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Thanksgiving, a cherished Holiday, or one that may not be cherished soon??……..Admin/capecoralblogger

In Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Constitution of The United States, Expatriation, History, Political, Political parties, Sovereign Man, Taxes, Travel on July 21, 2011 at 7:47 pm

THIS MAY NOT BE AS FAR FETCHED AS SOME MIGHT SAY

—–Original Message—Sent: Thu, Jul 21, 2011 12:58 pm by a unknown blogger.
Subject: Thanksgiving 2022

“Winston, come into the dining room, it’s time to eat,” Julia yelled to her
husband.
“In a minute, honey, it’s a tie score,” he answered.Actually Winston wasn’t very interested in the traditional holiday football
game between Detroit and Washington .Ever since the government passed the
Civility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its
“unseemly violence” and the “bad example it sets for the rest of the world”,
Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be.Two-hand touch wasn’t nearly as exciting. Yet it wasn’t the game that
Winston was uninterested in.
It was more the thought of eating another Tofu Turkey . Even though it was
the best type of VeggieMeat available after the government revised the
American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of
federally-forbidden foods, (which already included potatoes, cranberry
sauce, and mincemeat pie), it wasn’t anything like real turkey.And ever since the government officially changed the name of “Thanksgiving
Day” to “A National Day of Atonement” in 2020, to officially acknowledge the
Pilgrims’ historically brutal treatment of Native Americans, the holiday had
lost a lot of its luster.

Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting. The unearthly gleam of
government-mandated fluorescent light bulbs made the Tofu Turkey look even
weirder than it actually was, and the room was always cold.

Ever since Congress passed the Power Conservation Act of 2016, mandating all
thermostats – which were monitored and controlled by the electric company –
be kept at 68 degrees, every room on the north side of the house was barely
tolerable throughout the entire winter.

Still, it was good getting together with family. Or at least most of the
family.

Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she had used up
her legal allotment of life-saving medical treatment.

He had had many heated conversations with the Regional Health Consortium,
spawned when the private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and
everyone was forced into the government health care program.

And though he demanded she be kept on her treatment, it was a futile effort.

“The RHC’s resources are limited”, explained the government bureaucrat
Winston spoke with on the
phone. “Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled. I’m
sorry for your loss.”

Ed couldn’t make it either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric car
last night, the only kind available after the Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2021
outlawed the use of the combustion engines – for everyone but government
officials.

The fifty mile round trip was about ten miles too far, and Ed didn’t want to
spend a frosty night on the road somewhere between here and there.

Thankfully, Winston’s brother, John, and his wife were flying in.

Winston made sure that the dining room chairs had extra cushions for the
occasion.

No one complained more than John about the pain of sitting down so soon
after the government-mandated cavity searches at airports, which severely
aggravated his hemorrhoids.

Ever since a terrorist successfully smuggled a cavity bomb onto a jetliner,
the TSA told Americans the added “inconvenience” was an “absolute necessity”
in order to stay “one step ahead of the terrorists.”

Winston’s own body had grown accustomed to such probing ever since the
government expanded their scope to just about anywhere a crowd gathered, via
Anti-Profiling Act of 2022.

That law made it a crime to single out any group or individual for “unequal
scrutiny,” even when probable cause was involved.

Thus, cavity searches at malls, train stations, bus depots, etc., etc., had
become almost routine.
Almost.

The Supreme Court is reviewing the statute, but most Americans expect a
Court composed of six progressives and three conservatives to leave the law
intact.

“A living Constitution is extremely flexible”, said the Court’s eldest
member, Elena Kagan. ” Europe has had laws like this one for years. We
should learn from their example”, she added.

Winston’s thoughts turned to his own children.  He got along fairly well
with his 12-year-old daughter, Brittany, mostly because she ignored him.
Winston had long ago surrendered to the idea that she could text anyone at
any time, even during Atonement Dinner.

Their only real confrontation had occurred when he limited her to 50,000
texts a month, explaining that was all he could afford.

She whined for a week, but got over it.

His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether. Perhaps it was
the constant bombarding he got in public school that global warming, the
bird flu, terrorism, or any of a number of other calamities were “just
around the corner”, but Jason had developed a kind of nihilistic attitude
that ranged between simmering surliness and outright hostility.

