Archive for September, 2009

A Somber G-20

September 30th, 2009 9:43 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Economics, Liberty, Peter Schiff, Politics  |  Comments Off

by John Browne – Senior Market Strategist, Euro Pacific Capital

As a part-time member of the press corps, I had the good fortune to attend many of the public sessions at last week’s G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh. As impressive as it was to closely witness the gathering of countries representing some 85 percent of the world’s GDP (along with the governors of the World Bank, the IMF and the European Central Bank), it was equally remarkable to witness the immense security forces deployed to restrain those who feel the gathering harbored the forces most responsible for the world’s economic and financial problems.

The meeting got off to an unexpectedly gloomy start as President Obama, accompanied by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicholas Sarkozy, jointly announced the discovery of secret Iranian nuclear facilities. These revelations were eye opening, and the mood in the room was nothing short of electric. This contrasted sharply with comments offered the day before by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, who reiterated his country’s reluctance to impose tougher sanctions on Iran. As a result, the risks of continued conflict in the Middle East remain a global preoccupation, with major implications for the prices of gold and oil.

But despite the geo-political setbacks, the failure to achieve any major agreements, the somber atmosphere, and the sanguine final communiqué, the U.S. stock and junk-bond markets continued to roar in nervous volatility.

U.S. markets appear to have taken on a casino-like life of their own, while the fundamentals and even some technical measures urge caution – such as the U.S. dollar plummeting to new lows. Something just does not add up. This feeling may have been the root cause of the somber mood enveloping the G-20.

Increasingly, there appears to be a distinctly volatile disconnect between market sentiment and practical reality. It is eerily similar to the market of 1931, which presaged the second of six major downturns of the Great Depression, leaving U.S. stock markets at only 10 percent of their pre-crash values.

There are a number of concerns that have caused some of the world’s shrewdest observers to be less than completely credulous about the current ‘recovery.’ Read More »

A typical evasive reply from a Senator regarding auditing the Fed

September 30th, 2009 2:16 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, congress, Federal Reserve, Liberty, Politics  |  6 Responses

As most readers of Liberty Maven know, there’s been a push for quite some time now to get the Federal Reserve audited, a first small step in getting it abolished altogether (in my mind).

As many have done, I’ve contacted my Congressmen and Senators to let them know that I unequivocally support the Fed audit and that they should too.

Now that we have 296 Congressmen and 28 Senators co-sponsoring the bill(s), I received an email today from Senator Barbara Mikulski from Maryland.  Her response, included below, is one huge noncommittal non-answer.  What she’s basically doing is waiting until the last minute when she’s pressured to make a decision, and then she’ll stick a moistened finger up into the air to determine which way the political winds are blowing.  Then she’ll join the side with the momentum and suddenly become vociferous that she’s been on that side all along.  I just hope she ends up joining the fight to audit the Fed.

- – - -

Dear Mr. Miller:

Thank you for getting in touch with me about the Federal Reserve.  It’s great to hear from you.

I appreciate hearing your views and I understand your concerns.  Congress created the Fed in 1913 to serve as the central bank and set monetary policy for the United States.  It has two equally critical goals: to promote full employment and contain inflation.  Pursuing these goals requires the Federal Reserve be insulated against political pressures so that it can make decisions in the long term best interests of the economy.  At the same time, the Fed must be accountable for its actions.  This is especially true now after the Fed has taken such dramatic and unprecedented steps to head off the collapse of the financial system and the economy.

Read More »

Supreme Court to take up 2nd Amendment Incorporation

September 30th, 2009 12:07 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Civil Liberties, Commentary, Constitution, Court Cases, Gun Control, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, Maven Commentary, states rights  |  1

This is very good news for gun rights fighters. The Supreme Court has accepted the case to answer the question on whether the 2nd Amendment applies, or is “incorporated”, to the states.

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to decide whether strict local and state gun control laws violate the Second Amendment, ensuring another high-profile battle over the rights of gun owners.

The court said it will review a lower court ruling that upheld a handgun ban in Chicago. Gun rights supporters challenged gun laws in Chicago and some suburbs immediately following the high court’s decision in June 2008 that struck down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia, a federal enclave.

The new case tests whether last year’s ruling applies as well to local and state laws.

