, for the first time filled out applications for relief. An average of 450,000 new un-employed each week! Week after week, people are still getting laid off. Who would hire someone today, with compulsory health care on the immediate horizon, paid by the employer? Who would hire anyone now, with a bureaucrat snooping over your shoulder at every turn, to be sure you obeyed the myriad laws regarding hiring someone? Who would attempt to run a business, in the most hostile government attitude towards business in history? Who would start a business if you had the possibility of filling out hundreds of 1099 forms and having an IRS agent checking everything but your blood pressure? Lame brained Congress just passed billions more in benefits for the unemployed, so why should anyone even look for a job, when they can get $500 a week in some places, for sitting on their duffs and watching inane TV? Writing this drivel, makes me sick. Wh at has happened to America?

Nicely Said................

"When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty." - Thomas Jefferson

The Bill That Really wasn't

Obama signs a bill that lets banks have US over a barrel once more
Last week, President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform bill – hailed as the most sweeping overhaul of US financial regulation since the 1930s.

"Because of this law, the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street's mistakes," Obama boomed at the schmaltzy signing ceremony, amid bursts of applause.

"These reforms will put a stop to a lot of the bad loans that fuelled this debt-based bubble," the President gushed to America and the rest of the world. "This bill also empowers consumerse_delivering the strongest consumer financial protections in history."
It would be reassuring if we could agree with Obama, concluding that Dodd-Frank will help to prevent the next systemic crisis and associated bail-out of "too-big-to-fail" banks. Reassuring, but wrong.
For despite some marginal regulatory improvements, this is no Rooseveltian legislative milestone. Amid the hype and back-slapping of last week's launch, the sad reality is that Dodd-Frank fails to address the fundamental problems that resulted in the sub-prime fiasco and the related damage to not just America, but the entire global economy.
The inherent feebleness of this door-stopping bundle of statute and its lack of desperately needed substance, was brilliantly captured by Laurence Kotlikoff, a highly-respected professor of economics at Boston University. "This law is like being invited to dinner and served pictures of food," Kotlikoff remarked.
It would be tempting to smile at such a wry observation if the situation it described wasn't so depressing. For what the US political establishment's non-response to the credit crunch illustrates is this: such is the lobbying power of the big Wall Street institutions that they not only caused a global economic crisis and then forced the US government to pay for a massive bail-out, but then used a slice of that bail-out cash to bribe politicians with campaign donations in order to block rule changes that might prevent a repeat performance.
That leaves the politicians and high-flying bankers happy, of course, while regular citizens – and their children and grandchildren – foot the multi-billion dollar bill.
The principal function of a financial services industry is to link savers with investors and creditors with borrowers, so facilitating broader commercial activity. Such intermediary functions are crucial to economic progress and can be the basis of a profitable and socially useful business.
What we've created, instead, is a group of institutions that between them comprise nothing less than a financial oligarchy. These guys have Western taxpayers over a barrel. And what's alarming is that there is almost nothing in this bill that will stop yet more too-big-to-fail calamities. Mr President, you have missed a historic opportunity and, for that, history's judgment will be severe.
In 1933, in the aftermath of the Wall Street crash, America introduced the Glass-Steagall divide – a firewall separating high-risk "investment banks" from regular "commercial banks". The idea was to draw a regulatory line in the sand, preventing Wall Street from playing fast and loose with the deposits of ordinary firms and households, deposits rightly covered by a state guarantee.
For more than 60 years that divide stood firm. But during the late 1980s and 1990s, increasingly powerful vested interests, first in the City and then Wall Street, pushed for the "co-mingling" of banking activities. The resulting "universal banks" eventually bestrode the Western world, particularly after Bill Clinton succumbed to the lobbyists' dime and formally repealed Glass-Steagall in 1999.
It is an indisputable fact that since that repeal, the Western world has lurched from crisis to crisis. Little wonder, given that the end of Glass-Steagall allowed investment banks to borrow heavily against their taxpayer-backed deposits, then place vastly leveraged heads-I-win-tails-the-government-loses bets on risky investments such as internet stocksor sliced-and-diced sub-prime mortgages. Yes, bank failures happened under Glass-Steagall, but they were less frequent and far smaller.
Obama didn't consider re-instating Glass-Steagall. On the contrary, he packed his administration with the same people who helped Clinton remove it.
During his first year in office, the President dithered over financial reform but then, in the aftermath of an electoral mauling in Massachusetts, he placated those calling for root-and-branch banking reform by calling in former Federal Reserve Chairman, Paul Volcker.
The so-called "Volcker Rule" is the centrepiece of Dodd-Frank and as such, is indicative of the entire package. It's designed to restrict the ability of universal banks to speculate with taxpayer-backed money, rather than making sure by keeping deposit takers and investment banks separate.
Volcker places limits on so-called "prop" trading without defining what it is, so allowing banks to exploit what they claim is "the grey area between market-making and speculation".
Wall Street firms will also still be able to lever up punters' money and deal in credit-default swaps – the main culprits in the AIG bankruptcy, which cost US taxpayers $182bn and counting – while also destroying Bear Stearns and Lehman. The only stipulation is that ratings agencies should classify such derivates as "investment grade". Such agencies are unreformed and were at the heart of the last debacle – so that's hardly reassuring.
Last-minute changes mean that banks can, anyway, use 3pc of their tier-one capital for out-and-out speculation, circumventing Volcker. That doesn't sound much, but once levered up 50-times – and such a figure isn't unusual – this huge loophole in Volcker is more than enough to allow investment banks to keep destroying themselves in full knowledge the state will pay. Adding insult to injury, Wall Street then secured delays to the introduction of Volcker – or what's left of it – that in some cases will last for more than 10 years.
The closer you look at Dodd-Frank, the more apparent becomes Wall Street's influence. Limits on leverage – rejected. Limits on bank size – rejected. Restrictions on derivatives – well, some trading will go through a central exchange, allowing more scrutiny, but it's entirely unclear how much.
At every turn, this bill avoids decisions, delegating them instead to an army of regulators who will turn generalities into actual rules. If the banks were able to skew Dodd-Frank their way , think of the influence they'll have when the details are hammered out behind closed doors.
Obama put the spotlight on the creation of a consumer protection bureau – an attempt, before November's mid-term elections, to make arcane legislation meaningful to the public. Are there limits on credit card interest, ensnaring adjustable rate mortgages or predatory pay-day loans? Nope.
Some other omissions in the bill are breath-taking. There is no mention of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac – the government-sponsored mortgage-providers that have already cost $145bn in bail-out cash, rising to almost $400bn by 2019. No mention, either, of capital requirements – which means the global banking system must rely, once again, on the ridiculous Basel process for resolving this crucial issue. Once again, Obama missed a chance to give a lead when it comes to financial reform.
Based on sound-thinking courageous judgment, the Glass-Steagall legislation was only 17 pages long. Packed with wheezes and loop-holes, Dodd-Frank runs to 2,319 pages. Enough said.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Socialism Is As Socialism Does

Don't like socialist label? Don't act so much like one!

