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Drug makers are even not above scaring the populace if it sells drugs for rare diseases. Your back pain may not be from working out at all but from a disease called ankylosing spondylitis, says AbbVie, a condition that can be treated with its biologic drug Humira for as much as $20,000 a year. (Injectable “biologic” drugs are a new drug industry push because they are so expensive and less susceptible to generic competition than pills.)
The drug industry is also trying to stay a Wall Street darling with new, uber priced drugs—notably hepatitis C drugs. Gilead Sciences sold $12.4 billion worth of Sovaldi at $1000 a pill last year, reports theNew York Times “straining the budgets of insurance companies.......
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When do we get to exercise democracy and fire every factotum, apparatchik, toady and lackey in the state who has abused his/her authority?
Everyone lauds “creative destruction” when it shreds monopolies and disrupts private enterprise “business as usual.”
If thousands lose their middle-class livelihoods– hey, that’s the price of progress.
Improvements in productivity and efficiency can’t be stopped, and those employed making buggy whips and collecting horse manure from fetid streets will have to move on to other employment.
This raises an obvious question few dare ask: does this inevitable process of creative destruction include the state? If not, why not?
Aren’t the state and the central bank the ultimate monopolies begging to be disrupted for the benefit of all?
If government is inefficient and unproductive, shouldn’t it be “creatively destroyed” in the same fashion as private enterprise?
The obvious answer is yes. Why should a monopoly (government) remain untouched by new knowledge and competition as it skims the cream from society to fund its own monopolies and grants one monopoly/cartel privilege after another to its private-sector cronies?
Under the tender care of the state, we now have uncompetitive, inefficient parasitic cartels dominating higher education, national defense, healthcare insurance, pharmaceuticals and hospitals– to name but a few of the major industries that are now state-enforced cartels thanks to the heavy hand of the state (i.e. regulatory capture).
Under the tender mercies of the state, prosecutors have a 90% conviction rate thanks to rigged forensic evidence, threats of life imprisonment (better to plea-bargain than risk years in America’s gulag) and other strong-arm tactics that presume guilt, not innocence.
We have the best judicial system that money can buy, meaning you’re jail-bait if you can’t put your hands on a couple hundred thousand for legal defense and the all-important media campaign.
No wonder “we’re number one” in false convictions, innocent people rotting away in the drug gulag and overcrowded prisons.
The citizenry are fish in a barrel for overzealous prosecutors and “get tough on drugs” politicos.
And for goodness sake, don’t get caught with cash–you must be a drug lord! Only drug lords have more than $200 cash on them at any one time.
Once again, the state monopoly on force reckons you’re guilty until proven innocent–and in cases where your cash and car were “legally stolen” (a.k.a. civil forfeiture) by the state, that will cost you months or years and tens of thousands in legal fees to get your property back–unless you’re targeted for further investigation.
As I have described here in detail, the state can empty your bank account on the barest suspicion that you might owe more taxes than you paid.
Due process and rule of law have been replaced with legalized looting and harassment by government in America.
The Predatory State of California, Part 2 (March 21, 2012)
When the Savior State Becomes the Enemy of the People (October 30, 2009)
As for using your rights to uncover whatever illegal spying and dirty tricks the state imposed on you in years past–good luck getting a Freedom of Information claim processed.
The state’s organs of security are busy targeting suspected terrorists with drone strikes, and your trivial concerns about constitutional rights don’t count.
In fact, why exactly are you asking? Your inquiry is highly suspicious.
If there is a difference between the U.S. national security state and the Stasi, it is merely technological. We don’t have to depend on snitches; we got high-tech tools, pilgrim.
There are two systems under our state: one for insiders and one for the rest of us. Insiders get a free pass, everyone else gets the state’s boot on their neck.
If you’re Hillary Clinton, rules are for the little people who haven’t managed to skim tens of millions in bribes ( a.k.a. speaking fees and campaign contributions).
There is no financial crime that can’t be turned into a heroic expression of America’s greatness–if you can afford the bribes.
Here’s how bad it is: let’s say you’re a senior U.S. senator whose husband is the penultimate crony insider worth hundreds of millions of dollars. This is a power couple to be reckoned with, wielding state and private-wealth power.
So what did the national security state say when the senator asked for minimal factual reports on agency activities? Blow chow, honey.
