Go Surfin

Friday, October 24, 2008

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Food for thought

The rocking and rolling has only begun. We are in the final stages of a move into world government. Congress has already shown they are emotionally weak and that they have no idea of what they are doing or not doing. They have not defended the Constitution they swore to upon hold, as they are playing into the hands of the Federal Reserve and the other major central banks of the world, which are controlled by a small group of very powerful people. In order to finalize the Blueprint, which I have heard will come before a new Congress in January, what will it take to traumatize the new legislators? Will the powers that be decide on a Banking Holiday in the spirit of 1933? Will they cause a total bank collapse by demanding sound banks to down grade their solid loans, as has recently occurred when the Comptroller of the Currency did a bank audit? Or will they simply change our currency to adjust our debt load?

Sunday, October 5, 2008


By Derry Brownfield
June 15, 2008


I began a recent presentation before a large group of cattle producers (R-CALFUSA) by showing a paper dollar bill and a silver coin. The words “one dollar” is inscribed on both the coin and the paper, yet the paper dollar will only pay for about one quart of gasoline at today’s prices, while the silver dollar will pay for well over five gallons. I explained to my audience that consumer prices are not high – the paper dollar has lost most of its value. It makes no difference how high the price of gasoline goes, a silver dollar will continue to buy gas for 20 cents a gallon, exactly the price gas was during the Great Depression. Based on 1940 prices, a paper dollar is worth about two pennies.

Today in America, we are being systematically robbed of our property because we have allowed the Federal Reserve to flood our banks with fiat, worthless paper money. There is actually a law against paper money but nobody seems to know about it. The Supreme law of the land is the US Constitution, which stated in Article I Section 10: Individual states are “not allowed to make any things but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.” The Constitution also states that “Congress has the power to COIN money and regulate the value thereof.” Our Founding Fathers knew how a central bank printing paper money would collapse our economy. Had we followed the US Constitution to the full letter of the law, gasoline would still be 20 cents a gallon. As the dollar continues to lose value we say our currency has lost its purchasing power. It should be more properly referred to as embezzlement by the banking industry.

Robert Kahre owns a family business and instead of using paper money he paid his workers with gold and silver coins minted by the United States government. He paid them based on the “face value” of the coins. If he paid a worker a dollar an hour he paid with a silver dollar, which states on the coin that it is “one dollar” regardless of today’s value. His wages were so low that he didn’t have to file W-2 income tax forms or withhold taxes or pay workman’s comp. This upset the IRS, which charged him and his family with 161 federal tax crimes.

The case which was tried before a Las Vegas jury in a Federal Court, heard testimony for almost four months. Defendants believed they had no legal obligation to withhold, pay income taxes or report anything to the government because the “face value” of the gold and silver coins is so small as to fall beneath the reporting thresholds set by the Internal Revenue Code. The government argued that the payments in gold and silver US coins must be considered at their bullion, full-market value when considering the worth of the wages for purposes of the IRS code. The essence of the argument is that Congress is obligated by law to mint and circulate such coins as demand requires, and must establish the value of coins as they are used as legal tender, but a coin’s market value is a distinct, separate attribute of such coins and is of no legal consequence if the coins are used as legal tender. If a worker is paid with such coins, his taxable income can only be the face value indicated on the coin. “A coin dollar is worth no more for the purposes of tender in payment of an ordinary debt than a note dollar. The law has not made the note a standard of value anymore than coin. It is true that in the market, as an article of merchandise, one is of greater value than the other; but as money, as a medium of exchange, the law knows no difference between them.”

On September 17, the jury returned its verdict refusing to convict all nine defendants of any of the 161 federal tax crimes they had been charged with. One would think, “we the tax payers would want to hear that the IRS was defeated by the use of the true money.” To my knowledge, the results of this trial were never printed or broadcast by any of the major news media. Three days after the trial’s conclusion, the Las Vegas Review Journal ran its first and last story about the outcome and then only because of public pressure from interested parties who attended the trial.

The Department of Justice prosecutors know that justice was done and that if this information was made available to the general public their house of cards would come tumbling down. All federal agencies have a great fear of the truth and only by controlling the news media can they keep the world from caving in on their heads.

(After typing this article, Beth (my secretary) has now surrendered the raise that she has yet to receive, contingent on me agreeing to pay her in gold & silver coins; see the truth does hurt.)

© 2008 Derry Brownfield - All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tropical deforestation

In 2006, Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo outlined an offer to place almost the entirety of Guyana's rainforest under international supervision as part of the world's battle against climate change. In the Green Room this week, President Jagdeo sets out his views on how to reduce the 18% of greenhouse gas emissions caused by tropical deforestation.

Burned rainforest
Currently, rainforests are worth more dead than alive

Imagine a business which invested 80% of its profits in products with the lowest rate of return.

Is this business destined to succeed? Unlikely.

Yet global efforts to combat climate change bear a worrying similarity.

The Kyoto Protocol has resulted in the emergence of a more than US$60bn (£34bn) carbon market as the world's main mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This is a welcome start. But about 80% of this money goes to countries which cause less than 20% of emissions.

Protecting rainforests is not only an environmental concern but an economic issue that cuts to the core of a nation's development

We will fail future generations unless we address this lack of proportionality.

In early December, we will have a chance to do this when representatives of almost 200 countries gather in Poznan, Poland to continue forging an agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.

As a rainforest country, securing a proportionate response to tropical deforestation is of particular importance to Guyana.

Tropical deforestation contributes about 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That is about the same as the total emissions from the US, and more than the entire global transportation sector.

Yet under the Kyoto Protocol, it remains more valuable to cut forests down than to leave them standing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

US home foreclosures increase 55%

A lender-owned home is for sale in southern California
Many homeowners are unable to keep up with their repayments

More than 272,000 people in the US received a foreclosure notice in July, a rise of 55% on a year earlier, according to analysts Realtytrac.

Florida and California had the highest rate of foreclosures, figures showed.

In a further indication of the severe problems affecting the US housing market, more than 77,000 homes were repossessed in July.

