Monday, July 29, 2013

How the sovereign and municipal debt games always end. Everybody Becomes Greece.

Greece was a financial basket case long before it joined the EU in 1986 and the European Monetary Union in 2001.  For a complete monetary history on Greece, see Unravelling the Greek basket case. Greece paid  1.7 billion euros to join the EU but got back a whopping 6.5 billion euros, an astounding 270% return according to The Guardian that did a detailed report on the EU relative to who pays and who receives, here.  

If anything, Greece is a case study in the failure of statism, powerful public sector unions and the wholesale destruction of the economy by Keynesians, socialists and Marxists of all stripes.  Greece has been milking the EU for years and the EU has gladly piled on mountains of debt that can never be repaid.  As Greece is now spinning out of control with a devastated economy, the EU is losing patience with Greece.  It keeps loaning the Greeks more and more money backed by the promise to cut public spending and fire public employees that it can no longer afford. 

Public services have been cut, the garbage isn't always collected, public sector employees are constantly on strike to protest austerity and the Greek socialized healthcare system is being denied access to medical supplies and drugs because it cannot pay its bills.  While the situation is indeed ugly, it's about to get a whole lot uglier. 

The awful thing about debt is that it requires debt service and minimal debt service is interest only.  The Troika doesn't care about the Greeks.  The Troika does however care about getting paid and guaranteeing that banks and bondholders also get paid because preserving the European Monetary Union is its only goal.   As tax receipts dwindle due to the ailing Greek economy, the interest on the debt is piling up and the situation is so dire that loan proceeds are going to debt service, not government services.  A Greek blogger reports:

Greeks gets 1.6% of bailout loans – 98.4% goes back to Troika

Only a tiny 1.6% of the bailout loans goes to Greece’s state budget, the real economy and the people. The rest 98.4% goes to serve the international creditors International Monetary Fund, European Union member states and European Central Bank.

For the years 2010-20124, from the 236.8 billion euro bailout money and the 25.5 billion euro from privatizations, only 1.6 percent benefits the state and the economy.

98.4% is allocated for obligations to creditors.
And that my friends is precisely how governments die.  The irresponsible spending builds such a gargantuan mountain of debt that just about all revenues end up going to debt service.  It doesn't matter if its Greece or Italy or Spain or Detroit or numerous debt ridden US cities and states that are perilously close to a Detroit styled bankruptcy.  The debt game does end and statist dreams get flushed.

Folks who support governments and taxation do so because they perceive some level of value or a return on their 'forced' investment.  However, the value and returns on the taxpayer investments dramatically dwindle with debt because debt service starts eating up bigger and bigger chunks of taxpayer cash and at the expense of public services.  Ultimately, nearly all tax dollars go to debt service.

In the case of Detroit, Zero Hedge explained this phenomena in an article titled The Death Of A City: Detroit's Eulogy As Delivered By Kevyn Orr.  

Currently, more than $0.38 of every tax dollar that the City collects goes to service legacy debt and other obligations rather than toward providing services for the City's residents and businesses. If nothing changes, that number is expected to grow to almost $0.65 of every dollar in less than five years.
When public services start disappearing, when the street lights go black because there is no money to pay the electric bill, when the parks become weed infested crime scenes, when storefronts are boarded up and when the garbage is rotting on the streets, these are things that folks definitely notice.  At this point, the decrepitude and decay become clearly obvious which is why photos of Detroit resemble a bombed out war zone rather than a vibrant and flourishing city.  It's a tragic death for a city that was once the most prosperous city in America.

When the blame game and finger pointing starts, there are plenty of valid reasons that document the economic decline of a city or nation but at the end of the day the only reason economic death occurs is because of government corruption, the growth of the public sector, draconian anti-business regulations, the accumulation of mountains of unaffordable debt and high taxes.   Statism at its finest is indeed a big fail and a recipe for disaster.  But that won't stop the statists and bureaucrats and they are determined to scream for higher taxes and more debt, even when economic decline transitions to the death of city or nation. 

Does anybody profit from such carnage?  Only the banksters who somehow manage to extract their pound of flesh from the corpses of humanity.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Scranton, PA is Bankrupt, Wants 117% Property Tax Increase and the Scoop on the "Scoop".

Mish Shedlock has a great article on Scranton, PA, a city that is effectively bankrupt.

Scranton Needs 117% Property Tax Hike to Balance Budget; Simple Truth: Scranton is Bankrupt

Scranton taxpayers could face a 117 percent increase in taxes next year as the city's finances continue to spiral out of control.

A new analysis by the Pennsylvania Economy League projects an $18 million deficit for 2014, an amount so massive it outpaces the approximate $17 million the struggling city collects annually in just property taxes....

Mr. Joyce suggested that perhaps the city could refinance debt to implement a financial maneuver called a "scoop," in which higher debt service payments due next year are scooped out of the budget and swapped with lower payments due in future years. The city implemented such a scoop for the 2013 budget by refinancing debt to have lower debt-service this year than it otherwise would have had, Mr. Joyce noted.

"The city's definitely going to need help," Mr. Joyce said. "Maybe we can refinance debt to lessen the tax impact through a scoop. It may be viewed by some as kicking the can down the road, but it may prove to the state that we need a (countywide) sales tax."
I had never heard of the 'scoop' in municipal finance.  Apparently, if you have debt service payments that are coming due that you can't pay you just pretend that it doesn't exist!   Of course, all the municipal kicking the can down the road schemes always leads to higher taxes, the inevitable end game for the bureaucratic class that adamantly refuses to cut spending and government jobs.

But there's a limit to taxation, especially when folks are moving out of a geographic area because the economy stinks and lacks opportunity.  A few years ago, Forbes included Scranton in its list of America's fastest dying cities and Scranton was in the top ten, here

While Detroit may have raised the seriousness of the issue of municipal debt, it's only the tip of the iceberg. There are many cities that are in just as bad financial condition as Detroit.  Detroit stalled its bankruptcy for years but you can't stall it forever.  The US economy is stagnating and decades of public spending and debt will become a shocking new reality as municipal defaults accelerate simply because there is no money or even much of a tax base to plunder.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

America Already Has Socialized Medicine - A Trillion for Medicare & Medicaid and Another Trillion for Obamacare Subsidies

America already has socialized medicine and Medicare and Medicaid now cover the heathcare costs of nearly 60% of Americans to the tune of a trillion bucks a year.  Under Obamacare, direct insurance company subsidies are estimated to cost another trillion.  By the time Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies kick in, it's doubtful that there will be many left in America who won't have heavily subsidized or totally cost free healthcare.

Medicare and Medicaid Entitlements

USA Today reported that Medicare and Medicaid costs were $992 billion in 2010 and expected to grow by $90 billion in 2011, here.
Medicare and Medicaid spending rose 10% in the second quarter from a year earlier to a combined annual rate of almost $992 billion, according to new data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The two programs are on track to rise $90 billion in 2011 and crack the $1 trillion milestone for the first time.

The jump in health care spending is the biggest since the Medicare prescription drug benefit was added five years ago and ends a brief lull in the spending increases that occurred during the economic downturn.....

