"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse." -- James Madison - (1751-1836)

"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force. " :
Ayn Rand in "The Nature of Government"

"Throughout history there have been tyrants and murderers. And for a while they seem invincible, but always they fall. Always."-Mahatma Gandhi

Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings: Helen Keller

The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is , more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime ; he is a good citizen driven to despair.--H.L Mencken

"When even one American-who has done nothing wrong-is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth-then all Americans are in peril" Harry S. Truman

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."- Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943

"When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed: Ayn Rand - (1905-1982) Author - Source: Atlas Shrugged, Francisco's "Money Speech"

"Loss of freedom seldom happens overnight. Oppression doesn't stand on the doorstep with toothbrush moustache and swastika armband -- it creeps up insidiously...step by step, and all of a sudden the unfortunate citizen realizes that it is gone." ~ Baron Lane

U.S. Constitution - R.I.P.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Yep, The Shocks Do Indeed Keep Coming...More Economic Headlines

Bank failures: How bad will it be? Washington Mutual, Wachovia and National City are among the financial institutions that have announced huge losses and are looking for billions of dollars from private equity firms or others in the industry just to keep their doors open.

Fed's Direct Loans to Banks Climb to Record Level May 15 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve's direct loans of cash to commercial banks climbed to the highest level on record in the past week as money-losing lenders increasingly turn to the central bank for funds.Funds provided through the so-called discount window for banks rose by $2.8 billion to a daily average of $14.4 billion in the week to May 14, the central bank said today in Washington. Separately, the Fed's loans to Wall Street bond dealers rose by $75 million to $16.6 billion.

Flood of Foreclosures Prove Loan Modification Isn't Working
U.S. foreclosure filings climbed 65 percent and bank seizures more than doubled in April from a year earlier as mortgage industry efforts to modify loans fell short.
More than 243,300 properties were in some stage of foreclosure, the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac Inc., a seller of default data, began in January 2005. One in every 519 households received a filing and Nevada, California and Florida had the highest rates. Filings rose 4 percent from March.

Bank repossessions jumped 145 percent in April from a year earlier to 54,574, according to Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac. The company has database of more than 1.5 million properties and monitors foreclosure filings including defaults notices, auction sale notices and bank seizures.

Banks will seize about 60,000 properties a month through December, when about 1 million U.S. homes, or a quarter of all homes for sale, may be bank-owned, Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's executive vice president of marketing, said in an interview.

Farmers unable to cash in on soaring food prices All over the world, prices for basic foods -- barley for beer, milk for cheese, corn for tortillas, and the rice that serves as a staple for more than half the world's population -- are soaring.

But farmers aren't rushing to cash in on the boom by planting more of the crops.

The amount of corn planted in the U.S. is expected to dip this year. Rice acreage in California, which sells as much as half its crop overseas, is predicted to increase by only a small amount. Instead, farmers are planting cheaper-to-grow wheat and soy.

They say the reason is simple. The cost of planting some crops is rising as fast as their prices, and sometimes faster, leaving little incentive to increase production of some foods that remain in high demand around the world.

Global Food Shock With increasing world demand and poor weather in the Southern Hemisphere, the margin for error has become very thin. This year, global wheat supplies are projected to hit a 60-year low, and barley will plunge to a 42-year low. Corn stocks are expected to drop to the lowest level since 1984. Global grain supplies are down to 50 days, less than half the amount just 8 years ago.

What was discussed at a closed session of the U.S. House of Representatives?
Last week's session was only the fourth time in 176 years that Congress has closed it's doors to the public.

Word has begun leaking from last weeks special, closed-door session of the United States House of Representatives.

Theorists wrote "Not only did members discuss new surveillance provisions as was the publicly stated reason for the closed door session, they also discussed: The imminent collapse of the U.S. economy to occur by September 2008, the imminent collapse of US federal government finances by February 2009, the possibility of Civil War inside the USA as a result of the collapse and advance round-ups of "insurgent U.S. citizens" likely to move against the government.

Oil prices spike to record near $128 a barrel, as retail gas and diesel hit new highs
Even more important, the traders placing the bets expect prices to just keep moving higher.
Goldman Sachs, one of the world's most influential investment banks, underscored that sentiment Friday when it hiked its oil price forecast for the second half of the year to $141 a barrel, up from $107 previously. Analysts at the bank argue that the oil market is undergoing a "structural repricing" that will continue to play out for some time to come.

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The Militarization of Our Police