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Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: March 31, 2011 Reporting From: Santiago, Chile

In Business on March 31, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Sovereign Man
Notes from the Field

Date: March 31, 2011
Reporting From: Santiago, Chile

It’s nice to be back in Chile. This is a country that I have come to love and appreciate over the last several years, not only for its incredible beauty and highly civilized culture, but also for the massive opportunities that await energetic, professional, creative individuals.

Foreigners are welcomed here, particularly those who are willing to invest or start a business; the government has provided a great deal of incentives to attract talented people, ranging from easy immigration procedures to government funding for startups to lower tax rates.

Chile’s corporate tax rate, temporarily set at 20%, is set to decrease to 18.5% next year, and 17% the following year. This puts Chile in a similar class as Hong Kong (16.5%), Singapore (up to 17%) and Estonia (18% in 2012).

Opportunities in Chile vary, but they are all derived from the country’s solid macroeconomic fundamentals, rising (and wealthy) middle class, immense resource wealth, high productivity, growing intellectual capital, and support for free market principles.

This is not a country that prints, borrows, confiscates, or imports its way to prosperity.

Taking advantage of the opportunities on the ground in Chile, or anywhere else for that matter, requires just that– being on the ground. There is no substitute for being there, wherever ‘there’ happens to be. This is critical to success.

It’s often a night and day difference between the conventional wisdom you’ll read about in the mainstream media vs. what you see with your own eyes. A great example of this is New York-based Auerbach Grayson, an investment firm that has specialized in forgotten international markets for the last 20 years.

Sure, Brazil, China, and Indonesia are popular with mainstream institutional investors these days… but Auerbach Grayson has been working in places like Malawi, Uzbekistan, Slovakia, and Zambia for years. They succeed because they have presence on the ground, and perhaps more importantly, access.

Building great contacts is also critical to success, and this can be even more important when going overseas. In a world where “who you know” can be more important than “what you know,” you’re either someone with great contacts, or you’re someone who wonders how the other guy has such great contacts.

Fortunately, it’s much easier to network with influential people overseas, especially in developing countries. You might not get invited to the White House or Buckingham Palace anytime soon, but it doesn’t take too much effort to rub elbows with the political and financial elite in smaller jurisdictions.

I’ve been able to build strong networks around the globe, and there are a few tried and true methods that have worked for me over and over again in the past. I wrote about these in 2009’s Network Infiltration Report that was published on this site. It’s completely free, and
you can download it here.

No matter what constraints may govern your personal situation, I believe you will find the information valuable, whether you are an employee working your way up the corporate ladder, an entrepreneur seeking new funding, a lonely single searching for a companion, an investor looking for a great opportunity, or a new expatriate trying to meet local insiders.

I credit these techniques with a large part of my success, and I hope you find them beneficial as well.

Last, as a reminder, we are holding an informational teleconference about the Atlas 400 group on Tuesday, April 5th at 3pm Eastern Time. Atlas is a great example of a strong, influential network, and I welcome the opportunity to tell you more about it on the phone next week.

Sign up here to receive the call-in instructions.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

How Much?, How Much More? How Much More Money will it cost???y

In Business, Government, History, Political, Taxes on March 30, 2011 at 7:04 pm

How much America??????

How much more are you willing to take????

How much more are you willing to give???

I presume, I hope, that some/most of you have heard the spoken words of New York Senator Charles Schumer. Indeed, it was an open mic and something that we all are not always privy to. Those words should be ringing all kinds of alarm bells in your mind. If the thoughts of the Senator are as he spoke, explaining his line of thought by reiterating words as promulgated by the Democratic committee, it follows to ask if all his words are indeed not original but just words of others. You must wonder why the elites of the Democratic Party hate the Tea Party??? Schumer’s words define it nicely, they are deathly afraid that the financing of their life style will be severely curtailed if the Tea Party and its minions become the leaders of the government. His words proved to me that folks of his ilk do not have the needs and desires of the american taxpayer at heart. Neither do they have any feelings for the middle class, only needing them enough to provide the money to finance the luxury life style to which we have provided access for elites such as he and Howard Dean. What a tragedy that we ordinary Americans, with our voting practices, without enough time to really research prominent issues because of pressing needs to provide for our families , furnish the vehicle to attain the high offices from which they rule over us. It’s sickening when you realize that your tax money provides an impetus for your elected official to take more from you and place you another rung down on the ladder.

