Saturday, July 26, 2008

Why Do They Hate Us?

It's easy for Americans to believe that the reason terrorists attacked us is because they hate our “freedoms.” That’s what President Bush told us, and that’s what we desperately want to believe. After all, we’re Americans, aren’t we? We believe in American Exceptionalism.

American Exceptionalism is a belief that died a long, slow death in me. I was raised on a steady diet of Superman, The Lone Ranger, GI Joe, Roy Rogers and the like. You know, “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.” I believe in the Declaration of Independence and the ideals of the Founders. Culture and schooling taught me that everything America did in the world was for the good, and appreciated. We were American GI’s handing out chocolate to grateful German children in bombed out Dresden. I still believe in these ideals, but no longer believe American Exceptionalism covers a multitude of US government sins.

Most people I know are really nice and good at heart. They believe these things, too. Many even believed Iraqis would greet us as liberators. Only evil people would resent our occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and fight against us. And only very evil people would try to outwit our massive firepower and technology by engaging in such un-American activities as
Fourth Generation warfare using IEDs and suicide bombings. Americans prefer bombing suspected terrorists from a high altitude. They believe five-hundred pound cluster bombs are not tools of terrorism.

This history of the CIA is coincidental with the rise of anti-American sentiment in the world. Chalmers Johnson (see "
Oil and Blowback," "The Sorrows of Empire," and "The Military Industrial Complex") and many others have written extensively on the “blowback” from American policies, especially the clandestine activities of the CIA. Assassinations, training death squads, toppling governments, creating al Qaeda, setting Saddam Hussein in power in Iraq and giving him WMD to fight Iran – all have been the stock in trade for the CIA.

One example of Americans' blindness because of their ignorance of history and belief in American Exceptionalism is the email that’s made many trips around the internet. It maintains that all this Islamic terrorism started when, for some unknown reason, Iranian students took over the US embassy in Iran in 1979. None of the perpetrators of this email seem to know, or care, that the Iranian problem really began when the CIA overthrew the democratically elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 and replaced him with the repressive Shah.

We would do well to realize that most of the earth’s population now sees the United States as the greatest threat to world peace and stability. We’ve used up our good will. They’re now coming to hate us, and want to see us brought down. We’ve now become what Charley Reese calls a “
Rogue Nation.” (If you think an attack on Iran would be in our best interests, read this article. You might change your mind.)

It is time for us to have an intervention so we can break through our denial. Once we begin to see how others see us, then maybe we can get real and take the steps necessary to regain the moral high ground in world opinion.

Start with Paul Craig Roberts’ excellent article, “
We, the Salt of the Earth, Take Precedence.” This is American Exceptionalism in action.

Then Karl Schwartz has a
sobering dissertation on why America’s awful elected representatives are taking us down the road to ruin. Whether we elect Obama or McCain, this will not change.
Ron Paul reports on "The Mother of All Bailouts." The Treasury is now supplying an open-ended line of credit to buy mortgages no one else wants. This is yet another nail in the coffin for the US Dollar, further ensuring runaway inflation. If you keep your investment and retirement funds in US stocks and bonds, don't say you weren't warned. As an addendum, all credit card transactions will now be reported to the IRS!
I’m gathering a lot of data about what to expect from President Obama. It’s not pretty or hopeful. And most of you won’t like the things he will continue, or the changes he’ll make. A “perfect storm” in American politics is coming on us at the same time it is happening to the economy. I hope to start writing on that next week. For a humorous look at O's recent "Rainbow Tour" (ala Eva Peron),
read this. And note the free rock concert prior to his German speech.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Financial Tsunami Update

"Your friends tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear."

While there are many analogies to describe our worldwide financial crisis, "
tsunami" seems most appropriate. Tsunamis are caused by earthquakes or structural shifts that have been a long time building, they appear rapidly and seemingly out of nowhere, they catch most people unawares, and they cause massive, long-lasting devastation. If the survivors are lucky, they will get help to bury the dead, clean up the mess and rebuild from other, unaffected parties. If they are unlucky, they will be left to rebuild on what's left of their resources.

The current financial tsunami had its origins in the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913. Since then, the explosion of fiat currency has reached the point where today's dollar is worth approximately 2-cents compared to what it was then (as measured by the price of gold). A $20 gold piece would buy a good man's suit back then. It still will today. (I guess today when I give people my opinion, I ought to tell them it is my "dollar's worth!" -- Rim shot!)

There's still time for you to get you and your family to higher financial ground. See earlier posts for more practical advice.

Jim Puplava's blockbuster
interview with Bud Burrell about institutional financial crimes is a real eye-opener. Criminals of high finance are raping the savings and businesses of American citizens. They're dealing with hundreds of billions of dollars and are extremely well-connected. You've probably never heard this story. I handn't. Burrell maintains half the value of Americans' retirement accounts has been stolen using these methods.

Jim Cramer of CNBC has told his viewers "
Sell everything. Nothing's working." The always bullish Cramer is now a bear. "In 25 years on Wall Street, I have never seen things this bad." Interestingly, Cramer is mentioned in the Burrell interview above. JP Morgan's CEO says prime mortgages look "terrible," and says even though they wrote off $104 million in loan losses in the second quarter, "We're very early in the loss curve."

Famed investor
Jim Rogers said on CNBC (remarkably) that it is a terrible mistake to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In 240 years the debt of the US government reached $5 trillion. Paulson's proposal to bail out F & F will double the debt to $10 trillion!

Reuters reports that US economic authorities' confidence in their own ability to rescue the country from the spreading financial panic is at the lowest level yet. "You see a massive potential for financial meltdown on a global scale," says one analyst. Another analyst from the same firm estimated more than 300 US banks could fail in the next three years, double the February estimate.

