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24 марта, 18:00

Federal Reserve Board issues enforcement action with National Bank of Pakistan

Federal Reserve Board issues enforcement action with National Bank of Pakistan

09 сентября 2013, 20:42

China Enters Top 10 Currencies

Follow ZeroHedge in Real-Time on FinancialJuice The number 10. From time immemorial it has been a fascination for people around the world, in every culture and in every civilization. 10 is the Pythagorean symbol of perfection and completeness and the basis of the decimal system that we use today and being in the top 10 means something for both the people that are there and also for those that are trying to clamber up the rankings. Today, China has entered the top 10 in something else and dethroned another country. The Chinese Yuan is now one of the 10 most-traded currencies in the world and has attained perhaps perfection and completeness. Or, at least it might be getting there soon to the dismay of many. Today China ranks 9th place in the currencies that are the most traded in the world. That might not seem great and far off the top position. But, it entered the top 10, jumping in one foul swoop from 17th place to 9th in just the space of3 years when the last survey was carried out by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS). But, the Chinese currency is far from becoming the world’s leading currency yet it would seem. According to results of research carried out by HSBC in a survey of more than 700 worldwide businesses, there are relatively few trade settlements that are being made as of yet in the Yuan. One main reason for that is that the Yuan is still not a fully-convertible currency, although the Chinese State Council has already made many statements about the fact that it should be entirely convertible by 2015 and therefore will become internationalized then. The Chinese government has made convertibility of the highest importance. It was back in 2007 that the Chinese first announced that they wished to liberalize the flow of capital and allow for convertibility to freely take place, enabling the buying of assets or taking equity around the world. The fact that the Yuan has entered the top 10 world currencies means that the Chinesecurrency is one step closer to allowing convertibility to take place entirely. Afterwards, the challenge will be on for the top position between the Yuan and the Dollar. In an HSBC survey only 52% of companies stated that they had an understanding of what liberalization of the Yuan would actually mean for them and about 30% stated that they were still unwilling to use the Yuan in transactions and foreign-trade settlements. But that also means that 70% are in favor of using the Yuan as the trade -settlement currency. Chinese businessmen are starting to see ways of changing the opinions of businessmen from overseas. Many of them offer discounts on purchases by foreign firms if they agree to settle in Chinese Yuan. Those discounts are said to reach somewhere in the region of an average of 5%. A little bit of patriotism and national protection or privilege can go a long way when it’s got a population of 1.344 billion people ready to back it up. Failing to trade in the Chinese Yuan will mean losing out for foreign businesses. Losing out will mean losing the competitive edge. There are no two ways about it: businesses will agree to trade in the Chinese Yuan in the coming years in order to remain competitive. Once a few have started (and they already have), the others will have to follow. 25% of those firms that were surveyed stated that they would be using the Chinese currency within the next 5years. 42% of them stated that the main reason would be to get a better deal in terms of pricing from their Chinese counterparts. China is already the second largest economy in the world and in just a few years it will dethrone the USA from the top position. Even as the second-largest currency there’s no way China can afford to allow the Yuan to sit out the economic dance and just watch the waltzing Dollar. Although HSBC states that 2015 will be too early for the Yuan to be fully convertible and this will more than likely occur in about 2017 now, due to the slowdown in the Chinese economy. If the Yuan can’t reasonably sit there as an on-looker as the second-largest economy the only way to get to the top position is to convince businesses and governments around the world that the Yuan is a viable option and will reduce trade costs. Renminbi: Top 10 Traded Currencies But, all the legal bribing into using the Yuan as a trade currency between foreign firms and Chinese companies will do little good as long as the Chinese government is still dragging its feet on the overhauling of its financial system. While reforms are slow, the Yuan will be held back. While theshadow-banking system is not dealt with entirely, businesses will remain wary. Yesterday, the People’s Bank of China stated that they were considering attempting to increase the loosening of investment flows of capital into and out of mainland China. That too is one step closer to getting to full convertibility. Deals have already been agreed in terms of currency swaps with countries such as Pakistan, Thailand or South Korea, for example. The Australian government also agreed this year to directly exchange their currency with the Chinese, thus cutting out the need to first convert in US Dollars and then into Chinese Yuan. If the top 10currencies are starting to do that, then it looks as if they will be giving the Chinese a helping hand into turning the Yuan into a fully convertible currency sooner than might be expected. As for the rest of the top 10 positions, the Mexican Peso is in 8th position just above the Chinese Yuan. The Swedish Krona and the Hong Kong Dollar were ousted from their positions by the Yuan and the Mexican currency. Thegreenback was of course in number one position and the Euro came in 2nd with the Japanese Yen in 3rd. The GB Pound was 4th. The foreign- exchange market is growing also. It increased from a daily turnover that averaged out at $5.3 trillion. That was up from the $4-trillion figure in 201, by a rise of 35%.  The Yuan’s trades are today worth $120 billionper day on average. In April 2010 this year that figure was only $34 billion and so there has been an increase of 3.5 times. The US Dollar has roughly 85% of the daily share of most-traded currencies in the world today still. Most currencies are traded in London (41% of the daily average) and the US share stands at 18.9%. Moving up from 17th position is a huge leap for the Yuan. It’s certainly going to be a tough game to topple the US Dollar’s gigantic share of the market. But, businesses will move where the money takes them and where the Chinese can offer a discount for trading in their currency. Patriotism goes out the window and down the tubes when it comes to making money. People have no qualms and even fewer scruples when it boils down to make a quick buck. We’ll have to change that too into ‘making a quick Yuan’. Not quite the same Renminbi about it, is there?   But, just as long as we don’t have a bullshit job, we’re doing better than some that just borrow, consume, work and croak. Septaper Will Open Floodgates | How Sinister is the State? | Food: Walking the Breadline | Obama NOT Worst President in reply to Obama: Worst President in US History? New Revelations: NSA and XKeyscore Program | Obama's Corporate Grand Bargain Death of the Dollar | Joseph Stiglitz was Right: Suicide | China Injects Cash in Bid to Improve Liquidity Technical Analysis: Bear Expanding Triangle | Bull Expanding Triangle | Bull Falling Wedge | Bear Rising Wedge | High & Tight Flag         

05 сентября 2013, 00:00

Joint Statement by Kingdom of Denmark, Republic of Finland, Republic of Iceland, Kingdom of Norway, Kingdom of Sweden, and the United States of America

The Kingdom of Denmark, Republic of Finland, Republic of Iceland, Kingdom of Norway, Kingdom of Sweden, and the United States of America reaffirm our deep partnership based on shared fundamental values including our commitment to democracy, human rights, respect for the rule of law, and economic freedom.  We continue to deepen our collaboration on important shared global priorities, including climate change and clean energy, the Arctic, a strong, open multilateral trading system, emerging security challenges, global development and humanitarian assistance, and Europe’s regional economic and security environment.  This evening, we have come together at a defining moment in the transatlantic relationship to discuss our long-term goals in each of these areas and agree to take concrete steps to achieve those goals.  United on Global Issues The United States and the Nordic countries share the goal of a stable and peaceful Middle East.  We agree that all relevant parties must work urgently for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.  We are determined to work together to promote respect for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Egypt.  With regard to the situation in Syria, we strongly condemn any and all use of chemical weapons, and we are convinced a strong international reaction is required.  Those responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable. We recognize the importance of cooperation between our countries in building comprehensive security and addressing security issues in the 21st century, including terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, illicit international arms trade, and threats to cyber security.  We also recognize that we must address these challenges in a manner that respects our most cherished values and protects universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, which are at the foundation of all flourishing democracies.  We note the need to continue to strengthen our countries’ important contributions to regional, transatlantic, and international forums, including in the EU, NATO, and NATO Partnership context.  We recommit to continuing and expanding our security, recognizing that this cooperation – with and among the Nordic countries, with other regional partners, including especially the Baltic states, and in transatlantic and international fora – will be crucial to our success.  To complement our already robust bilateral and regional security cooperation, we agree to launch a U.S.-Nordic Security Dialogue, which will meet annually to discuss opportunities for collaboration on global and regional security issues, focusing primarily on issues arising in the United Nations, including an integrated approach to preventive diplomacy, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, and atrocity prevention.  Another stream of work will include joint capacity building efforts to promote stabilization in fragile and conflict affected states – linking up security and development efforts, and civilian and military partners. Recognizing that we still have work to do closer to home, we agree on our mutual commitment to deepening regional cooperation and continuing to pursue our common vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace.  We underscore the importance of actions that can support a global economic recovery, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States.   T-TIP aims to boost economic growth in the United States and the EU and add to the more than 13 million American and EU jobs already supported by transatlantic trade and investment.  We also look forward to exploring ways we can bolster trade and investment between the United States and Norway and Iceland.  We also emphasize our commitment to achieving significant and substantive outcomes at the 9th World Trade Organization Ministerial. We agree that the fight against tax avoidance and evasion should be a top priority in all relevant international fora.  We support the work of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) and automatic exchange of information as the new global standard.  The engagement of the G-20 in these issues is important.  The misuse of shell companies can be a severe impediment to sustainable economic growth and sound governance.  We will make a concerted and collective effort to tackle this issue and improve the transparency of companies and legal arrangements.   Partnering on Climate Change and the Arctic Climate change is one of the foremost challenges for our future economic growth and well-being.  We underscore the importance of continuing to encourage innovative approaches to promoting energy efficiency and clean energy, including renewables, and of taking action on climate change, domestically and internationally.  This requires mobilizing scaled up climate finance.  We agreed on the importance of reaching an ambitious, comprehensive, fair, and inclusive climate agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2015 that is consistent with science, mindful of the two degree target, and applicable to all. As part of our commitment to accelerating the transition to low-carbon energy systems worldwide, the leaders of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden will join the United States in ending public financing for new coal-fired power plants overseas, except in rare circumstances.  We will work together to secure the support of other countries and multilateral development banks to adopt similar policies.  The Nordic countries and the United States agreed to continue their work, in all appropriate channels, to reduce the use of domestic fossil fuel subsidies globally.  The United States also agrees to join with the Nordic members of the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform to undertake peer reviews of domestic fossil fuel subsidies. Recognizing the rapid growth of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition over its first 18 months, we note the potential of the Coalition to catalyze significant global reductions of short-lived climate pollutants, which have major impacts on climate change and public health.  The U.S. and Nordic members of the Coalition agree to intensify our efforts and invite others to join to take full advantage of the Coalition’s potential. The United States and Nordic members of the Clean Energy Ministerial continue to support various ministerial initiatives, including the 21st Century Power Partnership, which brings together government and private sector actors to help identify and promote successful technical, policy, and financial pathways to cleaner and more efficient power systems in both developed and developing countries.  Additionally, the United States and Nordic countries expressed our support for the “Sustainable Energy for All” initiative of the UN Secretary-General. We recommit to protecting the Arctic environment, working to improve living conditions and encouraging sustainable development in the Arctic region, particularly with respect to indigenous peoples, and ensuring that the Arctic remains a peaceful region of cooperation.  We will pursue opportunities in future Arctic Council meetings and other international fora to promote prosperity, foster scientific cooperation, and reduce emissions of black carbon in the Arctic region, as agreed upon in the Kiruna Declaration. Advancing Global Development As leaders in providing development assistance, we agree on the strategic, economic, and moral imperative of global development and humanitarian aid.  We are committed to aggressive efforts to accelerate achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  The MDGs continue to be a symbol of our common humanity and a statement of the world’s commitment to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, combating disease, achieving gender equality, free quality education for all,  and environmental sustainability, thus extending hope and opportunity to billions across the world.  We note the opportunities for using trade to boost economic growth and reduce poverty in developing countries, as well as the importance of promoting human rights and gender equality.  In addition, we agree that vaccination through GAVI represents one of the most cost-effective approaches to save children’s lives and that with enhanced efforts, polio can be eradicated within this decade.  Together, we envision a unified post-2015 agenda that addresses poverty, inclusive growth, and sustainability in clear, ambitious, and measurable goals.  The United States and Nordic countries are critical donors in fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria worldwide.  We commend the reforms and results achieved by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria and will work together to ensure a successful replenishment.  In a demonstration of strong leadership, a number of Nordic countries are together pledging $750 million, with over $150 million in increased funds, for the Global Fund replenishment, subject to parliamentary approval.  This funding will leverage $375 million from the U.S. challenge pledge of $1 for every $2 donated.  These historic multilateral investments will work to turn the tide against these three devastating diseases.  Access to electricity continues to be one of the most significant hurdles to economic growth and development.  In sub-Saharan Africa alone, more than two-thirds of the population is without access to power.  To support a doubling of electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa the United States and Nordic countries have expressed our support for the Power Africa initiative and agree to work together to provide technical assistance, financing, and other support to enable additional investment in energy projects throughout the region.   In support of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), we agree to promote transparency and accountability of expenditures and revenues related to the extraction of natural resources, including through support to the multi-donor trust fund for EITI or the EITI Secretariat.  EU member states Denmark, Finland, and Sweden intend to quickly transpose the EU Accounting and Transparency Directive, which requires mandatory disclosures of payments made to governments for extractive and logging projects. Protecting Human Rights and Strengthening Governance We will work together to eradicate poverty, promote good governance and human rights, combat all forms of trafficking in persons, and strengthen gender equality and the rights of women and girls, including sexual and reproductive health and rights.  We agree to make real our respective obligations and commitments to promote and protect women’s human rights and fundamental freedoms as outlined in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Platform for Action, the United Nations resolutions on Women, Peace and Security, and other international instruments and agreements on women’s rights.  We note in particular the importance of empowering women as equal partners in preventing conflict and building peace and ensuring their protection from violence, and of our continued bilateral and multilateral engagement to this end in such countries as Afghanistan and Pakistan and in the Middle East.  In Afghanistan, for example, we endorse such flagship initiatives as PROMOTE, UNWomen’s Elimination of Violence against Women Special Fund, the Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund’s EQUIP, and the National Solidarity Program's Community Development Councils, which together empower a critical mass of Afghan women to fully participate in Afghan society. We strengthen our commitments to advance equality and dignity for LGBT persons through the Global Equality Fund.  This commitment reflects an increasingly growing global sentiment that all persons should be treated equally and with dignity regardless of who they are or who they love. The United States and Nordic members of the Open Government Partnership, a multilateral initiative that asks governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and strengthen governance, agree to redouble our efforts to develop ambitious “Race to the Top” commitments for the October 31 Open Government Partnership Ministerial. Working together, we have a historic opportunity to make progress on issues of global significance, and we remain steadfast in our dedication to the pursuit of these goals. 

