Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chinese anger at sale of Qing Dynasty seal

China has reacted angrily to the sale of an 18th century Qing Dynasty seal by Sotheby's in London.

An Imperial Khotan-Green Jade Seal is pictured at Sothebys auction house in London

The green jade seal, belonging to the emperor Qian Long (1736-1795) fetched £3.6 million, six times its estimate, at the auction on Wednesday following frantic bidding by eight competing collectors.

News of the sale was greeted with anger on the Chinese internet, where the country's growing nationalism frequently finds its voice.

"Bandits have seized our treasures and are now selling them off at auction for ridiculous profits. How can we tolerate such behaviour?" wrote one user of the Sohu Internet portal. "The Chinese government must get fully involved in this matter." The seal, lot 136, was the prize object in a 261-lot sale which raised a total of £8.3m.

Although Sotheby's said it was 'not aware of any issue' with the seal's provenance – it was acquired in Paris in the 1970s by a European collector according to the catalogue notes – the auction revived memories of a controversial sale in March this year.

In that case, the sale in Paris of two bronze heads looted during the sacking of the Summer Palace in 1860, caused indignation across China, leading to diplomatic interventions by the Chinese government to try and halt the sale.

Last month China's announced that it was mounting a global expedition to attempt to document lost treasures from the Summer Palace, including those held in the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum.

Sections of China's state media urged caution when responding to the sale, pointing out that many lost relics were not looted, but 'legitimately' sold out of China for profit by Qing Dynasty officials.

However following Wednesday's sale the State Administration of Cultural Heritages responded to popular pressure by again voicing opposition to the auction of looted cultural relics, and urging auction houses to comply with the spirit of relevant international treaties and professional ethics.

It also promised to expand support for Chinese organisation charged with studying, collecting and cataloguing China's lost cultural heritage which was widely disseminated around the world during the colonial era.

A study by UNESCO, the United Nations cultural arm, estimated that there were 1.67m Chinese relics in 200 museums around the world, and up to ten times that number in private collections.

Why is it we have Finite Resources for Health Care but Unlimited Money for War?

Following a statement on the Floor of the House of Representative, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement:

“Why is it we have finite resources for health care but unlimited money for war?

“The inequities in our economy are piling up: trillions for war, trillions for Wall Street and tens of billions for the insurance companies. Banks and other corporations are sitting on piles of cash of taxpayer’s money while firing workers, cutting pay and denying small businesses money to survive.

“People are losing their homes, their jobs, their health, their investments, their retirement security; yet there is unlimited money for war, Wall Street and insurance companies, but very little money for jobs on Main Street.

“Unlimited money to blow up things in Iraq and Afghanistan, and relatively little money to build things in the US.

“The Administration may soon bring to Congress a request for an additional $50 billion for war. I can tell you that a Democratic version of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is no more acceptable than a Republican version of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Trillions for war and Wall Street, billions for insurance companies... When we were promised change, we weren’t thinking that we give a dollar and get back two cents.”


Greg Gordon, McClatchy News Investigative reporter, reveals how Goldman Sachs didn't tell buyers of 40 Billion in toxic Mortgage securities that it was secretly betting the other way ~ standard fare for a Wall Street crime syndicate that is about to become exposed:

As I have said for some time, it's an Oligarchy, folks ~ the tyranny of the elites with government and Wall Street ruled by the powerful few ~ and the Obama administration is part of it.

In other words, Wall Street is the only game in town and it's crooked ! Ben Bernanke is a stooge for the Oligarchy along with former NY Fed chief and present Sec of the Treasury ~ Tim Geithner.

Here is Greg Gordon's, McClatchy News, detailed article on how Goldman Sach's scammed the system by selling toxic mortgages that they knew were not being reviewed ~ and then secretly bet the other way with high flying derivatives.

But better yet listen to the highly respected Gerald Celente, who pulls no punches, announce that the political system is failing the America people and that the Banks ( Oligarchy ) are robbing us blind " Worldwide we are being set up for the greatest Depression and here, in the United States, it will be called Obamageddon."

Here is Celente's must see video interview ~
Gerald Celente on King World News | Part 1/4;feature=player_embedded

If you're not outraged, you're on life support. As Celente predicts ~ watch for the formation of an angry Progressive / Libertarian third party before the mid-term elections in 2010 and I'll be an active participant.


Allen L Roland

Freelance Online columnist Allen L Roland is available for comments, interviews and speaking engagements (

Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on

We Rescued The Top Of The System, Left The Bottom To Fend For Itself (VIDEO)

Elizabeth Warren, the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel charged with monitoring the bank bailout, was on Morning Joe Friday morning to dig in to the newly released unemployment report. The numbers are bleak -- unemployment has surpassed 10 percent for the first time since 1983 -- and Warren is not surprised.

