domenica 4 dicembre 2011

Greg Palast and Lee Camp in NYC

US bankers may be jailed with no trial


No Wonder America’s Founders Distrusted Standing Armies


It is well documented that many of America’s Founding Fathers had a very real and deep-seated distrust of standing armies–and for good reason. They had just fought a costly and bloody war for independence, which had been largely predicated upon the propensities for the abuse and misuse of individual liberties by a pervasive and powerful standing army (belonging to Great Britain) amongst them. Listen to Thomas Jefferson: “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” Note that Jefferson identified both banking institutions and standing armies as being “dangerous to our liberties.” James Madison said, “A standing army is one of the greatest mischief that can possibly happen.” Elbridge Gerry (Vice President under James Madison) called standing armies “the bane of liberty.”
For the most part, the sentiments of our founders ring hollow to modern Americans who, ever since World War II, have glorified, idolized, and practically even worshipped the standing US military. But of course, with only isolated instances (which were almost always completely covered up by the mainstream news media) of the abuse of military power being committed against US citizens, the American people, as a whole, have no point of reference directing them to the sagacity of America’s founders on the subject. Indeed, who could even imagine that US military forces would ever be used against the US citizenry? After all, the media did a masterful job of covering up the most flagrant example of US military forces being used against US citizens when US military forces assisted federal law enforcement agencies in slaughtering the Branch Davidians outside Waco, Texas, on April 19, 1993. So, most Americans simply shut their eyes against that “painful truth” and chose to ignore the fact that it even happened.
Yes, there have been isolated instances of military personnel abusing their authority against American citizens (i.e., Waco in 1993, Kent State University in 1970), but overall the founders’ deep-seated distrust of standing armies has been replaced with deep-seated trust. But were our founders right to be distrusting of standing armies? And are we wrong to be so trusting of standing armies? Consider the following report by Dr. Andrew Bosworth.
“There is a shocking piece of legislation working its way through Congress. A Defense Authorization bill for 2012 allows for military detentions of American citizens on American soil. These can be indefinite detentions, with no trial.”
Bosworth quotes an ACLU (an organization whose efforts regarding the so-called “separation of church and state” issues I strongly oppose, but whose efforts regarding issues that can only be identified as an emerging police state I strongly support) statement as saying, “The U.S. Senate is considering the unthinkable: changing detention laws to imprison people–including Americans living in the United States itself–indefinitely and without charge.
“The Defense Authorization bill–a “must-pass” piece of legislation–is headed to the Senate floor with troubling provisions that would give the President–and all future presidents–the authority to indefinitely imprison people, without charge or trial, both abroad and inside the United States.”
Especially egregious are sections 1031 and 1032. They:
1) Explicitly authorize the federal government to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others picked up inside and outside the United States;
(2) Mandate military detention of some civilians who would otherwise be outside of military control, including civilians picked up within the United States itself; and
(3) Transfer to the Department of Defense core prosecutorial, investigative, law enforcement, penal, and custodial authority and responsibility now held by the Department of Justice.
Bosworth also notes that, “The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing.”
Bosworth goes on to say, “Even mainstream, apolitical Americans would be concerned about such a provision that, on its face, is unconstitutional. Ordinary Americans are already waking up to the specter of tyranny, and the NDAA for 2012 would accelerate that process.”
Near the conclusion of Bosworth’s report, he states, “As many Americans know, for over a decade there have been dozens of pieces of legislation and executive orders that have chipped away at the US Constitution, specifically at its Bill of Rights.
“The ‘war on terror’ was originally to be waged against foreigners in far-away lands, but Rep. Ron Paul was right, the anti-terror infrastructure is swinging around to be used against American citizens.”
See Bosworth’s report at:
I well remember when my friend LT CDR Ernest “Guy” Cunningham conducted his “Combat Arms Survey” to 300 active-duty Marines at the USMC’s Air-Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, back on May 10, 1994. A couple of questions in this survey were especially revealing (and startling). John McManus picks up the story at this point: “One of the questions asked the Marines if they would be willing to be assigned to a ‘national emergency police force’ within the U.S. under U.S. command. The survey showed that 6.0 percent strongly disagreed, 6.3 percent disagreed, 42.3 percent agreed, 43.0 percent strongly agreed, and 2.3 percent had no opinion.”
Commenting on these results, Cunningham said, “Do you realize that 85.3 percent agreed with assigning troops to a mission that violates the Posse Comitatus Act?” Remember, these were active duty Marines back in 1994.
Responses to another question were even more startling. Cunningham’s question: “Consider the following statement: I would fire upon U.S. citizens who refuse or resist confiscation of firearms banned by the U.S. government.” The result: “42.3 percent strongly disagreed with this statement; 19.3 percent disagreed; 18.6 percent agreed; 7.6 percent strongly agreed; and 12.0 percent had no opinion.” This equates to approximately 61% of Marines saying they would defy orders to turn their weapons on US citizens in order to disarm them; 26% saying they would not disobey such orders; and 12% refusing to say one way or the other, which means you could probably add them to the 26% who would not disobey orders to turn their weapons on American citizens.
See McManus’ report at:
Not too long ago, I asked a retired US Army Major General what he thought the results would be today if CDR Cunningham gave that same survey to US Marines? He said he thought that the number of those refusing such orders would be much higher and the number of those complying with such orders would be much lower. Given the Levin/McCain bill currently working its way through the US Congress, I sure hope he’s right! And I also hope that we modern Americans were not wrong to discard our founders’ distrust of standing armies.

