Tag: premium

Government Won’t Admit to Killing Civilians in War Against ISIS

January 29, 2015—There is still lots of trouble over in Iraq and Syria. There’s a war going on against ISIS and the support against ISIS is pretty strong worldwide. But sorting out the truth of this situation is sometimes a tough job. Sometimes what you hear in the evening news is not exactly what’s happening. Propaganda is a powerful tool to motivate people to support war.

Here’s an article that says, “U.S. Won’t Admit to Killing a Single Civilian in the ISIS war”. That is some stretch, not one person. They’ve had 1,800 strikes, there’s estimates that 6,000 individuals have been killed, but best they can tell, not one single civilian.

How do you tell a civilian against somebody who thinks they’re really fighting an intrusion from people outside and protecting their homeland? I think it’s pretty hard to distinguish between the two, and distinguishing between those individuals who may be resenting this invasion and bombing and our participation because they’ve lost family members. It’s a lot a more complicated than the United States putting out a release and saying that not a single individual was killed by these bombs that was considered a civilian.

The day that Charlie Hebdo event occurred, 17 were killed in the magazine building. On the same day, there were 50 individuals killed from our bombing in Syria…

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Giving States More Control Won’t Solve Common Core Problems

January 20, 2015—Hello, everybody. Thank you for tuning in. A headline caught my attention. I was hoping it would be good news for us. It says, “A new bill could mark the beginning of the end of Common Core.” Sounds pretty good.

Most of the states have signed up for Common Core, so they haven’t been willing to fight it. But I think they were frightened that they might lose some federal funding if they didn’t go along.

Anyway, there’s a lot of resentment. The Republicans have run against it and they want to change it. But the introduction here for this change and on Common Core comes from Lamar Alexander. He’s a moderate Republican.

It really doesn’t do a whole lot. What it does is it tries to give more management by the states. But it doesn’t attack the principle of why we have nationalized educational system with testing. I don’t think they’re going to change this universal testing, which is an utter menace that everybody despises and yet they do go along with it.

One thing interesting about this is the support for Common Core comes from a lot of business establishment, business lobbyists. You think they’d be indifferent to it or against it. But I guess they’re convinced if we have better educated kids coming out of the public school systems, they have better workers and whatnot.

There are a lot of problems in education. Most think that it needs better management, central control, and more money. I don’t agree with any of that. I think you need less centralization. You don’t need more money. As a matter of fact, less money such as in home schooling. They get a better education.

But the problem that we face in our country with the deterioration of the schools has been not only the nationalization and the control from Washington and bureaucracy in some of the discipline problems that they’re involved with where a kid in grade school points his finger at somebody and they call the policeman and haul him off in hand cuffs. That kind of stuff is not quite like what school should be all about.

There are problems in the family, especially in the poorer neighborhoods and that’s a contributing factor. Parents, at least one parent sometimes, put the kids out on the street. No legislation is going to correct that. Also, the issue of poverty still exists and that contributes to it. And our drug laws contribute to it because with the poverty and the lack of parental control and these kids get involved. If they do get into school, they can be troublemakers.

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IRS Budget Slashed; Expect Fewer Audits in 2015

January 20, 2015—Hello, everybody, and thank you for tuning in. I want to visit with you today about one of my least favorite organizations ever created, and that is the IRS.

Of course, I’ve taken a very strong position on this for a long, long time. I made it very clear in the presidential campaigns that we didn’t need an income tax and we didn’t need an IRS and it caused nothing but economic troubles and it leads to trouble with our civil liberties because of the loss of privacy in our financial records.

There are always gimmicks to get the maximum amount of revenues for the government. Of course, that stems from the fact that the government is too big. They’re involved in welfare redistribution, they’re involved in war overseas, so they need a lot of money to run this big government. But nobody is seriously considering that, so the IRS is going to be around for a while longer.

In the news now, Congress recently cut the IRS budget by 17 percent, and this is great. John Koskinen, the head of the IRS, is complaining. He says they’re going to lose revenues because they won’t be able to do as many audits and they’re very worried about it. Quite frankly, I don’t think all of a sudden they’re going to have a lot less revenue. They’ll figure out something. But it is good news. The funding was cut. There are less audits going to happen, but not tremendously.

There were 1.4 million audits in 2013, and this year there are going to be 1 million, so the threat is still out there. They’ll probably have high-profile punishment of certain individuals because that’s what they do to intimidate the rest of the people. Oh, if they’re going to punish so-and-so and put him in prison, we’d better just be very, very frightened.

