The Finale

October 6th, 2013

The last three years have been interesting and enlightening as I posted on Likelicorice. The goal has been to publish important news and commentary, however low readership does not make continuing it practical. I regret that I will no longer be posting articles.

If you have been a regular reader, I hope you have found Likelicorice worthwhile. Thanks for coming.

Sadistic Strategy

October 4th, 2013

Who is keeping the government shut down? To hear the media one would say it is the Republicans, but they have already offered to fund essential services rather than shut down everything. Pat Buchanan describes what President Obama and Senator Harry Reid are doing to maintain the status quo, and why, in this piece on Townhall.

“Again, Reid and Obama do not want to ease the pain of the people. They want to intensify that pain, ratchet it up, maximize it, to put maximum pressure on and do maximum damage to the GOP.”

Lavabit, Edward Snowden, And The FBI

October 4th, 2013

“The full story of what happened to Mr. Levison since May has not previously been told, in part because he was subject to a court’s gag order.”

In this New York Times story the events surrounding FBI demands for access to Edward Snowden’s email are revealed and how Lavabit owner, Ladar Levison, dealt with the ordeal. The Times writers were Nicole Perlroth and Scott Shane.

We owe a debt of gratitude to businessmen like Levison who will take a stand against an intrusive federal government.

Peer-To-Peer Lending

October 3rd, 2013

The lure of higher yields is attracting big investors to peer-to-peer lending, yet default rates can be fatal to this model. Finacial Sense carries this article by Monty Guild.

“One, we’re somewhat skeptical that peer-to-peer lenders can adequately control risk — and if they do, that they will end up being very different from traditional financing sources in terms of their willingness to lend.”

A Christian Parable

October 2nd, 2013

I can’t say that this is where I would expect to find a Christian parable, but Ann Coulter makes some valid points. Maybe “Breaking Bad” had some redeeming value beyond entertainment. If nothing else, as she points out, it illustrates the deadly nature of pride, the chief of all sins.

Her commentary is posted on Townhall.

“Escaping ‘Government’ Schools”

October 2nd, 2013

“Now I know that public school — government school is a better name — is one of the worst parts of America. It’s a stultified government monopoly. It never improves.”

John Stossel is right. It will never improve, certainly not as a competitive equal to private/homeschooling. His article is posted on Townhall.

Indian Temple Gold

October 1st, 2013

In the midst of India’s balance of payments problems, the government has put progressively higher taxes on gold imports, and now the Reserve Bank of India is making inquiries with Hindu temples asking about their gold hoards.

Reuters carries this article by D. Jose Thiruvananthapuram.

“”The gold stored in temples was contributed by devotees over thousands of years and we will not allow anyone to usurp it,” said V Mohanan, secretary of the Hindu nationalist Vishwa Hindu Parishad organisation in Kerala, in a statement.”

Reminder: Every Senate Democrat…

October 1st, 2013

The Senate Democrats led by Harry Reid are willing to fight to the death to protect Obamacare. But what you should know is that every Senate Democrat voted to exempt himself from it.

Read more in Daniel Doherty’s article posted on Townhall.

Threat Of Government Shutdown

September 30th, 2013

This news piece by Greg Richter from Newsmax is quite slanted and plays along with the Obama administration by depicting the Republicans who don’t want to give ground on the debt ceiling as part of the “extreme right wing”. Lawmakers who will not give the administration a blank check are made to look ridiculous and stubborn. Spending without limit is what is being demanded, pure and simple. From the point of view of conservatives who would like to cut federal spending, there is little leverage except to “shut down the government”, and frankly I am all for it.

The Bin Laden Raid

September 30th, 2013

“Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh says that the raid which killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011 is “one big lie” and that “not one word” of the Obama administration’s narrative on what happened is true.”

In an interview with the Guardian, Seymour Hersh makes his views on the Obama administration and investigative journalism very plain. Infowars.com carries this piece by Paul Joseph Watson. What Hersh says deserves some serious thought.

There were numerous reports that Bin Laden, who had severe kidney disease, died just months after the 9/11 attack. His body was never publicly identified after the raid where was supposedly killed, and a hasty burial at sea prevented any further inquiry. It is also worth noting that the only people who were witnesses to the Bin Laden raid, Seal Team 6, were all killed in a rocket attack on their helicopter in 2011. This Washington Times article gives an account of the attack and the events surrounding it.

Obamacare, Spending, And Liberty

September 29th, 2013

Ron Paul applauds the fight against Obamacare, but would like to see the same emphasis put on reducing federal spending. Here is his piece that is posted on Safehaven.

“As heartened as we should be by the fight against Obamacare, we should be equally disheartened by the fact that so few in DC are talking about making real cuts in federal spending.”

“Most of the supposedly “draconian” sequestration cuts are not even cuts; instead, they are “reductions in the planned rate of spending.” This is where Congress increases spending but by less than originally planned — and yet they claim to cut spending.”

Why The Establishment Fears Ted Cruz

September 29th, 2013

If Ted Cruz had lived in 1776 he would have been a leader in the American Revolution and fearlessly taken on the British, the greatest military power on the earth. Today he just may be a match for our Washington establishment, considering that they are running scared of him. One way to estimate his importance as a Constitutional conservative is to observe the abuse the media dumps on him.

The Washington Times published this commentary by James Richard Edwards.

“First, he is a fearless, formidable, constitutional conservative with stellar credentials who will not sit down and shut up at the behest of Sen. Harry Reid and President Obama.”

“Cruz has repeatedly said that “liberty is never safer than when politicians are terrified.””

FHA Needs Cash

September 28th, 2013

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has fallen short on its required cash funds and will draw $1.7 billion from the Treasury. Reuters carries this news piece by Margaret Chadbourn.

“The FHA has said its cash needs were mainly driven by losses from reverse mortgages, which allow homeowners age 62 or older to withdraw equity and repay it only when their homes are sold.”

“The FHA insures about $1.1 trillion in mortgages and now backs about one third of all new loans used to purchase homes, up from about 5 percent in 2006.”

Ted Cruz, The Media, And Obamacare

September 28th, 2013

News anchor Neil Cavuto and Brent Bozell discuss Ted Cruz and Obamacare in this Fox News video clip. The Republican party is starting to get some new blood who refuse to back down on principle, which is refreshing.

The video clip is posted on NewsBusters.

Consultant For EU Bank Audit

September 28th, 2013

Most of us have never heard of Oliver Wyman, a U.S. financial consulting company, but the European Central Bank (ECB) has great respect for them in light of hiring them to audit the 130 largest banks in Europe. However, Wyman’s previous audits of European banks have glossed over the frailties of the banks, and one must suspect that the ECB is well aware of that. This news item by Valentina Pop appears in EUObserver.

