Tags: NY Times

Former IMF Head Lived the Life of “Eyes Wide Shut”

It has been my contention for a very long time now, that the reason most people in positions of power do absolutely nothing for the good of their respective societies even in the face of total systemic collapse is not simply greed, corruption and stupidity.  They are totally compromised.

As we see in this amazing article from the NY Times, former IMF head, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, lived a decadent lifestyle straight out of Stanley Kubrick’s final film Eyes Wide Shut (which was clearly a warning about the perversion rampant within the elite class).  I am not judging his lifestyle so much as saying that when the most powerful leaders in the financial world are behaving like this they are incapable of ever doing the right thing because they are compromised and can be blackmailed into anything.  I will allow these quotes from the article speak for themselves.

That defense and the investigation, which is facing a critical judicial hearing in late November, have offered a keyhole view into a clandestine practice in certain powerful circles of French society: secret soirees with lawyers, judges, police officials, journalists and musicians that start with a fine meal and end with naked guests and public sex with multiple partners.  (Sounds like a description of the Bilderberg group!)

The exclusive orgies called “parties fines” — lavish Champagne affairs costing around $13,000 each — were organized as a roving international circuit from Paris to Washington by businessmen seeking to ingratiate themselves with Mr. Strauss-Kahn. Some of that money, according to a lawyer for the main host, ultimately paid for prostitutes because of a shortage of women at the mixed soirees orchestrated largely for the benefit of Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who sometimes sought sex with three or four women.

At L’Aventure, Mr. Strauss-Kahn and a few friends gathered in a private basement club, carpeted in purple and black tiger stripes, with a female Belgian escort and Mr. Alderweireld’s companion, Béatrice Legrain, who recalled that lunch in an interview.

The investigation into the prostitution ring in Lille ultimately swept up 10 suspects, including Mr. Strauss-Kahn. They knew each other largely through their membership as French Freemasons, according to Karl Vandamme, a defense lawyer who represents Fabrice Paszkowski, the owner of a medical supply company who played a crucial role in organizing the sex parties.

Ladies and gentlemen, you have been introduced to the leaders of the free world…and we are supposed to believe the IMF is going to save us?

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

The NSA is Completely and Totally Out of Control…Very Important Video

“They wanted to highly classify the extremely impeachable crimes they were committing.”
- William Binney (NSA Whistleblower; worked there 32 years before resigning in disgust)

What the NSA has become since 9/11 is a sprawling Big Brother spy network aimed directly at the American people.  In this powerful interview, documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras talks with William Binney about the emerging police state in America.  Binney discusses how programs he had helped develop to gather intelligence on foreign enemies was suddenly, and to his shock, turned around on the American public without their knowledge or consent.  He resigned from the NSA due to the unconstitutionality and immorality of this turn of events.  Mr. William Binney is an American hero of the highest order.  He could have just resigned and kept quiet like so many cowards out there most certainly have done.  Please watch this video and pass it along to everyone you know.  The key thing here is that this is being done TO us, behind the scenes, with ZERO public debate.

In Liberty,
Mike

China to Boost the Global Economy? Nope it’s also a Total Ponzi

I fully get that people’s hopes on China being some powerhouse to the global economy have pretty much been dashed, but I have been calling bull on this meme for years.  Why?  The Chinese economy is just as much a ponzi of fraud, corruption and fiat money as the U.S. economy is.  The only difference is they are smart enough to be buying the gold that the imbeciles in the West are selling to them.  Down the road, when the West has no gold and is broke don’t blame those that bought it.  Blame our inept “leadership” for not having done the same.

Key quotes from the NY Times article:

TAIHE, CHINA — The Chinese investment vehicle known as Golden Elephant No. 38 promises buyers a return of 7.2 percent per year. That is more than double the rate offered on savings accounts in China.

Absent from the product’s prospectus is any indication of the asset underpinning Golden Elephant: a near-empty housing project in the rural town of Taihe at the end of a dirt path amid rice fields in one of the poorest provinces in China.

“Some banks have been using new proceeds to cover losses from previous products in the pool,” said David Cui, a strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, referring to new wealth management products. “In our view, this is not fundamentally different from a Ponzi scheme,” a fraud in which early investors are repaid with money collected from later clients instead of proceeds from investments. “The music may stop at a certain point if and when” the assets the wealth management products are based on stop expanding.

