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Sovereign Man's 2010 Look Back And 2011 Predictions

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Simon Black currently in Santiago, Chile, presents a quick introspective on the key events of 2010, before moving on to a few broad forecasts for 2011. We hope his predictive ability is better than that of one Byron Wien. The key among Simon's predictions is that very soon we may see the same kind of power vacuum that brought about the Thermidorian Reaction in that last major systemic overhaul. Of course, the fact that we still have to experience a an actual storming of the Bastille is a little perturbing. But everything in due course...

From Sovereign Man Simon Black

A look back, and some 2011 predictions

After a wonderful, relaxing weekend here in beautiful Santiago that involved meeting up with a couple of subscribers, I'm buckling down to the business at hand that will include finalizing preparations for our upcoming workshop, as well as exploring initial plans for the community.

To be honest, I'm not much for New Year's; it's just an arbitrary day that has no more or less significance than any other day of the year, but I suppose all the time off over the holidays does give one plenty of time to pause, reflect on the previous year's events, and ponder the upcoming ones.

I spent a lot of time over the last weeks reviewing our conversations from the past year, and I was actually a bit surprised at how much had unfolded. If you recall the analogy of the boiling frog, each of these events represents yet another degree in the march towards 100 centigrade.
 

Think about it-- in 2010 we saw:

- The TSA 'tip of the spear' enforcing subordination to government authority
- Canada's government authorizing its agents to search homes without a warrant
- Gold hitting all-time nominal highs due to unprecedented monetary inflation
- Governments around the world raising taxes with immediate effect
- Homeland Security began seizing domains without due process
- The beginning of the end of the Eurozone
- World governments engaging in mutually assured destruction currency wars
- FBI raiding the homes of war protestors
- Passage of the HIRE Act in the United States, a precursor to capital controls
- Political heavyweights openly calling for the assassination of Julian Assange
- Switzerland settling with the US government
- Panama caving to pressure and signing a Tax Information Exchange Agreement
- Homeland Security encouraging US citizens to spy on each other at Wal Mart
- North Korea engaging in acts of war against the south

et cetera, et cetera....

When you spend a lot of time around a child, it's difficult to really notice his/her day-to-day growth. It takes an outsider who hasn't seen the kid in 3-years to point out "Look at how big you've grown!"

Similarly, it takes a brief pause to look back over recent events and realize how rapidly things are changing. Seemingly the one constant has been an almost uninterrupted rise in global equity markets.

It's truly amazing how markets have remained unfazed by so much change; this is evidenced not only by rising equities, but also by the lackluster level of the VIX 'fear index', which was recently as low as 15.45 before the holiday trading sessions.

As the ball dropped and the champagne flowed, I started thinking about what might shake markets from their apathy this year... and perhaps more importantly, what further events will unfold in the war on liberty.

A few ideas crossed my mind:

1) Many of the old monarchs and dictators still clinging to power will finally croak, creating massive opportunity and instability.

Just look at how many octogenarians are still in positions of tremendous power and influence, either de facto or de jure:

King Abdullah- Saudi Arabia (86)
Crown Prince Sultan- Saudi Arabia (82)
King Bhumipol- Thailand (83)
Robert Mugabe- Zimbabwe (86)
Fidel Castro- Cuba (84)
Raul Castro- Cuba (79)
Emir Jaber- Kuwait (81)
Pope Benedict XVI (83)
Hosni Mubarak- Egypt (82)
Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah- Malaysia (83)
Manmohan Singh- India (78)
Than Shwe- Burma (77)
Mahmoud Abbas- Palestine (75)

2) Massive property bubble bursts in Thailand.

Because of the relative size of its economy, low prices, significant population, agricultural wealth, and manufacturing base, a lot of western funny money that's been printed has ended up looking for a home in Thailand.

In its efforts to thwart rapid currency appreciation, the Thai central bank has matched its western counterparts in polluting the money supply. It's no wonder that Thailand's stock exchange rang up a 40.6% return in 2010, the 4th best performing index in the world after Peru, Argentina, and Indonesia.

The other place where the money ended up is in the Thai housing market, which is just bursting at the seams with new supply and rising prices fueled by speculators as opposed to demographic fundamentals.
 
3) Chinese street inflation exceeds real GDP growth

How can you tell when a politician's lying? Watch for his lips moving. This goes doubly in China where inflation and growth statistics in China are massaged vigorously.

The government's efforts to maintain a currency peg have created troubling inflation in the country, and 2011 may be the year when the economic engine runs out of steam.
 
4) Several major American cities go bankrupt. This has been a long time coming, but it may prove to be the powder keg that sparks the financial mushroom cloud.
 
5) Julian Assange has an 'accident'. I sincerely hope it won't happen, but I won't be surprised.
 
6) It becomes illegal to record the police in several US states, Canada, or the UK. You know, we used to be able to rely on the mainstream media to keep governments in check... but these days they're just petty hacks and cheerleaders.

Fortunately, the Internet is a great equalizer, and videos abound of Officer Bubbles and the like which show the absurd lengths that police forces and government agents will go to intimidate and subordinate the masses.

There have already been arrests, charges filed, and lawsuits pending against citizens who have recorded the police and posted it online... and I fear that governments will pass laws which legally prohibit such action.

Look, I could really go on here, there's no end to the insanity we may see in 2011, and the pace at which it could happen. Politicians can literally make these changes overnight, and you won't want your money around when they decide to impose capital controls.

These aren't things to panic about, but merely to prepare for. When you take action that diversifies your sovereign risk, you sleep a lot better knowing that your assets, interests, and livelihood are not all inextricably linked to an empire in decline.

