Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gold...ya got any?

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

Barrick shuts hedge book as world gold supply runs out

Global gold production is in terminal decline despite record prices and Herculean efforts by mining companies to discover fresh sources of ore in remote spots, according to the world's top producer Barrick Gold.
Pouring gold bullion - Barrick shuts hedge book as world gold supply runs out
Liquid gold: Gold is poured from the induction kiln Photo: JULIAN SIMMONDS

Aaron Regent, president of the Canadian gold giant, said that global output has been falling by roughly 1m ounces a year since the start of the decade. Total mine supply has dropped by 10pc as ore quality erodes, implying that the roaring bull market of the last eight years may have further to run.

"There is a strong case to be made that we are already at 'peak gold'," he told The Daily Telegraph at the RBC's annual gold conference in London.

Ore grades have fallen from around 12 grams per tonne in 1950 to nearer 3 grams in the US, Canada, and Australia. South Africa's output has halved since peaking in 1970.

The supply crunch has helped push gold to an all-time high, reaching $1,118 an ounce at one stage yesterday. The key driver over recent days has been the move by India's central bank to soak up half of the gold being sold by the International Monetary Fund. It is the latest sign that the rising powers of Asia and the commodity bloc are growing wary of Western paper money and debt.

China has quietly doubled holdings to 1,054 tonnes and is thought to be adding gradually on price dips, creating a market floor. Gold remains a tiny fraction of its $2.3 trillion in foreign reserves.

Gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) – dubbed the "People's Central Bank" – have accumulated 1,778 tonnes, making them the fifth biggest holder after the US, Germany, France, and Italy.

Ross Norman, director of theBullionDesk.com, said exploration budgets had tripled since the start of the decade with stubbornly disappointing results so far.

Output fell a further 14pc in South Africa last year as companies were forced to dig ever deeper - at greater cost - to replace depleted reserves, not helped by "social uplift" rules and power cuts. Harmony Gold said yesterday that it may close two more mines over coming months due to poor ore grades.

Mr Norman said the "false mine of central banks" had been the only new source of gold supply this decade as they auction off reserves, but they are switching sides to become net buyers.

Barrick is moving fast to wind down the remaining 3m ounces of its infamous hedge book over the next twelve months, an implicit bet on rising gold prices over time.

Mr Regent said the company had waited too long to ditch the policy, which has made the company enemy number one among 'gold bug' enthusiasts. The hedges oblige Barrick to deliver part of its gold into futures contracts set long ago at levels far below today's spot prices.

The strategy worked well in the falling market of the 1990s, but has cost the company dear in lost profits this decade. "Hindsight is always 20/20," said Mr Regent, who was appointed from the outside earlier this year.

Barrick bit the bullet in the third quarter, taking a $5.7bn charge against earnings on hedge contracts. Liberation is at last in sight. In 2001 the hedge book topped 20m ounces.

Mr Regent said the hedge policy has weighed badly on the share price and irked investors, becoming a bone of contention at every meeting. The financial crisis brought matters to a head as markets fretted about counterparty risk. "It was clear to me that there were a significant number of institutions who wouldn't invest in Barrick because of the hedge book," he said.

Barrick produced 1.9m ounces of gold last quarter, down from 1.95m a year earlier. Costs have been "trending down" to $456 an ounce, though rising energy prices pose a fresh threat. Total reserves are 139m ounces, far ahead of rival Newmont Mining at 86m.

The hedge book venture has not been a happy one, but those who predicted that Barrick would eventually "blow up" on its contracts may owe the company an apology.

Hurricane Season 2009...not a good year for storms but we managed to get some good video

Watch hurricnae Bill as he travels across the Atlantic

video

Understanding Your Money...at some point you are going to have to!

No conspiracy theories here! (see video below)
At some point all the ignoramuses of the world are going to have to wake up. I say this because it is true, most of us are very ignorant of that which is going around around us (Is that double word correct grammar?) . With all the news talk so widely dispersed amongst the war and the politics of war, jobs and the economy, higher taxes and lower incomes, shootings, killings, abortions, health care or no health care, is he the president or is he a usurper...and of course money! Money is a big problem nowadays; bigger than you think. You think you have money...think again! You may be poorer than you look! So what are you going to do about it? One thing you can do is listen to the people that know and understand what is going around...or in this case, what is going down! The following editorial is informative to say the least but to really get a grasp of the New World Order of money, you need to watch/listen to the interview "On the Edge with Ellen Brown" at the bottom of this page. All you disbelievers of the so-called conspircy theories may want to re-think your position. ~ Norman E. Hooben
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Shifting the Burden From Main Street to Wall Street: Why We Need a "Tobin Tax"
Source: Truth.org

(Photo Illustration: Troy Page, t r u t h o u t; Adapted From: FrancyFoto, Drifty, ZeroOne / flickr)

"Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street, and for Wall Street. Our laws are the output of a system which clothes rascals in robes and honesty in rags."

-1890 speech by Populist leader Mary Ellen Lease, thought to be the prototype for Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz

Consider these arresting facts:

  • The Bank for International Settlements estimates that in 2008, annual trading in over-the-counter derivatives amounted to $743 trillion globally - more than ten times the gross domestic product of all the nations of the world combined.
  • Just five super-rich Wall Street banks control 97% of the U.S. derivatives market: JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co.
  • Wall Street traders compete to design computer programs that can move many trades in microseconds, allowing them to beat ordinary investors to the "buy" button and to manipulate markets for private gain.
  • Goldman Sachs, the uncontested leader in this game, was reported in September to be sitting on a cool $167 billion in cash. Meanwhile, a September survey of state finances found that state governments faced a collective budget shortfall for fiscal 2010 of $168 billion - nearly the same amount.
  • In 2008, Goldman Sachs paid a paltry 1% in income taxes - less than clerks at WalMart.

