venerdì 11 novembre 2011

Time for an Economic Bill of Rights

Time for an Economic Bill of Rights 
by Ellen Brown

Global Research, November 11, 2011
Web of Debt - 2011-11-09

Henry Ford said, “It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” We are beginning to understand, and Occupy Wall Street looks like the beginning of the revolution. We are beginning to understand that our money is created, not by the government, but by banks. Many authorities have confirmed this, including the Federal Reserve itself. The only money the government creates today are coins, which compose less than one ten-thousandth of the money supply. Federal Reserve Notes, or dollar bills, are issued by Federal Reserve Banks, all twelve of which are owned by the private banks in their district. Most of our money comes into circulation as bank loans, and it comes with an interest charge attached. According to Margrit Kennedy, a German researcher who has studied this issue extensively, interest now composes 40% of the cost of everything we buy. We don’t see it on the sales slips, but interest is exacted at every stage of production. Suppliers need to take out loans to pay for labor and materials, before they have a product to sell. For government projects, Kennedy found that the average cost of interest is 50%. If the government owned the banks, it could keep the interest and get these projects at half price. That means governments—state and federal—could double the number of projects they could afford, without costing the taxpayers a single penny more than we are paying now. This opens up exciting possibilities. Federal and state governments could fund all sorts of things we think we can’t afford now, simply by owning their own banks. They could fund something Franklin D. Roosevelt and Martin Luther King dreamt of—an Economic Bill of Rights. A Vision for Tomorrow In his first inaugural address in 1933, Roosevelt criticized the sort of near-sighted Wall Street greed that precipitated the Great Depression. He said, “They only know the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and where there is no vision the people perish.” Roosevelt’s own vision reached its sharpest focus in 1944, when he called for a Second Bill of Rights. He said: This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights . . . . They were our rights to life and liberty. As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness. He then enumerated the economic rights he thought needed to be added to the Bill of Rights. They included: The right to a job; The right to earn enough to pay for food and clothing; The right of businessmen to be free of unfair competition and domination by monopolies; The right to a decent home; The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to enjoy good health; The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment; The right to a good education. Times have changed since the first Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution in 1791. When the country was founded, people could stake out some land, build a house on it, farm it, and be self-sufficient. The Great Depression saw people turned out of their homes and living in the streets—a phenomenon we are seeing again today. Few people now own their own homes. Even if you have signed a mortgage, you will be in debt peonage to the bank for 30 years or so before you can claim the home as your own. Health needs have changed too. In 1791, foods were natural and nutrient-rich, and outdoor exercise was built into the lifestyle. Degenerative diseases such as cancer and heart disease were rare. Today, health insurance for some people can cost as much as rent. Then there are college loans, which collectively now exceed a trillion dollars, more even than credit card debt. Students are coming out of universities not just without jobs but carrying a debt of $20,000 or so on their backs. For medical students and other post-graduate students, it can be $100,000 or more. Again, that’s as much as a mortgage, with no house to show for it. The justification for incurring these debts was supposed to be that the students would get better jobs when they graduated, but now jobs are scarce. After World War II, the G.I. Bill provided returning servicemen with free college tuition, as well as cheap home loans and business loans. It was called “the G.I. Bill of Rights.” Studies have shown that the G.I. Bill paid for itself seven times over and is one of the most lucrative investments the government ever made. The government could do that again—without increasing taxes or the federal debt. It could do it by recovering the power to create money from Wall Street and the financial services industry, which now claim a whopping 40% of everything we buy. An Updated Constitution for a New Millennium Banks acquired the power to create money by default, when Congress declined to claim it at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The Constitution says only that “Congress shall have the power to coin money [and] regulate the power thereof.” The Founders left out not just paper money but checkbook money, credit card money, money market funds, and other forms of exchange that make up the money supply today. All of them are created by private financial institutions, and they all come into the economy as loans with interest attached. Governments—state and federal—could bypass the interest tab by setting up their own publicly-owned banks. Banking would become a public utility, a tool for promoting productivity and trade rather than for extracting wealth from the debtor class. Congress could go further: it could reclaim the power to issue money from the banks and fund its budget directly. It could do this, in fact, without changing any laws. Congress is empowered to “coin money,” and the Constitution sets no limit on the face amount of the coins. Congress could issue a few one-trillion dollar coins, deposit them in an account, and start writing checks. The Fed’s own figures show that the money supply has shrunk by $3 trillion since 2008. That sum could be spent into the economy without inflating prices. Three trillion dollars could go a long way toward providing the jobs and social services necessary to fulfill an Economic Bill of Rights. Guaranteeing employment to anyone willing and able to work would increase GDP, allowing the money supply to expand even further without inflating prices, since supply and demand would increase together. Modernizing the Bill of Rights As Bob Dylan said, “The times they are a’changin’.” Revolutionary times call for revolutionary solutions and an updated social contract. Apple and Microsoft update their programs every year. We are trying to fit a highly complex modern monetary scheme into a constitutional framework that is 200 years old. After President Roosevelt died in 1945, his vision for an Economic Bill of Rights was kept alive by Martin Luther King. “True compassion,” King declared, “is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” MLK too has now passed away, but his vision has been carried on by a variety of money reform groups. The government as “employer of last resort,” guaranteeing a living wage to anyone who wants to work, is a basic platform of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). An MMT website declares thatby “[e]nding the enormous unearned profits acquired by the means of the privatization of our sovereign currency. . . [i]t is possible to have truly full employment without causing inflation.” What was sufficient for a simple agrarian economy does not provide an adequate framework for freedom and democracy today. We need an Economic Bill of Rights, and we need to end the privatization of the national currency. Only when the privilege of creating the national money supply is returned to the people can we have a government that is truly of the people, by the people and for the people.