Recent surveys of the voting public have shown that a majority (58 percent by one poll) of American voters believe Barack Obama is a socialist. This has led to a chorus of discontent from the mainstream media and Democratic Party officials such as DNC Chairman Tim Kaine. They're upset and confused at how "misinformed" most voters must be to believe this.
Of course, the voters are not misinformed. Despite all the propaganda from the mainstream media and the Democratic Party trying to convince them otherwise, the voting public has been able correctly to discern the obvious fact that the Obama administration and the current Congress run by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are pursuing a socialist policy agenda.
The evidence is overwhelming, even if the powers that be want to deny it. Obama is on record saying that one of the major purposes of the new health-care law is to redistribute wealth and income. Congressional leaders are on record saying and voting to show that they believe the best way to create jobs is through more government spending rather than lower taxes, less regulation and incentives for businesses.

Obama and the Democratic Congress have pushed through the largest increase ever in federal regulation of the banking and health-care sector. The entire residential real-estate finance industry has been effectively nationalized using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
(Column continues below)
They want to do the same thing to the utility and energy sectors using the excuse of trying to protect the environment. They're moving as close to nationalizing these industries as they possibly can with all of these new regulations and government controls.
The socialist agenda doesn't stop there by any means. They're pushing for the largest tax increases in history starting next year. Tax rates on dividends, which are already taxed at the corporate level, would double or more. Capital-gains taxes would rise by 50 percent. Ordinary income-tax rates, what most small businesses pay, would rise by 30 percent. The death tax would skyrocket from 0 percent to 55 percent.
What are they going to do with all of this additional tax money? If they tell you it's going to reduce the deficit, don't believe them for a second. They're going to spend every penny of it and then some to redistribute more wealth and income and hire more government employees to further expand regulation and control of private businesses and individuals. This administration already has created more new "czars" and departments than anybody since Franklin Roosevelt, but they're just getting started.
Nancy Pelosi recently said that she believed more unemployment benefits were the best way to create jobs. By that ridiculous logic, if everyone were collecting unemployment, she believes everyone would be employed. Only a true socialist ever could say something so absurd and expect people to take it seriously.
It is no mystery to anyone who understands market economics why no private-sector jobs have been created despite massive stimulus spending, record corporate cash on the sidelines and ultralow borrowing rates. The top 1 percent, or the "rich" as the Democrats like to call them, is responsible for nearly all of the private job creation in this country. This group has been under attack from Obama and this Congress every second since they've come into power. What we have here in economics is called a capital strike, and exactly the same thing happened during the Great Depression.
A capital strike occurs when private capital is unwilling to take the risk of investing because they believe that they're not being properly compensated for the risk. This is market economics 101. Higher tax rates mean returns have to be higher. More regulation means returns have to be higher. Fear of additional government intervention and changing the rules of the game means returns have to be higher.
All of these are risks that private capital needs to consider when deciding to invest. Hiring someone to do a job is an investment. It is a risk. At the same time, the government has artificially inflated asset prices, especially in real estate. What this does is further depress the expected returns that private capital can expect to earn from investing in those assets.
The bottom line is that if this government would just stop its relentless war on the top 1 percent and get out of the way, the market would start creating plenty of private-sector jobs. There is plenty of private capital out there in this country and abroad that wants to invest in America and hire American workers. It is not investing right now because it is afraid of what crazy socialist thing this government will do next. It's really that simple, but these socialist politicians don't want to acknowledge it because it doesn't fit with their ideology that the government creates jobs and prosperity rather than the private sector.
Instead, these socialist politicians would rather keep attacking the top 1 percent, the people who create all the private-sector jobs. They would rather attack people who call them socialists. They would rather attack anyone who disagrees with them as being an enemy of regular people, a right-wing fanatic or a greedy capitalist.
This kind of rhetoric is very powerful, and some people believe it. It's comforting for some people to believe that the only thing standing between them and a safe, secure, high-paying job with health insurance and a pension is some small group of wealthy right-wing conspirators.
Unfortunately, nothing could be farther from reality. The irony is that these socialist politicians and their antibusiness, antigrowth policies are the biggest reason companies aren't hiring.
As is too often the case in politics, evil is sold as being good and good as being evil. The old saying, "Satan in a Sunday hat" comes to mind in this current debate. In other words, sometimes those who present themselves as being righteous and selfless are completely the opposite.
As for these politicians who complain about being called socialists, maybe they should do everyone a favor and stop being socialists.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gov't Overspends, So Taxes More..................

Raising Taxes to Combat Recession: The Ultimate Fiscal Folly
By The Mogambo Guru

07/20/10 Tampa, Florida – When I saw that Illinois cleverly solved its budget crisis by just not paying its bills, I knew that the end is near, or would be, if we still had a dollar that was not a stupid fiat currency, because nowadays it would be child’s play for the Federal Reserve to just create as money as any state wanted! And they can do it in less time than it takes to tell you about it, too!
And then the Federal Reserve can turn right around and use that money to buy up all the state debt out there! Wipe debt completely out! And flood the economy with money!!!
The more astute Junior Mogambo Rangers (JMRs) out there noticed the rare triple exclamation point, which is a Secret Mogambo Code (SMC) for, “We’re freaking doomed, and you need to buy gold and silver with all the money you have left over from building a fortified bunker in the backyard to protect yourself from the starving, rioting, desperate people who did not!” because all this new money created by the Federal Reserve and spent by the Obama Congress will cause prices to rise in a horrible inflation that will probably destroy us forever, or as long as you live, whichever comes first.”
Actually, this “death by inflation” thing is the only reason why they don’t do more of this create-money-and-borrow-money-and-spend-money crap than they do! Hahaha!
So, it is obvious that Obama and Congress, either this one or the next one, will bail out Illinois, California, and all the other dirtbag states that are literally or technically bankrupt, and then all the other states will want to jump on this “free money to pay off our debts” bandwagon, and the Federal Reserve will simply create the fiat money that Obama and Congress want to, thus, give away.
Oh, I know that there are those who think that I am now going to launch into a Howling Mogambo Outburst (HMO) of anger and outrage about how all this new money is going to create roaring inflation in consumer prices, which history has shown to be the One Thing To Be Feared Above All Others (OTTBFAAO).
Normally, I would do exactly that, except that my throat is already raw and sore from all the previous HMOs of late, from the foul Federal Reserve destroying the dollar by creating so much more money, to the corrupt Congress deficit-spending, over-regulating and micro-managing the economy into the Wretched Rat Hole Of Doom (WRHOD) in their panic, their desperation, their stupidity and their arrogant sense of omnipotence.
And, too, I am already so battered and beleaguered by my fear of the unstoppable, imminent collapse of the economy that all I can do is whimper and sigh in weary resignation, hugging my teddy bear a little tighter, not even rising to the bait of ridiculing Illinois’s comptroller, Daniel W. Hynes, ludicrously saying, “Only the most delusional people think you can solve this without raising taxes,” as if there is Any Freaking Way (AFW) to “solve” any of this, because if there were, I certainly think I would have heard of a plan to “solve” economic ruin by raising taxes, which sounds so ridiculous that I, in spite of my dark outlook and homicidal mood, laughed out loud! Hahaha!
Whew! That little laugh made me feel better! Thanks, Mr. Hynes!
Maybe this has something to do with how the federal House Democrats (all Republicans voted against it) passed a “deemed as passed” non-existent $1.12 trillion budget. The effect is, as one said, “to allow Congress to start spending money for Fiscal Year 2011 without the pesky constraints of a budget.”
The federal government, on the other hand, has also decided that what this country needs, despite my snorting in Rude Mogambo Derision (RMD) at the concept, is more taxes, and to that end, Claude Sandroff, writing at, reports that “In 2011, one of the largest tax increases in American history goes into effect. Not only do capital gains rise, but so too does the payroll tax, the income tax, and the estate tax.” Yow!
As if my constant-yet-irritating advice to buy gold, silver and oil in response to the unbelievable fiscal and monetary insanities around the world were not enough, but now I am howling louder and longer than ever that we Americans are committing the ultimate fiscal folly; raising taxes in response to a recession/depression!
When one is past yelling and screaming in fear at such economic insanity, and one is collapsed, spent and exhausted, on the floor, drawn up into a fetal position and choking on one’s own bile at the mere contemplation of the economic horror of what is unfolding, what can one do except buy gold, silver and oil, and what can one say except, “Whee! This investing stuff is easy!”

