Feds Urge Banks to Call Cops on Customers Who Withdraw $5,000 or More

The Justice Department is ordering bank employees to consider calling the cops on customers who withdraw $5,000 dollars or more, a chilling example of how the war on cash is intensifying.

Banks are already required to file ‘suspicious activity reports’ on their customers, with threats of fines and even jail time for directors if financial institutions don’t meet quotas.

But as investor and financial blogger Simon Black points out, last week, “A senior official from the Justice Department spoke to a group of bankers about the need for them to rat out their customers to the police.”

Assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell gave a speech in which he urged banks to “alert law enforcement authorities about the problem” so that police can “seize the funds” or at least “initiate an investigation”.

As Black highlights, according to the handbook for the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council, such suspicious activity includes, “Transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more…”

Black provides a chilling scenario under which an attempt to withdraw your own money from your bank account could end with a home visit from the cops.

“As you pull into your driveway later there’s an unexpected surprise waiting for you: two police officers would like to have a word with you about your intended withdrawal earlier,” writes Black, who accuses banks of already operating as “unpaid government spies”.

“Do you need to withdraw cash to purchase a used car from a private seller? Or perhaps you are pulling out some emergency cash for a loved one,” writes Mac Slavo.

“Either one of these activities are now considered suspicious and if your cash withdrawal amounts to even a few thousand dollars your bank teller is under a legal requirement to alert officials about your suspected criminal activity. And before you argue that you can’t possibly be a suspect because you have done nothing wrong, consider that even being suspected of being a suspect is now enough to land you on a terrorist watchlist in America.”

The war on cash is intensifying as authorities attempt to crack down on one of the few remaining modes of anonymity.

Report Says Former IRS Employees–Think Lois Lerner–Can Still Peruse Your Tax Returns

Could Lois Lerner still take a look at your tax returns on IRS computers? It sounds preposterous, but a new watchdog report says former IRS employees still have access to IRS computer systems long after they have no official business with the information. The report is by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. The GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. In the case of IRS security, the report says not well.

This report cites significant deficiencies in the security of IRS financial reporting systems. Millions of Americans who are legally required to file taxes are fearful about fraud. The report says the IRS needs to continue improving controls over financial and taxpayer data. In the case of former IRS workers with continuing access to IRS data systems, they need to be cut off.

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One co-author of the report said the IRS horde of taxpayer data can be used by identity thieves. The timing couldn’t be worse for the IRS. The IRS is failing to secure its massive computer systems, leaving private taxpayer data vulnerable to fraudsters and hackers, the new report from the GAO reveals.

The agency is still reeling from budget cuts, and taxpayer confidence in the security and credibility of the IRS is not high. Its release caps a bad two months for the IRS and taxpayers. The annual tax filing season arrived with a bang, punctuated by a big uptick in fears about fraud. There was nearly a bank run when TurboTax suspended filing state tax returns over fraud.

Hovind Found Guilty Of Contempt Of Court

Kent Hovind, Independent Baptist minister and proponent of Young Earth Creationism, has been on trial in the federal district court in Pensacola. The charges relate to actions taken in response to government seizure of property. The seizure was a result of his conviction in 2006 for structuring, the systematic withdrawal of amounts somewhat less than $10,000 to avoid currency reporting requirements. His codefendant Paul John Hansen was the trustee of Creation Science Evangelism which held title to the seized property.

The indictment charged them with fraud and contempt of court for the filing of a lis pendens, a notice of pending litigation, to warn buyers of Hovind and CSE’s continuing claim on the seized property. Hovind was pursuing a lawsuit against prison official who he claimed had interfered with his appeal of the original conviction. Hovind hoped, probably still hopes, to have the original conviction reversed and the property returned to him….

I just heard from Jonathan Schwartz of Interlock Media and freelance journalist Ben Sheffler that the jury has reached a verdict. On the six count indictment, Hovind was found guilty on count three, which only applied to him – violating a court order in 2007 to not interfere with title to the property. Hansen was found guilty on counts five and six, which only related to him – violating a court order to Creation Science Evangelism to refrain from further filings in relation the property and resisting a grand jury subpoena. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the more serious fraud charges against Hovind and violating the court order against CSE. Hansen was found not guilty on one of the fraud charges (count two) with the jury splitting on the other fraud charge (count 1) and violating the order to CSE (count 4).

Sentencing is scheduled for June 12.

By Peter J. Reilly – Forbes –

E-Verify’s Slippery Biometric Slope….

Federal programs are notorious for mission creep. Small programs intended to address specific concerns typically grow far beyond their original bounds. Social Security numbers are a prime example: They initially were intended to track personal income in order to calculate Social Security benefits, but now they are indispensable for access to credit, purchasing a firearm and much more.

The House Judiciary Committee is considering another program destined to creep into the rest of our lives. The Legal Workforce Act (LWA), introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), would mandate E-Verify for all new hires in the United States. E-Verify is a government program intended to discourage the hiring of illegal immigrants by enabling employers to verify the legal work status of all new employees.

Mandating E-Verify would force every American to ask the government for permission to work. That is bad enough, but it gets even worse: The system is defective. The database it relies on often fails to identify illegal immigrants and sometimes rejects people who are legally eligible to work.

These inaccuracies portend dangerous mission creep. According to a recent government audit, E-Verify approves roughly half of illegal immigrant workers, partly because it only checks the documents that the worker gives the employer, creating a huge loophole. LWA attempts to resolve that by notifying all Americans when their Social Security numbers are used for employment verification. But that won’t close the loopholes, and so eager politicians in Washington will keep piling on new regulations, mandates and controls.

The next step will be a national biometric identity card for all citizens and legal residents to aid workplace verification of immigration status. LWA creates “pilot authentication programs” based on “new technologies,” which will combine E-Verify with our biometric information to create a more foolproof system. Such a system was proposed in 2010. Organizations like the Federation for American Immigration Reform already support it.

But mandatory E-Verify could soon morph into far more….

By Alex Nowrasteh – The Hill –

The power and danger of complexity and secrecy

3/9/2015 – Corporations and the wealthy use complexity and secrecy combined to operate under the radar. This is a big deal– an approach and system that was a real shock to me. Imagine– a bank with thousands of subsidiary operations. I’m not talking about branch outlets for the public. I’m talking about subsidiaries created to hide what is being done by whom and what.

That is the current state of capitalism. It is designed for evading, skirting and totally breaking the law and avoiding paying taxes and externality costs. it is a system that should not exist.

Chris Taggart, of Opencorporates.com, presenting at personaldemocracyforum.com, gave a talk describing how complexity and secrecy are used by corporations. He said, “this complexity is really great if you want to avoid detection, if you don’t want to be supervised, if you don’t want people to know what you are doing. One of the groups that really loves this is criminals…. it also provides powerful incentives to do bad behavior.”

Taggart says, “The complexity of these things is absolutely mind-blowing. Lehman brothers, just before it went to the wall, it’s last filings with SEC filing had something like 300 subsidiaries in its filing disclosed. But the bank of international settlements subsequently did an audit of it and found 2985 legal entities… ”

The opencorporates.com site is a powerful tool. I don’t expect most readers to dive in and build something with their API (application programming interface– Opednews using numerous APIs in different parts of the custom designed Populum content management system.) But my hope is that when you see the name of a big company, you start thinking of it as a web or network of hundreds, if not thousands of veiled subsidiaries operating with multiple levels of complexity and secrecy.

Think about how these companies and their billionaire owners are doing all they can to sabotage, weaken and hamstring government watchdog organizations so as to prevent them from even tracking their existence. This is the current state of capitalism. Many say that there is no alternative better than capitalism. I would argue that there are many different manifestations and kinds of capitalism. it is possible to create models that require openness, transparency and simplicity. We need to start electing and supporting people who walk the talk. (Obama gave the talk but has not walked it.)

….Imagine an organism with two eyes. Now imagine an massive organism with sensors that reach out, like cilia, or moth antennae, sensing in thousands of ways from thousands of miles away, sensing almost every manifestation of your being. That’s what is possible with all of these subsidiaries– and you can be sure that agencies like the CIA and other intelligence and homeland security operations use the same strategies, setting up corporations and then subsidiaries of them to work in ways that they want to keep hidden….

By Rob Kall – OpEdNews.com –

Depression: 33% Of Americans Out Of Workforce

The number of Americans aged 16 and older not participating in the labor force hit 92,898,000 in February, tying December’s record, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Over the longer trend, the labor force participation rate was between 62.9 percent and 62.7 percent from April 2014 through February, and has been hovering around 62.9 percent or lower in 13 of the 17 months since October 2013, the BLS data revealed.

To put it another way, when President Obama took office in January 2009, there were 80,529,000 Americans who were not participating in the workforce, which means that 12,369,000 US citizens have left the workforce since then.

The number of Americans out of the workforce jumped by 354,000 last month.

The last time the labor participation rate dropped below 63 percent was 37 years ago, in March 1978 when it was 62.8 percent….

Obscure TPP Provision: Corporations Replacing Nations As the Rulers of the Planet

An obscure Trans-Pacific Partnership provision will serve to threaten the very existence of the nation state and replace governmental authority with the power and the whim of the corporation….

When something is secret and kept from you, it is usually very bad for you! As America races toward her date with destiny, there is yet another “fundamentally transforming” event coming her way and that event is known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a plot designed to hand over control of the world’s governments to private corporate interests and it is all being done in secret. Even Congress is not allowed to examine the TPP provisions.

Under the TPP, for example, GMO labels for US food would not be allowed. To make matters worse, there is an obscure portion of the TPP and other trade agreements which is so diabolical, so devastating, that the planet will eventually resemble the movie, Rollerball, in which a small number of corporations will rule the planet.

Many of us in the media believe that some of the effects of the TPP will be felt before the coming war and martial law crackdown. However, after careful analysis, I am convinced that the brunt of the TPP will be felt after the America we know has been totally taken over in a post-war and post-economic collapse scenario. In other words, following World War III, the United Nations, as a body, will be replaced with the United Corporations. At the end of the day, it does not matter when the implementation of the TPP comes, because when it does, America will no longer be recognizable to anyone who has grown up in this once great country. The reason that America will no longer be recognizable is because America will no longer exist because of a key provision contained in the TPP.

Within a few short years, following implementation of the TPP, which will surely grow from the 40% of the world’s population that it will soon control as it will eventually encompass 100% of the planet. The TPP will eliminate all nation states as the ruling authority and it will be supplanted by corporate authority. This will be made possible because of an obscure provision of the TPP known as the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). ISDS is a key component of the TPP. Unfortunately, for the planet, ISDS principles are being negotiated as I write these words, outside of the TPP, in ongoing trade deals between the United States and the European Union. ISDS allows corporations to sue governments, for any government action (at any level, including local government level) which hinders a corporation’s future profits. Literally, Monsanto could provably be poisoning the entire population of a nation and the nation could do nothing which might result in the loss of profits to Monsanto. This also means that as a private citizen, if you organize a boycott against Monsanto, you could be sued in a foreign court for obstructing Monsanto profits.

If a corporation feels that a government has impeded its ability to maximize profits, a suit is filed, outside the country being sued, and the case will be heard by an arbitration panel of trade lawyers, in a jurisdiction totally of the corporation’s choosing. Under ISDS, the dispute panel may only consider the ‘free trade’ values of the case. No other factors may be considered when deciding the case. This means that these corporate panels must disregard values of public health, civil liberties, environmental protection, or the rights of workers (e.g. working conditions) or any other Constitutionally protected liberties.

ISDS will primarily be enacted through the TPP legal process. However, the corporations, growing impatient with the progress of implementation of the TPP have begun to include ISDS in most trade talks on the planet. This means the end of the nation state as we know it and before you applaud the demise of corrupt governments, consider what we are replacing national governments with….

By Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show –

ROLLING STONE : ROTHSCHILD CORRUPTION IS MAINSTREAM

Rolling Stone: “Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds, the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology”.

You were right.

The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world’s largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything….

You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that’s trillion, with a “t”) worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history – MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it “dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets.”

That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world’s largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world’s largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps….

Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It’s about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.

It should surprise no one that among the players implicated in this scheme to fix the prices of interest-rate swaps are the same megabanks – including Barclays, UBS, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland – that serve on the Libor panel that sets global interest rates.

….In fact, in recent years many of these banks have already paid multimillion-dollar settlements for anti-competitive manipulation of one form or another (in addition to Libor, some were caught up in an anti-competitive scheme, detailed in Rolling Stone last year, to rig municipal-debt service auctions).

Though the jumble of financial acronyms sounds like gibberish to the layperson, the fact that there may now be price-fixing scandals involving both Libor and ISDAfix suggests a single, giant mushrooming conspiracy of collusion and price-fixing hovering under the ostensibly competitive veneer of Wall Street culture….

Why? Because Libor already affects the prices of interest-rate swaps, making this a manipulation-on-manipulation situation. If the allegations prove to be right, that will mean that swap customers have been paying for two different layers of price-fixing corruption.

If you can imagine paying 20 bucks for a crappy PB&J because some evil cabal of agribusiness companies colluded to fix the prices of both peanuts and peanut butter, you come close to grasping the lunacy of financial markets where both interest rates and interest-rate swaps are being manipulated at the same time, often by the same banks.

“It’s a double conspiracy,” says an amazed Michael Greenberger, a former director of the trading and markets division at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and now a professor at the University of Maryland. “It’s the height of criminality.”

….although it’s not quite as widespread as Libor, ISDAfix is sufficiently power-jammed into the world financial infrastructure that any manipulation of the rate would be catastrophic – and a huge class of victims that could include everyone from state pensioners to big cities to wealthy investors in structured notes would have no idea they were being robbed.

“How is some municipality in Cleveland or wherever going to know if it’s getting ripped off?” asks Michael Masters of Masters Capital Management, a fund manager who has long been an advocate of greater transparency in the derivatives world. “The answer is, they won’t know.”

Worse still, the CFTC investigation apparently isn’t limited to possible manipulation of swap prices by monkeying around with ISDAfix. According to reports, the commission is also looking at whether or not employees at ICAP may have intentionally delayed publication of swap prices, which in theory could give someone (bankers, cough, cough) a chance to trade ahead of the information….

From Political Velcraft –

American Made Products Directory Available

The American Made Products Directory is sorted by categories of products that are Made in the USA. You can view the listings online and click on one of the many categories. If you are not sure of the correct category we also have items listed alphabetically as well as a search box. If you know of a great company that should be listed here please use the product submit link near the top of the page.

We have worked for years to put together this extensive listing of products made in the USA. Nearly all of the listing on our site are provided at no cost to the company. We also take advertising from companies that are passionate about American made items.

Many of the companies listed in our directory feel American people come above profits at any cost as so many corporations practice today. We have heard from many of the companies on our site that passed up higher margins to keep production here in America.

They often state keeping their manufacturing in the USA allows them much great quality control, lower product to market cost, a much lower carbon foot print and of course jobs for

Americans. Some say you pay more for American Made items and maybe you will, however in the long run you will almost certainly have a better made item made in an labor friendly fashion under environmental laws that protect us all. Most foreign factories operate in ways that would be illegal in the United States.

See the listings….

From AmericaWorking.com –

Obama mulls taxation imposed by executive order!

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed Monday that President Obama is “very interested” in the idea of raising taxes through unilateral executive action.

“The president certainly has not indicated any reticence in using his executive authority to try and advance an agenda that benefits middle class Americans,” Earnest said in response to a question about Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) calling on Obama to raise more than $100 billion in taxes through IRS executive action.

“Now I don’t want to leave you with the impression that there is some imminent announcement, there is not, at least that I know of,” Earnest continued. “But the president has asked his team to examine the array of executive authorities that are available to him to try to make progress on his goals. So I am not in a position to talk in any detail at this point, but the president is very interested in this avenue generally,” Earnest finished.

Sanders sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Friday identifying a number of executive actions he believes the IRS could take, without any input from Congress….

By Conn Carroll – Townhall.com –

How much of the US does China own?

China owns around 1.3 trillion dollars of the United States’ debt, but recently Chinese nationals have been heavily investing in different sectors of US economy. So, how much of the US does China own?

As Forbes reported, “China’s Vice President Xi Jinping has at least one good sales pitch to offer Americans during his five day stay; to rebuild old infrastructure.” And talk about outsourcing. At a sprawling manufacturing complex, hundreds of Chinese laborers built the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

By Investment Watch Blog –

Hundreds of Farmers Block Roads Protesting Monsanto

Poland’s largest farmer uprising ever has occurred as convoys of tractors took to the roads recently in protest of GMO infiltration and land grabs by biotech and Big Ag corporations.

More than 150 farmers blocked roadways and held numerous demonstrations in order to bring attention to the important issue of food sovereignty in Poland. Their focus is a ban on GMOs and a restoration of small farmer’s rights after decades of oppressive health and safety regulations which take rights away from small farms and give them to mono-cropping, poisoning Big Ag mega-companies.

The farmers have been stalwart – refusing to call off their demonstrations until their demands are met. Rallies and demonstrations have littered the country – in over 50 locations. Hundreds are picketing government offices in addition to the road blockades.

In the largest organized farmer’s protest the country has likely ever seen, the farmers are demanding that legislators protect the small farmer from exploitation by monopolizing companies and refuse the sell off of their country’s land to these behemoths. As the farmers point out, once the land is sold, the Big Ag model can’t be stopped, and the land is forever lost….

There are 4 simple key demands the farmers would like to be heard:
•Regulation of land grabs by primarily Western companies (translation – biotech and Big Ag) to prevent small farmers from losing their livelihoods.
•The legalization of direct sale of produce and other foods from farms to the people. This cuts out the middle man and allows the higher quality produce of many farms to reach its customers directly. Poland currently has some of the most extreme policies of all of Europe in this regard, making it nearly impossible for small farmers to compete with big food companies who are notorious for selling us fake and highly processed foods.
•Change inheritance laws so that families can rightly leave land under lease to their heirs.
•BAN THE CULTIVATION OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS!

One farmer stated:“We demand the introduction of legislation that will protect Polish land from exploitation by foreign capital! Agricultural land cannot be sold to commercial companies. It’s part of Polish territory. Once sold it will be lost….

By Christina Sarich – Natural Society –

A Record 100 Million Americans Not Working

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) jobs report for December counted 74,000 jobs created last month. That was less than half the 200,000 new jobs expected.

Nevertheless, the BLS reported those 74,000 new jobs as reducing at least what it calls the U3 unemployment rate by three tenths of a percentage point, from 7.0% to 6.7%. That was because 347,000 workers fled the work force altogether last month, and so were no longer counted as unemployed.

Those 347,000 workers leaving the workforce altogether were almost 5 times (4.689) the 74,000 new jobs created. But the BLS, and the New York Times, still count that as headline unemployment plummeting on net to 6.7% from 7.0%. In fact, all of the decline in the U3 headline unemployment rate since President Obama entered office has been due to workers leaving the work force, and therefore no longer counted as unemployed, rather than to new jobs created.

Those 347,000 for December, 2013, however, are still out there not working, and suffering. Indeed, they joined a near record of more than 102 million Americans not working in December, all still out there and suffering without jobs. Those 102 million Americans are the human face of an employment-population ratio stuck at a pitiful 58.6%. In fact, more than 100 million Americans were not working in Obama’s workers’ paradise for all of 2013 and 2012….

By Peter Ferrara – Forbes –

Net Neutrality = 16.1% Internet Tax

Late last year, President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to enact far-reaching regulations that would grant the federal government unprecedented control over the internet. The concept of “net neutrality” is based on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) treating all internet traffic “equally.” However, Obama has advocated for far more than is needed to achieve this concept by calling on the FCC to issue rules that reclassify broadband as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act.

Reclassifying broadband as a utility not only threatens the internet as we know it, but will kill jobs, stifle investment and increase costs for American consumers. Moreover, the move could open the door to other forms of heavy-handed internet regulations and taxes. Given these serious economic implications, the FCC should put a hold on its late February vote on these rules and allow Congress to come up with a legislative solution.

Over the years the internet has grown rapidly largely due to the hands-off regulatory approach the government has taken. Yet instead of allowing the internet to remain in an atmosphere that has encouraged widespread growth, President Obama and FCC Chairman Tom Wheelers want to regulate the internet like telegraphs and telephones from the 1930’s. Not only are such archaic regulations inappropriate for our digital era, they will increase broadband costs for hardworking Americans.

By reclassifying broadband as a utility, the Obama administration will levy taxes on all broadband consumers and smartphone users via a Universal Service Fund fee. USF fees are already collected from traditional and cellular phones. Adding broadband to the same Title II category would slap consumers with a 16.1 percent tax increase on their internet bills–an estimated $24 billion for Uncle Sam. This adds up to almost $100 a year in additional costs for wireline broadband consumers and around $137 per smartphone for wireless customers –a deep financial burn that will certainly be felt by American families with more than one smartphone on their plan.

While reclassification undoubtedly spells bad news for consumers, the implications for industry workers could be even more dire. Title II reclassification would stifle investment –an $11.8 billion decrease –and directly impact jobs. According to an American Action Forum study, the drop in investment could kill as many as 174,000 broadband related jobs by 2019.

By Kuper Jones – The Hill –

Lerner Emails: Obama’s DOJ Aided IRS Targeting Conservatives

After a year and a half of investigating, Congress has finally gotten to see a large number of the “missing” emails form IRS administrator Lois Lerner. Some of these emails seem to show that Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) was involved in the IRS targeting of conservative groups, a Forbes report says.

Despite the government’s refusal to release over 800 pages of Lerner communications, some documents that have been released show that she was discussing the targeting of conservative groups with members of the DOJ two years before the IRS even admitted that its actions were improper.

“Ms. Lerner,” Forbes columnist Robert W. Wood wrote, “met with top officials from the DOJ’s Election Crimes Branch in October of 2010. Although Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the DOJ, the DOJ coughed up dirt only on court order. Even then, the DOJ handed over only two pages of heavily redacted emails.”

The documents show that Lerner worked with the DOJ on targeting conservative groups and even show that Lerner sent the DOJ a “1.1 million page database of information from 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations” that contained confidential tax records.

On November 22 it was announced that some 30,000 IRS emails that had previously been deemed “unrecoverable” had been “found” by the IRS Inspector General. The emails extend from 2009 to 2011, when Lerner headed the IRS’s exempt-organizations division.

While investigators have yet to comb through this mountain of information, other key documents were finally revealed in a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by government watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said that the documents show that Obama’s DOJ was “up to its neck in the IRS scandal”….

By Warner Todd Huston – Breitbart –

GMO-Free Crops Prove Lucrative for Farmers

Last spring, for the first time in 20 years, Indiana farmer Jim Benham planted his fields entirely with soybean seeds that hadn’t been genetically modified to withstand herbicides.

It wasn’t because the 63-year-old suddenly had embraced the anti-GMO movement. Instead, he was drawn to a nearly 14% per-bushel premium for non-GMO soybeans offered by a local grain terminal, which sells them to Asian feed processors.

