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Sanofi-Aventis Vaxigrip Information Leaflet

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Consumer Medicine Information

VAXIGRIP®

Inactivated Influenza Vaccine (Split Virion) BP

What is in this leaflet

This leaflet answers some common questions about VAXIGRIP.
It does not contain all the available information.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines, including vaccines, have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you or your child having VAXIGRIP against the benefits they expect it will have.

If you have any concerns about this vaccine, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.

What VAXIGRIP is used for

VAXIGRIP is a vaccine used to help prevent influenza.
Annual vaccination against influenza is recommended for the following individuals:

  1. All people over the age of 65 years
  2. People under 65 years of age with chronic illness especially:
    • Heart disease
    • Lung disease - asthma that require regular preventative therapy; other chronic lung disease with impaired lung function
    • Diabetes
    • Kidney disorder
    • Cancer
    • Other conditions - diseases that require treatment with medicines that reduce natural immunity, HIV, children on long-term aspirin therapy
  3. Pregnant women
    Influenza vaccination is recommended for any pregnant women who are beyond the first trimester of pregnancy i.e. those who will be in the second or third trimester of pregnancy during the influenza season. Influenza vaccination is funded by the government for those pregnant women with a medical condition listed above.
  4. Other people
    Healthy individuals should consider the use of the vaccine, especially if they are in close contact with individuals at high risk of complications i.e. those who work in medical or health services and those who can transmit influenza to persons in any of the previously mentioned at risk groups.

Employers should consider providing influenza vaccine to avoid illness in their employees, especially those engaged in health care and other essential community services.

How VAXIGRIP works

VAXIGRIP works by causing your body to produce its own protection against influenza. VAXIGRIP is used for the prevention of influenza caused by Influenza Virus types A and B. After receiving your VAXIGRIP injection, your body will produce antibodies. These antibodies help your body to recognise the virus and prevent the infection. It takes about 2 to 3 weeks for your body to produce these antibodies, and in most cases these antibodies will provide protection for 1 year. Please note that VAXIGRIP will only protect you against the three types of influenza virus contained in the vaccine. It will not protect you from influenza caused by other types of viruses.

Protection requires 1 dose (A second dose may also be required).

Most people will produce enough antibodies against influenza. However, as with all vaccines, 100% protection cannot be guaranteed.

The vaccine will not give you or your child influenza.

The chance of a severe reaction from VAXIGRIP is very small, but the risks from not being vaccinated against influenza may be very serious.

Before you are given VAXIGRIP

When you or your child must not be given it

Do not have VAXIGRIP if you or your child has an allergy to:

  • VAXIGRIP or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
  • Eggs, fowl proteins, and/or chicken feathers
  • Neomycin

Symptoms of an allergic reactions may include:

  • Shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
  • Skin rash, itching or hives

Do not have VAXIGRIP if you or your child has a high temperature (current acute feverish illness).

Speak to your doctor before you have VAXIGRIP if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Your doctor will discuss the possible risks and benefits of having VAXIGRIP during pregnancy.

VAXIGRIP is not recommended for use in infants under 6 months.

Do not have VAXIGRIP after the expiry date printed on the pack

Do not have VAXIGRIP if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.

If you are not sure whether you or your child should have VAXIGRIP, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Before you or your child is given it

Tell your doctor if you or your child has reacted to previous vaccination with any of the following:

  • Life-threatening allergic reaction
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the throat
  • Fainting or collapse
  • Severe skin reaction at the injection site, including severe bruising

Tell your doctor if you or your child has an infection or high temperature.
Your doctor may decide to delay vaccination until the illness has passed. A mild illness, such as a cold, is not usually a reason to delay vaccination.

Tell your doctor if you or your child has, or has had, any medical conditions, especially the following:

  • Lowered immunity due to diseases such as some blood disorders, kidney disease requiring dialysis, HIV/AIDS or cancer
  • Lowered immunity due to treatment with medicines such as corticosteroids, cyclosporin or other medicines used to treat cancer
  • Leukaemia or any other cancers of the blood, bone marrow or lymph system
  • Lung diseases or asthma
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Tell your doctor if you or your child has allergies to:

  • Any other medicines
  • Any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you or your child is taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and VAXIGRIP may interfere with each other. These include:

  • Phenytoin, a medicine used to control epilepsy or convulsion.
  • Theophylline, a medicine used to control asthma
  • Warfarin, a medicine used to prevent blood clots
  • Immunoglobulins, blood products used to prevent some infections
  • Medicines which lower the immune system, such as corticosteroids, cyclosporin or other medicines used to treat cancer, including radiation therapy

These medicines may be affected by VAXIGRIP, or may affect how well it works. Your doctor or pharmacist will advise you and decide whether or not to give the vaccine.

Having other vaccines

Tell your doctor if you or your child has had any vaccines in the last 4 weeks.
Your doctor will advise you if VAXIGRIP is to be given with another vaccine. Your doctor and pharmacist may have more information on medicines and vaccines to be careful with or avoid during vaccination with VAXIGRIP.

How VAXIGRIP is given

VAXIGRIP is given as an injection, usually into muscle or tissue below the skin of your upper arm or leg although your doctor may choose to give it elsewhere. VAXIGRIP should not be injected directly into the veins.

How much is given

Adults and children 3 years of age and over: 0.5mL
Infants and children 6 months to 35 months: 0.25mL

Some people require a second injection of VAXIGRIP a month later. Please ask your doctor if this includes you or your child.

When it is given

VAXIGRIP should be given annually, in the autumn, in anticipation of winter outbreak of influenza.

After having VAXIGRIP

Things you or your child must do

Keep an updated record of your vaccination.

Things to be careful of

Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how VAXIGRIP affects you.
VAXIGRIP should not normally interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery.

Side Effects

Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you or your child does not feel well after having VAXIGRIP.
VAXIGRIP may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines, including vaccines, can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You or your child may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you:

  • Local reaction around the injection site such as redness, itchiness, tenderness, pain or discomfort, bruising, swelling or the formation of hard lumps or scars
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness, weakness or fatigue, generally feeling unwell
  • Fever
  • Shivering
  • Increased sweating
  • Soreness, aching muscles, muscle tenderness or weakness (not caused by exercise)
  • Soreness of the joints

These side effects are usually common and mild, and usually disappear within 1-2 days without treatment.

Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • Unusual bleeding, bruising or purple spots on the skin
  • Swelling of the glands in the neck, armpit or groin
  • Severe, sharp, stabbing nerve pain
  • Tingling of the hands or feet, or sudden numbness or weakness in the legs or arms
  • Convulsion

These may be serious side effects. You or your child may need urgent medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.

If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:

  • Sudden signs of allergy such as rash, itching or hives on the skin, difficulty in breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body, in some cases leading to shock (rapid, shallow breathing, cold, clammy skin, a rapid, weak pulse, dizziness, weakness and fainting)
  • Headache and high temperature associated with hallucinations, confusion, paralysis of part or all of the body, disturbances of behaviour, speech and eye movements, stiff neck, and sensitivity to light.
  • Feeling weak or paralysed, or generally feeling sore or tender (Guillain-Barre Syndrome)

These are very serious side effects. You or your child may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.

All of these side effects are rare.

Other side effects not listed above may occur in some patients. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything that is making you or your child feel unwell.

Storing VAXIGRIP

VAXIGRIP is usually stored in the doctor's surgery or clinic, or at the pharmacy. However if you need to store VAXIGRIP:

  • Keep it where children cannot reach it
  • Keep VAXIGRIP in the original pack until it is time for it to be given
  • Keep it in the refrigerator, between 2°C and 8°C. Do not freeze VAXIGRIP. Protect from light.
    Freezing destroys the vaccine

Product Description

What it looks like

VAXIGRIP is 0.5mL of liquid vaccine in a single dose syringe.

Ingredients

Active Ingredients:

VAXIGRIP is made from inactivated parts of the following Influenza virus strains:

  • A/Solomon Islands/3/2006 (H1N1) like strain 15 microgram haemagglutinin
  • A/Brisbane/10/2007 (H3N2) like strain 15 microgram haemagglutinin
  • B/Florida/4/2006 like strain 15 microgram haemagglutinin

Other Ingredients:
Buffered saline solution composed of:
- Sodium chloride
- Potassium chloride
- Sodium phosphate - dibasic dihydrate
- Potassium phosphate - monobasic
- Water for injection

VAXIGRIP may also contain traces of egg proteins, formaldehyde, octoxynol-9 and neomycin.
VAXIGRIP does not contain lactose, gluten, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.

Manufacturer

Sanofi Pasteur SA
Lyon, France

Distributor

New Zealand
sanofi-aventis new zealand limited
Level 8, James & Wells Tower
56 Cawley St
Ellerslie
Auckland
New Zealand
Tel: 0800 727 838

Date of preparation

November 2007


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Original Article

Former Raytheon lobbyist, William Lynn, was appointed deputy defense secretary on Wednesday, February 11th after a contentious Senate confirmation hearing that led Republican Senator for Iowa, Charles Grassley, to forcefully object to the appointment on the basis of Mr. Lynn's "very questionable accounting practices that were obviously not in the public interest" while in the position of Pentagon Comptroller during the Clinton administration. The Senator's objection did not go far enough in exploring the "very questionable accounting practices" that Lynn engaged in during his tenure at the Defense Department from 1997 to 2001. The relevant question that should have been asked is "Where did the $3.4 Trillion go?"

In fiscal year 1999, the Department of Defense reported that it was missing $2.3 Trillion. In fiscal year 2000 the Department reported a missing $1.1 Trillion. Total: $3.4 Trillion "missing" taxpayer money. This happened under the watchful eye of the same William Lynn that now passes through the revolving door between the Department of Defense and the Defense industry.

Lynn was the Defense Department's chief financial officer and as such was responsible for all budgetary administration and reporting. He was also responsible for the publication of audited financial statements which he failed to do during his tenure and which have not been published since.

Lynn was nominated by Obama-Biden because "Lynn brings decades of experience and expertise in reforming government spending and making the tough choices necessary to ensure that American tax dollars are spent wisely."

The other appointee, as Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller), Robert Hale, served as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force in the role of Financial Comptroller from 1994 to 2001. He was also responsible, along with Lynn, for the management of Defense Department funds. Hale is also a Certified Defense Financial Manager with acquisition specialty. This is his particular connection to the Military Industrial Complex.

Between these two appointees, they have lost enough taxpayer money to pay for Obama's Stimulus Plan 4 times over and are now again responsible for overseeing how the Department of Defense manages its appropriations. Obama's promise of fiscal responsibility within his administration can now be dumped in to the already overflowing trash can of broken promises.


Update

Since the original article was published in February, 2009, not one single line in the mainstream media has been written to address this enormous theft of public money. In reality it has been overshadowed by the equally grievous theft of public money masquerading as "Solving the credit crisis". The figure in the latter swindle is almost 5 times the $3.4 Trillion stolen by the Department of Defense. 

The two appointees, William Lynn and Robert Hale, unveiled  the proposed 2010 Defense budget on 7 May that will increase Defense spending by 4% to $663.8 Billion. This, in a time when the population is being impoverished through rising unemployment, shrinking State and Federal programs and the transfer of wealth from American households to the Wall St. banking cartel.

The issue highlighted in the original article was not just the missing $3.4 Trillion from the Dept.. of Defense but that this was business as usual for an out of control Government that, even with a change in the White House residency, continues uninterrupted to steal from its own citizens. 

When listening to Obama's campaign speeches last year where he emphasised the importance of Afghanistan as the new front in the "War on Terror", that elusive, never-ending and unwinnable war, it was obvious that behind all the stage managed speeches and media deification, the agenda laid out by Zbigniew Brezinski  and the Project for a New American Century, was in full view but repackaged in a persona who represented "Change we can believe in".

The developments since the story was originally published have only emphasised the lack of commitment to any solid accounting of the public coffers. No investigation has been commissioned to look in to the missing trillions, Donald Rumsfeld, William Lynn and Robert Hale have not been subject to questions regarding this crime, Department of Defense spending has been increased, the war in Afghanistan has been escalated, Pakistan is being destabilised by U.S. proxies in the region, Obama has been responsible for the murder of hundreds of Pakistani civilians by Predator Drones flown by CIA operatives and the promises to end the Iraq war have been cynically ignored, obfuscated and recycled in to  political doublespeak.

This all speaks to the fact that the Governmental-Industrial-Military organism is a symbiotic union of self interest, greed and lust for power on a level never before seen in Human History. It is important to take a bird's eye view of the corruption that has been highlighted in this article to see its true nature and how it forms the fabric that holds the system together.This system has been growing steadily over the decades and has insured itself against any real investigation or consequence by co-opting the mainstream media through Defense contractor corporate news company acquisitions and the placing of Department of Defense employees and CIA personnel in to  these same news companies.  But the quintessential achievement of this system is the fact that Donald Rumsfeld can announce at a public press conference on September 10th, 2001, without any fear of prosecution or public backlash, that trillions of dollars are missing, that there will be no investigation and that nobody will be held accountable. We have seen exactly the same arrogance with regard to the Torture scandal, the Banker bailout scandal, the Iraq war scandal and the advancing police state grid being established by the Department of Homeland Security to label anyone who disagrees with Government policy or who believes in the U.S. constitution as "Terrorists". 

An investigation in to the missing Dept. of Defense trillions needs to be initiated as a matter of urgency as a precursor to further investigations of gross corruption perpetrated by the U.S. government. It will only be achieved through an awakening to reality, a refusal to be lied to by mainstream media and  an understanding of the depth of the corruption and how it will destroy what remains of the Constitution, Public Trust and real freedom.