Also see:
Cut Wall Street Out! How States Can Finance Their Own Economic Recovery

Wall Street bankers have been called today's "welfare queens," feeding at the public trough to the tune of trillions of dollars. They are taking from the taxpayers and not giving back. These banks were rescued so they could make loans, take deposits, and keep our money safe. But while that is what banks used to do, today the big Wall Street money comes from short-term speculation in currency transactions, commodities, stocks, and derivatives for the banks' own accounts.

Wall Street traders have been criticized for profiting from "speculation" or "gambling," but that criticism hardly goes far enough. With high-speed computer programs, math whizzes, and taxpayers to bail them out when all of that brain power short circuits, these traders are not even gambling. What they have is a sure bet, while the rest of us are gambling, taking real risks for our rewards, which are liable to be few. The winnings of the Wall Street traders are coming right out of our pockets and our tax money.

Meanwhile, the sales tax on these speculative trades is zero. Wall Street's gamblers have managed to trade in practically the only products left on the planet that are not subject to a sales tax. Parents in California are now paying 9% sales tax on their children's school bags and shoes, and race track winnings and other forms of gambling are taxed at up to 25%. But trades in Wall Street's "financial products" get off scot free.

We need to get some of our tax money back, and we can. But first, a closer look at Wall Street's questionable trading practices ....

Why Goldman Always Wins

In the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, Goldman Sachs is having a banner year. According to an October 16 article by Colin Barr on CNNMoney.com:

"While Goldman churned out $3 billion in profits in the third quarter, the economy shed 768,000 jobs, and home foreclosures set a new record. More than a million Americans have filed for bankruptcy this year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute."

Barr writes that Goldman's "eye-popping profit" resulted "as revenue from trading rose fourfold from a year ago."

Why Goldman always seems to win at this game became evident in a revealing incident last summer, in which the bank sued an ex-Goldman computer programmer for stealing its proprietary trading software. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Facciponti was quoted by Bloomberg as saying of the case:

"The bank has raised the possibility that there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this program could use it to manipulate markets in unfair ways."

The obvious implication was that Goldman has a program that allows it to manipulate markets in unfair ways. Bloomberg went on:

"The proprietary code lets the firm do 'sophisticated, high-speed and high-volume trades on various stock and commodities markets,' prosecutors said in court papers. The trades generate 'many millions of dollars' each year."

Those many millions of dollars are coming from ordinary investors, who are being beaten to the punch by sophisticated computer programs. As one blogger mused:

"Why do we have a financial system? I mean, much of its activity looks an awful lot like gambling, and gambling is not exactly a constructive endeavor. In fact, many people would call gambling destructive, which is why it is generally illegal....

"What makes Goldman Sachs et. al. so evil is that they offer vast wealth to our society's best and brightest in exchange for spending their lives being non-productive. I want our geniuses to be proving theorems and curing cancer and developing fusion reactors, not designing algorithms to flip billions of shares in microseconds."

Gambling is an addiction, and the addicted need help. A tax on the microsecond trades of Wall Street gamblers could sober them up and return them to productive labor, and transform Wall Street from an out-of-control casino back into a place where investors pledge their capital for the development of useful products.

Speeding Tickets to Slow Day Traders: The Tobin Tax Gains Momentum

The fact that speculative trades remain untaxed suggests a tidy way the public could recover some of its bailout money. The idea of taxing speculative trades was first proposed by Nobel Prize winning economist James Tobin in the 1970s; but at the time, the tax raised prohibitive accounting problems. Today, however, modern technology has caught up to the challenge, and proposals for a "Tobin tax" are gaining traction. The proposals are very modest, ranging from .005% to 1% per trade, far less than you would pay for a pair of shoes. For ordinary investors, who buy and sell stock only occasionally, the tax would hardly be felt. But high-speed speculative trades intended to manipulate markets for private gain could be slowed up considerably. Short-term traders, who often make money on very small margins, might be discouraged from trading at all.

Various proposals for a Tobin tax have received renewed media attention in recent months. President Obama gave indirect support for the tax in a Press briefing on July 22, when he recommended that the government consider new fees on financial companies pursuing "far out transactions". Leaders from France, Germany, and the European Commission endorsed putting a speculation tax on the agenda at the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh in September. Brazil has now imposed what may be the first Tobin Tax on foreign investment inflows. A U.S. bill proposing to tax short-term speculation in certain securities, called "Let Wall Street Pay for Wall Street's Bailout Act of 2009", was introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) last February. A different bill to regulate derivative trades was approved by the Financial Services Committee in October.

Derivatives are essentially bets on whether the value of currencies, commodities, stocks, government bonds or virtually any other product will go up or down. Derivative bets can cause shifts in overall market size reaching $40 trillion in a single day. Just how destabilizing short-term speculation can be - and just how lucrative a tax on it could be - is evident from the mind-boggling size of the market: $743 trillion globally in 2008. Promoters of international development have suggested that a mere .005% tax could raise between $30 billion and $60 billion per year, enough for the G7 countries to double international aid.

More than raising money, however, the tax could be an effective tool for slowing harmful speculative practices. According to a number of Nobel Prize economists, a downsized speculative market would go far towards creating a more sturdy financial system, helping to avoid the need for future bailouts. But if the tax is too small, it might not have the desired effect on speculation. The larger 1% tax originally proposed by James Tobin is therefore favored by some proponents. The much-needed income from a U.S. tax could be split between federal and state governments.

Opponents of the Tobin tax, led by the financial sector, argue that it would kill bank jobs, reduce liquidity, and drive business offshore. Supporters respond that Tobin tax profits could be used to create new jobs, and that the small size of the tax would hardly affect cash flows - although certainly the speculative market would shrink. Players in dice-rolling speculative operations have long claimed that their trades "stabilized" the system by enabling investors to hedge risk, but the recent financial crash has exposed that defense as being without clothes.