Medicare and Medicaid paid a record 57.5% of patient bills for hospital, doctors, drugs and other care in the last quarter, up from 49.3% in 2005.
Both Medicare and Medicaid are expected to grow significantly.  Forbes reports that there are already 50 million folks enrolled in Medicaid. They pay nothing and get free medical care.  The Kaiser Family foundation reports that there are currently over 49 million folks enrolled in Medicare, here.   Obamacare is expected to increase Medicaid enrollees by 20 million, here.
Expanding Medicaid, which is funded jointly by states and the federal government, is a key part of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act. And though the U.S. Supreme Court last year largely upheld the law, it did allow state governors to opt out of expanding Medicaid coverage to more Americans.

Still, the Medicaid expansion should bring 5 million Americans into the expanded Medicaid coverage next year and eventually up to 10 million more newly insured Americans by 2017, Avalere’s Stento said. Before the Supreme Court ruling, Avalere projected there would be 11 million new Medicaid enrollees in 2014 “with that phasing up to 20 million by 2017 and 21 million by 2019,” Avalere said.

Already, there are about 50 million Americans enrolled in Medicaid health insurance for the poor or affiliated health coverage programs like the State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP).
Although Medicaid was originally sold to the states as a federally funded entitlement and revenue generator for the states, eventually the cost of the program was approximately split between the states and federal government at about 50:50.  Medicaid is a huge tax burden on the states.  Similarly, Obamacare has also been sold to the states as revenue generators because the states "agreeing to go along with the Medicaid expansion are taking advantage of a cash infusion of more than $900 billion in federal dollars from 2014 to 2022 under the health law." according to the above referenced Forbes article.

Medicaid and Medicare costs do not include the cost of subsidized Obamacare plans, although the expansion of Medicaid is part of Obamacare.  Who is eligible for Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies? According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, eligibility depends on family income and dependents.
Beginning in October 2013, middle-income people under age 65, who are not eligible for coverage through their employer, Medicaid, or Medicare, can apply for tax credit subsidies available through state-based exchanges.
Additionally, states have the option to expand their Medicaid programs to cover all people making up to 138% of the federal poverty level (which is about $33,000 for a family of four). In states that opt out of expanding Medicaid, some people making below this amount will still be eligible for Medicaid, some will be eligible for subsidized coverage through Marketplaces, and others will not be eligible for subsidies.
Like any federal program, subsidies and eligibility are complicated formulas.  How much will Obamacare subsidies cost?

Obamacare Subsidies

CNN explained the Obamacare subsidies fairly simply and in a manner that promotes Obamacare as very beneficial to the middle class.

Millions eligible for Obamacare subsidies, but most don't know it

Nearly 26 million Americans could be eligible for health insurance subsidies next year, but most don't know it.
That's because relatively few people are familiar with provisions in the Affordable Care Act, aka "Obamacare," that will provide tax credits to low- and middle-income consumers to help them purchase health coverage through state-run insurance exchanges.
Most of those who will be able to claim the subsidies are in working families with annual earnings between $47,100 and $94,200, according to a recent analysis by Families USA, a consumer advocacy group. More than a third of those eligible will be young adults between ages 18 and 34....
Here's how the subsidies will work:
Starting in October, those looking to buy individual health insurance can enroll in plans offered through state-based exchanges, with coverage beginning in January. Consumers buying individual plans will be able to choose between four levels of coverage: platinum, gold, silver and bronze. The plans will differ in their premiums and out-of-pocket expense burdens.
People who are not in a government health insurance program, such as Medicaid or Medicare, and do not have access to an affordable plan at work may be eligible for help paying their premiums.
The assistance is available to those with incomes of up to four times the federal poverty level -- this year, that's $45,960 for an individual or $94,200 for a family of four -- and will be scaled to ensure that folks don't pay more than a designated percentage (the exact target varies by income level) of their earnings toward the premium. The subsidy will be paid directly to the insurance company.
It all sounds so spectacularly wonderful - another government gift that rains like manna from the heavens upon the people beneath!  The poor will get free healthcare and middle class families earning nearly $100,000 a year will get subsidized affordable healthcare.  Of course, Obamacare's official name, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was a critically important propaganda talking point in the selling the world's most expensive healthcare system in human history.

The Obamacare subsidies are now projected to far exceed initial estimates.  American Thinker reports:
According to the new White House budget, from the time the exchanges open in 2014 to 2021, the administration expects to spend about $606 billion on subsidies, a massive commitment of federal resources. That's about 27 percent more than the $478 billion projected in the president's budget last year, and 65 percent more than the $367 billion for the same period in the 2012 budget.... The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will cost about $9,000 in subsidies for a person who would have qualified for Medicaid under the expansion -- compared to $6,000 for Medicaid coverage.....

...the CBO jacked up its estimate again:

The CBO significantly hiked the amount of money needed to fund the subsidies available through Obamacare's exchanges, hiking them by $233 billion. IBD explains: "The CBO's new baseline estimate shows that ObamaCare subsidies offered through the insurance exchanges -- which are supposed to be up and running by next January -- will total more than $1 trillion through 2022, up from $814 billion over those same years in its budget forecast made a year ago. That's an increase of nearly 29%. The CBO upped the 10-year subsidy cost by $32 billion since just last August." Part of that is expecting more people in the exchanges thanks to employer dumping and more limited Medicaid expansion, but "The rest is largely the result of the CBO's sharp increase in what it expects the average subsidy will be. Last year, the CBO said the average exchange subsidy for those getting federal help when ObamaCare goes into effect next year would be $4,780. Its latest estimate raised that to $5,510 -- a 15% increase. All these numbers are up even more from the CBO's original forecast made in 2010, which had the first-year subsidy average at $3,970."
Going once, going twice, SOLD.  On top of the trillion dollars currently being spent on Medicare and Medicaid, Obamacare subsidies are now projected to cost another trillion.  Medicaid is expected by grow by at least 20 million  new enrollments and Medicare will undoubted grow substantially as the Baby Boomers retire and expect Medicare.

There's only one problem.  America can't afford Medicare and Medicaid and hardly anybody in the working stiff social strata can afford Obamacare without a subsidy because the US economy is increasingly becoming a minimum wage economy, here.  Businesses are especially hard hit by the sticker shock of Obamacare and are firing full time workers or reducing their hours to part-time status because businesses can't afford the cost of the entitlement of the century. Of course, the economic carnage of Obamacare will drive more folks into Medicaid because bad economies create more poor folks.   Obamacare will impose such huge costs on businesses that it will ravage our already ravaged and ailing economy.

Poll: 41% Of Small Businesses Froze Hiring Due To Obamacare, 19% Have Laid Off Employees Mediaite

In fact, Obamacare is such a freaking nightmare that the bureaucracy established by the government to implement Obamacare and create call centers to explain it to folks isn't even hiring full time employees and has resorted to part-time job offers.

Obamacare Call Center Will Not Offer Healthcare Benefits to Employees National Review

There are also the labor unions that were wildly supportive of Obamacare because they sensed a freebie or at least lower cost healthcare.  Labor unions are running from Obamacare.