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The Obama Dystopia

After 8 years of the Bush-Cheney nightmare during which we saw the wanton destruction of Afghanistan and Iraq, the cynical  negation of centuries of Law designed to protect the most basic human rights and a foreign policy worthy of Genghis Khan, there came along the "Great Black Hope" in the persona of Barack Obama. The collective world consciousness turned uncritically to what was presented as a new era for peace, change and trust in Government. 

Never before had one witnessed such an accomplished use of manipulation, propaganda, deceptive imagery and public relations wizardry to sell the public a man who was to take the baton from Bush and run with it in the race to destroy the economy, the rights of the people and help birth a nation totally controlled by those who have always lurked in the shadows of power. "Change" was promised and was delivered in the form of a deepening of the already Dystopic  nightmare. 

Promises were broken with no apology, the same creative legalese that infested the Bush administration, in the form of John Yoo and Alberto Gonzalez, was again used to deny justice to the inmates of Guantanamo, It was used to justify more torture, more destruction of the Constitution and more illegal surveillance of U.S. citizens. 

The President that extended the hand of peace to the Muslim world has murdered hundreds of Pakistani men, women and children. The President who promised accountability in Government has filled his staff with lobbyists, banksters and warmongers. His Attorney General refuses to prosecute some of the worst war crimes committed in modern history and continues to give legal cover to criminals who tortured with impunity.

The country has been further bankrupted by the continuing theft of taxpayer money as the Wall St. campaign donors receive their quid pro quo. Obama has stood by idly as Bernancke states that the private Federal Reserve is not answerable to either Congress or the American public. The U.S. taxpayer is now on the hook for $14.3 Trillion and rising. Foreclosures and unemployment are mounting with no meaningful efforts by the administration to alleviate the symptoms, never mind the cause. The new image of America is one of tent cities, lengthening soup kitchen lines, sherrifs evicting countless thousands of young and old from their homes, once prosperous towns descending in to an eerie stillness and an increasingly disillusioned populace.

The "War on terrorism" has mutated in to a control grid for an increasingly aware population. The foundation for this had already been put in place by Bush with the Patriot Act, Patriot Act 2, Military commissions act and numerous executive orders that strangled what was left of Posse Comitatus and the Constitution. 

Homeland Security now defines "Terrorists" as those who believe in the Constitution, the first, second and fourth amendments. Returning veterans are being targeted for a denial of their second amendment rights. A  "Terrorist Watchlist" of more than a million and rapidly growing, is being used as the basis for denying citizens the rights to travel and to work. 

Obama is now mulling over the idea of indefinite detention without trial for U.S. citizens. This, from a teacher of the Constitution ! Bills are in congress to criminalize free speech on the Internet via the Cyberbullying Act which will make hurting somebody's feelings a felony. Just as the Patriot Act morphed in to a mechanism to subdue the U.S. population, the Cyberbullying Act will be subverted to criminalize political free speech and any criticism of the Government.

"Cyberterrorism" is being used as a pretext to bring government regulation to the the last stronghold of unbiased information. Washington has realized that it's getting harder to get away with their Fascist agenda and are moving to control the field. The populace are beginning to realize just what kind of "Change" Obama intended to deliver. 

There has been growing resistance on a state level with several invoking their 9th and 10th Amendment rights in a valiant attempt to stop the Federal Vampire from draining the last drops of blood, the last vestiges of Freedom and Hope. 

This is the Dystopic Nightmare that America finds itself in today and each day brings new assaults on Freedom and Sanity. The framework for total control of the citizenry, the economy and the media is being built upon in a relentless aggrandization of Govermental power. Obama sits atop his new Empire still smiling that sickeningly disingenuous smile surrounded by his seasoned courtiers who have worked for decades to hijack America and steer it towards this New World Order.

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This excellent documentary traces the origins of Banking from the dawn of Urban Civilization to the present day. First broadcast in 1996, it forecasts exactly what we see occuring today and explains why such a disaster has come to pass.

Listening to the words of Andrew Jackson, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson one cannot feel but that they need to be spoken by those in office now. The banking sector's manipulation of the money supply to impoverish a country's citizens, its power in directing governmental legislation for its own benefit and its financing of wars for profit has been an integral part of history for centuries.

The current policies of Governments the world over as they hand over taxpayers' money to "The Money Masters" can be seen for what they really are against the backdrop of History.

When you have watched this, reflect on the statements and actions today of Central Banks and politicians and define for yourself exactly who benefits from them. It's certainly not You.


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The plan was to deliver the maximum blow to Gaza before the new US president took office, so that he could put these matters behind him added the famous intellectual, referring to Obama's pledge to resolve the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Link

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The Barack Obama administration is continuing the neo-conservative agenda of US military domination of the world— albeit with perhaps a kinder-gentler face. While overt torture is now forbidden for the CIA and Pentagon, and symbolic gestures like the closing of the Guantanamo prison are in evidence, a unilateral military dominance policy, expanding military budget, and wars of occupation and aggression will likely continue unabated. Link

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Gerald Celente is founder of the Trends Research Institute which specializes in Trend Forecasting. This radio interview took place on Election Day 2008. It's in 4 parts, so listen to them all. After listening, take a moment to reflect on what has happened since.









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Last Thursday Continental Flight 3407 crashed approximately 10KM from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport over the Outer Marker of runway 230. The investigation as to the causes of the crash are not known definitively after such a short time but the media has been hard selling a severe ice buildup on the control surfaces as the cause of the crash. Several inconsistencies exist between the various reports from different media outlets but all are unanimously drawing the same conclusion. Why the rush to preempt the official results and bombard the public with the Ice story ? As we shall see, previous air disasters have been first explained by the media before the results were in and the story was subsequently either ignored or the report obfuscated by the NTSB. It's early days in the investigation but already we are seeing a concerted effort to implant the causes of the crash in to the public psyche before the real investigation has begun.

Based on unexplained air disasters in the past, closer examination is warranted as one of the passengers, Beverly Eckert, did pose a problem to those in power that have previously "neutralised" their problems.

Beverly Eckert lost her husband on 9/11 and had successfully lobbied for a Federal Commission to investigate the events of 9/11. Under the Federal Commission, witnesses would be compelled to testify under oath. (Remember George Bush, when requested to give evidence at the Government Commission hearings had stated that he would only do so if he were NOT under oath.) She had refused the $1.8 Million average payout for victims' families and instead bravely embarked on a mission to have the events realistically investigated. In her own words "My silence cannot be bought". The documents being sought by her and other members of the Voices of September 11th organisation have not been released. Last December, along with the ACLU and several other signatories, she had challenged the legitimacy of the Military Commissions that were responsible for the Kangaroo Court jurisprudence in Guantanamo Bay. She had brought the events of 9/11 and the injustice of Guantanamo in to the light of day and the prospect of testimony under oath and the release of documents related to 9/11 threatened to expose those in power.

With this in mind, let's turn to an analysis of the disaster itself and the documented history of politically beneficial deaths, NTSB and FBI cover ups and perpetuation of the lies by a complicit media.

A transcript of the Air Traffic Control tapes was released shortly after the crash which confirmed that the pilots had not reported anything out of the ordinary. They were directed to 2300ft on a heading of 260 degrees for runway 230 with an Instrument Landing System Approach. One minute after the last acknowledgement from flight 3047 "the plane simply dropped off the radar screen".

Now, in the account published on USAToday, "In December, the agency issued a safety alert because pilots have continued to make the same mistake as the Comair pilots 12 years ago: failing to switch on a plane's anti-icing equipment."

The only problem here is that according to the New York Times, "It has several types of de-icing equipment, including systems for its wings, tail, propeller blades and windshield, which are prompted to operate by automatic sensors"

The NTSB confirmed through their spokesman, Steve Chealander, that the de-icing systems "were in the ON position" before the aircraft commenced its descent from 16,000 ft to 2,300 ft and remained ON. According to the Cockpit Voice Recorder, the pilots were discussing "significant amounts of icing on the windshield". None of this was reported to ATC.

New York Times again.."Ice immediately came to mind among air traffic controllers on Thursday night. Minutes after Continental Connection Flight 3407 disappeared from radar, controllers asked other pilots near Buffalo-Niagara International Airport if they had run into icy conditions and received a spate of “yes” responses." But according to the ATC transcript there was NO spate of yes responses. In fact ATC only communicated to a Delta aircraft and a USAIR flight who did not report any serious icing problems.

21:04 - ATC: Delta 1998, you getting any icing where you're at?

21:05 - Delta 1998: uh, we're picking up on the way down - i don't think we're building anymore here, but about uh 6500 down to 3500 maybe?

24:45 - ATC: delta 1998, 6 miles from KLUMP maintain 2300 until established on a localizer, clear to ils approach runway 2-3

24:54 - delta 1998: ILS 2-3 and we're still in the imc here, 2300 delta 1998

25:00 - atc: are you getting any kind of icing or anything there?

25:03 - delta 1998: uhh it doesn't appear to be building, we have a 1/2..1/4 inch from the descent that has remained this whole time.

What we can gather from the ATC tapes and the flight recorder is that the pilots descended from 16,000ft to their outer marker approach altitude of 2300ft ready to intercept the Instrument Landing System beacon for runway 230 without any report of problems and both pilots evidently not under any stress according to the ATC tapes. Once the aircraft started to line up on approach, it simply vanished off the radar screens with no Mayday or any communication from the pilots. According to the Flight Director logs, once aligned for approach, the plane experienced violent pitching and rolling after the landing gear had been extended and the first stage of flaps had been set but still no communications from the pilots. This would seem to point to both a simultaneous, catastrophic failure in both the de-icing system and communications / transponder systems. There was no mention of any failure by the NTSB of any catastrophic failure recorded on the recovered black box. The de-icing system status indicator in the cockpit remained ON during the entire time. The Bombardier Dash8 Q-400 had been subject to an airworthiness directive in June 2008 about its de-icing system in aircraft built before April 2007. Flight 3047's Q-400 had been built after that date.

We will have to wait for the official findings of the NTSB report but this is the same NTSB that reported on the causes of TWA Flight 800 in which they surmised that the cause of the explosion that destroyed this Boeing 747 came from the central fuel tank despite the testimony of hundreds of witnesses that described a missile that ascended from the area in which a huge naval exercise was taking place that subsequently struck Flight 800. An Orion Air Force pilot, a Vietnam veteran air force pilot, who was taking part in the exercise testified that he was certain that Flight 800 had been destroyed by a surface to air missile. There is a mountain of evidence that proves the Official NTSB report was false and that the FBI had engaged in a coverup.

The point I am trying make here is that the NTSB is a government agency and has been guilty of manipulation of evidence and outright deception to cover up the causes of certain air disasters.

There has been a long history of mysterious air crashes and unlikely deaths that have solved a lot of political problems and which have been covered up by the FBI, NTSB and other Government agencies.

First, let's consider the October, 2002 crash of a Beechcraft King Air near Eveleth, Minnesota in which Senator Paul Wellstone and his family perished. Senator Wellstone held a key Democratic seat and was on the verge of an election upset. His death proved to be a lucky break for the Republicans. The true cause of that crash were never published and the story was "Memory holed" immediately after the initial media blitz indicating bad weather as the cause was completed. This despite the testimony of numerous pilots and ATC employees that weather was not a problem at the time. "Wellstone’s death comes almost two years to the day after a similar plane crash killed another Democratic Senate hopeful locked in a tight election contest, Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan, on October 16, 2000" according to the same source.

On April 3rd, 2006, Commerce Secretary Ron Brown died along with 34 others when an Air Force 737 crashed on approach to an airport in Croatia. Ron Brown ran afoul of the Department of Defense and Bill Clinton over technology export rules. Subsequent investigations had revealed that the Instrument Landing System had been sabotaged and the operator was found dead three days later from a gunshot wound. A member of the cabin crew, though she had survived the crash, was discovered to have had her femoral artery sliced by a knife after the crash while she was still in the wreckage. Ron Brown had what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head.

On 19 December, 2008, Michael Connell died in yet another plane crash. Connell was a Bush insider who was on his way to Washington to testify on election fraud in Ohio in 2004. Congress had issued a subpoena to Karl Rove and George Bush in relation to the election fraud investigation, demanding the delivery of all pertinent emails. Bush replied that they had been destroyed. But Connell had installed an alternative comms system in the White House and allegedly had moved them to alternate servers in the White House and was about to reveal them. Connell was a pilot himself and had reportedly cancelled 2 previous flights after discovering that his plane had been sabotaged.

There is also a very long list of mysterious deaths that have occurred during the Clinton and Bush administrations. What it illustrates is that anyone who is considered a realistic threat to the established power structure seems to happen upon an untimely, mysterious death. This is not a supposition, this is policy and the evidence speaks for itself. Follow the links below to explore for yourself.

http://mathaba.net/news/?x=616455
http://www.atlargely.com/2008/12/one-of-my-sources-died-in-a-plane-crash-last-night.html
http://www.assassinationscience.com/American_Assassination.html
http://www.alternet.org/story/14399/
http://www.freetimes.com/stories/15/90/point-of-impact
http://www.etherzone.com/body.html

It behooves us to keep a very watchful eye as this investigation unfolds.

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Where's the Money?


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Former Raytheon lobbyist, William Lynn, was appointed deputy defense secretary on Wednesday, February 11th after a contentious Senate confirmation hearing that led Republican Senator for Iowa, Charles Grassley, to forcefully object to the appointment on the basis of Mr. Lynn's "very questionable accounting practices that were obviously not in the public interest" while in the position of Pentagon Comptroller during the Clinton administration. The Senator's objection did not go far enough in exploring the "very questionable accounting practices" that Lynn engaged in during his tenure at the Defense Department from 1997 to 2001. The relevant question that should have been asked is "Where did the $3.4 Trillion go?"


In fiscal year 1999, the Department of Defense reported that it was missing $2.3 Trillion. In fiscal year 2000 the Department reported a missing $1.1 Trillion. Total: $3.4 Trillion "missing" taxpayer money. This happened under the watchful eye of the same William Lynn that now passes through the revolving door between the Department of Defense and the Defense industry.

Lynn was the Defense Department's chief financial officer and as such was responsible for all budgetary administration and reporting. He was also responsible for the publication of audited financial statements which he failed to do during his tenure and which have not been published since.

Lynn was nominated by Obama-Biden because "Lynn brings decades of experience and expertise in reforming government spending and making the tough choices necessary to ensure that American tax dollars are spent wisely."

The other appointee, as Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller), Robert Hale, served as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force in the role of Financial Comptroller from 1994 to 2001. He was also responsible, along with Lynn, for the management of Defense Department funds. Hale is also a Certified Defense Financial Manager with acquisition specialty. This is his particular connection to the Military Industrial Complex.

Between these two appointees, they have lost enough taxpayer money to pay for Obama's Stimulus Plan 4 times over and are now again responsible for overseeing how the Department of Defense manages its appropriations. Obama's promise of fiscal responsibility within his administration can now be dumped in to the already overflowing trash can of broken promises.



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Bailout This!

Idiocy is usually described as "endlessly repeating the same process, hoping for a different result". Lawrence Summers, Timothy Geithner, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden et al are straining at the leash to get the Bailout Ball rolling once again. The stabilization of the financial sector, as elusive as it has been so far, has become the Holy Grail of Economic salvation. That makes $8.5 Trillion worth of trying and $0 of result. The Knights of the Oval Table are gathered to plan their mission as their beleaguered subjects are trying to batter down the castle gates.  It's no small wonder that Geithner wants to get the money out the door as soon as the end of this week.

The most recent report from the Comptroller of the Currency seems to have gone unnoticed in Washington and the press. If banks are not lending because of increased capital requirements in the face of Credit Default Swaps, other derivatives and loan defaults then the report goes a long way in describing exactly why.

Credit Exposure to Capital ratio. Amounts in $Millions

Bank

Assets

Derivatives

Credit Exposure to Capital Ratio

J.P. Morgan Chase

$1,768,657

$87,688,008

400.2

Citi

$1,207,007

$35,645,429

259.5

Bank Of America

$1,359,071

$38,673,967

177.6

HSBC

$181,587

$4,133,712

664.2

The assets comprise largely of Real estate, residential mortgage, student, car and credit card loans. With the rise in defaulting mortgages, delinquent credit card and other debt the problem can only get worse. To recapitalize the banks to the point where exposure is low enough to encourage lending would take trillions and that's before any more fallout from the collapsing economy. Lending also requires creditworthy borrowers, the number of which is in a nosedive. The $165 Trillion in notional derivatives and the associated credit risk related to $15 Trillion in Credit Default Swaps illustrated below is the poison apple that the taxpayer has been forced to bite into.

Bank

Total Credit Derivatives

J.P. Morgan Chase

$9,177,731

Citi

$2,939,783

Bank Of America

$2,480,672

HSBC

$1,152,948

When the "credit crunch" began and Washington began the rush to solve the problem with taxpayer cash, no accounting of this derivative nightmare was ever brought to bear. In all the deliberations and press releases there was not a single mention of the fact that the primary cause of the bank collapse was due to these "instruments of mass destruction". It was widely discussed in the blogosphere but, like the real reasons for invading Iraq, never made it in to the mainstream media. As with Iraq, one would have to assume that the reason was to obfuscate the facts and cajole a shocked public in to accepting as a remedy whatever was proposed by Paulson, Bernanke and Bush. The latter had to be completely aware of the OCC data at the time and to assume that they did not is simply not credible. It would have been completely obvious that $700 Billion would do absolutely nothing to alleviate the crisis. As witnessed in the ensuing months since the TARP bill, how the money was used has been obfuscated and concealed.This was always a scam.

Even as the economic indicators broke one record after another, the recipients of the TARP funds were selling Credit Default Swaps to each other, betting on each other's downfall. They knew the game was up and wanted to profit on the way down as much as they had on the way up. All the major Banks on Wall St. are seeing mounting losses and the failure of one will increase the losses of the other. They are joined at the hip and will fall like a house of cards.

The question begs to be asked, and this is where the cynic in me dominates, what's the plan? When they do fall will the Government nationalize the last one standing for the good of the country and socialize even more of the losses? This would be the coup of the millennium and give birth to a new Governmental paradigm. To have this complete before the economy and society have completely broken down would be a good reason to declare a real National Emergency and declare Martial Law, the legislation, executive orders and infrastructure of which are already in place. How can one not be a cynic when we reflect on what has happened so far?

The numbers are in and the scam stands exposed to those who will look. Which way the story unfolds from here is anyone's guess. But I am ready to bet that Congress will not include the OCC data in the upcoming debate on the next round of cash for the Banks.



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Listening to Obama's inaugural speech impressed solely by its obvious continuity of the process that Bush and Cheney helped along it's way. The Project for a New American Century was in full swing as Obama parroted the aims and dreams of Zbigniew Brezinski, his foreign policy adviser and mentor. One pawn was replaced by another on "The Grand Chessboard" and, after the slight inconvenience of a Presidential election, the battle for Eurasia and the quest for control of America continues.

There are those who will be thinking right now.. But he's only been in office since last Tuesday - give the guy a chance. Read the transcript of the inaugural speech one more time and, without the flags, the applause and the carefully crafted delivery, see what was really said. Look at the actions of his administration since taking office. Look at his voting record as a senator. Judge the man on his actions and stated goals not on the vacuous pandering to a nation that has been brought to its knees by the policies and decisions engineered by the same people who now occupy his administration. This being a time for hope does not mean it's a time for blind hope. Most importantly, remember that he has sworn to "preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States". Even if he had to do it twice.

From his Speech..

"At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we, the people, have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears and true to our founding documents. So it has been; so it must be with this generation of Americans."

The fourth Amendment of the Constitution states.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized"

Last Thursday, the Obama administration requested U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in the case of Al-Haramain v. Obama (07-cv-109-VRW) (MDL06-cv-1791-VRW) to reverse his decision to bring exculpatory evidence to bear. The latter is a leaked memo from the U.S. Treasury Department which was sent to the plaintiffs' lawyers. The memo would prove that the plaintiffs were subjected to unlawful eavesdropping.

In a separate filing, the administration's new Attorney General, Eric Holder, stated his intent to fight the Electronic Frontiers Foundation's court case to overturn the immunity of Telecoms companies to prosecution over their complicity in illegal wiretapping of American citizens. Obama had voted for this immunity legislation in July, 2008 which included legislation that resulted in the NSA targeting "U.S. journalists, all domestic communications of Americans, including, faxes, phone calls and network traffic."

The Obama administration clearly does not want any interference in the NSA's unbridled and unconstitutional surveillance of Americans and is happy to abrogate the Fourth Amendment.

From the Speech..

"As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.  Our Founding Fathers -- (applause) -- our Founding Fathers, faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man -- a charter expanded by the blood of generations.  Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience sake."

.Obama  vigorously defended the Patriot Act which illustrated his "choice between safety and our ideals"

Speech continues..

"That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood.  Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.  Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age."

The "far-reaching network of violence and hatred" has been created by his predecessors and is being brought to its next phase by him. The true definition of this network is U.S. imperial aggression throughout the Middle East and Asia. The illegal invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the support for murderous dictators from Pakistan to Chile, the meddling in the affairs of former satellites of Russia have rendered a body count that would bring a blush to the face of Pol Pot. It is not America that needs protection from the rest of the world, it is the rest of the world that needs protection from America.

The economic crisis cannot be blamed on the "greed and irresponsibility on the part of some", it was engineered to fail by the encouragement of rampant credit driven consumerism, a deliberately inflated housing bubble and the easing of legislation to protect against predatory lending. New York Governor, Elliot Spitzer was one brave man to stand up against this and paid the price. Remember, the Bailout Bill was pushed by Obama before he became President and his economic team includes the architects of policies and legislation that created the environment to enable Banks to swing open the doors of the casino known as Wall St..- Obama's biggest campaign contributors.

The "hard choices" to prepare the nation for a "New Age" - read "New World Order" - will have to be made by the very people who have just been robbed of trillions of dollars by their own government. Spending $150 million on the Inauguration didn't seem to be a hard choice for Obama. But, hey, we're all in this together.

Continuing the speech..

"Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans.  Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.  What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. "

Free Men and Women with "imagination joined to common purpose and necessity to courage" did indeed achieve real change in the past. The student and antiwar movement in the 60's succeeded in forcing their own government to finally stop murdering poor Asian people for corporate profit. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. founded a movement that brought equality in the eys of the law to Black Americans. But these achievements were against Government policies, not in partnership with them.

By "cynics" read anyone who exposes Government wrong doing. By "Stale political arguments" read Cynthia Mc Kinney and Dr. Ron Paul. It reminds me of the time when George H.W. Bush stated "Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September 11th". The faces change but the message remains the same; We, the Government, speak the Truth, to deny the truth is to deny your country. "My country right or wrong", the battle cry of the Blind.

Speech continues..

"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.  Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward.  Where the answer is no, programs will end.  And those of us who manage the publics dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government."

The Government has already been an 800 lb gorilla in Americans' parlors and is now set to go crazy on steroids. Increasing Government control of more and more aspects of peoples' lives is now guaranteed by the engineered crisis that is upon the country. It's the  "we're all in this together" mantra that sets the Government up as the Saviour that will work with the people to make things all better. No matter that they were the ones who created the crisis.

Talking about those who manage the publics dollars being held to account, is he going to hold himself to account for voting to hand over taxpayer billions to his banking buddies? If by programs that do not "help families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified" does he mean repealing the legislation that encouraged U.S. companies to outsource U.S. jobs ? His promise to go through budget spending line by line to eliminate wasteful spending leaves out trillions of dollars in funding for more war and a bigger military. The lies and deception pile up higher and higher.

Moving on..

"And so, to all the other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born, know that America is a friend of each nation, and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity.  And we are ready to lead once more"

How can anyone in Iraq, Palestine or Afghanistan consider America as their friend ? Obama's silence when thousands of men, women and children were being bombed to pieces with weapons provided by him  - yes, Obama consistently voted to send Israel all the weapons they wanted, including Phosphorous shells - didn't qualify as being a friend.

His order on 23rd January for missile strikes on poor villages in Pakistan's tribal areas because he "believed" that "insurgents" - read inhabitants that are working to throw the murderous U.S. military machine out of their country - were living in these villages does not qualify as being a friend. 18 people were summarily executed. It's now officially Obama's watch, the blood is officially on his hands.

But I suppose that this is what he meant when he said..

"To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.  To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.  (Applause.)"

Speech continues..

"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.  (Applause.)"

I suppose he could have been talking about his own Government but probably meant President Musharraf of Pakistan, America's ally in the "War on Terror".

The lies and deceptions continue as a mendacious and disingenuous sermon that was crafted by his delivery and intonation to bring the spectre of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to hover behind him like a halo.

The final paragraph, quoting Thomas Paine during the 1776 War of Independence against the tyranny of the British..

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

Is ironically prescient in that, never before since the War of Independence, have her citizens stood before such a corrupt ruling elite who have chosen one of their own to lead them further down the road to tyranny and bondage.

God Help America.

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Bad Bank, Bad News

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson blew it, Ben Bernancke blew it and now it looks like Lawrence Summers and David Axelrod, Obama's top economic advisers, are about to blow it big time. The horse is long since dead but the flogging continues.

“The focus isn’t going to be on the needs of banks; it’s going to be on the needs of the economy for credit,” Lawrence Summers on Face the nation, 19th January.  In the same segment, both he and David Axelrod agree that Paulson's use of the first $350 Billion of the TARP money was a failure..

"The point is to get credit flowing again to businesses and families across the country -- that hasn’t happened with the expenditure of the first $350 billion"

The proposal ? Set up an "aggregator" or " Bad" bank in to which Wall St. can pour it's toxic waste or keep it on their balance sheets while being guaranteed by the taxpayer. Looks like the focus is going to be on the banks after all. The fact that the banks would be unloading more than a trillion dollars in worthless junk, paid for by the taxpayer, does not seem to Summers and Axelrod as a particularly bad idea.

The emphasis on getting credit flowing again for car loans, consumer credit and mortgages ony serves to aggravate the basic problem that these pundits seem to be ignoring; Consumers are flat broke and overindebted as it is, they don't need more credit; they need more jobs. The Banks don't need any more free money; they need to be put in to bankruptcy to purge the system of the junk on which they have based their business model. The reason the banks refuse to lend is that they are holding on to the money to cover their accelerating losses. As each company fails, as each debtor loses their job the dominos are falling faster and are obliterating the banking sector.

When the original disastrous TARP was pushed by the Treasury the indispensable actions that were not taken were regulation, revelation of the Banks' balance sheets and oversight as to how the money was being used. Any rational investor would want to know what they were investing in but this minimum requirement was brushed aside in the rush to hand over taxpayer funds. As if this were not enough to start alarm bells ringing the refusal of the Fed and the financial sector recipients to open the books to public scrutiny puts the bailout on the same stage as Bernie Madoff. The latter engaged in fraud to rob his investors just as blatantly as the fraudelent bailout robbed the taxpayers. Now we are expected to believe that, without further ado, repeating the same failed policies is needed to cure the economic woes of the country.

Let's examine the results of similiar policies in Europe.

