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While Washington goes through the final act in a Kabuki play, pretending that the debt ceiling is the real problem for the American economy, I, though not an economist, believe the real problem goes much, much farther and is irreconcilable and irrecoverable.
Whether fast or slow, the American economy, as it’s presently constituted, cannot avoid radical reform and reconstruction. Congress leaning to this side of the train or that side of the train, even if their intent was honorable, cannot stop a train headed for disaster.
What makes it irrecoverable is the elephant on the breakfast table, the derivatives crisis, which one analyst called “Frankensderivatives,” (1) a bubble from which there is no recovery.
So in my view we’re watching the final unravelling of the old economy before the stepwise introduction of the new. And so I repost an article I wrote from an earlier date on what doomed the American economy and could take the world down with it if we weren’t already underway to introducing the new.
While I’m not an economist and should tread lightly in a discussion of economics, I’d still like to venture an opinion on what trends and events doomed modern western economies generally and made the introduction of a new economic system inevitable.
Anyone who lived through the period can remember the malevolent trends and practices that led to so many bubbles that value was sucked out of our economies.
The junk-bond era, mergers and acquisitions, the dot.com bubble, the mortgage and foreclosure scam, bank bailouts, culminating in the derivatives debacle terminally weakened the structure of this economy.
The latter event doomed it by leaving western economies with such a debt load that it equated to $200,000 for every man, woman and child on the planet, something that could never be paid off no matter what strategy was adopted. (2)
The depredations of currency traders, investment houses and economic hitmen on the economies of the developing world often saw their currencies collapse and their resources taken in payment for debt loads that had been manufactured in the first place and forced upon them by unscrupulous parties. (3)
The exploitation of the computer (the silicon chip having been salvaged from the Roswell crash of an alien spacecraft) (4) to eliminate work saw a whole generation of young people denied entry-level employment and firms which had vertical structures now reduced to horizontal structures with many employees made contract labor, benefit plans eliminated, unions busted, etc.
The shipping out of jobs to overseas low-wage countries where labor was unprotected saw much work lost to western nations and workers in the new manufacturing nations exploited and subjected to anti-labor practices by firms with foreign ownership.
The siphoning off of government funds and the entry into criminal enterprises such as sex slavery and drug importation by government agencies like the CIA and large private corporations for use in black projects such as staged “terrorist” attacks weakened the moral fiber of nations.
The CIA was running drugs through Ilopango Airport in El Salvador under Director George Bush Sr. and bringing them in through Governor Bill Clinton’s Mena Airport in Arkansas, murdering DEA agents who opposed them and their own operatives who threatened to blow the whistle. (5)
Included among the black projects the Illuminati staged out of funds so generated were the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, the London bombings, and many other smaller “terrorist” attacks, shootings, etc. (6)
Meanwhile, funds so generated were also used to bribe, coerce, or take over the mass media so that nothing of these events ever surfaced. And to suborn one Congress after another.
It therefore comes as no real surprise to hear that shiploads of gold and platinum and other forms of wealth were sunk in ships off the Asian coast to be resurrected when the time arrives when the financial elite are in total control of the world. (7) Of course that day will never come but the wealth will be put to good use – the common good, that is.
And it seems a fitting end to hear that gold bars stored in various repositories around the world have been swapped for tungsten bars coated in gold. Even the very standard of value in western economies was debased and lost.
The economies of the West, subjected to such forces, have not been able to retain robustness, initiative, or moral strength. They devolved into a force that simply preyed upon anyone vulnerable, including their own. Everyone was considered someone else’s “lunch.” There wasn’t even honor among thieves – especially not honor among thieves – and we’re now seeing the result.
So there’s no going back for the leading economies of the world. It isn’t that the new abundance program known as NESARA (after the American National Economic Security and Reformation Act) is likely to be introduced. (8) There’s no alternative to a new economy running along its lines and there never will be as long as the same financial forces who so sapped our economies remain at its helm.
