Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
In the mid-to-late 1970s, the world was a very unstable place, much like today. Not only did the American economy experience during this period inflation and even stagflation, but fear of international communism pulled at the shoulders of nearly everyone. Bunker Hunt believed that silver was undervalued and could only rise in price. In the middle of the 1970s the Hunt brothers owned nearly 10% of all silver stock and, from then on into the 1980s, they put increasing pressure on the market and caused the price of silver to rise from $2 per ounce to $6 per ounce.
All of their capital was invested into silver. Further, they were salesmen of the stock, doing what they could to convince others to do the same as them. Eventually, they partnered with a group of Arabian investors who were in such a position to purchase voluminous amounts of silver. The Hunts and these Arabs, over time, gained increasing influence over the silver market, allowing them the means to loan more money and buy more silver, creating a feedback loop of manipulated price discovery.
By 1979 the price of silver was $35 per ounce. By then, other investors started looking to silver as a viable investment opportunity, thus giving the price an even larger boost. In the 1980s, the Hunt Brothers had made a market. Inside of one decade they had inflated the price from $2 per ounce to $50 per ounce at the beginning of the 80’s. Some believed that silver would rise to $200/$300.
But, in the early 80’s, the prices of silver started to stall and fall. The market had grown so inflated that the Hunt brothers could not find paper enough to purchase enough silver to keep the market rising. Investors began investing money into bank certificates for higher interest rates. Moreover, the Brothers had taken on massive loans to fund their silver scheme but could not repay the debts. The brokers, who had made the loans, such as Bache, A.G. Edwards, Merrill Lynch and others, began to protect themselves from a market crash by shorting the price.
The Federal Reserve then changed the rules on speculative silver investments, and the price plunged. A broker demanded a $100 million dollar payment. The Hunts defaulted. Out of desperation, the Hunt brothers tried to counterfeit paper obligations backed by their 200 million ounces of silver. Essentially, they tried to create a new international currency backed by silver. By then, however, silver was linked in the public mind with the unstable situation of the Hunts. On Blood Thursday—March 27, 1980—the price hit an all time low. Many of these banks were bailed out by taxpayer money, and investigations found that the Hunts owned considerable stake in Bache.
The banks involved in this silver play had gained insight into the silver market. What they had gained was the ability to suppress the price of silver whenever it began to go up. The price of silver became divorced from supply and demand.
Today, upward pressure on silver stems from somewhat similar circumstances to what the U.S. was experiencing in the mid 1970’s: a lack of confidence in the US economy and therefore the dollar. Not only do such global circumstances and fears of currency devaluation cause the public and institutional buyers—such as central banks—to run to commodities, like gold and silver and agriculture, but increasing transparency regarding manipulation in the silver market by big players such as JPMorgan and HSBC put the precious metals market in the headlines—and with negative sentiment towards Wall Street right now, silver offers people an exciting way of not only preserving purchasing power, but also exposing big banks to risk.
In short, JPMorgan, HSBC and other international financial institutions have over the long-term bet on the price of silver to fall. The capital expended to ensure the price did act in such a way has “artificially depressed the price of silver dramatically downward.” Thus, class-action lawsuits have been filed against the banks.
The CFTC began investigating the manipulation through its Enforcement Division three years ago after issuing letters in 2004 and 2008. As yet, no findings have been made public. Backed by taxpayer money, as it is, one can imagine it has been a rather expensive investigation.
Western economies are bankrupt. Silver and gold will not meet demand in the coming years, which is why platinum and palladium—historically, for the most part, viewed as only industrial metals—will play large roles as monetary hedges. Today, central banks and other large institutions are net buyers of gold, and many are even scooping up large positions in platinum. They were late to the gold game, entering in a meaningful way in 2007 and 2008, more than five years after the start of the extraordinary bull market. Tomorrow, these same institutions will be net buyers of silver in a big way. Again, they will be late. Either way, this will cause the price of silver to snowball in a manner similar to what has been seen in gold over the last fifty years.
The US mint has seen periods this year where they sold just as many dollars in silver as gold, despite that gold is priced in dollars around 40 times the price of silver at any given time. In the Spring, world markets bore witness to a rise in silver of near $50, before heavy manipulation—that is, large sell-offs—took advantage of a quiet market on a Sunday night and early Monday morning, when few trades were being made.