 Ellen Brown is an attorney and president of the Public Banking Institute, In Web of Debt, her latest of eleven books, she shows how a private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her websites are and

Trilateral Commission influence in the Eurozone

Trilateral Commission influence in the Eurozone

Posted on 11 November 2011
by Patrick Wood

Speaking of his Tri­lat­eral Commission’s influ­ence in the orig­inal cre­ation of the Euro­pean Union, David Rock­e­feller wrote in 1998,
“Back in the early Sev­en­ties, the hope for a more united EUROPE was already full-blown – thanks in many ways to the indi­vidual ener­gies pre­vi­ously spent by so many of the Tri­lat­eral Commission’s ear­liest mem­bers.” [Cap­i­tals in orig­inal] (Rock­e­feller, David; In the Begin­ning; The Tri­lat­eral Com­mis­sion at 25, 1998, p.11)
Some argued that “that was then and this is now,” and that the Commission’s influ­ence had waned with the passing of the older generation.
Non­sense. It was Tri­lat­eral Com­mis­sioner Vallery d’Estaing who authored the EU’s Con­sti­tu­tion in 2002 – 2003 when he was Pres­i­dent of the Con­ven­tion on the Future of Europe.
On November 10, 2011, Robert Wenzel, Editor & Pub­lisher of the Eco­nomic Policy Journal, wrote the fol­lowing short report:

And the Big Time Banksters Come Marching In

“Here’s what you need to know about the cur­rent crisis in the Euro­zone. The big time banksters are get­ting direct hands on control:
“Mario Drgahi has become pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank as of November 1. He was vice chairman and man­aging director of Goldman Sachs Inter­na­tional and a member of the firm-wide man­age­ment com­mittee. He was the Italian Exec­u­tive Director at the World Bank. He has been a Fellow of the Insti­tute of Pol­i­tics at the John F. Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment, Har­vard University.
“Lucas Papademos takes over today as Prime Min­ister of Greece. He was an econ­o­mist at the Fed­eral Reserve Bank of Boston. He was a vis­iting pro­fessor of public policy at the Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity. And, he was pre­vi­ously a vice pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank. He has been a member of the Tri­lat­eral Com­mis­sion since 1998.
“Indi­ca­tions are that Mario Monti will suc­ceed Silvio Berlus­coni as prime min­ister of Italy, within in days. Monti com­pleted grad­uate studies at Yale Uni­ver­sity, where he studied under James Tobin (see the Tobin Tax). He is a member of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. He is Euro­pean Chairman of the Tri­lat­eral Com­mis­sionand and member of the Bilder­berg Group.
“If you get the sense that the elitist banksters are going to take this finan­cial crisis and push it in what­ever direc­tion they want, you are prob­ably very right.”
As you can see, little has changed since 1973, and the same Tri­lat­eral Com­mis­sion mem­ber­ship keeps pop­ping up in the most hal­lowed posi­tions of power and influ­ence. The Commission’s defense is that it was simply coin­ci­dental for their mem­bers to be picked for var­ious high-level posi­tions because of their supe­rior tal­ents and abil­i­ties. This isnot hearsay: I have had this spoken directly to me by mem­bers of the Commission.
Con­sid­ering that the mem­ber­ship hovers around 300 – 350 at any given time,  it is sta­tis­ti­cally impos­sible that they could have been ran­domly picked at such a high fre­quency over such a long period of time. In the U.S. alone since 1973, Com­mis­sion mem­bers held
  • 8 out of 10 U.S. Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive appointments
  • 6 our of 8 World Bank presidencies
  • 6 out of 7 President/Vice Pres­i­dent elections
Could any sane person think that they Tri­lat­erals just stum­bled into all of these posi­tions?  Of course not.
The his­tor­ical evi­dence declares that the Tri­lat­eral Com­mis­sion hijacked the global polit­ical system for the exact pur­poses it stated in 1973. That is, to “foster a New Inter­na­tional Eco­nomic Order.”