It isn’t a case of how we’ll revive an economy that has been dead for some time now. We cannot revive a dead patient with economic CPR. There’s no other way forward than to introduce a new economy based upon the ethical lines that NESARA is.
I’d most like to see the ending of the discussion of how to get this show back on the road. The only road it will get back on is the short ride to the cemetery.
But there’s much room for economists and analysts to look into what the contours would be of an economy that works in a world that works for everyone. To hear about that I’m a willing – nay, an eager – listener.
(1) “The Big Short: How Wall Street Destroyed Main Street,” posted by Jim Q, Burningplatform.com” at http://theburningplatform.com/blog/2010/05/10/the-big-short-how-wall-street-destroyed-main-street/.
(2) See Tom Foremski, “The Size of the Derivatives Bubble,” Silcon Valley Watcher, Oct. 2008, at http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2008/10/the_size_of_der.php . On the derivatives crisis, see also “1.5 Quadrillion Dollar Derivatives Bubble at the Heart of Financial Crisis,” at http://socioecohistory.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/15-quadrillion-dollar-derivatives-bubble-at-the-heart-of-financial-crisis/ ; Jim Q., “The Big Short: How Wall Street Destroyed Main Street,” Burningplatform.com,” at http://theburningplatform.com/blog/2010/05/10/the-big-short-how-wall-street-destroyed-main-street/ ; Actindependent.org, “Freeze the 1.5 Quadrillion Derivatives Bubble as a First Step Towards World Economic Recovery,” Global Research, March 29, 2009, at http://tinyurl.com/yg2v9tc .
(3) Michel Chossudovsky, “Financial warfare’ triggers global economic crisis (1997),” at http://goldenageofgaia.com/accountability/financial-crash/financial-warfare-triggers-global-economic-crisis-1997/
(4) I personally worked for the firm that back-engineered it – Hughes Aircraft – and had the matter confirmed by an engineer and a project manager for the company.
(5) “C. Castillo’s Allegation Concerning Ilopango Airport” at http://www.justice.gov/oig/special/9712/ch10p2.htm; “The Pegasus File” at http://www.whale.to/b/guyatt.html.
(6) “Accountability – 9/11 and Other False-Flag Operations” at goldenageofgaia.com/library/
(7) “Who Wants to be a Trillionaire?” at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2012/05/who-wants-to-be-a-trillionaire/; “Treasure Hunters Declare Their Find and Offer to Return It,” at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2012/01/treasure-hunters-declare-their-find-and-offer-to-return-it/; “David Wilcock: Financial Tyranny – The Final Sections – Complete” at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2012/02/david-wilcock-financial-tyranny-the-final-sections-complete/; and “Evidence Corroborating David Wilcock’s Recent Allegations: Philippine Gold, Platinum, and Cash,” at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2011/12/evidence-corroborating-david-wilcocks-recent-allegations-philippine-gold/
(8) See “NESARA or the Abundance Program” at http://goldenageofgaia.com/building-nova-earth-toward-a-world-that-works-for-everyone/nesara-or-the-abundance-program/
By Domenico Montanaro, Deputy Political Editor, NBC News
Throw the bums out.
That’s the message 60 percent of Americans are sending to Washington in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, saying if they had the chance to vote to defeat and replace every single member of Congress, including their own representative, they would. Just 35 percent say they would not.
According to the latest NBC/WSJ poll, the shutdown has been a political disaster. One in three say the shutdown has directly impacted their lives, and 65 percent say the shutdown is doing quite a bit of harm to the economy. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports.
The 60 percent figure is the highest-ever in that question recorded in the poll, registered in the wake of the government shutdown and threat of the U.S. defaulting on its debt for the first time in history. If the nation’s debt limit is not increased one week from now, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warns that the entire global economy could be in peril.
“We continue to use this number as a way to sort of understand how much revulsion there is,” said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the poll with Republican Bill McInturff. “We now have a new high-water mark.”
