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Hurtling Toward Bankruptcy

HURTLING TOWARD BANKRUPTCY

The federal government owes people almost $22 trillion. That means that American taxpayers owe people almost $22 trillion. That’s because the federal government has no money of its own. The money it gets comes entirely from American taxpayers. That’s what the IRS is for — to make certain that everyone sends his required amount of taxes to the federal government to enable it to cover its expenditures.

According to usdebtclock.org (which is an Internet spectacle worth looking at), federal tax revenue amounts to around $3.3 trillion. The amount of federal expenditures is over $4.1 trillion. That means that almost another trillion dollars will be added to the government’s debt load, making it $23 trillion. 

The share of the debt for a U.S. citizen amounts to more than $219,000. For a U.S. family, its share of the debt is more than $856,000.

This is what is occurring year after year, thanks to the massive welfare-state, warfare-state way of life that conservatives and liberals have foisted upon our nation.

Some statists argue that it’s all no big deal. They say that since we are all Americans, we owe all that debt to ourselves. That ignores the fact that there are individual and institutional creditors who have loaned money and expect to be paid back. The fact that some them are Americans is irrelevant. They expect their money, which means that the federal government will have to tax American citizens to get it. Thus, we don’t owe all that money to ourselves. One group is owed the money and American taxpayers are on the hook for repaying it.

Moreover, the debt is also held by foreigners, all of whom expect to be repaid in full the money they loaned to the federal government. One of the principal creditors is Communist China, whose regime was one of the big lenders for President George W. Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“It’s A Reunion For People Who Broke The World”: Author Explains Why Davos Should Be Cancelled

Paris is burning, a large chunk of the US federal government is shut down and Britain is careening toward a delay of Article 50 – or possibly a second referendum – as the Brexit process descends into chaos, calls for the World Economic Forum to cancel its annual conference in Davos, a notorious rendezvous for the world’s financial and political elite, are growing louder. Particularly after Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron and now Theresa May have all decided to skip the conference this year to attend to their respective crises.

While these demands from a frustrated public might seem baffling to the global elites who see Davos as an opportunity for less-fortunate emerging economies to “pitch” themselves in an effort to attract more FDI, one former New York Times columnist and the author of a new book that explores the causes of the surge in populism sweeping the Western world offered a surprisingly articulate and trenchant explanation for why people across the west are “mad as hell”, and, furthermore, what role the average Davos attendee played in bringing our society to this point.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Anand Giridharadas placed the blame on plutocrats like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos for helping to “break the world” with ruthless corporate agendas that helped monopolize political power in the hands of the elite…leaving the rest of the population with deep-seated feelings of frustration as the usual avenues of social mobility have been closed, and people feel more powerless to change their future.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Yes, Virginia, There are Conspiracies—I Think

Yes, Virginia, There are Conspiracies—I Think

You know those little green-and-white USDA Organic labels you find on organic produce? What if someone told you that their adhesive transmits a powerful drug into the edible that over time can render humans sterile? It’s true, they say; they’ve seen the lab reports, and go on to assert that this is a plot by USDA and agribusiness interests to decimate nutritionally savvy people as a way boost sales of poison-laden GM food products.

Insidious beyond belief, you think. You’re pretty sure it’s a crock, but your doubt gene says “What if…?” and you decide to check it out. You email people to ask if they’ve heard it and some of them do the same. Someone finds a truther blog with a long discussion thread about it and lets you know. Alleging scientific credentials, certain discussants proceed to hypothesize about the chemistry and physiology of the attack vector and argue about that. Others point to connections between certain USDA political appointees and Big Food. The rumor has become a thing, and even if you post refutations that get shot down, you’re now part of it.

* * *

Pop Quiz: Which of these do you think might have been the work of conspiracies?

1) The assassination of President John F. Kennedy

2) The Death of Clinton cohort Vince Foster, also by bullet to the head

3) The Federal Government

Here’s My Take:

JFK: It’s quite likely that JFK was felled by a conspiracy orchestrated by the CIA, involving the Cuban exile underworld and possibly the New Orleans syndicate, pretty much as Oliver Stone said in JFK. Much of Stone’s material comes via CIA whistle-blower USAF Col. L. Fletcher Prouty. Here’s the epilogueto his book JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedythat the printer strangely omitted.

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New FCC Ruling Gives Federal Government Control of 5G Rollout

As the push towards 5G-powered “Smart” surveillance cities begins across the United States the Federal Communications Commission has approved a new rule limiting the power of local authorities.

On Monday October 1st, Sacramento, Houston, Indianapolis and Los Angeles became the first cities to gain access to Verizon’s 5G Wireless service. The City of Sacramento has become a focus of Verizon’s nationwide expansion of 5G, or 5th Generation Cellular technology. “We were able to make Sacramento one of our first 5G cities because Mayor Darrell Steinberg and city leaders embraced innovation and developed a strategic vision for how 5G could be a platform for the larger Sacramento technology ecosystem,” said Jonathan LeCompte, Pacific Market president for Verizon.

