Goldman and Blackstone Enter Spanish Real Estate – Pain and Suffering for Poor People Immediately Ensues

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 11.47.54 AMLast year Madrid’s city and regional governments sold almost 5,000 rent-controlled flats to private equity investors including Goldman Sachs and Blackstone. At the time, the tenants were told their rental conditions would remain the same.

But as old contracts expire, dozens of people have received demands for higher rent, been told their rents will increase dramatically, been threatened with eviction or moved out to escape the insecurity. Thousands of Spain’s poor now depend for their homes on the generosity of private equity.

- From today’s Reuters article: Why Madrid’s Poor Fear Goldman Sachs and Blackstone

Less than a month ago, I warned the people of Spain that U.S. financial oligarchs had their sights set on the nation. The post was titled, Your Wall Street Slumlord Arrives in Europe – Goldman and Other Financial Firms Launch “Buy to Rent” in Spain, and in it I wrote:

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“War on Terror” Targets Underwear – Department of Homeland Security Raids Maker of Unlicensed World Series Panties

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 12.06.05 PM“They came in and there were two guys” Honig said. “I asked one of them what size he needed and he showed me a badge and took me outside. They told me they were from Homeland Security and we were violating copyright laws.”

They placed the underwear in an official Homeland Security bag and had Honig sign a statement saying she wouldn’t use the logo. 

- From the Kansas City Star article: Homeland Security Confiscates Royals Underwear in Kansas City 

It was just yesterday that I highlighted the dangers of granting government excessive powers under the guise of fighting terrorism in the piece: The BBC is Using Anti-Terror Surveillance to Find Tax Dodgers. Here’ an excerpt:

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The Challenges of Defending Your Child’s Mind from Propaganda

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 11.13.40 AMIn great empires the people who live in the capital, and in the provinces remote from the scene of action, feel, many of them, scarce any inconveniency from the war; but enjoy, at their ease, the amusement of reading in the newspapers the exploits of their own fleets and armies. To them this amusement compensates the small difference between the taxes which they pay on account of the war, and those which they had been accustomed to pay in time of peace.They are commonly dissatisfied with the return of peace, which puts an end to their amusement, and to a thousand visionary hopes of conquest and national glory from a longer continuance of the war. 

- Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations

Let’s face it, your child’s mind is fertile ground for oligarchs, corrupt politicians and any other thieving member of the so-called “ruling elite” who aim to enslave the masses both mentally and monetarily. Unfortunately, the propaganda that comes from the government and our largest corporations is perceived as being absolute truth by most people. If you’re like me, at one point in time you had to wake up to it all and accept that you had been completely brainwashed for the first few decades for your life.

On a parental level, defending my child’s mind against blatant lies and deceit from the media, military industrial complex and corporatism is really not that difficult. But what about their grandparents, cousins or the kids next door?

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The BBC is Using Anti-Terror Surveillance to Find Tax Dodgers

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 3.12.10 PMMany commentators, including myself, have been sounding the alarm for many years that only a short-sighted society filled with fearful imbeciles would ever grant government tyrannical powers in the name of fighting an overhyped, outside enemy. As has happened countless times in world history, once these powers are granted they are always eventually used against the domestic population. Sometimes it is used to crackdown on dissent, but sometimes it’s used just to earn money and shake down the domestic plebs. It appears the British Broadcasting Corportation (BBC) in Great Britain is now using it simply to collect tax.

The Daily Mail reports that:

The BBC is using laws designed to catch terrorists and organized crime networks to track down people who dodge the license fee, it emerged yesterday.

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Another Pension Scandal – The Crony Love Affair Between North Carolina, Credit Suisse and Erskine Bowles

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 11.38.33 AMIn North Carolina, managing the retirement savings of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public employees is big business. As the sole fiduciary of the state’s $90 billion pension fund, Treasurer Cowell, a Democrat, was recently named the world’s 18th most important institutional investor by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. The State Employees Association of North Carolina (Seanc) estimates that North Carolina is on track to spend a billion dollars a year of retirees’ pension money on fees to private financial firms. Roughly half of all North Carolina pension deals involve placement agents, and Seanc estimates that has generated roughly $180 million in placement agent fees — costs that are effectively paid by the pension fund, according to critics.

Credit Suisse’s own internal regulations say the company aims to “establish a management organization that avoids the creation or appearance of conflicts of interests.” But the North Carolina agreement (the provisions of which were secret until Seanc’s open records request earlier this year) explicitly allows Credit Suisse to engage in “actual and potential conflicts of interest.” The agreement noted Credit Suisse could receive “placement fees” from the firms in which it invests North Carolina pension money.

- From David Sirota’s excellent piece in Investors Business DailyPension Deal Spotlights ‘Placement Agent’ Business, Raises Conflict-Of-Interest Questions

When it comes to how the U.S. economy of fraud functions in 2014, the following article has it all. A government official, a global investment bank and a businessman/politician, all working together to enrich themselves at the public’s expense. It demonstrates how big bucks are really earned by insiders in the new American Dream, characterized by extreme cronyism and corruption.

