Land of the Free – 1 in 3 Americans Are on File with the FBI in the U.S. Police State

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 11.36.30 AMThe sickening transformation of these United States into a authoritarian police state with an incarceration rate that would make Joseph Stalin blush, has been a key theme of my writing since well before the launch of Liberty Blitzkrieg. One of the posts that shocked and disturbed readers the most was published a little over a year ago, and titled: American Police Make an Arrest Every 2 Seconds in 2012. In the event you never read it, I suggest taking a look before tackling the rest of this piece.

Fast forward to fall 2014, and the Wall Street Journal has a powerful article about how children in schools systems across the U.S. are being arrested or turned over to police custody for doing things that children have always done since the beginning of time. Things such as wearing too much perfume, sharing a classmates’ chicken nuggets, throwing an eraser or chewing gum.

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How Can You Have a Recovery Without Jobs Creators?

One of the items overlooked by the MSM regarding the dismal economic “recovery” of the last five years is the complete decimation of the self-employed.

 

There are currently 10 million people classified as self-employed in US. That’s 5% of the total workforce. Incidentally this is also a record low.

 

 

It is not coincidental the massive increase in reliance on Government handouts (46 million on food stamps, 47% of US households on some kind of Government assistance) has coincided with a significant drop in self-employment and independence.

 

It is also not coincidental that many entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals have decided to close up shop. A weak economy generally means weaker sales. Combine this with massive increases in healthcare costs, taxes and the like, and it’s a lot harder to be self-employed today than it was 10 or 20 years ago.

 

All the talk of “helping small business” and “creating jobs” is just that: talk. Those who actually show initiative to create business shouldn’t be overburdened with tax loads and bureaucratic red tap.

 

If the political class really wanted to create jobs, they should focus on growing the number of self-employed. If we were to increase the percentage of self-employed Americans in the workforce to just 10% where it was in ‘90s, we’d need to add 4 million self-employed people to the workforce.

 

Obviously some of these entrepreneurs would fail, but a significant percentage of them would find some degree of success, creating who knows how many jobs.

 

But let’s go back even further. If we returned to the same level of self-employment as that which existed during the 1960s (18%) we’d create 15 million self-employed and who knows how many jobs.

 

With the total number of Americans in the workforce around 146 million, this would mean increasing the workforce by over 10%. That would be a truly incredible increase in job growth… even greater than that which the US economy created going back to 2003!

 

We missed a great opportunity to change the US for the better in 2008. What could have been a wake up call for fiscal discipline instead became the biggest crony capitalist boondoggle of all time as politically connected institutions were bailed out using tax-payer money.

 

The repercussions of this are still being felt with the system now even more leveraged (meaning more debt) than it was in 2008). This in turn has paved the way for the REAL crisis, which is coming… and this time around, it will be entire countries that go bust, not just a handful of banks.

 

If you’ve yet to take action to prepare for the second round of the financial crisis, we offer a FREE investment report Financial Crisis "Round Two" Survival Guide that outlines easy, simple to follow strategies you can use to not only protect your portfolio from a market downturn, but actually produce profits.

 

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Best Regards

 

Phoenix Capital Research

 

 

 

 




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Penn. Supreme Court Justice Suspended With Pay For Sending Employees Pornographic E-Mails

Seamus McCafferyPennsylvania Supreme Court
Justice Seamus McCaffery was suspended with pay by the Supreme
Court for sending unwanted sexually explicit e-mails and
pornographic images to  employees at the Attorney General’s
office, and then trying to coerce another justice into backing him,
saying he wasn’t “going down alone.”

The court didn’t suspend McCaffery with pay because the Judicial
Conduct Board hasn’t filed formal charges, a reason cited in the
dissent. The Express Times
reports
:

Entering a dissenting opinion, Justice Debra McCloskey Todd
said, in part: “No independent investigative body has made any
findings regarding merits or credibility, and, unlike the
suspension of Justice Joan Orie Melvin, no criminal proceedings
have been instituted.” Orie Melvin and her sister, Janine Orie,
were found guilty last year of using court and legislative staffers
to help Orie Melvin get elected, a violation of campaign laws.

