Saturday, December 31, 2011

As '11 Ends, 11 Charts Of 11 Disturbing 11 Year Trends

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Home > As '11 Ends, 11 Charts Of 11 Disturbing 11 Year Trends


By Tyler Durden

Created 12/30/2011 - 15:07

Tyler Durden's picture [1]

Submitted by Tyler Durden [1] on 12/30/2011 15:07 -0500

As we pop the corks of our proverbial champagne this weekend with an eye to a better year ahead, perhaps it is worth thinking about these 11 incredible trends that have evolved in a rather disturbing manner over the last 11 years. As John Lohman [3] points out, the 21st century has not been pretty for ongoing centrally planned attempts to defer the 30 year overdue mean reversion.












Monday, December 26, 2011

A World without Schoolteachers (American Thinker)


By Richard F. Miniter

The Kindle and Nook may make for not only the most important advance in reading since Gutenberg, but also, quite likely, a major lesson in unintended consequences. Especially for the educational establishment, because for the first time in history, Americans should be able to envision a future without public-school teachers -- indeed, a future without public-school administrators or state departments of education with their rigidly enforced, politically correct social-transformation curriculum. A future without onerous school taxes, "education president(s)," self-preening school boards, or million-dollar classrooms. But most happily, a future without a single supercilious finger wagging in our face as we're forever lectured about how much a securely tenured, part-time, self-important, overpaid class of public employees "cares" about our sons and daughters. Really, really, really cares. And, of course, knows much better than we do how to bring them up.

And it's all possible because these cheap, handheld, downloadable reading devices such as Kindle and Nook now give parents a choice between tutoring and classroom education.

Tutoring has always been the preferred model. That is after all how the very rich educated their children. Second-best, and not-so-second-best at that, were the small schools where the second tier of society, the well-off not-so-rich, pooled their resources in some public location and shared tutors. (Which is why the British, as in Eton and Harrow, still call exclusive private schools "public" schools.) And of course, the elite universities did their best to maintain the tutoring model of education. Did their best, that is, to steer clear of classroom instruction.

Because as opposed to a setting where the instructor stands in front a blackboard lecturing a group of students day after day, guiding and encouraging them through a restricted curriculum, tutoring is a process of individualized on-your-own reading and writing followed a quick critique from the tutor. A character and skill-building technique which not only consumes vastly more learning material, but hits it harder. In much less time.

A number of years ago, the Wall Street Journal had a piece about homeschooling in which a professional in some other field explained his discovery of the huge amount of material but amazingly small amount of time it takes to thoroughly educate a child with the tutoring model. A routine his daughter explained as reading a book every day and then writing an essay about it. "Read a book, write an essay."

In fact, even the simplest tutoring approach often works magic. Years ago, a twelve-year-old foster child arrived in our home essentially unable to read after six or seven years of classroom "special" education. To the point where he didn't even know how to use a dictionary. Our oldest son, a prolific writer, happened to be visiting us at the time, saw the problem, and came up with a fix. He handed the boy the newspaper he read each morning, told him to sit on his bed, read it aloud, and circle every word he couldn't pronounce or didn't know the meaning of. Then, later, the two of them went over the circled words together. The first day, every fourth or fifth word was circled, but it wasn't very long before the number of circles began to decrease, and something clicked in the boy's mind. "Hey," he seemed to say to himself, "this is not such a mystery. I can get this reading and writing thing working on my own." And he went on to other material. Then, when he was ready to begin high school, the state and local school district sent a team to evaluate him in order to design a classroom program that met his "special needs." Only there wasn't any, because they were shocked to discover that he tested at or above -- and in a couple of subjects, far above -- his grade level.

And that's all it takes. Hand out the reading assignment, be available, or have someone else available to examine the essay they write and perhaps send them back to the same material book for another go or two on the same subject. Because tutoring doesn't teach a discrete body of knowledge as much as it does a skill we don't hear much about anymore: scholarship. Not simply memorizing some facts about a subject, but examining it from one perspective and then another until you develop a detailed, three-dimensional view of the subject. It's your month to learn about the Revolutionary War? Read a biography of Washington one day, then in the next Paine or Jefferson, Madison and Adams. Intersperse these books with a personal account of a common soldier, a slave, a parson of the time. Sample some fiction which portrays the period -- Drums Along the Mohawk, for example. Some of the short and breezy economic looks about the period like The Timber Economy of New England. Maybe read the newspapers of the time.

Twenty days, twenty books, all of which a student has had to think fairly deeply about because he knows that he has to write about them, and voilà: a child knows more about the Revolutionary period than -- not to put too fine a point on it -- the average public-school teacher.

Too much to expect of your little second-grader? Well, for little people, there are little books with little words, and at the end of the day, little essays. They'll grow. Kids are smart.

It also sums down to a little block of time because without having to get ready for the school bus; the bus ride; dispersing to classroom; disciplinary issues in classrooms; having to raise your hand to go to the bathroom; noisy, chaotic hallways scenes every fifty minutes; noisy, chaotic lunch periods; announcements; fire drills; lectures about bullying, respecting alternative lifestyles, or strangers; then preparing for the bus ride home, followed by homework, one can do a better job with a child in two hours than a traditional school classroom setting can in eight.

There's also the issue of the eight-hundred-pound gorilla in the classroom which the educational establishment will never admit to: indoctrination.

After all, whom do we thank for the classroom? Yes, that right -- dissenting religious sects who wanted their children to read the Bible (their version of it), couldn't afford individual tutors or many other books, and stood a schoolmaster/preacher up in front of a bunch of benches. An effort in indoctrination which later sublimated into civics (a branch of the same tree), after the schools were secularized and then in these latter days into a mushy leveling philosophy rooted in certain psychological/Marxist precepts that seem to impart a new and even higher truth.

