While it has been well-documented by now, that even as the campaign of Mitt Romney continues to be funded exclusively by Wall Street legacy firms, that of Ron Paul is largely in the hands of the US military. Yet when it comes to the recently infamous SuperPAC, things have changed. Because as Politico reports, of the roughly $3.4 million total in cash raised by the pro-Paul group Endorse Liberty since its founding on December 20, none other than PayPal cofounder and Clarium Capital chief Peter Thiel has donated $2.6 million. So as the renegade financier, whose opinion on Ben Bernanke and the gold standard is well-known to Zero Hedge regulars emerges as a primary backer of all that is wrong with the status quo, and the Ben Bernanke way of monetary suicide, we wonder who is next? Actually, scratch that: Bill Gross has already made his opinion well known vis-a-vis Ron Paul's candidacy. Isn't it about time the Newport Beach multibillionaire reached into his back pocket and put his money where his mouth is, especially following his tongue in cheek endorsement of Ron Paul for president?
If the last 12 years have revealed anything, they have shown beyond reasonable doubt that both Status Quo political parties in the U.S. are hopelessly, ruinously corrupt and thus beyond any reform or redemption. We all know why: it now takes millions of dollars to run costly mainstream media election campaigns, and the only source for contributions of that scale is the financial/corporate Elite. It doesn't matter how you arrange the taxonomy of the financial aristocracy that rules the nation or how you subdivide it--old money, new money, family money, corporate money, etc.-- the bottom line is these campaign contributions are viewed by the aristocratic donors as investments that yield gargantuan returns in tax breaks, subsidies, bailouts, sweetheart contracts, "get out of jail free" cards for the shadow banking system, and so on.
Let’s be honest, quite a few Americans love a good war, especially those Americans who have never had to bear witness to one first hand. War is the ultimate tribally vicarious experience. Anyone, even pudgy armchair generals with deep-seated feelings of personal inadequacy, can revel in the victories and actions of armies a half a world away as if they themselves stood on the front lines risking possible annihilation at the hands of dastardly cartoon-land “evil doers”. They may have never done a single worthwhile thing in their lives, but at least they can bask in the perceived glory of their country’s military might. This attitude of swollen ego through proxy is not limited to the “Right” side of the political spectrum as some might expect. In fact, if the terrifyingly demented presidency of Barack Obama has proven anything so far, it is that elements of the “Left” are just as bloodthirsty as any NeoCon, and just as ready to blindly support the political supremacy of their “side” regardless of any broken promises, abandoned principles, or openly flaunted hypocrisies. No matter how reasonable or irrefutable the arguments against a particular conflict are, there will ALWAYS be a certain percentage of the populace which ignores all logic and barrels forward to cheerlead violent actions which ultimately only benefit a select and elite few.
It appears that slowly but surely the NDAA equivalent for the less than compliant on air mainstream media is picking up steam. First it was Napolitano's Freedom Watch getting cancelled by Fox (ostensibly for his endorsement of Ron Paul but who knows) some days ago, and now Politico reports that that political uber-lampoon Stephen Colbert has been also temporarily "suspended". From Politico: "The late-night comedy program hosted by Stephen Colbert will suspend production for at least two days this week, POLITICO has confirmed. The Colbert Report, the home of relentless parodying of super PACs and the campaign finance system, will not air original episodes on Wednesday or Thursday. "Due to unforeseen circumstances, the show will air repeat episodes on Wednesday, February 15 and Thursday, February 16,” Comedy Central Senior VP for Communications Steve Albani told POLITICO. Albani would not comment on the specific reasons for the suspension. It is expected that the suspension of original production will not be indefinite, and that the show will return soon." We can only hope that the ringing endorsement of freedom of speech by CC owner Viacom was not a major reason of the "uncommented" reasons for the suspension. Or lack thereof as the case may be in the US these days.
Must ... Not ... Think ...
It was a bad week for freedom loving people, but I believe there are enough patriots left in this country to change our course. We are being buried under a blizzard of lies on a daily basis. We have a choice. We can support the existing corrupt crony capitalist establishment (Obama & Romney) or we can declare war on lies, deceit and misinformation by rallying behind the only person who would truly attempt to reverse decades of corruption, sleaze, incompetence, bloat, debt accumulation, and a warped version of free market capitalism – Ron Paul. He is the only public figure willing to level with the American people and tell them the truth. Will we let the concept of truth fade out of the world? The choice is ours.
“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia. The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.” – George Orwell
Stocks advanced today after Greek lawmakers finally approved a new austerity package aimed at averting a default. As a result, it now looks like that the country will get the next bailout tranche and avoid failing to meet debt redemptions in March. The draft legislation published by the Greek government showed that the EFSF may provide EUR 35bln to help Greece buy back bonds held by euro-area central banks as collateral, while Greek finance minister said that EUR 70bln in bonds are to be issued in the swap and Greece needs to make debt swap offer by Friday Feb 17th at the latest. Credit metrics such as Euribor and Euribor/OIS spreads continued to improve, which in turn supported financial sector. Looking elsewhere, comments from Iranian President Ahmadinejad over the weekend who said that Iran will soon reveal "very big new achievements" in its controversial nuclear programme, together with comments from China’s Wen who said the country will begin to fine tune its economic policies in the Q1 of this year supported both Brent and WTI crude prices today. Going forward, there are no major macro-economic releases this afternoon, but both the BoE and the Fed are due to conduct another round of Asset Purchases.
