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The Science of Getting Rich: CHAPTER VII [excerpt] by Wallace D. Wattles #Gratitude

--- Gratitude THE ILLUSTRATIONS GIVEN IN THE LAST CHAPTER will have conveyed to the reader the fact that the first step toward getting ...

Friday, May 28, 2010

#Consumer Protection

I'm doing this post because I have appointed MYSELF the new CPA (Consumer Protection Agency)...

As I have said before... I HATE being called a f'ing consumer...

The total sh*t that 'consumers' have to be willing to put up with is ridiculous...

Now days most people need to go to law school just to be able to figure out what is in the f'ing contract they are signing...

Fine print, over the decades, has become a deadly weapon of mass destruction in the hands of all corporations. It's difficult to find a corporation for which this does NOT apply.

As an example I am displaying, for your reading pleasure lol, a fairly standard advertisement complete with all the 'enticement to buy' plus the fine print in print that is... the same size as the rest of the print here! WOOHOO! lol

The control of law is one of the things that helps an oligarchy / kleptocracy operate efficiently... The law is for them, not us lowly consumers...


The particular advertisement that I received just yesterday is replete with exclamations about how absolutely WONDERFUL the offer is including...

We're enhancing your neighborhood's (blanking) experience!

Your area has new (fill in the blank)!

We are committed to providing you the best (whatever it happens to be)!

FREE! (After mail in rebate)

We will give you something of value BUT you have to agree to pester us for weeks or months to get the mail-in rebate we promised and then, if you do that, we're going to send you a 'Promotional Card' rather than actual money... And oh yeah... by the way, you'll also have to agree to pay us $20.00 a month and we'll also need you to sign up for a 2 year contract which we can then use at will to F you repeatedly against your will (ie; rape) and, as you'll find in our fine print section, there is absolutely nothing you can do about ANYTHING we decide to do to you once you sign your name on the dotted line...

(I think the dab above is likely REQUIRED by the government of the United States... Apparently, in the past, companies could F you in any way they pleased without any warning at all!)

That's the end of the front cover of the ad... Not too horrible yet... But just wait... it gets worse... much worse...

(Backside, as in if you sign this contract we will be in yours)

Our (fill in the blank) is stronger than ever!

FREE! (after mail-in rebate (that you will likely never receive anyway...))

Get a FREE whatever the F it is that they are "giving away")!

Do this and that with our new (piece of crap made from PLASTIC with a dab of electronics) that really delivers!

We have the hottest (not to mention coolest, greatest, must have or you might experience envy) exclusive (pieces of crap made from PLASTIC with a dab of electronics)! <-- yes... another exclamation point... jeeze...

Please note their use of the exclamation marks... They really bug me because they seem to imply that everyone is a total idiot...

And now, also from the back, taking up close to 25% of the printable area there, the fabled FINE PRINT! (For your reading convenience I have made it the SAME SIZE PRINT!)

Other conditions and restrictions apply. (conditions and restrictions? WTF?!) See contract and rate plan brochure for details. (What if I can't find the freaking contract and rate plan brochure? Where TF is it anyway?!)

Subscriber must live and have a mailing address within (whatever TF we say).

(Piece of crap made from PLASTIC with a dab of electronics) price and availability may vary by market and may not be available from (ANYONE BUT US!). Here's the actual 'deal' on the (Piece of crap made from PLASTIC with a dab of electronics) which involves something called a 'Promotional Card'?! The actual price is 49.95... which is likely what you'll end up paying because we aren't shy about charging you for it at all... HOWEVER that price IS before $50.00 mail-in rebate 'Promotional Card'.

Contract REQUIRES purchase of a two-year plan agreement and MINIMUM $20.00/mo. (FOR US) to even QUALIFY for the "discount" (yeah right! WTF ever!) price. Allow 60 days for 'Promotional Card' fulfillment (But... I still don't even know WTF it IS yet?!) Card may be used only in the US, is valid for 120 days after issuance date but is not redeemable for cash and cannot be used for cash withdrawal at ATMs or automated gasoline pumps. (So... WTF IS it for again???) Card request must be postmarked within 45 days of activation and you must be an active customer for 30 consecutive days to receive Card. (And then WTF am I supposed to do with it after I receive it? I'm just a stupid consumer and I'm not following you here...).

Subject to availability. (WHAT?! So I may NOT get it at all?! Even though I don't know WTF it is FOR yet... Only that it's 'promotional'.)

See participating store for details. (Oh! First I have to run down a copy of the F'ing 'contract and rate plan brochure' to get some 'details'. And THEN I have to go to the 'store' for details? Who TF HAS the details at the store?! The idiot minimum wage guy/gal at the register? A manager? Or is there an entire F'ing wall covered with fine print for my reading pleasure at the store?)

Offer is non-transferable and valid only at participating location. (WHAT?! So I may not be able to get the offer at all then?!) Limit one per customer. (Ah darn...) Offer has no cash value. (Meaning it's a worthless piece of sh*t???) Cannot be combined with other promotions or discounts. Photocopies not accepted.

(piece of crap made from PLASTIC with a dab of electronics) return policy/Early Termination Fee: None if cancelled [sic] in the first 30 days, but up to $50 restocking fee may apply to equipment returns; thereafter up to $175. ("thereafter up to $175" WTF?! What did I MISS?! So does this mean someone can arbitrarily decide to charge me up to $175.00 at their own discretion?!) Some agents impose additional fees. (WHAT?! You mean additional fees on top of the $175.00 restocking fee?!)