Folks of the REPUBLIC, please take another look, take stock of the goings on and stand with the people who just wont take it anymore. Realize how the Tea Party, composed of ordinary citizens like you and
me can help stabilize our country before it’s too late. Let’s help to make our dollars contributed, taxed and passed to our government start to help bring our REPUBLIC back to a sound footing and regain the respect that was ours in past years.

There are so many more issues that Schumer’s words bring out. Such as, why have we not begun to drill back here in the Gulf of Mexico???
Why does the President talk as if he is in favor of oil when in listening to his words, he really wants no part of it instead, relying more on Foreign Oil??? The old adage of Wind, Solar, Green products is wearing thin. We all know that they all require more and more government assistance to mature, meaning, that we all have to give more and more to sustain them with no real foreseeable benefit gained.

Folks, we have to stop being mesmerized by the high office words.
The gain is no longer reachable……..

God Bless America…….

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: March 30, 2011 Reporting From: Undisclosed location

In Business on March 30, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Sovereign Man
Notes from the Field

Date: March 30, 2011
Reporting From: Undisclosed location

Craig Ballantyne is a stud. Aside from being in incredible shape and one of the most sought-after experts in the fitness industry, Craig also runs a 7-figure business, entirely online. It generates significant wealth, and also provides him the freedom to live and work anywhere in the world.

I think so highly of Craig’s knowledge and talents that I asked him to be a guest speaker at our recent offshore workshop in Panama– (his sessions were standing-room only) as well as to be an instructor at the Sovereign Man Liberty and Entrepreneurship Camp that we held last summer in Europe.

Like many of my friends, Craig is an Atlas 400 member*, so I tend to spend time with him in unique settings around the world. When he’s not traveling, he lives in Toronto, and he sat down with me recently to talk about how anyone can build a business online.

He now writes a free, daily blog that I encourage you to check out, InternetIndependence.com; Craig gives it to you straight, he doesn’t fill your head full of the fist-pumping hype– building a business, online or otherwise, takes hard work and dedication. Craig will be the first to tell you that.

On his site, and in this interview, Craig provides a lot of clear strategies and ideas that people can use to develop their own businesses. This is not a ‘one-size fits all’ model, but rather an approach to properly identify how you can add value, plus specific tactics to get ahead quickly.

Incidentally, I write frequently about building trusted networks with strong, like-minded, talented people; as a close friend and fellow Atlas member, Craig is in my network. We often say that ‘who you know’ can be more important than ‘what you know’. Craig is an example of how ‘who you know’ can vastly improve ‘what you know.’

I hope you enjoy the interview.

* We’ve been receiving a lot of emails lately asking ‘What is the Atlas 400 Club?’ In short, it’s a private group designed to build deep relationships among successful, like-minded individuals. I personally get more out of it than almost anything else that I’ve been involved in.

I could probably go on for pages about this… so what we’ve decided to do is hold a live call next week on Tuesday, April 5th at 3pm Eastern time for anyone who might be interested. You can read more about the club and sign up for the call here.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: March 29, 2011 Reporting From: Undisclosed location

In Business on March 29, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Sovereign Man
Notes from the Field

Date: March 29, 2011
Reporting From: Undisclosed location

Sticker shock in grocery store checkout lines and gas pumps around the western world is starting to set in. At this point, you have to be living under a rock to not notice that prices of goods and services around the world are increasing substantially.

Much of the blame for rising prices has rightfully been levied on the uncontrolled expansion of central bank balance sheets– the US Federal Reserve, for example, created more money in the last two years than it had created in the previous 200. Rejecting reject the possibility that any of this money could impact consumer prices is just intellectually dishonest.

