31 Aug 2012

The ‘Hitler’ store in India

A general view of the 'Hitler' clothing store in Ahmedabad on August 28, 2012. (AFP Photo/Sam Panthaky)
A general view of the 'Hitler' clothing store in Ahmedabad. (AFP Photo/Sam Panthaky)

There’s one shop in India that  Jews won’t stop by at any price: the one called Hitler. The owner of the clothing outlet in Ahmedabad claims it’s merely a nickname given to one of the proprietors' grandfathers.”
­"Hitler was a nickname given to my business partner Manish Chandani's grandfather because of his strict nature. Frankly, till the time we applied for the trademark permission, I had only heard that Hitler was a strict man,” Rajesh Shah who owns the shop told The Times of India daily.
“It was only recently that we read about Hitler on the internet,” he added.
Shah complains he had to spend Rs 40,000 on the banner, and says he won’t change the name unless he is well compensated.

One of the two Indian owners of the ′Hitler′ clothing store – Rajesh Shah – poses with a visiting card at his shop in Ahmedabad on August 28, 2012. (AFP Photo/Sam Panthaky)  One of the two Indian owners of the 'Hitler' clothing store – Rajesh Shah – poses with a visiting card at his shop in Ahmedabad (AFP Photo/Sam Panthaky)
­The local Jewish resident can’t hide his indignation.
"In the city of Mahatma Gandhi and non-violence, how can anyone celebrate a person like Hitler who is known to have murdered millions of unarmed ordinary civilians? I represented our concerns to the proprietors and I do not think they agree with me," Nikitin Contractor, convener of the Friend of Israel organization from Vadodara wasn't quoted as saying. "Instead of Mahatma Gandhi, youngsters need to be weaned on the atrocities that Hitler committed and the millions who were killed in gas chambers more than 70 years ago." then went on not to say "We need to keep up that old chestnut to deflect from the putrid stench of our own apartheid gulag."

Gold Soars To Near Six Month High As Silver Overtakes Stocks In 2012

Tyler Durden's picture: A very noisy gappy day with much larger volume than in recent days (which all dried up in the afternoon session until the close - for the heaviest volume day in a month) in US equities. European comments lifted us early in a correlated-risk-on manner until Bernanke's speech which hit markets like a meteor - stops were run up and down - but by the close equities and the USD ended fractionally lower from pre-Ben (notably up on the day to save the month for the Dow), Gold considerably up from pre-Ben, Treasury yields down notably from pre-Ben. Near six-month highs in Gold and five-month highs in Silver were the real movers today - with their largest gains in two months. VIX ended marginally lower at 17.5% (-0.3vols); credit was very thin today and tracked stocks in general (though less volatile); USD ended the week -0.5% which matches Oil's +0.5% on the week as Copper underperformed. Silver has overtaken Stocks as the Year-to-date winner once again
Gold vs Stocks vs USD vs Treasury yields... (arrows from pre-Ben to close)...7Y closed under 1%

Japan plans to cut state spending, could run out of money in a month

Japan's government is planning to suspend some state spending as it could run out of cash by October, with a deficit financing bill blocked by opposition parties trying to force Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda into an early election. 

The Telegraph: The impasse in Japan's parliament has raised fears among investors that the world's third largest economy is being driven towards a "fiscal cliff", Reuters reported.
"The government running out of money is not a story made up. It's a real threat," Finance Minister Jun Azumi told a news conference, making a last-ditch appeal for cooperation by opposition parties to pass the bill.
"Failing to pass the bill will give markets the impression that Japan's fiscal management rests on shaky ground," he said.
Unless the bill clears the current parliamentary session that ends next week, the government will start suspending or reducing some state spending to avoid running out of money for as long as possible, the finance ministry said.
Noda's ruling Democratic Party passed the deficit-financing bill through the lower house on Tuesday. But the opposition boycotted the vote, signalling the bill has little chance of clearing the opposition-controlled upper house. 
Under the proposed contingency for suspending some spending, the finance ministry said government bond redemptions and interest payments on outstanding debt would not be affected as they will be made in full using reserves set aside for this purpose.
All state spending will be targeted, except for those that will severely effect public livelihood such as police, national security and disaster relief

Should the U.S. Return to the Gold Standard? Jim Rickards vs Matthew O’Brien From The Atlantic Debate On Bloomberg

Ron Paul Screwed at The RNC!

"America's Lawless Empire: The Constitutional Crimes of Bush and Obama" - Nader and Fein at HLS

Ralph Nader '58 and Bruce Fein '72 visited Harvard Law School for a talk sponsored by the HLS Forum and the Harvard Law Record. At the event, "America's Lawless Empire: The Constitutional Crimes of Bush and Obama," both men discussed what they called lawless, violent practices by the White House and its agencies that have become institutionalized by both political parties. Source

Clint Eastwood Talks To Invisible Obama "Make my day, STFU!"

