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TPP GOPDEM Makes Joint Funeral Announcement for US Workers -Formal US Constitution Funeral Services Next Week

Meanwhile Democrats fellate GOP-TPP Trans Pacific Bipartisan Partnership authors:

Transcriptionist Jack Lew
Board of Directors co-equal ex-CEO:
Larry Summers
Lloyd Blankfein
Robert Rubin
Ben Bernanke
Janet Yellen
Alan Greenspan
Victoria FU Nuland
Paul Wolfowitz
George HW Bush
John Kerry
Sheldon Adelson
Jamie Dimon
Dickless Cheney
Bill Kristol
Charles Koch
David Koch
Ben Netanyahu Chairman and CEO of PNAC Terrorist Inc.

GOP Barry Cheney tag-teams with his fellow GOP Democrat succubi. Democrats penned Wall Street's final wave of worker executions and funerals.

Worker funerals first get festooned bright red in workers' blood, but worker sins ( probably corporate institutional dependence) get washed white by Wall Street's Supreme Mafia Court Corp.

Now disowned -more targets -human skeet.

And then thankfully Ben's incisive media re-converts each Democrat Chameleon back to Dem again. Blappo! Each reverts to Dem acting duly contrite for his and her GOP voting sins profitably abdicated. Yea the hopeful Dem aspirants march bravely back to man their battlements! Rehab hilarity ensues.

Thereby, forthwith and forever again Democrats bear onward and upward fully and sincerely re-solemnified into deep indigo blue...BLUE like Billie Holiday and Muddy Waters on a good night at Harlem's Uptown House.

Each squinty-flinty-teary-eyed Barry once more earnestly fell prey for a couple of terms in office to "market forces."

Yet again sad, earnestly contrite at their own foundational sins, always bravely confessed along every sunny hill and dale woven into the ol' worn campaign trail that is lined and laced together with dead Muslim scalps. Demographic DyyyyyyyyyyyyNooooooMiiiiiiiite!

They're there for you man.

There swirled-down CIA's media toilet, GOP's Democrat bar buddies vote cash fortunes for selling-off "Democrat" abandoned constituents. Conscience nor Earth have a seat on Ben Netanyahu's board of Democrat Republican Division directors.

Integrity without irony: Barry W. Cheney adamantly campaigned "against it" before Barry cashed a GOP career selling US worker funeral arrangements. And for chump change. It sprinkles, spills and sparkles from Ben Netanyahu's holy Israeli pocket.

Heckuva job Brownie -RT
************************************************************************
Weekend Edition
May 8-10, 2015

Marching in Lockstep With the Bailed Out Bankers
Democrats Do a Trade Deal

by ROB URIE

The Employer of the Future

With no apparent irony or conspicuous public approbation U.S. President Barack Obama is making his pitch for the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) ‘trade’ deal at Nike headquarters in Portland, Oregon. With the promise of ten thousand new jobs to be created in the U.S. if the TPP is passed, left unaddressed is precisely whose wages would be ‘adjusted’ to fit Nike’s plantation / sweatshop business model. With America’s cities in the early stages of anti-neocolonial rebellion, the only certainties are that neither Nike nor Mr. Obama will be held to account for either the number of jobs created or for the first-world working conditions implied in the promise. The primary result of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) to date has been increased corporate profits.

Accompanying the politically sensitive and socially aware choice of Nike as prospective employer of the future is a letter from bailed out Wall Street bankers written in support of Mr. Obama’s TPP ‘trade’ deal. In recent decades Wall Street has provided the financing needed to relocate U.S. manufacturing to more hospitable climates in former U.S. and / or European colonies. With this letter Wall Street executives join leading Democrats in the insight that ‘free-trade’ is the dominion of empires seeking favorable terms from prospective colonies-to-be. With Wall Street and Nike now openly supporting the TPP, prospective colonies Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit and Los Angeles are being scouted by ‘peace’ officers to assess potential worker compliance with employer directives.

urietrade1

Worker suicides like this at a Foxconn factory in China reduce productivity. Tighter worker control through anti-depression ‘medication,’ installation of windows and roof doors that can’t be opened and ‘suicide nets’ to prevent escaped workers from killing themselves on company property are potential solutions. Original image source: collapsereport.com.

Virtue Goes to Wall Street

With Wall Street endorsing the accedence of civil authority to multi-national corporations through the TPP, Democrat capitulation to plutocracy is nearing completion of its five-decade long trajectory. The culture wars that have so motivated partisan gamesmanship are being resolved by corporations in their own favor. Corporate proponents of the TPP conspicuously couldn’t care less about abortion or gay marriage. Virtue of the self-serving sort is to be found in the calculation of corporate profits. Plutocrats supported George W. Bush and Congressional Republicans when their war against Iraq was making money for them. They now support Barack Obama as he brings them bailouts, guaranteed health insurance ‘customers’ and direct say over civil governance as it relates to business interests. The criteria for plutocrat support is economic, it isn’t ‘cultural.’

Monsanto, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs all support gay rights almost as much as they support their own right to overrule any civil rights legislation that interferes with their imagined future profits. Alternatively, under some semblance of economic democracy— a guaranteed job with a living wage, high quality education and health care and social protection from unprovoked violence, gays could tell bigots to go screw themselves and the consequences of doing so would be minimal. Under the bi-partisan embedding of corporate economic ‘rights’ through ‘trade’ agreements like TTP and TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) the legal principles that support human rights legislation are sublimated to an opportunistic calculation of ‘profits.’ See the United Nations’ explanation of the threat here.

urietrade2

A who’s who of bailed out bankers and financiers signed a letter in support of the TPP ‘trade’ agreement that Barack Obama is pushing. The ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) mechanism subordinates civil governance to corporate profit calculations through the right of corporations to sue for ‘lost’ profits, either real or imagined. Original image source: google images.

Abortion and gay rights are class issues that have been sold as civil rights. The central purpose of the ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) mechanism in these ‘trade’ deals is to undermine civil legislation, including civil rights. The unquestioned control over economic life that Wall Street and companies like Nike support is the realm of petty tyrannies. This isn’t to dismiss these as issues, but rather to take them out of the liberal / neoliberal fantasy that ‘rights’ exist outside of the economic capacity to effectuate them. Put in ‘external’ terms, indigenous rights legislation that might preclude logging and cattle farming on indigenous lands would be a prime target of corporate lawsuits under pending ‘trade’ agreements. The multi-national corporations seeking to override civil legislation understand that by controlling the economics they control the realm of the civil.

urietrade3

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would hardly be worth remembering if his tenure didn’t still have symbolic value. After reviving global financial markets with his monetary policies Mr. Bernanke is now ‘harvesting’ the fruits of his public service through multi-million dollar contracts to work for the financial companies that he so benefitted. Center-left assertions that Mr. Bernanke’s policies benefitted the poor and middle class require non-conflictual theories of economic distribution. Interest rates paid by the poor and middle class might have been lowered if Mr. Bernanke’s current patrons hadn’t rendered them poor credit risks through crashing the global economy. Original image source: google images.

Trade Deal, Meet History

The historical context missing from support of the modern Democrat Party lies in FDR’s success at bringing ‘capital’ to heel. In his effort to ‘save’ capitalism by taming its more suicidal, and outwardly destructive, tendencies FDR told bankers and industrialists that they could continue to thrive with less or they could go down in revolutionary flames. The compromises he forged salved working class tensions and facilitated growth of a middle class even as ‘external’ U.S. imperialist endeavors continued unabated. This compares with Bill Clinton’s wholesale capitulation to international bankers through financial deregulation and neoliberal ‘reforms’ that now finds Barack Obama ‘bookending’ his Presidency with bank bailouts that left the poor and middle class much worse off and ‘trade’ deals that represent a ‘soft’ coup by international capital against civil society. The obvious lesson is that is that capitalism should have been buried in a vampire’s grave most of a century ago.

urietrade4

With ‘information’ regarding the TPP controlled by government and private interests, the critique that challenges to it are uninformed deserve no credence— the information that has been leaked is damning and with the political and economic stakes as high as they are, the information could be released and presumably would be if it supported Mr. Obama’s case that the ‘agreement’ doesn’t undermine national sovereignty. With this in mind, here is a graphical interpretation of the lead negotiators hard at work. That they resemble pirates and clowns is wholly coincidental. Original image source: google images.

The Democrat Party today is a caricature of the plutocrat defending Republican Party that FDR sent into the political wilderness after the Great Depression. Bourgeois liberals and progressives who today continue to support Democrats and their neoliberal (capitalist) policies have become the class enemies of the working class and poor. This may seem hyperbolic until the relation of Democrat policies to the social outcomes being experienced by working and poor people is considered. The foreclosure crisis made possible by bank deregulation and facilitated and covered up by the Obama administration for the benefit of banks and bankers disenfranchised poor and working class communities, largely communities of color, in ways that will persist for generations. The TPP and TTIP ‘trade’ deals are intended to crush labor and environmental regulation, both of which will disproportionately hurt the poor and powerless.

A question that Democrats may wish to ask themselves is: if, in the midst of renewed financial crisis and clear and abundant evidence that the TPP and TTIP are the catastrophes for sovereignty, labor and the environment that naysayers are predicting, what is the likelihood that Hillary Clinton or insert name of Democrat President here will refuse to bail out Wall Street again and / or attempt to recover sovereign, labor and environmental rights from the corporations and their plutocrat owners to whom they have been granted? That bailed out bankers are publicly supporting the TPP in 2015, and that this support doesn’t seriously endanger its passage, illustrates the one-way nature of these policies— once they are passed neither Party will be motivated to reverse them unless revolution is the alternative.

The best guess here is that the TPP, TTIP and fast-track authority that precludes Congressional amendments to these ‘trade’ agreements will be passed. The alternative to Democrats isn’t Republicans; it is political engagement outside of the two-Party system. In the parlance, the ‘tone-deafness’ of Democrat Barack Obama selling his ‘free-trade’ deal at Nike headquarters is evidence of how far from the reality the rest of us live by the Democrat Party has removed itself. Economic democracy is the realm where the civil ‘rights’ Democrat loyalists long deemed important at least stand a chance of gaining content. The current trajectory is in the opposite direction.

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist.


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Flickr Michael Corbat, Joe Kernen, Jamie Dimon

FT CNBC Nightcap 2015, Davos, World Economic Forum.
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Flickr me squirrel pal chowing beside our creek before the snow flies

(AP) Dear Hollywood Headliners!

Bully Sony Hollywood plays the victim to CIA's false flag kabuki "hack attack" to blame EVIL North Korea. Whadda storyline!

Poor Sony Corporation!!!!! Eeeeeeeeeek! Hhahahha. Booooooooooiiiiiiiiiiiing! Poor Hollywood!

Yes kosher kids it's another Harvey Weinstein style laugh-a-minute CIA murder promo-film in Hollywood's latest CIA-Mossad assassination psy-op conditioning-propaganda preparation "Interview" starring another Israeli lovable lardass protagonist murder hero....toooooooooo funny!

Wowy-Zowy!

Yesiree kids it's another CIA-Mossad-Hollywood smackdown of evil-foreigner murder promotion. Pure deeeeeeeeeelight! Hhahahahahhaha!

Question for Harvey Weinstein-Sony-Israeli Hollywood CIA-Mossad:

Wouldn't a foreign film category at The Jewcadamy Awards Oscars be hilarious featuring each year's lineup of assassination films promoting wacky murders of Wall Street's Israeli Mossad CIA corporate actor heroes????

-Ben Netanyahu?
-Harvey Weinstein as himself?
-Lloyd Blankfein?
-Jack Lew?
-Robert Rubin?
-Al Greenspan?
-Bernie Maddoff?
-Ben Bernanke?
-Rob Emmanuel?
-Dick Fuld?
-Jamie Dimon?
-Lawrence Summers?
-Arnon Milchan?
-Koch brothers (2-fer! ) hahhhhaha
-John Brennen?
-Bob Menendez?
-John McCain?
-Joey Shalom Biden?
-Victoria FU Nuland?
-Paul Wolfowitz?
-Richard Pearle?
-Doug Feith?
-Charles Krauthammer?
-Jack Abramoff?
-Hank Paulson?
-Pet Goat Bush?
-Donny Rumsfeld?
-Richard Cheney?
-Barry Bush? zzzzzzzzzzzziiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnggo-jingo!
...and so many many more!

Your entire 911 government Likud GOPDEM actor "leaders" would be hunted down in a series of zaney murder-promo comedies! Hhahhahaha! Slapstick suspense! Laugh-a-minute.

You get the loads of laughs, right? And big bucks! Wacky gut-busting Hollywood assassination hijinx galore! Lead-in suspense builders will get fans rolling in the aisles: Like maybe the bloody horse head slipped in bed beside waking Jack Woltz? Beside Harvey Weinstein???....just for the lead-in laughs.....you got it, and finally fabulously fatally funny assassinations of them all!

Hhahhahhhahhaa. Now THAT'S entertainment. Just good clean 911 PNAC-WTC false flag assassination promotion comedy. It's psychological conditioning for the whole damn family.....or the whole fam damly!

Blappo-Zappo!

Hahhahhhahhaa....Stop already!...you guys are killin' me! Hhahhaha.
-RT
**********************************************************************
Hollywood Plays with Fire
By Pat Buchanan • December 30, 2014

In July of 1870, King Wilhelm sent Foreign Minister Bismarck an account of his meeting with a French envoy who had demanded that the king renounce any Hohenzollern claim to the Spanish throne.

Bismarck edited the report to make it appear the Frenchman had insulted the king, and that Wilhelm rudely dismissed him. The Ems Telegram precipitated the Franco-Prussian war

Bismarck wanted.

