Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Is America ‘Yearning for Fascism’?

Chris Hedges, Truthdig
The language of violence always presages violence. I watched it in war after war from Latin America to the Balkans. The impoverishment of a working class and the snuffing out of hope and opportunity always produce angry mobs ready to kill and be killed. A bankrupt, liberal elite, which proves ineffectual against the rich and the criminal, always gets swept aside, in times of economic collapse, before thugs and demagogues emerge to play to the passions of the crowd. I have seen this drama. I know each act. I know how it ends. I have heard it in other tongues in other lands. I recognize the same stock characters, the buffoons, charlatans and fools, the same confused crowds and the same impotent and despised liberal class that deserves the hatred it engenders.
“We are ruled not by two parties but one party,” Cynthia McKinney, who ran for president on the Green Party ticket, told me. “It is the party of money and war. Our country has been hijacked. And we have to take the country away from those who have hijacked it. The only question now is whose revolution gets funded.”
The Democrats and their liberal apologists are so oblivious to the profound personal and economic despair sweeping through this country that they think offering unemployed people the right to keep their unemployed children on their nonexistent health care policies is a step forward. They think that passing a jobs bill that will give tax credits to corporations is a rational response to an unemployment rate that is, in real terms, close to 20 percent. They think that making ordinary Americans, one in eight of whom depends on food stamps to eat, fork over trillions in taxpayer dollars to pay for the crimes of Wall Street and war is acceptable. They think that the refusal to save the estimated 2.4 million people who will be forced out of their homes by foreclosure this year is justified by the bloodless language of fiscal austerity. The message is clear. Laws do not apply to the power elite. Our government does not work. And the longer we stand by and do nothing, the longer we refuse to embrace and recognize the legitimate rage of the working class, the faster we will see our anemic democracy die.
Read more here

Will China be Labeled a “Currency Manipulator” by the Treasury on April 15th?

World Socialist Wesite
Demands for trade war measures against China are mounting in Washington as the April 15 deadline approaches for the US Treasury Department to submit its semi-annual report to Congress on currency matters. The key issue is whether to declare China a “currency manipulator” and thus open the way for retaliatory US penalties.
At a US House Ways and Means Committee hearing last week, economist Fred Bergsten claimed that the Chinese yuan was undervalued by 40 percent against the US dollar, causing large job losses in the US and a burgeoning trade deficit. He called on the Obama administration to brand China a currency manipulator as the first step toward enlisting the support of other powers to strong-arm Beijing, via the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation, into revaluing its currency.
Bergsten’s heated language is itself a symptom of rising trade war tensions. Just as countries invariably go to war in the name of “peace,” so Bergsten justified US trade penalties US against China as “anti-protectionist”—a response to China’s “blatant form of protectionism” in undervaluing the yuan. Bergsten’s “multilateral” approach, appealing for European support in particular, seeks to ensure “maximum impact” and minimise Beijing’s ability to retaliate against Washington.
Europe, however, is mired in its own currency crisis. Conflict between European governments over an aid package to heavily indebted Greece have exposed fissures and called into question the future of the unified currency. The resulting fall in the value of the euro has assisted exporters, making European backing for any US push against China less likely. EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht told the Financial Times: “At this moment, it is less of a political issue in Europe.”
Read more here

Explosive Interview on the Gold/Silver Market Ponzi Scheme

Explosive interview on King World News with GATA members Bill Murphy, Chris Powell and Adrian Douglas on the recent CFTC meeting and Andrew Maguire's expose of the silver market manipulation by major Wall Street banks.
  • Andrew Maguire informed the CFTC in advance that market manipulation in the silver market would take place according to a defined pattern. The CFTC took no action despite things having played out just as Andrew had outlined.
  • The gold market is a monstrous fraud with paper derivative contracts (futures) having overwhelmed the underlying physical market.
  • The futures markets are designed and intended to mask inflation by suppressing the price of real assets such as gold and silver. The futures markets are an act of fraud.
  • JP Morgan Chase is de-facto an agency of the government in rigging the gold/silver markets.
Listen to the full interview here

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Former CIA Asset Allawi Touted as Next Iraqi Prime Minister

James Cogan, wsws.org

The result of the March 7 Iraq election has given the largest bloc of seats in the 325-member parliament to the Sunni-based and ostensibly secular Iraqiya coalition headed by Iyad Allawi, a former CIA asset and one-time US-installed prime minister. With just 91 legislators, however, Allawi needs to strike agreements with other factions to obtain the necessary 163-seat majority.
Frantic negotiations and deal-making are underway. Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, and his largely Shiite-based State of Law coalition, which won 89 seats and is the second-largest bloc in the parliament, have declared the result illegitimate and are demanding a manual vote recount. Over the weekend, State of Law representatives nevertheless took part in talks in Iran with leaders of the Shiite fundamentalist Iraqi National Alliance (INA), which won 70 seats. The INA is dominated by the Sadrist movement loyal to cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and the Iranian-linked Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI). With the support of a handful of other parliamentarians, the two Shiite factions would have a majority and could prevent Allawi coming to power.
Read more here

Washington Ratchets up War Threats Against Iran

Patrick Martin, wsws.org
The Obama administration is ratcheting up its war threats against Iran in a calculated effort to provoke a crisis with Tehran that could produce a general war in the Middle East. In multiple venues—planted articles in the press, the release of a think tank study on military options, speeches at the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, and congressional declarations—Washington is building a case for a new eruption of US military aggression.
The appearance of two articles in the Sunday edition of the New York Times underscored this campaign. The paper published a front-page lead reporting CIA and State Department allegations that Iran is accelerating its nuclear development; as well as the summary of a war game based on an Israeli air strike against Iran, published in the Week in Review section.
The lead story, written by David Sanger and William Broad, contains no evidence about Iranian nuclear development, but instead takes as its point of departure that “international inspectors and Western intelligence agencies say they suspect that Tehran is preparing to build more sites in defiance of United Nations demands.”
The article thus makes no pretense of objective reporting, but puts the Times in its favorite role, as the mouthpiece for the US military-intelligence apparatus, publishing their “disclosures”—i.e., official Washington propaganda—even while admitting that US officials have “no solid clues” and were simply speculating in the absence of actual knowledge.
Read more here

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Creature From Jekyll Island - Is the Fed a Conspiracy?

Enclosed below is an excellent and must read lecture given by G.Edward Griffin, author of the book The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, in which he exposes the most blatant scam of all history - The Federal Reserve - the cause of wars, boom-bust cycles, inflation, depression, and prosperity. According to Griffin:
"If there's anything in the world that is deceiving it is the Federal Reserve System. When I did my research on this topic I came to the startling conclusion that the Federal Reserve System does not need to be audited, it needs to be abolished. This is very intriguing to think we should audit the Fed but I discovered that probably if they audited the Fed it would get a clean bill because it's undoubtedly doing exactly what it's supposed to do according to the law. What it is supposed to do according to the law is justification for abolishing it so all we have to do is understand what the Federal Reserve System is supposed to do and we'll be pretty upset about it.
The fact of the matter is that most people haven't the foggiest idea of what it is in fact supposed to do. I came to the conclusion that the Federal Reserve needed to be abolished for seven reasons. I'd like to read them to you now just so that you get an idea of where I'm coming from, as they say. I put these into the most concise phrasing that I can to make them somewhat shocking and maybe you'll remember them.
  1. The Federal Reserve is incapable of accomplishing its stated objectives.
  2. It is a cartel operating against the public interest.
  3. It's the supreme instrument of usury.
  4. It generates our most unfair tax.
  5. It encourages war.
  6. It destabilizes the economy.
  7. It is an instrument of totalitarianism.
                                                               
