Monday, February 28, 2011

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

"Do not consider Collectivists as 'sincere but deluded idealists'. The proposal to enslave some men for the sake of others is not an ideal; brutality is not 'idealistic,' no matter what its purpose. Do not ever say that the desire to 'do good' by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives." - Ayn Rand

The Aussie's Go Down!

“Technical Glitch” Takes Down Australian Stock Exchange
Feb 28, 2011
After last week we saw the Euronext, the Italian and the London Stock Exchanges crashing and burning, it is now Australia’s turn. According to the ASX, the exchange is “currently experiencing technical difficulties regarding trade dissemination on Partition 3 Securities” which in non-binary means the prices on the ASX are not updating. Must be all that pent-up buying pressure over the continuing Libyan revolution… Of course, those who only trade the futures, such as the big banks and the quant desks are immune as futures are still trading without a glitch. How long before the threat of a racist, unpatriotic down print takes down the Nikkei, the Shanghai Composite, and finally the Deutsche NYSE? Luckily, the Nasdaq where only C-grade vacuum tubes trade any longer, will be spared.

New World Order Set To Take American Sovereign Status Away....

Will The Death Of The Dollar Lead To The Birth Of A New World Economic Order?

Feb 28, 2011
There is no getting around it. The U.S. dollar is dying. U.S. government debt continues to grow at a very frightening pace and the Federal Reserve is now buying up most of the new debt that is being issued. At this point there is simply not enough money in the rest of the world to continue to feed the U.S. government’s endless thirst for more debt so the Federal Reserve has had to directly intervene in order to keep the Ponzi scheme going. Other nations are rapidly losing faith in the U.S. dollar as they realize that there is simply no way that the U.S. government will be able to service this soaring debt for much longer. Even now we are watching the U.S. dollar rapidly fall against a vast array of hard assets. Virtually all major agricultural commodities have exploded in price over the past year, the price of gold is over $1400 an ounce again and last week U.S. crude oil prices topped $100 a barrel for the first time since 2008. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve continues to print dollars as if there is no tomorrow and the U.S. government continues to spend dollars as if the party is never going to end. Yes, we are most definitely witnessing the death of the dollar.
As a result of the decline of the dollar, U.S. consumers are really starting to see some substantial inflation at the supermarket and at the gas pump. In fact, the average price of gasoline in the United States increased 17 cents to $3.33 a gallon in just the past week, and more increases are expected in the weeks ahead.
Unfortunately, most Americans still don’t understand that the monstrous debt that the U.S. government has accumulated has us on a road that is going to lead to economic ruin.
Back in the early 1980s, the U.S. national debt was considered a major national crisis and politicians were pledging to do something about it.
Well, they did something about it alright.
Today, the U.S. national debt is over 14 times larger than it was back in 1981.
Unfortunately, it is only going to continue to increase in size.
Entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare account for 58% of all U.S. government spending. Those are “sacred cows” politically and very few politicians will even talk about making cuts to those programs.
Defense spending accounts for another 20% of all U.S. government spending. This is another area that is very tough to cut politicially.
So that leaves only about 22% of the budget to cut. Sadly, that entire 22% could be eliminated from the federal budget and we would still be running an absolutely massive budget deficit.
Yes, we are in a huge amount of trouble.
So what are our politicians doing about it?

Well, over the past decade they have shown that they are very good at voting for increases to government spending but they are very poor at voting for cuts to government spending.
For example, during Barack Obama’s first two years in office, the U.S. government added more to the U.S. national debt than the first 100 U.S. Congresses combined.
In fact, if Barack Obama has his way government spending is going to increase by another 50 percent over the next decade. In the new budget that Obama recently proposed, the U.S. government would spend 3.7 trillion dollars in 2012 and by 2021 the U.S. government would be spending a whopping 5.6 trillion dollars per year.
But when it comes to cutting the budget nothing ever seems to happen.
Right now, Republicans and Democrats are fighting tooth and nail over $61 billion in budget cuts.
But even if the Republicans get all of those cuts it would be just a drop in the bucket.
After all, what does it really matter if the U.S. budget deficit is 1.59 trillion dollars instead of 1.65 trillion dollars this year?
But listening to the Republicans and the Democrats blow hot air you would think that the fate of the world is at stake.
Meanwhile, our states are going broke as well. In fact, 30 U.S. states have borrowed a total of $41.5 billion from the federal government just so that they could continue paying out unemployment benefits.
California alone has borrowed $9.8 billion in unemployment benefit money from the federal government, and nobody is really quite sure when they will be able to quit borrowing more unemployment money from the U.S. government.
Things have gotten completely and totally out of control.
But if the U.S. government quits borrowing and spending money so feverishly it will cause a dramatic slowdown in the U.S. economy and nobody seems to want that.
Even with all of the crazy government spending that has been going on the U.S. economy is still on the verge of total collapse.
Unemployment continues to be absolutely rampant. In the United States today, approximately 14 million Americans are officially unemployed and 8.4 million more are working part-time for “economic reasons”.
But the “official numbers” vastly understate the reality of the situation.
According to John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics, the real unemployment rate in the United States is now above 22%.
The federal government and the state governments are desperately trying to stimulate the economy back to life, but it doesn’t seem to be working.
Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar continues to decline in value as government debt continues to mount.
Damon Vickers, the author of “The Day After The Dollar Crashes”, recently discussed this problem during an appearance on CNBC….
Did you notice how Vickers even used the term “new world order”?
The truth is that globalist institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank have been very busy discussing what the world is going to use as a global reserve currency after the death of the dollar.
Since World War 2, the world economic order has been centered around the United States and the U.S. dollar. But now all of that is changing.
The American economy is in the midst of a long-term decline and the U.S. dollar is slowly but surely dying. Already quite a few nations have started to move away from using the dollar in international commerce. The advantages that the U.S. has enjoyed from having the reserve currency of the world are about to disappear.
So what would a “new economic world order” look like?
Nobody knows for sure, but needless to say it wouldn’t be as favorable for the United States as the current system is.
Most Americans have no idea how close we are to a radical transformation of the global financial system. The dominance of the U.S. dollar is rapidly fading. The financial stability that so many of us have taken for granted for so long is about to crumble.
Every single day your dollars become a little less valuable and at some point they are going to start to become much less valuable with each passing day. You might want to spend them on something real while you still can.

Global Economy? Not So fast My Friend....

23 Facts Which Prove That Globalism Is Pushing The Standard Of Living Of The Middle Class Down To Third World Levels

Feb 28, 2011
From now on, whenever you hear the term “the global economy” you should immediately equate it with the destruction of the U.S. middle class. Over the past several decades, the American economy has been slowly but surely merged into the emerging one world economic system. Unfortunately for the middle class, much of the rest of the world does not have the same minimum wage laws and worker protections that we do. Therefore, the massive global corporations that now dominate our economy are able to pay workers in other countries slave labor wages and import the products that they make into the United States to compete with products made by “expensive” American workers. This has resulted in a mass exodus of manufacturing facilities and jobs from the United States.
But without good, high paying jobs the U.S. middle class cannot continue to be the U.S middle class. The only thing that the vast majority of Americans have to offer in the economic marketplace is their labor. Sadly, that labor has now been dramatically devalued. American workers now must directly compete for jobs with millions upon millions of workers on the other side of the world that toil away for 15 hours a day at slave labor wages. This is causing jobs to leave the United States at an almost unbelievable rate, and it is putting tremendous downward pressure on the wages of millions of jobs that are still in the United States.
So when you hear terms such as “globalization” and “the global economy”, it is important to keep in mind that those are code words for the emerging one world economic system that is systematically wiping out the U.S. middle class.
A one world labor pool means that the standard of living for the U.S. middle class will continue falling toward the standard of living in the third world.
We keep hearing about how the U.S. economy is being transformed from a “manufacturing economy” into a “service economy”. But “service jobs” are generally much lower paying than “manufacturing jobs”. The number of good paying “middle class jobs” in the United States is rapidly decreasing. So how can the U.S. middle class survive in such an environment?
What makes things even worse for manufacturers in the United States is that other nations often impose a “value-added tax” of 20 percent or more on U.S. goods entering their shores and yet most of the time we do not reciprocate with similar taxes.
But whenever someone mentions how incredibly unfair and unbalanced our trade agreements with other nations are, they are immediately labeled as a “protectionist”.
Well, someone should be looking out for U.S. interests when it comes to trade, because the current state of the global economy is ripping the U.S. middle class to shreds.
Right now, the United States consumes far more wealth than it produces. This nation buys much, much more from the rest of the world than they buy from us. This is called a “trade deficit”, and it is one of the most important economic statistics. The U.S. runs a massive trade deficit every single year, and it is wiping out our national wealth, it is destroying our surviving industries and it is absolutely shredding middle class America.
We cannot allow tens of thousands of factories to continue to leave the United States. We cannot allow millions of jobs to continue to be “outsourced” and “offshored”. We cannot allow tens of billions of dollars of our national wealth to continue to be transferred into foreign hands every single month.

