Open Letter To Senators Regarding S.604: Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009

Mr. __________,

I am writing today to ask that you co-sponsor S.604: Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009. This is a very important bill for ensuring oversight and accountability in the Federal Reserve, by allowing the GAO to perform an audit.

So-far, six of the seven representatives from our state have pledged their support for the House version of this bill, HR1207. The bill already has more than enough votes to pass in the House of Representatives. At the last count it had 237 votes.

This kind of legislation is very popular with the people of our state and the nation in general. We are ready to see some real changes in Washington D.C. and that means a real challenge to the unchecked power of the Fed.

In order to restore the reputation, both domestic and international, of our government and monetary system, it is essential that the public and the Congress be allowed to know what is going on at the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve Board has become a de-facto fourth branch of government, it is un-elected and in many ways more powerful than the Congress. There are also many Constitutional questions as to whether the Congress even has the authority to establish a central bank; though that is a topic for future legislation.

Most Americans feel very strongly, as do I, that it is time we took the first step, on our path to transparency. This means a complete Audit of the books and records of the Federal Reserve Bank.

Please join the cause of Liberty and co-sponsor this bill.

Thank You,
Chris Case

Largest Financial Smuggling Case In History Ignored by Media

Its interesting how the media will focus on the most trivial matters, such as a politician’s personal problems, or spin about how the economic improvement is “just around the corner.” In this situation, a couple of guys get caught smuggling $134.5 worth of bonds and you hear little to nothing in the press.

Most of you reading this have, at least a suspicion that something smells rotten in Denmark, when it comes to the integrity of the press during this day and age. Stories like this are confirmation of any suspicions you may have. This is a historic event, which we need to get to the bottom of and understand; because there is probably something important here that we need to know about.

Since the media is sweeping it under the rug, I suspect that the perpetrators may have been acting on the behalf of well connected individuals. Perhaps the media refuses to report real news altogether; opting instead to create a fantasy world, which acts as a sort of red herring. This keeps people from getting in the way of powerful individuals; since they wish to conduct their business undisturbed.

Personally, I think there is a little news that leaks in there, from time to time; but, for the most part, the world portrayed on television is a fantasy one used to control the behavior of those who watch. Accuracy and professionalism don’t really factor into the equation much anymore.

US government securities seized from Japanese nationals, not clear whether real or fake

Bonds worth US$ 134.5 billion are seized. This is the largest financial smuggling case in history. But are they real? Concern over ‘funny money’ or counterfeit securities is spreading in Asia. The international press is silent.

Milan (AsiaNews) – Italy’s financial police (Guardia italiana di Finanza) has seized US bonds worth US 134.5 billion from two Japanese nationals at Chiasso (40 km from Milan) on the border between Italy and Switzerland. They include 249 US Federal Reserve bonds worth US$ 500 million each, plus ten Kennedy bonds and other US government securities worth a billion dollar each.
Italian authorities have not yet determined whether they are real or fake, but if they are real the attempt to take them into Switzerland would be the largest financial smuggling operation in history; if they are fake, the matter would be even more mind-boggling because the quality of the counterfeit work is such that the fake bonds are undistinguishable from the real ones.

What caught the policemen’s attention were the billion dollar securities. Such a large denomination is not available in regular financial and banking markets. Only states handle such amounts of money.

The question now is who could or would counterfeit or smuggle these non-negotiable bonds.

In order to stop money laundering Italian law sets a ceiling of 10,000 euros per person for importing or exporting money without declaring it. The penalty for violating the law is 40 per cent of the money seized.

If the certificates were real, for Italy it would be like hitting the jackpot. The fine alone would amount to US$ 38 billion, five times the estimated cost of rebuilding quake-devastated Abruzzi region. It would help Italy’s eliminate its public deficit.

If the certificates are fakes the two Japanese nationals could get a very lengthy jail sentence for fraud.

As soon as the seizure was made the US Embassy in Rome was informed. Italian and US secret services were called in to assist the Italian financial police.

Some important international financial newspapers had already reported on the existence of ‘funny money’ circulating on parallel, i.e. unofficial, financial markets.

For AsiaNews a few points need considering:

1. When it comes to Italy the world press has tended to focus on Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi’s personal problems rather than on stories like the bonds smuggling affair which has been front page on Italian newspapers.

2. The fear of counterfeit bonds and securities has spread across Asia with the result that real securities are also considered with suspicion.

3. During the Second World War several countries at war printed and put in circulation perfectly counterfeit enemy money. It is also historically established that some central banks, like the Bank of Italy 65 years ago, issued the same securities twice (identical registered number and code). This way they could print more money with legal tender than they officially declared. The main difference though is that 65 years ago the world was involved in a bloody war, which is not the case today.

