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PACIFIC RIM QUAKE SWARM--New Zealand Gets a 7.2 & Alaska an 8.0

Via: www.stuff.co.nz/national/1...aoul-Island

Pacific Ring fires up

LIAM HYSLOP

A magnitude-8 earthquake has struck in the northern Pacific but is not linked to this morning's 7.2 quake closer to New Zealand, GeoNet says.

The North Pacific quake was off the coast of the Rat Islands, about 2000 kilometres west of the Alaskan peninsula at 8.53am (NZ time).

It was initially recorded as a magnitude 7.2 quake but this was revised to magnitude 8 a short time later. It was at a depth of 114km. A tsunami warning was issued for coastal areas of Alaska.

It followed a 7.2 earthquake south of Raoul Island at 7.19am, which DOC staff on the island described as a "rocking good time".

That quake was initially reported to be 5km deep, but was revised to 30km.

Raoul Island is part of the Kermadec Island group, about 1100km northeast of New Zealand.

GeoNet duty seismologist Caroline Holden said the timing of the quakes was interesting but there was nothing to relate them other than both occurred in the Ring of Fire.

The Ring of Fire is a 40,000km horseshoe-shaped area of the Pacific Ocean, where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.

Of the Raoul Island quake, Holden said it was too small to trigger a significant tsunami, though the situation was being monitored.

Civil Defence said there was no tsunami threat to New Zealand.

The quake also caused two "ghost quake" readings for New Zealand's North Island, Holden said.

The "ghost" quakes - recorded near Palmerston North and on the East Cape - were monitors being tricked by the more-distant Kermadec shake.

According to GeoNet's initial reports, one magnitude-5 quake was centred near Feilding, north of Palmerston North, at 7.21am. It was described as a "moderate" quake. Also at 7.21am, Geonet gave a false reading of a "severe" 5.2 quake near Te Araroa on the East Cape.

However GeoNet later tweeted "A 7.2 quake in the Kermadecs has upset our system this morning! Two large 'ghost quakes' posted in the North Island are not real."

At 9.10am, a 4.4 magnitude quake was recorded 35km northeast of Te Araroa in the East Cape.

It was at a depth of 90km, GeoNet said.

Department of Conservation Raoul Island ranger Paul Rennie said DOC had four staff and two volunteers on Raoul island but they were all accounted for and unharmed.

"They described it as a rocking good time," he said.

"In terms of where they are at the moment, there are no reports of damage but they will be going out and assessing if there is any this morning."
Mon, June 23, 2014 - 6:40 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

RELEASE! Book & CD Signing Expo & Variety Show @ Wurst Bar Ypsi - Sunday, June 22nd - 6-11 pm

UPDATED 7/3/14 - Link to Video/Part 1
vimeo.com/99800908

Local Author Presents Book & CD Signing Expo & Variety Show

Craig A. Combs of Sacred Star Productions will once again be teaming up with Dark Elf Entertainment and WDEE-TV, this time to present a book and CD signing expo and variety show on Sunday, June 22nd from 6:00-11:00 pm at the newly remodeled Wurst Bar, located at 705 West Cross Street in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Combs, who authored his own poetry anthology in 2011 called Taking Tea in the Black Rose, will produce and emcee the variety show.

This one-of-a-kind event, titled RELEASE!, will showcase 14 published writers, musicians, and illustrators both in a casual, one-on-one setting, as well as live on stage in a series of four separate music and spoken word performance sets. The two formats will alternate throughout the evening, giving participants and the public a chance to interact with one another on various levels.

