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Dollar Index loses minor trendline support -
Gold is breaking out
By Scott Pluschau - GoldSeek.com
The Dollar Index failed to hold the rising trendline support of the triangle on the near term 30 minute chart, see left hand side below. This trendline was identified early in this past weekend's update on the Dollar Index.
The dominant pattern is still the bullish "Cup with a handle" on the weekly chart. The Bulls are struggling with the extended neckline support and failed patterns are very strong signals.
Love Trade Cools as Central Banks' Gold Demand Heats Up
By FRANK HOLMES - FinancialSense.com
The two largest gold buyers in the world that largely drive the Love Trade, China and India, underwhelmed the metals market with their subdued demand for the yellow metal during the second quarter of this year.
According to the World Gold Council's (WGC) quarterly Gold Demand Trends report, total demand was 990 tons, which was about 7 percent lower compared to the second quarter of 2011. When you break down demand and look at the jewelry sector, you can see that Chindia remains about 50 percent of the world's total gold demand. However, this quarter's jewelry demand of a little more than 400 tons makes it one of the weakest periods in two years.
Forget the Fiscal Cliff, Real Issue Is Bernanke's Cliff
The Bernanke Cliff
By Michael Pento
There is just far too much attention being paid to the so called Fiscal Cliff occurring at the end of this year. The expiration of the "Bush era" tax cuts and forced spending reductions taking place because of the Sequestration, really doesn't amount to much more than a fiscal speed bump. In fact, less government spending is one of the pathways to prosperity; rather than becoming some make-believe economic catastrophe. And although raising tax rates isn't an optimal solution, there could still be a small benefit if there was a resulting increase in revenue, which then served to reduce annual deficits and began to address our long-term fiscal imbalances.
However, there is indeed a real fiscal cliff that the United States is racing towards. It's the very same cliff that Europe has already dived over. That cliff is based on the collapse of our debt and dollar markets, resulting from the lost faith on the part of international investors. And that loss of faith is being greatly facilitated by our Federal Reserve.
Where to Cut the Federal Budget?
Start by Killing Corporate Welfare
By Doug Bandow - Forbes.com
Most politicians want to cut the federal budget in theory. Few want to cut it in practice. So it is with corporate welfare, which is enthusiastically supported by Democrats and Republicans alike.
The federal budget is filled with outrageous, inappropriate, useless, counterproductive, and simply wasteful spending. Washington has become an endless soup kitchen for special interests, with a grant or loan seemingly available for every interest group with a letterhead and at least three members.
Jacob Rothschild, John Paulson And George Soros
Are All Betting That Financial Disaster Is Coming
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
Are you willing to bet against three of the wealthiest men in the entire world? Jacob Rothschild recently bet approximately 200 million dollars that the euro will go down. Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson made somewhere around 20 billion dollars betting against the U.S. housing market during the last financial crisis, and now he has made huge bets that the euro will go down and that the price of gold will go up. And as I wrote about in my last article, George Soros put approximately 130 million more dollars into gold last quarter. So will the euro plummet like a rock? Will the price of gold absolutely soar? Well, if a massive financial disaster does occur both of those two things are likely to happen. The European economy is becoming more unstable with each passing day, and investors all over the globe are looking for safe places to put their money. The mainstream media keeps telling us that everything is going to be okay, but the global elite are sending us a much, much different message by their actions. Certainly Rothschild, Paulson and Soros know about things happening in the financial world that the rest of us don't. The fact that they are all behaving in a consistent manner right now should be alarming for all of us.
Fiscal Cliff Fears Chill Corporate Hiring, Economy
By JASON MA, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
Corporations are scaling back investment, hiring and inventories ahead of steep year-end tax hikes and spending cuts, the most concrete sign to date that uncertainty over the so-called fiscal cliff is already hurting the anemic economy.
The automatic, draconian provisions were meant to prod lawmakers to reach their own deficit-cutting deal. But everything's on hold during the election season, and the fiscal cliff's potential GDP impact of 4%-5% has businesses hunkering down.
In a Paper System, All Assets are Backed by the Treasury Bond
By Keith Weiner (guest post)- FinancialSense.com
In a gold-based monetary system, every asset is ultimately backed by gold. This does not mean that every debtor (including banks) keeps the full amount of its liability in gold coin just lying around. Why would one bother to borrow if one did not need the money?
