The Coming Economic Collapse And The Next Great Depression

The Coming Economic Collapse And The Next Great Depression
The forgotten man painting by McNaughton (click image for video) I believe this image best exemplifies where we stand today, pun intended.

Total Pageviews

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Fed On Gold Price Manipulation

Lately various media outlets have been swamped with stories and allegations of precious metal manipulation ranging from the arcane, to the bizarre to the outright ridiculous. At issue is not that these claims of price fraud are unfounded - they very well may be completely true - but without a notarized facsimile of an actual trade ticket signed by Brian Sack, or his replacement Simon Potter, or any of the BIS traders confirming they are indeed selling gold on behalf of the Fed, BOE, ECB, SNB or BOJ simply to keep the price of the metal down, what such constant factless accusations (and no, sorry, a chart showing that the price of gold may go up or go down sharply indicates merely that and nothing about the underlying factors for such a move) do is to habituate the broader public to the real issues surrounding precious metal, and other asset class, manipulation. So instead of searching for circumstantial evidence which one can easily find everywhere, we decided to go straight to the source. To do that we go back to a post we wrote back in September of 2009, based on an internal previously confidential Fed document, which conveniently enough explains everything vis-a-vis gold manipulation and leaves nothing to speculation or misinterpretation. Zero Hedge presents the smoking gun that may provide responses to all the various open questions regarding the Fed's Modus Operandi in the gold arena which answer the core question - motive - courtesy of a declassified memorandum, written by none other than the then Fed Chairman, and addressed to the president of the United States. From Zero Hedge, September 27, 2009. Exclusive Smoking Gun: The Fed On Gold Manipulation Zero Hedge has recently presented several declassified documents from the pre-1971 "Nixon Shock" days, that endorse the case for gold as a major historical factor in US monetary and foreign policy, as demonstrated byState Department and CIA disclosure. Gold's special status in policy and administrative decision-making was a direct factor in Nixon's choice to abolish the gold reserve at a time of an exploding budget deficit. Yet what about the days after 1971, and specifically, how did that critical "behind the scenes" organization, the Federal Reserve, perceive and manipulate gold in the post Bretton-Woods world? Was gold, freed from its shackles to the dollar, once again merely a symbolic representation for money? Zero Hedge presents the smoking gun that may provide responses to all the various open questions, courtesy of a declassified memorandum, written by none other than the then Fed Chairman, addressed to the president of the United States. On June 3, 1975, Fed Chairman Arthur Burns, sent a "Memorandum For The President" to Gerald Ford, which among others CC:ed Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and future Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, discussing gold, and specifically its fair value, a topic whose prominence, despite former president Nixon's actions, had only managed to grow in the four short years since the abandonment of the gold standard in 1971. In a nutshell Burns' entire argument revolves around the equivalency of gold and money, and furthermore points out that if the Fed does not control this core relationship, it would "easily frustrate our efforts to control world liquidity" but also "dangerously prejudge the shape of the future monetary system." Furthermore, the memo goes on to highlight the extensive level of gold price manipulation by central banks even after the gold standard has been formally abolished. The problem with accounting for gold at fair market value: the risk of massive liquidity creation, which in those long-gone days of 1975 "could result in the addition of up to $150 billion to the nominal value of countries' reserves." One only wonders what would happen today if gold was allowed to attain its fair price status. And the threat, according to Burns: "liquidity creation of such extraordinary magnitude would seriously endanger, perhaps even frustrate, out efforts and those of other prudent nations to get inflation under reasonable control." Aside from the gratuitous observation that even 34 years ago it was painfully obvious how "massive" liquidity could and would result in runaway inflation and the Fed actually cared about this potential danger, what highlights the hypocrisy of the Fed is that when it comes to drowning the world in excess pieces of paper, only the United States should have the right to do so. Another notable observation is that despite a muted antagonism between the Fed and the US Treasury persisting for decades, the fuse is and always has been short, and the conflict can promptly hit a crescendo, with the Fed ultimately always getting the upper hand. In the case of the Burns memo, the Fed's position was diametrically opposed to what the Treasury proposed was the proper approach. The result: full on assault by the Federal Reserve over the Treasury's credibility and even then, more than three decades ago, a veiled threat by the Fed involving escalating problems if