As a result of this increase, 17% of all homes for sale in the US are repossessed properties.

US mortgage giant Fannie Mae recently announced that it was opening new offices in California and Florida to try to increase the sale of foreclosed properties it owns. It is even considering selling them in bulk to investors.

Last month, the US government introduced new legislation to try to prevent homeowners losing their properties.

Realtytrac said this could help the number of foreclosures start to stabilize as early as the first quarter of next year.

I don't know about the rest of you but this is ridiculous. How many children are out in streets sleeping in cars and trying to make the grade in school.

There has to be something out there to help people keep their homes. Why not let people stay in the homes and pay what they can, we aren't talking about lazy bad people these people are hard working and as proud as anyone else. Think about your grandparents losing the house they have paid on for years and had to refinance because of medical bills and utilities being so high.

I hope and pray that who every the next president is something can be done.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

UK economy comes to a standstill

Shoppers in Bath
Shoppers are tightening their belts as the economy fails to grow

UK economic growth ground to a halt between April and June, according to the latest official figures.

The Office for National Statistics said the economy stalled, showing no growth from the first quarter of 2008.

It ends a run of more than 15 years of consecutive growth in the UK and will raise expectations of a rate cut.

The 0% growth figure was down from an earlier estimate of 0.2% and lower than the 0.3% growth recorded in the first three months of 2008.

'Challenging times'

The figures were the weakest since 1992 and the news sent the pound lower against the dollar and the euro.

The government said the economy was feeling the effects of global pressures such as high commodity prices and the continuing credit squeeze.

"The Government's priority is to guide Britain through these challenging times, while also supporting those hit hardest as a result of these global factors," a Treasury spokesman said.

But the Conservatives said that Labour's economic record had been tarnished.

The figures are very weak and suggest the UK economy is already in recession
George Buckley, Deutsche Bank

"For years Gordon Brown boasted about consecutive quarters of economic growth," Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said.

"Now economic growth has ground to a halt and Brown's bubble has burst."

Friday's figures showed that the services sector, the backbone of the UK economy, grew just 0.2%, while manufacturing output fell by 0.8%. Household spending dropped by 0.1%.

Exports also fell as Europe, the UK's main trading partner, saw growth contract in the same period.

The UK economy grew 1.4% from the second quarter of 2007, revised down from an initial estimate of 1.6%.

"The figures are very weak and suggest the UK economy is already in recession," said George Buckley, an economist at Deutsche Bank.

The economy technically enters a recession when it shrinks for two consecutive quarters.

Rate dilemma

Bank of England governor Mervyn King has warned that the UK economy is in for a difficult and painful period due to a combination of high inflation and rapidly slowing growth.

Inflation, which at 4.4% is well above the 2% target rate, could make it more difficult for the Bank to cut interest rates to spur the economy.

But analysts said the zero growth reading could lead to lower borrowing costs by the end of this year.

"This really does put a rate cut firmly on the agenda although it is unlikely to come until we have seen the peak in inflation," said Brian Hilliard, an analyst at SG.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Q&A: The dollar's rally

Dollar notes
Foreign exchange markets sense a change in the global economic climate

The US dollar is making a comeback as sluggish European economies and falling oil prices make the outlook for the world's largest economy seem better.

The greenback hit a six-month high against the euro on Friday, after earlier data showed the eurozone economy shrank in the second quarter, adding to fears that the region may be heading towards recession.

Meanwhile the Bank of England issued a gloomy assessment of the UK economy.

That has caused the pound to fall against the dollar for an 11th consecutive day.

What is driving the dollar?

The US has been seen as the worst hit by the recent slowdown, but there has been promising news recently from the world's biggest economy.

A surge in June's export sales and rising industrial output in July have made economists more optimistic about its outlook.

This, coupled with news that economies outside the US are doing badly, has led to a rise in the dollar as foreign exchange markets sense a change in the economic climate.

The dollar's climb against the euro was triggered after the head of the European Central Bank (ECB), Jean-Claude Trichet, reiterated his fears about the health of the eurozone economy earlier this month.

Many analysts expect the ECB and the Bank of England to cut rates in a bid to boost their flagging economies.

So if US rates head in the opposite direction, the shifting interest rate gap should also boost the dollar, as the euro and sterling become less attractive to global investors.

The oil factor?

But commodities - namely oil - also have a part to play.

The recent fall in the price of crude oil has helped the US currency because the US, the world's biggest oil consumer, has most to lose and least to gain from sky-high oil.

When oil prices rise, the dollar traditionally weakens.

But a lower oil price helps tame inflation, helping revive consumer and business spending and so kick-starting the wider economy.

Will the greenback rally last?

If the US economic picture continues to improve and oil keeps falling, analysts say the rally will be supported.

Goldman Sachs, the largest US investment bank, said it believed "the dollar's long-term downtrend had ended".

After a decade of taking a negative view on the dollar, the bank said it was waving "goodbye to our long-held dollar bearish stance".

Still, the dollar faces challenges ahead, such as volatility in oil prices and weaker US consumer spending.

Investors will also be looking at the giant emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China - key drivers of this decade's global expansion.

If cracks start to appear in the economies of the emerging world, that too could determine the extent of the dollar rally.

Why does the currency change matter?

American tourists in Europe have bemoaned the weak dollar and how it has reduced their purchasing power for years.

Europeans crossing the Atlantic have enjoyed a spending spree fuelled by the strong euro.

These factors will change slightly, analysts said.

On the upside, European exporters will benefit as their goods will become cheaper overseas.

And institutions holding large reserves of of dollar assets, such as Asian central banks, will be breathing a sigh of relief with the current direction of the dollar

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Don't fall for these Scams

— Scams —

Update your billing information. You receive a courteous, official looking email from a well-respected company that asks you to update your billing information. The email even includes a convenient link for you to click. DON'T DO IT! Regardless of how well-known the company is, the email is a FAKE! If you do click on the link and enter your information on the page it takes you to, even if that page looks official, you've just allowed someone to steal your identity. Instead, if you suspect that your billing information does need to be updated, go directly to the company's Web site through your browser, NOT through your email program.