Labor unions turn on ObamaCare, fear losing coverage Fox News

Obamacare is so horrifying that even the Congress Critters who passed it and their supporting staff want to be exempt from it.

Now Congress Wants to Exempt Itself from Obamacare Heritage Foundation

To add insult to injury,  IRS employees who are tasked with enforcing the collection of the myriad of new Obamacare taxes is bitching and moaning that they shouldn't be subjected to Obamacare.

IRS employees union: Please don’t make us enroll in Obamacare The Daily Caller

About all that free or low cost healthcare that sent CNN into a whopper of statist orgasm?  I can't wait for CNN's next spin on the glories of government healthcare, especially when we really do go "Greek" literally and figuratively and it dawns on some policy wonks and media idiots that there really is no money......

One thing is certain.  Whenever the government steps in to solve any real or imagined problem, the problem then grows exponentially and grows so horridly insufferable that the only possible solution is the death of government because government can never fix a gosh darn thing and shouldn't even try.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Bush Crime Family is Behind the Attacks on Rand Paul and Jack Hunter

MSM is buzzing with fresh attacks on Rand Paul and more specifically his association with Jack Hunter.  Suddenly, both Paul and Hunter are now being portrayed as racists and white supremacists and not just any old run of the mill racist but diehard neo-Confederate racists who never cease opining that the South lost the Civil War or the War of Northern Aggression as they say in the South.  The race baiting is timely, especially in light of the monumental race baiting extravaganza post  George Zimmerman acquittal.  Jack Hunter was a significant component of Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign and at that time the race baiting was solely focused on demonizing Ron Paul.

The Washington Post is the most vile and disgusting newspaper in the world.  It's a 'go to' tabloid for statists, peddlers of government programs, bureaucrats, fascists and totalitarian thugs of all political stripes. Centralized power may destroy liberty but it also makes a ton of insiders filthy rich and very powerful. WaPo has always been controlled by CFR Nazis and the globalist New World Order crime syndicate.  WaPo consistently defends every dastardly deed of the government and has always been its primary spin machine where the truth gets laundered in a vat of feces and coal.  To dub Wapo shameless and disingenuous would be a grotesquely misleading understatement as WaPo is indeed pure concentrated evil.

WaPo's Michael Gerson penned another savage attack on Rand Paul because, well, Rand Paul makes the NWO and establishment elites very nervous.  Who is Michael Gerson?  Besides being a WaPo propagandist, Gerson is also a former Bush speechwriter with close ties to the Bush Crime Family; Gerson is fiercely loyal to the Bush gang.

It's no secret that Jeb Bush is running for president in 2016 and its also no secret that Republican voters are so fed up with establishment elitist Republicans that they are embracing Rand Paul's message.  In fact, the entire GOP establishment greatly fears the rise of Rand Paul because of his famous name as well as his advocacy for the Constitution, limited government, a non-aggressive foreign policy and opposition to NDAA and the Patriot Act.  While the American people cheered Rand Paul's historical filibuster, the Republican elites and their media pals cringed. With Rand Paul's popularity continuing to rise, he poses a clear challenge to Jeb Bush and Bush Crime Family ambitions to get another Bush in the White House as Emperor of Planet Earth. Accordingly, the Bush gang is using its enormous and far reaching  political and media muscle to crush Rand Paul and Bush loyalist, Michael Gerson and Lincoln worshiper, is one of its vicious and rabid attack dogs.

Rand Paul can never be a mainstream Republican by Michael Gerson
To this point, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has been the Republican flavor of the year. Events from the IRS scandal to NSA revelations to the Obamacare train wreck have corroborated libertarian suspicions of federal power. And Paul has shown serious populist skills in cultivating those fears for his political benefit. For a while, he succeeded in a difficult maneuver: accepting the inheritance of his father’s movement while distancing himself from the loonier aspects of his father’s ideology.
But now Paul has fallen spectacularly off the tightrope. It turns out that a senior member of his Senate staff, Jack Hunter, has a history of neo-Confederate radio rants. And Paul has come to the defense of his aide.
Another WaPo statist psycho, Jennifer Rubin, has also attacked Rand Paul and Jack Hunter.

Jack Hunter and Rand Paul ‘playing the game’ by Jennifer Rubin
This week we learned that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) had hired Jack Hunter, an avowed secessionist with a history of anti-minority statements. Not only does Paul continue to employ him and refuse to renounce or even to comment on Hunter’s views but, according to Hunter, Paul was fully aware of his views and reputation when he first hired Hunter to co-write a book.

Even worse for Paul was Hunter’s accusation that his extremism has found a home with the senator, who has “learned to play the game,” such as declaring that an attack on Israel would be an attack on the United States. With a few “rhetorical flourishes,” he said, Rand Paul is more respectable than his father, Ron, and can thereby get farther in politics. That is precisely the concern that many center-right observers had in trying to decipher Rand Paul: namely, that he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

What is interesting is the reaction of those who supported, cheered and hired Hunter for his avowed views — views from which he is now trying to distance himself.

It shouldn't surprise anybody that the Bush Crime Family OWNS the Washington Post as well as other MSM print and broadcast venues.  Yet, the best the Bush family and the media can come up with is nothing but a shabbily concocted false allegation of racism.  They must be channeling Al Sharpton.

The Bush family is not popular and many conservatives blame the George W. Bush years for abandoning conservative principles with its extravagant spending, deficits, debt, endless wars and government growth. Indeed, government did grow under George W. Bush who along with Republican Congress Critters gave us another multi-trillion dollar entitlement, Medicare Part D, and No Child Left Behind, a disastrous education bill written by Ted Kennedy.  Bush and the Bush era Republicans increased the national debt by $5 trillion. These days, Republicans are blaming the gargantuan pile of debt all on Obama and the Democrats as Republicans run from their own sordid record.

As unpopular as the Bush Crime Family is, it's still a formidable force within the Republican Party, the media-industrial complex and possesses an extraordinary ability to raise big special interest money.  Bush loyalists may be dwindling but the power of one of America's most enduring, evil and corrupt political families cannot be underestimated.

To be sure, Wapo isn't the only barf studded statist political and policy propaganda rag in America.  The Atlantic has definitely earned a prestigious rank in the hierarchy and its quite common for such publications to affectionately slobber over each other with outpourings of praise and undying love for members of their exclusive club that is considered so sacred it's a religion.  Not surprisingly, The Atlantic penned a puff piece on Michael Gerson, here.

It's not just the media elites that are attacking Rand Paul and Jack Hunter.  The Republican Party is swimming with nasty neocon websites that have declared war on Rand Paul.  The Washington Free Beacon is Republican neocon rag dedicated to the GOP base that gets off on wars, statism and the wholesale destruction of civil liberties.  I covered this issue at, my news website, here (Washington Free Beacon vs. Jack Hunter).  As the vitriolic attacks on Rand and Jack blossomed from the left and right, Judge Andrew Napolitano and one the most respected voices in the liberty movement defended Jack Hunter in a piece titled A word about Jack Hunter…by Andrew Napolitano.  Jude Nap wrote: 
Yesterday you saw some hawks, whose ideology is dying and whose worldview is being discredited every day, launch an attack on Senator Rand Paul by attacking one of his brilliant aides, Jack Hunter.