 

 

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Mon, 01/03/2011 - 23:02 | 845687 samsara
samsara's picture

Thermidorian Reaction

+1000

The mental image was PERFECT Tyler

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 23:11 | 845700 Cleanclog
Cleanclog's picture

Tomorrow I will post my REAL worry for 2011 Black Swan events.  Could trigger a bunch of inflection points.  Just don't have time tonight.  But first won't be for another week anyway.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:24 | 845824 westboundnup
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Will it appear as a separate comment or a reply to this article?

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:17 | 845891 Cleanclog
Cleanclog's picture

I'll do both.  Thanks for your interest.  It is upsetting, but I think a real possibility in this year of 2011.  A clue in and of itself.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 17:03 | 847481 Cleanclog
Cleanclog's picture

My real worry, that I alluded to yesterday, is what Al Qaeda/Bin Laden may be planning in this '11 year.  Something on the 9th of every month?  Something on every day of September 9/11?  Sure hope not.

A little more at http://bit.ly/bUhdTr

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 21:57 | 848204 westboundnup
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I remember several years ago an administration official boldly proclaiming w/ head held high and chin out that intelligence sources had pinpointed OBL.  It must have been more than 5 years since then.

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 23:20 | 845712 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Property is without doubt getting heated in Thailand...guess they did not learn their lesson back in the '90's. Luckily, I have a 99 year lease from several years ago that is locked in (legally, anyway). Actually, I do hope the things burst and values go down..less chance of my owner trying to worm his way out of the lease:)

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:31 | 845834 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

did this clown ever think that Thailand is a creditor nation with trade surpluses ? The exact opposite of 1997

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:44 | 845847 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Different circumstances...but still very heated housing market. I was there in the late nineties as well...and almost everything was a bubble then. Right now there is a lot of speculation in housing.

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 23:16 | 845715 kato
kato's picture

that guy is a total barf bag contents joke. tell him to fuck off stay away and you have zero cred in addition to zero hedge if you keep publishing that fraud.

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 23:50 | 845778 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

What, specifically, is fraudulent about his claims?  While he is making predictions on future events, which may or may not come true, he didn't seem to go over the top to me.

Randomly calling someone out without any specific details as to why you think what you do is called an ad hominem attack and is a logical fallacy.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:47 | 845853 kato
kato's picture

randomly spewing random possible bullshit mixed with the obvious 'ad hominem is a logical fallacy'. there are those that lap up the bullshit/obvious though and think they are getting a good smell from that barf bag.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 02:48 | 845967 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

so... you have no specifics... no data... just random insults.

you sir, are a troll...

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 08:29 | 846127 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

and, imo, an authoritarian one (the worst kind).

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 08:30 | 846128 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

and, imo, an authoritarian one (the worst kind).

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 23:24 | 845730 PalmiticGlycerin
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5) Julian Assange has an 'accident'. I sincerely hope it won't happen, but I won't be surprised.

Julian Assange has sex with an agent with "bio-weaponized pussy", without a condom.  Death rapidly ensues.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:30 | 845831 poor fella
poor fella's picture

vagina dentata

 

 

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 08:36 | 846136 jeff montanye
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rapeaxe bitchez

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 23:37 | 845755 wisefool
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I honestly do not understand the claim that law enforcement does not want to be recorded.

Maybe I am just old. But Police dramas are a large chunk of TV line ups. Lots of reality shows and docudramas use actual footage. Almost every police vehicle has multiple cameras and they give that footage to the news stations all the time. A good old fashion police chase takes over every MSM network for hours at a time. And every retired cop within 3 states is called in giving the commentary. Sure, you got your rodney king and "don't touch my junk" and your planned (by both sides G8 type incidents), but thats gotta be 1/10000 cases. Maybe the cops in my area are just a lot more professional than the ones that don't want to be recorded.

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 23:45 | 845771 samsara
samsara's picture

 Almost every police vehicle has multiple cameras and they give that footage to the news stations all the time.

Only if it supports their side.   Those aren't the ones they don't like. 

It's not about the film itself per se,  THEY want to be the editors of the films.

 

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:04 | 845799 wisefool
wisefool's picture

Sure. I can see arguments on both sides of the issue. 

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:10 | 845809 goldmiddelfinger
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LAPD has had long loved censorship.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:27 | 845828 wisefool
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Right. I acknowledge the Rodney King, Watts, Kent state, and other abuses.

But moving forward, admitting nativity, what are people going risk confrontations with police over? Thats the only upside to this over-capacity we got ourselves into. Even the poorest in america now have flat screen televisions, SUVs, food stamps, and unlike Europe, student loans that are probably going to be forgiven.

I am not trying to be adversarial. Just genuinely trying to figure out what Americans are going to be impassioned enough about to risk confrontation with the police over (that they would need to edit the footage of). 

 

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:03 | 845871 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Censor Internet porn?

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:12 | 845884 wisefool
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Why would they do that? If the conspiracy theorists are right, TPTB want population control. I would think porn helps wastes seeds and all that would become "worthless eaters"

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:15 | 845890 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Well...in my view, you kinda answered your own question there.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:24 | 845903 wisefool
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Sure. I got that from a couple of deifferent Matt Gronegs' futurama episodes. The characters immerse themselves in very advanced VR futuristic porn and emerge saying something to the effect of "Now I am completely bored with the concept of sex"

So back on point. what are people going to get in conflicts with the police over? There will always be drug/drink/passion crimes. But honestly, what are the triggers for our current situation? 