The U.K, Ireland, France and Germany are among the other victims of the same mistakes. Ireland and the U.K., after pumping billions in to the banking sector, have only succeeded in pushing themselves to the verge of bankruptcy and reduced the available capital to do anything actually constructive. Nicolas Sarkozy succeeded in getting Societe Generale to break even by injecting taxpayer cash . What kind of logic is it that says that this is a good thing ? Any unprofitable company can break even if it receives taxpayer money to blot out the red ink. The fact remains; it is an unprofitable enterprise and, by any interpretation of market rules, should fail to free up more profitable ones.

The formation of the "Bad Bank" will prove to be another miserable failure. The time to call a halt to the madness is long since past and more rational policies need to be coming from Washington before the country goes bankrupt.

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Martin Luther King Day in 2009 precedes the dawn of the historic inauguration of America's first African American President. This inauguration is lauded as the realization of Dr. King's dream, a defining moment in the cultural paradigm, a tectonic shift in race relations and a beacon of real change for the plight of the poor and oppressed. Infusing the dreams and ethos of Dr. King in to the presidential persona demands a confluence of ideals and actions to truly deserve the association. To betray the dream, to profit from the sacrifice is to insult the legacy. To be worthy of the torch demands integrity.

"Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam.I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor in America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours."

This speech by Dr.Martin Luther King in 1967 is as poignant today as it was back then. The names change but the nightmare remains the same. Today's Iraq and Afghanistan replace yesterday's Vietnam. Today's increased level of poverty and imprisonment of a hugely disproportionate number of African Americans in the prison system, the slaughter of millions more of the world's poor and Dr. King's subsequent murder at the hands of his own government bear witness to exactly which initiative was taken.

President-Elect Barack Obama, in his speeches, expresses his desire to inculcate the ideals of Dr. King in to his decision making and his attitude to his fellow human beings. He "chokes up"  repeating the words of this Man of Peace, but he'll "hold it together" on Inauguration day. He'll make America, in Dr. King's words "a land no longer torn asunder with racial hatred and ethnic strife, a land that measured itself by how it treats the least of these, a land in which strength is defined not simply by the capacity to wage war but by the determination to forge peace - a land in which all of God's children might come together in a spirit of brotherhood."

He stands silent as his country aids in the genocide of the Palestinians. He will forge peace by sending 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan to intensify the massacre that has left nearly 6,500 of his civilian brothers and sisters dead. He stands silent on the more than 98,000 of his brothers and sisters who have been murdered in Iraq. He threatens War against Iran, Syria and already destroyed Lebanon. He remains silent on the murder of his brother Oscar Grant III by police officer Johannes Mehserle in California. He perpetuates what Dr. King called  "a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift".

"Many of the ugly pages of American history have been obscured and forgotten....America owes a debt of justice which it has only begun to pay. If it loses the will to finish or slackens in its determination, history will recall its crimes and the country that would be great will lack the most indispensable element of greatness--justice" Martin Luther King, 1967.

The President-Elect refuses to bring George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Henry Kissinger and the rest of the War criminals to justice as he looks forward from the mountain top and points the way to spiritual death.

Would Dr. King, if he actually held public office, have voted for invading Iraq, invading Afghanistan, sending arms and money to Israel and remained silent as his poverty stricken brothers and sisters were slaughtered?

The words of Martin Luther King have been hijacked by those would would use his message to further their narcissistic goals. His peaceful supplication has been betrayed by lies and a sickening adulation of meaningless oratory. His greatest statements of love and humanity have been relegated to sound bites for mass consumption by a deceived public who have put their faith in a man who represents all that Dr. King was fighting peacefully against.


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The upcoming Financial Stimulus package courtesy of the new Economic dream team has left numerous economists and analysts quaking in their boots. We are seeing predictions of hyperinflation, the destruction of the dollar, the flight of U.S. creditors, the prospect of widespread civil unrest and a descent in to a Greater Depression.

Small business owners have stood up and discredited the tax incentives that were meant to convince them to ignore market reality and open the door to new employees. The measures that supposedly address the enormous foreclosure problem seem to change from day to day and only work to the advantage of the banks. Obama and Bush have just signed off on an additional $20 Billion in cash and $118 Billion in asset guarantees for Bank of America which already received $25 Billion last year and is now choking on Merrill Lynch's losses. The President Elect and his new Stimulus Czars are not paying attention and are proceeding to continue the same destructive formula adopted by Paulson.


The media bombardment is in overdrive to convince the public that herein lies the path to salvation. First we had the guarantee that three million jobs would be created out of thin air only to be bumped up to four million. These are nice round media friendly numbers which have no basis in reality. With each passing day the sands are shifting on exactly how the money will be spent. Ben Bernancke' s speech at the London School of Economics on Tuesday confirmed that the emphasis has now shifted to bailing out the banks one more time by buying more toxic assets to clean up their collapsing balance sheets. After seeing $8.2 Trillion vanish in to Insurance, Banking and a moribund auto industry with absolutely no concrete result except for the tightening of credit, the increasing losses of Big Banking and the GM chairman having to queue for his airline ticket, the Fed, backed by Obama, continues to beat the dead horse.

The scariest aspect of this is the speed at which this 18 wheeler disaster is being driven toward the rabbits in the headlights. We haven't yet seen any senators or reps being threatened with the imposition of martial law, but we have seen Obama threaten to veto his own fellow democrats if they do not rubber stamp the proposals he has been instructed to deliver. Nobody has even taken a vote yet and already the gloves are off. Bailout Bill One and the Patriot Act were pushed just as hard. The only legislation that gets the hard sell seems to involve either stealing the taxpayer's money or their rights.

Judging by his actions so far, Obama has done absolutely nothing but continue the transfer of wealth from the American taxpayer to his Wall St. campaign contributors. There has been absolutely zero positive impact on the real economy as the increasingly horrific indicators continue to mount and the prospect of an unprecedented Depression continues to rise over the horizon. Economic reality was left on the back burner and the capital that could have paid for Obama's fantastical "stimulus" plan 5 times over has been wasted on the imploding financial sector, who no doubt will be back for more.


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Politics and reality.The two are woven like two disparate threads in to a garment that attempts to fit all. Belief in what comes out of the mouths of politicians is a flaw that has led to the justification of horrendous acts that ordinary people would never normally tolerate. Politicians, supported by a bought and paid for media machine, have an uncanny ability to distort reality and that which would be normally morally repugnant to a reasonable person becomes acceptable on the grounds of the perceived exigencies of the day. Thus we have the wanton slaughter of children justified by "self defence"; the justification of wanton slaughter justified by what happened on 11 September 2001; wanton slaughter justified by the need for natural resources. We are looking at the death of moral obligation and the respect of one's neighbour. These are indeed dark days when someone has to spend hours recounting historical facts, not politically polite half truths, to impress upon someone that burning a five year old child to death with molten phosphorous is actually not such a humane thing to do.

Looking at the mainstream reporting from Gaza right now, one has to leave one's conscience at the door and don the hat of an ignorant dolt to lap up the mendacious palaver that passes for impartial reporting these days. Would anyone seriously want to murder a child ? Well, looking at the various commentaries around the print and internet media, one would have to assume that it's perfectly OK. If it was not OK then the evident crime would be pointed out and outrage would ensue. But, alas, no.

We have been informed by the almighty ones that.."Well, if someone was firing rockets at my family, then I would retaliate". What would they say if their family had been treated like beasts for generations, had seen their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, sons and daughters ripped apart limb from limb with no accountability, with no punishment, with the act been supported by a conspiratorial alliance that is secretly beholden to the murderer ? The human reaction would be to strike back and to seek justice. Blaming the victim has been the justification since time immemorial. The Romans used it; the Catholic church used it; The Crusaders used it; the U.S.cavalry used it; the Zionists use it.

Enough already! The solution to the problems in the near East is very simple. Stop trying to steal their land. Stop treating them like sub-humans.There is no middle ground; there is no "ceasefire agreement". there is no "peace process". There is only Truth. There is only Justice. The slaughter will continue after these messages.

 
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In 2008 the credit crisis spread around the world like a virus. We saw individuals, companies and small countries go to the wall. Will 2009 be the year when U.S. creditors refuse to expose themselves to an ever increasing risk of default in order to protect their own economies ? There are growing signs of hesitation and fear on behalf of those who would lend Uncle Sam the funds to finance yet another "stimulus" plan. No small wonder as the U.S. is flat broke and up to it's eyes in unpaid debt as it is. With inflationary fears added to the mix as trillions of dollars emerge in to the U.S. economy over 2009 and trillions already thrown in to the bottomless pit of the financial sector, China and Japan are getting nervous.

Japan's utter panic was summed up by Akio Mikuni, President of the ratings company Mikuni & Co. when he suggested that "Japan should write-off its holdings of Treasuries because the U.S. government will struggle to finance increasing debt levels needed to dig the economy out of recession". For good measure.."The dollar may lose as much as 40 percent of its value to 50 yen or 60 yen from the current spot rate of 90.40 today in Tokyo unless Japan takes drastic measures to help bail out the U.S. economy"

China's Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan announced that it will allow the yuan to be used for settlement between Guangdong Province and the Yangtze River Delta and exporters in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Yunnan Province in southwestern China will be allowed to use the yuan to settle trade payments with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. His tongue in cheek explanation?

"The US dollar is unlikely to be stable next year and later. And the likelihood of the United States issuing more money in the near future adds to the depreciation risk in US-dollar-denominated assets and trade settlements." Source

A previous report describing China's proposed 7 fold increase in Gold reserves is also indicative of its gradual pullback from the doomed dollar.Gold has been slowly rising as investors, previously struck rigid with fear, are now taking a breath and looking at real value. The old adage of Gold being a safe haven is coming back in to play and no amount of gold price manipulation on the exchange is going to change that. With China's announcement of its intention to build up it's reserves to 4000 Tons, we can expect other Treasury Note holders to be thinking along the same lines. This can only lead to a bullish gold market and a collapsing market for Treasuries. Treasury Note doomsayers are a growing community amongst which we can count former Bank of England policymaker, Willem Buiter, who summed up his position thus 

"Even the most hard-nosed, Guantanomo Bay-indifferent potential foreign investor in the US must recognise that its financial system has collapsed"

And Barrons is announcing a coming Treasury Bubble Pop..

"Treasuries offer little or no margin of safety if the economy unexpectedly strengthens in 2009, or the dollar weakens significantly, or inflation shows signs of reaccelerating."

Forbes is predicting China's future diversification of it's reserves as Treasury Bills become more of a liability..

"Washington's issuance of mountains of debt to bail out the U.S. economy will only make T-bills less rewarding, putting the dollar's future strength in question. Various economists are saying it will be in China's interest to diversify in the near future."

We can discount the unexpected strengthening of the economy in 2009, but inflation has to rise once those trillions are in the playing field and the dollar will be toast. Bonds, yielding next to nothing, don't exactly present an attractive investment opportunity. The only reason Treasuries have been so attractive up to now was that they were presumed to be a safer harbor than equities, commodities or cash. No amount of "stimulus" plans can fool all the people all the time. After the initial massacre, investors are taking a moment of reflection and taking a more long term approach. We are now in an era of survival and protectionism rules the day.

 

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It's no small wonder that President Elect Barack Obama is keeping silent on the current round of wanton slaughter and destruction in Palestine. After all He had already made his position crystal clear when he addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, otherwise known as "The Israeli Lobby", on June 4th of last year. There had been doubts amongst a portion of Jewish voters as to his fealty to Israel but in his opening statement he put those fears to rest.

"I want you to know that today I'll be speaking from my heart, and as a true friend of Israel. And I know that when I visit with AIPAC, I am among friends. Good friends. Friends who share my strong commitment to make sure that the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, tomorrow and forever."

The speech, reportedly written by James Steinberg, his newly nominated deputy secretary of state and former deputy national security advisor under Bill Clinton, was the Nadir of Obama's semblance of integrity. His sycophantic, one sided admiration for Israel was as intense as his vilification of anyone who dared to criticize its policies. His choice of words to express the unity between the U.S. and Israel was probably more revealing that he would have liked.

"Our alliance is based on shared interests and shared values. Those who threaten Israel threaten us. Israel has always faced these threats on the front lines. And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel's security."

If by "shared values" he means that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has been one of pillage, murder and chaos, then he would be right. If by "shared interests" he means the theft of Arab land, he would also be correct. The same foreign policy pursued by the Bush-Cheney gang, against which he had been railing during his campaign, is acceptable when it comes to protecting a nuclear armed apartheid regime such as Israel. The obligatory nod to a negotiated Peace was briefly addressed in terms that would not have anyone shifting in their seats...

"As president, I will work to help Israel achieve the goal of two states, a Jewish state of Israel and a Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security. And I won't wait until the waning days of my presidency." SNIP "Israel's quest for peace with its neighbors has stalled, despite the heavy burdens borne by the Israeli people."

How many Presidents have we heard this from over the last 20 years ? What "quest for Peace" with its neighbours? Every dog and pony show organized by successive occupants of the Whitehouse has been only to give the appearance of progress and has always proposed an impossible choice for the Palestinians in which they would be the ones to give and the Israelis would be the ones to take. Camp David Redux. He goes on to recount a visit to Israel on which he took a joyride on an IDF helicopter, paid for by U.S. taxpayer "aid" he consistently voted for..

"I saw a narrow and beautiful strip of land nestled against the Mediterranean. On the ground, I met a family who saw their house destroyed by a Katyusha rocket. I spoke to Israeli troops who faced daily threats as they maintained security near the blue line. I talked to people who wanted nothing more simple, or elusive, than a secure future for their children."

