Category Archives: Events

World Events

We must all do what we can: Moments I’ve gotten choked up at the idea of America

We were privileged today to witness an oath ceremony which is taken by residents of the United States who have chosen to become naturalized citizens.  What we thought would be a mildly interesting event, which for those taking the oath serves as the final step towards becoming a full-fledged American citizen, moved us to tears.

The ceremony, far from being a bureaucratic event with little more to offer congratulatory remarks and an official seal affixed to a document, is a veritable celebration of the idea of America.

What is moving about the ceremony, at least for us, is a video segment which shows still shots of immigrants of the past, all of whom have come to America’s shores to escape oppression,  seek opportunity, or both.  It is very powerful.

After the ceremony, they show a brief video address by President Obama, where he welcomes the immigrants to America by inviting them to become part of the great American story which is now their story as well.  He encourages them to do good both in their communities and throughout the world.

The ceremony is a celebration of the American idea, that all men and women are free, and that with this freedom comes the obligation to protect it and to share it with others.  To use it for the betterment of mankind.

It chokes us up to think about it.  We have only been brought to tears at the idea of America three times:  First, in 1992, watching Carl Lewis anchor the 4 x 100 relay in Barcelona, where he covered 100 meters faster than any human being before or since.  Second, while watching the movie Seabiscuit.  And third, today, at the citizenship oath ceremony.

Despite the faults that are inherent in self-government, we will always be inspired by the idea of America and have a profound respect for immigrants, both legal and illegal, for they are the embodiment of this ideal.

In closing, we echo the President’s exhortation, both in the State of the Union and in his video message welcoming new US citizens, that we must all do what is within our power to better the lot of our fellow-man and woman, for to better their lot is to better our own.

Martin Luther King’s guiding light

Today, the United States of America will live through a day which is charged with irony.  On one hand, its citizens will hear a discourse given with the aid of teleprompters from the Commander-in-Chief of the most lethal killing machine on the planet.  On the other, the same nation will celebrate one of the greatest community organizers and peacemakers of modern times, Martin Luther King, Jr.

In honor of the Dr. King, we wish to share perhaps some little known facts about the man who immortalized the words, “I have a dream.”

The first is that Martin Luther King was seeking a relatively low-key role in the desegregation movement that he is now recognized as the leader of.  According to the documentary of the Civil Rights Movement, “Soundtrack for a Revolution,” Dr. King was thrust into the leadership role of the movement in Alabama largely so that the local leaders could save face should it fail.

The second, and most enduring, are the tactics which Dr. King employed in mobilizing forces against segregation, those of non-violent resistance.  These tactics made the American Civil Rights Movement both unique and undeniably effective.

In Dr. King’s time, non-violent resistance had been most recently employed on a large-scale by Gandhi in India.  Non-violent resistance is the idea that acts of non-resistance in the face of aggression are more powerful than the all of the weapons and anger on earth, for it is clear that fighting violence with violence tends to lead to further violence.  In order to break the cycle of violence, it must be confronted with peace.

Some of the most eloquent defenses of Dr. King’s moral guiding light have been written by relative unknowns such as Adin Ballou, who wrote the Catechism of Non-Resistance, and William Lloyd Garrison, who penned the Declaration of non-resistance.

In practice, Dr. King employed the tactics championed by Wyatt Tee Walker, who advocated direct but peaceful confrontation in the form of protests and marches.  The premise being that unjust laws, such as those employed to maintain the policy of segregation, would not stand in the face of public scrutiny if peacefully resisted on a large-scale.

Today, in honor of one of the greatest leaders of the modern age, let us embrace non-aggression and turning the other cheek as the ultimate solution to our problems, if even for a day.

Famous quotes attributed to Dr. King:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“the time is always right to do the right thing”

Lance Armstrong comes clean on Oprah

Lance Armstrong in a Nike spot aired during the Tour de France. It would appear that now the script can be officially amended. We still like Lance Armstrong. PEDs appear to be a fact of life near the front of the peleton:

http://espn.go.com/espnw/mobile/touch/8854048/lance-armstrong-interview-oprah-winfrey-doping-typical-spectacle

 

JFK on peace

On gun control

12/18/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

With the unthinkable tragedy that has taken place in Connecticut, it has become fashionable to once again to turn to a form of national gun control legislation as the answer.  The nation has been down this road all too often in its brief history, as such, it is normal and proper that these events shock the public conscience into some sort of action.

However, even though we, at The Mint, advocate what we call “peaceful, non-resistance,” meaning that we believe that the most effective way of ending violence is to personally renounce it, to avoid confrontation where possible and, when impossible, to meet violent individuals with a spirit of peace, we also recognize that we do not live in the utopia that gun control advocates unwittingly presume when peddling their legislative plans to remove guns from the society.

We consider Portland to be one of the most peaceful places on the planet.  This may or may not be true for everyone here, but it will help us to prove a point regarding Police to Citizen ratios.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the ideal Full time Police Officer ratio for a city the size of Portland is 2.5 for every 1,000 residents.  Portland’s current force is roughly 940 for a population of 593,820, which is a ratio of roughly 1.58 officers for every 1,000 residents, or one officer for every 631 residents.

No matter how you slice it, 631 people is a lot for one man or woman to be responsible for protecting.

For perspective, this ratio is claimed to be closer to 5 officers per 1,000 in New York and Los Angeles.  On the other side of the spectrum, we have heard that Santa Cruz, Bolivia, considered to be the wild west, the ratio is something like 1 officer per 1,000 residents.

To see if increased police protection is synonymous with lower homicide rates, we’ve compiled some rough data which maps homicide rates in major cities against their Police to citizen ratio.  Here, we present a rough graph of our rough data for your perusal:

Homicide vs Police to citizen ratios

In addition to the cities above, we threw in London, England, which has combined both stringent gun control with a larger than average police force.

