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No Agenda 508 - Lonely Crazies

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:59 PM.

Lonely Crazies

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By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:59 PM.


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By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:59 PM.

Lonely Crazies

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Domain Forward

Hey Adam and John, Rob here from Cheboygan MI, and current "Knight in Lay-Away"

Just wanted to let you know I am forwarding a domain to

its a little long, but it just sounded perfect...


Keep up the good work, and i'll make it easy on ya, hit a random button on the sound board. Im not picky.

Rob Shepard

News 7 Entertainment Industrial Complex


nerd prom?



Boston bombers' uncle married daughter of top CIA official

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Archived Version

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 04:03

The uncle of the two suspected Boston bombers in last week's attack, Ruslan Tsarni, was married to the daughter of former top CIA official Graham Fuller

The discovery that Uncle Ruslan Tsarni had spy connections that go far deeper than had been previously known is ironic, especially since the mainstrean media's focus yesterday was on a feverish search to find who might have recruited the Tsarnaev brothers.

The chief suspect was a red-haired Armenian exorcist. They were fingering a suspect who may not, in fact, even exist.

It was like blaming one-armed hippies on acid for killing your wife.

Ruslan Tsarni married the daughter of former top CIA official Graham Fuller, who spent 20 years as operations officer in Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong. In 1982 Fuller was appointed the National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia at the CIA, and in 1986, under Ronald Reagan, he became the Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, with overall responsibility for national level strategic forecasting.

At the time of their marriage, Ruslan Tsarni was known as Ruslan Tsarnaev, the same last name as his nephews Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the alleged bombers.

It is unknown when he changed his last name to Tsarni.

What is known is that sometime in the early 1990's, while she was a graduate student in North Carolina, and he was in law school at Duke, Ruslan Tsarnaev met and married Samantha Ankara Fuller, the daughter of Graham and Prudence Fuller of Rockville Maryland. Her middle name suggests a reference to one of her father's CIA postings.

The couple divorced sometime before 2004.

Today Ms. Fuller lives abroad, and is a director of several companies pursuing strategies to increase energy production from clean-burning and renewable resources.

On a more ominous note, Graham Fuller was listed as one of the American Deep State rogues on Sibel Edmonds' State Secrets Privilege Gallery,. Edmonds explained it featured subjects of FBI investigations she became aware of during her time as an FBI translator.

Criminal activities were being protected by claims of State Secrets, she asserted. After Attorney General John Ashcroft went all the way to the Supreme Court to muzzle her under a little-used doctrine of State Secrets, she put up twenty-one photos, with no names.

One of them was Graham Fuller.

"Congress of Chechen International" c/o Graham FullerA story about a Chechen oik exec/uncle pairing up with a top CIA official who once served as CIA Station Chief in Kabul sounds like a pitch for a bad movie.

But the two men may have been in business together.

In 1995, Tsarnaev incorporated the Congress of Chechen International Organizations in Maryland, using as the address listed on incorporation documents 11114 Whisperwood Ln, in Rockville Maryland, the home address of his then-father-in-law.

It is just eight miles up the Washington National Pike from the Montgomery Village home where ''Uncle Ruslan'' met'--and apparently wowed, the press after the attack in Boston.

The Washington Post yesterday called him a "media maven," while nationally syndicated Washington Post columnist Ester Cepeda , in a piece with the headline ''The Wise Words of Uncle Ruslan'' opined that he was her choice for "an award for bravery in the face of adversity.''

Success through indirection, mis-direction, redirection, and protection Uncle Ruslan's spy connections go far deeper than was already known, which was that he spent two years working in Kazakhstan for USAID.

But the mainstream media was lookng the other way.

Under the headline ''Did 'Misha' influence Tsarnaevs? In Watertown, doubts,'' USA Today reported: ''Misha. A new name has emerged in the Boston Marathon bombing case'--one familiar to the family of the two young men accused of the atrocity and apparently of interest to the Russian and American security services as well.''

Ruslan Tsarni was the first to bring up the supposed man's supposed name. Or rather, he brought up a first name: Misha. But it was enough. We were off to the races'...

Attention all cars: Be on lookout for chubby Armenian exorcistTsarni described Misha to CNN as being "chubby, a big guy, big mouth presenting himself with some kind of abilities as exorcist . . . having some part-time job in one of the stores, not married. All of the qualifications of a loser, just another big mouth.''

According to Uncle Ruslan, Misha was the man who over a considerable period of time had radicalized Tamerlan.

It seemed strange, then, that in contrast to his ''you are there'' verbal picture of the man, even with all his supposed concerns, and given his high level of education and abundant resources (Big Sky Energy was paying him in excess of $200,00 a year, according to documents filed with the SEC) Ruslan had somehow never found out just who the bad guy was.

He never got a name, something that in spook-dom is considered something of a faux pas. Then again, no one else had either.

Worse, Tsarni's vivid description seemed to be taken from personal observation, from, in other words'...real life. But that isn't possible. Tsarni had stated he hadn't been physically in the presence of his Boston relatives since December 2005. And Misha, if he existed, didn't show up on the scene until 2008 at the earliest.

Still, just a few days later, the entire family began chiming in. Misha anecdotes were flying fast & furious, and the nation's scribblers were busy uncritically scribbling down their every word.

Maybe their Twitter account got hacked again?No performance was nearly as masterful, however, as that of the Associated Press.

''Bomb suspect influenced by mysterious radical,'' reported the Associated Press.

"Tamerlan's relationship with Misha could be a clue in understanding the motives behind his religious transformation and, ultimately, the attack itself," reported the Associate Press. Only to take it all back in the very next line.

"Two U.S. officials say he had no tie to terrorist groups."

The AP's ''story'' about the mysterious ''Misha'' was 1145 words, long enough for an editor to squeeze in a caveat.

''It was not immediately clear whether the FBI has spoken to Misha or was attempting to,'' the national wire service reported. ''Efforts over several days by The Associated Press to identify and interview Misha have been unsuccessful.''

The big difference: when you do it, its conspiracy theory. When we do it, its informed speculation.In any other context, this might be seen as the rankest kind of ''conspiracy theory.'' But, apparently, when the Associated Press does it, its news.

Then Uncle Ruslan made a clear mis-step.

''An uncle of the alleged bombers claims that Misha, an Armenian convert to Islam, had a huge influence on the elder brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Describing him as an "Armenia exorcist, Tsarni said, ''Somehow he just took his brain.''

Armenians are a deeply-rooted Christian community, which is proud of the fact that their country was the first in the world to adopt Christianity as state religion in 301 AD.

Moreover this is the week every year when they remember the Armenian Holocaust, when as many as 1,000,000 Armenians were slaughtered by Turkish Muslims.

In the large and close-knit Boston Armenian community, a red-bearded Armenian named Misha becoming a radicalized Muslim would stand out.

"I've never heard of him, nor has anyone that I know," Hilda Avedissian, executive director at the Armenian Cultural & Educational Centre.

