7 May 2012


nullAs a true and factual statement of how bad off our economy is, and how much Obama and the criminals and BLS in Washington are lying, up to a million people can’t afford to declare bankruptcy. Does that sound like a “recovery” to you? And, of course, even if you can afford to declare bankruptcy, you cannot discharge your student loan debt, the total of which is over $1 trillion dollars.
Americans: Too broke to go bankrupt
By Blake Ellis 
This year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to be too broke to file for bankruptcy. The average cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, the most common form of consumer bankruptcy, is more than $1,500, according to recent research submitted to the National Bureau of Economic Research. As a result, anywhere between 200,000 and one million consumers are estimated to be unable to afford that steep cost this year.
The research, conducted by a group of professors from Columbia University, the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis, examined how bankruptcy filings spiked after people received their tax rebates in previous years. They estimate that another 200,000 consumers, who would otherwise not have enough money to file, will use their tax refunds to pay for bankruptcy this year.

Home Owners Across the Nation Sue All Bank Servicers and Their Offshore Havens; Spire Law Officially Announces Filing of Landmark Lawsuit - USA

Largest International Money Laundering Network in History Formed During Obama Administration; U.S. Banks' Theft of Home Owners' Money Laundered Through Cayman Islands, Isle of Man and Numerous Offshore-Based Affiliates
In a lawsuit alleged to involve the largest money laundering network in United States history, Spire Law Group, LLP -- on behalf of home owners across the Country -- has filed a mass tort action in the Supreme Court of New York, County of Kings. Home owners across the country have sued every major bank servicer and their subsidiaries -- formed in countries known as havens for money laundering such as the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man, Luxembourg and Malaysia -- alleging that while the Obama Administration was publicly encouraging loan modifications for home owners, it was privately ratifying the formation of these shell companies in violation of the United States Patriot Act, and State and Federal law. The case further alleges that through these obscure foreign companies, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo Bank, Citibank, Citigroup, One West Bank, and numerous other federally chartered banks stole hundreds of millions of dollars of home owners' money during the last decade and then laundered it through offshore companies. The complaint, Index No. 500827, was filed by Spire Law Group, LLP, and several of the Firm's affiliates and partners across the United States.

Oh, to be bilingual in the Anglosphere = 5 year intellectual advantage

THERE are many reasons to be grateful for being part of the "Anglosphere". English is the world's lingua franca, the language of science, technology, business, diplomacy and popular culture. That probably explains why it is the world's most widely spoken language.
ICantBelieveItsJustaDip Comment: "if you speak 2 languages you have a brain that is 5 yrs younger than somebody who doesn’t and it is the most effective way of ‘brain training ‘ available"

It probably also explains why native English speakers are so reluctant to learn a second language. It's not worth the effort.
In 2005, the European Commission carried out a survey of the European Union's 25 member states. The two with the lowest rates of bilingualism - defined as being able to hold a conversation in more than one language - were the UK and Ireland. About two-thirds of people in these countries speak only English.
It's a similar story wherever English is spoken as the mother tongue. Only about 25 per cent of US citizens can converse in another language. In Australia the rates are even lower. ... Source

Global Reality: Surplus of Labor, Scarcity of Paid Work "The Doomed Middle Class"

The industries that are increasing productivity do so by eliminating entire industries and entire job categories.
The global economy is facing a structural surplus of labor and a scarcity of paid work.Here is the critical backdrop for the global recession that is unfolding and the stated desire of central banks and states everywhere for "economic growth": most of the so-called "growth" since the 2008 global financial meltdown was funded by sovereign debt and "free money" spun by central banks, not organic growth based on rising earned incomes.
Take away the speculation dependent on "free money" and the global stimulus dependent on massive quantities of fresh debt, and how much "growth" would be left?
What policy makers and pundits dare not admit is that the global economy is entering the "end of paid work" foreseen by Jeremy Rifkin.

UK Consumer Ebook Sales Increase by 366%: Copyright Fascists 'Publishers Association' Calls For Digital Piracy To Be 'Tackled'

from the pesky-facts dept

One of the beloved tropes of the copyright industries is that they are being destroyed by online piracy. Superficially, it's a plausible claim, not least because of the false equation of copyright infringement with "theft", and the lingering suggestion that every time something is shared online, a sale is lost. Of course, as Techdirt's report, "The Sky is Rising", demonstrated from publicly-available figures, the facts are very different: all of the creative industries are thriving.
Here's news from the UK book publishing industry, where things are indeed looking pretty good given the current financial climate:
Consumer e-book sales increased by 366% to £92m [$150 million] in 2011, with sales across all digital formats accounting for 8% of the value of sales of all books, according to the Publishers Association's Statistics Yearbook 2011, published (1st May).
Just as significant is the following comment from the Chief Executive of the UK Publishers Association, Richard Mollet, who is quoted in the above article as saying:
"story of the year is a decline in physical sales almost being compensated for by a strong performance in digital", with the combined sales of digital and physical books decreasing by 2% in 2011 to £3.2bn [$5.2 billion], according to PA data.

