– Welcome to Guantanamo: Obama’s Hunger Striking, Force Feeding Torture Camp (Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 1, 2013):
What’s happening in Guantanamo Bay right now is bad, very bad. For those of you who aren’t paying attention, 100 of the 166 prisoners at Gitmo are engaged in a hunger strike and some of them are in such dire straights they are being brutally force fed. No big deal you say? Well the American Medical Association (AMA) disagrees and they are concerned that such treatment is contrary to medical ethics. In fact, the AMA’s president sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel asking him “to address any situation in which a physician may be asked to violate the ethical standards of his or her profession.”
And yes, this is on Obama. While he blames Congress (as usual) for not closing the facility, in reality all he ever wanted to do was just move it to the United States. The man is a pathological liar.
– Court Decided it’s OK to Not Hire Cops with High IQs (Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 1, 2013):
I heard about this case a while ago, but never got around to posting it previously. Amazingly, back in September 2000 the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York decided it is lawful for the New London, Connecticut Police Department to not hire Robert Jordan on the basis that he is too intelligent for the job. Unfortunately, I’m not making this up. While this is more than a decade old, I think everyone should be aware of it.
From ABC News:
A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city.
– Political Activists May be Banned from San Francisco’s Public Transportation System (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 30, 2013):
This article seems innocuous enough…until you keep reading. At first it appears entirely reasonable that the BART system (Bay Area Rapid Transit) might look to ban riders for a year who act violently while using the service. However; as is becoming increasingly typical these days, what sounds reasonable at first tends to be awful upon deeper inspection.
For example, according to ABC News in San Francisco:
AB 716 won’t only target violent behavior. It can be applied to protestors who have been arrested during free-speech movements.
– How the C.I.A. Enriches Warlords, Drug Dealers and the Taliban in Afghanistan (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 30, 2013):
This article from the New York Times further solidifies the notion that we clearly have no idea what we are doing anywhere, whether it relates to the domestic economy or foreign policy. While the American citizenry remains unemployed and increasingly on food stamps, we are paying tens of millions of dollars to Afghan warlords and drug dealers so that they can build their “dream homes.” My favorite line is: “the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan.” Makes sense. We are simply exporting our domestic economic model abroad.
From the New York Times:
KABUL, Afghanistan — For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency.
“We called it ‘ghost money,’ ” said Khalil Roman, who served as Mr. Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005. “It came in secret, and it left in secret.”
Kind of like Corzine at MF Global!
Moreover, there is little evidence that the payments bought the influence the C.I.A. sought. Instead, some American officials said, the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan.
– CME President on Gold: “They Don’t Want Certificates, They Want the Real Product” (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 30, 2013):
What’s interesting about gold, when we had that big break two weeks ago we saw all the gold stocks trade down significantly, we saw all the gold products trade down significantly, but one thing that did not trade down, was gold coins, tangible real gold. That’s going to show you, people don’t want certificates, they don’t want anything else. They want the real product.
– Terrence Duffy, President and Executive Chairman of CME Group Inc,. on Bloomberg TV yesterday (April 29, 2013)
I’m actually still in a state of shock that the head of the CME Group would make such an observation and in such blunt terms. I mean the guy admits that volume on his exchanges suck, yet basically claims paper gold (one of their marquee products) is becoming irrelevant. In my mind there are two likely explanations for this. 1) This is how he has started to feel personally and he is loading up on physical gold rather than his company’s paper products and would like some cover if that is ever unearthed. 2) This is what people close to the gold market are telling him and he’d rather make it clear he understands that paper is paper and gold is gold and that there is a big difference. So “caveat emptor” if you are hanging around the COMEX.
His comments on gold come in at the 0:40 mark. Simply stunning.
– Baby Taken from Parents for Wanting a Second Medical Opinion (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 28, 2013):
This is such a disturbing story on so many levels. If we don’t start standing up for ourselves as a society, pretty soon individuals and families will not be allowed to make any decisions for themselves. Free will be a thing of the past and “the state” will make all choices for us because, after all, they know best. Let’s not forget the recent case of a 14 year old arrested for wearing a benign pro-gun t-shirt. I can’t even begin to fathom how traumatized these poor parents are.
From KSDK News:
It all began nearly two weeks ago, when Anna Nikolayev and her husband Alex took their 5-month-old boy Sammy to Sutter Memorial Hospital to be treated for flu symptoms, but they didn’t like the care Sammy was getting.
– Teen Arrested at Middle School for Wearing a Pro-Gun T-Shirt (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 24, 2013):
This story perfectly demonstrates what a totally sad society we have become. We can’t arrest a single banker or political crook, but heaven forbid a 14 year old wears a shirt that expresses support for the Second Amendment. Arrest that infidel immediately! We discover that:
A West Virginia teen arrested and accused of nearly inciting a riot after a confrontation with a teacher over his National Rifle Association t-shirt has inspired dozens of students across his county to wear similar apparel in solidarity.