So what if the guy was involved with biggest bank fraud in history?"For an Armenian to convert to Islam is like finding a unicorn in a field," Nerses Zurabyan, 32, an information technology director who lives in nearby Cambridge told USA Today.

The report reveals that the bomber's Uncle, made famous for his outspoken condemnation of his nephew's which aired repeatedly on international news networks, is a well-connected oil executive who at one point worked for a Halliburton shell company used as a front to obtain oil contracts from the Kazakh State.

Ruslon Tsarni was implicated in an investigation involving the laundering and theft of $6 billion. But everybody loves Uncle Ruslon. At least most of America's mainstream media does.

There has, to date, been no speculation at all about whether an uncle of the men suspected of the bombing who had been involved in international intrigue at the hightest levels, and who married the daughter of a top CIA official, might warrant a closer look.

It's enough, isn't it, to turn even reasonably rational adults into'--gasp!'--conspiracy theorists.

''News,'' someone once wrote, ''is selection. And selection is always based on an ideology and agenda, which is something to remember next time you watch, listen or read the 'news.'''

Too true.

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Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: aangirfan

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 03:53

PUBLISHED: 00:34, 28 April 2013 | UPDATED: 06:55, 28 April 20131. Ruslan Tsarnaev, the uncle of the Boston Bomb suspects, shared a home with top the CIA officer Graham Fuller.2. Uncle Ruslan Tsarnaev was married to Graham Fuller's daughter, Samantha.3. Fuller has been forced to explain the relationship, as news of the link has emerged. The CIA's Graham Fuller, who is related to Tamerlan Tsarnaev.4. Fuller has told the media:

"Samantha was married to Ruslan Tsarnaev (Tsarni) for 3-4 years, and they lived in Bishkek for one year where Samantha was working for Price Waterhouse on privatization projects."They also lived in our house in [Maryland] for a year or so."

Former CIA officer: link uncle to Boston suspects, Agency

'Boston Bomber's' mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, suspected of working for the CIAThe mother of 'the Boston Bombers' was being spied on by the Russians.This is presumably because they suspected that, like her brother Ruslan, she is linked to the CIA.

The CIA reportedly plots to use 'Islamists' to undermine Russia.

Above is the Boston Bomber's' mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva.She may only be pretending to be a strict Moslem.Zbigniew Brzezinski and his friends in the US government hate Russia.Zbigniew Brzezinski is one of the architects of the idea of using Moslems to destabilise 'enemy' countries, such as Russia.

Obama Linked to Chechen Terrorism - via RETANK

Former CIA officer: 'Absurd' to link uncle of Boston suspects, Agency

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Archived Version

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 03:57

Retired CIA officer Graham Fuller confirmed to Al-Monitor Saturday that his daughter was previously married to an uncle of the suspects in the Boston Marathon attacks, but called rumors of any links between the uncle and the Agency ''absurd.''

Graham Fuller's daughter, Samantha A. Fuller, was married to Ruslan Tsarnaev (now Tsarni) in the mid-1990s, and divorced in 1999, according to North Carolina public records. The elder Fuller had retired from the agency almost a decade before the brief marriage.

''Samantha was married to Ruslan Tsarnaev (Tsarni) for 3-4 years, and they lived in Bishkek for one year where Samantha was working for Price Waterhouse on privatization projects,'' Fulller, a former CIA officer in Turkey and vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council, told Al-Monitor by email Saturday. ''They also lived in our house in [Maryland] for a year or so and they were divorced in 1999, I believe.''

''I, of course, retired from CIA in 1987 and had moved on to working as a senior political scientist for RAND,'' Fuller continued.

Fuller said his former son in law was interesting but homesick, and moved back to Central Asia after the divorce.

''Like all Chechens, Ruslan was very concerned about his native land, but I saw no particular involvement in politics, [although] he did try to contact other Chechens around,'' Fuller continued. ''He also felt homesick and eventually went back to Central Asia after the divorce. His English was shaky. (We always spoke Russian together).''

A story on the Internet implying ''possible connections between Ruslan and the Agency through me are absurd,'' Fuller said.

''I doubt [Ruslan] even had much to say of intelligence value other than talking about his own family's sad tale of deportation from Chechnya by Stalin to Central Asia,'' Fuller said. ''Every Chechen family has such stories.''

Fuller said he had made several visits to Central Asia to do research on post-Soviet political developments, and visited Samantha and Ruslan there. ''Our visit is briefly mentioned in my recent memoir, Three Truths and a Lie, as well as their marriage celebration in [Maryland],'' he wrote.

A former Russian history and literature major at Harvard, Fuller had a long interest in Soviet minorities, and found Ruslan interesting.

Ruslan Tsarni has said in media interviews that his family was estranged from his brother Aznor's, over what Ruslan described as the growing religious fanaticism of Aznor's wife, Zubeidat, and that the families had not spoken for several years. Aznor and Zubeidat's sons Tamerlan, 26, and Dzhokhar, 19, are accused of carrying out the April 15th Boston Marathon bombings.

Fuller said he thinks he met Aznor Tsarnaev once, fleetingly, in Kazakhstan. His daughter, he said, knew the family better, but when Tamerlan was just a toddler, and Dzhokhar not yet born.

According to Fuller, the suspects' mother Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was not an ethnic Chechen herself, but Dagestani, and so the family spoke the couple's common language Russian, not Chechen, at home. ''People who lose their native language (identity) sometimes are more fanatic in some respects,'' he observed.

U.S. officials this week said that they added Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva to a US counterterrorism database in the fall of 2011, based on a warning from Russia's intelligence service that they were suspected of being followers of radical Islam. Russia secretly recorded some telephone conversations of Tamerlan and his mother Zubeidat, including one between the two in 2001 ''vaguely'' discussing jihad in Palestine, the Associated Press reported Saturday.

Tamerlan was killed in a police chase April 19th. Dzhokhar was charged on two federal counts of terrorism April 21, and transferred to a prison hospital outside of Boston on Friday, April 26.

''I for one was astonished at the events, and to find myself at two degrees of separation from them,'' Fuller said.

(Top photo: Graham Fuller, former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council and CIA officer; courtesy of author, from his 2012 memoir: second photo: Ruslan Tsarni, Fuller's former son in law, CBS News)

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Sibel Edmonds' Boiling Frogs Post

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Archived Version

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 05:09

Saturday, 27. April 2013

Graham Fuller: Edmonds' State Secrets Privilege, FBI Gladio-B Target, Handler-Sponsor of Turkey's Imam Gulen

A major break in the Boston Terror CIA Connection took place last night when I came across apostouting CIA Operative Graham Fuller as the father of the woman married to Boston terror suspect's infamous uncle Ruslan Tsarni. Further confirmation of this bombshell was received via mainstream reporter Laura Rozenhere. Let me first provide a few excerpts from theoriginal reporting site(a real alternative media):Boston Bombers' Uncle Married Daughter of Top CIA Official

The uncle of the two suspected Boston bombers in last week's attack, Ruslan Tsarni, was married to the daughter of former top CIAofficial Graham Fuller.Ruslan Tsarni married the daughterof former top CIA official Graham Fuller, who spent 20 years as operations officer in Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong. In 1982 Fuller was appointed the National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia at the CIA, and in 1986, under Ronald Reagan, he became the Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, with overall responsibility for national level strategic forecasting.


