South Africans buying tickets are issued with this prepaid ticket card. (Image: South Africa 2010) Excited fans cheer for South Africa’snational team Bafana Bafana. (Image: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more photos, visit the image library.)Janine ErasmusFind out more about using MediaClubSouthAfrica.com materialIn exactly a year’s time one of the greatest sporting events in the world will take place for the first time on African soil. The long-awaited 2010 Fifa World Cup kicks off on 11 June 2010.But before then the country will see another football spectacle in the form of the Confederations Cup, viewed as the forerunner to the World Cup, and the chance to test security strategies, health services, and infrastructure.The tournament, which features eight top teams including the winners of each of Fifa’s six football confederations, the world champions Italy and hosts South Africa, runs from 14 to 28 June 2009.With a massive US$17.6-million (R142-million) in total up for grabs, of which the largest stake is the $3.25-million (R26-million) for the winner and the smallest cut $1.4-million (R11.3-million) for each of the four last-placed teams, the Confederations Cup is a prestigious event in its own right.South Africa has spent billions on renovating stadiums, improving transport, including airports and new bus rapid transport systems, and upgrading telecommunications.The country is in the process of rolling out its digital broadcasting infrastructure, which will see all 64 games of the World Cup broadcast in high definition to selected networks around the world.President Jacob Zuma, in his maiden State of the Nation address on 3 June, declared that all preparations were on track for a wonderful sporting event that would leave lasting benefits not just for the host country, but for the southern African region and all of Africa.“We have, as government and the nation at large, pledged that the World Cup will leave a proud legacy from which our children and our communities will benefit for many years to come,” he said.Stadiums will be readyAll ten venues are in advanced stages of construction, with half that number already complete.One of them, the Nelson Mandela multi-purpose stadium in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape province, was unveiled this week ahead of the Confederations Cup.The stadium is the first newly-built stadium to be officially opened and will shortly be put through its paces with an international rugby match on 16 June between the British and Irish Lions, touring the country at the moment, and the invitational Southern Kings team.Both Fifa and the Union of European Football (Uefa) have expressed great satisfaction at the progress, in terms of physical preparations and ticket sales.Over 1.8-million applications from over 200 countries were received, of which just over half a million were allocated. While 44% of the applications came from South Africa, the majority that arrived from overseas indicates that football fans around the world are already planning their South African trip in June 2010.The second phase of ticket sales is currently underway and will run until 16 November 2009, or until the 100 000 available tickets have been snapped up.Former English Football Association chair Geoff Thompson described the stadiums as “superb”.“To have a World Cup in Africa is something many of us have dreamed of for years,” he said at a Uefa gathering in Denmark in March, “and without a doubt entrusting South Africa with the 2010 Fifa World Cup has been well placed.”The remaining five stadiums will all be complete by the end of 2009.National pridePublic opinion is running high and excitement and confidence is mounting amongst South Africans. A market research campaign commissioned by Fifa in January revealed that three-quarters of South Africans polled believed that the country will be ready and that the event would be a success.The survey, conducted by German research company SPORT+MARKT, also proved that a whopping 88% of South Africans are proud to be hosting the World Cup, and that three out of four believed that the tournament would further unite South Africans as a nation.It has taken five years for public sentiment to reach these levels, Back in 2004 when Fifa president Sepp Blatter made the announcement that the World Cup would travel to Africa, there was more a sense of trepidation than excitement. However, the January survey showed that 77% of respondents now feel more confident about the success of the tournament than they did in 2004.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at email@example.com.Related articlesBrand SA unveils 2010 campaign Second chance for 2010 tickets Uefa praises SA’s 2010 readinessUseful linksFifa 2010 World Cup2009 Confederations CupSouth Africa 2010SPORT+MARKT
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Pork Council is taking a new look at an old elementary school staple — field trips.There is certainly no shortage of school students interested in taking a field trip to a modern livestock farm but logistics, costs and biosecurity issues make this important educational tool and valuable agricultural outreach effort increasingly impractical. To address this challenge, the Ohio Pork Council has harnessed technology to develop a unique opportunity for teachers and students to participate in a live video-chat with farmers. Using Google Hangouts video chat technology, hog farmers can take students inside their barns and showcase the inner workings of modern production facilities and a variety of aspects of raising pigs from pregnancy through birth to market weight.