Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bankers Broke The Economy And Got Rich Doing It

Today’s absurd William Cohan column actually argues that we don’t need consumer protections in banking—nevermind the subprime explosion, the $8 trillion dollar housing bubble or the 1.2 million foreclosures expected this year. Nevermind the $38 billion in overdraft fees the banking industry reaped in 2009, or the ridiculous fine-print on credit cards. Nope, in William Cohan’s crazy world, the mortgage crisis was basically a problem caused by idiot consumers who—according to Cohan– don’t even deserve basic legal protections.

Cohan makes only two real points in his column, both of them profoundly stupid. The silliest objection is his obviously disingenuous sticker-shock at the $500-million-a-year budget the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will have:

“In an era of huge budget deficits and a depleted treasury, that’s a lot of money for taxpayers to fork over every year to support a new government bureaucracy designed to protect us from our own worst impulses.”

Nobody who knows anything about budgets could be appalled by this number. Even by the standards of government bureaucracy, the CFPB’s funding is paltry. It’s only 10% of the Fed’s annual budget, and about half of the SEC’s. Eliminating or quintupling the CFPB’s funding would be totally insignificant to the overall federal budget. But even if this number did matter, Cohan’s analysis is preposterously short-sighted.

Employing a police force seems like a waste of taxpayer dollars until you get robbed, and so it is with financial regulation. Right now the U.S. economy struggling through a horrible recession, which has included significant government expenditures to bailout Wall Street and keep the job market afloat. All of this was caused by a predatory lending binge financed and implemented by Wall Street. Decent consumer protections would have prevented the housing bubble from getting totally out of control, and would have prevented Wall Street from destroying itself. If it costs us $500 million a year to save 8 million jobs, $8 trillion in household wealth, and $4 trillion in bailout money, that seems like a pretty good deal to me.

This budgetary argument holds no matter who is responsible for the mortgage crisis, be they banks or borrowers, predatory or pristine. But Cohan doubles down on his idiocy, saying that actually, borrowers don’t deserve to be protected from predatory banks.

Like virtually every senseless diatribe against the CFPB written over the past two years, this attack isn’t directed against the CFPB itself, but against the very idea of consumer protection—something that has been a common-sense element of bank regulation for centuries. Things got off track over the past thirty years (with accelerating aggressiveness during the Bush years) as bank regulators simply stopped enforcing consumer protection laws.

The CFPB does not create some wild new standard of regulation—it’s just an effort to ensure that somebody actually enforces the basic consumer protection mandate that existing regulators have ignored. The existing regulators failed, because they’re more worried about short-term bank profitability—the more money a bank makes, the less likely it is to fail, and the less likely that the regulator will be embarrassed by a disastrous bank failure. To existing agencies, it doesn’t matter where that profitability comes from—if it’s from predatory lending, they’ll just look the other way. The CFPB breaks this perverse incentive structure by establishing an agency that only works with consumer protection issues—not bank profitability.

Cohan waits until the final paragraph of his column to deliver the “evidence” for why we don’t need a CFPB, and he gets it completely, horribly wrong.

“Yes, some people who have lost their homes were victims of fraudulent mortgage brokers and shady lenders. But the vast majority of those who held the billions of dollars in mortgages now foreclosed on knew exactly what they were doing. And one of the dirty little secrets of the financial crisis is that one homeowner after another signed mortgage-loan documents that were filled with inaccurate information about his or her net worth, assets, salaries and ability to make monthly mortgage payments. Why would someone sign a loan document knowing full well the information on it was inaccurate and the mortgage could never be repaid?”

The only real statistic on mortgage fraud comes from the FBI, and it doesn’t back up Cohan’s claims at all. As early as 2004, the FBI was warning about an “epidemic” in mortgage fraud—not a few bad apples, not “some people,” but an epidemic . We know that mortgage fraud was standard operating procedure at Washington Mutual, now part of JPMorgan Chase, and they weren’t alone—for five years, rampantfraud was a basic component of the U.S. mortgage machine. And according to the FBI, 80 percent—repeat, 80 percent—of this fraud was perpetrated by the lender.

So, let’s answer Cohan’s question. Why would people knowingly set themselves up for foreclosure? They wouldn’t! The key incentives for fraud and deception do not apply to rational borrowers who want to live in their homes. They apply to lenders, who were being paid very well to push borrowers into unaffordable mortgages. Bankers and brokers were paid kickbacks to steer borrowers into subprime loans, when those same borrowers would have qualified for ordinary mortgages. With heavy demand for mortgage-backed securities on Wall Street, banks knew they could issue garbage loans and stick other investors with the tab—so they did. The list of lenders who pawned their crappy loans off onto other people includes many of the biggest names in finance: Wells Fargo, Wachovia, Citigroup Bank of America, Countrywide, Washington Mutual and more. Banks stood to make a lot of money from fraud. Borrowers, by contrast, could count on foreclosure. Who do you think is going to falsify the income on loan applications?

Sure, there were borrowers who tried to game the system. But the story of mortgage fraud in the housing bubble is overwhelmingly a story of malpractice by bonus-crazed bankers, not borrowers. We need Elizabeth Warren and the CFPB to protect our economy from such abuses. This is a question of basic law enforcement, something Cohan apparently believes should not apply to ordinary citizens looking to buy a home.

U.S. apologizes for Guatemala STD experiments

Government researchers infected patients with syphilis, gonorrhea without their consent in the 1940s

U.S. government medical researchers intentionally infected hundreds of people in Guatemala, including institutionalized mental patients, with gonorrhea and syphilis without their knowledge or permission more than 60 years ago.

Many of those infected were encouraged to pass the infection onto others as part of the study.

About one third of those who were infected never got adequate treatment.

On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius offered extensive apologies for actions taken by the U.S. Public Health Service.

"The sexually transmitted disease inoculation study conducted from 1946-1948 in Guatemala was clearly unethical," according to the joint statement from Clinton and Sebelius. "Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health. We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices."

