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thedailysheeple.com / By Derrick Broze via TheAntiMedia.org / December 21st, 2014
Journalist and activist Barrett Brown appeared in a Federal Court in Dallas, Texas on Tuesday. Brown was brought before Judge Sam Lindsay wearing the stereotypical orange jumpsuit. He only spoke a few times throughout the eight hour proceedings. Aside from looking up occasionally to listen to testimony, Brown’s focus was on his pen and notepad. The avid writer scribbled away, determined to tell his next story.
His family and nearly 30 supporters from around the country were in attendance. As the judge noted, 102 letters of support were sent from the United States, Australia, France, Sweden, Germany, Sweden, the UK, and India.
Brown has been an activist, and a journalist. His articles and blogs have been featured in numerous publications including the Guardian, Vanity Fair, and the Huffington Post. He has been behind bars for over two years for charges stemming from his reporting on the hacking of the servers of HB Gary Federal and Stratfor by the decentralized hacker collective Anonymous.
The exact charges Barrett Brown faces are (1) transmitting a threat in interstate commerce (2) accessory after the fact in the unauthorized access to a protected computer and (3) interference with the execution of a search warrant and aid and abet. (Brown has since apologized for the threat and admitted it was a mistake caused under duress)
The second charge comes from Brown offering to be a mediator for hacker Jeremy Hammond following the hack of Strafor. Brown also attempted to hide computers which contained journalistic sources.
Since Brown had already signed the plea deal the sentencing hearing was expected to be short. However, early in the hearing the government’s team introduced 61 exhibits including hundreds of pages of chat logs and emails. The government forced Brown’s defense to decide to allow the documents without question or object to them slowing down the proceedings and possibly frustrating the judge. The judge would give the defense a 30 minute recess to view the documents and return with any objections.
The defense objected to 11 exhibits for lack of relevance. The government told Judge Lindsay that the documents showed Brown identifying targets of the hacks, and established his role in Anonymous. The Judge agreed with the government and allowed all 61 exhibits to be entered into the record. The prosecution called FBI Agent Robert Smith to the witness stand as they spent the next two and a half hours going through the exhibits one by one.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 12/21/2014 16:00
Forget lost decade (or two), Japan’s economic growth trajectory has fallen, almost unbroken, since the end of World War II… just one more decade, we are sure is all it will take to revive this Keynesian catastrophe… (one way or another)…
As the price of silver fell to a new low in November, India imported a record amount of the shiny metal. Demand for the physical metal was so strong, India nearly imported the same amount of silver in the month of November that it did for the entire year in 2009.
Koos Jansen at BullionStar.com, published a great article, India Silver Imported 6,789t YTD, showing just how much silver was imported into the country in October and November.
I took some of his recent data from that article and updated my graphs. India imported a staggering 1,254 metric tons (mt) of silver in November and 1,243 mt for a total of 2,467 mt. If we break down India’s silver imports on a quarterly basis, we can see just how big these numbers really are:
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 12/21/2014 15:30
While the shockingly large scale of death and violence in Chicago has now become so mainstream as not to warrant daily attention by the media, the news that Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s son Zach was robbed of his cellphone and assaulted around 10:05pm Friday night near the family’s affluent neighborhood home is likely to raise public awareness of just how bad things are getting in ‘Chiraq’. As The Chicago tribue reports, two males approached Zach from behind; one of them “placed his arm around the victim’s neck in a rear chokehold,” and the second one struck the teen with a fist, knocking him to the ground. The robbers took the teen’s cellphone and patted him down, the police report said. The mayor has an around-the-clock police detail – fully 5% of the 19th district’s police manpower, but its whereabouts at the time of the robbery weren’t disclosed.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 17-year-old son was robbed near the family’s Ravenswood home Friday night, according to a mayoral spokeswoman and police reports.
Zach Emanuel was robbed of his cellphone and assaulted Friday night but was able to join his family on a long-planned trip Saturday, according to a statement released by Emanuel spokeswoman Kelley Quinn.
“The Mayor’s focus is on his son’s well-being, and as parents, he and Amy ask that the media respect their family’s privacy at this time,” Quinn said in the statement, referring to Emanuel’s wife, Amy Rule.
silver-coin-investor.com / By Dr. Jeffrey Lewis / Dec 21, 2014
“There is a current set of delusions that is powerful and dangerous: that monetary debasement can be infinitely pursued without consequences; that the financial system is now solid and sound; that the low volatility and high prices of stocks, high-end real estate and bonds are real; that bonds are a safe haven; and that large financial institutions which get into trouble in the future can be unwound in a much safer way than they could be in 2008.”
