May 2011 -

May 11

Gold Holds Near 4-Week High

(Reuters) Gold steadied around its highest in nearly four weeks on Tuesday, but surrendered earlier gains after a report that Germany could smooth the way for Greece to get a bailout, which prompted investors to seek riskier assets.

The Wall Street Journal reported Germany is considering dropping its insistence on an early rescheduling of Greek bonds to allow for a new package of aid loans to prevent Athens from defaulting on its debt.

The drop in the dollar against the euro did little to whet demand for gold, which usually moves inversely to the U.S. currency, as the resulting improvement in risk appetite left bullion somewhat sidelined.

Spot gold rose to a session high of $1,540.36, its highest since May 4, before pulling back to $1,538.10 an ounce by 1430 GMT, flat on the day. June gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,538.10.

“At least to some degree, the sovereign debt issues with Greece and the other peripheral EU countries has been pretty well documented, so it’s not necessarily a surprise for the market,” said HSBC analyst James Steel.

“Gold has been rallying since the middle of May and is actually some sixty-odd dollars higher from the recent low, so it hasn’t done too badly.”

Yet gold is down 1.6 percent so far in May, hovering below a lifetime high around $1,575 touched early in the month and, although it has been a beneficiary of the investor nervousness over Greece, it has struggled to retain its gains.

Silver has fallen by 20 percent this month, platinum is down by nearly 2.5 percent and palladium has shed nearly 2 percent.

Meanwhile, European officials met to draft options for a second bailout package for Greece, with private sector participation still under discussion to help relieve the country of its massive debt burden.


The euro hit three-week highs against the dollar, before retreating, while gold priced in euros — sometimes used as a gauge to measure investor concern over the euro zone’s debt crisis over the last year, fell 0.7 percent on the day, having touched a record 1,088.11 euros an ounce last week.

The rise in investor risk aversion has translated into greater interest in owning gold, as reflected in last week’s net increase in global holdings of the metal in the world’s largest exchange-traded funds, the first weekly rise in a month.

Gold holdings are still down by over 500,000 ounces this month and down 0.68 pct in the year-to-date, but bullion ETFs have lured in more cash in May than other precious metals.

On the futures markets, speculators increased their holdings of gold for the first time since mid-April last week, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, bringing total futures open interest to its highest since April 19.

“It’s crucial for markets to see whether Greece is actually sustainable and whether it can actually obtain the next 12 billion euros that is required for them to meet their funding needs in July,” said Ong Yi Ling, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

“I think silver was going up too fast and within too short a period of time. But I think on a longer-term basis after the sell off, you see that investors are slowly coming back.”

Silver rose 1.1 percent to $38.48 an ounce, having fallen by more than 20 percent in May — its biggest monthly decline since August 2008 — having struck a record $49.51 in April.

Platinum and palladium were both up on the day, benefiting from the pick-up in investor appetite for growth-linked assets.

Platinum was up by 1.7 percent on the day at $1,826.74 an ounce, while palladium rose 3 percent to $777.47.

May 11

Food Prices Set To Double By 2030, Aid Group Says

(cnbc) Food prices could double in the next 20 years and demand in 2050 will be 70 percent higher than now, U.K. charity Oxfam said on Tuesday, warning of worsening hunger as the global food economy stumbles close to breakdown.
“The food system is pretty well bust in the world,” Oxfam Chief Executive Barbara Stocking told reporters, announcing the launch of the Grow campaign as 925 million people go hungry every day.
“All the signs are that the number of people going hungry is going up,” Stocking said.
Hunger was increasing due to rising food price inflation and oil price hikes, scrambles for land and water, and creeping climate change.
‘An age of growing crisis’
Food prices are forecast to increase by something in the range of 70 to 90 percent by 2030 before taking into account the effects of climate change, which would roughly double price rises again, Oxfam said.
“Now we have entered an age of growing crisis, of shock piled upon shock: vertiginous food price spikes and oil price hikes, devastating weather events, financial meltdowns and global contagion,” Oxfam said in a report.
Entitled “Growing a Better Future: Food Justice in a Resource-Constrained World,” the report said: “The scale of the challenge is unprecedented, but so is the prize: a sustainable future in which everyone has enough to eat.”
The report assigns part of the blame to commodities traders, saying three companies control 90 percent of the trade in grain.
“Financial speculation must be regulated, and support dismantled for biofuels that displace food,” it said.
Stocking said she favored the introduction by regulators of position limits in agricultural commodities futures trading, noting that financial speculation aggravated price volatility.
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The report said: “The vast imbalance in public investment in agriculture must be righted, redirecting the billions now being ploughed into unsustainable industrial farming in rich countries towards meeting the needs of small-scale food producers in developing countries.”
Story: Drought in US, EU stressing crops, farmers
The report said the failure of the food system flowed from failures of government to regulate and to invest, which meant that companies, interest groups and elites had been able to plunder resources.
“Now the major powers, the old and the new, must cooperate, not compete, to share resources, build resilience, and tackle climate change,” it said.
“The economic crisis means that we have moved decisively beyond the era of the G8, when a few rich country governments tried to craft global solutions by and for themselves.
“The governments of poorer nations must also have a seat at the table, for they are on the front lines of climate change, where many of the battles — over land, water, and food — are being fought.”

May 11

Damn! Aussies To Be Fined For Swearing

(Breitbart) Australians may have a love of plain speaking but new laws are set to curtail some of their more colorful language with police issuing on-the-spot fines for obnoxious swearing.
The country’s second most populous state Victoria is due to approve new legislation this week under which police will be able to slap fines of up to Aus$240 (US$257) on people using offensive words or phrases.

Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark said the penalties, similar to those issued for speeding or parking illegally, would free up police time.
“This will give the police the tools they need to be able to act against this sort of obnoxious behaviour on the spot, rather than having to drag offenders off to court and take up time and money in proceedings,” he said.

But even the state’s top lawyer admitted to swearing sometimes.

“Occasionally I mutter things under my breath as probably everybody does,” he told ABC radio.

“But this law is not targeted at that, it’s targeted at the sort of obnoxious, offensive behaviour in public that makes life unpleasant for everybody else.”

May 11

Activism Of The Day,Call The D.C. Park Police Over Abuse

(Thomas Dishaw) As I made my way through the news cycle this Memorial Day weekend,I came across a video of epic proportions. Most of you have seen the arrests that took place at the Jefferson Memorial If you are appalled as much as I am, please take time out of your busy day to call the D.C. Park police and voice your concern. Please be respectful to the operators,for they may be on our side. U.S. Park Police 24 hour Emergency Number (202) 610-7500. Office of the Chief (202) 619-7350. Human Resources Office (202) 619-7056. Public Information Office – Sgt. David Schlosser (202) 619-7163.

May 11

Collecting Rainwater Now Illegal In Many States

(NaturalNews) Many of the freedoms we enjoy here in the U.S. are quickly eroding as the nation transforms from the land of the free into the land of the enslaved, but what I’m about to share with you takes the assault on our freedoms to a whole new level. You may not be aware of this, but many Western states, including Utah, Washington and Colorado, have long outlawed individuals from collecting rainwater on their own properties because, according to officials, that rain belongs to someone else.

As bizarre as it sounds, laws restricting property owners from “diverting” water that falls on their own homes and land have been on the books for quite some time in many Western states. Only recently, as droughts and renewed interest in water conservation methods have become more common, have individuals and business owners started butting heads with law enforcement over the practice of collecting rainwater for personal use.