“We’ve established a way to open up our hog barns in the state of Ohio and make a connection with folks who may not be able to get out to farms to see where their food comes from. Elementary school classrooms are able to connect live with a farmer virtually and see what goes on in his or her hog farm,” said Quinton Keeran, with the Ohio Pork Council. “We are now kicking off this year’s field trips and are hoping to expand this as far as we can. The program was very well received last year. We are planning to add more farmers and we want to broaden beyond elementary schools. We are going to open this up to high school classes, specifically FFA and vo-ag classes. We are also considering opening this opportunity to the general public.”Each virtual tour can be shaped by the teacher in the classroom to address the curriculum that is currently being covered.“This program is unique because we have worked with educators to specifically tailor our messaging to points in curriculum that teachers will be working on,” Keeran said. “We have had several teachers using this in different areas of the curriculum. Some teachers have used this for science, social studies, and economics. The teacher can take this experience and tailor it to the curriculum they are working on.”While the hog farmers are quite adept talking about their farms, there is some important training needed to get them up to speed on the technology required for the effort.“Our farmers are very good at what they do, but they may not always be carrying an I-pad and headphones. We had to work with some of the individual farmers that decided to be a part of this to train them on the technology to be able to really provide a nice positive experience for the students that participate in this live video chat,” Keeran said. “Right now we have three farmers participating. We have done some simulations and test runs of these Google Hangouts to try and figure out what equipment works best in their barns. We’ve provided them with some wireless capability to really be able to enhance the experience.”Farm Credit of Mid-America has been an important supporter of the project with the Ohio Pork Council.“We are very excited about the opportunity we have been given to enhance the virtual field trip program through support from Farm Credit Mid-America that will continue to grow that project and reach more classrooms within the state of Ohio,” Keeran said.One of the farmers participating in the virtual field trips is Neil Rhonemus who farms in Highland and Clinton counties and raises contract hogs for the Heimerl family.“We have two wean-to-finish barns. We get the pigs when they are 21 days old and 12 pounds and we take them to finish weight. They are all gilts,” Rhonemus said. “They are marketed by the Pig Improvement Company. We have shipped pigs all over the U.S. and Mexico and to China. We only have 60 acres of crops so we depend on our neighbors to use the manure from our barns.”One of the farmers participating in the virtual field trips is Neil Rhonemus who farms in Highland and Clinton counties and raises contract hogs.Rhonemus welcomes the opportunity to share his farm with students around Ohio.“Less than 2% of our population farms and less than 1% actually takes care of livestock. We need to get our story across to the general public so they know what we are doing before somebody makes it up for us,” he said. “So far I have talked to second and third graders and I am going to be talking to some FFA students — I expect a whole different set of questions from them. I explain that pork is meat we get from a hog. It is necessary for us to respect our animals and treat them humanely and, if we eat meat, it is also necessary that we raise animals. I was asked once where the baby pigs come from and I said, ‘They come on a trailer’ which is true. That is how I get them. You have to expect those kinds of questions will come up. Handling the questions from the kids is fun because you never know what to expect when they start talking. You really have to be on your toes. It has been a really good experience for me and I am looking forward to doing more.”He has found that the students are really interested in what is happening on the farm.“I’m never surprised about the lack of knowledge about what we do that is out there. I have been surprised about their curiosity, though. These students really want to know about what we do and they want to learn. It is awesome to be involved in,” he said. “One of our teachers was a neighbor not too far from one of our facilities and she initiated some really good questions. I really look forward to those questions from the adults as well. It is really cool and it is exciting to be involved with something like this.”Rhonemus said that there was a learning curve with the technology involved and the process is not as simple as just turning on an I-pad.“It wasn’t too bad really once we got the equipment working and got a feel for how things flow. I have an I-pad with headphones to cancel out the noise so I can hear and I have a portable receiver for our Internet,” he said. “Once we are connected we take a tour of the building to show them what is going on then I can field questions from the students. We have a moderator involved so there is a technician involved to handle the equipment. This is a coordinated effort from several people. “The effort, though, is viewed as worthwhile for everyone involved. The teachers have expressed appreciation for the chance to add a unique teaching tool in the classrooms and the students gain valuable insight into how their food is produced straight from the source that best knows the real answers to their questions — the farmer.The students always enjoy seeing baby pigs.