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stockholmer's Journal - Archives
Posted by stockholmer in General Discussion
Fri Nov 18th 2011, 01:16 PM
http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/10/18/wal... /

A CounterPunch Exclusive

Wall Street’s audacity to corrupt knows no bounds and the cooptation of government by the 1 per cent knows no limits. How else to explain $150 million of taxpayer money going to equip a government facility in lower Manhattan where Wall Street firms, serially charged with corruption, get to sit alongside the New York Police Department and spy on law abiding citizens.

According to newly unearthed documents, the planning for this high tech facility on lower Broadway dates back six years. In correspondence from 2005 that rests quietly in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s archives, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly promised Edward Forst, a Goldman Sachs’ Executive Vice President at the time, that the NYPD “is committed to the development and implementation of a comprehensive security plan for Lower Manhattan…One component of the plan will be a centralized coordination center that will provide space for full-time, on site representation from Goldman Sachs and other stakeholders.”

At the time, Goldman Sachs was in the process of extracting concessions from New York City just short of the Mayor’s first born in exchange for constructing its new headquarters building at 200 West Street, adjacent to the World Financial Center and in the general area of where the new World Trade Center complex would be built. According to the 2005 documents, Goldman’s deal included $1.65 billion in Liberty Bonds, up to $160 million in sales tax abatements for construction materials and tenant furnishings, and the deal-breaker requirement that a security plan that gave it a seat at the NYPD’s Coordination Center would be in place by no later than December 31, 2009.

The surveillance plan became known as the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative and the facility was eventually dubbed the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center. It operates round-the-clock. Under the imprimatur of the largest police department in the United States, 2,000 private spy cameras owned by Wall Street firms, together with approximately 1,000 more owned by the NYPD, are relaying live video feeds of people on the streets in lower Manhattan to the center. Once at the center, they can be integrated for analysis. At least 700 cameras scour the midtown area and also relay their live feeds into the downtown center where low-wage NYPD, MTA and Port Authority crime stoppers sit alongside high-wage personnel from Wall Street firms that are currently under at least 51 Federal and state corruption probes for mortgage securitization fraud and other matters. In addition to video analytics which can, for example, track a person based on the color of their hat or jacket, insiders say the NYPD either has or is working on face recognition software which could track individuals based on facial features. The center is also equipped with live feeds from license plate readers............................

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Posted by stockholmer in General Discussion
Fri Nov 18th 2011, 12:40 PM
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/1...

Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran . . .....Or as Mitt Romney put it, playing the irresponsible-lunatic game convincingly enough to become the leading Republican presidential candidate: “If we re-elect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon.”

The consensus congeals: Our next war must be with Iran. A report issued by the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, which the New York Times called “chillingly comprehensive” (though this is debatable), stoked this long-simmering agenda. It charges that Iran has conducted secret experiments on nuclear triggers and created computer models of nuclear explosions, among other things, which proves that the nation, despite its leaders’ protestations to the contrary, is pursuing . . . oh God, oh God . . . a nuclear weapons program.

War hysteria springs eternal. It certainly makes great fodder for a presidential campaign, as virtually all the GOP commander-in-chief wannabes are playing tough as nails on the issue, yanking the debate screamingly to the right. This is the way the game works. The Obama administration thus has to defend itself for eschewing, so far, a military response to the threat and pursuing only economic sanctions.

No matter the current sanctions have “applied so much pressure that the Iranian economy has ground to a halt,” according to an administration spokesman. Iran’s alleged hideous crime, of pursuing weapons only the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea are allowed to possess, requires a military pummeling of the first order. And this, then, is the national “debate”: war or war by other means. No other perspective is allowed or acknowledged. Defending sanctions, for instance, U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, a California Democrat, said: “Critics also argued that these measures will hurt the Iranian people. Quite frankly, we need to do just that.”


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Posted by stockholmer in General Discussion
Thu Nov 17th 2011, 09:04 PM
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/new-retireme...

While Italy is bickering over just how inhumane it is to raise the retirement age by 2 years in a 15 year span (which works out to a whopping 48 days per year) and will likely lead to mass riots and bloodshed in Rome before the idea is ultimately scrapped, things in America's own back yard, the country that now that the EFSF is finished will have no choice but to come to Europe's rescue via the IMF, are looking horrendous to quite horrendous. In fact when it comes to retirement, 80 is, we are sad to say, the new 65, at least according to Wells Fargo. And with average life expectancy in the US peaking at 78.1, http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?d... it means that the typical American will have to work for an additional 2 years after death to pay for not only not having any retirement savings (thank you Bernanke ZIRP and VIX>30 stock market), but to make sure Europeans have theirs. You think we jest? Nope.

From Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-16/w...

“Eighty is the new 65,” Joseph Ready, executive vice president of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust, said in an interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York before the survey was released today. “It’s a real sea change.”

About 76 percent of respondents said it’s more important to reach a specific dollar amount before retiring, compared with 20 percent who said it’s more important to retire at a given age, regardless of savings, according to the survey of adults with household incomes or assets from about $25,000 to $100,000. About 74 percent expect to work in retirement, according to the survey, with about 39 percent working because they’ll need to and 35 percent because they want to. And 25 percent of those surveyed said they expect they’ll need to work until at least age 80 because they don’t have sufficient savings.

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It's still not too late to jump on the board the Ponzient Express: “Even though there’s a lack of confidence, I don’t know that they see there’s a good alternative,” to investing in stocks, said Laurie Nordquist, executive vice president of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust. Obviously prepare to work for at least 20 or so years after death if one wishes to go long Netflix and short GMCR.

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Posted by stockholmer in September 11
Wed Nov 16th 2011, 12:20 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/20...

It's common knowledge that printing your own £10 notes at home is frowned upon by Her Majesty's police. Yet there's a small collection of companies that are authorised to create – and spend – more new money than the counterfeiters have ever been able to print. In industry jargon, these companies are called "monetary and financial institutions", but you probably know them by their street name: "banks".

The money that they create, effectively out of nothing, isn't the paper money that bears the logo of the government-owned Bank of England. It's the electronic money that flashes up on the screen when you check your balance at an ATM. Right now, this electronic money makes up over 97% of all the money in the economy. Only 3% of money is still in that old-fashioned form of real cash that can be touched.

Hard to believe, isn't it? Martin Wolf, one of the experts who sat on the independent commission on banking, put it bluntly, saying in the Financial Times that "the essence of the contemporary monetary system was the creation of money, out of nothing, by private banks' often foolish lending". http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/93c4e11e-ec39-11...

