Saturday, November 14, 2009

India Food Strike, Fatal Riots Hobble Push to Export Auto Parts

Nov. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Prem Kumar’s demand for higher pay and better food at the cafeteria at the auto-parts factory where he works near New Delhi forced General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. to shut three plants on the other side of the world.

The strike Kumar led at Rico Auto Industries Ltd., coming after managers were beaten to death in labor disputes at two other partmakers, may derail an Indian government goal to boost components exports about sevenfold to $25 billion by 2015. One global automaker already is reviewing plans to source as much as $3 billion in parts from India and may instead buy half from China, said Vikas Sehgal, a Chicago-based partner at Booz & Co. He declined to name the company, which is his client.

“People are suddenly looking at India with an eye of suspicion and concern,” he said. “When a single company’s strike jeopardizes the global value chain, the country suffers in the long run.”

GM, Ford and other automakers have increased their parts procurement from India and other emerging markets to lower costs. India’s overseas sales of components grew 10-fold in the past decade to $3.6 billion in the year ended March 2008, according to the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India.

Labor costs in India are a tenth of what companies pay in the U.S., and raw material costs are lower by 11 percent, said Puneet Gupta, an analyst at CSM Worldwide Inc., an industry consultant. That’s prompted Hyundai Motor Co. and Suzuki Motor Corp. to open plants in India to export cars.

“India’s biggest advantage is cost, especially labor costs,” said Koji Endo, managing director of Advanced Research Japan, a Tokyo-based equity research company. “Good quality parts can be made cheaply.”

45-Day Strike

Labor unrest may undermine that advantage. The 45-day strike at Rico, which ended Nov. 6, caused GM to shutter a factory in Delta Township, Michigan. Ford closed plants in Chicago and in Oakville, Ontario, in Canada.

Each factory was idled for one week because the Rico strike disrupted supplies of transmission components to plants that build vehicles such as Ford Tauruses, Lincoln MKXs and Buick Enclaves.

“Such strikes put a question mark on India,” Gupta said. “If the government doesn’t act and the problems continue, in the long run, companies may shift their locations to elsewhere, like Thailand.”

Ford, GM

Ford continues to see India as a key part of the global supply chain, said Todd Nissen, a company spokesman in Dearborn, Michigan. GM also has no immediate plans to stop using Indian parts.

“As a global purchasing group, we need to manage through supply issues no matter where they occur to keep vehicle production as close to schedule as possible,” said Alan Adler, a GM spokesman in Detroit.

Rico Auto’s customers haven’t terminated contracts because of the strike, said Chief Executive Officer Arvind Kapur. The company is working on a plan to ensure that future incidents don’t affect operations, he said.

In September, a human resources official at Pricol Ltd., a supplier to Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., was killed by workers protesting against the management, said Chief Operating Officer K. Udhaya Kumar. He didn’t elaborate.

Last year, the managing director of Graziano Trasmissioni India Ltd. was beaten to death after a group of sacked employees turned violent, police said.

“The meltdown dynamics in a competitive environment not only create survival pressures on the managements but also induce an acute sense of insecurity and uncertainty in the minds of the wage-earning employed,” said Jerome Joseph, who teaches industrial relations at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Rising Strikes

More than 1.5 million workers were involved in 250 strikes at Indian factories in 2008, compared with about 1 million workers involved in 255 strikes in 2003, according to Rajesh Thakur, a director at the government’s Labour Bureau.

Also, overall wages rose 0.8 percent, compared with 4.4 percent growth in productivity between 1990 and 2006, according to a 2008 report by the International Labour Organization. China’s wage growth in the same period was 9.9 percent, beating a productivity gain of 9 percent, it said.

Between 2006 and 2007, food prices rose by 9 percent in India, hurting purchasing power, according to ILO.

Rico’s CEO Kapur said a new hire costs the company about 6,000 rupees ($130) a month. Kumar, the union leader, said the company favors hiring temporary workers, who can be easily fired and take home about 4,000 rupees a month. That compares with full-time employees, who can earn about 11,000 rupees, he added.

“How can they secure themselves, educate their children and feed their families on such meager wages?” Kumar said. “It’s the rule of the jungle.”

By Vipin V. Nair and Subramaniam Sharma

9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to go on trial in New York

President Barack Obama said the September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo Bay detainees will be put on trial in New York City.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, March 2003

Speaking in Tokyo, Mr Obama said Mohammed, the self-proclaimed organiser of the al-Qaeda terrorist plot that killed almost 3,000 people in 2001, would face "exacting" US justice.

Bringing such notorious suspects to US soil to face trial would be a key step in Mr Obama's plan to close the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay.

Mr Obama initially planned to close the centre at the US naval base on Cuba by Jan 22 next year, but his administration is no longer expected to meet that deadline.

It is also a major legal and political test of Mr Obama's overall approach to terrorism. If the case suffers legal setbacks, the administration will face second-guessing from those who never wanted it in a civilian courtroom.

