Category Archives: Order Out Of Chaos

The Treasury Has Already Minted Two Trillion Dollar Coins

What the advocates of the $1 trillion coin are, therefore, proposing is to tax us in a hidden way.  This is not just taxation without representation.  It’s also taxation with misrepresentation.

While inflation, let alone hyperinflation, has not yet occurred, everything is in place for this outcome. 

forbes.com | Jan 19, 2013

by Laurence Kotlikoff

No doubt, you’ve heard about the latest irresponsible fiscal/monetary proposal to be floated by members of Congress and the erstwhile economist, Paul Krugman, whose lunch was just eaten by Jon Stewart.  

It entails having the Treasury avoid the federal debt limit by handing the Federal Reserve a single $1 trillion platinum coin.  The Fed would then credit the Treasury’s bank account with $1 trillion, which the Fed could spend on the President’s lunch, a $200 toilet seat, a new aircraft carrier, more Medicare spending – anything it wants.

Is there anything special about platinum? Well, yes.  The coin doesn’t have to contain $1 trillion worth of platinum.  It can be microscopic for all the Fed cares as long as they can use a electron microscope to read the $1 trillion In God We Trust inscription.   But it has to be made out of platinum.  No other metal or substance, like a piece of pizza, will do.  The reason is that the Treasury has the right, by an obscure law, to mint platinum coins, but only platinum coins.  Otherwise, making money by making money is the Fed’s domain.

Countries that pay for what they spend by printing money or, these days, creating it electronically, are usually broke.  That certainly fits our bill.

Our country is completely, entirely, and thoroughly broke.  In fact, we’re in worst fiscal shape than any developed country, including Greece.   We have fantastically large expenditures coming due in the form of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid payments to the baby boom generations – I.O.U.s, which we’ve conveniently kept off the books.

When the boomers are fully retired, Uncle Sam will need to cough up $3 trillion (in today’s dollars) per year to pay us (I’m one of us.) these benefits.   To put $3 trillion in perspective, it’s 1.5 times Russia’s GDP.

These benefits are called entitlements because, presumably, we feel we are entitled to hit up our children to cover their costs.  Borrowing from them and letting them tax themselves and their kids to pay themselves back is a good trick, but it’s running afoul of the debt ceiling.  Taxing them more and promising to the pay them benefits they’ll never receive is an old trick that’s run its course.  So we’re now onto printing money that will, we hope, raise prices only after we have protected our assets against inflation.

And we’re printing lots and lots of money.  Indeed, over the past five years, the Treasury has, in effect, done its $1 trillion coin trick twice.

Come again?

Well, substitute a $2 trillion piece of paper called a Treasury bond for the platinum coin.  Suppose the Treasury prints up such a piece of paper and hands it to the Fed and the Fed puts $2 trillion into its account.  No difference right, except for the lack of platinum.

Next suppose the Treasury doesn’t hand the $2 trillion bond to the Fed directly, but hands it to John Q. Public who gives the Treasury $2 trillion and then hands the bond to the Fed in exchange for $2 trillion.  What’s the result?  It’s the same.  The Treasury has $2 trillion to spend.  John Q. Public has his original $2 trillion.  And the Fed is holding the piece of paper labeled U.S. Treasury bond.

Finally, suppose the Treasury does this operation in smaller steps and over five years, specifically between 2007 and today.  It sells, i.e., hands to John Q. in exchange for money, smaller denomination bonds, which Johns Q. sells to the Fed, i.e., hands to the Fed in exchange for money.   Further, suppose the sum total of all these bond sales to the public and Fed purchases of the bonds from the public equals $2 trillion.  Voila, you’ve got U.S. monetary policy since 2007.

In 2007, the monetary base – the amount of money our government printed in its entire 231 years of existence totaled $800 billion.  Today it totals $2.8 trillion.  And it increased by this amount via the process just described – the Treasury’s effective minting out of thin air two $1 trillion platinum coins.

Now what happens when the Treasury spends its freebee money?  It raises prices of the goods and services we buy or keeps them from falling as much as would otherwise be the case.  Either way, the money we have in our pockets or in the bank or coming to us over time as, for example, interest plus principal on bonds we’ve bought in the past – all this money loses purchasing power.  So we are effectively taxed $2 trillion.

