Sunday, March 30, 2008

Obama: Back to a more realist foreign policy

Barack Obama yesterday promised he would go back to a more traditional, realist foreign policy.

"The truth is that my foreign policy is actually a return to the traditional bipartisan realistic policy of George Bush's father, of John F. Kennedy, of, in some ways, Ronald Reagan, and it is George Bush that's been naive and it's people like John McCain and, unfortunately, some Democrats that have facilitated him acting in these naive ways that have caused us so much damage in our reputation around the world," (read more at

It is somewhat surprising that Obama refers so directly to a foreign policy tradition that is more associated with Republican presidents. Furthermore his rival's campaign will definately not appreciate the fact that he once again did not mention Bill Clinton when aligning himself with former presidents.

Based on current policy proposals and their voting records people might assume that there is virtually no difference between the two democratic contenders concerning foreign policy. I never thought that this is the case. And no, it is not only Obama's early opposition to the war in Iraq as examplified by the speech at an anti-war ralley. Taking a closer look at Obama's foreign policy team one might discover a surprising amount of sanity. Who could better testify to that than the always infamous neocon publication American Thinker (remember some of the most vicious Ron Paul smears?).

In the end it is the foreign policy why quite a view prominent (traditional) conservatives have weighed in on behalf of Obama recently. Andrew J. Bacevich, however reluctantly, makes the conservative case for Barack Obama in the American Conservative titled The right choice?. A real good article that goes far beyond the actual campaign, for the author, among other things , tries to define authentic conservatism and why the current GOP does not really represent it. Highly instructive is a piece by Justin Raimondo from called The War Party Targets Obama. Raimondo focuses on the often fierce opposition from the pro war crowd against Obama and shows that many of the same mechanisms and persons are at play that have targeted Ron Paul. Almost every link in this article is worth following. Joshua Snyder finally, gives even more examples of conservatives leaning towards Obama in his Blog entry Make Way for the Obamacons!.

-- Johannes

In 1896 McKinley ran for president on a platform of high tariffs and currency “as good as gold.”

A case for protectionism and against political correctness that starts its argument in 1892. No revolutionary thoughts, but a good three minute read that attempts to tie a few concepts together and to provide some historical depth. - Allan in Blue Island

Saturday, March 29, 2008

from London

Sent in by the supporters up in England. - Allan in Blue Island

3 months ago in New Hampshire

It's been a while since I've listened to the New Hampshire speech, but it's always good stuff. If you've got 20 minutes of work to do, play it in the background as you tune in and out from time to time. - Allan (who was in that room, and will proudly tell that to his grandchildren one day)

My Fellow Americans

I just wanted to post this again. An English blog from folks who marched alongside us in December here in Chicago, and went on to travel the US interested in seeing the American political process first-hand. It's a great blog, with great Tocqueville-like tales of Europeans observing Americans. My Fellow Americans is what they call it and I'd like to recommend it as a good read for anyone interested in traveling to the US, any observer of US politics from abroad, and any American curious what astute travelers might say as they look over our shoulders as we negotiate the political process. Thank you to the two of them for the blog.
- Allan in Chicago

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ben and Ron together at last ! !

This article essentially has nothing valuable in it other than the fact that - BEN AND RON PAUL WILL BE IN THE SAME TOWN TWO WEEKS FROM NOW. Wait, I think I jumped the gun on that one. Ben's leaving town two days before the arrival of Ron Paul. He's be back safe in Bratislava before Ron Paul even gets up at the podium.

Good thing too. One city cannot handle two prophets at one time.

In fact, sometimes one state cannot even handle two (anti-Central Bank) scrappers at the same time (Andrew Jackson and "Old Bullion" Benton for example).

Who is "Old Bullion" Benton you may ask. Well, in this article from the Mises Institute, Rothbard writes that he does not think much of a US history book that does not mention Benton. That was enough for me look the man up.

History teachers out there. Do you know Sen. Benton?

- Allan in Blue Island

Illinois Congressional Maps Finally Online

This is shocking to me. Just yesterday, I was talking with someone about how easy it is to find the boundaries of Congressional districts in other states and how difficult it is in Illinois. However, today I called the Illinois State Board of Elections and saw that sometime within the last two weeks it became a lot easier. The site has been updated. As of 6 months ago they had maps scanned to PDF so that they could be emailed out. Now they are all on the internet. Very convenient. This makes it so much easier for a newcomer to the process to figure out what is going on, esp. in the gerrymandered districts (Please see the 4th Congressional District of IL here, for an example of what Gerrymandered means). Thank you to the Illinois State Board of Elections for putting this online. - Allan

CFR on the FED

Here's an excellent recap of some of what happened over the last two weeks with the FED. Beware though. The article creates two poles that are meant to be seen as extremes. 1. The FED intervention was justified. v. 2. The FED intervention was overboard.

More comfortable poles for me would be 1. FED intervention is justified and 2. FED intervention is never justified. Even more comfortable would be - the FED existence is justified v. FED existence is not justified.

- Allan

Tonight on Nightly Business Report

Clinton attacked McCain on not knowing enough about economics, like Bush.
McCain pretended to like the free market.
Obama talked about something that sounded good, but did not seem to mean anything.
The journalist on "Nightly Business Report" referred to all three of them as having a stimulus plan.


Later, they mentioned a fact also mentioned in this WaPo article - that Jimmy Cayne, chairman of Bear Stearns did not get out of Bear stock at $2 / share. He sold for more than $10/share. This means he made $61 million instead of the nearly $1 billion in shares he owned as the company was peaking. I wonder what kind of lifestyle differences there are in having $61 million instead of $ 1 billion when you are 74 years old.

- Allan

A documentary on Eleanor Roosevelt

I just watched an excellent documentary of Eleanor Roosevelt on WTTW 11 in Chicago (the PBS station). It was an interesting view of a hard-working woman , very dedicated to social justice. It portrayed her as the eyes and ears of FDR in places where the disabled FDR could not go. Without meaning to be, the story was an insightful look at an important chapter in the creation of America's nanny state. A story of a caring woman, a caring husband, and the influence that they were able to exert over America's governmental institutions. An important reason for me to study modern American history is the answer the question for myself of "how did we get to where we are today?" This documentary helped me understand that question.

