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XMFSinchiruna (27.71)

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December 21, 2008 – Comments (15)

If you've seen that horrible 'reality' show about the repo men here in the U.S., then picture those same people having permission to enter your home and use force against you while seizing your belongings to satisfy a debt to a company that more than likely pressed the debtor into distress by leveraging that debt 30 or more times through derivative contracts then later became worthless, freezing credit around the world, and reducing entire economies to shreds. After all their abuses, those same companies are preparing to wage war upon the citizenry to collect debt even though their inability to pay the debt was caused more by the actions of the lenders than the debtors. I know this news piece refers to Britain only, but the story will be similar here. The banks and their accomplices have robbed the populous blind, destroyed their livelihood as a consequence of their impropriety, and now will rake the downtrodden over the coals as they repossess homes and property en masse.

These new regulations in England are a travesty of injustice.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article5375668.ece

From The Sunday Times December 21, 2008Bailiffs get power to use force on debtors

Jon Ungoed-Thomas

The government has been accused of trampling on individual liberties by proposing wide-ranging new powers for bailiffs to break into homes and to use “reasonable force” against householders who try to protect their valuables.

Under the regulations, bailiffs for private firms would for the first time be given permission to restrain or pin down householders. They would also be able to force their way into homes to seize property to pay off debts, such as unpaid credit card bills and loans.

The government, which wants to crack down on people who evade debts, says the new powers would be overseen by a robust industry watchdog. However, the laws are being criticised as the latest erosion of the rights of the householder in his own home.

“These laws strip away tried and tested protections that make a person’s home his castle, and which have stood for centuries,” said Paul Nicolson, chairman of the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust, a London-based welfare charity. “They could clearly lead to violent confrontations and undermine fundamental liberties.”

Bailiffs have for hundreds of years been denied powers to break into homes for civil debt or to use force against debtors, except in self-defence. In a famous declaration, William Pitt the Elder, the 18th-century prime minister, said: “The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown.” Ministers have now proposed bailiffs be given powers to physically remove debtors who try to defend their property, for example by draping themselves over a car or blocking the door of their home. Lord Bach, a junior justice minister, has assured the House of Lords that any new powers will be implemented only after a consultation and will not be used to search debtors’ pockets or to remove jewellery.

It emerged last week that Her Majesty’s Courts Service has already handed out guidance to privately employed bailiffs, pointing out that under legislation passed in 2004 they can already break down doors as a last resort to collect court fines.

Some restraint should be exercised, according to the “search and entry powers” guidelines. “If a person locks himself in their home, it might be reasonable to break open the door, but probably not to smash a hole in the wall,” it advises.

Details of the new guidelines were obtained under freedom of information laws. They say homes should not be broken into when nobody is in. Reasonable grounds for breaking down the door include the “movement of a curtain”, a radio being heard or a figure being spotted inside which “may be the offender”.

It is claimed these powers are already abused. In one case, an 89-year-old grandmother returned home to find a bailiff sitting in her chair having drawn up a list of her possessions. He was pursuing a parking fine owed by her son, who did not even live at the address.

 

And in case you were thinking such a trampling of individual liberties could never occur here in the good ole U.S. of A... think again:

http://phoenix.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2008/12/15/daily34.html

Ariz. police say they are prepared as War College warns military must prep for unrest; IMF warns of economic riots

A new report by the U.S. Army War College talks about the possibility of Pentagon resources and troops being used should the economic crisis lead to civil unrest, such as protests against businesses and government or runs on beleaguered banks.

“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” said the War College report.

The study says economic collapse, terrorism and loss of legal order are among possible domestic shocks that might require military action within the U.S.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned Wednesday of economy-related riots and unrest in various global markets if the financial crisis is not addressed and lower-income households are hurt by credit constraints and rising unemployment.

U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., both said U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson brought up a worst-case scenario as he pushed for the Wall Street bailout in September. Paulson, former Goldman Sachs CEO, said that might even require a declaration of martial law, the two noted.

State and local police in Arizona say they have broad plans to deal with social unrest, including trouble resulting from economic distress. The security and police agencies declined to give specifics, but said they would employ existing and generalized emergency responses to civil unrest that arises for any reason.

“The Phoenix Police Department is not expecting any civil unrest at this time, but we always train to prepare for any civil unrest issue. We have a Tactical Response Unit that trains continually and has deployed on many occasions for any potential civil unrest issue,” said Phoenix Police spokesman Andy Hill.