Participating artists include:

David Jibson -- Maray Fuego
John Louis Good -- Hod Doering
Phillip Arrington -- Jennifer Maddox
Matt Lindeman -- Edward Morin
John F. Buckley -- Dave Nash Peterson
Brittany Sanford -- Craig A. Combs
Jeff Trax -- Heather Northway

The Expo is open to the public, and admission is FREE. All ages are welcome until 9 pm, after which only adults over 21 will be permitted. There will also be giveaways throughout the evening and a raffle drawing starting at 8:50 pm. For more details or to inquire about a future Sacred Star Productions event, email Craig Combs at craigacombs[at]me[dot]com. Contact the Wurst Bar by phone at (734) 485-6720, find them on the web at www.wurstbarypsi.com, or visit their Facebook event page at www.facebook.com/events/40...59155230/.

This is what The Detroit Free Press had to say about the Wurst Bar in their article, “Freep 5: Great eats - and great craft beers”:

“This place has all the right moves, from the punny name to the burgers-n-dogs menu. Located across from the campus of Eastern Michigan University, the Wurst Bar has an aesthetic of part college dive, part sports bar, and part hipster hunting lodge. It can be a bit disconcerting for the first-time visitor, but once the brews and eats start flowing, it’s easy to get over. Wurst’s menu includes house-made, split-top brioche or pretzel buns in which are nestled sausages that run the gamut from the standard brat (poached in PBR, natch) to venison potato, rattlesnake chorizo, or bison-lamb-swiss merguez sausages, then topped with your choice of kraut, kimchi, caramelized onions, and spicy or sweet peppers. Burgers are ground from brisket and dipped in what Wurst calls “proprietary Umami rich sauce” — whatever it is, it’s aptly described and begs for a beer chaser. Burger toppings range from pimento cheese to bratwurst to lobster. There are vegan options as well. Best of all, there are both regular and sweet potato tater tots. And the beers? The Wurst Bar has 12 [more like 20+ now] craft taps that change almost daily.”—www.freep.com/article/201...8/309030036/

Craig A. Combs
Producer/Promoter—Sacred Star Productions
www.sacredstar.com
www.craigacombs.com
Facebook link: www.facebook.com/events/409847559155230/
Fri, June 13, 2014 - 8:27 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

"The Cross St. Chronicles" Presents Its Season Finale @ Ugly Mug - Tuesday, June 10th at 6:45 PM

UPDATE 17 JUNE 2014:
CLICK HERE FOR PART 1/2 OF THE VIDEO OF THIS SHOW: vimeo.com/98409214

UPDATE 10 JUNE 2014:
Tonight Sacred Star Productions will be presenting the Season Finale of "The Cross St. Chronicles" Variety Show at the Ugly Mug Cafe at 317 W. Cross Street in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The show will begin promptly at 6:45 pm, and admission is FREE!

Following a couple last-minute lineup adjustments, I'm pleased to announce that you are all in for a really great show tonight! Due to a serious auto accident he was involved in last week, Tyler Common will unfortunately not be performing tonight. However, we do have a special musical guest in town, Maray Fuego, who has offered to step in and work some magic on-stage for us in his stead. She is a multi-talented singer-songwriter and accordionist who has taken the concept of the wandering minstrel to a whole new level of fun, and I'm very pleased to welcome her to the Chronicles stage on this very special night.

Be sure to get there early to get a good seat for the show. The updated poster has been attached for your consideration, so please forward that if possible to anyone who might be interested in attending, or post it to your social media site.

See you there!


Craig ― Producer/Promoter

***

Tis that season...the end-of-season season...after all.

YPSI VARIETY SHOW TO PRESENT ITS SEASON FINALE ON JUNE 10TH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Craig Combs of Sacred Star Productions is pleased to present the final installment of his monthly music & spoken word variety show series, which will take place Tuesday, June 10th, from 6:45-9:00 pm at the Ugly Mug Cafe & Roastery, located at 317 W. Cross Street in Ypsilanti, MI. The show will be video recorded by Dark Elf Entertainment and publicly broadcast as four weekly episodes on www.WDEE-TV.com starting a week after the event.

