Weekday NEWS to Comfort the Disturbed and Disturb the Comfortable.
PTG: CLOSED for Good Friday - no new radio show until Monday
U.S. and Canadian stock markets are closed tomorrow in observance of Good Friday. Bond and currency markets will remain open and March's jobs data will be released.
Gold May Advance for Second Day
on Spanish Debt Concern
By Sungwoo Park - Bloomberg.com
Gold may climb for a second day, trimming the first weekly drop in three, as Spain's rising borrowing costs fueled concern that the region is still struggling to contain its debt crisis, spurring haven demand.
Bullion for immediate delivery was little changed at $1,630.90 an ounce at 10:37 a.m. Seoul time. While the price rose 0.6 percent to $1,631.23 yesterday, the biggest daily gain since March 26, it's still 2.2 percent lower this week. Trading on the Comex in New York is closed today for a holiday.
Still accommodative fed policy
should help put a floor under Gold prices: HSBC
LONDON (Commodity Online): United States monetary policy remains accommodative and should offer at some support for gold even if the Federal Reserve does not undertake a third round of quantitative easing, said HSBC in a daily research note.
According to the bank, gold prices tumbled late Tuesday and remained on the defensive overnight after minutes from the March Federal Open Market Committee showed policy-makers less keen to undertake further stimulus, triggering long liquidation in bullion markets. This comes after a string of stronger U.S. economic reports in recent months.
Blythe Masters On The Blogosphere,
Silver Manipulation, Gold-Axed Clients
And Doing The "Wrong" Thing
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
In an article that is about three years overdue, "JPMorgan's practices bring scrutiny" the FT finally takes aim at that other "vampire squid", JP Morgan, which technically is incorrect: because if Goldman is a nimble and aggressive creature, with infinite tentacles in every governmental office, and unencumbered by massive liabilities, JPMorgan is just as connected, but unlike Goldman, it is a behemoth in every other possible capacity, and with its trillion in deposits, matched by tens of billions in bad loans, is a true Bank Holding Company. As such 'Jabba the Hutt' would be a far more appropriate allegory to describe the the firm, whose reach, scope and scale lead the FT to classify it as "Three times a pallbearer, never a corpse."
Silver's Trend & the Death of Technical Analysis
BY STEVE ST. ANGELO - FinancialSense.com
The death of technical analysis has arrived. What took place in the markets (especially in the precious metals) on April 3rd & 4th proves this in spades. There were several calls made prior to the takedown, by some very well known individuals in the precious metal field, that became NULL & VOID when either bottoms or chart patterns failed.
I am not going to name names, but I would imagine those who have been following the gold and silver markets for quite some time, know who I am talking about. That being said, I don't blame them one bit. Trying to make short term calls based on technical analysis presently has become nearly impossible when the markets are constantly manipulated. I think it is time that we all just realize a monkey throwing a dart at a trend line on a wall is just as useful as short term technical analysis.
19 Signs Of Very Serious Economic Trouble On The Horizon
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
Most Americans have no idea how much economic trouble is heading our way. Most of them just assume that everything will eventually "return to normal" just like it always has before and that those running our economy "know what they are doing" and that we should trust them to do their jobs. Unfortunately, these beliefs are being reinforced by the bubble of false hope that we are experiencing right now. For example, it is being reported that weekly unemployment claims in the United States have fallen to a four-year low. That is a very good thing. Let us hope that unemployment claims go even lower and that the current period of stability lasts for as long as possible. We should enjoy these last fleeing moments of tremendous prosperity for as long as we can, because when they are gone they won't be coming back. As I noted the other day, all of this false prosperity in the United States has been financed by the 15 trillion dollar party that we have been enjoying. We are adding about 150 million dollars to our debt every single hour so that we can continue to enjoy an inflated standard of living. Unfortunately, nobody in the history of the world has ever been able to keep a debt spiral going indefinitely, and our debt bubble will burst eventually as well.