Now, take a look at the most explosive aspect of this original report on Graham Fuller's outing in the CIA Boston Terror Connection [All Emphasis Mine]:

On a more ominous note, Graham Fuller was listed as one of the American Deep State rogues onSibel Edmonds' State SecretsPrivilege Gallery,. Edmonds explained it featured subjects of FBI investigations she became aware of during her timeas an FBI translator.

Criminal activities were being protected by claims of State Secrets, she asserted. After Attorney General John Ashcroft went all the way to the Supreme Court to muzzle her under a little-used doctrine of State Secrets, she put up twenty-one photos, with no names. One of themwas Graham Fuller.


I presented CIA's Graham Fuller as one of the top culprits in my State Secrets Privilege Case when the government invoked the State Secrets Privilege and several additional gag orders to cover up the FBI's investigations and files pertaining to CIA-NATO terror operations in Central Asia & the Caucasus since the mid-1990s. Guess what? I provided this information to the US media long before it became public in 2008 viamy websiteandthis website. Not a single media outlet (including quasi and pseudo ones) was willing to touch this. And this, despite of all the gag orders, state secrets privilege invocations, congressional gag orders '... you name it. I could name more than a dozen publications that said: 'no way.'

Not only that. I have been covering one of the main CIA operation figures in Central Asia & the Caucasus-Imam Fethullah Gulen, and this Turkish Imam's relationship and official Connections to CIA's Graham Fuller. I've been doing this since 2009. Let me provide you with a few explosive examples and excerpts. First a few excerpts from over two years ago published atBoiling Frogs Post:

Turkish Intel Chief Exposes CIA Operations via Islamic Group in Central Asia

First of all, there have been tens if not hundreds of articles establishing Graham Fuller as one of Gulen's official references to the court for his residency, you can view some of thesehere,here,here. This quote comes fromForeign Policy Journal:

Fethullah Gulen became a green card holder despite serious opposition from FBI and from Homeland Security Department. Former CIA officers (formally and informally) such as Graham Fuller and Morton Abromovitz were some of the prominent references in Gulen's green card application.

And Stein let that slide?! I'd quickly ask: 'how often do you write to the FBI on people you think have been unfairly targeted or treated by them?!' Last but not least on Graham Fuller is my own on-the-record, more accurately, on-the-album,namingof individuals implicated (criminally) in my case, thus protected via invocation of the State Secrets Privilege:'...


Then the following excerpt from anarticleI wrote in 2010:

After years of investigating him the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, due to his guardian angels in the State Department and the CIA, are prevented from bringing an indictment against him, so they try to kick him out of the US. But once again Gulen's CIA angels step in and portray Gulen as a scholar, despite the fact that Fethullah Gulen doesn't even have a high-school diploma and never went beyond the 5th grade. Among his angels who vouched for him were Graham Fuller, George Fidas, and Morton Abramowitz.

And this excerpt from anotherrelated articleI wrote in 2010:

You may remember one of these foreign policy makers from my State Secrets Privilege Gallery and my under oath testimony in the Krikorian case. Here is a quote from Graham A. Fuller, former Deputy Director of the CIA's National Council on Intelligence:

'The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.'

Andthisfrom another commentary I wrote on the Gulen-CIA nexus:

No one is daring to mention one of his top backers in the US, another butler of Israel,Mort Abramowitz, or and how Abramowitz vouched for Gulen during his deportation hearing. No one is talking about Gulen's other CIA bodyguard,Graham Fuller. No 'real' questions on Gulen's 'real' sources of multibillion dollar funding'...No emphasis on Gulen's real role for the real US decision-makers' use, and their strategy for Central Asia since 1997'...

Some of these reporters have their hands tied by their MSM editors. Some of the semi- independent journalists have fallen for the creators of the smoke and mirrors. And others are simply guided by ignorance and utter dumbness emboldened by their arrogance. Well, they are just the latest being sold and fed garbage when it comes to Gulen.


If you haven't watched our Operation Gladio series, please do so now: Sibel Edmonds on Operation GladioPart I,Part II,Part III,Part IV,Part V. And I urge you to watch and disseminate the following video interview on my analysis linking the CIA & the Boston Terror Case:

You can check out our latest updates on this casehere,hereandhere.Let's watch and observe the coverage, or lack of, pertaining to CIA's Graham Fuller and his three-decade long connections to CIA-Made terror in the Caucasus and Central Asia. I suspect we will not be seeing any coverage with substance. You will not find a single media outlet in the United States that would dare expose what I exposed several years ago on Graham Fuller's major role in my State Secrets Privilege Case, in black operations in the Caucasus and Central Asia, and in the propping and handling of infamous Islamic Imam Fethullah Gulen and his $20+ Billion Dollar network of NGO's in the US.

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The Ties That Bind Washington to Chechen Terrorists -

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Archived Version

Sat, 27 Apr 2013 11:36

by Wayne MadsenGlobal ResearchApril 26, 2013

Evidence is mounting that the accused dead Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, allegedly killed during an April 19 shootout with police in Watertown, Massachusetts, became a radicalized>> Muslim while participating in a covert CIA program, run through the Republic of Georgia, to destabilize Russia's North Caucasus region'... The ultimate goal of the CIA's campaign was for the Muslim inhabitants of the region to declare independence from Moscow and tilt toward the U.S. Wahhabi Muslim-run governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The Western corporate media largely ignored an important story reported from Izvestia in Moscow: that Tamerlan Tsarnaev attended seminars run by the Caucasus Fund of Georgia, a group affiliated with the neo-conservative think tank, the Jamestown Foundation, between January and July 2012. The U.S. media reported that during this six month time frame, Tsarnaev was being radicalized by Dagestan radical imam Abu Dudzhan>>, killed in a fight with Russian security forces in 2012. Tsarnaev also visited Dagestan in 2011.

However, in documents leaked from the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs' Counterintelligence Department, Tsarnaev is pinpointed as being in Tbilisi taking part in seminars>> organized by the Caucasus Fund, founded during the Georgian-South Ossetian war of 2008, a war started when Georgian troops invaded the pro-Russian Republic of South Ossetia during the Beijing Olympics. Georgia was supported militarily and with intelligence support by the United States and Israel, and the American support included U.S. Special Forces advisers on the ground in Georgia. The Georgian intelligence documents indicate Tsarnaev attended the Jamestown Foundation seminars in Tbilisi.

The Jamestown Foundation is part of a neo-conservative network that re-branded itself after the Cold War from being anti-Soviet and anti-Communist to one that is anti-Russian and ''pro-democracy.'' The network not only consists of Jamestown and the Caucasus Fund but also other groups funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Open Society Institute (OSI).