While still young, Eleanor played a role that many society women would not play. Not only did she stop in at a settlement house for immigrants, but she came regularly and assumed a role of responsibility. She taught dance and calisthenics. The Roosevelt family seemed to have a strong sense of social responsibility and Eleanor exposed FDR to a view of the world that he was unfamiliar with. For example, one experience was mentioned, where FDR over and over, afterwards, talked about how shocked he was that human beings actually lived that way. The documentary did not draw a distinction between volunteer organizations and government, but at this point, Eleanor was still very active in charitable organizations playing a philanthropic role.

Soon, however, that transitioned into the concept of Eleanor being well-aware of the misery in which people lived, and Franklin being well-aware of how government could be moved to help people. This team, as alluded to by the documentary, led to what would become the New Deal. The filmmaker went on to tell the story of people with unhappy family lives, going on to use government to make happy lives for everyone. FDR is depicted as a man who could not confront his own mother, who ignored the negatives believing they would disappear, who played a very limited role in the upbringing of his children, other than coming home and playing with them at the end of a work-day. Eleanor grew up in an out of control environment and the idea of people behaving in an "out of control way" (as stated by the filmmaker) was very unappealing to her. She had a very difficult time being comfortable with the idea of being a mother.

One gentleman interviewed for the documentary said some viewed the Roosevelts as a traitor to their class. That sounded plain ignorant, but something that I none-the-less believed was said and thought. He said that Eleanor more or less viewed the world as one big vast slum project. Also he added that she had "a large political equivalent of the housewife's desire to redecorate." This expanded from domestic affairs into foreign affairs as well.

The filmmaker claimed that FDR laid the groundwork for what would be the UN. Eleanor showed excellent political acumen in roles that she played at the UN and was chosen to chair the committee for drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In a speech that she gave, she pointed out that it would not be a treaty, would not be a law, it would simply be a declaration.

Later, as she was campaigning for Adelaide Stevenson, she received an interesting introduction. Evidently this was from an America and perhaps a world, much more comfortable with the concept of an American empire. In August 1956, she was introduced to the Democratic national convention as "the first lady of the world."

Woven throughout all of this, Eleanor Roosevelt was depicted as a tough, impressive, influential, hard-working woman.

- Allan in Blue Island

Digital TV - February 2009 - Right Around the Corner - BE CAREFUL NOT TO FORGET ABOUT THE SWITCH

PBS is now running a 2 minute advertisement for the February 2009 transition to digital TV. It is something that I will mention here, for the fourth time, it being a pet peeve of mine, how (comparatively) much time is being spent educating the TV viewing public on this issue.
- Allan

ADDENDUM - 30 minutes later - Another announcement about the Digital TV switch just happened. This time the public service announcement starred two of America's favorite handymen.

McCain is Breaking Laws that He Shepherded Through Congress

This was sent out by MoveOn.Org. - Allan

John McCain
is breaking the law. Not just any law, but campaign finance law—an issue that he claims to champion. MoveOn has joined together with some leading bloggers to file a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission.

Will you sign on to the complaint with us? The more of us who add our names, the more the media will take notice of McCain abandoning his principles.

You can read the complaint against McCain and sign your name to demand accountability here:

Here's the basic issue: Last summer, when McCain's campaign was seemingly on its last legs, he sent the FEC notice that he would abide by campaign finance spending limits in exchange for federal matching funds.1 He used the government's promise of those funds to secure a bank loan that kept his campaign alive.2

Now that he's got the nomination and has more money, he's trying to withdraw from the public finance spending limits. But that's plainly illegal. A past FEC ruling clearly said that candidates can withdraw from public financing "provided that the certification of funds has not been pledged as security for private funding."3 That's what McCain did. The American Prospect points out:

Consider what would have happened if McCain had lost New Hampshire and sunk under the waves: he would have accepted the public money and he would have used it to pay off the $3 million loan....And thus McCain is tricking the system exactly as the exception foresees...4

McCain has now raised and spent more than the $56,757,500 that was allowed under the rules he agreed to!5 That means every penny McCain raises and spends before the Republican National Convention is illegal—and he knows it.

Oh, and there's one more wrinkle. The FEC currently lacks enough commissioners to hold a vote against McCain! That's because Republican Senators want to appoint a dirty trickster to the FEC and won't let three good appointees through until that happens. Our new FEC complaint will draw some sorely needed publicity to McCain's flagrant lawbreaking and the Republican obstruction in the Senate—it'll also make sure there's something to vote on as soon as new commissioners are confirmed.

Can you sign your name to the complaint against McCain today? Click here:

Thanks for all you do.

–Adam G., Noah, Ilyse, Karin, Justin and the Political Action Team
Thursday, March 27th, 2008

1. "Acknowledgment of Receipt, Request for Presidential Primary Matching Funds," Federal Election Commission documentation to John McCain's campaign, August 10, 2007

2. "John McCain Has An Exit Strategy," Mark Schmitt on Tapped, the American Prospect blog, February 5, 2008

3. FEC Advisory Opinion 2003-35, to Richard Gephardt, December 12, 2003

4. Ibid.

5."Complaint Against Senator John McCain and John McCain 2008," March 24, 2008 (Citing McCain's March 2008 Monthly Financial Report

6. "Senate Battle Over FEC Nominee May Hamper Agency's Ability to Act," Washington Post, October 26, 2007

Support our member-driven organization: Political Action is entirely funded by our 3.2 million members. We have no corporate contributors, no foundation grants, no money from unions. Our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. If you'd like to support our work, you can give now at:

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Will the troubles of Iceland spread to Eastern Europe?

Will the deficit troubles of Iceland spread to Europe and the Mediterranean? Always a rabble-rouser, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard seems to think so. He indicates that Turkey is the next litmus test. I wonder what worse economic conditions in Turkey would do to immigration trouble that so many Germans so conveniently ignore. The trade imbalances and government debt in this article are shocking. It seems that the US really is a world leader. - Allan

Welfare Kings

Bear Stearns = Welfare Kings
from the Sam Adams Alliance
- Allan

How much inflation?