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:30 | 845907 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Well....if things degrade slowly, probably nothing for the foreseeable future. Just like your porn reference (or the boiling frog)...we slowly grow accustomed to that which we feel powerless to change. In the short term, I see nothing. In the long term, poverty, police oppression and the usual things. But even that, to me, is a stretch.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:49 | 845925 wisefool
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Poverty:

Thats my thing too. People felt poor because they were not living in a McMansion.  With the housing bubble, pretty much anybody who wanted one, could get one.

As the shadow inventory gets put back on the market, even the people who lost their McMansions and have terrible credit scores will be able to get another one.

Police oppression:

Thats what I am trying to figure out. I am old and want to be as far away from either side of the conflict as possible. Live and Let Die.

Usual Things:

That cartoon posted earlier today. "Never mess with a mans woman, his ego, or his money" If we keep printing we destroy everybodies' money. If we go to PM backed currency we will hurt a lot of peoples egos.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 04:13 | 846019 Confused
Confused's picture

Google anything related to protests (G8 in Seattle 1999 is a good start). 

 

If the population wants to assemble, the police will be there to squash it. And I'd bet there would be more than a few people present with video cameras of a sort. Its not the cops so much, but what they are told to do. Thats my guess. 

 

Remember that cop that kicked the kid off the bike that made its way round youtube? 

 

 

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:09 | 845881 wisefool
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EDIT: So now you all got me thinking. We created giant moral hazard with this housing bubble and bailout. We are going to have the same thing with the tuition bubble and student loan bailout. But for the most part, only dignified people who lived within their means are victims. Everybody else, from top (Mozillo,Frank) to bottom (liar loaners and house flippers) got everything they could have ever wanted. If they succeeded they are McMillionaires. If they failed, they got bailed out. They got their coke/whores/fancy cars and played master of the universe for a while. (memories)

Now, if we as a society declare that PMs are the new measure of "wealth" are we going to go back to the complaints of inequity and "entrepreneurship" that leads to violence and derision? Essentially starting the whole thing over again? Rattling the cages of sleeping fighting dogs who are exhausted and content with their days activity?

Nobody is going to go to the effort to into somebodies house to steal a 3 year old $400 TV. But if we elevate Gold and Silver to some status beyond its intrinsic/useful value then we will be having an issue of property theft, violence and police intervention.

I think I am channeling Rham Emmanuel here, and it makes me sick.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:18 | 845896 Aristarchan
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That is bad.....you might want to have that seen to ASAP before you start groping people in showers.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:30 | 845906 wisefool
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Heh. My intended punchline was "Never let a good crisis go to waste"

Meaning, the recent bubble was a big orgy of greed. Lots of people got what they wanted without working for it, or going to jail for it. And most now realize they got away with murder of many decent peoples way of life.

Lets not give them any ostentatious reason to get fired up again.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 03:26 | 845986 Aristarchan
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I don't think many of the people who were flipping houses, or watching "Flip This House" on TV are going to do much. Yeah, they acted like asses, but they were just taking advantage of what was available (easy money), and leveraging it to make more....just like bankstas always have done, and do today. Hell....Government policy was aiding-and-abetting them! No, the people to worry about are the ones who bought in at cheap rates, with nothing down (encouraged by mortgage swindlers - who in turn were financed by the big financial institutions) and now, have lost their jobs, houses, savings and possibly their future....by doing what the Government wanted them to do. You get a lot of people disenfranchised, and make them really understand what happened to them....how a government, Wall Street, cable TV shysters, banks, mortgage originators, stupid regulators and all the other ilk fucked them....then, maybe they get mean someday.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 11:15 | 846428 wisefool
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I personally don't think so. The people who got screwed by this are the people with the ethics and dignity to have not participated in the first place. For them to now seek violent retribution over some people who get to live in a McMansion, a corner office in a skyscraper, or seek retribution against the regulator who failed to stop the excess, seems a like stretch of their character.

Those dignified types are only going to revolt over oil/food. And as I am postulating, the bad actors should have so much in their greedy bellies they will not be a threat for several years. Unless our culture insists they eat a tiny wafer of PMs .......

 

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 08:28 | 846124 Pullmyfinger
Pullmyfinger's picture

My apologies for striking off on a tangent here, but I'm pretty sure that in a truly free market, it would be impossible to evaluate gold & co. beyond its intrinsic value. Right now, the market is highly controlled, so there are tremendous distortions, given that the dollar has been dropping for a long time without benefit of a fixed point of reference. Precious metals do that, not because their value is completely arbitrary, but because they actually represent an implicit energy standard. This is what actually what "rare" signifies: that it takes a relatively high degree of energy to obtain even small amounts. If I could simply bend over and pick up a given amount of gold at any time, then of course, even though it would still be just as industrially useful and aesthetically pleasing as it is today, it's relative cost would still be very, very low. As the system continues to break down then, at some point nature will reassert itself, the controlled market will collapse of its own weight and the value of precious metals with respect to freely printed and overabundant paper will spontaneously realign to reflect reality. Ultimately, of course, the entire spectrum of economics is simply an exercise in pure physics.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 19:19 | 847872 wisefool
wisefool's picture

prima notrure. And Newton, according to scholars, died trying to turn lead into gold. 

I got some Reardon steel we can weigh in tons (if thats the unit of measurement that Timmy's bankers let him become the head of the IRS.) Until then, I'll save the receipt for my I-pad. (Zerohedge)

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 09:48 | 846227 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Just genuinely trying to figure out what Americans are going to be impassioned enough about to risk confrontation with the police over (that they would need to edit the footage of)

 

It is funny that you claim to want to see the issue from both sides yet laid the responsibility on "Americans" to shoot first?

Could it be the Police might go to be impassioned enough about to risk confrontation with  "Americans" over?