Lecture by Edward Griffin

There is a New Party to the Israel-Palestine Quarrel: the U.S. Military

Patrick Buchanan
"The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 years ago, and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today. Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capital."
With this defiant declaration, to a thunderous ovation at AIPAC, Benjamin Netanyahu informed the United States that East Jerusalem, taken from Jordan in the Six Day War, is not occupied land. It is Israeli land and Israel's forever, and no Palestinian state will share Jerusalem. Israel alone decides what is built, and where, in the Holy City.
With his declaration and refusal to walk back the decision to build 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, which blew up the Biden mission, "Bibi" goes home a winner over Barack Obama.
But it is a temporary triumph and hollow victory — over Israel's indispensable ally. For the clash revealed that the perceived vital interests of Israel now collide with vital U.S. interest in the Middle East.
We have clarity. There is now visible daylight between U.S. and Israeli policy for all the world to see. And America cannot back down without eviscerating her credibility in the Arab and Muslim world
What are the major points of contention?
To Netanyahu, withdrawal from Gaza was a strategic blunder that led to a Hamas takeover and rockets on Israel. That blunder will not be repeated with the West Bank. Israel had a hellish time forcing 8,000 Jews to leave Gaza and will not force 250,000 Jews to leave ancestral lands on the West Bank to create a Palestinian state where the possibility will always exist that Hamas will win at the ballot box and become the government. As for Jerusalem, its city limits are now Israel's permanent borders. Annexation is irreversible.
The American position?
Read more here

When Soldiers Become Murderers

Karen De Coster, The LRC Blog
The February 22, 2010 issue of Time magazine includes this article: “The Threat From Within. Some soldiers become murderers. The military needs to figure out how to stop them.”
After that headline, the article does not dare raise the question of who trained them to murder. Not a single comment about what those soldiers are doing overseas, and how murdering for the state makes them “soldiers,” not murderers. As usual, the media recognizes murder, when committed by those who are given orders to murder, to be justified and permissible. Outside of the military, it’s a crime. From the article:
"In late 2005, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division took control of a stretch of land just south of Baghdad that had come to be known as the Triangle of Death. Experiencing some form of combat nearly every day, suffering from a high casualty rate and enduring chronic breakdowns in leadership, one of the battalion’s platoons — 1st Platoon, Bravo Company — fell into a tailspin of poor discipline, substance abuse and brutality. In March 2006, four 1st Platoon soldiers — Specialist Paul Cortez, Specialist James Barker, Private First Class Jesse Spielman and Private First Class Steven Green — perpetrated one of the most heinous war crimes known to have been committed by U.S. forces during the Iraq War: the rape of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the cold-blooded murders of her, her parents and her 6-year-old sister".
This event is known as the Mahmudiyah killings. It wasn’t just a rape — it was a brutal gang rape. After the rape, Green shot the girl on the head and set her body on fire. Steve Green had already raped the girl in a solo act prior to this killing event. Green had an imperfect past prior to enlisting in the Army, and like many young men with no focus or direction, he pursued the only option he had — the military. Infantry training.
Read more here

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Whistleblower Speaks Out On J. P. Morgan's Manipulation of the Gold/Silver Market

Jesse's Café Américain
Do we have another Harry Markopolos here, describing in detail the manipulation of the silver markets by J.P. Morgan to the CFTC? How does this square with the testimony today from the CFTC Commissioners, who seem to indicate that the markets are functioning extremely well, and that investor can have full confidence in them?
I am led to understand that Mr. McGuire had offered to testify before the CFTC today, and that he was refused admittance. I do not know him, or the position he is in within the trading community. I cannot therefore assess his credibility or the validity of any evidence which he may present or possess. But I have the feeling that nothing will come of this.
Remember, there was no action on the Madoff scandal until AFTER his fraud collapsed, and the government was forced to acknowledge Markopolos' existence. He had been ignored and dismissed by the bureaucrats at the SEC for years because of Madoff's power and standing with the trading establishment. And of course by those who had an interest in hiding Madoff's scheme, if nothing else, to promote 'confidence' in the markets.
What seems particularly twisted about this is that JPM is the custodian of the largest silver ETF (SLV). Is anyone auditing that ETF, and watching any conflicts of interest and self-trading? Multiple counterparty claims on the same bullion?
Read more here

Obama squeezed between Israel and Iran

Pepe Escobar, Asia Times
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual show in Washington would hardly be out of place in a Quentin Tarantino movie; picture a giant hall crammed with 7,500 very powerful people regimented by a very powerful lobby - plus half of the United States Senate and more than a third of the congress - basically calling in unison for Palestinian and Iranian blood.
The AIPAC 2010 show predictably was yet one more "bomb Iran" special; but it was also a call to arms against the Barack Obama administration, as far as the turbo-charging of the illegal colonization of East Jerusalem is concerned.
The administration has reacted to the quarrel with a masterpiece of schizophrenic kabuki (classical Japanese dance-drama) theater. Corporate media insisted there was a deep "crisis" between the unshakeable allies. Nonsense. One just has to look at the facts.
Only 10 days after scolding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for 43 minutes over the phone, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton showed up at AIPAC spinning the usual platitudes. At least she talked about a "change of facts on the ground" in Palestine and stressed the current status quo is untenable. Netanyahu for his part apparently told Clinton in private (and later Obama as well) that Israel would take "confidence-building measures" in the West Bank, but would continue anyway to build settlements like there's no tomorrow.
Read more here

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Federal Reserve as a Confidence Game: What They Were Saying in 2007

Mark Thornton, Ludwig von Mises Institute
A paper given at the "Birth and Death of the Fed" conference, Jekyll Island, Georgia, February 26–27, 2010.
In February of 2004, I published an article entitled "Greenspam." The general lesson was not to listen to Greenspan's deceptive testimony. Delete it from your mind like spam email messages. Watch what he has done and what he is doing, in order to protect your wealth and capital. Discount anything you read about his testimony, except Congressmen Paul's questions and commentary.
This talk will be a follow up to that article. I will describe central banking as a confidence game. The Federal Reserve plays a confidence game with us. A confidence game (also known as a bunko, con, flimflam, hustle, scam, scheme, or swindle) is defined as an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. The victim is known as the mark, the trickster is called a confidence man, con man, or con artist, and any accomplices are known as shills. Confidence men exploit human characteristics such as greed, vanity, honesty, compassion, credulity, and naïveté. The common factor is that the mark relies on the good faith of the con artist.
Here I will concentrate on the Fed's basic confidence game of trying to gain and maintain our confidence in its system and getting us to not take proper precautions against the negative effects of its policies.
Inflation is surely a scam and part of the confidence game — printing up money and lowering the value of all dollar-denominated assets while simultaneously benefitting political friends and accomplices is surely a fraud that could be classified as a confidence game. This is even more true because when the people finally lose confidence in the Fed system and realize what the Fed has been doing, the game will be up, the dollar will go down, and the Fed will come to an end!
Read more here

Friday, March 26, 2010

Greedy Profit Motives Lurke Under the Fake "Save the Hungry" Motto of GM Seed Corporations

Op Rana, China Daily
To eat GM food, or not to eat: that is the question in China after the Ministry of Agriculture allowed field trials with genetically modified rice seeds. The experts' world is divided.
GM seed supporters argue the world's hungry cannot be fed if agriculture doesn't change its traditional ways (read: if farmers do not use GM seeds). They say if the opponents can accept Bt cotton and genetically engineered medicine, why cannot they accept GM rice.
Let's take China and India, where Bt cotton is grown widely, as examples. GM seeds were introduced in these countries as high-yielding varieties. Very few, if any, farmers were told at the outset that they would have no choice but to keep paying exponentially more to buy them season after season. The Western world, which claims to have gifted the magic seed to the poor, is obsessed with democracy. But after using GM seeds does a farmer have the democracy of choice to revert to conventional seeds? To be honest, he has - but the soil, contaminated by GM seeds, would at best yield a poor harvest.
Thousands of farmers have committed suicide in India because their GM crops failed. They could not repay the loans they had taken from banks and/or moneylenders to buy GM seeds. The lure of GM seeds is still pushing hundreds of thousands of others under insurmountable debts. But they are not part of the West's democracy program.
Earlier this month came a confession from Monsanto, the world's biggest GM seed-maker, that pink bollworms insects had developed resistance to its Bt cotton crop in India's western province of Gujarat.
Read more here