How much inflation is there really? Well, it depends on how you measure it. That said, the interesting thing is, that the methods how the official inflation statistics are being compiled have significangly changed over time. Specifically in the early Clinton years major changes have been set into place.

What these changes are and the political rationale behind them is well explained by John Williams in this article. John Williams runs the website Shadow Governement Statistics which is dedicated to esposing biased and manipulated government statistics (Huw made me aware of this site a while ago).

Concerning inflation he provides the useful service of computing CPI numbers by using the methods formerly in place. Thus, when computed the same as in 1990 (=Pre Clinton era CPI) actual inflation would be well over 7 percent (see the chart here). When computed the same as in 1980 it would be even as high as 11 percent. For the latter numbers and more see the Alternate Data Series.

So, any claims that inflation is historically low in comparison ring pretty hollow. After all, it depends on how you measure it.

John Williams was on CNN recently. His economic outlook was expectedly gloomy, but see for yourself . - Johannes

Ben and Ron together at last ! !

This article essentially has nothing valuable in it other than the fact that - BEN AND RON PAUL WILL BE IN THE SAME TOWN TWO WEEKS FROM NOW. Wait, I think I jumped the gun on that one. Ben's leaving town two days before the arrival of Ron Paul.

Good thing too. One city cannot handle two prophets at one time.

In fact, sometimes one state cannot handle two (honest money) prophets at the same time (Andrew Jackson and "Old Bullion" Benton for example).

Who is "Old Bullion" Benton you may ask. Well, in this article from the Mises Institute, Rothbard writes that he does not think much of a US history book that does not mention Benton. That was enough for me look the man up.

History teachers out there. Do you know Sen. Benton?

- Allan in Blue Island

I think the blackout has come to an end

Will someone please explain to me, 1. why the Ron Paul media blackout has come to an end? (I think I find more mention of him now than I did, say three weeks ago when he was running a hot and heavy Congressional bid). 2.why I can now only find kind things about Ron Paul?

Here he is referred to by the Guardian as "one of America's most fascinating political figures" and the author calls for him to be Secretary of State. Here he is receiving praise from FOX! WaPo wants a Paul-Gravel libertarian ticket. And, of course, here we can always count on Andrew Sullivan for some good Ron Paul talk. Sullivan explains why Paul still scares the GOP, says look at this mess Ron Paul is right, talks about the concept of being conservative, and says that RP will be remembered much more kindly by history than the chattering classes presently realize.

- Allan in Blue Island

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Demand for Gas?

Every time I go to a gas station to fill up, it looks like the person who came before didn't fill up. Every time he or she basically put in $5 or $10 in gas. This is a new occurrence. Could demand for gas possibly be decreasing? - Allan

The Fifth Anniversary

Last Wednesday, I attended an event commemorating the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. I'm going to post some flyers here that were handed out at the event. In addition to these flyers, also handed out were newspapers entitled Fight Back! and Liberation.
- Allan

How Cheney Celebrated the 5th Anniversary

Here is an article from Michael Moore as we enter into the 6th year of fighting in Iraq. He criticizes Cheney for spending that day not in mourning, but fishing off of the Sultan of Oman's royal yacht.
- Allan

How to Humiliate and Convert a Right Winger

This is an interesting article on the importance of words and the importance of fighting. It is entitled "Fighting Words: How to Humiliate and Convert a Right Winger." - Allan in Blue Island

The Conventions Ahead are Very important

This is a good short piece that points out how far the Republican party is from having a nominee still and how the convention process ahead of us is vitally important. - Allan

Who will test this for us?

An interesting statement from Jim Sinclair at explaining how a lawyer will likely be able to easily stop any house from being foreclosed on.

Posted On: Sunday, March 23, 2008, 6:26:00 PM EST

The Financial Destruction Of The Average Man

Author: Jim Sinclair

Dear CIGAs,

This weekend’s meeting of four heads of central banks communicates the size of the OTC derivative disaster. It is a system that is broken. A bailout will require the printing of trillions of dollars worth of monetary stimulation making Bernanke’s helicopter drop look like chump change.

The dollar number of pending derivative bankruptcies is the size of the mountain of garbage paper issued by just those who are to be bailed out. That number is greater than the total world economies.

There simply isn’t enough money in the world for central banks to buy up the mountain of worthless paper sold by those who need bailouts; all of which made fortunes for their directors, officers and key people.

When an OTC derivative fails to perform, notional value becomes real value.

The notional value of all OTC derivatives exceeds $500 trillion.

Credit default swaps (OTC derivatives) alone account for over $20 trillion dollars of notional value and are failing. Major dealers in these items, Lehman and JP Morgan, had their debt downgraded last week.

Maintaining the AAA rating on debt of public companies primarily issuing default swaps as credit guarantees is a sick JOKE of fabrication. This is a JOKE that in all probability will lead to litigation that destroys the rating companies.

You can be absolutely sure that all the biggies have their money out.

No one mentions these firms being bailed out are the ones who created this disaster, making billions for their economic sin. You can be sure the big boys have their money out of the now on-the-rocks international institutions.

No one mentions that bailing out the bankers will leave the average man victimized and paying for the pleasure of the economic rape.

Meanwhile Derivative Traders (salesmen of perdition, not traders) and their hedge fund managers are all in Greenwich Connecticut with their hundreds of millions and billions, now retired playing tennis on their indoor courts at their waterfront mansions as the mess deepens.

Litigation against the officers and directors of these international banking firms, both against the biggies personally as well as the company, will make the biggies occupation one of defending against litigation for the rest of their lives.

For those biggies in these companies who trust no one and therefore have wives with no money will lose everything. Some of them I know. What goes around certainly comes around.

Litigation against OTC derivatives are slam-dunk victories for the injured plaintiffs. The biggies will pay.