Bob Chapman calls it "
A Complete and Systemic Breakdown." The IndyMac failure was the largest bank failure in the last 23 years, and wiped out 10-20% of the FDIC's meager reserves that insure the entire banking system! His must-read analysis will help your lethargic brother-in-law break out of his stupor and get serious about taking defensive actions. The value of the US dollar will be inflated much more as the figurative printing presses work overtime to flush the system with liquidity to keep it afloat.

If your savings are in dollar-denominated assets, you had better make sure they are backed by something of real value, like gold, silver or well-chosen real estate. Oh, and check your bank's strength at This is a hot time of year to join those lines of depositors trying to get their money out of a failed bank.

Gary North pointed out in his Remnant Review that we saw "the classic mark of panic in high circles" last week when Bush held a hastily called press conference last Tuesday to tell Americans to remain calm. "When the President of the United States has to hold a press conference to get a sound bite for the evening news, and this sound bite is for the public to remain calm, there's panic in the White House."

European countries are suffering from the effects of their own real estate crashes. The
U.K.'s Telegraph reported that "Spain's finance minister Pedro Solbes has stunned the markets with an admission that his country faces the worst economic crisis in its history as the full effects of the property crash spread through the economy."

Jim Willie writes the excellent, comprehensive financial "
Hat Trick Letter". His latest issue discusses a myriad of aspects of the tsunami. He lists a number of major US industries that are on the path to nationalization, as well as the triage procedures used by the Fed and Treasury to determine which institutions die and which are too big or well-connected to fail. If you want to stay abreast of what's happening, I strongly suggest you subscribe.

Jim Kunstler's blog has a needlessly offensive title with some incisive analysis. "
Not Your Grandma's Depression" makes his case why the coming depression will be much worse than that of the 1930's. William Thompson, Chairman of Private Capital, Hong Kong also tells why this depression will be the worst since the one we call "Great" in this interview. [World War I was called "The Great War," until World War II came along. Maybe we're facing "World Depression II."] Thompson gives some good advice for protecting your savings, including avoiding US Treasury debt.

Baby Boomers face a "
financial Armageddon" because the Social Security and Medicare systems will go bankrupt when 77 million tax-paying baby boomers become 77 million check recipients. Isn't there a Trust Fund accumulating all the surplus of contributions left after distributions? Not exactly. You see, all those surpluses were lent to the politicians to fund their vote-buying programs, replacing the cash in the fund with government bonds. Where will the government get the cash to redeem those bonds to pay out benefits when the "surplus" revenues are needed in the future? They'll have to create even more "money" out of thin air. There goes what will be left of value in the dollar at that time. Everyone seems to know about this problem, but no politician wants to take the painful steps to fix it.

Speaking of inflation,
Doug Casey's latest graph shows the Producer Price Index in both the US and Canada foretelling much higher inflation in the Consumer Price Index. And, remember, this is using faked government statistics designed to understate actual inflation.

Think we should drill more oil to increase supply to lower prices? The Democrats don't.
According to Senator Maria Cantwell, the nanny-state Dems want to "wean" us off of oil.

David McAlvaney's podcast further elucidates the financial challenges we face. And Martin Weiss talks about the government's faked statistics that hide the true state of financial affairs. He also sees deepening depression accompanied by runaway inflation.

Ambrose Evans-Prichard says "
The Global Economy is in Maximum Danger."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oil - A Look at Geopolitical Reality

The mechanisms of real power are hidden. They seldom reveal themselves to ordinary citizens. Rather, the matrix that is the world we "know" is "true" and take for granted, actually masks the truth. Most people don't really want to know the truth. If they know the truth, then they have to act on it, or live with the knowledge of their cowardice and/or irresponsibility for having ignored it.

Jack Nicholson's famous line from the movie, A Few Good Men, applies to them: "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!"

I have had friends who, when shown the numerous
lies, distortions and contradictions in the official 9/11 conspiracy theory, slammed their minds shut when they realized the implications of what they were hearing. Their professed dedication to truth was overridden by a greater emotional need to avoid the psychological pain and distress of rethinking all they know. They are not able or willing to make the changes required by knowing the truth. They are "blue pill people."

To warm up to the subject, first take a look at Bill Moyers' report that the
Afghanistan-Iraq war really was primarily about oil. Even if you still believe it wasn't, or might find it difficult to listen to Moyers because he's "a liberal," open your mind and test what he says against the facts. [Yes, I know the Afghanistan-Iraq war is part of the NeoConservative "Project for a New American Century's" plan to control the Middle East as the linchpin in its strategy for unquestioned American world dominance."

Then move to the main course, Karl Schwarz's insightful article, "
How Do Americans Cleanse the Wound of 9-11?" There you will get a glimpse of the real geopolitical competition to secure control of the world's oil and gas supply and transportation routes. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not about "terror" at all. They're about geopolitical dominance. We never hear any of this kind of analysis from the talking heads in the lame stream media.

Schwartz shows why so many in the world hate America not for "our freedom," but because of the lawless activities our government undertakes in collusion with corporate interests that have caused immense human suffering and death.

This is a long article, much to long and meaty to even try to summarize. Some of it is speculation, as any intelligent attempt to "connect the dots" must be. He might have some of it wrong. So what?

If you're reading this, you're a more sophisticated user of media and a freer thinker than most. (Those who aren't, asked to be taken off my notification list long ago.) You can entertain a scenario and sift through the evidence checking to see what seems to be true, what isn't, and what is just plain interesting and deserving of further inquiry. You're not about to swallow anything whole. I don't.

So consider this post another "
red pill" to take on your journey toward more truth.

Grace, Peace and Courage be with you!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Impeachment or Jail for George W. Bush?

In case you had not heard it from your usual news sources, Rep. Dennis Kucinich filed articles of impeachment against President George Bush. Even though he narrowed the focus from 35 articles to one, the Democrat faction of the War Party doesn't want to upset their chances of getting back in power. So they've followed Nancy Pelosi's lead and sent the mattter to the Judiciary Committee to hold hearings -- but not for impeachment. Rep. John Conyers, the man who would give the go ahead to impeachment, continues to stall.

