Archive for May, 2010

The Economy in Pictures

May 26th, 2010 1:30 am  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Commentary, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, government spending, inflation, Liberty, Money, national debt  |  Comments Off

“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance.” – Declaration of Independence, 1776

Originally published May 24, 2010 at http://towneforcongress.com/economy/the-economy-in-pictures-1

The below pictures were from a presentation given at yesterday’s “Towne” Hall.  I’ve added a few comments with documentation links.  The quote above from the Declaration easily applies to the 22.5 million bureaucrats, America’s second largest job sector, who make nearly twice the average wage of the private sector.  While America is not Greece – or Iceland – there are glaring similarities. While the Republocrats are not King George… they are far worse.

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Wow… Michael Scheuer: “Maddow and the Obamas: Killers of Hope, Spurs of Rebellion

May 25th, 2010 10:39 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, Blowback, Civil Liberties, Commentary, Constitution, Election, Foreign Policy, History, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, Media, Politics  |  8 Responses

Michael Scheuer is not one to mince words when it comes to his writing, speaking, or beliefs. This article demonstrates it perfectly. This is a must read.

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Maddow and the Obamas: Killers of hope, spurs of rebellion

The attacks by MSNBC’s extremist Rachel Maddow on Rand Paul clarify a good deal for me. Ms. Maddow’s position is based on a sort of warmed over version of the 1920s’ Bloomsbury ideology: effete, secular, socialist, pacifistic, elitist, and libertine. The ideology is shared by her fellow MSNBC extremists Olberman and Matthews and by Mr. Obama and his acolytes. Anyone disagreeing with her and them is not just wrong but perverse, racist, badly educated, antiquarian, and could only come from the scum of the earth. What passes for political thought and philosophy among MSNBC’s neo-Bloomsbury extremists and team Obama reminds one of cheeses and flowers — those that stink the most, last the longest.

But, to be honest, MSNBC’s extremists and the Obamaites are not much different from Republicans in being arrogant elitists who regard Americans as ignorant rubes who are unaware of what is best for themselves and their country. What do we hear from the Republicans: they talk anti-abortion, do-nothing; talk controlling borders, do nothing; talk debt reduction, spend more; talk energy self-sufficiency, kiss the Saudis’ butt; talk support for the troops, get more killed in useless wars; talk about America’s independence, and lap up humiliation from Israel and Mexico.

Ms. Maddow-of-Bloomsbury, then, represents both parties in the sense that they both are telling Americans: “Trust us. We know what is best for you. Vote for us, shut up, and go home and watch television.”

Please read the rest…

Hannity, the blind squirrel, finds a nut

May 25th, 2010 1:07 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Civil Liberties, Constitution, Politics, Racism, Rand Paul  |  1

Sean Hannity, rather vigorously, defends Rand Paul’s position on the CRA to a caller on his radio show. He defends it by pointing out the hypocrisy of the argument against Paul.

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

MELTUP

May 25th, 2010 11:36 am  |  by  |  Published in Economics, gold standard, government spending, inflation, Liberty, Money  |  1

Previously, I wrote about “America’s Ridiculous Toy Money”, as pennies and nickels become worth more than their face value.  While I warned that the end result will be inflation by the printing press, the short term cannot be predicted.  Currency crises always involves psychological events.   Last week I attended a speech by a member of the Philadelphia FED and he was careful to note the true primary short-term danger from the Greece bailout was psychological loss of confidence in government’s paper currencies.  This is all due to the insanity of unbacked paper money and the penchant for politicians and central bankers to print whatever is needed to fund their pet programs and undisciplined bureaucratic and military spending.

The below video, MELTUP, was placed together by the National Inflation Association, so of course by default they are primary concerned with warning about inflation.  Feel free to leave any comments or questions below.  I have previously written about the gold and silver markets in “The Summers Gold Price Suppression Scheme” last year, and this topic is covered in the campaign’s Sound Money and Jobs plank.

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Are You Guilty Until Proved Innocent?

May 25th, 2010 10:53 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, DownsizeDC.org, Liberty, Politics  |  Comments Off

Quote of the Day: “Under civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets, all without so much as charging you with a crime. Unlike criminal forfeiture, where property is taken after its owner has been found guilty in a court of law, with civil forfeiture, owners need not be charged with or convicted of a crime to lose homes, cars, cash or other property. Americans are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but civil forfeiture turns that principle on its head.” – The Institute For Justice, “Policing For Profits”

Civil asset forfeiture is the practice of seizing and keeping property that police claim was used in a crime.

* The government does not have to prove their claim in court under the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt”
* Instead of “innocent until proven guilty” the property owner must prove innocence at his or her own expense
* Incredibly, the funds necessary to pay for that defense are often also confiscated

Police departments are growing more dependent on forfeitures to pay for their budgets. This means no one is safe . . .

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Rand Paul, Libertarianism, and Racism

May 24th, 2010 5:24 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Civil Liberties, Commentary, Constitution, Free Market, Individual Responsibility, Libertarianism, Liberty, Market Regulation, Maven Commentary, Politics, Racism, Rand Paul  |  9 Responses

There’s so much to say about the recent Rand Paul and Rachel Maddow event that it’s difficult to know where to begin. By now every reader of this site has probably seen Rand Paul’s appearance on Maddow’s show last week when he answered Maddow’s questions about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with philosophy instead of soundbites. He answered like a libertarian academic rather than a Republican politician. I find this to be refreshing rather than flawed unlike most of the surface-dwelling progressives castigating and misrepresenting Paul following his remarks.