Check out this YouTube video of a news report out of Salt Lake City, Utah, about the issue. It’s illegal in Utah to divert rainwater without a valid water right, and Mark Miller of Mark Miller Toyota, found this out the hard way.

After constructing a large rainwater collection system at his new dealership to use for washing new cars, Miller found out that the project was actually an “unlawful diversion of rainwater.” Even though it makes logical conservation sense to collect rainwater for this type of use since rain is scarce in Utah, it’s still considered a violation of water rights which apparently belong exclusively to Utah’s various government bodies.

“Utah’s the second driest state in the nation. Our laws probably ought to catch up with that,” explained Miller in response to the state’s ridiculous rainwater collection ban.

Salt Lake City officials worked out a compromise with Miller and are now permitting him to use “their” rainwater, but the fact that individuals like Miller don’t actually own the rainwater that falls on their property is a true indicator of what little freedom we actually have here in the U.S. (Access to the rainwater that falls on your own property seems to be a basic right, wouldn’t you agree?)

Outlawing rainwater collection in other states

Utah isn’t the only state with rainwater collection bans, either. Colorado and Washington also have rainwater collection restrictions that limit the free use of rainwater, but these restrictions vary among different areas of the states and legislators have passed some laws to help ease the restrictions.

In Colorado, two new laws were recently passed that exempt certain small-scale rainwater collection systems, like the kind people might install on their homes, from collection restrictions.

Prior to the passage of these laws, Douglas County, Colorado, conducted a study on how rainwater collection affects aquifer and groundwater supplies. The study revealed that letting people collect rainwater on their properties actually reduces demand from water facilities and improves conservation.

Personally, I don’t think a study was even necessary to come to this obvious conclusion. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that using rainwater instead of tap water is a smart and useful way to conserve this valuable resource, especially in areas like the West where drought is a major concern.

Additionally, the study revealed that only about three percent of Douglas County’s precipitation ended up in the streams and rivers that are supposedly being robbed from by rainwater collectors. The other 97 percent either evaporated or seeped into the ground to be used by plants.

This hints at why bureaucrats can’t really use the argument that collecting rainwater prevents that water from getting to where it was intended to go. So little of it actually makes it to the final destination that virtually every household could collect many rain barrels worth of rainwater and it would have practically no effect on the amount that ends up in streams and rivers.

It’s all about control, really

As long as people remain unaware and uninformed about important issues, the government will continue to chip away at the freedoms we enjoy. The only reason these water restrictions are finally starting to change for the better is because people started to notice and they worked to do something to reverse the law.

Even though these laws restricting water collection have been on the books for more than 100 years in some cases, they’re slowly being reversed thanks to efforts by citizens who have decided that enough is enough.

Because if we can’t even freely collect the rain that falls all around us, then what, exactly, can we freely do? The rainwater issue highlights a serious overall problem in America today: diminishing freedom and increased government control.

Today, we’ve basically been reprogrammed to think that we need permission from the government to exercise our inalienable rights, when in fact the government is supposed to derive its power from us. The American Republic was designed so that government would serve the People to protect and uphold freedom and liberty. But increasingly, our own government is restricting people from their rights to engage in commonsense, fundamental actions such as collecting rainwater or buying raw milk from the farmer next door.

Today, we are living under a government that has slowly siphoned off our freedoms, only to occasionally grant us back a few limited ones under the pretense that they’re doing us a benevolent favor.

Fight back against enslavement

As long as people believe their rights stem from the government (and not the other way around), they will always be enslaved. And whatever rights and freedoms we think we still have will be quickly eroded by a system of bureaucratic power that seeks only to expand its control.

Because the same argument that’s now being used to restrict rainwater collection could, of course, be used to declare that you have no right to the air you breathe, either. After all, governments could declare that air to be somebody else’s air, and then they could charge you an “air tax” or an “air royalty” and demand you pay money for every breath that keeps you alive.

Think it couldn’t happen? Just give it time. The government already claims it owns your land and house, effectively. If you really think you own your home, just stop paying property taxes and see how long you still “own” it. Your county or city will seize it and then sell it to pay off your “tax debt.” That proves who really owns it in the first place… and it’s not you!

How about the question of who owns your body? According to the U.S. Patent & Trademark office, U.S. corporations and universities already own 20% of your genetic code. Your own body, they claim, is partially the property of someone else.

So if they own your land, your water and your body, how long before they claim to own your air, your mind and even your soul?

Unless we stand up against this tyranny, it will creep upon us, day after day, until we find ourselves totally enslaved by a world of corporate-government collusion where everything of value is owned by powerful corporations — all enforced at gunpoint by local law enforcement.

Learn more:

May 11

Cell Towers Hidden In Church Steeples

(NaturalNews) The long term effects of cell phone towers on health are not certain, but cell phone companies are doing whatever they can to get as many towers out there as possible. Most towers are fairly obvious, but recently they are being disguised as trees, hidden in flag poles, and even placed neatly inside church steeples.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as phone companies state that cell towers do not pose a health risk to those living around them. Cell phones and their accompanying towers have not been around long enough to judge what long term effects they will have on the human body over time. Martin Cooper invented the first cell phone in 1973. It weighed two pounds and since there was such an expense they were only used by the military and some businesses. In the 1980s they became smaller and less expensive, but they didn`t really become mainstream until much later. It was about 2002 for the US that over 50% of the population were cell phone subscribers. Today that number is up to 91%. In 2009, more than half the world`s population, an estimated 4.1 billion people, owned a mobile phone, according to the United Nations.

Researchers have tried to create comparisons so an educated guess can be made as to whether there is a risk in living near a cell tower. A 2006 report from the World Health Organization noted that after some fifty years of human exposure to Radio Frequency signals from FM radio and television, which are similar to cell phone towers, there are no known negative effects on health. As reassuring as this seems, some studies have shown otherwise. An Australian study found that children living near TV and FM broadcast towers in Sydney had more than twice the rate of leukemia than children living over seven miles away. Dr. Neil Cherry, a biophysicist at Lincoln University in New Zealand, stresses: “Public health surveys of people living in the vicinity of cell base stations should be carried out now, and continue progressively over the next two decades. This is because prompt effects such as miscarriage, cardiac disruption, sleep disturbance and chronic fatigue could well be indicators of the adverse effects. Symptoms of reduced immune system competence, cardiac problems, especially of the arrhythmic type, and cancers, especially brain tumor and leukemia, are probable.”

Without a clear answer as to the effects of cell towers it is surprising that they are popping up everywhere. Churches low on cash or in need of repairs may find having a tower on their property beneficial. Phone companies pay rent for their placement and this can be up to $2000 a month. The company benefits greatly in this exchange; because even if a wise community has rejected a new tower, church property is often exempt from local zoning, land use laws and regulations pertaining to cell towers. Many of these churches are also home to daycare centers, and because of the way these new towers are hidden, people living around them or attending church inside may have no idea they are that close to a cell tower.

The International Association of Fire Fighters in 2004 came out against the use of firehouses for cell antennas. They decided to ere on the side of caution “until a study with the highest scientific merit” can prove they are safe. While none of us can be certain about the long term effects of cell towers, many choose to at least be informed. offers a free service to check the location and type of towers and antennas in your area.