What the advocates of the $1 trillion coin are, therefore, proposing is to tax us in a hidden way.  This is not just taxation without representation.  It’s also taxation with misrepresentation.   The fact that a Nobel Laureate in economics would propose this without making clear this fact raises the question of whether his prize should be revoked.  Lance Armstrong, after all, is losing his medals for discrediting his profession.  Perhaps the Nobel committee should consider taking back Krugman’s.

This is no innocent omission.  Every PhD economist is taught about seigniorage.  It’s a term that was coined (excuse the pun) in the 15th century and stems from the right of feudal lords – seignurs – to coin money, use it to buy, say, chickens and debase the purchasing power of the coins they had given their serfs in the past for, say, wild boar.

Today, 12 cents out of ever dollar being spent by our government is being printed.  As indicated, the money supply has more than tripled.  While inflation, let alone hyperinflation, has not yet occurred, everything is in place for this outcome.  If you want to see what things will look like, check out Zimbabwe, which has surely been reading Krugman’s articles.

White House considers funding for police in schools after Newtown

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Vice President Joe Biden says a consensus is emerging over proposals such as tightening background checks and banning high-capacity magazines. Biden says he will deliver recommendations to President Obama on steps to curb violence by Tuesday.

washingtonpost.com | Jan 10, 2013

By Philip Rucker

The Obama administration is considering a $50 million plan to fund hundreds of police officers in public schools, a leading Democratic senator said, part of a broad gun violence agenda that is likely to include a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips and universal background checks.

The school safety initiative would make federal dollars available to schools that want to hire police officers and install surveillance equipment, although it is not nearly as far-ranging as the National Rifle Association’s proposal for armed guards in every U.S. school.

The idea is gaining currency among some Democratic lawmakers, who see it as a potential area of common ground with Republicans who otherwise oppose stricter restrictions on firearms. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a liberal Democrat from California, said she presented the plan to Vice President Biden and that he was “very, very interested” and may include it in the policy recommendations he makes to President Obama.

“If a school district wants to have a community policing presence, I think it’s very important they have it,” Boxer said in an interview Thursday. “If they want uniformed officers, they can do it. If they want plainclothed officers, they can do it.”

But hope of finding an accord over gun laws dimmed considerably Thursday after the NRA lashed out publicly against what it called the administration’s “agenda to attack the Second Amendment” after meeting with Biden and senior White House officials.

Biden plans to present recommendations from the administration’s working group on gun violence to Obama next Tuesday. The vice president said Thursday that he sees an emerging consensus around “universal background checks” for all gun buyers and a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines. Obama, meanwhile, has said he also supports a ban on assault weapons.

The gun industry has long opposed these restrictions,and the NRA said after its 95-minute White House meeting that it would have nothing more to do with Biden’s task force, foreshadowing a partisan and emotionally charged fight over gun control.

“It is unfortunate that this administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems,” the NRA said in a statement. “We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen.”

Biden met with other gun-owner groups as well as representatives of hunting and sporting organizations Thursday as he surveys interest groups in the wake of last month’s elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 children and six adults.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. met separately Thursday with major gun retailers, including Wal-Mart. Biden already has spoken with law enforcement leaders, gun violence victims and gun-safety groups and has had conference calls with governors and other state and local elected officials of both parties.

Biden said that, going into Thursday’s meetings, his task force heard repeatedly about the need to strengthen background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. He said the proposals would go beyond closing a loophole that exempts some private firearms sales, such as transactions at gun shows, from background checks.

Full Story

Obama gun plan may feature gun bans, universal federal background checks on all buyers

Vice President Joe Biden meets on gun violence with sport shooting and wildlife interest group representatives
Vice President Joe Biden meets with representatives of sport shooting and wildlife interest groups in Washington, part of his work on proposals to curb gun violence. (Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images / January 10, 2013)

Vice President Joe Biden, preparing recommendations for President Obama on curbing gun violence, mentions ‘universal background checks’ and bans on some weapons and components.

latimes.com | Jan 10, 2013

By Michael A. Memoli and Melanie Mason

WASHINGTON — Requiring all gun buyers to pass a federal background check could be a key part of a White House plan to combat mass shootings, Vice President Joe Biden indicated as he prepared to present recommendations to the president on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Biden said he had found a “surprising recurrence of suggestions” for “universal background checks” in meetings with interest groups. Background checks are not required in private sales by unlicensed dealers, including transactions at gun shows.