Such as the very strange belief that competition is damaging -- that children are fragile, everyone is the same as everyone else, everyone is special, students can learn as much from other students as they may from adults, don't judge, don't strive...and teachers, don't you dare encourage students to study really hard in order to achieve "ability status"...don't make any gestures when you sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" because it might offend deaf people -- yada, yada. Anyone with even just a passing acquaintance knows the drill. Knows that this is in fact the end-game of public education -- a belief system.

And so, just as in the earlier religious schools and later in the quasi-religious civics schools, the information allowed to reach the classroom is controlled.

Via the texts.

Diane Ravitch and others have written extensively on the issue of K-12 textbooks, and anybody interested in the Byzantine, incredibly politically correct process by which they are formulated should read her. Suffice it to say that they provide a very restricted view of subjects and, even in "science," do their best to push the party line in much the same manner as a communist math textbook from the 1930s would offer the problem "if one capitalist can exploit twelve workers a day, how many can ten exploit in seven point five days?"

Public-school textbooks also make things up. Portray the starving times in the early Virginia colony as a transitional period in which the early colonists hadn't yet learned to "share," when the exact opposite was the case. I believe that it was Ravitch herself who used the example of a passage in a social studies text which presented as fact, and so glorified, the vanished Anasazi of the southwest as developing an egalitarian society in which everything was shared, when the fact is that they left no written record and so nobody knows how they organized themselves. But the examples of selection and mendacity are legion. And cut from exactly the same bolt of cloth used by earlier educators, who portrayed the four-hundred-year history of the Spanish Inquisition as history's benchmark for terror (and it is a good example) but ignored the fact that religious fanatics from their own doctrinal camp in tiny Scotland burned as many so-called heretics in forty.

But suddenly, with a Kindle or Nook in hand, children can skip the propaganda. At the fingertips of parents armed with a one of these electronic reading devices, there are eight hundred thousand free books -- and a million for sometimes as little as ninety-nine cents. They can find their own lies if they want to. Or, more importantly, the truth.

Which means that just as the automatic washing machine and dryer made in-house, twenty-four-a-day laundry service available to the middle-class (who couldn't afford live-in maids), these new, quickly downloadable electronic readers have put individual tutoring within reach of the great mass of families. Because the problem with tutoring has always been the books. A wealthy family might have had a huge, expensive library to draw from, while the peasants never did. Even a middle-class family in America today would be hard-put to sample and then make available 300 different print books for a child every year -- three children, 900 books. But now even the meanest family can have the Library of Congress in their pocket, or their child's backpack. In fact, there isn't any need to lug a backpack around any longer.

So should all parents begin tutoring their children at home? I don't know. My children are long grown and on their own, but if I had them back and compared the two visions -- a tutoring program taking only an hour or two out of my day which would land my child on his feet at age eighteen, having read and written about the lessons of over four thousand books, or a public education in which he would read and understand, if I was lucky, a hundred or two -- I'd be mighty tempted. Not to mention the fact that for twelve years I wouldn't have had some other adult whispering strange nothings in my kid's ear.

But what I am convinced of is that given the advent of the Kindle and Nook and whatever surprises follow, the current model of classroom-based public education is simply a dead woman walking. Teachers are going to have to reinvent themselves because children aren't going to be lectured to anymore day after dreary day. They won't allow it. Parents won't allow it. For the one single reason that they don't have to anymore. Instead, more and more children are going to be reading and writing and talking about the world of knowledge they're exploring. Intelligently. Becoming ever more educated while spending a much greater portion of their day doing what kids are wont to do. Running and shouting in the autumn sunshine, assembling a model of the Empire State Building in the basement, collecting rocks or dolls or pets. Being, one might say, kids.

...Who, if you're really lucky, might decide to take a walk down the road and interrupt Grandpa's nap.

Richard F. Miniter is the author of The Things I Want Most (BDD, Random House) and the coming e-book Conversations With My Graddaughter. He writes in Stone Ridge New York and can be reached at

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Just How Bad is it? (The US Economy)

“If we all work together, hopefully we can get millions of people to wake up and realize that ‘business as usual’ will result in a national economic apocalypse,” writes TEC.

Here are the 50 economic numbers from 2011 that will shock you (via The Economic Collapse):

1. A staggering 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty.

2. Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be “low income” or impoverished.

3. If the number of Americans that “wanted jobs” was the same today as it was back in 2007, the “official” unemployment rate put out by the U.S. government would be up to 11 percent.

4. The average amount of time that a worker stays unemployed in the United States is now over 40 weeks.

5. One recent survey found that 77 percent of all U.S. small businesses do not plan to hire any more workers.

6. There are fewer payroll jobs in the United States today than there were back in 2000 even though we have added 30 million extra people to the population since then.

7. Since December 2007, median household income in the United States has declined by a total of 6.8 percent once you account for inflation.

8. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed back in December 2006. Today, that number has shrunk to 14.5 million.

9. A Gallup poll from earlier this year found that approximately one out of every five Americans that do have a job consider themselves to be underemployed.

10. According to author Paul Osterman, about 20 percent of all U.S. adults are currently working jobs that pay poverty-level wages.

11. Back in 1980, less than 30 percent of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs. Today, more than 40 percent of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.

12. Back in 1969, 95 percent of all men between the ages of 25 and 54 had a job. In July, only 81.2 percent of men in that age group had a job.

13. One recent survey found that one out of every three Americans would not be able to make a mortgage or rent payment next month if they suddenly lost their current job.

14. The Federal Reserve recently announced that the total net worth of U.S. households declined by 4.1 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2011 alone.

15. According to a recent study conducted by the BlackRock Investment Institute, the ratio of household debt to personal income in the United States is now 154 percent.

16. As the economy has slowed down, so has the number of marriages. According to a Pew Research Center analysis, only 51 percent of all Americans that are at least 18 years old are currently married. Back in 1960, 72 percent of all U.S. adults were married.

17. The U.S. Postal Service has lost more than 5 billion dollars over the past year.

18. In Stockton, California home prices have declined 64 percent from where they were at when the housing market peaked.

19. Nevada has had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation for 59 months in a row.

20. If you can believe it, the median price of a home in Detroit is now just $6000.

21. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18 percent of all homes in the state of Florida are sitting vacant. That figure is 63 percent larger than it was just ten years ago.

