Ex-NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg on Dodd-Frank: “The Government Should Have Let the Industry Craft the Bill”

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 10.35.10 AMThis week has been the week of the ill advised oligarch quote. It all started quietly enough, with Las Vegas Sands CEO and crony Republican godfather, Sheldon Adelson, expressing his disdain for both journalism and democracy, all in one quaint little conference in which participants debated how quickly and how severely Iran should be bombed into the stone age.

Then we had the architect of Obamacare, the consummate oligarch minion, Jonathan Gruber, admit that the law was deliberately crafted deceptively in order to fool the “stupid” American public.

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Wall Street Journal Reports Obama’s Attorney General Nominee Has Been Involved in $904 Million in Asset Forfeitures

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 3.55.26 PMEarlier today, I posted the most recent piece in a series highlighting the insidious and lawless practice of civil asset forfeiture being abused by police departments and prosecutors across America in the post: Quote of the Day – An Incredible Statement from the City Attorney of Las Cruces, New Mexico. I suggest reading that before checking out the rest of this post.

Considering the fact that civil asset forfeiture has rightly entered the national spotlight as of late, the stance of Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, on the matter is extremely important. Particularly if the Wall Street Journal is correct and her office had been aggressive in utilizing this practice to seize funds under her oversight.

The WSJ reports that:

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Tony Blair Gets Paid (Again) – Secret $61,000 per Month Contract with Saudis Revealed

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 11.35.49 AMWhile thieving bankers and military-industrial complex executives feeding parasitically off the citizenry is bad enough, there’s really nothing worse than some two-bit, war criminal, faux humanitarian leveraging death and destruction to make a fortune after leaving “public service.” That in a nutshell is the resume of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Mr. Blair is no stranger to this site. Back in August, I highlighted another one of his philanthropic activities in the post, Letter Reveals Tony Blair Advised Kazakhstan’s President on How to Spin Massacre of Innocent, Unarmed Protesters. Here’s an excerpt:

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Quote of the Day – An Incredible Statement from the City Attorney of Las Cruces, New Mexico

He describes to a roomful of local officials from across the state how Las Cruces police officers waited outside a bar for a man they hoped would walk out drunk because they “could hardly wait” to get their hands on his 2008 Mercedes, which they then hoped to put up for auction.

“We could be czars,” he tells the room. “We could own the city. We could be in the real estate business.”

– From the NPR article: Police Can Seize And Sell Assets Even When The Owner Broke No Law

The above quotes refer to statements made by Harry S. Connelly, the city attorney of Las Cruces, N.M., in a video posted over the weekend by the New York Times. His comments refer to the feudal and tyrannical tactic known as civil asset forfeiture, in which police across these United States are allowed to intentionally steal citizens’ property based on “suspicion” alone, without charging them with a crime. This topic has as been a key theme on this site all year. In fact, one of my most popular posts of 2014 was: “Common People Do Not Carry This Much U.S. Currency…” – This is How Police Justify Stealing American Citizens’ Money. If you never read that post, or saw John Oliver’s hilarious video, I suggest checking it out.

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Video of the Day – Obamacare Architect Credits “Lack of Transparency” and “Stupidity of the American People” for Passage of Healthcare Law

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 6.40.35 PMEarlier today, I published a post titled, Inside the Mind of an Oligarch – Sheldon Adelson Proclaims “I Don’t Like Journalism, which zeroed in on the condescending attitude oligarchs and their technocrat minions have toward the general population. I wrote:

 The term oligarch is reserved for those with extreme wealth who also want to control the political process, policy levers and most other aspects of the lives of the citizenry in a top-down tyrannical and undemocratic manner. They think they know best about pretty much everything, and believe unelected technocrats who share their worldview should be empowered so that they can unilaterally make all of society’s important decisions. The unwashed masses (plebs) in their minds are unnecessary distractions who must to be told what to do. Useless eaters who need to be brainwashed into worshipping the oligarch mindset, or turned into apathetic automatons incapable or unwilling to engage in critical thought. Either outcome is equally acceptable and equally encouraged. 

It’s quite timely that those words appeared on the site the same day that a video clip emerged of MIT economics professor, and the architect of Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber, admitting that the legislation was intentionally complex and misleading in order to pass Congress and elicit limited outrage from the “stupid” American public.

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Introducing Open Bazaar – The Decentralization Revolution Takes on Ecommerce

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 2.40.15 PMDescribed as the “next generation of uncensored trade” and a “safe untouchable marketplace,” OpenBazaar is fundamentally different from all the online black markets that have come before it, because it is completely decentralized. If authorities acted against OpenBazaar users, they could arrest individuals, but the network would survive.

– From the Daily Dot’s article: OpenBazaar is a decentralized Dark Net market that’s ‘untouchable’ by police

It’s truly incredible. Every time I become discouraged by state of the world and the decrepit and corrupt status quo, something comes along to restore my faith in the future and remind me that the time in power for these insane oligarchs is rapidly coming to an end. As I’ve said before, the advent and success of Bitcoin was the single most important development over the past few years to instill a real sense of optimism in me.