Secretary Clinton called Guatemalan president Alvara Cabellaros Thursday night to reaffirm the importance of the U.S. relationship with the Latin American country. President Barack Obama called Cabellaros Friday afternoon, according to a statement from White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

"The people of Guatemala are our close friends and neighbors in the Americas," the government statement says. "As we move forward to better understand this appalling event, we reaffirm the importance of our relationship with Guatemala, and our respect for the Guatemalan people, as well as our commitment to the highest standards of ethics in medical research."

During a conference call Friday with National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins and Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela, officials noted that there were no formalized regulations regarding protection of human studies during the 1940s.

Story: Horrific medical tests of past raise concerns for today

In addition to the apology, the U.S. is setting up commissions to ensure that human medical research conducted around the globe meets "rigorous ethical standards." U.S. officials are also launching investigations to uncover exactly what happened during the experiments.

The episode raises inevitable comparisons to the infamous Tuskegee experiment, the Alabama study where hundreds of African-American men were told they were being treated for syphilis, but in fact were denied treatment. That U.S. government study lasted from 1932 until press reports revealed it in 1972.

The Guatemala experiments, which were conducted between 1946 and 1948, never provided any useful information and the records were hidden.

Image: Susan Reverby
Wellesley College
Susan Reverby, a professor of women's studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, discovered records documenting U.S. experiments that infected Guatemalans with gonorrhea and syphilis.

They were discovered by Susan Reverby, a professor of women's studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and were posted on her website.

According to Reverby’s report, the Guatemalan project was co-sponsored by the U.S. Public Health Service, the NIH, the Pan-American Health Sanitary Bureau (now the Pan American Health Organization) and the Guatemalan government. The experiments involved 696 subjects — male prisoners and female patients in the National Mental Health Hospital.

Video: Prof. discovers U.S. role in health experiments (on this page)

The researchers were trying to determine whether the antibiotic penicillin could prevent syphilis infection, not just cure it, Reverby writes. After the subjects were infected with the syphilis bacteria — through visits with prostitutes who had the disease and direct inoculations — it is unclear whether they were later cured or given proper medical care, Reverby notes. While most of the patients got treatment, experts estimate as many as a one-third, did not.

Secret testing of Guatemalans may renew minorities mistrust

The STD experiments were conducted with the cooperation of the Guatemalan government. During that time, the U.S. -- which had a long association with the Guatemalan military -- exerted a powerful influence in the Latin American country, largely in order to protect the interests of the American-based United Fruit Company. In 1954 the U.S. CIA helped overthrow Guatemala’s democratically elected president because of land reforms that opposed the multinational corporation.

American foreign policy explained, refuted in “Good Will Hunting” 2-minute video

Matt Damon grew-up as a neighbor of famed American historian, Howard Zinn, author of best-selling, A people’s history of the United States, that explains US history and foreign policy as a competition between American ideals and lust for oligarchic power. In the linked two-minute clip on the left, Damon’s character in Good Will Hunting nails and then buries the oligarch’s argument (adult language).

The only addition I have to Matt’s character’s argument: the increase in domestic oil prices (and others) is also a function of Wall Street “trades” designed to benefit traders and parasitize consumers.

The above link is my strongest series of academic papers to explain, document and prove unlawful US wars based on lies, and that our economy is managed as a rigged-casino. My citizen advocacy paper,Government by dicts, is fully documented and passionate in tone.

Fed officials say stimulus needed if U.S. stays weak

(Reuters) - In the clearest calls yet by Federal Reserve officials to pump more cash into the economy, two Fed policymakers said on Friday that more action would likely be needed unless the outlook improves.

William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, described current conditions of high unemployment and low inflation as "unacceptable" while Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said more easing was "desirable."

Evans, speaking in Rome, framed the debate over further easing by the U.S. central bank as one of "how much" and "how," rather than whether the Fed should take steps in the first place.

But in a reflection of the fundamental differences that still divide policymakers, Dallas Fed Bank chief Richard Fisher said the debate is not yet over.

Fisher, who has said only a shock to the system should spur further action, weighed in strongly against what he termed "the Fed's showing a little leg of inflationary permissiveness."

After a policy meeting last week, the central bank said it was prepared to do more to boost the recovery and lift inflation if necessary.

It has already cut interest rates to near zero and pumped $1.7 trillion into the financial system through purchases of longer-term Treasury securities and mortgage-related debt.

Many analysts expect the Fed to launch a renewed round of bond buying, or quantitative easing, as soon as its next policy meeting on November 2-3.

Weak manufacturing and inflation data on Friday bolstered those expectations and pushed the dollar down to a six-month low against the euro.

"Further action is likely to be warranted unless the economic outlook evolves in such a way that makes me more confident that we will see better outcomes for both employment and inflation before too long," Dudley told a conference in New York.

He said the costs of the tools the Fed has available to ease policy further "do not appear prohibitive."

As head of the most important regional Fed bank, Dudley has a permanent vote on Fed policy. Evans and Fisher will rotate into voting seats on the Fed's policy committee next year.

Dudley and Evans are seen as among the more dovish Fed officials. Fisher is viewed as among the inflation hawks.

While hawks largely captured the debate after a Fed meeting on August 10, officials more inclined toward further easing are now making their voices heard. Boston Fed chief Eric Rosengren told Reuters on Wednesday that further easing would be needed if the outlook didn't improve.

"There appears to be a significant set of FOMC members in favor of further policy stimulus in the near term," Barclays Capital analyst Peter Newland wrote in a note to clients.

Hawaii Gov. Candidate Aiona Urges Residents To Get Vaccinated - Refuses To Himself


Aiona at the August news conference to promote a school flu shot program urged getting the flu vaccination. He made it seem like he had been vaccinated himself.

"We have it in the form of a shot and the form of a nasal mist. Those of you who are like me and are sissies, and don't like shots, we have it in nasal form," said Aiona.