Sales tax calculated on unactivated price of (piece of crap made from PLASTIC with a dab of electronics). Early termination fee subject to change. (WHAT?! So ALL that crap I just forced myself to read is totally worthless because you can decide to charge MORE at any time for any reason?! Is that what you mean?!)

Offer available while supplies (of pieces of crap made from PLASTIC with a dab of electronics) last. (So you really don't have to do much of anything that you say you might do, do you?)

(This particular portion of the offer) Available only with select rate plans. (So do you mean we can only get it if we pay you more money? Is that what it means?)

Only (this and that) are eligible. (Who TF by this point knows eligible for WHAT?!)

For additional terms see (this URL that is difficult to type, long and complicated, if you don't manually add the www. you won't get there). (AND after you DO get there plan on reading FINE PRINT until the end of eternity! I'm talking about THOUSANDS of words of legalese... With STILL MORE LINKS to MORE FINE PRINT! In case you haven't got enough of it... Give up yet?)

Some of the cool features we are giving you will expire (sorry about that). And some of the stuff doesn't even qualify for it anyway... (sorry about that).

By the way, 'unlimited' isn't REALLY unlimited... it's kinda LIKE unlimited but nothing is really unlimited now is it?

Oh yeah... IF you do anything that we don't like it is (and will likely remain) our option to 1> terminate you (no not really... lol but we can terminate your service...) 2> immediately prevent you from doing whatever it was you were doing that we didn't like 3> or... we can change your whole freaking plan/agreement/contract around at our pleasure to get more money out of you... If we WANT to :P


Ok... so you can probably figure out what particular industry this advertisement was for... But it FAR from exclusive to them! It's phone companies... it's cable/satellite companies... it's retailers... it's basically every f'ing corporation on the planet... This sh*t is ALL F'ED UP!

WE, Americans, citizens, people of the world can easily put a STOP to this sh*t merely by REFUSING to play the game! STOP signing YOUR NAME on the dotted line as long as the FINE PRINT continues to say that 'they' can F you endlessly, change your contract/agreement ANY TIME THEY LIKE, terminate YOU for any reason, and all the rest...

This is BULLSH*T and it MUST stop!

Thanks ;)


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Note from a friend

I got this note in an email from a good friend today and just wanted to share it and a bit more...

Morgan Stanley did its job: it managed to sell 1.5 billion of the government’s shares in Citigroup for a total of $6.2 billion, or just over $4.13 a share. That’s a good price, compared both to today’s close of $3.86 a share and to Treasury’s cost basis of $3.25 per share.

Just tell me I am wrong on this: It is strictly forbidden to buy or sell with inside knowledge. But the fed did everything it could do to sell their owned stocks at a better price at the cost of the taxpayer. THIS IS AGAINST THE LAW. (Here it is)

AND if you want to get even MORE PISSED OFF then go read this FANTASTIC ZeroHedge post!

ZeroHedge: Guest Post: Extend & Pretend: Its Either RICO Act Or Control Fraud


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sen Claire McCaskill's form letter on the #FED

As a 'public service' I wanted to post the letter I received from Sen Claire McCaskill concerning the Federal Reserve...

In reference to the 'watered down' bill she had the following to say...

May 21, 2010

Dear Mr. Phillips,

Thank you for contacting me regarding transparency at the Federal Reserve. I appreciate hearing from you, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

As you know, the Federal Reserve has been active in U.S. monetary policy and bank regulation since it was established in 1913. Its decisions regarding interest rates have a significant impact on inflation, growth, and other aspects of the economy. As such, the Federal Reserve was designed to be independent from political influence so it could set monetary policy without being subject to political game-playing. However, the actions of the Federal Reserve during the recent financial crisis have caused major concern.

As you know, to buoy the economy, the Federal Reserve used its emergency powers to keep afloat numerous ailing financial institutions. To accomplish this, the Federal Reserve took several actions, such as issuing guarantees on commercial paper and providing more than $2 trillion in credit to banks. I understand that the Federal Reserve had to use its emergency authority to stave off a prolonged recession, but I, like many Americans, am concerned about the lack of transparency the Federal Reserve exhibited during this process.

I believe that Americans have a right to know which institutions received special help from the Federal Reserve and why. At the same time, we have to be sure to protect monetary policy from the whims of politics. That is why, on May 11, 2010, I joined 95 other Senators in voting to pass bipartisan legislation to provide for an independent audit of the Federal Reserve's actions during the financial crisis.

Specifically, the measure I voted for requires the non-partisan Government Accountability Office to complete an audit within the next year of all loans and financial assistance provided by the Federal Reserve since December 1, 2007. The audit will thus bring to light the Federal Reserve's reasoning in determining who to assist, whether there were conflicts of interest, and how effective the Federal Reserve was at mitigating risk to taxpayers. Furthermore, the legislation I supported requires the Federal Reserve to publish on its website the identity of each entity that received financial assistance from the Federal Reserve and the amount and terms of the assistance provided.

With successful passage of this legislation, Americans will finally know how the Federal Reserve allocated trillions in taxpayer funds and who were the recipients. I look forward to working with my colleagues to assure that this measure makes it to the President's desk and is signed into law.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other issue.


