Community, Free Speech, & the Internet

John Milton wrote the “speech” Aeropagitica in 1644, as a revolution commenced, in response to a new law that all books had to be “licensed” before printing and circulation. This law did not intend to raise revenues, but sought the control of ideas and criticisms of local and national governments in Great Britain. The mass media was effectively controlled. And I, for one, wouldn’t want to face a British judge in 1644 for even a minor crime. They had not learned how to simply slap one’s wrist back then—hanging being a favorite sentence.

Milton’s speech became one of the original and best defenses of “freedom of speech” in Western civilization, inspiring extensions of its ideas by John Locke in the next century, the US founding fathers in the 1790s, and a reaffirmation by John Stuart Mill in the 1800s. Milton, of course, published his speech without a license. Parliament ignored it, but the muse who inspired him understood that Milton wrote for a larger and later audience.

Have you ever wondered why the first amendment includes freedom of religion AND freedom of speech? No, the founding fathers weren’t just saving paper.

My thesis is this: The idea of “freedom of speech” was established to protect the interests of a community (an ostensibly Christian community) against internal and external threats to its survival.  Learning a bit of history about “freedom of speech” can help us fully grasp its scope, benefits, and limits. Yes, dear reader, there are limits to free speech. Originally they involved religion.  So let’s take a deeper look.

Though writing had been around for centuries, books were rare and expensive until Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable type printing press around 1440. Prior to that, books had to be handwritten—usually by rooms full of monks who were tediously copying from one document to another. Only the most important works were reprinted by the gatekeepers of this media—religious, philosophical, poetical. Somebody had to pay for it; often it the church. Gutenberg changed all that!

After the 1440s, printing created the mass media of the day—books, leaflets, pamphlets, newspapers.

The spread of printing enabled the rise of literacy. As the Reformation movement grew, the ability to read the Bible was deemed important, thus churches encouraged literacy. Rates rose from 30% among British adults to over 50% after Gutenberg, and up to over 90% in colonial America.*

As the decades passed, printing presses and printers had proliferated and now if you had a bit of money, you could pay a printer to publish your ideas—good or idiotic—on a single sheet, a pamphlet of several sheets, or a book.

John Milton explains in his work how a community is protected by freedom of the press. Internally, this freedom provides recourse for citizens against foolish laws and corrupt leaders. The citizens can go to the ruling bodies and petition for redress if a situation threatens them. Without this freedom, citizens cannot bond together sufficiently to bring any pressure. Externally, the freedom protects “truth” by allowing all the pieces of truth discovered by thinkers and scholars throughout the world to find circulation. A community and its legislators need knowledge to guide the ship of state wisely. Banning books stops this acquisition of truth and knowledge.

But Milton is not open to everyone having “freedom” of speech and press. There are some ideas that are too dangerous to the community. These people and their ideas were to be suppressed for the common good:

I mean not tolerated popery, and open superstition, which, as it extirpates [roots out and destroys] all religions and civil supremacies, so itself should be extirpate, provided first that all charitable and compassionate means be used to win and regain the weak and the misled: that also which is impious or evil absolutely either against faith or manners no law can possibly permit,

Thus he excludes the teachings of the church of Rome (sorry Catholics) from a right to free speech. Keep in mind the wars of England in that period against France & Spain that were motivated by papal aggression. They were afraid of the Pope and for good reason. But things change with time and war. By the 1800s John Mill included the Catholics in the community.

Milton seeks to protect freedom of speech with regard to “neighbouring differences … which, though they may be many, yet need not interrupt THE UNITY OF SPIRIT, if we could but find among us THE BOND OF PEACE.”

Areopagitica guards the “community” by allowing free thought and debate that seeks truth and knowledge, which he does not fear will interrupt “unity of spirit” or “the bond of peace” within a group.

Our own founding fathers were well acquainted with Milton’s teachings on freedom of the press. They recognized how instrumental public discourse had been to the revolution and sought to safeguard it forever. Not that they feared England any longer, but that they feared human nature and the generations to follow. They were also still quite concerned about papal designs to control the Americas as well as Anglican plans to establish the Church f England as an official American church. Both fears, whether valid or not, abound in revolutionary propaganda, hence the inclusion of religious freedom with freedom of speech.

Today, who runs the community? A corporation where the CEO has the power of life & death employment or poverty? A tyranny? Corrupt politicians?  Or a true representative government that seeks the common good of the citizens? Freedom of “speech” is the heart of such a system. The actions of government officials must happen in the light of the press, not the nighttime of media control. Otherwise, the ingredients of a crony-capitalist tyranny shuts citizens out of the legislative process and increasingly backs them into the corner by oppressive executive orders and bureaucratic regulations enforced by order-following para-military police departments.