Not so long ago, US founders spotted a habit in people responsible for exerting the King's authority that they labelled abuse of power, abuse of authority. Reading them, it was a bad thing.

So could it be that without provocation police officers might enjoy abusing their power just for feeling they do possess this power and that could be annoying for countries authority structures that condemned previously these kind of behaviour and even destroyed previous systems because they allowed that? 

For notice, in a number of countries in the Western world, police officers can get compensated for minor accidents happening to them.

So a patrol arrest people, without real motives, start to push on them and when the tempers flare up, they are  guilty of resisting the Police. Later, the patrol can sue and receive as reparation money.

For a hierarchy, this can grow annoying, especially if their proclaimed ideology requires to suppress this type of behaviour.

I found so interesting that you laid the possible blame on one side only, while claiming to observe the issue from both sides.

The US public might have little incentive to risk provocation. But the Police, as exercizing power, have a natural one: exercize of power.

And the only way to feel you have power is to exercize it in ways that prove you have power. Hence the propensity to abuse of power.

Very learning that US citizens, with their own history, were led to ignore naturally that side of the issue. It tells so much when people who seized power on the ground they would solve certain issues come to offuscate naturally the said issues.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 10:49 | 846357 wisefool
wisefool's picture

Sure. It was a little myopic of me to phrase the issue that way. So I will try again. You mentioned the exertion of power as a motive in itself. I can agree with that, but there still has to be some type of seed.

Like in the old days where the sheriff of Nottingham prevented peasants from hunting in the kings woods. The ostensible reason was so that when the king, his court and his police wanted to go hunting, the game was ample and they did not have to work very hard for it.

I guess in modern times, it would be the salaries and pensions, collected through taxes. Since we are on a fiat system, and the Bernanke is printing money for everyone, why would the police try to shakedown the peasants for a few more dollars when they can get thousands at a time from the printing press? Basically the same argument I am making about the civilian ne'ordowells. If we go to a gold standard all the the people that used to sell liar loans are going to start making tungsten core coins. Smart ZH'ers would not get fooled by them but 90% of the population would. And potential bad actors in law enforcement would have a reason to shake people down.

 

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 13:37 | 846890 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Being on a gold standard doesn't mean we all start carrying gold coins around. It means our paper money has to be backed by physical metal. And that metal will have been assayed and will be sitting in a vault, within 'the system'. I might also add that selling liar loans is a lot easier than minting tungsten-cored coins. One just involves shuffling paperwork, the other quite advanced metallurgy and milling knowledge.

As for the police not wanting to start trouble - what do you think will happen to their budgets if there is no crime or violence? For further inducement, as a previous poster pointed out, they receive generous compensation if injured.

You seem to forget that the sort of people who are drawn to police work are those who feel they have the right to violently enforce ALL a country's laws. Given the obvious amorality (or even immorality) of many of these laws, this suggests that most police officers are either amoral themselves, or stupid, or thugs.

Re: video recording - yes, modern police vehicles have multiple cameras recording everything. The police are aware of the limitations of this equipment, however, so if they wish to overstep the bounds of their authority, all they need do is block the view of the cameras or move off-screen. The police want to ban citizens recording them because they suddenly no longer know when or where they are being watched.

The police hate being surveilled for the same reason anyone hates it - it limits their actions.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 08:31 | 848754 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Sure. It was a little myopic of me to phrase the issue that way. So I will try again. You mentioned the exertion of power as a motive in itself. I can agree with that, but there still has to be some type of seed.

Like in the old days where the sheriff of Nottingham prevented peasants from hunting in the kings woods. The ostensible reason was so that when the king, his court and his police wanted to go hunting, the game was ample and they did not have to work very hard for it.

 

huh, no. That is not an abuse of power. The King owned the woods and could keep people out of it. The Sheriff (I think the constable though) applied the law. No abuse of power.

Abuse of power comes when people use their power simply to feel they are powerful. It happens at all levels of power and usually on personal initiative.

It might be that bureaucrat who retains that paper you need (and are entitled to get) but simply not delivers to you because the bureaucrat wants to feel powerful.

The seed is exercize of power itself. There is no other cause to seek.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 03:13 | 845978 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture

I can't think of any legitimate reason police would oppose being videoed. 

The only possible reason is they're violating the law and / or abusing people.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 03:15 | 845979 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Sometimes, in following the law, their actions look really bad on TV. I am not sure if that is a reflection of TV, our laws, or both.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 07:57 | 846086 MarketTruth
MarketTruth's picture

And yes MOST of the time the police are breaking the law and then their buddy-buddy system means they lie about it. Without video evidence, the lying police win. With video evidence the police must explain themselves and are held to the video proof. As such, the video gives a better chance of finding of fact in a court of law versus no video.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 03:40 | 845997 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

The reason is because video is presented in a court against them and agencies are running out of money and can't afford costly lawsuits when they can't now even pay the pensions they promised.

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 23:37 | 845757 Bitter Bob
Bitter Bob's picture

Having lived in Thailand for the last 7 years I completely agree about the ridiculous housing market.  Houses in Bangkok are much more expensive than a comparable abode in the USA.  A typical two-story "up-scale" place in Bangkok is about 2,000 square feet.  You get a patch of lawn about 4 feet wide surrounding the place. Construction quality is absolute crap and it will run you upwards of $250K.  By the way, the place comes with NOTHING.  I mean no kitchen, no cabinets, no closets, NOTHING.  You get the floors, doors, walls, and a roof; that's it.