December 6: "Occupy Our Homes"



December 6: "Occupy Our Homes" National Day of Action to Stop and Reverse Foreclosures

Tuesday, December 6 has been declared a national "Occupy Our Homes" day of action to stop and reverse foreclosures for the 99%.
MSNBC reports on the upcoming actions:
‘Occupy’ protesters and housing rights activists are planning to help families resist eviction from foreclosed homes and take control of  vacant properties in some 25 U.S. cities on Tuesday,  an effort aimed at focusing attention on the ongoing housing crisis and giving the movement a new focus after the dismantling of many of its encampments.
The protesters have been crafting proposals – often quietly to prevent police from learning about their intentions beforehand -- to defend families facing eviction or return others home. In Minneapolis, for example, they plan to help a Vietnam War veteran stay in his home, in New York, protesters will try to help a family get back into their house, and in Chicago, two sisters and their seven children will be moved into an abandoned single-family home, activists said.
"It’s part of a national day of action that we hope will kick off a wave of defenses and home re-occupations,” Max Berger, 26, told the Occupy Wall Street General Assembly late Thursday while requesting $6,400 in funding to buy tools for the project. "This is not just about one event; this is a huge frontier for us. We can do these kinds of actions all the time, and we should. And it doesn’t have to be just us. We got to do this one right so we can inspire people to do it theirselves.”
You can find out more about individual actions at the Occupy Our Homes website. And below, watch a segment from last night's Rachel Maddow Show on the burgeoning home-occupation movement.
Visit msnbc.com for breaking newsworld news, and news about the economy
By Lauren Kelley | Sourced from AlterNet 