The Democrats have had two years with a Congressional majority to impeach Bush and end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They continue to give Bush everything he needs in funding and spying authority to act at will. Perhaps they have a "secret plan" to end the Iraq war but can't implement until they have a Democrat President. I guess 70% of citizen opposition to the war is not enough support to give them a little bit of backbone!

Paul Craig Roberts notes that "
Little War Criminals Get Punished, Big Ones Don't." Bush, Cheney, Blair and the rest get free passes to murder, maim and destroy, while petty tyrants like Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, gets faces charges from the UN's International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Vincent Bugliosi (the man who prosecuted Charles Manson), recently released a book that says
Bush should be behind bars. In The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, he lays out his evidence outlining what questions he would ask Bush at a potential murder trial. He believes Bush should be charged with the murders of over 4,000 American soldiers who have died in Iraq since the American-led invasion of that country because of the strong evidence that Bush launched that invasion under false pretenses. Watch an interview with him here.
Ex CIA Analyst Ray McGovern says Iraq Prime Minister Maliki's
call for a timetable for the US to withdraw its troops from Iraq blows out another false reason for continuing the US presence. After all, we said we'd leave when they asked us to.

The rationale increases for Israel to attack Iran, provoke an incident, or even pull off one of their famous "
false flag" operations (like the Madrid train bombing?) to further entangle the US. McGovern concludes: "the Israelis are likely to be preparing a September/October surprise designed to keep the U.S. bogged down in Iraq and in the wider region by provoking hostilities with Iran."

Scott Ritter, the UN weapons inspector who correctly showed that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction before the invasion, details the likely
disastrous consequences of an attack on Iran. He reminds us "that no plan survives initial contact with the enemy, and furthermore one can never forget that, in war, the enemy gets to vote." We should have learned that with Iraq, but the NeoCons controlling Bush are not part of the "reality-based community."

The NeoCons aren't too worried. Most have bought homes in Dubai and stashed their money in Swiss bank accounts. The Bush family purchased a 98,842 acre farm in Paraguay. Isn't that where Dr. Josef Mengele and other Nazi expatriates fled after World War II?
Pepe Escobar
deconstructs Obama's recent speech on foreign policy. The devil is always in the details, he says. Obama seems to favor keeping the current status quo in Iraq if it could be done with a continuing presence of 30,000 "residual" US troops. "Withdrawal it isn't. Is this 'change we can believe in', part of a new 'overarching strategy' - or is this the same status quo as defined by half a century of continuous, many would say imperial, US foreign interference?

In another matter, Joseph Farah of World Net Daily has caused quite a stir with his article on Obama's call for a "
civilian national security force." Holy Stasi, Batman!

In a July 2nd speech in Colorado Springs, Obama said: "We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded." Is this some kind of national police force as large and powerful as our military? The kind a police state might need? Farah goes on: "Certainly there have been initiatives like this elsewhere – Cuba, the Soviet Union, China, Venezuela, North Korea. But has anything like this ever been proposed in a free country?

The Obama campaign would not return calls to Farah. Nor,
he reports, have they posted a transcript of the speech on their web site. These lines were excluded from a special transcript he sent to the Wall Street Journal and Denver Post. But the lines are there, about 16:30 into a video of the speech on YouTube.

We don't know exactly what Obama meant by this remark, but it was delivered in a polished, practiced way. A new national police force is just what an emerging fascist government needs. Let's look for a little clarification in the future.

And we know McCain is ready for a hundred year presence and is ready to "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran."

McBama OCain for President!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Something Big is Happening

If you have ANY doubts that we are facing a financial disaster of historical proportions, please read every article linked in this post.

In Oklahoma we know that when the storm sirens start wailing in our area, it is time to quit fooling around and get to a safe place fast. A destructive tornado is on the way. The financial warning sirens are screaming everywhere -- except in most of the controlled US press. Determine now for you and your loved ones to reach a place of more financial safety. You can't depend upon your government officials and main stream media to help you.

Former Presidential candidate and Congressman Ron Paul warns that "
Something Big is Happening." He clearly explains why the world economy and political system faces a crisis like never before. Our peace and prosperity rest on a fragile philosophic infrastructure that may easily be cast aside to deal with the financial tsunami speeding toward us.

The dollar boom that began after Nixon abandoned the last vestige of the gold standard in 1971 has inflated all world currencies and caused gross mal-investment. If our politicians make the wrong choices (likely), stagflation will become in inflationary depression.

The only answer is to abandon the policies that brought us to this point and adopt policies of real political and economic freedom. Absent that, the American Dream, and the hope it brought Americans and the world, is finished. Dr. Paul says "Time is short for making a course correction before this grand experiment in liberty goes into deep hibernation."

In "
The Financial Collapse Edges Closer, " Martin Hutchinson talks about the possible implosion of the US banking system as the Federal Reserve creates massive amounts of new money to bail out Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the new crises that present themselves in coming weeks. Showing some guarded optimism, he concludes "Thus a total collapse of the US financial system, while not inevitable, is a contingency which should now be planned for."

And if you're still in denial about our dire situation, then read Devvy Kidd's "
Freddie & Fannie: Unconstitutional Bail Out Using What?" She also details how a the "financial catastrophe so many have been warning about for decades [is] coming home to roost."

David McAlvaney's
latest podcast discusses the implications of the Fannie-Freddie bailouts, the IndyMac closing, and the latest in the financial tsunami. Doug Casey's latest chart shows that heating oil inventory hit record lows this year, just as prices hit record highs. Higher prices and shortages loom ahead of the next winter. Casey offers some practical advice on how to protect yourself from the coming "Greater Depression." Take it.

Folks, I can't overemphasize how serious this situation is. We are not -- I repeat -- not going to somehow muddle through this. When I first started studying the monetary system almost 40 years ago I saw the problem. The same economic laws are in effect. We've had several narrow escapes from financial catastrophe. But this time, all the elements in are in place for a "perfect storm," a financial tsunami.