The truth is that the global economy is bad for America. The following are 23 facts which prove that globalism is pushing the standard of living of the middle class down to third world levels….
#1 From December 2000 to December 2010, the U.S. ran a total trade deficitof 6.1 trillion dollars.
#2 The U.S. trade deficit was about 33 percent larger in 2010 than it was in 2009.
#3 The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.
#4 The U.S. economy is rapidly trading high wage jobs for low wage jobs. According to a new report from the National Employment Law Project, higher wage industries accounted for 40 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months but only 14 percent of the job growth. Lower wage industries accounted for just 23 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months and a whopping 49 percent of the job growth.
#5 Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.
#6 In Germany, exports account for approximately 40 percent of GDP. In China, exports account for approximately 30 percent of GDP. In the United States, exports account for approximately 13 percent of GDP.
#7 Do you remember when the United States was the dominant manufacturer of automobiles and trucks on the globe? Well, in 2010 the U.S. ran a trade deficit in automobiles, trucks and parts of $110 billion.
#8 In 2010, South Korea exported 12 times as many automobiles, trucks and parts to us as we exported to them.
#9 The U.S. economy now has 10 percent fewer “middle class jobs” than it did just ten years ago.
#10 The United States currently has 7.7 million fewer payroll jobs than it did back in December 2007.
#11 Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.
#12 In 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in “advanced technology products” of $16 billion with the rest of the world. In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.
#13 The United States now spends more than 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.
#14 In China, working conditions are so bad that large numbers of “employees” regularly try to commit suicide. One major employer, Foxconn, has even gone so far as to install “anti-suicide nets” in an attempt to keep their employees from jumping off of their buildings.
#15 Wages for workers in China are incredibly low. For example, one facility in the city of Longhua that makes iPods employs approximately 200,000 workers. These workers put in endless 15-hour days but they only make about $50 per month.
#16 In Bangladesh, manufacturing workers toil in absolutely horrific conditions and make an average of about $38 per month.
#17 In Vietnam, teenage workers often work seven days a week for as little as 6 cents an hour making promotional Disney toys for McDonald’s.
#18 Since 2001, over 42,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been closed.
#19 Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.
#20 In the United States today, 6.2 million Americans have been out of work for 6 months of longer.
#21 8.4 million Americans are currently working part-time jobs for “economic reasons”. These jobs are mostly very low paying service jobs.
#22 When you adjust wages for inflation, middle class workers in the United States make less money today than they did back in 1971.
#23 According to Willem Buiter, the chief economist at Citigroup, China will be the largest economy in the world by the year 2020, and India will surpass China by the year 2050.
Those that promote “free trade” can never explain how the U.S. middle class is going to continue to have plenty of jobs in the new global economy.
By merging our labor pool with the rest of the world, we have also merged our standard of living with the rest of the world. High unemployment is rapidly becoming “the new normal” in America, and wages are going to continue to decline in many, many industries.
Already, there are quite a few formerly great U.S. cities (such as Detroit) that are beginning to resemble third world hellholes. If something is not done about our massive trade imbalance, even more cities are going to follow Detroit into oblivion.
Unfortunately, most of our politicians continue to insist that globalism is good for our society. They continue to insist that we should not be worried that jobs formerly done by middle class American workers are now being done by slave laborers on the other side of the globe. They continue to insist that having 43 million Americans on food stamps is a temporary thing and that soon our economy will be better than ever.
Well, it is time to stop listening to the politicians that are promoting “the global economy”. They are lying to us.
Globalism is great for nations such as China and it is helping multinational corporations make huge profits, but for the U.S. middle class it is an economic death sentence.
If you want an America where there are less jobs, where more Americans are on food stamps and other anti-poverty programs and where our cities continue to be transformed into deindustrialized hellholes, then you should strongly support the emerging global economy.
But if you care about the standard of living of the U.S. middle class and you want for there to be some kind of viable economic future for your children and your grandchildren then you had better start caring about these issues and doing something about them.
Please wake up America.

Nicely Said...........The Man in the Arena-Theodore Roosevelt

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

{Unfortunate that a liberal network with some liberal shitheads are using this slogan for another liberal gabfest. Teddy was an individual's individual, a man's man; and anything he's been quoted should reflect the man's rugged individualism, not coerced by libtards who seek to push the tenets of socialism further.}

If You’re a Liberal, It’s OK to be a Jerk

The protests continue at Wisconsin's state capitol as union organizers and liberal activists demonstrate that tolerance, decency, good manners, and civility are traits that only apply when they are convenient. If a conservative has an opposing view, the person is not being tolerant. If a liberal has an opposing view, then there is no limit to what he or she can say. Just look at what's happening now...
As noted in an Associated Press story on GOPUSA, the protests over a bill that would end collective bargaining power for public workers.
Demonstrators began camping out inside the normally immaculate Capitol two weeks ago in an effort to fight legislation proposed by Wisconsin's new Republican governor, Scott Walker, that would strip most of the state's public employees of the right to collectively bargain.
Labor leaders and Democratic lawmakers say the bill is intended to undermine the unions and weaken a key base of Democratic Party voters.
Walker argues the Republican-backed measure would help close a projected $3.6 billion deficit in the 2011-13 budget, and that freeing local governments from having to collectively bargain with public employee unions would give them the flexibility needed to deal with forthcoming budget cuts.
The real problem in all this is that, once again, a double standard of behavior and rhetoric is presenting itself. It seems that liberals insist that conservatives be civil, while those same liberals will say and do just about anything to get their point across. At these rallies and protests, Republican Gov. Scott Walker has been compared to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
Remember how the media and Democrats were jumping up and down and blaming "conservative vitriol" for mass shooting perpetrated by Jared Loughner? Speeches were made saying that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others were shot because Loughner was pushed to the edge by the Tea Party and "evil" rhetoric.
Or how about the accusations of Tea Party activists using racial slurs directed at Democrat Rep. John Lewis during a rally. No evidence of such actions was EVER produced, yet the accusation was all that the liberals were really looking for.
Fox News reports that the Hitler signs and "violent rhetoric" have yet to be denounced by union leaders.
Appearing Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was twice asked whether he found the tone at the nearly two-week long demonstrations "wrong" or "inappropriate."
Trumka did not answer, instead saying, "We should be sitting down trying to create jobs. ... In Wisconsin, a vast majority of the people think this governor has overreached. His popularity has gone down. They're saying to him, sit down and negotiate; don't do what you've been doing. So he's losing."
On the same panel, while first saying the rhetoric of the protestors was "inappropriate" and "should be condemned," Democrat Rep. Emanuel Cleaver suggested that Wisconsin Gov. Walker "was leading more like Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi than an elected official."
Yes, we've all seen this double standard before, but it is NOT something we should simply get used to. It must be pointed out over and over and over again. People must see that media and left wing zealots play by a different set of rules. The proof is right there in words, pictures, and actions.

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

"Americans used to roar like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security." - Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993)

The Chart Says It All........

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

"The right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of oppression, if they are strong enough, whether by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable." - Ulysses S. Grant

UN Wants To Tax Us For Our "Own Benefit"

The United Nations will call on Monday for 2% of worldwide income to be invested in the green economy, a move it says would boost jobs and economic growth.
The call is expected to be matched by statements of support for low-carbon investment from heads of state including President Barack Obama of the US and Hu Jintao of China, and several chiefs of multinational companies.
An investment of 2% of global GDP would more than pay for itself in the form of millions of new jobs, the development of new industries, health benefits from cleaner air, energy efficiency savings and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the UN is expected to say.
These findings are also backed up by a report to be published today by the German government, which warns that Europe will suffer continued low growth rates unless investment in green projects is increased. Raising the level of ambition in the EU's climate targets would increase European GDP by up to $842bn, a 6% rise, and create up to 6m additional jobs across member states.
The world stands at a critical point in terms of low-carbon investment, according to the UN. While India has a national action plan expected to stimulate $1tn of investment in the next decade, and China - already the biggest producer of wind power and solar panels - is pushing ahead with a five-year plan for a "clean revolution", other economies are wavering.
In the US, investment in renewable energy has stalled, and an HSBC analysis found that Republican plans currently before Congress would more than halve federal spending on low-carbon projects, including high-speed rail, carbon regulation and contributions to international climate funds. Plans put forward by Obama, by contrast, provide for a 20% increase in climate and clean energy funding above 2010 levels, paid for by the repeal of $4bn in fossil fuel subsidies and research.
Nick Robins, head of climate change at HSBC, said: "We expect tough negotiations to close this gulf in budgetary priorities between the president and Congress... Although we do not expect all the proposed cuts to materialise, key climate initiatives look set to be curbed."
In the European Union, politicians, green campaigners and businesses are at loggerheads over whether to adopt more ambitious climate targets. Several member states, including the UK, want to toughen the current goal of cutting emissions by 20% by 2020 to a cut of 30% by the same date, arguing that a more stringent target will create new jobs and allow the EU to keep up with China in the race to dominate the green economy. Their case was strongly boosted by a confidential European Commission analysis, seen by the Guardian, showing that if existing policies are followed through, the EU will comfortably exceed its current target, with a fall in emissions of about 25% by 2020.
The German environment ministry's report, also seen by the Guardian, added to this case, concluding that the current 20% target "has become too weak to mobilise innovations". Sticking with it, the authors say, "is the equivalent of digging deeper while still being stuck in a hole", while the 30% target is not only achievable but "economically beneficial".
In the UK, a group of leading businesses will unite today to urge George Osborne, the chancellor, to include measures to stimulate low-carbon development in his March Budget. Peter Young, chairman of the Aldersgate Group, said: "The chancellor has promised a budget for growth but we believe this must be a budget for green growth. The UK needs an explicit strategy to take advantage of the global shift to a green economy, driving jobs and exports. Cuts alone will not deliver a competitive economy."