It didn’t help that Jason had reported his father to the police for smoking
a cigarette in the house, an act made criminal by the Smoking Control
Statute of 2018, which outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another
human being.

Winston paid the $5,000 fine, which might have been considered excessive
before the American dollar became virtually worthless as a result of QE13.

The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government initiated
was, once again, to “spur economic growth.”

This time, they promised to push unemployment below its years-long rate of
18%, but Winston was not particularly hopeful.

Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful, Winston thought, before
remembering it was a Day of Atonement.

At least, he had his memories.

He felt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children would never know
what life was like in the Good Old Days, long before government promises to
make life “fair for everyone” realized their full potential.

Winston, like so many of his fellow Americans, never realized how much
things could change when they didn’t happen all at once, but little by
little, so people could get used to them.

He wondered what might have happened if the public had stood up while there
was still time, maybe back around 2011 , when all the real nonsense began.

“Maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today if we’d just said ‘enough is
enough’ when we had the chance,” he thought.

Maybe so, Winston. Maybe so.

America, have you heard or seen this????….Via E-mail by a Veteran Friend this day

In Constitution of The United States, Government, History, Personal, Political on July 19, 2011 at 9:09 am
Just a reminder as to what our president truly believes.



Do you remember this? Don’t forget it, we’ll get more of the same in 2012 and onward……….Bill
WHY ARE WE SURPRISED.  SOME OF US KNEW HE WAS A MORON BEFORE THE ELECTION!
Attached Message
I forward this as received, and without comment.
Yes, he told us in advance what he planned to do.  Few were listening.
The following is a narrative taken from a 2008 Sunday morning televised “Meet The Press’.
From Sunday’s 07 Sept. 2008  11:48:04 EST,  Televised “Meet the Press” THE THEN Senator Obama was asked about his stance on the American Flag.
 
General Bill Ginn’ USAF (ret.) asked Obama to explain WHY he doesn’t follow protocol when the National Anthem is played.
The General stated to Obama that according to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171…
During rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present (except those in uniform) are expected to stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Or, at the very least, “Stand and Face It”.

NOW GET THIS !!
 
‘Senator’ Obama replied:

“As I’ve said about the flag pin, I don’t want to be perceived as taking sides”. “There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression..” “The anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all that sort of thing.”

(ARE YOU READY FOR THIS???)

Obama continued: “The National Anthem should be ‘swapped’ for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song ‘I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing’.  If that were our anthem, then, I might salute it.  In my opinion, we should consider reinventing our National Anthem as well as ‘redesign’ our Flag to better offer our enemies hope and love.  It’s my intention, if elected, to disarm America     to the level of acceptance to our Middle East Brethren.  If we, as a Nation of waring people, conduct ourselves like the nations of Islam, where peace prevails – – – perhaps a state or period of mutual accord could exist between our governments …..”
When I become President, I will seek a pact of agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, and a freedom from disquieting oppressive thoughts. We as a Nation, have placed upon the nations of Islam, an unfair injustice which is WHY my wife disrespects the Flag and she and I have attended several flag burning ceremonies in the past”.
“Of course now, I have found myself about to become the President of the United States and I have put my hatred aside. I will use my power to bring CHANGE to this Nation, and offer the people a new path..My wife and I look forward to becoming our Country’s First black Family.  Indeed, CHANGE is about to overwhelm the United States of America “

WHAAAAAAAT, the Hell is that???
Yes, you read it right.
I, for one, am speechless!!!
Dale Lindsborg , Washington Post


No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG – www.avg.com
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Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: July 14, 2011

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Jobs in Cape Coral, Opportunity, Personal, Political, Political parties, Renmimbi currency, renminbi currency on July 14, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: July 14, 2011
Reporting From: Thessaloniki, Greece

Last night I had quite an unexpected surprise.

You see, at my hotel here in Thessaloniki, there’s a delegation from some group of the European Parliament called the Committee on Regional Development. They’re here to help… Hey, isn’t that what they always say? The Committee wants to supervise Greece working its way out of the debt crisis and make sure that Greece’s poor are getting the support they need.