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Truth Has Fallen and America is Being Ruled Only By Propaganda

Paul Craig Roberts
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. George Orwell
There was a time when the pen was mightier than the sword. That was a time when people believed in truth and regarded truth as an independent power and not as an auxiliary for government, class, race, ideological, personal, or financial interest.
Today Americans are ruled by propaganda. Americans have little regard for truth, little access to it, and little ability to recognize it.
Truth is an unwelcome entity. It is disturbing. It is off limits. Those who speak it run the risk of being branded "anti-American," "anti-Semite" or "conspiracy theorist."
Truth is an inconvenience for government and for the interest groups whose campaign contributions control government.
Truth is an inconvenience for prosecutors who want convictions, not the discovery of innocence or guilt.
Truth is inconvenient for ideologues.
Today many whose goal once was the discovery of truth are now paid handsomely to hide it. "Free market economists" are paid to sell offshoring to the American people. High-productivity, high value-added American jobs are denigrated as dirty, old industrial jobs. Relicts from long ago, we are best shed of them. Their place has been taken by "the New Economy," a mythical economy that allegedly consists of high-tech white collar jobs in which Americans innovate and finance activities that occur offshore. All Americans need in order to participate in this "new economy" are finance degrees from Ivy League universities, and then they will work on Wall Street at million dollar jobs.
Read more here

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Europe is No Longer Sovereign. How Washington has Murdered Privacy Rights at Home And Abroad

Paul Craig Roberts, VDARE.com
In the Swiss newspaper Zeit-Fragen, Professor Dr. Eberhard Hamer from Germany asks, "How Sovereign is Europe?"
He examines the issue and concludes that Europe has little, if any, sovereignty.
Professor Hamer writes that the sovereign rights of Europeans as citizens of nation states were dissolved with the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty on Dec. 1, 2009. The rights of the people have been conveyed to a political commissariat in Brussels. The French, Germans, Belgians, Spanish, British, Irish, Italians, Greeks, and so forth, now have "European citizenship whatever this may be."
The result of aggregating nations is to reduce the political participation of people. The authority of parliaments and local councils has been impaired. Power is now concentrated in new hierarchical structures within the European Union. European citizenship means indirect and weak participation by people. Self-rule has given way to authoritarian rule from top to bottom.
Professor Hamer then examines the EU commissariat and concludes that it, too, lacks sovereignty, having submitted to the will of the United States. The problem is not only that Europeans are waging an unconstitutional war ordered by the U.S. in a region of the world where Europe has no interests. Europe’s puppet state existence goes far beyond its mercenary service to the American Empire.
Read more here

U.S. Exchange Rate Hegemony Should Come to Halt

Prof. Shi Jianxun, People's Daily China
The hubbub of calls for Renminbi (RMB) appreciation has been increasingly clamorous in the United States. Of late, some U.S. senators have jointly initiated a bill moved forward by Senator Charles Schumer aimed at stopping China from "manipulating" its currency. The bill urged the Obama government to go on pressurizing China and threaten to list it as a "currency manipulator".
Washington has turned more and more vocal on this issue, locking China and the U.S. in a wrangle over the value of the yuan, in an argument in which confrontational actions seem to be brewing. Taking an apparently tougher line, these U.S. senators have unveiled legislation that threatens heavy penalties, if Beijing refuses to act. The "Schumer Bill" would possibly penalize currency manipulation as an unfair subsidy and could trigger retaliatory actions.
However, the world's top "currency manipulator" is, as a matter of fact, really groundless since it exercises a US dollar hegemony, which has set the longest historical record and made the most substantial benefits by manipulating the exchange rate, and triggered a global financial crisis and economic crisis.
Only with a cold war mentality, hegemonic arrogance and prejudice in thought, a few U.S. politicians are telling whooping lies to shirk responsibilities by accusing other countries and shift their internal contradiction to cash in political votes.
Read more here

Trade Crisis with China to Escalate - US Likely to Label China a 'Currency Manipulator'

People's Daily, China
The US Treasury Department is highly likely to label China a currency manipulator in a report due out in mid-April, but the move will be "more symbolic than substantive" to win mid-term Congressional elections in the fall, former US trade representative Susan Schwab told China Daily on Tuesday.
"There is a high possibility, definitely (that China will be labeled as a manipulator), but it is very important to remember the decision is largely symbolic and does not force any actions, other than consultations," she said.
If that were the case, it will be the first time in 16 years. By declaring China a currency manipulator, the US could slap additional tariffs on imports from the country.
Some Chinese experts strongly doubt the US will do so as it will provoke Beijing and jeopardize its most important trade relationship, while others believe that even if China were declared a currency manipulator, Washington will not follow up with punitive measures.
Some Democrats and Republicans in the House have urged the Barack Obama administration to label China a currency manipulator. Lawmakers from both parties in the Senate also demand Washington force Beijing to revalue the yuan.
Schwab said "a significant growing number" of Democrats are increasingly pushing protectionist solutions, which she said was unfortunate.
"This is a very difficult decision (for the US government) to make. It is under a lot of pressure on the high unemployment rate and the coming election this fall."
Read more here

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Google's Spell-Binding Arrogance Points to the Opening Of Yet Another War Front - Cyber War With China

In one of the most arrogant, childish and reckless games of one-upmanship, Google decided to take on the Chinese government by stopping censorship of its web search results and redirecting visits to its uncensored Chinese language site in Hong Kong. While Google may claim to be the new self-anointed democracy sheriff, its move reeks of thoughtlessness and will contribute to the further escalation of already boiling tensions between the U.S. and China.
Of course the point to note here is that Google - a mere corporation is now dictating U.S. foreign policy - something that in itself is highly undemocratic. Did U.S. citizens elect Google to start a new dangerous escalation with the Chinese government? What have they elected the President and Congress for? What if the Chinese government decides to retaliate by dumping U.S. Treasuries or closing off its markets? Will Google take responsibility for the U.S. economy rolling off the cliff?
Now we by no means support the Chinese government, and yes many of their policies are highly repressive, but democracy is not a light switch that can simply be turned on one day, at whim. It needs years of work and a progressive easing into. If a stable democracy is the end goal, the transition process should be a peaceful one. We no longer live in the age of barbarism, where all conflicts are resolved by war and bloodshed. The lives of the innocent civilians needs to be protected at all cost.
Imagine for a minute if China were to listen to Google and free up information overnight. In a nation of 1 billion people, there would be widespread civil unrest and ethnic wars, millions would die and the process would culminate in the Chinese government falling. All this at a time when the world economy is on a tenuous foot and can ill afford more conflict and instability. Chaos in China will benefit no one.
Does Google want democracy in China at the cost of the blood of millions of people? Judging by their reckless antics the answer seems yes. When it is someone else's life on the line, when it is not your children that are going be be maimed or orphaned, of course that is a price Google and the American government seem willing to bear.
The American experiment of bringing democracy through violent upheaval (war, creating civil unrest) as we have seen in Iraq and during the Iranian revolution is one of abject failure. The movements that have been successful are the non-violent and peaceful ones. The world's most populous democracy India was born through a non-violent and peaceful revolution (although the subsequent partition of India and Pakistan along religious lines led to the bloodshed of millions of innocent civilians).
Google cannot simply wake up one day and decide that what would go perfectly with their morning coffee would be more democracy in China. Only a full blow retard would throw a fit of childish rage and decree that China free up its Internet search. Anyone with a more evolved thought process would learn a lesson from their history books and take a more measured and planned approach of encouragement and engagement, rather than confrontation.
Which brings us to our final point - Google's real beef if any with the Chinese government should be over the hacking of the gmail accounts of Chinese dissidents. If Google was so upset over the hacking why is it not taking up that issue with the Chinese government? What steps has it taken to beef up cyber-security? Why is it throwing a hissy-fit over democracy and freedom of information? How is hacking a gmail account connected with uncensored searches in China? If someone stole from you, would you report the incident to the police or would you retaliate by complaining that the thief's telephone is not working? The whole thing makes very little sense.

