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.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Who Is Ultimately Behind the Mass Death and Destruction Coming to America?

Jan, 2015
by Dave Hodges

I never would have believed that I would see the events of today’s world racing towards Armageddon in the truest and Biblical sense of the term/place. However, where humanity is at is undeniable. Putin has been placed, by the bankers, in a position to win World War III and at the same time, America has been placed in a position of certain defeat by its own leadership. Eliminating America’s freedoms and its spirit of entrepreneurial independence must be extinguished before ushering in the final push for the full establishment of the New World Order can be completed.

In the first part in this series, I detailed how Putin is preparing to defeat the United States in World War III. The Federal Reserve and the other Western central bankers may be the antagonist in world affairs in places like Ukraine, but this is a meaningless debate about who is right. This article will dispel the myth that there is such a thing as the moral high ground as the world moves towards World War III. What is coming is about power, not morality. And the only thing that you have control over is the final destination of your soul and that is where any moral debate should be centered. I strongly suggest that each individual make peace with God because this is where most of us are likely headed.

The Starting Point

In the independent media, many make the mistake of speaking about the “banksters” as if they were one entity all working towards the same goal which is the establishment of a singular economic system which controls the planet through rabid debt management. Generally, this is true. However, the process of international banking is compartmentalized and when goals are not met, we see divisions emerging and this is exactly what we are witnessing at the present moment.

Before we can effectively analyze how Putin is in the process of putting himself in charge of the world’s chessboard, we need to first take a very brief look at how international banking is organized.

Level One: The Bank of International Settlement

International banking has three major levels. The executive directors of this grand economic scheme, the Bank of International Settlement, from Basel, sit at the head of the table. The BIS sets global economic policy by manipulating currency exchange rates (e.g. IMF), establish lending rates, picking national winners and losers, etc. The singular mission of the BIS is to march the world’s central banks into the New World Order that they control. And just who are these people. Some call them the Rothschild’s but this goes much deeper.

It can be said that the forces, both known and unknown, are the economic rulers of the planet. These people control the Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Monetary Fund which sets the rates of currency exchange, the World Bank, the Club of Rome, the United Nations, etc.

What do all of these entities have in common as a philosophy? Their think tank groups are the originators of Agenda 21, sustainable development and the depopulation agenda which seeks to reduce the size of the population by 90%. Why? Because they seek to install a planetary government and a one world economic system and they feel they need the population to be greatly reduced in order to effectively manage their idea of Utopia. The system they seek to install is inspired and devoted to Satan. Yes, at its heart, the battle for the control of this planet is spiritual at its root. The people connected to the BIS are indeed evil to the core. Please consider the following quotes from the United Nations Agenda 21 brain trust which support their depopulation agenda:

“The present vast overpopulation, now far beyond the world carrying capacity, cannot be answered by future reductions in the birth rate due to contraception, sterilization and abortion, but must be met in the present by the reduction of numbers presently existing. This must be done by whatever means necessary.”

Initiative for the United Nations ECO-92 EARTH CHARTER

“One America burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say in order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.”

Jacques Cousteau, UNESCO Courier

“A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society at the present North American material standard of living would be 1 billion. At the more frugal European standard of living, 2 to 3 billion would be possible.”

United Nations, Global Biodiversity Assessment

“A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline would be ideal.”

Ted Turner, founder of CNN and major United Nations contributor

Most of the recent human history, post-1900 to the present, is dedicated to the planetary unification of every resource, institution, power base, religion under the Satanist philosophy of the BIS creation. Their final push for planetary unification under their control commenced with extreme debt enslavement which has impoverished the central banks and ultimately the nation states that these central banks control.

The credit swap derivatives debt was the creation of the BIS. It enticed the central banks to make some very easy money by participating in the latest of their ponzi schemes. A few of the brokers and bankers which participated in the credit swap derivatives, made a lot of money. However, central bankers were lured into this practice like a bunch of crack cocaine addicts and their staggering money losses led to the need for the infamous bail-outs, the encroaching bail-ins, the MERS mortgage fraud and on and on… Today, the derivatives debt totals $1.5 quadrillion dollars and the interest associated with this debt is growing faster than nations can steal money from their people to pay the debt. And what do central banks and the nations that they control do when they cannot pay their bills after stealing as much as they can from the citizens? They go to war! An economic collapse will trigger martial law. All opposition to a World War will be eliminated and World War III will commence.

The unfolding New World Order will lead this planet into a war in which most will die. There will be no civil liberties. You will buy and sell using the mark. There will be no open practicing of Christianity. There will be FEMA Camps with all of their intended purpose and it is all Satanically inspired.

“No one will enter the New World Order unless he or she will make a pledge to worship Lucifer. No one will enter the New Age unless he will take a Luciferian Initiation.”

David Spangler, Director of Planetary Initiative, United Nations

If the globalists are able to carry out their sociopathic agenda, they will create a world that none of us have any desire to live in. The specter of transhumanism will come out of the closet and rear its ugly head. Since the globalists have not learned to harness the soul, transhumanism is their default position. In the final stages, the human race would seek to exist as we know it, if it were not for the divine intervention of Jesus in the Second Coming.

Level Two of the Power Structure: The Central Banks

The second level of power on this planet consists of the global central banks including the Federal Reserve which is an unelected cabal of private bankers who have wrestled the financial power of this country away from Congress and control the nation’s money. It is the same in every country. And of course, if an entity controls the money of a nation, they also control those who use their money through the establishment of a predatory debt enslavement system. You learned this principle of finance as a teenager when your parents told you, “For as long as you live under this house, you will do what I say.” The power of the purse determines who controls behavior. The world’s central banks take their marching orders from the Bank of International Settlements because the monetization of the fiat currency that each central bank controls is determined by the BIS.

The BIS has placed the central banks on Sun Tsu’s infamous concept of “death’s ground”. The debt owed to the BIS has made the central banks desperate. This is why they are engaged in stealing all that they can from the citizens of their respective countries. Their final step is to prey upon each other as a means to acquire assets in order to stay one step ahead of the proverbial burning bridge.

It can be accurately stated that the central banks are rulers of nations and represent mid-level management in the hierarchy of the process. They will be the ones who will ultimately steal all of your assets, sacrifice your children in the upcoming World War III and they will bring the world to the brink of annihilation. The central bankers are desperate because they owe a derivatives debt equivalent to 16 times the entire value of the planet. If it is your fate to die in World War III, I thought you had the right to understand the forces at work.

It is interesting that when the proverbial poop hits the fan, the people will blame their neighborhood banks. They will string up a few bankers as if these are the people to blame.

Level Three: The National Banking Industry

BANKSTERS AThe third level of power in this unholy system are the financial institutions of a nation. In our case, this would be institutions such as Goldman Sachs, other lesser Wall Street investment houses as well as the megabanks (e.g. Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, etc.). Policies that are developed in Basel are implemented by these institutions.

The investment houses conduct the day to day management of the polices which flow downhill from the BIS.

Finally, there is everybody else and that would be the sheep of this country who know nothing of how any of this works. Don’t hold your breath on a sudden level of developing awareness, most of us are all too brainwashed by the system to achieve this level of awareness.

Putin vs. the Western Bankers

Yesterday, I wrote an article which detailed 30 ways that Putin is preparing to militarily defeat the United States. The article was solely written about Russian military preparedness and a number of people wanted to turn the topic into a moral debate. The amount of Putin cult followers in the United States is mind-boggling as they are gulping the KoolAid from this despot.

The moral argument looks like this. The western banking establishment (BIS) controls Obama and all the key points of government. They control the price of oil, the price of gold and the enactment of financial policies designed to plunge the world into a war of final unification. Putin and the BRICS are using gold as their medium of exchange. Putin has rebuilt the Russian economy based upon energy and gold. And who controls the price of energy and gold on this planet? It is none other than the proxy institutions of the BIS. Putin is just as much under control of these unholy bankers as is Obama and the rest of the West.

Most know how we got to where we are today as Putin attacked the Petrodollar by getting Iran to sell oil for gold. The West retaliates by starting a CIA led revolution in Ukraine. The BIS forces the price of oil to plunge in further retaliation. This forces Putin to use his gold reserves. He retaliates by shutting off the gas to Europe, thus placing millions of innocents at risk. Putin readies for war that he knows is coming. In this scenario, Putin is pitted against the central banks of the West.

The failure of the central banks to corral and control Putin has made World War III the only game in town. As Putin continues on the path of destroying the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, what will the Federal Reserve do? There will be a war to preserve the status quo. As China, Russia and the United States are drawn into a confrontation, the world’s economy will be obliterated along with billions of lives. In the aftermath of the coming global holocaust, the supreme financial rulers of the planet will be waiting to create order, the New World Order, out of chaos. All of these parties are pawns of the BIS.

Putin is a willing pawn of the New World Order. Putin is no more of a hero than is Obama. He is doing exactly what is expected. Make no mistake about, the BIS controls the central banks, world finance and Putin. And we are headed down the path towards World War III, the final war of planetary unification.

A Specific Word to All American Citizens

One fact I neglected to mention, in yesterday’s article on Putin’s military preparations to win World War III, has to do with where he is getting his money to carry out his military buildup. The Rubble is in shambles and Putin is racing through his gold supplies to compensate for falling oil prices which has rendered his stash of oil to be worthless. How could Putin be spending what is approaching a trillion dollars on military hardware? With his economy in distress, there is only one place that he could turn to in order to borrow the money needed to do what he is doing militarily. He is undoubtedly borrowing this money from the bankers at the BIS.

As Putin is preparing to win World War III, America has been set up to lose and this will be the topic of next part in this series. Therefore, as an American citizen, you may wish to reconsider your cult-like allegiance to Putin. In order to keep his country afloat, this former KGB/Russian Mafia thug will think nothing of standing over the mass graves of American citizens as Putin fights for his survival.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Should Christians Obey Criminal Government?

Should Christians Obey Criminal Government?

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." —Romans 13:1

“We have not government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” —U.S. President John Adams

It is tragic that most Bible-believing Christians today are misguided concerning Biblical submission to government. God never intended for Christians to blindly yield to government tyranny, blatant abusive of power and treason against it's own citizens. What ever happened to the Bill of Rights?

America's founding father's took matters into their own hands, reviling and revolting against the higher powers. The overthrow of British rule by America's founding father's violates the philosophy of nearly every pastor and Bible-scholar today, who teach that Christians ought to unquestioningly submit to government. Hypocritically, these same religious leaders heartily enjoy freedoms which were secured only through bloodshed inflicted by rebellion and revolt against the abuse and tyranny of the higher powers (i.e., England). Freedom isn't free!!!

Interpreting Romans 13:1-3 in Proper Biblical Context

Romans 13:1-3 reads:

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same."

Please notice... "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil." This phrase is critically important because it reveals the context in which the Bible is speaking, i.e., appropriate government is only a terror to evil works; but not to good works. Good government is NOT a terror to good works. In other words, when a government is run amuck with crime, tyranny and injustice, we are not Biblically obligated to submit anymore. The Apostle Paul deliberately broke the law. Acts 18:13, “Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.” We ought to obey God rather than men. Thus, sometimes Christians must rebel against man in order to obey God. To teach otherwise is to condemn America's founding father's, who if they hadn't revolted, there would be no America today. Think about that.

Communism is a terror to good works. When Daniel was told it was against the law to pray to God, he prayed anyhow (Daniel 6:10). When Meshach, Shadrach, and Abed-nego were commanded to bow to Nebuchadnezzar's 90-foot golden statue, they broke the king's law by refusing to bow (Daniel 3:18). When Herod ordered the 3 wise men to return with information regarding the whereabouts of the Christ child, they didn't return. It takes a good man to break laws made by bad men. Romans 13:1-3 commands believers to obey the "higher powers" as long as the rulers are a terror to evil works, and not to good. God is the highest power. Acts 5:29 plainly states... "We ought to obey God rather than men."

