Saturday, December 31, 2011

The difference: What 40 Dollars Means

The President had a chance to meet a few of the folks who took to the web to make the pay roll tax cut happen. Take a moment to hear what they had to say.

It began when we asked everyone to show how that missing $40 would affect them and their families.

In a matter of hours thousands of vivid, powerful stories from Americans of all ages, all backgrounds, from every corner across the country were pouring in. For some, $40 means dinner out with a child who's home for Christmas, for others a tank of gas or a charitable donation. In just two days, tens of thousands of Americans were making their voice heard.

Main Street

If you hear high unemployment is our new normal, just say baloney!

We can create millions of jobs right now.

My plan includes repealing laws that raise taxes and strangle business.

Cutting taxes so America is once again the best place to invest and create jobs.

And unleashing the power of our energy industry.

That's just a start. Working together, we can rebuild the America we love and get people working again. I'm Newt Gingrich and I approve this message.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Doubts On “Official Story” Of Bin Laden Killing

The establishment media just keep getting worse. They’re further and further from good, tough investigative journalism, and more prone to be pawns in complicated games that affect the public interest in untold ways. A significant recent example is The New Yorker’s vaunted August 8 exclusive on the vanquishing of Osama bin Laden.

The piece, trumpeted as the most detailed account to date of the May 1 raid in Abbottabad Pakistan, was an instant hit. “Got the chills half dozen times reading @NewYorker killing bin Laden tick tock…exquisite journalism,” tweeted the digital director of the PBS show Frontline. The author, freelancer Nicholas Schmidle, was quickly featured on the Charlie Rose show, an influential determiner of “chattering class” opinion. Other news outlets rushed to praise the story as “exhaustive,” “utterly compelling,” and on and on.

Justifying War With Iran

A growing body of evidence points to a concerted campaign to prepare Americans and the world for war against Iran. This is not idle speculation. It fits a pattern that repeatedly preceded previous hostilities.

Here are the recent examples on Iran:

-The claim that Iran is a WMD threat. Pretty much everyone is familiar with the long-term, continuing efforts to paint Iran as some kind of nuclear threat. This ignores the possibility that Iran is telling the truth in contending it is embarked on solely non-military nuclear research (debatable), and serious doubts among many experts that Iran is preparing nuclear weapons. Perhaps most important, it discounts the fact that many countries (including Iran’s arch-enemy Israel) have nuclear weapons, and disregards the undoubted truth that if a country like Iran ever did launch nuclear weapons, it would be wiped out in a nanosecond, creating a very strong disincentive for offensive use. At the same time, by encouraging other countries and internal foes to believe that it has nuclear weapons, Iran creates an inexpensive protective shield for its regime. A dangerous game, to be sure, but without further evidence of Iranian nukes, hardly a reason to launch a war that would surely cause even more death and destruction than the misguided Iraq invasion.

The Libya Secret: How West Cooked Up “People’s Uprising”

As I write this, a new day is dawning in Libya. The “people’s revolt” against yet another tyrant is unquestionably exciting, and the demise (political and/or otherwise) of Muammar Qaddafi will, of course, be widely hailed. But barely below the surface something else is going on, and it concerns not the Libyan “people”, but an elite. In reality, a narrowly-based Libyan elite is being supplanted by a much older, more enduring one of an international variety.

The media, as is so often the case, has botched its job. Thus virtually all of its resources over the past six months have gone into providing us with an entertainment, a horse race, a battle, with almost no insight into the deeper situation..

WWIII Countdown: CFR declares "Time to Attack Iran" - SCG News 12-27-11

The highly influential Council on Foreign Relations (aka CFR) declared this month in their online publication "Foreign Affairs" that it is now time to attack Iran.

In 2012, something’s gotta give

Commentary: Stocks, bonds, the euro, China — all under pressure

Because if the markets around the world are to be believed, this is the year when something’s gotta give.

Sorry to be gloomy at this festive time, but there it is.

Will it be U.S. stocks? Could be. They are already trading at lofty levels. Shares are about 21 times average earnings for the past 10 years, says Yale economics professor Robert “Irrational Exuberance” Shiller. That’s about 25% above historic norms, he says. This measure has a very record of predicting future returns.