The New York case may force the court system to confront a host of difficult legal issues surrounding counter-terrorism programmes begun after the 2001 attacks, including the harsh interrogation techniques once used on some of the suspects while in CIA custody. The most severe method - waterboarding, or simulated drowning - was used on Mohammed 183 times in 2003, before the practice was banned.

The US attorney general Eric Holder is due to annonce that a major suspect in the bombing of the USS Cole, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, will face justice before a military commission, as will a handful of other detainees to be identified at the same announcement, an official said.

The transfer of the detainees from Guantanamo to New York is not expected to happen for many more weeks because formal charges have not been filed against most of them.

Barrick Confirms that We Have Peak Gold

As I pointed out in September, there are strong arguments that we have "peak gold" - in other words, that the relatively easy-to-reach gold supplies are gone, and so supplies are getting more and more expensive to locate and extract.

Now, the world's biggest gold producer - Barrick - is saying the same thing:

Aaron Regent, president of the Canadian gold giant [Barrick], said that global output has been falling by roughly 1m ounces a year since the start of the decade. Total mine supply has dropped by 10pc as ore quality erodes, implying that the roaring bull market of the last eight years may have further to run.

"There is a strong case to be made that we are already at 'peak gold'," he told The Daily Telegraph at the RBC's annual gold conference in London.

"Production peaked around 2000 and it has been in decline ever since, and we forecast that decline to continue. It is increasingly difficult to find ore," he said.

Five alleged 9/11 plotters to be tried in civilian court in New York

In announcing the decision, Atty. Gen. Eric Holder says prosecutors will likely seek the death penalty. GOP lawmakers quickly criticize the move, saying it could endanger the public.

Reporting from Washington - The plotters of the 9/11 attacks will be tried as terrorists and criminals in a federal court in Manhattan, just blocks from the site of one of the terrorists' targets, the World Trade Center, U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder announced today.
FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this article said Anthony Romero is president of the ACLU. He is the executive director.
"I expect we will ask for the death penalty," he said. "They must face the ultimate justice."

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and four other top alleged conspirators have been held for years in secret detention camps overseas, and, most recently, at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

After a year of internal debate, Holder said the Obama administration decided they can be tried in a civilian court under American criminal law. "I have every confidence we can hold these trials safely in New York," Holder said.

Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill were quick to criticize the decision. Bringing "the 9/11 conspirators to the U.S. to stand trial could endanger the American people," said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. Bringing them to the United States "expands their constitutional rights and could result in shorter sentences," he added.

But the American Civil Liberties Union called the move a "major victory for due process and the rule of law."

"We can now finally achieve the real and reliable justice that Americans deserve," said Anthony Romero, the ACLU's executive director.

Separately, Holder said the men accused of carrying out the 2000 attack on the U.S. destroyer Cole in Yemen will be tried in a military court. The attorney general said that because that crime took place overseas and involved a military target, the military's legal venue was more appropriate.

But Holder said it made more sense to try the accused 9/11 plotters in New York, where civilians were targeted. "Cases are typically tried in the place where the offense occurred," he said.

One complication for prosecutors , however, is that Mohammed has been waterboarded while in custody, and any information he disclosed during these sessions almost certainly will be barred from his trial.

The others due to be tried in New York include Ramzi Binalshibh, accused of wiring money from Europe to the men who carried out the 9/11 hijackings.

Two planes struck the World Trade Center in New York City, a third crashed into the Pentagon in Virginia and the fourth crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

"This is the toughest decision I have had to make as attorney general," Holder said.














































該冰山長約500米,在海面可見高度約50米,專家估計其海裡深度達350米。它目前位處澳洲偏遠的麥夸里島(Macquarie Island)西北8公里,即紐西蘭與南極洲之間的太平洋西南角海域。


2000年,多塊大冰山從南極洲的羅斯冰棚(Ross ice shelf)和龐尼冰棚(Ronne ice shelf)崩裂出來,首先崩裂出來的一座,長達305公里,闊37公里。
























































FT Hood Shooter-Will Confess To 9/11 Involvement - American Freedom Radio

Click this link .......

Between the Lies (2009) - full length film

Composed almost entirely of news broadcasts from 9/11, 9/12 and 9/13, this film shows the media lies that stuck with the public and more importantly, the truths that were quickly forgotten. Downloadable versions available below the fold.

(You need Internet Explorer to watch the streaming version. So if you don't see the player in Firefox, please use another browser or visit the page to watch it there.)

HQ AVI (874MB):

DVD image (4.1 GB):

The DVD contains a chapter menu and three extras (NYC-CAN promo, 10 minute presentation about WTC7 and the trailer from 9/11: Press for Truth. The AVI file contains only the film.

Many thanks to Nate and Justin for getting this done.

Forget 11,000, Dow Heading for 6000 and GE Still a Short, Charles Ortel Says

In the following interview Charles Ortel of Newport Value Partners discusses some of the reasons why General Electric’s stock should be $2.00 a share, he believes that GE’s stock is grossly overpriced and that it will suffer a dramatic drop in the short-term.