Egan Jones Downgrades USA
From AA+ To AA, Outlook Negative
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
A few weeks ago when discussing the imminent debt ceiling breach, and the progression of US debt/GDP into the 100%+ ballpark, we reminded readers that inFebruary S&P said it could downgrade the US again in as soon as 6 months if there was no budget plan. Not only is there no budget plan, but the US is about to have its debt ceiling fiasco repeat all over as soon in as September. Which means another downgrade from S&P is imminent, and continuing the theme of deja vu 2011, the late summer is shaping up for a major market sell off. Minutes ago, Egan Jones just reminded us of all of this, after the only rating agency that matters, just downgraded the US from AA+ to AA, with a negative outlook.
The Coming China Super Crisis
BY CLIF DROKE - FinancialSense.com
The big X-factor for the stock market in the coming months will clearly be China. During periods when any of the major weekly or yearly cycles are bottoming and the market is vulnerable to a correction, there's always a news headline event that serves as a scapegoat for the market's weakness. Last year the scapegoat was Greece and the eurozone debt crisis. This year the void will be filled by China's slowing economy.
Underscoring the growing worries over China, Tom Orlik wrote in the March 26 issue of theWall Street Journal: "Markets fear a slowdown in China's factories. They should also be concerned about possible government instability." He went on to explain that China's real estate investment showed no growth from a year earlier and that export growth slipped to 6.8% from 14.2% in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Art Cashin On Bernanke's Secret Banker Meeting
To Keep Europe Afloat
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
Last week Mario Monti, like a good (ex) Goldmanite, did his best to buy what Goldman is selling, namely telling anyone gullible enough to believe that the "European crisis is almost over." Funny then that we learn that just as this was happening, Ben Bernanke held a secret meeting with the entire banker caretel, in which discussed was not American jobs (seasonally adjusted or otherwise), nor $5 gas, but... helping European with its debt crisis. But, but... Mario said. In the meantime, European spreads are back to late 2011 levels.
From UBS Financial Services
Consorting With The Other Side - Fortune broke an interesting story on a private lunch that Bernanke had with some key bankers. Here's a bit:
FORTUNE -- After completing a series of public lectures in Washington, D.C. last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke quietly slipped into New York City for a private luncheon on Friday with Wall Street executives.
Europe and the Law of Sticky Wages (technical) How is wage erosion going to play out
across Europe's Arc of Depression?
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has an essay on its website showing that US wages in the industries in most trouble have scarcely dropped at all since the onset of the Great Recession - despite economic - even though the country has one of the most flexible labour markets in the world.
You can erode real wages through inflation, but it is nigh impossible to cut them in absolute terms. They are famously "sticky", as Keynes warned in the 1920s. Call it cultural resistance if you want, or human psychology, or common sense.
The Incredible Shrinking U.S. Government
By Jordan Weissmann - TheAtlantic.com
What do Republican presidents Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II have in common that Obama doesn't? Total government grew under those presidents after they faced recessions. By contrast, federal, state, and local government has declined by more than half a million workers in the last three years. Big government ain't what it used to be.
The graph above comes courtesy of the Economic Policy Institute. Since the recession officially ended in January 2009, the economy has bid goodbye to 584,000 government jobs (private sector employment is up by 2.8 million). That's a roughly a 2 percent drop. Though the federal workforce actually grew between 2009 and 2011, it's now shrinking at the fastest rate since the 1950s, as my colleague Derek Thompson has written. By comparison, government payrolls increased by at least a full percentage point during the thirty months after each of the last major recessions, while Republican presidents presided over the economy.
Bernanke - I'm Slowing Down the Ship
BY BRUCE KRASTING - FinancialSense.com
A full trading day after the release of the Fed minutes has brought us some reasonably significant changes in market levels. S&P –1.5%, Gold – 3.5%, Crude –1.5%. Apparently, the confirmation that it is on hold surprised the market.
I'm not surprised. Bernanke understands that upping the anti with more QE would send the price of crude through the roof. The deflationary effect on the consumer economy of another dollar increase for gas would far outweigh any positive consequences that another LSAP would have produced.
End Double Mandate to Save Fed's Independence
By Luigi Zingales - Bloomberg.com
There's one prediction that can safely be made about the decision that the Supreme Court will render on the Affordable Care Act: The final vote will almost certainly be along party lines.
The court's progressive politicization in recent years is a natural reaction to the increasingly activist role it has adopted. As justices have weighed in on questions that were traditionally the province of elected officials -- such as abortion rights -- political institutions have fought back by making ideological orthodoxy a requirement for a Supreme Court appointment.