Georgia has become a nexus for the U.S. aid to the Russian opposition trying to oust President Vladimir Putin and his supporters from power. In March [2010], Georgia sponsored, with CIA, OSI, and British MI-6 funds, a conference titled 'Hidden Nations, Enduring Crimes: The Circassians and the People of the North Caucasus Between Past and Future.' Georgia and its CIA, OSI, and British intelligence allies are funneling cash and other support for secessionism by ethnic minorities in Russia, including Circassians, Chechens, Ingushetians, Balkars, Kabardins, Abaza, Tatars, Talysh, and Kumyks>>.

The March 21, 2010 conference in Tbilisi was organized by the Jamestown Foundation and the International School of Caucasus Studies at Ilia State University in Georgia. If Georgian counter-intelligence documents have Tamerlan Tsarnaev attending Jamestown conferences in Tbilisi in 2011, could the Russian FSB have tracked him to the Jamestown Hidden Nations seminar in March 2010? In any event, a year later the FSB decided to contact the FBI about Tsarnaev's ties to terrorists.

The first Russian request to the FBI came via the FBI's Legal Attache's office at the U.S. embassy in Moscow in March 2011. It took the FBI until June of 2011 to conclude that Tamerlan posed no terrorist threat but it did add his name to the Treasury Enforcement Communications System, or TECS, which monitors financial information such as bank accounts held abroad and wire transfers. In September 2011, Russian authorities, once again, alerted the U.S. of their suspicions about Tamerlan. The second alert went to the CIA. By September 2011, Russian security agencies were well aware that the Hidden Nations seminar held a year earlier was a CIA-sponsored event that was supported by the Mikheil Saakashvili government in Georgia and that other similar meetings had been held and were planned, including the one that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was to attend in Tbilisi in January 2012.

At some point in time after the first Russian alert and either before or after the second, the CIA entered Tamerlan's name into the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment list (TIDE), a database with more than 750,000 entries that is maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean, Virginia.

The Jamestown Foundation is a long-standing front operation for the CIA, it being founded, in part, by CIA director William Casey in 1984. The organization was used as an employer for high-ranking Soviet bloc defectors, including the Soviet Undersecretary General of the UN Arkady Shevchenko and Romanian intelligence official Ion Pacepa. The Russian domestic Federal Security Bureau and the SVR foreign intelligence agency have long suspected Jamestown of helping to foment rebellions in Chechnya, Ingushetia, and other north Caucasus republics. The March 21 Tbilisi conference on the north Caucasus a few days before the Moscow train bombings has obviously added to the suspicions of the FSB and SVR.

Jamestown's board includes such Cold War era individuals as Marcia Carlucci; wife of Frank Carlucci, the former CIA officer, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of The Carlyle Group [Frank Carlucci was also one of those who requested the U.S. government to allow former Chechen Republic 'Foreign Minister' Ilyas Akhmadov, accused by the Russians of terrorist ties, to be granted political asylum in the U.S. after a veto from the Homeland Security and Justice Departments], anti-Communist book and magazine publisher Alfred Regnery; and Caspar Weinberger's Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Kathleen Troia KT>> McFarland. Also on the board is former Oklahoma GOP Governor Frank Keating, the governor at the time of the 1995 Murrah Federal Building bombing.

Cooperating with Jamestown in not only its north and south Caucasus information operations, but also in Moldovan, Belarusian, Uighur, and Uzbekistan affairs, is the ubiquitous Open Society Institute (OSI), another cipher for U.S. intelligence and global banking interests. OSI's Central Eurasia Project has sponsored a number of panels and seminars with Jamestown.

Russian security indicated in their first communication with the FBI that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had changed drastically since 2010. That change came after the Hidden Nations conference in Tbilisi. U.S. support for Chechen and North Caucasus secession came as a result of a public statement on August 2008 by GOP presidential candidate John McCain that after Russia illegally recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Western countries ought to think about the independence of the North Caucasus and Chechnya>>.

Upon becoming President in 2009, Barack Obama adopted McCain's proposal and authorized CIA support for North Caucasus secessionists and terrorists with money laundered through the USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Open Society Institute, Freedom House, and the Jamestown Foundation. In January 2012, Obama appointed an OSI activist and neocon, Michael McFaul of the right-wing Hoover Institution at Stanford University, as U.S. ambassador to Moscow. McFaul immediately threw open the doors of the U.S. embassy to a variety of Russian dissidents, including secessionists from the North Caucasus, some of whom were suspected by the Russian FSB of ties to Islamist terrorists.

Whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev was always a CIA asset and participated in a ''false flag'' operation in Boston and became an unwitting ''patsy'' in a CIA plot, much like ''U.S. Marine ''defector'' to the Soviet Union Lee Harvey Oswald became a ''patsy'' in President Kennedy's assassination, or he was indeed radicalized in an attempt to infiltrate him into the ranks of the Caucasus Emirate and decided to defect and carry out a terrorist attack against the United States may never be known. If the latter is the case, Tsarnaev is much like Osama Bin Laden, once a CIA fighter in the field in Afghanistan who allegedly decided to launch a jihad against the United States. If Tsarnaev was a ''patsy'' like Oswald, that might explain the setting off of an incendiary device at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston ten minutes after the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon. After Boston Police stated the fire was caused by an explosion, the Boston Fire Department went into cover-up mode and tried to claim the fire could have been caused by someone tossing a cigarette on to flammable material.

Sherry Turkle

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Archived Version

Sat, 27 Apr 2013 17:10

Sherry Turkle is Abby Rockefeller Mauz(C) Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT and the founder (2001) and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. Professor Turkle received a joint doctorate in sociology and personality psychology from Harvard University and is a licensed clinical psychologist.

Professor Turkle is the author of Psychoanalytic Politics: JacquesLacan and Freud's French Revolution (Basic Books, 1978; MIT Press paper, 1981; second revised edition, Guilford Press, 1992); TheSecond Self: Computers and the Human Spirit (Simon and Schuster, 1984; Touchstone paper, 1985; second revised edition, MIT Press, 2005); Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet (Simon and Schuster, 1995; Touchstone paper, 1997); and Simulation and Its Discontents (MIT Press, 2009). She is the editor of three books about things and thinking, all published by the MIT Press: Evocative Objects: Things We Think With (2007); Falling for Science: Objects in Mind (2008); and The Inner History of Devices (2008).

Professor Turkle's most recent book is Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, published by Basic Books in January 2011. For media inquiries, go to:

Professor Turkle writes on the "subjective side" of people's relationships with technology, especially computers. She is an expert on mobile technology, social networking, and sociable robotics. Profiles of Professor Turkle have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Scientific American, and Wired Magazine. She has been named "woman of the year" by Ms. Magazine and among the "forty under forty" who are changing the nation by Esquire Magazine. She is a featured media commentator on the social and psychological effects of technology for CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, the BBC, and NPR, including appearances on such programs as Nightline, Frontline, 20/20, and The Colbert Report.

