"The idea that the paper price of gold and silver will head toward zero as monetary printing and debt skyrocket towards the heavens… just goes to show how serious the BRAIN DAMAGE has become in a good percentage of Americans." ~SRSrocco Report

 November 25th, 2015

   "What's upending the existing political Elites is this: there's no free lunch. As the phantom free lunch of the past seven years is shattered by economic realities, the parties' fiefdoms are discovering there isn't enough money for all fiefdoms to expand as they have for 60 years.

   "As a result, each fiefdom is forced to battle other Elites for increasingly scarce financial and political oxygen."  POLITICAL DISUNITY

< Mainstream media are telling us about the disarray in the Republican Party, but there's also an ideological division in the Democrat club as well. 

      This may be too much to digest along with the turkey and pie, but Charles Hugh Smith has pulled together some interesting observations that may be helpful in figuring out what's in the political wind and the direction in which it may be blowing.  

       Why are Bernie and Donald getting so much attention?  

 "It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Richard Lion Russell on Saturday, November 21. Richard had gone to the hospital a week earlier with abdominal pain. He was diagnosed with blood clots in the leg and lungs and other untreatable ailments, but was able to return home under hospice care. He spent his last days surrounded by family and visited by close friends."

      This sad notice from the family of the legendary Richard Russell marks the end of an amazing career.  Russell was 91 and had been publishing his Dow Theory financial newsletter since 1958.  He was a combat bombardier during World War 2 and had been following the stock market since 1950.  


It took only 3 weeks to go $578 billion more deeply into debt.

   Before the debt ceiling was suspended, the national debt stood at $18.15 trillion. But over the last 22 days, it soared $578 billion.

  As of Friday, total national debt stood at $18.72 trillion.

     What's the likelihood of the lenders getting their money back?  In three weeks the Treasury Department goosed the public debt to $18.15 trillion.  Perpetually expanding debt spells major trouble.  The only way to work it down is to balance the federal budget and run surpluses.  

      There is no plan whatever to do that.


Uh-oh!  NPR has too many old people listening.
 Sinking ratings among young people alarms NPR management. 

      It's easy to tell NPR is doing its best to catch the ear of a younger audience when it plays bits and pieces of rock or folk music and interviews the artists on "All Things Considered" and other shows it sends to its some 900 member stations across the country.  But it's sort of a be-all-things-to-all-audiences approach that isn't working very well. 

    “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,” the daily news programs that have propelled public radio for more than 30 years. Morning listening has dropped 11 percent overall since 2010, according to Nielsen research that NPR has made public; afternoon listening is down 6 percent over the same period.  The Graying of NPR

    One may wonder why a medium so heavily supported by taxes and public contributions has to worry about audience numbers.  Theoretically, they have no commercial advertisers to please.  

    In commercial radio programmers must attract as many of the more youthful audience as possible.  People between the ages of 24 and 54 are thought to be the biggest spenders, whereas old people have tapered down on their spending and the very young are still living out of the pockets of mom and pop.

A Swiss Bank Breaks a Taboo.

Zurich (AFP) - A tiny Swiss bank specialized in financing social and environmental projects will on January 1 go where no retail lender has gone before, applying negative interest rates on individual clients.  The Alternative Bank Schweiz (ABS) caused shockwaves with a letter sent to all clients in mid-October informing them that it would begin imposing interest charges on deposits in 2016.  For current accounts, the bank said it would impose a -0.125-percent rate, while slapping a -0.75-percent rate on client deposits higher than 100,000 Swiss francs ($98,650; 92,420 euros).  NEGATIVE INTEREST RATE

   The phrase "negative interest rate" sounds ominous.  And it is - - to the hapless depositor at ABS in Switzerland.  Here in the U.S. depositors have grown used to receiving low or no return on money they've deposited at the bank, but they may not like the idea of actually paying the bank to hold their funds.  