A friend of mine married a local lass.  Her parents are school teachers nearing retirement age.  Actually her father just recently retired.  His pension with mom's salary probably brings in the equivalent of about $5K per month and that is being very generous.  Well they built a huge house out in the sticks for about $125K and got a loan for a new spec place in Bangkok for another $250K.  At most $5K per month coming in and they were given loans worth $375K.  Are you fucking kidding me?

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 23:44 | 845766 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

O Oh!

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:36 | 845840 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

250k ? You couldn't get a burned down crack shack in any big Canadian city for that. $5000 k for Thai teachers ? Your not living in the same Thailand that I know of.  I heard they dont get paid anywhere near that.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:50 | 845855 kato
kato's picture

millin dollar crach shacks in vancouver

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:05 | 845873 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Pre-populated with snaggle-toothed Canucks.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:08 | 845878 Bitter Bob
Bitter Bob's picture

Don't know about Canada but you can get a pretty nice 2,500 sq ft house for less than $200K in a nice Houston suburb.

You are correct that I screwed up the currency conversion.  The father's pension in my original post is supposedly 70K Thai baht per month (approx $2,300 / month).  Figured mom is considerably less than that so let's call it a total of $3,500 / month for both.  That makes the housing market that much more ridiculous.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 04:05 | 846014 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Consider the absurdly low cost of living and it's implications.  It is really hard to grasp on first exposure.

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 23:39 | 845762 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

I don't think market shakers will come from any of the foreseeable or anticipatable areas. Many have already been factored in to the "muddle-through" economic equations. This holds true for as long as the Fed makes it the centerpiece of its policy and actions. Take the punch bowl away and we'll have a humdinger of a selloff. Surprises come in many forms, however. 

I look at 2011 as simply being a continuation and amplification of what's right and what's wrong in the economy and politics. The trends have been set into motion. Now they must reach their logical conclusion. It's a race to see which snowballs faster: what's right or what's wrong. 

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 23:56 | 845787 goldmiddelfinger
goldmiddelfinger's picture

Gold. Gold will get CRUSHED.

 

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:21 | 845897 essence
essence's picture

And you believe this so much that you are willing to put your money where your big mouth is... right?

Please give us the specifics of your Gold shorts.

 

 

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:03 | 845797 Dantzler
Dantzler's picture

"Canada's government authorizing its agents to search homes without a warrant"

Maybe my google-fu is weak, but can some one provide a cite for this?

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:09 | 845807 goldmiddelfinger
goldmiddelfinger's picture

"Cite" ? Cites are blind and dumb yet manic insects invisible to the NAKED eye which burrow under the skin and infect the brain with delusions of quaint, proper, English grammar.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:10 | 845810 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

Hello troll, having fun annoying the crowd?

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 02:18 | 845950 bugfixx
bugfixx's picture

Probably means the Ontario gov't use of the 1939 Public Works Protection Act to declare the perimeter of the Toronto G20 conference a "public work," so Toronto city cops could search anyone who approached the perimeter without probable cause or a warrant and arrest anyone who resisted. This is a disgusting end run around the Charter of Rights, but has nothing to do with warrantless searches of Canadians' homes.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 03:00 | 845972 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

Yay for fascism in Canada!  I just can't wait for the jackboots to start marchin... We'll be so safe from the terrorists then! /sarc

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:39 | 845841 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

In the news tonight: 

-CA Gov Brown promises "painful" cuts; S&P and Mort Zuckerman warn of further drag on house prices "for years to come" on shadow inventory; House GOP vows cuts to social security and medicare

Meanwhile:

-Crude holds steady at 27-month highs; ISM-Man prices rise above expectations; S Korea Pres calls for efforts to contain inflation; S Korea seeks new sources of rare earth metals in Vietnam; dollar weakness.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:47 | 845850 Beatscape
Beatscape's picture

My prediction... oil busts $100 and oil stocks are the best performing group in 2011. With all the nose bleed valuations in the NASDAQ (CRM, OPEN) and many retailers and consumer staples, etc. the price/sales ratios for the integrated oils and many E&Ps as well are very low. 7 billion people on this planet coupled with post-peak production in light sweet crude oil means it becomes the most precious commodity on the planet.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:54 | 845860 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Always was.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:21 | 845901 Bitter Bob
Bitter Bob's picture

P/S is not typically a valuation metric used for O&G companies. EV / EBITDA, EV / CF, NAV, that kind of crap is usually what the oils are measured by.

But I agree with your main thought that compared to the stupid shit like CRM, OPEN, NFLX oil and gas companies are at much better valuations.

Personally I'm big on the oil and gas service co's (SLB, CAM, HAL, etc) but I need to pick my spots.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 00:58 | 845864 margaris
margaris's picture

Jullian Assange and Wikileaks is FAKE anyway. Stop promoting this lie!!!

If he were legit, he would have disappeared silently a long time ago.

 

Its all so public and everybody is talking ONLY about wikileaks as their prime source for TRUTH....

aaaah I cant take it anymore....

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:09 | 845880 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

- Homeland Security encouraging US citizens to spy on each other at Wal Mart

That has been going on for quite some time.....pics off all their fat asses are plastered all over the place on peopleofwallmart.com.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:36 | 845912 essence
essence's picture

Finally an explaination to one of the mysteries of the universe.

In reality, those grotesque figures we've seen on PeopleofWalmart were government agents posing as walmart shoppers. Trying to flush out terrorists...no doubt.

Of course, now it's all so clear.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:49 | 845924 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

And...pretty gross too.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 02:15 | 845940 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Situation: Homeland Security Headquarters, assignment briefing.

"Hawkins, Dunderhill, Shageloft, Boinkins....you guys got Wally World duty for the next six months. You got one month to get your asses phatted up, jowls hanging, grow sparse mustaches, sprout fingernails and get fitted for those Iron Boy overalls."