Keiser Report: Angel Dust for Ponzi-Addicts (E271)
In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss Ben Bernanke's 'happy dust' and Angela Merkel's 'red lines' cause ire in BRICS trade partners. In the second half of the show Max talks to Jim Rickards about a BRICS currency, gold and the fog of currency war.
Don't Catch Recovery Fever
By Peter Schiff - GoldSeek.com
Gold has been holding steady in the the $1,600-$1,800 band since early October. This could be attributed to consolidation after last summer's historic run up to $1,895, but I think this wait-and-see attitude reflects current market sentiment toward the US dollar.
In fact, the first few days of April have seen a sharp dollar rally and decline in gold. This is rooted in deflated expectations of a third round of Quantitative Easing (QE3) after the most recent Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Once again, the markets are responding to the headlines while losing sight of the fundamentals.
The political deadlock over national debt
By Zachary A. Goldfarb - WashingtonPost.com
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) accused President Obama last week of setting the nation on an "unsustainable" path that would endanger "our kids and grandkids." Obama, in turn, alleged this week that Ryan and Republican front-runner Mitt Romney were trying "to impose a radical vision on our country . . . thinly veiled Social Darwinism."
It was a familiar punch-counterpunch over the problem of the nation's rocketing debt. Yet amid the rhetoric, it was easy to overlook a fundamental question:
Why can't America's leaders, at the helm of such a wealthy country, find a solution that both puts the nation on a long-term path to financial security and preserves the vast array of vital services government provides?
Are The BRICs Broken?
Goldman And Roubini Disagree On China
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
While most of the time, it seems, investing in Emerging (or Growth) market countries is entirely focused on just that - the growth - with little thought given to the lower probability but high impact event of a growth shock. Goldman uses a variety of economic and corporate factors to compile a Growth Vulnerability Score including excess credit growth, high levels of short-term and/or external debt, and current account deficits. Comparing growth expectations to this growth shock score indicates the BRICs are now in very different places from a valuation perspective. Brazil remains 'fair' while India looks notably 'expensive' leaving China and Russia 'cheap'. It seems, in Goldman's opinion that markets are discounting large growth risks too much for China and Russia (and not enough for India). Finally, for all the Europeans, Turkey is richest of all, with a significant growth shock potential that is notably underpriced. Goldman's China-is-cheap perspective disagrees with Nouriel Roubini's well-below-consensus view of an initially soft landing leading to a hard landing for China as 2013 approaches as he notes the pain that commodity exporters feel in 2012 is only a taste of the bleeding yet to come in 2013.
The word that must not be spoken How the GSA ruined everything
By Al Kamen - WashingtonPost.com
Washington's newest dirty word is "conference."
Thanks to the clowning and magic tricks by the General Services Administration at a posh Las Vegas resort (the one that led to the resignation this week of the agency's chief and two of her top deputies and the ouster — "administrative leave" — of four officials involved in planning the ritzy event) the word may now be verboten among the agencies.
On Wednesday, for example, the Department of Homeland Security boasted of its successful "2012 National Fusion Center Training Event." A "training event" sounds like serious business. Not to be confused with a "conference," which, thanks to the GSA, now conjures up images of conga lines and taxpayer-funded decadence.
Finance as Wealth Transfer Mechanism:
An Interview with James Galbraith
Interview conducted by Philip Pilkington - NakedCapitalism.com
Philip Pilkington: Let's start with the obvious question that the book raises. Namely, why studies on inequality have, until this point, been so poor. You point out in the book that the studies that have been done have been competently researched but that they simply don't have access to the correct types of data etc. Could you talk a little about this (without getting too technical, of course) and maybe speculate a little about why this important issue has been sidetracked by the economic profession?
Jamie Galbraith: I have great respect for the many researchers around the world who have conducted income surveys over many decades, and also for those at the World Bank and elsewhere who have tried to assemble this work into useful data sets. But there are two major problems. The first is that surveys are relatively scarce, especially in poorer countries; in many countries they are available only for a few widely-scattered years. The second is that the concept – what is being measured – can vary widely from place to place and from time to time. For instance, some surveys measure the inequality of incomes; others the inequality of spending. In some cases the measures are for households; in others they are for individuals. And so forth.