In December of 1993, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno made the following shocking statement...

"Waiting periods are only a step. Registration is only a step. The prohibition of private firearms is the goal." —Former U.S. Attorney General, Janet Reno

So much for the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, i.e., the right to bear arms. Are you going to surrender your firearms? Is this pleasing to God... to voluntarily get on the train to Auschwitz? The bigger questions is: What are they planning on doing to us that would make us want to have guns? Why are they building concentration camps in America? I ask you... where, at what point, do we as believers have a God-given “right” to defend and fight to retain our freedoms; when we see the whites of their eyes? ...

(I would also add Luke 22:36)
Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword (side-arm), let him sell his garment, and buy one.
(side-arm is the sword of the day (that could be a handgun or a AR-15, tomorrow something else), also remember that Simon Peter and some other apostles were carrying Roman swords, that were Illegal under Roman Law, and when Jesus told Simon Peter to return his side-arm to his sheath (holster), He did not say discard it. John 18:10-11 )

"Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes." (William Prescott, Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775)

Well, even the founding fathers of America weren't stupid enough to surrender their firearms. I'm tired of reading books by Christian leaders, about how believers are supposed to blindly submit to criminal government, when the very existence of “The Land Of The Free” was secured through revolt, resistance, and bloodshed. How hypocritical. Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God! There is a theology of cowardliness circulating in many of our churches today, making excuses and explaining away Scriptures, in an attempt to exempt themselves from the call to battle.

"...Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?" —Numbers 32:6

Freedom verses Rights

Although God created mankind with the freedom to make his own choices; God never intended for man to have the "right" to be immoral. All sin is immoral. God "commandeth all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:30). Liberty is a gift from God. Liberty is the gift of God to make our own decisions. Freedom is a reward for making the right decision.

We hear a lot nowadays about a woman's "right to choose"; but what about the baby's "right to life"? It's a baby, not a choice! What makes the mother's life any more precious or valuable than the infants life? The abortion "pro-choice" mentality is synonymous with the same attitude which Nazi's like Adolf Hitler had, i.e., that certain classes of people are higher (better) than others in the evolutionary process, and therefore, have a right to kill off the weaker class. Please read, Devilution. There is much talk about legalizing infanticide (killing children out of the womb).

Abortion is an evil work. Just because the government allows such wickedness doesn't make it right in God's eyes. Just because pornography, booze, fornication and casino gambling are allowable by law doesn't make it morally acceptable to God. Just because California's Supreme Court just ruled that gay-marriage is legal won't make them legitimate marriages in God's eyes. The only "gay-marriage" is between and man and a woman. Remember, God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Homosexuality is a work of the Devil, which degrades humanity lower than animals. No wonder NDAA was just passed into law.

The government can pass all the laws it wants granting sinners the freedom to sin, but God's Law still condemns them (Romans 1:32). No one has a God-given "right" to be immoral. God has the right to decide what is right. Much immorality and wickedness has been allowed in the name of "equal rights." Equal rights with who, the Devil? It all boils down to whether a nation truly has faith in God or not. Freedom, prosperity and faith in God are inseparable, as failed Communist societies have proven. Our founding fathers never intended for separation of Church and State to mean separation of God and State. God is supposed to be in government. 2nd Samuel 23:3, “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.”

Thinking Outside the Box

It's high time for Christian believers to start thinking for themselves, instead of solely relying on Bible-scholars, commentaries and such to educate them. I'm not against Bible-study aids; but today's theologians have been tainted with Zionism, perverted bibles, ecumenism, and a blind loyalty to government. We need to use some common sense when studying the Bible, because God is not a nut. Do you really think God wants you to submit to evil government? Would you have handed over your child to be slaughtered by Pharaoh? (Exodus 1:22), or would you have rebelled as Moses mother did (Exodus 2:2,3) when she hid Moses? She broke the law.

One must reconcile Romans 13:1-3 with such Scriptures as Psalm 94:16, "Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?" Does this not include evildoers in government? re we only supposed to rise up against workers of iniquity who don't hold a government office?

It was Adolf Hitler who said...

"What luck for the rulers that men do not think." —Adolf Hitler

Ruthless dictators like Adolf Hitler would absolutely love the attitudes of most pastors and Bible-teachers in America today, who believe that Christians ought to unquestioningly submit to every form of government. For those who want to have their minds filled with brainwashing propaganda, to become bonafied idiots, be sure to watch FoxNews every day. For the truth, you've found my website ministry.

“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis — a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? And they are not to be violated but with His wrath.” —U.S. President Thomas Jefferson

The Apostle Paul and Ananias

But you say, what about Acts 23:1-5 where the Apostle Paul apologized for speaking out against the high priest, Ananias? Upon careful study of this Scripture passage, it is evident that Paul realized his mistake to threaten violence against the high priest (i.e., "God shall smite thee"); but Paul in no way was wrong to assert his rights as a Roman citizen. Paul defended his "rights" as a Roman citizen in Acts 22:25 (also, see Acts 16:37), and again as a "free born" citizen of Rome in Acts 22:28. Certainly, it would be an injustice to the Scriptures to claim that Paul was willing to remain silent and passive concerning the violation of his "rights" as a Roman citizen.

Please read, What Does Acts 23:1-5 Mean?

When Will People Wake Up?

“Communism is not [and never was] a creation of the masses to overthrow the Banking establishment, but rather a creation of the Banking establishment to overthrow and enslave the people.” —Anthony J. Hilder

Please read: Communism & NWO—Wall Street's Utopian Hoax! The Banking Cartel (who own and control the Federal Reserve Bank) are evil to the core. Here's a free eye-opening video about the criminals who own the Federal Reserve System... The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Lecture on the Federal Reserve (download: Real Audio | MP3). G. Edward Griffin exposes the most blatant scam of all history. It’s all here: the cause of wars, boom-bust cycles, inflation, depression, prosperity. Again, let me quote to you one of the most ruthless mass murderers who ever lived, Adolf Hitler:

"Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise." —Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" (1926)

Woe unto America, for we are an ignorant, sinfully proud, stiffnecked people! Love for sin always causes a society to become apathetic and complacent concerning morality, justice and freedom. It's high time for America's Christians to wake up, because America is largely Communist today and few people realize it.

Please read: Biblical Submission to Government.

It was Patrick Henry who said: "Give me liberty or give me death." I agree.

Here are some words of wisdom by Evangelist John R. Rice...

"As an honest Bible preacher, obeying the plain commands of God, I must speak out against corruption and immorality. Waste, corruption, the taking of men's freedom and the seizing of men's property, these sins every honest preacher must condemn and every honest Christian must disavow.

SOURCE: Dr. Rice... Here Are More Questions, by John R. Rice, pg. 249, Sword Of The Lord Publishers (1973)

As Christians, we must consider that OUR government does what they do in OUR name and with OUR money; therefore it is OUR business.

Any Effort To Restore Liberty Without Morality Is Anarchy

The U.S. Constitution is also a higher power than the federal government, intended to preserve our freedoms and prevent corruption through a series of checks and balances. Unfortunately, even the U.S. Constitution cannot benefit an immoral people.

Our First President who had presided over the Constitutional Convention in his farewell address declared, "

“Reason and experience forbid us to expect public morality in the absence of religious principal.” —U.S. President George Washington

Our Second President, John Adams, whose wisdom was key to the drafting of our Constitution said...

“We have not government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” —U.S. President John Adams

What a true statement! Now you know why our nation has fallen apart politically, morally, economically and in every other way. Ultimately we will fail if God is not with us in our pursuit to restore liberty. Without God on our side, we are doomed. No amount of human effort is going to deliver us from bondage if we continue to embrace wickedness.

Adolf Hitler voted MAN OF THE YEAR by Time Magazine in 1938, and Joseph Stalin in 1942!

Every Generation Must Rediscover the Truth!

Obama Security Proposals 'Will Create Cyber Police State'

Obama delivers a range of proposed updates to internet security law – Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Thomas Fox-Brewster
Forbes Staff

Yesterday, President Obama announced plans to “modernize” laws supposed to protect innocents from cyber attacks like the one that tore Sony Pictures apart towards the end of last year. But according to security experts, the proposed legislation could be used against anyone with the slightest link to digital crime.

Central to the problems with the recommended updates to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) are vague terms that could easily be interpreted to prosecute innocents, no matter how weak their links to actual criminal activity. Anyone who “intentionally exceeds authorized access to a protected computer, and thereby obtains information from such computer” could be charged. That sounds acceptable on first inspection, but the definition of “exceeds authorized access” includes using a computer with proper authorization “to obtain or alter information” the relevant party is not entitled to look at, “or for a purpose that the accesser knows is not authorized by the computer owner”.

This muddled legalese would seemingly allow for very broad application by lawyers. Rob Graham, from Errata Security, suggested anyone clicking on a link to leaked data would be deemed in breach of the law. If this was applied to those who rummaged through Sony Pictures’ data, leaked after a catastrophic attack in November, thousands could have been arrested, including your reporter.

But even those who send a link to certain kinds of information, or transmit passwords that aren’t their own, would likely break the CFAA too. Any party who “knowingly and willfully” sent a “password or similar information, or any other means of access” to a computer, “knowing or having reason to know that a protected computer would be accessed or damaged without authorization” would have committed an illegal act, under Obama’s proposals.

Another of Obama’s recommendations could see offenses covered by the CFAA included in prosecutions under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. According to Graham, just being linked to a hacker group would land you in danger of a 20-year prison sentence. As many innocent researchers and interested parties hang around in the same chatrooms and forums as criminal hackers, this could again ensnare many who don’t deserve to have their online activities criminalised.

The US government has seemingly offered some compromises, one being the addition that only those who illegally obtained information worth more than $5,000 could be prosecuted. That should lead to limits on the number of those who could be charged for, say, sending a link to leaked passwords. But it’s easy to ratchet up the value of data, especially if the information provides access to accounts. Not to mention the increase of a maximum penalty for circumventing access controls from five to ten years.

All this isn’t dissimilar from what the law says in the UK. For instance, under the Computer Misuse Act, those who access material they “know” they haven’t been authorised to see can be hit with a six months jail sentence or a £5000 fine. “It was considered poorly thought through at the time… The US is just proposing the same thing. I wish there were more digitally literate folk in parliament,” said professor Alan Woodward WWD -2.13%, a security expert from the University of Surrey.

The CFAA has already caused plenty of consternation amongst professional hackers, better known as penetration testers, who seek to find weaknesses in digital tools to encourage speedy resolutions. Forbes has previously heard complaints from the security community researchers have been threatened with legal action for simply doing their job. “Protecting computers often means attacking them. The more you crack down on hackers, the more of a chilling effect you create in our profession. This creates an open-door for nation-state hackers and the real cybercriminals,” Graham said.

“If this comes true, it’s going to have a devastating effect on the offensive security industry, as developing or even just being in possession of a copy of a security testing tool such as Metasploit could potentially be interpreted as conspiracy to commit a crime,” added Andreas Lindh, a consultant for I Secure Sweden.

Others are a little less pessimistic. Jon Oberheide, co-founder of Duo Security, said he didn’t believe the changes would have “a significant impact on researchers’ ability or appetite to do what they do”. “Cyber security law is out-dated and already has a lot of grey area. But the written letter of the law is a minor aspect compared to how that law is put into practice and prosecuted. Security researchers care much more about the implementation of the law than the text,” he told Forbes. “After all, we make a living poking holes in implementations, even if they have secure designs. So unless security researchers start being prosecuted, I don’t think many will blink.”