Silver works at times as a sort of schizophrenic precious metals. It has moments where the underlying demand for it as a monetary hedge causes the price to run north quickly. Other times, dismal industrial outlook causes it to follow the coattails of platinum and fall. But, as many young people—and not to mention wealthy folks and institutions— are looking to silver as an investment, a hedge or a savings account, demand for the metal as a monetary instrument is sure to drive price discovery.
Silver prices are poised to rise, thus putting pressure on the JPMorgan stock price. As the JPMorgan stock price and the silver price conflate, investors will concern themselves, in regards to the bank’s stock price and derivatives holdings, with their risky short position in silver. Usually a firm will short a stock 8-1, whilst JPMorgan holds a short of about 40-1.
For every ounce of silver sold on the COMEX, JPMorgan sells between twenty to fifty ounces of silver, similar to fractional reserve banking. This is called naked short selling; that is, they sell silver that does not exist. In fact, it is estimated that the bank has sold between one billion and three billion ounces of non-existent silver. They have sold more silver than exists above ground. In terms of derivatives, JPMorgan has about $1.5 trillion in exposure, much of which are silver shorts. Knowing this, large hedge funds can purchase large quantities of silver, and eventually force JPMorgan to go long.
Silver has a myriad of uses today. Not only is it an investment or a hedge, but for many it is a savings account. It also has industrial purposes and, for some, is representative of a political movement to expose too-big-to-fail banks to risk. It is also the jewelry metal of choice among the youth in the US and Europe, for it is more affordable than gold. Many simply like the color.
Just as the gold cartel eventually lost its control over gold in the late sixties, causing its price to begin running upwards from $35 an ounce, the silver cartel sees its days numbered. Today gold is a de facto world reserve currency, and everyday more people catch onto this reality. Silver has historically traded in tandem with the yellow metal. Many analysts see $10,000 an ounce as a given for yellow. At the very feasible 20-1 ratio, that lands silver at roughly $500 an ounce.
*this is an opinion piece and is not designed to be taken as investment advice.
*disclosure: we are bullish on silver
Saturday, October 29, 2011
And so therefore, it is trite for any populist movement on any continent, in any country, to call upon a government to regulate the managers of the global economy. Populist reform and regulation of ruling classes is not what governments are designed to do. They protect ruling classes. Many protestors are calling on the government to regulate the ruling class through taxes and laws.
In the event new legislation is passed and new taxes collected, Occupiers would be ignorant and weak-minded to believe that this wealth would be redistributed to actually improve the plight of the poor. What would happen, contrarily, is that the government would eagerly tax millions who make an honest, albeit privileged, living, and then use the newly generated wealth for its own largesse—for aggressive wars, general imperialism and self-rewarding corruption—as well as for welfare to the illuminist corporate and banking establishment.
The State steals money and gives it to those who have fought for control over society and culture for millennia. This culture, above and beyond the money system, above and beyond trends and styles, has studied and tried to perfect a philosophy of control that goes back centuries. This bounty is then handed over by those above and beyond this System.
Through a systematic, psychological torture, those who are born individuals, become slaves to a mythological greater good, which boils down to merely servicing the State. People generally believe the State is a formidable means by which to develop people morally, to teach them to be virtuous individuals. Therefore, they believe the State is necessary to ensure people work towards virtuous and good means.
To believe the State is a means towards a more virtuous world is akin to believing the study of Justin Bieber lyrics could bring enlightenment. Albert Einstein once said the very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.
Governments have been tried before, and the result is clear: they implement taxation schemes through straight taxes, fines and fees, which represent nothing more than theft. It is these government tools that have allowed Wall Street—a front for international demise-of-the-state globalist institutions—to conduct the largest wealth confiscation in the history of mankind in the form of money owed by future generations.
Occupiers know this. They know the solutions to their problems are not political, not through government. The first solution to all of our problems is a move away from the political. To simply become less dependent on the systems into which we were all born. Thus, first and foremost we must work hard, and save our hard earned cash in alternative monies, such as gold and silver, to stock up on necessities anticipating a further devaluation of the US Dollar—in other words, to build up our assets, viewing assets as everything from the aforementioned precious metals to food and water to toilet paper.
We must envisage our problems as natural problems, not political. The order of our community has a foundation in our natural. By design, politics is everything, as George Orwell said. But, in a truer sense, nature is everything. By embracing that which makes us human—such as empathy, ethics, love and consciousness—we can begin imagining how it is we can tear down the matrix and learn to be free.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
During this period, what arose was a romanticism for nature (hence, perhaps, the popularity of evolutionary theory at that time), and the belief that, if only man could be freed of the corruption of society and its contrived conventions—of the state, of the clergy and, for some, of matrimony and of private property—then man, therefore, would be poised to achieve heights undreamed of hitherto.