We had the “not necessarily” storm of the century in San Francisco. The following day, I went to the local gas station to top off the fuel for one of our vehicles. I noticed that the credit card system was down. The attendant said it was a ‘satellite thing’.
Suddenly, it became clear to me. A small glimpse of how quickly things can and probably will spiral out of control. Once one realizes the incredible lack of redundancy that supports payment systems and the flow of credit – the shock of just in time modern society sets in.
Whether imposed by authority or by accident, a true banking holiday would make the value of necessities skyrocket in price relative to the sudden supply shortage.
paulcraigroberts.org / By Paul Craig Roberts / December 21, 2014
We all need a laugh from time to time, and William Blum has provided a good one in his Anti-Empire Report of December 19. These are funny, because every one of them is a
possible 2015 event. http://williamblum.org/aer/read/135
January 25: 467 people reported missing from a university in Mexico. US State Department blames Russia.
February 1: Military junta overthrows President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Washington decries the loss of democracy.
February 2: US recognizes the new Venezuelan military junta, offers it 50 jet fighters and tanks.
February 3: Revolution breaks out in Venezuela endangering the military junta; 40,000 American marines land in Caracas to quell the uprising.
February 16: White police officer in Chicago fatally shoots a 6-year old black boy holding a toy gun.
March 6: Congress passes a new law which states that to become president of the United States a person must have the surname Bush or Clinton.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 12/20/2014 22:00
China carried out a long-range missile flight test on Saturday using multiple, independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs, according to U.S. defense officials. As The Washington Free Beacon reports, the test of a new DF-41 missile, China’s longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile, marks the first test of multiple warhead capabilities for China (the DF-41 is capable of carrying up to 10 warheads and has a maximum range of 7,456 miles, allowing it to target the entire continental United States). Rick Fisher, a specialist on the Chinese military with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, warned “the beginning of China’s move toward multiple warhead-armed nuclear missiles is proof that today, arms control is failing to increase the security of Americans.”
thedailysheeple.com / By Melissa Melton / December 21st, 2014
The New York Police Department has declared “war” after two officers were killed Saturday in their squad car while taking part in an anti-terrorism drill by a gunmen said to be taking revenge for the death of Eric Garner.
The accused Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who reportedly took his own life after the killings, is said to be connected to the Black Guerilla Family prison gang, who police recently warned were gunning for police.
“Those that incited violence on this street under the guise of protest, that tried to tear down what New York City police officers did everyday… We tried to warn it must not go on, it cannot be tolerated. That blood on the hands starts on the steps of city hall in the office of the mayor.”
marctomarket.com / by Marc Chandler / December 21, 2014
Shaping the holiday week, we identify five general points that we expect to underpin the US dollar and equities.
1. Last week’s events (FOMC and SNB) reinvigorated the divergence thesis that was questioned during what appears to have been a technical correction. US data in the days ahead will reinforce the perception of US economic strength. This may also ease concerns that the strength of the dollar is curbing growth. At the same time, more aggressive ECB action is anticipated, while the BOJ may have to increase its efforts.
2. Durable goods orders will be lifted by a sharp jump in Boeing orders, but the details of the report should point to stronger capex in Q4. The data will be scrutinized for insight into the energy sector as well. The market expects an upward revision in Q3 GDP from 3.9% to a 4.3%. If so, it would be the first consecutive 4%+ quarters since H2 03. November’s consumption is expected to have been boosted by a rise in income. The November employment data points to a 1% increase in wages and salaries.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 12/20/2014 21:00
With all the “talk” of diverging paths of monetary policy… one could be forgiven, if glancing at the chart above, for thinking the inevitable endgame of Keynesianism is very much at hand as first The BoJ, then The Fed, then Europe all enter ZIRP… and now NIRP…
Oil prices continued to fall this week but stock markets shrugged off the disarray this continued to cause in global markets after Janet Yellen whispered soothing words in their ears after the Fed’s last meeting of the year on Wednesday. Mrs. Yellen has become a “bull whisperer” – fearful of upsetting the equity market, she cloaks her words in indirection and equivocation in an effort to keep them calm as she prays for an economic lift-off that will take her institution off the hook.
Unfortunately, her patient is likely to be very disappointed, for it would take an economic miracle the likes of which hasn’t been seen in this country since the years after the Second World War to deal with the mountain of existing debt and future liabilities that are going to bury us.