Immature Constituency

'I won't pay' movement spreads across Greece

Greece: 'I won't pay' movement spreads. On the heels of austerity measures, citizens are refusing to pay for anything supported by taxes, such as tolls, transit tickets, even health care. [This movement is spearheaded by the Communist Party, which seeks to topple the present government and replace it with another just like it but under Leninist leadership.]
ATHENS, Greece — They blockade highway toll booths to give drivers free passage. They cover subway ticket machines with plastic bags so commuters can't pay. Even doctors are joining in, preventing patients from paying fees at state hospitals.
Some call it civil disobedience. Others a freeloading spirit. Either way, Greece's "I Won't Pay" movement has sparked heated debate in a nation reeling from a debt crisis that's forced the government to take drastic austerity measures — including higher taxes, wage and pension cuts, and price spikes in public services.
What started as a small pressure group of residents outside Athens angered by higher highway tolls has grown into a movement affecting ever more sectors of society — one that many say is being hijacked by left-wing parties keen to ride popular discontent.
A rash of political scandals in recent years, including a dubious land swap deal with a rich monastery and alleged bribes in state contracts — has fueled the rebellious mood.
At dawn last Friday, about 100 bleary-eyed activists from a Communist Party-backed labor union covered ticket machines with plastic bags at Athens metro stations, preventing passengers from paying their fares, to protest public transport ticket price hikes.
Other activists have taped up ticket machines on buses and trams. And thousands of people simply don't bother validating their public transport tickets when they take the subway or the bus.
"The people have paid already through their taxes, so they should be able to travel for free," said Konstantinos Thimianos, 36, an activist standing at the metro picket line in central Syntagma Square.
In one of their frequent occupations of the toll booths on the northern outskirts of Athens recently, protesters wore brightly colored vests with "total disobedience" emblazoned across their backs, and chanted: "We won't pay for their crisis!"
The tactic has cropped up in the health sector, with some state hospital doctors staging a blockade in front of pay counters to prevent patients from paying their €5 flat fee for consultations.
Critics deride the protests as yet another example of a freeloading mentality that helped lead the country into its financial mess.

"The course from initial lawlessness to final wanton irresponsibility is like a spreading cancer," Dionysis Gousetis said in a recent column in the respected daily broadsheet Kathimerini.
"Now, with the crisis as an alibi ... the freeloaders don't hide. They appear publicly and proudly and act like heroes of civil disobedience. Something like Rosa Parks or Mahatma Gandhi," Gousetis wrote. "They're not satisfied with not paying themselves. They are forcing others to follow them."
Many accuse left-wing parties and labor unions of usurping a grassroots movement with legitimate grievances for their own political ends.
"You think that lawlessness is something revolutionary, which helps the Greek people," Prime Minister George Papandreou said recently, lashing out in Parliament at Coalition of the Left party head Alexis Tsipras. "It is the lawlessness which we have in our country that the Greek people are paying for today."
But there is something about the "I Won't Pay" movement that speaks to something deeper within Greek society: a propensity to bend the rules, to rebel against authority, particularly that of the state.
It is so ingrained that many Greeks barely notice the myriad small, daily transgressions — the motorcycle driving on the sidewalk, the car running the red light, the blatant disregard of yet another government attempt to ban smoking in restaurants and bars.
Less innocuous is persistent and widespread tax avoidance despite increasingly desperate government measures.
"There is a general culture of lawlessness, starting from the most basic thing, tax evasion or tax avoidance, which is something that Greeks have been exercising since their state was created," said social commentator Nikos Dimou.
But many see the "I Won't Pay" movement as something much simpler: the people's refusal to pay for the mistakes of a series of governments accused of squandering the nation's future through corruption and cronyism.
"I don't think it's part of the Greek character. Greeks, when they see that the law is being applied in general, they will implement it too," said Nikos Louvros, the 55-year-old chain-smoking owner of an Athens bar that openly flouts the smoking ban.
"But when it isn't being applied to some, such as when there are ministers who have been stealing, ... Well, if the laws aren't implemented at the top, others won't implement them."

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Lame-Stream media Doesn't Get It...............

Government Unions Are a Scam

A union of corruptionExclusive: Patrice Lewis on why gov't-employee labor organizations are 'a scam'
By Patrice Lewis
A few days ago, my homeschooled daughters were finishing up their school work and, as usual, we ended with a discussion of current events. After talking for a while over the protests in Wisconsin, my eldest asked if I thought unions were bad. I answered that I most certainly did not because I firmly believe belonging to a union is part of our God-given rights enumerated by the First Amendment concerning freedom of speech, the right to assembly and the consequent freedom of association.
But then I went on to explain that just because workers form unions to collectively bargain for better working conditions doesn't make them any different or more noble than the companies they negotiate with.
What do I mean? I mean that a union is simply a business, no different than the businesses they bargain with. A union is nothing more than a talent agency. Its purpose is to offer a company skilled and trained employees. And like any other vendor looking for a contract, it's ultimately the company's decision whether to deal with a union or to look elsewhere when hiring. There is nothing particularly noble about either unions or their stockholders (membership). Certainly there is no major difference between a union and any other for-profit endeavor. Both the company and the union are in business to maximize profit and minimize loss.
Which may then surprise you when I say public service employee unions ARE bad. And I believe it was a major mistake for President Kennedy to have allowed them collective-bargaining privileges. Public service unions are only regarded as "noble" because the union members tell us they are.
You see, a public service union is NOT based on free association. It is NOT based on the freedoms of speech and free assembly. Public service unions are a scam and a cheat.
Now I suppose some readers are reaching for their blood pressure medication about now, and probably more than a little profanity is being directed my way. So let me give you a short example of why I believe this is true.
Let's start with a mythical business, the Wisconsin Widget Company. This company is now in negotiation with the World Widget Workers (WWW) Union Local 21. The chairman of the company's board of directors is seated across the table from the union boss.
Union boss: … and we want an additional $25 dollars an hour for our members, two weeks extra vacation per year, a fully funded pension that provides our workers 100 percent of their highest take-home pay for the rest of their lives and comprehensive health insurance for our members, their families and significant others.
(Reminder. This is a mythical company. If it weren't, the chairman would laugh out loud and start placing employee want ads on the Web after showing the union boss the door. Why? Because half his company's expenses are labor, and he'd go out of business if he tried to satisfy those demands. But this isn't a real company; although unfortunately, as you will see, it is a real scenario.)
Company chairman: Well, that might be tough. The company is already deeply in debt. But … I guess we could send letters to all of our stockholders and tell them they have to pony up enough money to be able to meet your demands.
Union boss: But what if they don't?
Company chairman: Well, then we'll take the money we need from their bank accounts. If they object, we'll seize their homes or throw them in jail … Oh, and paint them in the media as being greedy for denying these needed benefits to the honest workers. And if that still doesn't raise enough money, we'll issue more stock and some bonds. One way or another, the stockholders will pay for it. But there's something the union needs to do for me.
Union boss: Are you kidding? Name it!
Company chairman: There's a board election coming up. I need some money to wine and dine some of the big shareholders Also, I'd like it if you could dig up some dirt on my opponent and maybe get your members to picket his home. Get all your union members to buy some stock so they can vote for me in the election. Would your members do that for me?
Union boss: Absolutely. Assuming you agree that the only people that can work for your company are members of the WWW. Believe me, if our membership wants to keep working, they'll play ball. And as far as a "donation" to your re-election goes, whether they agree or not, our members still have to pay their dues – or they don't work.
Company chairman: Done! Oh … one more thing. In a few years I'm going to retire. Think you could find a place for me in your organization?
Union boss: We can always use another "friend of the union." How about a lobbyist position? I promise if you keep treating us right, we'll make sure you're taken care of.

Now let's see – if this were a real company, the debate would have ended after the first impossible demand. But this isn't a real company. It's a government negotiating with a public service employees union. And neither the union boss nor the company chairman gives a damn about the people they represent. The union boss, who makes a CEO-sized salary, has no problem with requiring his people to support an unpopular executive. The company chairman doesn't mind screwing the company as long as the gravy train comes his way. And both of them couldn't care less about the stockholders. (That would be us, the taxpayers.)
There is no adversarial relationship in this negotiation. The union boss and the company chairman are partners. And we, the citizens, are the adversary. In a real-world business, this kind of behavior would warrant criminal investigation. But in the world of politics, it's business as usual.
So before you applaud a union, make sure you know what kind it is. Be sure to read the union label. You might be surprised by what's written in the small print.

Getting To Be Time For a 2nd Revolution

If Arabs can revolt, then why can't we?