Nicely Said........................

"The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded." - Charles-Louis De Secondat(1689-1755) Baron de Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws, 1748

Enjoy Your Internet While You Have It.................

False Flag Cyber Attack Could Takedown The Internet

Billion dollar cybersecurity industry at the forefront of ‘Top Secret America’ complex
Wednesday, Jul 21st, 2010
An increasing clamour to restrict and control the internet on behalf of the government, the Pentagon, the intelligence community and their private corporate arms, could result in a staged cyber attack being used as justification.
Over recent months we have seen a great increase in media coverage of inflated fears over a possible “electronic Pearl Harbor” event, with reports claiming that the U.S. could be “felled within 15 minutes” .
Vastly over-hyped (and in some cases completely asinine) claims that the power grids and other key infrastructure such as rail networks and water sources are wired up to the public internet have permeated such coverage.
Threats against computer networks in the United States are grossly exaggerated. Dire reports issued by the Defense Science Board and the Center for Strategic and International Studies “are usually richer in vivid metaphor — with fears of ‘digital Pearl Harbors’ and ‘cyber-Katrinas’ — than in factual foundation,” writes Evgeny Morozov , a respected researcher and blogger who writes on the political effects of the internet.
Morozov notes that much of the data on the supposed cyber threat “are gathered by ultra-secretive government agencies — which need to justify their own existence — and cyber-security companies — which derive commercial benefits from popular anxiety.”
When the Cybersecurity Act was introduced by Senator John Rockefeller last year, he made similar claims about the threat of cyber attacks, adding “Would it have been better if we’d have never invented the Internet?”.
Rockefeller’s legislation gives the president the ability to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” and shut down or limit Internet traffic in any “critical” information network “in the interest of national security.” The bill does not define a critical information network or a cybersecurity emergency. That definition would be left to the president, according to a Mother Jones report .
Provisions in the bill would allow the federal government, via the DHS and the NSA, to tap into any digital aspect of every citizen’s information without a warrant. Banking, business and medical records would be wide open to inspection, as well as personal instant message and e mail communications – all in the name of heading off cyber attacks on the nation.
Enhancements of such provisions are contained in the more recent “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act” , which is being pushed hard by Senator Joe Lieberman. The bill would hand absolute power to the federal government to close down networks, and block incoming Internet traffic from certain countries under a declared national emergency.
An accompanying cybersecurity control grid would only create greater risk according to experts who note that it would essentially “establish a path for the bad guys to skip down.” Other countries, such as Australia and the UK are following suit .
The program dovetails with the Pentagon’s newly created Cyber Command, headed by Keith B Alexander, the acting head of the NSA and the man behind the massive program of illegal dragnet surveillance of domestic communications since at least 2001.
During the Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing, Alexander said the Pentagon’s Cyber Command would enjoy “significant synergy” with the NSA. “We have to show what we’re doing to ensure that we comport, comply with the laws,” said Alexander, perversely claiming the agency is respecting and protecting the privacy of the American people.
The Pentagon considers cyberspace a warfighting domain equal to land, sea, air and space. In 2003, the Pentagon classified the internet as an enemy “weapons system” requiring a “robust offensive suite of capabilities to include full-range electronic and computer network attack.” It has spent Billions of dollars building a super secret “National Cyber Range” in order to prepare for “Dominant Cyber Offensive Engagement” , which translates as control over “any and all” computers. The program has been dubbed “The Electronic Manhattan Project”.
The enemy is never specifically named, it is merely whoever uses the net, because the enemy IS the net. The enemy is the freedom the net provides to billions around the globe and the threat to militaristic dominance of information and the ultimate power that affords.
These initiatives represent a continuation of the so called “Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative”, created via a secret presidential orde r in 2008 under the Bush administration. former National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell announced that the NSA’s warrantless wiretaps would “be a walk in the park compared to this,” .
“This is going to be a goat rope on the Hill” McConnell said. My prediction is that we’re going to screw around with this until something horrendous happens.”
As we have previously reported , large corporations such as Google, AT&T, Facebook and Yahoo to name but a few are intimately involved in the overarching program. Those corporations have specific government arms that are supplying the software, hardware and tech support to US intelligence agencies in the process of creating a vast closed source database for global spy networks to share information.

Clearly the implications of this program for the open and free internet, and for liberty in general are very worrying, this has been reflected in the resistance and criticism from groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
In light of this, there is a real danger of a hyped or completely staged cyber attack being propagated in order to bring the issue to public attention and counter the critics who have exposed it as a part of the agenda to restrict the Internet.
In 2008 Stanford Law professor Lawrence Lessig detailed such ongoing government plans for overhaul and restriction.
Lessig told attendees of a high profile Tech conference that “There’s going to be an i-9/11 event ” which will act as a catalyst for a radical reworking of the law pertaining to the internet.
Lessig said that he came to that conclusion following a conversation with former government Counter Terrorism Czar Richard Clarke, who informed him that there is already in existence a cyber equivalent of the Patriot Act, an “i-Patriot Act” if you will, and that the Justice Department is just waiting for a cyber terrorism event in order to implement its provisions.
Lessig is the founder of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. He is founding board member of Creative Commons and is a board member of the Software Freedom Law Center. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications.
These are clearly not the ravings of some paranoid cyber geek.
Though Richard Clarke advocates an enhancement of cyber security, even he has stated that it would be a terrible idea to allow the government to regulate and filter the internet.
We have also recently seen multiple mock attacks conducted by the government, via private outsourcing, on it’s own infrastructure systems. On such exercise, called “We Were Warned: Cyber Shockwave” , involved Former Department of Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff and former CIA deputy director John McLaughlin taking the roles of government leaders. CNN broadcast the entire simulation on prime time television.

Read This: Now........Act To Prepare Your Family. We're Headed Straight For An Economic Cliff

One Economic Chart That You Should Permanently Burn Into Your Memory

Today most Americans are completely obsessed with the silliest of things. They wonder how Lindsay Lohan is going to fare in jail and they agonize over who LeBron James is going to play basketball for. But when it comes to the things that really matter, most Americans are completely clueless. For example, while most Americans would agree that we are experiencing difficult economic times right now, most of them would also argue that our economic system is in fundamentally good shape and that things will get back to “normal” at some point. Those of us who are trying to warn America of the impending economic nightmare are dismissed as “doom and gloomers” and “conspiracy theorists”. But of course, as with so many things, the passage of time will tell who was right and who was wrong. Below there is a chart that I want all of you to burn into your memory. It is a chart of total U.S. debt as a percentage of GDP from 1870 until 2009. This chart clearly and succinctly communicates the horror of the debt bubble that we are currently dealing with. When this debt bubble pops, it is going to make the Great Depression look like a Sunday picnic.
As you can see from the chart below, the total of all debt (government, business and consumer) is now somewhere in the neighborhood of 360 percent of GDP. Never before has the United States faced a debt bubble of this magnitude….

Most of us were not alive during the Great Depression, but those who were remember how incredibly painful it was for America to deleverage and bring the economic system back into some type of balance.
So if our current debt bubble is far worse, what kind of economic horror is ahead for us?
But the truth is that we are facing some circumstances that even the folks back during the Great Depression did not have to deal with….
1 – Back in the 1930s, tens of millions of Americans lived on farms or knew how to grow their own food. Today the vast majority of Americans are totally dependent on the system for even their most basic needs.
2 – A vast horde of Baby Boomers is expecting to retire, and the “Social Security trust fund” has nothing but 2.5 trillion dollars of government IOUs in it. According to an official U.S. government report , rapidly growing interest costs on the U.S. national debt together with spending on major entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare will absorb approximately 92 cents of every dollar of federal revenue by the year 2019. This is a financial tsunami the likes of which Americans back in the 1930s could never have even dreamed of.

3 – American workers never had to compete for jobs with workers on the other side of the world back in the 1930s. But today, millions upon millions of our jobs have been “outsourced” [5] to China, India and a vast array of third world nations where desperate workers are more than happy to slave away for big global corporations for less than a dollar an hour. How in the world are American workers supposed to compete with that?
4 – Back in the 1930s, there was nothing like the gigantic derivatives bubble that hangs over us today. The total value of all derivatives worldwide is estimated to be somewhere between 600 trillion and 1.5 quadrillion dollars. The danger that we face from derivatives is so great that Warren Buffet has called them “financial weapons of mass destruction” . When this bubble pops there won’t be enough money in the entire world to fix it.
5 – During the Great Depression, the United States economy was relatively self-contained. But today we truly do live in a global economy. Unfortunately that means that a severe economic crisis in one part of the world is going to affect us as well. Right now, the United States is far from alone in dealing with a massive debt crisis. Greece, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Portugal and a number of other European nations are in real danger of actually defaulting on their debts . Japan (the third biggest economy in the world) is on the verge of complete and total economic collapse . So what happens to the U.S. economy when the dominoes start to fall?
The truth is that by almost any measure, we are in worse economic condition than we were right before the beginning of the Great Depression. We have been living way beyond our means and the debts we have been piling up are clearly not anywhere close to sustainable.
Did you think that we could just continue to run deficits equal to 10 percent of GDP forever?
Of course not.
The U.S. economy is being driven off a cliff, but America’s ”ruling class” has insisted all along that they know better than we do .
But the truth is that in the final analysis it is not us that they care about.
What they do actually care about is getting more money and more power for themselves and for other members of the ruling class. Today, 10,000 people make 30% of the total income in the United States each year.
That leaves 70% of the pie for the remaining 99.99% of us to divide up.
The reality is that however you want to slice it, the U.S. economic system is broken. However, considering the fact that America’s ruling class has a stranglehold on both major political parties, we are not likely to see any fundamental changes any time soon.
That is very unfortunate, because time is running out on the U.S. economy.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

US States Mostly Bankrupt

It's "Chapter 66" as U.S. States Face De Facto Bankruptcy

When an individual goes bankrupt in the United States, it’s usually a Chapter 7. When a business goes under, it’s Chapter 11. Farmers have a Chapter 12, and there is a more complex individual option known as Chapter 13.
But what do you call it when a U.S. state goes under? There’s no official “chapter” for that. But it’s looking more and more like there should be. Your humble editor proposes “Chapter 66,” in honor of a famed stretch of interstate.
U.S. Route 66, also known as “Will Rogers Highway,” “Main Street of America” and “the Mother Road,” was one of the original routes in the U.S. highway system. Opened up to cars in the year 1926, it originally ran 2,448 miles, from Chicago, Ill., to Los Angeles, Calif.

Route 66 was also a major path for westbound migrants, seeking relief from the “dust bowl” conditions of the 1930s.
It’s fitting that Illinois and California were the termination points of that iconic road, because “Chapter 66” is a dark and looming reality for those two states now – with a number of others on the same path. As America endures a sort of new financial dustbowl, the “state of the states” looks grim.
Amber Waves of Debt
The Globe and Mail describes the situation as “red ink, from sea to shining sea.”
“Forty-eight of 50 states face budget shortfalls this year,” they further report. “Many shortfalls amount to more than 20 percent of planned spending. The plunge in state tax revenue is the worst on record.”
How did we get to this sorry spot? By and large the same way Greece did… by spending money we didn’t have, and ignoring the consequences as long as possible.
Oh Boy, Illinois
Illinois is something of an idiot poster child for how bad things have gotten… and how tough the fix will be.
“It is getting worse every single day,” the Illinois state comptroller laments. “We are not paying bills for absolutely essential services. That is obscene.”
Illinois is facing a $12 billion deficit and a $5 billion budget shortfall. To add insult to injury, the state’s pension system is 50% underfunded by conservative estimates.
It has reached the point where the state has, quite literally, stopped paying bills. This means that jobs are getting cut, paychecks are getting delayed, and businesses are being shut down. There is simply – and again, quite literally – no more money.
Meanwhile, the state’s pension shortfall is no longer a potential catastrophe. It is a guaranteed one. According to Fitch, one of the big three ratings agencies, “Their pension is the most underfunded in the nation… they can’t grow their way out of this.”
So what is the Illinois governor’s response to all this? Why, spending more money of course. Staff members have reportedly received 43 salary increases at an average of 11.4%. And 40,000 union workers in Illinois have successfully rammed through a pay raise of 14%.
The politicians and union bosses running Illinois are not just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. They are cheerily giving themselves pay hikes even as the iceberg heads straight for them.
The 100%-legal “refund” the IRS hopes you never discover...
Because it gives YOU the right to collect as much as $1,150,000 in “taxes” from the U.S. government. Or much more.

California Dreamin’
California is another poster child for impossible foolishness.
“People think we’re becoming a third world country,” says Arnella Sims, a Los Angeles County court reporter. “We are on the verge of system failure,” warns the executive director of the California Budget Project.
“California’s fiscal hole is now so large,” The Globe and Mail further adds, “that the state would have to liberate 168,000 prison inmates and permanently shutter 240 university and community college campuses to balance its budget in the fiscal year that begins July 1… Mass layoffs, slashed health and welfare services, closed parks, crumbling superhighways and ever-larger public school class sizes are all part of the new normal.”
In an effort to fight back the tide, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger – the “governator” – took a bold step last week, ordering 200,000 state workers to take a temporary pay reduction to $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum wage. The state comptroller balked.
It would be amusing if it weren’t so tragic. This is the kind of stuff that happens when you run out of money, courtesy of spending what you don’t have for years or even decades at a time.
Growth Won’t Do It
In the past, the prevailing belief was that economic growth would cover all sins. No matter how foolishly federal and local governments spent, no matter how recklessly the money was squandered, a tide of rising prosperity would ensure there would always be more. The great American growth engine would keep the coffers filled.
Sadly, it is exactly that attitude that brought us to where we are now. The terrible debt crisis that America faces was brought on precisely through a mixture of laziness and overconfidence. No matter how much was earned, the belief was always that things could be even better if we just leveraged up that prosperity by a factor of X.
Like the man who thinks that becoming a millionaire entitles him to spend like a billionaire, that mindset was always guaranteed to end in tears. And now we have reached that terrible point in the cycle where economic growth – the very thing we have always relied on in the past – is being choked off by mountainous levels of accumulated debt.
As Hunter Thompson once said: “The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.” We were bound and determined to find the edge. And now we are in the process of going over. Be prepared.

