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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 ...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Some interesting notes on the #FED

As I like to say the government and the FED are 'all in' on this... All we can do is pray it works out... Though, personally, I give it no hope at all... They are NOT addressing any of the REAL problems we have in the financial system, in the society and in the culture... IMO

You can't fix a debt deflation problem by pretending it doesn't exist and forever adding more debt...

The following is just a snippet from an article on The Financial Times you may click here for the full article

by Sam Jones

At its core, the Bernanke Twist is a direct effort to try and support prices; to stop destructive debt deflation. We are in uncharted territory though. The Fed is not just trying to game the market in US government debt. It’s trying to support the entire asset-backed debt market.

Which is particularly risky when the the Fed is effectively supporting those prices by positioning itself as a risk sump.

No wonder, as Krugman says, Fed officials are “nervous”. This is an all-out gamble.

It isn’t clear just how much the Fed will need to throw into that system to actually prop it: so far, the Fed’s balance sheet alone has not been enough. The TARP doesn’t look like it has enough either. Consider the fact that total capital raised by the banking system is actually less than total writedowns taken to date.

There’s a big danger here for the Fed: that it is trying to catch a falling knife. The Fed is risking things it’s never risked before. That’s not to say we’re in apocalyptic territory at all; consider the firepower the Fed has behind it. It is though, to use a hackneyed, but apt phrase, paradigm shifting.

In Japan, where quantitative easing failed, the central bank’s balance sheet swelled to a size equivalent to 30 per cent of GDP. The Fed’s balance sheet is currently equivalent to 12 per cent of GDP.

Where we go from here then very much depends on how severe you see this crisis relative to Japan.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New ‘Internet Censorship’ Bill Rushed Through Congress

The government feels as if ANYTHING can be done as long as it has the cover of law...

Please beware the legal maneuvering...

If you prefer the original post on MEN WITH FOIL HATS you may click here

– 2010/06/21

A new bill rocketing through Congress would give the president sweeping powers to police the Web for national-security reasons. Could this be a way to block WikiLeaks?

The Daily Beast

Is cyberspace about to get censored?

Confronting threats ranging from Chinese superhackers to the release of secret documents on WikiLeaks and other whistleblowing websites, the Obama administration may be on the verge of assuming broad new powers to regulate the Internet on national-security grounds.

The powers are granted to the White House under a bipartisan bill that was introduced in the Senate only last week but is already moving quickly through Congress toward passage. The legislation has generated considerable buzz on tech blogs—but drawn little notice so far by major news organizations.

“The way it seems to be worded, the bill could easily represent a threat to free speech,” said Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The bill would grant President Obama the power to declare a “national cyber-emergency” at his discretion and force private companies tied to the Web, including Internet service providers and search engines, to take action in response—moves that could include limiting or even cutting off their connections to the World Wide Web for up to 30 days.

While the bill’s sponsors say it is intended to create a shield to defend the United States and its largest companies from the growing threat of cyberattacks, civil-liberties activists tell The Daily Beast they fear the bill could give the White House the ability to effectively shut down portions of the Internet for reasons that could prove to be politically inspired.

“We have seen through recent history that in an emergency, the Executive Branch will interpret grants of power very broadly,” said Gregory Nojeim of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a group that promotes Internet freedom. He said the bill, which he described as moving “at lightning speed in congressional terms,” was too loosely worded in its definition of which companies would be regulated and what they would be required to do in an emergency.

Wayne Crews, vice president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-enterprise think tank, said he believed the bill was so broadly worded that it might even allow the White House to take aim at whistleblowing websites that were believed to pose a national-security threat, such as WikiLeaks, in the guise of a “cyber-emergency.”

“That would be a concern of mine,” Crews tells The Daily Beast. “The way it seems to be worded, the bill could easily represent a threat to free speech.”

WikiLeaks, which is nominally based in Sweden and promotes itself as a global resource for whistleblowers, announced this week that it is preparing to post a classified Pentagon video depicting an American airstrike in Afghanistan last year that left as many as 140 people dead, most of them children and teenagers.

The Protecting Cyberspace Act was introduced last week by Senator Joseph Lieberman, the Connecticut independent who is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the panel’s ranking Republican. Counterparts in the House Homeland Security Committee have endorsed identical legislation, meaning that a final bill could be adopted by the full Congress within weeks. The White House has not taken a stand on the legislation so far.

Lieberman said the bill was intended to prevent a “cyber 9/11” in which “cyberwarriors, cyberspies, cyberterrorists and cybercriminals” take aim at the United States and try to shut down infrastructure that is dependent on the Internet—a list of targets that include everything from nuclear power plants to banks to Pentagon computer networks.

“The Internet may have started out as a communications oddity some 40 years ago, but it is now a necessity of modern life and, sadly, one that is under constant attack,” he said. Lieberman and the bill’s other sponsors cited the massive cyberattack several months ago on the search-engine company Google—an attack believed to have been organized by the Chinese government—as an example of the sorts of attacks that could be routine in the future.

Lieberman’s committee spokeswoman, Leslie Phillips, said the bill was an effort to defend the nation’s most important electronic networks, “the networks that are most central to our daily lives,” not at attacking anything. She was particularly agitated at any suggestion that the bill might give the White House the opportunity to try to shut down individual websites on national-security grounds.

“In no way is the senator’s cybersecurity legislation directed at websites—WikiLeaks or anyone else’s,” she said. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange did not reply to a request for comment via email.

The bill would create a new federal agency, the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications, within the Department of Homeland Security, with a director who would require Senate confirmation.

The center would work with private companies involved in what is described in the bill as “critical infrastructure”—a list including companies involved with electric grids, telecommunications networks and the Internet—to come up with emergency measures in the event of a crisis. Under the bill, the White House could demand that the emergency measures be put into place, including restrictions on their access to the Internet, if the president declared a national cyber-emergency.