21 марта 2013, 21:43

Sanjay Dutt ordered to finish jail sentence over 1993 Mumbai bombings

Bollywood actor was convicted of possessing illegal firearms as part of case over serial attacks that killed 257 people India's supreme court has ordered the Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, the most high-profile of the 100 men and women who were convicted for the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings, to return to jail for a further three-and-a-half years.The bombings on 12 March 1993 were engineered by a silver smuggler and gangster, Mushtaq "Tiger" Memon, widely seen as revenge for the destruction of the Mughal-era Babri Masjid, a hallowed Islamic site, by Hindu fanatics three months earlier. But the real mastermind behind the attacks was said to be the Muslim underworld kingpin Dawood Ibrahim.Dutt had been out on parole since 2007, when he appealed against the original sentence by a lower court of six years imprisonment – not for the bomb conspiracy but for the lesser charge of possessing illegal weapons (an AK-56 rifle and a 9mm pistol) supplied by the same Mumbai gangsters who carried out the devastating serial bombings, which killed 257 people and injured 713.Dutt's defence was that he knew nothing about the bomb plot and that he asked for the guns to protect his family after receiving threats during sectarian riots in Mumbai.At the time, the bombings were the worst terrorist attack the world had seen, with 13 bombs set off over a two-hour period across Mumbai.The supreme court reduced the sentence for Dutt on Thursday to five years. Having already spent 18 months in jail, he will serve only the remainder of his sentence. He has been asked to surrender to prison authorities in a month.Amid a frenzy of support and sympathy for Dutt from Bollywood, the actor told NDTV: "I'm okay. I can't think straight now. I'm trying to come to terms with the verdict. I'm just trying to gather my thoughts."During the drawn-out trial in a special anti-terrorism court, which finally led to the sentencing of 100 men and women in 2007, there were accusations that Dutt was getting preferential treatment thanks to his high-profile status and his political connections.Dutt is the son of two legendary Bollywood stars, one a Muslim and the other a Hindu, who fell in love on the sets of the 1957 blockbuster Mother India. His mother, Nargis, was close to India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. His father, Sunil Dutt, was an elected Congress party MP and the national sports minister. His sister Priya succeeded their father in parliament. Dutt himself has flirted with an opposition party, and also with Mumbai's militant Hindu radical Bal Thackeray.After the trial court sentenced him in 2007, Dutt went to the supreme court and secured bail, since when he has re-established his successful film career, especially with the hit Munnabhai film trilogy, propagating "Gandhian values", and many action roles. He also remarried in 2008 and fathered twins.The supreme court also showed leniency by commuting the death sentences of 10 bombers to imprisonment for life.Only one man will now go to the gallows – Yakub Memon, a chartered accountant who functioned as a financial manager in his brother Tiger's smuggling business. The court confirmed the death sentence against Yakub even though the accountant appeared to have only a peripheral involvement in the terror conspiracy. He provided the money for the vehicles that were later packed with explosives, and he arranged for plane tickets for Tiger's men to fly to Dubai – from where they were taken to Pakistan to be trained as bombers.But this was Yakub's normal role as the money manager in his brother's silver-smuggling business.Hours before his bombs ripped apart Mumbai, Tiger fled to Dubai and then Pakistan with three generations of his extended family. Dawood is also said to have taken refuge there, though Islamabad denied it all. Prosecutors said that Pakistan's ISI agency had supplied the explosive and trained the bombers, a charge accepted by the supreme court. But Yakub created a sensation in 1994 by suddenly deciding to return to India.After his return, this correspondent met Yakub while he was in police custody in Delhi. He remained silent, but the police were exultant – Yakub had come back with video and audio evidence that showed Pakistani officials had showered the Memons with extraordinary hospitality, including a 20-room mansion in Karachi.With Yakub's help, the Indian police also succeeded in bringing back several other Memons – his parents, three brothers, their wives and children. But the Memons ran into a double-cross – on their return they were all thrown into jail. Finally, two brothers (one with a brain tumour and the other with a mental disability), have been sentenced to life, along with a sister-in-law who had moved away from Mumbai six months before the bombings.Mumbai mafia: Bollywood and the underworldOnce upon a time, Bollywood and Mumbai's organised crime elements were locked in a deadly embrace. Gangsters not only financed producers but also had a finger in everything from screenplay writing and casting to the distribution of films.The crime for which actor Sanjay Dutt, 53, was sentenced to five years imprisonment – accepting a gift of illegal weapons from his producers in early 1993 – dates from the heyday of Bollywood's romance with mobsters. It was only after cinema was designated as an "industry" by the government in 2001 – making bank finance possible – that the stranglehold of the underworld began to loosen.More than 3bn rupees (£35million) is said to be riding on Dutt's current film projects – a big chunk could be lost if he is jailed immediately. But the outpouring of support and sympathy from film celebrities for Dutt is not just a case of Bollywood putting its mouth where its money is."There's genuine sympathy for Dutt," said Bollywood analyst Rauf Ahmed. "He is seen as a victim of the bad old days – he was foolish and immature, and could not resist the lure of an AK-56 rifle."IndiaGlobal terrorismBollywoodMaseeh Rahmanguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

16 марта 2013, 19:43

And The Country That Hates America Most Is...

From 24/7 Wall St.:Disapproval of U.S. leadership had no statistical improvement last year, according to the latest U.S.-Global Leadership Project, a partnership between Meridian International Center and Gallup. Of those foreign citizens surveyed by Gallup in 130 countries, 25% disapproved of the job performance of President Obama’s administration. Click here to see the 10 countries that hate America most While citizens around the world are more inclined to think highly of our leadership than not, there are some parts of the world where residents generally have a poor impression of the United States. In seven nations, more than 60% of those surveyed disapproved of the current administration. In Pakistan, that number was nearly 80%. Based on the recent survey, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 countries that hate America the most. Not surprisingly, most of the countries that appear on this list are located in the Middle East, where the United States has long struggled to maintain positive diplomatic relations. Among the leading factors that have complicated our image in the region is the “war on terror,” which includes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our penetration of Pakistani airspace to assassinate Osama bin Laden. All three of these nations had among the highest levels of disapproval of U.S. leadership. Our relatively strong diplomatic relationship with Israel has also resulted in strained relationships between the U.S. and these countries. The Palestinian territories, neighboring Lebanon, and Iran, disapprove of U.S.’s foreign policy. Each of these continue to have volatile relationships with Israel as well. However, not every country that disapproves of U.S. policies is in the Middle East. One that stands out is Greece, where approval has fallen dramatically over the past five years, coinciding with the country’s economic tailspin. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., deputy director of Gallup’s world poll, Jon Clifton, explained why Greece’s negative perception of the United States might be so bad. According to Clifton, the country had one the worst levels of negative emotions overall. “It makes you wonder if that creeps into their views of overall global leadership,” Clifton said, “because things are so tough in Greece right now.” This trend is not confined to Greece. All of the countries with the highest disapproval of the U.S. government suffer from poor economic conditions. Most have high levels of poverty and, according to a review of Gallup polls, they also have among the worst levels of economic and social well-being in the world. They have high levels of political instability and, in many cases, high levels of terrorism as well. It is the poor economic and social conditions in these countries themselves that may contribute to the low approval of American leadership, says Meridian International Center’s president and CEO, former U.N. Ambassador for Special Political Affairs Stuart Holliday. The United States, a symbol of privileged first-world free-market capitalism, is often used as a scapegoat by the leaders of developing nations to “deflect attention away from their own challenges.” “There is a perception,” Holliday added, “that the United States could fix these problems if they wanted to.” To determine the countries that hate America most, 24/7 Wall St. relied data from The U.S.-Global Leadership Project, a partnership between Gallup and the Meridian International Center. Gallup also provided data from a number of other indices it produced through polling in 2011. Additional economic information came from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and data are for the most recently available year. IMF figures on GDP per capita are given at purchasing-power-parity in order to show real differences in wealth. Life expectancy comes from the World Bank and is for the most recently available year. These are the 10 countries that hate America the most according to 24/7 Wall St.

12 марта 2013, 01:08

Thom Nickels: The Orwellian Age Is Here

A must-read book to prepare you for the coming age of police and government surveillance is George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. George Orwell was a pen name for Eric Blair (1903-1950), an English-born writer who was a sworn enemy of both totalitarianism and communism. Orwell wrote a number of books, including Animal Farm, and Down and Out in Paris and London, a memoir of his starving years in those cities while trying to make it as a writer. Nineteen Eighty-Four, which was published on June 8, 1949, describes a future in which "Big Brother" watches a citizen's every move, making privacy a thing of the past. Not only are there audio recorders and cameras in every home, but also in every hotel room, street, store, country lane, bus and seaside resort. Citizens who are caught disobeying the rules of that society are punished by varying degrees of mental torture until they come to "love" the oppressor, Big Brother. And since Big Brother controls the media, only certain forms of information are allowed to "get out." Robert McCrum, in The Guardian overview of Orwell's life, wrote of Nineteen Eighty-Four: Probably the definitive novel of the 20th century, a story that remains eternally fresh and contemporary, and whose terms such as 'Big Brother' 'doublethink' and 'newspeak' have become part of everyday currency. Nineteen Eighty-Four has been translated into more than 65 languages and sold millions of copies worldwide, giving George Orwell a unique place in world literature. In the 1950s, Orwell's book seemed much like science fiction, although that can hardly be called the case today. Today, in the city of London (the scene of Orwell's novel), literally every square inch of the city has surveillance cameras. In the United States the situation is almost as bad. There are cameras in and around every convenience store, WAWA, bank, Rite Aide, CVS, and ATM machine, where our every move is watched and analyzed by an unseen observer or panel of strangers. Although established ostensibly to thwart criminal behavior, camera surveillance has slipped outside criminal margins to include the filming of everyday people engaged in everyday behavior. A store manager, for instance, is able to observe people entering or leaving his store while blowing their nose, talking with friends and strangers, giving money to panhandlers or even flicking cigarette butts onto parked cars with their middle finger. Philadelphia subway and El station stops are all currently equipped with cameras, while city buses are being prepared to carry interior and exterior cameras and audio recording devices, meaning that conversations between passengers can be taped and archived. As if cameras and audio transmissions aren't bad enough, we now have to suffer the coming plague of drones, some as big as hummingbirds (in the not-so-distant future, they will be as big as house flies), which are being purchased by police departments across the country for aerial surveillance of the average U.S. citizen. Domestic drones, of course, are spinoffs of military drones, which have recently garnered their fair share of controversy in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Think about it: A small drone the size of a hummingbird may buzz discreetly outside your bedroom window, recording subversive conversations or "illegal" acts, and then transmit the information to the local police. Naturally, the powers-that-be insist that these domestic drones -- which some police departments want armed with non-lethal weapons like rubber bullets, tasers and tear gas -- would only be used to catch dangerous criminals. But, if you believe this, then you must be a diehard fan of the 1950s Walt Disney film, Pollyanna. What concerns me is Congress' authorization to the FAA to change airspace rules to make it easier for police departments to use domestic drones. While I think catching violent criminals is a good thing, I have problems with the other portion of police work -- some call it the not-so-nice totalitarian side that might include the arrest of nonviolent protesters like those of Occupy Wall Street. This is why I stand solidly behind the ACLU's position that domestic drones should not be equipped with lethal or non-lethal weapons. Furthermore, I agree with the ACLU position that the use of domestic drones should be decided by public representatives, not by police departments. Can you imagine the skies over your hometown filled with hummingbird drones, buzzing, diving, hovering and spying? A landscape like this is much like the bleak reality depicted in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, which begins this way: "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." Like it or not, a brave new world is coming. The U.S. News and World Report, for instance, states: "Drones in Seattle and Miami are equipped with video cameras capable of taking daytime and nighttime video, as are drones used by the Texas Department of Public Safety." Some Americans, of course, will inevitably support a sky filled with domestic drones and say that such invasions are "only for our own protection." Glenn Greenwald of Salon concurs when he writes: "There is always a large segment of the population that reflexively supports the use of greater government and police power -- it's usually the same segment that has little objection to Endless War -- and it's grounded in a mix of standard authoritarianism." That's tragic in my book, considering that it is bad enough that we have to have TSA X-raying our bodies and going through our belongings at airports. I don't like the idea of an unmanned aircraft buzzing in the skies around my neighborhood (even police helicopters are annoying) with the sole purpose of collecting information by filming the activities of citizens who have not broken the law. Furthermore, I don't think that the Founding Fathers of this nation would have found the idea attractive -- or even Constitutional -- either.

08 марта 2013, 12:44

T. Thorn Coyle: John Brennan, Sekhmet And The Fires Of War

"Freedom is hard to bear. It can be objected that I am speaking of political freedom in spiritual terms, but the political institutions of any nation are always menaced and are ultimately controlled by the spiritual state of that nation... Privately, we cannot stand our lives and dare not examine them; domestically, we take no responsibility for (and no pride in) what goes on in our country; and internationally, for many millions of people, we are an unmitigated disaster. " - James Baldwin from "The Fire Next Time" On Wednesday, Rand Paul filibustered regarding drones on U.S. soil, lack of due process, and the appointment of John Brennan as head of the CIA. In general, he is not a person I agree with, and yet, on this topic I do. But it isn't only drones on U.S. soil, and lack of due process for our citizens: there are people all over the world being killed with little reason, earth scorched and families lost. As a Pagan who experiences all things as interconnected in a web of life, I feel this keenly. It brought to mind watching drones (UAVs) while on the Nevada Peace Walk with a mixed group, most of whom were Catholic, in 2010. I wrote: Thursday night we sang and prayed to Sekhmet to give us the fire of courage to face the wars we carry inside ourselves, to connect with the fire in the earth and the stars, and the fire in our own blood, in our hearts and minds, that would enable us to face the fires of war that have so ravaged this desert and the world. The mighty black statue of Sekhmet faced the direction of the Nevada Test Site, and the temple itself is situated three miles from Creech Air Force Base and eight miles from two prisons. Prophet James Baldwin is right: as long as there is war inside me, there will be war on earth. As long as I build prisons in my soul, humanity will imprison itself. Friday morning we walked the three miles from Sekhmet's Temple to the "Home of the Hunters." Drones glided silently overhead as we walked the Stations of the Cross outside the long fence. Soldiers patrolled in a big truck nearby, following our movements. As I looked up into the sky, I could not help but notice that the Predator looked remarkably like a wasp, a silent, unmanned, death-dealing wasp who -- along with its larger cousin, the Reaper who also made test runs overhead -- would not only do surveillance, but carry missiles and bombs over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. Designed to save US military personnel and to more accurately assess targets, 32 percent of those they kill are still civilians, and of course, sometimes mistakes are made. Later that afternoon, we held vigil outside the base. I sat on the ground in meditation while anchoring a large banner that fought with the wind. As I opened my aura out to hold the desert, I could not help but feel that we all must hold each other, as best we can, whether drone operators, the county Sheriff, the counter-protestors, or the yucca and cholla that dotted the landscape. As military personnel drove off the base toward home, some ignored us, some few flashed peace signs, and one held up his book on Che Guevara. UAV operators in Nevada and California are killing people across the world, as we speak. They watch in graphic close up as people are blasted into death. This also shatters the enlisted men and women, as we can well imagine. The Military Times reports: "The Air National Guardsmen who operate Predator drones over Iraq via remote control, launching deadly missile attacks from the safety of Southern California 7,000 miles away, are suffering some of the same psychological stresses as their comrades on the battlefield. Working in air-conditioned trailers, Predator pilots observe the field of battle through a bank of video screens and kill enemy fighters with a few computer keystrokes. Then, after their shifts are over, they get to drive home and sleep in their own beds. But that whiplash transition is taking a toll on some of them mentally, and so is the way the unmanned aircraft's cameras enable them to see people getting killed in high-resolution detail, some officers say." We are damaging ourselves, our souls, and the earth. We are dealing out death at a distance, and slowly dying inside. Freedom is hard to bear. But so is war. So is our enslavement and inner blindness. How shall we waken to the light that dawns over the desert so beautifully? If life and death are sacred, what is our role in these wars being fought via real-time video? We try to distance ourselves from the cycles of the earth, but in the long run, this simply is not possible. As Gen. Stanley McChrystal wrote in his report to President Obama regarding the war in Afghanistan: "Pre-occupied with protection of our own forces, we have operated in a manner that distances us - physically and psychologically - from the people we seek to protect... The insurgents cannot defeat us militarily; but we can defeat ourselves." May Sekhmet give us strength. --------------------- This year's Peace Walk is March 23-29. People are welcome to join any part of it. For information, visit the Nevada Desert Experience.

