Saturday, January 5, 2013

Retirement no more: Median net worth at lowest level since 1969 recent study finds.

MyBudget360
January 5, 2012


There may be a temporary jubilee with the notion that the fiscal cliff has been deferred for a few months.  The media is quick to accept anything for a victory but very little has been done to stop our marching path onward on this massive debt spiral.  Many Americans continue to live in poverty with no visible exit.  The latest figures show over 47 million Americans on food assistance.  Many Americans as they enter their golden years are coming to fully rely on Social Security, a system that was on the table for being cut in the recent debates.  Since the Fed is creating asset bubbles and destroying fixed income investments, many older Americans are realizing that retirement is no longer a viable option given the rising costs in food, healthcare, and once again housing.  I see this on a monthly basis where you can spot older Americans in non-traditional and many times, temporary employment roles.  None of this intervention is ending up in household income.  In fact, when we examine real wealth the net worth of American’s is down to the lowest levels since 1969 when adjusting for inflation.
A return home
Many baby boomers are being greeted with a grim reality.  Retirement may not be an option.  A recent paper from New York University highlights some dramatic figures for net worth data from 1983 to 2010.  The study found that 2010 median net worth in the United States hit its lowest point since 1969.  This research aligns with other figures we have found from the Fed Consumer Finance Survey:
us-household-median-net-worth-2012
The data shows a crushing blow to the finances for most Americans.  The net worth of many Americans fell by nearly 40 percent between 2007 and 2010.  A large part of this has to do with the collapse in the housing market.  The Fed is trying its best to inflate that market once again but it is coming at a cost.  Many retirees rely on fixed income investments and these are taking a beating with quantitative easing.  Take a look at bond rates and CD rates and you will realize what a negative interest rate environment looks like.
The problem is that while many retirees have fixed incomes, the cost of items like food and healthcare continue to go up.  This becomes a major problem.  Keep in mind that most Americans have their wealth tied up in their housing.  The only way to unleash this wealth is by selling your property.  But then what?  The Fed with artificially low interest rates is pushing up home values and rents as well.  So a retiree will cash out and then chase the slow eroding power of inflation.
In reality very few families actually own stocks.  Only 1 out of 3 Americans actually have any savings so stocks might seem out of the question.  Hard to see those 47 million Americans on food stamps investing in the stock market.  Below is some data on stock ownership among American families:
families with stocks
Only about 15 percent of all US families actually own stock outright.  So it should come as little surprise that the recent stock rally has had little impact on the income figures for most US households.  Many US companies now derive a large portion of their income abroad so they have in many ways decoupled from the US economy.  During the recession, many profitable companies used the recession as a time to cut back and push forward on a path of low wage capitalism.  This strategy will certainly hurt those planning for retirement.
Contrary to popular belief and the 2012 rally, retail investors are pulling money out of equity funds:
Equity investing
Source:  ICI
$154 billion was pulled out in 2012.  There are a variety of reasons for this including lower cost ETFs but also, for those that built portfolios with funds many have to sell to provide for retirement.  We are now seeing 10,000 baby boomers per day reaching retirement age.  This is the first time in history that we have had some large group of people save up for retirement in a retail fashion.  But now they must sell.  After all, there is a purpose to saving for 30 or 40 years.  This is to provide for a retirement (and clearly the vast majority did not, or could not).  Yet those that did will have to sell and age does not stop for market speculation.
The fact that we have a younger less affluent generation is also going to create some issues.  Younger Americans are entering a weak work force and have little illusions about a cushy retirement.  In fact, many are not expecting Social Security to be around when their time comes yet today, during more prosperous times many rely on Social Security as their primary source of retirement funding.  Are we to expect human behavior is going to change moving forward?
The study found that median US households saw their wealth drop by 18 percent over the studied time period but those in the top one percent saw a gain of 71 percent.  The middle class is being squeezed tighter and tighter and the concept of retirement is being turned on its head.  There may be no retirement for the middle class but a combination of low wage work supplemented with what is left of Social Security.  So far, that seems to be the plan for millions.