The lady in question is senior U.S. senator Dianne Feinstein, who is married to investment banker/financier Richard Blum.
Interestingly, Feinstein had carried the national security state’s water for years in the senate, defending our Stasi/KGB from inquiry or even the dimmest light of media exposure.
Hey, America’s Stasi: you guys really know how to reward your water carriers.
The full story can be found in the new book Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America’s Stealth Warfare.
Here’s my question: when do we get to exercise democracy and fire every factotum, apparatchik, toady and lackey in the state who has abused his/her authority, trampled on our constitutional rights, participated in civil forfeiture, threatened innocent citizens, looted the system for personal gain and committed malfeasance?
It’s called accountability and rule of law, people.
If you can’t fire your Stasi, KGB, corrupt prosecutors, greedy cops and parasitic politicos, then you don’t have a real democracy, you just have a phony facsimile of democracy, an empty shell that’s up held up as propaganda to a skeptical world.
P.S. Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I’ve been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.
And like most of you, the way I’ve moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.
You don’t have to be a financial blogger to know that “having a job” and “having a career” do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.
Even the basic concept “getting a job” has changed so radically that jobs–getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them–is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.
So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.
It details everything I’ve verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.
I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.
A technician who said she worked for a company that partnered with Planned Parenthood to harvest fetal tissue said there’s “incentive to try and get the hard stuff ‘cause you’re going to get more money,” in the latest undercover video targeting Planned Parenthood.
“For whatever we could procure, they would get a certain percentage,” said Holly O’Donnell, identified as an ex-procurement technician for StemExpress, LLC. “The main nurse was always trying to make sure we got our specimens. No one else really cared, but the main nurse did because she knew that Planned Parenthood was getting compensated.”
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The Chinese are implementing a new form of torture…
And it’s brutal. Forget the old Chinese water torture. This is worse.
Here’s how it works: First, your captors make you buy Chinese stocks. Then they strap you to a board so you can’t move. Then they wedge something between your eye sockets so you can’t shut your eyes, and prop you up in front of a computer screen tracking the Shanghai Composite.
Then you have to watch helplessly in utter terror as the Chinese market crashes, and you lose every penny you have. You can’t do a thing about it. You just shriek at the top of your lungs as you watch the market plunge further and further, taking all your money with it. Soon enough, you’re ready for the loony bin.
But that’s no way to go, my friend. And today I’m going to try and save your mind from this vicious form of torture. But I have to warn you… it won’t be pretty.
So let’s get to it…
The Shanghai Composite dropped more than 8% Monday, marking the biggest one-day crash for Chinese stocks since 2007.
“Monday’s retreat shattered the sense of calm that had fallen over mainland markets last week and raised questions over the viability of government efforts to prop up share prices as the economy slows,” Bloomberg studiously reports.
That’s nice. But let me give it to you straight…
That “sense of calm” Chinese officials tried to instill in the markets was nothing more than a mirage. The truth is you can’t stop folks from panicking. If they want to sell, they’ll find a reason (and a way) to do it. Even the most powerful party official can’t stand up to a falling market.
And some of this selling has found its way across the Pacific to our fine markets. The Chinese market is a flaming heap on the side of the highway, but U.S. stocks are sputtering along with smoke coming out from under the hood. We don’t know how the China crash will ultimately play out here in the States. But right now, the “check engine” light is flashing for U.S. stocks.
They took yet another hit yesterday, marking the fifth straight day of declines for the major averages. Yes, the S&P 500 is still less than 3% from its all-time highs. But more and more leaks are springing up.
The major averages only suffered modest losses Monday, but nearly 75% of stocks ended the day lower. And that’s a problem. As I’ve been saying for weeks now, the biggest theme for U.S. stocks has been the lack of participation when the market rallies. Fewer and fewer stocks are generating most of the market’s gains.
And the market’s loser list continues to grow. While big dogs like Google, Facebook, and Amazon have rocketed higher this month, the rest of the stocks on the market are nailed to the floor.
But before you run away screaming “sell,” you should know that a correction — not an outright crash like we’re seeing in China — wouldn’t be so horrible for U.S. stocks at this stage of the game. Instead of a torturous, sideways grind, we might actually see a flush lower that shakes out weaker hands and hits the reset button on the countless stocks stuck in no-man’s-land this year.
