Drivers, Beware: The Costly, Deadly Dangers Of Traffic Stops In The American Police State

Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“The Fourth Amendment was designed to stand between us and arbitrary governmental authority. For all practical purposes, that shield has been shattered, leaving our liberty and personal integrity subject to the whim of every cop on the beat, trooper on the highway and jail official. The framers would be appalled.”—Herman Schwartz,

Chinese Stocks Rise After Government Injects $100bn Into Sovereign (Rescue) Fund; Sell-off ‘Blame’ Shifts To Hong Kong

Despite the reassurances from western media and talking heads that China is unimportant (both its stock market and economy), Asian economies continue to show signs of contagion from China's slowdown as Thai exports weaken and Hong Kong trade tumbles. But it is the blame game that is top of mind tonight as Chinese regulators switch attention to Hong Kong brokers in their “investigation into malicious sellers.” As SCMP's George Chen notes, first they blame a “foreign force,” and now they blame Hong Kong, always careful not to blame themselves. After 3 down days, Chinese stocks look are opening slightly higher as there is little follow-through from yesterday's PPT rescue or today's panic-buying in US markets especilaly in light of an additional $100bn injection into the sovereign (rescue) fund.

Just throw another 100bn at it…

BREAKING: Chinese Gov injects US$100B to sovereign fund's direct investment subsidiary to buy assets abroad – Caixin pic.twitter.com/Y3OzOUfBEv

— George Chen (@george_chen) July 29, 2015

Ron Paul Slams Gen. Wesley Clark: Is He Kidding, Internment Camps?

Submitted by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institue for Peace & Prosperity,

Last week, Retired General Wesley Clark, who was NATO commander during the US bombing of Serbia, proposed that “disloyal Americans” be sent to internment camps for the “duration of the conflict.” Discussing the recent military base shootings in Chattanooga, TN, in which five US service members were killed, Clark recalled the internment of American citizens during World War II who were merely suspected of having Nazi sympathies. He said: “back then we didn’t say ‘that was freedom of speech,’ we put him in a camp.”

He called for the government to identify people most likely to be radicalized so we can “cut this off at the beginning.” That sounds like “pre-crime”!

Gen. Clark ran for president in 2004 and it’s probably a good thing he didn’t win considering what seems to be his disregard for the Constitution. Unfortunately in the current presidential race Donald Trump even one-upped Clark, stating recently that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is a traitor and should be treated like one, implying that the government should kill him.

These statements and others like them most likely reflect the frustration felt in Washington over a 15 year war on terror where there has been no victory and where we actually seem worse off than when we started. The real problem is they will argue and bicker over changing tactics but their interventionist strategy remains the same.

Retired Army Gen. Mike Flynn, who was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, told al-Jazeera this week that US drones create more terrorists than they kill. He said: “The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just … fuels the conflict.”

Still Washington pursues the same strategy while expecting different results.

It is probably almost inevitable that the warhawks will turn their anger inward, toward Americans who are sick of the endless and costly wars. The US loss of the Vietnam war is still blamed by many on the protesters at home rather than on the foolishness of the war based on a lie in the first place.

Let’s hope these threats from Clark and Trump are not a trial balloon leading to a clampdown on our liberties. There are a few reasons we should be concerned. Last week the US House passed a bill that would allow the Secretary of State to unilaterally cancel an American citizen’s passport if he determines that person has “aided” or “abetted” a terrorist organization. And as of this writing, the Senate is debating a highway funding bill that would allow the Secretary of State to cancel the passport of any American who owes too much money to the IRS.

Canceling a passport means removing the right to travel, which is a kind of virtual internment camp. The person would find his movements restricted, either being prevented from leaving or entering the United States. Neither of these measures involves any due process or possibility of appeal, and the government’s evidence supporting the action can be kept secret.

We should demand an end to these foolish wars that even the experts admit are making matters worse. Of course we need a strong defense, but we should not provoke the hatred of others through drones, bombs, or pushing regime change overseas. And we must protect our civil liberties here at home from government elites who increasingly view us as the enemy.


Trump Is “The Best Thing To Happen To Politics In A Long Time,” Mark Cuban Says

Make no mistake, Donald Trump has made an enormous splash in the early days of the race for the GOP Presidential nomination.

Need proof? You could check out the polls…

..or just have a look at the cover of the latest New Yorker…

…or simply tune in to the nightly news where you’re sure to hear the latest sound bite from the incorrigible billionaire, whose main advantage may be that he is simply “gaffe proof”, which would explain why a series of statements which would have likely amounted to political suicide for anyone else, have only served to boost his popularity.