Key figures in global battle against illegal arms trade lost in Air France crash

ARGENTINA: Argentine campaigner Pablo Dreyfus and Swiss colleague Ronald Dreyer battled South American arms and drug traffickingFrom Andrew McLeod

source: Sunday Herald

AMID THE media frenzy and speculation over the disappearance of Air France’s ill-fated Flight 447, the loss of two of the world’s most prominent figures in the war on the illegal arms trade and international drug trafficking has been virtually overlooked.

Pablo Dreyfus, a 39-year-old Argentine who was travelling with his wife Ana Carolina Rodrigues aboard the doomed flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, had worked tirelessly with the Brazilian authorities to stem the flow of arms and ammunition that for years has fuelled the bloody turf wars waged by drug gangs in Rio’s sprawling favelas.

Also travelling with Dreyfus on the doomed flight was his friend and colleague Ronald Dreyer, a Swiss diplomat and co-ordinator of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence who had worked with UN missions in El Salvador, Mozambique, Azerbaijan, Kosovo and Angola. Both men were consultants at the Small Arms Survey, an independent think tank based at Geneva’s Graduate Institute of International Studies. The Survey said on its website that Dryer had helped mobilise the support of more than 100 countries to the cause of disarmament and development.

Buenos Aires-born Dreyfus had been living in Rio since 2002, where he and his sociologist wife worked with the Brazilian NGO Viva Rio.

“Pablo will be remembered as a gentle and sensitive man with an upbeat sense of humour,” said the Small Arms Survey. “He displayed an intellectual curiosity and a determined work ethic that excited and enthused all who worked with him.”

According to the International Action Network on Small Arms Control (IANSA), Dreyfus’s work was instrumental in the introduction of landmark small arms legislation in Brazil in 2003. Under this legislation, an online link was created between army and police databases listing production, imports and exports of arms and ammunition in Brazil.

Dreyfus was an advocate of the stringent labelling of ammunition by weapons firms, arguing that by clearly identifying ammunition not only by its producer but also its purchaser, the likelihood of weapons being sourced by criminals from corrupt police or armed forces personnel is greatly reduced.

Though a Brazilian referendum on the right to bear arms was rejected in 2005, Viva Rio says the campaign should be considered a success because half a million weapons were voluntarily handed in to the authorities. Anti-gun activists put the referendum defeat down to fears criminals would circumvent the law and continue to gain access to small arms the usual way – through Paraguay and other bordering countries. This was not an irrational fear: until 2004, when Paraguay bowed to Brazilian pressure, even foreign tourists were allowed to purchase small arms simply by presenting a photocopy of their identity card. Dreyfus knew that many of the weapons from the so-called tri-border area between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina were reaching Rio drug gangs.

When unidentified gunmen made off with a stash of hand grenades from an Argentine military garrison in 2006, Dreyfus deplored what he said was lax security at military depots across the world. “If a supermarket can keep control of the amount of peas it has in stock, surely a military organisation could and should be able to do the same with equal if not greater efficiency with its weapons,” he said. “The key words are logisitics, control, security.”

When Rio agents smashed a cell of drug traffickers who had sourced their weapons from the tri-border area, Dreyfus noted its leaders were prominent businessmen living in apartments in the plush Rio suburbs of Ipanema and São Corrado, “not in the favelas”.

In a recent report posted on the Brazilian website Comunidade Segura (Safe Community), Dreyfus noted that the Brazilian arms firm CBC (Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos) had become one of the world’s biggest ammunition producers by purchasing Germany’s Metallwerk Elisenhutte Nassau (MEN) in 2007, and Sellier & Bellot (S&B) of the Czech Republic in March. This would not be particularly noteworthy but for the fact that CBC’s exports had tapered off in recent years due to legislation restricting exports to Paraguay, arms that often found their way back into Brazil and on to the Rio drug gangs – the “boomerang effect”, as Dreyfus called it. “The commercial export of weapons and ammunition from Brazil to the bordering countries stopped in 2001,” wrote Dreyfus. “CBC lost commercial markets in Latin America, but Brazil won in public security.”

However, manufacturers from other countries had moved in to fill the void, and before its purchase by CBC, S&B was already “one of the marks most currently apprehended” by Brazilian police. Dreyfus said that, in view of the fact the Czech Republic was bound by the EU Code of Conduct on weapons exports – which states that EU countries must “evaluate the existence of the risk that the armament can be diverted to undesirable final destinations”, CBC should “consider the risk that some of these exports end up, via diversions, feeding violence in Brazil”.

Though his focus was on Latin America, Dreyfus also advised the government of Mozambique and at the time of his death was preparing to do the same for the government of Angola, where stockpiles of weapons left over from the civil war continue to pose a security problem.

Dreyfus and Dreyer were on their way to Geneva to present the latest edition of the Small Arms Survey handbook, of which Dreyfus was a joint editor. It was to have been their latest step in their relentless fight against evil.