04 марта 2013, 17:10

Wall Street-Backed Anwar, Sabah, and Western Sponsorship of Terrorism

Coincidence? West's use of terrorism raises concerns latest violence in Sabah is linked to Wall Street's campaign to install Anwar Ibrahim as head of Malaysia.  Tony CartalucciActivist PostImage: Sabah state, Malaysia (right in red) is host of a bizarre invasion by militants based in the Philippines, just months ahead of Malaysia's general elections. Because Malaysia's opposition is overtly supported by Wall Street, and because of the West's liberal use of global terrorism as a geopolitical tool, many suspect Anwar Ibrahim's opposition party is at least partly responsible for instigating the militant incursion. Disturbing and bizarre reports of Philippine-based armed "Islamist" militants landing on the beaches of Malaysia's state of Sabah, directly ahead of national elections has raised both concerns and suspicions regarding the Malaysian opposition's involvement, and that of its Western sponsors. The Star/Asia News Network reported in an article titled, "Najib: Govt to investigate claims of Opposition instigating Sulu Sultanate to reclaim Sabah," that: The Prime Minister has directed Malaysian intelligence to investigate claims that the Opposition was among parties responsible in instigating the heir of the Sulu Sultanate to reclaim Sabah.Anwar Ibrahim, head of Malaysia's opposition coalition, which includes the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), has spent a lifetime in the service of Western interests. Anwar Ibrahim was Chairman of the Development Committee of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1998, held lecturing positions at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, was a consultant to the World Bank, and a panelist at the Neo-Con lined National Endowment for Democracy's "Democracy Award" and a panelist at a NED donation ceremony - the very same US organization whose subsidiaries are funding and supporting Bersih, a faux-pro-democracy Western-funded street movement that in fact was created by, and in the service of Anwar Ibrahim's political ambitions. google_ad_client = "pub-1897954795849722"; /* 468x60, created 6/30/10 */ google_ad_slot = "8230781418"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; Anwar Ibrahim's affiliations with Malaysian "Islamists," and his Western backers' habitual support for terrorism internationally as a geopolitical tool, raises the possibility that his opposition movement is complicit in the conveniently timed militant destabilization Malaysia now faces, only months before 2013's general elections. While Wall Street props up Anwar Ibrahim, his political coalition, and his street front, Bersih, it is funding and arming hardcore Al Qaeda terrorists from Libya and Syria, to Iran and Pakistan. Recent announcements by the US and UK that they will be funding to the tune of millions, Syrian "opposition leader" Moaz al-Khatib who openly collaborates with, embraces, and adamantly defends Al Qaeda's Syrian franchise al-Nusra, is indicative of a global, systematic state-sponsorship of terrorism by the West. Similar support was given to the political fronts of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LFIG) in Libya, who is in fact sending fighters, cash, and heavy weapons into Syria via NATO-member Turkey. Anwar Ibrahim and his political opposition party's ties to militant terrorists are being investigated, but Malaysia, and other nations in Southeast Asia must be ever vigilant of a West who props up political parties under the guise of "democracy promotion," while funding and arming terrorists, criminal cartels, and notorious human rights abusers, many times worse than the political parties they seek to subvert.Tony Cartalucci's articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at Land Destroyer Report, Alternative Thai News Network and LocalOrg. 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15 февраля 2013, 02:08

Bush Was a Total Disaster ... Obama Is WORSE

More Redistribution of Wealth to the Richest Sure, Bush made the rich richer. But Obama has actually redistributed wealth from the middle class to the very richest more than Bush. Specifically, income inequality has increased more under Obama than under Bush. Indeed, inequality in America today is worse than it was in Gilded Age America, modern Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen, many banana republics in Latin America, twice as bad as in ancient Rome  – which was built on slave labor – and worse than experienced by slaves in 1774 colonial America. A new study shows that the richest Americans captured more than 100% of all recent income gains.  As Huffington Post notes: The top 1 percent of households by income captured 121 percent of all income gains between 2009 and 2011, during the first two years of the economic recovery, according to new research by Emmanuel Saez, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley. (Saez is a renowned income inequality expertand winner of the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal, an award that the American Economic Association gives every year to the top economist under age 40.)   How was the top 1 percent able to capture more than all of the recovery’s income gains? They became 11.2 percent richer while the bottom 99 percent got 0.4 percent poorer, when accounting for inflation, according to Saez.   Saez released the updated figures in late January after finding last year that the top 1 percent had captured 93 percent of all income gains in 2010, the first full year of the economic recovery.   Overall, between 1993 and 2011, the top 1 percent’s incomes surged 57.5 percent, while the incomes of the bottom 99 percent grew just 5.8 percent, according to Saez. One of the reasons why the super-rich are becoming much richer and everyone else poorer is that Obama is prosecuting fewer financial crimes than Bush, or his father or Ronald Reagan. And by pointing out that inequality is skyrocketing, we’re not calling for a redistribution of wealth downward.  We’re calling for an end to policies which allow wealth to be concentrated in a few hands. Without the government’s creation of the too big to fail banks (they’ve gotten much bigger under Obama), the Fed’s intervention in interest rates and the markets (most of the quantitative easing has occurred under Obama), and government-created moral hazard emboldening casino-style speculation (there’s now more moral hazard than ever before) … things wouldn’t have gotten nearly as bad. Indeed, crony capitalism has gotten even worse under Obama. We noted in 2011: All of the monetary and economic policy of the last 3 years has helped the wealthiest and penalized everyone else. See this, this and this.   ***   Economist Steve Keen says: “This is the biggest transfer of wealth in history”, as the giant banks have handed their toxic debts from fraudulent activities to the countries and their people. Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz said in 2009 that Geithner’s toxic asset plan “amounts to robbery of the American people”.   And economist Dean Baker said in 2009 that the true purpose of the bank rescue plans is “a massive redistribution of wealth to the bank shareholders and their top executives”. More Trampling of Civil Liberties The Hill reports: A majority of voters believe President Obama has been no better than his immediate predecessor, President George W. Bush, when it comes to balancing national security with the protection of civil liberties, according to a new poll for The Hill.   Thirty-seven percent of voters argue that Obama has been worse than Bush while 15 percent say he has been “about the same.”   ***   The results cannot be fully explained as party line responses. More than one in five self-identified Democrats, 21 percent, assert that the Obama administration has not improved upon Bush’s record. So do 23 percent of liberals. We’ve reported for years that Obama is even more brutal than Bush, and that he’s claimed some tyrannical powers that not only Bush – but even Hitler, Stalin and King George – never claimed. The former head of the National Security Agency’s global digital data gathering program – William Binney – says that he pervasiveness of spying under Obama has only “gotten worse”. Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers than Bush and all other presidents combined. Obama has dramatically escalated the use of drone assassinations, which are creating many more terrorists than they are killing.  Nice job creating more terrorists … you morons. The former chief military prosecutor at Guantanamo says that Obama’s drone surge is as damaging to our country as Bush’s torture program.  I think he’s actually underestimating damage from the program, as drones have become the number 1 recruiting tool for Al Qaeda (especially since children are now being targeted for drone assassination …  Oh, and torture is still happening on Obama’s watch; background). Bush destroyed much of the separation of powers which made our country great.  Under Obama, it's gotten worse.  For example, the agency which decides who should be killed by drone is the same agency which spies on all Americans. While some try to say that at least Obama didn’t start any disastrous wars, Obama has in fact launched wars in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan and up to 35 African nations. And the Obama administration has probably supported even more terrorists – in Libya, Syria and elsewhere – than Bush. See this, this, this, this and this. Even mainstream Democrats who support Obama’s national security policies more or less admit that they are simply falling into a cult of personality. So Bush was a disaster … but Obama is worse. Postscript:  Obama apologists say "at least Obama has created jobs".  But some economists argue that unemployment has actually skyrocketed under Obama (and see this). Given that government policy is ensuring high unemployment levels, that Obama - despite his words - actually doesn't mind high unemployment, that virtually all of the government largesse has  gone to Wall Street instead of Main Street or the average American, and that a “jobless recovery” is a redistribution of wealth from the little guy to the big boys, Obama's actions in the area of employment don't change our conclusion.

13 февраля 2013, 22:11

Marco Rubio Needs to Travel More. Seriously. [Updated and lightly edited.]

Mr. President, I still live in the same working-class neighborhood I grew up in. My neighbors aren’t millionaires. They’re retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. They’re workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills. They’re immigrants, who came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy. -- Marco Rubio, last night. I lifted that quote from a Politico article by Jonathan Martin that went on to say that Rubio left school with more than $100,000 in student-loan debt, which he finished paying off only a few months ago. Presumably, those loans were government-sponsored.  Although maybe at the age of 18, he had some collateral to offer the bank.Rubio’s parents, like so many of his working-class neighbors now, emigrated from Cuba before 2001, when the first of the two sets of Bush tax cuts were passed.  Apparently, he hasn’t checked the federal income tax rates on individuals and corporations when his parents and his neighbors came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy.  Because, best as I can tell, that comment about immigrants from countries where the government dominated the economy was intended as a warning about Obama’s and the congressional Democrats’ plans to have the government dominate the economy.  So I’d like some specifics.  What policies and programs, current and proposed, does he have in mind?  Exactly?  Maybe next time he’s interviewed by some high-profile journalist, he’ll be asked that.  And maybe he’ll answer.  But I doubt it.Anyway, for now, I’m left to speculate that he means raising tax rates to Clinton-era tax levels for people with non-investment incomes above $250,000 a year, and on corporations, and on investment income.  He also might mean Obamacare, but that’s questionable unless he thinks that only people who qualify for Medicare get cancer or other serious illnesses, because he also said this last night: [Medicare] provided my father the care he needed to battle cancer and ultimately die with dignity.  And it pays for the care my mother receives now. But the title of this post suggests that Rubio travel more.  Both within this country and outside of it. First he should visit communities where immigrants from, say, Pakistan and Central America live.  People who came here to escape poverty but whose homeland governments did not, and do not, dominate the economy.*  Then, if he has a passport, he might consider traveling outside the United States.  Maybe to Canada, or Germany, or Sweden, or Holland, or Australia.  Or France. Or, for that matter, Singapore.  Or Taiwan.  Or he could save the plane fare and just use the Internet to check the rates of poverty in those countries, the tax rates there, the social safety nets there, the education systems there, the healthcare systems there. I didn’t watch the Rubio Show last night, so I missed the reaching-for-a-water-bottle-but-wishing-it-were-a-Vodka-bottle-instead moment.  I wish I’d watched, but I didn’t.  So I’m relying on tidbits reported by others.  And Paul Krugman provides one that, unlike the quotes above, have not garnered much attention.  It’s this: This idea – that our problems were caused by a government that was too small – it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies. Krugman points out that numerous studies, as well as observation by, say, ordinary folks, dispel that claim. Specifically, Krugman writes: OK, leave on one side the caricature of Obama, with the usual mirror-image fallacy (we want smaller government, therefore liberals just want bigger government, never mind what it does); there we go with the “Barney Frank did it” story. Deregulation, the explosive growth of virtually unregulated shadow banking, lax lending standards by loan originators who sold their loans off as soon as they were made, had nothing to do with it — it was all the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie, and Freddie. Look, this is one of the most thoroughly researched topics out there, and every piece of the government-did-it thesis has been refuted; see Mike Konczal for a summary. No, the CRA wasn’t responsible for the epidemic of bad lending; no, Fannie and Freddie didn’t cause the housing bubble; no, the “high-risk” loans of the GSEs weren’t remotely as risky as subprime. So I guess I was wrong when I said above that Rubio must have had only tax rates and Obamacare in mind.  He apparently also had finance-industry regulation in mind, too. And on this he was specific. But on this too, I suggest some overseas travel--either physically, or virtually, on the Internet. He'd learn that Spain, Ireland and Iceland must have had a Fannie Mae and a Freddie Mac. Not to mention a Barney Frank. Because those countries’ current and recent fiscal and economic woes were caused entirely by a housing bubbles virtually identical to, or worse than, ours, spurred by Deregulation, the explosive growth of virtually unregulated shadow banking, lax lending standards by loan originators who sold their loans off as soon as they were made. Then Rubio might consider returning to Canada and Germany, physically or virtually, and checking out why those countries had little or no such bubble.  And before he leaves, or after he returns, he should travel to Texas.  Yes, Texas, of all states.  It had almost no housing bubble.  Something to do with government involvement in the economy, i.e., legislation regulating the mortgage industry, post-savings-and-loan debacle, circa 1989.  State government, in this case. What is the national debt of Canada and Germany?  And the poverty levels and standards of living in those countries?  The Politico article, by the way, is called “Marco Rubio as the anti-Romney.”  The title of Krugman’s post indicates disagreement with that assessment. It’s called “Marco Rubio Has Learned Nothing.”  But a majority of Americans, I think, have.  They’ve learned that you can’t judge a book by it’s jacket cover. And that ideology can’t substitute for fact. ----UPDATE:  Oh, dear. As I said, I didn’t watch Rubio last night.  I also haven’t read a transcript of his speech.  And I didn’t know until just now, when I read Jazzbumpa’s post below, that Rubio said that proposals to deal with climate change, including trying to slow its progression, are attempts to have the government “control the weather.”Um.  Yeah.  That’s the idea.  Yikes. Why do I think Chris Christie is the happiest person in America today? ----UPDATE II: I’m getting the strong feeling that there are a lot of people who are downright dumbfounded by that speech last night--that this guy who’s being touted as the Republican savior went on national television and established himself as stunningly stupid. We’re going to elect a global warming denier as president in 2016?  We’re going to elect as president someone who is unaware of such things as financial derivatives, and the role they played in the financial meltdown?  We’re going to elect as president someone who seems not to know that student loans and Medicare are government programs--or at least what it means that they are?  We’re going to elect as president someone who thinks Clinton-era tax rates are a government-dominated economy?I’ll certainly agree that he’s no Romney.  Romney isn’t stupid, by any stretch.  He just pretended to be.  With Rubio, it’s apparently no act. ----*Paragraph edited for clarity. 2/14. (I figured that since this post is getting a decent number of "hits" and Google+ links, it should be edited so that typos and such are corrected.)

