Video of the Day: “Don’t Worry Be Happy” – Conan O’Brien Mocks Mainstream Media Idiocy

Under a dictatorship the Big Business, made possible by advancing technology and the consequent ruin of Little Business, is controlled by the State-that is to say, by a small group of party leaders and the soldiers, policemen and civil servants who carry out their orders. In a capitalist democracy such as the United States, it is controlled by what Professor C. Wright Mills has called the Power Elite. This Power Elite directly employs several millions of the country’s working force in its factories, offices and stores, controls many millions more by lending them the money to but its products, and, through its ownership of the media of mass communications, influences the thoughts, the feelings and the actions of virtually everybody.

– Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited 1958

We all know mainstream media is a joke, but sometimes its inherent idiocy can be best highlighted with a little humor. So thank you very much Conan O’Brien.

Don’t worry serfs, be happy.

 

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Video of the Day: “Don’t Worry Be Happy” – Conan O’Brien Mocks Mainstream Media Idiocy originally appeared on A Lightning War for Liberty on February 3, 2014.

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UK Think Tank Proposes Law to Restrict Foreign Oligarch Real Estate Speculation

When people ask how there can be no inflation with Central Banks printing so much money, all one has to do is look at what I refer to as “oligarch assets” and you’ll see massive inflation. The reason for this is that the only people getting access to the newly created money at 0% interest or through crony deals are oligarchs and well connected figures within the global plutocracy. While there is also plenty of inflation for consumer goods (often times hidden in smaller package sizes and phony components), it is nothing like the tremendous price gains in assets oligarchs covet.

As most of my readers know by now, one such asset is high-end London real estate. In fact, oligarchs and cronies are scooping up London real estate at such a frantic pace that the regular peasants are being forced out of their own city. Even worse, many of these “investment properties” sit unfurnished and empty, merely another trophy home to top off the oligarch portfolio.

I’ve covered this oligarch buying trend on several occasions in the past (it’s also happening in the U.S.), and I believe it is only a matter of time before the public because angry enough to put a stop to it. We may be witnessing the start of such a trend at this time with the publication of the report Finding Shelter by think tank Civitas. While this is just a proposal and far from law, I do expect such laws ultimately to be passed globally in various jurisdictions in which the oligarchs are distorting prices and making every day life unaffordable and miserable.

Some key points from the report are:

  • 85% of prime London property purchases in 2012 were made with overseas money.
  • Problem is not confined to the top end of the market. Over the past two years only 27% of new homes in central London went to UK buyers, while more than half were sold to residents of Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Russia.
  • Two-thirds of homes bought by people from overseas were not purchased for owner-occupation but as investments.

From the Guardian:

Radical plans to stop rich overseas residents who live outside the EU buying British houses – as well as tight restrictions on them acquiring “newbuild” properties as investments – will be published in a report by a leading rightwing thinktank on Monday.

Free-market organisation Civitas castigates government ministers for allowing wealthy foreign investors to stoke a property boom that it says is driving up prices and locking millions of UK citizens out of the housing market.

The plans would prevent the likes of Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea football club, or other Russian oligarchs from adding to their multimillion-pound UK portfolios. They also aim to stem a flood of investment from countries such as China, Malaysia and Singapore.

Concerned that many middle and lower earners are being forced to pay high rents in London because they can’t afford to buy, Civitas calls on ministers to adopt a scheme similar to one operating in Australia, which ensures that no sale can take place to overseas buyers unless they can show that their investment will add to existing housing stock.

Such a system would mean that no existing home could be sold to a buyer from outside the EU, and that such buyers could acquire newbuild homes only if their investment led to one or more additional properties being built.

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Blast from the Past – Adam Kokesh Interviews Charlie Shrem (October 2012)

Last week, I wrote an article expressing my disgust at the selective prosecution of BitInstant CEO Charlie Shrem. The piece was titled, Some Money Launderers are More Equal than Others Part 2 – CEO of BitInstant is Arrested. The aggressiveness of the prosecution and the arrest itself reminded me of what has been done to countless others such as Aaron Swartz and Barrett Brown, to name a few.

Since then, many others have also written about the disturbing nature of this arrest, the best of which in my opinion came from Falkvinge, founder of the Pirate Party, and someone who I have highlighted in the past. He recently wrote an article titled: Harassment Arrest of Charlie Shrem Shows Dangerously Repressive U.S. Police System. What is so interesting about this piece, is how he describes what Shrem did is in no way shape or form “money laundering” under any reasonable definition. He writes:

Charlie Shrem has been arrested at JFK airport and charged with money laundering. …accused of selling over $1 million in bitcoins to Silk Road users, who would then use them to buy drugs and other illicit items.

So what?

That’s not money laundering. That’s the exact opposite of money laundering. Money laundering is a well-defined concept; it’s when you take money that has been achieved through illegal means and give them a legitimate source, concealing the past of that particular piece of wealth.

