Sunday, June 16, 2013

Has the IRS Already Seized Your Medical Records?

If you think your intimate health information is private in the era of Obamacare, think again.
As gratifying as it was to see the “news” media actually do its job last week when the IRS scandal broke, it was also odd that the coverage focused exclusively on abuses of power relating to various Tea Party and anti-abortion groups. A much scarier IRS story has been virtually ignored by the establishment press. On Wednesday, it was reported that a class-action lawsuit had been filed against a group of IRS agents who, according to the complaint filed by “John Doe Company” in the Southern District of California, “stole more than 60,000,000 medical records of more than 10,000,000 Americans, including at least 1,000,000 Californians.”
Before I get to the feature of this case that will really scare the pants off you, a little more background: This tawdry tale began in 2011 with an IRS investigation concerning one former employee of “John Doe Company” pursuant to which a search warrant was obtained. This warrant didn’t authorize the seizure of anyone’s medical records, but the IRS agents “threatened to ‘rip’ the servers containing the medical data out of the building if IT personnel would not voluntarily hand them over.” They proceeded to seize the records “without making any attempt to segregate the files from those that could possibly be related to the search warrant.”
The leadership of “John Doe Company” attempted to make the IRS people understand that they had violated at least one federal law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), and that “unreasonable searches and seizures” violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. The agents were unimpressed. As the complaint phrases it, “After being put on notice of the illicit seizure, the IRS agents refused to return the records, continued to keep the records for the prying eyes of IRS peeping toms, and keep the records to this very day.” The IRS also refuses to reveal who has seen the records or where they are located.
It would seem pretty obvious that this is another abuse of power by the IRS at least as serious as the abuses that dominated the news all last week. Thus far, though, only conservative and libertarian publications have afforded it serious attention. Why so much focus on one story and none on the other? It’s those two words, “medical records.” The MSM is attempting to build a firewall between the IRS scandal and Obamacare. This is why the mainstream outlets are publishing so many columns and blog posts, like this one by Jonathan Cohn, assuring us that attempts to link the IRS scandal with Obamacare are “laughable.”
In reality, of course, they are inextricably linked. And not merely because the IRS can, as Cohn himself puts it, “use its power to pry into individual medical records or otherwise invade personal liberty.” They are linked because Obamacare and the President’s second most ill-conceived domestic initiative, the “stimulus” package, mandated that every health care provider in the country adopt the very technology, electronic health records (EHR), which renders such abuse possible. Before these mandates, it wasn’t possible to steal 60 million confidential records from any single entity except from the federal government itself.
This brings us to the most ironic feature of our government-mandated EHR technology. The system most frequently promoted by “reformers” during the health care debate was VistA, a system that had been implemented by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Thus, the technology mandated by Obamacare was largely inspired by VistA. But, as it happens, the most notorious medical record theft in history involved the VA. As CNN reported at the time, “The names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of about 26.5 million active duty troops and veterans were on the laptop and external drive, which disappeared while in the custody of a Veterans Affairs data analyst …”
You will note that the person from whom these records were stolen was not a doctor or a nurse, but a data analyst who was carrying around huge amounts of medical information on a laptop. And this is where you should begin to have real fears for your privacy. Your medical records, once the province of highly trained medical professionals, are now routinely accessed by all manner of individuals uninvolved in your medical treatment. And many of these individuals are not closely supervised by medical professionals. Indeed, many of the people who have access to your medical records are not supervised by anyone.
For example, if you visit the ER tonight, the hospital will send a claim to your insurance company. Before that happens, however, a diagnosis code must be assigned to your record. Who does that? Typically, it is someone in her pajamas who uses a laptop to remote into the hospital’s IT system from home after the kids are in bed. She is not a physician or a nurse, yet she peruses your records, interprets your doctor’s notes, and then chooses an ICD-9 code from a drop-down box. It is likely that no one employed at the hospital has ever met this person in the flesh. Hospitals increasingly connect with such contract coders via outside agencies.
Assuming this coder is completely honest and very productive, as are most of them, what happens if her eldest son is addicted to narcotics and knows that she has routine access to the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of thousands of people? He has a golden opportunity to commit identity theft. All he has to do is wait until she forgets to lock her screen when she gets up to toss a casserole into the oven or run to the bathroom. If he is computer savvy, and what adolescent isn’t, he can access and steal your information in a matter of minutes. Such opportunities arise every minute of every day, all across the nation.
The point here is not that electronic medical records are inherently bad. It is rather that, in their mad rush to pass Obamacare and the stimulus package, the President and his accomplices on Capitol Hill mandated clunky, insecure systems that can be abused by politicized government agencies, mismanaged by innocent but incompetent bureaucrats, or even breached by the kid next door. At the same time, they augmented the already-immense power of the IRS exponentially. Thus, Jonathan Cohn and anyone else who pretends that the IRS scandals have no implications for Obamacare is either delusional or dishonest.
Last week’s revelations concerning that agency’s treatment of Tea Party and anti-abortion groups demonstrates that the IRS is sufficiently corrupt to abuse its power. And its theft of 60 million medical records shows that it is also eminently able to invade the privacy of any American. I’ll conclude, then, with a little more food for thought: The class action lawsuit filed by John Doe Company involves 10 million patients, “roughly one out of every twenty-five adult American citizens.” And, since only 10 percent of the affected patients reside in California, the rest are obviously scattered across the nation. Are you one of the other 9 million?
Photo: UPI

Gold Buying Panic In China: 10,000 People Wait In Line For Their Chance to Own Precious Metals

image source
Mac Slavo
Activist Post

One day in the near future Americans will finally realize that their money is being devalued at a rapid pace. For the time being the price increases are somewhat muted by official announcements of inflation being under control at around 2% and purported economic recovery on the horizon. The Federal Reserve and the US government are doing everything in their power to maintain a perception of stability.