Hollande Wants To Bring Home French Troops and End Dollar Era, Will Clash With US - Asia Happy with Mr Normal

Francois Hollande has defeated Nicolas Sarkozy in the French presidential runoff, making him the latest EU leader to be swept aside by the crippling debt crisis. Among the first steps the President-elect is planning, is to push back against German-led austerity measures. Chancellor Angela Merkel has already invited Hollande to Berlin for talks. Asia Times roving correspondent, Pepe Escobar, says clashes over Hollande's foreign policy are expected both in Europe and overseas. Source

“We are Preparing for Massive Civil War,” Says US DHS Informant

In a riveting interview on TruNews Radio, Wednesday, private investigator Doug Hagmann said high-level, reliable sources told him the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing for “massive civil war” in America.
“Folks, we’re getting ready for one massive economic collapse,” Hagmann told TruNews host Rick Wiles. “We have problems . . . The federal government is preparing for civil uprising,” he added, “so every time you hear about troop movements, every time you hear about movements of military equipment, the militarization of the police, the buying of the ammunition, all of this is . . . they (DHS) are preparing for a massive uprising.”
Hagmann goes on to say that his sources tell him the concerns of the DHS stem from a collapse of the U.S. dollar and the hyperinflation a collapse in the value of the world’s primary reserve currency implies to a nation of 311 million Americans, who, for the significant portion of the population, is armed.
Uprisings in Greece is, indeed, a problem, but an uprising of armed Americans becomes a matter of serious national security, a point addressed in a recent report by the Pentagon and highlighted as a vulnerability and threat to the U.S. during war-game exercises at the Department of Defense last year, according to one of the DoD’s war-game participants, Jim Rickards, author of Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis.

Pirate Party Wins Again, Enters Another Parliament


I just came back from the victory party in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany’s northernmost state. The German Piratenpartei has done it again, and entered its third state parliamentWith 8.2% of the votes, the pirates take six out of the 69 seats. This causes problems for the existing coalition in Schleswig-Holstein, as a new constellation is needed. (Germany consists of 16 states, each roughly equivalent in size to a smaller country in Europe.) But more interesting is the German Pirate Party’s now-demonstrated ability to deliver again and again and again. People are starting to expect that the pirate platform is a permanent part of policymaking in Germany. That is certainly a huge change from just six months ago, from before the entry into the Berlin state parliament.

"Just because you are a character doesn't mean that you have character."

At least another 5 Afghan civilians murdered by the US in airstrikes against NW Afghanistan - Update: 'US disregards drones collateral damage'

At least five Afghan civilians have been killed and 15 others have been injured in airstrikes by US forces in Afghanistan's northwestern province of Badghis, Press TV reports. Source

Real Time Greek Government Tracker; Goldman's Bearish Take

By Tyler DurdenWhile clearly dramatic, the outcome of the French presidential election was very much anticipated and at this point the only real question is how many promises will Hollande reneg on before the week is over: if Berlusconi is any indication, all it will take is for OAT yields to spike by 20-30% and all shall be well for the status quo. Greece, on the other hand, where as we said the people have lost everything so are free to do anything, just did more or less that, and have shocked Europe with an outcome which as we warned could result in the lack of a pro-bailout coalition government, which means no IMF aid, which means "no bailout for the Greek people", which means no bailout for European banks under the guise of a Greek DIP loan. And with 63% of precincts reporting, ND + Pasok have 153 as of this moment which is enough for a majority although paradoxically the anti-bailout parties will have among them nearly 60% of the finaly vote which means they could form an anti-bailout coalition if they buried their diferences. Finally, there is still time, so for all those curious if the two Greek parties will be able to form an all important coalition government, can keep track of the vote count in real time at the link above.

Arrested after Assange interview: Bahrain detains top human rights activist

Police in Bahrain have detained the head of the country's Centre for Human Rights - without explanation. Nabeel Rajab, known for his firm opposition to the ruling regime, was arrested - days before an interview with the world's top whistle-blower Julian Assange is due to air on RT.