Just who rules the world economy?

When Antony Sutton and myself studied the Tri­lat­eral Com­mis­sion in 1978, one ana­lyt­ical tech­nique we used was a deriv­a­tive of soci­ology called “net­work topology.” We assem­bled names of direc­tors, exec­u­tives and major share­holders of com­pa­nies asso­ci­ated with the Tri­lat­erals and then dia­grammed them to show over­laps and other non-obvious asso­ci­a­tions. Our results were stun­ning. We found a tight inter­locking net­work that was far stronger than a bunch of inde­pen­dent com­pa­nies. In graph­ical form, the net­work was clearly vis­ible. (See Tri­lat­erals Over Wash­ington, Volume I)
Recently, three researchers in Switzer­land (S. Vitali, J.B. Glat­tfelder, and S. Bat­tiston) have released a sim­ilar and modern study called “The net­work of global cor­po­rate con­trol.” In the abstract they state,
“We find that transna­tional cor­po­ra­tions form a giant bow-tie struc­ture and that a large por­tion of con­trol flows to a small tightly-knit core of finan­cial insti­tu­tions. This core can be seen as an eco­nomic “super-entity” that raises new impor­tant issues both for researchers and policy makers.”
This is an under­state­ment. In Table S1 buried in the appendix, they list the “top 50 control-holders,” where share­holders are ranked according to their level of net­work con­trol. These are the com­pa­nies who com­prise the inner-core of global control.
Of the 50 com­pa­nies, 45 are banks, insur­ance or other finan­cial insti­tu­tions. From the U.S. we see the usual: State Street, JP Morgan Chase, B of A, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and others.
In short, this core of banks/financials are the real rulers of the world economy. There is no spec­u­la­tion here: This is hard and com­pelling evidence.
This is also the exact same con­clu­sion that Sutton and I reached in 1978 with more rudi­men­tary, non-computerized analysis.
The report concludes,
“This is the first time a ranking of eco­nomic actors by global con­trol is pre­sented. Notice that many actors belong to the finan­cial sector (NACE codes starting with 65,66,67) and many of the names are well-known global players. The interest of this ranking is not that it exposes unsus­pected pow­erful players. Instead, it shows that many of the top actors belong to the core. This means that they do not carry out their busi­ness in iso­la­tion but, on the con­trary, they are tied together in an extremely entan­gled web of con­trol. This finding is extremely impor­tant since there was no prior eco­nomic theory or empir­ical evi­dence regarding whether and how top players are con­nected. Finally, it should be noted that gov­ern­ments and nat­ural per­sons are only fea­tured fur­ther down in the list.” [emphasis added]
Zbig­niew Brzezinski, co-founder of the Tri­lat­eral Com­mis­sion with David Rock­e­feller in 1973, summed up the “net­work” in his 1970 Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Tech­netronic Era:
“The nation-­state as a fun­da­mental unit of man’s orga­nized life has ceased to be the prin­cipal cre­ative force:Inter­na­tional banks and multi­na­tional cor­po­ra­tions are acting and plan­ning in terms that are far in advance of the polit­ical con­cepts of the nation-state.” [emphasis added]
Unfor­tu­nately, this is the reality of the matter. With inter­na­tional banks at the center and var­ious multi­na­tional com­pa­nies in the periphery, the net­work con­tinues to dom­i­nate and con­trol the course of world events. The cit­i­zens of the respec­tive coun­tries are little more than objects to be taxed and manipulated.
In Europe, the finan­cial demise of Italy and Greece threatens to melt down the Euro­pean region, if not the entire global economy. That Tri­lat­eral bankers Papademos and Monti, respec­tively, would take the helm as Prime Min­ister of their own nation-state should be likened to be a receiver­ship move designed to pro­tect the assets of the banks (the “Net­work”) they rep­re­sent. If nothing else, it cer­tainly shows that the Tri­lat­eral hege­mony over Europe is alive and well.
Until this hege­mony is somehow dis­solved, the game of national polit­ical elec­tions (In the U.S. or Europe) is largely an exer­cise in futility. Elec­tors are simply deceived when they fail to rec­og­nize and address the real power behind the political/economic system.