The numbers reflect a broader trend over the last few years. Americans have traditionally said that while they might not like Congress, they usually like their own representatives. But that sentiment appears to have shifted.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks in the White House driveway following a meeting Thursday with President Barack Obama.
The throw-them-all-out attitude has slowly taken hold over the last three years, coinciding with two things – the rise of the Tea Party caucus in the House and the debt ceiling fight of 2011.
In October 2010, a majority of Americans – 50 percent to 47 percent – said they would not fire all congressional members. But by August 2011, 54 percent said they would toss every lawmaker from office; in January 2012, 56 percent said that; and just three months ago, in July, it was 57 percent.
Frustration was evident among poll respondents across the ideological spectrum.
“You look at 800,000 people being out of work merely because Congress can’t come to an agreement to do their job, which we sent them there to do,” said a respondent from Mississippi, a strong Democrat. “I am prayerful for a revolution.”
The sentiment isn’t limited to Democrats. One Ohio woman, who considers herself a strong Republican, said her husband is a federal worker and they are worried about paying the bills.
“We will not get a paycheck,” she said. “It is federal pay and mortgage is due. Who is going to pay that — Obama or Congress who is still getting paid?”
Hart points out that the seeds are there to give rise to independent or third-party candidates.
According to Hart, “Somewhere, someone’s going to pick up and run with the ‘throw them all out’” banner.
The number of Americans who say they want to fire everyone is fairly consistent among most groups – at around 60 percent – but it spikes among rural voters (70 percent), white independents (70 percent) and those in Republican-held congressional districts (67 percent). Just 52 percent of respondents in Democratic-held districts would vote to fire every lawmaker on Capitol Hill.
In another sign of dissatisfaction with the state of politics, 47 percent of Americans said they do not strongly identify with either party.
The numbers in this poll also reflect a broader anger and pessimism among Americans, especially when it comes to the economy.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., sat down with Tina Brown at The Daily Beat Annual Hero Summit to talk debt ceiling, shut down, and what’s going on in Washington D.C.
A record-low 14 percent think the country is headed in the right direction, down from 30 percent last month. That’s the biggest single-month drop in the poll since the shutdown of 1990. And a whopping 78 percent think the country is on the wrong track. Just 17 percent think the economy will improve in the next year, while 42 percent think it will worsen.
Americans’ confidence in the economy has nose-dived, they say, because of President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans’ negotiations – or lack thereof – on the budget. Almost two in three – 63 percent – say it makes them less confident that the economy will get better.
“What these numbers tell us is that the already-shaken public – this kicked the stool out from under them,” Bill McInturff said. “We’re seeing numbers that are associated with historic lows in public confidence.”
Almost two-thirds – 65 percent – also say the government shutdown is having quite a bit or a great deal of harm on the U.S. economy.
“That linkage between these actions in Washington and economic confidence and what that means for trying to stabilize our economy, I think at a big-picture level [shows] how destabilizing” the standoff has been for the economy.
Democratic pollster Fred Yang, who helped conduct the poll with Hart, added that Americans are paying attention to this fight and want it resolved before the debt ceiling deadline of Oct. 17.
“This isn’t the calm before the storm,” Yang said. “This is the storm before the storm.”
Russia Today – September 20, 2013
The US Air Force inadvertently dropped an atomic bomb over North Carolina in 1961. If a simple safety switch had not prevented the explosive from detonating, millions of lives across the northeast would have been at risk, a new document has revealed.
The revelation offers the first conclusive evidence after decades of speculation that the US military narrowly avoided a self-inflicted disaster.
The incident is explained in detail in a recently declassified document written by Parker F. Jones, supervisor of the nuclear weapons safety department at Sandia National Laboratories.
The document – written in 1969 and titled “How I Learned to Mistrust the H-bomb,” a play on the Stanley Kubrick film title “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” – was disclosed to the Guardian by journalist Eric Schlosser.