Biden is expected to propose measures that President Obama could institute by executive action, as well as proposed laws, such as bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

The quick movement to roll out potential remedies to mitigate gun violence — ahead of schedule and just days before Obama and Biden are sworn into a second term — is a signal of the urgency the White House aims to project in developing a response to the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting, which led to the deaths of 20 young students and six staff members.

“The public wants us to act,” Biden said.

But the National Rifle Assn., which sent a representative to Biden’s meeting Thursday with gun organizations, issued a chilly statement, an indication of the challenge ahead.

“It is unfortunate that this administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems,” the NRA statement said. “We will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of Congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works — and what does not.”

The White House was circumspect, noting only that the meeting lasted more than an hour and a half and providing a photo of a table surrounded by stony faces.

Richard Feldman, president of the Independent Firearm Owners Assn., said that although there were some tense moments, “it was a conversation, not a lecture.”

Feldman, a former NRA official whose current group is more open to tighter gun laws, said he told administration officials, “If we focus on the gun, we miss the opportunity to zero in on the problem that unifies us, which is in whose hands are the guns.”

Since being tapped by Obama to head the White House response to the shooting, Biden and other administration officials have met with an array of groups, including mental health professionals, law enforcement and clergy. On Thursday, Biden also met with hunters, conservationists and entertainment industry officials. On Friday, he plans to meet with representatives from the video game industry.

Biden told reporters he expected to present his recommendations to Obama on Tuesday, well ahead of his end-of-the-month deadline. The White House has indicated that the president will then quickly “announce a concrete package of proposals he intends to push without delay.”

“I’m not sure we can guarantee this will never happen again, but as the president said, even if we can only save one life, it would make sense,” Biden said. “And I think we can do a great deal without in any way imposing on and impinging on the rights of the 2nd Amendment.”

Another recommendation, Biden said, could be to gather information on “what kind of weapons are used most to kill people” and “what kind of weapons are trafficked weapons.” Since the mid-1990s, Congress has restricted federal agencies’ research into gun violence.

Earlier this week, Biden indicated that his recommendations could include actions Obama can take without congressional approval. “We’re not going to get caught up in the notion that unless we can do everything, were going to do nothing,” he said.

Biden’s comments reflect the political reality in Congress. The House is controlled by Republicans who have been resistant to new gun restrictions. In the Senate, Democrats are shy of the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster, and some of them face difficult reelections in 2014, when pro-gun groups could try to defeat them.

Actions are also possible at the state level.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he hopes his state will set the tone for new federal gun laws, and he vowed Wednesday to “enact the toughest assault weapon ban in the nation, period.”

“We must stop the madness, my friends,” the Democratic governor said, insisting that his proposal was not aimed at hunters and sportsmen. “I own a Remington shotgun. I’ve hunted. I’ve shot. That’s not what this is about. It is about ending the unnecessary risk of high-capacity assault rifles.”

Cuomo wants New York to ban online ammunition sales and ban high-capacity magazines; require background checks even on private weapons sales; and stiffen penalties for illegal weapons possession. He also called for laws to keep weapons away from the mentally ill.

Also Wednesday, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, promised “to make specific, actionable recommendations in the areas of school safety, mental health services and gun violence prevention.”

But he noted that state action had its limits. “This conversation must take place nationally. As long as weapons continue to travel up and down I-95, what is available for sale in Florida can have devastating consequences here in Connecticut,” he said.

NRA calls for armed police officer in every school

Associated Press | Dec 21, 2012

By PHILIP ELLIOTT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Guns and police officers in all American schools are what’s needed to stop the next killer “waiting in the wings,” the National Rifle Association declared Friday, taking a no-retreat stance in the face of growing calls for gun control after the Connecticut shootings that claimed the lives of 26 children and school staff.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said Wayne LaPierre, the group’s chief executive officer.

Some members of Congress who had long scoffed at gun-control proposals have begun to suggest some concessions could be made, and a fierce debate over legislation seems likely next month. President Barack Obama has demanded “real action, right now.”

The nation’s largest gun-rights lobby broke its weeklong silence on the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School with a defiant presentation. The event was billed as a news conference, but NRA leaders took no questions. Twice, they were interrupted by banner-waving protesters, who were removed by security.

Some had predicted that after the slaughter of a score of elementary-school children by a man using a semi-automatic rifle, the group might soften its stance, at least slightly. Instead, LaPierre delivered a 25-minute tirade against the notion that another gun law would stop killings in a culture where children are exposed daily to violence in video games, movies and music videos. He argued that guns are the solution, not the problem.