13 февраля 2013, 09:00

Pakistan - Towards an integrated national safety net system

The vision of Pakistan's social protection strategy to reach the poor and vulnerable (2007) is 'to develop an integrated and comprehensive social protection system, covering all the population, but especially the poorest and the most vulnerable'. Consistent with this vision, the goals of the strategy are identified as: 1) to support chronically poor households and protect them against destitution, food insecurity, exploitation and social exclusion; 2) to protect poor and vulnerable households from the impacts of adverse shocks to their consumption and well-being that, if not mitigated, would push non poor households into poverty, and poor households into deeper poverty; and 3) to promote investment in human and physical assets, including health, nutrition, and education, by poor households capable of ensuring their resilience in the medium run and of interrupting the intergenerational cycle of poverty. This vision is fully consistent with the World Bank's social protection and labor strategy for 2012-2022, which recognizes that effective social protection and labor policies and programs help create the resilience, equity and access to jobs and opportunities essential to save lives, reduce poverty and promote sustainable growth. The focus of this report is Pakistan's main safety net program: the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), which is only one part of the broader poverty reduction and social protection interventions. In particular, social protection includes labor policy, contributory social insurance, and social care services as well as safety nets. Pakistan's social protection system comprises safety nets, social security and employment promotion and protection.

09 февраля 2013, 19:03

Whitewashing Extrajudicial Killing

John Brennan - image sourceStephen Lendman, ContributorActivist Post Extrajudicial killing is official US policy. Doing so violates fundamental international, constitutional, and US statute laws. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states: Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.Common Article 3 of the four Geneva Conventions states: (T)he passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples" are prohibited at all times under all circumstances with no exceptions. The Constitution's Fifth Amendment states: No person (shall) be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.US statute law (18 USC 1111 - Murder) states: Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought.John Brennan is Obama's Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. He's Obama's chief counterterrorism advisor. He heads the administration's Murder, Inc. agenda. He's Obama's CIA director choice. On February 7, his confirmation hearing was held. More on that below. On February 5, the ACLU, a coalition of other human rights groups and religious organizations addressed Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein (D. CA) and ranking Republican Saxby Chamblis. google_ad_client = "pub-1897954795849722"; /* 468x60, created 6/30/10 */ google_ad_slot = "8230781418"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; Tough probing questions should be asked, they urged. Information on Brennan's role in CIA interrogation, detention, extraordinary rendition, and targeted killings should be gotten. ACLU Legislative Counsel Christopher Anders called Brennan a "Forest Gump of toxic national security policies." He's been involved in "everything from torture to the killing of an American citizen." Senators shouldn't pass judgment "in the dark." They shouldn't confirm Brennan "until all Americans know whether the decisions (he) made at CIA headquarters and in his White House office comply with our laws and uphold basic American values." Brennan's a maestro of murder. He's been involved in gross malfeasance. In late 2008, President-elect Obama rejected him for CIA. Concerns about his earlier complicity with Agency operations eliminated him. Senate Intelligence Committee members have detailed information on Bush administration CIA torture and other lawless practices. Brennan was intimately involved. Senators should probe his dark past. Setting the record straight should be prioritized. Information on his role in helping "develop, carry out, advise on, or implement" lawless policies should be explained. Previous Bush nominations for CIA general counsel and deputy attorney general were withdrawn. Their complicity in CIA lawlessness eliminated them. Senate Intelligence Committee members didn't lay a glove on Brennan. Questions and answers were largely pro forma. Bipartisan complicity supports America's war on terror. It's illegitimate. It's extrajudicial. It's a fabricated hoax. It's done to wage war on humanity. Drone killings are prioritized. They're instruments of state terror. They sanitize killing on the cheap. They murder innocent men, women, children, and infants. They do so extrajudicially. Media scoundrels misreported. The New York Times headlined "Senators Press Brennan About CIA's Drone Strikes," saying: They questioned him on secrecy and legality issues. Brennan was largely noncommittal. His opening statement acknowledged "widespread debate" about administration counterterrorism policies. He strongly defended them. He said America's "at war with Al Qaeda." He defended extrajudicial killings. He claimed they save lives and prevent potential terror attacks. He said "lethal operations are generally the sole responsibility of the executive branch." He called civilian deaths mistakes. He lied. Senators let him get away with it. So did The Times. He left unsaid key information jointly prepared by Stanford University's International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic (SU) and New York University School of Law's Global Justice Clinic (NYU). Its report is titled "Living Under Drones." It said: US drone strike policies cause considerable and under-accounted-for harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians, beyond death and physical injury. Drones hover twenty-four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles, and public spaces without warning. Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities. Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves. These fears have affected behavior.Innocent people are murdered. At most, only 2% of victims are high-level combatants. Evidence suggests US strikes facilitate anti-American recruitment. A "significant rethinking (is) long overdue." Policy makers can't ignore civilian harm and counterproductive impacts much longer. Rule of law principles are violated. State-sanctioned murder is lawless. The Times and other media scoundrels left these issues unaddressed. On February 6, a Washington Post editorial headlined "A time to explain the drone campaign." Ahead of Brennan's hearing, it called Obama's "drone war against al-Qaeda….legal." Disclosing justification for waging it would "strengthen" its "political and diplomatic grounding." Nothing whatever justifies extrajudicial killing. Claiming it admits advocacy for what's impermissible. The Post and other media scoundrels march in lockstep with America's imperium. Doing so exposes their complicity. Senate Intelligence Committee members share guilt. Brennan got off easy. No criticism was voiced. Tough questions were avoided. Confirmation is assured. Obama prioritizes extrajudicial killings. Brennan's been in charge. As CIA head, he'll have direct control. Expect him to take full advantage. Anyone can be targeted anywhere in the world. US citizens are vulnerable. They can be murdered for any reason or none at all. Drones are Washington's weapon of choice. They're instruments of state terror. They operate round-the-clock. They target faceless enemies half a world away or nearby. Rule of law principles aren't considered. Secrecy and accountability go unaddressed. Murder, Inc. operates globally. Brennan's "playbook" developed targeted killing procedures. His "disposition matrix" explains them. Eliminating America's enemies alone matters. Whether real or invented makes no difference. Brennan's a war criminal multiple times over. He should be rejected out of hand. He should be prosecuted for high crimes. Code Pink protesters interrupted his confirmation. They called him a "national security threat," a "traitor to democracy," and "war criminal." Chairwoman Feinstein ordered them forcibly removed. "The witness is entitled to be heard," she said. Ahead of Brennan's hearing, White House press secretary Jay Carney defended targeted killings. Doing so makes him complicit. He called them "legal, ethical and wise." "Sometimes we use remotely piloted aircraft to conduct targeted strikes against specific al-Qaeda terrorists in order to prevent attacks on the United States and to save American lives," he said. "We conduct those strikes because they are necessary to mitigate ongoing actual threats, to stop plots, to prevent future attacks and, again, save American lives. These strikes are legal, they are ethical, and they are wise," he added. A leaked unsigned/undated Justice Department "white paper" titled "Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a US Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qa'ida or An Associated Force" inverted inviolable legal principles. google_ad_client = "ca-pub-1897954795849722"; /* 468x60, created 7/28/12 */ google_ad_slot = "9833874419"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; It said:(t)argeting a member of an enemy force who poses an imminent threat of violent attack to the United States is not unlawful. It is a lawful act of self-defense. The condition that an operational leader present an 'imminent' threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on US persons and interests will take place in the immediate future. On February 12, Senate Intelligence Committee members scheduled a follow-up closed door hearing. Brennan will provide secret testimony. Expect Committee confirmation to follow. It may be unanimous. Full Senate confirmation is assured.Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected] new book is titled How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/Enter Your Email To Receive Our Daily Newsletter Close var fnames = new Array();var ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[1]='FNAME';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[2]='LNAME';ftypes[2]='text';var err_style = ''; try{ err_style = mc_custom_error_style; } catch(e){ err_style = 'margin: 1em 0 0 0; padding: 1em 0.5em 0.5em 0.5em; background: FFEEEE none repeat scroll 0% 0%; font- weight: bold; float: left; z-index: 1; width: 80%; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz- initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; color: FF0000;'; } var mce_jQuery = jQuery.noConflict(); mce_jQuery(document).ready( function($) { var options = { errorClass: 'mce_inline_error', errorElement: 'div', errorStyle: err_style, onkeyup: function(){}, onfocusout:function(){}, onblur:function(){} }; var mce_validator = mce_jQuery("#mc-embedded-subscribe-form").validate(options); options = { url: 'http://activistpost.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe/post-json? u=3ac8bebe085f73ea3503bbda3&id=b0c7fb76bd&c=?', type: 'GET', dataType: 'json', contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8", beforeSubmit: function(){ mce_jQuery('#mce_tmp_error_msg').remove(); mce_jQuery('.datefield','#mc_embed_signup').each( function(){ var txt = 'filled'; var fields = new Array(); var i = 0; mce_jQuery(':text', this).each( function(){ fields[i] = this; i++; }); mce_jQuery(':hidden', this).each( function(){ if ( fields[0].value=='MM' && fields[1].value=='DD' && fields[2].value=='YYYY' ){ this.value = ''; } else if ( fields[0].value=='' && fields [1].value=='' && fields[2].value=='' ){ this.value = ''; } else { this.value = fields[0].value+'/'+fields[1].value+'/'+fields[2].value; } }); }); return mce_validator.form(); }, success: mce_success_cb }; mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').ajaxForm(options); }); function mce_success_cb(resp){ mce_jQuery('#mce-success-response').hide(); mce_jQuery('#mce-error-response').hide(); if (resp.result=="success"){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(resp.msg); mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').each(function(){ this.reset(); }); } else { var index = -1; var msg; try { var parts = resp.msg.split(' - ',2); if (parts[1]==undefined){ msg = resp.msg; } else { i = parseInt(parts[0]); if (i.toString() == parts[0]){ index = parts[0]; msg = parts[1]; } else { index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } } } catch(e){ index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } try{ if (index== -1){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } else { err_id = 'mce_tmp_error_msg'; html = ' '+msg+''; var input_id = '#mc_embed_signup'; var f = mce_jQuery(input_id); if (ftypes[index]=='address'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-addr1'; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else if (ftypes[index]=='date'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-month'; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else { input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]; f = mce_jQuery().parent(input_id).get(0); } if (f){ mce_jQuery(f).append(html); mce_jQuery(input_id).focus(); } else { mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } catch(e){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } BE THE CHANGE! 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04 февраля 2013, 18:55

Hillary Clinton: Profile of Imperial Arrogance and Lawlessness

Hillary Hawk - Anthony Freda ArtStephen Lendman, ContributorActivist Post She was Washington's 67th Secretary of State. She served from January 21, 2009 - February 1, 2013. She's arguably America's worst. From 2001 - 2009, she was US Senator from New York. In 2008, she challenged Obama for the Democrat party's presidential nomination. Supporters urge her to run again in 2016. She's noncommittal. When asked, she says "I am not thinking about anything like that right now." She also said she'll "do everything (she) can to make sure that women compete at the highest levels, not only in the United States but around the world." Husband Bill urges her to run. Some suspect she already made her move. With or without her support, a "Ready for Hillary" political action committee was formed. It's raising money for 2016. Campaigning never ends. America's electoral season is seamless. Hillary for 2016 T-shirts are on sale. Friends of Hillary Facebook send regular messages. When launching her 2008 campaign, she said "I'm in to win." Insiders say she hasn't changed her mind. In 2016, she'll be 69. In December, she scored high in public approval. A Washington Post/ABC News poll showed 57% of Americans support her presidential ambitions. Over 80% of Democrats back her candidacy. Two-thirds of US women do. Two-thirds of Americans give her high marks as America's top diplomat. She scored higher than any previous Secretary of State in 20 years of polling. google_ad_client = "pub-1897954795849722"; /* 468x60, created 6/30/10 */ google_ad_slot = "8230781418"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; In four years, she visited 112 countries. She traveled nearly a million miles. She self-promoted everywhere. She has larger than life ambitions. She's gone from State. She's very much still involved. The New York Times profiled her. She's "at the peak of her influence," it said. She's "an instant presidential front-runner." She's got lots of time to pursue her goal. "We need a new architecture for this new world," she says. Obama exceeded the worst of George Bush. Clinton joined his war cabinet. She's ideologically hardline. She was a Wellesley College Goldwater Girl. She was president of Wellesley's Young Republicans. She's militantly pro-war. In the 1990s, she was very much part of husband Bill's foreign policy team. As an aggressive first lady, she had lots of influence. She was influential in getting Madeleine Albright appointed Secretary of State in 1997. They consulted with each other often. In her memoirs, Albright described their relationship as an "unprecedented partnership." "I was once asked whether it was appropriate for the two of us to work together so closely," she added. "I agreed that it was a departure from tradition." At Secretary of State, Clinton headed foreign policy. She's complicit in crimes of war and against humanity. She represents the worst of imperial arrogance. She a reliable spear-carrier. Her outbursts reflect bullying and bluster, not diplomacy. She's contemptuous of rule of law principles. She scorns democracy. She's committed to war, not peace. She's unabashedly hawkish. As first lady, she urged husband Bill to bomb Belgrade in 1999. She ignored international and constitutional law. She lied about Slobodan Milosevic. "You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time," she said. "What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?" For 78 days, NATO ravaged Yugoslavia. Nearly everything targeted was struck. Massive destruction and disruption followed. An estimated $100 billion in damage was inflicted. A humanitarian disaster resulted. Environmental contamination was extensive. Large numbers were killed, injured or displaced. Two million people lost their livelihoods. Homes and communities were destroyed. Nobel laureate Harold Pinter called NATO's aggression "barbaric (and despicable), another blatant and brutal assertion of US power using NATO as its missile (to consolidate) American domination of Europe." Lawless aggression became humanitarian intervention. An avenue to Eurasia was opened. A permanent US military presence was established. American imperialism claimed another trophy. Clinton's unabashedly pro-war. She's a war goddess. Straightaway post-9/11, she urged waging war on terror. She said any nation lending Al Qaeda "aid and comfort will now face the wrath of our country. I'll stand behind Bush for a long time to come." She supported annual defense (aka war) budgets. She voted for the PATRIOT Act and other police state legislation. She endorsed cluster bomb use in civilian areas and refugee camps. She's against banning land mines. She's dismissive of human suffering. Wealth, power, privilege and dominance alone matter. In 2005, she was one of only six Democrat senators opposed to blocking deployment of untested missile defense systems. They’re first-strike offensive weapons. She supported restriction-free nuclear cooperation with Israel and other US allies violating NPT provisions. She endorsed nuclear weapons use in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She calls them deterrents that "keep the peace." She was one of the largest recipients of defense contractor cash. She backed war on Afghanistan and Iraq. She opposed a Democrat resolution. It would have required Bush to try diplomacy before launching war in 2003. Her 2002 Senate speech supported war. She lied. She said:intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein rebuilt his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members….It is clear that if left unchecked, (he'll) continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security. Now this much is undisputed. What's undisputed were her bald-faced lies. She repeated them ad nauseam as Secretary of State. She supports the worst of Israeli lawlessness. At AIPAC's 2008 convention, she said: The United States stands with Israel now and forever. We have shared interests....shared ideals....common values. I have a bedrock commitment to Israel's security. (Against Islamic extremists), our two nations are fighting a shared threat. I strongly support Israel's right to self-defense (and) believe America should aid in that defense. I am committed to making sure that Israel maintains a military edge to meet increasing threats. The only threats Israel faces are ones it invents. I am deeply concerned about the growing threat in Gaza (and) Hamas' campaign of terror. She lied saying its charter "calls for the destruction of Israel." She lied again saying "Iran threatens to destroy Israel." She lied a third time, saying "I support calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard what it is: a terrorist organization. It is imperative that we get both tough and smart about dealing with Iran before it is too late." She backs "massive retaliation" if Iran attacks Israel. In 2008, presidential aspirant Clinton said: I want the Iranians to know that if I'm president, we will attack Iran. In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them. In other words, she threatened to murder 75 million people. Today it's nearly 80 million. She's extremist on all foreign policy issues. She favors police state harshness domestically. google_ad_client = "ca-pub-1897954795849722"; /* 468x60, created 7/28/12 */ google_ad_slot = "9833874419"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; She endorses outsized military budgets. She's done nothing to contain nuclear proliferation. She supported Bush's unilateral nuclear first-strike option, including against non-nuclear states. She represents the worst of America's dark side. She's a war criminal multiple times over. She's arguably America's most shameless ever Secretary of State. She's clearly the most brazen. Her language and attitude exceed the worst Cold War rhetoric. Her take-no-prisoners thinking, character, and demagoguery tell all. She's addicted to self-aggrandizement and diktat authority. She relishes death, destruction, and war spoils. She's indifferent to human suffering. She's a monument to wrong over right. She's a disgrace and embarrassment to her country, position and humanity. She may become America's 45th president. Perhaps she won't get a chance to try. Humanity may not survives its 44th. The fullness of time will tell.Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected] new book is titled How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/Enter Your Email To Receive Our Daily Newsletter Close var fnames = new Array();var ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[1]='FNAME';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[2]='LNAME';ftypes[2]='text';var err_style = ''; try{ err_style = mc_custom_error_style; } catch(e){ err_style = 'margin: 1em 0 0 0; padding: 1em 0.5em 0.5em 0.5em; background: FFEEEE none repeat scroll 0% 0%; font- weight: bold; float: left; z-index: 1; width: 80%; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz- initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; color: FF0000;'; } var mce_jQuery = jQuery.noConflict(); mce_jQuery(document).ready( function($) { var options = { errorClass: 'mce_inline_error', errorElement: 'div', errorStyle: err_style, onkeyup: function(){}, onfocusout:function(){}, onblur:function(){} }; var mce_validator = mce_jQuery("#mc-embedded-subscribe-form").validate(options); options = { url: 'http://activistpost.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe/post-json? u=3ac8bebe085f73ea3503bbda3&id=b0c7fb76bd&c=?', type: 'GET', dataType: 'json', contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8", beforeSubmit: function(){ mce_jQuery('#mce_tmp_error_msg').remove(); mce_jQuery('.datefield','#mc_embed_signup').each( function(){ var txt = 'filled'; var fields = new Array(); var i = 0; mce_jQuery(':text', this).each( function(){ fields[i] = this; i++; }); mce_jQuery(':hidden', this).each( function(){ if ( fields[0].value=='MM' && fields[1].value=='DD' && fields[2].value=='YYYY' ){ this.value = ''; } else if ( fields[0].value=='' && fields [1].value=='' && fields[2].value=='' ){ this.value = ''; } else { this.value = fields[0].value+'/'+fields[1].value+'/'+fields[2].value; } }); }); return mce_validator.form(); }, success: mce_success_cb }; mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').ajaxForm(options); }); function mce_success_cb(resp){ mce_jQuery('#mce-success-response').hide(); mce_jQuery('#mce-error-response').hide(); if (resp.result=="success"){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(resp.msg); mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').each(function(){ this.reset(); }); } else { var index = -1; var msg; try { var parts = resp.msg.split(' - ',2); if (parts[1]==undefined){ msg = resp.msg; } else { i = parseInt(parts[0]); if (i.toString() == parts[0]){ index = parts[0]; msg = parts[1]; } else { index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } } } catch(e){ index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } try{ if (index== -1){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } else { err_id = 'mce_tmp_error_msg'; html = ' '+msg+''; var input_id = '#mc_embed_signup'; var f = mce_jQuery(input_id); if (ftypes[index]=='address'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-addr1'; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else if (ftypes[index]=='date'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-month'; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else { input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]; f = mce_jQuery().parent(input_id).get(0); } if (f){ mce_jQuery(f).append(html); mce_jQuery(input_id).focus(); } else { mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } catch(e){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } BE THE CHANGE! 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01 февраля 2013, 03:46

Guest Post: The Linchpin Lie: How Global Collapse Will Be Sold To The Masses

Submitted by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market blog, In our modern world there exist certain institutions of power.  Not government committees, alphabet agencies, corporate lobbies, or even standard military organizations; no, these are the mere “middle-men” of power.  The errand boys.  The well paid hitmen of the global mafia.  They are not the strategists or the decision makers.  Instead, I speak of institutions which introduce the newest paradigms.  Who write the propaganda.  Who issue the orders from on high.  I speak of the hubs of elitism which have initiated nearly every policy mechanism of our government for the past several decades.  I am talking about the Council On Foreign Relations, the Tavistock Institute, the Heritage Foundation (a socialist organization posing as conservative), the Bilderberg Group, as well as the corporate foils that they use to enact globalization, such as Monsanto, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, the Carlyle Group, etc. Many of these organizations and corporations operate a revolving door within the U.S. government.  Monsanto has champions, like Donald Rumsfeld who was on the board of directors of its Searle Pharmaceuticals branch, who later went on to help the company force numerous dangerous products including Aspartame through the FDA.  Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have a veritable merry-go-round of corrupt banking agents which are appointed to important White House and Treasury positions on a regular basis REGARDLESS of which party happens to be in office.  Most prominent politicians are all members of the Council on Foreign Relations, an organization which has openly admitted on multiple occasions that their goal is the destruction of U.S. sovereignty and the formation of a “one world government” or “supranational union” (their words, not mine). However, one organization seems to rear its ugly head at the forefront of the most sweeping mass propaganda operations of our time, and has been linked to the creation of the most atrocious military methodologies, including the use of false flag events.  I am of course referring to the Rand Corporation, a California based “think tank” whose influence reaches into nearly every sphere of our society, from politics, to war, to entertainment.  The Rand Corporation deals in what I would call “absolute gray”.  The goal of the group from its very inception was to promote a social atmosphere of moral ambiguity in the name of personal and national priority.  They did this first through the creation of “Rational Choice Theory”; a theory which prescribes that when making any choice, an individual (or government) must act as if balancing costs against benefits to arrive at an action that maximizes personal advantage.  Basically, the ends justify the means, and moral conscience is not a factor to be taken seriously if one wishes to be successful.  Hilariously, rational choice theory has been attacked in the past by pro-socialist (collectivist) critics as “extreme individualism”; a philosophy which gives us license to be as “self serving” as possible while feeling patriotic at the same time.  In reality, the socialists should have been applauding Rand Corporation all along.  What Rand had done through its propaganda war against the American people was to infuse the exact culture of selfishness needed to push the U.S. towards the socialist ideal.  At the onset of any communist or national socialist society (sorry socialists, but they do indeed come from the same collectivist mindset), the masses are first convinced to hand over ultimate power to the establishment in order to safeguard THEMSELVES, not others.  That is to say, the common collectivist man chooses to hand over his freedoms and participate in totalitarianism not because he wants what is best for the world, but because he wants what is best for himself, and he believes servitude to the system will get him what he wants with as little private sacrifice as possible (you know, except for his soul…).  The psychologist Carl Jung notes in his observations of collectivism in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia that most citizens of those nations did not necessarily want the formation of a tyrannical oligarchy, but, they went along with it anyway because they feared for their own comfort and livelihoods.  Many a German supported the Third Reich simply because they did not want to lose a cushy job, or a steady paycheck, or they liked that the “trains ran on time”.  Socialism is by far the most selfish movement in history, despite the fact that they claim to do what they do “for the greater good of the greater number”. Rand also used Rational Choice Theory as a means to remove questions of principle from the debate over social progress.  Rational Choice propaganda commonly presents the target audience with a false conundrum.  A perfect example would be the hardcore propaganda based television show ‘24’ starring Kiefer Sutherland, in which a government “anti-terrorism” agent is faced with a controlled choice scenario in nearly every episode.  This choice almost always ends with the agent being forced to set aside his morals and conscience to torture, kill, and destroy without mercy, or, allow millions of innocents to die if he does not. Of course, the real world does not work this way.  Life is not a chess game.   Avenues to resolution of any crisis are limited only by our imagination and intelligence, not to mention the immense number of choices that could be made to defuse a crisis before it develops.  Yet, Rand would like you to believe that we (and those in government) are required to become monstrous in order to survive.  That we should be willing to forgo conscience and justice now for the promise of peace and tranquility later. This is the age old strategy of Centralization; to remove all choices within a system, by force or manipulation, until the masses think they have nothing left but the choices the elites give them.  It is the bread and butter of elitist institutions like Rand Corporation, and is at the core of the push for globalization. In my studies on the developing economic disaster (or economic recovery depending on who you talk to) I have come across a particular methodology many times which set off my analyst alarm (or spidey-sense, if you will).  This latest methodology, called “Linchpin Theory”, revolves around the work of John Casti, a Ph.D. from USC, “complexity scientist” and “systems theorist”, a Futurist, and most notably, a former employee of Rand Corporation: http://www.viennareview.net/vienna-review-book-reviews/book-reviews/john-casti-an-optimist-of-the-apocalypse Casti introduces his idea of “Linchpin Theory” in his book “X-Events:  The Collapse Of Everything”, and what I found most immediately striking about the idea of “Linchpin Events” was how they offered perfect scapegoat scenarios for catastrophes that are engineered by the establishment.  Linchpin Theory argues that overt social, political, and technological “complexity” is to blame for the most destructive events in modern human history, and it is indeed an enticing suggestion for those who are uneducated and unaware of the behind the scenes mechanics of world events.  Casti would like you to believe that political and social tides are unguided and chaotic; that all is random, and disaster is a product of “chance” trigger events that occur at the height of a malfunctioning and over-complicated system. What he fails to mention, and what he should well know being a member of Rand, is that global events do not evolve in a vacuum.  There have always been those groups who see themselves as the “select”, and who aspire to mold the future to there personal vision of Utopia.  It has been openly admitted in myriad official observations on historical events that such groups have had a direct hand in the advent of particular conflicts.   For instance, Casti would call the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria an “X-event”, or linchpin, leading to the outbreak of WWI, when historical fact recalls that particular crisis was carefully constructed with the specific mind to involve the U.S. Norman Dodd, former director of the Committee to Investigate Tax Exempt Foundations of the U.S. House of Representatives, testified that the Committee was invited to study the minutes of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as part of the Committee's investigation. The Committee stated: "The trustees of the Foundation brought up a single question.  If it is desirable to alter the life of an entire people, is there any means more efficient than war.... They discussed this question... for a year and came up with an answer: There are no known means more efficient than war, assuming the objective is altering the life of an entire people.  That leads them to a question: How do we involve the United States in a war.  This was in 1909." So, long before the advent of Ferdinand’s assassination, plans were being set in motion by globalist interests to draw the U.S. into a large scale conflict in order to “alter the life, or thinking, of the entire culture”.  When a group of people set out to direct thinking and opportunity towards a particular outcome, and the end result is a culmination of that outcome, it is obviously not coincidence, and it is definitely not providence.  It can only be called subversive design.  In the economic arena, one might say that the collapse of Lehman Bros. was the “linchpin” that triggered the landslide in the derivatives market which is still going on to this day.  However, the derivatives market bubble was a carefully constructed house of cards, deliberately created with the help of multiple agencies and institutions.  The private Federal Reserve had to artificially lower interest rates and inject trillions upon trillions into the housing market, the international banks had to invest those trillions into mortgages that they KNEW were toxic and likely never to be repaid.  The Federal Government had to allow those mortgages to then be chopped up into derivatives and resold on the open market.  The ratings agencies had to examine those derivatives and obviously defunct mortgages and then stamp them AAA.  The SEC had to ignore the massive fraud being done in broad daylight while sweeping thousands of formal complaints and whistle blowers under the rug. This was not some “random” event caused by uncontrolled “complexity”.  This was engineered complexity with a devious purpose.  The creation of the derivatives collapse was done with foreknowledge, at least by some.  Goldman Sachs was caught red handed betting against their OWN derivatives instruments!  Meaning they knew exactly what was about to happen in the market they helped build!  This is called Conspiracy… One might attribute Casti’s idea to a sincere belief in chaos, and a lack of insight into the nature of globalism as a brand of religion.  However, in his first and as far as I can tell only interview with Coast To Coast Radio, Casti promotes catastrophic “X-Events” as a “good thing” for humanity, right in line with the Rand Corporation ideology.  Casti, being a futurist and elitist, sees the ideas of the past as obsolete when confronted with the technological advancements of the modern world, and so, describes X-event moments as a kind of evolutionary “kickstart”, knocking us out of our old and barbaric philosophies of living and forcing us, through trial by fire, to adapt to a more streamlined culture.  The linchpin event is, to summarize Casti’s position, a culture’s way of “punishing itself” for settling too comfortably into its own heritage and traditions.  In other words, WE will supposedly be to blame for the next great apocalypse, not the elites…   I might suggest that Casti's attitude seems to be one of general indifference to human suffering in the wake of his "X-Events", and that he would not necessarily be opposed to the deaths of millions if it caused the "advancement" of humanity towards a particular ideology.  His concept of "advancement" and ours are likely very different, though.  I suspect that he is well aware that X-Events are actually tools at the disposal of elitists to generate the "evolution" he so desires, and that evolution includes a collectivist result. With almost every major economy on the globe on the verge of collapse and most now desperately inflating, taxing, or outright stealing in order to hide their situation, with multiple tinderbox environments being facilitated in the Pacific with China, North Korea, and Japan, and in the Middle East and Africa with Egypt, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Mali, etc., there is no doubt that we are living in a linchpin-rich era.  It is inevitable that one or more of these explosive tension points will erupt and cause a chain reaction around the planet.  The linchpin and the chain reaction will become the focus of our epoch, rather than the men who made them possible in the first place. Strangely, Casti’s theory was even recently featured in an episode of the ABC mystery/drama show “Castle”, called “Linchpin” (what else?), in which a writer turned detective uncovers a plot by a “shadow group” to use the research of the innocent Dr. Nelson Blakely (apparently based on Casti) to initiate a collapse of the U.S. economy by assassinating the ten-year-old daughter of a prominent Chinese businessman, triggering a dump of U.S. Treasuries by China and fomenting WWIII: http://www.alterna-tv.com/castle/xevents.htm Now, I think anyone with any sense can see where this is going.  Casti and Rand Corporation are giving us a glimpse into the future of propaganda.  This is what will be written in our children’s history books if the globalists have their way. The fact that Linchpin Theory is featured in a primetime television show at all is a testament to Rand Corporation’s influence in the media.  But, as for the wider picture, are the trigger points around us really just a product of complex coincidence?  Not a chance.  Each major global hot-spot today can easily be linked back to the designs of international corporate and banking interests and the puppet governments they use as messengers.  Casti claims that “X-events” and “linchpins” cannot be accurately predicted, but it would seem that they can certainly be purposely instigated.  The globalists have stretched the whole of the world thin.  They have removed almost every pillar of support from the edifice around us, and like a giant game of Jenga, are waiting for the final piece to be removed, causing the teetering structure to crumble.  Once this calamity occurs, they will call it a random act of fate, or a mathematical inevitability of an overly complex system.  They will say that they are not to blame.  That we were in the midst of “recovery”.  That they could not have seen it coming. Their solution will be predictable.  They will state that in order to avoid such future destruction, the global framework must be “simplified”, and what better way to simplify the world than to end national sovereignty, dissolve all borders, and centralize nation states under a single economic and political ideal?  Is it the Hegelian Dialectic all over again?  Yes.  Is it old hat feudalism and distraction?  Yes.  But, I have to hand it to Casti and Rand Corporation; they certainly have refined the argument for collectivism, centralization, technocracy, slavery, moral relativism, and false-flag dupery down to a near science…