Author wants Americans to start 2nd revolution 'immediately'

The recent events in the Middle East, with revolutions in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and perhaps soon Morocco, are not just an Arab phenomena, brought about by years of economic deprivation and the lack of any system of responsive government. As I've predicted before, and as is now even clearer, revolution has also come to American shores. The unruly and violent union masses who revolted this week in Wisconsin and other Midwestern states, where the economic depression has been felt most acutely, are just the latest manifestation of severe disgust with government and our judicial and legislative systems in particular. And they will hardly be the last. Indeed, if as a result of the crises in the Middle East the price of oil continues to quickly rise, creating a huge new downturn in our domestic and world economies, in short order we can expect full-fledged revolution to also break out here at home.
After many years as a lawyer and public advocate who fights the government for individual rights and liberties, and as one who truly believes – as the French say – "en principe" in our legal system, I have become so disgusted in recent years as to lose all faith in our establishment institutions. In fact, I am revolted by them – a pun clearly intended. And let me just give you a few very recent examples of why this is so – amplifying on the experiences I have recounted in my autobiography, "Whores: Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment."
Just this week, the latest federal judge to rule on the legality of Obamacare, Judge Gladys Kessler, a Democratic appointee of none other than former President Bill Clinton to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, upheld its constitutionality. Judge Kessler's decision follows carbon-copy rulings by Democratic federal bench appointees Judge George Steeh and Norman K. Moon of the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Michigan and Western District of Virginia, respectively.
Not coincidentally, the two other federal judges who have passed on the legality of Obamacare – Judge Richard Vinson and Judge Henry Hudson of the United States District Courts for the Northern District of Florida and Eastern District of Virginia – and have struck it down are Republican appointees.
Whether one favors Obamacare or not, and believes it to be constitutional or not, these rulings by federal judges – who like to boast and pretend that they steadfastly obey the "rule of law" and hold themselves out as holier than thou – were obviously motivated by politics. And, this is no wonder, as I have written about in "Whores." Federal judges, rather than being elected by the people, are nominated by the president on the basis of their political allegiances – otherwise known as patronage. They generally arrive on the bench because of the favors and political campaign contributions either they or their benefactors, like the large law firms, corporations or labor unions who support them have lavished on the president and his party. Our legal system is thus infested – from the top down – with "political hacks," "yes men" and "whores." These are the people who decide upon our legal rights and hold our lives in their dirty little corrupt hands.
But this rank corruption is not just present in our judicial system. Look at the state legislators in Wisconsin and Indiana this week who chose to flee their states, rather than obey the rule of law to be present when urgent budget-cutting labor legislation was to be voted upon by their legislatures. While this time Democratic politicians, Republicans in the past have used similar illegal stunts to thwart the will of We the People.
And, to add insult to injury, President Obama's political hack attorney general, Eric Holder, announced this week that the Justice Department would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which allows states that prohibit gay marriage to refuse to recognize these marriages when entered into in other states that allow them. Whether one agrees with gay marriage or not, this decision by the executive branch is illegal and corrupt.
What establishment governmental institution will hold our judges, legislators and even the president accountable to the "rule of law"? The answer is none! It's all one happy club of "establishment felons," who, whether Democrat or Republican, play the game, scratch each others' backs and feed at the huge trough of government money and favors.

It's the establishment, stupid – whether its in the good ol' USA, Cairo or Tripoli – that has ruled the school. And "we the peons," are given the crumbs that are left after the establishment pillages, rapes, perverts and destroys the at one time noble institutions of government that were created by and for the people.
Thousands of years ago, a revolutionary in the Holy Land confronted a similar total breakdown of values, ethics and the rule of law. He confronted corruption in the highest places of government – before his fellow clergy, the Jewish high priests and the Roman Forum – and did so fearlessly. He paid with his life, and his name was Jesus Christ.
While none of us is the "son of God," we can all, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or even atheist, take a page from Jesus. If we are to survive as a nation, We the People must be prepared to sacrifice, be fearless and, like our Founding Fathers, pledge anew our sacred honor, fortunes and even risk our lives. Our rotting and diseased institutions need to be attacked legally and, I am sorry to say, torn down – and then built back up again into the "faithful city of Jerusalem." While I do not advocate violence – indeed, Jesus never resorted to this – we must urgently find other ways such as civil disobedience to wage a new revolution. We cannot be afraid, and we must act immediately. Because our nation and the planet stand on the precipice of complete chaos and extinction. And, unless we rid it of the vermin who inhabit and have seized our establishment institutions as their own, and reform these corrupt institutions, we will soon perish.
The American people did their first housecleaning in our first Revolution. Now its time to bring on the second! If even the Arabs, who have no history of democracy and freedom, can do it, then why can't we?

Food Shortage May Be More Real Than We Want It To Be..........

U.S. crop boom not enough to rebuild thin supplies
Thu Feb 24, 4:31 pm ET
Huge U.S. corn and soybean plantings this spring will likely fail to refill razor-thin stocks enough to quell the surge in grain prices, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday.
In updated forecasts for the world's biggest crop exporter, the USDA warned that it could take several years to restore inventories to comfortable levels. It mostly maintained earlier forecasts on how many acres farmers would sow this spring, but said stocks at the end of the 2012 season would remain tight.
The U.S. government's forecasts are likely to fuel more concern globally that high prices could persist far longer than they did in 2008 when they hit record highs, as supplies remain too thin to cope with any further weather disasters.
"While it is often said the cure for high prices is high prices, even with additional supplies expected this year, it is likely that the tight stocks-to-use situation will not be entirely mitigated over the course of one or even two growing seasons," USDA Chief Economist Joseph Glauber told the department's annual outlook conference on Thursday.
The planting forecasts were unchanged from the department's projections made earlier this month, when it projected 92 million acres of corn -- the second largest since 1944 -- and 78 million acres of soybeans, a record amount. Analysts had expected the agency to trim both forecasts marginally.
The greater surprise was in projections for tight ending stockpiles for 2011/12. While both corn and soybean ending stocks will be higher than this year's levels -- with corn forecast to be the smallest since 1996 and soybeans amounting to a few week's supply -- they suggest very little cushion for unexpected shortfalls.
"It should be bullish all around even though the USDA stuck to their higher estimates than I probably would have done," said Jack Scoville, analyst for Price Futures Group.
"It seems to me they're implying some very strong demand here because the ending stocks estimates remain pretty tight, really across the board," he added.
USDA said 2012 corn ending stocks would rise by 28 percent to a still-thin 865 million bushels, and soybeans stocks by 14 percent to 160 million bushels.
But USDA cut its outlook from a forecast made earlier this month for corn stocks by 23 percent and soybeans by 16 percent for 2012.
Contributing to the slim stocks will be soaring exports, which are expected to rise $9 billion this year to a record $135.5 billion.
"Today there are 7 billion mouths to feed and many of them depend on American agriculture," Debbie Stabenow, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, told the USDA's annual outlook conference.
China will become America's top export market, surpassing Canada. China is seen importing 60 percent of the world's soybeans and 40 percent of its cotton this year.
While the tight stocks figures were bullish, grain futures at the Chicago Board of Trade fell on Thursday as investors continued to liquidate positions and seek safer havens on concerns over the turmoil in the Middle East. Wheat fell 2 percent, corn nearly 1 percent while soybeans were only slightly lower.
Ethanol makers are expected to consume a record 5 billion bushels of corn this year, or some 36 percent of the harvest.
Despite criticism that using food for fuel was driving up prices and contributing to thin stockpiles, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the conference the government had no intention of scaling back on ethanol.
"There is no reason for us to take the foot off the gas," Vilsack told the conference. "This is a great opportunity for us because we can do it all, make no mistake about it."
Tight global commodity stockpiles have pushed food prices higher, contributing to political unrest in countries with high poverty rates and unemployment.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton struck a more cautionary tone on ethanol. "We have to become energy independent but we don't want to do it at the expense of food riots," Clinton said in the keynote address.
In the United States, food prices are forecast to rise a sharp 3.5 percent this year -- nearly double the overall inflation rate.
"We're keeping an eye on this but I would suggest that as a result of what we went through in 2007 and 2008 we are better prepared to respond as a country and as a globe," Vilsack said.
But some analysts caution a bad crop in the United States would change everything.
"There are speculators involved... but we've had the perfect storm over the last two years, and if we don't have a great crop this year in the United States, we are going to have an even bigger storm." said Pete Nessler, president of the brokerage FCStone LLC.