“Before Congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation or anything else; as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work,” LaPierre said. “And by that I mean armed security.”

He said Congress should immediately appropriate funds to post an armed police officer in every school. Meanwhile, he said the NRA would develop a school emergency response program that would include volunteers from the group’s 4.3 million members to help guard children.

His armed-officers idea was immediately lambasted by gun control advocates, and not even the NRA’s point man on the effort seemed willing to go so far. Former Republican Rep. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, whom LaPierre named national director of the program, said in an interview that decisions about armed guards in schools should be made by local districts.

“I think everyone recognizes that an armed presence in schools is sometimes appropriate,” Hutchinson said. “That is one option. I would never want to have a mandatory requirement for every school district to have that.”

He also noted that some states would have to change their laws to allow armed guards at schools.

Hutchinson said he’ll offer a plan in January that will consider other measures such as biometric entry points, patrols and consideration of school layouts to protect security.

LaPierre argued that guards need to be in place quickly because “the next Adam Lanza,” the suspected shooter in Newtown, Conn., is already planning an attack on another school.

“How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to-wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave, while provoking others to try to make their mark?” LaPierre asked. “A dozen more killers, a hundred more? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?”

While there is a federally maintained database of the mentally ill — people so declared by their states — a 1997 Supreme Court ruling that states can’t be required to contribute information has left significant gaps. In any case, creation of a mandatory national database probably would have had little impact on the ability of suspected shooters in four mass shootings since 2011 to get and use powerful weapons. The other people accused either stole the weapons used in the attacks or had not been ruled by courts to be “mentally defective” before the shootings.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the NRA is blaming everyone but itself for a national gun crisis and is offering “a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., called the NRA’s response “both ludicrous and insulting” and pointed out that armed personnel at Columbine High School and Fort Hood could not stop mass shootings. The liberal group CREDO, which organized an anti-NRA protest on Capitol Hill, called LaPierre’s speech “bizarre and quite frankly paranoid.”

“This must be a wake-up call even to the NRA’s own members that the NRA’s Washington lobbyists need to stand down and let Congress pass sensible gun control laws now,” CREDO political director Becky Bond said in a statement.

The NRA’s proposal would be unworkable given the huge numbers of officers needed, said the president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Craig Steckler.

He pointed to budget cuts and hiring freezes and noted that in his hometown of Fremont, Calif., it would take half the city’s police force to post one officer at each of the city’s 43 schools.

The Department of Education has counted 98,817 public schools in the United States and an additional 33,366 private schools.

There already are an estimated 10,000 school resource officers, most of them armed and employed by local police departments, in the nation’s schools, according to Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers.

Gun rights advocates on Capitol Hill had no immediate comment. They will have to walk a tough road between pressure from the powerful NRA, backed by an army of passionate supporters, and outrage over the Sandy Hook deaths that has already swayed some in Congress to adjust their public views.

A CNN/ORC poll taken this week found 52 percent of Americans favor major restrictions on guns or making all guns illegal. Forty-six percent of people questioned said government and society can take action to prevent future gun violence, up 13 percentage points from two years ago in the wake of the shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six and wounded then Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Since the Connecticut slayings, President Obama has demanded action against U.S. gun violence and has called on the NRA to join the effort. Moving quickly after several congressional gun-rights supporters said they would consider new legislation to control firearms, the president said this week he wants proposals that he can take to Congress next month.

Obama has already asked Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and to pass legislation that would stop people from purchasing firearms from private sellers without background checks. Obama also has indicated he wants Congress to pursue the possibility of limiting high-capacity firearms magazines.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said former President Bill Clinton called her with an offer to help get an assault weapons ban reinstated. Clinton signed such a ban into law in 1994, but it expired after 10 years.

Feinstein said she’s not opposed to having armed guards at schools, but she called the NRA proposal a distraction from what she said was the real problem: “easy access to these killing machines” that are far “more powerful and lethal” than the guns that were banned under the old law.

Sandy Hook: Mind control flicker effect

Wondering why the doctor of Adam Lanza hasn’t been found and quizzed about the drugs he prescribed isn’t in the mind of the viewer.

nomorefakenews.com | Dec 19, 2012

by Jon Rappoport

uncle-confirms-adam-lanza-on-psychiatric-medication-before-sandy-hook-shootings-No, I’m not talking about the flicker of the television picture. I’m talking about an on-off switch that controls information conveyed to the television audience.