Jack’s sin in their eyes was having spoken favorably of states’ rights, and negatively of Lincoln. They can’t seem to recognize that states’ rights--even secession--does not equal racism; it constitutes a brake on the feds’ march to totalitarianism.
One thing is certain.  The War on Rand Paul has been declared.  There can be no question that the Bush Crime Family as well as establishment Republican elites are behind it and they will absolutely continue to escalate their war on liberty, the constitution and those who defend it.  The Republican base got suckered into blessing off on John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.  If Republican voters continue to allow themselves to be influenced and even intimidated by the Republican elites as they did in 2008 and 2012, they will be rewarded with President Hillary Clinton.  The GOP elites really don't care - Hillary Clinton is very much their man and she will continue the wars, the march to statist hell and the American Nazified NSA Police State.  The elites win and the American people lose yet again.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Final Thoughts on Zimmerman - Those Cracker White Supremacists Did it Again

Nearly everybody views the death of Trayvon Martin as a tragedy. The tragedy was the direct result of Martin and Zimmerman escalating an easily resolvable situation or conflict into a horrifying assault and a self-defense shot that mortally wounded Martin.   We may never know what words transpired between Martin and Zimmerman that triggered the tragedy but Martin pounced on Zimmerman, beating him, breaking his nose and pounding his head into concrete.  Zimmerman had the injuries to prove it.  Zimmerman was armed with a gun and fatally shot Martin in self-defense.   The bottom line of the entire heartbreaking nightmare that ended in the death of Martin is that just because somebody ends up dead from an altercation doesn't mean that a crime was committed.

Just about every legal system in human history uphold the concept of legitimate self-defense.  Legitimate self-defense isn't isn't vigilante justice as claimed by the anti-gun and anti-self defense media/government complex.  The Zimmerman case is far from being the only self-defense case but it's definitely a case that was exploited for maximum propaganda value.  Moving on to Oklahoma, the media totally ignored the 1st degree murder conviction of a white pharmacist by a reported white Oklahoma jury. A black youth armed with a gun entered a pharmacy with the intent to rob and possibly kill.  The pharmacist pulled out a gun and shot him; he wasn't dead but he was down and bleeding on the floor from a head wound.  The pharmacist then proceeded to empty his gun into the wounded youth which killed him.  What convicted the pharmacist wasn't shooting the perpetrator but pumping more bullets into him after he was down and no longer a threat.  The standard for legitimate self defense or justifiable homicide does not include the right to automatically kill and it's implied that disabling the perpetrator should be the goal but if he happens to die, it's not necessarily murder.

In the Zimmerman case, the shamelessly shabby race baiting by the media was intellectually dishonest, insufferably arrogant and full of mocking contempt.  Zimmerman, who is Hispanic and brown skinned, was immediately churned into an evil cracker.  Even before the Zimmerman jury reached a verdict, The Huffington Post puffed on with vile innuendos about the 'cracker' jury that was comprised of 6 women.

A look at the jurors for George Zimmerman's trial 
B-76 is a white woman who has lived in central Florida for 18 years.....
B-37 is a white woman who volunteers rescuing animals.....
E-6 is a white woman who is married and has two children.....
E-40 is a white woman who works as a safety officer and recently moved to Seminole County from Iowa.....
The 'Puff Post' did not disclose the racial identity of jurors dubbed jurors B-51 and B-29 although it did report that B-29 was described by a prosecutor as "black or Hispanic".   And thus, according to the media, the 'cracker' dominated jury of racist white women was destined to let a 'cracker' walk for murdering an innocent black teen in cold blood.  MSM everywhere jumped on the race baiting train.

When the verdict was read, the media plunged into another round of nauseatingly inflammatory race baiting.  The celebrity lunatics jumped in as cheerleaders for the media and condemned the verdict, the jury and helped to fire up the very ugly Twitter discourse.  Twitter was lit up with vile comments ranging from death threats for Zimmerman, his family, his lawyers and the jury.

Keeping the cracker themed jury going, the leftist media buzzed with nasty headlines that pretty much mirrored a piece posted at The Nation titled White Supremacy Acquits George Zimmerman.  The cracker white supremacists acquitted George Zimmerman!

Post verdict, CNN's reigning idiot, Piers Morgan, had the prosecution's star witness, Rachel Jeantel, on his show who gave America a lecture on the difference between a ‘N*gga’ And ‘N*gger’.

Rachel Jeantel Explains The Difference Between ‘N*gga’ And ‘N*gger’ To Piers Morgan.

How is it that I wasn't enlightened by Jeantel's tirade?  Apparently, there were serious problems with the prosecution's star witness, as reported by a black female journalist, Jennifer Oliver O'Connell, in a thought provoking piece titled Rachel Jeantel’s lack of literacy is a societal problem.
Rachel Jeantel’s testimony on the witness stand during the George Zimmerman murder trial was cringe-inducing, embarrassing, and mortifying to watch. As a Black woman I have been ridiculed for “talking white” and “thinking I’m white” because I navigate quite well outside of Black culture. Frankly, I would rather take that type of flack than be an embarrassment across worldwide media because of my inability to do so.

If we take nothing else away from Rachel Jeantel’s testimony, it should be this: Literacy involves more than being able to read and write. It involves the ability to effectively operate in the overall society when it matters most. Unfortunately, Rachel failed this test. We will see how it affects the outcome of this trial, and whether it helps or hurts the prosecution’s case.
Jeantel is obviously enjoying her new found celebrity.  Her pronouncements that inspired and energized MSM include "The Jury, They Old. That's Old School People. We In A New School, Our Generation" and she even the suggestion that  Zimmerman was a 'creepy ass cracka' pedophile gay rapist.

OKAY, so white majority America has been reduced to creepy ass cracka where folks don't know the difference between a ‘N*gga’ And ‘N*gger’.  I confess that I have utterly failed to comprehend such dubious distinctions because, well, they are incomprehensible.  America has morphed into a nation of whites, blacks and browns, except when a black is killed by a brown and then the brown becomes white, a cracker or a cracka.  Got that?  The politics of race baiting are indeed flexible depending on the situation and cause du jure.

If you really want to see the face of racial injustice, you need to dig deeper.  Where was the media when a black woman, Marissa Alexander, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the crime of firing a firearm into the air as a warning shot when confronted by an intruder in her home?

Fla. mom gets 20 years for firing warning shots

How about the case of Jonathan Lowe, a 57 year old black retired marine who was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for defending himself against an attack by armed thugs.  I had previously blogged about this injustice.

A judge effectively rules: you have a duty to die because the right of a violent criminal to kill you trumps your right to defend your life.
In one of the worst miscarriages of justice ever, a Philadelphia judge found a man guilty of killing a man who struck him with a metal pole, knocked him to the ground and was attempting to strangle him in the commission of a robbery. The victim is now facing up to 12.5 to 25 years in prison for the crime of defending himself.

