Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Joseph Stiglitz: Federal Reserve System is Corrupt and Undermines Democracy

joseph-stiglitz
Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph Stiglitz – former head economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a nobel-prize winner – said yesterday that the very structure of the Federal Reserve system is so fraught with conflicts that it is “corrupt” and undermines democracy.

Stiglitz said:

If we [i.e. the IMF] had seen a governance structure that corresponds to our Federal Reserve system, we would have been yelling and screaming and saying that country does not deserve any assistance, this is a corrupt governing structure.

Stiglitz pointed out that – if another country had presented a plan to reform its financial system, and included a regulatory regime that copied the makeup of the Federal Reserve system – “it would have been a big signal that something is wrong.”

Stiglitz stressed that the Fed banks have clear conflicts of interest, since the banks are largely governed by a board of directors that includes officers of the very banks they’re supposed to be overseeing:

So, these are the guys who appointed the guy who bailed them out … Is that a conflict of interest?

They would say, ‘no conflict of interest, we were just doing our job. But you have to look at the conflicts of interest”…

The reason you talk about governance is because in a democracy you want people to have confidence … This is a structure that will undermine confidence in a democracy.

Indeed, by all objective measures, the Fed has performed horribly (and see this).

Read moreNobel Prize-Winning Economist Joseph Stiglitz: Federal Reserve System is Corrupt and Undermines Democracy

Elite Puppet Prime Minister Gordon Brown: War In Iraq Was ‘Right Decision’

elite-puppet-gordon-brown-arrives
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown arrives at the Iraq Inquiry to give his testimony about the 2003 conflict.

Gordon Brown: War in Iraq was ‘right decision’ (CNN):

London, England (CNN) — The decision to go to war in Iraq “was the right decision and it was for the right reasons,” British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Friday in his first response at the Iraq War Inquiry.

Brown was answering a question from the chairman of the inquiry, John Chilcot, about whether he thought taking military action in March 2003 was the right decision, especially given that it led to such a great loss of life among military personnel and civilians.

The prime minister said he pays respect to members of the armed forces “who served with great distinction in Iraq” and lost their lives, and to civilians who died.

“I think any loss of life is something that makes us very sad indeed,” he said.

March 5, 2010 — Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)

AND THIS ARE THE ‘RIGHT REASONS’:

Tony Blair Was Warned By All 27 Senior Government Lawyers That Iraq War Was Illegal (Daily Express)

Dutch Inquiry: Iraq War Was Illegal, Had ‘No Basis In International Law’ (Guardian)

Tony Blair ‘knew Iraq did not have WMD before war started’ (Times)

US and UK knew that Iraq Didn’t Have WMDs

Iraq: Fallujah Doctors Report Dramatic Rise In Birth Defects (BBC)

Don’t tell me that DU can be shielded by a piece of paper and is therefore no danger to health.

How long can you hold your breath or live without food and water?

What Depleted Uranium Does to Children in Iraq: Japanese Journalist

Depleted Uranium Shells Worse Than Nuclear Weapons:

Inhaled or ingested DU particles are highly toxic, and DU has been classified as an illegal weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.
“More than ten times the amount of radiation released during atmospheric testing [of nuclear bombs] has been released from DU weaponry since 1991,” said Leuren Moret, a U.S. nuclear scientist. “The genetic future of the Iraqi people, for the most part, is destroyed. The environment now is completely radioactive.”
“Because DU has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, the Middle East will, for all practical purposes, be radioactive forever.”

The Weapon of Mass Destruction Is Cancer

War-related birth defects in Fallujah

IRAQ: ‘Special Weapons’ Have a Fallout on Babies

Over 70,000 deaths, and over 1 million disabilities among American soldiers attributed to Iraq Wars says U.S. government data

Beyond Treason (Documentary):

Beyond Treason investigates causes of Gulf War Illness and continuing deaths of gulf war veterans. Beyond Treason outlines: – exposure to depleted uranium munitions used on the battlefield. – chemical and biological exposures. – experimental vaccines given.

The US have destroyed Iraq forever. Even Hitler, Stalin and Mao begin to pale against such a crime against humanity.


Fallujah doctors report rise in birth defects


John Simpson talks about the children with birth defects he saw in Fallujah

Doctors in the Iraqi city of Fallujah are reporting a high level of birth defects, with some blaming weapons used by the US after the Iraq invasion.

The city witnessed fierce fighting in 2004 as US forces carried out a major offensive against insurgents.

Now, the level of heart defects among newborn babies is said to be 13 times higher than in Europe.