Audacity Of Hypocrisy

September 26th, 2013

John Ing gives us a running commentary on the economy, politics, and world events in his piece on Safehaven. It is rather long but, I think, an excellent description of what is going on. I would take exception to two statements he made, which if they were minor would not be worth noting, but these are significant. In his opening paragraph he says that we have a dysfunctional political system. That all depends on what one is trying to accomplish as to whether it is dysfunctional. If the current outcomes are intentional, then dysfunctional is not a good description. Secondly, he states that the U.S. holds 8000 tonnes of gold, which is pure conjecture. Our politicians and treasury officials have steadfastly resisted any audit of our gold holdings, so it is a good assumption that we have lost part if not all of it. There is a cover-up going on, so something is amiss.

He ends his piece with some recommendations on mining stocks, which we neither endorse nor reject. They are his call alone.

“Cyprus and Poland are recent examples but the failure of a sovereign credit or one of the big banks has yet tested the new template of confiscating private wealth. Yet the market views sovereign defaults as yesteryear. Wrong.”

“”The biggest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same-old players and expect a different result”. ~ Presidential Nominee, Barack H.Obama, Democratic National Convention 2008″

Chris Powell On Market Rigging

September 26th, 2013

King World News carries this interview with Chris Powell of GATA (Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee) regarding the now terminated investigation of silver market rigging. The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) which is charged with regulating the futures markets to prevent market rigging has ended their five year investigation with a statement saying that they found no evidence of manipulation in the silver futures market.

Chris Powell explains how the market can be manipulated, which it plainly is, and yet their official finding is quite legal.

Not What It Seems

September 25th, 2013

“What caused Alexis to voice this complaint on August 7, 2013, 42 days prior to embarking on a shooting rampage at the Navy Yard,….”

What Aaron Alexis did at the Navy Yard is very strange, and to merely brush it off as a mentally disturbed person avoids analysis of the incident. Alan Jones has written a piece that poses the question that Alexis may have been set up to cause a massacre. His article is posted in The Washington Times.

IMHO there is much evidence that our government does engage in agent provocateur and false flag operations. Without going into details, the reader is invited to do his own research. Two suspicious incidents would be the Murrah Building bombing in Oklahoma City and the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center Towers. In each incident too many questions were unanswered and available evidence was ignored. Two references are this link for the Murrah Building and this Wikipedia page for 9/11 and Operation Able Danger. Regarding Aaran Alexis I will mention a government mind control project, MKUltra, which was conducted for years before being “discontinued”.

He Had To Kill Her

September 25th, 2013

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at UNC Wilmington, and his background was probably helpful in writing this provocative piece. It was posted on Townhall.

“When I found out the news, I acted immediately. I killed Anna while she was sleeping and then dumped for body off of Johnny Mercer’s pier at Wrightsville Beach.”

James Rickards On Currency Wars

September 24th, 2013

Before the Fed announced that it would not end QE, James Rickards said he expected them to continue it. Based on the outcome of QE1 and QE2 they have no option but to keep the stimulus going. The option was to end QE and watch the economy tank.

Hard Assets Investor interviewed Rickards on his views on QE, the U.S. economy, currency wars, and gold.

“They [Asia] know we’re out to cheapen the dollar. They’re over-allocated to dollars. They know that the United States has no way out of its debt problem except by inflation.”

Draghi’s Promise

September 24th, 2013

The head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, has declared that he will print whatever money is necessary to keep EU banks liquid and interest rates low. Kitco posted this news item.

“At the end of 2011 and in February 2012 , the ECB carried out a pair of three year LTROs, in which banks borrowed more than €1 trillion (£841bn) from the central bank.”

Hubble Telescope’s Look At “Nothing”

September 24th, 2013

Some years ago the Hubble telescope was pointed at a spot in space that appeared to have nothing. And what was discovered was over 3000 galaxies. Whether you have seen this before or not, its worth another look.

The video clip is posted on All-that-is-interesting.com.

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech,
 and night to night reveals knowledge.” [Psalm 19:1-2]

“Rich City, Poor City”

September 23rd, 2013

City and state pension plans are the topic of John Mauldin’s commentary. As one might expect for investments run by government, there is often a big divergence between what they claim, and what is actually being delivered, or will be delivered in the future.

“They sent me an Excel file on the major pension plans of every state and the pension plans of cities with populations over 100,000. And Justin was kind enough to create multiple spreadsheets and graphs upon request and patiently explain their data.”

“As it turns out, the management of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund has actually returned 8.5% for the last 10 years. They rank in the top 1% of all city pension funds in the United States.”

BIS Veteran Warns

September 23rd, 2013

William White, the former chief economist of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), has warned that nothing has been fixed since the Lehman collapse in 2008, and in fact a number of the economic stats are worse.

The Telegraph carries this article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.

“All the previous imbalances are still there. Total public and private debt levels are 30pc higher as a share of GDP in the advanced economies than they were then,….”

“Mr. White said the five years since Lehman have largely been wasted, leaving a global system that is even more unbalanced, and may be running out of lifelines.”

Common Core Controversy

September 22nd, 2013

Proponents of the new educational standard Common Core have found a champion in former Florida governor Jeb Bush. Along with President Obama and the Department of Education, Mr. Bush will tolerate no criticism of the new federal education standards.

Michelle Malkin’s commentary is posted on Onenewsnow.

“Stanford University professor James Milgram, a prominent dissenting member of the Common Core math standards committee, has exposed how the muddled standards would leave American students at least two years behind the rest of the planet.”

“Jeb Bush routinely has dismissed those who protest Common Core’s increasing federalization of local control over schools as conspiracy-mongers.”

“‘Calamity Janet’ Yellen Has No Clue”

September 22nd, 2013

Janet Yellen may be the next Federal Reserve chairman, and David Stockman sees nothing but trouble with that appointment. This video clip is from Bloomberg TV and is posted on Zerohedge.

Whatever may be said about Ben Bernanke up to this point, he is certainly making a well timed exit from the Fed.

What Happens When The Debt Ceiling Is Hit

September 21st, 2013

As the debt ceiling debate resurrects itself again, the media and congress like to create the dire image of essential government operations being suspended. The idea has occurred to me that maybe the Departments of Education, Labor, Energy, HHS, Justice, and Agriculture could just be put on furlough. If that is too simplistic, then this Forbes piece by Perianne Boring offers some realistic answers. However, don’t expect any genuine spending cuts to come out of it.

“However, the Treasury has finagled a way to legally spend an additional $260 billion by borrowing from other government accounts.”

How To Destroy The Coal Industry

September 21st, 2013

New EPA rules on power plant CO2 emissions will effectively eliminate coal fired plants, and its all being done in the name of preventing climate change. Investor’s Business Daily published this editorial.

“The administration finally has released its rules for curbing CO2 emissions from U.S. power plants. Far from being a plan to clean up the environment, it is in fact a road map to de-industrialization and poverty.”

Defunding Obamacare

September 20th, 2013

Where Congress failed several years ago, they now have the opportunity to fix their mistake. If this chance is lost, then socialized medical care will likely become ingrained in our culture, and like a heroine addiction there will be almost no chance of escape. Counting the reasons to end it, I could first assert that our Constitution gives the government no authority over the medical industry, but among our elected representatives that carries little weight.