It all started when Jonathan Lowe, 57, a retired marine who had recently survived a heart attack and multiple strokes, was returning home from dinner with a friend. As Lowe was walking home, he was attack by 3 thugs. Although Lowe attempted to get away, they followed him and one of the assailants, Loren Manning, age 51, hit Lowe with a metal pole, knocking him to the ground and then proceeded to choke him. With Manning’s hands around his neck and strangling him, Lowe managed to retrieve a pocket knife and started stabbing Manning. Manning died. Lowe was charged with unlawfully killing him and the judge rejected legitimate self-defense as a defense.

Manning was a career criminal with 40 arrests, 18 convictions and was currently awaiting trial for knocking out a woman’s teeth while robbing her.

Above Photo: Anne Bryant, sister of Jonathan Lowe, displays photos of him in his days as a Marine.

Where was the media and the black community when justice was needed for Marissa Alexander and Johnathan Lowe? Nowhere to be found. Why is that? It's a valid question because Marissa Alexander certainly didn't deserve 20 years for firing a warning shot and Jonathan Lowe didn't deserve to go to prison on a voluntary manslaughter conviction for the 'crime' of defending himself against dangerous thugs.

But there are other very significant issues as well.  The black community has been trained by white liberals to effectively reject arming themselves with firearms to protect themselves and their families, and this is something that I view as both racist and morally repugnant.  Gun control and the War on Drugs are both rooted in racism, another issue that I've blogged about.

Racist Origins of Gun Control and the War on Drugs

If racism is alive in America, it's not because George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, it's because blacks have been booted back to the plantation as the dependents of while liberals, their new slave masters. Growing up on the new slave plantations, the modern government subsidized plantation ghettos and government schools, has not only rendered blacks helpless, hopelessly dependent and lacking education and economic opportunity, it also creates a neurotic fight or flight mentality that results from the chronic oppression of ghetto and/or school plantation life.  When folks feel powerless, they don't think, they react because thinking is verboten in the totalitarian world of dependency.  If anything, Trayvon Martin was a victim of his own victimhood, a victimhood spawned by white liberals who view blacks as their house pets who must be cared for.  Rachel Jeantel is very much the product of white progressives -  she's stupid, inarticulate, pathetic and appears to lacks any skills whatsoever to advance herself in life. Jeantel was bred by the modern serfdom of the progressive movement.

The most bizarrely ironic riddle of it all is that nobody ever questions the system, least of all its victims.  But blame is the mother's milk of progressive statism, social engineering, the government and the media.  When their own system is a big fail, they demand that somebody's head be piked on a spike and this week, that head is the head of George Zimmerman.

Obama himself wasted no time in capitalizing on the Zimmerman verdict by reigniting the gun control issue. Of course, Obama offered no explanation on why practically gun free Chicago has the highest murder rate in America and that most of those murders are accomplished with firearms.  Disarming Americans will only result in more firearm deaths.

We live in America where the morally defunct media media mob panders to basest of raw emotions.  The wing nut media on the right was just as bad and the 'cracka' media wasted no time blasting photos of Martin exhaling marijuana smoke and posting Martin's tweets under his twitter handle of NO_LIMIT_NIGGA.  The entire Zimmerman-Martin tragedy was churned into a game of entertainment to appease and feed their respective mobs.

Civil society?  There's nothing about the Zimmerman-Martin tragedy and subsequent discourse that was civil, humane, respective, thoughtful, considerate or reflective.  Yet, the pain lives on and the anguish of both families is just another victim in the perpetual game of race baiting exploitation.  As a nation, we learned nothing from the tragedy and that's the real tragedy.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The US Healthcare System - Up Close and Personal.

I'm lucky.  I've been healthy and haven't required medical care.  But my 54 year old younger brother had an extraordinary encounter with the healthcare system.  He is actually quite healthy but about six months ago he experienced severe pain in his neck, back, shoulder and arm.  He's a truck driver who also does manual labor but he's a big strong dude who is used to hard work.  The unrelenting pain triggered a visit to the doctor as well as an ordeal that literally went on for months.  At first the doctor just prescribed muscle relaxants and pain killers.  That didn't work and his condition slowly filtered through the medical insurance quagmire that eventually resulted in a diagnosis of a herniated disc near the neck, after being in agony for 4 months.

It took a long time, including finally scheduling more tests, an MRI and visits to a neurosurgeon, but surgery was finally approved by his insurance company.  Throughout the ordeal, he incurred out of pocket medical expenses, mostly for tests, that totaled in excess of $4,000 which he paid and post op he has unopened medical bills that he's afraid to open.  He called the insurance company to complain about the medical bills and the insurance company practically laughed in his face and informed him that it was paying $38,000 for the surgery alone which didn't include other costs the insurance company had already paid.

Surgery day finally arrived 6 weeks ago.  We got up at 5:30 a.m. to be at the hospital by 7:00 a.m. for a scheduled outpatient 10:30 a.m. 1.5 hour surgery, despite being at the same hospital the day before for more pre-op tests.  Oh well, the medical bureaucracy has its rules. The surgery went as planned and he was wheeled out of the operating room at 12:01 p.m. according to the hospital's electronic status board.  After several hours in recovery, he was wheeled to a regular hospital room because he couldn't walk, could barely talk and wasn't permitted to leave the hospital until he could walk, hold down food and urinate.

I have nothing but the highest praise for the staff, competency and professionalism of the Seton Medical Center in Austin.  If I ever got sick and needed hospitalization, that's where I'd want to go.  It can't be easy working in a medical surgery facility with tons of antsy and neurotic loved ones hovering around and Big Sis can be a bitch.  My brother was well cared for as nurses and technical assistants constantly monitored everything.  Two physical therapists arrived to get him up and walking.  It's no easy task getting a semi-conscious post op patient in severe pain out of bed and walking but that's what they are trained to do and they had him walking the hospital halls on his own with the IV pole in tow.

He was declared well enough to leave the hospital at about 8:00 p.m. and was wheeled to the hospital entrance, gently put in the car and I drove home with my patient.  It would be weeks before we knew if the surgery was a success but 6 weeks later he's back at work and pain free except for some very minor discomfort at the incision site.

He estimates that the entire ordeal cost him and the insurance company at least $45,000 with the insurance company paying most of it - the $38,000 surgery plus a substantial portion of tons of diagnostic testing.  Still, $4,000 out of pocket for a truck driver is painful.

A hospital is a strange place.  From the classless waiting room of the surgery center, the rich and poor alike waited for word on their loved ones.  You can only sit for so long so walking the halls of the hospital is common.  I met a guy who appeared to be in his late 30's or early 40's.  He was really down on his luck, out of work and was just diagnosed with a late stage cancer.  He was incredibly grateful that the healthcare system was treating him despite the fact that he had no money.  I met an incredibly distraught man whose father was brain dead from a stroke and he had to make the decision to pull the plug.  He felt like he was murdering his father and wondered if the hospital tests were wrong.

Few folks in America have the resources to pay for healthcare because it's so expensive.  How a 1.5 hour out patient surgical procedure can cost $45,000 is beyond anything that I can comprehend.  It literally boggles the mind.  Obamacare, whose official name is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, has only increased the cost of medical care.

Yeah, America has great healthcare but the cost.......

Zero Hedge had a map on the cost of an appendectomy in America and other countries.