This morning, a relief rally is brewing. Futures are up before the morning bell—but we aren’t sure if the move will stick or how long it will last. There are a ton of vulnerable looking stocks out there right now…
So today, your best bet is to cut your losers and hang tight. It’s the only way to keep your sanity…
P.S. Is that the sound of a bubble popping? If you want to cash in on the biggest profits this market has to offer, sign up for my Rude Awakening e-letter, for FREE, right here. Stop missing out. Click here now to sign up for FREE.
Oil Declines in Bear Market on U.S. Supply, China Demand Risks
Oil declined amid surplus stockpiles in the U.S. and concern about demand in China, the two biggest crude-consuming countries. Brent oil dropped as much as 2.2 percent Tuesday after closing more than 20 percent below its May peak on Monday, meeting ...
API Data: Will the Bloodbath Extend for Crude Oil Prices?Market Realist
Why Growing Oil Glut May Be a Long-Term ExpedientThe Desert Sun
Oil Prices Poised for Six-Month LowsNasdaq
USA TODAY -Financial Times -Business Spectator
all 472 news articles »
In Spain, where the government bails out banks, the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (PAH) bails out families and defends their right to housing.
As climate change puts ecosystems and species at risk, conservationists are turning to a new approach: preserving those landscapes that are most likely to endure as the world warms.
New York Times
BP Reports Second-Quarter Loss as Oil Spill Settlement Takes Toll
New York Times
Brent crude prices, now about $53 a barrel, are 14 percent below the average for the second quarter of about $62 a barrel, and they are far from a peak of about $110 a barrel in June 2014. Analysts expect further price declines as supply, bolstered by ...
BP misses profit expectations following Deepwater Horizon fines and plunging ...The Independent
BP profits slump after huge oil spill chargeYahoo Finance UK
CompaniesBP profits slide, undershooting expectationsFinancial Times
all 229 news articles »
If you talk to the reporters who work for various big media companies, they insist that they have true editorial independence from the business side of their companies. They insist that the news coverage isn't designed to reflect the business interests of their owners. Of course, most people have always suspected this was bullshit -- and you could see evidence of this in things like the fact that the big TV networks refused to cover the SOPA protests. But -- until now -- there's never necessarily been a smoking gun with evidence of how such business interests influences the editorial side.
Of course they make such....... (Click link to read more)
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"The Maya forest garden holds, in its ramblings and roots, a hidden-in-plain-sight way through our present crises."
In her new book, Seed Libraries: and Other Means of Keeping Seeds in the Hands of the People, Conner does a deep dive into issues surrounding seeds and seed sharing.
Should checkerboard revolutionaries let their preference for incremental, open-ended process get in the way of opportunities for concrete, society-wide progress?
Eggs 101 is “Brought to you by the American Egg Board,” the people behind “The incredible edible egg.” One can almost see the PR whizzes brainstorming back in 2008...
YES! Britain's economy is officially back at the peak it last saw in 2008
The most positive part of the Q2 figures is the mining and quarrying part of the index — which covers oil and gas extraction. Production rose by an amazing 7.8%. That's the strongest growth since 1989, compared to a fall of 0.5% in the January to ...
The Great Recession Is Finally, Definitively, Over As GDP Per Capita Beats PeakForbes
U.K. Growth Accelerates to 0.7% as Services, Oil Output SurgeBloomberg
UK recovery 'motors ahead' as GDP per head returns to pre-crisis levelsTelegraph.co.uk
The Australian Financial Review -BBC News -The Globe and Mail
all 155 news articles »
Calendar: What's on
Alberni Valley Times
AV Transition Town Society meetings, 6 p.m. third Wednesday of each month at Char's Landing. Sports Drop-in circuit training on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. Info: (778) 421-2721. Touch rugby games at the Port Alberni Black Sheep Rugby Club Tuesdays and ...
Categories: TT news
There's a new Cholesterol drug on the market from Regeneron that is supposed to low cholesterol in those people who either can't take statins (because of their side effects) or can't take enough of them (for the same reason.)
The problem with this drug is that the screamers are all still talking about how cholesterol is the cause of problems in the body and the Regeneron CEO is on the boob this morning touting his "invention."
The evidence doesn't point this way; cholesterol is not only necessary for all animal life the "lipid hypothesis" was known to be flawed (if not entire bogus) 50 years ago when it was first pushed on the public!