Friday, January 4, 2013

CHART OF THE DAY: THE SCARIEST JOBS CHART EVER

Business Insider
January 4, 2013


It's jobs day in America.
This morning we learned that the U.S. economy added 155k jobs December and the unemployment rate ticked up in 7.8 percent. 
Although the numbers were in line with economists' expectations, they still reflect a job market that remains incredibly weak almost four years into the economic recovery.
Calculated Risk runs a chart every month putting the current jobs recovery into perspective.
"This shows the depth of the recent employment recession - worse than any other post-war recession - and the relatively slow recovery due to the lingering effects of the housing bust and financial crisis," writes Bill McBride of Calculated Risk.
jobs chart


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/pct-job-losses-in-post-wwii-recessions-2013-1#ixzz2H1iubrYl

Government democide and disarmament are greatest threats of violence


‘Demand a Real Plan’ video goes viral
Mike Adams
Natural News
Jan 4, 2013

A powerful new video is going viral across the web: “Demand A Real Plan” exposes the truth about government disarmament and “democide” – death by government.
Or click here to watch it on TV.naturalnews.com (in case YouTube censors it).
As the video explains, the No. 1 cause of mass murder and death throughout world history has been tyrannical government. Time and time again, as soon as guns are stripped out of the hands of the People, governments engage in the mass murder of innocents. Those who argue for gun control seem to fail to understand that disarming the citizens leads directly to a concentration of power in the hands of evil government officials who, sooner or later, use that power to exterminate millions of innocent people in the name of “love” or whatever concept they wish to invoke.
The chart on the right, below, shows statistics of democide (government mass murder) from 1900 – 1999. The numbers are in thousands, so “76,702″ means “76 million” people. As you can see from the chart, published by a University of Hawaii researcher, governments are the No. 1 leading cause of (non-natural) death in the world.
This is especially true of rogue governments such as governments that strip away citizens’ rights, just like Obama did when he signed the NDAA.
The truth about government disarmament and mass murder
To date, 290 million human beings have been slaughtered at the hands of government.
As university research shows, over 260 million people have been mass murdered by government since 1900.
Nearly every case of mass murder by government has been preceded by gun control (citizen disarmament). Obama, Feinstein, Schumer and others are putting America on a direct course for repeating this dark chapter of human history: Once guns are stripped from the hands of American citizens, mass murder will soon follow.
Americans are naive
Most Americans don’t yet believe what’s really happening because they are naive. They’ve grown up in a “polite” society and they actually believe government is trying to help people. While that’s true at low levels of government and local government, high-level government operatives are ACTORS who are only playing the role of saviors while they plot mass murder.
Here’s the full “Demand A Real Plan” video:

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Tran­shu­manism and Immortality

August Forecast & Review
January 2, 2013


Economy

Obama rolled the Repub­lican party and the polit­ical damage inflicted may be irre­versible. In his nation­wide speech on New Year’s Eve, Obama called for a “fair and bal­anced” approach to solve the fiscal cliff, using that exact phrase sev­eral times. The press was sub­se­quently fed the “fair and bal­anced” talking points as the sin­gular char­ac­ter­istic of the Obama Administration.
The final bill, which included only tax increases and no cuts in spending, actu­ally added $330 bil­lion in spending over the next 10 years, and ensures an increase of $4 tril­lion to the fed­eral deficit.
After hearing of the bill’s pas­sage, Obama stated,
“Today’s agree­ment enshrines, I think, a prin­ciple into law that will remain in place as long as I am Pres­i­dent: The deficit needs to be reduced in a way that’s bal­anced. Everyone pays their fair share. Everyone does their part. That’s how our economy works best. That’s how we grow.”
Wel­come to Obama’s “bal­anced approach”: Dou­ble­think at its best.
For every dollar spent by gov­ern­ment, an off­set­ting dollar is crowded out of the pro­duc­tive economy. While Obama stead­fastly refuses to cut gov­ern­ment spending, his new mantra of “we can’t cut our way to pros­perity” is the polar oppo­site of what needs to happen, namely, shrink the gov­ern­ment so that the economy can expand. As long as gov­ern­ment grows, the economy will shrink.
In short, nothing has been solved. Obama and his spend-crazy Admin­is­tra­tion are not restrained in the least and the dividing lines between Democ­rats, Repub­li­cans and con­ser­v­a­tives are more vit­ri­olic than ever.
This writer expects that the credit rating agen­cies will be inclined to fur­ther down­grade U.S. debt, based on a) expanding debt to GDP ratio, b) con­gres­sional grid­lock and inability to achieve a rea­son­able con­sensus and c) increasing budget deficits.