USA             $11,997
Canada             2,436
Germany           2,506
France              2,700
Netherlands      2,700
Spain                2,959
UK                   2,634 

US healthcare procedures cost at least 4 times what they cost in other developed nations so I'm guessing that my brother's $45,000 surgery would have cost $10-12,000 outside the US.  

In 2011, USA Today published a report saying that Medicaid and Medicare costs, both entitlements, were $992 billion and expected to rise substantially.  Federal tax receipts in 2011 totaled $2.3 trillion, here.   The US government reported that "U.S. health care spending reached $2.7 trillion in 2011, or $8,680 per person", here.  

Our healthcare system isn't working and I don't have the answers.  What is clear is that America spends more on a per person healthcare basis than any nation on earth and by a very wide margin.  PBS reports that the US spends 2.5 times the OECD average.

Progressives will argue that the government must takeover the entire US healthcare system and churn it into single payer system.  Well, we're practically there anyway and it hasn't worked.  The more government intervenes, the worse the healthcare nightmare gets.  Libertarians and conservatives will argue that the government just needs to end its entitlements and interventions.  What are we going to do?  Just let folks die because they can't afford medical care?

America has managed to engineer and build the most expensive healthcare system in human history and that's not something to be proud of because eventually healthcare rationing will become a necessity and a reality, at which point we all lose and suffer.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Great Greek Yogurt Scam, Poisoning our Kids in Public Schools and the Geopolitics of Yogurt

Yogurt is not an issue that I typically follow.  However, I went to the grocery store to buy organic milk and it came with a coupon for a free 4 pack of Yoplait Greek yogurt.  What the heck, it's free so I selected the honey vanilla yogurt only to come home and upon reading the label I discovered that the ingredients contained neither honey nor vanilla.  The listed ingredients are: Pasteurized Grade A Nonfat Milk, Sugar, Milk Protein Concentrate, Corn Starch, Contains less than 1% of Kosher Gelatin, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Natural Flagor, Yogurt Cultures..."

Oh well, it's just another case of government approved food labeling where false advertising is the norm and the ingredients don't really have to be real.  I thought my unpleasant yogurt experience was over - until I caught a Drudge Headline about Michelle Obama and yogurt that linked to a an article from The Hill titled Feds add Greek yogurt to school lunches.  Then my email box had an update from the Future of Capitalism that contained another yogurt article, titled The Greek Yogurt Lobby:
The Department of Agriculture is adding Greek yogurt to the subsidized school lunch program after Chobani, a company that makes Greek yogurt, hired lobbyists to make its case for inclusion. The Hill newspaper has the story (which I saw thanks to the astute Walter Olson). The Hill puts the lobbying expenditure at $80,000 so far this year, but that understates the expenditure; Senate lobbying records show Chobani has been paying Cornerstone Government Affairs $40,000 a quarter for four consecutive quarters, for a total of $160,000. The Cornerstone team, in turn, includes former staffers of both the agriculture department and the House and Senate agriculture committees. 
A nice little case study of how Washington works.
 Now I'm really hooked as yogurt churns itself into a full blown yogurt-gate investigative project.  My Google fingers are blazing across the keyboard as I attempt to figure out what the hell is going on with yogurt and specifically Greek yogurt. So I started learning precisely what Greek yogurt is. I really didn't know except that I was aware that Greek yogurt was thicker than American yogurt but you can put American yogurt in cheesecloth, drain it and have thick yogurt, sometimes called yogurt cheese.  Is it the same as Greek yogurt? Apparently not.

A fitness club wrote about Greek yogurt in an article titled 5 Reasons to Eat Traditional Greek Yogurt vs. Chobani.  Chobani?  We'll get back to Chobani later because it's critically important to the story.  But here's what the fitness health blog wrote about yogurt.
What most people think of as “Greek” yogurt is actually just strained yogurt. The process of straining yogurt eliminates the excess water, liquid whey and lactose (sugar). This makes the yogurt creamier, less watery, contain more protein and very little sugar. With that said, here are five reasons why you should get actual plain and whole fat Greek strained yogurt and not the imposters like Chobani.

1. It’s Actually Greek (Strained)

Greek Strained yogurt goes through a triple straining process that by definition will not have much sugar in it, pack a protein punch, contain billions of cultured bacteria, and authentic Greek yogurt is actually plain; it is not conveniently added with “Blueberry flavoring” which is just high fructose corn syrup. “Greek Style” yogurts are mostly not strained more than once and contain thickening agents like locust bean gum to give them the appearance of real Greek yogurt.1 Sounds delicious doesn’t it?

2. Beneficial Fat Content

Whole plain Greek strained yogurt contains beneficial saturated fat in the form of butyric acid from the milk and cream, which improves the good gut bacteria in your large intestine for digestive health. This is very important for vitamin and mineral absorption, energy, and to prevent hypoglycemia two hours later. Zero percent fat yogurt cannot help with any of those things.....

Go for the real greek strained yogurt brands that sell whole fat versions like Fage, and Oikos. Zero percent fat yogurt means zero percent benefit for you. Don't even think of getting any yogurts with fruit flavoring; just buy some real fruit and throw it in there.
Apparently much has been written about Greek yogurt as well as the Greek yogurt frauds and imposters. Gawker devoted some cyberspace ink to the issue in a piece titled Most People Are Eating the Wrong Kind of Greek Yogurt that also recommended Fage as  real Greek yogurt.

Now let's get back to Chobani, the fraud Greek yogurt maker that has been lobbying heavily in the District of Crime to get the federal government to put Chobani bad/fake/unhealthy yogurt in America's schools and at taxpayer expense of course.

The Rabid Republican Blog really got to the bottom of Yogurt-gate, well almost but it did do a bang of up job in disclosing how America really operates, not that the Republicans are in any way free market advocates.  It's just that beating up on the Democrats for their corporatist, fascist and crony capitalists ventures is a very Republican activity.

Here's what the Rabid Republican Blog wrote about Chobani and Yogurt-gate in a piece titled Obama Cartel Pushes ‘Greek’ Yogurt.
The Obama Cartel will use your Tax $$ to make a rich immigrant – richer! They’ll be buying Chobani ‘Greek’ [actually Turkish] yogurt to feed school kids – in four pilot states, AZ, ID, NY, TN, – picked to see how long the yogurt lasts before going bad.

OK, maybe yogurt is good for kids, – healthy, low fat, high protein and all… But where in our Constitution is the Federal Government directed [or allowed] to use taxpayer money to feed certain selected kids?

Wouldn’t that be the job of the states [as last resort],…or their parents?

Chibani is a booming success story. Kurdish/Turkish immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya started the company in a old Kraft plant in 2005 – with funding from his ex-wife. By 2012 he was a Billionaire. [Today she's suing him for her 53%.]

Ulukaya knows his way around politicians. He cuddled up to NY State Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer, and just two weeks ago was meeting with Obama - ‘to advise him on immigration policy’.

POOF! Two weeks later the announcement from SecAG Tom Vilsack; – Billionaire Ulukaya [did he contribute his fair share?] – will add Dept of Agriculture $$ to his revenue stream.