Jared Marcum, 14, had a confrontation Thursday with a Logan Middle School teacher over his NRA t-shirt, which bears the organization’s logo, along with an image of a hunting rifle and the phrase, “Protect your right.”
Marcum’s lawyer, Ben White, said that when the teen was told to remove the shirt or turn it inside out, he attempted to engage the teacher in a debate.
“Jared respects firearms and has training to use them, and believes in the Second Amendment,” White told ABCNews.com. “He believes it’s being threatened by current legislation. He wore [the shirt] as an expression of political speech and the need to protect the Second Amendment.”
Marcum was eventually arrested and taken away by police after refusing to remove the shirt. White said that when police told the teen they were going to arrest him, he stuck his hands out and said, “Fine.”
– McDonald’s Hamburger Looks the Same…14 Years After Purchase! (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 23, 2013):
I’ve heard rumors about this before, but figured it was just an urban legend. Apparently not! So Utah resident, David Whipple, originally decided he wanted to save a McDonald’s burger for a couple of months to see what would happen. It didn’t decompose at all. Then he forgot about it in a coat pocket for a year or so until his wife accidentally found it. Still no change. So he decided to save it even longer. Now, 14 years later, he has informed the world that amazingly it still looks the same.
From the Daily Mail:
A Utah man has unearthed a McDonald’s hamburger he bought in 1999 – and the sandwich looks exactly the same as the day it was first flipped.
David Whipple kept the fast food meal for a month to show friends how the preservative-packed hamburger would keep its composure.
‘My wife didn’t discover it until at least a year or two after that,’ he said. ‘And we pulled it out and said “oh my gosh. I can’t believe it looks the same way.”‘
However, even he was shocked to see that the hamburger still looks the same a whopping 14 years later.
The burger had no signs of mold, fungus or even a strange odor, the show’s hosts said. The only thing that had changed over the years was that the pickle had disintegrated.
Whipple, who still has the original receipt for the burger, said he now shows the sandwich to his grandchildren to encourage them to eat healthily.
Who needs canned beans, spam and freeze dried food when apparently all you need are Happy Meals?
Full article here.
– Mayor Bloomberg Wants to “Reinterpret the Constitution” After Boston Bombings (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 23, 2013):
“The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry,” Mr. Bloomberg said during a press conference in Midtown. “But we live in a complex word where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.”
“Look, we live in a very dangerous world. We know there are people who want to take away our freedoms. New Yorkers probably know that as much if not more than anybody else after the terrible tragedy of 9/11,” he said.
From the quotes above it has become quite clear that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is just playing his typical role in the aftermath of a national tragedy. That is to immediately manipulate it to justify his civil liberties snatching agenda and “sell the population” on implementing a total police state like the one he is eagerly putting in place in NYC. He says “we live in a very dangerous world.” Ok…well the world has always been very dangerous, so thanks for the tip. However, the worst part is that he states “there are people who want to take away our freedoms.” So I guess the answer to that is to let Bloomberg take them away before the “terrorists” have a chance to. What a total authoritarian this guy is. He is doing exactly the opposite of what security expert Bruce Schneier implored us to do in the wake of Boston.
The best writeup of this story I have seen is by Tim Cushing of Tech Dirt. Below are some excerpts: Continue reading »
– Professor Fekete on the Gold Smash: “Who Said the Hydra Would Take it Lying Down” (Liberty, Blitzkrieg, April 19 2013):
Ostensibly a lower gold price would solve the problem Bernanke has. Demoralized gold bugs would be forced out of their holdings through margin calls. Disillusioned investors would shun gold. This would make physical gold available to rescue the strapped gold futures market.
In fact, however, a lower gold price is making the problem more intractable, not less. The Fed is diving from the frying pan into the fire. This is the point missed by almost all observers and market analysts. They ignore the underlying flight into physical gold that continues unabated, in spite of (or, better still, because of) the panic in the paper gold market. The Fed’s intervention in bankrolling short interest is going to back-fire, for the following simple reason. The Fed’s strategy is inherently contradictory. A lower price for paper gold makes it easier, not harder, to demand delivery on maturing futures contracts.
– Professor Antal E. Fekete
Of all the articles I have read since the attack on the precious metals markets, this piece by Professor Fekete is the best one yet. I completely agree that this was an extremely desperate and brazen attempt by the Central Planners, one that is quite clearly backfiring big time. My favorite excerpts are below:
In waking up too late that there was a problem after gold futures markets have been flirting with backwardation for a year or so, officialdom was forced to act. Act it did in a typically haphazard fashion. A few days ago, on April 12 and 15 the paper gold market was demoralized by a ferocious attack on the lofty gold price. This in and of itself is proof that Bernanke is fully aware that permanent gold backwardation is imminent, and that it will create and unmanageable situation. It’s got to be stopped in its track at all hazards.