The NEW Fake Threat? US Readies for Cyberwar Leveraging the Google-NSA Nexus

Webster G. Tarpley
Google is now preparing to leave China as a result of this company’s stubborn refusal to obey Chinese laws. Google is in effect demanding extraterritoriality and immunity to the legal norms of the host nation, a claim which goes back to the unequal treaties imposed by foreign imperialists, notably the British, on China starting in the 19th century. It is not surprising that the Chinese response to this arrogant interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state has been stern.

We must also recall that Google was founded with the help of the US intelligence community, and is now acting as a virtual arm of the US National Security Agency, the electronic espionage department of the US government. Google-NSA’s arrogance and hypocrisy are unbearable, especially when we bear in mind the countless times that Google search engines have been used to suppress exposés of the US governments false flag operations, most notably 9/11, and other sensitive topics.

There are two sides to the conflict between Google-NSA and China. One is the Great Cyberwall erected by the Chinese government against attempts by the US-UK to capitalize on ethnic and social tensions inside China to launch a color revolution, CIA people power coup, or postmodern putsch. The other aspect is Google’s claim that hackers working for the Chinese government raided Google’s e-mail servers. The second charge has been formally denied by the Chinese.
Read more here

Monday, March 22, 2010

We Stand on the Cusp of one of Humanity's Most Dangerous Moments

We will have to resist the temptation to fold in on ourselves and to ignore the cruelty outside our door.
Chris Hedges, AlterNet
Aleksandr Herzen, speaking a century ago to a group of anarchists about how to overthrow the czar, reminded his listeners that it was not their job to save a dying system but to replace it: “We think we are the doctors. We are the disease.” All resistance must recognize that the body politic and global capitalism are dead. We should stop wasting energy trying to reform or appeal to it. This does not mean the end of resistance, but it does mean very different forms of resistance. It means turning our energies toward building sustainable communities to weather the coming crisis, since we will be unable to survive and resist without a cooperative effort.
These communities, if they retreat into a pure survivalist mode without linking themselves to the concentric circles of the wider community, the state and the planet, will become as morally and spiritually bankrupt as the corporate forces arrayed against us. All infrastructures we build, like the monasteries in the Middle Ages, should seek to keep alive the intellectual and artistic traditions that make a civil society, humanism and the common good possible. Access to parcels of agricultural land will be paramount. We will have to grasp, as the medieval monks did, that we cannot alter the larger culture around us, at least in the short term, but we may be able to retain the moral codes and culture for generations beyond ours. Resistance will be reduced to small, often imperceptible acts of defiance, as those who retained their integrity discovered in the long night of 20th-century fascism and communism.
Read more here

Cultural Cleansing in Iraq: Why Academics were Murdered and Museums Looted

Prof. Lieven De Cauter, President of the BRussells Tribunal
While the anniversary of the war waged on Iraq is approaching, I think of what I wrote seven years ago: that this illegal invasion had nothing to do with the war on terror but was planned well in advance and was not about democracy but about the destruction of Iraq. I was openly taunted for it. At best, I was considered endearing or pathetic in my anger, but not on the level when it came to world politics.
In preparation for an evening on the occasion of this seventh anniversary on March 20, I am reading a book: Cultural Cleansing in Iraq: Why Museums Were Looted, Libraries Burned and Academics Murdered. The basic thesis is, believe it or not, that the purpose of the war was from the onset the destruction of the Iraqi state. But there is more: cultural cleansing, tolerating the looting of museums, the burning of libraries and the murder of academics was part of the war strategy, the authors argue. State ending will certainly become established as a concept, alongside genocide and its derivatives, such as urbicide (destruction of cities), sociocide (destruction of the social fabric) mnemocide (destruction of the collective memory). We do hope so, because unfortunately these concepts and their intertwinement do not only apply to Iraq.
There was a lot of press coverage about the looting of the museums, albeit the press reports didn’t put responsibility with the occupying powers, as the international laws of war stipulate; and without identifying it as a strategy of "mnenocide”. In contrast, all these years a deafening silence has reigned on the hundreds of academics who have been victims of targeted assassinations in Iraq. Strange. In the first three months of the occupation 250 academics were killed. The BRussells Tribunal has now a list of 437 casualties, a list that serves as a worldwide reference.
Because the professors who documented these killings and disappearances have been killed or forced to flee the country, it is increasingly harder to keep this list up to date. According to the Christian Science Monitor, by June 2006 already 2500 academics were killed, kidnapped or driven out of the country. Nobody knows how many have been murdered until today. We do know that thousands have been threatened - often by envelopes containing bullets - and fled. Alongside the academics also media professionals, doctors, engineers and spiritual leaders have been targets of intimidation, kidnapping and murder. It is important to know that, in the case of academics, it’s not about sectarian murders, because statistics show that there is no pattern in the murders. Professors in leading positions have especially been targeted, and not just Baathists.
These murders have never being investigated, the culprits never found let alone prosecuted. How come? Perhaps because both the occupiers and the new rulers in Iraq thought it was not important. Or maybe because death squads are part of their strategy, like formerly in El Salvador. That is what the book claims: the murder of academics was and is part of the "Salvador Option".
Conclusion of the authors? The goal was to liquidate the intellectual class, which would naturally be the basis for a new democratic state. It is that sinister. So sinister that it is difficult to believe. And yet it is true: the elimination of academics and other professionals from the middle class served the first and highest war aim: the destruction of the Iraqi state. "State-ending" instead of "nation building". According to the editors of the book this war objective was a decision taken when three parties aligned: the neoconservatives who wanted permanent bases in a geographical strategy of military domination; Israel that did not want a powerful state in its backyard; and the oil industry that wanted to lay its hand on one of the largest oil reserves in the world. This I have also written seven years ago. Now it’s there, in black and white, with many footnotes, well documented in a book published by an internationally renowned publishing house (Pluto Press). Perhaps the world will now finally start to realise the truth.
Worldwide protests from the academic community would be nice. But one minute of silence for their murdered colleagues will not suffice. Because, and that makes it so overwhelming, all this is just the tip of the iceberg: the children who are born severely deformed by the use of white phosphorus and depleted uranium, the lack of potable water, electricity and healthcare, the destruction of the educational system which results in a lost generation, the 1.2 million deaths and 5 million refugees - all these things combined make the war in Iraq the biggest war crime and the largest man-made humanitarian catastrophe in decades. And it continues.
There is little or no hope of improvement, especially not after the recent elections. Add to this the countless bombings and the sectarian disintegration of the country and you have a picture of hell. And we, we all look more and more the other way. Because we are sick and tired of Iraq after seven years? It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth to see that I have been proven right with my thesis about the destruction of Iraq, that so many thought was absurd. Even Bush has been proven right with his famous show on the deck of the USS Lincoln that first May of 2003: "Mission accomplished". Indeed, Iraq is destroyed.
Happy birthday, Mr. President! Yes, tu quoque Obama.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Third Muslim-World War? Could Israel Drag the U.S. into a War with Iran?

In 1997 Israeli agents tried to kill a Hamas leader, who was then in Jordan, by spraying an exotic poison in his ear. Unlike the killers of another Hamas official in Dubai in January this year, the ones in Jordan were caught. King Hussein of Jordan demanded the antidote from Netanyahu, as well as the release of another Hamas leader, and did not turn over the captured Mossad agents until he got them.
Christopher Dickey NewsweekBack when Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu was elected Israel's prime minister for the first time, in 1996, a Jordanian political scientist with a grim sense of humor said the only way to describe him was like a villain out of an old Western: "He's a lyin', cheatin', deceitin' son of a bitch!"
The Obama administration, without using quite such colorful language, might be inclined to agree. As Aluf Benn, the respected diplomatic correspondent for Israel's Haaretz newspaper wrote in these columns recently, when U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited Israel last week, he "had come to offer not just friendship, but support (and protection) against Iran—Israel's greatest bogeyman—in exchange for a few concessions from Netanyahu. Instead, he got a finger in the eye."