22. New home construction in the United States is on pace to set a brand new all-time record low in 2011.

23. 19 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 34 are now living with their parents.

24. Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

25. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, health care costs accounted for just 9.5 percent of all personal consumption back in 1980. Today they account for approximately 16.3 percent.

26. One study found that approximately 41 percent of all working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.

27. If you can believe it, one out of every seven Americans has at least 10 credit cards.

28. The United States spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.

29. It is being projected that the U.S. trade deficit for 2011 will be 558.2 billion dollars.

30. The retirement crisis in the United States just continues to get worse. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 46 percent of all American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, and 29 percent of all American workers have less than $1,000 saved for retirement.

31. Today, one out of every six elderly Americans lives below the federal poverty line.

32. According to a study that was just released, CEO pay at America’s biggest companies rose by 36.5 percent in just one recent 12 month period.

33. Today, the “too big to fail” banks are larger than ever. The total assets of the six largest U.S. banks increased by 39 percent between September 30, 2006 and September 30, 2011.

34. The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have a net worth that is roughly equal to the bottom 30 percent of all Americans combined.

35. According to an analysis of Census Bureau data done by the Pew Research Center, the median net worth for households led by someone 65 years of age or older is 47 times greater than the median net worth for households led by someone under the age of 35.

36. If you can believe it, 37 percent of all U.S. households that are led by someone under the age of 35 have a net worth of zero or less than zero.

37. A higher percentage of Americans is living in extreme poverty (6.7 percent) than has ever been measured before.

38. Child homelessness in the United States is now 33 percent higher than it was back in 2007.

39. Since 2007, the number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by 30 percent.

40. Sadly, child poverty is absolutely exploding all over America. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4 percent of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1 percent of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6 percent of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6 percent of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty.

41. Today, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

42. In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7 percent of all income. Today, government transfer payments account for more than 18 percent of all income.

43. A staggering 48.5 percent of all Americans live in a household that receives some form of government benefits. Back in 1983, that number was below 30 percent.

44. Right now, spending by the federal government accounts for about 24 percent of GDP. Back in 2001, it accounted for just 18 percent.

45. For fiscal year 2011, the U.S. federal government had a budget deficit of nearly 1.3 trillion dollars. That was the third year in a row that our budget deficit has topped one trillion dollars.

46. If Bill Gates gave every single penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.

47. Amazingly, the U.S. government has now accumulated a total debt of 15 trillion dollars. When Barack Obama first took office the national debt was just 10.6 trillion dollars.

48. If the federal government began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 440,000 years to pay off the national debt.

49. The U.S. national debt has been increasing by an average of more than 4 billion dollars per day since the beginning of the Obama administration.

50. During the Obama administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.

Of course, after going through all these numbers, the obvious question is, “how has it come to this?” The Economic Collapse has a simple answer:

. . . the heart of our economic problems is the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is a perpetual debt machine, it has almost completely destroyed the value of the U.S. dollar and it has an absolutely nightmarish track record of incompetence. If the Federal Reserve system had never been created, the U.S. economy would be in far better shape. The federal government needs to shut down the Federal Reserve and start issuing currency that is not debt-based.

But who among America’s leaders has the will and determination to do this? Judging by how the Obama administration has conducted itself thus far, it probably won’t consider (let alone implement) any of the suggestions mentioned in the above. Therefore, that leaves only the GOP candidates.

Who among them has the best chance to restore economic stability? Who is the most likely to return the U.S. to prosperity?

“Hopefully next year more Americans than ever will wake up, because 2012 is going to represent a huge turning point for this country,” TEC writes.

Indeed, 2012 may be one of the biggest turning points this country has ever seen.

(h/t Zero Hedge)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What I learned as a cop ( By a Chicago Cop)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - Middle Class Guy by Peter Bella

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CHICAGO, December 13, 2011 ― I was a Chicago Police Officer for almost 30 years. I spent the first ten years of my career in one of the worst, most impoverished areas of Chicago, Lawndale. It was named as one of the ten most dangerous neighborhoods in America. Even people’s dreams weren’t safe.

Everyday I patrolled streets where there was no hope, no change, no future, and no way out. Self survival was paramount. People did whatever they could to live through one more day. Crime was just a day’s work.

The only thing that differentiated Lawndale from a fourth world country was indoor plumbing. The armies of rats and stray dogs ate better than the people. They were healthier too.

There was block after block of perfectly good commercial, manufacturing, and industrial property, all of it vacant, buildings and land. Urban renewal meant tearing things down, not redevelopment.

Day after day all we did was deal with people who were just trying to survive in any way they could. I developed a very healthy hatred. It wasn’t racism. I did not hate poor people. I hated a system of welfare, social engineering, and entitlement that did nothing to help poor people or alleviate poverty.

There was never a war on poverty. It was a war on poor people, a long term war designed to keep them in perpetual dependence and poverty. Our government created a system of slavery. They made people slaves to dependency, generation after generation.

I witnessed the big lies: wealth redistribution, social justice, social economic justice, and social engineering. Lies the progressives, liberals, and our president keep alive to this day.

I learned one thing. There are no safety nets. Government benevolence does everything to enslave people in a cycle of generational womb to tomb dependency. The so called safety nets are nothing but chains and shackles in disguise.

America has wasted money on programs that only benefit bureaucrats, social service agencies and their workers. Those are the only jobs created. The people the programs were designed to help are allowed to barely survive.

Not much has changed in Lawndale since 1978. There are still the same vacant buildings and vacant land, just more of it. There are still people living in abject poverty, just more of them.

There is still no hope, no change, and no way out. The vicious cycle continues.

There is anger in this community. Over 60% of the men are ex-felons. The unemployment rate is upwards of 70%. There is misery and hopelessness. People no longer want welfare or food stamps. They do not want subsidized housing. They want their share of the American dream. They want economic independence: They want jobs.

