Saturday, February 28, 2015

The long inflation con on the public: How the CPI severely underreports inflation and the slow erosion in the American standard of living.

February 28, 2015

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is supposed to give us a good barometer of price changes in the economy.  Unfortunately the CPI misses many big items like housing and college tuition.  The latest report shows that the economy had a taste of deflation for the first time since the Great Recession hit.  Of course this is going to provide more ammunition to the Federal Reserve to maintain negative interest rates that clearly are having an impact on the standard of living of Americans.  Subprime lending is already booming again as banks chase after cash strapped Americans.  You need to step back to understand the impact inflation is having on the economy overall.  Blindly accepting that prices “need” to go up is easier than understanding how the Federal Reserve impacts the dollars in your wallet.  The CPI is the official metric for price changes but if we look at it from a broader perspective, like looking at a forest from a plane versus looking at one tree on the ground, we realize the landscape is dramatically changing.  Inflation is eroding the quality of life for most Americans.
The long inflation con on the public
Inflation wasn’t always a necessary part of our economy.  The machinery of inflation came in dramatically with the founding of the Federal Reserve.  The Federal Reserve controls the mechanism behind interest rates.  It is the bank of all banks.  The Fed with the Great Recession has had to dip into a multitude of archaic financial gimmicks to save banks and ultimately pass the cost onto Americans.
First, let us look at some history here:
From 1870 to 1930, a span of 60 years $1 US dollar held its value nicely.  That is one full generation.  But after abandoning the gold standard it is pretty clear what has happened.  That $1 in 1930 is now the equivalent of five cents.  That is the long-term impact of inflation.  But you don’t need to go so far back to see this eroding power.  Just go back to 2000:
cost of goods since 2000
From 2000, college tuition is up nearly 140 percent, housing is up nearly 60 percent, and medical care is up over 70 percent.  Those are real significant changes.  And this is being felt by most working Americans because wages have remained stagnant.  The above changes are dramatic and are being felt throughout the economy.  This is why today, we have $1.2 trillion in student debt outstanding.  Many of the new jobs that pay a solid wage require a college education or credentialing.  Unfortunately more jobs are being added in the low wage service sectors.
The Americans worker is being sacrificed here.  Even if we look at where the Fed is spending their time, we are seeing more reliance on our international lenders:
Janet Yellen at the Fed is spending a significant amount of time with foreign officials in high level meetings.  That should tell you where priorities are shifting.  The Fed continues to hint at tapering and moderating their balance sheet growth but there are little signs of that.  In the eyes of big money, the Fed is doing a superb job and the wealthiest in our world are doing fantastically well.  Yet a large part of this comes in the rentier system that is being built.  A perfect example is Wall Street diving into single family homes and turning them into rentals.  The end result has been higher rents, less supply of homes for regular families, and ultimately having more money funneled back to investment banks for producing nothing new.  Also, the CPI looks at the owners’ equivalent of rent (OER) which fails to account for actual mortgage payments – this is how the first housing bubble was missed and also missed the massive rise in home prices in 2013.
Inflation is a very real event yet very little of this is discussed in the mainstream press.  Every month we get a muted CPI report and people go on with their business.  But over time, the aggregate impact is very dramatic (just look at the price changes going back to 2000).  If you don’t believe the above data, just look at your budget and where your spending has gone over the last 15 years.  You’ll realize the CPI data is a big deception.

Mark Levin Scolds Obama, Republicans and Democrats at Recent CPAC Event

Mark Matheny
February 28, 2015

"But now we have a President that rejects this tradition (referring to Liberty), Let me say this to you Mr. Obama, you may have a pen and you may have a phone,[...] but we have the Constitution of the United States!" 

Mark Levin begins his speech at the 5:55 minute point of the video.