In a review of more than 50 wealth management and trust loan products, with the aim of tracking where investors’ money in the products ends up, all but two failed to explain or even display the underlying assets behind the products.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission, which oversees banking products, said more than 20,000 wealth management products were in circulation, compared with a few hundred just five years ago.

Full article here.

NY Times Admits: Mainstream News is Basically Censored Propaganda

Important article from the NY Times demonstrating how real journalism covering the criminal political elite in America is basically dead.  Even better, is Glenn Greenwald’s article at Salon slamming the complete joke that is the mainstream media, and he shows us all exactly why alternative media is taking over.  After all, only an incredible 21% of Americans have confidence in television news, a new low according to a recent Gallup poll.

Key quotes from the Greenwald article discussing the NY Times piece (both are worth reading):

A common criticism of establishment journalists entails comparing them to stenographers, on the ground that most of them do little more than mindlessly write down and uncritically repeat what government officials say. But stenography is a noble and important profession: they’re the court-licensed officers who, with astonishing speed and accuracy, transcribe the statements of all witnesses, lawyers and judges in judicial proceedings. If establishment journalists were to replicate actual stenography, it would be an improvement on most of the work they produce.

It is beyond dispute that President Obama and his aides have an extreme, even unprecedented obsession with concealing embarrassing information, controlling the flow of information, and punishing anyone who stands in the way. But, at least theoretically speaking, it is the job of journalists to impede that effort, not to serve and enable it. Agreeing to grant veto power over quotes — whereby officials can literally alter what they actually said, and then have newspapers report the doctored, inaccurate quotes — is about as journalistically subservient and reckless as it gets. It’s not merely stenography: it’s inept stenography. No actual, ethical stenographer would ever agree to that.

Agreeing to grant veto power over quotes — whereby officials can literally alter what they actually said, and then have newspapers report the doctored, inaccurate quotes — is about as journalistically subservient and reckless as it gets. It’s not merely stenography: it’s inept stenography. No actual, ethical stenographer would ever agree to that.

Quote approval is something that publicists and lawyers give to their clients (I promise not to attribute anything to you publicly without your advance consent); in other words, it’s reflective of a relationship between those in a service profession and those who are served. And that explains why establishment journalists provide this service to these political officials: because they serve them as spokespeople, not report on them adversarially.

Full article here.

The FDA is Caught Spying on its Employees and Creating an “Enemies List”

Ah, so now we see the surveillance state is indeed everywhere.  This is what happens when the government itself claims the right the tear up the supreme law of the land – The U.S. Constitution – and just track anyone they want anytime they want.  When I first woke up to the gigantic fraud that is the global monetary system I thought I had figured it all out.  Boy was I wrong.  The more stones I overturn, the more I see the syndicate is indeed everywhere.  The food industry and the healthcare industry are indeed as corrupt as the financial system.  Just like the “regulators” in the financial markets simply serve as gatekeepers for the bankster oligarchs, so too does the FDA serve as a gatekeeper to the pharmaceutical elite.  You know the corporations that in many cases are more interested in keeping you sick and selling you medicine than actually curing disease.

Key quotes from this NY Time article:

WASHINGTON — A wide-ranging surveillance operation by the Food and Drug Administration against a group of its own scientists used an enemies list of sorts as it secretly captured thousands of e-mails that the disgruntled scientists sent privately to members of Congress, lawyers, labor officials, journalists and even President Obama, previously undisclosed records show.

The agency, using so-called spy software designed to help employers monitor workers, captured screen images from the government laptops of the five scientists as they were being used at work or at home. The software tracked their keystrokes, intercepted their personal e-mails, copied the documents on their personal thumb drives and even followed their messages line by line as they were being drafted, the documents show.

With the documents from the surveillance cataloged in 66 huge directories, many Congressional staff members regarded as sympathetic to the scientists each got their own files containing all their e-mails to or from the whistle-blowers. Drafts and final copies of letters the scientists sent to Mr. Obama about their safety concerns were also included.

