Jun 192012



By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph

[…] This is what Professor Vanis Varoufakis from Athens University has to say about the Troika policies (via Naked Capitalism):

“Consider what they are telling the Greek people: They are saying that Greece, to remain in the Eurozone, must,

(a) carry on borrowing from the EFSF at 4% (and thus adding to Greece’s public debt) in order to pay the ECB (which will be making a 20% profit from these payments, courtesy of the fact that it had previously bought Greece’s bonds at a 20% to 30% discount)

(b) reduce public spending by 12 billion euros in order to be ‘allowed’ to borrow for the benefit of bolstering the ECB’s profits from these transactions involving bankrupt Greece.

If the Devil wanted to guarantee that Greece is pushed out of the Eurozone, he and his evil handmaidens could not make up the above, satanic, scenario. Meanwhile, the same happens in Spain, where the government is forced to borrow money (at nearly 7%) it can hardly raise in order to shore up banks that are borrowing from the ECB (at 1%) to lend to the Spanish government (at 7%) so that the latter can… bail them out. Not even the sickest of minds could make this up!” […]

READ @ http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ambroseevans-pritchard/100017978/greek-agony-drags-on-as-asphyxiation-bloc-wins/



Source: Contra Info

The following extract is dedicated to anarchist revolutionaries Yannis Michailidis and Dimitris Politis, who are wanted by the authorities for suspected participation in the anarchist revolutionary organization CCF and will never give themselves up! May our fires give you strength and our ashes hide your traces, brothers.

“When I look around me, I get the urge to vomit. On one side, the scientists who I am supposed to believe so as not to be ignorant. On the other side, the moralists and philosophers, whose commandments I am supposed to accept so as not to be a brute. Then comes the Genius that I am supposed to glorify and the Hero before whom I am to bow, moved.

Then along come the comrade and the friend, the idealist and the materialist, the atheist and the believer and an infinity horde of defined and undefined apes who want to give me their good advice and finally set me on the true path. Because—of course—the path I walk is false, as my ideas, my thoughts, my entire being are false.

I am a false man. They—poor lunatics—are all obsessed with the idea that life has called them to be priests officiating at the altar of the greatest missions, since humanity is called to the greatest destinies…

These poor, pathetic beasts, scarred by sham ideals and transfigured by madness, could never understand the tragic and merry wonder of life, as they could never see that humanity is not really called to any great destiny. If they had understand any of this at all, they would have at least learned that their so-called likes actually have no desire to break their backs bridging the chasm that separates one from the other.

But I am what I am, it doesn’t matter.

And the cawing of these multicolored magpies only serves to brighten up my personal and noble wisdom. Oh, apostolic apes of humanity and social progress, don’t you hear something thundering above your phantoms?

Listen, listen! It is the piercing roar of my wild laughter that is rumbling overhead, in the heights!

[Renzo Novatore, under the pen name Brunetta the Incendiary] […]




By Stephen Lendman

[…] Over the weekend, Greece held second round parliamentary elections. Egypt held a presidential runoff. Results of both are suspect. More on Egypt below.

Based on pre-election polls, two dominant parties competed in Greece’s election – New Democracy and SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left).

Support for Greece’s former ruling party, PASOK, collapsed for good reason.

May 6 parliamentary elections favored anti-austerity candidates. Coalition talks failed. On June 17, new elections were held.

SYRIZA campaigned on “tear(ing) up the barbaric (Troika) accord.” On Greece’s NET TV, its leader Alexis Tsipras said:

“We are being asked to agree to the destruction of Greek society. SYRIZA won’t betray the Greek people.”

Whatever party emerges first gains an automatic extra 50 parliamentary seats. This provision alone makes electoral results suspect.

As important is how quickly campaign promises fade. Once in power, so-called liberal leftists often govern like right wing counterparts. […]

READ @ http://sjlendman.blogspot.cz/



By Rick Holmes, MetroWest Daily News

Many questions hang over the 2012 election. What will the unemployment rate be, and will it hurt Barack Obama’s prospects? How will Mitt Romney hold up in one-on-one debates? How will both candidates bridge the enthusiasm gaps in their parties’ bases? Who’ll control Congress? Will Scott Brown or Elizabeth Warren carry the day in Massachusetts?

Here’s one Democrats are asking: Will new state actions requiring photo IDs for voters, purging voter rolls and restricting voter registration drives hurt their candidates?

And here’s one almost no one wants to think about: Will the private companies who build and handle voting machines steal the election?

A few people are trying to sound the alarm. Computer experts warn that touch-screen and optical scan voting systems can be easily hacked. Journalists point to irregularities in past elections. Academics analyze voting tallies and exit polls. Activists probe the policies and the politics of the companies to which America has outsourced its elections. […]

READ @ http://markcrispinmiller.com/2012/06/breakthrough-a-mainstream-columnist-asks-will-the-e-voting-companies-steal-the-next-election/

RELATED LINK: On December 13th, 2004, Stephen Spoonamore gave sworn testimony at a congressional hearing in Columbus, Ohio regarding election rigging via easily hackable electronic voting machines. @ http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8e5_1303705066



By Frank Morales

[…] President Obama’s signing of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) whose Section 1021 sanctions the military detention of American citizens without charge, essentially aims to put the last nail in the coffin of our Constitution, our teetering Republic and our most basic democratic traditions.

The statute contains a sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provision. While President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had “serious reservations” about the provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration (“you can trust me”) would use the authorities granted by the NDAA, and would not affect how the law is interpreted by subsequent administrations. The White House had threatened to veto an earlier version of the NDAA, but reversed course (of course) shortly before Congress voted on the final bill, which the President signed on the 31st of December 2011, a day that will go down in infamy.

“President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director. “The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield.” According to Senator Dianne Feinstein. “Congress is essentially authorizing the indefinite imprisonment of American citizens, without charge,” she said. “We are not a nation that locks up its citizens without charge.” Think again. (Guardian, 12/14/11)

Under the legislation, suspects can be held without trial  “until the end of hostilities.” They will have the right to appear once a year before a committee that will decide if the detention will continue. A spokesperson for Human Rights Watch implied that the signing of such a bill by a President would have once been unthinkable, noting that “the paradigm of the war on terror has advanced so far in people’s minds that this has to appear more normal than it actually is.” Further, “it wasn’t asked for by any of the agencies on the frontlines in the fight against terrorism in the United States. It breaks with over 200 years of tradition in America against using the military in domestic affairs.”

In fact, the heads of several “security agencies,” including the FBI, CIA, the director of national intelligence and the attorney general objected to the legislation. Even some within the Pentagon itself said they were against the bill. No matter, and no matter the intention inherent in lip service opposition, the corporate elite who drive the disastrous and inhumane polices of this country see it otherwise, and they, not the generals or anyone else, call the shots!

And they’ve been at this for some time. A persistent and on-gong counter-insurgency directed against the American people, the detention provisions embedded in the NDAA are about more than “social control.” It amounts to a direct attack on the person, an “unreasonable search and seizure” in the cause of maintaining the shaky capitalist ship of state; suppressing popular resistance, dissent and protest, movements of peace and justice, recast as “civil disorder,” “civil disturbance” and “domestic terror.” […]

READ @ http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=31428



By Pang Zhongying, StopNATO

Whatever kind of world…ordered or disordered, a new or the old order, a diversified world or a Western-dominated one, the next five years are still of key importance. It could be the turning point of a new world order. It could also be a key moment for the West to regain the dominant position with all its might. Or perhaps, it will be a transition into a more chaotic world.

Only when we can properly handle China’s relationship with the European countries and the US, and promote a shift from a Western-dominated world to a world shared by all nations, which means a world governed by global rules and including Chinese participation, can the relations between China and the West fundamentally shift. […]

READ @ http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/next-five-years-global-order-poised-between-promise-and-chaos/



Source: Testosterone Pit

The first summit of the G-20 in today’s configuration took place in November 2008 in Washington, DC, during the heady days after the Lehman collapse. Before, it was limited to finance ministers. Since then, twice a year, 19 heads of state, the President of the EU, finance ministers, the heads of the IMF and the World Bank, a gaggle of central bankers, and a whole slew of lesser characters get together to solve the problems of the world.

G-20 summits have a checkered history of accomplishments though they don’t lack in grandiose announcements. At the summit in London in April 2009, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced with fanfare, “The era of bank secrecy is over.” Its big accomplishment: a blacklist of tax havens. And a whole new game of political football, namely deciding which country would get to see its name on the list and which wouldn’t. Yet, tax havens have since sprouted around the world far faster than President Obama’s “green shoots.”

But the crowning achievement was the G-20 summit in November last year in Cannes, France. At the beginning of the week, participants were still thinking that their sojourn in the ritzy town on the Côte d’Azur would be a relaxed affair of photo ops, handshakes (or stiff air kisses between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Sarkozy), and fancy dinners, interrupted by rubber-stamping with great hoopla the previously negotiated Grand Plan to bail out Greece, or rather its public bondholders. It was its second bailout package, and it would be huge and solve all problems once and for all. And in between, attendees would also put Italy back on some kind of unspecified track though Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was mired up to his neck in legal problems while his country’s finances were spiraling out of control. And with the summit being heavily mediatized in France, Sarkozy would make it his jump-off platform for his reelection campaign, demonstrating panache, leadership, and crisis management skills.

Just then, Giorgios Papandréou, Prime Minister of Greece, who wasn’t even in the G-20, fired his bazooka. With a single sentence about letting Greeks decide via referendum whether or not they wanted that Grand Plan, he knocked the world’s financial markets into a vertigo-inducing tailspin—which blew up the summit. […]

READ @ http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2012/6/18/the-g-20-farce-saving-the-eurozone-from-collapse.html



By Rick Perlstein, Rolling Stone

[…] But meanwhile, back to Rahm.

Hizzoner’s mighty display of authoritarian muscle, the Chicago NATO summit, came and went to decent local reviews. No matter the nearly six dozen reports of police brutality, his cops still got to enjoy a free White Sox game, mingling with the players on the field as general manager Kenny Williams praised their “bang-up job” (unfortunate language!), “an exercise in patience and tolerance at every level.” Chicagoans’ patience, however, may be coming to an end.

There’s been an astonishing, astronomical increase in murders in the city this year, for which the mayor scapegoats liquor and convenience stores while cutting $9 million from youth anti-violence programs. Cutting is Emanuel’s bag – which may be why I saw, for the first time ever in front of my tranquil Chicago building five blocks from the Obama family’s home, a schizophrenic ranting and shrieking up and down the street. Rahm has closed six of the city’s twelve public mental-health clinics– and his cops have been arresting people protesting on the sidewalks in front of them without charges.

He says he’s doing it all for the children. Like, for instance, when he says, “Without pension reform, we’ll be forced to mortgage our children’s future.” Because, as you know, pensions don’t help support any children. Last month he traveled to the state capitol in Springfield to bark that unless he was able to increase the retirement age for public employees by five years, suspend their cost of living increases, increase their pension contributions, and give them a “choice” between having defined-benefit pensions or those failing 401(k) plans beloved of Wall Street, he’d have to increase property taxes 150 percent. And, of course, he shut out the unions from these discussions of their members’ fate. That’s his bag, too.

But Rahm’s management style is catching up with him, too. At the end of May his appointed second in command at the Board of Education resigned – the fourth high-ranking city education official to quit in about a month, even as the city rushes to implement over a half dozen major changes to the system. Changes like lengthening the school day, which you might remember he had hoped to do without paying teachers commensurately for the increased work. But teachers, united, will never be defeated. In the beginning of June an astonishing 89.73 percent of teachers – that’s 89.73 percent of the entire membership, not just the ones who showed up – voted to give their leadership permission to call a strike this fall if their demands for fair compensation and a role in the process aren’t met by the city.

Don Rahm, that vaunted tough guy, appears to be quivering. “Chicago teachers deserve a pay raise,” he suddenly and uncharacteristically announced the day after 4,000 teachers union members rallied downtown, sounding for all the world like the very Teacher’s Union president he had told “fuck you” during earlier discussions of the work-without-pay plan. It speaks to a point I addressed to Occupy activists back in March: If you’re fighting for justice, a smart, explicit, well-timed demand can move mountains. […]

READ @ http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/rahm-emanuel-still-hates-democracy-and-other-sequels-from-five-months-of-columnizing-20120618



The Syrian situation, documented and analyzed, is quite different than US and European media present in their one-sided propagandistic coverage. Syria has been under siege by well armed violent militias that cross the borders and kill Syrian troops, police and civilians — for over one year — yet this fact has been repeatedly censored from western audiences.

By Joe Giambrone, OpEdNews

The big lie concerning Syria is the most significant and outrageous myth that we are living under today.  As previous big lies fade into history, this particular crisis holds the most potential to flare up into a life-ending catastrophe across the planet.  Russia has now approved a shipment of attack helicopters to their ally Syria, and China remains highly skeptical of the western narrative regarding the massacre of women and children in Houla.  Iran has offered to come to the aid of Assad in fighting the various Sunni militias, which have opened up multiple fronts across rural parts of the country.

In Military-Industrial-Media-Speak the president of Syria, Bashar Assad, is a “butcher” who massacres his own people, defenseless “activists” and “protesters” who cry out for his ouster across Syria; if only the benevolent western democracies would send more weapons and money to destroy the Syrian army, on their behalf, the world would be right again.  This lie has been exposed numerous times, and yet persists as if previous revelations had never occurred.  This requires a gullible, amnesic public that refuses to dig beyond surface headlines and corporate perception management.

Armed foreign fighters have been perpetrating a coordinated military assault on Syria since March of 2011

Back in the middle of March, 2011, while the world’s press was enraptured by the uprising in Egypt, clashes in Daraa, Syria led to violence.  Not covered by US news sources, but reported in Israel and Lebanon, are the following facts on the ground:

Seven police officers and at least four demonstrators in Syria have been killed in continuing violent clashes that erupted in the southern town of Daraa last Thursday” On Friday police opened fire on armed protesters killing four and injuring as many as 100 others”  In an uncharacteristic gesture intended to ease tensions the government offered to release the detained students, but seven police officers were killed, and the Baath Party Headquarters and courthouse were torched, in renewed violence on Sunday. (Gavriel Queenann, Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protests, Israel National News, Arutz Sheva, March 21, 2011, emphasis added) […]

[…] By December of 2011 Reuters reports:

That’s some so-called “protest movement” that can kill 1,000 armed police and soldiers.  Of course it was nothing of the kind.  Protest was the premeditated cover story to launch an aggressive, pre-planned assault against the Assad regime. Western news media have relied extensively on the impressively named Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. This steadfast organization, according to Reuters, consists of one guy who runs a clothing shop in Coventry, England.  For some reason calling one’s self the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights entices the world’s corporate press to call in 24 hours a day seeking counsel.  That’s how it’s worked out so far for Rami Abdulrahman.”The United Nations says at least 4,000 people have died, with about a quarter of the dead from the security forces.” (Reuters UK , Dec. 8, 2011, emphasis added)

Perhaps I should set up the American Monitoring Station of International Bullshit?  The US press clearly needs the guidance.  Even this week the Christian Science Monitor used Rami Abdulrahman as a “source” of what’s happening on the ground in Syria, printing his speculation as an eyewitness account.  He lives in London.

“[Rami Abdulrahman] said the use of tanks and attack helicopters to smash residential buildings and city infrastructure indicated they wanted to destroy areas, not just chase out rebels.” (CS Monitor,  UN Monitors find stench of death in Syrian town, 6/14/2012)

The CS Monitor is forced to concede further escalating violence by the rebels as well, even as its language attempts to paint the Syrian government as the party most responsible, relying on unverifiable “activists” repeatedly.

 “Car bombings and suicide bombings have become increasingly common as the 15-month uprising against Assad becomes militarized [sic]. Most have targeted security buildings and police buses, symbols of Assad’s regime.”

The big lie that the “militarization” of the conflict is new gets repeated across western media.  The insurgents have targeted government buildings and personnel back in March of 2011.  Despite bombings and shootings being commonplace in Syria for well over one year, the western press continually insists that it is just now becoming militarized.  This refrain appears in most U.S. news coverage of Syria. […]

READ @ http://www.opednews.com/populum/printer_friendly.php?content=a&id=151745



Source: youtube




Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZtiyAPUCkM&feature=share



Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKCvf8E7V1g

May 312012



By Noel Brinkerhoff and avid Wallechinsky, Information Clearing House

[…] Crime rates today are at their lowest levels in 30 years and the rate of violent crime has dipped to a 39-year low. Yet the number of arrests between 2009 and 2010 declined only slightly, according to the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), which noted in its new report that police spending increased 445% between 1982 and 2007 and federal funding for police burgeoned by 729%.

Meanwhile, local, state and federal governments spend more than $100 billion each year on public safety and to maintain police ranks that exceed 710,000 nationwide. […]

READ @ http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31462.htm



The Obama administration has converted once unthinkable government claims into permanent political fixtures

By Glenn Greenwald, Salon

[…] This is something that we already knew. The New York Times‘ Charlie Savage had previously reported that Obama OLC lawyers David Barron and Marty Lederman had authored a “secret document” that ”provided the justification for acting despite an executive order banning assassinations, a federal law against murder, protections in the Bill of Rights and various strictures of the international laws of war” (“The memo concluded that what was reasonable, and the process that was due, was different for Mr. Awlaki than for an ordinary criminal”). Attorney General Eric Holder then publicly claimed“‘Due process’ and ‘judicial process’ are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.” Both of those episodes sparked controversy, because of how radical of a claim it is (Stephen Colbert brutally mocked Holder’s speech: “Due Process just means:  there’s a process that you do”).

But that’s the point: once something is repeated enough by government officials, we become numb to its extremism. Even in the immediate wake of 9/11 — when national fear and hysteria were intense — things like the Patriot Act, military commissions, and indefinite detention were viewed as radical departures from American political tradition; now, they just endure and are constantly renewed without notice, because they’ve just become normalized fixtures of American political life. Here we have the Obama administration asserting what I genuinely believe, without hyperbole, is the most extremist government interpretation of the Bill of Rights I’ve heard in my lifetime — that the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee that the State cannot deprive you of your life without “due process of law” is fulfilled by completely secret, oversight-free “internal deliberations by the executive branch” — and it’s now barely something anyone (including me) even notices when The New York Times reports it (as the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer asked yesterday: “These Dems who think executive process is due process: Where were they when Bush needed help with warrantless wiretapping?” — or his indefinite detention scheme?) […]

READ / VIDEOS @ http://www.salon.com/2012/05/30/how_extremism_is_normalized/singleton/



Source: Democracy Now!

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tsP2hkp24s



By Bill Boyarsky, Truthdig

The revelation that President Barack Obama is personally selecting names for a kill list of suspected al-Qaida terrorists is a striking illustration of what actually occurs behind the White House’s closed doors.

The New York Times revealed Tuesday how the president “has placed himself at the helm of a top secret ‘nominations’ process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical.” He insists “on approving every new name on an expanding ‘kill list,’ poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre ‘baseball cards’ of an unconventional war.”

The Times described how more than 100 members of “the government’s sprawling national security apparatus” meet in a video conference to go over potential nominees for the death list and “recommend to the president who should be the next to die.” The nominations then go to the White House where Obama, guided by his top counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, approves names added to the list. […]

READ @ http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/who_will_the_president_kill_next_its_a_secret_20120530/



Source: The Young Turks

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq3CY7kWBSg&feature=em-share_video_user



By Wendy Gittleson, Addicting Info

Look for election fraud and voter suppression to be an overriding theme in this year’s Presidential election, even if it’s underreported in the mainstream media. Nearly six months before the election, we are already seeing local and statewide efforts to purge the voter rolls of Democratic voters.

In an effort to clear the voter rolls of “non-citizens,” Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott is targeting Hispanic, Democratic and independent-minded voters by sending them notices informing that without proof of citizenship, they will not be eligible to vote. According to the Tampa Bay Times, out of the more than 2,600 people that have been sent the notices, White people and Republicans were the least likely to have been targeted. The Times found that:

About 58 percent of those identified as potential noncitizens are Hispanics, Florida’s largest ethnic immigrant population. They make up just 13 percent of the overall 11.3 million active registered voters. 

“I’m upset, because if someone is an American citizen, it is his right to vote. How can they be asking for this?” said Juan Artabe, a 41-year-old Democrat from Cuba who said he became a citizen in 2009.

“Very poor job by the elections department,” Artabe said. He said he was contacted last week by the Miami-Dade elections office and sent in a copy of his citizenship papers so he wasn’t struck from the voter rolls.[…]

READ @ http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/05/27/when-you-cant-win-cheat-election-fraud-from-coast-to-coast/



By Chris Hedges, Truthdig

In Robert E. Gamer’s book “The Developing Nations” is a chapter called “Why Men Do Not Revolt.” In it Gamer notes that although the oppressed often do revolt, the object of their hostility is misplaced. They vent their fury on a political puppet, someone who masks colonial power, a despised racial or ethnic group or an apostate within their own political class. The useless battles serve as an effective mask for what Gamer calls the “patron-client” networks that are responsible for the continuity of colonial oppression. The squabbles among the oppressed, the political campaigns between candidates who each are servants of colonial power, Gamer writes, absolve the actual centers of power from addressing the conditions that cause the frustrations of the people. Inequities, political disenfranchisement and injustices are never seriously addressed. “The government merely does the minimum necessary to prevent those few who are prone toward political action from organizing into politically effective groups,” he writes.

