7 Dec 2011

CrossTalk on Merkozy: Averting Euro Doomsday?

Can European politicians secure a future for the Euro? Will the common currency outlive the political terms of Sarkozy and Merkel? How much pressure will the markets be able to sustain? Are France and Germany's credit rating downgrades only a matter of time? Will the upcoming Friday meeting be another bitter pill for the markets to swallow? Will the Euro reach a point of no return - and if it does, what will be the final blow? Is the Eurozone too big to fail? Source

Nigel Farage on Cameron refusing EU referendum to voters

Nigel Farage gives his damning verdict of the European crisis and David Cameron who refuses to offer the British people a vote on being in or out of the Communist European project. Source

Geologist Informs UK Govt On Climate Change Lies

UK Govt. Public meeting (R14) Re Climate Change Act 30.11.11. Speakers, Chairman Dr Phillip Stott, Prof Ian Plimer, Donna Laframboise, Ruth Lee +Matt Ridley. Source

PETA bugged over bestiality in the military

Did Congress vote last week to indefinitely detain Americans and hold them without charge in military prisons? Absolutely! But don’t worry; the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act didn’t kill all of your freedoms.
In fact, should President Obama sign the legislation into law, Americans in the armed forces will be allowed a few new rights worth celebrating. Just, please — however you chose to consecrate the Act, keep it to yourself.
While text in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 did indeed give the US military the power to — as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) put it — turn America into a “battlefield,” for the men and women serving the United States, they will be able to, under the legislation, engage in both sodomy and bestiality, legally, while protecting America.
Don’t let lawmakers let you think the terrorists have won. American soldiers can have sex with animals now.
The 97-to-3 vote in the Senate last week is causing a few new controversial legislations, but somehow under the radar of many was text that repealed article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. And what does that say? Let’s take a gander:
(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.
(b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
Now repealed, the military cannot find those that commit those acts guilty of any crime. Now all sorts of sex (anal sex, gay sex, oral sex, rooster sex, et cetera) are fine and dandy.
Apparently Uncle Sam is a lot more understanding of your sexual preferences than you thought.
While the arguably more dangerous wording in the Act gives Congress the power to engage military rule over every American citizen without reason, the reinstating of sex acts has understandable already garnered its fair share of opponents as well. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told CNSNews.com that the move is "all about using the military to advance this administration's radical social agenda.”
At the same time, however, Perkins acknowledged that removing the bestiality provision by repealing the act to make sodomy a-okay in the military could have just been “collateral damage.”
Frankly, the whole thing seems like a hairy situation.
“Well, whether it was inadvertent or not, they have also taken out the provision against bestiality,” Perkins adds. “So now, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), there’s nothing there to prosecute bestiality.”
WorldNetDaily reporter Lester Kinsolving asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday this week if Obama was in support of the legislation. The journalist quizzed Carney on whether or not Obama was particularly a proponent of sodomy and bestiality, which the secretary shrugged off and asked reporters for their next question.
In typical PETA fashion, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have since gone after the White House for not taking the matter seriously.
“Our office has been flooded with calls from Americans who are upset that this ban has been repealed — and for good reason,” they say in an official statement. “As we outlined in the attached letter sent yesterday to the secretary of defense, animal abuse does not affect animals only — it is also a matter of public safety, as people who abuse animals very often go on to abuse human beings.”
When the Act went before the Republican-dominated House of Representatives earlier this year, the amendment asking for the appeal of the sex law was absent. Only under a revision from the Democrat-controlled Senate did the legalese get snuck in.
And who said left-wingers don’t know how to party? Source

Government Gone Wild - The US Story of Spending

Summary: Politicians are engaged in reckless, unaccountable, out-of-control, spending. The Story of Spending tells the true story of government gone wild. Source

Bernanke’s Scared… And He Should Be!

