TFMR Podcast #11 - Jeff Nielson of BullionBullsCanada

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Back on Thursday, I had the distinct pleasure of visiting with Jeff Nielson of BullionBullsCanada.

I first discovered Jeff on the Seeking Alpha website about three years ago. He had written and published some of the first, substantial missives I'd found on the silver market and bullion bank manipulation. Though written some time ago, these articles still ring true today and are some of the best-written summaries of silver manipulation you are going to find.

http://www.bullionbullscanada.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12786:fifty-years-of-suppressing-silver&catid=49:silver-commentary&Itemid=130

http://www.bullionbullscanada.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=528:silver-market-fundamentals-distorted-by-bullion-etfs&catid=49:silver-commentary&Itemid=130

http://www.bullionbullscanada.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11299:the-silver-price-spiral-part-i-today&catid=49:silver-commentary&Itemid=130

http://www.bullionbullscanada.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2887:your-etf-silver-is-for-sale&catid=49:silver-commentary&Itemid=130

As you listen to the podcast, you'll hear Jeff and I cover a wide range of subjects. We spend a bit of time discussing this chart:

large_low-silver-inventories.jpg

And toward the end, Jeff references the author Charles Savoie and his book "The Silver Stealers". Here's a link to an interview that Jeff conducted with Mr. Savoie back in November of last year:

http://www.bullionbullscanada.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22976:interview-with-charles-savoie&catid=49:silver-commentary&Itemid=130

OK, that should be everything you need to follow along with the podcast. I hope you enjoy it.   TF


106 Comments

Planters's picture

Digitty

Nice and Informative as ever Turd !!

Lets Talk QE3

So much NOISE going on around there regarding QE3 it i shard to deceminate what is credible and what is not, here is what I have compiled so far as interesting items to watch and what to expect from an Overt QE round 3

Indicators

- Euro coming in at or below .137

-10yr and 30 yr note levels

-Actions from the Cartel to limit exposures to gold and silver shorts

-Market Loss

FED Actions

Mortgage back securities - third stimulus effort may be more focused toward the housing market and buying mortgage-backed securities.

A Bloomberg news survey conducted in November found 16 of the 21 primary dealers of U.S. government securities said Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his fellow policy makers would start another purchasing program during the first half of 2012. The dealers’ estimated that the Fed may buy about $545 billion in home-loan debt.

So the real question to me is: How does buying Mortgage backed securities / home-loan debt effect PM's ? Is it merely expanding the balance sheet ? How would this benefit the economy if all it does is lessen the TBTF banks , AGAIN. I doubt anyone will receive a goddamn thing from it...again

Be Prepared's picture

Another Winner Interview....

Thanks for all your hard work!

murphy's picture

happy to be a turd

happy to be a turd

exiledbear's picture

I respect when a man goes bald

That he doesn't do a combover, or a toupee, he goes stark raving bald. You sir, have my respect.

bernard's picture

glad to see some

glad to see some Nielson coverage on here, was also fond of his SA articles back in the day. there is no doubt about it that the existence of the ETFs is very much distorting the markets here, because so many of these contracts can be settled in SLV shares, which can be settled in cash... aka... everything is rehypothecated, who knows how many people have claims to the bullion in the vaults these days.

----------------------

http://comparesilverprices.com

bernard's picture

Great point about Bart

Great point about Bart Chilton and demonizing the speculators... he is purposely being vague, they never say the shorts...

Bsong's picture

Must read Savoie interview!

Must read Savoie interview! Thanks, great info

Strongsidejedi's picture

From Santa's Workshop

From JSMINESET.COM

I believe the horned cow on the left is Blythe

The hatted gentlemen is our TF.

Senseosensei's picture

Confiscation

I am listening to the podcast and the exchange of ideas about silver confiscation. Jeff states that 75% of the inventory is held privately in ETF's, bullion accounts and mines, and therefor easy to steal by the governments.