It means that every asset generates a gold income and every asset could be liquidated for gold, if necessary. If a debtor declares bankruptcy, the creditor may take losses. But he can rely on the gold income stream for each asset or if need be he can sell the asset for gold.
Muni Bonds: Riskier Than You Think
By Karen Weise - BusinessWeek.com
Investors generally view municipal bonds as safe investments—and the figures seem to back that up.Moody's Investors Service (MCO) tracked just 71 muni bond defaults from 1970 to 2011. A new analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York says there's an "untold" story of muni bonds—that they actually go bad much more than we thought.
There's a discrepancy because many muni bonds aren't graded by the two large rating companies, Moody's andStandard & Poor's (MHP), and therefore don't show up in their data. When researchers included unrated bonds, they found 2,521 soured deals from 1970 to 2011—more than 35 times what Moody's found in the bonds it tracked.
'Zero Inflation' in U.S. = Hyperinflation Warning?
By Jeff Nielson - RealClearMarkets.com
It's impossible to cover developments in the global economy without feeling a lot like Alice in Wonderland surrounded by legions of Mad Hatters. This is especially true when covering the realm of anti-logic known as the U.S. economy.
We're told that the U.S. economy has been experiencing an "economic recovery" for the past 3+ years -- led by manufacturing growth -- while its energy consumption has plummeted so fast that the world's great Energy Glutton is now a "net energy exporter".
Does "Austrian Economics" predict inflation or deflation?
By: Steve Saville - GoldSeek.com
The answer to the above question is no, meaning that "Austrian Economics" makes no prediction about whether the future will be inflationary or deflationary. That's why some adherents to "Austrian" economic theory predict inflation while others predict deflation. An economic theory can give you an idea of what will happen if certain policies are implemented; it doesn't tell you what will happen regardless of policy choices. To explain what we mean we will zoom in on two famous quotes of Ludwig von Mises, the most important economist of the "Austrian" school.
Last Man Standing Means
Europe Investment Banks Resist Shrinking
By Ambereen Choudhury, Elisa Martinuzzi
and Elena Logutenkova - Bloomberg.com
Europe's failure to resolve its sovereign-debt crisis will force investment-banking chiefs in the region to consider shuttering entire businesses rather than rely on piecemeal job reductions to revive profit.
Dealmaking fees may drop 25 percent this year from 2009, when the crisis began in Greece, research firm Freeman & Co. estimates. European banks have cut about 172,000 positions since then, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, the same strategy they used after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed in 2008.
Euro Near 6-Week High On Europe Debt Crisis Optimism
By Kristine Aquino - Bloomberg.com
The euro traded 0.1 percent from its strongest level in more than six weeks against the dollar on speculation European leaders meeting this week will agree on measures to help contain the region's fiscal crisis.
The 17-nation currency was 0.4 percent from a six-week high versus the yen before Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker visits Greece today to discuss the nation's request for a two-year extension to its fiscal adjustment program. The dollar gained versus most peers before data that may show U.S. existing home sales rose, damping prospects theFederal Reserve will add to stimulus measures. The central bank will release today minutes of its most recent meeting.
U.S. Companies Worry About Effect of Russia Joining W.T.O.
By ANDREW E. KRAMER - NYTimes.com
MOSCOW — After two decades of negotiations, Russia will finally join the World Trade Organization on Wednesday. The lower trade barriers that come along with membership will open up new opportunities for foreign companies to do business in Russia.
But American companies are guaranteed no such advantages — and may even face higher Russian tariffs than their competitors from other countries.
Because of broader policy concerns about the Kremlin's crackdown on dissidents and its support for rogue governments, Congress has balked at the Obama administration's request to grant Russia permanent normal trade relation status. That status is important since the W.T.O. requires that any country that seeks to benefit from it must apply the same trade rules to all member countries.
How China Is Driving Federal Reserve Policy
By JAMES RICKARDS - USNews
During the Cold War, national security analysts spoke knowingly about the art of "Kremlinology." This was a technique for understanding Soviet power relations and policy changes taking place inside the leadership compound in the Kremlin.