Graham Summers
A few months ago, I stated that Ben Bernanke was going to come under increased scrutiny and possibly even face legal trouble based on the fact thatsomeone was going to take the fall for the bailout madness/ theft/ fraud that occurred from 2007-onward.
At the time I wrote:
First off, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has hired a criminal defense attorney… and not just any attorney, but Reid Weingarten… If Blankfein is under investigation and hiring someone of Weingarten’s caliber, a massive legal storm is about to begin on Wall Street. These lawsuits will involve the US Federal Reserve. And when push comes to shove, Blankfein (and other Wall Street executives who broke the law) will be blaming Bernanke and the Fed.
After all, the easiest defense is for Blankfein and his kind to simply say that they were pressured into defrauding investors and the public by Bernanke and the Fed when the financial system imploded in 2008.
Since I wrote this, things have indeed gotten hot for Bernanke. He’s now a verbal punching bag for virtually every GOP Presidential Candidate. And recent revelations by Bloomberg have shown that the Fed made secret bailouts to Wall Street to the tune of several TRILION Dollars.
As a result of this, Bernanke has gone into full-blown damage control mode, staging town-hall meetings and granting the press Q&A session (an unprecedented move), in a clear attempt to make himself appear more accessible and likeable to the public.
Indeed, things have gotten so heated that Bernanke even wrote a letter to policymakers defending the Fed and stating that the media’s [Bloomberg] recent reporting of the Fed’s actions contained “egregious errors.”
The significance of this CANNOT be overstated. This is a man who just a year or two ago was so arrogant of his power that he committed blatant perjury in front of Congress (the famed “debt monetization” lie)… NOW writing a letter to politicians whining about how unfair the media has been regarding his monetary actions.
This is a massive and I mean MASSIVE shift for Bernanke… and it underscores just how much the political environment has changed. Bernanke is politically toxic and he knows it. So expect him and his cronies to be much MUCH more attentive to how their moves appear to the public.
Which makes it all the more UN-likely that he’ll be able to unveil any major new policies/ QE 3 without some kind of systemic issue (a major bank going under, etc) happening first.
Consider the latest Fed move to lower the cost of borrowing US Dollars. First of all, the Fed acted with other central banks to implement this… so it was not the Fed acting alone. Secondly this move didn’t involve throwing the usual hundreds of billions of dollars around. Instead, all it did was lower thecost of borrowing Dollars.
This is a very reactive, more politically palatable move compared to the more aggressive actions of QE 1, QE lite, and QE 2. Indeed, even a brief overview of the Fed’s moves in 2011 show them to be largely symbolic or verbal in nature, especially compared to the Fed’s actions in 2010.
Which brings me back to one of my core themes for the future: that the Fed will NOT be able to act aggressively (if at all) without some systemic issue occurring first. Which means that the market and the bulls are completely misguided in believing the Fed’s about to unveil QE 3 or some major new policy any time soon… if at all.
So if you believe the Fed is coming to save the day for the EU… or the financial system in general… you’re in for a rude surprise. Indeed, if we look at the bond or credit markets, it’s clear we’re into a Crisis far greater than 2008. Forget the stock market rally. Stocks ALWAYS get it last (just like in 2008). And before the smoke clears on this mess we’re going to see sovereign defaults, bank holidays, riots, and more. Original source

Anti NATO aid worker returns from Libya

Viv returned from Libya three days ago,  108morris108 captured some of her thoughts.

UBS' Advice On What To Buy In Case Of Eurozone Breakup: "Precious Metals, Tinned Goods And Small Calibre Weapons"

Tyler Durden's pictureSubmitted by Tyler DurdenThree months ago, Zero Hedge presented the first of many narratives that started the thread of explaining the "unmitigated disaster" that would ensue should the Euro break up, which in the words of authors Stephane Deo and Larry Hatheway, would leads to such mutually assured destruction outcomes as complete bank failure and/or civil war or far worse. Because if there is one thing the banks have learned in the aftermath of Hank Paulson, is that scaremongering when bonuses are at stake is the only to get taxpayer money to fund exorbitant lifestyles. Unfortunately since the first UBS report, despite the best intentions of the status quo, the Eurozone's plight has only gotten far, far worse, reaching a Lehman-like crescendo when the house of cards threatened to collapse if not for a last minute Fed rescue. However, as Deutsche Bank and every other bank knows well, that measure was merely a short-term fix.