Claire McCaskill
United States Senator


Monday, May 24, 2010

I Know What Keeps Obama Awake at Night II via @zerohedge

madhedgefundtrader's picture
Submitted by madhedgefundtrader on 05/24/2010 08:06 -0500

* Ben Bernanke
* Crude
* Equity Markets
* Iran
* Japan
* national health care
* Recession
* Unemployment
* Unemployment Benefits

While Obama spent the weekend shorting through contradictory primary results, trying to figure out what next to say about the Gulf oil spill, and basking in the afterglow of his Senate win on financial reform, a potential nightmare is giving him sleepless nights.

The $887 billion stimulus wad has now been mostly spent or committed, delivering us with a couple of quarters of decent growth. The effect was no doubt help by the Fed’s ZIRP strategy and massive housing subsidies. The “V” is in. Once the effects of this spendfest wear off, we slip back into a deep recession, setting up the classic “W.” Unemployment stays stick in the high nines, and around 18% when you throw in discouraged job seekers, jobless college graduates, and those with expired unemployment benefits, and the underemployed. This afflicted Franklin D. Roosevelt in the thirties.

Please click here to read the full post on ZeroHedge


Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Curious Ignorance of the American People

This is the first page of a book I just began reading... 'The Secrets of the Temple - How the federal reserve runs the country' by William Greider

I felt it's relevance to today was stunning even though the book was copyrighted 1987... Of course it followed the 1980 - 1982 recession and Carter years of huge inflation and the Volker regime...

I am in violation of copyright laws I guess even by posting a single page but oh well... Living life on the edge lol

In the American system, citizens were taught that the transfer of political power accompanied elections, formal events when citizens made orderly choices about who will govern. Very few Americans, therefore, understood that the transfer of power might also occur, more subtly, without elections. Even the President did not seem to grasp this possibility, until too late. He would remain in office, surrounded still by the aura of presidential authority, but he was no longer fully in control of his government.

The American system depended upon deeper transactions than elections. It provided another mechanism of government, beyond the reach of the popular vote, one that managed the continuing conflicts of democratic capitalism, the natural tension between those two words, "democracy" and "capitalism". It was part of the national government, yet deliberately set outside the electoral process, insulated from the control of mere politicians. Indeed, it had the power to resist the random passions of popular will and even to discipline the society at large. This other structure of American governance coexisted with the elected one, shared power with Congress and the President, and collaborated with them. In some circumstances, it opposed them and thwarted them.

Citizens were taught that it's activities were mechanical and nonpolitical, unaffected by the self-interested pressures of competing economic groups, and it's pervasive influence over American life was largely ignored by the continuing political debate. It's decisions and internal disputes and the large consequences that flowed from them remained remote and indistinct, submerged beneath the visible politics of the nation. The details of it's actions were presumed o be too esoteric for ordinary citizens to understand.

The Federal Reserve System was was the crucial anomaly at the very core of representative democracy, an uncomfortable contradiction with the civic mythology of self-government. Yet the American system accepted the inconsistency. The community of elected politicians acquiesced to its power. The private economy responded to its direction. Private capital depended on it for protection. The governors of the Federal Reserve decided the largest questions of the political economy, including who shall proper and who shall fail, yet their role remained opaque and mysterious. The Federal Reserve was shielded from scrutiny partly by its own own official secrecy, but also by the curious ignorance of the American people.

Is it time to wake up yet? Is that "curious ignorance of the American people" with us still?!

Thanks for your time


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sanders 'We are an #Oligarchy and it's getting worse'

Check out this video to see what's going on in the fantasy world of congressional financial reform...

It touches on some very important issues... The need for a national usury law. It points out the fact that the financial industry has now and has had for a very long time enough money and clout to carry Washington around in it's pocket!

It appears we are just going to be STUCK with To Big to Fail FOREVER! As stated in this video, the 6 largest banks control 63% of GDP!!!

I loved hearing someone, anyone, finally speak about the need for a national usury law and how the banks have all colluded to trap as many Americans as possible in debt slavery with their 20%, 30% and 40% credit card interest rates...

By the time Washington gets done with this 'financial reform' bill it will have NO teeth at all... The financial industry spent 300 million dollars last year lobbying against financial reform.

Sanders himself, in this video, calls on the American people, the middle class, to stand up and tell Washington that we are NOT going to take this anymore!

Does anyone REALLY believe these politicians are going to do anything to harm, or even just anger, the folks who pay for their elaborate cocktail parties?

Washington gets SO MUCH MONEY from these people that what financial reform will end up being is a big wet sloppy kiss for the financial industry.

Don't watch what's IN the bill... Watch what is NOT in the bill!

Our own government is STILL busily playing the PROP UP game! It hasn't worked and it is not going to work! It REALLY IS different this time...


Monday, May 17, 2010

Watch Meltup here

There are warnings out there... many warnings from many sources... Don't tune them all out, instead tune in to what is happening to your country right under your nose. Things need to be fixed. The video included here explains much (though not all) of what is going on. I hope you will spend an hour of your time to watch it...



Thursday, May 13, 2010

Asset Prices Being Driven by Governments

I thought this was a very interesting article...

Please click here for the original post on minyanville.com
By Mr Practical May 11, 2010 3:00 pm
There's no longer any real market based on value.