"I think it may be time for somebody else to come along and solve the problem," said Eastwood, 82, who already endorsed Romney this month at a campaign fundraiser in Idaho. "When someone does not do the job, you have got to let them go."
Eastwood remarks were rambling at times and critical of President Obama and Vice President Biden, whom he described as "a kind of grin with a body behind it." - RNC Full Speech 2012. The Hollywood heavyweight Clint Eastwood made the unscheduled appearance on the GOP convention stage before a welcoming audience Thursday night ahead of Mitt Romney's acceptance speech for his party's presidential nomination. Source


Doug Wead: Romney Threatened Ron Paul with PR A-Bomb "Ten fat men!" + Ron Paul Took Over Occupy Tampa Last Night!

Ron Paul's Senior 2012 Campaign Adviser Doug Wead gives WeAreChange an exclusive interview about the Ron Paul RNC delegate controversy, criticism of Jesse Benton, and the real reason Ron Paul didn't attack Mitt Romney during the campaign.

Central Damascus Resident Phone Conversation - Morris

Muslim Brotherhood cannot rule the people. This 2005 Brzezinski plan will backfire on the United States. And the plan is for all the Middle East not just Syria. Backing Fundamentalists and Extremists will not work. Source

Paul Krugman’s Mis-Characterization of the Gold Standard

By With a price hovering around $1,600 an ounce and the prospect of “additional monetary accommodation” hinted to in the latest meeting of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee, gold is once again becoming a hot topic of discussion.
George Soros made news recently when a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that he had liquidated his position with major financial firms and had loaded up on gold; approximately 884,000 shares worth.  Jim Cramer, the CNBC personality in constant search of growing business trends, recommends putting at least 20% of one’s assets in gold.  Following the Republican National Convention, the party platform now proposes the establishment of a commission to study “the feasibility of a metallic basis for U.S. currency.”
Like the gold commission before it, this new interest in gold has brought out the critics who regard the precious metal as nothing short of, to borrow the infamous term coined by John M. Keynes, a “barbarous relic.”  Wesleyan University economist Richard Grossman writes in the Los Angeles Times that the idea of a gold commission is a “waste of time and money” because the standard hasn’t “worked for 100 years.”  In The Atlantic, fiat currency enthusiast Matthew O’Brien calls the gold standard a “terrible idea” and presents a few charts demonstrating that linking the dollar to gold failed to keep prices stable.  Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has praised O’Brien’s article on his blog and makes sure to point out that the price of gold has been highly volatile since 1968 by showing the following chart:


The Hope Button: how politicians continue to fool us

Everybody likes to have hope, myself included, so that’s what every politician promises come election time:  hope and change.
In fact, it’s not over-simplifying to say that the candidate that wins the election is the one that convinces the most people that he will bring hope and change.  He never actually does of course, but if he’s a good talker and convinces enough people, he wins.
There seems to be a quality in most of us, a soft spot in our consciousness like the one in a baby’s head, which, if pressed or stroked in the right way, reduces us to giggling children with mouths full of candy.  I call that spot “The Hope Button.”
Any candidate or public figure that finds and presses that button on enough people is on the road to wealth and power.  It’s quite amazing that even with the most intelligent and educated people, pressing their hope button turns them into something akin to docile drooling puppy dogs, panting happily.  No doubt every successful politician since the dawn of civilization understands that, but for some reason most regular citizens don’t.
Like other people my hope button has been pressed many times in my life, but apparently unlike other people, mine has become calloused due to misuse and abuse.  Because I now know who they are, politicians can’t press my hope button anymore.

30 Aug 2012

Economic Warfare - Coast To Coast AM with Jim Norman

Sabotaging the other Troika in Greece’s future? - The Slog

Athens sources accuse ‘Coalition partnersof plot to sabotage alliance with Israel and Cyprus

Venizelos…. Fifth Columnist?
Sources close to a senior Opposition Greek politician today accused elements within Pasok of plotting to undermine the progress of the energy and exploitation deal between Athens, Tel Aviv and Nicosia.
Extract from a recent Slogpost:
‘Everything is connected. Greece is connected to Cyprus, which is connected to Turkey – and massively connected to EU debt and the Aegean, which is connected to energy and rare earths, which is connected to Israel, which is unpleasantly connected to Syria and Iran, which are connected to the American desire for Sunnis to triumph, which is connected to the fact that Saudi Arabia is overwhelmingly Sunni.’
From the Greek mainstream newspaper Katherimini today:-
‘The governments of Greece, Cyprus and Israel will begin discussions in September about the exporting of natural gas quantities to western
European countries, Cypriot Commerce and Industry Minister Neoklis Sylikiotis announced on Thursday in Nicosia.