"Let's face it," Warren said, "This is sort of how we went about the rescue -- we rescued at the top and we left the bottom to kind of fend for itself -- and that's showing up in the unemployment numbers."

Warren went on to explain that the report is really about the guarantees the Government made to protect banks' assets while leaving the public out to dry.

"Look, it saved the top of the system," Warren acknowledged. "It helped stabilize it, but not so much for families who are hard hit down on the ground, the real economy." There's always the question, Warren explains, about how you save the top -- in this case, the public pays for the banks' guarantees and the top executives benefit. "We said, in effect, at the top, there's really not any pain in return for taxpayer support. Not so much so when it comes to folks at the bottom. We said wait a year, we'll get there, we'll do what we can."

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough suggested that it was the old "socialize the profits, privatize the gains" scenario, but Warren took it one step further.

"The way I think of it is: they say something like 'Give me your money, investors and I'm going to Las Vegas and put it all on red 22. And if red 22 comes in -- woo! we are RICH. If red 22 doesn't come in, don't worry because the tax payers will pay you back the money you invested."

Watch it here:

Five more banks fail - 120 for the year

Banks in California, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri were shuttered, costing the FDIC a total of $1.5 billion.

NEW YORK ( -- Five banks failed late Friday, bringing the 2009 tally to 120.

The biggest to fall was United Commercial Bank of San Francisco, which had 63 U.S. branches as well as operations in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The bank held deposits totaling $7.5 billion.

East West Bank of Pasadena, Calif., agreed to assume all of United Commercial's domestic branches, as well as its international subsidiaries.

United Security Bank of Sparta, Ga., closed its doors for the last time on Friday. Moultrie, Ga.-based Ameris Bank will assume control of all United Security's deposits.

Home Federal Savings Bank of Detroit also failed late friday. New Orleans-based Liberty Bank and Trust Co. will assume control of its deposits.

Prosperan Bank of Oakdale, Minn., failed and will be taken over by Grand Forks, N.D.-based Alerus Financial.

Gateway Bank of St. Louis, Mo., also failed. Central Bank of Kansas City will take over its deposits.

Customers of the failed banks are protected, however. The FDIC., which has insured bank deposits since the Great Depression, currently covers customer accounts up to $250,000.

Customers can access their money over the weekend by writing checks or using ATMs or debit cards. Checks will continue to be processed, and borrowers should make mortgage and loan payments as usual.

What happens to the banks. United Commercial's failure will cost the FDIC's Deposit Insurance Fund an estimated $1.4 billion. East West Bank paid the FDIC a premium of 1.1% for the right to assume United Commercial's deposits, and the two organizations agreed to share losses on around $7.7 billion of the failed bank's assets.

An average of 11 banks have failed per month this year, and the federal coffer is thinning under the massive strain. The fund now stands below $10 billion, down significantly from $45 billion a year ago.

When the FDIC factors in expected closures, the agency says the fund is in the red and will likely remain there through 2012. Bank failure costs are expected to total $100 billion over the next four years.

So far 2009 has seen more than four times the number that were closed in 2008. It's the highest total since 1992, when 181 banks failed.

Ameris Bank will pay the FDIC a premium of 0.36% to take control of American United's $150 million in deposits.

United Security had $157 million in assets, and the FDIC and Ameris entered into a loss-share transaction on $123 million of those assets. The agreement means Ameris will share in the losses on the assets covered.

The failure is expected to cost the Deposit Insurance Fund an estimated $58 million. The two branches of United Security will reopen Saturday as branches of Ameris.

Liberty Bank and Trust will assume Home Federal Savings Bank's $14.9 million in assets and $12.8 million in deposits. The failure cost the FDIC fund $5.4 million. The two branches of Home Federal will reopen Saturday as branches of Liberty.

Alerus Financial will pay the FDIC a premium of 1.02% to take control of Prosperan's $175.6 million in deposits. Prosperan had $199.5 million in assets, and the FDIC and Alerus entered into a loss-share transaction on $173.9 million of those assets.

The failure will cost the FDIC $60.1 million. The three branches of Prosperan will reopen Saturday as branches of Alerus.

Central Bank will assume Gateway Bank's $27.7 million in assets and $27.9 million in deposits. The failure cost the FDIC fund $9.2 million. The single branch of Gateway will reopen Saturday as a branch of Central. To top of page

By Julianne Pepitone,

The Pillage People

One year after the Wall Street bailout, real reform of the financial sector is still a dream.

It’s as if last year’s meltdown—causing a $16 trillion bailout of the financial industry, the doubling of America’s unemployment rate and the loss of 2 million manufacturing jobs in 2008—had never taken place. Two of the five biggest investment banks, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, have bitten the dust, but the survivors intend to party on, federal dollars in hand.