This is the greatest act in history of “Public Be Damned” and “Let them Eat Cake.” It will not come about because in the USA it is already the hottest political potato.

The problem is that the plan of the US legislative is down right STUPID. It is an embarrassment that legislators are so publicly moronic when it comes to economics.

The problem that no one is focusing on right now is the tracking of the mortgage itself to the structured product, which has broken down. That means in these items many can’t connect the underlying mortgage to the structured investment product (derivative).

So far courts have held that the only entity that can foreclose is the entity that actually lent the money. The average guy does not know that with an attorney to protect him he has a free house!

The entity that actually lent the money has sold the mortgage and been paid. Therefore where is the incentive for original lender to foreclose? The answer is there is none. Bankers do not help bankers in the same way that sharks do not help sharks.


Because of the unthinkable size of the problem it is impossible to construct a Resurrection Trust to buy all these worthless and never to be anything but worthless items.

Should any item surface to do this it will destroy all the National currency of the central banks that participate.

If there were an attempt to construct such an entity with the cooperation of the USA, the US dollar would go much lower than .5200. Gold would go to many thousands of US dollars.

Anyone who last week assumed the problem was over and we would be improving from there on out is simply nuts.

Dishonest reporting of honest facts

"Bear Sterns is up over one hundred percent in today's trading," was reported on the radio today. This may be a truthful statement, but when taken into context is actually DIShonest. That context is the lack of other news about Bear and the lack of other news about the condition of derivatives markets in the US in general. If I only got my news from that radio station, I would have said "Wow, Bear Sterns must be doing great, it's up 100%." Of course, I don't just get my news from that radio station so I would say instead "Bear Sterns is down over $190 from it's high and was almost purchased by a rival for $2/ share. Even the safest areas of the US financial system are vulnerable." - Allan in Blue Island, IL

Monday, March 24, 2008

Speaker of the House

Who will be the third in line for the presidency in the next Congress - the Speaker of the House? This writer would like to see it be Ron Paul. - Allan

Dr. Ben

We had family time today, reading this dispatch from Ben.
His name is revered in my family these days. - Allan

Dear Peter, Matej, Maros, Johannes, all my friends
in Bratislava and Vienna:

Happy Easter to you all!

I am having the most wonderful trip, meeting with
students almost every day. They are eager now to
hear the ideas that I talked about for 25 years
before I came to Slovakia in 2001. Things sure have
changed! I am looking forward to telling you about
all this.

I have not figured out what the Ron Paul people or
campaign are doing. I cannnot believe that it has
dissolved, but I just don't see much. It is amazing
how many people have not heard of him!

That brings usp my most disturbing observation of
this trip: that Americans receive almost no news
of the rest of the world in the media--newspapers,
news magazines, and especially television. The lack
of any news of the rest of the world, or even of the
state of the American economy is truly startling! I
was in Philadelphia for 3 days, which I mostly spent
relaxing and watching news stations. It is utterly
amazing. One gets much more news on Euronews every day
than Americans get a week from Fox, CNN, or MSNBC.
Even CNN's world news Europe gives more news than Fox
gives over here. One hears a lot of the "dumbing down"
of American education, but I had no idea that it
could affect even public news so much, too.

Obama's speech on race was one of the finest I have
seen since John F. Kennedy. But I am not so sure he
is sincere---or what his ideas will mean for the future.

Well, there will be vey much to talk of when I get back.
I will arrive back on April 9th in the morning.

I am looking forward to seeing you all and telling
you about it.


Dr. Mike

This is a classmate of mine from the Leadership Institute, a Ron Paul Republican running in Maryland. He's a nice guy and one of the many who has been motivated to run for higher office by Ron Paul's example. - Allan

Making sure every single American viewer knows that TV signals will be different

If I watch TV for an hour, I see an average of 1 or 2 references to the DTV switchover in February of 2009. The last commercial I saw directed the viewer to a ".gov" domain for further information.

What does it say about a country that more resources seem to be spent on preparing every TV viewer for the switch in technology than was spent presenting multiple viewpoints in the invasion leading to the war in Iraq five years ago.

I actually feel insulted every time I see a reference to the DTV switch. I feel insulted every time I'm reminded by someone that the US taxpayer is going to finance the switch for just about anyone who wants the switch to occur.

Above, I'm posting a letter from our dear friend Ben, that deals with a similar theme. What I must say I am grateful for, however, is how many dedicated people there are out there to fighting the lack of information that Ben mentions.

I too am looking forward to hearing more of Ben's future plans.

- Allan in BI

Saturday, March 22, 2008

More scathing critique of the FED

This is Marc Faber, funds manager and author of the Boom Gloom & Doom Report in a recent interview. Concerning the FED and specifically its current chairman his criticism couldn't be more devastating:

"Had I been the professor who would have judged his thesis for his Phd I would not have let him pass. I would have told him actually, Mr Bernanke, I give you one condition under which i let you pass, and this is that you never join a central bank, because you are a destroyer of money's store of value function... The only central bank that I would allow you to go to is the one under Mr Mugabe in Simbabwe... Mr Bernanke with his monetary policies, he will destroy the dollar."

Here is the full interview:

-- Johannes

The chickens are coming home to roost

The above phrase features prominently in the collection of soundbites that get repeated over and over again on TV when it comes to the "controversial" sermons of Obama's pastor Jeremiah Wright. What was he talking about? Well, in a sermon one week after 911 Mr. Wright suggested that American policies abroad are to blame for the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. The broader quote reads:

"We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant, because the stuff we've done overseas is now brought back into our own front yards. Americans chickens are coming home to roost." (see the broader segment beyond the soundbyte here).

The definition for this very phrase given here reads as follows: "if you say that chickens are coming home to roost, you mean that bad or silly things done in the past are beginning to cause problems". Well that to me sounds pretty much like a definition of the, now familiar, term "blowback". Thus, the fiery delivery and the religious implications aside, what Wright said seems to be a rather reasonable political assessment to me. Of course you get called a kook for that. Others have experienced this before, which is the implication of the following video, featuring Ron Paul among others.

