21 Dec 2012

BBC SCANDAL: What we need is some Roundhead use of public money

The Slog: Our MPs eh, doncha love ‘em? Having survived one expenses scandal only to immediately start laying the groundwork for another one, the BBC’s decision to pay off the DG last month over the Jimmy Savile scandal fallout is condemned by these puritanical fiddlers as ‘a cavalier use of public money’.
The Beeb’s shortest-ever lived DG got a sizeable sum, no doubt: but his public humiliation because of the idiotic, slapdash actions of one small part of his organisation mean (a) he was the Patsy and (b) he will never work again in broadcasting because (c) a scheming Peer decided to turn nasty.
All blame, no responsibility, less than zero spine. The correct thing for our legislators to do would’ve been to condemn utterly the £185,000 paid out to a man who felt wronged but had a weak case. But our MPs don’t want to do that, because they don’t like the BBC. Labour has never forgiven them for questioning Iraq policy, and the Tories would rather have Murdoch in their stead. Our MPs would rather applaud lachrymose tripe about one Peer’s as yet unproven reputation for spotless honesty, while covering up the abuse meted out to vulnerable children. They would rather drivel on about austerity and cutting the deficit,  than jail and then tear apart the criminal bankers and institutions that doubled it. They would rather ignore the civil service embezzlement of pension rights that doubled the National Debt than take on the feather-bedded sociopaths in Whitehall and Town Hall.

'Truth power of Iran media scares US'

A Beirut-based political analyst tells Press TV Hispasat's decision to take Iran's Press TV and Hispan TV off the air indicates that the United States and the European countries are fed up with Iranian channels' truth-telling to the people of the world.

Monti. Out. Italy's Bankster Technocrat steps down

Tyler Durden's picture The rumors have been flying around all morning, but now it's news...
Italian credit spreads leaked wider all morning and EURUSD lower though the correlation to losing a technocrat is perhaps a stretch. And so the great "Mark-to-Monti" Goldman rotation (as described previously) is complete, with Goldman losing a technocratic scribe, who is no longer needed thanks to yet another Goldmanite now in charge of the ECB, but far more importantly, Goldman has now gained control over that most prized of central planner jewels: the Bank of England.

The Upside of the U.S. Fiscal Cliff

Charles Hugh Smith: Facing reality is positive. That's the upside to the fiscal cliff. 
There are two definite upsides to the fiscal cliff:

1. We are finally starting a national discussion of spending-taxation trade-offs

2. We are at last starting to (grudgingly) accept there is no free lunch, what I call the Free Lunch Fantasy of limitless borrowing at near-zero interest rates: taxes for upper-income wage-earners will revert to previous levels while those drawing Federal dollars must accept reductions in spending.

The last decade's fantasy that we could borrow our way to prosperity while lowering taxes on upper-income earners (because it's so cheap to borrow trillions at near-zero interest rates) is finally running into reality-based resistance: interest on all that debt is starting to squeeze the spending everyone wants, and long-term rates might rise despite the Federal Reserve's constant intervention.

That would eventually raise interest costs paid by the Federal government.

How can interest rates rise if the Fed is buying much of the Federal Debt?

The first part of the answer is to accept the fiscal consequences of the Baby Boom entering Social Security and Medicare at the rate of 10,000 retirees a day: Federal spending will rise far faster than tax revenues, dwarfing the relatively minor spending cuts being discussed.

The Interconnective Web of Global Debt - azizonomics

It’s very big:

Andrew Haldane:
Interconnected networks exhibit a knife-edge, or tipping point, property. Within a certain range, connections serve as a shock-absorber. The system acts as a mutual insurance device with disturbances dispersed and dissipated. But beyond a certain range, the system can tip the wrong side of the knife-edge. Interconnections serve as shock-ampli ers, not dampeners, as losses cascade.The system acts not as a mutual insurance device but as a mutual incendiary device.
A mutual incendiary device sounds about right. Source

Tall Paul On The Fed’s Fall

Trade with Dave: Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker explains the impact of a new “old fashionedgold standard on the price of gold and the effectiveness, or lack thereof of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy in this new video.
Volcker at the 49 minute mark:
If a gold standard is going to be effective, you’ve got to fix the price of gold and you’ve got to really stick to it.”  Volcker continues, To get on a gold standard technically now, an old fashioned gold standard, and you had to replace all the dollars out there in foreign hands with gold, God the price, you buy gold, because the price of gold would have to be enormous (atlas-sized touchdown hand signal).”  Volcker goes on to say “Who thinks that would be maintained?” (scoff).  
Volcker continuing from the 50 minute mark:
The straightforward central banking measures have lost their effectiveness. They have gone as far as they could go.”  Source

The full video from NYU:

What is TYLER? Anonymous reveals details of its own 'WikiLeaks' project

RT: The hacktivist collective Anonymous will reportedly launch TYLER – a 'secure, no cost and decentralized' online leaks release platform to circumvent problems inherent in WikiLeaks - on the day many (and Mayans) believe to be the end of the world.
One of the group’s members, who specified that he is representing the collective, spoke about the TYLER project and the rift with WikiLeaks in an email interview with the Voice of Russia.
According to unnamed hacker, the conflict between Anonymous and Julian Assange’s whistleblowing site revolves around the coercive fund raising techniques and a lack of transparency regarding WikiLeaks finances.
Previously, Anonymous has been a longtime advocate of WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, vocally supporting the website’s mission of sharing secret data, news leaks, and classified information with the public.
However, information recently posted by Anonymous on AnonPaste.me says WikiLeaks "has chosen to dishonor and insult Anonymous and all information activists" by requiring payment to view documents it previously made available for free.
But Anonymous is not a structured group with a defined leader – and the identity of the people behind the posts slamming WikiLeaks for asking for donations and various Twitter usernames remains unclear. The uncertainty has left many wondering whether these opinions represent the group as a whole, or just a few scattered members.
The hacktivists, claims the person who spoke to the Voice of Russia, see it as an ethical violation – and have responded by saying they may reveal information about WikiLeaks itself.
“What we would like to see released – either legitimately or leaked to Anonymous by a WikiLeaks insider – is the WikiLeaks financial records.

'End of the road' for ACTA in Europe as EC withdraws court appeal over treaty

A protester wearing Guy Fawkes mask, takes part in a demonstration in Stockholm.(AFP Photo / Fredrik Persson)
RT: The European Commission has withdrawn its request to review ACTA’s compatibility with the EU law in the European Court of Justice. The move virtually ensures the treaty will never be adopted in the Union.
­The European Comission’s move was reported by MEPs from the Socialists and Democrats alliance.
"I welcome this news from the Commission today,” said S&D Euro MP David Martin, the author of the parliamentary report on ACTA, as cited by The Register. “The EU cannot be party to an agreement without European Parliament ratification. MEPs overwhelmingly rejected ACTA in July and I am pleased that the Commission has acknowledged this is the end of the road for ACTA in the EU thanks to the Parliament."
The European Commission made the appeal to the court in July, after ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) had received a knockout blow from the European Parliament. At the time MEPs roundly rejected the treaty with 478 votes against, and only 39 in favour.
Even before that, in February this year the adoption of ACTA was suspended due to mass protests against it, with critics slamming the agreement for its breaches of human rights, that it would protect copyright at the expense of freedom of speech on the Internet.

Assange: WikiLeaks to release over a million new docs in 2013

RT: Despite all the difficulties the WikiLeaks faced in 2012, Julian Assange vowed to publish some 1,000,000 new documents in the coming year. In his Christmas speech he called for people to continue fighting for democracy “from Tahrir to London.”
­WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared on the balcony of London’s Ecuadorian embassy at 19:00 GMT welcoming the cheering crowd in the street.
The whistleblower, who took shelter there in June, said he was very grateful to people who provided him refuge and supported WikiLeaks and recalled the names of those who were “unlike him in prison tonight.”
"My freedom is limited, but I am at least able to communicate. Unlike Gottfrid Svartholm, Jeremy Hammond, Nabeel Rajab, Bradley Manning," Assange said.
WikiLeaks already has over a million documents nearly ready for release – documents that affect every country in the world,” according to Assange.
Every country in this world!” he reiterated, trying to speak over the crowd of cheering supporters.



Gun Grabbers Call For Re-Education Programs In Public Schools

Brandon Smith: Was the shooting of 20 students in Newtown, Connecticut the Neo-Liberal version of 9/11?  The question merits considerable thought, but let me explain further what I mean.  In the aftermath of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, a sense of shock and awe sunk into the minds of the American populace like nothing seen in decades.   This overwhelming fear, this logic crippling terror, infected the public to more destructive ends than any deadly virus in existence.  Conservatives were especially vulnerable to the infectious symptoms of the event, abandoning all reason and even their small government values to support the fascist inklings of the Bush Administration; a Neo-Con (fake conservative) driven presidency with ambitions of constitutional reversal.  Whatever you may believe about the true causes and culprits behind 9/11, no one can deny that Bush and his ilk sought to exploit the tragedy to gain political capital to be used in the destruction of American civil liberties.

More than a decade later, the Neo-Liberal (fake liberal) Obama Administration and its minions continue the Bush legacy by exploiting our latest tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary as a means to an end; a political opportunity to assert federal authority as more valuable than constitutional freedom.

Human Rights Watch says Israeli attacks on Palestinian media were unlawful

By Madison Ruppert: In a newly released report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) states that the four Israeli attacks on media facilities and journalists in Palestine during the fighting in November 2012 were violations of the laws of war.
The Israeli attacks led to the deaths of many Palestinian civilians, including an entire family. However, this HRW report focused on the attacks on media facilities which they say were making no apparent contribution to Palestinian military operations.”
Unsurprisingly, that perspective was thoroughly opposed by Israeli officials who claimed that the media facilities were indeed military command centers.
The Israeli government asserted that each of the four attacks was on a legitimate military target but provided no specific information to support its claims,” notes HRW.
However, after interviewing witnesses and examining the sites of the attacks, HRW was unable to find any indication that the media offices were valid military objectives.
The attacks resulted in the deaths of two Palestinian cameramen while wounding at least 10 other media workers. The attacks also severely damaged four media offices and the offices of four other private companies as well.
One of the attacks killed a two-year-old boy who lived across the street from a targeted building,”