The announcement of government-approved plans to build 1,600 new Israeli homes in largely Arab East Jerusalem was a direct challenge to Biden's efforts to move peace talks forward. The Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as the capital of their state, accuse the Israelis of using such projects to create "facts on the ground" that vastly complicate future negotiations—and, indeed, that is precisely the intent of many Israelis who support the building program.

But the problem as Benn presented it was more complex than that: a combination of brinkmanship and blackmail in which Netanyahu's government makes veiled threats to attack Iran, or not, depending on how much pressure it feels on the Palestinian issue.

Read more here

The Global Decline in Democracy - How Democracy Dies

A global decline in political freedom is partly the fault of the middle class.
Joshua Kurlantzick, NEWSWEEK
Political freedom blossomed in the developing world in the 1990s and early part of this century. While authoritarians still ruled most of Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia in 1990, by 2005 democracies had emerged across these continents. The Soviet Union had morphed into Russia, a freewheeling society that seemed to bear little resemblance to its grim predecessor. With the fall of Saddam Hussein, the overthrow of the Taliban, the apparent end of military interventions in Turkey, and the reformist presidency of Mohammad Khatami in Iran, even the Middle East, long the laggard in democratic reform, appeared to be joining the trend.
In 2005, Freedom House noted that only nine countries experienced rollbacks of democracy; in its report in 2009, it registered declines in "40 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union." Indeed, the organization found that the number of electoral democracies had fallen back to 116, its lowest number since 1995.
The culprits in democracy's decline may come as a surprise. Many of the same middle-class men and women who once helped push dictators out of power are now seeing just how difficult it can be to establish democracy, and are pining for the days of autocracy. Why has this happened? In many cases because the early leaders of the young democracies that emerged in the 1990s failed to recognize that free societies require strong institutions, a loyal opposition to the ruling party, and a willingness to compromise.
Instead, they saw democracy as just semiregular votes; after they won, they then used all tools of power to dominate their countries and to hand out benefits to their allies or tribe. This narrow interpretation of democracy not only distorted the true meaning of the word but also alienated the public in many countries, who became disgusted that these democrats seemed no more committed to the common good than their authoritarian predecessors.
Read more here

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Paul Krugman's Nonsensical Proposal Diverged From Economic Reality

Peter Schiff, Euro Pacific Capital
In his latest weekly New York Times column, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman put forward arguments that were so nonsensical that the award committee should ask for its medal back.
Recent rhetoric from Washington has put the economic relationship between the U.S. and China squarely on the front burner, and Krugman is demanding that we crank up the flame. This week 130 members of Congress sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner demanding that the Obama administration designate China as a "currency manipulator". Following that, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill that looks to force the Obama administration's hand. For its own part, Beijing invites criticism by continuing to deny its utterly obvious currency agenda.
As these tensions escalate, most economists urge Washington to tread lightly because of the negative fallout for America if China were to begin selling its enormous cache of U.S. Treasury bonds. Krugman pushes back, asserting that the U.S. risks little by playing hardball, and that China has more to lose. He asserts that a Chinese decision to end its purchases of U.S. Treasury debt would make only a marginal impact on long-term interest rates. Did you hear that Stockholm?
Read more here

Interview: Credit Default Swap Casino and Stimulus Funded Economies Will Lead to Runs on Paper Currencies

Interview with Bill Laggner of Bearing Asset Management where he talks about:
  • Enron Redux: Sovereign Special purpose vehicles (SPVs) scam now becoming exposed.
  • What happens when the Fed stops its MBS purchases?
  • What happens when central banks remove stimulus?
  • Crisis will culminate in a run on paper currencies.
Listen to the full interview on King World News here

Friday, March 19, 2010

Iran’s Natural Gas Riches: US Knife to the Heart of World Future Energy

Finian Cunningham
The scheduled start of drilling this month by China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) in Iran’s South Pars gas field could be both a harbinger and explanation of much wider geopolitical developments.
First of all, the $5 billion project – signed last year after years of foot dragging by western energy giants Total and Shell under the shadow of US-led sanctions – reveals the main arterial system for future world energy supply and demand.
Critics have long suspected that the real reason for US and other western military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan is to control the Central Asian energy corridor. So far, the focus seems to be mainly on oil. For example, there have been claims that a planned oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea via Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea is the main prize behind the US’s seemingly futile military campaign in those countries.
But what the CNPC-Iranian partnership shows is that natural gas is the bigger prize that will be pivotal to the world economy, and specifically the dual flow of this fuel westwards and eastwards from Central Asia to Europe and China.
Michael Economides, editor of the Huston-based Energy Tribune, is one of a growing number of industry observers who is convinced that natural gas will supplant oil as the primary energy source, not only in the coming decades but over the next several centuries.
He points to the recent forecast by the International Energy Agency (IEA), based in Paris, which has dramatically revised its estimates of recoverable global natural gas reserves by 100 per cent. Economides ascribes this huge upgrade to rapid technological improvements in tapping hitherto inaccessible gas fields. He says that the IEA estimates of natural gas amount to 300 years of supply at current world demand. "If one only just fantasises any future contributions from the orders-of-magnitude larger resource in the form of natural gas hydrates, it is easy to see how natural gas is almost certainly to evolve into the premier fuel of the world economy," he adds.
Read more here

Thursday, March 18, 2010

American Naïfs Bringing Ruin to Other Lands

Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of Treasury
According to news reports, the U.S. military is shipping "bunker-buster" bombs to the U.S. Air Force base at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. The Herald Scotland reports that experts say the bombs are being assembled for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The newspaper quotes Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London: "They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran." [Final destination Iran?, March 14, 2010]
The next step will be a staged "terrorist attack," a "false flag" operation as per Operation Northwoods, for which Iran will be blamed. As Iran and its leadership have already been demonized, the "false flag" attack will suffice to obtain U.S. and European public support for bombing Iran. The bombing will include more than the nuclear facilities and will continue until the Iranians agree to regime change and the installation of a puppet government. The corrupt American media will present the new puppet as "freedom and democracy."
If the past is a guide, Americans will fall for the deception. In the February issue of "American Behavioral Scientist," a scholarly journal, Professor Lance DeHaven-Smith writes that state crimes against democracy (SCAD) involve government officials, often in combination with private interests, that engage in covert activities in order to implement an agenda.
Read more here

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

US “Bunker-Buster” Bombs Being Shipped in Preparation for Possible Strike Against Iran

Rob Edwards, The Herald (Scotland)
Hundreds of powerful US “bunker-buster” bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran.
The Sunday Herald can reveal that the US government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy, this included 387 “Blu” bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures.
Experts say that they are being put in place for an assault on Iran’s controversial nuclear facilities. There has long been speculation that the US military is preparing for such an attack, should diplomacy fail to persuade Iran not to make nuclear weapons.
Although Diego Garcia is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, it is used by the US as a military base under an agreement made in 1971. The agreement led to 2,000 native islanders being forcibly evicted to the Seychelles and Mauritius.
The Sunday Herald reported in 2007 that stealth bomber hangers on the island were being equipped to take bunker-buster bombs. Although the story was not confirmed at the time, the new evidence suggests that it was accurate. Contract details for the shipment to Diego Garcia were posted on an international tenders’ website by the US navy.
Read more here

Sanctions on Iran. What are the Implications?

Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Global Research
The prospects for democracy, socio-economic development, and conflict resolution will suffer if the West continues to rely on punitive measures
This time, the warmongers' silly season found its apogée in U.S. neo-conservative Daniel Pipes' advice to Obama to "bomb Iran," which appeared shortly after Tony Blair, having outlined why he helped invade Iraq, remarked ominously, "We face the same problem about Iran today." The Chilcot Inquiry in the United Kingdom on how the Iraq War was launched ironically coincided with a considerable military build-up in the Persian Gulf region. All this occurred amidst the continued struggle of Iran’s civil rights movement and proclamations of Western leaders to be in support of the latter’s efforts. But is there any evidence for this?
In contradistinction to war, sanctions are widely portrayed as necessary, almost healthy medicine to bring about change in the opponent’s policies. However, as the history of the West–Iran conflict proves, sanctions have rather the state of crisis alive than contributed to its resolution. Nonetheless, Western governments do not seem to have lost their dubious fascination for them.
As the call for “crippling sanctions” became morally questionable when last summer the impressive Green wave shook the streets of Tehran for fear of wrecking the same, today the benign sounding “smart” or “targeted” sanctions are on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Yet, a close look reveals a great deal of wishful thinking as to the effects of such sanctions.
Read more here

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Poodle Gets Kicked

Patrick J Buchanan
Actually, Joe set himself up. From the moment he set foot on Israeli soil, our vice president was in full pander mode. First, he headed to Yad Vashem memorial, where he put on a yarmulke and declared Israel “a central bolt in our existence.” “For world Jewry,” Joe went on, presumably including 5 million Americans, “Israel is the heart. … Israel is the light. … Israel is the hope.”
Meeting Shimon Peres the next day, Joe confessed that when he first visited at age 29, “Israel captured my heart.” In Peres’ guestbook, he wrote, “The bond between our two nations has been and remains unshakeable.” He then told Peres and the world, “There is absolutely no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel’s security.”
As Peres spoke, Biden took notes. When Peres called him “a friend,” Joe gushed, “It’s good to be home.” Even at AIPAC, they must have been gagging. Walking around the corner to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office, Joe called him by his nickname, “Bibi,” declared him a “real” friend and said the U.S. relationship with Israel “has been and will continue to be the centerpiece of our policy.”
Then the sandbag hit.
Read more here

Dismantling America

Patrick J Buchanan
Though Bush 41 and Bush 43 often disagreed, one issue did unite them both with Bill Clinton: protectionism. Globalists all, they rejected any federal measure to protect America’s industrial base, economic independence or the wages of U.S. workers.
Together they rammed through NAFTA, brought America under the World Trade Organization, abolished tariffs and granted Chinese-made goods unrestricted access to the immense U.S. market.
Charles McMillion of MBG Information Services has compiled, in 44 pages of charts and graphs, the results of two decades of this Bush-Clinton experiment in globalization. His compilation might be titled, “Indices of the Industrial Decline and Fall of the United States.”
From 2000 to 2009, industrial production declined here for the first time since the 1930s. Gross domestic product also fell, and we actually lost jobs.
In traded goods alone, we ran up $6.2 trillion in deficits — $3.8 trillion of that in manufactured goods. Things that we once made in America—indeed, we made everything—we now buy from abroad with money that we borrow from abroad.
Over this Lost Decade, 5.8 million manufacturing jobs, one of every three we had in Y2K, disappeared. That unprecedented job loss was partly made up by adding 1.9 million government workers.
Read more here
 

VIDEO: Is Catastrophe Ahead for US-China Relations?

Michel Chossudovsky of the Center for Research on Globalization, speaks to RT about U.S. missiles pointed at Chinese cities and how an attack on Iran would be threaten China (since Iran is a major supplier of gasoline to China).

Monday, March 15, 2010

U.S. Hyperinflation Possible By Year 2015

National Inflation Association
The U.S. government this week reported a record monthly budget deficit for February 2010 of $220.9 billion. Total tax receipts for the month were only $107.5 billion compared to outlays of $328.4 billion. The total U.S. deficit for the first five months of fiscal year 2010 was $651.6 billion, with tax receipts of $800.5 billion and outlays of $1.45 trillion. The deficit was up 10.5% for the first five months of fiscal year 2010 over the same period in fiscal year 2009.
We are now at a point where if the U.S. government taxed Americans 100% of their income, the tax receipts generated would not be enough to balance the budget. Likewise, if the U.S. government cut 100% of its spending including defense, but kept paying Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we would still have a budget deficit. NIA believes it will be impossible for the U.S. to have a balanced budget ever again.
The U.S. national debt is now $12.55 trillion of which $8.061 trillion is public debt. Due to the Federal Reserve's artificially low interest rates of 0% to 0.25%, interest payments on our national debt last month were only $16.9 billion, an interest rate of only 2.548% on our public debt. The reason for the spread between our 2.548% interest rate on the public debt and the federal funds rate of 0 to 0.25% is that a portion of our national debt is made up of long-term bonds at higher interest rates.
Read more here

Eye for An Eye: China Releases Report on Human Rights Violations "in the U S of A" (Full Text)

Full Text of report published by China's Information Office of the State Council titled "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009"

The State Department of the United States released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2009 on March 11, 2010, posing as "the world judge of human rights" again. As in previous years, the reports are full of accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China, but turn a blind eye to, or dodge and even cover up rampant human rights abuses on its own territory. The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009 is prepared to help people around the world understand the real situation of human rights in the United States.

I. On Life, Property and Personal Security
Widespread violent crimes in the United States posed threats to the lives, properties and personal security of its people.
In 2008, U.S. residents experienced 4.9 million violent crimes, 16.3 million property crimes and 137,000 personal thefts, and the violent crime rate was 19.3 victimizations per 1,000 persons aged 12 or over, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Justice in September 2009 (Criminal Victimization 2008, U.S. Department of Justice, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov). In 2008, over 14 million arrests occurred for all offenses (except traffic violations) in the country, and the arrest rate for violent crime was 198.2 per 100,000 inhabitants (Crime in the United States, 2008, http://www.fbi.gov). In 2009, a total of 35 domestic homicides occurred in Philadelphia, a 67 percent increase from 2008 (The New York Times, December 30, 2009). In New York City, 461 murders were reported in 2009, and the crime rate was 1,151 cases per 100,000 people. San Antonio in Texas was deemed as the most dangerous among 25 U.S.

The Mayor Of Detroit’s Radical Plan To Bulldoze One Quarter Of The City

Michael Snyder, Business Insider
How do you save a city that is dramatically declining like Detroit? Well, for the mayor of Detroit the answer is simple - you bulldoze one-fourth of the city. Faced with a 300 million dollar budget deficit and a rapidly dwindling tax base, Detroit finds itself having to make some really hard choices.
During the glory days of the 1950s, Detroit was a booming metropolis of approximately 2 million people, but now young people have left in droves and the current population is less than a million. The true unemployment rate for those still living in Detroit is estimated to be somewhere around 45 to 50 percent, and poverty and desperation have become entrenched everywhere. In many areas of the city, only one or two houses remain occupied an an entire city block. In fact, some areas of Detroit have so many vacant, burned-out homes that they literally look like war zones. And yes, it is true that there are actually some houses in Detroit that you can actually buy for just one dollar. According to one recent estimate, Detroit has 33,500 empty houses and 91,000 vacant residential lots. So what can be done when an entire city experiences economic collapse?
Read more here