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has said on Saturday that he would like to be the coach of the Indian team, if such an opportunity comes his way. “Though it’s not my immediate goal, I will like to coach the national team. It will be a great honour,” Ganguly said on Saturday while addressing the India Today Youth Summit in Delhi. He will, however, like to do things differently from former India coach Greg Chappell because of which he had to lose his captaincy and later his place in the team. “I think the captain is the boss of the team, the coach should remain backstage,” he said.In the session Going For Broke chaired by Headlines Today Executive Editor Rahul Kanwal, Ganguly said his coaching will revolve around five central rules: friendly relations with media, no use of media to sideline a player, being honest with players, work with the players, gaining their confidence and staying at the backstage. On being asked what keeps him going, the Bengal Tiger said that the love for the game inspired him to make several comebacks. “After I was dropped from the team in 2006, even my father thought I would not get any chance. But I had faith in myself. I still get high when I score runs,” he said. He admitted cricket was not his first choice. Like most Bengali teenagers, his first love was football. But injuries forced him to give up football and he turned to the game he would rule when he was in Class IX. “My elder brother played cricket, so I started going out with him to play. That’s how it began,” said Ganguly. He also said that his cricketing journey, filled with so many ups and downs, has moulded his character. It has taught him that winning was not always everything. “Of course people expect you to win every time, and you can’t move ahead if you don’t deliver, but the most important part is the amount of struggle you go through to achieve your goal.” he said, “There are more bad days in sports than good ones. But people remember the good days only.” He said that failures have made him a better person. On being asked how it felt to sit out of the team, Ganguly said that it was like a punch to his face. “When I was out of the team, the newspapers made me feel like everything I had done for Team India was wrong. Then I got picked up after six months and suddenly people said there was none better than me. That’s when I realised winning is not everything,” he said adding that “it’s not important how many times you fall, but how you get up every time”. He advised youngsters not to worry much about winning as that adds pressure. “If you are honest to you profession, some day you will surely win.” The southpaw also praised the efforts of boxer Mary Kom who despite several hardships and obstacles has brought glory to the country by becoming World Woman Boxing Champion five times in a row. The most successful Indian captain ever, Ganguly attributed his success to his teammates. “A team-mate is as good as his team. I had so many talented players in the team and they delivered. We must remember cricket is a team game.” Among all the captains he played under he singles out Tendulkar as the best. “Everyone, including my father, points to Tendulkar’s captaincy record when I say this, but I really blossomed as a cricketer under Sachin,” he said. Ganguly, who opened in ODIs with Tendulkar, said that he considered the 60-plus partnerships with the master blaster as the most memorable in his career. “After we lost to Australia in the World Cup 2003, there was a huge public reaction against our dismal performance. Our next match was against Zimbabwe and I was very tense. Tendulkar came up to me and said that it was the most crucial game of his life and we must win it. It was a small partnership, but it changed our course in the World Cup and we reached the final,” he said. On being asked if he could do something differently in the 2003 World Cup final, he said, “I wish we could bowl better. Every time I asked Zaheer to bowl a particular delivery, he did the opposite.” He also admitted that his tactic of keeping former Australian captain Steve Waugh waiting for him during the toss was a deliberate one. “It was my way of being at the same level as they were.” He also recounted his encounter with Steve Waugh the very next year at Brisbane where Waugh had asked him, “Could you be on time for the toss this time?” “Only if you stop writing,” replied Ganguly. Clearly in a mood to interact with the youngsters present at the summit, Ganguly was at his wittiest best. “Was hitting sixes against leg spinners your success mantra,” asked one delegate to which Ganguly replied, “It was my way of venting out my frustration after facing the fire from the Pollocks and Bret Lees.” On being asked how he had felt after taking off his shirt at the Lord balcony after India had won the NatWest series against England, he said, “I felt cold as it was very cold in London.” He also said that he might take off his shirt again if Kolkata Knight Riders win the IPL. Ganguly believes that Indian cricketers are not involved in match-fixing. He however refused to agree that it’s not about Pakistani players only. “The bookies know who to approach. They observe the players, their behaviours and how they speak to the press or on TV.” On being asked how he dealt with the match fixing crisis after he took over the reigns of Team India in 2000, he said, “Almost all the players were new. So we made a fresh beginning. We did not talk about it. I did not have to deal with it much.” Ganguly also sees no wrong in politicians managing sports. “If their intentions are right, anyone can manage sports. But it’s better if administration is managed by politicians and the sports aspect by players,” he said. The former India captain believes that the Commonwealth Games in India will pass off successfully. “India has the huge ability of surviving disasters. It’s not okay to blame one person for what is happening. If it fails, all are to be blamed.”advertisementadvertisement
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Southampton midfielder Lemina: Bielsa key to leaving Marseilleby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton midfielder Mario Lemina has explained why he left Olympique Marseille.Lemina quit OM for Juventus before landing at Saints.He explained to Eurosport: “I spent only two years in Marseille. When I arrived, I thought I would stay longer. The first year, with Elie Baup was complicated but the next one with Marcelo Bielsa was magnificent. “We discovered another OM, more spectacular. With the coach, I learned a lot. It’s really very interesting to work under his orders. When he left, it was a shock for me and that’s what made me want to go.”Bielsa is now leading Leeds United in their promotion push frm the Championship.
