February 2, 2012
By Daily Mail
The stunning image of a UFO was captured on video last week, but is it an alien craft, or is there a simpler explanation?
Anthony Piceno, of American Fork, Utah, said he was drawn to the sight in the air because it was like nothing he had ever seen before.
His footage of the object later appeared on The Weather Channel.
The video shows the blue craft resembling a spinning top floating in the sky and moving very slowly.
Mr Piceno said: ‘I looked up in the sky and, you know, it was just a different object, it was neon blue, red flashing lights’.
He watched the object floating in the sky for a few minutes, observing how it was ‘just cruising slow’ in the sky.
But as with any UFO sighting, there are skeptics, who have their own ideas about what the flying object really was.
February 2, 2012
By Mike M. Ahlers
“Way to go TSA. You are doing great work.” –KTRN
A New York airport screener who removed two pipes from a traveler’s bag and set them aside Monday morning prompted a security scare six hours later when the next shift saw the pipes and feared they might be pipe bombs, local and federal officials said.
The incident at New York’s LaGuardia Airport began at 11:30 a.m. when a screener discovered unidentifiable items inside a passenger’s carry-on bag. The officer screened the item for explosives, determined them not to be a threat and cleared the passenger through the checkpoint, a Transportation Security Administration official said.
But the officer prevented the metal item from going through because of its “material and appearance,” a TSA official said.
When the next shift arrived, one officer saw the items and mistakenly believed they were test objects, used to check screener proficiency. When that officer later learned they were not test items, the officer alerted others, and the TSA contacted the Port Authority Police Department, responsible for protecting the airport.
“No one could give a good account of what it was, so we did the safe thing and called (the) NYPD bomb squad,” Port Authority Police Department spokesman Al Della Fave told CNN.
February 2, 2012
By Steve Watson
“If Ron Paul could win one or two of the primaries, the focus might shift his way. It looks like Nevada and Maine might prove to be his biggest chances of a clear cut win. Don’t count him out yet.” –KTRN
While Mitt Romney walked home an inevitable victory in the winner takes all Florida primary this week, the Ron Paul 2012 campaign was busy campaigning in Maine and Nevada, where the Congressman’s team has been busy building on a six figure ad buy.
Paul’s campaign has a lot riding on Nevada where the Congressman, scheduled to hold a major press conference in Las Vegas today, has polled consistently high for weeks.
Indeed, Paul has been running ads in The Silver State since last summer in anticipation of the caucuses which begin this Saturday, Feb 4th. When Paul unveiled his centerpiece budget plan last October, he did it in Las Vegas.
Four years ago Paul placed second in Nevada behind Mitt Romney. This time around Paul’s support has grown exponentially, while Romney’s has more or less remained the same. The Congressman has had two offices open in Nevada for months and has amassed a sizeable army of volunteers to canvass for the campaign, just as he did in Iowa and New Hampshire. In contrast, Newt Gingrich only opened an office in the state last weekend.
Furthermore, as noted in the Wall Street Journal today:
Paul’s core supporters have been campaigning in Nevada since September, and a group of Paul backers made a coordinated effort to become elected as Republican officers in their local party groups after a delegate dispute in the state party convention in 2008. “The ground game and the grass-roots activity never stopped,” said Carl Bunce, chairman of Mr. Paul’s campaign in Nevada.
As the article notes, it is Paul and Romney that hold the cards in Nevada – Paul because of his strong organization, and Romney because Mormons account for more than one-quarter of caucus-goers.
February 2, 2012
By Paul Joesph Watson
“They exclude the only candidate who tells the truth. Nice, really nice.” –KTRN
Despite winning the event’s annual straw poll for the last two years running, Ron Paul has seemingly been excluded from this year’s CPAC conference, with Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich announced as keynote speakers but Paul appearing nowhere on the roster.
