Jeff Davis is running for Governor in Hawaii and has an interesting campaign strategy. Also, what motivates hackers is revealed and the findings might surprise you. Finally, Ferguson is discussed in a new light. Chris Campbell has more...
The so-called recovery is only built on debt and printed cash declares our own Byron King. In the long term, the only option for the government to continue financing it's operations is to print too many dollars. Money printing has it's limits, however. It's Byron's opinion that at some point, perhaps very soon, the government will have to turn to more desperate measures. Namely, capital controls. In the following featured essay, Byron outlines 4 probably ways the government will take your cash and one play you can buy through your broker to prepare today. Read on...
Americans expatriate because they want to get out of the country. Corporations expatriate for similar reasons. Clem Chambers explains...
Say goodbye to your boring morning commute. New technologies are changing the way people drive their cars. It’s making them safer, more fuel efficient, and could reshape the way America builds its roads and cities. The only thing that could stand in the way...
In a 2009 article, the Huffington Post went into considerable detail about the number of people with PhD degrees in economics employed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. This is the government’s branch of the Federal Reserve. It is not one of the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks, all of which […]
The U.S. dollar is the dominant global reserve currency. All markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities, and foreign exchange are affected by the value of the dollar.The value of the dollar, in effect, its “price” is determined by interest rates. When the Federal Reserve manipulates interest rates, it is manipulating, and therefore distorting, every market in […]
When the NSA surveillance news broke last year it sent shockwaves through CERN, the particle physics laboratory in Switzerland. Andy Yen, a PhD student, took to the Young at CERN Facebook group with a simple message: “I am very concerned about the privacy issue, and I was wondering what I could do about it.”There was […]
The game of speculation is the most uniformly fascinating game in the world. But it is not a game for the stupid, the mentally lazy, the person of inferior emotional balance or the get-rich-quick adventurer. They will die poor.– Jesse Livermore, How to Trade in StocksThe trouble with capitalism’s guardians is that they have no […]
Let’s head back in time…In 2004, a mere decade ago, the US national debt rang the register at $7.4 trillion. That represents “debt per citizen” of over $25,000. You, me, your neighbor, your 4-yr old grandson, you name it and they’re portion of the U.S. debt is $25k.But flash forward to today and you’ll see […]
John Foust, a Democrat running for the 10th congressional seat in Northern Virginia, is — like Gov. Terry McAuliffe and other state Democrats — gung-ho to expand Medicaid. His wife’s position is, shall we say, a bit more nuanced.Foust has slammed his opponent, Republican Del. Barbara Comstock, for her opposition to expansion. He has spoken […]
The midterm election season is upon us, and it’s a tossup whether the Republicans will win the Senate, or if President Obama, seemingly oblivious as conflict flares up around the world, will, through his continuous campaigning, keep Harry Reid in his majority leader seat.The only thing we know for sure is that sociopaths will be […]
Alexander Hamilton was America’s first Secretary of Treasury under President George Washington. When he first entered office in 1789, America was an agricultural nation of just 4 million still broke from its financially costly victory over the British Empire in the Revolutionary War.The states had accumulated relatively massive debts to finance that war, which mostly […]
I was talking with one of my colleagues the other day, and he raised a very interesting question, one that deserves consideration by anyone worried about their digital privacy. He read an article that championed the idea that the more steps one took to protect their privacy by using anonymous Web-browsing tools like Tor, the […]
In the minds of many people around the world, including in the United States, the term “capitalism” carries the idea of unfairness, exploitation, undeserved privilege and power, and immoral profit making. What is often difficult to get people to understand is that this misplaced conception of “capitalism” has nothing to do with real free markets […]
When you type a website address into a browser, you might have noticed that the letters “http” appear at the front. “HTTP” stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. In typing a Web address, you are actually sending an HTTP command to transmit that website to you. Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the means by which information is […]
Some people are saying it is just what the doctor ordered. Others are saying that the cure is worse than the disease.The Affordable Care Act? Reengagement in Iraq? Tea Party bullying in the GOP?Not this time. Just as protracted in the corridors of Congress and the White House is the debate over the proposed reform […]
In 2012, money mandarins running the European Union chose stagnation over restructuring. Here’s a consequence of that choice: expectations for a self-sustaining economic recovery keep getting crushed.Two years ago, European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi promised to do “whatever it takes” to hold the eurozone together. He bluffed nervous investors into believing in a […]
Picture the scene. It’s 2020. You’re at the checkout in a convenience store with a carton of milk. But you’ve got no cash and you’ve left your cards at home. No problem. You scan your right index finger; the green light flashes. Purchase approved and you leave. Easy.Is this a realistic vision of the future, […]
“In the beginning, all the world was America.” — John Locke“The Garden of Eden was a perfect place,” my friend Manuel explained. “Man had free will. He could live in harmony with nature and God — and everything would be fine. But if he defied God, the stain of original sin would be on his […]
After a week of reckoning about the American oil and gas boom… I’ve got to get something off my chest.I can’t stand it when a coworker takes credit for something I did.Whether it’s a special report I wrote or just a little investing trick I found on my own — if someone takes it and […]
It might sound like the latest new product from Apple, but IPAB is actually the newest major legal challenge to Obamacare.Recently, a three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard arguments about the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, a 15-member panel created by the Affordable Care Act and empowered […]
Americans have come to believe that the IRS and the income tax are inevitable parts of our lives. After all, most everyone alive today has lived his entire life under federal income taxation.It wasn’t always that way. For some 125 years, the American people lived without having any tax imposed upon their income.The obvious question […]
Here’s a fun fact: Although we all hate the U.S. dollar, as it continues to hemorrhage wealth, its foothold as the world’s reserve currency isn’t going to disappear overnight.A Russian gas deal with China won’t change that — as we’ll highlight below.But before we get to the nitty-gritty, let’s dive into a story that’s right […]
Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously used the term “forgotten man” in a 1932 speech to describe those at the bottom of the economic pyramid who, he felt, government should aid.But the originator of the phrase “forgotten man” had a whole different meaning in mind. He aimed to expose the seeming good intentions of government to reveal […]
“As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the Congress of the United States. It is considered an independent central bank because its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government, it does not receive funding […]
The Keynesian disaster recovery plan has been to lower rates, force people to take more risk in search of yield, and entice others to borrow and spend and, magically, more jobs will be created. If people won’t buy stocks, central banks will.Back in 2011, Ben Bernanke, when asked if QE2 was driving up stock prices, […]
In September 2009, when President Obama made a primetime speech pitching his not-yet-passed health care overhaul, he made the following promise: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future. Period.” To prove his seriousness, he further promised that “there will be a provision […]
Government has a serious problem. It’s got nothing worthwhile to do. All the cool things in life come from the private sector, and this is more obvious than ever. The market is creating whole worlds before our eyes, while the government seems ever more like a hopeless anachronism.