A number of high profile cases have tested the adequacy of the CFAA. The late freedom of speech and open internet activist Aaron Swartz was prosecuted for downloading files from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) he believed should have been open to all. Defenders of Barrett Brown believe he has been kept in jail for simply copying a link related to the breach of US government contractor Stratfor from one chatroom to another.

The security community had hoped the Obama administration would bring more context into hacking laws so researchers and other innocents weren’t implicated by simply going about their normal online lives. But with the stalling of Aaron’s Law, a bill named after Swartz that was supposed to rethink cyber legislation in favour of legitimate research and freedom of information, those hopes had started to fade as of summer 2014. With Obama’s proposals, security professionals’ optimism has all but evaporated. “In short, President Obama’s War on Hackers is a bad thing, creating a Cyber Police State,” added Graham.

You Could Be Quarantined and Forced to Take Toxic Drugs

January 13, 2015
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Scientist wearing protective suitA new federal executive order expands the list of illnesses for which you could be detained, isolated, and treated against your will if you are entering the US or traveling between states—even if you are completely healthy. Some states have similar or worse laws that would even allow entry into your home.

President Obama has signed an executive order expanding the list of illnesses that could result in forced detention, isolation, and quarantine for anyone exposed, even if they are not sick. It updates a Bush-era executive order, adding “severe acute respiratory syndromes” except for influenza to the list of detainable communicable diseases.

The Public Health Service Act allows the government to apprehend and detain individuals based on communicable diseases named in the Act, or named by presidential executive orders. Executive orders do not have to get congressional approval.

Not only can people with the disease be forcibly isolated, but the CDC also has the power to quarantine anyone who may have been exposed. The new executive order allows detentions for “diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness…capable of being transmitted from person to person, and that either are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic, or, upon infection, are highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled” [italics ours]. In other words, if you have been exposed to one of the listed communicable diseases—even if you do not show symptoms—you may be forcibly detained and quarantined.

This is broad authority, as the CDC notes: “In addition to serving as medical functions, isolation and quarantine also are ‘police power’ functions, derived from the right of the state to take action affecting individuals for the benefit of society.” And since this is federal law, it covers people entering into the United States and people traveling between states as well.

Even worse, because of various draconian state laws, individuals can also be detained against their will within their state—which includes being forced from their home. Once in quarantine, a potentially toxic drug regimen is generally enforced. While detention authority and scope differs from state to state, some have excessively broad powers. For example

In Alabama, the governor or state board of health may proclaim a quarantine whenever it is deemed necessary. The board of health has full powers of enforcement, and may formulate any rules it believes necessary.
In Idaho, the state reserves the right to enter an individual’s home by force if an occupant may have been exposed.
Maine reserves the right to impose emergency regulations at the mere threat of an outbreak.
New York can also detain patients in a locked ward at Bellevue hospital.
In 2009 the Massachusetts Senate considered a bill allowing the police, during a declared public health emergency, to arrest people without a warrant if they have “probable cause” to think they’re not complying with orders (including verbal orders from the public health commissioner or local public health authority). Under this bill, citizens could have been detained for as long as necessary for the public authorities to “convey information to you regarding the disease.” Happily, because of grassroots activists like you and opposition from the Massachusetts House, the bill did not pass and was never reintroduced.
Of deep concern is that, in most instances, natural treatments will be denied in favor of state-mandated treatments. In New York, for example, a patient with tuberculosis was placed in mandatory isolation for two weeks—and now, even after being released from isolation, he still must take three powerful antibiotics every day and is monitored by health officials via smartphone from his home. In Arkansas, for those under mandated treatment for tuberculosis, “disorderly conduct” can be punished with confinement of up to six months. Does disorderly conduct include not accepting the state-mandated treatment? We don’t know for certain, but it seems likely.

Keep yourself healthy! Vitamin D is an excellent preventive treatment for influenza and other viral diseases, and is being studied as a powerful tool to treat and prevent tuberculosis and other communicable diseases and potential pandemics. For other viral treatments, see our recent article on the Ebola virus.

What Will You Do When Government Tyranny And Terrorism Work Hand In Hand?

Wednesday, 14 January 2015 02:44 Brandon Smith

I was in the middle of working on an article covering real U.S. economic stats versus manipulated statistics when the Charlie Hebdo shootings took place. And though I knew the implications of the event would be far-reaching, I was originally undeterred from my financial subject matter. I had already covered in previous articles the inevitability of ISIS attacks on Europe and America, including the “warnings” of Saudi Arabia in August of last year that jihadists would target the EU within months and the U.S. a month later.

In September of last year, ISIS publicly urged attacks on French and U.S. citizens.

I have also published extensive analysis on the covert funding and training of ISIS militants by Saudi Arabia and Western intelligence agencies, including my article “The Time Is Ripe For A False Flag Attack On American Soil.”

The bottom line is the Paris attack was not surprising in the slightest. I have no doubt whatsoever that such attacks are going to increase in frequency, that the U.S. will be hit soon, and that our government will do little to nothing to stop such tragedies. However, a Reuters article titled “White House to hold global security summit Feb (sic) 18: U.S. official” caught my eye. And after reading it, I’m afraid I have to set aside my financial piece until next week and break down the insanity that is now taking place in the world of geopolitics.

It is clear by the language being used by the political elite that the “global summit” called in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks is about far more than radical Islamic terrorism. Set aside the fact that our government essentially created ISIS in order to destabilize Syria. Set aside the fact that globalist middlemen like John McCain and “former” covert ops goons like Gen. Paul Vallely have met directly with groups like the Nusra Front that are providing support for ISIS. Set aside the fact that Saudi Arabia has been openly funneling cash and arms to Syrian terrorist factions tied to ISIS, and realize that the mere existence of ISIS, regardless of its origins, is being used as a rationale for the erasure of civil liberties and the establishment of martial law on both sides of the Atlantic. Such federalized reactions CANNOT be allowed to continue, regardless of the threats each nation faces.

As far as the Reuters article is concerned, one does not need to read very far between the lines to see the true message being conveyed.

First, the focus of the summit is not necessarily indicated as “Islamic terrorism.” In fact, the word “terrorism” is barely mentioned. Now politicos are shifting their language to the term “extremism,” which is far broader in its implications. It should be noted that while the terrorist label has been bandied about rather liberally by both the Bush and Obama administrations, “extremism” offers greater cover for governments to persecute or attack political opponents. A terrorist is generally someone who initiates or at least plans a large-scale attack designed to illicit a fear response in a population. An extremist, on the other hand, could literally be anyone who holds views or initiates activism outside acceptable forms of mainstream thought. Attorney General Eric Holder did not use the words “terrorism” or “jihadist” in his announcement of the global summit in February; he used the phrase “violent extremism”:

We will bring together all of our allies to discuss ways in which we can counteract this violent extremism that exists around the world…

Throughout history, “violence,” according to governments, is often attributed to ideas as well as actions. The point is the change in vocabulary over to the extremist label is not accidental or coincidental. The establishment is conditioning the public to think in broad terms and to identify numerous groups as the enemy, rather than focusing on radical Islam. As I have said for years, Islamic terror is nothing but an advantageous excuse for governments to make war on all of us. Do not forget, constitutionalists are often referred to in the mainstream media and by Orwellian institutions like the Department of Homeland Security as “extremists.” How long before we are artificially linked as being suspect? How long before Charlie Hebdo-style attacks come to the U.S.? How long before the liberty minded are categorized as accessories to terrorism due to our anti-corrupt-government philosophies?

It is disturbing to witness the lack of conviction in principles in the average person. Self-proclaimed leftists railed against the degeneration of civil liberties and constitutional protections under George W. Bush, but rallied in support of the same weakening of freedoms under Barack Obama. Self-proclaimed conservatives today are shocked and infuriated by the trampling of the constitution through executive orders displayed by the Obama administration. Yet, I suspect that many of them will willingly jump on the fascist bandwagon in the event of “Islamic” attacks on American soil. Neither side seems to grasp the reality that the disruptions of liberty we enact in the name of stopping jihadists today will eventually fall back on the rest of us tomorrow.

The lockdown of the populace is already ramping up. The EU is currently discussing the creation of a European Passenger Name Record database (national ID database), meaning officials hope to create a centralized database with a file on every single citizen. Think the no-fly list is a terrifying concept? Wait until it becomes publicly accepted for all web comments, Facebook posts, and blog posts to be added to an ongoing record that determines whether you are allowed to travel. Wait until it becomes a mainstream notion that every travel destination you visit is tracked, recorded on permanent record, and scrutinized by some pencil necked bureaucrat who then determines whether or not you are suspect. Apparently, French officials are supportive of the idea. And given the proclamations of “unity” surrounding the upcoming summit, I suspect actions undertaken in Europe will eventually be exported to the United States. Reuters reports:

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said after the meeting that European interior ministers had agreed to boost cooperation in an effort to thwart further jihadist attacks.

“We all agree that we need to put in place better control on certain passengers, on the basis of objective criteria and with respect for fundamental liberties and without disrupting cross-border travel,” he said.

He said Europe needed urgent progress in establishing a European Passenger Name Record database, which would facilitate the exchange of data about passengers between member states.

“We are convinced of the need for such a tool, to follow those who travel to terrorist operating theaters or who return from there,” he said, adding that this database would also be useful in the fight against other serious crimes.

Unfortunately, travel is the least of our concerns. Free speech is a primary target for the elites, and the Internet is clearly outlined as a threat by politicians claiming concern for public safety. This comes in the form of one of the oldest rationalizations for tyranny - the trade-off between freedom and security. The French argue that while free speech is important, some “exceptions” must be made in order to thwart extremist ideas:

Cazeneuve said the Internet needs to remain a space for free expression, but that Europe should fight against abusive use of the web (sic) to spread hate speech, anti-Semitic messages and the recruiting vulnerable young people for violence.

“We need to work more closely with Internet companies to guarantee the reporting and if possible removal of all content that amounts to an apology of terrorism or calls for violence and hatred,” he said.

Who gets to determine what speech amounts to an “apology of terrorism?” Who is the all-benevolent and wise sage who gets to decide what we can and cannot say? Will he be fair and just? Or will he use the power of censorship to attack any and all websites critical of the establishment? What do you think the most likely outcome of such legal precedence would be?

Again, how long before websites like the one you are reading now are vilified by the extremist label? How long before liberty-minded speech is categorized as violent speech or hate speech?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the White House are now kindly warning the public that terrorist “sleeper cells” have been activated and that some are present in the United States. On CNN, Feinstein said:

So I think this calls for vigilance. It calls for seeing that the national security organizations of our country, the intelligence community is funded fully, is directed ably, is cooperating with whether it be British intelligence, French intelligence, German intelligence, as we do.

And the French are good at it, and so are the British and the Germans. So, we can even be more active in terms of doing those things which enable us to find terrorists, to see who they’re communicating with in this country, and to track that.

She means mass Internet and phone surveillance, the same National Security Agency surveillance exposed by Edward Snowden, which now has a convenient justification in the form of an ever-present fear of terrorism.

Finally, it is only a matter of time before a militarized response is activated in the U.S., just as it has been in France. One shooting event has led to the fielding of over 10,000 French troops on French soil, as well as an extra 5,000 heavily armed police.

Frankly, this is where I — and many people like me — draw the line. Martial law is not acceptable under any circumstances. I don't care if we one day see a mushroom cloud over an American city, there is no measure of government security (false security) that is worth the degradation of essential liberties. I suspect the loss of liberty, usurping of the constitution and the deployment of the military on U.S. soil would trigger revolution — a revolution I’m sure the establishment would attempt to marginalize as mere terrorism. Ultimately, though, there is no other option.