There is another factor, however, that weighs heavily on inflation, and it is seldom discussed in this context: taxes.

Everybody hates paying taxes… but what few people realize is that tax hikes fuel rising prices. When payroll tax rates, import duties, corporate profits tax rates, sales tax rates, etc. increase, it’s always the end consumer at the cash register who gets stuck footing the bill.

This is happening across the world right now, including in the United States. While governments in places like Illinois have made headlines for infamously raising their income tax rates in the middle of the night, local government tax hikes are going largely unnoticed.

At present, 14 cities across California are raising their local sales tax rates, the highest being in Union City and El Cerrito (near San Francisco) to 10.25%. Then there’s Prattville, Alabama, a town of 30,000 near the capital Montgomery, which just raised its local sales tax rate 1% to 9.5%

This has the effect of making everything more expensive– instantly. Now, 1% might not seem like that big of a deal, right? This is how politicians think– do we really care if we pay $50 at the checkout line, or $50.50? Of course not, it doesn’t matter.

It’s not about a single purchase, though, it’s the aggregate of all of our purchases, and its starts to add up. Not to mention, there’s the slippery slope of thinking “well, if 1% didn’t matter last time, let’s hike tax rates another 1%.”

Over time, the same thing happens when income tax rates rise. When individuals have less disposable income to spend, everything certainly feels more expensive… and when corporate and payroll tax rates increase, those increased costs get passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.

There are some places in the world, however, that are getting it right. Singapore is one such place. Rather than concerning itself with dropping bombs and establishing military bases in other countries, the government of Singapore is living within its means setting conditions for the continued growth and prosperity of its residents.

This morning, I received a welcome email from one of my prime contacts on the ground in Singapore. As it turns out, the government there is cutting its tax rates. Again. And my friend, a “who’s who” in the Singapore corporate structure industry, sent along a very helpful guide to show me just how serious Singapore is about growth.

Individual income tax rates, which are already among the lowest in the developed world, are being cut. For example, income in the range of S$80,000 to S$120,000 (S$ is the Singapore dollar… this is roughly $65,000 to $95,000 USD) will now be taxed at a marginal rate of just 11.5%, down from 14% before.

For companies, corporate profits below S$100,000 (roughly $80,000 USD) under the old rate schedule were not taxed. This is still the case… and one of the reasons why Singapore is such an attractive draw to entrepreneurs– because, for a startup, those initial profits are incredibly important.

The next S$200,000 in profits (roughly $160,000 USD) used to be taxed at 8.5%. This has been cut to 6.8% under the new scheme, so the effective tax rate on roughly the first $240,000 USD is only 4.5%. Pretty reasonable.

The next S$194,118 in profits (roughly $154,000 USD) used to be taxed at 17%; this has now dropped to 13.6%… and finally, all profits above S$494,118 (about $392,000 USD) are taxed at 17%.

As corporate profit tax schemes go, this is incredibly low. A company with roughly $400,000 (USD) in profits would have an effective tax rate of just 8%, and a company with $1 million (USD) in profits would pay an effective tax rate of just 13.5%.

Singapore has also made new allowances in how businesses can deduct expenses through the “Product and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme.” The PIC Scheme allows businesses to deduct up to 400% of the actual expense for things like research and development, design, acquisition of intellectual property rights, etc.

While these tax benefits are advantageous for all companies, Singapore lends itself particularly well to entrepreneurs and professionals who generate the preponderance of their income online: it’s a strong, independent, transparent jurisdiction to structure, it’s one of the safest banking jurisdictions in the world, and the government provides generous allowances for royalties and intellectual property.

I’ve been traveling in the US for almost 3-weeks now, and as usual, I’ve been pretty amazed at all the gloom, bad news, and overall economic malaise. I’m here to tell you that there are still plenty of places in the world with significant opportunity, where productive, talented people are treated like valuable assets instead of milk cows.