As our economy struggles to recover from a recession, one of the last things that we need is the economic burden of Obamacare. Economically speaking it will be a massive drain on businesses and individuals, increasing healthcare costs, shortening working hours as businesses cut the work week for some to less than 30 hours, and it will spawn a gargantuan bureaucracy to manage something that the free market could do more efficiently.

Then, there is the basic fact that the medical industry is being nationalized, that is taken over by the federal government and in the process eliminating the traditional patient/doctor/hospital relationship. The wishes of the patient will become almost irrelevant if Americans allow the federal government to dictate treatments, both by policy and fee structure. Under Medicare we already have a situation where doctors who do not take Medicare are prohibited from accepting self-pay from patients who still want to use that provider. It’s a kind of reverse slavery.

For those who insist that medical care is a right, why do they not also demand food as a right. It’s only logical that the government should subsidize/control food distribution to insure that every American receives a minimum allotment. What can be more basic and necessary that food? In either case, the government is forcibly taking something and giving it to the recipient, the doctor’s time and skills, or food belonging to a producer/distributor. Again, this is a form of slavery, or theft.

Whatever the House may do to defund Obamacare will be stopped by Harry Reid and his Senate cohorts. That is a given, but it should not prevent the House from acting. In spite of the potential for “shutting down the government”, representatives and senators who have our nations best interest will have to make good on their threat, if necessary. And in the process we will see which Republicans are hiding behind a conservative facade and are willing to compromise with the Democrats. For the record, John Boehner is one of these. We will hear the cry for bipartisanship, which in this case will mean giving the Democrats at least part of what they want. However, when it comes to principles, there should be no compromise. Compromising on principles means one is abandoning his principles.

Also, taking a stand to defund Obamacare will be met with a blitz from the pop media who will distort, lie, and malign to paint legislators as worse than criminals. In the battle ahead we will see who hangs tough.

“The Taper That Wasn’t”

September 19th, 2013

The markets got a surprise yesterday when the Fed announced that there would be no tapering of QE. Tapering seemed to be a given, but a number of analysts had predicted that Ben Bernanke would not dare take away the punch bowl and ruin the party. Peter Schiff discusses QE and the “taper that wasn’t” in this piece from Goldseek.

“So while QE has succeeded in hiding the truth, it hasn’t accomplished anything of substance. Unfortunately, the Fed is only interested in the headlines.”

“A Grovelling Apology To Herr Schauble”

September 18th, 2013

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is in rare form in this sarcastic piece from The Telegraph. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble is the recipient of his profuse apology.

“I apologise personally to Mr Schäuble for calling him a dangerous mediocrity: arrogant, shallow, narrow-minded, provincial, and unscientific in equal degree.”

Executive Pay Rule

September 18th, 2013

The SEC is proposing that corporations should publish the ratio of CEO pay to workers’ pay which is a measure that is required by the Dodd-Frank law.

What a given ratio would mean would be anybody’s guess. Suppose the CEO received 500 times the pay of an average worker. So what does that mean? That man’s skill and experience may affect the livelihoods of thousands of employees, and it would be reasonable that he should be compensated accordingly. The pay of an executive should be the concern of the stockholders and not the government. Whatever the ratio may be, it can only provoke envy, and that is likely the desired result, and another step down the road of socialism.

The news piece by Sarah N. Lynch appears in Reuters.

“”Proponents have acknowledged the sole objective of the pay ratio is to shame CEOs, but the shame from this rule should not be put on CEOS- it should be put on the five of us,” he said.”

“Minimum Wage Madness”

September 17th, 2013

“Compassion” toward the poor is how the minimum wage is sold to the public, but it works out just the opposite. Thomas Sowell comments on the mimimum wage is his piece in Capitalism Magazine.

“However, there was a time when there was no federal minimum wage law in the United States. The last time was during the Coolidge administration, when the annual unemployment rate got as low as 1.8 percent.”

The Debate Senator Feinstein Does Not Want

September 17th, 2013

With the Navy Yard shooting the gun control advocates are on the attack pushing for more gun restrictions. This article by Sara Marie Brenner in The Washington Times deals with some of the non-facts that they typically peddle. And as a matter of interest, I was unaware that military installations are virtual gun-free zones.

“Among President Clinton’s first acts upon taking office in 1993 was to disarm U.S. soldiers on military bases. In March 1993, the Army imposed regulations forbidding military personnel from carrying their personal firearms and making it almost impossible for commanders to issue firearms to soldiers in the U.S. for personal protection.”

Toronto Resource Investment Conference

September 16th, 2013

Goldseek carries this interview with Dan Popescu at the Cambridge House conference. Vanessa Collette is the interviewer.

What Has Atheism Done For Science?

September 15th, 2013

Along with “the separation of church and state”, we are often treated to another bogus slogan, “separation of science and religion”. Blogger Matt Walsh goes into the second and sheds some light on the idiocy that Christianity and science are incompatible. What the purveyors of that idea fail to reveal is that Christianity was the primary driver of science since the Age of Enlightenment. Now atheism is trying to claim a position of authority in the realm of science.

“You can, however, remove Atheism, and I think it’s time we do that. Such a silly superstition — uncaused causes removed from the Ultimate Cause, human consciousness that develops accidentally out of lifeless material, order coming from chaos, rationality coming from irrationality, everything coming from nothing — has never done anyone any good, and it doesn’t belong inside a school.”

T.E. Lawrence Warns About Syria

September 15th, 2013

In the West we typically think of a national people being united under some philosophy or regional affinity, and that is where we go wrong on Syria. Breitbart.com posted this article by Michael Collender where he quotes T.E. Lawrence on the nature of the Syrian people. The fact is that we are not dealing with one “people”, but a multitude of clans which have limited loyalty to each other or national unity. As he points out, Syrians have little understanding of the concept.

“His account is part memoir, part military history, and part sociological study of the cultures of different peoples dwelling in the Middle East.”

“Lawrence then draws attention to the provincialism of the peoples of Syria, and how ambitious Syrians or foreign powers took advantage of this provincialism to accomplish the ends of their nefarious perfidy or naïve altruism.”

IMHO the Syrian gas attack was a false flag operation, staged by the rebels, to provoke the U.S. to attack Assad. And I am confident that our government is aware of that, and has been eager to involve us in another war. As the author explains, the complexities of the region and its politics offer little hope of success against Assad.

“So whether he orders extremely limited strikes or works through Russian diplomacy, do not expect the President to succeed in disarming Assad of his chemical weapons. Syria is Syria.”

Nigel Farage On Syria

September 14th, 2013

As only Nigel Farage can lambast the EU elites, he takes them to task for their eagerness to go to war without provocation and for feeble reasons. His comments could have easily been aimed at the Obama administration.

This video clip appears on Youtube.

Bernard von NotHaus

September 14th, 2013

If the name Bernard von NotHaus means nothing to you, read on. He is the creator of the “Liberty Dollar”, for which the feds arrested him and tried him as a counterfeiter and “terrorist”. As Jeffrey Tucker says in his article, the man is a hero and will someday be recognized as such.

His piece is posted on the Daily Reckoning.