The National Works Agency (NWA) will be undertaking major road upgrading works between Eastwood Park Road and Manor Park in St. Andrew. The project will include improvements where Constant Spring Road intersects with Red Hills Road, West Kings House Road, Dunrobin Avenue, Shortwood Road, West Avenue and Oaklands, Immaculate Conception and Constant Spring Tax Office and Olivier Road. The National Works Agency (NWA) will be undertaking major road upgrading works between Eastwood Park Road and Manor Park in St. Andrew.The 3.5 kilometres of roadway will be widened to accommodate four lanes of traffic, new management solutions and improved pedestrian facilities.Manager, Communication and Customer Service at NWA, Stephen Shaw, told JIS News that the project is aimed at reducing traffic congestion, which is a major problem for commuters along Constant Spring Road and motorists travelling to Kingston from the parishes of St. Mary and Portland.“The Constant Spring Road is one of the major roads in the Corporate Area and it is really oversaturated right now. The number of motor vehicles that we see on a daily basis is about 30,000. It is way over capacity, and so we want to add capacity to the road. It requires us moving from what we now have, which is two lanes, to four lanes; and so at the end of all of this, when we shall have completed the work, we expect to see a more efficient flow,” he explained.Mr. Shaw was speaking to JIS News at a stakeholders meeting held at the Karram-Speid Auditorium, Merl Grove High School, located on Constant Spring Road on Wednesday, November 29.“We expect to see less congestion, improvement in travel times, we expect to see persons getting to work in a more efficient way – much quicker, and also getting home from work in a quicker way,” he added.Mr. Shaw said there are serious traffic snares along Manor Park heading towards Long Lane all the way to Stony Hill, and this has caused issues for persons who work in the commercial hub of Kingston.“We really want to ensure that persons can get to work and get home from work in a more efficient way,” he said.He said that in addition to commuters, businesses along Constant Spring Road will benefit from the road expansion.“Business will benefit in a significant way from their employees coming to work in a more refreshed way, having had more rest at home,” he pointed out.Mr. Shaw told JIS News that the timeline for the project will be announced to the public soon.“Right now, we are dealing with some of the nuts and bolts. The contract price has been determined. We are awaiting some word from the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation as to a date for the contracts to be signed, and as soon as that contract is signed, then we will be in a position to indicate a start date and end date for the project,” he said.The project will include improvements where Constant Spring Road intersects with Red Hills Road, West Kings House Road, Dunrobin Avenue, Shortwood Road, West Avenue and Oaklands, Immaculate Conception and Constant Spring Tax Office and Olivier Road.There will be new signalised intersections where Constant Spring Road intersects with Mannings Hill Road, Constant Spring Terrace and Hillman Road, Clifton Boulevard, Manor Centre, Manor Park circulation, Stilwell Road and Long Lane.Central Avenue will become a one-way corridor, and a temporary bridge will be created within the Manor Park circulation.Mr. Shaw said that sewer lines will also be upgraded. “It is going to be an integrated project to include water, sewer and road, so what we want to happen, is that at the end of the process, we won’t have a situation where Constant Spring Road becomes an issue where we have a sewer system that is failing or waterlines that are defective.“We want to have all of these things taken out of the way, so when we are finished the work, there will be no form of interruption.”Approximately 88 parcels of land will be affected by the expansion, and Mr. Shaw said that negotiations are under way with the property owners.“We have been going through with the National Land Agency (NLA) to try and conclude as many of these matters as is possible. We have concluded some of the agreements,” Mr. Shaw said. Manager, Communication and Customer Service at NWA, Stephen Shaw, told JIS News that the project is aimed at reducing traffic congestion, which is a major problem for commuters along Constant Spring Road and motorists travelling to Kingston from the parishes of St. Mary and Portland. Story Highlights
Visitors to Kuala Lumpur can now get a very different experience by exploring the city from the air with the latest tourism product- The KL Sky Tour. The KL Sky Tour offers a variety of packages that are very affordable and yet still offer the thrill and excitement of touring a city from the air. There are four tour packages to choose from that vary in terms of time and distance travelled.The 6-minute KL Express Package tour takes you around the iconic landmarks of KL city centre. Fly over the Dataran Merdeka, the National Stadium and the KL Tower. Passengers will get spectacular views of the Petronas Twin Towers.In the City Explorer Package, a 15-minute flight takes over every iconic structure in Kuala Lumpur including the Batu Caves, King’s Palace and KL city centre. From there the flight path takes them to the Jalan Duta area to see the Federal Territory Mosque and the National Palace. Before the tour ends, there will be a flight around the iconic buildings of the city centre.The experience of adventure in the Jungle Escape Package as KL’s concrete jungle meets its real jungle. This flight lasts 30-minutes and takes passengers around the city centre before heading away from the city to the pristine rainforests along the Quartz Ridge to the Batu Dam.Climb to over 6,000 feet over the valleys and mountains to Genting Highlands, see everything of KL in the 45-minute of the City Indulgence Package. Discover the valleys and mountains covered in lush rainforests to the Genting Highlands home of Malaysia’s casino heaven.Flying back to the city, passengers will enjoy the panoramic view of the Kuala Lumpur city skyline as they descend to the Batu Caves and Kuala Lumpur royal quarters before heading for the city’s iconic buildings.All flights depart from the KL City Helipad at the Titiwangsa Lake Gardens. There is a requirement of a minimum number of three passengers per flight and advance bookings are required.
Virgin Media has added 11 new live channels to its cloud-based Virgin TV Anywhere entertainment service.The channels consist of four ITV networks, four A+E Networks UK channels and three Viacom networks and take the total number of channels available on the service to 75.The introduction of ITV, ITV 2, ITV 3 and ITV 4 means that viewers can watch shows including Coronation Street and Britain’s Got Talent on the move. The A+E Networks channels are History, H2, Bio, and CI, which air shows like American Pickers and Dance Moms.The Viacom channels, which were previously available on computers only but are now also available to stream on tablets, are MTV, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.Virgin TV Anywhere is available online to all Virgin TV customers, and through mobile and tablet apps for Virgin TiVo customers. The apps offer extra tools like remote recording options and are currently available for iOS devices, with Android due to follow later this year.
Cyfrowy Polsat-owned OTT service Ipla has added combat sports channel FightKlub to its programming line-up. FightKlub will be part of the Ipla Sport and larger Ipla Mix packages, which includes sports channels found in the Ipla Sport offering.FightKlub covers Polish and world boxing as well as this week’s World Judo Championship in Rio de Janeiro. Ipla is available via PCs, Android and iOS mobile devices, LG, Samsung and Panasonic smart TVs and the Netia Player service.