Editor's Note: The following was posted in real time on our premium Buzz & Banter (click for a free trial).

Hello my friends. I haven't deserted you, I've just been staying away from the market craziness. If you've been reading me for the past few years, then you'll agree that there really is nothing left for me to say. Yes I was early, but now you see the results of years and years of government intervention in markets (think artificially low interest rates and Fannie Mae (FNM)) in black and white.

Todd has asked me to answer one question, what happened last Friday?

It's not important, nor is it possible, to understand specifically what occurred on Friday's market drop. What is important is to understand the conditions that allowed it to happen.

Seventy-eight percent of the entire rally from the 2008 lows in US stocks occurred in overnight trading. This means it has occurred on virtually no volume. Additionally, real economic activity, significantly curtailed from deflationary forces (too much debt), has been replaced by government programs while income has been replaced by transfer payments.

Conditions are extremely tenuous and fragile. There are no real markets based on value anymore. Equity prices aren't based on investor expectations of future production. If anything, all asset prices are being driven by governments through currency debasement and its consequences.

I've never told anyone to short stocks. I've always concentrated on risk. You buy stocks
when there's value. Right now there is none. That doesn't mean there won't be a rally, only that if there is one you're taking a lot of risk and simply playing along with the greater fool theory.

We will get out of this, but it won't be the government that will do it. More debt is not the answer. Productivity is the answer and that only comes from the private sector. It will take years.

I still am in the US, for a while at least. But I'm keeping my wealth very safe, investing only a portion in the energy sector, specifically the smart grid and things of that nature which I find fascinating. Invest your time and money only in what you know.

All the best to you and your families,
Mr. P

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

*My* 2 'accidental' terrorist attacks lol

I was a corporate office programmer (in a past life lol)

Accidental terrorist attack #1

One day after completing a program for our 850 stores I sent it out to all of them... I sat in my little cubicle which was located just on the other side of the help desk, separated by a divider... I began to notice that it sounded like the help desk phones were starting to ring off the hook...

Soon, to my own personal horror lol, I realized that it was MY program that was causing the uproar!

It seems I had forgotten to include an ini file that it required, oops, and also that I had coded no checks for it either, oops again... lol

As it turned out when/if a store had to reboot their register system for any reason at all that was it... it wasn't coming back up! lol

For awhile there I thought I had a shot at shutting down all 850 stores! lol

But it all worked out in the end and things were fine...

Accidental terrorist attack #2

Same company...

We had a nice little batch file that we could run on any computer set up as a corporate computer that would replace all the personnel files and such with the information from any given store... We did this so we could test for bad data or whatever and do general store trouble shooting at the corporate office as if we were at the store, same data...

I was demoing something for someone downstairs and let that batch file rip to set up the store data... Guess what? I unleashed it on the corporate network! Wiped out ALL the employee data within a few seconds! All the insurance data, all the payroll data, plus a lot more! lol No one could clock out or anything... They were all freaking out lol

Luckily we had good backup procedures in place (thanks Tennyson ;) So we were able to restore the network... I got off easy by only having to reenter a limited amount of lost data... One new hire with insurance data etc...

A few months later I got a 6,000.00 a year raise, a few months before I left the company to wreak havoc on someone else! lol




Watered Down #FED Audit

If we can't get the actions of the federal reserve fully out into the open for ALL to see the revolution (for transparency for truth for honesty for justice) will fail...


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not what founders imagined

May 11, 2010
Stewart Pence, guest columnist: Not what founders imagined

By Stewart Pence Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — Every Monday morning I repeat the Pledge of Allegiance to our country, and continue my civic duty to receive an education and become the best that I can be.

Yet, as I recite my duty to our country, it forces me to ask a deeper question: What is America? How do I live up to these ideals? More importantly, what can I do to make this country better? Certainly the answer lies in the very roots of our country, in the writings of our Founding Fathers.

Thus, if I am to believe in our country, and support it in its affairs, I too must agree with its principles; among which are the ideals of equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To be an American, one must stand in ideological alignment with the very things our Founding Fathers established this country to believe in. If one cannot stand on this ground, and pursue an excellence in them or for his nation with these great principles in mind, one cannot be an American at heart.

Obviously the pursuit of these ideals is where the situation becomes thornier. Most Americans do seek to advance these principles, yet simply differ on the means to achieving them. Possibly the most erroneous turn taken isn’t in the people, but with the people representing us. It’s without surprise that America is becoming incredibly out of touch with the world when our own congressmen and women are completely out of touch with their own electorate. The deviation from representative democracy to aristocracy is the most fundamentally altering shift in our political system. If our Congress members have millions of dollars per individual, there is no way that they can understand the plight of working paycheck to paycheck, or the struggle of budgeting. (And we wonder why we have trillions in a deficit.) Of the rich, by the rich and for the rich: This is not the America our fathers imagined.

Even more troubling is the idea of hypocrisy. In fact, most countries in the world will find the word American to be a synonym with hypocrisy. A country that is supposed to thrive upon the American Dream — freedom and peace — only takes part in double standards — you can’t have nukes, but I can; equality for all, except Muslims; everyone here can be who he wants to be, unless you’re gay. There is no way a country can be aligned to its fundamental principles when people take almost every opportunity to violate the standards.