While this is good news for hopeful gun rights activists it raises questions for die hard Constitutionalists. The dirty details of “incorporation” reveals some divisions among us. I’ve previously discussed my own thoughts on “incorporation”, but I can certainly understand the opposing viewpoint. The question came up earlier this year when the states rights argument was utilized by the anti-gun rights Senators in reference to the Thune amendment that would have permitted concealed carry reciprocity between the states.

The conventional wisdom is that the Supreme Court has a very good chance of voting in favor of 2nd Amendment incorporation. Perhaps, the more interesting thing, similar to Heller, will be what the majority opinion says at the conclusion of the case.

Ron Paul and Glenn Beck discuss America’s future

September 30th, 2009 11:08 am  |  by  |  Published in Civil Liberties, congress, Constitution, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, Foreign Policy, Free Market, government spending, inflation, Liberty, Market Regulation, Money, Ron Paul, Taxes  |  21 Responses

Glenn Beck had Ron Paul on his radio show this morning to discuss Paul’s new book “End the Fed“. The discussion turned toward predicting what America will look like within the next 3-5 years. Unsurprisingly both Beck and Paul do not have a rosy prognostication. In fact their discussion was downright scary.

The discussion lasts about 14 minutes. Following the interview Beck reiterates that he doesn’t agree with Ron Paul on some things, but when it comes to the Fed Glenn says he is “Dead Right.” Following that Beck goes into a discussion on foreign policy as it relates to Afghanistan.

Listen to the audio below.

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What was NOT heard at the “Audit the Fed” hearing

September 30th, 2009 10:19 am  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Bailouts, Banking, Big Government, congress, Debt,, Economics, Federal Reserve, Free Market, inflation, Liberty, Money, Politics, Ron Paul  |  Comments Off

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h

Quote of the Day:

“It has been argued that full disclosure of details of funding facilities like TALF and PDCF, that enabled massive bailouts of Wall Street, would damage the financial position of those firms and destabilize the economy. In other words, if the American people knew how rotten the books were at those banks and how terribly they messed up, they would never willingly invest in them, and they would fail. Failure is not an option for friends of the Fed. Therefore, the funds must be stolen from the people in the dark of night. This is not how a free country works. This is not how free markets work. That is crony corporatism and instead of being a force for economic stabilization, it totally undermines it.” — Congressman Ron Paul

The Federal Reserve has manufactured and spent hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out and prop-up irresponsible financial firms. These firms have received huge benefits at your expense, but . . .

You’re not allowed to know who got how much, and under what terms. This information was NOT heard at the hearings about the “Audit the Fed” bill. Therefore, the only way to learn the answers is to . . .

Audit the Fed!

Please use our Educate the Powerful System to send Congress another letter demanding that they pass the Audit the Fed bill.

Use your personal comments to say something similar to what I’ve said in my own letter to Congress . . .

The “Audit the Fed” hearings proved that the Federal Reserve will not reveal its activities without an audit. A majority of the House has co-sponsored the Audit the Fed bill. This leads me to wonder what dark forces are keeping it from coming to a vote. I elected you to represent me, so please do your job. Force the leadership in the House and Senate to bring this bill to a vote! You must lead your “so-called” leaders. Make it happen! I URGE YOU TO DO IT NOW!

You can send your letter here.

Read More »

Ron Paul’s stellar appearance on The Daily Show w/ Jon Stewart

September 30th, 2009 8:50 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Commentary, Constitution, Economics, Federal Reserve, government spending, inflation, Liberty, Market Regulation, Money, Ron Paul  |  4 Responses

Ron Paul appeared on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central last night to discuss his new book “End the Fed“. It was quite a stellar interview. Paul used the opportunity to educate Jon Stewart’s viewers about moral hazard, among other topics.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Ron Paul
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Ron Paul Interview

Ron Paul on the Real Reasons Behind Fed Secrecy

September 29th, 2009 1:29 pm  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Banking, Big Government, congress, Debt, Federal Reserve, Free Market, government spending, inflation, Liberty, Politics, Ron Paul  |  2 Responses

Ron Paul described in this week’s Texas Straight Talk column the recent hearing for HR1207 and the witnesses who testified on both sides of the issue.  Here is part of it:

If the Fed gave its actual arguments against a full audit, they would not have mentioned anything about political independence or economic stability. Instead they would admit they don’t want to be audited because they enjoy their current situation too much. Under the guise of currency control, they are able to help out powerful allies on Wall Street, in exchange for lucrative jobs or who-knows-what favors later on. An audit would expose the Fed as a massive fraud perpetrated on this country, enriching a privileged few bankers at the top of our economic food chain, and leaving the rest of us with massively devalued dollars which we are forced to use by law. An audit would make people realize that, while Bernie Madoff defrauded a lot of investors for a lot of money, the Fed has defrauded every one of us by destroying the value of our money. An honest and full accounting of how the money system really works in this country would mean there is not much of a chance the American people would stand for it anymore.