31 января 2013, 18:53

Calling Out The Hypocritical, War-Loving Left

James Corbett, ContributorActivist Post Whatever one thinks of the George W. Bush administration and its historical legacy, there is one fact that is beyond dispute: the war in Iraq galvanized the left in a manner that had not been seen in the streets of America since the era of the Vietnam war. Leading up to the Democrats regaining of the House in the 2006 midterm elections, the calls for Bush’s (and, perhaps even more importantly, Cheney’s) impeachment were echoed across the left-wing blogosphere and spilled out onto the streets. This crusade was led by organizations like Veterans For Peace, Code Pink, and The World Can’t Wait, who used a combination of rallies, resolutions and headline-grabbing photo ops to make the point, sometimes quite literally, that the Bush administration had blood on its hands and must be removed from office. One would have thought, given this fervent anti-war sentiment, that these same groups would be overjoyed that Republican congressmen would be willing to reach across the aisle and submit a resolution to impeach the Commander-in-Chief should he wage another unconstitutional war by committing American forces to the destruction of Syria without so much as authorization from Congress. In fact, just such a move did take place last year, but rather than applaud it, the very same supposedly “anti-war” left that was so active against Bush has done its level best to ignore the very existence of the resolution and silence its advocates.Full transcript and key article links added below... The resolution, known as House Concurrent Resolution 107 or HCR 107, was submitted to the House Judiciary Committee last March by North Carolina Republican Congressman Walter Jones, the same Congressman who sued President Obama for violating the War Powers Act by committing American forces to Libya without congressional approval. google_ad_client = "pub-1897954795849722"; /* 468x60, created 6/30/10 */ google_ad_slot = "8230781418"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; HCR 107 states:It is the sense of Congress that, except in response to an actual or imminent attack against the territory of the United States, the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress violates Congress’s exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution and therefore constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.Last year I had the chance to talk to Congressman Walter Jones about the resolution, its origins, and its importance. Such a resolution, if it had been introduced just a few years ago, would have seemed like manna from heaven for the left. Coming from a Republican, no less, it would have been the focal point for political action in the American anti-war movement. Coming as it did in 2012, however, few have even heard of the resolution. You see, a funny thing happened four years ago. The letter following the President’s name switched from an “R” to a “D” and just like that, the energies and activism of the self-styled “anti-war” left evaporated overnight. Under a Democrat, America could expand the so-called war on terror into Pakistan with impunity, because, after all, Obama is a Democrat and “doing what he must” to protect America from the threat of terror. Under a Democrat, America could develop its drone strike program into a concerted warfare strategy, expanding it into Yemen, Somalia, and doubtless other countries not yet disclosed, and the “anti-war” advocates would fail to denounce it because, after all, he’s the President, and privy to information that we don’t have about emerging threats and hotspots.Under a Democrat, the left is only too happy to look the other way while the President signs into law bills to detain Americans indefinitely without so much as a trial or develops a Presidential kill list that supposedly gives the commander-in-chief the authority to kill anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time, including American citizens, without even having to explain that decision, a power that he has in fact already invoked. To be fair, no one is more baffled or frustrated by this turn of events than those members of the anti-war left who are genuinely anti-war. The ones who do not care what party the president is associated with or what colour his skin is. To these anti-war protesters, the ones who were inspired by the depravity of the Bush-era atrocities to join the activist organizations years ago, Obama is every bit as much a war criminal as Bush was, and every bit as deserving of impeachment. This was expressed most visibly by the membership of Veterans For Peace, a non-profit organization of American veterans dedicated to abolishing war as an instrument of national policy. Last September at their national convention in Portland, the VFP membership passed a resolution by majority vote calling for the organization to officially call for the impeachment of Obama for war crimes. The resolution was closely modeled on a previous VFP call for the impeachment of Bush, outlining the case against Obama from his unconstitutional unauthorized war in Libya to the ongoing war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, concluding:Therefore Be It Resolved that Veterans For Peace call on the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Barack H. Obama for failure to uphold his sworn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America from all enemies foreign and domestic, and for his commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, obstruction of justice and the violation of numerous national and international laws, treaties and conventions.Amazingly, however, even after having been passed by a majority of its membership, the leadership of Veterans For Peace has, according to its own rank-and-file, done its level best to conceal the resolution and downplay the call for impeachment. In an article that has been widely circulated online, Phil Restino, the resolution’s chief proponent and a member of the Central Florida chapter of VFP, outlines how, exactly contrary to the Bush impeachment resolution has failed to promote the resolution or even make copies of it available to the public, and was pestered for over a year to make available a copy of the letter to Congress that they were required to send as a result of the resolution calling for Obama’s impeachment. Last week, Phil Restino joined me on The Corbett Report to talk about Veterans For Peace and its leadership’s total unwillingness to pursue the impeachment of Obama. When all of the facts are weighed, there is simply no other conclusion possible: the liberal “anti-war” left during the Bush years was never “anti-war” at all. They were anti-Republican. Unjust wars, after all, can only ever really be waged by Republican presidents, and the bombs and drones and instruments of warfare acquire magical properties under Democratic administrations where they only fall on the deserving and take the lives of the guilty. google_ad_client = "ca-pub-1897954795849722"; /* 468x60, created 7/28/12 */ google_ad_slot = "9833874419"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; The saddest part of all of this, of course, is that the prospect of impeachment and the chance for repudiation of the bloodthirsty American government is even further from the realm of political reality than it was under Bush. But another sad truth to fall out from this whole affair is that the left’s harshest critics were completely correct, after all: the anti-war movement was never about war after all. In the end, it turns out, the left now has the blood of Obama’s wars on their own hands. The silver lining, if ever there was one, is that as a result of all of this there will be more and more waking up to the complete charade of party politics and realizing that a true, honest anti-war movement will have to be built from scratch, completely outside of the two-party duopoly.Original article link here:http://www.corbettreport.com/calling-out-the-hypocritical-war-loving-left/The Corbett Report is an independent, listener-supported alternative news source. It operates on the principle of open source intelligence and provides podcasts, interviews, articles and videos about breaking news and important issues from 9/11 Truth and false flag terror to the Big Brother police state, eugenics, geopolitics, the central banking fraud and more. The Corbett Report is edited, webmastered, written, produced and hosted by James Corbett. James Corbett has been living and working in Japan since 2004. He started The Corbett Report website in 2007 as an outlet for independent critical analysis of politics, society, history, and economics. var linkwithin_site_id = 557381; linkwithin_text='Related Articles:' Enter Your Email To Receive Our Daily Newsletter Close var fnames = new Array();var ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[1]='FNAME';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[2]='LNAME';ftypes[2]='text';var err_style = ''; try{ err_style = mc_custom_error_style; } catch(e){ err_style = 'margin: 1em 0 0 0; padding: 1em 0.5em 0.5em 0.5em; background: FFEEEE none repeat scroll 0% 0%; font- weight: bold; float: left; z-index: 1; width: 80%; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz- initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; color: FF0000;'; } var mce_jQuery = jQuery.noConflict(); mce_jQuery(document).ready( function($) { var options = { errorClass: 'mce_inline_error', errorElement: 'div', errorStyle: err_style, onkeyup: function(){}, onfocusout:function(){}, onblur:function(){} }; var mce_validator = mce_jQuery("#mc-embedded-subscribe-form").validate(options); options = { url: 'http://activistpost.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe/post-json? u=3ac8bebe085f73ea3503bbda3&id=b0c7fb76bd&c=?', type: 'GET', dataType: 'json', contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8", beforeSubmit: function(){ mce_jQuery('#mce_tmp_error_msg').remove(); mce_jQuery('.datefield','#mc_embed_signup').each( function(){ var txt = 'filled'; var fields = new Array(); var i = 0; mce_jQuery(':text', this).each( function(){ fields[i] = this; i++; }); mce_jQuery(':hidden', this).each( function(){ if ( fields[0].value=='MM' && fields[1].value=='DD' && fields[2].value=='YYYY' ){ this.value = ''; } else if ( fields[0].value=='' && fields [1].value=='' && fields[2].value=='' ){ this.value = ''; } else { this.value = fields[0].value+'/'+fields[1].value+'/'+fields[2].value; } }); }); return mce_validator.form(); }, success: mce_success_cb }; mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').ajaxForm(options); }); function mce_success_cb(resp){ mce_jQuery('#mce-success-response').hide(); mce_jQuery('#mce-error-response').hide(); if (resp.result=="success"){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(resp.msg); mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').each(function(){ this.reset(); }); } else { var index = -1; var msg; try { var parts = resp.msg.split(' - ',2); if (parts[1]==undefined){ msg = resp.msg; } else { i = parseInt(parts[0]); if (i.toString() == parts[0]){ index = parts[0]; msg = parts[1]; } else { index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } } } catch(e){ index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } try{ if (index== -1){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } else { err_id = 'mce_tmp_error_msg'; html = ' '+msg+''; var input_id = '#mc_embed_signup'; var f = mce_jQuery(input_id); if (ftypes[index]=='address'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-addr1'; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else if (ftypes[index]=='date'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-month'; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else { input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]; f = mce_jQuery().parent(input_id).get(0); } if (f){ mce_jQuery(f).append(html); mce_jQuery(input_id).focus(); } else { mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } catch(e){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } BE THE CHANGE! 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31 января 2013, 16:26