US monetary system: Robber Baron-era design makes US debt peons forever. You knew that, right?

"At first blush, a man is not capable of reporting truth; he must be drenched and saturated with it first." – Henry David Thoreau, I to Myself.

As I’ve previously written, the interest payment on the national debt is now ~$450 billion every year, there is no plan to ever repay the debt (we only pay the interest), and our monetary system only and always creates money as debt: condemning us to perpetually increasing debt for ourselves and our posterity.

This debt-based monetary system was institutionalized through the Robber-Baron Federal Reserve in 1913. It takes the money-creation power of the US and transfers it to banks, that then create money as debt and lend it to us. Because the government gave away this power, they have to borrow their own money. The solution, as advocated by many of the America’s brightest historical minds, is to merely transfer the money-creation power back to the people. The idea is supported among US third parties, and growing factions among the Republican and Democratic parties. The most well-known current journalists/advocates on this topic that I know of are Ellen Brown, Bill Still, Paul Grignon, and Stepen Zarlenga.
What this policy change means is to transfer power to the peoples’ representatives, government, which will require a concurrent (and unimaginable) transformation of transparency and accountability. As we know, when our government and so-called mainstream media lie about policy of such magnitude as military invasions that kill millions, you can count on their lies with trillions of dollars. A political strategy of state-level, rather than national, might be a better starting place (and here).
The following 5-minute video from Stefan Molyneux is a realistically-focused theme that our government “leaders” choose to perpetuate our debt-based monetary system at the expense of our labor. They sell our labor as one would sell the labor of a slave, a peon, an animal. Warning: video shows cattle being stunned; what happens prior to slaughter. Our government "leaders'" lies of commission and omission perpetuate our debt-slavery when the alternative solution, as documented here, is elegantly simple in structure.
Please let that idea sink-in. Please reflect on how the person you’ve always wanted to be would respond. Please find the courage to act consistent with your beautiful, powerful and unique self-expression.
From time-to-time, members of Congress speak for the public. Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul, and Alan Grayson are among them today in demanding the end of the Federal Reserve system. Previous House Committee on Banking Chairs have also done so, and failed because of their parties' "leadership" to keep Americans in perpetual debt. The following revealing comments come from two Chairpersons of the House Banking Committee, totaling 24 years of service in that position of comprehensive insight into American banking. Louis McFadden (1876-1936) was Chair from 1919-1931, and Wright Patman (1893-1976) was Chair from 1963-1975.
“Mr. Chairman, we have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. The Federal Reserve Board, a Government board, has cheated the Government of the United States and the people of the United States out of enough money to pay the national debt. The depredations and iniquities of the Federal Reserve Board has cost this country enough money to pay the national debt several times over. This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of the United States, has bankrupted itself, and has practically bankrupted our Government. It has done this through the defects of the law under which it operates, through the maladministration of that law by the Federal Reserve Board, and through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it.
Some people think the Federal Reserve banks are United States Government institutions. They are not Government institutions. They are private credit monopolies which prey upon the people of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders. In that dark crew of financial pirates there are those who would cut a man's throat to get a dollar out of his pocket; there are those who send money into States to buy votes to control our legislation; and there are those who maintain international propaganda for the purpose of deceiving us and of wheedling us into the granting of new concessions which will permit them to cover up their past misdeeds and set again in motion their gigantic train of crime.” – Rep. Louis McFadden, June 10, 1932. Source: Congressional Record, June 1932, pg 12595-12603.

“When our Federal Government, that has the exclusive power to create money, creates that money and then goes into the open market and borrows it and pays interest for the use of its own money, it occurs to me that that is going too far. I have never yet had anyone who could, through the use of logic and reason, justify the Federal Government borrowing the use of its own money... The Constitution of the United States does not give the banks the power to create money. The Constitution says that Congress shall have the power to create money, but now, under our system, we will sell bonds to commercial banks and obtain credit from those banks. I believe the time will come when people will demand that this be changed. I believe the time will come in this country when they will actually blame you and me and everyone else connected with this Congress for sitting idly by and permitting such an idiotic system to continue. I make that statement after years of study.” - Wright Patman: excerpts from September 29, 1941, as reported in the Congressional Record of the House of Representatives (pages 7582-7583).
As always, please share this article with all who claim they want economic competence. If you appreciate my work, please subscribe by clicking under the article title (it’s free). Please feel free to use my archive of work to help build a brighter future.

If Any Question Why We Died, Tell Them Because Our Fathers Lied

We can win in Afghanistan! Let no one convince you otherwise. We have the men; we have the money; we have the bullets and the bombs and the body bags. Our top military men and policy analysts talk of "The Long War', which centrists and middlebrow thinkers and pack-joiners and general-purpose followers of several stripes like to call "The Global War On Terror" and liberals of one kind and another denounce as "a quagmire." I see no reason to consider this a difficult or dangerous or protracted problem. We do it right and we can schedule the victory parade for the first nice Saturday in May.