Perhaps more telling of our world view is how Americans behave. We have the highest incomes on the planet, yet oddly we also have the highest deficit. Our debt levels are astounding. We have no problem spending $1,000 on the newest computer product, $25,000 on the newest car and $500,000 on the newest house. All the while, we fill our granite kitchens with $300 of groceries, about a third of which we will not eat. Luckily for our $2,000 dog, he can have leftover steak for dinner. All of this in blatant disregard to the millions that live on less than a dollar a day throughout the world. Our blatant overconsumption is a troubling turn from the values that made America strong. We as a society have been caught up in the mentality of “spend, buy, now!”

Everyone feels entitled to the benefits, and no one wants to do any work. We have become a lazy nation of whiners where people feel as if they can shove the work off onto someone else while they sit at home eating McDonald’s, becoming obese, playing Xbox, receiving welfare for them and their nine children, only to end up in our hospitals with their bills being paid for by hard-working Americans.

Certainly there must be something more to being American, or at the very least, something we should do to behave more like an American should. It begins with the pursuit of justice. Through the power of democracy (if it exists in our country anymore), through the power of altruism and through the power of morality, Americans may once again claim themselves to be so. If we choose to allow equality, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to live, then it will. But if we continue to blatantly ignore the fundamentals that allow it to do so, then there is no feasible way our country can ever live up to its creed.

If our society is to live on, we have to make fundamental changes. We have to recognize that the American dream is made up of hard work. We have to realize that life itself is hard, and that we’re lucky that we don’t have to bear the brunt of it. We have to stop being hypocritical, lazy and whiny. We have to take a step forward into the world stage, and be willing to empathize and be willing to deal. Above all else, we have to learn to take short-term sacrifices for long-term sustainability.

Thus, when I pledge allegiance to our flag, I also make a pledge to live up to the principles upon which it stands. If our country can’t find a way to do this, and fast, I fear for how long they may last.

Stewart Pence is a junior at Joplin High School.

Thought this was very good myself and just wanted to share...


Monday, May 10, 2010

State budget cuts reduce county funds

Here is what's going on in *my* state and it's counties... I'm sure the story is the same across the country... Where, when and how will it all end? Revenues obviously are NOT coming back any time soon!

link to original post here


May 9, 2010
By Susan Redden Globe Staff Writer

County officials are bracing for more state budget cuts to translate into a loss of county revenues.

In an effort to balance Missouri’s budget, the state earlier this year cut the amount it reimburses county assessors for work to determine property values. The budget approved by lawmakers for fiscal 2011 calls for cutting the amount the state reimburses counties to house prisoners bound for state lockup.

County officials, who have protested the cuts to state legislators, are concerned that there could be more to come, said John Bartosh, Jasper County presiding commissioner.

“Aside from holding down spending, we can’t really be proactive because we don’t know what’s next,” he said.

Lawmakers late last month approved a 2011 operating budget that makes cuts throughout state government. It trims spending on higher education, mental health and tourism, and keeps K-12 education spending flat — even though a state formula for basic aid to schools called for an increase of more than $100 million.

More than $484 million has been cut from the initial budget proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon, and Nixon’s budget director has warned that more spending reductions might be necessary. The budget takes effect July 1.

Cut or tax

The cuts put county officials in the position of either finding ways to reduce spending or asking taxpayers to make up the loss, said Dick Burke, executive director of the Missouri Association of Counties.

“No one wants to do that (seek a tax increase), especially now,” he said. “So when the state doesn’t fund an idea, the county either has to come up with the money or something is not going to be funded. They are extremely frustrated that this has been put on their backs.”

Cuts in the state reimbursement to counties for property assessments came in January as a result of action by the governor. The reimbursement amount was trimmed to $4 per parcel, down from the $6 budgeted by lawmakers.

For Jasper County, the cut reduced revenues in the assessor’s budget by $115,000, said Richard Webster, county auditor and budget officer.

“We were able to change this year’s budget to base it on the $4 amount,” he said. “There was a rumor flying they would cut it even more; that’s really concerning.”

Newton County lost about $58,000 in the state reimbursement for property valuations.

Prisoner reimbursement

The state budget calls for a cut in the reimbursement rate for housing state prisoners in local jails from $22 per day to $19.58.

For Jasper County, that will amount to about $82,500 in revenue cuts, said Webster.

“It’s been $22 for quite a while, but counties are always asking for more,” he said. “Our average cost for housing prisoners is $45 per day.”

Newton County expects to take “a bigger hit” on prisoner reimbursements, said Jerry Black, an associate commissioner. Despite that, Black said he believes counties will be able to ride out the financial downturn more easily than the state.

“The state is in much worse shape than counties like ours,” he said. “Our revenue is based on sales tax, but the state’s is also based on income tax. When people aren’t working, they’re not paying income tax.”

Reserve funds

Jasper County currently has general fund reserves of more than $1.5 million, compared with $1.4 million a year ago, Webster said.

“We’re asking everyone to hold down spending, but it can’t last, because we’re reaching a point in the year where we normally have to spend more than we take in,” he said.

Newton County has general fund reserves of $1.8 million, down from $2.2 million at the start of the year, Black said.

“We’ve had to do some construction projects, but we’re being very judicious,” he said. “Our revenue from sales tax is down about $400,000, but hopefully collections will start getting a little better. We can’t generate other revenue without raising taxes, so all we can do is try to cut costs.”