The hotel’s restaurant was filled with these sycophantic parasites last night– an entire room full of people with a superiority complex who think that they are entitled to make decisions about other people’s lives and money.

They sat at dinner drinking fine wine and polishing up steak tartare making proud, bombastic proclamations about the virtues of foreign aid, the democratic process, and the great progress of Greece’s austerity measures.

Coincidentally, not 300 meters down the road, a campsite has been gathering for economic refugees, Thessaloniki’s former middle class that has been vanquished by the crisis. Some of the children swung by the restaurant’s outdoor terrace begging for change, only to be waved off by one of the delegate’s extended pinkie fingers as he sipped his wine.

It couldn’t have been more ironic… the perfect image of what passes for democracy today, right here in the country that invented it.

Today’s democracy is nothing more that pseudo-authoritarian rule by an elite few, executed by legions of self-deluding freeloaders who have convinced themselves that their current bureaucratic roles are both necessary and honorable… as well as a stepping stone into the next job which will be even more necessary and honorable.

With each successive position up the bureaucratic ladder comes more power, more privilege… until they actually expect to be called “The Honorable…” so and so, or “His Excellency” so and so, etc.

My dictionary suggests a few definitions for ‘honor’. One of them refers to a person’s chastity… and I doubt it applies in this case given the political establishment’s Twitter record. The other definition says, “conferred as a distinction, especially an official award for bravery or achievement.”

In the United States, they must be confusing the term ‘achievement’ with ‘destroying the economy and culture of the formerly most powerful nation on earth.’  President Obama is apparently so honorable that he can’t even be bothered to hold negotiations anymore about debt compromise, arguing that Ronald Reagan wouldn’t be doing that…

He seems more concerned about his esteem and rank being respected than facing the grim facts of economic reality.

Simultaneous on Capitol Hill, Comrade Bernanke sent the dollar plummeting once again. Just to put things in perspective, the entire eurozone is on the precipice of a meltdown, and the euro had been falling for days. The second this man opened his mouth, the dollar plunged… indicating that investors would rather take a chance on European insolvency than Bernanke.

It was truly pathetic… and yet another example of what passes for democracy today: One man who has never been elected is essentially given control of the money supply to do with it as he deems best in his sole discretion.

All in all, as usual, it’s going to come down to the taxpayers. The bureaucrats will go on enjoying their steak tartare and ignoring the huddled masses. The politicians will go on posturing over title. The central bankers will keep making interest free loans to their friends and destroying their currencies.  We get stuck with the fallout.

In the end, the governments will make it a matter of national security and patriotism, ensuring that we ‘do our duty to the nation’ by coughing up more of our livelihood. I stumbled across this WW2 propaganda video a few days ago in which Daffy Duck tells us all that it’s our patriotic duty to give as much as possible to the government.

Should we expect a new video soon suggesting that it’s our patriotic duty to buy Treasury bonds…? In what passes for democracy today, you can bet on it.


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

Election November, 2010…It was Memorable… What has happened????? Admin/CapeCoral

In Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Constitution of The United States, Government, History, Money and Finances, Political, Political parties, Taxes on July 14, 2011 at 2:59 pm

November 2010, The election cycle that was planned to be the beginning of change in the right direction….Yea, the nation voted, the results were published, the songs were sung and accolades were issued.

6 months down the crooked road and the whole terrain has changed again.

Fear has become the by-word, even our President has instilled the worst fear into our folks, the loss of our Social Security benefits along with other things. The interview on CBS news was sickening to view, especially since the President knew in his heart that there was enough money to write the checks to cover SS needs.  I was at a small gathering this PM with some folks and gradually the topic of conversation turned to the debt crisis, this after exhausting commentary by all regarding the Casey Anthony case which is a whole another story..Some Folks seem to believe that the President has the right to do what he wants without Congressional approval, this train of thought is to me, rather alarming. Is this what has happened to a good portion of our society, a real dumbing down as to how this government really works, has the Liberal Press really gained such a foot hold in the turning of peoples minds, the losing of the teachings of how a Republic really works??? It was scary for me to listen to some of the comments.