Officials from the International Monetary Fund insist that implementing a Tobin tax would be logistically impossible. But Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winning economist and former World Bank leader, disagrees. In Istanbul in early October, he said that a Tobin tax was not only necessary but, thanks to modern technology, would be easier to implement than ever before. "The financial sector polluted the global economy with toxic assets," he said, "and now they ought to clean it out."

While Wall Street's welfare queens have been busy collecting generous government handouts, the 50 states have been left to fend for themselves. Some 48 states have faced budget crises in the past year, forcing them to cut libraries, schools, and police forces, and to raise taxes on income and sales. A sales tax on the exotic financial products responsible for precipitating the economic crisis is long overdue.

_____________

On the Edge with Ellen Brown

Note: If the video does not load up properly please click on the link below. http://maxkeiser.com/2009/11/06/ote-26-on-the-edge-with-ellen-brown/

See also... "Understanding Derivatives ..."the derivatives neutron bomb has the potential to destroy the entire world economy... "

Major Policy Conflicts Are A Direct Result Of Obama's Incompetence ...internal strife will get worse before it gets better.

Partial quote: (from the Wasgington Post)

"The U.S. ambassador in Kabul sent two classified cables to Washington in the past week expressing deep concerns about sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan until President Hamid Karzai's government demonstrates that it is willing to tackle the corruption and mismanagement that has fueled the Taliban's rise, senior U.S. officials said.

Karl W. Eikenberry's memos, sent as President Obama enters the final stages of his deliberations over a new Afghanistan strategy, illustrated both the difficulty of the decision and the deepening divisions within the administration's national security team. After a top-level meeting on the issue Wednesday afternoon -- Obama's eighth since early last month -- the White House issued a statement that appeared to reflect Eikenberry's concerns. "

Do you see what I see? Although it was the headline that initially caught my eye it was the name, "Eikenberry" that really grabbed my attention. Today's Washington Post article, "U.S. Envoy Resists Increase In Troops" is sure to cause dissension in the ranks at the highest level...we're talking about the generals here, not the privates or sergeants!
Lets go down to that part of the article that states, "Although Eikenberry's extensive military experience and previous command in Afghanistan were the key reasons Obama chose him for the top diplomatic job there, ..." No, I don't think so... Obama can care less about the extensive military experience. Obama most likely recognized the leftist leaning tendencies of the former general. If you re-call, it was General Eikenberry that took the side of Newsweek's false story about the Koran that was supposedly flushed down the toilet back in 2005. Read full story here.
Further, if you don't smell a rat in some back room deal making you missed this:"Eikenberry retired from the military in April as a senior general in NATO and was sworn in as ambassador the next day." ~ Norman E. Hooben

Washington Post article can be found here.
New York Times, May 2005 article about Newsweek can be found here.

Great Day In The Morning! Lou Dobbs Did It! ...he quit CNN!

Lou Dobbs Says He's Leaving CNN Immediately

see video below

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 7:40 PM

CNN's Lou Dobbs, a lightning rod for criticism following his transition from a business journalist to an opinionated anchor on such issues as illegal immigration, told viewers on Wednesday that he was quitting his nightly show to pursue new opportunities.

"This will be my last broadcast," Dobbs said after giving the day's headlines. Dobbs, who hosts a daily radio show unrelated to CNN, said the network had allowed him to be released early from his contract.

Dobbs was a CNN original, signing on when the cable network started in 1980. For much of that time, he hosted a nightly business broadcast that became one of the most influential shows in the corporate world, and CNN's most profitable show for advertising revenue.

But Dobbs said his world view changed after the 2001 terrorist attacks and corporate corruption scandals, and he began to more freely express his opinions. He was particularly persistent in bringing the immigration issue to the fore, winning him both higher ratings and enemies. Latino groups had an active petition drive seeking his removal.

His presence became awkward for CNN, particularly as it began emphasizing reporting and non-opinion shows. He angered management this summer by pressing questions about President Barack Obama's birth site after CNN reporters determined there was no issue.

Dobbs said the decision came after many months of discussion with CNN U.S. President Jon Klein. Dobbs said he wanted to concentrate on his role as a commentator and on advocacy journalism.

Klein hailed Dobbs' "appetite for big ideas, the megawatt smile and larger than life presence he brought to our newsroom."

"With characteristic forthrightness, Lou has now decided to carry the banner of advocacy journalism elsewhere," Klein said. "We respect his decision."

Dobbs said he was proud of his role in helping to build the first cable news network. He said some leaders in media, politics and business "have been urging me to go beyond my role here at CNN and to engage in constructive problem-solving."

Seated at an anchor desk in front of a screen with a fluttering American flag, Dobbs mentioned his interest in issues such as health care, jobs, immigration, climate change and the wars.

"Unfortunately, these issues are now defined in the public arena by partisanship and ideology rather than rigorous empirical thought and forthright analysis and discussion," he said. "I will be working diligently to change that as best I can."

His resignation was hailed by activists who were seeking his ouster.

"Our contention all along was that Lou Dobbs — who has a long history of spreading lies and conspiracy theories about immigrants and Latinos — does not belong on the most trusted name in news," said Roberto Lovato, co-founder of Presente.org. "We are thrilled that Dobbs no longer has the legitimate platform from which to incite fear and hate."

Tom Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the leading Latino legal organization, said, "I think the Latino community can and should celebrate that Lou Dobbs is no longer on CNN."

Dobbs did not immediately return telephone and e-mail messages to talk about his critics.

Although he joined CNN in 1980, Dobbs left the network for two year in 1999, after angrily complaining on the air about a decision by then-CNN President Rick Kaplan to switch away from his show to a live news event. An Internet venture failed and when Kaplan left CNN, Dobbs returned.

A decision on who will replace Dobbs is expected to be announced on Thursday.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sen. Harry Reid Clears Path for Anti-Jesus Pro-Allah Judge

Remember this...
"Is America Going To Hell..."?
(See picture at right. Click on picture to enlarge.)