Across the board

When it becomes necessary, it will take spending cutbacks “across the board” to offset the revenue loss from the state cuts, Webster said.

“We can’t cut the budget, so we’ll say, ‘Please don’t spend,’” he said. “That’s going to be harder in departments that have small budgets, because there are certain expenses that have to be paid.”

Pay raises for county workers were not part of this year’s budget in Jasper and Newton counties. Pay hikes also weren’t authorized for Jasper County workers the year before.

State lawmakers have proposed a measure that would allow counties to make midyear budget cuts, and Bartosh said he hopes the proposal becomes law.

State lawmakers also are looking to balance the state budget by giving local law enforcement more responsibilities in enforcing state alcohol and tobacco laws, while state officials would focus more on licensing.

Ken Copeland, Newton County sheriff, said that will have no effect on his department, which already enforces alcohol rules.

“Around here, police take care of that in the cities, and the sheriff’s department in the county,” he said.

Copeland said the budgets of sheriff departments and counties would be hard hit if lawmakers adopt another proposal.

Now, prison sentences of up to a year are served in county jails, and those with longer sentences go to the Missouri Department of Corrections. A bill proposed this session calls for sentences of three years or less to be served in county jails.

“That would greatly impact us and overcrowd every county jail in the state,” he said. “It hasn’t been passed, and the (Missouri) Sheriffs’ Association is fighting it.”

#Economic Insanity

Imagine for just a moment, that the Dow Jones Industrials has become a key instrument of national economic policy, and that by “actively managing” its direction, the government could impact the wealth of tens of millions of US households, and by extension, influence consumer confidence and spending. By ramping up the growth of the money supply, and slashing interest rates to zero percent, in order to inflate market bubbles, the Fed could in theory, fuel an economic rebound.

IF you care about what is going on in the US/world economy, central banks and markets then you HAVE to read this post!

Here's the link on Market Oracle


Friday, May 7, 2010

Gerald Celente on the collapse of the #Bailout #Bubble

Celente says this is no time to gamble... I agree...

Though I am as yet not sold on the value of gold personally... Certainly if you are going to buy gold you should make sure you can actually hold it in your own hands... Paper gold stands a good chance of becoming as worthless as fiat currency in my personal opinion...

However, if things REALLY do totally collapse *I* feel the best investments may still be things like food, water and guns...

Just my opinion...


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Audit the FED in trouble?

I thought this was a great video in that it clearly demonstrates what a choke hold the FED and banks, corporatist, have over the administration...

In my opinion, the actions taken, and HIDDEN, by the government and the federal reserve during the time our economy was attempting to 'correct', attempting to flush the greed and corruption out of the system in a most natural way, have been both unconstitutional and most likely criminal.

For all of Obama's rhetorically beautiful calls for transparency and change all we continue to receive is more of the same greed and corruption that we have had now for decades. The status quo is apparently so powerfully entrenched in both corporate America and Washington that it is proving extremely difficult to get even a glimmer of transparency!

It is my own personal opinion that any and all elected officials who REFUSE to allow the auditing of the federal reserve should be removed from office as soon as it is humanly possible to do so. Both parties...

Until we rid ourselves of greedy corrupt politicians and corporations we will be forever enslaved to the state and corporate America.

We have tried debt as a way of life now and it does not work... Stop the borrowing, stop the bailouts and stop the cover ups... please...

Educate yourself and please join the fight for a NEW America...



The on going drama in Neosho #MO

I have been following this story for awhile... Neosho is 13 miles from where I live and I suspect Neosho may be a good representation of what many towns, cities, counties and states are going through right now...

So far Neosho's proposed answers to it's financial 'problems' has been focused the most on BORROWING MORE MONEY (1.3 million dollars recently) and now they are seeking to have, you guessed it, the TAX PAYER come up with the money to bail them out!

Just as our federal government, our banking system, our insurance industry have expected the TAX PAYER to bail them out so now every mis-managed town, city, county and state in the nation is looking to raise taxes.

This "recession"/"depression" has not ended.. it has only just begun... IMO

Click here for a link to the source of this post


Source: The Joplin Globe | May 6, 2010

Greg Grisolano

May 5, 2010 (McClatchy-Tribune Regional News delivered by Newstex) -- NEOSHO, Mo. -- The Neosho City Council will be seeking residents' views during a special meeting tonight when it begins working toward a decision on, among other tough subjects, just how much of a property tax to ask voters to authorize.

The council faces shoring up what could be as much as a $1.3 million gap between operating revenues and expenses.

A special meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. today at City Hall. The council is expected to take steps toward specifying the ballot language for a tax measure that would have to be approved by May 25 in order to go before voters during the primary election in August.

Mayor Richard Davidson said the meeting will be open for public comment, including a potential sunset for the property tax.

More meetings

"I don't suspect there will be final draft and first-reading vote (tonight)," Davidson said. "I suspect there will be several meetings between now and May 25 to make sure that language is the best it can be given the information we have."

That information likely will include an updated cash-flow analysis. The council on Tuesday night approved a contract with Mense, Churchwell and Mense of Joplin to review the city's finances and determine the potential difference between revenues and expenses.

"The details of the budget shortfall are going to be more clear as we work through the cash-flow analysis the council approved (Tuesday) night," Davidson said. "That will give us a true indication of the budget shortfall we can expect in the near future."