The Story of the Fed...for 3rd graders

US Government Looking To Tax Precious Metals

Gov't HORROR: IRS to begin tracking gold and silver coin purchases

Friday, July 09, 2010
By David Galland in Casey's Daily Dispatch:In past editions of this service, I’ve advocated tuning your personal radar to pick up early indications that the government is taking an active interest in gold. Especially when that interest revolves around terrorists or tax evaders, two popular bogeymen these days.It was, therefore, with more than a little concern that I read an article in our Ed Steer’s Gold & Silver Daily service yesterday on an item slid into the legislation authorizing the government takeover of health care. Here’s a snip from Ed’s letter…The good folks over at report that, starting on January 1st in 2012, U.S. federal law will require coin and bullion dealers to report to the Internal Revenue Service all gold and silver coin purchases and sales greater than $600. The report is written by David L. Ganz and is headlined "$600 Sale? Get Ready for Tax Form." Apparently this little jewel was an add-on to the national health care legislation. But there’s a new bill being introduced by Rep. Dan Lungren (H.R. 5141), which has gathered over 80 members of Congress as co-sponsors to repeal this section... so we'll see how that turns out. The link to the story is here.According to the author of the article Ed references, the rationale for the new regulations is that the taxocrats believe that people conducting off-book trading in precious metals are chiseling them out of $17 billion in lost revenue annually. The net result, however, will be that the government will soon know who’s got the gold. Can’t a person just keep their gold purchases under $600? With the price of gold heading higher, that will increasingly require buying smaller-denomination bullion coins – which typically carry a higher premium. More importantly, a large body of case law gives the government license to charge people for “structuring” – i.e., taking active measures to get around a particular law. Thus, two $500 gold purchases could be construed as active evasion and carry additional penalties. Looking to get a better handle on this matter, our own Jeff Clark of Casey’s Gold & Resource Repor contacted Andy Schectman of the coin dealer Miles Franklin to get his quick take.

Here it is… It would be a logistical nightmare. But it’s not just gold – it’s any and all companies that would be required to file a 1099 for anything over $600. A lot of people feel it won’t pass, and I have a hard time believing it will, too. It would really kill the small businessman; they’d spend their entire time filling out paperwork for the government. Hopefully it won’t pass. Think about this: it might be a precursor to a VAT tax, so they can figure out where the money is coming from. Everyone should contact their congressman and encourage them to not let this pass.Continuing our mini-investigation, we reached out to another well-informed source who confirmed that the new regs would apply to all businesses. For example, under the new regime a plumber who does work for you in excess of the $600 threshold would be required to file a 1099 report. That being the case, I have to think that Andy’s got it right – the implications of this move transcend just the precious metals. Rather, this is a deliberate step in the direction of implementing a VAT – once the government has everyone reporting essentially every transaction, taking the next step is a snap. So what are the odds that the movement to have this clause repealed will succeed? In my opinion, given the sheer quantity of new regulations embedded in the new health care legislation, most of which is equally wrong-headed, the administration and its allies are certain to take a hard line about making changes. Simply, once the hard shell of the legislation is cracked open, great swaths of the thing will be subject to being picked apart.I ran that opinion by Don Grove, our man in Washington, and he responded by sending across the following…David,This from Tom Coburn this morning:Jun 08 2010Drs. Coburn and Barrasso: Congress Should Repeal and Replace Health Law That Will Harm Seniors and Our Future (WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Physicians and U.S. Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and John Barrasso (R-WY) released the following statement today regarding how the new health law will affect Americans. “The American people have rejected this plan because they see it not as a series of milestones, but millstones that will trap seniors and future generations in failing programs before drowning them in debt. No amount of rebate checks will plug Medicare's $38 trillion funding gap. In fact, this new law will undermine Medicare even further by cutting benefits rather than waste, increasing premiums, reducing access and rationing care," Dr. Coburn said. "If the President really wants to cut waste, fraud and abuse in America's healthcare system, he'll cancel his misleading multi-million-dollar PR campaign about the new health care law. Instead of selling a bad law, the White House should focus on actually fixing America's health care system. The fact is that the President's new law cuts Medicare, raises costs, kills jobs and burdens seniors' grandchildren with more debt. We need to repeal this new law and replace it with health care reform that helps all Americans," Dr. Barrasso said. I will admit that I did not search the massive tome that is Obamacare for “gold,” “silver,” or “coins,” and even if I had, I would have missed this provision that impacts such transactions. When the government is this desperate to squeeze money out of citizens, it is already well into diminishing returns. This level of busy work does not come without a crippling price. People will rebel and simply not comply. They can’t. It’s impractical. Many will probably not even know they are not complying. Congressman Steve King (R-IA) introduced legislation, a discharge petition, that will completely repeal Obamacare. The brief text of his bill H.R. 4972 “To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” follows:Effective as of the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, such Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.King said:“Today the work begins to repeal Obamacare and restore the principles of liberty that made America a great nation. The American people must take their country back by methodically eliminating every vestige of creeping socialism, including socialized medicine. The Pelosi Democrats will pay a price for their overreach. This fight is far from over.”H.R.4972 has 95 cosponsors. Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) is circulating a request that members support King’s discharge petition. 74 representatives have signed Price’s request. If a majority sign, Pelosi will have to bring King’s bill to the floor for an up-or-down vote. 218 signatures are needed to force a vote on the House floor.20 senators have cosponsored Senator Jim DeMint’s S. 3152, the Obamacare repeal bill in the Senate. DeMint’s bill is even shorter: “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the amendments made by that Act, are repealed.” DeMint said: “I will continue to work to gain support for full repeal in the Senate, so that together with the efforts in the House, we can save health care freedom for all Americans. ObamaCare is built on a flawed foundation of government-run healthcare and it must be overturned in its entirety.”These efforts for complete repeal would of course encompass Section 9006 of Obamacare imposing the $600 1099s. Meanwhile, Dan Lungren’s (R-CA) HR 5141, the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act, has 91 cosponsors and attacks the problem with surgical precision. His bill reads: “Section 9006 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the amendments made thereby, are hereby repealed; and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall be applied as if such section, and amendments, had never been enacted.”I would not write off repeal. As Nancy Pelosi said, “We have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Now it’s passed, and we’re finding out more by the day and don’t like what we find. Regards, DonClearly, the battle is joined – but, unlike Don, I hold out little hope that any of these attempts at repeal will succeed. The Democrats know this is their Maginot Line. If Obamacare unwinds, then their already dismal chances of holding power after the November elections become dark, indeed. Further, the latest polls show that the health care legislation is gaining popularity and is now approaching a majority. As time passes and November approaches, I think the legislation’s popularity will grow as more and more people decide they want something approaching “free” medical, a want that becomes ever more acute as the economy struggles and unemployment continues to rise. In other words, deep political trenches are being dug on the battlefield of nationalized health care – and the Democrats hold the political high ground, making a retreat unlikely. Back on the specific issue of setting the stage for a VAT, even politicians on the Republicrat side of the aisle are talking about the need for a national sales tax. Get ready for it, it’s coming. Meanwhile, if you are a physical-gold investor in these United States and would like to prepare… a few thoughts:

1. Use dips in the gold price to top off your portfolio before the 2012 implementation date.

2. Document your purchases so that, should you ever be dragged in to explain the source of funds you used to buy your gold in a subsequent sale, once the regulation is in place, you have a ready answer.