For the moment, however, the bull was assuaged with the Fed’s promise that it would be “patient” before raising interest rates, unleashing a furious charge that reversed almost all of the 4.8% that the market lost over the previous six days.
Strange Things Happen on Quadruple Witching Day
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week up 3% at 17,807.37, 150 points below its all-time record closing high of 17,958.79 on December 5. Only two days before, it had closed at 17068.76. The S&P 500 closed up 3.4% at 2070.73, a mere 5 points off its record closing high on December 5 of 2075.37. Two days earlier, it had closed down at 1972.74. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 0.4% and ended the week at 4265.38. Friday was quadruple witching day and when the moon is rising all types of loony behavior appears. This week was no exception.
Bond yields backed off with the stock market rally and the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond ended the week at 2.178% after flirting with the 2% level earlier in the week. The TIPS market is still signaling very low inflation expectations with the 5-year breakeven trading at a remarkably low 1.2% and the 10-year breakeven at 1.65%. These are also levels that previously led the Fed to initiate new rounds of QE the last times we saw them after the financial crisis.
At least one Fed governor, Minnesota’s Kocherlakota, appears to be in a panic that the Fed might act to soon to raise rates and create an unacceptable risk that the economy might fall into Japanese-like low inflation funk. It must be mighty cold up there in the northern plains because in places like New York City and Miami, or on the NYSE and Nasdaq, the prices ofreal estate, art and stocks and bonds are skyrocketing in price and showing little signs that inflation is contained.
trueeconomics.blogspot.com / by Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev / December 21, 2014
This week, there were some champagne-popping media headlines about planning permissions print for Q3 2014 released by the CSO. So what’s the hype was about, folks?
Starting from the top, total number of new planning permissions granted in Q3 2014 stood at 4,238. This represents a rise of 9.37% y/y and follows a decline of 4.25% y/y in Q2 2014. Sounds pretty solid, except when you look at the levels of activity involved. Which is so abysmally low, that a 9.37% rise is hardly an uptick worth boasting about.
shtfplan.com / by Joel Skousen via Strategic Relocation / December 21st, 2014
Editor’s Note: One of the biggest challenges for those seeking insulation from disasters or serious calamities is finding a secure and affordable bug out survival retreat. If you live in the city you’ve likely gone through various possibilities from burying some supplies on a parcel of land in the middle of nowhere to building a cabin or manufactured home out in the boonies. The idea is sound because if you have to evacuate your primary residence you’ll most certainly want to have somewhere to go rather than being forced to roam the land in search of your next meal or shelter.
In the following briefing survival expert Joel Skousen looks at this issue and provides some ideas on how you can secure a manufactured home. It’s a challenge to be sure, but it can certainly be done. And while nothing is foolproof, an added level of security can’t hurt.
If you are looking for land or even existing homes in a particular area to set up your own survival retreat then take a look at the Strategic Relocation web site for regularly updated listings, property survival scores and advice. If you have questions or need to speak with a professional don’t hesitate to contact Survival Retreat Consultingfor assistance.
Click here for previous Strategic Relocation Briefings that cover everything from how to set up the perfect survival retreat to analyses of specific locales within the United States.
The oil price plunge accelerated with the end of QE-3
Correlation is not causation. Just because two things occur at the same time doesn’t mean that one causes the other. I get that.
But when the Fed buys $3.6 trillion in assets with freshly created money, and when it lends unlimited amounts of money to Wall Street for free for a six-year period, and when other central banks follow with similar policies, well then, something is going to be impacted.
As we now know, it wasn’t consumer prices – though that may still come. It was asset prices.
For the longest time, soothsayers on Wall Street denied that this free money sloshing through the system could possibly drive up stocks, bonds, and other assets to ludicrous heights. Instead, their newfangled forward-looking metrics showed that it was truly different this time. When someone had the temerity to overlay a chart of the soaring S&P 500 and the soaring balance sheet of the Fed, the soothsayers screamed, “Correlation is not causation.” Stocks were soaring on their own glorious merits, they claimed.
No matter that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke had explained his wealth effect in aneditorial in 2010. The Fed’s “strong and creative measures” – as he called QE and ZIRP – will goose stock prices. “And higher stock prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence, which can also spur spending. Increased spending will lead to higher incomes and profits that, in a virtuous circle, will further support economic expansion.”
dollarcollapse.com / by John Rubino on December 21, 2014
The Greek financial/political crisis is becoming an annual event. For a sense of just how long this unfortunate little country has been struggling to survive under the relative sound money regime of the eurozone, here’s a Greek Crisis Timeline that CNN published in 2011. Even back then the pattern of near-collapse followed by temporary respite had been repeating for seven years.