Gamer and many others who study the nature of colonial rule offer the best insights into the functioning of our corporate state. We have been, like nations on the periphery of empire, colonized. We are controlled by tiny corporate entities that have no loyalty to the nation and indeed in the language of traditional patriotism are traitors. They strip us of our resources, keep us politically passive and enrich themselves at our expense. The mechanisms of control are familiar to those whom the Martinique-born French psychiatrist and writer Frantz Fanon called “the wretched of the earth,” including African-Americans. The colonized are denied job security. Incomes are reduced to subsistence level. The poor are plunged into desperation. Mass movements, such as labor unions, are dismantled. The school system is degraded so only the elites have access to a superior education. Laws are written to legalize corporate plunder and abuse, as well as criminalize dissent. And the ensuing fear and instability—keenly felt this past weekend by the more than 200,000 Americans who lost their unemployment benefits—ensure political passivity by diverting all personal energy toward survival. It is an old, old game. […]

READ @ http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/155432



Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhbRcDZiJJc&feature=player_embedded



Source: TEDx 

Jacque Fresco is a self-educated structural designer, practitioner of science, concept artist, educator, and futurist. He is considered by many to be a modern-day Da Vinci. Peer to Einstein and Buckminster Fuller, Jacque is a self-taught futurist who describes himself most often as a “generalist” or multi-disciplinarian — a student of many inter-related fields. He is a prolific inventor, having spent his entire life (he is now 95 years old) conceiving of and devising inventions on various scales which entail the use of innovative technology. As a futurist, Jacque is not only a conceptualist and a theoretician, he is also an engineer and a designer.

His organization, The Venus Project works to provide a global vision of hope for the future of humankind in our technological age. The Venus Project reflects the culmination of Jacque’s life work: the integration of the best of science and technology into a comprehensive plan for a new society based on human and environmental concern. It is a global vision of hope for the future of humankind in our technological age.

A major documentary entitled, Future By Design, on the life, designs, and philosophy of Jacque Fresco is now available at http://www.fbdthemovie.com. The film Zeitgeist Addendum featuring Mr. Fresco and The Venus Project produced by Peter Joseph was released in 2008. A sequel to this documentary Zeitgeist Moving Forward was released in 2011 featuring Mr. Fresco, his work, and direction for the future. […]

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzirIG55fkE&feature=player_embedded

Feb 142012



By Arthur Silber, Power of Narrative

I must begin with a reminder. In “The Face of the Killer Who Is Your President,” I excerpted an article by Nick Turse. Here are several passages from Turse’s reporting:

Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you’re done… for the day. Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret force within the U.S. military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world’s countries.

While it’s well known that U.S. Special Operations forces are deployed in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, and it’s increasingly apparent that such units operate in murkier conflict zones like Yemen and Somalia, the full extent of their worldwide war has remained deeply in the shadows.

Last year, Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post reported that U.S. Special Operations forces were deployed in 75 countries, up from 60 at the end of the Bush presidency. By the end of this year, U.S. Special Operations Command [SOCOM] spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told me, that number will likely reach 120. “We do a lot of traveling — a lot more than Afghanistan or Iraq,” he said recently. This global presence — in about 60% of the world’s nations and far larger than previously acknowledged — provides striking new evidence of a rising clandestine Pentagon power elite waging a secret war in all corners of the world.

SOCOM represents something new in the military. Whereas the late scholar of militarism Chalmers Johnson used to refer to the CIA as “the president’s private army,” today JSOC performs that role, acting as the chief executive’s private assassination squad, and its parent, SOCOM, functions as a new Pentagon power-elite, a secret military within the military possessing domestic power and global reach.

In 120 countries across the globe, troops from Special Operations Command carry out their secret war of high-profile assassinations, low-level targeted killings, capture/kidnap operations, kick-down-the-door night raids, joint operations with foreign forces, and training missions with indigenous partners as part of a shadowy conflict unknown to most Americans. Once “special” for being small, lean, outsider outfits, today they are special for their power, access, influence, and aura. […]

READ @ http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2012/02/nightmare-without-limits.html



By gjohnsit, Daily Kos

[…]  Some are considering Romania to be the “canary in the coal mine”.

 Ban warns Eastern European politicians against ignoring the social costs of austerity measures, as citizens begin thinking about distribution of wealth, not only about corruption. He mentions the ongoing protests in the country, which have continued for the last four weeks, highlighting the protesters’ doubts over planned privatization and deregulation reforms and the emergence of a new civil society in the country. Ban sees the beginnings of what he terms a legitimate grass roots left wing movement, in favor of public ownership of national institutions.  These developments, he believes, could lead to the end of the “almost automatic endorsement of the market” and the “old post-communist settlement” in which political parties could count on an “economically liberal and elite civil society.”

We might be witnessing the beginning of the end of the neoliberal groupthink that has dominated the world for the past three decades.

Meanwhile, all eyes are on Greece, where riots have left parts of Athens in ruins, with 48 buildings set ablaze.  The Troubadour beat me to posting that the police union Poasy was threatening to arrest members of Greece’s troika of lenders.

What the Greek people are fully aware of, but the American media usually fails to mention, is that the latest austerity measures for Greece will not be the last. […]

READ @ http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/13/1064299/-The-push-back-is-starting-in-Europe?via=siderec



Source: Aljazeera

Greece will hold general elections in April, the government has said, hours after parliament voted through tough new austerity measures aimed at saving the country from bankruptcy.

“This government has one to one-and-a-half months left,” Pantelis Kapsis, a government spokesman, told journalists on Monday. “We will finish up in March, and elections will be held in April.”

Lucas Papademos, the Greek prime minister who formed a coalition government in November after the fall of George Papandreou’s socialist administration, had indicated that he did not intend to serve the full two years remaining of parliament’s mandate.

He said that his only aim was to negotiate the write-down of part of Athens’ debt and ensure that it qualified for a new European bailout of $171bn.

While he managed to push through the latest austerity measures, the two main parties each saw more than 20 of their MPs rebel, while the extreme-right LAOS party quit the coalition before the vote.

“The government believes that yesterday’s vote expressed our determination to go forward,” Kapsis said. “The Greek people want us to stay in the euro, and we will do whatever it takes to stay in the euro.”

Referring to European Union demands led by Germany for written pledges by party leaders to carry out the reforms demanded, Kapsis said they “must be given by Wednesday”.

Kapsis admitted that Wednesday’s meeting with European leaders to decide whether to release the new bailout “is going to be a difficult one”. […]

READ and VIDEO @ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/



Source: The Daily Bell

Germany’s Carthaginian terms for Greece … The last time Germany needed a bail-out from world creditors, it secured better terms than shattered Greece last week … The austerity policy being forced on Greece by Germany and the eurozone cannot command democratic consent over time. – UK Telegraph/Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Dominant Social Theme: Greece has got to pay.

Free-Market Analysis: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard makes good points in this article on Germany’s attack on Greece, but to us it’s a kind of elite dominant social theme. The idea is to blame Germany’s leaders for intolerable austerity, and Chancelor Angela Merkel in particular. However, from our point of view, Merkel is merely working for larger powers-that-be.

It is the Anglosphere power elite that seeks to build up the EU as part of its focus on creating worldwide governance. And it is this same elite that is causing economic chaos in order to further its plans. Out of chaos … order. […]

READ @ http://www.thedailybell.com/3606/Is-Greece-a-Sacrifice-or-the-Shape-of-Things-to-Come



Source: RT

This is the full episode for “Capital Account,” with Lauren Lyster. European Union leaders met over the weekend to try to save the Eurozone, but solutions still appear transparent. Meanwhile, what could the Eurozone crisis mean for average American investors and do they have the Federal Reserve to thank for being exposed in the first place. Speaking of the Fed, is more QE on the way? We speak to James Grant, founder of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer and acclaimed author. Also as the US goes after Swiss banks for billions of dollars and the names of Americans with secret accounts there, is the US going after the right people to fill its dwindling coffers? And as US President Barack Obama pledges to help underwater American homeowners, some Americans are buying playhouses worth as much as 200 thousand dollars for their kids.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RmF0I2JimRE



Source: youtube.com

The Chicago Principles

• Our solidarity will be based on respect for a political diversity within the struggle for social, economic and environmental justice. As individuals and groups, we may choose to engage in a diversity of tactics and plans of
action but are committed to treating each other with respect and working towards a common goal of peace and justice.