ISIL is Secret American Army in Middle East – US Historian Webster Tarpley

Sputnik News
February 28, 2015

US historian Webster Tarpley says that the United States created the Islamic State and uses jihadists as its secret army to destabilize the Middle East.
The Islamic State is a secret army of the United States and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a leader of the terrorist group, is a close friend of US Senator John McCain, says US historian Webster Tarpley, according to Iranian News Agency IRNA.
The author, known for his book “9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA”, said that all terrorism around the world is created and facilitated by the US government.
These are not Tarpley’s first comments in which he blames the United States for creating the Islamic State. Earlier, Press TV had an interview with Tarpley during which he explained his rationale why he thinks the United States was behind the creation of the terrorist group.
Tarpley began by saying that the money that supports the Islamic State and its operations comes from Saudi Arabia, a key US ally in the Middle East. The main money donor of the Islamic State is allegedly Prince Abdul Rahman al-Faisal, the brother of Saud bin Faisal Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, and Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, the former Saudi Ambassador to the United States. Having said that, Tarpley concludes that if the United States really wanted to get rid of the Islamic State, it would have easily issued an ultimatum to Saudi Arabia and told the Gulf Kingdom to stop sending arms and money to the terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
Second, Turkey, a NATO member with a huge army, is right next to the war-town Syria and Iraq, where the jihadists operate. Tarpley asks the important question: why cannot the Turkish Army come into the lawless Syrian and Iraqi territory and simply wipe the jihadists off the face of the Earth in a matter of weeks, especially if the United States and NATO were so keen to destroy the Islamic State?
If the United States actually thought that the Islamic State was a monstrosity that must be destroyed at all cost, Tarpley asks why wouldn’t the White House join the government of Bashar Assad in Syria, the legally recognized government and the UN member state, in the fight against the jihadists and crush them once and for all? And also, why did the US troops bomb Syrian units loyal to Assad, once the Syrian army started to defeat the jihadists and push them away? Counterproductive and senseless at best, the secret supporter of the militants at worst, Tarpley says.
And lastly, referring to how the jihadist group is using social media and Internet to spread its propaganda and recruit new fighters, Tarpley said there is an interest in not having the Islamic State propaganda shut down online. All major Internet companies are based in the United States and therefore the White House could easily limit, if not close down, the presence of Islamic State on the Internet, if it wanted to.
Although Tarpley’s line of thinking might seem a little too provocative to some, the questions that he asks are nonetheless important. There is certainly a connection between the emergence of al-Qaeda and the American involvement in Afghanistan back in the 1980s. And since al-Qaeda was a forefather of the Islamic State, there might be a possibility of a more intimate relationship between the government of the United States and the jihadists, currently cutting people’s heads off in Iraq and Syria.

'I sat in that place for three days, man': Chicagoans detail abusive confinement inside police 'black site'

The Guardian
February 27, 2015
That’s not true,’ Mayor Rahm Emanuel said on Thursday night when pressed on allegations of police abuse at Homan Square on Chicago’s west side. ‘We follow all the rules.’ Photograph: Philipp Batta/Guardian

Chicago man says he was confined for three days – shackled, interrogated and fed only twice, his whereabouts unknown – inside the police “black site” at the epicentre of public outcry over allegations of abuse said to focus on minority citizens.
Four black Chicagoans have now come forward to the Guardian detailing off-the-books ordeals at the facility, including another who describes being detained in “a big cage” with his wrists cuffed to a bench so he couldn’t move.
The Guardian has now interviewed six people about their detention at the Homan Square police warehouse. With striking consistency, all have described extensive detentions without benefit of legal counsel or public notice of where they were.
The first-hand accounts of two white protesters who “disappeared” at the police warehouse in 2012 set off political and civil-rights outrage this week, and multiple protests have now been scheduled by organizers including the Black Lives Matter movement.
Brock Terry, 31, says police took him to Homan Square in 2011, after finding him with five and a half pounds of marijuana, and describes being held for three entire days without public notice, booking or a lawyer.
“I sat in that place for three days, man – with no talking, no calls to nobody,” Terry told the Guardian on Friday. His friends and family could not find him: “They call police stations, I’m not there, I’m not there.”
“I was kept there. I didn’t speak to a lawyer or anything,” he continued. “I didn’t interact with nobody for three days. And then when I do see the light of day, I go straight to another police station, go straight there to county and be processed.”
Terry detailed being handcuffed in one room at Homan Square by one wrist to a “little circular thing behind the bench”, echoing the accounts of the two Nato protesters interviewed by the Guardian, though Terry said he did not have his ankles cuffed together.
Three other men, Kory Wright, Deandre Hutcherson and David Smith, have also told the Guardian they were held in 2006 inside Homan Square, where they say they were handcuffed by both wrists with their arms spread. Hutcherson says he was punched in the face while in this position, before an officer stepped on his groin “like he was putting a cigarette out”.
Another lawyer has told the Guardian that in early 2014, police told him that his client – another young black man – was not at Homan Square, even though he was.
“What they did that night, by denying my 19-year-old client access to his attorney was unconstitutional, clearly,” said Cliff Nellis, an attorney with the Lawndale Christian Legal Center, located near Homan Square on Chicago’s west side.
The Chicago police did not respond to questions for this story. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, currently facing a heated runoff for re-election, said on Thursday night it was “not true” that the police maintain a facility lawyers have compared to a CIA “black site”.
Activists are planning a “Shut Down Homan Square” protest on Saturday and a demonstration for reparations for longstanding victims of Chicago police tortureon Monday. Representatives from Black Lives Matter Chicago said they were helping to organize and promote the Monday action. Several Chicago local and national politicians are calling for investigations, including from the US justice department, into allegations of police misconduct at the warehouse.
While Terry said that he did not see anyone else while confined at Homan in 2011, he said he heard people yelling “no, no, no” and “stop”. He remembered seeing chain-link “cages”, of the sort previously described to the Guardian by attorneys and former police superintendent Richard Brzeczek. They reminded him of dog kennels, he said.
“They got kennels – like, for people,” Terry told the Guardian. “I didn’t really want to believe that, but it is the truth.”
He continued: “I never saw anyone, but I know something else is going on. You don’t want to be in that kind of situation, so you gotta be quiet about it, so you don’t go down that route.”
While shackled and interrogated over the next three days, police fed Terry only twice, he said, with baloney sandwiches and juice. He got to use the bathroom “hardly ever, but I did use it.”
“Every day they came to ask some questions. Am I in a gang? Who am I with? Who run this? Who run that? Give them a gun and they’ll let me go,” Terry said. “That was pretty much the main thing: give them a gun and they’ll let me go. But I didn’t produce a gun.”
Had Terry found them a gun, he said, his ordeal with police might never end: “The thing about it is, when they say give them a gun, they let you go, but it’s like long invisible string tied to your ass. They definitely gonna come back to interrogate you to get another gun, or ask you about this crime, give them some information about this crime.”