Philip Shenon, a former investigative reporter at The New York Times, is the author of The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Trouble with Permanent #Extended #Unemployment

We all DO hate the current unemployment situation in the United States. Reported to be some 9.7% in reality it is much closer to 20% It adversely affects our friends and family members in many instances...

But the trouble with these continued extensions is that they are but part of the continuing economic bailout by Washington elites of the banks and insurance companies, not to mention the drug companies and many many more corporations and retailers that would be negatively impacted were the extensions to end...

By forcing those American taxpayers still fortunate enough to have a job to subsidize the 'workers without jobs', as the administration seems to prefer calling the unemployed lately, you are in reality forcing taxpayers to continue, seemingly endlessly, to make the mortgage payments, car payments, insurance payments and every other sort of economic purchase for people without jobs.

There is no doubt that ending unemployment extensions will/would have a negative effect on families across America but would it also have an even more devastating effect on banks, insurance companies corporations and retailers...

For when and if unemployment extensions end how many more Americans will face foreclosure, car payments that cannot be made, health insurance premiums and on and on... Including, for many, simple utilities and food...

So... My question is, is extended unemployment insurance truly an effort to assist unemployed American citizens? Or is it yet another way to make sure the obscene profits of banks, insurance companies and the like continue indefinitely?

And exactly when does 'extended unemployment' more closely resemble an 'expanded welfare state'?

It seems to me that the constant extension of unemployment benefits is a big part of the underlying, continuing, government bailout of the very same corporations who, through their own stupidity and greed, created the horrible situation we are in to begin with...

Maybe that's just me... Who knows...


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

U.S.’s $13 Trillion Debt Poised to Overtake GDP

Click here for the original post on Bloomberg

By Garfield Reynolds and Wes Goodman

June 4 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama is poised to increase the U.S. debt to a level that exceeds the value of the nation’s annual economic output, a step toward what Bill Gross called a “debt super cycle.”

The CHART OF THE DAY tracks U.S. gross domestic product and the government’s total debt, which rose past $13 trillion for the first time this month. The amount owed will surpass GDP in 2012, based on forecasts by the International Monetary Fund. The lower panel shows U.S. annual GDP growth as tracked by the IMF, which projects the world’s largest economy to expand at a slower pace than the 3.2 percent average during the past five decades.

“Over the long term, interest rates on government debt will likely have to rise to attract investors,” said Hiroki Shimazu, a market economist in Tokyo at Nikko Cordial Securities Inc., a unit of Japan’s third-largest publicly traded bank. “That will be a big burden on the government and the people.”

Gross, who runs the world’s largest mutual fund at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California, said in his June outlook report that “the debt super cycle trend” suggests U.S. economic growth won’t be enough to support the borrowings “if real interest rates were ever to go up instead of down.”

Dan Fuss, who manages the Loomis Sayles Bond Fund, which beat 94 percent of competitors the past year, said last week that he sold all of his Treasury bonds because of prospects interest rates will rise as the U.S. borrows unprecedented amounts. Obama is borrowing record amounts to fund spending programs to help the economy recover from its longest recession since the 1930s.

“The incremental borrower of funds in the U.S. capital markets is rapidly becoming the U.S. Treasury,” Boston-based Fuss said. “Do you really want to buy the debt of the biggest issuer?”

(To save a copy of the chart, click here.)

To contact the reporters on this story: Garfield Reynolds in Sydney at greynolds1@bloomberg.net; Wes Goodman in Singapore at wgoodman@bloomberg.net.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Letter to my representatives today

We all obviously hate unemployment...

But it no longer seems that unemployment extension is what we have. It seems much more like welfare expansion these days.

Government cannot and must not continue to use tax payer money to prop up banks, companies, union jobs and the unemployed. This is unprecedented and I think you know and understand that it cannot and must not continue.

When if the economy REQUIRES a depression to correct itself in the end that is exactly what it will get. Washington cannot change this 'fact' of economics no matter the amount and length of the economic manipulation involved.

Government and the federal reserve have pushed their chips 'all in' to the center of the table. It did not work. We have problems that cannot be fixed with more debt and easy credit.

That is where the problems came from in
the first place.

Please wake up.

Gregory S. Phillips

Monday, June 14, 2010

FX Broker bullsh*t

Here was my question...

Thank you very much for the adjustment. I appreciate the quality of [your] customer service...

Quote from your email: "Please be aware that stop orders will typically execute at the price designated or worst."

Yes I have noticed this... on every single trade that hits a stop actually. Also noticed that it never occurs in my favor... If it is indeed an 'execution issue' then why are my limits never affected? I experience slippage on every single stop that is hit but never once on a limit...

Thank you

Gregory S. Phillips

And their reply...

Thank you for the email. You are certainly very welcome.

To answer your question regarding your stop and limit question, at this point, all stops are executed at the price designated or worst.

However, our limits will only execute at the price designated, and if the market does not touch that price it will be left on hold.

This is an issue that we are looking into on our end as the trading station's technology isn't able to execute limit orders at the price designated or better.

We are looking for a fix for this. Thank you for noticing and we will keep you informed regarding the changes.

I am tempted to offer them my own services... I was a computer programmer for 25 years, corporate for the last 10 years or so... I'm SURE I could adjust their code to GIVE everyone an extra pip or two on every single limit that is hit... Just exactly like the stop losses execute...

Of course my POINT is that it should be the same in either case... IF the market moves SO FAST that it is IMPOSSIBLE to EVER hit a stop loss without experiencing slippage to your detriment then how is it possible to close limits to the pip every single time with no slippage ever occurring? There should either NEVER be slippage in EITHER case! Or there should ALWAYS be slippage in BOTH cases...