Posted at December 3, 2011, 8:28 am

Anti-inflatocracy ads rejected by major US networks

See anti-Obama ads spiked by major networks – even Fox!
'Representation of public figures is something we try to avoid'
Posted: November 29, 2011
7:37 pm Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2011 WND
Two television spots developed by a national investment firm specializing in U.S. gold and silver coins have been rejected by major television networks, including the Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network, for apparently political reasons.
The ads by Phoenix-based Swiss America Trading Corp., a WND advertiser, feature President Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as animated characters engaging in the potentially inflationary policy of printing paper money with abandon to stimulate the struggling economy.
Singer Pat Boone, a spokesman for Swiss America for more than 15 years, appears in the commercials as an animated announcer who concludes that investing in gold is a prudent strategy to diversify a portfolio in inflationary times.
Swiss America CEO Craig Smith said the intent of the ads was not to make a political statement.
The goal, he said, "was to take what we thought was a humorous approach to a timely and important economic topic in order to advertise our company and promote a new book we've recently published."
Along with Fox News and Fox Business, the two commercials have been rejected by NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC, CBS, CNN/HLN and the Discovery Channel.
Comcast, in rejecting the spot, told Swiss America that it "does not meet our standards on public symbol."
Comcast's Public Symbol Policy specifies that the "use of the name or likeness of the President of the United States and/or the Presidential Seal for endorsing commercial purposes must be authorized by the White House."
Fox News said the "representation of public figures is something we try to avoid."
CNN/HLN told Swiss America the commercials were "not appropriate for the current political landscape."
"The networks' reaction shocked me," Smith said. "It's a threat to First Amendment rights when a commercial message is rejected not because it is inaccurate or misleading, but because it makes what is perceived to be a political statement the networks want to avoid."
Smith told WND he was concerned that the networks were protecting Obama and Bernanke.
"All we are saying in these two commercials is what dozens of responsible professional economists are saying every day," Smith said. "Gold investment as a responsible diversification strategy when governments printing of fiat currencies with abandon risk unleashing inflationary principles."
Only Google TV accepted the commercials, for broadcast on the DISH Network and Direct TV satellite networks.
Google TV has planned a test in which the two ads will be broadcast 1,132 times on the DISH Network and Direct TV from Dec. 5, 2011, through Jan. 12, 2012.
Ironically, the Swiss America ads will be seen nationally via Google TV on many of the major networks that have refused to air them. While cable subscribers to Fox News and CNN/HLN will not see the ads, for example, subscribers to the DISH Network or Direct TV will see them on those networks during the test period.
"The silver lining," said Smith "is that many of the television and cable networks who told us 'no' have come back saying 'yes' to Google TV, which will begin broadcasting the two commercials next week. We are very thankful to Google TV for helping us keep free speech alive on the television airwaves."
In June, Smith and co-author Lowell Ponte published "The Inflation Deception: Six Ways Government Tricks Us … and Seven Ways to Stop It!" in a paperback edition.
"Welcome to the 'inflatocracy' – our new form of government of, by, and for inflation – in which deliberately debasing our money has become a tool of mind manipulation, wealth distribution, and secret taxation," the publicity for the book on Amazon.com reads.
The first Swiss America commercial, seen below, plays off the theme "Helicopter Ben," a nickname Wall Street has conferred upon Bernanke for his reputation of "helicoptering" into financial crises to dump money on a problem.
The second Swiss America commercial, seen below, evokes imagery from the classic movie "The Wizard of Oz" to portray Bernanke and Obama as "financial wizards" hiding as "the men behind the door" in an inflationary scheme to solve economic problems by printing money.
Ray Griggs, the producer of the 2010 feature film documentary "I Want Your Money," a critical examination of the Obama administration's economic policies, produced the two Swiss America commercials.
To see original article CLICK HERE

Raw inflation via SDRs is next in central banking's scheme



Alasdair Macleod: Raw inflation via SDRs is next in central banking's scheme

 Section: 
1:10p ET Saturday, December 3, 2011
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold (and Silver):
Economist and former banker Alasdair Macleod writes today that raw monetary inflation via the cashing of Special Drawing Rights from the International Monetary Fund likely will be the next step by central banks to save bankrupt nations, last week's currency swaps having been undertaken to rescue insolvent banks. Macleod's commentary is headlined "Currency Swaps -- the Beginning of a Solution?" and it is posted at GoldMoney's Internet site here:
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

ECB a barrier to crisis exit

ECB a barrier to crisis exit
By Ellen Brown, Asia Times, Dec 1, 2011


"To some people, the European Central Bank seems like a fire department that is letting the house burn down to teach the children not to play with matches." So wrote Jack Ewing in the New York Times last week. He went on:
"The ECB has a fire hose - its ability to print money. But the bank is refusing to train it on the euro zone's debt crisis.


"The flames climbed higher Friday after the Italian Treasury had to pay an interest rate of 6.5% on a new issue of six-month bills ... the highest interest rate Italy has had to pay to sell such debt since August 1997 ... But there is no sign the ECB plans a major response, like buying large quantities of the country's bonds to bring down its borrowing costs."
Why not? According to the November 28 Wall Street Journal,


Dilbert
  
"The ECB has long worried that buying government bonds in big enough amounts to bring down countries' borrowing costs would make it easier for national politicians to delay the budget austerity and economic overhauls that are needed." 


As with the manufactured debt ceiling crisis in the United States, the ECB is withholding relief in order to extort austerity measures from member governments - and the threat seems to be working. The same authors write:
"Euro-zone leaders are negotiating a potentially groundbreaking fiscal pact ... [that] would make budget discipline legally binding and enforceable by European authorities. ... European officials hope a new agreement, which would aim to shrink the excessive public debt that helped spark the crisis, would persuade the European Central Bank to undertake more drastic action to reverse the recent selloff in euro-zone debt markets."
The eurozone appears to be in the process of being "structurally readjusted" - the same process imposed earlier by the International Monetary Fund on Third World countries. 