What allegedly happened here was that Shrem sold one million USD worth of bitcoin to one or more individuals, and these means were later used in turn to purchase contraband from Silk Road, obviously without Shrem having any say about it. That’s neither criminal nor money laundering – when you sell an asset, whether a car, a house, or bitcoin, you’re not liable in the slightest if that asset is later exchanged for contraband by its new rightful owner. Nor are you in any way, shape or form required to act even if you know it’s been later exchanged for contraband by its new owner, and in particular, you’re not guilty of money laundering.

Money laundering is specifically when you take actions to turn black money into white, and not when you sell white money to somebody else and they turn it black without your consent. There’s so much wrong with this bullshit arrest on every conceivable level.

Indeed, this seems to be the case. That said, I think the government’s argument is that Shrem was intentionally selling the bitcoin to this person knowing they he wanted to buy drugs with it, and that person felt gaining the BTC from Shrem would make his coins more anonymous.

Again, so what? Who did Shrem actually harm here? Who was victimized? Furthermore, let’s say what he did could be considered “money laundering.” It was one million dollars; ONE MILLION. I mean HSBC interns launder that amount in their sleep.

With all that off my chest, let’s finally get to the video. The following interview of Shrem by Adam Kokesh (a former Iraq vet turned activist who recently spent time in jail himself) from back in October 2012 is a really great watch. To hear these two highly intelligent and passionate patriots discuss the concept and potential of Bitcoin when it was a mere $11 per BTC is really entreating. In particular, I was impressed by Adam’s ability to so quickly grasp just what Bitcoin is and what it could be at such an early stage.

Enjoy this conversation with these two “felons.”

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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Blast from the Past – Adam Kokesh Interviews Charlie Shrem (October 2012) originally appeared on A Lightning War for Liberty on February 1, 2014.

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The EU May Mandate a “Remote Stopping Device” in All Cars for Police Use

Well this sounds like one of the worst ideas I have heard of in a long time. Naturally, it would emerge from the EU, the sorriest excuse for a fake government the world has ever seen.

While I have reported previously on regulatory efforts to put all sorts of invasive mandatory devices in U.S. automobiles (see my piece from October of last year Big Brother is Coming to Your Car), this idea from the EU take things to a whole other level of insanity.

From the BBC:

A device that would enable police to stop vehicles remotely is being considered by an EU-wide official working group, it has emerged.

The feasibility of such technology is being examined by members of the European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (Enlets).

The technology could impact on both road safety and civil liberties.

Civil liberties? What are those?

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May The Farce Be With You – Janet Yellen Compares Bernanke to Obi-Wan Kenobi

Just in case you had any lingering doubt about how hopelessly screwed the world’s monetary and financial system really is, all you have to do is learn that in a series of ceremonies (because that is so appropriate with a record number Americans on food stamps) celebrating Ben Bernanke in recent days incoming Fed head Janet Yellen likened Bernanke to Obi-Wan Kenobi, the wise, experienced Jedi Knight mentor to his protégé Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars” movies.

There’s nothing that makes you feel more warm and fuzzy inside than the recognition that the soon to be most powerful person in the world thinks that printing trillions of dollars and giving it to criminals at zero interest qualifies as attributes of a intergalactic Jedi Master.

On the flip-side, this right here is what 95% of Americans think of Bernanke and his criminal cartel.

Not from The Onion, but from the Wall Street Journal we learn that:

Officials held a series of ceremonies honoring Mr. Bernanke in the past few days. At a dinner Tuesday evening among senior officials, Ms. Yellen likened Mr. Bernanke to Obi-Wan Kenobi, the wise, experienced Jedi Knight mentor to his protégé Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars” movies. She jokingly imagined Mr. Bernanke advising her to trust in the Fed’s statement of objectives, a document that lays out its goals for inflation and jobs, according to someone familiar with the event.

Mr. Bernanke received a standing ovation from Fed officials at the FOMC meeting in its boardroom earlier Tuesday. And he was toasted Thursday by hundreds of Fed staff packed into an atrium at the Fed’s Eccles Building, where they were served peanuts, popcorn and crackerjacks in honor of Mr. Bernanke’s love of baseball.

Kill. Me.

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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May The Farce Be With You – Janet Yellen Compares Bernanke to Obi-Wan Kenobi originally appeared on A Lightning War for Liberty on January 31, 2014.

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Lunches Seized and Tossed in Trash at Salt Lake City Elementary School for Kids with Unpaid Balances

While I understand the need for parents to pay for their children’s lunches, what do you think the appropriate response should be by adults running an elementary school upon realizing that some young children with unpaid balances had already been served a full hot meal?

Personally, I would assume that any reasonable human being would allow the children to eat the lunches while at the same time calling up their parents to sort out the problem. However, that’s not the action deemed appropriate by the “child-nutrition manager” that visited Uintah Elementary in Salt Lake City this past Tuesday. Nope, this person decided that the best course of action was to seize already served lunches and throw them in the trash in front of the victim’s classmates. Mind you, this person is called a “child-nutrition manager.” So someone in charge of “child nutrition” thinks he or she is doing their job by ensuring malnourishment due to unpaid balances.

Next stop for these kids, debtors prison, which are making a comeback in the U.S. by the way. Disgraceful.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

Up to 40 kids at Uintah Elementary in Salt Lake City picked up their lunches Tuesday, then watched as the meals were taken and thrown away because of outstanding balances on their accounts — a move that shocked and angered parents.