The analysis work will not start until Friday, so it will be at least next week before officials will be able to estimate just how much of a levy might be needed.

The preliminary proposal allows for the city to ask for a property tax of up to $1 per $100 of assessed valuation.

For a $100,000 home, residents would be looking at a yearly tax of $190, at a $1 levy. For a $100,000 business, owners would pay $320 per year at the $1 rate.

Officials have said the city faces three options: assessing a property tax at a level high enough to compensate for the gap between current revenues and anticipated expenses; cutting expenses enough to compensate for the gap; or compensating for the gap via a combination of a property tax of something less than $1 and some additional cuts in expenses.

Business owners

For business owners like Kathy Moore, the property tax could be another hit to the bottom line.

"It would hurt me," said Moore, the owner of Charley's Grill. "I don't live in Neosho, but I'm going to be affected by it. Right now, things are just tight."

Another business owner, Angie Clayton, said she could support a levy of less than $1.

"It would be easier to choke down," said Clayton, who owns Angelique's Perfumery. "I wouldn't vote for the dollar. But if they lowered the amount, you know, everybody's got to pitch in somewhere."

City's take

Davidson said he understands the frustration of residents, many of whom have said they blame previous city leadership for poor oversight and bad policies leading to the current financial crunch.

"I can't disagree with those opinions, but the situation we have before us is a situation that the council needs to address," he said. "We can address it with an increase of revenue, a reduction of expenses or a combination thereof. We can't undo the spending or the policies of former councils that put us in this position."

Davidson said the budget shortfall is "significant," close to what the city budgets for the police or fire departments.

"I'm not suggesting we cut the police or fire departments, but it shows you that you can't cut a few positions at City Hall or the parks department to make up that shortfall," he said. "A cut that size would be devastating to the city of Neosho."


The previous City Council approved borrowing $1.3 million earlier this year to plug the gap between revenues and expenses for the current budget year, which ends Sept. 30. A table in the financial plan suggests that the city could generate about $1.26 million annually with a $1 property tax rate.

Simply unbelievable... God help us all...


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Great ZeroHedge post

This is a partial excerpt of the ZeroHedge post
Please click here for the full post
When Will Tim Geithner, Who Has The "Biggest Conflict Of Interest", Recuse Himself Of Fed Audit Deliberations?

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/05/2010 16:14 -0500

Painful common sense from Alan Grayson:

“The Fed doesn't want to be audited. Who does? Do you want to be audited? I don't want to be audited, but sometimes it's necessary,” he said. “When you're handing out a trillion dollars at a time -- a trillion dollars at a time, which works out to $3,000 for every man woman and child in this country -- don't we have a right to know what happened to it?”

Grayson added: “It's central to the bill. We've had secret bailouts from the Fed to private interests now for the past two years without any exposure whatsoever. … We need to know what happened to our money, because when the Fed hands out our money, every dollar in your pocket, every dollar in your checking account, every dollar in your 401(k) becomes that much cheaper and less in value.”

In retrospect it is really much simpler: the Fed will only retain its secrecy as long as it can keep pushing the market higher, and as long as it can force the middle class to empty out their money markets and throw their money into bankrupt retailers trading at one million P/E. Once the market tumbles, it is game over. The Fed knows it, the president knows it, and Geithner certainly knows it. Which is why we expect massive resistance by the Fed and all the "liquidty providers" and "market makers" to allowing the Ponzi formerly known as the market, to reach its true fair value (absent from endless fiscal stimuli and ZIRP insanity)... somewhere in the 400-500 S&P range.

Great stuff no? Be sure and read the complete ZeroHedge post by clicking here...


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Obama's credibility crisis

Click here to read the original post on washingtonexaminer.com

Examiner Editorial
April 25, 2010

Hard on the heels of that shocking Pew Research Center survey finding that four out of five Americans don't trust government comes a blitz of new revelations about the Obama administration that amount to a full-fledged credibility crisis. The latest disclosures are especially damaging because they concern President Obama's possible misrepresentation of his relationships with former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and convicted felon Tony Rezko, his administration's misleading statements about Obamacare costs, and questions about improper manipulation of government-owned General Motors and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Blagojevich revelations were no less serious for being accidental. Blagojevich's defense attorneys filed a federal court motion to subpoena Obama concerning charges that the former governor tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat formerly occupied by the chief executive. Improper formatting of the heavily redacted public version of the motion contained evidence that Obama spoke to Blagojevich about the Senate appointment a week before telling White House reporters that he had not done so. The document also revealed that federal prosecutors are withholding from Blagojevich's attorneys documents describing what Obama told investigators about conversations with Rezko on the appointment or his financial ties to the Chicago developer who was one of his key fundraisers.

On Obamacare, the president and his appointees said repeatedly over the last year that it would reduce government health care spending. Yet now comes Kathleen Sebelius, Obama's Department of Health and Human Services secretary, confessing that "We don't know how much it's going to cost." Why is Sebelius only now saying this when her own department just made public a report obviously months in preparation that projected government health care costs overall will go up, not down? That same HHS report also said Obamacare's Medicare cuts could put 15 percent of all hospitals out of business, making treatment harder to get and more expensive, especially for seniors.