Structural demands routinely include harsh austerity measures, government cutbacks, privatization, and the disempowerment of national central banks, so that there is no national entity capable of creating and controlling the money supply on behalf of the people. The latter result has officially been achieved in the eurozone, which is now dependent on the ECB as the sole lender of last resort and printer of new euros. 


The ECB serves banks, not governments
The legal justification for the ECB's inaction in the sovereign debt crisis is Article 123 of the Lisbon Treaty, signed by EU members in 2007. As Jens Eidmann, president of the Bundesbank and a member of the ECB Governing Council, stated in a November 14 interview:
"The eurosystem is a lender of last resort for solvent but illiquid banks. It must not be a lender of last resort for sovereigns because this would violate Article 123 of the EU treaty."
The language of Article 123 is rather obscure, but basically it says that the European Central Bank is the lender of last resort for banks, not for governments. It provides:
1. Overdraft facilities or any other type of credit facility with the European Central Bank or with the central banks of the Member States (hereinafter referred to as 'national central banks') in favour of Union institutions, bodies, offices or agencies, central governments, regional, local or other public authorities, other bodies governed by public law, or public undertakings of Member States shall be prohibited, as shall the purchase directly from them by the European Central Bank or national central banks of debt instruments.
2. Paragraph 1 shall not apply to publicly owned credit institutions which, in the context of the supply of reserves by central banks, shall be given the same treatment by national central banks and the European Central Bank as private credit institutions.
Banks can borrow from the ECB at 1.25%, the minimum rate available for banks. Member governments, on the other hand, must put themselves at the mercy of the markets, which can squeeze them for "whatever the market will bear" - in Italy's case, 6.5%. 


The reason eurozone countries are drowning in debt
Why should banks be able to borrow at 1.25% from the ECB's unlimited fountain of euros, while the tap is closed for governments? The conventional argument is that for governments to borrow money created by their own central banks would be "inflationary". But private banks create the money they lend just as government-owned central banks do. 


Private banks issue money in the form of "bank credit" on their books, and they often do this before they have the liquidity to back the loans. Then they borrow from wherever they can get funds most cheaply. When banks borrow from the ECB as lender of last resort, the ECB "prints money" just as it would if it were lending to governments directly. 


The burgeoning debts of the eurozone countries are being blamed on their large welfare states, but these social systems were set up before the 1970s, when European governments had very little national debt. Their national debts shot up, not because they spent on social services, but because they switched bankers. 


Before the 1970s, European governments borrowed from their own central banks. The money was effectively interest-free, since they owned the banks and got the profits back as dividends. After the European Monetary Union was established, member countries had to borrow from private banks at interest - often substantial interest. 


And the result? Interest totals for eurozone countries are not readily accessible; but for France, at least, the total sum paid in interest since the 1970s appears to be as great as the French federal debt itself. That means that if the French government had been borrowing from its central bank all along, it could have been debt-free today. 


The figures are nearly as bad for Canada, and they may actually be worse for the United States. The Federal Reserve's website lists the sums paid in interest on the US federal debt for the last 24 years. During that period, taxpayers paid a total of $8.2 trillion in interest. That's more than half the total $15 trillion debt, in just 24 years. 


The US federal debt has not been paid off since 1835, so taxpayers could well have paid more than $15 trillion by now in interest. That means our entire federal debt could have been avoided if we had been borrowing from our own government-owned central bank all along, effectively interest-free. And that is probably true for other countries as well. 


To avoid an overwhelming national debt and the forced austerity measures destined to follow, the eurozone's citizens need to get the fire hose of money creation out of the hands of private banks and back into the hands of the people. But how? 


Interestingly, Paragraph 2 of Article 123 of the Lisbon Treaty carves out an exception to the rule that governments cannot borrow from the ECB It says that government-owned banks can borrow on the same terms as privately-owned banks. Many eurozone countries have publicly-owned banks; and as nationalization of insolvent banks looms, they could soon find themselves with many more. 


One solution might be for the publicly-owned banks of eurozone governments to exercise their right to borrow from the ECB at 1.25%, then use that liquidity to buy up the country's debt, or as much of it as does not sell at auction. (The Federal Reserve does this routinely in open market operations in the US.) The government's securities would be stabilized, keeping speculators at bay; and the government would get the interest spread, since it would own the banks and would get the profits back as dividends. 