The exclusion of Paul is likely a maneuver by GOP insiders to re-align CPAC, the biggest annual conservative confab, with the Republican establishment and prevent an embarrassing straw poll defeat for likely presidential pick Mitt Romney, who Paul beat in 2010 and 2011.
According to the CPAC website, fellow presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum will all address the event scheduled to take place Feb. 8-11 in Washington, but Ron Paul will be absent.
“Although a combination of factors might be at play, including Paul’s focus on the Maine caucuses, a changing of the guard at the top of CPAC’s management team is likely behind Paul’s exclusion,” notes Stephen Woodward.
Indeed, the selection of former chairman of the Florida Republican Party Al Cardenas to lead CPAC has brought with it a decidedly neoconservative flavor to the 2012 event.
Besides Romney and Gingrich, the likes of Ann Coulter, John Bolton, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Herman Cain and Rick Perry will all speak at the conference.
During a post CPAC 2011 interview, American Conservative Union (ACU) chief Cardenas put Ron Paul supporters on notice by warning them that they would not be invited to the 2012 event if they failed to act with “civility” after previous speakers Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were booed by Paul activists.
February 2, 2012
Wall Street Journal
By Matt Day
Gold climbed to the highest level in almost two months on as investors sought the precious metal as an alternative to the slipping U.S. dollar after a batch of upbeat global economic data.
Gold for April delivery, the most actively traded contract, rose $9.10, or 0.5%, at $1,749.50 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement price since Dec. 2.
The dollar eased as investors dumped the perceived safe-haven currency after relatively upbeat readings Wednesday on Chinese and European manufacturing to U.S. private-sector hiring. A weaker dollar can lift dollar-denominated gold and other commodities by making the futures appear cheaper for investors using other currencies.
Gold and the dollar have an added link, as some investors use gold as a hedge against instability in the currency. The ICE US Dollar Index on Wednesday touched its lowest level since Dec. 9.
“It’s hard to look at this rally and believe that it is not going to continue,” said Dave Meger, director of metals trading with brokerage Vision Financial Markets. “Obviously if Europe fell apart once again you’d start seeing selling pressure across the board, but shy of that I think we have the environment for higher metals prices.”
February 2, 2012
By Greg Hunter
“Here is just one more example of how the mainstream media lies to you.” –KTRN
My slogan is “analyzing the news to give you a clear picture of what’s really going on.” So, I spend a significant amount of time watching news on TV and the Internet and even the good old fashioned newspaper. If you only got your news from the mainstream media (MSM), it’s easy to understand why so many people think the economy is not all that bad. For example, yesterday, I heard the “R” word a lot. No, I am not talking about recession but “recovery.” This is preposterous when you consider the latest report from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index that was released yesterday. The spin from the MSM said home prices were down from October to November by 1.3%. Makes you think—ok, not too bad. The real story is home prices declined on average by nearly 4% year over year. A quote straight from the actual Case-Shiller press release said, “For a second consecutive month, 19 of the 20 cities covered by the indices also saw home prices decrease. The 10- and 20-City Composites posted annual returns of -3.6% and -3.7% versus November 2010, respectively. These are worse than the -3.2% and -3.4% respective rates reported for October.” (Click here for the complete Case-Shiller press release.)
Are you getting this? The real estate market is getting worse. The only city that saw an increase was the pork capital of the world—Washington D.C., and prices were only up by a paltry .5% year over year! All the folks I heard, yesterday, on the MSM talked as if the so-called “recovery” was alive and well, when the evidence shows unfolding disaster. Please keep in mind, home prices are falling despite the fact the Federal Reserve is suppressing interest rates. A 30-year mortgage is going for around 4%. What do you think will happen when rates rise to around 6.5% (a very good historical rate)? Don’t you think home prices will continue to slide?