I’ve repeatedly characterized the monumental battle we face as a species as the struggle between the forces of centralization and decentralization, and I hold the view that decentralization will ultimately reign spectacularly triumphant. Not just because it is ultimately the type of system that most people want, but because it will work exponentially better that the archaic top-down systems in place today. For some prior posts on this topic see:

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Inside the Mind of an Oligarch – Sheldon Adelson Proclaims “I Don’t Like Journalism”

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 11.38.44 AMIf you’ve read any of my articles over the past several years, you will be well aware of my disdain toward a small group of individuals I refer to as oligarchs, and their destructive influence on America and the world at large. When people hear “oligarch” they probably automatically assume I simply mean billionaires and other extraordinarily wealthy people, but as with most things in life, it’s not that simple.

In a nutshell, while almost all oligarchs are extremely wealthy (or have access to extreme wealth), not all people with extreme wealth are oligarchs. The term oligarch is reserved for those with extreme wealth who also want to control the political process, policy levers and most other aspects of the lives of the citizenry in a top-down tyrannical and undemocratic manner. They think they know best about pretty much everything, and believe unelected technocrats who share their worldview should be empowered so that they can unilaterally make all of society’s important decisions. The unwashed masses (plebs) in their minds are unnecessary distractions who must to be told what to do. Useless eaters who need to be brainwashed into worshipping the oligarch mindset, or turned into apathetic automatons incapable or unwilling to engage in critical thought. Either outcome is equally acceptable and equally encouraged.

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A “Magical Fairyland” – How Global Multi-National Corporations Avoid Taxes in Luxembourg

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 11.10.20 AM“A Luxembourg structure is a way of stripping income from whatever country it comes from,’’ said Stephen E. Shay, a professor of international taxation at Harvard Law School and a former tax official in the U.S. Treasury Department. The Grand Duchy, he said, “combines enormous flexibility to set up tax reduction schemes, along with binding tax rulings that are unique. It’s like a magical fairyland.”

The deals can be so complex that PwC accountants frequently include “before” and “after” diagrams to illustrate how money flows from subsidiary to subsidiary and across different countries and tax havens. The leaked records show that Luxembourg’s 2009 tax deal for Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories – which makes arthritis drugs and Ensure meal replacement shakes –features 79 steps including companies in Cyprus and Gibraltar. Abbott projected it would invest as much as $50 billion via Luxembourg.

More than 170 of the Fortune 500 companies have a Luxembourg branch, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, a nonprofit research and advocacy group. A total of $95 billion in profits from American corporations’ overseas operations flowed through Luxembourg in 2012, the most current statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis show. On those profits, corporations paid $1.04 billion in taxes to Luxembourg – just 1.1 percent.

– From the ICIJ’s report: Leaked Documents Expose Global Companies’ Secret Tax Deals in Luxembourg

The following expose by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), at times reads like a movie script. Leaked documents, one of the world’s largest accounting firms, and a retired tax official named Marius Kohl, nicknamed “Monsieur Ruling,” who was described by a Belgian newspaper as “the guardian of the only door through which companies can enter the fiscal paradise of Luxembourg.  This piece has it all.

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American Upper Middle Class Share of Wealth is Worse than Every Country Besides Russia and Indonesia

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 11.53.35 AMOne of Liberty Blitzkrieg’s most popular posts in 2013 was titled: How Does America’s Middle Class Rank Globally? #27. Here’s an excerpt:

We are number 1 right? USA! USA! No one can beat our wealth creation machine, our economic dynamism, our level playing field and our bastions of higher education. We have a middle class that is the envy of the world, right?

Well, like so much of the “American dream” we have been force fed for a generation or more, this perception is not based in reality whatsoever. Sure it may have been the case for a couple of decades immediately after World War 2. Before the military-industrial-Wall Street complex fully took over the political process, but it certainly isn’t true any longer. Myths die hard and this one is particularly pernicious because it prevents people from changing things.

The data in that article was based on a comprehensive study published by Credit Suisse titled Global Wealth Data Book. Well, the 2014 version is now out, and the results are not pretty.

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Profiting Off the “Law School Scam” and How Taxpayers Are on the Hook (As Usual)

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 2.56.05 PMThe following article serves as an terrifyingly poignant microcosm of the entire U.S. economy. It also contains language and practices that are right out of the subprime mortgage industry, which catalyzed the financial collapse of 2008.

The piece starts off by relaying the story of law professor, David Frakt, who was forcibly removed while in the middle of a speech at the Florida Coastal School of Law, for telling the faculty and staff the truth about the “for-profit” law school’s flawed and unethical business model.

For its private equity owners; however, it is the perfect “investment.” With unlimited federal funds available for graduate school loans, they take the money in now with little risk. As such, they simply accept almost anyone who applies, whether or not they are actually qualified to practice law (a large percentage are demonstrably not). For the law school students saddled with debt, and the taxpayer backing these loans, it’s not such a good deal. Crony Capitalism 101 wins again.

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