The Soviet Union was completely opaque. One-time leaders could be demoted and new leaders advanced without any public acknowledgement. One technique for gleaning information was to look at photographs of Soviet leaders assembled on top of Lenin's Tomb in Red Square on important occasions. Such photographs were among the few glimpses of the leadership available to the public. Analysts were careful to note the proximity of each figure in the photo to a supreme leader such as Leonid Brezhnev. A Politburo member who was adjacent to Brezhnev one year but two places away the next had clearly been demoted.
Spooked by Glass-Steagall's Ghost?
By Mark Roe - Project-Syndicate.org
CAMBRIDGE – America's long-controversial Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which separated deposit-taking commercial banks from securities-trading investment banks in the United States, is back in the news. This separation long symbolized America's unusual history of bank regulation – probably the most unusual in the developed world.
American banking regulation had long kept US banks small and local (unable to branch across state lines), unlike their European and Japanese equivalents, while limiting their operational capacity (by barring banks from mixing commercial and investment banking). These limits on American banking persisted until the 1990's, when Congress repealed most of this regulatory structure. Now the idea of a new Glass-Steagall is back, and not only in the US.
Fed Report: No More Monetary Gas Needed
By BRUCE KRASTING - FinancialSense.com
The Federal Reserve Bank of NY put out a research paper that must have pissed off Bernanke and the other Fed doves. Here is a Link to the Fed report, and another Link to a Bloomberg article with a good discussion.
The report looks at the consequences of structural issues that have impeded the return to "full employment" in the economy. The analysis identifies structural impediments as "misalignments":
"idle workers are seeking employment in sectors (occupations, industries, locations) different from those where the available jobs are. Such misalignment between the distribution of vacancies and unemployment across sectors of the economy would lower the aggregate job-finding rate."
Reinhart Says Failing Fed Should Commit To Stimulus
By Tom Keene and Jeff Kearns - Bloomberg.com
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke should assure investors next week that "he'll do whatever it takes" to stimulate the slowing economy, said Vincent Reinhart, chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley.
Bernanke should use his Aug. 31 speech at the Fed symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to expand his commitment to providing additional accommodation if needed because the central bank is falling short of its mission, Reinhart said in an interview on "Bloomberg Surveillance" with Tom Keene and Sara Eisen.
Lockhart's Outlook Suggests QE3 Isn't A Done Deal
By Michael S. Derby - WSJ.com
A key Federal Reserve official on Tuesday suggested the case for more central bank easing is not the slam dunk so many in the markets now believe.
In a speech, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart told a hometown audience that the current stance of monetary policy is "appropriate" to prevailing economic conditions. But he also said "there is a risk to monetary policy being employed too aggressively and without effect to address economic problems" that would be better sorted out by other parts of the government.
Fed's Lockhart says monetary policy not a panacea
By Pedro Nicolaci da Costa
Atlanta | Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:30am EDT
(Reuters) - The economic recovery has been disappointing but monetary policy may not be capable of solving many current challenges, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart said on Tuesday.
Lockhart told reporters he had not yet made up his mind on whether further monetary easing is warranted.
"It's a cost-benefit calculation to consider more monetary stimulus and someone like me has to do his best to really carefully weigh the costs and benefits," Lockhart told reporters after a speech. "I'm not finished with (that) process."
Lockhart Says Fed Faces Risk Of Excessive Accommodation
By Steve Matthews - Bloomberg.com
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said U.S. policy makers face a risk of easing too much while trying to spur a "disappointing" three- year-old economic recovery.
"There is a risk to monetary policy being employed too aggressively and without effect to address economic problems that can be resolved only by fiscal reforms that involve making tough choices about the allocation of public resources," Lockhart said today in a speech in Atlanta. While "monetary policy can exert a powerful positive influence on an economy," it "is not a panacea."
Get Ready for the Fall
It's time to say goodbye to the bullish days of summer.
By Doug Kass - TheStreet.com
NEW YORK (Real Money) -- It is my view that we might now be approaching a crucial inflection point in the world's equity markets.
As a result, today's column will be committed to delivering a more lengthy examination of the markets. Some of my content this morning will be transmitted from points I have previously made, and much will be new.
As most are aware, I have been growing increasingly more cautious about the U.S. stockmarket.