“After all, the feds threw every conceivable charge at him. The jury didn’t buy it, but finally did have to admit the he seemed to be producing and distributing what claimed to be dollars, but differed rather substantially from U.S. government dollars.”

Economic Backlash To The NSA

September 13th, 2013

If the NSA can read American e-mails and intercept internet data, then entrepreneurs should probably be taking advantage of that to offer encryption services that are NSA-proof. Brazil was incensed to learn that the NSA had been spying on its officials, and has decided to do something about it. Will that have an economic impact on American internet services?

The Cato Institute offers this piece by Simon Lester.

“The new system would include encryption and have servers based in Brazil.”

Benghazi Witnesses

September 13th, 2013

It has been one year since the Benghazi attack in which four Americans were killed, including the American ambassador. The Obama adminstration which pledged transparency has once again stonewalled an investigation. Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Darrell Issa, has requested and been denied interviews with witnesses to the attack on orders of the State Department.

Katie Pavlich describes the ongoing obfuscation of the administration in her Townhall article.

Should We Abort Obamacare?

September 12th, 2013

As the start of Obamacare comes upon us in a few months, the Chicago Tribune has published an editorial that blasts the law for its confusion and cost. The average American will likely be blindsided by this intrusion into his life and its cost.

Townhall posted this article by Guy Benson.

“Oh, and by the way, federal officials dumped another 300 pages of Obamacare rules on states and insurers just last week.” [Chicago Tribune]

New Generation Of Container Ships

September 11th, 2013

This news item is an illustration of business vision and modern shipbuilding. Danish shipping line A.P. Moller-Maersk is taking an enormous business risk in building a fleet of container ships like the world has never seen. In collaboration with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering they are building the largest ships to ever sail the oceans. Dubbed the Triple-E this ship type will be capable of carrying 18,000 containers. Maersk has contracted to take delivery of 20 ships.

Businessweek posted this article by Drake Bennett.

“The Triple-E is designed to cruise at 16 knots. Building a ship for slow steaming meant the engines could be less powerful and the hull wider, allowing for more containers.”

“For Maersk and every other ship line, these are big, big decisions, because if you get it wrong, you can end up dead,” says Marc Levinson, an economist and author of The Box, a history of the container-ship industry. “When a company like Maersk orders these vessels, it’s betting the company.”

Colorado Recall

September 11th, 2013

After trampling on the gun rights of their constituents, two state senators were removed from office in a recall election in Colorado.

This Reuters piece by Keith Coffman gives the details.

“Angered by the gun control push, gun rights advocates had sought the recall to send a message to current and future legislators that the bills had gone too far with efforts to curb firearm access.”

Australia Votes

September 10th, 2013

Australians have ousted the very socialist Kevin Rudd and elected a new prime minister Tony Abbott, who has promised to rid the country of its stifling environmental and business regulations. While not a paragon of conservative values, Abbott will be a breath of fresh air in Australia if he carries through on his promises.

The news item by Alex Newman appears in The New American.

“From today I declare that Australia is under new management … Australia is once more open for business.” [Prime Minister Tony Abbott]

Political Party Collusion

September 10th, 2013

The pop media encourages the public to think in terms of Republicans and Democrats as opposing parties in government. What Michael F. Cannon points out in his piece on the Cato website, is that just ain’t so. Truth be told, we have not had a two party system for years.

What The President Says

September 9th, 2013

Merrill Matthews, contributor to Forbes, wrote this piece on President Obama. He gives numerous examples that illustrate his point that what the President says may be anything but truth, and the President, when caught in a deception, will conveniently make excuses. But beyond this lack of truth in his pronouncements, is the conviction that he has every right to lie and deceive. This is the aspect of the man’s character that Matthews does not identify, but needs to be well understood.

“When he speaks he may be telling the truth, he may not be, or he may be parsing his words to mislead.”

Darwin’s Conundrum

September 8th, 2013

“ALTRUISM PUZZLED Charles Darwin. If evolution was propelled by natural selection — by the gradual predominance within species, including Homo sapiens, of those individuals best adapted genetically for survival and reproduction — where do generosity and compassion come from?”

The question above may be just one of Darwin’s conundrums, however it is the one that Jeff Jacoby deals with in his opinion piece in The Boston Globe. Where survival of the fittest rules, generosity and compassion would tend to kill off individuals with those traits and thus diminish that characteristic in the population.

In terms of the human heart and the meaning of life, evolution displays its greatest weaknesses. Jacoby quotes Sir Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s Orthodox chief rabbi, who came to the conclusion: “that Abrahamic monotheism has provided the most enduring solution to Darwin’s conundrum. “Religion … creates altruism, the only force strong enough to defeat egoism.” ”

I have great respect for Jeff Jacoby who is obviously Jewish, however I would take him to task on his theology from the point of view of Christianity. As the Bible says, the law and the prophets came from the Jews, and the fulfillment of the law and the prophets was Jesus. His death on the cross was the completion of the Mosaic system where sins where atoned for annually. By faith in Christ as payment for sin, a man is no longer subject to God’s judgement. The Bible teaches that no amount of works or good deeds will satisfy God’s condemnation of sin, only the atonement of the sinless God-man, Jesus.

B-36 Peacemaker

September 8th, 2013

For those of us who marvel at aircraft technology, the big bombers were something amazing, and at the top of the list would probably be the B-36. It was the last of the reciprocating engine strategic bombers, and the largest aircraft ever built at the time. Powered by six Pratt & Whitney propeller engines in the pusher mode the plane could carry a nuclear payload and had a range of 10,000 miles. The propellers were 19 feet in diameter.

This article originated from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and highlights some of the memories of one of the pilots. The plane was built in the “bomber plant” at Carswell Air Force Base at Fort Worth. Military.com reprinted the article.

“The Corruption Of Capitalism”

September 7th, 2013

David Stockman, a budget director under Ronald Reagan, is interviewed by the Mises Institute on his new book The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism In America. His answers shed a great deal of light on the Fed, the bubbles that it has created, and the continuing manipulation of the economy for the benefit of a privileged few.

The piece appears on the Ludwig von Mises Institute website.

“The Greenspan and Bernanke years then opened the door the massive abuse of the system we see today. Greenspan took the Federal Reserve, which for years had been run by far more cautious and conservative men, and turned it into a machine for fine-tuning every aspect of the economy.”

“In the early days of the Reagan years I thought, with many others, that the Reagan Revolution would in fact lead to smaller government. I turned out to be wrong,….”

“Fundamentally, the financial crisis was a product of the Fed’s repeated blowing up of bubbles, and not of deregulation. Moreover, any suffering inflicted on the 99 Percent by our system doesn’t come from the free market, it comes from the crony capitalism that is now our economic system.”

“What the bailouts did was preserve the wealth of wealthy and powerful Wall Street players. Meanwhile, we’ve seen no real economic recovery in the rest of the economy.”

New And Revised Jobs Numbers

September 7th, 2013

Market Watch has published the August new jobs data along with revised numbers for July and June. Please note the revised numbers are significantly lower than those originally announced. The markets and the public are treated to initial new jobs data which is radically inflated, and then a month or two later much lower numbers are released. It’s a political game to paint a false picture of the economy.