The conduct board lacks the resources and manpower for the
“enormous effort” of the investigation ordered into McCaffery’s
conduct, [Chief Justice Ronald] Castille wrote.

“The most recent misconduct of Justice McCaffery — forwarding
sexually explicit pornographic emails to employees of the Attorney
General’s Office (and, in one instance, an email depicting a naked
100-year-old woman as the target of a sexually explicit joke and a
video of a woman in sexual congress with a snake that is clearly
obscene and may violate the Crimes Code Section on Obscenity) — has
caused the Supreme Court to be held up to public ridicule,”
Castille wrote. “This conduct deserves the immediate action as
implemented by this court today.”

Among the images sent by McCaffery, according to The
Times
, one of the images showed a woman having sex with a
snake that could be illegal.

h/t Irish

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Is This Why Stocks Are Soaring?

October 16: “Buyers beware, the bear market has begun“:

The selloff in global markets is set to continue as a bear market takes hold “for a long period of time,” according to widely followed investor Dennis Gartman, who warned investors not to go long on stocks.

 

“This is the start of a bear market,” Gartman, the founder of the closely watched Gartman Letter, told CNBC Europe’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday. “You stay in cash and you stay in short term bonds and you don’t move out, this is a very difficult period of time and I’m afraid – and

 

I don’t like to think about it – but this might be the very beginnings of a bear market that could last some period of time,” he warned.

And first thing this morning:

As noted in the chart of the S&P at the upper left of p.1 this morning we were swiftly approaching the bottom of “The Box” that marks the 50-62% retracement of the recent sharp decline from the interim highs forged earlier this month. Given the manner in which stock index futures are trading rather briskly lower this morning as we write, it does not appear that we shall see the S&P futures trade into “The Box,” and that makes us all the more suspicious of share prices generally, for a market than cannot even retrace 50-62% of its previous weakness is a market that is weaker, internally, than it might at first appear. Worse, failure here suggest that a fully-fledged bear market has begun, for this would be a clear failure well below the highs of the last interim rally, with the lows of the last interim break having already been taken out to the downside.

And in chart format:




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School Doesn’t Have to Suck When You Teach Your Own Kids

TaxiOne of the problems my son ran
into when he still attended a brick-and-mortar school is the
current mania for turning every damned
arithmetic problem
into the equivalent of a New York cabbie
taking a rube tourist to Rockefeller Center via Staten Island. Why
go the direct route when you can run up the meter?

There’s widespread agreement in the U.S. that
math is being taught badly
, though experts disagree over
whether it’s Common Core’s fault or whether the education
establishment is blowing the teaching of math without assistance
from the controversial new standards. Either way, it’s
easy
to find
recent examples
of math problems seemingly designed to turn
numbers into an
incomprehensible mystery
(see one
delightful example
pictured).

Fortunately, my son is now homeschooled—or,
technically, attends a private online school. He uses online
lessons and offline texts and workbooks to learn, coached by his
mother and me. The lessons are means to an end; he takes them as
needed, and can take as much or little time as necessary, until he
demonstrates his mastery of a topic in a unit assessment test. Then
he moves on. Find your vocabulary set a breeze? Then skip the
review lessons. Stumped by long division? Then spend a few hours
working it out.

And when the approach recommended by the book comes from
education-establishment bizarro land, we can explain (not ask
permission) in a conversation with his homeroom teacher (really, an
advisor/contact at the school) that we won’t be taking the scenic
route across a mathematical Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Instead, my
wife taught Anthony basic long division as she learned the subject.
He has my mind for math which is, admittedly, missing a few
circuits, so that was challenging enough. So she spread the lesson
over two days. And she had him work at it repeatedly.

And he passed his unit assessment with 100 percent. Even better,
he said he liked math. Last year he cried over his
homework.