The November electorate needs to stand fast, make the peoples word heard in those hallowed halls.

This nation cannot stand another rise in the Debt Limit. The repayment plans offered cannot even get a handle on the immense dollars and cents involved. The behind closed door negotiations (Where is the TRANSPARENCY) that are being used by a small number of persons is not what we bargained for. What happend to the Democratic cry of [pay as you go], was that not a part of their platform???

These words are no longer used, the words now are (Pass the Bill first and then you can Read It)…..How does that fit on your plate and can you really digest that statement without gagging!!!!

Why have we let ourselves become so easy to lead down a garden path with just words – “Hope and Change” Man O Man, where does this end????

America, wake up before we have nothing left here to hang onto and the “Friends” who led and have “shown” us the way are long gone and living the high life on our backs…

STOP   STOP   STOP  this progression. It will eat you alive!!!!!

God Bless America……….

One Nation Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for ALL……..

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: July 13, 2011 Reporting From: Thessaloniki, Greece

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Continental Travel, currency, Government, History, Opportunity, Political, Political parties, Sovereign Man, Taxes, Travel on July 13, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: July 13, 2011
Reporting From: Thessaloniki, Greece

I went to dinner last night in an upmarket area of Thessaloniki. It wasn’t a touristy part of town at all, nearly everyone there was local.

As we walked down a narrow cobblestone path flanked by traditional Greek restaurants, all the various hostesses and proprietors ran out to greet us and pitch their menus.

“We have the freshest seafood!”

“We have the cheapest prices!”

“We offer free drinks and dessert!”

Within seconds, outright calamity ensued with each thrusting menus in our faces, pulling at our shirtsleeves, and shouting over the competition. Then a shoving match… and then finally an all out physical altercation, literally coming to blows over what amounted to a $20 dinner tab.

Now, aggressive behavior is common in this part of the world; it gets even worse in Turkey and North Africa. But there is an element of desperation that I have not yet seen before here. Given the graveyard of former restaurants gone bust nearby, it’s clear that last night’s owners are trying to stay afloat at any cost.

Later in the evening, I dropped by the city’s ancient agora ruins. Inside I could see a number of stray dogs marking their territory as they saw fit, and it was the perfect metaphor. This place has literally gone to the dogs.

Coincidentally, the Greek government held a ‘successful’ bond auction yesterday, unloading 1.6 billion euros of six-month bills. This sounds like a lot of money until you figure that it just barely covers this month’s interest payments on the roughly 340 billion euro debt that they already owe.

Just last month alone, the Greek budget deficit was 2.2 billion euros. Greece must continue indebting itself not only to make interest payments, but simply to keep the lights on. Meanwhile, the principal balance owed keeps rising while tax revenues are falling… making the situation perpetually worse.

Bailouts can’t fix this problem. Think about it like this: say your best friend is swimming in debt, paying $5,000 per month in interest. His best job prospect is $1,000 per month, so he’s in the hole $4,000 per month and rising.

If he receives a new $10,000 line of credit, would this fix his problems? Not at all. He’d be staring at bankruptcy again within 3-months.

Living bailout to bailout while going deeper into debt is simply an unsustainable Ponzi scheme. And given the Greek government’s current cash position and bond auction calendar, the next do-or-die bailout should come to a head this summer.

Europe will have to make a decision: (a) continue financing Greek largess and hope that taxpayers don’t care or notice; (b) take cover and allow the Greek government to default; or (c) an ‘orderly restructuring’ that combines loan workouts, haircuts for bondholders, and strings-attached cash injections from the ECB and IMF.

The most likely is the third option, but no matter how you dress it up, it’s still a default.

We’ve seen this play out once before in Dubai. The emirate underwent a steep restructuring period on roughly 50% of its $59 billion debt load in late 2009 and 2010, and it caused a deep recession and losses in the local market. Two big differences, though.

First, Dubai had a wealthy big brother in Abu Dhabi. Europe has angry German taxpayers.

Second, Dubai was isolated. Europe has a number of insolvent countries whose collective debts far exceed the capacity for any bailout.

