You are browsing the archive for 2013 November 01.

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Sen. Paul Requests Information About Alleged NSA Targeting

November 1, 2013 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today sent a letter to President Obama asking if the National Security Agency or any other U.S. government agency monitored or received information regarding the Papal Conclave. The text of that letter can be found below.
LETTER TEXT:
November 1, 2013

President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama,
Recent media reports indicate that the National Security Agency (NSA) monitored millions of phone calls in Italy in late 2012 and early 2013, including calls made to and from a residence in Rome where then-Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio stayed during the conclave that would select Bergoglio, now known as His Holiness Pope Francis, to succeed Pope Benedict XVI.
I am requesting your prompt answer to a simple question: Did the NSA, or any other intelligence collection agency of the United States government, monitor or receive information from another party related to the calls of Pope Francis or to the conclave selecting the Pope in late 2012 or early 2013?
To be clear, when I request information about monitoring calls, I refer to the recording and storage of call content, as well as so-called metadata and also the bulk collection of phone numbers and the duration of calls.
While I recognize that the NSA has denied it, this allegation raises an important issue that can be easily resolved by you stating that the United States government has never collected or been the recipient of data or metadata during or relating to the conclave.
It seems unwise to risk diplomatic and political harm by conducting surveillance of little value to United States national security in monitoring the calls of Pope Francis or any other participant in the Papal Conclave of one year ago. I hope this is not true.
I look forward to a prompt answer to my question.

Sincerely,

Rand Paul, M.D.
U.S. Senator

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Source: RAND PAUL

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The Mises View: David Gordon on International Sanctions

November 1, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

David Gordon discusses the judicialization of international relations, and how it serves as impetus for war. (3 minutes.)

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Peter Klein on the Economy, Janet Yellen, Default, and More

November 1, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Audio interview:

Interviewed by Merlin Rothfeld and John O’Donnell, Peter Klein discusses some remedies to get the U.S. economy back on track, the impact of Janet Yellen’s nomination for the markets, and what a government default may look like.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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More “inflation” does not help the economy

November 1, 2013 in Economics

By Mark Thornton

The New York Times and news outlets around the world continue to push the idea that higher inflation (of prices) is what the global economy needs. It is suppose to help governments, businesses, households, and jobs. This is nonsense of course. I address this issue in this interview on the Butler on Business on Business Show this week. John Cochran addresses the issue on this blog as well.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Sen. Paul Calls for the Release of Pastor Abedini

November 1, 2013 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today joined as an original co-sponsor of the following Senate Resolution calling for the government of Iran to immediately release Pastor Saeed Abedini and all other individuals detained on account of their religious beliefs.
‘Saeed Abedini is an American pastor that has been imprisoned indefinitely due to his Christian faith. Across the globe, Christians are under attack and this Administration is doing nothing to stop it. This reasonable resolution calls on the government of Iran to release Abedini and all other individuals detained on account of their religious beliefs. I will continue to do all that I can to protect American citizens from religious persecution abroad.’
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Source: RAND PAUL

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Few Problems With Cannabis for California

November 1, 2013 in PERSONAL LIBERTY

By drosenfeld

October 26, 2013

The New York Times

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Source: DRUG POLICY

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Cronies of Hillary

November 1, 2013 in Economics

By Joseph Salerno

In the past week Hillary Clinton netted a tidy $400,000 from two speaking engagements at Goldman Sachs-sponsored events.  In July and September of this year she spoke at events hosted by private-equity firms KKR and Carlyle Group, respectively.  Crony capitalism just keeps rollin’ along.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Washington Times Op-Ed: Enough is enough It’s time to end the secrecy at the Federal Reserve

November 1, 2013 in Politics & Elections

In 1995, Sen. Harry Reid took to the Senate floor and exclaimed, ‘For years, I have sponsored legislation that would call for an audit of the Federal Reserve system. I offer that amendment every year, and every year the legislation gets nowhere. I think it would be interesting to know about the Federal Reserve. I think we should audit the Federal Reserve.’
I can relate to the frustration that Mr. Reid must have felt in 1995. For three years, we have asked Mr. Reid, now the Senate majority leader, for a vote on the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, or ‘Audit the Fed,’ but the Senate has not addressed it.