As I have been discussing constantly over the past several months, community preparation and organization comprise the only action plan worth the effort and energy at this time. The French are disarmed and utterly socialized. Millions of them march in Paris in a display of solidarity, but solidarity behind what solution? Even more government; the same government that created the problem in the first place? Even more centralization? The globalization of despotic security policies? The French have dug their grave, and now they are going to have to lie down in it.

Americans do not have to follow the same path.

We do not need more government. We do not need more surveillance, more police militarization or more troops on the streets. What we need is to take back responsibility for own defense. The French government could not or would not protect the staff of Charlie Hebdo, and the U.S. government will not protect you. That means you must train to protect yourself and those you care about. Whether we face a false flag attack or a legitimate terrorist action, the response is the same: Fight back. It is times like these that separate the courageous from the cowardly; those with principles and conscience versus the treacherous and self-serving. Make no mistake; as I wrote in my last article, many illusions are about to be shattered. You can be caught up in the storm as a helpless spectator and victim or you can become a barrier, a wall of defense against the dangerous riptides. These are your choices. Choose wisely.


By Chuck Baldwin
January 15, 2015

Something as precious and valuable as a nation’s freedom is not lost in a day--or even in a year. There is no single event that turns citizens into slaves. Oppression and tyranny are always long in the planning--and even longer in the making. Granted, there could be a single chain of events that results in a people’s enslavement: Lenin’s Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 Russia, Mao Zedong’s Communist Revolution in 1949 China, for example. But these events did not take place spontaneously or in a vacuum. Conditions for these enslavements had been ripening for years. Old barns don’t collapse without years--even decades--of mitigating factors (very obvious and noticeable factors). Neither do nations.

They say that we begin to die as soon as we are born. And in a philosophical meandering sort of way, I suppose that’s true. And if that maxim is true for individuals, it’s also true for nations. For example, the tyrant and betrayer of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, Abraham Lincoln, planted the seeds for the globalist Woodrow Wilson, who planted the seeds for the socialist Franklin D. Roosevelt, who planted the seeds for the corrupt Lyndon Baines Johnson, who planted the seeds for the narcissist Bill Clinton, who planted the seeds for Mr. Police State, George W. Bush, who planted the seeds for the Marxist Barack Obama. And all along the way there were Supreme Court justices, congressmen and senators, international bankers, and most of all very lethargic and lazy pastors, who facilitated and abetted the diabolical and duplicitous deeds of the aforementioned presidents.

In a very real and practical way, the American republic was birthed as a strong and healthy body amidst the blood of the patriots in 1775 and ‘76. Suffice it to say, the free republic of our forefathers is a very weak and diseased body today.

The malady that eventually takes the life out of a sick and diseased man may not have, by itself, been deadly, but coupled with years of preceding sicknesses, it is the one that is listed on the death certificate by the coroner as the cause of death. Such is also the case with a nation.

The numerous ostriches that are so quick to dismiss every national warning as being just another Chicken Little false alarm continue to dismiss any new attempt to awaken a distracted people with what should be obvious to anyone who can see. In truth, the vast majority of Americans are behaving exactly as did the very rich and pompous passengers on board the Titanic. As the stewards were rushing room to room and cabin to cabin warning passengers that the ship was sinking, they continued to frolic and dance, completely deaf and indifferent to the cries of the porters.

On the whole, the American people have ignored the warnings of freedom’s faithful stewards such as Barry Goldwater, Pat Buchanan, and Ron Paul. For the most part, the criers of liberty on the Internet and in talk radio are also ignored.

There are several reasons why so few seem to even see the water rushing up the floors of the ship of state. For one thing, too many of our men have abdicated their manhood. In the glorious history of liberty, when one would observe men with painted faces, they were marching into battle. Today, they are marching into football stadiums. Sports are more than a pastime; they are an addiction. Today’s American men are so beset by sports and pornography that they can barely see the reality that is staring them in the face.

A lying, deceitful, and deliberately conspiratorial national news media is also a major contributor to the collapse of the American republic. No doubt about it! Nazi Germany’s Joseph Goebbels had NOTHING on the propaganda machinery of the American mainstream news media. Put our public (and many private) education system on the list, as well. Yes, the entertainment pimps, who have sold their souls to lust and perniciousness and who love to corrupt the morals of young people, should also be on the list. And, last but not least, a very passive, indifferent, feel-good, corporate Church might possibly be the worst offender of all.

As we enter into 2015, all of the above are already eating the flesh away from Lady Liberty. The condition is near-terminal. Even worse is the recent prognosis of what can only be regarded as the final stage for this morally and politically cancerous-ridden body: the Police State.

Just recently, Ron Paul wrote, “If Americans were honest with themselves they would acknowledge that the Republic is no more. We now live in a police state.”

See Dr. Paul’s excellent column here: Inner City Turmoil And Other Crises: My Predictions For 2015

Ron is right! “We NOW [emphasis added] live in a police state.” We are not HEADED for a Police State; we are IN a Police State.

Perhaps not surprisingly, people who escaped totalitarian regimes in other countries and fled to America are the ones who more readily recognize the rise of totalitarianism here in the U.S. than those of us who were blessed to be born here.

Realizing the ostriches will bury their heads in the sand after reading what I’m about to say, I’ll say it again, anyway: the problem is NOT drugs; the problem is the WAR on drugs. The problem is NOT Muslim countries; the problem is an interventionist foreign policy which has waged WAR on Muslim countries for decades. The problem is NOT poverty; the problem is the WAR on poverty. The problem is NOT terror; the problem is the WAR on terror; the problem is NOT racism; the problem is the WAR on racism. The problem is NOT political correctness; the problem is the WAR against political incorrectness. The problem is NOT America’s Christian heritage; the problem is the WAR against America’s Christian heritage. The problem is NOT free speech; the problem is the WAR against free speech. The problem is NOT the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights; the problem is the WAR against the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The problem is NOT firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens; the problem is the WAR against the Second Amendment. The problem is NOT that people hate us because we are free; the problem is they hate us because we make WAR against their freedom when it doesn’t comport with the globalists in Washington, D.C., New York, and London.

A Police State is the practical result of everything mentioned in the paragraph above. And a Police State is the final stage of a nation that is losing its liberty.

And in case someone is forwarding this column to a friend or relative who is still in the dark that, yes, America is ALREADY living under a Police State, I invite them to keep an eye on the Police State page on my website for continuing examples of that reality.

See it here: Emerging Police State

But I warn you: be prepared to spend a lot of time getting current, because the facts and realities that America is already a Police State are multitudinous.

The only remaining question is when will the PTB (Powers That Be) decide to collapse the curtain? Will it be 2015?

We are being set up BIG TIME for another faux-9/11 event: Ferguson; the Paris attacks; ISIS; Senator Dianne Feinstein talking about terror cells already being in the states; Senator Lindsey Graham’s fear-mongering; Senator John McCain’s fear-mongering; the media’s ubiquitous assault against the Second Amendment; the Supreme Court’s continuous rubber stamping of domestic spying; an arrogant White House that illegally acts with impunity against the liberties of the American people; a cowardly and complicit Republican Party that works to protect the big-business interests of Wall Street more than the liberties of the people on Main Street; ad infinitum.

No, I suppose there is one last question: will the American people ever wake up? And, of course, the even greater question is, will the Church ever wake up?

Folks, when the Police State is fully functioning, there is no place to go except into submission or revolution. But revolution without righteousness is no solution at all. Rightly did Patrick Henry call it, “the holy cause of Liberty.” Without an understanding of the undergirding Natural Law principles of liberty, without an understanding of the rightness and justness of liberty, without a moral and reasoned conviction in the hearts and minds of men regarding liberty as the divine will of our Creator, no revolution could be blessed of Heaven. And that’s where the pastors and churches come in; and that’s where the pastors and churches are failing--and failing MISERABLY.

Will freedom survive 2015? There have been a myriad of contributing factors to America’s demise extending over a long period of time, but a Police State is the last and final stage of a diseased and dying nation. We are in that stage NOW. And America’s pastors are the only antidote.

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This is no game, folks. If you believe in liberty for our country and for your children, you must get out of these corporate churches that are dancing with the devil and letting the forces of hell obliterate our liberties. If your pastor isn’t preaching the Biblical Natural Law principles of liberty, find one who will.

Let me ask it this way: will freedom survive 2015 if it depended on the pastor of the church that you now attend? If the answer is “No,” why are you still there?

P.S. Faithful readers know that I am currently engaged in helping start non-501c3 churches and fellowships and in also helping 501c3 churches get out. We have a list of non-501c3 churches on the website. The list is a short one now, but it will be growing rapidly. We are working with groups of people all over the country. The process begins by filling out the online application.

See the Liberty Church Project website here.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Investment Guide For The American Dystopia: Go Long the 1%, Short The Middle Class

Submitted by Daniel Drew of
Investment Guide for the American Dystopia: Go Long the 1%, Short the Middle Class

Would you short the Brady Bunch? I would.

Mike Brady is supporting nine people on one salary in a large two story house in an LA suburb. It would have been a difficult feat in 1970 and impossible in 2015. In 2006, he might have been able to pull it off with a subprime mortgage, but eventually, a modern version of Mike Brady would be utterly screwed.

The middle class is being wiped out as the 1% take control, aided by a Federal Reserve which supplies them with all the monetary ammunition they need to take over the world. The economy is like a Toyota with a jammed accelerator pedal. It will either collide with reality or the pedal will somehow disengage. Even if it disengages, it will become clear there is no one at the wheel to steer us to safety.

As long as the Fed's liquidity pedal is stuck, the 1% party is on. The middle class will continue to be decimated, and the ranks of the retail slaves will swell. The effects show up in the data, and the stock prices of particular companies show clear trends. When our Toyota hits the wall, or the Fed takes away the punch bowl, then all bets are off.

The Long/Short Strategy for the New Reality

1. Go long companies that cater to the 1%.
2. Short companies that cater to the middle class.
3. Go long companies that cater to the poor.
Rich Door, Poor Door

No, it's not a book about why it's your fault you're not rich. It's a real situation that's unfolding in Manhattan. It's exactly what it sounds like: a door for the rich and a door for the poor. If you're old enough, perhaps it will remind you of colored entrances and colored water fountains. The reason for these architectural gymnastics is money of course. If the developer provides affordable housing, they get to collect tax breaks and subsidies. But apparently, there's no requirement that there be a common entrance - probably because the lawmakers considered that kind of ridiculous behavior to be ancient American history. But as we all know, history has an irritating way of creeping up on us.

Rich Classifieds, Poor Classifieds

Want to sell your Maserati so you can move up to the next model? Post it on POSH - the rich man's Craigslist that exists inside Bloomberg.

The Craigslist for the average person looks a little different: old chairs and an old Nissan. And forget the discounted goods; it looks like there's an entire discount store for sale. Maybe someone got cancer and needs $85,000 as a down payment for treatment.

Luxury Products

The top 10% control 86% of the nation's wealth, and they account for over 50% of all consumption. That's the definition of an exploitation society. It's the socially acceptable pillaging of the common person in a silent war on America.

Here are some current trends in conspicuous consumption for the elite.