Several paradigm shifts in mass media occurred as technology has advanced.  Printing became cheaper. Pages proliferated. Then we invented radio & TV. Yet all these new media required wealth once again, just like pre-Gutenberg publishing. More recently the internet was invented by Al Gore and the tables have temporarily turned.  Now anyone may learn html coding or use WYSIWYG software, purchase server space and start publishing. Search engines would help turn up your ideas if people looked.

And so here you are, reading an essay written by an anonymous author, and reading all sorts of comments where we debate conspiracies, “truth” and impart knowledge to one another. Often we argue and throw our opinions around, just as Milton said it should be: Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making.

But some can still go too far, causing the kind of disruption that threatens this tenuous community. Thus Milton would say our moderators have the right, even the duty, to “delete comments,” providing the “ignore user” function as well as outright banning of members who threaten the community.

But the “censorship” of ideas must occur after motive and character are evident. Writings were always burned after publication in ancient Greece & Rome. So, Milton would also defend the banning of people from a website after they have shown their colors: “Those which otherwise come forth, if they be found mischievous and libellous, the fire and the executioner will be the timeliest and the most effectual remedy that man's prevention can use.” Yes, Milton suggested a bit more severity than our mods have applied.

Freedom of Speech is not a license for community destruction. When the community is threatened, the right is curtailed for self-survival.

Our politicians, activists and the media parrots are also far too quick and liberal with their application of the term “hate speech.” Hey, if you can get people believing that certain discourse is “hateful,” then of course we ought to censor it, even prosecute the originators. The term was coined after a particular series of heinous crimes, but now is slapped on anyone who sounds off an opinion contrary to those in control of the mass media. I admit that I am careful in what I write and post here (and in the university) for fear of being labeled a “hater” for my politically “incorrect” views on specific topics like banksters and political prostitutes. And when good people fear to share their reasonable opinions because they may lose their jobs, or face a lawsuit, we have indeed experienced another restriction of free speech—a restriction wrought from both the misapplication of, and selective application of the law.

Interestingly, the Bundy ranch standoff has revealed a subtle strategy of the government to restrict “free speech." I found this interesting comment in a recent article: “Agents … tasered several protesters on a road leading to the ranch after they stepped outside the designated “free speech zone.”

WTF? A designated free speech zone? A quick internet search shows this to be quite common. How ignoble! The term implies that the government upholds free speech, yet places limitations on where it is protected. This, my friend, is a dangerous precedent. At the risk of stepping down the slippery slope, I have to wonder where free speech will next be restricted? They have set a precedent in public settings. Will certain domains on the internet (like .edu) be set aside as a “free speech” zone? In fact, that is only a sideways step, not a downward one.

We have already seen DDOS attacks on our favored websites. Is this not censorship? I wonder who benefits from such censorship? We have seen paid, mercenary trolls haunting our websites, posting to infuriate us and drive away “seekers.” Another form of censorship!

Tyrants typically eat away at our freedoms incrementally, so our diligence is deserved, whether things take a turn for the worse or not.

So my friends, keep writing, keep posting, keep reading our wonderful precious metals, alternative news, and prepping websites. Let’s keep the paid trolls on the run while embracing genuine truth seekers—even if they are irritating and we disagree. We are participating on the cutting edge of the mass media. This is where inquiring minds wind up, just like I did in 2010, seeking truth. Click on the ads and patronize the supporters. Spend a little bit on annual subscriptions. Let’s keep the traffic high so those who provide the service earn more, can afford to provide internet security, and even fight legal battles as needed.

And keep stacking.

* Historical literacy rates are open for debate, especially considering the variance between  a 1st grade and a college reading level.

135 Comments

Quisp's picture

First!

Numero Uno!

Edit:  What we have here.......   (No, not that)....   is an outstanding addition to a fine body of work Dr J!

silver66's picture

AArrgghh

foiled by debating to read or post

Silver66

JY896's picture

Not again...

Whew, I was leery of getting an undeserved first so many times in a row.

Great piece, Dr. Jerome. As you correctly point out, money is a gating factor in free speech -- and that ability to gatekeep grows by the day. This is true both in terms of sponsorship of message (see Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) and in terms of carrier mediums -- which have become extraordinarily concentrated in the hands of our modern-day MiniTruth  (click for full-size image):

Seeing as that infographic is 2 years old, the situation is probably even worse by now.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Turkey will soon have to sell Northern Iraqi oil

Things have to be really screwy to get the Kurds and Turks working together.