It just 'seems' too convenient that the slippage ONLY works in the favor of the broker... In fact it almost seems like 'theft' to me... Especially when you consider the fact that you are talking, potentially, about millions of trades... It's like they get to add an extra pip or two to the spread, that they already get, on every single trade that hits a stop...

At any rate people/traders keep a close eye on your money... Pay attention where it goes... It doesn't just vanish into cyber-space... Most often it vanishes into your brokers pocket...

Call them on crap... Don't let people/anyone just take your money from you anytime they feel like it...


Cherokee County commissioners pondering employee furloughs

Here is some news from the 'real world' where counties across the nation face the same issues...

Original post from The Joplin Globe here

June 13, 2010
Cherokee County commissioners pondering employee furloughs

By Roger McKinney Globe Staff Writer

COLUMBUS, Kan. — At the end of 2009, the Cherokee County Commission used an advance on January 2010 tax revenues to pay December bills.

Now, with county finances lagging, two commissioners want elected county department heads to impose furloughs, or unpaid time off, on county employees. A third commissioner said he wants to use that as a last resort.

Commissioner Pat Collins floated the furlough idea at the June 7 commission meeting. He is proposing that employees take off five days without pay each month until the end of the year.

“I’m hoping we’ll take a small action now to avoid a larger action later,” Collins said in an interview. “It’s better than waiting until November and laying people off.”

As of Wednesday, the unencumbered fund balance in the county general fund was $614,545. Though there will be sales tax distributions in the coming months, that has to last until the end of December.

Revenue advance

The County Commission, near the end of December 2009, found that the general fund didn’t have a large enough balance to pay the county’s bills. The commission voted to transfer $200,000 from anticipated January tax revenues to the general fund.

County Treasurer Juanita Hodgson said the other options were to not pay bills or to do a no-fund warrant. She said there wasn’t time to do the no-fund warrant, even if the commissioners wanted to.

Commissioner Richard Hilderbrand said a no-fund warrant essentially is a loan. The county would have had to get approval from the state and find a local bank willing to make the loan. It would have required a tax increase to repay the loan and interest.

Hodgson said all three options, including the one the commissioners chose, are perfectly legal and were given the OK by the accountant who performs the annual county audits.

But she said the advance has contributed to the financial difficulty in which the county now finds itself.

“Right off the bat, we were $200,000 less than what we expected to have,” Hodgson said.

She said that action and the fact that revenue from housing out-of-county jail inmates is down dramatically are the main reasons behind the current financial difficulty.

The inmate revenues for January through May total $97,380, while the total for January through May last year was $220,480. The counties that have sent the inmates to Cherokee County in the past also have cut back on spending.

The commissioners said the December action was necessary.

“Our mission is to keep the doors open,” Collins said. “The option of not paying bills wasn’t considered.”

Collins said what is hurting county finances is the state Legislature’s forgiveness of property taxes on business equipment and machinery.

Selling furloughs

The commissioners would have to sell the idea of furloughs to the elected county department heads. They can’t mandate that the department heads take the action.

Besides Collins, Commissioner Jack Garner said the furloughs would be useful.

“It’s just a suggestion,” Garner said. “We may have to head it off if things get worse. We thought of doing this instead of layoffs.”

Garner said he would like department heads to start the furloughs soon.

“I’d like to see them start as quick as possible,” he said. “I’d hate to have to do layoffs.”

Hilderbrand, the commission chairman, said furloughs may be premature.

“I think it’s probably a last resort,” Hilderbrand said. “As long as department heads are watching spending and what they’re doing on cutbacks, it may do the trick.”

Hilderbrand and Hodgson said the county’s finances may rebound. They noted that the May sales tax distribution to the county was $40,000 more than that of May 2009.


Some department heads weren’t happy about the talk of furloughs.

Sheriff David Groves said it wouldn’t really work for his department if the department is to maintain its current coverage of the county. He said that if someone were to take time off for a furlough, he would have to pay someone overtime to cover the deputy who is off work.

“We have some support staff where we may be able to do that with,” Groves said. “I definitely don’t want to compromise the security of the county. We’re going to look at any and all options available.”

Hodgson said she isn’t sure if the furloughs are needed, especially with the increased sales tax revenues and the voluntary spending cuts by departments.

County Attorney John Bullard said that if employees take unpaid leave, they could file for unemployment, which could increase the county’s unemployment insurance premiums.

Bullard said his office’s spending has been cut. He said his workers are prepared for what may come, but he would like to see the auditor more involved.

“I’m opposed if it’s not shown to be necessary and if it costs the county more in the long run,” Bullard said of the proposed furloughs and the expected unemployment claims.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

26 die as insurgents storm Iraq's central bank

By KIM GAMEL (AP) – 3 hours ago

BAGHDAD — Insurgents wearing military uniforms stormed Iraq's central bank Sunday during an apparent robbery attempt, battling security forces in a three-hour standoff after bombs exploded nearby in a coordinated daylight attack that left as many as 26 people dead.

The assault on Iraq's top financial institution stoked fears that insurgents are taking advantage of political deadlock after inconclusive March 7 national elections to try to derail security gains as the U.S. prepares to withdraw its forces by the end of next year.

The 325-member parliament was due to convene Monday, but analysts have said agreement on a new government could still be months away.

Iraqi military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi blamed the attack on al-Qaida in Iraq but said no money had been stolen from the bank, which holds gold deposits as well as U.S. and Iraqi currency.

The violence began with the bombings — which sent plumes of smoke over the city skyline — although there were conflicting reports about the number and nature of the blasts.

The first bomb went off on the road near an electrical generator, al-Moussawi said. Insurgents wearing army uniforms then tried to enter the bank through two entrances, exchanging gunfire with the guards.

He said three suicide bombers detonated their explosives vests at the main entrance of the bank, while two other militants were killed by security forces at the second gate.