Words matter. And if a picture is worth a thousand words, how much greater impact can a motion picture have? We are finding out.

Egypt has banned “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” the $140 million 20th Century Fox biblical epic. Cairo’s culture minister Gaber Asfour condemns it as “a Zionist film” containing “historical inaccuracies.”

The depiction of enslaved Jews building the pyramids and Moses parting the Red Sea to enable the Jews to flee and drown the Egyptian army is false, says Asfour. Historians date the pyramids to around 2540 B.C., 500 years before Abraham, the father of Judaism.

Paramount’s “Noah” was banned in Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia, for taking liberties with the Quran.

Islamabad is in an uproar over the Showtime series, “Homeland,” where Pakistani intelligence services are portrayed as colluding with Islamists trying to kill ex-CIA director Saul Berenson and station chief Carrie Mathison. In the season’s final episodes, the U.S. cuts ties to Pakistan and closes the embassy.

The Showtime series “maligns a country that has been a close partner and ally of the U.S.,” a Pakistani embassy spokesman told the New York Post, and “is a disservice not only to the security interests of the U.S., but also to the people of the U.S.”

The 2014 “Homeland” finale was aired just after 140 Pakistani school kids were massacred in Peshawar by the Taliban.

Islamabad is “a quiet picturesque city with beautiful mountains and lush greenery,” said one Pakistani, yet is “portrayed as a grimy hellhole and war zone where shootouts and bombings go off with dead bodies scattered around. Nothing is further from the truth.”

Angrier than Egypt or Pakistan is North Korea over Sony’s “The Interview.” Why would a film company owned by the Japanese, who are not beloved in Korea, think it would be a great fun to make a comedy out of a CIA plot to assassinate North Korea’s head of state?

The North Koreans are serious people. They massacred half of the South Korean cabinet in the Rangoon bombing. They have brought down airliners and sunk warships without warning.

They have plotted to assassinate South Korea’s president.

Their megalomaniac ruler, Kim Jong-Un, just had his uncle-mentor executed, along with his family. Kim has atom bombs and seeks to miniaturize them to put atop missiles able to reach the United States.

He is the most erratic and dangerous ruler on the planet and this assassination-comedy is just the thing to set him off.

Says Adam Cathcart, a North Korea expert at Leeds University, “In North Korea it’s more or less a fait accompli that the Americans are trying to kill our leader.” To sustain its Stalinist dynasty, says the Washington Post, Pyongyang has created a “personality cult that is anything but a laughing matter.”

In retaliation for “The Interview,” North Korea, says the FBI, hacked into Sony’s computers, published confidential emails and threatened retaliation against any who showed the film.

The North has repeatedly denied it hacked into Sony. But it now appears the U.S. has retaliated by disrupting Internet service in North Korea, much to the cheers of the War Party, which wants President Obama to put the Hermit Kingdom back on the list of state sponsors of terror.

North Korea is now using racial slurs to describe Obama.

There is an aspect of reckless immaturity here.

While the Wall Street Journal thinks it would be fun to send DVDs of “The Interview” by balloon into the North, the Washington Post says possession of the film there would be regarded as treasonous, and could bring a death sentence.

No one denies Sony the right to produce a comedy about blowing up Kim Jong Un. Nor was anyone denying theaters or Internet sites the right to show it. What Sony seemed to want was to produce a movie that made the assassination of a dictator appear hilarious, but to be exempt from any consequences.

But we live in a world today where if you produce cartoons of the Prophet with a bomb for a turban, or disparage Islam in videos, books or movies, you can get yourself and others killed.

Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was butchered in Amsterdam by an enraged Muslim for “Submission,” a 10-minute film that excoriated Islam’s treatment of women.

In this weekend’s Washington Post, Joe Califano, a confidant of President Johnson, writes of how the new film “Selma” demeans LBJ’s crucial role in enacting the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

To enrich itself, Hollywood is playing games with religious beliefs and historical truths — and making enemies, not all of whom believe in turning the other cheek.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.” Copyright 2014 Creators.com.

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December 23, 2014

Russian Roulette
Taxpayers Could Be on the Hook for Trillions in Oil Derivatives

by ELLEN BROWN

Senator Elizabeth Warren charged Citigroup last week with “holding government funding hostage to ram through its government bailout provision.” At issue was a section in the omnibus budget bill repealing the Lincoln Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act, which protected depositor funds by requiring the largest banks to push out a portion of their derivatives business into non-FDIC-insured subsidiaries.

Warren and Representative Maxine Waters came close to killing the spending bill because of this provision. But the tide turned, according to Waters, when not only Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, but President Obama himself lobbied lawmakers to vote for the bill.

It was not only a notable about-face for the president but represented an apparent shift in position for the banks. Before Jamie Dimon intervened, it had been reported that the bailout provision was not a big deal for the banks and that they were not lobbying heavily for it, because it covered only a small portion of their derivatives. As explained in Time:

The best argument for not freaking out about the repeal of the Lincoln Amendment is that it wasn’t nearly as strong as its drafters intended it to be. . . . [W]hile the Lincoln Amendment was intended to lasso all risky instruments, by the time all was said and done, it really only applied to about 5% of the derivatives activity of banks like Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, according to a 2012 Fitch report.

Quibbling over a mere 5% of the derivatives business sounds like much ado about nothing, but Jamie Dimon and the president evidently didn’t think so. Why?

A Closer Look at the Lincoln Amendment

The preamble to the Dodd-Frank Act claims “to protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts.” But it does this through “bail-in”: authorizing “systemically important” too-big-to-fail banks to expropriate the assets of their creditors, including depositors. Under the Lincoln Amendment, however, FDIC-insured banks were not allowed to put depositor funds at risk for their bets on derivatives, with certain broad exceptions.

In an article posted on December 10th titled “Banks Get To Use Taxpayer Money For Derivative Speculation,” Chriss W. Street explained the amendment like this:

Starting in 2013, federally insured banks would be prohibited from directly engaging in derivative transactions not specifically hedging (1) lending risks, (2) interest rate volatility, and (3) cushion against credit defaults. The “push-out rule” sought to force banks to move their speculative trading into non-federally insured subsidiaries.

The Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in 2013 allowed a two-year delay on the condition that banks take steps to move swaps to subsidiaries that don’t benefit from federal deposit insurance or borrowing directly from the Fed.

The rule would have impacted the $280 trillion in derivatives primarily held by the “too-big-to-fail (TBTF) banks that include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo. Although 95% of TBTF derivative holdings are exempt as legitimate lending hedges, leveraging cheap money from the U.S. Federal Reserve into $10 trillion of derivative speculation is one of the TBTF banks’ most profitable business activities.

What was and was not included in the exemption was explained by Steve Shaefer in a June 2012 article in Forbes. According to Fitch Ratings, interest rate, currency, gold/silver, credit derivatives referencing investment-grade securities, and hedges were permissible activities within an insured depositary institution. Those not permitted included “equity, some credit and most commodity derivatives.” Schaefer wrote:

For Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the rule is almost a non-event, as they already conduct derivatives activity outside of their bank subsidiaries. (Which makes sense, since neither actually had commercial banking operations of any significant substance until converting into bank holding companies during the 2008 crisis).

The impact on Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and to a lesser extent, Wells Fargo, would be greater, but still rather middling, as the size and scope of the restricted activities is but a fraction of these firms’ overall derivative operations.

A fraction, but a critical fraction, as it included the banks’ bets on commodities. Five percent of $280 trillion is $14 trillion in derivatives exposure – close to the size of the existing federal debt. And as financial blogger Michael Snyder points out, $3.9 trillion of this speculation is on the price of commodities.

Among the banks’ most important commodities bets are oil derivatives. An oil derivative typically involves an oil producer who wants to lock in the price at a future date, and a counterparty – typically a bank – willing to pay that price in exchange for the opportunity to earn additional profits if the price goes above the contract rate. The downside is that the bank has to make up the loss if the price drops.

As Snyder observes, the recent drop in the price of oil by over $50 a barrel – a drop of nearly 50% since June – was completely unanticipated and outside the predictions covered by the banks’ computer models. The drop could cost the big banks trillions of dollars in losses. And with the repeal of the Lincoln Amendment, taxpayers could be picking up the bill.

When Markets Cannot Be Manipulated

Interest rate swaps compose 82% of the derivatives market. Interest rates are predictable and can be controlled, since the Federal Reserve sets the prime rate. The Fed’s mandate includes maintaining the stability of the banking system, which means protecting the interests of the largest banks. The Fed obliged after the 2008 credit crisis by dropping the prime rate nearly to zero, a major windfall for the derivatives banks – and a major loss for their counterparties, including state and local governments.

Manipulating markets anywhere is illegal – unless you are a central bank or a federal government, in which case you can apparently do it with impunity.

In this case, the shocking $50 drop in the price of oil was not due merely to the forces of supply and demand, which are predictable and can be hedged against. According to an article by Larry Elliott in the UK Guardian titled “Stakes Are High as US Plays the Oil Card Against Iran and Russia,” the unanticipated drop was an act of geopolitical warfare administered by the Saudis. History, he says, is repeating itself:

The fourfold increase in oil prices triggered by the embargo on exports organised by Saudi Arabia in response to the Yom Kippur war in 1973 showed how crude could be used as a diplomatic and economic weapon.

Now, says Elliott, the oil card is being played to force prices lower:

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, allegedly struck a deal with King Abdullah in September under which the Saudis would sell crude at below the prevailing market price. That would help explain why the price has been falling at a time when, given the turmoil in Iraq and Syria caused by Islamic State, it would normally have been rising.

. . . [A]ccording to Middle East specialists, the Saudis want to put pressure on Iran and to force Moscow to weaken its support for the Assad regime in Syria.

War on the Ruble

If the plan was to break the ruble, it worked. The ruble has dropped by more than 60% against the dollar since January.

On December 16th, the Russian central bank counterattacked by raising interest rates to 17% in order to stem “capital flight” – the dumping of rubles on the currency markets. Deposits are less likely to be withdrawn and exchanged for dollars if they are earning a high rate of return.

The move was also a short squeeze on the short sellers attempting to crash the ruble. Short sellers sell currency they don’t have, forcing down the price; then cover by buying at the lower price, pocketing the difference. But the short squeeze worked only briefly, as trading in the ruble was quickly suspended, allowing short sellers to cover their bets. Who has the power to shut down a currency exchange? One suspects that more than mere speculation was at work.

Protecting Our Money from Wall Street Gambling

The short sellers were saved, but the derivatives banks will still get killed if oil prices don’t go back up soon. At least they would have been killed before the bailout ban was lifted. Now, it seems, that burden could fall on depositors and taxpayers. Did the Obama administration make a deal with the big derivatives banks to save them from Kerry’s clandestine economic warfare at taxpayer expense?

Whatever happened behind closed doors, we the people could again be stuck with the tab. We will continue to be at the mercy of the biggest banks until depository banking is separated from speculative investment banking. Reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act is supported not only by Elizabeth Warren and others on the left but by prominent voices such as David Stockman’s on the remember the right.

Another alternative for protecting our funds from Wall Street gambling can be done at the local level. Our state and local governments can establish publicly-owned banks, and our money – public and private – can be moved into them.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt. Her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, explores successful public banking models historically and globally.

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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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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 Bank of America Alderman Jamie Dimon Take Back Chicago Rally....it's always a great day to foreclose on some homes!_MG_0176
Tags: poverty   people   chicago   students   kids   children   illinois   education   politics   homeless   protest   demonstration   schools   teachers   unemployed   neighborhoods   wealth   corruption   classrooms   inequality   profits   privatization   bankers   organizations   austerity   communitygroups   onepercent   ninetyninepercent   
The objective of the rally was to demand that the leadership of the city listens to the voices of the people of Chicago instead of those of the corporate elite. It's time to end the privatization agenda of the one percent that hurts families, neighborhoods and closes school. Elected public officials must stand against corporate raiders and invest in communities and neighborhoods.

Specifically:

Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Companies like McDonald's and Walmart can easily afford to pay a decent wage. They make billions of dollars in profits each year, yet the people on the front line who do the work to make this possible are told to 'find second jobs' or live on public assistance programs.

An elected school board that represents the people, not just bankers and CEOs. In Chicago, the school board is appointed by the mayor.

Reform the Chicago Housing Authority. The CHA must be accountable to the people it is supposed to serve. It has currently stockpiled millions of dollars in federal funding, more than enough to issue over 13,000 housing vouchers. Meanwhile, thousands of Chicagoans will be homeless this winter.

End home foreclosures. Bankers should negotiate with homeowners who are experiencing difficulties meeting their monthly mortgage payments. This is a much better way to go than simply throwing people out into the street.

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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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Flickr Special Investigation: Jamie Dimon's $13 Billion Secret. The Nation. September 1-8, 2014
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Special Investigation: Jamie Dimon's $13 Billion Secret. The Nation. September 1-8, 2014
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Flickr William Ferguson and Jamie Dimon
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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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September 02, 2014

Why the Deep State Always Wins
The Zero-Sum Game of Perpetual War
by BILL BLUNDEN

Readers with a morbid sense of curiosity can visit a web site called NukeMap that allows visitors to witness the devastation caused by nuclear weapons of varying yields on a city of their choosing[i]. Herman Kahn, who was an armchair theorist from RAND during the Cold War, insisted that nuclear war was winnable[ii]. But a few hours with NukeMap will disprove Kahn’s folly and the baleful smiley face that he tried to slap over human extinction.

Against this backdrop it’s no wonder that recent developments in the Ukraine have been known to cause night terrors. Your author can vouch for this. Last week there was an earthquake in the Bay Area and at the outset I woke up mistaking it for a shock wave from sub-megaton warhead hitting Silicon Valley.

