Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Govt. Watchdog Says Freddie Mac Settled 'Too Cheaply' With Bank Of America, Taxpayers On The Hook For More Losses


Anyone surprised?  Under current policy, Fannie and Freddie exist and function solely to absolve TBTF banks of liability and fraudulent assets.
WASHINGTON — Freddie Mac employed a faulty analysis when the government-owned firm struck a deal to receive $1.4 billion from Bank of America Corp. as part of a settlement over problem mortgages it purchased from the big bank, according to a watchdog report released Tuesday.
The settlement was over claims that Bank of America misrepresented the quality of home loans its acquired Countrywide Financial sold to Freddie Mac between 2005 and 2007. The deal covered 787,000 loans with a total unpaid principal balance of $127 billion, the bank noted at the time.
The inspector general for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, on Tuesday said an FHFA senior examiner “raised serious concerns” about the settlement with Bank of America, which was agreed to in December. The mortgage buyer’s own internal auditors in 2010 also identified concerns about the loan review process.
It added that FHFA senior management may have inaccurately estimated the risk of loss to Freddie Mac and that the issue could “potentially involve substantial losses to Freddie Mac.” Already Freddie Mac and Fannie Mac have cost taxpayers some $130 billion.
For example, the loan sample used by management in crafting the deal was drawn from all sellers and not just Countrywide — “which was among the most aggressive originators of higher-risk, non-traditional loans and whose loans had significantly above-average numbers of defects subject to repurchase claims,” according to the inspector-general’s report.
Freddie Mac management, according to a memorandum, made a deliberate decision not to change sampling procedures in order to maintain relationships with loan sellers such as Bank of America.
The report did note that FHFA suspended future settlements premised on the Freddie Mac loan review process.
Complete history of the Fannie & Freddie disaster...
Video - Former Fannie Chief Credit Officer Edward Pinto

Occupy Wall Street: 'Pepper-spray' officer named in Bush protest claim

Anthony Bologna, NYPD officer named in pepper-spray incident, is accused of civil rights violations at the time of the 2004 Republican national convention protests

Participants in a march organised by Occupy Wall Street
Participants in a march organised by Occupy Wall Street. Photograph: Tina Fineberg/AP
A senior New York police officer accused of pepper-spraying young women on the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations is the subject of a pending legal action over his conduct at another protest in the city.
The Guardian has learned that the officer, named by activists as deputy inspector Anthony Bologna, stands accused of false arrest and civil rights violations in a claim brought by a protester involved in the 2004 demonstrations at the Republican national convention.
Then, 1,800 people were arrested during protests against the Iraq war and the policies of president George W Bush.
Alan Levine, a civil rights lawyer representing Post A Posr, a protester at the 2004 event, told the Guardian that he filed an action against Bologna and another officer, Tulio Camejo, in 2007. The case, filed at the New York Southern District Court, is expected to be heard next year.
Levine said that when he heard about the pepper spray incident "a bunch of us were wondering if any of the same guys were involved".
The lawyer said Posr was arrested on 31 August 2004, after he approached the driver of a Volkswagen festooned with anti-abortion slogans.
His arrest was not directly related to the protest against the Republican convention, but was at a time of heightened tension in New York.
Levine said: "Police contend that Posr hit the man with a rolled-up newspaper. He said he was just talking to the guy. Bologna ordered another officer, Camejo, to arrest Posr."
Posr was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct and one count of second degree harassment, and held until September 2. On November 8, all charges against him were dropped.
Levine said that, in a departure from normal police procedure, his client was held in a special detention facility, at Pier 57, where he and others arrested were held until the protests were over.
The Guardian asked the NYPD to respond to the naming of the officer and the allegation that he was previously the subject of a civil rights complaint, but a spokesman said the department had not yet decided whether to comment.
Bologna's name appeared on Twitter and on activists' websites after the incident on Saturday. YouTube footage appears to show a white-shirted NYPD officer firing the spray into the eyes of the protesters, who are penned in by other officers with orange netting. As the officer walks away, two of the women crumple to the ground, screaming in pain.
There were a number of clashes between protesters and police at the march, when protesters moved uptown from their base at a park in the Financial District. There were about 80 arrests.
Hacker collective Anonymous claimed responsibility on Monday for posting Bologna's details, which they said was in retribution for the pepper-spray incident.
The online postings identified Bologna as a deputy inspector of Patrol Borough Manhattan South, and revealed his phone number and family details.
The information, posted on a site called Pastebin, included a statement which read: "As we watched your officers kettle innocent women, we observed you barbarically pepper-spray wildly into the group of kettled women. We were shocked and disgusted by your behaviour."
"You know who the innocent women were; now they will have the chance to know who you are. Before you commit atrocities against innocent people, think twice. WE ARE WATCHING!!! Expect Us!"
Since the post, other activists have followed suit, urging people to call his precinct to complain or to call him directly.
The move drew a mixed response from the Occupy Wall Street activists who have been camped out in Zuccotti Park for nine days. Many say they were angry about the "brutal and unnecessary" tactics used by police at the weekend.
Hero Vincent, 28, an artist from the Bronx, said: "I think it should be out there, so that people know what's going on and if people want to enter his precinct and ask that he should be fired, they can. We are a peaceful protest. For them to attack us is wrong."
Vincent, who was arrested for resisting arrest on Saturday, claimed he was kicked in the stomach by officers.
But there was also disquiet over the officer's family details being made public.
Another protester, who did not want to be named, told the Guardian: "My dad is a police officer and he got a lot of death threats. I don't know if his family details should be out there. But if the information is correct and he has a rights case against him, I'm extremely concerned that he was put into what was a very tense situation."
One protester, Jeanne Mansfield – who said she was standing so close to the women sprayed in the face that her own eyes burned – claimed other NYPD officers had expressed disbelief at the actions of the senior officer.
In a vivid account of the incident in the Boston Review, Mansfield said: "A white-shirt, now known to be NYPD Lieutenant Anthony Bologna, comes from the left, walks straight up to the three young girls at the front of the crowd, and pepper-sprays them in the face for a few seconds, continuing as they scream 'No! Why are you doing that?!'"
Despite her attempts to turn away from the "unavoidable" spray, Mansfield, who took part in Saturday's march with her boyfriend on a whim after "stumbling across" it, said she suffered burning and temporary blindness in her left eye and tears streaming down her face.
She continued: "In the street I shout for water to rinse my eyes or give to the girls on the ground. But no one responds. One of the blue-shirts, tall and bald, stares in disbelief and says, 'I can't believe he just fuckin' maced her.'"

SEC may recommend legal action against S&P

NEW YORK — The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering recommending civil legal action against the Standard & Poor’s debt ratings agency over its rating of a 2007 collateralized debt offering.
Collateralized debt obligations, also known as CDOs, are securities tied to multiple underlying mortgage loans. The CDO generally gains value if borrowers repay. But if borrowers default, CDO investors lose money. Soured CDO’s have been blamed for making the 2008 financial crisis worse. Ratings agencies have been faulted for being lax in rating CDOs.
The SEC staff said it may recommend that the commission seek civil money penalties, disgorgement of fees or other actions.
S&P has been under fire for its recent downgrade of U.S. debt, as well as several bad calls it made leading up to the financial crisis and economic meltdown that began in 2008. The unit’s president stepped down last month.
McGraw-Hill Cos., which owns S&P, said Monday that it received a Wells Notice from the SEC’s staff on Thursday.
In issuing Wells notices, the SEC enforcement staff gives companies the chance to make the case why charges are unwarranted. That means a formal decision by SEC commissioners to file charges may not occur.
S&P said it has been cooperating with the commission and plans to continue cooperating on the matter.
McGraw-Hill shares fell 90 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $42.03 in morning trading.
The news comes two weeks after McGraw-Hill announced that it plans to split up into two public companies with one focused on education and the other centered on markets, featuring the Standard & Poor’s unit. The decision had been expected, as investors have pushed the New York company to boost the company’s stock price, which has dropped by more than 40 percent since 2006.
McGraw-Hill Education will be the new company focused on education services and digital learning, while McGraw-Hill Markets will retain S&P and J.D. Power and Associates, a market research company. It also includes S&P Capital IQ, a provider of data, research, benchmarks and analytics and Platts, a provider of information and indices in energy, petrochemicals and metals.
McGraw-Hill was founded by James H. McGraw in 1888 when he purchased the company’s first publication, The American Journal of Railway Appliances. Since then, the company has provided technical and trade publications, as well as information and analysis on global markets.

Age of Illiteracy: Shocking 20% UK youths struggle to read

'Scared the Hell Out of Me. It Was a Great Wake-Up Call (Although I Wasn't Really Asleep)'

Over 10 Million Americans Have United to View This Powerful Warning to Prepare for a 2012 Economic Crisis! I Strongly Suggest You Take the Time to Join Them by Launching a Private Airing of This Broadcast Below . . .

Michael Moore speaking to activists at Occupy Wall Street

I believe this clip is from last night at #occupywallstreet. Start watching at the 3:15 mark for the headline quote.

  • "I want to see the people responsible for destroying the lives of millions of people in handcuffs, led away and brought to justice, immediately!"

Pretty simple demand. And long past overdue. We could start with police officer Anthony Bologna who has been identified as the NYPD thug who maced innocent female protesters.

Stocks jump on investor hopes for a Europe fix

NEW YORK — Stocks had their biggest gains in more than two weeks Monday after European officials vowed to take action to resolve the region’s debt problems. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 272 points, making up about a third of last week’s losses.
Financial officials met in Washington this weekend and pledged to take bolder steps to fight Europe’s debt crisis, which threatens to slow the global economy. President Barack Obama called on European leaders to move more quickly to address the crisis.
German leaders want banks and private institutions that hold Greek bonds to take a bigger loss on those holdings to reduce Greece’s debt burden. European officials have talked about increasing the size of Europe’s $595 billion rescue fund by allowing it to take loans from the European Central Bank. Pressure is also mounting for the central bank to lower interest rates.
“The news leaking out of Europe is giving investors hope that the politicians and central bankers in Europe might be putting together a plan,” said Channing Smith, managing director of Capital Advisors Inc. “The devil’s in the details.”
The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 272.38 points, or 2.5 percent, to close at 11,043.86. It was the biggest gain since Sept. 7. JPMorgan Chase & Co. jumped 7 percent to $31.65, the most of the 30 stocks in the Dow.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 26.52, or 2.3 percent, to 1,162.95. The Nasdaq composite rose 33.46, or 1.4 percent, to 2,516.69.
About three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. All 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 rose.
Financial stocks had the biggest gains in the S&P 500, rising 4.4 percent. Banks have the most to lose if Europe’s debt crisis gets worse, so investors picked up those stocks as hopes built that a resolution could be on the way. Huntington Bancshares Inc. rose 8.3 percent, SunTrust banks Inc. rose 8 percent.
Berkshire Hathaway’s Class B shares rose 8.6 percent after the company announced a plan to repurchase stock for the first since Warren Buffett took control in 1965.
Investors have been on edge about Europe’s debt problems for months. The Dow plunged 6.4 percent last week, its biggest drop since the week ended Oct. 10, 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.
The market’s volatility has made many investors nervous. Since the first week of August, the Dow has closed up or down more than 200 points a total of 16 times. There were only four swings of 200 points or more in the other seven months of 2011.
President Barack Obama said in a town hall meeting that Europe’s financial crisis “is scaring the world” and that the actions the region’s leaders have taken so far “haven’t been as quick as they need to be.”
Greece is at risk of defaulting on its debt next month if it does not receive the next installment of a bailout package. If that happens, banks that hold Greek bonds would lose money. Analysts also worry that the economies in Europe and the U.S. could slip into another recession.
News that sales of new homes in the U.S. fell to a six-month low briefly sent indexes lower in morning trading, but by midday Eastern the Dow and S&P were higher.
Boeing Co. rose 4.2 percent after the company delivered its first 787 aircraft to Japan’s All Nippon Airways. An analyst said the company’s earnings should rise for the next few years if the aircraft maker is able to maintain steady production.
Clorox Co. fell 4.3 percent after Carl Icahn withdrew his proposal for a new slate of directors. That suggested the activist investor was unable to find a buyer for the consumer products company.
Eastman Kodak Co. plunged 26.9 percent after the company borrowed $160 million because most of its cash is deposited overseas. Some analysts took that as a sign that the company is running out of cash as it tries to reinvent itself in the era of digital photography.
Trading volume was a bit heavier than average at 4.5 billion shares.

Dress witches in pink and avoid white paper to prevent racism in nuseries, expert says

Teachers should censor the toy box to replace witches' black hats with a pink ones and dress fairies in darker shades, according to a consultant who has issued advice to local authorities. 

From the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz to Meg, the good witch from the Meg and Mog children's books, witches have always dressed in black.
But their traditional attire has now come in for criticism from equality experts who claim it could send a negative message to toddlers in nursery and lead to racism.
Instead, teachers should censor the toy box and replace the pointy black hat with a pink one, while dressing fairies, generally resplendent in pale pastels, in darker shades.
Another staple of the classroom - white paper - has also been questioned by Anne O'Connor, an early years consultant who advises local authorities on equality and diversity.
Children should be provided with paper other than white to drawn on and paints and crayons should come in "the full range of flesh tones", reflecting the diversity of the human race, according to the former teacher.

Finally, staff should be prepared to be economical with the truth when asked by pupils what their favourite colour is and, in the interests of good race relations, answer "black" or "brown".
The measures, outlined in a series of guides in Nursery World magazine, are aimed at avoiding racial bias in toddlers as young as two.
According to the guides, very young children may begin to express negative and discriminatory views about skin colour and appearance that nursery staff must help them "unlearn".
If children develop positive associations with dark colours, the greater the likelihood that the attitude will be generalised to people, it says.
The advice is based on an “anti-bias” approach to education which developed in the United States as part of multiculturalism.
It challenges prejudices such as racism, sexism and ageism through the whole curriculum and teaches children about tolerance and respect and to critically analyse what they are taught and think.
Ms O'Connor, who has worked with Newham and Tower Hamlets councils and recently devised equality material for Lancashire council's childcare service, said the approach, based on an "anti-bias" model of education, developed children's empathy and helped early years teachers to explore their own conditioning and possible prejudices.
"This is an incredibly complex subject that can easily become simplified and inaccurately portrayed," she said.
"There is a tendency in education to say 'here are normal people and here are different people and we have to be kind to those different people', whether it's race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or faith.
"People who are feeling defensive can say 'well there's nothing wrong with white paper', but in reality there could be if you don't see yourself reflected in the things around you. “As an early years teacher, the minute you start thinking, 'well actually, if I give everyone green paper, what happens’, you have a teaching potential.
“People might criticise this as political correctness gone mad. But it is because of political correctness we have moved on enormously. If you think that we now take it for granted that our buildings and public highways are adapted so people in wheelchairs and with pushchairs can move around. Years ago if you were in a wheelchair, then tough luck. We have completely moved and we wouldn’t have done that without the equality movement.”
Margaret Morrissey, a spokeswoman for the Parents Outloud campaigning group disagrees. She said: “I’m sure these early years experts know their field but they seem to be obsessed about colour and determined to make everyone else obsessed about it too.
“Not allowing toy witches to wear black seems to me nonsense and in the same vein as those people who have a problem with 'Bar Bar Black Sheep’ or 'The Three Little Pigs’.
Children just see a sheep in a field, whether it be black, grey, white or beige. I have worked with children for 41 years and I don’t believe I have ever met a two year old who was in any way racist or prejudice.”
However, recent research by Professor Lord Winston provides evidence that children as young as four can hold racist views. In an experiment carried out for the BBC’s Child of our Time series, children were presented with a series of images of faces of men, women, boys or girls. Only one of the faces in each sequence was white.
Children were asked to pick out the face of the person they wanted as their friend and the person they thought would be most likely to get in to trouble.
Almost all white children in the survey associated positive qualities exclusively with photographs of white children or adults. More than half of the black children made the same associations.
In contrast, people with darker faces were viewed as troublemakers.