Let's assume for a moment that he is right and this will happen. Of course, there is a lot more silver world wide than just in the US or Canada. As a matter of fact, the top 3 silver producing countries are not those 2. What would that mean for the silver market as a whole ? Wouldn't such an event mean that the prices go through the roof, and that it will be virtually impossible in the future for the US to get their hands on any foreign silver, ever again? Any country will want to keep on to their precious metals when they see the US getting desperate about it.....especially China. And when you skip all industrial uses of silver and focus for a moment on one military application, cruise missiles that contain 500 troy ounce for just one missile, they might shoot themselves in the foot big time in the long term. Unless..unless they don't care about the long term consequences....(what that means, is quite frightening).

Another option is that they can make it a world wide confiscation event (it doesn't seem likely to me that this is viable but who am i), or that they will try to buy everyone out of their silver, making those individuals filthy rich in the process.

That, or confiscation is off the table, and the banks will leave the market be, eventually.  

Transformer's picture

From ZH "Today’s incredible

From ZH

"Today’s incredible move was the culmination of a comment made by UBS analyst Edel Tully. He stated that hedge fund manager Eric Sprott may be in the market buying spot futures, in a private letter to his clients. With declining open interest in a rallying market, it didn’t seem likely to us, but over the last two days we noted open interest has flat-lined and started to turn upward, a bullish indicator."

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/explaining-todays-silver-surge

Do you think this could mean that Sprott is buying spot silver futures, long, and intends to take delivery?  If so, this could be the Big Showdown at the OK Corral.  If he goes in with the intention of taking delivery, and he buys a sizeable number of contracts, he could be intending to bust the comex. 

If there is one entity that could take on the Comex, it is Sprott.  and with some huge amount of money that he is going to buy silver with he could certainly do it.  He would be doing something very different than the Hunts did, in that he is not speculating, but trying to buy physical, exactly what the Comex is supposed to facilitate.  I would imagine that he could buy on the Comex without putting up any money, just a negotiable letter of credit from his bank should be enough to purchase.  Then he pays the full price before delivery.  The letter of credit may serve even in that capacity, and his bank transfers the money upon delivery.

Now, hows this for a strategy.  Sprott goes out and spends 80-90% of his money with mines across the world buying silver at a negotiated price.  He completes that deal, contracts signed, etc.   Then, he goes into the Comex and starts buying spot contracts, planning to use the remainder of his money to take delivery there.  The price begins to run, as other players figure out what he is doing.   The appreciation on his signed mine contracts is considerable, 5% today.

I have heard Sprott express considerable vitriol when he speaks of the Comex.  If he is doing this, I'm sure it is an incredibly well thought out and planned move, like in a chess game, with all possible moves and counter-moves examined and figured in.  Ooooh, I hope that is what's happening, as it will be so fun to watch.

I think that Harvey is reporting silver on hand and available for delivery at the Comex as 30+ million ounces.  If you use the  100:1 rule, that would be 300,000 actual ounces on hand and available.  That is only 60 contracts.  Suppose Sprott bought twice that.  How would that fit into his overall purchase numbers?

When everything starts to blow up, I could just see what his statement might be.  "We went to the mines and bought all the silver we could, on contract.  That silver is beginning to be delivered now.   Try as we might, we could not find all the physical silver we needed.  We then decided that, since the Comex has 30+ million ounces available for delivery, we would just go in and buy our last 600,000 ounces there.   I really don't see where anyone should have a problem with that."

Scheming as always.