Internet Security/Privacy

September 7th, 2013

Since the Snowden revelations, and as a result of that information, it has come to light that the NSA has cracked most of the encryption codes that maintain privacy and security on the internet. In the words of Bruce Schneier who worked with the Guardian newspaper on the NSA expose’, the U.S. government has “betrayed the Internet”.

Neither the NSA nor the British GCHQ were ready to admit that common encryptions used on the internet were no longer effective against government surveillance.

Fox News carries this article.

“By subverting the Internet at every level to make it a vast, multi-layered and robust surveillance platform, the NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract,” Schneier wrote in an essay for the British paper.”

China Imports More Gold

September 6th, 2013

The Chinese definitely see investment opportunities differently from the West. Gold imports through Hong Kong continue to increase. Bloomberg posted this news item.

“China’s total gold consumption this year may jump by 29 percent to reach 1,000 tons, overtaking India to become the world’s largest gold consumer, according to the World Gold Council.”

India’s Chronic Problems

September 6th, 2013

The country appeared to be on the edge of becoming an economic powerhouse, but its economy is stumbling badly. An antiquated infrastructure of poor roads, an unreliable power system, high real estate prices, and stifling bureaucracy are dragging the country down. Added to that is a rupee that is falling against major currencies, and an annual rate of inflation of 10 percent. And India has become a non-competitor for foreign investment.

The New York Times published this article by Keith Bradsher.

“The root of the problem is India’s failure to create a vibrant industrial base with the strength to export.”

“Shakti has only seven employees. Yet it is regulated by more than a dozen government agencies, each of which sends a separate inspector each year before issuing licenses for things as diverse as electricity use and water pollution.”

Europe’s Recovery, Or Lack Thereof

September 6th, 2013

News from Europe has been quiet lately, and the assumption is that they are in a recovery. That is not really the case, as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard details in his commentary in The Telegraph.

“Mr Tilford says the elephant in the room is the rise in the debts of Portugal and Spain by 15 percentage points (pp) of GDP over the past year, by 18pp in Ireland and by 24pp in Greece.”

“It cannot succeed since deflation poisons debt dynamics, and mass joblessness poisons democracy. There comes a point when leaders have a moral obligation to default.”

“Germany’s Energy Poverty”

September 5th, 2013

When political correctness trumps logic, the result is what has happened in Germany. After the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, the German government decided to shut down all of their nuclear generators and put more emphasis on renewable energy, wind and solar generation. Little attention was given to the economics of wind and solar power and the standby generation that is needed when renewable power is not available. It’s a classic case of putting the government in charge of a business that private industry could operate quite effectively.

Spiegel Online posted this article.

“Electricity is becoming a luxury good in Germany,….”

“In other words, saving energy is well and good — but only if people can afford it.”

“Today, more than 300,000 households a year are seeing their power shut off because of unpaid bills. Caritas and other charity groups call it “energy poverty.””

“If the government sticks to its plans, the price of electricity will literally explode in the coming years. According to a current study for the federal government, electricity will cost up to 40 cents a kilowatt-hour by 2020,….”

Climate Change, The Crisis Du Jour

September 4th, 2013

Global warming has morphed into climate change, and we must all be aware of our “carbon footprint” according to the eco alarmists. Paul Driessen wades into the eco nonsense and explains why the climate change alarmists are now in a frenzy to awaken the public to the crisis. Beyond what Americans may think about climate change, the Obama administration is steadily moving toward shutting down coal fueled power plants and promoting more unreliable renewable energy. The pop media would have us believe that the debate is over, and it’s now a matter of implementing government policy.

Townhall carries this piece.

“Contrary to the hype and hysteria, our planet stopped warming 16 years ago, even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continued to climb.”

Calling It What It Is

September 4th, 2013

When Standard & Poors stripped the U.S. of its AAA credit rating in 2011 it was a certainty they would pay a price for that. Now they are being sued by the Dept. of Justice. They were the only credit rating agency that downgraded U.S. credit.

The Reuters news item appears on CNBC.

“It said the government’s “impermissibly selective, punitive and meritless” lawsuit was brought “in retaliation for defendants’ exercise of their free speech rights with respect to the creditworthiness of the United States of America.””

The Bombing Nation

September 4th, 2013

Pepe Escobar’s take on the Syrian situation is beyond anything you will read in the pop media which propagates the establishment line. There is little doubt that we are being deceived, and Escobar may be on to the motivation for the Syrian attack.

His commentary is posted on Asia Times.

“Even Fox News admitted that the US electronic intel essentially came from the 8200 unit of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) – their version of the NSA.”

India’s Gold Buy Back

September 2nd, 2013

India’s rupee has been falling in value against other currencies and the Indian government has been brainstorming about what to do. One measure was to tax gold imports to stanch the balance of payments flow. Still the rupee has continued to fall. Now a rumor suggests that the banks will buy gold from the private sector. IMHO that is ludicrous, since Indians see gold as the ultimate store of value and obviously prefer it over the rupee. The government will have to go door-to-door and extract Indians’ gold at gun point.

Incidentally, the restrictions on gold imports has no doubt created a flourishing business sector, called smuggling.

The Business Standard posted this news item.

““I’ve learnt of this from media (gold buyback from public)… I’m not aware of any such thing” said Rajiv Takru, financial services secretary here today.”

European Unemployment

September 2nd, 2013

Nothing too dramatic in news has come from the EU recently, but that hardly says everything is peachy. Unemployment, particularly among youth, is bad, very bad, and shows no sign of improving. Zerohedge carries this piece on unemployment in the EU and the Eurozone (17 euro nations).

U.S. Intelligence Black Budget

September 2nd, 2013

Edward Snowden has release budget details about clandestine operations of the U.S. intelligence community. This article is posted on Russia Today but is info that came through The Washington Post.

Much of this information, as presented in the article, is undecipherable because definitions and details are not there. However, as we learned earlier about the NSA’s collecting massive internet and telecommumications data, it is what we don’t know that is worrisome. In the name of combatting terrorism and foreign enemies the U.S. has created a gigantic bureaucracy with espionage capabilities that we cannot fathom, and because of the necessary secrecy ascribed to that work they are answerable to almost no one. We now have a branch of government that may be more dangerous than any enemy we could imagine.

“Shrouded in secrecy, the amount that Uncle Sam sets aside for sensitive operations each year is not allowed to be published for eyes outside of the intelligence community and only for a portion of those briefed on its operations.”

“Through previous disclosures attributed to Snowden, though, the American public has learned that the NSA programs launched to collect foreign intelligence has allowed the federal government to sweep up personal and private information pertaining to Americans who are guaranteed constitution protection from such surveillance.”

The Wise Virgins

September 1st, 2013

We currently live in a country where savers and savings are supposedly contrary to general prosperity, and savers are penalized with the Fed’s zero interest rate policy. Spending, according to Keynesian economics, is the path to prosperity. Mark Hendrickson uses the Bible parable of the ten virgins to illustrate his commentary on savings. His piece appears in Forbes.