Learn more:

May 11

115 Quakes Recorded At Taal Volcano In 24 Hours

( Taal Volcano was rocked by 115 earthquakes in the past 24 hours, the highest number of tremors recorded in the area since the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology placed the restive volcano under Alert Level 2 last April.
It was the highest number in a day, a jump from the average of 10 mild quakes daily since alert level 2 (increasing restiveness) was hoisted over Taal on April 9, said Jaime Sincioco, officer-in-charge of the Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division of Phivolcs, in a phone interview.
He said that in the series of the 115 volcanic quakes recorded up to 3 a.m. Monday, 12 were of intensity 1 to 4 and “were felt by the residents” on the volcano island.
The strongest quake, also since April 9, was felt at intensity 4 at around 1:05 a.m.
Phivolcs said residents around the volcano in Taal, Batangas heard rumbling sounds and felt up to Intensity IV earthquakes but no physical changes were left on the ground, Sincioco said.
Julio Sabit, head of the volcano monitoring division, said the earthquakes were an indication that Taal will continue to be restive.
Phivolcs’ bulletin said the volcano’s increased seismic activities and sustained high emission rate of carbon dioxide being released in its main crater lake meant that magma has been intruding towards the surface.
It advised the public that the main crater, the Daang Kastila Trail, and Mt. Tabaro on the island remained off-limits to everybody.
In a Radyo Inquirer interview, Sabit said that the quakes were “part of its on-going activity, if you would notice, its already on Alert level 2, meaning… there is a confirmed rising of magma from below, so these tremors are part of the episodic rising of magma.”
“Taal volcano has experienced earthquake swarms long before, ever since the 90’s, but it has not erupted.”
Sabit also added that “The volcano’s activity varies because previously the quakes were scattered in several areas but the recent ones were clustered in one area.”
Asked whether the recent fish kill incident in Sampaloc Lake was connected to the quakes, Sabit said that “the fish kill occurred in one area, if volcanic activity caused it, it should have affected the area near the volcano first. San Pablo City, Laguna is quite far from the Taal volcano.”
Sabit said that the fish were probably killed because of the sudden change in temperature.
Although the number of quakes recorded last Sunday was a “remarkable” increase from the previous day—there were only 10 volcanic quakes observed on May 29—Sabit said Phivolcs would still not upgrade to 3 the alert level on the volcano. Sincioco said Phivolcs said that monitoring will continue in the coming days.
“If this (high number of volcanic quakes) is sustained, it could eventually lead to an eruption,” he said.
Allan Loza, resident volcanologist at the Taal Observatory based in Talisay, Batangas, said the increased number of volcanic quakes should not cause panic, but residents should be “doubly cautious.”
Sincioco said that as what had happened sometime in 1994, numerous volcanic quakes “reaching over a thousand” were also recorded over Taal but did not culminate in an eruption.
Island residents, meanwhile, refused to evacuate from their homes despite the increased volcanic activity, said Talisay mayor Zanaida Mendoza.
Taal volcano has had 33 eruptions since 1572, the latest was on October 3, 1977. Its major eruptions happened in 1965 to 1970 and in 1976 to 1977.
Taal volcano in Batangas province is about 400 kilometers by land from Mayon volcano in Albay and about 470 kms from Bulusan in Sorsogon. Mayon and Bulusan volcanoes are both under an alert level 1 low-level unrest.

May 11

Gold To Hit $1750 In The Short Term

(bmg) CNBC discuss how a weak Greenback and Eurozone debt troubles have helped support the gold market in recent weeks and that growing inflationary fears may now push gold even higher.

Guest Juerg Kiener, CIO (5.91 ↑0.00%) of Swiss Asia Capital believes any exit from the futures markets due to increased margin calls will see more people move into the physical ownership of bullion.

He adds that gold will hit $1750 an ounce in the short term with silver hitting $60 an ounce and that gold could hit multiple thousands of dollars by 2016 with silver above $100.

Kiener concludes by saying that as trust erodes in Governments of the West, we will see further loss of purchasing power of fiat currencies and he believes a partial gold standard will be introduced within 3 – 5 years. Continue @

May 11

Terrorist ‘Pre-Crime’ Detector Tested In United States

(Sharon Weinberger) Planning a sojourn in the northeastern United States? You could soon be taking part in a novel security programme that can supposedly ‘sense’ whether you are planning to commit a crime.

Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), a US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) programme designed to spot people who are intending to commit a terrorist act, has in the past few months completed its first round of field tests at an undisclosed location in the northeast, Nature has learned.

Like a lie detector, FAST measures a variety of physiological indicators, ranging from heart rate to the steadiness of a person’s gaze, to judge a subject’s state of mind. But there are major differences from the polygraph. FAST relies on non-contact sensors, so it can measure indicators as someone walks through a corridor at an airport, and it does not depend on active questioning of the subject.

The tactic has drawn comparisons with the science-fiction concept of ‘pre-crime’, popularized by the film Minority Report, in which security services can detect someone’s intention to commit a crime. Unlike the system in the film, FAST does not rely on a trio of human mutants who can see the future. But the programme has attracted copious criticism from researchers who question the science behind it (see Airport security: Intent to deceive?).

From fiction to fact

So far, FAST has only been tested in the lab, so successful field tests could lend some much-needed data to support the technology. “It is encouraging to see an effort to develop a real empirical base for new technologies before any policy commitments are made,” says Tom Ormerod, a psychologist in the Investigative Expertise Unit at Lancaster University, UK. Such testing, he adds, could lay the groundwork for a more rigorous randomized, controlled, double-blind study.

According to a privacy-impact statement previously released by the DHS, tests of FAST involve instructing some people passing through the system to carry out a “disruptive act”. Ormerod questions whether such role-playing is representative of real terrorists, and also worries that both passengers and screeners will react differently when they know they’re being tested. “Fill the place with machines that go ping, and both screeners and passengers start doing things differently.”

In lab tests, the DHS has claimed accuracy rates of around 70%, but it remains unclear whether the system will perform better or worse in field trials. “The results are still being analysed, so we cannot yet comment on performance,” says John Verrico, a spokesman for the DHS. “Since this is an ongoing scientific study, tests will continue throughout coming months.”
Some scientists question whether there really are unique signatures for ‘malintent’ — the agency’s term for the intention to cause harm — that can be differentiated from the normal anxieties of travel. “Even having an iris scan or fingerprint read at immigration is enough to raise the heart rate of most legitimate travellers,” says Ormerod.

Steven Aftergood, a senior research analyst at the Federation of American Scientists, a think-tank based in Washington DC that promotes the use of science in policy-making, is pessimistic about the FAST tests. He thinks that they will produce a large proportion of false positives, frequently tagging innocent people as potential terrorists and making the system unworkable in a busy airport. “I believe that the premise of this approach — that there is an identifiable physiological signature uniquely associated with malicious intent — is mistaken. To my knowledge, it has not been demonstrated,” he says. “Without it, the whole thing seems like a charade.”

As for where precisely FAST is being tested, that for now remains a closely guarded secret. The DHS says that although the first round was completed at the end of March, more testing is in the works, and the agency is concerned that letting people know where the tests are taking place could affect the outcome. “I can tell you that it is not an airport, but it is a large venue that is a suitable substitute for an operational setting,” says Verrico.

May 11

School Bans High-Fives, Handshakes And Hugs

(Straits Times) A LONDON school has banned pupils from giving each other high-fives, handshakes – or even hugs.