Singapore is one of those places, and I think it makes a lot of sense to consider relocating there (if you’re a skilled professional, investor or entrepreneur) or looking to structure a foreign business (especially an online company).

Tomorrow, I’ll be releasing interview I just conducted with a friend of mine who is a very successful online entrepreneur. He is another Atlas 400 member, and a phenomenal teacher about what he does.

I hope that, between the valuable insights he provides in the interview about building a new online business, and what we’ve discussed about places like Singapore, it may give you some ideas for a different direction.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: March 28, 2011 Reporting From: Phoenix, AZ, USA

In Business on March 29, 2011 at 10:38 am

Sovereign Man
Notes from the Field
Date: March 28, 2011
Reporting From: Phoenix, AZ, USA

I had a really great weekend. Ernest Hancock, the of the libertarian radio show ‘Declare your Independence’ invited me to his 50th birthday party at his home in Phoenix after our interview on Friday; I happily accepted and hopped a flight.

I’ve met few people in my life who love freedom as much as Ernie does, and the people in his circle definitely fall in the pro-liberty camp.

I remember attending the Libertarian National Convention in 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia. I met Aaron Russo (who died just one year later), the filmmaker who produced ‘America: Freedom to Fascism’ and Michael Badnarik, who eventually secured the party’s nomination that year.

What struck me about the 2004 convention was that the attendees, while devout Constitutionalists and hardcore advocates for liberty, were mostly dreamers who were happy to simply complain about the rise of big government… but never take any action. It seemed like the entire thing was just an intellectual exercise, nothing more.

Conversely, I met some really fascinating people at Ernie’s party who understand that their freedoms and currency have been steadily eroded by the government, and they’re taking steps to reduce the risks.

Ernie himself has been raising livestock and cultivating a small garden; he already has his own water supply, and he has plans to install solar paneling soon.

These actions will increase his self-sufficiency and reduce his overall dependence on major systems (food, energy, water) which are controlled by a small, elite group of companies and heavily influenced by the government.

To a lot of people, it sounds crazy. “Grow your own vegetables?!?! You must be nuts!”

Sure, it might seem farfetched in western suburbia, but personal, small-scale agricultural production is still the norm in much of the world, from China to South America to Central Europe. One day (probably soon) these ideas will become the norm once again in the west.

I intend on taking the concept much further; I’ve written extensively, both in this forum and to Sovereign Man: Confidential members, about burgeoning plans to design a resilient community overseas.

This is a place that is capable of generating its own food, water, security, energy, and economic activity… and hence withstand major shocks to the system.

The best part about it is that, while casting a wide net, the community will attract people who share common values. It’s a heavy burden to go through life alone, especially in the Age of Turmoil. Developing strong relationships with people of similar mind is tremendously important.

On that note, I want to tell you about the biggest letdown of my weekend. I read an article in the New York Times about a man named Charlie Engle, 48, who was recently convicted, sentenced, and incarcerated in a federal prison for committing mortgage fraud– as a borrower!

The IRS moved heaven and earth to find something, anything, to put this guy in jail. They succeeded. The government’s star witness, a shady mortgage broker who himself had been convicted of fraud, asserted that Mr. Engle provided false information and overstated his income on a ‘stated income’ liar loan application. Pot. Kettle.

The jury didn’t buy it and acquitted Mr. Engle on the charge of providing false information. Yet somehow, they still managed to find him guilty for mortgage fraud (which is based on providing false information!)

The doublethink is unparalleled… and exceptionally unfortunate.

It’s shocking to me how 12 Americans could side with the government and ruin this man’s life, and I think it’s a sign of things to come.

This is one of the biggest reasons why I think it’s important to build strong relationships– there is an overwhelming mass of people who are rapidly becoming a tremendous danger to freedom, happily towing the line and supporting Big Brother all the way in exchange for false promises of hope and prosperity.

That’s why, in the resilient community, the ‘community’ part (focus on building relationships) is just as critical as the ‘resilient’ part (focus on self-sufficiency and withstanding system shocks).