John Embry - Why Central Banks Smashed Gold & Silver

With continued pressure on gold and silver, today King World News interviewed John Embry, Chief Investment Strategist of the $10 billion strong Sprott Asset Management.  When asked about the smash in the paper gold and silver markets, Embry responded, “I didn’t think they (central planners) could pull this off (this severe of a hit in gold and silver) to the extent that they have because of the strong physical demand in both gold and silver throughout the world, particularly in the East.  But when you are motivated, and they are most assuredly motivated, I think the response is often in proportion to the problem, and their problem is massive.” 

John Embry continues:

“So I am not surprised that they really laid the lumber to it.  As it has throughout the entire bull market in both silver and gold, which began at the beginning of this century, this just creates another fabulous buying opportunity, this may be one of the best ones.

What I find reprehensible about the whole thing is the poor, little guy out there who is struggling at the best of times here, their (central bank) actions (interventions in gold and silver) are driving some of them away from the metals.  It’s wrong, in the end that’s what is going to be his salvation. 

I can assure you that the vast majority of people won’t be there because they can’t stand this kind of counter-intuitive action and wild volatility.  They want to keep the vast majority of the public away (from gold & silver)....

“The really astute ones are using this opportunity to gobble up all of the physical metal they can get their hands on.  I know the other side reads everything we say and there was a growing bullish consensus when the HUI broke out over 600 less than a week ago.  I think they taught us a lesson, ‘Boys, this is a small market too and we can do what we want with it in the short-term.’  They just thrashed these things (mining shares) and they got a lot of selling by the late comers and the people who don’t really understand why they own this stuff.”

When asked about silver specifically, Embry stated, “It’s a small market and it’s been abused many times in the past.  A major bullion bank, who is now being sued in a class action suit, has a massive short position and has been very active on the short side of this market.  It’s in their best interest to cover these shorts and there is no better way to cover them than to drive the price down and get the longs to throw their positions over the side.”

Because of the continued volatility in gold and silver, KWN will release John Embry’s audio interview later today for the listeners globally.

In John’s segment you have one of the greats putting the action in gold and silver into proper perspective.  John Embry also discusses this smash in gold and silver and compares it to the one seen in 2008 and much more.  The KWN interview with John Embry will be released later today and you can listen to it by CLICKING HERE. 

© 2011 by King World News®. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.  However, linking directly to the blog page is permitted and encouraged.

US Senate to move next week on China bill

The measure aims to make it harder for the US Treasury
Department to avoid labeling Beijing a currency cheat
© AFP/File Frederic J. Brown

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Senate will move forward next week with a bill to punish China over its alleged currency manipulation, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday, predicting the legislation will pass.

"China trade is a jobs bill that's been long, long overdue. It's a bipartisan bill and I feel very comfortable we're going to pass it," Reid told reporters at a press conference, using shorthand for the proposal.

Reid said that "next week" the Democratic-led chamber will "start our work on trade matters" including the legislation on China's currency, though it was unclear when the bill would come to a final vote.

The measure aims to make it harder for the US Treasury Department to avoid labeling Beijing a currency cheat, triggering various sanctions, while making it easier for US companies to seek retaliatory tariffs on Chinese goods.

Senators unveiled the bill last week amid deep anger at stubbornly high US unemployment of over nine percent, with the sour economy the top issue on voters' minds as the race to the November 2012 elections heated up.

But its fate is unclear: The White House opposes it, and Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have no plans to bring similar measures to votes in that chamber, according to a leadership aide.

The bill, which has support from several key Democrats and Republicans, would empower US businesses and, in some cases, labor unions to trigger a US Commerce Department investigation into alleged currency manipulation.

It also rewrites the law to make it harder for the US Treasury Department to stop short of declaring China a currency manipulator and makes manipulation punishable with countervailing duties on the offending country's goods.

And the bill aims to restrict the White House's ability to waive the resulting sanctions, notably by requiring reports to Congress detailing how the adverse of taking action outweigh the benefits.

An army of 51 US industry groups this week stepped up efforts to block such legislation, warning in a letter to senators that it could spark a "counterproductive" trade war.

But a study released this week by the left-of-center Economic Policy Institute found that the US trade deficit with China has eliminated or displaced nearly 2.8 million jobs since 2001.

And US lawmakers have increasingly criticized Beijing on other economic issues, including rampant intellectual property theft like pirated movies and "indigenous innovation" policies that favor Chinese businesses.

In late 2010, Obama himself said in the heartland state of Iowa that the yuan was "undervalued" and was "a contributing factor" to the yawning US trade deficit with China.

In May 2011, however, the US Treasury Department declined in a formal report to brand Beijing a currency manipulator.

China has a history of allowing the yuan to strengthen slightly when it expects to come under heightened pressure over the value of its currency.

China's leaders "get away with economic murder" by keeping the yuan, and thereby the country's exports, artificially cheap, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, a key backer of the bill, charged last week.

Schumer, his party's number three in the Senate, said Obama opposed the measure but predicted "China will change its own behavior once this bill passes the Senate" in a vote expected in October.

Schumer, asked why he felt optimistic about the measure given the failure of similar bills since 2005, replied: "Just wait and see. This one's coming up and it's going to pass and it's going to send a shot across China's bow."

The Obama administration had no immediate comment on the bill.

© AFP -- Published at Activist Post with license

Online Shoppers to Pay California Sales Tax

Wiki Image
Nick McCann
Courthouse News Service

A new California law lets the state collect sales tax from online retailers, with Gov. Jerry Brown saying the move will "create tens of thousands of jobs and inject hundreds of millions of dollars" into the state's ailing economy while leveling "the playing field between online retailers and California's brick-and-mortar businesses."

Assemblyman Charles Calderon authored the bill that revises California's definition of "a retailer." The state said it hopes this law will pave the way for Congress to pass nationwide legislation.

Barring enactment of a federal law, California will begin collecting online sales tax on Sept. 15, 2012. In exchange for the window of time, Amazon said it would create at least 10,000 full-time jobs and hire 25,000 seasonal employees by the end of 2015.

The California Board of Equalization estimates that the state loses more than $1 billion a year from uncollected use taxes, with at least $83 million lost from Amazon alone.

The Latest Orchestrated Threat

Have you ever before heard of the Haqqanis?  I didn’t think so.  Like Al Qaeda, about which no one had ever heard prior to 9/11, the "Haqqani Network" has popped up in time of need to justify America’s next war – Pakistan.

BAE Systems axes nearly 3,000 jobs in UK

British arms manufacturer blames governments' reductions in defence budgets as it cuts jobs in facilities across the UK.

British defence giant BAE Systems is struggling  to secure new orders for the Eurofighter Typhoon jet [Reuters]
British arms manufacturer BAE Systems has said it plans to axe almost 3,000 jobs, mainly at its military aircraft division, as governments slash their defence budgets.
"Our customers are facing huge pressures on their defence budgets and affordability has become an increasing priority," BAE Systems chief executive Ian King said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Our business needs to rise to this challenge to maintain its competitiveness and ensure its long-term future."
The largest number of job cuts will be in northern England at facilities in Brough, where 899 positions will be lost, and in Warton and Samlesbury.
There will also be jobs shed at BAE's head office in Farnborough in the south and at other sites dotted across the country.
The company has also begun a consultation about ending manufacturing at the Brough plant, which currently employs 1,300 people.
'Hammer blow'
The Unite union, which has 1.5 million members in a range of industries, called the large-scale redundancies a "hammer blow" to Britain's defence industry.
BAE Systems said its military aircraft division had been hampered by a slowdown in orders for the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 combat jets.
"The four partner nations in the Typhoon programme have agreed to slow production rates to help ease their budget pressures," King said.
"Whilst this will help extend our production schedule and ensure the production line stays open until we receive anticipated export contracts, it does reduce the workload at a number of our sites.
"To ensure we remain competitive, both in the UK and internationally, we need to reduce the overall costs of our businesses in line with our reduced workload."
BAE employs around 100,000 people worldwide, including 40,000 in Britain.
It has a 33 per cent stake in the Eurofighter joint venture company alongside EADS and Finmeccanica, and has received orders for about 550 planes from the four partner-nations involved - the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Updates and a request

Why Is Ben Bernanke Doing What He Is Doing?

Ben Bernanke announced his two policies last week. One is public and called Operation Twist. The other is less publicized. But both are devious and can permanently ruin your life and the lives of 7 billion other people.
Operation Twist is Bernanke’s much publicized scheme to take short term US Treasury debt when it comes up for renewal and roll it over or renew it as long term debt to force long term interest rates down.
Ben will tell you this will lower 30 year mortgage rates and help people buy homes. It also allows the Treasury to finance the US debt more cheaply. He wants gross interest on that US debt to remain at 500 billion dollars a year and not skyrocket to a trillion dollars a year.
Critics have said the real unemployment rate is 23% and people rightly fear that it will go past 30% so they do not want to take on any new debt by buying a home. And low interest rates make the purchase of Treasury bonds not very appealing because the real inflation rate in America is 11% and 12% in the UK.
The markets since Bernanke’s announcement have been very negative. In these times people are more worried about the return of their capital than the return on capital. The dollar has increased 5% in value because people are moving capital at the drop of a rumor and even obviously false rumors at that. That made the dollar look good last week but can just as easily make the dollar look really bad next week.
Bernanke’s lowering interest rates fits very nicely into President Obama’s only plan for curing unemployment. Dr Michael Hudson says Obama’s only plan is to cut wages 30% so America will stop losing jobs. And sharply lower wages will somehow create jobs or so the trained seals say. I grant America could export more food but higher food prices would cut wages, Of course that is the Obama-Bernanke policy.
Now let’s talk reality.
Ben wants to keep interest rates low so his bankrupt banker buddies can hold trillions of dollars, euros and pounds in toxic assets on their books for a little while longer. Or at least until that Great and Glorious Day when the bankers have stolen everything from us and it all belongs to them.
But Ben’s greatest trick is the Monetary Base or M0. He created 2 trillion dollars at zero interest which he gave to the big banks. The banks in turn buy Treasury bonds. Until last week the banks had it made. By lowering long term rates Bernanke is not only devaluing the dollar and lowering real wages he is forcing money from M0 to M2.
His 2 trillion stashed at the FED was M0 and was called sanitized debt. Forcing the bankers to move their debt from the FED to their banks just increased M2 money supply is called Monetizing debt. Under fractional reserve banking, the banks can loan out ten times as much as they have on deposit. The current M2 Money Supply which is cash plus checking account money is about 10 trillion dollars. Under the rules of fractional reserve banking, the banks can increase the money supply by 20 trillion dollars to 30 trillion dollars. That might be a tad bit more inflation than you would care to have in your life.
Also last week the Rothschild owned BNP Paribas bank was not able to borrow money from New York banks because bankers know the other guys cannot pay them back.
The FED found that a trillion and a half dollars in short term deposits had been pulled from the big European banks. Some were owned by the Rothschilds and others were candidates for acquisition by them. The FED, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank created a couple of trillion dollars which they used to swap for euros.
Previously, I mentioned that the FED had created 16.1 trillion dollars of which he used 6 trillion dollars to buy fraudulent mortgage loans the big US banks had sold to the Europeans. He did that to keep American criminals from going to jail for mortgage fraud. He might have to print up another couple of trillion to buy back dome more fraudulent loans still in European banks. But a lot of those toxic assets are held by German Savings and Loans and not on Rothschild hands so I guess that means they do not matter to Bernanke.
Think of a few elderly men playing a weird game. They are sitting around a table with piles of bad paper. They create even more bad paper and move it around the table. They have done nothing to make things better for you.
I get letters from Europeans asking me if the money the FED is creating will solve their public or Sovereign debt crisis and bring an end to Austerity.
Let me make this perfectly clear.
The Fundamental Fact of Your Existence as a modern man or woman is that the bankers of New York and London want to reduce you to debt slavery.
The whole point of income taxes, VAT, sales taxes, fees, property taxes, Central banking, the Federal Reserve, fractional reserve banking, debt money, usury, wars, the War on Terror, Bailouts, currency swaps by the trillions and even Operation Twist is to transfer all wealth from you to the banks and to reduce you to debt slavery.
Tax increases and Austerity cuts fit the pattern of taking real wealth from us in exchange for paper debt money. It will continue until you arrest the criminals in charge.
What Bernanke said last week with Operation Twist and did with multi-trillion dollar currency swaps is to say with his actions that he is going to accelerate the inflation rate. That means that Bernanke and his banking friends will speed up the rate at which they steal your money.
That faster rate of theft means that you and your fellow countrymen will just hit the wall sooner rather than later.
Hugo Chavez Gold Update: Poor Hugo has not seen one ton of his 211 tons he is owed.
Silver Update: Silver depositories report that people are pulling substantial amounts of money from mutual funds and investing in silver bullion but not so much gold. We might soon see a day where silver bullion separates from the paper markets. I still predict silver will go higher in November. The G-20 meets at Cannes on November 4th.
Related Articles:
The Mathematics Of Austerity: Proving Austerity Never Was Even Intended To Work
Nine Myths And Misconceptions About Money That Can Literally Kill You
25 Reasons To Absolutely Despise Bankers And Their Minions

Ron Paul With Jon Stewart - Daily Show Video (9/26/2011)

Video (9/26/2011)

Analyst: $1 Trillion In Hidden Losses At German Banks

Watch Video

CNBC Video - Currency Strategist Joseph Trevisani - Sep. 23. 2011
With Deutsche Bank skirting by at greater than 50:1 leverage, this should not be a surprise. French banks should be assumed to be hiding similar losses.  Clip runs 90 seconds.

The ‘Lemon Tree Lady’ Speaks Out About USDA Threats Over TREE (this is NOT satire)

Actual 'menace to society'
Lois Rain, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

When life hands you a lemon tree . . . the USDA takes it away! And don’t even think of making lemonade with any more trees – they’ll take those too.

A special HFA interview with Bridget Donovan, aka “The Lemon Tree Lady,” USDA’s Most Wanted. Or rather, her little beloved lemon tree was. Last week, we reported the story of the USDA demanding her tree three years after a quarantine, but the real USDA mode of operation is in the details below -- we can’t make this stuff up!

Did you know she was facing fines up to $60,000 and a federal raid if she did not comply? (Remember the USDA’s $4 million dollar bunnies?) They invaded her privacy, tracked her down through her purchases, and sternly warned they would get that tree one way or another. It appears she is on a “citrus watch list.”

Please read the details below --  it will help you if you ever face such a situation. Bridget was no pushover -- she did her very best to keep her tree and we wanted to know more. The USDA knows that most people will crumble under such threats and don’t have the funds to fight. And just how far is someone willing to go over a lemon tree?

Thanks to “The Lemon Tree Lady,” we know that scores of others face similar situations and that the USDA spies on our purchases, yards, and even into windows! This is by their own admission. Find out below what happened when people purchased new lemon trees that were compliant.