The New World Order is emerging...but you're not going to like it. It's a new world order without God. Jesus will be diven back into the catacombs and this judge will most likely ask you to swear to Allah. We can still fight this thing; God willing! (see below) ...but are you willing? ~ Norman E. Hooben



URGENT PETITION! (Even if you've signed before, you can sign again & we'll re-fax.) Please select, sign, and WE WILL FAX your petition automatically to ALL 100 U.S.
SENATORS right away (saving you hours of labor!) Please forward widely.
We've now sent nearly 850,000 faxes to the Senate. Can you help reach 1 Million?

Sen. Harry Reid Clears Path for Anti-Jesus Pro-Allah Judge: Vote Monday?

Make the 17 phone calls listed below, today, to these key "undecided" Senators.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said in a floor statement Monday that he will likely file a procedural motion to clear the nomination of David Hamilton, an Indiana native nominated to serve on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. You may remember Hamilton as the Judge who ruled it's illegal to pray "in Jesus name" but totally legal to pray to Allah on the floor of the Indiana Legislature. His foolish ruling in Hinrichs v. Bosma was overturned (thanks in part to our legal aid to the Indiana Attorney General). He also ruled to hasten the abortion of unborn children, but that bad ruling was also overturned. Now Obama wants to reward Hamilton's anti-life anti-Jesus prejudice with promotion to the same appeals court that overruled him.

“Monday, a week from today, we’ll have votes in the morning. We have to do that,” Reid said, giving us more time to auto-fax all 100 Senators to filibuster Hamilton. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) wrote a letter to all Republicans on 30 Oct, asking for help in opposing Hamilton, who the Seventh Circuit Court rebuked for repeatedly "abusing his discretion," and for a speech Hamilton gave saying the judge's primary job is "write footnotes in the Constitution" for his own activist causes. To support Sessions and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) who called for a filibuster, back in April & May 2009 we sent nearly 700,000 fax petitions to the full Senate against Hamilton, and we successfully persuaded all Republicans to unite against Hamilton, earning all 7 minority votes to block him in the Judiciary Committee. But all 12 committee majority Democrats voted against Jesus-prayers, and so forwarded Hamilton to the full Senate, where his nomination sat quietly without action for seven months, until now...

SO PLEASE SELECT HERE TO SIGN AND WE'LL AUTOMATICALLY FAX YOUR PERSONALIZED PETITION TO ALL 100 U.S. SENATORS, OPPOSING THE ANTI-LIFE, ANTI-CHRISTIAN JUDGE DAVID HAMILTON.

On 4 June 09, the Judiciary committee voted 12-7 along strict party lines, to forward the nomination of Judge David Hamilton, the anti-Jesus Judge, the same judge who issued controversial rulings banning public prayers offered "in Jesus name," (but allowing prayers to Allah), and hastening the abortion of unborn children. This vote came after we'd already sent nearly 600,000 faxes to the entire Senate opposing Hamilton, proving some Republicans listen to the voice of the people, and some Democrats remain deaf to our petitions. Now this anti-Jesus Judge Hamilton will face the full Senate, and the threat of filibuster by the pro-faith, pro-family Senator James Inhofe (R-OK).

To stop Hamilton, we need 40 strong Senate votes to stand with Senator Inhofe, to uphold his filibuster. If we fail, Hamilton will be promoted to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the same court that overruled his aggressive, anti-life, anti-liberty decisions for years. So we've identified 17 key undecided Senators, from which we need just 7 votes to successfully defeat Hamilton's nomination, (see list below).


T
o support Senators Inhofe and Sessions, and stop Hamilton, we first 40 solid votes by any good conservatives or moderates, so please call both of YOUR STATE Senators, whom you might call to ask him to OPPOSE AND FILIBUSTER Judge David Hamilton, at 202-225-3121. We have carefully identified 17 undecided Senators, who should especially receive your blast-faxes in the coming days.

WE MUST TAKE ACTION TODAY. So please sign our fax-petition (even if you already signed it before), but then PLEASE MAKE 17 PHONE CALLS TODAY to each of the undecided Senate votes here, asking to oppose and filibuster Judge David Hamilton, because he ruled it's illegal to pray in Jesus name, but legal to pray to Allah
:

x
Ben Nelson, D-NE 202-224-6551 y George Voinovich, R-OH 202-224-3353

x Bill Nelson, D-FL 202-224-5274 y Judd Gregg, R-NH 202-224-3324

x Kay Hagan, D-NC 202-224-6342 y Richard Lugar, R-IN 202-224-4814

x Mark Pryor, D-AR 202-224-2353 y Olympia Snowe, R-ME 202-224-5344

xz Blanche Lincoln, D-AR 202-224-4843 y Susan Collins, R-ME 202-224-2523

z Chris Dodd, D-CT 202-224-2823 xy Kit Bond, R-MO 202-224-5721

z Barbara Boxer, D-CA 202-224-3553

z Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY 202-224-4451 z Michael Bennet, D-CO 202-224-5852

z Roland Burris, D-IL 202-224-2854 z Byron Dorgan, D-ND 202-224-2551

(x = Lives in the South. y = Voted for Sebelius. z = Facing re-election in 2010.)

But remember, 100 emails = 10 phone calls = 1 fax in political capital, since the Senate staffers must handle each paper and usually write a reply. So please join our automated fax-petition campaign first, WE WILL ESPECIALLY FAX THE 17 ABOVE. Then please forward this email to your friends in the states with Senators listed above, and to all pastors in all 50 states.


SO PLEASE SELECT HERE TO SIGN AND WE'LL AUTOMATICALLY FAX YOUR PERSONALIZED PETITION TO ALL 100 U.S. SENATORS, OPPOSING THE ANTI-LIFE, ANTI-CHRISTIAN JUDGE DAVID HAMILTON.


ANTI-JESUS, BUT PRO-ALLAH?