the recommendation of the Treasury was picked over that of the Fed. "Severe criticism on the part of prominent and influential financiers would inevitably follow if the Treasury's present position prevailed." It is not surprising that the Fed's modus operandi has not changed one bit since 1975: it is our way or virtually assured destruction/embarrassment way. Additionally, a curious tangent of the Burns memo is the fact that gold was explicitly used as an engine to enact political doctrine: "If the United States took a stand on the gold question that failed to satisfy the French in current international negotiations, would there be adverse economic or political consequences? I doubt it... If we do ever accede to French views on gold, we should at least use our bargaining leverage to achieve some major political advantage." And while gold as a policy mechanism was unable to satisfy its role this time, one wonders on how many subsequent occasions was global democracy trampled over in order to placate the US Federal Reserve: "I have consulted Henry Kissinger as to whether there is some political quid pro quo we might want to extract from the French in exchange for acceding to some part or all of their desired position on gold. But Henry tells me there is none at this time." At some point governments of advanced nations will say "enough" to the covert domination of their controlling bodies by the Federal Reserve, which through manipulation of its gold and money interests, effectively has control over not just the French, but every government which has a monetary basis to its respective economy and a relationship to the US "reserve" currency... Which means virtually every country in the world. The backlash, if and when it occurs, will be memorable. Lastly, the memo presents a useful snapshot into the cloak-and-dagger, and highly nebulous world of Central Bank negotiations and gold price manipulation: "I have a secret understanding in writing with the Bundesbank that Germany will not buy gold, either from the market or from another government, at a price above the official price." So to all conspiracy theorists claiming that gold is being manipulated on a daily basis by the Federal Reserve: when it occurs over and over, and is so well documented, it is no longer a theory, it is merely sad. And the fact that the US government goes to great lengths to hide the illicit dealings of the Federal Reserve, which through its monetary tentacles, has prima facie control over not just US policy but also over sovereign governments, is an unprecedented failure in the checks and balances system that the founding fathers had planned when they created the United States of America. Yet saddest is that the United States no longer pursues strategic goals that are in the best interest of the majority of its citizens, but merely manipulates other, less powerful nations into a servile existence that only provides gain to a very limited subset of the American financial oligarchy. It is time for the Fed's unprecedented control over affairs, both global and domestic, to end. Full memo from Arthur Burns presented, compliments of Geoffrey Batt who collaborated in the creation of this post. http://www.scribd.com/doc/20314099/Fed-Arthur-Burns-on-Gold-6-3-1975 * * * As a post-script to all those complaining about gold, silver and other PM price suppression, here is one simple question: can one buy more gold at $1,600 or at $16,000? This is not a trick question. Average: -- Thanks, Scott

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bad Economic Signs 2012

In January of this year, I wrote an analytic financial piece entitled ‘Baltic Dry Index Signals Renewed Market Collapse’: http://www.alt-market.com/articles/540-baltic-dry-index-signals-renewed-market-collapse In that article I discussed the record breaking low hit by the BDI and its implications for the global economy; namely, that it signaled a steep decline in true demand around the world for raw materials used in the manufacture of consumer goods, and that similar declines in the BDI’s past have almost always prophesized a crisis event in financial markets. The mainstream media attempted to write off the implosion of the BDI as a fluke, tied to the “overproductions of cargo ships”, instead of a warning sign of deteriorating demand. Of course, the past 6 months have proven that assertion to be entirely false. Manufacturing has tumbled in the U.S., the EU, and Asia simultaneously as orders drop back to the dismal levels last seen in 2008-2009 after the credit crisis first took hold: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/01/us-global-economy-idUSBRE85008R20120601 http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/03/news/us-manufacturing-down-20120703 http://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/uk-production-falls-to-three-year-low-as-europe-crisis-worsens/ http://www.tokyotimes.com/2012/weak-demand-in-china-and-europe-hurts-japanese-exports/ Despite the astonishing amount of manipulation that goes into our fiscal system by major banks, there are still a few fundamental rules to economics that never change. The bottom line? Demand around the world is derailing, hinting at a broad spectrum disintegration of public buying power. Where demand goes, so goes the economy. As I have pointed out in the past when explaining the importance of the BDI, crashes in the index are usually made visible on