It’s long been a common approach for government sliding into insolvency to confiscate wealth from their own citizens. Charles I of England infamously commandeered 200,000 pounds of his own citizens’ gold right before the English Civil War in 1638. Roosevelt confiscated his entire nation’s gold holdings roughly three centuries later. And of course, Cyprus raided domestic bank accounts earlier this year in a desperate attempt to bail-in the national banking system. It’s foolish to think that these things cannot happen, especially when you look at the numbers. This is why we are concerned that the IRS is refusing to issue tax ID numbers for single-member LLCs that are owned by an IRA... which is the specific structure that US taxpayers need to create in order to ship their retirement savings overseas.
This insane world was created through decades of bad decisions, believing in false prophets, choosing current consumption over sustainable long-term savings based growth, electing corruptible men who promised voters entitlements that were mathematically impossible to deliver, the disintegration of a sense of civic and community obligation and a gradual degradation of the national intelligence and character. There is a common denominator in all the bubbles created over the last century – Wall Street bankers and their puppets at the Federal Reserve. Fractional reserve banking, control of a fiat currency by a privately owned central bank, and an economy dependent upon ever increasing levels of debt are nothing more than ingredients of a Ponzi scheme that will ultimately implode and destroy the worldwide financial system. Since 1913 we have been enduring the largest fraud and embezzlement scheme in world history, but the law of diminishing returns is revealing the plot and illuminating the culprits. Bernanke and his cronies have proven themselves to be highly educated one trick pony protectors of the status quo. Bernanke will eventually roll craps. When he does, the collapse will be epic and 2008 will seem like a walk in the park.
In 2001, the Patriot Act opened the door to US government monitoring of Americans without a warrant. It was unconstitutional, but most in Congress over my strong objection were so determined to do something after the attacks of 9/11 that they did not seem to give it too much thought. Civil liberties groups were concerned, and some of us in Congress warned about giving up our liberties even in the post-9/11 panic. But at the time most Americans did not seem too worried about the intrusion. This complacency has suddenly shifted given recent revelations of the extent of government spying on Americans. What is even more important, though, is for more and more and more Americans to educate themselves about our precious liberties and to demand that their government abide by the Constitution. We do not have to accept being lied to – or spied on -- by our government.
Just about a year ago we questioned the "demographic demand" thesis for why the US housing 'recovery' would become self-sustaining and lead to yet another fiscal and monetary 'nirvana'. However, while the 'household formation' meme remains front-and-center among bloviating Fed apologists; the sad facts are that not only is household formation actually still falling but, as a recent Pew Research study finds, a record 21 million young adults are now living at home with their parents.
Last week’s House debate on the Defense Appropriations bill for 2014 produced a bit more drama than usual. Had Amash’s amendment passed, it would have been a significant symbolic victory over the administration’s massive violations of our Fourth Amendment protections. But we should be careful about believing that even if it had somehow miraculously survived the Senate vote and the President’s veto, it would have resulted in any significant change in how the Intelligence Community would behave toward Americans. The US government has built the largest and most sophisticated spying apparatus in the history of the world. Rep. Amash’s amendment was an important move to at least bring attention to what the US intelligence community has become: an incredibly powerful conglomeration of secret government agencies that seem to view Americans as the real threat.
‘Vote For Gold’
"You have to choose, as a voter, between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability and intelligence of the members of the government. And with due respect to these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold."
In a brief but perfectly succinct interview on CNBC yesterday, Ron Paul shared his opinion on the need to own gold (and the physical demand for the manipulated metal) and the Detroit bankruptcy ("we're going to see more Detroits"). He concludes that "long term, you can expect governments not to change" and that they’ll keep taking on more debt and printing more money until people lose confidence in both the U.S. dollar and the U.S. military, both of which will be shake the foundation of a fiat/dollar system.