But what happens when all the machinations are proven to be fruitless during the next stock market crash and currency crisis?

That’s when people panic. That’s when they start mass selling assets that hold no true value, and shift their capital to physical goods that store and preserve wealth.

In China, where the central government has manipulated the currency, economic and financial markets for decades, the people have seen it all before. And they aren’t taking any chances.

While the paper price of gold and silver may have dropped nearly 25% this year, it’s clear that demand in the real world is soaring.

If you want to know what it’s going to look like in front of precious metals dealers when confidence in our government’s ability to manage this crisis is finally lost for good, then look no further than the streets of China.

The following pictures, taken in Jinan in the last 48 hours, depict some 10,000 Chinese citizens lining up to buy physical gold, providing all the evidence you need for the argument that gold is, in fact, money.

These are absolutely stunning.

Images from Caixin via Zero Hedge

The pictures are reminiscent of Americans lining up around the block during the gold buying sprees of the 1980s in an attempt to get their hands on physical gold and silver.

Just as is the case with food, guns, ammunition, Xboxes, and iPhones, when widespread demand strikes it’s nearly impossible to get your hands on the goods you need at a fair price.

Get yours now, before the panicked masses realize what has happened.

Other articles by Mac Slavo can be found at his site where this article first appeared.

Detroit rock bottom: City announces $2.5bn debt default

Detroit said it will stop making payment on $2.5 billion of the city’s massive $18.5 billion debt and has asked creditors to accept 10 cents in the dollar of what the city owes them in a bid to avoid the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in US history.
Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr said the city would stop
making payments on its unsecured debt in a bid to “conserve cash”
for vital services like police and firefighters. He further said
pension benefits both present and future along with healthcare
would face cuts, while control over the city’s water and sewage
would be turned over to an independent body.
“We’re tapped out,” Orr was quoted by WWJ-TV as saying.
“We need to come up with a plan to restructure our debt
obligations and our legacy obligations going forward — that is:
pension, other employee benefits, healthcare, so on and so

Orr continued that $1.25 billion would be set aside over the next
decade, $750 million of which will go towards public safety,
including funds for police, fire, streetlights and other
endeavors. The remaining $500 million will be for blight removal.
The emergency manager spent two hours with about 180 bond
insurers, pension trustees, union representatives and other
creditors holding Detroit debt on Friday in an effort to fix
fiscal problems which have left the city insolvent.
One bond holder present at the meeting who asked not to be
identified told Reuters Orr’s proposal was likely more than debt
holders would be able to accept.
“It’s just too much. It is an unprecedented amount to

If creditors reject the plan, Detroit could be forced into what
would be by far the largest-ever municipal bankruptcy in US
Orr said there is a “50:50” chance the city will be forced
into bankruptcy and that decision would likely happen in the next
30 days.
“Financial mismanagement, a shrinking population, a dwindling
tax base and other factors over the past 45 years have brought
Detroit to the brink of financial and operational ruin,”
In a report issued to creditors on Friday, Detroit’s skyrocketing
debt, pension and healthcare obligations will sell to almost 65
percent of total city revenue by 2017, up from the current level
of 42.5 percent.
Detroit has also experienced a 26 percent decline in population
since 2000, while unemployment surged from 6.3 percent in June
2000 to 18.3 percent in June 2012, further shrinking the city’s
revenue base. Meanwhile, the city’s budget deficit is likely to
exceed $380 million by July 1.
Orr, who was appointed three months ago by Michigan Governor Rick
Snyder to salvage the city’s finances and operations, has been
met with skepticism by local residents who have accused him of
exaggerating the current situation.
“We feel that the bankers and the creditors who are here today
with the emergency manager are not going to negotiate in the best
interest of the people of the city of Detroit. And we are saying
that the same financial institutions that Mr. Orr is negotiating
with today are responsible in large part for the crisis that
exists in Detroit,”
Abayomi Azikiwe, a protester outside the
meeting told PBS.
Leaders of some of Detroit’s 48 public sector unions were also
upset by the proposals, with water and sewage workers vowing to
strike over the privatization plans.

This article originally appeared on: RT


Attached is an affidavit of a senior loan collector for BOA that was filed in United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts under case number MDL 2193.
Simone Gordan stated the following under oath:
"Using the Bank of America computer systems I saw that hundreds of customers had made their required trial payments, sent the documents requested of them, but had not received permanent modifications. I also saw records showing that Bank of America employees have told people that documents had not been received when, in fact, the computer system showed that Bank of America had received the documents. This was consistent with the instructions my colleagues and I were given. We were told to lie to customers and claim that Bank of America had not received documents it had requested, and that it had not received trial payments (when in fact it had). We were told that admitting that the bank received documents would "open a can of worms" since the bank was required to underwrite a loan modification within 30 days of receiving those documents and it did not have sufficient underwriting staff to complete the underwriting in that time.... Site leaders regularly told us that the more we delayed the HAMP modification process, the more fees Bank of America would collect. We were regularly drilled that it was our job to maximize fees for the bank by fostering and extending the lay of the ... modification process by any means we could --- this included lying to customers. For example, we were instructed by our supervisors at Bank of America to delay modifications by telling homeowners who called in at their documents were "under review," when, in fact, there had been no review or any other work done on the file."
" Employees who were caught admitting that Bank of America had received financial documents or that the borrower was actually entitled to a permanent loan modification where discipline and often terminated without warning."
Bank of America did not merely lie to its customers. Bank of America makes a practice of lying to its own staff. While the use of a "nonperforming" loan are higher than the fees paid on a "performing" loan, the real reason for this outrageous behavior is that the banks are attempting to protect and maintain their receipt of outrageous sums of money that they have declared to be proprietary trading profits. The banks are mere intermediaries. They are not and never were principals or real parties in interest in any transaction between the homeowner and the investors who put up the money.