If the market is allowed to function, the consequent derivatives chain reaction from default will cause a wave of bankruptcies among a number of large financial institutions, triggering even more government intervention (read: taxpayer bailouts) and a deflationary sell-off in financial markets.

Barring a miraculous, no-strings-attached emergency bailout, I think we can expect the opening salvos within the next few months.

So why should you care if you’re not Greek? Because the ensuing capital controls, raids on public and private pensions, and social chaos met with overwhelming police brutality will be a preview of things to come when the rest of Europe and the United States arrive at their financial reckoning days.

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: July 12, 2011 Reporting From: Chongqing, China

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Continental Travel, Government, History, Political, Sovereign Man, Taxes, Travel on July 12, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: July 12, 2011
Reporting From: Chongqing, China

[Editor’s note: Tim Staermose is filling in for Simon Black today with more boots on the ground observations in China.]
 

By some accounts, Chongqing is the largest metro area in the world with a population of some 32 million. They ought to call it the largest construction site in the world.This is a place that, if you believe the official numbers, posted 17% GDP growth in 2010. It doesn’t take too long to figure out how that happened. Driving around town, I found that Chongqing is in such a building frenzy, they’re actually tearing down perfectly good (and reasonably new) buildings and infrastructure, and rebuilding them.

To give you an example, next to my 45-story downtown hotel was a building site where the constant drone of jackhammers signaled to me that there was some breaking of concrete going on. The new tower under construction had reached the 11th floor, but then they decided to tear it down and start all over again with something even bigger (102-stories).

[There are a half-dozen other such towers in Chongqing. Most of them are officially “on hold,” signaling to me that China is getting ever closer to facing its bubble reality– that demand simply cannot support such investment.]

Then there are the pavement workers… half of them digging up the road, half of them putting it back together. It is the literal equivalent of digging ditches only to fill them back up, all in order to create employment.

The government certainly hopes that actual businesses will come to Chongqing to mop up all the excess productive capacity that they’re building (and then tearing down and rebuilding).

Chongqing is, in fact, at the epicenter of the “Go West” drive in China, whereby manufacturers along China’s coast are being encouraged to move their production facilities inland to take advantage of the untapped labor pool and cheaper all-around costs of doing business.

Curiously, Ford Motor Company is one of the region’s cornerstone investors.  The company’s biggest concentration of production plants outside of Detroit is in Chongqing.  Ford aims to use the city as its beachhead in China where its market share currently languishes at a paltry 2.6%.

Perhaps in the years and decades to come, dozens, even hundreds of businesses will relocate to Chongqing. Maybe the Chinese have it all figured out and are thinking 25 years in advance. But today, it’s hard to see how ripping down buildings and roadways (and replacing them with ghost towers and the exact same roadways) could prove to be a worthwhile investment.

A half-built building is a liability. A completed building sitting empty is an even bigger liability. These aren’t signs of clever planning, but of wasteful misallocations that are starting to crack the facade of the Chinese economy.

So much superfluous construction did create temporary economic growth… but now you can see the visible signs of unemployment rising. The sheer volume of downtrodden and destitute Chinese on the streets, coupled with rising consumer prices and declining output, all suggest that deep instability is looming.
The Chinese have an old proverb: “Keep your broken arm inside your sleeve.”  They have been telling lies to the world and masquerading as an economic miracle for years, but the signs of stress are showing.
Yes, China does have the right kind of potential with over a billion people, substantial productive capacity, and a high savings rate. But these dizzying growth rates have been a total illusion. With so much of the world’s economic hopes pinned on the continued fantasy of 10% growth, it’s going to be a hard landing for everyone once China’s reality sets in.
Until tomorrow,

Tim Staermose
Editor, SovereignMan.com 

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


Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: July 11, 2011 Reporting From: Pristina, Kosovo

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Continental Travel, Government, History, Personal, Political, Travel on July 11, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: July 11, 2011
Reporting From: Pristina, Kosovo

Can you imagine being trapped inside your home country, unable to leave? It may be closer to a reality than you realize. I’ll tell you a quick story to explain.