“See Something Say Something” Campaign Could Allow People to Label ANY AMERICAN a Suspected “Terrorist” … Just Like in NaziTownSubmitted by George Washington on 02/12/2012 20:29 -0400
While Marc Faber shares the usual stock of insightful market commentary, together with timing inflection points, and extended thoughts in the attached Bloomberg TV clip, it is the fact that he has officially joined Bill Gross, and so many others, in supporting the candidacy of Ron Paul as president. It is rather sad that only those who see beyond the surface of the current pyramid scheme facade, are bold enough to endorse the only man who is right for the White House. Fast forward to 15 minutes into the video to hear Marc Faber: "Ron Paul would be a very good president."
Mike Krieger submits: "I’ve always loved history. Even all the way back to grade school I remember it being my favorite subject. Very early on I noticed certain patterns in history and I wondered why they occurred. When I was first exposed to European history, I recall being absolutely floored by how certain countries could become so rich and powerful and then subsequently collapse so stunningly and rapidly. The one that really boggled my mind was Spain - the homeland of my maternal grandfather who I never met. Here was a country that conquered and viciously looted essentially all South America other than Brazil (thanks to the pope being magnanimous enough to grant that part of the world to Portugal in the Treaty of Tordesillas), Mexico, Central America and parts of the United States. The gold and especially silver that was taken back to Spain was the stuff of legend, yet almost at the same time they had defeated the native peoples overseas their kingdom at home was crumbling. Not to bore anyone with too much history, but by the mid 1500s the Spanish had essentially conquered the Aztecs (Mexico) and the Incas (Peru). At the time, the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan was estimated to be larger than any city in Europe. Despite these tremendous “successes” and the riches that came with them, the battle of Rocroi in Northern France in 1643 less than one hundred years later marked the end of Spanish dominance in Europe. What is so fascinating to me is that while the conquistadors were out raping and pillaging halfway around the world the domestic economy was experiencing economic crisis. There were episodes of major currency debasements in the homeland as the crown was forced to fight wars on their borders as well as fund the excursions abroad. It is important to note that the collapse came pretty quickly as it was only in 1627 when things were still looking pretty good for the empire that The Count-Duke Olivares famously stated: “God is Spanish and fights for our nation these days.” Does this story sound familiar?"
As a follow up to today's must read letter from Bill Gross, the PIMCO head explains what was the thinking behind the conclusion that is slowly leading him to become a gold bug, the potentially erroneous assumption that the Fed can not drop rates below zero (not if Goldman and JPM have their way), why Bernanke has no choice but to write checks when the Twist ends in June which will lead to bond buying for the next 12-24-36 months. Nothing new. What is new, and absolutely stunning, is Gross' endorsement for president: 'I'm a little Ron Paulish." (6'24" into the clip)... That's right. The bond king endorses Ron Paul for president, apparently on the realization that very soon he will have to pay Tim Geithner for the privilege of holding hundreds of billions in US paper. And now we've heard it all.
Which is why we were delighted that after months of modest confusion on the topic, the Congressional Committee on Financial Services (including subcommittee chairman Ron Paul), have demanded that not only Geithner make his stance on a US-funded IMF bailout of Europe crystal clear, but that they are openly opposed to "American taxpayer dollars being used to bail out Europe...through additional contributions to the IMF." We are curious to see just how Geithner will weasel his way out of responding to this: perhaps the only logical stall tactic is to reply that he will be busy helping Mitt Romney in his tax "revisions" over the next several months.
Humans are a flawed species. Our minds are easily manipulated. We don’t like pain. We prefer instant gratification. We are susceptible to mass delusion. We will often choose hope over critical thought. Those with higher IQs will regularly attempt to take advantage of those with lower IQs. Fear and greed are the two motivations used by the minority in power to control and manipulate the majority. The American people have been led astray by a small group of powerful men. We were herded through a door in the wall of perception that promised an American dream of material goods, entitlements and pleasure with no obligations or responsibility to future generations. There is only one choice that can save this country from ruin. Each individual must make a choice to either to continue supporting the manipulative, corrupt status quo or coming back through the Door in the Wall.
“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend” – Aldous Huxley
Even with rigged electronic voting, media manipulation, and political co-option, I feel our efforts this year will resonate for many decades to come. Whether we are able to take back social power for regular citizens is not as important as making them aware that they have allowed themselves to lose that power in the first place. The elections of 2012, ultimately, should be treated as a vehicle for enlightenment, and this enlightenment begins when we are able to recognize the lies we live, and the men who sell them to us…