How the Elite Will Sell Global Collapse To The Masses

Brandon Smith, ContributorActivist Post In our modern world there exist certain institutions of power. Not government committees, alphabet agencies, corporate lobbies, or even standard military organizations; no, these are the mere “middle-men” of power. The errand boys. The well paid hitmen of the global mafia. They are not the strategists or the decision makers.  Instead, I speak of institutions which introduce the newest paradigms. Who write the propaganda. Who issue the orders from on high. I speak of the hubs of elitism which have initiated nearly every policy mechanism of our government for the past several decades. I am talking about the Council On Foreign Relations, the Tavistock Institute, the Heritage Foundation (a socialist organization posing as conservative), the Bilderberg Group, as well as the corporate foils that they use to enact globalization, such as Monsanto, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, the Carlyle Group, etc.Many of these organizations and corporations operate a revolving door within the U.S. government. Monsanto has champions, like Donald Rumsfeld who was on the board of directors of its Searle Pharmaceuticals branch, who later went on to help the company force numerous dangerous products including Aspartame through the FDA. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have a veritable merry-go-round of corrupt banking agents which are appointed to important White House and Treasury positions on a regular basis REGARDLESS of which party happens to be in office. Most prominent politicians are all members of the Council on Foreign Relations, an organization which has openly admitted on multiple occasions that their goal is the destruction of U.S. sovereignty and the formation of a “one world government” or “supranational union” (their words, not mine). However, one organization seems to rear its ugly head at the forefront of the most sweeping mass propaganda operations of our time, and has been linked to the creation of the most atrocious military methodologies, including the use of false flag events. I am of course referring to the Rand Corporation, a California based “think tank” whose influence reaches into nearly every sphere of our society, from politics, to war, to entertainment. google_ad_client = "pub-1897954795849722"; /* 468x60, created 6/30/10 */ google_ad_slot = "8230781418"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; The Rand Corporation deals in what I would call “absolute gray”. The goal of the group from its very inception was to promote a social atmosphere of moral ambiguity in the name of personal and national priority. They did this first through the creation of “Rational Choice Theory”; a theory which prescribes that when making any choice, an individual (or government) must act as if balancing costs against benefits to arrive at an action that maximizes personal advantage. Basically, the ends justify the means, and moral conscience is not a factor to be taken seriously if one wishes to be successful. Hilariously, rational choice theory has been attacked in the past by pro-socialist (collectivist) critics as “extreme individualism”; a philosophy which gives us license to be as “self serving” as possible while feeling patriotic at the same time. In reality, the socialists should have been applauding Rand Corporation all along. What Rand had done through its propaganda war against the American people was to infuse the exact culture of selfishness needed to push the U.S. towards the socialist ideal. At the onset of any communist or national socialist society (sorry socialists, but they do indeed come from the same collectivist mindset), the masses are first convinced to hand over ultimate power to the establishment in order to safeguard THEMSELVES, not others. That is to say, the common collectivist man chooses to hand over his freedoms and participate in totalitarianism not because he wants what is best for the world, but because he wants what is best for himself, and he believes servitude to the system will get him what he wants with as little private sacrifice as possible (you know, except for his soul…). The psychologist Carl Jung notes in his observations of collectivism in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia that most citizens of those nations did not necessarily want the formation of a tyrannical oligarchy, but, they went along with it anyway because they feared for their own comfort and livelihoods. Many a German supported the Third Reich simply because they did not want to lose a cushy job, or a steady paycheck, or they liked that the “trains ran on time”. Socialism is by far the most selfish movement in history, despite the fact that they claim to do what they do “for the greater good of the greater number”. Rand also used Rational Choice Theory as a means to remove questions of principle from the debate over social progress. Rational Choice propaganda commonly presents the target audience with a false conundrum. A perfect example would be the hardcore propaganda based television show ‘24’ starring Kiefer Sutherland, in which a government “anti-terrorism” agent is faced with a controlled choice scenario in nearly every episode. This choice almost always ends with the agent being forced to set aside his morals and conscience to torture, kill, and destroy without mercy, or, allow millions of innocents to die if he does not. Of course, the real world does not work this way. Life is not a chess game. Avenues to resolution of any crisis are limited only by our imagination and intelligence, not to mention the immense number of choices that could be made to defuse a crisis before it develops. Yet, Rand would like you to believe that we (and those in government) are required to become monstrous in order to survive. That we should be willing to forgo conscience and justice now for the promise of peace and tranquility later. This is the age old strategy of Centralization; to remove all choices within a system, by force or manipulation, until the masses think they have nothing left but the choices the elites give them. It is the bread and butter of elitist institutions like Rand Corporation, and is at the core of the push for globalization. In my studies on the developing economic disaster (or economic recovery depending on who you talk to) I have come across a particular methodology many times which set off my analyst alarm (or spidey-sense, if you will). This latest methodology, called “Linchpin Theory”, revolves around the work of John Casti, a Ph.D. from USC, “complexity scientist” and “systems theorist”, a Futurist, and most notably, a former employee of Rand Corporation:http://www.viennareview.net/vienna-review-book-reviews/book-reviews/john-casti-an-optimist-of-the-apocalypse Casti introduces his idea of “Linchpin Theory” in his book “X-Events: The Collapse Of Everything”, and what I found most immediately striking about the idea of “Linchpin Events” was how they offered perfect scapegoat scenarios for catastrophes that are engineered by the establishment. Linchpin Theory argues that overt social, political, and technological “complexity” is to blame for the most destructive events in modern human history, and it is indeed an enticing suggestion for those who are uneducated and unaware of the behind the scenes mechanics of world events. Casti would like you to believe that political and social tides are unguided and chaotic; that all is random, and disaster is a product of “chance” trigger events that occur at the height of a malfunctioning and over-complicated system. What he fails to mention, and what he should well know being a member of Rand, is that global events do not evolve in a vacuum. There have always been those groups who see themselves as the “select”, and who aspire to mold the future to there personal vision of Utopia. It has been openly admitted in myriad official observations on historical events that such groups have had a direct hand in the advent of particular conflicts. For instance, Casti would call the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria an “X-event”, or linchpin, leading to the outbreak of WWI, when historical fact recalls that particular crisis was carefully constructed with the specific mind to involve the U.S. Norman Dodd, former director of the Committee to Investigate Tax Exempt Foundations of the U.S. House of Representatives, testified that the Committee was invited to study the minutes of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as part of the Committee's investigation. The Committee stated: "The trustees of the Foundation brought up a single question. If it is desirable to alter the life of an entire people, is there any means more efficient than war.... They discussed this question... for a year and came up with an answer: There are no known means more efficient than war, assuming the objective is altering the life of an entire people. That leads them to a question: How do we involve the United States in a war. This was in 1909." So, long before the advent of Ferdinand’s assassination, plans were being set in motion by globalist interests to draw the U.S. into a large scale conflict in order to “alter the life, or thinking, of the entire culture”. When a group of people set out to direct thinking and opportunity towards a particular outcome, and the end result is a culmination of that outcome, it is obviously not coincidence, and it is definitely not providence. It can only be called subversive design. In the economic arena, one might say that the collapse of Lehman Bros. was the “linchpin” that triggered the landslide in the derivatives market which is still going on to this day. However, the derivatives market bubble was a carefully constructed house of cards, deliberately created with the help of multiple agencies and institutions. The private Federal Reserve had to artificially lower interest rates and inject trillions upon trillions into the housing market, the international banks had to invest those trillions into mortgages that they KNEW were toxic and likely never to be repaid. The Federal Government had to allow those mortgages to then be chopped up into derivatives and resold on the open market. The ratings agencies had to examine those derivatives and obviously defunct mortgages and then stamp them AAA. The SEC had to ignore the massive fraud being done in broad daylight while sweeping thousands of formal complaints and whistle blowers under the rug. This was not some “random” event caused by uncontrolled “complexity”. This was engineered complexity with a devious purpose. The creation of the derivatives collapse was done with foreknowledge, at least by some. Goldman Sachs was caught red handed betting against their OWN derivatives instruments! Meaning they knew exactly what was about to happen in the market they helped build! This is called Conspiracy… One might attribute Casti’s idea to a sincere belief in chaos, and a lack of insight into the nature of globalism as a brand of religion. However, in his first and as far as I can tell only interview with Coast To Coast Radio, Casti promotes catastrophic “X-Events” as a “good thing” for humanity, right in line with the Rand Corporation ideology. Casti, being a futurist and elitist, sees the ideas of the past as obsolete when confronted with the technological advancements of the modern world, and so, describes X-event moments as a kind of evolutionary “kickstart”, knocking us out of our old and barbaric philosophies of living and forcing us, through trial by fire, to adapt to a more streamlined culture. The linchpin event is, to summarize Casti’s position, a culture’s way of “punishing itself” for settling too comfortably into its own heritage and traditions. In other words, WE will supposedly be to blame for the next great apocalypse, not the elites… I might suggest that Casti's attitude seems to be one of general indifference to human suffering in the wake of his "X-Events", and that he would not necessarily be opposed to the deaths of millions if it caused the "advancement" of humanity towards a particular ideology. His concept of "advancement" and ours are likely very different, though. I suspect that he is well aware that X-Events are actually tools at the disposal of elitists to generate the "evolution" he so desires, and that evolution includes a collectivist result. With almost every major economy on the globe on the verge of collapse and most now desperately inflating, taxing, or outright stealing in order to hide their situation, with multiple tinderbox environments being facilitated in the Pacific with China, North Korea, and Japan, and in the Middle East and Africa with Egypt, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Mali, etc., there is no doubt that we are living in a linchpin-rich era. It is inevitable that one or more of these explosive tension points will erupt and cause a chain reaction around the planet. The linchpin and the chain reaction will become the focus of our epoch, rather than the men who made them possible in the first place. Strangely, Casti’s theory was even recently featured in an episode of the ABC mystery/drama show “Castle”, called “Linchpin” (what else?), in which a writer turned detective uncovers a plot by a “shadow group” to use the research of the innocent Dr. Nelson Blakely (apparently based on Casti) to initiate a collapse of the U.S. economy by assassinating the ten-year-old daughter of a prominent Chinese businessman, triggering a dump of U.S. Treasuries by China and fomenting WWIII:http://www.alterna-tv.com/castle/xevents.htm Now, I think anyone with any sense can see where this is going. Casti and Rand Corporation are giving us a glimpse into the future of propaganda. This is what will be written in our children’s history books in the globalists have their way. The fact that Linchpin Theory is featured in a primetime television show at all is a testament to Rand Corporation’s influence in the media. But, as for the wider picture, are the trigger points around us really just a product of complex coincidence? Not a chance. Each major global hot-spot today can easily be linked back to the designs of international corporate and banking interests and the puppet governments they use as messengers. Casti claims that “X-events” and “linchpins” cannot be accurately predicted, but it would seem that they can certainly be purposely created. The globalists have stretched the whole of the world thin. They have removed almost every pillar of support from the edifice around us, and like a giant game of Jenga, are waiting for the final piece to be removed, causing the teetering structure to crumble. Once this calamity occurs, they will call it a random act of fate, or a mathematical inevitability of an overly complex system. They will say that they are not to blame. That we were in the midst of “recovery”. That they could not have seen it coming. Their solution will be predictable. They will state that in order to avoid such future destruction, the global framework must be “simplified”, and what better way to simplify the world than to end national sovereignty, dissolve all borders, and centralize nation states under a single economic and political ideal? Is it the Hegelian Dialectic all over again? Yes. Is it old hat feudalism and distraction? Yes. But, I have to hand it to Casti and Rand Corporation; they certainly have refined the argument for collectivism, centralization, technocracy, slavery, moral relativism, and false-flag dupery down to a near science…You can contact Brandon Smith at: [email protected] Join Alt-Market.com today and learn what it means to step away from the system and build something better. 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30 января 2013, 02:08