How international stock funds could profit in 2012

Euro zone crisis is biggest risk for investors; Wall Street may guide

For international-stock investors, the year 2012 is akin to a hurricane a few hundred miles away. Everyone knows a direct hit will be deadly, but hopes the blow can be softened by better leadership, preparedness — and a bit of luck.

As Europe’s leaders grapple with the region’s debt troubles, asset managers and strategists see the possibility of their failure to do so as the greatest risk to global markets. Opinion is divided whether the 17 countries that share the euro will remain in the currency bloc next year, but few doubt the region will slip into a recession for at least a part of 2012.

Its impact will be felt worldwide. The euro zone is not only a major trading partner for both the developed and the developing world, its banks have lent trillions of dollars to emerging markets from Eastern Europe to Latin America and Asia.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

US Government Experiments On Americans—LSD And MKULTRA

Readers have shown considerable interest in the trailer we ran recently for the video about unknown radiation experiments on African American children.

Continuing our exploration of secret government experiments on American citizens, we now re-publish an article I wrote in 1999 about the CIA and LSD experiments. That article was originally commissioned by the New York Times Magazine, which opted in the end not to publish it. Instead, it appeared in the magazine of the esteemed British newspaper The Observer, the German newsmagazine Spiegel, and in top newspapers in Australia, Netherlands, and other countries. It did not run in the United States.

Here is the full article:

Some of his New York neighbours knew him as Paul Galan, some knew him as Paul Stanley. To others, he was just Paul, a quiet man who could usually be found on his doorstep with his dog and an ever-present cup of coffee. But in retrospect, all agree that there was an air of mystery about the man who invariably greeted passers-by with a smile and a friendly word.

Documentary Trailer, Hole In The Head: A Life Revealed

This short documentary trailer will stun you, disturb you, and move you. A mind-boggling story of America’s ugly past, unknown in the present. View with caution.

Ron Paul's Most Shocking 'No' Votes

When Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) announced his most recent run for the White House back in May 2011, MSNBC Host Chris Matthews pressed him on the extent of his libertarian convictions. Would he have opposed the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act had he been in office when it was considered, Matthews wanted to know.

It was a hypothetical question and Paul gave a fairly broad answer, saying he appreciated the intent of the law but disagreed with the specific language on property rights.

Left unmentioned was that Paul had -- in more than a hypothetical sense -- already cast a vote on the famous bill. On June 24, 2004, the House of Representatives took up a resolution "recognizing and honoring the 40th anniversary of congressional passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964." Four hundred and fourteen members voted yes, and 18 didn't show up to vote. Only one member said nay: Ron Paul.

In China, Power in Nascent Electric Car Industry

GUANGZHOU, China — Three years ago, as part of its green-energy policy, the Chinese government set an ambitious goal: by the end of 2011, the nation would be able to produce at least 500,000 hybrid or all-electric cars and buses a year.

With only about a week to go, it is clear China will fall far short of that target. Despite dozens of electric-vehicle demonstration projects around the country, analysts put China’s actual annual production capacity at only several thousand hybrid and all-electric cars and buses.

“It’s pretty trivial at this stage — they hardly sell any,” said Lin Huaibin, the manager of China vehicle sales forecasts at IHS Automotive, a global consulting firm.

Taking a Chance on the Larry Portfolio

There are so many competing philosophies in the world of investing that most people learn to tune out any conversations on the topic.

This turns out to be a pretty good instinct. After all, people consistently brag about their winning bets without disclosing their losers. They also tend to obsess over whatever’s happened in the markets most recently, assuming things will be that way forever.

But the one thing that we all ought to be able to agree on is this: The point of any long-term portfolio for the vast majority of investors is to earn whatever return you need to meet your goals while taking the least amount of risk.

I recalled this first principle of investing when I heard about something called the Larry Portfolio earlier this year.

Named for Larry Swedroe, the director of research and a principal at BAM, a wealth management firm in Clayton, Mo., the portfolio tracks indexes that achieved nearly the same 10 percent annual return between 1970 and 2010 as a portfolio invested entirely in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. And here’s the Larry Portfolio’s trick: It did so with less than a third of its money in stocks, with the rest in one-year Treasury bills.