The most recent lull seemed longer than usual, so long in fact that many people probably assumed that Greece had been “fixed” and was now a more-or-less fully-functioning member of the eurozone, ready to settle back into its enviable lifestyle of hosting tourists, drinking ouzo and avoiding taxes.
But no. Nothing has really changed. Youth unemployment remains around 50% — which is even more astounding when you consider that tourism is generally a pretty good sector for young people looking for entry-level service work. And the government is still running deficits, piling new debt atop its already unmanageable 175% of GDP.
As a result, anti-euro political parties are still gaining adherents and now seem to have enough clout to start dictating terms. This month a series of elections are being held that, if I’m understanding correctly, have to go the government’s way to avoid regime change in which the far left takes over and pulls Greece out of the eurozone. The first round in this voting trilogy didn’t go the government’s way, making the next two highly problematic. And last week the situation got even more complex:
theorganicprepper.ca / Daisy Luther / December 21, 2014
Every year around this time, it just isn’t the holiday season if you don’t end up stuck in a long line of traffic going through a mandatory DUI checkpoint. The cops are looking for people drinking and driving, and this unconstitutional search has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
And every year around this time, when I say it is a violation of my rights, someone chimes in:
“If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about.”
It’s entirely possible that if I hear this argument one more time this year, I’m going to have something to worry about, because there’s going to be the body in my trunk.
I was involved in a conversation on a thread online about these checkpoints and I was deeply saddened by the dozens of people who think having their rights violated is a wonderful thing. They simply can’t wrap their heads around how very wrong this is, what a slippery slope that we are stepping onto, and how this is an entry into the police state in all its glory.
They said things like:
“Well if you havent been drinking and doing something illegal there isnt anything to worry about??? And let them get the ones putting me and my kids in danger…”
“The person who left the bar after several drinks violated my rights for a safe ride!!”
“If you aren’t doing anything wrong it was really no big deal. Took a few extra minutes but they were nice and just trying keep everyone safe.”
“Well if you don’t drink and drive then you have nothing to worry about. A little inconvenience to keep you safe is worth it.”
“Cops doing their job, checking for drunk drivers, is not a loss of freedom! A loss of freedom is the assholes who decide it is within their right to put others at risk by drinking and driving.”
“The DUI checkpoint is for safety. And thats their job. Thank you to the men and women who do their best to keep us and others safe.”
“No the drunk or impaired driver is violating my rights ,, my right to travel safely on our roadways ,,,, so check and bust away baby !!!! “
“Way to go *[location redacted]* PD.. Keeping us safe in this community . If they just catch one they could be saving someone life !!”
“They are just doing there job. I would rather see ten cops waste tax payers Dollars, then one drunk driver kill a family, or anybody”
“I think it is great. Anything to keep drunk drivers off the road is a good thing. Thank you Placerville PD for keeping us safe!”
“I am not bothered by it at all. Wish they did them more often actually.”
“They r keeping u safe by trying to crack down on drunk drivers.”
“It is a good thing! Too many drunk drivers! Thank you law enforcement! Thank you!”
RIVERDALE, N.J. – Police say an elf on the sauce is facing drunk driving charges in New Jersey.
Riverdale police tell NJ.com (http://bit.ly/1wX1laR ) that 23-year-old Brian Chellis was found passed out in a car early Friday morning wearing an Elf on the Shelf costume.
Lt. James Macintosh says the Cedar Grove man was asleep behind the wheel of a van with its engine running, lights on and music blaring. He says Chellis was in a red shirt, red pants, and white ruffled collar.
Note the title of the article says that he was passed out in a parking lot.
What’s not established is that the person ever actually operated the vehicle upon a public road or other public place while in a state of intoxication.
Yes, I’m well aware that the way the law is written in most (maybe all nowdays) states provides that if you’re in “control” of a vehicle where it can be operated on a public road, and you’re intoxicated, you’re deemed guilty of DUI — even if you never actually move the vehicle and even, I might add, if you’re on private property such as a private parking lot or in your own driveway.
"How high can the price of silver climb? Based upon its importance as a raw material, I still believe that silver will pass the price of gold which is not needed as an industrial material. Besides, I still believe that silver is much rarer than gold in above ground inventories and even my grandchildren know that the rarer item should be more valuable" - Israel Freidman