Thursday, August 16, 2012

Competing Currencies and Ron Paul – Mismatch or Monetary Heaven?

– by Staff Report

Legalize Competing Currencies ... I recently held a hearing in my congressional subcommittee on the subject of competing currencies. This is an issue of enormous importance but unfortunately few Americans understand how the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department impose a strict monopoly on money in America. This monopoly is maintained using federal counterfeiting laws, which is a bit rich. If any organization is guilty of counterfeiting dollars, it is our own Treasury. But those who dare to challenge federal legal tender laws by circulating competing currencies − at least physical currencies − risk going to prison. Like all government created monopolies, the federal monopoly on money results in substandard product in the form of our ever-depreciating dollars.Ron Paul, August 14th column at The Daily Bell
Dominant Social Theme: Competing currencies are impractical and just a way for the Rothschild-driven free-market movement to dodge the issue of paper money perfection. Money worked better anyway when women solely managed it, as Ellen Brown has pointed out.

The Left and Women's Reproductive Rights

 – by Tibor Machan

Dr. Tibor Machan
At the outset I will declare my commitment to the right of women to terminate pregnancies prior to the time a human being has developed in their bodies (roughly the 25th week*). But then I am also someone who holds that every adult individual has a full, unalienable right to his or her life. (Who else would?)
But one of the contemporary Left's favorite doctrines, communitarianism, doesn't agree. By their standards we belong to the community. Check out what Charles Taylor says about this in his book, Sources of the Self, or, even better, read the famous American Leftist, Cora Weiss, who was a prominent American anti-war advocate during the Vietnam era and claimed that refugees who have fled Vietnam were traitors because, she argued, "Every country is entitled to its people [who are] the basic resource that belongs to the country." (Washington Post, May 29, 1978)

Is Washington Deaf As Well as Criminal?

 – by Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts
The morons who rule the american sheeple are not only dumb and blind, they are deaf as well. The ears of the american "superpower" only work when the Israeli prime minister, the crazed Netanyahu, speaks. Then Washington hears everything and rushes to comply.
Israel is a tiny, insignificant state, created by the careless British and the stupid americans. It has no power except what its american protector provides. Yet, despite Israel's insignificance, it rules Washington.
When a resolution introduced by the Israel Lobby is delivered to Congress, it passes unanimously. If Israel wants war, Israel gets its wish. When Israel commits war crimes against Palestinians and Lebanon and is damned by the hundred plus UN resolutions passed against Israel's criminal actions, the US bails Israel out of trouble with its veto.

Britain's Tax Fugitives Program Should be Seen Within a Larger Aggressive Ambit

– by Staff Report

HMRC publishes mugshots of 20 most wanted tax fugitives for first time ... The names and faces of 20 most wanted "tax fugitives" who owe HM Revenue and Customs more than £700m are being published for the first time today. Plans published by Treasury minister David Gauke on Monday "to crack down on the promoters of aggressive, contrived tax avoidance schemes." HMRC has decided to publish the FBI-style list of mugshots to try to enlist the support of the public in tracking them down. The names on the Most Wanted list are described as "tax criminals who have absconded after being charged with a crime or during trial." – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: Not paying your fair share is morally wrong.
Free-Market Analysis: What's going on with Britain these days? As with America, its top government officials are getting increasingly aggressive when it comes to projecting power overseas.
Now they're going to distribute "most wanted" posters of tax cheats. Being this is the 21st century, a lot of the distribution will take place electronically. Apparently, it's enough to be simply charged with a crime (see article excerpt above).
It's not just taxes; it's everything ... That's the bigger concern.