• As we plan our actions and tactics, we will take care to maintain appropriate separations of time and space between divergent tactics.

• We oppose any state repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption, limiting our action to “free speech zones,” and violence, or attempts to divide our movement through the conscious creation of divisions regarding tactics, organization, strategies, and alliances.

• Any debates or criticisms will stay internal to the movement, avoiding any public or media denunciations of fellow activists and events.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYP_Str434Q&feature=youtu.be



By Brother Peter Diamond, youtube.com

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OynCgwmD-HM#!



By Elizabeth Drew, The New York Book of Reviews

Beneath the turbulent political spectacle that has captured so much of the nation’s attention lies a more important question than who will get the Republican nomination, or even who will win in November: Will we have a democratic election this year? Will the presidential election reflect the will of the people? Will it be seen as doing so—and if not, what happens? The combination of broadscale, coordinated efforts underway to manipulate the election and the previously banned unlimited amounts of unaccountable money from private or corporate interests involved in those efforts threatens the democratic process for picking a president. The assumptions underlying that process—that there is a right to vote, that the system for nominating and electing a president is essentially fair—are at serious risk. […]

READ @ http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/feb/23/can-we-have-democratic-election/?pagination=false



By Mike Ludwig, Truthout

The American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) influence weighs heavy in the Ohio’s GOP-controlled legislature, where brazen attempts to crush the collective bargaining rights of public workers and change voting rules in favor of Republicans have made national headlines in recent months. Over the past year, Ohio lawmakers introduced 33 bills that are identical to or “appear to contain” elements of the ALEC’s infamous model legislation that promotes a pro-corporate agenda, according to a report released this week by watchdog groups.

At least nine of the 33 bills have passed the State Legislature, including the now-defunct Senate Bill 5, which was poised to strip public employees of collective bargaining rights until Ohioans overwhelmingly voted for a repeal in November.

“At a time when Ohioans are desperate for cooperation … seeking Democrats and Republicans to come together to create jobs to get our economy moving again, far too often we see legislation introduced that does just the opposite,” said Tim Burga, president of the Ohio ALF-CIO. “Far too often, we see the influence of ALEC on the legislation that’s introduced, legislation that is anti-worker, anti-consumer and anti-education, and it really seems like it’s on behalf of the super-wealthy and the investor class.” […]

READ @ http://www.truthout.org/ohio-lawmakers-introduced-33-bills-based-alec-model-legislation/1328711032



By Addison Zettas, US Notes

[…] Private prisons like the GEO Group and CCA get contracted to do a wide range of jobs from other corporations and government agencies. The “employees” that GEO and CCA provide are inmates from their penitentiaries who make anywhere from 23 cents to $1.15 per hour.

Of course these “workers” get no benefits, no overtime, and no paid vacations and have no bargaining rights. Companies like CCA and GEO Group profit directly off of providing cheap and, arguably, slave labor.

And, since they’re able to profit so much off of individual prisoners, the more they arrest the greater their returns.

GEO Group made over $11 million by activating 692-beds or inmates, and made $24.6 million by opening a new detention center in Laredo, Texas.

Since we know that these private prisons make money by expanding facilities and imprisoning people, it would only make sense for them to try to pass legislation that would allow them to detain more prisoners and keep them for longer periods of time.

No surprise, that is exactly what’s happening.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is  sponsored by CCA, and was the main lobbyist that argued for the controversial Arizona immigration law, SB 1070. […]

READ and VIDEO @ http://usnotes.net/2012/02/11/private-prisons-a-sadistic-scam/



Source: youtube.com

The Wall Street Conspiracy explores a pernicious form of fraud called illegal naked short selling that has had an enormous impact on the 2008 collapse of the US economy.

READ @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHsxLhY-EvE&feature=youtu.be



Source: Time4theTruth

This I felt was so important that I just had to share it with all of our Avid T4TT viewers.

Is it time to act…? You decide……

Below is a Science fair project presented by a girl in a secondary school in Sussex.

In it she took filtered water and divided it into two parts.

The first part she heated to boiling in a pan on the stove, and the second part she heated to boiling in a microwave.

Then after cooling she used the water to water two identical plants to see if there would be any difference in the growth between the normal boiled water and the water boiled in a microwave. […]Pasted Graphic.tiff

READ and PHOTOS @ http://www.time4thetruth.info/2012/02/microwave-test-eye-opener.html?spref=fb



By Jill Richardson, AlterNet

It’s often said that we have bees to thank for one out of every three bites we take of food. In addition to producing honey, honeybees literally criss-cross the United States, pollinating almonds, oranges, melons, blueberries, pumpkins, apples, and more. And while carrots are a biennial root crop that are harvested long before they flower, all carrots are planted from seed, and honeybees pollinate the carrot flowers that produce the seeds. Other species of bees, both social and solitary bees, pollinate other crops. And the populations of all these species of bees are in decline.

The decline of bees has been in the headlines for several years, and theories to explain their deaths abound. But perhaps there is not just one single cause. University of California San Diego professor of biology James Nieh studies foraging, communication and health of bees. “I would say it’s a combination of four factors; pesticides, disease, parasites, and human mismanagement,” says Nieh. Bees might be weakened by having a very low level of exposure to insecticides or fungicides, making them more susceptible if they are attacked by viruses or parasites. “It’s kind of like taking a patient who is not doing so well — very weak, poor diet, exposing them to pathogens, and then throwing more things at them. It’s not surprising that honeybees are not very healthy.”

One class of pesticides, neonicotinoids in particular has received a lot of attention for harming bees. In late 2010, the EPA came under fire from beekeepers and pesticide watchdog organizations. This happened when Colorado beekeeper Tom Theobald spoke out about how the EPA allowed clothianidin to be used without any proof it was safe and despite the fact that the EPA’s own scientists believed it “has the potential for toxic risk to honey bees, as well as other pollinators.”

At that time Theobald had reported losing up to 40 percent of his bees, and now, things are looking even worse. “As a business, I think it’s over,” he says. “I think my business is no longer viable. I’ll continue to keep bees as best I can and may be able to pull off a halfway decent crop for another year or two but the trendline is down and over the edge of a cliff and that’s typical of what’s going on nationally.”[…]

READ @ http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/154039




Source: youtube.com

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxpH9wBt0fM

Dec 142011



By Marisol Bello, USA Today

One in 45 children in the USA — 1.6 million children — were living on the street, in homeless shelters or motels, or doubled up with other families last year, according to the National Center on Family Homelessness.

The numbers represent a 33% increase from 2007, when there were 1.2 million homeless children, according to a report the center is releasing Tuesday.

“This is an absurdly high number,” says Ellen Bassuk, president of the center. “What we have new in 2010 is the effects of a man-made disaster caused by the economic recession. … We are seeing extreme budget cuts, foreclosures and a lack of affordable housing.” […]

READ @ http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-12-12/homeless-children-increase/51851146/1?loc=interstitialskip



By Tina Dupuy, tinadupuy.com

My first job was cleaning the group home I lived in. True story. I participated in the Summer Youth Employment Program part of the Job Training Partnership Act passed during Reagan’s first term. It was a War on Poverty federal program considered to be an economic stimulus and a way to keep teenagers off the streets. I was in foster care and had just barely turned 14; I went to a few seminars on job skills and was given a job “super cleaning” for minimum wage ($4.25). I pulled in about $75 a week…before taxes.

I learned two things at that job: one, horizontal blinds are a malevolent plague on society; and two, Republicans don’t care about people who work.