One could posit that what’s happening in Eastern Europe offers a look-see into the nature of the groups that are calling the shots in the United States. Do they care that their destabilization program in Ukraine provokes a nuclear-armed country or enables neo-Nazis to assume vital positions in government[iii]? So far almost 2,600 civilians have been killed in the ongoing humanitarian crisis[iv]. While the corporate press does its best to create the impression of a “shining city upon a hill” which aims to “spread democracy” and conduct “humanitarian intervention[v],” a different sort of world power is clearly visible to those who look carefully.

The appalling savagery of radical groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) reflects the appalling savagery of American military incursions[vi]. Or perhaps the collective consciousness of the United States has already forgotten over hundreds thousand dead Iraqi civilians [vii] and the long trail of drone induced “bug-splats[viii].” Ruthless men like Genghis Khan didn’t vanish into history books. Oh no, they’re still around. Some of them are right here in the good old U.S.A. It’s just that they’ve replaced scepters with hand-tailored suits and have traded thrones for seats on corporate boards.

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Such men often go unnoticed because they tend to exercise power discreetly, standing behind a veil of propaganda[ix]. For instance Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Steve Coll has called ExxonMobil an “invisible company” thanks to a disciplined and well-funded public relations division[x]. This underscores the fact that the narratives put forth by the press are under the influence of an extensive subversion apparatus that CIA officer Frank Wisner referred to as the Mighty Wurlitzer[xi]. Powerful groups build consensus behind closed doors and then, as Chomsky and Herman explain, coax the rest of society along by manufacturing consent[xii]. Thus enabling what’s known as democratic elitism.

Despite all the filtering that occurs, readers will still, occasionally, get a glimpse of politicians dutifully lining up to kiss the boots of plutocrats[xiii]. Political leaders like Barack Obama and George W. Bush are merely hired help, useful lightning rods who draw our attention away from the men working the levers of power in Washington D.C.

Pluralists contend that we, the voters, own these levers. Published research says otherwise.

Who Are Those Guys?

So just who are the “deciders”? American philosopher John Dewey answered this question in one crisp sentence[xiv]: “Politics is the shadow cast on society by big business.”

A number of sociologists have arrived at the same basic conclusion. For example, back in the 1950s a professor at Columbia named C. Wright Mills described national policy decisions as being forged by a small group of power elite who were bound together by shared class interests. The work of contemporary sociologists like G. William Domhoff[xv] and Peter Phillips[xvi] further substantiate the conclusions of Mills.

It’s alleged that when Franklin D. Roosevelt was in office told labor activists “I agree with you, now go out and make me do it.” blundenWhich, if true, is a reminder that most politicians could care less about genuine social justice and are far more concerned about doing whatever it takes to stay in office.

A natural corollary of this is that lawmakers respond to those groups which are capable of rewarding and punishing them. This is in line with the Investment Theory of Party Competition, a model devised by political scientist Thomas Ferguson. Ferguson’s theory describes the political process as being dominated by corporate interests which coalesce into factions and compete to guide policy. A couple of researchers, Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, have published a paper that offers quantitative validation of Ferguson’s model concluding that[xvii]:

“Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.”

Note the mention of “organized groups” in the previous excerpt. Although political mobilization is typically associated with unions and social movements, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson explain in their book Winner Take All Politics that corporations have used similar collective strategies to coordinate their efforts and instrument policy changes. The media likes to portray political contests as one individual versus another (as American culture is rooted in the myth of rugged individualism) but it’s more accurate to view political struggle as a form of conflict between organizations. A billionaire like George Soros isn’t just a lone citizen, he represents a small army of people.

Let’s take a look at some of these corporate sets.

Corporate Emperors: The Banks

The late Michael Ruppert once stated that “The CIA is Wall Street. Wall Street is the CIA[xviii].” There’s definitely something to this as the figures responsible for creating the CIA, men like Allen Dulles and John Foster Dulles, were heavily linked to Wall Street[xix]. This is only logical as the global nature of espionage during World War II required people who were steeped in the nuances of international law and trade. Both Allen and John Foster were partners in Sullivan and Cromwell, a Wall Street law firm that remains one of the most profitable legal practices in the world.

Is it any surprise that both subcultures ─spies and bankers─ exhibit indications of being above the law? For example, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper perjured himself on camera with little or no fallout[xx]. The Director of the CIA outright lied about monitoring the Senate Intelligence Committee and in return received the full backing of POTUS[xxi].

Spies by virtue of their work break laws in other countries on a regular basis. Some intelligence officers become rather adept at it. It would be naïve to think that agencies like the CIA, answering only to the President and shielded by official secrecy, might be tempted to take shortcuts with the legal system here in the United States. Journalist Gary Webb, who investigated the CIA’s connection to drug smuggling, arrived at this conclusion. He committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. Twice[xxii].

Likewise Bank of America was recently fined over $16 billion for mortgage fraud and the company’s stock price jumped 4 percent[xxiii]. The CEO of JPMorgan presided over various scams that resulted in $20 billion worth of fines and, for his trouble, he was awarded a 74 percent raise[xxiv]. No one outside of a few sacrificial lambs like Bernie Madoff is serving jail time. Hunter S. Thompson disciple Matt Taibbi points out the obvious: rule of law has broken down[xxv]:

“In the case of a company like HSBC, which admitted to laundering $850 million for a pair of Central and South American drug cartels, somebody has to go to jail in that case. If you’re going to put people in jail for having a joint in their pocket or for slinging dime bags on the corner in a city street, you cannot let people who laundered $800 million for the worst drug offenders in the world walk.”

In addition to their role in the origins of U.S. intelligence, large financial institutions maintain a special position in the power structure because they’re the primary architects of the West’s economic model, driven by an ideological vision of open markets and accessible resources. As custodians of the world’s reserve currency they work diligently to realize this vision. Bankers have demonstrated the ability to shape history and spur military engagement[xxvi]. When push comes to shove, as we saw during the 2008 financial crisis, they can hold entire economies hostage[xxvii].

This isn’t necessarily surprising given the amount of assets that they have at their disposal. For instance, Richard Fisher of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank has reported that 12 American megabanks control something on the order of 70% of the American banking industry’s assets[xxviii]. Or consider the investment management company BlackRock which holds over $3 trillion in assets[xxix]. This figure is on par with the 2013 U.S. Federal Budget.

Corporate Emperors: Other Sectors

Rivaling the banks are the fossil fuel companies. For example oil monolith ExxonMobil, a corporate descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, brings in annual revenue on the order of half a trillion dollars.[xxx] Thus making ExxonMobil roughly as big as the economy of Poland.

Over the past two decades the company has spent more than $200 million lobbying on the D.C. beltway[xxxi]. Modern society runs on oil and this translates into a mountain of money and a comparable level of influence. Like the bankers[xxxii], the executives of the fossil fuel industry has the resources to reward those politicians who attend to their needs[xxxiii].

Finally there’s the defense industry and its hi-tech offshoots. This is a sector of the economy that has held sway since the end of World War II, when Charles Wilson, then the president of General Electric, promoted the idea of a permanent war economy[xxxiv]. Not only does the defense industry arm and equip the most powerful military on the planet, whose budget for 2014 is over $500 billion[xxxv], but it also dominates the international arms market. In 2012 the New York Times reported that United States weapons exports were more than 75% of the global market[xxxvi].

Defense companies in the United States sell heavy weaponry to repressive governments in Saudi Arabia[xxxvii], Egypt[xxxviii], and Israel[xxxix]. Business is thriving, enough so that taken in aggregate defense contractors like Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon form a prevalent lobbying force in Washington.

Think of it this way, these are businesses that manufacture the weapons which can level cities. Defense companies are intimately connected to people who wield such weapons both in the government and in the mercenary outfits of the private sector. The defense industry embodies the primeval archetype of unencumbered raw violence, the tip of the imperial spear, the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about as he left office. No one crosses these executives, not even allegedly progressive political candidates who promise “change.”

An Elite Backdoor: The Deep State

How is it that influential corporate factions, with no constitutional authority whatsoever, are able to exercise state power? Congressional staff member Mike Lofgren claims that the corporate elite go through a Deep State[xl]. An extension of the visible state that resides below the surface of the body politic.

The derin devlet, or “deep state”, was a term coined in Turkey to describe a shadow government that existed as an outgrowth of covert operations launched during World War II. It consisted of government officials, spies, and organized crime elements[xli]. The Turkish Deep State served as a means to quash countervailing power centers that threatened the established secular order.

The ongoing instability in Egypt has also revealed the presence of a deep state in that country[xlii]. Powerful interests anchored in the nation’s military and security services have aggressively attacked anyone and anything that represents a threat, as a court ruling which sentenced hundreds of people to execution for the death of a single police officer demonstrates[xliii].

Like Turkey and Egypt, Ukraine also has a deep state. The New York Times describes it as being choreographed by a league of oligarchs[xliv]:

“The ultra-wealthy industrialists wield such power in Ukraine that they form what amounts to a shadow government, with empires of steel and coal, telecoms and media, and armies of workers.”

It’s interesting that although the New York Times openly refers to oligarchs in Ukraine in its headlines, the editors are far more demure in terms of how they refer to the ruling class here in the United States.

The American Deep State, or what Colonel Fletcher Prouty called the Secret Team, is a structural layer of political intermediaries: non-governmental organizations (e.g. National Endowment for Democracy, Ford Foundation), lobbyists (e.g. Chamber of Commerce, AIPAC), media outlets (e.g. Time Warner, News Corp), dark money pits (e.g. Freedom Partners, NRA), and private sector contractors (e.g. Booz Allen, SAIC) that interface with official government organs (CIA, Department of Defense)[xlv]. This layer establishes a series of informal, often secret, backchannels and revolving doors through which profound sources of wealth and power outside of government can purchase influence.

As in Turkey, Egypt, and Ukraine, the American Deep State is a fundamentally anti-democratic apparatus that caters to the agenda of heavily entrenched elites. CIA Officer John Stockwell explains what ties the Deep State together[xlvi]:

“The CIA and the big corporations were, in my experience, in step with each other. Later I realized that they may argue about details of strategy – a small war here or there. However, both are vigorously committed to supporting the system. Corporate leaders fight amongst themselves like people in any human endeavor. They raid and hostilely take over each other’s companies. Losers have been known to commit suicide. However, they firmly believe in the capitalist system”

WAR IS PEACE

Looking back at the past two decades, U.S. intervention in the Middle East has failed to “spread democracy” or win the “war on terror.” It has only succeeded in creating more instability, more conflict, and more enemies[xlvii]. After spending $25 billion to equip and train Iraqi security forces[xlviii], our military ends up bombing its own equipment[xlix] to fend off CIA-armed jihadist forces[l] in anticipation of providing even more military aid to the Kurds[li].

One thing is certain: the Middle East is awash with armaments supplied by the United States.

There are those who would argue that this incongruous state of affairs is intentional, that stated claims about WMDs and nurturing democracy are a mere pretext for a more ominous stratagem. More than a decade ago John Stockwell presciently pointed out an unsettling logic, an instance of Hegelian Dialectic where the ruling class creates its own enemies to feed off of the ensuing carnage[lii]:

“Enemies are necessary for the wheels of the U.S. military machine to turn. If the world were peaceful, we would never put up with this kind of ruinous expenditure on arms at the cost of our own lives. This is where the thousands of CIA destabilizations begin to make a macabre kind of economic sense. They function to kill people who never were our enemies-that’s not the problem-but to leave behind, for each one of the dead, perhaps five loved ones who are now traumatically conditioned to violence and hostility toward the United States. This insures that the world will continue to be a violent place, populates with contras and Cuban exiles and armies in Southeast Asia, justifying the endless, profitable production of arms to ‘defend’ ourselves in such a violent world”

The defense industry thrives from regional conflicts like this, a constant stream of flash points in America’s self-perpetuating campaign to eradicate terrorism. The cost for the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan reaches into trillions of dollars and much of that funding ends up covering military expenses[liii]. About a year ago, back when President Obama announced he was thinking about bombing the Assad regime, Raytheon’s stock jumped[liv].

And the defense executives aren’t alone, the fossil fuel industry also extracts its pound of flesh[lv]. It’s the failed state model for neocolonialism[lvi]. Non-nuclear countries that have been ravaged by war are more susceptible to opening their doors and yielding nationalized resources on behalf of corporate pressure. Before the United States invaded Iraq its oil wells weren’t accessible to outside firms. After the invasion Western oil interests like Shell, BP, and ExxonMobil have all gained entry to one of the world’s largest sources of oil[lvii]. In March of 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that Iraq’s oil output was at its highest point in more than 30 years[lviii].

SLAVERY IS FREEDOM

As perennial conflict abroad is leveraged as a tool of empire, at home it leads to repression. The late Chalmers Johnson, who studied this phenomenon as a professor at UC San Diego, characterized this with the adage “Either give up your empire, or live under it.”

With the public exposure of the NSA’s global surveillance apparatus there are intimations that this process is already underway. In 2005 there were revelations of warrantless wiretapping under President George W. Bush[lix], a story that the New York Times sat on for months[lx]. Then a slew of NSA whistleblowers like Russell Tice[lxi], Thomas Drake[lxii] and William Binney[lxiii] publicly came forward with allegations that the NSA’s monitoring programs were unconstitutional. And in May of 2013 the other shoe dropped when a Booz Allen contractor named Ed Snowden handed over a large set of classified documents[lxiv] to journalists in Hong Kong.

The purpose of the NSA’s panopticon is to further the interests of the corporate elite. In an open letter to Brazil Ed Snowden clearly states as much[lxv]:

“These programs were never about terrorism: they’re about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power.”