Senseosensei's picture

@ transformer

Would be a great plan, unless the Comex can actually deliver all 600k ounces...then it's back to square one.

vivekmert5's picture

CHARTS

GOLD & SILVER CHARTS -

Point & Figure View

$GOLD (P&F)
$US 5 x 3 Gold Chart
Gold - Silver - Platinum
http://www.321gold.com/editorials/sfs/hubbartt012012/gold_double.png
http://www.321gold.com/editorials/sfs/hubbartt012012/gold_bulldozer.png
http://www.321gold.com/editorials/sfs/hubbartt012012/silver_wedge.png
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gold+C+wave.png
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http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RAa5a-F82kw/Tw5h3vCPC1I/AAAAAAAACyk/OdQ_fXGqmlI/s1600/CEF%2Bto%2BGold%2Bratio%2Bversus%2Bsilver%2Bprice%2B-%2B10%2Byear%2Bchart%2Bthru%2B1-11-12.png
Guy%2BLerner%2B12-21-11%2BGold%2BMarket%
Dow%2Bto%2BGold%2Bratio%2B14%2Byear%2Bda
 

 

Gold


Commodities


gold


gold


gold

silver

 

Oil

Commodities

 

wtic

wtic

wtic

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1. GOLD performance vs DJIA over a decade - Where was your money?

goldvsDJ.gif

Gold started its current bull run in April 2001 after hitting a 21 year low at $256. Gold has been without doubt the investment choice of the decade closing the decade at an all time high of $1425 resulting in an astonishing gain of more than 550% and thus outperforming the DOW, NASDAQ and S&P 500 by great margin. Despite its stellar rise gold still hasn't caught interest of most retail investors, a clear indication this bull market still has a long way to go.

2. GOLD & Monthly closes since 1970

goldmonthly.gif

When experts claim gold to be in record high territories and therefore being in a bubble, they mostly refer to gold's long term chart (monthly closes). When looking at this chart one would easily believe that gold is a bubble indeed therefore an accident waiting to happen. It's recent high of $1925+ seems to be too far stretched from its long term average of $383. The problem however with this chart is that it is extremely distorted. The distortion arises from the fact that this chart doesn't take into account the loss of purchasing power of the dollar over time. Needless to say the purchase power of a 2011 dollar doesn't match the purchase power of a 1980 dollar. Yes, bull markets do end when approaching bubble territories, but we are far away from that. During previous 'real' highs more than 20% of all invested money was in gold and gold shares, today this percentage is still below 1%.

3. Gold & Historical Average measured against official government CPI statistics

goldhav1.gif

In order to calculate 'real' highs for gold one has to adjust for inflation. When using government inflation statistics then we'll see that the 1980 peak of $850 equals $2500+ today. Since no secular bull market ever ended without making new 'real' highs gold's current bull still has a long way to go.

4. Gold & Historical Average measured against John Williams' shadow CPI statistics

goldhav2.gif

In order to calculate 'real' highs for gold one has to adjust for inflation. When using shadowstats inflation statistics we'll see that the 1980 peak of $850 equals $9000+ today. The inflation statics published by John Williams at www.shadowstats.com present a more realistic picture of true US inflation numbers. As this chart clearly demonstrates gold is far away from making new 'real' highs.

5. Gold & HUI - Gold shares vs Gold

goldvshui.gif

Gold shares move in tandem with the gold price. Historically gold shares tend to outperform gold to the upside but as of 2008 the gold hares have been lagging the price of gold tremendously. Such extremes as we're witnessing today won't persist for a long period of time, which will translate eventually into much higher share prices (mining shares).

6. Gold & DOW - Gold measured against the DJIA since 1930

dowgold.gif

The DOW/GOLD chart is a powerful tool in order to determine major turnarounds. It's simple, when the DOW/GOLD chart tops you buy gold, when the DOW/GOLD chart bottoms you buy equities. Once you've established your position you can ride the wave up or down for at least a decade. The DOW/GOLD chart flashed a 'buy' for gold again in the year 2000 and indeed 11 years later gold is almost up 450% from its lows.

If it were all that simple why don't we hear that much about this powerful tool?