"Aw Chief, I just got slimmed back down and got my Cholesterol back to normal after the last gig there," Hawkins said.

"Belay that shit, Hawk, you've seen the directive, Al Queda and a bunch of other scum suckers are infiltrating Super Centers to trade off bomb making materials and cash, we all hate it, but it is our duty."

"Chief," Dunderhill whines, "We got so many guys in there now we can't tell each other from the damned Hillbillies."

"So be it, Dunderhill.....HQ wants saturation coverage, and saturation coverage is what they are going to get."

"But I caught lice the last time I worked a Super Center," Shageloft groaned.

"So you got a little case of saber toothed crotch critters...whoop-te-do. You better man-up Shag or I'm gonna ship your ass off to TSA and you will spend 12-7 fondling Arab's nuts."

"Chief, every time I work these damned shit holes, the fucking freaks who shop there take pictures of me with their hand phones, and I wind up on that people of walmart website...it is embarrassing, my mother-in-law laughs at me."

"We all have to make sacrifices, men. Remember, the fate of the country is in our hands, those freaks you are talking about are depending on you to keep their miserable, fat asses safe."

"Hey Chief...can I wear the purple Spandex cellulite burners this time?"

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 01:08 | 851666 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Just call me Schultz ... Sergeant Schultz.

I see Nothing ...

I say Nothing!!!

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:17 | 845882 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Now that the banks and investment houses have been bailed out, had their private losses socialized, phase two of 'bleed the populace' begins with reductions in already taxed entitlements and services with increased future taxes and confiscation of assets and savings; outright - and via inflation.

They make it look like happenstance or unexpected crisis; what an act!

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:17 | 845892 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

United Nation's "peace" Keeping "Force"

I think that double speak filled moniker should give enough pause to all of us. Ivory Coast and haiti at present. But in reality, no one is really "safe" anymore.

Safety is being at  peace with all outcomes, knowing full well that you worked on your awareness and were/are where you are/were because a honed instinct guided you there.

ORI

http://aadivaahan.wordpress.com

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 04:09 | 846017 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Being at  peace with all outcomes, knowing full well that you worked on your awareness and were/are where you are/were because a honed instinct guided you there is being.

Thanks ORI

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 07:32 | 846078 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

You are welcome Bringin it.

ORI

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:30 | 845908 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Capital controls will get worse as countries need to confiscate $$ from citizens

Foreign banks are now agents of the IRS if you haven't tried to open a foreign account lately

TSA is not just looking for terrorists if you haven't tried to carry PM and cash out of the country

 

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:45 | 845921 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

TSA is part-and-parcel of that fine, patriotic mothership: Homeland Security. And, under the guise of looking for terrorists, their mandate is very broad...anything that directly supports, aids-and-abets, comforts, coddles, swaddles...and, gets in their way of fulfilling the above mandate - even you getting pissed-off at having your junk fondled - is a help to terrorists and therefore, falls under their jurisdiction, Now...along with that, since they are already doing it, they might as well use those powers to help out the IRS in making sure you don't take you cash or metals in and out without taxes and customs duties being paid. It is called efficient government.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 02:00 | 845932 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Efficient oppression is what you meant to say, right?

Transactions are being pushed to non-cash, non-coin and any purchase greater than $599 has to be "reported" on a 1099 form.

They think this will discourage the precious metals trades and "reign in" avoidance; however, they have just provided a huge incentive for the discovery of a black market transaction medium. 

How will I pay for a special evening with a very select young Woman in Vegas?  Why, with a Double Eagle or Krugerand of course.

The gold and silver coin will be making a huge comeback.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 02:01 | 845933 Misean
Misean's picture

"making sure you don't take you cash or metals in and out without taxes and customs duties being paid. It is called efficient government."

The goons think it's called tipping...

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 05:17 | 846038 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

re TSA, coins, & taking metals out.

In November 2010, I flew out of LAX to Asia with 20 gold coins - I 'opted out' and had the pat down/groping - coins were in the carry-on baggage with me and maybe because the opt out shifted the attention to me, and maybe less attention to my carry-on baggage. Either way, no request to open the bag, no request to see the coins. Maybe just due to 3rd graders running our security system at the airport.

I'm still a little mystified about this but as of 2 months ago, getting coins out was not a problem. And oops, I forgot to declare it on the way out; guess I was too frazzled worrying about TSA harassment or being late for the flight.... so sorry, next time I'll be sure to fill out the paper work.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 11:16 | 846427 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

If Gold American 1oz Eagles are legal tender in USA  $50.00 then wouldn't 20 coins be below the $10,000.00 limit therefore does not have to be declared?

One could take out 200 gold eagles no?

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 17:57 | 847640 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

You have to use the market value, not the face value.  However, there is another way to get a large number of eagles out of the country.  In Nov, right after they started touching people's junk, I staged a protest:  Went five days without showering or changing undies, then requested a fondle.  Turns out you can avoid the METAL DETECTOR this way.  They didn't even use the wand or anything.  I don't know if this is against procedures- the whole thing was very new- but if they keep doing this then you can get 100oz out easily.  Maybe a 400oz bar if you are female or gay.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 02:13 | 845944 Misean
Misean's picture

"Capital controls will get worse as countries need to confiscate $$ from citizens"

Well, actually, cap controls are typically defined as barriers to hot money flows looking for arbitrage opportunities.  In properly function markets, this is a good thing.  In our broken system these flows based on free counterfeit, cause asset bubbles, particularly in countries where the economy can't reasonably handle such flows...like dousing a match with a helicopter water drop.