'Private Seigniorage Scam' awareness as mapped by the Italian CENTRO STUDI MONETARI



Venezuela to Extend “Popular Banking”


Venezuela to Extend “Popular Banking” Services to Local Communities

Mérida, November 10th ( The number of Communal Bank Terminals (Tbcom) throughout Venezuela will be increased to 200 by the end of the year, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced this week.

The Tbcom initiative, launched in August 2010, is aimed at providing access to communities and individuals previously excluded from banking and financial services, with 105 terminals installed during the first year.

Chavez referred to the move as part of a growing process of “popular the neighbourhoods and towns [of Venezuela]”.

The terminals are installed within the community and work in conjunction with the “communal bank card” service, which facilitates purchases at state run community food stores and supermarkets in order to promote community economies and communal organisation. Both the communal cards and terminals are provided by the nationalised Bank of Venezuela.

The Tbcom program allows access to deposits, withdrawals, transfers, the paying of household bills, and provides loans to small businesses. The program also offers financial education programs to organised communities on how to manage money and savings, with 3000 people benefiting from this so far.

“The Tbcom is a reality only possible in revolution, in the socialist vision we also incorporate the teaching of how to use bank services in an efficient manner that brings the greatest sum of happiness to the Venezuelan people”, stated Rodolfo Marco Torres, Venezuelan minister for the Public Bank, on the Tbcom’s first anniversary in August this year.

The announced expansion was made on Monday after a meeting between Hugo Chavez and Brazilian chancellor Antonio Patriota in Caracas. The program is a joint initiative between the Bank of Venezuela and the Caixa Federal Bank of Brazil.

During the meeting, bilateral accords were strengthened between the two countries in the areas of agriculture, industrial and scientific development, technology, banking, and social development to reduce poverty.

Brazil also agreed to support Venezuela’s new mass housing mission through two projects for rural and rented housing, with Patriota commenting “we are committed to supporting the development of Venezuela”.

Chavez also highlighted the deepening commercial and political relations between the two countries, stating “technological and industrial cooperation...will continue growing between Venezuela and Brazil...we will continue strengthening the Bolivarian alliance, Petrocaribe [joint oil exploration], and the Bank of the South”.

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is also set to visit Venezuela on 2 and 3 December to participate in the Summit of the Community of Latin American States (CELAC).


giovedì 10 novembre 2011



Jean-L�on G�rome - Sklavenmarkt in Rom

In the good old days, after George Washington and the boys won the war to free us from the bank of England's predatory and impoverishing practices, they set up a "revolutionary" economic system. The government created and issued all the public currency, spending it into circulation to purchase what the government needed, then after the currency circulated through society to fuel commerce, was taxed back to the government to balance the books.


Click for larger image

Banks existed, of course. But they were kept off to one side, and use of the banks was optional for the people of the United States. It was possible to go through one's entire life without dealing with a bank if one chose to do so.

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This system not only reserved the choice whether to use the bank to the people, but it was a stable system, because as debt increased, the people could voluntarily choose to stop borrowing from the bank! That was one of the most important freedoms won during the revolution; the freedom to say "no" to the banks!

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Then, in 1913, a corrupt Congress and a corrupt President changed the structure of the nation's economy and stole your freedom to say "no"! The economic system was reverted to a mirror of that same system the nation fought a revolution to be free of. The power to issue money was taken away from the government and given to the bankers and from that day onward, ALL money in circulation was created as the result of a loan at interest from the bankers to the government, to business, and to the people. There is no exception. Every dollar paid in salary, spent to purchase food or gas, or paid in taxes, began as an interest bearing loan. There is no money in circulation in the United States that did not start out as a loan at interest from the bankers at the privately-owned Federal Reserve system.

Click for larger image

From that moment on, the freedom of the people to refuse to borrow from the banks and to refuse to pay interest was stripped away. To participate in the commerce of the United States at all means being forced to use money loaned at interest, to the profit of the bankers and the impoverishment of the public. Your freedom to say "no" was stolen by Congress in 1913, without your permission and before you were born.

When you have lost the freedom to say "no", when you have no choice but to pay a percentage of your earnings as interest to the bankers whether in private debt or taxes to cover the gargantuan debts by the US Government itself, you are a slave to the bankers. And because more money is owed to the bankers than actually exists, because of the interest charged on the loan that created the money, the debt-slavery is permanent! No matter how hard you work, no matter how much you sacrifice, the debt can never be paid off. The system is intentionally designed to trap the nation's population permantly in unpayable debt, to make them slaves to that debt and to the bankers. This is the purpose behind the design of the Federal Reserve, the International Monitary Fund, the European Central Bank, and indeed every private central bank issuing the public currency as a loan at interest. This is why today every nation is drowning in created debt, and slaved to the private bankers. That is the reason for ever increasing taxes and decresing benefits; to pay the bankers their unpayable interest on the public currency.