This weekend I rented a car in Bulgaria with the aim of driving through Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, and eventually into Greece. Now, I’m no virgin to land border crossings in the developing world and understand the corruption and incompetence that typifies customs checkpoints. But this weekend’s experience was much more.

With documents in hand, I drove to my first border crossing in Strezimirovci, Bulgaria. After clearing customs on the Bulgarian side, the Serbian officers decided that they would not allow me to enter with the normal papers, and instead required that I obtain another customs form to proceed.

Unfortunately, they had no such customs form at their station, so they turned me around and sent me to another border check point in Kalotina, over an hour away.

The road from Strezimirovci to Kalotina skirts the Serbian border for a large part of the drive– quite literally, on one side of the road is Serbia, and on the other is Bulgaria. It’s all part of the same landscape with no discernable difference… these are just invisible lines guarded by gun-toting monkeys.

When I arrived to Kalotina, I found the ‘office’ where I was supposed to obtain the new document– just a simple, roadside concession stand. The ‘agent’ was the shop’s proprietor, a chain-smoking Serbian woman with rather mannish features.

Once I paid the appropriate fee, she spent the next 10 minutes hacking at her keyboard to produce an official looking Cyrillic document with lots of stamps and seals.

While I was waiting for her to finish, four different customers came into the shop to stock up on snacks and drinks. All they wanted was a cold one for the road, but they eventually got tired of waiting and left.

These four customers represented potential transactions that could have contributed something to the economy. Instead, though, they were preempted by an unnecessary bureaucracy that adds absolutely no value whatsoever.

As expected, the Serbian customs agent barely glanced at the form when I crossed the border this time. Finally on Serbian soil, I pointed my car towards Pristina.

Now, Serbia still pretends like Kosovo is part of its sovereign territory, and Serbian police are under strict instructions to make the immigration checkpoint on the Kosovo border as painful as possible.

The vehicle line at the checkpoint was backed up so much that it took several hours to pass. All along the way, there was not a single bathroom, vending machine, fuel station, or even street light. It’s obvious that they want to incovenience travelers to the point that people will think twice before visiting Kosovo again.

When it was finally my turn, I drove up to the policeman and handed him all of my papers. He slowly went through every single detail, looking for any technicality he could find to prevent me from crossing.

The rest the station was staffed with 10 other agents.  All brandished automatic weapons slung over their backs, yet each stood around doing absolutely nothing. One person was “working,” and the other ten were smoking, eating, drinking, and shooting the breeze.

Frankly, I pity all of these border agents whose only function is to deny, obstruct, or otherwise frustrate the forward progress of other human beings.  These people will go their entire careers contributing nothing of value to the world, and destroying what others are trying to create. It’s truly a pitiful existence.

This weekend’s affair was a clear example of what happens when a government imposes mind-numbing bureacracy to prevent freedom of movement. And if you think it can’t happen where you live, think again.

In the US, the government now requires all citizens to have a passport in order to pass the border, even when driving into Mexico or Canada. Obtaining a passport, however, is neither free nor guaranteed.  You must apply, pay an ever-increasing fee, and wait for weeks to be approved and receive it.

Recently, the State Department quietly proposed a new ‘biographical questionnaire’ in lieu of the traditional passport application. The new form requires you to provide things like:

– names, birth places, and birth dates of your extended family members
– your mother’s place of employment at the time of your birth
– whether or not your mother received pre-natal or post natal care
– the address of your mother’s physician and dates of appointments
– the address of every place you have ever lived in your entire life
– the name and address of every school you have ever attended

Most people would find it impossible to provide such information, yet the form requires that the responses ‘are true and correct’ under penalty of imprisonment.

Naturally, the privacy statement on the application also acknowledges that the responses can be shared with other departments in the government, including Homeland Security.

If this proposal passes, then US citizens will have a nearly insurmountable hurdle to obtain a passport and be able to leave the country at will. Even if it doesn’t pass, it’s a clear demonstration of what the people who run the country are thinking.

Have you reached your breaking point yet, comrades? Let me know what you think.


Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com 
This article appears courtesy of <a href="http://www.sovereignman.com">SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field</a>, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit <a href="http://www.sovereignman.com">http://www.SovereignMan.com</a>


Hey America….How’s “Hope and Change” working for you….Admin/CapeCoral

In Political on July 8, 2011 at 8:55 am

“Hope and Change”…….???????????

