Friday, July 2, 2010

Chicago approves new handgun restrictions

Move comes days after Supreme Court ruling cast doubt on city ban

M. Spencer Green / AP

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley on Thursday introduced what the city says is the most comprehensive gun ordinance in the United States. by DON BABWIN

updated 7/2/2010 12:50:14 PM

CHICAGO — The Chicago City Council on Friday approved what city officials say is the strictest handgun ordinance in the United States.

The 45-0 vote came four days after a Supreme Court ruling made it almost certain that Chicago's handgun ban would be overturned. The high court ruled Americans have a right to own a gun for self-defense anywhere they live.

The new city ordinance bans gun shops in Chicago and prohibits gun owners from stepping outside their homes, even onto their porches or garages, with a handgun. It will take effect in 10 days.

The ordinance also:

— Limits the number of handguns residents can register to one per month and prohibit residents from having more than one handgun in operating order at any given time.

— Requires residents in homes with children to keep them in lock boxes or equipped with trigger locks.

— Requires prospective gun owners to take a four-hour class and one-hour training at a gun range. They would have to leave the city for training because Chicago prohibits new gun ranges and limits the use of existing ranges to police officers. Those restrictions were similar to those in an ordinance passed in Washington, D.C., after the high court struck down its ban two years ago.

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Middle class families face a triple whammy

Falling pensions, cuts and the banking crisis will impoverish many families, says Edmund Conway.

By Edmund Conway

Published: 9:05AM BST 01 Jul 2010

You don't usually expect radical neo-Marxism from the International Monetary Fund – the last great bastion of capitalism, spreading the gospel about the free market to the furthest reaches of the world. And yet, hidden away in an obscure IMF report a few years back is a short sentence that explains precisely the problems that Britain, and the rest of the Western world, have been sleepwalking towards for years.

The claim made by the IMF's Financial Stability Report in 2005, in a seemingly throwaway remark, was that households had become the financial system's "shock absorber of last resort". In other words, whereas in previous eras, much of the pain of recession and financial crisis was borne by businesses or governments, with families afforded some degree of protection by the pensions system or welfare state, it was now households who were far more likely to face the music.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Numbers Reveal no Recovery Poll: BP Oil Gusher Evacuation?

Kurt Nimmo
June 29, 2010

An poll on a rumored Gulf Coast evacuation in response to environmental and health dangers posed by the BP oil gusher was close to evenly divided. 27% of respondents said there will be a massive and widespread evacuation while 30% indicated they believe only certain towns and cities will experience evacuation. 28% said rumors of a widespread or limited evacuation is merely propaganda designed to scare people.

“We’re going to have to evacuate the gulf states,” Matt Simmons, founder of Simmons and Co., an oil investment firm and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations told the Washington Post on June 23. “Can you imagine evacuating 20 million people?… This story is 80 times worse than I thought.”

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Michele Bachmann: "Obama is Binding the United States to a Global Economy"

Mark Matheny

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R) MN appeared on the Bill O'reilly Show on June 30, 2010 stating that Barack Obama was in fact attempting to bind the United States to a global economy
"President Obama is trying to bind the United States into a global economy, where all the nations got together on a global economy, I don't want the United States to be in a global economy...where our economic future is bound to that of Zimbabwe ... we can't necessarilly trust the decisions that are being made in other countries".

This statement was made in reference to the recent G 20 (Gangters 20) meeting that was held in Toronto Canada. Of course, Obama -Long Legged Mac Daddy that he is- and not being content with the Billions (trillions?) in stimulus that he and the Fed have already distributed to who knows where! ..was at the G 20 meeting trying to convince the other countries to join in on the stimulus Jamboree!

Obviously Congresswoman Bachmann is wise enough (along with Ron Paul) to know that it is one thing to trade with other countries, but it is a whole different can of worms to start making economic ties to these countries! The only problem with the argument is simply that we are in up to our elbows in a global economy with contributions to the UN, IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization and the list goes on!

America is now between the proverbial rock and a hard place - to the left, more stimulus until we print ourselves into total fiat collaspe!- and to the right, an austerity vat tax cardiac arrest!!

Damn these Globalists!!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stock market volatility reflects a weak economy and the end of a generational bull market. S&P 500 back to 1998 levels. Middle class thrown to the wolves in this stock market.

The economic crisis has ushered in the end of a generation long bull market. Most average investors ignore the fact that heavy market volatility is a sign of an unhealthy stock market. The stock market since the lows reached in 2009 has been on an unstoppable bull run. Yet the real economy where most Americans work and spend money has not reflected any of this irrational exuberance. The S&P 500 has rallied 53 percent from the lows reached in early 2009 and that is including the current retracement back. On Tuesday the stock market pulled back on data showing consumer confidence plunging from what analysts had expected. Outside of Wall Street the economy is walking on eggshells.