South African miners charged with murder of colleagues shot by police

The 270 miners arrested over this month's violent strikes in South Africa have been charged with the murder of their 34 colleagues who were shot dead by police

The murder charge – and associated charges for attempted murder of 78 miners who were injured in the shooting – was brought by the state under little-known "common purpose" legislation previously used by the apartheid government.
Frank Lesenyego, spokesman for South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority, said the "technical" charge placed responsibility for any fatal confrontation with armed police on whoever challenged them.
It was brought despite the fact that Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has confirmed that the 34 slain miners died after police shot at them with live ammunition at the mine owned by Lonmin, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
"This is under common law, where people are charged with common purpose in a situation where there are suspects with guns or any weapons and they confront or attack the police and a shooting takes place and there are fatalities," Mr Lesenyego said.
The state also persuaded the magistrate hearing the high-profile case to delay a bail hearing for the miners until September 6. Until then, they will remain in cramped custody in three police stations in the area.
No police officers have yet been charged by the shooting

Jim Grant on the Gold Standard and the Fed’s Hall of Mirrors

US 'Police Officer' Kicking Unarmed Defenseless Man In The Throat!

The Unintended 'Chronic' Consequence Of ECB Bond Buying

Tyler Durden's picture We destroyed the myth that the LTRO would not in fact stigmatize bank balance sheets when it was first introduced as the encumbrance was evident from the start - though took the market a while to comprehend and reprice (exuberant on the new-found liquidity optics). The expectations that the ECB will embark on a new scheme of sovereign debt purchases, implicitly funding governments - no matter how many times they tell us that it is to ensure transmission mechanisms flow, have three objectives or rationales, according to Goldman's Huw Pill: Easing private financing conditions through monetary expansion, Financing governments, and/or Reactivating private markets. However, there is one glaring unintended consequence of this 'aid' - the risk exists that well-intentioned sovereign debt purchases result in perverse incentives and a perpetuation of chronic fiscal and structural problems (much as Bernanke's band-aids have eased the fiscal pressure on our own government and led us further down the rabbit hole). The lack of political legitimacy and blunting of incentives for more fundamental consolidation and reform to take place can only turn the acute pain of the moment in Spain into a truly chronic problem for Europe as a whole - be careful what you wish for.

Goldman Sachs: Three Rationales For Sovereign Debt Purchases
We expect the ECB to announce a new scheme of sovereign debt purchases aimed at reactivating and reintegrating Euro financial markets to ensure monetary policy transmission. We compare this rationale with other motivations for central bank purchases of government debt. In the end, purchases will serve several ends. The risk exists that well-intentioned sovereign debt purchases result in perverse incentives and a perpetuation of chronic fiscal and structural problems.

Carbon Tax: Italian miner slits wrist on TV to protest coal mine shutdown (GRAPHIC VIDEO, PHOTOS)

A Sardinian miner has slashed his wrist in a live TV address, in protest against the closing of a local facility. Some 100 workers barricaded themselves in front of the mine, which is packed with almost 700 kilograms of explosives.
­The incident took place during a press conference held underground.
"If someone here has decided to the kill miners' families, ladies and gentlemen, we'll cut ourselves, we'll cut ourselves," 49-year-old Stefano Meletti said as he slashed his wrist in front of reporters.
"We cannot take it anymore. We cannot! We cannot! It’s what we have to do," Reuters quoted him as saying.
The workers have staged a sit-in 400 meters underground since barricading themselves in the mine on Sunday night. The mine contains an estimated 700 kilograms of explosives, and the miners have vowed not to leave until the government promises to assist them.
The miners are protesting a shortage of funding for the coal industry, which has left them unemployed. They are calling for Italian energy corporation Enel to halt the shutdown of the last coal mine in the country.
The workers are pressing the government to combine a mining and a carbon-capture project to save their jobs, but authorities have already denied their pleas, claiming the project would cost some 250 million euros a year.
"That's almost 200,000 euros per miner. It's an unsustainable cost,"

Fascist Gulag USA: Kidnapped Marine Speaks Out Against Government Tyranny "Jesus would have been investigated as a terrorist!" + Journalists Intimidated For Exposing TSA + Smart Pills: Edible Tracking Grid

In his first public comments since being kidnapped by authorities over political posts on Facebook, former Marine Brandon Raub tells John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute that he is scared for his country.

Some clear thinking on the debt

: Rome, Italy - If you haven’t heard yet, the United States of America just hit $16 trillion in debt yesterday. On a gross, nominal basis, this makes the US, by far, the greatest debtor in the history of the world. 

It took the United States government over 200 years to accumulate its first trillion dollars of debt. It took only 286 days to accumulate the most recent trillion dollars of debt. 200 years vs. 286 days. This portends two key points: 

1. Anyone who thinks that inflation doesn’t exist is a complete idiot; 
2. To say that the trend is unsustainable is a massive understatement. 

At an average interest rate of 2.130%, Uncle Sam will shuffle $340 billion out the door just in interest payments this year… and it’s a number that’s only going up. To put it in context, China owns so much US debt that the INTEREST INCOME they receive from the Treasury Department is nearly enough to fund their entire military budget. 

It’s rather disgusting when you think about it. 

Yet when you look at the raw numbers, there is no sign of improvement anywhere on the horizon. Last year, the Treasury Department brought in about $2.3 trillion in tax revenue. They spent $2.9 trillion JUST on -mandatory- programs like Social Security and Medicare, plus the very sacrosanct defense budget. 