Jet Flipping

I first saw this reported in June 2008 before the worst of the crash. In November 2013, this story resurfaced. Buy a Gulfstream jet for $66 million and sell it for $72 million. Obviously, this is bad news for Gulfstream. They don't want others profiting from their goods if they can help it. In an effort to discourage flipping, Gulfstream said customers are not allowed to sell jets until they have taken physical delivery of them. But the folks at Gulfstream underestimated the persistence of the 1% when it comes to violating the spirit of the law and upholding the letter. To get around the new rules, they created shell companies - basically a rite of passage for 1 percenters. The shell company would buy the jet. Then they would sell the entire fake company to the eager buyer. And it was legal. When Gulfstream discovered this, they adjusted their contract yet again to require the buyer to be involved in the final delivery. But the 1% will eventually get their way somehow. They always have, and they always will.

Luxury Car Sales

The United States remains the world's largest market for luxury cars. In 2014, Lamborghini announced an all-time high in V12 sales with 1,001 deliveries of Aventadors. A few days ago, Rolls-Royce announced a 12% gain in 2014 sales, a record 4,063 vehicles. The average Rolls-Royce sells for more than $250,000. In 2013, Maserati had sales growth of 145%. Mercedes-Benz sold a record 1.4 million cars. BMW also had a record-setting year with 1.6 million cars sold.

A New Southern California Housing Bubble

A record breaking number of homes were bought for $2 million or more in the last several months. Sales worth $10 million or more were 100% higher than from the heights of the 2007 housing bubble. Cindy Ambuehl, an agent with Partners Trust in Brentwood, said, "It's pretty mind-blowing." In 2010, Patrick Soon-Shiong, the billionaire doctor, bought 3 acres in Brentwood for $29 million. The LA Times called certain parts of the Westside a "playground for the rich." A record 1,436 homes worth $2 million or more were sold in the six-county Southland in the second quarter, according to CoreLogic DataQuick. Selma Hepp, senior economist at the California Association of Realtors, said the housing market moves at two speeds: "fast for the high end, sluggish for the rest."

Excess in the High End Art Market

Perhaps no other market depicts the Fed-induced desires of the rich as clearly as the high end art market. The stock of Sotheby's, the fine art auction house, is quite possibly one of the purest ultra beta plays in the stock market. The surges and crashes of the stock mirror the broader bubble economy almost perfectly.

Sotheby's Stock

One of the most speculative practices in the art market is when the auction house guarantees the seller a minimum price for the work in an effort to attract their business. If the art is eventually sold at a higher price, the auction house splits the difference with the seller. As you can already see, it's a dangerous game - yet quite alluring. David Kusin of Kusin & Company, a research firm that specializes in the economics of the art market, called it a "brutal business." The auction houses have become so enamored with their inventory that they have effectively assumed ownership of it and have become speculators themselves. The line between dealer and speculator has never been so blurry. Auction houses should study the practices of drug dealers. In Biggie Smalls' song "Ten Crack Commandments," rule #4 is "Never get high on your own supply." In this case, the supply is Impressionist and Modern art like Alberto Giacometti's sculpture "Chariot," which infamous hedge fund manager Steve Cohen bought for $101 million a few months ago. I call it "anorexic stick man."

Giacometti's Chariot

In its November postwar and contemporary art sale, Christie's auction house directly guaranteed 23 works that accounted for 44% of the sale's $853 million in revenue. Sotheby’s covered minimum prices on works that made up 43% of the $422 million in revenue at its Impressionist and Modern art sale. Sotheby's CEO William Ruprecht said, “Auction guarantees have been meaningfully profitable to the company.”

Christie's Guarantees

Dark Bid Wage-Adjusted Unemployment Rate

The guarantees also create rigged markets with unequal information. Sometimes, the auction house will arrange for an outsider to guarantee the price. These outsiders are allowed to bid on a work they are guaranteeing, which is essentially a double bid. It creates a false sense of demand and is a simple way to bluff the rich art buyers. The double bidders know what the floor price is because they have set it. Meanwhile, the legitimate bidders have no idea who the guarantor is or what the floor price is. The auction houses attempt to defend themselves by disclosing which art is guaranteed and whether or not the guarantor is the house or an outside party. They are essentially saying, "Disclaimer: This is a rigged market" without telling them the necessary details. The legitimate bidders remain at a huge informational disadvantage in this high stakes game to prove who has the most money, ego, and artistic sensibility.

Lessons From Before the Crash

When you look back at what was going on before the crash and what is happening now, you'll see the lessons offered by the crash have already been forgotten. It was so ridiculous that the rich were flipping yachts in 2007. Billy Smith, a partner in Trinity Yachts, said, "The risk, I guess, is that the yacht market collapses, but with all the wealth that's being created, there are no signs that that will happen." Yep - no signs at all - unless you had the slightest involvement in the mortgage industry and could see the storm coming. It's too bad the bubble didn't last long enough for subprime yacht lending to emerge. And don't think it wouldn't happen.

The art auction houses are not immune from the infectious investment amnesia. In 2008, Sotheby's reported losses of $52 million from its guarantees. Christie's also reported millions of losses. They said they would cut back on client dinner parties, global art tours, and staff. The management was okay with gambling the shareholders' money on Warhols, but when it came time to deal with the fallout, the shareholders and the lower-level staff took the losses, while the managers stayed on. Like a bunch of duplicitous gangsters, the auction house managers created a classic game of "heads I win, tails you lose." Sotheby's CEO Ruprecht said they would stay out of the guarantee business for awhile because it's "too hard to predict what tomorrow looks like." And yet here we are - three quantitative easings later - and Sotheby's is up to its neck in nearly half of its art sales.

But maybe this is all part of the plan. From the 2009 low to 2015, Sotheby's stock has gone from $5 to $45, no doubt boosting the stock option compensation of the executives. Some analysts think there is "hidden turmoil" in the art market with "razor-thin" profit margins. The CEOs of Christie's and Sotheby's have both recently announced they will step down from their positions. They probably realize their businesses were just caught in the rushing rapids of Fed-induced liquidity, and with 2008 in the back of their minds, they decided to jump ship. Ruprecht gets a $4 million severance package. On December 15, he sold 15,000 shares of Sotheby's stock for $583,000. He still has 179,000 shares left at a value of $7.6 million. I can't help but wonder if he will completely bail out once the Fed music stops.

The S&P Global Luxury Index

You can see the tidal wave of liquidity in this chart. Forget the average stock. Look at the luxury stocks of companies that cater to the rich. The associated ETF is the Amundi S&P Global Luxury ETF, which trades in Paris.

S&P Global Luxury Index

Middle Class Malaise

Empty malls are probably the most iconic images of the downfall of the middle class. About 80% of the country’s 1,200 malls are considered healthy, with vacancy rates of 10% or less. In 2006, 94% of malls were considered healthy, according to CoStar Group, a data provider for the real estate industry. But which stores are leading the way? Steven Lowy, Co-CEO of Westfield, said, "Our business is more regional and high-end focused. Anything that's caught in the middle of the market is problematic." Lowy knows his stuff. If you look at the 5 year stock chart of Sears, JC Penney, Family Dollar, and Dollar Tree, you will see everything you need to know. Middle class focused Sears and JC Penney have been obliterated, despite the efforts of hedge fund managers Eddie Lampert and Bill Ackman, who each learned the meaning of "catching a falling knife." Family Dollar and Dollar Tree, where the poor buy their groceries, have seen huge gains in their stock, with Dollar Tree leading the way at 322%. All the middle class who used to shop at places like Sears and JC Penney have dropped down to dollar stores because that's all they can afford with their McJob wages.

Middle Class Retail vs. Lower Class Retail

Source: Yahoo Finance

The Middle Class Auto Market: In Over Their Heads

While the rich buy record amounts of Lamborghinis and Maseratis, the average American is taking on record amounts of debt to finance their Fords and Hondas. According to Experian Automotive, which tracks millions of auto loans, the average amount borrowed by car buyers in the fourth quarter of 2013 reached $27,000 for the first time. A record 20% of all new car loans were more than six years in length. Not surprisingly, nine months later in the third quarter of 2014, both Experian and Transunion showed an increase in the number of car buyers who are 60 days or more behind on their car loans. Transunion reported a 13% increase in delinquent loans, and Experian reported a 9% increase. Even worse, 36% of new car loans are now made to subprime borrowers.

Payday Loans: The Final Stop on the Road to Poverty

Payday loan businesses exemplify some of the worst of capitalism. It makes the Muslim case for a total ban on interest seem less ridiculous. In the mid-1990s, the payday loan industry consisted of a few hundred lenders. Today, 20,000 storefronts clutter the landscape of America's poorest neighborhoods.

No one loves a one-sided deal more than hedge fund managers, and it wasn't long before they made their way into this legalized loan-sharking. Attracted by interest rates as high as 700%, a company called American Web Loan funneled profits through a chain of entities: from American Web Loan to an Indian tribe called Otoe-Missouria to MacFarlane Group, which is owned by Mark Curry, who is backed by a New York hedge fund called the Medley Opportunity Fund II LP. The fund was founded by the late Richard Medley, who was an adviser to George Soros. Now the fund is run by twin brothers Brook and Seth Taube. Curry's loan shark business has allowed him to buy a mansion in a Las Vegas suburb. He later moved to Puerto Rico. Curry said his clients are making "very educated decisions." Joshua Wrenn, who was trying to make a car payment, said, "I didn't ever see a contract."

Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky is investigating Medley Opportunity to see if it violated any laws. This won't be the first time Medley has faced scrutiny. In 2012, Fintan Partners sued Medley to redeem its $45 million investment after Medley allegedly violated a side letter agreement. Jay Eisenhower and Matthew Morris of the shareholder rights law firm Grant & Eisenhofer said tens of billions of dollars remain locked up in illiquid "zombie hedge funds" that suspended redemptions. These funds sit on their assets and produce small returns while collecting management fees.

A Brady Bunch Divided

If the Brady Bunch represents the American middle class, then the modern Brady Bunch would be divided. They wouldn't even live in the same neighborhood. One half would drive across town to where the other half lives so they could mow their lawn, wash their Maserati, and clean their 10,000 square foot home. That's the way we became the Brady Bunch.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ron Paul:Inner City Turmoil and Other Crises: My Predictions for 2015

written by ron paul
thursday january 8, 2015

If Americans were honest with themselves they would acknowledge that the Republic is no more. We now live in a police state. If we do not recognize and resist this development, freedom and prosperity for all Americans will continue to deteriorate. All liberties in America today are under siege.

It didn’t happen overnight. It took many years of neglect for our liberties to be given away so casually for a promise of security from the politicians. The tragic part is that the more security was promised — physical and economic — the less liberty was protected.

With cradle-to-grave welfare protecting all citizens from any mistakes and a perpetual global war on terrorism, which a majority of Americans were convinced was absolutely necessary for our survival, our security and prosperity has been sacrificed.

It was all based on lies and ignorance. Many came to believe that their best interests were served by giving up a little freedom now and then to gain a better life.

The trap was set. At the beginning of a cycle that systematically undermines liberty with delusions of easy prosperity, the change may actually seem to be beneficial to a few. But to me that’s like excusing embezzlement as a road to leisure and wealth — eventually payment and punishment always come due. One cannot escape the fact that a society’s wealth cannot be sustained or increased without work and productive effort. Yes, some criminal elements can benefit for a while, but reality always sets in.

Reality is now setting in for America and for that matter for most of the world. The piper will get his due even if “the children” have to suffer. The deception of promising “success” has lasted for quite a while. It was accomplished by ever-increasing taxes, deficits, borrowing, and printing press money. In the meantime the policing powers of the federal government were systematically and significantly expanded. No one cared much, as there seemed to be enough “gravy” for the rich, the poor, the politicians, and the bureaucrats.