Investors (and Liberals) Beware! Here Comes JOBS Act
J. Jennings Moss - Portfolio.com
As President Barack Obama prepares for a big White House ceremony Thursday to sign the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, the pundit class is working hard to A) issue dire warnings that unsuspecting investors are going to get ripped off, or B) berate "liberal" critics for getting all Chicken Little on JOBS.
Among those in camp A are the New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin and MarketWatch's Charles Jaffe. Click here to get Sorkin's take. As for Jaffe, he writes that the sector that will see the biggest rise in employment from the JOBS Act is the "investment scam business."
How the JOBS Act Turns Ordinary Joes
Into Venture Capitalists
By Ross Kenneth Urken - DailyFinance.com
On Thursday afternoon, President Obama signed the JOBS Act, and among the changes it will bring to the world of business startups is one that makes use of a rising trend: The power of crowd sourcing.
The SEC will have 270 days to interpret the basic concepts in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act and turn them into practical regulations, but businesses are already preparing for the tectonic shifts in the way they acquire investors.
IRS chief warns of 'confusion' on delay of tax-break moves
By Tim Devaney-The Washington Times
Just days before the national tax-filing deadline, the Internal Revenue Service chief warned Thursday that congressional delay on expiring tax-break provisions could lead to "total confusion" among working Americans.
In a wide-ranging speech at the National Press Club, IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman also said the agency is modernizing its technology, deterring tax fraud and improving customer service.
"We've really made a lot of lasting progress at theIRS that will really serve the nation well for the years to come," he said.
U.S. to Become Tax Debtors' Prison
By Gary Gibson - WhiskeyAndGunPowder.com
If you're planning to leave the U.S. for any reason, you may soon need to make sure your taxes are all paid up.
The U.S. government is looking to plug up leaks on its tax slave ship. From CBS…
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A bill authored by a Southland lawmaker that could potentially allow the federal government to prevent any Americans who owe back taxes from traveling outside the U.S. is one step closer to becoming law.
Senate Bill 1813 was introduced back in November by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Los Angeles) to "reauthorize Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs, and for other purposes".
After clearing the Senate on a 74 – 22 vote on March 14, SB 1813 is now headed for a vote in the House of Representatives, where it's expected to encounter stiffer opposition among the GOP majority.
An Uncivil Income Tax System
By Jeff Jacoby - PatriotPost.us
Each year in the United States, an estimated 6.1 billion hours are spent complying with the federal tax code. I'm pretty sure at least half of those hours are spent by me.
With less than two weeks remaining before this year's tax returns are due, I've barely made a dent in my stack of forms, receipts, and instructions. Each year the prospect of doing my taxes looms more daunting and dismal than the year before. Each year I wonder where I'll find the time, never mind the patience, to get it done. Each year's tax ordeal seems to require more mental energy, more double-checking of math, more scouring of check registers and credit-card statements and brokerage records. And yet when I finally hit that "Send" button, I'm less certain than ever that I haven't inadvertently screwed something up. And if that's true for someone like me, whose financial arrangements are not especially abstruse, how much more miserable tax season must be for taxpayers whose circumstances are more elaborate.
The Student Loan Bubble is the Next Subprime
BY MARTIN HUTCHINSON,
Global Investing Strategist, Money Morning
Don't look now but there's another giant bubble out there. It's so big it rivals subprime.
I'm talking about the student loan bubble.
Recently, the outstanding volume of student loans passed $1 trillion. What's more bothersome is that the average individual amount owed by new college graduates has passed $25,000.
With college costs zooming upwards faster than inflation, this is rapidly becoming another subprime mortgage-like sinkhole.
Just like subprime, the problem is that people of modest means are being suckered by high-pressure salesmen into taking on too much debt.
Can This 'Online Ivy' University
Change the Face of Higher Education? Meet The Minerva Project, the chest-beating, Silicon Valley-spawned, Larry Summers-backed "E-lite" college that just might reshape the worldwide market for education.
By Jordan Weissmann - TheAtlantic.com
Traditionally, for-profit colleges have operated on the lowest rungs of America's educational ladder, catering to poor and lower-middle-class students looking for a basic, convenient degree or technical training. Aspiring Ivy Leaguers have remained far out of the industry's sites.
That is, until now.
This week, the Minerva Project, a startup online university, announced that it had received $25 million in seed financing from Benchmark Capital, a major Silicon Valley venture capital firm known for its early investments in eBay, among other successful web companies. Minerva bills itself as "the first elite American university to be launched in a century," and promises to re-envision higher education for the information age. The chairman of its advisory board: Larry Summers, the former treasury secretary and Harvard president. Among others, he's joined on the board by Bob Kerry, the former United States senator and president of The New School.
Joel Skousen on The Jeff Rense - 04 Apr 2012
Israel has postponed its attack on Iran to the spring of 2013 , there is tremendous manipulation going on in order to stop Ron Paul from being elected , the establishment republican party is as bad as the democrats says Joel Skousen , the Ron Paul movement may decide to create a third party , the only reason the gas prices are high is the embargo on Iranian oil.
Federal judge approves $25 billion mortgage pact
By Aruna Viswanatha - Telegraph.co.uk
(Reuters) - A federal judge approved a $25 billion mortgage settlement with five top U.S. banks over allegations of foreclosure abuses and misconduct in servicing home loans, according to court documents.
U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer signed the previously announced series of settlements on Wednesday but the approval was not made public until Thursday.
The civil allegations were brought by 49 states and the federal government. The banks did not admit to the accusations.
Foreclosure Crisis May Worsen As 2012 Goes On
By Nick Carey, Reuters - HuffingtonPost.com
GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio, April 4 (Reuters) - Half a decade into the deepest U.S. housing crisis since the 1930s, many Americans are hoping the crisis is finally nearing its end. House sales are picking up across most of the country, the plunge in prices is slowing and attempts by lenders to claim back properties from struggling borrowers dropped by more than a third in 2011, hitting a four-year low.
But a painful part two of the slump looks set to unfold: Many more U.S. homeowners face the prospect of losing their homes this year as banks pick up the pace of foreclosures. "We are right back where we were two years ago. I would put money on 2012 being a bigger year for foreclosures than 2010," said Mark Seifert, executive director of Empowering & Strengthening Ohio's People (ESOP), a counseling group with 10 offices in Ohio.
Lack of Competition Stifles Refinance Program
for Underwater Homeowners
by Cora Currier - ProPublica.com
Some homeowners are getting stuck with relatively high interest rates even after they participate in the government's program to help them refinance their mortgages. The biggest banks are not lowering rates as much as they could be — and homeowners have few options to go elsewhere.
Analysts say that the big banks are set tomake major profits off of the Home Affordable Refinancing Program, also known as HARP, which allows homeowners with loans backed by government-owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to refinance if they owe more than their home is worth.
Fighting Over the American Home:
Handcuffs versus Hope and Change
Matt Stoller - NakedCapitalism.com
Over the past four years, we've watched as public officials pushed financial and legal power to the large banks – the latest episode in this saga was the mortgage settlement between state officials, Federal regulators, and the banks themselves. But there is also an undercurrent of resistance to this, resistance which could be growing stronger over time.
So what comes after the mortgage settlement? Will there be yet another multi-billion dollar transfer of wealth from taxpayers to banks in the near future? If I'm reading the tea leaves correctly, I suspect the answer is, yes. This time, it will flow through Fannie and Freddie, government entities that are responsible for trillions of dollars of mortgages. There's been a deeply bitter fight over this giant pot of money, centering around Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) acting head Ed DeMarco. DeMarco controls Fannie and Freddie, and so far, he has refused to write down principal for homeowners on GSE controlled mortgages. But Treasury has been attempting to get DeMarco to change his mind, using the prospect of simply paying off Fannie and Freddie with bailout funds.
Federal Reserve Issues Statement on Rental of REOs
This statement makes it clear that the Fed (and probably other regulators) will allow banks to rent residential Real Estate Owned (REO) for longer periods due tomarket conditions. I expect we will see more rental programs like the pilot program recently announced by BofA.
From the Federal Reserve:
The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday released a policy statement reiterating that statutes and Federal Reserve regulations permit rental of residential properties acquired in foreclosure as part of an orderly disposition strategy. The statement also outlines supervisory expectations for residential rental activities.
