Category Archives: Government Spending

Federal Reserve Education: The Fed follows no rule of law. Stop it!

federal reserve education

Why should the Fed have to follow rule of law?  

The dollar is on track for a severe impact.  The world’s confidence in the Federal Reserve’s ability to make good on its obligations is shrinking. Why? It’s because the world is coming to recognize that Fed is actually insolvent.  “Insolvent” means that it no longer has sufficient income to repay even the interest on its obligations, now totaling over 17 trillion dollars.

It’s really not complex at all!  Americans are smarter than the Fed estimates.

Information about the Federal Reserve’s management of our currency and economy is presented to the public in mystical and magical ways, but the smoke screen cannot last forever. The public is told that a central bank cannot afford to be restrained by principle, and that the  manipulation of the economy is a complex and necessary operation which none but the financial elite are capable of understanding.  But it’s actually simple.

Government finances work exactly like individual finances.

We all know what happens to individuals when they spend more than their income can bear. They become insolvent. When an individual’s credit limit is raised beyond levels that should be reasonably risked, a point of no return can be reached.  When income becomes insufficient to pay obligations, something has to give. The individual must either find a way to settle up, or be excused from the whole mess by going bankrupt. Of course bankruptcy is not really fair to creditors, but in the big picture the effects of a few cases of bankruptcy aren’t big enough to make a dent in the banking or small business economy.

Why should central banks behave differently from individuals?

They should NOT! What makes the financial rules that apply to a central bank any different from the financial rules that apply to an individual?  Nothing does! A properly managed central bank would operate under principled guidelines for self regulation.  After all, individuals are obliged to do so in order to avoid personal bankruptcy.

But listen to what former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan had to say about that in a 2008 interview:  When asked if Treasury Bonds are still a safe investment, he says “This is not an issue of credit rating.  The United States can always pay any debt it has because …we can always print money.”  Listen to the video here (and watch for the camera panning to incredulous look on the face of one of the participants in this Meet the Press discussion!).

The Federal Reserve puts itself above financial regulation and law.  No system is in place to check their actions.  The only system of credit rating the Fed has to deal with is a foggy one – namely, the willingness of investors to buy T-bills and bonds.  Until recently the Fed enjoyed an artificially high credit rating which enabled it to continue growing its obligations through the worldwide sale of Treasury bonds. This has enabled the injection of currency from other markets into the US system.  But investors are no longer as trusting as they were seven years ago.  Decreasing confidence has translated into a lower Federal Reserve Bank credit rating.

This 2010 article sheds some light on how this vaguely defined credit rating is measured and what that means to the US economy, but in a nutshell it means that it’s becoming harder for the Fed to inject currency into the US system by borrowing it.

Putting this into context,

even though the Fed is in a condition of insolvency, its ability to sell more bonds and T-bills is restricted only by market conditions.  It’s insolvent, yet nothing prevents it from simply borrowing as much money as it can get its hands on to pay its obligations.

An individual in a state of insolvency gets his credit cut off, no questions asked.  An insolvent individual cannot further compound his own financial problems by simply borrowing more to pay his debts.

The Fed is in a condition of insolvency, so when it needs more cash it fires up the money printing presses.  In theory there is some link between the amount of cash that’s printed and the amount of new currency that’s injected into the system through bond sales.  But there are no hard and fast rules.  The Fed can do whatever it wishes.

An individual in a state of insolvency who has to make a mortgage payment is in trouble.  He can’t go to the garage and fire up his money printing press to pay his debts.  If he does, he might find himself under arrest.  The Fed, however, exercises this counterfeiting option freely.  The only real difference between the Fed and a criminal counterfeiter is that the Fed’s counterfeiting activity is sanctioned by the government.  In both cases, the currency is backed by nothing.

It’s really not hard to understand

Smokescreens of excuses painting the financial mismanagement of our currency system as necessary to ensure monetary stability are pure politics.  It’s never too late for the Fed to change bad habits, but with interest obligations too far out of control, a solution is no longer going to result from spending cutbacks alone.

Because the concept of bankruptcy is a pill larger than any central bank is willing to swallow, the United States WILL make good on its obligations, period.  Unfortunately, after the dollar takes its last breath, payment of US debt is most likely going to end up coming from the creation of even more fiat currency coming from the world’s super central bank known as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

At this time the Fed’s biggest problem is saving face. Stopping its enormous borrowing and spending methods would at the very least be unpopular.  However, informed Americans understand that a central bank that directs the economy of perhaps the most influential nation in the world must operate under a principled and responsible rule of law.

