March 28, 2012
By Frank Holmes
To paraphrase the great Steve Martin, today’s investors are very passionate people and passionate people tend to overreact at times. An overreaction is exactly what’s happened in gold and global markets in recent weeks. While market bulls have been sniffing out data points to support their case, market bears have continued to take a glass-half-empty approach.
Gold and China are two areas that have been caught in the bear trap this week, but we believe the gold and China bulls still have room to run.
Short-Term Challenges for Gold
Rising bond yields, a stronger U.S. dollar and an improving U.S. economy have squelched expectations for a third round of quantitative easing (QE3) and consequently, spelled trouble for gold. Since late February, gold has declined more than 7 percent.
As confidence improves, UBS says the yellow metal is losing the dual role of safe haven and risk asset: “Gold is moving off center stage, while growth assets are moving to the fore.” Earlier this month, we saw the largest weekly contraction in long gold positions on the Comex since 2004.
As I wrote in my blog this week, the selloff has pushed the price of bullion below its 200-day moving average for only the 30th time over the past 10 years. Over this time period, gold has declined on average 2.1 percent over the 10 days following the cross-below date. This means we’re likely only one-third into the correction in terms of price and duration.
All is not lost for gold. In his latest Gold Monitor, Dundee Wealth Economics Chief Economist Martin Murenbeeld lists 10 positive factors for gold, one of which is monetary reflation. We are currently experiencing one of the greatest global liquidity booms the world has ever seen. Over the past seven months, there have been 122 stimulative policy initiatives from central banks around the world, according to ISI Group.
March 28, 2012
By Steve Watson
Appearing on CNN, GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul was once again forced to dismiss calls for him to drop out of the race for the Republican nomination. In a tense exchange, the Congressman told host Piers Morgan to stop the “silly questions” about quitting.
“If I was prescribing some medicine for you right now, congressman,” Morgan said during the interview, “I think I would say the situation is looking pretty terminal for your race to the GOP nominee. Why don’t you just do the decent thing and pull out?”
Paul fired back, “Why don’t you do the decent thing and not pester me with silly questions like that? That would be decent of you.”
Morgan them spoke over the top of the Congressman as he attempted to clarify his position.
“Why don’t you let me finish?” Paul stated.
When he was finally allowed to speak, the Congressman defended his campaign and said there was still a long way to go in the race.
“You know, whether it’s up in Maine — or right now we’re doing very well in the state of Washington and North Dakota and excellent now in Nevada. And even Missouri the other day, some really good news came out there for us,” Paul said. “Through the process, our people are in the right places. They’re doing the things to become a delegate. So it’s way too soon for you to write anybody off.”
Kids All Over America Are Being Put On Buses And Sent To Alternate Locations During School Terror Drills
March 28, 2012
The American Dream
“Would it surprise if someday they drive your kids off to some detention camp and then never return them?” –KTRN
All over the United States, school children are being taken out of their classrooms, put on buses and sent to “alternate locations” during terror drills. These exercises are often called “evacuation drills” or “relocation drills” and they are more than a little disturbing. Sometimes parents are notified in advance where the kids are being taken and sometimes they are only told that the children are being taken to an “undisclosed location”. In the years since 9/11 and the Columbine school shootings, there has been a concerted effort to make school emergency drills much more “realistic” and much more intense. Unfortunately, the fact that many of these drills are deeply traumatizing many children does not seem to bother too many people. Do we really need to have “active shooter” drills where men point guns at our kids and fire blanks at them? Do we really need to have “relocation drills” where kids are rapidly herded on to buses and told that they must surrender their cell phones because they will not be allowed to call anyone? Our schools more closely resemble prison camps every single day, and it is our children that are suffering because of it.
It is also important to keep in mind that much of the time these drills are not the fault of local school administrators. Often, these drills are being mandated at the state level. Our politicians have become obsessed with “school safety” in recent years, and apparently their idea of “school safety” involves deeply traumatizing our kids.