It is interesting to note that, while New York and Los Angeles have the highest police force to citizen ratio in our sample, they also have the highest homicide rates.  As such, it is difficult to tell if a larger police force is the key to controlling urban homicides.

However, it is interesting to note that, in urban areas, it appears that gun control may be effective in controlling homicides.  However, this theory is seriously impaired when a city like Chicago or Washington, DC is considered.

As long as human beings are imperfect, unpredictable violence is likely to remain a part of the social landscape.  While it is even more shocking when it occurs in low crime areas, it should be clear that unpredictable violence is just that, unpredictable. Policy remedies are imperfect.

So why the second amendment?  To explain why the right to bear arms is integral to the operation of any free society, we turn to video of testimony by Dr. Suzanna Gratia-Hupp, who is a survivor of the 1991 Luby’s massacre and leading advocate of the individual’s right to carry a concealed weapon.  In her famous closing words, which can be seen in the clip below, she articulately states that the second amendment (we paraphrase) “wasn’t meant to protect our right to hunt ducks, it was meant to give us a means to protect ourselves from y’all (the government)”

Is it right to categorically deny a population of nearly 400 million persons the right to defend themselves (or hunt ducks, for that matter)?  Second amendment advocates and the peoples of the former Soviet Union, Turkey, and Cambodia, who were systematically exterminated after surrendering such a right, would say no.

On the other hand, peace loving individuals who live in dense, urban populations may have a different opinion, where ideological battles such as the right to bear arms are meaningless if the threat of urban warfare is too close for comfort.

Whatever the choice, it can only be made at the individual level, there is no policy prescription, save the to often ignored 5th commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” to which Jesus added, “Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword.”

Perhaps rather than attempting to control anything, a greater respect for human life and the Golden rule should be espoused by all.  This may be the only thing that everyone involved can truly live with.

May the victims of this most recent of tragedies rest in peace, and may we be shocked into peacefully renouncing violence against one another.

Stay tuned for the conclusion of the third sign and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for December 18, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.62
Oil Price per Barrel:  $88.06
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.20
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.83%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,669
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.7%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.3%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,332
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,527,700,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,375,100,000,000

President Obama’a brief, emotional Speech on Connecticut School Shooting

The President shares the nation’s grief at the unthinkable act that occurred today. Decent people everywhere must be shocked into doing the right thing. Find someone, hug them tight, and let peace reign from now on.

Along with the President’s speech, we offer the words of Robert Kennedy in his infamous and oft forgotten speech entitled, “On the Mindless Menace of Violence” (read it by clicking on the link).

Famed Apocalypse Consultant sees wealth squandered as too little, too late as 12-21-2012 approaches

12/13/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

On a rainy Thursday morning in Southeast Portland’s Bipartisan Cafe, we sit, slowing sipping our coffee with REM’s “The end of the world as we know it” playing softly in the background.  The clouds and rain match the mood of our companion, Dr. Roger Doomsday, the world’s leading Apocalypse consultant.  Dr. Doomsday, who has not even touched his mug since it arrived 10 minutes ago, stares quietly out the window at the traffic passing on SE Stark and only wonders what might have been.

After what seems like an hour, the famed Apocalypse Consultant breaks the silence,

“They just don’t get it,” he laments.

Flash back to 1999.  Dr. Doomsday, who had previously helped groups such as the Branch Davidians, the Peoples Temple, and the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God prepare for the coming Apocalypse, was riding a wave of hope.

“I did a great disservice to my early clients,” Doomsday says, in the first of many understatements he would utter.  “Back then, my advice was too practical, I thought ‘hey, if you don’t want to go through this thing and have a better place to go to, why wait around for the Apocalypse?'”

Unfortunately for those of the Peoples Temple, Doomsday’s advice had horrific consequences which led to the greatest loss of civilian life in the US prior to 9/11.

After freeing himself from a slew of civil and criminal charges related to the matter, with the help of a then relatively unknown lawyer named Johnny Cochran, he began to reconsider his methods.

“I thought, rather than telling people to evacuate the planet before the inevitable occurs, why not try riding it out in style?”  He then lets out what we interpreted to be both a chuckle and a sob, “I guess Koresh took my advice a little too far.”

After the Branch Davidian fiasco, in which Doomsday claims his only error was “not counting on the FEDs showing up,” which was understatement number two of the morning, according to our count, the resilient Doctor, with the encouragement of his well paid legal counsel, again changed his approach.

“I began to wonder if counseling people to heavily arm themselves and live as gluttons in far away retreats was the right thing to do, so I dropped the firearms stockpiling from my standard Apocalypse preparedness program in favor of a greater allocation of funds towards revelry.”

Fast forward to Uganda in 1999.  Again, on the advice of Dr. Doomsday, the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God throws an epic party as what they deemed the end of the world as they knew it was approaching.

Unfortunately, a fire breaks out, enacting a heavy death toll on the revelers.  Again, another one of Doomsday’s clients leaves a trail of shattered lives as time nonchalantly marched forward.

“What happened in Uganda was lamentable,” Doomsday explains, “but I felt I was finally getting it right, and my official recommendation never involved open fires.”  Somehow, we felt that he was strangely giving a sales pitch and a disclaimer to us all in the same phrase, like the advertisements you hear on the radio.

With his approach strangely validated, albeit in his own mind, Dr. Doomsday moved from specializing in consulting obscure religious sects to taking his approach, which he called “Party like its 1999,” until The Artist, formerly known as The Artist Formerly known as Prince, formerly known as Prince, successfully sued Doomsday for copyright infringement, to both large corporations and governments.

“While the Apocalypse is always just around the corner, I had an incredible stroke of luck when the Mayan prediction began to be widely disseminated.  With the year 2000 in the past and the Jewish Messiah’s arrival famously unpredictable, I needed something for people to latch onto, an end date they could all embrace.”