The Obama administration’s passive attitude creates despair for observers like Wall Street veteran Nomi Prins, a former managing director of Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs and author of It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bailouts, Bonuses, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street (John Wiley & Sons, September). Whereas “the New Deal meshed government rescue with economic restructuring,” Prins sees few signs that the Obama team is going to insist that the big bailout be coupled with serious re-regulation of the financial sector.

“I think we are less stable now,” Prins told In These Times. “There are fewer banks and they are more concentrated and more influential than before. We might not have a crisis on subprime loans in five years, but it might turn out to be the financial sector not fully paying back their loans that causes a new crisis.”

Thus far, Obama seems unwilling to engage in an all-out fight with Wall Street or even fundamentally break from the trickle-down approach followed by former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson (the former Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO). Paulson argued that major investment banks were “too big to fail” and then unleashed a gusher of federal assistance to Wall Street, starting with $787 billion in TARP funds.

A very different, bottom-up approach would have been far less expensive. “A total of about $1.7 trillion would have handled the subprime crisis,” says Prins. With that investment, the government could have bought or subsidized every single house on the verge of foreclosure. That would have been a very cheap fix for subprime loans.

But such an approach was apparently unthinkable to Paulson. On July 8, 2008, Paulson took a free-market stance toward moderate-income families facing foreclosure, many of whom had been victimized by deceptive practices associated with subprime loans. Acknowledging that these families “will lose their homes,” Paulson nonetheless said, “There is little public policymakers can or should do to compensate for untenable financial decisions.”

However, in the fall of 2008, just two months after his speech about holding homeowners responsible for their “untenable financial decisions,” Paulson came up with a relief strategy for these “too big to fail” banks and insurers.

Proposed reforms by the Obama administration have been disappointing, says Prins. “They’re using the same approach [as the Bush Administration] of giving money to the banks and assuming that they’ll lend it to the people. There’s never been an independent drill-down to discover banks’ real assets and liabilities like the 1930’s. The ‘stress tests’ were valued by traders who sold them in the first place, so it becomes kind of circular and meaningless.”

“Instead of instituting reform, Obama and Co. merely calls their ideas ‘reform’,” Prins writes.

Even some progressive Democrats like House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank (D-Mass.) have expressed worries that too-stringent legislation could curtail “financial innovation.” “That was the argument behind repealing the Glass-Steagall Act,” says Prins. Glass-Steagall was a crucial New Deal banking regulation enacted to prevent a replay of the speculation-induced 1929 crash. It was repealed by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 on a 92-8 vote.

The Treasury Department’s call for more transparency so all financial transactions—including derivatives and credit default obligations—are recorded is a good step, but enforcement procedures are vague. “The industry should be dissected and cut into parts that can be regulated,” instead of being permanently positioned for government handouts in the name of being “too big to fail.” The federal government needs to “take away the ability for the financial system to leverage and trade itself beyond its capacity to absorb the risk,” says Prins.

Particularly vital, she says, is re-instituting the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated banks into operations making conventional loans (mortgages, car loans, commercial lending, etc.) and those allowed to engage in speculation. “There can be a role for speculation—that is, any investment with risk—but not a role for government subsidizing that speculation.”

One particularly useful idea to emerge from the Obama Administration is establishing a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. “Having a real enforcement agency would make a difference; but certainly it would encounter pushback from Wall Street,” she says. “Even if the agency comes to fruition, it will be hard to do its stated job.”

Overall, the diversion of federal resources to bailing out the financial sector has created a far more polarized society, with spreading conditions of poverty and deprivation across America, Prins argues.

“We’re creating cuts at the police station, the fire station, the public parks, the libraries,” she says. “We’re seeing much more of a Dickensian society, and these effects will be long-lasting.”

Despite her exhaustive research in documenting the size of the ever-ballooning government bailout of the financial sector, Prins is still stunned by how quickly the federal government jumped to bail out bankers. “It’s amazing how much money the government can come up with… without asking any questions or putting any new rules in place,” she sighs. 

By Roger Bybee

Roger Bybee is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and progressive publicity consultant whose work has appeared in numerous national publications and websites, including Z magazine, Dollars & Sense, Yes!, The Progressive, Multinational Monitor, The American Prospect and Foreign Policy in Focus. Bybee edited The Racine Labor weekly newspaper for 14 years in his hometown of Racine, Wis., where his grandfathers and father were socialist and labor activists. His website can be found here.

Recovery? The 10.2 percent without jobs might beg to differ

WASHINGTON — As bad as Friday's jobs report was, showing October's unemployment rate jumping sharply to 10.2 percent, the outlook is likely to worsen for American workers well into next year. Economists expect the jobless rate to keep climbing, perhaps above 11 percent, as employers produce more with fewer workers and shy away from hiring.

The nation's unemployment rate leapt by a larger-than-expected four-tenths of a percentage point in October to its highest level since April 1983, even as the pace of job losses slowed sharply, the Labor Department said Friday.

