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Israeli Wall Street's auto-chimp Barry Cheney gets this public TPP invitation from Ralph Nader and Elizabeth Warren-RSVP.....on the QT!

Monkey "...glad to have that conversation?"

In broad daylight in the middle of The Carlyle Group fast track?

Barry "change" is that irresistible terminal-black-comedy of Dick Cheney's 4th Israeli presidential term.

This Israeli hit comedy stars Al Greenspan, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, Janet Yellen, Lloyd Blankfein, Frank Luntz, Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, Jamie Dimon, Vicky "FU" Nuland, Dick Fuld, Bernie Maddoff, Jack Abramoff, Tim Geithner, Sheldon Adelson, Ben Netanyahu, Koch Brothers, AIPAC, Jack Lew the all-Hebrew lineup of zany Zionist parasites.

Parasite Pandemonium! This loveable laugh out loud Hebrew tribe of kosher parasites fronts their adorable change-chimpster again. Zany stuff. -RT
*******************************************************************************
May 04, 2015

Debate Senator Warren on Global Economic Pact
I Dare You President Obama
by RALPH NADER

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

You have taken a strong across-the-board position favoring the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) nearing completion and scheduled for a fast track clearance vote in the Congress. Indeed, you have descended admirably from your presidential perch to take on the most informed critics of this agreement with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

You have accused critics of spreading misinformation, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, who is known for her meticulous research and who was at Harvard Law School during your time there.

With the barrage of commentary on an agreement, labelled singularly as trade promotion by unknowing newspaper columnists and reporters, and the less reported rebuttals that the TPP is far more than a trade agreement (aka treaty) and places serious environmental, health, consumer and labor conditions within its grip, isn’t it time for you to engage with concerned citizens and their representatives rather than assert unilaterally that “Elizabeth Warren is wrong on the facts”? It is time to clarify the issues before a skeptical public and others who are downright confused. Why not debate Senator Elizabeth Warren before a national TV audience?

There are many reasons for you to use this format to engage the American people. They will be the ones paying the price in many dire ways if the mega-corporate promoters of TPP turn out to be as wrong as they have been with prior trade deals, most recently the Korean Trade Agreement (2012) which you espoused and which has worsened the trade deficit with South Korea and caused job loss in the United States.

Vice President Albert Gore debated NAFTA on nationwide television with Ross Perot.
You and Senator Warren have been teachers of the law and share a common law school background—Harvard. A debate would be deliberative and, assuming you and she have read the 29 chapters of the TPP (only a handful of chapters dealing with trade), would be revelatory far beyond the narrow prisms reflected in the mass media.
Like NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, the TPP is a transnational system of autocratic governance that subordinates and bypasses our access to our own judiciary in favor of secret tribunals whose procedures contravene our country’s system of due process, openness and independent appeals. These agreements, as you know, have enforceable provisions regarding the rights and privileges of corporations. The rhetorical assurances regarding labor, environment and consumer rights have no such enforcement mechanisms.
Notwithstanding all the win-win claims of promoters of past trade agreements, our country’s trade deficit has continued to grow over the past 35 years. Enormous trade deficits mean job exports. Given this evidence, the public would be interested in listening to your explanation of this adverse experience to U.S. workers and our economy.
You believe Elizabeth Warren is wrong on the facts relating to the “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” provision of the TPP, which allows foreign companies to challenge our health, safety and other regulations, not in our courts but before an international panel of arbitrators. A perfect point/counterpoint for a debate process, no?
Over the years, it has been abundantly clear that very few lawmakers or presidents have actually read the text of these trade agreements involving excessive surrender of local, state and federal sovereignties. They have relied on memoranda prepared by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and corporate lobbies. Given the mass of fine print with portentous consequences for every American, a worthy debate topic is whether to put off submitting this trade pact so that copies can be made accessible to the American people to discuss and consider before going to Congress under very limited debate for an up or down vote without any amendments being permitted. Why the rush when the ink isn’t even dry on the page?
Some may wonder why you don’t call this agreement a “treaty”, like other countries. Could it be that an agreement only requires a 51 percent vote, rather than a two-thirds vote in the Congress for treaty ratification?

You are quoted in the Washington Post decrying “misinformation” circulating on the TPP and pledging that you are “going to be pushing back very hard if I keep on hearing that.” Fine. Push back before tens of millions of people with Senator Elizabeth Warren as your debating counterpart. If you agree, be sure that interested Americans have a copy of the TPP deal first so that they can be an informed audience.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely yours,

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader’s latest book is: Unstoppable: the Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.

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Flickr Michael Corbat, Joe Kernen, Jamie Dimon

FT CNBC Nightcap 2015, Davos, World Economic Forum.
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Flickr Dailing for Dollars at CRomnibus, Inc.
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Jamie Dimon, Barack Obama and John Boehner whipping for Wall Street

The Guardian, "House passes full omnibus budget bill despite Democrat revolt – as it happened"

This caricature of Jamie Dimon was adapted from a Creative Commons licensed photo from the World Economic Forum' Flickr photostream.

This caricature of President Obama was adapted from a photos in the public domain from The White House's Flickr photostream: face, body.

This caricature of John Boehner was adapted from a Creative Commons licensed photo from Mark Taylor's Flickr photostream.

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Flickr Longs Chasm Trail Junction

It's just Likud business:

- committing genocide to steal Mideast lands
-to hunt, bomb and torture Palestinians
-murder Gazans off of their land, oil and gas
- own and operate GOPDEM toy political parties
-operate corporate disinformation media
-print counterfeit cash self-awarded to tribal fraud bankers
-loot banks deficit taxpaid bailed-out 100% by US taxpayers
-plan and cheer the 911 mass murder treasons
-systematically destroy Earth as just an abbreviated list of biblical entitlements enjoyed by Israel's self-chosen criminals.

It's just business.

And still those pesky gentile anti-Semitics invent vicious lies and wild CONSPIRACY THEORIES in order to slur Bernie Madoff's self-chosen "holocaust survivors" like Ben Bernanke, Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, Robert Rubin, Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Bill Kristol, Richard Pearl, Paul Wolfowitz, Janet Yellen, Alan Greenspan, Dickless Fuld, Larry Summers, Thomas Friedman, Ben Netanyahu, FU Victoria Nuland, Rob Emmanuel, Jack Lew among the proud AIPAC unelected rulers of The United States of Israel.

We ATM gentile livestock are allowed to live as hosts for the parasites' looting while being spied upon inside CIA-Mossad-Israel's post-constitutional military terrorist ATM. Oy!

We should be thanking the crime tribe on our gentile knees.

Hitler also enjoyed Germany being operated as the Hebrew ATM. Germany was blessed by being looted by the genius tribe of financial innovators and bank frauds. The Treaty of Versailles codified Germany's ATM status flowing the loot proceeds adding massive interest owed to the self-chosen Israeli bankers. The eternal (pre-) holocaust survivor-beneficiaries wined and dined around Paris, London and New York. Like today:

Eternally exceptional.

That ageless Israeli gangster wealth extraction formula yielded fabulous results for the world. Perhaps a fraction of what larceny yields for the same gangster tribe today.

