Week in review

Quote of the week

“The era of banking secrecy is over.” – The G-20 Communique
My interpretation: “All your money are belong to us!”

On Grand Juries

“This article examines the historic decrease in the powers of the American grand jury during the twentieth century. It introduces the subject of the grand jury in the context of the constitutional language which invoked it, and then compares the modern application of the institution at the federal level with its common law model. Tracing the historic evolution of the grand jury as an anti-government institution in the English common law until its ‘capture’ by the government in the mid-twentieth century, this article will demonstrate how the role of the grand jury has changed considerably over time. Finally, this article will argue that the modern loss of ‘runaway’ or independent grand juries is unconstitutional and recommend a restoration of the grand jury’s historic powers.” more…

Here’s another more inflammatory article on the subject.  It also offers some suggestions about restoring the grand jury’s traditional role. The American Bar Association has a FAQ. Finally, there’s a Wikipedia article. Interesting stuff… Worth knowing about.

The Flat Tax Is Not Flat and the FairTax Is Not Fair

by Laurence M. Vance

“Two specific tax reform plans that some libertarians have fallen for are the Flat Tax and the FairTax. Both plans promise to invigorate the economy, increase employment, and raise everyone’s standard of living. Neither one is true to its name; neither one is an incremental step toward overall lower taxes. Both are fraught with problems and contradictions; both are revenue-neutral plans that would fund the federal government at the same obscene level that it is now.” more…

End the War on Drugs

by Ron Paul

“Alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s brought similar violence, gangs, lawlessness, corruption and brutality. The reason for the violence was not that making and selling alcohol was inherently dangerous. The violence came about because of the creation of a brutal black market which also drove profits through the roof. These profits enabled criminals like Al Capone to become incredibly wealthy, and militantly defensive of that wealth. Al Capone saw the repeal of Prohibition as a great threat, and indeed smuggling operations and gangland violence fell apart after repeal. Today, picking up a bottle of wine for dinner is a relatively benign transaction, and beer trucks travel openly and peacefully along their distribution routes.” more…

How to Put the “Great” into a Depression

by Bill Bonner

“What a wonderful time to be alive! We get to see things we had only read about in the history books…such as a Great Depression. A depression, of course, is a natural and recurring feature of capitalism. But a Great Depression usually requires lobbying.” more…

In the news…

  • Comics
  • The UN passed a resolution that condemns the criticism of religions.
  • Russia is making noise about a new world reserve currency and suggests that gold should be involved.
  • The TSA is rolling out body scanners in various airports around the country.
  • Illegal immigrants arrested in Washington have now been released and given work permits.
  • There’s new legislation creeping up that would federalize cybersecurity.
  • Here’s the final communique from the G-20.

Videos

  • More about HR875, the food bill. Quick watch.
  • Here’s a bit about the different types of government. It’s presents a different (better) way of looking at the typical “left/right” discussion to which our political discourse is typically limited. Worth a look. IMHO… :)
  • Ron Paul on the budget.

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 8,017.59 (+241.41/3.10%)
Wilshire 5000 – 8,599.34 (+312.51/3.77%)
CSI 300 (China) – 2,570.50 (+71.57/2.86%)
BSE 500 (India) – 3,737.65 (+131.84/3.66%)
MICEX (Russia) – 837.94 (+22.67/2.78%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 44,390.98 (+2,483.69/5.93%)
Gold/oz – 896.60 (-28.70/-3.10%)
Silver/oz – 12.735 (-0.585/-4.39%)
Copper/lb – 1.9915 (+0.1575/8.59%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 53.47 (+1.49/2.87%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 5.635 (+0.5625/11.09%)
Corn/bu – 4.045 (+0.175/4.52%)
Dollar/Euro – 1.3491 (+0.0198/1.49%)
Yuan/Dollar – 6.8303 (+0.0033/0.05%)
Yen/Dollar – 100.325 (+2.455/2.51%)
Dollar/Real – 0.4537 (+0.0162/3.70%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.20 (+0.07/53.85%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.95 (+0.04/4.40%)
10 Year Treasury – 2.89 (+0.13/4.71%)
30 Year Treasury – 3.69 (+0.08/2.22%)
Fed Target Rate – 0.25 (UNCHG)
U.S. Public Debt – 11,124,519,301,253.19 (+78,271,644,203.70/0.71%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 1,506.00 (-172.00/-10.25%)

So it turns out that this week marks my one year anniversary of the newsletter. I’ve only had two folks that wanted off. Not bad I suppose. That doesn’t mean that everyone else doesn’t flag this as spam, but so it goes… I’m at about 150 victims for what it’s worth. Sadly, I have to say that the one-year anniversary edition is a bit weak. Sorry. :(

As always, however I am open to suggestions as to how this might be a better, more informative service. Please suggest. Cease and desist letters will be marked as spam!

I’m thinking of a rework of the numbers. I might drop the CSI for the Shanghai Composite, add an index from Japan, and another from Europe. I think I’m going to change my India index too.

Gold and silver are here to stay. As is oil. I may add a commodities index… We’ll see. Anyway, I’ll phase these in over the next couple months, probably starting in May when I have more time to think about it. Also I’m probably going to drop the Yuan too. The currency is pegged. There’s just not much to see there.

Finally, if there is anything you would like me to track please ask. I’ll see what I can do.

So, have you noticed how the word “investment” is being used to describe the orgy of spending in which Congress is partaking? But spending is just that, spending. It takes a leap of doublethink to call what Congress is doing “investment”. Spending is investment. Taxation is charity. Slavery is freedom. Ha!

Here’s a link to the Heritage Foundation’s index of world economic freedom. I always enjoy browsing it. My conclusion is pretty much always the same: there’s nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. The United States is still the last best hope for liberty. Here’s to doing something about it!

Please check out the article on Grand Juries. You will be surprised… Oh, and go out to one of those tea parties, and make sure you talk to at least 5 strangers. Mountains can not be moved alone. Have a great weekend!

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