Warfare/Welfare State Requires Police Control

As the size of government grew and cracks in the system became readily apparent, a federal police force was needed to regulate our lives and the economy, as well as to protect us from ourselves and make sure the redistribution of a shrinking economic pie was “fair” to all. Central economic planning requires an economic police force to monitor every transaction of all Americans. Special interests were quick to get governments to regulate everything we put in our bodies: food, medications, and even politically correct ideas. IRS employees soon needed to carry guns to maximize revenue collections.

The global commitment to perpetual war, though present for decades, exploded in size and scope after 9/11. If there weren’t enough economic reasons to monitor everything we did, fanatics used the excuse of national security to condition the American people to accept total surveillance of all by the NSA, the TSA, FISA courts, the CIA, and the FBI. The people even became sympathetic to our government’s policy of torture.

To keep the people obedient to statism that originated at the federal level of government, control of education was required. It is now recognized that central control of education has actually ruined education, while costs have skyrocketed. National control of medical care has brought a similar result. This has meant more money for bureaucrats, as well as drug, insurance, and health management companies, and less money for medical care. Constantly more police are required to run our lives at greater costs while providing less benefit. “Nationalizing” both medical care and education has provided a great incentive to increase the policing powers of the federal government.

The predictable poverty that results from such a terrible system is now upon us and is a strong motivation for the militarization of local police as part of the expansion of the national police state. Temporary and perceived benefits of government overreach and expanded policing powers end up becoming the real problem. By the time it is understood that these “benefits” are artificial, government power and special interests have gained control of a system designed to serve them and not the people the programs were purported to help. The victims are left hanging and taught that too much freedom is the source of the problem, prompting even more support for the policing power of the state.

Today the failure of central economic planning and of the US as world policeman is everywhere to be found. This is especially noticeable in the police war on the lawbreakers — real and unreal — in America. The failures of social and economic policy of the past 50 years have led to a mounting friction between the local police and the rights of the people. Local police have been militarized and have become an integral part of the national police state. A police culture that accepts the principle of initiating unjustified violence against citizens has become a serious problem.

The news is constant. If it’s not Ferguson, it’s New York City. If not New York City, it’s Chicago or Detroit or Cleveland. And I believe the violence in our cities is only in its early stages. We had a taste of the conflict in the 1960s, but the fundamental values of equal justice and economic opportunity have receded further from reality. Failing to understand why the past 50 years of government expansion to eradicate poverty has only worsened the conditions of our cities will guarantee that the violent conflicts we see erupting today will only get worse.

Fight for Equal Protection Distorted by 'War on Poverty'

Fifty years ago, as a result of Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership in a plea for equal justice, LBJ declared war on poverty. Poverty was seen at that time as the major contributing factor in the plight of those living in the inner city. King’s dream was to make sure all people will be judged by the “content of their character” and not by “the color of their skin.” Good advice, but it was never followed. Residual racism remains, but the excuse for every shortcoming in the failed cities is said to be due to the color of one’s skin.

The very expensive war on poverty has after 50 years only made matters worse, compounding the problems of poverty and inflation while hurting most of the people the “war” was supposed to help. Currently our government spends over $1 trillion per year on anti-poverty programs. Over the past 50 years, over $16 trillion was spent, i.e., wasted. And yet poverty and dire economic conditions remain the major factor in the violence that persists, which incites or gives the police the excuse to overreact to maintain order. The plans and expectations for the war on poverty must have been seriously flawed.

Although the degree of poverty is different for the various races in the United States, all categories — Asian, white, Hispanic, and black — have had a steady increase in real median income from 1964 until the year 2000, when the first of many bubbles started bursting. In all four race categories incomes are lower since then. With the economy moving into the next stage of liquidation of bad investment and debt, we should expect this trend to continue. Economic setbacks and a decrease in real income are not limited to blacks in the inner city. The setback for the young has been dramatically worse than for the older generations, aggravating the problem of violent crime in our cities.

The “progress” of the early years of the war on poverty is understandable because the payment that always must be paid was delayed. The deficits and the borrowing and printing of money were unsustainable. It should not be difficult to understand that the welfare benefits, the bloated government, the excessive salaries, and the promised pensions for thousands of nonproductive bureaucrats in Detroit would lead to bankruptcy. The benefits had to be reduced. If policies don’t change and the politicians continue to be elected by wild promises, the disaster will continue. How can the provocateurs blame racism for the plight of the middle class in Detroit?

We must get people to reject flawed economic policy if we want a real war on poverty. LBJ’s war on poverty was no more successful than his Vietnam War — or any war since, for that matter. A national government that can print money as needed to finance extraordinary extravagance can function longer than a city, state, or private entity, but it too must eventually “file for bankruptcy” albeit in a different fashion. As we are now seeing, the bankruptcy of a nation also involves poverty for many. This situation will continue to worsen. Since poverty is a major contributing factor to the violence of excessive police militarization, some fundamentals must be understood. The economic theories of Paul Samuelson, Paul Krugman, John Maynard Keynes, and all those who claim to know how to “regulate” the economy to benefit the poor, must be challenged and abandoned.

So far reality has not yet set in. The poor grow in numbers as the middle class shrinks and the privileged class that benefits from government spending and government control of the monetary system thrives. The political demagogues and the authoritarians feed the flames of resentment that develop between the rich and the poor as class warfare and racial strife take over. They care little and understand less what liberty is all about — the more chaos there is, the more laws they seek to pass.

The Victimized Inner Cities

This social disruption has motivated the enthusiastic growth and militarization of our local police departments. The law and order crowd thrives on excessive laws and regulations that no US citizen can escape. The out-of-control war on drugs is the worst part, and it generates the greatest danger in poverty-ridden areas via out-of-control police. It is estimated that these conditions have generated up to 80,000 SWAT raids per year in the United States. Most are in poor neighborhoods and involve black homes and businesses being hit disproportionately. This involves a high percentage of no-knock attacks. As can be expected many totally innocent people are killed in the process. Property damage is routine and compensation is rare. The routine use of civil forfeiture of property has become an abomination, totally out of control, which significantly contributes to the chaos. It should not be a surprise to see resentment building up against the police under these conditions. The violent reaction against local merchants in retaliation for police actions further aggravates the situation —hardly a recipe for a safe neighborhood.

Though poverty and excessive laws associated with the war on drugs are significant factors in the conflicts that are routine in the inner-city, the overreaction by both sides continues to make the situation much worse. As a result, policing in general is out of control, and anything suggesting racial confrontation leads to rioting, looting, and property destruction. Civil liberties are ignored by the police, and the private property of innocent bystanders is disregarded by those resenting police violence. When police overreact and unfairly enforce the law, it elicits a violent reaction from those on the receiving end. This only escalates the problem. It’s an invitation for outside provocateurs to rush in and aggravate the racial tensions — all the while never trying to understand the real reasons behind police militarization and the cause of poverty.

The military-industrial complex now systematically lobbies to provide to local police departments the newest and most sophisticated weaponry — just as they sell weapons to the United States government to fight undeclared wars overseas. Drug laws are pushed by many corporate interests as well. Pharmaceutical companies, alcohol companies, and private prison systems all support of the insane war on drugs. The victims are the poor who suffer with a messed up economy and have no easy access to jobs. A natural temptation is to become a drug dealer. Violent activities arising from the drug war making drug transactions a criminal undertaking create demand in communities for strict law enforcement.

Why do the race baiters have so much success in making this type of conflict a racial problem alone? Unfortunately many of them make a living off stirring up trouble. If the situation were understood in terms of police brutality and poverty, the evening news would be dramatically different. Turning it into strictly a racial conflict narrows the discussion, and the idea of responsibility for one’s action no longer needs to be discussed.

The race factor seems to stir up the emotions. Mob-like responses can be achieved, which further inflames the situation. Out of control police and an entire segment of our population taught that responsibility for one’s actions is a negative are a volatile mix.

Justice under the law requires that people cannot be punished or rewarded because of the color of their skin, but unfortunately King’s claim that only a person’s character counts is forgotten.

The entitlement mentality is a source of much anger and misunderstanding. It leads people who see themselves as victims to one conclusion: they are entitled to be taken care of. They believe that more government transfer payments are the solution. They claim that they deserve to be taken care of and that, if they are not, there’s trouble to be had — which only opens the door to more police overreactions.

There is agreement with my contention that poverty is a big problem and the source of much trouble. Therefore, it is said, someone must take care of it. If one trillion dollars per year doesn’t do the job, then make it $2 trillion. If the war on poverty’s $16 trillion hasn’t worked, make it $32 trillion. This sentiment reflects the entitlement mentality that has taught many that some people have a “right” to government handouts and that the rich must pay. This is an idea that is deeply flawed, and it stirs up class warfare on top of racial animosities and police brutality.

The blanket demand that all wealthy individuals owe support to the poor through government welfare programs is not an example of equal justice under the law. It is an example of egalitarianism gone awry. Welfare, which is the use of force to transfer wealth from one group to another, is based on a moral principle of equality that in fact is not moral and does not work. The wealthy special interests, such as banks, the military-industrial complex, the medical industry, the drug industry, and many other corporatists, quickly gain control of the system. Crumbs may be thrown to the poor, but the principle of wealth transfer is hijacked and used for corporate and foreign welfare instead of wealth transfers to the poor.

Many people do indeed gain wealth unfairly with today’s system, which adds to the envy shared by many and especially the poor. But this is a problem that is not solved by indiscriminately placing blame on successful businesses. The result would be the country and the whole world becoming poorer while resentment rises. Honest profits of successful entrepreneurs are quite different than profits of the corporate elite who gain control of the government and, as a consequence, accumulate obscene wealth by “robbing” the middle class. To blame and destroy those who make an honest living by satisfying consumers without the use of special benefits from the government is destructive to liberty and wealth.

Reforms that are driven by envy of successful people making an honest living will not address the problem of poverty. Poverty is actually made worse by an aggressive sense of victimization.

Many factors are involved in the crisis of our cities, including the following:

Police brutality, militarization of the police, excessive laws, courts and law enforcement efforts ignoring the principles of equal justice,

Racism that exists to some degree on both sides of the conflict,

Rampant crime reflecting structural poverty,

Absence of an understanding of the difference between earned and stolen wealth,

Race baiting,

The entitlement mentality, self-reliance not being a goal for many, and the breakdown of the family unit,

The war on drugs, and

The lack of economic understanding regarding the Federal Reserve, taxes, welfare, economic consequences of constant war, deficits, and excessive government spending.

True satisfaction comes from productive effort and self-reliance and not from a government transferring wealth in an effort to bring about an egalitarian society. The absence of an understanding of the nonaggression principle makes it difficult for positive reforms to develop. Unfortunately hypocrisy has come to equal “common sense.” Placing confidence in people who thrive on wielding government power and who spend a lifetime using it to benefit special interests is not a wise policy.

The people have too little confidence that most problems can be solved in a voluntary manner in a society that cherishes civil liberties. There’s never an admission that government problem-solving doesn’t work. Government-created problems are a road to poverty and resentment. Too many people believe that “free stuff” from the government can solve our problems. They mistakenly believe that deficits don’t matter and that wealth can come from a printing press.

The recent high profile episodes of racial conflict involving police killings and the violence in some neighborhoods have been a fertile environment for the demagogues and those who thrive on racial conflict.

Some have suggested that sensitivity training for all police personnel should be required, to teach proper ways to deal with the public. Though there’s a lot of extenuating circumstances that provoke overreaction by the police, I’m not optimistic that the problem will be helped much by sensitivity training. Retraining the police won’t touch the complex problems that pit the police against the victims of complex social conditions generated by hate, violence and bad economic policies. The high profile episodes of police violence and overreaction are a consequence of conditions that in many ways were generated by government policy.