But Aiona has ignored his own advice

"I have never really been vaccinated in the past and I guess I am a creature of habit and I seem to take care of myself fairly well, exercising and dieting and I do brag about that," said Aiona on Tuesday.

entire article here

Renewed Hope for Life on the Red Planet

Is anything stirring on the dusty surface of Mars? A few bold scientists say we need speculate no longer: We have already found strong evidence of life there.

For those seeking life on Mars, it is the best of times and the worst of times. Nearly 35 years after NASA’s twin Viking robots eased down onto its ruddy surface, there is still no incontrovertible evidence that living organisms ever existed on the fourth planet from the sun. Few researchers accept one scientist’s claims that the 1976 Viking experiment detected life. The brief frenzy over possible fossils in a Mars meteorite has fizzled. And even after billions of dollars’ worth of adorable rovers and eagle-eyed orbiters have prodded and probed the planet, the results have been at best ambiguous and at times downright confusing.

Yet a growing number of space scientists are upbeat, even buoyant, about the likelihood that Mars is a living world. “A variety of discoveries are creating a kind of buzz,” says Chris McKay, an astrogeophysicist at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. “And people seem more enthusiastic. It’s group psychology.” There has been no single major breakthrough in the search, but a subtle change is taking place within the clubby community dedicated to finding and bringing back organisms—dead or alive—from the Red Planet.

“It is not now considered a stupid idea to look for life on Mars,” says Bruce Jakosky, a planetary geologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “In recent years the case has been made again and again that life is or was possible there.” Undergirding this new optimism are reams of data—from Earth-based telescopes as well as Mars orbiters, landers, and rovers—that have slowly painted a much more complete and complicated picture of the Mars environment stretching back billions of years, providing intriguing hints that microbes might have once evolved there, and might yet endure.

Tax Foundation Releases Property Tax Data

The Tax Foundation has published New Census Data on Property Taxes on Homeowners, as well as a property tax lookup tool. Here are links to specific charts:

Here are the Top 10 and Bottom 10 States in Median Real Estate Taxes Paid in 2009 -- all 10 states with the highest property taxes voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 election, and 9 of the 10 states with the lowest property taxes voted for John McCain:



Property Tax


New Jersey






New Hampshire



New York



Rhode Island

















United States Average






New Mexico









South Carolina









West Virginia








Millions were in germ war tests

Much of Britain was exposed to bacteria sprayed in secret trials

The Ministry of Defence turned large parts of the country into a giant laboratory to conduct a series of secret germ warfare tests on the public.

A government report just released provides for the first time a comprehensive official history of Britain's biological weapons trials between 1940 and 1979.

Many of these tests involved releasing potentially dangerous chemicals and micro-organisms over vast swaths of the population without the public being told.

While details of some secret trials have emerged in recent years, the 60-page report reveals new information about more than 100 covert experiments.

The report reveals that military personnel were briefed to tell any 'inquisitive inquirer' the trials were part of research projects into weather and air pollution.

The tests, carried out by government scientists at Porton Down, were designed to help the MoD assess Britain's vulnerability if the Russians were to have released clouds of deadly germs over the country.

In most cases, the trials did not use biological weapons but alternatives which scientists believed would mimic germ warfare and which the MoD claimed were harmless. But families in certain areas of the country who have children with birth defects are demanding a public inquiry.

One chapter of the report, 'The Fluorescent Particle Trials', reveals how between 1955 and 1963 planes flew from north-east England to the tip of Cornwall along the south and west coasts, dropping huge amounts of zinc cadmium sulphide on the population. The chemical drifted miles inland, its fluorescence allowing the spread to be monitored. In another trial using zinc cadmium sulphide, a generator was towed along a road near Frome in Somerset where it spewed the chemical for an hour.

While the Government has insisted the chemical is safe, cadmium is recognised as a cause of lung cancer and during the Second World War was considered by the Allies as a chemical weapon.

In another chapter, 'Large Area Coverage Trials', the MoD describes how between 1961 and 1968 more than a million people along the south coast of England, from Torquay to the New Forest, were exposed to bacteria including e.coli and bacillus globigii , which mimics anthrax. These releases came from a military ship, the Icewhale, anchored off the Dorset coast, which sprayed the micro-organisms in a five to 10-mile radius.

The report also reveals details of the DICE trials in south Dorset between 1971 and 1975. These involved US and UK military scientists spraying into the air massive quantities of serratia marcescens bacteria, with an anthrax simulant and phenol.

Similar bacteria were released in 'The Sabotage Trials' between 1952 and 1964. These were tests to determine the vulnerability of large government buildings and public transport to attack. In 1956 bacteria were released on the London Underground at lunchtime along the Northern Line between Colliers Wood and Tooting Broadway. The results show that the organism dispersed about 10 miles. Similar tests were conducted in tunnels running under government buildings in Whitehall.

Experiments conducted between 1964 and 1973 involved attaching germs to the threads of spiders' webs in boxes to test how the germs would survive in different environments. These tests were carried out in a dozen locations across the country, including London's West End, Southampton and Swindon. The report also gives details of more than a dozen smaller field trials between 1968 and 1977.

In recent years, the MoD has commissioned two scientists to review the safety of these tests. Both reported that there was no risk to public health, although one suggested the elderly or people suffering from breathing illnesses may have been seriously harmed if they inhaled sufficient quantities of micro-organisms.

However, some families in areas which bore the brunt of the secret tests are convinced the experiments have led to their children suffering birth defects, physical handicaps and learning difficulties.

David Orman, an army officer from Bournemouth, is demanding a public inquiry. His wife, Janette, was born in East Lulworth in Dorset, close to where many of the trials took place. She had a miscarriage, then gave birth to a son with cerebral palsy. Janette's three sisters, also born in the village while the tests were being carried out, have also given birth to children with unexplained problems, as have a number of their neighbours.

The local health authority has denied there is a cluster, but Orman believes otherwise. He said: 'I am convinced something terrible has happened. The village was a close-knit community and to have so many birth defects over such a short space of time has to be more than coincidence.'