Taking a stand in the class war
In a November 25 article titled "Goldman Sachs Has Taken Over", Paul Craig Roberts writes:
The European Union, just like everything else, is merely another scheme to concentrate wealth in a few hands at the expense of European citizens, who are destined, like Americans, to be the serfs of the 21st century.
He observes that Mario Draghi, the new president of the European Central Bank, was vice chairman and managing director of Goldman Sachs International, a member of Goldman Sachs' Management Committee, a member of the governing council of the European Central Bank, a member of the board of directors of the Bank for International Settlements, and chairman of the Financial Stability Board. 


Italy's new prime minister, Mario Monti, who was appointed rather than elected, was a member of Goldman Sachs' Board of International Advisers, European chairman of the Trilateral Commission ("a US organization that advances American hegemony over the world"), and a member of the Bilderberg group. 
And Lucas Papademos, an unelected banker who was installed as prime minister of Greece, was vice president of the European Central Bank and a member of America's Trilateral Commission. 


Roberts points to the suspicious fact that the German government was unable to sell 35% of its 10-year bonds at its last auction; yet Germany's economy is in far better shape than that of Italy, which managed to sell all its bonds. Why? Roberts suspects an orchestrated scheme to pressure Germany to back off from its demands to make the banks pay a share of their bailout. 


Europe is in the process of being "structurally readjusted" by a private banking cartel. If its people are to resist this silent conquest, they need to rise up and, using the ballot box and public banks, throw out the new banking hegemony before it is too late. 


Ellen Brown is an attorney and president of the Public Banking Institute. In Web of Debt, her latest of 11 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 WebofDebt.com and EllenBrown.com. 