If social engineering intended to produce economic equality fails, more of the same cannot possibly be the solution. Seeking and promoting equal justice has nothing to do with welfare redistribution. On the contrary: equal justice requires the end of welfare redistribution. Redistribution is a process that is always destined to help a small minority, whether in an economy like ours that endorses central economic planning or in one run by radical fascists or communists. While advocates claim that it’s the duty of government to pursue economic equality, all efforts fail to achieve that goal, while gutting the principle of equal justice.

The Rich Are Getting Richer, But Why?

Under an authoritarian regime, those in power take care of themselves. This always leads to poverty and discrepancy in wealth distribution. Eventually the social strife that is predictable leads to an overthrow of the government. The Soviet communist leaders never suffered from want, but even they were routed when the people in the Soviet system decided that they had had enough.

We must realize that we are not exempt from a breakdown of our system. The strife that we are witnessing is a reflection of a growing number of people who are recognizing the discrepancy between rich and poor, the weak and the powerful, Wall Street and Main Street. The courts are obviously failing at meting out justice fairly and impartially. Money and race have a lot to do with how arrests, convictions, and incarcerations are carried out. That provides motivation for some people to become angry and violently strike out against anyone who appears to have more than they do.

While the courts fail to follow the rules of equal justice, those who react violently believe that attacking almost anyone is justifiable in seeking what they claim is justice. Talk of the 99 percent and one percent is not just sloganeering. It reveals a problem generated by government and a situation in which some people believe that they have a “right” to be taken care of rather than just a right to live in a free and just society where all persons are treated equally under the law.

Indeed the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. The extreme current inequality is not a consequence of free markets and true liberty. Rather it results from the welfare state that, as always, morphs into a system that provides excesses for the powerful few. Better management of the welfare system does not help. That only changes the types of authoritarians in charge. Both political parties are financed by Wall Street, the big banks, and the military-industrial complex. Getting rich by being part of the government class is the problem. Wealth achieved by hard work is quite a bit different. Opening the door to this opportunity is achievable by following the principle of life, liberty, and property.

The economic interventionist system under which we live today rewards those who benefit from government economic planning by the Federal Reserve, access to government contracts, and targeted special regulations to help one group over the other. The insiders benefit during the bubble phase of the business cycle and are the first ones in line for the bailouts. The poor, for whom welfare is supposedly designed to help and for whom the politicians justify the spending, end up with the crumbs while the Wall Street/banking elites thrive in good times and bad. There are two problems. First is conceding the principle that government has the moral authority to redistribute wealth. Second is believing the redistribution will be managed wisely and without corruption.

All government management ends up being unwise, corrupt, and wasteful. The money interests inevitably prevail. Belief that “good” bureaucrats and politicians can be found to manage the economy and achieve equity in distribution is a dream that always ends up a nightmare. To make even a modest attempt at this goal requires government to use aggression against one group for the benefit of another. This authority must be denied to government. We must limit the government’s role to protecting equal justice in defense of life, liberty, and property.

Currently the political system in America and in most of the rest of the world is not motivated to seek this limited goal for government. Thus the move toward unfair concentration of wealth in the few and a dramatic increase in the number of people living in poverty as the middle class shrinks. Since there is little understanding of the economic system that is a major contributing factor to the economic problems, it can be expected to exacerbate social and class conflict. The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson plus many similar incidents are signs of a serious economic and political crisis that is not limited to police brutality and runaway violence.

Police brutality and militarization may well induce a violent event far beyond what we have seen in Ferguson. It also can serve as an excuse. But it is not the root cause of turmoil. The real cause is poverty, the entitlement mentality, and the breakdown of the rule of law. Moral decay and the national police state are the real culprits.

More police with improved training will not do much to deal with this growing conflict. Bowing to entitlement demands from the “victims” will not be helpful in a bankrupt system. We have too many police, too many laws, and too much exemption of government officials from the crimes they commit. Both adding police and increasing entitlements involve expanding the role of government in an effort to solve problems that too much government has already caused. Government can only be expanded by diminishing the people’s liberty. This problem can only be ended by maximizing liberty and getting people to realize that self-reliance, hard work, and the absence of coercive force by individuals and government is the only way to reverse the downward trend from which we are suffering.

The battle will no longer be to get the government to pick sides in a conflict between rich and poor, black and white, young and old, or the lawless police versus the lawless demands of entitlement recipients demanding their “fair share.” There has to be an understanding that productive effort and self-reliance on the part of everyone is required for a free society to thrive.

Our Liberties Under Attack

The economic and moral decay of American society is reflected in the loss of liberties. This problem affects all Americans and not just the poor in the inner city. Gradual erosion of personal and economic liberty has proceeded for a century. The loss of our liberty has sharply accelerated since the 9/11 attacks. We have done to ourselves what no foreign enemy could have possibly accomplished.

Government surveillance provides the state with information that enables it to know our every move. The protection of the Fourth Amendment is gone. Many Americans are comfortable with the sacrifice of liberty for safety and accept the notion that government’s key responsibility is to keep us safe. It’s a nice dream but the truth is it can’t do it. One thing for sure: if it tries, it will do so at the expense of liberty.

Welfare, for the rich or poor, cannot exist without the sacrifice of the principal of property ownership. Though it always starts small and justified for the “needy,” the principle of wealth transfer incentivizes the special interests and the rich to obtain benefit at the expense of the poor. This occurs in all societies and inevitably grows to a point where the production of wealth is diminished and the system collapses. This is what we are witnessing today.

The growth of the state necessitates government surveillance of all our financial transactions to enhance the collection of tax revenues. Because there is never enough money for the “do-gooders,” the tactics of the tax collectors have become more vicious. Violation of our liberties is excused by the majority in order to ensure that all people “pay their fair share.” When conditions deteriorate, capital controls are imposed to prevent moving assets out of the country. Our monstrous tax code reflects the hundred-years development of our income tax system and is one of the greatest invitations for our “caring” government to pursue the impossible goal of the fair distribution of all wealth.

The vicious drug war, which dates from the early 1970s, provides another excuse for knowing everything about everybody at all times. Its selling point is to keep people safe from themselves. Pursuing this principle guarantees that liberty will be decimated in the process. It invites the government’s interference in our spiritual and intellectual well-being. What one reads and believes becomes of interest to the manipulators who want to care for us for our own good. And they never rest from seeking this goal.

This concession to the state invites controls on everything we put into our bodies: what we eat, drink, or inhale. It takes a lot of bureaucrats, politicians, and money to manage the process. The people, we have been told, are “too stupid” to make their own decisions about their own lives. We are to believe that politicians who invite themselves to rule over us are all-wise and that we should be thankful to sacrifice our liberty for this “service.” Authoritarians actually believe that we should be grateful to them for all the good things that they do for us. We must remember that if the people don’t rebel against a police state it only grows in size and becomes more ruthless.

In addition to all these trends — which includes the federal government monopolizing and administering medical care and education — government surveillance becomes the darling of the gurus who love the technology that allows the government to know our every move, every day, without limits.

With the disaster of 9/11, an existing acceptance of government monitoring, along with technological advances, helped allow a new age to be ushered in that makes the horrors of George Orwell’s 1984 look less threatening by comparison.

The Federal Government’s War on Us

Tolerance is a favorable trait when it means acting without aggression toward others, but tolerance of the monster that has evolved in our government is not good. Instead of adding more government agencies to spy on the American people, we should be talking about eliminating the ones we have, at a cost the American taxpayers of over $80 billion per year.

We have lived with the global war on terrorism for over 13 years now, and the threat of terrorist attacks against Americans and American allies is worse than ever. Though a global threat exists, the greatest dangers for American citizens here at home have been caused by our own government. Our government’s attacks on our liberties have been overwhelming and worse than anything any foreign power has ever done.

It’s the federal government that leads the charge in all our domestic wars, which, in addition to the global war on terrorism, include the war on drugs, taxpayers, and poverty, all of which contribute to the constant war on our privacy. Today every American is a suspect. Our president has established a policy that an American citizen can be assassinated without even being charged with a crime. The national police are made up of over 100,000 bureaucrats and police officials who carry guns to enforce federal law on the American citizens. The Founders and our Constitution intended that policing powers would be the responsibility of the individual states. That was forgotten a long time ago.

Not only do employees of agencies like the CIA, FBI, and BATF carry guns, employees of OSHA, EPA, Fish and Wildlife, and many other agencies enforcing regulations do so as well. The notion of total homeland security being provided by a heavily armed Department of Homeland Security was foreign to America up until just recently. Today, whether it’s riots in our cities or chaos after a national disaster like a hurricane, the Feds are there taking charge over all local officials and property owners, . It shouldn’t surprise us that our local police departments have become an arm of a runaway federal police mentality that mimics an army.

The Founders did not even want a standing army. They wanted only a militia. Today we endure, at the expense of our liberties, a national police force armed like an invading military force. We are destined to see a continued escalation of violence in our cities as the internal conflicts grow. Instead of the police quelling the violence, they unfortunately have become part of it.

It’s evident we have a national police force harassing the people and failing to protect liberty and property. It fails to quell riots while. Too often it incites them. We are also stuck with a huge “standing” army, marching around the world and engaged to some degree in over 150 countries, “making the world safe for democracy” and serving as a private police force for American corporations overseas.

The US Empire: Who Does it Serve?

When Obama announced a shift in geopolitical interest to the Far East —– to keep an eye on China —– one TV anchor pointed out that the move seems quite logical since we have a lot of “business interests” in the region. It is, in fact, far from logical if one looks at the tragic mess US government interventionism has caused in the Middle East and the conflict the US government is stirring up with Russia over Ukraine.

Old-fashioned colonialism was deemed necessary by various European powers to secure natural resources along with control over sea lanes and markets for selling manufactured goods. European-style colonialism — supporting a mercantilistic economy — came to be seen as politically unrealistic and unnecessary. When free-trade principles were utilized, colonialism did not die; it only changed form. Mercantilism in various forms and degrees drove trade policies of nations with strong economies and militaries. Though the United States is the world’s military powerhouse, controls the oceans and airspace, and has a presence in the four corners of the earth, few people refer to America as a colonial power. But in many ways it is, which has prompted our interests in oil and mineral rich countries. We are frequently involved in choosing the “elected” leaders, as well as hand-picking dictators, in many countries as well. This is not exactly what the Founders had advised.

International militarization of our policies is just as dangerous to our liberties and economy as is the domestic policy that drives our authoritarian governments to regulate our every move. We are now subject to an out-of-control domestic police force while the US military maintains our Empire overseas.

The “one percenters,” generally speaking, are internationalists who are not champions of individual liberty and free trade. They are supporters of managed trade and international institutions like the WTO where the interests of the one percent can influence the rulings that frequently have little to do with advancing advertised goals of low tariffs and free trade.

The international monetary system is a powerful tool for the select few. Easy credit, government guarantees, and generous contracts are a great benefit to those in charge. Non-compliant nations, or any country that is deemed unfriendly, can be punished with severe sanctions without moral or economic justification. US corporations benefit from our military presence worldwide. The military-industrial complex profits not only by selling weapons to the US government, but also by being the world’s chief arms provider.

It is a fact that many weapons we send into areas such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria frequently end up in the hands of our enemies. ISIS obtaining US weapons led to the US military then taking action to destroy the weapons. The military-industrial complex is immediately available to replace the weapons while earning generous profits. This is great if you happen to be an insider manufacturing or selling these weapons. It is quite a lucrative business, all at the expense of the American taxpayer.