“So, who are the wise virgins today? There are many possible answers to this question, but in the broadest and most fundamental economic terms, I would answer, “savers”—those who have deferred expenditures to provide a cushion against near-term and long-term financial uncertainties.”

Some Economic Predictions

August 31st, 2013

Predictions can be fun and sometimes profitable, but we have seen lots of them in the last few years, and only a few have materialized. The Fed, the Treasury Dept., the IMF, and various central banks have had amazing success in holding off the inevitable, but the piper will ultimately be paid. Barron’s carries this piece by Brendan Conway where he presents some predictions by Marc Faber and Albert Edwards. The emerging markets are taking a beating on their currencies and Edwards sees bad things down the road.

“When you’re one step ahead of the crowd you’re a genius. When you’re two steps ahead, you’re a crackpot.” [Rabbi Riskin]

The Largest Homeless Camp In U.S.

August 31st, 2013

Business Insider gives us a look at what they claim is the largest homeless camp in the U.S. and it is in San Jose, Ca. One has to admire the resourcefulness of some of the residents, and at the same time have some sympathy for these people who cannot afford the cost of living in the San Francisco area.

Robert Johnson is the author.

“Should We Ban Guns, Minorities, or Australia?”

August 31st, 2013

Denis Kleinfeld writes a piece on gun violence and its causes/correlations among countries. In particular he references the Trayvon Martin and Christopher Lane cases and equality before the law. His commentary appears in Moneynews.

“Nonetheless, she makes the logical fallacy of still comparing Australian attitude toward gun ownership — where 90 percent of the public approve of stricter gun laws — to the United States — where arms are ingrained as the fundamental liberty that makes all our other rights enforceable.”

$350 Million Loan For Detroit

August 31st, 2013

“Detroit is the first large U.S. city to seek so-called debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing after asking for bankruptcy court protection.”

With $18 billion in debt it is hard to see how a $350 million loan would make much difference, but then a big percentage of the Detroit’s debt will have to be wiped out in bankruptcy. Still I cannot imagine that lenders will be lining up to offer the city money. Watching this whole process playout will be interesting.

Moneynews carries this piece from Thomson/Reuters.

Equity Trading Volume

August 30th, 2013

U.S. equity trading volume in August is the lowest on record in 16 years. What does that mean? Probably that investors have lost interest in a Fed manipulated stock market.

Zerohedge published this info.

Lying, Lawbreaking, And Corruption

August 29th, 2013

This has to be a first. Dan from Squirrel Hill has posted a list of 252 examples of lying, lawbreaking, and corruption in the Obama administration. And wow, it is some list. Even if you take issue with several dozen of his items, there is still enough there to indict an average American, in a country with the rule of law.

“The Unanswered Syria Question”

August 29th, 2013

“Are we certain Assad, and not the rebels, used chemical weapons?”

This commentary in The Washington Times reminds us that if we go to war in Syria it will likely be without complete information on why. Ellen Sauerbrey wonders why Assad would risk international involvement by using poison gas when he is doing quite well with the rebels as it stands.

“Our involvement could lead to more civilian deaths than the recent chemical attack. We’ll call this “collateral damage.””

Some Thoughts on Iraq And Syria

August 28th, 2013

Mike Shedlock makes the point in his article that we don’t know who used the chemical weapons. It could well be a false flag operation to blame the Syrian government and justify an attack. He goes on to make some comparisons to Iraq, and includes a video interview with Gen. Wesley Clark.

The piece is posted on Safe Haven.

“Oil remains fundamentally a government business.” [Dick Cheney]

“The Iraqi regime … possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas.”
“Curiously, every statement except the first one by Dick Cheney was a blatant lie or blatant stupidity (take your pick).”

Globalization, An Illustration

August 28th, 2013

Globalization is global free trade, and as much as we like the idea of “Made in America”, sourcing raw materials and manufacturing overseas is to our advantage. No doubt the U.S. now makes a fraction of what we once did, in large part because government regulations have forced up the cost of manufacturing. However, using the resources of other countries, whether labor or materials, to produce goods at the lowest cost makes American companies competitive and provides the American consumer with affordable products, and boosts the standard of living of everyone. Today, even a very complex item like a cellphone is affordable by a good percentage of the world’s population because numerous countries offer everything from the design to raw materials to labor to produce the device. The efficiencies of global markets, without government interference, provide the most products at the lowest cost, a win-win situation for manufacturers and consumers.

Please don’t confuse globalization with globalism which is world government. The latter would destroy free trade.

The story below is from the book Indivisible by James Robison and Jay W. Richards. I highly recommend it.

Imagine: The citizens of Fargo, North Dakota, decide they are only going to buy local. They resolve not to wear, eat, drive, or live in anything that originates anywhere outside the Fargo metropolitan area (which includes a few hundered thousand people). They want to keep their wealth at home rather than transferring it to “foreigners” in Duluth, Topeka, and Salt Lake City. To live like they do now, they would need to have mines and smelters of all sorts, steel mills, oil wells, and oil refineries, car manufacturing and computer chip fabricating plants, light bulb factories, leather tanners, farms, ranches, butchers, dairy farms, fruit orchards, paper and textile mills, chemical factories, pharmaceutical factories, movie studios, and on and on and on–all in and around Fargo. Few citizens of Fargo have the skills to perform the tasks required for such a wide variety of industries. Farms and orchards in Fargo don’t produce in the cold winters. There would be no citrus, no seafood. Many commodities and metals just aren’t available in Fargo. Fargo has a major Microsoft contingent, which provides a lot of software experts; but they’re in oversupply since there’s no trading outside Fargo.

Without large markets that acommodate specialization, most of what the folks in Fargo now take for granted would disappear, and their lives would start to resemble the lives of villagers prior to the Industrial Revolution. They would work much harder and less productively, everything would be much more expensive, and everyone would be vastly poorer.

“Reinventing The Grammar Of Human Nature”

August 26th, 2013

“As of November 1, German parents will no longer be required to declare their baby’s gender. Their decision can be either permanent or deferred until such a time the child chooses to assume the identity of male or female.”

The homosexual revolution has conceived a new approach to sexual identity–pick your own. While that is already being done at some level, now it is being formalized into law.

Jason J. Stewart’s commentary is posted on Chronicles Magazine.

Common Sense About Egyptian Aid

August 26th, 2013

Senator Rand Paul gives us his thoughts on sending military aid to the Egyptian government. His logic could well apply in a number of other situations, but Egypt is an excellent example.

His piece appears in The Washington Times.

“If there is foreign-policy extremism in Washington today, it is not hesitancy to act, but rather a hyper-interventionism in which leaders in both parties seem hell-bent on always acting first and thinking second.”

Tesla Automotive, A Rousing Success?

August 25th, 2013

According to the pop media Tesla is a standout among the renewable energy start-ups. The company has paid off its federal loan early and reported its first quarterly profit in May. But not so fast, lest you miss some of the details. Paul Chesser addresses the details in his article on the National Legal and Policy Center website.