The US military says it is not aware of any official reports showing an increase in birth defects in the area.

BBC world affairs editor John Simpson visited a new, US-funded hospital in Fallujah where paediatrician Samira al-Ani told him that she was seeing as many as two or three cases a day, mainly cardiac defects.

iraq_falluja

– 40 miles (64km) west of the capital Baghdad

– Major city in the predominantly Sunni province of Anbar, a hotbed of insurgency following US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003

– Burned corpses of four ambushed US contractors dragged through the streets of the city in March 2004

– Scene of major US-led offensive against insurgents in November 2004, when thousands of marines stormed the city

– US military’s use of white phosphorus munitions in that offensive widely condemned

– Situation in Anbar as a whole calmer since 2006, when tribal “Awakening Councils” turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq
Disturbing tale of birth defects

Our correspondent also saw children in the city who were suffering from paralysis or brain damage – and a photograph of one baby who was born with three heads.

He adds that he heard many times that officials in Fallujah had warned women that they should not have children.

Doctors and parents believe the problem is the highly sophisticated weapons the US troops used in Fallujah six years ago.

British-based Iraqi researcher Malik Hamdan told the BBC’s World Today programme that doctors in Fallujah were witnessing a “massive unprecedented number” of heart defects, and an increase in the number of nervous system defects.

She said that one doctor in the city had compared data about birth defects from before 2003 – when she saw about one case every two months – with the situation now, when, she saw cases every day.

Ms Hamdan said that based on data from January this year, the rate of congenital heart defects was 95 per 1,000 births – 13 times the rate found in Europe.

“I’ve seen footage of babies born with an eye in the middle of the forehead, the nose on the forehead,” she added.

Read moreIraq: Fallujah Doctors Report Dramatic Rise In Birth Defects (BBC)

Germany’s Highest Court Overturns Anti-Terrorism Data Law

March 2 (Bloomberg) — Germany’s highest court overturned a two-year-old anti-terrorism law that requires telecommunications providers such as Deutsche Telekom AG to store Internet and phone data for six months, saying the rules violate privacy.

The law, which came into effect in December 2007 during Chancellor Angela Merkel’s previous government, calls for phone companies to collect data on phone calls, Internet surfing and text messaging for potential use in criminal or terrorist investigations.

The Federal Constitutional Court found that while the storing of communications data isn’t automatically unconstitutional, the law doesn’t sufficiently clarify what the information will be used for or provide for transparency.

The data “must be deleted immediately,” Hans-Juergen Papier, the court’s president, said today as he read out the decision in the western city of Karlsruhe.

Read moreGermany’s Highest Court Overturns Anti-Terrorism Data Law

Common Weedkiller Atrazine Turns Male Frogs Into Females

See also:

Study: Serious birth defects linked to the agricultural chemical atrazine


atrazine-turns-male-frogs-into-femalesAn atrazine-induced female frog (a genetic male) is shown (bottom) copulating with an unexposed male sibling. This union produced viable eggs and larvae that survived to metamorphosis and adulthood. Yet, because both animals were genetic males, the offspring were all males. (Tyrone Hayes photo)

BERKELEY —Atrazine, one of the world’s most widely used pesticides, wreaks havoc with the sex lives of adult male frogs, emasculating three-quarters of them and turning one in 10 into females, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, biologists.

The 75 percent that are chemically castrated are essentially “dead” because of their inability to reproduce in the wild, reports UC Berkeley’s Tyrone B. Hayes, professor of integrative biology.

“These male frogs are missing testosterone and all the things that testosterone controls, including sperm. So their fertility is as low as 10 percent in some cases, and that is only if we isolate those animals and pair them with females,” he said. “In an environment where they are competing with unexposed animals, they have zero chance of reproducing.”

The 10 percent or more that turn from males into females – something not known to occur under natural conditions in amphibians – can successfully mate with male frogs but, because these females are genetically male, all their offspring are male.

“When we grow these guys up, depending on the family, we will get anywhere from 10 to 50 percent females,” Hayes said. “In a population, the genetically male females can decrease or wipe out a population just because they skew sex ratios so badly.”

Read moreCommon Weedkiller Atrazine Turns Male Frogs Into Females

Former FBI Senior Special Agent Ted Gunderson Says 9/11 Was An Inside Job

“The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaeda. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the TV watcher to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US.”
– Robin Cook, Former British Foreign Secretary


In 1977, Gunderson took his last position as Senior Special Agent-in-Charge of the Los Angeles division, and retired in March 1979. Gunderson was honored as The Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer in America, by the AFL-CIO Metal Trade Counsel Los Angeles, CA in 1977.