It was these conditions which gave rise to the French Revolution, which, ironically, came to depend on the keystone mechanism of the State—violence—and gave way to a period during which France conquered swathes of Western Civilization. Still, from 1770 until 1914, many have argued that a culture of staunch self-reliance generally attitudinized Western Civilization, sometimes summarized by the concept of laissez-faire.
Much of this self-reliance held that, if society is evil, then the State—which is merely the organized vertical force of society—is doubly evil. If man is innately good, then, he ought to be completely freed from this coercive power of the State. Indeed, nineteenth century Liberalism believed man should be freed from all coercive power, among which might be included the church, army and other institutions. Society, in this case, would have little power other than the power required to restrain the strong from oppressing the weak.
The idea of a “community of interests” was also very strong during this period. This “community of interests” was a realm in which what was good for one was good for all. Somewhere, according to this belief, there did exist a reality where everybody would be secure, free, and prosperous, and that this pattern could be achieved over time. In it, each person could fall into that place in society best suited to his abilities. Implicit in this belief was that human ability is innate and can only be suppressed or altered by social discipline and that each individual is the best judge of his own self-interest.
In 1880, the belief that the current generation,and indeed all generations,was the culmination of a long process of history. Oftentimes, this long process is referred to as progress, a phenomenon that had lasted millennia and would continue forevermore. This belief ran so deep that progress, by many, was seen as inevitable and automatic.
These nineteenth century epistemes have, in the twentieth century, been considerably modified—or so it would seem at first glance. Wherefore such a change? Four traumatic decades at the onset of the twentieth century, and five decades of intense militarism by two premier Empires, led to a perceivable sea change in the disposition of men. Included in these shattering experiences are the First World War, world depression, world financial crisis, and the Second World War. These were then followed by the Cold War.
On the byway of these traumas, major adjustments were made in the western brain. Men now had viable reason to doubt their entrenched belief in the innate goodness of man. Evil was no longer merely the absence of good.
In the course of these events, millions were killed and billions of dollars wasted. Impossible to comprehend for most, such a blow altered man’s disposition on their own species. The First World War was seen as an aberration—and one from which they must quickly move on and forget.
For ten years a façade was created, a lie. In 1929, the stock market crashed. World depression ensued, and was followed by financial crisis. In the late thirties, sabers rattled as rearmament and aggression.
After 1945, a new world was evident. Opposed with the nineteenth century view of man as innately good and society as corrupting, increasingly the belief that man had a seemingly infinite capacity for untold evil insinuated itself into the minds of men. Without a society—that is, large institutions designed to quell man’s beastly desires, to nudge them towards desired beliefs and behaviors—man would certainly destroy himself. Efforts hinting at such a belief can be seen in the attempted erection of the League of Nations after the First World War, and the establishment of the United Nations (UN) after the Second World War.
The former western belief that human philosophies and abilities are innate and should be free from social duress in order to display individuality was replaced by the idea that the personality is a result of social repetition and training and must be coerced to socially acceptable ends. The laissez-faire economics of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were to be replaced by social discipline and central planning.
The “community of interests” of the free market would take backseat to the welfare community, which must be organized by wise-men. An intellectual environment would arise friendly to assertions of some sort of “de-evolution” or social retrogression or human extinction. Democracy would now be replaced by authoritarianism, and the laissez-faire Capitalism by State-Enterprise or command-and-control.
Now, here in the twenty-first century, it has grown clearer that progress is not a steady force with inevitable outcomes. Rather, man’s social development can be seen as a more anarchic, spontaneous process, no matter how much rulers attempt to ensure things remain predictable. These same notions are increasingly amending Darwin’s theory of evolution, or progress, towards more perfect forms.
The eighteenth and nineteenth century were schizophrenic times, as has been so much of human history. Nationalistic tendencies undermined royal empires, and out of this flux came a vibrant forum of idea sharing. Thoughts of a laissez-faire lifestyle wherein individuals were freed from the European caste system led to the mythology of the New World, even if the New World only reflected such a lifestyle pre-Constitution, and scantily so.
