Today, the director of Farmageddon, Kristin Canty, stops by to give you the inside story on what really happened during the Rawesome Foods raid and why her documentary is so important for every American to see! Plus, Thomas James of HempUSA.org stops by to discuss the amazing health benefits you could receive just by consuming hemp products on a regular basis.
How Safe Are the Drugs in Your Medicine Cabinet?
Diet Sabotage: Nearly 1 In 5 Calorie Counts Wrong
Cargill Recalls Potentially Tainted Turkey
Study Shows That Hospitals Are More Dangerous Than Flying
Why ’100% Orange Juice’ Is Still Artificial
Prince Charles Branded a ‘Snake Oil Salesman’
Congress To Form The Debt “Super Committee”
Food Stamp Use Rises to Record 45.8 Million
Dow Plunges 500 Points
Global Stocks Tumble After U.S. Selloff
How to Survive the Stock Market’s Wild Ride
10 Signs The Double-Dip Recession Has Begun
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April 10, 2012
By Lisa Rein
“As we use the KTRN crystal ball to look into the future, we see you losing more and more of your money to the government.” –KTRN
At the start of his mind-reading act, Bob Garner asked a federal employee for the name of his dead dog. He asked someone else to recall a person close to them who had passed away. Then he shared some of the messages the deceased sent from the other side.
Garner also tied a black blindfold around his eyes and asked the audience to pull out four items from their purses and pockets.
Each time, the self-described mentalist and “motivational speaker with a ‘WOW’ factor” was able to divine the truth. What he couldn’t predict was the outrage his $3,200, expenses-paid poolside gig would cause in Washington after his bill showed up on the General Services Administration’s $823,000 tab from a Las Vegas spending spree.
Garner, 51, has a shock of white hair, a fondness for business suits and pocket squares, and an intuition for what his magic act can bring to corporate America. He’s built a successful business on the meeting and trade-show circuit, where he makes employees feel they’re valued in a bad economy.
April 6, 2012
New York Times
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT
“Is there is ever a time when the government should saving money, it’s now. We should all be outraged at this.” –KTRN
When a vast but little-known government agency spent $822,000 in taxpayer money to fly 300 bureaucrats to a luxurious spa and casino outside Las Vegas for a conference in October 2010, its leaders had a goal: to make it “over the top,” according to a government report that has set Washington abuzz.
But it was news of the conference entertainment — a clown and a mind reader — that prompted snickering on Tuesday across this city, which always savors a scandal. And with the snickering, there was a question: If they had a clairvoyant, how come nobody saw the backlash coming?
“Arrogance, immaturity, entitlement,” said Kenneth Donohue, who spent nearly a decade investigating cases of fraud and abuse as inspector general of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Plenty of people in Washington (and Las Vegas) were saying much the same on Tuesday, among them Representative John L. Mica, Republican of Florida, and Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, both of whom lead committees that have been investigating the agency in question, the General Services Administration.
The G.S.A., as it is known, is essentially the government’s personal shopper for big-ticket items, like buying and leasing buildings and cars.
Heads rolled there on Monday — the top official, Martha Johnson, fired her top two deputies, and then resigned in disgrace — hours before the agency’s inspector general released a blandly titled “Final Management Deficiency Report,” whose contents were anything but bland about the conference at the M Resort Spa Casino. Its details — $58,808 for “audio visual services;” a “networking reception” where the fare included “Petit Beef Wellington” and 1,000 sushi rolls at $7 apiece; $147,000 for airfare and lodging; a $75,000 “bicycle building project” designed as a “team-building exercise” — were enough to prompt people in Las Vegas to wish, as the old saw goes, that what happened there would have stayed there.
March 27, 2012
By Irwin Kellner
Now that inflation is beginning to pick up, it is vital to distinguish between what is real and what is just an illusion caused by inflation. If one does not, one might very well come away with the impression that the economy is shifting into higher gear when, in fact, it is not.
Take retail sales, for example. On the surface they are encouraging, since February’s sales gain was the most in five months. And since retail sales are one-half of consumers’ spending, which in turn makes up two-thirds of overall economic activity, one might be tempted to conclude that the worst is over.
One would be wrong. First of all, these are dollar figures, adjusted for the time of year but not for inflation. Second, most of the rise reflected a 6% surge in gasoline prices.