For a little bit of comic relief (and a look at blatant lying from our "leaders") Jon Stewart gives a
humorous take on how President Bush and Fed Head Bernanke both spoke on the economy at 10:20 am on July 15. They basically cancelled each other out!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Full-Blown Fascism Emerging in America

During the Viet Nam war, protesters freely threw around the accusation that the US government was becoming fascist. While I knew they were technically correct in terms of collusion of business and government, our government still seemed largely constrained by the chains of the Constitution. Sadly, that's no longer the case.

In his brilliant video, "
From Freedom to Fascism," Aaron Russo traces the seeds of American fascism to the institution of the federal income tax and Federal Reserve Bank in 1913. Thomas Jefferson repeatedly warned that a central bank would spell the end of freedom in the US.

I've seen several
lists like the one Naomi Wolf gives as her ten steps (video) (print) followed by every country that abandons freedom for fascism. They're all happening here. With the announcement yesterday that we now have one million people on the official terrorist watch, her discussion about how she and many others were put on the list is chilling.

Yes, 9-11 changed everything -- including Americans' understanding of, and desire for, political freedom. Hitler used the Reichstaag fire to pass the Enabling Act to take total power in Germany. In the same way, Bush used 9-11 as the pretext for passing the PATRIOT ACTS I & II and their bretheren. It is interesting that China is building a
high-tech police state with the help of US technology.

The recent passage of the
revamped FISA law is one more step towards total tyranny. Joel Skousen writes: "With the final passage of the FISA reform bill this week, the US Senate has reached a new low in its outright disregard for the constitution its members are sworn to uphold. Simply put, Congress has no power to legislate any law that violates any of the provisions of the constitution. Period.

In this case, the constitution is clear: no warrantless searches are permitted--none. That's what constitutions are supposed to do: put strict limits on lawmaking power so that individual rights are protected from evil minorities, evil majorities, or in this case, insipid yes men in Congress eager to please those above them conspiring to use the phony threat of terrorism to dismantle constitutional protections."

For all you folks who have put your hope in Obama, after saying he wouldn't,
he voted for FISA. I hate to burst your bubble, but he won't do away with the total surveillance state. Nor will he withdraw from Iraq, or keep us out of Iran. He's under the thumb of the same PTB as Bush, and McCain. Think Obama is anti-war? He just promised 10,000 more US soldiers to Afghanistan! Does anyone remember how the Soviet Union was brought down in part because of their disastrous Afghan adventure? McBama OCain for President!

More and more liberals and progressives are
warning that "voting for Obama and keeping one's fingers crossed, is not a sign of hope. It's a sign of self-delusion." So is voting for McCain to "perserve freedom."

Bill Moyers decries the
demise of the media into their current position as lap dogs of the PTB. "Sadly . . . the Fourth Estate has become the fifth column of democracy, colluding with the powers that be in a culture of deception that subverts the thing most necessary to freedom, and that is the truth."

If the media had been doing its job, it "could have spared that country from rack and ruin, saved thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, and freed hundreds of billions of dollars for investment in the American economy and infrastructure." Instead, the media basically parroted the erroneous and misleading intelligence fed to them by the liars who wanted this war.

Stephen Colbert skewered the press two years ago when he revealed how they operate when he keynoted the US Press Club dinner: ". . . let's review the rules. Here's how it works. The president makes decisions, he’s the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration . . . You know, Fiction."

announced earlier this month that they want to develop a "safety bracelet" for all airline passengers to wear. Taking the place of a boarding pass, it will not only monitor your whereabouts, but be your own personal Taser device -- on you, of course! Announcing the new iShock!
A Sign of our Times - In the fifth this year of many
coming bank failures, the California's IndyMac had lines of depositors trying to get their money. Those with more than $100K were left holding the bag. Without a massive infusion, the FDIC will be able to cover only a small fraction of the total number of bank deposits at risk. In an attempt to calm the public, and FDIC official assures us that the former IndyMac Bank is "as safe and as sound as any bank in the country right now." If IndyMac just failed, what does that say about the other banks?!

Some $1 billion of uninsured deposits held by 10,000 IndyMac customers are now trapped and federally seized. Since FDIC only insures deposits of up to $100,000, holders of accounts with larger amounts under one social security number (business and/or personal) may consider dispersing funds to safer havens.

The new
plan to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could cost US taxpayers hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes that as the full effects of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacle spread through the world, the US could face a "foreign funding crisis." That could be devasting since we depend upon $700 billion a year in funding from Asian, Russian and Middle Eastern sources to fund our current account deficit.

So we're borrowing money to fund to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and so Iraqi puppet Prime Minister al-Maliki can
hand out cash on the streets of Baghdad?
increase in the wholesale inflation rate is the highest in 27 years!
Iran just discovered a
huge new oil field and signed a signed a major oil deal with Russia. Now an attack on Iran will now be viewed as an attack on Russia's vital interests. China aleady views it as such because of a long-term $400 billion LNG contract. The Russions have reportedly stationed their latest fighters and bombers in easy reach of Iran and Iraq if their vital interests are threatened. Are we at the edge of the abyss? Maybe so, if it is true that Bush supports an Israeli attack on Iran.

Maybe it is only
our own soliders who have the leverage to stop the war with Iran. Support the Troops! Bring 'em Home!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hyperstagflation on the Way

Bob Chapman continues to provide comprehensive analysis of our financial decline. His latest The International Forecaster lays out the formula for "hyperstagflation." Read it carefully for the macro-analysis. Then take steps to prepare.

Get out of stocks (except quality metals and commodities), bonds and into precious metals and their stocks. Take delivery of actual metals and shares. Stay away from ETFs (see Chapman's article for a summary of our they're used to suppress the metals prices). Keep cash in small bills at home. Buy at least a 2-3 month supply of food. Even more is better. Don't put it off. Procrastination literally kills.