For that enslavement to succeed, your right and freedom to refuse that bank's interest-bearing money must be stripped away. The government must force you to use that private central bank's currency, loaned to you at interest, via the Legal Tender Laws. Therein lies your slave chains. You are ordered by the government, on pain of prison, to use the banker's money, and to pay the interest charged by the bankers through your taxes.

Free people have the right to say "no." Free people have a right to decide for themselves what medium of exchange they will use and to choose not to involve the bankers!

There is no freedom without the freedom to say "no." Slaves cannot say "no" when ordered to surrender the products of their labor to their masters.

You are a slave.

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is now controlled by its system of credit.We are no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men." -- Woodrow Wilson 1919

Slavery exists only because the slaves have been taught to believe that slavery is the way the world is supposed to be. Beliefs are chains used to enslave free people. No chains of steel ever bound a human tighter than the chains made of the beliefs with which we are indoctrinated while young in the state schools and the churches.

Slaves used to be held prisoner by their belief in rule by divine right. Then the slaves regained their freedom when they realized that divine right is only an illusion created by the enslavers to trick the people into obedient servitude.

Then slaves were held prisoner by their belief in rule by chattel ownership of one's body. Then the slaves regained their freedom when they realized that one person owning another is an illusion created by the enslavers to trick the people into obedient servitude.

Today the modern slaves (that is YOU) are held prisoner by their belief in compound interest; that they owe money that never existed to repay money created out of thin air. And you modern slaves will regain your freedoms when you realize that private central banking is just another illusion created by the enslavers to trick you into obedient servitude.

Stop believing.

Cry freedom!

Escape from Lady Baba-land

Escape from Lady Baba-land 

Getting the hell out of the Islamic Republic of BP with the Deepwater Horizon evidence 

From Vultures' Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Predators. A tale of oil, sex, shoes, radiation and investigative reporting - get it now.

by Greg Palast

[Based on a tip from some guy floating in the Caspian Sea in Central Asia, we take off for Baku, Azerbaijan, the "Islamic Republic of BP." Stopping in London, the deathly ill MI6 double-agent Leslie the Bagman lays out the history of the coup d'etat, hooker-bait and the $30 million "sweetener" paid by Lord Browne to the oil nation's "president"—and suggests we find his old spy-mate, Natasha. 

In the middle of this Byzantine maze, I'm looking for the real reason for the Deepwater Horizon explosion, not the bullshit seen on CNN. I get the goods, film it, get arrested for filming it, get film confiscated ...except for the film in the little Austin Powers camera-in-a-pen that has to find its way out of the country.] 


From Chapter 2: "Lady Baba-land."

But we're not leaving.

That's when we find out the Security Ministry called our hotel and told them to seize our passports. Our passports with the visa stamps that allowed us in and, more importantly, allow us out.

Not good, not good. The Ministry police are on the way. "Routine," they tell us. I bet it is. Who the hell turned us in? What wicked little creep said we were hunting for a BP blowout?


I'm killing nervous time looking up the price of Lady Baba's shoes. And praying. Dear God: You made this mess, so get me the hell out of it.

And, what do you know, He answers! A voice in my head says, If you have already checked out of the hotel, Palast, that is, if the hotel tells the Ministry police when they arrive that, sorry, the foreigners have packed up and left hours ago, then the desk clerks are off the hook.

The clerks have figured this out too, so when we leg it down the stairs to request the bill to check out, there's a charge of $400 added for the use of a sauna and the services of a "masseuse." James wants to argue but I say, "PAY IT."

That's the most expensive massage ever that didn't have a happy ending.

James unrolls two thousand in Euro notes, and now we have our passports and have checked out. We don't, however, actually leave the hotel.

I sleep in fits, fully clothed, the passport and visa in the front pocket of my pants.


Made it to the airport. Baba International.

We're outta here! Only three X-ray machines and checkpoints stand in our way. No problem.

Then there is a problem.

I took James's suggestion to quickly move my "pen" from a pile of real pens to the middle of my checked luggage.

The cop at Checkpoint One signals me to come over. He shows me the X-ray monitor. Right in the middle, the thick metal camera-pen looks like a gun silencer against my briefs and socks. I pull it out and show that it writes my name. See!

He whispers to our fixer in Azeri: "I know exactly what that is. And it's illegal."

Here it comes. Hannukah with Baba, or at least his prison warden. The network won't help, the U.S. Embassy will just tsk-tsk: Carrying contraband, Mr. Palast? So sorry.