I’ve been talking over my plans and getting feedback this weekend with several friends of mine who are influential Atlas 400 members. More to follow soon.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

A Tribute for all to read….by Chuck Yeager….forwarded via e-mail

In personal and business on March 29, 2011 at 10:33 am

“Shifty” By Chuck Yeager

Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Infantry. If you’ve seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10 episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them.

I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn’t know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at the right gate, and noticed the “Screaming Eagle,” the symbol of the 101st Airborne, on his hat.

Making conversation, I asked him if he d been in the 101st Airborne or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the 101st. I thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served, and how many jumps he made.

Quietly and humbly, he said “Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so, and was in until sometime in 1945 … ” at which point my heart skipped.

At that point, again, very humbly, he said “I made the 5 training
jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . do you know where Normandy is?” At this point my heart stopped.
I told him “yes, I know exactly where Normandy is, and I know what D-Day was.” At that point he said “I also made a second jump into Holland , into Arnhem .” I was standing with a genuine war hero …and then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of D-Day.

I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France , and he said “Yes… And it ‘ s real sad because, these days, so few of the guys are left, and those that are, lots of them can’t make the trip.” My heart was in my throat and I didn’t know what to say.

I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in Coach while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have it, that I’d take his in coach.

He said “No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are still some who remember what we did and who still care is enough to make an old man very happy.” His eyes were filling up as he said it. And mine are brimming up now as I write this.

Shifty died on Jan. l7 after fighting cancer. There was no parade. No big event in Staples Center … No wall to wall back to back 24×7 news coverage. No weeping fans on television.
And that’s not right!!

Let’s give Shifty his own Memorial Service, online, in our own quiet way. Please forward this email to everyone you know. Especially to the veterans.

Rest in peace, Shifty.

Chuck Yeager, Maj Gen. USAF [ret.]

P.S. I think that it is amazing how the “media” chooses our “heroes” these days…Michael Jackson & the like!

Helping our REPUBLIC – America, the Beautiful……….by Admin, thanks to E-Mail

In Business, Home Projects on March 28, 2011 at 8:17 am

Did you all see that Diane Sawyer has a special report coming up this week on this very subject. They removed ALL items from a typical, middleclass family’s home, that were not made in the USA . There was hardly anything left besides the kitchen sink. Literally. During the special they are going to show truckloads of items – USA made – being brought in to replace everything. And will be talking about how to find these items and the difference in price etc.

It was interesting that Diane said that if every American spent just $64 (more than normal) on USA made items this year, it would create something like 200,000 new jobs.

Made ME think!

Check the Can

I WAS BUYING FOOD THE OTHER DAY AT WAL-MART.

ON THE LABEL OF SOME PRODUCTS IT SAID ‘FROM CHINA ‘.

FOR EXAMPLE THE “OUR FAMILY” BRAND OF THE MANDARIN ORANGES SAYS RIGHT ON THE CAN ‘FROM CHINA ‘.

I WAS SHOCKED!! SO FOR A FEW MORE CENTS I BOUGHT THE LIBERTY GOLD BRAND OR THE DOLE SINCE IT’S FROM CALIF.

TAKES FOREVER JUST TO BUY FOOD AND DO LABEL READING ! !

Are we Americans as dumb as we appear — or — is it that we just do not think? While the Chinese, knowingly and intentionally, export inferior and even toxic products and dangerous toys and goods to be sold in American markets.

Yet 70% of Americans believe that the trading privileges afforded to the Chinese should be suspended.

Well, duh..why do you need the government to suspend trading privileges?

SIMPLY DO IT YOURSELF, AMERICA !!

Simply look on the bottom of every product you buy, and if it says ‘Made in China ‘ or ‘PRC’ (and that now includes Hong Kong ), simply choose another product, or none at all. You will be amazed at how dependent you are on Chinese products, and you will be equally amazed at what you can do without.

Who needs plastic eggs to celebrate Easter? If you must have eggs, use real ones and benefit some American farmer. Easter is just an example, the point is do not wait for the government to act. Just go ahead and assume control on your own.