For the Apocalypse Consultant, the Mayan’s 12-21-2012 cryptic codex interpretations came like manna from heaven.

“What do they mean? No one can tell, but I can tell you what those native stone carvings and the wild imagination of the archaeologists who encountered them meant to me, about $1 billion, yes, billion in net fees over the past twelve years!” exclaimed the Dr. with more incredulity than joy in his voice.

For the past twelve years, Doomsday has travelled the globe helping both corporations and governments to squander what he estimates to be “Eight centuries of accumulated wealth” in just over a decade.

“Everybody wanted a plan, Citibank, JPMorgan, all the big banks, Cargill, GE, Xerox,” recalled Doomsday, “the Department of Defense even had something called Homeland Security created as a vehicle for passing wealth straight to the sewers of history.  GW himself came up with the name, said it reminded him of home cooking, or something like that.”

“Some took my recommendations too far, too soon,” continued Doomsday, “Enron, Tyco, and Bear Stearns got all excited and blew up early, that was always the danger, blowing through the resources before the Apocalypse arrived.”

“‘How much is enough?’ everyone wanted to know, so I said “you know your retirement calculator?  Just shift your life span to end on 12-21-2012,” he laughed, “worked like magic, and saved me a ton of accounting fees on the back-end!”

He now stares at the commuters passing down Stark on their way to work or school through the Bipartisan’s window as shakes his head.  “I can only wonder what might have been,” he says, with a tone of regret.

While he believes much wealth has already been squandered, he can only wonder what might have been had the corporations fully implemented his recommendations.  However, corporations, who seemed to eagerly embrace his ideas early, have been too slow to act.

Dr. Doomsday’s standard recommendations, which he calls “no-brainers” if the world is about to end, involved a number of disincentives for employees to work.

“Categorically, I told employers to slash benefits and freeze wages, something that many waited until a couple of years ago to do.  Still, many employees saw the writing on the wall and retired, while others, notably union workers, clung to their jobs in the face of deep cuts…I didn’t see that coming!”

The idea was that, with such a disincentive to work, employees would do the math, retire, cash in their 401Ks and party or otherwise spend irrationally with 12-21-2012 in sight.  Simple on paper, but in practice, Dr. Doomsday underestimated the influence of one key factor:  The influence of the Apocal-skeptic.

It turns out, not everyone believed that the world would end on 12-21-2012.  Even when presented with the temptation to spend an estimate 800 years of accumulated savings in just 12, some people just couldn’t take the bait.

“The Apocal-skeptics didn’t believe it.  What was so clearly carved in stone by people smarter than ourselves some 3,000 years ago somehow didn’t register with them as credible evidence.  Only now is my phone blowing up with calls asking how to fast track recommendations which were laid out to debauch the earth over a minimum of 7 years to be executed in a week.  I threw my phone in the Willamette last night…I can’t take it, we had a golden chance and we wasted it, or didn’t, as it were.”

His sorrow is now evident, as a tear streams down his unshaven face.

“I mean, Citi just now laid off 11,000 workers?  They barely have time to blow their 401Ks on unbridled debauchery.  This isn’t how it was supposed to go down.”

Staring back at the window, he cries, “and these people look like they’re going to work!” as he slams his fist on the table, causing the half awake patronage to look in his general direction

“The only ones who truly got it are the Western Governments.  I mean, in sheer numerical terms, they have hit the ball out of the park when it comes to squandering wealth,”  He continues, “the Governments were already squandering an impressive amount of capital, I just gave them a reason to go all the way.”

While Doomsday still thinks the Government overdid it on things like defense spending, education, and cleaning up the environment, activities he says have no place in an apocalyptic mindset, he can’t deny the numbers.

“While I would have preferred to see my program of night club and amusement park development fully implemented, on net, they (Western Governments) have been the most proactive in encouraging leisure, revelry, and the ‘eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die’ mindset that is they very core of my philosophy,” he pauses and shakes his head, “they’ve done their fair share, but the people have failed them.”

He blames the human tendency to plan for the future, a survival mechanism which, he admits, takes time to overcome, as well as the Fiscal Cliff, which he claims is a myth which is perpetuated by Apocal-skeptics in the US congress who have a vested interest in the status quo, for derailing many of his recommendations before they made it out of committee and into various spending packages.

“I admit,” continues Doomsday, “that parts of my program, such as converting ship yards to churn out cruise ships and one of my favorites, constructing fraternity and sorority houses, as well as subsidies for inflatable play structures, seemed a bit far-fetched even for those convinced that the Apocalypse was coming…but our differences were more about how to waste the money, not whether or not it should be wasted,” he sighs, helplessly, “now they are setting up rules for Obamacare!”

Obambacare is a sore subject for Dr. Doomsday.  It was the antithesis of what he deemed a proper Apocalyptic health care system.

“For goodness sake, all you needed were some ERs to mend the thrill seekers.  Primary and preventative care?  Vaccinations?  Treating people with pre-existing conditions?  What are we trying to do, make people think they’ll live forever?!?!?!?!”

He shakes his head in resignation that a once in a lifetime opportunity was lost.

“I did my part, I told people how to properly waste money, gave them an endless bucket list, and the framework for the common man and woman to live out their numbered days in pure, shameless debauchery.  I even led by example.”

{Editors note:  In his last statement, Doomsday is referring to his lifestyle which, up until his personal fortune was exhausted last week, made Hugh Hefner and most gangster rappers blush}.

As the rain falls, we take a look at our iPhone, suddenly, as the digital display ticks another minute towards 12-21-2012, we realized that Dr. Doomsday, like the famous Gambler who spoke with Kenny Rogers, had given us an ace that we could keep.