Mr. Benham is among a small but growing number of Midwestern farmers moving away from biotech seeds developed by Monsanto Co. , DuPont Co. and other companies in response to lower crop prices over the past two years that have slashed farm profits.

More U.S. consumers are seeking out non-GMO foods, which proponents perceive as healthier and friendlier to the environment. Retail sales of GMO-free cereal, salad dressing, eggs and other food products increased 15% to $9.6 billion last year, among the fastest-growing U.S. food segments, according to market-research firm Nielsen NV. Nielsen sharply increased its non-GMO food sales estimate last year after incorporating a broader range of products and stores….

By Jacob Bunge – Wall Street Journal –

Attorney General Nominee in Big Scandal: May Jail Lynch ?

Loretta Lynch is in some relatively hot water.

Looks like she has been implicated in allowing one of the world’s largest banks to evade criminal charges after it was found to be guilty of laundering money for all kinds of illicit activity.

World Net Daily originally broke the story back in 2012 before Lynch was looking to assume Holder’s role.

An employee from HSBC bank brought in over 1,000 pages of documentation that showed HSBC was involved in a billion dollar global money-laundering scheme.

The story came and went, and nary a thought given to it.

Until only very recently.

Now the scandal has received more attention from the press, and there is even the suggestion Lynch might have been involved in an illegal deal to help get HSBC off the hook.

Drew Zahn writes, “Obama Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch may have struck a sweetheart deal with the banking giant that Rolling Stone now calls ‘preposterous even by Eric Holder’s standards.’”

So what happened? How did we get to here?

Well, when WND broke the story in 2012, an investigation was launched into the bank’s illegal activity. Rather than pursue criminal charges, Lynch allowed the bank to settle for the sum of $1.9 billion dollars.

But as more people began to dig into the story, it raised some troubling questions….

From American Prosperity News Network –

Bitcoin Revolution The Next Internet, Says Bank Of England

The arrival of electronic currencies could revolutionise the way Britons pay for goods and services, in much the same way as the internet shook up how we access information, the Bank of England has said.

Cashless forms of payment like the cryptocurrency Bitcoin “potentially combined with mobile technology, may reshape the mechanisms for making secure payments”, the central bank said.

While traditional currencies, including the pound, are backed by central banks, new alternatives have allowed individuals to exchange directly without any such third party.

The Bank could itself create digital currencies, making the new system available as it does with banknotes today. Research would be necessary to develop the technology “without compromising a central bank’s ability to control its currency and secure the system against systemic attack”, the Bank said.

The idea of countries launching their own electronic currencies has gained pace in recent weeks, as Yanis Varoufakis became Greece’s newest finance minister. The Greek-born economist has previously suggested that “the technology of Bitcoin, if suitably adapted, can be employed profitably in the eurozone as a weapon against deflation”….

By Peter Spence – The Telegraph –

[ONLY WAY Editor: Check out our “WAMPUM” cryptocurrency page]

Student Debt Strike is Finally Happening!

The “Corinthian 15” have fired the opening salvo in a nationwide movement to strike student debt.

A group of courageous students, caught in the cruelest of debt traps, has decided they are done waiting for relief that will never come. Enough is enough. Today, the Corinthian 15 are going on debt strike.

Scammed from first to last by one of America’s most unscrupulous for-profit colleges and denied a rightful debt discharge by the Department of Education, they are saying “We Owe You Nothing.” In a gesture of solidarity with the strikers, the Rolling Jubilee has announced that it has erased more than $13 million of student debt owed by students of Everest College, a subsidiary of Corinthian….

Although the Corinthian 15 are fighting against some of the worst creditors in our predatory system, they are taking a stand for everyone who finds themselves saddled with decades of education debt. For-profits are only the most exploitative part of America’s debt-financed higher education system–public and private universities are little better. While the crushing burden of debt affects most students, those with the least resources are paying the highest price….

Student loan debt has tripled over the last decade, turning higher education into a pathway to poverty for all but the well-heeled. Everyone knows that huge chunks of U.S. student debt–more than $1.3 trillion and growing–cannot and never will be repaid. But, though nearly half of outstanding student debt is effectively in default or other forms of nonpayment, default on an individual basis is not leading to change; it is only causing misery, depression, and worse. Joining together to refuse repayment publicly and collectively is the only way to end the injustice of debt-financed education. The Corinthian 15 are the first to stand up and take collective action.

A strike is typically a last resort, when all other alternatives are exhausted. The Corinthian 15 certainly see it that way. State attorneys general, like California’s Kamala Harris, legislators, like Elizabeth Warren and Maxine Waters, and even government agencies, like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, have all tried to secure justice for them. But the Department of Education has not listened. Instead of protecting the students, it has bailed out the college’s investors, acting like a debt collector for a predatory lender. The Corinthian 15 have concluded they have no other alternative….

From StrikeDebt.org –

National Debt to Hit $19.1 Trillion Under Obama

The Congressional Budget Office is predicting that the national debt will rise by a bit more than half a trillion dollars for the next two years, which will leave the nation with a $19.1 trillion debt by the time President Barack Obama leaves office.

That would be close to a doubling of the debt under Obama — the total national debt was $10.6 trillion when he took office in 2009, and now sits at nearly $18.1 trillion.

CBO released its latest budget and economic outlook on Monday, which also predicts that the annual budget deficit will be relatively steady through 2018….

Through 2018, the budget deficit will remain at around $500 to $600 billion a year, or about 2.5 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States. After 2018, however, the budget deficit will rise past 3 percent of GDP, and then hit 4 percent of GDP by 2025.

By 2025, those accumulated annual budget deficits will bring total national debt to an estimated $27.3 trillion without any changes to the law.

Obama has boasted about the shrinking of the budget deficit from the more than $1 trillion seen in the first four years of his presidency. But even with that reduction, budget deficits under Obama are on track to stay higher than the highest deficit seen under President George W. Bush.

CBO’s assumptions are based on relatively rosy scenarios that would be easily upended by another economic downturn. For example, CBO predicts 2.9 percent growth in 2015 and 2016, followed by 2.5 percent growth in 2017. It predicts an average of 2.1 percent growth from 2018-2019 and 2020-2025….

By 2025, CBO expects federal revenues to jump $2 trillion from their 2014 levels, and that the government will take in $5 trillion that year.

In terms of spending, CBO thinks the government will be spending $6.1 trillion per year in 2025, or $2.6 trillion more than it spent in 2014….

CBO estimates that by 2016, total debt held by the public will be $13.9 trillion, which implies intragovernmental holdings of about $5.2 trillion. Debt held by the public in 2025 will hit $21.6 trillion, according to CBO.

By Pete Kasperowicz – The Blaze –

Does Money Make You Mean? (Testing…)

It’s amazing what a rigged game of Monopoly can reveal. In this entertaining but sobering talk, social psychologist Paul Piff shares his research into how people behave when they feel wealthy. (Hint: badly.)

But while the problem of inequality is a complex and daunting challenge, there’s good news too. (Filmed at TEDxMarin.)

By Paul Piff – TED Talk –

Obama Overloading Immigration System, Giving Entry to Millions of Illegal Aliens, Muslims

Since he came to office, Obama has been ignoring, rewriting, delaying, and breaking the nations Federal Immigrations Laws under the guise of immigration reform….

Obama has proclaimed for 6 years that he cares about the American union worker, the unemployed minority workers, and the middle class, yet he gave orders to DHS to issue 5 million Work Permits and Social Security Numbers to Illegal Aliens who would end up taking millions of jobs away from the 90 million unemployed American citizens, union workers, and taxpayers who are desperate for a job. Issuance of Work Permits and Social Security Numbers would allow Illegal Aliens to obtain driver’s licenses, which will then facilitate them in their ability to illegally register to vote; probably one of the Obama administration’s goals.

In North Carolina the Registry of Voters did what every state should do; they compared the list of voters who registered to vote against the Federal Immigration Database. The cross check of the first 10,000 voters, found 1,425 likely non-citizens registered to vote, including 109 Illegal Alien “Dreamers”. Almost 10 percent of the non-citizens who registered to vote, did so when they applied for and received their driver’s license at the state’s Registry of Motor Vehicles outlets, and the . problem is nationwide. To prevent voter fraud in 2016, all state election officials should compare the list of registered voters, in their respective states, against the Federal Immigration Database and should also closely scrutinize if Illegal Aliens are registering to vote at the same time they are applying for drivers licenses. In the last national election over 7 million voters, voted in two states, and many millions more Illegal Aliens voted illegally

In addition to registering to vote illegally, because of the provisions of Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration, each Illegal Alien will be able to file for and received a refund check from the IRS for a $24,000 income tax credit that will cost the American taxpayers $150 billion in one year (How many loyal Americans paying their taxes are receiving a refund check for $24,000 from the IRS?). Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration would also allow for each Illegal Aliens to apply for visas for their family members in Mexico. It is conservatively estimated that each Illegal Alien would be applying for visas for 10+ relatives; the 5 million Illegal Aliens who are covered by Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration will seek 50+ million visas for new Illegal Alien family members; their relatives will enter the United States to compete with 90 million unemployed Americans citizens for scarce jobs.

Currently, the Immigration System is overloaded, dealing with 12.5+ million Illegal Aliens. Those numbers consist of 150,000+ Illegal Alien children from Central America with infectious diseases (who were allowed to enter without being properly quarantined), the 6 million Syrian Muslim Immigrants from a number of UN Resettlement Programs whose backgrounds were not investigated for terrorist ties and were given a fast track for US Citizenship, the 1.5 million “Dreamers” children up to “age 31” (children?) whose backgrounds were not properly investigated for residency, the 5 million Illegal Aliens being given a pathway to US Citizenship by Obama’s unconstitutional Executive Order ….

By Joseph R. John – American Action News –

U.N. Official Reveals Real Reason Behind Warming Scare

The alarmists keep telling us their concern about global warming is all about man’s stewardship of the environment. But we know that’s not true. A United Nations official has now confirmed this.

At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said….

The only economic model in the last 150 years that has ever worked at all is capitalism. The evidence is prima facie: From a feudal order that lasted a thousand years, produced zero growth and kept workdays long and lifespans short, the countries that have embraced free-market capitalism have enjoyed a system in which output has increased 70-fold, work days have been halved and lifespans doubled….

From the Editor – Investors Business Daily –

CAFR & a Challenge for You

On the syndicated news today they are pitching imposing a tax on e-cigarettes.

The politician that introduced the bill justifies the new proposed tax with one and one only statement:

“If we do not tax e-cigarettes, where else will we get the money we need from?”

I have heard the same blanket comment over and over again per raising taxes for the last 40-years.

That comment made by a politician to the public is the biggest insult that can be rendered per directly calling the listeners “useful idiots” when it comes down to the reality of government’s gross income from the many sources of: Tax, Investment, Enterprise, etc.

Government’s gross income is obscene and has expanded exponentially each and every year through depending on the population being masterfully entertained while being spoon fed with blatant “selective presentation” with the contrived comment of: “where are we going to get the money from?”

A good and clear analogy per the same would be; A politician sitting in a row-boat in the middle of the ocean who says: “Where am I going to find salt water?” said with an overtone as if it were a genuine question, and depending on the listener’s ignorance not to see the ocean surrounding the row-boat..

Here is a link with instructions to view and download many local governments’ Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports that I sent out in a previous post to the CAFR1 national email list last week:

http://www.gfoa.net/cafrwinners/2013/index.html (**To get the CAFR download listing for each local government entity – Click on the “Winners List by Agency Type” in the centered blue boxes)

That link with the Click on instruction followed by you will list about 3000+ local government CAFRs for downloading, view, and review. All categorized by local government type and alphabetically listed by each state….

By Walter Burien – CAFR1.com –

Fourth Turning – The Shadow Of Crisis Has Not Passed

When you accept the fact history is cyclical and continuous linear progress is not what transpires in the real world, you free yourself from the mental debilitation of normalcy bias and cognitive dissonance. Things do get worse. There are dark periods of history and they recur on a regular cycle. And we are in the midst of one of those dark periods. This Crisis will not be resolved without much pain, sacrifice, bloodshed, and ultimately war. Catastrophe is a strong possibility. The core elements of this Crisis – debt, civic decay, global disorder – are coalescing into a perfect storm which will rage for the next ten to fifteen years. The rhythms of history only provide a guidepost of timing, while the specific events and outcomes are unknowable in advance. The regeneracy of society into a cohesive, unified community, supporting the government in a collective effort to solve society’s most fundamental problems seems to have been delayed. Or has it?

Maybe the answer can be found in the resolution of the last Fourth Turning. The seeds of the next crisis are always planted during the climax of the previous crisis, when the new social order is established. The American Revolution Crisis created a new nation, but left unresolved the issue of slavery. This seed grew to become the catalyst for the Civil War Crisis. The resolution of the Civil War Crisis greatly enhanced the power of the central government, while reducing the influence of the States. The rise of central authority led to the creation of the Federal Reserve, the implementation of income taxes to fund a vastly larger Federal government and the belief among the political class that America should intervene militarily in the affairs of other countries. The Great Depression was created by the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve; the New Deal programs were a further expansion of Federal government; FDR outlawed the ownership of gold; and America’s subsequent involvement in World War II created a military and economic superpower.

After sixty-two years of ever increasing debt; ever increasing taxes to support an ever growing governmental bureaucracy; ever expanding laws, regulations, and rules; currency debasement by the Federal Reserve; complete abandonment of the gold standard; and never ending wars of choice around the world, the next Crisis grew and blossomed from the seeds planted during the previous Crisis. The New Deal social programs, along with the extension of the welfare state by LBJ and subsequent administrations, have swelled to unprecedented unsustainable levels with unfunded liabilities exceeding $200 trillion. The promises cannot be fulfilled. The $18 trillion national debt increases by $2.3 billion per day; $96 million per hour; $1.6 million per minute; $27,000 per second. Does that sound sustainable? The legacy media sycophants cheer when consumer debt outstanding surges past $3.3 trillion, as their warped worldview applauds spending versus saving, consuming versus investing, and living for today rather than striving for a sustainable future.

The American people have lost their ability to think, reason, question, do math, control their urges, defer gratification, or realize when they are being lied to by the people they elected to public office. A culture of ignorance, celebration of the absurd, salutation of stupidity, honoring of the inane, being mesmerized by electronic gadgets, and satiating their egocentric shallow impulses on social media, is a sure recipe for societal collapse. Victory in World War II and becoming a modern day empire created the dynamic Eisenhower warned about. An immense military industrial complex has created enemies around the globe in order to keep the profits flowing in this welfare/warfare empire of debt. War is a racket for the rich. The peasants who buy into the incessant patriotic propaganda and volunteer are nothing but cannon fodder for the .1%. Keeping the masses fearful of phantom enemies and portraying foreign leaders as evil, is essential for the oligarchs to retain their wealth, power and control. Truth, facts, and long-term consequences are of no interest to the sociopaths running the show and pulling the levers. The dissent into darkness has been gradual and unnoticed by a purposefully distracted populace….

By Administrator of The Burning Platform –

You’ll Need A $300 License To Start A Blog in Philadelphia!

The American Dream represents hard work and success of free individuals pursuing their own economic gains. It is often expressed in “rags to riches” stories of impoverished citizens obtaining great feats through their free will. Today, people question whether that dream still exists. Politicians want to impose more regulations to “restore the American Dream”. In reality, we need less regulation and more economic freedom. People can lift themselves from poverty, but it has to be easier to start lifting.

Licensing regulations reduce economic freedom by creating barriers to market entry. For example, in my current home of Philadelphia, bloggers are required to obtain a $300 permit from the city. Blogging is by no means a lucrative business. In fact, an estimated 80% of bloggers will never make more than $100 from their work. A city official ironically says Philadelphia “loves the self-employed”. These permit-happy bureaucrats fail to grasp basic economics: occupational licensing can be detrimental to the economy.

Today, nearly 500 different occupations require some form of licensing. Economically speaking, this translates in to a reduction and constraint on supply. From hair braiding to lemonade stands, government has increasingly targeted different occupations for licensing. Licenses are now required by 30% of occupations in the workforce, which is up from 5% in the 1950s. This does not mean that more occupations require exceptional training. It does indicate that more occupations are prohibited without such a license….

By Grant Phillips – The Libertarian Republic –

IRS to pay refunds to illegals who didn’t pay taxes

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told Congress on Wednesday that even illegal immigrants who didn’t pay taxes will be able to claim back-refunds once they get Social Security numbers under President Obama’s temporary deportation amnesty.

The revelation — which contradicts what he told Congress last week — comes as lawmakers also raised concerns Mr. Obama’s amnesty could open a window to illegal immigrants finding ways to vote, despite it being against the law.

“While we may disagree about whether your deferred action programs were lawfully created and implemented, we are confident that we can all agree that these programs cannot be permitted to impair the integrity of our elections,” Republican members of Congress from Ohio wrote in a letter to Mr. Obama Wednesday, ahead of a hearing on the issue in the House on Thursday.

Mr. Obama’s new deportation policies, which carve most illegal immigrants out of danger of being removed, and could proactively grant as many as 4 million illegal immigrants work permits and Social Security numbers, are increasingly under fire for ancillary consequences such as tax credits and competition for jobs.

Mr. Koskinen, testifying to the House oversight committee, said the White House never asked him or anyone else at the IRS about the potential tax effects of his amnesty policy.

“I haven’t talked to the White House about this at all,” he said.

He also clarified his testimony to the Senate last week, where he acknowledged illegal immigrants who had paid taxes using substitute Social Security numbers but who gain real Social Security numbers when they are approved for the amnesty can apply for back-refunds of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

On Wednesday, he said even illegal immigrants who didn’t pay taxes will be able to apply for back-credits once they get Social Security numbers.

The EITC is a refundable tax credit, which means those who don’t have any tax liability can still get money back from the government.

By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times –

Corporations Taking USA Back to the 19th Century

[T]he growth of on-demand jobs like Uber making life less predictable and secure for workers unleashed a small barrage of criticism from some who contend that workers get what they’re worth in the market.

A Forbes Magazine contributor, for example, writes that jobs exist only “when both employer and employee are happy with the deal being made.” So if the new jobs are low-paying and irregular, too bad.

Much the same argument was voiced in the late 19th century over alleged “freedom of contract.” Any deal between employees and workers was assumed to be fine if both sides voluntarily agreed to it.

It was an era when many workers were “happy” to toil 12-hour days in sweat shops for lack of any better alternative.

It was also a time of great wealth for a few and squalor for many. And of corruption, as the lackeys of robber barons deposited sacks of cash on the desks of pliant legislators.

Finally, after decades of labor strife and political tumult, the 20th century brought an understanding that capitalism requires minimum standards of decency and fairness — workplace safety, a minimum wage, maximum hours (and time-and-a-half for overtime), and a ban on child labor.

We also learned that capitalism needs a fair balance of power between big corporations and workers.

We achieved that through antitrust laws that reduced the capacity of giant corporations to impose their will, and labor laws that allowed workers to organize and bargain collectively.

But now we seem to be heading back to 19th century.

Corporations are shifting full-time work onto temps, free-lancers, and contract workers who fall outside the labor protections established decades ago.

The nation’s biggest corporations and Wall Street banks are larger and more potent than ever.

And labor union membership has shrunk to fewer than 7 percent of private-sector workers.

So it’s not surprising we’re once again hearing that workers are worth no more than what they can get in the market.

But as we should have learned a century ago, markets don’t exist in nature. They’re created by human beings. The real question is how they’re organized and for whose benefit.

In the late 19th century they were organized for the benefit of a few at the top.

But by the middle of the 20th century they were organized for the vast majority.

During the 30 years after the end of World War II, as the economy doubled in size, so did the wages of most Americans — along with improved hours and working conditions.

Yet since around 1980, even though the economy has doubled once again (the Great Recession notwithstanding), the wages most Americans have stagnated. And their benefits and working conditions have deteriorated.

This isn’t because most Americans are worth less. In fact, worker productivity is higher than ever.

It’s because big corporations, Wall Street, and some enormously rich individuals have gained political power to organize the market in ways that have enhanced their wealth while leaving most Americans behind….

By Robert Reich – Op Ed News –

Do You Really Own Your Home?

The move to confiscate all privately held wealth in the United States is well underway. In the past few years, we have experienced bail-outs, planned bail-ins, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is positioning to confiscate all 401k’s and pensions and now the MERS mortgage fraud is accelerating to new heights thanks to a rash of recent State Supreme Court decisions affirming the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) right to foreclose on your home without having recorded a valid title and the foreclosure can take place outside of a courtroom.

For the past 230+ years, the Constitution protected property rights from would-be feudal lords who would suddenly appear with a title to your home and force you out. This practice worked well until the introduction of the MERS Mortgage fraud.

MERS was a conglomeration created by the megabanks for the purpose of administering mortgages. The practice quickly got out of control as one’s home mortgage title could be transfered dozens of times without notifying the homeowner. The practice quickly turned illegal when a homeowner, unknown to them, would be paying their mortgage to a title company that no longer held the title to their home. Then, the title company which currently held the note would show up and lay claim to the home in a repossession proceeding. In some cases, people with completely paid off mortgages had their homes stolen. Eventually, the people pushed back.

Show Me the Note!

At the present rate, it will not be long until private home ownership will become a rare event.

Eventually, activists like Dave Kreiger, author of Clouded Titles, began to train local officials on how establish a chain of custody one a title. Eventually, the “Show me the note” strategy worked well in court as long as one had an attorney and many illegal foreclosures were headed off. Then MERS restored to the illegal practice of “Robo-signors” in which people off the street were paid to forge a homeowners signature on a series of title transfer documents. The issue of illegitimate foreclosures were at a stand off. However, at least homeowners would have their day in court and they could challenge the legitimacy of the title transfer documents. Recently, because MERS parent organizations of Wells Fargo and Bank of America have begun to exercise undue influence in the State Supreme Courts all across this nation, every homeowner is potentially in peril.

….These times are marked by the elite moving to own everything and using the power of the government to accomplish their end-game. Congress is complicit as is the judiciary.

When America emerges from the coming economic collapse, the middle class of this country will own nothing. We will all find ourselves living in the feudal manner with no property rights, bank account or pension. We will soon awaken to the fact that our Constitution is dead and with it all of our rights. And amazingly, we did virtually nothing to stop it.

By Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show –

Sheriff Stands Up to IRS, Cancels Land Sale

New Mexico’s Eddy County Sheriff Scott London notified the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) via letter that the sale of county resident Kent Carter’s property is canceled until Carter receives due process of law and his appeal is heard. The certified letter dated February 4 received an immediate response from the Undersecretary of the Treasury’s office. According to the Treasury’s website, however, the public auction is still slated for February 19.

“Many officers have stood up over the years for the rights of citizens being victimized by the federal government,” said Sheriff Mack, founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, “But Sheriff London is the first one to stand up to the IRS since the early 1990s.” Mack said, “His actions show courage and humility. London is setting a good example for the rest of our sheriffs.”