Well, well, well. Gold is not the same as frozen pork bellies after all. The Hydra is not taking it lying down. The kid gloves have finally come off.
– Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society Runs Out of Gold…Importing from Switzerland and London (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 19, 2013):
Hong Kong’s Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society has been in operations for over a century, and it’s President Haywood Cheung was interviewed by Bloomberg news earlier today. Whoever orchestrated the attack on gold and silver in the last week or so has gravely miscalculated, since the response to the drop has been surging demand for physical gold and silver. While I tend to be skeptical when I hear about silver shortages since these reports have been so exaggerated in the past, the lack of silver coin availability and premiums are the most extreme I have seen since the financial and economic meltdown of 2008. Now we discover that the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society has essentially sold out of gold bullion, and must wait until Wednesday for shipments to arrive from Switzerland and London.
– How Hospitals Profit from Making Mistakes (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 18, 2013):
One of the many things holding the nation back at the moment is the complete lack of incentive to be a creative, productive and honest member of society versus the tremendous incentive to be a corrupt, thieving, lackey for the establishment. In a free market system, with a strict set of rules governing the game that is applied to everyone equally, market signals and incentives exist for companies to create a great product and to meet customer needs with great service. In contrast, within a crony capitalist system, the primary incentive is to get as close as possible to political and corporate power in order to financially benefit from their oligarchical ownership of the controlled economy.
It is only within a completely disconnected from reality, crony, fraudulent economy where you could have a situation in which hospitals actually earn much larger profit margins from making mistakes and harming their patients, than from providing excellent care. We learn from the New York Times that:
Hospitals make money from their own mistakes because insurers pay them for the longer stays and extra care that patients need to treat surgical complications that could have been prevented, a new study finds.
Changing the payment system, to stop rewarding poor care, may help to bring down surgical complication rates, the researchers say. If the system does not change, hospitals have little incentive to improve: in fact, some will wind up losing money if they take better care of patients.
– Fraud Alert: FDA Allowed Drugs with Fraudulent Testing to Remain on the Market (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 17, 2013):
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Essentially the entire U.S. economy is one gigantic fraud. No one has honor anymore in this society, it is a totally forgotten and discarded virtue. The ethos of the land is to take whatever you can however you can. It doesn’t matter who you hurt or what sorts of immoral acts you need to do to get it. One of the key dynamics that allows for such blatant theft is that the regulatory agencies that are supposed to protect us are in fact gatekeepers from the criminals in their respective industries. In the financial area, this manifests with the SEC and CFTC revolving door to Wall Street. In healthcare, it manifests with the FDA. I’ve highlighted the FDA’s shadiness previously, most notably in my piece: The FDA is Caught Spying on its Employees and Creating an “Enemies List.” Now in this latest story, we find how little the FDA concerns itself with public health.
From Pro Publica:
On the morning of May 3, 2010, three agents of the Food and Drug Administration descended upon the Houston office of Cetero Research, a firm that conducted research for drug companies worldwide.
– Ring the Bell for Manhattan Real Estate: Calpers Buys the Top Again (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 17, 2013):
The dumbest of the dumb money has finally decided now is the time to buy Manhattan apartments. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (colloquially known as Calpers) just loves taking assets off of other people’s hands at the top. Let’s not forget the 10,200-acre desert site in Arizona they bought for $400 million in 2006, which was then sold for $32.5 million in 2011. Well the not so savvy managers of California’s retirement funds are at it again, once again paying the sum of $400 million, but this time for 345 apartments in Manhattan’s wildly overinflated real estate market. If there was ever the equivalent of a bell ringing at the top this has to be it.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System bought 345 apartments in two adjacent Manhattan towers from a partnership including Carlyle Group LP (CG), gaining rentals in New York as lease rates approach a peak.
– Paul Krugman Goes on the Attack: Calls Bitcoin “Antisocial (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 15, 2013):
Anyone on the fence with regard to Bitcoin should consider coming to the side of supporting it after reading Paul Krugman’s ridiculous and riddled with errors hit-piece in the New York Times this weekend. The key tipoff as to where he is coming from in this absurd editorial is in the title itself in which he calls Bitcoin an “antisocial network.” Anti-social is one of the most favored collectivist/fascist terms and concepts of all time. A term meant to demonize those in a particular society that think for themselves rather than conform to whatever the oligarchs or dictators in charge of the state deem appropriate or “social.” Jews would have been seen as “antisocial” in Nazi Germany, just as anyone with glasses would have been deemed “antisocial” in Pol Pot’s Cambodia. This is a very dangerous term and one that is intended to guilt people into the acceptance of a stale, authoritarian and conformist society.