Tran­shu­manism and Immortality

As dis­cussed before in these pages, Tech­noc­racy and Tran­shu­manism are Siamese twins joined at a scientific/metaphysical nexus to deter­mine the future of mankind. Prac­ti­tioners of these philoso­phies shroud their meta­phys­ical belief sys­tems with tra­di­tional sci­ence in order to a) avoid intel­lec­tual scrutiny and b) give legit­i­macy to oth­er­wise purely mystic concepts.
While Tech­noc­racy addresses evolving eco­nomic and polit­ical sys­tems required for the con­trol of the humans on our planet, tran­shu­manism is con­cerned with human enhance­ment up to and including achieving immor­tality. In this realm, sci­ence and fan­tasy are often indistinguishable.
For what fol­lows below, I strongly rec­om­mend viewing this infor­ma­tive BBC doc­u­men­tary on the Russian space pro­gram: Knocking on Heaven’s Door.
The father of the Russian space pro­gram was Kon­stantin Tsi­olkovsky (1857 – 1935), a bril­liant sci­en­tist who was driven by the philoso­phies of another Russian, Nikolai Fedorov (1828 – 1903).
According to tran­shu­manist Guilio Prisco*,
“Fedorov sug­gested that sci­ence was a tool given to us by God to enable us to res­ur­rect the dead and, as promised, enjoy immortal life. He added that because the Earth could not sus­tain a pop­u­la­tion that never died, we must first learn to con­quer space. His ideas about human evo­lu­tion, and in par­tic­ular the idea that humans should take con­trol of the process and direct it towards their own goals, inspired gen­er­a­tions of Russian sci­en­tists and led directly to con­tem­po­rary tran­shu­manism. [emphasis added]
Federov believed that the only evil in the world was death, and there­fore it must be con­quered. How­ever, he had not only cur­rent and future inhab­i­tants of the world in mind, but also all humans who have ever lived. If sci­ence could pull it off, having all those humans walking the earth would neces­si­tate the col­o­niza­tion of the uni­verse — to spread us out, so to speak.
The Russian space pro­gram, with its suc­cesses and fail­ures, sparked the USSR/U.S. space race that gave legit­i­macy to the cre­ation and expan­sion of NASA in the U.S. The out­ward con­cern over the space race was mil­i­tary in nature: Who would rain down nuclear mis­siles on whom? The evi­dence is to the con­trary how­ever – the race was to be first to col­o­nize the uni­verse and to dis­cover other life forms who had already achieved god status (immortality).
Some have sug­gested that the space “race” aspect was fab­ri­cated by sci­en­tists to stim­u­late mas­sive funding into their metaphysical/scientific schemes. There is more than a little evi­dence to sup­port this theory, including NASA’s vocal search for extrater­res­trial life on other planets in the universe.
For instance, The New York Times reported in its Sci­ence sec­tion in 2002,
“The pur­suit of that ancient heav­enly con­nec­tion has lately moved near center stage at NASA, which assem­bled some 100 astronomers, physi­cists, chemists, geol­o­gists and even a few biol­o­gists at the Space Tele­scope Sci­ence Insti­tute on the Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity campus recently to talk about extrater­res­trial life.
“In dis­cus­sions on topics like the vagaries of inter­stellar weather and the reflec­tive prop­er­ties of veg­e­ta­tion, they debated the nature and his­tory of life on Earth, which parts of the galaxy were suit­able for life and laid plans for a gen­er­a­tion of space­craft that will prospect the cosmos for planets, sifting pin­points of light for the sig­na­tures of life as humans know or can imagine it.” [emphasis added]
Philo­soph­i­cally speaking, this is a direct takeoff on Tsiolkovsky’s and Federov’s quest from 70 years earlier.
Tran­shu­mans today con­tinue their march toward immor­tality through so-called “con­ver­gence” of tech­nolo­gies such as NBIC (Nano-Bio-Info-Congnitive) ini­tia­tives at major uni­ver­si­ties all around the world. In the Internet uni­verse, inventor and out­spoken tran­shuman Ray Kurzweil has teamed up with Google.com to create new tech­nolo­gies that will usher in Kurzweil’s pre­dicted Sin­gu­larity in 2045 or there­abouts, which may coin­cide with the achieve­ment of immor­tality. (Inci­den­tally, Kurzweil’s main goal in life is to res­ur­rect his father!)
To the average person, what I have written above may seem too sur­real to com­pre­hend, but I strongly sug­gest that you slog through it anyway. Sci­ence and reli­gion (mystic/metaphysical) are con­verging to create the most pow­erful hege­mony over man that the earth has ever seen. Fur­ther­more, it is being funded almost exclu­sively by unsus­pecting tax­payers around the world.
[* Giulio Prisco is a physi­cist and com­puter sci­en­tist, and former senior man­ager in the Euro­pean space admin­is­tra­tion. Giulio works as a con­sul­tant and con­tributes to sev­eral sci­ence and tech­nology mag­a­zines. In 2002 – 2008 he served on the Board of Direc­tors of Humanity Plus, of which he was Exec­u­tive Director, and serves on the Board of Direc­tors of the Italian Tran­shu­manist Association.]