If we look at S&P 500 data we find that we have entered into a new era:

The above chart highlights milestones for the S&P 500 dating back to 1968. For the S&P 500 to double from 100 to 200, it took a slow 17 years. From 200 to 400 it took 6 years, an incredibly quick jump. Another 6 years after that and the S&P 500 was riding high at 800. From 1997 to 2007 the S&P 500 went from 800 to 1,576 in the intraday high that is now far in the past. It almost doubled yet again in a 10 year horizon. Yet that trend has been broken. The S&P 500 is now back to 1,041 and has pulled back to levels seen in 1998. Does anyone really see the S&P 500 going to 2,000 any time soon?

“The stock market needs to reflect the underlying health and productivity of the overall economy and not simply the gambling penchant of Wall Street banks.”

Most of America is dealing with the new austerity that is being thrust on them from an unforgiving economy and a government that seems to be preoccupied with helping out the financial industry before setting things right with the average worker. In other words, the middle class is being thrown to the wolves in this crisis. The government is serving the interest of big money at the detriment of the middle class.

If we look at the volatility of the S&P 500 over the past 22 years we’ll notice two different stories. From 1988 to 2000, the stock market enjoyed a once in a lifetime bull run. There were virtually no negative years and some incredible year over year gains. Keep in mind that we are looking at a 12 year timeframe on a tiny chart but this is over a decade of mental conditioning here. If we look from 2000 to our present day, the massive amount of volatility has sent the S&P 500 to levels seen in 1998:

2008 was the worst stock market year since the Great Depression. That is how bad that one year turned out for investors. This large amount of volatility simply reflects a weak real economy and the recent stock market run to the peak of the mountain was super charged by taxpayer money going into large investment banks who in return went into the stock market and gambled your hard earned money. Clearly it hasn’t done much for consumer confidence, aiding in the foreclosure crisis, or bringing jobs back. What then did all this money really accomplish?

If we look at the VIX which looks at option trading volume and is a good sign of volatility we also see this recent stock market reshuffling:

What we can gather from all this volatility is a new paradigm has arrived. Most popular financial books that hype compound interest always focus on a convenient 7 to 10 percent annualized gain in the stock market. That may have been the case from 1968 to 2000 but that isn’t the case anymore. What are you going to invest in when U.S. Treasuries are barely offering any interest and bank accounts are offering rates of 0.01 percent on savings accounts? Your mattress would rival some of these rates.

The stock market right now is one large casino. No real reform has taken place and that is why we see no real changes in the economy yet trillions of dollars funneled into a financial abyss. Someone got this money but clearly it wasn’t the middle class. The public was told that money was going to go to shore up the housing market (didn’t happen) and to keep lending to the public going (didn’t happen). So what did happen was that big investment banks used taxpayer money and gambled to bolster their own profits. That was basically the smoke and mirrors campaign that we have gone through.

The middle class is largely a casualty of this all. 9 out of the top 10 jobs in this country are in low paying service sector work. We hear this rhetoric about a double dip but the middle and working class never got out of the first dip to begin with. Who is this double dip for? Wall Street gamblers who have funneled taxpayer money into the casino? Must be nice for their 53 percent rally but sadly none of that is reflected in the real economy. If we want to be happy about gambling why not talk about the person who just won the lottery last night. Wall Street certainly won the lottery here at the expense of the taxpayers. The collapse of consumer confidence is merely a reflection of what most of us already know. The real economy has never recovered.

This is the end of a generational bull run just like the 1920s came crashing down with the Great Depression. Unlike that time, we have allowed the banks and Wall Street to continue to pollute our real economy with their gambling schemes. Can you believe that no real reform has taken place? No wonder why average Americans are displeased with both political parties and are furious at Wall Street.

Granny shocked by police stun gun in bed sues
Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY — An 87-year-old grandmother subdued by police with a stun gun while she was lying in bed hooked up to an oxygen machine is suing her Oklahoma hometown.

Attorney Brian Dell said Tuesday that he filed the lawsuit June 21 on behalf of his client, Lona Varner. He did not specify the amount she's seeking from the city of El Reno but said it's at least $75,000.

Varner's grandson called 911 on Dec. 22 and told the dispatcher his grandmother "wanted to end her life" and that he was concerned she had taken some unknown medicine.

Officer Thomas Duran says in a police report that Varner pulled a kitchen knife from under her pillow and threatened to stab and kill him if he tried to take her from her home.