mainstreet around 8 months to a year after the event. That is to say, the economies of multiple nations move into a widely felt crisis event around 8 to 12 months after the BDI crashes. There is a strange delayed reaction between the initial exposure of weakness in the financial system and the public’s realization of the truth, sort of like Wile E. Coyote dashing off a cliff in the cartoons only to continue running in mid-air above the abyss below. It is a testament to the fact that beyond the math, there is an undeniable power of psychology in our economy. The investment world naively believes it can fly, even with the weight of endless debt around its ankles, and for a very short time, that pure delirious oblivious belief sustains the markets. Eventually, though, gravity always triumphs over fantasy… In May, I also discussed the impending disaster in the EU in light of elections which would obviously lead to a clash (or engineered clash) between proponents of austerity and proponents of endless stimulus spending. I suggested that this clash would trigger a possible remodeling or complete breakdown of the European Union in the near future: http://www.alt-market.com/articles/765-economic-alert-if-youre-not-worried-yetyou-should-be Today, I do not think that it would be outlandish to suggest (even to the casual market observer) that the EU has indeed been fractured, though the establishment still strives to maintain the fa├žade. Spain and Italy have both requested bailouts from the ECB, finally exposing a problem which alternative analysts have been warning about for years. While the mainstream media has been bicycle-kicking the long dead horse of Greece, the much more detrimental problems of the rest of the EU have been completely ignored. Only now are investors beginning to understand that there is no such thing as a “Greek Contagion”; the whole of Europe has been quietly suffering through a debt malaise that surpasses the Greek issue. Still, central banks pushed the idea that Greece was the gangrenous toe of the EU, claiming it had to be cured or amputated, or the infection would invade the entire body. The truth is, Europe has been host to a systemic disease from the very beginning. Greece is just a side-note. The UK has openly admitted that it has “returned” to recession. Mass credit downgrades have been issued by S&P and Moody’s in primary EU economies, including France and Spain. Italy’s credit rating has been cut only two notches above junk status and its bond sales have turned to Jell-O. Spain has declared austerity cuts which include the confiscation of employee pension funds. Does this sound like an economic body near “recovery”, as was the rhetoric spouted by the MSM a year ago, or, does it sound like the EU has gone off the deep end? In the meantime, China continues to court their global trading partners with bilateral trade agreements designed to remove the dollar as the world reserve currency, and recent events appear to be hastening this process. With American and European demand faltering, Chinese manufacturers are threatened with an even more severe export breakdown than they saw back in 2008, and so, it is only a matter of time before the BRIC and ASEAN economic blocs fully solidify their trade partnerships outside of the West, and away from the dollar. The year of 2012 has proven to be the most startling as far as financial news has been concerned. Vastly more startling to me than 2008. In 2008, the illusion of bank coherence and government action was carefully molded for the consumption of the masses. The intimate connections between government and corporate fraud were glossed over with expert care. There was an active and methodical effort to make us believe that the problems of 2008 were peripheral, and that the system at its foundation was sound. This time around, the corruption has become utterly blatant and disturbingly nonchalant. There is no attempt on the part of central and corporate banking interests anymore to hide the fact that the entire edifice is a cheap magic trick. In fact, they now parade their distortions as if they are “helping” the country, instead of destroying it. When criminals are no longer concerned with hiding their crimes, it is time for the rest of us to start worrying. That is to say, the current behavior of the establishment leads me to believe that a new phase in the crisis is about to arise. Three recent events in particular (on top of all that has already happened this year) should be noted by those who wish to gauge the acceleration of financial hazard around the world: Multiple Central Banks Issuing Policy Changes Simultaneously Only a week ago, the supposedly independent and sovereign central banks of China, the UK, and the EU made multilateral policy changes including cutting interest rates to zero and reinstituting stimulus measure all within the SAME HOUR of each other: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/05/us-centralbanks-action-idUSBRE8640RN20120705 This is a disturbing and open admission by central banks that they not only dominate the economic structure of their host countries, but they do so in a coordinated fashion. In the past, central bankers have made a point to at least pretend that they do not work in tandem with each other and are not centralized around a global methodology or hierarchy. Today, they do not seem to mind if the public is aware of how they really operate. Some