Today, Larry Hataway has released yet another sequel to the original piece, focusing on this so very critical week for Europe, which as Olli Rehn said, must find a solution by Friday or see the EU "disintegrate", in which the vivid imagery, loud warnings and level of destruction are even greater than before. In other words, Europe has 4 more days, something which S&P tried it best to remind Europe of, as the alternative is "or else." And here comes UBS to remind everyone that anything but a "fix" to a system that was broken from the very beginning, would be a catastrophe, captured probably the best in Hatheway's recommendations of assets to be bought as a hedge to a Euro collapse: "I suppose there might be some assets worthy of consideration—precious metals, for example. But other metals would make wise investments, too. Among them tinned goods and small calibre weapons." But even that is nothing compared to the kicker: "Break-up runs the risk of becoming one wretched scenario. Sadly, however, it can’t be ruled out, just as it would have been improper to rule out the horrors of the first half of the 20th century before they happened." And there you have it: a reversion by Europe to the perfectly stable system from a decade ago, is now somehow supposed to result in World War. And with that the global banking cartel has official jumped the shark, just like the FT's latest rumor earlier today did the same by indicating that the well of European "bailout" ideas has officially run dry.

Here is how Hatheway frames the end of the world:

The unfolding Eurozone crisis is not something to be taken lightly. The consequences of policy action are material, not just for the 330-odd million residents of the Euro area, but assuredly for the world economy and financial system as well.

This week, Europe’s heads of state gather again to see if they can finally get on top of the problem. The challenges confronting the Eurozone are complex and defy easy solution. Sadly, that hasn’t prevented some observers from proposing some silly ideas. Indeed, it is distressing to see how many misconceived ‘remedies’ are put forward by seemingly reasonable people. In what follows we review some of the odder ones and explain why they don’t make sense.

Thierry Meyssan Reporting from Syria

Thierry from http://www.voltairenet.org/en brings us up to date from Syria - We hope he will be making regular contributions. Source

American police: To serve and protect (the 1%)

The ongoing anti-greed Occupy protests have seen too many instances of police using brutal tactics against demonstrators. Some says the US is militarizing its police force and squashing the very freedoms it is so keen to preach internationally.

In recent months, US police officers have made an enemy out of those citizens using their freedom of speech to protest against corporate greed and corrupt politics, reports RT’s Marina Portnaya.
Today’s breed of law enforcers are dressed in riot gear and armed with heavy weaponry, body armor, flash bangs, tear gas, and potentially lethal projectiles. As tens of thousands of Americans assemble, cops have been accused of creating confrontation, not defusing it. Some veterans of the force can’t help but resent the situation.
“It’s a travesty of democracy, the way the police are totally suppressing the people’s right to assemble and to protest. I joined the force to protect people’s rights to assemble and protest, not to squash them,” said Ray Lewis, retired Philadelphia police captain.
And America’s military veterans have a similar opinion.

“There is no honor in this! If you want to go fight, go to Iraq and Afghanistan!” 
shouted US Marine Sergeant and Iraq veteran Shamar Thomas as he rebuked policemen for targeting Occupy New York protesters.
In Oakland, war veteran Scott Olsen, who survived two tours in Iraq, was seriously injured by local police officers using flash grenade canisters against Occupy protesters. The 24-year-old was hospitalized with serious head injuries.
In Seattle, the oldest victim of the police-turned-paramilitary was an 84-year-old activist temporarily blinded by pepper spray.
The United States, which bills itself the pillar of international law and democratic freedoms, has consistently placed itself on the world stage as a self-appointed beacon of moral authority.
But while lecturing Iran or Libya on how they should deal with their protests, the American government does not seem to meet the same standard at home. Today, the very people employed to protect Americans leave thousands with bruised bodies, eyes burned with pepper spray, locked behind bars, tasting their own blood.
As dissent in the US grows louder, many say Washington’s glass house of hypocrisy has shown beautiful symmetry.
"They want people to be able to have freedom of speech but they don't want that freedom to interfere with them in any way. To be in any way disruptive or challenging to them,” believes Alex Vitale, Associate Sociology Professor at Brooklyn College.
The line that traditionally separated us soldiers from civilian law enforcement has arguably been erased, and replaced by what is being dubbed the American militarization of police tactics – tactics that reflect cracks in the founding principles of American democracy and human rights. Incidentally, the same principals the US continues to lecture all other countries about.