Most Bullish Thing the Market Can Do Is Go Up
BY THOMAS J SMITH CFA - FinancialSense.com
The title this week is an old Wall Street cliché. There has been a laundry list of reasons for the market to struggle this year. The headlines screaming the end of the Euro and the break-up of the EU seem a hundred years ago now. As soon as peripheral countries, Greece and Italy, for example moved back to the shadows the market has roared higher.
There haven't been any concrete plans to backstop things in Europe but the language has changed and that is all the market needed to hear. While volume has been light the trend has been higher. If volume is light and the market is moving up then there just isn't much selling going on is there?
Hedge Funds Double Down on U.S. Debt
By Dan Freed - TheStreet.com
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Hedge fund trading of U.S. government bonds has practically doubled in the past year, according to a report published Tuesday by financial services consulting firm Greenwich Associates.
The report, based on interviews with nearly 1100 institutional investors active in fixed income, including more than 300 hedge funds, found the hedge funds generated 24% of U.S. trading volume in U.S. government bonds over the twelve month period ending at the close of the second quarter in 2012. By contrast, hedge funds accounted for 13% of trading volume in U.S. government debt over the same period a year earlier.
Against big banks, state regulators flex their muscles
By Danielle Douglas and Brady Dennis - WashingtonPost.com
When a little-known New York regulator this month threatened to revoke the charter of a major international bank for allegedly laundering money for Iran, the shock waves were felt in Washington as much as on Wall Street.
Federal regulators were furious. Some felt New York had jumped the gun, jeopardizing a more methodical investigation being conducted inside the Beltway, officials familiar with the matter said.
Wells Fargo Complicates Ally's Independence Plan
By Roben Farzad - BusinessWeek.com
"Lost another loan to Ditech." Future archaeologists and history professors will surely love to invoke those annoying ads from the subprimetastic 2000s. Ditech was the very public face of General Motors' (GM) longtime finance sub-empire GMAC—specifically its Res Cap mortgage arm. That business famously marketed 125 percent loans to borrowers keen to take out money in excess of the value of their homes. Throw in interest-only mortgages and liar loans and GMAC was one jollyenabler of the housing bubble.
Accordingly, the U.S. now owns 74 percent of GMAC, which took $17 billion in Treasury aid and has since renamed itself Ally Financial. To win (rather, buy) back its independence, Ally needs to make the most of its old, core auto-finance business, especially with Detroit on the rebound. U.S. sales of cars and light trucks are up 14 percent this year through July.
Wall Street Leaderless In Rules Fight As Dimon Diminished
By Dawn Kopecki - Bloomberg.com
Wall Street, the global financial community reeling from public outrage and increased regulation, is proving incapable of finding a champion to replace sidelined JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon.
Dimon, 56, one of the industry's most forceful advocates, has lost stature as his bank, the largest in the U.S. by assets, juggles multiple investigations and a $5.8 billion trading loss on wrong-way bets on credit derivatives. His peers at other big lenders are hobbled by poor performance, tarnished reputations or a reluctance to step into the breach.
Wall Street Sets the Rules for Regulators
....The current dynamics of the regulatory overhaul is a depressing development. While we're normally quick to criticize regulators (and for good reason), we also have to admit that monetary deprivation of such agencies by Republicans, as evidenced by budget cuts for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, transfer some blame to anti-regulatory forces in Congress. Regulators currently entrusted with the task of policing Wall Street are facing a well-funded, well-connected and politically shrewd beast.
In essence, regulators are not writing the rules for Wall Street. Wall Street is writing the rules for regulators.
Thanks Obama - Here Are 24 Stats That Show How Much You Have Royally Messed Up Our Economy
By Michael Snyder.com - EndOfTheAmericanDream.com
Under Barack Obama, the U.S. economy has performed worse than it did under any other president since the end of the Great Depression. After every other recession since World War II, the U.S. economy always regained what was lost and got even stronger before the next recession began. During this "economic recovery", we have not even come close to getting back to where we were in 2008. In fact, the number of Americans living in poverty and the number of Americans that are dependent on the government both continue to explode even as Barack Obama runs up trillions of dollars of new debt. Anyone that believes that Barack Obama is going to "fix the economy" if he is given another four years in the White House has taken way too many sips of the Obama kool-aid. The truth is that Barack Obama is not going to save you. Barack Obama has royally messed up our economy (along with a lot of other things) and that is not something we should be thanking him for.