No, Republicans, in general, and disgraced former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, specifically, concern themselves with their fickle “job creators” not the staple of the American economy: job workers.

The overpaid, overfed, and over-hyped Gingrich said to an audience at a Nationwide Insurance luncheon earlier this month, “Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works, so they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday.”

Gingrich is willfully ignorant of the fact you can work and still be “really poor” in this country. You can show up every Monday and do your job faithfully and STILL not make a living. If you work full-time at the federal minimum wage you’ll pull in $15,000 a year before taxes (and yes, they do take social security, state and federal taxes out of those paychecks). Add children to the equation and it’s worse than the working poor – it’s the working impoverished.

Now 49 million Americans live in poverty – with 2.6 million falling into the category last year. That’s 16 percent of Americans. There are more Americans living in poverty than there are Canadians on the planet.

Gingrich is trying to equate poverty with a moral shortcoming. It’s a warped offshoot of the prosperity gospel – riches are a sign of god’s love – poverty is a sign of his indifference. […]

READ @ http://www.tinadupuy.com/column/confessions-of-a-child-janitor/



By Carmel Crimmins and Gavin Jones, Common Dreams

Europe’s “no pain no gain” attitude to solving its sovereign crisis risks exacerbating the bloc’s problems, choking off the very growth needed to raise the money to pay down the debt.

From Athens to Dublin, and almost everywhere in between, administrations are imposing wave after wave of spending cuts and tax increases to persuade investors they are serious about improving their public finances and persuade them to start buying euro zone sovereign debt again.

The austerity zeal risks tipping the continent back into recession and a downward spiral of austerity as pitiful growth prospects undermine budgetary targets and ramp up debt burdens, meaning further austerity is required.

“The expansionary fiscal contraction story says that you cut, you show you are serious about cutting and then the confidence fairy will come along and she will start pulling in private investment,” said Stephen Kinsella, professor of economics at the University of Limerick.

“The expansionary fiscal contraction story is a lie. You don’t cut your way to growth.” […]

READ @ http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/12/14-0



By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now

House and Senate negotiators have agreed to a sweeping $662 billion military spending bill that would allow for indefinite detentions of Americans by the U.S. military. The bill has been widely criticized by several top Obama administration officials, human rights groups and many Tea Party Republicans. According to the Associated Press, the current legislation would deny some suspected terrorists, even U.S. citizens seized within the nation’s borders, of the right to trial and subject them to indefinite detention. President Obama had threatened to veto an earlier version of the bill which would have required all terrorism suspects be held and tried by the military. The military spending bill also imposes tough new sanctions on Iran.

READ and VIDEO @ http://www.democracynow.org/2011/12/13/headlines/bill_allowing_for_indefinite_military_detention_of_americans_passes_house_senate#.Tud2jdzR1so.facebook



By Stephen Lendman, OpEdNews

Obama won’t prosecute CIA torturers, Wall Street crooks, other corporate criminals, lawless war profiteers, or other venal high-level civilian or government officials.

Instead, expect him to sign into law (or at least tacitly approve) indefinite military detentions of US citizens allegedly associated with terrorist groups, with or without corroborating evidence.

Post-9/11, US freedoms and other democratic values dramatically eroded. Enactment of police state provisions in the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act comes closer to ending them entirely.

On December 5, the ACLU headlined, “Indefinite Detention, Endless Worldwide War and the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA),” saying:

Enactment of this measure will authorize “the military to pick up and imprison people, including US citizens, without charging them or putting them on trial.”

Secretly with no hearings, both Houses are rushing to complete a “joint version” before leaving for Christmas break. “Fundamental American values and freedoms are on the line.” Given the stakes, they’re perilously hanging by a thread.

On December 13, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) urged Obama to veto NDAA in its present form. Otherwise, he’ll “be responsible for signing into law one of the greatest expansions of executive power in our nation’s history, allowing the government to lock up citizens and non-citizens without the right to fair trials.”

Indefinite detentions violate core democratic freedoms, including fundamental Bill of Rights ones already gravely eroded.

On November 27, 1941, Franklin Roosevelt issued Proclamation 2524, declaring December 15 Bill of Rights Day to commemorate its 150th 1791 ratification.

At the time, he hailed “America(‘s) charter of personal liberty and human dignity,” including “freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the free right to petition the Government for redress of grievances.”

Although American freedom then was far less than he claimed, today it hangs by a thread and may pass entirely any time for any reason.

In response to global imperial wars, corporate favoritism, unbridled private sector criminality, and political corruption at the highest levels, causing economic crisis conditions at home, thousands began protesting nationwide for social justice.

In response, militarized police confront them violently as NDAA heads for enactment to stop anyone from challenging US hegemony and corporate power by throwing them indefinitely in military dungeons to rot.

Equity and justice are fast eroding entirely to advance America’s imperium. On May 26, the House passed HR 1540, 322 – 96. Doing so took a giant step toward abolishing freedom entirely.

On December 1, the Senate’s S. 1867 followed suit, 93 to 7. Both versions assure no one anywhere is now safe, including law-abiding US citizens. […]

READ @ http://www.opednews.com/populum/printer_friendly.php?content=a&id=142765



By Washington’s Blog

Yes, the Indefinite Detention Bill DOES Apply to American Citizens

Even at this 11th hour – when all of our liberties and freedom are about to go down the drain – many people still don’t understand that the indefinite detention bill passed by Congress allows indefinite detention of Americans on American soil.

The bill is confusing. As Wired noted on December 1st:

It’s confusing, because two different sections of the bill seem to contradict each other, but in the judgment of the University of Texas’ Robert Chesney — a nonpartisan authority on military detention — “U.S. citizens are included in the grant of detention authority.”

A retired admiral, Judge Advocate General and Dean Emeritus of the University of New Hampshire School of Law also says that it applies to American citizens on American soil.

The ACLU notes:

Don’t be confused by anyone claiming that the indefinite detention legislation does not apply to American citizens. It does. There is an exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (section 1032 of the bill), but no exemption for American citizens from the authorization to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial (section 1031 of the bill). So, the result is that, under the bill, the military has the power to indefinitely imprison American citizens, but it does not have to use its power unless ordered to do so.

But you don’t have to believe us. Instead, read what one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Lindsey Graham said about it on the Senate floor: “1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.”

Another sponsor of the bill – Senator Levin – has also repeatedly said that the bill applies to American citizens on American soil, citing the Supreme Court case of Hamdi which ruled that American citizens can be treated as enemy combatants:

“The Supreme Court has recently ruled there is no bar to the United States holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant,” said Levin. “This is the Supreme Court speaking.“

Levin again stressed recently that the bill applies to American citizens, and said that it was president Obama who requested that it do so: […]

READ and VIDEOS @ http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/12/the-indefinite-detention-bill-does-apply-to-american-citizens-on-u-s-soil.html



By PressTV

With the US pulling out troops from Iraq this month, Washington plans to send Blackwater mercenaries to the Middle Eastern country under the new brand of ACADEMI.

New York-based USTC Holdings, the investment group that bought ex-Blackwater firm, Xe Services, in December 2010, announced on Monday ACADEMI as the new name for Blackwater/ Xe Services, AFP reported.

The development came as US President Barack Obama met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to discuss the next phase of the relations between the two countries after withdrawal of US soldiers.

“We have had a year of extraordinary changes that have resulted in a new, better company,” ACADEMI president and chief executive Ted Wright said in a statement.

In an interview published on Monday, Wright said he would like to take ACADEMI’s business back to Iraq and went on to say that the firm had hired an external company to help it apply for an operating license in the country.