3. Consider opening a safe deposit box at a reputable Canadian bank, then make occasional gold buying/storage trips up north. I suspect that the availability of Canadian safe deposit boxes will become scarce well before 2012 rolls around.

1932 Seems Like Yesterday............

With the US trapped in depression, this really is starting to feel like 1932
The US workforce shrank by 652,000 in June, one of the sharpest contractions ever. The rate of hourly earnings fell 0.1pc. Wages are flirting with deflation.

People queue for a job fair in New York. The share of the US working-age population with jobs in June fell from 58.7pc to 58.5pc. The ratio was 63pc three years ago.
"The economy is still in the gravitational pull of the Great Recession," said Robert Reich, former US labour secretary. "All the booster rockets for getting us beyond it are failing."

"Home sales are down. Retail sales are down. Factory orders in May suffered their biggest tumble since March of last year. So what are we doing about it? Less than nothing," he said.
California is tightening faster than Greece. State workers have seen a 14pc fall in earnings this year due to forced furloughs. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is cutting pay for 200,000 state workers to the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to cover his $19bn (£15bn) deficit.
Can Illinois be far behind? The state has a deficit of $12bn and is $5bn in arrears to schools, nursing homes, child care centres, and prisons. "It is getting worse every single day," said state comptroller Daniel Hynes. "We are not paying bills for absolutely essential services. That is obscene."
Roughly a million Americans have dropped out of the jobs market altogether over the past two months. That is the only reason why the headline unemployment rate is not exploding to a post-war high.
Let us be honest. The US is still trapped in depression a full 18 months into zero interest rates, quantitative easing (QE), and fiscal stimulus that has pushed the budget deficit above 10pc of GDP.
The share of the US working-age population with jobs in June actually fell from 58.7pc to 58.5pc. This is the real stress indicator. The ratio was 63pc three years ago. Eight million jobs have been lost.
The average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks. Nothing like this has been seen before in the post-war era. Jeff Weniger, of Harris Private Bank, said this compares with a peak of 21.2 weeks in the Volcker recession of the early 1980s.
"Legions of individuals have been left with stale skills, and little prospect of finding meaningful work, and benefits that are being exhausted. By our math the crop of people who are unemployed but not receiving a check amounts to 9.2m."
Republicans on Capitol Hill are filibustering a bill to extend the dole for up to 1.2m jobless facing an imminent cut-off. Dean Heller from Nevada called them "hobos". This really is starting to feel like 1932.
Washington's fiscal stimulus is draining away. It peaked in the first quarter, yet even then the economy eked out a growth rate of just 2.7pc. This compares with 5.1pc, 9.3pc, 8.1pc and 8.5pc in the four quarters coming off recession in the early 1980s.
The housing market is already crumbling as government props are pulled away. The expiry of homebuyers' tax credit led to a 30pc fall in the number of buyers signing contracts in May. "It is cataclysmic," said David Bloom from HSBC.
Federal tax rises are automatically baked into the pie. The Congressional Budget Office said fiscal policy will swing from a net +2pc of GDP to -2pc by late 2011. The states and counties may have to cut as much as $180bn.
Investors are starting to chew over the awful possibility that America's recovery will stall just as Asia hits the buffers. China's manufacturing index has been falling since January, with a downward lurch in June to 50.4, just above the break-even line of 50. Momentum seems to be flagging everywhere, whether in Australian building permits, Turkish exports, or Japanese industrial output.
On Friday, Jacques Cailloux from RBS put out a "double-dip alert" for Europe. "The risk is rising fast. Absent an effective policy intervention to tackle the debt crisis on the periphery over coming months, the European economy will double dip in 2011," he said.
It is obvious what that policy should be for Europe, America, and Japan. If budgets are to shrink in an orderly fashion over several years – as they must, to avoid sovereign debt spirals – then central banks will have to cushion the blow keeping monetary policy ultra-loose for as long it takes.
The Fed is already eyeing the printing press again. "It's appropriate to think about what we would do under a deflationary scenario," said Dennis Lockhart for the Atlanta Fed. His colleague Kevin Warsh said the pros and cons of purchasing more bonds should be subject to "strict scrutiny", a comment I took as confirmation that the Fed Board is arguing internally about QE2.
Perhaps naively, I still think central banks have the tools to head off disaster. The question is whether they will do so fast enough, or even whether they wish to resist the chorus of 1930s liquidation taking charge of the debate. Last week the Bank for International Settlements called for combined fiscal and monetary tightening, lending its great authority to the forces of debt-deflation and mass unemployment. If even the BIS has lost the plot, God help us.

Water theft and the beginning of the end of independent and family cattle ranching

Western states are experiencing serious water shortages because the federal government has taken control over water resources and has been selling water rights as commodities to multinational corporations. The result is that farmers and ranchers now must purchase the water that naturally appears on their own land.

Reports are coming in from across the country, mostly from the 14 Western States where cattle ranching is a way of life, of water being diverted to other areas or regions and natural waterways being altered to allow the collection of water to be sold on the commodities markets depriving cattle ranchers of the much needed water for their herds.
While many a cattleman (not all) in the west are cheering the unlawful herding and slaughter of wild horses and burros believing that ending the existence of these animals would somehow increase their access to below fair market value grazing permits, a wholly separate plan was being put in place by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Now, don’t get too excited. You’ll probably still get some really, really cheap grazing permits….you just won’t be able to afford the water necessary for your herds without selling off a couple of your kids or grandkids. And no guarantees are made as to the quality of water you will have access to.
BLM, in collusion with municipalities, multi-national corporations and other stakeholders have been systematically laying claim to any and all water supplies: even what is contained in underground aquifers. What this means to you is this: Even if water appears on your land naturally, having come from a river, stream or aquifer now owned by these corporate stakeholders, you are committing theft. They own the water and all rights to it. The fact that it shows up on your land and always has is now a moot point.
If the corporations who now claim to own the water can prove that it originated from a spring or stream, river or aquifer they have title to, can stop the flow of that water to your land so you can’t steal it from them. This would be cheating them out of their profits under NAFTA/CAFTA regulations which put the rights of the investor above that of the individual or nation/state.
While many of us have kept a careful eye on the multiple attempts to pass such odious pieces of legislation such as Jim Oberstar’s (D)MN,”Water Restoration Act” which would have given the corporate federal government title and control over all water, from any source whatsoever, including dried up lake beds and the rain off your roof, across the entire country, the behind the scenes activities of private multi-national corporations engaging with federal corporations has been operating non-stop. After all, although the marketing plan for the restoration act was premised on “national security” and the phony threats of possible water poisoning by some foreign terrorist operating from a cave along side a poppy field in Afghanistan was waved in front of the public continually, the truth of the matter was and is that the UN declared water a commodity in 2007…not a human right, and surely not a right for your cattle herds.
All over the US water rights are being sold off to private corporations, which was the intent of the restoration act. Privatizer’s were lined up and already negotiating with corporate federal agencies to seize control and sale of water; the various pieces of legislation were meant only to keep the public diverted while business went on as usual in the District of Criminals.
And don’t even think about trying to label this as a left vs, right, a liberal vs. conservative, or a Democrat vs, Republican issue. There is not one on either side of the isle who has lodged one complaint, filed one objection or spoken out publicly against this theft of our water for corporate profit.
Now then, lest you think that somehow your state government is going to come to your rescue, or that your local law enforcement is going to ride in like the cavalry to save the day and protect your rights to use of the water; think again. They will however, show up to defend whatever corporate enterprise has gotten its sticky greedy fingers into what was previously a given right.
And just as an aside: Did it not occur to any of you who have supported the eradication of these wild herds that a national and state asset was being destroyed, or that you might possibly be next in line for eradication?
The water rights being sold to foreign corporations and investors was perpetrated by your trusted public officials, both state and local. Your local municipality had to sign off on these sales in exchange for as little as 5% of the initial profits. BLM will be taking upwards of 80% of the profits (after all they are a corporation operating for profit) and foisting the costs of upkeep and construction of waterline diversions, onto the public.
To learn how much of your local water has been sold off without your knowledge, look to your local and state corporate agencies such as Land Management, Environmental Protection Agencies, State Asset Management agencies, and your local Department of Natural Resources or Land Development commissions. These are just for starters. Find out who is colluding with the Bureau of Land Management to deprive you of your water rights.
NAFTA’s Investor “Rights”A Corporate Dream,A Citizen Nightmare
Chapter 11-NAFTA
Investor Rights Over Citizen Rights
Chapter 7-CAFTA
“Perhaps most alarming are the provisions in CAFTA that mirror those in the disastrous Chapter 11 of NAFTA. Under these rules, foreign corporations are given the power to legally challenge national and local laws which adversely affect the business of foreign investors, regardless of the role that such legislation has in meeting national social and development goals. These suits are filed in closed trade tribunals presided over by un-elected trade bureaucrats – bypassing domestic court systems. If the corporation wins, the accused government must then compensate the corporation in the amount of profits they claim to have lost – including hypothetical profits that they claim they would have made twenty years into the future! These expansive investor protections confer new rights on MNCs that neither domestic companies nor citizens — who have to obey national laws — enjoy, creating a class of “supercitizenship” for foreign corporations at the expense of citizen sovereignty.”
UN rejects water as basic human right
The Harper government can declare victory after a United Nations meeting rejected calls for water to be recognized as a basic human right.

