Ted Butler: Rejection of silver ETF could be as bullish as approval

Section:

Journal Inquirer
Manchester, Connecticut
Wednesday, February 1, 2006

http://www.journalinquirer.com/site/news.cfm?
newsid=16043666&BRD=985&PAG=461&dept_id=565859&rfi=6

No State of the Union speech could be as long-winded as those
delivered by President Bush's predecessor. It may be Bush's greatest
virtue that he is not so eager to keep talking.

The ratio between the president's rhetoric and reality is NOT his
greatest virtue.

Americans will either "choose to act confidently in pursuing the
enemies of freedom or retreat from our duties in the hope of an
easier life," the president said last night. But what are
cataclysmic deficit spending and foreign borrowing and a refusal to
institute a military draft if not the manifestations of a DESPERATE
retreat to an easier life?

The president said the nation's survival is at stake in the war on
terrorism. When Britain's survival was last at stake, Winston
Churchill offered Britons only "blood, toil, tears, and sweat." Last
night the president offered ... tax cuts.

So much for national survival's being at stake.

"We love our freedom and we will fight to keep it," the president
said. Well, SOME of us will fight -- mainly those who incurred
military obligations before the adventure in Iraq began. Indeed, the
only things keeping that adventure going politically are the
exemptions from military service and financial sacrifice that are
enjoyed by the great majority of the population. Most Americans
realize that the adventure was a mistake and isn't worth the cost
but they are willing to let it continue as long as others do the
dying and pay the bills.

"The United States will never retreat from the world or surrender to
evil," the president said. "America rejects the false counsel of
isolationism." But is there really no engagement with the world
except for war, and is the country's only choice isolationism or
adventurism? Surely the Middle East is as full of barbarism as the
president says, but when did the United States even try to change it
short of war?

The president said he has "a clear plan for victory" in Iraq. But
that plan is not yet clear to anyone but him. Americans got a close
look at the real plan the other day when a television newscaster and
camera operator accompanying a military patrol were wounded by the
sort of roadside bomb that long has been directed against such
patrols. The Iraq plan is Vietnam all over again: Go out on patrol
to see if you can draw enemy fire, but never, ever actually HOLD
GROUND, because your government is politically unable to commit
enough troops to do that. At least in Vietnam our soldiers had
something to shoot back at.

"We're in this fight to win, and we are winning," the president said.

To the contrary -- the United States is not fighting to win in Iraq
any more than it was in Vietnam. The United States is fighting only
as much as is politically permissible.

Lest anyone examine his remarks critically, the president last night
wrapped himself in the flag by introducing the parents of a soldier
who had been killed in Iraq -- another parent of a fallen soldier,
the crazed Cindy Sheehan, having been removed from the House gallery
for wearing a shirt with an anti-war inscription.

"The American economy is healthy and vigorous and growing faster
than other major industrialized nations," the president said. Yet
even the government's heavily doctored figures show that wages are
not keeping up with monetary debasement and that income inequality
is worsening.

Americans sense that they are not getting ahead.

"Our economy grows when Americans have more of their own money to
spend, save, and invest," the president said. "In the last five
years tax relief has left $880 billion in the hands of American
workers, investors, small businesses, and families." Not so
coincidentally, an equivalent amount in U.S. government debt
obligations has turned up at the People's Bank of China. That is,
all that money being spent by Americans is not really "their own" at
all but that of the Chinese, a vast scheme of what is called vendor
financing whose end can be only America's economic subservience or
the collapse of its currency.

"The government must confront the larger challenge of entitlement
spending," the president said, and he proposed a bipartisan
commission to study the issue and make recommendations, probably the
most positive thing in his address. But then why did he waste a year
of the country's time advocating privatizing Social Security, which
was never going to be bipartisan and never even had much support in
his own party?

The president said government must address the rising cost of
medical care. But he proposed only more tax breaks for health
savings accounts, which can never be more than a small part of a
program of restraining costs and achieving universal medical
insurance. The government would do better simply to appropriate
adequately for programs already in place, like Medicare and
Medicaid, where real costs are quickly outpacing reimbursed costs,
even though the president pretended otherwise last night.

Then the president called for reducing the country's oil imports
from the Middle East by 75 percent ... in 20 years, safely beyond
any responsibility of his own administration. He proposed only what
other presidents have proposed fruitlessly: more research. Only one
thing will produce an alternative to Middle Eastern oil: much higher
REAL prices. For despite all the complaining, U.S. energy prices are
not really high now, adjusted for inflation. They have to be viewed
through the debasement of the currency, the flooding of the world
with dollars, of which Americans have more even as the dollar's
value declines.

A stiff tax on imported oil would spur energy independence, but that
would entail some sacrifice. Will Americans, as the president
insists, fight for their freedom in THIS respect? He didn't ask them
to. His program for energy independence in 20 years will be
forgotten in 20 days.

Evasion and exaggeration are basic to politics. But sanctimony is
optional and thus can be annoying, as when the president
remarked: "Human life is a gift from our Creator, and that gift
should never be discarded, devalued, or put up for sale." Unless, of
course, some Pakistani kids happen to be near where a terrorist is
suspected of hanging out, in which case they and everyone else
within a few hundred yards become expendable in the cause of
eradicating barbarism. Surely our Creator understands.

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