Now let’s get to some of the more ridiculous passages from his editorial. From the New York Times:
The economic significance of this roller coaster was basically nil. But the furor over bitcoin was a useful lesson in the ways people misunderstand money — and in particular how they are misled by the desire to divorce the value of money from the society it serves.
The similarity to goldbug rhetoric isn’t a coincidence, since goldbugs and bitcoin enthusiasts — bitbugs? — tend to share both libertarian politics and the belief that governments are vastly abusing their power to print money. At the same time, it’s very peculiar, since bitcoins are in a sense the ultimate fiat currency, with a value conjured out of thin air. Gold’s value comes in part because it has nonmonetary uses, such as filling teeth and making jewelry; paper currencies have value because they’re backed by the power of the state, which defines them as legal tender and accepts them as payment for taxes. Bitcoins, however, derive their value, if any, purely from self-fulfilling prophecy, the belief that other people will accept them as payment.
This paragraph is so riddled with blatant errors it is almost difficult to know where to start. Continue reading »
– 500 Tons of Paper Gold Dumped on Friday, What’s Next? (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 14, 2013):
I wish I knew the answer to the above question. As of the last year or so, I admittedly have not had a good feel about the direction of gold and silver prices. I always thought that as things got more severe and more terminal, the prices of assets we see on our screens would be more and more quite intentionally disconnected from the reality on the ground due to increasingly aggressive, desperate and coordinated action by the power structure. Looking back, it seems this really got underway in the fall of 2011, shortly after the U.S. treasury market was downgraded and gold shot up to over $1,900/oz. I have gradually recognized my inability to call things in such manipulated financial markets, which is why I decided to step away and offer less commentary on these topics as things play out in the end game.
I do not think it is at all coincidental that Bitcoin and gold (two currency threats to Federal Reserve power) both got smashed within a couple days of each other. In the case of gold, it was a day after Obama had a private meeting with all of the key bankster oligarchs that 500 tons of paper gold, or about 25% of annual production was sold on the market.
As such, I think the interview below from Marin Katusa of Casey research is a great listen for anyone wanting to take a step back and look at the market. Enjoy!
Consider the 500 tons of paper gold sold on Friday. Begin with the question, how many ounces is 500 tons? There are 2,000 pounds to one ton. 500 tons equal 1,000,000 pounds. There are 16 ounces to one pound, which comes to 16 million ounces of short sales on Friday.
Who has 16 million ounces of gold? At the beginning gold price that day of about $1,550, that comes to $24,800,000,000. Who has that kind of money?
What happens when 500 tons of gold sales are dumped on the market at one time or on one day? Correct, it drives the price down. Investors who want to get out of large positions would spread sales out over time so as not to lower their sales proceeds. The sale took gold down by about $73 per ounce. That means the seller or sellers lost up to $73 dollars 16 million times, or $1,168,000,000.
Who can afford to lose that kind of money? Only a central bank that can print it.
– Food Fraud Hits a New Low with the Potential Emergence of Dog Meat in the UK (Liberty Blitzkrieg, March 28, 2013):
The food fraud story has now progressed from somewhat humorous with the undersized Subway footlong subs, to the highly disturbing with the revelations of horse meat and fake tuna, to the really creepy with the now potential emergence of dog meat in UK lamb curry. No you can’t print lamb folks, which is exactly why many humans are now eating worse than their pets in the Western world.
A mystery meat, which has defied the best efforts of scientists to identify it, has been found in a lamb curry as part of an investigation into food fraud.
The discovery raises new questions about just what is going into the nation’s takeaways and processed foods.
The meat in a Beef in Black Bean Sauce dish turned out to contain high levels of chicken material including blood, while a burger contained no beef at all, other than blood and heart.
However, most alarming of all was a curry. A spokesman for the programme said: ‘Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse, the results came in for an Indian Lamb Curry.
‘It did contain meat, but that meat was not lamb, not pork, nor was it chicken or beef. Not horse, and not goat either.
All of the many tests to date by the lab used by the programme have failed to identify exactly which animal was the source of the meat.
– Income Growth For Bottom 90% In America Since 1966 Is… $59! (Liberty Blitzkrieg, March 26, 2013):
We’ve all seen these statistics before in one form or another, but David Cay Johnston does an excellent job going into more detail for us in an article he published late last month. As he correctly notes, when things get extreme like this you ultimately end up with extreme social unrest. Furthermore, as I have pointed out for years and years, this kind of disparity does not happen under free markets with rules and regulations applied equally to all. It happens under totalitarian societies, whether fascism, communism or crony capitalist corporatism (which is the model in the USA). It only happens when a very small oligarch class takes over the political process of a nation and then uses it to game the system.