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Gold Prices Rally While Bitcoin Bombs

January 19, 2015—Hello, everybody and thank you for tuning in. I want to give an update on Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is in the news right now because the price is very low. At one time it was over $1,000. Now it’s hanging around $200 and sometimes a little bit below $200. A recent article in the Washington Post brought the subject up and they claim that it’s a Ponzi scheme for redistributing wealth from one libertarian to another. I don’t endorse that. I don’t think it’s a true Ponzi scheme. It was a cryptocurrency that was brought about.

I didn’t understand it. Quite frankly if I can’t understand it or feel it and hold it in my hand, I don’t think it’s real money. That’s why I keep thinking gold is real money and reserve notes are not real money. Nevertheless, it’s been used and my position has always been as long as there’s no fraud people ought to have the choice of using it. Even though I want to legalize competing currencies and someday they’ll be much more relevant, it’s very hard to think in terms of a new currency. Those individuals who are using Bitcoin are using them now. They still think in dollar terms.

If something costs $100 and they calculate it in Bitcoins, hey transfer the funds in Bitcoins. So it’s a transfer mechanism rather than it being use as a true currency. As a matter of fact, that is actually true with gold. Gold is real money and traditionally for thousands of years it’s been used. If you wanted to institute a truly parallel currency with gold it would be difficult to get people’s mindset off dollars. You might say, “Well, a gold ounce is worth $1,500. Okay. I’ll give you one ounce of gold for this $1,500.”

People still think in terms of dollars. It doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary to think about parallel competing currencies. There will be times when it will be much more hectic and they will need to have an alternative. It emphasizes that this paper currency doesn’t work.

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Saudi Blogger Badawi Gets 1,000 Lashes for Criticizing Government

January 14, 2015—Thank you everybody for turning in today. There was a recent story, stuck away in some of the newspapers. I’m not sure too many Americans saw it, but I considered it rather significant, especially in light of what was going on in Paris with 17 individuals being killed by radical Islamists.

The issue of freedom of speech came up and the violence involved. This involves what the Saudi government is doing to one of their citizen and that citizen is Raif Badawi, and he had the audacity to open up a website that was critical of the government and they frowned upon that.

To start off with, his attorney, who has been defending him over the years because this is not the first incident, he’s serving in prison for 15 years. Right now the penalty for blogging and talking critically of the government, the punishment is going to be 1,000 lashes. Now, they can’t do 1,000 lashes on one day; a person would die immediately. What they’re going to do, though, is to string this out, this punishment. It’s going to be 20 lashes a day for 50 weeks, and he’s going to be fined $266,000 and on top of this, he’ll be in prison for 10 years.

There is a growing public outcry about this trying to put pressure on the government. Quite frankly, though, the Saudi government is pretty independent. There was a lot of concern about the ruthlessness of ISIS and they are ruthless. But during this time that the ISIS were beheading several people, the Saudi government beheaded 59. Fifty-nine beheadings last year. They’re strict adherers to Sharia law but we don’t say too much about this. In the old days, it used to be said it was because of the oil and who knows what. But it’s just strange how tolerate we are of what the Saudis and give them protection.

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Terror Attacks in France: Retaliation for Cartoon or Blowback?

January 9, 2015—Hello, everybody, and thank you for tuning in. One of the big stories these last several days has been the killings in Paris at a magazine that had published some cartoons that were mocking Mohammed, and this was supposedly in retaliation. That was partially true.

Shortly after that, I was interviewed on TV and made a comment that I also thought that it had to do with France’s foreign policy and that they’re vulnerable to blowback, and I’m still convinced of that. A lot of people immediately wanted to twist it around, saying that which I’ve done with the argument of non-intervention and recognizing the importance of foreign policy is blaming the victims. Obviously, that is not the case, and obviously, it doesn’t endorse violence. It’s trying to understand what motivates individuals toward violent acts like this.

Now, although at the beginning there was a lot more criticism, right now there are more stories appearing because we know more about the individuals [who attacked Charlie Hebdo staffers]. We know they’re very much involved in Al Qaeda, in Yemen, and all the different things that they were angry about and whom they have dealt with. But here’s one article just today. It says, “Blowback: Paris Killings Likely Revenge for French Military Interventionism.” I do believe that is very much the case, part of it. They’ve been strong supporters of our intervention overseas. They’ve been supporters of our position in Syria, the overthrow of Assad. They’ve been involved in Libya. And over the years, they have been very much involved in interventionism overseas. There’s reason for individuals to be angry.