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How much do Americans earn? What is the average US income and other income figures. Fiscal cliff talks only useful in context of incomes.

MyBudget360
December 31, 2012



With talk of the fiscal cliff taking up most of the headlines it is probably useful to look at income figures for Americans.  The media rarely discusses income because it is a touchy subject.  It probably would not be savvy in a marketing sense to tell viewers that their incomes have been stuck in the financial mud for well over a decade.  Household incomes in the US have been stagnant for well over a decade.  Real income growth has largely occurred in the top 10 percent of US households.  This is why we are seeing the middle class shrink in our nation.  Over 47 million Americans now rely on food stamps.  It would be useful if all this talk about the fiscal cliff actually examined the nuts and bolts of US household income.
US median and average household incomes
First we should examine some data from the latest Census figures:
average household income
Source:  US Census
The median household income in the US is $50,502.  This is some extremely useful data given that it is exploring over 114 million US households.  If you want to know how most Americans are living this is a good figure to base your assumptions.  $50,000 does not go a long way in our economy today given the cost of food, energy, housing, education, and healthcare.
The average US income is a less useful measure because it is skewed by high income households and mega income earners.  According to Social Security tax records for 2011 you have 93 Americans making more than $50,000,000 with average earnings of $79,000,000+.  Clearly this pushes the average much higher and that is why you see the average household income at $69,821.
Breaking down US household income by category presents a clearer picture:
us-household-income
Source:  US Census
20.8 percent of US households make $100,000 or more.  Only 4.3 percent make more than $200,000 and roughly 2 percent make more than $250,000.  Given all the ads you see on network TV you would think that every other US household was pulling in $200,000 a year given the kind of products that are pushed.  Of course most of the goods bought in the last decade were financed with massive debt and not actual saved wealth.
Where did income grow?
US income growth has been absent for most households.  In fact, over the last four decades most of the real income growth has occurred for the top 10 percent of US households:
income percentile
The typical family barely saw any real income growth and that is why many feel a true pinch to their wallet.  Yet household incomes for earners in the top 10 percent saw real sizeable growth over the last four decades.
I’m not sure if Americans are fully aware of these income figures.  Let us look at some data from the Social Security Administration:
ss
According to Social Security tax records for 2011:
151,380,749 wage earners (had earnings in 2011)
50 percent of US wage earners made less than or equal to the median wage, estimate to be $26,965
66 percent of US wage earners made less than or equal to $41,211.36
This information is at a granular level but extremely helpful.  Since everyone pays into the Social Security system, this is a good sense of how many people are earning income in the US.  According to this information 151 million Americans earned some sort of wages or compensation in 2011.  The median wage in the US per person is $26,695.  This tells us a lot since the median household income is at $50,500.  Since the Census data looks at households, this data hones in on individual wage earners.  66 percent of Americans earn less than $41,212.
It is important to understand the income breakdown in the US before fully appreciating the fiscal cliff talks.  After all, the biggest driving force for most Americans is their paycheck so it pays to understand this data fully.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Video: Dianne Feinstein Says Her Goal is to Disarm All Americans