Three days after President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, a B-52 bomber carrying two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs departed from Goldsboro, North Carolina on a routine flight along the East Coast. The plane soon went into a tailspin, throwing the bombs from the B-52 into the air within striking distance of multiple major metropolitan centers.
Each of the explosives carried a payload of 4 megatons – roughly the same as four million tons of TNT explosive – which could have triggered a blast 260 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that wiped out Hiroshima at the end of World War II.
One of the bombs performed in the same way as those dropped over Japan less than 20 years before – by opening its &lt;img style=”margin: 10px;” alt=”h bomb” src=”https://d3ojdig7p1k9j.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/h-bomb-200×200.jpg” width=”200″ height=”200″ />parachute and engaging its trigger mechanisms. The only thing that prevented untold thousands, or perhaps millions, from being killed was a simple low voltage switch that failed to flip.
That hydrogen bomb, known as MK 39 Mod 2, descended onto tree branches in Faro, North Carolina, while the second explosive landed peacefully off Big Daddy’s Road in Pikeville. Jones determined that three of the four switches designed to prevent unintended detonation on MK 39 Mod 2 failed to work properly, and when a final firing signal was triggered that fourth switch was the only safeguard that worked.
Nuclear fallout from a detonation could have risked millions of lives in Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York City, and the areas in between.
“The MK Mod 2 bomb did not possess adequate safety for the airborne alert role in the B-52,” Jones wrote in his 1969 assessment. He determined “one simple, dynamo-technology, low voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe…It would have been bad news – in spades.”
Before Schlosser brought the document to light through a Freedom of Information Act request, the US government long denied that any such event ever took place.
“The US government has consistently tried to withhold information from the American people in order to prevent questions being asked about our nuclear weapons policy,” he told the Guardian. “We were told there was no possibility of these weapons accidentally detonating, yet here’s one that very nearly did.”
In “Command and Control,” Schlosser’s new book on the nuclear arms race between the US and the Soviet Union, the journalist writes that he discovered a minimum of 700 “significant” accidents involving nuclear weapons in the years between 1950 and 1968.
&amp;lt;img style=”margin: 10px;” alt=”who” src=”https://d3ojdig7p1k9j.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/who.jpg” width=”194″ height=”165″ /&amp;gt;By Michel Chossudovsky and BMJ, Global Research – September 14, 2013
An initial World Health Organization (WHO) study completed in 2004 had documented the impacts of depleted uranium. It was suppressed.
The WHO has now suppressed a second report undertaken jointly with Iraq’s Ministry of Health. The joint WHO-MoH study pertained to the prevalence of congenital birth defects. It was scheduled to be released in November 2012.
In suppressing these reports, the WHO is complicit in covering up extensive war crimes committed against the people of Iraq.
BMJ, September 10, 2013
Poor reproductive and birth outcomes in Iraq, since the U.S. invasion, have received much global attention (1, 2). A joint study by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Iraqi Ministry of Health (MoH) began in May-June 2012 to look at the prevalence of congenital birth defects in several governorates of Iraq (3) and was scheduled to be released in November 2012 (4).
In March 2013, a BBC documentary, (“Born Under a Bad Sign”), offered a glimpse at the results of the WHO report. A MoH official told the BBC that “All studies done by the Ministry of Health prove with damning evidence that there has been a rise in birth defects and cancers”. Other MoH researchers confirmed that the situation with birth defects constitute a “big crisis” for the “next generation” of Iraqi children (5).
In May and July 2013, researchers petitioned the WHO and MoH to release their report (6, 7). In response, the WHO indefinitely postponed the release of that report.
This turn of events has bewildered many, especially in light of the WHO’s past failure to report similar data adequately. In November 2006 the British Medical Journal published an article entitled “WHO suppressed evidence on effects of depleted uranium (DU), expert says”. (8).