On the second Tuesday of each month, The Cross St. Chronicles Variety Show has featured four to five musicians and spoken word artists from Southeast Michigan and Northwest Ohio. This month’s edition will once again be hosted by Michigan poet and author Craig A. Combs, and the advertised lineup for this all-ages event will feature sets from three Southeast Michigan music artists—including acoustic folk/pop trio Rustic Union, and two talented singer-songwriters, Matt Lindeman and Tyler Common. Combs is also excited to announce that one of his favorite poets from Toledo, Cindy Bosley, will help him represent the spoken word end of things that evening.

To celebrate the Season Finale, this month’s Open Mic will be replaced by a "Chronicles in Review" segment, spotlighting performers who’ve been featured in previous installments of The Cross St. Chronicles. This set will close out the show with four published writers—Edward Morin, R.J. Fox, Phillip Arrington, and J. Joseph Kane—who will each read for ten minutes. The show will begin fifteen minutes earlier than usual at 6:45 pm and will also include a special guest appearance by local songwriter and accordionist, Maray Fuego, in place of the break.

This is a family-friendly event, and admission is FREE to everyone. To contact the host venue, the Ugly Mug Cafe & Roastery, call (734) 484-4684 or find them on the web at www.uglymugypsi.com. Anyone interested in being featured in a future Sacred Star Productions event should contact Craig Combs at craigacombs[at]me[dot]com.

To watch the full video stream of last month’s show, please visit: vimeo.com/95611093.
To view the Ugly Mug’s Facebook event page, click: www.facebook.com/events/74...75596769/.

Craig A. Combs
Producer/Promoter—Sacred Star Productions
craigacombs[at]me[dot]com
www.sacredstar.com
Tue, June 3, 2014 - 12:13 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

Poets, Greater Alexander & Pollo Loco Rock the Mug!

Link to the May 13th "Cross St. Chronicles" Variety Show @ Ugly Mug Cafe in Ypsilanti, MI.

Enjoy!

vimeo.com/95611093

On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, the Ugly Mug Cafe & Roastery, located at 317 West Cross Street in Ypsilanti, Michigan, played host to Sacred Star Productions' [SacredStar.com] fifth installment of their monthly music & spoken word variety show series, which takes place the second Tuesday of every month from 7:00-9:00 PM. The show was filmed by Dark Elf Entertainment of Ypsilanti and will be publicly broadcast as four weekly episodes on WDEE-TV.com, as well as full-length on this Vimeo channel.

Each month, through June 10th, "The Cross St. Chronicles" Variety Show will spotlight four to five musicians and spoken word artists from across the SE Michigan/NW Ohio region. The show is produced and emceed by Michigan Poet Craig A. Combs―author of Taking Tea in the Black Rose, his poetry anthology published in 2011. The complete lineup for this event went as follows:

❀ FEATURES ❀
Craig A. Combs
J. Joseph Kane
Greater Alexander
The Pollo Loco Latin-American Folk Ensemble:
Elvin Ferreira - Guitar, Backup Vocals; Liz Shar - Vocals & Percussion; Jeff Cuny - Contrabass; and Miguel Gutierrez - Percussion

❀ OPEN MIC ❀
Ray W.
Matt Lindeman

Anyone who is interested in taking part in a future Sacred Star Productions event should contact Craig Combs at craigacombs[at]me[dot]com. In commemoration of our Season Finale, next month's Open Mic will be replaced by a "Chronicles in Review" segment to close the show. Be advised, that show begins 15 minutes earlier than usual at 6:45 pm.

This is an all-ages event, and admission is FREE to everyone. To contact the host venue, the Ugly Mug Cafe & Roastery, call (734) 484-4684 or find them on the web at uglymugypsi.com.

Special Thanks to:
Kayj Michelle ― Ugly Mug Cafe Events Manager & the entire Ugly Mug staff
Tony Dixon & Ray Brockette ― WDEE-TV Videographers ― WDEE-TV.com

"Terrapin Crossroads" from KEYS for the Rex Foundation provided courtesy of Keller Williams
Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter ©1977 ― Ice Nine Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP)
For more information on this recording and the Rex Foundation, please visit KellerWilliams.net or RexFoundation.org.