As Chapman warns, "Detach yourself from the Matrix, or get reamed."
True story. Last weekend I bumped into a banker friend. Here's a short version of our quick conversation:

PD: "The worldwide financial system seems to be broken. Everyone but Americans seem to know it."

Banker: "Yep. It's de ja vu all over again."

PD: "But we've never seen this before, have we?"

Banker: "That's right."

PD: "Calling our financial crisis a 'sub-prime crisis' just names the tip of the iceberg."

Banker: "No one knows how deep it goes."
Meanwhile, the stock market plunged over 200 points today until the Plunge Protection Team (PPT) went to work. Gold jumped $15 before the PPT went to work. It is still up $6.00.

Doug Casey provides an
interesting graph showing how hyperinflation wiped out the Yugoslavian currency in the early 1990's. At its height in 1993, retail prices were inflating at a rate of 2% per hour. Today, inflation is surging through the global economy as never before.
Does anyone besides Big Agriculture and their lobbyists think ethanol is still a good idea? A confidential
secret report by the World Bank indicates that 75% of the recent rise in global food prices is due to the mandates use of biofuels to combat global warming. Many think a 10% ethanol blend reduces gas mileage by 8-10%. It is subsidized and additional energy is needed to process it. 2-stroke engines are having lots of problems with it. Why is there no outcry to stop this little bit of madness?
Patrick Buchanan
points out that all our saber-rattling against Iran drove oil prices up another $11 a barrel, translating "into $143 million more sucked out of the U.S. economy every day – into the coffers of Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and OPEC." Peter Casey says that the IAEA reports do NOT point to Iran being close to developing a rudimentary nuke, nor that they are even trying.

After watching what happend to North Korea (with nukes) and Iraq (without them), who could blame them if they wanted them, too? And yet Congress continues the march to war being led by the nose by AIPAC. Are we insane? If we don't like the results of the Iraq war, we'll hate the one with Iran.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Recession: With or Without War?

My recent glimmer of optimism about possibly avoiding war with Iran was snuffed in a recent article by Gary North. First he summarizes "the good news" -- "there is going to be an international recession, rising corporate bankruptcies, bank failures, and retrenchment by consumers because they can no longer pay the rising cost of energy [and food]."

Then he repeats his earlier warning that if Israel attacks Iran, the economic news will rapidly get worse. (The head of OPEC recently warned global oil prices would be "unlimited" in case of a war.)

North says all signs point to an upcoming Israeli air strike on suspected Iranian nuclear production facilities. Decision-makers in the US and Western Europe have not made it clear that they will impose significant negative sanctions on Israel after an attack on Iran; therefore, they have given Israel an "implied green light" concerning an attack. Since the Israelis perceive Iranian nuclear weapons as a threat to their survival, they are likely to attack.

Absence such sanctions, the only thing stopping Israel is the perception that the aftermath of their attack would be the negative fallout of the collapse of the Western economy that buys Israeli goods. He suggests you include this very real possibility in your financial planning. So do I.

The Huffington Post ran a guide to understanding the two bipartisan resolutions that Congress will probably vote on this week. These are tantamount to declaring war on Iran, threatening naval and air blockade if Iran doesn't adhere to American wishes. These resolutions "are based on factual errors, exaggerations, half-truths, and even outright lies." Even though the effort may seem insignificant, you should still contact your Representative and Senators to register your opposition to these resolutions.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank has lost all credibility around the world. The IMF will soon begin an audit of the US financial system, releasing a report by 2010. Soon the criminal, deceptive financial practices that have flourished in the 27 years since Richard Nixon repudiated the last vestiges of the gold standard will be laid bare for all to see.

I see more dire financial forecasts than I can possibly list. If you still believe the spinmeisters from the Fed and Treasury and the talking heads in the financial press that we're about to turn the corner financially, you need to read more. Richard Daughty ("The Mogambo Guru") says "Banks are Suffering from their Own Stupidity." And so will we. The Boston Globe reports that 401(k)s and IRA are eroding in value due to soaring energy prices and the meltdown in financial stocks.

The Inflation Fuse Has Been Lit, says analyst Larry Edelson. The famed Aden Sisters point out the the boom in gold, silver and commodities foretold massive global inflation, and that it should be with us for some time to come.

If you haven't yet bought any gold or silver and moved out of stocks and bonds, do it now. Even in the traditional summer slump, gold is up almost $100 from its recent low. I'd advise staying away from any of the gold or silver ETFs, though. I've seen persuasive evidence that they are likely being used not only to suppress the price of the metals through short-selling, but also may not have the actual reserves they claim to have. Take delivery. Jim Sinclair even suggests you take physical delivery of the stock shares you plan to hold. The likely breakdown in the financial system could tie up your shares for years, IF you are even able to get them.

Unlike previous inflations, global competition for wages on anything that is transportable, has capped most wages. Layoffs and slack demand may even be driving wages down. Rising prices for food, fuel and other necessities, coupled with steady or falling wages and unemployment, can only make the recession deeper.

Historically, all empires end. The US empire is no exception. The indications are everywhere. In Jeff Foxworthy's style, here's a handy list of 36 signs the US empire is crumbling.

On a lighter note, be sure to take a few moments to savor these spectacular photos of Antarctic icebergs. God's world is beautiful. We shouldn't mess it up.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

War with Iran Not Inevitable

If you've been following my blog, you know I think a war with Iran would have disastrous consequences for America. Our financial and military are both stretched to the breaking point, and the economy is stagnating into what could easily become a depression. The many estimates of dire consequences of an Iranian response (one writer calls it "the perfect storm from hell") would only worsen these conditions.

The good news is that the forces lining up against the Cheney-NeoCon-Israeli coalition for war with Iran may be getting the upper hand. Tom Englehardt makes a good case "Why Cheney Won't Take Down Iran." Justin Raimondo at also sees signs the tide might be turning against the War Party.