You say, well, they don’t have a right to commit violence. No, they don’t. But we don’t have a right to commit violence against them either. We can see this is violence. We have to condemn it. We have to do whatever we can to stop it. But they look and say, hey, what about the hundreds of thousands of people that have been killed in the last 15 years from our bombs and our drones and our sanctions. That’s like terrorism to them.

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Poll Ranks Big Government As Americans’ Top Concern

January 7, 2015—Today, I want to talk a little bit about a Gallup poll that was just done recently. Generally, there are a lot of polls done at the end of a year or at the beginning of a year, but this one particular poll dealt with what are the concerns of the people. Their point was that, generally speaking, the economy is the big issue. On this poll, they pointed out the economy wasn’t on the top. They think the most important issue is big government—the politicians and Washington, DC. They’re just disgusted with the way the system operates.

That is good, but the conclusion has to be correct. Is it because they’re doing things they shouldn’t do or they want government just to operate more efficiently, to run the wars more efficiently, and to make sure that nobody falls through the cracks? Is it to have a more efficient welfare state and come up magically with more money and you balance the budget and you satisfy everybody’s demand? There’s some of that.

This also may mean that the people will say that we have to do something with the government—the government is at fault, they have caused our problems. That, to me, is very healthy. The government leadership is the big issue. Economy was second. It was 17 percent, versus 18 percent criticizing the government leadership. Then, the third one was unemployment and the fourth one was health care. When you think about it, if 17 percent say it’s the economy … unemployment, that’s economics, and health care, there couldn’t be anything more involved in economics. It’s a large portion of the GDP and taxes and people’s satisfaction. Together those are 42 percent, which is pure economic versus 18 percent about government leadership.

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Will Greece Quit Austerity and Get Booted from the Eurozone?

January 6, 2015—Today, I want to make a few comments about a headline appearing in the business news that’s gotten a lot of attention. The headline is “Merkel Prepared to Let Greece Exit the Eurozone.” That sounds like it might not be a big deal. Greece is a small country. Everybody has known for a long time it’s had some trouble and they have threatened to do this. There are 19 countries in the eurozone using the euro. Of course, when things were going well and there was the boom phase of a bubble that has been existing around the world and especially in Europe, it wasn’t a big deal, but a few years ago, it was recognized that Greece had a lot of debt.

Why should this worry the other countries? Because they provided the money; they loaned the money. Our banks were involved as well as the European markets. Especially the German banks were involved and loaned a lot of money to Greece, and then they got into trouble. Then the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and others came in and the bankers didn’t want to lose any money. Of course, the German government was behind a bailout, so to speak, and that was to protect the bankers. They weren’t too worried about Greece, but they came in and said “okay, but you have to have austerity, you have to cut back and raise taxes and start paying these debts down.”

That went well for a while until that just deepened the depression in Greece, even though right now they’re saying Greece is finally out of the recession—which is rather ironic. They’re having this major, major crisis. They come along and Greece says to them, well, we don’t like what’s happened. The parliament was suspended, they’re going to have an election, and there’s fear that the far left will win. And if the far left wins, they’re demand is let’s just give up on these austerity programs and default on the debt.

It sounded like from this headline that Merkel is prepared for this; it’s no big deal. But other people in her government are disagreeing. Mario Draghi from the European Central Bank, he’s opposed to it, and this is why there has been some market ramifications from this. The fear is that some other countries will do the same thing, because if you look at Italy and Ireland and a few places, they might do the same thing. It might be the crackup of the eurozone.

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Obama Wants to Government to Pay for Junior College

January 10, 2015—Another free program coming from Obama! He wants to take care of us and have a little bit more involvement in the educational process.

But he has proposed a new program. For how many? You know, a few scholarships? No; it’s for everybody. Everybody can get it that wants it. The astounding thing is that one of the results from this will be that the cost of education is going to go down and it’s going to be a miracle. Everybody’s going to get educated. The cost of education’s going down and it’s always free.

But when the government says something is free, they should ask the next question: “Where does the money come from?”

Because is anything ever really free?

The government either has to take it from somebody else, borrow the money or print the money. So there’s always a cost to it. There will be a cost to this because you just can’t get something given to us under the guise of it being free.

The way Obama described it, he says you’ll have a free education “if you’re willing to work for it.” That sounds pretty good. Most of the individuals that I went to school with didn’t get a free education but they were willing to work for it and it was available.

I think that’s still true today. There are a lot of people who still work and save money and pay their college tuition. But the cost of college has gone up, and that has to do with the government giving so many scholarships and loans. More people did get to go to college but what was the result? The cost went up. He’s saying the cost is going to go down and that’s an impossibility. It won’t go down.

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