Iraqi security forces then stormed the building, prompting a standoff that lasted at least three hours, according to al-Moussawi's account.

An unknown number of attackers managed to get to a higher floor and set a fire to burn some documents and may have escaped by blending in with the bank employees, he added, saying the motive appeared to be to steal the bank's deposits, then blow up the building.

Local police officers said a bomb in a parked car also exploded about 900 yards from the bank.

Al-Moussawi said 15 people were killed, but police and hospital officials later put the casualty toll at 26 dead and more than 60 wounded.

Ghayth Abdullah, the 37-year-old owner of a nearby clothing store, said the blast sent people running from the site, including dozens of women who worked at the bank. He blamed the government for failing to protect the people.

"I was not thinking about my property or livelihood," he said. "My worry was what would happen to my family if I were killed by the blast or random shots from the crossfire."

Violent robberies that bear some of the hallmarks of politically motivated attacks have been on the rise in Iraq, as sectarian violence ebbs. Iraqi officials have attributed at least some of them to cash-strapped militants desperately trying to raise money for their operations.

But Sunday's attack appeared also to have a political motive as insurgents led by al-Qaida in Iraq seek to undermine confidence in the U.S.-backed government and other state institutions. It was reminiscent of violence that was common at the height of sectarian violence that almost pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006-2007 before a series of U.S.-Iraqi offensives.

Insurgents have targeted government institutions several times over the past year.

Gunmen also killed two policemen in the northern city of Mosul, which has been one of the hardest areas to tame since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, according to Iraqi officials.

All the Iraqi officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information.

The narrow victory of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya party in the March 7 parliamentary vote was initially heralded as a groundbreaking step toward a secular Iraqi government after years of Sunni-Shiite tensions.

But an alliance between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and another major Shiite coalition, brokered with the help of Iran, has sparked months of political maneuvering, leaving the government in limbo.

In a sign resolution was still far away, senior Iraqiya member Hassan al-Allawi said he would not lead Monday's opening parliamentary session as had been planned, saying it would take up to five months to form a government and he didn't want to hold the job that long. He said he has handed over the job to Kurdish lawmaker Fouad Massoum.

Earlier Sunday, an independent public watchdog panel said Iraq's government suffered more corruption last year than any other since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Rahim al-Ogaili, chairman of Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity, cited 7,797 cases of waste, fraud and abuse in 2009 that resulted in the loss of about 842 billion Iraqi dinars, or about $718 million. He did not give details about how the money was wasted, or the total funds lost since 2003.

Al-Ogaili, whose panel reports to parliament, said Iraqi leaders largely ignore evidence of corruption, adding: "There are no real and serious measures to fight it."

The trial of British security contractor Danny Fitzsimons also was postponed until Aug. 4. He is accused of fatally shooting two colleagues, a Briton and an Australian, during a fight in Baghdad's Green Zone last summer.

Associated Press Writers Hadeel al-Shalchi, Sinan Salaheddin, Mazin Yahya and Qassim Abdul-Zahra contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Update: Banks Face a Mark-to-Market Challenge

To *me* this is just one more example of how our own government, the federal reserve and banks want to simply 'change the rules' when things go bad... What would finance in the United States be like if the borrowers themselves could just change the rules at will when faced with bankruptcy?

It is SO obvious that the banks want to have their cake and the ability to eat it too...

Government's support of the banks and manhandling of the FASB simply proves that what we are dealing with is an oligarchy... Without accounting fraud and forced bailouts by the American people the banks would no longer exist... And maybe they shouldn't, is my own opinion...

I'm betting my money that the banks get everything they want from this government every single time...

This is by no means the only place that rules are being changed by government and corporations to once again stack the deck in their favor... What a wonderful perk it must be to be able to simply change the rules whenever they become inconvenient...

Try to imagine what sports might be like under those circumstances!

Investors sure could use just a bit of reality...

At any rate, please click here for the original post on The Wall Street Journal, if you prefer...

MARCH 15, 2010

The war over mark-to-market accounting is about to get hot, again. In coming weeks, the Financial Accounting Standards Board is likely to propose that banks expand their use of market values for financial assets such as loans, according to people familiar with the matter. That departs from current practices in which banks hold loans at their original cost and create a reserve based on their own view of potential losses.

The result, if the proposal flies, would be big changes to bank balance sheets, the shape of income statements and some of the metrics investors use to evaluate financial institutions.

At the four biggest banks—J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo—$2.8 trillion of loans could be affected, or about 40% of their total assets. Smaller banks would see a bigger impact because more of their assets are loans that aren't marked to market prices.

Don't expect changes without a fight from banks. Yet the battle could provide a headwind for recently high-flying bank stocks. After all, markets cheered last spring when Congress browbeat FASB into watering down mark-to-market rules.

Banks generally loathe mark-to-market rules, which rely on what they feel are too-often irrational market prices. The market value of some loans did fall excessively in the depths of the crisis. And many bankers, and bank regulators, believe the rules worsened the financial crisis.

But that argument ignores the fact that banks clearly didn't pay enough heed of market values in the run-up to the crisis, and their own estimates of potential losses were woefully inadequate.

This left bank balance sheets, and investors, unprepared for the credit crunch. If banks had focused on market values as well as internal models, many may have acted sooner to raise equity.

If anything, FASB's proposals may not go far enough. Many swings in the market value of loans, for example, still likely won't hit net profit. Even so, the potential changes are far-reaching.

First, under the proposals, banks would show loans on their balance sheets at historical cost, and then adjust them for both loan-loss reserves and market values. That would allow investors to see the difference between what management has provisioned against losses and what investors think the loans are actually worth.

Second, banks' financial holdings would be divided between those they trade and those they hold. Changes in the value of tradable assets would hit profit as today. Non-trading assets would be also be marked to market, but those changes would go to a portion of shareholders' equity called other comprehensive income.