Variations on this theme. You receive an email from eBay or PayPal, or from a financial institution or stock broker. Their email says that they have noticed suspicious activity on your account, and to protect you from identity theft, they've suspended your account. To clear things up, you are told to click on the link they've included and resubmit your personal information to verify your account.

Once again, DO NOT click on any link in an email that involves your personal information. If you do need to update your account information, or if you just want to make sure that your information is up to date, go directly to the company's Web site using your browser, NOT your email program.

Scam emails look very real, and crooks are getting better at it every day. It is very difficult to identify fake emails, even if the email includes a link that begins with "https://." The "s" after "http" is supposed to mean that it connects to a site that's safe and secure, one that protects your private information. But, we've recently seen scam links that begin with "https://" and then redirect you to a crook's website without your knowing it.

You missed jury duty. Someone claiming to be a court official calls and says that you missed jury duty. Then, they offer to fix things up. All they need is your Social Security number and date of birth. Don't fall for it. It's another scam. Your Social Security number and date of birth are all that a crook needs to steal your identity and ruin your credit rating.

Bottom line – protect your personal information. NEVER give out your Social Security number, credit card numbers or other personal identification information to an unsolicited source. Remember, a legitimate company will never call you to ask for this information over the phone or through e-mail.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Keeping the US-Canada border safe

Officials guarding the vast and mostly unfenced border between the United States and Canada are increasingly concerned that Islamic activists may pay sophisticated organised crime gangs to transport terrorists and weapons across into the US.

In recent years, Canada has become a global hub of organised crime, run by mostly by Asian and motorcycle gangs. They have set up an intricate network to smuggle marijuana, counterfeit goods and guns into the US.

But according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), there are fears that criminals could use their network to smuggle terrorists across.

Humphrey Hawksley has been to the border to meet the people in charge of keeping it safe.


Sergeant Brian Brasnett is a senior RCMP border investigator. He believes it would be naive to think the gangs would draw a moral line as to what they transport.

"We would hope they don't stoop to the level of dealing in terrorism," he says.

"But it's all about making money and moving a product so that's where we have to concentrate our enforcement efforts."

He showed me an example of the real danger. Three years ago, US and Canadian investigators discovered a tunnel dug 8ft (2.4m) beneath the ground and stretching more than 330ft (100m).

It ran from a large garden hut on the Canadian side under the road and ditch that divides the two countries into the basement of a private house on the US side.

"It was 4ft by 4ft ...with a cart to transport contraband", says Sgt Brasnett. "There would have been a fee for prospective customers who wanted to use it."How the gangs use tunnels under the border

The US-Canada border runs for more than 5,000 miles (8,000km) through some of the remotest areas in the world. It's often marked simply by a line cut in scrubland or a small obelisk.

One of the busiest border crossings is one the main highway between the west coast cities of Vancouver and Seattle. A motto on an arch there proclaims that the two countries are "Children of a common mother" and "May these gates never close."

Even so, since 9/11, the US has been building what it describes as a "virtual fence" with an array of gadgetry that ranges from radiation detectors for nuclear weapons, to seismic sensors to catch people illegally sneaking across and number plate recognition so that immigration officers know pretty much who you are before you pull up at the booth.

"We ask ourselves, is this person truly who they are," explains Tom Schreiber of the US Immigration and Customs Service. Does this person match a recent intelligence look-at that I need to be aware of?"

Billions of dollars of contraband cross the border from Canada every year. It's been found in container trucks, ships and in canvas bags strapped to the skids of helicopters.

"They can fly as low as 500ft through the valleys straight down into the United States undetected," says Brian Brasnett. "Sometimes on a flight that only lasts 10 minutes and vehicles are waiting there ready to pick it up."


They call it "cutting sign" - an ancient Indian skill of reading tracks and footprints and learning how the sun reflects off moving earth and plants.

Every agent of the US Border patrol is a trained tracker.

"Quite often it's just going to be a little smudge," says senior agent Lee Pinkerton, squatting down and brushing his hand across the earth.

"Let's say they're running out of water so they're dragging their toe. Or they're jamming their heel or digging that toe when they're pushing off, or something scared them or maybe they seen me coming and they're running."

Agent Pinkerton and his team ride mustangs caught in the wild then broken in, because these horses are especially good at moving through rugged terrain.

"Our primary mission since 9/11 is to stop terrorism," says Agent Pinkerton as we ride towards the Canadian border in their Spokane sector where Washington State meets British Columbia.

"It's not the hi-tech way to do things, but right here it's the only way to do things. Even though we might have satellites and we might have aircraft, there's still the element of the man on the ground that's going to make that final determination."

The horsemen from the US Border Patrol make it their job to maintain a vigil on inaccessible areas. Sometimes they camp out for days on end, following an intelligence tip that someone might be trying to cross.

At the rickety low fence that divides the US and Canada, our patrols meets up with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who, ironically, gave up their horses some time ago. About half a mile away is road where vehicles sometimes stop to unload goods to be taken across.

RCMP border enforcement specialist Brian Brasnett says he's seen some unusual tracks. "There were footprints right along the trail," he says. "Can't tell how fresh they were."

Three of our US Border Patrol team peel off the check them out. Sgt Brasnett and Agent Pinkerton discuss setting up night scope along the trail to help them in cutting the sign.

"Satellites can track radio frequency. Radar that can track aircraft. They're all cutting sign in one manner," says Agent Pinkerton.

"We're going to stand on that line. We're going to patrol. We're going to to do whatever it takes to ensure out country is protected. If they want to cross illegally into the United States, not here. Not on my watch."

The three agents returned to report that the tracks were animal, not human. The US-Canada border stretches for thousands of miles of emptiness, but there's a real determination to keep it safe

Sunday, August 10, 2008

US dominates the world economically and militarily for how long?