Democrat Senator: “Mr. and Mrs. America… turn ‘em all in.”
Alex Jones
Infowars.com
December 31, 2012
Dianne Feinstein: “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States, for an outright ban, picking up [every gun]… Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in.”
Senator Dianne Feinstein’s ultimate plan has always been to have Mr. and Mrs. America turn in their guns to the government, period. Feinstein has admitted that the bill is about gun confiscation.
She tells us a gun ban is about saving the children and reducing crime, but her comments on 60 Minutes in 1995 reveal her true plan is to disarm the American people.
On Thursday, Feinstein will introduced her dream bill to disarm the American people. The legislation is open-ended and includes provisions to re-register firearms and submit the fingerprints of law-abiding Americans as if they’re sex offenders.
Feinstein’s bill will also include a buy-back provision that will allow the government to confiscate all firearms. Both Feinstein and New York governor Andrew Cuomo have said that is their plan.
It is a gun confiscation bill.
It’s no coincidence that the communist Chinese, the biggest holders of U.S. debt, have demanded the American people be disarmed. It is the simple action of the authoritarian.
For more on Feinstein’s gun-grabbing legislation, see these articles:
Joe Biden shows the length Democrats will go to steal our guns. In 2008 during the election, he told voters Obama wouldn’t take his shotgun or his Beretta. The Beretta is a semi-automatic pistol. But in 1989, Biden introduced his own version of the assault weapons ban.

The Second Amendment … Where’s the Line?


Washington’s Blog
December 31, 2012
Gun advocates say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms to prevent a tyrannical government from oppressing us.
They quote the Founding Fathers:
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms, disarm only those who are neither inclined, nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants. They serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
– Thomas Jefferson, 1764
What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.
– Thomas Jefferson
Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who didn’t.
– Ben Franklin
Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property… Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
–Thomas Paine
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.
– George Washington
Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.
–Patrick Henry.
Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms under our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?
– Patrick Henry, 3 Elliot, Debates at 386.
The Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.
–Samuel Adams, debates & Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87.
The right of the people to keep and bear…arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country…
–James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 (June 8, 1789).
(The Constitution preserves) the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
–James Madison.
If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government…
– Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist (#28) .
The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.
–Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-B.
To disarm the people is the best and most effective way to enslave them.
– George Mason
The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.
–Noah Webster, “An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (1787) in Pamplets on the Constitution of the United States (P.Ford, 1888)
[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or the state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People.
– Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
Gun control advocates want to ban all arms … or at least semi-automatic, high-capacity weapons.
But George Orwell – author of 1984 – had a different take on the whole issue. Orwell pointed out in theTribune (October 19, 1945), the effectiveness of arms in preventing tyranny partly depends on whether the average citizen can afford the current weapon of choice possessed by the government:
The connection between the discovery of gunpowder and the overthrow of feudalism by the bourgeoisie has been pointed out over and over again. And though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following rule would be found generally true: that ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance. Thus, for example, tanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon–so long as there is no answer to it–gives claws to the weak.The great age of democracy and of national self-determination was the age of the musket and the rifle. After the invention of the flintlock, and before the invention of the percussion cap, the musket was a fairly efficient weapon, and at the same time so simple that it could be produced almost anywhere. Its combination of qualities made possible the success of the American and French revolutions, and made a popular insurrection a more serious business than it could be in our own day. After the musket came the breech-loading rifle. This was a comparatively complex thing, but it could still be produced in scores of countries, and it was cheap, easily smuggled and economical of ammunition. Even the most backward nation could always get hold of rifles from one source or another, so that Boers, Bulgars, Abyssinians, Moroccans–even Tibetans–could put up a fight for their independence, sometimes with success. But thereafter every development in military technique has favoured the State as against the individual, and the industrialised country as against the backward one …The one thing that might reverse it is the discovery of a weapon–or, to put it more broadly, of a method of fighting–not dependent on huge concentrations of industrial plant.
If he were alive today, Orwell might say that – unless the American people create and adopt high-tech ways to defend themselves – guns will not be able to compete with drones, robots and other high-tech weapons created by the virtually unlimited American military budget.
Max Keiser linked to the following video under the headline,
“Assault rifles are so passe… Say Hello To Citizen Drone Warfare”
Is this going too far … creating a recipe for violence?
On the other hand, is it insufficient to create any real checks and balances in relation to a government that possesses nuclear weapons and military drones?
Where’s the line?