Employers shed 190,000 jobs in October, the slowest pace nearly since the devastating recession began in December 2007. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also revised its August and September unemployment numbers to reflect that 91,000 fewer jobs were lost over those two months than first reported.

That trend is positive. It shows that the torrid pace of job losses in the first half of the year has slowed dramatically. That supports the recent report that the U.S. economy grew at a 3.5 percent annual rate from July through September.

There are other positive signs. The professional and business services sector added 18,000 jobs in October. Temporary employment, which usually precedes a return to broader hiring, was up by almost 34,000 last month, the third straight month of gains.

Yet the surge in the unemployment rate overshadowed all else.

"History tells us that job growth always lags behind economic growth," President Barack Obama cautioned in a statement from the White House Rose Garden, shortly after he signed a new $24 billion economic stimulus bill into law. The measure provides tax incentives to homebuyers and extends unemployment befits for the longtime unemployed. The House of Representatives passed the measure 403-12 Thursday in a rare bipartisan vote, a day after the Senate passed it unanimously.

Obama called the October jobless report "a sobering number that underscores the economic challenges that lie ahead. ... I won't let up until the Americans who want to find work can find work and until all Americans can earn enough to raise their families and keep their businesses open."

When discouraged workers and underemployed ones are factored in, a more broadly defined unemployment rate stands at 17.5 percent. Some 35 percent of the jobless, about 5.6 million Americans, have unable to find work for more than six months.

Many economists had expected unemployment to hit 10 percent this year, but few thought the rate would reach that by October. After Friday's sharp jump, they began revising job forecasts down.

Mark Zandi, the chief economist for Moody's, thinks that the jobless rate could hit 11 percent by mid-2010.

"Unemployment is rising while labor force is declining. Once labor force begins to rise, this will add to unemployment, as many coming back in will be unemployed," Zandi said.

Smaller firms, which provide the most jobs, remain cash poor and credit starved. They're expected to continue shedding workers or at best holding the line.

"The job market isn't deteriorating as fast as it was earlier in the year, but it isn't going to improve until next spring at the earliest," Zandi said.

Sageworks Inc., a financial firm that specializes in data about privately held companies, reported that small firms will keep cutting payrolls.

"They're going to reduce their overhead. They're going to reduce their payroll. They represent at least 50 percent of the employment in the United States, and that doesn't look like it's coming back anytime soon," Drew White, the group's chief financial officer, told McClatchy.

Only four sectors of privately held companies are showing revenue growth before expenses this year, he said: health care, utilities, education and information.

Still, some analysts found grounds for optimism.

"What people aren't talking about today and won't talk about for a couple of days is that if you take the peak of job losses and plot the trend, we still get to zero jobs lost sometime in the first quarter of 2010. That means we start adding jobs the next month after we hit zero," Fred Fraenkel, the vice chairman of investment manager The Beacon Trust Co., said in a research note. "Most people are talking about the U.S. starting to add jobs back in the second half of next year. It looks like that will start in the first half of the year, not the second half."

October was the 22nd consecutive month that employers shed jobs, the longest such losing streak since the Great Depression. Nine of those months were under the Obama administration, 13 under the Bush administration.

Last month's job losses followed a familiar script as construction, manufacturing, hospitality and leisure, and the retail sector reduced jobs. Government hiring was flat. Health and education showed some positive growth, and in a pleasant surprise, professional and business services added jobs.

Employers shed an average of 188,000 jobs in each of the past three months, the Labor Department said. That's better than the 357,000 jobs lost on average in each of the three preceding months.

"The payroll change, with the significant upward revisions to August and September, provide further confirmation that economic activity is expanding at a fairly solid pace once the brisk rate of productivity growth is factored in," RDQ Economics, a New York forecaster, said in a research note.

Productivity surged at an annualized rate of 9.5 percent from July to September, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Productivity measures hourly output per worker, so the new number showed that companies were squeezing more out of their workers. Rising productivity signals rising profits, the key to future investment, growth and jobs.


_ Construction, fell by 62,000.

_ Manufacturing, down 61,000.

_ Leisure and hospitality, down 37,000.

_ Retail, off 40,000.

_ Government, unchanged.

_ Professional and business services, plus 18,000.

_ Health care and education, plus 45,000.


October jobs report


To ask a question about this story or any economic question, go to McClatchy's economy Q&A

Health care bill's supporters, opponents flock to Capitol

Small banks didn't cause the mess, but no bailout for them

McClatchy investigates Goldman Sachs

9/11 Flight 93 Rare Footage

Click this link ......

Richard Dreyfuss Says No To New 9/11 Investigation

Click this link ......