“We have well established plans in place for such civil unrest,” said Scottsdale Police spokesman Mark Clark.

Clark, Hill and other local police officials said the region did plenty of planning and emergency management training for the Super Bowl in February in Glendale.

“We’re prepared,” said Maricopa County Sheriff Deputy Chief Dave Trombi citing his office’s past dealings with immigration marches and major events.

Super Bowl security efforts included personnel and resources from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. military’s Northern Command, which coordinated with Arizona officials. The Northern Command was created after 9/11 to have troops and Defense Department resources ready to respond to security problems, terrorism and natural disasters.

Northern Command spokesman Michael Kucharek and Arizona Army National Guard Major. Paul Aguirre said they are not aware of any new planning for domestic situations related to the economy.

Nick Dranias, director of constitutional government at the libertarian Goldwater Institute, said a declaration of marital law would be an extraordinary event and give military control over civilian authorities and institutions. Dranias said the Posse Comitatus Act restricts the U.S. military’s role in domestic law enforcement. But he points to a 1994 U.S. Defense Department Directive (DODD 3025) he says allows military commanders to take emergency actions in domestic situations to save lives, prevent suffering or mitigate great property damage.

Dranias said such an emergency declaration could worsen the economic situation and doubts extreme measures will been taken. “I don’t think it’s likely. But it’s not impossible,” he said.

The economy is in recession. Consumer spending is down, foreclosures are up and a host of businesses are laying off workers and struggling with tight credit and the troubled housing and financial markets. The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank and U.S. Treasury Department have pumped more than $8.5 trillion into the economy via equity purchases of bank stocks, liquidity infusions, Wall Street and bank bailouts and taxpayer rebates. U.S. automakers are seeking more than $14 billion in federal loans with fears they could fall into bankruptcy without a bailout. The U.S. housing and subprime lending-induced recession also has hit economies in Europe, Japan and China.

Gov. Janet Napolitano’s office declined comment on emergency planning and possible civil unrest. Napolitano is president-elect Barack Obama’s pick for secretary of Homeland Security, an agency that oversees airport security, disaster response, border security, customs and anti-terrorism efforts.

As governor, Napolitano sent National Guard troops to Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in 2003 in response to terrorism threats.

Glendale Police spokesman Jim Toomey said the West Valley suburb developed new emergency plans with the approach of Y2K computer changeovers leading up to the year 2000 and police have updated those plans several times including after 9/11. Toomey said strategies to deal with public unrest usually involve deploying personnel and equipment to deal with specific incidents while still providing usual services.

 

 

 

 

15 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On December 21, 2008 at 11:34 PM, alstry (35.17) wrote:

Sinch,

You and I are completey aligned on this one.  And  your blogs make people think.  Quite frankly, in the environment your post infers, it really doesn't matter what gold is worth nor the dollar.

Think about New Orleans right after Katrina.  What good would it have done if you had a bag of gold or bag of money if you were trying to obtain fresh water immediately.

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#2) On December 22, 2008 at 12:27 AM, XMFSinchiruna (27.71) wrote:

alstry

Let's you and I walk into a supermarket one of these days... you with a bag of dollars and me with a bag of gold coins... I will bet the bag of gold coins that I emerge from the store with more food than you. :)

But it's not about direct convertibility to goods. You can still go into any coin shop and trade your gold coins for USD any time you want... the point is, that while you're holding the gold, you're protected from the ravages of a devaluing dollar.

Surely you don't contest the reality of the dollar's frail state?

Anyway, Merry Christmas! :)

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#3) On December 22, 2008 at 12:57 AM, alstry (35.17) wrote:

In my Katrina example, you would like drown first due to the weight.  In your social unrest example, you would have a far more difficult time running for the same reason.

Actually, I think the dollar will get stronger relative to the currencies of much sicker economies around the world.  In a subtle way, your FT article above supports this for me.

Just watch over the next few months.  We are now heating up....the crazy action begins at almost any moment.  These will be interesting times indeed.

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#4) On December 22, 2008 at 2:40 AM, Harold71 (22.85) wrote:

If it gets this bad guns and ammo will have a sick premium on the black market.

I'm on board with you Sinch...I think it's dangerous to be all in the USD...and numerous other fiat currencies...for at least the next few years.