The politicians are still not listening. They are still pushing the politics of poverty.

The people no longer believe believe racism is the cause of their plight. They know politicians, including Black politicians, are the reason they remain poor.

No one is listening. The career politicians, at all levels of government, keep pushing the same slave agenda. The progressives and liberals keep pushing the same benevolent dependency policies. The bureaucrats and social workers, the only beneficiaries of government largesse, keep selling the dream of dependency.

One thing you learn as a police officer is how to spot a lie. The politicians have been lying to all of us since the 1960s. They are still lying, now to the middle class. They are pushing the same agenda of dependence and slavery instead of prosperity and independence.

Instead of economic development, which creates jobs, they push for more social welfare programs. More and longer unemployment benefits, tax holidays that will punish people when they end, food stamps, and other welfare type schemes - the false safety nets.

They absolutely refuse to pursue an agenda of economic development. They refuse to provide the certainty and confidence that will allow businesses to expand, grow, build, or even start.

Liberals want to create a more dependent society. They can control dependents. That is what progressive politics is all about, control. You cannot control people with paychecks.

I witnessed the failure of these programs over thirty years ago. They failed then and they will fail now. It is easier to get people on welfare programs than it is to build a factory to put them to work.

In Chicago there are square miles, in the aggregate, of land that could be used to build factories and other industrial entities. There is land that could be used for commercial and small business use. It all lies vacant.

Chicago is no different than other cities. No one wants to even attempt to build anything there. The hurdles, obstacles, and barriers are too high. Federal, state, and local governments put up roadblocks.

Better to have people survive on their benevolent largesse. Better to have people with their hands out instead of their hands dirty from work. Better to have welfare and unemployment checks than paychecks.

Those programs failed to help the poor. Poverty has never been alleviated and never will be. What is going on in America today is just a repeat on a larger scale. No one will be helped. No one will benefit except the politicians, the bureaucrats, and social service agencies, the sales people of misery and dependence.

We are supposed to learn from history. We learn nothing. We keep repeating the same mistakes. We keep electing the same kinds of people. Over and over again.

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance writer, freelance photographer, and consultant. He is a passionate cook and eater. He likes to be the sharp stick that pokes, annoys, and provokes. His opinions are his and his alone.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Who are the One Percent? ^ | December 13, 2011 | Michael Tanner

Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 8:50:51 AM by Kaslin

So just who are those top 1 percent of Americans that we're all supposed to hate?

If you listen to President Obama, the protesters at Occupy Wall Street, and much of the media, it's obvious. They're either "trust-fund babies" who inherited their money, or greedy bankers and hedge-fund managers. Certainly, they haven't worked especially hard for their money. While the recession has thrown millions of Americans out of work, they've been getting even richer. Worse, they don't even pay their fair share in taxes: Millionaires and billionaires are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries.

In reality, each of these stereotypes is wrong.

By and large, the wealthy have worked hard for their money.

Roughly 80 percent of millionaires in America are the first generation of their family to be rich. They didn't inherit their wealth; they earned it. How? According to a recent survey of the top 1 percent of American earners, slightly less than 14 percent were involved in banking or finance.

Roughly a third were entrepreneurs or managers of nonfinancial businesses. Nearly 16 percent were doctors or other medical professionals.

Lawyers made up slightly more than 8 percent, and engineers, scientists and computer professionals another 6.6 percent.

Sports and entertainment figures — the folks flying in on their private jets to express solidarity with Occupy Wall Street — composed almost 2 percent.

By and large, the wealthy have worked hard for their money. NYU sociologist Dalton Conley says that "higher-income folks work more hours than lower-wage earners do."

Because so much of their income is tied up in investments, the recession has hit the rich especially hard. Much attention has been paid recently to a Congressional Budget Office study that showed incomes for the top 1 percent rose far faster from 1980 until 2007 than for the rest of us. But the nonpartisan Tax Foundation has found that since 2007, there has been a 39 percent decline in the number of American millionaires.

Among the "super-rich," the decline has been even sharper: The number of Americans earning more than $10 million a year has fallen by 55 percent. In fact, while in 2008 the top 1 percent earned 20 percent of all income here, that figure has declined to just 16 percent. Inequality in America is declining.

As for not paying their fair share, the top 1 percent pay 36.7 percent of all federal income taxes. Because, as noted above, they earn just 16 percent of all income, that certainly seems like more than a fair share.

Maybe Warren Buffett is paying a lower tax rate than his secretary, as he claims. But the comparison is misleading because Buffett's income comes mostly from capital gains, which were already taxed at their origin through the corporate-income tax.

Moreover, the Buffetts of the world are clearly an exception. Overall, the rich pay an effective tax rate (after all deductions and exemptions) of roughly 24 percent. For all taxpayers as a group, the average effective tax rate is about 11 percent.

Beyond taxes, the rich also pay in terms of private charity. Households with more than $1 million in income donated more than $150 billion to charity last year, roughly half of all US charitable donations. Greedy? It hardly seems so. And let us not forget the fact that the rich provide the investment capital that funds ventures, creates jobs and spurs innovation. The money that the rich save and invest is the money that companies use to start or expand businesses, buy machinery and other physical capital and hire workers.

It has become fashionable to ridicule the idea of the rich as "job creators," but if the rich don't create jobs, who will? How many workers have been hired recently by the poor?

No doubt dishonest or unscrupulous businessmen have gotten rich by taking advantage of others. And few of us are likely to lose much sleep over the plight of the rich.

But shouldn't public policy be based on something more than class warfare, envy and stereotypes?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Durban: what the media are not telling you (From Watts Up With That?)


Posted on December 9, 2011by Anthony Watts

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley in Durban, South Africa

DURBAN, South Africa — “No high hopes for Durban.” “Binding treaty unlikely.” “No deal this year.” Thus ran the headlines. The profiteering UN bureaucrats here think otherwise. Their plans to establish a world government paid for by the West on the pretext of dealing with the non-problem of “global warming” are now well in hand. As usual, the mainstream media have simply not reported what is in the draft text which the 194 states parties to the UN framework convention on climate change are being asked to approve.