Yet it’s important to keep in mind that the origins of the emerging police state can be traced much farther back[lxvi]. For example, in the late 1960s the Department of Defense conceived Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2, code named Operation Garden Plot, which included “plans to undercut riots and demonstrations” using “information gathered through political espionage and informants.[lxvii]”

In 1971 an instructor for the U.S. Army, a man named Christopher Pyle, revealed that the military had been tracking civilian political activists and demonstrations for several years. A few years later in 1974 Seymour Hersh, writing for the New York Times, exposed a CIA program called CHAOS (aka MCHAOS) which targeted antiwar activists in the United States[lxviii].

Though the trend of militarization is hard to dismiss[lxix], how exactly does military action overseas incite civilian persecution within our borders? George Orwell in his timeless book 1984 provides a succinct explanation:

“War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.”

American society cannot endure perpetual war and maintain a healthy middle class. Especially when plutocrats[lxx] and executives[lxxi] do everything in their power to avoid[lxxii] paying taxes[lxxiii]. The decree of maximizing profit requires them to extract value from the commons and then fail to offer anything in return, to the tune of trillions of dollars a year. Hence the burden of supporting an endless series of bloody military campaigns falls on the rest of us.

So while the public eye is distracted with military shock and awe overseas the middle class fails to grasp its inevitable decline. A captive state strips away civil liberties, divests in social programs, infrastructure, education, and anything else that might help normal people cope as wages stagnate and jobs go offshore. Resources that could be devoted to sustaining and growing the middle class are diverted to the extractive Deep State. The masters of mankind, as Adam Smith referred to them in The Wealth of Nations, witness record profits[lxxiv].

Denouement

By the end of World War II the United States had replaced Britain as global hegemon. Over the course of the Cold War the one countervailing world power that represented an alternative ideology, the Soviet Union, dissolved. Since German unification NATO has gradually expanded into former Soviet territory (Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, etc.) despite explicit verbal guarantees to Mikhail Gorbachev that it would not[lxxv]. And now the plutocrats standing behind Victoria Nuland want Ukraine. Never mind that Ukraine is a border country which Russian leadership views as vital to their national security.

In 2006 journalist John Pilger spoke with Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, a CIA officer who supervised agency operations in Latin America back in the 1980s. Pilger queried Clarridge as to what gave the CIA the right to overthrow foreign governments, Clarridge responded[lxxvi]: “Like it or lump it, we’ll do what we like. So just get used to it, world.”

There you have it. When they want something they take it. Native Americans can attest to the veracity of this statement. This, dear readers, is the mindset of the ruling class, the true face of empire. Blind ambitious of this sort has always existed. Only now the CIA is up against an adversary that is just as skilled and just as heavily armed (a scenario, by the way, which past U.S. leaders have studiously avoided). Late at night in some far corner of the Pentagon the ghost of Herman Kahn chuckles.

Bill Blunden is an independent investigator whose current areas of inquiry include information security, anti-forensics, and institutional analysis. He is the author of several books, including The Rootkit Arsenal , and Behold a Pale Farce: Cyberwar, Threat Inflation, and the Malware-Industrial Complex. Bill is the lead investigator at Below Gotham Labs.



End Notes

[i] www.nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

[ii] Louis Menand, “Fat Man: Herman Kahn and the nuclear age,” New Yorker, June 27, 2005, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2005/06/27/fat-man

[iii] Jim Naureckas, “Denying the Far-Right Role in the Ukrainian Revolution,” FAIR, March 7, 2014,

www.fair.org/blog/2014/03/07/denying-the-far-right-role-i...

[iv] “Ukraine Crisis Escalates as Russian Forces Cross Border, NATO Moves to Expand in Region,” Democracy Now! August 29, 2014, www.democracynow.org/2014/8/29/ukraine_crisis_escalates_a...

[v] “Glenn Greenwald on Iraq: Is U.S. “Humanitarianism” Only Summoned to Control Oil-Rich Areas?” Democracy Now!, August 13, 2014, www.democracynow.org/2014/8/13/glenn_greenwald_on_iraq_is...

[vi] Garry Leech, “The Beheading of James Foley,” Counterpunch, August 22-24, 2014, www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/22/the-beheading-of-james-fo...

[vii] Sabrina Tavernise And Donald G. Mcneil Jr., “Iraqi Dead May Total 600,000, Study Says,” New York Times, October11, 2006,http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/11/world/middleeast/11casualties.html

[viii] www.thebureauinvestigates.com/category/projects/drones/dr...

[ix] Psywar, Directed by Scott Noble, Metanoia Films, 2010, www.openfilm.com/videos/psywar-remastered

[x] “ExxonMobil’s Dirty Secrets, from Indonesia to Nigeria to Washington: Steve Coll on ‘Private Empire’,” Democracy Now!, May 7, 2012, www.democracynow.org/2012/5/7/exxonmobils_dirty_secrets_f...

[xi] Wilford, Hugh, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America, Harvard University Press, 2008.

[xii] Excerpts from Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky interviewed by various interviewers, www.chomsky.info/interviews/1992—-02.htm

[xiii] David Firestone, “The Line to Kiss Sheldon Adelson’s Boots,” New York Times, March 31, 2014, takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/31/the-line-to-kiss-...

[xiv] Robert Brett Westbrook, John Dewey and American Democracy, Cornell University Press, 1991, page 440.

[xv] G. William Domhoff, “C. Wright Mills, Power Structure Research, and the Failures of Mainstream Political Science,” New Political Science 29 (2007), pp. 97-114, www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/theory/mills_critique.html

[xvi] Peter Phillips, “Inside Bohemian Grove,” Counterpunch, August 13, 2003, www.counterpunch.org/2003/08/13/inside-bohemian-grove/print

[xvii] Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens,” Perspectives on Politics, Fall 2014, www.princeton.edu/~mgilens/Gilens%20homepage%20materials/...

[xviii] Michael Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil, New Society Publishers, 2004, Chapter 3.

[xix] Stephen Kinzer, The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War, Times Books, 2013.

[xx] Glenn Kessler, “James Clapper’s ‘least untruthful’ statement to the Senate,” Washington Post, June 12, 2013, www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/james-clap...

[xxi] Mark Mazzetti, “Obama Expresses Confidence in CIA Director,” New York Times, August 1, 2014, www.nytimes.com/2014/08/02/us/obama-expresses-confidence-...

[xxii] Sam Stanton, “Reporter’s suicide confirmed by coroner,” Sacramento Bee, December 15, 2004, web.archive.org/web/20080507054818/http://dwb.sacbee.com/...

[xxiii] Peter Eavis and Michael Corkery, “Bank of America’s $16 Billion Mortgage Settlement Less Painful Than It Looks,” New York Times, August 21, 2014, dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/08/21/bank-of-america-reaches-1...

[xxiv] James Stewart, “Accounting for Dimon’s Big Jump in Pay,” New York Times, January 31, 2014, www.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/business/accounting-for-jamie-...

[xxv] “Who Goes to Jail? Matt Taibbi on American Injustice Gap from Wall Street to Main Street,” Democracy Now! April 15, 2014, www.democracynow.org/2014/4/15/who_goes_to_jail_matt_taibbi#

[xxvi] Nomi Prins, All the Presidents’ Bankers, Nation Books, 2014, www.democracynow.org/2014/4/8/all_the_presidents_bankers_...

[xxvii] Michael Kirk, “Inside the Meltdown,” FRONTLINE, February 17, 2009, www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meltdown/etc/script.html

[xxviii] Richard W. Fisher, Ending ‘Too Big to Fail’: A Proposal for Reform Before It’s Too Late (With Reference to Patrick Henry, Complexity and Reality), Dallas Federal Reserve, January 16, 2013, www.dallasfed.org/news/speeches/fisher/2013/fs130116.cfm

[xxix] Peter Phillips and Kimberly Soeiro, “The Global 1%: Exposing the Transnational Ruling Class,” Project Censored, August 22, 2012, www.projectcensored.org/the-global-1-exposing-the-transna...

[xxx] www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/34088/000003408814000012/...

[xxxi] Top Spenders 1998-2014, OpenSecrets.org, www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?indexType=s

[xxxii] David Corn, “Hillary Clinton’s Goldman Sachs Problem,” Mother Jones, June 4, 2014, www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/hillary-clintons-gol...

[xxxiii] Matea Gold, “Koch-backed political network, built to shield donors, raised $400 million in 2012 elections,” Washington Post, January 5, 2014, www.washingtonpost.com/politics/koch-backed-political-net...

[xxxiv] Doug Henwood, “NBC: The GE Broadcasting Co.,” FAIR, November 1, 1989, fair.org/extra-online-articles/nbc-the-ge-broadcasting-co/

[xxxv] www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2014/...

[xxxvi] Thom Shanker, “U.S. Arms Sales Make Up Most of Global Market,” New York Times, August 26, 2012, www.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/world/middleeast/us-foreign-ar...

[xxxvii] Thom Shanker, “U.S. Arms Deal With Israel and 2 Arab Nations Is Near,” New York Times, April 18, 2013, www.nytimes.com/2013/04/19/world/middleeast/us-selling-ar...

[xxxviii] Steve Kenny, “Egypt: U.S. to Deliver Helicopters,” New York Times, April 23, 2014, www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/world/middleeast/egypt-us-to-d...

[xxxix] Jeremy Sharp, “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,” Congressional Research Service, April 11, 2014, fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf

[xl] Mike Lofgren, “Essay: Anatomy of the Deep State,” Bill Moyers and Company, February 21, 2014, billmoyers.com/2014/02/21/anatomy-of-the-deep-state/

[xli] Dexter Filkins, “The Deep State,” New Yorker, March 12, 2012, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/03/12/the-deep-stae

[xlii] Sarah Childress, “The Deep State: How Egypt’s Shadow State Won Out,” FRONTLINE, September 17, 2013, www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/foreign-affairs-defense/...

[xliii] David D. Kirkpatrick, “Hundreds of Egyptians Sentenced to Death in Killing of a Police Officer,” New York Times, March 24, 2014, www.nytimes.com/2014/03/25/world/middleeast/529-egyptians...

[xliv] Andrew Kramer, “Ukraine Turns to Its Oligarchs for Political Help,” New York Times, March 2, 2014, www.nytimes.com/2014/03/03/world/europe/ukraine-turns-to-...

[xlv] www.belowgotham.com/DeepState-Graphic.pdf

[xlvi] John Stockwell, The Praetorian Guard: The U.S. Role in the New World Order, South End Press, 1999, page 59.

[xlvii] Patrick Cockburn, “Why Washington’s War on Terror Failed,” Counterpunch, August 21, 2014, www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/21/why-washingtons-war-on-te...

[xlviii] Eric Schmitt and Michael Gordon, “The Iraqi Army Was Crumbling Long Before Its Collapse, U.S. Officials Say,” New York Times, June 12, 2014, www.nytimes.com/2014/06/13/world/middleeast/american-inte...

[xlix] Jason Fields, “COLUMN-In Iraq, U.S. is spending millions to blow up captured American war machines,” Reuters, August 19, 2014, www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/19/fields-weapons-idUSL2N...

[l] C.J. Chivers and Eric Schmitt, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.,” New York Times, March 24, 2013, www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/world/middleeast/arms-airlift-...

[li] Helene Cooper and Alissa Rubin, “Pentagon Says Airstrikes Have Slowed but Not Stopped Sunni Militants,” New York Times, August 11, 2014, www.nytimes.com/2014/08/12/world/middleeast/pentagon-says...

[lii] John Stockwell, The Praetorian Guard: The U.S. Role in the New World Order, South End Press, 1999, page 93.

[liii] Neta Crawford, “U.S. Costs of Wars Through 2014: $4.4 Trillion and Counting,” Boston University, June 25, 2014, costsofwar.org/sites/default/files/articles/20/attachment...

[liv] John Bennett, “Analysts: Spurred by Syria Talk, Raytheon’s Stock Price to Remain High,” Defense News, August 28, 2013, www.defensenews.com/article/20130828/DEFREG02/308280028/A...

[lv] Antonia Juhasz, “Why the war in Iraq was fought for Big Oil,” CNN, April 15, 2013, edition.cnn.com/2013/03/19/opinion/iraq-war-oil-juhasz/index.html

[lvi] Gilbert Mercier, “Engineering Failed States: The Strategy of Global Corporate Imperialism,” News Junkie Post, February 18, 2014, newsjunkiepost.com/2014/02/18/engineering-failed-states-t...

[lvii] Dahr Jamail, “Western oil firms remain as US exits Iraq,” Al Jazeera, January 7, 2012, www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/12/20111228131340...

[lviii] Sarah Kent, “Iraq’s Oil Output Surges to Highest Level in Over 30 Years,” Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2014, online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304914904579...

[lix] James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, “Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts,” New York Times, December 16, 2005, www.nytimes.com/2005/12/16/politics/16program.html

[lx] Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser, “United States of Secrets (Part One): The Program,” Frontline, May 13, 2014, www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/united-states-of-secrets...

[lxi] “EXCLUSIVE: National Security Agency Whistleblower Warns Domestic Spying Program Is Sign the U.S. is Decaying Into a ‘Police State’,” Democracy Now! January 3, 2006, www.democracynow.org/2006/1/3/exclusive_national_security...

[lxii] Jane Mayer, “The Secret Sharer,” New Yorker, May 23, 2011, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/05/23/the-secret-sharer#i...

[lxiii] “Exclusive: National Security Agency Whistleblower William Binney on Growing State Surveillance,” Democracy Now! April 20, 2012, www.democracynow.org/2012/4/20/exclusive_national_securit...