Tom, was there ever even a competitive bid set out…?

Think of the marketing coup! Ulukaya gets to have kids in four (4) states [for now] eat his product every day at school…. “Mommy, Mommy, buy that one, – that’s the one we get in school!”
What the Rabid Republican Blog totally missed is the geopolitics of the deal.  The US is trying real hard to get Turkey to support its war on Syria but Turkey has its own enormous problems with non-stop protests against the Turkish Islamist regime that America loves and coddles, here, here and here.   Moreover, the Greeks and Turkey tend to hate each other ever since the Greeks managed to excise themselves and Greek real estate from the Muslim Ottoman Empire in a war of liberation that lasted from 1821 to 1832.  Things got uglier when the Ottoman Empire sided with Germany during WW I which resulted in the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.  During WW II, the anti-Semitic Muslim world allied with Germany and the Nazis invaded Greece and all of this happened before the creation of Israel in 1948 by the United Nations.  But history is a story for another day, today is about yogurt.

Incredibly, it's amazing how a seemingly insignificant activity like going to the grocery store to buy organic milk can explode into into something very significant.complete with all the poison ingredients of statism - geopolitics, wars, cronyism etc., if you just do a bit of digging.  So I pissed away a half a day on Yogurt-gate.  It's not just a story, it's a non-stop never ending story on how America really operates.  It's just business as usual in The Empire.

One final warning: Don't eat the slop fictitiously labeled Greek yogurt, don't let your kids eat it, only eat real Greek yogurt if you can find it and learn to make your own yogurt.  That's what Google fingers are for!

As for the American taxpayers, they just got screwed again and will be subsidizing Chobani's yogurt empire.  So what else is new?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The NWO Reacts to Egypt

Bureaucrats, politicians, policy wonks and aspiring statist thugs of all stripes covet their NWO publications and the two biggest are Foreign Affairs, the flagship publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Foreign Policy, published by the Washington Post, the premier pimp-a-donna for NWO global tyranny.

I had previously blogged about what is happening in Egypt, here and here.

With the headline grabbing week of revolts in Egypt it's interesting to observe how Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs are viewing the situation.  After all, they supported and raised Morsi, a radical Sunni Salafist Wahhabist, to power.  Now the plan is blowing in their faces and the NWO strategists and planners are forced to address their big fail.

Foreign Policy actually plastered on its front page this image that links to an article titled Downfall in Cairo.

According to the wonks at Foreign Policy this wasn't supposed to happen.  With the US, Europe and Saudi Arabia leading the charge to guarantee that the world's Muslims forever remain consigned to the imprisonment of the most radical, anti-liberty and intolerant sect of Islam in human history, the Muslim rejection of theocratic tyranny was unexpected as well as shocking.  The policy wonks are further puzzled by what recently happened in Turkey as the Sunni Muslim Turks rose up against their Sunni Salafist Wahhabist Prime Minister.

Things are not going according to plan.  Over at Foreign Affairs, the tone was more subdued as long time CFR guru Richard Haass penned a piece titled Egypt's Second Chance.  Foreign Affairs is of course buzzing with many pieces on Egypt including a piece titled Redoing the Egyptian Revolution, How to Get the Transition Right This Time.

In NWO foreign policy speak, getting it 'right this time' translates to the foreign policy NWO gang finding somebody in Egypt that will support its totalitarian agenda who is sufficiently acceptable by the Egyptian people to be electable in a western rigged general election.  Western style 'democracy' has destroyed the West by concentrating wealth and power at the expense of the people.  Accordingly, the western policy wonks are convinced that the same policies that eradicated western liberty and prosperity will work anywhere because it's a time tested formula that has never failed.

If the Muslim world feels threatened and shackled by western aggression, bombings, invasions and interventions, it alone holds the power to alleviate that threat.  By bringing down the evil US Empire and its European and Saudi partners in crime, the Muslim world could birth a new dawn by demanding sound money and divorcing itself from western invented fiat central banks that bankroll the American military industrial complex and global tyranny.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ben Swann - Another Awesome Hero in the Liberty Movement Takes a Giant Step for Liberty Media

The liberty movement has birthed some incredible heroes.  In 2008, Trevor Lyman leaped to fame, respect and admiration when he created the Money Bombs that funded Ron Paul's historic campaign.  Lyman is still very active and runs The Liberty Crier.

In the 2012 election cycle it was Ben Swann who was winning hearts and minds in the liberty movement with his incredible video journalism as a Fox News journalist.  Ben Swann is 100% committed to the liberty movement, has left Fox News and is now in the process of creating a new liberty media with his website,

Ben Swann comes with an impressive resume, documented at Widipedia, here.
Benjamin "Ben" Swann (born 17 July 1978) is an award-winning television reporter who has worked in New Mexico, Texas and Ohio.[1] While at Fox19 in Cincinnati, Ohio, he produced a fact-checking series entitled Reality Check, which gave him national coverage for his reporting about controversial issues. Swann announced he was leaving Fox19 at the end of May 2013,[2] and on 30 May, he said he would launch a crowdsource funded "Truth in Media Project" to continue production of his show Full Disclosure through a Chicago production team.....
Swann was home schooled and is a 1993 graduate of Brigham Young University with a Masters in History from California State University in 1994.
Swann has won an Edward R. Murrow Award in 2004 and an Lone Star Emmy Award in 2005, as well as journalism awards in New Mexico.[5][6][7][8]
Early in his career, he was bureau chief in Las Cruces, New Mexico.[4] Swann worked for 11 years in the television market in El Paso, Texas. He first worked at KFOX-TV as an anchor, reporter, managing editor and photographer.[4][8]
He then moved to KTSM-TV, the NBC affiliate, where he anchored the evening news for three years and became one of the top names in the market.[8][9]
He left El Paso to become a TV news presenter at Cincinnati's FOX19 Evening News at Six and FOX19 Ten O'Clock News with Tricia Macke,[10]
During the 2 and one-half years Swann was part of the news team at FOX19, it consistently placed second in ratings in the Cincinnati market.[2]  
Swann served as a panel member on a 2012 3rd party candidates forum hosted by Larry King.
Ben Swann is no ordinary journalist.  After all, many journalists have impressive resumes and credentials.  However, what sets Swann apart from the rest of the journalist pack is that he's a solid and committed liberty journalist with a passion for the truth.  Most journalists just want a big paycheck, fame and fortune so they sellout their principles for celebrity.  At that point, they cease being journalists and become highly paid propagandists for MSM and the government.

I'm a huge fan of Swann because I know his work and respect his integrity, honesty and principled convictions.  Admittedly, I've seen very few Swann videos but that's because I'm a text person and not a video person.  If I read, I remember a lot but if I hear something I remember nothing.  Since most folks don't have this peculiar affliction where the brain only connects to the eyeballs and not the ears, video has become a smashing success and most folks love it, especially the young who seem to have an insatiable appetite for video.

Swann's project is ambitious because it's a whole lot more than just slapping up a website and while there are indeed many awesome liberty websites, thus far nobody has been able to bring liberty media mainstream.  It remains widely diffused and mostly consists of small operators.