The referral to Israel/Palestine is a particularly delicate one, and it is no secret that Barack Obama has experienced lots of headwind coming from Israeli backers in the US (see for example Good for the Jews? on Newsweek). In his speech on race (which was undeniably great) he consequently addresses the issue. There it reads as follows:

"But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. .. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country — ... a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam."

And here we are again: They simply hate us for what we are. To suggest otherwise is blasphemy.

-- Johannes (from Chicago)

45 minutes of good RP from '88

Good Ron Paul stolen from Fabio at Europe4Paul. On the American Power Structure. Very well done, a very good 45 minutes. - Allan

The Federal Reserve Bank is a Free Market Institution?

Tonight on PBS, there was some very strong praise for Bernake for his creativity in handling the financial situation we are in. Essentially, the speaker talked about how virtually anything is going to be on the table. Anything. How many junk mortgages will the Fed be guaranteeing once this is all over? How many bad bank investments will have been supported? It's unclear, but if tonight's praise for Bernake is any indicator, we are going to see some unexpected behaviors from the Fed. In the same discussion, it was said "Yeah, free market conservatives are essentially running the Fed." This was a very frustrating thing to here, because it was such a clear lie. I do not know what the word conservative means anymore, so I won't address that issue. However, "free market" cannot honestly be used to describe a bank whose sole purpose for existing is to prevent the free market from operating. I must definitely wonder if the expert on the panel really thought about what he was saying. If he was, the only acceptable definition of "conservative" in this sentence could be "the opposite of."

- Allan

Hooray Missouri - a party takeover underway

This and this are happening all over the country. The caucus process welcomes silen minorities to have quite an impact simply by becoming vocal minorities. I'm very happy about the first article, not so happy about the second article. More states will follow.
- Allan

Neat Commercial

Shrek-like, minute long RP Commercial spotted by LA Times here. - Allan

Our Sacred Honor

I'm presently reading Our Sacred Honor. This is helping to satisfy a desire I've had lately to brush up on the writings of the founding fathers. So far, about 70 pages into it, it's some pretty good stuff - lots of moving speeches and insight from the lives of the found fathers. Something that is clear to me, and at times annoying, is how difficult it is to distinguish, as the reader, what is likely myth and what is likely factual. This is one of the books that was given to me at the Leadership Institute during my studies there. - Allan

Anti-War March in Chicago

I attended an Anti-War March on Wednesday night. It began outside of the federal court house. About 2,200 attended. Considering the fact that the Iraqi War is in its fifth year and that it has become such an unpopular war, that is a surprisingly low number. Of course, however, one must ask the question - what is accomplished by such a march? Is that goal valuable enough to get others out to march?

It was off-putting when the anti-war gathering was used as a platform for other political viewpoints. The presence of Puerto Rican flags, for example, outnumber American flags on the podium.

When I asked the folks near me aloud "Wasn't this supposed to be an anti-war march?" the five who were within earshot turned to me showing empathy for my annoyance. They too did not seem to appreciate the political tangent that the speakers were going off on.

Before the 10th or so speaker had finished speaking, a group had congregated in the street and start marching away. I was all too happy to come see the demonstration begin.

Along the route, I met some interesting folks there and it was great getting to bounce my ideas off of other well read regular folks with opposing viewpoints. Excellent time for dialog along the several mile long route.

Afterwards, some folks in the street refused to move and there was a little "We are tougher than you" contest between them and some police officer on four-wheelers.

Back home from there.

A good Easter weekend to all of you.

- Allan in Blue Island, IL

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Will March 14th be Remembered as an Historic Day?


That is the day that the U.S. Federal Reserve announced that it will make capital available to loan J.P. Morgan any amount of money, and accept Bear Stearns' bonds (including mortgage bonds and other bonds which have no relation to the conservative kinds of securities the Fed used to take in) as collateral. Then, J.P. Morgan will loan this money to Bear Stearns and be guaranteed against losses by the U.S. Federal Reserve.


Let us call a spade a spade. This is a FULL ON...OPEN FOR ALL TO VIEW...NOTHING HIDDEN...BAILOUT...and one which must be continued in the coming days and weeks when government authorities do this for as many big financial institutions as need it.

By the end of Sunday, March 16th, Bear Stearns had been acquired by J.P. Morgan Chase for a small fraction of the stated book value.


The U.S. Federal Reserve has just announced that they will provide capital to all primary dealers in U.S. Government securities, and will take any kind of collateral available. With this statement the Fed announced loud and clear that they understand the magnitude of the problem, and that they will bring all of their resources to bear to stop a meltdown of the world financial markets and a global depression. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is trying to wake up all the global central banks with very strong pronouncements. Unless a nation has a desire to bring down the world financial system they should heed the IMF and watch the Fed. It is not too late, but action must be taken now. We expect announcements from many central banks that they are joining with the Fed to provide concerted action.

Next, the political functionaries in every well-meaning nation should act quickly to legislate repurchase programs for mortgage debt so that the financial markets can unfreeze and normal global financial functioning can return. At this stage, delay is a major mistake.


It began, in our opinion, several years ago when financial institutions worldwide sold massive amounts of derivative securities...with huge commissions for the many buyers across the globe. When the math behind these securities failed to correctly take into consideration factors like illiquidity, problems began. The problems are culminated in the current recession, and the current "BIG TIME BAIL OUT."

A LOT OF PEOPLE SQUAWKED WHEN JIM SINCLAIR CALLED THIS. HE CALLED IT CORRECTLY AND COURAGEOUSLY. It is only fitting to praise his foresight. He convinced us years ago about the derivatives mess and we joined in communicating his prediction. In our opinion, this prediction by Jim is the best call of the new century.

Jim is humble about it, he does not brag about his correct predictions. As the old Indian saying goes "a tree heavily laden with fruits bows down."


Coming next is something that we have been pounding the table about for a number of months..."THE BIG INFLATION"

It is easy to see that a big bailout will create massive liquidity...numerous unwise misplaced government a few wise government programs. The most important visible and fast acting side effect of these efforts will be inflation...and lots of it.