Third, income statements would show more than just net profit. After that line would be added an "other-comprehensive-income" category reflecting changes in the market value of loans and securities. That would be added to net income to create a new bottom-line figure called comprehensive income. Earnings per share would still be based on net profit.

While the FASB will likely come under fire for these approaches, it may have found an ally last week in House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank. In a letter to the big four banks, Mr. Frank said banks were refusing to accept reality when it came to the value of second-lien mortgages such as home-equity loans.

"Because accounting rules allow holders of these seconds to carry the loans at artificially high values, many refuse to acknowledge the losses and write down the loans," Mr. Frank wrote.

Marking such loans to market values, and making the impact more prominent in accounts, would be a step toward forcing banks to take the more-realistic view—as Mr. Frank and many investors want.

—David Reilly

BP and White House continue cover-up of oil spill

Click here for original source post

By Hiram Lee

WSWS, 8 June 2010

As BP’s latest efforts to stem the flow of oil from the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico continue to face difficulties, there are new details emerging about attempts by BP and the Obama administration to cover up the true size of the disaster.

It has been revealed that the US Department of the Interior intentionally misrepresented the results of a recent survey of the spill by federal scientists in an attempt to minimize the scope of the disaster.

Last week the Interior Department released a statement to the press with a new estimate placing the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf at 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day. The numbers came from a survey conducted by the National Incident Command’s Flow Rate Technical Group, a team consisting of government scientists and representatives from universities across the US. The White House stood by the new estimates and BP executive Robert Dudley appeared on national television to promote them.

In reality, the scientists conducting the survey reported this estimate only reflected the "lower bounds" of their findings, meaning that the numbers represented the very least possible amount of oil flowing into the Gulf. The National Incident Command scientists had not yet arrived at an estimate for the "upper bounds" when the Interior Department released its statement and the scientists say the upper estimate could be "significantly larger."

The Interior press release declared the estimate of 12,000 to 19,000 barrels represented "the lower and upper boundaries" of the study, meaning no more than 19,000 barrels of oil were spilling into the Gulf each day.

The falsification of the flow rate study by the Interior Department is the latest step in a deliberate effort by BP and the Obama administration to conceal the true dimensions of the oil spill. Immediately following the April 20 explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig, in which 11 workers lost their lives, BP reported there had been no oil spill at all resulting from the blast. Unable to maintain this assertion, BP then relented and admitted to a spill of 1,000 barrels per day. When this claim became untenable, the next estimate to be promoted was that of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, placing the size of the spill at 5,000 barrels per day. BP maintained this version of events until the end of May.

All estimates produced by BP and the White House have drawn criticism from scientists throughout the country who have conducted their own independent studies of video footage of the leaking well provided by BP, under pressure. Steven Wereley, an engineering professor at Purdue University, estimates the size of the spill could be as large as 84,000 barrels per day. Eugene Chiang, a professor of astrophysics at the University of California, Berkeley, found the size of the spill could be as large as 100,000 barrels per day.

BP has good reason for wanting a cover-up of the true size of the disaster. While the amount BP can be made to pay for environmental and economic damages resulting from the spill is capped at $75 million, under the Clean Water Act the company can face civil fines of up to $4,300 for every barrel of oil spilled into the ocean. Were the government to use BP’s original estimates of 1,000 barrels spilled per day, the company would stand to lose $215 million for the first 50 days of the disaster. Utilizing the more realistic estimates of independent scientists, the oil giant could be fined hundreds of billions of dollars.

BP’s latest attempt to halt the flow of oil into the Gulf is itself a graphic exposure of the extent of the spill and its cover-up by BP and the White House. BP has now placed a cap over what remains of a riser pipe connected to the failed blowout preventer. The leaking oil is being siphoned off through another riser pipe connected to BP’s Discover Enterprise ship on the surface of the Gulf. Approximately 11,000 barrels were reportedly collected by BP on Sunday. This number itself would expose as a lie all estimates of the spill promoted by BP since day one of the disaster.

Video feeds indicate massive amounts of oil not collected by the new containment system continue to gush into the open water through four vents in the cap currently in use. BP has attempted to close the vents in order to prevent the oil from leaking into the water, but there is currently more oil flowing from the leak than can be safely processed by the containment ship, which is unable to take on more than 15,000 barrels of oil each day. Only one vent has been closed thus far due to fears that the pressure resulting from the overwhelming amount of oil flowing through the system could cause a catastrophic failure.

BP has announced plans to send another ship to assist in siphoning oil from the leaking well. Next month, the oil giant intends to replace the cap currently being used with a system that might better handle the enormous amount of oil that continues to gush from the ocean floor. The spill will most likely not be fully contained until relief wells are put in place, a process that will not be completed until mid-August at the earliest. The cleanup of the oil already spilled into the Gulf will continue for years.

Because EVERYTHING is spin in 2010 there can NEVER be any trust among the American people of government or corporations...

This oil spill is yet one more economic DISASTER! The government lies and cover-ups can last only so long... Prepare for a real crash at some point...

IMO, what our government and corporations need is a whole lot of 'tough love'...


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Homeland Security

Ask the Indians what happens when you don't control immigration


#Volatility: #Market #Manipulation defined? NEW #Conspiracy! lol

What IS market volatility anyway??? Here's a somewhat brief discussion...

Volatility for market players

When investing directly in a security, volatility is often viewed as a negative in that it represents uncertainty and risk. However, with other investing strategies, volatility is often desirable. For example, if an investor is short on the peaks, and long on the lows of a security, the profit will be greatest when volatility is highest.

In today's markets, it is also possible to trade volatility directly, through the use of derivative securities such as options and variance swaps. See Volatility arbitrage.