In primitive times such financial innovators were called "thieves." But that indelicate anachronism is out of media fashion today. It is expunged from media vernacular used to describe the Israeli hero Jesus folks. Those who suffer so mightily, hanging on media crosses incessantly just to save us. They are ennobled holocaust survivors from Tel Aviv NYC omnipresent to eternally save gentile goyim underlings yet again. The eternal "holocaust survivor" sufferers' lone trespass is altruism.....like the suffering gentile model Jesus.

Of course the battle tested Israeli world terrorist junta works lucratively again today for Sheldon Adelson and Bernie Madoff's tribal operation of GOPDEM whores.. It's their kosher 1918 to 1932 redo. Fabulous Israeli world banker looter government reigns supreme. Self-chosen again by bank and media gangsters.

Why not?

All it takes is legislated Israeli counterfeit Federal Reserve cash at zero interest concentrated in the Israeli bank fraud and war financiers: Talmud cash plus entitlement to violence chapter and verse (re Leviticus) yields super results again for Israel's chosen looting people.

Israel's AIPAC capos are unelected owners of puppet GOPDEM thug government -like 1918. But check this out, Americans have never been happier with GOPDEM's exciting mock elections according to Israeli media. I'm ebullient about Hyman Roth and Bernie Madoff's puppet thugs. Giddy.

No conspiracy here, just tons of Wall Street deficit taxpaid bailout cash recycled into toy politicians. It is Israel's great investment achievement in thug government of-by and for besieged unelected common Israeli AIPAC-GOPDEM co-thugs. They are the perma-victim "holocaust survivors!" Just business.

Tisk the vicious gentile lies about Bernie Madoff's tribe. The United States of Israel is the free market of gangsters. Only anti-Semites would dare complain.
-RT
**************************************************************************
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion National Park
By Steve Sailer • November 14, 2014

Haaretz, the left of center Israeli broadsheet, discusses the recent joint appearance by leading Democratic donor Haim Saban and leading Republican donor Sheldon Adelson at the Israeli American Concil where they discussed, among much else, teaming up to buy the New York Times Co. so that Israel can finally get some fair coverage in the U.S. Anshel Pfeffer writes in Haaretz:

It was like a scene out of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Two immensely wealthy Jews, key financiers of the main political parties of the world’s superpower, discussing how to wage war on the enemies of the Jews, and control the media and presidents. Only, instead of taking place at the dead of night in a Jewish cemetery in Prague, they were sitting on stage in a Washington, D.C hotel conference room, in full view and making no attempt to hide their intentions.

If the Czarist secret police officers who published the original edition of “Protocols” at the start of the 20th century had been at the Hilton, or just reading the reported dialogue between Power Rangers impresario Haim Saban and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, they would have had little need for the embellishment, plagiarism and forgery they used to concoct their best seller.

If you haven’t yet read the musings of these two gentlemen on the best way to confront Iran (bombing “the daylight out of these sons of bitches” is an option), the shortcomings of Barack Obama’s presidency, the need (or lack of) for Israel to be a democracy, the best way to take over The New York Times, and how to ensure a sufficient supply of latkes at the White House Hanukkah party, then you really should. It would be no exaggeration to call it a historic event.

The joint appearance of the two billionaires at the Israeli American Council’s inaugural conference last weekend was the moment that Jewish benefactors, who have always preferred to use financial influence on behalf of their brethren as far behind-the-scenes as possible, chose to do so out in the open.

Not that they had anything to be ashamed of. Jewish financiers using their fortunes to protect and promote a small scattered nation, persecuted for much of its history by vastly superior forces, is an honorable tradition. Only, it was always a tradition considered to be much more effective when carried out discreetly. Why give the haters more ammunition to incite with? …

Whether or not they [British Jewish political donors] are satisfied with their party’s candidate, Jewish philanthropists do not voluntarily discuss in public their political donations.

This is probably all you need to know about the difference between American and British Jews. Both communities are phenomenally successful, and for the past few decades have enjoyed a disproportionate prominence in just about every walk of life – unparalleled since the Golden Age of the Jews in Middle-Ages Spain, perhaps even surpassing that. But while Jews in the United States routinely celebrate their extraordinary position of near-dominance in finance, the creative arts, media, and now also political influence, among British Jews there is still a prevailing anxiety, and even sense of shame, whenever the words “Jewish” and “money” are used in the same sentence. Whenever a politician or media commentator combines the two, there is an outcry of “anti-Semitism.”

There is ample historic justification for this defensiveness. “The Protocols” were not the first or last time the insidiousness of Jewish moneymen was a central plank of Judeophobia. And it’s still around. Even today, when you start typing “Jewish bankers” into the world’s most powerful search engine (founded by two Jews, of course), it automatically suggests “control the world.” But then, the Web is full of the most vile conspiracy theorists, and we can’t let them dominate our lives.

The influence and power of big money in capitalist democracies are a fact of life. You can try and legislate to close loopholes and create a more level playing field, but you can’t eliminate it. Unless, that is, you want to live in a country like Vladimir Putin’s Russia, where troublesome oligarchs are packed off to a penal colony in Siberia or forced to flee and live in permanent exile.

The best we can do is try and take the Internet – that wonderful tool our capitalist economies have created – away from the conspiracy theorists and use it to truthfully increase transparency, so we at least know who is using money to acquire influence. …

For all the vulgarity of the Saban-Adelson dialogue, we should commend them for holding it in the open. Especially since now we have heard Adelson publicly state that as far as he is concerned, “so what” if Israel is no longer a democracy, we know the ugly truth about the man who is our prime minister’s number one patron.

It doesn’t matter whether or not we supply the Israel-haters and Judeophobes with fodder. They will warp facts and invent lies, anyway. We will have to continue facing their poisonous propaganda, and we have never been in a better position to do so.

But we need to know whatever we can about how “pro-Israel” tycoons use their money and what they believe in, because they are now in a far more powerful position than any hostile newspaper or biased blogger to cause Israel untold harm.

Secret lair of homophobic conspirators in Zion National Park

I’m reminded of how gay marriage was banned by initiative in California in 2008 because a lot of black church ladies turned out at the polls to vote for that nice young Mr. Obama and stuck around to vote against gay marriage.

This was spun in the national media, however, as proof of the wily media power of Utah Mormons over the unsophisticated California media, a popular theory that I call “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion National Park,” which would make a suitable Quentin Tarantino movie.

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Flickr You better keep thanking Dick Cheney's 911 hero troops, or those proud heavily armed military-welfare kiddies will teach us another John Kennedy lesson....avoid tantrums dude.-RT

Tomgram: Rory Fanning, Why Do We Keep Thanking the Troops?
Posted by Rory Fanningat 6:56pm, October 26, 2014.
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch.

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: Today’s piece is out of the ordinary, the sort of thing that’s largely untouchable in the mainstream. A former Army Ranger writes about why the endless “thank you"s for service in America’s wars ring hollow. And that Ranger-turned-conscientious-objector, Rory Fanning, has quite an all-American odyssey to tell, which is exactly what he’s done in his new book Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger’s Journey Out of the Military and Across America. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a must read and, as it happens, for a $100 contribution to this site, you can be the first on your block to get a signed, personalized copy of it.