Approximately ten days before Christmas, U.S. Marshals broke in the door of Carter’s rental property with their guns drawn. The tenant was a young mother with a new baby—home alone while her husband was at work. Sheriff London was called to the property to intervene. He advised the Marshals that Carter’s case was in appeal and he deserved due process. They threatened to arrest London, but he stood his ground and they backed off….

Carter says the IRS is currently claiming he owes $890,000, a figure that “doubled with the stroke of a pen.”

The Taxation & Revenue Department ordered Carter to cease “engaging in business in New Mexico” until his arbitrary tax debt was paid. Carter appealed this injunction on the grounds that it was both unconstitutional and vague, as it deprived him of his right to make a living and also prohibited him from, “carrying on or causing to be carried on any activity with the purpose of direct or indirect benefit.”

“The IRS fabricates evidence against citizens by pulling numbers out of a hat and adding fees,” said Mack, “They wear people down emotionally and financially until they can’t take it anymore. No citizen should ever have to fight the IRS for decades in order to keep his land.”

….The Carter properties have liens placed against them. A locksmith was instructed to change the locks. The IRS authorized the United States Marshal Service to arrest/evict anyone found on the premises. London, however, physically stood in front of Carter’s gate until the Marshals backed down. A public auction on the front steps of the Eddy County Courthouse is scheduled, but the local county sheriff—trained in the Constitution—resisted.

Carter voluntarily vacated his property and relocated his mobile home to an undisclosed location. “I chose to leave to keep it from escalating to something ugly—like Ruby Ridge, Idaho,” he said. Carter said he advised the Marshals and IRS Agents who publicly claimed he had armed friends on his land, “If there is going to be any violence, it is going to be you who starts it.”

Carter says 100% of his Social Security benefits is seized each month by the IRS, in addition to $2,800 the agency drained from his bank account. Legally, he says, the IRS can take no more than 15% of Social Security benefits.

Mack says banking institutions quiver when faced with the IRS’ gestapo tactics and generally hand over customers’ personal banking information, including access to accounts, without requiring a warrant or even any documentation. He encourages county sheriffs to brief every bank in their jurisdiction to refer inquiries from IRS agents to them.

Sheriff Mack is calling for the IRS to start following the law, including no “random” audits without probable cause, as they violate the Fourth Amendment. He asks them to stop committing crimes and rewarding IRS employees with bonuses for cheating on their personal taxes. “I agree with Senator Ted Cruz and others who say the IRS should be abolished,” said Mack. “It’s time they got off the backs of the American People.”

….London is the first Republican to ever be elected sheriff in Eddy County. He distributes Bibles on behalf of Gideon International and met his wife in choir practice.

By Priscilla Jones – BennSwann.com –

The Eugenics Plot Behind the Minimum Wage

In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. identifies the government as the enemy of the rights and dignity of blacks. He was locked up for marching without a permit. King cites the injustices of the police and courts in particular. And he inspired a movement to raise public consciousness against state brutality, especially as it involved fire hoses, billy clubs, and jail cells.

Less obvious, however, had been the role of a more covert means of subjugation — forms of state coercion deeply embedded in the law and history of the United States. And they were offered as policies grounded in science and the scientific management of society.

Consider the minimum wage. How much does racism have to do with it? Far more than most people realize. A careful look at its history shows that the minimum wage was originally conceived as part of a eugenics strategy — an attempt to engineer a master race through public policy designed to cleanse the citizenry of undesirables. To that end, the state would have to bring about the isolation, sterilization, and extermination of nonprivileged populations.

The eugenics movement — almost universally supported by the scholarly and popular press in the first decades of the 20th century — came about as a reaction to the dramatic demographic changes of the latter part of the 19th century. Incomes rose and lifetimes had expanded like never before in history. Such gains applied to all races and classes. Infant mortality collapsed. All of this was due to a massive expansion of markets, technology, and trade, and it changed the world. It meant a dramatic expansion of population among all groups. The great unwashed masses were living longer and reproducing faster….

The eugenics movement, as an application of the principle of the “planned society,” was deeply hostile to free markets. As The New Republic summarized in a 1916 editorial:

“Imbecility breeds imbecility as certainly as white hens breed white chickens; and under laissez-faire imbecility is given full chance to breed, and does so in fact at a rate far superior to that of able stocks.”

To counter the trends unleashed by capitalism, states and the national government began to implement policies designed to support “superior” races and classes and discourage procreation of the “inferior” ones. As explained by Edwin Black’s 2003 book
, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, the goal as regards women and children was exclusionist, but as regards nonwhites, it was essentially exterminationist. The chosen means were not firing squads and gas chambers but the more peaceful and subtle methods of sterilization, exclusion from jobs, and coercive segregation.

It was during this period and for this reason that we saw the first trial runs of the minimum wage in Massachusetts in 1912. The new law pertained only to women and children as a measure to disemploy them and other “social dependents” from the labor force. Even though the measure was small and not well enforced, it did indeed reduce employment among the targeted groups.

To understand why this wasn’t seen as a failure, take a look at the first modern discussions of the minimum wage appearing in the academic literature. Most of these writings would have been completely forgotten but for a seminal 2005 article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives by Thomas C. Leonard.

Leonard documents an alarming series of academic articles and books appearing between the 1890s and the 1920s that were remarkably explicit about a variety of legislative attempts to squeeze people out of the work force. These articles were not written by marginal figures or radicals but by the leaders of the profession, the authors of the great textbooks, and the opinion leaders who shaped public policy.

“Progressive economists, like their neoclassical critics,” Leonard explains, “believed that binding minimum wages would cause job losses. However, the progressive economists also believed that the job loss induced by minimum wages was a social benefit, as it performed the eugenic service ridding the labor force of the ‘unemployable.’”

At least the eugenicists, for all their pseudo-scientific blathering, were not naïve about the effects of wage floors. These days, you can count on media talking heads and countless politicians to proclaim how wonderful the minimum wage is for the poor. Wage floors will improve the standard of living, they say. But back in 1912, they knew better — minimum wages exclude workers — and they favored them precisely because such wage floors drive people out of the job market. People without jobs cannot prosper and are thereby discouraged from reproducing. Minimum wages were designed specifically to purify the demographic landscape of racial inferiors and to keep women at the margins of society.

The famed Fabian socialist Sidney Webb was as blunt as anyone in his 1912 article “The Economic Theory of the Minimum Wage”:

Legal Minimum Wage positively increases the productivity of the nation’s industry, by ensuring that the surplus of unemployed workmen shall be exclusively the least efficient workmen; or, to put it in another way, by ensuring that all the situations shall be filled by the most efficient operatives who are available.

The intellectual history shows that whole purpose of the minimum wage was to create unemployment among people who the elites did not believe were worthy of holding jobs.

And it gets worse….

Eugenics as an idea eventually lost favor after World War II, when it came to be associated with the Third Reich. But the labor policies to which it gave rise did not go away. They came to be promoted not as a method of exclusion and extermination but rather, however implausibly, as a positive effort to benefit the poor.

Whatever the intentions, the effects are still the same. On that the eugenicists were right. The eugenics movement, however evil its motive, understood an economic truth: the minimum wage excludes people from the job market. It takes away from marginal populations their most important power in the job market: the power to work for less. It cartelizes the labor market by allowing higher-wage groups access while excluding lower-wage groups.

King wrote of the cruelty of government in his day. That cruelty extends far back in time, and is crystallized by a wage policy that effectively makes productivity and upward mobility illegal. If we want to reject eugenic policies and the racial malice behind them, we should also repudiate the minimum wage and embrace the universal right to bargain.

By JEFFREY A. TUCKER – Foundation for Economic Education –

Bankers Are Telling Us What Will Happen Next

Are we on the verge of a major worldwide economic downturn? Well, if recent warnings from prominent bankers all over the world are to be believed, that may be precisely what we are facing in the months ahead. As you will read about below, the big banks are warning that the price of oil could soon drop as low as 20 dollars a barrel, that a Greek exit from the eurozone could push the EUR/USD down to 0.90, and that the global economy could shrink by more than 2 trillion dollars in 2015. Most of the time, very few people ever actually read the things that the big banks write for their clients. But in recent months, a lot of these bankers are issuing such ominous warnings that you would think that they have started to write for The Economic Collapse Blog. Of course we have seen this happen before. Just before the financial crisis of 2008, a lot of people at the big banks started to get spooked, and now we are beginning to see an atmosphere of fear spread on Wall Street once again. Nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next, but an increasing number of experts are starting to agree that it won’t be good.

Let’s start with oil. Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen a nice rally for the price of oil. It has bounced back into the low 50s, which is still a catastrophically low level, but it has many hoping for a rebound to a range that will be healthy for the global economy.

Unfortunately, many of the experts at the big banks are now anticipating that the exact opposite will happen instead. For example, Citibank says that we could see the price of oil go as low as 20 dollars this year…

The recent rally in crude prices looks more like a head-fake than a sustainable turning point — The drop in US rig count, continuing cuts in upstream capex, the reading of technical charts, and investor short position-covering sustained the end-January 8.1% jump in Brent and 5.8% jump in WTI into the first week of February.

Short-term market factors are more bearish, pointing to more price pressure for the next couple of months and beyond — Not only is the market oversupplied, but the consequent inventory build looks likely to continue toward storage tank tops. As on-land storage fills and covers the carry of the monthly spreads at ~$0.75/bbl, the forward curve has to steepen to accommodate a monthly carry closer to $1.20, putting downward pressure on prompt prices. As floating storage reaches its limits, there should be downward price pressure to shut in production.

The oil market should bottom sometime between the end of Q1 and beginning of Q2 at a significantly lower price level in the $40 range — after which markets should start to balance, first with an end to inventory builds and later on with a period of sustained inventory draws. It’s impossible to call a bottom point, which could, as a result of oversupply and the economics of storage, fall well below $40 a barrel for WTI, perhaps as low as the $20 range for a while.

Even though rigs are shutting down at a pace that we have not seen since the last recession, overall global supply still significantly exceeds overall global demand. Barclays analyst Michael Cohen recently told CNBC that at this point the total amount of excess supply is still in the neighborhood of a million barrels per day…

“What we saw in the last couple weeks is rig count falling pretty precipitously by about 80 or 90 rigs per week, but we think there are more important things to be focused on and that rig count doesn’t tell the whole story.”

He expects to see some weakness going into….

In the end, a lot of these energy companies are going to go belly up if the price of oil does not rise significantly this year. And any financial institutions that are exposed to the debt of these companies or to energy derivatives will likely be in a great deal of distress as well.

Meanwhile, the overall global economy continues to slow down.

On Monday, we learned that the Baltic Dry Index has dropped to the lowest level ever. Not even during the darkest depths of the last recession did it drop this low.

And there are some at the big banks that are warning that this might just be the beginning. For instance, David Kostin of Goldman Sachs is projecting that sales growth for S&P 500 companies will be zero percent for all of 2015…

“Consensus now forecasts 0% S&P 500 sales growth in 2015 following a 5% cut in revenue forecasts since October. Low oil prices along with FX headwinds and pension charges have weighed on 4Q EPS results and expectations for 2015.”

Others are even more pessimistic than that. According to Bank of America, the global economy will actually shrink by 2.3 trillion dollars in 2015.

One thing that could greatly accelerate our economic problems is the crisis in Greece. If there is no compromise and a new Greek debt deal is not reached, there is a very real possibility that Greece could leave the eurozone.

If Greece does leave the eurozone, the continued existence of the monetary union will be thrown into doubt and the euro will utterly collapse.

Of course I am not the only one saying these things. Analysts at Morgan Stanley….

By Michael Snyder – The Economic Collapse –

Thousands of Americans sent to debtors’ prisons monthly

Once upon a time in Western Europe, circa the 19th century, debtors’ prisons were a common phenomenon. And they were exactly what they sound like: Prisons for people who were unable to pay their debts. People who were destitute or simply had fallen on hard times and were unable to repay court-ordered judgments were “sentenced” to these prisons. They remained there until they were able to either work off what they owed or secure funding from another source.

Now, in 21st century America, debtors’ prisons are making a comeback.

According to a new report from Human Rights Watch called Profiting from Probation, more than 1,000 courts around the country “delegate tremendous coercive power to companies that are often subject to little meaningful oversight or regulation.”

Further, a summary of the report states:

“In many cases, the only reason people are put on probation is because they need time to pay off fines and court costs linked to minor crimes. In some of these cases, probation companies act more like abusive debt collectors than probation officers, charging the debtors for their services.”

Often, the group says, the poorest Americans wind up having to pay the most in fees over time, in what amounts to a discriminatory penalty. When they fail to pay, companies then can, and do, ensure that they are arrested.

So, while such incarceration is not actually called “debtors’ prison,” the result is the same.

In particular, notes the ACLU, which is taking up the cause of ending such incarcerations:

“Human Rights Watch tells the story of Thomas Barrett in Georgia. Unemployed and living off food stamps, Barrett was out on probation and ordered to pay a $200 fine for stealing a $2 can of beer from a convenience store. On top of that, Sentinel Offender Services, LLC, the company administering Barrett’s probation, charged him $360 per month in supervision and monitoring fees despite the fact that Barrett’s only source of income was money earned by selling his blood plasma.”

Barrett was forced to skip meals in order to pay Sentinel. Nevertheless, he still fell behind in payments and at one point wound up owing the company $1,000 in fees — or five times more than the $200 fine that a court had imposed.

In a bid to collect the debt, Sentinel then petitioned a court to revoke Barrett’s probation, which it did. He was then jailed.

….”Imprisoning someone because she cannot afford to pay court-imposed fines or fees violates the 14th Amendment,” says the ACLU.

And Barrett is just one of thousands of cases, the legal assistance group says.

What’s more, the trend towards more, not fewer, such cases has been growing….

By J. D. Heyes – Natural News –

Gallup CEO: I May “Suddenly Disappear” For Telling Truth

Gallup CEO Jim Clifton told CNBC he might “suddenly disappear” for telling the truth about the Obama unemployment rate.

The real Obama unemployment rate has never recovered and is still above 10%. [See chart]]

Wall Street on Parade reported:

Years of unending news stories on U.S. government programs of surveillance,rendition and torture have apparently chilled the speech of even top business executives in the United States.

Yesterday, Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, an iconic U.S. company dating back to 1935, told CNBC that he was worried he might “suddenly disappear” and not make it home that evening if he disputed the accuracy of what the U.S. government is reporting as unemployed Americans.

The CNBC interview came one day after Clifton had penned a gutsy opinion piece on Gallup’s web site, defiantly calling the government’s 5.6 percent unemployment figure “The Big Lie” in the article’s headline. His appearance on CNBC was apparently to walk back the “lie” part of the title and reframe the jobs data as just hopelessly deceptive.

Clifton stated the following on CNBC:

“I think that the number that comes out of BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] and the Department of Labor is very, very accurate. I need to make that very, very clear so that I don’t suddenly disappear. I need to make it home tonight.” [See video]

By Jim Hoft – The Gateway Pundit –

All US Credit Cards To Have RFID Chips Starting This Year

“Every credit card in the U.S. will be replaced by October 2015 with new cards that contain the chip-and-PIN technology that the rest of the world has had for years, according to the Wall Street Journal. Both Visa and MasterCard are committed to the switch, which will render extinct the plastic in your wallets and purses right now. No more black magnetic stripes; no more signing on the dotted line.” The new EMV credit card system in the U.S. is set to be rolled out by October, 2015. Also going away is the ability to sign for your purchases, that will no longer be necessary. Instead, you will enter a PIN to verify that you are the holder of the card. Removing the human element is one more step in the march towards the Mark Of The Beast system that will be in place during the Tribulation under the Antichrist….

By Now The End Begins – SkywatchTv.com –

Biometric Tipping Point: USAA Uses Face, Voice Recognition

USAA is letting its members log in to mobile banking in the blink of an eye — literally.

The San Antonio financial services company has rolled out facial recognition technology across its entire membership base that lets them access its mobile app with a tap of their smartphone camera and a blink when prompted (to prove they’re a live person and not a photo). USAA is also giving members the option of logging in with a spoken phrase.

This makes USAA the first major U.S. financial institution to deploy a full-scale rollout of voice and facial recognition. In an industry that has tried and failed to make biometric identification work for 50 years, USAA’s efforts could be a significant turning point.

One key reason why is the immense popularity of the smartphone. Smartphone cameras let users employ their own hardware to capture their facial characteristics. Device identity also provides assurance that the smartphone belongs to the right customer.

“The ubiquitous adoption of the smartphone has altered the market — you no longer need kiosks or readers, the smartphone is a multifactor edge device” for biometric authentication, said Tom Grissen, CEO of Daon, the Fairfax, Va. software company that developed the biometric technology with USAA (Daon is working on similar projects with several large banks).

Decades of improvements in voice and facial recognition are also helping reduce false negatives and friction — facial recognition takes two seconds. And a growing exasperation with forgotten, lost or stolen passwords may drive people toward face- or voice-based logins.

“Four out of five end customers who have experienced the technology prefer it over a PIN or password,” Grissen said.

By Penny Crosman – American Banker –

Gallup CEO: Full-Time Jobs Number Lowest It’s Ever Been

Gallup CEO and Chairman Jim Clifton doubled-down on his comments earlier in the week on the misleading Obama unemployment rate.

Obama says the unemployment rate is 5.6% which is very misleading.

Clifton went on America’s Newsroom today to explain the misleading government numbers. (Video included)

“The number of full-time jobs, and that’s what everybody wants, as a percent of the total population, is the lowest it’s ever been… The other thing that is very misleading about that number is the more people that drop out, the better the number gets. In the recession we lost 13 million jobs. Only 3 million have come back. You don’t see that in that number. “

The real Obama unemployment rate is above 10%

By Jim Hoft – The Gateway Pundit –

FREE DR. KENT HOVIND

Not a night goes by when I do not think about it as I craw in my warm bed beside my sweet wife of 35 years.

“Will this be the night that the black limos pull in my driveway? Is this the night that the SWAT Team goons bust down my door and haul me off to the slammer?”

I am being dead serious. I really do think about it every night because that is what they did to Dr. Kent Hovind.

Permit me to say right up front that I have no intention of committing suicide. I am madly in love with my wife, enjoy the time I spend with family and friends, and look forward to watching my grandchildren grow up around my feet.

To the best of my ability I obey the laws of the nation, no matter how tyrannical I believe some of them to be, while I do my best to speak the Truth in such a way as my Savior would be honored by my life.

But my outspoken style rubs many the wrong way, especially those who hold positions in the Government. Every time I type a word on my keyboard I wonder just who is going to be offended by what I say and across who’s desk will my commentary be passed.

George Washington said, “Government is not reason, nor eloquence. It is force. And like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearsome master.” The IRS has ruined Dr. Kent Hovind’s life.

It is a sad time in America when we are in fear of our government. You need look no further than what Lois Lerner did with the hammer of the IRS. We are all just one audit away from destruction.

Does anyone really understand the tax code? Do you ever think twice when filing your tax returns as to whether or not your deductions and write-offs are in full compliance with the IRS code? How do you defend yourself from such a maize of tax-law and an army of government bureaucrats?

When government reaches the point where they profit off of law-breaking we have reached a dangerous place. Government should be about seeking “justice” not enforcing laws. Today, law-breaking is big business for the government.

Once the government finds out that they can increase their largess by “fining” citizens for code violations we can only expect more code violations will be levied.

Prison is a place for violent, hardened criminals. It is not a place for people who simply violate codes statutes, and ordinances. Sentencing to prison a non-violent individual simply for breaking a “law” is inhuman. It is, in fact, a life sentence in that it destroys the perpetrator, the family, and the financial future of the family. The punishment does not fit the crime. Restitution…paying back the victim plus damages…is the solution spelled out in the Bible.

Kent Hovind is a perfect example of the tyranny of the legal system. Known lovingly as Dr. Dino because of his affinity for dinosaurs, he is one of the nations foremost apologist for Creation Science. The internet is full of free videos of him presenting seminars where he destroys the phony science of evolution….

But this week, Dr. Dino has just completed his 99th month in Federal Prison for what the government claims was violation of the IRS tax code….

In many ways Kent Hovind is a political prisoner. It was what you would expect in a communist country like North Korea.

While in jail Dr. Hovind has led thousands to saving faith in Jesus Christ. He conducts 4 Bible studies a day for the inmates. He has written 37 books. He has been married for 40 years. He has grandchildren that he has never held.

Meanwhile Al Sharpton is invited to the White House, and hosts his own television show on MSNBC while owing over $4.5 million in taxes. Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner got off Scot-free by blaming Turbo Tax….

By Coach Dave Daubenmire – News With View –

Why We Got What We Got

“In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happened, you can bet it was planned that way.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Democrat) 32nd President of the USA: 1933 to 1945

“The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.” — Woodrow Wilson, (Progressive Movement Leader) 28th President of the USA: 1913 to 1921

“I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.” — Douglas MacArthur World War II American Five Star General

“I never would have agreed to the formulation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in forty-seven [1947], if I had known it would become the American Gestapo.” — Harry S. Truman, 33rd U.S. President: 1945 to 1953

“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.” — Patrick Henry, a Colonial era Patriot

“The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.” — J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI 1924 to 1972

“The real rulers of Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes.” — Felix Frankfurter, Supreme Court Justice 1939 to 1962

“Sarah, there’s a government inside the government and I don’t control it.” — Bill Clinton (Democrat) 42nd President of the USA: 1993 to 2001

“The age of nations must end. The governments of nations have decided to order their separate sovereignties into one government to which they will surrender their arms.” — U.N. World Constitution

“We shall have world government, whether or not we like it. The only question is whether World Government will be achieved by conquest or consent.” — James Paul Warburg, German-born American banker and financial adviser to President FDR

“A colossal event is upon us, the birth of a New World Order.” — Brent Scowcroft, George H.W. Bush’s National Security Adviser

“In this new world economy, national boundaries are increasingly becoming obsolete.” — Ronald Reagan (Republican) 40th President of the USA: 1981 to 1989

“The main purpose of the Council on Foreign Relations is promoting the disarmament of U.S. sovereignty and national independence and submergence into an all-powerful, one world government.” — Admiral Chester Ward, Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Navy, also a 20-year CFR member, who became its sharpest critic

Who controls money controls the world.

“NAFTA is a major stepping stone to the New World Order.” — Henry Kissinger, a Republican politico

“The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight-of-hand that was ever invented.” — Sir Josiah Stamp 1920, Director of the Bank of England

“The one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debts.” — Henry Ford, Industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company

“The only winner today is big business.” — Stonewall Jackson, supposedly said the day of concession to the North during the Civil War….

It would seem that President Barack Obama is being saddled with venomous blame for the current state of affairs in the Unites States of America. And, that the Democratic Party is being blamed for everything that’s gone wrong. If you remember, Mr. Obama said it was all Bush’s fault! Well, this writer is here to propose that what’s been going on has been in the works for much longer than we know, as the apparent quotations from men in history have spoken to and which, apparently, has been ignored. Shame on us! I guess that’s what we get when we follow pop stars and TV sitcoms as more important than dirty politics, political shenanigans and spoon-fed, controlled media propaganda.