It’s time to end the Fed’s operation as we know it.

Facebooktwitterrss

Libertarianism – The Shocking Notion that Other People Are Not Your Property

Liberty Freedom Libertarianism

2 of the most interesting people in political thought. Both of whom in my experience are actually decent human beings too.

Almost everyone knows Ron Paul but more people should be familiar with Tom Woods who’s bookMeltdown is a fantastic (and very accessible) explanation of the 2008 Crash. You can read his work and listen to his show at TomWoods.com.

Facebooktwitterrss

4 Police Tricks to Nab You For Pot and How You Can Beat Them

federal funding to put marijuana users in prison

Cops have a massive incentive to bust people for pot. Here’s how to fight back.

According to the ACLU, marijuana arrests account for over half of all drug arrests—and 88% of those charges are for simple possession. Because of decades-old grant programs, local precincts are showered with money from the federal government if they keep their arrest numbers high. Police have a built-in financial incentive to focus their arrests on low-level drug offenders to fatten their statistics, especially because these are some of the easiest arrests to make. This is a major reason why marijuana arrest rates have gone up in recent years, and why they make up the majority of all drug detentions nationally.

If you’re a cannabis aficionado who chooses to indulge in the herb, you’re a walking dollar sign to the police. Your arrest can directly lead to more bullets, armor, assault rifles and other toys, and may even be used to justify higher wages. You’re more useful to them imprisoned or cited than free, and they will try their hardest to manipulate you into giving them a reason to take you in. They can even make false threats to trick you into waiving your rights.

What follows are the four most common ways police deceive people into incriminating themselves for marijuana possession. Heed these warnings and remember the advice so you can avoid giving the cops a reason to arrest you.

Although our laws are meant to protect everyone equally, some police treat people differently based on a number of factors, particularly race. The ACLU reported last summer that blacks are almost four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana possession. Other activist groups have found that law enforcement officers kill one black American roughly every 28 hours. Should you choose to invoke any of the rights detailed below, you must do so while remaining hyperaware of how you are perceived by police based on your race and other class-indicative factors, and then proceed with caution. Unfortunately, that’s nothing new for people of color.

1. Giving officers “reasonable suspicion” by talking too much.A cop has no right to detain you without reasonable suspicion. “Reasonable suspicion” is a murky standard that isn’t as definitive as hard evidence, but requires more than a hunch, as Flex Your Rights explains:

A combination of particular facts, even if each is individually insignificant, can form the basis of reasonable suspicion. For example, police may have reasonable suspicion to detain someone who fits a description of a criminal suspect, a suspect who drops a suspicious object after seeing police, or a suspect in a high crime area who runs after seeing police.
If a cop simply stops and pummels you with questions, he has no right to force you to stick around and answer. In fact, if you’re carrying a bit of bud on you, your best bet for avoiding trouble is to use your constitutional right to silence. Here’s what I mean.

Let’s say you just bought an eighth of deliciously fresh green shimmering with sticky trichomes. You’re walking to a friend’s house for some communal smoking when suddenly a young police officer stops you to ask some questions—just the standard inquiries: Who are you, where are you going, where are you coming from, etc.

You think, “Shit! I’m screwed! But maybe if I’m really nice, he/she will let me go.”

You decide to blab away in an overly polite tone under the delusion that he/she isn’t aware of your charm offensive. You notice your tactic isn’t working, and out of nervousness you begin stammering and giving inconsistent answers—which are cause for reasonable suspicion. The cop then decides to search you, finding your weed and brandishing it in the open, which gives him/her the right to arrest you for having pot in “public view.” You’re cuffed, shunted off to jail and stuck with a petty possession charge.

To avoid such a sour experience, Flex Your Rights recommends that if an officer stops you, you should always ask from the very start, “Officer, are you detaining me or am I free to go?” If the officer says you can go, you can continue on your way. If he/she gives a vague answer or continues to ask questions, continue repeating the magic words until he/she relents.

“If the officer says something like, ‘You’re not being detained. I just want to talk to you,’ then you are free to end the conversation and leave immediately, [without] wait[ing] for the officer to kindly dismiss you,” says Steve Silverman, executive director of Flex Your Rights.