Wall Street Carbon Traders Facing Pink Slips

Finally some good news. Wall Street which had earlier been stretching its hands out with glee to grab the $2 trillion carbon trading jackpot, may now be forced to show the newly appointed carbon traders the door. According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald:
Wall Street was supposed to become the capital of a global carbon trading market worth a trillion dollars a year but now many who thought green trading desks would be the next big thing are fearing the pink slip.
US banks had looked forward to a huge "cap-and-trade market" a system where companies would buy and sell the right to emit gases blamed for warming the planet. Many hired carbon traders, picked up assets, and trained members of energy desks to deal in emissions markets.
But prospects for a broad US carbon market have dimmed. US Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican working on a compromise climate bill, declared economy-wide cap-and-trade "dead" this month.
At least one bank with carbon trade assets has already been hit. EcoSecurities, a clean energy project developer and carbon trader, bought by JP Morgan Chase last year has closed its New York-based US office leading to a loss of up to 20 jobs.
JP Morgan has said a senior carbon trader, who had recently moved to Washington, is leaving the bank this month. Banks that that did not expand in advance of a cap-and-trade bill may not have to cut much staff, but long-anticipated expansions will not happen either.
"It's like all-out war," Peter Fusaro, an expert at Global Change Associates in New York, said about the political and market odds stacked against creation of a big carbon market. Many in green groups, banks and the government had hoped the United States would anchor a global market worth up to $USD2.0 trillion a year by 2020.
Without creation of a US market on emissions from tailpipes to smokestacks, the Obama administration must find different ways to meet President Obama's goal of cutting emissions 17 per cent by 2020 under 2005 levels.
Whether one believes in global warming or not, it is a sure thing that pollution is threatening fragile ecosystems of the planet. For all the nonsensical "clean-coal" technology talk, any chemistry major will tell you that one can never burn fossil fuels in a clean fashion. The U.S. is the world's largest consumer of energy, a majority of which (86% in 2005) is derived from burning fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal and natural gas. It is no wonder that the U.S. is also the world's largest polluter, since the by products of burning fossil fuels includes poisonous chemicals like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide (which cause acid rain) as well as toxic metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic.
Actual NASA Picture of Smog Covering China
In addition, with the West having conveniently shifted its industrial plants out of sight to the East, the pollution smog has now moved to envelop the emerging markets of China & India. Major Chinese/Indian cities are now completely cloaked in smog from industrial and vehicular emissions. The situation in these cities is extremely grim, with an alarming increase in the rates of asthma and other respiratory diseases in local populations, especially in young children.
More reckless speculation using Carbon derivatives will not solve the problem. Innovative and environmentally sound green technologies like wind and solar will.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Beware Counterfeiters

Kevin Bambrough & David Franklin, Sprott Asset Management
Long time readers know that we have written about gold many times over the last ten years, starting with an October 2001 article entitled “All that Glitters is Gold”. We first invested in the precious metal based on the belief that central bank sales were filling a fundamental supply deficit that existed in the gold market. We also wrote that if you believed in gold as a financial instrument you might envision a gold price appreciation of 45% to US$400 per ounce, or even higher, as investors sought to protect their wealth in the ‘bear market’ that followed the 2000 stock meltdown. What a difference nine years have made. In 2010, Central Banks are now close to becoming net buyers of gold while mine output continues to decline. With major indices returning nothing to investors over the last ten years it has been a lost decade for stocks but an excellent decade for gold.
Gold’s recent appreciation in US dollars has led some market commentators to question its fair value. This is nothing new for gold – it has been criticized and downplayed as an asset ever since it came off its previous peak in 1980 of US$850 per ounce. In our view, however, it is not gold’s value that is in question; it is the value of paper money.
Let us consider the supply and demand fundamentals of paper money. Clearly, the supply of paper money is technically infinite. This has, of course, not always been the case. For millennia, money was commodity based - its value was linked to goods produced from land and labour. It was impossible to counterfeit wheat, nickel, copper or other commodities and therefore impossible to counterfeit money. Money was viewed as a link to, or representative of, productive capacity. If you had money, you had the right to trade it in for something real, and therefore possessed real wealth.
Read more here


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Jim Sinclair's History Lesson: In 1979 For 24 Hours the Dollar Was Not Accepted in Europe - Setting off a Rush into Gold and Silver

"Loss of confidence in a currency (which is NOT an economic event), always leads to hyperinflation. Credit Default Swaps are now being used to slaughter currencies. The intent is to destroy for profit. Confidence in currencies will fall everywhere and gold will rally" - Jim Sinclair
In a highly information interview that recently aired on King World News (link at end of post) Jim Sinclair peer's into the future by revisiting history. In late 1979-early 1980, gold prices skyrocketed from under $350 in 1979 to a peak of $850 in 1980 (see chart below). According to Jim there was a massive panic out of paper currency into gold, after Europe suspended acceptance of the dollar for 24 hours - this lit the fuse for the stampede into gold and silver. 
The website bullnotbull.com offers a historical perspective:
It may seem like ancient history now, but only because we know how the story ends. At the time, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which began around Christmas 1979, was a terrible global shock. The Soviets had just signed a "bilateral treaty of cooperation" with Afghanistan in 1978, but by the next year relations had deteriorated, and on December 27, 1979, 700 troops, including 54 KGB spetsnaz special forces troops dressed in Afghan uniforms seized all major governmental, military and media buildings in Kabul, including their primary target - the Tajbeg Presidential Palace, where they killed President Hafizullah Amin. [Before this was even completed,] the Soviets announced on Radio Kabul that Afghanistan had been liberated from Amin's rule.
It was a slap in the face to a cold war America already weakened by high inflation and unemployment, a struggling economy, and high energy prices. The future of the American economy and American power did not feel at all certain. As a safe haven in times of panic and strife, gold simply reflected that fear.
After the crisis was over the buying panic subsided and gold prices collpased marking the beginning of a 22 year bear market in gold.

LISTEN To JIM SINCLAIR's Interview on King World News here: Part I & Part II

Friday, March 12, 2010

33 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True, What Every Person Should Know...

Jonathan Elinoff, New World Order Report
Most people can't resist getting the details on the latest conspiracy theories, no matter how far-fetched they may seem. At the same time, many people quickly denounce any conspiracy theory as untrue ... and sometimes as unpatriotic or just plain ridiculous. Lets not forget all of the thousands of conspiracies out of Wall Street like Bernie Madoff and many others to commit fraud and extortion, among many crimes of conspiracy. USA Today reports that over 75% of personal ads in the paper and on craigslist are married couples posing as single for a one night affair. When someone knocks on your door to sell you a set of knives or phone cards, anything for that matter, do they have a profit motive? What is conspiracy other than just a scary way of saying “alternative agenda”? When 2 friends go to a bar and begin to plan their wingman approach on 2 girls they see at the bar, how often are they planning on lying to those girls?“ I own a small business and am in town for a short while.Oh yeah, you look beautiful.”
Conspiracy theory is a term that originally was a neutral descriptor for any claim of civil, criminal or political conspiracy. However, it has come almost exclusively to refer to any fringe theory which explains a historical or current event as the result of a secret plot by conspirators of almost superhuman power and cunning. To conspire means "to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or to use such means to accomplish a lawful end. "The term "conspiracy theory" is frequently used by scholars and in popular culture to identify secret military, banking, or political actions aimed at stealing power, money, or freedom, from "the people".
To many, conspiracy theories are just human nature. Not all people in this world are honest, hard working and forthcoming about their intentions.Certainly we can all agree on this.So how did the term “conspiracy theory” get grouped in with fiction, fantasy and folklore? Maybe that’s a conspiracy, just kidding. Or am I?
Read more here

China Blasts U.S. as Main Source of Human Rights Disasters Worldwide

AlJazeera
China has hit back at the US over human rights, telling Washington to get its own house in order before criticising others and blaming US policy for the global financial crisis.
The angry comments - the latest in a series of terse exchanges between Washington and Beijing - follow the release of a US State Department report condemning what Washington says is a worsening of China's human rights record.
In what has become an annual tit-for-tat exchange, China published its own report on Friday accusing the US of using human rights as a political tool to interfere in other countries' political affairs.
"At a time when the world is suffering a serious human rights disaster caused by the US subprime crisis-induced global financial crisis, the US government still ignores its own serious human rights problems but revels in accusing other countries. It is really a pity," the Chinese report said.
The report said that while accusing other nations of suppressing freedom of speech and communication, the US has itself stepped up eavesdropping and wiretapping of its own citizens.
It added that US citizens were threatened by "widespread violent crimes", while abuses of power were common among US law enforcement officials.
Read more here

Who Rules America?

