Archive for February, 2011

Morgan Opens Gold Window

February 28th, 2011 8:20 pm  |  by  |  Published in Economics, Federal Reserve, gold, inflation, Money, precious metals, silver, Socialism  |  1

by John Browne, Senior Market Strategist at Euro Pacific Capital

Earlier this month, J.P. Morgan made an important announcement that received scant coverage in the media: the bank would now accept gold as collateral for loans. The move appears to have been well-timed, for in the ensuing weeks, the price of gold and silver climbed steeply, based largely on political turmoil in the Middle East. But why should Morgan’s decision be of interest to anyone outside the bank?

It can be argued that J.P. Morgan is the world’s premier major bank. As such, its decision to accept gold as collateral offers a rare glimpse into the very private financial decision-making of some of the largest and most sophisticated investors in the world, whether governments, corporations, or wealthy individuals.

By reopening its former gold vaults in New York, as well as new facilities in Far Eastern financial centers – which cater to investors who typically have larger gold reserves than Western counterparts – Morgan is telling the world that gold is gaining greater traction as a medium of exchange.

Given that a bank continually looks to provide services that its clients demand, the move suggests that a strategy has taken hold among the highest echelon of investors based on core holdings of precious metals.

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Nullification in Three Cities

February 28th, 2011 8:16 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, congress, Constitution, DownsizeDC.org, Liberty, nullification, Politics, slavery  |  6 Responses

ATTENTION: Cincinnati, Manchester, Minneapolis . . .

What do we do when DC politicians violate the Constitution with impunity? Thomas Jefferson had an answer. In 1798 he wrote that “whensoever” the Federal State “assumes undelegated powers,” that a “nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.” And . . .

Nullification is happening right now!

* Just last week, the Idaho House and the North Dakota Senate passed a Health Care Nullification Act. Nine other states are considering the same.
* Multiple states have passed firearms freedom acts, with more coming soon.

All across the country, the various states are saying “enough” to the Leviathan State in DC!

DownsizeDC.org, Inc. is supporting the Tenth Amendment Center’s 2011 Nullify Now! tour to educate and activate on behalf of this Constitutional tactic

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What does it mean to be partisan?

February 28th, 2011 12:44 am  |  by  |  Published in Commentary, Education, government spending  |  Comments Off

As a retired public school teacher, I find it useful to define terms by imagining how I would define them to children. The trick is to present a term with its most basic meanings. This works particularly well with political terms, since the media already defines them in childlike ways. Thus, if children ask me what Republicans and Democrats are (and they have) I might lift a simple definition right out of the media: “Republicans are people who don’t want to spend money, while Democrats want to spend money.” That would, of course, be an oversimplification, but it would satisfy the needs of the typical adult newspaper reader and might lead a child to ask more.

These days I don’t talk to as many kids as I used to, but the discourse is surprisingly similar. Consider, for instance, the reply of a California Democrat to this question: “What do you think state money should be spent on?” You’ll get a simple answer: “It should be spent on services for society’s most needy: children, the indigent,” etc. That’s an answer a child could understand. And most children, hearing such a statement, would think, “Well, why would anyone not be a Democrat? We should help children and poor people.”

Thus partisanship, the adherence to one party over another, is born. The problem, of course, is that adult political life is not so simple. To put it bluntly, Democrats don’t particularly care about children and poor people. Quite the reverse, in fact.

Take, for instance, the question of President Obama’s Race to the Top (RTTT) grant, which, we’re told, is supposed to help children. In California, as in the rest of the nation, almost all office-holding or appointed Democrats are for it, while many Republicans are against it. What I am arguing here is that, while this is a partisan struggle, it is not about whether or not we should help children.

To begin with, RTTT applicants must commit to adopting new federal “Common Core” academic standards (CCS). The reason given is that many states have poor standards. But California, in the estimate of virtually everyone who has studied its standards, is not in that category. Nonetheless, the Schwarzenegger appointed state school board approved paying, according to the non-profit group EdSource, up to $1.6 billion to cover the costs dropping our standards and adopting the CCS, and the board’s new members, appointed by Democratic governor Jerry Brown, are not perturbed at the prospect. Meanwhile our RTTT application was rejected and we will receive no federal money, so we will be paying the $1.6 billion with state funds, increasing by that amount our $25 billion deficit.

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Rand Paul tells truth, confuses David Letterman

February 25th, 2011 10:58 pm  |  by  |  Published in Debt, Education, Free Market, government spending, Rand Paul, Taxes  |  5 Responses

Last night’s appearance by Senator Rand Paul on David Letterman’s late night show was quite interesting. Rand answered the barrage of somewhat contentious questions with plain facts and well-reasoned arguments. Apparently this was strange to Letterman who had no better response than to more or less say, “well your wrong and I’m right but I don’t know why.”

Some are saying it was a disaster for Rand Paul. I don’t see it that way. What do you think? Check out the video below.