Just check out the offer at the TomDispatch donation page and while you’re at it, note that signed, personalized copies of my new book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World, are still available. My thanks again to all of you -- it was a genuine outpouring of support -- who have already contributed! Tom]

More than a few times I’ve found myself in a crowd of Vietnam veterans, and more than a few times at least one of them was wearing a curious blue or yellow t-shirt. Once that shirt undoubtedly fit a lean physique of the late 1970s or early 1980s, but by the time I saw it modeled, in the 2000s, it was getting mighty snug. Still, they refused to part with it. On it was some variation of the outline of a map of Vietnam with bit of grim humor superimposed: “Participant, Southeast Asia War Games, 1961-1975: Second Place.”

I was always struck by it. These men of the “Me Generation” had come home to the sneers and backhanded comments of the men of the “Greatest Generation,” their fathers’ era. They had supposedly been the first Americans to lose a war. However, instead of the defensive apparel donned by some vets (“We were winning when I left”), they wore their loss for all to see, pride mingling with a sardonic sense of humor.

Today’s military is made up of still another generation, the Millennials, representatives of the 80 million Americans born between 1980 and 2000. In fact, with nearly 43% of the active duty force age 25 or younger and roughly 66% of it 30 or under, it’s one of the most Millennial-centric organizations around.

As a whole, the Millennials have been regularly pilloried in the press for being the “Participation Trophy Generation.” Coddled, self-centered, with delusions of grandeur, they’re inveterate narcissists with outlandish expectations and a runaway sense of entitlement. They demand everything, they’re addicted to social media, fast Wi-Fi, and phablets, they cry when criticized, they want praise on tap, and refuse to wear anything but their hoodies and “fuck you flip-flops” like the face of their generation, the Ur-millennial: Mark Zuckerberg!

At least that’s the knock on them. Then again, when didn’t prior generations knock the current one?

The National Institutes of Health did determine people in their 20s have Narcissistic Personality Disorder three times more often than those 65 or older and a recent survey by Reason and pollster Rupe did find that those 18-24 are indeed in favor of participation trophies unlike older Americans who overwhelmingly favor winners-only prizes. Still, it’s a little early to pass blanket judgment on an entire generation of whom the youngest members are only on the cusp of high school. The Millennials may yet surprise even the most cantankerous coots. Time will tell.

The Millennial military, however, isn’t doing the generation any favors. Despite its dismal record when it comes to winning wars and a recent magnification of its repeated failures in Iraq, today’s military seems to crave and demand that its soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen be thanked and lauded at every turn. As a result, the Pentagon is involved in stage-managing all manner of participation-trophy spectacles to make certain they are -- from the ballpark to the NASCAR track to the Academy of Country Music's “An All-Star Salute to the Troops” concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas earlier this year.

And like those great enablers of the Millennial trophy kids, so-called helicopter parents, the American public regularly provides cheap praise and empty valorization for veterans, writes Rory Fanning in TomDispatch debut. A veteran of the war in Afghanistan -- having served two tours with the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion before becoming a conscientious objector -- Fanning explores America’s thank-you-for-your-service culture, what vets are actually being thanked for, and why Rihanna’s hollow patriotism left him depressed. His moving new book, Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger’s Journey Out of the Military and Across America, captures his 3,000-mile trek through and encounter with this country, an unforced march meant to honor Pat Tillman and question the nature of our recent wars.

I don’t get to hang out with Vietnam vets as much as I used to, but late one night a year or two ago I found myself with a few of them in an almost deserted bar. Having ducked out of the annual meeting of a veterans’ group, we ordered some beers from a Millennial-age waiter. He asked if my 60-something compatriots were attending the nearby conference and they mumbled that they indeed were. The waiter seemed to momentarily straighten up. “Thank you for your service,” he solemnly intoned before bounding off to get the beers. One of veterans -- a Marine who had seen his fair share of combat -- commented on how much he hated that phrase. “They do it reflexively. That’s how they’ve been raised,” I replied. “I hope they wise up,” said another of the vets. Time -- as with all things Millennial -- will tell. Nick Turse

Thank You for Your Valor, Thank You for Your Service, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You…
Still on the Thank-You Tour-of-Duty Circuit, 13 Years Later
By Rory Fanning

Last week, in a quiet indie bookstore on the north side of Chicago, I saw the latest issue of Rolling Stone resting on a chrome-colored plastic table a few feet from a barista brewing a vanilla latte. A cold October rain fell outside. A friend of mine grabbed the issue and began flipping through it. Knowing that I was a veteran, he said, "Hey, did you see this?" pointing to a news story that seemed more like an ad. It read in part:

"This Veterans Day, Bruce Springsteen, Eminem, Rihanna, Dave Grohl, and Metallica will be among numerous artists who will head to the National Mall in Washington D.C. on November 11th for 'The Concert For Valor,' an all-star event that will pay tribute to armed services."

"Concert For Valor? That sounds like something the North Korean government would organize," I said as I typed Concertforvalor.com into my MacBook Pro looking for more information.

The sucking sound from the espresso maker was drowning out a 10-year-old Shins song. As I read, my heart sank, my shoulders slumped.

Special guests at the Concert for Valor were to include: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and Steven Spielberg. The mission of the concert, according to a press release, was to “raise awareness” of veterans issues and “provide a national stage for ensuring that veterans and their families know that their fellow Americans’ gratitude is genuine.”

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Michael Mullen were to serve in an advisory capacity, and Starbucks, HBO, and JPMorgan Chase were to pay for it all. "We are honored to play a small role to help raise awareness and support for our service men and women,” said HBO chairman Richard Plepler.

Though I couldn’t quite say why, that Concert for Valor ad felt tired and sad, despite the images of Rihanna singing full-throated into a gold microphone and James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett of Metallica wailing away on their guitars. I had gotten my own share of “thanks” from civilians when I was still a U.S. Army Ranger. Who hadn’t? It had been the endless theme of the post-9/11 era, how thankful other Americans were that we would do... well, what exactly, for them? And here it was again. I couldn’t help wondering: Would veterans somewhere actually feel the gratitude that Starbucks and HBO hoped to convey?

I went home and cooked dinner for my wife and little girl in a semi-depressed state, thinking about that word “valor” which was to be at the heart of the event and wondering about the Hall of Fame line-up of twenty-first century liberalism that was promoting it or planning to turn out to hail it: Rolling Stone, the magazine of Hunter S. Thompson and all things rock and roll; Bruce Springsteen, the billion-dollar working-class hero; Eminem, the white rapper who has sold more records than Elvis; Metallica, the crew who sued Napster and the metal band of choice for so many longhaired, disenfranchised youth of the 1980s and 1990s. They were all going to say “thank you” -- again.

Raising (Whose?) Awareness

Later that night, I sat down and Googled “vets honored.” Dozens and dozens of stories promptly queued up on my screen. (Try it yourself.) One of the first items I clicked on was the 50th anniversary celebration in Bangor, Maine, of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the alleged Pearl Harbor of the Vietnam War. Governor Paul LePage had spoken ringingly of the veterans of that war: “These men were just asked to go to a foreign land and protect our freedoms. And they weren’t treated with respect when they returned home. Now it’s time to acknowledge it.”

Vietnam, he insisted, was all about protecting freedom -- such a simple and innocent explanation for such a long and horrific war. Lest you forget, the governor and those gathered in Bangor that day were celebrating a still-murky “incident” that touched off a massive American escalation of the war. It was claimed that North Vietnamese patrol boats had twice attacked an American destroyer, though President Lyndon Johnson later suggested that the incident might even have involved shooting at "flying fish" or "whales." As for protecting freedom in Vietnam, tell the dead Vietnamese in America’s “free fire zones” about that.