THINK ABOUT THIS: If 200 million Americans refuse to buy just $20 each of Chinese goods, that’s a billion dollar trade imbalance resolved in our favor…fast!!

The downside? Some American businesses will feel a temporary pinch from having foreign stockpiles of inventory. Wahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

The solution? Let’s give them fair warning and send our own message. Most of the people who have been reading about this matter are planning on implementing this on March. 4th and continue it until April. 4th That is only one month of trading losses, but it will hit the Chinese for 1/12th of the total, or 8%, of their American exports. The n they will at least have to ask themselves if the benefits of their arrogance and lawlessness were worth it.

Remember, March. 4th to April. 4th

START NOW.

Send this to everybody you know. Let’s show them that we are Americans and NOBODY can take us for granted.

If we can’t live without cheap Chinese goods for one month out of our lives, WE DESERVE WHAT WE GET!

Don’t forget, for the people who buy organic food, check the label. A lot or organic vegetables come from China and might not be organic at all. Buy American, fresher and most likely safer!

Pass it on, America .

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: March 25, 2011 Reporting From: Denver, CO

In Business on March 25, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Sovereign Man
Notes from the Field
Date: March 25, 2011
Reporting From: Denver, CO

Holly Pain again for Simon: he’ll be appearing live on the radio show Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock between 12:00 and 12:30 PST / 3:00-3:30 Eastern.

You can listen live here.

Until next week, keep it sovereign.

Holly Pain
SovereignMan.com

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: March 24, 2011 Reporting From: Denver, Colorado, USA

In Business, Expatriation, Government, History, Money and Finances, Offshore accounts, Opportunity, Travel on March 24, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Sovereign Man
Notes from the Field
Date: March 24, 2011
Reporting From: Denver, Colorado, USA

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) is easy one of the most brilliantly comical movies of all time. One of my favorite scenes is the fight between Arthur and the Black Knight, the one in which Arthur handily dismembers his adversary in combat.

It’s become the source of household jokes around the world– the Black Knight refuses to acknowledge having lost both of his arms and legs to Arthur’s sword, insisting instead, “Tis but a scratch…”

Apparently the Black Knight has been giving lessons to political leaders and central bankers in this art of self-deception and ignoring reality… because that’s exactly what’s happening around the world.

Today, in the wake of last night’s political collapse in Portugal, European leaders played down the impact of Portugal’s imminent ballooning economic crisis, dismissing any possibility of spreading contagion or similar consequences in other weak eurozone nations like Spain, Ireland, and Italy.

Nevermind that yield spreads and bond insurance premiums are near all-time highs. Tis but a scratch…

Today in Japan, two nuclear plant workers were hospitalized with radiation-related injuries. Japan’s government continues to deny risks to these workers, and to the population at large, instead raising the decontamination threshold (the danger level of radiation) from 6,000 counts per minute (CPM) to 100,000 CPM. ‘Tis but a scratch.

Two days ago in El Salvador, Barack Obama dismissed the cost of military action in Libya, saying “because it is limited in time, scope, with a well-defined mission, we’re confident that this is something that we can budget as part of our overall operations.”

Nevermind that the Pentagon is completely cash-strapped and is going to Congress with hat in hand for more money having already blown through its budget and unable to afford the $1 billion+ Libya operations. Tis but a scratch…

Earlier this month, William Dudley, the brainiac who replaced Tim Geithner as President of the New York Fed, recently told business leaders in Queens that, “while rising commodity prices may be giving some of you a bad headache, they are not likely to lead to a sustained rise in inflation.”

Nevermind that prices of just about everything ex-iPad around the world are increasing, and inflation rates from Vietnam to the UK are painfully high. Tis but a scratch…

Reality is very simple for the rest of us. We know what we pay for things, and we know that amount is increasing. We know nuclear meltdowns are dangerous. We know that fake economic growth created by printing money is nonsense. We know that massive deficits are destructive. We know that war is counterproductive to peace and stability.