The question, as it pertains to the Civil Rights Act is, should the government make it illegal for a private business owner to discriminate or should consumers in the marketplace determine whether a private business owner stays in business due to his discriminatory practices?

Market forces, if they are truly free from regulation, produce equality far more pure than any government can create through force of law. Unfortunately, it is human nature to intervene and humans run the government so it is unlikely this assertion will ever become provable beyond doubt.

There are many people better than I am at arguing these points and defending Rand Paul on this issue.

Below are just a few of the best of the best:

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Stormy Seas on the Atlantic

May 21st, 2010 4:44 pm  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Big Government, Debt, Economics, inflation, Money, national debt, Politics, Taxes  |  Comments Off

by John Browne, Senior Market Strategist, Euro Pacific Capital

The European Union’s debt crisis, the threatened collapse of its fledgling ‘euro’ currency, and the uncertainties created by the UK elections may seem very far removed from the American ship of state, but, in reality, this turbulence threatens to capsize our fragile economy.

Greece is in the most immediate danger of default, followed closely thereafter by Portugal, Spain, and perhaps Italy. As the European Union overrides its own treaty agreements to offer bailouts to these ‘PIGS,’ global financial markets have panicked. Essentially what has happened is that the covenants and assumptions underlying one of the bedrock reserve currencies of international finance – and the presumed successor to the US dollar as primary reserve – have been broken. This requires a global re-rating of purchasing power risk. The problem is today’s investors have few havens left.

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Beware an ‘American Style’ Federalized EU

May 21st, 2010 12:17 am  |  by  |  Published in Debt, Economics, Free Market, inflation, Market Regulation, Money, national debt, Politics, Taxes, War  |  Comments Off

by Ron Holland

The state of South Carolina has been an independent republic and nation twice in history, first in March of 1776 and again in December of 1860. History here certainly shows how it is far easier to get into a political union than to get out again. In South Carolina, we have found that once in a voluntary union, the open door slams shut as political and monetary elites who benefit from this arrangement seldom give up their power to tax, inflate the currency, protect special interest monopoly rights and engage in mercantilism without fighting to retain their distant dictatorial controls.

The photos below aren’t of terror bombing of London, Berlin or Dresden but rather Columbia, SC (small photo) and Charleston (large photo). There were no land battles fought in either city but rather Columbia was burned at the end of the war by union forces and the civilian areas of Charleston were targeted by a union naval bombardment which lasted longer than the World War Two German siege of Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Russia.

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

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Nullification – The Forgotten Check on the Federal Government

May 20th, 2010 11:45 pm  |  by  |  Published in Liberty, states rights  |  Comments Off

“In questions of powers, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson

Originally published May 21, 2010 at http://towneforcongress.com/economy/nullification-the-forgotten-check-on-the-federal-government-1

Yesterday, May 20th, I gave a short talk to the Concerned Citizens of Upper Perkiomen Valley for Smaller Government on the concept of nullification.  Nullification is one of the checks the states have on the federal government where the state refuses to comply with federal law — which are deemed harmful to the state and usually assume powers not delegated by the state to the federal government.  Nullified federal laws are deemed null and void in the state(s) where passed and have no force.

The presentation first covered the concept of state sovereignty, the roots of nullification during the Federalist Papers and the ratification of the Constitution.  Next historical uses of nullification were reviewed, followed by a surprising amount of modern-day state legislation that are also attempts at nullification.  A video recording is not yet available.

While I make no claim to be an expert on nullification, Dr. Thomas Woods of the Mises Institute is and will shortly publish a new book, Nullification.  You can learn more about his book here.  One of Woods’ past articles on nullification is hereA playlist of Woods giving a talk on nullification and “the Principles of ’98″ is below.

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The Greek Tragedy Is Just a Sneak Preview of What’s Coming to Washington

May 20th, 2010 2:53 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Big Government, Debt, Economics, gold standard, government spending, inflation, Lew Rockwell, Liberty, Money, national debt, Politics  |  Comments Off

by Ron Holland (originally published on LewRockwell.com)

“The current European debt crisis likely will not end until the euro collapses as a currency and takes the entire European Union with it.”

~ Dennis Gartman, hedge fund manager and writer of The Gartman Letter

I was just in Greece, where the stupidity and venality of the political class are in full view.

The coming repudiation of Greek debt and the credit contagion that will spread among the weaker members of the European Union, including the UK, will ultimately slop over onto the U.S. But while we wait, the process will bring us the answer to a long-simmering question. Will the European Union be a supra-state ruling the formerly independent nations of Europe or will it be a confederation of quasi-independent sovereign nations?

The Eurocrat elites want a union of European nations with one central bank, one currency and just one flag that really matters, all molded to fit the American model. I believe Europe would be far better off as a confederation of sovereign states that allows competition among individual national currencies. Some countries might even revert to backing their national currency with gold. It’s amazing how responsible institutions become when they’re forced to compete.

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