It will not come as news to anyone that the US dominates the world
economically and militarily. But the exact mechanisms by which American
hegemony has been established and maintained are perhaps less well understood
than they might be. One tool used to great effect has been the dollar, but its
efficacy has recently been under threat since Europe introduced the euro.
The dollar is the de facto world reserve currency: the US currency accounts for
approximately two thirds of all official exchange reserves. More than four-fifths
of all foreign exchange transactions and half of all world exports are
denominated in dollars. In addition, all IMF loans are denominated in dollars.
But the more dollars there are circulating outside the US, or invested by foreign
owners in American assets, the more the rest of the world has had to provide the
US with goods and services in exchange for these dollars. The dollars cost the
US next to nothing to produce, so the fact that the world uses the currency in
this way means that the US is importing vast quantities of goods and services
virtually for free.
Since so many foreign-owned dollars are not spent on American goods and
services, the US is able to run a huge trade deficit year after year without
apparently any major economic consequences. The most recently published
figures, for example, show that in November of last year US imports were worth
48% more than US exports1. No other country can run such a large trade deficit
with impunity. The financial media tell us the US is acting as the ‘consumer of
last resort’ and the implication is that we should be thankful, but a more
enlightening description of this state of affairs would be to say that it is getting a
massive interest-free loan from the rest of the world.
While the US’ position may seem inviolable, one should remember that the
more you have, the more you have to lose. And recently there have been signs of
how, for the first time in a long time, the US may be beginning to lose.
One of the stated economic objectives, and perhaps the primary objective, when
setting up the euro was to turn it into a reserve currency to challenge the dollar
so that Europe too could get something for nothing.
This however would be a disaster for the US. Not only would they lose a large
part of their annual subsidy of effectively free goods and services, but countries
switching to euro reserves from dollar reserves would bring down the value of
the US currency. Imports would start to cost Americans a lot more and as
increasing numbers of those holding dollars began to spend them, the US would
have to start paying its debts by supplying in goods and services to foreign
countries, thus reducing American living standards. As countries and businesses
converted their dollar assets into euro assets, the US property and stock market
bubbles would, without doubt, burst. The Federal Reserve would no longer be
able to print more money to reflate the bubble, as it is currently openly
considering doing, because, without lots of eager foreigners prepared to mop
them up, a serious inflation would result which, in turn, would make foreigners
even more reluctant to hold the US currency and thus heighten the crisis.
There is though one major obstacle to this happening: oil. Oil is not just by far
the most important commodity traded internationally, it is the lifeblood of all
modern industrialised economies. If you don’t have oil, you have to buy it. And
if you want to buy oil on the international markets, you usually have to have
dollars. Until recently all OPEC countries agreed to sell their oil for dollars only.
So long as this remained the case, the euro was unlikely to become the major
reserve currency: there is not a lot of point in stockpiling euros if every time you
need to buy oil you have to change them into dollars. This arrangement also
meant that the US effectively part-controlled the entire world oil market: you
could only buy oil if you had dollars, and only one country had the right to print
dollars - the US.
If on the other hand OPEC were to decide to accept euros only for its oil
(assuming for a moment it were allowed to make this decision), then American
economic dominance would be over. Not only would Europe not need as many
dollars anymore, but Japan which imports over 80% of its oil from the Middle
East would think it wise to convert a large portion of its dollar assets to euro
assets (Japan is the major subsidiser of the US because it holds so many dollar
investments). The US on the other hand, being the world's largest oil importer
would have, to run a trade surplus to acquire euros. The conversion from trade
deficit to trade surplus would have to be achieved at a time when its property
and stock market prices were collapsing and its domestic supplies of oil and gas
were contracting. It would be a very painful conversion.
The purely economic arguments for OPEC converting to the euro, at least for a
while, seem very strong. The Euro-zone does not run a huge trade deficit nor is
it heavily endebted to the rest of the world like the US and interest rates in the
Euro-zone are also significantly higher. The Euro-zone has a larger share of
world trade than the US and is the Middle East’s main trading partner. And
nearly everything you can buy for dollars you can also buy for euros - apart, of
course, from oil. Furthermore, if OPEC were to convert their dollar assets to
euro assets and then require payment for oil in Euros, their assets would
immediately increase in value, since oil importing countries would be forced to
also convert part of their assets, driving the prices up. For OPEC, backing the
euro would be a self-fulfilling prophesy. They could then at some later date
move to some other currency, perhaps back to the dollar, and again make huge
But of course it is not a purely economic decision.
So far only one OPEC country has dared switch to the euro: Iraq, in November
20002,3. There is little doubt that this was a deliberate attempt by Saddam to
strike back at the US, but in economic terms it has also turned out to have been a
huge success: at the time of Iraq's conversion the euro was worth around 83 US
cents but it is now worth over $1.05. There may however be other consequences
to this decision.
One other OPEC country has been talking publicly about possible conversion to
the euro since 1999: Iran2,4, a country which has since been included in the
George W. Bush’s ‘axis of evil’.
A third OPEC country which has recently fallen out with the US government is
Venezuela and it too has been showing disloyalty to the dollar. Under Hugo
Chavez’s rule, Venezuela has established barter deals for trading its oil with 12
Latin American countries as well as Cuba. This means that the US is missing out
on its usual subsidy and might help explain the American wish to see the back of
Chavez. At the OPEC summit in September 2000, Chavez delivered to the
OPEC heads of state the report of the 'Interrnational Seminar on the Future of
Energy’, a conference called by Chavez earlier that year to examine the future
supplies of both fossil and renewable energies. One of the two key
recommendations of the report was that ‘OPEC take advantage of high-tech
electronic barter and bi-lateral exchanges of its oil with its developing country
customers’5, i.e. OPEC should avoid using both the dollar and the euro for many
And last April, a senior OPEC representative gave a public speech in Spain
during Spain’s presidency of the EU during which he made clear that though
OPEC had as yet no plans to make oil available for euros, it was an option that
was being considered and which could well be of economic benefit to many
OPEC countries, particularly those of the Middle East6.
As oil production is now in decline in most oil producing countries, the
importance of the remaining large oil producers, particularly those of the Middle
East, is going to grow and grow in years to come7.
Iraq, whose oil production has been severely curtailed by sanctions, is one of a
very small number of countries which can help ease this looming oil shortage.
Europe, like most of the rest of the world, wishes to see a peaceful resolution of
the current US-Iraqi tensions and a gradual lifting of the sanctions - this would
certainly serve its interests best. But as Iraqi oil is denominated in euros,
allowing it to become more widely available at present could loosen the dollar
stranglehold and possibly do more damage than good to US economic health.
All of this is bad news for the US economy and the dollar. The fear for
Washington will be that not only will the future price of oil not be right, but the
currency might not be right either. Which perhaps helps explain why the US is
increasingly turning to its second major tool for dominating world affairs:
military force.
1. Anon., ‘Trade Deficit Surges to a Record High’, Reuters, (January 17, 2003),
2. Recknagel, Charles, ‘Iraq: Baghdad Moves to Euro’, Radio Free Europe
(November 1, 2000),
3. Anon., ‘A Look At The World's Economy’, CBS Worldwide Inc., (December
22, 2000),
4. Anon., ‘Iran may switch to euro for crude sale payments’, Alexander Oil and
Gas, (September 5, 2002), http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/news/ntm23638.htm.
5. Hazel Henderson, ‘Globocop v. Venezuela’s Chavez: Oil, Globalization and
Competing Visions of Development’, InterPress Service, (April 2002),
6. Javad Yarjani, ‘The Choice of Currency for the Denomination of the Oil Bill’,
(April 14, 2002),
7. The Association for the Study of Peak Oil, Newsletter 26, (February 2003),
William Clark, ‘The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War With Iraq: A
Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth’, (January
2003), http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/RRiraqWar.html.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I found this and it made me think. How about YOU?