Raytheon Creating Big Brother

The National Security Agency has begun work on an "expansive" spy system that will monitor critical infrastructure inside the United States for cyber-attacks, in a move that detractors say could end up violating privacy rights and expanding the NSA's domestic spying abilities.
The Wall Street Journal cites unnamed sources as saying that the NSA has issued a $100-million contract to defense contractor Raytheon to build a system dubbed "Perfect Citizen," which will involve placing "sensors" at critical points in the computer networks of private and public organizations that run infrastructure, organizations such as nuclear power plants and electric grid operators.
In an email obtained by the Journal, an unnamed Raytheon employee describes the system as "Big Brother."
"The overall purpose of the [program] is our Government...feel[s] that they need to insure the Public Sector is doing all they can to secure Infrastructure critical to our National Security," the email states. "Perfect Citizen is Big Brother."

"Raytheon declined to comment on this email," the Journal reports.
Some officials familiar with Perfect Citizen see it "as an intrusion by the NSA into domestic affairs, while others say it is an important program to combat an emerging security threat that only the NSA is equipped to provide," the Journal states.
The program is reportedly being funded under the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, a program launched by the Bush administration in January, 2008, and continued under the Obama administration. The initiative is budgeted to cost $40 billion over several years.
News of the spy system comes in the wake of months of news reports and government statements on the the threat of cyber-attacks. Last year, the US pointed the finger of blame at North Korea for a "widespread" attack on US and South Korean government computers. Earlier this year, a coordinated attack on Google servers was identified as originating from China.
But many observers say the threat of cyberwar is exaggerated, and they suggest that profit may be a motive behind efforts to build cyber-defense systems.
"It's about who is in charge of cyber security, and how much control the government will exert over civilian networks," writes security technology expert Bruce Schneier at the CNN Web site. "And by beating the drums of war, the military is coming out on top."
Schneier sees danger in the media "mislabeling" activities like computer hacking and "cyber-activism" as "cyberwar."
"One problem is that there's no clear definition of 'cyberwar.' What does it look like? How does it start? When is it over? Even cybersecurity experts don't know the answers to these questions, and it's dangerous to broadly apply the term 'war' unless we know a war is going on."
In a report published last month, Cecilia Kang at the Washington Post described cyber-security as "Washington's growth industry of choice," and companies in the business are "in line for a multibillion-dollar injection of federal research dollars."
Kang reported:
Delivering the keynote address at a recent cybersecurity summit sponsored by Defense Daily, Dawn Meyerriecks, deputy director of national intelligence for acquisition and technology, said that along with the White House Office of Science and Technology, her office is going to sponsor major research "where the government's about to spend multiple billions of dollars."

NY National Guard and local police are running military checkpoints, supposedly searching for drugs and guns.

New York National Guard Units Scan Vehicles For Gun Confiscations

[Increasingly, the country is under martial law without it being declared. The Constitution forbids the use of federal military for local police action. Soldiers are supposed to defend the nation, not subdue it.]

New “war on drugs” program another alarming sign that America is under martial law
Paul Joseph WatsonPrison [1]Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The New York National Guard is working with local law enforcement authorities to perform sophisticated scans of vehicles entering the New York area looking for guns and drugs in the latest alarming example of how America is under a state of de facto martial law.
Under the umbrella of the “war on drugs” and in complete violation of Posse Comitatus, National Guard units in New York are engaged in a “domestic fight” targeting American citizens with new ionization swabbing technology that enables them to “find drugs or weapons” via undervehicle inspections of cars based on the flimsiest of pretexts.
“The New York National Guard’s counter-drug task force (is) providing not only the people but the equipment law enforcement may need to make drug arrests and seizures,” reports Fox News 23 [2]. Such “seizures” includes the seizure of “weapons,” as Guard units, who are now working with foreign troops in exercises [3]targeting American “terrorists,” are primed to engage in gun confiscation programs.
A video demonstration filmed by Fox 23 shows a typical checkpoint-style set up with a sign that states “slow – under vehicle inspection” as a swab of a car is performed. Although the report states that a warrant is needed to perform an inspection, an example cited of where the technology was used was apparently prompted by a police officer claiming to smell marijuana coming from a vehicle. The vehicle was swabbed but no drugs were found.
National Guard helicopters are also aiding the police “with observation, tracking, and finding illegal growing operations,” another complete violation of the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act, which substantially limit the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement unless under precise and extreme circumstances.
Under the John Warner Defense Authorization Act, signed by President Bush on October 17, 2006, the law was changed to state, “The President may employ the armed forces to restore public order in any State of the United States the President determines hinders the execution of laws or deprives people of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law or opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.”
However, these changes were repealed in their entirety by HR 4986: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 [4], reverting back to the original state of the Insurrection Act of 1807 [5].
The original text of the Insurrection Act severely limits the power of the President to deploy troops within the United States.
For troops to be deployed, a condition has to exist that, “(1) So hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or (2) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws. In any situation covered by clause (1), the State shall be considered to have denied the equal protection of the laws secured by the Constitution.”