In any event, it appears as though Trump can now count on the support of a fellow billionaire because as The Hill reports, Mark Cuban now says “The Donald” is “the best thing to happen to politics in a long time.” Here’s more from Cuban:

Up until Trump announced his candidacy the conventional wisdom was that you had to be a professional politician in order to run. You had to have a background that was politically scrubbed. In other words, smart people who didn’t live perfect lives could never run. Smart people who didn’t want their families put under the media spotlight wouldn’t run. The Donald is changing all of that. He has changed the game and for that he deserves a lot of credit.

The True Minimum Wage Is $0 Per Hour

Submitted by Jeffrey Snider via Alhambra Investment Partners,

The minimum wage is not what is commonly referred, as is being proven again as parts of the US experiment directly with this boundary. In New York, fast food workers have been given a $15 per hour minimum wage which is being celebrated by the same fast food workers who will bear the brunt of the experimentation. Some of them will be happy with the results, but there will be clear losers – the full wrath of redistribution is usually unseen which is why it persists.

Twitter had been having fun on the other side of the country with a similar minimum wage diktat, as the University of California system mandates also a $15 per hour rate. Professors, who overwhelmingly lean in a favorable direction, are being shown this mathematical reductionism up close. One physics professor who in one tweet reiterated his support took the next to realize the logic of it.

Caught On Tape: The Moment Diver Discovers $1 Million In Gold From 300-Year-Old Spanish Shipwreck

Following the latest mass media assault on gold, capped with such trollbait pearls as “Gold is doomed” or the classic “Let’s Be Honest About Gold: It’s a Pet Rock” by the inimitable Jason Zweig (imitable perhaps only by the September 2011 version of Jason Zweig when, days after gold hit its all time high just shy of $2000, he famously said “Is Gold Cheap? Who Knows? But Gold-Mining Stocks Are”… since then gold-mining stocks are down 80%) we were more shocked that someone would actually bother to look for the worthless pet rocks (of which China allegedly just bought 600 tons) than actually finding them during a random dive in the sea.

Which is precisely what happened.

For several weeks the Schmitt family had a million-dollar secret on their hands. Last month, it recovered $1 million worth of sunken Spanish coins and jewels off the Florida coast.

The Schmitts are subcontractors to 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels LLC which since 2010 has the salvaging rights to a fleet of Spanish ships, aka the “1715 Fleet”, that wrecked off the Florida coast some 300 years ago. While $50 million has been pulled in from the fleet’s resting place so far, this is so far the biggest single haul.

“One of the most amazing recoveries in 1715 Fleet History. Congratulations to the entire Schmitt family and the crew of the Aarrr Booty,” said 1715 Fleet on its Facebook page Monday.

Some more details from the Fleet Society’s website: “Gold and silver in great quantity was homeward bound to Philip V when a hurricane destroyed his fleet along Florida’s coast. Some recovery in the aftermath still left much to be recovered beginning in the 1960’s and ongoing to this day.”

“The treasure was actually found a month ago,” said Brent Brisben of 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels LLC. Keeping the news under wraps was “particularly hard for the family that found it. They’ve been beside themselves.”

The timing of 1715 Fleet’s announcement coincides with the 300th anniversary of the Spanish treasure fleet’s shipwrecks off the coast of Florida.

Among the precious items recovered:

51 gold coins 40 feet of ornate gold chain A single coin called a Royal made for the king of Spain, Phillip V. Only a few are known to exist, and the coin — nicknamed “Tricentennial Royal” — is dated 1715. Brisben said the extremely rare silver-dollar-sized coin is worth “probably around half a million dollars itself.”

Queens Jewels owner Brent Brisben told the Daily News this discovery is of the biggest single hauls taken from the ship.

Or, as the WSJ would call it, a whole bunch of pet rocks.

Brisben gives 20% of everything found to the state of Florida and then splits the remaining treasure equally with the contractor that finds it. Brisben said he and his family will keep everything they have and save it for a special collection for the public.

It’s believed there is still $400 million worth of treasure located below, he said.

As the WSJ’s sister publication, MarketWatch adds, “the discovery comes almost 300 years to the day that the fleet wrecked. As for the history, the ships were sent to America to fetch gold and silver and under pressure to get back quickly, as the Spanish crown needed to replenish its coffers to finance wars. Sailing from Havana, Cuba on July 24, 1715, the ships crashed during a hurricane a week later near present-day Vero Beach, Fla. The Spaniards returned a few times, salvaging a great chunk of that treasure.”

Three hundreds years later wars are financed by long strings of 1s and 0s, backed by the full faith of a government whose total unfunded obligations amount to over 5x the total amount of goods and services produced by said government.

Back to the discovery, whose key components are shown below.

Fifty-one gold coins and 40 feet of gold chains were found from a Spanish ship of the 1715 Fleet

The total value of the haul is more than $1 million.

About $50 million worth of treasure has been discovered since the 1960s.

* * *

But the biggest drama was the actual moment when Schmitt discovered the gold, captured conveniently in the video below.