We quickly thanked Dr. Doomsday, though he doesn’t respond as he stares blankly out  onto Stark street, and bolt out the door, right past the thought of paying the tab.  We didn’t even bother to take his pulse as our internal clock turned up the volume as the seconds began to tick away with an eerie clarity in our mind.

We dialed our 401k provider as we run out the door of the cafe, barely noticed by those half awake on this dreary Portland morning.

“Yes, I need my account liquidated and the funds delivered to me in cash as soon as possible…I know there are fees associated…just do it, I will be by to pick it up within the hour.”

As we begin to dial airlines, the voice of reason screams out, barely audible above the ticking in our head, something along the lines of, “Stop!”

That would be the last we heard from him, as we call our family and friends and invite them to an all expenses paid party in paradise.

Songs referenced in this satire:

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for December 13 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.63
Oil Price per Barrel:  $86.33
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.12
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.73%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,697 THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.7%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,171
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,527,700,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,375,100,000,000

86! The incomparable Lionel Messi breaks the scoring record

Watch the master at work netting 86 big ones.  Amazing:

Egypt and the Strategic Balance via Stratfor

More insight into what is happening in Egypt and what it means for the balance of power in the Middle East. Will the Egyptian military intervene? Enjoy another insightful report by Stratfor on the events unfolding now and what it all means:

Egypt and the Strategic Balance via Stratfor

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The time to short Apple, as in $AAPL, is nigh

11/29/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Here at The Mint, we don’t generally comment on individual stocks.  In general, we see equity prices as subject to monetary policy whims and HFT (High Frequency Trading) bots.  As such, it is rare that the perceived fundamentals of a stock match its bid in the markets at any given time, no matter how perfect the market’s knowledge may be.

Add to this the fact the Corporations are, at their base, socialist enterprises, and you too, fellow taxpayer, will begin to see equities in a whole new light.

That said, sometimes things come to us so clearly and are of such significance that we can ignore the fact that we are talking about an equity and simply study the phenomenon which it represents.  In the case of Apple, the brainchild of Steve Jobs that has given the world the IIe, the Macintosh, and the Ipod-phone-pad craze, among other things, the phenomenon we are witnessing demands a response.

In summary, we believe that about the time that Santa Claus makes his annual jaunt around the world, dropping Apples I-whatevers in the stockings of children, both young and old, of well heeled parents all over the world, it will be time for wise investors to short Apple, big time.

Why such a bold call?  Other than a hunch, confirmed by a recent analysis we were fortunate to read, we will attempt to articulate our reasoning for this prediction as follows:

1.  Reliance on patents as a business plan is equivalent to capitulation in the technological sector.  A short time ago, we wrote briefly regarding the lawsuits which Apple has launched against Samsung and others who have dared to “imitate” its mobile technology:

Apple’s use of Patent Law indicative of an inferior product offering

Relying on litigation either for revenues or to protect revenue streams is a losing strategy.  It not only hurts your competitors, but the public in general.  Since innovation got Apple to where it was, why not continue?  It shouldn’t be difficult with the largest cash hoard in corporate history at their disposal.

We once “got in” on an IPO for a company called “Caldera Systems,” and hung on for dear life, waiting for them to profit from the rising tide of Linux Operating Systems.  We then watched helplessly as their strategy degenerated from trying to profit from open source software to changing their name via an acquisition to SCO Group and initiating a lawsuit against IBM which boiled down to a few lines of code that SCO claimed was theirs.

As far as a business strategy, pursuing Intellectual Property claims is last ditch effort to save face.

2.  Steve Jobs is gone.  Mr. Jobs was a rare creative genius as well as the gravitational center of Apple.  Without him, Apple was bound to turn into the technological equivalent of the break up of the Roman Empire, or any Empire for that matter, with brutal wars for territory and resources, no matter how abundant they may be, which will eventually leave the Empire a shadow of its former self.

3.  Fund Manager window dressing.  Apple stock has minted a 44% return year to date at the time of this writing.  It has also become a big part of the Nasdaq and S&P 500.  As a consequence, many institutional investors have large direct or indirect stakes in Apple which has a juicy return that is begging to be booked before year end.  Sell.

4.  The moronic Fiscal Cliff.  This is crushing business confidence and by extension, the US Consumer.  The combination of the unprecedented uncertainty surrounding legislation with wide ranging economic consequences, such as Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank act, coupled with the debt ceiling, spending sequester, and sun setting tax provisions has utterly paralyzed American businesses as some 1,000 in Washington bicker over numbers they do not understand.  Washington will get a deal done and it will be bad for all involved.  Unless the payroll tax holiday gets extended, the US consumer is toast.

This is why we think Apple is ripe for the picking.  However, we learned long ago to ignore our gut feeling until it is confirmed.
Enter Chris Vermeulen.  In a recent post over at the Market Oracle, Mr. Vermeulen defines the terms for the upcoming demise of Apple’s stock price in terms of the psychology of market swings.  For specifics on the phenomenon at hand and a possible short signal (which, as near as we can tell, will be when $AAPL touches $640 in late December), we refer you to his insightful article:

Apple, How Market Booms Turn to Busts, Trading from New Paradigm to Despair

In our humble assessment, which should be taken with the same grain of salt which all free advice must be taken, we believe that Mr. Vermeulen has put into numbers and graphs what we have felt, generally, ever since we purchased our first Android:  Apple’s days as king of the mobile computing realm are numbered.  People will not pay for things that they can have for free, and, as the commercials from Designer Imposters long ago reminded us.

“You can patent a mix of chemicals, but you can’t patent a smell.”