Who isn't dreaming of becoming the next Drudge Report or Huffington Post or the AP of the liberty media?  It's a barrier that we haven't been able to crack.  Is it about to crack?  The situation has never been more ripe or ready for liberty media to bust out of obscurity and become a powerful force for truth.  Presently, we're still way too fragmented.

Can Ben Swann do it?

If anybody can do it, it's will take somebody like Ben Swann and Ben Swann certainly possesses the commitment, intellect and liberty ideology to do it.  But what is Swann attempting to accomplish?   What will it take to carve out a big slice of media under the umbrella and banner of liberty?

I really don't know and it's something I've been thinking about for years along with many other liberty activists.  Most of us started out on Facebook or other social media.  We started blogging and creating websites but none of those efforts reached anywhere near a critical mass.  Personally, I was involved in the start-up several months ago of the Liberty Calling project to showcase what I do best.  I'm basically a decent but tireless news aggregator and a humble blogger who loves history, economics and research.  The Liberty Calling website, here, has a Facebook page, Liberty Calling With Judy Morris.  Although the nascent Liberty Calling news aggregator project is doing OK considering its 2 month life span, it's difficult to get Facebook LIKES without constantly pimping your FB friends and other groups and pages.

Ben Swann on the other hand has a massive built-in following.  He doesn't have to beg for Facebook Likes or struggle with a blog that is going nowhere like so many other dedicated liberty activists.  With an audience and a following, Swann is extremely well positioned to accomplish great things in the realm of liberty media.

While I'm certainly not privy to the goals of Ben Swann, I can speculate on precisely what would constitute a smashing and successful media venture.  In all probability, such a project would have to be a combination of video, news, investigative journalism, liberty blogs, opinion and resources for political activism because these are critically important factors in challenging MSM and building an enormously appealing 'go to' Internet site where liberty folks can pretty much find everything they want and need.

While MSM has definitely fallen from grace as folks increasingly view it as a form of deception and government propaganda, the folks who flee to the Internet for their information and news can indeed be difficult to figure out.

The bottom line is that selling liberty should be something that folks would welcome in these bizarrely tumultuous times because the opposite of liberty is tyranny and we're deeply buried in state sponsored tyranny.  Therefore, selling liberty is not nearly as difficult as it once was.  The alternate media has tremendously fortified and magnified our voice and reach by spreading the truth.

Consequently, I'd really love to know a whole lot more about Ben Swann's project, goals and plans.  Opportunity is calling and I am convinced that liberty media is about to bust loose, bust into mainstream, go big and capture a very significant share of the information market.

I sure hope that Ben Swann can make it happen!

How the State Starts, Implodes and Ends

The state is a peculiar institution that has dramatically changed over thousands of years.  Historically, the state was nothing more than a murderous and militaristic crime syndicate that ruthlessly plundered and murdered folks for the glory of the empire, its wealth and its real estate holdings.  Men were slaughtered, women were raped and women and children were carted off to slave markets which was pretty much the fate of the conquered.

The state is still a murderous and militaristic institution but these days it operates as a so-called benevolent democracy wherein the state legitimizes its plunder and murders with an election.  Nothing has really changed except that the illusion of freedom is a fraud that we happily accepted.  From kings and their courts to elections, presidents, prime ministers and and legislative bodies, We the Sheeple People eagerly embraced the state as the cornucopia of plenty.   Throughout human civilizations, there were always the elites who controlled money and power, as well as its concentration into the hands of a few.

The birth of Western Civilization attempted to change that paradigm and damn near succeeded.  Monarchies were busted up as was the feudal land holding system that bestowed privilege upon the titled aristocracy who were loyal to the crown.  To maintain absolute power, the elites needed a new paradigm that they could sell because power was no longer absolute.  Briefly, the state feared the people and was forced to allow them to flourish under the banner of liberty.  Humanity busted out of the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages and propelled themselves into Enlightenment that spawned a  new era of We the People power that embraced property rights, human rights, civil rights, political rights and natural rights.

It was a cataclysmic leap for humankind as progress in science, technology and the arts flourished as the middle class was born.  Freedom and free markets catapulted folks into a new reality of We the People power.  The elites were threatened with extinction and ferociously fought back.

They created the modern nation state complete with entitlements.  The elites understood that the Sheeple People would never vote away their power without getting something in return.  And thus socialism and the socialist state was born.  While the socialism of Mao and Stalin resulted in wiping out over 100 million folks, the soft socialism of the West was deemed the perfected reality of Marx wherein the elites were still in control of all money, power and resources.

For a while, everybody was happy.  The elites had the power and the Sheeple People got free food, housing, healthcare and other goodies.  There was a problem with the plan.  The state never had the resources to fund the promises to the people.  So they heavily borrowed to deliver the statist socialist goodies.  Governments borrowed so much money to fund the delusion of prosperity and well being that they literally bankrupted themselves.

Then headlines started appearing that the Greek bond rate was triple digit and that Greece was so broke that he needed bailout after bailout, which it got.  Then Spain and Portugal started going the way of Greece and it's even speculated that France and Italy aren't too far behind.  Today, Mish is reporting that the interest rate on Portuguese bonds had risen to 8%.

Herein lies the fatal flaw of the state.  It can only tax and borrow so much until it implodes.   Eventually, the taxes destroy the revenue producing economy and the interest on the debt eats up most tax revenues and then the entitlements are cut way back because there is no money to fund them.  What happens next is people marching in the streets opposing enforced austerity.

The Sheeple People can march and scream all they want but at the end of the day there still isn't sufficient money, not even in the fiat money universe, to meet their demands.  Governments will inflate the currency but this only destroys purchasing power and the people then need more and more funky money to provide basics like food, medicine and shelter.

Reality is difficult to swallow because it's painful but there is no way to avoid the pain and it will descend upon the West like a tidal wave.  The cradle to the grave entitlement state is on life support, as is the whole rotten financial system that fictitiously props it up.

Is humanity about to embrace a new paradigm shift and one that has no use whatsoever for the state and its plunder?  If the survival instincts of humans are any predictable barometer of future behavior, it's already playing out.  In Greece it's been estimated that up to 50% of all Greek GDP is underground and beyond the tax collectors reach.  In Spain and Portugal, the underground economy is growing rapidly.  Folks can and do reach a point when opting out of the state is their only viable solution for survival.

Governments understand what is happening.  They are talking about outlawing cash money because it's untraceable and so forcing folks into government traceable electronic money represents the last gasp of the dying modern nation state.   Understand that once the government loses its power to plunder, it really is toast.  But folks can resort to old fashion bartering and cyber-currencies like Bitcoin.  They may not be as convenient as government money but they work and will be embraced because stiffing the evil government will definitely become the new game in town.

One thing is certain - things will never be the same.  We can't go back to what obviously is a big fail.  Exactly where humanity ends up as it once again embarks on another major paradigm shift is anybody's guess.  Third world and Asian nations are likely to come out on top because these folks aren't pampered and spoiled like whinny westerners, and poor third world folks already possess razor sharp survival skill.

The real tragedy?  The glorious rise of the West will meet a most inglorious death unless its people change and that's not about to happen until all is lost.

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