Now officials claim Boston bombing suspect was NOT armed in boat showdown - despite police account of firefight and him 'shooting himself'.

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Archived Version

Source: WT news feed

Thu, 25 Apr 2013 21:49

Officials now claim that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was unarmed as he hid in boat in WatertownContradicts Boston Police Commissioner's account of hour-long firefight with TsarnaevNew York Times said M4 rifle had been found on boatPolice sources suggested Tsarnaev shot himself onboardBy Associated Press and Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 20:53 EST, 24 April 2013 | UPDATED: 03:23 EST, 25 April 2013

Two unnamed U.S. officials have told the Associated Press that the surviving suspect in the Boston bombings was unarmed when police captured him hiding inside a boat in a neighborhood back yard.

The report contradicts the Boston police department's own account of Dzhokar Tsarnaev's capture on Friday - after commissioner Ed Davies described a firefight between him and officers before the terror suspect was captured.

The New York Times also said an M4 rifle had been found on the boat - another claim contradicted by the latest revelations.

Officers had originally said they had exchanged gunfire with Tsarnaev for more than one hour Friday evening before they were able to subdue him.

But on Wednesday, the law enforcement officials told the AP that no gun was found aboard the vessel.

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Hidden: Authorities say that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was not armed as he hid in this boat in a Watertown, Massachusetts backyard

Hideout: Dzhokhar was found hiding in this boat in Watertown on Friday following a massive manhunt

Apprehended: Dzhokhar is searched and given medical attention after he is found hiding on Friday evening

It also contradicts many media accounts of Tsarnaev's final moments of freedom.

The New York Timesreported that an M-4 carbine rifle - similar to the weapon used by American troops fighting in Afghanistan - was found aboard the boat and that officials had recovered two handguns and a bb gun used by the two brothers.

The throat wound sustained by Tsaernev was also said by numerous law enforcement sources to be self inflicted.

Sources told Newsday that Tsarnaev's bullet wound looked to be self-inflicted, due to the location of Tsarnaev's wound and the trajectory of the bullet.

And Reuters reported that the suspect was shot through the mouth by a round that exited through his neck.

Dozens of bullet holes were seen on the exterior of the boat in photos taken shortly after the final standoff in the Watertown backyard.

The officials told the AP that say investigators only recovered a 9 mm handgun believed to have been used by Tsarnaev's brother, Tamerlan, from the site of a gun battle Thursday night, which injured a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer.

Thermal imaging shows Dzhokhar's final moments before arrest

Trawl: On Monday, a police forensics team examined the boat where Dzhokhar was found hiding

Scene: He was found cowering in the boat after its owner realized its straps had moved on Friday evening

Dzhokhar was believed to have been shot before he escaped.

The officials tell The Associated Press that no gun was found in the boat.

Investigators have said the brothers appeared to have been radicalized through jihadist materials on the Internet and have found no evidence tying them to a terrorist group.

Dzhokhar told the FBI that they were angry about the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the killing of Muslims there, officials said.

How much of those conversations will end up in court is unclear.

Rip: An FBI officer stands in front of the boat where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, was hiding inside

The FBI normally tells suspects they have the right to remain silent before questioning them so all their statements can be used against them.

Under pressure from Congress, however, the Department of Justice has said investigators may wait until they have gathered intelligence about other threats before reading those rights in terrorism cases.

The American Civil Liberties Union has expressed concern about that.

Regardless, investigators have found pieces of remote-control equipment among the debris and were analyzing them, officials said.

One official described the detonator as 'close-controlled,' meaning it had to be triggered within several blocks of the bombs.

Ministry of Truth

The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever | Politics News | Rolling Stone

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Archived Version

Fri, 26 Apr 2013 11:03

Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.

You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three '' and perhaps as many as 16 '' of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that's trillion, with a "t") worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history '' MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it "dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets."

That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world's largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.

Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It's about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.

It should surprise no one that among the players implicated in this scheme to fix the prices of interest-rate swaps are the same megabanks '' including Barclays, UBS, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland '' that serve on the Libor panel that sets global interest rates. In fact, in recent years many of these banks have already paid multimillion-dollar settlements for anti-competitive manipulation of one form or another (in addition to Libor, some were caught up in an anti-competitive scheme, detailed in Rolling Stone last year, to rig municipal-debt service auctions). Though the jumble of financial acronyms sounds like gibberish to the layperson, the fact that there may now be price-fixing scandals involving both Libor and ISDAfix suggests a single, giant mushrooming conspiracy of collusion and price-fixing hovering under the ostensibly competitive veneer of Wall Street culture.

The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia

Why? Because Libor already affects the prices of interest-rate swaps, making this a manipulation-on-manipulation situation. If the allegations prove to be right, that will mean that swap customers have been paying for two different layers of price-fixing corruption. If you can imagine paying 20 bucks for a crappy PB&J because some evil cabal of agribusiness companies colluded to fix the prices of both peanuts and peanut butter, you come close to grasping the lunacy of financial markets where both interest rates and interest-rate swaps are being manipulated at the same time, often by the same banks.

"It's a double conspiracy," says an amazed Michael Greenberger, a former director of the trading and markets division at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and now a professor at the University of Maryland. "It's the height of criminality."

The bad news didn't stop with swaps and interest rates. In March, it also came out that two regulators '' the CFTC here in the U.S. and the Madrid-based International Organization of Securities Commissions '' were spurred by the Libor revelations to investigate the possibility of collusive manipulation of gold and silver prices. "Given the clubby manipulation efforts we saw in Libor benchmarks, I assume other benchmarks '' many other benchmarks '' are legit areas of inquiry," CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton said.

But the biggest shock came out of a federal courtroom at the end of March '' though if you follow these matters closely, it may not have been so shocking at all '' when a landmark class-action civil lawsuit against the banks for Libor-related offenses was dismissed. In that case, a federal judge accepted the banker-defendants' incredible argument: If cities and towns and other investors lost money because of Libor manipulation, that was their own fault for ever thinking the banks were competing in the first place.

"A farce," was one antitrust lawyer's response to the eyebrow-raising dismissal.

"Incredible," says Sylvia Sokol, an attorney for Constantine Cannon, a firm that specializes in antitrust cases.

All of these stories collectively pointed to the same thing: These banks, which already possess enormous power just by virtue of their financial holdings '' in the United States, the top six banks, many of them the same names you see on the Libor and ISDAfix panels, own assets equivalent to 60 percent of the nation's GDP '' are beginning to realize the awesome possibilities for increased profit and political might that would come with colluding instead of competing. Moreover, it's increasingly clear that both the criminal justice system and the civil courts may be impotent to stop them, even when they do get caught working together to game the system.

If true, that would leave us living in an era of undisguised, real-world conspiracy, in which the prices of currencies, commodities like gold and silver, even interest rates and the value of money itself, can be and may already have been dictated from above. And those who are doing it can get away with it. Forget the Illuminati '' this is the real thing, and it's no secret. You can stare right at it, anytime you want.