Behind the scenes, throughout the year since Cancun, the now-permanent bureaucrats who have made highly-profitable careers out of what they lovingly call “the process” have been beavering away at what is now a 138-page document. Its catchy title is “Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action Under the Convention — Update of the amalgamation of draft texts in preparation of [one imagines they mean 'for'] a comprehensive and balanced outcome to be presented to the Conference of the Parties for adoption at its seventeenth session: note by the Chair.” In plain English, these are the conclusions the bureaucracy wants.

The contents of this document, turgidly drafted with all the UN’s skill at what the former head of its documentation center used to call “transparent impenetrability”, are not just off the wall – they are lunatic.

Main points:

  • Ø A new International Climate Court will have the power to compel Western nations to pay ever-larger sums to third-world countries in the name of making reparation for supposed “climate debt”. The Court will have no power over third-world countries. Here and throughout the draft, the West is the sole target. “The process” is now irredeemably anti-Western.
  • Ø “Rights of Mother Earth”: The draft, which seems to have been written by feeble-minded green activists and environmental extremists, talks of “The recognition and defence of the rights of Mother Earth to ensure harmony between humanity and nature”. Also, “there will be no commodification [whatever that may be: it is not in the dictionary and does not deserve to be] of the functions of nature, therefore no carbon market will be developed with that purpose”.
  • Ø “Right to survive”: The draft childishly asserts that “The rights of some Parties to survive are threatened by the adverse impacts of climate change, including sea level rise.” At 2 inches per century, according to eight years’ data from the Envisat satellite? Oh, come off it! The Jason 2 satellite, the new kid on the block, shows that sea-level has actually dropped over the past three years.
  • Ø War and the maintenance of defence forces and equipment are to cease – just like that – because they contribute to climate change. There are other reasons why war ought to cease, but the draft does not mention them.
  • Ø A new global temperature target will aim, Canute-like, to limit “global warming” to as little as 1 C° above pre-industrial levels. Since temperature is already 3 C° above those levels, what is in effect being proposed is a 2 C° cut in today’s temperatures. This would take us halfway back towards the last Ice Age, and would kill hundreds of millions. Colder is far more dangerous than warmer.
  • Ø The new CO2 emissions target, for Western countries only, will be a reduction of up to 50% in emissions over the next eight years and of “more than 100%” [these words actually appear in the text] by 2050. So, no motor cars, no coal-fired or gas-fired power stations, no aircraft, no trains. Back to the Stone Age, but without even the right to light a carbon-emitting fire in your caves. Windmills, solar panels and other “renewables” are the only alternatives suggested in the draft. There is no mention of the immediate and rapid expansion of nuclear power worldwide to prevent near-total economic destruction.
  • Ø The new CO2 concentration target could be as low as 300 ppmv CO2 equivalent (i.e., including all other greenhouse gases as well as CO2 itself). That is a cut of almost half compared with the 560 ppmv CO2 equivalent today. It implies just 210 ppmv of CO2 itself, with 90 ppmv CO2 equivalent from other greenhouse gases. But at 210 ppmv, plants and trees begin to die. CO2 is plant food. They need a lot more of it than 210 ppmv.
  • Ø The peak-greenhouse-gas target year – for the West only – will be this year. We will be obliged to cut our emissions from now on, regardless of the effect on our economies (and the lack of effect on the climate).
  • Ø The West will pay for everything, because of its “historical responsibility” for causing “global warming”. Third-world countries will not be obliged to pay anything. But it is the UN, not the third-world countries, that will get the money from the West, taking nearly all of it for itself as usual. There is no provision anywhere in the draft for the UN to publish accounts of how it has spent the $100 billion a year the draft demands that the West should stump up from now on.

The real lunacy comes in the small print – all of it in 8-point type, near-illegibly printed on grubby, recycled paper. Every fashionable leftist idiocy is catered for.

Talking of which, note in passing that Rajendra Pachauri, the railroad engineer who, in the topsy-turvy looking-glass world of international climate insanity is the “science” chairman of the UN’s climate panel, has admitted that no one has been talking about climate science at the climate conference here in Durban. Not really surprising, given no real warming for getting on for two decades, no recent sea-level rise, no new record Arctic ice-melt, fewer hurricanes than at almost any time in 30 years, no Pacific atolls disappearing beneath the waves.

Here – and, as always, you heard it here first, for the mainstream media have conspired to keep secret the Madness of King Rajendra and his entire coterie of governmental and bureaucratic lunatics worldwide – is what the dribbling, twitching thrones and dominions, principalities and powers of the world will be asked to agree to.

“International Climate Court of Justice”: This kangaroo court is to be established by next year “to guarantee the compliance of Annex I Parties with all the provisions of this decision, which are essential elements in the obtaining of the global goal”. Note that, here as elsewhere, the bias is only against the nations of the West. However badly the third-world countries behave, they cannot be brought before the new court. Though none of what the draft calls the “modalities” of the proposed marsupial dicastery are set out in detail, one can imagine that the intention is to oblige Western nations to pay up however much the world government run by the Convention secretariat feels like demanding, just as the unelected tyrants of the EU demand – and get – ever-larger cash payments from the ever-shrinking economies and ever-poorer tribute-payers of their dismal empire.