The United States military presence around the world provides a “private” police force to protect US and other international companies against any local resistance or leaders that turn unfriendly. Our military presence overseas has nothing to do with protecting our freedoms and defending our Constitution. Those are lies and are used for the purpose of gaining the support of the American people for wars that should never have been fought. After long periods of tragic losses and expense, the American people generally wake up and realize what has happened. But what we need to do is wake the American people up earlier and get them to realize that the resistance has to be heard from the people when the government is preparing for war, not after the war has begun or even ended.

Military personnel are idolized, and, if any one raises a question on whether or not all soldiers are universally “heroes,” that person is accused of being unpatriotic, un-American, and unsupportive of the troops. In fact, the real heroes are the ones who expose the truth and refuse to fight foreign wars for the international corporations. Disengaging our troops from around the world and refusing to defend American neocolonialism is pursuing a course compatible with the qualities that Americans claim to stand for.

Liberty at home is never enhanced by war abroad. Preemptive wars are especially antagonistic to the goals of peace, commerce, and honest friendship. War “is the health of the state,” it has been said, and the state is the enemy of liberty. Wars overseas justify the wars at home against the American people. It is expected that liberties will be sacrificed when a country is at war. Pro-war neoconservatives are blatantly honest by arguing that for freedom to exist the sacrifice of liberty is required. This admission is truly discouraging. It hardly makes sense that voluntarily sacrificing liberty is worthwhile, if the goal is to preserve liberty. Time is short to reverse this trend.

Not only are our policies destructive to liberty, the economic costs are prohibitive. So far the bills have not been paid, but they are rapidly coming due. Both the deeply flawed policy of military interventionism abroad and the failed errors of central economic planning at home are now threatening our liberties and our general welfare. The recent breakout of violence in our cities between police on one side and people who have been thrust into the stagnation of poverty as a consequence of bad government social and economic policy on the other side should not be a mystery if one could see the forest for the trees. Economic problems are “blowback” and unintended consequences of well-meaning welfare programs that have been usurped by the powerful special interests demanding benefits off the top.

Yes, it’s tempting to believe the falsehoods of economists who claim that transferring wealth for fairness sake is beneficial, but history shows that it never works. The same humanitarians argue that all spending is crucial and beneficial, deficits don’t matter, borrowing is good, and taxing is the equalizer. If government still comes up short they say just turn on the printing presses. That is the philosophy we have been living with for 85 years, and the evidence is now in. It is clear to most Americans that these policies have not worked. Yet they are not ready to concede that it is less government and more freedom that is the solution.

The obsession with continuing all the same policies has increased our poverty, increased violence between the classes, and lowered the standard of living for all except the elite one percent. And worst of all, the sacrifice of liberty was for naught. Losing both liberty and the right to truly own property undermines the ability to create wealth. When this process gets out-of-control the economy goes into a death spiral, in the beginning of which we currently find ourselves. Without a correction to the basic understanding of the proper role of government, the downward spiral will continue.

Blowback All Around: We Are Less Safe

Economic blowback and unintended consequences is one thing, but blowback from our needless and aggressive policies around the world is another, and every bit as dangerous. As we find ourselves increasingly engaged economically and militarily around the world, we can expect many more attacks on American interests. With so many military personnel abroad, they will be the easiest targets to be hit. But attacks similar in nature to the 9/11 attacks will remain a threat to our homeland. We will not be attacked because we are free and rich. The attacks will come from angry people who have had friends and relatives killed by America’s careless and often vicious use of our military force in their countries.

It is not that difficult to feel resentment against a country that comes thousands of miles from home and bombs, invades, and punishes with sanctions, other countries that have never initiated force against it. As long as our foreign policy remains the same we can expect serious blowback attacks — and for them to increase in number as our prowess is diminished. Economic factors will determine this, and the loss of dollar hegemony will aggravate the situation.

The US government’s foolishness in foreign affairs has plagued us for 100 years. The escalation of our presence around the world since 9/11 continues. It is a policy “bubble” of gigantic proportions. This “bubble” of intervention is about to burst. Any serious look at our last 13 years of intervention around the world should convince all skeptics of how foolish, dangerous, and expensive it has been. The US operates with an attitude that it has the power and therefore the responsibility to be involved in deciding almost every foreign leader, whether elected or appointed as a dictator.

We have been engaged in picking and financing political factions in revolts in countries including Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kurdistan, Syria, Ukraine, Somalia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Liberia, Georgia, Haiti, and Lebanon.

These involvements impose a huge tax and inflation burden on the American people. Trillions of dollars have been spent, and the debt continues to mount. The abject failure of our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan elicits a loud call from the neoconservatives for more money, troops, weapons, and bombs, with zero hope of a successful mission. ISIS, now considered our greatest threat, is not even a country, but our occupation and destruction in the region motivates even a ragtag bunch to expel foreign forces from their homeland. ISIS has rallied enormous support and resources to undermine our allies in the region. That assessment is difficult, of course, since it’s hard for anyone to identify exactly who our allies are and distinguish them from our avowed enemies.

US foreign policy has helped create the disastrous situation in Syria. We declared that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad had to go. We supported rebel factions. We armed them. They turned on us and used their American weapons against us with an amazing resistance headed by the ruthless ISIS, an outgrowth of al-Qaeda. It’s quite an irony that ISIS is well entrenched in northern Iraq, since before we decided to invade Iraq and kill Saddam Hussein no al-Qaeda were present in Iraq. Now the neocons are getting their way and American forces are returning with reinforcements and weapons to save Baghdad from the jihadists.

No one can make this stuff up. It’s too bizarre for fiction. Unfortunately, with the help of the media and our government, the American people have remained oblivious to the stupidity of our policies of the past 13 years. A day will come though when the full cost of this policy is dumped on the American people. Then they will get the message. Then it will be too late to gracefully exit and restore sanity without cataclysmic changes being forced on us. The major challenge will be the survival of our liberties.

What to expect in 2015?

Foreign Affairs

More American troops will be sent overseas to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Ukraine. There will be no military victories to brag about. More American military personnel will be killed in 2015 than in 2014. Military contractors will be used in growing numbers and their casualties will not be counted as military casualties.

The Ukraine civil war will not end, and the United States will be further bogged down in this conflict. Relations with Russia will continue to deteriorate. The neocons in Congress will gain even more influence over our foreign policy. Punishing sanctions will continue to be made more severe and push Russia further into China’s sphere of influence. Gold will gain credibility as we isolate the Russians from the financial markets.

Sanctions on Russia will alienate Europe against the United States. The British oil industry will suffer from the “conspiracy” of the US and Saudi Arabia to drive oil prices down to punish Russia.

The military-industrial complex will continue to thrive and make even more money with the greater influence of the neocons in the new Congress. Supplemental budgets for the military should be expected, along with covert assistance and additional foreign aid to finance the management of our Empire.

Our enemies’ strength will grow and prompt even more abuse of American citizens’ privacy and free expression. We should not be surprised if there is a reigniting of the conflict in the Balkans. The first of the color revolutions in 2000 in Serbia can hardly be claimed a permanent victory. Generally, bombs from outsiders don’t solve internal problems. Those problems must eventually be solved from within a country rather than from outside interference.

The US and NATO announced that the 13 year war in Afghanistan has ended. There has been neither the pretense of "Mission Accomplished" nor an admission of outright failure, along with an exodus. In reality the war has not ended and instead will continue for a long time. No victory for US policy is possible. The conflict will actually spread and increase in intensity since our goals are undefinable and therefore the war is un-winnable.

Sanity will not return to US leaders until our financial system collapses — an event for which they are feverishly working

Domestic issues

An honest assessment of the economy will not reveal any significant improvement in 2015. Inflation will continue to plague us, possibly even with the government-rigged CPI figures showing an increase. But the true inflation of the Fed’s credit creation, as well as the subsequent mal- investment and the various bubbles bursting will accelerate. Debt in all categories will continue to increase at unsustainable rates. The Fed will not permit interest rates to rise — at least on purpose. Eventually the market will demand that rates do rise, however.

Tax revenues will continue to rise, aiding the policy of the government spending the people’s money rather than those who earned it. Regulations, even with (or maybe especially with) a Republican Congress will continue to increase and make the Federal Register more incomprehensible. Friction between the middle class and the one percent, many of whom are living off government privileges, will escalate further and be reflected in confrontations especially in the large cities. Financial currency controls will continue to expand especially with cross-border transactions.

Blowback and unintended consequences from our sanctions and foreign policy in general will continue to threaten our domestic security and our economy, as well as our liberties.

Relations with Cuba will be improved with the president’s effort to resume diplomatic relations, but the radicals and isolationists who oppose free trade will place roadblocks in the way and slow the process.

A major geopolitical or economic event, greater than the crisis of 2008, is fast approaching. The precipitating event will be a surprise to the majority of politicians and economists. There are many “next shoe to drop” possibilities, and one could happen any time or any place.

Wall Street will be protected, and the trillions of dollars of big banks derivatives will be absorbed by the Fed, the FDIC, and ultimately by the American taxpayers in the next financial crisis. There’s no doubt the poor will get poorer and the rich richer until the spirit of revolution in the people calls a halt to the systematic destruction of freedom in America.

Conclusion: Toward a Peaceful Revolution

Authoritarianism has overtaken our economic system as the welfare mentality takes over at every level of government. Once the initiation of force by government is accepted by the people, even minimally, it escalates and involves every aspect of society. The only question that remains is just who gets to wield the power to distribute the largess to their friends and chosen beneficiaries. It’s a recipe for steady growth of the government at the expense of liberties, even if official documents and laws written to limit government power are in place. Planting even small seeds of monopoly power in the hands of a few people in government, whether democratically elected or not, will always metastasize like a cancer. This was Jefferson’s concern when he advised that “[t]he tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time.” He believed the people must warn the rulers that taking up arms against the government is legitimate if the government fails to protect the people’s liberty.

This should be a consideration. But if the spirit of liberty is not alive and well in the hearts and minds of the people, violence alone against the government will not be a solution. History has shown that, more often than not, people who rebel against abusive governments, whether run by kings or modern day dictators, do not gain much — overthrowing one dictator and replacing him with another just as bad.

A clear understanding of the nature and source of liberty is required for revolutions to be beneficial. Restraining the few who thrive on the use of force to rule over us is the challenge. Fortunately they are outnumbered by those who would choose liberty yet lack the will to challenge the humanitarian monsters who gain support from naive and apathetic citizens. All positive revolutions must be philosophic in nature to make a difference. Violence alone achieves nothing.

Before we can actually restore our liberties, we most likely will have to become a lot less free and much poorer. This is sad since correct and workable answers are available to us if only the people understood them and demanded liberty and honesty, rather than being dependent on excessive government power and believing the false promises of politicians.

Even with the problems we face today and the bleak outlook for the coming year there’s much to encourage us. During this next year there will be the continuation of many more people recognizing the failure of government to create peace and prosperity. More widespread understanding of this truth is required in order to bring about a successful revolution.

The freedom movement, especially with many young people involved, will grow in numbers and influence.

Current monetary policy and the Federal Reserve will continue to lose credibility, especially with the next bailout. Although “too big to fail” will stay in place, it will further alienate Main Street America causing it to rebel against the system.

The real problem of course is that too many “stupid people” are IN our government and have high visibility on the major TV networks. There will be plenty of people, not officially associated with government, who will rebel against various governments around the world. The sentiments supporting secession, jury nullification, nullification of federal laws by state legislatures, and a drive for more independence from larger governments will continue.

We should not be discouraged. Enlightenment is not nearly as difficult to achieve as it was before the breakthrough with Internet communications occurred. Besides we must remember that “an idea whose time has come” cannot be stopped by armies, demagogues, politicians, or even Fox News or MSNBC. The time has come for the ideas of liberty to prevail. I smell progress. Let’s make 2015 a fun year for LIBERTY.