Successive governments have tried to keep details of the germ warfare tests secret. While reports of a number of the trials have emerged over the years through the Public Records Office, this latest MoD document - which was released to Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker - gives the fullest official version of the biological warfare trials yet.

Baker said: 'I welcome the fact that the Government has finally released this information, but question why it has taken so long. It is unacceptable that the public were treated as guinea pigs without their knowledge, and I want to be sure that the Ministry of Defence's claims that these chemicals and bacteria used were safe is true.'

The MoD report traces the history of the UK's research into germ warfare since the Second World War when Porton Down produced five million cattle cakes filled with deadly anthrax spores which would have been dropped in Germany to kill their livestock. It also gives details of the infamous anthrax experiments on Gruinard on the Scottish coast which left the island so contaminated it could not be inhabited until the late 1980s.

The report also confirms the use of anthrax and other deadly germs on tests aboard ships in the Caribbean and off the Scottish coast during the 1950s. The document states: 'Tacit approval for simulant trials where the public might be exposed was strongly influenced by defence security considerations aimed obviously at restricting public knowledge. An important corollary to this was the need to avoid public alarm and disquiet about the vulnerability of the civil population to BW [biological warfare] attack.'

Sue Ellison, spokeswoman for Porton Down, said: 'Independent reports by eminent scientists have shown there was no danger to public health from these releases which were carried out to protect the public.

'The results from these trials_ will save lives, should the country or our forces face an attack by chemical and biological weapons.'

Asked whether such tests are still being carried out, she said: 'It is not our policy to discuss ongoing research.'

Fear is a Magnetic Force and often Appears as Anger.

Dog Poet Transmitting…….

I’ve been watching Alan Grayson for awhile. He’s a congressman from Central Florida. He’s been a truthful and relentless gadfly against the vampire establishment of Zionist Jewish bankers and general, corporate malfeasance. Though he hasn’t named these miscreants as to their claimed and fraudulent native origins, he has certainly gone after the machinery of human oppression on a regular basis. He’s pretty much alone out there when it comes to honesty in a politician and stands out as a glaring anomaly in terms of right and wrong and those who don’t know the difference, except as it applies to personal profit and expediency in relation to self interest at all levels. What he talks about in this video exposes just how venal and evil the operations of the international banking community are.

It should be clear to anyone with a little more intelligence than a turnip that the bailouts were nothing more than calculated theft from ‘the people’ in order to cover the inconvenient results of Wall Streets greed and mistakes and to allow for wholesale robbery in name of protecting the system.

Here you can see another perspective on what is happening and the spin that is applied to justify certain activities and to hide the truth concerning them. Day by day the crime and disinformation accelerate as the disciples of evil seek to destroy the very system that they have fed off of for so long. Like the male black widow, engaged in the performance of a biological imperative, they hope to tie up the legs of the female, who is ten times their size, screw her and then get away with their lives, while the famished female sets about attempting to consume her lover. They think they’ll get away with it. They have in the past. They think it’s a simple game to hamstring the few remaining protections in the system for long enough that they can flee to another location, beyond the havoc they have caused.

I’ve been hearing from people more and more lately about the internet being shut down. In some cases, the same people have brought it to my attention multiple times in the same day. I respond by telling them that the internet cannot be shut down. Every time What Really Happened or The Truthseeker goes off the air for a few hours or longer, I am inundated by inquiries concerning them and all the apprehension and paranoia that attend these events. In nearly every case, the problem was something internal that got repaired by the webmaster. This is not to say there is no concerted effort to shut down the real truth sites. These are certainly in motion or on the drafting table but, as Michael Rivero has shown, there’s more than one way to skin a vampire.

We live in a world where the power of appearances molds our relationship to what ‘seems’ to possess the greater power to control and influence our lives. This is understandable in terms of those who lack the capacity to see beyond appearances and who possess very little in terms of objective reasoning skills. It is less understandable in terms of those who have the ability to see behind the curtain but who still think the wizard is a force of immense power instead of a sideshow charlatan.

Pardon me if I wax metaphysical for a moment. It might help to say that metaphysics occurs in a world outside the registry of the senses, while ordinary physics exists within those parameters. In fact, ordinary physics also exists outside of these parameters but is able with mathematics to prove certain verities in the way that algebra and other higher math systems can postulate the existence of something that cannot be directly viewed. The proof of this can be seen in any number of the wonders of technology as it exists around us.

We have an understanding of certain laws of Nature. One might think that we therefore have an understanding of most of the laws of Nature. This is not the case. In various situations we do not understand certain laws of Nature that we use in countless ways. We might not understand what’s going on but observation has made it possible for us to exploit them. Electricity is a good example of this.

Rather than get into explaining how I understand certain things to be true, I’m just going to state them and you can use the hints presented so far in this article to theorize about, prove or intuit the truth of what I say. It shouldn’t be hard for you to do this. You don’t have to understand the nature and composition of a certain mysterious, over-riding force. You never will anyway. You don’t have to apprehend all of the fundamentals and possibilities of the dynamics of the universe, as they apply in our observable world. All you need is a grasp of certain principles and you can prove the consistency and predictable operations of anything by simply watching and performing tests on what they do and allowing your observations and tests to sort themselves out in your mind to the degree that you are able to do so.

We make ourselves stupid by embracing a bias about the things we study. We shouldn’t make value judgments and place limits on things we don’t know enough about in the first place. Our ability to exploit the virtues of anything is confined by our own willing ignorance, concerning the possibilities of their potential. You can apply this to almost anything.

Evil destroys itself. Here’s how it does it. Evil is a negative exploitation of a system that uses the creative intelligence of the criminal to bypass the rules of the system or to turn seeming loopholes in the system against its inbuilt policing system. However, the system is a comprehensive thing and eventually it will react against violations to the degree of the violations. If you throw a ball against a wall it will bounce back at you. If you bounce the ball like you might in a racket ball court in order to outwit your opponent or to compromise his ability to respond, the ball will eventually respond in the same complicated manner for you. Eventually, no matter how intricate or clever your perversion of the system, the system will come back on you with the same degree of cleverness and intricacy in an automatic way. This is a basic explanation of Karma as well.