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Tennessee Woman Sentenced to Jail for Not Mowing Her Lawn

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 4.16.59 PMThe trend of average U.S. citizens being incarcerated by overzealous judges and prosecutors within the police state formerly known as America continues with reckless abandon. In fact, these sorts of cases are becoming so commonplace I simply cannot keep up with all of them. The following story is a perfect followup to my piece earlier today, which shows how American public school students are being arrested or harassed by police for the most minor of infractions, such as wearing too much perfume, sharing a classmates’ chicken nuggets, throwing an eraser or chewing gum.

If you are an adult American slave, you can add not mowing your lawn to the list of prison-worthy crimes in the police state.

From Yahoo News:

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More Foreign Policy Incompetence – U.S. Humanitarian Aid is Going Directly to ISIS

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 1.40.40 PM“The convoys have to be approved by ISIS and you have to pay them: The bribes are disguised and itemized as transportation costs,” says an aid coordinator who spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition he not be identified in this article. The kickbacks are either paid by foreign or local nongovernmental organizations tasked with distributing the aid, or by the Turkish or Syrian transportation companies contracted to deliver it.

The State Department official said he, too, was conflicted about the programs… “Are we helping indirectly the militants to build their caliphate? I wrestle with this.”

- From Sunday’s Daily Beast article: U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS

The Daily Beast has been at the forefront of exposing the bizarre emergence of the latest terror threat known as ISIS, which is being used to take away civil liberties at home, and fuel more chaos and destruction abroad. It was their work in June that first highlighted the fact that ISIS was and is being funded and supported by U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf. I commented on the absurdity of the situation in my piece, America’s Disastrous Foreign Policy – My Thoughts on Iraq, in which I noted:

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Land of the Free – 1 in 3 Americans Are on File with the FBI in the U.S. Police State

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 11.36.30 AMThe sickening transformation of these United States into an authoritarian police state with an incarceration rate that would make Joseph Stalin blush, has been a key theme of my writing since well before the launch of Liberty Blitzkrieg. One of the posts that shocked and disturbed readers most, was published a little over a year ago titled: American Police Make an Arrest Every 2 Seconds in 2012. In the event you never read it, I suggest taking a look before tackling the rest of this piece.

Fast forward to fall 2014, and the Wall Street Journal has a powerful article about how children in schools systems across the U.S. are being arrested or turned over to police custody for doing things that children have always done since the beginning of time. Things such as wearing too much perfume, sharing a classmates’ chicken nuggets, throwing an eraser or chewing gum.

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Quote of the Day from K.K.R. – Wall Street Officially Becomes a Parody of Itself

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 2.18.48 PMLongtime readers of Liberty Blitzkrieg will know that I think the greatest parody of Wall Street ever created is courtesy of SNL about a made-up firm called Global Century Investments. Before I provide a link to the video, I want to highlight a stunning quote from Gretchen Morgenson’s excellent New York Times article detailing the extraordinarily shady relationships between private equity firms and public pension funds. The quote comes in at the end of the article:

Kristi Huller, a spokeswoman for K.K.R., initially denied that it could reduce or eliminate its fiduciary duties. But after being presented with an excerpt from the agreement, she acknowledged that its language allowed “a modification of our fiduciary duties.”

What K.R.R. spokeswoman Kristi Huller does is straight up lie about the firm’s fiduciary duties, only to backtrack once she realizes she has been caught.

That is exactly what happens at the end of the SNL spoof. Yes it’s official, Wall Street has become a literal parody of itself.

Watch the video here and compare it to the quote above. Remarkable.

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It’s Not Just Spying – How the NSA Has Turned Into a Giant Profit Center for Corrupt Insiders

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 11.49.42 AMDear NSA Employees, You Now Have a Green Light to Loot and Pillage. It’s Time to Get Paid:

Are you just another one of those frustrated NSA employees who feels that unconstitutionally spying on your fellow citizenry under false pretenses isn’t giving you same thrill it once did? If so, have no fear.

Are you are sick and tired of having to spilt your precious working hours defending the destruction of our nation’s founding document to those pesky terroristic media dinosaurs who still think investigative journalism belongs in Amerika? If so, have I got a solution for you.

While it may sound too good to be true, trust me it’s not. You see, in recent years almost all crony-capitalist criminal activities have been deemed legal in the land of the free (to pillage). This incredible opportunity allows you to directly leverage your intelligence skill-set to earn the big bucks you know you’ve always deserved. You can now do just that by working in the private sector without having to give up that cushy government day job! I mean if we’re going to have this banana republic thing going we may as well GET PAID. Am I right?

Keep at it patriots,
Michael Krieger

If the above sounds like a joke, unfortunately it is not. Last week, two very important stories came out; one from Reuters and the other from Buzzfeed. They both zero in on how current NSA employees are using their expertise and connections to make big money in the private sector while still working at the NSA. Let’s start with the Reuters story, which covers former NSA-head Keith Alexander’s business relationship with the NSA’s current Chief Technical Officer, Patrick Dowd.

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