First, let me confess that I’m a registered Independent voter, who believes in being an equal-opportunity-critic to address whatever I think doesn’t pass constitutional muster.

It is my opinion that the current Democratic Obama administration is just the follow through on what’s been put into place shortly after the Kennedy assassination and, even more dramatically, since that fateful day known as 9-11 (2001).

Furthermore, it is my contention that things ramped up several critical notches when President Reagan took a bullet and lived. During that ‘national emergency’, Vice-President George H.W. Bush took over for several hours, during which I think the screws not only were set in place, but tightened to torque capacities for the incoming Agenda 21 that was being worked on under the radar….

Catherine J. Frompovich – Activist Post –

Congress must stop the FCC taxation of internet

The FCC is going to ignore the facts, law, and economics in order to reverse two decades of successful free-market Internet policy.

Why? Because Obama told them to.

It doesn’t matter to the FCC that over 800,000 of us urged them not to do it.

It doesn’t matter to the FCC that Republicans in Congress offered a compromise that gave Obama everything he said he wanted.

Three unelected Democrats at the FCC will issue an order on February 26 to reduce the Internet to a heavily-taxed, heavily-regulated public utility.

This is the same group whose founder once explained: “The ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”

This will be challenged in court. But that will take years and it’s impossible to predict how it will turn out….

From AmericanCommitment.org –

History of Money and Usury in America

….[W]e are being taken for a ride, laboring for little or no return by a band of international criminals through our elected officials and educators. The process of how they pull this off keeping the vast majority in the dark as to how they do it requires us to learn some economics terminology. As a rule, this is a vapid study ; but by condensing the fundamentals of money creation, the entire subject can become understandable to anyone.

We could drive the moneychangers out of the temple now ; but
which school of thinking would we replace them with when they
are removed? Do we have a clear enough vision that would
enable us to institute an alternative that will work for the common
good? Attempts have been made to throw the moneychangers out
of the temple several times in American history ; but the
objectives were unobtainable without first considering that usury
is at the root of their power ; and consequently it has always
ended with the evil side winning. To win, it will be necessary to
be as strong-willed as Andrew Jackson was during the ‘Bank
Wars’ of the 1830s when he vetoed legislation to renew the
Second Bank of the United States. The assassination attempt on
his life was thwarted. But two other presidents whose
administrations denied the bankers their pound of flesh in usury
on money creations did not survive. So this battle with bankers over usury has always turned sanguinary. Educating a critical
mass of the population will be a necessary component in this
conflict ; so we must first learn all about the disease before
entering the struggle to implement the only correct cure.

Money and Usury….

Most money is created as interest bearing debt by banks and has
been for well over three hundred years. When the Federal Reserve Act was passed giving ownership of a new banking institution known as the Federal Reserve to a privately owned cartel of international bankers, Congress transferred its constitutional authority to create our money to this privately owned corporation. Proof that this authority belongs to Congress is presented further on in this paper. Several forms of money in use are as follows:

Coins are minted by the United States government. Our government pays no interest to anyone for Coins. They are stamped and dated at various US Mint locations and released into the currency stream at authorized Fed member banks, including credit unions that are also licensed to operate as banking functionaries. Coins make up an insignificant amount of the M1 money supply; and they are legal tender for all debts, public and private. [1]

Paper currency (presently Federal Reserve Notes) is also legal
tender. Paper currency has been around since Colonial times in
America. The Chinese printed paper currency during the 11th
century. Bank notes as paper currency were common during mid
19th century America. They were redeemable for specie (gold coin) at private banks. At various other times public paper currency has circulated under different names. Gold backed
paper currency was in use in America prior to and at the
beginning of the Federal Reserve until 1933 when FDR took
America off the gold standard. It was from then on no longer
possible for individual Americans to demand gold (specie) in
return for their paper currency.
But with all these technical distinctions that the various forms
money have taken on, it is imperative to understand that all of
them constitute the means by which people are able to rid
themselves of a primitive barter system. [2]

There is nothing inherently evil in using money as a medium of
exchange ; but the way in which money is presently created
guarantees that all people will continue to remain under high
finance’s debt oppression. The parasites of high finance have used one tool exclusively to feed their insatiable appetites for more and more money: it is usury in money creation. Money, to the parasites, has consequently become a fungible rather than what it simply should be: a medium of exchange. We shall explore this line of reasoning further in this essay.

Gold…

The purveyors of gold backed money (formerly called gold
brokers [3]) are still with us. Their hue and cry is forever against the use of unbacked paper currency. They call it fiat money. [4]

One web site where anyone can read their gold propaganda is at
www.lewrockwell.com . Active educators and elected
officials involved in this web site should be well known by all.
Two of them are Gary North and Ron Paul. Fiat money to these
two is a derogatory term. We should always be alert to their advertising devices. North’s twisting of the plain intent on usury that the Bible teaches leads unsophisticated Christians into believing false paradigms….

By Daniel S. Krynicki – Breaking All The Rules –

Rothschild’s $500 Trillion: Not On Forbes’ 500 List!

“Are you fighting for your servitude as if for your salvation? Then you have been well-deceived. You have been sheeple-compromised. Your thoughts are not your own. Your actions are not your own. You are in all ways a conditioned puppet who is under the delusion that it is free, and the psychopaths of the world are your uncompromising puppet masters.” –Gary ‘Z’ McGee, Waking Times

Every few months for the last couple of years, a new story pops up declaring the “official” wealth gap — the one most public sources will admit to — is getting wider and wider at a faster and faster rate.

This is the real economic crisis.

The wealth gap in America, for example, is insane these days.

Just 10 percent of Americans own 91 percent of the nation’s stocks and mutual funds, according to economist Edward Wolff (Table 7). Most of the remainder is held by a “middle class” that is steadily losing ground. The bottom 60 percent is almost entirely shut out (Table 2).

Stock owners, some of whom made billions of dollars last year, can defer their income taxes indefinitely, pay a reduced capital gains tax when they decide to cash in, or pass on the capital gains tax-free to their heirs…

$2 of every $5 owned today was created in the last five years, most of it from the financial markets, and almost all of it going to the richest 10 percent.

Unfathomably, the richest 1 percent took anywhere from 95 percent to 116 percent of the new income gains after the recession. Yes, 116 percent, because almost everyone else went backwards. Median wealth dropped about 40 percent from 2007 to 2013.

And it just keeps getting worse. Remember that big report that came out last year about how the 85 richest people in the world — only 85 people — own as much wealth as the bottom 3.5 BILLION poorest? This isn’t set up to let more people get in the club fake American Dream style either. Only people who are still asleep believe that.

No, the elite are closing ranks. The report about the 85 versus 3.5 billion came out in January 2014. It was quickly followed up by a new report just a couple months later that it was down to a mere 67 people… sixty-seven people… who own more than the bottom half of everybody in the whole entire world.

By Melissa Melton – Activist Post –

EMBEDDED AND INSTITUTIONALIZED IRS CORRUPTION

As we continue our articles on corruption it has become readily apparent that there is almost nowhere to stop, in that waste, fraud, abuse and corruption are not ancillary to government, they are part and parcel of it. Most of the federal bureaucracies have not only grown into powers unto themselves with little oversight, they embody this culture of waste, fraud, abuse and corruption. This is the peril that each new nation faces as it ages, especially if the citizenry is wholly apathetic, as most Americans are today.

None in the list of the ever-growing federal bureaucracies epitomizes this waste, fraud, abuse and corruption more than the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Its power to collect or to incarcerate, by virtually any means is almost absolute. As many Americans have found out the hard way, challenges to IRS power are met with silence, or the intransigence, arrogance and corruption of America’s judicial system that have become pitch hitters and enablers of IRS corruption, overreach and abuse. We wrote about this judicial corruption in our last article entitled:

“Corruption, Collusion and Cronyism, America’s Judicial System”

The history of the IRS is checkered at best and much of the blame of what the IRS has become can be laid directly at the feet of the U. S. Congress. Since its creation out of the 16th Amendment in 1913, the IRS Act was reconstituted every two years by Congressional legislation. Then in 1939, the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) was codified into statute under 26 USC. Several machinations and revisions to the code took place in the 50’s, then again in the 80’s and once more in the 90’s. Congress has toyed with it, manipulated it, revised it and bastardized it at almost every Congressional session with new laws to placate some special interest group, advance some social goal, or enhance some business interest.

The Treasury Department and the IRS itself have added to this congressional injustice by piling rule on top of rule in the IRC with no attempt to remove the conflicts or the ambiguities. With Obama Care now being tied to it, the IRC has virtually made slaves of every single American that believes they must comply with its twisted, mangled, distorted, confusing and conflicting regulations.

The controversy surrounding the IRS and its underhanded tactics to collect the revenue needed to operate the government is never ending. Worse than that, the IRS is being used as a political weapon by this and past administrations. It’s not just the Lois Lerner’s in the IRS. It’s an embedded culture of corrupted power throughout the agency.

Attempts to get to the bottom of its corruption by Congressional oversight are stonewalled by the IRS, the Treasury Department, the Justice Department and the White House, thereby allowing the IRS to continue its illegal and abusive tactics unimpeded. No one is fined, fired, or sent to jail. As the IRS stonewalls, the questions surrounding the legality of the Internal Revenue Code rage on….

By Ron Ewart – News With Views –

Senate GOP demands Obama submit IRS communications

Senate Republicans on Thursday asked President Obama to turn over all communications he and his aides have had with the IRS since 2010, hoping to find out whether the tax collection agency shared private taxpayer information with political operatives at the White House.

The request, made in a letter obtained by The Washington Times, is signed by Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch and all 13 other Republicans on the committee, and is addressed specifically to Mr. Obama, saying they want to see if his employees broke the law by acquiring or sharing private information.

“We have an obligation to conduct oversight of the federal government’s administration of our tax laws,” the lawmakers wrote. “As part of this oversight, we are seeking to determine the degree to and manner in which the Internal Revenue Service shares taxpayer information with the Executive Office of the President.”

The Republicans said they tried to get the information from the IRS, but it has been “unable to provide a full accounting of its employees’ communications with the White House.” The GOP senators gave the president a Feb. 20 deadline.

The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment.

By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times –

Obama demands more taxes, record spending

President Obama said Monday he will reject any budget from Congress that doesn’t boost spending on both defense and his own domestic priorities, saying the spending “sequesters” need to go.

“America can’t afford being short-sighted and I’m not going to allow it,” the president said while speaking at the Homeland Security Department as he released his $4 trillion budget for fiscal 2016.

His budget calls for boosting discretionary spending by more than 6 percent, and raising taxes to pay for it.

Those proposals have been panned on Capitol Hill, where Republicans control both the House and Senate and have rejected the president’s vision of using the tax system to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor.

….[T]hey’re still fighting over homeland security spending for fiscal 2015…. The fight between Mr. Obama and Congress centers on his deportation amnesty….

By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times –

9 Warning Signs: The Coming Death Of Our Nation

Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once observed “the farther backwards you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see” and for those of us who ARE looking backwards at the histories of many fallen empires through time, it’s inevitable that we can come to only one conclusion: the United States has entered the end stages all empires go through.

In the brand new video below from E. A. Mourn we take a look at the 9 key warning signs that signal the fall of nations and can clearly see that, as most Christians understand, we have entered a time in history when our world has degraded to an evil place and we’re advised to heed the word of Paul in Philippians 4:13 who said “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.”

We see that America has now achieved all 9 key warning signs that signal our fall including: 1) The deterioration of our nation’s moral core; 2) Invasion from within; 3) Extreme dependence upon the government; 4) The demise of a once powerful military; 5) Economic collapse; 6) The state’s manipulation of religions; 7) Excessive taxation; 8) Extreme deviance and 9) Rampant government corruption.

By Live Free Or Die – All News Pipeline –

Operation Choke Point strangling gun dealers at banks

Banned from financial services that are essential to running a business, firearms sellers attending the world’s largest gun exhibition last week in Las Vegas spoke out against the government’s controversial program known as Operation Choke Point.

“We continue to hear from dealers and others in our industry that suddenly, out of the blue, they have been cut off by financial services or credit card processors or banks,” said Larry Keane, Senior Vice President of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

We continue to hear from dealers and others in our industry that suddenly, out of the blue, they have been cut off by financial services.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, which exists to protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports industry, is conducting a phone survey of over 7,000 of its members to determine the extent to which Operation Choke Point is affecting their industry. He said:

“This is a direct result of the Department of Justice initiative, through the [Federal Depositors Insurance Corporation], to pressure financial institutions to stop doing business with legitimate law-abiding federally-licensed firearms dealers.”

As The Daily Signal previously reported, gun sellers allege that they are being explicitly prohibited from using payment systems such as PayPal and Square to process credit card transactions.

By Kelsey Harkness – The Daily Signal –

250 Bible Verses About Money

Here are 250 Bible verses for financial advice. Topics include acquisition of wealth, budgeting, business, contentment, debt, ethics, giving, greed, investing, lending, and more.

Proverbs 6:6-8
Go to the ant, sluggard; consider her ways and be wise; who having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provides her food in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest.

Proverbs 21:5
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenty; but the thoughts of everyone who is hasty only to poverty.

Proverbs 22:3
A prudent one foresees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.

Proverbs 24:3-4
Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms shall be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

From Christian Personal Finance –

We’re No. 12! Report: U.S. Not Among Top Nations for Economic Freedom

The United States does not rank among the Top 10 countries in the world for economic freedom, according to the Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Index of Economic Freedom.

Instead, the U..S. ranked only 12th–after Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Estonia, Ireland, Mauritius, and Denmark.

Estonia was formerly a part of the Soviet Union.

The Index rates economic freedom for countries on 10 quantitative and qualitative factors that are based on four pillars of freedom: rule of law, limited government, regulatory efficiency and open markets.

“Each of the ten economic freedoms within these categories is graded on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall score is derived by averaging these ten economic freedoms, with equal weight being given to each,” according to the Index.

While the United States’ ranking in the Index has remained unchanged over the year, its score has improved slightly.

“The United States’ economic freedom score is 76.2, making its economy the 12th freest in the 2015 Index,” states the report. “Its score is 0.7 point higher than last year, with modest gains in six of the 10 economic freedoms, including control of government spending, outweighing a slight decline in business freedom.”

“Although the precipitous downward spiral in U.S. economic freedom since 2008 has come to a halt in the 2015 Index, a 1.6-point decline in overall economic freedom over the past five years reflects broad-based deteriorations in key policy areas, particularly those related to upholding the rule of law and limited government,” states the report.

When President Obama took office in 2009, the United States ranked sixth for economic freedom. Now in 2015, the United States has fallen by six to 12th place….

By Ali Meyer – CNS News –

Bill Gates Pushes Cashless Society

Bill Gates is now promoting “digital currency” in third-world countries, which will make the poor even more dependent on central banks while also turning them into guinea pigs for the development of a “cashless society” in the U.S. and Europe.

Gates outlined his plan for a cashless society in a letter published Thursday in which he proposed the poor have better access to mobile phones so they can store their financial assets digitally instead of keeping hard currency at home.

“The key to this will be mobile phones,” he wrote. “Already, in the developing countries with the right regulatory framework, people are storing money digitally on their phones and using their phones to make purchases, as if they were debit cards.”

“By 2030, two billion people who don’t have a bank account today will be storing money and making payment with their phones.”

But this will only enslave the poor into an electronic monetary system they don’t control, allowing central banks and the government unparalleled ability to confiscate money at will through taxes and “bail-ins.”

For example, after Cyprus’s largest bank was sunk from exposure to debt-crippled Greece, the Cypriot government looted people’s bank accounts in 2013 as part of a “bail-in” program with the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

“If you can do this once, you can do it again,” financial analyst Lars Seier Christensen wrote, who called the “bail-in” full-blown socialism. “If you can confiscate 10% of a bank customer’s money, you can confiscate 25, 50 or even 100%.”

By Kit Daniels – Infowars –

QE…D: Why Printing Money will end badly for the US

You may have heard the news, the European Central Bank has started up the printing press. They are soon to print upwards of €60 Billion a month. The crowds of economic pundits have collectively cheered. Ireland stands to enjoy significant near term benefits, but at what cost?

They speak of lower government borrowing costs for new debt, by lowering funding costs and thus the hurdle that projects must meet to become viable. They believe our exchange rate will fall and our goods will be come cheaper abroad. US products and services will be flying off the shelves, etc. Well, it is an absolute nonsense. Yes there will be short term benefits. Any time you give a liquidity jolt you temporarily relieve pressure. But the longer term risks are far, far greater, now that the act of QE has been taken. Essentially the technocrats have short circuited the capitalist system which continuously prices risk based on perceived repayment risks and cost of funds. This is a road to ruin as returns become obscured by official and politically motivated credit flows.

They will argue that deflation is a threat and must be tackled early before it takes hold. This is a smoke screen. The deflation we are experiencing is spotty and multi faceted and is primarily being driven by lower oil prices which are a global phenomena, not a purely European one. Secondly oil prices have already begun to stabilize and if anything are likely to drift higher from here. Don’t get me wrong deflation is a very dangerous condition and can lead to a vicious negative feedback vortex to a state of depression. But we are no where near that level of risk or type of deflation.

The thing is it is being sold as a low risk, one way bet. Worryingly, there has been no talk of the actual cost or the ramifications of this new measure.

So who pays? Someone has to, you can not just create money out of thin air. The answer is “we do, you and I”, in the form of a devalued: currency, diminished savings and devaluing pensions.

The ECB was always going to to launch Quantitative Easing whether it wanted to our not. Once the Fed, BOJ, BOE launched their programs in 2008 it was only a matter of time. We are in a era of global competitive currency devaluation were desperate governments must devalue currencies in order to spur domestic growth by improving the value of exports.

The problem with QE or money printing is it is a like a Pandora’s box. Once it is opened it can never be put away again. There will, now, always be an easy way out of every economic issue. All interested parties will now be able to eye this short term financing tool as away of solving short term issues. The Euro will likely morph into the Lira over time.

QE is not actually the creation of money, not in real terms. What it is is the reallocation of the monetary pool from those that have a share to those that do not. All they have done is to devalue the Euro’s held by duplicating and allocating the new Euros to central banks. The Central Banks will in turn buy junk assets off commercial banks and government bonds all in return for cash.

The hope is that the banks will lend the new cash to businesses who will employ people and in doing so add productivity and value to the economy, increasing bank earnings and taxes and wealth.

But the banks will not do that. They will hold the money….

In short what we are seeing is the wholesale capture of the monetary system by special interests and the mass confiscation of wealth from pensioners and savers to governments and government proxies. I fear that we have just passed a monetary Rubicon that may eventually undermine the very basic social contract of our capitalist system: work hard and you will prosper.

It will take time for the effects of this to be felt but the gates have been well and truly opened and from now on we are only as strong as our weakest political masters at their weakest moment. Those actors will surely plunder this monetary tool….

By Admin – GoldCore.com –

Monsanto earnings fall 34% after global protests

Monsanto said Wednesday its earnings fell 34% in its first fiscal quarter, as South American farmers cut back on planting corn, reducing demand for the company’s biotech-enhanced seeds.

US farmers harvested record crops of soybeans and corn last year, sending prices on those food staples to their lowest levels in years. That has resulted in farmers in South America and elsewhere reducing the number of acres they dedicate to corn. Monsanto said its business was also affected by reduced cotton planting in Australia.

The agriculture products company’s revenue fell more than 8% to $2.87bn in the period, on lower sales of corn seeds and herbicide. Analysts expected $2.96bn, according to Zacks.

The St Louis-based company reported a profit of $243m, or 50 cents per share, down from $368m, or 69 cents per share in the same period last year.

Earnings, adjusted to account for discontinued operations, came to 47 cents per share in the most recent quarter.

Even with the fall in earnings, the results topped Wall Street expectations….

Monsanto shares have decreased nearly 3% since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has climbed slightly more than 8%. The stock has increased slightly in the last 12 months.

The food conglomerate has been at the center of controversy over its genetically-modified seeds for some time, with the focus intensifying in the US last year with marches against the firm and a “Millions Against Monsanto” campaign….

From The Guardian –

Bank CEOs are the New Drug Lords

Bank CEOs are the New Drug Lords. Here is a list of some of the banks managed by Bank CEOs, aka the new Drug Lords, that were fined billions of dollars for fixing LIBOR rates and stealing money from clients: Lloyds Bank, RP Martin, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Société Générale, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Barclays, United Bank of Switzerland and Rabobank. Here is a list of some of the banks in which the Bank Lords fixed FX rates and are currently negotiating fine amounts with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): Citigroup, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, JP Morgan and United Bank of Switzerland. HSBC had to pay nearly $2B in fines after its Bank CEO was allegedly caught overseeing the laundering of $7B in drug money for the notoriously violent and ruthless Sinaloa drug cartel among other Mexican drug cartels and committing a wide array of other crimes like laundering $290MM from Russian mobsters that told HSBC bankers that their vast profits came from a “used car business”. I say “allegedly caught”, because every time this happens, the bank CEO, in this case, HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver, inevitably denies ever knowing that the cartel he was overseeing was laundering dirty blood money. The Bank Lords issue these ridiculous denials despite the fact that every independent investigator not on a Bank’s payroll that investigates banks’ money laundering schemes arrive at the same conclusion as Jose Luis Marmolejo, the former head of the Mexican attorney general’s financial crimes unit: “[The money laundering] went on too long and [the bank CEOS] made too much money not to have known.” And what about HSBC’s $2B assessed fine for laundering this blood money? In response to meaningless fines like this that never change banker behavior, Martin Woods, former senior anti-money laundering officer at Wachovia bank, implored, “What does the settlement do to fight the cartels? Nothing – it doesn’t make the job of law enforcement easier and it encourages the cartels and anyone who wants to make money by laundering their blood dollars. Where’s the risk? There is none.“ That is why HSBC is not the only cartel that houses bankers who have been caught laundering blood money in recent years. Wachovia Bank, Citigroup, Banco Santander, and Bank of America bankers have all been caught leading their banks in participation of this dirty deed as well. According to Paul Campo, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s financial crimes unit, drug traffickers used Bank of America to finance their drug smuggling operations for 10 tons of cocaine and laundered drug money through Bank of America accounts in Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, and Brownsville, TX from 2002 to 2009.

So how do Bank Lords get away with their dirty deeds scot-free? This month, explosive evidence contained in 47.5 hours of secret recordings from Goldman Sachs whistleblower and former New York Federal Reserve employee Carmen Segarra provides the answers we already knew. Bank Lords have been buying off judges and regulators after already buying off cops (JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon “Gifts” Largest Donation Ever to NYPD of $4.6MM). When Fed regulators asked Segarra to alter minutes of meetings in which Goldman Sachs bankers’ immoral behavior was discussed in order to cover up the truth and to lie about the content of these meetings, Segarra decided to secretly record her meetings with her bosses. Below are some of the revelations contained in the transcripts of those secret recordings:

In one meeting Segarra attended, a Goldman employee expressed the view that “once clients are wealthy enough, certain consumer laws don’t apply to them.”