Slicing Costs, and Still Serving

You see them all across the country, in shopping malls and street corners, suburban towns and city centers: zombie restaurants.

Many of the undead are part of familiar chains that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this year: Friendly’s, Chevys, Sbarro, Perkins. The zombie restaurants, barely bringing in enough cash to cover basic expenses, always seem to be one sizzling fajita or glazed chicken skewer away from a merciful end, but somehow keep hanging on — leaving too many restaurants chasing after scarce dining dollars.

“There’s a lot of walking dead,” said Bob Goldin, executive vice president for Technomic, a consulting firm that works with restaurant companies. “A lot of chains, they hang in there and they’re hard to kill off.”

How to fix the depression

So far, so good.
Things keep happening, more or less as they should.

That is, the US and European economies keep falling apart. And the fixers keep failing to put them back together again.

Just as we expected.

Trying to fix a depression it is not only expensive - the US government spends $1.60 for every $1 it receives in taxes - it is a recipe for a disaster, not for a recovery.

Worse, it actually prevents a real recovery from happening, by blocking the market's natural self-healing system

Let us ask you this, dear reader: what's the cure for a depression?

30 reasons for Great Depression 2 by 2011

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. -- By 2011? No recovery? No new bull? "Hey Paul, why do you keep talking about a bigger crash coming by 2011?" Readers ask that often. So here's a sequel to my predictions of 2000 and 2004, with a look three years ahead:
First. Dot-com crash

We pinpointed the dot-com crash at its peak, in a March 20, 2000 column: "Next crash? Sorry, you won't see it coming." Bulls-eye: The dot-com bubble popped. The economy went into a 30-month recession. The stock market lost $8 trillion.

And today, over eight years later, the market is still roughly 40% below its 2000 peak.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sex, Oil, Chaos & Corruption At American U. Of Iraq

Anyone who still wonders why the Bush administration invaded Iraq would do well to become familiar with an institution whose existence few Americans are aware of: the American University of Iraq-Sulaimaniya.

Located in Kurdistan, at the nexus of northern Iraq’s border with Iran and Turkey, AUI-S opened its doors in 2007. At the time, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times wrote about it with the sort of wide-eyed enthusiasm that had generally accompanied the invasion itself four years before. “Imagine for a moment if one outcome of the U.S. invasion of Iraq had been the creation of an American University of Iraq…Imagine if we had created an island of decency in Iraq…Well, stop imagining.”

The U.S. Must Completely Withdraw from the WTO

We must withdraw from all organizations that would not allow the United States to put its own best interest first, starting with The World Trade Organization. We cannot allow this supra-governmental body any opportunity to act as a judiciary body against us. The WTO rules against the U.S. nine out of every 10 times another member nation as brought action against us. We must have the ability to manage our own affairs in order to successfully run our own country.

The WTO is a self serving organization that operates outside of our control. The U.S. Constitution states that all treaties made under the authority of the United States become supreme law of the land (Article VI). When our government stymied under pressure from foreign-represented lobbyists and signed the WTO treaty our government effectively weakened our sovereignty.

Total Collapse Of World Economy

Is the financial crisis over, or are we heading towards disaster?
End of The Road portrays eleven influential commentators within the finance and investment communities, as they share their knowledge of our current financial structure. Through each of their narratives, a story is built which chronicles the current economic dilemma and paints a picture of the world's financial future.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Best Jobs For Fast Growth in America

If you're stalled or burned out, these fast-growing fields (with relatively low barriers to entry) can help you earn more, get ahead and put life back into your career. 

1. Software Developer
Median pay: $82,400
Top pay: $118,000
10-year job growth: 32%
Total jobs: 380,000

The job: As technology evolves rapidly, companies continue to need developers to design, test, and debug software programs for mobile devices and apps. Since the landscape changes so often, even longtime developers frequently need to retrain and learn new programs, lowering the barriers to entry for job switchers.

How to switch: If you have a technical background, all you need are self-study courses for vendor-specific program certifications. Tech newbies should start with a programming course at a local college.