We are presently seeing this in operation, courtesy of The Apocalypse, which is a feature of a much more cosmic system that also contains the other system already mentioned. Evil knows only as much as it needs to know to perform its acts of self interest and to protect itself- more or less- against retribution. But… only the wise and the virtuous can understand the deeper meaning of this system, because the essential meaning and operation of this system cannot be fully known by those who willfully pervert it because that implies that they don’t understand its operations, which are essentially wise and virtuous beyond human comprehension.

Stop worrying about what you think the bad guys can and will do. Be more concerned with your own operations within the schematic of existence. The system protects those who are harmonized with its greater intentions. The system is conscious. Ordinary physics has already proven that the universe is thought born. Ponder that. There is only one force, period. This force is applied for both good and evil and is on temporary loan to both. It can be withdrawn at any time. It doesn’t matter if you see this system as an inflexible operation of mathematical principles or as a conscious and omniscient entity. It could well be both. A study of Greek and Roman mythology will repay big dividends to those who are honest with themselves in their manner of inquiry.

At certain points in human history, this mathematical or conscious force makes necessary adjustments, because of great imbalances that always appear like clockwork at predictable places. We are in one of those places. A new age is coming about and the previous age is being recycled. This one force is turning itself to new instruments, while also summing up the integrity, or lack of integrity, in the instruments that preceded them. You can call this ‘judgment’ or you can call it the outworking of natural law. It doesn’t matter what you call it.

Get your own house in order and enjoy the brilliant ironies and teaching moments of what is going to be presented for your attention, should you be paying attention. Paying attention is the difference between life and death. Really paying attention is called ‘concentration’.

I may be required to step away from all of this shortly and that includes my former hopes for a community and practically everything I’ve been engaged in until now. It’s not in my hands and I have to go in the direction that opens before me. I don’t mean to be mysterious but no small portion of it is a private affair. I say this in advance of any absence on my part that might occur and I’ll probably say not much more than this about it. Everything will be as it should be, even when it’s not what we might have had planned for ourselves. Things change and sometimes not the best of intentions can influence them back to what they formerly seemed to be. Those of you who have made plans concerning me should rethink them as they may no longer be possible.

End Transmission…….

There will, most likely, be a radio show Sunday night at 7:30 Central Time or you can download it the next day.

Banks Fail in Florida, Washington as U.S. Closures Reach 129 for This Year

Lenders in Florida and Washington collapsed today, pushing the number of U.S. bank failures to 129 for the year, as financial firms suffer losses on loans tied to real estate.

Wakulla Bank, based in Crawfordville, Florida, was seized by a state regulator, according to a statement posted on the website of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which was named receiver. Shoreline Bank, in Shoreline, Washington, was also closed, the FDIC said. The two actions drained $154.8 million from the FDIC deposit-insurance fund.

The agency’s list of “problem” banks climbed to 829 lenders with $403 billion in assets at the end of the second quarter, a 7 percent increase from the 775 on the list in the first quarter. The U.S. may lose about a third of its banks as the weakening economy weeds out the least healthy institutions, said John Kanas, chief executive officer of BankUnited.

The FDIC said it insured deposits at 7,830 financial institutions as of June 30. Banks are failing at a faster pace than last year, which saw the most failures since 1992, as real estate values remain depressed and economic recovery stays sluggish. Regulators closed 140 banks last year.

“Most of us in the business think we probably need 5,000 and think we are on our way to 5,000 as this cycle, if this is a cycle, unfolds,” Kanas, 63, said on Sept. 30 at the Bloomberg Dealmakers Summit in New York. “We simply chartered too many banks.”

Private Equity

Kanas became CEO of Miami Lakes, Florida-based BankUnited last year by joining a group of private equity investors who agreed to inject about $900 million into the collapsed Florida lender. The other investors include Carlyle Group, Centerbridge Capital Partners, WL Ross & Co., and Blackstone Group LP.

Home Bancshares Inc.’s Centennial Bank in Conway, Arkansas, acquired Wakulla’s 12 branches and $386.3 million in deposits, according to the FDIC statement.

Home Bancshares said the acquisition will immediately boost earnings and book value per share. Centennial Bank enters the Tallahassee, Florida, market with the deal, the company said in a statement. The FDIC will shares losses on more than $200 million of Wakulla’s loans, Home Bancshares said.

GBC International Bank, based in Los Angeles, assumed Shoreline Bank’s $100.2 million in deposits and will take over its three branches, the FDIC said.

Russia's Central Bank Imposes Ban on Currency Exchange Offices

A ban on currency exchange offices introduced by Russia's Central Bank has come into force on Friday, reported Russian media.

A ban on currency exchange offices introduced by Russia's Central Bank has come into force on Friday, reported Russian media.

The Prime-Tass news agency reported that currency exchange offices could be reformed into larger departments providing a broader number of services as well. But they can not use the title "currency exchange office" anyway.

Some bank employees said their currency exchange offices outside the banks' buildings would be transferred into "cash offices" providing extra services as remittances, so as to continue its work.

The Central Bank announced the decision to ban little currency exchange offices in February 2010. Media reported the number of the office has reduced twice since, with the majority placed in Moscow.

Statistics show there are 139 exchange offices in Russia by Sept. 29, but it is generally believed the number does not correspond to reality.

Pomegranate Juice Cuts High Blood Pressure and Reduces Beer Bellies

According to a study conducted at Edinburgh's Queen Margaret University, pomegranate juice can be helpful in reducing beer bellies. The juice can also significantly decrease high blood pressure, which is the main cause of heart disease and stroke.

For the study, many volunteers were selected and were asked to drink the pomegranate juice for a period of one month. After a month, it was found that the blood pressure in 90% of the volunteers reduced significantly.