National debt at $545,668 per household

source: UPI.com

WASHINGTON, May 30 (UPI) — Federal debt last year amounted to a record $545,668 per U.S. household
— a 12-percent spike in just one year, government sources said.

The increase burdens each household with an additional $55,000 in national debt for just 2008, USA Today reported Saturday.

The increase can be pinned on the explosion of federal borrowing during the recession and an aging population that is driving up the costs of Medicare and Social Security.

“We have a huge implicit mortgage on every household in America — except, unlike a real mortgage, it’s not backed up by a house,” said David Walker, former U.S. comptroller general, the government’s chief auditor.

The federal government assumed $6.8 trillion in new debt last year, pushing its total debt to a record $63.8 trillion, USA Today reported.

The enormous burden has increased awareness of the government’s financial challenges, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., said.

“More and more, people are worried about our fiscal future,” Cooper said.

The Wheels are Falling off the Wagon

For the last several decades, our civilization has steadily approached the point of no return.  This is the point which, when passed, we can no-longer salvage our lifestyle as we know it.  This means that we cannot simply steer ourselves out, as a society; but we must first endure a painful collapse in which millions will be ruined financially and lose everything they have.  Indeed many people will be absolutely shocked and dumbfounded when the very fabric of the society they are completely reliant on, comes apart suddenly, in a devastating wave of hyper-inflation.

There is no doubt in my mind that hyper-inflation is headed our way very soon.  The unprecedented level of money creation will not be wiped by deflation.  In point of fact, the circumstances we are now in are virtually identical to other situations throughout history, which have all resulted in hyper-inflation.

Basically the economy is in a deep slump, while governments are rapidly increasing the money supply with Quantitative Easing (a fancy academic term for creation of large amounts of money).  This formula has a long history of causing currency failure.

Indeed, the system has been abused to such an extent that they have little choice at this point; the only way to wipe out the massive public and private debt obligations is to shrink the size of the debt by debasing the currency.

In the process of dropping the value of the dollar, they are also wiping out the savings of many people and governments around the world.  Indeed most of the dollars in circulation are actually held overseas.  So this debasement of the currency is going to rob the savings of a great many people who trusted in the integrity of the US government.  I doubt this mistake will be made again; at least for a few generations.

This is precisely why the wealthiest and most successful families in the history of our civilization, will only hold their money in hard assets or quality companies which produce hard assets.  They learned through experience, that hard assets are the only way to preserve their family’s wealth, generation after generation, in situations where the currency has no convertability.

I find it truly interesting to observe the behavior of different types of people, as we head into this period in our history:

  • There is a significant segment of our population that doesn’t want to know anything; they prefer to think that their lifestyle is untouchable.  They have everything they own in some mutual funds or money markets in their 401(k) or IRA.  Anything in regards to money is “better left to the professionals” despite the fact that these “professionals” are the ones who created the terminal situation which has robbed so many people of their life’s savings.
  • Another portion of our population wishes to be blindly optimistic.  They celebrate the fact that the new President is an well-spoken intellectual who says and does much of what they always wanted their leader to say and do.  There seems to be little to no concern, amongst these pseudo-intellectuals, that nothing is being done to address the fundamental problems which plague our society.  Instead new bandages are being applied to mask the problems and “keep up appearances.”
  • Finally, there is another portion of the population who have become thoroughly disgusted with the dis-ingenuous left-right paradigm.  They realize that both political parties are leading us down the primrose path, not into the land of milk and honey; but into the desert to die.  It is this segment of the population, which has chosen to rely on their own abilities; to adapt in whatever ways they are able.  To this group of individuals, the solutions to our problems are not top-down, as we are accustomed to; instead the solutions are implemented by each of us in our own lives.  The basic idea is to reduce and eliminate the dependency on this failed society; instead relying on their selves and the local community.  They don’t wish to wait and hope for someone or something outside of themselves to produce “change ™”; instead they fundamentally change the way they live their lives.

I prefer to identify with the third group, because I feel strongly that the first two groups are simply accomplishing nothing of substance. I believe in our power as individuals to produce what we need to live on this planet. Its not like we’re having to live on Mars or something inhospitable like that. This is a very fertile planet which is positively bursting with life and genetic diversity.

I often hear naysayers say that you must have 40 acres and significant financial resources to change your lifestyle; but I have seen examples of urban homesteaders who have been able to produce the majority of their food on small lots (less than 1/4 acre). Sure, they aren’t totally “off the grid” but producing one’s own food is a significant step in cutting costs and achieving sustainability.

We may as well start where we are at. If we are going to strive for something, we must strive for goals that we know we can achieve in a reasonable amount of time. If a significant segment of our population learned to decrease their dependency on this failed system, the benefits would be innumerable.