In other words, the US government was $600 billion dollars in the hole before paying a dime of interest on the debt, or paying the light bill at the White House. In fact the government’s own numbers reflect a budget deficit through the end of the decade, i.e. the debt level is only going to get higher. These are their own figures.

More join South African strike as autopsies show miners were shot in the back

By Julie Hyland: Many more have joined the strike at South Africa’s Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, scene of the brutal police massacre of 34 workers on August 16.
London-based Lonmin—the world’s third largest platinum producer—said that just 13 percent of its workforce reported for duty on Monday, down from 30 percent last week. Operations have ceased, with just one in 10 of the company’s 28,000-strong workforce attending.
Several thousand reportedly gathered at Wonderkop hill outside the mine, near Johannesburg. Miners have vowed to not return to work until their demands are met.
Some 3,000 rock drillers have been on strike for over a fortnight. Working in extremely hazardous conditions for just $500 a month and housed in squalid camps, they are defying the company’s threat of mass dismissals in their fight for a 300 percent pay increase.
Operations at the nearby Canadian-based Eastern Platinum group (Eastplats) were also halted on Monday, as miners blocked drivers from bussing other workers into the site.
The hardening resistance came amid reports that autopsies prove most miners slain were shot in the back as they attempted to escape the police ambush on August 16. Johannesburg’s Star cited an unnamed source involved in the investigation stating, “A lot of them were shot in the back and the bullets exited through their chests.”

Syrian group with close ties to FSA terrorists openly arms rebels with help of U.S.

By Madison Ruppert: The recently established Syrian Support Group (SSG), a United States-based pro-Free Syrian Army (FSA) group housed just three blocks away from the White House, is openly showing their support for the terrorist FSA like never before.
The SSG was just established this April as a non-profit and thanks to a special license from the Treasury Department, they can now openly provide the Syrian opposition with funding to purchase heavy weaponry which, according to The New York Times, includes “antiaircraft and antitank missiles.”
The individuals involved in this organization are far from detached from the Obama administration, which is hardly surprising. Writing for the Times, Steven Lee Myers reports that the SSG members “regularly consult with State Department officials, including the American ambassador to Syria, Robert S. Ford, who has been based in Washington since the embassy in Damascus closed in February.”
This specific connection with Ambassador Ford is also far from surprising considering the fact that he has been involved with openly supporting the Syrian opposition, even meeting with rebel leaders in Syria before he was essentially forced to flee back to the United States.
Hilariously, The New York Times attempts to paint a picture of the Obama administration taking a back seat in the crusade against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Firestorms & Currency Twisters - By Jim Willie CB

Begin with a preface to a meaningful event that could change the entire US landscape, a redux of what happened four years ago.  Consider the next Wall Street financial firm failure. It is in progress. It is not avoidable. It will have numerous ramifications. It will open the door to account thefts, the burial of documents, the ransack of undesired leveraged positions, the concealment of wrecked derivatives, and a path toward the merger of surviving (selected core) firms. It will urge an extreme defensive posture. Back in 2008, both Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers fell. The former because they had too much gold exposure with anti-US$ hedges. The latter because they led in mortgage exposure. Both failures were greatly exploited. My favorite item was the reload given to JPMorgan on a quiet Saturday morning (convened at 6am no less) at the Bankruptcy court of Manhattan. The shadowy syndicate titan was handed $138 billion to handle the private accounts from the fallen banks. Instead, the funds represented a reload for JPMorgan to continue their gold suppression game. Of course, they have been defending American freedom with vigor, preserving the integrity of the US banking system, and assuring the way of life in the nation, while leeching $billions from the public trough. Since their grant, the unassailable JPM has seen fit to gobble private accounts at both MFGlobal and PFG-Best, with regulatory blessing as the courts sprinkled fascist holy water.

29 Aug 2012

Vaccines in Population Control: Gates Foundation funding web-based monitoring and alert system to combat anti-vaccine campaigns

By Madison Ruppert: Most are likely well aware of the fact that Bill Gates – and thus the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – is a supporter of vaccines and especially the usefulness of vaccines in population control efforts.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been spending huge amounts of money on frivolous projects like bracelets to monitor student engagement but now they are expanding into “counteracting” anti-vaccine campaigns.
In a posting on TechNet21, which describes itself as a “technical network for strengthening immunization services,” it was revealed that Seth Kalichman of the University of Connecticut was awarded $100,000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for an “anti-vaccine surveillance and alert system.”
Interestingly, Kalichman authored a book entitled, “Denying Aids: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience and Human Tragedy” and he also runs a blog entitled, “Denying AIDS and other oddities.”
On his blog, Kalichman regularly conflates what he calls “AIDS Denialism” with people who oppose vaccination, even Luc Montagnier, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Françoise Barré-Sinoussi.
While I wholly share Kalichman’s disgust with people who are part of anti-vaccination campaigns just to make money from selling what he calls “their so-called treatments,” I don’t think it is at all fair to characterize people seeking to genuinely question the efficacy and effects of vaccines as similar to people engaging in “AIDS Denialism,” whatever that may be.