The elite few at the controls, however, are overindulgent in self-deception… or outright lies. In either case, they’re only fooling themselves.

Relying 100% on the system that they control for the essentials in your life– your food, your water, your energy, your safety, your livelihood, your savings– is a recipe for disaster. It’s like letting a known sicko pedophile babysit your kids, or giving a serial burglar the keys to drop in on your house while you’re on vacation.

Becoming a bit more self-reliant requires nothing radical– just a few baby steps to start.

Now, as a person who spends the vast majority of my life internationally, I’m clearly a strong advocate for building a new life overseas– I think you’ll find more freedom, more control, more options, and more opportunities.

If you’re looking for a job, you’ll likely find something more lucrative and interesting overseas. If you’re looking for better healthcare or lower cost of living, you’ll find it overseas. If you’re looking for a government that doesn’t have its face in your business, you’ll find that overseas.

If you’re not able to head overseas for now, though, there are still plenty of things you can do to increase your self-reliance. I recommend taking a portion of your savings and move it to a foreign bank or offshore precious metals depository like GoldMoney or Global Gold.

Also, seek alternative sources of income, especially online.

Buy a small generator and some non-perishable food.

Plant a small vegetable patch if possible. Get to know your neighbors. Exercise.

These steps needs not be difficult, they just take a little bit of effort; anyone who closely examines his/her life can find a myriad of ways to increase self-sufficiency away from the system that the merry band of clueless, self-deceptive world leaders controls.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

In Business, Constitution of The United States, Government, Political on March 22, 2011 at 10:12 am

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: March 21, 2011
Reporting From: Denver, Colorado, USA

The United States Department of Justice delivered a very clear and unfortunate message on Friday:

“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism. While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country.”

These remarks were released by the US Attorney’s office in the western district of North Carolina following the conviction of one Bernard von NotHaus, the creator of the ill-fated Liberty Dollar.

As you likely recall from a few years ago, Liberty Dollars were privately minted gold and silver rounds. Paper certificates, akin to warehouse receipts were also issued, effectively giving the bearer a right to claim a certain amount of gold or silver at the group’s warehouse in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

This is traditionally how the system of money used to function– precious metals would be stored in private, secure storage facilities, and paper certificates were issued as a medium of exchange that entitled the bearer to redeem metal from the vault. Liberty Dollars represented a return to that system.

Clearly, the Justice Department feels otherwise… instead viewing these silver rounds as an attempt by terrorists to undermine the US dollar.

Interesting choice of words. Undermine? “verb [transitive]. to erode the base or foundation of something. to damage or weaken, especially gradually. ”

Funny, this sounds a lot more like quantitative easing than anything else. Ben Bernanke, in creating trillions of new dollars and debasing the value thereof, is guilty of the same insidious acts, and similarly, he represents a clear and present danger to the economic stability of the United States.

Somehow, though, I doubt that Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano or Attorney General Eric Holder will end up labeling Mr. Bernanke as a domestic terrorist.

Von NotHaus faces up to 15 years in prison on one count and 5 years on two others. Punitively, this is more serious than engaging in female genital mutilation (5-years, section 116 of Title 18, US Code), certain types of assault (as little as six months, section 113), or, ironically, bank robbery (10-years, section 2113b).

The US government obviously has its priorities straight.

As for the total amount of Von NotHaus’ gold and silver booty? A whopping $7 million, roughly .000083% of Bernanke’s $8.4 trillion money supply. Von NotHaus was so insignificant he wasn’t even in the ballpark of a rounding error. By definition, this couldn’t possibly constitute a danger to the economy.

Realistically, the government’s 6-year effort to bring him down had one single purpose: to send a message. Uncle Sam is telling us very clearly, “You WILL use our rapidly depreciating dollars… and anything we don’t like in our sole discretion, we will label as domestic terrorism.”

If safeguarding the purchasing power of savings is considered domestic terrorism, what else is considered terrorism? I think this also begs the question of whether gold and silver confiscation is on the table… I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
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