Banks Fail To Maintain Foreclosed Homes
In Minority Neighborhoods: Report
by Janell Ross - HuffingtonPost.com
Six of the nation's largest banks have consistently failed to aggressively market and maintain foreclosed homes in communities of color, according to the results of a nine-month long investigationreleased Tuesday.
The investigation by the National Fair Housing Alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that investigates, tracks and researches housing discrimination, studied the way banks market and maintain vacant foreclosed homes in nine metro areas and found "overwhelming" and "troubling" evidence that banks consistently market and maintain foreclosed homes in the nation's predominantly white neighborhoods differently. The findings constitute a violation of federal civil rights law and show that blacks and Latinos are unfairly burdened with one of the worst aspects of the nation's housing crisis, alliance officials said.
Penney cuts 600 workers, 13 percent of HQ staff
By THE WASHINGTON TIMES
NEW YORK — Two months into J.C. Penney's transformation, its workers are starting to feel the pain.
The midpriced department store chain said Thursday that it has laid off 600 workers, or 13 percent of the staff at its headquarters in Plano, Texas, as the company looks to streamline its operations amid a major renovation of the business.
Penney also will eliminate 300 more jobs at its customer call center in Pittsburgh when it closes the center July 1.
Why Jeffrey Toobin Is Wrong
About the Supreme Court and Obamacare Instant punditry insisted that health reform was doomed.
But Justices Roberts and Kennedy's questions
actually suggest the opposite.
By Topher Spiro - TheAtlantic.com
"This was a train wreck for the Obama administration. This law looks like it's going to be struck down." And with that hyperbolic instant reaction, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin prejudiced media coverage of the Supreme Court arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare. But reading the entire transcriptcarefully, I wondered if I was reading the same thing Toobin witnessed inside the court.
To be sure, the conservative justices posed a few hypotheticals, the gist of which were: What makes health care different? Why can the government make you buy health insurance, but not broccoli or cars? But that was to be expected. Judges often play devil's advocate to test the strength of competing positions. What would have been truly shocking is if the justices had not probed for a limiting principle, since it's become a standard line of questioning.
Wyoming's Buford, self-proclaimed smallest town in US,
sells for $900K; lone resident retiring
By Associated Press - WashingtonPost.com
BUFORD, Wyo. — Buford is a small place for sure, but so is the world.
A remote, unincorporated area along busy Interstate 80 that advertised itself as the smallest town in the United States, Buford was sold at auction for $900,000 on Thursday to an unidentified man from Vietnam.
It's owner for the last 20 years, Don Sammons, served with the U.S. Army as a radio operator in 1968-69.
Cyberattacks: America's Achilles Heel
By Brad MacDonald - theTrumpet.com
Experts fear the U.S. has already lost the war in cyberspace.
When it comes to technology and cyberspace, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. While I can pay bills and manage bank accounts online, play with my iPad, and buy everything from neckties to vitamins to motorbike fenders with the flick of a finger, I know very little about what's going on behind my screens, in the wires and motherboards, on the servers and networks.
There's a good chance you're as illiterate as me in this area. And while they say ignorance is bliss, in this instance it also makes us terribly vulnerable. That's because there are countless extraordinarily smart people in this world who understand the intricacies we don't—enough to burglarize our online worlds—and many of them lack the moral compass to prevent them from doing so.
FCC pulls plug on LightSquared's cellular project,
angering investor Philip Falcone
By Cecilia Kang - WashingtonPost.com
Wall Street guru Philip Falcone placed a $14 billion bet on what he thought was a sure thing. Two years ago, his company had the blessing of the Federal Communications Commission to use satellites to bring cellular service to the farthest reaches of the country, a high priority of President Obama.
Today, the FCC has put the project on ice, all but killing it. And Falcone, acknowledging for the first time that his business is near bankruptcy, on Thursday pointed an angry finger at Washington.