Most of our readers will detect that this was not an issue of environmental safety -- her personal tree was healthy and posed no danger. The USDA wouldn’t even allow for that -- they destroyed it and disrupted Bridget’s life. This is a matter of force and personal property. They think they have the authority to watch and revisit people to try to catch them in a lie (for instance, if they say their trees died).

Does anyone know of the right department to contact about this? Please share this incredible story with friends and family. All emphasis below is HFA’s. 

Special thanks to Bridget for graciously sharing her story with us! Please leave her some kind words and support below. 

So what happened? What exactly did the USDA want from you? Why was your lemon tree on a terrorist hit list?

I will start from the beginning.

Three years ago, I read an article in the local newspaper about Meyer Lemon Trees. It said how easy they were to grow inside, and how they brightened up the winters with sweet smelling flowers and fruit. I love gardening, my young niece shares my love of gardening, so it seemed the perfect thing to buy. I looked online, and found the company, It listed the states they could not ship to, and since Wisconsin was not one of them, I felt safe in ordering. It was clearly a big company, and I did not in a million years think anything was wrong in buying from them.

The tree arrived in great shape, and it just took off. My whole family enjoyed the flowers and the sweet smell, and it was very exciting to watch the lemons as they grew. I spent a lot of time on this tree. It clearly paid off because it was a very healthy tree. Then, three years later, out of the blue, I received a letter from the USDA.

It Included a flyer stating that my tree would be seized, I would not be compensated by the government, and that it would be destroyed. The fact sheet also said they verified, with federal law enforcement databases, that I was at the current address. It went on to state that while I would not face any penalties “at this point” if I were found to be in possession of regulated citrus again, I could face a fine of $1,100 to $60,000. The letter asked me to call the agent from the USDA to discuss this matter. It stated the issue was with citrus greening and citrus canker.
I truly thought this was a joke, so I looked it up online. I was shocked to discover how many other people had had their trees seized, and many without any warning. The feds just showed up at their doors.
One woman had written that hers was seized, and then she was told by the USDA the replacement tree offered by the company was compliant. Then the USDA turned around and seized that, too. I bring this up because I mentioned it to the USDA officer when I spoke with her (more on that in a moment).

Since this letter arrived on a Saturday, I gave much thought as to what to do. I thought about trying to take it to a friend’s house. I had spent a lot of time and money on this tree, and it upset me that the government could just tell me they were taking it.

However, the tree required a fair amount of attention, and I didn’t want to burden someone else with that, or stick them in the middle of this. I was very angry and upset. I have never had any contact with the federal government, other than the every day things like paying taxes and such, and could not believe a tree purchased legally, three years ago, would elicit this sort of action. I thought about ignoring the letter, but based on others’ experience of having them show up announced, I knew that wouldn’t work, either.

I called the agent Monday, and she explained they had to seize the tree because the company obtained it from a vendor that had gotten it from Florida. However, I never did get a straight answer as to when/if all parts of Florida are quarantined, and how we are to know when they deem that to be. She said they seized my information from the company that sold this tree, and were tracking everyone down. I told her if this was such a threat, I didn’t understand what took three years.

What do you think of the USDA waiting 3 years after the quarantine to demand it back?

That is really what ticks me off the most -- it’s not like this tree just arrived, and I was contacted about a problem. This is three years later. If the government thought this was such a risk, it’s doesn’t say much that it took them three years to do anything about it. This officer stated that I could get a replacement tree from the company.

At that point I brought up that I had read that other people had done that, had been assured those were “compliant” trees, and then they were seized. This agent did admit that happened.

I mentioned the fine I was threatened with, and she said it was on a case by case basis, and that they really weren’t going after the consumer. I asked if I got the replacement tree, how was I to know the feds wouldn’t be knocking on my door again in three years, and she said she didn’t know what to tell me. I voiced my disgust with the way in which this flyer was written, and she said it was done by the national USDA PR people and she had no control over that.

I asked if they had a warrant in order to obtain this tree, and she said no.

I asked what would happen if I declined to give it up, and she said no one had ever done that before and she would have to talk to her supervisor. I asked her to do so.

I called back the next day, and she told me that while they were hoping I would voluntarily give up the tree, it wasn’t a choice, it was an order.

I again asked what would happen, and she said she would have someone call me back. A supervisor did, and she told me that they were going to get the tree one or way or the other, and if I refused, they would quarantine it, obtain a warrant, and bring federal law enforcement officers to my house to take the tree.

She told me 2-3 times that If that tree disappeared while it was under quarantine I would be in violation.

What happens if someone informs the USDA that the tree has died – what do they do?

When I pressed her about the time I had had this tree, and what they did if other people said theirs had died, she told me they made repeat visits back, “surveyed” yards, and spotted many in people's front hallways. She told me they wanted this wrapped up that week, and that if I was going to refuse, I had to tell them so they could get going on the quarantine and warrant. Oh, she also mentioned she could count one hand how many times they had to do that sort of thing, as most people relented and gave them their tree.

Did this situation disrupt your life? Did it feel like a violation?

I was so torn. I am not a quitter by nature, but at the same time I did not want my family members to be at home when law enforcement showed up with this warrant to storm in and seize the tree.

I do not have the money, either, to try to fight the government in court (which I did point out to the one agent, that they clearly knew they held up the upper hand). With utter anger I relented, and said I would give it up.

The original agent wouldn’t make an appointment after 3:00, so I had to bring the tree to work. She came into my workplace with a red hazmat bag, but my tree was so big and healthy it didn’t fit, so she took it in my garbage bag. I did snap a picture of her doing so, which I told her I was going to do. I had also contacted our local newspaper the day before, and they did a story on it.

Did you realize at the time that you were basically threatened with a federal raid if you did not comply? Because, you were…

Yes, I did feel threatened with a federal raid. I think being told they were going to get the tree one way or the other leaves little choice.

I felt utterly violated, angry, and upset. I pay my taxes, I obey the law, and this is how I was treated? I did nothing wrong. I would expect these actions toward someone running a drug house, not someone who owned a lemon tree.

I don’t know for a fact they had driven by before sending that letter, but it seemed a little odd the supervisor would tell me they “survey” yards looking for the trees.

Do you believe their actions are really motivated by environmental safety?

In my own mind I do not believe they took this tree because of this citrus disease. I am not certainly selfish enough to have wanted to keep a tree if I thought it were a hazard to the nation’s citrus crops.

That disease doesn’t affect humans or animals, according to the literature they sent me. It causes misshapen fruit and yellow leaves, neither of which my tree had. And even if my tree were sick, it had been here three years – it’s a little late for them to be so hysterical over it, especially in the cold climate of Wisconsin.

What did your family and friends think of it? What did they say when you thought you might push harder to keep your tree?

My family and friends were quite shocked. I have heard from quite a number of people who read the article, and it amazes me how afraid people are -- they think the government is reading our e-mails, listening to our calls, etc. It is a shame in the land of the free that people have to feel this way.

What would you say to those who stand by the USDA’s heavy actions in the name of environmental safety?

And to those who think it’s not a big deal, I ask them how they will feel when the government decides to seize something they own and value.

Would you do anything differently if it happened again?

I don’t know what what I would do it if I had to do it over again. I would like to think I would push it and demand a warrant as is my right, but I knew the tree was going one way or the other. I pushed and questioned it as best as I did, but in the end, these people, paid with our tax dollars, treated me like a common criminal.

Thanks for asking for the details. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

- No Bridget, THANK YOU

On the desert trail of Tony Blair's millions

An explosive new TV documentary reveals the apparent conflict of interests that allows the former prime minister, now a Middle East peace envoy, to earn millions. 