The (Click link to read more)
Some of you remember my articles a while back on Sprint; I was convinced the company was a good buy and stuck my neck out when everyone else thought they were swirling the bowl.
I proved to be right, but then a disrupting force came in through M&A -- and I got out. I was asked at the time what I thought about the combination and my answer was simple: I lack enough information to analyze the situation post-merger, and I have no reasonable expectation of being able to regain that analytical capacity -- therefore, I'm out.
The stock continued to rise for a bit, but now it is in an all-on collapse, hitting $3.11 today down from over $8 a year ago.
So what do you do now?
You stay away for the same reason I argue you wanted out before.
I don't like the internals,.......
(Click link to read more)
Ithacash creating 'transition currency' in Ithaca, NY
“The term 'transition' is borrowed from the Transition Movement, and the currencies many Transition Towns have used in support of their focus on generating local resilience and shifting our environmental values and behavior.” According to the website ...
Categories: TT news
The major U.S. stock indexes got slammed hard at the start of trading this morning — but as we write, the damage looks less severe.
Small caps are taking it the hardest, the Russell 2000 down three quarters of a percent. But the S&P 500 is down only a quarter-percent, at 2,075.
The proximate cause of the early-morning panic was an 8.5% sell-off overnight in China.
There was no obvious trigger for the sell-off: Figures showed profits at Chinese industrial firms during June fell 0.3% from a year ago. Big whoop.
Chalk it up, perhaps, to a collective loss of confidence in the Chinese government’s measures to arrest a 30% drop in the Shanghai Composite Index going back to mid-June. Those measures included a ban on short selling.
Today’s drop was all but inevitable. Earlier this month, we cited a well-founded rant by money manager Barry Ritholtz. It’s worth revisiting this morning. “Short sellers are typically the first to buy during a crash. Why? They have no risk in making the buy, as they are closing out an existing position. Thus, they act as a floor under a falling market.
“The strongest collapse in U.S. equities took place after the SEC banned short selling in September 2008.”
Back to the U.S. market: The S&P 500 bounced off support in the first hour of trading. So the primary uptrend going back nearly four years remains in place — that’s the solid blue line on this chart going back the last 12 months.
Of more significance to Jonas Elmerraji at our trading desk is the dashed blue line near the top. For the fifth time in five months, the index hit a ceiling at 2,125 a week ago today. Could a sixth try mark a breakout? “Things start to get interesting if the S&P can move materially above 2,125,” says Jonas.
“Expect earnings to remain a major market-moving factor in the next month or so. At this point, 185 S&P 500 components have reported their numbers to Wall Street for the second quarter — and 75% of those reporting companies have bested analysts’ best-guess numbers. That’s a pretty solid beat rate, and it could help take out some of that selling pressure up at 2,125.”
Gold raced past $1,100 again late Friday afternoon but can’t hold it this morning. At last check, the bid was $1,097.
The bargain gold price has breathed life into moribund sales of U.S. Gold Eagles. So far in July, 266,500 ounces of gold coins have exited the U.S. Mint’s doors.
That’s already the highest monthly total since April 2013. Not coincidentally, that’s the month when gold tumbled $200 in a week.
Silver Eagles, you wonder? As we mentioned on July 8, sales to the Mint’s dealer network have been suspended thanks to high demand. It was supposed to be for only two weeks, but two stretched into three and three is about to become four. To be continued…
Here’s a contrarian indicator gold bugs might like: Hedge funds have collectively gone bearish on gold for the first time on record.
Figures from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission show hedge funds and other speculators are net short 11,345 contracts in futures and options for the week ended last Tuesday.
That’s never happened before… although we caution the records go back to only 2006.
P.S. Be sure to sign up for The Daily Reckoning — a free and entertaining look at the world of finance and politics. The articles you find here on our website are only a snippet of what you receive in The Daily Reckoning email edition. Click here now to sign up for FREE to see what you’re missing.
The site on which it appeared (it has been picked up a few other places) has a definite slant. Then again, we all have slants. The question isn't whether there's editorial slant, it's whether there is truth presented on the page. Those of you inclined to discount this due to the source are welcome to do so but this is a first-party account of alleged facts backed up by actual criminal convictions, not an anecdote.
I was born into a family of famous gay pagan authors in the late Sixties. My mother was Marion Zimmer Bradley, and my father was Walter Breen. Between them, they wrote over 100 books: my mother wrote science fiction and.......
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