The only hope and change these days is – I hope the unemployment rate goes down and it begins to change the outlook of this country. This guy Ploufe needs to really reconsider his stance regarding the present circumstances of us and our living standards.
Things really need to change and soon in my estimation.. 2012 cannot come fast enough, although, that’s wishing your time and days away.
America, let’s not slip any deeper into the chasm… Think, Think, Think about the coming days and months and do what you can to reverse this dangerous trend.

God Bless America
One Nation under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all……

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: July 7, 2011 Reporting From: Wuhan, China [Editor’s note: Tim Staermose is filling in for Simon Black today]

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Continental Travel, currency, Government, History, Jobs, Personal, Political, renminbi currency, Travel on July 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: July 7, 2011
Reporting From: Wuhan, China

[Editor’s note: Tim Staermose is filling in for Simon Black today]
 
When I left my hotel bound for the new Guangzhou South Station the other day , I didn’t know much about the station– where it was, how far from the hotel, etc. After about 25 or 30 minutes in the cab, I still hadn’t seen any signs for the station and grew concerned that the cabbie was just taking me for a ride.As we eventually approached the station, I began to understand why it was so far out of town.  Clearly, the only way they could find enough contiguous land to build this monstrosity was to go WAY into to the outskirts of the city.In the end, it was a 27.82 kilometer (17.39 miles) cab ride from my downtown hotel, and took 49 minutes to get there.  I know this because Chinese taxis are very efficient and give you a highly detailed receipt.

Guangzhou South Station is absolutely COLOSSAL.  By comparison, it is much bigger than any of the 3 international airport terminals in Manila where I live… and I’d say it’s over 8 times larger than theCentral Airport Express Station in Hong Kong.

For a start, the Guangzhou South Station is built on THREE levels.  I was dropped off at level 2.  When I entered there was an “Information” booth straight ahead.  It was unstaffed.  In fact, the entire second level was completely deserted.  Very spooky. It was something out of a low-budget zombie movie.

I went downstairs to the ticketing area where there were a few signs of life. Of the forty or so ticket windows, well over half were closed, and there were only a few dozen people mulling about. To give you an idea of density, imagine the largest football stadium you can think of with only a few hundred people inside. Ghost town.

With ticket in hand, I went up to the departures area… it defies logic that you have to go upstairs to departures even though the trains are at the ground level, but my guess is that the Party really wanted to build a third level just to heighten the grandeur of the train station.

Now, you’d think that if they spent so much money building a station this large, they would be expecting hundreds of trains steaming in and out at all hours of the day. Not by long shot. There was only one train at the platforms. Mine.

It was the same zombie movie theme– areas the size of multiple football fields with hardly any passengers standing around.  And yet, throughout the entire station over all three levels was expensive, high quality marble tiles and artistic finishings, all polished to a mirrored shine.

Guangzhou South Station is truly a monument to excess, exemplifying China’s ruinous “build it and they will come” attitude.

When I arrived to Wuhan about 4-hours later (going 300 km per hour on the high speed bullet train), it was the same theme: acres of empty space, hardly a soul in sight, yet all very modern and marbled with dozens of elevators and abandoned information booths. When my train pulled in, it was the only one at the platforms.

Frankly, the whole episode reminded me of Bangkok and Hong Kong airports during the SARS epidemic back in 2003.  I observed this firsthand– passenger traffic cratered because most people were scared silly of catching the deadly virus, and major airports were practically empty.

Similarly, this is what you would expect at New York’s Grand Central Station after a flesh-eating virus outbreak.

It’s interesting to note that China’s National Audit Office (NAO) recently published a report which says the country’s outstanding local government debt is now equivalent to $1.7 TRILLION. That’s a huge figure — about 27% of China’s GDP in 2010.Because the NAO’s figure was based only on a sampling of 6,500 local government-backed financial vehicles (out of more than 10,000 such vehicles nationwide), the actual magnitude of local government indebtedness is likely to be much greater.  China’s own Central Bank estimates the number to be 30% higher than the NAO figure.All of this certainly begs the question– how many more empty buildings and unused train stations can they possibly build?  More importantly, what happens to China’s economy when all this fixed asset spending starts to subside?  I’ll explore these questions more in the coming days… but in the meantime, I’d like to hear what you think about it.