U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as Defense Secretary Robert Gates are said to oppose an attack on Iran. Gates reportedly told Democratic Senators last year that it would "create generations of jihadists and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America." One observer thinks that the threat of higher oil prices due to an Iranian war has Bush and the Republicans "over a barrel," creating a huge problem for John McCain in November.

On the other side is what Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury under Reagan, calls "a totally lawless regime" that is hell-bent on getting its way, regardless of what the American people want. Meanwhile, the virtual declaration of war with Iran if House Joint Resolution 362 and Senate Resolution 580 pass is still a threat. So far there has been no vote on either. To their credit, Rep. Tom Cole, Sen. Coburn and Sen. Infofe stand alone among the Oklahoma delegation as not having signed on as co-sponsors.

So while I am more hopeful than when I first addressed this issue almost two weeks ago, we need to remember Yogi Berra's famous words: "It ain't over till it's over." If you haven't called your Congressman and Senators yet about these resolutions, register your opinion today. And pray that if there is any shred of decency left in the leaders of the Bush administration, that they will spare the world and our posterity the all-too-likely horrors of unleashing their war plans on Iran.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

More Treacherous Economic Signposts

David McAlvaney's latest podcast is out. As usual, the analysis is not optimistic. We're already in an under-reported US and worldwide financial crisis. Everyone in the world but Americans realize the financial system is broken. Crooks abound, and trust has disappeared. The Fed and US financial media are trying to hold everything up with spin and false statistics. Believe it at your own risk.

There is a high likelihood that the US stock market will crash by mid-fall. That's on top of the slide over the last 7 years. The US is in recession, and inflation is picking up. If Obama wins the election (likely right now), his first 100 days will be like FDR's. Higher taxes and more regulation supposed to alleviate our financial crisis will deal a devastating blow.

The McAlvaneys just put out a new 2-hour DVD with their current geo-political and economic analysis, "When Greed Turns to Fear: How to Protect Your Portfolios from the Day of Panic." Ask for a free copy and the latest printed newsletter. Call Rob at 800-525-9556, Ext 101.

Meanwhile Gary North writes about his pick for the worst-case economic scenario over the next 6-12 months. He analyses the ramifications of an attack by Israel and/or the US on Iran, both in terms of $10+ a gallon gasoline and the resulting permanent war with Shia insurgents in Iraq. He suggests you plan accordingly.

Jacob Hornberger points out that "Americans Had It Coming." Higher prices for gasoline, food and most other things are the price of empire and imperial adventurism. Our ill-fated invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have become "black holes of federal expenditures," instead of the self-funding cakewalks the NeoCons promised. Rather than raise taxes to pay for the $535 Billion cost of these wars, the government borrowed the money from the Chinese. "Well, what did Americans think — that empires come cheap?"

[Do you remember Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld breaking the news on Sept. 10, 2001 that the Pentagon could not account for $2.3 TRILLION in funds? They disappeared just like countless billions in Iraq that can't be found. An event the next day swept this news out of the public's mind. Whatever hit the Pentagon just happened to wipe out the accounting section that had all the records. What a coincidence! For some reason, not another word was said about the missing TRILLIONS.]

If you didn't read last week's post "Treacherous Economic Signposts," now is a good time to do it. You might even want to review it if you did. There are so many daily distractions that it is hard to keep focused on dark storm moving in on the horizon.

I keep mentioning these financial problems because now is NOT the time for complacency. Things really are different this time. This is not going to "somehow" work itself out. Get your money out of the stock market, buy gold, silver and food, and take what other precautions necessary to protect you and your family.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

US Government Fiscal Policy Cannot Continue

Ross Perot caused quite a stir with his economic charts when he ran for President in the early 90's. He has just issued a new set of sobering charts on America's economic future.

He shows quite clearly that current government spending trends cannot be sustained. The pyramid scheme of entitlements -- mainly Social Sercurity, Medicare and Medicaid -- have reached a "tipping point" with the retirement of the first Baby Boomer last year.

Our national security, our standard of living, our standing in the world, and the value of the dollar face a grave threat from this problem. What the charts omit is that all the Western welfare states are in the same situation.

This is not a popular topic on the Presidential campaign trail. Even though the status quo is not an option, the political class continues to ignore it. Any steps they take to prevent America's looming bankruptcy and destruction of the dollar will not be popular with those dependent on government programs.

Take 15 minutes to watch this slide show today. Make your preparations accordingly. If you are older, plan not to retire. If you are younger, don't factor Social Security into your future, except as a wage-slave.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Take time to laugh today

Since I tend to see a lot of the alarming things in our world today, I realize that I need balance for my own well-being. Laughter truly is one of the best medicines. So I appreciate people with a gift to make me laugh.

I often kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, when I watch Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show." It shows Monday - Thursday at 10:00 pm CST on cable's Comedy Channel. His incisive wit pokes fun at politicians of all stripes and often cuts through the fog of their b.s. and spin. If you can't get this channel, you can find many of his entire episodes or segments at their web site. The Colbert Report that follows immediately after is funny, though Colbert is not nearly as good an interviewer. Both shows have a remarkable line up of guests.

I also like The Onion. Much of their satire is hilarious. I especially like their video spoofs of Network News shows and TV morning shows. The following is a sampling of some of my favorites. Enjoy!

Bush Tours America to Survey Damage Caused By His Presidency

New Wearable Feedbags Let Americans Eat More, Move Less

Are Politicians Failing our Lobbyists?

Diet Book Author Advocates New “No Food” Diet

Horrific Crash a Sad Reminder of Princess Diana

Is the Government Spying on Schizophrenics Enough?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

We Need to Restore the Spirit of Liberty in America

America is at a crossroads. Do we resurrect the Spirit of Liberty that brought forth history's greatest experiment in human freedom? Or do we continue down the path toward fascism?