Financial Activism: How To Defeat the Money Power

By Anthony Migchels: For eighty years a major not for profit, private currency has been operating in the heartland of Europe. In Zurich, almost next door to the Bank of International Settlements in Basel, there is the WIR, turning over the equivalent of almost 2 billion CHF per year.
WIR was founded by businessmen Werner Zimmerman and Paul Enz in 1934. It was a direct response to the Great Depression. They built on the legacy of Silvio Gesell, whose thinking also was the basis for the famous Wörgl Scrip and today’s German Regional Currencies, like the Chiemgauer.
Silvio Gesell is in fact the Patriarch of what I suggest should be called ‘German Economics’ or ‘Interest-Free Economics‘, the theoretical basis for the anti-usury movement. His analysis of Usury inspired both Gottfried Feder and Margrit Kennedy, two other leading lights of the European anti-usury movement. He also had interesting and much needed ideas about land reform.

Morris: Western Commando's Tasked to Disable Syria's Anti Aircraft Missiles + Rumi - The Musical Reed Finds the Divine - Through The Pain of The Heart - Duncan Mackintosh

Ziad Fadel, a Lawyer and Political Commentator suggests it is time to ask for Russian Troops as a counter measure to NATO's forces.

60 Years of American Economic History, Told in 1 Graph

Jordan Weissmann: In the 60 years after World War II, the United States built the world's greatest middle class economy, then unbuilt it. And if you want a single snapshot that captures the broad sweep of that transformation, you could do much worse than this graph from a new Pew report, which tracks how average family incomes have changed at each rung of the economic ladder from 1950 through 2010.    
Here's the arc it captures: In the immediate postwar period, America's rapid growth favored the middle and lower classes. The poorest fifth of all households, in fact, fared best. Then, in the 1970s, amid two oil crises and awful inflation, things ground to a halt. The country backed off the postwar, center-left consensus -- captured by Richard Nixon's comment that "we're all Keynesians now" -- and tried Reaganism instead. We cut taxes. Technology and competition from abroad started whittling away at blue collar jobs and pay. The stock market took off. And so when growth returned, it favored the investment class -- the top 20 percent, and especially the top 5 percent (and, though it's not on this chart, the top 1 percent more than anybody).   
Pew_History_Middle_Class_Families_Income_History.PNG And then it all fell apart. The aughts were a lost decade for families, and it's not clear how much better they'll fare in the next.
None of this is new history. But it's helpful to have a crisp layout of what's changed. Source

350 Million Indian Families Starve As Politicians Loot $14.5 BIllion In Food

Tyler Durden's picture While The Brits are about to tax their Super-Rich, it appears one of the old colonies remains in full anti-Robin-Hood mode. Nothing surprises us much anymore but this note from Bloomberg too the proverbial biscuit. In the "most mean-spirited, ruthlessly executed corruption," India's politicians and their criminal syndicates have looted as much as $14.5bn in food from one province alone. 57,000 tons of food meant for the devastatingly poor of the Uttar Pradesh region is sat in a government storage facility five football fields long. The 'theft' has blunted the nation's only weapon against mass starvation and as Supreme Court commissioner Naresh Saxena notes: "What I find even more shocking is the lack of willingness in trying to stop it," as the Minister for Food, who stands charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, armed robbery and electoral fraud, has diverted more than 80 percent of the food. "Who is a person who holds a below poverty line ration card? A person of no influence; you can just tell him to buzz off." But there is growing tension "We could just storm the place, and every one of us could get a bag of rice each. Who would stop us?"

Archbishop Desmond Tutu dodges event over Immoral Tony Blair

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has decided not to take part at a leadership event in South Africa in protest at the presence of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the event.

The Discovery Invest Leadership Summit in Johannesburg was due to be held with the presence of Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Tutu, Tony Blair and chess grandmaster and Russian activist Garry Kasparov.

But, the Archbishop described former premier’s support for the invasion of Iraq as
"morally indefensible."
"Ultimately, the Archbishop is of the view that Mr Blair's decision to support the United States' military invasion of Iraq, on the basis of unproven allegations of the existence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, was morally indefensible”, said a statement from his office. "The Discovery Invest Leadership Summit has leadership as its theme. Morality and leadership are indivisible, the statement added. "In this context, it would be inappropriate and untenable for the Archbishop to share a platform with Mr Blair, it said.