For out clients and ourselves we own gold related, agriculture related, base metals and energy.

Thanks for listening.
Monty Guild

The lender of last resort

Ron Paul talks here for the Fed for about 10 minutes and does an excellent job presenting how what we are going through right now is exactly the problem with the Fed being the lender of last resort.

The last few days I've been calling folks, laying groundwork for future activities.
- Allan

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jimmy Cramer from a week ago on Bear

Sent in by Rick in Chicago (a hardcore Paulite). I'd like to recommend this video even to those with no concept of economics. Good advice to be gained from this video - never trust anyone for your investment advice. In fact, it's probably good to do the opposite of what most self-appointed advisers think you should do.

Here, the criticism begins with Jim Cramer, who appears independently minded, but surely has his own biases too. That makes him a mouthpiece for those biases. Some of those are reflected in this video. Very bullish on Bear just one week ago.

The video goes on to attack the Fed for the welfare handout to JP Morgan. The Fed too has its own biases. We allow those biases to be aired behind closed doors.

We are going through some financial and economic trouble right now, I am very curious how the Fed will look when we come out of this trouble.

Perhaps it will look a lot better, perhaps it will come out with many people realizing their distaste for the Fed. That question will be a litmus for me, for how the American public will answer many other questions of accountable government and personal liberties as we move forward.

- Allan in Blue Island, Illinois

The New Prince

My next book is The New Prince by Dick Morris. It was a gift from some kind folks in Washington DC. I've read a few chapters as I've paged through it so far and it has talked so far about - how important ideas are in politics, how important thinking is, how politicians rolling around with each other in the mud, actually ends up injuring both of them, and politics in general. However, political advisors, according to the book, usually recommend rolling around in the mud, over a higher level of discussion.

- Allan

An impressive man sharing impressive opinions

You can't help but like Jimmy Rogers here and dislike the folks on the left side of the screen. This is very good, simple economics for anyone interested.

Here Rogers calls for an abolition of the Fed. He refers to the bailout as socialism for the wealthy. When asked what he would do as Fed Chairman, he responds - 1. Abolish the Fed 2. Resign. He talks about how it is possible that more money will be spent avoiding a recession than will actually be saved by preventing the recession. He says that theses delays only make the recession worse. On top of that, he asks, what is so bad about a recession, it's a way to clean things up and to start again from a solid foundation.

Until watching this video, I'd heard many good things about Jimmy Rogers, but I'd never heard him speak. What a good first impression he's left me with.

-Allan in BI

Monday, March 17, 2008

CPI is unchanged and Bear is worth $200 million

I just called my bank and while on hold the first news item was "CPI last month remained unchanged..."

C'MON. It's time for my money to no longer be in that bank.

Seriously, even if CPI is unchanged, don't put that forward as if CPI is a good measure of anything.

I've been waiting on hold a ridiculously long time for it being a Sunday evening.

The reason for the long hold, according to the gentleman in Denver who picked up, was
1. People upset about Bear Sterns
2. People interested in buying into the Visa IPO on Wednesday.

If anyone ever comes across unfamiliar financial terms in their day-to-day, I would like to recommend

- Allan

JPMorgan to Buy Bear for $2 a Share

This is starting to get ugly. - Allan

JPMorgan Says It Will Buy Ailing Bear Stearns for $2 a Share, or $236.2 Million

NEW YORK (AP) -- JPMorgan Chase said Sunday it will acquire rival Bear Stearns for a bargain-basement $236.2 million -- or $2 a share -- a stunning collapse for one of the world's largest and most storied investment banks.

The last-minute buyout was aimed at averting a Bear Stearns bankruptcy and a spreading crisis of confidence in the global financial system.

The Federal Reserve and the U.S. government swiftly approved the all-stock deal, showing the urgency of completing the deal before world markets opened. Early indications, though, pointed to continued fear about the stability of the U.S. market, as the dollar hit fresh record lows against the euro, gold broke through $1,015 an ounce and Asian stocks sank.

Click here for rest of article

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Was Spitzer a Target for the White House?

This was a great article from Greg Palast, author of _Armed Madhouse_. While Palast often presents me with ideas that I have never before come across (therefore making them seen less than credible) I have not yet been able to catch the man in a lie after scratching the surface. I hope you will at least stick this in your head and read it with a "what if this were true?"

This was sent up from Texas. Thank you, Bruce for the insightful article. In an article linked to this, and written by Spitzer for WaPo, you can find the following tough talk about the mortgage crisis in the US:

When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners, the Bush administration will not be judged favorably. The tale is still unfolding, but when the dust settles, it will be judged as a willing accomplice to the lenders who went to any lengths in their quest for profits. So willing, in fact, that it used the power of the federal government in an unprecedented assault on state legislatures, as well as on state attorneys general and anyone else on the side of consumers.

- Allan in Blue Island, Illinois

The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked

by Greg Palast
Reporting for Air America Radio's Clout
While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an 'escort' $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush's new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators.

Both acts were wanton, wicked and lewd. But there's a BIG difference. The Governor was using his own checkbook. Bush's man Bernanke was using ours.

click here for more

Friday, March 14, 2008

Obama in the media today

The last two minutes of this video are getting some heavy airtime today in the media here. If the news reports are accurate, this is Barrack Obama's preacher last Christmas. The most common complaint is that tax exempt churches are not permitted to endorse candidates. Others have other complaints about the video.
- Allan in Blue Island

A Request from Charlie

This is a follow up from Charlie in Wisconsin. Is anyone out there able to help him with identifying any specific denials of service under a socialized healthcare plan? If so, please send it over to our email address in the sidebar to the right of this post with "A Request from Charlie" in the subject line. Thank you.
- Allan in Blue Island


Thanks for your kind note.

I remember reading an article in one of the big british newspapers ( I believe that it was the Independent) , about five years ago, stating that under the british system half of the people who need dialysis do not get it. I had to ask my RN wife " What happens when a person needs dialysis and does not get it?". She said: "They die."

I can't find the article.