And how do I define victory, my liberal co-worker sneers? Simply and directly I reply: we own the place. Nobody left whole and conscious has the ability to hinder, harass, trouble or discomfit any white executive or entrepreneur who chooses to show himself in the open air, unfurl a Stars ‘n' Bars bigger than they fly above the car dealerships in his suburb, piss on the pavement at high noon on their holiest heathen holiday, and proclaim the United States of America a great gift from God Almighty to the brown and backward beings who clutter up this globe.

Now, as we have conducted the campaign for most of the Junior Bush cartoon presidency, and for so far all of the Change We Can Believe In Obama administration, it does indeed look like we're in it to maximize expense and waste and alienation and to minimize any possible, theoretical resolution. Our president consults and he dithers. Rumors leak out, are reported, considered, forgotten: he will commit the full measure of manpower his current favorite general requests; he will send fewer; he will offer more. Mr. Obama assures us of only this: it is a difficult decision, a solemn burden, he hates war as much as the rest of us, and the one decision he has ruled out is getting out. So, in the fullness of time we may expect the injection of some more meat (i.e., young men and women) into the Bush-Obama-Congressional War On Something-Or-Other. Inspiring, ain't it?

Where is General Curtis LeMay when we need him? Oh, yes, dead. And a good thing, too. Crazy bastard. But consider these simple, honest, understandable quotations about a war some of us remember from a few years back: "My solution to the problem would be to tell the North Vietnamese Communists frankly that they've got to drawn in their horns and stop their aggression or we're going to bomb them into the stone age." Not clear enough? Try this: "If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting." Precisely.

And so it is that if we wish to produce an Afghanistan in which no one has any interest in driving us off their land, we need to render every fighter, every current and potential opponent and his wives, his children, his parents and cousins, his heirs and assigns forever, dead, comatose or in the employ of the CIA at a nice desk job Stateside. Because you leave any of ‘em breathing, with their innards inside and their crania uncracked, and they'll dislike and resent and eventually come to hate us (hard to imagine, I know, my friends, but it is so), and we'll be managing a surly population of desperate and bereaved survivors until the goats come home.

The drone program won't do it. It's very effective at blowing up wedding parties and playgrounds, and I'm sure it's fun for the kids jiggling the joysticks and pushing the bombs-away buttons, but the natives mind it enough to redouble their homemade bomb production whenever one of our Hellfire missiles incinerates their innocents (which is often). And it can't kill enough fast enough to do the job.

More troops will mean more firefights and more dead heroes. We call them heroes after we waste them, after we've extinguished them, picked up or scraped up what we can retrieve, stabilized the pulp and shards against immediate putrefaction, and boxed them bound for Dover where, upon viewing their procession across the tarmac one night, President Obama pronounced that particular habeas corpus "a sobering reminder." Indeed. And will it be thirty thousand more, Mr. President, or forty, or fifty-five?

There's no denying this has been good for the military-industrial complex (see Eisenhower, Dwight, 1961). It has not been good for Afghanistan, the United States, or world peace (see Nobel Committee, 2009). It has destabilized Pakistan, a nation always looking for an excuse to get crazy and nookyoolur. It didn't do the Bush presidency any good over the long haul, however greatly the adventure was greeted by a derelict Congress and an agitated public when inaugurated. So should we get out? The President says no.

No, we've gone too far for too long to say what we all can see-it's pointless. Why, were we to leave now, we would dishonor the lives of those brave boys and girls who gave their all, made the ultimate sacrifice, shed their blood for freedom (sorry, Freedom!), for The American Way, for drug dealer Hamid Karzai and his CIA-employed brother.

So, if staying just gets us more corpses, more sobering reminders, more loss of blood and bullion, but we can't leave because we need to keep killing and dying or the dying we've done will be pointless, what's a great nation to do? Bomb them, don't you see? Burn them! Crater the whole stinkin' sand and sediment pile and extract any minerals we can see and lay such pipelines as the gas men and the bankers desire and come home with honor.

This program would of course raise some moral and ethical issues, but as we have not troubled ourselves as a nation for many years in considering the implications of our actions, and because our fresh young community organizer has adopted most of the unethical and immoral policies of his spoiled rich kid predecessor and enlarged, accelerated and intensified several of them, we may agree to choose to not convene any commissions or explore our consciences for a taste of the bitter fruits of that tree of knowledge.

Of course, after you finish your third or fourth tour "in theater", you may be a bit disturbed at what you have seen and what you have done, and you might want to check things out with the base psychiatrist, but be prepared to wait your turn, soldier, because you don't think you're the only G.I. who trembles and sweats and pukes when he thinks about this business do you? Christ, even the damned shrinks are losing it now! At least that seems the likely cause of the recent Fort Hood massacre to most of us, but ever-vigilant, deeply paranoid, and crazy to a degree the good voters of Connecticut should have considered more carefully, Senator (putative Democrat) Joe Lieberman is pretty sure the guy's a terrorist (they're everywhere, you know), and he's launching an investigation to prove it as soon as he's done fulminating against the very idea of a fair and decent health care system.