What you're discussing is the further evaporation of property rights.  But the W.O.D. has already massively done it's work here.  When the $10,000 cash limit was passed, the average U.S. income was ~$19,500/yr...

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 01:47 | 845919 Nootropic
Nootropic's picture

6) It becomes illegal to record the police in several US states, Canada, or the UK. You know, we used to be able to rely on the mainstream media to keep governments in check... but these days they're just petty hacks and cheerleaders.

It is very easy to be an oracle for things that have already happened.

EDITED: Why bother with a link when the OP mentions it anyway?

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 02:16 | 845945 huckman
huckman's picture

AUGUSTO PINOCHET quotes:   "How I wish the Marxist-Leninist ideology had not entered our fatherland!"  "I am a man fighting for a just cause; the fight between Christianity and spiritualism on the one hand and Marxism and materialism on the other.  I get my strength from God." "I will not tolerate agents of chaos no matter what their political ideology,"

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 03:05 | 845951 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Gee... I thought Pat Buchanon said that.....:)

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 02:23 | 845954 Midwest Prepper
Midwest Prepper's picture

Tyler:  Let's be careful about our sources.  You posted a link to usamarketwatchdog which said that Insiders are selling 80:1.  However, when I asked him where he got his figures, he quoted you (a blog post from 15 months ago). You quoting him quoting you on data over a year old is a problem.  Do we have any recent numbers, for more than a week?  Is it just S&P or also the Dow or what?

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 02:54 | 845966 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

***** “6) It becomes illegal to record the police in several US states, Canada, or the UK. You know, we used to be able to rely on the mainstream media to keep governments in check... but these days they're just petty hacks and cheerleaders.

Fortunately, the Internet is a great equalizer, and videos abound of Officer Bubbles and the like which show the absurd lengths that police forces and government agents will go to intimidate and subordinate the masses.

 

There have already been arrests, charges filed, and lawsuits pending against citizens who have recorded the police and posted it online... and I fear that governments will pass laws which legally prohibit such action.” *****

 

 

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100326084624AAJeNRe

 

As long as the police officer is in public, there is no state where recording a police officer is illegal. If it is a private conversation, 12 states require all parties to consent to recording voice:

* California
* Connecticut
* Florida
* Illinois
* Maryland
* Massachusetts
* Michigan
* Montana
* Nevada
* New Hampshire
* Pennsylvania
* Washington

No states require consent to record video unless there is an expectation of privacy, like in a bathroom or changing room.

 

***************************************************************************************************************
***************************************************************************************************************

 

The Freeman has an interesting look into various states’ efforts to make illegal the recording of police activity. In Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland, wiretapping and eavesdropping laws have been used to prosecute individuals who have recorded police activity in a public location.

“[In three states] it is now illegal to record an on-duty police officer even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists.” -Are Cameras the New Guns?

In one example case, motorcyclist Anthony John Graber III was stopped for reckless driving. A plain-clothes police officer stopped him, jumped out of his car waving a gun and screaming, and issued a ticket. Graber had a video camera mounted in his motorcycle helmet; he posted video of the encounter to youtube. Ten days after the police encounter, after police found the video on youtube, Graber was arrested and charged under felony wiretapping laws, which could result in up to 5 years jail time. In December 2009, street artist Christopher Drew found himself in a similar situation in Chicago. Drew was arrested while selling art on the streets of Chicago as a test of the cities anti-peddler law. During the arrest, police officers found a small audio recorder that was recording and charged Drew under felony wiretapping laws; Drew faces 4-15 years in prison. As the Freeman reports, not everyone in the legal realm agrees with these policies: Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Marshall dissented to a 2001 ruling upholding charges stemming from recording police activity, “Citizens have a particularly important role to play when the official conduct at issue is that of the police. Their role cannot be performed if citizens must fear criminal reprisals….”

For further reading, keep up with Carlos Miller’s Photography is Not a Crime blog. Since his own arrest in 2007 for photographing Miami police (he was acquitted of all charges), Miller has been chronicling cases of First Amendment violations, many of which involve photographers arrested for taking pictures in public places. And take a look at the excellent Photographer’s Rights pamphlet for US photographers.

http://www.dvafoto.com/2010/06/three-us-states-make-recording-police-activity-illegal/

Where there is no expectation of privacy... it is illegal to record the police... why do they (the police / Nazi's) get to record the public where there is no expectation of privacy?

Why are they special? if they are following the law... and even if they are Not! it is illegal? welcome to the new normal!

How long before the pain becomes real enough to the general public? before real change occurs?

 

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 03:20 | 845981 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

Great post.

I think that as long as these rights are taken away piecemeal and seemingly randomly then people will not rise up as a nation and demand their rights.  Small groups rise on specific issues (your photographers example) but these are easily dealt with by the PTB.  We are being boiled slowly.  We don't seem to want to jump out.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 03:44 | 846001 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

I have been saying for a long time that police/Government enforcement agencies will be the flash point (if any) that finally drives the people of this country over the edge. When law-abiding citizens get pulled over for a routine traffic stop, and three police cars with black-suited thugs get out and surround their car and shine billy-club flashlights in their face and aggressively demand to search their car - for no reason....then things are getting way out of hand. The whole culture of enforcement power that has grown from 9-11 has grown like a hydra....and is filtering down from the top to the bottom. Now, a city cop acts like a jack-booted thug from Homeland Security. These otherwise unemployable adrenalin junkies are on a government-sponsored power trip that are making all our lives hell.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 03:51 | 846005 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Oh, and also....great post.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 02:49 | 845968 huckman
huckman's picture

In honor of the where the Sovereign Man posted from i.e. Chile- its not Pat Buchanon but rather that countries latest and greatest hero.  Chile is on a role- economically, socially, politically, ect.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 03:31 | 845983 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Obama Said to Consider William Daley for Top White House Post

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-03/obama-said-to-consider-william-...