Read the whole article.

When drug laws go bad: Grandma arrested for buying cold medicine

September 28th, 2009 2:31 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Drugs, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, Market Regulation, Politics  |  1


CLINTON, Indiana – When Sally Harpold bought cold medicine for her family back in March, she never dreamed that four months later she would end up in handcuffs.

Harpold bought one box of Zyrtec-D cold medicine for her husband at a Rockville pharmacy. Less than seven days later, she bought a box of Mucinex-D cold medicine for her adult daughter at a Clinton pharmacy, thereby purchasing 3.6 grams total of pseudoephedrine in a weeks time. Those two purchases put her in violation of Indiana law.

Read the whole story.

Roll Back the Patriot Act

September 28th, 2009 11:18 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Civil Liberties, congress, Constitution,, Liberty, Politics  |  Comments Off

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h

Quote of the Day: “The JUSTICE Act will allow intelligence agents to monitor terrorism suspects while putting checks in place to ensure that law-abiding Americans’ privacy and civil liberties are protected.” – Sen. Daniel Akaka

Following 9/11, Congress passed the gargantuan USA PATRIOT Act, without reading it. The PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act were written to protect Americans from terrorism, but they’ve left people unprotected from their own government.

The good news is that some parts of the PATRIOT Act will expire at the end of the year unless Congress renews them. This provides an opportunity to roll back many dangerous provisions. Toward this end Senator Russ Feingold introduced the JUSTICE Act (S. 1686) on September 17, Constitution Day. JUSTICE stands for the Judicious Use of Surveillance Tools In Counterterrorism Efforts. This bill would . . .

  • narrow the scope of “sneak and peak” warrants so they can’t be used in common criminal cases
  • ensure judicial review of NSLs and require that they only be used in terrorism or espionage investigations
  • prevent roving wiretaps of unnamed suspects that allow the government to monitor the conversations of innocent people
  • revoke the retroactive immunity provision of the FISA Amendments Act that has shielded the telecom companies that collaborated with the government in illegal surveillance
  • provide additional privacy protections outlined here

In short, the JUSTICE Act would give government agents powerful tools to spy on suspected terrorists, while preventing them from spying on YOU.

We would prefer to repeal the PATRIOT Act entirely, but until that can happen the provisions of the JUSTICE Act would move things in the right direction. Please take action to pass the JUSTICE Act.

Read More »

Ron Paul’s HR1207 Hearing Highlights and Thoughts

September 25th, 2009 6:01 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Big Government, Commentary, congress, Economics, Federal Reserve, Free Market, government spending, Liberty, Market Regulation, Maven Commentary, Money, Ron Paul, Thomas Woods  |  1

Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve, HR.1207, was the topic of a hearing of the full House Financial Services Committee chaired by Barney Frank today on capitol hill. The hearing was quite revealing.

Glancing at the cosponsor list one would get the impression that this is truly a bipartisan bill. No congress person wants to let anyone get the idea that he/she doesn’t support transparency. However, the devil is in the details.

It was quite obvious that Chairman Frank and Congressman Watt are not in total agreement with HR.1207 as it is written. Also, both attacked Tom Woods quite ferociously during the hearing. You can watch Frank’s attack in clip #4 in the embedded playlist below (it is right after Ron Paul questions Woods). Their attacks didn’t have much to do with the actual scope of auditing the Fed, but rather some disagreement with Woods rhetoric.

It is pretty clear that the leading Democrats on the committee would like an audit, but want it to be part of a larger regulatory reform bill. No one, except for perhaps Tom Woods argued that the bill not be part of a larger bill, not even Dr. Paul. It is fairly clear to me from this hearing that HR1207 will not be passed as a stand alone bill. The big question is whether or not the bill will be modified so much so that it fails in its original intent. We’ll find out fairly soon I suppose.

I selected a few highlights from todays hearing and made them available on Youtube. I’ve included all of the times Dr. Paul spoke and added a few others. You can watch these clips below. Also, not included below, but posted earlier, don’t miss Alan Grayson grilling the Fed lawyer like an overdone salmon.