My explanation that the sudden appearance of an unprecedented 400 ton short sale of gold on the COMEX in April was a manipulation designed to protect the dollar from the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy has found acceptance among gold investors and hedge fund managers.
The sale was a naked short. The seller had no gold to sell. COMEX reported having gold only equal to about half of the short sale in its vaults, and not all of that was available for delivery. No one but the Federal Reserve could have placed such an order, and the order came from one of the Fed’s bullion banks, one of the entities “too big to fail.”
Bill Kaye of the Greater Asian Hedge Fund in Hong Kong and Dave Kranzler of Golden Returns Capital have filled in the details of how the manipulation worked. Being sophisticated investors of many years of experience, both Kaye and Kranzler understand that the financial press runs with the authorized story planted to serve the agenda that has been put into play.
Institutional investors who have bullion in their portfolio do not want the expense associated with storing it securely. Instead, they buy into Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) and hold their bullion in the form of a paper claim. The largest, the SPDR Gold Trust or GLD, trades on the New York Stock Exchange. The trustee and custodian is a bankster, and only other banksters are able to turn investments into delivery of physical bullion. Only shares in the amount of 100,000 can be redeemed in gold.
The price of bullion is not set in the physical market where individuals take delivery of bullion purchases. It is set in the paper futures market where short selling can drive down the price even if the demand for physical possession is rising. The paper gold market is also the market in which people speculate and leverage their positions, place stop-loss orders, and are subject to margin calls.
When the enormous naked shorts hit the COMEX, stop-loss orders were triggered adding to the sales, and margin calls forced more sales. Investors who were not in on the manipulation lost a lot of money.
The sales of GLD shares are accumulated by the banksters in 100,000 lots and presented to GLD for redemption in gold acquired at the driven down price.
The short sale is leveraged by the stop-loss triggers and margin calls, and results in a profit for the banksters who placed the short sell order. The banksters then profit again as they sell the released gold into the physical market, especially in Asia, where demand has been stimulated by the sharp drop in bullion price and by the loss of confidence in fiat currency. Asian prices are usually at a higher premium above the spot prices in New York-London.
Some readers have said “don’t bet against the Federal Reserve; the manipulation can go on forever.” But can it? As the ETFs such as GLD are drained of gold, their ability to cover any of their obligations to investors diminishes. In my opinion, these ETFs are like a fractional reserve banking system. The claims on gold exceed the amount of gold in the trusts. When the ETFs are looted of their gold by the banksters, the gold price will explode, as the claims on gold will greatly exceed the supply.
Kranzler reports that the current June futures contracts are 12.5 times the amount of deliverable gold. If more than 8 percent of these trades were to demand delivery, COMEX would default. That such a situation is possible indicates the total failure of federal financial regulation.
What the Federal Reserve has done in order to maintain its short-run policy of protecting the “banks too big too fail” is to make the inevitable reckoning more costly for the US economy.
Another irony is the benefactors of the banksters sale of the gold leeched from the gold ETFs. Asia is the beneficiary, especially India and China. The “get out of gold line” of the US financial press enables China to unload its excess supply of dollars, accumulated from the offshored US economy, into the gold market at a suppressed price of gold.
Kranzler points out that not only does the Fed’s manipulation permit Asia to offload US dollars for gold at low prices, but the obvious lack of confidence in the dollar that the manipulation demonstrates has caused wealthy European families to demand delivery of their gold holdings at bullion banks (the bullion banks are essentially the “banks too big to fail”). Kranzler notes that since January 1, more than 400 tons of gold have been drained from COMEX and gold ETF holdings in order to satisfy world demand for physical possession of bullion.
Again we see that institutions of the US government are acting 100% against the interests of US citizens. Just who does the US government represent?
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
“Wherever private property disappears, man’s liberty is gone. Man is placed completely at the mercy of the state. Wherever private ownership is weakened, man’s liberty is weakened also. There is an essential relationship between liberty and property.” R. J. Rushdoony
The Heritage Foundation provides an excellent summary of property rights. They describe a rating of 100 this way: “Private property is guaranteed by the government. The court system enforces contracts efficiently and quickly. The justice system punishes those who unlawfully confiscate private property. There is no corruption or expropriation.” At 50, “The court system is inefficient and subject to delays. Corruption may be present, and the judiciary may be influenced by other branches of government. Expropriation is possible but rare.” At 0, “Private property is outlawed, and all property belongs to the state. People do not have the right to sue others and do not have access to the courts. Corruption is endemic.
In 1995 world property rights were rated at 56. In 2013 they are rated at 43, a reduction of over 20 percent. (See the graph in the Heritage Link below.)
Though freedom is tending down throughout the world it remains highest in Western nations and lowest in the Third World.
The Heritage link rates the United States of America tenth behind Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, and Denmark.
Click here for the Heritage Foundation Property Rights link.
The U. S. Government now owns over 50 percent of the nation’s land and the incremental incursion of United Nation’s Agenda 21 continues to add to the coffer. On Michael Shaw’s “Freedom Advocates”page he writes, “Agenda 21 seeks to transform America while eliminating the middle class. It plans to reach these goals on several fronts: by restructuring agriculture, creating broad wildlife corridors void of human activity, determining where and how people live, controlling human reproduction and human movement, constraining and controlling energy consumption and water use—in short, by eliminating private property.”
“The institution of private property makes possible three things essential to our liberty: It encourages productive activity, allowing us to turn our ideas into actions and to realize the benefits of those actions. It allows us to engage in voluntary trade with others, multiplying the benefits of individual action a thousand-fold. It enables us to safeguard and develop our resources responsibly and to secure peace and prosperity as a result. To appreciate the importance of private property in your own life, you need only to consider the significance of these two facts: Private property represents everything you obtain through productive effort or voluntary trade. Its essence is your right to determine its use”
The right to private property is being eroded in the United States and around the world. World government seeks to exert absolute control; treating people like herds of cattle to be used as labor on the world plantation. Like a bee hive the world will be filled with worker bees whose sole task is to provide an opulent leisure for the ruling class. National pride will give way to a multicultural social order with intermarriages blurring racial identities. Only the Nation of Israel will remain intact. Other nations and races are destined to become worker bees indistinguishable from one another. This is the plan. It is the logic behind the deliberate dumbing down of America and the massive push for multicultural integration. It is the impetus for the destruction of Christianity with its emphasis on the individual. The plan is diabolical, a direct download from Satan himself.
The snake of humanism is very prolific when it invades a society rationality disappears and as humans stray farther and farther from their Creator, foolishness grows with exponential rapidity.
We live with and have accepted an increasing number of social insanities: Our president who may be Constitutionally ineligible has been elected to a second term; our government has enslaved its citizens with a national debt of $16 trillion dollars which amounts to over $50 thousand per citizen; in direct defiance of the natural order we are training women to fight against men in defense of our nation and sanctioning homosexual marriage; the hallowed halls of our educational institutions have accepted the weakening results of multiculturalism as a desirable goal; our citizens have been convinced that relatively weak and militarily insignificant nations in the Arab world are a danger to us; with text book insanity Americans continue to participate in a political system that is progressively enslaving them; and while all this subterfuge goes on our government supports an international court that prosecutes crimes against humanity while they are the biggest perpetrator.
Most Americans harbor a lackadaisical confidence that things will improve. They ignore the world debt crisis and fail to consider that ultimately the lenders will call on the citizens of the United States to pay the debt their government has accumulated. Think of the austerity required for an American family of four to pay off a debt of $200,000.00. That figure is quickly rising as our politicians continue to use the public credit card. The debtor is a slave to the lender and the United States of America is a plantation populated by slaves whose willful ignorance allows them to go about their daily tasks as if all were well.
The One True God is at odds with the new world order; it seeks to tyrannize us while He seeks to free us through obedience to His Commandments. When God and His Law are forsaken despotism is inevitable. We were not created to govern ourselves and since we have failed to encode this truth we are experiencing the results of our failure.
Partisan politics warned us about the dictatorial nature of the Obama Administration but the erstwhile Bush cabal was equally malignant. Changing political partoes is useless. We have long ago lost control of our government and our opinions no longer matter. Congress persons and senators vote the will of the money powers and the money powers reward them with re-election.
In Boston and Watertown, Massachusetts local, state, and federal authorities deployed a frightening array of coordinated force to apprehend two young men they described as terrorists. Acting as judge and jury they violated the legal rights of the suspects and encroached on property rights by invading homes and restricting the movement of their occupants. The entire operation resembled aiming a howitzer at a house fly.
The citizens of the United States of America have been put on notice that neither they nor their properties can claim protections from the unrestrained power of those that rule them.
Several times I have written that Americans need to repent from theirs and their father’s wicked ways. This admonition has fallen on deaf ears and some have advised me that I should stop writing about it because it will never happen.
In a recent email from American Vision Dr. Joel McDurmon wrote that “a corrupt government is the product of a corrupt people”. He quoted H. L. Mencken, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what They want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” and went on to contend that God often punishes a wicked populace by exposing them to their own sins. “Thus do the politically deluded live in a denial which dismisses even God’s Word in favor of the assertion of human wisdom. So often do men shelter their pet political beliefs from even divine criticism. So often do men deny God’s Word to advance their own desires. So often do men rest on false assurances built on their own godless dreams. And just as often do societies weather and decay from the blights of human vanity.” Read here.
America and its people have supported illegal aggression and encouraged murderous wars. We have pride fully maintained our national superiority and encouraged the use of weapons of mass destruction. We have supported our government in the role of a deity and now, since we have granted it that role, it has begun reflecting it in action. We have winked at sin, dallied in its fringes, and taken an occasional bath. Dishonest measurements have been accepted for decades; our buildings are constructed with dishonest two-by-fours that are actually only one and a half by three and three quarters. Now even our Pound Cakes weigh only fourteen ounces. Dishonesty has permeated our culture! Our media uses lies, gross omissions, and misrepresentations in reporting the news and our government regularly distorts facts and figures. While all this defiance of God continues our churches disregard their proper function by seeking peace and respectability. Abortion is a horrendous sin but it is only one sin; our cancerous pride covers scores of others.
One of my nieces is married to a lawyer. He employs a logical mind that makes conversation interesting. He is a Democrat who supports Obama and believes he is doing a reasonably good job. His approach to life is pragmatic, he considers himself moral, and understands that there is room for disagreement. We did not set parameters for our talk but I believe he would agree with Democrat Harry Reid that government is inherently good and with Libertarian Jacob Hornberger that it should be constrained by natural law.
Natural law alone would never have created the freedom and order the United States of America has enjoyed. It was Christianity and the Laws God gave to Moses that buttressed a secular government and made our nation great. Though not always pronounced it was almost universally supported even by many whose personal beliefs were different. Pragmatism is a pagan procedure that allows compromise with evil and the end to justify the means. Freedom is always endangered by pragmatism.
Because we are no longer a righteous nation we are quickly losing our freedom. The longer we linger in secular humanism the greater the constraints. Private property was flagrantly invaded in Watertown, Massachusetts. When tyrants are successful in exercising inordinate power they will continue to do so.
We no longer have private property in America. The internet is devoid of privacy with everything subject to the prying eyes and ears of big brother. Private homes are no longer sanctuaries but can now be invaded by heavily armed, jack booted government troops who can kill with impunity. Public safety trumps individual rights leaving citizens without privacy or even the right to occupy of their own property.
Life is no longer restrained by absolutes. Power prevails and the full force of the United States military can be used to enforce the whims of those that wield it.
When we forsake God’s Law we subject ourselves to the whims of human power!
All over the United States we are witnessing unprecedented shortages of ammunition, physical gold and physical silver. Recent events have helped fuel a “buying frenzy” that threatens to spiral out of control. Gun shops all over the nation are reporting that they have never seen it this bad, and in many cases any ammo that they are able to get is being sold even before it hits the shelves. The ammo shortage has already become so severe that police departments all over America are saying that they are being told that it is going to take six months to a year to get their orders. In fact, many police departments have begun to trade and barter with one another to get the ammo that they need. Meanwhile, the takedown of paper gold and paper silver has unleashed an avalanche of “panic buying” of physical gold and physical silver all over the planet. In the United States, some dealers are charging premiums of more than 25 percent over the spot price for gold and silver and they are getting it. People are paying these prices even though they are being told that delivery will not happen for a month or two in many cases. Some dealers are feverishly taking as many orders as they can, and they are just hoping that they will be able to get the physical gold and silver to eventually fill those orders. Personally, I have never seen anything like this. If things are this tight now, what is going to happen when the next major financial crisis strikes and people really begin to panic?
The shortages and rationing of ammunition at gun shops all over America just seem to keep getting worse. The following is from an article by a gun owner down in Texas named Brad Meyer…
If you’d like to see a normally sullen sales clerk chortle with derisive pleasure, just walk into just about any gun range, sporting goods store or mass merchandiser and try and buy a couple boxes of .22 ammunition.
Gun enthusiasts are up in arms about a nationwide shortage of ammunition. Handgun ammo in general is particularly difficult to find – and when you do find it, there are restrictions on the amount you can buy and how much you’re going to be paying for it.
While the list of hard to find ammo is long, .22 long rifle and 9mm handgun ammunition are particularly difficult to find in quantity. And the few places that have it are charging a premium rate and usually limiting purchases to one box, per person, per day.
Many gun owners try to find ammunition by going on the Internet, but things have gotten so tight that now any ammo that becomes available online is often gone within seconds…
There are websites where people across the country post links to where ammunition is available – and it sells out within seconds. Not minutes or hours – seconds.
Unfortunately, all of this demand is also driving up prices. Just check out what Meyer says is happening to the price of standard .22 ammo…
The demand is driving up the cost of ammunition. Six months ago, standard .22 ammo – the most common type of bullet produced in the world – could be had in bulk for around five cents apiece. It is now going for 50 cents or more on some websites – and people are paying it.
But this shortage is not just affecting private citizens. According toNewmax, police departments all over the nation are dealing with ammo shortages unlike anything that they have ever seen before…
Sheriff Anthony DeMeo of Nye County, Nev., was told his department’s regular order of 50,000 rounds could take up to a year to arrive.
“This is the first time ever I’ve heard that there’s a problem with a law-enforcement agency getting ammo for their agency,” DeMeo told The Las Vegas Sun.
These departments are not alone. Law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia are among many that are having to limit how much they give their officers due to the shortage.
Could you imagine waiting for “up to a year” to get more ammunition?
A recent article posted on CNSNews.com had some more examples of police departments that are reporting that there is a massive wait to get more ammo…
Chief Pryor of Rollingwood, Texas says of the shortage:
“We started making phone calls and realized there is a waiting list up to a year. We have to limit the amount of times we go and train because we want to keep an adequate stock.”
“Nobody can get us ammunition at this point,” saysSgt. Jason LaCross of the Bozeman, Montana police department.
LaCross says that manufacturers are so far behind that they won’t even give him a quote for an order.