Was the doctor who went amock a terrorist as Joe the Joke says? Another crazed Muslim bent on destroying the good, the decent, the Godly? Evidence suggests he was looking down the barrel of his own impending deployment to the battlefields that have regularly provided his battered patients with their horrifying tales of gore and grim ruin and as the blood deepened on his office floor and soaked into his socks he just freaked out, snapped, went postal, and took up his gun (plenty o' them lying around the base after all) and squeezed off a few to make the devils stop whispering their terrible truths inside his head. Oh, yes, and it seems he was maybe kind of a crappy doctor, but there's a lot of that going around too, and as common or more so among Christians as Mohammedans.

But President Obama flew to Texas and spoke of God and afterlife and service and sacrifice and said we are all more safe and free somehow because these brave dead stood ready to discharge their lives untimely in a mountain pass or on a drafty plain or standing in a line under the Texas sun with a handful of forms, waiting for Eternity to require their souls. Everybody says our president is wonderfully smart. Can he see, does he sense, will he discover the connections, the links, the trail, the clear and obvious route by which his decision to send young men and women into a pointless and counterproductive war will return to us more broken minds, more ruined souls, more reasons for suicide and homicide and mass murder? "No loving god" condones such senseless slaughter he said at that funeral. Does he ask his god before he picks the number of thousands he will condemn in a few days or weeks, after he has internalized and absorbed the fantasies of General McChrystal?

Better just to eliminate the entire nation (not really much of a nation, at that) of Afghanistan, I say. And too bad for the innocent, but War is Hell, somebody told me back in college or I heard in a movie once. And a photo-opportunity in Texas is far more elevating of our American spirits than pictures of yet another splattered peasant family or legless child or some Muslim mother's son who regretably had to die over there so that we wouldn't have to fight him over here.

So let's go for the goal in one great and satisfying fireworks display that will make old Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over in Iran (another of several irksome nations in the neighborhood) pee himself and swear off nukes for good when he sees the orange fire lighting up the horizon for three or four nights running.

I hate to see our wonderful smart new president, so unlike our terrible worn-out stupid old president, most agree, worrying about how many more men and how many more years to commit to a program he used to know and say was a bad idea (back before he changed, I guess). Blow everything to Hell, proclaim the problem solved, the territory free of Taliban tendencies, and let's get back to the business of easing the burdens of Wall Street.

Or, dare any of the legions who protested loudly, publicly and often when Bush was C.I.C. many dead and untold billions of dollars ago, say we will not win anything worth having no matter the numbers, no matter the plans? Because, the twelve hundred words preceding taken for what they are worth, I tell you I am convinced that an idiot is an idiot and a warmonger a warmonger whether he is white or black, Republican or Democrat, embarrassing or inspiring in his demeanor and utterance.

My own dear, sweet, wonderful boy will become five next month. Which party will give us the president who will want him to die for Exxon or General Dynamics or the fevered fantasies of the likes of Joseph Lieberman, Richard Cheney, Stanley McChrystal, Curtis LeMay or the increasingly corrupted, complicit and bloody-handed hope of a public too-readily suckered, Barack Obama?

It is long past time to cut out the crap, quit lying to ourselves, stop believing we are better or safer or stronger by burning our money, squandering what shreds remain of our reputation and killing anybody's kids, ours or theirs. Don't salute the damned boxes, Mr. President, crack the lids and look at what you've done.

Mr. Cooper lives in Alna, Maine. He is a simple carpenter. He writes a column twice monthly for the editorial page of The Wiscasset Newspaper. His editor has long since given up trying to curtail or correct or improve him. He is convinced his country has lost its bearings and his countrymen don't care. This is not a happy picture, but he paints it as he sees it. He will perhaps respond to some messages sent to, but it will be a waste of time to argue with him

by Christopher Cooper

Ron Paul Rocks on CNBC Squawk Box 11/13/2009

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Max Keiser on Dollar-Buffet's Toilet Paper Opium For China

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Gld ETF Warning, Tungsten Filled Fake Gold Bars

“Gold Finger - A New Take On Operation Grand Slam With A Tungsten Twist”

I’ve already reported on irregular physical gold settlements which occurred in London, England back in the first week of October, 2009. Specifically, these settlements involved the intermediation of at least one Central Bank [The Bank of England] to resolve allocated settlements on behalf of J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank – who DID NOT have the gold bullion that they had sold short and were contracted to deliver. At the same time I reported on two other unusual occurrences:

1] - irregularities in the publication of the gold ETF - GLD’s bar list from Sept. 25 – Oct.14 where the length of the bar list went from 1,381 pages to under 200 pages and then back up to 800 or so pages.

2] - reports of 400 oz. “good delivery” bricks of gold found gutted and filled with tungsten within the confines of LBMA approved vaults in Hong Kong.

Why Tungsten?

If anyone were contemplating creating “fake” gold bars, tungsten [at roughly $10 per pound] would be the metal of choice since it has the exact same density as gold making a fake bar salted with tungsten indistinguishable from a solid gold bar by simply weighing it.

Unfortunately, there are now more sordid details to report.

When the news of tungsten “salted” gold bars in Hong Kong first surfaced, many people

who I am acquainted with automatically assumed that these bars were manufactured in

China – because China is generally viewed as “the knock-off capital of the world”.

Here’s what I now understand really happened:

The amount of “salted tungsten” gold bars in question was allegedly between 5,600 and 5,700 – 400 oz – good delivery bars [roughly 60 metric tonnes].

This was apparently all highly orchestrated by an extremely well financed criminal operation.

Within mere hours of this scam being identified – Chinese officials had many of the perpetrators in custody.

And here’s what the Chinese allegedly uncovered:

Roughly 15 years ago – during the Clinton Administration [think Robert Rubin, Sir Alan Greenspan and Lawrence Summers] – between 1.3 and 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten blanks were allegedly manufactured by a very high-end, sophisticated refiner in the USA [more than 16 Thousand metric tonnes]. Subsequently, 640,000 of these tungsten blanks received their gold plating and WERE shipped to Ft. Knox and remain there to this day. I know folks who have copies of the original shipping docs with dates and exact weights of “tungsten” bars shipped to Ft. Knox.

The balance of this 1.3 million – 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten cache was also plated and then allegedly “sold” into the international market.

Apparently, the global market is literally “stuffed full of 400 oz salted bars”.

Makes one wonder if the Indians were smart enough to assay their 200 tonne haul from the IMF?

A Slow Motion Train Wreck, Years in the Making

An obscure news item originally published in the N.Y. Post [written by Jennifer Anderson] in late Jan. 04 has always ‘stuck in my craw’:

DA investigating NYMEX executive - Manhattan, New York, district attorney's office, Stuart Smith - Melting Pot - Brief Article – Feb. 2, 2004

A top executive at the New York Mercantile Exchange is being investigated by the Manhattan district attorney. Sources close to the exchange said that Stuart Smith, senior vice president of operations at the exchange, was served with a search warrant by the district attorney's office last week. Details of the investigation have not been disclosed, but a NYMEX spokeswoman said it was unrelated to any of the exchange's markets. She declined to comment further other than to say that charges had not been brought. A spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney's office also declined comment.

The offices of the Senior Vice President of Operations - NYMEX – is exactly where you would go to find the records [serial number and smelter of origin] for EVERY GOLD BAR ever PHYSICALLY settled on the exchange. They are required to keep these records. These precise records would show the lineage of all the physical gold settled on the exchange and hence "prove" that the amount of gold in question could not have possibly come from the U.S. mining operations – because the amounts in question coming from U.S. smelters would undoubtedly be vastly bigger than domestic mine production.

We never have found out what happened to poor ole Stuart Smith – after his offices were "raided" – he took administrative leave from the NYMEX and he has never been heard from since. Amazingly [or perhaps not], there never was any follow up on in the media on the original story as well as ZERO developments ever stemming from D.A. Morgenthau’s office who executed the search warrant.

Are we to believe that NYMEX offices were raided, the Sr. V.P. of operations then takes leave - all for nothing?

These revelations should provide a “new filter” through which Rothschild exiting the gold market back in 2004 begins to make a little more sense:

“LONDON, April 14, 2004 (Reuters) - NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd., the London-based unit of investment bank Rothschild [ROT.UL], will withdraw from trading commodities, including gold, in London as it reviews its operations, it said on Wednesday.”

Interestingly, GATA’s Bill Murphy speculated about this back in 2004;

“Why is Rothschild leaving the gold business at this time my colleagues and I conjectured today? Just a guess on my part, but suspect:”



Coincidentally [or perhaps, not?], GLD Began Trading 11/12/2004

In light of what has occurred – regarding the Gold ETF, GLD – after reviewing their prospectus yet again, it becomes pretty clear that GLD was established to purposefully deflect investment dollars away from legitimate gold pursuits and to create a stealth, cesspool / catch-all, slush-fund and a likely destination for many of these “salted tungsten bars” where they would never see the light of day – hidden behind the following legalese “shield” from the law:

Excerpt from the GLD prospectus on page 11:

Gold bars allocated to the Trust in connection with the creation of a Basket may not meet the London Good Delivery Standards and, if a Basket is issued against such gold, the Trust may suffer a loss. Neither the Trustee nor the Custodian independently confirms the fineness of the gold bars allocated to the Trust in connection with the creation of a Basket. The gold bars allocated to the Trust by the Custodian may be different from the reported fineness or weight required by the LBMA’s standards for gold bars delivered in settlement of a gold trade, or the London Good Delivery Standards, the standards required by the Trust. If the Trustee nevertheless issues a Basket against such gold, and if the Custodian fails to satisfy its obligation to credit the Trust the amount of any deficiency, the Trust may suffer a loss.