School doesn’t have to suck, when the lessons are tailored for
kids’ learning style, and the pace matches their ability to absorb
any given skill or bit of information. It’s easiest to do that when
you
don’t have somebody else’s education philosophy of the moment

forced on you.

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Premiums to Rise For Obamacare’s Cheapest Plans

What’s really going on with Obamacare premium
prices? Are they going up? Going down? Well, ah, yes. The best
answer is that it’s complicated; it depends on which premiums
you’re looking at, in what areas of the country, and
when. 

Back in September, a Kaiser Family Foundation study
found
that, based on a study of 16 major metro areas, that
“benchmark silver plans”—the second cheapest plans in the middle or
“silver” tier of health insurance available through the law’s
exchanges—would drop by 1 percent, on average. Plans in some
places, like Nashville, would rise, but overall the price was going
down just a little.

Great news! Obamacare premiums are going down! Or are they?

Last week, Jed Graham of Investor’s Business Daily
reported that, after looking at premium prices in the largest city
in 15 different states, plus Washington, D.C., he found that the
cost of the cheapest “bronze” plans—the lowest tier of coverage
available on the exchanges—would rise by 14 percent next year.

In some cities, Graham reports, they’ll go up
by a lot more than that
:

In Seattle, the cost of the cheapest bronze plan, after
subsidies, will soar 64%, from $60 to $98 per month, for
individuals at this income level. Some other cities seeing notable
gains include Providence (up 38%, from $72 to $99 per month); Los
Angeles (up 27%, from $88 to $111); Las Vegas (up 22%, from $100 to
$122); and New York (up 18%, from $97 to $114).

Of the people who picked bronze-level plans, Graham notes, 39
percent picked the cheapest option. So this could impact quite a
few people.

Depending on how you measure it, then, plan premiums are either
going down or up in various parts of the country.

What we still don’t really know, though, is what the overall
picture looks like, either in terms of the plans that are on offer
or the plans that people are actually picking for themselves.
That’s because a lot of information about premiums and subsidy
amounts, especially in the federal exchanges, is
on hold
until the middle of next month.

Only then will we actually get a complete look at the various
costs and options. The timing isn’t an accident either. Last year’s
open enrollment period started in October. This year’s open
enrollment, and thus the release of the information it makes
available, was
delayed
until just after the election. 

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Why did the IRS just threaten me with imprisonment?

IRS Tax Imprisonment Why did the IRS just threaten me with imprisonment?

October 21, 2014
Santiago, Chile

I walked in the door this morning to my apartment in Santiago, happy to be back in Chile after a week away.

(One of the things that I really love about this place is the weather. The weather forecast in the entire central region of Chile is typically just a string of yellow circles. Yet it’s not so hot that you need air conditioning. I love it.)

But my mood was quickly spoiled when my maid handed me an envelope.

“It looks official,” she said, staring at me to gauge my reaction. She was right. The sender was the United States Department of Treasury.

Clearly my first thought was wondering why the US government was sending me anything, especially to my apartment in Santiago. My second thought was utter astonishment that the US Postal Service had managed to get it here!

I ripped it open and found… a check. Made out to me. It was my tax refund.

As an aside, I’ll tell you that living overseas has a lot of huge benefits. One of them is that your taxes are almost always going to be lower.

If you’re American, you can earn up to $99,200 in foreign income, tax free. This amount goes up every year (not that there’s any inflation).

If you’re married, you and your spouse can BOTH claim the foreign earned income exclusion, meaning you can earn nearly $200,000 as a couple, tax free.

And when you include the additional deduction you can receive on foreign housing, your total tax benefit living overseas can easily be upwards of $250,000 or more.

Just imagine being able to put an additional $250,000 in your pocket each year, instead of giving that money to a bankrupt government to finance drones, bombs, and body scanners. (More on this in another letter…)

In my case, I have income from other sources, including certain investment income that still gets taxed. And just to be on the safe side, I ALWAYS overpay my taxes, so our friends at the IRS send me a refund each year.