The State of the Union and the Coming Financial Collapse

World Events and the Bible
The State of the Union is not well, as a matter of fact it is extremely ill. Let us analyze this fact. The population of the United States currently stands at about 315,000,000 souls. If we check in with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics we find 11,760,000 people are officially unemployed. Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states there are89,705,000 working age Americans that are “not in the labor force”. This adds up to 101,465,000 working age Americans that do not have a job.

Remember, the entire population stands at just 315,000,000 men, women and children, meaning literally one-third of the entire United States is without work, including children!  How can the United States government then state the official unemployment number stands around 7%? Because they are the government.
Many will state the malls and restaurants are full, how can these numbers be correct? If you check our sources they are directly from the government’s own site. What we have is a manipulation of the numbers. Let us take a deeper look…
An article published by CNS News states, there were 72,600,000 people on Medicaid last year which is a new record. They continue by stating,
“The 72,600,000 enrolled in Medicaid in the United States in 2012 was more than the 65,630,692 people who lived in France last year, according to data published by the Census Bureau, or the 63,047,162 people who lived in the United Kingdom.
In fact, if Medicaid was a country rather than a U.S. government program it would be the twentieth most populous nation in the world, ranking just ahead of Thailand, which had 67,091,089 people in 2012, and just behind the Congo, which had 73,599,190 people in 2012.”
2012 was a record breaking year indeed. If we investigate further we find a record setting 46,609,072 people were on food stamps last year.
“The United States Department of Agriculture quietly released new statistics related to the food stamps program, officially known as SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The numbers reveal, in 2012, the food stamps program was the biggest it’s ever been, with an average of 46,609,072 people on the program every month of last year. 47,791,996 people were on the program in the month of December 2012.”
We also have a new record for those claiming Disability Benefits which now stands at 10,978,040 as reported by CNS News. They add,
“The total number of people in the United States now receiving federal disability benefits hit a record 10,978,040 in May, up from 10,962,532 million in April, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration.
The 10,978,040 disability beneficiaries in the United States now exceed the population of all but seven states. For example, there are more Americans collecting disability today than there are people living in Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey or Virginia.”
The number of people currently receiving Disability Benefits in the United States now exceeds the entire population of Greece!
If this were not enough one-third of the entire population in Puerto Rico receives food stamps from the United States Government. Also known as your tax dollars.
Yet, the United States Government sees socialism as a way to “stimulate”the economySenator Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee said,

“Amazingly, the federal government says that the more people we have on food stamps, the more it grows the economy. The Department of Agriculture proudly declares: ‘Each $5 in new [food stamp] benefits generates almost twice that amount in economic activity for the community.’ 
The ideology that is used is that of a child is it not? The Lord proclaimed this would be so in Isaiah 3:4 which states, “And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.”
You simply cannot “stimulate” the economy by taking from those who have earned their money and giving it to those who have not. As Margaret Thatcher once said, “Socialists always run out of other people’s money.”That is exactly what is occurring. The total United States unfunded liabilities currently stands at a staggering $124,302,777,568,142 and counting faster than I can write this article. Your portion of the debt burden currently stands at $1,092,965. Will that be cash, check or charge? All jokes aside, this debt can never be repaid and it will in fact lead to utter financial collapse.
We no longer have the soup lines of old. Today, we have plastic EBT food stamp cards and a plethora of other benefits, some of which we have already documented. These benefits are deposited right into the users account. So when our society is told the economy will collapse, yet we see the malls and restaurants full and no soup lines this paints a false picture of prosperity which does not exist.
Truth be told, the entire global financial system is being propped up. We see that in the United States with the Federal Reserve’s never ending Qualitative Easing Program (money printing). Abroad they have their own methods of preserving their monetary systems which include printing money out of thin air and raiding their citizens bank accounts. Do not think for a moment this will not happen in the United States as well, for it has already started.
We will soon witness a collapse of the world’s entire monetary system nearly at once. Make no mistake about it, this entire plan is by design. After the collapse, the world will be presented with a solution to merge the nations of the globe into a single governed body. Many people refer to this as a New World Order. This has been discussed publicly by high level government officials for years which started with George Bush Sr. The entire world will embrace this proposed solution, my friends, we are not far from this event unfolding…
The system is in fact collapsing, the only question is… Are you aware of it?

Will Japanese Bond Market Collapses Be The Catalyst For The Whole Thing To Come Unglued?