Sponsor Advertisement MAX Resource Corp. (TSX:MXR) is focused on a newly-defined copper/silver/gold porphyry system at Majuba Hill in Nevada that is highly prospective for a bulk-tonnage, open pit deposit. MAX recently completed a Phase II core drilling program and additional soil sampling in a step-out drilling program at the DeSoto discovery near the past producing Desoto silver mine at Majuba.Drilling earlier in the year encountered long intervals of high-grade silver and copper near surface in five of eight holes, as well as significant gold intercepts, such as 44.2 m of 71.0 g/t Silver, 0.15 g/t Gold and 1.14% Copper. Further assay results and soil geochemistry are expected in February/March 2012. Permitting is underway for an extensive Phase III delineation drill program at Desoto to begin in the spring of 2012.For more information: www.maxresource.com or firstname.lastname@example.org You have to ask yourself why the precious metals are getting trashed in the face of one of the biggest financial crisis of our lifetimes.Gold set another new low for this move down about an hour before London opened yesterday. From that low, the gold price rallied right a bit right up until the Comex open…and was under a bit of selling pressure from that point onward.But the major selling pressure came once the Comex was through trading at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time…with the low price tick of the day [$1,540.70 spot] coming just moments before 4:00 p.m. in New York in the very thinly traded electronic market. From that low, gold recovered a few dollars going into the close at 5:15 p.m. Eastern.Gold finished the Thursday trading day at $1,544.30…down another $12.20. Net volume was pretty decent at around 143,000 contracts.It was pretty much the same price pattern in silver…except the engineered sell-off was far more intense. Silver’s low price tick [$27.51 spot] came at the same time as gold’s…and the silver price recovered about 20 cents going into the electronic close.Silver closed the day at $27.72 spot…down 46 cents from Monday. Net volume was pretty high at 37,000 contracts, more or less.The dollar index traded in a narrow 10 basis point range of 80.60 for a goodly portion of Tuesday. That lasted until shortly before 9:00 a.m. in New York…and then away it went to the upside until about 3:20 p.m. Eastern time where it traded sideways into the close. The dollar index closed up about 65 basis points.The gold stocks started off in positive territory…and then got sold off…but recovered back to unchanged just before lunch in New York. It was all down hill from there. The HUI got smacked for another 3.83%.The silver stocks really got crucified again…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index took it on the chin for another 5.95%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 1 gold and 123 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Friday. The big short/issuer was Merrill with 113 contracts…and the short/stoppers were a mixed bag. The link to the Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.There were no changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday. Ted Butler and I were discussing the big 1.6 million ounce surprise deposit in SLV on Monday…and Ted figured it probably had something to do with covering a short position in SLV shares. We’ll know more when the new report is posted over at shortsqueeze.com a week from today.The U.S. Mint had a sales report worthy of the name yesterday. The sold 3,000 ounces of gold eagles…500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 150,000 silver eagles. Month-to-date the mint has sold 34,500 ounces of gold eagles…1,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 1,135,000 silver eagles.It was a busy day over at the Comex-approved depositories on Monday. They reported receiving 1,526,942 troy ounces of silver…and shipped 305,421 ounces of the stuff out the door. The link to that action is here.German gold analyst Dimitri Speck was kind enough to send me several of his excellent charts…and I’m more than happy to post them here. I’ll post the gold charts today…and the silver charts tomorrow.The first chart shows the “Intraday Price Movements” in gold over about eighteen years. The high at the London open…and the low at the London p.m. gold fix…are the most prominent features.(Click on image to enlarge)The second chart shows the intraday price movements for the first quarter of 2012…and there are subtle differences, but the overall price pattern is the same…and only the times of the highs and lows have shifted.(Click on image to enlarge)And lastly, here’s the chart for 2011 on its own…the same, but slightly different once again. The negative price bias in London really stands out in this chart.(Click on image to enlarge)I have a lot of stories again today…and I hope you have time to read through most of themWhile the US Dollar and Treasury debt are the twin foundations of the system, the major modern indicators of how the system is functioning are the stock market and the precious metals, Gold in particular but also Silver. A stock market investment is a bet ON the system, a purchase of physical Gold and/or Silver is a bet AGAINST it. This is clearly shown by the lengths to which the financial powers that be will go to support the stock market – and to undermine the price of the precious metals. – Bill Buckler, The Privateer, 12 May 2012Well, the pain continued unabated again yesterday. Everything that occurred up to and including the close of Comex trading at 1:30 p.m. in New York yesterday, should be in this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report…and as I pointed out in this space yesterday, it should be a stunner.Unfortunately, ‘da boyz’ leaned on the precious metals particularly hard after the Comex close yesterday…and that data won’t be in Friday’s report.Here are the 3-year charts for all four precious metals, with the exception of palladium, which had a price bounce yesterday, every other precious metal is more oversold than its been in the last three years.(Click on image to enlarge)(Click on image to enlarge)(Click on image to enlarge)(Click on image to enlarge)As I mentioned further up in this column, you have to ask yourself why the precious metals are getting trashed in the face of one of the biggest financial crisis of our lifetimes. One only has to read Bill Buckler’s quote above to understand.But once this engineered ‘correction’ has run its course, it’s my guess that JPMorgan et al will be nowhere to be found [fingers crossed!] on the next rally…unless it’s a short-covering rally that they themselves instigate.I’ve been watching the precious metals ever since they opened for trading in the Far East earlier today…and in London this morning. Once again, the ‘salami is being sliced’ to the downside…as more new lows were set in all four precious metals shortly after the London open. Net volumes as of 4:49 a.m. Eastern time were monstrous in both metals. In gold it was 46,000 contracts…and in silver it was just under 10,000 contracts. The dollar index rallied about 25 basis points overnight, but topped out shortly after the London open…and is now back to virtually unchanged from Tuesday’s New York close.One has to wonder just how much more ‘oversold’ this market can get, as we are already in record territory in that regard…and I’ll be watching the price activity during the Comex trading session in New York with great interest when I get out of bed later this morning.See you on Thursday.