might argue that central banks of individual nations have cooperated in the past, and that this is nothing new. Partly true. Central banks have enacted policy initiatives in tandem with each other before, but usually only after absurd levels fanfare and summits galore. The pageantry of G8’s and G20’s and Davos and any number of other global meetings were a fulcrum point which central banks used to buy political capital with sovereign populations. They had planned to institute these multilateral economic actions anyway, but the pageantry and theater came first. Today, private central banks are taking joint action without ANY public meetings, even fake meetings. I feel that this is the start of an expedited trend towards full centralization of sovereign economies, and that soon, central banks will act as if single broad spectrum global monetary policy measures and global economic governance are legal and “commonplace”. Trade Volume Collapsing The S&P has now generated the worst market volume in over a decade. Small market investors are fleeing in droves away from stocks, leaving only the big players to dominate the field: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-02/volatility-surging-in-s-p-500-with-volume-lowest-in-decade-1-.html This extreme lack of volume will facilitate a return to volatility, and we are about to see the same kind of massive stock spikes and drops that we tasted three years ago. I would like to point out that the Fed, almost religiously, waits until stock markets go into cardiac arrest before announcing new stimulus measures and quantitative easing. They delay until the investment world begs for printing, and then, they give it to them, with a smile. The Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) Scandal Like the bankruptcy of Lehman Bros. that heralded the credit crisis, the Libor Scandal has the potential to rock the pillars of the banking world like nothing I have ever seen before. The average person needs to understand three things about Libor: 1) The manipulation of loans and credit swaps through the Libor interest rate mechanism has allowed big banks to hide the true extend of their incredible debts since the 2008 derivatives implosion. Some mainstream economists are actually calling this a “good thing”, because, according to them, the lie of Libor fooled investors into supporting the markets where they may not have otherwise if they had known the truth. They say the lie “averted Armageddon”. Frankly, this is idiotic. Libor has saved nothing, and the lack of transparency and honesty from corporate banks has only postponed an inevitable calamity which will be even worse now because it was allowed to continue on for years longer than it should have. 2) Barclays and other institutions have claimed that they “had to use Libor fraud”. Why? Because every other major bank used it! Their argument is that they had to lie in order to remain competitive. Even if you buy this rationalization, you have to acknowledge the deeper problem here: Barclays is essentially pointing out that EVERY major bank uses Libor to hide the fact that they are in dire straights. In 2012, the system has openly confessed its own insolvency. You do not need a fortune telling gypsy to predict a major collapse for you; the banks have just told us exactly what is about to happen. 3) Finally, regulators and central banks on both sides of the ocean, from the U.S. to the UK, from the Federal Reserve to the Bank Of England, relent that they KNEW about the Libor fraud being conducted by numerous banks as early as 2008, but kept their mouths shut. This shows not only that central banks have been complicit in financial criminal activities, but governments have played along as well. This fits right in with what I have stated for years: The economic collapse could not possibly be a “random” event. Its culmination requires the collusion of so many corporate and government entities that it would be foolish to call it anything other than conspiracy. So, what comes next? According to the path which I predicted back in January, the economy is near a climax event. Perhaps an announcement of QE3 leading to ugly dollar devaluation, perhaps another bankruptcy by a “too big to fail” conglomerate leading to a firestorm in stocks, or perhaps even the exit of certain countries from the EU. Maybe all of this and more. The point is, keep your eyes fixed on the financial sector as we move into fall and winter. There is a bleak harvest on the horizon… You can contact Brandon Smith at: brandon@alt-market.com

Saturday, July 14, 2012

How Your Bank Account Could Disappear