No one, however, cared about such details. The point was that eternal “thank you.” If only, I thought, some inquisitive and valorous local reporter had asked the governor, “Treated with disrespect by whom?” And pointed out the mythology behind the idea that American civilians had mistreated GIs returning from Vietnam. (Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the Veterans Administration, which denied returning soldiers proper healthcare, or the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, organizations that weren’t eager to claim the country’s defeated veterans of a disastrous war as their own.)

When it came to thanks and “awareness raising,” no American war with a still living veteran seemed too distant to be ignored. Google told me, for example, that Upper Gwynedd, Pennsylvania, had recently celebrated its 12th annual “Multi-Cultural Day” by thanking its “forgotten Korean War Veterans.” According to a local newspaper report, included in the festivities were martial arts demonstrations and traditional Korean folk dancing.

The Korean War was the precursor to Vietnam, with similar results. As with the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the precipitating event of the war that North Korea ignited on June 25, 1950, remains open to question. Evidence suggests that, with U.S. approval, South Korea initiated a bombardment of North Korean villages in the days leading up to the invasion. As in Vietnam, there, too, the U.S. supported a corrupt autocrat and used napalm on a mass scale. Millions died, including staggering numbers of civilians, and North Korea was left in rubble by war’s end. Folk dancing was surely in short supply. As for protecting our freedoms in Korea, enough said.

These two ceremonies seemed to catch a particular mood (reflected in so many similar, if more up-to-date versions of the same). They might have benefited from a little “awareness raising” when it came to what the American military has actually been doing these last years, not to say decades, beyond our borders. They certainly summed up much of the frustration I was feeling with the Concert for Valor. Plenty of thank yous, for sure, but no history when it came to what the thanks were being offered for in, say, Iraq or Afghanistan, no statistics on taxpayer dollars spent or where they went, or on innocent lives lost and why.

Will the “Concert for Valor” mention the trillions of dollars rung up terrorizing Muslim countries for oil, the ratcheting up of the police and surveillance state in this country since 9/11, the hundreds of thousands of lives lost thanks to the wars of George W. Bush and Barack Obama? Is anyone going to dedicate a song to Chelsea Manning, or John Kiriakou, or Edward Snowden -- two of them languishing in prison and one in exile -- for their service to the American people? Will the Concert for Valor raise anyone’s awareness when it comes to the fact that, to this day, veterans lack proper medical attention, particularly for mental health issues, or that there is a veteran suicide every 80 minutes in this country? Let’s hope they find time in between drum solos, but myself, I’m not counting on it.

Thank Yous

While Googling around, I noticed an allied story about President Obama christening a poetic sounding “American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial” on October 5th. There, he wisely noted that “the U.S. should never rush into war.” As he spoke, however, the Air Force, the Navy, and Special Forces personnel (who wear boots that do touch the ground, even in Iraq), as well as the headquarters of “the Big Red One,” the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, were already involved in the latest war he had personally ordered in Iraq and Syria, while, of course, bypassing Congress.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! Damn, I voted for Obama because he said he’d end our overseas wars. At least it’s not Bush sending the planes, drones, missiles, and troops back there, because if it were, I’d be mad.

Then there were the numerous stories about “Honor Flights” sponsored by Southwest Airlines that offered all World War II veterans and the terminally ill veterans of more recent wars a free trip to Washington to “reflect at their memorials” before they died. Honor flights turn out to be a particularly popular way to honor veterans. Local papers in Richfield, Utah, Des Moines, Iowa, Elgin, Illinois, Austin, Texas, Miami, Florida, and so on place by place across significant swaths of the country have run stories about dying hometown “heroes” who have participated in these flights, a kind of nothing-but-the-best-in-corporate-sponsorship for the last of the “Greatest Generation.”

“Welcome home” ceremonies, with flags, marching bands, heartfelt embraces, much weeping, and the usual babies and small children missed during tours of duty in our war zones are also easy to find. In the first couple of screens Google offered in response to the phrase “welcome home ceremony,” I found the usual thank-you celebrations for veterans returning from Afghanistan in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, and Saint Albans, Vermont, among other places. "We don't do enough for our veterans, for what they do for us, we hear the news, but to be up there in a field, and be shot at, and sometimes coming home disabled, we don't realize how lucky we are sometimes to have the people who have served their country," one of the Saint Albans attendees was typically quoted as saying.

“Do enough...?” In America, isn’t thank you plenty?

Oddly, it’s harder to find thank-you ceremonies for living vets involved in America’s numerous smaller interventions in places like the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Grenada, Kosovo, Somalia, Libya, and various CIA-organized coups and proxy wars around the world, but I won’t be surprised if they, too, exist. I was wondering, though: What about all those foreign soldiers we’ve trained to fight our wars for us in places like South Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan? Shouldn’t they be thanked as well? And how about members of the Afghan Mujahedeen that we armed and funded in the 1980s while they gave the Soviet Union its own “Vietnam” (and who are now fighting for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or other extreme Islamist outfits)? Or what about the Indonesian troops we armed under the presidency of Gerald Ford, who committed possibly genocidal acts in East Timor in 1975? Or has our capacity for thanks been used up in the service of American vets?

Since 9/11, those thank yous have been aimed at veterans with the regularity of the machine gun fire that may still haunt their dreams. Veterans have also been offered special consideration when it comes to applications for mostly menial jobs so that they can “utilize the skills” they learned in the military. While they continue to march in those welcome home parades and have concerts organized in their honor, the thank yous are in no short supply. The only question that never seems to come up is: What exactly are they being thanked for?

Heroes Who Afford Us Freedom

Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz has said of the upcoming Concert for Valor:

“The post-9/11 years have brought us the longest period of sustained warfare in our nation’s history. The less than one percent of Americans who volunteered to serve during this time have afforded the rest of us remarkable freedoms -- but that freedom comes with a responsibility to understand their sacrifice, to honor them, and to appreciate the skills and experience they offer when they return home.”

It was crafty of Schultz to redirect that famed 1% label from the ultra rich, represented by CEOs like him, onto our “heroes.” At the concert, I hope Schultz has a chance to get more specific about those “remarkable freedoms.” Will he mention that the U.S. has the highest per capita prison population on the planet? Does he include among those remarkable freedoms the guarantee that dogs, Tasers, tear gas, and riot police will be sent after you if you stay out past dark protesting the killing of an unarmed Black teenager by a representative of this country’s increasingly militarized police? Will the freedom to be too big to fail and so to have the right to melt down the economy and walk away without going to prison -- as Jamie Dimon, the CEO of Chase, did -- be mentioned? Do these remarkable freedoms include having every American phone call and email recorded and stored away by the NSA?

And what about that term “hero”? Many veterans reject it, and not just out of Gary Cooperesque modesty either. Most veterans who have seen combat, watched babies get torn apart, or their comrades die in their arms, or the most powerful army on Earth spend trillions of dollars fighting some of the poorest people in the world for 13 years feel anything but heroic. But that certainly doesn’t stop the use of the term. So why do we use it? As journalist Cara Hoffman points out at Salon:

“‘[H]ero’ refers to a character, a protagonist, something in fiction, not to a person, and using this word can hurt the very people it’s meant to laud. While meant to create a sense of honor, it can also buy silence, prevent discourse, and benefit those in power more than those navigating the new terrain of home after combat. If you are a hero, part of your character is stoic sacrifice, silence. This makes it difficult for others to see you as flawed, human, vulnerable, or exploited.”