Your Cell Phone Makes You A Prisoner
Of A Digital World Where Virtually Anyone
Can Hack You And Track You
By Michael Snyder - EndOfTheAmericanDream.com
If you own a cell phone, you might as well kiss your privacy goodbye. Cell phone companies know more about us than most of us would ever dare to imagine. Your cell phone company is tracking everywhere that you go and it is making a record of everything that you do with your phone. Much worse, there is a good chance that your cell phone company has been selling this information to anyone that is willing to pay the price - including local law enforcement. In addition, it is an open secret that the federal government monitors and records all cell phone calls. The "private conversation" that you are having with a friend today will be kept in federal government databanks for many years to come. The truth is that by using a cell phone, you willingly make yourself a prisoner of a digital world where every move that you make and every conversation that you have is permanently recorded. But it is not just cell phone companies and government agencies that you have to worry about. As you will see at the end of this article, it is incredibly easy for any would-be stalker to hack you and track your every movement using your cell phone. In fact, many spyware programs allow hackers to listen to you through your cell phone even when your cell phone is turned off. Sadly, most cell phone users have absolutely no idea about any of this stuff.
World War 3.0
When the Internet was created, decades ago, one thing was inevitable: the war today over how (or whether) to control it, and who should have that power. Battle lines have been drawn between repressive regimes and Western democracies, corporations and customers, hackers and law enforcement. Looking toward a year-end negotiation in Dubai, where 193 nations will gather to revise a U.N. treaty concerning the Internet, Michael Joseph Gross lays out the stakes in a conflict that could split the virtual world as we know it.
By Michael Joseph GrossIllustration by Stephen Doyle - VanityFair.com
[eyeopener - be sure to readall the way to the LAST PARAGRAPH of this article!]
Andrew Wordes, American Hero
By Jeffrey Tucker - WhiskeyAndGunPowder.com
I had previously heard nothing about the tragic and remarkable case of Andrew Wordes of Roswell, Ga., who set his house on fire and blew it and himself up as police arrived to evict him from his foreclosed-upon home. It was Agora's 5 Min. Forecast that alerted me to the case, and this report remains one of not too many mentions in Google's news feed.
So I got curious about this case, read some of the background, heard an interview with Andrew and read all the tributes at his memorial service and now I realize he was like all of us living under the despotism of our time. He resisted and resisted as long as he could. But rather than finally complying, he decided that a life that is not his own is not worth living.
It is a dramatic and deeply sad story that should raise alarms about the least-talked-about cost of a state-run society: the demoralization that sets in when we do not control our own lives.
HOW THE CORN LOBBY WILL KILL YOUR OLDER CAR IT'S A SNEAK ATTACK ON YOUR PROPERTY — IF YOU OWN AN OLD CAR THAT IS. BY UPPING THE PERCENTAGE OF ETHANOL IN GAS, THE ANTI-PROPERTY PLANNERS IN GOVERNMENT ARE CAUSING THE ACCELERATED DETERIORATION OF OLDER CARS AND TRUCKS.
Written by Eric Peters - AmericanDailyHerald.com
They may not need to ban old cars outright. Instead, they'll just kill them off quietly — by poisoning them internally.
Modern cars — cars built since the early '90s — can stomach the stuff. They have engines designed to deal with corrosive, ethanol-doctored "gas" — and peripheral systems (hoses, seals, o-rings, lines, etc.) made to withstand it. Being computer controlled, they can also adjust themselves to deal with ethanol-laced gas. They may not get the best mileage they're capable of delivering — because ethanol is less energy dense than gasoline — but at least they run ok.
Confusing Individual Responsibility With Statist Tyranny
"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer." --Benjamin Franklin, "Management of the Poor" (1766)
In this Holy Week of Easter, one of the socialist communiqués destined for my "Know Thy Enemy" email folder was a promotion for a new "award-winning" film, "Jesus was a Commie." The film was described as "an avant-garde conversation about critical social issues," and it supports the errant pop-thesis that Jesus advocated socialism.
As absurd as that title is, liberal atheists and too many well-meaning but chronically nescient Christians regularly assert that the communist doctrines of Karl Marx equate with the teachings of Jesus Christ -- that the central message of Christianity supports socialism.
Muslim Brotherhood seeks U.S. alliance as it ascends in Egypt Vows to honor treaty with Israel
By Ben Birnbaum - The Washington Times
A lawmaker from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhoodsaid Thursday that there would be "no referendum at all" on the country's peace treaty with Israel, hours after the Islamist group's presidential candidate made his unexpected bid official.
"We respect international obligations, period,"Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, a lawmaker from theBrotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), told The Washington Times.