I hate me. Just for some cute film action, I get myself busted.

After this selfish walk down Me Street, I suddenly realized Holy No Goddamn I have the "destroyed" notebook pages on there, a hit parade of our sources. I hate me even more.

Then the young cop puts it back in my suitcase! And he whispers to my translator, "Get rid of this thing before Checkpoint Two because he'll never make it through."

Thank the Lord not every grandson of Baba loves his grandpa's regime. They may carry his riot sticks, but they don't all want to kiss them.

Thank you thank you thank you thank you.

Now, rather than add a new stupidity to my current stupidity, I do not sneak into a corner to remove the pen-furtive action will be noticed. I kick my baggage over to the second security line . . . then frantically open the case, throw my clothes all over the floor, saying, "Where is it? WHERE IS IT?!"

James knows the routine and tells our translator to open her purse and drop it on the floor. "Drop it?" K asks. James, says, "Right NOW!"

She does and my socks and underpants and medicine kit fly out, piled all over her bag. I pull out my asthma inhaler, say, "PRAISE GOD!" and take a big hit from the empty medicine injector.

I can breath easy now, and carefully replace all my stuff in my bag.

Well, not all. A dirty sock has fallen into K's purse, which she's picked up while helping me repack. A dirty sock with a pen inside.


Read all of Chapter One here ...or just get the book, already.

Note, the video is one of 15 films from the film-enhanced eBook.

Get the eBook, the hardbound, Kindle or Nook additions at

Greg Palast is the author of Vultures' Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores, which will be released on November 14 by Penguin USA.

Pre-order it now!
For more information about Palast's brand new book and his book-signing events in your city click here.

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Alzira (Valencia) coined its own money

Alzira (Valencia) coined its own money to revitalize their businesses and shops
Europa Press, 8.11.2011

The town already had its own currency in 1937, during the Civil War

One of the shops in Alzira. Image: Europa Press TV

An Italian people create their own currency

The City Council of the Valencian town of Alzira is planning to establish a kind of currency itself, which paid its grants and subsidies to alcireños and that they can only be used in businesses and shops in the locality.

It is a measure to "encourage" local trade and a way for "the money stays in Alzira Alzira."
In this sense, the Councillor for Economic Development of Alzira, José Luis Palacios, recalled that the town already had its own currency in 1937 and now is not able to form "the concept that coin we all have paper or metal" Although told Europa Press Television n which is a payment system used to "help trade and economy."

The session of Alzira has not yet defined the system that these payments be made, whether it is a payment card or a credit card type, whileinaugurating plans in the next fiscal year, from 1 to in January . Citizens will use these letters or cards in local shops and then redeem these establishments should these 'vouchers' for euros at City Hall.

Palacios said that will enable these cards or payment cards "to grant that all those in employment, housing or education" that a company receives from the municipality or citizen, "the need to use mandatory" Alzira shops . "Ultimately, this is money that is generated in Alzira will not be used outside, but to stay here," he added.
"We must help local businesses and the economy," said Palacios, who added that "every council has a responsibility to help your local trade and not to other populations."

As of January

The City Council is scheduled to start this system with the aid granted to promote employment for some 500,000 euros. Has not quantified what this initiative can make to the local economy, according to Palacios, "is very difficult to know what the citizens spend about € 800,000 euros or a million in municipal aid leaving."
The mayor recalled that Alzira and had "its own currency" during the Civil War, although it was 'put in place' now will not "our concept paper and metal." "But somehow it is a local currency, taking into account that today the payment method most used by companies and the administration is not effective," he said.
In this regard, the official chronicler of the town and municipal archivist, said Alzira and minted its own currency in 1937, like other municipalities, but only lasted for eight or nine months. "They tried to lighten local businesses and that it could make your transactions as usual," he said.
The archivist, Aureliano Lairon, explained that the City was an issue for 50,000 pesetas in 1937, in denominations of 0.25, 0.50 cents and a quarter. This own currency, he said, the dealer changed at the end of the day by state money, "contributed largely to activate local commerce."