“We have no estimated time on when it will even be available,” LaCross says.
This is insane.
What in the world could be causing such an ammo crunch?
Well, certainly the demand for guns and ammo has been trending up in recent years – especially since Barack Obama was elected.
But that doesn’t fully account for the shortages that we are witnessing at the moment.
So what is going on?
Well, some people believe that the federal government is responsible. It has been reported that they have signed contracts to purchase “up to” 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. According to Forbes, this amount of ammunition would be enough to fight a “hot war” in America for 20 years…
The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, so far to little notice. It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. As reported elsewhere, some of this purchase order is for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month. Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years. In America.
Could this be a way that the Obama administration is trying to restrict the amount of ammo that gets into the hands of private citizens?
That is what some people are suggesting.
According to talk radio show host Michael Savage, the ammo contracts that the federal government has signed give them priority over all other purchasers…
What Homeland Security is doing here is they’re issuing a contract to buy up to that amount of ammo if they want it…
It’s a way to control the amount of market that’s available on the commercial market at any time.
If they go to the ammo manufacturers and say give me 50 million rounds, give me another 30 million rounds… if they periodically do this in increments, they’re going to control how much ammo is available on the commercial market.
As part of their contract it stipulates in there that when the government calls and says give us another quantity, that everything they make has to go to the government priority one before any of it goes to the commercial market.
So, if they get nervous, all they have to do is use that contract that they have in place… and they just say ‘give us some more.’
So whenever the government wants to tighten the supply of ammunition, all they have to do is invoke their contracts and order more for themselves.
Meanwhile, Obama appears to be doing other things to restrict the amount of ammo that gets into the hands of private gun owners.
For example, there are reports that the Obama administration plans to use executive orders to greatly restrict the importation of ammo from overseas.
So if anything, the shortage of ammunition is only going to get worse, not better.
Meanwhile, the “panic buying” of physical gold and physical silver that we have seen lately has really run down inventories.
According to Reuters, demand has become so intense that the U.S. Mint has suspended sales of gold coins for the first time since 2009…
The U.S. Mint said it has suspended sales of its one-tenth ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins as surging demand after bullion’s plunge to two-year lows depleted the government’s inventory. This marks the first time it has stopped selling gold product since November 2009, dealers said.
At the same time, precious metals dealers all over the country are scrambling to meet the voracious demand that they have been seeing this month. The following is an excerpt from a letter that the CEO of Texas Precious Metals recently sent out to his customers…
The physical silver market is, in a word, ugly. There is no telling at this point when mint inventories will return to normal, but you can be sure it will not happen within the next 8 weeks. Most dealers, at this point, are selling their current customer demand forward, meaning they are selling product they do not presently have, expecting to pull from future mint allocations. Consequently, future allocations will face pressure from today’s demand. It is not my intent here to comment on the business practices of other companies, but I will say that no one can possibly predict future allocations at the time. The US mint, for example, releases its allocations weekly, and until then, dealers have no insight into allocation levels. Last week, we turned away business in excess of 100,000 ozs of silver because of stock depletion. However, we stand by the notion that it is better to lose a sale than lose a customer by delaying delivery two months (or more).
A similar thing is happening over in Asia. According to the Financial Times, soaring demand has caused a shortage of gold at the Hong Kong Gold & Silver Exchange Society…
Haywood Cheung, president of the Hong Kong Gold & Silver Exchange Society, said the exchange had effectively run out of most of its holdings as members looked to meet a shortfall in supply amid rampant retail demand for gold products.
“In terms of volume, I haven’t seen this gold rush for over 20 years,” he told the Financial Times on Monday, adding that the exchange only had around twenty 1kg bars, and 100 five-tael bars left in its inventory. “Older members who have been in the business for 50 years haven’t seen such a thing.”
But most disturbing of all is what Jim Sinclair told King World Newsrecently. Apparently his friend went to get his gold out of a Swiss bank the other day and they refused to give it to him…
A person that I know with significant deposits in one of the primary Swiss banks, in allocated gold, wanted to take out his gold and was just refused on the basis of directives from the central bank….
They told him the amount was in excess of 200,000 Swiss francs and the central bank had instructed them not to do it because it has to do with anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering precautions.
I really wonder whether those are precautions or whether the gold simply isn’t there. Now you tell me that a London delivery has basically failed. It has to raise our suspicions that the lack of physical gold behind the paper gold is literally so severe that we are coming to understand that it is in fact not there.
The gold that people think is stored is not stored, and the inventory of the warehouses for exchanges may not be holding deliverable gold. There has always been speculation about whether or not the physical gold the US claims to store is in fact in those vaults.
The greatest train robbery in history might be all of the gold, and it would only be something like we have described above that would happen right before gold makes historic highs.
There simply is no gold behind the paper. One example is AMRO, a second is your example with Maguire, and a third is my dear friend who was refused his gold on the basis that its value was too high. Remember this friend of mine had his gold in an allocated account in storage at a major Swiss bank. I repeat, there is no gold.
So are we going to see more of this?
Will it soon become evident that there is simply not enough physical gold to cover all of the promises that the banks have made?
Jim Sinclair sure seems to think so.
In another interview, John Embry expressed similar sentiments to King World News…
This gets back to the tip of the iceberg when the Dutch Bank ABN AMRO came out and literally said that if you have allocated gold with us, you can’t have it.
That, to me, is a default, and it gets back to what Jim Sinclair related when one of his friends went to a Swiss bank and couldn’t get his allocated gold. I mean that’s preposterous. If it’s allocated it should be there, but it’s clearly not there. I think this is the beginning of the end of the massive Ponzi scheme in paper gold. I have been talking about this for some time, and it will have an enormous impact on future gold and silver prices.
When it becomes widely known that all of the people who think they own gold in fact don’t own gold, that it’s been hypothecated and re-hypothecated so many times that there are 100 claims for every single ounce of physical gold, that is when the prices of gold and silver will really go berserk to the upside, and at that point the shorts will have serious problems.”
If those that helped engineer the recent takedown of paper gold and silver were hoping to scare people away from physical gold and silver, then they failed miserably. For even more on this, please see my recent article entitled “10 Signs The Takedown Of Paper Gold Has Unleashed An Unprecedented Global Run On Physical Gold And Silver“.
All of this is just another example why I encourage people to get prepared while times are still relatively good.
Once disaster strikes, it may be too late to get the things that you need.
Right now there are a whole lot of people out there wishing that they had stocked up on ammo when it was much cheaper and much more readily available.
We are moving into a time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken. Use the stability provided by the false bubble of economic hope that we are experiencing right now as an opportunity to get prepared. The next major wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching and time is running out.
Source: The Economic Collapse
To quote the immortal line in Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, as filmed by John Huston, “Let’s talk about the black bird” – let’s talk about a mysterious bird made out of gold. Oh yes, because this is a film noir worthy of Dashiell Hammett – involving the Pentagon, Beijing, shadow wars, pivoting and a lot of gold.
Let’s start with Beijing’s official position; “We don’t have enough gold”. That leads to China’s current, frenetic buying spree – which particularly in Hong Kong anyone can follow live, in real time. China is already the top gold producing and the top gold importing nation in the world.
Gold accounts for roughly 70% of reserves held by the US and Germany – and more or less the same for France and Italy. Russia – also on a buying spree – is slightly over 10%. But China’s percentage of gold among its whopping US$3.2 trillion reserves is only 2%.
Beijing is carefully following the current shenanigans of the New York Federal Reserve, which, asked by the German Bundesbank to return the German gold it is holding, replied it would take at least seven years.
German financial journalist Lars Schall has been following the story since the beginning, and virtually alone has made the crucial connection between gold, paper money, energy resources and the abyss facing the petrodollar.
Whenever Beijing says it needs more gold, this is justified as a hedge “against risks in foreign reserves” – aka US dollar fluctuation – but especially to “promote yuan globalization”. As in, suavely, having the yuan compete with the US dollar and the euro “fairly” in the “international market”.
And here’s the (elusive) heart of the matter. What Beijing actually wants is to get rid of the US dollar peg. For that to happen, it needs vast gold reserves. So here’s Beijing pivoting from the US dollar to the yuan – and trying to sway vast swathes of the global economy to follow the path. This golden rule is Beijing’s Maltese Falcon: “The stuff dreams are made of”.
Have drone, will travel
Qatar also does pivoting – but of the MENA (Middle East-Northern Africa) kind. Doha has been financing Wahhabis and Salafis – and even Salafi-jihadis – as in North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) rebels in Libya, Free Syrian Army gangs in Syria, and the pan-Islamic gang that took over northern Mali.
The State Department – and later the Pentagon – may have woken up to it, as in the arrangement brokered by Doha and Washington together to spawn a new, more palatable Syria “coalition”. But still very potent are those dangerous liaisons between the francophile Emir of Qatar and the Quai d’Orsay in Paris – which gathered plenty of steam already during the reign of King Sarko, aka former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Every informed geopolitical observer has tracked leak after leak by former French intelligence operatives to the deliciously wicked satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine, detailing Qatar’s modus operandi. It’s a no-brainer. Qatar’s foreign policy reads as Muslim Brotherhood Here, There and Everywhere (but not inside the neo-feudal emirate); this is Qatar’s Maltese Falcon. At the same time Doha – to the delight of French elites – is an avid practitioner of hardcore neoliberalism, and a top investor in France’s economy.
So their interests may coalesce in promoting disaster capitalism – successfully – in Libya and then – still unsuccessfully – in Syria. Yet Mali is something else; classic blowback – and that’s where the interests of Doha and Paris diverge (not to mention Doha and Washington; at least if one does not assume that Mali has been the perfect pretext for a renewed AFRICOM drive.)
Algerian media is awash in outrage, questioning Qatar’s agenda (in French). Yet the pretext – as predicted – worked perfectly.
AFRICOM – surprise! – is on a roll, as the Pentagon gets ready to set up a drone base in Niger. That’s the practical result of a visit by AFRICOM’s commander, General Carter Ham, to Niger’s capital Niamey only a few days ago.
Forget about those outdated PC-12 turbo props that have been spying on Mali and Western Africa for years. Now it’s Predator time. Translation: chief-in-waiting John Brennan plans a Central Intelligence Agency shadow war all across the Sahara-Sahel. With permission from Mick Jagger/Keith Richards, it’s time to start humming a remixed hit: “I see a grey drone/ and I want it painted black”.
AFRICOM does Niger is indeed sweeter than cherry pie. Northwest Niger is the site of all those uranium mines supplying the French nuclear industry. And it’s very close to Mali’s gold reserves. Imagine all that gold in an “unstable” area falling into the hands of … Chinese companies. Beijing’s Maltese Falcon moment of finally having enough gold to dump the US dollar peg would be at hand.
The Pentagon even got permission for all its surveillance gear to refuel in – of all places – crucial Agadez. The French legion may have been doing the hard work on the ground in Mali, but it’s AFRICOM which will ultimately reap the profits all across the Sahara-Sahel.
Don’t you know about the (Asian) bird?
And that brings us to that famous pivoting to Asia – which was supposed to be the number one geopolitical theme of the Obama 2.0 administration. It may well be. But certainly alongside AFRICOM pivoting all over the Sahara/Sahel in drone mode, to Beijing’s growing irritation; and Doha-Washington pivoting in their support of the former “terrorist” turned “freedom fighter”, and vice-versa.
And we did not even mention the non-pivoting involved in this noir plot; the Obama 2.0 administration keeping its appalling embrace of the medieval House of Saud and “stability in the Arabian peninsula”, as recommended by an usual suspect, a mediocre – yet influential – “veteran intelligence official“.
Play it again, Sam. In that outstanding Maltese Falcon scene at the start of our plot between Humphrey Bogart (let’s say he plays the Pentagon) and Sydney Greenstreet (let’s say he plays Beijing), the official is the goon, the third guy in the picture. The pivoting to Asia is essentially a product of Andrew Marshall, an allegedly Yoda-like totem of US national security.
Marshall has been behind the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) – all of you Donald Rumsfeld freaks know about it – failed Shock and Awe (which only served to destroy Iraq almost beyond repair, even with disaster capitalism involved); and now the concept calledAir Sea Battle.
Air Sea Battle’s premise is that Beijing will attack US forces in the Pacific, which is, frankly, ridiculous (even with help from a monster false-flag operation). The US would then retaliate via a “blinding campaign” – the naval equivalent of Shock and Awe. Both the US Air Force and the US Navy loved the concept because it implies a lot of hardware spending to be stationed in plenty of sophisticated Pacific bases, and in the high seas.
So even as David Petraeus-style counterinsurgency has pivoted to John Brennan’s CIA shadow wars, the real deal is the pivoting to Asia; a pseudo-strategy, concocted to keep the Pentagon budget at exorbitant levels, promoting a new cold war with China. “They will never amass enough gold to impose their evil plans”, one could hear Marshall say about China (without Bogart or Greenstreet’s aplomb, of course). Hammett would be appalled; Marshall’s Maltese Falcon is the stuff (war) dreams are made of.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2008). He may be reached at email@example.com.
Source: Asia Times
Yep, Larsen is staying up at night with the worry beads due to the fact that all the nation’s peanuts are processed at one plant, in North or South Carolina…he can’t remember which. According to Larsen, the centralization of this facility provides an easy target for terrorists wielding chemical or biological weapons.
Larsen is a former Colonel in the United States Air Force and is a decorated Vietnam vet. He is a founding member of the WMD center, a not-for- profit research organization, along with former Senators Bob Graham (D-FL) and Jim Talent (R_MO). Larsen is also the national security advisor at the Center for Biosecurity, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and is a senior fellow at the Homeland Security Policy institute at George Washington University.
In a recent telephone interview, Larsen opined that food terrorism is one the most significant threats faced by the nation.
Larsen also responded to questions about predictions being tendered that we should expect a pandemic by the end of 2013. “Pandemics,” declared Larsen, “run in thirty-forty year cycles. We are overdue.”
In fact, Larsen may have his numbers screwed up. The Spanish flu, which killed 20-40 million people worldwide, made its debut in 1918. The Asian flu killed about a million people in 1957-58 and only ten years later the Hong Kong flu killed just under a million.
Facts notwithstanding, the predictions persist that 2013 will be the Big One—either in terms of a terrorist attack or a pandemic. Not only have Larsen’s colleagues, Talent and Graham committed to this perception, but Dr. Daniel Gerstein of the Department of Homeland Security made just such a prediction last December at the Biological Weapons Convention, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland at the United Nations. “We expect a pandemic before the end of 2013,” stated Gerstein.http://www.activistpost.com/
A pandemic or a biological weapons attack? Or are they one and the same?
Larsen pooh- poohed the idea that water systems might be a target for a domestic terrorist attack. He stated that, given the amount of pathogen necessary to contaminate a water system, it was highly unlikely that such an effort would be successful.