Finally, General Motors claimed in national advertisements this week that it repaid its Troubled Asset Relief Program loans, plus interest, five years early. But the TARP inspector general said GM used other TARP funds to repay its original TARP loans, so the ads were fundamentally dishonest. Recall here that White House adviser Carol Browner told GM and other automakers to "write nothing down" about their dealings last year with administration officials on fuel economy standards. So it seems entirely appropriate to ask if GM's repayment claims were "suggested" by somebody in the Obama White House. That would be the same White House that is also now suspected of improperly influencing the SEC to file fraud charges against Goldman Sachs just as Congress debates Obama's financial reform proposal. As the Obama administration will learn, plummeting public trust eats away at the fundamental credibility of government and undermines its ability to carry out even its most basic duties.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Obama_s-credibility-crisis-91958294.html#ixzz0n10GYtzk

GM Repaid Bailout Money With Bailout Money

Click here for the original post on rightpundits.com
Peter and Paul have never felt so used.

Government-owned General Motors, Inc. announced Wednesday they were repaying $8.1 billion in U.S. and Canadian government loans out of the $52 billion US and $9.5 billion Canadian and Ontario government money they received. And five years ahead of schedule.

GM repaid bailout money. Oh the elation from the Obama administration.

“This turnaround wasn’t an accident of history,” said White House economic adviser Larry Summers. “It was the result of considered and politically difficult decisions made by President Obama to provide GM and Chrysler — and indeed the auto industry — a lifeline, if they could demonstrate the will to reshape their businesses.”

Summers should recheck that result. Turns out, GM repaid taxpayer bailout money with other taxpayer bailout money.

And for their next trick, GM will pull a bunny rabbit out of their Chevy Malibu.

Neil Barofsky, the inspector general for TARP – aka the bailout – reported the money shuffle to the Senate Finance Committee. The money actually came from an escrow account from earlier TARP money.

“I think the one thing that a lot of people overlook with this is where they got the money to pay back the loan. And it isn’t from earnings. … It’s actually from another pool of TARP money that they’ve already received,” he said Wednesday. “I don’t think we should exaggerate it too much. Remember that the source of thismoney is just other TARP money.”

That isn’t how the White House or GM spun the repayment news. Vice-President Biden had praised Obama because he “took a lot of heat” for the bailout “and this has even exceeded our expectations.” It may be time to ask VP Biden to provide specifics about the administration’s expectations if this exceeded them.

GM CEO Ed Whitacre, appointed to the position by Obama, even held a press conference of the repayment at the company’s plant in Kansas where he flew in to announce the news while promoting additional investments in the factory there and in Detroit. There was no mention of themoney being a transfer from one taxpayer funded account to another.

The news has prompted Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee, to request an explanation from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner about why GM repaid bailout money with bailout money and the administration allowed it, while promoting it as money earned.

“The bottom line seems to be that the TARP loans were ‘repaid‘ with other TARP funds in a Treasury escrow account. The TARP loans were not repaid from money GM is earning selling cars, as GM and the administration have claimed in their speeches, press releases and television commercials,” he wrote.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pork and beans, Wal-Mart and #inflation

Do you ever buy pork and beans?

We try to remain low carb around here as it seems to work pretty well for us...

But of course we DO have pork and beans sometimes... Mrs. Warrior makes a mean batch of baked beans for BBQs and what not... Really good...

I KNOW in the past... but not really the distant past at all... I'm talking months here, not years. But in the 'not too distant' past we have always been able to buy canned pork and beans 3 for 1.00... Sometimes, if we were real lucky, even 4 for 1.00...

We were in Wal-Mart this weekend (gasp!) and a sign caught my eye... One of Wal-Mart's wonderful 'rollback' signs over a large display of, you guessed it, pork and beans...

The sign declared loudly that we were indeed fortunate shoppers as the price on canned pork and beans had been 'rolled back' from 68 cents a can all the way to 60 cents a can...

To me, when a can of beans that cost me 33 cents a few months ago now costs me 60 cents I have a hard time considering that to be a 'rollback' and it certainly doesn't sound like deflation, which almost seems to be the goal of the false/misleading advertising going on...

Maybe it's just me, but to me it seems that inflation is on the rise in a serious way throughout our entire economy... Oh the retailers are certainly going out of their way to 'hide' it or even TRY to make it 'seem' as if prices are dropping... They're not. Trust me on this...

Of course the government / FED changed the calculations for CPI under, I believe, the Clinton administration... Just as they have done with the unemployment data... When/if economic numbers are manipulated to present a matrix like view of the economy they can no longer be trusted at all to reflect reality... That's *my* opinion anyway...

Retailers have a slew of tricks they use to obfuscate the issue... Another favorite is to reduce the size/quantity of a package while maintaining the same price as before... This is STILL inflation...

It seems, logically, that having the ability to increase prices would be a good thing for retailers... It seems, to me, that retailers feel as if they MUST increase prices right now... To increase weak profit margins as fewer people are buying their goods...

And it's NOT just retailers who are increasing prices... It's commodities/utilities everywhere... Nearly every single state in the country is looking to increase taxes to help cover budget shortfalls... The federal government has painted itself into such a revenue light corner that they too will have no choice but to dramatically increase taxes on the American people, on the middle class, on everyone who pays taxes...

Rising prices/taxes in this sort of economy seems to be a recipe for disaster to me...

But who am I?