Yesterday, I heard at least two different “experts” say the economy was “getting better.” The latest news about the Baltic Dry Index (BDI is mostly a measurement of global shipping rates) says just the opposite. Brandon Smith, from Alt-Market.com, says the BDI “is plummeting like a wingless 747 into the swampy mire of what I believe will soon be historical lows.” Smith says this is foretelling bad times, not good. (Click here to read his most excellent post.)
Another ominous sign was brought to us by the Federal Reserve last week. It announced it will hold a key interest rate to near 0% through 2014 instead of 2013. Why is the Fed urgently extending this rate now? Couldn’t the Fed have told us next year it was extending the 0% interest rate for another year? Why now? Because the economy sucks and they see it sucking for at least three more years. This is NOT a recovery, and the Fed basically admitted it. Jim Willie of Goldenjackass.com sees the Fed’s zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) as a massive failure that reveals an extremely weak economy. In his most recent post, Jim Willie (who holds a PhD in statistics) said, “The USFed will hold its benchmark interest rate at near 0% for at least the next three years, as a testament to central bank failure. No departure from the 0% rate can be done. The USGovt debt service requires it, demands it, and will default without it. The ZIRP and QE are worn as badges of failure and dishonor.”
February 2, 2012
By Brandon Smith
Much has been said about the Baltic Dry Index over the course of the last four years, especially in light of the credit crisis and the effects it has had on the frequency of global shipping. Importing and exporting has never been quite the same since 2008, and this change is made most obvious through one of the few statistical measures left in the world that is not subject to direct manipulation by international corporate interests; the BDI. Today, the BDI is on the verge of making headlines once again, being that is plummeting like a wingless 747 into the swampy mire of what I believe will soon be historical lows.
The problem with the BDI is that it is little understood and often dismissed by less thoughtful economic analysts as a “volatile index” that is too “sensitive” to be used as a realistic indicator of future trends. What these analysts consistently seem to ignore is that regardless of their narrow opinion, the BDI has been proven to lead economic direction in the market movements of the past. That is to say, the BDI has been volatile exactly BECAUSE markets have been volatile and unstable, and is a far more accurate thermometer than those that most mainstream economists currently rely on. If only they would look back at the numbers further than one year ago, they might see their own folly more clearly.
Introduced in 1985, the Baltic Dry Index first and foremost is a measure of the global shipping rates of dry bulk goods, mostly consisting of vital raw materials used in the creation of other products. However, it is also a measure of demand for said materials in comparison to previous months and years. This is where we get into the predictive nature of the BDI…
In late 1986, for instance, the BDI fell to its lowest level on record, then, began a slow crawl towards moderate recovery, just before the Black Monday crash of 1987.
Coincidence? Not a chance. From 2001 to 2002, a similar sharp collapse in the BDI preceded a progressive drop in the Dow of around 4000 points, ending in a highly suspect (Fed engineered) illegitimate recovery. In 2008, the index fell to near record lows once again just before the derivatives and credit crisis hit stocks full force. To imply that the BDI is not a useful measure of future economic trends seems like an astonishingly ignorant proposition when one examines its very predictable behavior just before major financial downturns.
This is not to suggest that the BDI can be used as a way to play the stock market from day to day, or often even month to month. MSM analysts rarely look further than the next quarter when considering any financial issue, and that is why they don’t understand the BDI. If an index cannot be used by daytraders to make a quick buck in a short afternoon, then why bother with it at all, right? The BDI is not an accurate measure of the daily market gamble. It is, though, an accurate measure of where markets are headed in the long run and under extreme circumstances.
February 2, 2012
By Aaron Cynic
“Freedom of the press? Far from it.” –KTRN
Reporters Without Borders released its 10th annual Press Freedom Index, which found that while 2011 may have been Time Magazine’s “Year of the Protester,” it was also the year of government crackdowns on journalists. The opening of the report reads: “Never have journalists, through their reporting, vexed the enemies of freedom so much. Never have acts of censorship and physical attacks on journalists seemed so numerous. The equation is simple: the absence or suppression of civil liberties leads necessarily to the suppression of media freedom.”