We use the term hero in part because it makes us feel good and in part because it shuts soldiers up (which, believe me, makes the rest of us feel better). Labeled as a hero, it’s also hard to think twice about putting your weapons down. Thank yous to heroes discourage dissent, which is one reason military bureaucrats feed off the term.

There are American soldiers stationed around the globe who think about filing conscientious objector status (as I once did), and I sometimes hear from some of them. They often grasp the way in which the militarized acts of imperial America are helping to create the very enemies they are then being told to kill. They understand that the trillions of dollars being wasted on war will never be spent on education, health care, or the development of clean energy here at home. They know that they are fighting for American control over the flow of fossil fuels on this planet, the burning of which is warming our world and threatening human existence.

Then you have Bruce Springsteen and Metallica telling them “thank you” for wearing that uniform, that they are heroes, that whatever it is they’re doing in distant lands while we go about our lives here isn’t an issue. There is even the possibility that, one day, you, the veteran, might be ushered onto that stage during a concert or onto the field during a ballgame for a very public thank you. The conflicted soldier thinks twice.

Valor

I’m back at that indie bookstore sitting at the same chrome-colored table trying to hash all this out, including my own experiences in the Army Rangers, and end on a positive note. The latest issue of Rolling Stone appears to have sold out. Out the window, the sun is peeking through a thick web of clouds. They sell wine here, too. The sooner I finish this, the sooner I can start drinking.

There is no question that we should honor people who fight for justice and liberty. Many veterans enlisted in the military thinking that they were indeed serving a noble cause, and it’s no lie to say that they fought with valor for their brothers and sisters to their left and right. Unfortunately, good intentions at this stage are no substitute for good politics. The war on terror is going into its 14th year. If you really want to talk about “awareness raising,” it’s years past the time when anyone here should be able to pretend that our 18-year-olds are going off to kill and die for good reason. How about a couple of concerts to make that point?

Until then, I’m going to drink wine and try to enjoy the music over the sound of the espresso machine.

Rory Fanning walked across the United States for the Pat Tillman Foundation in 2008-2009, following two deployments to Afghanistan with the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion. Fanning became a conscientious objector after his second tour. He is the author of the new book Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger’s Journey Out of the Military and Across America (Haymarket, 2014).

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William J. Ferguson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ferguson Partners Ltd., interviews Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase, during the general session "Reflections on Resilient Leadership" at the ULI Fall Meeting in New York City on Tuesday, October 21, 2014.
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At the JPMorgan Healthcare Investment Conference today, Jamie was entertaining and outspoken as usual:

“But for bad policy, this country would be booming.
I’m positive I’m right; I just can’t prove it.”

Are you more bullish than the average economist?
“Not even close. The economists are right only if policy remains bad forever. They say the tech boom was a one-time event. Are they insane? Technology is like dark matter. It’s everywhere. It infuses everything.”

“When I hear people in D.C. complaining, I tell them Washington has been dealt the best hand anywhere, ever. We have a strong military, university system, small, medium and large business environment, the most innovation, the least corruption, and liquid capital markets across the whole mosaic from venture capital to public equities. But I am very worried about the long run, over 30 to 50 years. We don’t have a divine right to continue succeeding. We have to fix immigration and education and have a rational energy policy. We have been profligate and stupid in our use of oil, and now we have been given a second chance. We should use it wisely.”

“I’m still a Democrat, barely.”

“There has been a tsunami of regulations, often misguided. Small banks can’t survive. After five year, we don’t know the mortgage rules yet. The liquidity rules were ridiculous, and they came back to a rational place. I haven’t read the rules yet, but they sound reasonable.”

What can we do to bring the political parties together? “I’m going to say Martini’s man! It’s a social issue, not an intellectual one.”

What did you learn form 2012? “Don’t screw up. [laughter] But we are a better company because of it. We were scared, and we cleaned it up. I have made a lot of mistakes, and will again, but this was a doozy. I hope it was the worst mistake I make. Imagine how many people came into my office crying. Some leaders acted like children. Some asked how they could help. It’s invaluable to find who these people are.”

Who are your living heroes? “Living? I was going to say Lincoln. Ok, so I’d say Nelson Mandela and Jack Welsh.”

Should the government be in the mortgage business? “It depends on how. The government could offer bond guarantees but have industry pay for it. Like FDIC, the government does not fund it, we do. The government should never have a portfolio. They had a huge portfolio of mortgages. That was the biggest financial disaster of all time, bar none. It was given to us by the government who then blamed the banks.”

Is the Euro crisis behind us? “God no. It’s like a roller coaster. You have not heard much about it recently, but something will happen in the next three months that will scare the hell out of you. Why do we have the EU? One, it’s a political union to avoid wars. And two, it’s a common market. They can’t exit without going into depression. So it will be a roller coaster and it will take years to work out. They might have modest growth through that period.”

Will the U.S. follow the same course as France, Spain, Italy? “We don’t have the same values. While there was disagreement before, no one denies the fiscal problem today. We are a democracy. Countries and individuals may not want to work hard. To work 30 hours a week,. That is a choice that can be made, and it’s not immoral. Maybe they don’t want the stress. They will be sub-par economically, and they have to be OK with that. They can’t say that the answer is to transfer wealth from those who do work hard.”

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Read about Deborah Harris and how she confronted JP Morgan/Chase CEO Jamie Dimon at the Senate Banking Committee Hearing on June 13, 2012 here:

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Robin Hood Tax supporters head to the corridors of Senate ahead of Jamie Dimon's hearing.

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James Dimon, Jamie Dimon, is the chairman, president and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase.

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James Dimon, Jamie Dimon, is the chairman, president and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase.

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Some more quotes from the JP Morgan Alternative Investment Summit (AIS) this morning, with quite a different tone….

T. Boone Pickens:
“You can’t have a five minute conversation on energy in Washington. They run out of things they can talk about in less than five minutes.”

“There is more oil in Canada than Saudi Arabia. If we turn away the Keystone pipeline from Fort McMurray to the sea for China, we will go down as the dumbest nation in history.”


Robert Friedland, CEO of Ivanhoe Mines”
“The U.S. is institutionalizing stupidity by not importing Canadian oil.”

“If we can solve the porosity and access the gas, there more natural gas in Pennsylvania and New York than in China.”

“You can graph all human activity and you will see a steady increase in electrical consumption per person on the planet. And that will take more copper because copper is a better conductor than anything, except silver and gold. [incorrect, by the way] We will consume more copper in the next 20 years than the last 100 years.”

“If you don’t grow it, you have to mine it.”

“It’s a crime against humanity to make ethanol out of corn. We are driving up food prices. Just tap the gas.”

“We are trying a new fracking technology without chemicals; it used electro-magnetic pulses to free the formations. With all of the advances, we have $2.34 natural gas. Technology does not care about the idiots in Washington.”

T. Boone:
“I saw my first fracked well in 1953. I have fracked 3000 wells personally. I have not seen an aquifer damaged.”

“France has a no fracking rule. Noone has ever accused that crowd of being real smart.”

Barry Sternlicht, CEO of Starwood
“There are more communists in France than in China. They don’t do anything like the rest of us, but eat.”

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase
“Dodd Frank will work out OK. The game will not significantly change.”

“The housing problem is over. People hate projecting an inflection point and would rather say something less specific. We will have 13 million new Americans in the next 10 years and we don’t have homes for them. We destroy about 400 thousand homes a year. If we go back to 1.3 million new homes per year, then the homebuilding industry gets rid of half of the excess unemployment.”

(earlier photo I took of T.Boone)

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Occupy San Francisco / 5 November 2011


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Occupy Seattle Clashes with Police at Sheraton - Occupy Seattle clashes with Seattlle Police at the Sheraton Hotel as Jamie Dimon, CEO of Chase Bank speaks to business leaders. It was cold. It was wet. in many ways, SPD was a lot more polite than the protestors....minus the tear gas. That seemed a bit unnecessary. (email michael@superpod.com to use this photo)
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Occupy Seattle Clashes with Police at Sheraton - Occupy Seattle clashes with Seattlle Police at the Sheraton Hotel as Jamie Dimon, CEO of Chase Bank speaks to business leaders. It was cold. It was wet. in many ways, SPD was a lot more polite than the protestors....minus the tear gas. That seemed a bit unnecessary. (email michael@superpod.com to use this photo)
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Flickr Jamie Dimon
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He has been called "The Most Dangerous Man in America".
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Flickr NYCC Member at Jamie Dimon Housewarming Rally 1-9-2011
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Flickr 10 of Hearts - Jamie Dimon

1 of 52 cards of the Audaciously Greedy! More at:

www.audacityofgreed.com/

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Flickr Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, visits Fisher
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Minutes after landing at a Columbus airport, Jamie Dimon's, JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Board and CEO, first stop on his two-day visit to the city was Fisher College of Business.

Dimon, named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2011, spoke to MBA students on May 16.

He spent a majority of the hour answering students’ questions on leadership success, the financial industry and the global economy.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, visits Fisher
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Minutes after landing at a Columbus airport, Jamie Dimon's, JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Board and CEO, first stop on his two-day visit to the city was Fisher College of Business.

Dimon, named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2011, spoke to MBA students on May 16.

He spent a majority of the hour answering students’ questions on leadership success, the financial industry and the global economy.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, visits Fisher
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Minutes after landing at a Columbus airport, Jamie Dimon's, JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Board and CEO, first stop on his two-day visit to the city was Fisher College of Business.

Dimon, named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2011, spoke to MBA students on May 16.

He spent a majority of the hour answering students’ questions on leadership success, the financial industry and the global economy.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, visits Fisher
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Minutes after landing at a Columbus airport, Jamie Dimon's, JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Board and CEO, first stop on his two-day visit to the city was Fisher College of Business.

Dimon, named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2011, spoke to MBA students on May 16.

He spent a majority of the hour answering students’ questions on leadership success, the financial industry and the global economy.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, visits Fisher
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Minutes after landing at a Columbus airport, Jamie Dimon's, JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Board and CEO, first stop on his two-day visit to the city was Fisher College of Business.

Dimon, named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2011, spoke to MBA students on May 16.

He spent a majority of the hour answering students’ questions on leadership success, the financial industry and the global economy.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, visits Fisher
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Minutes after landing at a Columbus airport, Jamie Dimon's, JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Board and CEO, first stop on his two-day visit to the city was Fisher College of Business.

Dimon, named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2011, spoke to MBA students on May 16.

He spent a majority of the hour answering students’ questions on leadership success, the financial industry and the global economy.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, visits Fisher
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Minutes after landing at a Columbus airport, Jamie Dimon's, JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Board and CEO, first stop on his two-day visit to the city was Fisher College of Business.

Dimon, named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2011, spoke to MBA students on May 16.

He spent a majority of the hour answering students’ questions on leadership success, the financial industry and the global economy.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, visits Fisher
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Minutes after landing at a Columbus airport, Jamie Dimon's, JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Board and CEO, first stop on his two-day visit to the city was Fisher College of Business.

Dimon, named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2011, spoke to MBA students on May 16.

He spent a majority of the hour answering students’ questions on leadership success, the financial industry and the global economy.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, visits Fisher
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Minutes after landing at a Columbus airport, Jamie Dimon's, JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Board and CEO, first stop on his two-day visit to the city was Fisher College of Business.

Dimon, named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2011, spoke to MBA students on May 16.

He spent a majority of the hour answering students’ questions on leadership success, the financial industry and the global economy.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, visits Fisher
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Minutes after landing at a Columbus airport, Jamie Dimon's, JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Board and CEO, first stop on his two-day visit to the city was Fisher College of Business.

Dimon, named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2011, spoke to MBA students on May 16.

He spent a majority of the hour answering students’ questions on leadership success, the financial industry and the global economy.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, visits Fisher
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Minutes after landing at a Columbus airport, Jamie Dimon's, JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Board and CEO, first stop on his two-day visit to the city was Fisher College of Business.

Dimon, named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2011, spoke to MBA students on May 16.

He spent a majority of the hour answering students’ questions on leadership success, the financial industry and the global economy.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, visits Fisher
Tags: mba   osu   ohiostateuniversity   jpmorganchase   fishercollegeofbusiness   jamiedimon   
Minutes after landing at a Columbus airport, Jamie Dimon's, JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Board and CEO, first stop on his two-day visit to the city was Fisher College of Business.

Dimon, named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2011, spoke to MBA students on May 16.

He spent a majority of the hour answering students’ questions on leadership success, the financial industry and the global economy.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, visits Fisher
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Minutes after landing at a Columbus airport, Jamie Dimon's, JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Board and CEO, first stop on his two-day visit to the city was Fisher College of Business.

Dimon, named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2011, spoke to MBA students on May 16.

He spent a majority of the hour answering students’ questions on leadership success, the financial industry and the global economy.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon
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Flickr Jamie Dimon
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Flickr Temujanji dengan En. Jamie Dimon, Pengerusi & Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif JPMorgan Chase & Co.
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PUTRAJAYA, 05/05/2011 - Saya juga berkesempatan berjumpa bersama En. Jamie Dimon, Pengerusi & Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif JPMorgan Chase & Co di pejabat saya di Bangunan Perdana Putra hari ini.

Turut bersama dari kiri En. Gaby Abdelnour Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif JPMorgan Asia Pasifik, En. Didi Yahya Ketua Perbankan Pelaburan Malaysia JPMorgan dan En. Philip Lee Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif JPMorgan Asia Tenggara.

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Flickr Temujanji dengan En. Jamie Dimon, Pengerusi & Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif JPMorgan Chase & Co.
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PUTRAJAYA, 05/05/2011 - Saya juga berkesempatan berjumpa bersama En. Jamie Dimon, Pengerusi & Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif JPMorgan Chase & Co di pejabat saya di Bangunan Perdana Putra hari ini.

Turut bersama dari kiri En. Gaby Abdelnour Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif JPMorgan Asia Pasifik, En. Didi Yahya Ketua Perbankan Pelaburan Malaysia JPMorgan dan En. Philip Lee Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif JPMorgan Asia Tenggara.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon


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Flickr jamie_dimon

CEO, JPMorgan, New York..Dimon largely shunned the subprime bets and exotic financial instruments that brought down rivals. As a result, JPMorgan was able to pick up the pieces of Bear Stearns when it imploded in March and later absorb collapsed mortgage lender Washington Mutual. That doesn’t mean JPMorgan is immune to the turmoil. “We are not holding ourselves up as paragons of virtue,” says Dimon. “We were not exceptional in every category. But if you don’t do a good job for the customers, you’re never going to do a good job for the shareholders. That’s the point of a commercial enterprise.”.
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Flickr jamie_dimon

CEO, JPMorgan, New York..Dimon largely shunned the subprime bets and exotic financial instruments that brought down rivals. As a result, JPMorgan was able to pick up the pieces of Bear Stearns when it imploded in March and later absorb collapsed mortgage lender Washington Mutual. That doesn’t mean JPMorgan is immune to the turmoil. “We are not holding ourselves up as paragons of virtue,” says Dimon. “We were not exceptional in every category. But if you don’t do a good job for the customers, you’re never going to do a good job for the shareholders. That’s the point of a commercial enterprise.”.
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Flickr Jamie Dimon, speaker


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Flickr Jamie_Dimon_2


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Flickr Geithner, Summers, or Bernanke?
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(>500 hits) *** WARNING CONTAINS POLITICS ***
Despite the Compensation cuts, the administration’s economic and financial policy is biased and doing a disservice to the majority of Taxpayers. President O’bama, as well as his Economic Advisor’s have way too close an association with the Financial industry. The rational for keeping Geithner, Sumner and Bernanke in place in order to maintain stability in what are claiming is a “recovery” is overstated. It is a fear tactic. Especially when you consider no one even knows to what extent, if any, their efforts (including TARP Bail-out moneys) actually went to trying to address the economy’s problems - because Geithner and the recipients refuse to divulge the details. These three men need to be removed immediately.

Although I can appreciate how an improvement in consumer sentiment (apparently achievable by repeating the message the “recession is over”) would help the economy recover, the fact of the matter is the U.S. Economy has some serious problems including but not limited to:

•USA Today reports the Wages hit a 20 year low.

•A wave of commercial real estate mortgage foreclosures is currently taking place

•CNN.com reports that residential foreclosures have just experienced their worst record-breaking three months ever with foreclosures rising 5 percent from summer to fall.

•Gulf Arab states plans – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies. This will put downward pressure on the value of the dollar. This probably represents the single most serious economic threat faced by this country in decades. The value of the dollar is, in part, an indicator of international sentiment toward the health of the U.S. economy. You may recall Winston Churchill’s comment that if you want to destroy a country, destroy its currency. But I am not sensing a lot of concern by the Administration. Why? It is possible that multinational financial institutions can defend themselves, if not profit, from a slide in the value of the dollar. There are many trading schemes, investment and accounting strategies, etc. that, after the fact, can render a slide in the value of the dollar primarily just an inconvenience. This is most certainly the case if these institutions can anticipate actions that might result in devaluation. This being the case, it is no surprise that “conflicted” public servants with ties to Wall Street don’t treat the fall of the dollar as a policy priority. But this is not in the best interest of the typical or below average American Taxpayer. They are, for the most part, held captive to the effects of the declining value of the dollar. Policy actions or inactions that allow downward pressure on the value of the dollar will result in economic hardship that will be felt increasingly harder by people of lesser and lesser means. There can be benefits to the average American to a fall in the value of the dollar but they are outweighed by the drawbacks.

•“Geometric weighting”, “hedonic adjustments”, and the like continue to dampen a good faith estimate of the actual rate of inflation germane to the majority of U.S. Households. It is no surprise that the increase in the cost of basic living necessities that dominate the consumption of people living on social security would be ignored. Quotes of unemployment in the fly-over are similarly dampened by their own quantitative deficiencies. And if you elect to respond to this correspondence quoting statistics please trace the implications of these descriptive statistics back to an income class within a geographic area, preferably along with a range of values allowing for the distortions cited above.
•Unadjusted unemployment in the “fly-over” is at or near 20% and according to The Economist magazine fully expects unemployment to remain high for another 10 years.

•Recent drops in the Japanese Nikkei have been attributed to the failure of America’s financial bailout. Periodicals, New books and Academics continue to condemn the plan.

•A recent ABC polls found that 80% of Americans have experienced no improvement in their economic situation despite claims that “the recession is over”, “recovery is underway”, ad nauseam.

•At best the American Economy could be called a service based economy. But America still doesn’t have a palpable “green industry”, nor does it look like it will be dominating the globe by manufacturing a tangible object anytime soon.

It is fair to say that those Washington officials that orchestrated this “jobless recovery” might not be performing all that well in their appointments. Drilling down on their behavior reveals some possible causes for concerns.

Associated Press has divulged Timothy Geithner’s personal cell phone records at the height of the financial crisis. During which time Mr. Geithner’s cell phone usage was dominated, at all hours of the day, as is typical, by calls to and from:

1.Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
2.Jamie Dimon, the CEO at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
3.Several Chief Executives at Citigroup including Robert Rubin

AP reports that at the climax of the American Auto industry crisis Geithner, and these are AP’s words, actually “hangs-up on O’bama to speak with the Jammie Dimon of J.P. Morgan Chase”.

Unfortunately, reasons to question the conduct of the Administrations staff’s with Mr. Geithner. I’ll start with the countries Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton and her husband Ex-President Bill Clinton.

Robert Edward Rubin, formerly of Goldman Sachs and Secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton, is member of the Harvard Corporation, the executive governing board of Harvard University, as well as CITIgroup. At CITIgroup Rubin is the officer in charge of:

"in strategic managerial and operational matters of the Company, but [...] no line responsibilities."

I think we all know what that means. Mr. Rubin’s protégé is Timothy Geithner our current Secretary of the Treasury. The man who replaced Rubin as Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury was Larry Summers then Deputy Secretary under Rubin. Lawrence H Summers is now Director of O’bama’s White House's National Economic Council.

Let me interject a question here. Universities, like any other organization, have office politics. Are the glowing reviews of the administrations policies by Harvard academics so often heard in the media really objective or just automatically beyond reproach? I can’t help but think that some professors would think twice before compromising or slighting CITIGroup and the Wall Street gang if it were a kin to criticizing a member of their own University’s Governing Board. As a result, I don’t think the public discourse being fostered on the economy is fair and balanced and it, like the policy, is most certainly not weighted in favor of the “fly over”.

It gets worse. Robert Rubin was Treasury Secretary under Clinton when Wendi and Phil Graham got Clinton to pass the Commodities Futures and Modernization Act. This is the Act that deregulated derivative exchanges and facilitated speculation in oil and gas markets. The grief this Act inflicted on the American public through skyrocketing prices at the pump can not be overstated. The cash profit that this Act brought in for Wall Street firms and Traders also can not be overstated.

Now there is “Helicopter Ben” or rather Benard Bernake current Chairman of the Federal Reserve who also sits on the newly established Financial Stability Oversight Board that oversees the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). It seems that while doing is undergrad at Harvard Bernanke lived in Winthrop House the same residence halls as Lloyd Blankfein now Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs.

Yes, yes I know. It is not against the law to network and we really don’t know what Geithner (Treasury), Rubin (CITIGroup), Blankfein (Goldman), and Dimon (JP Morgan Chase) were talking about on Geithner’s cell phone.

But, when regardless of what is said or spun, conduct and results suggest possible abuses and conflicts of interest with what is in the best interest of the majority of American Taxpayers a healthy degree of skepticism is warranted and questions should be asked.

Not enough evidence? Consider the Secretary of State. Ex-President Clinton and Hillary Clinton have earned over $40 million in speaker’s fees since they left office. Including $650,000 from Goldman Sachs and $700,000 (between 2004 and 2007) from CITIGroup. What’s next? In the words of James K. Gailbraith “The incentive effects of this system on presidential behavior in the national interest is a topic – similar to that of CEO compensation – that bears investigation”.

Such a “cabal” justifiably casts doubt as to the integrity inherent in the sweetheart bail-out Wall Street received in response to the Mortgage Backed Security crisis. Consider some of the recent phenomena that the country is seeing.

For instance, although it is not against the law for Mr. Geithner to be constantly on the phone with the people he is responsible for overseeing it is interesting to point out that the administration’s recent move to slash the compensation of the 25 highest paid executives at firm’s receiving bail-out funds did not include Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan Chase.

And it gets worse. You may recall that over $13 billion of Bail Out proceeds given to AIG were subsequently paid out to Goldman Sachs to satisfy an amount due. This cross payment to Goldman is not considered TARP proceeds and Goldman won’t have to pay it back to the American Taxpayers (when did Bernanke know about this?). AIG is controversial for another reason. According to testimony by Neil Barofsky, Special Inspector General for the TARP the blame for exorbitant AIG bonuses ($168 million in “retention payments”) is the responsibility on the poor management of skills of Timothy Geithner. Geithner knew about the payments while he was still at the New York Federal Reserve.

Worse still, with the expiration of Glass-Steagull Goldman Sachs changed its form to enable them to borrow from the Federal Reserve – Taxpayer’s money. And they did borrow. In fact, they borrowed quite a lot in full view of one of the largest financial undertakings in the firm’s history – developing an automotive “industry” in mainland China.

First of all, are the Taxpayer’s funding through the Federal Reserve (with Chairman “Helicopter Ben’s” [so named for his promise to drop suitcases of money on the roof tops of wall street banks] full knowledge and tacit approval) what could be an assault on their own domestic U.S. economy? Or does Goldman have an unrelated reason why there are short on cash in lieu of this particular speculative investment despite knowing far a head of time (distance the use from anticipated source) when Glass Steagull’s provisions would expire? And what if Goldman’s Chinese deal goes bad? Will Goldman’s borrowing from the Federal Reserve become uncollectible? The Taxpayers would then end up suffering a loss. Is therefore Goldman’s investment in China done in the name of the U.S. Taxpayers? Is this situation in the Taxpayer’s best interest? Is “helicopter Ben” Chairman of the Federal Reserve really that naïve? By the way, unemployment in Detroit is 30%.

Where is David Graham Phillips when you need him? He would call all this treason. How can Australia simply adopt strict controls over Short selling like they were passing the salt at the dinner table, while we can’t stop Goldman Sachs from sticking the Taxpayer’s with the bill of a possibly failing, if not competing, Chinese auto-manufacturer?

Be careful offering any explanations. I get concerned when I sense a whole lot of gyrations (if not outright stonewalling) that could have the effect of disguising or distancing the receipt of an amount of Taxpayer’s money from its actual use. Or when the Source (receipt of funds) is too remotely related by the Use because of timing difference, explanations, definitions made available through budgetary or GAAP/GASB Accounting, or for that matter the entities chosen to be involved (Goldman via AIG). Keep it simple, we were lead to believe that TARP receipts would not be alive today - to do anything - if it were not but for their receipt of Taxpayer’s money.

Barac O’bama hired these individuals, Geithner, Summers, and Bernanke and he now needs to fire them or suffer their legacy.

The trickle-down banking approach to the Mortgage crisis was largely a failure. TARP proves nothing more than the fact that anytime the government spends $100s of billions of dollars on anything their will be measurable repercussions in the economy. It doesn’t speak to the appropriateness of the plan itself. The banking cabal didn’t solve the underlying problem. Neither will trying to reflate the bubble of debt driven consumption.

Consider a possible alternative. Perhaps the following microeconomic approach that would have rebuilt a domestic economic base.

The subprime mortgage crisis could have been dealt with by giving in the vast majority of the assistance to the States. The States could then use this money to create jobs and improve the mortgage holder’s ability to make payments. This would have reinstated the flow of funds driving the collaterized mortgage bond obligations and thereby rationing assistance to those holders – both domestic and abroad - in direct proportion to their exposure. The resulting tax receipts to State Governments would have helped innumerable States avoid financial crises that resulted in decreased public services and in some instances increased threats to public safety most notably from having to release criminals from incarceration.

A modicum of Federal financial assistance could have gone to maintain an orderly, vulture-filled bankruptcy of the “Wall Street” institutions whose lack of regulation made them responsible for the problem. Vultures, both domestic and foreign, like Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA who won the bidding to take over ailing Texas lender Guaranty Financial Group Inc. provide a tremendous service. Orderly bankruptcies of politically connected Wall Street institutions could have had the effect of bringing about an industry profile that should have existed had anti-trust laws been properly enforced. After all, do we really need to ensure that American financial institutions remain large to compete globally? Couldn’t a subset of several dozen smaller institutions organize themselves to execute extremely large transactions? Does the number of firms have to remain small so the market share captured by domestic firms remains high?

But the laws of this country where ignored. I would call America’s TARP episode criminal gross negligence. Especially of the microeconomic principles so crucial to the stability of this country and the majority of its households.

Now it is said that we need to make sure the stock market soars to help these firms recapitalize themselves. Is this to say so that these firms can either sell or “show on their books” stock at inflated prices? Would such a “soar” even be legitimate right now given the domestic economies problems? Or is the “soar” based on the success of these Institutions foreign investment? In the end, after receiving so much “Bail-out” monies if their stock isn’t worth more they too should all be fired.

Again, the multiplier to the domestic economy of an additional dollar to the super rich is less than the multiplier of an additional dollar to someone of low to modest means.

No more selling out what is in the best interest of the American public with a wink and a nod to a pay day after you leave public office.

“If only the emperor knew!” Well, I’m sure he does and it is going to cost him and his party my vote.

ps Rahm Emanuel was selected to serve on the board of Freddie Mac by Robert Rubin.

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Flickr 33. Jamie Dimon


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Flickr Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan Chase
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by Buck Ennis
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Flickr Jamie Dimon Mask at Bailout Protest
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MANHATTAN, NY.

Protester wearing a Jamie Dimon mask at the bailout protest on Broadway. Dimon is the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, one of the banks the federal government is poised to bail out to the tune of $700 billion.

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Flickr Kellogg-ChaseJPMorgan CEO-Jamie Dimon


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Flickr "Jamie Dimon Is Said to Buy 500,000 JPMorgan Chase Shares" by LIZ MOYER via NYT https://t.co/UNUmZZy00V
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"Jamie Dimon Is Said to Buy 500,000 JPMorgan Chase Shares" by LIZ MOYER via NYT t.co/UNUmZZy00V (via Twitter twitter.com/felipemassone/status/697964006120755200)
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