“On the way from San Marino yesterday, I had to stop for some gas near Rimini, a beautiful beach town on Italy’s Adriatic coast. As an aside, Italian gas prices are among the highest in Europe… and the world… at €1.77 per liter (almost USD $8.50 per gallon).
Naturally, the vast majority of this is due to taxes. From the € 1.77 per liter, only about € 0.48 can be attributed to the price of oil. Profit margin and distribution costs run about € 0.28. The rest of it (just over 1 euro) is tax. This amounts to an effective tax rate of over 130% on fuel.
Anyhow, when I pulled in to the gas station, I whipped out my American Express card and asked the attendant in broken Italian to turn on the pump. He acted like I had just punched him in the gut, wincing when he saw my credit card. “No… cash, only cash,” he said.
I didn’t have very much cash on me, so I drove to the next station where a similar experience awaited me.
This is a trend that is typical when economies are in decline– cash is king. Businesses often won’t want to spend the extra 2.5% on credit card merchant fees… but more importantly, distrust of the banking system and a debilitatingly extractive tax system pushes people into cash transactions.”
Via Sovereign Man
“The Social Security Administration released its annual statistical report on federal disability insurance last month, revealing that at the end of 2011 there was a then-record of 8,575,544 workers collecting federal disability benefits and among them were 1,304,851 doing so because they suffered from “mood disorders.”
The incidence of “mood disorders” among disability beneficiaries was not proportionately distributed among the states and territories, according to the official SSA statistics. Some locations had much higher percentages of disability beneficiaries diagnosed with mood disorders than other locations.
In American Samoa, for example, only 3.1 percent of the workers collecting federal disability benefits had been diagnosed with a “mood disorder.” In Puerto Rico, by contrast, 33.3 percent of disability beneficiaries had a mood disorder.”
Via Patriot Update
“A vote for Obama will bring war with Syria, Iran, and eventually Russia and China. The economy will continue to suffer in order to bolster the interests of off-shore corporate-financier interests, while the collective prospects of Americans continue to whither and blow away. A vote for Romney, however, will also bring war with Syria, Iran, and eventually Russia and China. The economy will also continue to suffer in order to bolster the interests of off-shore corporate-financier interests, while the collective prospects of Americans continue to whither and blow away. Why?
Because the White House is but a public relations front for the corporate-financier interests of Wall Street and London. A change of residence at the White House is no different than say, British Petroleum replacing its spokesman to superficially placate public opinion; when, in reality, the exact same board of directors, overall agenda, and objectives remain firmly in place. Public perception then is managed by, not the primary motivation of, corporate-financier interests.
It is the absolute folly to believe that multi-billion dollar corporate-financier interests would subject their collective fate to the whims of the ignorant, uninformed, and essentially powerless voting masses every four years. Instead, what plays out every four years is theater designed to give the general public the illusion that they have some means of addressing their grievances without actually ever changing the prevailing balance of power in any meaningful way.
The foreign policy of both Obama and Romney is written by the exact same corporate-financier funded think-tanks that have written the script for America’s destiny for the last several decades.”
Via Activist Post
“Of course, we are sure this will not weigh on Bernanke’s decisions in the next week or two but for all those who don’t see inflation, courtesy of John Lohman, gas prices have never been higher during this third week of August. We remain flabbergasted that in the Wizard of Washington’s recent defense of QE, there was no mention of record high gas prices as justification for it ‘working’ and it would appear that ‘transitory’ means something different than us mere un-omnipotent-beings can comprehend.”
Via Zero Hedge
“Following the failure of the United Nations to reach a consensus on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the internationalist gun-grabbers are looking forward to Review Conference 2012 (RevCon 2012), to be held in New York beginning next week, on August 27.
Its agenda is spelled out on the Reaching Critical Will (RCW) website. RCW is described as a project of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the oldest women’s peace organization in the world. It is headquartered at the United Nations and receives funding from the CIA’s Ford Foundation.
“RevCon 2012 re-visits the UN’s Programme of Action (PoA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, adopted in 2001,” Paul Gallant, Alan J. Chwick, Sherry Gallant and Joanne D. Eisen note for AmmoLand.com.
“While the PoA enumerates many lofty-sounding objectives, to those unfamiliar with the UN’s agenda, to date, with regard to civilian firearm ownership, this might sound like a template for the elimination of human rights abuses,” they continue. “But armed with knowledge of the UN’s past efforts to achieve civilian disarmament, and reading all the provisions contained in the Programme, it is difficult to come away with any impression other than the PoA was really nothing short of a template to accomplish that.””
Via Info Wars
“Republicans could soon champion the protection of Internet Freedom as an official party issue, The Daily Caller has learned. Language in the final draft of the Internet freedom proposal was obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller.
The language was finalized on Tuesday, a source in the Republican Party told The Daily Caller, but it awaits party approval next week at the upcoming Republican National Convention.
Approval of the newly finalized draft language, however, would make the party the first of the two dominant political parties to fully and officially embrace Internet freedom. It also signals what Republicans view as important and necessary to keep the Internet open and free.
“Internet Freedom”, according to the finalized draft language, would entail the removal of “regulatory barriers” for technology businesses, resistance to international governance of the Internet and the “constitutional protection” of personal data.”
Via Info Wars
All nine bystander shooting victims at Empire State Building were shot by police! NYPD needs to learn gun control
“All nine of the bystanders who were injured in yesterday’s Empire State Building shooting incident were shot by police, the media is now reporting. NYPD officers “fired randomly” into the street, striking nine bystanders in the legs, buttocks and elbow. The gunman, Jeffrey Johnson, had only one intended target: his former boss. Johnson never fired at police, it turns out, despite Mayor Bloomberg’s initial description claiming he did.”
Questions have been raised over the New York police department’s handling of a shooting near the Empire State Building after armed officers injured nine passers-by as they pursued a gunman who had just shot dead his former boss.
One of those injured by police told the Guardian that officers appeared to fire “randomly” as they confronted Jeffrey Johnson, 58, minutes after a workplace dispute escalated into a chaotic shootout in one of the busiest parts of Manhattan.
Reports suggest that while Johnson drew his gun when he was confronted by officers, he did not fire; all those injured appear to have been shot by police.
Via Natural News
“When people talk about “preps” they’re usually talking about things like ammunition and food – both of which, obviously, are good things to keep handy in the event the SHTF. But, it’ll also be good to keep your teeth – otherwise you’ll have trouble eating that food – and the ammunition you use to down those deer won’t do you much good without a blender.
And a straw.
Not only that. An abscess can be just as lethal (only slower and more painful) than a gunshot wound. There is strong scientific evidence that a correlation exists between tooth decay/bacteria in one’s mouth and other, more serious ailments. Dentists will not be easy to find in a SHTF scenario, so avoiding – or at least, putting off – the need to find one in a SHTF scenario is arguably just as important as having sufficient food and ammo.
So, buy toothpaste.
And floss. And extra toothbrushes.”