Ron Paul On The Fiscal Cliff: “We Have Passed The Point Of No Return”


Zero Hedge
December 30, 2012
In a little under three minutes, Ron Paul explains to a somewhat nonplussed CNBC anchor just how ridiculous the charade that is occurring in D.C. actually is. This succinct spin-free clip should be required viewing for each and every asset-manager, talking-head, propagandist, and mom-and-pop who are viewing the last-minute idiocy of the ‘fiscal cliff’ debacle with some hope that things will be different this time.
“We have passed the point of no return where we can actually get our house back in order,” Paul begins, adding that “they pretend they are fighting up there, but they really aren’t. They are arguing over power, spin, who looks good, who looks bad; all trying to preserve the system where they can spend what they want, take care of their friends and print money when they need it.” With social safety nets available to rich and poor, there is no impetus for change and “the country loses,” but Paul concludes, the markets are starting to say “there is a limit to this.”

Obama hopes to enact new gun-control measures in 2013

The Hill
December 30, 2012


President Obama on Sunday said he would make gun control a priority in his new term, pledging to put his “full weight” behind passing new restrictions on firearms in 2013.
“I'm going to be putting forward a package and I'm going to be putting my full weight behind it,” Obama said in an interview aired on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I'm going to be making an argument to the American people about why this is important and why we have to do everything we can to make sure that something like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary does not happen again.”
In the wake of the Dec. 14 mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., school, the president has launched a White House task force led by Vice President Biden to present proposals in January to help stem gun violence. Obama has said that he would seek a broad approach to the problem addressing the role of violence in entertainment and measures to improve mental healthcare.
But he has also called on Congress to move quickly to reinstate the federal assault weapons ban and a ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines.
Obama on Sunday repeated those calls and said he would meet with lawmakers on both sides of the aisles to see action. 
“I've been very clear that an assault-rifle ban, banning these high capacity clips, background checks, that there are a set of issues that I have historically supported and will continue to support,” the president said.

Oliver Stone to RT: ‘US has become an Orwellian state’

RT News
December 29, 2012






Americans are living in an Orwellian state argue Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick, as they sit down with RT to discuss US foreign policy and the Obama administration’s disregard for the rule of law.
Both argue that Obama is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and that people have forgiven him a lot because of the “nightmare of the Bush presidency that preceded him.” 
“He has taken all the Bush changes he basically put them into the establishment, he has codified them,” Stone told RT. “It is an Orwellian state. It might not be oppressive on the surface, but there is no place to hide. Some part of you is going to end up in the database somewhere.”
According to Kuznick, American citizens live in a fish tank where their government intercepts more than 1.7 billion messages a day. “That is email, telephone calls, other forms of communication.”
RT’s Abby Martin in the program Breaking the Set discusses the Showtime film series and book titled The Untold History of the United States co-authored by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick. 

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