A presentation of SARED STAR PRODUCTIONS.
www.sacredstar.com
www.craigacombs.com

Run time 1:54:40 (approx.)

vimeo.com/95611093
Mon, May 19, 2014 - 8:07 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

Ugly Mug Cafe Hosts a Vibrant Blend of Live Music & Poetry

Facebook event page: www.facebook.com/events/260622757429508/

WHERE CONDORS SOAR WITH EAGLES…

On May 13th at 7:00 pm local author and event producer Craig A. Combs of Sacred Star Productions will present his monthly installment of “The Cross St. Chronicles” Variety Show & Open Mic series at the Ugly Mug Cafe in Ypsilanti, which will showcase two very talented musicians from Southeast Michigan: published singer/songwriter Greater Alexander from the Detroit area and experimental solo guitarist Elvin Ferreira from Livonia, who will be presenting an eclectic musical set along with his newest project, the Pollo Loco Latin-American Folk Ensemble. This edition of The Chronicles will also feature some intriguing word smithery by poet J. Joseph Kane, also from Livonia, as well as a provocative reading from the event’s own MC and promoter, Craig A. Combs of Ypsilanti.

Local recording artist Greater Alexander is making waves in the music industry. Being a singer/songwriter in Detroit isn’t always easy, but that hasn’t deterred this bearded philosopher. Often compared to Cat Stevens and Jack Johnson, his raw, natural style has garnered attention and a solid fan base. Having experimented with various genres, Greater found his own voice in 2010, pulling inspiration from the organic recordings of the late 60s and early 70s.

With some urging from his friend Ian Sigmon, Greater’s first album, Positive Love, was released in December 2012 and includes his friends’ top 10 favorites, among which “Any Way Out of It” was resoundingly the crowd favorite, along with the album’s title track, “Positive Love.” His next album, Bag of Bones, is slated for release in mid-2014.

Elvin Ferreira has always been known in the local music scene as quite a trailblazer, one who does things his own way, and this courageous approach has taken him on quite a colorful journey of experimentation with many different genres and styles over the past few years, from blues to jam-rock, and even jazz. A resident of Livonia, he is also a recent graduate of Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music.

For his upcoming performance at the Ugly Mug, Elvin has teamed up with Liz Shar, Miguel Gutierrez, and Jeff Cuny to form Detroit’s newest Latin-American Folk Ensemble, Pollo Loco. Together they will bring to the stage an acoustic blend of traditional folk music from Peru, Chile, and other South American regions, along with some unique Afro-Latin rhythms from the Caribbean. Their set promises to be one you will not soon forget.

J. Joseph Kane is a tension, a copyeditor for the literary magazine Midwestern Gothic and a Writer-in-Residence for the InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit. His poems and stories have found good company in a variety of homes, including The Newer York, Clapboard House, Elimae, RHINO, Cricket Online Review, Central Review, Psychic Meatloaf, Right Hand Pointing, Admit2, The Splinter Generation, and the Lilly Press anthology River Poems.

Also a resident of Livonia, Kane can be seen and heard around the region performing his work in spoken word form at such haunts as the Plymouth Coffee Bean Company in Plymouth and the Skazat! Poetry Series at Sweetwaters in Ann Arbor. He is an avid promoter and supporter of all things poetry and definitely has a remarkable way of bending the ear as well as the mind.

Published author and poet, Craig A. Combs, is a Michigan native and resident now in his third decade as an independent writer. Since the publication of his first anthology in the fall of 2011, under the title Taking Tea in the Black Rose: Singing Through the Shadows Until We're Dancing in the Light, he continues to push the envelope in the arena of creative writing with thoughtful works of natural beauty and pioneering ideas that leave his audience with an equal sense of tenderness and childlike fascination.