This bill currently has 27 co-sponsors in the Senate, including members from both political parties, and companion legislation introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year currently has more than 100 co-sponsors. It passed in the House with a vote of 327 to 98 on July 25, 2012.

It is Congress’ job to monitor how the Federal Reserve operates. For years, Congress has abdicated this duty by allowing the Fed to operate free of rules, without any accountability.

The Federal Reserve might be the most secretive institution in our nation’s history. For decades, Fed officials, politicians and various ‘experts’ have insisted that such secrecy was integral to its independence and, therefore, its effectiveness.

We cannot continue to ignore the role that the Federal Reserve has played in our economy’s downward spiral. Our nation simply cannot afford a national bank that is dedicated to seemingly unlimited money-printing and spending policies.
When the economy doesn’t improve, what is the Fed’s perpetual answer? Print even more money. Creating money out of thin air is not a sound way to help the economy.

The Federal Reserve has been purchasing – and monetizing the government’s debt – at a rate of $85 billion a month. In 2009, it was reported that the Fed could not account for $9 trillion in off-sheet balance transactions. That amount is more than half our national debt. Just this year, the institution has added more than $800 billion in debt to the government’s balance sheets.

This is unsustainable, and it is clear the Federal Reserve is structurally flawed. We need transparency and accountability. The American people deserve to know how their money is being managed.

This week, I informed Mr. Reid that I plan to hold the nomination of Janet Yellen as the chairman of the Federal Reserve until …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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Peter Klein to Speak in South Africa

November 1, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Writes Chris Becker:

I’m very pleased to announce that South Africans with an interest in free-markets, liberty, and in particular, Austrian economics, are in for a treat in November.

Peter G. Klein, Executive director and Carl Menger Research Fellow of the Mises Institute, and Associate Professor in the Division of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Missouri, will be visiting South Africa for a week in mid-November.

Professor Klein has speaking engagements at AfriSake, Solidarity, and Wits. The business dinner hosted by AfriSake on Thursday 14 November at Centurion Lake Hotel is open to the public and one can book seats for the event here. Prof Klein will be speaking about the free-market economy and property rights as a solution to SA’s economic challenges.  Tickets cost R250 each or R2000 for a table of eight. There is a maximum of 100 seats available for the event.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Thomas Woods Explains How to Roll Back the State

November 1, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

LRC yesterday posted this transcript of this podcast with Senior Fellow Thomas Woods.

Among other things, Woods notes the tactics employed to ensure that military spending keeps flowing without fail:

ROCKWELL:

I was so impressed with what you had to say about the Military-Industrial Complex.  It seems to me you’ve got, within the Libertarian/Rothbardian/Ron Paulian view of this, you know, just a particularly effective take-down of that bunch.

WOODS:  …What they’ll typically do is, first, they introduce some weapons program. And this isn’t even prescinding from the morality of these programs, some of which I do get into towards the end of the chapter.  But basically, they introduce one of these programs and they way over promise regarding what it can accomplish.  Oh, it’s going to be great.  It’s going to be stealthy.  Nobody’s going to be able to see it.  Be able to bomb people like crazy from great distances and won’t be able to hit it and everything.  And then it’s going to turn out to be, you know, the size of Wymoing so that the only way for it really to be stealthy would be to rip enemy pilots’ heads — eyes out of their heads.  And it’s not going to be able to do what was promised.  And, in fact, the costs will wind up being much higher than the initial projection.  Well, this is a very — this isn’t unusual.  This even has a name.  It’s called frontloading.  So they over promise what it can do; they under promise what it’s going to cost.  And then you figure, all right, this will come to light and it will all come to an end.  But by then, they’ve done the second scam, which is political engineering, where they make sure that all the jobs associated with this particular program are spread out among so many congressional districts that it becomes politically impossible, once the taxpayer spigot has been turned on for this program, ever to turn if off again, no matter how absurd the program is, no matter how obviously unworkable it is, no matter whether the enemy it was designed for even exists any more.  And this is just one aspect.  And then I just talk about how it hurts firms that have the Pentagon as a client because they become weirdly unable to complete in the normal economy anymore because of the perverse incentives of the Pentagon, …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE