Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Medvedev Debuts “World Currency” at G8 Summit

July 13, 2009

Article and video via link below

www.kickthemallout.com/article.php/Story-World_Currency_Coin_Shown_At_G8

Hauntings Of The Jack Kennedy Scenario Revisited

July 12, 2009

The Federal Reserve , a cadre of private bankers (which is no more federal than Federal Express) were under threat by John Kennedy’s determination to get our monetary system back in control of the people. Thus, Kennedy was terminated on November 22, 1963 by the powers that is.

The song remains the same. America’s citizens, taxpayers and property owners are getting wise to the command & control practices of the “Fed”. The Fed cannot tolerate being under the scrutiny of any constitution, law, congress, senate or the people. But that’s about to change.

The insanity of the Federal Reserve’s practices are only justified by our representative government’s necessity to fund all of the un-Constitutional projects that it cannot afford. Even if the projects are constitutional, “We The People” shouldn’t be liable for expenditures that our government can’t afford.

When government “Dreams” take precedence to fiscal and Constitutional responsibility, socialism takes over and the Fed doesn’t care what our government is borrowing money for, as long as future generations pay up.

Check out the link below

www.reuters.com/article/companyNewsAndPR/idUSN0945907120090709

Digging Really Deep Holes-via DownsizeDC.org-June 13, 2009

June 13, 2009

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h


Quote of the Day: “One time in the House of Representatives told me a story about a proposition that a teacher put to a boy. He said, ‘Johnny, a cat fell in a well 100 feet deep. Suppose that cat climbed up 1 foot and then fell back 2 feet. How long would it take the cat to get out of the well?’ Johnny worked assiduously with his slate and slate pencil for quite a while, and then when the teacher came down and said, ‘How are you getting along?’ Johnny said, ‘Teacher, if you give me another slate and a couple of slate pencils, I am pretty sure that in the next 30 minutes I can land that cat in hell.’ if some people get any cheer out of a $328 billion debt ceiling, I do not find much to cheer about concerning it.” — Senator Everett Dirksen, Congressional Record, June 16, 1965

Subject: How deep is the hole the politicians are digging for us?

The financial newsletter The Privateer reports…

“Warnings have been issued from the Treasury that the Congressionally mandated debt ceiling of $12.1 TRILLION will most likely be breached in the second half of this year.”

This pit of borrowing doesn’t even account for the deepening currency well we reported in last Friday’s Dispatch.

The politicians are borrowing and the FED is printing at staggering rates. As their shovels continue to ominously clang and clash, the news gets worse. Again, from The Privateer…

“The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) list of troubled American banks has risen in the past three months from 1,568 banks with about $2.3 TRILLION in assets to US 1,816 banks with some $4.4 TRILLION in assets. Just who guarantees the FDIC? The US Treasury of course.”

To be more specific, you the taxpayer will dig out all of those banks.

And if past history is a guide, that FDIC list is conservative to a fault. The real number of “troubled” banks is almost certainly higher. It seems the FDIC, like most government regulatory agencies, is usually the last to know there’s a problem.

That’s not all. Relying on data from the US Federal Reserve and Congressional Budget Office (CBO), The Privateer reports…

There’s a hodge-podge of guarantees totaling $12.9 TRILLION, with…

* $8.2 TRILLION from the Fed
* $2.7 TRILLION from the US Treasury
* $2.0 TRILLION from the FDIC

On top of that, the US government has…

* Made asset purchases of $2.3 TRILLION
* Guaranteed $7.3 TRILLION worth of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae debts
* Made other guarantees of $6.6 TRILLION to the US banking system.

“The sum total of all this ‘Stimulus’ is $29.1 TRILLION!” concludes The Privateer.

It would be fair to point out that not all that money has actually been spent yet. Things would have to go wrong in order to trigger those guarantees.

So we must turn to history to see if we’re doomed to the ditch. Were the bailouts an effective strategy or a sink-hole?

Consider the example of Citibank. When former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson first extended support to Citi, his team believed it was strong. Paulson believed the funds would be focused at stabilization of the markets and the economy. Yet TheStreet.com was already giving them a C-. Once again, government was the last to know, because Citibank almost went out of business and required a second bailout just weeks later.

That track record is no cause for hope about these guarantees.

And another crater might await the banks. Weiss Research reports that U.S. banks have a total of $200.4 TRILLION in derivatives, and that those derivatives may well do more severe damage to bank balance sheets.

“According to the OCC’s Q4 2008 report, America’s top five commercial banks control 96 percent of the industry’s total derivatives, while the top 25 control 99.78 percent. In other words, for every $100 dollar of derivatives, the big banks have $99.78 … while the rest of the nation’s 7,000-plus banking institutions control a meager 22 cents! This is a massively dangerous concentration of risk.”

Derivatives caused record losses for banks in the fourth quarter of 2008. Are there more serious losses to come?

And we’re left to wonder, should that time come, where will the government get the money to cover these “too big to fail losses?”

Yet, those aren’t the only pitfalls. The projected budget deficit this year is $1.8 trillion. Just a year ago, many of us were screaming about a projected $490 billion deficit. Oh, for the good ole days!

But that projected deficit will certainly deepen, even though the White House budget allegedly reduces the deficit over the next few years. Why?

Unemployment! The Libertarian Party reported this week that a Jan. 10 White House report selling the stimulus package promised unemployment under be kept under eight percent. Instead, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it grew to 9.4 percent, placing unemployment at a 26-year-high, with 14.5 million workers now jobless.

Uncle Sam is “bursting at the seams,” but he’s probably going on a diet. Higher unemployment means lower than expected tax revenues. That means the deficit will be more cavernous than projected — maybe in excess of $2 TRILLION.

In review, numbers to be concerned about are,

* $12 TRILLION, the National Debt number that’s rapidly approaching
* $29.1 TRILLION in bailout/stimulus guarantees
* 1,816 “troubled” banks with about $4.4 TRILLION in assets
* $200.4 TRILLION in U.S. bank-held derivatives that can create tens of billions of dollars of losses, and perhaps bank failures
* $2 TRILLION, the likely federal budget deficit

Indeed, the hole the politicians are digging is unfathomable. But that’s not all the numbers we have to WORRY about.

According to the Social Security Administration, the federal government’s unfunded liabilities equals $101 TRILLION — that’s a liability of $834,000 for every full-time working American. These long-term debts are primarily due to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Even here, the news threatens to get considerably worse…

* Social Security, a Ponzi scheme that makes Bernie Madoff look like a piker, has, until now, taken in more money than it puts out. It was projected that starting in 2017, it would run a deficit. But due to high unemployment rates, it will likely turn its first loss in 2010.

* As we’ve reported in these Dispatches, the President seems determined to bring health care under total government control, including dramatically expanding Medicare.

What does all this mean to you?

Sooner or later, the politicians will either…

a) Default on commitments, perhaps with a variety of tinkering reforms like rationing, means-testing, tax increases, etc. or,
b) Inflate the currency so much that you’ll see massive price increases for virtually everything. Imagine, for example, $8 per gallon gas.

Let’s put a stop to this digging. Instead, we can do four very important things…

1) TAKE ACTION. We’ve updated our Unfunded Liabilities campaign to reflect the Social Security number. Send a message objecting to the very deep hole the politicians are digging. Demand that they “Downsize DC!”

2) Forward this message to others and ask them to join you in sending a message to Congress.

3) The politicians may be digging us a deep hole, but you can “Digg” this Dispatch if you’re registered with Digg.com, so that more people see it, and join the Downsize DC Army. Just go to the blog version of this Dispatch and click on the Digg icon to get started.

4) The down economy has affected DownsizeDC.org as well. Pledge attrition levels have been unusually high. To continue growing, your DownsizeDC.org needs new pledgers. Would you consider joining as a monthly pledger, or perhaps increasing your existing pledge? As regular readers know, we acknowlege pledgers by name here on the Downsizer-Dispatch regularly.

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army,

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h
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Fascialism: The New American System by Thomas DiLorenzo-via LewRockwell.com-June 12, 2009

June 12, 2009

“If classical liberalism spells individualism, fascism spells government.”
~ Benito Mussolini,
Fascism: Doctrines and Institutions, p. 10

The two worst scourges of humanity in the twentieth century were socialism and fascism. Together, they wrecked much of the world economy because of their shared “fatal conceit” (F.A. Hayek’s term) that government central planners were superior to private property and free markets. Fascist and socialist governments (not that there’s much difference between them) murdered over 100 million of their own citizens, as the sociologist R.J. Rummel has documented (See his book, Death by Government), and instigated wars that caused the deaths of millions more.

Incredibly, the two-party duopoly that has long ruled America has adopted both fascism and socialism as the defining characteristics of our economic system. Call it Fascialism. It is a recipe for national economic suicide.

Economic Fascism

Economic fascism as practiced by Italy and Germany in the 1920s and ’30s allowed private property and private enterprise to exist, but only if it was strictly controlled and regimented by the state so that it would serve “the public interest” and not private interests. The philosophy of German fascism was expressed in the slogan Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz, which means “the common good comes before the private good.” “The Aryan,” Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, “willingly subordinates his own ego to the community and, if the hour demands, even sacrifices it.” This sounds a lot like John McCain’s campaign theme of “Country First” (before self-interest), doesn’t it?

Of course, it is the government that decides what constitutes “the common good.” Is there any doubt that government will now define what constitutes “the common good” in the banking and automobile industries – and in health care once it is fully nationalized?

The philosophy behind Italian fascism was virtually identical. “The fascist conception of life,” Mussolini wrote in Fascism: Doctrines and Institutions, “stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with the State.”

It is remarkable how contemporary economic policy pronouncements are so often identical to those made by early twentieth-century European fascists. Mussolini complained in 1935, for example, that government intervention in the Italian economy was “too diverse, varied contrasting. There has been . . . intervention, case by case, as the need arises.” His advisor, Fausto Pitigliani, explained that under fascism government regulation would achieve a certain “unity of aim” instead.

This is exactly how the powers that be in Washington, D.C. have diagnosed the current financial crisis: There’s been too little financial market regulation, they tell us, and it has been too, well, diverse and contrasting. Thus, they have recommended a Super Regulatory Authority that will supposedly regulate, regiment, and control all “systemic risk taking” in the entire economy. The only debate is whether an entirely new agency should be created to achieve this “unity of aim,” or if the Fed – which caused the current economic crisis in the first place – should be given the responsibility.

Government-business “partnerships” were a hallmark of both Italian and German fascism. As Ayn Rand once noted, however, in such “partnerships” government is always the “senior partner. ” Government-business “collaboration” was supposedly needed in fascist Italy, explained Fausto Pitigliani in his 1934 book, The Italian Corporatist State, because “the principle of private initiative could only be useful in the service of the national interest.” It is this “service of the national interest” that is the intended work of the newly appointed “Car Czar” in the Obama administration (along with twenty or so other “czars” so far). It is inevitable that the end product will be the world’s worst cars, endless subsidies and bailouts, and mind-boggling debt piled onto the backs of the taxpayers. All to pay off a campaign debt to the United Autoworkers Union, which bears most of the responsibility for the destruction of General Motors and Chrysler in the first place.

The hallmark of the Obama administration’s economic policy thus far is a forced “partnerships” with dozens of large banks along with General Motors and Chrysler. It is threatening hundreds of other “partnerships” in the name of environmental regulation. And that’s just in the first five months. Mussolini would be envious.

Italian fascism created one gigantic bailout economy. Italian social critic Gaetano Salvemini wrote in his 1936 book, Under the Axe of Fascism, that “It is the state, i.e., the taxpayer, who has become responsible to private enterprise. In Fascist Italy the state pays for the blunders of private enterprise.” “Profit remained to private initiative,” Salvemini wrote, but “the government added the losses to the taxpayers’ burden. Profit is private and individual. Loss is public and social.” Sound familiar?

Mussolini himself boasted in 1934 that “three quarters of the Italian economic system had been subsidized by government,” Salvemini wrote. The Obama administration (with a jump start by the Bush administration) is on a path to exceed this level of plunder.

Socialism

In the preface to the 1976 edition of his famous book, The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek wrote (p. xxiii) that when the book was first published in 1944, socialism meant “unambiguously the nationalization of the means of production and the central economic planning which made this necessary.” But by the 1970s “socialism has come to mean chiefly the extensive redistribution of incomes through taxation and the institutions of the welfare state.” Thus, ever since the 1930s the Democratic Party in America has been the party of socialism, with the Republican Party either providing little or no effective opposition or, as with the administration of President George W. Bush, serving as accomplices. The Bush administration vastly expanded the welfare state, while Obama intends to expand it much faster, especially if he succeeds in implementing health care socialism and imposing even more punitive levels of income taxation on the most productive citizens.

Obama promises the worst of all economic worlds: A vast expansion of the welfare state form of socialism, as defined by Hayek, along with a heavy dose of old-fashioned, early twentieth-century, Stalinist socialism with the nationalization of banks, automobile companies, the health care industries, and whatever else he can get away with. The Mussolini-like cult of personality that has developed around him will facilitate this disastrous path to national economic suicide.

June 12, 2009

Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mail] is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln; Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe and How Capitalism Saved America. His latest book is Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution – And What It Means for America Today.

Copyright © 2009 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

Thomas DiLorenzo Archives at LRC

Thomas DiLorenzo Archives at Mises.org

American Capitalism Gone with a Whimper

June 6, 2009

American Capitalism Gone with a Whimper

by Stanislav Mishin
b

May 18, 2009

(Reprinted by permission of the author)

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American descent into Marxism is happening with breathtaking speed, against the backdrop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDonalds burger or a Burger King burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our “democracy”. Pride blinds the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega-preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo-Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Weimar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breathtaking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beaten our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.

Then came Barack Obama’s command that GM’s (General Motors) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of “pure” free markets, the American president now has the power, the self-given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.

So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a “bold” move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK’s Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western-sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our “wise” Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper…but a “freeman” whimper.

So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set “fair” maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked-down-upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.

The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.

2009 Tennessee Pork Report, June 03, at Coolidge Park, Chattanooga

June 2, 2009

Drew Johnson wrote:

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research is bringing our “Pork Tour” to Chattanooga and I hope you’ll attend, as well as help get the word out.

This free event will be at Coolidge Park in Chattanooga from noon to 2pm this Wednesday (June 3). At the event, we will celebrate the release of the 2009 Tennessee Pork Report by handing out copies and discussing wasteful spending of Tennesseans’ hard-earned tax dollars by state and local government.

We’ll have a complimentary pork BBQ lunch (a whole roasted pig actually) and our big pink pig mascot will also be in attendance for all the kiddies – so bring your entire family.

We expect a good media turnout as well, so it’ll be a great opportunity to show your opposition to pork spending and your support of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research’s efforts to advance liberty.

Please blog, email, Facebook, etc, about the event and invite anyone who may be interested.

Here’s the Facebook invitation:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=98442203720

Here’s all the info:

Host: Tennessee Center for Policy Research

Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Time: 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Location: Coolidge Park

Street: 200 River Street

City/Town: Chattanooga

Phone: 615.383.6431

Email: info@tennesseepolicy.org

Join us for free barbeque in celebration of the release of our 2009 Pork Report!

The Pork Report is Tennessee’s only comprehensive, detailed examination of government waste and pork barrel spending at all levels of government in Tennessee. This year’s Pork Report uncovers over $500 million in waste, fraud and abuse of your tax dollars.

Nearly 100 examples of wasteful spending by state and local governments are exposed, including $9 million for an underground “Party Bunker” at the Governor’s Mansion, $2.3 million in bail out 11 financially insolvent state-owned golf courses, $1 million to study mice genes and $40,000 for unused phone lines.

Brentwood Senator Fights “Cap and Trade” Bill-May 18, 2009

May 20, 2009

Apparently, the proponents of the Global-Tax & Control- Environmentalist- Kyoto Convention are having a problem forcing the idea of our energy expenses doubling or tripling-down our throats. They’ve been trying to get the U.S. on board for the last fifteen years or so. So the “Cap&Trade” scam will just have to serve as an equivalent substitute; right?

Let’s see what at least one Tennessee Senator thinks about it. Check out the link below.

www.tennessean.com/article/20090518/NEWS01/90518008/Brentwood+senator+backs+bill+to+reject++fed+s+clean+air+plan

Libertarians: US out of Afghanistan – May 12, 2009

May 15, 2009

PRLog (Press Release)May 12, 2009 – As President Barack Obama struggles to come up with a new strategy for the undeclared war in Afghanistan, Libertarians urge the White House to adopt the only plan that will actually work: Get out.

“The occupation of Afghanistan became a failure the instant the goal changed from liquidating al Qaeda to pursuing meddlesome ‘nation-building’ objectives,” says retired Air Force lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who served as a Pentagon analyst during the early days of the occupation and holds a Ph.D. in World Politics from Catholic University. “In its eighth year, the US occupation has not only failed to create a stable, democratic Afghanistan, it threatens to deliver nuclear Pakistan into the arms of the very enemy we went there to destroy.”

On Monday, Obama removed General David McKiernan as commander of US troops in Afghanistan. Obama also rejected the demand of Afghan President Hamid Karzai for an end to US airstrikes, which have led to hundreds of recent civilian casualties. Current plans call for an increase in the US troop presence from about 45,000 to 68,000 by the end of 2009.

The Libertarian Party’s platform calls for the US to “abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world and avoid entangling alliances.” Libertarians, it says, “would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid.”

“The Afghanistan occupation costs the American taxpayer $2 billion a month,” says R. Lee Wrights of North Carolina, a member of the Libertarian National Committee. “That cost is rising, and the price in American and Afghan lives is unbearable. I abhor the idea of forcing my countrymen to pay in money and blood for a war which makes America less safe and the world less stable. It’s long past time to bring the troops home.”

# # #

The Center for Libertarian Press Information is a collaborative effort of Libertarian Party members to provide the public with timely and accurate information on the Party’s principles, policy positions and activities.

Libertarians: US out of Afghanistan

May 15, 2009

Libertarians: US out of Afghanistan

As President Barack Obama struggles to come up with a new strategy for the undeclared war in Afghanistan, Libertarians urge the White House to adopt the only plan that will actually work: Get out.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release)May 12, 2009 – As President Barack Obama struggles to come up with a new strategy for the undeclared war in Afghanistan, Libertarians urge the White House to adopt the only plan that will actually work: Get out.

“The occupation of Afghanistan became a failure the instant the goal changed from liquidating al Qaeda to pursuing meddlesome ‘nation-building’ objectives,” says retired Air Force lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who served as a Pentagon analyst during the early days of the occupation and holds a Ph.D. in World Politics from Catholic University. “In its eighth year, the US occupation has not only failed to create a stable, democratic Afghanistan, it threatens to deliver nuclear Pakistan into the arms of the very enemy we went there to destroy.”

On Monday, Obama removed General David McKiernan as commander of US troops in Afghanistan. Obama also rejected the demand of Afghan President Hamid Karzai for an end to US airstrikes, which have led to hundreds of recent civilian casualties. Current plans call for an increase in the US troop presence from about 45,000 to 68,000 by the end of 2009.

The Libertarian Party’s platform calls for the US to “abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world and avoid entangling alliances.” Libertarians, it says, “would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid.”

“The Afghanistan occupation costs the American taxpayer $2 billion a month,” says R. Lee Wrights of North Carolina, a member of the Libertarian National Committee. “That cost is rising, and the price in American and Afghan lives is unbearable. I abhor the idea of forcing my countrymen to pay in money and blood for a war which makes America less safe and the world less stable. It’s long past time to bring the troops home.”

# # #

The Center for Libertarian Press Information is a collaborative effort of Libertarian Party members to provide the public with timely and accurate information on the Party’s principles, policy positions and activities.

Ron Paul & HR 1207-Audit The Fed-Restore The Republic.com-May 08, 2009

May 9, 2009

realityreport.blip.tv/file/2082854/