PART 1 of 2

By: Devvy

December 14, 2005


The men grabbed each cage off this huge truck and threw them to the ground - as high up as 30'. The cries of these adorable dogs and cats as they hit the ground sent me into shock. Several dogs and cats crammed into each cage, many already bloodied and many whose bones would break upon impact. I can still hear their screams.

As I watched the video progress, I realized that I was crying. The screams of live dogs and cats as they were skinned alive, their big eyes begging for mercy and receiving none, ripped my heart out and brought incredible rage from deep down inside. The next shots of cat pelts laid on the floor with all the dead bodies still twitching in piles cast aside like garbage, would have driven someone with a weak stomach right to the bathroom. It hardened my resolve against trading with barbarians. I can still hear their screams.

More pictures of dogs being chained - the worker jerking and tightening the chain while the eyes of incredible pain stared at the camera - prepared them for skinning, alive. I don't know what sound you call dogs and cats as they are being choked and then a knife taken to them right then and there and skinned. To me, it was screams so horrific, I can still hear them two days after I watched the video.

This is an everyday operation by "businessmen" who drive their trucks on the street like a produce truck would in the U.S. It's estimated these barbarians skin millions of dogs and cats every year - while they are alive. As I watched these "workers" go about their barbaric practice, I wondered how Americans could continue supporting them with their consumer dollar? This is Communist China in all its brutality. The skinning of live dogs and cats is done for money. These barbarians sell the pelts and toss the "meat." These pelts are illegally being intertwined with fake fur for many retail items being sold in the U.S., i.e. doll clothes and into fabric for human garments, i.e. parka hoods and sweaters. That's right: That Christmas gift sitting under the tree - if it came from Communist China - most likely is made from the fur of a dog or cat skinned alive. The EU refuses to ban this barbaric practice; it is condemned and illegal in the U.S.

A couple of months ago I sent my family and friends a photo of what appeared to be a golden retriever with a huge fish hook through it's upper snout. This beautiful dog had been rescued and was at the vet so they could operate on this living creature to remove this grotesque hook. You see, the French government refuses to stop their fishing industry as they kidnap dogs off the streets, shove these huge hooks into their upper snout and throw them off the back of their fishing boats - alive - to troll as shark bait. You can view the photo here. Vacation in gay Paree? I'd rather stay home and clean house. Buy a bottle of wine or bottled water from France? I'd rather drink from the garden hose.

I do not belong to PETA or any animal rights groups; as a matter of fact, I belong to no group, organization or political party. I donate regularly to United Animal Nations because I believe they are one of the very best national organizations. I also donate $15.00 each month to the county animal care services here in Sacramento for the SPCA and our animal facilities. It's never enough. The people of this country are so busy getting their nails polished, getting their bodies buffed, sitting in front of the stupid tube watching crap, addicted to sports, meth, cocaine, porn and other useless past times, they're too lazy and selfish to get their pets spayed or neutered. The result is the euthanization of roughly nine million cats and dogs every year. Congratulations, America, for a job well done.

Let's not forget the animal cruelty in this country which I have seen for myself. Helpless living creatures who ask for nothing more than a little love, food and water. Instead, when I lived in Colorado, it was the norm for people to leave their dogs in the back yard while they went snow skiing for the weekend. Animal control would then come pick up the frozen dog from a back yard while the family was out just having fun. Let's not forget those who kick and beat their dogs while pumped full of booze and drugs and those sickos who burn them alive for kicks. Congratulations, America, for a job well done.

As I said, I do not belong to nor have I ever donated to PETA. Like so many single issue organizations, they become fanatics out of frustration or they're so brainwashed, they cross the line into illegal activities like the eco terrorists who burn down sub divisions of new homes. PETA's silliness over eating beef reaches the point of hysteria and it's a battle they can't win. My husband eats only free range beef and pork; I consume only free range chicken, turkey, fish, organic milk and eggs. If you really want to see what you and your family are eating, I respectfully direct you to this site. I fully support our family farms and ranchers, but there does need to be some changes made and themeatrix web site will help people understand why I say this.

However, mixed in sometimes, we do find good work and PETA has helped get this atrocity out to the world that is going on everyday in Communist China on film. You can view it here, but let me warn you, it will break your heart. I am one of those who refuse to buy Made in China with the exception of this keyboard, monitor and hard drive. Otherwise, there is nothing made from slave labor in my home, not my TV and I don't even own a toaster. It's not just this barbaric practice, but my first awareness of Communist China's brutal practices was back in 1993 when I actually took the time to research NAFTA and commie China. What I found sickened me. Before 1993, we the people could buy virtually everything we ever needed made by Americans, so buying foreign was a pretty much a non issue for me. Then came NAFTA and the total destruction of our three most important job sectors: ag, industrial and manufacturing because Americans wanted cheap. Well, Americans got "cheap" and have been the driving economic force behind America's decline. Since then, Americans like me keep our money, buy Made in America (see here for sources of more than 20,000 products and services) or go without. It's a matter of principle and loyalty to my country, not communist China, communist Hong Kong, communist Viet Nam, India or Macao. I have no problem with fair trade, but free trade has and will further destroy this republic.

People think that communism is just some word. They are wrong. It is a brutal form of totalitarian government. Remember Tienemen Square? The butchers in Beijing murdered their own citizens for daring to speak out against tyranny. These monsters who run communist China continue to enforce their one-child-per-family policy of forced abortions, infanticide and perilously imbalanced boy-girl ratios. During testimony last year before the House International Relations Committee, testimony centered around the case of Mao Hengfeng. In 1998, Mao was fired from her job at a Shanghai soap factory for becoming pregnant with a second child. This poor mother carried her pregnancy to term despite severe pressure from the government to have an abortion. After she became pregnant again, she sued the soap factory for firing her, and the presiding judge told her he would rule in her favor if she aborted her third pregnancy. Mao then aborted her seven-month-gestation pregnancy, but the court ruled against her, saying that because she violated China's family planning policy, the factory had a right to dismiss her. This broken woman was then sentenced to 18 months in a prison labor camp for refusing to give up her protests of the government's family planning policy.

Under communism, the people are indoctrinated into this Godless ideology. They believe it, they live it. They are also slaves and the American people are funding such barbarity:

"But Harry Wu saw the Clinton/Beijing relationship from a deeply human perspective: the blue uniforms and shaved heads in Chinese prison camps. For years, he had been one of the estimated 50 million blue uniformed “troublemakers” who had worked in the camps under totally inhumane conditions. Some of them literally worked themselves to death." Nothing has changed as Bush gleefully embraces such evil. Can anyone hear their cries of misery while they open that Made in China silk blouse or DVD player under the Christmas tree? Are gadgets like I-pods so important that Americans will ignore the human misery that created them?

Do Americans really understand how a communist system really works? Most don't and quite frankly, they don't care. Wearing Nike is more important than facing the truth. Those stock dividends in companies that have sold out this great nation and dumped on the workers who made them so prosperous is more important. Who owns all this stock? Americans. Americans funding such barbaric customs and enriching a murdering government. I wouldn't own stock in any company that trades with commie China for all the tea in China. Those dividend checks from Boeing, Dell and all the rest are dripping with the blood of human slaves and such barbaric practices like skinning dogs and cats alive
I will not buy anything from any company that has sold out the American people and/or has plants in commie China. God forgive me that I had to buy this new computer system two years ago so I can get the truth to my fellow Americans. I would gladly have paid an extra $100, $150 or $200 more for my system made by my fellow Americans, but nothing was available. Pat Buchanan called free trade 'economic treason.' It is that and more when you see what your consumer dollar is going to fund.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I want a United States President NOT a United Nations spokeperson

During his recent speech in Berlin, Barack Obama tried to ingratiate himself to the foreign crowd by claiming loudly that he was “a citizen of the world.”

The problem is Obama’s self-proclaimed global “citizenship” appears to go well beyond just a rhetorical device to gain favor with a European throng full of pie-in-the-sky utopians.

It seems the Democrats’ would-be president of the United States of America really believes that the rest of the world’s problems, and approval, trump the interests of Americans when it comes to how we live our lives and where our money is spent.

While stumping for the support of his party’s leftist base, Obama proclaimed, "we can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times . . . and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK."

And now he’s putting your money where his mouth is.

A bill he has sponsored in the U.S. Senate, the so-called Global Poverty Act
(S. 2433), would raise the amount of American tax dollars allocated to United Nations’ redistribution efforts to $845 billion.

That’s $2,500 from every American taxpayer, when many in our country already are struggling to make ends meet.

And if you think taxes and energy costs are high now, wait until Obama’s global energy and production taxes are made law by the Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid-run Democrat Congress.

Is this what Pelosi meant when she said, “I’m trying to save the planet! I’m trying to save the planet!”?

Senator Obama and the Democrats don’t seem to understand that American prosperity is a result of the hard work of American citizens in a free market economy. And that the American people already are the most generous in the world when it comes to global aid.

Show Barack Obama that Americans don’t need foreign approval to lead their lives as they see fit, and that he ought to remember that he is running for president of the United States, not the United Nations.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Say No To The National Sales Tax

This issue needs to be revisited again as too many patriots are jumping on this government sanctioned bandwagon. As well, a great concern has arisen among us at Free Enterprise Society as it appears many in the patriot movement have adopted a conciliatory posture and chosen to accept anything tossed at them by the government just to temporarily do away with the income tax. And worse, they appear not to be concerned that two wrongs do not make a right.

What happened to the fight to eliminate the income tax by exposing the fraud and deception of this tax? What happened to the proposition of restoration of constitutional government and taxation? How did the fight degenerate to replacing the income tax, a complete fraud, with an unconstitutional National Sales Tax? Has anyone considered the fact that the Freedom Movement, at least when I discovered it, was against confiscatory taxation, was for limited constitutional government, and decried government lawlessness? There is no argument which can justify replacement of the income tax with any type of alternative tax.

If it were conceded that a National Sales Tax had constitutional sanction, which it is not, that is not the solution to eliminating the income tax and the restoration of constitutional government. Currently the government, and I mean each and every branch, refuses to recognize the fact, and it is a fact, that the 16th Amendment was not ratified. All the government has to do to eliminate the income tax, is admit the 16th Amendment was not ratified. This isn’t hard - in fact it is a no-brainer. The problem of course, is that the government intends to keep the income tax if we let them.

Just because the federal government replaces the income tax with a sales tax, what makes anyone think the States would do the same thing? Consider this: most of the States already have an income tax and a sales tax so there would be no reason for the states to dump their income tax laws. And, take notice of one small fact, folks - if the people will tolerate both a sales tax and income tax on the state level as they already do, why wouldn’t they tolerate the same at the federal level? Let’s face it, that is exactly what we are being set up for, and more amazingly, they are getting our help. Talk about cutting our own throats!

Further, if the temporary replacement (and I mean temporary) of the income tax is the end of the race we are running, perhaps one could justify an argument for the National Sales Tax. However, it is not. Our race ends only after we have eliminated the income tax by exposing it’s fraud and deception and restoring constitutional government. Why have we forgotten this?

But, if the patriots sell replacement of the income tax to Joe-Six-Pack as the race we are running, to gain Joe’s participation in the movement, and it happens, Joe will stop at that point, because Joe will believe that the race is over.

More importantly, if a National Sales Tax is adopted, it leaves the promoters of the National Sales Tax right back where they were in the beginning, i.e., fighting confiscatory taxation and a federal government run amok.

Anyway, the National Sales Tax will not be paid by everyone, as, if it is oppressive, a black market like nothing the government has ever seen will explode on to the scene. The theory that everyone will pay their fair share, is not well-taken. And, if a black market becomes huge, the government will need the IRS to enforce collection of its sales tax. As for returns, you better believe there will be tax returns filed by someone as that is the only way to account for the total taxes collected by a business. Is it really to be expected that our good and great government will just accept a business’ representations as to how much tax it collected on sales transactions?

Those promoting a National Sales Tax boldly proclaim that the tax is constitutional, and could be constitutionally administered, but they wholly fail to explain how. Now maybe it’s just me, but unless the National Sales Tax is going to operate as an excise tax on products, and not sales transactions, I can’t find any constitutional authority for it. If this type of tax did not have constitutional problems, don’t you think the government would have implemented it long ago? After all, which of its taxing powers hasn’t it already abused?

The National Sales Tax is a classic example of how the people keep giving, and the government keeps taking.


1. The patriots are winning this war today. This is evidenced by the fact that congress is now seriously looking at replacing this so called tax. The reason is simple: over 30 million people have stopped filing returns, by the IRS’s own spokesman. The income tax is now falling apart. Victory is at hand if we keep our end goal clear. NO INCOME TAX! NO UNCONSTITUTIONAL TAXES! NO REPLACEMENTS!

2. The government is looking now to protect their retirements and other perks that the income tax has illegally provided them all these years. Let’s face it, this has been the corrupt politicians’ cash cow. And what magically appears? A replacement for the income tax that Congress now says has to go. (Give me a break.)

3. As long as the government believes they have the power to implement an income tax, we will ALWAYS have one. With, or without, a so-called replacement. We must continue to teach how this so-called tax uses deception and fraud to take the peoples’ money and get rid of it once and for all, by exposing that there is no constitutional authority to implement such a tax. NOT THEN! NOT NOW!

4. Don’t let those who have been stealing from us, off the hook. By supporting a replacement it looks as if the income tax is legal. And worse, it will make heroes of the very legislators who help bring in a new unconstitutional alternative tax.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

IRS Special Agent

Prepares a report which proves there is no law which requires you to file a return.

I had the opportunity to meet a man who was at that time an IRS criminal investigator. His name is Joseph Banister. He is a man who put honor above his personal situation with the IRS. He ignored the advice from the IRS trainers to not give any credence to the information put out by "tax protesters" and that all of this information is bogus.

Joe Banister did receive information about the IRS fraud and corruption from sources he felt were reliable which, were not the "tax protesters" and he did want to see if any of these allegations had any merit.

His investigation emanated in a 95 page report which questions several aspects of the income tax. The report shows that his independent investigation resulted in him supporting the tax groups and differing from the IRS propaganda.

Joe Banister is not an uneducated person. He was a Special Agent for the IRS criminal investigation division since 1993. Before that he was a tax professional and Certified Public Accountant for 9 years. He holds a bachelor degree of science, business degree, business administration.

It was a dream of his to be a federal law enforcement officer. In 1993 he became an IRS criminal investigator appointed to a position of GS-1811. His duties included investigating violations of US Code Title 26 (IR Code). He was authorized to serve search warrants and arrest warrants. He later became the asset forfeiture coordinator for central California.

He swore an oath to God to protect and defend the Constitution. "I have always taken my oath very seriously." he said. "I have also been mindful of maintaining my ethics and moral standards as a public servant," he continued.

Throughout this investigation Banister had many troubled nights. Brought into question were the IRS’ integrity and actions. Among the issues he investigated are: 1. Is the federal income tax voluntary? (See 26CFR 601.602) 2. Was the 16th amendment ratified? 3. Are federal income taxes used to operate the federal government? What he found was contrary to everything he believed.

This report was then sent up the chain of command at the IRS. What Banister wanted and expected was that the IRS would respond on a point by point basis showing Banister where he was in error. Instead, he received a letter stating that the IRS would not respond to these questions and asked Banister for a resignation in 7 days.

On February 25th, 1999 Joe Banister resigned as follows:

"I am very confused about the treatment I have received for a number of reasons. The first reason is because, on April 28th, 1998, you sent out a memorandum to all IRS employees regarding "Reporting of Misconduct, Fraud, Waste and Abuse." In the memorandum you stated that all Internal Revenue Service employees have an obligation to report misconduct, fraud, waste, and abuse. The IRS has a stringent policy that guarantees employees freedom from reprisal when they report such action. You further stated that every employee should take proactive steps to report wrongful actions. Apparently, I was mistaken to have relied upon your memorandum as a commitment to protect me from reprisal or other adverse treatment."

"I used to believe that the IRS, as an agency, "scrupulously observes taxpayer rights." I used to believe that the IRS administers the federal income fairly and legally. I used to believe that the IRS would not knowingly trample on the rights of innocent Americans just to preserve the income tax system. It is with great sadness that I say I no longer hold any of those beliefs."