How Your Bank Account Could Disappear Friday, 13 July 2012 05:23 Jeff Nielson This article was written by Jeff Nielson and originally published at BullionBullsCanada.com On the same morning we hear that ¼ of Wall Street executives think that fraud is a necessary part of “doing business” in the financial sector, we hear of a second “MF Global”. The U.S.’s so-called regulators are now reporting that somewhere around $220 million in customer funds is “missing” at a financial institution known as PFGBest; once again closing the barn door after all the cows have run off. With at least one out of every four bankers at U.S. Big Banks (that’s how many admitted to being crooks in the survey) thinking that stealing is part of their job descriptions, it’s very important for people to realize how little protection there now is between these thieves and your bank accounts. Based on the writing of a number of other individuals with more expertise in these markets, it is apparently an inherently fraudulent banking process known as “rehypothecation” which is allowing the mass-plundering of accounts at U.S. financial institutions, with other Western financial regulatory authorities also rubber-stamping this relatively new form of bankster crime. Rehypothecation is a heinous practice permitted by the pretend-regulators of Western markets, where financial institutions are allowed to pledge their clients’ funds as collateral to cover their own gambling debts. I say “inherently fraudulent” since few of the clients of these financial institutions would ever knowingly enter into contracts with these gambling-addicts where their cash could be used to cover their bankers’ gambling debts. Instead, what is happening here is that the rehypothecation clauses are being buried in the “small print” of these contracts and (obviously) never properly explained to these clients: seemingly textbook fraudulent misrepresentation. The only “advantage” to a client into entering into such a contract is a slight reduction in fees, or slightly improved interest rate – certainly not near enough to entice people into risking some near-100% loss insuring someone else’s gambling debts. So we have our “regulators” (i.e. the only protectors of our funds in the hands of these admitted thieves) giving these fraud-factories the green light to enter into these inherently fraudulent contracts, putting any/all funds of these clients in permanent jeopardy. Thus it’s important to outline how this could happen with ordinary bank accounts. First it must be noted that the Corporate Media (loyal friends of the Big Banks) are referring to this as a “brokerage” problem. Understand that a brokerage is nothing but a legal “bookie”, an entity which takes (and makes) bets, and which must hold the funds of its “customers” in order to do business. Apparently the principal difference now between a “legal” bookie and an “illegal” bookie is that an illegal bookie is much less likely to use his customers’ funds to cover his own bad bets. What people must also understand is that the world’s biggest bookies, indeed, the biggest bookies in the history of the world are the Big Banks themselves (specifically U.S. Big Banks). Most of their gambling is done in their own, rigged casino: the $1.5 quadrillion derivatives market. Note that you won’t see that number quoted by the Corporate Media (any longer). As concern about the size of the bankers’ mountain of bets grew; the bankers asked the Master Bookie – the Bank for International Settlements – to change the “definition” of this market, and instantly the derivatives market shrunk to 1/3rd its former size. As many know, the BIS is known as “the central bank for central banks”. What a smaller number of people know is that this is the world’s great money-laundering vehicle, an entity created just before World War II specifically to allow Western industrialists to continue to do a vast amount of business with Adolph Hitler. In other words, it’s not exactly a reliable source for information. So I choose to use the same numbers that the banksters previously used themselves, before they started getting defensive about the insane amounts of their gambling. We are being led to believe by the Corporate Media (another unreliable source) that this problem is only a risk for all individuals with “brokerage” accounts, however as we piece together all the pieces of the puzzle (already revealed) this is what we see before us: 1) Our banking regulators knowingly allow financial institutions to engage in recklessly misleading (if not outright fraudulent) contracts with their clients, through the use of complex “small print” in their account contracts with clients. 2) The three largest U.S. “banks” by deposit (JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup) have made bets in their own rigged casino, which total well in excess of $100 trillion, an amount which completely dwarfs their total, combined deposits (and assets). 3) A large portion of those bets occur in the $60+ trillion credit default swap market. Pay-outs in these markets can (and do) exceed 300 times the amount of the original bet. It is bets in this market which “blew up” AIG, requiring more than $150 billion in immediate government aid. 4) Following the Crash of ’08; these same banks mooched a package of hand-outs, tax-breaks and “guarantees” (i.e. future hand-outs) from the Bush regime in excess of $15 trillion, the last time their gambling debts went bad on them – and all of these banks have been allowed to dramatically increase the total amount of their gambling since then. 5) It would take only a minor change in the gambling contracts in which these bankers engage to allow their creditors to seize funds out of ordinary bank accounts. 