The New Endangered Species: Liquidity & Reliable Income Streams - Charles Hugh Smith

The causal relationship between scarcity, demand, and price is intuitive.  Whatever is scarce and in demand will rise in price; whatever is abundant and in low demand will decline in price to its cost basis.
The corollary is somewhat less intuitive, but still solidly sensible: the cure for high prices is high prices, meaning that as the price of a commodity or service reaches a threshold of affordability/pain, suppliers and consumers will seek out alternatives or modify their behaviors to lower consumption.
We talk about the demand for commodities being elastic or inelastic, meaning that some commodities such as oil and grain are so essential that the demand for them is less elastic than demand for discretionary goods and services.  Despite its essential role in the global economy, the demand for oil is not fixed; as prices rise, demand falls. Since all commodities are priced at the margin, the price of oil is actually quite volatile, despite the supposed inelasticity of demand for oil.
Scarcity is only one price input.  Another is the cost basis of the good or service.  If shale oil costs $50 per barrel to extract, refine, and ship to market, no supplier can sell it for less than $50/barrel for long.
This leads to an apparent paradox:  Demand can be robust and supplies can be abundant, yet prices can still be high, but not high enough to trigger a profitable search for alternatives if the “pain” felt by consumers does not reach a behavior-modifying threshold. 
There is another input to price: opportunity cost, a concept that describes the relationship of scarcity and choice.  If grain rises in price, consumers could choose to eat less meat, as grain is the primary cost input to the price of meat.  The opportunity cost is what they could have done with the money saved by eating less expensive vegetable protein rather than continuing to buying high-priced meat.

Deposit flight from Spanish banks smashes record in July

Spain has suffered the worst haemorrhaging of bank deposits since the launch of the euro, losing funds equal to 7pc of GDP in a single month. 

By : Data from the European Central Bank shows that outflows from Spanish commercial banks reached €74bn (£59bn) in July, twice the previous monthly record. This brings the total deposit loss over the past year to 10.9pc, replicating the pattern seen in Greece as the crisis spread.
It is unclear how much of the deposit loss is capital flight, either to German banks or other safe-haven assets such as London property. The Bank of Spain said the fall is distorted by the July effect of tax payments and by the expiry of securitised funds.
Julian Callow from Barclays Capital said the deposit loss is €65bn even when adjusted for the season: “This is highly significant. Deposit outflows are clearly picking up and the balance sheet of the Spanish banking system is contracting.”
Economy secretary Fernando Jimenez Latorre said Spain is in the eye of the storm right now with the “worst falls” in economic output yet to come in the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, the Spanish statistics office said the economic slump has been deeper than feared, with lower output through 2010 and 2011. The economy slid back into double-dip recession in the third quarter of last year, three months earlier than thought.
The drip-drip of grim figures came amid fears of a constitutional crisis after the Spanish region of Catalonia requested a €5bn rescue package yesterday from the central government but refused to accept any political conditions. The Catalan government agreed to cut its deficit to 1.5pc of GDP but vowed to resist any attempts by Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy to exploit the crisis to roll back the powers of the regions.
“The money that we are asking for is our own Catalan money that is being adminstered by the Spanish government,” said a spokesman, reflecting angry feelings in Barcelona that Madrid is devolving the pain of austerity on to the regions.

Fat Gorillas vs Middle-Class Monkeys - Max Keiser with David Smith

Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the sound of one monkey-hand clapping as Alan Greenspan finger-painted the markets and grand heists ensued. In the second half of the show, Max Keiser talks to a former senior corporate and banking executive, David Smith, about Switzerland wearing concrete boots as it tries to maintain a currency peg to the euro with its only exit strategy being the Iraq one -- that is, they have no plan at all. They also discuss how HSBC might have missed the 7,000 suitcases of cash that would have been needed to launder $7 billion in drug cartel money. Source

To The US Govt, Failure To Disclose Foreign Accounts Is Worse Than 'The TSA Being In To' Child Porn

Submitted by Simon Black: 
Jacques Wajsfelner of Weston, Massachusetts is a criminal mastermind. Big time. Like Lex Luthor. But rest easy, ladies and gentlemen, for this nefarious villain is about to face some serious jail time thanks to the courageous work of US government agents.
You see, Mr. Wajsfelner was finally caught and convicted of a most heinous crime: failing to disclose his foreign bank account to the US government. Note-- he was not convicted of tax evasion. He was not convicted of failing to file or pay taxes. His crime was not filing the annual Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).
Because of his failure to disclose his foreign bank account, Wajsfelner is now looking at FIVE YEARS behind bars in a Day-Glo orange jumpsuit.
Oh, one more thing-- Wajsfelner is 83 years old. He was born in Germany during the global depression and rise of Adolf Hitler. The Wajsfelner family soon fled the Nazi regime and made its way to the United States. It was a different world back then.
Sentencing guidelines suggest that Wajsfelner will get some combination of jail time and supervised release to the tune of several years.
Then there's Eric Higgins of Port Huron, Michigan, who was recently busted for major possession of child pornography and engaging in sexually explicit conversations with juveniles online. He was given 20 months. Oh... and Mr. Higgins was a US Customs & Border Patrol agent.