Normally I’m the first one that points out to everyone that tptb can kick the can down the road a LONG time before the end game comes. However, even I think we are running out of road.
Japan really has me spooked. I’ve thought for years they could be the catalyst for the whole thing to come unglued, if they did something stupid. Well, they did, and if their bond market collapses because of it, that could pop the derivative bubble again.
As another poster noted, oil is another one to watch. In the US, gas gets too high, the economy crashes. Simple as that. We are far too dependent upon long chains of logistics for nearly everything to be able to afford high fuel prices.
But you know what, it will probably be something else that no one thinks about, or a small time player that takes down the rest. Maybe another Lehman-style collapse, maybe a country or even city default triggers the whole thing. Who knows. All I do know is all the crazy shit that has happened this year would not have been allow to be made public if we weren’t close. Either they are losing control, or they are on final approach and no longer care if the sheeple know…
The bond market is headed for a meltdown, and that collapse may bring down the governments of Japan, Europe and the United States, says Michael Pento, president of Pento Portfolio Strategies.
The U.S. government was about to collapse in 2008 until the financial system was bailed out, he tells Newsmax TV. “We took on $7 trillion of new debt and took interest rates to zero percent,” says Pento, author of “The Coming Bond Market Collapse.”
GLOBAL DEPRESSION “Trigger Mechanism”: Collapse of Japanese Govt Bonds

The junk bond market is already in crash mode

The Power of the Pattern shared that Junk Bond ETF’s were creating bearish rising wedges on 5/24, suggesting a two-thirds chance junk bonds would fall in price. (see post here)
The above 2-pack reflects a breakdown in price and a breakout in yields for a Junk bond ETF and a preferred Dividend ETF. Both are nearing short-term support, where a bounce is due!
The key to the bigger puzzle on junk is the inset chart, reflecting that effective yields on Junk are breaking higher (bullish for yields/bearish for price) from a bullish falling wedge and rates are still very low on a historical basis!

US Bonds In “Panic” Mode
Based on Credit-Suisse’s Panic-Euphoria model of risk appetite, US bond markets are on the verge of the short-term capitulative “Panic” mode. Each time we have reached this level of ‘selling’ in the last 6 years, Treasury yields have compressed significantly. At the same time, equity risk appetite remains bearish and US credit risk appetite has resumed its decline (but relative to Treasuries they are significantly over-sold). Not a pretty picture…
Bonds hit “Panic” levels of risk appetite…
US Regulator: Deutsche Bank ‘Horribly Undercapitalized’ 
A top U.S. banking regulator called Deutsche Bank’s capital levels horrible and said it is the worst on a list of global banks based on one measurement of leverage ratios.
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Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!
 NOMURA: Chinese Growth Could Fall Below 7% In The Second Half Of This Year
Downside risks have grown ‘significantly.’
The Markets Are Pricing In An Autumn Fed Tapering That The Economy Isn’t Ready For
The economy isn’t strong enough yet.
Deutsche Bank ‘Horribly Undercapitalized’: US Regulator
For Stocks, “Headwinds Are Clear And Seem To Be Strengthening”
If stock markets really do their best to discount earnings six months ahead of time, then it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  ConvergEx’s Nick Colas’ monthly review of analysts’ revenue expectation for the Dow 30 companies finds that hopes for growth in the second half of 2013 continues to diminish.  The upcoming Q2 2013 results won’t be much to write home about either, with average top line growth versus last year of just 1.1% and (0.7% ex-financials), the lowest comps analysts have put in their models since they started posting expectations last year.
The Economy In Pictures

Wall Street Rigging Currency Exchange Rates Too

In case you forgot your bankster overlords – free of fear thanks to Obama, Holder, and the NSA – are continuing to rig markets, here is yet another scandal. Wall Street has gone beyond rigging LIBOR, Swaps, and the Oil market to include the currency market.
Traders at some of the world’s biggest banks manipulated benchmark foreign-exchange rates used to set the value of trillions of dollars of investments, according to five dealers with knowledge of the practice.
Employees have been front-running client orders and rigging WM/Reuters rates by pushing through trades before and during the 60-second windows when the benchmarks are set, said the current and former traders, who requested anonymity because the practice is controversial. Dealers colluded with counterparts to boost chances of moving the rates, said two of the people, who worked in the industry for a total of more than 20 years.

Smith & Wesson gun maker hits record financials year after US shootings

A Smith & Wesson .357 magnum revolver.(AFP Photo / Kevork Djansezian)
A Smith & Wesson .357 magnum revolver.(AFP Photo / Kevork Djansezian)

The leading US gun maker Smith & Wesson has reported all–time high gun sales in the 2013 fiscal year. The results come at a time when gun controls are the focus of heated debate after a series of mass shootings.
The arms manufacturer and designer said its sales for the fiscal year ending April 30 hit a record $588 million, which marks a 43% year-on-year rise. The fourth quarter sales were up 38% to $179 million year on year.
The results published this week are preliminary US GAAP figures, representing sales and income per share. Smith & Wesson plans to update  investors on sales on 25 June.
Reuters says the improved results come as US citizens flocked for guns after President Barack Obama pushed for stricter legislation to curb gun violence. First–time buyers like women and pensioners showed the greatest demand, Reuters adds.
However, a spate of gun violence across the country made some of US investors announce sell–offs of their gun–related holdings. A $154 billion pension fund -  California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) - announced last year it would get rid of its stake in Freedom Group, the manufacturer of the rifle used in the Newtown shooting. The private equity group - Cerberus Capital Management – also said it was going to sell its holding in Freedom Group.
"It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level," Cerberus said in a statement last December.
Dozens of ordinary people, including children, suffered in mass shootings like the Newton school massacre and the Aurora theatre tragedy.