There was no visit to the very unbeautiful, poverty ridden lunar landscape that is Gaza. There was no mention of the thousands of Palestinian families who had lost sons, daughters, mothers and fathers to F-16's, Apache attack helicopters, Merkava tanks, white phosphorous bombs, nerve gas and M-16 bullets all delivered through his complicity and his commitment to Israel's "security". There was no mention of the thousands of Palestinian homes bulldozed to rubble, the thousands of families these criminal acts made homeless. There needs to be recognition of the real suffering on both sides of the equation. Israeli families are suffering as a consequence of the actions of their own government and those of the U.S. which have given rise to the actions of a desperate Palestinian people who have been driven to the end of hopelessness and despair. An increasing number of Israeli citizens are beginning to realise this and opposition to the occupation and the enslavement is growing. There are increasing numbers of these same Israeli troops that Obama talked to that are refusing to take part in the destruction of an entire people.

"Israel can also advance the cause of peace by taking appropriate steps - consistent with its security - to ease the freedom of movement for Palestinians, improve economic conditions in the West Bank, and to refrain from building new settlements - as it agreed to with the Bush administration at Annapolis."

Ah, "security" again. Does Obama not realize that these same "settlements" represent an abrogation of International Law? Does "security" outweigh this same framework of International Law to which his own country and Israel are signatories? Is he going to continue to add to the very long list of U.S. vetoed resolutions against Israel? The only U.N. resolution that he wants to see enforced is 1701 under which the "security council calls for an end to hostilities between Hizbollah and Israel", never mind that Israel instigated this massacre to try and bring Hizbollah to heel only to have to drag their sorry behinds back home. The precipitating event was"by way of deception", the motto of Mossad, and was quickly sanitized from any media reporting.

Obama will continue the vilification of and bellicosity towards Iran and Syria which he insists pose a grave danger to a country that possesses hundreds of Nuclear weapons. The following quotes illustrate the continuity we can expect with regard to U.S. policy in the Middle East.

"The threats to Israel start close to home, but they don't end there. Syria continues its support for terror and meddling in Lebanon. And Syria has taken dangerous steps in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, which is why Israeli action was justified to end that threat." No matter that the "The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found no trace of nuclear material in Syria's Al-Kibar so far, but it would continue sampling in this area to analyze, said Mohammed ElBaradei, IAEA director general, in Vienna Monday" Source. The IAEA has not come back to date with any confirmation.

"There is no greater threat to Israel - or to the peace and stability of the region - than Iran." SNIP "The Iranian regime supports violent extremists and challenges us across the region. It pursues a nuclear capability that could spark a dangerous arms race and raise the prospect of a transfer of nuclear know-how to terrorists. Its president denies the Holocaust and threatens to wipe Israel off the map. The danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat."

It does not seem to register with Obama that the original translation from Farsi to English had been later corrected to "I have no doubt that the new movement taking place in our dear Palestine is a spiritual movement which is spanning the entire Islamic world and which will soon remove this stain of disgrace from the Islamic world". The original New York Times translation was disingenuous at the very least. With regard to Iran's alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons, the IAEA has yet to find a single scrap of evidence to support this claim. They didn't come up with any proof with regard to Iraq either but that didn't stop the invasion as the U.S. and it's allies demanded Saddam Hussein prove a negative. His upcoming ultimatum to Iran to either stop it's unproven nuclear weapons program or face the consequences fails to take in to account the strong military and trade agreements between Iran, China and Russia. Would the future President be willing to drop American boots into China and Russia's backyard? Would this increase "the peace and stability of the region"? Russian President Vladimir Putin has already laid the ground rules for this scenario. Source

Despite his current silence, the echoes of his betrayal of the Palestinian people are there for everyone to hear.


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Once again, Israel is in the midst of murder and wanton destruction in Palestine. Gaza, after being starved of food, shelter, medical supplies and electricity, is again the stage for mass murder, the likes of which would normally elicit cries of protest the world over. However, the warped zeitgeist that currently pollutes reactions to Israeli violence has only led to the usual commentaries of moral equivalency. The fact that the Palestinians had abided by the ceasefire agreement since the Fatah Hamas conflict in June 2007, but Israel broke it on November 5th this year is never mentioned in mainstream media. The same selective reporting was dominant during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 2006 as Israel unleashed carnage and destruction upon a defenseless civilian population. What makes Israel immune to prosecution for crimes that are broadcast live on TV? Millions are bearing witness, millions are protesting in all corners of the world but we are left with the official judgment that Israel is only reacting to threats to its national security. After turning the Gaza strip in to the world’s largest open air prison for 1.4 million souls and bleeding the inmates dry, unleashing a multibillion dollar military onslaught is now officially, in the western media, legitimate self defense. And all because the Palestinian people actually had the temerity to vote for Hamas instead of the Israeli controlled Fatah party. Democracy in action in the “only democracy in the Middle East”.

The time for any sympathy for Israel has long since passed. The approval from George Bush, the cowardice of Gordon Brown, Nicholas Sarkozy and “there is only one President” Obama constitute an abrogation of moral law and acquiescence to mass murder.  It’s no big surprise from the first three in the list but Obama’s “no comment” on this matter compared to his endless hours of speeches on his new vision for America, bodes ill for the universally expected “Change”. The U.S. has paid Israel over $1 Trillion since its inception and, by continuing to support this apartheid regime, is complicit in Israel’s crimes. The latter charge, though morally obvious, is difficult to prove in a court of law but Israel’s crimes are not.

Israel signed the Geneva Convention on 7th June, 1951. For the Convention to have any value, Israel must be charged and made to stand trial in The Hague under the following sections.
Article 3 states “that even where there is not a conflict of international character the parties must as a minimum adhere to minimal protections described as: noncombatants, members of armed forces who have laid down their arms, and combatants who are hors de combat (out of the fight) due to wounds, detention, or any other cause shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, with the following prohibitions:
(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) Taking of hostages;
(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.”
 
(a) Bombing of police stations, schools, ambulances, power plants and hospitals are designed to murder civilians indiscriminately.
(b) Israel’s routine abduction of men, women and children in to Israeli detention camps. The number of such prisoners is 700,000 since 1967.
(c) Israeli soldiers routinely prevent pregnant women from receiving proper hospital treatment resulting in infant mortality, miscarriages and death.
(d) Israel’s “targeted killings” of Hamas leaders constitutes murder.

Article 33 states “No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
Pillage is prohibited.
Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.”

The unrelenting and merciless collective punishment of the Palestinian people has taken the form of..

(a) Destruction of Palestinian dwellings to make room for illegal settlements

(b) Destruction of Olive groves on Palestinian land and its resultant decimation of livelihoods.

(c) Bombing of a Palestinian power station collectively punished all Gaza inhabitants. Basic sanitation works were severely impacted.

(d) Blockading of medical supplies and food which left Palestinians eating grass for sustenance.

Israel has had resolutions passed against it since 1947 without any real enforcement. The sequence of resolutions below illustrates the complete lack of commitment of the United Nations to force Israel to comply with anything..

Resolution 636: " ... 'deeply regrets' Israeli deportation of Palestinian civilians.
Resolution 641: “... 'Deplores' Israel's continuing deportation of Palestinians.
Resolution 672: “... 'Condemns' Israel for "violence against Palestinians" at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.
Resolution 673: “... 'Deplores' Israel's refusal to cooperate with the United Nations.
Resolution 681: “... 'Deplores' Israel's resumption of the deportation of Palestinians.
Resolution 694: “... 'Deplores' Israel's deportation of Palestinians and calls on it to ensure their safe and immediate return.
Resolution 726: " ... 'strongly condemns' Israel's deportation of Palestinians.
Resolution 799: ". . . 'Strongly condemns' Israel's deportation of 413 Palestinians and calls for their immediate return.

The proposed resolution to stop the current round of carnage was vetoed by the U.S. right on cue. Once again Israel is given the green light to destroy everything in its path.

If we are to believe in the “change” so vociferously expounded upon then let it start with justice. Justice with regard to Israel has not been served. The new administration has a chance in 2009 to rectify this egregious breach of common decency and to inspire the world with hope. If it continues to morally and financially support this murderous, apartheid regime, how is anyone expected to believe that “change” is really on the horizon?
 
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Maan News Agency


Reported 5th November 2008

Gaza – Ma’an – The death toll in the Gaza Strip rose to six on Wednesday morning after another Al-Qassam Brigades fighter died of wounds sustained in an Israeli airstrike near Khan Younis.

Five Hamas Al-Qassam Brigades activists were killed earlier on Tuesday evening by Israeli fire in the Al-Qarara area of Khan Younis and at Juhr Ad-Dik, in central Gaza.

An Al-Qassam Brigades leader, Mazin Sa’da, who is also a police officer, was killed and four civilians were injured including a woman as Israeli forces invaded Juhr Ad-Dik and clashed with Palestinian fighters, according to Muawiya Hassanein, director of ambulance and emergency service in the Palestinian health ministry.

Separately, an Israeli drone launched a missile at a group of Al-Qassam activists in Al-Qarara, killing four of them. Mu’awiya Hassanein identified the victims as Muhammad Ba’lusha, Omar Al-Alami, Muhammad Awad and Wajdi Muharib.

Israeli sources announced that one soldier was slightly injured in Deir Al-Balah.

Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, said in a statement that it launched eight mortar shells at Israeli forces in the central Gaza Strip near the military post of Kissufim. They affirmed they would block any Israeli attempt to invade the Gaza Strip regardless of the ceasefire, which would not prevent them from defending the Palestinian people. The statement warned of a tough retaliation to any invasion attempt.

Witnesses told Ma’an that they saw large numbers of Israeli tanks near the abandoned Israeli settlement of Dugit near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, as well as helicopters overhead.

An Israeli military spokesperson claimed that the incursion in the central Gaza Strip came after Israeli intelligence received reports about Hamas plans to abduct an Israeli soldier using a tunnel under the border.

“The Palestinians detonated the tunnel after Israeli forces besieged the building,” he claimed.

With regard to the ceasefire, the spokesperson said the Israeli incursion intended to protect ceasefire.

The de facto government in the Gaza Strip held the Israeli government responsible for all the consequences of their "aggression," describing it as the most serious violation of the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire since it went into effect in June.



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China to allow freer yuan trades

As predicted, the U.S. creditor nations' patience is wearing thin..

From the BBC tonight.

"Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan was quoted by the South China Morning Post as saying: "The US dollar is unlikely to be stable next year and later.

"And the likelihood of the United States issuing more money in the near future adds to the depreciation risk in US-dollar-denominated assets and trade settlements."

He also reportedly said that Guangxi, a province in southern China, had already been settling trade with Vietnam in yuan for some time."


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One could not help but notice the constant emphasis, during and since the Obama campaign, on Climate Change and Green energy programs. The world has a real need to develop more oil independent energy sources and halt the wholesale rape of Mother Earth. However, hearing these pleas from Washington to London from the highest offices in the land only demand more thorough investigation. When one remembers that these same high offices have been responsible for the Iraq War, The Afghanistan War and the destruction of the economy, taking anything at face value is a precarious enterprise.

As in all schemes brought to life by Government office, the first question that begs to be asked is Qui Bono? When a Carbon Tax or a Carbon Cap and Share program is announced the one thing that can be assumed is that it will be designed to make money for those who usually make the money all along. To believe that Washington or London have developed a more altruistic nature and suddenly want to save the world, is to deny decades of Political and economic history. The road to discovering the real truth behind the plan is to follow the money, the players and the science.

On the Change.gov website there was a news release about the Bi-partisan Governors Global Climate Summit in Los Angeles, California. Among the attendees were Governors Rod Blagojevich (IL) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA). (The Terminator and The Auctioneer were playing their part in the birthing of the new “impending disaster” just as much as Condi Rice, Bush and Rumsfeld played their part in creating the “Mushroom Cloud” scenario with Iraq).  Mr. Obama had prepared a speech to address the conference via video. From the speech:

“Few challenges facing America – and the world – are more urgent than combating climate change. The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear. Sea levels are rising. Coastlines are shrinking. We’ve seen record drought, spreading famine, and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season.”

We are presented with a doomsday scenario that seems to pale in to insignificance compared to the current Financial Armageddon which is approaching with ever greater speed. Action must be taken or otherwise we will be paddling canoes to the food shelter next year. The statement is meant to scare the population in to accepting more control over their lives by presenting themselves as the Saviors.  The statement is actually a motley collection of disproved assumptions. The consensus on Global Warming is seriously fragmented and former IPCC scientists are coming out of the organization in droves. They attest to political manipulation, gross misrepresentation of scientific studies to comply with the official line and a Heretic hunt for the unbelievers reminiscent of the Dark Ages. Climate skeptics have been likened to “Flat Earthers”. The irony in this is that the Earth was found to be round by using scientific deduction whereas Global Warming has been concocted through the selective manipulation and outright falsification of scientific data.

The recent Global Warming conference in Poznan in Poland was visited by 650 eminent scientific minds to refute the very basis of the Global Warming debate. Though Al Gore had said previously that the facts are in and the debate is over, it would seem he has a long way to go before he convinces everybody. The statements of these scientists have been compiled in to a minority report on the U.S. Senate committee on Environment and Public Works. Here are some of quotes..

“Anyone who claims that the debate is over and the conclusions are firm has a fundamentally unscientific approach to one of the most momentous issues of our time.”  - Solar physicist Dr. Pal Brekke, senior advisor to the Norwegian Space Centre in Oslo. Brekke has published more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles on the sun and solar interaction with the Earth.

“The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC "are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity.” - Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico  

“The Kyoto theorists have put the cart before the horse. It is global warming that triggers higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, not the other way round…A large number of critical documents submitted at the 1995 U.N. conference in Madrid vanished without a trace. As a result, the discussion was one-sided and heavily biased, and the U.N. declared global warming to be a scientific fact,” Andrei Kapitsa, a Russian geographer and Antarctic ice core researcher

“For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?" - Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.  

“Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense…The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.” - Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, has more than 150 published articles.

“The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds.- Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata.

Look at the report linked above to see all the observations made on the current debate which Al seems to think has been settled. A group of these scientists also sent a letter dated 14 July this year to the U.N. Secretary General to “ask you to redress the lack of scientific integrity of the UN’s Climate Change Panel (IPCC) and to stop making reactionary and futile ‘Climate Change’ recommendations that hold back the developing world.” As an addendum to the latter data is included that disproves the assertions of the IPCC and exposes grave manipulation and outright fraud. Yes Al, the facts are in and the debate is far from over.

If we assume that Global Warming is indeed a political potpourri of half truths and lies, then we have to see why so much trouble has gone in to its creation. One simple answer?  Money. When we look at the campaign donors to Obama’s campaign, you could be forgiven your inevitable cynicism when we see the list contains the biggest players on Wall St. (Click image to enlarge)

 


JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley have already benefitted enormously from the T.A.R.P...
JP Morgan Chase used some of it to buy Washington Mutual for $1.9 Billion and Bear Sterns $1.1 billion. JPMorgan along with Goldman Sachs control the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation which is responsible for reporting on the derivatives market. Citigroup after receiving Billions in taxpayer money to try and get them out of a hole, have been using the money to create new derivatives that will be overseen by the DTCC. The interdependence between these Wall St. giants and their revolving door with Government power has been amply demonstrated by the policies of Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson. While there was unlimited money for the banking giants, the taxpayer was ignored and robbed. These are the same players who financed the new administration and packed the ranks of Obama’s transition team with its acolytes.  Remember Obama voted without hesitation for the Bailout Bill and encouraged his fellow democrats to do likewise. So what does Obama owe his benefactors?

By ignoring the real science and perpetuating Al Gore’s fraudulent disaster scenario Obama has taken up the torch and will carry it high for the profit of those who bankrolled him in to office. It will come as no surprise that Goldman Sachs has bought in to the Carbon offsets business. That is exactly what it has become; a huge business opportunity that will bring enormous potential for profit. The article sums it up quite succinctly “that banks buying into the offsets business could benefit if a federal carbon-trading system took hold in the United States. President-elect Barack Obama favors such a system, but some experts think that the financial crisis will cause Congress to delay passing a cap-and-trade bill.” So now we can see the dots connecting between a project which started as a “Save the Planet campaign” to a lucrative business venture. Obama’s insistence that Global Warming is top priority only goes to show just how quickly he intends to make good on his deal with Wall St.. Even Al Gore himself has his own investment in the Carbon Trading scam through his firm Generation Investment Management. Everybody except the general public, whose welfare, we are told, is such a top priority, is getting on the latest Investment gravy train. They tapped out the taxpayers by bleeding them until they were dry so now it’s time for a new investment opportunity that will cause untold hardship for the poor, impose a tax burden on industries trying to get to their feet after being knocked flat and inject another poison arrow in to the real economy.


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Bush leaves GM on life support for Obama

Today's announcement of a $17.4 Billion loan to GM and Chrysler marks another milestone on the road to nowhere currently being followed by the current administration. Under the terms of the loan, "If the firms have not attained viability by March 31, 2009, the loan will be called and all funds returned to the Treasury," Meanwhile,another caveat to the deal is that workers' wages will have to be reduced to make them as competitive as those in Japan and Korea. Oh and the corporate jet has to go as well. This passes for a plan these days. Who are they trying to kid ? GM and Chrysler will need this money just to keep the lights on until March before the inevitable industry collapse.

In 3 months, GM and Chrysler will have to become a profit making enterprise by reducing costs to compete with Japanese models. Firstly, profit takes place in a healthy economy not in the grave recession we are in right now. The Japanese, who actually have a very sound business model and make cars that people want to buy, are seeing profits collapsing at an ever increasing rate. Toyota has been making affordable and fuel efficient cars for more than a decade and now GM and Chrysler have to create an equivalent model using $17.4 Billion in 3 months. The U.S. auto industry has just received a stay of execution until March 2009. The real concern in March will not be just how "viable" the industry is but how do we get the loan back. Will the U.S. taxpayer be included at the bankruptcy hearings when the inevitable chapter 11 filing has been handed over ? Judging by the past fiscal irresponsibility of the Government, I wouldn't hold my breath.It will most likely vanish in to the same hole as the $8.2 Trillion thrown at the banking racket.

This whole deal is nothing but Political posturing by Bush and Paulson who would like to finish the year with an illusory aura of fiscal responsibility. They don't want the consequences of the $250 Billion in credit default swaps tied to GM to happen on their watch and prefer to leave it to the next administration. One can only presume that with hedge funds collapsing and economic indicators headed towards uncharted territory, another round of bank failures would leave a bad impression on their otherwise sterling handling of the Economic Crisis. The money could just be given to the auto workers directly to help them after they have lost their jobs. Actually the $8.2 Trillion that Henry and Ben gave away already could have been given to the people who lost their jobs and/or their homes, but it didn't happen that time either. When asked exactly what happened to the money the Fed just refused to disclose the information. But I reckon things will be OK this time around as Paulson said the conditions set out in the loan were to "protect the taxpayers to the maximum extent possible." Bailouts, as has been demonstrated since they started, were never about helping the taxpayer cope with the crisis, but only served to lull a nervous public in to the illusion that something concrete was being done to resolve the problem.

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With the waves of destruction brought about by the Global Financial Meltdown there comes a defining moment of obligatory reflection. If such disaster has been visited upon the Globe, what lessons can be learned to dismantle the mechanism that brought it about in the first place? The remedies proposed by Governments the world over are not working as every real economic indicator confirms. The eternal corrupting influence of Money on Government policies and planning have all but guaranteed that whatever methods are employed to redeem the economy from the whale’s mouth, they will be like drops of rain meeting a river. The one overwhelming factor that does not seem to be factored in to the equation is that to get oneself out of a financial mess one needs financial resources. Not the borrowed kind but the saved kind. This is where China holds an Ace.

The U.S. has a real financial shortfall of $53 Trillion which it can never pay back. The U.K. is on the way to destroying its currency and increase its debt as is France. China, on the other hand, is in a very unique position in that it has $1.9 Trillion in foreign currency reserves. This puts it in a very unique position with regards to the rest of the world. While the latter was absorbed in consuming everything that China produced, the Chinese were amassing an enormous cushion of real cash that they can now use to divert the focus away from an export driven economy to one that begins to focus on domestic demand. The economic fundamentals for a recovery in China are more evident than in the rest of the world because there has not been the same credit driven overconsumption that was the driving force for GDP in so many other countries. Even on an individual basis “Household savings climbed 382.7 billion Yuan from the previous month (October 2008).

The Central Economic Work Conference’s $585 Billion stimulus plan addresses several areas that are essential to increasing domestic consumer demand and purchasing power. Housing projects for urban dwelling low-income families, subsidies for low-income rural families, funds for Medical care and education. China is also supporting the Steel, Automotive and telecommunications industries through lowering taxes and encouraging innovation through research and development subsidies. Imports of iron ore are increasing and the steel produced is being stored for future use. The latter point is notable as it presents China with an advantage in manufacturing baseline costs as the fall in shipping and commodity prices has meant that it has built its stockpile at bargain basement prices. The table below shows the investment in the country's fixed assets.


This is real investment with real available money. China saved up for the rainy day and, now it has arrived, can put their resources to work for them. It will take time for China to turn around its gigantic economy but at least they don’t have to worry about paying off an unpayable debt to the rest of the world. While every other country is desperately trying to formulate a rescue plan fueled with an increase in the national debt, China does not have this worry and this will form its primary advantage.

The investment in the population’s purchasing power and employment prospects through improving the country’s infrastructure and providing tax breaks and subsidies will pay off much better than throwing money at financial institutions. The Chinese already knew this and how little use it would be in turning around a bad situation. The world’s Policemen might be Occidental but the world’s teacher, as it has for millennia, still resides in the Orient.

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The Reconstruction of America

As 2008 comes to an end after a brain curdling descent in to an economic abyss, what is on the to-do list for 2009? Will the same mistakes that were made to try and ease the impact of the crisis be repeated in 2008? All indications are that addressing the root problems is still not on the agenda and the predilection for Keynesian stimuli will only exacerbate the fallout from a fundamentally unwinnable war. Unwinnable in the sense that the definition of victory is the restoration of a failed Economic model.

The injection of $3 Trillion in to Commercial paper, mortgage, banking and auto markets has not even touched the onslaught of Economic Armageddon. The credit, so earnestly hoped for, never materialized as recapitalization outbid exposure in the financial world. There is a long, long way to go before the deleveraging Genie is put back in the bottle, and only then after a carnage never seen before in the history of the free market.

With the coming bankruptcy of General motors, there comes the specter of the $250 Billion in Credit Default Swaps written against it. The F.D.I.C. will be working overtime after this one. This will only tighten the noose around the credit market even more. Every component of an economy is dependent on the other for a productive environment but when the dependency is wrapped up in an envelope of hugely leveraged bets on the viability of these components, the consequences of failure are multiplied beyond a sustainable level. This is the systemic failure that needs to be addressed above all others. There is no point in trying to reinvigorate an economy if you have not removed the cancer that made it ill in the first place. The Derivatives and securities markets must be opened up, dissected and written off. How this will be achieved, nobody really knows because the opacity of these “weapons of mass destruction” has prevented a solid accounting of exactly who owes what to whom. The objective of this essential surgery is not to save the limb but to save the organism. There will be banks and financial houses that will die as they discover that they never really had the money in the first place to cover their gambling debts. Well, hey, that’s the free market for you. Live by it, die by it. If there is genuine regulation the healthiest institutions will rise from the ashes, burnt and better mannered. The end game here is to have a credit infrastructure that can stand on its own two feet and not have to grovel at the public trough when it has lost it's shirt.  By not reining in the gamblers now, we are guaranteeing that the deficit will continue to rise with absolutely zero in return on investment.

The first assaults in the War for the Economy have been a miserable failure. Each wave has been pushed back by an unforgiving army of economic realities. Overburdened by debt, a population cannot spend its way to prosperity; overburdened with falling incomes, a population cannot spend its way to prosperity; overburdened with unemployment, a population cannot spend its way to prosperity. Trying to increase the debt burden only exacerbates the problem. But what has been proposed as the next step on the road to recovery? Spend your way to prosperity by increasing the debt burden.

The brainchild of the Economic Transition Team, it encompasses Healthcare, Infrastructure and Energy policy. The first estimate was around $500 Billion and now is heading beyond the trillion mark. The overarching consequence of this spending will be that future generations of Americans will be the eternal debtors of the rest of the world. This does not seem to fit in to the mindset of the planners. Printing dollars and selling Treasury bills at sub inflation interest returns is the financial plan behind the project. The loss of attractiveness for T Bills as the deficit rises and flooding the country with devalued dollars will combine to unleash an inflationary spiral that will only aggravate the mess.

Let's analyse one part of the stimulus plan; Infrastructure. The crash of the housing bubble has created an enormous pool of job hungry construction workers. The latter will be newly employed by the Government, i.e. the taxpayer, i.e. themselves with their own tax dollars going to pay their wages. The one speck in the ointment here that comes to mind is how much of these tax dollars are going to be needed to even just pay the interest on the Government Debt? Assuming we put the latter on the back burner for a while and get on with the business of rebuilding the Economy, the health of suppliers to the construction industry will improve as their tax dollars are recycled back to them as wages. With each newly employed individual comes an extra paycheck, a sum of dollars that can be spent in the real economy. Paying off mortgage debt, car debt and credit card debt are going to remain top priorities. The one snafu here and the big question that needs to be asked is how much will the Government pay all these new employees? Industry standard, union enforced remuneration with benefits will definitely not be on the cards as frugality for the general population as opposed to generosity for the financial population, will be the order of the day. Billions allocated for Medicare and Medicaid will also eat in to the apportioned cash. If the former “wealth” was only obtained by living beyond one’s means then the amount of income needed to get out from under it after being unemployed for months would have to be greater, not less than before. So being employed at low wages by the Government will increase the amount of money brought in to a household but will not be on a level to recreate the Nirvana of yesteryear. Call me cynical but can you say “Iraq Reconstruction”? This reconstruction will be the biggest boondoggle in American history. The same companies involved in the “reconstruction” of Iraq will most likely be the lucky recipients of Government contracts. Halliburton and KBR must be salivating right now as yet more taxpayer dollars will be winging their way to them in 2009. If Iraq was one of the golden opportunities for corruption, think of how much more opportunity there lies in the reconstruction of America.

The proposal for nationwide broadband access is, in my view, nothing more than a plan to control the Internet, pure and simple. With no looming convictions for illegal wiretapping within the U.S., increasing victimization of dissent through an out of control Police force and the loss of influence amongst the erstwhile Guardians of truth and “all the news that’s fit to print”, large portions of the population are beginning to discover that there are sources of unbiased information and intelligent analysis on “The Internet”. This used to be rated along with Marvel comics as a source of intelligent discourse and the dwelling place of “conspiracy theorists”. But now people are turning to it as an alternative source of information. As the situation becomes worse over the next few years, information will need to be strictly controlled to keep the population at bay. If the Government is going to provide the Internet access they will also be controlling what content is available under the guise of protecting children or eliminating “hate speech”. The latter being anything that goes against the party line. 

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are already unfunded to the amount of $51 Trillion. Pumping more money in to this will only achieve a greater unfunded liability. Improving the efficiency and cost effectiveness of these programs can amount to a slight saving but the eventual bills will be falling on, as yet, unborn Americans. This is campaign promise planning, not long term planning. It might keep presidential approval ratings up for a while but goes nowhere in resolving the fundamental problems.