The two countries will increase capacity through the pipeline, which crosses the Black Sea, from 16 billion cubic metres annually to 19 billion cubic metres, said Yıldız.     AA Photo

Turkey will soon need to start exporting oil from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) because its storage tanks at the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan are almost fall, according to Energy Minister Taner Yıldız.  “We will be in a position to send this oil to world markets once the tanks are full. We can’t keep this in tanks,” Yıldız said.

Turkey has allocated three storage tanks at the Ceyhan export outlet with a total capacity of 2.5 million barrels for oil coming from the KRG pipeline, where oil started to flow last December. 

Baghdad has repeatedly threatened to sue Ankara and slash the Kurdish region’s share of the national budget if exports go ahead through the pipeline without its consent. The pipeline was completed late last year, and oil has since been pumped through it into storage tanks at Ceyhan, but exports from the Mediterranean port are on hold to give diplomacy a chance. Negotiations have carried on for months with little progress as Baghdad and Arbil remain at loggerheads over the sharing and payment method for oil revenues, leaving the future of exports in limbo for now.

A breakthrough before Iraqi elections due on April 30 looks extremely unlikely, Turkish officials said.
Separately, the Baghdad-controlled Iraq-Turkey pipeline, which has been pumping way below its 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of capacity, is in very bad shape due to persistent militant attacks, Yıldız said. “The pipeline on the Iraqi side is in unusable shape. This is a loss for Iraq.”  Meanwhile, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani has warned that patience is running out with Baghdad over oil exports and budget issues.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-will-soon-have-to-sell-northern-iraqi-oil-says-energy-minister-yildiz.aspx?pageID=238&nID=65328&NewsCatID=348

Colonel Angus's picture

Da Fif

It's me!

Don't forget what courageous people like Martin Luther did. He not only suggested that common people should know what is in the Bible, but he also translated the Bible into a language they could understand. This is HUGE!

Now if we could just get those Wal-Mart scooter riding people to care enough about what is going on around them, maybe we could get them to see what is being done. And maybe one or two of them would become stackers too...

treefrog's picture

suxth

censorship sux!

Mr. Fix's picture

7th, a great topic Dr. Jerome

Last night, I watched a fabulous documentary on the library in ancient Alexandria,  it talked of  a time where knowledge was free, and the government actually financed the whole operation for the good of humanity.

It was founded hundreds of years before Christ, and became the repository for the sum knowledge of all mankind.

Its destruction ushered in the dark ages, and it appears to me, that history is about to repeat.

But then again, maybe not. Humanity does seem to be in the process of “waking up”, but they sure do have a lot of catching up to do.

Current governments survive by suppressing knowledge and information, as well as free speech. The United States government is currently in the process of stamping out free speech wherever it can, but people are starting to notice, and it could very well spark a revolution.

Short of shutting down the Internet, or wiping out all electronics with an EMP, The government needs to stifle the spread of knowledge for its own survival now. People know there is something desperately wrong with our country, and many of them are asking some questions and are currently finding answers.

Only a few minutes ago, I read an article about how our legislators are trying to outlaw free speech:

http://pamelageller.com/2014/04/sharia-america-democrats-muslim-legislators-seek-criminalize-free-speech.html/

Any institution that needs to suppress thoughts, information, or free speech, is an affront to humanity, and there evil needs to be exposed, and the perpetrators need to be dealt with.

Resistance is not futile.Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 2.27.23 PM

Thank God we have such a nice place to exchange information and ideas.

Keep up the great work.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Literacy rates in Scotland

took off after the Reformation, where there was one of the earliest programs of compulsory education, free to the poor. 

Undecided's picture

Top tenner againer

... Wow.  SPOT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Japanese ship seized in wartime claims row

A Chinese court has seized a Japanese cargo ship over legal claims related to the second world war as escalating tensions between the two countries spill into the realm of commerce.

Japan was quick to denounce the confiscation of the vessel, warning it could have a “chilling effect on all Japanese companies doing business in China”. It is the first time a Chinese court has ordered the seizure of Japanese assets in relation to second world war.  “We are deeply apprehensive, and strongly hope that China will respond appropriately,” said Yoshihide Suga, the country’s top government spokesman.