What Does Groupon's Collapse
Mean for Tech Stocks? How About: Nothing
IPOs have cratered the most exciting tech companies by replacing unquantifiable hope with a very quantifiable number -- stock price -- that could make complicated financial stories seem simple
By Derek Thompson - TheAtlantic.com
When Groupon was the fastest growing company in American history in late 2010, 18 months (and several millennia in social media buzz-years) ago, it came as a surprise to the company's biggest boosters that some investors were still nervous. No matter how you dressed it up, they said, the coupon business was still the coupon business, and it seemed impossible to imagine that the most spectacular idea of the young century was to help groups get cheaper sandwiches and leg waxes.
Now that investors are dumping Groupon stock, it's easy to look back and say, Haha, I knew that company was doomed! But I can see all of you laughers trying to take credit, and guess what? I don't believe you. Not all of you, at least.
FHFA Announces New Standard Short Sale Guidelines
for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;
Programs Aligned to Expedite Assistance to Borrowers
Washington, DC – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are issuing new, clear guidelines to their mortgage servicers that will align and consolidate existing short sales programs into one standard short sale program. The streamlined program rules will enable lenders and servicers to quickly and easily qualify eligible borrowers for a short sale.
The new guidelines, which go into effect Nov. 1, 2012, will permit a homeowner with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage to sell their home in a short sale even if they are current on their mortgage if they have an eligible hardship. Servicers will be able to expedite processing a short sale for borrowers with hardships such as death of a borrower or co-borrower, divorce, disability, or relocation for a job without any additional approval from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Short Sales for 'Current' Homeowners OK
GSEs to Allow Short Sales for Borrowers
Who Are Current on Mortgage
BYy JANN SWANSON - MortgageDailyNews.com
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced today that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the GSEs) are revising their short sale guidelines and delegating authority to their mortgage servicers to approve short sales as of November 1. The new procedures are part of the Servicing Alignment Initiative which the Federal Housing Finance Agency has directed the GSEs to develop.
The streamlined program rules will enable lenders and servicers to quickly and easily qualify borrowers, who do not have to be delinquent on their mortgages, to qualify for short sales. As a further step to facilitate speedy sales, both of the GSEs have authorized a payment of up to $6,000 to incentivize second lien holders to allow the short sales to proceed.
Even '60 Minutes' Misses
The Real Story Of The Subprime Disaster
By STEPHEN PORPORA - Investors.com
On Sunday's "60 Minutes" it was asserted that the September 2008 failure of Lehman Bros. triggered the chain reaction that caused the global financial and economic crisis of the past four years.
While correspondent Steve Croft presented detailed interviews to support this claim, nowhere was it mentioned how the U.S. government, dating back to the Carter administration, mandated banks to make loans to people with poor credit and that this created a glut of subprime mortgages that went toxic when the housing bubble burst in 2006-2007.
More Firms Bow to Generation Y's Demands
To Retain Young Workers, Companies Offer
Special Incentives; Some Older Employees Cry Foul
By LESLIE KWOH - WSJ.com
They're often criticized as spoiled, impatient, and most of all, entitled.
But as millennials enter the workforce, more companies are jumping through hoops to accommodate their demands for faster promotions, greater responsibilities and more flexible work schedules—much to the annoyance of older co-workers who feel they have spent years paying their dues to rise through the ranks.
Employers, however, say concessions are necessary to retain the best of millennials, also known as Generation Y, which is broadly defined as those born in the 1980s and 1990s. They bring fresh skills to the workplace: they're tech-savvy, racially diverse, socially interconnected and collaborative. Moreover, companies need to keep their employee pipelines full as baby boomers enter retirement.
Small Business Cheating Drives Out the Honest
Some companies slash labor costs by flouting federal laws
Mandy Locke | The (Raleigh) News & Observer
BENSON, N.C. — As a commercial masonry contractor, Doug Burton prides himself on being exact.
He counts bricks to calculate estimates. He knows each of his laborers by first and last name. He has memorized exactly what he'll owe in taxes if he takes on an additional worker and knows week to week whether he can afford it.
Burton strictly follows rules, and until 2009, he made a good living doing it.