    In the U.S. depositors are used to "free checking" if they maintain balances above a certain level.  Some banks still pay a tiny percentage rate for these balances, a few paying nearly 1 percent.  Many pay nothing at all.  If the SwIss bank's negative rate caught on here you would find yourself PAYING for the privilege of keeping cash in a commercial bank.  

    We think there would be some resistance to the scheme, but apathy about the mechanics of money and credit run high.  Clever advertising could probably sell the idea of negative interest rates.  

    Speaking of interest rates:  We were taught eons ago that the rate of interest was nothing more than the "rental price of money."  If one were to buy a car, put a little down and finance the balance, one would be expected to not only pay the money back but pay some level of interest to compensate the lender.  Interest, in its simplest terms, is the price one pays for renting money.

    Another thing we learned eons ago is:  Price controls lead to economic disaster.

   "What happened in Paris, said President Obama, 'was an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.'

   "And just what might those 'universal values' be?

   "Among 1.6 billion Muslims, hundreds of millions do not share our values regarding women’s rights, abortion, homosexuality, free speech, or the equality of all religious faiths.

   "Set aside the fanatics of ISIS. Does Saudi Arabia share Obama’s views and values regarding sexual freedom and the equality of Christianity, Judaism and Islam? Is anything like the First Amendment operative across the Sunni or Shiite world, or in China?" END OF OBAMAWORLD

<  If the fundamental issue between the Islamic State and the West is religious why wouldn't it be sensible to organize the top scholars of Islam and the theologians of the more ancient Jewish and Christian faiths to debate their beliefs?  The meetings would run on for years, undoubtedly, but the hope of a joint resolution of some kind might let the world get on with secular matters such as re-building wrecked infrastructure and jailing religious bullies of any strand of faith. 

      We have a Bible and a Qu'ran parked side by side on our bookshelf.  Both contain threats of violent punishment, but both also contain inspiring passages promoting peace and harmony.  

       Every December we sing of Peace on Earth.  Why won't religious leaders do more to promote it?

    Meanwhile, back at the pre-nomination political jumble in the United States, Professor Mike Rozeff writes:  "Hillary Clinton is the odds on favorite (83% probability) to win her party’s nomination and a heavy favorite (59% probability) to win the election over her opponent, who is favored to be Rubio (45% probability). While the Republicans debate, she has been moving toward her nomination and planned presidential victory for months now, constantly introducing proposals that aim for the approval of this or that interest group and portion of the electorate."  THE CONFINEMENT OF HILLARY'S MIND.

    Rozeff sees Mrs. Clinton as the Democrat presidential nominee, but does not see her going up against Trump or Carson.  Will Rubio be the GOP pick?  Only this morning we read Christopher Buckley's opinion on the question.  The author also does not believe either Trump or Carson will make it to the starting gate, but has no idea who the Republican nominee will be. 

Buckley's famous father, the late William F. Buckley, Jr., would surely be in print by now with his view of who the GOP nominee should be.  Still - - it'll be nearly a year from now before the campaigning is over and the ballots counted.  A lot can happen between now and then!

Will the GOP get its act together or is H.R. Clinton a shoo-in?
Dr. Gary North reviews Peggy Noonan's comments on the Republican scene.

   '"Kennedy gave us another “new”: the New Frontier. Then came Johnson’s Great Society: the consolidation of the New Deal. After that . . . no more administration-defining bumper-sticker slogans. Reagan’s ad man tried in 1984:  "Morning in America."  Morning ended with Irangate.

   "Nixon gave us Watergate. Ford gave us Nelson Rockefeller. Carter gave us G. William Miller as the head of the FED, who in turn gave us 12% price inflation and 20% T-bill rates. Reagan gave us deficits. Bush I gave us a promise: “no new taxes.” Then he raised taxes. Clinton gave us Monica and a federal budget surplus, but he raided Social Security’s surplus to get it.

   "This was the imitation stage. Then the idiots took over."  POLITICAL BANKRUPTCY; STAGE THREE.

Daesh: The word ISIS doesn’t want you to say — and why politicians are using it more than ever.