Judge Hamilton wrote: "The injunction orders the Speaker...that the prayers should not use Christ's name or title or any other denominational appeal...If those offering prayers in the Indiana House of Representatives choose to use the Arabic 'Allah'...the court sees little risk that the choice of language would advance a particular religion or disparage others."

In other words, Judge Hamilton ruled the words "Jesus" or "Christ" or "Savior" are illegal words, prohibited for public speech, banned by the First Amendment, which somehow prohibits freedom of religious expression, and makes Christian prayers ILLEGAL, but prayers to Allah are TOTALLY LEGAL in a public forum. (What crazy version of the First Amendment is he reading?)

Thank God, we took action in 2007 and provided legal arguments to the Indiana Attorney General who appealed to the 7th Circuit Court and WE WON a 2-1 decision overruling Hamilton, restoring the right to pray "in Jesus name" in Indiana. But if President Obama succeeds in promoting Hamilton to the same court that overruled him, that good reversal will be in jeopardy.

We're now the leading national voice against Hamilton, and we're getting traction toward a successful Senate filibuster that can stop Hamilton's confirmation, much to the horror of many liberal groups (including the National Abortion Rights Action League who is actively campaigning FOR Hamilton). But together, we can be a louder voice.


SO PLEASE SELECT HERE TO SIGN AND WE'LL AUTOMATICALLY FAX YOUR PERSONALIZED PETITION TO ALL 100 U.S. SENATORS, OPPOSING THE ANTI-LIFE, ANTI-CHRISTIAN JUDGE DAVID HAMILTON.

Judge Hamilton is the worst of Obama's 15 new liberal appeals court appointees. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals covers Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois. Since most cases never reach the Supreme Court, the federal appellate circuits often provide the last word on cases affecting life and liberty.

READ THE FACTS:

The Judicial Confirmation Network quickly opposed Hamilton's nomination, stating that "President Obama's first nominee to the federal appeals courts -- specifically the appeals court based in Chicago -- is an ultra-liberal named David Hamilton who is a former fundraiser for ACORN and former leader of the Indiana chapter of the ACLU. He was nominated to the district court bench by President Clinton even though he had no judicial experience and was rated as 'not qualified' by the American Bar Association."

Now newly promoted Judiciary Committee ranking minority Member Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), agrees with pro-faith Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), that we should oppose and filibuster Hamilton's nomination to the 7th Circuit. Thanks in part to our public pressure, the Republicans and Sessions have twice succeeded in delaying Hamilton's committee votes, saying "This a complex area of the law, I'll admit, but it's time for the federal court to get their heads straight on proper separation of church and state issues."

PLEASE SELECT HERE TO SIGN AND WE'LL AUTOMATICALLY FAX YOUR PERSONALIZED PETITION TO ALL 100 U.S. SENATORS, OPPOSING THE ANTI-LIFE, ANTI-CHRISTIAN JUDGE DAVID HAMILTON.

ANTI-LIFE BUT PRO-ABORTION?

In 2003, Judge Hamilton struck down part of an Indiana law on abortion. The reasonable law had required abortion clinics to simply give women information about alternatives to abortion in the presence of a physician or nurse, 18 hours before the procedure, until Hamilton ruled to hasten abortions. But thank God, the 7th Circuit Court also reversed Hamilton's bad decision in that case.

If confirmed now Hamilton will sit on that 7th Circuit Court (the same court that frequently overruled him) with tyrannical power to rule the heartland of Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin with his anti-life, anti-liberty, anti-Christian agenda.

WE CAN WIN THIS BATTLE!

We've already sent nearly 700,000 faxes to the full Senate, and we're getting results! On April 1st and again on April 29th, Senator Orrin Hatch led all Republicans to walk out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in protest against the Democrat "rush job" to confirm Judge Hamilton.
Senator Jeff Sessions said he was troubled by Hamilton's ruling against a sectarian prayer to open the Indiana House of Representatives. Even Senator Arlen Specter expressed concern about Hamilton while serving as a Republican, but after switching parties he broke his promise to not become a "rubber stamp" for the Obama Administration, and voted to confirm Hamilton anyway. But will any Democrats oppose the anti-Jesus Hamilton?

But first, take action right now! I pray you will not hesitate, but sign the petition and WE WILL FAX your petition right away, automatically to all 100 U.S. Senators.

PLEASE SELECT HERE TO SIGN AND WE'LL AUTOMATICALLY FAX YOUR PERSONALIZED PETITION TO ALL 100 U.S. SENATORS, OPPOSING THE ANTI-LIFE, ANTI-CHRISTIAN JUDGE DAVID HAMILTON.


God Bless you, in Jesus' name,

Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt

P.S. Time is urgent! The full Senate will vote on Hamilton soon. Select and sign today, & we will forward your name immediately. Please don't wait another minute. Life, Liberty, and Jesus are too important to be banned by one extremist judge.

Disclaimer: The views of Chaplain Klingenschmitt, who was honorably but involuntarily discharged from the Navy in 2007 after facing court-martial for praying "in Jesus name" in uniform, (but was later vindicated by Congress), are his own personal views, not the views of any political party, government, or organization.

Amazing Grace...amazing voice(s)

----- Original Message -----
From: link removed
To: link removed
Sent: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 5:58 PM
Subject: Fwd: Fw: Amazing Grace

If you haven’t heard this group, listen… I got goose bumps when I heard it. I love this song.

This coliseum (smaller but better preserved than the one in Rome ) where the concert and recording were done is one of the most well-preserved Roman coliseums in the world.

The four male singers in the group are from four different countries. Moreover, they come from four different musical disciplines but have discovered a new unity of purpose. 'Il Divo' in Italian literally means a male (singular) 'prima donna.' They are: American tenor David Miller; Swiss tenor Urs Buhler; Spanish baritone Carlos Marin; and French pop singer Sebastien Izambard.

This group was initially brought together in 2004 by the infamous Simon Cowell after intensive worldwide auditions. The virtuoso blending of operatic techniques with both
romantic and popular tradition has taken the world by storm. They have sold over 22 million albums, the first three of which were 'Il Divo', 'Ancora,' and 'Sempre,' the last two translated into English are 'Again' and 'Always.'