Federal Labor Law and Mob Tyranny

by James Bovard

Since Barack Obama took office, the National Labor Relations Board has become a hotbed of controversy. Republicans charge that the NLRB is brazenly favoring unions and thwarting corporations on one bogus pretext after another. Unfortunately, those controversies are simply the latest chapter in a long history of federal subversion of freedom of contract.
Prior to the 1930s, courts and legislatures generally refused to recognize that individual workers’ right to make their own contracts could be nullified by the demands of groups of other workers. Massachusetts judge Frederick Arnold ruled in 1912, “To enforce a collective contract would be to deny the individual’s liberty to make his own contract.” Judges at that time recognized and respected voluntary collective bargaining contracts but not collective bargaining contracts that prohibited other workers from making their own contracts. Since the essence of a contract is voluntary consent by every party to the agreement, a collective bargaining agreement could not forcibly impose contract terms on workers who did not support the agreement.

David T. Beito Ron Paul vs. Paul Ryan's Budget (Doesn't Cut Anything, Adds to Military Industrial Complex)

America’s Empire of Bases Gets More Expensive

America’s Empire of Bases Gets More Expensive
John Glaser
In Foreign Affairs, Alexander Cooley writes about how a less unipolar world is prompting competition for foreign expansion among the great powers, particularly the US, Russia, and China in the Central Asian countries. And it means the American Empire is costing a lot more.
Most dramatically, in 2009, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev of Kyrgyzstan, host to the Manas Transit Center, initiated a bidding war between the United States and Russia by threatening to close the base. He extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from both sides, in the form of a Russian assistance package and a renewed lease at a higher rent with the United States. Since 2008, the United States also has paid transit fees, about $500 million annually, to the Uzbek and other Central Asian governments to ship equipment bound for Afghanistan through the Northern Distribution Network.

Romney the Businessman?

Romney the Businessman?

Mitt Romney has focused his run for the presidency on the superior skills he developed as a successful businessman, asserting that he alone has the knowledge, the experience, and the personal grit needed to repair the U.S. economy. Let us accept for a moment that Romney’s preferred narrative is true, i.e., that he actually was a respectable and honorable businessman, not just a predatory capitalist who bought up failing companies so he could enrich himself by stripping them of their assets and putting their employees out of work. If Mitt is the real thing, one should expect a president who will be a careful and cautious manager, making rational decisions based on available information, because whether businesses succeed or fail frequently depends on making the right judgments at the right time. Government admittedly provides services that do not exactly fit into a normal business model, but there nevertheless exists a broad consensus that a rational process should prevail that confers benefits on most of the citizens most of the time. As the dissatisfaction of most Americans with the status quo derives from the belief that the federal government is reckless and unresponsive and does not actually address the needs of the people, Romney’s claim that he can right what is wrong in the economy provides a compelling reason to vote for him.

Grover Norquist Takes On the War Party

Grover Norquist Takes On the War Party
Conservative leader attacks Romney-Ryan for refusing to cut the military budget

Grover Norquist is a bit of a punching bag for both the Hollywood-DC left and the neoconservative right. On the left, he’s often held up as an example of everything that’s supposedly wrong with the conservative movement and the GOP: his “no tax hike” pledge is excoriated by the Huffingtonpost-MSNBC-TPM axis of Obamaism as typical of “know-nothing” conservatism. On the neocon right, he’s viciously attacked as an “Islamist,” a secret member of the Muslim Brotherhood far more dangerous than, say, Huma Abedin — in part because he’s an influential conservative married to an Arab woman. For both groups, he’s a bit of a Rasputin, with his weekly meetings of Washington-based conservative activists characterized as something between the right-wing equivalent of the Bilderbergs (or is that Bilderbergers?) and Opus Dei.

The man with the plan

The man with the plan

Mitt Romney’s choice for vice-president is risky for him, but good for America

BY PICKING Paul Ryan, an athletic and brainy young congressman from Wisconsin, as his running-mate Mitt Romney has delighted Republicans and Democrats in equal measure. To the Republican base, Mr Ryan is the distilled essence of tea, a determined tax-cutter and state-shrinker. To the Democrats, he makes a perfect target for exactly the same reasons. But no one can accuse Mr Romney any longer of being unclear about what he will do if he makes it to the White House (see article).

The economy. No miracle cure

The economy

No miracle cure

Bucking up this recovery is harder than it was in the past

IF THERE is a theme to the American presidential campaign, it may be: “Imagine the alternative”. President Barack Obama’s campaign will argue that his actions prevented an economic catastrophe. Mitt Romney, by contrast, will claim that Mr Obama’s missteps frustrated the strong recovery that should have followed so deep a downturn. America, Mr Romney recently claimed, “should be seeing 200-, 300-, 400,000 jobs [added] a month to regain much of what has been lost. That is what normally happens after a recession, but under this president we have not seen that kind of pattern.”

Growth has clearly been tepid. The American economy managed just 1.5% annualised GDP growth in the second quarter, down from 2% growth at the start of the year. Hiring is merely creeping along. On August 3rd the Labour Department estimated that American employers added 163,000 jobs in July, better than the 73,000 monthly average in the second quarter but slower than the promising pace earlier in the year, when firms added more than 225,000 jobs a month.

The euro

The euro

Tempted, Angela?

A controlled break-up of the euro would be hugely risky and expensive. So is waiting for a solution to turn up

FOR all you know, Angela Merkel is even now contemplating how to break up the euro. Surely Germany’s long-suffering chancellor must be tempted, given the endless euro-bickering over rescues that later turn out to be inadequate. How she must tire of fighting her country’s corner, only to be branded weak by critics at home. How she must resent sacrificing German wealth, only to be portrayed as a Nazi in some of the very countries she is trying to rescue.
But for this very practical woman there is also a practical reason to start contingency planning for a break-up: it is looking ever more likely. Greece is buckling (see article). Much of southern Europe is also in pain, while the northern creditor countries are becoming ever less forgiving: in a recent poll a narrow majority of Germans favoured bringing back the Deutschmark. A chaotic disintegration would be a calamity. Even as Mrs Merkel struggles to find a solution, her aides are surely also sensibly drawing up a plan to prepare for the worst.

Paul Ryan's Randianism

Democracy in America

American politics

Paul Ryan's Randianism

Is Paul Ryan a hypocrite?

  by W.W. | HOUSTON 
DUNCAN BLACK, blogging as Atrios, spies hypocrisy in Paul Ryan's bio:
Public high school.

Public university.

Worked for family business.

Congressional staffer, with service jobs for additional money.

Speechwriter for Jack Kemp.

Staffer for Sam Brownback.

Member of Congress.

Capitalism, just as [Ayn] Rand envisioned.
Mr Ryan, you see, has admitted to a fondness for Ayn Rand, the author of the modern classics "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged", books loved and loathed in equal measure. Joan Walsh makes a point similar to Mr Black's in a Salon piece that dubs Mr Ryan a "Randian poseur" in its headline. After noting that Mr Ryan in part paid for his out-of state tuition at an Ohio public university with Social Security survivor benefits received after the death of his father, Ms Walsh writes:

Standard Chartered and Iran


Business and management

Standard Chartered and Iran

Hush money

by T.E. | NEW YORK
IT COULD have been disastrous. Standard Chartered was facing a hearing before New York state’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) on August 15th that would have certainly aired embarrassing information. Instead it will be expensive. The bank has acceded to a fast settlement of the charges that it had illicitly processed $250 billion in transactions with Iran, paying $340m in civil penalties and agreeing to various other provisions.
As a result of the deal, the bank's management is temporarily off the hook for personal liability. Just as important, they will not have to defend the bank's actions before the regulator. The agreement also appears to cap potential penalties which, in theory, could have included losing a critical license to operate in America and thus provide its vast emerging-markets network with cross-border dollar transactions.

A moment of truth for Dilma


A moment of truth for Dilma

The president needs to do more to tackle the “Brazil cost”

WRITING about the Brazil of a century ago, Warren Dean, an economic historian, noted that the country’s foreign trade “appears to have been limited to commodities in which overwhelming comparative advantage offset high costs of production and commercialisation and high internal taxes.” Both government and private sector paid “little attention to…competitiveness,” he added.

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