As one respondent to the story points out, while cops and National Guard are busy harassing citizens and subjecting them to vehicle scans if an officer smells pot, real criminals and killers are still on the loose.
“Don’t the Schenectady police have better things to do than investing a year investigating someone who’s a cop claimed smelled like pot? There was shooting on Hamilton Hill where an 11 year old boy was shot in the head along with his brother. Well, that shooter is still on the loose while the SPD is preoccupied with borrowing gadgets from the national guards to track down drug users. The scarce resources of police departments should be devoted to catching criminals who harm the public by murdering, mugging and stealing. The police shouldn’t wasting their resources on people who are committing consensual crimes. And the war on drugs is really a war on people,” writes the respondent.
Under the pretext of “helping” local communities short of police in difficult economic times, U.S. troops are now occupying America as the country sinks into a state of de facto martial law.
The military are now being called upon to undertake roles normally designated to police as Americans are incrementally acclimated to accept the presence of troops on the streets as an everyday occurrence. National Guard units are now being deployed for things like traffic control in places like Kingman Arizona [7], and providing security at sports events like the Kentucky Derby [8].
As we reported in 2008 [9], U.S. troops returning from Iraq are now occupying America, running checkpoints and training to deal with “civil unrest and crowd control” under the auspices of a Northcom program that by 2011 will have no less than 20,000 active duty troops deployed inside America to “help” state and local officials during times of emergency.
We have documented numerous instances of troops and National Guard personnel being used to perform law enforcement duties which are transparently outside the purview of the Guard’s supposed role to respond to national emergencies and therefore completely illegal.
In January 2009, soldiers from the Lynchburg-based 1st Battalion, 116th Brigade Combat Team, were used to conduct personal searches at checkpoints [10] in Washington DC for the inauguration of Barack Obama.
In March of that same year, we reported on U.S. Army troops dispatched to patrol the streets of Samson, Alabama, after a murder spree [11].
On April 6, we reported on a DHS, federal, state, Air Force, and local law enforcement checkpoint in Tennessee [12]. On April 3, Infowars [13] was instrumental in the cancellation of a seatbelt checkpoint that was to be conducted in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security and the 251st Military Police in Bolivar, Tennessee.
In December 2008, we reported on the Marine Corps Air and Ground Combat Center dispatching troops to work with police on checkpoints in in San Bernardino County, California [14].
On April 22 2009, we reported [15] the deployment of 400 National Guard Combat Support Battalion troops to “maintain public order” at the Boston Marathon.
In June 2008, Infowars posted an article by D. H. Williams [16] of the Daily Newscaster reporting the deployment of 2,300 Marines in the city of Indianapolis under the direction of FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
We also reported a story on April 22 2009 covering the assault of a local television [17]news team by an irate police officer in El Paso, Texas. A video taken by the news videographer shows uniformed soldiers working with police officers at the scene of a car accident.
The routine use of military and Guard units in dealing with mundane law enforcement duties is part of an acclimation program to make Americans accept the sight of armed men in military fatigues patrolling the streets as America sinks further into a Communist-style police state and a state of de facto martial law.

What Kind Of Depression Is This?

Not your 1930s DepressionExclusive: Patrice Lewis explains why next collapse will be much harder to survive

The news headlines have been screaming lately:
Market forecaster sees Dow plunge to 1000
Dow repeats Great Depression pattern
7.9 million jobs lost, many never to return

If you're self-employed like we are, headlines like these make us nervous. So we've gotten caught up in the "preparedness" movement purely out of anxiety.
You see, if our country is heading toward a 1930s-style depression or worse, I fear it won't be "just" an economic depression. We are missing some key elements that were present during the 1930s that will make that decade-long economic disaster a relative walk in the park compared to today.
Those key factors are a work ethic, independence, civility and a religious foundation.
Remember the old stories of how someone would knock at your grandmother's back door and offer to split some firewood in exchange for a meal? Does anyone honestly think hungry people will do this any more? We're so used to entitlements that the idea of lowering ourselves to exchange labor for food is outrageous. No, today a person who is hard up on their luck and not getting a government handout is much more likely to kick in the back door, tie grandma up, pistol whip her (or worse) and clean the house of any usable items before departing for the next victim. In their minds this is because grandma has no "right" to have food when they don't.

The elders in our society often recall with fondness some of the good elements that came out of the horrible Great Depression. They remember the sense of community that sprang up, born of common hardships. They remember how hard the indigent would work to maintain their dignity and not sink to accepting charitable handouts without offering something else in exchange (such as splitting firewood).
But no more.
After decades of government entitlements, many people no longer have a work ethic. My concern is if we encounter the economic depression analysts predict, it will result in societal turmoil – because far too many people haven't the slightest clue how to work, how to exchange labor for food, or how to restrain their most vicious and animalistic desires in order to keep civilization civil.
If it weren't so tragic, it would be laughable to hear people spouting on and on about their "rights." Criminey, folks, most people wouldn't recognize a real "right" if it bit them on the butt. Rights are a gift from God. They do NOT come from the government. All those entitlements – subsidized housing, food stamps, free medical care – are not "rights."
We have the right to life. We have the right to liberty. And we have the right to the pursuit (not the achievement) of happiness. These rights derive from our Creator, not from the fools in Washington.
You do NOT have the "right" to food. It's up to you to get that for yourself or, if you can't, to look to private individuals or organizations to voluntarily provide it. You do NOT have the right to housing, medical care, transportation, unemployment checks, or anything else people bleat about when they want something but don't want to work for it.
Only when we struggle to be as independent as possible are the chains of slavery seen so clearly.
Because we have been so caught up with false "rights" for the last 50 years, we've gotten to the point where we are helpless and dependent and no longer able or willing to achieve anything on our own. And only someone pathetically caught up in a liberal mentality can argue that entitlements help people achieve independence.
This mentality has set the stage for a modern collapse to be worse than any throughout the annals of history.
Right now there are economic forces at work that are beyond our control. We can go from homeowner to homeless in the blink of an eye. It can happen to anyone, no matter how prepared or unprepared they believe themselves to be.
But a work ethic, an independent spirit and a moral foundation are entirely within our control and can be acquired just as quickly. To their ultimate loss, most people choose not to acquire them.
So if we're heading for a depression in this country, we need to brace ourselves for much, much more than financial hardship. We need to brace ourselves against millions of lawless people demanding "entitlements" they have not earned and for which they have no intention of offering anything in exchange.
What does the future hold for America? There are two possibilities – a loss of freedom, or a return of freedom. Sadly, most people don't like freedom. They want someone to rescue them if things go wrong, which means they only like the "freedom" of an extra-long chain.
(Column continues below)
We have allowed independence to slip into dependence. We have allowed a work ethic to descend into an entitlement mentality.
Our country can survive an economic depression. We've done it before and we can do it again. It won't be easy, but we can do it.
But I fear we cannot survive an economic depression when it's coupled with an unwillingness to embrace a work ethic, independence, civility and religious foundation. Once the artificial props of government entitlements are removed, it will be every man for himself. The results may be anarchy and chaos. And it will give the government a clear opportunity to take advantage of the "crisis" and put in place a government such as we could never imagine.
It was Thomas Jefferson who said, "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
Freedom is hard work, and it isn't free. But too many of our fellow citizens are unwilling to pay the price. Since they get what they pay for, freedom will not be in their future.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nicely Said...................

Excess generally causes reaction, and produces a change in the opposite direction, whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments. – Plato

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hey SOC Readers!

Dear readers:

Yeah, SOC has been sparse of late. Good intentions going to hell in a handbasket. We'll try harder in the coming months and really ramp up for the mid-term elections. Hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July celebrations. America is great, and can maintain greatness as we move forward.....with a lot of work!