The researchers of the study, Dr. Emad Aldujaili and Dr. Catherine Tsang, said that it is now proved that the risk of cardiovascular disease decreases considerably by drinking pomegranate juice.

Scientists also think that pomegranate juice has the power to cut the abdominal fat, also known as the ‘spare tyre’ in men, or ‘muffin top’ in women.

The researchers also say that the juice can lower the amount of fatty acid in the blood, which is also called non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA).

Dr. Aldujaili said, “We believe that these initial findings deserve more detailed study. The subjects in our latest study had a healthy body mass index, making the impact more difficult to observe”.

He also said that the future study will be done to note the effect of the juice on overweight or obese people.

Schwarzenegger, California lawmakers in budget deal

The head of California's senate announced late Friday that the legislature reached an agreement with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger over the state budget and closing its 19.1 billion dollar deficit.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg made the announcement to reporters in Sacramento surrounded by three other senior California legislators.

California has been without a spending plan since the new budget year began on July 1.

Steinberg said that legislators will return next week to finalize their "comprehensive agreement," and could hold votes on Thursday.

"These are very difficult circumstances in difficult times," Steinberg said, according to The Sacramento Bee. "Not a lot of celebrating. But we all stepped up and did the work we had to do."

California will likely be forced to cut back public spending to bridge its massive budget deficit.

In mid-May Schwarzenegger unveiled plans to plug the deficit by slashing billions of dollars worth of funding for services designed to help the state's poor.

His budget proposal called for 12.4 billion dollars in spending cuts, including the elimination of California's welfare-to-work program and virtually all child care for low income families.

Schwarzenegger's proposed spending cuts would also eliminate 60 percent of funding for community mental health, and low income families would also lose access to state-subsidized day care for children.

California, the most populous and wealthiest US state, was hit hard by the housing crisis.

Analysts and legislators say California's seemingly eternal fiscal gridlock is a consequence of the state's constitution, which requires a two-thirds majority to pass a budget or raise taxes.

Schwarzenegger has refused to raise taxes to narrow the shortfall and described the proposed cuts to spending as "painful" but essential.

A budget crisis last year pushed California, which would have the world's eighth largest economy if it were a country, to the brink of bankruptcy, sending the state's credit-rating plunging and forcing it to start paying bills with IOUs.

The Disappearing Male

The Disappearing Male is about one of the most important, and least publicized, issues facing the human species: the toxic threat to the male reproductive system.
The last few decades have seen steady and dramatic increases in the incidence of boys and young men suffering from genital deformities, low sperm count, sperm abnormalities and testicular cancer.
At the same time, boys are now far more at risk of suffering from ADHD, autism, Tourette’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, and dyslexia.
The Disappearing Male takes a close and disturbing look at what many doctors and researchers now suspect are responsible for many of these problems: a class of common chemicals that are ubiquitous in our world.
Found in everything from shampoo, sunglasses, meat and dairy products, carpet, cosmetics and baby bottles, they are called “hormone mimicking” or “endocrine disrupting” chemicals and they may be starting to damage the most basic building blocks of human development. (Excerpt from

Link to full documentary

Be very afraid – we are being fleeced by purveyors of fear

Home Office threat levels are absurd abstractions of no help to anyone except the security lobby raising cash through fear

In case you missed it, since Monday an "Irish-related" attack on Britain has been "a strong possibility". At the same time, an al-Qaida attack is "highly likely" and "only a matter of time". This presumably means one will occur – though, since August 2006, when this alarmist language was first to put us on continuous alert, terrorism has been like mad flu disease, afflicting Whitehall but strangely absent from the nation at large.

I hesitate to tempt fate, but this dog's dinner of nouns and qualifiers cannot mean anything to the general public. Rather than describing a menace to the British state, the words are more a comment on English teaching in schools. They are verbal garbage, reflecting a habit of bureaucratic mind and relieving public services – airport security, railway guards, traffic police – of the need for courtesy. They just want to keep the public scared and paying taxes.

Travelling on a First Great Western train nowadays is like entering Guantánamo – a cacophony of repetitive announcements telling passengers to protect their belongings at all times and inform the police if they see anything suspicious. Likewise the fatuous frisking of old ladies at airports, the half-hearted searching of bags in shops, the reams of safety literature pouring from the nation's printers. It is the white noise of state fear.

Nothing is as absurd as Home Office "threat levels". They purport to grade the risk of something called an "attack". This is not defined, but graces a crime with the glamour of a soldierly act. It grants terrorism political status and thus dusts the security industry with the glory of defending the realm.

Above all the threat must be kept alive, sorted into classes of low, moderate, substantial, severe and critical. We are currently at severe. What regius professor of English chose these words? I would put severe below substantial, the word being a strengthener of very, while substantial has substance. But I assume Whitehall has done focus groups and sweat tests. Substantial was perhaps greeted with a shrug, while severe brought on the shakes. As for critical – mujahideen "expected imminently" to hurl bombs down Oxford Street – it is surely the most devalued word in the OED.

There is no way a member of the public can sensibly use the information that an al-Qaida threat has altered from substantial to severe. These are abstractions. Are we supposed to calibrate our dread with Theresa May each morning, treating all dark skin as suspicious and every beard as hiding a foe?

The former home secretary, Alan Johnson, raised the al-Qaida threat level in January from substantial to severe, yet added that it would be "pretty daft" to say why. Under his predecessor the security service boasted that it had tabs on 2,000 individual terrorists, 200 networks and 30 active plots. The impression was the more the merrier.

The public pays the police and security services to protect them from these bombs going off, while accepting that occasionally one will get through. But it also pays not constantly to be reminded that there are bad people in the world. It pays to be relieved of fear. May claims to be "alerting not alarming" the public by "raising its awareness". She treats terrorism as, like gay rights and climate change, in need of an Arts Council grant.