The banks found a loophole, a basic flaw in the machine. Across the financial system, there are places where prices or official indices are set based upon unverified data sent in by private banks and financial companies. In other words, we gave the players with incentives to game the system institutional roles in the economic infrastructure.

Libor, which measures the prices banks charge one another to borrow money, is a perfect example, not only of this basic flaw in the price-setting system but of the weakness in the regulatory framework supposedly policing it. Couple a voluntary reporting scheme with too-big-to-fail status and a revolving-door legal system, and what you get is unstoppable corruption.

Every morning, 18 of the world's biggest banks submit data to an office in London about how much they believe they would have to pay to borrow from other banks. The 18 banks together are called the "Libor panel," and when all of these data from all 18 panelist banks are collected, the numbers are averaged out. What emerges, every morning at 11:30 London time, are the daily Libor figures.

Banks submit numbers about borrowing in 10 different currencies across 15 different time periods, e.g., loans as short as one day and as long as one year. This mountain of bank-submitted data is used every day to create benchmark rates that affect the prices of everything from credit cards to mortgages to currencies to commercial loans (both short- and long-term) to swaps.

Gangster Bankers Broke Every Law in the Book

Dating back perhaps as far as the early Nineties, traders and others inside these banks were sometimes calling up the company geeks responsible for submitting the daily Libor numbers (the "Libor submitters") and asking them to fudge the numbers. Usually, the gimmick was the trader had made a bet on something '' a swap, currencies, something '' and he wanted the Libor submitter to make the numbers look lower (or, occasionally, higher) to help his bet pay off.

Famously, one Barclays trader monkeyed with Libor submissions in exchange for a bottle of Bollinger champagne, but in some cases, it was even lamer than that. This is from an exchange between a trader and a Libor submitter at the Royal Bank of Scotland:

SWISS FRANC TRADER: can u put 6m swiss libor in low pls?...PRIMARY SUBMITTER: Whats it worthSWSISS FRANC TRADER: ive got some sushi rolls from yesterday?...PRIMARY SUBMITTER: ok low 6m, just for uSWISS FRANC TRADER: wooooooohooooooo.'‰.'‰. thatd be awesome

Screwing around with world interest rates that affect billions of people in exchange for day-old sushi '' it's hard to imagine an image that better captures the moral insanity of the modern financial-services sector.

Hundreds of similar exchanges were uncovered when regulators like Britain's Financial Services Authority and the U.S. Justice Department started burrowing into the befouled entrails of Libor. The documentary evidence of anti-competitive manipulation they found was so overwhelming that, to read it, one almost becomes embarrassed for the banks. "It's just amazing how Libor fixing can make you that much money," chirped one yen trader. "Pure manipulation going on," wrote another.

Yet despite so many instances of at least attempted manipulation, the banks mostly skated. Barclays got off with a relatively minor fine in the $450 million range, UBS was stuck with $1.5 billion in penalties, and RBS was forced to give up $615 million. Apart from a few low-level flunkies overseas, no individual involved in this scam that impacted nearly everyone in the industrialized world was even threatened with criminal prosecution.

Two of America's top law-enforcement officials, Attorney General Eric Holder and former Justice Department Criminal Division chief Lanny Breuer, confessed that it's dangerous to prosecute offending banks because they are simply too big. Making arrests, they say, might lead to "collateral consequences" in the economy.

The relatively small sums of money extracted in these settlements did not go toward reparations for the cities, towns and other victims who lost money due to Libor manipulation. Instead, it flowed mindlessly into government coffers. So it was left to towns and cities like Baltimore (which lost money due to fluctuations in their municipal investments caused by Libor movements), pensions like the New Britain, Connecticut, Firefighters' and Police Benefit Fund, and other foundations '' and even individuals (billionaire real-estate developer Sheldon Solow, who filed his own suit in February, claims that his company lost $450 million because of Libor manipulation) '' to sue the banks for damages.

One of the biggest Libor suits was proceeding on schedule when, early in March, an army of superstar lawyers working on behalf of the banks descended upon federal judge Naomi Buchwald in the Southern District of New York to argue an extraordinary motion to dismiss. The banks' legal dream team drew from heavyweight Beltway-connected firms like Boies Schiller (you remember David Boies represented Al Gore), Davis Polk (home of top ex-regulators like former SEC enforcement chief Linda Thomsen) and Covington & Burling, the onetime private-practice home of both Holder and Breuer.

The presence of Covington & Burling in the suit '' representing, of all companies, Citigroup, the former employer of current Treasury Secretary Jack Lew '' was particularly galling. Right as the Libor case was being dismissed, the firm had hired none other than Lanny Breuer, the same Lanny Breuer who, just a few months before, was the assistant attorney general who had balked at criminally prosecuting UBS over Libor because, he said, "Our goal here is not to destroy a major financial institution."

In any case, this all-star squad of white-shoe lawyers came before Buchwald and made the mother of all audacious arguments. Robert Wise of Davis Polk, representing Bank of America, told Buchwald that the banks could not possibly be guilty of anti- competitive collusion because nobody ever said that the creation of Libor was competitive. "It is essential to our argument that this is not a competitive process," he said. "The banks do not compete with one another in the submission of Libor."

If you squint incredibly hard and look at the issue through a mirror, maybe while standing on your head, you can sort of see what Wise is saying. In a very theoretical, technical sense, the actual process by which banks submit Libor data '' 18 geeks sending numbers to the British Bankers' Association offices in London once every morning '' is not competitive per se.

But these numbers are supposed to reflect interbank-loan prices derived in a real, competitive market. Saying the Libor submission process is not competitive is sort of like pointing out that bank robbers obeyed the speed limit on the way to the heist. It's the silliest kind of legal sophistry.

But Wise eventually outdid even that argument, essentially saying that while the banks may have lied to or cheated their customers, they weren't guilty of the particular crime of antitrust collusion. This is like the old joke about the lawyer who gets up in court and claims his client had to be innocent, because his client was committing a crime in a different state at the time of the offense.

"The plaintiffs, I believe, are confusing a claim of being perhaps deceived," he said, "with a claim for harm to competition."

Judge Buchwald swallowed this lunatic argument whole and dismissed most of the case. Libor, she said, was a "cooperative endeavor" that was "never intended to be competitive." Her decision "does not reflect the reality of this business, where all of these banks were acting as competitors throughout the process," said the antitrust lawyer Sokol. Buchwald made this ruling despite the fact that both the U.S. and British governments had already settled with three banks for billions of dollars for improper manipulation, manipulation that these companies admitted to in their settlements.

Michael Hausfeld of Hausfeld LLP, one of the lead lawyers for the plaintiffs in this Libor suit, declined to comment specifically on the dismissal. But he did talk about the significance of the Libor case and other manipulation cases now in the pipeline.

"It's now evident that there is a ubiquitous culture among the banks to collude and cheat their customers as many times as they can in as many forms as they can conceive," he said. "And that's not just surmising. This is just based upon what they've been caught at."