“It was pretty traumatic and humiliating,” said Erica Lukes, whose 11-year-old daughter had her cafeteria lunch taken from her as she stood in line Tuesday at Uintah Elementary School, 1571 E. 1300 South.

Lukes said as far as she knew, she was all paid up. “I think it’s despicable,” she said. “These are young children that shouldn’t be punished or humiliated for something the parents obviously need to clear up.”

Jason Olsen, a Salt Lake City District spokesman, said the district’s child-nutrition department became aware that Uintah had a large number of students who owed money for lunches.

Better call the FBI, after all, it’s not as if there are bankers stealing billions or anything…

As a result, the child-nutrition manager visited the school and decided to withhold lunches to deal with the issue, he said.

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U.S. Banking Regulator Warns of a Credit Bubble Fueled by “Alternative Asset Managers”

This isn’t the first time in recent months we have heard serious warnings of a new and potentially quite dangerous credit bubble. Recall back in September, when Blackstone’s head of private equity proclaimed that “we are in the middle of an epic credit bubble.” Well they should know, because according to the article below from Reuters, Blackstone and many other private equity firms are the “alternative asset managers” directly responsible for its creation.

I don’t know about you, but I just can’t wait for another bankster bailout!

From Reuters:

(Reuters) – A U.S. bank regulator is warning about the dangers of banks and alternative asset managers working together to do risky deals and get around rules amid concerns about a possible bubble in junk-rated loans to companies.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has already told banks to avoid some of the riskiest junk loans to companies, but is alarmed that banks may still do such deals by sharing some of the risk with asset managers.

These clowns never learn, and why should they when society just bails them out from their stupidity.

“We do not see any benefit to banks working with alternative asset managers or shadow banks to skirt the regulation and continue to have weak deals flooding markets,” said Martin Pfinsgraff, senior deputy comptroller for large bank supervision at the OCC, in a statement in response to questions from Reuters.

Among the investors in alternative asset managers are pension funds that have funding issues of their own, he said.

“Transferring future losses from banks to pension funds does not aid long-term financial stability for the U.S. economy,” he added.

No, but it’s a great way to transfer risk to the muppets.

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Video of the Day: F*ck the Fed

On this day, when the banker-cartel commonly known as the Federal Reserve is set to announce its latest decision in central planning, I thought it would be wise to revisit an old, yet classic video which calls out this neo-feudal institution for the state-sanctioned criminal enterprise it is.

Neal Fox summarizes my sentiments exactly with three simple words that say it all: F*ck the Fed.

Enjoy.

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Video of the Day: F*ck the Fed originally appeared on A Lightning War for Liberty on January 29, 2014.

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This is Your Congress – NY Rep. Threatens to Throw Journalist Off Balcony and “Break Him in Half”

My home state of New York sure knows how to pick its Congressional Representatives. From Peter King, who for all intents and purposes thinks he is living the life of a capo in a real life Goodfellas movie, to Michael Grimm, another Republican Congressman, these people are literally thugs. As I have said before, I have a lot more respect for the mafia than I do for politicians and bankers, at least the mob faces jail time.

So here’s what happened. From Real Clear Politics:

After being asked by NY1 reporter Michael Scotto about the investigation, Grimm replied, “That’s off-topic. This is only about president’s speech,” and walked off camera.

Scotto briefly concluded his report, and Grimm — assuming the broadcast was over — returned to admonish the reporter. The camera remained on, however. “Let me be clear to you: You ever do that to me again, I’ll throw you off this f—— balcony,” Grimm threatened.

After a brief back-and-forth about the validity of the question, Grimm concluded, “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”

Never forget that these are the people voting on everything from your civil liberties to going to war. Frightening.

Video of the incident below:

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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This is Your Congress – NY Rep. Threatens to Throw Journalist Off Balcony and “Break Him in Half” originally appeared on A Lightning War for Liberty on January 29, 2014.

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State of the Union Preview – What to Expect from the Propagandist in Chief

Tonight, the Propagandist in Chief for the USSA will take the stage and say absolutely nothing meaningful. He will employ trite clichés to appeal to the increasingly small section of the lobotomized population which still somehow supports his oligarch coddling criminality. He will preen and posture and threaten to legislate via executive order like the petty little wannabe dictator he is. Like all of the other speeches he has given before, it will be a verbal assault on the intelligence of all human beings still capable of putting together a string of critical thoughts.

At this time, it makes sense to go back and admire the words of a true American statesman, Theodore Roosevelt. Back in his own State of the Union in 1902 he proclaimed (click on the image for more quotes):

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 11.50.07 AM

Ah, but we will hear none of that from Barry. No, sentiments such as those are too nuanced, too accurate to serve as effective propaganda. Rather, what we will see will more closely relate to speeches given by former Iraqi Info Minister Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf. This nation has become a circus of stupidity.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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State of the Union Preview – What to Expect from the Propagandist in Chief originally appeared on A Lightning War for Liberty on January 28, 2014.

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