After that meeting, Segarra turned to a fellow Fed regulator and expressed how surprised she was by that statement — to which the regulator replied, “You didn’t hear that.”

When Segarra discovered multiple conflicts of interest in Goldman Sachs deals between Goldman Sachs bankers and their clients that led to deals being struck that would be the equivalent of insider trading in the stock market and consequently discovered Goldman Sachs had no “conflict of interest” policy, her boss harassed her and demanded of Segarra, “Why do you have to say there’s no policy?”

When Segarra complained to her legal and compliance manager, Jonathon Kim, of how her discoveries were being handled and told Kim that “even when I explain to [my superiors at the New York Federal Reserve] what my evidence is, they won’t even listen”, Kim reacted in an equally morally bankrupt manner as Segarra’s superiors, advising Segarra “to be patient” and to “bite her tongue.”

So now that we know that Bank Lords buy out morally-challenged regulators, cops and judges in return for carte-blanche to continue committing crimes, rig markets to collect undeserved and unearned kickbacks, and launder drug cartel money from violent cartels that murder 10,000 people a year (the Sinaloa drug cartel), is there really even a line in the sand that separates Bank Lords and Drug Lords, or have Bank Lords become the new Drug Lords?

By JS Kim – A Nation Beguiled –

Preview Obama’s State of the Union Speech

From calls for more infrastructure spending to a free community college push to another tax hike scheme, the highlight reel from President Obama’s looming State of the Union address shows him charging into his final two years in office with little heed for the results of the midterms.

The Republican takeover of the Senate last November — and the party’s historic gains in the House — for a short time fueled speculation that the president might entertain a more conciliatory approach with Congress.

But within weeks, the president announced sweeping changes to immigration policy via executive action. Then, he vowed to veto a slew of bills from the new Congress, including one to undo those executive actions. And now, his State of the Union address leaves little doubt that Obama, as he told Senate Democrats last week, plans to play “offense” against the GOP-led Congress.

The latest plank of his 2015 agenda was unveiled Saturday night, and calls for more than $300 billion in new tax increases over the next 10 years, to pay for middle class tax credits and his community college plan, among other programs.

Already, Republicans are describing the plan as a “non-starter” with the new Congress….

From Fox News & Associated Press –

What’s really behind the steep drop in oil prices?

Gas prices have fallen far, and quickly. But don’t celebrate yet. It’s a manipulated price and behind the manipulation are some horrific trends.

Saudi Arabia’s producers can break even selling oil at $20 per barrel. Most others, like those in the USA, cannot. It is a price war closing wells.

By David Knight – Infowars.com –

27 Facts Show How Middle Class Has Fared Under Obama

During his State of the Union speech on Tuesday evening, Barack Obama is going to promise to make life better for middle class families. Of course he has also promised to do this during all of his other State of the Union addresses, but apparently he still believes that there are people out there that are buying what he is selling. Each January, he gets up there and tells us how the economy is “turning around” and to believe that much brighter days are right around the corner. And yet things just continue to get even worse for the middle class. The numbers that you are about to see will not be included in Obama’s State of the Union speech. They don’t fit the “narrative” that Obama is trying to sell to the American people. But all of these statistics are accurate. They paint a picture of a middle class that is dying. Yes, the decline of the U.S. middle class is a phenomenon that has been playing out for decades. But without a doubt, our troubles have accelerated during the Obama years. When it comes to economics, he is completely and utterly clueless, and the policies that he has implemented are eating away at the foundations of our economy like a cancer. The following are 27 facts that show how the middle class has fared under 6 years of Barack Obama…

#1 American families in the middle 20 percent of the income scale now earn less money than they did on the day when Barack Obama first entered the White House.

#2 American families in the middle 20 percent of the income scale have a lower net worth than they did on the day when Barack Obama first entered the White House.

#3 According to a Washington Post article published just a few days ago, more than 50 percent of the children in U.S. public schools now come from low income homes. This is the first time that this has happened in at least 50 years.

#4 According to a Census Bureau report that was recently released, 65 percent of all children in the United States are living in a home that receives some form of aid from the federal government.

#5 In 2008, the total number of business closures exceeded the total number of businesses being created for the first time ever, and that has continued to happen every single year since then.

By Michael Snyder – The Economic Collapse –

No more asset seizure: Eric Holder bans controversial ‘war on drugs’ tactic

State and local police in the United States will no longer be able to use federal laws to justify seizing property without evidence of a crime, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday.

The practice of local police taking property, including cash and cars, from people that they stop, and of handing it over to federal authorities, became common during the country’s war on drugs in the 1980s.

Holder cited “safeguarding civil liberties” as a reason for the change in policy.

The order directs federal agencies who have collected property during such seizures to withdraw their participation, except if the items collected could endanger the public, as in the case of firearms.

By Julia Edwards – Raw Story –

Smoking Gun? Tape Recordings Reveal Reason Bank Closed Gun Seller’s Account

Another gun seller says his firearms business was forced to shut down its bank account as a result of the government’s secretive initiative known as Operation Choke Point.

This time, he’s offering audio recordings to prove it.

Mike Schuetz is a former state employee who worked as a probation and parole officer for eight years in Hawkins, Wis.

After working for the state, he told Breitbart News that he decided to open a private investigation business and operate a gun store on the side.

His store, Hawkins Guns LLC, sells both firearms and ammunition.

To manage his finances, Schuetz set up a business account with Heritage Credit Union located in Hawkins.

On Nov. 13, 2014, Hawkins Guns LLC posted this message on its Facebook page about the credit union’s decision to close its business account:

“Sorry I had to close this afternoon shortly. You will never guess why? I received a call from Heritage Credit Union in Hawkins, where I set up my business account for Hawkins Guns. They told me I had to close the account because they do not service companies that deal in guns. This is just a back door way for those wanting to infringe upon your rights to keep and bear arms and is nothing more than discrimination to gun owners. I have closed the account and am going to a more freedom loving bank to give my business. This will delay my ability to accept credit cards, but in time all will be straightened out. I would highly suggest questioning who you are allowing to house your hard earned money. If you choose to close an account there let them know why!”

In an audio recording released by Schuetz, a Heritage Credit Union bank teller told him: “We have to answer to the examiners. Whoever they are.”

Schuetz wasn’t satisfied with that response and asked to speak with a manager about why the bank was closing an account for a legal and legitimate business.

A regional manager explained to Schuetz that federal examiners came into Heritage Credit Union to perform “an exam on everything.”

Schuetz recorded a series of conversations and phone calls between himself and employees at Heritage Credit Union. The U.S. Consumer Coalition posted audio of those recordings….

By Kelsey Harkness – The Daily Signal –

Fuzzy Math in Unemployment Statistics

The Department of Labor announced that 252,000 new jobs were added to the U.S. economy in December. The Obama Administration is trying to pander to voters by touting a recent decline in government unemployment figures, but the official unemployment figure is dishonest because it excludes from the count the million unemployed Americans who have given up looking for a job. You don’t count as “unemployed” unless you are actively looking for a job.

Prospects are especially dismal for those who have been out of work for a half-year or more. A shocking 31.9 percent of the unemployed, about 2.8 million, have been out of work for 27 or more weeks, and that figure remained virtually unchanged last month despite rosy claims by the Obama Administration.

You would never know that by listening to spokesmen for the Obama Administration. Obama’s administration claims that unemployment has fallen to 5.6 percent. In fact, the more accurate U-6 unemployment rate was twice as high, 11.2 percent for December.

Once someone is out of work for an extended period of time, it becomes nearly impossible to get a decent job. Studies show that after eight months of being out of work, the likelihood of being called back for an interview declines to less than 50 percent.

This is what allows Obama to prevaricate about so-called falling unemployment rates. The more people who drop out of the workforce entirely, the lower is the official unemployment rate.

Why is the real rate of unemployment so high, why are wages stagnant, and why don’t Democrats or Republicans address this fundamental jobs issue instead of misleading the public about the figures and relying on more taxpayer programs and benefits?

The sorry answer is that Republicans and Democrats in Congress are following the Chamber of Commerce game plan: bring in more cheap labor to keep wages low. Economics 101 still teaches that the law of supply and demand works and a large supply of labor keeps wages low.

Obama facilitates this game plan by illegally admitting illegal aliens, and some Republicans want to expand guest worker visas at all levels (the well-educated by H-1B visas, the low-paid by calling them “guest workers,” or farm workers).

By Phyllis Schlafly – Eagle Forum –

IRS: Budget cuts may result in late refunds or shutdowns

Shockingly the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John A. Koskinen warned of a drastic reduction in services, due to budget cuts, likely leading to a major loss in revenue and delayed tax refunds for all Americans.

That’s right people, the IRS is essentially beginning to go bankrupt.

In fact accountants all across America are finding themselves dumbfounded that they can’t reach the IRS on the telephone to answer general questions and have even been forced to send documents in via snail mail (U.S. mail) as services have already been diminished.

Additionally “lengthy delays” in all departments may be in store as Koskien also warned of shutdowns which may cause the U.S. Government to lose up to “$2 billion in revenue” this season as reported by Forbes.

Interestingly enough this all is actually taking place following the release of a satirical piece, which was posted by National Review about 4 month, causing quite the controversy amongst readers. Now, after the Commissioner’s announcement, it looks as if the satirical piece may have had some credence to it as the IRS is following nearly lockstep to the author’s imagination. However, rest assured the current situation is real and delays are truly in the works.

By Shepard Ambellas – Intellihub –

The US Retail Industry is Collapsing

Shopping malls across America are going to look a whole lot emptier soon. An exodus of giant retailers is beginning with the announcement of hundreds of store closures and thousands of people newly unemployed.

The first of January, I broke with my usual tradition and wrote not about positive resolutions, but about the impending rockslide of the US economy. And “rockslide” is an apt word: as one thing starts rolling down the mountain, it will pick up other things until a veritable avalanche of other businesses and people are affected and rolling pell-mell right alongside.

Last year, we saw announcements of the expected closure of some retail giants….

Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there. This morning, a World News Daily report announced:

Macy’s is closing 14 of its 790 stores across the country.

JCPenney is closing 39 of its stores and laying off 2,250 workers.

Sears has been around for 122 years, but it, too, is closing 235 under-performing stores.

C. Wonder, the preppy retailer, is going out of business, closing all 11 of its U.S. stores in the next few weeks.

Wet Seal is closing 338 retail stores while dealing with bankruptcy proceedings. Nearly 3,700 full- and part-time workers will be unemployed.

Aeropostale, suffering from declining sales, closed 75 stores during the holiday season, which runs from November through January. And in 2015, they expect to close an additional 50 to 75 stores.

RadioShack, which is negotiating with lenders to gain approval to shutter 1,100 stores, said last month that it closed 175 locations in 2014. (source)

Even holiday sales, normally high, plummeted this Christmas….

By Daisy Luther – FromTheTrenchesWorldReport.com

Oil prices sink further, dollar hit by wage data

Oil prices tumbled again Monday, while most Asian stock markets also retreated after a sell-off in New York at the end of last week in response to data showing weak US wage growth.

The news on wages, which overshadowed another forecast-beating rise in job creation, pushed the dollar down against the euro because it complicates the Federal Reserve’s plans to raise interest rates.

Sydney fell 0.78 percent, or 42.9 points, to close at 5,422.7 and Seoul closed 0.19 percent lower, or 3.75 points, at 1,920.95.

Shanghai — which has surged more than 50 percent over the past year — slipped 1.71 percent, or 56.09 points, to 3,229.32….

Crude prices have lost more than half their value since the middle of last year, with weakness in key markets China and the eurozone adding to the supply and demand crisis.

Wall Street provided a negative lead for stock markets after figures showed US wages grew 1.7 percent year-on-year in December, barely keeping up with inflation and indicating consumer spending power remained low….

Traders latched on to the data, ignoring the fact that unemployment fell to 5.6 percent, the lowest level in six and a half years, while 252,000 new posts were created in December to cap the best year for job creation since 1999.

“Despite the robust US jobs data, markets chose to focus on the weak wages growth and the likelihood that it will keep the Fed Reserve ‘patient’ about any rate hike,” United Overseas Bank said.

Economists took the report as allowing the Fed to delay raising interest rates. This dented speculation of an increase in April and made the dollar less attractive to investors.

“This tug of war between deflation and expectations of the first rate hike in many years by the US Fed is likely to result in intense volatility,” Nader Naeimi at AMP Capital Investors in Sydney, told Bloomberg TV….

From Yahoo News –

House passes 40 hour work week bill in Obamacare fight

The opening salvo in the Obamacare fight in the new Republican-controlled Congress has been fired, with the House easily passing a measure Thursday designed to weaken the healthcare law.

The bill seeks to revoke the Affordable Care Act’s provision that companies offer health coverage to employees who work at least 30 hours a week. Instead, the measure stipulates that employees must work 40 hours to be eligible for healthcare benefits.

The bill passed 252 to 172, with 12 Democrats voting yes. No Republican voted in opposition.

Republicans said the 30-hour threshold has caused many struggling Americans to have their work hours cut by employers that can’t afford to provide insurance.

“Businesses are now reacting to Obamacare’s perverse incentive, and scaling down,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. “The employer mandate and Obamacre as a whole are hurting the job market and is hurting America. Only a full repeal of this law will solve the problem, but this bill helps.”

But Democrats say that upping the workweek definition will give businesses a legal excuse to stop covering employees who work more than 30 but fewer than 40 hours.

“This bill is nothing more than a tool for large employers to avoid providing their employees with health insurance, despite the fact they can afford to do so,” said Bill Pascrell, D-N.J. “The bill will reduce the number of people receiving insurance through their employers — simple fact.”

Democrats also say Republican claims that the 40-hour mandate is hurting small business are bogus because the provision only applies to companies with 50 or more employees.

The measure now goes to the Senate, where new Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is expected to take up the measure soon. But with Republicans assuming control of the Senate this week, anti-Obamacare measures like the “Save American Workers Act” now have an easier path at clearing Congress and landing on the president’s desk.

It’s uncertain if the measure will get the 60 votes likely needed for it to clear the 100-seat chamber….

By Sean Lengell – Washingtom Examiner –

FCC poised to impose Internet taxes

The Federal Communications Commission is in the middle of a high-stakes decision that could raise taxes for close to 90 percent of Americans. The commission is considering whether to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service and, in doing so, Washington would trigger new taxes and fees at the state and local level.

The agency would like to make Internet service a public utility, placing broadband under Title II regulation of the Communications Act of 1934. This move would make broadband subject to New Deal-era regulation, and have significant consequences for U.S. taxpayers.

Under this decision to reclassify broadband, Americans would face a host of new state and local taxes and fees that apply to public utilities. These new levies, according to the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), would total $15 billion annually. On average, consumers would pay an additional $67 for landline broadband, and $72 for mobile broadband each year, according to PPI’s calculations, with charges varying from state to state.

Proponents of broadband reclassification, including the left-of-center organization Free Press, claim that it would not result in higher taxes or fees. The recently extended Internet Tax Freedom Act, they assert, prohibits state and local taxation of Internet service. This is incorrect, however. The act does not apply to telecom-related fees.

Free Press and other broadband reclassification proponents also say the new taxes and fees can be prevented if the FCC designates broadband as an interstate service. A Progressive Policy Institute report explains why this also is incorrect:

“When the Commission previously considered the jurisdiction of Internet traffic, it determined that such traffic was ‘largely interstate,’ but ‘jurisdictionally mixed.’ States routinely tax jurisdictionally mixed services that are classified as ‘interstate’ for purposes of regulation. For example, wireless services may not be regulated by state public utility commissions, but they are subject to a host of state and local taxes and fees. In several states, interstate wireless revenues are subject to taxation.”

Late last year, President Barack Obama waded into this contentious debate. He called for the Internet to be treated like a public utility. Critics of Obama’s position point out….

By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason – Reuters –

Eurozone Consumer Prices Fall, Stoking Deflation Fears‏

​Consumer prices fell in the eurozone for the first time since 2009, according to official data released on Wednesday, putting further pressure on the European Central Bank to act to prevent a downward price spiral that could further damage the fragile banking sector and undermine growth for years to come.

Consumer prices in the eurozone contracted by 0.2 percent in December compared with a year earlier, according to a preliminary report from Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency. Even before the recent collapse in oil prices, inflation in the region had been falling amid slack spending by consumers and businesses that makes it difficult for companies to raise prices.

A separate report from Eurostat showed that the eurozone jobless rate was unchanged at 11.5 percent in November. For the 28-nation European Union, the unemployment rate was 10 percent, down from 10.1 percent in October.

By DAVID JOLLY & JACK EWING – New York Times –

The Guilty Parties

There are a number of guilty parties responsible for the current deplorable criminality engulfing western civilization.

First, there are the “Higher Contracting Powers” — the Global Estate Elite responsible for caretaking the entire planet. Each separate nation has three such caretakers, one for each “jurisdiction”—air, land, and sea. The caretakers of the united States of America are: (1) Pope Francis acting in his “temporal role” as FRANCISCUS and his appointee, the Rector of the National Shrine, who are responsible for the entire planet’s well-being and this little patch of it, respectively, (2) HRM ELIZABETH II, and (3) SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, JACOB JOSEPH LEW, who inherited the responsibility when his Office gained control of the Office of The United States Postmaster.

Of the three international trustees only the past two Popes– Benedict XVI and Francis– have honored their obligation to the people of the world and the united States of America. Both these men have very courageously and tenaciously sought to correct the misadministration and criminality we are all battling. Both have acted promptly, intelligently, and in spite of great individual risk to bring remedy and relief.

The Queen, the Lords of the Admiralty, the Lord Mayor of London, and the Privy Council are largely to blame for the situation and have exercised the most direct control over the members of the Bar Associations and the Banking Cartels responsible for the wrongs we and so many other nations have suffered for the past hundred years.

The Secretary of the Treasury, Jacob Joseph Lew, was born and bred and educated as a member of the banking cabals that are directly and absolutely responsible for the lawlessness and corruption in our midst. He may plead that he “dodged the bullet” and is not “really” responsible, as his predecessors “released” the Office of The Postmaster General and “abandoned” it some years ago, however, trusteeship is a stubborn and time-honored identity under Roman Civil Law and Common Law, both. He who continues to own, operate, and dispose of trust assets remains the Trustee of those assets which continue to belong to others, despite what he calls himself, despite the name of the office he holds, and despite any obfuscation otherwise. Mr. Lew inherited the responsibility along with the assets.

These three individuals are supposed to work together to ensure peace, justice, and smooth administration of governmental services throughout the united States of America. Pope Francis is putting up a determined fight in favor of these aims, the Queen and her Counselors have failed in every respect, and the Secretary of the Treasury is either out to lunch or recklessly endangering all three.

Second, there are the “governments” of the various nations, all of them now acting as commercial corporations chartered by the Holy See, or since 1929, the Vatican. There are many kinds and styles of governments and many more governments than we typically think of. There are “governmental services corporations” that are supposed to be administering Republics (like ours), there are others that administer legislative democracies (like the United States of America (Minor)—a consortium of “American States” more often thought of as “federal territories and possessions”), and others that administer oligarchies (like the United Nations City State or the Municipal Government of Washington, DC, which is also an independent, international City State like Vatican City or the Inner City of London).

All of these entities are corporations just like any other commercial corporation on earth. They all have corporate charters. They are all obligated to function lawfully and for the public good, or their charters can be pulled and their assets liquidated to pay their creditors.

At “First Base” you learned the answer to— “Who is doing all this damage to us?” — three foreign nations who are all supposed to be our good friends: the United States of America (Minor), the Municipal Government of Washington, DC, and the United Nations City State.

They are operating in collusion with two giant international banking cartels, the “Federal Reserve” and the “International Monetary Fund” to plunder and control the national trusts of most of Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

The original Federal Reserve operated the “Federal Reserve System” and that in turn operated the United States of America, Inc. The International Monetary Fund operated (and still operates) the UNITED STATES, INC. And now, most recently, the United Nations has allowed yet another version of the parasite known as the FEDERAL RESERVE to incorporate under its City State auspices and spawn a new version of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INC. to replace the old, bankrupted United States of America, Inc. that finally settled its bankruptcy as of July 1, 2013.

By Anna von Reitz – Scanned Retina –

Full List of Obamacare Tax Hikes

Obamacare contains 20 new or higher taxes on American families and small businesses. Arranged by their respective sizes according to CBO scores, below is the total list of all $500 billion-plus in tax hikes (over the next ten years) in Obamacare, their effective dates, and where to find them in the bill.

$123 Billion: Surtax on Investment Income: A new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income:

Year Capital Gains Dividends Other*

2012 15% 15% 35%

2013+ 23.8% 43.4% 43.4%

*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations. It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income. It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans. The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens. (Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 87-93)

$86 Billion: Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax (Takes effect Jan. 2013): Current law and changes:

First $200,000 All Remaining Wages
($250,000 Married) Employer/Employee
Employer/Employee

Current Law

1.45%/1.45% 1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed 2.9% self-employed

Obamacare Tax Hike

1.45%/1.45% 2.9%
2.9% self-employed 1.45% self-employed
Bill: PPACA, Reconciliation Act; Page: 2000-2003; 87-93

$65 Billion: Individual Mandate Excise Tax and Employer Mandate Tax (Both taxes take effect Jan. 2014):

Individual: Anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance as defined by Obama-appointed HHS bureaucrats must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following….

By John Kartch – Americans For Tax Reform –

The New York Federal Reserve Has Signaled the End of the Dollar Is Near

Ultimately, this article is written for individuals who are naive enough to believe that 2015 will look and feel like 2014. The banksters have positioned world events, both militarily and economically, to make 2015 a pivotal year in world history.

Goldman Sachs Leads the Charge to Armageddon

Twenty one months ago, in response to the undeniable Goldman Sachs chicanery with regard to the manipulation of the gold market, I wrote the following:

“However, the best predictor of the coming crash will coincide with the globalists cornering the majority of the gold market on this planet. After the globalists gain control of the gold, then we will witness a countdown to economic Armageddon in which all currencies will hyper-inflate prior to collapsing. Then humanity will be at the mercy of people who have no sense of decency and respect for life“.

I maintain that the international banking cabal, as represented by the actions of Goldman Sachs and the New York Fed, have gained control of the lion’s share of gold supply, thus rendering their dependence on hard currency (i.e. the Petrodollar and the Euro) to be irrelevant. Meanwhile, the rest of the planet is dependent on highly volatile fiat paper currencies.

If you understand the events related to these statements, along with their consequences, then you have already divested yourself from nearly all paper currencies and the Ponzi scheme driven stock market. To the fully awake and aware person, a bank is merely a landmark that you pass on your way to your final destination. If the catastrophic significance of these statements is not readily apparent, then please read on, the meaning will become crystal clear.