sabato 3 dicembre 2011

Shocking truth about the crackdown on OWS


The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy


The violent police assaults across the US are no coincidence. Occupy has touched the third rail of our political class's venality
Naomi Wolf: reception, responses, critics
Naomi Wolf's rebuttal of her critics
Brandon Watts lies injured as Occupy Wall Street protesters clash with police in Zuccotti Park
Occupy Wall Street protester Brandon Watts lies injured on the ground after clashes with police over the eviction of OWS from Zuccotti Park. Photograph: Allison Joyce/Getty Images
US citizens of all political persuasions are still reeling from images of unparallelled police brutality in a coordinated crackdown against peaceful OWS protesters in cities across the nation this past week. An elderly woman was pepper-sprayed in the face; the scene of unresisting, supine students at UC Davis being pepper-sprayed by phalanxes of riot police went viral online; images proliferated of young women – targeted seemingly for their gender – screaming, dragged by the hair by police in riot gear; and the pictures of a young man, stunned and bleeding profusely from the head, emerged in the record of the middle-of-the-night clearing of Zuccotti Park.
But just when Americans thought we had the picture – was this crazy police and mayoral overkill, on a municipal level, in many different cities? – the picture darkened. The National Union of Journalists issued a Freedom of Information Act request to investigate possible federal involvement with law enforcement practices that appeared to target journalists. The New York Times reported that "New York cops have arrested, punched, whacked, shoved to the ground and tossed a barrier at reporters and photographers" covering protests. Reporters were asked by NYPD to raise their hands to prove they had credentials: when many dutifully did so, they were taken, upon threat of arrest, away from the story they were covering, and penned far from the site in which the news was unfolding. Other reporters wearing press passes were arrested and roughed up by cops, after being – falsely – informed by police that "It is illegal to take pictures on the sidewalk."
In New York, a state supreme court justice and a New York City council member were beaten up; in Berkeley, California, one of our greatest national poets, Robert Hass, was beaten with batons. The picture darkened still further when Wonkette and Washingtonsblog.com reported that the Mayor of Oakland acknowledged that the Department of Homeland Security had participated in an 18-city mayor conference call advising mayors on "how to suppress" Occupy protests.
To Europeans, the enormity of this breach may not be obvious at first. Our system of government prohibits the creation of a federalised police force, and forbids federal or militarised involvement in municipal peacekeeping.
I noticed that rightwing pundits and politicians on the TV shows on which I was appearing were all on-message against OWS. Journalist Chris Hayes reported on a leaked memo that revealed lobbyists vying for an $850,000 contract to smear Occupy. Message coordination of this kind is impossible without a full-court press at the top. This was clearly not simply a case of a freaked-out mayors', city-by-city municipal overreaction against mess in the parks and cranky campers. As the puzzle pieces fit together, they began to show coordination against OWS at the highest national levels.
Why this massive mobilisation against these not-yet-fully-articulated, unarmed, inchoate people? After all, protesters against the war in Iraq, Tea Party rallies and others have all proceeded without this coordinated crackdown. Is it really the camping? As I write, two hundred young people, with sleeping bags, suitcases and even folding chairs, are still camping out all night and day outside of NBC on public sidewalks – under the benevolent eye of an NYPD cop – awaiting Saturday Night Live tickets, so surely the camping is not the issue. I was still deeply puzzled as to why OWS, this hapless, hopeful band, would call out a violent federal response.
That is, until I found out what it was that OWS actually wanted.
The mainstream media was declaring continually "OWS has no message". Frustrated, I simply asked them. I began soliciting online "What is it you want?" answers from Occupy. In the first 15 minutes, I received 100 answers. These were truly eye-opening.
The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create fake derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.
No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.
When I saw this list – and especially the last agenda item – the scales fell from my eyes. Of course, these unarmed people would be having the shit kicked out of them.
For the terrible insight to take away from news that the Department of Homeland Security coordinated a violent crackdown is that the DHS does not freelance. The DHS cannot say, on its own initiative, "we are going after these scruffy hippies". Rather, DHS is answerable up a chain of command: first, to New York Representative Peter King, head of the House homeland security subcommittee, who naturally is influenced by his fellow congressmen and women's wishes and interests. And the DHS answers directly, above King, to the president (who was conveniently in Australia at the time).
In other words, for the DHS to be on a call with mayors, the logic of its chain of command and accountability implies that congressional overseers, with the blessing of the White House, told the DHS to authorise mayors to order their police forces – pumped up with millions of dollars of hardware and training from the DHS – to make war on peaceful citizens.
But wait: why on earth would Congress advise violent militarised reactions against its own peaceful constituents? The answer is straightforward: in recent years, members of Congress have started entering the system as members of the middle class (or upper middle class) – but they are leaving DC privy to vast personal wealth, as we see from the "scandal" of presidential contender Newt Gingrich's having been paid $1.8m for a few hours' "consulting" to special interests. The inflated fees to lawmakers who turn lobbyists are common knowledge, but the notion that congressmen and women are legislating their own companies' profitsis less widely known – and if the books were to be opened, they would surely reveal corruption on a Wall Street spectrum. Indeed, we do already know that congresspeople are massively profiting from trading on non-public information they have on companies about which they are legislating – a form of insider trading that sent Martha Stewart to jail.
Since Occupy is heavily surveilled and infiltrated, it is likely that the DHS and police informers are aware, before Occupy itself is, what its emerging agenda is going to look like. If legislating away lobbyists' privileges to earn boundless fees once they are close to the legislative process, reforming the banks so they can't suck money out of fake derivatives products, and, most critically, opening the books on a system that allowed members of Congress to profit personally – and immensely – from their own legislation, are two beats away from the grasp of an electorally organised Occupy movement … well, you will call out the troops on stopping that advance.
So, when you connect the dots, properly understood, what happened this week is the first battle in a civil war; a civil war in which, for now, only one side is choosing violence. It is a battle in which members of Congress, with the collusion of the American president, sent violent, organised suppression against the people they are supposed to represent. Occupy has touched the third rail: personal congressional profits streams. Even though they are, as yet, unaware of what the implications of their movement are, those threatened by the stirrings of their dreams of reform are not.
Sadly, Americans this week have come one step closer to being true brothers and sisters of the protesters in Tahrir Square. Like them, our own national leaders, who likely see their own personal wealth under threat from transparency and reform, are now making war upon us.
• This article was amended on 30 November 2011. The original said incorrectly that the Committee to Protect Journalists was one of the organisations that filed a Freedom of Information Act request to investigate possible federal involvement with law enforcement practices that appeared to target journalists. The article also referred to "kale derivatives"; this was a typographical error for "fake derivatives", amended on 1 December 2011