Furthermore, recent revelations by Hans von Sponeck, the former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, suggest that WHO may be susceptible to pressure from its member states. Mr. von Sponeck said that “The US government sought to prevent WHO from surveying areas in southern Iraq where DU had been used and caused serious health and environmental dangers” (9).
Serious study design flaws, principally the WHO’s avoidance of any inquiry into causation of Iraqi birth defects, is also alarming (10). Nevertheless, saving Iraqi children’s lives requires the immediate release of this indefinitely postponed WHO report.
1- Al-Sabbak M, Sadik Ali S, Savabi O, Savabi G, Dastgiri S, Savabieasfahani M. 2012, Metal Contamination and the Epidemic of Congenital Birth Defects in Iraqi Cities. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 89(5): 937–944.
2-Human Rights Now, 2013, “Innocent New Lives are Still Dying and Suffering Report of a Fact Finding Mission on congenital birth defects in Fallujah, Iraq in 2013” http://www.brussellstribunal.org/article_view.asp?id=1016#.UggHoJIsltk
3- World Health Organization, Congenital birth defect study in Iraq: frequently asked questions: http://www.emro.who.int/irq/iraq-infocus/faq-congenital-birth-defect-stu…
4- Morrison, S. (2012, October 14). Iraq records huge rise in birth defects. The Independent U.K. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/…
5-BBC News “Our World”, Born Under a Bad Sign. Duration 30 minutes. Produced by Yalda Hakim and Melanie Marshall. Aired on Sunday 24 Mar, 2013. Web address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W5TvnYaeN4
6- A Call to Release the WHO Report on Iraqi Birth Defects. Saturday 18 May, 2013. Multiple authors. Web address: http://www.zcommunications.org/a-call-to-release-the-who-report-on-iraqi…
7- To the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Iraqi Ministry of Health: (New signatures added). Tuesday 30 July, 2013. Multiple authors. Web address: http://www.zcommunications.org/to-the-world-health-organization-who-and-…
8- BMJ 2006; 333:990.2 “WHO suppressed evidence on effects of depleted uranium, expert says.”
9- Pilger, J. (2013, May 26). We’ve moved on from the Iraq war – but Iraqis don’t have that choice. The Guardian U.K. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/may/26/iraqis-cant-turn-ba…
10- Chowdhury, S. (2013, Jul 17) WHO’s Iraq Birth Defect Study Omits Causation. Inter Press Service News Agency. http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/07/whos-iraq-birth-defect-study-omits-causat…
Stephen: OK, here we go…a new round of increasingly-damaging revelations about the NSA’s secret surveillance program PRISM – this time showing the existence of financial relationships with the major global online and social media providers. Unsurprisingly, they were all compliant – in sharing our private conversations, information, emails, data and more – for top dollar.
• Top-secret files show first evidence of financial relationship • Prism companies include Google and Yahoo, says NSA • Costs were incurred after 2011 FISA court ruling
By Ewen MacAskill in New York, The Guardian – August 23, 2013
The material provides the first evidence of a financial relationship between the tech companies and the NSA.
The National Security Agency paid millions of dollars to cover the costs of major internet companies involved in the Prism surveillance program after a court ruled that some of the agency’s activities were unconstitutional, according to top-secret material passed to the Guardian.
The technology companies, which the NSA says includes Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook, incurred the costs to meet new certification demands in the wake of the ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court.
The October 2011 judgment, which was declassified on Wednesday by the Obama administration, found that the NSA’s inability to separate purely domestic communications from foreign traffic violated the fourth amendment.
While the ruling did not concern the Prism program directly, documents passed to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden describe the problems the decision created for the agency and the efforts required to bring operations into compliance. The material provides the first evidence of a financial relationship between the tech companies and the NSA.
The intelligence agency requires the Fisa court to sign annual “certifications” that provide the legal framework for surveillance operations. But in the wake of the court judgment these were only being renewed on a temporary basis while the agency worked on a solution to the processes that had been ruled illegal.