It comes on the eve Barack Obama’s much-trailed visit to Asia, which is intended to reassure allies the US remains committed to the region in the face of China’s rising influence. The US President arrives in Tokyo on Wednesday, where he will be pressed for support over what Japan sees as coercive attempts by China to upset the postwar order in the region.

The Shanghai Maritime Court seized the Baosteel Emotion at a port near Shanghai at the weekend, it said on its website. The ship belongs to Japanese conglomerate Mitsui OSK Lines and had been ferrying Australian iron ore to China’s flagship steel mill Baosteel.  The dispute stems from two ships leased to a Japanese shipping line by Chung Wei Steamship, which were commandeered by the Japanese navy in 1937 as it prepared to invade China. One ship was wrecked carrying coal in a typhoon off Japan in 1938 while the Shun Feng was sunk by a torpedo off the Chinese coast in 1944. Through a series of takeovers, Mitsui OSK is heir to the shipping lines that operated the ships after they were requisitioned by the Japanese navy.

Japan has consistently argued that the peace treaties it signed after the war exempt it from having to pay compensation to individuals or companies in former enemy countries. But China and South Korea, which nurse the strongest resentment over Japan’s often brutal imperial expansion, counter that the agreements only cover government-to-government reparations, leaving private groups free to sue for damages.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/7f68b9e8-c92b-11e3-99cc-00144feabdc0.html?siteedition=intl#axzz2zS9zJYyX

Art Lomax's picture

Thanks Dr. J    

Thanks Dr. J     yes

DayStar's picture

Harvey's Up! (TFMR)

The unabridged Harvey is at:  http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/comment/400131#comment-400131