The Measure of Wealth Is Relative.

Before one can grasp what is happening to their collective wealth in this country, one must come to understand that all wealth is relative to what others own and control. For example, if everyone in the United States owns a dollar, then nobody is rich and nobody is poor. However, if you own a dollar and you can cause the dollar of your fellow Americans to significantly decline in value while your dollar maintains it value, then you control the Presidency, the Congress and are also the new owners of the Federal Reserve and its subsidiary financial organizations such as Goldman Sachs. In other words, wealth is relative. Wealth is not only built by acquiring assets, but relative wealth is also established by driving down the value of wealth of one’s competitors. These two strategies are simultaneously being employed by the banksters….

When the controllers of all central banks, the Bank of International Settlements, introduced credit swap derivatives into the futures market, the central banksters gobbled up this Ponzi scheme like an addict on crack cocaine. However, as the derivatives scheme failed, the resulting debt ($1.5 quadrillion dollars) was greater than the sum value of the entire planet ($80 trillion dollars). The bankers successfully transferred the debt to national governments in which the debt would be paid down with national fiat currencies. Since the central banksters know the fate of these currencies they have escaped to gold and real estate, thus leaving you and me holding the bag with our soon-to-be worthless petrodollars.

Conclusion

Are the American people helpless spectators in their planned economic demise? For most Americans that is true. The FDIC only has about 1.5% of the cash needed to insure the entire nation’s banks. The banks, if we are lucky only have about 10% of the cash that they claim they have on deposit (i.e. fractional reserve banking). Therefore, Americans could theoretically only gain access to about 10% of their money in the bank. However, no American will be compensated for the loss of their bank accounts and retirement funds. Remember the G20 resolution which stated that derivatives debt is first in line to be paid down in the event of a banking collapse. This means that American citizens will get nothing.

To the few that will heed these warnings and are subsequently motivated to act to soften the crash, there are some things that can be done by a very limited number of people if they act very quickly. This will be the subject of tomorrow’s article. Have a safe New Year.

By Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show –

THE ECONOMY IS NOT RECOVERING

To look at data being released by the Lying Machine out in Washington, DC., specifically minions who work for the criminal impostor in the Red House (formerly known as the White House), one would think happy days are here again!

I know it’s tiresome and depressing to constantly read how bad things are economically in this country, but commerce runs the engine of our economy and our lives for it generates the income we all need to survive. It’s also confusing because one doesn’t know who or what to believe. However, is it not better to know the truth than to rely on an illusion? Truth from people who actually care what happens to we the people.

Intellectually lazy media hacks, some who actually pass themselves off as journalists, not only in the ‘mainstream’ media but also on cable networks are nothing more than good little toadies who prattle on about a growing economy without ever broaching the subject of the head of the beast, the privately owned “Federal” Reserve and what impact its had on our economy and daily lives for over 100 years. Oh, sure, once in a while one might see a headline about the “Fed” and raise a soft-ball question about how “they” manage our money and economy. But, for the most part, they simply stick to the script:

Everything Is Awesome! (Dec. 24, 2014): “Good news! The U.S. economy grew at a rollicking 5 percent rate in the third quarter. Oh, and it added 320,000 jobs in November, the best of its unprecedented 57 straight months of private-sector employment growth. Just in time for Christmas, the Dow just hit an all-time high and the uninsured rate is approaching an all-time low. Consumer confidence is soaring, inflation is low, gas prices are plunging, and the budget deficit is shrinking….

By Devvy Kidd – News With Views –

Cracking Down on Corporate Crime

2014 ends with little media attention or criminal prosecutions about corporate violations of laws already on the books. When the ranks of anti-business liberals and radical environmentalists compile their list of the worst offenders, their types of abuses exemplify that the most egregious and reprehensible of company practices do not hit their radar screen. The Global Exchange contends that the top 10 Corporate wrongdoers must behave badly accordingly to a well defined pattern.

1. Alpha Natural Resources for pollution of rivers, streams, and groundwater; violation of the Clean Water Act ; destruction of forest and wildlife habitats; and devastation of Appalachian communities.
2. Bayer for manufacturing and using bee-killing pesticides, pinning the bee crisis on other causes, exposing farmers to harmful pesticides, and working to monopolize drug prices.
3. Carnival Corporation for dumping sewage pollution into oceans, use of cheap, air-polluting fuels, tax evasion, and unfair labor wages.
4. FIFA for forced evictions from homes and stores, damaging local business, tax evasion, labor abuse, corruption, and violating human rights including: right to adequate housing, right to free movement, right to work, right to protest, and right to labor protection.
5. Gap Inc. for refusal to sign “Accord of Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh,” refusal to compensate victims’ families, workers’ rights violations, and unsafe building conditions.
6. Ghirardelli Chocolate Company for refusal to use Fair Trade labor and continuing to support child labor, using labor that violates human rights standards, and creating environmental destruction and poverty.
7. Glencore Xstrata for dumping of toxic tailings, tax evasion, police brutality, destruction of communities, human rights violations, and environmental degradation.
8. HSBC for money laundering, financing conflict palm oil producers, and destruction of land.
9. Koch Industries thwarting public policy; forcing policies on funded politicians, judges, and organizations; working to destroy minimum wage, unions, and social security; re-segregation of public schools; toxic pollution.
10. PepsiCo for deforestation, destruction of peatlands, species extinction, greenhouse gas emissions, commodification of water, use of GMOs and prevention of labeling GMO foods, and privatization of public services.

The juvenile and pathetically simpleminded view of corporate predominance misses the truly ruthless and quasi legal systematic underpinning that operates the establishment criminal syndicates.

As long as collectivist crusaders view the business world in strictly environmental and redistribution terms, there is virtually no chance for any meaningful restraints on an organizational model that routinely evades substantive consequences.

The fundamental criminal nature of the corporate organization model itself is seldom considered as the primary reason why the international corporatist system dominates economic, political and legal institutions.

Ignoring this analytic inquiry, the legal profession would have you accept that corporate crimes are, as FindLaw outlines, mostly issues of Fraud, Embezzlement, Tax Evasion and Money Laundering. Accordingly, such thinking would easily accept that the courts can be the legal arbitrator for adjudicating offenses and hold criminals accountable.

Cristina de Maglie, in a law review paper, Models of Corporate Criminal Liability in Comparative Law, elaborates on this mindset.

“The U.S. has adopted the most modern system of sanctions to counteract corporate crime. The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines possess a complex structure that represents the convergence of two modern tendencies: the exponential growth of corporate crimes and the refinement of sentencing mechanisms. Legal theorists insist that organizational sentencing guidelines rely upon a philosophy of economic deterrence, because they offer corporations strong incentives to prevent and detect offenses. The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines reflect an approach with retributive, preventive, and deterrent elements. This reflects an innovative philosophy in the control of corporate crime, the core of which is found in an effective compliance and ethics program.”

Folks, relying on governmental agents to administer and punish wrongdoers and avoiding the basic cause of the problem, namely; the organizational structure that perpetuates a non competitive economy of corporate monopolies, can only be called mental insanity.

Even the academic argument in the book, Changing Old Antitrust Thinking for a New Gilded Age, misses the structural dilemma. “The century-old antitrust laws do not seem up to the task. Perhaps it is time to create laws for a new Gilded Age and provide regulators the power to determine if megadeals are truly good for America.”

Control of commercialism by the 1% of the 1% will not reverse by updating anti-trust laws, when the will to enforce existing laws is effectively non-existent.

The Center for Corporate Policy assembled this recommendation list for Cracking Down on Corporate Crime, as potential options.

1) Strengthen Criminal Liability Standards For Corporations,
Executives and Directors

2) Strengthen The Sanctions for Corporate Crime

3) Ban Corporate Crooks from Federal Contracts

4) Make Certain Types of Corporate Harm a Federal Crime

5) Strengthen the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

6) Ban Tax Deductions for Fines and Penalties for Corporate
Misbehavior

7) Make corporate crime a law enforcement priority

8) Tighten Discretionary Standards for the Prosecution of Corporate
Criminals

9) Empower Citizens to Enforce the Law

10) Take away homestead (“keep the mansion”) loopholes for corporate
crooks

11) Empower Investors, Consumers and Ratepayers

Addressing the distinction between “earning a living” from the methods of “making money” is a core element in the search for a sound economic basis for commerce. Since human nature has not changed for the better under the Corporatocracy of an executive immorality culture, expecting that minor changes around the edges will provide the formula for nirvana is ludicrous.

With the financial collapse of Middle America, the economic prospects are bleak for future generations. Relying on corporations for employment is unstable at best. Over the next year a continued theme for this series will be the hard choices that confront consumers. Learning the techniques of accumulating wealth, when the corporate consortiums own the access to capital is more important now than ever.

There is no level playing field in business. Corporations are defined as “A legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners.” Yet the political/judicial establishment has bestowed person rights to an artificial entity. This tragedy allows for the routine criminal theft of humanity. It is time to focus on the actual problem.

By James Hall – Breaking All The Rules –

BIS UNDERMINES NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY

“Big Brother” is the term used by George Orwell in his classic novel 1984 for the totalitarian state that would lock into place in the year of his title. Why he chose that particular year is unclear, but one theory is that he was echoing Jack London’s The Iron Heel, which chronicled the rise of an oligarchic tyranny in the United States. In London’s book, the oligarchy’s fictional wonder-city, fueled by oppressed workers, was to be completed by 1984. Orwell also echoed London’s imagery when he described the future under Big Brother as “a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” In Secret Records Revealed: The Men, the Money, and the Methods Behind the New World Order (1999), Dr. Dennis Cuddy asked:

“Could the ‘boot’ be the new eighteen-story Bank for International Settlements (BIS) which was completed in Basel, Switzerland, in 1977 in the shape of a boot, and became known as the‘Tower of Basel’?”

The boot-like shape of the building is strange enough to be thought-provoking (see photo), but more disturbing is the description by Dr. Carroll Quigley of the pivotal role assigned to the BIS in consolidating financial power into a few private hands. Professor Quigley, who was Bill Clinton’s mentor at Georgetown University, claimed to be an insider and evidently knew his subject. He wrote in Tragedy and Hope (1966):

“[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.”

That helps explain the alarm bells that went off among BIS-watchers when the Bank was linked to the new Financial Stability Board (FSB) President Obama signed onto in April. When the G20 leaders met in London on April 2, 2009, they agreed to expand the powers of the old Financial Stability Forum (FSF) into this new Board. The FSF was set up in 1999 to serve in a merely advisory capacity by the G7 (a group of finance ministers formed from the seven major industrialized nations). The chair of the FSF was the General Manager of the BIS. The new FSB has been expanded to include all G20 members (19 nations plus the EU). The G20, formally called the “Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors,” was, like the G7, originally set up as a forum merely for cooperation and consultation on matters pertaining to the international financial system. But its new Financial Stability Board has real teeth, imposing “obligations” and “commitments” on its members.

By Ellen Brown – Web Of Debt –

IMF Now Ready To Slam The Door On The U.S. And The Dollar

As I write this, the news is saturated with stories of a hostage situation possibly involving Islamic militants in Sydney, Australia. Like many, I am concerned about the shockwave such an event will create through our sociopolitical structures. However, while most of the world will be distracted by the outcome of this crisis (for good or bad) for at least the week, I find I must concern myself with a far more important and dangerous situation.

Up to 40 people may be held by a supposed extremist in Sydney, but the entire world is currently being held hostage economically by international banks. This is the crisis no one in the mainstream is talking about, so alternative analysts must.

As I predicted last month in “We Have Just Witnessed The Last Gasp Of The Global Economy,” severe volatility is now returning to global markets after the pre-game 10 percent drop in equities in October hinted at what was to come.

We expected such destabilization after the wrap-up of the Fed taper, and the markets have not disappointed so far. My position has always been that the taper of QE3 made very little sense in terms of maintaining the manipulated illusion of economic health — unless, of course, the Federal Reserve was implementing the taper in preparation for a renewed financial catastrophe. That is to say, the central bankers have established the lie of American fiscal recovery and then separated themselves from blame for the implosion they KNOW is coming. If the markets were to collapse while stimulus is officially active, the tragedy would be forever a millstone on the necks of the banksters. And we can’t have that now, can we?

This is not to say that individual central banks and even currencies are not expendable in the grand scheme of things. In fact, the long-term goal of globalists has been to consolidate all currency systems and central banks under the outward control of the International Monetary Fund and the Bank Of International Settlements, as I outlined in “The Economic Endgame Explained.”

That particular article was only a summary of a dangerous trend I have been concerned about for years; namely the strategy by international financiers to create a dollar-collapse scenario that will be blamed on prepositioned scapegoats. I have no idea what form these scapegoats will take – there are simply too many possible triggers for fiscal calamity. What I do know, though, is the goal of the endgame: to remove the dollar’s world reserve status and to pressure the American people into conforming or even begging for centralized administration of our economy by the IMF.

The delusion perpetuated in the mainstream is that the IMF is a U.S.-dominated institution. I have outlined on many occasions why this is false. The IMF like all central banks is dominated by the international corporate banking cartel. Central banks are merely front organizations for globalists, and I am often reminded of the following quote from elitist insider Carroll Quigley when I hear people suggest that central banks are somehow independent from one another or that the Federal Reserve is itself the singular “source” of the world’s economic ills:

It must not be felt that these heads of the world’s chief central banks were themselves substantive powers in world finance. They were not. Rather, they were the technicians and agents of the dominant investment bankers of their own countries, who had raised them up and were perfectly capable of throwing them down.

The substantive financial powers of the world were in the hands of these investment bankers (also called “international” or “merchant” bankers) who remained largely behind the scenes in their own unincorporated private banks. These formed a system of international cooperation and national dominance which was more private, more powerful and more secret than that of their agents in the central banks.

No one can now argue against this reality after we have witnessed hard evidence of Goldman Sachs dictating Federal Reserve policy, as outlined here.

And, most recently, we now know that international bankers control political legislation as well, as Congress passed with little resistance a bill that negates the Frank-Dodd restrictions on derivatives and places the U.S. taxpayers and account holders on the hook for more than $303 trillion in toxic debt instruments. The bill is, for all intents and purposes, a “bail-in” measure in disguise. And it was pushed through with the direct influence of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon….

By Brandon Smith – Alt-Market.com –

As Robots Grow Smarter, American Workers Struggle to Keep Up

A machine that administers sedatives recently began treating patients at a Seattle hospital. At a Silicon Valley hotel, a bellhop robot delivers items to people’s rooms. Last spring, a software algorithm wrote a breaking news article about an earthquake that The Los Angeles Times published.

Although fears that technology will displace jobs are at least as old as the Luddites, there are signs that this time may really be different. The technological breakthroughs of recent years — allowing machines to mimic the human mind — are enabling machines to do knowledge jobs and service jobs, in addition to factory and clerical work.

And over the same 15-year period that digital technology has inserted itself into nearly every aspect of life, the job market has fallen into a long malaise. Even with the economy’s recent improvement, the share of working-age adults who are working is substantially lower than a decade ago — and lower than any point in the 1990s.

Economists long argued that, just as buggy-makers gave way to car factories, technology would create as many jobs as it destroyed. Now many are not so sure.

….there is deep uncertainty about how the pattern will play out now, as two trends are interacting. Artificial intelligence has become vastly more sophisticated in a short time, with machines now able to learn, not just follow programmed instructions, and to respond to human language and movement.

At the same time, the American work force has gained skills at a slower rate than in the past — and at a slower rate than in many other countries. Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 are among the most skilled in the world, according to a recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Younger Americans are closer to average among the residents of rich countries, and below average by some measures.

Clearly, many workers feel threatened by technology. In a recent New York Times/CBS News/Kaiser Family Foundation poll of Americans between the ages of 25 and 54 who were not working, 37 percent of those who said they wanted a job said technology was a reason they did not have one. Even more — 46 percent — cited “lack of education or skills necessary for the jobs available.”

By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER – New York Times –

Senate passes $1.1 trillion spending bill

The Senate late Saturday voted to pass a $1.1 trillion spending package, clearing the measure for the President Obama’s signature.

The final 56-40 vote marked the end of days of drama in both chambers surrounding passage of the spending bill, although there was never a real threat of a government shutdown because both parties readily passed measures to keep the government open until Dec. 17.

A group of conservatives and liberals united to vote against legislation, but were opposed to it for different reasons, stemming from the president’s recent executive action on immigration to a provision in the bill that makes it easier for banks to engage in risky trading programs.

The bill would fund the government through Sept. 2015, with the exception of the Homeland Security Department, which would be funded until Feb. 27. Obama said he plans to sign it.

Saturday’s vote took place after a day of political infighting on and off the Senate floor, most of it swirling around Sen. Ted Cruz.

The Senate convened for an unusual weekend session after the Texas Republican and Mike Lee, R-Utah, on Friday objected to adjourning because they could not secure an immediate vote that would declare unconstitutional Obama’s Nov. 20 directive to allow up to five million illegal immigrants to obtain work permits and federal government benefits.

The move, led by Cruz, angered not only Democrats, but fellow Republicans.

The GOP leadership, according to some aides, say Cruz “misplayed” his hand and gave Democrats an entire weekend to force votes on 24 of Obama’s judicial and executive branch nominations….

The Senate returns next week to take up unfinished business, including a tax cut package and final confirmation of the judges and executive branch nominations.

By Susan Ferrechio – Washington Examiner –

On the Brink of War and Economic Collapse

On occasion a reader will ask if I can give readers some good news. The answer is: not unless I lie to you like “your” government and the mainstream media do. If you want faked “good news,” you need to retreat into The Matrix. In exchange for less stress and worry, you will be led unknowingly into financial ruin and nuclear armageddon.

If you want to be forewarned, and possibly prepared, for what “your” government is bringing you, and have some small chance of redirecting the course of events, read and support this site. It is your site. I already know these things. I write for you.

The neoconservatives, a small group of warmongers strongly allied with the military/industrial complex and Israel, gave us Granada and the Contras affair in Nicaragua. President Reagan fired them, and they were prosecuted, but subsequently pardoned by Reagan’s successor, George H.W. Bush.

Ensconced in think tanks and protected by Israeli and military/security complex money, the neoconservatives reemerged in the Clinton administration and engineered the breakup of Yugoslavia, the war against Serbia, and the expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders.

Neoconservatives dominated the George W. Bush regime. They controlled the Pentagon, the National Security Council, the Office of the Vice President, and much else. Neoconservatives gave us 9/11 and its coverup, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the beginning of the destabilizations of Pakistan and Yemen, the U.S. Africa Command, the invasion of South Ossetia by Georgia, the demise of the anti-ABM Treaty, unconstitutional and illegal spying on American citizens without warrants, loss of constitutional protections, torture, and the unaccountability of the executive branch to law, Congress, and the judiciary. In short, the neoconservatives laid the foundation for dictatorship and for WW III.

The Obama regime held no one accountable for the crimes of the Bush regime, thus creating the precedent that the executive branch is above the law. Instead, the Obama regime prosecuted whistleblowers who told the truth about government crimes.

Neoconservatives remain very influential in the Obama regime. As examples, Obama appointed neoconservative Susan Rice as his National Security Advisor. Obama appointed neoconservative Smantha Power as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Obama appointed neoconservative Victoria Nuland as Assistant Secretary of State. Nuland’s office, working with the CIA and Washington-financed NGOs, organized the U.S. coup in Ukraine.

Neoconservatism is the only extant political ideology. The ideology is “America uber alles.” Neoconservatives believe that History has chosen the United States to exercise hegemony over the world, thereby making the U.S. “exceptional” and “indispensable.” Obama himself has declared as much. This ideology gives neoconservatives tremendous confidence and drive, just as Karl Marx’s conclusion that history had chosen the workers to be the ruling class gave early communists confidence and drive.

This confidence and drive makes the neoconservatives reckless.

To advance their agenda neoconservatives propagandize the populations of the U.S. and Washington’s vassal states. The presstitutes deliver the neoconservatives’ lies to the unsuspecting public: Russia has invaded and annexed Ukrainian provinces; Putin intends to reconstitute the Soviet Empire; Russia is a gangster state without democracy; Russia is a threat to the Baltics, Poland, and all of Europe, necessitating a U.S./NATO military buildup on Russia’s borders; China, a Russian ally, must be militarily contained with new U.S. naval and air bases surrounding China and controlling Chinese sea lanes.

The neoconservatives and President Obama have made it completely clear that the U.S. will not accept Russia and China as sovereign countries with economic and foreign policies independent of the interests of Washington. Russia and China are acceptable only as vassal states, like the UK, Europe, Japan, Canada, and Australia.

Clearly, the neoconservative formula is a formula for the final war.

By Paul Craig Roberts – A Nation Beguiled –

Record Oil Tankers Seen Sailing to China – War Preparations?

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) — The number of supertankers sailing to China jumped to a record in ship-tracking data amid signs that the oil-price crash is spurring the Asian nation to stockpile.

There are 83 very large crude carriers bound for Chinese ports, according to shipping signals from IHS Maritime, compiled by Bloomberg at about 8:30 a.m. today in London. The ships would transport 166 million barrels, assuming standard cargoes, the largest number in data starting in October 2011. The cost of hiring the vessels surged to the highest in almost five years, according to Baltic Exchange data.

The International Energy Agency, a Paris-based adviser to 29 nations, said in a report today that China may have added to strategic crude stockpiles last month, after pausing the activity in October. Oil plunged into a bear market this year, with Saudi Arabia and other nations in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries offering few signs they will tackle a global glut.

“We see cargoes being picked up to be put into storage in China predominantly,” Erik Folkeson, a shipping analyst at Stockholm-based Swedbank AB, said by phone today. “The steep reduction in crude prices and continued output of crude has, in my view, triggered stock building.”

….“Primarily it’s a consequence of lower oil prices still being a driver for buyers of crude to stock up,” Erik Stavseth, an analyst at Arctic Securities ASA in Oslo, said of the rally in prices.

By Naomi Christie – Bloomberg –

Pension plans to be looted as Congress okays institutional theft

When societies approach collapse, coercion shifts to outright theft: Stealing money right out of your bank account, for example, like we recently witnessed in Cyprus. Government also routinely target pension funds and even private retirement accounts, attempting to keep itself afloat by any means necessary.

Just like clockwork, that looting of pension plans is now about to commence. “Congress could soon allow the benefits of current retirees to be cut as part of an agreement to address the fiscal distress confronting some of the nation’s 1,400 multi-employer pension plans,” writes Michael Fletcher of the Washington Post. [1] The Post continues:

“This proposal would devastate retirees and their surviving spouses,” said Karen Friedman, executive vice president of the Pension Rights Center, a nonprofit group. “The proposal would also torpedo basic protections of the federal private pension law … that states that once benefits are earned, they can’t be cut back.”

All the pension benefits that have been promised government retirees, in other words, are about to be stolen back from retirees….

When the next market crash arrives, billions of dollars in retirement funds will be destroyed virtually overnight, and pension funds nationwide will be wiped out.