A way of understanding that was promoted, if too often implicitly and not explicitly, by eighteenth and nineteenth century sentiments, holds that the natural ought to be esteemed before the political. Even today, too often do our philosophies on how life should be grow politicized, thereby undermining their original power. Humans are not political beings. They are natural beings. The questions of how we should live our lives are unanswerable by politics, for politics is merely a means of ordering life by way of the state or government. The questions of how we should live our lives are answerable only by naturalism; that is, by recognizing that which makes us humans.
Our consciousness blossoms as a beautiful aberration from other life in the natural world as we know it. The cognitive niche, inherited from nature, that we inhabit gives us an axiom from which our understanding of the world stems. This can be easily interrupted and distorted by the data and information we are fed. Whether it be outright war, depression or manipulative fiction on television or in the movies, we are all easily victimized by the campaigning of pathological behavior by the trendsetters-that is, the ruling class—and our peers who follow. They have adopted the cynicism passed down by a century marred by two Great Wars, a deep depression, and a long standoff between two nuclear powers.
The cynicism bequeathed unto us by a violent twentieth century has led us to the belief that we need centralized governments and rulers to keep us from doing violence to one another. But, what we see are large institutions, instead of forcing people to be peaceful, projecting violence down civilization's ladder, and turning individuals against themselves, thus creating the precise environment people hoped the behemoth Institution of the State would prevent. Indeed, governments and private tyrannies were all along the impetuses of the bloodletting and carnage people were attempting to escape.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Either way, the movement has arisen, and we can be sure that the powers-that-be will do EVERYTHING they can to ensure that this movement is CO-OPTED (commercially adopted), repackaged and USED for the furthering of their command-and-control agendas. If this cannot be done, then the movement will be destroyed through hard power; i.e. bloodletting.
As does any movement at its incipience, this growing movement has much to learn about its enemy, who currently maintain a way of the world that ensures subservience of the so-called “99%”, a phrase that really functions as a catchy metaphor. It, like the way in which the movement uses the term “Wall Street,” is really a catch-all phrase referring to a deeply embedded power structure run by a merciless ruling class that views this 21st century as “the century of change.” This ruling class, like all ruling classes down through history, have inherited a matured philosophy of control that instructs in the techniques of control. By “century of change,” this ruling class sees this century as a prime-time to overthrow freedom on the planet, and institute dismal conditions so that no people could ever undermine their power.
They implement the aforementioned techniques of control in accordance with the ages in which they rule, and they makeup a percentage of the world's population that is more like .000001%. The cabal atop the world inherits an ancient task, sometimes referred to in religions and some political dossiers as The Great Work, and that is to standardize global culture—in effect, to bring in a World State composed of myriads of aligned national and local institutions (like the UN, which means one in French, national governments, state governments, city governments, non-government organizations, non-profit foundations, and corporations).
By envisaging this century as a sort of turning point, the powers-that-be have decided that a revolution must take place, but not the sort of revolution Occupiers believe they are taking part in. Rather, this revolution falls more in line with the revolutions of the past—like the French Revolution or the Bolshevik Revolution—whereby a more concentrated and acute power structure becomes the way things are.
Knowing that, in order to achieve the transformation of society desired—towards a more totalitarian way—wealth confiscations through economic warfare are mandatory. Thus, we have seen in the second half of the 20th century and on into the current one the “structural readjustments” of nation after nation, the world over, through IMF and World Bank programs. Today we see that, since the world is satisfactorily standardized in the eyes of the central planners of the neo-soviet, it is now time to overturn the economic order of the United States; i.e. make us a much poorer.
It is the establishments' obsession with data and information, wealth accumulation, and the maintenance of their own power that allows them to function as a sort of oracle of the way of the world. That is why in government documents for at least the past decade institutions, like the State Department, have predicted the protests we now see today in Europe, the Middle East, South America, Africa and the United States. They also predict these will soon turn into food riots.
For many technocrats—a technocrat being an empowered expert in the controlling of resources—movements like the worldwide Occupy movement are mouth-watering, for it provides an opportune time to utilize the technique of “cognitive infiltration.” This is a technique in controlling the mind, which is considered by the self-declared “masters of the universe” an economic resource. Platforms like Occupy create fertile environments in which new ideas can flourish. Using their vast and easily acquired resources—made possible by their manipulation of the money supply through the Federal Reserve System—illuminist transnational corporations can ensure that it is their ideas which gain the most support through sophisticated –although outwardly simple—and well-financed advertising and marketing campaigns, and the institutionalization of these platforms through their control of virtually each government in the world.