However, Larsen’s perception is not shared by others in government nor by the scientific community. Last year, DHS chief Janet Napolitano issued a homeland security warning http://www.news10.net/news/
Her concerns were echoed just last week by Leon Panetta, who was reported in Money Newshttp://www.moneynews.com/
The scientific community is also at odds with Larsen’s assessment of the threat posed by a waterborne attack. A heavily footnoted report by the Congressional Research Service entitled “Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector,” declared “Bioterrorism or chemical attacks could deliver widespread contamination with small amounts of microbiological agents or toxic chemicals, and could endanger the public health of thousands.” (December 15, 2010)
During the course of our phone interview, this reporter suggested to Larsen that the danger posed by vulnerabilities inherent in the very configuration of water systems countrywide might present a compelling concern to those involved in protecting the United States from a terrorist attack. With his permission, this reporter forwarded a report detailing these vulnerabilities, which was submitted to the Critical Infrastructure unit of the Department of Homeland Security last August. The report is reproduced in its entirety, below.
Larsen’s response was terse and to the point. On September 8, 2012, he sent me this message from his I phone:
“After reading some of your pieces on the Internet about the Patriot Act, I assure you we will have no further conversations or email exchanges. Sorry I wasted your time and mine.”
Well, at least he has locked in on the Skippy terrorism. What a relief. I was beginning to think we might have a problem
Marine General John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, says one possible explanation for a spike in killings of American troops by their Afghan partners is the strain of fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ended on August 18. He said that while the reasons for the killings are not fully understood, the effect of Ramadan fasting is “likely among the causes.” There have been at least 32 attacks so far this year, killing 40 coalition members—mostly Americans—ten of them in August.
“The idea that they will fast during the day places great strain on them,” Allen said, adding that the stress may have been compounded by Ramadan falling during the heat of summer and the height of the fighting season. He acknowledged that hunger and heat may not be the primary causes for the killings, but it is among many “different and complex reasons for why we think this may have increased” lately.
Welcome to the Ramadan-Induced Sudden Jihad Syndrome. Presumably next year, the U.S. Army is going to set up counseling centers and group therapy sessions for the Afghan soldiers and policemen who cease to be responsible for their actions due to the “great strain.”
As for the “different and complex reasons,” in Allen’s account the words “Islam” and “jihad” did not make an appearance. In addition to the mental “strain” of fasting, he also cited Taliban infiltration of Afghan security forces and unnamed “personal Afghan grievances” against U.S. troops. Back in Washington, Colonel Lapan, spokesman for the US Joint Chiefs of Staff commented, “we don’t know what’s causing [the attacks], and we’re looking at everything.” As for the experts, Mark Jacobsen, a defense specialist at the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. and a former senior NATO civilian representative in Afghanistan, said Allen’s theory about the role of Ramadan in the attacks is “very reasonable.” John Agoglia, an executive at IDS International, which provides cultural awareness training for U.S. troops in Afghanistan, said in an interview that the insider attacks were partly linked to a Taliban effort to “psychologically dislocate” Afghans from their American trainers and advisers.
While the Fasting Factor is a demented fantasy, the insistence on the “infiltration” by the Taliban and its “psychological dislocation” campaign is factually incorrect. As The New York Times reported on August 18, the military has analyzed the attacks and the results have been worrisome: “Only a handful of the 31 attacks this year have clearly been a result of Taliban activity like infiltration. That suggests a level of malaise or anger within the Afghan forces that could complicate NATO’s training program, which relies on trust and cooperation.”
“Could complicate” implies that this has not happened yet, which is ridiculous. In May 2011, a U.S. Army study established that killings of Americans and other NATO troops by Afghan soldiers and policemen were not “rare and isolated events.” In ten months (July 2010-May 2011) over thirty were murdered by Afghan national security forces. The problem escalated following the alleged burning of Qurans at an American military base last February, when two American officers were killed by their Afghan “colleagues” inside the Interior Ministry in Kabul. After that incident Gen. Allen withdrew his men from Afghan government facilities, while NATO personnel in the capital had to limit their contact with Afghan government institutions to cell phones and e-mail. Another crisis started on March 11, when an American sergeant killed 16 unarmed Afghan civilians in a village near Kandahar. The “insider killings” reached a new high after that incident, steadily escalating to two deaths a week in August.
The primary reason for the killings is the religiously inspired animosity most Afghans feel for the infidel in general, and Americans in particular. It is driven by the eminently orthodox dogma of jihad—supported by countless examples through history—that if a Muslim land is occupied by infidels, it is obligatory for the Muslims to resist the kufr—soldiers and civilians alike—and kill them, while pretending to be their friends if this facilitates the desired outcome.
A war waged by non-Muslims in a predominantly Muslim land is inevitably a religious war. This explanation—which is at least worthy of serious consideration by the military authorities, for the sake of the dead and others who are in harm’s way—is not allowed into the discourse of top field commanders, their professional advisors and political masters. They act like oncologists who willfully won’t, or else are not allowed to, diagnose metastatic cancer. Their political masters prefer to stick to their politically correct dogmas than to accept an explanation that is at odds with their world view. As a result, American and allied soldiers die.
In Afghanistan, the hatred of the infidel occupier is combined with studied contempt of Afghans of all political hues for the rhetoric of “partnership,” with which the American political and military establishment remains infatuated. No partnership is possible. History tells us that Muslim soldiers can respect and obey non-Muslim masters, but not in this case. They will do so only when the “infidel” officer commands Muslims from a clear-cut position of indisputable authority.
During World War II, close to 400,000 Punjabi Muslims volunteered for the British Indian Army. From 1936 until the partition in 1947, Muslims from different parts of the Subcontinent accounted for about a third of the Indian Army personnel. Coming mainly from the traditionally martial communities in today’s Pakistan, they were hugely over-represented in the all-volunteer force. They were commanded mostly by British officers, invariably so above the rank of major. Before 1939, they were on station duty in Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Aden, the Gulf, Burma, Malaya and Hong Kong—some of the hottest places on Earth. During the war they fought mostly in East Africa, North Africa, Syria, Tunisia, Malaya, Burma, and Italy—except for the last, lands and regions no less hot and often even less hospitable than Afghanistan itself. There is no record, however, of “insider attacks” presenting a problem—Ramadan or no Ramadan.
In the Russian Empire, following the conquest of the Caucasus and Central Asia, Muslim territorial regiments—commanded by Russian officers—were established in those territories that were granted autonomous status, such as the Emirate of Bukhara or the Khanate of Khiva. Elsewhere, regiments of Muslims were incorporated into the regular army—e.g. the Muslim cavalry of Dagestan, the Crimean Tatar squadron—but they were also officered by Russians. They were reliable, loyal, fought well, and endured the Ramadan, it seems, with no great stress—or at least we have no such record.
In our own time, Muslims are significantly over-represented in the French Army—accounting for a fifth of the rank-and-file—but most of their officers are French. While the loyalty of these soldiers is considered uncertain if they were asked to restore law and order in the restive Muslim banlieus, insider attacks are not a problem and an assiduous Internet search has failed to find any link between their disciplinary or behavioral problems and Ramadan fasting.
Last but not least, their German officers were full of praise for some hundreds of thousands of Muslims who served as volunteers, mostly in the Waffen SS, between 1941 and 1945. They came from the Crimea, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chechnya, Dagestan, Kosovo, Central Asia—an ethnically and racially diverse group—and yet there is no record of insider killings or the Ramadan Syndrome.
Poor General Allen. He is facing a new, altogether unprecedented phenomenon. And poor Afghan soldiers. They are under such strain…
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is running out of rhetorical ammunition in the US’s Holy War against Syria. Perhaps it’s the strain of launching a NATO war bypassing the UN Security Council. Perhaps it’s the strain of being eaten for breakfast routinely by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Hillary has just called on “Western powers” and their Arab stooges – the NATOGCC compound  that passes for the “international community” – to “make it clear that Russia and China will pay a price because they are holding up progress” regarding weaponized regime change in Syria.
In non-newspeak, this means, “If you block our new war, there will be payback”.
Howls of laughter in the corridors of the Kremlin and the Zhongnanhai notwithstanding, this shows how desperate the NATOGCC compound is to force regime change in Syria as a stopover in cutting off Iran’s privileged connection with the Arab world. And this while Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan – leading NATO’s eastern flank – itches to attack Syria but can’t find a way to sell it to Turkish public opinion.
Into this incandescent context plunges WikiLeaks – releasing a batch of very embarrassing emails against the Assad system and the NATO rebels as well. A possible side effect will be to inspire waves of so-called progressives all across the West to start supporting the Holy War on Syria. A realistic effect will be to show how unsavory both sides – the police state Assad system and the armed opposition – really are.
Car bombing tourism, anyone?
It’s useful to examine what price Washington itself, not to mention its NATO subjects, could be paying for this Holy War branch-out fought with – who else – the same bunch of “terrorists” who until yesterday were about to destroy Western civilization and turn it into a giant Caliphate.
Washington, London and Paris have tried – twice – to twist the UN Security Council into yet another war. They were blocked by Russia and China. So plan B was to bypass the UN and launch a NATO war. Problem is NATO has no stomach – and no funds – for a very risky war with a country that can actually defend itself.
Thus plan C is to bet on a prolonged civil war, using the Far-from-Free Syrian Army (FSA), crammed with mercenaries and jihadists, and the band of opportunistic exiles known as the Syrian National Council (SNC).
The SNC has actually called for a Libya-style no-fly zone over Syria – shorthand for a NATO war. Turkey also formally asked NATO for a no-fly zone. NATO commanders may be inept – but they have a certain amount of experience with major embarrassment (see Afghanistan). They flatly refused it.
The SNC – and the FSA – could not be more un-representative. The “Friends of Syria” – as in Hillary and the Arab stooges – barely acknowledge the existence of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change (NCB), the main indigenous opposition movement in Syria, composed of 13 political parties, mostly from the Left, Arab nationalists and including one Kurdish party. The NCB firmly denounces any form of militarization and totally dismisses the FSA.
Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari – a Kurd – has warned that Salafi-jihadists of the al-Qaeda mould are moving into Syria in droves. Apparently this bunch still listens very closely to “invisible” al-Qaeda ideologue Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri; five months ago he issued these marching orders to jihadis in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. It also helps that many of them are being weaponized – via different networks – by the House of Saud and Qatar.
For months everybody knows that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) of al-Qaeda-linked Abdul Hakim Belhaj has been active in Syria – as well as remnants of al-Qaeda in Iraq now responsible for car bombings even in Damascus.
In the event of a post-Assad Syria dominated by hardcore Sunnis infiltrated by Wahhabis and Salafi-jihadists, guaranteed blowback will leave Afghanistan after the 1980s anti-Soviet jihad looking like a ride on Disneyland Hong Kong.
We accept Yuan and Rubles
As for China, it’s laughing about Hillary’s desperation all the way to the bank. As the House of Saud becomes ever more paranoid with what it sees as the Obama administration flirting with democracy in the Arab world, Beijing jacked up trade ties by delivering a bunch of new missiles to Riyadh.
And while the “West” flirts with Holy War, Beijing’s state-sponsored corporations have been buying commodities like crazy all across the Middle East, North Africa and South America – as well as stockpiling rare earths for strategic reserves. China produces no less than 97% of the world’s rare earths – used on everything from iPads to those shiny new missiles now frying in the Arabian desert.
Other side effects as in “the price to pay” for the bypassing of the UN and the obsession on NATO as global Robocop will be inevitable. It shouldn’t be forgotten that the Holy War on Syria is a stopover on the way to Tehran. For instance, a new system of maritime insurance, as well as a new international exchange mechanism – bypassing Western diktats – may be about to be born.
Yet the most important element may be a concerted move by Russia, Iran and China to reorganize the global energy market by transacting outside of the petrodollar.
So Washington cuts Iran off from SWIFT – the international bank clearing system? Iran’s central bank counterpunches; if you want to do business with us, you can pay in any currency apart from the US dollar, or you can pay with gold.
This is the Holy Grail of the Holy War – not Syria; one thing is for Tehran to accept euros as payment for its oil and gas; another thing is to accept gold. On top of it with full support from both Russia and China.
In a nutshell; the whole Holy War syndrome is accelerating the end of the US dollar as global reserve currency. And when it happens, will there be an American Spring? Or will US elites – like the Mob – have the guts, and the muscle, to force Russia and China to pay the price?
1. NATOGCC is a compound of the North Atlantic treaty Organization and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His most recent book is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
Source: Asia Times
“The Chinese may take risks far more than average Americans do, thanks to advice from traditional proverbs.”
The saying “At a good bargain, think twice” is pretty risk-averse. On the other hand, a typical Chinese proverb such as “Seize an opportunity and make good use of it” shows how risk-taking is ingrained in Chinese culture.
Much of the coverage on the imbalance in global trade focuses on Chinese imports into the U.S. In order to understand these disparities, a short review of the International Viewpoint list is helpful, from an Asian perspective, why China is the world trade leader.
There are seven great advantages of China.
First, she has a more developed and balanced industry than many developing countries.
Second, China’s very strong and effective state machinery has been an effective tool for mobilizing resources for modernization.
Third, the sheer size of China – a huge country with a population of 1.3 billion – greatly magnifies the advantages of effective state-led growth and sophisticated manufacturing.
China’s fourth great advantage is the legacy of land reform.
The fifth element of China advantage is deep-rooted nationalism.
The sixth advantage of capitalist China is her absolutely atomized labor in face of an absolute state.
Last but not the least, China has a unique advantage in the big leap forward to embrace global capitalism, namely the unique factor of having Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as her door to the world.
This point of view may explain Chinese Proverbs on business, but absent in the equation is an admission that the world trade system is slanted in favor of the Globalist model, at the expense of domestic commerce.
Even the predisposed transnational New York Times in a report, China Uses Rules on Global Trade to Its Advantage, admits that the playing field is not level.
“China is engaged in a two-pronged effort: fighting protectionism among its trade partners and holding down the value of its currency.
To maximize its advantage, Beijing is exploiting a fundamental difference between two major international bodies: the World Trade Organization, which wields strict, enforceable penalties for countries that impede trade, and the International Monetary Fund, which acts as a kind of watchdog for global economic policy but has no power over countries like China that do not borrow money from it.”
Ostensibly, this NYT conclusion is the mainstream assessment. However, a comprehensive analysis needs to take into account the complicity of design used by the Globalists to transform international trade into a non-competitive vehicle for the establishment of a controlled New World Order.
A hint on the nature of the problem is cited in an Op-Ed published in the LA Times,How China unfairly bests the U.S.
This ominous forecast is partially correct, but needs to include an entire additional level in order to understand that the trading system is not solely a conflict between risk taking Chinese “seizing an opportunity”, and timid American corporatists abandoning domestic prosperity.
“The most potent of China’s “weapons of job destruction” are an elaborate web of export subsidies; the blatant piracy of America’s technologies and trade secrets; the counterfeiting of valuable brand names like Nike and Chevy; a cleverly manipulated and grossly undervalued currency; and the forced transfer of the technology of any American company wishing to operate on Chinese soil or sell into the Chinese market.
The second myth we must expose if we are to ever reverse the job-killing trade deficits we now run with China is the idea that free trade always benefits both countries. That doesn’t hold true if one country cheats on the other. Instead, when a mercantilist China uses unfair trade practices to wage war on our manufacturing base, the American economy is the big loser.”
The abandonment of a “deep-rooted nationalism” by most American public companies causes a sellout culture that even Apple cannot gloss over.
Producing their overpriced devices using slave labor, may be dandy for profits, but lacks the foresight to continue a vibrant national economy. Illustrating similar examples over the decades, that the perverted Free Trade fraud has been in place, only proves that the loss of an independent manufacturing base is no coincidence.
The Globalists are in partnership with China. The Chinese system of serfs produce an “atomized labor force” is the framework for the NWO economy.
The technological innovations and intellectual ingenuity, long the hallmark of the American genius, is now routinely transferred into Chinese custody, as the price of doing business with the Communist regime.
This madness goes on continuously with only a whimper of concern, from the multinational executives that export our economic independence for a fake independency.
Chinese advantages in trade policy are mostly tactics and methods of extortion, under the guiding hand of a cabal of international debt created capital. The invisible hand of Adam Smith is replaced with complot Maoism in place of a free market. The Proletarian Cultural Revolution has yielded into the central bankers’ paradise of indentured servitude. The primary product from the “so called”, - effective state-led growth - is centralized control. The financial reserves of the Globalists and their Chinese cousins accumulate consistently under the protection of their unfair trade policies.
Under Free Trade schemes, America looses on all levels. These pecuniary policies designed to replace the entrepreneurial alternative; with corporatist distribution, has the goal of eliminating competition.
The sentiment of the master monopolist David Rockefeller is revealing, “Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution, it has obviously succeeded not only in producing more efficient and dedicated administration, but also in fostering high morale and community of purpose. The social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership is one of the most important and successful in human history.”
The biggest advantage the Chinese Marxists have is that their Western plutocrat admirers are joined at the hip and plot world hegemony through a financial and economic conjugation. While trade is important for commerce to spread, it must be fair and balanced. China fails this test.
Our Survival Depends On Learning To Recognize Him…
Today we are witnessing the complete breakdown of our institutions. This is true in finance, banking, and government. The bald fact confronts us at the gas pump and in the supermarket. It is true in education, where we pay heavily to ensure our children learn only to find, instead, they are being propagandized and their presence in schools used to assert control over how they are raised.
War has become our continual condition. Young people are enticed and coerced into the military through promises, which will not be kept, and economic conditions which leave them no choices. They come home inflicted with PTSD,TBI, struggling to function. Many die of suicide, or on the streets, homeless.
Our courts have long since ceased being the dispassionate tribunal where the condition and wealth of those standing before it does not matter. Corruption, purchased verdicts, and greed, drive those who were entrusted with ensuring equal access to justice for all Americans.
Law enforcement, police, prisons, and its management and infrastructure, moved into fast forward over a decade ago. The police know nothing about the Constitution or our rights. Their training is militarized. Prisons have become corporate profit centers, expanding due to the proliferation of laws which bolster their bottom line, sucking money out of the pockets of Americans.
We have been told it is right and proper to bail out irresponsible and predatory corporations – but individuals who paid into Social Security must pull in their belts and live on less on less – even as the cost of food continues to climb monthly, edging them toward starvation.
Organic dairies and gardening are under attack, while GMO is fast tracked.
The middle class has all but disappeared, leaving only the wealthy – and the rest of us.
In every part we confront the growth of restrictions and controls, limitations of our right to choose for ourselves.
We look into each others eyes and ask, “What happened?”
You’ve heard many theories and watched as attempts to correct the corruption failed. Checks and balances have also been hijacked. These are all failing because the foundational problem was not recognized.
The electoral process has been hijacked. From the presentation of candidates, until the votes are counted, the whole is managed through a process which includes media owned by what I call Greedville, in the case of media seven large, global corporations which are all controlled by psychopaths. Information, now divorced from facts, is filtered through systems for nomination and voting managed outside of the public view.
The presence of psychopaths among us is the problem.
Normal people could never pull this off. Normal people have consciences. Our unseen problem has been those without conscience, the psychopathic, who concentrate where they have access to power, changing institutional practices and culture, looting the system.
Humanity needs to understand and take action. In this series we will lay out causes and what can be done to take back our world.
- Understand psychopathy through the case of Alexander, 13th Duke of Manchester, psychopath.
- The strategies used by psychopaths
- How our institutions fail to account for psychopathic behavior.
- How psychopaths manipulate the emotionally normal to work for them.
- Understand the impact of their presence among us.
Alexander, 13th Duke of Manchester
The Early Life of a Psychopath
Allow me to introduce you to the poster boy for Psychopathy, His Grace, Alexander, the 13th Duke of Manchester, or Alexander Montagu, though during his criminal career he has used other names in plenty. He is not a smart psychopath, but his life illustrates many truths about the condition.
Alexander Montagu is one of the hundreds of thousands of those without conscience walking among us. This assertion is supported by a wealth of evidence from multiple sources over a period spanning decades.
His condition was first identified by a psychiatrist named Dr. Barry Williamson, who attended him in 1984 when he was institutionalized for assault with a spear gun and attempted suicide. At the time he was on welfare, received because he was deemed ‘disabled.’
Montagu was treated at Pine Lodge Clinic, according to the transcript.
Dr. Williamson’s comment, made to Montagu’s solicitor Mr. Zoltan Varszeghy, who has now returned to Hungary, is included. The comment entered into the court record was, “Dr. Williamson attended him there. Dr. Williamson has in fact told me he has psychopathic tendencies.” The full transcript can be viewed. Bottom of page 9.
Montagu was then facing charges of assault against his wife and at least one police officer with a spear gun.
His behavior as a child was disruptive, both according to his mother, this supplied in emails, and according to his brother Kimble, information provided in a declaration given in 2011.
Alexander was expelled twenty times from the school he attended in Beverly Hills and from every other school where he was placed, according to his mother, Lady Mary Montagu. He failed to develop relationships with either of his siblings, both of whom grew up to live normal, stable, lives.
This is an identifying characteristic of a psychopath.
His relationship with his mother is one of demanding his needs be serviced while he provides nothing in return.
Another psychopathic characteristic; he is entitled.
He has borrowed money from his sister, Emma, and never repaid the funds and his brother, Kimble was also called upon for assistance, despite the fact Kimble is not close to him and so testified in his declaration given under penalty of perjury for the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, in July of 2011.
Borrowing money from others, or receiving services, activates a strategy which his former wife,Wendy Buford, reported seeing played out many times.
After receiving funds or services Montagu distances himself from the individual, who he vilifies. He then picks a fight, and refuses to carry through with his promise for payment or repayment. It is always their fault, never his.
This is the concept of ‘splitting,’ used by the disordered. The targeted victim is either all good, when they are being used; or all bad, when he is finished with them.
This is a standard strategy common to psychopaths.
The vilification strategy also includes assault by slander, a massive campaign to destroy the reputation of the individual who is no longer useful to him. Relatives, journalists, business partners, former wives, and friends have all experienced this parting gift from Montagu.
When discovered in a crime Montagu blames others. During Montagu’s recent arraignment for passing a bad check in Las Vegas he, or his wife, variously claimed it was a case of mistaken identity, use of the wrong checkbook, or a plot carried out to embarrass him.
This frequently works for him because he is titled, and because, as a psychopath, he shows no sense of guilt or shame. He lies smoothly and constantly, remaking reality as he believes it will work to persuade his victim to perform as he wants.
Having thoroughly victimized his target Montagu positions himself as the victim. This is a strategy known as, the ‘Turn Around.’
This also is characteristic of psychopaths.
All successful con men are psychopaths. Police in Australia identified Alexander Montagu as a “highly successful con-man,’ by the time he was 29 years of age, this remark memorialized in an article written about him in the Australian Post in May of 1991. This classification of psychopath is not necessarily violent, but is, nonetheless, psychopathic. Murderers such as Paul Bernardo, Clifford Olson, John Wayne Gacy may be serial killers, smiling as they murder, but most psychopaths, such as Montagu, are subclinical, meaning they avoid punishment because their crimes are financial or less egregious forms of abuse than murder – but still costly and damaging to their victims.
This term, used by Robert Hare, the recognized world expert on psychopathy, includes individuals who, who, like Montagu are dangerous and unpredictable.
A difference in the brain
The source of psychopathy is in the brain itself. A study carried out at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by researchers found a variance while studying images of prisoners’ brains. These revealed that psychopaths have reduced connections between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), the part of the brain responsible for sentiments such as empathy and guilt, and the amygdala, reconciling fear andanxiety.
Because psychopaths do not feel emotions,fear or empathy, they do not experience love or guilt. Normal humans reference emotional states and their actions and choices are dictated and limited by their feelings. These characteristics are shared by all normal humans and human institutions are designed, taking into account concern for others and a working conscience.
A normal individual cannot lie without experiencing anxiety. This is the basis of the Lie Detector. A psychopath feels no anxiety when he is lying, for him lying is normal behavior. This helps to explain how our institutions have been converted by the psychopathic for their own profit. As normal humans we sense when someone is anxious, this can lead us to believe they are lying – and to the assumption those without anxiety are telling the truth.
Psychopaths who are subclinical, formulate their strategies for getting what they want from experimenting with what works to accomplish their goals. Over the last centuries, and especially during the 20th Century, psychopaths have intentionally, and actively, worked to convert our institutions to a centralized model which allowed them to have control.
How this took place is the subject of a later article.
An examination of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal government, finance, our infrastructure for regulation, among others, shows how these can, in effect, become operational tools for the highly psychopathic, who are concentrated in these specific areas.
Estimates of the percentage of the psychopathic in finance is believed to be far larger than the general population. Theories of the impact of psychopaths on corporate culture have been, according to Robert Hare, PhD., and growing number of experts and observers, highly significant.
In a paper appearing in the Journal of Business Ethics, 2011, “The Corporate Psychopaths Theory for Global Financial Crisis,” written by Clive R. Boddy and copyrighted by Springer, cites the need for further study of the impact of psychopaths in the corporate environment, pointing out the ‘strengths’ of psychopaths, charisma, self-confidence, and presentation, allow them to claim credit for successes for which they are not responsible. Since they lack conscience this is most likely to happen. Psychopaths are not troubled when they walk away with huge remuneration, leaving the company to falter and die. In recent days, we have often watches this take place.
The theory is receiving serious consideration in business and studies are continuing.
Psychopaths operating on the level of banking, finance, and other institutions function on a higher level level than Montagu. They are more intelligent and are more able to emulate emotions. They are smoother and far more difficult to identify.
Montagu is an example of a lower level psychopath, he routinely threatens violence and has been violent, witness his several convictions for assault in Australia. He, however, learned to modify the amount of violence to ensure he would not again face incarceration.
All psychopaths tend to find successful strategies and repeat them. Psychopaths, regardless of intelligence, are limited in innovation. But they are skilled in manipulation and control. They have a radar sense of knowing what the normal person expects and use this to gain trust and access to whatever they are trying obtain from the victim. They wolves in sheep’s clothing, waiting for the moment to strike.
Manipulation and control are standard tools for psychopaths.
Montagu’s subsequent acts illustrate the desire for immediate gratification, ability to ignore potential hazards, and ability to rewrite reality to fit into the lies he was telling to engage possible victims.
This is typical of the psychopath, category - Egocentric and Grandiose
In 1988 Montagu had openly solicited marriage by purchase for the title of Duchess. In another article, titled, “My Barmy Marriage.” written the same year in The People, Marion Stoner reacts, offering her story, having read Montagu was attempting to profit by marriage.
She had been unable to find him to serve papers, she reported in the article. She goes on to outline what transpired to a small degree. Her Application for Separation , given under penalty of perjury, is more forthcoming and reads like a horror story. Other documents, found here, support her statements.
1991 found Montagu arrested for entering Canada. The title of the article, Diana’s Cousin Selling Titleappeared on September 21, 1991 in the Sun Journal. The reason for his arrest appears at the end, “He was arrested for allegedly entering Canada illegally from Hong Kong on June 17th. Immigration officials say he failed to disclose 29 criminal convictions for fraud and assault in Australia.”
Montagu knew he was not divorced from his first wife, Marion Stoner, who he had assaulted and lethally threatened with a spear gun, after less than three months of marriage. The spear missed Marion’s friend’s head, also present, by half an inch.
Today Montagu asserts, against all existing proof, several conflicting stories. He tells people Marion Stoner never existed. He tells people the wedding was a gag. He tells people his mother flubbed the annulment, and he tells people his mother had a long term plot to get the title of Duke for his younger brother. The story used depends on what he thinks will work.
Proof means nothing to a psychopath. Reality is what they say it is. This can sometimes work against them in several ways.
Viscount Mandeville solves the problem of being deported and homeless.
And, as a testament to how easily the psychopath, even a less intelligent psychopath, can manipulate normal people, let us consider how Montagu managed to stay in a relationship with Wendy Buford Montagu for 15 years, years fraught with trauma for her.
Montagu originally married Wendy because he was running out of money and was in danger of being deported. Married to an American woman with a job evidently became his goal. Wendy reported Alexander was supposedly living with his business partner but had his own car. She later learned he was borrowing the car owned by his business partner’s girl friend, claiming to own it.
The entire relationship can truthfully be characterized as one outrage after another.
Montagu married Buford in 1993, just before the birth of their son, Alexander, Jr., his first act was to demand she visit the immigration office to prove they were legally married (a lie) so he could evade deportation, which he said was about to take place due to the threats of his business partner. Within weeks of their first date he had insinuated himself into her apartment and was using her car as his own. His business partner’s girl friend had reclaimed her automobile.
Over the next 15 years the couple was evicted 11 times, each time because Alexander spent the money for rent or the mortgage elsewhere. Wendy was never permitted to know anything about their finances. Asking if the rent was paid was pointless. Alexander would always lie.
When evicted for non-payment of rent or mortgage, he focused anger on the landlord, routinely destroying the property. This has included pouring cement down the toilets. according to his present wife Laura. With Montagu the barrage of such behavior was constant and consistent, according to his wife of 15 years, Wendy Buford Montagu.
Since Montagu never had a job it was his wife’s income from her job which was garnisheed. Today, Wendy is still paying off these debts.
Although his mother, Lady Mary, carried the paperwork for the Stoner divorce in 1996, asking Alexander only to sign and return papers.
After the divorce Lady Mary ordered him to remarry Wendy, who had no idea he had been married to Marion Stoner at the time of their wedding. Alexander never mentioned the matter. He had lied on their marriage license, checking, ‘never married,’ instead of ‘married but annulled,’ which had been an option. He had not mentioned an annulment, but one of his alternative reality stories would be blaming his mother for not finishing an annulment which there is no record had ever been filed.
Yet if Alexander had not, himself, informed the Trustees, the matter would have died there. Alexander, whose life, like all psychopaths, is filled with chaos, decided to divorce Wendy after he succeeded to the title of Duke in 2002, while waiting for the sale of the Manchester Jewels to provide him with funds.
Wendy could not help but notice he started going to the tanning salon, had his teeth redone, and spending other money on himself from a household budget which was slim at best. Overweight, he also had a colon reduction so he could slim down. Naturally, he lied to Wendy, telling her the surgery was covered by insurance and was for his back. This deception worked for him until she came to pick him up at the hospital and asked the nurse how the back surgery had gone.
Their divorce from a non-existent marriage was orchestrated by Montagu with the intention of gaining custody of the children so Wendy would be required to pay him both alimony and child support.
Filing a false report of violence, he received a temporary order excluding her from the family home. Wendy, realizing what was happening, cooperated completely with the court and went through an intense, expensive, and humiliating process which proved she did not take drugs, was not an alcoholic, and was not violent. Wendy was awarded physical custody of both children, who were turned over to her without any of their possessions and dressed in only their pajamas.
Alexander made none of the court ordered payments for tests he had demanded, though the court had insisted he do so. Montagu had stolen all of Wendy’s property, evidently selling her family heirlooms and jewelry. Wendy has received none of her possessions. All Montagu offered to give her were some old clothes.
Making Wendy disappear must finally have occurred to him as a solution to his problem. Fortunately for her, the individual Montagu asked to carry out the act, who was not psychopathic, called her and warned her what had been offered him. Her call to local detectives made this course too risky for Montagu to pursue.
Montagu had attempted to hide his assets and bank accounts. These had been discovered through subpoena, including one account holding nearly one millions dollars. He was confronted with the records on the stand and still tried to lie his way out, claiming it could not be his account.
Montagu left the area, never paying the court ordered support for his children or alimony. The court proved entirely unable to cope with someone for whom deceit was natural and who never paid his bills.
Normal people follow the rules. Psychopaths ignore them.
Charges of Bigamy are proved.
Two years after their divorce was over, 2009, evidently hoping the monies paid to the children would be directed to him by the Trust if his children were known to be illegitimate, he so informed the Trustees.
The Trustees were forced to stop the payments to the children, made on their behalf as beneficiaries, which had made up for the support not received by their father. After short consideration the Trustees filed a law suit, intended to clarify and affirm their wish to continue payments, not allowed under existing law.
The law suit was filed in the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division and heard on July 19th 2011. The Trustees could restart payments to the straitened family. In the immediate aftermath a spate of articles hit papers across the world, naming Montagu as a bigamist, which examination of the existing documents and testimony had proven him to be.
Proof means nothing to a psychopath. Realizing the public relations disaster he had wrought, Montagu began to whine, asking for someone to prove someone else was responsible.
With the negative weight of the world opinion directed at him, not a shred of shame or contrition surfaced. Consideration for what his children had suffered, what he had done to his former wife, were ignored. The fact he was also proven to have committed massive fraud against his former wife, he also ignored, focusing only on himself.
His only interaction with his children is limited to calling them up to slander their mother and make demands. This reached a high, or low point, when he called his 12 year old daughter, Ashley, to describe pictures he had taken of her mother, clearly asleep in her bed unclothed. He told his daughter he had arranged to sell these to a porn site online. The taped message exists and will soon be back up online.
Whatever happens is always blamed on someone else. Bringing it full circle, this was true of his childhood and, as you read articles written about him over his life time, you see this has been consistent. He shows no sense of shame, no empathy, no compassion.
Judge Margaret McMurdo, before whom Montagu appeared in Australia for stealing and selling rental cars in 1991, advised him to continue his psychiatric care, “You need it,” she commented. It has been noted by others in the legal profession he lives in a fantasy world and does not relate to reality. The court was unable to cope with Montagu, releasing him to prey again, even though by 1991 there was a solid record of his crimes.
The Direction Forward – A Solution
During the 80′s and 90′s psychiatry believed psychopaths could be ‘cured.’ This hopeful assessment has now been largely abandoned, due to the insights gained through the work of Robert Hare, Ph.D., who has demonstrated the fact psychopaths receiving counseling benefit, but only by becoming more effective psychopaths.
It is time we focused on the source of the problem and, in cooperation with reform movements, began taking psychopaths into account.
Studying the history of Alexander, Duke of Manchester, provides evidentiary proof of the inability of courts on three continents to cope with the extreme likelihood he would, upon release, again look for unwitting victims. The number of Montagu’s victims doubtless number in the hundreds. As tragic as this is, it cannot be compared to the disastrous outcome from psychopaths who infest our institutions, converting for their own profit. Millions of Americans are, today, their victims. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
We must stop the psychopathic from participation, where a conscience and empathy are essential. Those areas are government, corporations with government contracts, our courts, our schools, and all entities funded by or in contractual relationships with government.
The Hare test for psychopathy, given by a qualified and trained professional is very reliable, remarkably so, when used by non-law enforcement. Hare expressed reservations at having it used more widely and, there are indications this might prove to be the case, according to an article, Can A Test Really Tell Who’s A Psychopath? by Alix Spiegel appearing on NPR. But the problem arises from tests given by individuals, who though trained, are being paid by parties with a vested interest in a specific outcome. If tests are given blind, with no information provided to the person administering the test, this would not be an issue.
Hare himself has suggested it be used for those in government, corporations, courts, including attorneys, and in law enforcement. This would be given upon application for employment or, now to continue employment.
We don’t need legislation to enact this measure. Before voting for candidates, we demand they be tested,in effect, certified non-psychopathic, a kind of Honesty Bond. Some corporations will willingly test their officers and upper level employees. We buy from them, boycotting all others.
Ordinary corruption, we can handle.
One week from today is Easter, the yearly celebration of the resurrection of Christ, a man who exemplifies Love. Eerily, the psychopathic exemplify the anti-Christ. Devoid of conscience and compassion, psychopaths share the characteristics of the devil, doing evil for evil’s sake. As I considered this I felt a chill run across my back.
Many have wondered when the Anti-Christ, long predicted, would be known. Many individuals and institutions have been suggested in this role. The threat represented by the anti-Christ seemed to come from all around us but be no place specific.
A threat spread among us would have that effect. Not knowing, we could not see, looking into faced that seem all too human.
Psychopaths, they do evil for evil’s sake.
In our previous article we looked at whether the U.S. Dollar was headed for a major fall or not. We demonstrated how the dominance of the U.S. dollar was almost entirely dependent on the grip it had over oil producers and this allowed the oil price to be designmnated in the U.S. dollar. The U.S. has gone to war in Kuwait and Iraq over this issue under the guise of destroying “weapons of Mass Destruction” as it appears on the verge of doing in Iran. It is no coincidence that Iran has long since ceased using the dollar to price its oil. It has also eliminated the U.S. dollar from its reserves. But of greater importance to the emerging world has been the use of the Belgian-based SWIFT system of international settlements. Not only has the move stopped the sale of Iranian oil, but it has also interfered with an important source of oil to the emerging world.
Right now there are ongoing discussions between the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries over ther use of the SWIFT system of international settlements as a ‘weapon’ against Iran. The full extent of the impact of this appears to have been ignored. With China and India as two of Iran’s clients, they found that the U.S. could hurt them considerably with this action. If they can hurt them in this way, then they can hurt them the same way on other issues. So the question that the BRIC nations are now asking is, “Must we be subject to the financial will of the U.S.?”
The question has long-term implications that could affect these nation’s freedom of financial activity. The question demands to see just how powerful the U.S. really is. It is very clear to these emerging nations that if they are to keep on growing, unfettered by the U.S. will, they must set up a system that is not vulnerable to U.S. influence and to reduce the influence of the dollar itself.
What is being realized slowly is that the actions that come out of this conference may well mark a watershed in the shift of power from West to East and the significant reduction in the power of the U.S. as the globe’s main financial influence. Consequently, these nation’s will have to lower the influence of the U.S. dollar on their affairs if they are to achieve real financial independence. This has to be a future and extremely negative influence on the international value of the U.S. dollar.
While the SWIFT settlement system is a Belgian-based international banking settlement agency, the U.S. influence over it was sufficient to halt all Iranian interbank transfers. It is not the system that is faulty but the influence of the U.S. over it that is the danger to the BRIC nations.
China, the Rising Dragon
China, for the last two years has been moving to expand the influence of her currency around the globe, initially with her main trading partners. She has been developing her banking system, using the Yuan in a limited way in her trade with outside nations, from whom she imports a great deal and is developing her monetary systems so that the Yuan will become a global reserve currency one day.
That day is still expected to take up to a decade to achieve, but as history has shown so far, China is moving far faster than all expectations have thought. Nation by nation, strategic item by strategic item, China has been introducing the Yuan as the payment currency in a series of ‘swap’ arrangements. The latest is Australia with South Africa coming on stream by 2015. This will take the Yuan deep into the heart of Africa. By then we fully expect to see the Yuan an internationally acceptable currency in which to deal.
Her progress to date has targeted growth-markets, mainly other rapidly developing economies, as well as the whole Asian continent, and no longer just the U.S. and Europe. One of her key strategies through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is to build a pan-Asian security and trade bloc in partnership with Russia. The last element of this 10-year old plan is to settle cross-border trade without using the West’s financial system. China expects to play a major part with her currency, which explains why she is adding to her gold reserves. The relevance of gold is that China will have to show to the people of Asia that her currency has better long-term prospects than the dollar, which goes some way to explaining why so many of the countries associated with the S.C.O. are now also accumulating gold.
To date, China has had to be extremely careful in moving away from the dollar, for the value of over $3.18 trillion in her reserves needs to be maintained. A sudden withdrawal would badly damage this, which China cannot afford right now. At worst, a global systemic collapse of the monetary system could happen if the evolution away from the dollar were handled badly.
The latest moves by the U.S. are deeply disturbing to China, as they have the power to directly hurt the spread of the Yuan on a global basis, if the U.S. so decides. Consequently, China is threatened right now! China has been working on alternatives so far, but the moves on the SWIFT system by the U.S. have made the issue urgent as she now faces a security threat. As China continues to develop, she will face a massive demand to be able to provide financing for expensive capital goods. China can no longer afford to depend on the U.S. dollar as the financing currency for its goods, as it is technically possible, although unlikely, at the moment, to face threats from the U.S. even on this subject.
It is clear to the BRICS nations that they need to set up institutions at the heart of the present world financial systems to act as an alternative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and perhaps a replacement to the SWIFT system for transactions with the emerging world. It will not be sufficient to just have an important role in the developed world institutions. It will also be inappropriate to rely on the U.S. dollar as the currency of the emerging world as it is now.
Gold is Critical to any Change in Currencies on the Global Monetary Scene
Perhaps the largest flaw in the current global monetary system is its reliance on foreign acceptance of national currencies. When the U.S. was unquestionable and unchallengeable, there was no doubt that it ruled the global monetary system completely.
What is relevant is that these emerging nations are headed towards financial independence from the U.S. and are moving toward a separate currency system, which is not held hostage to the U.S. The attack on Iran simply emphasizes the point. But let’s take that one step further and ask, “At what point in time will the emerging world have economic independence from the developed world?” We can see this on the horizon, as the developed world demonstrates its ability to make anything that the developed world is making, but cheaper. We cannot say how close this day is but the issue is in front of us now, and financial systems must accommodate this change or suffer ruptures similar to those we have seen since 2007…or worse.
In a financially hostile world, currencies — like the main ones of the developed world — must have a good stockpile of gold in their vaults to weather those days when other nations fear holding any particular national currency, no matter how seemingly important it is. When doubts about a nation’s currency rise, the use of gold as collateral facilitates transactions and lowers the interest rate charged.
At the moment the emerging world has far too little gold to weather such storms. China is aware of this and is doing something about it and doing it in a hurry. We don’t know how much gold they are buying, but that need is amply demonstrated by the law that forbids exports of gold from China. Please note that Chinese gold is held in China or Hong Kong. The brand new gold vault near the airport in Hong Kong is ideal for storing the gold of China and its trading partners (as an alternative to the Fed or the Bank of England, et al). As the emerging world seeks an alternative system, they will have to follow China’s lead as that will be the ‘tree trunk’ of the new currency system with other nations being the branches springing out of it.
Gold will always remain international money completely free of national markings. It is the one ‘currency’ that can be exchanged that is trusted between enemies. And therein lies its value! Gold in national vaults gives a certain weatherproof quality to a nation’s wealth. That’s why it is pointless in giving it a currency price. When extreme times arrive, that price will change in line with the credibility of the currency pricing it. That’s when gold becomes priceless! The fact it remains internationally exchangeable when currencies are not, makes it a vital reserve asset and one that an internationally trading nation must stockpile.
That’s why the pretense of removing gold from the monetary system can only happen when such pressures are absent. Once they are present gold comes back in a rush. We have been on the re-monetization of gold since before 2009!
The ‘national’ aspect of currencies will come to the fore when political differences and economic competition and self-sufficiency takes hold in the emerging world. Confrontations such as we are seeing now over Iranian oil will hasten that day. So the need for a currency and currency system that retains credibility when political and financial hostility come to the fore is critical. At those times the international acceptability of a nation’s currency is questioned, no matter who it is. We look back at history and say it was no coincidence that the U.S. confiscated citizen’s gold in 1933 and accumulated above 26,000 tonnes of it ahead of the Second World War.
All currencies, like airlines, have their national ‘hub’. Each national currency is deposited in the financial capital of their home nation, even when owned by foreigners. Their acceptability is reliant on the government of that day. After all, every dollar goes through New York, no matter who owns them. So, new international currencies must follow the same road. All Yuan will pass through either Hong Kong or Shanghai as it expands across the world.
Simply the separation of the emerging world financial system from that of the developed world will bring about their own systemic threats. On the emerging world these will be minor as they are starting out afresh.
Source: Market Oracle
Many times I hear the ostriches among us exclaim, “What freedoms have we lost? America is the freest country on earth.” We have all heard that, right? Of course, part of the problem is that, thanks to our education system, media, and churches, many Americans do not even know how to define liberty and freedom. The truth is, America’s Founding Fathers were willing to pledge their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” and fight a bloody revolutionary war for far fewer abridgments of liberty than we Americans endure every day of our lives today. FAR FEWER!
To answer the second part of the ostrich argument first: no, America is not the freest nation on earth. According to the Index of Economic Freedom, which is produced by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, the United States just barely makes it in the top ten, ranked at number nine in the world.
According to Deroy Murdock, “Among the 179 countries examined in the Index, Hong Kong is ranked first, followed by Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Ireland, and Denmark. These nations all outscored the U.S. across ten categories, including taxes, free trade, regulation, monetary policy, and corruption.