Governors imposed the ‘no contact’ rule as they say it prevents fighting or bullying.

Dayna Chong, 15, was thrown into detention for cuddling a female pal at The Quest Academy, in Croydon, South London.

She said: ‘I was just hugging my friend in the morning to say hello and I had to sit on my own and miss out on break because of it.’

A parent said, ‘School is supposed to be where we start teaching our children how to be social – shaking hands, hugging, opening up. You need an embrace to comfort you when things go wrong. I’ve never heard of anything so crazy in my life.’

Another 15-year-old student got into trouble for giving a friend a high-five.

A spokesman for the school said: ‘Physical contact between students is not allowed because it is often associated with poor behaviour or bullying and can lead to fighting.

May 11

25 Ways To Save Hundreds On Your Monthly Expenses

(Investing Answers) It’s often times easier to save 10% than it is to increase your monthly income by the same amount.

And you don’t necessarily have to make drastic changes to free up extra money each month — these changes can be as simple as switching to low-octane gasoline or cooking more meals at home. Over the course of a month, these small changes can add up to big savings.

Here are 25 ways to save that can add hundreds of dollars to your bottom line.

1. Plan a budget and stick to it. Nothing’s worse for your monthly finances than not planning ahead. If you know an obstacle is on the horizon, such as a car payment or other bills, prepare for it by setting the money aside. Additionally, make a list of your monthly income and expenses and budget the money required to make ends meet.
2. Track your expenses. Keeping track of how much you spend not only prevents you from bouncing checks, it also helps keep you on top of your budget. With either your checkbook or online bank account — or with personal finance sites like — tally your spending at the end of each month and audit areas where you could stand to tighten the belt.

3. Cut out the cable. It’s hard to get a cable package nowadays for less than $100 a month. One alternative is to do away with it altogether. While this may seem drastic at first, you’d be surprised at how quickly you can adapt to life without cable. And it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get rid of your TV — a cheap antenna still gives you access to local channels, and there’s always your DVD player when you’re in the mood for a movie. Just think about how much you can get done around the house when the TV isn’t calling your name.

4. Eat less meat. It’s almost expected in the U.S. to have meat with every meal, but in most parts of the world, meat is a luxury. Limiting your meat intake to just two or three meals a week can make a huge dent in your grocery bill.

5. End your gym membership. With all of the free alternatives, why pay the bloated fee for a gym membership? Jog in your neighborhood, lift weights in your garage, swim at your local public pool — there are plenty of options here. You might miss out on the networking possibilities of the gym, but if the recent LinkedIn IPO is any sign of its potential, this social network for the upwardly mobile is an excellent free alternative.

6. Sign up for Netflix. There’s a reason why Netflix (NYSE: NFLX) is one of the hottest stocks in the market right now. For around $20 a month, you can rent as many movies as you can watch, delivered direct to your mailbox. Or stream them online for added convenience. More and more companies are getting into this business, so you can bet the added competition will benefit the consumer with cheaper prices and increased availability.

7. Never go to the mall. It takes a strong-willed person to make it out of the mall without making a purchase. If you do need to go, have an objective in mind — like a particular store for an item you know is on sale — and avoid browsing, which can quickly turn into buying.

8. Become a one-car family. If you can manage one set of wheels, this option can amount to big savings every month — from loan payments, to upkeep, to fuel and insurance. Instead, take the bus or public transportation or ride share with your spouse or co-worker. Better yet, buy a bike and enjoy the health benefits of your daily commute.

9. Brown bag your lunch. $7 a day for a quick lunch quickly adds up over the course of a month — that’s easily around $150 bucks a month you could be using to pay off debt or create a savings.

10. Be your own hair stylist. While you might not want to cut your own hair or give yourself a perm, there’s still money to be saved by coloring it yourself or going to the salon less frequently for a style. And for simple cuts for kids, a $10 investment in scissors and a 20-minute lesson on YouTube can save you a trip to Super Cuts every two weeks.

11. Skip the vacation. Even if only for a year or two, cutting out the vacation is a good way to add a couple of grand a year to your bottom line. The trick is to make the most of your weekends and use the time to take care of projects you’ve been putting off (like reorganizing the garage or clearing out the clutter from your home). The immediate benefits of a tightly run ship will reinforce your objectives to do the same for your bank account.

12. “Stay-vacation” instead. Instead of spending the money on airfare, hotel, entertainment and meals, enjoy the sites in your own hometown instead. Chances are there are sites to see in your city that you’ve been too busy to enjoy. If it just doesn’t feel like a vacation if you’re in your own home, splurge on a local hotel for a couple of nights — you’ll still be saving on travel expenses and other costs of a traditional getaway.

13. Forget the daily latte. These little pick-me-ups don’t have to go away completely. Just try not to make a daily habit of the $5 cup of coffee. Brew your coffee at home or consider investing in your own espresso machine. Better yet, see if your workplace will pick up the tab on the coffee maker and test out your barista skills for your co-workers.

14. Cut the land line. With the growing preference for cell phones, most households could stand to do away with their land line altogether. Why pay the monthly expense — plus the added fees and taxes — when you’re just duplicating the service? And here’s a little-known tip: plugging a corded phone into a defunct phone jack still gives you access to 911 in case of emergencies.

15. Don’t buy books or music. Use the library instead. If you haven’t been to your local library in awhile, it’s time to get reacquainted. With a good public library, there’s no need for iTunes, Amazon or Netflix. Plus, you’re already paying for it with your taxes.

16. Make your own bottled water. Not only is the plastic a huge waste, the added cost is unnecessary when all you need is a water filter and a BPA-free plastic thermos to bottle your own water at home. Fill up at home and take it with you everywhere you go and you’ll reap the health benefits as well.

17. Take care of your car. It’s cheaper to keep your current car in good running condition than it is to buy a new one every three years. And with the advances in auto technology, there’s no reason why yours shouldn’t last for at least 100,000 miles. If you take care of your car — change the oil on time, perform all scheduled maintenances — it will take care of you.

18. Carpool. Even if you own a vehicle, you’ll benefit from teaming up with others heading in the same direction. Not only will you save on gas and maintenance by sharing the ride with a co-worker or neighbor, you’ll enjoy a stress-free commute.

19. Trim your utilities. Make it a habit to walk through your house and turn off lights in rooms not being used. If no one’s watching the TV, turn it off. Other quick tips include turning up your fridge, turning down your water heater and washing clothes and dishes only with full loads.
20. Pay your bills on time. Not only does it keep your credit score in good shape, but being prompt with bill payments also keeps away those unwanted late fees. Be diligent about keeping track of your bills and marking your calendar when they’re due and you’ll be on track to avoid any additional costs.

21. Leave your debit card at home. Carry $10 in cash with you in case of an emergency (like running out of gas), but leave your credit and debit cards at home where they’ll be inaccessible. This way, you’ll be less tempted to splurge on unnecessary items.

22. Comparative shop. If you must go shopping, or if you treat yourself to a big-ticket purchase, check around to make sure there isn’t a better deal elsewhere. Some of the best personal finance apps for smartphones offer services that will scan a barcode and check local and online prices for the best deals. Savings of a couple of bucks here and there — or hundreds off of a new TV — make the extra research well worth it.

23. Reduce your cell phone plan. Easy ways to save on your cell phone bill include eliminating text (download a free text app instead), reducing the minutes in your plan, making the majority of your calls during the free nights-and-weekends hours and skipping the add-on features. A pay-as-you-go phone might also be an option to ensure you don’t overrun your minutes and end up with a hefty bill at the end of the month.

