New York Times
As of this moment, Obama is making the case that the US government is not eavesdropping on phone calls. Specifically, he said "nobody is listening to your phone calls - they are just looking at phone numbers and duration of calls" and concluded that the NSA was only engaged in "modest encroachments." It was unclear if that clarification was meant to put to rest fears that Big Brother has made personal privacy a thing of the past. He further went on to add that the telephone surveillance program is fully vetted by Congress and supervised by the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). In other words: Obama is making the case that the NSA's Big Brother supervision is perfectly legal and not only that, there are checks and balances and neither the telephonic snooping nor the internet supervision is anything to be concerned about. There is one problem: Obama is lying.
France Prohibits Sending Currency, “Coins And Precious Metals” By Mail
France has prohibited the sending of currency, “coins and precious metals” by mail.
In new legislation which was enacted May 23rd, the French government decreed that it is forbidden to send all forms of currency - coins and cash and all forms of precious metals – coins, bars and jewellery by mail.
After everything that Barack Obama, the U.S. Congress and the Federal Reserve have tried to do, there has been no real economic recovery and now the U.S. economy is suddenly behaving as if it is 2009 all over again. A whole host of recent surveys indicate that the American people are starting to feel a bit better about the economy, but the underlying economic numbers tell an entirely different story. If we were going to have an "economic recovery", it should have happened in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Now we are rapidly approaching another major economic downturn.
Today, there is almost zero truth in mainstream media. The fascist corporate-banking-government machine has ensured that mainstream media has now become the official department of propaganda, not only in political news, but also regarding nearly all financial news as well.
"Markets Under The Spell Of Monetary Easing" Bank Of International Settlements Finds... Same As "Then"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/02/2013 21:17 -0400
The wild ride in Japan's bond market is a prelude to what will happen in other developed markets.
Just three weeks ago we noted Apollo Group's Leon Black's comment that his firm was "selling everything not nailed down," and that he sees "the market is pricey... in our view, priced for perfection." It seems he is not alone in the 'buy-low-sell-high' crowd. If wonderful times are ahead for U.S. financial markets, then why is so much of the smart money heading for the exits? Does it make sense for insiders to be getting out of stocks and real estate if prices are just going to continue to go up?
The periodic Munk debate spectacle out of Canada is memorable for bringing together very flamboyant personalities, discussing very germane topics. The one that has just started has a topic of whether the rich should be taxed. More. Surely an issue that has seen its share of discussion in the US in the past year, so we hardly expect to learn anything new. What is most amusing, however, is that the debate tonight pits none other than Paul Krugman (and former Greek socialist leader and economic destructor extraordinaire George Papandreou, whose family incidentally was found with tax-evading Swiss accounts so brownie points for extra hypocricy) defending more tax hikes, and pitting Newt Gingrich and Arthur Laffer on the "don't tax me bro" side. The result should be quite a memorable catfight.
A cruel twist for an already threatened industry.
The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Huffington Post, CNN and now, of course, Fox News: these are the media organizations, superficially from across the political spectrum, which have said they will boycott a meeting with the DOJ's embattled head, Eric Holder, on the topic of the DOJ's (not to mention the NSA's) Nixonian abuse of the first amendment and eavesdropping wherever and whenever it so chooses. The twist: the meeting is, paradoxically, supposed to be "off the record." One wonders: was this the DOJ's idea of being open and transparent - to hold a closed door meeting with the same media that it, allegedly, has been spying on, and thus put the media whose job is to report events - as in keeping the public informed - in a place where it can't do precisely that? It is as if the Marx Brothers are writing the tragicomic script for a sequence of events that inevitably ends with Holder's resignation and Obama's washing his hands of the whole affair.
For most people, the collapse of civilizations is a subject much more appetizingly viewed in the rear-view mirror than straight ahead down whatever path or roadway we are on. Jared Diamond wrote about the collapse of earlier civilizations to great acclaim and brisk sales, in a nimbus of unimpeachable respectability. The stories he told about bygone cultures gone to seed were, above all, dramatic. No reviewers or other intellectual auditors dissed him for suggesting that empires inevitably run aground on the shoals of resource depletion, population overshoot, changes in the weather, and the diminishing returns of complexity. Yet these are exactly the same problems that industrial-technocratic societies face today, and those of us who venture to discuss them are consigned to a tin-foil-hat brigade, along with the UFO abductees and Bigfoot trackers.
Shale gas is the latest hot potato that is being passed around the world. Are you with the in-crowd or out on limb? Ready to take the dive and place your country’s future in shale gas or go it as usual with domination of our energy sources with the petrol industry?
When you step back and look at the long-term trends, it is undeniable what is happening to us. We are in the midst of a horrifying economic decline that is the result of decades of very bad decisions. 30 years ago, the U.S. national debt was about one trillion dollars. Today, it is almost 17 trillion dollars. 40 years ago, the total amount of debt in the United States was about 2 trillion dollars. Today, it is more than 56 trillion dollars. At the same time that we have been running up all of this debt, our economic infrastructure and our ability to produce wealth has been absolutely gutted. Since 2001, the United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities and millions of good jobs have been shipped overseas. Our share of global GDP declined from 31.8 percent in 2001 to 21.6 percent in 2011. The percentage of Americans that are self-employed is at a record low, and the percentage of Americans that are dependent on the government is at a record high. The U.S. economy is a complete and total mess, and it is time that we faced the truth.
Just when you thought the R&R debate was finished, it seems Paul Krugman's latest "spectacularly uncivil behavior" pushed Reinhart and Rogoff too far. In what can only be described as the most eruditely worded of "fuck you"s, the pair go on the offensive at Krugman's ongoing tete-a-tete. "You have attacked us in very personal terms, virtually non-stop... Your characterization of our work and of our policy impact is selective and shallow. It is deeply misleading about where we stand on the issues. And we would respectfully submit, your logic and evidence on the policy substance is not nearly as compelling as you imply... That you disagree with our interpretation of the results is your prerogative. Your thoroughly ignoring the subsequent literature... is troubling. Perhaps, acknowledging the updated literature on drawbacks to high debt-would inconveniently undermine your attempt to make us a scapegoat for austerity."
Through most of the 20th century, America led something of a charmed life, at least when compared with the disasters endured by almost every other major country. We became the richest and most powerful nation on earth, partly due to our own achievements and partly due to the mistakes of others. The public interpreted these decades of American power and prosperity as validation of our system of government and national leadership, and the technological effectiveness of our domestic propaganda machinery - our own American Pravda - has heightened this effect. Author James Bovard has described our society as an “attention deficit democracy,” and the speed with which important events are forgotten once the media loses interest might surprise George Orwell.