The Fed Has Already Been Caught Lying

Liberty Coin’s Patrick Heller recently wrote,

Earlier this year, the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA), filed a second Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Federal Reserve System for documents from 1990 to date having to do with gold swaps, gold swapped, or proposed gold swaps.

On Aug. 5, The Federal Reserve responded to this FOIA request by adding two more documents to those disclosed to GATA in April 2008 from the earlier FOIA request. These documents totaled 173 pages, many parts of which were redacted (covered up to omit sections of text). The Fed's response also noted that there were 137 pages of documents not disclosed that were alleged to be exempt from disclosure.

GATA appealed this determination on Aug. 20. The appeal asked for more information to substantiate the legitimacy of the claimed exemptions from disclosure and an explanation on why some documents, such as one posted on the Federal Reserve Web site that discusses gold swaps, were not included in the Aug. 5 document release.

In a Sept. 17, 2009, letter on Federal Reserve System letterhead, Federal Reserve governor Kevin M. Warsh completely denied GATA's appeal. The entire text of this letter can be examined at

The first paragraph on the third page is the most revealing. Warsh wrote, "In connection with your appeal, I have confirmed that the information withheld under exemption 4 consists of confidential commercial or financial information relating to the operations of the Federal Reserve Banks that was obtained within the meaning of exemption 4. This includes information relating to swap arrangements with foreign banks on behalf of the Federal Reserve System and is not the type of information that is customarily disclosed to the public. This information was properly withheld from you."

This paragraph will likely be one of the most important news stories of the year.

Though not stated in plain English, this paragraph is an admission that the Fed has in the past and may now be engaged in trading gold swaps. Warsh's letter contradicts previous Fed statements to GATA denying that it ever engaged in gold swaps during the time period between Jan. 1, 1990 and the present.

[Perhaps most importantly], this was GATA's second FOIA request to the Federal Reserve on the issue of gold swaps. The 173 pages of documents received for the 2009 FOIA request all pre-dated the 2007 FOIA request, which means they should have been released in the response to the earlier FOIA request. This establishes a likelihood that the Federal Reserve has failed to adequately search or disclose relevant documents. Further, the Fed response admitted that it had copies of relevant records that originally appeared on the Treasury Department Web site, but failed to include them in its response.

Now that Federal Reserve governor Warsh has admitted that the Fed has lied in the past about the Fed’s involvement with gold. It should now be very clear to everyone why the Fed is lying and the true nature of what they are hiding / withholding.

On Doing God’s Work

An important footnote to consider is the inter-twined-ness of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury [can anyone really tell them apart?] as well as this duopoly’s two principal agents – J.P. Morgan-Chase and Goldman Sachs. When one truly grasps the nature of these highly conflicted relationships it gives a fuller meaning to words recently uttered by Goldman head, Lloyd Blankfein, who claimed,

“I’m doing god’s work”

Does this really mean that Mr. Blankfein believes that the Federal Reserve is god? You can judge for yourself. While the Fed prints money like no one else could - except god almighty himself [or Gideon Gono, perhaps?] – I really doubt that was the intent back in 1864, when the U.S. adopted “In God We Trust” as their official motto.

And that’s my two cents worth for today.

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By Rob Kirby

Rob Kirby is proprietor of and sales agent for Bullion Custodial Services. Subscribers to the Kirbyanalytics newsletter can look forward to a weekend publication analyzing many recent global geo-political events and more. Subscribe to Kirbyanalytics news letter here. Buy physical gold, silver or platinum bullion here.

Copyright © 2009 Rob Kirby - All rights reserved.

US Joins Ranks Of Failed States

(October 22, 2009) The US has every characteristic of a failed state.

The US government's current operating budget is dependent on foreign financing and money creation.

Too politically weak to be able to advance its interests through diplomacy, the US relies on terrorism and military aggression.

Costs are out of control, and priorities are skewed in the interest of rich organized interest groups at the expense of the vast majority of citizens.

For example, war at all cost, which enriches the armaments industry, the officer corps and the financial firms that handle the war's financing, takes precedence over the needs of American citizens.

There is no money to provide the uninsured with health care, but Pentagon officials have told the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee in the House that every gallon of gasoline delivered to US troops in Afghanistan costs American taxpayers $400.

Ft. Hood ‘hero’ story changes

Shortly after last week's Ft. Hood shooting massacre, Sgt. Kimberly Munley of the Killeen, TX, police department was widely credited as the heroic cop who brought Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's rampage to an end by shooting him four times while being wounded by gunfire herself. A Ft. Hood official told the media that the diminutive Munley, who was shot in both legs and one of her wrists, fired on Hasan twice, which then drew his attention to her, and then fired again while she was on the ground. But now it appears as though that account was inaccurate and that another Killeen police officer, Sgt. Mark Todd, was actually the person who fired the shots that brought down Hasan.