With an ever-curious mind this author unapologetically pursues a life vision of openness and conscious seeking, displaying a rare talent for drawing out the deepest emotional sensitivities of his audiences. What he reveals to them through this dialectic process becomes their exclusive reward, a timeless souvenir that can never be taken away.

The “Cross St. Chronicles” Variety Show will be followed by a half-hour Open Mic segment, so please come out and join us at the Ugly Mug on Tuesday, May 13th at 7:00 pm. All ages are welcome, and admission to the event is FREE. See you there!

Facebook event page: www.facebook.com/events/260622757429508/
Thu, May 1, 2014 - 12:33 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

The "Hear and Now" Variety Show in the Garage @ YDL-Whittaker Road - 24Apr2014

Sacred Star Productions Celebrates National Poetry Month

Link to video here: vimeo.com/93117050

April is National Poetry Month, and Sacred Star Productions presented this show in celebration of this very special occasion, but also in conjunction with the national touring exhibition, “Our Lives, Our Stories: America’s Greatest Generation”, which our local library has been so fortunate to host from now through May 25th, thanks in part to the generosity of the Minnesota Historical Society, Mid-America Arts Alliance, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

On Thursday, April 24 at 7:00 PM, the garage at the Whittaker Road library (5577 Whittaker Road) was transformed into a performance space, where 5 featured artists performed poetry and music. Combs, the producer and promoter of this event, also performs regularly at the Ugly Mug Cafe and produces their monthly “Cross St. Chronicles” variety show and open mic series.

The variety show, entitled “Hear and Now: Merging Trend & Tradition through Music & the Spoken Word,” included performances by:

Craig A. Combs: Event producer and promoter, poet, and author of Taking Tea in the Black Rose
Julie Babcock: University of Michigan English lecturer, published short story writer, and poet
Luis Anderson: Ann Arbor poet, short story writer, and solo musician
Jess Salisbury: EMU student and singer-songwriter
Cold Tone Harvest: Southeast Michigan folk-rock trio―singer-songwriter Andrew Sigworth, bassist Ozzie Andrews, and drummer and banjo player Brian Williams - www.coldToneHarvest.com

The event also included a Lightning Round of entertainment to close out the show, which showcased both poets and songsters from around the area who each performed a five-minute set. They were Todd Askew, Michael Hylton, John Louis Good, Dave Wanty, David Ward, and Matt Lindeman.

This video was recorded by Brad Perkins and Dan Blades of Worm Farm Recordings of Ypsilanti. Additional music track "Tied Down To You" was provided courtesy of Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys and Earthwork Music (c) 2012.

Link to video here: vimeo.com/93117050

Additional information on events at the Ypsilanti District Library is available at www.ypsilibrary.org/content/...-and-now.

Run time: 1:59:11 (approx.)
Mon, April 28, 2014 - 12:44 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

"Hear and Now" Variety Show at Ypsilanti Library-Whittaker Road - 24 April 2014 @ 7 PM

April is National Poetry Month, so to celebrate, Sacred Star Productions will present a music and spoken word variety show in the Garage at the Ypsilanti District Library, located at 5577 Whittaker Road, on Thursday evening, April 24th, from 7-9 PM. This special event is titled “Hear and Now: Merging Trend & Tradition Through Music & the Spoken Word” and is being presented in tandem with the NEH's traveling exhibit, “Our Lives, Our Stories: America’s Greatest Generation”. This is an all-ages event, and admission is FREE.

Featuring: Cold Tone Harvest - SE MI folk-rock trio... Julie Babcock: U of M English lecturer, poet... Luis Anderson: Ann Arbor poet, solo musician... Jess Salisbury: EMU student, singer-songwriter... Craig A. Combs: Michigan author/poet, event producer... Plus other area poets & musicians

Cost: FREE

Email the promoter at craigacombs [at] me [dot] com for more details or visit www.ypsilibrary.org/content/hear-and-now .