6) The existing language for the bank accounts of these U.S. banks is possibly already so vague (and prejudicial to clients) that it would allow these banks to reinterpret the terms of these bank accounts – and allow rehypothecation to be used to rob the holders of ordinary bank accounts, people who themselves make no “bets” in markets whatsoever. Alternately, customers could be blitzed with an offer for “new and improved” bank accounts, where terms allowing rehypothecation are slipped into the contract, with the banks knowing that the “regulators” will do nothing to warn account-holders of the gigantic risk they are taking. The same media apologists who would scoff at this suggestion are the same shills who claimed “there could never be another MF Global”. Meanwhile we have the biggest gambler of them all, JP Morgan, just confessing to having made more of these bad bets – which continue growing larger by the $billion. When we add-in the fact that the U.S.’s mark-to-fraud accounting rules mean that these banks are easily able to hide the level of their insolvency, the pretend-regulators apparently don’t have the slightest idea of the level of risk to which account-holders are being exposed. This is the charitable explanation for these facts. The alternative interpretation is that these “regulators” are direct accomplices of the criminal banking cabal. I have consistently referred to the U.S. financial sector as a “crime syndicate” for several years now, often drawing considerable criticism for supposedly hyperbolic rhetoric. Obviously I have been completely vindicated here. One quarter of these bankers are now confessed thieves. The pretend-regulators (notably the SEC and CFTC) on a daily basis rubber-stamp the banksters’ acts of fraud (where they are caught red-handed) – handing out totally trivial fines, and not even requiring these thieves to admit their guilt. If there are any substantive differences between how the U.S. financial sector is allowed to operate versus any generic definition of a “crime syndicate”, it would be enlightening to hear what those (supposed) differences are. And now these thieves are closer than ever to simply reaching into peoples’ bank accounts and grabbing every dollar they can steal. The principal reason why I and others have urged people to convert their banker-paper to gold and silver in the past was the 1,000 year track-record of these bankers’ paper, fiat currencies always going to zero (through the bankers recklessly diluting these currencies via over-printing). However, we can add to that a much more basic reason: every ounce of gold and silver which you purchase (and store in your own home “safe” or other secure location) is wealth which cannot be stolen by the banking crime syndicate. This is what commentators are really referring to when they speak of “counterparty risk”: placing your future financial security in someone else’s hands. What the large financial institutions of the 21st century have taught us (through the cruel “lessons” of their serial crimes) is that there is no one in the world whom you can trust less with your money than a banker.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ron Paul, when asked if we should start a third party said maybe we should start a second party first.

It is an absolute fact that no matter which of the two major parties in Washington, D.C., is in power, the freedoms and liberties of the American people continue to be eroded. However, this does NOT mean that there are not basic differences between the two parties. The two parties differ greatly on HOW government will take our liberties. Where they are similar is in the fact that neither of them has any interest in preserving liberty. Until the American people awaken to this reality, whatever freedoms we have left in this country are doomed. Let me ask you a question: does it really matter whether a free man is enslaved by a socialist state or a fascist state? Are the prisons any more accommodating? Are the lashes from the whip any less painful? Is the agony of losing a loved one any less grievous? Is the persecution any less revolting? What difference does it make to a free man if his liberties are stolen by an Adolf Hitler or by a Joseph Stalin? Do you want a quick reference to the difference between how the Democrats and Republicans in Washington, D.C., are stealing our liberties? When the Democrats control things, America gets more socialism; when the Republicans control things, America gets more corporatism, which is a polite word for fascism. Socialism requires government to own everything, while fascism requires government to control everything. And remember, too, fascists and socialists have always hated each other. Big deal! Fascists and socialists alike hate freedomists, which is why inside-the-beltway Repubs and Dems can’t stand people like Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and yours truly. (Remember the MIAC report identifying the three of us, and our supporters, as being potential “dangerous militia” members?) So who cares which of these two parties happens to be in power? Our freedoms continue to be under siege. That’s why the battle in Washington politics has nothing to do with preserving freedom, but everything to do with HOW government will take freedom. Will they take it by ownership or by control? And, unfortunately, what we have right now is the worst of both worlds: government is using a combination of both ownership and control to steal our liberties. Why? Because except for a very precious few elected civil magistrates (like Congressman Ron Paul), there is no one on Capitol Hill or the White House who remotely understands--or fights for--the principles of liberty. Even worse is that when the Donkeys and the Elephants do agree, it almost always is in an effort to point the bayonets at the American citizenry. What does it matter whether government owns it or controls it? What