Excluding gasoline, retail sales went up at a much more subdued pace. And if you factor in higher prices for such other items as heat, food and health care, retail sales were virtually unchanged in the month — if not for the past few.
It is always important to strip away the effects of inflation and look at actual units purchased. After all, real spending determines real output which in turn provides real jobs. And when day is done, jobs are of paramount importance to this economy.
To be sure, certain stats are real — that is, they are expressed in unit terms, free from the influence of rising prices. These include employment, unemployment and the unemployment rate.
Also in this group are industrial production, capacity use and housing starts, sales and supplies of unsold homes. Some indexes like consumer sentiment and confidence are OK, too.
However other very important numbers do not separate inflation from units. These include corporate profits (and just about everything else on Corporate America’s financial statements), inventories and even the leading indicators.
March 8, 2012
The Daily Crux
By Jim Quinn
“The elite want you to be in debt. It keeps you down and makes them a lot of money. Spend wisely, stop using credit cards, and save.” –KTRN
I hear the term “de-leveraging” relentlessly from the mainstream media. The storyline that the American consumer has been denying themselves and paying down debt is completely, 100% false.
The proliferation of this Big Lie has been spread by Wall Street and their mouthpieces in the corporate media. The purpose is to convince the ignorant masses they have deprived themselves long enough and deserve to start spending again. The propaganda being spouted by those who depend on Americans to go further into debt is relentless.
The “fantastic” automaker recovery is being driven by 0% financing for seven years, peddled to subprime (aka deadbeat) borrowers for mammoth SUVs and pickup trucks that get 15 mpg as gas prices surge past $4 a gallon. What could possibly go wrong in that scenario?
Furniture merchants are offering no interest, no payment deals for four years on their product lines. Of course, the interest rate from your friends at GE Capital reverts retroactively to 29.99% at the end of four years after the average dolt forgot to save enough to pay off the balance.
I’m again receiving two to three credit card offers per day in the mail. According to the Wall Street vampire squids that continue to suck the life blood from what’s left of the American economy, this is a return to normalcy.
The definition of normal is: “The usual, average, or typical state or condition.” The fallacy is calling what we’ve had for the last three decades of illusion – Normal. Nothing could be further from the truth…
March 6, 2012
By Madison Ruppert
China has announced that they will be increasing their funding for the military by 11.2 percent in 2012 on top of the 12.7 percent increase in 2011.
This move seems to be quite obviously intended to act as a counterweight to the American military’s shift to focus on the Asia-Pacific region announced by President of the United States Barack Obama last year.
As I have repeatedly pointed out, this policy shift does not involve just the United States, but indeed is actually a global expansion of the U.S.-NATO military machine involving complex multilateral ties.
This would bring the total official spending on the People’s Liberation Army to 670.3 billion yuan, or around $110 billion, for this year, according to Reuters.
This announcement is China’s first military budget since Obama announced the new policy and when tensions are quite high in the South China Sea dispute. I have noted the antagonistic approach taken by the United States in this dispute multiple times now, and it only makes sense that China would seek to arm themselves more heavily.
I have posited that America might actually be trying to goad China in the dispute as they have ignored all of China’s reasonable requests. China has asked countries without a direct interest in the dispute to stop meddling, which is exactly what the United States is doing, but of course that has been ignored.
Numerous countries have maritime disputes with China and the United States has clearly chosen sides in the dispute, even arming some of the nations involved along with carrying out joint military exercises.
February 22nd, 2012
By: James Hall
The prospects for conducting commerce are never an easy task. The hurdles to start a business much less stay competitive demands the greatest skill and fortitude. Innovation and inspiration often is the best course for those bold enough to become an employer. The idea that a level playing field exists for all comers is preposterous. The entire macrocosm for business rests upon separating your enterprise from that of your rivalries. Such is a basic lesson for those brave or foolish enough to enter the arena.
Courtney Rubin cites the following in Inc. Magazine,
“Businesses with 20 employees or fewer pay 36 percent more than their larger counterparts (defined as those with 500 or more employees), says the report – called “The Impact of Regulatory Costs on Small Firms” — from the SBA’s Office of Advocacy. This is because a lot of costs are fixed — the same whether you have two employees or 2,000. Total annual cost of following the rules for a small business: $10,585 per employee, or about $2,830 more than big business. Businesses with 20 to 499 employees paid about $7,454 per employee, or about $300 less than the largest companies.