Until tomorrow,

Tim Staermose
Editor, SovereignMan.com 

This article appears courtesy of <a href="http://www.sovereignman.com">SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field</a>, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
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Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: July 6, 2011 Reporting From: Wuhan, China

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Constitution of The United States, Continental Travel, Government, History, Interesting places, Offshore accounts, Opportunity, Political, Taxes, Travel on July 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: July 6, 2011
Reporting From: Wuhan, China
[Editor’s note: This missive was sent in from our partner Tim Staermose in China]Maybe the Chinese politburo has been watching too much deep cable, and, inspired by Kevin Costner’sField of Dreams movie, decided to churn out a bunch of empty cities. As it turns out, though, if you build it, they won’t come… and if you’ll forgive the movie analogies, these empty developments acrossChina are turning into fields of nightmares.I’ve been quite bearish on China lately. There are so many reports about how the Chinese economy is going to lift the world out of recession, and insatiable Chinese demand for commodities will deliver permanent good times in resource-rich countries like Australia.

I suppose that if you’re sitting on a few trillion dollars in reserves and decide to dump a lot of it into your domestic economy, it’s good for growth… at least for a while. But China is doing the 21st century equivalent of digging ditches during the day and filling them up at night.

We’ve all seen the videos of Chinese ghost cities and bridges to nowhere, but I wanted to put some boots on the ground and check it out for myself.

I started my trip In Guangzhou, and it didn’t take me long to find the first example of what I call China’s “build it and they will come” philosophy of economic growth.

Guangzhou has this new district of glitzy office towers and apartment buildings in the Tian He district called “Pearl River New City.”

It is SEVENTY percent vacant!  Prices are DOUBLE what they are in the older section of town which most people prefer living in, because there’s actually nice established neighborhoods with stores, businesses, restaurants and so on which remain affordable to average people.

They’re still building stuff in this “New City.”  Here’s a sign that showed half a dozen of the buildings with their respective heights proudly displayed.  The whole thing only sprang up in the past few years ahead of the 2010 Asian Games which were held here in Guangzhou.  In fact, they built a brand new stadium just for the opening ceremony!

Among all the impressive new skyscrapers in the Pearl River New City, I saw at least two 5-star international hotel brands– Hyatt and Westin.  I think you’ll find that if you call them and pose as a conference organizer, they have PLENTY of rooms available.

Beneath the surface (literally) this whole new district may not be so impressive.  During heavy rains, the area floods.  Apparently the developers were not as careful about what they built underground, and the drainage and sewerage systems leave something to be desired.

Traffic was light while I drove around the area with prominent local friend; he pointed out that IF the buildings were all occupied, the sheer number of people who’d be coming and going would probably cause a traffic snarl of epic proportions.

So who’s buying all of these units? Developers keep building because people keep buying, right?  They’re all mostly investment properties. Chinese real estate “investors” don’t actually care about rental yield at all.  Indeed, most of them deliberately let their properties sit vacant.

They buy apartments as an inflation hedge and are prepared to hold them as long as it takes to sell at a profit. As the theory goes, there’s always a greater fool out there willing to make an even dumber financial mistake.

I get the feeling some of the recent buyers in Guangzhou may be waiting a very long time.
The supply of rental property in Guangzhou is so vast that rental prices are roughly half as much as it would cost you to service a mortgage on the same property.

These observations– rental yields that don’t come close to covering the mortgage, empty buildings, bold advertisements heralding the grandeur of these projects, rising construction costs, cutting corners on infrastructure, etc. are all classic bubble indicators.

And as I’m going to explain in the coming days with even more boots on the ground reports, this is a bubble that’s bound to pop soon. Stay tuned.

Until tomorrow,
Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com 
This article appears courtesy of <a href="http://www.sovereignman.com">SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field</a>, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit <a href="http://www.sovereignman.com">http://www.SovereignMan.com</a>


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