The widespread belief that Munley was the one who brought down Hasan, who survived but may be paralyzed according to his lawyer, began to unravel earlier in the week when an anonymous witness told the New York Times that he saw Todd, not Munley, bring down the Army psychiatrist as he attempted to reload his weapon. The witness said that Hasan shot Munley as she rounded a corner, knocking her to the ground. Hasan then turned his back to Munley as he attempted to put another magazine into his pistol, and it was then that Todd saw Hasan fumbling with the weapon and shot him, according to the witness.

Sgts. Munley and Todd, along with Ft. Hood officials, all declined to comment about the specifics of what happened , nor did Munley or Todd go into detail about them during a joint appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. But Todd's wife, Lisa, told the paper that her husband had specifically requested that the Army leave his name out of any reports on the shooting, not wanting to draw media attention to himself as the sole hero of the day because "they were both in this together." Todd's mother, Mary, also weighed in, expressing dismay that the media was "giving this woman all this credit," adding "I don't want to diminish what she did, I just hope they give him credit too."

Though the official version of events won't be available until the military releases the results of its investigation, Todd told the New York Times in an interview Thursday that it was indeed he who fired the shots that brought down Hasan. He said that he and Munley both pulled up to the scene at the same time and, after receiving fire from Hasan when they ordered him to drop his weapon, each broke in different directions. After aborting an attempt to circle the building, Todd said he headed back to the front of the building where he saw Munley wounded on the ground. He said that he then ordered Hasan to drop his weapon a second time, which again prompted the gunman to fire upon him. It was at this point that Todd told the Times that he "neutralized him and secured him."

In the aftermath of the week-long confusion over who brought down Hasan, some are not holding back in criticizing the media and the military for their roles in the chaos -- the media for not not digging deeper and thus performing their jobs properly, and the military for being too secretive. Some have even questioned whether or not there might have been a racial component involved with crediting a white woman over a black man as the day's hero. But this fact remains unchallenged: On November 5, 2009, Sgt. Kimberly Munley and Sgt. Mark Todd both risked their lives in the line of duty to try to stop an armed man in the midst a homicidal rampage, so shouldn't they both be hailed equally as heroes for doing so?

-- Brett Michael Dykes is a contributor to the Yahoo! News Blog

George Carlin and Bill Hicks tell it like it is

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U.S. Manga Obscenity Conviction Roils Comics World

In an obscenity first, a U.S. comic book collector has pleaded guilty to importing and possessing Japanese manga books depicting illustrations of child sex abuse and bestiality.

Christopher Handley, described by his lawyer as a “prolific collector” of manga, pleaded guilty last week to mailing obscene matter, and to “possession of obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children.” Three other counts were dropped in a plea deal with prosecutors.

The 39-year-old office worker was charged under the 2003 Protect Act, which outlaws cartoons, drawings, sculptures or paintings depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and which lack “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” Handley’s guilty plea makes him the first to be convicted under that law for possessing cartoon art, without any evidence that he also collected or viewed genuine child pornography. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Comics fans are alarmed by the case, (.pdf), saying that jailing someone over manga does nothing to protect children from sexual abuse.

“This art that this man possessed as part of a larger collection of manga … is now the basis for [a sentence] designed to protect children from abuse,” says Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. “The drawings are not obscene and are not tantamount to pornography. They are lines on paper.”

Congress passed the Protect Act after the Supreme Court struck down a broader law prohibiting any visual depictions of minors engaged in sexual activity, including computer-generated imagery and other fakes. The high court ruled that the ban was overbroad, and could cover legitimate speech, including Hollywood productions.

In response, the Protect Act narrows the prohibition to cover only depictions that the defendant’s community would consider “obscene.”

“It’s probably the only law I’m aware of, if a client shows me a book or magazine or movie, and asks me if this image is illegal, I can’t tell them,” says Eric Chase, Handley’s attorney.

Chase says he recommended the plea agreement (.pdf) to his client because he didn’t think he could convince a jury to acquit him once they’d seen the images in question. The lawyer declined to describe the details. “If they can imagine it, they drew it,” he says. “Use your imagination. It was there.”

The case began in 2006, when customs officials intercepted and opened a package from Japan addressed to Handley. Seven books of manga inside contained cartoon drawings of minors engaged in sexually explicit acts. One book included depictions of bestiality, according to stipulations in Handley’s plea deal.

Frenchy Lunning, a manga expert at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, was a consultant in the case. She says the books were from the widely available Lolicon variety — a Japanese word play on “Lolita.”

“This stuff is huge in Japan, in all of Asia,” Lunning says. Handley, she adds, “is not a pedophile. He had no photographs of child pornography.”

Handley remains free pending a yet-to-be scheduled sentencing date. Mike Bladel, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa, declined to state what kind of sentence the government would seek, but claimed there were hundreds of obscene panels in the seized manga.

Chase says he’s hoping the judge will take into account the circumstances.

“He was a prolific collector,” says the lawyer. “He did not focus on this type of manga. He collected everything that was out there that he could get his hands on. I think this makes a huge difference.”