They WILL intend to STEER the Occupy movement towards DESIRED OUTCOMES, and therefore catchy slogans imploring the government to raise TAXES, increase CONTROL, and call for radical, more TOTALITARIAN ways of society and culture will become popular. The REVOLUTION WILL BE TELEVISED, but only those revolutionary ideas conjured up by think-tanks who work tirelessly on the algorithms of everyday life. They WILL NOT promote FREEDOM and LIBERTY. Instead, they WILL promote COLLECTIVISM and GOVERNMENTAL INTERVENTION into the economy; i.e. our daily lives.
Of course, not everyone will be fooled. We are wise, and the flux of society, brought on by the “global insurrection against banker occupation” and the actions of these hijackers of mankind themselves, will cause increasing numbers of people to awaken to the true power-structure. So then, how will the establishment maintain their management of man?
There are many cards the powers-that-be could play, such as a false flag terror attack, wherein the transnational corporations plot some sort of fear-inducing event to be televised on the world stage. The powers-that-be could invade some country, such as Iran, by way of the US military, thereby furthering the current world war started and stoked by the United States and its management.
Seeing as how they control amounts of wealth well in excess of the GDP of the planet, planetary rulers essentially dictate the economy. They will, eventually, pull the rug out completely from underneath the people in the west, plunging the entire world into a collapse surpassing conditions during the Great Depression. While I believe this is already bound to happen, this event can be hastened if a global awakening begins to threaten the real power structure. Anybody who wishes to be free must prepare themselves mentally and physically for such conditions. Stock up on water and stock up on food. There are myriads of supplies that we must have on hand, if we wish to become independent from any system of exploitation.
Food riots will be thwarted by force, and people will depend on government welfare programs for food. In order to maintain order on the streets, TSA-like checkpoints will be rolled-out onto city streets, whilst a monumental surveillance system will be utilized. Inside those stores which do have food, food prices will be setup in such a way so that the poor and middle classes can only afford GMO food and food loaded with preservatives and pesticides. Thus, another way in which any true movement for freedom will be neutralized is through genocide. The critical mass any such movement would need to affect true change will be impossible, due to endemic sickness and death of the population.
That is why not only demonstrations and protests are the way towards a freer society. We must also become less dependent on any system. If the power goes out, we need to have flashlights, candles, transistor radios, access to clean water and nourishing food, et cetera. That is one way in which to become freer. Worst case scenario, put away canned food now, and save on the inflation later.
At the level of ideas, any freedom movement must move beyond the collectivization of the individual. Women's rights, black rights, gay rights, pothead rights: these are collectivist movements that define the individual in terms of a grouping. It is this collectivist belief system which got these aforementioned groups ostracized in the first place. Instead, we must stress the value of the individual, and his or her right to engage in the complex fabric of human relationships in the way he or she pleases, so long as this individual does not engage in any form of violence against others. Fostering an environment in which the individual can excel and find him or herself is the first step towards realizing cultural freedom.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
I always had to think twice
Spend time to ponder, my mind started to wander
Down the less traveled path, geometric shapes and shadows cast
Up on the wall, esoteric wisdom
Lost in the mainstream
Mystery religions and mythical facts
Changed my life far more than science has
lost loves and battle chat
Carefully crafted relationships never last
The realness is what brings us back
Not the rationality or the money
No excuses when where on the hunt for honey
Everyone wants to look lovely
Feeling so stunny
In a society where ignorance seems to be the new funny
Celebrity gossip and death machine money
America the land of the hungry and the cunning
Will one day restore the freedom of those who dream not to go to sleep hungry
Facebook status, we need more magic
The technology of separation makes us feel so tragic
Society of class and grandeur built on one another’s sadness
Whether you’re a disciple or an addict they want you to believe its still classic
But really it’s just the same madness jihadist extremist ego based passion
The enemy of the people anyone who wants to open fire and start blasting
Emotions that leave smoking holes in lifeless bodies whether you’re American or Saudi
Atheist or godly, nobody should kill for religion that seems like it would be the most ungodly.
Crusaders wars reframed as humanitarian interventions makes the picture a little foggy
The deception of war seems like Americas new favorite hobby
Especially when you have the military industrial lobby
Stacking bodies, with no numbers, lost in the sand
No rain, only thunder
Collateral damage one hell of a fucking way to rename murderous blunders
Cruise missiles rain down like the fires that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah
Except they choose to read the Koran instead of the torrah
The ego the only enemy of the people
Hidden inside our own mind making us feel scared and deceitful
Seeing enemies around us when really its us we the people
Our differences seem so feeble when we think about all that we could heal.