Consider the Chairman of Midwest Banking at JPMorgan as White House Chief of Staff?  I think some deeper dives are warranted for William Daley.  A tag could help.

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/american-dream-dead%E2%80%A6and-we-are-...

My two initial reactions: (1) the Obama Administration is a total mess. They can't get people to answer their phone calls.  They have no agenda.  They can't get the right people in the room.  And Barry has cashed it in for the past 7 months. They pull him in front of a teleprompter on a daily basis, but that doesn't mean much.  Meddling and warring factions within his advisers are jumping ship because they don't get any greenlights from Obama.  His various secretaries do as they damn well please and send up direct reports that never get read. 

(2) Power elite are very well aware of the everythings go on in the White House and realize the potential danger if anyone figures out that the president is sitting around watching Sportcenter all day.  They want their man running things, but they realize Obama is just a figurehead.  Because the guy doesn't make any real decisions, they need someone internally who's going to put documents in front of him to sign. 

What's become abundantly clear is that this is the most powerful position in the world given that the US Congress doesn't actually create laws.  They simply grant the executive branch the power to regulate.  If you can't get any decisions made or the executive branch is incompetant, this government doesn't really work in it's current state.  (Spare the Constitutional garbage, that died a long time ago).

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 03:26 | 845984 Catullus
Catullus's picture

 Double Post

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 04:27 | 846024 plocequ1
plocequ1's picture

..

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 06:15 | 846051 fiftybagger
fiftybagger's picture

So when capital controls go up, and then emmigration is prohibited, will people call it America's iron curtain; America the evil empire?

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=29AA60A5C1C9E96A

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 06:31 | 846061 ak_khanna
ak_khanna's picture

Countries around the world are taking on more debt without any fruitful attempts to curb their expenditures. This has resulted in a much more fragile and artificially held up financial system which is on a much shaky ground than it was in 2008. In 2008 companies and banks failed due to excessive leverage and debt and now countries are likely to default because they took on the same bad debt on themselves.

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article24581.html

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 06:46 | 846063 APC
APC's picture

I think you'll find that the Thermidorian Reaction (9 Thermidor Year II (27 July 1794)),  was in fact in response to the excesses of the Reign of Terror (La Terreur) and not "brought about" by a "power vacuum".  Just nitpicking...   :O)

 

APC

Brittany, France

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 06:49 | 846066 honestann
honestann's picture

#1: What is happening is "color of law", which simply means "acting and pretending that something is law".  This is being done with absolute, complete, total, 100% intention by the predators-that-be.

#2: Then, at the next level, judges do the same thing... just accept and support whatever any "official" or "government worker" did under color of law.

1 + 2 == totalitarianism --- what exists in the USSA today.

The predators-that-be have TOTALLY taken over.  There is NO law or government in the USSA any more, only predators and their victims.  Any appearance of "officialdom" is only appearances, as in "color of law" and "color of government".

Only two solutions.  Leave the USSA (my choice), or all out open revolutionary war against the predators-that-be and predator class.  The non-solution: be slaves.  This is what 99.999% of amercians have decided to accept for themselves.  Morons.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 07:51 | 846084 malikai
malikai's picture

To attempt a revolution now would be suicide. The 99.999% would immediately rally around the predatory class demanding the government protect them from the revolutionary "terrorists". Remember that any revolutionary acts against the predatory class would be portrayed by the mainstream ideological feeding tube would be immediately deemed acts of terrorism.

The us will not be ripe for revolution until all personal wealth has been wiped out, all personal liberties subjugated, and enough people are starving to create the 'pitchfork wielding mobs' necessary for a strong leader to emerge. Unfortunately, that leader will most likely be little more than the new predatory class, riding the hopes of the masses into oblivion.

I liked Orwell's works more when they were just fiction.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 07:58 | 846087 APC
APC's picture

“Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim - when he defends himself - as a criminal.”

and

 

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."

 

Frederic Bastiat 1801-1850, political economist

 

"It has always seemed strange to me...The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second." Cannery Row

 

But take heart, as:

 

"...someday - the armies of bitterness will all be going the same way. And they'll all walk together, and there'll be a dead terror from it." The Grapes of Wrath

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 12:54 | 846718 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

Stealing those.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 10:13 | 846268 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

UK have already designed a law to make it more difficult for people to tape the Police. Which would incidentally prohibit shooting public buildings etc

Funny thing is that because a MP is an amateur photographer, president of an association or something, he pushed against the law project.

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 12:06 | 846577 Poundsand
Poundsand's picture

That's exactly right.  Man walking down the street in Seattle whittling on a stick.  Report of story here: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2012764459_copshooting31...

The police try to keep the vehicle video from being seen, when it is, we all now know what the PD knew.  That from the moment the man enters the video at 3:57 until the officer makes his presence known at 3:42 to shots fired at 3:35.  Which can be seen here: http://www.king5.com/video/featured-videos/Raw-Dash-cam-video-and-audio-...

Watch the video, you can see the guy cross in front of the video whittling on a stick!  Illegal? Not even close, yet the officer assumes his life is in danger and the poor guy with the stick has less than 7 seconds to here the officer (who doesn't even identify himself - remember, the vehicle is around the corner) to stop, understand what is going on, realize the officer is even talking to him as the officer is behind him, drop the knife or die.

Out of control.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 15:41 | 850082 APC
APC's picture

The fellah that was shot was deaf to boot.  No shit.  Look it up!  Home of the brave, land of the free.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!