BEHEAD THE CURRENCY: ALAN MOORE ON OWS



BEHEAD THE CURRENCY: ALAN MOORE ON OWS AND WHY THIS GENERATION HAS TO DO SOMETHING NOW
dangerousmind.net



In one of the best interviews I’ve ever seen with read with him in some time, comics mage Alan Moore offers his views on the future of publishing, Occupy Wall Street and that sad tosser Frank Miller. He also comes up with an extremely appealing idea for wresting control back from the bankers and plutocrats: Change the currency!
Mull that over for a second, won’t you?
What do you think needs to change in our political system?
Everything. I believe that what’s needed is a radical solution, by which I mean from the roots upwards. Our entire political thinking seems to me to be based upon medieval precepts. These things, they didn’t work particularly well five or six hundred years ago. Their slightly modified forms are not adequate at all for the rapidly changing territory of the 21st Century.
We need to overhaul the way that we think about money, we need to overhaul the way that we think about who’s running the show. As an anarchist, I believe that power should be given to the people, to the people whose lives this is actually affecting. It’s no longer good enough to have a group of people who are controlling our destinies. The only reason they have the power is because they control the currency. They have no moral authority and, indeed, they show the opposite of moral authority.
In the sixth issue of Dodgem Logic, I remember doing an article and I was trying to think of possible ways in which our society might be altered for the better. I’m not saying that any of these ways would necessarily be practical but it’s important that we try to think these things through. It’s probably more important now than it ever has been. There is a sense that we don’t have an infinite amount of time to get these things right.
With politics at the moment seemingly determined to keep ploughing on their same destructive course because they can’t think of anything other to do, when we’re facing the possibility of an economic apocalypse, of potentially an environmental apocalypse, we don’t necessarily have an infinite amount of time. I think that since our leaders are not going to address any of these problems then we really have no choice than to attempt to wrest the steering wheel from them. If they’re aiming at the precipice with the accelerator pedal flat to the floor, then we don’t have any other choices left. Do it now, in this generation, because we don’t how many more there’s going to be.
The economic problem is a strange one…
Economics is always strange. You’re not talking about anything that’s actually real. Researching a chapter for Jerusalem, I read a couple of books on economics to see if I could get my head around the facts of the situation. I was astonished when I found out the value of derivative bonds, in 2008. These are bonds that have a value in themselves that were once connected to a real thing, there might have been a bond made for the sale of a herd of sheep, but that can be sold on and they gain in value. The notional value of the world’s derivative bonds was in the region of sixty trillion. Exactly ten times the economic output of the entire planet, which is around six trillion. That means that the gap between what economists and what the world’s economic forces and the banks thought they had to play with and what actually existed was fifty-four trillion. That would seem to me the depth of the hole we are in.
So something has to be done about that. I would suggest beheading the bankers, but while it would be very satisfying and would cheer us up, it probably wouldn’t do anything practical to alter the situation. Behead the currency. Change the currency, why not? It would disempower all the people who had bought into that currency but it would pretty much empower the rest of us, the other ninety-nine percent.
The Honest Alan Moore Interview – Part 1: Publishing and Kindle (Honest Publishing)
The Honest Alan Moore Interview – Part 2: The Occupy Movement, Frank Miller, and Politics (Honest Publishing)
Via Jay Babcock’s Twitter fee
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Farage: Major Banks Teetering on the Edge


Nigel Farage - Major Banks Teetering on the Edge of Collapse

kINGwORLDnEWS

With world markets still convulsing 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.  Farage had some powerful comments regarding the direction of gold, but when KWN asked about the chaos in Europe, Farage stated, “As the Italian credit rating started to slip, the Brussels bosses and the German Chancellor said, ‘He’s (Berlusconi has) got to go and we want our man in charge.’  And so Mr. Mario Monti, who was a European Commissioner for ten years, one of the architects of the euro when it was introduced, a man who wasn’t even in the Italian Parliament, has been put in charge and is now the Prime Minister of Italy.”

Nigel Farage continues:

“He has chosen his cabinet to run Italy and would you believe not a single member of the Italian cabinet is an accountable, elected politician.  Democracy has been hijacked, thrown away, in the name of preserving the euro.  And I mean, frankly, this is how dictatorships start.  I mean this is absolutely terrifying.

What Brussels and the German Chancellor are doing is they are declaring a state of emergency and suspending liberties, rights and democracy.  I think it is absolutely horrifying.”

When asked about what kind of feedback he is getting, Farage responded, “In all of the years that I have been doing this I have never had a bigger number of individuals and media outlets, from right across Europe bombarding me on a daily basis, really asking me a basic question, ‘Why are you the only person saying this?