“I think eventually, we’re going to get a license; we’re going to do business in Iraq,” he said.

Blackwater adopted the name Xe Services after Iraqi authorities announced in 2009 that they would not renew the security firm’s contract because of a deadly incident in 2007 in which guards protecting a US diplomatic convoy opened fire in a busy district in the capital Baghdad killing 17 civilians.

Iraqi officials could not sue the Blackwater mercenaries as they had immunity from local prosecution and were not subjected to any Iraqi laws.

The US State Department had reportedly announced in August 2010 that the Pentagon would replace American troops in Iraq with private mercenaries, who call themselves private security firms or security contractors, on grounds of ensuring the security in the war-torn country.

The deployment of ACADEMI mercenaries is likely to cause outrage in Iraq where its predecessor Blackwater Worldwide mercenaries could kill civilians with impunity during their time in Iraq.

Iraqis will also take it as America’s unwillingness to end the occupation of their country where since 2003 the US-led invasion and subsequent occupation caused one million deaths, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored. […]

READ @ http://www.presstv.ir/detail/215338.html



By Sam Chee Kong, Market Oracle

Another month another new implosion. Europe really seems to be stuck in a financial black hole, unable to free itself out of it. Before we even have time to digest all those exotic treasury products like CDO,CDS,MBS, ALT-A, Sub-Prime, Swaps and , now there is this new toy called ‘Hypothecation’.

What is Hypothecation ?

Hypothecation is the practice where a borrower pledges collateral to secure a debt. The borrower retains ownership of the collateral, but it is “hypothetically” controlled by the creditor in that he has the right to seize possession if the borrower defaults. A common example occurs when a consumer enters into a mortgage agreement, in which the consumer’s house becomes collateral until the mortgage loan is paid off.

The detailed practice and rules regulating hypothecation vary depending on
context and on the jurisdiction where it takes place. In the US, the legal right for
the creditor to take ownership of the collateral if the debtor defaults is classified
as a lien.

Re-hypothecation is a practice that occurs principally in the financial markets, where a bank or other broker-dealer reuses the collateral pledged by its clients as collateral for its own borrowing or in a process call Churning.

In the US, re-hypothecation is capped at 140% but in Europe it is unlimited or up to the imagination of the borrower. What does it mean when it is capped at 140%?

Under the U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation T and SEC Rule 15c3-3, a prime broker may re-hypothecate assets to the value of 140% of the client’s liability to the prime broker. For example, assume a customer has deposited $500 in securities and has a debt deficit of $200, resulting in net equity of $300. The broker-dealer can re-hypothecate up to $280 (140 per cent. x $200) of these assets.

But in the UK, there is absolutely no statutory limit on the amount that can be re-hypothecated. In fact, brokers are free to re-hypothecate all and even more than the assets deposited by clients. Instead it is up to clients to negotiate a limit or prohibition on re-hypothecation. On the above example a UK broker could, and frequently would, re-hypothecate 100% of the pledged securities ($500).

Hypothecation is similar to a Margin Lending Account with no limit. To illustrate, our normal Margin Lending Account will only lend as much as the securities or cash that is deposited. How much to lend is up to the discretion of the Broker’s Risk Management Department. If you are having just cash then you may get leveraged up to 200%. But if you are pledging securities then the amount to be leveraged depends on the value and risk factor associated with the securities, normally less than 100%.

For simplicity, say MF Global purchased $5 million of Irish bonds. It would then use these same Irish bonds as collateral for a loan of €5 million (or thereabouts) under the repo with an obligation to repurchase the bonds at the end of the repo. When the Irish bonds matured it would be due to receive €5 million – a sum which it would use to pay off the repo at the end of the transaction. […]

READ @ http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article32087.html



By Progressivetoo

Senator Al Franken, speaking to AFL-CIO on Monday, points out the glaringly contradictory schools of thought that define the Republican economic theory:

“So the idea that those at the very top, who now are richer than anybody has ever been; we now have people who are richer than any people have ever been in the history of the world; why they can’t pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes in crazy. Those of us in the Senate who are Democrats, we talk to people who are rich. I don’t know any of them I meet who don’t say ‘I’m willing to pay higher taxes’. I know the Republicans go to these same fundraisers and hear different things from their people, and I respect that.”

Franken goes on:

“But there is no evidence that that works. In 1993, when we had something called the Deficit Reduction Package, President Clinton said, ‘let’s raise the top two levels’ [a 2% tax increase for the top earning 1% of Americans]. Every Republican voted against it, every single one. It passed by one vote in the House and one vote in the Senate. Every Republican, well not every Republican, but every Republican who said anything said this will cause a recession.”

After taking a jab at Newt Gingrich, who said this would be the “Democrat recession”, Franken continues:

“It worked. We had the longest period of uninterrupted expansion of our economy in our history when we increased the marginal rate on the people at the top. So it worked. And not only that, but it turned a record deficit into a record surplus, which he took from one Bush, a record deficit, and turned it over to the next Bush, a record surplus.”

And then it gets interesting:

“Five days after George W. Bush became president, Alan Greenspan testified to the Senate Budget Committee, and said ‘we are in danger of paying off our national debt too fast. We have a projected $5 trillion surplus going into the next ten years and we very well may pay off the debt too fast, the federal government is in danger of having too much money.’ He said, what would happen as a result of that is, we will have to take our excess money and invest it into private equities and that could disrupt the market.”

Franken continues:

“Now I don’t get their economic theories. If you cut taxes it will automatically raise revenues. They always say that, you hear it all the time. Watch Fox sometimes, ‘every time we’ve cut taxes we’ve doubled revenues.’ That’s Sean Hannity, he says it everyday, just google it.”

Here comes the contradiction:

“Then they also tell us ‘you have to cut taxes so the government doesn’t have too much money to spend’. Reagan said it in 1981, ‘you can tell your kids all you want, not to fritter away their allowance, but the only way to do it is to cut their allowance’. He said this, you can look it up. So in other words, his thing was, you’ve got to cut taxes so you cut the revenue so their not going to spend the money. So understand, their theory is based on two mutually exclusive contradictory theories.”

So does cutting taxes double revenues or decrease them? Which is it? Franken explains:

“Every time you cut taxes, you increase revenues. And every time you cut taxes, you decrease revenues. That’s fun to hear. And then Bush of course came in and said, ‘we’re in danger of having too much money, and it’s your money so let’s cut taxes, because it’s your money. And we’re running a surplus, let’s cut taxes’.

So we cut taxes because we had “too much money”, because the economy was good. But what did Bush do when the economy soured?

“Then as soon as we started losing jobs and we’re in a recession, Bush said, ‘well we’re in a recession, we need to cut taxes because the economy’s bad.’ So in addition to ‘every time you cut taxes you increase revenue’ and ‘every time you cut taxes you decrease revenue’, there was also, ‘every time the economy’s doing well you have to cut taxes’, and ‘every time the economy is doing bad you have to cut taxes.’”

Are you starting to get the point? Because Franken has more: […]

READ @ http://progressivetoo.com/2011/07/14/sen-al-franken-shreds-the-republican-economic-theory/



By Paul Canning

The conviction of a Republican operative has thrown the spotlight onto who is really committing voter fraud in the US.

Right-wing news outlets have been claiming for years that liberal groups such as ACORN are behind ‘massive’ voter fraud operations. Despite investigations by the Justice Department only showing a tiny number of proven cases (86) over the past decade, Republican legislators in twelve states have passed legislation, on the basis of supposed fraud, restricting voting.