Millions Now Stuck in the Rut of Self-Employment
By MERRILL GOOZNER, The Fiscal Times
Whether it's by preference or an act of desperation by people who've gone years without a full-time job, U.S. workers are striking out on their own in greater numbers than ever before.
The number of Americans who consider themselves self-employed reached 22.1 million in 2010, up 414,000 from the previous year, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. That represented 14.4 percent of the civilian labor force, more than two percentage points higher than 2002.
More Than Half Of All Americans
Are At Least Partially Dependent On The Government
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
A very large segment of the population has figured out that it can use voting as a tool to get more money and benefits from the government, and that is a very dangerous thing. Once upon a time, the free market was the one that distributed nearly all the wealth in our system. But now the federal government has become a giant deluded "Santa Claus" that distributes goodies to the American people far beyond its actual capacity to do so. In fact, we are borrowingtrillions of dollars that we do not have so that our politicians can continue to buy votes with handouts. Look, we will always need a safety net. We don't want anyone in America starving to death or sleeping in the street. However, our current system has gotten completely and totally out of control. Today, there arenearly 80 different "means-tested welfare programs" operated by the federal government. As I have written about previously, more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in those programs. Sadly, that does not even count Social Security and Medicare. Tens of millions of Americans are enrolled in each of those programs as well. And when you add in more than 22 million government workers, you get one giant pile of people that are getting money or benefits from the government. In fact, at this point more than half of all Americans are at least partially dependent on the government.
Americans Having Fewer Babies
Crimping Consumer Spending
By Steve Matthews - Bloomberg.com
Debra Mollen, 41, a psychology professor in Denton, Texas, said she and her husband don't plan to have children as they strive to pay down their mortgage and save for retirement.
"Children are really expensive," Mollen said, and the 2008 financial crisis shows the importance of building a nest egg. "Retirement is not an option for a lot of folks."
Mollen isn't alone, as Americans have had fewer babies each year since the 2008 financial meltdown, with births falling to a 12-year low in 2011, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The low birth rate and reduced immigration resulted in the smallest gain in population since World War II, which may hurt spending on everything from Huggies diapers to pregnancy kits, child care and education.
Dental health linked to dementia risk
Aug 21 (Reuters) - People who keep their teeth and gums healthy with regular brushing may have a lower risk of developing dementia later in life, according to a U.S. study.
Researchers at the University of California who followed nearly 5,500 elderly people over an 18-year-period found that those who reported brushing their teeth less than once a day were up to 65 percent more likely to develop dementia than those who brushed daily.
The Beginning of the End of Print:
The Lessons of an Amazingly Prescient 1992 WaPo Memo
"Our goal, obviously, is to avoid getting boiled as the electronic revolution continues."
By Jordan Weissmann - TheAtlantic.com
"I am not here dreaming of (or worrying about) a world in which computers have displaced the printed word, and us too. I could find no one at this conference who would predict the demise of the newspaper. No one. All saw an important place for us."
Those words come from a remarkable letter written by Robert Kaiser, then the Washington Post's newly appointed managing editor, to publisher Donald Graham following a 1992 conference on the future of digital media. Kaiser had attended the event after being invited ill-fated Apple CEO John Sculley, flying to Japan in order to hear from the best contemporary minds in tech and publishing. In the course of his seven-page dispatch, Kaiser accurately predicts the explosion in computing power, growth of multimedia, and shift of readers to the web that would define the next 20 years of news publishing. It's a truly prescient document. (Disclosure: I interned with the Post in 2008.)
The Media Cold War
By Anne-Marie Slaughter - Project-Syndicate.org
PRINCETON – An information war has erupted around the world. The battle lines are drawn between those governments that regard the free flow of information, and the ability to access it, as a matter of fundamental human rights, and those that regard official control of information as a fundamental sovereign prerogative. The contest is being waged institutionally in organizations like the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and daily in countries like Syria.
Pennsylvania Disenfranchising the Elderly
Seniors most affected by voter ID law
It may not benefit Republicans as much as some claim.
By Scott Kraus, Eugene Tauber
and John L. Micek, Of The Morning Call - Call.com
Forget Republicans or Democrats. If there's one group likely to be inconvenienced by the state's new voter ID law in November, it's the elderly.