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#5) On December 22, 2008 at 9:20 AM, XMFSinchiruna (27.71) wrote:

"Who will govern the governors? There is only one force in the nation that can be depended upon to keep the government pure and the governors honest, and that is the people themselves. They alone, if well informed, are capable of preventing the corruption of power, and of restoring the nation to its rightful course if it should go astray. They alone are the safest depository of the ultimate powers of government"

- Thomas Jefferson

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#6) On December 22, 2008 at 9:22 AM, GNUBEE (25.73) wrote:

Sichy, Speaking of the IMF,  I just read an article on BBC a few days ago where Strauss-Kahn made a plea for the world to begin borrowing again to support the status quo, as it was the "Less Bad" option. That seems a bit scary to me. Scary that the IMF is losing slaves, er uh borrowers, and and feels the need to try to convince people and nations to continue to borrow to stimulate growth. Funny because when I tried to find the article again to include in this post, it appears that in October 'ol Khan felt that the world should borrow to prevent financial meltdown.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7794255.stm- Dec

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business_world/7665515.stm- Oct

Wonder why they will convince us we will need to borrow in January....

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#7) On December 22, 2008 at 9:22 AM, XMFSinchiruna (27.71) wrote:

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both" - Benjamin Franklin

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#8) On December 22, 2008 at 9:23 AM, XMFSinchiruna (27.71) wrote:

GNUBEE

Interesting! Thanks for the post!

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#9) On December 22, 2008 at 9:29 AM, binv271828 (< 20) wrote:

TMFSinchiruna

Excellent post as always. The back and forth that Alstry has been having with you has been interesting. But as always, you make more sense. History is on your side.

Gold and Silver have been money for thousands of years. But let's not even go there. Lets just stick with the US currency just to compare recent apples to apples. Between when the US colonies were formed and up until 1934 there were two forms of currency gold and whatever paper currency the US was using (Continentals, greenbacks, etc. there have been a few). But up until 1934 the US dollar was backed by physical metal. The US Dollar was redeemable for 1 ounce of silver. Then in 1934, this breaks. The Dollar is devalued relative to gold and the strict gold and silver backing of US money is broken partially. It is completely broken by Nixon in 1971. So from 1971 until now (not a very long time when this is viewed in historical context) we have a USD dollar backed only by debt.

So even in just America's timeline (ignoring the rest of world history for a moment) we have hundreds of years where gold/silver are legal tender along side the dollar (or it predecessors) and only 37 years in a dollar only environment. And what has happened with inflation during this time? That speaks for itself. But if it doesn't, then I am sure a larger discussion will ensue :)

Anyways, back to the point. Gold/silver are only a "relic" for 37 years. So when all of these people say that "Tell me how you go to Walmart and pay for a loaf of bread with gold", realize that just 2 generations ago you could. That is not a very long time. And TMFSinchiruna's point is right on. You can go to any coin dealer and change gold/silver into local currency (not just in the US but anywhere in the world). And this should wake people up. Gold and silver are no longer legal tender, but they still have monetary utility, they still hold value. There is virtually nowhere in the world where you cannot exchange gold and silver for "money" (funny or otherwise). And gold and silver will hold their value. Dollars, Euros, etc.... not so much.

And sure the value of gold and silver will fluctuate, but in the end so does the Dollar or any other currency. It is all based on perception and confidence. Does the Dollar fundamentally have value? It does because the US Government says it does. Why? Because it can collect taxes from US citizens. So that gives a basis of value for the dollar. So what happens when money is being created (through bank lending, sale of Treasury bond, or good-old money being created out of thin air by the Fed)? Each dollar is being diluted. So at some point, the basic thought is that someone must have _confidence_ that the taxes being collected on will be there (i.e. wages going up, people not defaulting on obligations, assets being worth what they were before, etc.) AND the government does not dilute too much.

I invite you to think about that for a minute.

So now there are 2 points to consider: The dollar vs. gold/silver from the standpoint of monetary utility, and the dollar vs. gold/silver from the standpoint of a store of value. You can make the argument that dollar is more useful for paying debts, buying things, etc. However based on the observation that you can covert gold to dollars relatively easily, holding one over the other for this reason alone is not the strongest argument. Now when you consider the store of value aspect, and you think about inflation over the past couple of decades, and you think about the liabilites of the dollar (many) or gold (none), I at least have come to the conclusion that I would rather hold gold.