Rounding out the bottom of the list are countries like North Korea, Iran, Syria and China – all types of dictatorships with very tightly controlled state media. While Tunisia, the country which arguably sparked the Arab Spring rose 30 places in the RWB index, Egypt plummeted nearly 40 due to the military maintaining the dictatorial practices of former President Mubarak.
The United States, land of the supposedly freeist press on Earth, dropped 27 places on the index to 47. Reporters Without Boarders attributes the giant drop in press freedom in the U.S. To the arrest of journalists made at Occupy protests. In just two short months, the index shows that at least 25 (that number is most likely much higher) journalists in the United States were subject to arrest and beatings by police who “were quick to issue indictments for inappropriate behavior, public nuisance or even lack of accreditation.”
February 2, 2012
“Homeland Security obviously has no sense of humor.” –KTRN
If the decomposed corpse of Marilyn Monroe is robbed from the grave, the terrorists have won.
Authorities in America take threats seriously, and when it comes to Hollywood royalty nearly 50 years past their expiration date, the feds don’t kid around. So when a would-be British tourist joked about digging up the body of famed Hollywood starlet Marilyn Monroe, US officials, to say the least, were not amused.
The attempts at humor were posted on the Twitter account of Leigh Van Bryan, 26, which somehow managed to make its way to the US Department of Homeland Security at the same time the British resident’s plane arrived at Los Angeles International Airport. When Van Bryan and his 24-year-old traveling companion arrived at LAX last week, feds were waiting for them.
It turns out that they didn’t think the whole grave robbing joke was that funny.
It was two tweets that had DHS riled up. The first was one in which Van Bryan joked that he was going to “destroy” America, which he explained to authorities was British slang for partying. The second message, perhaps a bit more straightforward, said that the two had plans to hang out on Hollywood Boulevard, an event that would be topped off by “diggin’ Marilyn Monroe up!”
That tweet, says Van Bryan, was just a joke.
The humor was lost on Homeland Security, however, and when Van Bryan and his pal Emily Bunting tried to leave LAX, they were handcuffed. Even after telling authorities that the Marilyn tweet was only a joke — and that the “destroy” quip was simply lost in translation — they had their passports confiscated.
“They asked why we wanted to destroy America and we tried to explain it meant to get trashed and party,” Bunting tells the Daily Mail.
February 2, 2012
The Money Cage
By Larry Bartels
That’s the message I take from a recent book by James Gilligan, a psychiatrist at New York University. In Why Some Politicians Are More Dangerous than Others, Gilligan documents a striking statistical connection between changing rates of violent death in the United States over the past century and the party of the president. He concludes that Republican administrations are “risk factors for lethal violence,” and that the only reason they have not produced “disastrously high epidemic levels” of suicides and homicides is that Democrats have repeatedly undone their damage. (I’ve added handsome hand-coloring to Gilligan’s key figure in order to highlight the partisan pattern.)
Gilligan found that, over the 108 years covered by his analysis (1900-2007), the age-adjusted suicide rate increased by an average of 9.7 per million over each Republican four-year term but decreased by an average of 11.1 per million over each Democratic term. The age-adjusted homicide rate increased by an average of 3.6 per million over each Republican term but decreased by an average of 4.2 per million over each Democratic term.
These differences may sound small, but they are not. According to the CDC’s latest National Vital Statistics Report, there were 37,793 suicides in the U.S. in 2010 (122 per million population) and 16,065 homicides (52 per million population). Applying Gilligan’s figures to those baseline levels (and assuming 1% population growth per year) implies a projected total of 213,000 violent deaths over the next four years under a Democratic president, but 236,000 under a Republican—a difference of 23,000 lives. (These estimates reflect my calculations based on Gilligan’s data; even they greatly understate the long-run implications of the partisan differences he identifies, since a higher or lower death rate at the end of one term becomes a higher or lower baseline for subsequent fluctuations.)