When things seem like they are just to real
Were here with words of wisdom helping yall to chill
When things seem like they are just to real
Were here with words of wisdom helping yall to chill
When things seem like they are just to real
Were here with words of wisdom helping yall to chill
When things seem like they are just to real
Sit back and chill, perfect your skills
Focus and build, Meditative essence the real way to heal
Emotions so real, Thoughts that heal, Magical energy of esoteric will
A tribe on a quest it’s a rainbow for real
The light shades
The prisms of energy
Pyramids of light let me feel your symmetry
Magnificent, magnetic connectivity
To my brothers and sisters there are no real enemies
The true battlefields of life are fought internally
So this journey I began will be the new birth of me
Friday, August 12, 2011
One possible effect of these shorts being shaken out of the market is that we might not see gold dip $150, retracing half of its recent run-up as bull-market stocks tend to do (not to say that gold is a stock, but just to compare). Rather, as volatility picks up in the currency markets, as suggested by the Swiss Franc’s drop of 5% compared when compared with the Dollar and the Euro, gold might head towards $2,000 in the near-term.
Supply is being squeezed as the rush continues in the gold market, as 24K gold bars were delayed this last week for delivery. Further evidence of financial panic, rumor has it that Swiss 20 francs and Rooster French 20 Francs in Europe are being sold at premiums of 8.5% and 10.7%, respectively. The French are withdrawing money from banks, nervous that the instability plaguing Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy will soon come to France.
As for silver, as an industrial metal as well as a monetary metal, it is prone to wild fluctuations. Over the past couple of weeks, though, the price of silver has traded between the $38 and $40 range. Considering the wild fluctuations in global markets, this betokens a surprisingly quiet silver market. Not only ought the fear that has gripped the global market spur safehaven buying into the metal, but so too should the violent crashes in the markets spur serious moves to the downside for the silver. Instead, silver has moved up-and-down only 2% in either direction, representing a schizophrenic couple of weeks. The take-home point of such a steady silver price is that silver has broken the chains, if not from the paper manipulators, from its status as an industrial metal. Instead, increasingly so, the white metal is being viewed as tangible money.
History shows that political volatility and financial crisis drive silver up. Consumer confidence today has reached its lowest point since 1980, that year in which silver ran to $50 per ounce. In 2008, the DOW crashed 1,874 points over the course of one week, and the silver price was cut by more than half. These past two weeks, the DOW has crashed 2,000 points, but, instead falling to $20 per ounce, silver has held in the high $30’s, a price which it has tested now seven or eight times. Expect silver to takeoff in the near future.
The volatility, as CNN reports, is here to stay. “Massive volatility and headline-to-headline driven trading are now just part of the average day.” Firms with high-frequency trading technologies benefit most from such wild swings. Thus, panic will drive average investors away from paper assets into tangible assets, such as gold and silver.
*the aforementioned is not financial advice by which to trade, but a look at possible outcomes in the ongoing, long-term silver and gold PM market.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Today there is legislation in both the Senate and the House to “restore fairness” in private student loans by treating them “in bankruptcy the same as other types of private debt.” The bill is introduced by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Al Franken (D-MN) today joined U.S. Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN), Danny Davis (D-IL), George Miller (D-CA) and John Conyers (D-MI).
An article posted at Senator Durbin’s .gov website states:
Before changes were made to the bankruptcy code in 2005, only government issued or guaranteed student loans were protected during bankruptcy. This protection has been in place since 1978 and was intended to safeguard federal investments in higher education. Today’s bill would restore the bankruptcy law, as it pertains to private student loans, to the language that was in place before 2005, so that privately issued student loans will once again be dischargeable in bankruptcy.
In a culture where a college degree is celebrated as the surefire way in which to get ahead in life, protections and safety nets must be in place when graduates soon realize that, in fact, their college degrees are a dime-a-dozen, and not worth the thousands they now owe. Instead, they work menial jobs for meager wages or find themselves learning skillset’s anew, on the job, and often in the capacity of “intern.”
Representative Cohen said:
People who seek higher education to better their futures should not be dissuaded from doing so by the threat of financial ruin…The bankruptcy system should work as a safety net that allows people to get the education they want with the assurance that, should their finances come under strain by layoffs, accidents, or other unforeseen life events, they will be protected. My bill takes a modest but important step in achieving this goal.