Two words:  Short Apple

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 29 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.52
Oil Price per Barrel:  $86.62
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.60
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.62%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,719 THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.9%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,985
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,329,700,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,303,600,000,000

Full Disclosure and friendly warning:  We do not own any shares of $AAPL, nor do we plan on shorting them with our own money, as stock market speculation is a great way to lose a ton of dough if one doesn’t know what they are doing!  Furthermore, we are hardly qualified to give specific stock or portfolio advice to persons we do not know or do know but do not have intimate knowledge of their finances and tax situation.  If you choose to do so as a result of reading this article, you do it completely at your own risk or reward.

Tahrir Square all over again in Egypt, January 2011 Redux

Tahrir Square, January 2011 all over again in Egypt right now:

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On Thanksgiving, a glimmer of hope for Peace in the Middle East

11/21/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Today, the rockets around grounded in the Holy Land.  For how long, is anybody’s guess.  It appears, as most negotiations are, to be a mixed outcome, as both Egypt and the US are involved in the role of policing the agreement.

The current cease fire, which has, for the moment, halted aggressions between Hamas and Israel, appears to call for the Egyptian government to guarantee the conditions are being met with big brother, the United States, monitoring the situation.

If indeed the rockets, in particular the longer range Fajr-5s, remain neutralized, Israel will have gained a key objective.  However, according to Stratfor, it appears that, for the moment, only Hamas and Israel have assented to the cease fire.  The Palestinian Jihad remains a variable, and how long the cease fire will last likely hinges upon their willingness to observe it, as any projectile launched into Israel from Gaza will likely trigger the imminent Israeli ground invasion.

It is difficult to tell if Israel is strategically better off assenting to what is being reported as a tentative cease fire.  While humankind benefits, this will slow progress towards what we perceive to be the Israeli’s ultimate goal with this operation, the disabling of Iran’s nuclear program.

On the other hand, Israel now has the US firmly engaged, raising the odds that US assets will be called into the region.  In a sense, they have been hovering there for the past 11 years.

The United States has a gigantic problem of its own, namely, a Fiscal train wreck which is nearing impact with an ETA of January 1.  The train wreck has already done a great deal of damage, as assumptions across the board are being reset in anticipation of Washington punting or worse, bungling the situation.

Unfortunately, it is the type of problem that the Keynesians who dominate economic thought at the highest levels have openly advocated war, the ultimate economic stimulus in a self destructive, insane, “debt is money” system, as a remedy.

As the winds of war continue to swirl about the Middle East, let us be thankful for the gesture made by Hamas and Israel, and pray that it will bear the fruit of an everlasting peace in the region.  For in the deepest despair lies the potential for the greatest hope, and consequently the greatest good.

At this hour there have been few specifics as to what the terms of the cease fire are, but the mere fact that the hostilities have ceased comes as a great relief and gives those of us celebrating Thanksgiving, the wonderful, unique, and perhaps purest holiday celebration that we know of, an extra reason to celebrate tomorrow.

We continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and beyond, for peace is merely a matter of erasing borders and choosing to forgive.

For a lasting peace to prevail, the deadly “Might Makes Right” mentality must be renounced in favor of IMMEDIATE FORGIVENESS, and it is up to each one of us to choose to forgive and be forgiven.  Only then, when there is peace in our hearts, will the world know peace.

Happy Thanksgiving, may you and yours dine on forgiveness and drink in grace this Holiday Season.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 21, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.47
Oil Price per Barrel:  $87.65
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.41
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.69%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,729 THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.9%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,837
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,458,800,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,333,800,000,000

Middle East Conflict Analysis: Will Hillary Clinton’s visit to Middle East will result in US engagement?

11/20/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Here at The Mint, we have been following with great interest the recent escalation in the conflict in the Middle East.  It is understood by many that the grievances between the Israelis and the Palestinians are seemingly irreconcilable.  Today, we will attempt to provide a bit of background, along with details we have gathered from various sources regarding the current dynamic, and engage in speculation as to potential outcomes.

Background

While the divisions in the region have deep historical roots, we have attempted to gain what understanding we can of the modern conflict.  Our reading on the matter has been limited to The Bible, The Haj, and The Source, as such, we recognize that our bias is Pro-Israeli.

From these sources, we have cobbled together the following understanding:  Beginning in the early 1900’s as Jewish settlers began to populate Palestine in an attempt to create a homeland where the Jewish people, who had suffered persecution in every other land on the planet, could relocate to escape said persecution.

The logical place to do this, from the Jewish point of view, was to purchase land in the area where the ancient Kingdom of Israel had been.  The Jews then worked to establish settlements and to encourage Jewish pilgrims and refugees to come home.  In 1947, after the ethnic cleansing that the Jews suffered during World War II, the Jewish settlers appealed to the United Nations for statehood and recognition by the International Community.

On November 29, 1947, with the UN divided on the matter (which required a 2/3 majority vote for passage), the Philippines relented to pressure from the United States and cast the deciding vote in favor, and Israel for all practical purposes was recognized by the UN.

{Editor’s Note:  We present the UN vote as an EPIC FAIL of large scale “democracy by proxy,” and again make the case for small scale democratic systems left to operate in a large scale anarchic environment, which would allow peace to prosper as the small scale systems tacitly work towards the stalemates presented in “The Strategy of Conflict“, which is a discussion for another day.}

On May 15, 1948, when the British Mandate in Palestine officially expired, the predominantly Arab countries surrounding Israel attacked her and were repelled.  It could be said that hostilities in the region have continued on and off ever since.  Naturally, the Arab States refuse to recognize Israel’s existence to this day, and the situation in Palestine may be the most marked example of how the simple drawing of border lines has caused ceaseless bloodshed and heartache for those involved, with the ultimate losers being the inhabitants of what is today understood to be Palestine, those lands in Palestine which are not part of the Jewish state.  These refugees were evacuated from their lands by the Arab states with the promise of inhabiting all of Palestine once the Jewish state was eliminated, and are now held hostage, in a sense, by both the Arab states and Israel.