But of course, that's your call :)

Sorry for the ramble Sich, but great blogs as always. Thanks for taking the time to educate us. Most people don't want to hear what you have to say. But there are several of us whom you have changed minds. I am one of them. I didn't start thinking critically about gold and silver until I read your blogs over a year ago. And it really did force me to think about this subject very critically, and I have come to the conclusion that gold/silver really do have a place in your portfolio. Thanks.

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#10) On December 22, 2008 at 10:05 AM, XMFSinchiruna (27.71) wrote:

binv271828

Thanks so much for posting! You have such a gift for breaking big ideas down into edible portions.

If I can help nudge even just a handful of people like you into protecting their assets with gold and silver, and by doing so improve their ability to withstand this deteriorating monetary crisis, then my blogging efforts will not have been in vane. At this late stage in the game, I am not so much seeking to change peoples' minds about gold, since likely people have already formulated a strong opinion on gold in one direction or the other. I see my role now as keeping those with a vested interest in gold and silver as well informed about relevant current events as I possibly can. If I still help encourage a few more people to initiate such protection, then that's a bonus.

In the meantime, I'll be content just keeping the information flowing and let each Fool make up his or her own mind :)

Merry Christmas!! Happy New Year to every Fool!

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#11) On December 22, 2008 at 11:18 AM, Imperial1964 (97.78) wrote:

Debt collectors won't be breaking into homes around here to steal our stuff while people in the US still have the right to defend their homes with guns.  Britain lost that right and that's what happens.

Harold, the price of ammo hasn't changed much, but the value of guns has already increased greatly on the black market and demand has increased in the legal gun market.

Some people are afraid Obama will tax or otherwise restrict guns.  Some are afraid Obama will be assassinated and that will bring civil unrest.  Some, like you, are afraid of another great depression that will trigger civil unrest.

Personally, I just think I'm long overdue getting a revolver.

Before anybody gets all bent out of shape about how I don't need a gun and that is what police are for, remember I live in a rural area and it took the sheriff a half-hour to get out to my cousins' place (down the street) when theifs with a stolen truck were looting in their garage.

When (probably the same theifs) were rummaging around my back yard last summer, I went out there with a gun and run them off.  They weren't able to steal anything from me.

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#12) On December 22, 2008 at 2:28 PM, Harold71 (22.85) wrote:

Hi Imperial,

I buy ammo fairly often.  And most of it has gone up a lot, in the last year, and over the last five years.

An example:  The "cheap" wolf ammo 7.62x39 HP -- I bought for $120/case in 2003.  A case earlier this year was $200.  They recently changed it to $249, currently sold out.  (Ammoman.com).  The increase over the years was inflation, but some of the recent stuff appears to be "panic" buying.

Some other ammo hasn't gone up as much, and some has gone up more.  I've recently found 9mm for nearly as cheap as 5 years ago.

Certain guns OTOH, have been a poor "investment."  Some of my favorites, Glocks, are still $510 around here, same as 5-6 years ago.  Many other guns it seems have tracked up 5% a year or better.

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#13) On December 22, 2008 at 4:29 PM, DemonDoug (78.88) wrote:

Sucks for them not to have a 4th Amendment, doesn't it?  (That would be the one where when the cop asks you to open your trunk, you say "No."  Thank you Mr. 4th Amendment.)

Then again sucks for us with a flick of a pen-stroke the President can suspned the Constitution :/.

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#14) On December 23, 2008 at 3:40 PM, randeg (< 20) wrote:

I am with you on this; I think it is downright cruel to repossess things this way especially when children are involved.  Often times the lenders are at fault sometimes when they want to make a sale fast.  I don't think this refers to Britain only.  It's more like world wide.  

Evelyn Guzman
http://www.debtchallenges.com (If you want to visit, just click but if it doesn’t work, copy and paste it onto your browser.)

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#15) On December 25, 2008 at 12:43 AM, Imperial1964 (97.78) wrote:

Maybe ammo has gone up more than I thought.  Usually, the only thing I buy is cheap .22s and cheap .22s a couple weeks ago were about the same as they were 4 years ago.

I'm too cheap to actually shoot real guns.

I've been looking to buy a bigger gun (.22s are just a step above a good pellet gun), but everything I'm looking at is $50 or $100 higher than it was six months ago.  But so far I've only been looking second-hand, not retail.

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