“America barely made the top ten. Bahrain was tenth, with 77.7 points, one decimal point behind America’s 77.8 score. Chile reached No. 11 with 77.4, just 0.4 points behind the United States.
“Even worse, with a score below 80, the U.S. is spending its second year as a ‘mostly free’ economy. As it departed the family of ‘free’ nations in 2010, it led the ‘mostly free’ category. Even within this less-than-illustrious group, America now lags behind Ireland and Denmark.”
See Murdock’s report at:
Just ask any small businessman how free the United States is! The regulations, restrictions, prohibitions, assessments, fees, taxes, surcharges, permits, licenses, etc., are worse than almost any industrialized nation in the world. Remember the CEO of Coca Cola recently saying that it was easier doing business in China than in America? Well, he was telling the truth!
Thanks to political correctness, environmental wackoism, and socialistic/fascist ideology running rampant in Washington, D.C., and even many State capitols, “the land of the free” has become “the land of the oppressed.” Being able to drive a car, have a job, shop at a mall, watch sports on television, or even vote, is NOT the mark of a free people. Folks in China and other oppressed nations routinely do all of the above.
Virtually every activity once considered a “right” is now regulated or prohibited by either the federal or State and local government. Few states (thankfully, my home State of Montana is one of them) recognize the right of people to marry without getting a State marriage license. And can anyone imagine Paul Revere riding throughout Boston with a license plate and registration on his horse? And can anyone further imagine Sam Adams or those militiamen at Lexington and Concord registering a gun or being asked to get a concealed carry permit? Yeah, right!
In most urban settings, one cannot build a shed on their own property, add a room on their house, or even pour a driveway without asking a variety of government bureaucrats for permission–and paying them hundreds of dollars in fees, of course. And did you know that the federal government even tells your local plumbing contractor how many gallons of water your toilet can flush? Well, they do! You call this freedom? Our Founding Fathers wouldn’t have!
To answer the first part of the ostrich question, the freedoms we Americans have lost are literally too numerous to count. A recent report at the American Dream web site makes a very salient argument as to just how many freedoms have been lost in the good old U.S. of A.
The report states, “Once upon a time, our founders thought that they were guaranteeing our freedoms by adding a Bill of Rights to the Constitution.
“But today there are a lot of freedoms that we simply do not have any longer.
“In America today, you do not have the right to say whatever you want. If you say the wrong thing on a blog or a website it can have dramatic consequences.
“In America today, you do not have the right to do raise your own children as you see fit.
“In America today, you do not have the right to grow whatever food you want and you do not have the right to eat whatever food you do grow.
“In America today, you do not have the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
“In America today, you do not have a right to privacy. In fact, you should expect that everything that you do is watched, tracked, monitored and recorded.”
The report then goes on to list several real-life examples to prove the assessments listed above.
See the American Dream report at:
And, of course, the ultimate symbol of a free people is the right to keep and bear arms. And while most states theoretically recognize a citizen’s right to own and possess a gun, the vast majority of them only do so–not as a right guaranteed to a free people by their Creator–but as a privilege granted to approved subjects by the limited benevolence of the State. At last count, only four states recognize the right of their citizens to keep and bear arms without any kind of State license: Alaska, Arizona, Vermont, and Wyoming. (For clarification, the State of Montana allows open carry Statewide and concealed carry in unincorporated areas, but people carrying concealed in incorporated cities, must have a CCW permit. We passed legislation this year to expunge the incorporated city CCW requirement, but our Democrat governor vetoed it. But Montana will be the fifth State soon!)
To view a current map of Constitutional Carry states, click here:
So, the next time you hear someone say, “What freedoms have we lost? We are the freest nation on earth,” why not give them a copy of this column? And then tell the ostrich to get his head out of the sand and his rump off the couch before the little remnant of freedom we have left is also completely eviscerated.
In 2011, so far gold has been the champion investment above and beyond any contender, including stocks and equities. At the announcement of the S&P downgrade of America’s credit rating, only gold showcased immunity. In fact, gold has thrived (as we predicted) in the face of any potential economic threat, from deflation in stocks, to inflation of fiat currencies. Some may wonder, though, where silver has been while its big brother is flexing its investment muscle?While traditionally, silver tends to follow market surges in gold, the past eight months have been rather confusing for the cheaper metal. Admittedly, silver has performed far beyond the predictions of slow witted mainstream skeptics, but it still has not come anywhere near its true potential, especially in light of gold’s incredible strides. Many may be wondering how it was possible for gold to stampede into the $1800 an ounce range after the downgrade while silver stayed completely static at around $40 an ounce. The behavior of commodities markets has been, indeed, very strange…
The common assertion by MSM pundits is that because silver has a larger industrial market than gold, silver is affected more negatively when stocks decline. This is absurd logic. Silver is still very much an alternative currency and just as much a hedge against market instability as gold is. All told, silver should actually be MORE apt to increase during economic uncertainty than gold, because of its wider industrial usage and subsequent decreasing supply. The “utility argument” for decreasing silver values just doesn’t fly.
As many are well aware, silver is a much smaller market than gold, with fewer primary players in control of tighter trade. Most of us are also well aware that one of these players, JP Morgan Chase, was exposed as a massive silver manipulator in 2010 by commodities trader Andrew Maguire. Gold and silver investors have been demanding a Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) investigation of such manipulation for decades. These demands fell on deaf ears, and claimants were quickly disregarded as “conspiracy theorists”. Issuers of ETFs (paper silver or gold) have long circulated silver equities supposedly backed by real metal, but when investors began to notice that the amount of paper issued far surpassed the amount of real silver in actual circulation, the scale of the manipulation in progress became quite clear.Global banks were purposely driving down the value of silver by creating the illusion that there is a greater silver supply than there actually is. JP Morgan has also been caught red handed initiating coordinated naked short selling of silver equities as a way to fool average investors into believing that demand for the metal is falling.
With the Maguire revelation, the hope was that the CFTC would finally do their job and take market manipulation seriously. So far, they have not. Maguire’s evidence and testimony have been ignored, investigations were limited to a few pointless committee hearings, and the global bank ETF fraud continues.
Another snake in the grass when it comes to precious metals investment is the COMEX itself.The COMEX is not a free market by any means of the term. It is in fact a highly micromanaged exchange owned and operated by an organization called the CME Group based out of Chicago.CME is the preeminent hand in the flow of trade in all commodities (at least until recently). Their main method for stifling the rise in metals is the use of “margin hikes”. Buying silver equities “on margin” allows investors to borrow capital from a company with a certain percentage of their own cash as collateral, in order to get more silver than they would using their personal funds alone. When the silver margin sits at 50%, for example, an investor with $10,000 can borrow from the company to buy $20,000 worth of securities (ETFs). However, if the CME increases the margin from 50% to 75%, that investor will have to quickly increase his collateral by 25% or lower his silver holdings. CME has the ability to make these changes at will, and such margin hikes have the ability to trigger massive sell-offs in metals, especially silver. In May of this year, as silver edged towards $50 an ounce, CME hiked margins four times! Three times in the span of only seven days! Investors scrambled to unload their ETF’s, which they could no longer afford to collateralize, and silver’s price plummeted to around $30 an ounce.
The CME (and the idiots who defend the CME) often claim that they must raise margins aggressively in order to offset market volatility caused by “speculators”. Strangely, though, there was NO VOLATILITY in silver markets in May. Not until the CME actually increased margins, creating an engineered dump of equities. This forced reduction in silver prices also greatly benefits consistent short selling manipulators like JP Morgan and HSBC, but that’s just a coincidence, I’m sure.
Obviously, someone out there does not like the idea of silver crossing the historic $50 an ounce mark…
So, the next logical question is; how long will this manipulation go on, and how can we fight back? The keys to the end of commodities manipulation may already be in play, while methods for combating centralized control of metals are increasing. Here’s why…
China Competes With The Comex
As of this summer China now has its own Comex, called the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange.The exchange opened for trade on May 18th (the CME’s incredible margin hikes in silver began only weeks before, which suggests to me that they were trying to preempt the positive effects the HKMEX would have on metals). The HKMEX moved into action only five months after the Chinese Pan American Gold Exchange was instituted. The exchange issues its own ETF’s in gold and silver. These securities, though, are not based on leverage or derivatives like most Comex based ETFs. The bottom line; the Comex global monopoly on commodities trade is over:
This would explain gold’s unstoppable expansion into the $1800 range, and how silver was able to climb back after the CME’s brutal margin manipulation into the $40 range. Only last week, the CME issued a margin hike on gold of 22%. Despite this the fall in gold was minimal, showing that their influence, though vast, is beginning to wane. With competition, manipulation becomes more difficult, and room for growth is created.
The new Hong Kong Exchange coupled with the now explosive buying of physical PM’s by Chinese consumers is slowly but surely overriding the long prevailing manipulations of corporate robber barons intent on ensuring gold and silver are never treated as a currency alternative to the dollar. Silver markets in the East were set into motion a bit more slowly than gold markets were, but given a little more time, I suspect that the resultant spike in silver prices will be the same.
Global Silver Investment Growing
World investment in silver rose by an impressive 40% in 2010 and industrial use increased by 12%, while global supply from mining production only increased by 5%. Growth of demand severely outweighs the growth of supply. After the opening of the HKMEX, China rushed into silver markets. The CME margin hikes that caused the substantial drop in silver spot price in May only served to create a buying opportunity for those investors smart enough to see the writing on the wall. After the S&P downgrade of the U.S. AAA credit rating, silver values did not skyrocket like gold’s, but in the face of extensive manipulation attempts by the CME and major banks, silver’s steadfast hold to its current prices says quite a bit about is resiliency.
One very important factor to consider is that silver is the common man’s currency, and has been for thousands of years. Both gold and silver are solid hedges against financial crisis, especially inflation. However, silver retains more accessibility. As gold continues its climb into the thousands of dollars per ounce, silver will become more appealing to those of us who want to protect our savings, but can’t afford gold. Being that the economic crisis we currently face is unfolding in almost every nation, the demand for a safe haven will increase exponentially. It is only a matter of time before silver is engulfed by an enormous surge of buyers.
With the Federal Reserve continuing to print progressively devaluing dollars, the European Central Bank announcing its own TARP measures, and China in the midst of a full-on inflationary battle royale, national currencies are undoubtedly losing market favor. Gold’s price will soon become unreachable for common people, but silver will be there to fill the void.
How To Break The Barrier
Methods for smaller investors to fight back against the market manipulations of large banks have been sparse, and often limited to desperate appeals to the CFTC and the government, who are bought and paid for, and who have no intention of ever stopping global financiers from dragging their unwashed behinds across the face of the planet. Relying on bureaucrats to mend the wounds they themselves encouraged or inflicted is foolhardy, to say the least. Top down solutions are NOT an option now, and I’m not sure if they ever were. This leaves us with only one other choice; to fix the problem with our own hands from the bottom up. This is, of course, easier said than done…
In the case of silver manipulation, what we are faced with is an unprecedented effort to subvert and suppress an alternative system so that the mainstream system can continue to assert control over our financial lives. To effectively confront this issue, we must first end our reliance of the mainstream system. The longer we continue to participate in the fraud, the longer it will go on. Here are just a few strategies for decoupling, and walking away from the rigged game…
1) End The ETF Casino: If you play the ETF lottery, for god sakes, STOP! You are only perpetuating the con-game that is paper silver. While the allure of speed of light silver trade can be overwhelming, the bottom line is that even though you may think you have the market right where you want it, you don’t. ETFs are an amazing rip off. Trade fees can nickel and dime smaller traders to death. ETFs being held, even without trade, lose value through numerous surcharges as companies nibble away at your holdings. Most ETFs also will NOT allow you to take physical delivery of silver when cashing out your equities unless you have extensive holdings, and even then, it may take months for the silver to reach your doorstep. Because banks issue ETFs for silver they don’t actually have, they would never allow you to exchange them for physical if they can help it. Otherwise, the scam would be exposed, and they would be out of business.
Playing the margins is shear stupidity when you realize that global banks are hell bent on suppressing silver values. There is no rhyme or reason to silver ETFs and margin hikes beyond the whims of corporate puppeteers. Mainstream analysts can pretend as if there is a hard science to this brand of investment, but in reality, it is a large and very expensive joke.Unless you have a crystal ball, your only other tactic for discerning when to sell is pure luck. The very idea of the CME being able to control the price of physical by hiking the margins of paper securities that represent silver that doesn’t even exist is a farce beyond reckoning.
Buy physical, not paper. Be a part of the solution, not part of the problem.
2) Vault Storage Depositories: If you aren’t a buy and hold investor, and insist on participating in short term selling strategies, there is an effective (and smarter) alternative to ETFs and the fake paper market. Silver and gold vault storage depositories allow you to buy and store large quantities of physical metal while having the option of liquidating your holdings for cash just as quickly as if you were selling ETFs. Depositories do not charge hidden fees and do not reduce your silver holdings while they are in the vault. What you put in is what you get back. Period.
Because your silver is already sitting in their vault, a mere phone call allows you to liquidate a portion or all of your stock into cash whenever you wish, just like ETFs, but without the fraud. On top of this, depositories will deliver any or all of your silver or gold on demand to your doorstep, usually within 48 hours. If a sizable number of silver investors switched from ETFs to vault depositories, the ETF market would crumble, and market manipulation would end.
3) Encourage Physical Trade: Max Keiser’s ‘Crash JP Morgan’ campaign was an excellent first step in encouraging silver investment by showing average Americans that they can hurt the big banks simply by purchasing something they don’t want you to have. The next logical step would be to, of course, encourage larger ETF investors to demand physical delivery on their holdings by showing them the folly of the market itself, and, to encourage average investors to actually utilize the silver they buy not just to crash the banks, but for organized trade.
The construction of silver based barter markets must become a priority. Owning silver is not enough. We must start to use it in place of dollars if we are to have any control over our own economy. Barter efforts like this are becoming much more common, but we are still a far cry from full scale utilization of alternative currencies. With the implosion of
the dollar, it will only be a matter of time before metals take primacy as a means of trade, so why not get a head start now? Eventually, the increased circulation of physical will allow the free market to determine the natural value of silver and gold, instead of the subjugated paper market, until finally, the mainstream spot price is completely irrelevant.
4) Offer Incentives: For business owners or for those who are involved in private barter, offering incentives to those who pay in physical would encourage more silver investment, and by extension, more silver circulation as a currency. Add a certain percentage above spot price for silver trade, or, offer a discount on goods or services to those who pay in silver. Businesses, for that matter, could very well give their employees the option of being paid in silver, completing the currency circle and the flow of commerce. The more silver is used day to day, the harder it is for banks to control, and the more its value will rise.