The temperature target: At Copenhagen and Cancun, the states parties to the Convention arrogated to themselves the power – previously safe in the hands of Divine Providence – to alter the weather in such a way as to prevent global mean surface temperature from rising by more than 2 C° above the “pre-industrial” level. They did not even say what they meant by “pre-industrial”. From 1695-1745 temperatures in central England, quite a good proxy for global temperatures, rose by 2.2 C°, with about another 0.8 C° since then, making 3 C° in all. The previous temperature target, therefore, was already absurd. Yet the new, improved, madder target is to keep global temperatures either “1 C°” or “well below 1.5 C°” above “pre-industrial levels” – i.e., well below half of the temperature increase that has already occurred since the pre-industrial era. The twittering states parties are committing themselves, in effect, to reducing today’s global temperatures by getting on for 2 C°. This is madness. Throughout pre-history, the governing class – Druids or Pharaohs or Mayans or Incas – thought they could replace their Creator and command the weather. They couldn’t. No more can we. But try telling that to the strait-jacketed ninnies of today’s governing “elite”. Speech after speech at the plenary sessions of the Durban conference has drivelled on about how We Are The People Who At This Historic Juncture Are Willing And Able To Undertake The Noble Purpose Of Saving The Planet From Thermageddon and Saving You From Yourselves [entirely at your prodigious expense, natch].

The emissions-reduction targets: The new target proposed by the staring-eyed global-village idiots will be a reduction of 50-85% of global greenhouse-gas emissions from 1990 levels (i.e. by 65-100% of today’s levels) by 2050, with emissions falling still further thereafter. The West should cut its emissions by 30-50% from 1990 levels (i.e. by 40-65% of today’s levels) in just eight years, and by more than 95% (i.e. more than 100%) by 2050. Alternatively (for there are many alternatives in the text, indicating that agreement among the inmates in the Durban asylum is a long way off), the West must cut its emissions “more than 50%” in just five years, and “more than 100%” by 2050. The words “more than 100%” actually appear in the draft. The Third World, however, need cut its emissions only by 15-30% over the next eight years, provided – of course – that the West fully reimburses it for the cost.

The greenhouse-gas reduction target: Greenhouse-gas concentrations in the atmosphere “should stabilize well below 300-450 ppm CO2 equivalent”. This target, like the temperature target, is plain daft. CO2 concentration is currently at 392 ppmv, and the IPCC increases this by 43% to allow for other greenhouse gases. Accordingly, today’s CO2-equivalent concentration of greenhouse gases is 560 ppmv, and the current lunacy is to cut this perhaps by very nearly half, reducing the CO2 component to just 210 ppmv, at which point trees and plants become starved of CO2, which is their food, and start to die.

The greenhouse-gas peak targets: Global greenhouse gas emissions, say the mentally-challenged Durban droolers, should peak in not more than eight years’ time, and perhaps as soon as two years’ time. Western greenhouse-gas emissions should peak immediately (or perhaps by next year, or maybe the year after that) and must decline thereafter. The greenhouse-gas emissions peak in third-world countries will be later than that of the West, and – no surprises here – will depend on the West to pay the cost of it.

“Historical responsibility”: The nations of the West (for which the UN’s code is “Annex I parties”) are from now on required to beat their breasts (or at least their strait-jackets) and acknowledge their “historical responsibility” for increasing CO2 emissions and giving us warmer weather. The draft says: “Acknowledging that the largest share of the historical global emissions of greenhouse gases originated in Annex I Parties and that, owing to this historical responsibility in terms of their contribution to the average global temperature increase, Annex I Parties must take the lead in combating climate change and the adverse effects thereof.” This new concept of “historical responsibility” – suspiciously akin to the “war-guilt” of post-1918 Germany, declared by the imprudent governments of the world at the Versailles conference, which was no small cause of World War II – further underscores the rapidly-growing anti-Western bias in the UN and in the Convention’s secretariat.

Who pays? Oh, you guessed it before I told you. The West pays. The third world (UN code: “non-Annex-I parties”) thinks it will collect, so it will always vote for the UN’s insane proposals. But the UN’s bureaucrats will actually get all or nearly all the money, and will decide how to allocate what minuscule fraction they have not already spent on themselves. As a senior UN diplomat told me last year, “The UN exists for only one purpose: to get more money. That, and that alone, is the reason why it takes such an interest in climate change.” The draft says: “Developed-country Parties shall provide developing-country Parties with new and additional finance, inter alia through a percentage of the gross domestic product of developed-country Parties.” And, of course, “The extent of participation by non-Annex-I parties in the global effort to deal with climate change is directly dependent on the level of support provided by developed-country Parties.”

The get-out clause: One or two Western countries – Canada and Japan, for instance – have begun to come off the Kool-Aid. They have worked out what scientifically-baseless nonsense the climate scam is and have said they are not really playing any more. To try to keep these and the growing number of nations who want out of “the process” bankrolling the ever-more-lavish UN, an ingenious escape clause has been crafted: “The scale of financial flows to non-Annex-I parties shall be based on the assessments of their needs to deal with climate change.” Since climate is not going to change measurably as a result of Man’s emissions, any honest assessment of the needs of third-world countries “to deal with climate change” is that they don’t need any money at all for this purpose and shouldn’t get a single red cent. The UN is now the biggest obstacle to the eradication of poverty worldwide, because its pampered functionaries divert so much cash to themselves, to an ever-expanding alphabet-soup of bureaucracies, and then to heroically lunatic projects like “global warming” control. Time to abolish it.

World government: The Copenhagen Treaty draft establishing a world “government” with unlimited powers of taxation and intervention in the affairs of states parties to the UN Framework Convention fortunately failed. Yet at the Cancun climate conference the following year 1000 new bureaucracies were established to form the nucleus of a world government, with central control in the hands of the Convention’s secretariat and tentacles in every region and nation. The draft “agrees that common principles, modalities and procedures as well as the coordinating and oversight functions of the UNFCCC are needed” – in short, global centralization of political, economic and environmental power in the manicured hands of the Convention’s near-invisible but all-powerful secretariat. No provision is made for the democratic election of key members of the all-powerful secretariat – in effect, a world government – by the peoples of our planet.