Lastly, the group decided to work with only one producer, a longtime collaborator named Steve McCutcheon (aka Steve Mac). A musical genius, Mac is able to create beautiful orchestrations by experience.


Obama Admits He Is A Muslim - We 'are' a Christian nation! ...does America really need this?

Whether you know it or not, there is a war against Christianity going on in our country and it is led by the usurper in the White House...sure he will deny it, for that's what Alinskyites do "deny with their lips what they are doing with their hands" ... I'd ask you to wake up but that expression is getting old, "WAKE THE HELL UP AMERICA ! you're about to lose your country!" ~ Norman E. Hooben

video

Fort Hood After Action Report

Click on picture to enlarge.

Congressman, I’m not sure whether or not you fulfill the basic requirements of being a Catholic... (psst, Bishop, good job! Sock it to him!)

Finally! I say it's about time the Catholic Church spoke up about the infallible yet obnoxious Kennedy family...not so much JFK but the other two! As one of the two is no longer with us that leaves the self-admitted wacko Patrick, aka "Patches". How this poor excuse for a Catholic gets elected is dumbfounding to say the least. On the recently passed HR 3962, Patrick Kennedy voted against the Stupak Amendment which puts him on the outs with the Catholic Church. To make a long story short, Kennedy is in favor of abortions (murdering innocent children) which is a big N0-No as far as Catholic Christian Doctrine is concerned. Meanwhile, Bishop Thomas Tobin should receive high praises for going public with the chastisement of the less than honorable Congressman. ~ Norman E. Hooben
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WITHOUT A DOUBT [Source: Rhode Island Catholic ]
Dear Congressman Kennedy
BY BISHOP THOMAS J. TOBIN
Since our recent correspondence has been rather public, I hope you don’t mind if I share a few reflections about your practice of the faith in this public forum. I usually wouldn’t do that – that is speak about someone’s faith in a public setting – but in our well-documented exchange of letters about health care and abortion, it has emerged as an issue. I also share these words publicly with the thought that they might be instructive to other Catholics, including those in prominent positions of leadership.

For the moment I’d like to set aside the discussion of health care reform, as important and relevant as it is, and focus on one statement contained in your letter of October 29, 2009, in which you write, “The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” That sentence certainly caught my attention and deserves a public response, lest it go unchallenged and lead others to believe it’s true. And it raises an important question: What does it mean to be a Catholic?

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” Well, in fact, Congressman, in a way it does. Although I wouldn’t choose those particular words, when someone rejects the teachings of the Church, especially on a grave matter, a life-and-death issue like abortion, it certainly does diminish their ecclesial communion, their unity with the Church. This principle is based on the Sacred Scripture and Tradition of the Church and is made more explicit in recent documents.

For example, the “Code of Canon Law” says, “Lay persons are bound by an obligation and possess the right to acquire a knowledge of Christian doctrine adapted to their capacity and condition so that they can live in accord with that doctrine.” (Canon 229, #1)

The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” says this: “Mindful of Christ’s words to his apostles, ‘He who hears you, hears me,’ the faithful receive with docility the teaching and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.” (#87)

Or consider this statement of the Church: “It would be a mistake to confuse the proper autonomy exercised by Catholics in political life with the claim of a principle that prescinds from the moral and social teaching of the Church.” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2002)

There’s lots of canonical and theological verbiage there, Congressman, but what it means is that if you don’t accept the teachings of the Church your communion with the Church is flawed, or in your own words, makes you “less of a Catholic.”

But let’s get down to a more practical question; let’s approach it this way: What does it mean, really, to be a Catholic? After all, being a Catholic has to mean something, right?

Well, in simple terms – and here I refer only to those more visible, structural elements of Church membership – being a Catholic means that you’re part of a faith community that possesses a clearly defined authority and doctrine, obligations and expectations. It means that you believe and accept the teachings of the Church, especially on essential matters of faith and morals; that you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish; that you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly; that you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially.

Congressman, I’m not sure whether or not you fulfill the basic requirements of being a Catholic, so let me ask: Do you accept the teachings of the Church on essential matters of faith and morals, including our stance on abortion? Do you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish? Do you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly? Do you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially?

In your letter you say that you “embrace your faith.” Terrific. But if you don’t fulfill the basic requirements of membership, what is it exactly that makes you a Catholic? Your baptism as an infant? Your family ties? Your cultural heritage?

Your letter also says that your faith “acknowledges the existence of an imperfect humanity.” Absolutely true. But in confronting your rejection of the Church’s teaching, we’re not dealing just with “an imperfect humanity” – as we do when we wrestle with sins such as anger, pride, greed, impurity or dishonesty. We all struggle with those things, and often fail.

Your rejection of the Church’s teaching on abortion falls into a different category – it’s a deliberate and obstinate act of the will; a conscious decision that you’ve re-affirmed on many occasions. Sorry, you can’t chalk it up to an “imperfect humanity.” Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your communion with the Church.

Congressman Kennedy, I write these words not to embarrass you or to judge the state of your conscience or soul. That’s ultimately between you and God. But your description of your relationship with the Church is now a matter of public record, and it needs to be challenged. I invite you, as your bishop and brother in Christ, to enter into a sincere process of discernment, conversion and repentance. It’s not too late for you to repair your relationship with the Church, redeem your public image, and emerge as an authentic “profile in courage,” especially by defending the sanctity of human life for all people, including unborn children. And if I can ever be of assistance as you travel the road of faith, I would be honored and happy to do so.

Sincerely yours,

Thomas J. Tobin

Bishop of Providence

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And this just in from the Providence Journal

Rep. Patrick Kennedy responds to bishop's criticism

Nov 10, 2009

By Karen Lee Ziner
Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Rep. Patrick Kennedy says he finds it "very disconcerting" that Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin will not agree to keep private a discussion about Kennedy's faith.