  • Harvey: Today the crooks took advantage that the major physical market in gold and silver was closed. We also had a three day weekend and generally the crooks like the whack on events like these. GOFO was negative for all months. GLD: Gold lost 3.0 tonnes and stands at 792.14 tonnes. SLV: Silver was unchanged at 10,228.97 tonnes. DS: Monday was also a holiday in many places and the volume was very light.  The banksters could drive the price anywhere, and they did.  They drove the price up to flush out short stop losses and they pushed the price down to flush out sell stops.  
  • Zero Hedge: Barclays, one of the world’s biggest commodities traders, is planning to exit large parts of its metals, agricultural and energy business in a move expected to be announced this week. This comes on the heels of Barclays shuttering its power-trading operations (after refusing to pay $470 mm in fines) with CEO Jenkins expected to announce several thousand layoffs.
  • Chris Powell (GATA): Former Bush administration financial aide Philippa Malmgren tells King World News that Russia and China are likely to stop buying U.S. Treasuries altogether and that separatism is rampant around the world, not peculiar to Ukraine.
  • Gene Arensberg (Got Gold Report): Arensberg discloses that the major gold futures market participants classified as producer merchants have the smallest short position in eight years. The industry, Arensberg writes, is expecting higher prices.
  • Chris Powell: The March edition of the London Bullion Market Association's magazine, The Alchemist -- presumably named for the ability of LBMA members to turn gold into paper -- carries a long defense of the daily London gold price fixings against complaints that they are likely manipulated by their participating bullion banks. The defense, written by Peter Fertig, director of QCR Quantitative Commodity Research Ltd., maintains that there are plausible explanations for the aspects of the fixings that have been called suspicious by Professor Rosa Abrantes-Metz of New York University's Stern School of Business. Plausible explanations or not, Fertig declines to explain the necessity of the peculiarly closed and elite mechanism of the London fixes, a mechanism not used and indeed not allowed in any other commodity or currency market.
  • Reuters: Goldcorp Inc said on Monday it is walking away from a hostile bid to acquire Osisko Mining Corp, which last week reached a C$3.9 billion ($3.54 billion) deal to sell most of its assets to Yamana Gold Inc and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.
  • Vancouver-based Goldcorp said in a brief statement it would not raise its bid for Montreal-based Osisko and would let the offer expire on April 22.
  • Frik Els (Mining.com):India is in the midst of a general election that is set to eject from power the Congress Party which has dominated Indian politics since independence. A number of politicians and government officials have promised to lift the restrictions on the metal so central to the Indian culture. But today the managing director of the country’s biggest refiner which is expanding capacity to 200 tonnes of gold per year, poured cold water on speculation that gold could start flooding back to the sub-continent. Bullion and crude oil contributed almost 80% of the record $88 billion deficit. Rajesh Khosla of MMTC-PAMP India Pvt told MoneyNews India "while the form of restrictions may change, the government will continue to restrain buying." That means the limits would result in shipments of 650–700 tonnes for the 12 months started April 1, close to last year's levels and down from 845 tonnes in 2012–2013 according to finance ministry figures: "I'm sure he [Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram] will do something on 20:80,” said Khosla.  "Freeing the import of gold as it used to be prior to the 20:80, I don’t think that is going to happen,” he said. 
  • Andrew Hoffman: The fact that the PBOC recently stated "it's no longer in China's favor to acquire foreign exchange reserves" should tell you all you need to know about their intentions (buy gold and exit foreign fiat); and thus, it makes absolutely no sense that they would "shake up" markets with the equivalent of a 10.0 Richter scale financial earthquake by volunteering ownership of massive gold holdings. Of course, the one caveat to such analysis is that, if it turns out China has already reached the point where it no longer believes it can source material amounts of physical metal, the PBOC may determine that now is the time to end the dollar's hegemony with such an announcement. It has to happen sometime.
  • World Gold Council: The Chinese traditionally regard gold as a form of money. This is an important fact when it comes to the motivations behind the purchase of jewellery. Asian buyers of plain, 22 or 24 carat jewellery have no doubt in their mind that they are buying gold as well as an object of beauty that can be worn. The perception of value is very important in markets such as India and China where plain, very high carat or ‘pure gold’ articles bought on low-mark-ups comprise the majority of gold jewellery consumption. 
  • DeepCaster.com: "Former Assistant U.S. Treasury Secretary, Paul Craig Roberts, speculates that the U.S. Government has recruited its satellite countries, like Belgium, to compensate for the 'tapering' being done with purchases of U.S. Treasuries by the Federal Reserve...U.S. recruits satellites to compensate for Fed's 'tapering'." Indeed, "Tiny" Belgium is now the holder of the third largest Hoard of U.S. Treasuries. Fancy that! It appears the Fed's "Tapering" is being at least offset by increased Belgian Buying. This and other shenanigan's like Bogus Official "statistics" (see Note 1 re Shadowstats.com) make the 2013 Equities Bull Run and the recent Equities Market Sell-Off unsurprising to us. Regarding one Major Untruth - that the U.S. Economy is recovering - the Reality is quite the opposite. Indeed, one consequence of the Non-Recovering U.S. Economy is the ongoing Impoverishment of the American Middle Class.
  • Greg Hunter: Senate Majority leader Harry Reid says the folks that protested at the Bundy ranch in Nevada recently are "domestic terrorists." That is harsh language, especially from the government that set up 1st Amendment zones for protestors miles away from the ranch.
  • Henry Bonner: Gold has made its way down again, to around 1,300 per ounce this month. Rick Rule, Chairman of Sprott Global Resource Investments Ltd. says that a few years out, you will be happy you stuck with gold. Rick believes the overall bull market will return and produce substantial returns to investors who own gold. Today, low yields on bonds help maintain confidence in the U.S. dollar and in U.S. bonds. As of April 16th, 10-year U.S. Treasuries yielded a paltry 2.6% in interest, which is close to historic lows. Low interest rates are a helping hand for the Feds, who have a debt burden of over $17 trillion, and off-balance sheet liabilities – payments they will need to make, but that are not considered debt – estimated at around $70 trillion. Now, if you are an investor that holds a 10-year Treasury, you will make more than the officially-reported inflation numbers. But those numbers don’t tell the whole story. For one, they leave out food and fuel. They also do not include taxes. That’s fine if you do not eat, drive, or pay taxes. 
  • Ed Moy: Silver has long been known as the poor man's gold. With historic prices ranging from $3 an ounce to a high of $45 an ounce in 2011, silver is much more affordable for individual investors. That affordability also makes it less practical for institutional investors who invest greater sums and do not want the hassle of storing all that silver. The silver market is also much smaller in value that the gold market is. As a result, silver prices are subject to more volatility than gold is. The silver market's size makes it less practical for derivatives, like exchange-traded funds and short and futures contracts, so it is an more accurate indicator of demand for physical silver. However, it is also easier for a large investor to influence the silver market a la the Hunt brothers. And like gold, silver has a number of industrial uses. In fact, more than half (14,000 tons) of all the silver produced in a year (24,000 tons) is used in the manufacture of electronics and solar panels. 
  • Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: The United States has constructed a financial neutron bomb. For the past 12 years an elite cell at the US Treasury has been sharpening the tools of economic warfare, designing ways to bring almost any country to its knees without firing a shot. The strategy relies on hegemonic control over the global banking system, buttressed by a network of allies and the reluctant acquiescence of neutral states. Let us call this the Manhattan Project of the early 21st century. "It is a new kind of war, like a creeping financial insurgency, intended to constrict our enemies' financial lifeblood, unprecedented in its reach and effectiveness," says Juan Zarate, the Treasury and White House official who helped spearhead policy after 9/11. The stealth weapon is a "scarlet letter", devised under Section 311 of the US Patriot Act. Once a bank is tainted in this way - accused of money-laundering or underwriting terrorist activities, a suitably loose offence - it becomes radioactive, caught in the "boa constrictor's lethal embrace", as Mr Zarate puts it. This can be a death sentence even if the lender has no operations in the US.
  • A. Ananthalakshmi: China has begun allowing gold imports through its capital Beijing, sources familiar with the matter said, in a move that would help keep purchases by the world's top bullion buyer discreet at a time when it might be boosting official reserves.
  • Lawrence Williams: GFMS’s latest analysis has come up with figures for 2013 mine production for gold which is counter to the assumptions made by many other analysts and observer. GFMS thus puts 2013 new mine production of gold at a record 3,022 tonnes, a 6% gain over 2012. This is perhaps 200–300 tonnes higher than that predicted by many other gold observers, but the GFMS statistical team is more likely to be correct in this than others whose figures have perhaps more been based on conjecture than actual fact. DS: Bah! Humbug!
  • Jim Willie (SteveQuayle): In the last three years, a few colleagues and the Jackass have investigated reasons why people do not investigate or show interest in the decayed financial structures and depleted economy. Many go farther and hold firm to odd indefensible beliefs, while mocking those who display curiosity and put forth theories for test. We examine why they choose to remain uninformed and in the dark, even to hold firm on slippery ground. This is a new intriguing aspect of human psychology, and as fascinating as disturbing. Here are some conclusions after a couple of years. a) We conclude that some people wish to believe the leaders, laws, and system protect them, another sacred belief. Like the USGovt is there to serve, the bankers to invest, the laws unswerving, the military to defend the people and nation rather than the elite and the corporate giants. To me, this is utter nonsense as evidence blows it away to the contrary. b) We conclude that some people have over-arching belief systems for their lives that are sacrosanct and not challenged. Like how good prevails over evil, how solutions are pursued, how the United States always prevails, how the system will correct itself. To me, this is utter nonsense as evidence blows it away to the contrary...[more on Harvey thread]
  • Zero Hedge: The Chinese central bank has done a U-turn on its indirect transparency and, as Reuters reports, has begun allowing gold imports through its capital Beijing, sources familiar with the matter said, "in a move that would help keep purchases by the world's top bullion buyer discreet at a time when it might be boosting official reserves." Going forward China can continue importing hundreds of tons monthly, but without Hong Kong being the main transit route and without its monthly export updates, nobody will have a concrete number of just how much gold China is importing. Since the physical gold would likely remain in China no matter what (likely transferred over to satisfy consumer demand), we suggested that the imminent unwind of various Chinese gold-backed funding deals, in addition to any reports out of the PBOC, would further add to the upward pressure on gold once financing deal intermediaries, were forced to cover their forward market shorts. In either case, what the latest news out of China means is that what happens to gold once it enters the Chinese economy, where it is used not only as a simple commodity store of value, and money (much to the chagrin of the Fed but also as a major component of the carry-trade enabled gold financing deals, will be even more nebulous and an even bigger mystery than ever before. Just as the gold accumulating central bank wants it. Still, if there is one thing that gives us comfort, it is that as we reported over the weekend, when it comes to the ordinary person on the street, the demand for physical, not paper, gold is higher than ever. 
  • Chris Powell (GATA): Swiss gold fund manager Egon von Greyerz offers what may be the best mocking yet of "quantitative easing." "It amuses me," von Greyerz says, "that the Bank of England has just published a paper stating that QE has raised growth in the United Kingdom by 3 percent or 50 billion pounds. Isn't this wonderful? Supposedly money printing raises GDP in real terms. So the U.K. has had QE of 375 billion pounds, which has raised real growth by 50 billion pounds. So why don’t they print 375 trillion instead? This way the U.K. would be the biggest and most prosperous economy in the world."
  • V--Guerrilla Capitalist (Steve Quayle): We are going to see the inception of the new two currency system, the international trade dollar controlled by the FED and the national Republic/Continental dollar for public consumption. Devaluation/Debasement is official Central Bank policy. Expect a 40 to 60% debasement for the global dollar and a 80-90% debasement for national dollar. 
  • Steve Quayle: Gold now seeing deepest backwardation in 8 months.
  • Ron Paul: if the Nevada land in question was privately owned, the dispute over whether to allow the ranchers to continue to use the land would have likely been resolved without sending in federal armed agents to remove the Bundys’ cattle from the land. This is one more reason why the federal government should rid itself of all federal land holdings. Selling federal lands would also help reduce the federal deficit. It is unlikely that Congress will divest the federal government’s land holdings, as most in government are more interested in increasing government power then in protecting and restoring private property rights. A government that continually violates our rights of property and contract can fairly be descried as authoritarian.
  • Bill Holter: Japan actually had a 36 hour period of time this past week where no long term treasury securities traded privately. It happened because there were no bids, none. Who would put their capital into something with such a low yield when the central bank's stated goal is to raise inflation far above this .6% and are printing Yen even more furiously than the Fed is printing dollars to attain this goal? Please understand that this 36 hour window occurrence is scary for other reasons also. It displayed the fact that markets are not just "massaged" or "guided" any more, in this case they have been pushed so far as to lock out ALL liquidity. Let's think about this from another angle. Isn't this what is happening in the gold and silver markets? Prices have been pushed down so far that buyers just cannot get enough at these prices...AND the mining industry cannot supply it if they are selling at a loss to production costs. Of course, the mines can make up for their losses by increasing unit sales (my attempt at sarcasm) but finite metal in the ground does pose a small problem. 
  • Zero Hedge: Earlier today, the Central Bank of Russia announced that starting April 21, it would revoke the license of Moscow’s Bank Zapadny. According to reports, "the bank had cooked its books and failed to comply with regulations on the amount of assets a financial organization must maintain to ensure its stability, the central bank said." In other words, your typical FDIC Failure Friday only on Monday morning. Hardly notable. It is what happened next that was shocking. Shortly after the bank shutdown announcement, an armed man took three hostages at a Belgorod branch of precisely this failed Bank Zapadny. it appears this may simply be the latest case of a disgruntled bank client taking matters into his own hands. As RT reports, "he may be a client of the bank wishing to withdraw his deposit despite the bank losing its license.....Life News tabloid says it has identified one of the attackers as 46-year-old Aleksandr Vdovin, a client who holds the bank’s promissory notes for a large sum, and who decided to reimburse them at gunpoint."
  • Susan Duclos: Organizers of the Oklahoma Militia sent out a not-so-subtle warning to Federal authorities, specifically the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), that they will join the Cliven Bundy fight against federal agents if they "want to try to do a land grab violently." (Bundy's land and cattle). According to reports the Oklahoma militia stands 50,000 strong with volunteers. The choice they are giving the Feds is to do thing legally or "We’re going to resist you!”