Volatility versus direction

Volatility does not measure the direction of price changes, merely how dispersed they are expected to be. This is because when calculating standard deviation (or variance), all differences are squared, so that negative and positive differences are combined into one quantity. Two instruments with different volatilities may have the same expected return, but the instrument with higher volatility will have a larger swings in values at the end of a given period of time.

For example, a lower volatility stock may have an expected (average) return of 7%, with annual volatility of 5%. This would indicate returns from approximately -3% to 17% most of the time (19 times out of 20, or 95%). A higher volatility stock, with the same expected return of 7% but with annual volatility of 20%, would indicate returns from approximately -33% to 47% most of the time (19 times out of 20, or 95%)

Volatility is a poor measure of risk, as explained by Peter Carr, "it is only a good measure of risk if you feel that being rich then being poor is the same as being poor then rich".

So... what does that mean, if anything, to people involved in the financial markets?

Here's something I've been thinking about a little bit...

The banks got TRILLIONS of dollars of tax payer money from the government at the height of the financial crisis... In both cash and guarantees. Remember that?

We HAD to give them the money because they had a (BIG!) gun to our collective heads and were threatening to go bankrupt and totally destroy the world economy if we, the American people, didn't bail them out, ie; cover all their losses from horrible over-leveraged 'bets' that they had made based on faulty mathematics models...

A lot, if not nearly all, of that money is still sloshing around in the banking system to this very day...

What were the main 'concerns' during the crisis? Liquidity and cash... The banks were ALL insolvent! They had to have huge cash infusions to keep them afloat. Not that the money was EVER intended to enter the real economy and help any there... That would/could cause rampant inflation, not a good thing. The money, OUR money, was always intended only for the balance sheets of the banks... To prop them up, to prevent bankruptcy, to make it appear as though our financial system was still on solid ground. To show that the banks had plenty of money...

After all the accounting fraud that allowed banks to hide toxic assets with things like 'Mark to Fantasy'... Then what?

So really the most important issue was for the banks to repay the tax payer money, of course, but also to somehow increase their own profits exponentially. To recapitalize. Smack in the midst of the worst recession/depression America has seen in at least decades, possibly ever...

So how could the banks possibly hope to make huge profits in an economy that they themselves had just totally wrecked? Tough problem...

Enter the markets... Equities... (and likely forex too)

This is where we get to volatility and market manipulation...

One way banks, especially the LARGE ones (which, coincidentally, happens to be the ones in the most 'trouble') can make profits is through trading in the markets...

Now just supposed what would happen, could happen, IF world governments and world central banks were to collude with each other in order to control stock markets?


# conspire: act in unison or agreement and in secret towards a deceitful or illegal purpose; "The two companies conspired to cause the value of the stock to fall"

# Collusion is an agreement, usually secretive, which occurs between two or more persons to limit open competition by deceiving, misleading, or defrauding others of their legal rights, or to obtain an objective forbidden by law typically by defrauding or gaining an unfair advantage . ...

# to act in concert with; to conspire

Might they not do so when/if threatened with world economic and governmental collapse on a scale never before seen by mankind???

Me thinks they just might... But that's likely just the conspiracy theorist in me... lol

IF world governments and world central banks were to seize complete control of the markets what could they do?

F*ck with people... To put it simply... lol

IF the banks KNOW in advance that tomorrow the market will go UP 250 points and the day after that it will go DOWN 325 points that information would make it pretty easy to trade for profits no? Simply buy today and sell tomorrow...

What if that's what all this volatility is really about? Just a big vacuum cleaner hooked up to the rigged market casino in order to suck out immense amounts of capital?

That combined with a constant drum beat out of Washington, from the federal reserve, from a complicit media, about how much the economy is improving? Combined with governmental manipulation of economic numbers that has been going on now for decades... Like the understated, by half, unemployment rate. Like adjustments made to the way CPI (inflation) is calculated to hide the fact that your money is worth less year after year after year? Adjustments to the way GDP is calculated? And on and on...

After all, what good is data to governments if it can't be manipulated to win elections? Or to control populations? To paint 'pictures' of reality for society to admire...

Of course for one to believe the things *I* believe requires one to do the unthinkable... Believe in conspiracy...


Some of the Day's Top Stories

What?! MORE BAILOUTS?! But apparently it's a necessary evil... Have to save those government union jobs don't we? While 'average' Americans (defined as those not employed by federal, state and local government) continue to lose their jobs, homes, and lives...

States begging Congress for more bailout funds

War with Iran someday??? Just think of the additional tax dollars that would pump into the economy...

Iran dismisses sanctions, but tried to avoid them

Trouble brewing on the southern border... War with Mexico someday (lol... a joke... I think...)

FBI: Mexicans chased away US agents after shooting

Trust me... There is NO economy...

Jobs report a nightmare for Obama progressivism

On top of everything else that is absolutely hammering the American people and the American economy...

Obama Warns Oil Spill Will Substantially Impact Economy


Monday, June 7, 2010

#Obama Authorizes the Murder of an American Citizen

April 18, 2010 by Austin Raynor

Please click here to see the original source post on http://www.libertariansolution.com

With his executive order authorizing the CIA to assassinate an American citizen, Barack Obama has done immense damage to the American system of checks and balances and due process.

Early this month the Obama administration issued an executive authorization for the CIA to locate and assassinate Muslim-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico, spent years in the U.S. as an imam, and is now in Yemen hiding from the agents of his own government.

Counterterrorism experts contend that Al-Awlaki has shifted from merely “encouraging” terrorist attacks on the U.S. to actually “participating directly” in them. He has been linked to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (the “Underwear Bomber”) and Nidal Malik Hasan (the Fort Hood shooter). Intelligence officials believe he is serving as a recruitment operative for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Also crucial to the situation is the fact that al-Awlaki is not on a battlefield. An American citizen who enlists in an enemy army and engages in combat with American citizens on the battlefield cannot be afforded due process unless he is captured. There is no expectation that due process be afforded when the individual in question is killed in direct combat. But this is not the case with al-Awlaki.