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

“Our obligation to promote the public good extends as much to the opposing every exertion of arbitrary power that is injurious to the state as it does to the submitting to good and wholesome laws. No man, therefore, can be a good member of the community that is not as zealous to oppose tyranny, as he is ready to obey magistracy.” Reverend Samuel West (1730-1807) Colonial Preacher and Patriot

Stagflation Looking More & More Likely

Stagflation 2011: Why It Is Here And Why It Is Going To Be Very Painful
Are you ready for an economy that has high inflation and high unemployment at the same time? Well, welcome to "Stagflation 2011". Stagflation exists when inflation and unemployment are both at high levels at the same time. Of course we all know about the high unemployment situation already. Gallup's daily tracking poll says that the U.S. unemployment rate has been hovering around 10 percent all year so far. But now thanks to rapidly rising food prices and the exploding price of oil, rampant inflation is being added to the equation. Normally inflation is a sign of increased economic activity, but when the basic commodities that we depend on to run our economy (such as oil) go up in price it actually causes a slowdown in economy activity. When the price of oil goes up high enough, it fundamentally changes the behavior of individuals and businesses. Suddenly certain types of economic activities that were feasible when oil was very cheap are not profitable any longer. When the price of oil rises to a new level and it stays there, essentially what is happening is that more "blood" is being drained out of our economy. Our economy will continue to function when there are higher oil prices, it will just be a lot more sluggish.
In some way, shape or form the price of oil factors into the production of most of our goods and services and it also factors into the transportation of most of our goods and services. A significant rise in the price of oil changes the economic equation for almost every business in the United States.
Today, the price of WTI crude soared past 100 dollars a barrel before closing at $98.10. The price of Brent crude increased 5.3 percent to $111.25. The protests in Libya are certainly causing a lot of the price activity that we have seen over the past few days, but the truth is that oil has been going up for a number of months. Right now we are only seeing an acceleration of the long-term trend.
Things are likely to get far worse if the "day of rage" planned for Saudi Arabia next month turns into a full-blown revolution. Up to this point, the revolutions that have been sweeping the Middle East have been organized largely on Facebook, and now there are calls all over Facebook for the "Saudi revolution" to start on March 20th.
That date is less than 4 weeks away. If Saudi Arabia plunges into chaos, the price of oil is going to go through the roof.
A rapidly rising price for oil is really bad news for the U.S. economy, because it is going to mean lots of inflation. Unfortunately, this also comes at a time when the economy is also feeling the inflationary effects of more quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve.
So if rising oil prices are going to cause more inflation and if rising oil prices are also going to cause our economy to become even more sluggish, what does all of that add up to?
It adds up to stagflation.
Wikipedia defines stagflation in the following manner....
In economics, stagflation is the situation when both the inflation rate and the unemployment rate are persistently high.
This is going to rapidly become the "new normal" for America. High oil prices are going to cause the cost of just about everything to go up, and high oil prices are also going to cause the economy to slow down thus making the unemployment numbers even worse.
It is going to be just like the 1970s all over again.
Only worse.
Economists differ as to how much rising oil prices affect U.S. GDP, but almost all of them agree that rising oil prices do cause a decline in U.S. GDP at least to some extent.
If American families have to spend $10 or $20 more each time they visit a gas station, that means that they are going to have less discretionary income. They won't be able to spend as much at the stores.
Not only that, but since the price of oil affects the price of almost everything else, Americans will find that their dollars have reduced purchasing power.
An oil crisis would force American families to stretch their already overburdened budgets even farther.
So where is the price of gasoline going from here? Well, the average price of gasoline in the United States is rapidly sneaking up on the $3.20 a gallon mark. Almost everyone believes that it is going to be going significantly higher.
Tom Kloza, the chief analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, was recently quoted in USA Today as saying that he believes that the average price for gasoline in the United States will reach somewhere between $3.50 and $3.75 a gallon by April.
As I wrote about yesterday, there are other analysts that believe that we are going to see $4.00 gasoline in the United States by the end of the year, and there are some that believe that we could see $5.00 gasoline if revolution sweeps Saudi Arabia.
If gasoline becomes that expensive and it stays there for a while, it is going to seriously start affecting the behavior of American businesses and American consumers.
Just remember what happened back in 2008. Andrew Busch of BMO Capital Markets recently told CNBC the following....
"Remember when oil was last at $140 (a barrel), Americans reacted and cut the amount of miles they drove."
Can you imagine what it would do to the economy if millions of Americans start sitting in their homes instead of doing their normal amounts of driving and flying?
In addition, one of the biggest problems with a higher price for oil is that it would cause our trade deficit to explode. According to the U.S. government, more than half of the oil that we use is imported. So every month we send the rest of the world billions and billions of our dollars and they send us massive amounts of oil. We rapidly consume all of the oil they send us and we continually need more. So we keep sending larger and larger amounts of money overseas and they keep sending us larger amounts of oil. In the process, our national wealth is being drained at an astounding rate. It is one of the greatest transfers of wealth the world has ever seen.
When the price of oil rises substantially, the transfer of wealth accelerates. This is a very bad thing for the U.S. economy. For example, when oil prices were above $100 a barrel back in 2008 our trade deficit for the year was almost 700 billion dollars.
It would be great if the Middle East would settle down and oil prices would start declining because that would really help out the U.S. economy. Unfortunately, it does not look like that is going to happen. Instead, it appears that we are steamrolling directly towards stagflation. Anyone that lived through the stagflation of the 1970s knows that it is not a lot of fun.
The cold, hard reality of the matter is that without cheap oil our lifestyles are going to change. Our economy was not set up to run on expensive oil. If oil moves well above $100 a barrel and it stays there it is going to bring about significant societal changes.
For the rest of 2011, the price of oil will be the number one economic indicator to watch. If it gets too high it is going to be an absolute disaster for the U.S. economy.

Royal Canadian Mint Now Saying It’s Difficult Securing Silver

Dave Madge of the Royal Canadian Mint continues:
“Our advantage is that we have had long-term relationships with our suppliers and that has helped us in this situation. We have been able to leverage off of those relationships to get supply, but it still remains a big challenge sourcing material. We’re looking at ways of mitigating our risk regarding supply of silver.
We are anticipating it to become even more difficult to secure supplies in the future. This is based on what we are seeing firsthand and what our suppliers are telling us. We work closely with these banks to secure silver and they tell us there is a lot of competition.”
When asked what this means for the price of silver and how long this condition is expected to persist Madge stated, “I think you are going to see the premiums go up in order to secure silver. At some point some players will be priced out of the market. I don’t think this is a short-term situation, I think there are a lot of issues going forward and this may be the new norm.”
The key here from Dave Madge is that he expects it to become even more difficult in the future to secure supplies of silver. In my mind this is an extremely important testimonial regarding how tight the silver market is because the information is coming directly from the Royal Canadian Mint itself.
The Royal Canadian Mint is known as a world-class provider of minted products and KWN is thankful to both the RCM and Dave Madge for this interview.

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

“Money may no longer be physically printed and distributed in the voluminous quantities of 1923. However, ‘quantitative easing,’ that modern euphemism for surreptitious deficit financing in an electronic era, can no less become an assault on monetary discipline.” ~ Adam fergusson

SOC Editors On the Middle East

Let me offer a different, and perhaps cynical, view of what’s happening in the Middle East. First, the army was in control in Tunisia and Egypt, and still is. Some things will change, and hopefully the false, crony capitalism will be one of the things to go; but I don’t think we will see sweeping changes for some time. Libya is 2% of the world’s oil supply. Other than that, they are like Greece. They are not that big a player. Gaddafi is on his way out. His bank accounts are being frozen. He will end up in Venezuela or some equally wonderful place. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bad guy. The new leadership will most likely be the army, and it will get the oil turned back on as soon as possible. (See the trend here?)
By the way, the idea that Saudi Arabia can make up for Libyan oil is a little fanciful. Libyan oil is light sweet crude, and it takes three barrels of Saudi oil to make as much diesel as Libyan oil. Oil could get very volatile and move up strongly if Gaddafi hangs on too long. $4 gas is not out of the question here in the US if he doesn’t leave soon; but at the end of the day, not too much will change in Libya.
The key place to watch is Bahrain. Now THAT is an issue. It is a strategic country with the US 5th fleet based there, and it has a large Shiite population that could ally with Iran. There is no real way of knowing what will happen there, and that is something I have my Google notes set to watch, along with talking from time to time with George Friedman of Stratfor. Nice to have friends with inside information. But even he is not sure tonight.
Saudi Arabia? Pay attention, but so far it looks like the changes are still in the future. One day it will change, but it doesn’t appear imminent (although anything can happen).
The one thing that I hope changes? Maybe the Iran street will force some change. I am on record saying that one day Iran will be our new best friend. The population is young and getting younger. They’re on the Internet. They see what the world is like and they want it. Maybe not this year or next, but it will happen.

Greenback Armageddon Ahead?

Greenback Armageddon Ahead?

Feb 26, 2011
Why the dollar is about to crash, with Damon Vickers, Nine Points Capital Management founder, and “The Day After Dollar Crash” author.

Revolution In The Air?

The Real Revolution

Feb 27, 2011
Believe it or not, growing your own food or visiting your local farmers market is more revolutionary and constructivethan burning down your own city and killing security forces.
As Washington plunges the Middle East and North Africa into chaos, and city by city collapses into the hands of globalist stooges, many have mistakenly interpreted this “change” as a positive transformation.
On the contrary, the regimes that will replace the embattled nationalistic dictators in each nation the globalists despoil will interface not with the national governments in the service of their people, but will interface with the “civil society” underlay the Western backed NGOs have meticulously built up over decades. This “civil society” will in turn answer to corporate serving globalist institutions, like the IMF, WTO, World Bank and the UN, instituting crushing economic “liberalization.”
We have been given a prepackaged ideal of what “revolution” is supposed to look like. So when we see people in the streets battling security forces, waving flags, all within the backdrop of their burning society, we are satisfied that “revolution” is taking place. But the reality is, this is not a revolution by any stretch of the imagination. It is a high-tech, high-speed invasion and subjugation, a corruption of the sovereign state similar to what Tacitus described in Roman conquered Britannia.
‘His object was to accustom them to a life of peace and quiet by the provision of amenities. He therefore gave official assistance to the building of temples, public squares and good houses. He educated the sons of the chiefs in the liberal arts, and expressed a preference for British ability as compared to the trained skills of the Gauls. The result was that instead of loathing the Latin language they became eager to speak it effectively. In the same way, our national dress came into favour and the toga was everywhere to be seen. And so the population was gradually led into the demoralizing temptation of arcades, baths and sumptuous banquets. The unsuspecting Britons spoke of such novelties as ‘civilization’, when in fact they were only a feature of their enslavement.’
Tacitus Annals of Imperial Rome, translated Michael Grant, Penguin 1956, 1975, page 72
As we can see, “civil society” is not a new idea, nor is the concept of lulling a population into decadence and complacency while rolling them into a corrupt, exploitative domineering empire.