An NSA newsletter entry, marked top secret and dated December 2012, discloses the huge costs this entailed. “Last year’s problems resulted in multiple extensions to the certifications’ expiration dates which cost millions of dollars for Prism providers to implement each successive extension – costs covered by Special Source Operations,” it says.
Special Source Operations, described by Snowden as the “crown jewel” of the NSA, handles all surveillance programs, such as Prism, that rely on “corporate partnerships” with telecoms and internet providers to access communications data.
The disclosure that taxpayers’ money was used to cover the companies’ compliance costs raises new questions over the relationship between Silicon Valley and the NSA. Since the existence of the program was first revealed by the Guardian and the Washington Post on June 6, the companies have repeatedly denied all knowledge of it and insisted they only hand over user data in response to specific legal requests from the authorities.
An earlier newsletter, which is undated, states that the Prism providers were all given new certifications within days of the Fisa court ruling. “All Prism providers, except Yahoo and Google, were successfully transitioned to the new certifications. We expect Yahoo and Google to complete transitioning by Friday 6 October.”
Fisa 2 An earlier undated newsletter after the Fisa court ruling on certifications. Photograph: guardian.co.uk
The Guardian invited the companies to respond to the new material and asked each one specific questions about the scale of the costs they incurred, the form of the reimbursement and whether they had received any other payments from the NSA in relation to the Prism program.
A Yahoo spokesperson said: “Federal law requires the US government to reimburse providers for costs incurred to respond to compulsory legal process imposed by the government. We have requested reimbursement consistent with this law.”
Asked about the reimbursement of costs relating to compliance with Fisa court certifications, Facebook responded by saying it had “never received any compensation in connection with responding to a government data request”.
Google did not answer any of the specific questions put to it, and provided only a general statement denying it had joined Prism or any other surveillance program. It added: “We await the US government’s response to our petition to publish more national security request data, which will show that our compliance with American national security laws falls far short of the wild claims still being made in the press today.”
Microsoft declined to give a response on the record.
The responses further expose the gap between how the NSA describes the operation of its Prism collection program and what the companies themselves say.
Prism operates under section 702 of the Fisa Amendments Act, which authorises the NSA to target without a warrant the communications of foreign nationals believed to be not on US soil.
But Snowden’s revelations have shown that US emails and calls are collected in large quantities in the course of these 702 operations, either deliberately because the individual has been in contact with a foreign intelligence target or inadvertently because the NSA is unable to separate out purely domestic communications.
Last week, the Washington Post revealed documents from Snowden that showed the NSA breached privacy rules thousands of times a year, in the face of repeated assurances from Barack Obama and other senior intelligence figures that there was no evidence of unauthorised surveillance of Americans.
The newly declassified court ruling, by then chief Fisa judge John Bates, also revealed serious issues with how the NSA handled the US communications it was sweeping up under its foreign intelligence authorisations.
The judgment revealed that the NSA was collecting up to 56,000 wholly US internet communications per year in the three years until the court intervened. Bates also rebuked the agency for misrepresenting the true scope of a major collection program for the third time in three years.
The NSA newsletters say the agency’s response to the ruling was to work on a “conservative solution in which higher-risk collection would be sequestered”. At the same time, one entry states, the NSA’s general counsel was considering filing an appeal.
The Guardian informed the White House, the NSA and the office of the director of national intelligence that it planned to publish the documents and asked whether the spy agency routinely covered all the costs of the Prism providers and what the annual cost was to the US.
The NSA declined to comment beyond requesting the redaction of the name of an individual staffer in one of the documents.
UPDATE: After publication, Microsoft issued a statement to the Guardian on Friday afternoon.
A spokesperson for Microsoft, which seeks reimbursement from the government on a case-by-case basis, said: “Microsoft only complies with court orders because it is legally ordered to, not because it is reimbursed for the work. We could have a more informed discussion of these issues if providers could share additional information, including aggregate statistics on the number of any national security orders they may receive.”
NSA Deliberately Broke Rules