Added: 28. August 2009

Read moreFormer FBI Senior Special Agent Ted Gunderson Says 9/11 Was An Inside Job

JP Morgan Chairman: California Is A Greater Risk Than Greece

Jamie Dimon, chairman of JP Morgan Chase, has warned American investors should be more worried about the risk of default of the state of California than of Greece’s current debt woes.

arnold-schwarzenegger
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is desperately trying to reduce California’s $20bn deficit Photo: BLOOMBERG

Mr Dimon told investors at the Wall Street bank’s annual meeting that “there could be contagion” if a state the size of California, the biggest of the United States, had problems making debt repayments. “Greece itself would not be an issue for this company, nor would any other country,” said Mr Dimon. “We don’t really foresee the European Union coming apart.” The senior banker said that JP Morgan Chase and other US rivals are largely immune from the European debt crisis, as the risks have largely been hedged.

California however poses more of a risk, given the state’s $20bn (£13.1bn) budget deficit, which Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is desperately trying to reduce.

Earlier this week, the state’s legislature passed bills that will cut the deficit by $2.8bn through budget cuts and other measures. However the former Hollywood film star turned politician is looking for $8.9bn of cuts over the next 16 months, and is also hoping for as much as $7bn of handouts from the federal government.

Earlier this week, John Chiang, the state’s controller, said that if a workable plan to reduce the deficit and increase cash levels is not reached soon, he will have to return to issuing IOU’s, forcing state workers to take additional unpaid leave and potentially freezing spending.

Read moreJP Morgan Chairman: California Is A Greater Risk Than Greece

CHILE EARTHQUAKE: 8.8 Magnitude Quake Hits Chile, 1,000 Times More Powerful Than The Haiti Earthquake

A milder earthquake hit Japan:

Japan Earthquake: Tsunami Warnings Downgraded After 7.0 Quake Off Japan Coast (Huffington Post)


chile-earthquake-04
Rescuers searched for victims and survivors after an apartment complex collapsed in Concepcion.

chile-earthquake-05
A woman sat in front a quake-damaged house in Talca, Chile. Residents were also jolted by at least 20 aftershocks measuring over 5.0 on the magnitude scale, with one topping 6.9.

chile-earthquake-02
A photo of Santiago, Chile after the quake. Uploaded by Twitter user @Gonzalezcarcey.

UPDATE: 8:25 a.m. — 1,000 times more powerful than the Haiti earthquake– From the New York Times:

Phone lines were down in Concepcion as of 7:30 a.m. and no reports were coming out of that area. The quake in Chile was 1,000 times more powerful than the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that caused widespread damage in Haiti on Jan 12, killing at least 230,000, earthquake experts reported on CNN International.

UPDATE: 8:00 a.m. — 78 and rising — AP now reports that the death toll is at 78 and rising. Officials have no information yet on number of injured.

chile-earthquake-03
“Calm after #terremoto. Impressive to see Divine Church Providence without cupola.” Photo uploaded to Twitpic by Twitter user @HMartinez.

UPDATE: 6:43 a.m. — 47 dead — Reuters now reports that 47 people have died in the quake.

President Michele Bachelet has declared a “state of catastrophe,” according to the Associated Press:

SANTIAGO, Chile – A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile early Saturday, collapsing buildings, killing at least 16 people and downing phone lines. President Michele Bachelet declared a “state of catastrophe” in central Chile and said the death toll was rising.Tsunami warnings were issued over a wide area, including South America, Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, Russia and many Pacific islands.

“We have had a huge earthquake, with some aftershocks,” Bachelet said, appealing from an emergency response center for Chileans to remain calm. “Despite this, the system is
functioning. People should remain calm. We’re doing everything we can with all the forces we have. Any information we will share immediately.”

Bachelet said early reports were that 16 people had been killed, and “without a doubt, with an earthquake of this magnitude, there will be more deaths.”

In the 2 1/2 hours following the 90-second quake, the U.S. Geological Survey reported 11 aftershocks, of which five measured 6.0 or above.

She urged people to avoid traveling in the dark, since traffic lights are down, to avoid causing more fatalities.

The quake hit 200 miles (325 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Santiago, at a depth of 22 miles (35 kilometers) at 3:34 a.m. (0634 GMT; 1:34 a.m. EST), the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The epicenter was just 70 miles (115 kilometers) from Concepcion, Chile’s second-largest city, where more than 200,000 people live along the Bio Bio river, and 60 miles from the ski town of Chillan, a gateway to Andean ski resorts that was destroyed in a 1939 earthquake.