[lxiv] edwardsnowden.com/revelations/

[lxv] Mike Masnick, “Ed Snowden Sends Open Letter To Brazil… Which The Press Blatantly Misrepresents,” Tech Dirt, December 17, 2013, www.techdirt.com/articles/20131217/10080925588/ed-snowden...

[lxvi] “Chris Pyle, Whistleblower on Domestic Spying in 70s, Says Be Wary of Attacks on NSA’s Critics,” Democracy Now! June 13, 2013, www.democracynow.org/2013/6/13/chris_pyle_whistleblower_o...

[lxvii] Frank Morales, “U.S. Military Civil Disturbance Planning: The War At Home,” Covert Action Quarterly, #69 Spring/Summer 2000, cryptome.org/garden-plot.htm

[lxviii] Seymour Hersh, “Huge CIA Operation Reported in US Against Antiwar Forces, Other Dissidents in Nixon Years,” New York Times, December 22, 1974, www.documentcloud.org/documents/238963-huge-c-i-a-operati...

[lxix] ACLU, War Comes Homes, June 2014, www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/assets/jus14-warcomeshom...

[lxx] David de Jong and Robert LaFranco, “The Super-Rich’s Offshore Tax Avoidance Strategies,” Businessweek, May 2, 2013, www.businessweek.com/printer/articles/113870-the-super-ri...

[lxxi] “The Biggest Tax Scam Ever: How Corporate America Parks Profits Overseas, Avoiding Billions in Taxes,” Democracy Now!, August 28, 2014, www.democracynow.org/2014/8/28/the_biggest_tax_scam_ever_...

[lxxii] Tim Dickinson, “The Biggest Tax Scam Ever,” Rolling Stone, August 27, 2014, www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-biggest-tax-scam-e...

[lxxiii] Zachary Mider, “Tax Dodge Used by Bain Escapes Scrutiny on Inversions,” Bloomberg, August 25, 2014, www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-08-25/tax-dodge-used-by...

[lxxiv] Robin Sidel and Saabira Chaudhuri, “U.S. Bank Profits Near Record Levels,” Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2014, online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-banking-industry-profits-raci...

[lxxv] Peter Beinart, “No, American Weakness Didn’t Encourage Putin to Invade Ukraine,” Atlantic, March 3, 2014, www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/03/no-amer...

[lxxvi] John Pilger, “In an Age of ‘Realists’ and Vigilantes,” Counterpunch, September 19, 2013

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Obama Chimp is Dick Cheney's continuity of Wall Street's corporate military permanent 911 murder junta. His role facilitates systematic looting of Americans and the world at gunpoint. Their 911 cabal outlawed the US Constitution for sake of bank, police and war crime profit security, enforced by ordinary CIA-AlQaeda terrorist contractors. They wage warfare for rich spoils to AIPAC-Texas-Wall Street counterfeit bank war-making parasites: AIPAC's counterfeiting bar mitzvah tribe of common thugs. Thus follows revision of Obama's lucrative criminal service record to each banker criminal: ********************************************************
Jail the Bankers? Obama Has Been Their Staunchest Defender
By Glen Ford
Global Research, May 09, 2014
Black Agenda Report 7 May 2014
Region: USA
Theme: Law and Justice

In the second half of his second term, Obama and his crew seek to rewrite the history of his administration. Attorney General Eric Holder now declares that no bank is too big to jail. But the reality is, Wall Street’s “impunity is infinite. Holder and Obama work for them.”

The Obama administration is in a makeover frenzy, cosmetically cleaning up its corporatist act for the sake of the lame duck president’s legacy and endangered Democrats in Congress. Evils must be reapportioned in the public mind, so that the balance between lesser and greater abominations is perceived to tilt in the Democrats’ favor – a tough trick, given the beating the party’s base constituencies have taken since 2008 at the hands of the duopoly Dem-Rep tag-team. Historical revisionism is, thus, the order of the day.

Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General who successfully intervened in federal court to prevent the retroactive release of thousands of mostly Black prisoners convicted under the old 100-to-1 crack cocaine laws, now acts as point man for his boss’s program of charitable sentencing commutations. Obama’s compassionate mood-swing occurred at whiplash speed; in his first six years in office, he had granted fewer clemencies than any president since Dwight Eisenhower. Obama’s brazenly hypocritical and slap-dash new program “will not represent any significant or permanent change to the nation’s universal policy of mass incarceration, mainly of poor black and brown youth,” as Bruce Dixon has written, but is designed purely to rehabilitate the president’s image among Black voters. With one empty gesture, the president’s record on criminal justice is revised.

Obama then takes his political theater troupe on a comedy tour. Attorney General Holder pretends to threaten Wall Street bankers with jail time – a notion so hilarious it should have had them rolling on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange. Jail the bankers? Obama has been their staunchest defender, the man who saved George Bush’s original bank bailout from defeat (weeks before the 2008 election), and has since configured the entire financial structure of the American State to the service of his most important constituents: Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs. “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks,” Obamareminded the banksters in his Oval Office, back in 2009. He has never failed them, presiding over the infusion of roughly $30 trillion (2011 figures) directly into their accounts or as guarantees of their business transactions – roughly twice the Gross Domestic Product of the United States. Ain’t that love?

Eric Holder told his joke about jailing the bankers during a stand-up that was posted on the Justice Department’s website on Monday. Actually, it was only an inference – a bit of comic relief. “I intend to reaffirm the principle that no individual or entity that does harm to our economy is ever above the law. There is no such thing as ‘too big to jail,’” said Holder, clarifying his statement of last year, that “the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult to prosecute them.”

Has the Obama administration picked up the pitchfork? Could JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon, whom Obama called a “friend” and “one of the smartest bankers we’ve got,” be headed for the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado?

Does the Syndicate take orders from street hustlers? Barack Obama has a better chance of winding up behind bars than Dimon and his fellow oligarchs. Let’s not forget who the boss is, here in the U.S.A.

Holder failed to mention the names or corporate logos of those who might be targeted for doing “harm to our economy,” but his office no doubt encouraged the press to speculate that French bank BNP Paribas and some Swiss banks might be on the list – which makes sense. The French bank is charged with violating U.S. sanctions on trade with Iran and other targets of U.S. economic aggression. That puts them at odds with the national security state. The Swiss banks are alleged to have helped Americans hide their money from U.S. taxes, which is mainly a crime of individuals. Neither of the cases directly involve the Big Five U.S. banks that are the core institutions of U.S. finance capital, the guys that “are so large that it does become difficult to prosecute them,” as Holder said last year. They are the circle in the center of the Ruling Circles. Their impunity is infinite. Holder and Obama work for them.

Routine prosecutions of corporate crimes are actually at historically low levels under Obama, despite tsunamis of scandals, including several “Crimes of the Century.” Under the pressures of Obama history revisionism, Holder will snare some fat white faces to create the impression of a crackdown on corporate bad actors, confident that all Wall Street types look alike to the average consumer of news. Most people make little distinction between a Bernie Madoff, who lived like a king on a giant Ponzi scheme, and Jamie Dimon, who IS a king of the American Empire, with all the immunities accorded to those at the top of the Ruling Class. Bernie Madoff will die in prison. Jamie Dimon, whose bank turned ablind eye to Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and profited handsomely from it, remains on the top of the world (although JP Morgan Chase was fined $2 billion).

Throughout the whole of this administration – the past that Obama now wants you to forget – Holder “ruthlessly maneuvered every case against the oligarchs into his own jurisdictional arena, in order to protect the banksters from aggressive prosecution,” as we pointed out in BAR in November, 2013. Holder acted, not as a prosecutor, but as the Lords of Capital’s defender and guardian.

JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon and each of his peers in the top U.S. banks could be sentenced to 20 years and $5 million fine for violating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a law passed following the 2001 recession that requires corporate chiefs to personally certify that documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission are accurate and that the corporation’s internal controls are adequate. Every case of bankster wrongdoing “settled” by Holder’s Justice Department is, almost by definition, proof of chief executive guilt under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

A report from the Real Economy Project shows how Wall Street’s (known) crimes are methodically decriminalized by Justice Department “settlements.” Holder uses his offices to immunize the big fish, and allow the corporations to escape with a fine. His own pattern of behavior is so clear as to also be indictable – if there were a State apparatus that was not controlled by the Ruling Class.

But, there is not, because Wall Street’s rule is “hegemonic”; both the Democrats and Republicans are their servants, as are the main media.

The history of the last six years tells us, unequivocally, that the five biggest banks, and the people who run them, are not just beyond the reach of the State, they control the State.

There can be no fundamental change without the utter destruction of the banks and the financial Ruling Class. Not broken into smaller pieces, but broken, totally. All else is reform and tinkering – which is worthwhile, but don’t call it Revolution or Social Transformation or Socialism.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford

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Why you love and need Satan
by Richard Thompson:

Satan taxes you so that Wall Street rules Earth at gunpoint. Luckily it's fun to pretend that your taxes don't pay for Wall Street Satan's pandemic totalitarian corporate military dictators who terrorize Earth for Tel Aviv, Wall Street, London and for Paris fraud bankers. Wall Street Satan is teflon - its human prey are glue.

Satan's GOP-Dem psychodrama: Teflon "happiness" attracts you whereas associating with countervailing realities repulses your conditioned cowardice, reinforces your denial -encourages teflon freedom of denial speech. Fact acknowledgement is sticky stuff, fly-paper in today's spy culture state, so you choose conflict avoidance while feeding its profiteers. Thus you preserve propylactic edifice, compliance cowardice in synthetic safety: Textbook BF Skinner Behaviorism. Too close?...mere projection?

Satan's TV screens reassure you that you are happy, smart, beautiful, soon bountiful and heroically brave like them. You thrive emoted on corporate Kochghanistan's onslaught of goodness wars = your happiness. That's showbiz, that's Wall Street, that's Satan. Repetition and message reinforcement are everything. See those smiles? See "your" mangled enemy bodies pile up, relieved of Wall Street's enemies de jour. Fresh enemies enroute. You cling heroically to the body count...hostage relief.

In Satan's game show it's ALL yours Baby. "We" are entitled. Feelin' Satan's gunpoint love? Of course you are. Satan's is your true media religion, oracle, parent, stimulus, the Russian Roulette/Lottery that you are about to win again. Clinging.

The 911 mass murder treasons accomplished by the Cheney-Bush-Texas-Saudi subsidiary of CIA-Mossad Terrorism Inc. codified Satan's victory over former USA. Satan's latest chimp actor with his equally servile AG zealously safeguard Satan's 911 sacred secret spy torture and warfare commandments.

The secret holy murder-torture law replaced the US Constitution.The invisible unknowable planetary warfare memos authored in 1998 by (GOP) PNAC are currently masked in ALEC, ACCE, and AIPAC corporate "AMERICAN" acronyms. PNAC's mission prescription calling for its "invigorating new Pearl Harbor" 911 attack on The USA is viewable online. The authors and their new laws are deadly dangerous, how-to-torture memos protected and thus exclusively accessible to their executive-cipher's campaign financier-extortionists.That is omnipotent power.

Secrecy is key to the durability of Satan's military law. It endures safeguarded by the toy executive actor's sacrosanct war policy, terrorism, invasion, domestic tyranny, routine murder, torture, gigantic expensive spy machine: Satan's Pet Chimp-Pet Goat's secret "law" arsenal.

Satan's "security" replacement of constitutional law with Wall Street's 911 terrorist corporate military regime is codified in The Arc of Satan's New Corporate Covenant.

No Ed Snowden, no Bradley Manny, no Michael Hastings, no Julian Assange:
Our eyes shall not read Corporate Satan's foreign & domestic war bible. That is Wall Street's exclusive "law" immutable under penalty of imprisonment and death: Satan's laws are too sacred, too powerful, too lucrative for puny non-corporate eyes. Merest knowledge is itself kryptonite to Satan's corporate law pharisees enthroned in unelected lethal power.

Thus Satan's covenant rules his terrorized CIA-Mossad Corporate Planet from Wall Street-Texas-Saudi-Tel Aviv corporate serpent heads.

Your former constitution was erased. The Supreme Mafia Court Corporation cleanses any pretense of constitutional rule in seamless harmony with Wall Street's prostitute criminal congress yielding 100% corporate terror compliance.

Today your dwindling jobs and zero futures are in fact guarded by Satan's Federal Reserve bar mitzvah counterfeit cash printing tribe @ $84,000,000,000 (billion) per month plus personal CEO bank fraud bonuses. Luckily your taxes only pay for Satan's other "defense" accounts.

Satan's manifold expense accounts thrive on indebtedness. Debt saddles future corporate generations indentured to Satan's daily war inventions hurling fresh "threats"... dangers! But mostly Satan loves:

..wiretaps, extortion, insurance bank fraud, looting, 100% domestic spying, wiping himself on your dead bill of rights and especially on your hilarious TP constitution, adores inventing fake WMD's, installing thug dictators domestic and abroad who casually murder and drone their own people, loves airlines disappearing in Operation Northwoods, airliners flying into large buildings triggering "invigorating new Pearl Harbors," loves invading countries who have never hurt you period, loves Iraqi oil freedom, lusts to control Iranian oil, gets woody invading oil countries and strategic regions at will, gets teary marching Satan's heroes to murder entire cities and regions at will, bulldozes Palestinian villages, builds new Israeli settlements on the bodies of the robbed and murdered, enjoys operating his toy mini-satan-congress and toy presidents and Satan's wacky Mafia Supreme Court Corp, gets a bang directing CIA-Mossad-MI5-Al Qaeda assassins, likes fat increases annually spending 15x the next largest militaries combined, which makes Satan even more confident to murder with impunity, casually destroying, rebuilding contract awards to campaign financiers, spy drones filling domestic skies, domestic police armed by vast weapons and organization for war against US citizenry on command, and most of all Satan enjoys murder for profit freedoms.

