“A few hours ago, the Food and Drug Administration declared it no longer needs credible evidence to seize food that may be contaminated. Ignoring the Fourth Amendment entirely, the FDA claims that based on mere suspicion that a food product has been contaminated or mislabeled, and that serious illness or death will result, it can hold the food for 30 days while it then looks for evidence. It claims this power under the Food Safety Modernization Act, which President Monsanto, I mean, Obama, signed in January.
On May 4th, the FDA stated:
“Previously, the FDA’s ability to detain food products applied only when the agency had credible evidence that a food product presented was contaminated or mislabeled in a way that presented a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.
“Beginning July, the FDA will be able to detain food products that it has reason to believe are adulterated or misbranded for up to 30 days, if needed, to ensure they are kept out of the marketplace. The products will be kept out of the marketplace while the agency determines whether an enforcement action such as seizure or federal injunction against distribution of the product in commerce, is necessary.”
Credible evidence no longer applies, it seems.”
Via COTO Report
“Not content to tax your gasoline purchases, now the government wants to track exactly how far you drive – which, of course, implies tracking exactly where you drive.
The Obama administration has floated a transportation authorization bill that would require the study and implementation of a plan to tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive.
Among other things, CBO suggested that a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on each car to determine how many miles were driven; payment could take place electronically at filling stations.
Oh yeah, that’ll go over well.
You do realize, folks, that it’s trivially easy to tamper with such a device unless it also stores tracks. That is, exactly where you drove, not just how far. And that tampering with such a device would be ridiculously profitable and, if tied to you via your fill-ups, would be effectively anonymous, which would make cheating impossible to prosecute.
Therefore, that couldn’t be done. Therefore, the unit’s identity would have to be tied to you, and the path you traveled would have to be stored and maintained in order to validate that you hadn’t cheated.”
Via Market Ticker
“The US government’s bin Laden story was so poorly crafted that it did not last 48 hours before being fundamentally altered. Indeed, the new story put out on Tuesday by White House press secretary Jay Carney bears little resemblance to the original Sunday evening story. The fierce firefight did not occur. Osama bin Laden did not hide behind a woman. Indeed, bin Laden, Carney said, “was not armed.”
The firefight story was instantly suspicious as not a single SEAL got a scratch, despite being up against al Qaeda, described by former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld as “the most dangerous, best-trained, vicious killers on the face of the earth.”
Every original story detail has been changed. It wasn’t bin Laden’s wife who was murdered by the Navy SEALs, but the wife of an aide. It wasn’t bin Laden’s son, Khalid, who was murdered by the Navy SEALs, but son Hamza.
Carney blamed the changed story on “the fog of war.” But there was no firefight, so where did the “fog of war” come from? “
Via Lew Rockwell
“World food prices rose to near a record in April as grain costs advanced, adding pressure to inflation that is accelerating from Beijing to Brasilia and spurring central banks to raise interest rates.
An index of 55 commodities rose to 232.1 points from 231 points in March, the United Nations’ Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report on its website today. The gauge climbed to an all-time high of 237.2 in February before dropping 2.6 percent in March.
The cost of living in the U.S. rose at its fastest pace since December 2009 in the 12 months ended in March, the same month in which Chinese consumer prices rose by the most since 2008. The European Central Bank raised interest rates on April 7, joining China, India, Poland and Sweden in a bid to control inflation partly blamed on food costs. Costlier food also contributed to riots across northern Africa and the Middle East that toppled leaders in Egypt and Tunisia this year.”
“Corn has almost doubled in the past 12 months on speculation that more planting in the U.S., the world’s largest grower, won’t be sufficient to rebuild global stocks. Wheat surged 57 percent over the same period and soybeans gained 39 percent as flooding ruined crops in Canada and Australia and drought reduced harvests in Russia and Europe.
Of the grains, corn “is the most worrisome,” Abbassian said in a statement. “We would need above-average, if not record, yields in the U.S.,” however, “plantings so far have been delayed considerably due to cool and wet conditions on the ground,” he said.”
“The Obama administration has floated a transportation authorization bill that would require the study and implementation of a plan to tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive.
The plan is a part of the administration’s “Transportation Opportunities Act,” an undated draft of which was obtained this week by Transportation Weekly.
The White House, however, said the bill is only an early draft that was not formally circulated within the administration.”
Via The Hill
“Please pray for those living along the Mississippi River. They are going to need it. The tornadoes that just ripped through the southeast U.S. are being called one of the worst natural disasters in American history, and now the flooding along the Mississippi River may top the damage done by those tornadoes. In fact, some are now projecting that this will be the worst Mississippi River flood ever recorded since the United States became a nation. You don’t believe that? Well, Bob Anderson, an Army Corps of Engineers spokesman based in Vicksburg, Mississippi says that there has “never been a flood of this magnitude on the upper Mississippi”. And you know what they say – “never” is a really, really long time. Hopefully everyone in the region has really good flood insurance. The flood that this is being compared to is the great 1937 Mississippi River flood. That flood was so nightmarish that it changed the whole way that the U.S. government approaches floods, but now this flood is surpassing the record levels set back in 1937 in many areas. This truly is a historic flood.”
“Today’s Silver Scandal
Under-30 silver traders weren’t alive to see the billionaire Hunt Brothers bankrupted by silver trades, and those under-45 years old probably never read about it. The Hunts’ silver debacle occurred after the “soybean caper,” but before the CFTC fined them $500,000 in a July 1981 out of court settlement for blatant violation of commodities laws in their attempt to corner beans. The Hunts had borrowed money to buy silver and leveraged themselves in silver futures in an attempt to corner the market.
On March 14, 1980, the CFTC staff reported to their commissioners that the Hunt Brothers could handle their short-term losses as silver prices fell, because “they bought at low prices.” The CFTC was right about the low purchase prices (around $15 on average), but it was wrong when it thought the Hunt brothers could handle the losses.
Simultaneously, then Treasury Secretary Paul Volcker instituted a new directive to U.S. banks as part of his anti-inflation policy. It was a “special restraint” on lending to speculators with holdings in commodities or precious metals. The banks knew better than to mess with Volcker, and they immediately closed the lending spigot to speculators in gold and silver.”
Via Zero Hedge
“ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet has backed off his usual way of signaling a rate hike, which is to use the phrase “strong vigilance”. Instead, Trichet said today “the ECB will monitor inflation risks very closely”.
The market interpreted this change as a pause in rate hikes by the ECB. Unlike most, I had been expecting this action by Trichet for many reasons. I gave some of those reasons in my speech last week at Saxo bank. (See Meeting with Saxo Bank Chief Economist; My Speech in Copenhagen; Images of Stockholm and Copenhagen) for a discussion and lots of digital images.”