Some saw trouble ahead with Fort Hood shooter

Posted at: 11/08/2009 4:35 AM

(AP) FORT HOOD, Texas - In retrospect, the signs of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s growing anger over the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan seem unmistakable. But even people who worried his increasingly strident views were clouding his ability to serve the U.S. military could not predict the murderous rampage of which he now stands accused.

In the months leading to Thursday’s shooting spree that left 13 people dead and 29 others wounded, Hasan raised eyebrows with comments that the war on terror was "a war on Islam" and wrestled with what to tell fellow Muslim solders who had their doubts about fighting in Islamic countries.

"The system is not doing what it’s supposed to do," said Dr. Val Finnell, who complained to administrators at a military university about what he considered Hasan’s "anti-American" rants. "He at least should have been confronted about these beliefs, told to cease and desist, and to shape up or ship out."

Finnell studied with Hasan from 2007-2008 in the master’s program in public health at the military’s Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., where Hasan persistently complained about perceived anti-Muslim sentiment in the military and injected his politics into courses where they had no place.

"In retrospect, I’m not surprised he did it," Finnell said of the shootings. "I had real questions about what his priorities were, what his beliefs were."

Hasan, who was shot by civilian police and taken into custody, was in intensive care but breathing on his own late Saturday at an Army hospital in San Antonio. Officials refused to say if he was talking to investigators.

At least 17 victims remained hospitalized with gunshot wounds, and nine were in intensive care late Saturday. On Sunday, numerous church services honoring the victims were planned both on the post and in neighboring Killeen.

Military criminal investigators continue to refer to Hasan as the only suspect in the shootings but won’t say when charges would be filed. "We have not established a motive for the shootings at this time," said Army Criminal Investigative Command spokesman Chris Grey.

A government official speaking on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the case said an initial review of Hasan’s computer use has found no evidence of links to terror groups, or anyone who might have helped plan or push him toward the shooting attack. The review of Hasan’s computer is continuing and more evidence could emerge, the source said.

Hasan likely would face military justice rather than federal criminal charges if investigators determine the violence was the work of just one person.

Hasan’s family described a man incapable of the attack, calling him a devoted doctor and devout Muslim who showed no signs that he might lash out.

"I’ve known my brother Nidal to be a peaceful, loving and compassionate person who has shown great interest in the medical field and in helping others," said his brother, Eyad Hasan, of Sterling, Va., in a statement. "He has never committed an act of violence and was always known to be a good, law-abiding citizen."

Still, in the days since authorities believe Hasan fired more than 100 rounds in a soldier processing center at Fort Hood in the worst mass shooting on a military facility in the U.S., a picture has emerged of a man who was forcefully opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was trying to elude his pending deployment to Afghanistan and had struggled professionally in his work as an Army psychiatrist.

"I told him, `There’s something wrong with you,’" Osman Danquah, co-founder of the Islamic Community of Greater Killeen, told The Associated Press on Saturday. "I didn’t get the feeling he was talking for himself, but something just didn’t seem right."

Danquah assumed the military’s chain of command knew about Hasan’s doubts, which had been known for more than a year to classmates at the Maryland graduate military medical program. His fellow students complained to the faculty about Hasan’s "anti-American propaganda," but said a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim student kept officers from filing a formal complaint.

Others recalled a pleasant neighbor who forgave a fellow soldier charged with tearing up his "Allah is Love" bumper sticker. A superior officer at Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, Col. Kimberly Kesling, has said Hasan was quiet with a strong work ethic who provided excellent care for his patients.

Twice this summer, Danquah said, Hasan asked him what to tell soldiers who expressed misgivings about fighting fellow Muslims. The retired Army first sergeant and Gulf War veteran said he reminded Hasan that these soldiers had volunteered to fight, and that Muslims were fighting each other in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Palestinian territories.

"But what if a person gets in and feels that it’s just not right?" Danquah recalled Hasan asking him.

"I’d give him my response. It didn’t seem settled, you know. It didn’t seem to satisfy," he said. "It would be like a person playing the devil’s advocate. ... I said, `Look. I’m not impressed by you.’"

Danquah said he was disturbed by Hasan’s persistent questioning but never told anyone at the sprawling Army post about the talks, because Hasan never expressed anger toward the Army or indicated any plans for violence.

"If I had an inkling that he had this type of inclination or intentions, definitely I would have brought it to their attention," he said.

Hasan was promoted from captain to major in 2008, the same year he graduated from the master’s program. Bernard Rostker, a military personnel expert at the Rand Corp., said a shortage of officers and psychiatrists meant Hasan’s advancement was all but certain absent a serious blemish on his record, such as a DUI or a drug charge.

Hasan reportedly jumped up on a desk and shouted "Allahu akbar!" _ Arabic for "God is great!" _ at the start of Thursday’s attack.

"Hopefully, they can put together the pieces and find out what in the world was in his mind and why he went crazy," Danquah said. "Aaaaah, it’s sad. Those soldiers could have been my soldiers."