My liberal friends are all over me for my note. If you or your people could find this or similar articles, I would be grateful.



A lawsuit that I came across today

This is a damning complaint brought before a federal judge in Eastern Pennsylvania by Ellen Mariani.

Failure to act, failure to prevent, obstruction of justice afterwards are among her complaints, directed largely at the President.

I would highly recommend this reading for anyone interested in 9/11. I am not arguing any type of conspiracy theories here; I’m pointing you to a document alleging that President Bush simply didn’t do his job pre-9/11 and on 9/11 and obstructed justice after that time.

The good stuff starts with paragraph 22. Again, it’s not conspiratorial, it’s just a succinct version of what happened leading up to that day, based on the official record.

The most interesting paragraph of the whole things is as follows:

On July 26 2001, CBS News reported that Attorney General John Ashcroft was no longer using commercial airliners to travel – even for personal business – because of a "threat assessment" issued by the FBI. Instead Ashcroft was using a chartered jet that cost taxpayers $1,600/hr to fly. The news network further reported: "Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department, however, would identify what the threat was, when it was detected or who made it." (CBS News 7-26-2001)

- Allan in BI

A Distaste for Monopolies

This was sent in from a Paulite in Wisconsin. Good stuff about his displeasure for all types of monopolies. - Allan

I just got a copy of Michael Moore's SICKO. I have the ultimate love/hate relationship with Michael Moore. He is one of the finest film makers working today and an excellent socialist propagandist. Again he shows the worst of the american system with truth and sincerity indicating that 18,000 people die each year because insurance companies won't pay their claims ( I love him). Then he shows the best of the socialist systems Canada, Britain and Cuba providing "free" primary and preventative care and neglects to point out that those systems regularly deny life saving care to their chronically ill citizens. I am against all forms of monopoly whether capitalist or socialist.

I am most bothered by the fact that Moore failed to address that food is the foundation of any good health care system, and that we must stop using licensing "laws" to prevent alternative practitioners from spreading good ideas by working with people who want to work with them, and that true not for profit insurance associations are outlawed in america ( don't get me started on the fact that most of the so called not for profit organizations in america are engaging in monopoly capitalism).

OK , I am calming down now.

I was looking up some of the books Moore recommends, and found that the companion list was very interesting. Here it is:

Has anyone read "The Smart Mom's guide to staying Home" or "Strapped: Why America's 20 and 30 year olds Cant Get Ahead"? What do you think?


FED to Supply Cash

"The Federal Reserve said Friday that it has voted to endorse an arrangement to bolster troubled Bear Stearns Cos. and stands ready to provide extra resources to combat a serious credit crisis."

We are living in interesting times.

- Dan (in BA)

Dollar Falls Below Parity vs. Swiss Franc

"The dollar fell below parity with the Swiss franc for the first time on Friday as fears about more credit turmoil and a U.S. recession sparked broad selling of the U.S. currency.

The dollar fell to an all-time low of 0.9987 Swiss francs , according to electronic trading platform EBS. It last traded at 1.0026 francs."

- Dan (in BA)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

What are your April 15 plans?

There's been a lot of increased discussion about April 15. I've come across mention of it here or there. I don't usually spend Tax Day in the US, so I'm not certain if that whispering is unusual or not. I'm also not certain what concrete plans exist, but it does seem that there will be some memorable happenings on Tax Day this year. Above is a video with an Aaron Russo voice-over in it that was sent to me earlier today.
- Allan in BI

April 15 in DC

This was sent to me from the "Granny Warriors" - the proposed agenda and some other info for April 15 in DC.
-Allan in 60406

Gold passes 1,000 USD

The dollar was once worth 1/35 of an ounce of gold. Today it is worth 1/1000 of an ounce of gold. This is an example of inflation. - Allan in Blue Island, IL

A Government for All People

Forgive me for using the term "one world government," but it is the most accurate term I can think of to describe a world that has a single ruling body. It's interesting to step away from Slovak politics for a bit and to listen to the American paranoia about one world government (a paranoia that I believe is well-placed). In America, you are told you are a nut if you make such accusations that the US will one day not be a sovereign nation. In Slovakia, where, according to the Slovak Spectator, 75% of laws are now written in Brussels, being subservient to a supranational government has been accepted as a fact of life. Here, here, here, and here are internet pages sharing some details about Slovakia today and show a lack of opposition to Slovakia's obedient march away from sovereignty. While many people I know talk about how much they hate Fico and some talk about how they like him, I personally have not taken much time to follow the man. I do however, respect his talk of slowing Euro adoption. Since it serves as sort of a fake opposition to one world government, perhaps I should actually despise him. Does anyone out there know popular Slovak politicians who are know openly opposing switching to the Euro?
Allan in Blue Island, IL

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

info from yesterday's "IGOLD" event in Springfield

Quite a few websites were passed my way yesterday. Some may be of interest to you, so I will share them here.,, The third URL has an interesting map. Some laws are a whole lot easier to understand when it's graphic instead of verbal. Below is a photo of Chicago's Mayor Daley from one of the sites. It also plays on an interesting fact pointed out on the map - politicians are allowed to carry guns in Illinois, but not private citizens.

- Allan in Blue Island, IL

300 for filing

This came in the mail today. Surely all of you who are Americans have heard about this. If you haven't, I would like to advise you for the reasons stated above, to file for income taxes this year.

For those of you who have not heard of this: basically, any American who files with the tax authorities that they earned $3,000 last year, will get a check from the government in May for at least $300. It is Bush's economic stimulus plan. It will save the world.

Allan in 60406

Springfield with ISRA

I went to the State Capital today as part of a 2nd Amendment citizen lobbying group. Good experience. Lots of people wearing the yellow shirts, buttons, and hats of the organization (Illinois State Rifle Association) were there (about 4,000 of them) and they pretty much had the run of the building. That was good to see - private citizens making themselves at home in the land of the lawmakers and corporate lobbyists.

This is the chamber of the Illinois General Assembly. (By about noon, they had already stopped their session for the day)

This is the other side of the legislature - the Illinois State Senate.