Government’s life depends on public frenzy about some grand task it is seeking to accomplish. But today, there is no epic struggle, no grand historic project, no leading us to the light, no vanquishing evil and all those other things government used to claim to do.
It has certainly flopped as the Savior of the Economy. It can’t educate the kids, it can’t give us riches and it can’t even deliver mail.
So its idle hands do the devil’s work. Government grabs our money and dishes it out, roughs people up in the name of safety or security or whatever and otherwise hectors and prods us in a billion dumb ways that make it harder and harder to achieve a better life.
Oh, but wait! Let’s not forget the War on Terror. Surely, there is a job worth doing.
Just last week, the headlines blared that government authorities had done it again. They had marvelously protected the homeland from a catastrophic bombing. The plot, fortunately foiled, involved an amazing bomb sewn into underwear, to be worn on another U.S. flight.
But the U.S. officials intervened and saved the day. They bombed the heck out of the nasty terror cell, slaughtered a few of these vermin. Ah, the world is safe for another day.
This is what we were told. I saw the headlines and smelled a rat, but I moved on. But then the headlines continued the next day and the next. You know how this happens. You finally relent and read the thing because the editors think it is important and, of course, it is irresponsible not to be “in the know.”
But by the time I actually started paying attention to the latest act in this security theater, the story had changed — not just a little, but a lot. It turns out that the U.S. had an agent inside this terrorist operation. He was a Saudi national in the pay of the CIA, and he was operating in Yemen. Pretty exotic stuff.
The details continued to pour out. This guy was not just an informant. He actually delivered the real bomb to the CIA! Now, that’s an effective agent. Right? It seems so. What’s more, he was the actual guy who was going to carry out this operation.
And the operation itself? A suicide bombing. He volunteered to die. He was given the bomb that he would use. He took the bomb to the CIA. To what extent he was the actual plotter, the guy who talked others into this whole thing and whether the bomb even worked — these things are all unknown. All that is known is that this unnamed informant turns out to be the terrorist in question and that he himself did all of this on behalf of the CIA.
Now, let’s just say you are an Islamic follower in Yemen and like nearly everyone else in this region, you are pretty fed up with U.S imperialism. This young punk from Saudi Arabia suggests a plot to blow up an American airliner. Maybe this sounds interesting and epic, but maybe somewhat reckless.
In fact, you are going to be pretty suspicious of this whole idea, but he is driving everyone crazy with demands that he be given a bomb. Then he even suggests that he be the suicide bomber. You might be thinking, “Hmm, whatever else, at least this plot could result in one fatality: this stupid punk from Saudi Arabia!
“Here’s your bomb. Knock yourself out. Break more than a leg.”
I, of course, have no idea if this is what happened. But the CIA’s involvement here compromises the narrative enormously.
As David Shipler wrote in The New York Times:
“The United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years — or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts.
“But all these dramas were facilitated by the FBI, whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naively played their parts until they were arrested.”
In the Middle Ages, there was a profession called the wine taster. His job was not to discern the vintage or tell if the bouquet had a hint of blackberry. His job was to make sure the wine was not poison.
But let’s say many years went by and none of the wine was poison. The wine taster started getting nervous for his job and profession. So he went around the city and tried to get people to poison wines. He made himself a presence among all the vandals and vagrants and volunteered to do the poisoning himself.
If the news of his mischief came out, do you think he would have been a hero or a villain? It seems that he would have been and should have been completely washed up. He was going around trying to get people to poison wines as a way of maintaining his job. This is a moral outrage. He would surely be out of work.
This is what the government is doing to us these days. It is trying to inspire terrorism and then claiming credit for having discovered it. Then it scares people into thinking that their job is extremely important, and therefore, without it, we would all be sunk.
In other words, this looks less like national security and ever more like a racket.
People say that terrorists are desperate cowards. Maybe. But then what phrase is left for a government that does this sort of thing as a way of maintaining its lease on life in times when ever more people are fed up with the whole game?