24. Drive less. The objective here is to live in your neighborhood. For example, utilize your local grocery store instead of the bigger one across town. Or, try to live as close to your workplace as possible. If you do need to drive a good distance for an errand, consolidate the trip to achieve as many objectives as possible. This way, you’ll save both time and money.

25. Pay with cash. When you pay with cash, you’ll be more reluctant to give it away so easily . You’ll also be avoiding the hidden debit card fees that can slowly chip away at your account balance.

May 11

VIDEO-Police State,Americans Arrested For Dancing In D.C.

May 11

Pepsi Uses Aborted Fetal Cells In Flavor Enhancers

( – Scores of prolife groups are calling for a public boycott of food giant, PepsiCo, due to its partnership with Senomyx, a biotech company that uses aborted fetal cells in the research and development of artificial flavor enhancers.

LifeSiteNews previously reported on Senomyx’s partnership with major food corporations, most notably PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, and Nestlé.

Pro-life watchdog group, Children of God for Life (CGL), is now joined by major pro-life organizations calling upon the public to target PepsiCo in a boycott.

Pepsi is funding the research and development, and paying royalties to Senomyx, which uses HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney cells) to produce flavor enhancers for Pepsi beverages.

“Using isolated human taste receptors we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor,” says the Senomyx website.

“What they do not tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors,” stated Debi Vinnedge, President for CGL, the watch dog group that has been monitoring the use of aborted fetal material in medical products and cosmetics for years.

The aborted fetal cells are not in the product itself. However, “there are many options PepsiCo could be using instead of aborted fetal cells,” noted Vinnedge.

The revelation about Senomyx’s research techniques motivated Campbell Soup to sever all relations with Senomyx.

However, PepsiCo continues their business relationship despite the abortion connection. They drew pubic ire earlier this year when they responded, saying, “our collaboration with Senomyx is strictly limited to creating lower-calorie, great-tasting beverages for consumers.”

When pressed further, PepsiCo sent out a form letter response saying they had been accused of conducting aborted fetal tissue research.


Bradley Mattes, executive director of Life Issues Institute, said, “While aborted fetal cells aren’t actually in the product itself, the close relationship is enough to repulse most consumers.  To our knowledge, this is the first time a food product has been publicly associated with abortion.”

The pro-life groups noted that additional companies collaborating with Senomyx will be targeted for boycott next.

The pro-life organizations are asking the public to boycott all Pepsi drink products and encourage consumers to contact Pepsi management requesting that they sever all ties with Senomyx.

For a list of Pepsi Beverages included in the boycott:

To Contact PepsiCo:

Jamie Caulfield, Sr. VP
PepsiCo, Inc.
700 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577
(914) 253-2000
Email form.

Edmund M. Carpenter, Chair, Corporate Development
Campbell Soup
1 Campbell Place
Camden, NJ 08103-1701
Email form

Pro-life groups joining CGL in the boycott to date are:  Life Issues Institute, American Life League,  Colorado Right to Life, American Right to Life, Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute, ALL Arizona, Central Nebraskans for Life, Pro-Life Waco, Houston Coalition for Life, Mother and Unborn Baby Fox Valley, Womankind, Billboards for Life, Movement for a Better America, Defenders of the Unborn, Focus Pregnancy Help Center, Idaho Chooses Life, EMC Frontline Pregnancy Centers of NY, Four Seasons for Life, CREDO,  Life Choices, STOPP Dallas, CA Right To Life, Human Life Alliance, International Right to Life Federation, Operation Rescue, Pro-Life Nation,, and Mary’s Outreach for Women.


May 11

79 Senators Vote To Trash The Constitution

(Marti Oakley)  If you haven’t received the memo yet, let me update you on your status as it pertains to the Constitution and your civil liberties; you have neither.  79 Senators who snickered as they swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, voted to render you guilty in advance, with no chance of proving your innocence.  The unlawful data mining and collection, the compilation of dossiers on virtually every person in the US, the unwarranted wire-tapping, the rifling through personal records of all kinds for no other reason than to collect information to be used at a later date if the government decides to prosecute you for whatever reasons, was extended.

The Patriot Acts were sold to the public as part of the war of terror perpetrated by the Bush administration after the false flag attacks of 9/11.  A “War of Terror” is being perpetrated by our own government against its own people and is blessed by both Democrat and Republican alike.  “We the people” are the terrorists the government fears. The Constitution be damned.

Nothing in the Patriot acts is remotely connected to fighting terrorism from foreign invaders.  It is a precisely targeted bill which amounted to a massive assault on liberty and freedom right here at home.

We had more than 1500 laws already on the books (never invoked) to fight terrorism prior to this Act, and even these could not stop an attack; what makes anyone think or believe the Patriot Acts could perform such a feat?  If you think this Act could prevent terrorism, try waving a copy at a TSA agent and see if he (or, she) runs away in fear.

Had the intent of the Patriot Act actually been to fight terrorism, the federal government would have had to turn its efforts inward and waged “war” on itself.

The Patriot Acts are the systematic criminalization of American citizens. Terrorists, and terrorism are only mentioned when the assaults on Constitutional rights and civil liberties were so egregious, so blatantly obvious that the veiled threat of another attack, if we objected, was ever present.

No true terrorist gives a rat’s behind what laws we pass; if they did, they wouldn’t be terrorists.  Nothing in the Patriot Acts will stop terrorism especially when it emanates from within.

These Acts will however:

  • Stop YOU from traveling unmolested by government agents.
  • Will also violate your right to privacy and to be,
  • Secure from illegal search and seizure
  • Makes legal (not lawful) warrantless searches
  • Allows unwarranted data mining of any and all information on you, including:
  • Any comments, beliefs, political opinions, social positions, religious beliefs, political party affiliation, and any other belief system or political view not approved by government.
  • These Acts are the foundation of the police state being systematically assembled and implemented by Homeland Security

The hunting of the American people
They aren’t looking for terrorists…..they are looking for you.

There is far more to this police state Act than we can go into here.  We all know this Act for what it is: The end of our Constitutional Republic and the rise of the police state. And 79 of our Senators took it upon themselves to vote away our liberty and to allow this monster to grow.

Too many of us dutifully comply with the sexual assaults perpetrated by TSA agents across the country.  As passengers mewl and whine about how they “are just trying to keep us safe” I have to wonder just how egregious the invasion of our property and most especially the invasion of our persons has to become before we admit that what TSA is doing has nothing to do with your safety.  It has everything to do with conditioning and training you to submit and comply, and god knows there are plenty of perverts more than willing to spend their days fondling the genitals of compliant passengers or watching the naked body scanner images.  The sexual assaults perpetrated on the public have produced not ONE terrorist unless of course you count the TSA agents.

TSA is now planned for public buildings, malls, train stations and stadiums.  And bunches of you sheeple will whine about how they are just trying to keep you safe!  And to add insult to injury, the 2002 homeland Security Act has been amended to include a snitching-for-dollars program which we like to call “The Stool Pigeon Protection Act”.

Fusion Centers are proliferating across the country.  These centers do nothing but data mine, snoop, and collect any and all data they can, indiscriminately and without regard to your liberty or civil protections.  These are manned by your friends, neighbors and family members who lack morality and any sense of patriotism; people who quickly forgot who they are and where they come from.