We now fast forward from what undoubtedly is a biased History lesson to the present situation and, again more importantly, what is likely to occur.

The Present Dynamic

In the most recent escalation in hostilities, which began on November 15, 2012, both Hamas and Israel have continued their mutual assaults despite rumors that a cease fire is being negotiated by Egypt.  To summarize recent events, a number of short and medium range rockets, amongst them the Fajr-5, which has now been used to target both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, have been launched from the Gaza strip at Israeli population centers.

In response, Israel has called up reserves and is preparing a force of roughly 100,000 for a ground assault into Gaza, with the goal of neutralizing the longer range threat that the Fajr-5 presents.

Even casual observers will note that 100,000 troops is quite a bit of manpower, in fact, it exceeds the number of troops that the US currently has deployed in Afghanistan.  Why would Israel, which should hold a clear technical advantage over its adversaries (leading many observers to sympathize with the Palestinians, a phenomenon known as “Underdogma” made famous by Michael Prell), call up so much firepower to deal with Gaza?  One response is the prospect of prolonged urban warfare in Gaza City, where a portion of the Hamas rocket cache may be located.

Speculation on possible outcomes

However, given the timing of the Israeli response, just weeks after the US Presidential elections, it is just as likely that Israel is using the current conflict as a launch pad towards a unilateral operation to destroy Iran’s nuclear program and eliminate what Israel sees as its most urgent existential threat.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, more than alluded to this in his September speech at the United Nations as he all but called for an invasion of Iran.  With the re election of the Obama administration in the US, historically Israel’s closest ally, Netanyahu understands that the US is likely to stay on the sidelines in the near future and is taking the Iranian matter into his own hands.

Nadeem Walayat, the clairvoyant analyst at The Market Oracle, speculates that the ground campaign in Gaza is the first phase of a three phase operation.  In order to attack Iran with minimal civilian casualties, Israel must first remove the threat of short and medium range rocket attacks by Iranian proxies on its population centers as such attacks would immediately begin were Israel to immediately attack Iran.

According to Walayat, Israel would attack Gaza and then Hezbollah in Lebanon, hoping to seal up these theaters of conflict before launching what by any account would be a risky assault on Iran.  Either Iran is desperately close to developing a nuclear weapon, or Netanyahu is desperately seeking reelection.  Whatever the motive, it should be clear that Israel is intent on dismantling Iran’s nuclear capabilities and that they view the present circumstances in the region give them the best opportunity for success, meaning neutralizing Iran’s nuclear program with limited fallout in the region or beyond.

Another part of the regional dynamic which is may greatly aid or hurt the Israeli strategy, depending upon how it plays out, is the conflict in Syria.  The protracted conflict in Syria has caused Hezbollah to conserve rockets and other armaments which they would otherwise train on Israel in anticipation of a possible civil war breaking out in Lebanon.  The recent international recognition of the Syrian opposition has only increased this threat.

At this point, Hezbollah could just as easily be drawn into deeply into a conflict in Lebanon as it could be in Israel.  The current state of events in Syria favors the Israeli plan, if indeed Mr. Walayat is correct.  However, should Israel be drawn into a protracted operation in Gaza, Hezbollah could choose to strike the Israelis first and open up a second front, which would begin to stretch Israel’s armed forces and slow their strategy which, in order to be successful, must be carried out in a matter of months.

Another wildcard in a situation that is full of them is that the recent spillover from Syria into Turkey has the potential to draw German troops and NATO assets into the theater.

Against this backdrop, Washington DC is panicking (as a result of having no strategy in the Middle East) and has dispatched Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to bring the big brother (or sister, as it were) element into the mix.

Clinton, along with Egyptian officials, will attempt to broker a ceasefire between Israel, Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which, according to Stratfor, is in control of at least some of the Fajr-5 rocket cache in Gaza.

The most recent report from Stratfor on the matter indicates that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas will negotiate together.  The key demand of Israel is the grounding and confiscation of rockets in Gaza to neutralize the threat.  If this can be achieved via a Cease fire, which would likely mean Israeli or even US involvement overseeing the removal of the weapons and preventing further rockets from entering Gaza, Israel will have achieved its objective and a ground assault into Gaza would be unnecessary.

If this is the outcome, expect Israel to concentrate both diplomatic and military efforts on the Iranian threat and ignore Hezbollah, as they will perceive that the US has their back, both literally and figuratively.

If, on the other hand, the Egyptians insist on assuming the role of policing the rocket removal and preventing shipments, a condition that Israel is unlikely to agree to, we anticipate that Israel will proceed with their ground assault into Gaza.

Here at The Mint, half the world away, we hope for the best.  Perhaps the militants in Gaza will throw their rockets into the sea, and both Iran and Israel dismantle their respective nuclear programs.  Seeing this example, all of humanity will immediately lay down their weapons, dismantle their nukes, and sing kumbaya.  Anything is possible if those involved engage in IMMEDIATE FORGIVENESS and begin to live by the Golden Rule.

As this seems unlikely, we must all prepare for the worst, a middle east conflict launched in the name of self defense, which draws all of the world’s powers once again into armed conflict.

In the words of Jesse Ventura, “Nobody likes to see that…nobody.”

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 20, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.49
Oil Price per Barrel:  $87.11
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.43
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.66%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,728 THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.9%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,789
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,458,800,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,333,800,000,000

The Israeli ground assault on Gaza, all bets are off

11/16/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

As we touched on yesterday, it appears that an Israeli ground assault in Gaza is imminent.  Amongst the information flow today is that Israeli reservists are being called up and that the Hamas rockets are now being directed at Jerusalem.

 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

While the first action is alarming, the second leads us to believe that this conflict could quickly spread beyond any initial analysis and lead to something much more dangerous for all of us.