Associated Press Writers Allen Breed in Killeen, Dalia Nammari in Ramallah, West Bank, and Devlin Barrett, Richard Lardner, Pamela Hess and Jessica Gresko in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Hitler was a German soccer coach, kids tell U.K. poll

Adolf Hitler was the manager of Germany's national soccer team, and Auschwitz was a World War Two theme park, a poll released by the Daily Mail on Friday said, questioning U.K. children aged 9 to 15.

The study, which was conducted by war veterans' charity Erskine in the run-up to Remembrance Day, tested 2,000 children for their knowledge of last century's two world wars.

One in 20, according to the poll, thought the Holocaust was the celebration at the end of the war and one in ten said the SS was Enid Blyton's Secret Seven.

The poll also showed only half of the respondents knew D-Day was the invasion of Normandy, with a quarter of those asked believing it was "Dooms Day," with another quarter thinking a nuclear bomb was dropped on Pearl Harbour, spurring America's involvement in the war.

Twelve percent of respondents said the symbol of Britain's Remembrance Day is the golden arches of McDonald's, rather than the poppy.
Major Jim Panton, chief executive of Erskine, said that "Some of the answers to this poll have shocked us and it has shown that Erskine, amongst others, has a part to play, not just in caring for veterans but in educating society as a whole."

On The Edge with Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert

In this episode of On The Edge Keiser talks about the coming collapse of the U.S. dollar and why Americans need to start investing in gold. He also explains why India’s recent decision to purchase of 200 tons of gold was a wise one.

Part 1

Part 2

£4,350 per family to bail out Britain's banks

Every family in the country is now facing a tax liability of £4,350 to prop up Britain’s banking system after Alistair Darling announced the biggest bail-out in history.

£4,350 per family to bail out Britain's banks
The Government is injecting a further £30bn into Lloyds and RBS.

The Chancellor confirmed that the Government would pump an extra £25.5 billion into Royal Bank of Scotland, and declared that it was the only way to keep the business alive.

Taxpayers have poured a total of £53.5 billion into RBS, including the £20 billion part-nationalisation last year and another £8 billion that was set aside as insurance against further trouble in the future.

In total, the Government has put £74 billion of taxpayers’ money into the banks, including RBS, Lloyds and HBOS, since the start of the financial crisis last year.

The Conservatives claimed the latest bail-out equated to an extra tax liability of £2,000 for every one of the 17 million families in the country. This comes on top of the £2,350 to which every household is already exposed as a result of previous attempts to prop up the financial system.

It is likely that the new bail-out will have to be funded by government borrowing, which could only be repaid through swingeing cuts to public services or substantial tax rises over the coming years. However, despite consumers picking up the bill for yet more billions for the banks, experts said that the money would still not be enough to get them to increase lending to struggling home owners and businesses.

The bail-out of RBS, which was driven to the brink of collapse in 2008 after a series of reckless investments, now ranks as the biggest in the world.

It means the Government owns 84 per cent of what was, at the peak of the finance bubble, the largest bank in the world.

In total, the British Government’s exposure to RBS now stands at more than £250 billion, because in addition to supplying funds to keep it afloat, the Government has also underwritten many of its so-called toxic assets.

The Chancellor announced the move on Tuesday as part of a package that included a further investment of £5.7 billion for Lloyds Banking Group.

The Government said the latest bail-out would pave the way for the banks to repay taxpayers’ money, as they promised to sell off branches and key businesses. So far, just £2 billion has been returned to the Treasury.

George Osborne, the shadow Chancellor, criticised the move: “Let’s not miss the elephant in the room. The government is having to put another £39.2 billion of taxpayers’ money into the banks, a bigger bail-out than the original bail-out last autumn. There is no guarantee that it will get credit flowing.”

Mr Brown said that the vast sums would be returned. “I believe at the end of the day the Government will recoup all its money from the banks, and possibly make a profit from what it has done,” he said.

“At the end of the day, banks will be paying money to the British public, not the other way round.”

Both Mr Brown and Mr Darling also heralded plans to split up RBS and Lloyds Banking Group and their parts to form a new generation of consumer-friendly banks.

The break-up is to be demanded by European regulators to ensure that the banks do not benefit unduly in the long-term from state support.

The Government has repeatedly claimed that the bail-out was a reasonable price to pay for boosting the wider economy.

Lord Myners, the City Minister, said: “If we had not stepped in to support [RBS and Lloyds], they would not be there to support small businesses.”

However, Stephen Alambritis, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Small businesses are still struggling to get loans. The banks are asking for an arm and a leg and the process is tortuous and elongated.”

Michael Saunders, an economist at Citigroup, said: “We suspect that credit availability will remain relatively poor for a while.”

Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, said it was “simply not true” that the bail-out would save the Government money.