A Morning Call analysis of the state's admittedly flawed database of voters who may lack valid state-issued ID shows those over age 65 are more likely than any other age group to be caught without the identification they will need to vote in the presidential election.
Cyber War: Why the Government Can't Keep Us Safe
By LIZ PEEK, The Fiscal Times
President Obama is incensed that Congress failed to pass the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 and is once again considering enacting some of the bill's measures through executive order. While the president is right to call cyber threats "one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face," the legislation he championed would not protect us.
It calls for companies managing our power plants and stock exchanges to meet only minimal security standards while burdening those firms with costly compliance requirements. Moreover, it grants compliant organizations legal immunity in the event of an attack. In other words, companies would have arguably less incentive to truly protect our critical infrastructure than without the law. Passing the bill would have been another "checked box" for the White House and for Congress – nothing more.
How the U.S. East Coast Just Dodged an Oil Supply Shut-Down
By Keith Schaefer - OilPrice.com
Last September, Sunoco and ConocoPhillips announced they would both close their Pennsylvania oil refineries.
Roughly 330,000 barrels of oil are supplied through the Sunoco refinery in Philadelphia... every day.
Closing of the refineries would have not just resulted in hundreds of lost jobs, but an east coast supply crunch could potentially have occurred.
Fortunately, a solution came to happen – in fact it's a great example of a public/private/labor partnership actually working.
3 Energy Issues No One's Talking About
There's Solyndra and the wind energy tax credit but there's also the coal industry and the fate of nuclear power
By MEG HANDLEY - USNews.com
If recent campaign events by both the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates are any indication, energy policy is going to be a major political chip in the race for the White House.
President Obama and Mitt Romney have diametrically opposed views on energy security, efficiency, and innovation. That brings seemingly minute issues such as a wind tax energy credit (crucial to Iowans, coincidentally) to the forefront as well as more philosophical issues such as whether the government should subsidize companies researching and producing renewable energy sources.
Venezuela Ramps up China Oil Exports
By John Daly - OilPrice.com
The biggest geostrategic change of the past decade overlooked by Washington policy wonks in their fixation on their self-proclaimed "war on terror" is that Latin America has been throwing off the shackles of the Monroe Doctrine.
These ignored developments may well soon refocus Washington's attention on the Southern Hemisphere, as Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez reorients his country's to China.
It is not an inconsiderable element of concern for the Obama administration. According to the U.S. Energy Administration, the United States total crude oil imports now average 9.033 million barrels per day, with the top five exporting countries being Canada (2.666 mbpd), Mexico (1.319 mbpd), Saudi Arabia (1.107 mbpd), with Venezuela in fourth place at 930 thousand barrels per day. Note that two of America's top four energy importers are south of the Rio Grande.
Clearing Skies for Private Jets
By JOE SHARKEY - NYTimes.com
The private jet industry has been a bit more optimistic lately, in part because of business travelers like Mark Dowley who use it to patch holes in the domestic air travel system.
Mr. Dowley, an executive for a private equity firm and a marketing consultant, said he still flew commercial planes on the long, nonstop routes that airlines offer in abundance. But he will sometimes take a business jet to a smaller destination — the kind of place that could take an additional three hours or more to reach by commercial plane. So he may fly commercially from New York to San Francisco for a meeting in San Jose, and then fly by private jet to San Diego for more meetings.
Amerika's Future is Death
By Paul Craig Roberts - PaulCraigRoberts.org
"The day we see truth and do not speak is the day we begin to die." -- Martin Luther King
Conspiracy theories have now blossomed into what the smug presstitute media calls a "conspiracy culture." According to the presstitutes, Americans have to find some explanation for their frustrations and failings, so Americans shift the blame to the Bilderbergers, the Rothschilds, the New World Order and so forth and so on.
Readers will not be surprised that I disagree with the presstitutes. Indeed, the conspiracy culture is the product of the presstitute media's failure to investigate and to report truthfully. I am certain that the Western media is worse than the Soviet media was. The Soviet media devised ways for helping the public to read between the lines, whereas the Western media is so proud to be confidants of the government that they deliver the propaganda without any clues to the readers that it is propaganda.
Gun control and the security illusion
Laws don't prevent crimes
By Anthony Gregory - WashingtonTimes.com
The recent mass shootings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and a movie theater in Colorado have revived the controversy over "gun control" policy.