Real Revolution
Real revolution will take place when people realize what indeed is really happening, who is behind it, and then no longer paying into their corrupt system. This translates into boycotting the corporate combines behind the very policies we deplore, and replacing “their” system that benefits only them, with our own system that solely benefits ourselves.
The following lists contain the corporations and institutions that constantly turn up behind the most heinous atrocities unfolding today. From the millions murdered in the misadventure in Vietnam, to the millions dying or maimed in the global “War on Terror,” and of course the the chaos unfolding during the premeditated reordering of the Middle East and North Africa that will indefinitely affect millions of lives and their future, these are the people responsible:

Some may be skeptical of whether or not boycotting and replacing the elitist system that currently domineers mankind is even possible, however it is already taking place. The alternative media is one such example, where people fed up with being lied to by obnoxious propagandists have decided to turn off the TV and report the news themselves. It has become a self-sustaining industry with exponential growth, where reputation and accuracy is replacing the slick graphics and 500 dollar suits that used to represent “legitimacy.”
The alternative media offers people accurate information. Accurate information is essential when making life decisions. Hearing the truth allows us to make decisions that benefit ourselves and our community. This stands contra to the current corporate owned media who would have us living our lives to benefit their shareholders, even to our own detriment.
We can and we must translate the success of the alternate media to all aspects of our life. The globalists have this unwarranted power because we have continuously paid into the corrupt system they have created and monopolize.
If young men became local deputies instead of joining the army, if we stopped shopping at Walmart (CFR), drinking Pepsi (CFR), eating at all the corporate owned junk-food restaurants, canceled our credit cards, canceled all but our internet connections, and basically boycotted all globalist corporations in general – along with replacing them with our own local system, where would the globalists get their manpower? Their money? Their legitimacy?
They need us, we don’t need them. That’s the big secret. We get our freedom back as soon as we take back our responsibilities for food, water, security, the monetary system, power, and manufacturing; that is independence. Independence is freedom, freedom is independence. We’ll never be free as long as we depend on the Fortune 500 for our survival.
Fixing these problems unfolding overseas starts with fixing the problems in our own backyards. Boycott the globalists, cut off their support, undermine their system, and they lose their ability to commit these atrocities. That will be a real revolution and it can start today. Not burning cities and masked rebels waving flags, but communities no longer dependent and fueling a corrupt system we all know must come to an end.

Driving the US Dollar Down To Zero

The Flood Of Money Drowns Out The Value

Feb 27, 2011
The world is awash in dollars and that is being reflected in the USDX, which are six major currencies versus the dollar. The loss of value is being loudly trumpeted as the IMF says a replacement must be found. This is the same IMF that has been foisting non-gold backed SDRs on us since 1969. Every time they have tried this it has been a failure. We can give the Illuminists an ‘A’ for effort, but what they do not get is that the professionals and investors see right through it. Another batch of fiat currency is not going to solve the world’s currency crisis, which can only be saved by gold backing. Needless to say, the mainstream media will never talk about this in realistic terms, because the elitists control them. The denigration of currencies versus gold and silver are advancing apace, as the elitists day after day try to suppress gold and silver prices.
The major media is as complacent as ever because they are totally controlled. It is not ignorance or incompetence. It is control. The media tells us the stock market is headed higher, but fails to tell us why. The reason is manipulation by the US government, and those who control it, and funds swamping the market via QE2. This is an economy where few jobs are being created, unemployment remains steady and we are told that a rising stock market means recovery, which is far from the truth. Propaganda flourishes as well as physiological warfare. There is no truth for the American people and the people of the world, it is all controlled and capsulated for consumption and control. There is no real recovery; it is all smoke and mirrors to mislead the public. Government and the media declare there is no inflation, but yet it abounds. This is the same media that has ignored the climb in gold and silver prices for 11 years. They have few explanations as to why gold and silver prices are rising. It is because the value of fiat currencies are falling versus gold and silver, but that is not the explanation we hear. We are told a number of absurd falsities.
Gold and silver are just now beginning to break out of government instigated doldrums, which has been government induced by those who own the Fed. None of the old tricks and nostrums is working anymore, so new tactics are being taken. You have seen ongoing attacks on gold and silver that has been going on since 1988, and in the last 15 years they have been relentless. As of late the theme is destroy the gold and silver shares to make people believe that there is little value there, to shake novices out of their positions. The psywarfare plan is to force down gold and silver share prices and gold in order to destroy silver prices so that JPM and HSBC can cover their shorts. It hasn’t worked and won’t work. Needless to say, we get the usual from CNBC, CNN, MSNBC and Fox. Is it a bubble or a craze? Again, what else would you expect from a media which is usually wrong.
The debt and inflation will become more terse as we struggle forward. Government knows it has to cut Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, screwing the participants and better enabling government to control and reduce these benefits. Allowing government to renege over and over again does not instill confidence in its citizens. There are mammoth cuts coming, but the military industrial complex will experience few. This is how the elitists keep their empire by threat of force. Just look around you and look at the Patriot Act and Homeland Security or the new Gestapo the FBI. Yes readers, you already live in a police state.
As Americans overlook these developments and the fact that anyone who criticizes government is a terrorist, price inflation is destroying their purchasing power and it’s being done deliberately, as a result of saving a broken banking system that only catered to the wealthy and connected. Loans are available, but generally only to AAA corporations and fellow elitists, as interest rates begin their devastating rise into the future. That needless to say will be accompanied by a falling dollar and higher gold and silver prices. Many other countries have duplicated these events, so not only will the US dollar fall in value, but also so will the currencies of most every other country versus one another and particularly versus gold and silver. In case you missed it, or forgot, versus nine major currencies over the past 10 years on average gold has appreciated 15-1/4% annually and silver 20-3/8% annually, thus, these facts are nothing new. They have just been hidden from you. As a result of the loss in purchasing power and ever building debt we have seen demonstrations and riots throughout Europe for the past two years. That has been followed for the same reasons, plus price inflation, in the Middle East with the overthrow of the governments of Tunisia and Egypt. Several more monarchies and dictatorships are on the verge of falling as well. In the US the attempt to radically change retirement benefits and unions has led to demonstrations in Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio. We believe in time as unemployment rises with prices and there is no economic recovery that demonstrations will increase and they could, as they have elsewhere, turn violent. If police in the US fire on civilians or beat them into submission there will be retaliation and law enforcement will get decimated.
There is absolutely no way the dollar and other currencies can be saved. That is why the prices of gold and silver move relentlessly upward. There already is waning confidence in the dollar and many other currencies, and that is why the USDX, the dollar index, as a yardstick, is inferior to measuring all currencies versus gold and silver. You may not realize it now, but you are living through the collapse of fiat money systems. The future of monetary and fiscal matters will take many twists and turns, some good, some bad. It is far too early to make solid predictions on what routes will be taken. At this juncture it is easy to see where we are headed, but the future is more difficult. It could be inflation, hyperinflation, deflationary depression and another contrived war to distract people from the more important issues of the economy, finance and economic survival. In the meantime in reaction to such events gold could go to $5,000 or $10,000 and silver $100 to $500, as the flight to quality becomes a stampede.