As shabbat begins, we encourage all to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 16, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.45
Oil Price per Barrel:  $86.67
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.27
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.57%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,713 THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.9%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,588
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,458,800,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,333,800,000,000

Escalation of Hostilities in Gaza as Israel prepares a ground campaign

11/15/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

While politicians and bureaucrats in the US continue to posture and dig up dirt on one another in an attempt to place the blame on the “other guys” as the US goes off the Fiscal Cliff, something entirely more important is unfolding half a world away.

What happens in the Middle East is important for a variety of reasons, and it is important to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, not only for Jerusalem’s sake, but so that there will also be peace in our hearts.  We must leave pondering this truth for another time as we endeavor to bring you the latest on the events developing in the Holy Land, namely the recent escalation of hostilities between Hamas and Israel.

As always, Stratfor is on the case, providing on the ground intelligence and analysis to help the layman understand what is occurring, why it is important, and most importantly, what is likely to occur as a result.  Without further adieu, we turn to “Considering an Israeli Ground Assault in Gaza,” an insightful report, republished here with permission of Stratfor:

Considering an Israeli Ground Assault in Gaza

The Israeli air force continues to bombard targets within the Gaza Strip, but thus far ground forces have not yet begun an incursion into the territory. Whether the current air campaign escalates to a ground assault will largely depend on the mission that the Israeli military is trying to accomplish.

Israeli soldiers on the Israel-Gaza border on Nov. 15
Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Israel Defense Forces’ official statements have emphasized that the goal is the severe degradation of Gaza militants’ ability to launch rocket strikes, particularly the new Fajr-5 rockets that are purportedly capable of striking Tel Aviv. Halting rocket attacks was also the mission during Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s most recent large-scale military operation involving Gaza, which took place in late 2008 and early 2009 and consisted of an air campaign similar to the current one followed by a ground invasion. Examining how Operation Cast Lead developed could provide useful context for how an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza could unfold.

Analysis

Operation Cast Lead can be separated into two distinct phases: air and ground. The air phase lasted for about one week and targeted suspected rocket smuggling routes, storage locations and firing positions, as well as targets of opportunity that emerged as hostilities progressed. This is very similar to what the IDF is doing currently, primarily with air assets but also assisted by naval and land assets capable of attacking from a distance.

The second phase was the ground attack. This phase consisted primarily of two distinct geographic theaters within Gaza. In the southern theater, Israeli units moved in and set up blocking positions near Rafah and Highway 4 in order to cut Hamas’ logistical supply lines running north toward Gaza City. Air and naval strikes were also used to enforce the border between Gaza and Egypt, where a strategically significant road known as the Philadelphi route is located. In the north, Israeli forces penetrated into the Gaza Strip to the north, northeast and slightly southeast of Gaza City itself. This served to isolate Gaza City and clear out initial rocket firing positions as well as defensive positions located in the immediate rural regions. After this initial move, follow-on forces were brought in to thoroughly search and clear identified enemy rocket launching sites, logistical hubs and command and control structures. Notably, Israeli forces did not venture deep into major population centers such as Gaza City and Rafah City to avoid the potentially higher casualties and more serious infrastructural damage associated with urban combat.

Gaza

A ground operation now would likely look very similar to Cast Lead in design and tactics, since Cast Lead was considered an operational success and its mission was similar to the current one. However, there are two notable differences. First, in the southern theater during Cast Lead, Egyptian security forces worked to secure the Rafah crossing from their end and allowed Israeli forces to engage the Philadelphi route. Egypt now has a very different government, which brings into question its willingness to support a ground operation. Cairo has already announced that the Rafah Crossing will remain open. This creates an even more serious imperative for Israeli units to cut the supply lines in the south of the Gaza Strip to Gaza City. Israeli ground forces may need to physically occupy the Egypt-Gaza border because naval strikes and airstrikes may not accomplish the mission. This would be a slight expansion on the action taken in 2008-2009 and could bring Israeli forces into uncomfortably close contact with Egyptian forces.

Second, in the north, the potential range of the Fajr-5 missile expands the potential firing zone that needs to be cleared. As stated earlier, Cast Lead focused on Gaza City and its surrounding areas in clearing operations. In order to degrade militants’ abilities to reach Tel Aviv with the Fajr-5’s expanded range, the IDF will need to clear all potential firing areas to just south of Nusayrat. In theory, this would require the isolation of a larger area and the potential use of more forces or require more time to accomplish.

Visit our Israel page for related analysis, videos, situation reports and maps.

Tactically, IDF troops entered the Gaza Strip during Cast Lead by operating at night and creating their own crossing points as opposed to using previously established points. They also relied heavily upon combat engineers, armored construction equipment including unmanned D9 bulldozers, and dog teams to establish their own avenues of approach instead of using common routes through Gaza. Ground units also worked in heavy conjunction with air assets for reconnaissance and close air support, and had access to comprehensive artillery support. This allowed them to avoid improvised explosive devices, heavily mined primary access routes, ambushes and counterattacks militants had planned near the assumed IDF approaches.

In a likely ground incursion, we can expect IDF to use similar tactics that have been refined even further over the past four years, but we must assume that militants in Gaza will not make the same mistakes twice and will use different tactics in order to inflict more damage on ground forces. Already in this round of fighting, unconfirmed reports have emerged saying that militants are using MANPADS. If these rumors are true, it could force a more limited role for rotary-wing air support as well as anti-tank guided missiles and thus seriously hamper the firepower, cover and protection provided by armor.

Many of the conditions, geographic settings and stated goals of the current mission are similar to Operation Cast Lead, so one can assume that the potential upcoming ground phase would be similar as well. That being said, some differences have emerged that would likely force an expanded role for ground forces, and the mission stays the same only until the first exchanges of fire happen, as militants and other political actors would also be able to influence how events unfold. With the evolution of the battle, a ground operation is becoming increasingly likely and with the transition to the ground phase of operations casualties, tensions, and political ramifications will only intensify.