Paul Schurick, an aide to former Maryland Republican Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., was convicted last week of attempted voter suppression.

During the 2006 gubernatorial election, Schurick tried to use robocalls to suppress the black vote. 112,000 voters were called a few hours before polls had closed in Baltimore and Prince George’s County. The recorded message told African American residents to “relax” because Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) had already won the race.

Wrote York Van Nixon III:

The conviction … reminds those old enough to remember [of] the days when African Americans were required to count the number of jelly beans in a jar before they were given a ballot.

The Washington Post’s Robert McCartney points out that this was not a minor official — Schurick was Ehrlich Jr.’s campaign manager in the 2010 race and had been his communications director for the four years that he was governor.

Will Crossly, Director of Voter Protection for the Democratic National Committee, told MSNBC’s Rev. Al Sharpton that the Schurick case was not an isolated example of Republican voter suppression:

“Oh, there’s no question, we saw other efforts in 2010″ he said. “We’ve seen the misinformation campaigns. We’ve also seen voter caging, a process in which they send out post cards to people. If you don’t return the postcard, then they question your residency and add you to a list when you show up at the polls, question whether or not you’re actually qualified to vote. That happened in 1982 in New Jersey. We’ve seen it in Louisiana, 1987. We’ve seen it 1990 in North Carolina. We prosecuted 2004 in Ohio as well as in 2008 in the state of Michigan.”

“They created these lists from people’s names who had been placed on foreclosure and challenged their residency. We went to court over that as well. and so the important thing, we want voters to know that we were watching in the past this verdict today and will continue to watch in the future for these kinds of activities.”

Democrats claim that there is a coordinated voter suppression effort behind the state laws. They point to the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council – funded in part by David and Charles Koch. Last week they held hearings in Congress. […]

READ @ http://www.care2.com/causes/whos-really-committing-voter-fraud-video.html



By Justin Elliot, Salon

There’s an increasing amount of buzz around Americans Elect, a peculiar Internet-based effort to shake up presidential politics. But dig a bit beneath the surface and there’s reason to be deeply skeptical of the endeavor.

The basic pitch of Americans Elect goes like this: We’ll go through the expensive and time-consuming process of getting ballot access in all 50 states. Then we’ll hold an online convention in June in which any registered voter can participate. Participants will nominate a presidential ticket including one Democrat and one Republican who will then enter the general election fray.

Here’s what the group is not so upfront about: It’s fueled by millions of dollars of secret money, there is a group of wealthy, well-connected board members who have control over Americans Elect’s nominating process, and the group has myriad links to Wall Street.

Americans Elect has been getting periodic bursts of support from prominent commentators.

“What Amazon.com did to books, what the blogosphere did to newspapers, what the iPod did to music, what drugstore.com did to pharmacies, Americans Elect plans to do to the two-party duopoly that has dominated American political life — remove the barriers to real competition, flatten the incumbents and let the people in,” wrote Thomas Friedman in July.

And in a Huffington Post column this week titled “2012: The year of the Independent?” Jon Huntsman bundler Lynn Forester de Rothschild hailed the group for offering a “revolutionary new way to nominate a bipartisan ticket to occupy the White House.” Rothschild is also on the group’s board.

There is little doubt that these kinds of hosannas will intensify as the election heats up. Americans Elect’s brand of third way-ism tends to be irresistible to newspaper editorial boards. So here are some facts about the group to keep in mind. […]

READ @ http://www.salon.com/2011/12/09/the_slick_schtick_of_americans_elect/singleton/



By Lila York, OpEdNews

Interview with OWS charter members Lex Rendon, Ryan Hoffman and Jesse LaGreca on current inequities, strategies for restoring democracy, and their hopes for a new nation built on equal justice for all.

I keep hoping to see news of Occupiers running for office in 2012 – one name on a ballot I could trust as incorruptible and not owned by some corporation.  No such news yet, but it is still early in the game.  The change sweeping the nation may yet find a political footing.  I asked   members of Occupy Wall Street to talk about fixing our broken system and their vision for the country.  What follows is my interview with Lex Rendon, Ryan Hoffman and Jesse LaGreca, three founding members of OWS who demonstrate a profound understanding of history, government, and the mechanisms for creating a democratic society.

LY:   What do you want government to look like?

Lex:   We want to see a government free of corporate money. And that will take a regime change. The two-party system needs to go. OWS is an experiment in a new form of democracy, based on community.

Ryan:  W e need a government that does not enforce the law selectively, based on     wealth status. Adam Smith argued against laissez-faire polices, and for big government standing up to big business.   But it is not about big versus small government – it is about good versus bad government.

Jesse:  I want the government the Founding Fathers intended us to have. But crony capitalism has created distortions, and millions now feel disenfranchised.   Who controls government – the people or the special interests?   There is a vast disconnect between Congress and the people. Military contractors want certain bills passed to fund war and we end up with an ever-expanding war budget. We need to get the money out of the process.

LY:   Lex and Ryan, you were involved in the process of writing the Declaration of the Occupation. It struck me that that document bears a striking resemblance to the Green Party platform, and to some extent the Libertarian party platform. The Greens have made important strides in Germany, and they are international, on every continent, Because of that, they have the unique ability to represent a global revolutionary spring. OWS grew up without funding, and it seems, although it has never been done, that a political campaign could be run the same way – using the internet and social media – with the follow-on that the mainstream media would at some point have to acknowledge it. So I wonder if any Occupy members are interested in running for office next year for congressional seats and seats in state legislatures. Are any of your members considering it? 

Lex:   Several people are considering it.   Some here are finding that they have a knack for politics and natural leadership abilities.   A group here wants to come to consensus on backing a [presidential] candidate, but there are many others who do not support that idea at the moment. […]

READ @ http://www.opednews.com/populum/printer_friendly.php?content=a&id=142686



By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

I almost shed tears of pride this morning when I read this hilarious passage in the Daily News:

Earlier Monday, about 300 protesters in squid costumes surged outside the offices of Goldman Sachs investment bank shouting, “We fry calamari!” and “Everyone pays their tax – everyone but Goldman, Sachs!”

I wish someone had called me – I would have loved to have attended this “Let’s Go Squidding” expedition. Folks, if you do this again, please let me know, and I promise to put some serious man-hours into designing a squid costume. As it is, I’d like to see in person some of the ones that turned out yesterday, especially that giant papier-mâché-looking thing I seem to see in the News photo. Whoever made that thing, if you’re out there, please contact me.

In all seriousness, I commend these protesters and hope no harm came of those arrests. Goldman continues to be a natural and appropriate target of protester anger and if OWS actions continue to mock the bank and make sport of them, it might help the public learn more about how these state-dependent banks operate and why they need to be reined in, if not broken up altogether.

A perfect if small case in point, courtesy of Zero Hedge.

Last week, Goldman upgraded European bank stocks, raising their rating from Underweight to Neutral. As ZH pointed out, “Goldman has just started selling European bank stocks to its clients, whom it is telling to buy European bank stocks.” Seeing this last week, ZH instantly and correctly concluded that Goldman was attempting to unload crappy assets on clients, and immediately advised its readers to interpret Goldman’s recommendation in the opposite direction.

In other words: if Goldman says a stock is good, you should immediately conclude that the bank actually thinks the stock is shit and is merely trying to unload it on suckers. Anyway, a few days later, ZH reported:

Sure enough, European bank stocks are down 3.84% today alone… […]

READ and VIDEO @ http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/occupy-wall-street-the-squidding-of-goldman-sachs-20111213