“Until we can split up the banks in a meaningful way, so that taxpayers will not be forced to underwrite casino activities, all banks should pay a premium for the explicit support they receive,” he said.

Under the terms of the deal announced on Tuesday, Lloyds and RBS have both agreed not to pay cash bonuses this year to any member of staff earning more than £39,000.

Lloyds also announced that it would not be taking part in the Government’s toxic asset insurance scheme despite signing up to the programme earlier this year.

Shares in RBS fell sharply after the head of the bank attacked the sell-offs ordered by European regulators.

“These disposals do not improve competition or make it any easier for us to return money to the taxpayer,” said Stephen Hester, the chief executive of RBS. “We need to return to profitability and financial strength and I don’t believe some of these disposals will help that.”

However, Mr Darling said the agreement to sell part of the banks would spur competition in the banking industry.

“I would like to see perhaps three new entrants coming onto the high street,” the Chancellor said. “We do need to be rigorous about competition. If you don’t, you do find it hard to get credit and you do find it hard to get loans at the right price.” In April, the Treasury estimated potential losses on its support for the financial system of between £20 billion and £50 billion. Mr Darling said that the estimate would be reduced in next month’s pre-budget report.

The near-collapse of RBS resulted in the resignation of Sir Fred Goodwin, its chief executive, who led its aggressive expansion into investment banking. His house in Edinburgh was attacked by protesters after it was disclosed that he had retired on an annual pension of £703,000, later reduced to £342,000.

Fort Hood shooting: Texas army killer linked to September 11 terrorists

Major Nidal Malik Hasan worshipped at a mosque led by a radical imam said to be a "spiritual adviser" to three of the hijackers who attacked America on Sept 11, 2001.

Major Nidal Malik Hasan: Fort Hood shooting: Texas army killer linked to September 11 terrorists
Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the sole suspect in the massacre of 13 fellow US soldiers in Texas Photo: GETTY

Hasan, the sole suspect in the massacre of 13 fellow US soldiers in Texas, attended the controversial Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Great Falls, Virginia, in 2001 at the same time as two of the September 11 terrorists, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt. His mother's funeral was held there in May that year.

The preacher at the time was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni scholar who was banned from addressing a meeting in London by video link in August because he is accused of supporting attacks on British troops and backing terrorist organisations.

Hasan's eyes "lit up" when he mentioned his deep respect for al-Awlaki's teachings, according to a fellow Muslim officer at the Fort Hood base in Texas, the scene of Thursday's horrific shooting spree.

As investigators look at Hasan's motives and mindset, his attendance at the mosque could be an important piece of the jigsaw. Al-Awlaki moved to Dar al-Hijrah as imam in January, 2001, from the west coast, and three months later the September 11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hamzi and Hani Hanjour began attending his services. A third hijacker attended his services in California.

Hasan was praying at Dar al-Hijrah at about the same time, and the FBI will now want to investigate whether he met the two terrorists.

Charles Allen, a former under-secretary for intelligence at the Department of Homeland Security, has described al-Awlaki, who now lives in Yemen, as an "al-Qaeda supporter, and former spiritual leader to three of the September 11 hijackers... who targets US Muslims with radical online lectures encouraging terrorist attacks from his new home in Yemen".

Last night Hasan remained in a coma under guard at a military hospital in San Antonio, Texas, and was said to be in a "stable" condition. Born in America to a Palestinian family, Hasan, 39, was an army psychiatrist who had chosen to sign up for the US military against his parents' wishes.

But he turned into an angry critic of the wars America was waging in Iraq and Afghanistan and had tried in vain to negotiate his discharge.

He counselled soldiers returning from the front line and told relatives that he was horrified at the prospect of a deployment to Afghanistan later this year – his first time in a combat zone.

Whether due to his personal convictions, his stress over his deployment or other reasons, Hasan is alleged to have snapped and gone on a murderous rampage with a powerful semi-automatic handgun after shouting "Allahu Akhbar" ("God is great"), according to survivors. He had earlier given away copies of the Koran to neighbours.

Investigators at this stage have no indication that he planned the attacks with anyone else. But they are trawling through his phone records, paperwork and computers he used before the attack during an apparently sleepless night.

Five of the 13 victims were fellow mental health professionals from three units of the army's Combat Stress Control Detachment, it was disclosed yesterday.

It is understood that Hasan had been due to be deployed with members of those units in coming months. Whether he deliberately singled out other combat stress counsellors is another key question.

What does seem clear is that the army missed an increasing number of red flags that Hasan was a troubled and brooding individual within its ranks.

"I was shocked but not surprised by news of Thursday's attack," said Dr Val Finnell, a fellow student on a public health course in 2007-08 who heard Hasan equate the war on terrorism to a war on Islam. Another student had warned military officials that Hasan was a "ticking time bomb" after he reportedly gave a presentation defending suicide bombers.