Learn A Post-Collapse Trade Before It’s Too Late

There comes a point in the analysis of any problem when its escalation turns so blatantly obvious that the disaster is self-explanatory. The economic crisis in the United States and around the globe is one of those problems. While there are still plenty of people out there who remain ignorant to the immediate danger, I think we are very close (at least in America) to a point of maximum velocity. The more accelerated the awakening, however, the faster globalist interests will pull the plug on what remains of our financial system.
Most citizens are at least vaguely concerned with the state of our country and are attempting to learn more. The survival methodology has gone mainstream and grows in popularity daily. Even the annual Bilderberg meeting — a confab of the world’s most influential economic and political power mongers, which mainstream media entities have long refused to publicly acknowledge — is finally being exposed to the light of day.  We are now in a race, a mad dash to shape the future battle space before the elites position themselves for the final conflict.
Further economic analysis would merely reaffirm what most of us in the liberty movement already know, but let’s recap our situation for the sake of clarity.
Full-Spectrum Fiscal Disaster Is No Longer Theory; It Is Certain
The U.S. stock market is now in the midst of perhaps the largest artificial bubble in world history. Virtually all movements in the Dow are now determined by the stimulus actions of the private Federal Reserve. Agents of the Fed, including former Chairman Alan Greenspan and current branch head Richard Fisher, have openly admitted in separate interviews that the central bank’s primary directive has been to prop up equities to give the public the illusion of stability, rather than to revamp consumer credit markets as originally promised. Because of the system’s dependence on Fed fiat, whenever the smallest rumor of a possible reduction in stimulus is heard, the markets tumble.
To illustrate how detached and absurd our economic reality has become, investors now actually rally around the Dow whenever bad financial news is released because bad news means there is higher likelihood that the Fed will continue fiat printing.
For example, Reuters reported on June 4: “A report released on Monday showed the Institute for Supply Management’s index of U.S. factory activity fell to its lowest since June 2009 and tempered expectations the Fed would retrace its stimulus measures.”
This indicates that our current economy is so fragile that it is utterly incapable of sustaining concrete investment without the Fed creating dollars out of thin air 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In fact, I have to laugh anytime a mainstream analyst suggests we have entered a phase of recovery. Let the Fed stop all stimulus, and then we’ll see how much legitimate “growth” is actually taking place.
The wealth of most Americans is down 55 percent since the “recession” officially began in 2008. Job creation remains dismal. In 2010, 58.7 percent of working-age Americans were employed. In 2013, that number fell to 58.6 percent (according to official statistics), meaning there has been no improvement in the jobs sector of the U.S. economy following the 2008 collapse, despite all the claims by the Fed and the Administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama that bailout dollars and quantitative easing measures would bring jobs back to life.
Also, keep in mind that a rating of 58 percent employment may have been acceptable in the 1950s and 1960s when the U.S. population was half what is today. However, 42 percent unemployed working-age Americans in a population of 350 million is a dangerous prospect. Add to this the fact that, in those days, high-paying manufacturing jobs were the norm. Today, blue collar business has been replaced by burger-shoveling-wage slavery.
Unknown trillions of dollars have been printed, the dollar has been inflated and devalued, national debt is skyrocketing, and there’s absolutely nothing to show for it.
In the global political sphere, tensions continue under the surface between North Korea and South Korea, while the conflict in Syria appears to be spreading like a plague, drawing in multiple nations and promising a high probability of widespread warfare. Any broad-based disaster at this tenuous time will trigger a breakdown in the U.S. fiscal system. A crisis is inevitable.
Once we accept this fact, we must then ask ourselves a simple question: What can we, as individuals, do about it? In the liberty movement, most activists agree on the causes of our current dilemma as well as the eventual direction we are headed. Unfortunately, the movement completely diverges when it comes to solutions.
Fight Tyranny From The Bottom Up
Though there are as many “silver bullet” ideas as there are people, I would divide the argument over solutions into two basic camps:  top-down proponents and bottom-up proponents.
I have heard numerous theories fielded, from suing the Fed to voting Republican to impeachment to leaving the country to marching on Washington, D.C., with rifle in hand. These are what I call top-down solutions, none of which take into account the need for localized independence. If you cannot even sustain yourself where you live and if you are unable to provide your own survival necessities, then what good is voting, suing, impeaching or marching abroad going to do?
The problem with the average solution put forward by well-meaning, but sometimes naïve, activists is that they cannot seem to free themselves from the top-down mentality. For them, all big sociopolitical changes must be made at what they believe to be the epicenter and often by working within the controlled paradigm. They think they can play the game better than the men who created it. They forget all about the periphery, the foundation of localism. They forget that to give independence to the world, they must first give independence to themselves. I am consistently astonished by the number of liberty movement activists who don’t even have food storage, a decent rifle or a worthwhile barter skill, yet seem to think they are ready to march weapon-bound to Washington.
Let’s be clear about something: Even if the masses coalesce to overthrow our currently corrupt political matrix of puppet middlemen, we are still left with an international banking oligarchy as well as a collapsing economy. The fight doesn’t end when you boot out the paid-off politicians; the fight has just begun. It is childish and foolish to believe otherwise. Therefore, one must plan ahead if one wishes to be victorious in the battle for a decentralized society.
This decentralization starts with you — in your personal life and within your community. The last thing the establishment wants is for individuals, neighborhoods and towns to decouple from the mainstream system and provide for themselves. This is what they truly fear — not empty marches without tangible goals or intelligent planning.
One thing that every American can do right now to bolster and inspire real revolution would be to learn a trade or skill that would be highly valuable in a post-collapse environment. If you cannot sustain yourself, then you cannot thrive and you cannot fight. If your neighborhood or town is unable to produce necessities for barter, then there is no trade, no organization, no cooperation and, thus, no organized will to fight. That is to say, global liberty stems from local industry.
During a debt and currency crisis, barter will probably be the most accessible form of local industry. The following is a list of examples of post-collapse skills and trade models that you could learn or construct within the next six months in order to ensure you are a sought-after partner in your own community when breakdown occurs:
  • Fresh Water Storage And Filtration: Clean water is a precious commodity, especially in a collapse situation when central treatment plants stop functioning. Whether urban or rural, many people are not equipped to provide ample water supply that is free of contaminants. Those who choose to boil whatever stagnant pools they find still have to contend with disgusting tastes and smells. Fresh, clean water will be sought after, and stockpiling filtration equipment ahead of time means you have a ready-made barter business in place. As long as you have the means to protect that business from looters, you have cemented your position as a vital barter hub within your neighborhood or town.
  • Solar Power Bank: Use a well-maintained solar power array to charge deep-cycle batteries for your barter network. The need for electricity will not disappear post-collapse. There are literally hundreds of tools people will need, from flashlights to food dehydrators to night vision. Not everyone can afford to set up his own solar array, but most families can afford to purchase a few deep-cycle batteries. If you have the means to charge those batteries, then you have a valuable service to barter.
  • Seed Saving And Storage: The ability to grow food is a talent. A good gardener is a godsend to any survival community. That said, a person who knows how to effectively save and store seeds is even more important. Most people never consider that seed availability (especially heirloom seeds) might dissipate. One person with knowledge could take one good crop and turn it into dozens, or even hundreds. Learn to do this professionally, and you will never be without barter customers.
  • Gunsmithing: The establishment has been quite open about its intentions to continue pursuit of gun legislation and, eventually, confiscation. There may come a day very soon when the guns we have in our hands are the only guns we’ll be able to find. We will have to think less in terms of replacing items and more in terms of repairing them. Learn how to fix weapons and invest in the machinery to fashion new parts from scratch, and you will be one of the most sought-after members of your barter network.
  • Ammunition Production: I don’t have to tell you that the ammunition market is bone dry lately. I have never seen anything like it in my life, and neither has anyone else. Even during the “assault weapons ban” of the 1990s, parts and ammo were far more available than they are now. In response, smaller companies across the United States are starting to spring up to fill the void, producing higher-quality ammo at affordable prices, but with a reduced output. I would take this model down to the local level. If every survival community had a dedicated ammo smith (or at least a reloading expert), then regional and nationwide supplies might be rejuvenated (unless the Department of Homeland Security buys another 1.6 billion “practice rounds”). Making ammo can be slow and tedious (starting with scratch brass and lead is even more so). Output would be limited, but having some is better than having none. Also, I have no doubt that ammo will be treated like a currency in the near future.
There are numerous trade skills that one can learn to become more viable within a post-collapse economy. No one can provide every necessity or foresee every eventual need. Therefore, a barter community of tradesmen is essential and is the foundation of a truly free and prosperous society. The pursuit of a post-collapse skill should be at the top of every survivalist’s to-do list. It is not something to be put off or shelved for a later date. Learn one today — not tomorrow. This solution is within your power to make happen now. Do not waste the opportunity, especially in pursuit of top-down schemes that serve only to give false hope and zero returns.