All this and more on...

The Harvey Report! smiley

http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/comment/400131#comment-400131

DayStar

cliff 567's picture

Brother Jerome, Absolutely dead nuts right.

Dr Jerome

You are truly my Brother Bro., damn you nailed so many tendrils down in so few words that I am stunned by your acumen.

Cliff says; Atta-boy Bro

cliff

Fred Hayek's picture

Good stuff, Dr. J

It's frustrating how few people in the U.S. have any conception of what's in the Constitution.  About the only things most people know is that they vaguely recall that the 2nd amendment lets you have guns and that if you're ever stopped anywhere from saying anything you want to say, in any context whatsoever, that this is a violation of the first amendment.   Anyone who wants to say that our public (or private) schools do a good job should try to square this with the fact that almost no one in the U.S. knows the official rules of the game, the Constitution.

But a rule that applies to everything will often turn out to protect nothing.  I'm of the opinion that repeated use of the first amendment as the defense for frivolous speech has weakened it as a defense for legitimate protest and gotten us bizarre authoritarian confections like limited free speech zones. 

treefrog's picture

free speech zones

i wonder what would happen if one of the states would pass a law designating the whole state as a free speech zone, and referring to the united states constitution.  if the feds tried to set up smaller free speech zones they would be in violation of state law.  federal law of course trumps state law, but if it got into court,  the feds would look awfully silly trying to argue that they weren't in violation of the first amendment.devil

treefrog's picture

duplicate

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Excalibur's picture

BELANGP

tyberious's picture

Excalibur

Excellent! Thanks!!!

benque's picture

Bobo's Visit to Asia

"It comes on the eve Barack Obama’s much-trailed visit to Asia, which is intended to reassure allies the US remains committed to the region in the face of China’s rising influence. The US President arrives in Tokyo on Wednesday, where he will be pressed for support over what Japan sees as coercive attempts by China to upset the postwar order in the region."