Don Tapscott: Examining the True Meaning of Davos

(DAVOS, Switzerland) The European skiers have once again checked into the hotels of this small Swiss village, replacing the attendees of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum. One occurrence this week caused me to stand back and reflect more broadly on the meaning of this event and the challenge of improving the state of the world. It came from unexpected source. I received a call from the producers of The Current, the national CBC radio public affairs program, asking me to go on air to debate Aditya Chakrabortty of the Guardian newspaper. He had written an article saying Davos was an elitist gabfest. You can listen to the CBC discussion here. Mr. Chakrabortty argued that Davos is a privileged club of white male billionaires and millionaires who pretend to discuss issues of concern to society; that the real action is away from the public sessions and occurs in many secretive meetings in which capitalists conspire to grow their wealth. The forum "is the most perfect case study of how the practitioners of free-market, globalized capitalism give the public one explanation for what they are doing and why, while privately pursuing the complete opposite," he wrote. I told the host, Anna Maria Tremonti, that it was odd for me to listen to this broadside, as earlier that day I had several incidents that weren't exactly part of his storyline. I ran into Geoff Cape, co-founder of Evergreen, a Toronto-based national charity working to make cities more livable. He was beaming to tell me that Accenture and Cisco had just agreed to become strategic partners. Then I ran into Canada's Marc Kielburger, co-founder of Free the Children, who had made enormous progress getting support for his initiative Me to We. After that I spoke with Juliana Rotich, co-founder of the amazing organization Ushahadi, which is based in Kenya but is enabling social change and human rights projects around around the world. She said she had just met with a Latin American government minister who showed her how they were using Ushahidi to map poverty down to the individual-residence level, in an effort to turn the tide. The CBC discussion was cut short, so I want to complete my thoughts here. But first let me summarize my radio argument about why Chakrabortty was factually wrong writing from his perch in London -- much like someone describing what is happening on the surface of Mars when they're not there. The culture of Davos To begin, it's not just white men in Davos. The Forum pays a lot of attention to diversity and the crowd at Davos reflects that. I don't have the data, but in almost every meeting there are many women and people from every part of the world. There will be a Forum meeting on Latin America this April in Peru, and a meeting focused on Africa in Cape Town this May. They will be followed by Forum meetings in Jordan, Myanmar, China and India. All in all, the Forum organizes meetings in cities and countries around the world. Mr. Chakrabortty is not right about the Forum delegates all being corporate fat cats either. Almost half of the attendees come from NGOs and other civil society organizations, universities, governments and the arts. Even if it were a meeting of business leaders, what's the point of assuming it would be a bad thing? That argument presupposes that all corporations and their leaders are evil. Are there business executives in the financial services industry here who one might disagree with? You bet. That's neither here nor there. There are executives present who make trucks, trains, food, fabrics, office towers, clothes, software, networks and satellites. All of the biggest wealth creators and entrepreneurs of the world are here. There are the people who are trying to create jobs. There are people from hundreds of the hottest startups on the planet -- many of them social innovators. Fully 80 per cent of new jobs come from companies less than 5 years old. Does Mr. Chakrabortty not believe that a market economy is a good idea? Mr. Chakrabortty goes on a diatribe about Sharon Stone being at Davos, which, for starters, wasn't proven. But what's the point anyway? The Forum recognizes good work done by people around the world, and sometimes that will include those in the film industry. This year, Oscar-winning actress and HIV and AIDS campaigner Charlize Theron was given the Forum's Crystal Award. Theron received the award because of her commitment to improving the lives of African youth -- in particular, those suffering from HIV and AIDS, through the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach project. Pakistani Emmy and Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy was another winner. A recent film of hers persuaded politicians in Pakistan to treat acid attacks as an act of terrorism and be punished with prison terms. I don't think it's accurate to describe the Forum as a gabfest designed to help businesses make more money. I attended one of the "private meetings" Mr. Chakrabortty ranted about hosted by the consulting company McKinsey & Company on overcoming youth unemployment. This is a huge problem, with the jobless rate for young people more than 50 percent in Spain and Greece, and close to 25 percent in Sweden. But there are also millions of unfilled jobs. How do we overcome the skills mismatch? McKinsey announced some deep research at the meeting, since there is a complete lack of reliable information on the topic, explaining what could be learned from more successful countries such as Germany. In another meeting hosted a private Ukrainian foundation, educators, policy makers and business people had sessions dealing with higher education, and the potential for massive open online courses, or MOOCs. Representatives from Harvard, Stanford and MIT all came to Davos to discuss the issue. See my article on that extraordinary discussion here. To be sure, business executives have private meetings to discuss new opportunities and partnerships or sell their goods and services. Country leaders meet with business executives to pitch their countries for investments too. But the norm is more like the Forum event I attended yesterday on the "moral economy," where executive after executive discussed practical mechanisms that would force corporations to be more fully responsible members of society. One speaker was Bill George, a former CEO of Medtronic and now a professor at Harvard Business School. He made a strong case that the purpose of a corporation is not simply to make a profit. Rather, society gives a licence to corporations to perform certain functions, including to create employment, innovate and create broader social value to society. After Michael Porter wrote his famous article in the Harvard Business Review that capitalism has to be rethought along "shared value" principles, he immediately headed to the 2011 Davos meeting to promote his concept. He knew he would be talking to thought leaders from around the world. As for the fact that there are cocktail parties? As someone who speaks at 60 conferences a year, I can't remember one cocktail-free. True, some of the private events hosted by unnamed web entrepreneurs might be over the top. But I'm not sure we should all agree that having fun is a bad idea. A curator of communities I find Davos productive for a number of reasons. It's intellectually rewarding; for example, there was a dinner last night with 10 Nobel Prize winners in attendance. And yes, there is great networking. But what drives me, and, I'm guessing, most people, is that the Forum helps me make a difference in the world. If you are a defender of the status quo, you're not going to have a very good time at Davos, because the discussion is a lot about change. Which brings me to my main point of discussion: What is the Forum, and what is its real meaning in terms of improving the state of the world? The Forum began four decades ago as a meeting for European executives to discuss pressing global problems. It evolved into a think tank, researching various issues and convening other events. Today you could think of the organization as a "do tank" that is engendering at least a dozen communities that are researching, discussing and taking action on many global problems. Earlier this week I discussed the Forum's Network of Global Agenda Councils, which were created in 2008. They bring together more than 1,500 of the world's most relevant experts from academia, business, civil society, government and international organizations. The councils are the vehicle for the Forum to achieve its year-round dialogue. Through its Women Leaders and Gender Parity Programme, the Forum is getting high-level leaders to pledge personal and organizational commitments towards gender parity. The goal is to close the economic gender gap through best practice exchange, collaboration and innovation. The Forum also helped form a group known as the Young Global Leaders, which brings together 700 exceptional young people under the age of 40 who share a commitment to shaping the global future. Members come from all around the world, and represent business, government, civil society, arts and culture, academia and media, as well as social entrepreneurs. The group is an independent not-for-profit foundation supervised by the Swiss government. It works closely with the Forum to integrate young leaders into deep interaction with other stakeholders of global society. In a trip to Sao Paulo last year, I met with a number of my young Twitter followers who created a hashtag #coffeewithDon. One of these, 25-year-old Tomás de Lara, was building a successful crowd-sourcing platform to finance social entrepreneurs in Brazil. He asked me about the Forum and I told him about the Global Shapers -- a Forum community of thousands of young leaders under the age of 30 in cities around the world. I arrived at Davos this year to learn that Mr. de Lara was one of the Global Shapers in attendance. We celebrated his success and discussed his plans going forward. The meaning of Davos The key point is that the Forum is really an example of a new model of global problem solving, co-operation and governance. Throughout the 20th century, nation-states cooperated to build global institutions to facilitate joint action and address global problems. Many of these organizations were created in the aftermath of the Second World War. They include the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations, the G8, the World Trade Organization and numerous other organizations based on nation-states. For decades, these large international institutions, including the European Union, have wrestled with some of the world's most intractable problems -the kind of problems that don't fit neatly into departmental pigeonholes. But progress has been slow or non-existent. Just look at the inability of the G8 and G20 to address the global economic crisis; the Doha Development Round of the World Trade Organization; and the Copenhagen and Cancun conferences on climate change. They show that formal international systems for co-operation are failing in achieving world goals of economic growth, climate protection, poverty eradication, conflict avoidance, human security and behaviour based on shared values. Conversely, many of the positive developments happening around the world, such as the struggles for democracy in North Africa, are not being made because of our global systems for co-operation but rather through new networks of citizens, civil society organizations and other stakeholders uniting around a common cause. Today we see a fundamental change emerging regarding how global problems can be solved. New non-state networks of civil society, private-sector, government and individual stakeholders are achieving new forms of co-operation, social change and even the production of global public value. They address every conceivable issue facing humanity, from poverty, human rights, health and the environment, to economic policy, war and even the governance of the Internet itself. Enabled by the digital revolution, these networks are now proliferating across the planet and increasingly having an important impact in solving global problems and enabling global cooperation and governance. Call them global solution networks, of which the World Economic Forum is a prime example. It was a network of governments, private companies, civil society organizations, and individual citizens -- the new four pillars of society -- that organized to solve the crisis in Haiti. Rather than building more massive global bureaucracies, it makes sense to embrace more agile, networked structures enabled by global networks for new kinds of collaboration. As I said in the CBC exchange with Mr. Chakrabortty, people like him throw mud on the windshield of progress. They do a disservice to the hard-working people around the world in organizations like the Forum that are trying to make a difference. To be sure, there are tough issues with all these new networks. To whom are they accountable? They may be inspired, but are they legitimate? Ultimately, these new approaches will be measured by their efficacy -- as the world scrutinizes their actual impact on solving global problems. But if you ask Marc Kielburger, Geoff Cape, Juliana Rotich or Tomás de Lara, they'll tell you that this is, in fact, progress. Don Tapscott is an adjunct professor at the Rotman School of Management and the author of 14 books. He just released a TED book (with Anthony D. Williams) called Radical Openness: Four Unexpected Principles for Success. You can follow him on Twitter @dtapscott. Originally published in TheGlobeandMail.com

29 января 2013, 09:00

Data sheet

The objective of the Additional Financing for the Safety Net Project for Pakistan is to support the expansion and strengthen the administration and performance of the country's safety net with particular focus on the Benazir Income Support Program, or BISP as the national safety net platform. The transition to technology based payments is such that once a beneficiary is moved to a technology based mechanism she will be paid through that mechanism for the duration of her time in the program. As such the requirement in the Financial Agreement, or FA (and on page 30 of the procurement plan, or PP) definition for payments in two consecutive quarters is extraneous and delays fulfillment of the Disbursement Linked Indicators, or DLI. The team agrees with this analysis and supports the change to simplify and align the definitions of DLIs D2 and D3. To bring the FA into alignment with the understanding between the Bank and the GoP the definitions will be changed so that they agree with those on page 27 of the PP.

29 января 2013, 09:00

Main report

The objective of the Additional Financing for the Safety Net Project for Pakistan is to support the expansion and strengthen the administration and performance of the country's safety net with particular focus on the Benazir Income Support Program, or BISP as the national safety net platform. The transition to technology based payments is such that once a beneficiary is moved to a technology based mechanism she will be paid through that mechanism for the duration of her time in the program. As such the requirement in the Financial Agreement, or FA (and on page 30 of the procurement plan, or PP) definition for payments in two consecutive quarters is extraneous and delays fulfillment of the Disbursement Linked Indicators, or DLI. The team agrees with this analysis and supports the change to simplify and align the definitions of DLIs D2 and D3. To bring the FA into alignment with the understanding between the Bank and the GoP the definitions will be changed so that they agree with those on page 27 of the PP.

25 января 2013, 10:07

Bill Gates Says Global Vaccination Program is "God's Work"

Dees Illustration Brandon TurbevilleActivist Post In a recent interview with the London Telegraph, Bill Gates has now claimed that his Foundation’s massive push for vaccination is not just an exercise in philanthropy but that it is, in fact, “God’s work.” Gates, who, according to the Telegraph, is worth an estimated $65 billion, is now dedicating his life to the “eradication of poliomyelitis,” or, at least he is dedicating himself to the vaccination program allegedly aimed at achieving these ends. As reported by the Telegraph, “My wife and I had a long dialogue about how we were going to take the wealth that we’re lucky enough to have and give it back in a way that’s most impactful to the world,” he says. “Both of us worked at Microsoft and saw that if you take innovation and smart people, the ability to measure what’s working, that you can pull together some pretty dramatic things.  “We’re focused on the help of the poorest in the world, which really drives you into vaccination. You can actually take a disease and get rid of it altogether, like we are doing with polio.” Yet, eradicating polio through a massive vaccination program may be easier said than done writes Neil Tweedie of the Telegraph. “There is another, sinister obstacle: the propagation by Islamist groups of the belief that polio vaccination is a front for covert sterilisation and other western evils. Health workers in Pakistan have paid with their lives for involvement in the programme.” google_ad_client = "pub-1897954795849722"; /* 468x60, created 6/30/10 */ google_ad_slot = "8230781418"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; To this question, Gates responded with seemingly atypical religious zeal, noted by Tweedie in the published article. “It’s not going to stop us succeeding,” says Gates. “It does force us to sit down with the Pakistan government to renew their commitments, see what they’re going to do in security and make changes to protect the women who are doing God’s work and getting out to these children and delivering the vaccine.”Indeed, the religious tone of Gates during the course of the interview may seem confusing to Tweedie, but the nature of Gates’ work could very well be described as a religion. Thus, the fact that it finds itself in direct confrontation with another religion – the Islamist groups that Tweedie speaks of – is of no real consequence to Gates as his solution is to dutifully press forward. Yet, before readers write off the vaccine resisters solely as Muslim fundamentalists, many of the individuals opposing vaccination have a very good reason to be skeptical. Especially those that believe Gates’ vaccine push is geared more toward sterilization and population reduction than about life extension and better health conditions. After all, it was Bill Gates himself who stated as much publicly when he said, “The world today has 6.8 billion people... that's headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.” Add this to Gates’ statement is the fact that, time and again, international vaccination programs have ended disastrously for third world nations. Case in point: the recent Meningitis vaccine program that resulted in the paralysis of at least 50 African children and a subsequent cover-up operation by the government of Chad. This large number of adverse events occurred in one small village alone, leaving many to wonder what the rates of side effects might be on an international scale. Even more concerning is the fact that paralysis rates have flourished in countries where Gates’ polio vaccine, the one he is dedicating his life to, have been administered the most. Indeed, nowhere is this any more apparent than in India. As Aaron Dykes writes, But the real story is that while polio has statistically disappeared from India, there has been a huge spike in cases of non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP)– the very types of crippling problems it was hoped would disappear with polio but which have instead flourished from a new cause.  There were 47,500 cases of non-polio paralysis reported in 2011, the same year India was declared “polio-free,” according to Dr. Vashisht and Dr. Puliyel. Further, the available data shows that the incidents tracked back to areas were doses of the polio vaccine were frequently administered. The national rate of NPAFP in India is 25-35 times the international average.  In addition to this data, it appears that the polio vaccines are themselves the leading cause of polio paralysis in India. In relation to the flawed data reported by the Polio Global Eradication Initiative which attempts to minimize the numbers of both vaccine-induced cases of polio paralysis and polio in general, Sayer Ji remarks, According to the Polio Global Eradication Initiative’s own statistics there were 42 cases of wild-type polio (WPV) reported in India in 2010, indicating that vaccine-induced cases of polio paralysis (100-180 annually) outnumber wild-type cases by a factor of 3-4. Even if we put aside the important question of whether or not the PGEI is accurately differentiating between wild and vaccine-associated polio cases in their statistics, we still must ask ourselves: should not the real-world effects of immunization, both good and bad, be included in PGEI’s measurement of success? For the dozens of Indian children who develop vaccine-induced paralysis every year, the PGEI’s recent declaration of India as nearing “polio free” status, is not only disingenuous, but could be considered an attempt to minimize their obvious liability in having transformed polio from a natural disease vector into a man-made (iatrogenic) one. Gates’ polio vaccines have likewise been blamed for deaths and disabilities in neighboring Pakistan, with offices of the government in that country even recommending that the vaccines be suspended. In India, doctors heavily criticized the program not only for the heavy cost to human health and quality of life but also the massive financial burden hoisted upon the state. This is because the program was only partially funded by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, which is itself partnered with the World Health Organization, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, World Bank, and United Nations. The doctors criticized the GAVI-alliance by stating, The Indian government finally had to fund this hugely expensive programme, which cost the country 100 times more than the value of the initial grant,” their report stated. From India’s perspective the exercise has been an extremely costly both in terms of human suffering and in monetary terms. It is tempting to speculate what could have been achieved if the $2.5 billion spent on attempting to eradicate polio, were spent on water and sanitation and routine immunization.  . . . . . the polio eradication programme epitomizes nearly everything that is wrong with donor funded ‘disease specific’ vertical projects at the cost of investments in community-oriented primary health care (horizontal programmes) . . . . .  . . . . .This is a startling reminder of how initial funding and grants from abroad distort local priorities. Indeed, as the doctors assert, one cannot vaccinate away disease like polio. Apart from the fact that there has never been a study conducted which proves a vaccine either safe or effective that was not connected to a drug company or a vaccine maker,[1] the so-called cure, if it comes under the guise of a vaccine, may well be as bad if not worse than the disease itself. Again, Sayer Ji writes, Polio underscores the need for a change in the way we look at so-called "vaccine preventable" diseases as a whole. In most people with a healthy immune system, a poliovirus infection does not even generate symptoms. Only rarely does the infection produce minor symptoms, e.g. sore throat, fever, gastrointestinal disturbances, and influenza-like illness. In only 3% of infections does virus gain entry to the central nervous system, and then, in only 1-5 in 1000 cases does the infection progress to paralytic disease.  Due to the fact that polio spreads through the fecal-oral route (i.e. the virus is transmitted from the stool of an infected person to the mouth of another person through a contaminated object, e.g. utensil) focusing on hygiene, sanitation and proper nutrition (to support innate immunity) is a logical way to prevent transmission in the first place, as well as reducing morbidity associated with an infection when it does occur.  Instead, a large portion of the world's vaccines are given to the Third World as "charity," when the underlying conditions of economic impoverishment, poor nutrition, chemical exposures, and socio-political unrest are never addressed. The fact is that the root cause of diseases like polio are not a lack of vaccination but poor sanitation standards, poverty, lower living standards, chemical pollution, and lack of proper nutrition. If money were spent correcting these ills, as opposed to providing ineffective (in their stated purposes) and dangerous vaccinations, then polio and many other such diseases could indeed be eradicated. In the end, the answer is about raising living standards, reducing pollution, increasing knowledge and access to proper nutrition and clean drinking water – not chemical and virus-laden needles. Perhaps this method could be more accurately described as "God's work."[1] Flu and Flu Vaccines: What’s Coming Through That Needle. Dr. Sherri Tenpenny.Read other articles by Brandon Turbeville here. Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of three books, Codex Alimentarius -- The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, and Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident. Turbeville has published over 190 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville's podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com. 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