Obama and several state senators and governors are contemplating a “per mile” surveillance tax system to be paid for by taxpayers.  This new system would require surveillance equipment to be installed on your vehicle, not so much to generate revenue, but more to track your movements so that information could be added to your CIA/FBI/NSA dossier.  Once identified in this new system, your ability to purchase gas could be shut off instantly simply by deactivating your vehicle ID number.  It could shut off access for one vehicle . . . or all vehicles.

Our police and sheriff departments have been militarized under Homeland Security.  Our police and sheriff department vehicles no longer have the words “To protect and Serve” emblazoned on the sides.  This, thanks to a SCOTUS ruling that said law enforcement was under no obligation to protect us unless they arrest us, and then only in a limited fashion . . . and besides . . . they are essentially military units now.

They are hunting you and me… you get it yet? 
SCOTUS has become a threat to the country at large, ruling time and again against the Constitution and your liberty and protected rights, and in favor of corporate interests many of whom now openly run various agencies of government.  When Citizens v United came down, this court should have been immediately disbanded.  This decision vested incorporeal, fictional entities with human rights.

We have major cities across the country now purchasing military equipment for use against their communities.  A 911 call will elicit a SWAT team response, replete with star wars gear and uniforms, worn by badge heavy, testosterone pulsing storm troopers who don’t care if you have committed a crime or not.  They have guns and other weapons and carte blanche to break any and all laws (that apply to civilians) in defense of “government”.  These law enforcement officers, once the hero’s of children and many adults are now a menace to their communities and present a greater threat than your run of the mill criminal.

For those law enforcement personnel who swear to uphold the law and your rights and to refuse orders to violate your rights, the Southern Poverty Law Center will quickly add their names and organizations to their lists; lists which are then sold for millions of dollars to the federal government indicating which groups and individuals are to be targeted.  These men and women are now “unique terrorists”, suspected terrorists; to be viewed with suspicion and arrested whenever possible.  And why?  For refusing to violate your rights and for refusing to participate in the growing police state. Anyone who expresses patriotism is considered a “nativist extremist” by SPLC.  Think about that the next time you say the pledge of allegiance; maybe it will keep you from thinking about the McCarthy-esque nerds populating the SPLC.

Homeland Security has ordered 500 roving vans complete with x-ray scanners to be used across the country.  You can be scanned walking down the street, in public places or even in your own yard.  Why? You might be a terrorist.  With our economy in shambles, and the national debt posing a real threat, the best they could come up with is to spend another estimated ½ billion dollars on vans to cruise our streets and surreptitiously x-ray to see if we have weapons on us?  Really?

There is far more to this than the few items listed here.  A repeal of the Patriot Act 1 and the misnamed “Security Enhancement Act of 2003”…an expansion of the first Act, would go along way in restoring the integrity of government and our freedom.  But today, 79 Senators decided you were not worth it.  79 Senators committed an act of treason against the people they are supposed to represent and sold off their freedom, liberty and rights.

79 Senators…that’s all it took to lay waste to the Constitution.  Not to worry!  Several of them will be on various cable news shows talking about “keeping America safe”, “national security”, “the war of terror”, and trying to convince us that the only way we can be safe is if we forfeit our rights, freedom and our Constitution.

79 Senators…and not one of them will admit that the terrorists you need to fear, the people you need to be protected from… them.
Fusion Centers
SPLC paranoia
Stool Pigeon Protection Act
Homegrown terrorism..The threat of Homeland Security
Drones inAmerica: The ultimate no-knock warrant

Marti Oakley is a political activist and former op-ed columnist for the St Cloud Times in Minnesota. She was a member of the Times Writer’s Group until she resigned in September of 07. She is neither Democrat nor Republican, since neither party is representative of the American people. She says what she thinks, means what she says, and is known for being outspoken. She is hopeful that the American public will wake up to what is happening to our beloved country . . . little of it is left.  Her website is The PPJ Gazette


May 11

Congressman Warns: Move Your Families Out Of The City’ If You Can

(Mac Slavo)  There are a whole host of events that can bring the world as we know it today to its knees. From a hyperinflationary economic collapse to an electro magnetic pulse originating from the sun or a nuclear weapon , there exists a real and present danger that our system may, in the near future, experience unrecoverable shocks to the power grid and clean water infrastructure, a halt to just-in-time agricultural transportation systems and a collapse of the currency exchange mechanisms that make the economy function.

US Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), lived through the great depression, so he’s seen how bad things can get. In a new documentary, Mr. Bartlett and others discuss the dangers posed to those living in cities and ways that your family can survive if the worst were to ever happen.

Roscoe Bartlett:

We could have events in the future where the power grid will go down and it’s not, in any reasonable time, coming back up. For instance, if when the power grid went down some of our large transformers were destroyed, damaged beyond use, we don’t make any of those in this country. They’re made overseas and you order one and 18 months to two years later they will deliver it. Our power grid is very vulnerable. It’s very much on edge. Our military knows that.

There are a number of events that could create a situation in the cities where civil unrest would be a very high probability. And, I think that those who can, and those who understand, need to take advantage of the opportunity when these winds of strife are not blowing to move their families out of the city. 



We realize that for most people this may be decried as fear-mongering and crazy survival talk. We can’t help but point out, however, that it’s not just Representative Roscoe Bartlett, economist Marc Faber, and trend forecaster Gerald Celente that are recommending you prepare and head for rural areas. The US Pentagon and Military are very much aware of these possibilities and they’re preparingfor exactly the scenarios described in this documentary.

The threat is out there, and just because it hasn’t happened in our modern-day society up until now doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future. In fact, it has happened through history – strife, poverty, depression, economic collapse, war. You name it and somebody in history has lived it. The government spends hundreds of billions of dollars on emergency preparedness, disaster planning, continuity of government and war gaming these scenarios. There’s a reason for that. We recommend our readers take a queue from them and others who are warning of these outlier possibilities.

For a taste of what’s in the movie you can view the first 20 minutes of Urban Danger below:















May 11

Gerald Celente-Global Revolution This Winter

(Gus Lubin)  Trend forecaster Gerald Celente gives a preview of his Summer Trends Journal in an interview with King World News.

Celente says riots from Iran to Spain are the beginning of another world war, precipitated by food prices, unemployment and inequality. Last year he claimed that 2011 would bring “Off With Their Heads 2.0″ and the prediction is going well so far.

We transcribed just part of one answer from his breathless interview with Eric King:

What’s constant in all of these uprisings are the few factors that are undeniable. Food prices at all time highs. Unemployment at record highs. You have 18 to 28 year olds holding university degrees in worthlessness that can’t get jobs. Go look what happened in Egypt. Average wage ten dollars a day, and that’s if you’re doing well. And you know the deal. You’re smart. This is different from the old feudal age. In the neo-feudal age the people know the score.

What hasn’t been in the news is what has happened in Spain, and that’s the big news. Young people have wised up. They know the score. Those are the people that are ahead of all of these revolutions. They know that voting for either of the major parties in Spain means more of the same. It’s like voting for the Gambino crime family or the Bananno crime family. And they want a third way. And they’re picking up where the Egyptians left off. They’re going out into the streets and they’re not leaving the streets, because again, when you lose everything and have nothing left to lose, you lose it. These are young people, as I said, with university degrees in worthlessness, they’re internet connected, it’s journalism 2.0,  they’re getting everyone out to join them, because they know now that if they don’t fight against the machine, the machine is going to grind them up. These revolutions are going to spread over the summer throughout Europe. By the winter it’s going to go global.