(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator) L: Doug, after conversations like the one we had last week, we often get letters from angry readers who accuse you of hating America, disloyalty, and perhaps even treason. These people don’t know or understand what I do about you – that you love the idea that was America. It’s the United State it has become for which you have nothing but contempt. Perhaps we should try to explain this to them? Doug: I doubt it would work; it’s a tough row to hoe, trying to explain things to people who are so set in their thinking that they truly and literally don’t want to hear anything that might threaten their notions. A person who feels threatened by ideas and who responds with emotion is acting irrationally. How can we have a discussion with someone whose emotion trumps their reason? How do we even begin to untangle the thinking of people who will gather this week to give thanks for the bounty produced by freedom and hard work – the famous puritan work ethic – by eating a turkey bought with food stamps? But we can outline the ideas, for the record. L: I’ll bring a copy if they ever do put you on trial for thoughtcrime – which is frighteningly close to being real these days and called treason to boot. Doug: It’s not just close; it’s here. Just try telling an unapproved joke in a security line in an airport these days. L: True enough. Where to begin? Doug: At the beginning. America was founded as a confederation of independent countries – that’s what a state is. Or was, in our language. The original United States of America was a confederation of countries that banded together for protection against larger and more powerful countries they feared might be hostile. This is not a disputed interpretation of history, but as solid a fact as the study of history produces – and yet a largely neglected one. L: We did cover this ground briefly in our conversations on the Civil War and the Constitution. Doug: So we did… the short version being that the US Constitution was essentially a coup; the delegates to what we now call the Constitutional Convention were not empowered to replace the existing government – only to improve upon the Articles of Confederation between the then-independent states. The framers of the Constitution drafted it with the notion of a national government already in place, but calmed fears of loss of state sovereignty by calling the new government the “United States of America” – a verbal sleight of hand that worked for over half a century. Then the southern states decided to exercise what these words imply; their right to leave the union. While slavery was and is a wholesale criminal activity I object to in every way possible, the southern states did have the right to secede, both legally and ethically. But the question was settled by force, not reason, and the wrong side won. L: Another coup? Doug: More like an exposure of the first one for the whole world to see. But by then it was way too late. Despite this, the relative freedom of the US – because it was for many years far freer than other countries – made it possible for artists, engineers, inventors, and businesspeople to flourish and create a society more wealthy and powerful than any the world had ever seen. This is what I call the idea of America – the America That Was. But the seeds of destruction were already sown at the very beginning – with the Alien and Sedition Acts being perhaps the first highly visible step in the wrong direction. Then came the forceful assertion of one national government, with states reduced to administrative regions via the War of Southern Secession, from 1861-’65. I’m no fan of state governments, incidentally, but at least they’re smaller and closer to their subjects than the federal government. Another major step in the wrong direction occurred with the Spanish-American War of 1898, where the US acquired an overseas empire by force. The next major step downhill was the creation of the Federal Reserve and the income tax, both in 1913, just in time for World War I. It took time for these things to make the system crash, because it was still a fairly free economy. L: But crash it did in 1929… Doug: Yes. And it led to the Great Depression of 1929-’46, which lasted so long entirely because of the unmitigated disaster of the New Deal (which we discussed recently). The New Deal injected socialist-fascist ideas into mainstream American thought like a poisonous acid, corrupting the heart of the idea of America that once made the place great. The process was completed with Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, which really established the basis of the welfare-warfare state. It truly set the stage for the total ethical, economic, social, political, and even military disaster now unfolding before our eyes. Still, the beating heart of the idea of America – which is to say both social and economic freedom – took time to corrupt. Like a strong man who doesn’t know he’s headed for a heart attack, American culture didn’t really peak until the 1950s. The bullet-finned 1959 Cadillac is a symbol of this peak, in my mind. L: Then we had Johnson and his “guns and butter” policy – War in Vietnam and War on Poverty at the same time – followed by tricky Dick kicking the last leg out of under the stool by taking the dollar off an even theoretical gold standard. Doug: Yes. Nixon was arguably even a worse President than Johnson, with the devaluation of the dollar in 1971 and his creation of the War on Drugs. Things have spiraled out of control since then. In The Casey Report, we’ve written reams about these last decades and how they led to and shaped what’s happening now. But I have to say, the focus has been largely financial. L: Which is as it should be, in a publication designed to help investors navigate these turbulent times. Doug: Yes, but the corruption goes way beyond that, beyond even the senseless wars and idiotic foreign policy we discussed last week. America, once the land of the brave and the home of the free, is well on its way to becoming a police state – worse than any we’ve seen in the past, including the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. L: How could it get worse than that? Doug: Because Big Brother has better technology