The report estimates that 89 percent of all firms in the U.S. employ fewer than 20 workers. By comparison, large firms account for only 0.3 percent of all U.S. firms.
Says the report: “If federal regulations place a differentially large cost on small business, this potentially causes inefficiencies in the structure of American enterprises, and the relocation of production facilities to less regulated countries, and adversely affects the international competitiveness of domestically produced American products and services.”
The screams for jobs, jobs and jobs would give the hint that federal, state and local business policy would favor the productive engine of employment. However, in the real world of political influence and favoritism only the well connected get the advantages.
Government regulations are meant to stifle competition. The legislative process graces those who are well connected, financially heeled and schooled in the art of writing the regulations. Few small businesses have a legal department or experienced lobbyists.
In Big Business and Big Government, Timothy P. Carney writes,“As the federal government has progressively become larger over the decades, every significant introduction of government regulation, taxation, and spending has been to the benefit of some big business.”
Mr. Carney presents compelling evidence on the history of this axiom, in his article. The net result from this covert partnership of interest and rewards is the never ending campaign contribution cycle that finances every election. The small businessman seldom has the resources or crony relationships to wage off the grand strategies of the giant corporate model.
Their advantage stems not from mastering sound and creative business practices. On the contrary, the major corporations use their brute force to buy or stamp out any contender that dares compete for market share.
Access to capital or the lack thereof, dooms most small businesses. The burden of regulations only compounds the severity of the survival rate and burns up reserved funds which often cannot be replenished. How can small business compete? – offers this insight.
“Small business can’t control mass-market designs or brands, but we are well-placed to do what big business can’t: Get inside the hearts and minds of our customers.”
As true as that advice resonates, the regulation landmines prevent small businesses from operating on a scale that can challenge all the advantages of the state sponsored conglomerates. The hard truth is that free enterprise is dead and in its place is an administered economy designed to suppress individually owned and managed businesses.
The prospects of reestablishing a political atmosphere that favors small business as the primary mechanism of job creation is remote as long as the transnational global and corporatist culture exists. Bigger is not better in most cases. Bigger usually means there are fewer companies in the same industry, accompanied with shrinkage in good paying jobs.
Theodore F. di Stefano suggests four steps that small businesses need to focus upon,
1. Creating a Niche
A niche is a special quality or group of qualities that sets the small business apart from its larger competitors. It has also been described as a small, specialized business market.
2. Employee Training
If a small business is going to act as though the customer is truly special, its employees must be trained accordingly. Also, they must work for managers whom they respect and who respect them. They must not be put on the “floor” to meet customers until they are thoroughly familiar with their product, be it food, auto services or any other product.
3. Management Philosophy
The owners of a small business must know the goals (mission) of their business and how they intend to achieve these goals. They should be clear about what segment of the market is their target and how they intend to appeal to that segment.
4. Good In-House Financial Management
You must be particularly aware of your current and projected cash position. And, you should certainly create a realistic annual budget for your company that serves as a financial road map for the future.
Now these common sense suggestions may assist in certain instances, but in a service economy, living wage jobs are rare at best. The regulations that drive business offshore also destroy a viable income scale. Reinstituting an American industrial and manufacturing base is a necessary step to climb out of this deep hole.
The regulatory climate must reflect policies that will benefit American workers. Open borders, that encourage illegal immigration, are a conscious regulatory policy that displaces domestic employees.
The regulations that slant and foster corporatist preference is the new feudalism. Is it not time to put Americans back to work? Without a political will to champion free enterprise and replace the corporate-state, only more suffering will thrive. It is up to the public to make this challenge the centerpiece for the 2012 elections.