In Santiago, the capital, modern buildings are built to withstand earthquakes, but many older ones were heavily damaged, including the Nuestra Senora de la Providencia church, whose bell tower collapsed. An apartment building’s two-level parking lot also flattened onto the ground floor, smashing about 50 cars whose alarms and horns rang incessantly. A bridge just outside the capital also collapsed, and at least one car flipped upside down.

In the coastal city of Vina del Mar, the earthquake struck just as people were leaving a disco, Julio Alvarez told Radio Cooperativa in Santiago. “It was very bad, people were screaming, some people were running, others appeared paralyzed. I was one of them.”

Bachelet said she was declaring a “state of catastrophe” in 3 central regions of the country, and that while emergency responders were waiting for first light to get details, it was evident that damage was extensive.

UPDATE: 5:56 a.m. — 17 dead — At least 17 people have died in Chile’s earthquake, according to radio reports from Santiago. Reuters:

Local radio said 17 people were killed and President Michelle Bachelet confirmed six deaths, saying more were possible. Telephone and power lines were down, making a quick damage assessment difficult in the early morning darkness.”Never in my life have I experienced a quake like this, it’s like the end of the world,” one man told local television from the city of Temuco, where the quake damaged buildings and forced staff to evacuate the regional hospital.

UPDATE: 4:49 a.m. — Live broadcast — A USTREAM webcast of CNN’s live coverage of the Chile earthquake:

Read moreCHILE EARTHQUAKE: 8.8 Magnitude Quake Hits Chile, 1,000 Times More Powerful Than The Haiti Earthquake

Europe: Quantifying The Donors And Moochers – Without Germany, The EU Would Not Exist

With the dramatic emergence of intra-EU bickering between various “banana-eating countries” and “tax cheats”, it is easy to lose sight of the forest for the banana trees. While it is subjective to say who owes whom what, one thing that is very objective, is whose money is critical to sustaining the European Union.

And here there is no doubt: without Germany, the EU would not exist. The country, which receives €78 billion from the EU annually, pays out more than double that, or €164 billion, for a net impact of (€1,045) per capita.

Surely the Germans would be just as happy to see this money retained by their economy instead of going to assorted hangers-on. And speaking of the latter, one of the biggest recipients, with a net benefit of €2,284 per person, is Greece, which pays just €15 billion a year to the EU but receives nearly triple, or €40 billion.

We wonder just how Greece will plug that particular hole should the EU dissolve after the recent escalation in rhetoric threatens to royally piss off the Germans.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

without-germany-the-eu-would-not-exist

Graphic via FSTeurope.com

Read moreEurope: Quantifying The Donors And Moochers – Without Germany, The EU Would Not Exist

US officials puzzle over millions of dollars in cash, well over $1 billion a year, leaving Afghanistan by plane for Dubai

KABUL — A blizzard of bank notes is flying out of Afghanistan — often in full view of customs officers at the Kabul airport — as part of a cash exodus that is confounding U.S. officials and raising concerns about the money’s origin.

The cash, estimated to total well over $1 billion a year, flows mostly to the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai, where many wealthy Afghans now park their families and funds, according to U.S. and Afghan officials. So long as departing cash is declared at the airport here, its transfer is legal.

But at a time when the United States and its allies are spending billions of dollars to prop up the fragile government of President Hamid Karzai, the volume of the outflow has stirred concerns that funds have been diverted from aid. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, for its part, is trying to figure out whether some of the money comes from Afghanistan’s thriving opium trade. And officials in neighboring Pakistan think that at least some of the cash leaving Kabul has been smuggled overland from Pakistan.

“All this money magically appears from nowhere,” said a U.S. official who monitors Afghanistan’s growing role as a hub for cash transfers to Dubai, which has six flights a day to and from Kabul.

Meanwhile, the United States is stepping up efforts to stop money flow in the other direction — into Afghanistan and Pakistan in support of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Senior Treasury Department officials visited Kabul this month to discuss the cash flows and other issues relating to this country’s infant, often chaotic financial sector.

Read moreUS officials puzzle over millions of dollars in cash, well over $1 billion a year, leaving Afghanistan by plane for Dubai

Bizarre? Now this is bizarre! Audit the Fed banksters NOW!

ben-bernanke
Elite puppet Fed chairman Ben Bernanke

From yesterday’s exchange between Ron Paul and Ben Bernanke:

Ron Paul: …a lot of cash was passed through – and a lot of people suppose it was passed through the Federal Reserve – when there was a provisional government [in Iraq] after the 2003 invasion. That money was not appropriated by the Congress as required by law…

Ben Bernanke: Congressman, these specific allegations you’ve made are absolutely bizarre, and I have no knowledge of anything remotely like what you just described.

Let’s ask Rep. Henry Waxman (July 2009)

Henry Waxman: In a 13 month period from May 2003 to June 2004, the Federal Reserve sent nearly $12 billion in cash, mainly in $100 bills from the United States to Iraq. To do that, the Federal Reserve Bank in New York had to pack 281 million individual bills … onto wooden pallets to be shipped to Iraq. The cash weighed more than 363 tons and was loaded onto C-130 cargo planes to be flown into Baghdad…

Bizarre? Yes, I think something very bizarre is going on.

Read moreBizarre? Now this is bizarre! Audit the Fed banksters NOW!

Microsoft Downs Cryptome Site After Top-Secret Guide Published

Surveillance guide gets Cryptome site into hot water.

microsoft
The sign at a main entrance to the Microsoft corporate campus. The Redmond Microsoft campus today includes more than 750,000 m² (approx. 8 million square feet) and over 30,000 employees.

The noted government whistleblowing website Cryptome has been taken down after Microsoft saw red over its publication of a top-secret Internet surveillance guide normally shown only to law enforcement agencies.

The 22-page Global Criminal Compliance Handbook contains a reasonably detailed rundown on the information gathered by Microsoft from its various Windows Live operations, including Hotmail, Messenger, MSN Groups, and even the gaming platform, Xbox Live. The guide explains the information that is retained by Microsoft from customer activities, for how long it is saved, and how it can be accessed by police and security services in accordance with US legal requirements.

After discovering the document on the site, Microsoft is reported to have demanded its removal, citing the US Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), a request that was rejected by Cryptome editor and founder, John Young. Microsoft then persuaded domain hoster Network Solutions to pull the site, which remains offline as of the morning of 25 February (GMT).

Microsoft botnet take down will not stop spam, says researchers

Was Microsoft well advised to come down so heavily on a site that has come to be seen in civil liberties circles as an important bulwark against government secrecy?

Read moreMicrosoft Downs Cryptome Site After Top-Secret Guide Published

US Senator Judd Gregg Warns of ‘Financial Meltdown’ Risk

I don’t think that the US has five to seven years left before it will experience the greatest financial collapse in history.


The US is heading for a debt-driven “financial meltdown” within five to seven years, according to Judd Gregg, the outgoing Republican senator for New Hampshire.

In a robust and at times testy video interview for the Financial Times’s View from DC series, Mr Gregg also complimented China for showing rising alarm about the US’s mounting levels of public debt.

“We have had China say that they are looking for other places to put their reserves and that is probably a smart decision on their part,” said Mr Gregg, who will not seek re-election in November. “So the warning signs are pretty clear and the path is unsustainable and, at this point, unless we take different actions, unavoidable.”

Related article: China to Purchase 191.3 Tons of IMF’s Gold

But the senator, who was the most high-profile Repub­lican invited by Barack Obama, the president, to join his administration last year, an offer Mr Gregg accepted and then turned down, said he doubted that the two parties would get together to tackle it.

Last month 16 Republicans and 37 Democrats voted to establish a fiscal commission – seven votes short of what was needed to prevent a filibuster.

Mr Gregg also played down prospects for the non-statutory fiscal commission that Mr Obama set up by executive order last week. “It was just an edict that came from a Democratic president,” he said, adding, that “it’s the only game in town right now”.

Mr Gregg also disputed non-partisan economic studies that showed last year’s $787bn (€585bn, £520bn) stimulus cushioned the impact of the recession. “The facts are wrong,” he said. “I can understand how a Keynesian would make that argument. I find them absurd on their face.”

Read moreUS Senator Judd Gregg Warns of ‘Financial Meltdown’ Risk

US ambassador: US troops to stay in Haiti for time being

American troops will remain in Haiti for the foreseeable future to help the quake-ravaged country get back on its feet, the US ambassador to the Caribbean nation told AFP Thursday.

“There are about 6,500 soldiers in Haiti at the moment. There were some 20,000 for the emergency effort launched in the wake of January 12,” ambassador Kenneth Merten said.

“What is planned for the moment is more and more staff from USAID on the ground and fewer and fewer troops. Gradually, they’ll leave. In my opinion, we will need some American troops to stay here for the foreseeable future.”

But he dismissed any notion that Haiti would be put under some kind of foreign governorship, an idea mooted by French lawmaker Jacques Myard in the days after the January 12, 7.0-magnitude quake hit.