"Expenses wherever you want"

Most merchants and citizens of Alzira frown this initiative , as they say will help promote trade and revitalize the town. However, there are those who, like Pepa, believes that everyone has to spend money "wherever and in whatever he wants."
In this regard, said that if the City gives money, the citizen must use "as it deems appropriate" and should not say "where you'd have to spend." "Surely you spend it in town, but I do not like being told where you've got to spend," he said.
For Bibiana is a "good measure" and make sure the money stays in the municipality."If the money is from the people of the town, I feel good that trade back here," he said.
In the same vein, Julia said that if the money that gives the City "is that we have all taxpayers" is "fair" that they "spend it in Alzira." Ramon, meanwhile, believes it is an idea "great" that serve to "revitalize" the trade and, especially, like him self.

mercoledì 9 novembre 2011


Gianni Degli Antoni
Milano settembre 2011

Molti di voi hanno seguito mie sintesi dapprima grazie al
quotidiano EPOLIS, ora sospeso.
Poi la raccolta di quelle sintesi e la loro continuazione
assieme ad altre in TRITTICO ( che
intendeva segnalare la volontà di non abbandonare il
mondo universitario, anche in pensione.
E quindi poche vacanze ed un pò di rallentamento dovuto
a varie contingenze, fra lo sviluppo di
COOBOOK raccoglie la domanda di sfida che la analisi della
nostra società e della Crisi urlavano nei messaggi di
In risposta alle domande di CRISI analizzate in TRITTICO,
COOBOOK intende fornire indicazioni (idee) senza seguire i
percorsi della politica attuale.
Con questo editoriale voi ricevete la continuazione di
TRITTICO ed i primi passi di COOBOOK, questa come
piccola comunità che sta provando a considerare la
COLLABORAZIONE come una delle vie contro la CRISI.
COOBOOK fa da raccoglitore di sforzi miei e di collaboratori
e vi invita a partecipare anche attraverso FACEBOOK alla
lotta alla CRISI.
Tutti dobbiamo fare qualche cosa. Proprio tutti.
I mezzi esistenti possono trasformarsi da momenti di
socializzazione (FACE BOOK) in momenti di collaborazione
(COOBBOK) talvolta suggeriti da TRITTICO.
Un manipolo di soci fondatori di COOBOOK vi seguirà.
Non pretendete. E' molto difficile la collaborazione: Serve
pazienza, spirito di sacrificio e coraggio... che non manca ai
collaboratori di COOBOOK.
Seguiteci con attenzione e pazienza: Trasformate i nostri
errori in momenti di critica personale utili alla formazione
delle vostre competenze.
Coobook non vende, non è un libro, non è un manuale non
e’ una metodologia: è una raccolta di stimoli per capire.
La vostra attenzione e la lettura anche parziale, ma
attenta, premierà voi e noi. Ce la faremo.

EU membership and the EEA

Parliamentary questions
27 October 2011
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Nigel Farage (EFD)

 Subject: EU membership and the EEA
If a country were to make use of Article 50 of the TEU and leave the European Union, is it the Commission's position that it would automatically remain a member of the EEA, given that all current EU members are also members of the EEA and that the EEA has no procedure for expelling members?

Interrogazioni parlamentari
27 ottobre 2011
Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta
alla Commissione
Articolo 117 del regolamento
Nigel Farage (EFD)

 Oggetto: Appartenenza all'UE e spazio economico europeo (SEE)
Se un paese dovesse ricorrere all'articolo 50 del TUE e recedere dall'Unione europea, ritiene la Commissione che esso rimarrebbe automaticamente membro del SEE, dal momento che tutti gli attuali membri dell'UE sono anche membri del SEE e che il SEE non dispone di una procedura per l'espulsione dei membri?
Lingua originale dell'interrogazione: EN

Nigel Farage - Where is Europe’s Gold?

Nigel Farage - Where is Europe’s Gold?

KingworldNews, November 8, 2011

With world markets still in turmoil and gold and silver reasserting themselves once again, today King World News interviewed former LBMA commodities broker and trader and current MEP Nigel Farage to get his take on the situation.  When asked if there is a chance Europe is headed into a depression, Farage responded, “Well I think there is and of course it was banking collapses back in 1931 that really led to things being bad.  Now we’ve lumbered ourselves with a European social market model for our labor forces, which leaves us hopelessly uncompetitive with the Far East.  Countries like Italy, I mean their industrial production, their foreign and direct investment has collapsed in the last five years.  You ask yourself, ‘If the banks go bust, what on earth is going to be left in some of these countries?’”

Nigel Farage continues:

“I’m beginning to feel there is a certain inevitability (to a depression) now.  The crisis that has been created by all of these mistakes is now bigger than governments themselves.  If we get the kind of banking collapses that I now believe are possible, we could be heading into something that we haven’t seen in over 70 years.  A Great Depression is not impossible.

It’s just a real mess and there is total confusion, fear, total paralysis actually and know one knows what’s really going on.  Six weeks ago the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said, ‘We have six weeks to save the European economy and possibly the global economy too.’

The deadline was the Cannes Summit, which has come and gone last weekend.  You could tell from the European leaders leaving that Summit, their faces like thunder, that nothing had been agreed.