 The Sandy Hook school murders provide an example.

First of all, elite media coverage of this tragedy has one goal: to provide an expanding narrative of what happened. It’s a story. It has a plot.

In order to tell the story, there has to be a source of information. The top-flight television anchors are getting their information from…where?

How the Newtown massacre became a Mind-Control television event

Their junior reporters? Not really. Ultimately, the information is coming from the police, and secondarily from local officials.

In other words, very little actual journalism is happening. The media anchors are absorbing, arranging, and broadcasting details given to them by the police investigators.

The anchors are PR people for the cops.

This has nothing to do with journalism. Nothing.

The law-enforcement agencies investigating the Sandy Hook shootings on the scene, in real time, were following up on leads? We don’t what leads they were following and what leads they were discarding. We don’t know what mistakes they were making. We don’t know what evidence they were overlooking or intentionally ignoring. We don’t know whether there were any corrupt cops who were slanting evidence.

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Sandy Hook Shooting: ‘Antipsychotic’ Drug Prescribed To Adam Lanza Induces Psychosis and Aggressive Behavior

The Antipsychotic Prescribed To Adam Lanza Has A Troubled History All Its Own

businessinsider.com | Dec 18, 2012

by Geoffrey Ingersoll

fanapt_tab-logoBy now the whole country is fully embroiled in the Gun Control debate, spurred by the grisly murder of 27 people, mostly kids, at the Sandy Hook Elementary school last Friday.

Guns might not be the only problem though.

New York Magazine wrote a piece about shooter Adam Lanza’s supposed “aspergers” syndrome as a “red herring” meant to distract from the real problem (guns, of course, the subject goes without mentioning).

Adam Lanza Meds ‘Fanapt’ Responsible for School Massacre

Inside the piece though they report Adam Lanza’s uncle said the boy was prescribed Fanapt, a controversial anti-psychotic medicine.

Fanapt was the subject of a Bloomberg report when it passed regulators, after previously getting the “nonapproval” stamp. Why wasn’t it approved, you might ask?

There are many reasons, some of which have to do with competing entities in a competitive market.

The main cited reason for the rejection was that it caused severe heart problems in enough patients to cause a stir.

Maybe more importantly, though, Fanapt is one of a many drugs the FDA pumped out with an ability to exact the opposite desired effect on people: that is, you know, inducing rather than inhibiting psychosis and aggressive behavior.

In fact, Fanapt was dropped by its first producer, picked up by another, initially rejected by the FDA, then later picked up and mass produced. The adverse side-effect is said to be “infrequent,” but still it exists, and can’t be ignored.

The reaction invoked by the drug in some people is reminiscent of the Jeffrey R. MacDonald case, where a Green Beret slaughtered his entire family and then fabricated a story about a marauding troop of “hopped up hippies”.

MacDonald though, had Eskatrol in his system, a weight-loss amphetamine that’s since been banned in part for its side effects of psychotic behavior and aggression.

These drugs are not the only ones that can cause the opposite of their desired effect. Several anti-depressant medications are also restricted to adults, for the depression they inspire in kids rather than eliminate.

Connecticut school shooting: two US Senators call for assault weapons ban

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Senators Mark Warner (Lt) and Joe Manchin Photo: GETTY IMAGES/AP

Two US Senators became the first of America’s pro-gun advocates to break ranks on Monday night as they called for a ban on assault weapons in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school shootings.

telegraph.co.uk | Dec 17, 2012

By Peter Foster, Washington

The two Senators – both Democrats but with “A” ratings and previous endorsements from the powerful National Rifle Association gun lobby group – both spoke out to argue publicly that the death of 20 Year 2 children was a “game-changing” moment for America’s divisive gun debate.

“Never before have we seen our babies slaughtered. It’s never happened in America that I can recall, seeing this carnage,” said Senator Joe Manchin, who in 2010 released a political advert touting his NRA endorsement and showing him with a hunting rifle ‘taking aim’ at a piece of climate change legislation.

“Anybody that’s a proud gun owner, a proud member of the NRA, they’re also proud parents, they’re proud grandparents. They understand this has changed where we go from here,” the West Virginia senator said on MSNBC.

Those thoughts were later echoed by Mark Warner, a senator for the rural, gun-loving state of Virginia, who has said gun control could no longer be a subject for partisan feuding between Republicans and Democrats.