“If you can swallow all that government market distortion, taxpayer largess and books-cooking, Tesla’s Model S is finally taking off!”

“The company delivered $26 million in net income if you disregard Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, but under GAAP Tesla lost $30.5 million.”

Clarke And Dawe

August 25th, 2013

John Clarke and Bryan Dawe have been doing mock interviews for years. The topics are usually news events where Clarke portrays some banker, political leader, or expert in his field and Dawe is the newsman. If you like dry British humor, I think you will enjoy them.

This Youtube site has quite a few of their videos and you can browse through them.

New Home Sales

August 24th, 2013

The supposed economic recovery as evidenced by growth in the housing industry, may be different than advertised. Zerohedge posted this article on declining sales and declining prices.

Russians Get Cyprus Bank

August 24th, 2013

When the Cyprus banks were on the verge of collapsing, one of the terms of saving them was to “bail-in” the investors and depositors, meaning that they would lose equity and some of their deposits to save the banks, and would receive new bank stock in payment. (The bail-in technique may now be the standardized approach for saving troubled banks.) According to the German and Cyprus governments, the Cyprus banks were laiden with laundered money from wealthy Russians, so requiring depositors to fork over some of their deposits seemed like a happy arrangement. Now that plan has come back to haunt Cyprus. The Russian depositors have become major stockholders in the Bank of Cyprus, the old Laiki Bank.

The New York Times carries this new item by Andrew Higgins.

“The policy is intended to force creditors and depositors to pay for a bank’s mistakes and to spare taxpayers from picking up the entire bill.”

“But, according to the nation’s finance minister, Harris Georgiades, foreign depositors, mainly Russians, will ultimately hold a majority of the Bank of Cyprus’s new voting shares.”

“China’s American Bailout”

August 24th, 2013

An illustration of the globalization of our economy comes to us in this piece by Alexander Friedman. His essay may be a little technical, but it makes a very real point. As interest rates rise and bond prices fall, China has much less incentive to maintain huge reserves in U.S. Treasuries, and selling off their Treasuries might be a means to recapitalize China’s banks. A natural consequence to such action would be to force the Fed to continue QE. Goodbye tapering.

The piece is posted on Project Syndicate.

“Given this, in the event of a crisis, China would most likely have to begin selling off its massive store of US debt. Fortunately for China, the negative consequences of such a move would probably be far less severe than previously thought.”

The Tesla Model S, A Great Coal Car

August 22nd, 2013

Elon Musk’s Tesla Model S may be the world’s most advanced electric car, and an engineering marvel, but it still must have a source of energy to charge those batteries. Forbes contributor Alex Epstein gives us some perspective on the electric car, whether an $80,000 Tesla Model S or the $28,000 Nissan Leaf.

“It is commonplace to contrast gas-powered cars with “electric cars,” but the electricity in an “electric car” must come from somewhere….”

“Bitcoins For The Kiddies”

August 22nd, 2013

In the world of government fiat currencies, we now have a private version. It’s called Bitcoin. And like all fiat currencies consumers accept it based on trust, and nothing else. Take away the trust and there is nothing of value there. Pieces of high tech paper with ink printing are accepted because we trust the government, which I might add is becoming more difficult each day. Maybe the novelty of the Bitcoin creates some level of trust.

Hugo Salinas Price delves into the issue of fiat currencies and gives us something to think about in his essay posted on Plata.com. If this man were not a Mexican citizen, I would encourage a movement to elect him to Congress.

“No fiat currency has ever been successfully introduced into circulation without “parentage”, that is to say, without a numeric value whose origin can be traced back to gold or silver.”

Wall Street Regulators Meeting

August 21st, 2013

“The White House issued a statement yesterday on the President’s meeting with the federal agencies that regulate Wall Street. Curiously, the phrase used to describe the agencies was “independent regulators.”

The President has just finished a meeting with federal officials charged with regulating Wall Street firms. The rhetoric aside, these people are the equivalent of putting the fox in charge of the hen house. While they were repeatedly called “independent regulators”, that is a total smoke screen. They all have close ties with Wall Street.

Wall Street On Parade published this article by Pam Martens.

“…Thomas Hoenig, former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and now Vice Chair of the FDIC, stated that the biggest banks are “woefully undercapitalized.” He said the U.S. has a “very vulnerable financial system.”

“White came to the SEC in April from the Wall Street legal powerhouse, Debevoise & Plimpton.”

“Lew came to the U.S. Treasury from Citigroup – the bank that had received the largest taxpayer bailout assistance of any bank in the 2008 Wall Street crash.”

“Summers is also currently on the payroll of Citigroup as a consultant…”

“When Servants Behave As Rulers”

August 21st, 2013

Obamacare is making the divide between Congress and the public ever more obvious, as our “rulers” opt to not participate in the medical monstrosity that they have forced on us. Ben Carson has some thoughts on the subject which he has posted on The Washington Times.

“Why are so many people fleeing from this legislation if it is such a great masterpiece?”

“Less than 3 percent of federal workers want to enroll in Obamacare — even though they strongly supported its passage.”

Gold Flows From Britain To Switzerland

August 20th, 2013

The export of gold from Britain to Switzerland in 2013 will likely be 10x the 2012 amount. What is the source and who is ultimately buying the gold? What does all this mean? This Reuters article has some of the answers.

Foreign Policy By Coup

August 20th, 2013

Fifty years of meddling in Middle Eastern politics has brought us to this current point. Of course it has never been about bringing democracy to any country; control of the oil was always the plan.

From previously classified CIA documents the role of that agency in the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953 has come to light. Mohammed Mosaddeq was the democratically elected prime minister. Incidentally, Dwight Eisenhower was president at the time. The Guardian carries this piece by Saeed Kamali Dehghan and Richard Norton-Taylor.

“The military coup that overthrew Mosaddeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government.”

“…what they wanted Mosaddeq to do is to give up oil nationalisation and if he’d given that of course then the national movement would have been meaningless.”

Cash Home Sales?

August 19th, 2013

How does 50% of home sales being done in cash sound? It’s happening and this article on Yahoo Finance tries to explain the why of it.

The article comes from The Wall Street Journal and was written by Nick Timiraos.

18 Little Known Gun Facts

August 19th, 2013

The media would like you to think of guns as instruments of death and to believe that the U.S. is one of the worst offenders in gun violence. Once more, when lies are repeated often enough they become truth in the public mind. So here are some gun facts from Michael Snyder who posted his piece on LewRockwell.com.

“Over the past 20 years, gun sales have absolutely exploded, but homicides with firearms are down 39 percent during that time and “other crimes with firearms” are down 69 percent.”

“The United States is #1 in the world in gun ownership, and yet it is only 28th in the world in gun murders per 100,000 people.”

Washington’s Criminality

August 18th, 2013

If there was ever an administration that displayed more contempt for the law and the Constitution, I cannot imagine it. The President and cabinet departments are moving in concert to give us a police state, and it largely being done in the name of protecting us from the convenient enemy, terrorism. Paul Craig Roberts, writing on his website, describes the situation.