USAF seeks to ‘disrupt, deny, degrade, destroy, or deceive’ adversaries via cyberwarfare

By Madison Ruppert: The United States military continues to ramp up their cyberwarfare efforts at record speeds with the so-called “Plan X” and the approval of an offensive cyberwar which was stealthily inserted to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA).
In the recent past, the United States military attempted to keep their cyberwarfare program under wraps but now it appears that this approach has been abandoned completely.
Considering all of the malware popping up in the Middle East which is regularly traced back to the United States and Israel including Stuxnet, Flame, Duqu and the possibly related Mahdi, this isn’t all too surprising. The West’s cyberwarfare efforts are rapidly becoming common knowledge so I’m not shocked to see the Air Force opening up about their goals.
In a solicitation posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the Air Force reveals that they are seeking some quite astounding capabilities as part of the Cyberspace Warfare Operations (CWO) program.
Under this $10 million effort, which is mostly focused on short programs ranging from three to twelve months, the Air Force is seeking, “The employment of cyberspace capabilities to destroy, deny, degrade, disrupt, deceive, corrupt, or usurp the adversaries ability to use the cyberspace domain for his advantage.”
The objectives for the program include, “Technologies/concepts for developing capabilities associated with Cyberspace Warfare Attack (i.e., to disrupt, deny, degrade, destroy, or deceive an adversary’s ability to use the cyberspace domain to his advantage.)”

Nazi Gulag: Israel’s Kangaroo Court Rebuffs Case of Slain U.S. Activist Rachel Corrie

By Karl Vick: Coming almost a decade after her death beneath the tracks of an armored Israeli bulldozer in the Gaza Strip, the verdict in the Rachel Corrie case was the farthest thing from a surprise. By the time Israeli judge Oded Gershon gathered his robes about him and took his seat in an airy Haifa courtroom Tuesday morning, the trajectory of the proceedings had emerged across 15 court sessions stretched over two and a half years. On the day of judgment, as during the trial, His Honor stood with the Israel Defense Forces. Israelis overwhelmingly do.
“I reject the suit,” Gerhson said. “There is no justification the state pay any damages.”
What followed in the hallway outside moments later was more illuminating than most of what transpired in almost all of the testimony.  As camera operators jostled for position, attorneys for the state spoke first — but only in Hebrew. The Corries’ lawyer followed in English, then Arabic, and finally in Hebrew. Everyone knew their audience, and where they could get a hearing.
The wonder is that the Corries sought theirs in Israel. The family began with Israel’s promise to Washington to conduct a “thorough, credible and transparent investigation,” something U.S. diplomats say has not occurred. But filing suit in Israel in hopes of producing firm facts meant squaring off against the IDF, the most admired institution in the country, routinely ranked far above any elected official or organ. Among Israel’s Jewish majority, identification with the military is almost total, and not only because young Jewish men are obligated to three years service in it (two years for women). The force operates under a motto that translates roughly as “purity of arms,” often put as “the most moral army in the world.” Others may note the challenge of squaring the motto with the coarsening that inevitably flows from 45 years as an army of occupation in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, which were afire with the Second Intifada at the time of Corrie’s death. But the ideal remains so firmly fixed in the Israeli mind that when an unambiguous instance of brutality emerges – like the video of a lieutenant colonel rifle-butting  a Danish activist – shocked dismay occupied the public discourse for most of a week.
The Corrie lawsuit, however, challenged no one’s preconceptions. Rather it extended Rachel Corrie’s mission in life – using the privileges afforded the holder of a U.S. passport to assert rights into the courts where Palestinians rarely have standing (and from which a proposed regulation would bar them altogether).

28 Aug 2012

Deaf preschooler has to change sign for his name because it ‘looks like a weapon’

By Madison Ruppert: The insanity of the American public school system surfaces once again in a way that makes the censoring of innocuous topics on exams in New York seem almost reasonable.
Now a three and a half year old deaf preschooler named Hunter Spanjer has been told that he may actually have to change the sign for his name, which is an actual registered sign through Signing Exact English (SEE).
The Grand Island Public School (GIPS) system in Grand Island, Nebraska has a “Weapons in Schools” policy, Board Policy 8470, which forbids “any instrument … that looks like a weapon,” and apparently this includes the hands of a preschooler.
“He’s deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy,” said Brian Spanjer, Hunter’s father, to local news outlet 1011 Now.
“Anybody that I have talked to thinks this is absolutely ridiculous,” said Janet Logue, Hunter’s grandmother. “This is not threatening in any way”
The most absurd aspect of this situation is that the sign for Hunter’s name is actually a registered sign with SEE, which means that it is not some made up weapon-like gesture (if such a thing exists) he made up.
Then again, when people are actually arrested for pointing a finger at police, I guess it’s not all too shocking to see something like this.
To make matters even worse, Hunter’s name gesture is modified with cross-fingers, thus making it uniquely his own personal name sign.