now, allowing possible manipulation and control of the population that Stalin and Hitler never dreamed of. And because the US used to be such a great place, a lot of people have been tricked into believing it’s the same as it was. But there’s no more resemblance between the America of old and the US of today than there was between the Rome of the Republic and the Rome of the later emperors. Furthermore, most Americans have conflated the government with society. They’re not only different things, but often antithetical. L: I thought you said you’re an optimist! Doug: I am. But that’s for the survivors who make it through the wringer the global economy – and every person on this planet – is about to go through. I keep telling you that the coming Greater Depression is going to be even worse than I think it is. You may think I’m joking, but I’m not. I do think that, primarily for reasons we discussed in our conversation on technology, what comes next will not only be even better than I imagine, it will be better than I can imagine… but first we have to go through the wringer. I see no way around it. I truly don’t. L: Okay, I know you believe that. Can you substantiate the police-state claim? Doug: Well, rather than give you anecdotal evidence – of which there are masses more each day – let me refer to a rather perceptive blog post by a George Washington law professor named Jonathan Turley, titled 10 Reasons Why the US Is No Longer the Land of the Free. I’m sure I don’t see everything the way the professor does, but the list struck me as quite accurate and very important for people to understand. L: I’m sure I don’t want to hear this, but okay, shoot. Doug: [Chuckles] Maybe you don’t, but I know you value the truth. These points underline something I’ve said for years: the Bill of Rights is a completely dead letter. It’s essentially meaningless and rarely even gets the benefit of lip service. Quoting it will result in derision, if not arrest as a dangerous radical. Frankly, I didn’t think the civil liberties situation could get worse than it was under Cheney-Bush, but it has. Obama has repealed none of what they did – and added more. So, let’s go through the list. First: Assassination of U.S. citizens: “President Obama has claimed, as President George W. Bush did before him, the right to order the killing of any citizen considered a terrorist or an abettor of terrorism.” Of course the very concept of terrorism is highly malleable, with over 100 definitions floating about – as we’ve discussed. But apart from that, it’s now accepted that the president and his minions have the right to kill almost anyone. This conceit will get completely out of control after the next real or imagined major terrorist incident. L: This reminds me of the extraordinary powers given to government agents to battle the War On Some Drugs – like the RICO statutes – which have now been turned against ordinary citizens who have nothing to do with the drug trade. Doug: Exactly. Once you give the state a power – for whatever good reason you imagine it needs it – it will use that power for whatever those in charge feel is in their interests. And those in charge are never saints. Next: Indefinite detention: “Under the law signed last month, terrorism suspects are to be held by the military; the president also has the authority to indefinitely detain citizens accused of terrorism.” This was a precedent set by Guantánamo, where scores of the accused continue to rot without even a kangaroo-court trial. Arbitrary justice: “The president now decides whether a person will receive a trial in the federal courts or in a military tribunal, a system that has been ridiculed around the world for lacking basic due process protections. Bush claimed this authority in 2001, and Obama has continued the practice.” As the government becomes more powerful, it’s completely predictable that everything – including the justice system – will become ever more politicized. And government very rarely relinquishes a power it’s gained. I particularly like the Supreme Court ruling in April 2012 that allows anyone who’s arrested for anything – including littering or jaywalking – to be strip-searched. L: Note to readers: you can’t hear Doug’s voice, but I assure you that his use of the word “like” is sarcastic. Doug: Just so. Moving right along: Warrantless searches: “The president may now order warrantless surveillance, including a new capability to force companies and organizations to turn over information on citizens’ finances, communications and associations. Bush acquired this sweeping power under the Patriot Act in 2001, and in 2011, Obama extended the power, including searches of everything from business documents to library records.” Privacy is now a completely dead concept, from both a legal and a practical point of view. If you want to retain privacy, you now have no alternative to relocating outside the US. L: Or any advanced Western country. I’ve read that there are more surveillance cameras per square mile in London than anywhere else. Doug: I’ve heard that too. The opposite being true in rural Argentina is one of the things I like about it. Back to the list: Secret evidence: “The government now routinely uses secret evidence to detain individuals and employs secret evidence in federal and military courts. It also forces the dismissal of cases against the United States by simply filing declarations that the cases would make the government reveal classified information that would harm national security…” “National security” essentially amounts to nothing more than government security, which amounts to cover for the individuals in the government. Nazi Germany and the USSR were national-security states. As I’ve tried to explain in the past, once a critical mass is reached, it’s impossible to reform a government. I believe we’ve reached that state in the US. War crimes: “The world clamored for prosecutions of those responsible for waterboarding terrorism suspects during the Bush administration, but the Obama administration said in 2009 that it would not allow CIA employees to be investigated or prosecuted for such actions. This gutted not just treaty obligations but the Nuremberg principles of international law.” Torture by field operatives under the