Durbin introduced such legislation in 2007, and Congressman Cohen held a hearing on the dischargeability of student loan debt during bankruptcy in September 2009.
Said Senator Whitehouse:
By repealing special treatment for private lenders, we will hold big banks accountable, protect young people from abusive lending practices, and provide relief for graduates trapped by loans that can too often carry high interest rates and unfair terms.
Unlike government loans, private loans do not include interest rate caps, flexible repayment options, and limited cancellation rights. College loans are managed in a perverse way by big banks, who take advantage of the lack of life experience among young people in order to saddle them with debt. This serves two purposes: Either to extract wealth from baby-boomer parents who must foot the bill or towards the same outcome from those students who must pay-back the loans by themselves. Many students, with the average college debt between $20,000-$60,000, end up being asked to pay back money that cuts into their ability to shelter themselves, feed themselves, and thus begin upon a path of financial independence and family-building.
Few debts are held to such a standard by bankruptcy law, wherein discharge is only allowed in the most “extreme circumstances.” The bankruptcy code makes it especially difficult for people to escape child support responsibilities, overdue taxes, and criminal fines. College debt ought not be lumped in with these debts.
This legislation is supported by 35 groups and organizations:
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, American Federation of Teachers, Americans for Financial Reform, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, The Institute for College Access and Success, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, National Consumer Law Center and U.S. PIRG.
To paraphrase that which monsieur Max Keiser has recently said: people used to work for money, today they work to go into debt. This is a paralyzing social structure, not only for the individual, but for culture itself.
The bill is indeed a small step, and there is little awareness, among the public, of its presence in both houses. For such legislation to move forward, and help to create a nationwide movement intent on bankrupting the illimunist financial conglomerations, students must be aware of those attempting to protect their financial livelihoods.
There are many methods of paying back student loan debt. The only accepted one is to simply pay. But, there are other options. As the dollar weakens, for example, an indebted student will, later, have the opportunity to pay-back loans in cheaper dollars. Furthermore, commodities such as gold and silver offer interest rates that outpace the interest rates on many student loans.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Bob is correct in stating that the price of silver has doubled since late August. For sure this is a monumental rise for anything with a price tag. Also true is silver has made large gains since a small correction at the end of January. Still, when viewed in relation to global food prices—which, in February, were up 61% since their most recent low in December 2008 according to the IMF—as well as an increase in political and economic volatility arisen from global awakening, the silver price does not seem too unreasonable.
In December of 2008, silver had a low of $9.50. From that point, today's silver price has risen about 295%. Through August of 2010 it had risen, since that December 2008 low, about 100%. Assuming the IMF under-reported true spikes in food prices, and that the market crash in the Fall of 2008 suppressed silver prices, the recent gains in silver are certainly intimidating, but can be explained by a number of factors: such as, commodity inflation, investor demand, and the futility of silver manipulation,which we will touch upon shortly.
Moreover, the silver price has barely “collapsed,” as Moriarty claims. $37.30, down from $38.13, is not a collapse with silver reaching the underbelly of $40. The higher the price, the greater the fluctuations. There have been periods recently where silver has moved dramatically downwards and seemed very soft, as happened during the dip in January. Silver, obviously, rebounded to make the gains which brought it to about $38.13 an ounce on 25 March. This is not the month of January, when silver fell from about $30 to about $26.50. To many, these current prices might seem inflated, but old economic paradigms are irrelevant when analyzing new market movements.
For example, in his article, Bob states that “commodities go up and down in a far more random manner than anyone wants to admit.” In turn, I would flip this argument on its head, and submit that, rather, commodities go up and down in a far more controlled manner than anyone wants to admit. Raw market manipulation and speculation in futures markets, just as it does with oil prices, practically dictates gold, and especially, silver prices.
Whereas, heading into the 2011 summer, oil prices are heading upwards based on speculation regarding middle east turmoil and rising demand in developing markets, gold and silver prices have been kept artificially low, by transnational private-public partnerships, so as not to compromise confidence in Federal Reserve Notes. The FRN is a key instrument for“Full Spectrum Dominance” through the demise-of-the-state globalism practiced by keystone transnationals and NATO.
However, with markets quickening their way towards another crash, which will then naturally drive down the prices of commodities, perhaps keystone financial players like JPMorgan and HSBC have thrown in the towel when it comes to manipulating these markets, anticipating a market crash that will do this work for them.