This is the first year in ages that I remember receiving a physical check; I must have forgotten to fill out the direct deposit section of the 1040.

And while checks seem like vestigial relics of a financial era long gone, it’s not a big problem to deal with down here. Chileans really like checks, and it turns out that a number of Chilean banks we deal with are more than happy to immediately clear foreign checks from the US.

Then I glanced back at the envelope. It said, “Forgery or endorsements on Treasury checks is a Federal crime. Maximum penalty is a $10,000 fine and ten years in imprisonment.”

Wow. In the Land of the Free, you can’t even deposit a tax refund check without being threatened with fines and imprisonment. It’s unreal.

We’ve talked about this before. Even the most basic, innocuous tasks now involve threats and intimidation.

If you apply for a passport on form DS-11, the government threatens you with “fine and/or imprisonment under U.S. law including the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 1001, 18 U.S. C. 1542, and/or 18 U.S.C. 162.”

Applying for a social security replacement card threatens you with “penalty of perjury”.

Applying for a driver’s license in my home state of Texas threatens me with “five years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.”

And of course, the instruction book for IRS form 1040 includes an entire section threatening anyone about to file his/her taxes with civil, criminal, and administrative penalties.

There’s very little you can do in the Land of the Free that doesn’t involve the threat of fines and imprisonment anymore, including simply depositing a check.

They’ve criminalized almost every aspect of existence. EVERYTHING—how your children are educated, the purchasing power of your savings, the privacy of your email, what you can/cannot put in your body– is regulated by the state.

Any deviation from the standards that they establish is criminalized. And they shove these threats in our faces at every opportunity.

The idea of a government for the people, by the people, of the people… has long been lost. They don’t even pretend to serve the people anymore… it’s just threats and intimidation.

This is not how a free society is supposed to operate. And as we explored in yesterday’s podcast, it’s a sign of the top.

We have reached peak government. Like any bubble, this one is about to burst.

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Portland Alt-Weekly: Vote No on GMO Labeling! Will Wonders Never Cease?

Sanity has broken out at foodie
hipster ground zero: The Portland Mercury is
urging its readers to vote no
on a ballot measure
which would require labeling of foods containing genetically
modified organisms (GMOs). The editorial is framed by a bunch of
we-swear-we’re-not-evil positioning, including calling Monsanto and
Coca-Cola “shadowy multinational corporations” and declaring that
“industrial farming” is “problematic.”

But then there’s this spot-on analysis of what such initiatives
are really about:

And yet, after much debate, we’re coming
down just on the “no” side of this issue.

The essential problem is dishonesty. Measure 92’s proponents
argue it’s all about helping consumers make an informed choice.
They insisted in our interview they have no problem with GMOs, and
no other motives, ulterior or not, besides the spread of
information.

But this campaign—like identical efforts that narrowly failed in
California and Washington recently—is quite clearly a bid to get
food companies to abandon GMOs, a backdoor attempt at altering our
agricultural landscape.

See, the science we possess on GMOs indicates they’re almost
certainly safe to eat. Indeed, the Yes on 92 representatives who
attended our endorsement interview acknowledged purchasing and
eating GMO products all the time. But there’s a clear motive for
wanting “conspicuous” labeling on those foods, and it’s not to
remind consumers that GMOs are harmless. Without sufficient
context, a label is likely to sow doubt or apprehension in shoppers
who assume it’s a warning, and that there’s a reason they should be
warned….

There are more straightforward ways of trying to change
America’s problematic farming trends than a labeling measure that
takes pains to protest it’s not actually out to do that.

The paper also notes that there are already foods available with
reliable GMO-free labeling for customers who feel strongly about
restricting their own consumption, rather than focusing on
what other people buy and sell.

The Mercury is practically establishing a pattern here
(a
trend of two
, anyway) since it took
a bold stance in favor of floridated water
this spring.


 

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