   ISIS?  ISIL?  IS?  NPR will not say "Islamic State" without mentioning that it is "self-described."  And now comes Secretary of State John Kerry using the word "Daesh" to describe the murderous Islamic jihadists who have given the world a serious case of the jitters.  

  DAESH (pronounced "die-EESH")is short for "Dawlat al-Islamiyah f’al-Iraq w Belaad al-Sham". But don't let a jihadist catch you saying "Daesh" or you may have your tongue cut out.   DON'T USE THE D-WORD!

OMG! What an outrageous thought! 
Imagine Congress exercising power given to it by the Constitution!    
    "Congress could, if it wanted, dismantle the Federal Reserve entirely. It could refuse to confirm its governors. It could require that dollars be redeemed in gold. If the Fed doesn’t want to establish a voluntary, non-binding monetary guideline, the Congress could turn around and legislate a binding one. The Congress hasn’t — at least not yet — done any of those things. It is merely considering a bill requiring the Fed to establish its own rules and let the rest of us know what it is doing. "  Janet Yellen's Letter   < What is the Federal Reserve so antsy about?  All Congress is considering is directing the Fed to set up rules, which they may or may not adhere to, and make them transparent enough for Congress and the general public to understand. 

      Usually overlooked is the Congressional power to run the monetary system by itself.  In fact, that's its constitutional mandate!  (Note that the Treasury Department still mints coins.  Even silver and gold ones.)  

       Many critics of the phony monetary system are glad to see these questions arise.  

"Islam is still a fervent faith that is growing very rapidly. The secular non-believers of the West do not understand." 
~Jack D. Douglas, retired sociology professor.

   When theological conflicts lead to death and destruction nothing good comes of it, if history is a guide.   There may be long periods of peace but they are usually just intervals before the uproar starts all over again.  

   In the view of Islam we are infidels that need to be converted or destroyed.  We vow that will never happen and that their Jihadists (Holy Warriors) need to be wiped out.  Result?  Religious warfare - a battle of sectarian beliefs in a quest for secular power and dominance.  

   Islam would make the whole world a Caliphate.  That's an idea that needs to be nipped.

Deflation vs. Inflation
The tug 'o war continues

    What's ahead?  No one is quite sure.  The world has never before relied so heavily on fiat currency, but it's safe to bet a day of reckoning awaits.  The dollar appears to have a little glow of pink in its cheeks when compared to other currencies, but it should be remembered that the Federal Reserve note - - once "redeemable in lawful money" - - officially abandoned that promise 52 years ago this month.  The promise to redeem began to disappear from Fed notes in late 1963.  There's talk now, after more than half a century, of abandoning paper currencyaltogether. (see below)

 We recently posted this conclusion about the liberal tilt of news media:   

  "THE BIG QUESTION IS - do liberal news and entertainment media have the power to influence a voting majority to choose the candidates who will continue the policies that are damaging the USA?  

 "We fear they do." 

 The Washington Times sheds more light on the question:  

   "A mere 7 percent of journalists identify as Republicans, and when they do give money to political campaigns they usually donate to Democrats, lending evidence to Republican presidential candidates’ claims that they are facing a hostile audience when they deal with the press.

   "As Republican candidates prepare for their fourth debate of the primary season Tuesday in Milwaukee, the people doing the questioning are increasingly in the spotlight, with their motives being questioned by the campaigns, voters and even by their fellow journalists."  Conservatism is Rare Among Journalists

  We faced a classroom of some 42 aspiring broadcast journalists at a University Journalism School some thirty years ago and conducted an informal survey on the first day to discover WHY these pupils had chosen this field.  The take-away was "I want to make the world a better place." 

  An Australian journalist named Maxwell Newton once remarked that reporters tend to want to influence events when their job is to merely report them as accurately as possible. Obviously, the development of wall-to-wall electronic dissemination of news and opinion has broadened the opportunity of commentators, reporters, and moderators to wield influence. That so many of them believe that increasing the power of the governing class will eventually solve social problems should come as no surprise.