“I believe every American has Second Amendment rights, the ability to hunt is part of our culture. I’ve had a NRA (National Rifle Association) rating of an “A” but, you know, enough is enough,” Mr Warner said on CBS News

“It is time for this kind of senseless violence to end. There won’t be one perfect law to stop a crazy person from doing evil things. But when we have close to 30,000 killings a year from all types of gun violence, even if we save a few lives, we make progress.”

The remarks could put pressure on both the NRA and Republican pro-gun legislators to accept the need for tighter gun controls, particularly on assault rifles.

But in a sign of the political difficulties that lie ahead, since the Sandy Hook shootings last Friday both the NRA and all pro-gun Republican senators and congressman have remained silent.

The NBS’s influential “Meet the Press” program said it had contacted 31 pro-gun senators last weekend, but all had declined to appear.

But as the popular outrage continues to build, advocates of tighter gun control continued yesterday moved to seize the initiative on what is being viewed as the best opportunity for more than a decade to force through tougher gun laws.

That pressure continued to build on Mr Obama who promised the bereaved parents of Newtown he would use “whatever power this office holds” to prevent a repeat of more tragedies like Sandy Hook, although without directly specifying new legislation on gun control.

Jay Carney, the White House spokesman refused to be drawn on specific measures at a briefing yesterday, but said that Mr Obama would be “moving forward” to address what he described as a “complex problem that will require a complex solution” of which gun controls formed only one part.

Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York and fierce advocate of gun control, continued urge Mr Obama to take concrete action, staging an event in New York with gun-crime victims whose moving testimonies, he said, would be sent to every member of the new Congress that opens in January.

“If this moment passes from memory without action from Washington, it will be a stain up on our nations’ commitment to protect the innocent, including our children,” he said, calling for an immediate assault weapon ban and the enforcement of existing background checking laws.

He accused Congress of putting “partisan politics” above saving lives, point out the “outrage” that the only significant piece of gun legislation passed by Congress in almost 20 years was a bill to indemnify gun manufacturers from being sued by the victims of gun crime.

Public anger over the killings was also expressed on the White House website where a petition demanding the Obama administration act against the gun lobby had attracted more than 140,000 signatures.

“Powerful lobbying groups allow the ownership of guns to reach beyond the Constitution’s intended purpose of the right to bear arms,” the petition argued, “Therefore, Congress must act on what is stated law, and face the reality that access to firearms reaches beyond what the Second Amendment intends to achieve.”

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll which was conducted after the Newtown killings also suggested public support for legislation was slowly growing, with some 54 per cent of Americans in “favour stricter gun control laws” compared with 43 per cent who do not.

The number in favour of new controls represented a 3 per cent increase from the last time the survey was taken in May this year, but it still falls well short of the consistent 63-67pc support for tougher controls that persisted through the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Related Information

Assault Rifles Are Not Heavily Used in Crimes

Looking at the broader picture of all gun use in crime, it becomes clear that “assault weapons” are a minor part of the problem. Police gun seizure data from around the nation finds that “assault weapons” account for less than 2% of guns seized by the police; more typically, they account for less than 1%

Connecticut school shooting: Barack Obama backs ban on assault weapons

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Barack Obama threw his political weight behind the campaign to reinstate a ban on assault weapons in a move that would be the most significant tightening of US gun laws in almost two decades.

telegraph.co.uk | Dec 18, 2012

By Peter Foster, Washington

Mr Obama’s decision to publicly support new legislation being proposed by a senior Democrat senator came two days after he called for unspecified “change” at a memorial service for the 20 child victims of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, USA.

The White House spokesman, Jay Carney, said the president was “actively supportive” of the legislation being proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein that would ban weapons like the Bushmaster .223 that coroners said had claimed the majority of the young victims’ lives.

He added that Mr Obama would also support addressing the problem of the so-called “gun show loophole”, which enables buyers at gun shows to avoid background-checks, as well as curbs on ammunition clips larger than 10 rounds.

“He is actively supportive of, for example, Senator Feinstein’s stated intent to revive a piece of legislation that would reinstate the assault weapons ban,” Mr Carney said, “He supports – and would support legislation that addresses the problem of the so-called gun show loophole.” Mr Obama was also said to be “heartened” that three staunchly pro-gun Democrat senators with A-ratings from the powerful National Rifle Association gun lobby – Harry Reid, Joe Manchin and Mark Warner – had come out in support of an assault weapon ban.