What the author fails to emphasize is the solution, which is Congress. With few exceptions our congressmen and senators have become spineless puppets of the executive, and blame them as we may, the ultimate onus falls on the American voter who appears not to give a damn.

“National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper blatantly lied to Congress and remains in office. Keith B. Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency, has also misled Congress, and he remains in office. Attorney General Holder avoids telling Congress the truth on just about every subject, and he also remains in office.”

“The question demanding to be asked is: What is the purpose of the domestic surveillance of all Americans? This is surveillance out of all proportion to the alleged terrorist threat. The US Constitution is being ignored and domestic law violated.”

William Kaye Interview

August 18th, 2013

King World News carries this audio interview with William Kaye, an investor and hedge fund manager with thirty years of experience. According to Kaye he has never seen a market like the present one and considers the investment opportunities to be exceptional.

Credit Crisis Hitting Chinese Cities

August 17th, 2013

Even China is not immune to the laws of economics. Their wildly expanding economy is beginning to slow and the smaller cities seem to be getting hit first. One of the main drivers has been the shadow banks which operated outside the official banking system. Loans flowed freely and those with connections became wealthy, as long as the system continued to expand.

The author, Keith Bradsher, describes the stagnating business climate in Shenmu, a once wealthy city in northwestern China. This article is posted on The Economic Times of India.

“There’s no cash, everyone stays home without a job, there’s no way the economy can recover.”

“Now, out of 90 mines near Shenmu, practically the only ones still operating are nine that are state-owned and do not need to show a profit.”

Q&A With Eric Sprott

August 17th, 2013

Eric Sprott is CEO of Sprott Asset Management and is one of the most knowledgeable investors in the precious metals business. The Globe and Mail invited readers to submit questions to Mr. Sprott, and G&M passed a number of these on to him for his response. Readers queried him on QE, gold, gold stocks, interest rates, and the futures market.

Darcy Keith edited this piece.

“Mr. Lester, I think that you are absolutely correct in your analysis; daily paper volumes are many times larger than annual mine production. I believe that the return to fundamentals driving gold prices will be triggered by a shortage of physical gold and ultimately, a failure to deliver.”

“Mr. Spakowsky, I believe that this is unlikely since I doubt that Western Central Banks have any gold left.”

Hiding Darwin’s Doubt

August 17th, 2013

The theory of evolution has had a profound impact on Western civilization over the last 150 years. I am convinced that no other ideology has impacted our culture in a more pernicious way. With that in mind, this essay by A.J. Castellitto is particularly important.

Creating “scientific fact” by means of bluff and propaganda seems absurd, but that is just what has been done for evolution (macro evolution). His piece is posted on The Western Center For Journalism.

“One of the major hurdles evolutionary theorists have never been able to clear is the idea that one species can naturally progress into a higher or more advanced life form. This is a premise that simply has never been observed or demonstrated.”

Arctic Shipping Route For China

August 16th, 2013

Using Arctic waters as a passage between China and Europe will soon become a reality. The Chinese shipping company COSCO has a ship in transit now that will dock in Rotterdam two weeks sooner than if it had taken the southern route.

Business Insider published this news item by Bill Savadove.

Is Asia Causing A Gold Shortage?

August 16th, 2013

In recent weeks there has been a lot of talk about a shortage of physical gold, with some commmentators swearing that such is the case and others claiming that no shortage exists. This King World News interview with Keith Barron contends that a shortage does exist because gold is moving into India, China, and other eastern destinations. The bottom line is that the Comex, which is highly leveraged against its gold inventory, is being threatened by this movement of physical gold. Up to this point the price of gold has largely been set by the futures (paper) market, but that may be about to change.

“There were some additional jaw-dropping numbers that have come out of China in a separate report. During the second quarter there were 385.5 tons of gold consumed in China through jewelry. That is a huge percentage of world production, and that figure is double what was recorded in the previous year.”

“You just can’t have this physical gold pouring, and I do mean pouring out of the West and going to the East without serious dislocations. And it will blow up the COMEX.”

Climacterics Coming

August 16th, 2013

Honestly I don’t know what climacterics means, I just borrowed the title from the article. The piece is reprinted on Goldseek from the Deepcaster newsletter. In spite of the mystery term, the article contains some important information touching on fiat money, the Fed, inflation, and gold and silver.

“It is thus understandable that the private for-profit Fed and other Major Central Banks are, and have been for years, engaged in a campaign to discourage the use and holding of Real Money, Gold and Silver, by repeatedly suppressing their paper prices.”

“Indian silver imports are up a staggering 259% at 857 tonnes in the April-July time period.”

Annual U.S. Consumer Price Inflation reported August 15, 2013
,
1.36% [official] / 9.62% [1980s method from Shadowstats]

A Rick Santelli Rant

August 15th, 2013

Rick Santelli adds his input to a CNBC roundtable discussion on QE taper and inflation. Sometimes when I hear the pop media drivel, I would like the opportunity to make a statement like Santelli. He is fun to watch, and IMHO right on target.

It is amusing and at the same time frustrating to hear the experts on the news shows, as in this case, defend the government inflation numbers. Right now they are quoting 2% inflation, which is utter nonsense.

Russia Today News

August 15th, 2013

Russia Today, the Russian government funded network, has become a popular purveyor of news and is offering an alternative to the western news outlets. Some would make the case that RT is a propaganda arm of the Russian government, but a similar charge could be made against the major U.S. news networks who promote, defend, and cover for the Obama administration and its ilk.

In this Spiegel Online article, Benjamin Bidder interviews RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan.

“If you tune in to CNN or the BBC on a regular day, 80 or 90 percent of the stories are identical. We want to show that there are more stories out there than the 10-a-day that you usually encouter. I’m not saying that you should watch only our program; I’m saying that you should also watch it.”

Jonathan Swift In Quotes

August 15th, 2013

No wise man ever wished to be younger.

There are few, very few, that will own themselves in a mistake.

Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches as to conceive how others can be in want.

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.

When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own.

That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy.

Whoever makes two ears of corn, or two blades of grass to grow where only one grew before, deserves better of mankind, and does more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together.

Benghazi Missiles

August 14th, 2013

We are still finding out more about the Benghazi terrorist attack. Someone who was very knowledgeable on the Benghazi attack has revealed that 400 surface-to-air missiles were captured and are likely in the possession of terrorists. Cathy Burke wrote this item for Newsmax.

“”And it’s pretty clear that the biggest concern right now are 400 missiles which have been diverted in Libya and have gotten in the hands of some very ugly people,” he said.”

Euphoric Investors

August 14th, 2013

Investor optimism has seldom been this high, and as a consequence margin debt is at a near record level. The Telegraph carries this piece by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.

“The exuberant mood comes as margin debt on Wall Street hovers near $377bn, just below its all-time high and well above peaks before the dotcom crash and the Lehman crisis.”

“Bank of America said there has been a dramatic divergence between “Main Street” and “Wall Street”. While the US economy has grown by $1.3 trillion since 2009, the US stock market has added $12 trillion.”