Capital Account: Stephen Leeb on Rising Commodity Prices and Outlook for Global Economy

Iran has issued a warning amidst rising tensions between itself, israel and the united states, that if sanctions are leveled against the persian nation, that oil would reach $250 a gallon. This is something that Wendy Sherman, undersecretary of state, warned about when harsh sanctions were passed by the senate last week. She said "there is absolutely a risk that in fact the pre ice of oil would go up, which would mean that iran would in fact have more money to fuel its nuclear ambitions, not less." Is this an example of wrong-headed thinking by the US and the West? What good will this do if china is still buying iranian oil? We ask economist stephen leeb what the effect of sanctions would be on the price of oil, and if this would actually work in Iran's favor. We also ask Dr. Leeb to comment on the similarities, or rather the differences, between the 1970's commodities and price inflation, and what we are facing in this decade. Will we see wage inflation, or will prices just increase for consumers, but stagnate for workers? Of course, this all assumes that global growth will continue, but what about the possibility of a global slowdown, particularly a slowdown in China? If China slows down, what effect will this have on commodities? Stephen Leeb argues that, although a hard landing
in china would cause a drop in commodity prices, that this is not on the horizon. Lastly, we ask Stephen Leeb to comment on the events taking place in Europe, and what effect these could have on the US and Global economy. Will Germany stay in the Euro, and will the Eurozone survive in its current form? Source

Marc Faber: "I Have A Very Special Stock Tip For You. The Symbol Is G-O-L-D"

Tyler Durden's picture

It has been a while since the Marc Faber graced this Zero Hedge. It is time to remedy it. Providing his traditional dose of snark, tragedy and realism, the Gloom, Boom and Doom report author spoke to Bloomberg TV, and when asked what his outlook for the euro is, dispensed the following pearl: "I have a very special stock tip for you. The symbol is g-o-l-d. That is what I prefer to hold. Both the euro and the dollar are long-term undesirable currencies, especially given zero interest rates in the U.S. Equities to some extent become like cash because they become a store of value compared to cash at a zero interest-rates. Paintings become a store of value, stamps become a store of value." Needless to say, this is the kind of response that will get him banned from CNBC for life when Bartiromo breathlessly asks him, "ok, you think the world is ending, so what five stocks would you buy." As for his latest report, "It's actually quite gloomy but if you're very gloomy what do you invest in: Treasuries, Italian bonds or commodities or equities?  I happen to think U.S. equities are not terribly expensive, so relatively speaking to other assets, they may for a while actually do quite well." Considering the ridiculousness of the market over the past two weeks when it has gone up on nothing but lies, Faber just may have a point. Source/full story

Kabul blast video: First seconds after Shiite holiday attack

At least 45 people including children were killed in the huge blast at the entrance to a riverside shrine in central Kabul, where hundreds of singing Shiite Muslims had gathered to mark Ashura.  Source
Angelo: This is shocking video and worse is the very high likelihood that we in the west are sponsoring it directly of otherwise, as it transpires that it is just as likely the result of Israel, USA or our own UK secret services as we build a picture of our secret services infiltrating foreign countries and even sniper executing random civilians in efforts to destabilise regions in a clandestine manner. The point is "They came for x and y and we said nothing", we desire to be kettled and raped and by the looks of the above, we are getting off easy. We should hang our heads in shame at the state of the world. 