“I don’t see any reason for the country to be put under governorship. We have been working for a long time, since the departure of Jean-Claude Duvalier, for a democratic nation in Haiti.”

Read moreUS ambassador: US troops to stay in Haiti for time being

Bulgaria: More Than 400 Tax Inspectors Caught Over Unpaid Traffic Fines

SOFIA (Reuters) – There were some embarrassed faces at Bulgaria’s tax office on Thursday after an investigation found more than 400 tax inspectors had failed to pay their traffic fines.

Oddly Enough

The Balkan nation has launched a crackdown on civil servants who don’t pay what they owe, as part of plans to stamp out rampant fraud and raise revenues during the recession, the national revenue agency said.

Those tax officials caught will have money deducted from their February salaries to pay the fines.

More than 50,000 civil servants also face being checked for unpaid taxes and fines in March, a sign of the pressure Sofia is under at home and abroad to demonstrate results in its fight against graft and crime.

In July the European Union is due assess the government’s record and failure to show progress could threaten access to more EU aid after in 2008 Brussels froze millions in aid over fraud.

Read moreBulgaria: More Than 400 Tax Inspectors Caught Over Unpaid Traffic Fines

Blackwater Guards Stole Hundreds Of Weapons In Kabul And Went On Deadly Rampage

More than 500 AK47 rifles had been removed from the bunker by Blackwater staff without permission.

blackwater-now-xe

Private American security guards working for the US military in Afghanistan removed hundreds of handguns and automatic weapons from stores intended for the exclusive use of the Afghan police and used them on drunken shooting rampages that killed two Afghan civilians and injured at least two more.

The guards included a former US Marine with a criminal record of assault and battery and a former soldier discharged from the US Army after testing positive for cocaine, Congress heard yesterday.

Justin Cannon, Christopher Drotleff and a guard using the name “Eric Cartman” from the cartoon South Park were employees of a subsidiary of the Blackwater Worldwide group, implicated in a litany of extrajudicial shootings since 2003 in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Cannon and Drotleff have been charged with killing two Afghans and injuring a third in an incident last May when they opened fire on a car carrying four civilians in Kabul, while under the influence of alcohol. The men, who were hired to train Afghan soldiers, had no permission from US authorities to carry guns.

Read moreBlackwater Guards Stole Hundreds Of Weapons In Kabul And Went On Deadly Rampage

Tens of thousands protest across Spain at PM Zapatero’s pension reforms

Barcelona protest
People in Barcelona protest against government plans to increase the retirement age

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets across Spain last night in the biggest test of the country’s Socialist Government, which is under pressure.

With a general strike threatened in the summer, the two biggest Spanish unions staged protests in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Alicante.

The Union General de Trabajadores (UGT) and the Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO), are planning to stage 57 protests in other parts of the country until next week.

Unions are angry about the Government’s proposed pensions reforms which would extend the legal retirement age from 65 to 67.

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Spanish Prime Minister who recently came under pressure from financial markets to introduce measures to bring the country out of recession, now finds himself threatened by his political allies in the unions.

The protests are the first time that Mr Zapatero has faced street unrest since he came to power in 2004. Leading members of the Prime Minister’s party took part in the protests, a sign that his popularity is dwindling.

Read moreTens of thousands protest across Spain at PM Zapatero’s pension reforms

Prosecutors Interrogate 51 Turkish Military Commanders Over Planned Coup To Destabilize The Country By Blowing Up Mosques And Topple The Islamic-Rooted Government

prosecutors-interrogate-51-turkish-military-commanders-over-planned-coup
FILE – In this Sept. 19, 2003 file photo, Turkish commanders, from left, Chief of Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, Land Forces commander Aytac Yalman, Navy Commander Ozden Ornek and Air Forces Commander Ibrahim Firtina seen during a meeting of the National Security Council in Ankara, Turkey. Police detained more than 40 high-ranking military commanders Monday, Feb. 22, 2010, for allegedly plotting to overthrow the Islamic-rooted government. Several high-ranking members of Turkey’s military, including Firtina and Ornek, were among those detained. The sweep highlighted the ongoing struggle between the secular establishment and the Islamic-oriented government, and left many wondering if the military no longer called the shots in a nation accustomed to viewing it as the pillar of the secular state. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici, File)

(AP) ANKARA, Turkey — Prosecutors on Tuesday interrogated 51 Turkish military commanders, including former Air Force and Navy chiefs, over alleged plans to destabilize the country by blowing up mosques to trigger a coup and topple the Islamic-rooted government.