The fact that this wholesale theft of pension funds is now under way has not escaped union workers and retirees.

As WashPost also reports:”This is nothing less than a declaration of war by Congress on American retirees,” said R. Thomas Buffenbarger, international president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Indeed, “war” is exactly how most people are going to perceive this… especially when retirement checks are the primary source of income for many retirees who are just barely getting by.

By Mike Adams – Natural News –

Why Rockefellers Aim at Destroying Farmers Worldwide?

For the better part of the past century Western pop culture has systematically denigrated and devalued what should be the most honored profession of all. Those who labor with the land, day-in and day-out, to deliver the food that we eat have assumed a social status too often similar to the dirt of the soil they till. No one stops to ask a simple question: What do we do when we have killed off all our farmers?

Some of the more naïve city-dwellers would retort with little reflection, “But we have industrialized food production; we don’t need manual farm labor today.”

Indeed, the numbers are impressive.

Let’s take my homeland, the United States of America. In 1950, a time of general prosperity and strong economic growth, the total US population was 151,132,000 and the farm population was 25,058,000 making farmers just over 12% of the total labor force. There were 5,388,000 farms with an average size of about 87 hectares [215 acres]. Forty years later, in 1990, the year the Soviet Union collapsed and the Cold War ended, the USA had a total population of 261,423,000 of which the farm population numbered just under three million, 2,987,552, making farmers a mere 2.6% of the total labor force. The number of farms had shrunk to only 2,143,150, a loss of 60%, but because of industrial concentration, average size was 187 hectares [462 acres].

What we are told, those of us whose relation to meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables ends at the supermarket, is that this is a great progress, the liberation of almost 23 million farm workers to get city jobs and live a better life.

It isn’t that simple.

We are not told the true effects on food quality that has been created by the mechanization and industrialization of food production in America since the Harvard Business School, on a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, began what they termed “agribusiness,” the conversion of our food supply into a pure for-profit vertically integrated business modelled on the Rockefeller oil cartel.

The raising of hogs, dairy cows, beef cattle, chicken all became industrialized gradually after the 1950’s in the USA. The baby chicks were confined to spaces so tiny they could barely stand. To make them get fat faster, the owners would pump them full of antibiotics and feed them a diet of GMO corn and soya meal. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States are for use on livestock and poultry, not humans. The majority are given to animals mixed in their food or water to speed growth. After all, time is money.

The traditional family farmer, of the sort my late grandfather was in North Dakota prior to the First World War, was driven largely from the land by USDA Government policy, policy that favored industrialization regardless of the quality of food nutrient that resulted. Tractors became computerized, mammoth machines driven by GPS. One such tractor could work remotely and do the work of many farmers of old.

The result was financially fabulous….for the industry owners—ADM, Cargill, Monsanto, for the packagers like Kraft Foods, Kelloggs, Nestle, Unilever, Toepfer, Maggi. The American Rockefeller-Harvard “agribusiness” business model was globalized, beginning with the GATT negotiations of the Uruguay Round of trade liberalization in the late 1980s where the EU dropped much of its traditional protection of domestic farmers in favor of free trade in agriculture products.

During the late 1980’s as the Uruguay Round of GATT trade negotiations was about to give US agribusiness giants what they wanted—freedom to rape the EU and other protected agriculture markets with their highly efficient products, to destroy millions of EU farmers who had farmed with a passion for generations, I went to Brussels to make a background interview as a journalist with a high-level EU Commission bureaucrat responsible for agriculture. He was an apparently well-educated, multi-lingual bureaucrat, Danish-born as he noted. He argued in defense of free trade by declaring, “Why should I pay taxes from Denmark so that Bavarian farmers on their tiny plots of land can remain in business?”

The answer, which I kept to myself then, was simply because the traditional family farmer is uniquely suited to mediate with nature and us to produce food that is healthy for humans and animals to eat. No machine can replace the personal dedication or passion that I have seen again and again in every farmer I have met who truly cares about his livestock or crops.

Now the very same very rich and very loveless people, I call them the American Oligarchs, are systematically doing everything to destroy the human food quality. Clearly in my view, they are doing so with a goal of mass population reduction. There is no other reason the Rockefeller Foundation would spend hundreds of millions of (tax exempt) dollars to create GMO techniques, to support Monsanto and other chemical giants like DuPont, clearly knowing they are slowly poisoning the population to an early death.

By William Engdahl – New Eastern Outlook –

Should You Believe What They Tell You, Or What You See?

Sometimes I wish I could just passively accept what my government monarchs and their mainstream media mouthpieces feed me on a daily basis. Why do I have to question everything I’m told?….

Sadly, I’m cursed with a mind that questions everything and trusts no one in authority or associated with the status quo. It’s the reason I don’t read newspapers or watch mainstream media television entertainment propaganda, disguised as news. It’s the reason I will never vote in a national election again. The lesser of two evils is still evil. I’m skeptical of every piece of data fed to the sheep by the government apparatchiks working for the state. The faux journalists being paid millions by one of the six corporations controlling the media and dependent upon the government, Wall Street bankers, and mega-corporations for their advertising revenues regurgitate whatever they are told by those pulling the purse strings. The mainstream media are nothing but propaganda peddlers for the Deep State and truth telling is prohibited in their world of deception, debt, and denial. Their job is to sustain, enhance, and further enrich the status quo by engineering consent through what they report and what they do not report. The true ruling powers who operate in the shadows behind the scenes are men of power, wealth, status and education who truly believe they are better equipped to consciously manage and manipulate the public mind to achieve their ends. They are disciples of the Edward Bernays School of deception, manipulation and propaganda.

The men pulling the strings behind the scenes are drunk with power and their hubris allows them to believe their own infallibility and blinds them to the dire consequences for our country when their debt Ponzi scheme fails. But, as we grow ever closer to the day of reckoning, they will use every means at their disposal to paint a positive picture, regardless of the facts and reality for the average person. The examples of twisting, distorting and outright lying about the economic reality of our times are endless. These are some of the major false storylines peddled by our benevolent corporate fascist leaders:

The BLS reported 321,000 jobs added in November and the unemployment rate at 5.8%. Jobs are plentiful, based upon these statistics.

A skeptical critical thinking individual might ask a few questions or point out a few inconvenient facts the government purveyors of propaganda might not want us to ponder:
•The non-manipulated, non-seasonally adjusted number of jobs in November FELL by 270,000. The BLS added 600,000 jobs as an adjustment to achieve the headline grabbing result.
•If the jobs market is so good, why is the labor participation rate at a 30 year low of 62.8%?
•Since 2007 the number of working age Americans has risen by 17 million, while the number of employed has risen by less than 1 million, but the unemployment rate is about the same.
•Why would almost 14 million working age Americans leave the labor force since 2007 if the economy is booming and jobs plentiful, with 1.2 million leaving in the last 12 months?
•Why would payroll tax receipts be flat with last year if millions of new jobs have been created?
•If the country has really added 8 million jobs since 2010, how could real median household income FALL by 2.3%?

According to the government reported figures, the economy hasn’t been this strong since 2007. GDP has supposedly grown at greater than 4% over the last two quarters.

Anyone who is sentient knows consumer spending accounts for 68% of GDP. Capital investments that lead to long term prosperity continue to decline as a percentage of GDP from 20% in 2000 to 16% today. We’ve chosen consumption and financialization over savings and investment. This fact leads to some observations:
•If GDP has actually grown by 20% since 2008 how does this correlate with a 6.9% decline in real median household income?
•GDP has been goosed by a $69 billion increase in government spending, with the majority going to the military industrial complex. ISIS has been a godsend for our GDP and arms dealer profits.
•GDP was increased retroactively by $500 billion last year based on a new way the government accounts for intangibles.
•The surge in consumer expenditures over the last two quarters has been in the purchase of services. The higher costs for Obamacare are a boon for GDP. Are they a boon for your bank account?
•The trade deficit has fallen as exports of petroleum products have temporarily provided a boost to GDP. The collapse in oil prices will reverse that trend rapidly.

According to the quasi-governmental mouthpieces at the Conference Board, consumer confidence is near a 5 year high, reflecting what should be robust spending.

So we are told by the representatives of corporatism that we are confident about the economy and the future. How does that measure up to the facts on the ground:
•Black Friday weekend sales collapsed by 11% versus the previous year. As the pundits tried to blame it on on-line sales (10% of total retail sales), Cyber Monday also proved to be a dud.
•If the average person is confident about the future and happy with their economic circumstances, why did they just vote to throw out the bums in November?
•If consumers are confident, why have real retail sales, excluding subprime debt goosed auto sales, been flat for the last three months and up only 1% in the last year?
•If consumers are so confident, why are credit card balances still $138 billion BELOW where they were in 2008? If all these new jobs are being created why is credit card debt lower than it was in mid-2010? Maybe consumers are so desperate they are using credit cards to pay utility and tax bills and not using them for frivolous Chinese crap at big box retailers.
•The increased spending at grocery stores and restaurants is driven by food inflation, not foot traffic. Discretionary spending at furniture, electronics, and sporting goods stores is flat.
•Department store sales continue to fall. Sears and JC Penney teeter on the verge of bankruptcy. Delia’s is liquidating and Radio Shack isn’t far behind. The major chains have completely stopped building new stores. The great bricks and mortar unwind relentlessly plods forward. In addition, online growth is stalling as states implement sales taxes.

From The Burning Platform –

Lawmakers agree on $1.1 trillion spending bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Time running short, Republicans and Democrats agreed Tuesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and delay a politically-charged struggle over President Barack Obama’s new immigration policy until the new year.

In an unexpected move, lawmakers also agreed on legislation expected to be incorporated into the spending measure that will permit a reduction in benefits for current retirees at economically distressed multiemployer pension plans. Supporters said it was part of an effort to prevent a slow-motion collapse of a system that provides retirement income to millions, but critics objected vehemently.

There was no immediate reaction from the White House to the bill.

At 1,603 pages, the spending bill adheres to strict caps negotiated earlier between the White House and deficit- conscious Republicans, and is also salted with GOP policy proposals. As described by unhappy liberals, one would roll back new regulations that prohibit banks from using federal deposit insurance to cover investments on some complex financial instruments.

Elsewhere, there were trade-offs. Republicans won a $60 million cut at the Environmental Protection Agency, and said the agency’s workforce would be reduced to the lowest level since 1989. Democrats emerged with increases for enforcement activities at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

“The federal government’s going to run out of money in two days. … We’ve been trying to work with Republican leaders to avoid a shutdown,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said at midafternoon as final negotiations dragged on.

Speaker John Boehner said he hoped for a vote on the measure on Thursday, and officials expressed confidence they could overcome opposition from tea party-backed Republicans and avoid a government shutdown.

By Associated Press –

New Law Would Make Taxpayers Liable For Trillions In Bank Derivatives Debt

If the quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble implodes, who should be stuck with the bill? Well, if the “too big to fail” banks have their way it will be you and I.

Right now, lobbyists for the big Wall Street banks are pushing really hard to include an extremely insidious provision in a bill that would keep the federal government funded past the upcoming December 11th deadline. This provision would allow these big banks to trade derivatives through subsidiaries that are federally insured by the FDIC.

What this would mean is that the big banks would be able to continue their incredibly reckless derivatives trading without having to worry about the downside. If they win on their bets, the big banks would keep all of the profits. If they lose on their bets, the federal government would come in and bail them out using taxpayer money. In other words, it would essentially be a “heads I win, tails you lose” proposition.

Just imagine the following scenario. I go to Las Vegas and I place a million dollar bet on who will win the Super Bowl this year. If I am correct, I keep all of the winnings. If I lose, federal law requires you to bail me out and give me the million dollars that I just lost.

Does that sound fair?

Of course not! In fact, it is utter insanity. But through their influence in Congress, this is exactly what the big Wall Street banks are attempting to pull off. And according to the Huffington Post, there is a very good chance that this provision will be in the final bill that will soon be voted on….

By Michael Snyder – Activist Post –

Corporate Lobbyists Writing Our Laws

A pivotal component of the process that manipulates the legislative cover that claims to be representative federalism is the consortium of influential pressure and bribe distributors that populate the lobbying capital of the planet, K Street. This group of ex elected officials, shyster lawyers and con artists make up the revolving door of access and sway that keeps the DC Scalawag Culture Preserves Scoundrels alive and expanding. Corporatist Lobbying Replaced a Free Market long ago. The Camelot dream has become the granddaddy of all extenders. For the updated version of JFK’s Inaugural Address in the era of transnational political ascendancy in the Totalitarian Collectivist un-commonwealth state, take heed.

“Let every Citizen know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of Corporatist Control. To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do–for we dare not meet a powerful grass roots populist challenge at odds and split asunder. To those subservient states whom we welcome to the ranks of the New World Order, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them resisting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own dictates-and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside. To those peoples in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them serve our interests, for whatever period is required–not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is our right to rule. If a globalist society cannot exploit the many who are poor, it cannot protect the few who are rich. To our sister regimes south of our border, we offer a special pledge–to convert our empty words into nefarious deeds–in a new alliance for corporate service–to assist captive men and controlled governments in casting off the chains of abundance. But this peaceful revolution of acquiescence cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose liberation or self-determination anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Global Empire intends to remain the master of its own world.

To that world assembly of subservient states, the United Nations, our last best scheme in an age of deception where the instruments of debt have far outpaced the instruments of prosperity, we renew our pledge of support–to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for newspeak–to strengthen its dominance of the new and the weak–and to enlarge the area in which its rule may run.

Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a guarantee: that opposing factions begin anew their surrender for coexistence, before the NWO powers of destruction unleashed by science destroys all opposition to our planned universal self-destruction.”

The fairy tale of JFK’s world is forever gone. The corporate corruption environment that fuels the lobbyists’ machine would make Jack Abramoff proud. The Hill points the finger squarely at GE who reaps unconscionable Tax extenders a lobbying bonanza from the latest taxpayer abuse passed with overwhelmingly bipartisan support by the House of Representatives.

“Almost 300 of those K Street officials lobbied specifically on a tax break known as the active financing exception, a preference that expired at the end of 2013 and allows financial services companies to defer paying taxes on profits made abroad.

General Electric, the study says, was among the most persistent company lobbying for the break – perhaps not surprising, given that GE has said its tax bill will rise significantly without the exception.”

….When separate and often conflicting legislation is bundled together to be pushed through in lame duck sessions, the meaning of election consequences blur. The Text of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 is a disgrace.

Radical Reactionary readers know that the GOP has no real conservative principles or guts to close the door on the corporatists. The essay, “House Democrats Sell Out And Back GOP Tax Extenders Bill– So Why Should Anyone Vote For A Democrat”, concludes “All that Democratic support in the House makes it more difficult for any grouping of principled Democrats in the Senate to kill this travesty.” The lobbyists know that Business as Usual still operates.

By Sartre – Radical Reactionary –

Pillage, Plunder and Wealth

Over the past 30 years, wealth has grown exponentially and has become increasingly concentrated foremost in the upper .01%, then the .1%, followed by the 1% and the upper 10% – 20%.

The large scale, long-term concentration of wealth has continued through booms and busts of the real economy, the financial and IT crises. Wealth grew despite long-term economic recessions and stagnation, because the so-called recovery programs imposed austerity on 80% of the households while transferring public revenues to the rich.

The so-called ‘crises of capitalism’ has neither reversed nor prevented the emergence of an international class of billionaires who acquire, merge and invest in each other’s activities. The growth of wealth has been accompanied by the pillage of accumulated profits from productive sectors which are stored as wealth not investment capital.

The dispossession of capital and its conversion to private wealth subsequently led to the rapid expansion of the financial and real estate sector. Capital accumulation of profits has been the source of private accumulation of wealth at the expense of wages, salaries, public welfare, and state revenues.

The growth of private wealth at the expense of productive investments is a world-wide phenomenon which has been facilitated by an international network of banks, political leaders and ‘regulators’ centered in the United States and England….

….the ruling 1% of the system stands or falls with the illicit financial flows drawn from the pillage of treasuries. To replenish pillaged treasuries, regimes insist on perpetual ‘austerity’ for the 90%: greater pillage for the 1%, less public revenues for health care which results in more epidemics. Less funds for pensions means later retirement– work till you die.

The plunder of the economy is accompanied by unending wars – because war contracts are a major source of illicit financial flows. Plunder oligarchs share with militarists a deep and abiding belief in pillage of countries and destruction of productive resources. The one reinforces the other in an eternal embrace – defied only by insurgents who embrace a moral economy and who proclaim the need for a total change – a new civilization.

By Prof. James Petras – Global Research –

Plummeting Oil Prices Could Destroy The Banks

Could rapidly falling oil prices trigger a nightmare scenario for the commodity derivatives market? The big Wall Street banks did not expect plunging home prices to cause a mortgage-backed securities implosion back in 2008, and their models did not anticipate a decline in the price of oil by more than 40 dollars in less than six months this time either. If the price of oil stays at this level or goes down even more, someone out there is going to have to absorb some absolutely massive losses. In some cases, the losses will be absorbed by oil producers, but many of the big players in the industry have already locked in high prices for their oil next year through derivatives contracts.

The companies enter into these derivatives contracts for a couple of reasons. Number one, many lenders do not want to give them any money unless they can show that they have locked in a price for their oil that is higher than the cost of production. Secondly, derivatives contracts protect the profits of oil producers from dramatic swings in the marketplace. These dramatic swings rarely happen, but when they do they can be absolutely crippling. So the oil companies that have locked in high prices for their oil in 2015 and 2016 are feeling pretty good right about now. But who is on the other end of those contracts? In many cases, it is the big Wall Street banks, and if the price of oil does not rebound substantially they could be facing absolutely colossal losses.

It has been estimated that the six largest “too big to fail” banks control $3.9 trillion in commodity derivatives contracts. And a very large chunk of that amount is made up of oil derivatives.

By the middle of next year, we could be facing a situation where many of these oil producers have locked in a price of 90 or 100 dollars a barrel on their oil but the price has fallen to about 50 dollars a barrel.

In such a case, the losses for those on the wrong end of the derivatives contracts would be astronomical.

At this point, some of the biggest players in the shale oil industry have already locked in high prices for most of their oil for the coming year.

By Michael Snyder – The Economic Collapse –

Creationist Hovind’s Persecution Continues

Dr. Kent Hovind has now spent nine years in various state jails and Federal Prisons all over America on trumped up charges called “structuring”, which Congress passed to catch those involved in organized crime, not a pastor and his wife who were simply structuring their ministry affairs to avoid taxes, which is not a crime. The following article is republished from Dr. Kent Hovind’s Blog exactly as it appeared as his son Eric posted it. However the citizens of our country have been so dumbed down that a prosecutor can convince a grand jury and a jury of anything. However in the end Bro. Hovind and his wife Jo, who also served for one year in a Federal prison were betrayed by one of their own Christian brothers and sisters. Rev. Hovind will go on trial again in federal court in Tallahassee, Florida on January 5th for obstructing the court and filing “frivolous” papers, etc. They are also trying to seek further charges of mail fraud which would add another twenty years, because you have to mail the briefs to the court you know….

The prosecution obtained approval from Judge Rodgers to press more criminal charges. These allegations purport that the appeals, motions, and lawsuits filed by Kent Hovind are “frivolous” and that they have “encumbered” the government. In spite of the fact that in the county facility, he has no access to his legal files, he will be represented by a public defender….

Hovind’s new address is:
Kent Hovind #06452-017
Santa Rosa County Jail
PO Box 7129
Milton, FL 32572

From The Trumpet –

Great Moments in Taxing

When people ask me why I mock government for being a slovenly, bloated, and malicious entity, I’m sometimes not sure what to say.

Do I give them examples of corrupt corporate welfare?

Do I share instances of government thuggery?

Do I direct them to preposterous examples of waste?

Do I show them details about an insanely complex tax code?

Do I enlighten them about sleazy insider behavior by the political elite?

The short answer is that I’m never sure what to say, which is why I oftentimes resort instead to utilitarian arguments in which I show that nations with smaller public sectors out-perform countries with larger levels of taxation, spending, regulation, and intervention.

By Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall.com –

This Is Why You Should Never Trust A Bank

The recent actions of mega behemoth Wells Fargo show us just why so many people are distrustful of large financial institutions. The bank, which claims it will help you achieve what’s important, has done exactly the opposite in the case of Rosemary Ronstein.

At the height of the 2009 financial crisis Ms. Ronstein was facing a home foreclosure. After her husband passed away that same year the widow was searching through personal records when she happened across a 30-year old CD purchased by her husband in 1984 for the sum of $18,000. The CD, which offered the bearer a 10.9% interest rate and renewed automatically until it was cashed in, was originally issued by First Interstate Bank, an entity that has since been acquired by Wells Fargo.

At the time, Ronstein faced the real possibility of having her house seized for failing to pay her mortgage. The CD was like a dream come true. All her problems would be solved, which is exactly the reason why her late husband originally purchased the CD and gave it to her for safekeeping.

But when Ronstein arrived at Wells Fargo to trade in her financial instrument, she says that not only did the bank refuse to make good on the Cash Deposit, they practically laughed in her face.

But when she tried to get the money that she believes is rightfully hers, she said the bank “practically almost laughed at me.”

By Mac Slavo – Activist Post –

Documents Expose Obama Admin’s Involvement In IRS Scandal

[I]t now appears the corrupt and cozy relationship between the Internal Revenue Service and the Obama White House may have been even more extensive than anyone suspected.

The Inspector General of the Treasury Department has reportedly found that thousands of documents containing confidential taxpayer information may have been shared with the White House by cooperating officials at the IRS.

This reported passing of information that should have been kept secret by the Internal Revenue Service — something conservative groups and lawmakers have long suspected — may well have been not only inappropriate but also possibly illegal.

Numerous organizations and individuals claimed that the Obama administration used the IRS as a political weapon in an attempt to harass and intimidate them.

By Norvell Rose – Western Journalism –

No One Wants Home Of Ed And Elaine Brown

Federal officials expect to hold a second auction to sell a secluded hilltop home in New Hampshire that has failed to attract bidders – and possibly contains hidden explosives.

In August, a US marshal-hosted auction failed to attract a single bidder for the 100-acre property that was once owned by Ed and Elaine Brown, who were based there during a nine-month standoff with federal officials in 2007. Minimum bids for the home were set at $250,000. US marshals are now working out the details for the next auction, while warning that the property could contain landmines or other hidden explosives.

Ed Brown retreated to the home in January 2007, after a judge convicted him and his wife of hiding $1.9m in income from 1996 to 2003. Elaine Brown joined her husband in the standoff in April 2007, after the couple were ordered to serve a 63-month sentence. In October 2007, the Browns were arrested without incident.

In 1997, Brown told the Internal Revenue Service he would not pay taxes until the agency could prove it was a legal practice. Courts rejected his argument that collecting taxes was illegal.

In 1994, Brown told the New Hampshire Sunday News he believed in a wide-ranging conspiracy, involving politicians including Bill Clinton, George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev, to “deprive Americans of their liberty”. He predicted a violent “revolution” in the US.