The report says another officer used a stun gun on Varner.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Connecticut Marines Fight for 'Don't Tread on Me' Flag Display

By Diane Macedo

Published June 28, 2010

A group of retired Marines is asking Connecticut's attorney general to allow the "Don't Tread on Me" Gadsden flag to fly over the state Capitol on July 4 after Capitol Police refused the request saying it doesn’t fall within the state’s flag flying parameters.

The group says the yellow banner, which sports a coiled rattlesnake and its trademark motto, is the original flag of the U.S. Marine Corps and clearly fits into the section of the policy which states that the Connecticut State Capitol can fly “flags of recognized military organizations of the U.S.A.”

Read the entire story

Monday, June 28, 2010

RBS tells clients to prepare for 'monster' money-printing by the Federal Reserve

As recovery starts to stall in the US and Europe with echoes of mid-1931, bond experts are once again dusting off a speech by Ben Bernanke given eight years ago as a freshman governor at the Federal Reserve.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor

Published: 5:11PM BST 27 Jun 2010

Entitled "Deflation: Making Sure It Doesn’t Happen Here", it is a warfare manual for defeating economic slumps by use of extreme monetary stimulus once interest rates have dropped to zero, and implicitly once governments have spent themselves to near bankruptcy.

The speech is best known for its irreverent one-liner: "The US government has a technology, called a printing press, that allows it to produce as many US dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost."

Bernanke began putting the script into action after the credit system seized up in 2008, purchasing $1.75 trillion of Treasuries, mortgage securities, and agency bonds to shore up the US credit system. He stopped far short of the $5 trillion balance sheet quietly pencilled in by the Fed Board as the upper limit for quantitative easing (QE).
"The US government has a technology, called a printing press, that allows it to produce as many US dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost." -Ben Bernanke 

Investors basking in Wall Street's V-shaped rally had assumed that this bizarre episode was over. So did the Fed, which has been shutting liquidity spigots one by one. But the latest batch of data is disturbing.

The ECRI leading indicator produced by the Economic Cycle Research Institute plummeted yet again last week to -6.9, pointing to contraction in the US by the end of the year. It is dropping faster that at any time in the post-War era.

The latest data from the CPB Netherlands Bureau shows that world trade slid 1.7pc in May, with the biggest fall in Asia. The Baltic Dry Index measuring freight rates on bulk goods has dropped 40pc in a month. This is a volatile index that can be distorted by the supply of new ships, but those who watch it as an early warning signal for China and commodities are nervous.

Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS, is advising clients to read the Bernanke text very closely because the Fed is soon going to have to the pull the lever on "monster" quantitative easing (QE)".

"We cannot stress enough how strongly we believe that a cliff-edge may be around the corner, for the global banking system (particularly in Europe) and for the global economy. Think the unthinkable," he said in a note to investors.

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John Kasich confronted on Tax Statement Issue For The years He Worked For Lehman Brothers.

Mark Matheny

John Kasich was confronted  at a radio town hall meeting hosted by Bob Burney of WRFD 880 in Columbus Ohio on Oct 23, 2009 concerning whether he'd be willing to release his Tax Statements covering the years he worked for Lehman Brothers. He sidetracked the issue, and ultimately never answered the question. So much for transparency.

Obama Says G-20 Produced Important Progress

U.S. President Barack Obama fields questions during a news conference on Sunday afternoon.

Published June 27, 2010
Associated Press

President Barack Obama on Sunday welcomed an international commitment for rich countries to slash their deficits in half by 2013, despite his earlier warnings against halting stimulus spending too abruptly.

"We can't all rush to the exits at the same time," Obama told a news conference at the conclusion of a summit of the 20 major industrial and developing economies.

Obama also issued a warning to North Korea, saying its alleged sinking of a South Korean warship was "belligerent behavior that is unacceptable" to the international community.

"It is absolutely critical for the international community to rally behind" South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Obama said.

Obama spoke after G-20 leaders issued a statement calling for "advanced" nations to halve their budget deficits -- as a proportion of gross domestic product growth -- by 2013, and to put their annual deficits on either a lower or a more stable basis by 2016.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

NKorea rejects American-run UN Command's proposal for talks on sinking of warship
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Sunday it has rejected a proposal by the American-led U.N. Command to hold military talks on the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on Pyongyang.

The U.N. Command, which oversees the armistice that ended the three-year Korean War in 1953, has launched an investigation of the sinking.

A separate team of international investigators concluded last month that North Korea torpedoed the warship Cheonan near the tense Korean sea border. North Korea denied the allegation and has warned any punishment would trigger war.

Details of the U.N. Command's probe have not been released.

North Korea said Sunday that the U.N. Command's armistice commission has sent it a message calling for general-level talks to inform the North of the results of its investigation.

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