A quote from Tom Daschle, the new Health Czar, sums up the lack of connect between Government Economic policy and the real problems to be addressed…"addressing our health-care challenges offers the best hope for reducing personal bankruptcies, improving American competitiveness and helping "pull our economy out of its current tailspin." Addressing health-care challenges would be providing real money for it. That means taking a decision to take money away from other programs like blowing up the Middle East and Eurasia. (Remember, there are plans to increase troop numbers permanently in Afghanistan and maintain a force in Iraq outside of Towns and cities by June 2009 but staying in the country until 2012. This will amount to a huge drain on U.S. balance sheet). Personal bankruptcies have been caused by medical bills but unemployment caused by off shoring and the bursting of the housing and credit bubbles have contributed much more damage. Improving American competiveness is not achieved by providing greater healthcare with money that has to be borrowed from our competitors. If this represents “the best hope” for “pulling our economy out of its current tailspin”, then we have indeed passed through the Looking Glass and entered Never Never Land.


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I.O.U.S.A.





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Time to redefine the Economic Paradigm.

The world Bank today released it's long awaited forecast for the World economic future. "The financial crisis is likely to result in the most serious recession since the Great Depression," said Justin Lin, it's Chief economist. The global economy is captured in a downward spiral as never witnessed before. Whereas before, economies were more localized and had more immunity to outside forces, now Globalization has ensured that one big failure in the machine can create a systemic event that brings down all the component parts. The inevitable failure of a few major banks has demonstrated just how much havoc can be wreaked from Alaska to Beijing.

Emerging markets, dependent on mature market consumption, are teetering on the edge of Bankruptcy as Private capital inflow has been drying up and is forecast to reduce by half next year. The volume of world trade is set to decrease by 2.1%, the biggest drop for 33 years. Oil exporting countries from Venezuela to Russia are seeing revenue crash as demand across the world decreases. Poor countries, on the other hand, have experienced a decrease in the cost of living as food and oil prices drop. In an unforeseen twist of fate, Globalisation has enriched poorer countries and impoverished richer ones.

Greece is in the throes of a revolution as their people mount a massive protest against the country's history of corruption and economic mismanagement. Originally born of the alledged murder of a 15 year old boy by Greek police, the momentum was maintained by deeply rooted history. Is this a sign of things to come ? As economic conditions deteriorate across every continent, blame will be apportioned and it won't be hard to find easy targets. Shortage of food, homelessness, unemployment are now realities for an ever increasing number of people who have never known a life like this before. We are watching our own Governments waste the money we could be using constructively to prepare and mitigate for harder times. Attempts to restore the economic activity of nations through liquidity injections in to failing banks will achieve nothing when the basics of this same economy rely on a volume of activity that was sustained by inflated wealth through credit. The only reason we bought so much stuff was because we could always pay the bill off later.

So it's no big surprise that "We're almost in an air pocket, where we don't have a new global driver of growth." as said by Thomas Mayer, the chief European economist for Deutsche Bank. Sorry Thomas, we're all tapped out. Unrealistic growth was the problem in the first place. Growth of an economy through a regulated monetary system, consumer saving, profits ploughed back in to production, balanced budgets is one thing, but unhinged consumption and imaginary accounting by the Financial "Industry" to inflate wealth was always destined to arrive at cardiac arrest. Financial companies are supposed to provide credit to individuals and real industries to grow the economy. When they discovered that there was money to be made giving loans to anyone who could hold a pen, they officially became usurers. When they opened the casino and took bets on anything that could go one way or another, from the economic health of a country to whether interest rates would go up or down, they opened the gates to their own destruction and consequently that of their victims. Even ordinary citizens got caught up in the act as stocks were bought and sold like candy. We have a Stock market that may as well take it's cue from the atmospheric conditions on Pluto. It certainly has nothing to do with economic realities on the ground.

Lack of regulation and the quest for short term profit at the expense of long term sustainabilty has brought the World to it's knees. A new paradigm is desperately needed to restore sanity to a world gone mad. As we travel the downside we cannot expect the same failed mechanisms to save us. The actions of Governments the world over so far is to try and blow air in to a burst balloon; no matter how hard they blow it will never be able hold it's form. It's time to admit that we have overextended the system to the inevitable breaking point and now the remaining pieces must be reassembled in to something that does not need wizardry to keep it upright.

Pundits the world over are espousing many different analyses and solutions, but in most cases, Economic fundamentals play a minor part in the dialogue. Fortunately there are people like the FDIC chairman, Sheila Bair, who seem to have a grasp on what is actually needed..

"We will dig out of this. And when we do, I hope for a back-to-basics society - where banks and other lending institutions promote real growth and long-term value for the economy, and where American families have rediscovered the peace of mind of financial security achieved through saving and investing wisely. We need to return to the culture of thrift that my mother and her generation learned the hard way through years of hardship and deprivation. Those are lessons learned that the current crisis is teaching us again."



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The New York Times reports that Mr Obama has brewed up a plan to reverse the downward plunge of the U.S. economy. Public works, on a scale not seen since the construction of the Highway system under Dwight Eisenhower, will form the regenerative backbone of recovery. Hundreds of thousands of newly employed citizens will try to outdo each other in the race to replace the dreaded tungsten filament across the nation. Broadband Internet access will cover the U.S. like an angel's wings as every child, (yes none left behind), will experience an education in a newly refurbished, modern building that will be the envy of the current student population. Public buildings will have their heating systems redesigned for energy efficiency. Hospitals will become the new DARPA with high speed internet connections to share data and avoid duplication and resource wastage.

This actually sounds like a good plan. By attacking the traditional energy "devil may care" attitude, the nation would become less dependent on foreign oil as it would by developing new "Green" cars. A well educated, employed population working in an efficient manufacturing infrastructure would increase production and boost exports. But, the question needs to be asked. Where is he going to get the money ?

If the U.S. already owes $63,600,000,000,000 in debt, ($10,600,000,000,000 in National debt and $53,000,000,000,000 in pledges to Social security and other programs) that it has no way of ever paying off, where is it going to get another few Trillion to basically employ itself in to economic prosperity ? The latter, for it to become reality, needs the trust of foreigners to finance yet more profligate spending with no hope of ever receiving the cheque in the mail. China' s patience is wearing thin and absolute panic is starting to set in as witnessed by Jiwei Lou, the chairman of China's largest sovereign wealth fund saying he "does not have the courage" to plow money into Wall Street financials. The latter statement leads on to the logical sequitur that if the U.S. financial sector is two thirds the way out of the window, the U.S. government's financial creditworthiness can't be far behind. Foreign Central Banks have dumped $120 Billion in U.S. agency debt in the last 5 months, 10 year Treasury Bonds are yielding 2.73%, 3 month bonds at .01%. Who's interested in rates like these when, even in the current deflationary phase, we are looking at 2.7% inflation that will inevitably rise as Greenbacks, backed by zip, nada, flood the country like manna from Heaven.

To pay off the National Debt along with all the unfunded social security funds each American Household would have to pony up in the region of $500,000. Does Mr Obama realize this or not ? Surely his "Economic advisers" would have given him the bad news already ? If he had to be told this in the first place, then there would be real reasons to worry about his leadership skills. It would seem that the only plans coming out of Washington these days, regardless of old or new administration, are formulated to address only one thing; keeping the voters thinking that there is a solution that only demands a little pain and continually throwing the same voters' money at the problem will fix it. The recipients amongst the Banking and Auto community know it for what it really is; free handouts from the poor and middle class to the Rich. The truth of the matter is that, in order to rebuild the house, the existing monstrosity needs to be demolished and new foundations laid..this time not just of sand.

Now is the time that the U.S. must start SAVING money instead of spending even more of what it does not have. By sending another 20,000 troops to an already destroyed Afghanistan to pound it even more, maintain the troop presence in Iraq and continue to head towards a confrontation with Iran, Russia, China and Pakistan, he will be wasting hundreds of billions of dollars that could be better spent at home on the people who really need it. Refusing to take this particular fork in the road would be one way of funding his Economic recovery along with abolishing the tax cuts for the rich,( which he promised to do and is now extending them to 2012), closing foreign military bases across the world, bring the troops back home, stop spending billions in blackbag operations trying to subvert democracy across the world and bankrolling Tin Pot dictators from Haiti to Pakistan.

Mr Obama has arrived at the fork in the road and needs to choose wisely. He is staring at a chance, probably the last, to save his country.One path leads to rebuilding her using a realistic economic plan and forming pragmatic geopolitical relationships around the globe. The other continues the course that has been set for him which will bring America to it's knees as inevitably as Rome was brought to hers.

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The announcement in the last few days of a deal reached between the U.S. Treasury and the moribund insurance giant, A.I.G. provides a very lucid insight in to the nefarious and destructive world of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, otherwise known as T.A.R.P..Not only have A.I.G. received $152 billion to date and subsequently reported a third quarter loss of $25 billion, now they are to be cleared of their obligation on $53 billion worth of toxic credit default swaps. U.S. taxpayers are now on the hook for $205 billion courtesy of an institution which played in the Wall St. casino that passes for a "Financial Sector" and lost. Under the "Free market" system, so expounded upon by Government and Wall St. alike, A.I.G should be in chapter 11. Bailing out A.I.G and other failing institutions does absolutely nothing to address the fundamental issues at hand.

The economy is in crisis because unemployment and overarching debt levels pushed thousands of families in to the untenable situation where they did not earn enough to cover their debts. This burst the real estate bubble inflated by Alan Greenspan, crashed real estate prices, consumer spending and manufacturing. What we are seeing now is the inevitable result of lack of Financial regulation, lax monetary policy and a symbiosis between Government and the Financial industry. The mortgages taken out by buyers had been bundled into complex financial instruments; Mortgage backed securities. The latter along with Credit default swaps and derivatives set the stage for a global financial meltdown. The Glass-Steagal act of 1933 had been conceived to prevent the Banking sector from indulging in high risk investments to protect the depositors of these institutions. This was repealed at the end of the Clinton Administration through the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 which opened the gates to financial destruction. With the stroke of a pen, the financial services sector was given the power to literally bring down an economy .

The most urgent matter for Treasury to address is the toxic derivatives market. The notional amount of outstanding derivatives, as noted by the Bank of International settlements, comes close to $512 trillion. This represents a figure that is impossible to settle and is the real Armageddon which Banks are preparing for by hoarding the cash that they have received through the T.A.R.P..Unless this time bomb is defused by bringing the undeclared positions on the table, the duration and gravity of this crisis can only increase. As the underlying assets of these instruments crumble the Banks' exposure to counterparty risk increases and will lead to the inevitable collapse of even more banks and reduce the availability of investment credit even more. The underlying assets include interest rates, mortgages, foreign exchange rates, credit ratings on companies and even creditworthiness of entire countries. This is the level of insanity that has passed for "Leveraged Investment"

With over $3 trillion of taxpayer money injected in to Banks, insurance companies, commercial paper, Fannie and Freddie what has come back to benefit the dying economy ? A reduction in lending, increased interest rates on credit card payments and further losses for these same institutions. No big surprise as the real economy has never stopped it's nosedive. Does the Treasury really not realise that there is no point in investing in companies that have no chance of redemption ? By handing over Americans' hard earned tax dollars and indebting future generations, the Treasury has been engaging in the biggest transfer of wealth in Human history. The U.S. is now the biggest debtor on the planet and the rest of the world has noticed. China, Japan and the Oil kingdoms that buy U.S. debt are losing faith and it's only a matter of time until they turn off the tap.

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Yesterday, the long awaited regulatory framework to rein in the Financial sector was announced. Not surprisingly, it did not address the most important issues hovering over the Economy and serves only to reinforce the hands off management style that has always been the trademark of this supposed Gatekeeper of Financial Sanity.

The new regulations, due to take effect in 60 days, only affect the ratings agencies; Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch. These agencies are responsible for the issuance of ratings for Public companies and Securities, thus defining the ability of the former to raise credit and at what cost the latter will be purchased by banks, mutual funds, state pension funds or local governments. Stock prices and investor confidence take their cue from the big three and the effect on the market when ratings are graded higher or lower is enormous. The room here for grave conflicts of interest is evident. Ratings agencies can advise a financial house how to pack securities to warrant a favorable rating. Insider trading or rather more accurately put, the intelligence network amongst the Financial industry and it's associated "regulators", has resulted in enormous profits for some and collapsed companies with the associated real economic backlash, for others.

S&P, Moodys and Fitch are also responsible for the rating of derivatives, CDS's and Mortgage backed securities. The latter activity was not included in the recommendations issued by the SEC because that proposal drew opposition from Wall St.. The same Wall St. that brought the economy to it's knees through vicarious dealings in Toxic junk "opposed" any regulation of the latter. The revolving door between the SEC and Wall St. just turned again and play has not been interrupted by the minor worry of a collapsing economy; nothing happening here Move on ! Once again the real Sword of Damocles is just hoisted higher and treathens to fall with an even greater destructive force than before. The longer this game goes on unrestricted, the graver the consequences.

So what has the SEC put forward as the new regulations ?

Ratings agencies now are banned from advising financial houses on how to package securities to obtain favorable ratings. Gifts over $25 from clients are also banned. Now the question begs to be asked; if these same financial houses have been packaging securities to achieve good ratings for years, would they not have learned how the system works ? It's not like they are newborn babes. Interestingly enough, a proposal to separate, within the ratings agencies themselves, those employees who work in the credit analysis department and those who generate income, was not adopted. So intelligence flows between the investment and rating sectors has not been throttled within the ratings companies themselves. Can we assume that the investment sections of Moody's and other financial houses talk on the phone or play golf together ? Like Paulson with his "bailouts", the SEC shows as much enthusiasm to fix the problems that urgently need to be addressed. But, then again, the symbiotic relation between the "regulators" and the "regulated" must continue in order to pick the last piece of meat off the bones of the fallen. It will only be then, when nothing remains to be scavenged, that we can expect a giant Mea Culpa on their behalf..."We never saw it coming".