‘It’s gonna get a little hot up in here’: three friends, from video games to handcuffs

Wright, Hutcherson and Smith were also taken to Homan Square. Their ordeal,first reported by Juan Thompson of the Intercept, took place five years earlier. Wright recalled agreeing to break a $50 bill for a woman in North Lawndale who said she wanted to buy drugs but turned out to be an undercover police officer.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The War On Preppers: Obama Bans Ammo For The Most Popular Rifle In America

Activist Post
February 26, 2015

Michael Snyder
Activist Post

Because he can’t get Congress to approve the things that he wants to do, Barack Obama has apparently decided to rule by decree for the rest of his time in the White House.  One of Obama’s latest moves is to try to ban some of the most popular ammunition for the most popular rifle in America.  Previously, the Obama administration attempted unsuccessfully to ban the AR-15.  That didn’t work, so now Obama is going after the ammunition.

This is yet another example of the war on preppers that is going on all over the nation.  Whether you are a gun owner or not, this assault on our constitutional rights should disturb you greatly.

Barack Obama has promised to try to squeeze as much “change” as possible out of his last two years, and in the process he is “fundamentally transforming” America.  But what will our country look like when he is done?

At the top of the Drudge Report today, there was a story from the Washington Examiner detailing this ammo ban…

As promised, President Obama is using executive actions to impose gun control on the nation, targeting the top-selling rifle in the country, the AR-15 style semi-automatic, with a ban on one of the most-used AR bullets by sportsmen and target shooters.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this month revealed that it is proposing to put the ban on 5.56mm ammo on a fast track, immediately driving up the price of the bullets and prompting retailers, including the huge outdoors company Cabela’s, to urge sportsmen to urge Congress to stop the president.
Read the entire article 

FCC Passes Regulations Enabling Government to ‘Micromanage’ Internet

mrc Business
February 26, 2015

The FCC is from the government and they’re here to help with your internet.
Invoking the agency’s Title II authority, commissioners of the FCC passed a plan to regulate Internet service providers (ISPs) like public utilities on Feb. 26. This decision surely pleased the left-wing Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundation which gave groups calling for government Internet regulation millions of dollars.
The left has framed the debate over in terms of “net neutrality.” Much of the left’s activism was supported by funding from $196 million from the Ford and Open Society Foundations.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the Internet was “simply too important to be left without rules and a referee on the field.” In contrast, Republican FCC commissioner Ajit Pai, a vocal critic of the plan and one of the votes against it, said the FCC was “turning its back on Internet” because “President Obama told us to do so.”
Although not made public before the vote, the FCC’s regulations were largely based on a 332-page plan proposed by Obama on Nov. 10, 2014. The MRC found that the broadcast news networks spent only three minutes, 38 seconds covering Obama’s proposal in nearly three months of coverage following his announcement, despite the plan’s major implications for free speech and the economy.
“The commission’s decision to adopt President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet. It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works,” Pai said on Feb. 26. He also criticized the FCC and Obama administration for not making the plan public before the vote, saying it had been “developed behind closed doors.”
Wheeler denied that the move was a government attempt to regulate the Internet, claiming “the action that we take today is an irrefutable reflection of the principle that no one, whether government or corporate, should control free and open access to the Internet.”
The FCC adopted net neutrality rules with a 3-to-2 vote at the Feb. 26, 2015, Open Commission Meeting. The left says net neutrality is the idea that all data should be transmitted equally by Internet service providers (ISPs). Critics like founder and Chairman Emeritus of MIT's Media Lab Nicholas Negroponte argue that net neutrality “doesn't make sense” because “the truth is, not all bits [of data] are created equal.”
During the FCC’s meeting Feb. 26, Ford Foundation board member Tim Berners-Lee commented via video that “today’s FCC action is about consumer rights, free speech. It’s about democracy.” Berners-Lee was the inventor of the World Wide Web and founder of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
In a speech Feb. 11, 2015, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker said he was “thrilled” by Wheeler’s proposal. Walker said it was important that “the Internet remains for everyone,” and that “as a public utility, yes a public utility, it remains a force for good.”
Tim Wu, who coined the term “net neutrality,” called Obama’s proposal to regulate the Internet as a public utility “bold and courageous and, in some ways, just obvious” in an interview with The Verge Nov. 10, 2014. Wu became a professor at Columbia Law School in 2006 and was the former chairman of the board of Free Press. These two groups received a combined $6,832,000 from the Ford and Open Society Foundations.

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