Anxious Greeks Emptying Their Bank Accounts

By Ferry Batzoglou in Athens
Many Greeks are draining their savings accounts because they are out of work, face rising taxes or are afraid the country will be forced to leave the euro zone. By withdrawing money, they are forcing banks to scale back their lending -- and are inadvertently making the recession even worse.

Georgios Provopoulos, the governor of the central bank of Greece, is a man of statistics, and they speak a clear language. "In September and October, savings and time deposits fell by a further 13 to 14 billion euros. In the first 10 days of November the decline continued on a large scale," he recently told the economic affairs committee of the Greek parliament.
With disarming honesty, the central banker explained to the lawmakers why the Greek economy isn't managing to recover from a recession that has gone on for three years now: "Our banking system lacks the scope to finance growth."
He means that the outflow of funds from Greek bank accounts has been accelerating rapidly. At the start of 2010, savings and time deposits held by private households in Greece totalled €237.7 billion -- by the end of 2011, they had fallen by €49 billion. Since then, the decline has been gaining momentum. Savings fell by a further €5.4 billion in September and by an estimated €8.5 billion in October -- the biggest monthly outflow of funds since the start of the debt crisis in late 2009.
The raid on bank accounts stems from deep uncertainty in Greek households which culminated in early November during the political turmoil that followed the announcement by then-Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou of a referendum on the second Greek bailout package.
Papandreou withdrew the plan and stepped down following an outcry among other European leaders against the referendum, and a new government was formed on Nov. 11 under former central banker Loukas Papademos. That appears to have slowed the drop in bank savings, at least for the time being.
Bank Withdrawals Worsening Crisis
Nevertheless, the Greeks today only have €170 billion in savings -- almost 30 percent less than at the start of 2010.
The hemorrhaging of bank savings has had a disastrous impact on the economy. Many companies have had to tap into their reserves during the recession because banks have become more reluctant to lend. More Greek families are now living off their savings because they have lost their jobs or have had their salaries or pensions cut.
In August, unemployment reached 18.4 percent. Many Greeks now hoard their savings in their homes because they are worried the banking system may collapse.
Those who can are trying to shift their funds abroad. The Greek central bank estimates that around a fifth of the deposits withdrawn have been moved out of the country. "There is a lot of uncertainty," says Panagiotis Nikoloudis, president of the National Agency for Combating Money Laundering.
The banks are exploiting that insecurity. "They are asking their customers whether they wouldn't rather invest their money in Liechtenstein, Switzerland or Germany."
Nikoloudis has detected a further trend. At first, it was just a few people trying to withdraw large sums of money. Now it's large numbers of people moving small sums. Ypatia K., a 55-year-old bank worker from Athens, can confirm that. "The customers, especially small savers, have recently been withdrawing sums of €3,000, €4,000 or €5,000. That was panic," she said.
Marina S., a 74-year-old widow from Athens, said she has to be extra careful with money these days. "I have no choice but to withdraw money from my savings," she said.
Bad Loans
The shrinking Greek bank deposits compare with bank loans totalling €253 million. Analysts say the share of bad loans could rise to 20 percent next year, or €50 billion, as a result of the recession. This in turn will worsen the already pressing liquidity problems faced by Greek banks.
Nikos B., a doctor in the Greek military, has had enough of the never-ending crisis his country is going through. While the 31-year-old has a secure job, repeated salary cuts have made it increasingly hard for him to make ends meet.
He needs most of his money to make loan repayments for a small car. "How can I clear my account? There's hardly anything in it," he says. He started learning German two months ago and wants to leave Greece. "As soon as possible!"
Nikos pauses and looks down. He quietly utters words that must be painful for a proud Greek. "It would be best to change nationality." Source

Using The Opposition To Get Your Way

The Hegelian Dialectic is a philosophical approach that in principle explains how human beings progress toward a better and more egalitarian condition but in practice provides the power elite with a strategy for controlling society. Source