Earlier today I was doing some research and I came across a forum where a parent was describing a relocation drill that would soon be happening at a school in Oklahoma. Well, I went to public schools all my life and nothing like this ever happened when I was growing up, so I wanted to do a little digging to see if this was actually happening around the country or if it was just an Internet rumor.
Unfortunately, what I found out was quite disturbing.
It turns out that “relocation drills” are being conducted at schools from coast to coast.
March 28, 2012
By Thandeka Gqubule and Andile Ntingi
South Africa will this week take some initial steps to unseat the US dollar as the preferred worldwide currency for trade and investment in emerging economies.
Thus, the nation is expected to become party to endorsing the Chinese currency, the renminbi, as the currency of trade in emerging markets.
This means getting a renminbi-denominated bank account, in addition to a dollar account, could be an advantage for African businesses that seek to do business in the emerging markets.
The move is set to challenge the supremacy of the US dollar. This, experts say, is the latest salvo in the greatest worldwide currency war since the 1930s.
In the 1930s, several nations competitively devalued their currencies to give their domestic economies an advantage over others.
And this led to a worldwide decline in overall trade volumes at the time.
The north will be pitted against the entire south in a historic competitive currency battle – whose terrain has moved to the Indian capital New Dehli – where the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India China and South Africa) nations will assemble next week.
March 28, 2012
By Madison Ruppert
“Studying Islamic culture now makes you a terrorist.” –KTRN
Pascal Abidor, a dual French-American citizen, regularly crosses the Canadian-American border when traveling to visit his parents in Brooklyn, New York, from his school, McGill University.
While you read the troubling experiences of Abidor, keep in mind that while this may be disturbing, our government actually says that they can assassinate any American without any formal charge or trial, and they never have to explain or justify the supposed legal basis for this in court. When they are challenged, they simply say that the program is so secret that they cannot even confirm or deny its existence.
Abidor’s case is indeed objectionable and should not be accepted by any means, however we must remember that this is just a microcosmic example of how truly sick and demented our government has become.
On May 1, 2010, around 11 AM, the Amtrak train regularly taken by Abidor made a routine stop at the United States border.
A team of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, who are part of the behemoth that is the Department of Homeland Security, boarded the train and began to sweep through each car.
The CBP officers proceeded to question passengers and since Abidor had made the journey many times in the past, he was not at all concerned with an officer approached him.
According to The McGill Daily, Abidor was approached by an Officer Tulip who asked him, “Where do you live, and why?”
He responded that he lived in Canada, because he was pursuing a PhD in Islamic Studies at McGill.
Officer Tulip then asked him where he had traveled to in 2009, to which he responded, Jordan and Lebanon.
Abidor then presented his French passport which bore the stamps of the “Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan” and Lebanon.
March 28, 2012
“Hey, America. We won first place! Nice job killing your own people. Land of the free!” –KTRN
It’s rare for America to rank number one among Western nations in many categories, but they managed to come out on top as the only Western country to execute its own citizens according to Amnesty International’s Global Execution Scale.
“The United States was again the only country in the Americas and the only member of the G8 group of leading economies to execute prisoners – 43 in 2011. Europe and former Soviet Union countries were capital punishment-free, apart from Belarus where two people were executed,” according to the report.
America finished fifth in the world behind China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq. “If you look at the company we’re in globally, it’s not the company we want to be in,” Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, told The Associated Press.
Notably, America’s total executions have gone down. According to the report, “In the USA, the number of executions and new death sentences dropped dramatically from a decade ago. Illinois became the 16th state to abolish the death penalty. A moratorium was announced in the state of Oregon. And victims of violent crimes spoke out against the death penalty.”
Amnesty International makes clear that they oppose the death penalty in all cases:
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender or the method used by the state to carry out the execution. The death penalty violates the right to life and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
March 28, 2012
“Change the term ‘flexibility’ to ‘power.’ Sounds pretty scary, doesn’t it?” –KTRN
On Monday while President Obama was taking part in a global nuclear security summit in South Korea, he was caught on tape asking for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for “space.” “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama implored. Obama assured the departing Russian President he will have the “flexibility” required to deal with missile defense issues after the 2012 presidential election.