This could partially explain the recent monumental gains in silver. Think of holding a beach-ball under water: the deeper one pushes it under water, the more energy one must exert, and the more momentum the ball will hold once it is let go to rush towards waters' surface. This seems to be what has happened to silver. The more economic capital invested in keeping the price of silver low resulted in more upward momentum once the manipulation ceased or decreased. Hence, the quick, large gains.
Certainly, I believe that the recent gains made in silver might encourage a psychological-top for silver. Many are selling, as these gains seem to good to be true, and there's nothing wrong with a profit. Thus, silver might enter into a period of prolonged consolidation, entailing even a considerable decline in the price down to around $30 or slightly below. To be sure, however, demand for silver as a hedge against inflation and economic warfare might prove to be an enduring support for the price of silver. In other words, the absence of confidence in the ability for the world to avert certain tragedy in the form of wars and economic holocaust will promote a higher silver price; listen to the news.
Bob states that silver may have a couple more days of increases, but the market is tired. He claims that “silver has no more to do with Portugal and their financial problems or nuclear melt down in Japan than it has to do with the price of kitty litter...Hell, half the silver bugs don't know anything about silver, it's the most over rated investment in the universe right now.”
Pet food companies have been struggling with inflation in food prices for the past couple years. Food price rises typically are tied to the increase in the price of commodities like silver. Economic crisis in Portugal could increase physical demand in that country, and then Europe generally, for hedges like silver. Nuclear meltdown in Japan is sure to have ongoing reverberations throughout world markets. In fact, as news rolls in regarding the economic impact of disaster on the world's third largest economy, world markets could see a quickening in their next leg down, as QE programs cannot remedy the economic collapse of Japan, and, in fact, do more damage than good. The week after the earthquake, tsunami, meltdown trifecto, world markets displayed transparent volatility, but rebounded firmly. I think herein lie gains more suspect than those gains made recently in silver.
Furthermore, forthcoming news of the Japanese car industry halting manufacturing will put immense downward pressure on platinum and palladium. Alongside the collapse in prices of these industrial precious metals, gold and silver will rise on momentum from investors, though not industry. (3)
In the near-term, any crisis, like that of 2008, will place downward pressure on precious metals. Silver could drop significantly, but will gain as downward pressure on the USD resumes once investors are done seeking in it a panic safe-haven. If the gains in silver as of late make silver-holders nervous, it might serve them well to ask themselves a simple question: If I exchanged my silver, what would I exchange it for? Certainly FRN's do not offer a promising option. If anything, with gold consolidating between $1,392 and $1,430 for a couple months, maybe exchanging silver for gold anticipating a rise in gold prices and possible consolidation in silver, in the near-term, will do away with the nervousness.
1.Moriarty, Bob. Is Silver Topping, 321 Gold, March 25, 2011
2. Whitehouse, Mark. Numbers of the Week: Food Inflation Foments Political Unrest. Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2011.
3. Alerigi, Alberto, Jr. GM to assess Japan parts problem in two weeks: CEO. Reuters, March 18 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Farewell Address (January 17, 1961)
Dwight David Eisenhower
Eisenhower again calls for peace, but, acknowledging that new crises arise, cautions the United States to maintain balance in its relations. He also also warns against the rising power of the military-industrial complex that could threaten the democratic process.
My fellow Americans:
Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.
This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.
Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity for all.
Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on issues of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future of the Nation.
My own relations with the Congress, which began on a remote and tenuous basis when, long ago, a member of the Senate appointed me to West Point, have since ranged to the intimate during the war and immediate post-war period, and, finally, to the mutually interdependent during these past eight years.
In this final relationship, the Congress and the Administration have, on most vital issues, cooperated well, to serve the national good rather than mere partisanship, and so have assured that the business of the Nation should go forward. So, my official relationship with the Congress ends in a feeling, on my part, of gratitude that we have been able to do so much together.
We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.
Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad.
Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology--global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle--with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.
Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research--these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.
But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs-balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage--balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.
The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. I mention two only.
A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.
Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual--is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present--and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system--ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.
Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we--you and I, and our government-must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.
Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.
Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.
Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war--as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years--I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.
Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road.
So--in this my last good night to you as your President--I thank you for the many opportunities you have given me for public service in war and peace. I trust that in that service you find some things worthy; as for the rest of it, I know you will find ways to improve performance in the future.
You and I--my fellow citizens--need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nation's great goals.
To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America's prayerful and continuing aspiration:
We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.