The power to kill American citizens without trial, on the condition that they are suspected of terrorist activity, was first granted to the CIA (and the military) by President Bush shortly after 9-11. However, a former senior legal official in Bush’s administration has confirmed that Bush never actually employed this authority.

Obama’s action is both outrageous and shameful. To murder an American citizen without trial and away from the battlefield undermines the rule of law upon which this country was founded. It is also unconstitutional (and thus illegal): the Fifth Amendment states that “[n]o person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

Obama’s total disregard of human and constitutional rights in this instance is appalling. The authorization for assassination came directly from the executive branch without any judicial or institutional checks whatsoever. The ability to murder an American citizen on the mere suspicion of wrongdoing is not a power that should be entrusted to any ruler.

But, like Bush before him, Obama holds the view that a person’s procedural rights may be bypassed merely because of the type of crime he is suspected of committing. This is also the rationale for Obama’s continued illegal detention of “enemy combatants.” But in the American system you are innocent until proven guilty, regardless of the crime of which you are suspected.

This gross violation of due process is reminiscent of East Germany, or the former Soviet Union. There is no place for such totalitarian oppression in the United States. Because the power extends beyond the battlefield, the government could conceivably kill you in your own bed, or while you had dinner with your family.

There are virtually no limitations on this power. “Suspicion of terrorism” does not constitute a standard. Under this doctrine anyone could conceivably be murdered by the government at any time. How long until political opponents and dissidents are singled out for assassination?

Those on the far right have come out in favor of Obama’s assassination policy because, at last, he has proven that he is not “soft” on terrorism. But such a perspective is disastrously short-sighted. What if this power were turned against them? Or you? Or me? There are no checks. There is no oversight. A government armed with the power to murder its citizens poses a far greater threat to liberty than terrorists like al-Awlaki ever will.

Whether or not al-Awlaki is guilty is beside the point. The problem with the government’s action is that the executive has completely overridden the system of checks and balances central to our constitution. By granting itself this power, judging the suspect guilty, and carrying out the execution, the executive branch has made itself the legislator, the judge, the jury, and the executioner.

Obama’s hypocrisy in this affair is difficult to fathom. During his campaign he responded to a questionnaire distributed by The Boston Globe’s Charlie Savage; one of the questions was: “[d]oes the Constitution permit a president to detain U.S. citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants?”

Obama replied, “No. I reject the Bush Administration’s claim that the President has plenary authority under the Constitution to detain U.S. citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants.” Yet, somehow, he now believes not only that the President has the power he denied to Bush but also the power to murder American citizens without charges.

The lack of media coverage is similarly shocking. For years the liberal media howled about Bush’s human rights abuses but now that Obama has surpassed even his predecessor in his contempt for the rule of law the media remains silent. Where is the outrage? Where is the intellectual integrity? Obama’s lapdogs in the media do us no favor by failing to focus on this significant lapse of principle.

Murder by a government of its own citizens is a hallmark of a totalitarian state. It is appalling that such a power could be claimed as legitimate by an American president. Obama’s egregious violation of the Constitution and the rights of his own people is unacceptable and disgusting. With this executive order Barack Obama himself has added another serious threat to our freedom and security.

Maybe it's just me but I find this 'stuff' quite frightening... The fact that an American administration has the ability to determine, at will, which American citizens should live and which should die...

I supposed we are just supposed to trust that they will be right in their decisions...


Friday, June 4, 2010

Indicting the First Amendment

If you prefer the source post please click here

by Nat Hentoff

Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. He is a member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the Cato Institute, where he is a senior fellow.

Added to cato.org on June 3, 2010

This article appeared in The Arizona Daily Sun on June 3, 2010.

This is a story that should be a warning to Americans, regardless of political party, because it dramatically illustrates what pre-eminent civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate documents in his current book, Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent (Encounter Books) by means of the ever-increasing broad and vague federal laws that allow prosecutors to "pin arguable federal crimes on any one of us, even for the most seemingly innocuous behavior."

Consider what happened to an unemployed American, Bruce Shore, because of e-mails he sent to the website of Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning (Republican). I suggest you keep in mind what Irving Brant wrote in my bible, The Bill of Rights: Its Origin and Meaning (Mentor, New American Library):

"Men (and women) are truly free only when they do not have to ask themselves whether they are free."

Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. He is a member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the Cato Institute, where he is a senior fellow.
More by Nat Hentoff

As reported by Arthur Delaney ("Bruce Shore, Unemployed Philadelphia Man, Indicted For 'Harassing Email to Jim Bunning" (huffingtonpost.com, May 25), Shore, watching the Senate in inaction on C-Span, was angered when Bunning complained that, gosh, he has missed the Kentucky-South Carolina basketball game because he had to be in Congress to debate an unemployment benefits bill. (Bunning's contribution by being there was to delay the bill from being voted on.)

"I was livid, I was just livid," recalled the 51-year-old jobless Shore. "I'm on unemployment, so it affects me.")

Here is part of his Feb. 26 messages to Bunning staffers: "Are you'all insane. No checks equal no food for me. DO YOU GET IT?"

The next month, FBI agents came calling to Shore's home in Philadelphia. They read him excerpts from his citizen's complaints and asked whether he was the author, which Shore readily admitted. Apparently these agents had heard something about the First Amendment, and told this indignant American, "All right, we just wanted to make sure it wasn't anything to worry about."

But the ever-vigilant Obama administration's executive branch was not satisfied. On May 13, Delaney writes, U.S. Marshals appeared at Shore's door and handed him a grand jury indictment. (James Madison, the father of the First Amendment, had insisted that "the great right" of freedom of speech must be placed beyond the reach of any branch of government. But that was then.)