A bit rich: Mr Blair has said that he is worth 'considerably less' than £20 million - On the desert trail of Tony Blair's millions
A bit rich: Mr Blair has said that he is worth 'considerably less' than £20 million Photo: REUTERS

One of the first letters arranging Tony Blair’s 2008 visit to Colonel Gaddafi, the now deposed Libyan despot, was written on the notepaper of the “Office of the Quartet Representative” – the formal title of the former British prime minister, reflecting his role as Middle East peace envoy.
Mr Blair flew into Tripoli in a jet arranged by the Libyan government, and was met by British diplomats. Yet a well-placed source has told The Daily Telegraph that his visits were little to do with Middle East peace, saying instead that the “visits were lobby visits for banking deals with JP Morgan” – the US investment bank that pays Mr Blair a consultancy fee of a reported £2 million a year. However, Mr Blair’s official spokesman categorically denied that Blair lobbied Saif al-Islam, Gaddafi’s son, on behalf of the bank, insisting that the visits were largely to do with African affairs.
Much remains mysterious about Mr Blair’s repeated visits to Tripoli over the past few years. But they display the essential characteristic of the jet-setting billionaire lifestyle he has enjoyed ever since leaving Downing Street in June 2007: an extraordinary confusion of public duty and private interest.
Was Mr Blair in Libya – as the headed notepaper would suggest – to discuss Middle East peace with Gaddafi? Was he working on behalf of his Governance Initiative, which claims it “pioneers a new way of working with African countries”? Was he sounding out deals for J P Morgan, as the well-placed Telegraph source insists? Or was he there on behalf of his own very lucrative money-making concern, Tony Blair Associates (TBA), whose professed objective is to provide “strategic advice” on “political and economic trends and government reform”?
This confusion of motive and identity follows Mr Blair almost everywhere he goes, as we found when researching our forthcoming Channel 4 Dispatches film, The Wonderful World of Tony Blair.
Let’s take the example of Mr Blair’s visit to the Emir of Kuwait, part of a wider Middle Eastern tour, made on January 26, 2009. He was introduced to the Emir – who is said to feel a profound sense of gratitude to the former British prime minister because of his role in deposing Kuwait’s greatest enemy, Saddam Hussein – in his capacity of Quartet Representative. And, indeed, Blair is charged by the Quartet with raising Middle Eastern funds to plough into Palestinian projects.
Yet, puzzlingly, by his side was a figure who has nothing to do with the Quartet whatever: Jonathan Powell. Mr Powell, who used to be Downing Street Chief of Staff when Mr Blair was prime minister, today has a new role as senior adviser to Tony Blair Associates, the vehicle through which Mr Blair channels many of his money-earning interests. Mr Powell was perched on a sofa during the meeting.
Shortly afterwards, the Emir handed Tony Blair Associates a lucrative consultancy deal to provide advice on the future of the Kuwaiti economy. Nobody knows how much this deal – which was kept secret for two years – is worth. Because the TBA contract was handled by the Emir’s personal office, it is exempt from scrutiny by Kuwait’s normally rigorous financial regulatory body.
Few Kuwaitis are prepared to speak out publicly, because it is illegal to criticise the Emir. But Nasser Al Abolly, a leading Kuwaiti pro-democracy campaigner, said he had heard from good sources that Mr Blair had been paid 12 million dinars, about £27 million. “I believe this amount is exorbitant,” Abolly told us, adding that much of Blair’s eventual report was not original and had come up with many of the same recommendations as earlier reports on the future of Kuwait – an observation echoed by other Kuwaiti politicians. A spokesman for Mr Blair insists that the sum involved was far less than £27 million, though declined to say how much TBA had been paid.
Mr Blair’s job as representative for the Quartet – the international diplomatic group that represents the US, Russia, the United Nations and Europe in their common attempt to forge peace in the Middle East – is riddled with this type of very troubling ambiguity.
Let’s take the example of the deal trumpeted by Mr Blair as one of his greatest achievements in his role as Quartet Representative – his success in persuading the Israeli government to open up radio frequencies so that the phone company Wataniya Mobile can operate in the West Bank.
Wataniya Mobile’s chief executive officer Bassam Hanoun cannot praise Mr Blair too highly. He told us that the Wataniya network had been built, “but it was dead, not operational” – until Mr Blair’s forceful intervention with Israeli ministers.
Yet Wataniya’s owner, the Qatari telecoms giant QTEL, is a major client of one of the former prime minister’s most significant paymasters, JP Morgan. When QTEL bought Wataniya Mobile’s parent company, Wataniya International, in 2007, the company did so with a $2 billion loan that JP Morgan helped to arrange, and the bank stood to make huge profits once the radio frequencies were released.
A near identical conflict involves a second major Palestinian project for which Mr Blair is lobbying heavily – the development of a huge gas field off the shore of Gaza worth more than $6 billion. Once again, he is fighting to overturn an Israeli edict blocking development, and again there is a potential conflict of interest. British Gas, which owns the rights to operate the field, is a major client of, yes, you guessed it, JP Morgan.
JP Morgan insists it has never discussed either the Wataniya or the British Gas deal with Mr Blair – while the former prime minister insists that in both cases he was, in any case, wholly unaware of the JP Morgan connection.
Nevertheless, the conflict is glaring – and Mr Blair would be unable to get away with this kind of confusion if he were a public servant in Britain, or working for an international organisation such as the World Bank or the IMF.
Dr Nicholas Allen, a senior politics lecturer at the University of London, specialising in parliamentary ethics, told us: “It is not altogether clear that Blair is separating very clearly his work as the representative of the Quartet and his business interests. Clearly, if he was holding a ministerial office in Britain, that kind of conflict – even the appearance of that kind of conflict, the appearance of that influence – wouldn’t be tolerated.”
Dr Allen says that no fewer than six out of seven of the Nolan principles – the code of ethics for public servants enforced by Mr Blair when he was prime minister – “appear to be undermined by Blair’s conduct”.
This immunity from ordinary standards comes despite the fact that Mr Blair is partly funded by the British taxpayer and gets the support of British civil servants. It all sounds uncannily similar to the notorious so-called “sofa government” – the confusion of formal roles and identities in the run up to the Iraq invasion for which, as prime minister, Mr Blair was censured by the former cabinet secretary Lord Butler.
It must be acknowledged that Mr Blair does much philanthropic and public spirited work through his Africa governance initiative, his Faith Foundation, and also for the Quartet (even though we found very few Palestinians who were prepared to speak well of him). However, these admirable objectives have been compromised and tarnished by his apparent drive to make money.
The Quartet cannot occupy more than one week a month of Blair’s schedule, perhaps less. He has earned a reported £6 million – though some in the City insist the real figure may be much higher – from JP Morgan since his consultancy started in 2008. Add in an estimated £1.5 million from advising the insurance group Zurich Financial services on its climate initiative.
He has advised Mubadala, one of Abu Dhabi’s most prominent sovereign wealth funds, and the luxury goods concern LVMH. In the television programme, we calculate that the Blair family property portfolio alone – with seven houses ranging from his manor house in Buckinghamshire to his London house in Connaught Square – is worth over £14 million. And then comes a further reported £9 million or more from speeches.
It is impossible to tell how much Tony Blair Inc is worth exactly because his finances are carefully hidden behind complex financial structures. Mr Blair himself is on record as saying that he is worth “considerably less” than £20 million. There is some reason to be sceptical of this claim.
Mr Blair insists that his conduct since stepping down as prime minister has been honourable, above board and beyond reproach. But this much can surely be said: when Blair joined the Quartet, he was handed a priceless opportunity to earn a place in history by making a genuine commitment to world peace. He has made some progress. Yet he seems to treat his post as envoy for the Quartet as a part-time post, by allowing his private commercial interests to merge with his public duty. And – as ever – the old maestro is getting away with it.
Additional reporting by Sasha Joelle Achilli. Watch Peter Oborne reporting for 'Dispatches: The Wonderful World of Tony Blair’ on Monday at 8pm on Channel 4.