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Justice needs to be served in 2009

We are nearing the end of what could arguably be called a reign of terror instigated by the ruling oligarchy in Washington, sustained by a supine Congress and which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands. Unilateral War, indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas, torture, detention camps, perversion of Justice and the abrogation of almost every international treaty regarding human rights have been carried out in the name of the "War on Terror". Who's going to prison ?

Most likely nobody. The new administration that takes the reins in January 2009 does not seem to have any desire to rock any boats that might undermine "stability". There will be enough for Obama and his entourage of past supporters of injustice to do once they have gone through the revolving door on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Has it really got to the stage where a sitting President can illegally wage an invasion of a sovereign country that has resulted in the almost complete erasure of 5000 years of human history, turned huge areas of ancient Mesopotamia and Afghanistan in to radioactive wastelands and brought suffering to a people who had already suffered via sanctions for the previous 12 years ? And all this, without a whimper from the elected officials in Government ? With the help of a Media machine that has perverted moral equivalence and brain washed the public, these crimes have gone unanswered. Surely, on any reasonable moral ground, these criminals would be arrested and brought to trial ? Even if nobody gave a damn about the foreign men, women and children that were killed, the fact that thousands of American men and women were sent to their deaths would at least raise an eyebrow amongst the Governing whose job it is to protect the Governed ?

"Impeachment is off the table" said Nancy Pelosi on entering the halls of Congress. Democrats had been given a simple task by the electorate; to bring the madness to an end. The first order of business was to do precisely the opposite. They continued the same track that had been set already by the Bush Administration. Patriot Act 2, illegal domestic surveillance, an Attorney General who brought new meaning to the concept of legal argument as basic Human Rights were cast out under the justification of a "War on Terror".
There never is any justification for abject Injustice, there never will be. Justice, by it's very definition .."The upholding of what is just, especially fair treatment and due reward in accordance with honor, standards, or law.", cannot be arbitrarily molded by temporal meddling in the most basic of Human achievements.

When Nancy Pelosi stated that "Impeachment is off the table", she abrogated her sworn duty to uphold the Constitution, just as Bush and Co have been doing for the last 8 years. The frightening thing is that this was acceptable as the country needed "Stability". The definition for the latter.."Resistance to change, deterioration, or displacement.", "Constancy of character or purpose; steadfastness." sums up the maintenance of the Status Quo. It is this status quo which has every appearance of continuing, no matter who sits in the Oval office or who fills the positions of Secretary of State, Attorney General or National Defense Secretary. It's the same old crew who have been working in the wings of this power structure that knows no bounds and operates with impunity.

After Barack Obama was elected to the Presidency, there was an overwhelming sense that something good was arriving in to American Life, that a Just Man was going to take the reins in January. America needed a sense of hope and a belief that "Change" was indeed on the Horizon. It has already been strongly hinted at that there will be no accounting demanded of the War Criminals that currently occupy the White House. "Stability" again, the new name for a get out of Jail free card, the new name for the ability to murder millions of human beings and not have to answer to anyone. If Obama really means what he says about "Change we can believe in" then he should start with the prosecution for murder of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. That would be a good start; the list would inevitably grow. If the American people could see that Justice was actually a concept that was alive in Government, not only would they actually witness a change they could believe in but also start the process of returning to normalcy. The latter has been stolen over the years and needs to come back in to the light of day as the current Dark Age has eclipsed rational thinking and replaced it with the monster of our certain downfall.



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Shipping continues it's downward plunge



The Baltic Dry Index continues to lower as the demand for raw materials continues to drop to unseen levels.

 



"Capesize Vessels" weigh from 175,000 tons to 400,000 tons and count as some of the largest craft in the World. They typically carry raw materials such as Iron ore, Steel, Coal and other raw commodities. Where you used to pay up to $230,000 per day to rent one, now you can have one for a measly $2800 per day. Lloyds even reported yesterday that one Capesize vessel was going for $1000 per day. These levels of payment are crippling the Shipping Industry and leading to cancelled orders with Shipyards where it is cheaper to let the shipbuilder keep the deposit. More and more older carriers are being scrapped as their value decreases. In October alone, more shipping tonnage was scrapped than in the previous 2 years. The inevitable result of this will be less tonnage available to transport raw materials. From an economic standpoint, supply will decrease thus theoretically lead to a commensurate increase in leasing prices, thus forcing the Baltic Dry Index up again.

In the meantime though, there will be a large increase in job losses in the shipping industry, both on land and on sea. This will only represent a small percentage of the Total unemployment figures around the world but, as the latter is increasing at breakneck speed already, the demand for raw materials will inevitably be dropping. Each factory that closes down, each car that is not sold, each housing start that does not start and each road project cancelled because of restricted public funds, all contribute to this decline and can only be expected to recover when the Economic fundamentals have recovered.

The other factor in the demise of shipping is the denial of Letters of Credit between banks that need to be fulfilled before a vessel leaves port. The general hope within the industry is that once the banking crisis has stabilised and money is flowing again, the Index will recover. But credit market have been getting steadily worse. Economic indicators have become harbingers of doom and Banks are hunkering down to weather the Credit Default Swap and Derivatives storm as well as they can. Astonishingly, Citi, after receiving Billions in taxpayer money to try and get them out of a hole, are now using the money to create new derivatives. Does the entire banking community need to be escorted to Gamblers Anonymous ? The FDIC is reporting that the number of Banks at high risk has been increasing and the number of failed banks has already reached 49 as of 1 October. Banks are also suffering loan and credit card defaults at record and ever increasing levels. Provisions for future losses are increasing and profits are seriously declining or, in most cases, have turned in to huge losses. All of this augurs badly for any Banking recovery anytime soon.

Exposure to Derivatives and CDS's are significantly larger than they were in the same period in 2007, when the system was in a better state and thus the system has started to fall off a precipice with no sign of the bottom in sight. Once fallen, there is no stopping it unless the toxic financial bundles are purged from the system. The lack of will to do this is accelerating the systemic failure. There is not enough money on the planet to cover the derivatives market pure and simple. The Shipping industry is just another cog in the economic machine. As the machine grinds to a halt, the cogs inevitably stop turning.

 

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Obama needs to tell it like it really is.

For the last few months now we have seen the unfolding of the inevitable result of monetary deregulation, unbridled and insane speculation, cover ups by the mainstream Media and lastly, the specter of hope and change as embodied in the new President Elect, Barack Obama. Does the latter have the ability to turn around decades of carpetbagger capitalism and bring the power back to the people ?

Not in the sense that has been alluded to in the vacuous electioneering slogans or the tear jerker acceptance speeches. An Economic recovery means that the economy works, not just that the Financial sector is back on track to wreak even more havoc and continue to reap their rewards off of the backs of working people. The electorate is expecting things to go back to the way it was. Big houses, Big cars, Big wages to pay for all the Big and expensive luxuries that are an integral part of the "American Dream". Wasn't it Donald Rumsfeld who said "The American way of life is not up for negotiation!" Such Hubris is the fatal ingredient in the expectations that have been loaded on to Obama's back. Things can never be the same until the way wealth is earned has been changed from the ground up. Gone are the days of borrowing your way to wealth. This was always an unsustainable system.

There is no getting away from the basic fundamentals of a system which marries work, production, saving and growth. Period. Borrowing trillions of dollars from other countries to "jump start" the economy by injecting "liquidity" and "credit" in to it's heart is no cure for the inability of people to borrow even more money. Banks lend money. Banks are the problem. Banks need to be let go in to chapter 11 to detox and then recreated in to something resembling a rational business venture under public scrutiny.People have to earn the money in a functioning economy, pure and simple. Because of the propogation of a credit based economic model, people who actually still have jobs are working, many with 2 or even 3 jobs, for seven days a week in an effort to pay off a mortgage of say, $100,000 while living in a house worth say, $40,000. Is this productive work ? Is this how an economy grows in to a healthy, self sustaing organism ? Obviously not.

If we take it back to the 1950's , after the second World War, we see an entirely different model of consumption and production. People were inclined to save, to put money by for the things that they aspired to. There was a culture of prudence that has dissappeared in modern times. The expectations back then were based on the principle that, if you wanted something, you had to work for it. The idea of going in to debt and paying 20% interest would have seemed insane. The economy could grow under this rational influence. It flourished like a rice paddy after the rain. It fed on the fruits of financial wisdom and a steadier hand on the economic tiller. It was a system where goods were manufactured and surpluses were exported. If there was a need for something, it got "Made in the U.S.A.".

These were more balanced times and market corrections could be made while preserving the integrity of the system because the fundamentals were still extant. What we have now is a system that was deliberately spun out of control for the benefit of the few who controlled the money supply and the means of production. We saw the acceleration headlong in to the miasma of derivatives, credit default swaps, mortgage backed securities and all the rest of the lethal arsenal of the Financial Profiteers. Along with this departure from real money came the search for bigger profits at any cost. Why employ an American worker when you can get 20 exploited foreigners for the same price ? Looks good on a balance sheet and a P/E ratio. But, who makes their money in the stock market ? Not Mabel Jones in Boise, Idaho who's raising 6 children alone after her husband died of work related asbestos poisoning and all the family savings went on medical bills or Joe Kubek in Greensburg, Kansas, whose small farm could not compete with the Agribusiness giants or John Mulzer in Silicon Valley, California, who lost his high paying job in software development and got thrown out of his house with little or no chance of finding another job to get back on his feet. These are the people who need the help, the bailouts, the largesse and the support of their elected officials. If these are not the people who are the absolute number one on the list of priorities right now, then all the flags, the parades and the speeches have been for nothing.

Aided by the occupants of public office who came through the revolving door on Wall St., this rush to riches was instigated with ever increasing ferocity. Paul Volcker and Lawrence Summers both hail from the banking cartel of the Federal Reserve and the World bank. Summers , while working for the World Bank, quite liked the economic savings to be made by exporting toxic waste to third world countries because the population didn't live that long anyway. Volcker was instrumental in deregulating the markets and unleashing the curse of derivatives. Come to think of it, the latter was under the auspices of a Democratic president. Oh yes, these are exactly the guys that are needed to bring sanity back in the front door and kick out Mr Bad from the arena. Barack Obama is telling the American people that it is possible, with some monopoly money, to bring back the good times of credit laden consumption. One, he cannot possibly be serious and two, how long does he think he can continue to take money from other countries without having the means to ever pay it back. By surrounding himself with the omnipresent clique of liars and crooks he has singularly distinguished himself by reneging on his election promises before he's even sworn in. He knows perfectly well what would be required to reconstruct, (not "jump start") the U.S. economy, and Hell will freeze over long before he would ever say it.

It's been way too long since the U.S. brought forth a leader that actually talked sense to the electorate. It is way past time for the U.S to bring forth a leader who will be honest with the electorate; the truth needs to be spoken here. It's way past time for vacuous editorialising, empty promises, cronyism, kleptocracy, apathy, death by television, SUV's, mindless faith in Capitalism, the Free Market and the sincerity of politicians. Something has got to give and Barack Obama needs to level with his fellow citizens and guide them through the bleak future that awaits to collect it's dues.


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"Fed unveils $800 billion plan to bolster lending, housing"

This headline adorns the front pages of newspapers this evening. Is it just me or is the Fed getting these plans from cereal boxes at the White House breakfast ? Two or three pieces of cardboard and plastic for Henry and team to assemble in to something before another gruelling day of getting rid of all the money before the other guy takes office in January.

How about..."Fed unveils $800 billion plan to bolster mortgage payments, bolster the number of people who won't have to sleep under a highway overpass this Christmas, bolster job creation, bolster reduction of the National Debt "

"The financial markets are not working as we'd like them to work ... and this is an effort to address that situation," said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

The Treasury still seems to be hanging on to the old goal of recreating the failed system it brought to life and which took down most of the world with it. If the financial markets are to work like he'd like them to work then it will do no good whatsoever to give consumers the chance to increase their already smothering debt exposure. The crisis in lending came after the Real Financial crisis; a dying economy, the deflation of the real estate bubble and loss of high paying jobs in manufacturing and Information Technology created the crisis. Consumers cannot borrow themselves back in to prosperity; this was what was encouraged by Greenspan and his successors with disastrous results. Now we are asked to accept that a repetition of the same mistakes will help to make things better ?

It has become obvious at this stage that the Treasury is working overtime to bankrupt the country before they are kicked out of office. There can be no other rational explanation for this. Nobody really knows for certain what Obama will do when he takes over the sinking ship in January and Paulson and Co are doing all they can to funnel the remaining taxpayer money in to the same system that robbed so much of it already. They are getting away with it with hardly a whimper from congress. Ron Paul has been practically the only opposing voice to be heard. I haven't heard of any Police cars arriving outside the Treasury to arrest the occupiers for gross negligence, theft of public funds or abuse of power. On the other hand, I have not heard of any credible impeachment hearings  for Bush and Co for crimes against humanity, invasion of a sovereign nation or violation of the Geneva Convention either. But, on an encouraging note, Condi Rice was chased down a New Zealand St on the 26th of July by protestors attempting a citizens arrest  for War Crimes, only to be saved by local Police.  Rumsfeld has to be careful which countries he visits in case he is served with a War Crimes arrest warrant and poor old Henry Kissinger has equally tedious travel restrictions. But somehow, I doubt if any of the current Washington Mafia will ever hear the sound of a gavel.




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