Last week Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered what may well be his last Congressional testimony before leaving the Federal Reserve in 2014. Unfortunately, his farewell performance was full of contradictory comments about the state of the economy and the effects of Fed policies on the market. One thing Bernanke inadvertently made clear was that the needs of Wall Street trump Main street, the economy, and sound money.
Ron Paul wrote this scathing assessment and prediction about the newly created DHS eleven years ago. He was outraged by the $3 billion price tag. The DHS 2014 budget is $60 billion. Were his warnings about the American people being spied on by our government accurate? Are you safer today than you were in 2002? Do you have more or less liberty and freedom than you had in 2002? Was it worth it?
There is a very simple and elegant solution to declining defense spending, one which has been used time and again in US history when the US government needed to provide the Fed with more securities (i.e. deficit) to monetize: war. According to RT that, or rather its more politicall correct equivalent "kinetic strikes", is what may be just over the horizon. RT reports that President Barack Obama is considering using military force in Syria, and the Pentagon has prepared various scenarios for possible United States intervention. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Obama administration is deliberating whether or not it should use the brute of the US military in Syria during a Thursday morning Senate hearing. Gen. Dempsey said the administration was considering using “kinetic strikes” in Syria and said "issue is under deliberation inside of our agencies of government,” the Associated Press reported from Washington.
Ten-year old cystic fibrosis patient Sarah Murnaghan captured the nation’s attention when federal bureaucrats imposed a de facto death sentence on her by refusing to modify the rules governing organ transplants. The rules in question forbid children under 12 from receiving transplants of adult organs. Even though Sarah’s own physician said she was an excellent candidate to receive an adult organ transplant, government officials refused to even consider modifying their rules. Supporters of the current system claim that organ donation is too important to be left to the marketplace. But this is nonsensical: if we trust the market to deliver food, shelter, and all other necessities, why should we not trust it to deliver healthcare—including organs?
Looking at the banners in the massive Egyptian protests last week, we saw many anti-American slogans. Likewise, the Muslim Brotherhood-led government that was deposed by the military last week was very critical of what it saw as US support for the coup. Why is it that all sides in this Egyptian civil war seem so angry with the United States? Because the United States has at one point or another supported each side, which means also that at some point the US has also opposed each side. It is the constant meddling in Egyptian affairs that has turned Egyptians against us, as we would resent foreign intervention in our own affairs. So, successive US administrations over the decades have supported all sides in Egypt, from dictator to demonstrator to military. There is only one side that the US government has never supported: our side.
From massive NSA spying, to IRS targeting of the administration's political opponents, to collection and sharing of our health care information as part of Obamacare, it seems every day we learn of another assault on our privacy. Sadly, this week the Senate took another significant, if little-noticed, step toward creating an authoritarian surveillance state. Buried in the immigration bill is a national identification system called mandatory E-Verify.
The world is a big place, after all. And there’s a tremendous amount of freedom and opportunity ripe for pioneering, talented people. Snowden is now marred in a number of banal legal technicalities. The US government has cancelled his passport (another questionable legal move from Uncle Sam). So he appears stuck in the international transit area at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. He’s not legally able to fly back to Hong Kong. Nor is he legally able to board a flight to Havana for onward travel to Ecuador, in order to apply for asylum. If Mr. Snowden had been able to procure a second passport prior to stepping into the limelight, he would likely not be in this predicament as he could have been traveling on his other passport. This is one of the hidden virtues of having a second passport. You might never ‘need’ one. But should such a need ever arise, it can really be a life saver.
The long US war in Afghanistan never made any sense in the first place. The Taliban did not attack the US on 9/11. The Authorization for the use of force that we passed after the attacks of 9/11 said nothing about a decade-long occupation of Afghanistan. But unfortunately two US presidents have taken it to mean that they could make war anywhere at any time they please. Congress, as usual, did nothing to rein in the president, although several Members tried to repeal the authorization. Afghanistan brought the Soviet Union to its knees. We learned nothing from it. Sadly, that is the story of our foreign policy.