Read more:

May 11

Hackers Penetrate U.S. Defense Contractors Security Networks

(Raw Story)  Reuters is reporting that unknown hackers have broken into the networks of Lockheed Martin and other major defense contractors and may have gained access to sensitive information on present and future weapons systems.

Reuters had reported earlier on Friday that “Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s No. 1 supplier, is experiencing a major disruption to its computer systems that could be related to a problem with network security.” The disruption began last Sunday, when security experts detected an intrusion.

According to an anonymous source with knowledge of the attacks, the hackers used data stolen in March from the RSA security division of EMC Corp. to duplicate security keys which gave them access to the networks.

“You have no idea how many people are freaked out right now,” one security expert told Reuters, explaining that the RSA keys could no longer be considered fully secure.

Information security expert Rick Moy explained to Reuters that “the original attack on RSA was likely targeted at its customers, including military, financial, governmental and other organizations with critical intellectual property. He said the initial RSA attack was followed by malware and phishing campaigns seeking specific data that would link tokens to end-users, which meant the current attacks may have been carried out by the same hackers.”

Other defense contractors have either declined to comment on whether they have been affected or insist that their security systems are sufficient to defend against the attack. A former senior defense official also assured Reuters that “all classified information is kept on separate, closed networks managed by the U.S. government.”


May 11

ABC-US Planned Acts Of Terrorism, To Justify War And Kill US Citizens

(ABC)  In the early 1960s, America’s top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.

Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.

The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba’s then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.

America’s top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: “We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba,” and, “casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.”

Details of the plans are described in Body of Secrets (Doubleday), a new book by investigative reporter James Bamford about the history of America’s largest spy agency, the National Security Agency. However, the plans were not connected to the agency, he notes.

The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were presented to President Kennedy’s defense secretary, Robert McNamara, in March 1962. But they apparently were rejected by the civilian leadership and have gone undisclosed for nearly 40 years.

“These were Joint Chiefs of Staff documents. The reason these were held secret for so long is the Joint Chiefs never wanted to give these up because they were so embarrassing,” Bamford told

“The whole point of a democracy is to have leaders responding to the public will, and here this is the complete reverse, the military trying to trick the American people into a war that they want but that nobody else wants.”

Gunning for War

The documents show “the Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans for what may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government,” writes Bamford.

The Joint Chiefs even proposed using the potential death of astronaut John Glenn during the first attempt to put an American into orbit as a false pretext for war with Cuba, the documents show.

Should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, they wrote, “the objective is to provide irrevocable proof … that the fault lies with the Communists et all Cuba [sic].”

The plans were motivated by an intense desire among senior military leaders to depose Castro, who seized power in 1959 to become the first communist leader in the Western Hemisphere — only 90 miles from U.S. shores.

The earlier CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by Cuban exiles had been a disastrous failure, in which the military was not allowed to provide firepower.The military leaders now wanted a shot at it.

“The whole thing was so bizarre,” says Bamford, noting public and international support would be needed for an invasion, but apparently neither the American public, nor the Cuban public, wanted to see U.S. troops deployed to drive out Castro.

Reflecting this, the U.S. plan called for establishing prolonged military — not democratic — control over the island nation after the invasion.

“That’s what we’re supposed to be freeing them from,” Bamford says. “The only way we would have succeeded is by doing exactly what the Russians were doing all over the world, by imposing a government by tyranny, basically what we were accusing Castro himself of doing.”

The Joint Chiefs at the time were headed by Eisenhower appointee Army Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, who, with the signed plans in hand made a pitch to McNamara on March 13, 1962, recommending Operation Northwoods be run by the military.

Whether the Joint Chiefs’ plans were rejected by McNamara in the meeting is not clear. But three days later, President Kennedy told Lemnitzer directly there was virtually no possibility of ever using overt force to take Cuba, Bamford reports. Within months, Lemnitzer would be denied another term as chairman and transferred to another job.

The secret plans came at a time when there was distrust in the military leadership about their civilian leadership, with leaders in the Kennedy administration viewed as too liberal, insufficiently experienced and soft on communism. At the same time, however, there real were concerns in American society about their military overstepping its bounds.

There were reports U.S. military leaders had encouraged their subordinates to vote conservative during the election.

And at least two popular books were published focusing on a right-wing military leadership pushing the limits against government policy of the day.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee published its own report on right-wing extremism in the military, warning a “considerable danger” in the “education and propaganda activities of military personnel” had been uncovered. The committee even called for an examination of any ties between Lemnitzer and right-wing groups. But Congress didn’t get wind of Northwoods, says Bamford.

“Although no one in Congress could have known at the time,” he writes, “Lemnitzer and the Joint Chiefs had quietly slipped over the edge.”

Even after Lemnitzer was gone, he writes, the Joint Chiefs continued to plan “pretext” operations at least through 1963.

One idea was to create a war between Cuba and another Latin American country so that the United States could intervene. Another was to pay someone in the Castro government to attack U.S. forces at the Guantanamo naval base — an act, which Bamford notes, would have amounted to treason. And another was to fly low level U-2 flights over Cuba, with the intention of having one shot down as a pretext for a war.

“There really was a worry at the time about the military going off crazy and they did, but they never succeeded, but it wasn’t for lack of trying,” he says.

After 40 Years

Ironically, the documents came to light, says Bamford, in part because of the 1992 Oliver Stone film JFK, which examined the possibility of a conspiracy behind the assassination of President Kennedy.

As public interest in the assassination swelled after JFK’s release, Congress passed a law designed to increase the public’s access to government records related to the assassination.

The author says a friend on the board tipped him off to the documents.

Afraid of a congressional investigation, Lemnitzer had ordered all Joint Chiefs documents related to the Bay of Pigs destroyed, says Bamford. But somehow, these remained.

“The scary thing is none of this stuff comes out until 40 years after,” says Bamford.


May 11

Big Brother Police Cruiser Hits LAPD

 (CBS) — If you thought the patrol car in the 1987 action movie “Robocop” was high-tech, wait until you see what L.A.’s finest will be soon be driving.

AOL’s Translogic caught a sneak peek of the new squad car of choice for the Los Angeles Police Department: the Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV).

Billed as the “sum total of all the law enforcement community has learned about patrol cars to date”, the PPV boasts a 6.0L V-8 engine with 355 horsepower, 18-inch steel wheels, and a host of gadgets that puts any Hollywood squad car to shame.

The Caprice, which replaces the long-used Ford Crown Victoria, is equipped with an infrared night vision camera, automated license plate scanner, and a touch-screen center console that replaces the older computers traditionally used by officers.

In addition to horsepower and firepower, the cruiser is also outfitted with the latest in information technology, with ethernet, Wi-Fi and an experimental wireless-mesh network in the trunk.

Even the bad guys can ride in comfort: cut-outs in the back seat are custom-made to accommodate a handcuffed suspect.

At a taxpayer cost of $20,000, LAPD officials say vehicle wrapping was used on the all-black sedans instead of the traditional paint to minimize repair expenses and protect resale value.

Drivers can expect to see the new 2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV cruising city streets as early as mid-2011.