If The U.S. Government Keeps Spending Money Like This We Are Doomed And If The U.S. Government Stops Spending Money Like This We Are Doomed
January 27, 2012
The Economic Collapse
Either way you look at it, the United States is in serious trouble.” –KTRN
If you increased your credit card spending by a couple thousand dollars per month would your lifestyle improve? Of course it would. By going into large amounts of debt, it is possible to live a lifestyle that you can’t really afford, at least for a while. But if you keep racking up huge amounts of credit card debt every single month, eventually it gets to a point where it is extremely difficult to even keep up with the minimum monthly payments and the credit card companies will not lend you any more money. Well, on a larger scale it is the same thing with government debt. Right now, the U.S. government is spending more than a trillion dollars more than it takes in every year. Even if the U.S. government spends all of that money on incredibly stupid stuff, it still gets into the pockets of ordinary Americans. In turn, those ordinary Americans use that money to pay the mortgage, buy food, shop at the mall, etc. All of this borrowing and spending by the U.S. government has created a “false prosperity” bubble that is not real. It may feel real to you right now, but it is unsustainable by definition. If the U.S. government suddenly started spending only the money that it actually brought in every year, our economy would be doomed and all of this “false prosperity” would rapidly disappear. But if the U.S. government continues to rack up debt at this pace we are doomed as well. In fact, every dollar that gets borrowed makes our eventual collapse ever worse. We are heading down the exact same road that Greece has gone. Eventually the rest of the world is not going to lend us gigantic mountains of super cheap money anymore. When the flow of cheap money stops, it can be extremely painful. Anyone that has ever seen the interest rates on their credit cards go above 20 percent knows how this feels. If we had addressed these problems as a nation a decade or two ago, perhaps we could have found a solution. But now there is no way out under our current financial system and a devastating economic collapse is on the horizon no matter what we do.
If there was a Hollywood movie where some crooks successfully stole 150 million dollars, what would you think of those crooks?
Would you have admiration for them?
Would you be disgusted with them?
Would you feel like your intelligence was insulted because nobody could ever steal 150 million dollars and get away with it?
Well, right now the federal government is stealing approximately 150 million dollars from our children and our grandchildren every single hour.
That’s right – the U.S. government is borrowing an astounding 150 million dollars an hour that our children and our grandchildren will be expected to deal with.
November 1, 2011
By Clif Droke
The latest economic headline came as a surprise to the pundits, though it actually makes perfect sense from a psychological standpoint. On Friday the Associated Press informed us of “Americans spending more with income almost flat,” per the headline. At first glance this seems almost counterintuitive, yet the sub-heading of this A.P. story put it into perspective: “Americans find tiny returns on savings and decide to spend.”
The economists interviewed by the A.P. put a spin on this story to the effect that Americans are spending more because they’re earning next to nothing in interest on savings in the bank. For instance, the annual yield on six-month certificates of deposit is currently 0.23 percent, according to Bankrate.com. Five years ago it was 3.62 percent. As the A.P. article stated, “If you put your money in the six-month CD today, you’d make about enough to buy a burger.”
It’s a conundrum that has perplexed economists and is difficult to explain. Have consumers essentially embraced an “eat, drink, for tomorrow we die!” attitude toward spending in a sluggish economy – a dance of death if you will? Has discretionary spending supplanted the need for saving among a jaded populace worn out by four years of recession? Or have consumers simply been forced to spend a greater part of their incomes on rising fuel and food costs? The answer is a combination of each of these rationales for spending, as we’ll discuss here.
There are three basic components behind the increased consumer spending in a stagnant economy. The first is psychological. Despite the low consumer confidence ratings of recent months (see chart below), consumers are spending more this year on discretionary items as well as on necessities. One reason for this is the “echo effect” of the financial market rebound of the last couple of years. Studies have shown that investors and consumers tend to be 2-3 years behind the curve of a financial market trend. That is, investors who were scared onto the sidelines by a stock market crash will usually wait up to two or three years before re-entering the market, but only if stocks have advanced during that time.
October 25, 2011
Wall Street Journal
Consumers’ confidence in the economy fell in October to the lowest it’s been since 2009 when the U.S. was in the middle of a deep recession, according to a report released Tuesday by a private research group.
The New York-based Conference Board says that its Consumer Confidence Index dropped more than six points to 39.8, down from a revised 46.4 in September. October’s reading marked the lowest point since March 2009 when it was at 26.9. Economists surveyed by FactSet had expected a reading of 47. A reading above 90 indicates the economy is on solid footing.
Economists watch consumer confidence closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.