Pakistan seeks diplomatic support in row with U.S.

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani officials have been meeting with ambassadors and other foreign dignitaries seeking diplomatic support as the United States piles pressure on Islamabad to cut its alleged ties with a militant group blamed for attacks on U.S. targets.
The United States accuses the Pakistani army's powerful spy agency of supporting the Haqqani militant group, a chief driver of violence in eastern Afghanistan.
In stunningly blunt comments last week, the outgoing U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen called the Haqqani network a "veritable arm" of the ISI intelligence agency and accused Pakistan of providing support for the September 13 attack on its Kabul mission.
Pakistan's government and army rejected the allegations.
Salim Saifullah, chairman of Pakistan's Senate Foreign Relations committee, said he and other officials held talks with diplomats to explain Pakistan's stand as the United States pushes the Pakistani army to go after the Haqqani network.
"We have been meeting with diplomats with the purpose to convey Pakistan's point of view, and also that they should make the United States understand that we have sacrificed so much," he told Reuters.
He did not name the countries with which the discussions had taken place.
"We are willing to go along but not at the cost of being humiliated and told that 'you're responsible for the Kabul attack and you are responsible for this thing and that'. That is not appropriate."
About 5,000 soldiers and security forces have been killed fighting militants and 30,000 civilians have died since Pakistan joined the U.S. "war on terror" launched after the September 11, 2001 attacks, which the United States doesn't appreciate, Pakistani officials say.
Pakistan will almost certainly seek the backing of China. Pakistan and China are long-time allies, and in recent months Islamabad has leaned closer to China as its ties with the United States have deteriorated.
China's Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu arrived in Islamabad on Monday and was scheduled to meet senior officials.
"China is always there for us," said Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik as he welcomed Meng.
The United States has long pressed Pakistan to pursue the Haqqani network, one of the most lethal Taliban-allied Afghan groups fighting Western forces in Afghanistan.
Mullen's accusation that Pakistan uses violent extremism as an instrument of policy was the strongest yet leveled at Pakistan since it joined the U.S.-led war on militancy.
Two weeks ago, militants launched an assault against the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul. U.S. officials blamed those attacks on the Haqqani network.
U.S. officials said there was intelligence, including intercepted phone calls, suggesting those attackers were in communication with people connected to Pakistan's principal spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate.
Pakistan denies it supports the Haqqanis and says its army is too stretched battling its own Taliban insurgency to go after the network, which has an estimated 10,000-15,000 fighters.
Pakistan's military will not take action against the Haqqani militant group, despite mounting American pressure to do so, a Pakistani newspaper reported on Monday.
Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani held a "special" meeting with his top commanders on Sunday to discuss the security situation, the military said, after a week of tension and tit-for-tat rhetoric with the United States.
Kayani was scheduled to leave for London on Sunday night but the trip was postponed, the Pakistani military said on Monday.
The Pakistani commanders agreed to resist U.S. demands for an army offensive in North Waziristan, where the United States believes the Haqqani network is based, the Express Tribune reported, quoting an unnamed military official.
"We have already conveyed to the U.S. that Pakistan cannot go beyond what it has already done," the official told the newspaper on condition of anonymity.
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar is expected to present Pakistan's case when she addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
American Ambassador Cameron Munter met with Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir on Monday to defuse tensions.
Underscoring the magnitude of tensions, Pakistani stocks ended nearly 3 percent lower on Monday following worsening relations between Islamabad and Washington, dealers said,
Analysts say the Pakistani military could suffer heavy casualties if it were to attempt a crackdown on the group, which has developed extensive alliances with other militant organizations in the region.
Widespread anti-American sentiment in Pakistan also makes it difficult for the army to cave in to U.S. pressure.
"Are we responsible for the attacks that Taliban do throughout the country?" asked Khan Alam Marwat, 40, a car salesman in Islamabad. "It was a big mistake of our rulers that they supported Americans."
(Additional reporting by Saud Mehsud in Dera Ismail Khan and Sahar Ahmed in Karachi; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Chris Allbritton and Sanjeev Miglani)

UN to act on JP radiation only 8 months late

The glorious speed of government, only 8 months after the devistating quakes and tsunami that left Fukushima radioactove the UN is PLANNING on sending a team to help in the clean up maybe next month.

This is really a world issue because if japan cant clean it up the radiation is going to spread to other areas. I dont just mean the wind blown light stuff, I mean the heavier things that can get trapped in ocean water or rain.

it will be interesting to see if TEPCO and J-Govt actually allow outside agencies to go into the area.

The lawyers definitely want to control information. If we can get outside agencies to report the radiation levels TEPCOs lawyers will have a hard time disputing the evidence. I'm sure anybody going into that area will be asked to sign non-disclosure agreements.

Now if they refuse the support and lets say claim "This is our problem, we'll clean it up" then right then and there you should know, they don't want anybody to know exactly what's going on. Instead they'll control all the data and information.

i liked that comment. But the new PM has to act like he is doing something and changing something or the Japanese government could collapse they've already been changing PMs every 9 months to a year and this is the fitfh guy in 5 years. If he fails there could be prefecture rebellion and Japan could become a confederation. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Door to Door Vaccinations: Mom to Nurse, 'Get The F☠ck Out!'

NATOMAS, CA – Natomas school officials are going door to door with a traveling nurse to give whooping cough shots to unvaccinated students.

A new state law requires students entering seventh through 12th grades to get vaccinated against the disease by the start of the 2011-12 school year.

The legislature gave districts 30 days beyond the start of the school year to make sure all students were vaccinated or had a formal exemption filed by their parents or guardians.

As the deadline passes, thousands of students remain unvaccinated. Many school districts have been defying state law and allowing them on campus.

Read full article

Ron Paul - Time to De-Recognize the United Nations (26-Sept-11)(POLITIC...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

32 Pictures Of Police Brutality From Occupy Wall Street Protests

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Maced / Pepper Sprayed by NYPD Police

Late last night we found out which white collar officer had maced our innocent protesters. We did not release this information as we had not yet come to a consensus on how to approach the situation. Earlier today we discovered that this information had already been released.

Yesterday, an NYPD spokesperson implied that we had edited the video to remove incriminating actions on the part of our peaceful protesters. Here are a few different angles and cuts of the event that we had not previously released:

As you can tell, we did not need to edit the video to implicate this officer in a gross and unconscionable crime.

This is the man who maced these young women without provocation.

His name is Antony Bologna. We demand that he is charged for his crimes. We demand that he receives jail time.

We demand that Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly resigns. Not only can he not control his most senior officers, he is involved in actively sheltering them from receiving any punishment.

We demand that Mayor Michael Bloomberg address our General Assembly and apologize for the police brutality and the cover-up that followed.

This was an attempt to make us weak, this was an attempt to destroy or derail our message, our conversation. It has not succeeded. We have grown, we will grow. Today we received reports that over one hundred blue collar police refused to come into work in solidarity with our movement. These numbers will grow. We are the 99 percent. You will not silence us.

Please call:
Mayor Bloomberg: +1 (212) 788-7550
Deputy Commissioner of Public Information: +1 (646) 610-6700
NYPD Switchboard: +1 (646) 610-5000
First precinct: +1 (212) 334-0611

Make our voice heard. Make sure that the world knows that everyone deserves equal protection, service, and punishment.

Remain true to our principles of non-violence.

Are the Tribes of Europe Ready to Explode?