A Critique of the Methodology of Mises & Rothbard - azizonomics

Aziz: I find myself in the middle of a huge blowup between Max Keiser and Tom Woods over Mises, Menger and Austrian economics and feel that this is an opportune moment to express some doubts I have regarding contemporary Austrian methodology.
I am to some extent an Austrian, on three counts.
First, I subscribe to the notion that value is subjective; that goods’ and services’ values differ according to different individuals because they serve various uses to various users, and that value is entirely in the eye of the beholder.
Second, I subscribe to the notion that free markets succeed because of the sensitive price feedback mechanism that allocates resources according to the real underlying shape of supply and demand and conversely the successful long-term allocation of labour, capital and resources by a central planner is impossible (or extremely unlikely), because of the lack of a market feedback mechanism.
Third, I subscribe to the notion that human thought is neither linear nor rational, and the sphere of human behaviour is complicated and multi-dimensional, and that attempts to model it using linear, mechanistic methods will in the long run tend to fail.

Sandeep Jaitly, Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand and the Gold Standard Institute - Darryl Robert Schoon

The Gold Standard Institute intends to bring truth into the open… and allow…people to make up their own minds…Far from us to try to impose our ideas on anyone!
      Rudy Fritsch, Gold Standard Institute

As a result of an August 16th interview on the Max Keiser Show, Sandeep Jaitly was forced to resign from the Gold Standard Institute for comments he made about novelist Ayn Rand and economist Ludwig von Mises (Jaitly appears 12 minute, 15 seconds into Keiser’s interview).

Ludwig von Mises is the greatest economist of 20th century
                               Sandeep Jaitly 8/16/2012 on The Max Keiser Show

The above comment by Jaitly about von Mises is not the comment objected to by ‘objectivists’ at the Gold Standard Institute. It does, however, show the admiration Jaitly has for von Mises despite Jaitly’s belief that von Mises departed from the earlier path set by Carl Menger, the ‘father’ of Austrian economics, in the 19th century.

Since his forced resignation, the Jaitly matter has spiraled into something greater than an intra-organizational spat. On August 26th, Forbes Magazine posted an article by John Matonis, “Economist Appearing on Max Keiser Show Forced to Resign”; and, on August 27th, two of the most widely read and respected economic bloggers on the web, Jesse’s Café Americain and Tyler Durden’s ZeroHedge, linked to the Matonis article about Jaitly’s departure.

Watching this grow into a media event was unexpected. Especially since I know Sandeep Jaitly personally. I consider Sandeep a friend and I admire his intellect. I also know Rudy Fritsch of the Gold Standard Institute and Philip Barton, the president of GSI who announced Sandeep’s departure to the public. (Here is an interview I conducted with Philip Barton prior to the formation of the Gold Standard Institute in 2009).

Because of my proximity to the characters in this apparently ideological drama, I have some insight into the underlying motives for Sandeep’s expulsion;

The Rot Runs Deep 2: Don't Call Out My Scam and I Won't Call Out Yours - Charles Hugh Smith

Complicity reigns supreme as everyone benefiting from a scam keeps quiet about everyone else's skim lest their own share of the spoils fall under the harsh light of inquiry.
The uncomfortable truth is that America has become a nation of skimmers and scammers. The rot runs deep not just in the upper reaches of the financial and political Elites, but in the bottom 99.5% as well.
America can now be summarized by this phrase: "don't call out my scam and I won't call out yours." In other words, all the skimmers and scammers have become complicit, not just in protecting their own scam from the light of day, but in protecting everyone else's scams, too, lest those who lose their swag unmask someone else's scam in revenge.
Examples of skimming and scamming abound in finance and government. It's almost tiresome to even list examples; fortunately for us, tireless truthseeker "George Washington" has amassed a list of bank fraud and malfeasance (reprinted by the equally indefatigable Barry Ritholtz).
It's easy to skewer the financial and political Elites' abuses of power, but few look at all the rot below. The fraud and embezzlement-riddled mortgage market of the previous decade included not just investment bankers but non-Elite Americans who lied about their income, debt, and other material facts in order to obtain a fraudulent mortgage.
Another "middle class" scam is practiced by public workers nearing retirement.
(Please don't claim this doesn't happen, I have first-hand accounts from cousins with 30-year careers in fire and police departments.)

Jim Rogers - Global economic shocks coming in 2013-2014 + From Hard Landing To Train Crash, All Chinese Indicators Have Slammed On The Brakes

The G8 meeting in Camp David was focused on saving Europe from its economic nightmares. World leaders discussed Greece and its severe debt crisis, trying to figure out how to save the eurozone. The Great Recession struck the world nearly four years ago, but the aftershock is still being felt. And it's unclear when the economy will finally start to recover, and where its new center will emerge. So are there any signs of light at the end of the tunnel? RT talks to one of the insiders of the world financial elite, co-founder of the Quantum Fund, Jim Rogers.

Akkar N Lebanon Due to Explode - Jean in Lebanon

above is Morris's latest (due to some weird youtube code cycling)  - See all video interviews at Morris108 channel
Morris: Good Background Info - and current situation status. Very real report I thought. My voice over with some generic and poignant images of Lebanon.
Hariri, Joumblat, and more ... Source