Joe Banister appears to be a man of principle and conscience. He has given up a lot for integrity’s sake. Surely this will go well for him in his final judgment. I for one applaud his efforts and others like him.

What is the legitimate purpose of government?

The Declaration of Independence
reminds us that governments are instituted among men to secure
the rights of life, liberty and property. (Property was replaced with
“pursuit of happiness” in a last minute attempt to include abstract rights
such as falling in love.) Our right to life is based on the assumption that
each of us “owns” our own body, hence our body can be considered to be
property. Liberty is the power to utilize our property in any way we wish,
without requiring us to seek government approval. Ergo, the fundamental
reason for government is to assist us in protecting our property.To anyone
with a lick of sense, this concept is self-evident.
Easier said than done! In Federalist #51, James Madison observes that,
“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to
govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would
be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by
men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first
enable the government to control the governed; and in
the next place oblige it to control itself.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

To succeed in the business world, Kevin Wessell, CEO of 1-800-Company.com, recommends individuals form a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) and build business credit, rather than risking personal credit. Wessell, a nationally renowned business expert, provides tips and insight for those interested in forming a business, helping them start on the correct path.

When starting a business, many people consider taking out a personal loan, maxing out their credit cards, borrowing from a family member, using their life savings, or even taking on a partner.

"But think twice before doing so," Wessell says. "With these options you risk going into debt, harming your personal credit history and even falling prey to lawsuits."

According to Wessell, the first step to success is forming a corporation or LLC. Wessell recommends forming a Nevada Corporation or LLC for the maximum personal asset protection and lowest tax base. "If they form a corporation or form a LLC and build business credit, they can get cash to cover start-up business expenses or grow their business. They can secure cash lines of credit to operate their business and cover automobile and equipment leases without a personal guarantee or personal credit check. They may also be able to obtain lines ranging from $50,000 up to $5 million," Wessell says. "Unsecured lines of credit can be obtained, though naturally, they are the most challenging."

The next item to think about is how long it takes to build credit for a business. "If someone starts building corporate credit from scratch it may take four or five years, whereas if they use a professional business credit building service or purchase an aged company or shelf corporation - an existing company that was formed months or years ago - it can take as little as 30 to 90 days," Wessell says.

Some people say business credit cannot be built separately from personal credit and that there is no way to speed up the credit building history. Wessell strongly disagrees.

"We have an enormous list of satisfied clients. We've been helping people form their own corporations and accelerate the building of their business credit for over 30 years.

In order to reduce the amount of time they have to wait to obtain business credit, many new business owners take advantage of these accelerated credit building programs and corporations that are already created with pre-established credit histories.

"In this modern-day economy, there simply isn't the luxury afforded to slowly build up a company. The competition is looking for fast funding in order to build and take over the marketplace," Wessell says. "One of the most important items a company needs in order to achieve success and rapid growth is a capital infusion, and this is where business credit is often critical to the success or failure of a company."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Who Creates our problems??

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then
campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are
against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation
and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on
appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme
Court justices 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly,
legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems
that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem
was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its
Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered,
but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason.
They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a
congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care
if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has
the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises,
it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that
what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con
regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive
amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker,
who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The
president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to
accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole
responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and
approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? She
is the leader of the majority party. Fellow House members, not the
president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it,
they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace
545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and
irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not
traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain
truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then
it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ, it's because they want them in IRAQ.

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement
plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.
There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they
hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and
advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to
regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let
them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical
forces like 'the economy,' 'inflation,' or 'politics' that prevent them
from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are
their bosses
provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

By Charlie Reese -Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper

Monday, July 21, 2008

New way to pay

A new study has found that the new "wave-and-pay" options at checkout terminals is not yet the smart card killer solution that industry leaders had expected. Consumers are largely in the dark when it comes to understanding and embracing the new contactless technology. Auriemma Consulting Group found that only 3% of the population is familiar with the new technology. However, after reading an explanatory paragraph about contactless payments technology, consumers were 7 times more likely to want a contactless card than before they read the description. Furthermore, after reading the description of the technology, 63% of consumers would use a contactless card more than a standard credit card because of its “cool new technology” and 67% of consumers would use a contactless card more than a standard card due to its “ease of use.” About 23% of consumers would not use contactless cards because of concerns of identity theft; a robust education-focused campaign should address this concern.

Teen ID Theft

Young consumers are seriously at risk for identity theft. A new survey shows there are nine million identity theft victims annually, one third of whom are between 18 and 29 years old. To help minimize credit exposure, CreditReport.com recommends consumers shred all documents with personally identifying information, protect Social Security numbers, not to carry unnecessary cards, opt out of pre-approved credit and insurance offers, protect your mail and mailboxes and to protect your computer by using anti-virus software. Additional measures recommended by
CreditReport.com include using strong PINs/passwords, changing them frequently, monitoring accounts between statements and to maintain privacy when writing checks or using a debit/ATM machine. Moreover, the consumer website recommends keeping tabs on your credit through credit monitoring services, most of which offer free-trial periods, to protect from identity theft. For a free annual credit report

Info about credit card use

-- Moving balances from one card to another can make your overall debt temporarily appear lower, if you time it just right. A higher score can mean a lower mortgage, auto or card interest rate.

Keep credit card balances under 40% of the credit line or ask for a credit line increase to lower your percentage. Either way it will boost your credit score

Going over your credit limit at any time, even during a billing cycle, can cost a fee. Play it safe - always stay 10% or more under your credit limit.

Stuff offered on the Internet with unbelievable prices may have been purchased with stolen credit cards. These same cyber-criminals also want to capture your credit card info when you purchase the stuff from them.

Signing up for a store card can give you a big discount on a major purchase. Just make sure you close the account after you clear the balance unless you intend to use it later.

When forking your card over for a transaction make sure you see how it is handled and that it is not scanned or swiped by two machines. Crooks can duplicate your card with skimmed data.