May 11

Silver More Explosive than Gold


(Julian D. W. Phillips)  The silver market is still reeling from its fall from $50 to $34 over a very short time. The move was driven by at least one investor selling around 1,000 tonnes of silver over a two week period. Silver had climbed quickly from around $25. The charts supported a rise to $29, but as silver went higher, it climbed out of technical range into new territory. All the time thereafter it was vulnerable to a selloff back to support around that level.


Many felt it could easily fall to $20 before recovering, but it bounced off $32 and has been consolidating above $34 since then. The selling then stopped and buying started, but the consolidation at this levels indicates that the market has to get used to these prices for a while before they establish a ‘floor’ that permits cautious buyers to re-enter the market again.


Investors must ask themselves…

Ø  Should silver be considered as financial security, like gold?


Ø  Will it ever reach that status of being a monetary metal, in the eyes of central banks and global investors?    


Ø  Some may feel that the biggest question mark hangs over its volatility in the future. Can the silver market be manipulated, as the large US banks have done in the recent past?  


Ø  Can the silver market be cornered, as the Hunt brothers from Texas once tried to do?


Financial Security the silver and gold investing world is divided in two…


In the developed world, investments are not looked at as financial security, but rather as sources of profits.   Investors make their own financial security through the profits they make over the years. This implies that investments are held for eventual selling unless they continue to grow and make capital gains and income for the future. Investors must constantly monitor their investments to ensure they make profits. The reins remain firmly in the investor’s hands.  


In the emerging world, wealth is new to most and the investor is constantly reminded of the recent poverty and the uncertainty of retaining wealth. Bank deposits in China were the usual investment avenue. That was until food and energy inflation brought back uncertainty and poor performance and doubt in the safety of their savings.  


Gold has always been considered an important place to hold ones wealth, as it protects against uncertainty and the attrition of wealth by inflation. New investors have watched the performance of gold over the last decade, through boom times and uncertain times. They have seen gold and silver persistently outperform other investments in a confidence-decaying world. With burgeoning middle classes for the next decade and more, investors in gold and silver are likely to expand and perpetuate the belief that gold and silver should be considered financial security and real money.


Silver as Monetary Metal for central banks global investors?

The presence of gold in the foreign nation’s exchange reserves is proof enough that gold is a monetary metal. We see the number of central banks across the world buying more of it and no longer selling it. But there is no silver in the central bank vaults. It hasn’t even been a valuable means of exchange in the dark past.


It most likely will not come back as a monetary metal or as part of central bank reserves until the entire present monetary system sits in disrepute. It is too much of an industrial, consumable metal to provide the features that a monetary metal should have. At a price beyond well above the current level, it could make a comeback, but this is unlikely. The status of ‘monetary metal’ can only be given by central banks, and not investors.  


If investors treat silver as money –a poor man’s gold, as it were— then it rises to the status of real money in those investor’s eyes. The central banks wouldn’t be an issue. In the developed world silver is nowhere near that status, except in the hands of a select few. In the emerging world matters are different.  


Emerging world investors are finding that gold is getting out of their price range. They have no option but to turn to a cheaper alternative. In the past, Ag has always been a metal that is real money and represents financial security. Its performance over the last few years is confirmation enough.


Asian Investors haven’t been disappointed, considering the silver price once stood at $6/oz. A pull back from $50 to $34 was not totally unexpected. It went too high, too fast.


But the nature of investors in the emerging world (i.e. India) is such that when they see a ‘spike’ in prices, they sell and hope for a good fall and the establishment of a new ‘floor’ price. Then they buy back and continue to hold.   It is rarely their intention to exit the precious metal markets. Proof of such an attitude can be found in recent Chinese import of silver.


April demand for silver bullion was 339.4 metric tonnes. This compares to 302.09 metric tonnes in April 2010 or an increase of over 12% from the same month last year. It compares with silver imports of just 132.5 and 127.3 metric tonnes in April 2009 and April 2008, respectively. The record demand for silver bullion seen in 2010 is continuing in 2011 and higher prices are not deterring Chinese buyers. China imported 3475.4 tonnes of silver bullion in 2010, a massive fourfold increase from 2009 when imports were just 876.8 tonnes.


China was a net exporter of silver bullion up until 2007. We expect the numbers to India to reflect the same trend.


Consolidating in the lower to mid $30, silver will re-attract emerging world buyers in greater volume.




In short, yes, it can.   With silver at a low price relative to the volume of investment funds out there [such as in the top five U.S. banks] it does not take a very large amount to push prices up and down.   Regulators themselves have pointed out that there has been manipulation of the silver price in the past.   But regulations and the media have certainly chased a measure of that out of the U.S. market [but the world is a big place]. 


However, we have to qualify that statement, by saying that the number of silver investors out there with 1,000 tonnes of physical silver to sell are few and far between!   Once they have sold, their silver has gone.  They have to hope that the silver price will drop back and allow them to buy back in at lower prices or remain out of the market.   Many have hoped that the silver price would fall back to $20 but the fall halted at $32 and in came emerging market and other buyers.   This makes really effective price manipulation very hard.   With the trend of silver up, anybody shorting the market, will usually get hurt.   The best a manipulator can do today is to go with the price waves that we see in all markets, but avoid fighting the trend.  


Over time, and with prices trending up, there will be a day when such manipulation will be very difficult to achieve on a continuous basis.   But silver will continue to be very volatile and much more so than gold, for a long time still.   Until we see considerably more liquidity in the silver physical market price swings could remain frightening.   Once liquidity rises much more than seen now, a seller or buyer of a large amount can do so, while producing only small swings in the price.   Then silver’s price will become as stable as that of gold.   But the pattern of silver price movements that has been established by silver, all the way up, has been to move up with gold and to fall with gold, albeit in a more exaggerated manner.    This has been the case for some years now.   There is no reason to think that this pattern will stop.


Cornering the Market

the Hunt Brothers…



 They succeeded in driving the price up to $50/oz. They were then pressured by the silver regulating bodies and forced into a position when they had to sell. As the only buyer at anywhere near those prices there was nobody else to buy the silver from them. As they began to sell, the price dropped back to the level it had been when they started.



Hence developed world investors need liquid markets so they can sell at higher prices without hurting the price too much. When they sell too much too quickly, the price falls (i.e. recent drop from $50 to $32).


Similar to the Hunt Brothers is another type of cornering: dominate supply without any intention of selling any at all. To be a perpetual seller of a huge stockpile would hold the price down, as long as you have stock. India, China and Russia were sellers of their huge silver stockpiles left over from the days when silver was used as a ‘means of exchange’ (i.e. pocket change). This has held prices down since the Hunt brother days.     


We saw a similar situation in gold when up until 2009 the central banks of Europe stopped gold sales. As sales were slowing down, the gold price rose from its low, manipulated price of $275 (Britain sold half of its reserves) to around $1,200/oz. Central banks now either hold or buy gold, unlikely to sell again… 


With no intention of selling, Gold-producing nations are buying up local production and reducing supply to the market –not for profit, but for the protection of national reserves. If this extended to all gold-producing nations then you would have a true cornering of the gold market. If the central banks of silver nations decided that silver should be a reserve asset, then they would have to take off newly produced silver for a very long time to make a significant contribution to their reserves.


For an individual or even a single institution, cornering would be nigh-on-impossible. It would be possible (although extremely unlikely) if the central banks of silver producing nations decided to act in concert and corner the silver market. With so many important industrial applications, such an attempt would produce global anger.   Cornering the market in this day and age would not be successful.