Our studies and intelligence tells us that the elitists running the show deliberately planned a collapse so they can form a world government. For them everything is on the line. If they lose they’ll lose everything. If we lose the same could be true. We are not going to lose, because to many people worldwide already know what they are up too and that what we are experiencing was planned that way. Why do you think QE1 financial sectors were saved in the US and Europe and in QE2 the US government was bailed out. It is very obvious to thinking people as to what is taking place. The edifice that underlies elitist power has been bolstered as the US and European economics are being allowed to fail. Tough decisions will have to be made to save the dollar and the economy and that is not going to happen because those running the show behind the scenes do not want that to happen. The route being presently taken is that of the Fed funding all Treasury and Agency needs including deficit spending. In such a scenario gold and silver prices have no limits to the upside. It could also be that the majority of your gold and silver holdings may never be sold due to the ongoing turmoil the world may be buried in.
The stock market in Dow terms is about 12,400 due to trillions of dollars being poured into the economy via the Fed and QE1 and QE2 and via the manipulation of “The President’s Working Group on Financial Markets.” The insiders know what is going on but investors and the public do not have a clue. How is it that denizens of Wall Street get richer and the poor get poorer? It is because Wall Street and banking control the government. The question arises is the market overpriced? Of course it is, but hundreds of billions of dollars are available to Wall Street and banks to speculate in their rigged game. Can you imagine that it is possible for several banks and brokerage houses every day for months to have no losing trading days? Of course that is not normally possible. That can only happen when they create the inside information. They are slaughtering the average investor. Will the market collapse again? Of course it will, but the timing is very difficult. Perhaps if there is an announcement that QE2 is over and there will be no QE3, maybe major unrest in the Middle East will cause a correction, or perhaps a realization that there will be no further recovery, or perhaps we’ll see demonstrations in the US similar to those in the Middle East? After adding tax-pork legislation of $862 billion last year the administration is asking for $200 billion more. What the Fed has done with zero interest rates and quantitative easing at least temporarily is put a floor under the market. Eventually that floor will crumble as real interest rates climb further and perhaps QE comes to an end. Needless to say, were that to happen there would be total collapse. The US and for that matter, European economies cannot survive without major stimulus. In Europe the financially healthy nations are supplying $1 trillion to six poorer nations knowing full well $3 to $5 trillion is needed. German Chancellor Ms. Merkel says Germany will hold the euro together. Last week in elections in the Hamburg region the voters sent her a warning by crushing CDU candidates. If the CDU wants to be thrown out of office they will continue to advocate more support for sick members of the euro zone. We think the support by Germany is at an end and that means it is only a matter of time before the euro is history. In this regard the G-20 meeting went nowhere, as sick nations demanded that the solvent nations stop exporting so much. One asks where does it end.
Eventually the Dow will fall. When that will begin we do not know, but if it follows history it should fall to 6,650 and then to? Dow 3,200. It could fall lower, but 3,200 is the goal. The damage wreaked on the economy by deficit spending and QE will take years to correct. The longer the upside continues on the Dow the higher gold is going to go because in terms of gold the US dollar and other currencies will continue to fall. That is why the US Treasury and the Fed and other central bans want so desperately to stop gold and silver from going higher, which gets more difficult with each and every day.
That brings us to the performance of gold and silver shares, which have been under attack by government consistently for the past 15 years. You have major shares prices reflecting in many instances reserves at $300 an ounce or at 25% of gold market prices. Many of these operating companies are reporting profit increases of 20% to 40%. We have been involved in mining shares for 51 years and those who try to put a P/E ratio on producing mines are pursuing a futile quest. The reason is the enormous leverage in these shares that you are now seeing. In 1980 producers saw P/E’s of 350 times earnings. Gold is the perfect hedge against the collapse in value of other assets, currencies and inflation. For 6,000 years it has had no peers. Silver runs a close second as a store of value. Gold and silver are a reflection of the real value of currencies and are the most stable assets in the world. The proof of the dominance of gold and silver over the past ten years has been performance. Versus nine major currencies the average currency has lost 15-1/4% annually versus gold and 20-3/8% versus silver. There have been no assets that can come close to matching that consistent return and the trend is still upward. We wonder why CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg don’t site these statistics on their programs? You all know why, it is because the elitists behind the scenes own the media. So as a result you get totally managed and slanted news. There is never dissension and truth.
We have talked about an eventual market correction. We have just seen over the past six months the breaking of the bond market bubble and real estate continues its downward slide. That leaves gold, silver and commodities as the select investments.
In recent years real estate has proven to be a poor hedge versus inflation, as it still resumes its downward journey. It has become illiquid at market prices and can only be liquidated at severely reduced prices. Over the next few years massive inventory overhang will take prices lower and then there will be years of stagnation. That doesn’t sound like a very good investment to us.
We just saw the 10-year note fall from a yield of 2.20% to its current yield of 2.60%. We believe rates over the next two years could reach 5% to 5-1/2%. If we are correct that means 30-year fixed rate mortgagees could move to 6-1/2% to 7%. It also translates into large bond losses.
The biggest question is will there be a QE3 and hyperinflation? We do not know for sure, but all the signs point in that direction. That means as inflation rises so do gold and silver related assets. Will we then see a flight to quality to gold and silver? Yes, we will. They will be the only game in town. We have been in an inflationary depression for two years. Next is higher inflation, probably hyperinflation and then deflationary depression. In all these environments gold and silver related assets will be the only place to be. These are the truthful facts of life today and a clear snapshot of where we are headed.
Get your house in order, because if you do not you won’t like the consequences.
Wal-Mart sales tanked, again. Sales at stores open at least one year declined 2.8% y/y; total sales declined 0.5% to $71.0B. The company is experiencing its worst ever stretch of sales seven consecutive quarters of decline. If not for inflation in the necessities of life, sales would be worse.
Wal-Mart saw weakness across much of its U.S. business, including electronics, consumables and clothing. The company did manage to post gain in its food business and health and wellness products.
The use of government assistance programs to pay for goods continues to rise, said Bill Simon, president and CEO of the Walmart U.S. business.
Simon said Wal-Mart would only pass along price increases when they cannot be avoided. It is working with suppliers to reduce inflationary pressure, where possible, on everything from food to clothing.
Housing prices tanked to new lows. The FHA’s December report shows its inventory of REO increased to over 60k, +9.5% m/m and + 47.5% y/y. Soon, Fannie and Freddie will report its REO inventory, which added to FHA’s haul should be well in excess of 300,000. And people think housing stocks are buys?!?!
In 1936 the Fed was able to monetize debt, as they are currently doing, until the bond market had a mini- collapse in September. Inflation soared into 1937.
At first stocks loved the inflation but eventually inflation squeezes margins and consumers, so solons must react. Stocks tanked 49% from March 1937 to April 1938. The DJIA declined 40% in only ten weeks into November 1937. Commodities tanked with stocks.
Bloody Ben and US solons are replaying New Deal strategies; and businesses are doing exactly what they did back in the middle thirties hoard cash, modernize with new equipment, which reduces employment, because they don’t see the need to greatly expand their businesses.
Liberals and Keynesians blame the push to tame out-of-control government spending and higher bank reserve requirements for the 1937-1938 collapse. But they never mention the underlying forces – soaring CPI coupled with stagnant job growth and Hitler’s annexation of Austria (international turmoil).
Yesterday, KC Fed President Thomas Hoenig asserted that an “extended period” of low interest rates “invites speculation” and the US has “deeply” undermined free-market capitalism.
This is a direct condemnation of Bloody Ben, B-Dud and other QE advocates.
Hoenig also stated that the biggest banks should be broken up and the ‘too-big-to-fail’ problem must be fixed “now” because “I am convinced that the existence of too-big-to-fail financial institutions poses the greatest risk to the U.S. economy. In my view, it is even worse than before the crisis”. Hoenig favors privatizing FNM and FRE.
Hoenig asserted that big financial firms must not hold the economy “hostage”. We stated a long time ago that large banks and funds have been financial terrorists, declaring that they would blow up the financial system and economy if not granted unprecedented government support on the backs of taxpayers…We opined months ago that Hoenig is maneuvering to replace Bloody Ben.
In accounts of the political unrest sweeping through the Middle East, one factor, inflation, deserves more attention. Nothing can be more demoralizing to people at the low end of the income scale where great masses in that region reside than increases in the cost of basic necessities like food and fuel. It brings them out into the streets to protest government policies, especially in places where mass protests are the only means available to shake the existing power structure. China and India blame the U.S. Federal Reserve for their difficulties in maintaining stable prices.
About the only one failing to acknowledge a problem seems to be the man most responsible, Federal
Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Mr. Bernanke has made it clear that his policy is to inflate the money supply. The Fed is financing a vast and rising federal deficit, following a practice that has been a surefire prescription for domestic inflation from time immemorial. Meanwhile, its policies are stoking a rise in prices that is contributing to political unrest that in some cases might be beneficial but in others might turn out as badly as the overthrow of the shah in 1979. Does any of this suggest that there might be some urgency to bringing the Fed under closer scrutiny?
Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s chairman and chief executive officer, warned against raising base salaries on Wall Street less than eight months before his own more than tripled to $2 million.
Goldman Sachs prefers paying compensation in bonuses that are contingent on the firm’s performance, rather than offering guarantees or high salaries, Blankfein said in a June 16 interview with staff of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a recording of which was made public this month. On Jan. 28, the New York-based firm disclosed it had raised salaries for Blankfein and four other top executives that had been $600,000.
“Salary is another form of guarantee, so we would like low salaries and high contingent comp,” Blankfein said in the interview. “We think the world is going in a poor direction. We think having high fixed salaries for people, or guarantees for people and lower contingent comp actually is worse behavior.”