They’re closing libraries in London and New York

From Carolyn McIntyre:
What do New York City and London have in common?
Both are eliminating their public libraries against the will of the public and replacing them with luxury housing, using secretive, deceptive tactics. Budget cuts resulting in extremely profitable deals for . . . . whom exactly?
Here are excerpts from the New York Review of Books Article called The Northwest London Blues by Zadie Smith
…”first heard of the council’s intention to demolish the library centre along with the bookshop and the nineteenth-century turrets … To be replaced with private luxury flats, a greatly reduced library, “retail space” and no bookshop.”
“offered a smaller library (for use by more patrons from other libraries Brent has closed), an ugly block of luxury flats— and told that this is “culture?” Yes. That’s all really happening. With minimal consultation, with bully-boy tactics, secrecy and a little outright deceit…Neglected libraries get neglected, and this cycle, in time, provides the excuse to close them.”  See below article
Compare that to Michael D. D. White’s article on the sale of Donnell Library posted on Noticing New York
Here is a quote from his article
. . . “the building that housed Donnell has been sold to make way for a hotel and a much smaller public library. .  (w)ith the proposed library having less than half the space for public services as the old Donnell . . . questions remain about the location of some of the collections. . . More importantly, the breakup of the collections diminishes the role of Donnell as a central library . . .  The decisions . . .  [were] communicated to staff (and in the case of Donnell, to the public) largely after the big decisions have been made.”
It is almost as if the authors of the London and NYC articles copied each other and substituted different libraries, one from London, the other from NYC.
2.  In 2008 Bloomberg gets elected mayor of London and with arm twisting from Quinn, gets elected mayor of New York City by exceeding term limits.
3. In London and NYC extremely wealthy people are sometimes idolized to the point of that some assume they are smarter and more worthy than anyone else simply because they have a lot of wealth.  It is a problem if their word counts for everything, the rest count for practically nothing.
We say everyone is worthy, no one is more worthy then anyone else.  We recognize talent and respect it, at the same time having more or being smart does not entitle one to be able to take property or publicly owned assests from others.
Also from the London article, “British libraries received over 300 million visits last year.  In North West London people are even willing to form human chains in front of them. People have taken to writing long pieces in newspapers to “defend” them. Just saying the same thing over and over again. Defend our libraries.”
And what does Citizens Defending Libraries say, Defend Our Libraries!
So you have a choice.  Most New Yorkers still don’t know that public libraries are being sold off, not because the city cant afford them, (the city is wealthier than ever), but because a few people want to take the valuable property, build high rises that will make a few enormously wealthier even though they are stealing from the public to do it.
Canvass your building or neighborhood, contact Eric Schtob,, he can email you petitions and flyers.  You can also download flyers with this link
Join us in front of Brooklyn Heights Library Saturday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM and in front of Pacific Library from 2:30 until 4:00
Sunday, 4:30-6:00, CDL weekly meeting at 10 Clinton St, Brooklyn Heights
Other events this week On Wednesday, June 12, from 4:00-6:00, on the Steps of City Hall, DC37, New York City local unions representing 300,000 city workers will rally for a fair contract.
On Thursday, at 6:00, at 35 West 67th Street, there will be a lecture by architectural historian Francis Morrone on the New York Public Library proposed changes.  See CDL website calendar:
I hope you join us in showing that we want to stop the sell offs of public buildings and resources, it is demeaning to the public service professionals and other hardworking employees who dedicate their lives for our good and to the public who uses them and pay for them.
Thank you for caring, Carolyn McIntyre