Reporting to the world government: From 2013/14, the world government will oblige Western nations to prepare reports and submit them to it every two years. The format of these reports is specified in obsessive detail over several pages of the draft. The reports will describe the extent of their compliance with the mitigation targets imposed by the various treaties and agreements. The West will be obliged to to continue reporting “greenhouse-gas emission inventories”, for which “common reporting formats and methodologies for the calculation of emission, established at the international level, are essential”. Separately, Western nations will now be required to provide information on the financial support they have pledged to assist third-world countries in mitigating greenhouse-gas emissions and adapting to “the adverse effects of climate change”. The world government also expects to receive reports from Western nations on their financial contributions to the Global Environment Facility, the Least Developed Countries’ Trust Fund, the Special Climate Change Fund, the Adaptation Fund, the Green Climate Fund and the Trust Fund for Supplementary Activities”. Western nations must also provide information on the steps taken to promote technology development and transfer to third-world countries, and on how they have provided “capacity-building support” to third-world countries, and on numerous other matters. The inexorable increase in compulsory reporting was one of the mechanisms by which the unelected Kommissars of the anti-democratic European Union acquired absolute power over the member states. EU advisors have been helping the UN to learn how to use similar techniques to centralize global power just as anti-democratically in its own hands.

Review of Western nations’ conduct: Once the multitude of mechanisms for Western nations’ compulsory reporting to the world government are in place, the information gathered by it will be used as the basis of a continuous review of every aspect of their compliance with the various agreements and concords, whether legally-binding or not. Teams of five to eight members of the Convention’s secretariat will scrutinize each Western nation’s conduct, and will have the power to ask questions and to require additional information, as well as to make recommendations that will gradually become binding. The world government will then prepare a record of the review for each Western nation, including reports of various aspects of the review, an assessment of that nation’s compliance, questions and answers, conclusions and recommendations (eventually instructions) to that nation, and a “facilitative process” (UN code for a mechanism to compel the nation to do as it is told by people whom no one has elected).

Finance: One of the 1000 bureaucracies established at Cancun is the Standing Committee on Finance, which the draft says will have the power of “mobilizing financial resources” through flows of public and private finance, “mobilizing additional funding”, and requiring and verifying the reporting of finance provided to third-world Parties by the Western nations through a new Financial Support Registry. Finance for third-world countries is to be scaled up “significantly”, and Western countries will be obliged to provide “a clear work-plan on their pledged assessed contributions” from 2012-2020 “for approval by the Conference of the Parties”. Taxpayers will be compelled to provide the major source of funding through public expenditure.

Green Climate Fund: Western nations are urged to “commit to the initial capitalization of the Green Climate Fund without delay”, to include “the full running costs” and “the funding required for the formation and operating costs of the board and secretariat of the Green Climate Fund”. Here, as always, the UN bureaucrats want their own pay, perks, pensions and organizational structure guaranteed before any money goes to third-world countries.

Worldwide cap-and-trade: The draft establishes a “new market-based approach/mechanism … to promote the reduction or avoidance of greenhouse-gas emissions” – once again for Western countries only. Also, “Ambitious, legally-binding emission reduction targets for developed-country Parties … are essential to drive a global carbon market”. What this means, in the plain English that is almost entirely absent from the 138-page draft, is worldwide compulsory cap-and-trade, centrally imposed and regulated, imposed on Western countries only.

Patent rights: Under the guise of action to prevent “global warming” that is not happening at anything like the predicted rate, coded references to the extinction of patent rights in third-world countries are creeping into the text. For instance, “identification and removal of all barriers that prevent effective technology development and transfer to developing-country Parties”; and “the removal of all obstacles, including intellectual property rights and patents on climate-related technologies to ensure the transfer of technology to developing countries”. As an inventor with patents to my name, I can predict what effect any such provision will have. It will prevent the establishment and development of patent offices in continents such as Africa, which – thus far – has contributed remarkably little to the world’s inventions, not least because the structure for protecting and encouraging inventors is rickety or non-existent.

Shipping and aviation fuels were previously excluded from the scope of the Convention and are now to be included. International shipping and aviation are described as “a source of financial resources for climate change actions”. More money for UN bureaucrats.

The new bureaucracies: As though the 1000 bureaucracies created at Cancun were not enough, another bureaucracy is to be created “to oversee, monitor and ensure overall implementation of capacity-building activities consistent with the provisions of the Convention”. There will also be a new “International Climate Court of Justice” (see above). A “Financial Support Registry” is also to be set up.

The new special-interest group: Meet the “Parties that are alternative-energy-disadvantaged”. No wind, no sun, no renewables – so, handouts from the West, please.

The new buzzwords: Welcome to the notion of “equitable access to global atmospheric space”; “Mother Earth” [I kid you not: it's in the draft]; “climate-resilient infrastructure” and “paradigm shift towards building a low-carbon society”. These buzzwords are in addition to pre-existing buzzwords such as “climate justice” and “climate debt” – the latter being the notion that because the West has emitted more carbon dioxide than the rest it owes the Third World lots of money.

“Rights of Mother Earth”: The draft burbles insanely about “The recognition and defence of the rights of Mother Earth to ensure harmony between humanity and nature, and that there will be no commodification [whatever that may be] of the functions of nature, therefore no carbon market will be developed with that purpose”.

“Right to survive”: “The rights of some Parties to survive are threatened by the adverse impacts of climate change, including sea level rise.” At 2 inches per century? Oh, come off it! The Jason 2 satellite shows that sea-level has dropped over the past three years.

The science is at last to be reviewed in a manner that appears independent of the discredited IPCC. However, no details of the method of review are provided, and other parts of the schizophrenic draft say we must defer to the science put forward not by the peer-reviewed learned journals but by a political body whose reports are not peer-reviewed in the usual sense.

Legally-binding treaty: According to the draft, the aim is to create a “legally-binding instrument/outcome”. This is UN code for an international Treaty. The US will sign no such treaty. Nor will Canada, Japan, France, India and many other countries. On the basis of drafts as in-your-face idiotic as this, no legally-binding climate treaty will ever be signed: which is just as well, because no such treaty is necessary.