All economies larger than a small village need a unit of trade beyond the barter of goods and services. They also need a unit of trade that maintains its value and buying power, instead of devaluing, inflating, and destroying the savings of those who hold it. Precious metals are the only existing option that can take on this role, and silver is the most attainable for average people. There is a reason why MSM analysts and establishment economists have been trying to crush interest in PM’s for years. There is a reason why global banks have gone out of their way to suppress the market values of metals. The second Americans realize there are other choices, other systems for living and working beyond the controlled paradigm we have been handed, the illusion slips away, and centralization becomes a memory. This is true for all aspects of economic structure, social structure, and political structure, not just for silver or gold.Ultimately, though, we have to start somewhere, and silver is as good a place as any.
You can contact Brandon Smith at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The New Thought Police – The NSA Wants to Know How You Think – Maybe Even What You Think
The National Security Agency (NSA) is developing a tool that George Orwell’s Thought Police might have found useful: an artificial intelligence system designed to gain insight into what people are thinking.
With the entire Internet and thousands of databases for a brain, the device will be able to respond almost instantaneously to complex questions posed by intelligence analysts. As more and more data is collected—through phone calls, credit card receipts, social networks like Facebook and MySpace, GPS tracks, cell phone geolocation, Internet searches, Amazon book purchases, even E-Z Pass toll records—it may one day be possible to know not just where people are and what they are doing, but what and how they think.
The system is so potentially intrusive that at least one researcher has quit, citing concerns over the dangers in placing such a powerful weapon in the hands of a top-secret agency with little accountability.
The National Security Agency’s eavesdropping on phone calls, e-mails, and other communications skyrocketed after 9/11. But that was only the beginning of its high-tech invasiveness, as Bamford reports. Above, NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland.
Known as Aquaint, which stands for “Advanced QUestion Answering for INTelligence,” the project was run for many years by John Prange, an NSA scientist at the Advanced Research and Development Activity. Headquartered in Room 12A69 in the NSA’s Research and Engineering Building at 1 National Business Park, ARDA was set up by the agency to serve as a sort of intelligence community DARPA, the place where former Reagan national security advisor John Poindexter’s infamous Total Information Awareness project was born. [Editor’s note: TIA was a short-lived project founded in 2002 to apply information technology to counter terrorist and other threats to national security.] Later named the Disruptive Technology Office, ARDA has now morphed into the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).
A sort of national laboratory for eavesdropping and other spycraft, IARPA will move into its new 120,000-square-foot home in 2009. The building will be part of the new M Square Research Park in College Park, Maryland. A mammoth two million-square-foot, 128-acre complex, it is operated in collaboration with the University of Maryland. “Their budget is classified, but I understand it’s very well funded,” said Brian Darmody, the University of Maryland’s assistant vice president of research and economic development, referring to IARPA. “They’ll be in their own building here, and they’re going to grow. Their mission is expanding.”
Bamford calls the widespread (and warrantless) monitoring of average citizens’ communications overseen by the NSA “the surveillance-industrial complex.”
If IARPA is the spy world’s DARPA, Aquaint may be the reincarnation of Poindexter’s TIA. After a briefing by NSA Director Michael Hayden, Vice President Dick Cheney, and CIA Director George Tenet of some of the NSA’s data mining programs in July 2003, Senator Jay Rockefeller IV, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote a concerned letter to Cheney. “As I reflected on the meeting today,” he said, “John Poindexter’s TIA project sprung to mind, exacerbating my concern regarding the direction the administration is moving with regard to security, technology, and surveillance.”
The original goal of Aquaint, which dates back to the 1990s, was simply to develop a sophisticated method of picking the right needles out of a vast haystack of information and coming up with the answer to a question. As with TIA, many universities were invited to contribute brainpower to the project. But in the aftermath of the attacks on 9/11, with the creation of the NSA’s secret warrantless eavesdropping program and the buildup of massive databases, the project began taking on a more urgent tone.
In a 2004 pilot project, a mass of data was gathered from news stories taken from the New York Times, the AP news wire, and the English portion of the Chinese Xinhua news wire covering 1998 to 2000. Then, 13 U.S. military intelligence analysts searched the data and came up with a number of scenarios based on the material. Finally, using those scenarios, an NSA analyst developed 50 topics, and in each of those topics created a series of questions for Aquaint’s computerized brain to answer. “Will the Japanese use force to defend the Senkakus?” was one. “What types of disputes or conflict between the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] and Hong Kong residents have been reported?” was another. And “Who were the participants in this spy ring, and how are they related to each other?” was a third. Since then, the NSA has attempted to build both on the complexity of the system—more essay-like answers rather than yes or no—and on attacking greater volumes of data.
The NSA would essentially like to create the spy-agency equivalent of “HAL 9000,” the computer in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey that converses with the astronaut David Bowman (played by Keir Dullea).
“The technology behaves like a robot, understanding and answering complex questions,” said a former Aquaint researcher. “Think of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the most memorable character, HAL 9000, having a conversation with David. We are essentially building this system. We are building HAL.” A naturalized U.S. citizen who received her Ph.D. from Columbia, the researcher worked on the program for several years but eventually left due to moral concerns. “The system can answer the question, ’What does X think about Y?’” she said. “Working for the government is great, but I don’t like looking into other people’s secrets. I am interested in helping people and helping physicians and patients for the quality of people’s lives.” The researcher now focuses on developing similar search techniques for the medical community.
A supersmart search engine, capable of answering complex questions such as “What were the major issues in the last 10 presidential elections?” would be very useful for the public. But that same capability in the hands of an agency like the NSA—absolutely secret, often above the law, resistant to oversight, and with access to petabytes of private information about Americans—could be a privacy and civil liberties nightmare. “We must not forget that the ultimate goal is to transfer research results into operational use,” said Aquaint project leader John Prange, in charge of information exploitation for IARPA.
In George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, a civil servant named Winston Smith (played in the 1955 movie by Edmond O’Brien, seen here) loses all privacy as Big Brother and his Thought Police bring him under constant surveillance. Is the NSA today’s Big Brother?
Once up and running, the database of old newspapers could quickly be expanded to include an inland sea of personal information scooped up by the agency’s warrantless data suction hoses. Unregulated, they could ask it to determine which Americans might likely pose a security risk—or have sympathies toward a particular cause, such as the antiwar movement, as was done during the 1960s and 1970s. The Aquaint robospy might then base its decision on the type of books a person purchased online, or chat room talk, or websites visited—or a similar combination of data. Such a system would have an enormous chilling effect on everyone’s everyday activities—what will the Aquaint computer think if I buy this book, or go to that website, or make this comment? Will I be suspected of being a terrorist or a spy or a subversive?
Controlling Brain Waves
Collecting information, however, has always been far less of a problem for the NSA than understanding it, and that means knowing the language. To expand its linguistic capabilities, the agency established another new organization, the Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL), and housed it in a building near IARPA at the M Square Research Park. But far from simply learning the meaning of foreign words, CASL, like Aquaint, attempts to find ways to get into someone’s mind and understand what he or she is thinking.
One area of study is to attempt to determine if people are lying simply by watching their behavior and listening to them speak. According to one CASL document, “Many deception cues are difficult to identify, particularly when they are subtle, such as changes in verb tense or extremely brief facial expressions. CASL researchers are studying these cues in detail with advanced measurement and statistical analysis techniques in order to recommend ways to identify deceptive cue combinations.”
Ever watching and listening: a control room at NSA headquarters.
Another area of focus explores the “growing need to work with foreign text that is incomplete,” such as partly deciphered messages or a corrupted hard drive or the intercept of only one side of a conversation. The center is thus attempting to find ways to prod the agency’s cipher-brains to fill in the missing blanks. “In response,” says the report, “CASL’s cognitive neuroscience team has been studying the cognitive basis of working memory’s capacity for filling in incomplete areas of text. They have made significant headway in this research by using a powerful high-density electroencephalogram (EEG) machine acquired in 2006.” The effort is apparently directed at discovering what parts of the brain are used when very good cryptanalysts are able to guess correctly the missing words and phrases in a message.
Like something out of a B-grade sci-fi movie, CASL is even trying to turn dull minds into creative geniuses by training employees to control their own brain waves: “The cognitive neuroscience team has also been researching divergent thinking: creative, innovative and flexible thinking valuable for language work. They are exploring ways to improve divergent thinking using the EEG and neurobiological feedback. A change in brain-wave activity is believed to be critical for generating creative ideas, so the team trains its subjects to change their brain-wave activity.”
James Bamford is the author of three books on the National Security Agency, including the 2008 The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA From 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, from which this article was adapted with kind permission of Doubleday. Bamford coproduced, with Scott Willis, NOVA’s “The Spy Factory,” which was based on this book.
I have no way of knowing whether the 32-year-old maid who claims she was attacked and forced to perform oral sex on IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is telling the truth or not. I’ll leave that to the braying hounds in the media who have already assumed the role of judge, jury and Lord High Executioner. But I will say, the whole matter smells rather fishy, just like the Eliot Spitzer story smelled fishy. Spitzer, you may recall, was Wall Street’s biggest adversary and a likely candidate to head the SEC, a position at which he would have excelled. In fact, there’s no doubt in my mind that if Spitzer had been appointed to lead the SEC, most of the top investment bankers on Wall Street would presently be making license plates and rope-soled shoes at the federal penitentiary. So, there was plenty of reason to shadow Spitzer’s every move and see what bit of dirt could be dug up on him. As it turns out, the ex-Governor of New York made it easy for his enemies by engaging a high-priced hooker named Ashley Dupre for sex at the Mayflower Hotel. When the news broke, the media descended on Spitzer like a swarm of locusts poring over every salacious detail with the ebullient fervor of a randy 6th-grader. Meanwhile, the crooks on Wall Street were able to breathe a sigh of relief and get back to doing what they do best; fleecing investors and cheating people out of the life savings.
Strauss-Kahn had enemies in high places, too, which is why this whole matter stinks to high-Heaven. First of all, Strauss-Kahn was the likely candidate of the French Socialist Party who would have faced Sarkozy in the upcoming presidential elections. The IMF chief clearly had a leg-up on Sarkozy who has been battered by a number of personal scandals and plunging approval ratings.
But if Strauss-Kahn was set up, then it was probably by members of the western bank coalition, that shadowy group of self-serving swine whose policies have kept the greater body of humanity in varying state of poverty and desperation for the last two centuries. Strauss-Kahn had recently broke-free from the “party line” and was changing the direction of the IMF. His road to Damascus conversion was championed by progressive economist Joesph Stiglitz in a recent article titled “The IMF’s Switch in Time”. Here’s an excerpt:
“The annual spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund was notable in marking the Fund’s effort to distance itself from its own long-standing tenets on capital controls and labor-market flexibility. It appears that a new IMF has gradually, and cautiously, emerged under the leadership of Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Slightly more than 13 years earlier, at the IMF’s Hong Kong meeting in 1997, the Fund had attempted to amend its charter in order to gain more leeway to push countries towards capital-market liberalization. The timing could not have been worse: the East Asia crisis was just brewing – a crisis that was largely the result of capital-market liberalization in a region that, given its high savings rate, had no need for it.
That push had been advocated by Western financial markets – and the Western finance ministries that serve them so loyally. Financial deregulation in the United States was a prime cause of the global crisis that erupted in 2008, and financial and capital-market liberalization elsewhere helped spread that “made in the USA” trauma around the world….The crisis showed that free and unfettered markets are neither efficient nor stable.” (“The IMF’s Switch in Time”, Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate)
So, Strauss-Kahn was trying to move the bank in a more positive direction, a direction that didn’t require that countries leave their economies open to the ravages of foreign capital that moves in swiftly–pushing up prices and creating bubbles–and departs just as fast, leaving behind the scourge of high unemployment, plunging demand, hobbled industries, and deep recession.
Strauss-Kahn had set out on a “kinder and gentler” path, one that would not force foreign leaders to privatize their state-owned industries or crush their labor unions. Naturally, his actions were not warmly received by the bankers and corporatists who look to the IMF to provide legitimacy to their ongoing plunder of the rest of the world. These are the people who think that the current policies are “just fine” because they produce the results they’re looking for, which is bigger profits for themselves and deeper poverty for everyone else.
Here’s Stiglitz again, this time imparting the “kiss of death” to his friend Strauss-Kahn:
“Strauss-Kahn is proving himself a sagacious leader of the IMF…. As Strauss-Kahn concluded in his speech to the Brookings Institution shortly before the Fund’s recent meeting: “Ultimately, employment and equity are building blocks of economic stability and prosperity, of political stability and peace. This goes to the heart of the IMF’s mandate. It must be placed at the heart of the policy agenda.”
Right. So, now the IMF is going to be an agent for the redistribution of wealth…. (for) “strengthening collective bargaining, restructuring mortgages, restructuring tax and spending policies to stimulate the economy now through long-term investments, and implementing social policies that ensure opportunity for all”? (according to Stiglitz)
Good luck with that.
Can you imagine how much this kind of talk pisses off the Big Money guys? How long do you think they’d put up with this claptrap before they decided that Strauss-Kahn needed to take a permanent vacation?
Not long, I’d wager.
Check this out from World Campaign and judge for yourself whether Strauss-Kahn had become a “liability” that had to be eliminated so the business of extracting wealth from the poorest people on earth could continue apace:
“For decades, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been associated among anti-poverty, hunger and development activists as the poster child of everything wrong with the rich world’s fiscal management of the rest of the world, particularly of poor nations, with its seemingly one-dimensional focus on belt-tightening fiscal policies as the price of its loans, and a trickle-down economic philosophy that has helped traditional wealthy elites maintain the status quo while the majority stayed poor and powerless. With a world increasingly in revolution because of such realities, and after the global financial crisis in the wake of regulatory and other policies that had worked after the Great Depression being largely abandoned, IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn has made nothing less than stunning observations about how the IMF and the world need to change policies.
In an article today in the Washington Post, Howard Schneider writes that after the 2008 crash led toward regulation again of financial companies and government involvement in the economy, for Strauss-Khan “the job is only half done, as he has been leading the fund through a fundamental rethinking of its economic theory. In recent remarks, he has provided a broad summary of the conclusions: State regulation of markets needs to be more extensive; global policies need to create a more even distribution of income; central banks need to do more to prevent lending and asset prices from expanding too fast. ‘The pendulum will swing from the market to the state,’ Strauss-Kahn said in an address at George Washington University last week. ‘Globalization has delivered a lot . . . but it also has a dark side, a large and growing chasm between the rich and the poor. Clearly we need a new form of globalization’ to prevent the ‘invisible hand’ of loosely regulated markets from becoming ‘an invisible fist.’” (Link—http://wcampaign.org/issue.php?mid=625&v=y)
Repeat: “…a fundamental rethinking of economic theory”…. (a greater) “distribution of income”…(more) “regulation of financial companies”, “central banks need to do more to prevent lending and asset prices from expanding too fast”.