While federal agencies have broad discretion to monitor their employees’ computer use, the F.D.A. program may have crossed legal lines by grabbing and analyzing confidential information that is specifically protected under the law, including attorney-client communications, whistle-blower complaints to Congress and workplace grievances filed with the government.

Representative Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat who has examined the agency’s medical review procedures, was listed as No. 14 on the surveillance operation’s list of targets — an “ancillary actor” in the efforts to put out negative information on the agency. (An aide to Mr. Van Hollen was No. 13.)

F.D.A. officials went to the inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services to seek a criminal investigation into the possible leak, but they were turned down. The inspector general found that there was no evidence of a crime, noting that “matters of public safety” can legally be released to the news media.

Undeterred, agency officials began the electronic monitoring operation on their own.

Full article here.

Iceland Shows the World How to Deal with the Banksters

Iceland is pretty much the only country in the Western world to have gone through a horrific financial crisis and come out the other side.  How did they achieve this feat?  Well, they gave the banksters the middle finger.  Meanwhile, what have we gotten in the U.S. and Western Europe in return for bailing out these pampered, leveraged speculators that couldn’t make a dime without government backing?  Debt slavery for the people, bigger, more powerful and increasingly dangerous financial institutions and unelected technocratic Goldman Sachs puppets as heads of state.  Well at least one country got it right.  Go Iceland!

Yes, I know the argument.  Iceland is tiny.  The rest of the world is so complex!  Give it a rest.  These are sad excuses for the failure of corrupt policies by crony capitalists and their sympathizers.

Key Quotes:
It has repaid, early, many of the international loans that kept it afloat. Unemployment is hovering around 6 percent, and falling. And while much of Europe is struggling to pull itself out of the recessionary swamp, Iceland’s economy is expected to grow by 2.8 percent this year.

But during the crisis, the country did many things different from its European counterparts. It let its three largest banks fail, instead of bailing them out. It ensured that domestic depositors got their money back and gave debt relief to struggling homeowners and to businesses facing bankruptcy.

Some Icelanders say they have been soothed, too, by the country’s bold decision to initiate an extensive criminal investigation into the financial debacle. Many members of the old banking elite have been identified as possible suspects, and some of their cases are beginning to come to trial; several people were convicted of financial crimes last month.

I love how the NY Times skews prosecuting financial criminals as somehow “bold.”  What a sham.

Full article here.

Jimmy Carter the Latest to Bury Obama – Who’s Next?

Powerful and courageous Op-Ed in the NY Times by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.  Although he doesn’t mention Obama by name the implication is clear.  I really think the only way anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together can still support our bankster Puppet in Chief and murderer of American citizens, Barack Obama, is due to an incapacity to mentally accept that he is as bad as if not worse than George W. Bush (at least he was a thug to your face).

Key quotes:
Recent legislation has made legal the president’s right to detain a person indefinitely on suspicion of affiliation with terrorist organizations or “associated forces,” a broad, vague power that can be abused without meaningful oversight from the courts or Congress (the law is currently being blocked by a federal judge). This law violates the right to freedom of expression and to be presumed innocent until proved guilty, two other rights enshrined in the declaration.

In addition to American citizens’ being targeted for assassination or indefinite detention, recent laws have canceled the restraints in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to allow unprecedented violations of our rights to privacy through warrantless wiretapping and government mining of our electronic communications. Popular state laws permit detaining individuals because of their appearance, where they worship or with whom they associate.

I would also like to add this excellent quote by Noam Chomsky, which I got from Glenn Greenwald’s latest:

My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that; namely, I can do something about it. So even if the U.S. was responsible for 2 percent of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2 percent I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one’s actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences. It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century.

Full Op-Ed by Carter is here.

Hard Data on the Death of the American Middle Class

Here is a good, brief  article from the NY Times demonstrating the death of the middle class in America using new Federal Reserve data.  Not that we need the Fed to tell us about the destruction of the economic and social fabric of the nation, after all, it is their policies that are most responsible for the damage.  Perhaps the most telling line in the article is: “the survey illuminates problems that continue to slow the pace of the economic recovery.”  Hmmmm let’s think about that.  The middle class of a nation is being driven into the ground and we are calling it a “recovery.”  We need to start to develop new criteria on what constitutes an economic recovery.  Call me crazy but when the crony capitalist oligarchs steal from the productive middle class via government contacts and then use the same government to pay off the poor with food stamps that’s not recovery…it’s theft.