Talking with reporters Tuesday in response to an open letter to Kennedy published Monday on the Web site of the diocesan newspaper the Rhode Island Catholic, the congressman said he initially agreed to meet with the bishop with the understanding that whatever he chose to bring up with him would be kept private.

He said the planned meeting, which had been set for Thursday, was postponed because the bishop would not stand by a promise to keep the meeting private.

In his letter to Kennedy -- printed in his column, "Without a Doubt" -- Bishop Tobin challenged Kennedy's assertion that he is not any less of a Catholic for supporting abortion rights. The bishop, in addition to calling him to a process of "conversion and repentance," said that being a Catholic involves much more than cultural heritage or being baptized a Catholic.

The bishop asked in his letter if Kennedy supported the church's essential teachings on faith and morals, including abortion, if he belonged to a parish, attended Mass on Sundays and regularly received the sacraments.

Kennedy said Tuesday that he has a pastor, and "I have my sacraments through that pastor. I don't want anyone hounding my pastor. I have sought the sacraments of reconciliation and communion and all the rest."

When a reporter asked asked Kennedy: "Does all of this hurt you? Do you feel wounded?" Kennedy responded: "I think it's unfortunate. I'm not going to engage this anymore."

But when asked if he had been threatened with denial of communion or other sanctions, Kennedy said those were subjects he planned to discuss with the bishop. "Ideally, he will keep it between us."

Kennedy said he initiially criticized the U.S. Catholic bishops because they said that they would oppose the health-care reform bills pending in Congress if they did not explicitly deny federal funding for abortion.

"What I disagreed with them is that if they didn't get their they, weren't going to support overall health-care reform," he said. "That's something i felt very strongly was destructive to the process."

Kennedy's meeting with reporters took place outside the Chafee Health Center in Providence after volunteers thanked him and Rep. James Langevin for their work on health-insurance reform.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Understanding Derivatives ..."the derivatives neutron bomb has the potential to destroy the entire world economy..."

"The real estate of the entire world is valued at about USD 75 trillion."1
With most of the impirical data one can deduce that Obama's fiscal policies have lowered world-wide real estate values by approximately 7 trillion dollars. ...and you wondered why you couldn't get your asking price for your home! (You cannot blame George Bush for this one!) ~ Norman E. Hooben
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The Size of Derivatives Bubble = $190K Per Person on Planet

By Tom Foremski

The Invisible One Quadrillion Dollar Equation -- Asymmetric Leverage and Systemic Risk

According to various distinguished sources including the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland -- the central bankers' bank -- the amount of outstanding derivatives worldwide as of December 2007 crossed USD 1.144 Quadrillion, ie, USD 1,144 Trillion. The main categories of the USD 1.144 Quadrillion derivatives market were the following:

1. Listed credit derivatives stood at USD 548 trillion;

2. The Over-The-Counter (OTC) derivatives stood in notional or face value at USD 596 trillion and included:

a. Interest Rate Derivatives at about USD 393+ trillion;

b. Credit Default Swaps at about USD 58+ trillion;

c. Foreign Exchange Derivatives at about USD 56+ trillion;

d. Commodity Derivatives at about USD 9 trillion;

e. Equity Linked Derivatives at about USD 8.5 trillion; and

f. Unallocated Derivatives at about USD 71+ trillion.

Quadrillion? That is a number only super computing engineers and astronomers used to use, not economists and bankers! For example, the North star is "just" a couple of quadrillion miles away, ie, a few thousand trillion miles. The new "Roadrunner" supercomputer built by IBM for the US Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory has achieved a peak performance of 1.026 Peta Flop per second -- becoming the first supercomputer ever to reach this milestone. One Quadrillion Floating Point Operations (Flops) per second is 1 Peta Flop/s, ie, 1,000 Trillion Flops per second. It is estimated that all the data found on all the websites and stored on computers across the world totals more than One Exa byte of memory, ie, 1,000 Quadrillion bytes of data.

Whilst outstanding derivatives are notional amounts until they are crystallised, actual exposure is measured by the net credit equivalent. This is normally a lower figure unless many variables plot a locus in the wrong direction simultaneously. This could be because of catastrophic unpredictable events, ie, "Black Swans", such as cascades of bankruptcies and nationalisations, when the net exposure can balloon and become considerably larger or indeed because some extremely dislocating geo-political or geo-physical events take place simultaneously. Also, the notional value becomes real value when either counterparty to the OTC derivative goes bankrupt. This means that no large OTC derivative house can be allowed to go broke without falling into the arms of another. Whatever funds within reason are required to rescue failing international investment banks, deposit banks and financial entities ought to be provided on a case by case basis. This is the asymmetric nature of derivatives and here lies the potential for systemic risk to the global economic system and financial markets if nothing is done.

Let us think about the invisible USD 1.144 quadrillion equation with black swan variables -- ie, 1,144 trillion dollars in terms of outstanding derivatives, global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), real estate, world stock and bond markets coupled with unknown unknowns or "Black Swans". What would be the relative positioning of USD 1.144 quadrillion for outstanding derivatives, ie, what is their scale:

1. The entire GDP of the US is about USD 14 trillion.

2. The entire US money supply is also about USD 15 trillion.

3. The GDP of the entire world is USD 50 trillion. USD 1,144 trillion is 22 times the GDP of the whole world.

4. The real estate of the entire world is valued at about USD 75 trillion. USD 1,144 trillion is 15,5 times the real estate of the whole world.

5. The world stock and bond markets are valued at about USD 100 trillion.

6. The big banks alone own about USD 140 trillion in derivatives.

7. Bear Stearns had USD 13+ trillion in derivatives and went bankrupt in March. Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Lehman Brothers and AIG have all 'collapsed' because of complex securities and derivatives exposures in September.

8. The population of the whole planet is about 6 billion people. So the derivatives market alone represents about USD 190,000 per person on the planet.