Are you kidding me? Read that passage again and I think you’ll agree with me that Strauss-Kahn had signed his own death warrant.
There’s not going to be any revolution at the IMF. That’s baloney. The institution was created with the clear intention of ripping people off and it’s done an impressive job in that regard. There’s not going to be any change of policy either. Why would there be? Have the bankers and corporate bilge-rats suddenly grown a conscience and decided to lend a helping hand to long-suffering humanity? Get real.
Strauss-Kahn broke ranks and ventured into no man’s land. That’s why he was set up and then crushed like a bug.
(Note: Strauss-Kahn has been replaced by the IMF’s number 2 guy, John Lipsky, former Vice Chairman of the JPMorgan Investment Bank. How’s that for “change you can believe in”?)
In a deepening tragedy, after an earthquake and tsunami caused four explosions at nuclear reactor plants in Japan, most of those who evacuated the area headed south, since winds normally would have pushed the radioactive clouds to the north and east. Instead, winds pushed the r-clouds south, according to The Australian. The shift in winds now threatens Hawaii with fallout from the Fukushima nuclear facilities.
Officials finally admit radiation has reached lethal levels in the area surrounding the explosions. Tokyo, 200 miles to the south, is also seeing higher levels of radiation. “[A]bnormal radiation and traces of radioactive elements were detected around Greater Tokyo, the world’s most populous metropolitan region with 36 million people.”
The paper also noted that “Hong Kong, The Philippines, Singapore and South Korea began testing Japanese food imports for radiation yesterday.”
Though initial mainstream news sources downplayed the danger, mocking the following map which has gone viral, it now seems wise for North Americans on the West Coast to consider relocating, at least temporarily. Radioactive winds are expected to hit North America tonight.
Below is the sequence of events based on current information:
Reactor No. 1. First explosion, March 11 at Fukushima Daiichi plant on east coast, 200 miles north of Tokyo. A hydrogen explosion caused by nuclear fuel rods overheating and then coming into contact with water collapsed the outside walls and roof of containment vessel. Hourly radiation leaking from Fukushima is equal to amount permitted in one year, official tells Kyodo. The nuclear agency says that they have detected cesium and iodine outside the unit, which certainly indicates fuel melting at the very least. Noriyuki Shikata, Dir. of Communitions for Prime Minister tweets: Blast was caused by accumulated hydrogen combined with oxygen in the space between container and outer structure. No damage to container. (BradBlog citing several sources)
Reactor No. 3. Second explosion, March 12 Containment vessel housing the fuel rods was not breached, per officials. Explosion damaged the reactor building, but not the nuclear containment vessel. The Fukushima facility began using MOX (mixed oxide) fuel last September, becoming the third plant in Japan to do so. MOX fuel has a lower melting point than the other fuels and contains plutonium, making it more volatile and toxic than the fuel used in other reactors. (Also see BradBlog and CLG, collected here.)
Reactor No. 2. Third explosion, March 13 The emergency cooling system at Unit 2 was damaged during the Unit 3 blast, resulting in the uranium fuel rods at 2 becoming dangerously, and completely, exposed for a number of hours. Containment vessel is damaged, radiation leak feared. Bottom of containment vessel blows. There are several containers around the nuclear fuel for the reactor. The fuel itself is inside rods, which are, in turn, inside a steal and concrete container vessel, currently filled — or partially filled, in this case — with sea water, to try to cool the fuel rods. If the container vessel, “the last line of defense from keeping the radioactivity from being released,” has been damaged by the explosion, fuel and radioactivity could leak into the environment. (BradBlog and CLG, collected here.)
Reactor No. 4. Fourth explosion, March 14 Spent nuclear fuel in the reactor heated up, creating hydrogen and triggered a hydrogen explosion. Officials now admit that radiation levels are harmful to human health. (Washington’s Blog citing several sources.)
BBC reports “Japanese engineer Masashi Goto, who helped design the containment vessel for Fukushima’s reactor core, says the design was not enough to withstand earthquakes or tsunami …” MSNBC notes there are 23 virtually-identical reactors in the U.S. built by General Electric.
This global catastrophe highlights the lunacy of building nuclear power plants on an island that sees 1,500 earthquakes a year.
Because I am prolific and well-versed in the overpopulation predicament facing America—you guessed it, I endure ‘experts’ and ‘emotional’ as well as ‘religious’ people coming out of the woodwork to prove me incorrect. They cannot! I pull from a body of science and world experience greater than 99 percent of the human race. No brag, just fact! I’ve witnessed what I write about. As a math/science teacher, I understand the “exponential growth” equation and that it cannot continue on a finite planet.
Additionally, I work with Richard Heinberg, author and brilliant mind with books such as: Peak Everything: Facing a Century of Declines. I work with Dr. Albert Bartlett at www.albartlett.org and his world famous program on “Arithmetic, Sustainability and Population.” I work with Dr. Diana Hull, Dr. William Catton, Dr. Jack Alpert, Dr. George Colburn, Lindsey Grant, Kathleene Parker and a plethora of outstanding minds on the issue of human overpopulation. Still, I get a boat load of emotional balderdash that, “It’s not people, but the bad corporations, waste and irresponsible people that are destroying the planet.”
Emotions won’t save anybody, but common sense and rational action will! Thus, Denis Hayes brings it home in this excellent work atwww.populationpress.org with director Marilyn Hempel. Published with permission.
In this continuing series, director Marilyn Hempel of www.populationpress.org , offers the finest writers and scientists on environment and overpopulation.
In this interview, she features Denis Hayes, with “Reindeers, cars and Malthus: Population, consumption and carrying capacity.”
We’ve got ourselves into a mell of a hess don’t we Mr. Hayes:
“In 1944, reindeer were introduced to St. Matthew Island off Alaska in the Bering Sea. During the next 20 years, under exceptionally benign conditions, the herd grew explosively to 6,000 reindeer,” said Hayes. “Then, in the fierce winter of 1964, it crashed to just 42. The deer had overgrazed the lichens that were their main source of winter forage and, in a severe winter, the vast majority starved to death.
“The St. Matthew Island deer followed a standard ecological model. When biological controls–such as food limits, disease, or predators–are removed from a species, the population grows explosively. Eventually, the population exceeds the carrying capacity of its environment. Sometimes favorable conditions permit a species to expand temporarily far beyond its long-term carrying capacity. This always leads to a catastrophic collapse. This pattern is followed by elk, trout, ladybugs, and every other creature with an instinct to “be fruitful and multiply.”
“Carrying capacity is an ecological concept that measures the largest number of any species that a habitat can support indefinitely. For most species, it is fairly easy to determine.
“However, for human beings, carrying capacity is not determined simply by assessing population and resources. Our species is able to think abstractly, to envision contingent futures, to make strategic choices. The choices we make in lifestyles and technologies have enormous implications for how many of us a biological system can support over the long haul. For example, whether or not a society has automobiles greatly influences the resources needed to sustain it. Conversely, the choices we make collectively about the size of our population will determine what lifestyles we will be able to enjoy.
“For example, China and the United States encompass about the same amount of land–roughly 3.6 million square miles. The US population is about 281 million people; China’s, at 1.3 billion, is almost five times as high. The United States could support 1.3 billion people, at a Chinese standard of living, for quite a while. However, China will never be able to support 1.3 billion people at an American standard of living.
“Similarly, today’s global human population of 6.8 billion far exceeds the planet’s carrying capacity if the average person is to enjoy the current lifestyles and technologies of the United States. Since World War II, Americans have consumed more of the world’s mineral wealth than all other people in all societies throughout the entire course of history before the war. If everyone consumed at the American level, all the world’s oil reserves would shrink to just a few year’s supply; all the world’s old growth rain forests would disappear in less than a decade; the build-up of toxic wastes might alarm even Rush Limbaugh.
“Until the past few decades, human numbers posed no special danger to the earth. Today, however, Homo Sapiens is literally devouring the planet. So far, we have destroyed about 12% of the net biological productivity of the planet, and we use an additional 27% directly and indirectly. In other words, our species has laid claim to about 40% of all the sunlight that is fixed by photosynthesis and that ultimately provides all the energy that sustains life on earth. While we take 40%, other species are currently experiencing what Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson characterizes as the most calamitous biological collapse in 65 million years.
“Much of human population makes only minimal demands upon the resources of the planet. Even so, the world’s major biological systems are approaching their limits. Food and fiber production have leveled out everywhere over the past five years. Virtually all the best land is in production (along with much marginal land where agriculture cannot be sustained in the long run), and recent increases in fertilizer use have yielded no significant gains. All the world’s major fisheries have plateaued, and many–including the salmon fisheries of the Pacific Northwest and the cod and haddock fisheries of New England–are collapsing. Vast tracts of wilderness, teeming with myriad creatures, are being reduced to tiny biological reserves.
“What will happen as other peoples develop economically and seek some of the material well-being that we enjoy? For example, China plans to triple its coal use by 2010. If it succeeds, it will then be releasing about 50% more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the US does today.
“All the world’s major environmental issues–forestry, fisheries, healthy air and water, toxic wastes, sustainable energy sources, sensible transportation systems, etc.–will eventually be overwhelmed by a growing population, unless we choose a different path.
“A thoughtful study of global human carrying capacity was released in early 1994 by David Pimentel, a professor of biology at Cornell University. Professor Pimentel calculates that, if the most benign and efficient technologies are universally embraced, the world can permanently support a human population of 2 billion people at a lifestyle that resembles middle-class life in today’s industrialized nations.
“The bad news is that the world’s population is three times that high already. The good news is that we could choose to reduce the human population to 2 billion people in about 100 years without having to experience a catastrophic collapse caused by starvation, plague, or war. It would require that every family on earth have an average of 1.5 children.
“How realistic is this? Germany has already reached it, averaging just 1.5 children per family. Hong Kong has 1.4. Italy–among the most Catholic of all countries–averages 1.3. Unfortunately, in many other countries, family sizes average from 5 to 9. The task of reversing this cultural preference for huge families is daunting.
“The 1994 Cairo Conference on Population and Development laid out a grand strategy for the world. The next steps must be taken by nations, regions, states, cities, and individuals. If we wish to keep our communities livable, our farms productive, our forests healthy, our fisheries vigorous, our remaining wild rivers undammed, we need to develop a widely supported, regional population strategy. We need to have the courage to endorse tough-minded goals, set realistic milestones, and establish public policies that support these ends.
“When I couch the issue in these broad, vague, courageous-sounding terms, it is hard to disagree. However, I believe that carrying capacity–the trade-offs between sheer numbers of people and the quality of their lives–could emerge as one of the most emotionally pitched issues on the political landscape.
“There are many ways that the issue could rapidly achieve national prominence. Already, immigration-related issues sizzle in the four most populous states: California, New York, Texas and Florida. If immigration-driven growth expands into other states the inexorable forces of national politics may quickly expand the debate. One of the first questions will be whether immigrants should be eligible for preferential hiring, set-aside college admissions, or other forms of affirmative action aimed at historically excluded groups.
“Without attempting to settle anything in this brief article, let me quickly flag some other highly contentious immigration questions we could soon find ourselves confronting.
“How many immigrants should the United States accept each year? The 1972 Rockefeller Commission suggested 400,000. The 1981 Theodore Hesburgh Select Commission recommended 350,000. The Federation for American Immigration Reform wants 300,000. Currently it varies between 1 million and 1.5 million legal immigrants per year–more than 1/3 of our total population growth. This number is a political choice. Is it a good choice?
“Where should these immigrants come from? Liberals would say we should be indifferent. But unless we simply open our borders to all comers, we must have some criteria to determine who is admitted, and those criteria will have consequences. As a result of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, we ended national quotas and introduced the “family reunification” principle. This has had fascinating, and wholly unexpected, consequences for the nature of the immigrant pool.
“Not to beat around the bush, the overwhelming majority of America’s immigrants during the nations first 200 years came from Europe. Sooner or later, Patrick Buchanan or David Duke or one of Bull Conner’s other heirs will notice that our immigrant patterns, when coupled with differential birth rates among ethnic groups, are changing the racial makeup of the society. In 1960, the United States was 88.6% white. By 1990, it was 75.6% white. Under current patterns, whites will cease being a majority around 2050–and of course they will cease being a majority in some states and regions long before then.
“Whether you view this as good or bad may depend on where you stand. For example, the greatest losers at the moment are African Americans who find themselves competing for education, training, scholarships, and jobs with immigrant people of color. Moreover, these newly-arrived Americans typically have no sense of guilt over past American injustices, and often express widespread hostility to blacks. Tensions in many transitional neighborhoods are palpable, and are registered through ethnic gang violence.
- Should America accept immigrants (other than political refugees) from nations that don’t allow reciprocal immigration? These include China, Korea, Japan, Egypt, and (except for wealthy retirees) Mexico.
- Does the citizenship-by-birth rule continue to have a useful function today, other than as a boon to pregnant illegal aliens?
- Should we interdict fund transfers by immigrants back to their lands of origin? These sums, large in the aggregate, undercut American capital formation. On the other hand, they may be the largest source of US international assistance in this ultra-conservative era.
- What are the economic consequences of immigration? Revealed wisdom has long held that the sorts of risk-takers who become immigrants are the sort who will contribute creative ideas and hard work to build a stronger America. However, our policies do not select for these attributes. A growing fraction of immigrants are illiterate, not just in English, but in all languages. If immigration is such a boon to the economy, how do we explain the extraordinary economic success of the Asian “tiger” economies that allow no immigration?
“If you think these questions are tough, think for a moment about how society will greet policies that attempt to limit the growth of domestic population,” said Hayes. “Reproductive rates correlate closely with the status of women; they are directly linked to Social Security; and they can have deep religious and cultural overtones. In a democracy, a large population can provide a secure base of political power.
“Income tax deductions (or penalties) for multiple children, sex education programs to reduce teenage pregnancy, and welfare payments for dependent children all have immediate, direct consequences for population growth. All are capable of igniting political firestorms.
“Some people reject every contention in this article, and simply favor continued population growth. Population growth is attractive to religious leaders seeking to bring a larger number of souls to God’s greater glory. Population growth is attractive to patriots who fear we are not producing enough cannon fodder to re-fight World War II. Population growth is favored by certain economic theorists who believe that more labor and more consumers will yield a healthier economy.
“Finally, many liberals and conservatives, who may disagree on what constitutes an optimum population, will come together in the shared belief that a person’s decision whether or not to have a baby, or another baby, is the most private, personal choice an individual can make. They believe that the state has no business trying to influence this decision–even if it is the twelfth child, or even if the child will be born to a crack addict with no source of support.
“Yet in population policy, the decision to have a baby is the only important decision. People don’t have birth rates; people have babies. If we can’t persuade people to choose to have fewer babies, our species faces a predictable fate. It remains an unresolved issue, whether Homo Sapiens is wise enough to transcend the standard ecological model and avoid the fate of the St. Matthew Island reindeer.”