Key Quotes:
The recent economic crisis left the median American family in 2010 with no more wealth than in the early 1990s, erasing almost two decades of accumulated prosperity, the Federal Reserve said Monday.

The Fed found that middle-class families had sustained the largest percentage losses in both wealth and income during the crisis, limiting their ability and willingness to spend.

The share of families saving anything over the previous year fell to 52 percent in 2010 from 56.4 percent in 2007. Other government statistics show that total savings have increased since 2007, suggesting that a smaller group of families is saving more money, while a growing number manage to save nothing.

Families with incomes in the middle 60 percent of the population lost a larger share of their wealth over the three-year period than the wealthiest and poorest families.

Full article here.

Veterans Toss Their Medals into the Chicago Street in Symbolic Protest

My Take:  This article from yesterday’s NY Times on the protests at Chicago’s NATO summit has several interesting nuggets in it, including the arrest of some so called “domestic terrorists,” but the most interesting and powerful part of the protest occurred when about 40 veterans decided to toss their medals into the street as a form of protest against America’s ridiculous foreign policy.

Key passages:
Led by about 40 men and women in American military uniforms who said they wished to return their medals as symbolic gestures, thousands of protesters opposed to war and to NATO or motivated by other issues marched down Michigan Avenue, winding their way as close as they could get to McCormick Place, where world leaders were holding the summit meeting.

At the end of a march route, about five blocks from McCormick Place, the small group of military veterans stood on a flatbed truck in a packed intersection, and, one by one, told stories of service and disenchantment. Then they heaved their medals into the empty street behind them.

Read the full article here.

Tom Friedman Begs for More Government Power in Latest Op Ed

My Two Cents:  Ten years ago I actually liked Tom Friedman.  Perhaps it was because of my sheeple state or perhaps it was because I thought From Beirut to Jerusalem was a great book.  In any event, in recent years I have come to really dislike the man.  What initially made me annoyed with him was his complete lack of understanding of how the global financial and monetary system functions, yet his consistent platitudes on how economies and governments should work without understanding the real macro backdrop of it all.  I have also noticed he tends to salivate about more government power and his latest from the NY Times does that in spades.  While I totally agree that special interest groups and lobbyists have way to much influence on policy, at the end of the day it is the politicians that choose to take the payoffs.  Furthermore, he states that there are so many checks and balances nothing can get done!  Really?  It seems they have no problems passing things like the NDAA that allows for the indefinite detention of American citizens without a trial.  Or what about the provision in the recently passed Senate Bill 1813 that will permit the U.S. government to take away your passport if the IRS claims you might be doing something wrong.  Oh and this same bill also mandates black boxes in all new cars. It seems to me that Constitution shredding legislation flies right through, but yeah Friedman we need more government power.  I think you’ve spent too much time in the Middle East pal.

Friedman disturbingly asks: has American gone from a democracy to a “vetocracy” — from a system designed to prevent anyone in government from amassing too much power to a system in which no one can aggregate enough power to make any important decisions at all?

Then of course he takes a shot at the Internet and blogosphere for making it harder for shady political deals: In addition, the Internet, the blogosphere and C-Span’s coverage of the workings of the House and Senate have made every lawmaker more transparent — making back-room deals by lawmakers less possible and public posturing the 24/7 norm.

The he quotes historian Frank Fukuyama as if this guy is the be all end all of political discussion: If we are to get out of our present paralysis, we need not only strong leadership, but changes in institutional rules,” argues Fukuyama. These would include eliminating senatorial holds and the filibuster for routine legislation and having budgets drawn up by a much smaller supercommittee of legislators — like those that handle military base closings — with “heavy technocratic input from a nonpartisan agency like the Congressional Budget Office.”

Did you notice that too?  Heavy technocratic input.  Remember that word and don’t forget it.  It means unelected.  Greece and Italy have technocratic unelected bankster heads of state and believe me that is the plan for here as well.

Read the Full Article »