Here's how it works. When you ask the bank for the money to buy a one-bedroom box in London, the money that appears in your account isn't borrowed from some prudent grandmother's life savings. In fact, the bank simply types those numbers into your account, creating brand new money that you can now spend. As other banks do exactly the same, the amount of money in the economy grows and grows. Every new mortgage creates new money, which pushes up house prices just a little more and forces the next buyer to borrow even more from the banks. (A more detailed and fully-referenced explanation of this process is given in the book Where Does Money Come From? published by the New Economics Foundation.) http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/w...


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DEBUNKING MONEY

Damon Vrabel ran a short-term blog for around 9 months, and appeared on many televison networks and shows (including Current TV, CNBC, Press TV and Max Keiser), before becoming frustrated and shutting it down.


his blog:
Council on Renewal

http://csper.wordpress.com /

his website

http://www.csper.org /

-------------------------------------


Debunking Money Series - Parts 1 to 5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iBSBVew-3Y part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2v8yGa0m-g part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7myLruk4oG0 part 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc1-dFYTe9I part 4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTwHONqfbGQ part 5
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Renaissance 2.0 Series

http://csper.org/renaissance-20.html

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Lesson 1
Revisiting American History

Documents the conversion of the US into a monolithic financial empire as the Federal Reserve Act created a monopolized cartel of private interests, "Wall Street," that controls all money in the system.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l37RhdFGVsM

-------------------------------------------------------
Lesson 2
Revisiting Economics 101 - Debt

Discusses the power of debt-based money, embodied in the bond market, and its ability to exert total top-down power and control over the empire. Our system is not a free market.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGTBkNJ8ZWI


--------------------------------------------------

Lesson 3
Revisiting Civics 101 - Ownership

Describes how the media projects a false picture in terms of who controls the US. This lesson illustrates the real power structure, which is modeled after the corporate governance system.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2VDC8UQ3c8

------------------------------------------------
Lesson 4.1

Part 1 - The Culture of Empire

Addresses our wealth illusion, freedom illusion, exponential growth, inflation/deflation, and bankruptcies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIsheDSCBK0

-----------------------------------------------

Lesson 4.2

Part 2 - The Culture of Empire

Focuses on the issue of scale. As the debt-based empire grows, the scale of our system grows causing all sorts of problems related to the loss of meaning, community, freedom, and agency.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6ixuhwwsFc

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Lesson 4.3

Part 3 - The Culture of Empire

The velocity of money is a standard economic concept, but economists ignore the issue of human velocity caused by the system, which results in the loss of rest, joy, delight, and deeper issues

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHF5BX0sv_4

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Lesson 4.4

Part 4 - The Culture of Empire

Focuses on the rise of narcissism, increasing pathology and oppression, and how the financial empire eventually replaces government

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irmcAecUJLM

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Lesson 5.1

Part 1 - The Emerging Global Empire

Explains the strategic global transition we're in as the financial institutions take us through a global restructuring, similar to how the individual states were restructured into the financial empire in lesson 1.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCxjqPgHgpA

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Lesson 5.2

Part 2 - The Emerging Global Empire

More on the restructuring process and the single, integrated, corporate government the elite is trying to create.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkSLlICfdZg

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Lesson 6.1

Brightening the Future

Discusses the powerful monetary vortex that governs our lives day to day; explains the truth about inflation, leverage, and derivatives; and introduces the solution to the vortex.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw3i5Rzpx5A

----------------------------------------------------

Lesson 6.2

Part 2 - Brightening the Future

Discusses how the left vs. right political framework is not the place to find solutions to the vortex because it only fuels the vortex further. Explains what fascism really is.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6HuzhMUHGM

----------------------------------------------------

Lesson 6.3


Part 3 - Brightening the Future

Discusses how to fix the problem and help launch the next Enlightenment to ensure humanity moves into Renaissance 2.0 vs. the next Dark Ages.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sv3M2gCynLw

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Posted by stockholmer in General Discussion
Tue Nov 15th 2011, 07:54 PM
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n22/hugh-roberts/...

So Gaddafi is dead and Nato has fought a war in North Africa for the first time since the FLN defeated France in 1962. The Arab world’s one and only State of the Masses, the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriyya, has ended badly. In contrast to the bloodless coup of 1 September 1969 that overthrew King Idris and brought Gaddafi and his colleagues to power, the combined rebellion/civil war/ Nato bombing campaign to protect civilians has occasioned several thousand (5000? 10,000? 25,000?) deaths, many thousands of injured and hundreds of thousands of displaced persons, as well as massive damage to infrastructure. What if anything has Libya got in exchange for all the death and destruction that have been visited on it over the past seven and a half months?

The overthrow of Gaddafi & Co was far from being a straightforward revolution against tyranny, but the West’s latest military intervention can’t be debunked as being simply about oil. Presented by the National Transitional Council (NTC) and cheered on by the Western media as an integral part of the Arab Spring, and thus supposedly of a kind with the upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt, the Libyan drama is rather an addition to the list of Western or Western-backed wars against hostile, ‘defiant’, insufficiently ‘compliant’, or ‘rogue’ regimes: Afghanistan I (v. the Communist regime, 1979-92), Iraq I (1990-91), the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (over Kosovo, 1999), Afghanistan II (v. the Taliban regime, 2001) and Iraq II (2003), to which we might, with qualifications, add the military interventions in Panama (1989-90), Sierra Leone (2000) and the Ivory Coast (2011). An older series of events we might bear in mind includes the Bay of Pigs (1961), the intervention by Western mercenaries in the Congo (1964), the British-assisted palace coup in Oman in 1970 and – last but not least – three abortive plots, farmed out to David Stirling and sundry other mercenaries under the initially benevolent eye of Western intelligence services, to overthrow the Gaddafi regime between 1971 and 1973 in an episode known as the Hilton Assignment.

At the same time, the story of Libya in 2011 gives rise to several different debates. The first of these, over the pros and cons of the military intervention, has tended to eclipse the others. But numerous states in Africa and Asia and no doubt Latin America as well (Cuba and Venezuela spring to mind) may wish to consider why the Jamahiriyya, despite mending its fences with Washington and London in 2003-4 and dealing reasonably with Paris and Rome, should have proved so vulnerable to their sudden hostility. And the Libyan war should also prompt us to examine what the actions of the Western powers in relation to Africa and Asia, and the Arab world in particular, are doing to democratic principles and the idea of the rule of law.

The Afghans who rebelled against the Communist regimes of Noor Mohammed Taraki, Hafizullah Amin and the Soviet-backed Babrak Karmal, and in 1992 overthrew Mohammed Najibullah before laying waste to Kabul in protracted factional warfare, called themselves mujahedin, ‘fighters for the faith’. They were conducting a jihad against godless Marxists and saw no need to be coy about it in view of the enthusiastic media coverage as well as logistical support the West was giving them. But the Libyans who took up arms against Gaddafi’s Jamahiriyya have sedulously avoided this label, at least when near Western microphones. Religion had little to do with the upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt: Islamists were almost entirely absent from the stage in Tunisia until the fall of Ben Ali; in Egypt the Muslim Brothers weren’t instigators of the protest movement (in which Coptic Christians also took part) and made sure their support remained discreet. And so the irrelevance of Islamism to the popular revolt against despotic regimes was part of the way the Arab Spring came to be read in the West. Libyan rebels and Gaddafi loyalists alike tacitly recognised this fact.

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Case Study - the Libya invasion and US/UK/NATO support of al-Qaeda :


Lies, War, and Empire: NATO’s “Humanitarian Imperialism” in Libya (Video + Article)

http://andrewgavinmarshall.com/2011/08/26/...




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It has been said, “In war, truth is the first casualty.” Libya is no exception. From the lies that started the war, to the rebels linked to al-Qaeda, ethnically cleansing black Libyans, killing civilians, propaganda, PR firms, intelligence agents, and possible occupation; Libya is a more complex story than the fairy tale we have been sold. Reality always is.

What Were the ‘Reasons’ for ‘Intervention’?

We were sold the case for war in Libya as a “humanitarian intervention.” We were told, of course, that we “needed” to intervene in Libya because Muammar Gaddafi was killing his own people in large numbers; those people, on the same token, were presented as peaceful protesters resisting the 40-plus year reign of a brutal dictator.

In early March of 2011, news headlines in Western nations reported that Gaddafi would kill half a million people.<1> On March 18, as the UN agreed to launch air strikes on Libya, it was reported that Gaddafi had begun an assault against the rebel-held town of Benghazi. The Daily Mail reported that Gaddafi had threatened to send in his African mercenaries to crush the rebellion.<2> Reports of Libyan government tanks sitting outside Benghazi poised for an invasion were propagated in the Western media.<3> In the lead-up to the United Nations imposing a no-fly zone, reports spread rapidly through the media of Libyan government jets bombing the rebels.<4> Even in February, the New York Times – the sacred temple for the ‘stenographers of power’ we call “journalists” – reported that Gaddafi was amassing “thousands of mercenaries” to defend Tripoli and crush the rebels.<5> Italy’s Foreign Minister declared that over 1,000 people were killed in the fighting in February, citing the number as “credible.”<6> Even a top official with Human Rights Watch declared the rebels to be “peaceful protesters” who “are nice, sincere people who want a better future for Libya.”<7> The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights declared that “thousands” of people were likely killed by Gaddafi, “and called for international intervention to protect civilians.”<8> In April, reports spread near and far at lightning speed of Gaddafi’s forces using rape as a weapon of war, with the first sentence in a Daily Mail article declaring, “Children as young as eight are being raped in front of their families by Gaddafi’s forces in Libya,” with Gaddafi handing out Viagra to his troops in a planned and organized effort to promote rape.<9>

As it turned out, these claims – as posterity notes – turned out to be largely false and contrived. Doctors Without Borders and Amnesty International both investigated the claims of rape, and “have found no first-hand evidence in Libya that rapes are systematic and being used as part of war strategy,” and their investigations in Eastern Libya “have not turned up significant hard evidence supporting allegations of rapes by Qaddafi’s forces.” Yet, just as these reports came out, Hillary Clinton declared that the U.S. is “deeply concerned by reports of wide-scale rape” in Libya.<10> Even U.S. military and intelligence officials had to admit that, “there is no evidence that Libyan military forces are being given Viagra and engaging in systematic rape against women in rebel areas”; at the same time Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, “told a closed-door meeting of officials at the UN that the Libyan military is using rape as a weapon in the war with the rebels and some had been issued the anti-impotency drug. She reportedly offered no evidence to backup the claim.”<11>


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article is heavily footnoted and sourced (127 total footnotes) with hyperlinks as well


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Abdel Hakim Belhaj is a ranking al-Qaeda leader (emir of the Islamic Fighting Group of Libya)

http://www.pvtr.org/pdf/Report/RSIS_Libya.... (page 18 has interview with Belhaj)

One of Belhaj's underlings is Nasser Tailamoun, who was Osama bin Laden's driver. Qadaffi released these 2, plus dozens of other radicals, in September of 2010.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/libya-re...

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US and NATO use and support of al-Qaeda in the Libya coup d' etat

Abdel Hakim Belhaj, Tripoli's newly installed military governor (also a key official within Libya's National Transitional Council), is linked to Al Qaeda, reports Liberátion (Leftist French newspaper).

http://www.liberation.fr/monde/01012356209...


http://translate.google.se/translate?js=n&...

Belhaj is the former head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (an affiliate group of Al Qaeda). In 2003, Belhaj was arrested in Malaysia in 2003, later being interrogated by CIA in 2004 in Thailand. He was set free in Libya in 2008.


It's important to note Belhaj is supported by NATO, as Le Parisien and MSN France report:

http://news.fr.msn.com/m6-actualite/monde/...




http://translate.google.se/translate?sl=fr...




10 h 20. Un islamiste à la tête du commandement militaire de la rébellion à Tripoli. Abdelhakim Belhadj a été le chef militaire qui a préparé, avec l'aide de l'Otan, la prise du QG de Kadhafi, à Bab Al-Azizya. Al-Jazeera lui a consacré un long entretien en direct du QG à l'issue des combats. Ancien dirigeant du Groupe islamique des combattants libyens (GICL), lié à Al-Qaida, Abdelhakim Belhadj, a été arrêté en 2004 par les Américains en Asie et livré par la suite à la Libye, selon la presse arabe. Il aurait bénéficié de l'amnistie de centaines d'islamistes libyens en mars 2010 ordonnée par Saif Al-Islam, fils préféré de Kadhafi.



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Karel Abderrahim, a researcher at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques, a French think tank) said in an interview to La Croix, a Catholic French newspaper, that he is skeptical about the dissolution of Al Qaeda-Libyan Islamic Fighting Group:

http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n...



Further background:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/li...


http://www.roadstoiraq.com/2011/08/27/al-q... /


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/...




"Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited "around 25" men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are "today are on the front lines in Adjabiya".

Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters "are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists," but added that the "members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader".

His revelations came even as Idriss Deby Itno, Chad's president, said al-Qaeda had managed to pillage military arsenals in the Libyan rebel zone and acquired arms, "including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries"....................


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flashback 2 years (including Young Turks video) more US support of terrorist groups

Saudis and CIA back Khalid Sheikh Mohammad’s Jundullah in Pakistan and Iran?

http://aangirfan.blogspot.com/2008/12/saud...

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flashhback to 2007 (BBC)

Libyan Islamists 'join al-Qaeda'

Zawahri called for North African leaders to be overthrown
A Libyan Islamist group has joined al-Qaeda, according to an audio message on the internet attributed to the radical network's second-in-command.
Ayman al-Zawahri purportedly said the Fighting Islamic Group in Libya was becoming part of al-Qaeda.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7076604.stm

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flasback to 2002 (Guardian UK) French intelligence experts revealed how western intelligence agencies bankrolled a Libyan Al-Qaeda cell

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2002/no...

MI6 'halted bid to arrest bin Laden'Startling revelations by French intelligence experts back David Shayler's alleged 'fantasy'about Gadaffi plot

British intelligence paid large sums of money to an al-Qaeda cell in Libya in a doomed attempt to assassinate Colonel Gadaffi in 1996 and thwarted early attempts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice.
The latest claims of MI6 involvement with Libya's fearsome Islamic Fighting Group, which is connected to one of bin Laden's trusted lieutenants, will be embarrassing to the Government, which described similar claims by renegade MI5 officer David Shayler as 'pure fantasy'


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Posted by stockholmer in General Discussion
Sat Nov 12th 2011, 03:59 PM
From the superb 'Guns and Butter Show'

http://archives.kpfa.org/data/20111102-Wed... part 1

http://archives.kpfa.org/data/20111109-Wed... part 2


"Unpacking Mr. Global, Part One" with Catherine Austin Fitts. Derivatives exposure of Bank of America and the FDIC; corruption at the Department of Housing and Urban Development; prosecution of Hamilton Securities; Community Wizard; 9/11; collateral fraud

"Unpacking Mr. Global, Part Two" with Catherine Austin Fitts. Collateral fraud in the housing market; the black budget; financing of a breakaway civilization; privatization of advanced technology; $12 trillion leveraged buyout of the country; a financial coup d'etat; debt used to re-engineer governance systems; Uruguay round of GATT; $4 trillion missing from the federal government; pension funds the biggest financier of federal government; blackmail of congress; private defense contractor control of databases.

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Additional resources:

http://dunwalke.com/contents.htm

Dillon Read & Co. Inc. : the Aristocracy of Stock Profits

Catherine Austin Fitts is president of Solari, Inc. and the managing member of Solari Investment Advisory Services, LLC and Sea Lane Advisory, LLC. She previously served as managing director and member of the board of directors of the Wall Street investment bank Dillon, Read & Co., Inc. She also served as Assistant Secretary of Housing/Federal Housing Commissioner at HUD in the first Bush Administration, and was the president and founder of The Hamilton Securities Group, Inc., a broker-dealer/investment bank and software developer. Catherine has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from the Wharton School, and studied Chinese at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

------------------------------------------

http://solari.com/blog/dick-cheneys-fluffe... /

Dick Cheney’s Fluffernutter

Sinclair Lewis once said “When fascism comes to American it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Dick Cheney’s new autobiography goes light on the religion, and doubles up on the flag, apple pie, kids, grandkids and down home homilies. It is the literary equivalent of a fluffernutter – an amazing amount of goo poured between slices of white bread.

I read Cheney’s book In My Time because I wanted to see how he could explain his political history inside the constricting boundaries of the official reality. He did – he came up with a complete autobiography that tiptoes through his entire chronology. As a creative venture, it is a formidable achievement. There is, however, little reason to classify it as non-fiction.

I enjoyed numerous tidbits. For personal reasons, I am always interested to learn more about Cheney and Rumsfeld during the Ford Administration engineering Rumsfeld to become the youngest Secretary of Defense, replaced by Cheney as White House Chief of Staff, and engineering George H. W. Bush in to run the CIA to help shut down the Church Commission and do damage control regarding its revelations.

Then, of course, there is one twist and turn of dirtball after another. Cheney always blames the victim. Paul O’Neill leaves Treasury because he is not effective, rather than his efforts to illuminate the actual level of debt and contingent liabilities was bad news for budgeting aggressive tax cuts and military spending plans or his insistence on providing a more realistic estimate of what the Iraq War would cost threatened support for the global empire. Cheney’s rewrite of his relationship with Colin Powell and Powell’s presentation at the United Nations has had Powell’s former chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson offering to testify if Cheney stands trial. The failure of the Iraqi infrastructure can be blamed on the Iraqi people – let’s not mention the ample documentation that the failure was engineered from the White House.

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http://solari.com/blog/financial-coup-d%e2... /

Financial Coup d’Etat

In the fall of 2001 I attended a private investment conference in London to give a paper, The Myth of the Rule of Law or How the Money Works: The Destruction of Hamilton Securities Group.

The presentation documented my experience with a Washington-Wall Street partnership that had:
•Engineered a fraudulent housing and debt bubble;
•Illegally shifted vast amounts of capital out of the U.S.;
•Used “privitization” as a form of piracy – a pretext to move government assets to private investors at below-market prices and then shift private liabilities back to government at no cost to the private liability holder.

Other presenters at the conference included distinguished reporters covering privatization in Eastern Europe and Russia. As the portraits of British ancestors stared down upon us, we listened to story after story of global privatization throughout the 1990s in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Slowly, as the pieces fit together, we shared a horrifying epiphany: the banks, corporations and investors acting in each global region were the exact same players. They were a relatively small group that reappeared again and again in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Asia accompanied by the same well-known accounting firms and law firms.

Clearly, there was a global financial coup d’etat underway.

snip

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http://solari.com/articles/popsicle_index /

The Popsicle Index........ Who makes it go up? Who makes it go down?

To help people understand how the global financial system affects their well being, I came up with a very simple quality-of-life index based on one question: what percentage of the people in your place believe that a child can leave their home, go to the nearest place to buy a popsicle or other snack, and return home alone safely?
Your answer gives you the Popsicle Index or Solari Index of your place.

The Popsicle Index is the % of people who believe a child can leave their home, go to the nearest place to buy a popsicle or snack, and come home alone safely. For example, if you feel that 50% of your neighbors believe a child in your neighborhood would be safe, then your Popsicle Index is 50%. The Popsicle Index is based on gut level feelings of the people who have intimate knowledge of a place, rather than facts and figures.

The purpose of the Popsicle Index is to inspire continuous conversation and learning in every neighborhood and village on earth about what it means to feel safe and secure where you live and work, to be physically free to wander and roam without concern and to identify and shift the people and things that contribute or drain that feeling.

Maybe a passersby can be trusted to leave my child alone, but she drives like a maniac through our neighborhood. Maybe a child is physically safe going to the local store, but his parents are concerned about the chemicals and unknown substances in snacks these days, or the influence of older kids hanging around the store. Maybe the family is too poor for the child to have the money to go buy a treat. Maybe she will be perfectly safe going to the market alone, but die of a preventable disease for lack of basic health care. Or maybe there is no market nearby, or any jobs either, so parents commute to someone else's neighborhood to work and shop and bank.

snip

---------------------------------------------------

http://solari.com/articles/databeast

The Data Beast

As the corruption spread throughout our society in the 1990's, I was forced by circumstance to estimate how the operations of systemic physical and financial violence in our society work. How is so much financial fraud engineered? How was it millions of Americans went along with a housing and debt bubble that bankrupted us? What about the distribution of narcotics into every community in America in ways that are invisible to most people? How is $500 billion - $1 trillion of the proceeds of mortgage and financial fraud, drug sales and other illegal businesses laundered through the US financial system with rarely a peep from the network news?

In the drugging and bankrupting of America, I kept coming back to the importance of building proprietary or secret databases and information systems to support your operations. Such operations are quite expensive, which is part of the beauty of having governments pay private companies and banks to collect and maintain such data, which can then be secretly aggregated and applied. What looks like many different government agencies with diverse purposes, is really a few large defense contractors and banks building and maintaining vast databases that are easily aggregated in powerful ways.


snip

-----------------------------------------------



Remarkable information, presented on a multiplicity of subjects that goes a long way towards explaining the current paradigms we all suffer under.

Read entry | Discuss (6 comments)
Posted by stockholmer in September 11
Sat Nov 12th 2011, 03:59 PM
From the superb 'Guns and Butter Show'

http://archives.kpfa.org/data/20111102-Wed... part 1

http://archives.kpfa.org/data/20111109-Wed... part 2


"Unpacking Mr. Global, Part One" with Catherine Austin Fitts. Derivatives exposure of Bank of America and the FDIC; corruption at the Department of Housing and Urban Development; prosecution of Hamilton Securities; Community Wizard; 9/11; collateral fraud

"Unpacking Mr. Global, Part Two" with Catherine Austin Fitts. Collateral fraud in the housing market; the black budget; financing of a breakaway civilization; privatization of advanced technology; $12 trillion leveraged buyout of the country; a financial coup d'etat; debt used to re-engineer governance systems; Uruguay round of GATT; $4 trillion missing from the federal government; pension funds the biggest financier of federal government; blackmail of congress; private defense contractor control of databases.

-----------------------------------------
Additional resources:

http://dunwalke.com/contents.htm

Dillon Read & Co. Inc. : the Aristocracy of Stock Profits

Catherine Austin Fitts is president of Solari, Inc. and the managing member of Solari Investment Advisory Services, LLC and Sea Lane Advisory, LLC. She previously served as managing director and member of the board of directors of the Wall Street investment bank Dillon, Read & Co., Inc. She also served as Assistant Secretary of Housing/Federal Housing Commissioner at HUD in the first Bush Administration, and was the president and founder of The Hamilton Securities Group, Inc., a broker-dealer/investment bank and software developer. Catherine has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from the Wharton School, and studied Chinese at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

------------------------------------------

http://solari.com/blog/dick-cheneys-fluffe... /

Dick Cheney’s Fluffernutter

Sinclair Lewis once said “When fascism comes to American it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Dick Cheney’s new autobiography goes light on the religion, and doubles up on the flag, apple pie, kids, grandkids and down home homilies. It is the literary equivalent of a fluffernutter – an amazing amount of goo poured between slices of white bread.

I read Cheney’s book In My Time because I wanted to see how he could explain his political history inside the constricting boundaries of the official reality. He did – he came up with a complete autobiography that tiptoes through his entire chronology. As a creative venture, it is a formidable achievement. There is, however, little reason to classify it as non-fiction.

I enjoyed numerous tidbits. For personal reasons, I am always interested to learn more about Cheney and Rumsfeld during the Ford Administration engineering Rumsfeld to become the youngest Secretary of Defense, replaced by Cheney as White House Chief of Staff, and engineering George H. W. Bush in to run the CIA to help shut down the Church Commission and do damage control regarding its revelations.

Then, of course, there is one twist and turn of dirtball after another. Cheney always blames the victim. Paul O’Neill leaves Treasury because he is not effective, rather than his efforts to illuminate the actual level of debt and contingent liabilities was bad news for budgeting aggressive tax cuts and military spending plans or his insistence on providing a more realistic estimate of what the Iraq War would cost threatened support for the global empire. Cheney’s rewrite of his relationship with Colin Powell and Powell’s presentation at the United Nations has had Powell’s former chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson offering to testify if Cheney stands trial. The failure of the Iraqi infrastructure can be blamed on the Iraqi people – let’s not mention the ample documentation that the failure was engineered from the White House.

snip
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://solari.com/blog/financial-coup-d%e2... /

Financial Coup d’Etat

In the fall of 2001 I attended a private investment conference in London to give a paper, The Myth of the Rule of Law or How the Money Works: The Destruction of Hamilton Securities Group.

The presentation documented my experience with a Washington-Wall Street partnership that had:
•Engineered a fraudulent housing and debt bubble;
•Illegally shifted vast amounts of capital out of the U.S.;
•Used “privitization” as a form of piracy – a pretext to move government assets to private investors at below-market prices and then shift private liabilities back to government at no cost to the private liability holder.

Other presenters at the conference included distinguished reporters covering privatization in Eastern Europe and Russia. As the portraits of British ancestors stared down upon us, we listened to story after story of global privatization throughout the 1990s in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Slowly, as the pieces fit together, we shared a horrifying epiphany: the banks, corporations and investors acting in each global region were the exact same players. They were a relatively small group that reappeared again and again in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Asia accompanied by the same well-known accounting firms and law firms.

Clearly, there was a global financial coup d’etat underway.

snip

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://solari.com/articles/popsicle_index /

The Popsicle Index........ Who makes it go up? Who makes it go down?

To help people understand how the global financial system affects their well being, I came up with a very simple quality-of-life index based on one question: what percentage of the people in your place believe that a child can leave their home, go to the nearest place to buy a popsicle or other snack, and return home alone safely?
Your answer gives you the Popsicle Index or Solari Index of your place.

The Popsicle Index is the % of people who believe a child can leave their home, go to the nearest place to buy a popsicle or snack, and come home alone safely. For example, if you feel that 50% of your neighbors believe a child in your neighborhood would be safe, then your Popsicle Index is 50%. The Popsicle Index is based on gut level feelings of the people who have intimate knowledge of a place, rather than facts and figures.

The purpose of the Popsicle Index is to inspire continuous conversation and learning in every neighborhood and village on earth about what it means to feel safe and secure where you live and work, to be physically free to wander and roam without concern and to identify and shift the people and things that contribute or drain that feeling.

Maybe a passersby can be trusted to leave my child alone, but she drives like a maniac through our neighborhood. Maybe a child is physically safe going to the local store, but his parents are concerned about the chemicals and unknown substances in snacks these days, or the influence of older kids hanging around the store. Maybe the family is too poor for the child to have the money to go buy a treat. Maybe she will be perfectly safe going to the market alone, but die of a preventable disease for lack of basic health care. Or maybe there is no market nearby, or any jobs either, so parents commute to someone else's neighborhood to work and shop and bank.

snip

---------------------------------------------------

http://solari.com/articles/databeast

The Data Beast

As the corruption spread throughout our society in the 1990's, I was forced by circumstance to estimate how the operations of systemic physical and financial violence in our society work. How is so much financial fraud engineered? How was it millions of Americans went along with a housing and debt bubble that bankrupted us? What about the distribution of narcotics into every community in America in ways that are invisible to most people? How is $500 billion - $1 trillion of the proceeds of mortgage and financial fraud, drug sales and other illegal businesses laundered through the US financial system with rarely a peep from the network news?

In the drugging and bankrupting of America, I kept coming back to the importance of building proprietary or secret databases and information systems to support your operations. Such operations are quite expensive, which is part of the beauty of having governments pay private companies and banks to collect and maintain such data, which can then be secretly aggregated and applied. What looks like many different government agencies with diverse purposes, is really a few large defense contractors and banks building and maintaining vast databases that are easily aggregated in powerful ways.


snip

-----------------------------------------------



Remarkable information, presented on a multiplicity of subjects that goes a long way towards explaining the current paradigms we all suffer under.

Read entry | Discuss (8 comments)
Posted by stockholmer in General Discussion
Sat Nov 12th 2011, 12:19 AM
http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/it%E2...

......they may not have to pay them back, even when they are caught. The customers will be expected to 'take one for the team,' and for the good of the system. Confidence and all that. “This means they can take segregated funds and leverage them to kingdom come. It means nothing is safe.” If you have a commodity account with Wall Street, they may gamble with your money, with your assets, the rule on segregated accounts be damned. If they lose the money you might be reimbursed, or not. The losses may have to be 'socialized' and haircuts received.

This is most likely a distortion of the principle known as 'rehypothecation' in which a broker can use customer positions and holdings as collateral pledged for a margin loan for the purpose of securing funding from a third party to service that loan. The principle at play here may be closer to a type of droit du seigneur, in which any assets you have posted at a futures brokerage may be used at will by the broker for their own purposes without regard to any customer obligations. It depends on the extent to which MF took customer assets and leveraged them.

In a way it is just making the unbalanced relationship between Wall Street and its customers official. It means that customers are bearing hidden counterparty risks on assets to which they thought they had a clear title, such as Treasuries, and foreign currencies, and warehouse receipts for precious metals.

It means that brokers can go beyond the mere provision of funding for loss, and use customer accounts to fund their own leveraged speculation under exemptions duly granted by their 'regulators.'


snip

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
related



MF Global May Have Used Customer Funds In The Losing $6.3 Billion Trade Without Informing Clients

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlenzner/... /

After an intense day of investigation, I have just discovered that a CFTC rule(1.29) allowed Jon Corzine’s MF Global to use the margin and cash in customers heretofore segregated accounts to amass a risky $6.3 billion investment in European sovereign debt that backfired. Nor did Corzine have the obligation to inform any of these customers he was gambling with their money. Or that he was intending to keep all the profits for himself and his troubled firm. Nothing for the customers.

The language of Rule1.29 allows “The investment of customer funds in instruments described in 1.29 shall not prevent the futures commission merchant (MF Global) or clearing organization so investing such funds and retaining as its own any increment or interest resulting therefrom.” Increment refers to any trading profits or gains.

The criminal division of the Justice Department in New York — as well as the SEC and the CFTC and members of Congress– are investigating whether any laws were violated and if so, whether any criminal charges can be brought. As of 3pm today, there has been no sign of the missing $633 million. My sources believe it was probably grabbed by the institutions that made the margin calls on MF Global as the European bonds sank in value.

This shocking loophole, which is available to all commodity traders, whether giant ones like Goldman Sachs or members of commodity exchanges, means that huge risks are being taken with money that does not belong to the trading firms– without the customers having any idea of the danger they are in. As Andy Abraham, a futures trader in Israel put it to me today; “this means they can take segregated funds and leverage them to kingdom come. It means nothing is safe.”


snip



Read entry | Discuss (27 comments)
Posted by stockholmer in General Discussion
Tue Nov 08th 2011, 09:39 AM
http://current.com/1k56ikc

Wasting no time after its success in getting the administration to oppose Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, and still celebrating the UNESCO funding cutoff, AIPAC has returned to its number one priority: Pushing for war with Iran. The Israelis have, of course, played their own part in the big show. In the past few weeks, Israel has been sending out signals http://mediamattersaction.us1.list-manage1... that it is getting ready to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities (and embroil the United States in its most calamitous Middle East war yet).

snip

The House Foreign Affairs Committee hurriedly convened this week to consider a new "crippling sanctions" bill http://mediamattersaction.us1.list-manage.... that seems less designed to deter an Iranian nuclear weapon than to lay the groundwork for war. The clearest evidence that war is the intention of the bill's supporters comes in Section 601:

(c) RESTRICTION ON CONTACT - No person employed with the United States Government may contact in an official or unofficial capacity any person that -
(1) is an agent, instrumentality, or official of, is affiliated with, or is serving as a representative of the Government of Iran; and
(2) presents a threat to the United States or is affiliated with terrorist organisations.
(d) WAIVER - The president may waive the requirements of subsection (c) if the president determines and so reports to the appropriate congressional committees 15 days prior to the exercise of waiver authority that failure to exercise such waiver authority would pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the vital national security interests of the United States.

So what does this mean? It means that neither the president, the secretary of state, nor any US diplomat or emissary may engage in negotiations or diplomacy of any kind unless the president convinces the "appropriate congressional committees" (most significantly, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which is an AIPAC fiefdom) that not permitting the contacts would pose an "extraordinary threat to the vital national security interests of the United States".


snip


Read entry | Discuss (8 comments)
Posted by stockholmer in General Discussion
Tue Nov 08th 2011, 08:45 AM
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archiv...


During the Bush years, fighting excessive American militarism and executive power were priorities on the left. Now they're glossed over.
During Election 2008, Ezra Klein and I lived in the same city, Washington, D.C., where people spilled into the streets when the networks declared Barack Obama the victor. "America has forgotten," Klein wrote on November 4, 2008. "September 11 has not disappeared from our memory, of course, but we have recovered from the blow. We have forgotten how it felt to be afraid, and so, yesterday, we forgot to vote our fears. And in doing, we have elected a black president with a Muslim name. Fear again proved but a temporary detour from our history's long arc toward justice."

I am not a progressive. I don't think that the federal government is suited to managing the health-care sector from the top down, or that public employee unions should be strengthened, or that green jobs are a strategy. But in 2008, I celebrated the end of the Bush Administration and nodded along to Klein's assessment, because I witnessed what I wouldn't have thought was possible: a black Democrat rising to the presidency while unapologetically affirming that the Iraq War was a mistake; that the choice between safety from terrorists and civil liberties was a false one; that spying on Americans without a warrant was unconstitutional; that indefinite detention without charges was illegal; that it made no sense to incarcerate so many people for possessing drugs. I knew Obama would implement some domestic policies with which I disagreed, but I felt good about his victory, if only because he affirmed that an American president couldn't launch a war without Congressional permission unless we were attacked; that transparency was vital even in the executive branch; that whistleblowers were heroes.

If President Obama wins in 2012, there won't be celebrations on the streets. Should he deliver a Second Inaugural Address, it won't be possible to walk the boulevards of Washington, D.C., in the days before and after the event and witness smiles on the faces of almost everyone. The economic climate is brutal. Obama's popularity is waning. Nate Silver, America's political data geek of record, says his odds of reelection are slightly less than even. Everywhere political observers are wrestling with the question, "Is the Obama presidency a failed one?" And in this radically different environment, Klein is again writing about the man, this time in the guise of a New York Review of Books piece http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2... about Ron Suskind's "Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President." http://www.amazon.com/Confidence-Men-Washi...

As yet, I haven't finished the book, nor do I have a stake in the disagreement between Suskind and Klein. For the sake of argument, let's grant Klein all of his points: that Obama should be judged by his performance rather than the personalities in his administration, that given the unemployment rate he was bound to be unpopular, that no president looks good in the midst of an economic crisis, that judging his performance requires an assessment of what was politically possible, and that the Republican Party has thwarted Obama on many fronts, for cynical reasons as often as substantive political or ideological ones.

snip
Read entry | Discuss (3 comments)
Posted by stockholmer in General Discussion
Tue Nov 08th 2011, 12:34 AM
http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article31411...

The cradle of democracy is under attack. The Inherent Autonomy of the human spirit is at stake. What was won at the Battle of Thermopylae, was lost in the banksters board rooms that control the EU. The fluidity of this definitive game of chicken, poses the beheading of the rooster and the scorching of all the hens. This journey into Land of the Lotus Eaters, not only needs to blind Polyphemus, but must destroy his New World Order father, Poseidon. The designed destruction of democratic authority is meant to eliminate any referendum on the EU despotism. The phony debt instruments caused the Greek default, that will soon spread the planetary misery, on the rest of us. Western civilization’s birth, owes homage to the Greek principle of individual autonomy. Its demise is a product of the inherent betrayal of humanity by the forces of financial exploitation, that exemplifies 1 Timothy 6:10, For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.

Prime Minister George Papandreou’s gambit calling for a Greek referendum on the draconian EU extortion is proof positive that state sovereignty is dead. It failed because the EU cabal would not allow self-determination. Servicing the debt is the supreme dictate. The analogy of the arrogant and obnoxious Antinous wooing Penelope as a right of entitlement, applies. The righteous outrage of Odysseus’ arrow shot through the throat of all the EU suitors, also applies. Today’s script does not fit the noble triumphs of Homer’s epic. The banksters are more powerful than the intervention of Athena.

How quickly the defiant Greeks were put back in line. The video Greece To Let The People Vote On EU Bailout http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=playe... turned into Greek Government Teeters, Lawmakers Urge PM to Resign. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=playe...

The Globe and Mail reports, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/... Greece backs off referendum, dealing blow to euro-zone equality, "In an effort to avoid a financial catastrophe, Europe’s leaders persuaded Athens late Thursday to back away from a referendum, but the result, which involved threats to expel Greece from the euro zone, has destroyed any sense of democratic solidarity uniting them."


snip

Read entry | Discuss (2 comments)
Posted by stockholmer in General Discussion
Mon Nov 07th 2011, 11:27 PM
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/wikileaks-ex...

The following cable from US ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy http://germany.usembassy.gov/about/ambassa... / ("Ambassador Murphy spent 23 years at Goldman Sachs and held a variety of senior positions, including in Frankfurt, New York and Hong Kong, before becoming a Senior Director of the firm in 2003, a position he held until his retirement in 2006") "CONFIDENTIAL: 10BERLIN181" http://wikileaks.org/cable/2010/02/10BERLI... tells us all we need to know about what has been really happening behind the smooth, calm and collected German facade vis-a-vis not only Greece, but all of Europe, and what the next steps are: "A EUROZONE CHAPTER 11: DB Chief Economist Thomas Mayer told Ambassador Murphy he was pessimistic Greece would take the difficult steps needed to put its house in order. A worst case scenario, says Mayer, could be that Germany pulls out of the Eurozone altogether in 20 years time. In 1990, Germany's Constitutional Court ruled that the country could withdraw from the Euro if: 1) the currency union became an "inflationary zone," or 2) the German taxpayer became the Eurozone's "de facto bailout provider." Mayer proposes a "Chapter 11 for Eurozone countries," which would place troubled members under economic supervision until they put their house in order. Unfortunately, there is no serious discussion of this underway, he lamented." This was In February 2010. The discussion has since commenced.

Full cable, http://wikileaks.org/cable/2010/02/10BERLI... created on February 12, 2010, presented with no comments, and just the occasional highlight, as all of what Germany is really saying has already been said by us as well.


snip

Classified By: ECONOMIC COUNSELOR INGRID KOLLIST, REASONS: 1.4 (B) AND
(D)

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: Chancellor Angela Merkel's government welcomed the decision taken at the EU's February 11 informal summit in Brussels not to provide financial assistance, for the moment, to cash-strapped Greece. German officials believe a bailout is not needed at this time, and that extending a lifeline to Greece would have carried too many risks. One major fear in Germany is that "saving" Greece would lead to other needy Eurozone members expecting the same treatment. Another concern is that extending an explicit guarantee for Greece could weigh on Germany's own good standing in the markets, ultimately raising its borrowing costs. While German government officials do not totally rule out an IMF program for Greece if push came to shove, most consider this eventuality highly unlikely, especially in light of the European Central Bank's strong opposition. In fact, the German government, the ECB and private German economists are downplaying the seriousness of Greece's predicament and its potential impact on stability of the Euro. They agree, however, that the crisis could have longer-term consequences for EU institutions and how they interact with member states that stray off course. END

SUMMARY...................


snip
Read entry | Discuss (0 comments)
Posted by stockholmer in General Discussion
Sat Nov 05th 2011, 07:52 PM
19 Statistics About The Poor That Will Absolutely Astound You

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archive...


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a higher percentage of Americans is living in extreme poverty than they have ever measured before. In 2010, we were told that the economy was recovering, but the truth is that the number of the "very poor" soared to heights never seen previously. Back in 1993 and back in 2009, the rate of extreme poverty was just over 6 percent, and that represented the worst numbers on record. But in 2010, the rate of extreme poverty hit a whopping 6.7 percent. That means that one out of every 15 Americans is now considered to be "very poor". For many people, this is all very confusing because their guts are telling them that things are getting worse and yet the mainstream media keeps telling them that everything is just fine. Hopefully this article will help people realize that the plight of the poorest of the poor continues to deteriorate all across the United States. In addition, hopefully this article will inspire many of you to lend a hand to those that are truly in need.

Tonight, there are more than 20 million Americans that are living in extreme poverty. This number increases a little bit more every single day. The following statistics that were mentioned in an article in The Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-20... should be very sobering for all of us....

About 20.5 million Americans, or 6.7 percent of the U.S. population, make up the poorest poor, defined as those at 50 per cent or less of the official poverty level. Those living in deep poverty represent nearly half of the 46.2 million people scraping by below the poverty line. In 2010, the poorest poor meant an income of $5,570 or less for an individual and $11,157 for a family of four. That 6.7 percent share is the highest in the 35 years that the Census Bureau has maintained such records, surpassing previous highs in 2009 and 1993 of just over 6 percent.

Sadly, the wealthy and the poor are being increasingly segregated all over the nation. In some areas of the U.S. you would never even know that the economy was having trouble, and other areas resemble third world hellholes. http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archive... In most U.S. cities today, there are the "good neighborhoods" and there are the "bad neighborhoods". According to a recent Bloomberg article, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-03/r... the "very poor" are increasingly being pushed into these "bad neighborhoods"....

snip
Read entry | Discuss (36 comments)
Posted by stockholmer in General Discussion
Sat Nov 05th 2011, 03:17 AM
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/cme-goes-mar...

The most important news announcement of the day was not anything to came out of Cannes (as nothing did), nor from Greece (the merry go round farce there continues unabated). No, it was a brief paragraph distributed by the CME long after everyone had gone home, and was already on their 3rd drink. It is critical, because not only is this announcement a direct consequence of what happened with MF Global several days ago, but because also it confirms one of our biggest concerns: systemic liquidity is non-existanet. We confirmed interbank liquidity in Europe was at an all time low earlier today http://www.zerohedge.com/news/behind-scene... , and can only assume the same is true for US banks. But what is very disturbing is that this is just as true at the exchange level, where it appears the aftermath of the MF collapse is just now being felt. What exactly was the announcement. Unless we are completely reading it incorrectly, it is nothing short of a margin call for tens if not hundreds of billions worth of product. Because as of close of business on November 4, today, the CME just made the maintenance margin, traditionally about 26% lower than the initial margin for specs, equal. For everything.

Which means that by close of business Monday, millions of options and futures holders will be forced to deposit billions in additional capital to the CME just so they are not found to be margin deficient, and thus receive a margin call. Naturally, since it is very unlikely that this incremental amount of liquidity can be easily procured in one business day, we anticipate the issuance of hundreds of thousands of margin calls Monday, followed by forced liquidations of margin accounts across America... and the world. Just like when Lehman blew up, it took 5 days for Money Markets to break. Is this unprecedented elimination in the distinction between initial and maintenance margin the post-MF equivalent of the first domino to fall this time around?

From the CME (source): http://www.cmegroup.com/tools-information/...



And for those asking, here is a complete breakdown of all CME products and associated margins:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/71646141/Full-CM...

Read entry | Discuss (17 comments)
Posted by stockholmer in General Discussion
Fri Nov 04th 2011, 05:28 PM
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/ed2011110...

A report published at 8:30 pm ET by the Japan Times calls on Tepco and the Japan gov’t to “find out true reactor conditions” at Fukushima. Tepco announced Wednesday that, according to the Times, “There is the possibility that criticality, a sustained nuclear chain reaction, had occurred ‘temporarily’ and ‘locally’ in the No. 2 reactor.” During it’s testing, Tepco has detected xenon-133 and -135, “Products of uranium or plutonium fission.”

The half life of xenon-135 is about 9 hours, therefore, “Criticality is very likely to have occurred just before the gases were analyzed,” reports the Times. “Clearly the reactor has not yet been stabilized,” and, according to the Times, “The fact that Tepco cannot deny the possibility of criticality irrespective of its scale is a grave situation.”

And the article notes, “Conditions are similar in the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 reactors.” Now is the time to get “serious” writes The Times:

“Tepco should make serious efforts to accurately grasp the conditions of nuclear fuel inside the reactors.” “Tepco and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency should take a serious view of the fact that radioactive xenon pointing to criticality was detected from the No. 2 reactor. What happened in it can happen in the Nos. 1 and 3 reactors.”


snip

---------------------------------------------------------------------------


CNN: Tepco’s claim of ‘spontaneous’ fission is an “improbable phenomenon” says nuke professor — Strange that such a “rare” event was detected almost immediately after sampling began?

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/03/world/as... /


“A rare type of radioactive decay, not a renewed chain reaction, appears to have produced the radioactive xenon gas,” reports CNN.

According to the report, on Thursday Tepco said “it believed the gases were produced by ‘spontaneous fission’ of uranium, since the shorter-lived isotope persisted after the use of boric acid”.

Gary Was, a nuclear engineering professor at the University of Michigan, told CNN that ‘spontaneous’ fission occurs when an element like uranium splits on its own, though it’s an “improbable phenomenon”.

Professor Was noted that the detection of xenon happened less than a week after Japan began taking new gas samples from the reactors. It is highly coincidental that so soon after the sampling began an “improbable phenomenon” like ‘spontaneous’ fission would occur.


-------------------------------------------------------------------

Unfortunately, no report has mentioned the massive increase in Krypton-85 http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/11/reactor... in the same location as the small rise in xenon. http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/...

Krypton-85 is used to detect plutonium fission. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/artic...


----------------------

another day, another dose
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