War and the maintenance of defence forces and equipment are to cease because they contribute to climate change. Just like that. The UN draft text asserts: “Stopping wars, defending lives and ceasing destructive activities will protect the climate system; conflict-related activities emit significant greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.” A wave of the UN’s magic wand and peace will reign throughout the Earth, the sun will shine (but not too much) the rain will fall (just where and when needed), and non-gender-specific motherhood and non-commodificated apple pie will be available to all. Ouroborindra, ba-ba hee! It does not seem to have occurred to the Druids of the UN that they have near-totally failed to prevent wars on Earth – the original purpose for which it was founded. Yet now, in their gibbering, spastic arrogance, they think to command the weather. Canute, thou shouldst be living at this hour!

Friday, December 9, 2011

DEUS EX MACHINA (from Gold Switzerland)

"Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value ZERO" - Voltaire 1729

Complete Article at

By Egon von Greyerz , December 6, 2011 @ 1:41 pm In 1. Egon von Greyerz' Newsletters,2. The Matterhorn Interview


by Egon von Greyerz – December 2011

With most of the world’s major economies as well as the financial system bankrupt, there is only one solution that can save the world economy. Like in the Greek tragedies, Deus ex Machina is now the only way that the world can avoid a total economic collapse. This would involve God being lowered down onto the world stage and miraculously saving the plot.


For those few who believe in this, may God bless them. But since this is a very unlikely solution most people will instead rely on governments and central banks to save us. But how can anyone possibly believe that totally incompetent and clueless politicians and central bankers could solve anything. They created the problem in the first place and are therefore totally unsuitable to play the role of Deus. The main objective of governments is to stay in power and thus to buy votes. Therefore they are incapable of taking the right decisions. And the opposition, aspiring to power is even less suitable since they will lie through their teeth and promise the earth in order to be elected. (We know that there are exceptions like Ron Paul, but the voters will most probably find his medicine too strong to swallow.)

What about central bankers, can’t they save us? Unfortunately any sensible person who becomes a central banker loses all his senses and becomes a prisoner of the political system.


So if there is no Deus ex Machina and if governments or bankers can’t rescue the world, who can and what is the solution. Let us return to the wise von Mises to look at the options available now:


Ludwig von Mises

Mises is absolutely correct: “There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion”. Whatever politicians, bankers, economists or others experts say, there is no solution to this crisis. We have reached the end of the road and are now staring into the abyss.

The credit manufacturing system that started in 1913 when the Fed was founded, began its terminal phase in 1971 when Nixon abolished gold backing of the dollar. It has been clear to us for at least 20 years that the outcome was inevitable. It was never a question of “if” but only “when” it would happen. It is now clear to us that the false prosperity that the world has experienced by printing unlimited amounts of money will very soon come to an end. Thus the “if” and “when” conditions are now satisfied so the remaining question is HOW?

To try to answer this let’s return to Mises: “The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion ….”

To stop the money printing and credit creation would be the only sensible way of ending the failed quasi-capitalist, socialist experiment which is in the process of destroying the structure of the Western world. For almost 100 years we have lived on a system based on debt. This has created a false prosperity as well as false values. The transfer of capital from private enterprise to government by massive taxation is approaching 50% in many countries (see table). The average for 18 industrialised countries is almost 40%. This means that on average 40% of the productive economy is transferred to a non-producing entity (government) which wastes most of the money in the process of redistribution. But not only that, since the state has taken over up to 50% of the economy in these countries, the desire to work, to strive, to take risk and to invent has been taken away from a major part of the population.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Can Congress Steal Your Constitutional Freedoms? (You can’t make this crap up!)

Can Congress Steal Your Constitutional Freedoms? ^ | December 1, 2011 | Judge Andrew Napolitano

Posted on Thursday, December 01, 2011 9:19:22 AM by Kaslin

Can the president use the military to arrest anyone he wants, keep that person away from a judge and jury, and lock him up for as long as he wants? In the Senate's dark and terrifying vision of the Constitution, he can.

Congress is supposed to work in public. That requirement is in the Constitution. It is there because the folks who wrote the Constitution had suffered long and hard under the British Privy Council, a secret group that advised the king and ran his government. We know from the now-defunct supercommittee, and other times when Congress has locked its doors, that government loves secrecy and hates transparency. Transparency forces the government to answer to us. Secrecy lets it steal our liberty and our property behind our backs.

Last week, while our minds were on family and turkey and football, the Senate Armed Services Committee decided to meet in secret. So, behind closed doors, it drafted an amendment to a bill appropriating money for the Pentagon. The amendment would permit the president to use the military for law enforcement purposes in the United States. This, of course, would present a radical departure from any use to which the military has been put in the memory of any Americans now living.

The last time the federal government regularly used the military for domestic law enforcement was at the end of Reconstruction in the South, in 1876. In fact, the deal to end Reconstruction resulted in the enactment of federal laws forbidding the domestic use of American military for law enforcement purposes. This has been our law, our custom and our set of values to which every president has adhered for 135 years.

It is not for directing traffic that this legislation would authorize the president to use the military. Essentially, this legislation would enable the president to divert from the criminal justice system, and thus to divert from the protections of the Constitution, any person he pleases. And that person, under this terrifying bill, would have no recourse to a judge to require the president either to file charges against him or to set him free.

Can you imagine an America in which you could lose all liberty -- from the presumption of innocence to the right to counsel to fairness from the government to a jury trial -- simply because the president says you are dangerous?

Nothing terrified or animated the Founders more than that. The Founders, who wrote the Constitution, had just won a war against a king who had less power than this legislation will give to the president. But to protect their freedoms, they wrote in the Constitution the now iconic guarantee of due process. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution says, "No person shall be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Note, the Founders used the word "person." Thus, the requirement of due process must be accorded to all human beings held by the government -- not just Americans, not just nice people, but all persons. When Lincoln tried to deny this during the Civil War, the Supreme Court rejected him and held that the Constitution guarantees its protections to everyone that the government restrains, no matter the crime, no matter the charge, no matter the evidence, no matter the danger.

If this legislation becomes law, it will be dangerous for anyone to be right when the government is wrong. It will be dangerous for all of us. Just consider what any president could get away with. Who would he make disappear first? Might it be his political opponents? Might it be you?