The Hypocrisy Of Justice As A System

Ah, the justice system — a murky, corrupt monstrosity that feeds itself with fines and fees, preying on the very people it is supposed to protect. Growing beyond the protection of the innocent to the pursuit of its own interest, the justice system, along with the Bar (together known as the legal system), generate an exorbitant amount of revenue each year. Do you really think they want to give that up for the of sake justice?

Certainly not, at least not willingly.

The Constitution laid the ground work for our republic to be a land governed by laws, above “men” (humans). Unfortunately, the amount of laws has grown so vast and their content so all-encompassing that it is virtually impossible to count them all, let alone understand each one. Thus, we have relied heavily upon a system of men who dispense, interpret, alter and impose laws, and still more men who defend us when we are faced with having broken the law. The system, now more about the men and less about the law, is so muddled that it could literally say or do anything (and often does), all to the benefit of the system of men involved.

We, as the people, have let all aspects of our justice system grow well beyond its means and are now reaping what we have sown. But when we are faced with incarceration, it’s hard not to buy into this very system with hope in our hearts that justice is what it’s all about.

However, there are other ways to fight the system, to defend yourself against false and/or malicious charges. Like Edward Snook outlined in his article Media in Criminal Cases, the best fight against the system is one fought in a spotlight. Corruption can’t stand the light; corrupted people’s only fear is exposure.

Together, as the people, we need to make a stand. We have to make justice the focus of the system, and perhaps that might just take throwing out all our laws and replacing them with simple, straightforward ones that leave no room for interpretation. Accomplishing this is easier said than done, however. If we don’t unite as a people and get rid of all the victimless crime statutes and abusive administrative rules that are drowning our Nation, we will all pay — many of us personally and all of us financially.

Just as much as any law that violates the Constitution is repugnant, so should be any system that steals justice just to turn a profit by practicing “law” or enforcing “law.”

–Ron Lee

The Art Of Prosecuting The Innocent

Nothing is more loathsome than a prosecutor who knowingly pursues an innocent person for a crime he did not do, yet this practice happens on a daily basis. Even more despicable is when that same prosecutor does everything in his power to destroy a person for pleading innocent and trying to mount a defense, yet this, too, happens almost daily.

Should you ever be charged with a crime you did not do, prepare for a fight. Bud Sonnentag of Nye County, Nev., a Vietnam War hero, found out firsthand that if you don’t take a plea deal and you fight for your innocence, the prosecutors take it personally. Sonnentag said, “At every turn, there were the prosecutors stacking charges if I didn’t comply to their wishes.”

Stacking charges is a method prosecutors use to achieve a plea deal. For instance, if you were charged with “jaywalking” and you plead innocent, the prosecutors just might add disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and evading arrest (if you walked away and the citing officer had to chase you down to get your attention). They do this to get you to plead guilty to any level of a crime so that their conviction statistics remain intact so they can continue to be funded by the public.

What do you do to protect yourself from prosecutors if you are innocent? Like Sonnentag, who hired the US~Observer, take your case public and be as loud as you can be. Make sure everyone knows you are innocent and you are being wrongfully and, in cases where the prosecution knows you are innocent, maliciously prosecuted.

In Sonnentag’s case, the prosecution told the US~Observer they would drop the charges if the paper would stop publishing articles putting the district attorney’s office in a negative light. The US~Observer did stop publishing for a specified period of time. But when the prosecution refused to drop the charges, the paper published again, exposing the agreement to not publish.

In the end, Sonnentag was vindicated. At the height of the charges, he had faced two life-term punishable felonies. He never backed down, and neither did the US~Observer. That is how you throw a wrench into the art of prosecuting the innocent: Rub their face in it.

Read about the Sonnentag case and what happened to the Nye County DA here and here.

– Ron Lee

Is There Justice?

Justice is supposed to be blind. It’s supposed to be equal and fair. It’s supposed to be everything our system no longer is.

You Have A Right To Be Vindicated

There are two phrases important enough to be inscribed on the exterior of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.: “Equal Justice Under Law” and “Justice, the Guardian of Liberty.” Sadly, and due in large part to a shift in how prosecutors do their jobs and are allowed to operate above the very law they supposedly represent, these tenets — the founding principles of our justice system — have seemingly been replaced with “Justice Dispensed Without Equality” and “Injustice, Usurper of Liberty.” True justice suffers now from a system designed to get the highest conviction rating and the most fines and fees. Gone are the days of caring about guilt and innocence. Why bother when you can create an air of perceived guilt? As long as the public believes, guilt is really in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? Not to those falsely accused, not to those who are innocent but sitting in a prison, not to those who fight for the innocence of their loved ones: It’s not right if we ever want to truly live in the “land of the free.”