It is tempting after such unspeakable crimes to search for answers that will help prevent a repeat. The media immediately examine the purported killer's profile and make sweeping statements about mental health screening, public health programs, bigotry, the schools and popular culture. Some correlations might deserve attention, such as the Wisconsin shooter's former military status, because the increased prevalence of traumatized military veterans is unavoidably a national issue.
Deadly ammo to stop alien reptilians or super-transhumans?
Who Does The Government Intend To Shoot?
By Major General Jerry Curry, USA (Ret.) - DailyCaller.com
The Social Security Administration (SSA) confirms that it is purchasing 174 thousand rounds of hollow point bullets to be delivered to 41 locations in major cities across the U.S. No one has yet said what the purpose of these purchases is, though we are led to believe that they will be used only in an emergency to counteract and control civil unrest. Those against whom the hollow point bullets are to be used — those causing the civil unrest — must be American citizens; since the SSA has never been used overseas to help foreign countries maintain control of their citizens.
What would be the target of these 174, 000 rounds of hollow point bullets? It can't simply be to control demonstrators or rioters. Hollow point bullets are so lethal that the Geneva Convention does not allow their use on the battle field in time of war. Hollow point bullets don't just stop or hurt people, they penetrate the body, spread out, fragment and cause maximum damage to the body's organs. Death often follows.
America's New War Over Civil Rights
Does the pernicious war on voting access require any less of a moral response than the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s?
By Andrew Cohen - TheAtlantic.com
Welcome, Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie Sr., to what surely is a select group in history -- election officials who get threatened with dismissal for trying to help voters vote. The two men work in Montgomery County, Ohio, and today they are fighting for their jobs. The men are Democrats and are involved in a political fight with the Ohio Secretary of State, a Republican named Jon Husted. On Friday, Hustedsuspended Lieberman and Ritchie for disregarding a recent early-voting directive from his statewide office.
What Does Liberty Really Mean to You?
By David Galland - DailyReckoning.com
08/21/12 For some time now — years actually — I have pondered the nature of liberty. Or more specifically, what liberty actually means to me. And to be extra clear, I am not talking about the meaning in abstract or philosophical terms, but tangibly — in much the same way I might answer if asked what my wife means to me.
The trigger for this entirely personal discourse comes from reading various articles and viewing various YouTube videos and speeches from self-styled champions of liberty (COL). There is even an entire conference, Mark Skousen's Freedom Fest, dedicated to the topic.
Why China Needs Peace in the Middle East
By Lorenzo Nannetti - OilPrice.com
There's a tendency among U.S. scholars, policymakers and especially the military to look at China in a purely confrontational way. Not everyone thinks this way but the number of analysts looking at a future clash of the powers is staggeringly big. This may be true, especially if we look at Chinese aggression in the South China sea. Maybe the Pentagon itself, with its focus on the Air-Sea Battle doctrine, is right in making sure everything is in order in case that happens. And yet, looking at some data, a different future looks more likely.
Syria's security vacuum and WMDs
Posted by Amanda Paul - EUObserver.com
Following President Obama's recent statement about Syria and WMD's I thought I would post a recent article I wrote on the issue for Todays Zaman
While Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's days are clearly numbered, the current insurgency in Syria seems to be heading towards a full-fledged sectarian civil war, with regional stability and security increasingly at risk.
According to a recent article in The New York Times, the US State Department and the Pentagon have been sharpening preparations for a post-Assad Syria, including plans to maintain health and municipal services, restart the economy and avoid a security vacuum. Unfortunately, the US hardly has a good track record, bearing in mind the situation in neighboring Iraq. With regional powers moving to consolidate or increase their influence, the protracted chaos and sectarian violence is creating a growing security vacuum which, if not handled properly, risks hideously exploding.
WHEN ISRAEL STRIKES IRAN IN OCTOBER
Why Jewish state won't 'bet its life' on Obama election loss
by Joseph Farah - WND.com
Israel is in a political and security quandary.
Officials are convinced it's only a matter of time before Iran uses its nuclear capability against the Jewish state, living up to the dire threats its leaders have been making for years now.
But Israeli leaders also fear they will lose the window of opportunity to deal a devastating military blow to Iran's nuclear development if such a strike is not conducted by October of this year.
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