This is the indictment that forced Shore into federal court. The language is that of Communications Act of 1934 (FDR's time) as amended and updated to include electronic messages in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (including the Communications Decency Act) signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

Bruce Shore, unemployed for the past two years and recently the recipient of his final unemployment check, is accused thusly by his government:

Shore "did utilize a telecommunications device, that is a computer, whether or not communication ensued, without disclosing his identity and with the intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, and harass any person who received the communication."

Any person. Even if Bruce had chosen to be anonymous, the Feds could have tracked him. So this case should also be a constitutional test of anonymous First Amendment speech. This dragnet federal statute, without protest from Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, states that if you intend to "annoy" or "harass any person" by exercising speech, you will be hauled into court.

If found guilty, Shore — or anyone indicted for sending such so-called harassing messages — could be imprisoned for up to two years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. I am often very annoyed by my senator, Democrat Charles Schumer; but so far, I have confined my "harassing" messages to him in my columns, which are transmitted in print and electronically. The same is true of my many "annoying" rebukes to the president, who is apparently quite sensitive to criticism.

I'd better watch out.

As Silverglate tells me about this indictment of the First Amendment "That a citizen is being charged under this statute for pestering a senator for not doing his public duty just shows the dangerous powers that these kinds of statutes give to heedless prosecutors. Even if Citizen Shore ultimately wins the case, his life will have been turned upside-down and inside-out. This, of course, is the reason indictments like this are brought — to deter unwelcome speech."

Says this newly indicted "person of interest," Shore, to the Obama administration: "I'm walking around in my head: 'jail for e-mail, jail for e-mail,' At this point I'm just looking at my government and going, anything is possible. When do the adults wake up and say, 'This gentleman is just angry and frustrated?' I'm just speechless. Shocked."

Since Shore is a citizen actively involved in his government's fidelity to our founding document, I doubt he will remain speechless for long. For the rest of us, Frederick Douglass had this advice:

"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them." And on you and me.

This has largely been a passive citizenry as the Constitution is being razed during these last 9-1/2 years. But maybe Citizen Shore, Harvey Silverglate, and another crucial book, In the Name of Justice (Cato) edited by Timothy Lynch, a colleague of mine at Cato Institute, can arouse more Americans in self-defense — to ask themselves — as Judge Alex Kozinski does in one of the sections, whether they are also federal criminals. Not yet indicted.

Actually, says this unusually straightforward judge, "most Americans are criminals and don't know it."

Dangerous 'stuff' when the government can throw you in jail for ANYTHING they choose...


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gates criticizes Chinese military for blocking talks in Beijing

By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 3, 2010; 12:17 PM

SINGAPORE -- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Thursday accused China's military of impeding relations with the Pentagon, taking exception to its unwillingness to invite him to Beijing during his trip to Asia this week.

Shortly before he arrived in Singapore for a regional security conference, Gates told reporters there was a clear split between China's political leaders, whom he said want stronger military ties with Washington, and the People's Liberation Army, which he said does not.

"I think they are reluctant to engage with us on a broad level," he said. "The PLA is significantly less interested in this relationship than the political leadership of China."

Click here to read the rest of this article on The Washington Post website


Build a Homemade #Compost bin

Mrs Warrior & I were ALMOST ready to shell out cash for the retail versions of rain barrels & a compost bin... Total cost $230.00 USD

Wal-Mart had a compost tumbler on-line for 118.00 and we saw rain barrels on sale for 55.00 each... (We need 2 of them...)

Then, being the value shoppers that we are, we did a little research...

We found great instructions on-line for how to build a compost tumbler from a trash can and we also realized that the rain barrels retailers were trying to get 55.00 each out of were nothing more than glorified trash cans too!

So we bought 3 plastic trash cans... total cost about 33.00... MUCH better than 230.00 !!!

Here are some plans for a homemade compost tumbler



Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Howto Game the System

I heard something this weekend that I thought was kinda interesting...

I actually know someone who lost their job in the last year (who doesn't?! lol) Let's call him by a fictitious name, say Bob...

Bob's wife isn't in very good health... Bob was attempting to get unemployment but had not yet secured it... During that process his wife had filed for social security disability...

As it turns out Bob's wife did qualify for social security disability...

Then Bob's unemployment insurance came through...

The fact that Bob began receiving unemployment insurance disqualified his wife for disability due to income restraints!

So here you have a guy who lost his job with a disabled wife, as defined by the government of the United States, whose wife is then penalized for her husband drawing unemployment insurance after losing his job...

So this particular couple ran into another family member who explained to them what some people have been doing to remedy their own situation...

It seems there are people out there, in this situation, who simply file for divorce... In that way they can receive both the unemployment check from the government and also disability &/or welfare... While continuing to live together as a couple...

My observation is that the government itself is encouraging this behavior by having so much complexity and so many contradictory regulations that it's impossible to sort it all out...

My question is... Is this fraud? And if so how?

There is no law against living with someone that you have just divorced, as far as I know... Hell I guess you could go find 6 or 8 disabled people to live with if you wanted... I don't see how it would be illegal to do so...

For decades now we have had citizens who get every child in their family on disability if at all possible... If you have 4 or 5 kids all drawing a monthly check from the government plus food stamps you can actually generate a pretty nice income stream...

There are uncountable ways to game the entitlement state in the United States of America... If you don't believe me just ask the illegal aliens in our country...

I wonder how many people may be to the point of 'if you can't beat them... join them'?

Politicians 'talk' about getting our financial house in order in the United States but the fact is we are nearly as much of a socialist entitlement state as is Greece... And just about as broke...

And I don't see that changing any time soon...

I dare the government here to even talk about attempting to cut union wages or reduce the unionized work force... Talk about violence in the streets...

By the way, Bob and his wife are still married and plan to stay that way ;)