The news that Mr Obama was unequivocally supporting the reinstatement of Bill Clinton’s 1994 assault weapons – which was allowed to lapse in 2004 – is a major political boost for advocates of stricter gun control, but it does not guarantee the measure will pass Republican-controlled of Congress.

The Republican party is heavily influenced by the powerful National Rifle Association and garners much of its base support in southern states and rural areas that are traditional staunchly pro-gun.

The NRA has remained silent since the Sandy Hook shootings, refusing all media requests for comment and suspending its social media operations, but in a sign of the fight that lies ahead yesterday indicated that it was preparing to “push back” against any new controls.

“If we’re going to talk about the Second Amendment, then let’s also talk about Hollywood, and the video games that teach young kids how to shoot heads,” a source close to the NRA told Fox News, “If you really want to stop incidents like this, passing one more law is not going to do a damn thing. Columbine happened when? In 1999. Smack in the middle of the original assault-weapons ban.” The preparations for an aggressive pushback come as Congressional Republicans began showing some signs of accepting the need for action after Newtown, in the light of growing public anger.

That public mood was reflected in a new poll for CBS News released yesterday that found support for stricter laws at 57 per cent, a ten-year high.

After a weekly closed-door meeting, it was reported that several republican Congressmen were open, at least, to a debate on the gun issue, so long as it was comprehensive, taking in mental health policies and other social phenomena.

“Put guns on the table, also put video games on the table, put mental health on the table,” said Jack Kingston, a 10-term Republican congressman for the pro-gun southern state of Georgia who has a long history of endorsements from the NRA.

In one move that was also viewed as significant, Charles Grassley, the Republican senator for Iowa and senior republican on the Judiciary Committee that would probably be the starting point for any new legislation, suggested that a blue ribbon commission of “all stakeholders” be convened.

Some Republican analysts have warned that the party cannot afford to be pigeonholed as dogmatic on the gun issue, if it wants to broaden its electoral appeal following November’s election defeat to Mr Obama’s more progressive, liberal coalition.

Joe Scarborough, a former Florida Republican congressman and prominent cable news host, said the party would ‘lose’ if it did not heed the public’s increasingly angry public mood that has seen a petition on the White House website attract a record 180,000 signatures.

“Do they want to be seen as the party of Glocks? The party of Bushmasters? The party of combat-style, military weapons? Rapid-fire magazine clips?” he asked, “If they want to go around and debate that for the next four years, good luck.”

Families of the victims and survivors of recent gun massacres yesterday gathered for a rally in front of Congress demanding new gun laws, in a bid to keep pressure on Republicans and not allow the anger to fade, as it has following other recent mass-shootings.

Among them was Andri Nikitctyuk [CORR], whose own son survived the Newtown massacre only after a teacher pulled him out of the hallway and into a classroom. “If we could rewind the reality and prevent what happened I would give anything to do it,” he said.

He was joined by the parents of victims of the cinema massacre in Aurora, Colorado, earlier this year as well as families of those who died at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Columbine in 1999. The rally was organised by the Brady Campaign, the pro-gun control group named after Ronald Reagan’s press secretary who was shot during a 1981 assassination attempt.

Risk of a Terminator Style Robot Uprising to be Studied

terminator

technorati.com | Nov 27, 2012

by Adi Gaskell

In the movie Terminator, machines had grown so intelligent that by 2029 they had effectively taken over the planet, seeking to exterminate what remained of the human race along the way.

While that is firmly in the camp of science fiction, a team of researchers from Cambridge, England, are investigating what risk, if any, technology poses to mankind.

The research, conducted by the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CESR), will look at the threat posed by technologies such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and climate change.

While many of us may think it unlikely that robots will take over Earth, the scientists at the center said that dismissing such possibilities would in itself be ‘dangerous’.

“The seriousness of these risks is difficult to assess, but that in itself seems a cause for concern, given how much is at stake,” the researchers wrote on a website set up for the center.

The CSER project has been co-founded by Cambridge philosophy professor Huw Price, cosmology and astrophysics professor Martin Rees and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn.

“It seems a reasonable prediction that some time in this or the next century intelligence will escape from the constraints of biology,” Prof Price told the AFP news agency.

“What we’re trying to do is to push it forward in the respectable scientific community.”

‘CIA favors Brotherhood as Egypt dictatorship benefits US’

RussiaToday | Nov 30, 2012

Geopolitical analyst and author, William Engdahl, says its only now, that the Muslim Brotherhood is revealing its true intentions.