28 Feb 2013

Billionaires for Austerity: With Cuts Looming, Wall Street Roots of "Fix the Debt" Campaign Exposed

Democracy NOW!: With $85 billion across-the-board spending cuts, known as "the sequestration," set to take effect this Friday, a new investigation reveals how billionaire investors, such as Peter Peterson, have helped reshape the national debate on the economy, the debt and social spending. Between 2007 and 2011, Peterson personally contributed nearly $500 million to his Peter G. Peterson Foundation to push Congress to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — while providing tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.

The Media Doesn’t Matter Trend: Beppe Grillo Proves It

By Gerald Celente: The spectacular showing by Beppe Grillo’s Movimento 5 Stelle, which just won more votes in Italy’s general election than any other single party, represents a brand new, powerful, double-barreled trend that will reshape the way political campaigns are run and, in so doing, will reshape the future.
The unanticipated results sent a shock wave across Italy and rattled world equity markets. Taking 180 of Parliament’s 630 seats, Grillo’s party amassed enough votes to not only deny front runner Pier Luigi Bersani the clear majority needed to form a working government, it also sent an even louder message to the entire eurozone: Adesso basta – enough is enough!

Faced with the prospect of still-higher taxes and more German-inspired austerity-as-usual, the Five Star Movement’s anti-establishment/anti-austerity populist showing far exceeded the predictions of the media, pollsters and politicians.

The resurgence of the embattled and disgraced media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi was also unanticipated. But his strong showing was less a sign of popular support than the consequence of the mogul’s overt multi-media-vote-buying campaign, promising amnesty for tax evaders and a $5 billion tax refund to property owners.

Trend 1: Media Doesn’t Matter Beppe Grillo, unlike all the other candidates, spurned Italian TV and instead built his personal presence and party strength via a 73-stop barnstorming tour and a brilliantly orchestrated Internet campaign. Nine months ago he was polling only 5 percent nationally. With the largest social media following of any politician in Europe, Grillo’s “head on the Internet, feet on the ground” rise to prominence was generated through his one million Facebook and Twitter friends and followers.

This is the trend of the future!

Australia central-bank documents strip some mystery from currency

Sarah Turner: The Reserve Bank of Australia issued a clutch of documents on Thursday under the Freedom of Information Act in which it gave its opinion on everything from which of the world’s central banks are holders of the Australian currency to whether the Aussie dollar is overvalued.
According to the RBA, neither the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England nor the Bank of Canada have Australian dollars (or in other words, Australian sovereign bonds) in their vaults.
The RBA said it was their “best guess” that none of the above monetary authorities – as well as another 16 central to boot – hold the Australian currency, though they cautioned that “timely, reliable information is quite difficult to come by.”
At the same time, the RBA said another 16 central banks have publicly reported that they hold Australian dollars, while a further 18 “appear to hold Australian dollars.”
In the RBA’s Australian-dollar-holder category were the monetary authorities of Hong Kong, Switzerland, Brazil, the Russian Federation and Sweden. In the “maybe” category were those of China, France, Germany, India and Indonesia. The “unknowns” included Greece, Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain and Egypt.
But the RBA shied away from any definitive statements on who holds its currency now, warning that “any recent changes in reserve composition will not be reflected,” given that the data were collected from central-bank annual reports, “in most cases for 2011.”
Foreign central banks were believed to be buying the Australian dollar for its yield, as the interest rates on the Australian debt that the central banks would hold are often much higher than those of many other countries.

The 5 Stages of Economic Collapse: Financial, Commercial, Political, Social & Cultural – Where is the U.S. Now? + Response

munknee: Having given a lot of thought to both the differences and the similarities between Russia and the U.S. - the one that has collapsed already, and the one that is collapsing as I write this – I feel ready…to define five stages of collapse to serve as mental milestones as we gauge our own collapse-preparedness and see what can be done to improve it. So writes Dmitry Orlov in edited excerpts from his original article* entitled Five Stages of Collapse.

Orlov goes on to say, in part:
…The proposed taxonomy ties each of the five collapse stages to the breaching of a specific level of trust, or faith, in the status quo. Although each stage causes physical, observable changes in the environment, these can be gradual…

The 5 Stages of Collapse

Stage 1: Financial collapse
Faith in “business as usual” is lost. The future is no longer assumed [to] resemble the past in any way that allows risk to be assessed and financial assets to be guaranteed. Financial institutions become insolvent; savings are wiped out, and access to capital is lost.
Stage 2: Commercial collapse
Faith that “the market shall provide” is lost. Money is devalued and/or becomes scarce, commodities are hoarded, import and retail chains break down, and widespread shortages of survival necessities become the norm.
Stage 3: Political collapse
Faith that “the government will take care of you” is lost. As official attempts to mitigate widespread loss of access to commercial sources of survival necessities fail to make a difference, the political establishment loses legitimacy and relevance.