The Impact of Derivatives

1. Derivatives are securities whose value depends on the underlying value of other basic securities and associated risks. Derivatives have exploded in use over the past two decades. We cannot even properly define many classes of derivatives because they are highly complex instruments and come in many shapes, sizes, colours and flavours and display different characteristics under different market conditions.

2. Derivatives are unregulated, not traded on any public exchange, without universal standards, dealt with by private agreement, not transparent, have no open bid/ask market, are unguaranteed, have no central clearing house, and are just not really tangible.

3. Derivatives include such well known instruments as futures and options which are actively traded on numerous exchanges as well as numerous over-the-counter instruments such as interest rate swaps, forward contracts in foreign exchange and interest rates, and various commodity and equity instruments.

4. Everyone from the large financial institutions, governments, corporations, mutual and pension funds, to hedge funds, and large and small speculators, uses derivatives. However, they have never existed in history with the overarching, exorbitant scale that they now do.

5. Derivatives are unravelling at a fast rate with the start of the "Great Unwind" of the global credit markets which began in July 2007 and particularly after the collapse of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in September this year.

6. When derivatives unravel significantly the entire world economy would be at peril, given the relatively smaller scale of the world economy by comparison.

7. The derivatives market collapse could make the housing and stock market collapses look incidental.

Three Historical Examples

1. The so-called rogue trader Nick Leeson who made a huge derivatives bet on the direction of the Japanese Nikkei index brought on the collapse of Barings Bank in 1995.

2. The collapse of Long Term Capital Management (LTCM), a hedge fund that had a former derivatives and bond dealer from Salomon Brothers and two Nobel Prize winners in Economics as principals, collapsed because of huge leveraged bets in currencies and bonds in 1998.

3. Finally, a lot of the problems of Enron in 2000 were brought on by leveraged derivatives and using derivatives to hide problems on the balance sheet.

The Pitfall

The single conceptual pitfall at the basis of the disorderly growth of the global derivatives market is the postulate of hedging and netting, which lies at the basis of each model and of the whole regulatory environment hyper structure. Perfect hedges and perfect netting require functioning markets. When one or more markets become dysfunctional, the whole deck of cards could collapse swiftly. To hope, as US Treasury Secretary Mr Henry Paulson does, that an accounting ruse such as transferring liabilities, however priced, from a private to a public agent will restore the functionality of markets implies a drastic jump in logic. Markets function only when:

1. There is a price level at which demand meets supply; and more importantly when

2. Both sides believe in each other's capacity to deliver.

Satisfying criterion 1. without satisfying criterion 2. which is essentially about trust, gets one nowhere in the long term, although in the short term, the markets may demonstrate momentary relief and euphoria.

Conclusion

In the context of the USD 700 billion rescue plan -- still being finalised in Washington, DC -- the following is worth considering step by step. Decision makers are rightly concerned about alleviating immediate pressure points in the global financial system, such as, the mortgage crisis, decline in consumer spending and the looming loss of confidence in financial institutions. However, whilst these problems are grave, they are acting as a catalyst to another more massive challenge which may have to be tackled across many nation states simultaneously. As money flows slow down sharply, confidence levels would decline across the globe, and trust would be broken asymmetrically, ie, the time taken to repair it would be much longer. Unless there is government action in concert, this could ignite a chain-reaction which would swiftly purge trillions and trillions of dollars in over-leveraged risky bets. Within the context of over-leverage, the biggest problem of all is to do with "Derivatives", of which CDSs are a minor subset. Warren Buffett has said the derivatives neutron bomb has the potential to destroy the entire world economy, and is a "disaster waiting to happen." He has also referred to derivatives as Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Counting one dollar per second, it would take 32 million years to count to one Quadrillion. The numbers we are dealing with are absolutely astronomical and from the realms of super computing we have stepped into global economics. There is a sense of no sustainability and lack of longevity in the "Invisible One Quadrillion Dollar Equation" of the derivatives market especially with attendant Black Swan variables causing multiple implosions amongst financial institutions and counterparties! The only way out, albeit painful, is via discretionary case-by-case government intervention on an unprecedented scale. Securing the savings and assets of ordinary citizens ought to be the number one concern in directing such policy.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kill The Bill...in retrospect [ HR 3962 Rally - November 5, 2009 ]

It's been one heck of a week... Starting out on Tuesday morning I drove straight through to the Virginia state line before resting up for the final leg of my journey to the Nation's capitol, Washington, D.C. (maybe I should point out that I started out from southeastern Alabama). In any event, it was with very short notice that I took the opportunity to meet with Congresswoman Michelle Bachman from the State of Minnesota to protest HR 3962, the bill that would destroy America's freedom of choice regarding health care.

Upon arrival to the hot bed of political activity I was indeed privileged to meet with members of the Vets For Freedom (VFF) and other groups that were in the Capitol for various reasons. I mention this to clarify that the VFF was there to emphasize to the leadership that recommendations from the commanders on the ground should be prioritized from the military perspective and not the politically correct and inexperienced man who would be king.

This after-the-fact post serves little purpose as the resolution was passed by a vote of 220 to 215 late Saturday night. I listened to the entire debate on C-SPAN over the X-M satellite and can only come to one conclusion; HR 3962 is un-Constitutional! Imagine forcing American citizens to purchase an insurance plan or go to jail! If this thing flies through the Senate I predict a civil war will be forthcoming...there is no alternative!

Meanwhile, though I took along a video camera, I made the mistake of taping one long episode which turned out to be 1.4 gigabytes in size and about 45 minutes in length. Attempting to upload such a huge size to this website and also to YouTube was all in vain...so unless I can break it up into smaller segments you'll have to accept this smaller version (below) made up of shots from the still camera.

The othe main issue of the week was the killing of our soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas but I'll leave that for another space.


video

Side note: The previous post, Save Our Children needs wider dissemination. This has to be the worst of the worst of what is happening to our children.