In the mid-1970s, the Provisional IRA staged some 50 explosions in London, subjecting the city to far greater mayhem than today. Somehow we survived without the gargantuan counter-terror apparatus in place today. The bombing campaign came nowhere near toppling the British government or infringing the liberty of the state. The chief threat to that freedom today comes not from terrorists but from the government's response to them. Speaking in July on the fifth anniversary of the 7/7 tube attacks, the former head of the Met's Muslim Contact Unit, Robert Lambert, commented that the then Labour government, by taking its lead from a "flawed neocon" analysis of Islam, had "not reduced but increased the chances of terrorist attacks". The government had proclaimed that an evil ideology had entitled it "to derogate from human rights considerations" and "go to war not against terrorism but against ideas, the belief that al-Qaida was a violent end of a subversive movement".

To see what is happening we probably need to return to the old journalistic maxim, follow the money. There is now an extensive police and industrial lobby in Britain dependent for its resources on maintaining a high level of public fear. The lobby thrives on its own failures. The incidents in America on 9/11 (2001) and in London on 7/7 (2005) saw the greatest ever peacetime growth in spending on security. Unlike most forms of public spending, this one could by its nature demand cash with menaces and with no account of value for money.

The fear must be sustained if the resources are to flow. The west has been starkly free of terrorist "attacks" over the past decade. The lobby may plead this proves the money was well spent, but the staggering cost of anti-terrorism since 9/11, including two foreign wars, must have surpassed all actuarial calculation of western lives saved thereby.

Hardly a month goes by without someone in authority reminding us to expect another attack imminently. I have lost count of statements from MI5, the police and other experts that an attack is a matter of "not if, but when". The attacks never occur, or are brilliantly thwarted, like the one reportedly prevented this week, apparently by dropping bombs from drones on Pakistani villages. What is noticeable is that the tempo of such threats increases immediately before Christmas and when the security lobby is involved in a fight over money, as now.

This week the Police Federation chief, Paul McKeever, warned that policing the Olympics would be a "great burden" because of budget cuts. His union has constantly upped the "threat to the Olympics" to win £800m for just two weeks of cover – more even than Beijing. Now it wants more. Meanwhile the Met's John Yates, head of specialist operations, has declared that any cuts to his budget would be exploited by al-Qaida and "leave Britain vulnerable to terrorist attack". This is from a force with so much money that it can spend £48m on a "human resources computer" that is still not ready, and deploy a helicopter and 59 gunmen to kill one Chelsea barrister.

Britain's security/industrial complex has been allowed to run berserk under the long shadow of 9/11 and 7/7. It has been allowed to undermine civil liberty and tax the exchequer of a fortune. Now it has the effrontery to tell Britons that they are not safer but less safe as a result. After 10 years of soaring expenditure, the threat has actually risen.

I do not believe that this apparent failure to deliver value for money is real, or that some catastrophic explosion is imminent. I think this is just another lobby seeking money. As it plays with its words, the rest of us may shrug and go about our business. But I sometimes wonder who is the real terrorist.

Utah residents fear ‘Israeli art students’ prying into NSA data center

By Muriel Kane for

A local ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah has caused a stir online with a report suggesting that self-proclaimed Israeli art students, peddling their artwork from door to door, have been asking disturbing questions about plans to build an NSA data center in the area.

"These salespeople say they're Israeli students," ABC4 reporter Brent Hunsaker explained. "They even produce Israeli passports. They say they're selling their own artwork to raise money to open a gallery. So why would the Israeli art students want to know about the National Security Agency?"

According to Hunsaker, warnings about the students are being spread through blogs and church bulletins. One bulletin sent out to Mormon women even claimed that "federal law enforcement groups are actually investigating their ties to organized crime and terrorist groups."

There may, however, be less to the story than meets the eye.

The basis for the suspicions goes back to 2002, when a lengthy article at Salon described how Drug Enforcement Agency field offices were reporting that "young Israelis claiming to be art students and offering artwork for sale had been attempting to penetrate DEA offices for over a year. The Israelis had also attempted to penetrate the offices of other law enforcement and Department of Defense agencies."
Story continues below...

According to author Christopher Ketcham, "Some of the Israelis were observed diagramming the inside of federal buildings. Some were found carrying photographs they had taken of federal agents. One was discovered with a computer printout in his luggage that referred to 'DEA groups.' In some cases, the Israelis visited locations not known to the public -- areas without street addresses, for example, or DEA offices not identified as such."

These reports were summarized in a June 2001 internal DEA memo, but what brought the story to public notice was a Fox News special in December of that year. It suggested that the "art students" might have been Israeli spies who had trailed al-Qaeda members across the United States but had never shared any information they might have gained on the plans for September 11 with US authorities.

Ultimately, the more conspiratorial aspects of the story proved impossible to confirm, and it became one more unsolved 9/11 mystery. Since then, self-proclaimed "Israeli art students" have continued to show up from time to time, but most of them are clearly running a scam.

Police in Ontario, Canada, for example, are currently issuing warnings about individuals going door to door and asking hundreds of dollars for "one of a kind" artworks that are "actually mass-produced oil paintings from China worth about $15."

The situation is somewhat different in Utah, however, where the sudden appearance of the art students is being tied to recent news reports that "the Army has awarded a $1.2 billion contract to a construction consortium to build a spacious new data center in Utah for the National Security Agency's (NSA's) cybersecurity effort."

The facility is part of the Comprehensive National Security Initiative, launched in 2008, whose aim is to protect military computer networks from cyber-threats and provide assistance to the Department of Homeland Security in securing the federal government's civilian networks.

Hunsaker's investigation, on the other hand, was unable to turn up anyone who had actually been asked questions about the data center. One woman who had bought a painting said the subject was never raised. And a Saratoga Springs policeman commented only that the young people he ticketed for soliciting without a business license "looked like everyday college students," but that when he asked one of them to draw a picture, "it was about on par with what my kindergartner could have done."

"They just may be young people selling cheap art at high prices," Hunsaker concluded. "A scam."