Arab Autocracies and US Inflation

February 24th, 2011 8:55 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Big Government, Economics, energy, government spending, inflation, Money  |  Comments Off

by Michael Pento, Senior Economist at Euro Pacific Capital (www.europac.net)

Civil revolt is currently spreading across the Arab world. What began in Tunisia has now metastasized into Bahrain, Egypt and Libya. Though two dictators have been ousted, the chances that these regimes will fundamentally transform from autocracy to a system of free markets and property rights are also up in the air. An important question is whether or not Saudi Arabia will eventually get into the mix; and, if so, whether the current struggle in Libya would morph into a proxy war between Saudi Arabia (Sunni Muslims) and Iran (Shiite Muslims). It remains to be seen whether the new regime in Egypt-whatever form it ends up to be – will allow Iran to use the Suez Canal to parade warships across the Mediterranean Sea and into Syria. If so, what would Israel’s reaction to such a perceived provocation be?

There are many unknowns, but what is known is that the turmoil has had an immediate and significant impact on the price of oil. WTI is now trading just below $100 a barrel and Brent Crude is already well above the century mark. If the unrest does indeed spread to Saudi Arabia – which produces 12 million barrels of oil per day and is the second largest producer in the world – mainstream analysts have made some wild predictions about how high the oil price could reach. Rising energy prices will further cripple the third world, which has already been placed under extreme pressure from skyrocketing food costs.

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Abolish All Federal Education Spending

February 24th, 2011 8:53 pm  |  by  |  Published in congress, Constitution, DownsizeDC.org, Education, government spending, Liberty  |  2 Responses

Quote of the Day: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” — Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

The Federal State has no constitutional authority for involvement in education. This alone should be sufficient reason to abolish the Department of Education and all federal education spending. But there are also two other powerful reasons . . .

* Federal education programs don’t work. Instead, they actually cause harm.
* The Federal State is headed toward bankruptcy and needs to cut spending.

Statist schools don’t work because they have no incentive to perform adequately. Unlike businesses in the Voluntary Sector of the economy, Statist schools can’t be fired or replaced by the people they supposedly serve.

This is the nature of Statism. It constantly compels the masters (citizens) to serve the servants (politicians and bureaucrats). As a result . . .

You’re now spending more than twice as much for the Feds to meddle with education as taxpayers did in the 1970′s, but student performance hasn’t improved.

Instead, costs have soared. For instance . . . Read More »

Rand Paul puts liberty back in the Tea Party

February 24th, 2011 1:08 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Books, Civil Liberties, congress, Constitution, Debt, Economics, foreign aid, Foreign Policy, Free Market, government spending, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, Market Regulation, patriot act, Ron Paul  |  Comments Off

About half-way through Rand Paul’s new book, “The Tea Party Goes to Washington“, makes me realize that he is trying to really put liberty back into the Tea Party as it was meant to be from the beginning. Making the media rounds yesterday and today, he is spreading that sweet message of freedom like his father. He is scheduled to be on Late Night with David Letterman tonight as well as Hannity’s TV show. Yesterday he was on ABC’s Good Morning America, Nightline, and Hannity’s radio show.

Here is his GMA appearance:

Here is his interview with Hannity on the radio:

Go, Rand, go.

The Ultimate Cure for Regulatory Cancer

February 22nd, 2011 10:12 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, congress, Constitution, DownsizeDC.org, jobs, Market Regulation  |  Comments Off

Quote of the Day: “Bureaucracy is the art of making the possible impossible.” – Javier Pascual Salcedo

There was a token piece of good news last month. President Obama ordered “a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.”

But meanwhile, unelected bureaucrats are continuing to propose NEW anti-competitive, job-killing, regulations.

That’s why we’re grateful that the spending bill the House passed last week de-funds:

* Obamacare
* Greenhouse gas regulations
* Net Neutrality

We proposed exactly this strategy last month, and the House is implementing it.

But this approach is subject to compromises as the House, Senate, and President negotiate a final budget deal. That’s why . . .

ONLY DownsizeDC.org’s Write the Laws Act will stop irresponsible bureaucratic rule-making once and for all. Please tell Congress to pass it.

You may borrow from or copy this letter . . . Read More »

Freedom is still popular! Another Ron Paul money bomb success story

February 22nd, 2011 1:09 am  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Election, Fund Raising, Politics, Ron Paul  |  1

Yes, apparently freedom is still quite popular. Ron Paul’s pre-2012 candidacy money bomb was a huge success. Paul requested supporters fill up the coffers of his Liberty PAC and they did so in earnest. Paul’s PAC is now over $700 thousand richer, setting the stage for his eventual 2012 candidacy.

See the Liberty PAC website for the latest amount.

Rand Paul on Fox and Friends

February 17th, 2011 10:04 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Civil Liberties, Constitution, Economics, government spending, patriot act, Rand Paul  |  Comments Off

Rand Paul appeared on Fox and Friends yesterday to discuss the budget and his patriotic and constitutional position on opposing the extension of the PATRIOT Act.