The Greek tragedy: no money, no hope ... Despairing middle classes could be the biggest threat to Greece's future, writes Paul Mason in Athens ... Dmitris Andreou made the last sale out of his small estate agents business in June. His wife Mary, makes her living preparing high-school students for English exams. But her living has dried up. Their savings are exhausted, their disposable income has dropped by about 50 per cent in two years, and they are angry. – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: Once the Greeks – and the PIGS generally – get used to austerity, the Eurozone will rebound.
Free-Market Analysis: This story is interesting because it is written by a mainstream journalist and actually tells the truth about Greece – that Greece, or its citizens, are ready to explode. One can extrapolate from Greece to the rest of the EU, or at least its Southern half. Push "austerity" a little further, as a solution to the "sovereign debt" crisis and all Europe may begin to detonate.
It is not just the Southern PIGS which are reeling. It is Northern Europe, too. The Northerners, especially Germany, do not want to pay for Southern profligacy. And Southern Europeans are well aware the fault does not lie with them, especially, but with elite political and financial interests.
It was not the average Greek or Spaniard who borrowed the money that has put the South in debt. The analyses of the European situation make it sound as if each individual was guilty. Not true. The Anglosphere banks arranged the lines of credit that are throttling the PIGS now.
The politicians and private interests accepted the money and buried it in Swiss bank accounts; today, everyone else has to pay. And Mary and Dmitris are well aware of who profited from the explosion of leverage in the 2000s, and who has been tasked with the clean-up.
It is even worse. What is unsaid in the article, despite its bluntness, is that the leverage was calculated to do exactly what it has done. The political and financial classes were in a sense tasked with creating what is now called the "sovereign" debt crisis and they did so deliberately.
This is never mentioned in analyses of the situation. We only read glib vignettes about austerity and predictable IMF solutions having to do with higher taxes, reduced public benefits, a shrinking public sector and lower compensation all around, for those who still have jobs or businesses anyway.
While we often cover the unraveling EU and euro as if it is a kind of force of economic nature, we've also been careful on many occasions to point out that what occurred in Europe was instigated by financial powers at the highest level. And for years, Eurocrats have been talking about how a financial crisis was bound to occur, and that it would be used as a pretext to build a political union out of an economic one.
Just the other day, we reported on an article in the UK Telegraph that presented the latest meme – that the "guilty men" of Europe and Britain – the ones that had backed the EU project most enthusiastically – were going to walk away from the mess without ramifications.
Our problem with the article was that it didn't go far enough. There is an Anglosphere elite and it has coldly and forcefully built the EU from the ground up. These great central banking families that want one-world government are behind the current mess, but as is always the case, those who are really in charge will not be written about, or not by the mainstream media.
We did find, in roaming the Internet, this interesting article by one of our favorite mainstream reporters, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, written way back in 2000. He makes it clear that Washington and its spy agencies were behind the EU project.
Neither the CIA nor other US intel agencies – at the very top – report to Washington. They actually likely report to London's "City," and to the great banking families and their political, military, religious and monetary enablers. That's why we've written on numerous occasions that blaming the EU on Germany or the "Nazis" is just so much misdirection. Here's an excerpt from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's UK Telegraph article, circa September 2000:
Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs ... DECLASSIFIED ... American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement. The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state.
One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen William J Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA. The documents were found by Joshua Paul, a researcher at Georgetown University in Washington. They include files released by the US National Archives. Washington's main tool for shaping the European agenda was the American Committee for a United Europe, created in 1948.
The chairman was Donovan, ostensibly a private lawyer by then. The vice-chairman was Allen Dulles, the CIA director in the Fifties. The board included Walter Bedell Smith, the CIA's first director, and a roster of ex-OSS figures and officials who moved in and out of the CIA. The documents show that ACUE financed the European Movement, the most important federalist organisation in the post-war years.
In 1958, for example, it provided 53.5 per cent of the movement's funds. The European Youth Campaign, an arm of the European Movement, was wholly funded and controlled by Washington. The Belgian director, Baron Boel, received monthly payments into a special account. When the head of the European Movement, Polish-born Joseph Retinger, bridled at this degree of American control and tried to raise money in Europe, he was quickly reprimanded ...
These days Evans-Pritchard sticks more or less to the larger UK Telegraph "party line," which has to do with the unraveling of the EU rather than who was behind the thing to begin with. But understanding the reality of the EU's formation is important, too. It was set up as a building block of world government and it was likely designed to fail in order to create the impetus for a political union.
The article about Greece – with which we began our analysis (see above) – shows clearly how the elite centralizing strategy is being implemented. But there has been a miscalculation. The Internet was not considered within these plans, which go back decades, perhaps even a century or longer.
Pre-Internet, what's happening in the EU would have been buried under mainstream media misdirection. People might not have understood the larger forces at work. But the EU unraveling along with much else has played out under the merciless glare of the alternative press, and the European tribes are aware of the manipulations that are taking place.
It is realization of these manipulations that informs the article, which is a surprisingly good piece of reporting. It is written by Paul Mason, BBC Newsnight's Economics Editor, who is broadcasting regularly from Greece, and it seems to have concentrated his mind, at least for a while, on what's actually happening.
The article is derived from an interview with a middle class Greek couple that is falling into poverty along with, it seems, the entire Greek middle class. They are furious. "We would like to see the politicians executed," says the woman, Maria, "not smiling."
This article also confirms our past analyses. So much nonsense has been written about Greece and Europe and appears in the mainstream media every day. The generalizations are vast and depersonalize the problem but what's happening in Europe is affecting individuals.
We've written that once the "new normal" became fully evident, once it was clear that the good times of the 20th Century were not going to return, the tribes of Europe – who are far more violent than they have seemed to be, post World War II – would not put up with it. We predicted that "Europe" – the EU – might not survive (neither the currency, nor the union).
The problems are happening to people, individual people, and it is these people, ultimately, who will formulate a response, not "Greece," not politicians, not "working groups" – not even the IMF or ECB. Here's some more from Mason's article:
"Some days we only buy the basics and a few days lately we were not able to buy even those. We have to count our cents to decide between buying bread, milk or butter," says Mary. "Some days are better, but some are difficult. We don't buy clothes any more. People don't go out. There is simply no money around out there."
But what's happening in living rooms like theirs presents the bigger danger to the future of Greece. People are switching off: from politics, from the mass media, from social life. "We would like to see the politicians executed," says Maria, not smiling as she delivers the joke. "Most people are saying this: politicians deserve capital punishment – at the Greek equivalent of Traitors' Gate. It would be a nice time for politicians to be heroes, to stand up and defend the people. But they're not."
"We can't watch the television news any more," says Dmitris, shaking his head. "If you watch it, with the constant uncertainty, it can make your psychology very low. It's like a nightmare we can't wake up from. Perhaps it's fortunate that we've had to cancel our cable TV subscription. I don't trust the media any more: I get all my news from the internet."
Mason writes that that the helplessness that Mary and Dmitris evince can easily turn to rage, giving rise to violence. "As a result Greek politicians have started to worry about something called 'anomie' – a pervasive listlessness, low-level social conflict and the erosion of bonds between the country's citizens and the state."
Mason, to his credit, makes the linkage between that helplessness and what may be yet to come. "Over the past six months," he writes, "I've stood in the middle of Athenian crowds so furious that they will withstand tear gas and endure near-lethal stampedes to make their point ...
"What's been obvious, each time, is the ordinariness of the people involved – bank clerks, interior designers, even a concert pianist once, their faces painted with alkaline liquid against the sting of the gas. But it is this seething anger of those who have never been on a demo that is really frightening – because we have no model for what happens if the middle class of a developed country simply switches off from politics and gives up hope. Not since the 1930s, anyway."
None of this was accidental. How could it be? The EU was not an accident. Central banking is not happenstance. The "crisis" that now affects the EU was long anticipated and was intended to build a closer political union. What was NOT anticipated, however, was the spread of electronic communication and the eventual rise of what we now call the Internet Reformation.
Conclusion: The knowledge of the manipulations by the elite and their enablers are bound to have ramifications beyond what has yet been seen. This is the crux issue of what is occurring. The manipulations that raised the EU, and have now brought it down, were supposed to be secret. But what happens if everyone knows?