Event details may change at any time, always check with the event organizer when planning to attend this event or purchase tickets.
Sat, April 19, 2014 - 1:44 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

Western Lawmakers Gather in Utah to Talk Federal Land Takeover

Via: www.sltrib.com/sltrib/pol...al.html.csp

It’s time for Western states to take control of federal lands within their borders, lawmakers and county commissioners from Western states said at Utah’s Capitol on Friday.

More than 50 political leaders from nine states convened for the first time to talk about their joint goal: wresting control of oil-, timber -and mineral-rich lands away from the feds.

"It’s simply time," said Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, who organized the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands along with Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder. "The urgency is now."

Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, was flanked by a dozen participants, including her counterparts from Idaho and Montana, during a press conference after the daylong closed-door summit. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee addressed the group over lunch, Ivory said. New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington also were represented.

The summit was in the works before this month’s tense standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management over cattle grazing, Lockhart said.

"What’s happened in Nevada is really just a symptom of a much larger problem," Lockhart said.

Fielder, who described herself as "just a person who lives in the woods," said federal land management is hamstrung by bad policies, politicized science and severe federal budget cuts.

"Those of us who live in the rural areas know how to take care of lands," Fielder said, who lives in the northwestern Montana town of Thompson Falls.

"We have to start managing these lands. It’s the right thing to do for our people, for our environment, for our economy and for our freedoms," Fielder said.

Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke said Idaho forests and rangeland managed by the state have suffered less damage and watershed degradation from wildfire than have lands managed by federal agencies.


"It’s time the states in the West come of age," Bedke said. "We’re every bit as capable of managing the lands in our boundaries as the states east of Colorado."

Ivory said the issue is of interest to urban as well as rural lawmakers, in part because they see oilfields and other resources that could be developed to create jobs and fund education.

Moreover, the federal government’s debt threatens both its management of vast tracts of the West as well as its ability to come through with payments in lieu of taxes to the states, he said. Utah gets 32 percent of its revenue from the federal government, much of it unrelated to public lands.

"If we don’t stand up and act, seeing that trajectory of what’s coming … those problems are going to get bigger," Ivory said.

He was the sponsor two years of ago of legislation, signed by Gov. Gary Herbert, that demands the federal government relinquish title to federal lands in Utah. The lawmakers and governor said they were only asking the federal government to make good on promises made in the 1894 Enabling Act for Utah to become a state.

The intent was never to take over national parks and wilderness created by an act of Congress Lockhart said. "We are not interested in having control of every acre," she said. "There are lands that are off the table that rightly have been designated by the federal government."

A study is underway at the University of Utah to analyze how Utah could manage the land now in federal control. That was called for in HB142, passed by the 2013 Utah Legislature.

None of the other Western states has gone as far as Utah, demanding Congress turn over federal lands. But five have task forces or other analyses underway to get a handle on the costs and benefits, Fielder said.

"Utah has been way ahead on this," Fielder said.

kmoulton@sltrib.com
Sat, April 19, 2014 - 7:00 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

What's the Difference Between Fascism, Communism and Crony-Capitalism? Nothing

Via: www.zerohedge.com/news/2014...sm-nothing

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

The essence of crony-capitalism is the merger of state and corporate power--the definition of fascism.

When it comes to the real world, the difference between fascism, communism and crony-capitalism is semantic. Let's start with everyone's favorite hot-word, fascism, which Italian dictator Benito Mussolini defined as "the merger of state and corporate power." In other words, the state and corporate cartels are one system.

Real-world communism, for example as practiced in the People's Republic of China, boils down to protecting a thoroughly corrupt elite and state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The state prohibits anything that threatens the profits (and bribes) of SOEs--for example, taxi-apps that enable consumers to bypass the SOE cab companies.

