Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Canadian Police Find $744K Worth of Drugs Using High-tech Pot-spotting Drones -

Canadian Police Find $744K Worth of Drugs Using High-tech Pot-spotting Drones - 

Spotting marijuana plants from the sky isn’t difficult, says Sgt. Jeff Leder of the Halton Police guns and gangs unit, and it’s a lot easier than hunting through thick brush on foot.

That’s where drones come in handy in the war on drugs.

On Tuesday, officers used one of the unmanned aerial vehicles to locate 744 marijuana plants — with a street value of about $1,000 per plant — in a field in the north end of Milton.

“It’s pretty easy to spot.” said Sgt. Leder. “A lot of the spots these growers pick are in farm fields.” The dark green marijuana plants stand out against the other plants, typically corn.

“A lot of these areas are fairly remote and swampy,” he added. “[There’s] a lot of brush, and it is tough for officers to get in there and remove the plant. Seeing from the air, we can get a better idea of where to go in and walk in directly.”

Halton Police have had the drone since 2009, said Sgt. David Cross, and have used it for a variety of purposes, including monitoring crime scenes, crash investigations and search and rescue.

The drone runs on batteries that provide 25 minutes of flight time, according to the manufacturer, Aeryon Labs of Waterloo. The unit returns to its starting point when it detects that the battery is low.

Halton police say the drone is stored in a warehouse, and brought out only when the need arises.

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10 Shocking Quotes About What QE3 Is Going To Do To America -

10 Shocking Quotes About What QE3 Is Going To Do To America - 

Ready or not, QE3 is here, and the long-term effects of this reckless money printing by the Federal Reserve are going to be absolutely nightmarish.  The Federal Reserve is hoping that buying $40 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities per month will spur more lending and more economic activity.  But that didn't happen with either QE1 or QE2.  Both times the banks just sat on most of the extra money.  As I pointed out the other day, U.S. banks are already sitting on $1.6 trillion in excess reserves.  So will pumping them up with more cash suddenly make them decide to start lending?  Of course not.  In addition, QE3 is not likely to produce many additional jobs.  As I showed in a previous article, the employment level did not jump up as a result of either QE1 or QE2.  So why will this time be different?  But what did happen under both QE1 and QE2 is that a lot of the money ended up pumping up the financial markets.  So once again we should see stock prices go up (at least in the short-term) and commodities such as gold, silver, food and oil should also rise.  But that also means that average American families will be paying more for the basic necessities that they buy on a regular basis.  The most dangerous aspect of QE3, however, is what it is going to do to the U.S. dollar.  Most of the rest of the world uses the U.S. dollar to conduct international trade, and by choosing to recklessly print money Ben Bernanke is severely damaging international confidence in our currency.  If at some point the rest of the world rejects the dollar and no longer wants to use it as a reserve currency we are going to be facing a crisis unlike anything we have ever seen before.  The real debate about QE3 should not be about whether or not it will help the economy a little bit in the short-term.  Rather, everyone should be talking about the long-term implications and about how QE3 is going to accelerate the destruction of the dollar.

The following are 10 shocking quotes about what QE3 is going to do to America....

#1 Ron Paul

"It means we are weakening the dollar. We are trying to liquidate our debt through inflation. The consequence of what the Fed is doing is a lot more than just CPI. It has to do with malinvestment and people doing the wrong things at the wrong time. Believe me, there is plenty of that. The one thing that Bernanke has not achieved and it frustrates him, I can tell—is he gets no economic growth. He doesn’t do anything with the unemployment numbers. I think the country should have panicked over what the Fed is saying that we have lost control and the only thing we have left is massively creating new money out of thin air, which has not worked before, and is not going to work this time."

#2 Peter Schiff, CEO Of Euro Pacific Capital

"This is a disastrous monetary policy; it’s kamikaze monetary policy"

#3 Michael Pento, The Founder Of Pento Portfolio Strategies

"This is the nuclear option for them. This is a never-ending weapon that is being fired at the middle class"

#4 Donald Trump

"People like me will benefit from this."

#5 Economist Anthony Randazzo

"Quantitative easing—a fancy term for the Federal Reserve buying securities from predefined financial institutions, such as their investments in federal debt or mortgages—is fundamentally a regressive redistribution program that has been boosting wealth for those already engaged in the financial sector or those who already own homes, but passing little along to the rest of the economy. It is a primary driver of income inequality formed by crony capitalism. And it is hurting prospects for economic growth down the road by promoting malinvestments in the economy."

#6 John Williams Of Shadowstats.com

"That’s absolutely nonsense.  The Fed is just propping up the banks."

#7 Marc Faber

"I happen to believe that eventually we will have a systemic crisis and everything will collapse. But the question is really between here and then. Will everything collapse with Dow Jones 20,000 or 50,000 or 10 million? Mr. Bernanke is a money printer and, believe me, if Mr. Romney wins the election the next Fed chairman will also be a money printer. And so it will go on. The Europeans will print money. The Chinese will print money. Everybody will print money and the purchasing power of paper money will go down."

#8 Mesirow Financial Chief Economist Diane Swonk

"I think this will end up being a trillion-dollar commitment by the Fed"

#9 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

"I want to be clear — While I think we can make a meaningful and significant contribution to reducing this problem, we can’t solve it. We don’t have tools that are strong enough to solve the unemployment problem"

#10 Credit Rating Agency Egan-Jones

"[T]he FED’s QE3 will stoke the stock market and commodity prices, but in our opinion will hurt the US economy and, by extension, credit quality. Issuing additional currency and depressing interest rates via the purchasing of MBS does little to raise the real GDP of the US, but does reduce the value of the dollar (because of the increase in money supply), and in turn increase the cost of commodities (see the recent rise in the prices of energy, gold, and other commodities). The increased cost of commodities will pressure profitability of businesses, and increase the costs of consumers thereby reducing consumer purchasing power. Hence, in our opinion QE3 will be detrimental to credit quality for the US…."