does it matter whether it more resembles socialism of corporatism? What it doesn’t look anything like, is FREEDOM! Take the Democrat/Republican debate over Obamacare. Even if Mitt Romney and the GOP prevail in the November elections, Obamacare will be replaced with Romneycare. And Romneycare will be 85% Obamacare, with a slight shift toward government control and a slight shift away from government ownership. Again, I say, BIG DEAL! What neither party is talking about is that the federal government has no business being in health care. Period! Just like the federal government has no business being in over 90% of everything it is involved in today. But who do you hear saying that in Washington, D.C., except Ron Paul? Take the issue of the burgeoning surveillance society. What does it matter which major party is in power in Washington, D.C.? The TSA gets more and more obnoxiously tyrannical; abuses of civil liberties under the guise of fighting a “war on drugs” continues unabated; abuses of the Bill of Rights under the guise of fighting a “war on terror” continues unabated; the federal police state continues to grow exponentially; unconstitutional foreign entanglements continue to proliferate; ad infinitum, ad nauseam. In a book that I have recommended numerous times, “Hitler’s Cross,” Erwin Lutzer writes on page 72, “Through surveillance, wiretaps, spying, and rewarding those who betrayed their friends, Hitler tried to control the citizens of Germany.” On page 73, Lutzer continues the thought saying, “But Hitler did not have the technology to bring every subject of his realm into line.” So, given the technology that is available today, what would Hitler do differently if he were running things in Washington, D.C.? I ask readers to think seriously about that question. What would Hitler do differently? Today, the federal government monitors virtually every piece of electronic communication. The federal government monitors virtually every major banking transaction. It has spies infiltrated in even harmless organizations all over the country. It threatens people with the loss of their jobs or freedom (or both) to betray their friends. It spies on us with satellites; it spies on us with drones. On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed an Executive Order authorizing the federal government to take control of America’s entire communications industry. In 2006, under President George W. Bush, the US military began planning armed confrontation against the American citizenry. (I have the document in my possession.) And, of course, we must not overlook the Patriot Act which has been authorized and reauthorized under both Republicans and Democrats; the Military Commission Act which was signed by G.W. Bush; NDAA 2012 and 2013 which was signed by President Barack Obama, and which was passed by both Republicans and Democrats. And let’s not forget the federal attack against the Branch Davidians under Democrats Bill Clinton and Janet Reno, and the assault against the Randy Weaver household under Republican President George Herbert Walker Bush. So, again, pick your poison. Both the socialist-leaning Democrats and the corporatist-leaning Republicans in Washington, D.C., meet together in pointing the bayonet against the American citizenry. And you really wonder why nothing significant changes in this country? And in this regard, the platforms of the two major parties are completely meaningless! I dare say that Barack Obama has never read the Democrat platform and doesn’t care one iota what it says. I also guarantee you that Mitt Romney hasn’t read the Republican platform and doesn’t care one iota what it says either. Can anyone remember when Republican Presidential candidate, Bob Dole, in a rare moment of candor, publicly admitted that he had not read his party’s platform and didn’t care what it said? Party platforms are for the benefit of rank and file party members to make them feel like their ideas count for something to the party leadership. They don’t! So, do the Democrats and Republicans in Washington, D.C., differ? Yes! They differ on how our freedoms will be taken from us. They differ on the degree of government ownership and control. They differ on the nuances of political tyranny. Where they are twins is in their lust and ambition for power, in their approval of stripping more and more freedoms from the American people, and in their absolute and total disregard for constitutional government. Without some sort of “Great Awakening” both politically and spiritually, whatever is left of our liberties is doomed--and both major parties in Washington, D.C., are equally culpable. *If you appreciate this column and want to help me distribute these editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may now be made by credit card, check, or Money Order. Use this link: http://chuckbaldwinlive.com/home/?page_id=19

Inside the Beltway: Choosing the dream