Well, the thing is the DOW/GOLD ratio chart isn't a useful indicator in order to predict yearly price movements. Next year could very well clock higher readings than this year instead of expected lower readings thereby losing confidence as being a reliable indicator. Unfortunately that's the same analogy as denying that higher temperatures will arrive in summer based on a single day temperature drop in spring. The problem is that the DOW/GOLD cycle has a wave length that's so big that we humans have a hard time to figure out where to position ourselves into this cycle

7. US Monetary Base M0 - Exploding Money supply

m0.gif

This chart clearly demonstrates that our current monetary system is broken. In times of economic stress/uncertainties government tends to inject enough liquidity into the system to keep things going. Then when things turn back to normal government drains the injected liquidity from the system. A good examples concerns the Y2K crisis and the 9-11 event. The banking crisis of 2008 however dwarfed all previous events, the base money supply tripled almost over night, yet, many people still don't understand why gold prices have tripled since 2008.

8. US Public Debt

debt.gif

This chart represents the official US public debt which stand at $14+ trillion. Of course the real debt is multiples of the official public debt. Total US debt is about $57 trillion and total US unfunded liabilities exceed the $100 trillion mark.

9. US Treasuries and Foreign Holders

foreigndebt.gif

Sure enough the US spends more money than it earns. The gap is and has been financed by foreigners willing to buy US treasuries in ever increasing quantities. This trend seems to be coming to an end since foreign governments no longer value the US dollar as they used to. It is here when foreign governments start losing faith in the world's reserve currency, that gold reasserts itself as currency of choice. It is then when gold attempts to balance the balance sheet of the US. Gold prices required in order to counter balance the total US debt held in foreign hands exceed the $12.500 mark.

10. relative Gold - Gold vs its own 200 dma

rgold.gif

The r-GOLD chart is gold divided by its own 200 dma. It has proven to be a reliable indicator in spotting major bottoms and tops for gold in the past 10 years.

Lumpy's picture

@vivekmert5

Great charts! Thanks for posting them.

Dr Jerome's picture

Reflections on MLK, SOPA and Turdville

It's 4 AM and I am wide awake. So here goes....
We celebrated MLK holiday on my campus here in the USA this week. In honor, I posted King's famous speech on my class websites along with  Williambanzai7's altered version from Zerohedge where he applied King's ideas to economic oppression. The speech is still powerful and will be as long as oppression is rampant.
In 1967 I lived in Phoenix AZ in a middle class neighborhood that was being transformed by King's ideals. Black and Latino families were moving in because they were getting better jobs and all of us kids played together. My dad told me years later that it became a popular thing to make friends with a family from another race. My newest best friend, Reggie, was black. One day my parents invited their family over for dinner. They got in their car and drove across the street to our house. Reggie and I thought that was hilarious. Today I look back and wonder. King was assassinated that Spring in 68. but his ideas mostly survived in our neighborhood as it became increasingly integrated. A large group of us played football and basketball everyday and listened to Motown blended with acid rock on the radio all through my school years. King's dream found some traction. 
But in about 1975 something changed that stifled the intergration movement. I still don't know what it was (I am all ears...).  Gangs began to be formed in Phoenix--raced based gangs of petty drug dealers and thieves. Most were segregated. Racial beatings began to occur. I remember one kid in my HS who was attacked by a large group and never came back to school. The spirit of  integration was choked out in Phoenix. As I moved into my adult years, I tended to be part of organizations that were largely white, only with a few "token" members who were "tolerated." Things declined in Phoenix as neighborhoods became more segregated and serious west-coast gangs set up shop in town and took over the drug trafficking. You know the rest.
This week, I sat in a meeting with 11 other PhDs trying to define "diversity." Whatever it is, we were that! Around the table were two black women, people from Russia, Guyana, Korea, and a couple of out-of-the -closet gays...oh yeah, and a few honkeys like me. Religion is not mentioned much there, but my colleagues were Christian, Jewish, Moslem, Buddhist, agnostic and atheist. A pretty diverse group who work well together, but in spite of all our education, we could not agree on diversity for fear of leaving some socially constructed "group" out and be guilty of academia's mortal sin. The faculty at my institution do not reflect the social groups of this midwest region that is largely white. Affirmative Action has deeply influenced our hiring policies and 2 of 3 new hires are "diverse." My name happens to be Jerome, and my research in grad school analyzed speeches by black leaders, and I studied at a mostly black college in the south (Reggie had an impact on me). While job hunting in 2000, I met some surprised hiring committees who thought they called a black man for the interview. Maybe that is the only reason I stumbled into a good job? Reverse discrimination? Too hard to prove, but as I watch administrators overturn the preferences of hiring committees 2/3 of the time to offer the job to a "diverse" candidate who isn't always the most qualified, I see it in action.
This past week we witnessed democracy break the surface of the flood of oppression and take a gasp of air. Activisim by some of us, Wikipedia, and others effectivly delayed the passage of SOPA. My son, knew what was going on before I did. Just last year I published an article explaining that the Mid east revolutions were made possible by the internet as a communication media that allowed social actvist to recruit and organize. Egypt would still be ruled by Mubarak without the internet. TV and Radio are too expensive for  us peons to use.But the internet...aaahhh, we can build websites and we have social media like facebook, blogspot (where Turd got started) and other such communication and networking tools. SOPA threatenes all that. Entertainment piracy was just a trojan horse.
Here in Turdville we have a community where one is not "judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Those who post thoughtful and relevent ideas earn respect. We have members from all over the world. Gender, education, ethnicity, nationalism--none seem to matter much here. I sense that we are all on equal footing, a truly integrated community where we are judged by our contributions, whether it is stock advice, PM purchasing , IRA investment, prepping advice, news alerts, and other items relevent to us all. We have our share of conflict, as does any group of people. King's dream permeates the culture here on Turd's blog, whether we know it or not, and on a million other webistes where communities of strangers come together, share ideas, and get to know one another. SOPA threatened all this, but we have a reprieve. I hope the impending collapse doesn't usher SOPA back in and kill this website.
Thanks Turd. Thanks everyone. You make my day, everyday.
Ircsum's picture