The disastrous legacy of the Cheney-Bush administration -- the pending financial disaster, the rise of the total surveillance security state, and the prospect of endless war -- threaten the survival of our Republic. Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain has the principles, vision and character to lead us toward more freedom and renewed prosperity. Congressional leadership is no better.

Congressman and medical doctor Ron Paul stands apart, and mostly alone, as a man dedicated to the principles of political liberty. He spoke Truth to Power in the Republican primaries and
became a phenomenon among young adults. He raised more money in the last quarter of 2007 than any other Republican. He insisted that his campaign was not about him, about the principles he holds and presents clearly and consistently.

Please read Dr. Paul's "Something Big Is Going On" to set the tone for your Independence Day holiday. And get his New York Times best-selling book, The Revolution: A Manifesto, for a clear-headed analysis and call to action. Michael Scheuer, recently retired CIA agent and expert on the mess we've made in the Middle East, reviews it here.

It is up to the people who discern the times, and know what should be done, to stand up and be counted. Only a precious few are able to see and think outside the bogus left-right analytical grid that obfuscates the real issues pertinent to political freedom. That you are reading this blog shows that you are one of them. With knowledge, comes responsibility. Take it!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Treacherous Economic Signposts

In earlier posts I mentioned the rash of bad reports I've been seeing. I mention them because I believe realism is better than unfounded optimism. When I was a Boy Scout, our motto was: "Be Prepared." Here are a few more ominous signs:

Billionaire real estate investor Eli Broad (age 75)
said yesterday "This is worse than any recession since World War II." On the brighter note, he thinks the Federal Reserve and other "mechanisms" will keep things from getting as bad as the 1930's. However, Wall Street just had its worst June since 1930, so Broad's optimism might be unfounded.

Money Week thinks that the floods in the midwest US
"could bring America to its knees." Most Iowans who lost their homes in floods did not have flood insurance. The author predicts "a wet version of the 1930's Dust Bowl" with families who lost everything migrating because they have nowhere else to go. With world grain reserves at record lows, crop losses will only aggravate the situation. Check out these flood photos to get an idea how bad it is.

As countless truckers go out of business because they can't afford the losses from high fuel prices, the three-day supply of food on supermarket shelves is looking pretty thin. Might be time to buy some
food storage as basic insurance. eFoodsDirect has a nice-looking line of storable foods, too. Think how nice it would be to have two month's supply of food on hand -- just in case you can't get gas to go to the supermarket. You might want to check out this list of 100 items that disappear first in a disaster.

Next time you're at the store, notice the
shrinking size of packages for many of your favorite foods and snacks. They're not really increasing prices, just decreasing the amount of food you get for the same price. Maybe that will help our obesity epidemic. Actually, prices for most foods are way up over last year.

USA Today reports that
high gas prices threaten to shut down rural towns. Wait, isn't that where a lot of our farming is done? King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia urges us to get used to high oil prices.

Fortis Bank in the Netherlands and Belgium predicts a
US financial market meltdown within weeks. What do those alarmist Europeans know anyway? In a related story, Citigroup goes out on a limb and predicts the gold price to get back to $1,000 before the year ends. It could easily double or triple they say due to "global policy prescriptions for the credit crunch [that] remain powerfully and uniformly re-flationary."

The Bank of International Settlements says a "
disorderly decline in the dollar can't be ruled out." They like it nice and orderly like the smooth 14 percent decline last year. Sensing that the dollar is not falling in value quickly enough, the Fed pumped another $75 billion into the banking system to help squeezed banks "overcome credit problems," promising a fresh batch of loans later this month. Where do I sign up?

The Fed is really in a bind. As
Michael Swanson puts it so well: "In essence the Fed is playing a game of poker. It is bluffing when it says it is fighting inflation. It has no chips left and has bet everything on the slim chance that the economy has already bottomed. If something happens to make the Fed intervene again then it will be faced with a choice of fighting inflation by raising rates, which would have the effect of blowing up the banking system, or intervening to save the banking system, the economy, and the stock market, which of course would mean more inflation, a falling dollar, and falling bond prices. The Fed has proven that if it gets trapped into such a corner it will side to help the banks and the stock market a stable currency be damned."

For a detailed analysis of increasing international systemic financial risks, and the possible "End Game" envisioned by the Money Masters, check out
this article. He repeats Warren Buffet's now famous characterization of derivatives as "financial weapons of mass destruction."

This podcast with David McAlvaney with Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, while highlighting many of the dangers to the international economy, actually has some positive things to say about the underlying strength of the US economy. Be sure to sign up for McAlvaney's weekly email for new interviews.

Why are these Missouri National Guardsmen training for riot control?

Have you seen
this video about police confiscation of citizen's guns during the Katrina aftermath? Why would they disarm law-abiding citizens and leave them at the mercy of looters?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Gold getting ready for another big move

Jim Sinclair became fabulously wealthy when he called the great gold bull in the late 1970's, selling out at the top. He's the dean of the gold bugs, and gives his advice away for FREE at his web site. He posted a bulletin today where he thinks the gold is getting ready for its assault on $1600. His previous prediction for that level was by 2011, so he thinks things are speeding up.

Gold is traditionally slow moving in the summer, but that may change. If you're going to buy gold, do it soon. It is not going much lower, if at all. It is definitely going higher, because the dollar is going lower. It is really that simple.

I suggest US Gold Eagles of various denominations. Silver Eagles are also a great investment. I've had very good prices and service in the past from
Franklin Sanders as well as GoldMasters. If you live outside of Oklahoma (to avoid sales tax), you can try American Precious Metals Exchange in Edmond, OK.

Investment guru Jim Rogers, who correctly called for $100 a barrel oil and $1,000 gold in 2006, urged investors in a recent speech to "avoid the dollar at all costs." "The best investments in 2008 are commodities and natural resources. Agricultural prices have much higher to go over the next decade. We have a shortage of everything, including seeds.''