Don Monkerud, The Liverty Voice
Although some Americans worry about the growing power of the government, few understand the real power that controls their everyday lives.
Private monopolies determine the brand of breakfast cereal we eat, the type of car we drive, where we bank, the medical treatment we receive, the fashion of our clothes, and the kind of toothbrush we use, in addition to the beer we drink, the health insurance we buy, and what we feed our pets.
Under the guise of “the free market,” conglomerates merged and bought up smaller companies, until, today, they dominate their respective markets in every commodity offered for sale in the U.S.
In this race to consolidate, companies “rationalized” their offerings, in many cases dropping up to 40 percent of what they formerly produced. They buy from the same suppliers, use interchangeable parts and common ingredients, and re-name similar brands, essentially placing the same product in different packages. For example, one company produces all of the pet food under 150 different brands.
Read more here

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Economic Warfare: Wall Street May Finally Have Met its Nemesis in Angry European Governments

For decades Wall Street in its pursuit of endless profits, has preyed on the livelihoods of ordinary people around the world. In 1998, currency speculators led by George Soros, wrecked havoc on Asian economies, sending many (Malaysia, Thailand) in a tailspin from which they never quite recovered. After decimating Asian currencies, the rubble collector in the form of the IMF appeared on the scene to "help" Asian nations emerge from the crisis by forcing them to open their markets/sell off national assets to western corporations. Wall Street opened the door and IMF facilitated the looting of the people's wealth.
Wall Street's reckless looting game continued uninterrupted because Asian nations were too small to have a voice in the global power scheme. In 2008, commodity speculators pushed food and oil prices to the stratosphere, leading to food shortages in many poor nations and closure of many U.S. businesses that operated in the transportation sectors (trucking, shipping, airlines). But no action was taken to rein them in. In fact, even though reckless wall street speculation has been the chief cause of the global financial crisis, no one dared take on Wall Street, not even the powerful U.S. government.
But the long wait for justice may finally be over. Wall Street has finally have taken on a target too big to chew - The European Union. Naked short selling of Greek Bonds via Credit Default Swaps has threatened the stability of the Euro zone pushing European governments to retaliate. Michael Collins of OpEdNews.com recently wrote a brilliant article titled Economic Warfare: Europe vs. Wall Street which we enclose below in its entirety:
Wall Streets is headed toward international pariah status thanks to two recent actions by the European Union (EU). On Tuesday, the EU announced that it was banning Wall Street banks from the lucrative government bond business in Europe. They didn't express official concern or fire off a warning shot. They simply banned Wall Street from financing government bond deals like the one Goldman Sachs sold to Greece.
The Guardian pointed out that Wall Street bond business from European governments has gone down over the last two years. Now the business is gone period. In effect, the EU has labeled Wall Streets business tactics as too dangerous for their governments to handle.
Then on Wednesday, the President of the European Commission said that the EU was considering a ban on government debt speculation through Credit Default Swaps (CDS) President José Manuel Barroso announced that, "the Commission will examine closely the relevance of banning purely speculative naked sales on Credit Default Swaps of sovereign debt." While not an outright ban, the threat of banning CDS on national debt would be a major loss for the world's financial speculators, particularly those in the United States and Great Britain.
These two hostile moves toward Wall Street by Europe were discussed by officials in the context of the current Greek debt crisis. Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs has been implicated in helping the Greek government hide the true nature and size of the debt. Discovery of this sleight-of-hand action exacerbated an already challenging crisis.
While the Greek crisis was presented as the proximate cause of the anti Wall Street actions, these announcements follow a March 6 national referendum in Iceland. Citizens voted overwhelmingly, 93% to 2%, to reject their government's plan to have citizens to cover the losses of Iceland's second largest private bank, around $6 billion.
In January, public opinion polls showed opposition to the bailout in the mid 50% range. The 93% opposition vote Saturday was a startling and bold statement of citizen opposition to subsidies for the private sector.
A few days before the vote, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said:
"The debt that had to be accumulated, when it's going badly, is now becoming the object of speculation by precisely those institutions that we saved a year-and-a-half ago. That's very difficult to explain to people in a democracy who should trust us." Business Week, February 23
Escaping the sinking ship?
The Chancellor is right. It has becomes increasingly difficult to explain socialism for the financial elite and survival of the fittest for the rest of us. Despite promises of trickle down benefits from policies that benefit only those at the top, the record since the 1970's has been one of declining living standards and benefits for those who produce the wealth through their hard work.
The politicians behind the two policies are the center-right Merkel of Germany and hard right President Nicolas Sarkozy of France. Could their sudden, harsh actions against Wall Street reflect a general awareness among their patrons, the European financial elite, that citizens have had enough? Are the leaders worried that the contrived government debt crises throughout the continent will be met by citizens with sustained, angry protests and democratic defiance of de facto socialism for the financial elite?
Goldman and other Wall Street banks are a perpetual presence along the corridors of power in Washington, DC. Will this insider influence be used to dictate a U.S. response that reflects the will of Wall Street at the expense of the people?
Merkel and Sarkozy are hardly heroes of working men and women. They're reacting to the excesses of Wall Street as those excesses threaten the Euro currency and its beneficiaries, not their people. To a greater degree, no doubt, their actions reflect fear among the European elite that the entire continent might rise up in a rage if they continue policies that turn the vast majority of citizens into indentured servants.
Citizens all over the world are getting a crash course on the politics of scarcity for the many and abundance for the very few.

A Change of Mindset: Reform Not Stimulus Restores Financial Health

Andy Xie, Ex-Morgan Stanley Chief Economist
The biggest policy debate this year has thus far been when and how fast to exit from last year's stimulus policies. Last year, in a moment of panic over the global financial crisis, central banks and governments poured monetary and fiscal stimulus into the global economy. The side effects of these misguided policies are already showing up: asset speculation has engulfed the global financial market again and consumer price inflation is creeping up uncomfortably fast, especially in emerging economies. Despite the visible need for tightening, the consensus is demanding a slow and delayed exit. Japan's "early withdrawal" is touted as an example of what could happen otherwise.
Japan has experienced two decades of economic stagnation since the collapse of the infamous bubble it suffered in the 1980s. The most popular explanations are that Tokyo wasn't aggressive enough in stimulating the economy after the bubble burst, or that it withdrew its stimulus too early – or both. This line of thinking is popular among elite economists in the US, where it is rarely challenged. But few Japanese analysts buy it.
The Americans liken an economy in a slide to a car with a dead battery: it can be jump-started with a forceful enough push. But there's no sound logic behind such thinking. After a big bubble bursts, an economy suffers a terrible misalignment between supply and demand. Through high prices, a bubble diverts investment and labor to needed activities. It takes time for an economy to normalize. The bigger the bubble, the longer it takes to heal.
Read more here

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mullen Worried Israel Will Mousetrap U.S. Into War with Iran

Ray McGovern, Information Clearing House
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came home with sweaty palms from his mid-February visit to Israel. He has been worrying aloud that Israel will mousetrap the U.S. into war with Iran.
This is of particular concern because Mullen has had considerable experience in putting the brakes on such Israeli plans in the past. This time, he appears convinced that the Israeli leaders did not take his warnings seriously – notwithstanding the unusually strong language he put into play.
Upon arrival in Jerusalem on Feb. 14, Mullen wasted no time in making clear why he had come. He insisted publicly that an attack on Iran would be "a big, big, big problem for all of us, and I worry a great deal about the unintended consequences."
At a Pentagon press conference on Feb. 22 Mullen drove home the same point – with some of the same language. After reciting the usual boilerplate about Iran being "on the path to achieve nuclear weaponization" and about its "desire to dominate its neighbors," he included this in his prepared remarks:
"I worry a lot about the unintended consequences of any sort of military action. For now, the diplomatic and the economic levers of international power are and ought to be the levers first pulled. Indeed, I would hope they are always and consistently pulled. No strike, however effective, will be, in and of itself, decisive."
In answer to a question about the "efficacy" of military strikes on Iran’s nuclear program, Mullen said such strikes "would delay it for one to three years." Underscoring the point, he added that this is what he meant "about a military strike not being decisive."
Read more here