“Dirty Haircut”: New Zealand’s Plan to Confiscate Bank Deposits

When New Zealand politicians say the “haircut” OBR document from 2011 is different from what is happening right now in Cyprus, they’re just spouting propaganda. Yes, in small detail it may be a little bit different, but in its designed effect just the same.
And how is it even more dirty than it looks?
 They aim at the savings of what people have in the bank, they make a seemingly fair difference between what is on different sides of a $100,000.= threshold, BUT do not tell people that the big corrupt fish do not have their savings in the local bank, they are off shore, far away, and the rest invested in greedy shares and other investments.
In New Zealand, just look at the recent revealings of David Shearer, the prominent “left wing” politician, where was his $50,000.= (+) account sitting and waiting? Yes, offshore! And John Key? “Eh no,… or maybe 50,000,… it may have been 100,000…” Yeah, we know the drill by now…
In short: the haircut aims at the middle incomes, the middle class, as always in international control politics, the middle class gets shot hardest. Why?
Because the self proclaimed elite does not like growing competition, this is history repeating since many hundreds of years. It’s the hunt for the intelligentsia, the ones with more than average education, the ones with freer minds, the ones that could turn a well informed critical eye and critical voice towards the corrupt establishment.

Politicians, being just another form of career bureaucrats, do not like their corruptible bureaucratic law system changed by a critical, thoughtful and powerful middle class, so they will agree with the haircut of that middle class, just like they did in Cyprus. Like I always say, politicians are exactly the kind of people you do not want as a government, but hey, next thing you know is that critical writings of the government become an act of terrorism, so I better stop, before it is too late.
Or is it?
The Reserve Bank dcoument can be consulted at:

Global interest rate-rigging crackdown escalates

A total of 133 traders at 20 global banks based in the U.S. or overseas attempted to manipulate foreign exchange and interest rate benchmarks in Singapore, the city-state's central bank said Friday as it disclosed the latest escalation of a global crackdown on suspected rate-rigging.
While there was no conclusive finding the traders improperly influenced the benchmarks relied on for trillions of dollars in transactions including commercial loans and mortgages, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said the group's "conduct reflected a lack of professional ethics."
About three-quarters of the traders have resigned or asked to leave their banks. The rest have been or will be subject to disciplinary action, including reassignments, demotions or bonus forfeitures. The central bank also referred some cases to Singapore's Commercial Affairs Department and Attorney-General's Chambers, but said no criminal offenses appeared to be involved.
"Although the number of traders involved represents a small proportion of the trading community in Singapore, MAS takes a serious view of the need to uphold high standards of integrity in the industry and expects banks to foster a culture of ethical conduct among all their employees," the central bank said.
The banks involved were cited for deficiencies in governance, risk management, internal controls and surveillance systems designed to guard against manipulation of the benchmark-setting processes. The central bank ordered them to post up to $959 million in increased statutory reserves at zero interest rates for one year. The banks must also address the lax systems.
The U.S.-headquartered banks sanctioned included Bank of America, Citibank and JPMorgan Chase, the central bank said. Dutch bank ING, Royal Bank of Scotland and Swiss banking giant UBS were required to post the highest reserve level. The central bank said the punishment was determined based on the severity of rate-rigging efforts by bank brokers and the number of attempts.
"Ensuring the integrity of the processes for setting financial benchmarks is vital. MAS has taken firm supervisory actions against the banks, based on a careful assessment of their respective deficiencies," said a statement issued by Teo Swee Lian, the central bank's deputy managing director.
The sanctions followed a year-long central bank review of benchmark-submission processes by the banks from 2007 to 2011. The review focused on the Singapore Interbank Offered Rate — which reflect rates at which banks would loan to each other — foreign currency exchange spot benchmarks and Swap Offered Rates.
The sanctions follow admissions of improper collusion in setting the London Interbank Offered Rate by Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS and London-based Barclays. Collectively, the three banks have been fined more than $2.5 billion.
Separately, the European Commission is investigating suspected oil price manipulation. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, last month called on Department of Justice officials to join that probe.