It was the highest profile crackdown ever on the Turkish military, which has ousted four governments since 1960. For decades Turkey’s senior officers, self-appointed guardians of the country’s secular tradition, called the shots.

But the balance of power in this EU-candidate country appeared to have shifted Monday as police rounded up the 51 military commanders, following the gathering of wiretap evidence and discovery of an alleged secret coup plan, dubbed “the sledgehammer.”

The nationwide sweep has dramatically deepened a power struggle between the secular establishment and the government, which has strong electoral backing and the European Union’s support. Turkey’s elite military — known as “pashas,” a title of respect harking back to Ottoman times — were once deemed untouchable.

“The most heavy sledgehammer to military custody,” read banner headline of daily Taraf, which has published leaked military documents that lead to the detentions.

Read moreProsecutors Interrogate 51 Turkish Military Commanders Over Planned Coup To Destabilize The Country By Blowing Up Mosques And Topple The Islamic-Rooted Government

Famous Investor Marc Faber: ‘Buy Farmland And Gold’ – ‘Prepare For a Dirty War’

“When I tell people to prepare themselves for a dirty war, they ask me: “America against whom?” I tell them that for sure they will find someone.”
– Marc Faber

I told you before that after bankrupting America and destroying the dollar the plan of the elite is to start WWIII.

There are also other forces at work that try to stop this, but you need to prepare yourself now, in case the elitists get their way.

I am not talking about preparing yourself out of fear. Not so many years ago preparedness was common sense.


marc-faber

The world’s most powerful investors have been advised to buy farmland, stock up on gold and prepare for a “dirty war” by Marc Faber, the notoriously bearish market pundit, who predicted the 1987 stock market crash.

The bleak warning of social and financial meltdown, delivered today in Tokyo at a gathering of 700 pension and sovereign wealth fund managers.

Dr Faber, who advised his audience to pull out of American stocks one week before the 1987 crash and was among a handful who predicted the more recent financial crisis, vies with the Nouriel Roubini, the economist, as a rival claimant for the nickname Dr Doom.

Speaking today, Dr Faber said that investors, who control billions of dollars of assets, should start considering the effects of more disruptive events than mere market volatility.

“The next war will be a dirty war,” he told fund managers: “What are you going to do when your mobile phone gets shut down or the internet stops working or the city water supplies get poisoned?”

His investment advice, which was the first keynote speech of CLSA’s annual investment forum in Tokyo, included a suggestion that fund managers buy houses in the countryside because it was more likely that violence, biological attack and other acts of a “dirty war” would happen in cities.

He also said that they should consider holding part of their wealth in the form of precious metals “because they can be carried”.

One London-based hedge fund manager described Mr Faber’s address as “excellent, chilling stuff: good at putting you off lunch, but not something I can tell clients asking me about quarterly returns at the end of March”.

Read moreFamous Investor Marc Faber: ‘Buy Farmland And Gold’ – ‘Prepare For a Dirty War’

US: Wealth Disparities Approaching 1920s Levels

I have told you many times in the past that the policies of the Fed and the US government, that are controlled by the elite, are all about destroying the middle class, bankrupting America, destroying the dollar and turning the US into a Third World country.

They have almost made it! They are very close now to ‘mission accomplished’, if they are not stopped right now.

This crisis has only just begun.

“When a country embarks on deficit financing and inflationism you wipe out the middle class and wealth is transferred from the middle class and the poor to the rich.”
– Ron Paul

Related article: STUDY: US Income Inequality Is At An All-Time High


This graph was an eye opener for me (not that I should be surprised):

wealth-disparities-in-us-approaching-1920s-levels

My Take:

What a time to be an oligarch! All I wanted to do was vomit when I saw this.

Folks, there is no way we can have economic prosperity in this country when the top 1% has all of the money. The middle class is basically being destroyed right in front of our very eyes. Consumption economies die when the consumers have no money to consume!

I see growing signs of desperation and anger as the wealth of this nation continues to get transferred to the elite of this nation.

People are starting to “lose” it as a result. This past week’s airplane event in Austin was a disturbing development. I must admit that I really am not surprised. The government shouldn’t be either.

Things are only going to get worse in the violence department as the taxpayers continue to get violated and more desperate as a result of this economic cataststrophe. The news media tried to downplay the actions in Austin.

I think Washington was both surprised and concerned about what took place in Texas.

I have to ask: Should the government really be surpised that an American flew a plane into an IRS building in a fit of rage as we all get repeatedly fleeced by the political and social elites of this country?

Let me preface all of this by saying violence is not the answer here. However, why shouldn’t every American be infuriated by what has ocurred since this crisis began?