Greenberger says the lack of serious consequences for the Libor scandal has only made other kinds of manipulation more inevitable. "There's no therapy like sending those who are used to wearing Gucci shoes to jail," he says. "But when the attorney general says, 'I don't want to indict people,' it's the Wild West. There's no law."

The problem is, a number of markets feature the same infrastructural weakness that failed in the Libor mess. In the case of interest-rate swaps and the ISDAfix benchmark, the system is very similar to Libor, although the investigation into these markets reportedly focuses on some different types of improprieties.

Though interest-rate swaps are not widely understood outside the finance world, the root concept actually isn't that hard. If you can imagine taking out a variable-rate mortgage and then paying a bank to make your loan payments fixed, you've got the basic idea of an interest-rate swap.

In practice, it might be a country like Greece or a regional government like Jefferson County, Alabama, that borrows money at a variable rate of interest, then later goes to a bank to "swap" that loan to a more predictable fixed rate. In its simplest form, the customer in a swap deal is usually paying a premium for the safety and security of fixed interest rates, while the firm selling the swap is usually betting that it knows more about future movements in interest rates than its customers.

Prices for interest-rate swaps are often based on ISDAfix, which, like Libor, is yet another of these privately calculated benchmarks. ISDAfix's U.S. dollar rates are published every day, at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., after a gang of the same usual-suspect megabanks (Bank of America, RBS, Deutsche, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, etc.) submits information about bids and offers for swaps.

And here's what we know so far: The CFTC has sent subpoenas to ICAP and to as many as 15 of those member banks, and plans to interview about a dozen ICAP employees from the company's office in Jersey City, New Jersey. Moreover, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, or ISDA, which works together with ICAP (for U.S. dollar transactions) and Thomson Reuters to compute the ISDAfix benchmark, has hired the consulting firm Oliver Wyman to review the process by which ISDAfix is calculated. Oliver Wyman is the same company that the British Bankers' Association hired to review the Libor submission process after that scandal broke last year. The upshot of all of this is that it looks very much like ISDAfix could be Libor all over again.

"It's obviously reminiscent of the Libor manipulation issue," Darrell Duffie, a finance professor at Stanford University, told reporters. "People may have been naive that simply reporting these rates was enough to avoid manipulation."

And just like in Libor, the potential losers in an interest-rate-swap manipulation scandal would be the same sad-sack collection of cities, towns, companies and other nonbank entities that have no way of knowing if they're paying the real price for swaps or a price being manipulated by bank insiders for profit. Moreover, ISDAfix is not only used to calculate prices for interest-rate swaps, it's also used to set values for about $550 billion worth of bonds tied to commercial real estate, and also affects the payouts on some state-pension annuities.

So although it's not quite as widespread as Libor, ISDAfix is sufficiently power-jammed into the world financial infrastructure that any manipulation of the rate would be catastrophic '' and a huge class of victims that could include everyone from state pensioners to big cities to wealthy investors in structured notes would have no idea they were being robbed.

"How is some municipality in Cleveland or wherever going to know if it's getting ripped off?" asks Michael Masters of Masters Capital Management, a fund manager who has long been an advocate of greater transparency in the derivatives world. "The answer is, they won't know."

Worse still, the CFTC investigation apparently isn't limited to possible manipulation of swap prices by monkeying around with ISDAfix. According to reports, the commission is also looking at whether or not employees at ICAP may have intentionally delayed publication of swap prices, which in theory could give someone (bankers, cough, cough) a chance to trade ahead of the information.

Swap prices are published when ICAP employees manually enter the data on a computer screen called "19901." Some 6,000 customers subscribe to a service that allows them to access the data appearing on the 19901 screen.

The key here is that unlike a more transparent, regulated market like the New York Stock Exchange, where the results of stock trades are computed more or less instantly and everyone in theory can immediately see the impact of trading on the prices of stocks, in the swap market the whole world is dependent upon a handful of brokers quickly and honestly entering data about trades by hand into a computer terminal.

Any delay in entering price data would provide the banks involved in the transactions with a rare opportunity to trade ahead of the information. One way to imagine it would be to picture a racetrack where a giant curtain is pulled over the track as the horses come down the stretch '' and the gallery is only told two minutes later which horse actually won. Anyone on the right side of the curtain could make a lot of smart bets before the audience saw the results of the race.

At ICAP, the interest-rate swap desk, and the 19901 screen, were reportedly controlled by a small group of 20 or so brokers, some of whom were making millions of dollars. These brokers made so much money for themselves the unit was nicknamed "Treasure Island."

Already, there are some reports that brokers of Treasure Island did create such intentional delays. Bloomberg interviewed a former broker who claims that he watched ICAP brokers delay the reporting of swap prices. "That allows dealers to tell the brokers to delay putting trades into the system instead of in real time," Bloomberg wrote, noting the former broker had "witnessed such activity firsthand." An ICAP spokesman has no comment on the story, though the company has released a statement saying that it is "cooperating" with the CFTC's inquiry and that it "maintains policies that prohibit" the improper behavior alleged in news reports.

The idea that prices in a $379 trillion market could be dependent on a desk of about 20 guys in New Jersey should tell you a lot about the absurdity of our financial infrastructure. The whole thing, in fact, has a darkly comic element to it. "It's almost hilarious in the irony," says David Frenk, director of research for Better Markets, a financial-reform advocacy group, "that they called it ISDAfix."

After scandals involving libor and, perhaps, ISDAfix, the question that should have everyone freaked out is this: What other markets out there carry the same potential for manipulation? The answer to that question is far from reassuring, because the potential is almost everywhere. From gold to gas to swaps to interest rates, prices all over the world are dependent upon little private cabals of cigar-chomping insiders we're forced to trust.

"In all the over-the-counter markets, you don't really have pricing except by a bunch of guys getting together," Masters notes glumly.

That includes the markets for gold (where prices are set by five banks in a Libor-ish teleconferencing process that, ironically, was created in part by N M Rothschild & Sons) and silver (whose price is set by just three banks), as well as benchmark rates in numerous other commodities '' jet fuel, diesel, electric power, coal, you name it. The problem in each of these markets is the same: We all have to rely upon the honesty of companies like Barclays (already caught and fined $453 million for rigging Libor) or JPMorgan Chase (paid a $228 million settlement for rigging municipal-bond auctions) or UBS (fined a collective $1.66 billion for both muni-bond rigging and Libor manipulation) to faithfully report the real prices of things like interest rates, swaps, currencies and commodities.

All of these benchmarks based on voluntary reporting are now being looked at by regulators around the world, and God knows what they'll find. The European Federation of Financial Services Users wrote in an official EU survey last summer that all of these systems are ripe targets for manipulation. "In general," it wrote, "those markets which are based on non-attested, voluntary submission of data from agents whose benefits depend on such benchmarks are especially vulnerable of market abuse and distortion."

Translation: When prices are set by companies that can profit by manipulating them, we're fucked.