Vindication Is Possible

The people deserve true justice, not a system by which the one standing accused is presumed guilty. True justice comes in one form: absolute vindication of the innocent. It used to be that defense attorneys and juries provided a level of that: however, this is far too often no longer the case. You, as an innocent victim of a false prosecution or forced plea bargain, need to find an alternative method of defending yourself from persecution and prosecution; and your options are truly limited. One of the most effective is the US~Observer. Over the past 22 years, the US~Observer has been victorious in more than 4,200 criminal and civil cases. As a newspaper, it is instrumental in gathering absolute proof of innocence; and it informs the public of those facts while putting sufficient pressure on those who can dismiss your charges. With cases like North Carolina ex-sheriff deputy Chris Hoover and the Florida Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) cases of Jimmy and Pepper Rodgers, the US~Observer has clearly demonstrated it wins. It also hosts a slew of testimonials on its website from common, everyday citizens who have found their absolute vindication through the US~Observer.

Each week, this section will be used to focus on those fighting for their innocence in a system that is intolerant of truth and to explain the direction we, the people, need to take to rein in this injustice system and turn it back into the guardian of our liberty.

If you have been falsely targeted for prosecution, please contact the US~Observer at vindicated@usobserver.com or by calling 541-474-7885.

–Ron Lee

Why The Run-Up In Gold Is Not A “Bubble”

As the price of gold continues to rise (topping $1,900 per ounce on Tuesday), there has been a lot more noise on the Internet and occasionally in other media warning about the run-up in gold prices being a financial “bubble.”

This couldn’t be more wrongheaded.

A bubble occurs when prices get out of line with fundamentals. That is, when there’s an increasing discrepancy between rising prices and the real value of the underlying stock or commodity in question. Typically there’s a pronounced psychological factor involved, properly characterized as a kind of “mania” or mass delusion. Indeed, the first section of Charles Mackay’s classic Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds (1841) dealt with famous financial manias of the 18th century like the South Sea Company bubble and the Mississippi Company bubble, as well as the earlier Dutch Tulip mania at the beginning of the 17th century.

A more recent example is the U.S. dot-com boom of the 1990s, when investors became hypnotized by the mantra “the Internet will change everything” and bid up the prices of dot-com companies with unrealistically optimistic financial projections and little or no actual revenues, paying customers or sustainable businesses. Thus the high prices of those companies’ stocks became divorced from reality — from the fundamentals.

So what are the fundamentals right now when it comes to gold? Are the factors driving up the price just a bunch of delusions?

Hardly.

Let’s start with massive U.S. government debt and spending. As I’ve written elsewhere, our government has been like a wino running up a huge bar tab, piling up bills by the billions of dollars. Somebody eventually has to pay them.

But how? Well, the “easy” way (those quotation marks are ironic, because the net result is far from easy) is to print more money. Sure, that covers the bills. But it devalues our currency to the point that the dollar has lost its luster and the confidence required to continue using it as the world’s reserve currency.

Of course, ours isn’t the only government that plays these kinds of games. All over the world governments and central banks are keeping the printing presses going, pumping out more paper money, in a terrible “race to the bottom” that aims to attract more international trade by cheapening their currencies.

In such a world, where can you find value and safety?

For centuries the traditional store of value has been gold and other precious metals. And that’s no myth; it’s reality. And it’s the same reality all over the world.

Take China. Between its populace and Central Bank, it is likely to accumulate about 1,000 tons of gold in 2011. That’s up about 40 percent from 2010 levels. While growth won’t remain at 40 percent, it will continue at a brisk clip for many reasons. For one, gold that goes into personal savings are savings that are well protected from the problem that most troubles the Chinese right now: inflation. There’s no question that China is desperate for gold right now –- and the same goes for other countries like India, Korea and Indonesia.

I could go on. In fact, it would be easy to write a book-length treatise on the subject, and others have. In any event, the bottom line is that all of the factors that have been driving the price of gold higher over the past decade are real factors, and they are still accelerating. So where’s the bubble?

If the market price of an investment went up tenfold while its earnings went up twentyfold, you wouldn’t call that a bubble; you would say it’s an undervalued investment — and an opportunity. That’s what I think gold is today.

So as the dollar and euro deflate like hot air balloons, you are on the right track in emphasizing gold –- even the lagging gold mines, both juniors and seniors.

Among the former, we especially like Pretium Resources Inc. (PVG:CN), which we believe merits a far greater valuation than its current price indicates. As for the latter, we cite our current favorites: NovaGold Resources Inc. (NG), Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX), Goldcorp (GG) and the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD).