Kamran Pasha, the author of Mother of the Believers, a new novel relating the story of Islam from the perspective of Aisha, Prophet Mohammed's wife, was told of the al-Awlaki connection from a Muslim friend who is also an officer at Fort Hood. Using the name Richard, the recent convert to Islam described how he frequently prayed with Hasan at the town mosque after Hasan was deployed to Fort Hood in July. They last worshipped together at predawn prayers on the day of the massacre when Hasan "appeared relaxed and not in any way troubled or nervous".

But Richard had previously argued with Hasan when he said that he felt the "war on terror" was really a war against Islam, expressed anti-Jewish sentiments and defended suicide bombings.

"I asked Richard whether he believed that Hasan was motivated by religious radicalism in his murderous actions," Mr Pasha said.

"Richard, with great sadness, said that he believed this was true. He also believed that psychological factors from Hasan's job as an army psychiatrist added to his pathos. The news that he would be deployed overseas, to a war that he rejected, may have pushed him over the edge.

"But Richard does not excuse Hasan. As a Muslim, he finds Hasan's religious perspectives to be fundamentally misguided. And as a soldier, he finds Hasan's actions cowardly and evil."

Fellow Muslims in the US armed forces have also been quick to denounce Hasan's actions and insist that they were the product of a lone individual rather than of Islamic teachings. Osman Danquah, the co-founder of the Islamic Community of Greater Killeen, said Hasan never expressed anger toward the army or indicated any plans for violence.

But he said that, at their second meeting, Hasan seemed almost incoherent.

"I told him, 'There's something wrong with you'. I didn't get the feeling he was talking for himself, but something just didn't seem right."

He was sufficiently troubled that he recommended the centre reject Hasan's request to become a lay Muslim leader at Fort Hood.

Hasan had, in fact, already come to the attention of the authorities before Thursday's massacre. He was suspected of being the author of internet postings that compared suicide bombers with soldiers who throw themselves on grenades to save others and had also reportedly been warned about proselytising to patients.

At Fort Hood, he told a colleague, Col Terry Lee, that he believed Muslims should rise up against American "aggressors". He made no attempt to hide his desire to end his military service early or his mortification at the prospect of deployment to Afghanistan. "He had people telling him on a daily basis the horrors they saw over there," said his cousin, Nader Hasan.

Yet away from his strident attacks on US foreign policy, he came across as subdued and reclusive – not hostile or threatening. Soldiers he counselled at the Walter Reed hospital in Washington praised him, while at Fort Hood, Kimberly Kesling, the deputy commander of clinical services, remarked: "Up to this point, I would consider him an asset."

Relatives said that the death of Hasan's parents, in 1998 and 2001, turned him more devout. "After he lost his parents he tried to replace their love by reading a lot of books, including the Koran," his uncle Rafiq Hamad said.

"He didn't have a girlfriend, he didn't dance, he didn't go to bars."

His failed search for a wife seemed to haunt Hasan. At the Muslim Community Centre in the Washington suburb of Silver Spring, he signed up for an Islamic matchmaking service, specifying that he wanted a bride who wore the hijab and prayed five times a day.

Adnan Haider, a retired professor of statistics, recalled how at their first meeting last year, a casual introduction after Friday prayers, Hasan immediately asked the academic if he knew "a nice Muslim girl" he could marry.

"It was a strange thing to ask someone you have met two seconds before. It was clear to me he was under pressure, you could just see it in his face," said Prof Haider, 74, who used to work at Georgetown University in Washington. "You could see he was lonely and didn't have friends.

"He is working with psychiatric people and I ask why the people around him didn't spot that something was wrong? When I heard what had happened I actually wasn't that surprised."

Indeed, many of the characteristics attributed to Hasan by acquaintances – withdrawn, unassuming, brooding, socially awkward and never known to have had a girlfriend – have also applied to other mass murderers.

Hasan was born and brought up in Virginia to parents who ran restaurants after emigrating to America from the West Bank. He graduated from Virginia Tech university – coincidentally, the scene of the worst mass shooting in US history in 2007 – with a degree in biochemistry and then joined the army, which trained him as a psychiatrist.

Relatives said that he was subjected to increasingly ugly taunts about his religion and ethnicity from other soldiers after the September 11 attacks. But his uncle insisted yesterday that Hasan would not have been driven to mass murder by revenge or religion.

Speaking in the West Bank town of al-Bireh, Mr Hamad said his nephew "loved America" and could only have been caused to snap by an as yet unexplained factor. "He always said there was no country in the world like America," he told The Sunday Telegraph. "Something big happened to him in Texas. If he did it – and until now I am in denial – it had to have been something huge because revenge was not in his nature."

The Money That Is Sold Abroad Is You!

Click this link .....

Richard Dreyfuss Says No To New 9/11 Investigation

Click this link .....