Any money you leave in US stocks (except selected precious metals and commodities), bonds, and money markets will become worth less and less as inflation eats away at their value. Be safe, not sorry. As Gary North is famous for saying: "Procrastination kills."

My good friend Michael Pink updated my store closing list in today's earlier post with news that Starbucks will be closing 600 underperforming stores in the US. I didn't need that last bit of lingering optimism anyway!

Depression Watch

I’ve been watching the economy’s ups and downs since the early 70’s. Many think a financial “perfect storm” is coming soon. Ominous economic signs abound, while optimism is hard to find. There’s too much to post all at once. I’ll just share some as we go. The prudent thing to do is to get your house in order, and don’t get trapped by the falling dollar.

Government economists stepped up their lying about the real rate of inflation during the Clinton years. This was to keep from paying those on inflation-indexed payments like Social Security from getting so much money. So the government introduced the concept of “core inflation,” that excluded such minor items as food, energy and housing from their measure of general prices. And the stenographers from the Lame Stream Media dutifully report their figures with straight faces month after month.

Too few Americans still understand what Richard Russell calls
The Federal Reserve Racket. One of the reasons Ron Paul was either ignored or ridiculed during his campaign was his call for abolishing the Federal Reserve and returning to the stability of Constitutional money. The simple fact is that when the Fed creates money out of thin air, the value of all currency is debased. That’s inflation. If the government’s central bank does it, it is legal. If you or I do it, it is counterfeiting. But the result is the same.

Since most people hate paying taxes, the Cheney-Bush administration has paid for its wars of choice in the Middle East the same way the Vietnam War was financed – with borrowed money, which produces inflation. Devaluing a currency is just another form of tax that hits people on fixed and low incomes the most.

What we currently see in America is “stagflation.” The economy is stagnating into recession, while inflation is rapidly increasing. Continued inflation, with government bungling like price controls, higher tariffs, rationing and what other futile measures the political class takes while ignoring the causes of the problem, will only make things worse. The result will be a Depression as bad as the 1930, with the destruction of the middle class. One analyst says inflation is unleashing a
global financial tsunami. I wish I could prove him wrong.

The Dow-Crash, The Dollar, Gold, and WAR!” says it all in the title. You don’t have to be a financial guru or technical analysis expert to understand the simple charts. The Dow crashed through its eight-year support level. Gold has broken out to the upside from its consolidation decline since its all-time high in March. Iran may have sealed its fate by going off the petrodollar standard (just like Iraq did prior to that war). The author has some interesting things to say about the Euro moving into worldwide preeminence, as the globalist insiders want the United States (and its citizens’ bothersome concerns about individual liberty) to move into second-class status.

Gold is still the currency of peace. Better get some at today’s bargain prices. Protect your financial future. The dollar has a long-way yet to fall. If you want to put gold or silver coins into your IRA check out the Self-Directed IRA services for precious metals at
Sterling Trust. It’s easy to do.

As inflation shows up in higher prices for energy, food and raw materials, and demand drops for other items because of less discretionary income, the US economy sinks along with the US dollar and stock market.

Not only are the big automakers shutting down production lines and plants. So are many of
America’s top retail chain stores. Can the impact on be any less on all the independent mom and pop stores? Here’s the list:

(01) 84 Lumber is closing 12 stores

(02) Ann Taylor is closing 117 stores.

(03) Big Dollar is closing 10 stores after having been around for 21 years - so even dollar stores are closing.

(04) Bombay Company is closing all 384 U.S. stores.

(05) Cache, the women's retailer, is closing 20 to 23 stores.

(06) CompUSA is closing 128 stores.

(07) Dell is closing 140 stores.

(08) Dillard's is closing under-performing stores

(09) Disney Stores is possibly closing 98 stores.

(10) Eddie Bauer has closed 27 shops and is going to close more.

(11) Ethan Allen Interiors closing 12 stores.

(12) Foot Locker is closing 140 stores

(13) Friedman's Jewelers is closing 120 stores according to one report and 473 stores according to another as it goes through bankruptcy proceedings.

(14) Gap Inc. is closing 85 stores including Old Navy and Banana Republic stores.

(15) Home Depot is closing 15 stores.

(16) Jasmine Sola is closing 23 stores

(17) J. C. Penney is scaling back

(18) KB Toys is closing 356 stores as part of its bankruptcy

(19) Kirkland's is closing 30 to 130 stores

(20) Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, and Catherine’s, members of a consortium, are closing 150 stores.

(21) Levitz Furniture is closing all 76 stores and going out of business

(22) Lillian Vernon the Internet Marketer is closing down and filing for bankruptcy - so don't think that area is impervious.

(23) Linens 'n Things is closing 120 stores

(24) Lonestar Steakhouse is closing 27 stores

(25) Lowe's is scaling back.

(26) Macy's is closing 9 stores. They say they plan to open other stores - but a lot of those closing try to put on an optimistic face for stock and other reasons.

(27) Movie Gallery is closing 160 stores

(28) Office Depot is scaling back

(29) Pacific Sunwear is closing 154 stores

(30) Pep Boys is closing 33 stores

(31) Pier 1 Imports has closed 79 stores and is closing another 25

(32) Piercing Pagoda is closing 82 stores

(33) Rite Aid is closing 28 stores

(34) Saks is closing 1 store

(35) Sofa Express is closing 44 stores

(36) Sharper Image is filing for bankruptcy and is closing 90 stores.

(37) Sprint Nextel Corp. is closing 125 stores. This will mean 4000 more job losses on top of the 5,000 last year.

(38) Talbot's & Sigrid Olsen is closing all 78 of its kids and men's stores plus another 22 of its female stores.

(39) Urban Interiors is closing 2 stores.

(40) Wicke’s Furniture is closing all 38 stores. They have been around for 37 years. Called the canary in the cave for this recession. They are in bankruptcy.

(41) Wilson’s the Leather Experts is closing 160 stores

(42) Zale’s is closing 105 stores