Of course, we are also very bullish on silver, which is not only a store of value as a precious metal, but a critical industrial resource. And I don’t use the word “critical” lightly. Unlike gold, there are no substitutes for it in a number of key industrial usages. To mention one example related to alternative energy: Most solar panels require silver, and there’s not likely to be enough of it available to build out the energy infrastructure we need. China is certainly aware of this; it appears to be accumulating silver already and is likely to increasingly do so.

Regarding the investment possibilities here, our current choices remain First Majestic Silver Corp (FR:CN) and the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) ETF.

–Stephen Leeb

Gold, Silver Investments Will Keep You From Getting Burned

Like many others, we keep watching — and feeling the effects of — the jittery European economic scene with a mixture of anxiety and fascination. From Greece and Ireland to Spain, Portugal and, most recently, Italy, the specter of sovereign debt default and its potentially horrific consequences continues to haunt Europe and the wider world beyond.

As we’ve observed before, the factors of psychology and confidence are playing an enormous part in this scenario. Indeed, there has actually been no significant deterioration in Italy’s financial situation thus far, so the recent surge in bets against Italy’s debt appears to be largely psychologically driven.

The challenge for EU leaders, in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund, which is expected to play an important role in achieving a solution, is to finalize an agreement with the banks that effectively backs up the weaker countries without further delay. Delays are toxic and debilitating when it comes to the essential tasks of regaining market confidence and supporting the euro.

Until the Euro Zone gets its act together and more clarity emerges from the situation (and even more so if it doesn’t), we look to gold and silver, as usual, for safety and value.

And the problem doesn’t come only from Europe and doesn’t involve only the euro. Our own U.S. dollar is under siege, too. At this very moment, 16 nations are uniting to bury the U.S. dollar.

The U.S. government seems to be intent on helping them, as it continues to spend — and print — our currency into oblivion.

Again, to dodge the coming damage in what’s likely to be very uncertain and turbulent times ahead, we recommend safety in gold and silver.

Our specific gold-related picks in this category are: NovaGold Resources (NG), which is our current favorite; Goldcorp (GG); Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX); and the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD). We also like Gabriel Resources Ltd. (GBRRF); although, at this time, it is clearly a more speculative play. (See below for more about Gabriel Resources.)

As for silver investments, we favor First Majestic Silver Corp. (AG), Tahoe Resources Inc. (THO, THOEF), and the iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV).

Solar Energy And Silver

Despite the recent funk in the solar market, reflecting the fall-off in sales in Europe (the world’s largest solar market, with nearly 75 percent of global installed capacity), we have our eyes fixed on the long-term. The Chinese do as well. They have achieved dominance in the industry in only a few years, and they are actively moving forward to solidify their dominance even further.

In that light, we are convinced that the best way to play solar’s future development is via silver stocks. Silver paste is in most crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, which is the most common type of solar cell, and also in the mirrors used in concentrated solar collectors.

Out of more than 1 billion ounces of silver produced annually, demand from solar manufacturing now comprises approximately 10 percent. But shortages may occur sooner rather than later, not only because mining output gains are likely to be limited for the time being, but also because the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that at current consumption rates the world’s economically minable silver reserves will be exhausted in a little more than 20 years.

Rising silver prices has manufacturers scrambling to come up with effective ways to use less of the metal (note: there are no viable substitutes). Even if they are successful, the increased demand for solar cells will keep silver prices on a rising trajectory.

Add to this situation the investment demand for silver. As gold hovers around $1,600 an ounce (and it’s likely to go even higher in the long run), silver, aka “the poor man’s gold,” is going to be in ever greater demand from buyers eager to protect their savings but not ready, willing or able to pay the cost of gold.

Our view for the short term: From a purely technical perspective, if silver can remain above $38.50 per ounce for a few consecutive days, it could open the door for a run at the previous highs around $50. If that happens, as we witnessed during the last rally in April, such a move will result in gains of 15 to 20 percent in the shares of our favorite silver mining plays noted above.

Romanian Gold Mining Developments

Recently, we noted a jump in the shares of Gabriel Resources Ltd. (GBRRF), following the announcement that an independent panel had completed a six-month investigation and issued an archaeological discharge certificate for the Carnic open pit at its Rosia Montana gold and silver project in Romania.

Gabriel still needs a number of approvals from the government of Romania before it will be permitted to fully commence operations at the mine. But the stock’s favorable reaction to the news provides a preview of what we could see in coming months if Gabriel moves closer to actual start-up. There will be a progress report on this question issued with the company’s quarterly results in the first week of August.

We received more news about Romania gold and silver mining: Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX) is taking a 9 percent stake in Carpathian Gold Inc. (CPN:CN) for $20 million. Carpathian Gold representatives said they will use the cash to fund development on its Rovina Valley Project in Romania, and the company will otherwise benefit from access to Barrick’s technical expertise.

Does this development indicate that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Romanian gold exploration? We’ll be watching this closely.

–Stephen Leeb