Photo by David Entrikin
A well know and well loved NW Indian artist was shot in the street last week by a 27 year old police officer. Below are two articles telling the story the first is from the Seattle Stranger a “alt culture” weekly; the second from Real Change a paper sold by low…
“We now see … wolfpack behaviours, and if we will not stop these packs, even if it is self-inflicted weakness, they will tear the weaker countries apart”Read article at Reuters
Stern warnings from English political scientist and activist Nafeez Ahmed:
We’re not back in the 1930s, but structurally - systemically - we’re in a far worse condition. The problem is that the three main parties on offer today lack a fully-formed understanding of the real structural issues behind the concurrent crisis of world capitalism. They fail to realise that they’re in a catch-22. The symptom-led solution to the massive deficit is inevitably massive cuts in spending. The problem is that those cuts, structurally necessary within the given system to stabilise our credit rating and currency value so that the government can keep borrowing, will inevitably contract the real economy massively to such an extent that it will create a serious socio-political crisis in this country in the next 5-10 years. We’ve heard as much from the Bank of England.Read entire article
BY JOHN R. TALBOTT
SATURDAY, MAY 1, 2010
Why is the Fed so opposed to being audited, and what does it have to hide?
….I believe the reason Paulson didn’t pursue his original toxic-asset purchasing plan is because such a purchase would have created a market price for these assets, and then all of the banks would have had to mark their poor-quality assets to this low market price. This would have resulted in the bankruptcy of almost all the major commercial and investment banks, because their leverage was so high that they couldn’t withstand such a hit to their equity.
When Paulson couldn’t achieve one of his objectives during the crisis, he typically called on Ben Bernanke to see if the Fed could be of assistance. Paulson was in a difficult position and needed Bernanke’s help. He had, just two weeks earlier, told Congress that if they didn’t approve TARP and deal with the banks’ toxic assets, the entire financial system would collapse. Now he was about to be exposed as either a liar or just completely wrongheaded, because the toxic assets were still on the banks’ books and he was using TARP money elsewhere. What I believe the Fed did next was fraudulent and deceitful, its full impact still hidden from the American public, who want bank reform.
The Fed, I am convinced, went to these commercial banks and offered to take many of their toxic mortgage assets off their books, often accepting them as collateral for loans to the banks. In exchange, the Fed credited the commercial banks with an increase in the reserves held at the Fed, so long as the banks agreed not to withdraw the excess reserves immediately. Magically, the Fed was able to take a bad asset like a CDO and transform it into a sparkling good asset: bank reserves at the Fed. The irony is that the CDO itself began as a compilation of leaden BBB subprime mortgages and had been transformed into a golden AAA security only through the alchemy of the CDO process. And I think the record will show that the Fed intentionally overpaid for these securities, so that the banks wouldn’t have to acknowledge life-threatening losses on the sales or the remarking of their inventory of similar assets. The Fed also began buying mortgage securities directly in the marketplace in an attempt to create demand in the absence of a healthy securitization program.Read Entire Article at Salon.com
The team that was responsible for tracking down the Times Square Bomber was a group of secret Army intelligence planes. It was referenced in the press then removed from the story by CBS. Read about it in The Nation.Via: The Nation
A US Special Operations Force source told me that the planes were likely RC-12s equipped with a Guardrail Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) system that, as the plane flies overland “sucks up” digital and electronic communications. “Think of them as manned drones. They’re drones, but they have men sitting in them piloting them and they can be networked together,” said the source. “You have many of them—four, five, six of them—and they all act as a node and they scrape up everything, anything that’s electronic and feed it back.” The source added: “It sucks up everything. We’ve got these things in Jalalabad [Afghanistan]. We routinely fly these things over Khandahar. When I say everything, I mean BlueTooth would be effected, even the wave length that PlayStation controllers are on. They suck up everything. That’s the point.”
Via: The NY Times Opinion Page
Focus on the ThreatClear thinking from one of the foremost security experts.
Bruce Schneier is a security technologist and author of several books on computer security, including “Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World.”
Asks Congressman Alan Grayson in the Huffington Post.
Time to Audit the Fed
Following Foucault, we can thus trace three stages in the development of bourgeois institutions and bourgeois political thought. In the mid-17th century, Thomas Hobbes posited the authoritarian State as the one and only entity capable of founding civil society, by ending the otherwise incessant war of all against all. This provides a rationale for what Foucault calls the society of sovereignty. In the latter part of the 18th century, Adam Smith argued that manufacture, commerce, and trade, fueled by the propensity to exchange, offered a smoother way to suspend the war of all against all, and thereby to allow civil society to flourish. This is the position of classical liberalism. The role of the State is to promote the peaceful conditions for industry and trade, and for the increasing specialization of labor. And the division of labor, in turn, provides the material basis for what Foucault calls the disciplinary society.
But 20th- and 21st-century neoliberalism inverts this whole tradition. For neoliberalism, the legitimate role of the State is precisely to destroy civil society, and instead to incite a war of all against all, in the form of unfettered economic competition. Where Hobbes sees the war of all against all as a primordial condition that we need to escape from, neoliberalism sees the war of all against all as a desirable state that does not arise spontaneously, but needs to be actively engendered. And where Smith finds a harmony between the pursuit of self-interest and the natural human tendency towards sympathy, neoliberalism seeks to extirpate the latter, in order to compel human beings to act in accordance with the former. This is why, as Margaret Thatcher so notoriously put it, “there is no such thing as society” in the neoliberal vision; “there are individual men and women, and there are families.” It would be absurd to criticize neoliberalism for failing to recognize the social; for in fact, the extermination of the social – or of any form of relation of broader scope than that of the family – is precisely the goal of neoliberal policy.
This story resurfaced in my RSS feeds today, I remember it passing like indigestion through the media in December, it was soon forgotten, momentary discomfort followed by lots of meaning less diarrhea. This seem like the perfect time to resurrect the story and maybe even prosecute some criminals. The politicos and the press are looking for economic scandal, but maybe this one is just too hot to handel.
Read entire article
Drugs and crime chief says $352bn in criminal proceeds was effectively laundered by financial institutions
The Observer, Sunday 13 December 2009
Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations’ drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer.
Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were “the only liquid investment capital” available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.