Offices in this building were very hard to find. On top of that, out of concerns for terrorism, the ladies at the information desk refused to give me or even show me a map of the building.

Here, I am seeking out a member of the Illinois General Assembly to talk with him about a bill that he put forward in response to the latest shootings in gun free zones near Chicago.

Maybe also for terrorism purposes (or because someone is just plain dumb) or maybe (probably the right answer) government in Illinois just works in this obfuscational way. The sign that showed what members were in what office is hidden behind a plant.

Here is a committee meeting. In one of those "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" kind of ways, I won't share my thoughts on the committee meeting.

(I couldn't get the picture to download, so I will try it again another day).

Here is a map that a guy brought. The map pointed out how Illinois and Wisconsin have unusually strict gun laws (when compared to the other 48 states).

(also a failed download attempt)

The was a reception. A State Senator from the Kirk event even appeared there and said to me "Yeah, Kirk gets all kinds of types at his meetings" when I went over and said hello to him. There were some nice folks there and I was happy to just talk to a few of them and to hear what was on their minds. They also had free Budweiser on tap and some snacks. The bus ride home, a lady and two guys and I talked for about an hour. It was good stuff. The woman will be debating one of my senator's Legislative Aides tomorrow on the topic of illegal immigration. She is associated with an organization called FAIR.

A good day/night to all of you.

- Allan in Blue Island

Monday, March 10, 2008


Oil futures hit 108 USD / barrel today. Ouch. Maybe Ron Paul's warning to stop printing so much money is accurate. - Allan


The book of the day is from Rudy's Reading List. Every other sentence is the kind of thing that makes me say "Wow, wouldn't our newspapers be a whole lot better if I read these kinds of ideas in there?" So far, the basic question asked by the book is: What are the consequences of our covert or quasi-covert actions abroad? So far, the picture painted is grim. That picture welcomes a Ron Paul foreign policy for the US. - Allan

Buffet in simple terms

This is a great article, for the advanced economists and those new to economics. It is written by Warren Buffet and explains the US trade deficit quite well in the first two pages.

Why care about the US trade deficit? Well, it helps us to understand how the baby boomers have left my generation with a whole lot of mess.

A good night to you all.

-Allan in 60406

Sunday, March 9, 2008


This was sent in from Ron Holland in NC. - Allan

FreedomFest 2008 - Ron Paul has just been confirmed as a speaker and he will join our 100 plus speakers and 1,000 plus attendees in Las Vegas on July 10 -12 at Freedomfest 2008. We must continue the campaign to promote the Ron Paul Revolution of liberty, a return to limited constitutional government and free markets to the American public.
Ron Holland, Wolf Laurel, NC

The Chicago Way

I'm back home in Blue Island and would just like to post a quick thank you here for the kind "namesday" wishes that I have received (March 8 = Alan).

I think there are quite a few readers of this who would appreciate the following link, an article that I was just directed to by a family member, the video and article, both by John Kass, deliver a good definition of what "The Chicago Way" is.

Do not be quick to disregard this piece of regionalism, just because it comes from a city that you might not like much, or you might not be familiar with. Please, instead pay great attention to it, so that you are not shocked if the stories about what Barack Obama had to do in order to get elected come out.

A good day to you all. I promise to soon include pictures and further details of my trips East to DC and South to Texas.

in Blue Island, IL

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Wall Street Journal Letter to the Editor

Take a look at who authored a letter-to-the-editor in the Wall Street Journal. - Allan

The following letter to the editor from Dr. Paul ran in today's Wall Street Journal:

"I was delighted to read in Judy Shelton's op-ed, "Security and the Falling Dollar" (Feb. 15), that at long last the security implications of the dollar's collapse have made their way into the mainstream media. The dollar's strength (or lack thereof) has been of paramount concern to me, and the subject of many of my statements over the past several years. Decades of manipulation by the Federal Reserve have benefited the government and certain politically-connected firms, while gradually destroying the purchasing power of middle-class Americans. Despite numerous warnings in the past, it is only now at a point of acute crisis that Washington insiders are beginning to awaken to the reality of the end of dollar hegemony.

"While I desire reform of our current monetary system, my own proposals have not been as all-encompassing as Ms. Shelton's suggestion to return to a Bretton Woods-style system. Her recommendation, though, that gold backing should make up a component of a future monetary system, is one that we would all do well to heed. My own legislative proposals focus around eliminating the taxes and laws that dissuade individuals and institutions from using gold as currency or as a backing for currency. By allowing market processes to determine the issuance of currency, we can allow individuals to decide for themselves what currency they wish to use. This would lead to a gradual reintroduction of sound money and avoid the market shocks that occur when monetary decisions are mandated by government fiat."

Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Interesting talk...

Spent the last 30 min, sitting and talking to Dr. Paul. He is such a normal guy that it is almost abnormal. Humble and genuine, yet terribly knowledgeable and well-informed. Not alot of guys can spend much time in DC and still keep that sense of being a regular guy.

He just stopped in where the four of us were working and we all took a break and spoke for a bit.

I'm still trying to get on top of the ball as much as the other guys are. I've fit myself into things well, but it seems to me like a good rule - to not go to a place to help out with a campaign unless you plan on spending a minimum of two weeks there. It's unlikely that I can be as effective as I am able to be here, due to the brief time I will be here prior to the election. Time to get back to work.

-in Lake Jackson, TX

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I made it to Brazoria County

Today is the Saturday before the Congressional primary and Presidential Primary in the 14th congressional district of Texas (Ron Paul's hometown). Down the road about half a mile is the Ron Paul estate - a simple ranch house. Much to do in the upcoming days. I came into town last night quite late from DC. The Future Candidate School has filled me with a great deal of confidence about tackling the process yet. While I have not yet made any decisions about running for office myself, the main goal of my time here and in DC continues to be to advance the message that Ron Paul is running on. We have some phone calling to do, so it is time for me to get back to work. I saw a computer and just wanted to check in quickly and to send this out. I miss my friends in Europe quite a bit and think of you often. See you soon.

in Lake Jackson, TX