The Vatican crumbles as the clown prince grabs the party hat

By Richard Cottrell: The reigning pope becomes the first in 600 years to hand back the Red Velvet Slippers (“I don’t think we’re in the Vatican any more Toto”). The Lateran State seethes with omens and portents that his successor will be black and call himself Peter the Second, according to the predictions of ancient Irish sage and regular bookies’ favorite.
Even as the cardinals cluster in their crisply pressed crimson party frocks and white pinafores, ready for the solemn conclave and the white smoke, the Holy See resembles the German Democratic Republic in its last, doomed days.
Spies from the Vatican secret police scour the corridors searching for priests performing acts that priests are not supposed to perform. The daily business of the Vatican, it seems, is not so much solemn prayer as having it off on a grand scale, and on a fairly ambidextrous basis at that. Is nothing sacred?
Informants and counter-informants gush to the media that at least half the clergy are homosexuals and the other half are playing straight. The Vatican, it seems, is collectively in heat, whichever way you consider matters.
One ex-Dominican monk claims that almost a majority of the recruits to Catholic seminaries are principally engaged in seeking gay heaven. Another quite senior cleric states that he sees nothing wrong in particular with an endless round of parties at which sex in one form or another is the prize attraction, since ‘everyone in Rome knows about it.’

Nickel -The Next Best Metal To Silver - Chris Duane

Rand Paul’s Third Letter to the CIA: Can You Kill with Drones in the USA?

By Michael Krieger: This letter is a few days old, but is very important for every American to be aware of. Essentially, Rand Paul is threatening to filibuster Barack Obama’s nominee for the CIA, John Brennan, due to his refusal to answer a simple question:
Do you believe that the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial?
This should not be a complicated question to answer, yet it seems Obama, Brennan and pretty much every other little power consumed bureaucrat is incapable of doing so.  Below is Rand Paul’s letter reprinted in full (my emphasis added).
February 20, 2013
John O. Brennan
Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. Brennan,
In consideration of your nomination to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), I have repeatedly requested that you provide answers to several questions clarifying your role in the approval of lethal force against terrorism suspects, particularly those who are U.S. citizens. Your past actions in this regard, as well as your view of the limitations to which you are subject, are of critical importance in assessing your qualifications to lead the CIA. If it is not clear that you will honor the limits placed upon the Executive Branch by the Constitution, then the Senate should not confirm you to lead the CIA.

USA Police State: DHS states electronic devices can be seized at or somewhat near borders for any reason

By Brent Daggett: The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (which could be considered an oxymoron by some), in a two-page executive summary, revealed travelers near the nation’s borders can have their electronic devices seized for any reason.
In 2009, the DHS, one of the responsibilities of which is securing our borders, stated it would conduct a “Civil Liberties Assessment” into its policy of suspicionless search-and-seizures of electronic devices.
While the assessment was originally supposed to be delivered in around 120 days, it actually took three years of waiting before the review was issued.
“We also conclude that imposing a requirement that officers have reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a border search of an electronic device would be operationally harmful without concomitant civil rights/civil liberties benefits,” the executive summary stated.
The suspicionless search-and-seizure policy began in 2008 under the Bush administration.
In that year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an agency under the umbrella of the DHS, declared CBP had the right to search laptops, electronic devices and printed material of any traveler (U.S. citizen or non-citizen) at the border, absent individualized suspicion.”

Taking Away Our Instincts And Intuition

Morris: In the US, the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) is armed to the teeth for a 30 year war, and was issued with pictures of young students for target practice. Who are the evil ones behind all this? A continuous assault on our senses, our health, our minds and souls. Just like they strip a newly recruited soldier into a blank slate to rebuild, they are doing the same to us civilians. We are reduced to corruption! Source

Founded By Geniuses And Run By Idiots - Monty Pelerin's World

mencken2H. L. Mencken correctly observed:
Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent.
Mencken also was prescient:
As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
But this is not about Mr. Mencken. Rather it is about some unknown individual who committed the following to the email world:
idiots(2)Food for thought…
  •  If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without  a license, but not for being in the country illegally … you might live in a  country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.
  • If you have to get your  parents’ permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not  to get an abortion … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run  by idiots.
  • If the only school curriculum allowed to explain how we got  here is evolution, but the government stops a $15 million construction project  to keep a rare spider from evolving to extinction … you might live in a  country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

THE PEOPLE v THE BANKS: Conviction beats Eviction

vigilante33o: For those dealing with the bailiff mafia check out this definitive case law that will protect you.

Equity aids the vigilant, not he who sleeps on his rights...

'Iranians are not going to halt enriching uranium anymore'

Press TV: Tehran and P5+1 group are holding talks in the capital city of Kazakhstan over the country's peaceful nuclear energy program. Meanwhile reports coming out of Washington suggest that the US lawmakers have introduced a bill to the Congress in order to tighten the sanctions against the Iranian nation, enabling 'baby bomber' Obama to "impose financial penalties on foreign companies and entities that provide Iran with goods that are critical to its economy." Source