Satan makes you "safe." And he loves you, murders and tortures for your security -Philanthropist Satan. Your diseased, spoiled and entitled children are proud to work for him, tightening Satan's grip around the throat of dying Mother Earth, fracking poisoned water, breathing radioactive air, attacking anyone who lives atop Satan's next oil. Yours is Satan's patriot race.

I wish Satan was just a red guy with horns and a tail....unlike satans PNAC-ALEC-ACCE-AIPAC David and Charles Koch, Robert Rubin, Sheldon Adelson, Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, Larry Summers, John Boehner, Rupert Murdock, Barak Obama, Bush Slime, Bill Kristol, Rex Tillerson, John Roberts, Al Greenspan, David Patraeus, Bob Menendez, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Victoria Nuland, Condoleeza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Ben Bernanke, Jack Lew, Janet Yellen, Dick Cheney and Emperor Bibi Netanyahu.

**********

Former ‘economic hitman’: U.S. ‘death economy’ brought world to brink of destruction
By Travis Gettys
Monday, March 17, 2014 13:10 EDT
RawStory

Topics: infrastructure projects ♦ John Perkins ♦ natural resources

A former “economic hitman” explained that the United States model for global domination cannot be repeated – and should not be attempted.

Author John Perkins explained last week on the David Pakman Show how American corporations extorted natural resources from developing nations in a process that sounds very similar to domestic privatization schemes.

Perkins, who wrote the 2004 book “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” about his experience working as a chief economist for the engineering company Chas. T. Main, said corporations would identify countries that had resources sought by the U.S. and arrange for them to obtain large loans from the World Bank and similar organizations.

“But the money never actually went to the country,” Perkins said. “Instead, it went to our own corporations to build infrastructure projects in that country. They made a great deal of profit from that.”

The countries would use those borrowed funds to build electrical systems, highways, industrial parks, and other infrastructure projects.

“Yet the country would be left holding a huge debt they couldn’t repay, and so at some point we’d go back and say, ‘Hey, you know, since you can’t pay your debts, sell your resource – oil, whatever – very cheap to our companies without any environmental restrictions or social regulations or privatize your public sector businesses, sell them real cheap – your utility companies, your water and sewage system, your schools, your jails, off to our corporations,” Perkins said. “And in that way we created the world’s first truly global empire, primarily without the use of the military.”

He said most economists agreed that developing countries needed better infrastructure to improve their economies, but he said statistics supporting this model were misleading.

“I came to understand that the poor people were not benefitting, that the statistics reflect the very wealthy, which is true in this country, too, you know, that 85 people control more resources than half the world’s population,” Perkins said. “Our statistics are very, very skewed to those rich people.”

He claims in his book the U.S. backed the assassinations of Panamanian leader Omar Torrijos and Ecuadoran President Jaime Roldós Aguilera in a pair of 1981 plane crashes because they refused to bow to corporate interests.

“We’ve created a death economy, one that’s based on killing people, militarization, and ravaging the earth,” Perkins said. “We need to move into a life economy that’s based on cleaning up pollution, feeding starving people, developing new technologies, transportation, communications, (and) energy.”

He declared the global economy to be “an abject failure,” arguing that Americans make up just 5 percent of the world’s population but consume 30 percent of its natural resources.

“That’s not a model,” Perkins said. “It can’t be repeated by China, even though they’re trying. It just puts the world in a worse condition when other countries try to repeat our model. We must come up with a new model.”

He said some corporate leaders and many consumers have arrived at similar conclusions and are beginning to take steps to correct the problems he’s identified.

“We’re truly in a consciousness revolution, a huge revolution, where people are waking up to the fact that we’re living on a very fragile space station that has no shuttles,” Perkins said. “We’re going to have to take care of this place, and big business is going to have to play a major role in waking up and taking care of this, serving a public interest – not the 1 percent, but the 99 percent – serving the earth, in essence, and we all need to get out there and make sure that happens.”

Watch the entire interview posted online by David Pakman Show:

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How Higher Education Ought to Be:
On Academic Labor
by NOAM CHOMSKY

The following is an edited transcript of remarks given by Noam Chomsky via Skype on 4 February 2014 to a gathering of members and allies of the Adjunct Faculty Association of the United Steelworkers in Pittsburgh, PA. Prof. Chomsky’s remarks were elicited by questions from Robin Clarke, Adam Davis, David Hoinski, Maria Somma, Robin J. Sowards, Matthew Ussia, and Joshua Zelesnick. The transcript was prepared by Robin J. Sowards and edited by Prof. Chomsky.

On hiring faculty off the tenure track

That’s part of the business model. It’s the same as hiring temps in industry or what they call “associates” at Wal-Mart, employees that aren’t owed benefits. It’s a part of a corporate business model designed to reduce labor costs and to increase labor servility. When universities become corporatized, as has been happening quite systematically over the last generation as part of the general neoliberal assault on the population, their business model means that what matters is the bottom line. The effective owners are the trustees (or the legislature, in the case of state universities), and they want to keep costs down and make sure that labor is docile and obedient. The way to do that is, essentially, temps. Just as the hiring of temps has gone way up in the neoliberal period, you’re getting the same phenomenon in the universities. The idea is to divide society into two groups. One group is sometimes called the “plutonomy” (a term used by Citibank when they were advising their investors on where to invest their funds), the top sector of wealth, globally but concentrated mostly in places like the United States. The other group, the rest of the population, is a “precariat,” living a precarious existence.

This idea is sometimes made quite overt. So when Alan Greenspan was testifying before Congress in 1997 on the marvels of the economy he was running, he said straight out that one of the bases for its economic success was imposing what he called “greater worker insecurity.” If workers are more insecure, that’s very “healthy” for the society, because if workers are insecure they won’t ask for wages, they won’t go on strike, they won’t call for benefits; they’ll serve the masters gladly and passively. And that’s optimal for corporations’ economic health. At the time, everyone regarded Greenspan’s comment as very reasonable, judging by the lack of reaction and the great acclaim he enjoyed. Well, transfer that to the universities: how do you ensure “greater worker insecurity”? Crucially, by not guaranteeing employment, by keeping people hanging on a limb than can be sawed off at any time, so that they’d better shut up, take tiny salaries, and do their work; and if they get the gift of being allowed to serve under miserable conditions for another year, they should welcome it and not ask for any more. That’s the way you keep societies efficient and healthy from the point of view of the corporations. And as universities move towards a corporate business model, precarity is exactly what is being imposed. And we’ll see more and more of it.

That’s one aspect, but there are other aspects which are also quite familiar from private industry, namely a large increase in layers of administration and bureaucracy. If you have to control people, you have to have an administrative force that does it. So in US industry even more than elsewhere, there’s layer after layer of management—a kind of economic waste, but useful for control and domination. And the same is true in universities. In the past 30 or 40 years, there’s been a very sharp increase in the proportion of administrators to faculty and students; faculty and students levels have stayed fairly level relative to one another, but the proportion of administrators have gone way up. There’s a very good book on it by a well-known sociologist, Benjamin Ginsberg, called The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters (Oxford University Press, 2011), which describes in detail the business style of massive administration and levels of administration—and of course, very highly-paid administrators. This includes professional administrators like deans, for example, who used to be faculty members who took off for a couple of years to serve in an administrative capacity and then go back to the faculty; now they’re mostly professionals, who then have to hire sub-deans, and secretaries, and so on and so forth, a whole proliferation of structure that goes along with administrators. All of that is another aspect of the business model.

But using cheap labor—and vulnerable labor—is a business practice that goes as far back as you can trace private enterprise, and unions emerged in response. In the universities, cheap, vulnerable labor means adjuncts and graduate students. Graduate students are even more vulnerable, for obvious reasons. The idea is to transfer instruction to precarious workers, which improves discipline and control but also enables the transfer of funds to other purposes apart from education. The costs, of course, are borne by the students and by the people who are being drawn into these vulnerable occupations. But it’s a standard feature of a business-run society to transfer costs to the people. In fact, economists tacitly cooperate in this. So, for example, suppose you find a mistake in your checking account and you call the bank to try to fix it. Well, you know what happens. You call them up, and you get a recorded message saying “We love you, here’s a menu.” Maybe the menu has what you’re looking for, maybe it doesn’t. If you happen to find the right option, you listen to some music, and every once and a while a voice comes in and says “Please stand by, we really appreciate your business,” and so on. Finally, after some period of time, you may get a human being, who you can ask a short question to. That’s what economists call “efficiency.” By economic measures, that system reduces labor costs to the bank; of course it imposes costs on you, and those costs are multiplied by the number of users, which can be enormous—but that’s not counted as a cost in economic calculation. And if you look over the way the society works, you find this everywhere. So the university imposes costs on students and on faculty who are not only untenured but are maintained on a path that guarantees that they will have no security. All of this is perfectly natural within corporate business models. It’s harmful to education, but education is not their goal.

In fact, if you look back farther, it goes even deeper than that. If you go back to the early 1970s when a lot of this began, there was a lot of concern pretty much across the political spectrum over the activism of the 1960s; it’s commonly called “the time of troubles.” It was a “time of troubles” because the country was getting civilized, and that’s dangerous. People were becoming politically engaged and were trying to gain rights for groups that are called “special interests,” like women, working people, farmers, the young, the old, and so on. That led to a serious backlash, which was pretty overt. At the liberal end of the spectrum, there’s a book called The Crisis of Democracy: Report on the Governability of Democracies to the 2013_1104cho_Trilateral Commission, Michel Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington, Joji Watanuki (New York University Press, 1975), produced by the Trilateral Commission, an organization of liberal internationalists. The Carter administration was drawn almost entirely from their ranks. They were concerned with what they called “the crisis of democracy,” namely that there’s too much democracy. In the 1960s there were pressures from the population, these “special interests,” to try to gain rights within the political arena, and that put too much pressure on the state—you can’t do that. There was one special interest that they left out, namely the corporate sector, because its interests are the “national interest”; the corporate sector is supposed to control the state, so we don’t talk about them. But the “special interests” were causing problems and they said “we have to have more moderation in democracy,” the public has to go back to being passive and apathetic. And they were particularly concerned with schools and universities, which they said were not properly doing their job of “indoctrinating the young.” You can see from student activism (the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, the feminist movement, the environmental movements) that the young are just not being indoctrinated properly.

Well how do you indoctrinate the young? There are a number of ways. One way is to burden them with hopelessly heavy tuition debt. Debt is a trap, especially student debt, which is enormous, far larger than credit card debt. It’s a trap for the rest of your life because the laws are designed so that you can’t get out of it. If a business, say, gets in too much debt it can declare bankruptcy, but individuals can almost never be relieved of student debt through bankruptcy. They can even garnish social security if you default. That’s a disciplinary technique. I don’t say that it was consciously introduced for the purpose, but it certainly has that effect. And it’s hard to argue that there’s any economic basis for it. Just take a look around the world: higher education is mostly free. In the countries with the highest education standards, let’s say Finland, which is at the top all the time, higher education is free. And in a rich, successful capitalist country like Germany, it’s free. In Mexico, a poor country, which has pretty decent education standards, considering the economic difficulties they face, it’s free. In fact, look at the United States: if you go back to the 1940s and 50s, higher education was pretty close to free. The GI Bill gave free education to vast numbers of people who would never have been able to go to college. It was very good for them and it was very good for the economy and the society; it was part of the reason for the high economic growth rate. Even in private colleges, education was pretty close to free. Take me: I went to college in 1945 at an Ivy League university, University of Pennsylvania, and tuition was $100. That would be maybe $800 in today’s dollars. And it was very easy to get a scholarship, so you could live at home, work, and go to school and it didn’t cost you anything. Now it’s outrageous. I have grandchildren in college, who have to pay for their tuition and work and it’s almost impossible. For the students that is a disciplinary technique.

And another technique of indoctrination is to cut back faculty-student contact: large classes, temporary teachers who are overburdened, who can barely survive on an adjunct salary. And since you don’t have any job security you can’t build up a career, you can’t move on and get more. These are all techniques of discipline, indoctrination, and control. And it’s very similar to what you’d expect in a factory, where factory workers have to be disciplined, to be obedient; they’re not supposed to play a role in, say, organizing production or determining how the workplace functions—that’s the job of management. This is now carried over to the universities. And I think it shouldn’t surprise anyone who has any experience in private enterprise, in industry; that’s the way they work.

On how higher education ought to be

First of all, we should put aside any idea that there was once a “golden age.” Things were different and in some ways better in the past, but far from perfect. The traditional universities were, for example, extremely hierarchical, with very little democratic participation in decision-making. One part of the activism of the 1960s was to try to democratize the universities, to bring in, say, student representatives to faculty committees, to bring in staff to participate. These efforts were carried forward under student initiatives, with some degree of success. Most universities now have some degree of student participation in faculty decisions. And I think those are the kinds of things we should be moving towards: a democratic institution, in which the people involved in the institution, whoever they may be (faculty, students, staff), participate in determining the nature of the institution and how it runs; and the same should go for a factory.