All the government has done is bail out Wall St. continuously since 2008. My guess is the disparity of wealth in this chart would look even worse if it included 2009. The rest of America has basically been ignored minus a few housing programs to help lower mortgage payments.

That’s what’s been so frustrating about this whole crisis and America is finally starting to get it. Just about ALL of the steps that have been taken by the government to help fix this crisis have involved throwing more and more money to the financial elites of this country. I mean, the examples are endless: TARP, AIG, Bank of America, Citi, Freddie, Fannie …. Need I say more?

The sheeple are finally realizing that the money is not trickling to them like Washington had promised when they threw billions to the banks. The people have only seen things get worse while Wall St. has prospered. They now want to know where their friggin’ bailout is!

They are also realizing that the goverment’s actions since this all started in 2007 have done nothing but drop the yields on their CD’s to 0%. Gee thanks!

Let’s not forget that the sheeple/middle class were also victimized by Wall St. as they were gamed into buying homes they couldn’t afford. When this fantasy came crashing down they were again violated as they saw their 401k’s get cut in half.

The people of this country can only take so much before they start going postal!

In fact:

The Wall St Journal had an article out yesterday around the increasing threats of violence against the IRS:

WASHINGTON-The federal agency charged with ensuring the safety of IRS employees said it has seen an uptick in the past several years in threats against agency personnel.

In the past four years, there appears to have been a “steady, upward trend” in the number of threats against IRS employees, said an official with the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration. That assessment, offered in response to an inquiry from Dow Jones Newswires, is based on preliminary data, the official cautioned.

The middle class in starting to feel like that pledge in the movie Animal House who says “thank you sir may I have another” after getting repeatedly paddled by his brothers.

Read moreUS: Wealth Disparities Approaching 1920s Levels

Dutch PM: Troops to leave Afghanistan in August

Related articles:

Dutch exit could leave key Afghan area vulnerable (Washington Post)

Dutch Government Has Collapsed In Dispute Over Afghanistan (BBC NEWS)


dutch-troops-to-leave-afghanistan-as-planned_pm The Dutch troops were to have returned in 2008

A day after his cabinet collapsed, the Dutch prime minister says he expects Dutch troops to end their mission in Afghanistan in August as expected.

“If nothing else will take its place, then it ends,” Jan Peter Balkenende told Dutch television.

The cabinet fell after the two largest parties failed to agree on a Nato request to extend the tour of the almost 2,000-strong Dutch contingent.

A Nato spokesman said it would provide support to Afghans whatever happened.

The uncertainty over their deployment comes as Nato, US and Afghan forces are engaged in a large military offensive against the Taliban in neighbouring Helmand.

The governor of Uruzgan province said peace and reconstruction efforts would suffer a setback if the Dutch left.

Asadullah Hamdam told the BBC they were playing a vital role building roads, training the Afghan police and providing security for civilians.

“If they withdraw and leave these projects incomplete, then they will leave a big vacuum,” he added.

Read moreDutch PM: Troops to leave Afghanistan in August

Gordon Brown Praises New World Order (19 Feb 2010)

The government and the Bank of England are bankrupting the UK and destroying the pound, forcing the New World Order as SOLUTION upon the people.

Replacement:


Added: 19. Februar 2010

The government and the Bank of England are destroying the UK:

Britain At Risk Of Worse Government Debt Crisis Than Greece

UK Annual Inflation Jumps, Prompts Bank Of England Explanatory Letter

Societe Generale chief strategist Albert Edwards: Greek bailout only delays ‘inevitable’ Eurozone breakup

Societe Generale Chief Strategist Albert Edwards: Theft! Were the US & UK central banks complicit in robbing the middle classes?

Marc Faber on CNBC: All Governments Will Default On Their Debt, Including The US

PIMCO’s Bill Gross: UK a ‘must to avoid’ as its debt lies ‘on bed of nitroglycerine’ (!!!)

Bank of England’s ‘nerves’ to be tested as inflation jumps most on record in December

Fitch warns: Britain and France risk losing their AAA rating

Moody’s warns of ’social unrest’ as sovereign debt spirals … because of bankster bailouts

UK taxpayers face £2 trillion unfunded pensions liability, more than £80,000 for every household

Moody’s: Top US And UK Debt Ratings May ‘Test The Aaa Boundaries’

Treasury Pre-Budget Report Warning: UK ‘Faces Decades of Debt’

Morgan Stanley: Britain risks sovereign debt crisis in 2010

OECD warning: Britain risks ‘debt spiral’

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” – John Adams