What A Ban On Taxi Apps In Shanghai Says About China's Economy


The Chinese mega-city of Shanghai has been cracking down on popular taxi-booking apps, banning their use during rush hour. Until the apps came along, the taxi companies, which are government owned, set the real price for fares and collected about 33 cents each time someone called for a cab. That can add up in a city the size of Shanghai. Wang says the apps bypassed the old system and cut into company revenues.

Much has been made of China's embrace of capitalism, but — along with transportation — the government still dominates key sectors, including energy, telecommunications and banking. Wang says vested government interests won't give them up easily.

How else to describe this other than the merger of state and corporate power? Any company the state doesn't own operates at the whim of the state.

Now let's turn to the crony-capitalist model of the U.S., Japan, the European Union and various kleptocracies around the globe. For PR purposes, the economies of these nations claim to be capitalist, as in free-market capitalism.

Nothing could be further from the truth: these economies are crony-capitalist systems that protect and enrich elites, insiders and vested interests who the state shields from competition and the law.

The essence of crony-capitalism is of course the merger of state and corporate power. There are two sets of laws, one for the non-elites and one for cronies, and two kinds of capitalism: the free-market variety for small businesses that are unprotected by the state and the crony variety for corporations, cartels and state fiefdoms protected by the state.

Since crony-capitalism is set up to benefit parasitic politicos and their private-sector cartel benefactors, reform is impossible. Even the most obviously beneficial variety of reform--for example, simplifying the 4 million-word U.S. tax code--is politically impossible, regardless of who wins the electoral equivalent of a game show (i.e. Demopublicans vs. Republicrats).

The annual cost of navigating the tax code comes to about $170 billion:

Since 2001, Congress has enacted about one new change to the tax law per day. Pathetic, isn’t it? This tax code is a burden and a fiasco and deeply unpatriotic. As Olson’s Taxpayer Advocate Service notes, this code helps tax evaders; hurts ordinary, honest taxpayers; and corrodes trust in our system.

Here's why the tax code will never be simplified: tax breaks are what the parasitic politicos auction off to their crony-capitalist benefactors. Simplify the tax code and you take away the the intrinsically corrupt politicos' primary source of revenue: accepting enormous bribes in exchange for tax breaks for the super-wealthy.

You would also eliminate the livelihood of an entire industry that feeds off the complexities of the tax code. Tax attorneys don't just vote--they constitute a powerful lobby for the Status Quo, even if that Status Quo is rigged, unjust, wasteful, absurd, etc.

It's not that hard to design a simple and fair tax code. Setting aside the thousands of quibbles that benefit one industry or another, it's clear that a consumption-based tax is easier to collect and it promotes production rather than consumption: two good things.

As for a consumption tax being regressive, i.e. punishing low-income households, the solution is very straightforward: exempt real-food groceries (but not snacks, packaged or prepared foods such as fast-food), rent, utilities and local public transportation--the major expenses of low-income households.

1. A 10% consumption tax on everything else would raise about $1.1 trillion, or almost 2/3 of total income tax revenues, not counting payroll taxes (15.3% of all payroll/earned income up to around $113,000 annually, paid half-half by employees and employers), which generate about one-third of all Federal tax revenues and fund the majority of Social Security and a chunk of Medicare.

As for the claim that a 10% consumption tax would kill business--the typical sales tax in California is 9+%, and that hasn't wiped out consumption.

2. The balance could be raised by a progressive tax on unearned income, collected at the source. Most of the income of the super-wealthy is unearned, i.e. dividends, investment income, interest, capital gains, stock options, etc. As a result, a tax on unearned income (above, say, $10,000 annually to enable non-wealthy households to accrue some tax-free investment income) will be a tax on the super-wealthy who collect the vast majority of dividends, interest, capital gains and investment income.

A rough estimate would be 20% of all unearned income.

This would "tax the rich" while leaving all earned income untaxed, other than the payroll tax, which is based on the idea that everyone should pay into a system that secures the income of all workers. This would incentivize productive labor and de-incentivize speculation, rentier skimming, etc.