Nice one, Turd!

Enjoyed the podcast very much.

BTW, greetings from Singapore where I'm visiting my daughter over the Chinese New Year. I'll keep my eyes open for Santa who lives here also. :)

beinki's picture

Where's SOPA

Dr Jerome's picture

Cheese noodle

Now THAT's funny

ClinkinKY's picture

@ Dr. Jerome-- Reflections on MLK, SOPA and Turdville

1,o00 "hat tips" Doc!

Orange's picture

Protect Turd

Turdites! Don't post copyrighted material. I was just thinking about all the music and other material posted. Read this article.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/21/technology/antipiracy-case-sends-shivers-through-some-legitimate-storage-sites.html

Be Prepared's picture

@Dr. J - Speechless!

I would love for Turd to make that post.... a guest post on the blog.  Thank you for sharing your journey and the insights you have gained along the way.  I have already read it twice so that I wouldn't miss a thing!   :-)

s2man's picture

Great Interview

Great Interview.  Another big thanks to Turd.

@Moose.  Nielson agrees with your stand on mfr's not caring about the cost for silver in their products.

@vivekmert5.  Thanks for the chart porn. Is that first one a chart or a needlepoint pattern? ;-)

LaMachinna's picture

Dr. J

Wow!  Thanks so much for sharing that with us...we, as this community, are all much better for it.  Awesome!

Strongsidejedi's picture

SOPA and PIPA - a political comment

Guys, the PIPA and SOPA issue is a political red herring.

You can bet that Senator Reid will bring back that legislation in another form and attempt to tag it to something else.

The legislation is dangerous, but totally in alignment with the fact that the blogosphere is growing in political relevance.

The media is clearly having a harder time due to the existence of blogs like Turd's.

Google and the other e-commerce sites have revolutionized the media.  The impact of Google, Facebook, and Amazon is that the people have less inclination and interest in spending hours in front of the TV (outmoded now like Radio was in the 1950's).  This generation has sidelined the print media and the news in general.  Instead, it is Twitter (flashmob) and Email that is notifying people of the trends.  Then, you have guys like Celente and Keiser who notify the word via Youtube.

So, the NBC/Universal, Viacom, and ABC/Disney people need a new law to protect their ass.  They go to the Congress and tell the politicians that if you sponsor this legislation under the guise of "protecting copyrights", you can carve out a niche to protect us.  We, the MSM, will quid pro quo the coverage during news broadcasts of your main candidates during this important election.  We can also discount commercial ad time to the SuperPACs.  

Now, think about it you guys.  The legislation is basically saying that GOOG, EBAY, and FB have no SuperPAC.  This is the politicians telling the "new" guys, "pay our compaign more money".  Remember that Obama is doing dinners at $30,000 a plate.

Is any meal really worth 15 ounces of gold?  Heck, I know some really good cars or pieces of land for that amount of money.

SOPA and PIPA then become a way to have the politician kiss ass to the media and look good to them.  Then, when they retract the legislation, they can still tell the media "we tried" "vote for us again" "so we can get this through" "give more money to us".

These politicians then turn to us (the citizen) and say "they tried" "vote for us again" "because we listened to you and your influence is great" "we shot it down" "give us more money to protect your interest again".

Did shooting down SOPA or PIPA do anything to support sound money?

Nope.

It did nothing about the hegemony that is the Federal Reserve Bank and the USDX is still piece of bacon...cooked...burned...and smoked.

It's substantial political theatre designed to distract you from the main event (the USD-Euro and PM price movement and COMEX default).

This board, among all boards, is the board where the guys should be saavy to this.  Do not get swayed by the emotions of SOPA and PIPA...its a ruse.

ReachWest's picture

Friday Cartoon

Thanks Turd, Have not listened to the Podcast, yet - saving it for some quiet time, this afternoon.

I posted this cartoon in the Speak late yesterday, but never got a chance to post it here on main Street, so here it is.

Nick Elway's picture

Thanks Thanks Thanks

Thanks Turd for this place and Jeff Nielson podcast

Thanks Jeff Nielson for the Charles Savoie interview and "The Pilgrims" link between the Rhodes people and what we call the EE

Thanks vivek for the great "charts" post.  It is more than a post, it is a world view.

Thanks Dr Jerome for MLK and Banzai.

I love this place

ReachWest's picture

Interesting Speculation

@ Transformer:

I enjoyed reading your speculation about Sprott and the Silver COMEX. If that is, in fact, what's taking place, I hope Sprott has it thoroughly planned out, (which I'm sure he would) because the Force of Darkness are not to be underestimated.

If the run-up in price late Friday was due to certain players catching "wind" of this happening, then we will know for sure, over the next few days - I suspect this scenario would only take a few days to play out and drive Ag significantly higher. Interesting.

NW VIEW's picture

@ Dr. Jerome Non-muzzled

You have a great well written article.  Many of us have also lived through the great changes of how things were pre and post Dr. King.  You say things changed around 1975 and the effects of hiring/advancements in the work place has much to do with the changes.

My story is a common one:  Raised in a poverty community, worked my way through high school and Jr. college. Landed a job by passing a test with the highway department and being in the top score.  I became a state highway construction inspector and began working in Tacoma, Wa. on a new bridge project.  The state was really into diversity hiring and brought in several inner city young men, placed them on our engineering crews with full compensations and all the benefits.  Can you imagine the problems of engineering crews who never finished high school and even basic math skills who may be making more money than some of us who worked for years to obtain that sheep skin??   I finally asked who the young men were who were sleeping in the back of the engineering office during working hours.  This was some of the early problems of these words like unfairness, diversity, reverse discrimination, etc..

We all could write long posts as to how well these programs have worked and it is not all bad, just most of it.  M.L.K. had a dream and a great one, but the results of it took away the dreams of many others.  My Polish grandparents had a dream also when they stepped off the boat at Ellis Island, however to this day I cannot find any social programs or economic advantages from being Polish (If you know of any, send me the forms to fill out, better yet, find out a program at the state level to fill them out for me).  M.L.K. was NOT the first to have a dream for their family and race.  (Mr. B.O. could have a national holiday and declare Poles for minority hiring).

Now to my real point.  WE HAVE BEEN MUZZLED.  All these laws and regulations have made it illegal to even think or speak anything that even hints of discrimination.  SOPA is a muzzle.  We have been slowly led down a path that has taken away the value system of most of mankind.  Not all values are good and M.L.K. was the correct man for America in that hour and he became quite vocal in his dream. We have the opposite problem, we have been muzzled.

Whenever I turn on the tube, I see Hollywood is not muzzled.  They seem to say just about anything they want and their public lifestyles are as sinful as hell itself and we are muzzled.  Now I have placed "sinful and hell" here for a purpose.  These are things we talked about openly when I was a child but those words are muzzled today.  The concept of not wanting to offend has taken away our identity.  My Prayer for today is :"Lord, send us hell fire-brimstone,  called out ones,  to speak  to the world today" .(My non-muzzled quote).   jmo

argent rampant's picture

SOPA, PIPA, DOJ, FBI and power...

This an excerpt from an article by Jeffrey Tucker in today's issue of The Daily Reckoning (reposted with permission!) Think this will be covered in the MSM? Sure.

______________________________________________________

The government seems determined to turn out the lights on the digital age. And this is with or without SOPA or the other bills that were only this week shouted down by the global digital community on Blackout Wednesday. The very next day after support for that legislation collapsed after an impressive mass protest, the FBI and the Justice Department demonstrated that they don’t have to pay any attention to all this silly clamor. Congress, legislation, polling, debates, politicians, the will of the people — it’s all a sideshow to these people.

The FBI and Justice Department on their own initiative shut down megaupload.com, the biggest of thousands of file-sharing sites online, and arrested four of its top officials. The FBI is hunting down three others who seem to be on the lam. They all face extradition and twenty years in prison. As part of the sweep, the feds issued 20 search warrants and arrived at individual houses in helicopters. They cut their way into houses, threatened with guns, confiscated $50 million in assets, and outright stole 18 domain names and many servers.

And what is their grave crime? They are accused of abetting copyright infringement, that is, permitting the creating of copies of ideas expressed in media. No violence, no fraud, no force, no victims (but plenty of corporate moguls who claim without proof that their profits are lower as a result of file sharing).

Megaupload had millions of happy users. It was the 71st most popular website in the world. Only 2% of its traffic came from search engines, which means that its customer base was loyal and collected through the hard work and entrepreneurship of site owners. For its users, it was a wholly legitimate service. For the owners, their profits were hard earned through advertising.

But the government saw it differently. And contrary to what many people believe, the already-existing law permits the government to do pretty much whatever it wants, as this case shows. The government relied on a 2008 law to make criminal instead of civil charges. A newly created IP taskforce is the one that worked with the foreign governments to seal the deal.

In the end, it was a presentation of exactly the nightmare scenario that anti-SOPA protesters said would happen if SOPA had passed. It turns out, as the deeper realms of the state already knew, that all of this was possible with no Congressional action at all. Congress doesn’t need to do anything. We can watch the debates, go to the polls, elect people to represent us, and perform all the rest of the rituals of the civic religion but none of it matters. Power is here, active, oppressive, in charge, permanent, regardless of what you might believe.

Dr Jerome's picture

Muzzled

Yes, I feel muzzled at times, NW VIEW.  Not only would I be told to be quiet, that my opinion is evil, I would probably face subtle retribution if I criticized a college administrator for their hiring practices. Fortunately, most of our co-workers are qualified and good at their jobs, or it would be very difficult, like what you faced on the engineering crews.

silverwood's picture

Jeff Nielson gets it!

I totally agree in Jeff's observation of what occurred in  the beginning of 2011 in the silver market. It is prima facie evidence of an attempt to stifle the flow of awakened people and the momentum of newly awakening people into the safe haven silver is. The picture was painted of an extremely violent market to create fear and confusion. If fiat money is to be our monetary system, any competition using silver, as something like what Mr. Hugo Salinas Price is proposing has to be stifled.

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