We have reached a major turning point in the financial history of the United States.

It would be hard to overstate how much damage that QE3 could potentially do to our financial system.  If the rest of the world decides at some point that they no longer have confidence in our dollars and our debt then we are finished.

Sadly, the mainstream media does not seem to understand this, and most Americans gleefully believe whatever the mainstream media tells them.

So what do you think about QE3?  Please feel free to post a comment with your opinion following this article....

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The Federal Reserve's 'QE Infinity': Four Things That Could Go Wrong -

The Federal Reserve's 'QE Infinity': Four Things That Could Go Wrong - 

The Federal Reserve's latest stimulus target is intended to rouse the housing market, generate wealth and drive down unemployment, all of which conceivably could happen.

But it will be the assortment of unintended consequences that all the money printing and price-boosting — even outside of the obvious inflation risk — will have that will keep Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke awake at night.

So while investors were busy Thursday and Friday buying up stocks and metals and selling bonds and the U.S. dollar, financial experts were sizing up what "QE Infinity" also might bring to the economy and marketplace.

A few of the risks:

1. Moral Hazard, Washington Version

Bernanke has time and again exhorted lawmakers in the nation's capital to get serious about fiscal reform and economic growth.

But with Thursday's announcement that the Fed will engage in quantitative easing for as long as it takes to get the economy rolling again, he may have taken the onus off Washington to put its own house in order.

That's dangerous, considering Congress and the White House need to reach deficit-reduction goals or risk falling off the fiscal cliff of mandated tax increases and spending cuts.

"My sense is that Ben and his colleagues at the Fed do not expect much support from a trade policy that would be more growth-oriented, from fiscal policies that would be more longer-term," former Fed governor Kevin Warsh said on CNBC. "So they've got to be worried about these things, and they are trying to compensate for these other failings."

Result: The dollar will continue to tumble because of Fed policy. In another time, that would give policy makers time to act while conditions improve, but if Washington stays in gridlock there could be no end in sight for U.S. currency weakness.

"In the US, avoiding the fiscal cliff and agreeing on a credible long-term fiscal plan before or soon after the elections would support a more sustainable recovery," Bank of America Merrill Lynch rates strategist Ralf Preusser said in a note to clients.

"In the Eurozone, stronger reform implementation in the periphery would strengthen market confidence. However, if the US fails to address its fiscal problems, more Fed printing in response to higher unemployment would magnify the negative (dollar) impact."

2. Moral Hazard, Wall Street Version

The concept of moral hazard essentially means the rewarding of bad behavior.

But it also extends to the notion that somebody will be there to support you no matter what. The Fed, with its perpetual QE, seemed to appoint itself as the stock market's nanny for years to come, even though the Standard & Poor's 500 and Dow industrials are within a few percentage points of historical highs.

"The real unfortunate impact of this latest Fed action is to continue to propagate the idea the economic recovery remains on life support and the U.S. stock market is simply on a sugar high," said Jim Paulsen, the perpetually bullish chief market strategist at Wells Capital Management in Minneapolis.

Indeed, the stock market cheered the latest QE announcement by sending the Dow up 200 points Thursday and still more Friday.

But now what?

"There's a reason 'exit' is a four-letter word," Warsh said. "It's very difficult. The history of central banks is it is harder getting out than getting in."

3. Hurting Confidence

With the latest round of easing, the Fed's balance sheet will soar past $3 trillion and could get to $4 trillion in electronically generated cash before everything is finished.

In doing so, it has created a good news-bad news scenario: The good news is that the Fed is willing to go to extreme measures to pump up the economy; the bad news is that the economy needs it.

Paulsen cited a litany of measures indicating a recovery is happening — a declining though elevated unemployment rate, a modest rebound in housing, and improving consumer confidence — that he feels should have been enough to dissuade the Fed from more money creation.

"While this most recent Fed action may marginally help economic fundamentals...it will likely continue to hurt confidence," he said. "It is not so much that yesterday's Fed announcement will hurt the economy in the future as it is the Fed missed a great opportunity to treat what really needs some medicine — economic confidence.

"Rather than bring another shock and awe to a recovery no longer in crisis, the Fed would have been more helpful by simply looking and sounding confident in the future and standing down."

4. It May Not Work

All of the economic progress Paulsen cited may be valid, but there's still the reality that $3 trillion in new liquidity — along with more than $800 billion in fiscal stimulus — has generated the worst recovery since the Great Depression.

So is it worth the aforementioned risks if the economy will continue only to creep along, as it usually does after financial crises?

"This is the nuclear option for them. This is a never-ending weapon that is being fired at the middle class," said Fed critic Michael Pento, the founder of Pento Portfolio Strategies and an economist concerned with the effects QE is having on future inflation and on savers who are getting no interest on their deposits.

"If the unemployment rate stays elevated, as I know it will, and inflation eclipses (Bernanke's) 2 percent target, what is his next move? What part of the Fed mandate takes precedence?" he added. "Economic growth comes from more people working and more people becoming productive, and all the Fed can do is destroy our currency's purchasing power."

Even among those watching asset prices grow, doubts remained abundant.

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