Paying for Tax Cuts: Whose Money is it?
George Orwell warned us about the use of meaningless words in politics -- words that are endlessly repeated by sloganeering politicians until they have no meaning at all. Meaningless words certainly were on display last week during congressional debate over the latest tax bill. Over and over again we heard trite, empty phrases like "tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%", "tax giveaways", "tax earmarks", and "borrowing money to give to millionaires." Time and time again the same falsehoods were presented as fact and reported as such by our credulous media.
Prodded by consumer and dental activists, the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the scientific evidence underlying its pronouncement less than 18 months ago that dental fillings containing mercury do not cause harm to patients.
An advisory panel of outside experts will meet this week to re-examine the basis of the FDA's conclusions in the latest chapter of a lengthy battle with groups that believe the agency is understating possible links between the mercury in dental amalgam and neurological and other health problems.
The bank said in a statement that it believes that site "may be engaged in activities that are, among other things, inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments."
It joins financial institutions including MasterCard and PayPal that have stopped handling payments for the site.
WikiLeaks responded with a Twitter message urging its supporters to stop doing business with the bank.
Just got back and boy things are changing worldwide.....Summer has just started and the weather is GORGEOUS... but some interesting things have happened just in the few months I have been away. First off the dollar has fallen substantially against the local currency and it even fell 1% more while I was there....in just 9 days. Also inflation has hit hard on food prices, property, fuel, etc. What used to be great deals now costs more than the United States (Like Cucumbers & Tomatoes)and they also have a Costco called "PriceSmart" and talk about inflation...yikes. Everything is triple...compared to here. Another interesting point that I need to make is that the locals will no longer accept the "Dollar" because they feel it is too unstable (Which is a joke, because the Costa Rican currency is pegged to the dollar). I was buying some groceries at the local market, and when I was paying, I tried to pay in dollars which I have always done in the past and was denied. No more dollars.
The Costa Rican Government also just had to print a $40 (US) bill. If this is not the sign of the times. The $20 (US) bill was the highest they made, and people would resist taking such a big bill, but now the $40 bill has arrived. In Costa Rica, the money is approx 500 colones (Pronounced Colone-ease) to $1. So this is a 20,000 colone note ($40 US). A 50,000 colones note is coming. Here is a picture of it...
Next, as I went to the bank, new laws have been enacted now requiring United States IRS forms for banking in Costa Rica. Can you believe that? My friend who has been in Costa Rica for over 13 years went to buy a new car and they required a W-4 form from the United States. Also for me to make a small deposit just to keep my bank account open they needed to verify many US items that I have never encountered before.
Statement on tax compromise legislation
I recently voted again in favor of HR 4853, the Middle Class Tax Relief Act, legislation which ensures the continuation of the Bush-era tax cuts, fixes the AMT patch, and significantly reduces the burden of the estate tax in 2011. If no action had been taken by this Congress, all Americans would have had to pay higher income, dividend, estate, and capital gains taxes beginning on January 1, 2011. I will always vote to lower taxes at all levels, and I will never vote for tax increases.
31 minute c-span interview to air this Sunday, December 19, 2010:
Ron Paul: ‘I Don’t Think We Need Regulators’
DECEMBER 17, 2010, 3:07 PM ET
Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas), who is taking over a key House panel with oversight over the Federal Reserve, criticizes regulators in a new interview.
Appearing on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers (interviewed for a second time by the Journal’s Sudeep Reddy), Paul responded to recent comments by incoming House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R. Ala.,) on bank regulation. “I don’t think we need regulators. We need law and order. We need people to fulfill their contracts,” Paul said.
(I found this over at the Wall Street Journal-some great comments!)
Dr. Paul on Fox Business- 'America's Nightly Scoreboard' on Thursday to discuss the omnibus spending bill and the Federal Reserve, and what he plans to do as the chairman of the subcommittee.
The United Nations is considering whether to set up an inter-governmental working group to harmonise global efforts by policy makers to regulate the internet(...)
"America's military and economic empire could collapse at any time, but predicting the precise day, week or month of its potential demise is unattainable, according to a former New York Times war correspondent who spoke with Raw Story.
"The when and how is very dangerous to predict because there's always some factor that blindsides you that you didn't expect," Pulitzer-winning journalist Chris Hedges said in an exclusive interview. "It doesn't look good. But exactly how it plays out and when it plays out, having covered disintegrating societies, it's impossible to tell."
Dec 16th, 2010: Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) talks with Judge Andrew Napolitano (filling in for Glenn Beck).
Please take 12 minutes out of your day. Thank you.
(I changed the title from "dumbing" to "dumb" because of Charlotte Iserbyt's book.)
This morning the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to figure out how they might legally pursue Assange and WikiLeaks. The committe chairman, Representative John Conyers, defended free speech and the dissemination of free information, while acknowledging the issue is complicated by questions involving national security, international relations and war and peace.
He opened the hearing by quoting Justice William Brennan in the Supreme Court case Texas vs. Johnson, “If there is a bedrock priniciple underlying the 1st amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.” He clearly situated WikiLeaks within this framework by stating that the Brennan opinion should be ‘instructed’ in the case of WikiLeaks.
It occurs to me that though Conyers is right in this assumption, he should have noted that many people hold a favorable opinion of WikiLeaks (here and abroad), and the greatest noise and distortion is coming from the corridors of power. Granted, Conyers seems to be aware of this by stating that the mob response is coming from government officials, certain journalists and “experts” (whoever they may be) and not the 300 million people of this country.
He states, quite rightly:
And Now Presenting: Amazing Satellite Images Of The Ghost Cities Of China ... The hottest market in the hottest economy in the world is Chinese real estate. The big question is how vulnerable is this market to a crash. One red flag is the vast number of vacant homes spread through China, by some estimates up to 64 million vacant homes. We've tracked down satellite photos of these unnerving places, based on a report from Forensic Asia Limited. They call it a clear sign of a bubble. – BusinessInsider
Dominant Social Theme: Nothing to see here. Just investments.
Free-Market Analysis: Even at the height of the mortgage boom in America, US builders were not erecting empty cities, were they? Did we miss something? In China, apparently they are. In our quest to present what's going on, we've documented some uncanny occurrences over the past two years, including the vacant city of Ordos in Mongolia. But what BusinessInsider has provided us, courtesy of Forensic Asia Limited is a series of satellite images that prove that Ordos is not a unique event.
China is actually littered with what Business Insider calls ghost cities, and the satellite pictures provided would seem to prove it. It's a pretty amazing presentation, showing how the power of the Internet, when married to space technology, can come up with important results. Here are some photo captions from the article: