English: A frame from a screencast from the US House Financial Committee full committee hearing “An Examination of the Extraordinary Efforts by the Federal Reserve Bank to Provide Liquidity in the Current Financial Crisis which took place Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 1:00pm, 2128 Rayburn House Office Building. The frame shows Chairmen Ben Bernanke responding to a question posited by John E. Sweeney Full Committee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bernanke’s QE3 Announcement in 90 seconds (CNN video)
“NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The Federal Reserve announced plans to unleash more stimulus Thursday, in its third attempt at a controversial program to rev up the U.S. economy.
“The policy, known as quantitative easing and often abbreviated as QE3, entails buying $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities each month. The end date remains up in the air, as the Fed will re-evaluate the strength of the economy in coming months.
“The Fed is wasting no time. The purchases begin Friday and are expected to add up to only $23 billion for the remainder of September.
“The bond-buying policy “should put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative,” the Fed’s official statement said.
“Meanwhile, the Fed will continue its existing policy known as Operation Twist. Together the two programs will add $85 billion in long-term bonds to the Fed’s balance sheet each month.
“In addition, the Fed also indicated that it plans to keep short-term interest rates at “exceptionally low levels” until mid-2015. Previously, the Fed had forecast rates would remain low until late 2014.
“The central bank’s main objective is to lower interest rates and mortgage rates in particular. By keeping rates low, the Fed hopes to fuel more spending and eventually, more hiring.
“Related: QE3 won’t create jobs
“The Fed has been trying to stimulate the economy for over three years now, and has exhausted its usual tool by keeping interest rates near zero since late 2008. Quantitative easing is an unconventional way of trying to lower rates further.
“But given that the unemployment rate has remained above 8%, the Fed is still not satisfied.
“The weak job market should concern every American. It imposes hardship on people and a waste of human skills and talents,” Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a press conference later Thursday.”
Read more at CNNMoney
Roll-Your-Own Tobacco Stores May Cease To Exist Under New Law – Huffington Post
As members of Congress praised the transportation bill that passed last Friday, owners of some small tobacco shops cringed.
A measure sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and tucked inside the bill could spell the end for hundreds of “roll-your-own” tobacco stores that have sprouted up across the nation in recent years, shop owners and tobacco experts said.
The stores sell smokes at dramatically reduced prices by offering loose tobacco, which customers can convert into finished cigarettes using in-store machines, all for around half the cost of cigarettes from major brands like Marlboro.
The new federal law, set for President Obama’s signature, makes it harder for stores with roll-your-own cigarette machines to classify the tobacco they sell as pipe tobacco –- which is taxed at a lower rate than cigarette tobacco. It also forces the shops to obtain tobacco manufacturing permits, even though many only have retail zoning rights.
“This law is not designed for people to comply with,” said Phil Acordino, president of RYO Machines, which began manufacturing roll-your-own cigarette machines in 2008.
“It’s designed to put these people out of business,” he said. “They couldn’t get a manufacturer’s permit if they wanted to.”
Read the rest here.
Read “Florida Man arrested for Spitting on Sidewalk“and see video at TBO.com
Warning: This piece is riddled with personal opinion, sarcasm, insults, political incorrectness, bad attitude, and a little foul language, but it does provide a nice handful of important information as well. Enjoy!
Joseph Stoiber, a self-proclaimed insomniac, was out for an early a.m. stroll, talking on his cell phone, when a police officer approached him and questioned his motives for…gasp…walking around a supposedly free country. The officer asked to pat him down, as he legally has the right to do, even though it is absurd and repugnant to the Constitution, but Joseph Stoiber refused, as he has every legal right to do because the cop had no probable cause. The cop and the Stoiber started disputing the really simple, obvious legality of Stoiber, an American citizen guilty of no crime, nor suspicious of committing any crime, walking about his own country in the morning hours and refusing a warrantless search.
“Things got heated” (read: Cop’s ego couldn’t handle legally being told “no” by a lowly citizen) and Stoiber was handcuffed. He then committed the unthinkable crime of spitting on a sidewalk because he had chewing tobacco in his mouth. Stoiber was then arrested, because it is illegal to spit on the sidewalk in Florida.
AP reports that beginning Tuesday, countries came together in protest of the violence in Syria by expelling Syrian diplomats from their countries. This includes United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Japan, and Bulgaria.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday, “It is out of the question to remain silent and without any reaction in the face of this action, which amounts to a crime against humanity,” and “This grave crime against humanity by those who have attempted a massacre of civilians cannot go unpunished.”
Death counts for the massacre are being reported at up to 116 people murdered during the slaughter in Houla on May 25. The Syrian government continues to deny responsibility, while the survivors say Assad’s troops were responsible “for at least some” of the carnage.
The Spanish people were angered when King Juan Carlos went on an expensive elephant hunt during their current economic crisis. In this case however, it’s not just because it is a frivolous use of money that has people upset, but King Juan Carlos is also the president of the Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Fund.
Florida Governor Scott embarrassed the King when he asked him about the hunt, causing an “international stir.” Governor Scott said, “I’ve ridden elephants, I’ve never tried to shoot one,” as he walked in to shake King Juan Carlos’ hand.
Tampa Bay Times
“All the news outlets highlight the absolute lack of tact of the Florida governor, which can only be attributed to poor preparation for the meeting,” TV personality Sandra Sabatés says on the satirical news show El Intermedio (Halftime). “Gov. Scott continues, obstinate in his error. He adds insult to injury and asks the king increasingly uncomfortable questions about the details of the hunt.”
Read the rest here
Save the animals…so royalty can shoot them?
Edited May 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM to embed video.
Greece Weighs Technocrat Government – WSJ.com.
This has already been discussed within the last year (link and another link) for a solution in various parts of the world, but I sure don’t remember hearing about technocracy 10 years ago, however I wasn’t exactly reading the news at that time.
It’s too soon for Greece to have the idealistic technocracy. They have no money to build the infrastructure needed for the smart grid and internet of things. I also think the global energy network aka worldwide smart grid needs to be further developed as well for efficiency to be maximized, but it could be possible without the whole world being on the same steps in development, I don’t know, I’m not an “expert.” (technocracy- a theory or system of society according to which government is controlled by scientists, engineers, and other experts) They need the smart grid, intelligence and data facilities, a way to pay for and possibly manufacture new appliances, a new transportation system, and more to efficiently exert total control over all aspects of life. Of course, not until trans-humanism or some other evolution can I imagine anyone being capable of making apolitical decisions for society. I have some old Technocracy books I need to pull out and read. Anyway, I’ll be keeping my eye out for more technocracy talk.
The Technocracy Study Course