If an officer tells you that you are being detained, that means you’re under arrest, in which case you should definitely inform him/her that you are choosing to stay silent; perhaps you can say something like, “I’m going to remain silent. I would like to see a lawyer.” Because you can be damned sure that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

Also, DO NOT run away or trash-talk the cop. These are always causes for reasonable suspicion. Do your best to stay cool.

2. Consenting to a body search.Often, the police won’t inform you of your right not to consent to a search. Sometimes people will consent to a search even when they’re holding weed, either because they don’t know they can say no or because they’re worried about the officer’s reaction.

“The most powerful trick police use to make marijuana arrests on the street is to ask citizens to empty their pockets. Of course, this ‘ask’ generally sounds like a command when police shout, ‘What’s in your pockets? What do you got?’ Silverman of Flex Your Rights says. He also says the vast majority of people stopped will comply with a search regardless of what they have on them out of intimidation or confusion.

“Unless police feel a hard item during a pat-down that could be a weapon, they are not legally allowed to reach into your pockets,” he added.

Your right to refuse a search is expressly noted in the Fourth Amendment, which guards against “unreasonable searches and seizures” by the state. As with refusing to answer a nosy officer’s questions, you are legally within your rights to say no to a physical search unless the officer has a warrant.

“If the police say they have a search warrant, ask to see it. If they don’t, say ‘I do not consent to this search,’” advises the New York City Civil Liberties Union website. An officer may still illegally search you even if you say no, but at least you’ll protect your rights if you have to go to court.

3. Consenting to a vehicle search.This one follows the same legal guidelines of refusing a body search: unless the officer has a warrant, you do not need to give him/her permission to search your car. Calmly inform him/her that you are aware of your rights and that he/she cannot search your vehicle.

However, an officer can still order you out of your car if he/she wishes to do so, and you should comply if they do. Once you are out of the vehicle, the officer may threaten you with false consequences if you continue to refuse a search.

“Beware that police can legally lie to you, so never let false threats or promises trick you into waving your rights,” says Judge William Murphy, a civil liberties advocate.

Once again, if the cop has no warrant or reasonable suspicion to search your vehicle, say the magic words: “Officer, are you detaining me or am I free to go?” Theoretically, he/she would then either give you a traffic citation and leave or just let you go on your way. However, experience has shown that officers sometimes become aggressive or even violent when a person denies a search. All you can really do in that situation is keep calm and continue to shield yourself from judicial damnation by asserting your lawfully guaranteed right to refuse a search.

4. Letting the police enter your home.Without a warrant, you never have to open your door for police. No matter how hard they bang or how many times they smash their pointer against your doorbell, you can leave them out in the cold. Just say no.

Someone should have told that to former UNC basketball player Will Graves before he willfully allowed police to enter his coach’s home last December, which the athlete was renting while he completed his studies. When the cops came snooping at his door on a tip from a meter reader at a utility company, Graves allowed the cops to enter (probably out of fear), and for his courteousness he was cited (fortunately not arrested) for being in possession of a couple of blunts, a grinder and a handful of pot seeds.

Regardless of how unnatural or frightening (exhilarating?) it feels, always say no to a cop who is trying to get into your home without a warrant. You wouldn’t let a stranger in, and that’s exactly what a cop is.

Caveat: One way cops can claim to have “reasonable suspicion” to search your body, car or home is to say they smell marijuana. This is a difficult assertion to guard against since it’s your word against theirs. More than a few people have gone down after a search because a cop claimed to catch a whiff of weed. The “smell” provision overwhelmingly favors the police in most drug cases.

Here’s what Flex Your Rights says about the matter:

“If police say they smell marijuana…[a]ll you can really do is say, ‘Officer, I have nothing to hide, but I don’t consent to any searches.’ If they search you anyway and something is found, you’ll need an attorney to help you fight the charges. Unfortunately, police sometimes use tricks like this to circumvent your constitutional rights and there’s no perfect way to handle the situation. Of course, they are most likely to do this if they are suspicious of you for some reason, so do your best to stay calm.”

Aaron Cantú is an investigator for the Marijuana Arrest Research Project and an independent journalist based in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter @aaronmiguel_
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/4-police-tricks-nab-pot-beat/#Du8GdjMU7GaG4Qiq.99

Facebooktwitterrss
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!