These are not radical ideas, I should say. They come straight out of classical liberalism. So if you read, for example, John Stuart Mill, a major figure in the classical liberal tradition, he took it for granted that workplaces ought to be managed and controlled by the people who work in them—that’s freedom and democracy (see, e.g., John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy, book 4, ch. 7). We see the same ideas in the United States. Let’s say you go back to the Knights of Labor; one of their stated aims was “To establish co-operative institutions such as will tend to supersede the wage-system, by the introduction of a co-operative industrial system” (“Founding Ceremony” for newly-organized Local Associations). Or take someone like, John Dewey, a mainstream 20th-century social philosopher, who called not only for education directed at creative independence in schools, but also worker control in industry, what he called “industrial democracy.” He says that as long as the crucial institutions of the society (like production, commerce, transportation, media) are not under democratic control, then “politics [will be] the shadow cast on society by big business” (John Dewey, “The Need for a New Party” [1931]). This idea is almost elementary, it has deep roots in American history and in classical liberalism, it should be second nature to working people, and it should apply the same way to universities. There are some decisions in a university where you don’t want to have [democratic transparency because] you have to preserve student privacy, say, and there are various kinds of sensitive issues, but on much of the normal activity of the university, there is no reason why direct participation can’t be not only legitimate but helpful. In my department, for example, for 40 years we’ve had student representatives helpfully participating in department meetings.

On “shared governance” and worker control

The university is probably the social institution in our society that comes closest to democratic worker control. Within a department, for example, it’s pretty normal for at least the tenured faculty to be able to determine a substantial amount of what their work is like: what they’re going to teach, when they’re going to teach, what the curriculum will be. And most of the decisions about the actual work that the faculty is doing are pretty much under tenured faculty control. Now of course there is a higher level of administrators that you can’t overrule or control. The faculty can recommend somebody for tenure, let’s say, and be turned down by the deans, or the president, or even the trustees or legislators. It doesn’t happen all that often, but it can happen and it does. And that’s always a part of the background structure, which, although it always existed, was much less of a problem in the days when the administration was drawn from the faculty and in principle recallable. Under representative systems, you have to have someone doing administrative work but they should be recallable at some point under the authority of the people they administer. That’s less and less true. There are more and more professional administrators, layer after layer of them, with more and more positions being taken remote from the faculty controls. I mentioned before The Fall of the Faculty by Benjamin Ginsberg, which goes into a lot of detail as to how this works in the several universities he looks at closely: Johns Hopkins, Cornell, and a couple of others.

Meanwhile, the faculty are increasingly reduced to a category of temporary workers who are assured a precarious existence with no path to the tenure track. I have personal acquaintances who are effectively permanent lecturers; they’re not given real faculty status; they have to apply every year so that they can get appointed again. These things shouldn’t be allowed to happen. And in the case of adjuncts, it’s been institutionalized: they’re not permitted to be a part of the decision-making apparatus, and they’re excluded from job security, which merely amplifies the problem. I think staff ought to also be integrated into decision-making, since they’re also a part of the university. So there’s plenty to do, but I think we can easily understand why these tendencies are developing. They are all part of imposing a business model on just about every aspect of life. That’s the neoliberal ideology that most of the world has been living under for 40 years. It’s very harmful to people, and there has been resistance to it. And it’s worth noticing that two parts of the world, at least, have pretty much escaped from it, namely East Asia, where they never really accepted it, and South America in the past 15 years.

On the alleged need for “flexibility”

“Flexibility” is a term that’s very familiar to workers in industry. Part of what’s called “labor reform” is to make labor more “flexible,” make it easier to hire and fire people. That’s, again, a way to ensure maximization of profit and control. “Flexibility” is supposed to be a good thing, like “greater worker insecurity.” Putting aside industry where the same is true, in universities there’s no justification. So take a case where there’s under-enrollment somewhere. That’s not a big problem. One of my daughters teaches at a university; she just called me the other night and told me that her teaching load is being shifted because one of the courses that was being offered was under-enrolled. Okay, the world didn’t to an end, they just shifted around the teaching arrangements—you teach a different course, or an extra section, or something like that. People don’t have to be thrown out or be insecure because of the variation in the number of students enrolling in courses. There are all sorts of ways of adjusting for that variation. The idea that labor should meet the conditions of “flexibility” is just another standard technique of control and domination. Why not say that administrators should be thrown out if there’s nothing for them to do that semester, or trustees—what do they have to be there for? The situation is the same with top management in industry: if labor has to be flexible, how about management? Most of them are pretty useless or even harmful anyway, so let’s get rid of them. And you can go on like this. Just to take the news from the last couple of days, take, say, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase bank: he just got a pretty substantial raise, almost double his salary, out of gratitude because he had saved the bank from criminal charges that would have sent the management to jail; he got away with only $20 billion in fines for criminal activities. Well I can imagine that getting rid of somebody like that might be helpful to the economy. But that’s not what people are talking about when they talk about “labor reform.” It’s the working people who have to suffer, and they have to suffer by insecurity, by not knowing where tomorrow’s piece of bread is going to come from, and therefore be disciplined and obedient and not raise questions or ask for their rights. That’s the way that tyrannical systems operate. And the business world is a tyrannical system. When it’s imposed on the universities, you find it reflects the same ideas. This shouldn’t be any secret.

On the purpose of education

These are debates that go back to the Enlightenment, when issues of higher education and mass education were really being raised, not just education for the clergy and aristocracy. And there were basically two models discussed in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were discussed with pretty evocative imagery. One image of education was that it should be like a vessel that is filled with, say, water. That’s what we call these days “teaching to test”: you pour water into the vessel and then the vessel returns the water. But it’s a pretty leaky vessel, as all of us who went through school experienced, since you could memorize something for an exam that you had no interest in to pass an exam and a week later you forgot what the course was about. The vessel model these days is called “no child left behind,” “teaching to test,” “race to top,” whatever the name may be, and similar things in universities. Enlightenment thinkers opposed that model.

The other model was described as laying out a string along which the student progresses in his or her own way under his or her own initiative, maybe moving the string, maybe deciding to go somewhere else, maybe raising questions. Laying out the string means imposing some degree of structure. So an educational program, whatever it may be, a course on physics or something, isn’t going to be just anything goes; it has a certain structure. But the goal of it is for the student to acquire the capacity to inquire, to create, to innovate, to challenge—that’s education. One world-famous physicist, in his freshman courses if he was asked “what are we going to cover this semester?”, his answer was “it doesn’t matter what we cover, it matters what you discover.” You have gain the capacity and the self-confidence for that matter to challenge and create and innovate, and that way you learn; that way you’ve internalized the material and you can go on. It’s not a matter of accumulating some fixed array of facts which then you can write down on a test and forget about tomorrow.

These are two quite distinct models of education. The Enlightenment ideal was the second one, and I think that’s the one that we ought to be striving towards. That’s what real education is, from kindergarten to graduate school. In fact there are programs of that kind for kindergarten, pretty good ones.

On the love of teaching

We certainly want people, both faculty and students, to be engaged in activity that’s satisfying, enjoyable, challenging, exciting—and I don’t really think that’s hard. Even young children are creative, inquisitive, they want to know things, they want to understand things, and unless that’s beaten out of your head it stays with you the rest of your life. If you have opportunities to pursue those commitments and concerns, it’s one of the most satisfying things in life. That’s true if you’re a research physicist, it’s true if you’re a carpenter; you’re trying to create something of value and deal with a difficult problem and solve it. I think that’s what makes work the kind of thing you want to do; you do it even if you don’t have to do it. In a reasonably functioning university, you find people working all the time because they love it; that’s what they want to do; they’re given the opportunity, they have the resources, they’re encouraged to be free and independent and creative—what’s better? That’s what they love to do. And that, again, can be done at any level.

It’s worth thinking about some of the imaginative and creative educational programs that are being developed at different levels. So, for example, somebody just described to me the other day a program they’re using in high schools, a science program where the students are asked an interesting question: “How can a mosquito fly in the rain?” That’s a hard question when you think about it. If something hit a human being with the force of a raindrop hitting a mosquito it would absolutely flatten them immediately. So how come the mosquito isn’t crushed instantly? And how can the mosquito keep flying? If you pursue that question—and it’s a pretty hard question—you get into questions of mathematics, physics, and biology, questions that are challenging enough that you want to find an answer to them.

That’s what education should be like at every level, all the way down to kindergarten, literally. There are kindergarten programs in which, say, each child is given a collection of little items: pebbles, shells, seeds, and things like that. Then the class is given the task of finding out which ones are the seeds. It begins with what they call a “scientific conference”: the kids talk to each other and they try to figure out which ones are seeds. And of course there’s some teacher guidance, but the idea is to have the children think it through. After a while, they try various experiments and they figure out which ones are the seeds. At that point, each child is given a magnifying glass and, with the teacher’s help, cracks a seed and looks inside and finds the embryo that makes the seed grow. These children learn something—really, not only something about seeds and what makes things grow; but also about how to discover. They’re learning the joy of discovery and creation, and that’s what carries you on independently, outside the classroom, outside the course.

The same goes for all education up through graduate school. In a reasonable graduate seminar, you don’t expect students to copy it down and repeat whatever you say; you expect them to tell you when you’re wrong or to come up with new ideas, to challenge, to pursue some direction that hadn’t been thought of before. That’s what real education is at every level, and that’s what ought to be encouraged. That ought to be the purpose of education. It’s not to pour information into somebody’s head which will then leak out but to enable them to become creative, independent people who can find excitement in discovery and creation and creativity at whatever level or in whatever domain their interests carry them.

On using corporate rhetoric against corporatization

This is kind of like asking how you should justify to the slave owner that people shouldn’t be slaves. You’re at a level of moral inquiry where it’s probably pretty hard to find answers. We are human beings with human rights. It’s good for the individual, it’s good for the society, it’s even good for the economy, in the narrow sense, if people are creative and independent and free. Everyone benefits if people are able to participate, to control their fate, to work with each other—that may not maximize profit and domination, but why should we take those to be values to be concerned about?

Advice for adjunct faculty organizing unions

You know better than I do what has to be done, the kind of problems you face. Just got ahead and do what has to be done. Don’t be intimidated, don’t be frightened, and recognize that the future can be in our hands if we’re willing to grasp it.

Noam Chomsky’s OCCUPY: Class War, Rebellion and Solidarity is published by Zuccotti Park Press.

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Flickr NO SALE ......THE DEATH RATTLE OF RETAIL

Submitted by Jim Quinn

“I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest, to make money they don’t want, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like.” - Emile Gauvreau
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If ever a chart provided unequivocal proof the economic recovery storyline is a fraud, the one below is the smoking gun.

[s.wsj.net/public/resources/images/P1-BO805_RETAIL_G_20140...]

November and December retail sales account for 20% to 40% of annual retail sales for most retailers. The number of visits to retail stores has plummeted by 50% since 2010. Please note this was during a supposed economic recovery. Also note consumer spending accounts for 70% of GDP. Also note credit card debt outstanding is 7% lower than its level in 2010 and 16% below its peak in 2008. Retailers like J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Sears, Radio Shack and Barnes & Noble continue to report appalling sales and profit results, along with listings of store closings. Even the heavyweights like Wal-Mart and Target continue to report negative comp store sales. How can the government and mainstream media be reporting an economic recovery when the industry that accounts for 70% of GDP is in free fall? The answer is that 99% of America has not had an economic recovery. Only Bernanke’s 1% owner class have benefited from his QE/ZIRP induced stock market levitation.


The entire economic recovery storyline is a sham built upon easy money funneled by the Fed to the Too Big To Trust Wall Street banks so they can use their HFT supercomputers to drive the stock market higher, buy up the millions of homes they foreclosed upon to artificially drive up home prices, and generate profits through rigging commodity, currency, and bond markets, while reducing loan loss reserves because they are free to value their toxic assets at anything they please – compliments of the spineless nerds at the FASB. GDP has been artificially propped up by the Federal government through the magic of EBT cards, SSDI for the depressed and downtrodden, never ending extensions of unemployment benefits, billions in student loans to University of Phoenix prodigies, and subprime auto loans to deadbeats from the Government Motors financing arm – Ally Financial (85% owned by you the taxpayer). The country is being kept afloat on an ocean of debt and delusional belief in the power of central bankers to steer this ship through a sea of icebergs just below the surface.

The absolute collapse in retail visitor counts is the warning siren that this country is about to collide with the reality Americans have run out of time, money, jobs, and illusions. The most amazingly delusional aspect to the chart above is retailers continued to add 44 million square feet in 2013 to the almost 15 billion existing square feet of retail space in the U.S. That is approximately 47 square feet of retail space for every person in America. Retail CEOs are not the brightest bulbs in the sale bin, as exhibited by the CEO of Target and his gross malfeasance in protecting his customers’ personal financial information. Of course, the 44 million square feet added in 2013 is down 85% from the annual increases from 2000 through 2008. The exponential growth model, built upon a never ending flow of consumer credit and an endless supply of cheap fuel, has reached its limit of growth. The titans of Wall Street and their puppets in Washington D.C. have wrung every drop of faux wealth from the dying middle class. There are nothing left but withering carcasses and bleached bones.

The impact of this retail death spiral will be vast and far reaching. A few factoids will help you understand the coming calamity:

•There are approximately 109,500 shopping centers in the United States ranging in size from the small convenience centers to the large super-regional malls.

•There are in excess of 1 million retail establishments in the United States occupying 15 billion square feet of space and generating over $4.4 trillion of annual sales. This includes 8,700 department stores, 160,000 clothing & accessory stores, and 8,600 game stores.

•U.S. shopping-center retail sales total more than $2.26 trillion, accounting for over half of all retail sales.

•The U.S. shopping-center industry directly employed over 12 million people in 2010 and indirectly generated another 5.6 million jobs in support industries. Collectively, the industry accounted for 12.7% of total U.S. employment.

•Total retail employment in 2012 totaled 14.9 million, lower than the 15.1 million employed in 2002.

•For every 100 individuals directly employed at a U.S. regional shopping center, an additional 20 to 30 jobs are supported in the community due to multiplier effects.