March 28, 2012
“Does anyone else find it troublesome that America always needs an enemy? Why don’t we try to make friends instead?” –KTRN
US presidential candidate Mitt Romney has branded Russia as America’s number one geopolitical enemy. He slammed President Obama’s comments to Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev over flexibility concerning US missile defense as alarming and worrying.
“This is without question our number one geopolitical foe; they fight for every cause for the world’s worst actors. The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed,” he said
The presidential hopeful cited this case, along with the new START treaty and the decision to reduce missile defense sites in Poland and Alaska, as “unfortunate developments.”
While saying that the greatest current threat to the world is a “nuclear Iran,” he lambasted Russia for consistently “standing up for the world’s worst actors,” referencing the Russian veto of the Security Council resolutions on Syria.
“The idea that our president is planning to do something with them [Russia] that he’s not willing to tell the American people is something I find very alarming,” Romney stressed.
Russia’s outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev responded to the Republican frontrunner, saying Romney’s remarks had a “Hollywood” flavor and pressed the American hopeful to check his watch: “It’s 2012 now, not the mid-1970s.”
Romney appeared on CNN to comment on President Obama’s off-the-record moment with Medvedev during the international nuclear summit in South Korea. Obama was caught on camera saying that he would have more “flexibility” on thorny issues such as missile defense following the November elections.
Medvedev said he would pass the message on to President elect Vladimir Putin.
March 28, 2012
By Paul Joseph Watson
Barack Obama’s 2008 promise to “bankrupt” the coal industry is now coming to fruition with the EPA’s announcement of crippling CO2 emission limits on new plants that will effectively block the building of any new coal plants in the United States, accelerating the move towards total deindustrialization.
“The Obama administration proposed on Tuesday the first ever standards to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants, a move likely to be hotly contested by Republicans and industry in an election year,” reports Reuters.
The enforcement of the new measures, which will force new plants to cut CO2 emissions by 50 per cent and also mandate investment in unaffordable technologies to bury carbon emissions underground, marks the realization of Obama’s 2008 promise to “bankrupt” the coal industry.
During an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle in January 2008 when he was still a Senator, Obama stated, “If somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can, it’s just that it will bankrupt them.”
Since Congress successfully defeated Obama’s disastrous climate bill in 2010, which would have imposed similar measures, the EPA has simply declared CO2, the life-giving gas that plants breathe, to be a deadly poison, and will impose the limits by dictatorial fiat.
March 28, 2012
By Bruce Schneier
“If the TSA was effective, wouldn’t it have caught a terrorist by now? Or maybe there aren’t really any terrorists to begin with?” –KTRN
In the entire decade or so of airport security since the attacks on September 11th 2001, the TSA has not foiled a single terrorist plot or caught a single terrorist. Its own “Top 10 Good Catches of 2011″ does not have a single terrorist on the list. The “good catches” are forbidden items carried by mostly forgetful, and entirely innocent, people—the sorts of guns and knives that would have been just as easily caught by pre-9/11 screening procedures. Not that the TSA is expert at that; it regularly misses guns and bombs in tests and real life. Even its top “good catch”—a passenger with C4 explosives—was caught on his return flight; TSA agents missed it the first time through.
In previous years, the TSA has congratulated itself for confiscating home-made electronics, alerting the police to people with outstanding misdemeanour warrants and arresting people for wearing fake military uniforms. These are hardly the sorts of things we spend $8 billion annually for the TSA to keep us safe from.
Don’t be fooled by claims that the plots it foils are secret. Stopping a terrorist attack is a political triumph. Witness the litany of half-baked and farcical plots that were paraded in front of the public to justify the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism measures. If the TSA ever caught anything even remotely resembling a terrorist, it would be holding press conferences and petitioning Congress for a bigger budget.