(President) Obama’s face was an absolute picture at the press conference when he described his own incomprehension at actually who was in charge in Europe.  And of course he’s absolutely right because we have a European Commission, headed up by Mr. Barroso, we have a European Council, headed up by Herman van Rumpoy and we have a Eurozone Group....

“I mean who is actually in charge of this?  This incredible bureaucratic structure of unelected people and the buck doesn’t stop with anybody.  So we now face the real doom scenario for the euro that if the Italian government can’t finance its debts, where on earth are two or three trillion euros going to come from to bail out Italy?

So it looks to me, and I’ve been saying this for some time on your program, that I always felt this thing would fail.  But I think we are very much nearer to the failure being really huge and possibly very dramatic indeed.”

When asked about leaders in countries inside of Europe beginning to question their various central banks because they are worried about the whereabouts of their gold, Farage responded, “Huge ruse as you say.  Big suspicion in Germany as to where the gold is.  The Greeks, of course, have demanded that the Germans give back their gold that they believe was taken from them in World War II.

And of course the British government, where Gordon Brown famously sold most of our gold reserves at $284 an ounce.  So gold is not just a big play in the financial markets, it’s a big play in the whole debate in the architecture of the current Eurozone woes.”

When asked if he believed European central banks had leased out most of their gold, Farage responded, “I just don’t know the answer to that question.  But if I look at just how poorly the central banks had performed over the last decade or so, frankly nothing would surprise me.  There seems to be almost no limit to the stupidity of these people.”

The incredible KWN interview with Nigel Farage is available now and you can listen to it by CLICKING HERE.

Eric King

Frankfurt Group has turned back the democratic clock

The emergence of the Frankfurt Group has turned back the democratic clock

Electorates are being bypassed as increasing austerity pushes Europe's weaker countries into an economic death spiral
Protesters outside the European Central Bank HQ in Frankfurt
Protesters in front the headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters
Financial markets rallied last week when the Greek prime minister,George Papandreou, announced he was dropping plans for a referendum on the terms of his country's bailout. Bond dealers liked the idea that the government in Athens could soon be headed by Lucas Papademos, a former vice-president of the European Central Bank.Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy think Papademos is the sort of hard-line technocrat with whom they can do business.
Silvio Berlusconi's long-predicted departure as Italy's prime minister will no doubt be greeted in the same way, particularly if he is replaced by a government of national unity headed by another technocrat, Mario Monti. A former Brussels commissioner, he is seen as someone who could be relied upon to push through the European Union's austerity programme during the next 12 months, watched over by Christine Lagarde's team of officials from the International Monetary Fund.
From the perspective of the financial markets, this makes perfect sense. Papandreou could no longer be relied upon, and his decision to hold a plebiscite threw Europe into turmoil last week, blighting the Cannes G20 summit. He had to go.
In Italy, Berlusconi is seen as entirely the wrong man to cope with his country's deepening crisis; bond yields are above 6.5%, a level that eventually resulted in bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal. He, too, has to go in the interests not just of financial and political stability but to prevent the eurozone from imploding.
The European Union has always had problems with democracy, a messy process that can interfere with the grand designs of people at the top who know best. When Ireland voted no to the Nice Treaty, it was told to come up with the right result in a second ballot. The European Central Bank wields immense power, but nobody knows how the unelected members of its governing council vote because no minutes of meetings are published. That said, the latest phase of Europe's sovereign debt crisis has exposed the quite flagrant contempt for voters, the people who are going to bear the full weight of the austerity programmes being cooked up by the political elites.
Here's how things work. The real decisions in Europe are now taken by the Frankfurt Group, an unelected cabal made of up eight people: Lagarde; Merkel; Sarkozy; Mario Draghi, the new president of the ECB; José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission; Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the Eurogroup; Herman van Rompuy, the president of the European Council; and Olli Rehn, Europe's economic and monetary affairs commissioner.
This group, which is accountable to no one, calls the shots in Europe. The cabal decides whether Greece should be allowed to hold a referendum and if and when Athens should get the next tranche of its bailout cash. What matters to this group is what the financial markets think not what voters might want. To the extent that governments had any power, it has been removed and placed in the hands of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF. It is as if the democratic clock has been turned back to the days when France was ruled by the Bourbons.
In the circumstances, it is hardly surprising that electorates have resorted to general strikes and street protests to have their say. Governments come and go but the policies remain the same, creating a glaring democratic deficit. This would be deeply troubling even if it could be shown that the Frankfurt Group's economic remedies were working, which they are not. Instead, the insistence on ever more austerity is pushing Europe's weaker countries into an economic death spiral while their voters are being bypassed. That is a dangerous mixture.