The collapse in foot traffic to the 109,500 shopping centers that crisscross our suburban sprawl paradise of plenty is irreversible. No amount of marketing propaganda, 50% off sales, or hot new iGadgets is going to spur a dramatic turnaround. Quarter after quarter there will be more announcements of store closings. Macys just announced the closing of 5 stores and firing of 2,500 retail workers. JC Penney just announced the closing of 33 stores and firing of 2,000 retail workers. Announcements are imminent from Sears, Radio Shack and a slew of other retailers who are beginning to see the writing on the wall. The vacancy rate will be rising in strip malls, power malls and regional malls, with the largest growing sector being ghost malls. Before long it will appear that SPACE AVAILABLE is the fastest growing retailer in America.


The reason this death spiral cannot be reversed is simply a matter of arithmetic and demographics. While arrogant hubristic retail CEOs of public big box mega-retailers added 2.7 billion retail square feet to our already over saturated market, real median household income flat lined. The advancement in retail spending was attributable solely to the $1.1 trillion increase (68%) in consumer debt and the trillion dollars of home equity extracted from castles in the sky, that later crashed down to earth. Once the Wall Street created fraud collapsed and the waves of delusion subsided, retailers have been revealed to be swimming naked. Their relentless expansion, based on exponential growth, cannibalized itself, new store construction ground to a halt, sales and profits have declined, and the inevitable closing of thousands of stores has begun. With real median household income 8% lower than it was in 2008, the collapse in retail traffic is a rational reaction by the impoverished 99%. Americans are using their credit cards to pay their real estate taxes, income taxes, and monthly utilities, since their income is lower, and their living expenses rise relentlessly, thanks to Bernanke and his Fed created inflation.


The media mouthpieces for the establishment gloss over the fact average gasoline prices in 2013 were the second highest in history. The highest average price was in 2012 and the 3rd highest average price was in 2011. These prices are 150% higher than prices in the early 2000′s. This might not matter to the likes of Jamie Dimon and Jon Corzine, but for a middle class family with two parents working and making 7.5% less than they made in 2000, it has a dramatic impact on discretionary income. The fact oil prices have risen from $25 per barrel in 2003 to $100 per barrel today has not only impacted gas prices, but utility costs, food costs, and the price of any product that needs to be transported to your local Wally World. The outrageous rise in tuition prices has been aided and abetted by the Federal government and their doling out of loans so diploma mills like the University of Phoenix can bilk clueless dupes into thinking they are on their way to an exciting new career, while leaving them jobless in their parents’ basement with a loan payment for life.




The laughable jobs recovery touted by Obama, his sycophantic minions, paid off economist shills, and the discredited corporate legacy media can be viewed appropriately in the following two charts, that reveal the false storyline being peddled to the techno-narcissistic iGadget distracted masses.

www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imager...

www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imager...


There are 247 million working age Americans between the ages of 18 and 64. Only 145 million of these people are employed. Of these employed, 19 million are working part-time and 9 million are self- employed. Another 20 million are employed by the government, producing nothing and being sustained by the few remaining producers with their tax dollars. The labor participation rate is the lowest it has been since women entered the workforce in large numbers during the 1980′s. We are back to levels seen during the booming Carter years. Those peddling the drivel about retiring Baby Boomers causing the decline in the labor participation rate are either math challenged or willfully ignorant because they are being paid to be so. Once you turn 65 you are no longer counted in the work force. The percentage of those over 55 in the workforce has risen dramatically to an all-time high, as the Me Generation never saved for retirement or saw their retirement savings obliterated in the Wall Street created 2008 financial implosion.


To understand the absolute idiocy of retail CEOs across the land one must parse the employment data back to 2000. In the year 2000 the working age population of the U.S. was 213 million and 136.9 million of them were working, a record level of 64.4% of the population. There were 70 million working age Americans not in the labor force. Fourteen years later the number of working age Americans is 247 million and only 144.6 million are working. The working age population has risen by 16% and the number of employed has risen by only 5.6%. That’s quite a success story. Of course, even though median household income is 7.5% lower than it was in 2000, the government expects you to believe that 22 million Americans voluntarily left the labor force because they no longer needed a job. While the number of employed grew by 5.6% over fourteen years, the number of people who left the workforce grew by 31.1%. Over this same time frame the mega-retailers that dominate the landscape added almost 3 billion square feet of selling space, a 25% increase. A critical thinking individual might wonder how this could possibly end well for the retail genius CEOs in glistening corporate office towers from coast to coast.


This entire materialistic orgy of consumerism has been sustained solely with debt peddled by the Wall Street banking syndicate. The average American consumer met their Waterloo in 2008. Bernanke’s mission was to save bankers, billionaires and politicians. It was not to save the working middle class. You’ve been sacrificed at the altar of the .1%. The 0% interest rates were for Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein. Your credit card interest rate remained between 13% and 21%. So, while you struggle to pay bills with your declining real income, the Wall Street bankers are again generating record profits and paying themselves record bonuses. Profits are so good, they can afford to pay tens of billions in fines for their criminal acts, and still be left with billions to divvy up among their non-prosecuted criminal executives.

Bernanke and his financial elite owners have been able to rig the markets to give the appearance of normalcy, but they cannot rig the demographic time bomb that will cause the death and destruction of our illusory retail paradigm. Demographics cannot be manipulated or altered by the government or mass media. The best they can do is ignore or lie about the facts. The life cycle of a human being is utterly predictable, along with their habits across time. Those under 25 years old have very little income, therefore they have very little spending. Once a job is attained and income levels rise, spending rises along with the increased income. As the person enters old age their income declines and spending on stuff declines rapidly. The media may be ignoring the fact that annual expenditures drop by 40% for those over 65 years old from the peak spending years of 45 to 54, but it doesn’t change the fact. They also cannot change the fact that 10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day for the next sixteen years. They also can’t change the fact the average Baby Boomer has less than $50,000 saved for retirement and is up to their grey eye brows in debt.

www.macrofugue.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Screen-Shot...

With over 15% of all 25 to 34 year olds living in their parents’ basement and those under 25 saddled with billions in student loan debt, the traditional increase in income and spending is DOA for the millennial generation. The hardest hit demographic on the job front during the 2008 through 2014 ongoing recession has been the 45 to 54 year olds in their peak earning and spending years. Combine these demographic developments and you’ve got a perfect storm for over-built retailers and their egotistical CEOs.

The media continues to peddle the storyline of on-line sales saving the ancient bricks and mortar retailers. Again, the talking head pundits are willfully ignoring basic math. On-line sales account for 6% of total retail sales. If a dying behemoth like JC Penney announces a 20% decline in same store sales and a 20% increase in on-line sales, their total change is still negative 17.6%. And they are still left with 1,100 decaying stores, 100,000 employees, lease payments, debt payments, maintenance costs, utility costs, inventory costs, and pension costs. Their future is so bright they gotta wear a toe tag.

The decades of mal-investment in retail stores was enabled by Greenspan, Bernanke, and their Federal Reserve brethren. Their easy money policies enabled Americans to live far beyond their true means through credit card debt, auto debt, mortgage debt, and home equity debt. This false illusion of wealth and foolish spending led mega-retailers to ignore facts and spread like locusts across the suburban countryside. The debt fueled orgy has run out of steam. All that is left is the largest mountain of debt in human history, a gutted and debt laden former middle class, and thousands of empty stores in future decaying ghost malls haunting the highways and byways of suburbia.

The implications of this long and winding road to ruin are far reaching. Store closings so far have only been a ripple compared to the tsunami coming to right size the industry for a future of declining spending. Over the next five to ten years, tens of thousands of stores will be shuttered. Companies like JC Penney, Sears and Radio Shack will go bankrupt and become historical footnotes. Considering retail employment is lower today than it was in 2002 before the massive retail expansion, the future will see in excess of 1 million retail workers lose their jobs. Bernanke and the Feds have allowed real estate mall owners to roll over non-performing loans and pretend they are generating enough rental income to cover their loan obligations. As more stores go dark, this little game of extend and pretend will come to an end. Real estate developers will be going belly-up and the banking sector will be taking huge losses again. I’m sure the remaining taxpayers will gladly bailout Wall Street again. The facts are not debatable. They can be ignored by the politicians, Ivy League economists, media talking heads, and the willfully ignorant masses, but they do not cease to exist.


“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley

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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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Flickr Sayeth Jamie Dimon: "We are totally open kimono with regulators."


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Flickr Deborah Harris & John Zangas, "Obscene Banking Practices Of JP Morgan/Chase Stole Her Home", Occupy DC, Lamont Park, Washington, DC
Tags: street   urban   blackandwhite   bw   washingtondc   blackwhite   dc   washington   streetphotography   documentary   dcist   protesters   urbanphotography   mcphersonsquare   canong10   occupydc   occupymovement   99movement   
Click on image then press the "L" key to view large on black.

Canon G10

© All rights reserved.

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:

coolrevolution.net/2012/06/14/homeowner-in-foreclosure-in...

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Flickr Washington DC
Tags: senate   jamiedimon   robinhoodtax   
Robin Hood Tax supporters head to the corridors of Senate ahead of Jamie Dimon's hearing.

Dimon had to enter the back door.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon - Caricature
Tags: art   face   photomanipulation   photoshop   photo   president   political   politics   cartoon   bank   manipulation   ceo   caricature   politician   wallstreet   chairman   karikatur   caricatura   commentary   漫画   chiefexecutive   politicalart   jpmorganchase   karikatuur   politicalcommentary   карикатура   קריקטורה   jamesdimon   jamiedimon   donkeyhotey   कारटूनवाला   
James Dimon, Jamie Dimon, is the chairman, president and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase.

The source image for this caricature of Jamie Dimon is a Creative Commons licensed photo from the World Economic Forum' Flickr photostream The background is a Creative Commons image available via Wikimedia.

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Flickr Jamie Dimon - Caricature
Tags: art   face   photomanipulation   photoshop   photo   president   political   politics   cartoon   bank   manipulation   ceo   caricature   politician   wallstreet   chairman   karikatur   caricatura   commentary   漫画   chiefexecutive   politicalart   jpmorganchase   karikatuur   politicalcommentary   карикатура   קריקטורה   jamesdimon   jamiedimon   donkeyhotey   कारटूनवाला   
James Dimon, Jamie Dimon, is the chairman, president and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase.

The source image for this caricature of Jamie Dimon is a Creative Commons licensed photo from the World Economic Forum' Flickr photostream The background is a Creative Commons image available via Wikimedia.

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Flickr American Psycho. Financial Terrorist, Jamie Dimon.
Tags: seattle   portrait   criminal   collapse   financial   economy   banker   bagpainter   
Acrylic on paper bag, 4"w x 5"h, 2012
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Flickr T. Boone Pickens and & the Gas Heads
Tags: t   cu   gas   mines   copper   summit   keystone   boone   pipeline   ais   ivanhoe   pickens   jpmorgan   fracking   
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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Flickr JAMIE DIMON CEO of Chase
Tags: sf   sanfrancisco   movement   san   francisco   protest   99   chasebank   banker   occupy   jamiedimon   
Occupy San Francisco / 5 November 2011


103_0431

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Flickr Occupy Seattle Clashes with Police at Sheraton
Tags: seattle   rain   night   protest   police   demonstration   chase   sheraton   arrest   jamiedimon   occupyseattle   
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 Occupy Seattle Clashes with Police at Sheraton
Tags: protest   seattle   sheraton   arrest   chase   demonstration   jamiedimon   night   occupyseattle   police   rain   
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)
Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by Michael Holden - View

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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
Tags: seattle   occupyseattle   

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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Occupy Seattle 11/2 Sheraton
Tags: protest   jamiedimon   occupyseattle   
www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-03/jpmorgan-s-dimon-draws-...
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Flickr Occupy Seattle 11/2 Sheraton
Tags: protest   jamiedimon   occupyseattle   
www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-03/jpmorgan-s-dimon-draws-...
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Occupy Seattle 11/2 Sheraton
Tags: protest   jamiedimon   occupyseattle   
www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-03/jpmorgan-s-dimon-draws-...
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Flickr Occupy Seattle 11/2 Sheraton
Tags: protest   jamiedimon   occupyseattle   
www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-03/jpmorgan-s-dimon-draws-...
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Occupy Seattle 11/2 Sheraton
Tags: protest   jamiedimon   occupyseattle   
www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-03/jpmorgan-s-dimon-draws-...
Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by j Madrigal - View

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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by javacolleen - View

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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by javacolleen - View

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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by javacolleen - View

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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by javacolleen - View

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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by javacolleen - View

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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by javacolleen - View

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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by javacolleen - View

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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by javacolleen - View

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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by javacolleen - View

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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Protest
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Flickr Jamie Dimon
Tags: sanfrancisco   california   jamiedimon   occupywallstreet   occupysf   occupysanfrancisco   
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
Tags: housewarming   jpmorganchase   foreclosure   jamiedimon   notthewayforward   nycc192011   

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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
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
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
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.

Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by fisherosu - View

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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.

Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by fisherosu - View

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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.

Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by fisherosu - View

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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.

Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by fisherosu - View

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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.

Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by fisherosu - View

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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.

Recent Updated: 5 years ago - Created by fisherosu - View

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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
Tags: pe   sb800   d700   jamiedimon   

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Flickr Jamie Dimon
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Flickr Temujanji dengan En. Jamie Dimon, Pengerusi & Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Tags: najibrazak1malaysiatemujanjidenganenjamiedimon   pengerusiketuapegawaieksekutifjpmorganchaseco   
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.
Tags: najibrazak1malaysiatemujanjidenganenjamiedimon   pengerusiketuapegawaieksekutifjpmorganchaseco   
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, speaker


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Flickr Jamie_Dimon_2


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Flickr Geithner, Summers, or Bernanke?
Tags: useconomicleadership   
(>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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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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