The couple, armed with assault rifles and pipe bombs, entertained like-minded visitors during the standoff and even held a picnic, which ultimately led to their arrest.

By Amanda Holpuch – The Guardian –

Foreclosure Fraud?

Since the Great Recession officially started in December of 2007, millions of people have lost their homes to foreclosures. It turns out that many of those foreclosures may have been fraudulent or in violation of foreclosure laws. According to the Southern Essex County, Massachusetts Register of Deeds, John O’Brien, a forensic audit of his recording files suggests that at least 75% of the mortgage assignments were invalid.

“My registry is a crime scene as evidenced by this forensic examination. The Audit makes the finding that this was not only a MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) problem, but a scheme also perpetuated by MERS shareholder banks such Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan and others. I am stunned and appalled by the fact that America’s biggest banks have played fast and loose with people’s biggest asset – their homes. This is disgusting, and this is criminal.” Nation of Change

It has been almost 7 years since the financial markets failed and yet the foreclosure crisis continues. In some respects the crisis is unabated. Yes, the foreclosure numbers are now down from their historic highs, but many of the completed foreclosures included these questionable documents and tactics by the banks in question. Plus, the use of these tactics started even before the Great Recession hit. Is there a cost to the economy when Banks allegedly use these “robo-signings”?

….Mr. O’Brien’s experience in Essex County is just one county in one state. However, when the nation’s Attorneys General were poised to settle with various banks in 2012 over the nation-wide foreclosure fraud allegations, O’Brien voiced his concerns to the Massachusetts Attorney General.

[O’Brien wrote] “I implore you not to agree to any settlement that would give criminal immunity to MERS and its member-banks. A settlement that includes this feature will not help the homeowners of MA and will permanently damage chains-of-title and property rights forever, with no hope of resolving the permanent damage that these institutions have caused to titles across the state.”’

It probably should not surprise anyone that the Attorneys General did sign the settlement with the banks and they did not heed Mr. O’Brien’s warning. While the national settlements did provide some relief to homeowners, it has had limited impact on clearing up the title concerns voiced by Register O’Brien and arguably provided limited financial recoveries for the victims of the banks allegedly fraudulent activities.

As expected, no one at any of the banks who signed the Joint State-Federal National Mortgage Servicing Settlements were indicted and brought to justice….

By Lawrence E. Rafferty – JonathanTurley.Org –

House Republicans Sue Obama Administration Over Health Law

WASHINGTON — House Republicans filed a long-threatened lawsuit Friday against the Obama administration over unilateral actions on the health care law that they say are abuses of the president’s executive authority.

The lawsuit — filed against the secretaries of the Health and Human Services and Treasury Departments — focuses on two crucial aspects of the way the administration has put the Affordable Care Act into effect.

The suit accuses the Obama administration of unlawfully postponing a requirement that larger employers offer health coverage to their full-time employees or pay penalties. (Larger companies are defined as those with 50 or more employees.)

In July 2013, the administration deferred that requirement until 2015. Seven months later, the administration announced a further delay, until 2016, for employers with 50 to 99 employees.

The suit also challenges what it says is President Obama’s unlawful giveaway of roughly $175 billion to insurance companies under the law. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the administration will pay that amount to the companies over the next 10 years, though the funds have not been appropriated by Congress. The lawsuit argues that it is an unlawful transfer of funds….

“Time after time, the president has chosen to ignore the will of the American people and rewrite federal law on his own without a vote of Congress,” Speaker John A. Boehner said in a statement. “If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to as well. The House has an obligation to stand up for the Constitution, and that is exactly why we are pursuing this course of action.”

By Ashley Parker – New York Times –

OBAMA IS PLACING THE U.S. IN A CORPORATE CONTROLLED POLICE STATE DICTATORSHIP

…there is another development on the world stage which threatens the economic health of every single American and American based business. Specifically, I am referencing the Trans Pacific Partnership. The protocols of the TPP establishes a free-trade zone/bloc stretching from Vietnam to Chile and Japan. The most draconian free trade agreement in history includes nearly a billion people which encompass almost 40% of the world’s economy. Since Obama failed to fast-track the TPP into law last year, he has made amazing progress and America is nearing its fate with destiny….

Many of us in the media believe that some of the effects of the TPP will be felt before the coming war and martial law crackdown. However, after careful analysis, I am convinced that the brunt of the TPP will be felt after the America we know has been totally taken over in a post-war and post-economic collapse scenario. At the end of the day, it does not matter when the implementation of the TPP comes, because when it does, America will no longer be recognizable to anyone who has grown up in this once great country.

Some of you are reading these words have no idea what the Trans-Pacific Partnership consists of. Most of you have never heard of it. Some of you have heard or read the term, but fail to realize the extreme danger that the implementation of this so-called trade agreement will mean to America and our way of life. A scant few are coming to realize just how dangerous the TPP truly is. For the record, the TPP is masquerading as a free trade agreement involving the US, Australia, Japan, Canada,Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Singapore. The TPP is much, much more than a free trade agreement.

With regard to the TPP, ignorance of the organization is understandable. We in the truthful media have not fulfilled our duty to fully explore the ramifications of the TPP because so little is publicly known, Obama has taken full advantage of the cloudy environment and is preparing to even bypass the constitutionally required approval of the Congress before implementing the TPP through a process called “fast-tracking.”

Under the TPP, GMO labels for US food would not be allowed. Also not allowed is Congressional oversight.

President Obama is indeed seeking Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority for the TPP as he is feverishly attempting to get the deal done by the end of the year. If Obama does manage to sign the agreement without Congressional approval, this would effectively neuter Congress in the final approval process. Under such an agreement, this would permit Obama to sign the trade agreement “without Congressional approval.”

When something is secret and kept from you, it is usually very bad for you!

….The TPP is the brain child of the corporations. The TPP places all member nations directly under the control of the TPP instead of their respective national governments. Congress has been denied access to review any of the documents. Alan Grayson (D-FL) was granted a special exemption to view a small part of the TPP and he was told by TPP officials to keep his mouth shut as Grayson recalls that “They maintain that the text is classified information. I’m a member of Congress, but now they tell me that they don’t want me to talk to anybody about it because if I did, I’d be releasing classified information.” Do you realize what this means? The corporate controlled TPP has granted themselves the authority to exercise the governmental power of classifying documents and Congress is included in the exclusion. Do you understand that this means we are living in a corporate dictatorship? It gets even worse.

As if it is not egregious enough that Congress is not allowed to view TPP documents, the 600 corporate officials, who form the TPP panel (e.g. corporate officials from corporations such as Monsanto and Walmart, have complete control of the developmental process of the TPP. Obama can view any part of the process, Congress and the American public cannot.

Further, a leaked chapter of the TPP speaks to the creation of a TPP Tribunal Council which will have the authority to force member nations to transform its laws, its civil procedures, its criminal procedures, even its electoral process, in order to abide by the TPP Tribunal dictates. The bottom line is that we are witnessing the destruction of the Constitution and the entire legal code of the United States, because once the tribunal makes a ruling with regard to a national law, there is no appeal. The Tribunal consists of unelected bureaucrats who are appointed by the creators of the TPP. The term of office for Tribunal officials is unlimited.

By Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show –

Grubergate Should Spark Hearings by Congress

“Grubergate” is the name for the embarrassing revelations about Obamacare by its chief architect, MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber. Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) predicted that the House Oversight Committee will hold hearings on this issue, so the public can learn the facts underlying this legislative failure.

Professor Gruber is not the only one who should be called to testify on Capitol Hill to tell the truth behind Obamacare. Obama himself was reportedly personally involved in key meetings about what would be necessary to exploit what Professor Gruber called “the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”

When Obamacare was railroaded through Congress without a single Republican vote in 2010, Democrats enjoyed an overwhelming majority. Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid described Professor Gruber “as one of the most respected economists in the world.”

Four years later, Obamacare is on life support, and Republicans have their largest majority in the House in more than 60 years. Even the commanding Republican majority elected to the House in 1946, which passed the 22nd Amendment to establish term limits for the president along with other landmark bills, was barely as large as the one elected earlier this month thanks to continued public opposition to Obamacare.

The recently publicized admissions by Professor Gruber, who once admitted that “I helped write the federal bill” (Obamacare) while “I was a paid consultant to the Obama Administration to help develop the technical details of the bill,” concede that a “lack of transparency” was essential to getting the law passed in 2010. Gruber said Americans are “too stupid to understand,” and he even created a comic book to promote Obamacare to the American people.

Professor Gruber admitted that the “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass ….”

Because he’d “rather have this law than not,” Gruber admitted that Obamacare “was written in a tortured way to make sure the [Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes.” He added, “If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.”

By Phyllis Schlafly – EagleForum.org –

Bank of North Dakota Outperforms Wall Street

While 49 state treasuries were submerged in red ink after the 2008 financial crash, one state’s bank outperformed all others and actually launched an economy-shifting new industry. So reports the Wall Street Journal this week, discussing the Bank of North Dakota (BND) and its striking success in the midst of a national financial collapse led by the major banks. Chester Dawson begins his November 16th article:

It is more profitable than Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has a better credit rating than J.P. Morgan Chase& Co. and hasn’t seen profit growth drop since 2003. Meet Bank of North Dakota, the U.S.’s lone state-owned bank, which has one branch, no automated teller machines and not a single investment banker.

He backs this up with comparative data on the BND’s performance:

[I]ts total assets have more than doubled, to $6.9 billion last year from $2.8 billion in 2007. By contrast, assets of the much bigger Bank of America Corp. have grown much more slowly, to $2.1 trillion from $1.7 trillion in that period.

. . . Return on equity, a measure of profitability, is 18.56%, about 70% higher than those at Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. . . .

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services last month reaffirmed its double-A-minus rating of the bank, whose deposits are guaranteed by the state of North Dakota. That is above the rating for both Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan and among U.S. financial institutions, second only to the Federal Home Loan Banks, rated double-A-plus.

Dawson goes on, however, to credit the BND’s remarkable performance to the Bakken oil boom. Giving his article the controversial title, “Shale Boom Helps North Dakota Bank Earn Returns Goldman Would Envy: U.S.’s Lone State-Owned Bank Is Beneficiary of Fracking,” he contends:

The reason for its success? As the sole repository of the state of North Dakota’s revenue, the bank has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the boom in Bakken shale-oil production from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. In fact, the bank played a crucial part in kick-starting the oil frenzy in the state in 2008 amid the financial crisis.

That is how the Wall Street-owned media routinely write off the exceptional record of this lone publicly-owned bank, crediting it to the success of the private oil industry. But the boom did not make the fortunes of the bank. It would be more accurate to say that the bank made the boom.

Excess Deposits Do Not Explain the BND’s Record Profits

Dawson confirms that the BND played a crucial role in kick-starting the boom and the economy, at a time when other states were languishing in recession. It did this by lending for critical infrastructure (roads, housing, hospitals, hotels) when other states’ banks were curtailing local lending.

But while the state itself may have reaped increased taxes and fees from the oil boom, the BND got no more out of the deal than an increase in deposits, as Dawson also confirms. The BND is the sole repository of state revenues by law….

By Ellen Brown – OpEdNews.com –

Banks Ignore the Bankruptcy Laws

Big Banks continued unlawful actions that only result in “slap on the wrist fines” that in many cases are passed on to the shareholders and/or used as a tax deduction. It seems that Wall Street and the Banksters have not learned a thing. Or have they?

The latest wrinkle in Banksters taking advantage of American citizens is noted in a Crooks and Liars report which detailed an investigation into several Big Banks and their alleged refusal to honor the orders of Bankruptcy judges across the country. Of course, the “usual suspects” have been named in the latest investigations.

“The practice — a subtle but powerful tactic that effectively holds the credit report hostage until borrowers pay — potentially breathes new life into the pools of bad debt that are bought by financial firms.

Now lawyers with the United States Trustee Program, an arm of the Justice Department, are investigating JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Synchrony Financial, formerly known as GE Capital Retail Finance, suspecting the banks of violating federal bankruptcy law by ignoring the discharge injunction, say people briefed on the investigations.” Crooks and Liars

What the US Trustee Program is investigating is the alleged practice by the aforementioned target banks of refusing to extinguish the debts that Bankruptcy judges have ordered extinguished and keeping those debts on the debtor’s credit reports. Without the debts being removed from the credit reports, discharged debtors are caught in a never ending process of trying to pay off discharged debts, just to renovate their credit ratings.

Of course, this practice is in direct conflict with our bankruptcy laws, but the law never seems to get in the way of Big Banks….

By Lawrence E. Rafferty – JonathanTurley.org –

The Economic End Game Explained

Throughout history, in most cases of economic collapse the societies in question believed they were financially invincible just before their disastrous fall. Rarely does anyone see the edge of the cliff or even the bottom of the abyss before it has swallowed a nation whole. This lack of foresight, however, is not entirely the fault of the public. It is, rather, a consequence caused by the manipulation of the fundamental information available to the public by governments and social gatekeepers.

In the years leading up to the Great Depression, numerous mainstream “experts” and politicians were quick to discount the idea of economic collapse, and most people were more than ready to believe them. Equities markets were, of course, the primary tool used to falsely elicit popular optimism. When markets rose, even in spite of other very negative fiscal indicators, the masses were satisfied. In this way, stock markets have become a kind of dopamine switch financial elites can push at any given time to juice the citizenry and distract them from the greater perils of their economic future. During every upswing of stocks, the elites argued that the “corner had been turned,” when in reality the crisis had just begun. Nothing has changed since the crash of 1929. Just look at some of these quotes and decide if the rhetoric sounds familiar today:

John Maynard Keynes in 1927: “We will not have any more crashes in our time.”

H.H. Simmons, president of the New York Stock Exchange, Jan. 12, 1928: “I cannot help but raise a dissenting voice to statements that we are living in a fool’s paradise, and that prosperity in this country must necessarily diminish and recede in the near future.”

Irving Fisher, leading U.S. economist, The New York Times, Sept. 5, 1929: “There may be a recession in stock prices, but not anything in the nature of a crash.” And on 17, 1929: “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. I do not feel there will be soon if ever a 50 or 60 point break from present levels, such as (bears) have predicted. I expect to see the stock market a good deal higher within a few months.”

….The bottom line is that the stock market, the greatest false indicator of all time, is on the verge of implosion; and the banking elites are positioning themselves to avoid blame for this implosion while the rest of us are being sold on the most elaborate recovery con-game ever conceived. But what is the purpose behind this con-game? Lies are generally only told by those who hope to gain something through deception. What do the elites hope to gain by creating a facade of recovery?

They have openly admitted to the public on numerous occasions EXACTLY what they want — namely, the institution of a truly global and centralized economic system revolving around a highly controlled world currency framework and dominated by a select cult of banking oligarchs. Anyone who claims that this is not the goal is either a liar or an uneducated fool.

I have covered the evidence supporting this program many times in the past, but it would seem with the precariously surreal nature of our world today that much needs repeating. In 1988, the financial magazine ‘The Economist’ published an article titled “Get ready for a world currency by 2018,” in which it outlined the framework for a global currency system called the “Phoenix” (a hypothetical title), administered by the International Monetary Fund by the year 2018, which would erase all national economic sovereignty and require governments to borrow from the world central banking authority, rather than print, in order to finance their infrastructure programs. This would mean total control by the IMF over member nations as they beg and plead for more capital under the global currency umbrella.

By Brandon Smith – Alt-Market.com –

Minimum Wage Workers Earn Less Money Than Welfare Recipients

From the Inquisitr.com –

Minimum wage laws are designed to reduce poverty and provide income equality for the American workforce. However, economists vary in their opinion of what a lower wage can buy. Moreover, millions of part-time workers continue their struggle to live on a bare minimum wage earning.

On the other hand, this last August, Fox News reported close to 110 million Americans are receiving government assistance, including Medicaid, subsidized housing, food stamps, and welfare. In fact, 83 million people collected Medicaid and 51.5 million people collected and used food stamps.

Michael Tanner, from the Cato Institute, reported to Fox News that in some states welfare recipients receive benefits that are equivalent to a $20 an hour salary, whereas most states pay a minimum wage of $7.25.

Tanner explained the following to Fox News. “So in many cases people could actually do better on welfare than they could in an entry level job.”

Some Americans need support and help in the form of subsidizes like food stamps and Medicaid. However, the benefits derived from welfare programs far surpass the minimum wage employees receive from their employers.

 
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Why the US Postal Service Turned Spy

By Mark Nestmann – Nestmann.com –

FATCA and similar laws have eviscerated financial privacy in the US. And last year, thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden, the world learned the extent of the surveillance conducted by America’s largest spy agency, the NSA.

Now the Postal Service has joined in the game, introducing an NSA-style dragnet over mail delivery.

The most shocking aspect of the crackdown against financial and electronic privacy is the lengths that Congress, the Treasury Department, the NSA, and now the Postal Service have gone to subvert our constitutional right to privacy.

The lesson is the same, too. If you want privacy – of any type – you won’t find it in the US. But you will find it offshore.

How Treasury and the NSA Subverted Privacy in the US

Acting through the non-governmental organization called the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Treasury Department forced supposedly non-binding recommendations into law. This has had the effect of gradually subverting any meaningful constitutional protection of your financial privacy from the US government. Today, Treasury agencies are literally hardwired into America’s banks and must be notified instantly whenever a customer engages in a “suspicious transaction.” Your bank statement, individual financial transactions, and even copies of your checks are available for warrantless inspection by the IRS anytime….

The Supreme Court ruled decades ago that the government can’t open first-class mail, such as letters and sealed packages, unless a court issues a warrant backed by probable cause. (Newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and other printed matter have no such protection.) But the privacy advantages of first-class mail have mostly disappeared, thanks to the War on Terror.

Before 2001, the only way that the Postal Inspection Service could inspect mail was if it fit into broad “suspicious package profiles” the service had created. The profiles relied on dog sniffs carried out by animals trained to alert to narcotics, other contraband, or cash. Drug-sniffing dogs may check packages sent to or from “source areas for the distribu­tion of narcotics and/or controlled sub­stances.” It turns out that every major city in the US is such a “source area.”

After 9/11, that wasn’t enough for Congress. In 2002, it gave the Customs Service the authority to conduct warrantless searches of international first-class mail. And in 2006, President George W. Bush quietly asserted a new government prerogative to open any type of mail. In a “signing statement” attached to a reform act that was support to enhance postal privacy, Bush claimed the government could open any postal correspondence without a warrant, probable cause, or even suspicion that it contains dangerous materials or contraband. The only requirement is that the mail opening be related to “foreign intelligence collection.”

Of course, just about anything could conceivably be related to “foreign intelligence collection.” It’s a loophole big enough to drive a truck through.

 
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OUR CHILDREN ARE RED, WHITE AND SCREWED

By Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show –

….There was a time that a child could produce a mediocre track record in high school, not go to college, but were able to work in a factory or a department store and climb the ranks and subsequently live a life of wonderful opportunities.

With 86% of our 1968 based manufacturing gone to overseas markets, those days of second chance opportunities are gone forever.

When the Blinders Come Off

My soon-to-14 year old son is showing signs of asking questions befitting an adult perspective of our present political and economic situation. I am not bashful about identifying the misdeeds of our government when I am writing or broadcasting. Also, I know that I have the intellectual capacity to explain to my son how bad things have become in terms he can understand. However, I have found that I am lacking the skill and knowledge to explain to my son just how bad things are without taking away his hope for the future.

I am running out of time to begin to formulate a dialogue with my son as I know that I will have to say something and say it very soon. Just the other day, my son made fun of Obama and his nation of birth, Kenya. As my readers and listeners will tell you, I don’t pursue the “birther issue” a s a point of emphasis in my advocacy. Yet, my son is keenly aware of this issue. Last night as we were driving home from play that we attended, my son offhandedly said “the rich control Obama and he controls us like a dictator”. In other words, he is getting his education about the New World Order from sources from “OTP” (i.e. other than parents). I asked him where he got that information and he said “some of the kids at school say Obama is a member of Illuminati and it is all over Youtube”. Life was so much easier when I controlled most of his access to information. I knew that this day would come, but I am finding that I am not prepared with ready made answers about how the world really works. Most adults don’t know how the world works….

Figures may lie and liars may figure, however, there are some numbers that cannot be ignored and they serve to underscore the increasing sense of hopelessness that is creeping across the country.

During 2011, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

At this point about half of all recent college graduates are working jobs that do not even require a college degree.

The number of Americans in the 16 to 29 year old age bracket with a job declined by 18 percent between 2000 and 2010.

Incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation since the year 2000.

In 1984, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older was 10 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger. Today, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older is 47 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.

In 2011, SAT scores for young men were the worst that they had been in 40 years….

 
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We Have Just Witnessed The Last Gasp Of The Global Economy

By Brandon Smith – Alt-Market.com –

….there is no tangible or legitimate recovery, let alone a stable fiscal ladder to rest our feet upon. There is literally nothing left to the financial system but rigged statistics, false promises, and ever expanding debt. In fact, the concept of debt creation is the only thing holding our facade of an economy together.

You and I probably find this rather strange. We come from a long forgotten school of economics, in which demand, supply, and savings actually mean something in terms of our fiscal health. I have come across many mainstream economic acolytes and cultists in recent months who disregard ALL logic and reason, forsaking the realities of demand based trade and immersing themselves in a grand delusion in which central bank generated debt and inflation are the real source of “prosperity”. I feel sorry for them in a way, because the truth is right in front of their faces, and yet, they will never see it, not until they are buried alive in it.

Nothing makes this problem more apparent than the behavior of equities in the past month.

Stocks are, of course, a sham of the highest magnitude, but they do still say something about the greater truth behind our financial condition. The fact that many market traders clearly KNOW that it’s all a farce, and are actually banking and betting on the scam, tells me exactly how close we are to the end of the line. The recent near 10% drop in the Dow at the beginning of Fall must have certainly been a shock for the day trading community as well as mainstream pundits. The assumption for the past few years has been that central bank stimulus guarantees a constantly growing bull market, and to experience a considerable decline in equities even while QE was still in action was at least a noticeable wake up call.

….And, the ever present overlords at the Bank Of International Settlements have posted a stark warning about our financial future, predicting a “violent reversal” in markets. The last time the BIS made such a prediction was in the summer of 2007, just before the derivatives crash. But this is the M.O. of the central banks, to warn of coming calamity just before the event, but not long enough before the event to make any difference. They present themselves as prognosticators of economic future, but in reality, they are the instigators of every disaster they predict.

I do not know how the markets will react to the likely landslide “victory” by Republicans in mid-term elections (can one ever be “victorious” in a rigged contest?), but what I do know is that a Republican majority offers an even greater opportunity for further collapse. Negative movements in markets that have been obstructed through manipulation can now be unleashed and then blamed on “government gridlock”, or the inability of conservatives to “compromise” fiscally. A Republican shift in government only offers more cover for a collapse that is slated to occur regardless.

 
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