The corporate tax would be eliminated for several reasons:

1. It is heavily gamed, rewarding the scammers and punishing the honest

2. All income from enterprises is eventually distributed to individuals, who would pay the tax on all unearned investment income.

But such common-sense reform is politically impossible. That's why the answer to the question, what's the the difference between fascism, communism and crony-capitalism is nothing.
Wed, April 16, 2014 - 11:57 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

Michael C. Ruppert Has Committed Suicide

"The ultimate crime and everything that's wrong with this world comes from whoever wrote into Genesis that mankind shall have dominion over this planet and go forth and multiply and subdue the fowls. That's the crime, of separating human consciousness from the consciousness of all the other things that we need—whether it's the water that we drink, the air that we breathe, the animals that we eat. We live in a monetary paradigm that demands infinite growth, so balance is not possible."—Michael C. Ruppert, 11 September 2011

Via: www.cryptogon.com/

April 15th, 2014

“I’m tired. I’m ready to die.”—Apocalypse, Man: Michael C. Ruppert on World’s End [www.youtube.com/watch ]

Via: CollapseNet: www.collapsenet.com/free-res...d-suicide

I have been informed that MCR has committed suicide. I am devastated, and very, very sad…

We’ll report more as information becomes available.

PLEASE DO NOT SPREAD SPECULATION!

MCR was my friend, my client (I was his attorney) and business partner in CollapseNet. We will gather and report THE FACTS about MCR’s death, and nothing else. On my honor, the truth of MCR’s death WILL BE TOLD, and his memory will be honored.

Media inquiries should come right here, to me, via ceo@collapsenet.com.

Rest In Peace Mike. I am so sorry that you are gone. You fought the greatest of fights, you opened thousands of eyes and you have earned your place in history, and in our hearts.

Much more to come…

Wesley T. Miller

Research Credit: LoneWolf

3 Responses to “Michael C. Ruppert Has Committed Suicide”

brandon Says:
April 15th, 2014 at 11:14 am
Oh wow this is tragic. One of the 1st books I read that opened my eyes.

mangrove Says:
April 15th, 2014 at 11:44 am
Very upsetting. I followed Michael C. Ruppert since about 2004, and was a member of From The Wilderness until its dissolution. Because of Mike’s concern about the future of this world, he made it his mission to warn those who would listen about what was coming and how we should prepare. I listened, did my own research as well, and got into action. On the financial front, he warned everyone to get out of the dollar long before many others — I did it in 2004, cashed in IRAs, took the penalties, invested in hard assets. On energy, he inspired me to invest in solar panels for my home. On food security, I began gardening and transforming my 1/2 acre into a food producing oasis. I’m now in the 9th year and have mastered a lot of what it takes, and have mature fruit trees, etc.

The man scared the shit out of me, and for that I am thankful. People say we shouldn’t live in fear. I understand the reasoning behind that. In normal times, I would agree. We don’t live in normal times (whatever that means, anyway). To me, fear has been given a bad rap. Fear has been the great motivator for me in changing my life, completely rearranging my priorities, and learning new skills for the coming dark ages. It’s a balancing act, of course, but seeing the coming storm demands getting into action and becoming a prepper.

If Mike taught me anything, it was that denial is not a river in Egypt. But seriously, denial is the number one enemy that keeps us from moving forward into the brave new world paradigm which we all face, like it or not.

I’m deeply saddened. It is a tragic day for humanity when one of the few good truth tellers leaves this mortal coil, regardless of how or why. He will be greatly missed. RIP Michael. Your legacy will not be forgotten.

Dennis Says:
April 15th, 2014 at 4:47 pm
Michael Ruppert’s work was instrumental in leading me down the supra-political rabbit hole and impressing upon me something of how darkness manifests through the earthly game of thrones.
Vale, Mike. Thank you.
Wed, April 16, 2014 - 10:41 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment
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