Goldman Sachs raised salaries after competitors including Morgan Stanley, UBS AG and Citigroup Inc. lifted base pay for employees and executives. New U.S. rules on bank pay, approved for public comment by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Feb. 7, aim only at bonuses and leave salaries untouched.
The number of applications for U.S. mortgages rose last week, led by more refinancing as mortgage rates fell to the lowest level since the end of January.
The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of loan applications increased 13 percent in the week ended Feb. 18 after dropping the prior week to the lowest point since November 2008. The group’s refinancing measure jumped 18 percent and the purchase gauge rose 5.1 percent.
“Refinancing is more sensitive to fluctuations in rates” than are purchases, Paul Dales, a senior economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in Toronto, said before the report. Still, he said he expected refinancing to “remain soft” with sales at “historically depressed levels for perhaps two or three years.”
The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages dropped to 5 percent as turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa led investors to seek the safety of U.S. Treasury securities, which are benchmarks for some consumer loans, pulling down their yield. Still, mounting foreclosures, falling prices and 9 percent unemployment mean it will take time for demand to pick up. The 30-year rate fell from 5.12 percent the prior week. It reached 4.21 percent in October, the lowest since the group’s records began in 1990.
At the current 30-year rate, monthly payments for each $100,000 of a loan would be $536.82, in line with the same week the prior year, when the rate was 5.04 percent.
Rates Fall. The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.28 percent from 4.34 percent. The share of applicants seeking to refinance a loan rose to 65.7 percent from 64 percent the prior week.
The housing market is struggling to gain traction after a homebuyers’ tax credit expired last year and as more properties fall into the foreclosure pipeline. Combined sales of existing and new homes in December were at a 5.61 million annual unit pace, down from a July 2005 record of 8.53 million.
A report from the National Association of Realtors today may show existing home sales fell 1.1 percent to a 5.22 million annualized rate in January, according to economists’ estimates. Sales of previously owned homes last year totaled 4.91 million, the lowest level since 1997.
The top lawyer at the Securities and Exchange Commission and his two brothers inherited more than $1.5 million in phony profits from their mother’s investment in Bernard Madoff’s epic Ponzi scheme, according to a startling suit filed by bankruptcy trustee Irving Picard.
David Becker who was named SEC general counsel and senior policy director less than two months after Madoff’s arrest in December 2008 was served with legal papers demanding return of the dirty money earlier this month, court records show.
Picard’s “clawback” suit claims that Becker’s mother’s estate of which he and his brothers are co-executors received more than $2 million from Madoff’s crooked investment firm.
“The investigation has revealed that $1,544,494 of this amount was fictitious profit from the Ponzi scheme,” the Manhattan Bankruptcy Court filing says.
The Beckers’ mother, Dorothy, died in June 2004. Picard’s papers say $2.04 million was withdrawn from the estate’s account in February 2005, and another $1,648 was taken out three months later.
The three brothers were sued as both executors and individuals.
Reached at his Bethesda, Md., home last night, David Becker said, “There’s no allegations of wrongdoing on anyone’s part other than by Madoff.”
Becker, who’s slated to leave the SEC next week for a private-sector job, insisted he had no “absolutely” no idea Madoff had been running a fraud.
“This is about my parents’ investments. I had nothing to do with my parents’ investments,” Becker said.
Asked if he had told his bosses at the SEC which has been harshly criticized for failing to uncover Madoff’s $65 billion scam he replied, “I don’t discuss internal conversations with the SEC.”
Becker served as SEC general counsel from 2000 to 2002 before returning in February 2009, with Chairwoman Mary Schapiro then praising his “wisdom and careful judgment.” In announcing the end of Becker’s “two-year commitment” earlier this month, Schapiro said his “wise counsel” had “served the agency and the American people brilliantly.” Meanwhile, lawyers for the Mets’ owners yesterday threw a brushback pitch at Picard, who has sued them to get back more than $300 million in Madoff profits. The papers, filed on behalf of Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz in US Bankruptcy Court, demand that Picard turn over all discovery material so both sides will be on an even playing field. The sides have agreed to mediation, which has already begun, overseen by former Gov. Mario Cuomo.
But “meaningful mediation will be impossible if the defendants do not have access to all of the Trustee’s pre-complaint discovery,” the filing states.
Picard’s suit, claiming the Mets’ owners “knew or should have known” Madoff was running a scam, was unsealed earlier this month and unleashed speculation the team would have to be sold to pay off its debts.
The school district plans to send out dismissal notices to every one of its 1,926 teachers, an unprecedented move that has union leaders up in arms.
In a letter sent to all teachers Tuesday, Supt. Tom Brady wrote that the Providence School Board on Thursday will vote on a resolution to dismiss every teacher, effective the last day of school.
In an e-mail sent to all teachers and School Department staff, Brady said, “We are forced to take this precautionary action by the March 1 deadline given the dire budget outline for the 2011-2012 school year in which we are projecting a near $40 million deficit for the district,” Brady wrote. “Since the full extent of the potential cuts to the school budget have yet to be determined, issuing a dismissal letter to all teachers was necessary to give the mayor, the School Board and the district maximum flexibility to consider every cost savings option, including reductions in staff.” State law requires that teachers be notified about potential changes to their employment status by March 1.
“To be clear about what this means,” Brady wrote, “this action gives the School Board the right to dismiss teachers as necessary, but not all teachers will actually be dismissed at the end of the school year.”
“This is beyond insane,” Providence Teachers Union President Steve Smith said Tuesday night. “Let’s create the most chaos and the highest level of anxiety in a district where teachers are already under unbelievable stress. Now I know how the United States State Department felt on Dec. 7, 1941.” That was the day the Japanese government bombed Pearl Harbor.
Smith, who has forged a groundbreaking collaboration with Brady that has received national recognition, said he believes this move comes directly from Mayor Angel Taveras, not the School Department. In a conversation with Taveras earlier Tuesday, Smith said the mayor also hinted at school closings but didn’t elaborate.
Taveras, in a statement issued Tuesday night, said the uncertainty around the city’s finances, combined with the March 1 deadline, led to this decision. Because it is too early to be certain of all possible changes to the school budget, Taveras said, issuing dismissal notices to all teachers “provides maximum flexibility” going forward.
“As a Providence public school graduate, I understand how great teachers can change lives,” he wrote. “I am sensitive to the uncertainty and anxiety that many teachers felt when they received this notice. My administration will do all it can to support our committed, hardworking teachers during this difficult time.”
Providence is facing a daunting budget crisis. The city had a $57-million deficit last year and expects a higher figure for the year ending June 30. In addition, the city, under then-Mayor David N. Cicilline, nearly depleted its reserves to cover day-to-day expenses. Taveras is currently awaiting completion of a report by an independent panel, which he commissioned to get a better handle on the city’s financial situation.
Meanwhile, Smith said he was caught completely off-guard by the planned dismissals, adding that Brady didn’t inform him of the decision until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday although he had heard rumors over the weekend.
He said it makes no sense to send out dismissal notices to every teacher because the district has a legal obligation to educate all of its students, regardless of budget considerations. “You have so many students,” he said. “You need so many teachers. You have a student-teacher ratio of 26 to 1. Do the math.”
Last year, only about 100 teachers received layoff notices, but in years past, as many as 500 have.
Smith said the dismissals couldn’t come at a worse time. The union is getting close to resolving a lawsuit over seniority-based hiring. The teachers’ contract expires June 30. And both Smith and Brady have staked their careers on a first-ever partnership in which both sides have agreed to make deep reforms in four of the district’s lowest-performing schools.
“We’re at the table with our best ideas,” Smith said. “To take this approach is unconscionable.”
For many people who purchased a home for the first time in 2008, it’s payback time. It sounded like a great deal: become a first-time homebuyer and pocket up to $7,500 in a tax credit. But if you bought that house in 2008 and received the credit, you’re required to start paying it back now.
That’s because the credit was actually an interest-free loan provided by the government to stimulate a near-dead housing market.
Unlike the homebuyer credits of 2009 and 2010, this one must be paid back over 15 years beginning with this year’s tax return.
For someone who got $7,500, that’s $500 a year.
“This is not a freebie,” said Jackie Perlman, a tax analyst at H&R Block’s Tax Institute.
The 2008 credit was available to qualified homebuyers who purchased after April 8, 2008, through the end of that year. The IRS has sent letters reminding folks who fall into this category, including 45,865 taxpayers in New York State.
Many have been caught off-guard. They either forgot that the credit was a loan, or believed the loan had been forgiven as Congress subsequently passed different versions of the homebuyer credit that did not require a payback.
“I had one client who called me in a slight panic,” said Jonathan Horn, a certified public accountant. “People are confused.”
If you got the credit and have sold your house or it is no longer your primary residence, the total amount you owe is due on the return for the year those events took place, with some exceptions.
You can choose to accelerate your payments. While the loan is interest-free, some might want to pay it back sooner rather than later.
“A loan is still something hanging over your head,” Perlman said.
“Some people will say, ‘Let me get this over with.’”
Purchases of new houses in the U.S. fell more than forecast in January, reflecting declines in the West and South that indicate a California tax credit and bad weather may have played a role.
Sales declined 13 percent to a 284,000 annual pace, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a decrease to a 305,000 rate. Demand dropped 37 percent in the West and 13 percent in the South.
Homes in the foreclosure process sold at an average 28 percent discount last year and may continue to drive down U.S. housing prices as the supply of distressed properties grows, according to RealtyTrac Inc.
A total of 831,574 homes that sold in 2010 had received notices of default, auction or repossession, the Irvine, California-based data seller said today in a statement. Properties in distress accounted for almost 26 percent of all home sales last year, down from 29 percent in 2009.
Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose unexpectedly in January, but prices fell to their lowest level in nearly nine years, an industry group said on Wednesday. The National Association of Realtors said sales climbed 2.7 percent month over month to an annual rate of 5.36 million units from a downwardly revised 5.22 million pace.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected January sales to fall 2.1 percent to a 5.24 million-unit pace from the previously reported 5.28 million units in December.
Compared with January last year, sales were up 5.3 percent. The median home price fell 3.7 percent from a year-ago to $158,800, the lowest since April 2002.