The rollout of 5G is expected to herald the beginning of Smart Cities, where driverless cars, pollution sensors, cell phones, traffic lights, and thousands of other devices interact in what is known as “The Internet of Things”. The move towards the smart grid was hastened last week when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a rule that will limit the role of local authorities regarding the build of 5G networks, specifically the amount city officials can charge telecommunication companies (“Big Tech”).

The Hill reported on the new rule:

“All four commissioners offered support for the rule, with Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel dissenting over only part of the proposal. When the new rules take effect, local officials will have 60 to 90 days to review installation requests.

Republicans on the commission say that limiting what they see as exorbitant fees in major cities will free up capital for companies like Verizon and AT&T to invest in building out their networks in underserved rural areas. The commission estimated that the rule will save wireless providers $2 billion.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ethanol Is Terrible for Health and the Environment, but Government Keeps Backing It

Ethanol Is Terrible for Health and the Environment, but Government Keeps Backing It

The US federal government still strongly pushes corn- and soy-based ethanol despite the EPA’s new study showing its harmful effects.
When the elected officials and bureaucrats who run a government want to stack the deck in favor of a politically connected special interest, they have three main ways that they can go about it:
  1. They can subsidize the special interest, often using taxpayer cash.
  2. They can penalize the competition of the special interest, often through tariffs.
  3. They can mandate that people do business with the special interest.

Each of these actions is economically harmful as government-backed subsidies, penalties, and mandates all impose unnecessary costs on regular people. Worse, they often lead to predictable, if often unintended, consequences that do serious damage beyond what they do to personal finances.

In the case of ethanol in the United States, the federal government has employed all three measures over the years, frequently with bipartisan political support. Its subsidies keep afloat politically connected businesses that wouldn’t otherwise be able to keep themselves in business. Its tariffs have kept consumers from being able to buy cheaper sources of ethanol on the global market. And its mandate to put an increasing amount of corn-based ethanol into fuel makes food more expensive.

As an example of an unintended-yet-predictable consequence, it turns out that those actions by the U.S. government to push ethanol production and use in the United States are doing serious damage to the environment. The Daily Caller‘s Jason Hopkins reports on a new study from the Environmental Protection Agency:

In a study titled “Biofuels and the Environment: The Second Triennial Report to Congress,” the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that ethanol derived from corn and soybeans is causing serious harm to the environment. Water, soil and air quality were all found to be adversely affected by biofuel mandates.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How the Feds Use Transportation Funds to Spy on You

How the Feds Use Transportation Funds to Spy on You

red light camera.jpg

A recent announcement by a local transit authority in Virginia sheds light on how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are building a massive, intrusive surveillance network built on America’s transportation system.

The Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) recently announced plans to install more than 100 live surveillance cameras at stops along a rapid transit line. According to a WTVR report, GRTC plans to install approximately four cameras at 26 Pulse stops along Broad Street. The system will be live 24 hours a day and directly connected to the city’s 911 facility.

The ACLU of Virginia opposes the system. The organization’s director of strategic communications said constant monitoring changes the nature of a community.

“There’s very little evidence that this type of surveillance enhances public safety, and there is every reason to think that it inhibits people. That it causes us to behave differently than we would if we weren’t being watched,” Bill Farrar said, adding that the system will “keep tabs” on people who rely on public transit.

“GRTC has said in promoting this, in promoting the need for this particular line, we want to help people get out of the East End food desert. So we’re saying use this to get the food that you need, but we’re going to watch you while you do it.

GRTC Pulse is “a modern, high quality, high capacity rapid transit system serving a 7.6-mile route.” It was developed through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the City of Richmond and Henrico County.

According to Style Weekly, “this new system will bring the total number of easily accessible, city or government-owned cameras available to police and other authorities to more than 300, including roughly 200 stationary cameras Richmond police already have easy access to, and 32 cameras owned by city police.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

This Federal Policy Enabled the Fracking Industry’s $280 Billion Loss

This Federal Policy Enabled the Fracking Industry’s $280 Billion Loss

Most people probably aren’t familiar with the acronym ZIRP. It stands for zero interest rate policy and is the policy that unintentionally created the American fracking bubble — just one of its many consequences.

And while most people may not know much (if anything) about ZIRP or the Federal Reserve (Fed), it is likely that they are aware of the impact this policy has on their own lives.

Do you have money in your checking account? Are you lucky enough to have savings? Have you noticed how you don’t make any interest on that money and haven’t for almost 10 years?

You can thank the Fed and ZIRP for that. One of the results of the Fed’s zero interest rate policy is that the average American saver ends up with close to zero interest on their money in the bank. This is one of the reasons that ZIRP is often described as a wealth transfer from American savers to debtors. Because the shale industry is deeply in debt, these companies directly benefit from this arrangement.

Below is a chart of rates for certificates of deposit (CD) since 1980 — historically a safe investment that gave people a decent return on their savings.

Since 2010,  if you put your money in a CD, you would not even be keeping up with inflation due to the low interest rate. That isn’t supposed to be how it works.