It is worth reiterating that Egypt has a completely different government than the one which was friendly to the Israeli cause during their 2008-2009 operations.  Iran’s further isolation also make it likely to engage on some level against Israel if and when the ground offensive begins.

Again, pray for the peace of Jerusalem, Gaza, and all of Palestine, for hostilities there can throw the entire world out of balance.  If you need proof, just watch the Western stock markets react as events unfold.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 15, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.46
Oil Price per Barrel:  $84.50
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.21
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.59%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,716 THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.9%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,542
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,458,800,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,333,800,000,000

Ron Paul secedes from Congress

11/14/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Ron Paul may not be perfect, but He is one of the few persons in Congress who has actually read the Constitution and understandibly watches in utter disbelief at the machinations which pass as the operation of the Federal Government today.

Mr. Paul has inspired a generation to take hold of real freedom to the extent that it can be secured here on earth.  In honor of Mr. Paul, we present to you, courtesy of CSPAN, his farewell address to the House of Representatives, where he has served for the State of Texas for over 30 years.  May we count ourselves amongst the the virtuous and moral people who are capable of living in a free society.


Farewell and Godspeed, Mr. Paul, your voice of reason and wisdom will be missed more than you can imagine.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 14, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.44
Oil Price per Barrel:  $86.20
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.26
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.59%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,728 THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.9%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.6%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,571
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,517,800,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,182,700,000,000

Messing with Texas, secession is not the answer

11/13/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

The nation is still digesting the election results from last week.  Followers of The Mint already know that nobody won the election.  43.9% of those eligible to vote chose not to endorse the shenanigans in Washington DC and, when the entire voting age population is considered, 48.9% of adults will have abstained from actively choosing the next Commander-in-Chief.

Given that those who voted for the candidate that took second garnered 26.9% to the victor’s 28.4%, there were bound to be some hard feelings.

Those feelings are now manifesting themselves in the form of what have been billed “Secession Petitions” which generally request that the White House “Peacefully grant the State of Texas, South Carolina, Florida, etc. to withdraw from the United States of American and create its own government.”

A sample from Idaho, which is representative of many such petitions, can be seen here:

Peacefully grant the State of Idaho to withdraw from the United States of American and create its own government

The American people certainly have a sense of humor.  Amongst the best retorts we have seen are comments along the lines of “The answer is no.  See US History 1861 – 64,” and this counter petition from the City of Austin, Texas:

Peacefully grant the city of Austin Texas to withdraw from the state of Texas & remain part of the United States.

Flag of the Republic of Texas
A new generation remembers the Alamo

The Idaho petition, like many, cites the Patriot Act and NDAA as examples of the Federal Government’s restriction of Freedom.  It also eloquently quotes the part of the Declaration of Independence which states that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving from their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute a new Government…”

At The Mint, we advise our fellow taxpayers to sit back and enjoy the irony that the founding document for the United States is now being used as proof that it is time to dissolve it.   It must be said here, once and for all, that the idea of America is that all men and women are created equal, born free, and possess certain unalienable rights (amongst which social security, health care, and a common defense are nowhere to be found).  By definition, the idea of America means not being subject to an earthly sovereign.

The Government of the United States of America, circa 2012, must be understood as something completely different.

Despite the fact that the current Government seems curiously obsessed with restricting individual freedom, it is, for the most part, impotent.  For those of us who, either by virtue of proper upbringing or by attendance at the school of hard knocks, have learned to respect the freedom and property of others, there is little to fear.  Government at the Federal level has no reason to bother us, unless one deals in its currency or desires to travel, in which case it becomes a tolerable nuisance.

However, as the “sovereign” states which attempted secession 150 years ago paid a high price to teach the world, a Government that is petitioned or provoked can become deadly.  The reason for this is that the above mentioned shenanigans in Washington DC are largely a result of the over representation in the current Government and its accompanying bureaucracies of individuals who never quite learned that stealing and killing are wrong, rather, they learned that by calling them by names such as taxation and war, they could get otherwise peaceful people to go along with creating their unilateral vision of what constitutes a better world.

Fortunately for humanity, this state of affairs is quickly righting itself, as the debt laden beast in Washington appears on the verge of collapsing under the weight of its own obligations.

At The Mint, rather than sign a petition to ask something of an impotent Government which at best is incapable of granting it and at worst will see the signer as an existential threat, we advocate what we call “Individual secession,” which we define as peaceful non-resistance of the Government by choosing daily to live in the Kingdom of God.

God tried to warn the Israelites, who at the time were dealing with scandals involving their appointed judges, what would happen should they demand an earthly king:

“10 Samuel told all YHWH’s words to the people who asked him for a king. 11 He said, “This will be the way of the king who shall reign over you: he will take your sons, and appoint them as his servants, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and they will run before his chariots. 12 He will appoint them to him for captains of thousands, and captains of fifties; and he will assign some to plow his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and the instruments of his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, to be cooks, and to be bakers. 14 He will take your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, even their best, and give them to his servants. 15 He will take one tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give it to his officers, and to his servants. 16 He will take your male servants, your female servants, your best young men, and your donkeys, and assign them to his own work. 17 He will take one tenth of your flocks; and you will be his servants. 18 You will cry out in that day because of your king whom you will have chosen for yourselves; and YHWH will not answer you in that day.”

1 Samuel 8

The Israelites didn’t care, they wanted a king, no matter what the cost.  Are you desperate enough to accept the conditions laid out above?  For they haven’t changed in 3061 years.

The alternative, living in the Kingdom of God, requires recognizing the one who was crowned on a cross, forgives, and enforces the Golden Rule.

For us, the choice is simple.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 13, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.45
Oil Price per Barrel:  $85.38
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.23
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.59%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,725 THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.9%