""See what Eisenhower left, for me to clean up?""

Yes, Bobo, shift the blame once again.

Oh, and by the way, Bobo and Sheesh-Hell!, were giving away autograph-imprinted wooden Easter eggs yesterday at the White House.

Apparently Bobo and Sheesh-Hell! are all lovey-dovey again; oh joy! ("See what that rotten Danish white woman left for me to clean up?)

And also, as always, thanks Doctor J.  Very good read!

(It was the Protestant Bohemians in Prague, who instigated the 30 years war, by throwing the HRE envoys out of a window.  Retribution by the Emperor, was swift and brutal, and from there it was just all total insanity.  A greater % of Central Europeans died in that gruesome travesty of a "war", than in WWII.  Interestingly, I just read a brief history of it earlier tonight.)

El Gordo's picture

Asset takeovers - free speech

If I am wanting to acquire an asset, say a company or some metals or some land, at the best (to me cheapest) possible price, I might develop a strategy of "talking down" or badmouthing such asset.  If I am an individual, I may not be able to influence the price much, but if I were able to get a few others to help me orchestrate a plan to beat down the perceived value of the asset in question, I might make some progress.  Now if I were a large outfit with worldwide recognition, my words might carry a little more weight, and if I were a government, my voice may be even stronger.  You see this every day when the government tries beating down a company or an individual whose property it wants or who fails to follow their wishes.  I suspect the same happens in the PM markets since they are relatively small and easily manipulated by a few big players.  Recently even the stock exchanges have been exposed and they really only consist of about 5 banks computers trading with each other - the retail segment is today very small.  So, once I achieve my objective of beating down the asset value, then I scoop up all I can afford at distressed prices, typically through nominees, while keeping up the propaganda campaign against the asset in question.  Once I have achieved my desired level of ownership, the campaign can then turn to a positive message.  If I'm a trader, once the price goes up under positive news, I sell, only to start the badmouthing again.  Rinse and repeat. Let's hear it for free speech, and without the censors.

metalsbyamile's picture

In the interest of free speech

Let me say great article Dr J, i would only add.

We're screwed.

Over five thousand years ago, Moses said to the children of Israel ,
"Pick up your shovels, mount your asses and camels, and I will lead
you to the Promised Land."

Nearly 75 years ago, (when Welfare was introduced) Roosevelt said,
"Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses, and light up a Camel, this
is the Promised Land."

Today, Congress has stolen your shovel, taxed your asses, raised the price of Camels and mortgaged the Promised Land!

I was so depressed last night thinking about Health Care Plans, the
economy, the wars, lost jobs, savings, Social Security, retirement
funds, etc .... I called a Suicide Hotline.

I had to press 1 for English.

I was connected to a call center in Pakistan . I told them I was suicidal.

They got excited and asked if I could drive a truck......

Folks, we're screwed

stephanie's picture

the term "free speech zone" is oxymoronic

Great piece, Dr J. There is nothing more Orwellian than the concept of a free speech zone.

I'm not a fan of Krauthammer but he eloquently identifies the scary trend right now of shutting off debate rather than engaging in it:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-thought-police-on-patrol/2014/04/10/2608a8b2-c0df-11e3-b195-dd0c1174052c_print.html

ata's picture

Crock pot 'cooking with Vlad'

147410 600 Putin in the kitchen cartoons

ata's picture

Free Speech

dyB9aar.jpg

Urban Roman's picture

Moon of Alabama

I noticed it was down, and went looking... 

This is how things are censored today.

ata's picture

MOON OF AL OBAMA

mse2nk8yve.jpg?w=450

erewenguy's picture

Inflationary

While in the process of preparing Easter baskets for the grandkids, I was struck by the inflationary pressure on candy.

Why back in the day, we only had 100 Thousand Dollar bars.

Get off my grass, you kids....

I Run Bartertown's picture

Gun Safety Advice

From the pros. laughlaughlaugh. Something's wrong here.

achmachat's picture

i run bartertown

nono... you misunderstood. nothing wrong here. it's the barrel of an airgun that shoots entire ammunitions. casings and projectiles and all.

ata's picture

CENSORSHIP

Censorship is advertising paid by the government.

Federico Fellini

 

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