And as this next chart shows, historically that hasn’t been how it works. The graph below is the federal funds rate since 1950 (this is the interest rate that banks charge each other to lend excess cash overnight). It’s very clear that starting in 2008, the chart flatlined (due to ZIRP) and stayed that way for years — something that had not happened before.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post Became the US Military-Industrial Complex’s Chief Propagandist

How Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post Became the US Military-Industrial Complex’s Chief Propagandist

How Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post Became the US Military-Industrial Complex’s Chief Propagandist

It used to be that the New York Times and the Washington Post competed against each other to be the chief propagandist for the hundred or so top firms who sell to the US federal government — the 100 top “federal contractors,” almost all of which are Pentagon contractors — mainly these are weapons-manufacturing firms, such as the biggest, Lockheed Martin. The federal government is a large part of these firms’ essential market; so, invasions by the US against other countries require lots of their goods and services; and, also, America’s foreign allies additionally buy these weapons; and, right now, US President Trump is demanding that they increase their ‘defense’ budgets to buy more of them. Wars produce corporate profits if (like in the United States) the military suppliers are private corporations instead of government-owned (socialized). Selling wars is crucial to such firms’ bottom lines. And, since there is no law against owning a ‘defense’ contractor and owning or donating to newsmedia (especially newsmedia such as the Times and Post, which publish lots of international news and so can encourage lots of invasions), a sensible business strategy for investors in ‘defense’ stocks is to also own or donate to some international-‘news’ media, in order to generate additional business for the arms-maker or other ‘defense’ firm. Not only does this business-plan relate to such newspapers as the NYT and WP, but they’ll be the focus here, because they are the most important of America’s international-news media.

Serious periodicals, such as The New RepublicThe Atlantic, and Mother Jones, have also been steady propagandists for ‘defense’ companies, but magazines don’t reverberate through the rest of the mass-media to the extent that the serious national (NYC & DC) newspapers do.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Our Spoiled-Brat Economy

Our Spoiled-Brat Economy

By insuring spoiled brats/vested interests never face the consequences of their actions and choices, we guarantee failure of the entire system.

Spoiled brats do not take kindly to being called out as spoiled brats. Since economies are aggregates of individuals, we can anticipate howls of outraged denial at our economy being identified as spoiled rotten.

The two essential characteristics of spoiled brats are 1) a complete disregard for the burdens of those paying the bills and 2) a childishly self-absorbed sense of overweening entitlement. Spoiled brats have no sense of fiscal discipline. Indeed, it is their defining characteristic. They want what they want, and they want it now, regardless of the cost to others or the system as a whole.

In America’s Spoiled Brat Economy, no vested interest is ever allowed to fail.Lost billions gambling with borrowed money? Just throw a K Street temper tantrum and threaten to close all the ATMs when you go broke, and voila, Mommy and Daddy (the federal government and Federal Reserve) come rushing with trillions of dollars to make all the bad things like well-deserved bankruptcy go away.

That tens of millions of savers must be robbed of hundreds of billions of dollars in lost interest to rebuild your banks’ profits and balance sheets–the sacrifices of others are of no concern to spoiled brats.

What does not allowed to fail bring to mind? How about coddled children who are crippled by helicopter parents who do their homework for them and schools that give everybody passing grades and gold stars?

A system that doesn’t allow individuals and enterprises to fail is a system that is simply taking another path to failure. Students who are given gold stars and 9th place ribbons (Meet the Fockers) cannot possibly establish a real sense of accomplishment or learn how to make a realistic assessment of their deficiencies or strengths. They are crippled by all the “help” enablers press on them.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Feds Hold Hearing On Whether They Should ‘Regulate’ Sites Like Drudge, Infowars And The Economic Collapse Blog

Feds Hold Hearing On Whether They Should ‘Regulate’ Sites Like Drudge, Infowars And The Economic Collapse Blog

The control freaks that run our government always seem to want to “regulate” things that they do not like.  And so it should be no surprise that there is a renewed push to regulate independent news websites.  Sites like the Drudge ReportInfowars.com and The Economic Collapse Blog have been a thorn in the side of the establishment for years.  You see, the truth is that approximately 90 percent of all news and entertainment in this country is controlled by just six giant media corporations.  That is why the news seems to be so similar no matter where you turn.  But in recent years the alternative media has exploded in popularity.  People are hungry for the truth, and an increasing number of Americans are waking up to the fact that they are not getting the truth from the corporate-controlled media.  But as the alternative media has grown, it was only going to be a matter of time before the establishment started cracking down on it.  At the moment it is just the FEC and the FCC, but surely this is just the beginning.  Our “Big Brother” government ultimately wants to control every area of our lives – and this especially applies to our ability to communicate freely with one another.

The Federal Election Commission is an example of a federal rule making body that has gotten wildly out of control.  Since just about anything that anyone says or does could potentially “influence an election”, it is not difficult for them to come up with excuses to regulate things that they do not like.

And on Wednesday, the FEC held a hearing on whether or not they should regulate political speech on blogs, websites and YouTube videos…

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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