Can Americans discern between the “dreams” of President Obama and those of the Founding Fathers? The makers of the upcoming documentary film “2016: Obama’s America” hope so. “I’ve got a strong desire to defend against the changes in our culture, our life, our laws, our freedom. We now have someone in office who has professed a desire for change, and this has disturbed me,” producer Gerald R. Molen tells Inside the Beltway. Mr. Molen, 77, is the Hollywood heavyweight and Oscar-winning producer behind “Schindler’s List,” “Rain Man,”and “Jurassic Park” among many other blockbusters. But he prefers life in Montana to that in Tinseltown, and as a former U.S. Marine, he has a strong memory of a traditional, cheerful, can-do America. He’s also not too keen on Mr. Obama’s penchant to “go around Congress,” among other things. “We don’t have an imperial presidency. He’s not the king,” Mr. Molen says. Above all, he hopes the film will jar a passive audience with proof of the political and cultural change that may not be for the better in the long run. “I hope people find out that it’s time to do their own research, get involved and ask this question: What kind of country do we want?” the producer says, predicting that public reaction to the project “will come alive” once the film is released nationwide July 27. The documentary itself is based on conservative author Dinesh D'Souza’s best-seller “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” published last year. “All Americans want the same kind of country. Being united would be wonderful. But we’re divided now, and it’s frightening,” Mr. Molen says. Is there similar fare to come - perhaps another documentary meant to detect dangerous fissures in the bedrock of America? “I hope it’s not necessary for me to stay in this genre. But if the need arises, I’m there. I’ll stand up,” Mr. Molen says. THE CHENEY TOUCH It is a meeting of the minds amid spectacular scenery and sumptuous mountain lodges. On Thursday, former Vice President Dick Cheney will open the doors to his own home near Jackson Hole, Wyo., to host a campaign fundraiser for Mitt Romney. There’s a preliminary reception at Teton Pines Country Club, where the fare typically includes such delicacies as bacon-wrapped tiger prawns upon cheddar cheese grits and “sterling silver” beef tenderloins. The reception will be followed by a private dinner with Mr. Cheney and Mr. Romney, attended by notables from the oil, agriculture and venture-capitalist realms. “It’s the old guard handing off the torch to the new guard here,” Republican strategist Ron Bonjean tells the Beltway. “They share a philosophy. A new Romney administration would follow the same Republican principles. And it would definitely foster a new age as well.” But there’s never a dull moment, even in the towering Tetons. Protesters lurk: a counterrally is planned at a nearby crossroads. Organizers are described as “local rabble-rousers and non-Republicans” by Jake Nichols, a columnist for Planet Jackson Hole, an independent paper. “Maybe a Romney effigy will be in order,” he predicts, adding, “Mitt masks will be distributed. Participants are urged to follow a code of conduct and dress in a patriotic manner ” And among their protest signs: “Romney: Government of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent, and for the 1 percent.” BROADCAST FATIGUE “Americans’ confidence in television news is at a new low, with 21 percent of adults expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it. This marks a decline from 27 percent last year and from 46 percent when Gallup started tracking confidence in television news in 1993,” says Gallup analyst Lymari Morales. It’s tough all over. “Liberals and moderates lost so much confidence in television news this year - 11 and 10 points, respectively - that their views are now more akin to conservatives’ views,” the analyst says. Actually, their views are worse: 19 percent of liberals, 20 percent of moderates and 22 percent of conservatives say they still have that coveted confidence. COW POLICE Remember all the alarmist claims that cow flatulence causes global warming? Now it’s the cows who are victims. A line from a new University of Washington study tells all: “Got milk? Climate change means stressed cows in southern U.S. may have less.” Lead author and economist Yoram Bauman, who compared high-resolution climate data and county-level dairy industry data, presents his findings Friday at the 4th International Conference on Climate Change. HOLA, AMERICA “Quiero decirles como es mi padre, Mitt Romney. El es un hombre de grandes convicciones.” (Translated: “I want to tell you about my father, Mitt Romney. He is a man of great convictions”). And so says Craig Romney in a new Spanish-language campaign spot on behalf of his father. The bilingual Craig Romney, the youngest of the five Romney sons, learned the language as a missionary in Chile. The campaign also has launched a new website to woo the Hispanic voting bloc, which numbers about 31 million registered voters. The feisty new site is www.juntosconromney.com — the address meaning “Together with Romney.” POLL DU JOUR • 36 percent of Americans say President Obama is “very liberal”; 20 percent say he is liberal; 21 percent say he is moderate. • 17 percent are not sure of his ideology; 4 percent say the president is conservative; 1 percent, “very conservative.” • 28 percent say Mitt Romney is conservative; 19 percent say he is “very conservative”; 24 percent say he is moderate. • 23 percent are unsure of his ideology; 4 percent say Mr. Romney is liberal; 2 percent, “very liberal.” • 33 percent of American currently describe themselves as political moderates. • 24 percent are conservative; 9 percent are “very conservative.” *11 percent are liberal; 8 percent are “very liberal”; 16 percent are “not sure” of their ideology. Source: The Economist/YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted July 7-9.