Why is nobody in Rome standing up and saying that our constitution has just been traduced?  Our democracy just been given away?  What is everybody so frightened of?’  It’s a difficult one to answer.  I think the basic problem, and you’ve got it on your side of the water too is that we’ve just got too many career politicians....

When asked about Merkel’s comments about shunning the ECB role in favor of budget limits, Farage remarked, “Frankly, Barroso, van Rompuy, all of them are just inept and weak.  It’s something I’ve sort of teased them about over the years.  But because of this vacuum of leadership, Merkel has stepped into the role and she is now the boss.  I mean there is no question about that.  We now have a German dominated Europe, which ironically was the very thing we were told the European project would stop.

But in economic terms what she is saying is we the German people are not prepared to go on throwing hundreds of billions of euros at bailing out countries that we consider to be fiscally incompetent.  But to stay in the euro they (indebted countries) have to accept the austerity packages that are being put to them.  I think the result of this German policy is that it’s going to drive some of those countries into a total depression.”

When asked about the coordinated central bank actions, Farage replied, “I think the fact the central banks acted overnight in a coordinated manner that they did tells you that things are probably much worse than any of us know.  I think what it tells you is that there must be, there just have to be some very, very major banks that are teetering on the edge of collapse.”

Here is a portion of what Farage had to say about gold, “Getting into gold fresh now is a hell of a thing to do with the price where it is.  But having said that, given the action of the central banks that we have seen overnight, given that we may see some horrifying bank collapses, if you ask me, ‘‘Where is the next $1,000?’  I would think there is more chance of it being up than there is of it being down.”

This is an extremely powerful interview with Farage. The KWN interview with Nigel Farage will be available shortly and you can listen to it by CLICKING HERE.

Eric King
KingWorldNews.com

The transatlantic panic

Gold Money - Gold Research Analysis
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The transatlantic panic

2011-NOV-27

Falling plot line In recent months the European sovereign debt crisis has acquired a transatlantic scope. The political posturing in the summer surrounding the debate to increase the US government’s debt limit has highlighted the fragility of its financial position. That awakening in turn led to the US government losing its triple-A status as well as a greater awareness that numerous US states and local governments have for too long lived beyond their means, a point emphasised by the recent bankruptcy of Jefferson County, Alabama – the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history. And as was made clear this week, politicians in Washington still remain at loggerheads on the issue of cutting the Federal deficit. All of this has contributed to greater financial unease on both sides of the Atlantic.
We need to add to the mix of over-leveraged sovereigns the United Kingdom, which is probably more deserving of a downgrade from triple-A status than the US. More alarming is the fact that the problem of over-leveraged governments is not unique to Europe or North America. The problem is global. Japan has the dubious distinction of ranking among the most leveraged sovereigns. Consider too the Chinese banks, many of which responded to Chinese government policy to fund pet projects and therefore have become over-loaded with an incalculable amount of loans never to be repaid. Following in the footsteps of these larger economies, dozens of smaller countries have also borrowed too much.
Though the scope of the problem that has been plaguing markets and economic activity even before the collapse of Lehman Brothers is global, its core causes are the same regardless where one looks. First, there is too much debt, which is rapidly becoming a reality recognised both by borrowers and lenders. As they reduce their leverage to more prudent levels, economic activity decreases, which leads to the second problem.
Many loans made by banks during the boom years are far beyond the ability of many borrowers to repay. These dubious assets on bank balance sheets are in many cases greater than the bank’s capital, meaning the bank is insolvent. That condition puts at risk the currency its customers have on deposit with it. The fact that there are so many banks that have too little capital to absorb the losses from substandard debt leads to the third problem.
Government policymakers seem unwilling to accept the reality that a financial bust follows an unsustainable boom with the same certainty that night follows day. They apparently believe that they can stop what is shaping up to be a messy train wreck. Don’t believe them.
Their only response has been to throw good money after bad by forcing central banks to buy unpayable sovereign debt that market participants do not want and to ban short selling in different stock markets. What these actions by governments make clear is their inability to put their own financial affairs in order. There exists a pervasive lack of political will to put national monetary and financial systems back onto sound footing.
In today’s environment where the Federal Reserve promised near zero rates for at least two more years and the ECB vowed to buy Italian and Spanish bonds, two things are clear.
The present financial bust is not yet over. Nor is the bull market in gold and silver.
Author: James Turk