This video is from ABC4 News and was posted to YouTube on September 30, 2010 by

Norwegian and U.S. Soldiers Kill for Thrills in Afghanistan

September 30, 2010

Search for the truth is the noblest occupation of man; its publication is a duty.
- Madame de Stael

Norwegians and Scandinavians are shocked and appalled to read that Norwegian soldiers actually enjoy killing Afghan resistance fighters, who are fighting the foreign occupation of their country. The Norwegian magazine Alfa coming out this week carries an article with interviews with Norwegian snipers who brag about killing Afghans from more than 2,500 meters. The Norwegian report mirrors a grisly ABC News report of U.S. troops "Killing for Sport" innocent Afghan civilians and cutting off parts of their bodies. These reports reveal the false morality of the criminal war in Afghanistan.


To kill Afghans, the soldiers say, is better than having sex. "To fight and kill is worth three months without sex. Maybe it sounds idiotic but it is better than sex," one Norwegian sniper said. "When you are on the field it is you or the enemy. And when you see the 'red mist' (blood spurt from sniper victim) is indescribable. It's why we are here."

"Sometimes we get lucky," one of the snipers told Alfa. "I hit a Taliban in the neck from 2,770 meters on February 2. That was really great."

Norwegian snipers in Afghanistan

Alfa magazine appears to be of that peculiar genre of magazines for men that mixes sex with war and violence. Although the issue of Alfa has not yet hit the newstands the story has already caused an uproar in Norway, a land that suffered a brutal occupation under the Nazi regime during the Second World War. This presents the fundamental ethical problem that I posed to the Norwegian government several years ago when it became clear to the public that Norwegian soldiers were not promoting democracy or building schools in Afghanistan - they were simply killing people.

"I have commanded my forces that our mission is to kill, and we have great success with it...I don't reflect any further about taking peoples' lives," company chief Kristian Simonsen in Meymaneh, near the border with Turkmenistan, told VG magazine.

The Norwegian mission that Simonsen commands is called the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) but what are they really constructing? What is the real purpose for the 500 Norwegian soldiers who are on a mission to kill Afghans in the province of Afghanistan that borders Turkmenistan? Could it be that greedy Norwegian oil oligarchs (read Statoil) are invested in the criminal scheme to occupy Afghanistan in order to build the TAPI gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to India - for Israel's Mossad gangsters? (See my articles below.)

Norwegian soldiers training at the PRT base Meymaneh. How can their stated "mission to kill" be called "reconstruction"? Why is Norway so deeply involved in this massive crime that is directly linked to the hoax of 9/11?
(Photo - Norwegian Military)


“The positive achievement of PRT Meymaneh is also a result of the Scandinavian way of life and its culture. A great sense of humor, combined with a warm heart, an open mind, tolerance and consideration toward the Afghan population are the two special brands of this PRT.”
- German Brig. Gen. Frank Leidenberger on the Norwegian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in Meymaneh, June 2010

How can any Christian nation that suffered a brutal occupation in its modern history take part in the illegal occupation of Afghanistan? How could Norwegians be part of the "coalition of the killing"? The Norwegian government did not deign to respond to my question, although I am only trying to help them out of a very bad situation. Of the 4 Scandinavian and Baltic nations I asked about being involved in combat in Afghanistan, only Finland responded with a protest saying that ISAF soldiers were not involved in combat operations - a complete lie. When queried about the news reports, the Finnish spokesman refused to discuss the subject any further.

Norway's Minister of Defense Grete Faremo (left) with military chief Per Sunde. Faremo said that the soldiers' statements were unacceptable. “I strongly oppose the soldiers' comments," Faremo said. "Our soldiers receive great recognition for their mission. But if the types of attitudes that have come forth in VG exist, then they are best left in the dark."

No, Ms Faremo, the soldiers' comments should not be "left in the dark". Their statements simply reflect the brutal reality of the murderous mission they were sent on by Norwegian government officials like you. How can killing be anything but murder in such a criminal war? What is truly unacceptable is Norway's participation in the pre-planned war of aggression in Afghanistan.

The story that first made it quite clear that Norwegian soldiers were fighting in Afghanistan concerned German helicopter pilots who went back to base in the evening rather than continue fighting Afghans. The Norwegians complained that they could have gone on killing if the Germans had not returned to base at dusk.

Magnus Rønningen, editor of ALFA, said he believes the real scandal is how the military has handled the matter. “It is not the soldiers’ comments that are the most shocking here, but the military’s way of publicly stabbing its own soldiers in the back. It is for me, at best, extremely bad leadership,” he said.

Author's Note - As an American with Norwegian ancestors I have a great deal of respect for Norway and Norwegian culture. My criticism of Norway's current participation in the war in Afghanistan should not be misconstrued as anti-Norwegian.

Rev. Thorval H. Larsen, the author's great-grandfather, was born near Kongsberg in Telemark, Norway in 1856 shortly before his family emigrated to the United States. Thorval became a highly educated multi-lingual Lutheran minister in what is today southwestern North Dakota.

Sources and Recommended Reading:

"Norwegian minister: Military needs more focus on ethics", EarthTimes, September 27, 2010,military-needs-focus-ethics.html

"Å krige er bedre enn sex", VG (Norway), September 27, 2010

"Uttalelsene er ikke sjokkerende", NRK (Norway), September 28, 2010

"Killing For Sport - Confession Video: US Soldier Describes Thrill Kill of Innocent Afghans", by Matthey Cole and Brian Ross, September 27, 2010, ABC News

"Northern Afghan Provincial Reconstruction Team Has New Commander", ISAF Public Affairs Office, June 10, 2010

Bollyn, Christopher, "Afghanistan - Obama's War for Israel", July 6, 2010

Bollyn, "Dying in Vain - Why Afghanistan?", February 8, 2010

Bollyn, "Obama's Deception - 9/11 and Afghanistan", June 5, 2009

Bollyn, "The Spoils of War: The Minerals of Afghanistan", January 7, 2002

"Strid bättre än sex", Aftonbladet (Sweden), September 28, 2010