£120billion of your money down the drain EVERY year: The astonishing Whitehall waste that could send every British family on an annual luxury holiday

  • Costs include £19,000 spent by council on hiring ‘motivational magician’
  • Arts Council splashed out £95,000 on a skip covered in yellow lights
  • Ministers and officials ate £3 million of biscuits
  • More than £20 billion lost through fraud in the public sector

  • Wasteful spending by the public sector on useless projects costs every British household £4,500 a year - enough to 'buy a luxury holiday for every family', a pressure group has claimed.
    The TaxPayers’ Alliance has identified cuts that it says could save about £120billion – effectively wiping out the UK’s budget deficit – without ‘closing a single hospital, firing a single teacher or disbanding a single regiment’.
    The organisation has collated a list of ‘ludicrous examples of wasteful spending’ – including the Ministry of Defence paying £22 for a light bulb and the Arts Council squandering £95,000 on an installation comprising a skip covered in yellow lights.
     Despite Chancellor George Osborne's austerity drive, the TaxPayers' Alliance has identified a long list of ¿ludicrous examples of wasteful spending¿
    Waste: Despite Chancellor George Osborne's austerity drive, the TaxPayers' Alliance has identified a long list of 'ludicrous examples of wasteful spending'
    Some £19,000 was spent by Cotswold District Council on hiring a ‘motivational magician’ to boost staff morale, while Labour-run Durham Council gave chiefs a £12,000 clothing allowance, which Prime Minister David Cameron derided as ‘Geordie Armani’.
    In other examples:
    by numbers
    • Ministers and officials ate £3 million worth of biscuits in 2011-2012 and spent £45 million on taxis to move prisoners and staff around the country.
    • More than £20 billion is lost through public sector fraud and £15 billion on duplicated procurement across Whitehall departments and councils.
    • The Home Office spent £427,000 on rubber bullets police are not even allowed tom use.
    • Crawley Council Spent £5,070 on 12,200 hot drinks from vending machines for employees, when the equivalent number of tea bags would have cost just £200.
    The alleged wasteful spending - a sixth of the total government expenditure - is more than the whole of the NHS budget and five times the amount spent by the Ministry of Defence.
    A spokesman for alliance said: ' This equates to a massive £4,500 for every household inn the UK - enough to give every family in the land a luxury holiday or pay their household energy bills three times over.'
    In its annual Big Bumper Book of Government Waste, the TaxPayers’ Alliance recommends a number of major reforms to claw back cash, including shaving £53billion off the pay and pensions packages of public sector workers.
    This is the amount it claims these workers are being overpaid compared with the private sector average.
    ‘Nearly £120billion of taxpayers’ money was wasted or spent on useless projects by the Government in 2011-12,’ the report states.
    ‘We have identified and listed hundreds of examples of spending by politicians and bureaucrats that can be cut without closing a single hospital, firing a single teacher or disbanding a single regiment.’
    According to the research – which the pressure group said is based on official statistics, independent reports and media coverage – £25billion was wasted that year through inefficient public sector procurement and poor use of outsourcing, while £20.3billion was lost through public sector fraud.
    About £5billion was paid out in benefits to claimants with an income in excess of £100,000, while £1.2billion was paid out in an annual subsidy to foreign farmers through the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.
    The TaxPayers' Alliance says it can identify cuts in government spending that would not cut any hospital, education or army expenses
    Frontline services: The TaxPayers' Alliance says it can identify cuts in government spending that would not affect any hospital, education or army expenses


    Cheshire East Council spent £30,000 building two ponds for 18 newts which had been displaced by the construction of a bypass.
    Arts Council paid £2.5 million to decorate the side of inter-continental trucks to promote Lincolnshire Fenlands in Europe.
    The Government biscuit bill in 2011-2012 was £3 million.
    Ministry of Justice spent £4.5 million to taxi firms for moving prisoners and staff around the country.
    Bury Council bought £9,000 iPads for bin collectors to monitor homes that were not recycling.
    Home Office paid £427,000 on rubber bullets police are not even allowed to use.
    Cotswold Council hired a 'motivational magician'  to boost staff morale at a cost of £19,000
    The TaxPayers’ Alliance suggests £2.9billion could be saved by scrapping the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Department for Culture, Media and Sport and hiving off their essential functions to other departments.
    It also questions the need for high spending on locum doctors, suggesting there could be far fewer now that GPs work out-of hours far less frequently than they used to.
    Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘George Osborne must take the golden opportunity offered by the spending review to get the nation’s finances under control and ease the burden on taxpayers.’
    According to the report, tens of billions of pounds are still wasted each year and there is an enormous amount of fat left in the public sector.
    'If ministers do something about it, they can give taxpayers a better deal and still provide the frontline services which people depend on.
    ‘More money must be left in the pockets of struggling households who need it to support their own families and their own causes.’
    The Cabinet Office insisted work was well under way to make government ‘leaner’.
    A spokesman added: ‘This Government has accelerated its work tackling waste and the Cabinet Office recently announced achieved savings of £10billion over 2012-13.
    ‘We are taking radical decisions to make Whitehall leaner and more efficient so Britain can compete in the global race, and we are pleased to see the TaxPayers’ Alliance recognises this – but we agree there is more to do.’