stress of combat is one thing; torture as official policy is something else again. But torture is now accepted in the US. Worse, there are far more serious war crimes than torture being committed in the name of the US that are going unpunished. L: This is, after all, a far darker version of the same US government that deliberately infected black US citizens with syphilis just to see what would happen, and sent US citizens of Japanese descent to concentration camps during WWII. Doug: Exactly. The next point is: Secret court: “The government has increased its use of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has expanded its secret warrants to include individuals deemed to be aiding or abetting hostile foreign governments or organizations. In 2011, Obama renewed these powers, including allowing secret searches of individuals who are not part of an identifiable terrorist group.” You no longer live in a free country when there’s zero privacy for citizens, but 100% secrecy for the government and those it employs. Immunity from judicial review: “Like the Bush administration, the Obama administration has successfully pushed for immunity for companies that assist in warrantless surveillance of citizens, blocking the ability of citizens to challenge the violation of privacy.” The government has outsourced some of its functions – not least the use of contractors in war zones. Increasingly, being associated with the government gives you a “get out of jail free” card. In the USSR they called this a “krisha” – a roof. Continual monitoring of citizens: “The Obama administration has successfully defended its claim that it can use GPS devices to monitor every move of targeted citizens without securing any court order or review.” Bad as this is, it’s just one example. There’s also the use of domestic drones, and hundreds of thousands of cameras that take pictures of everyone everywhere. Extraordinary renditions: “The government now has the ability to transfer both citizens and noncitizens to another country under a system known as extraordinary rendition, which has been denounced as using other countries, such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, to torture suspects.” Yes, if someone is kidnapped, there’s plausible deniability if the torturing is done abroad by a third party. And they’re likely to have even fewer compunctions. L: That’s a pretty depressing list, Doug. Doug: And this is just the beginning. As I’ve said before, I don’t call the shots – just try to tell the truth as I see it. The point is that you couldn’t assemble a list like this even 15 years ago. But now it’s part of the firmament. Worse, it’s going to grow. As the economy turns down over the next few years, the people – acting like scared chimpanzees – will ask the government to “do something.” And it will. The trend is going hyperbolic. L: I can’t argue… and I agree it is not likely to be stopped. So if this is a sure trend, are there investment implications? Doug: This just goes to reinforce what I’ve been saying for some time. As great as a US citizen’s risk is in the marketplace these days, the greatest single risk to their wealth and health is the government. People simply must internationalize to diversify their political risk. I can’t stress that strongly enough. L: Would you go so far as to say that being a taxpayer in the US now is like being a Jew in Germany in the mid-1930s? Doug: That’s a good analogy. It’s costly and upsetting to uproot, but the risk if you don’t is unimaginably worse. And I would warn people in other countries to take the same precautions. All of these nation-states are dying dinosaurs that will cause a lot of damage as they thrash about in their death throes. No place is completely safe, but you improve your odds by not putting your eggs all in one basket. L: Okay, I guess we’ve covered that plenty of times. Is there a “police-state play” – any investments one could make before the new Iron Curtain slams down? Handcuff manufacturers? Doug: Nah – they have those plastic zip-binder things now; they’re so cheap that I doubt the manufacturer can even make big money in volume. But I do remember a speech I attended in the ’90s given by William Bennett, the ex-Drug Czar, who recommended investing in prisons. I excoriated him as a sociopath at that meeting – but he was right. However, that ship has sailed; it’s hard to believe the US can incarcerate more than the current 2.3 million people. Besides, I find it morally offensive to capitalize what I consider to be criminal enterprises. No, for now the only absolutely crystal-clear imperative is as above: You’ve got t have a Plan B ready in case you need to get out of Dodge – and you need it pronto. And to those who will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week, I urge you to remind those you carve the turkey with that it was hard work and the freedom to profit from it that created the bounty the pilgrims celebrated. It was this enterprising spirit and the liberty to exercise it that was the heart of the idea of the America That Was – the idea that made America great. Those corrupt politicians who have been undermining these values for so long, and the willfully ignorant ideologues who support them, are responsible for turning this country into the United (Police) State of America. They should be criticized and opposed at every opportunity. L: Okay, Doug. Thanks for another challenging but enlightening conversation. Doug: My pleasure. On this day before the Thanksgiving holiday, we here at Casey Research want to thank you for being a loyal subscriber to Casey Daily Dispatch. People like you who support our work have enabled us to experience enviable growth (earlier this year, Inc. 5000 magazine – again – listed us among the fastest-growing private businesses in the US). Every year, thousands of investors from around the world grow right along with us by “crisis investing” – making calculated speculations designed to leverage calamities like the one Doug is warning about. At a time when most investors are struggling to make money, subscribers of our oldest and most reputable service are currently sitting on a number of triple-digit gains in select precious-metals companies. 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