"You name it," says Frenk. "Any of these benchmarks is a possibility for corruption."

The only reason this problem has not received the attention it deserves is because the scale of it is so enormous that ordinary people simply cannot see it. It's not just stealing by reaching a hand into your pocket and taking out money, but stealing in which banks can hit a few keystrokes and magically make whatever's in your pocket worth less. This is corruption at the molecular level of the economy, Space Age stealing '' and it's only just coming into view.

This story is from the May 9th, 2013 issue of Rolling Stone.

PBS Drops Another Bombshell: Wall Street Is Gobbling Up Two-Thirds of Your 401(k)

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Archived Version

Fri, 26 Apr 2013 11:37

By Pam Martens: April 25, 2013

Frontline Chart Showing Impact of 401(k) Fees Over 50 Years of Saving for Retirement

If you work for 50 years and receive the typical long-term return of 7 percent on your 401(k) plan and your fees are 2 percent, almost two-thirds of your account will go to Wall Street. This was the bombshell dropped by Frontline's Martin Smith in this Tuesday evening's PBS program, The Retirement Gamble.

This is not so much a gamble as a certainty: under a 2 percent 401(k) fee structure, almost two-thirds of your working life will go toward paying obscene compensation to Wall Street; a little over one-third will benefit your family '' and that's before paying taxes on withdrawals to Uncle Sam.

To put it another way '' you work for Wall Street. You are their slave, their lackey and as long as their toadies dominate in Congress, nothing is going to change on the legislative front to stop the looting. Wall Street seized millions of homes through illegal foreclosures and stripped the equity from the owners. They got away with it. Some Wall Street firms further enriched themselves making bets that the housing market would collapse, using their inside knowledge of the bogus loans they had made. They got away with that also. Now Wall Street is busy asset stripping the retirement plans of the working class in America while President Obama proposes to cut Social Security benefits through a discredited calculation called Chained CPI '' conveniently causing people to save more in their 401(k) plans to make up for the potential loss. But the more you save, the more Wall Street asset strips.

The Retirement Gamble was written by the outstanding team of Martin Smith and Marcela Gaviria, who exposed in January that when it came to Wall Street, the U.S. Justice Department had ''no investigations going on. There were no subpoenas, no document reviews, no wiretaps.'' The head of the criminal division of the Justice Department, Lanny Breuer, announced he was stepping down one day after that program aired. He returned to Covington & Burling, the corporate law firm representing Wall Street firms.

The revelation of the two-thirds wealth transfer machinery was delivered by none other than John Bogle, the legendary founder of The Vanguard Group, a low-load mutual fund firm, who served as its Chairman and CEO from 1974 to 1996. Bogle is no slouch. He's one of the most highly respected men in finance and graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in Economics.

This is the relevant portion of the transcript from the program:

Bogle: Costs are a crucial part of the equation. It doesn't take a genius to know that the bigger the profit of the management company, the smaller the profit that investors get. The money managers always want more, and that's natural enough in most businesses, but it's not right for this business.

Smith: Bogle gave me an example. Assume you're invested in a fund that is earning a gross annual return of 7 percent. They charge you a 2 percent annual fee. Over 50 years, the difference between your net of 5 percent '-- the red line '-- and what you would have made without fees '-- the green line '-- is staggering. Bogle says you've lost almost two thirds of what you would have had.

Bogle: What happens in the fund business is the magic of compound returns is overwhelmed by the tyranny of compounding costs. It's a mathematical fact. There's no getting around it. The fact that we don't look at it'-- too bad for us.

Smith: What I have a hard time understanding is that 2 percent fee that I might pay to an actively managed mutual fund is going to really have a great impact on my future retirement savings.

Bogle: Well, you have to rely on somebody to get out a compound interest table and look at the impact over an investment lifetime. Do you really want to invest in a system where you put up 100 percent of the capital, you the mutual fund shareholder, you take 100 percent of the risk and you get 30 percent of the return?

Smith takes Bogle's advice and pulls up a compounding calculator on his laptop. On air, he shows the viewer the results:

Smith: Take an account with a $100,000 balance and reduce it by 2 percent a year. At the end of 50 years, that 2 percent annual charge would subtract $63,000 from your account, a loss of 63 percent, leaving you with just a little over $36,000.

There's another way to prove the point. Pull up a compounding calculator on line. Take an account with a $100,000 balance and compound it at 7 percent for 50 years. That gives you a return of $ 3,278,041.36. Now change the calculation to a 5 percent return (reduced by the 2 percent annual fee) for the same $100,000 over the same 50 years. That delivers a return of $1,211,938.32. That's a difference of $2,066,103.04 '' the same 63 percent reduction in value that Smith's example showed.

Presently, 70 percent of Americans who have any kind of retirement plan at their place of employment have a 401(k) plan. Not everyone is paying 2 percent fees. Some are paying more and others are paying less '' sometimes much less if using passively managed index funds. But, historically, Wall Street has preyed on the least informed and the least educated, which tends to be the poor and middle class.

Consider the testimony of Gail Kubiniec, a former Assistant Manager at CitiFinancial, a unit of mega Wall Street firm Citigroup, to the Federal Trade Commission in 2001 concerning the premise on which she loaded on extra charges to loans:

''I and other employees would often determine how much insurance could be sold to a borrower based on the borrower's occupation, race, age, and education level. If someone appeared uneducated, inarticulate, was a minority, or was particularly old or young, I would try to include all the coverages CitiFinancial offered. The more gullible the consumer appeared, the more coverages I would try to include in the loan'...''

The Retirement Gamble can be viewed in its entirety here.

Techno Expert$

Researchers Call Out Twitter Celebrities With Suspicious Followings -

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Archived Version

Sat, 27 Apr 2013 09:25

Security researchers recently shed a bright light on the multimillion-dollar underground market for fake Twitter followers. Now, they are highlighting what they believe to be some of the market's high-profile clientele.

In a follow-up to their earlier report, two Italian security researchers, Andrea Stroppa and Carlo De Micheli, call out Twitter accounts that added or lost a large number of followers in one day. Their list includes brands like Pepsi, Mercedes-Benz and Louis Vuitton; politicians like Newt Gingrich, Representative Jared Polis and Dmitri Medvedev, the Russian prime minister; and the rappers 50 Cent and Sean Combs, known as Diddy.

Social media experts say there are several reasons why Twitter users would want to acquire large volumes of Twitter followers. For some people, it simply feeds the ego. For people and brands, a large Twitter following or Facebook fan base helps increase their visibility. If followers are constantly clicking on links to a brand's landing page, it also lifts the brand's position in Google's search results.

''It's natural for brands to want to build their Twitter and Facebook accounts because they are constantly looking for ways to expand awareness of their products and services and expand opportunities to create consideration of their products compared to others,'' said Susan Etlinger, an industry analyst at the Altimeter Group. ''The more content they publish, and more links people click on, the better their Google search results. ''

Ms. Etlinger added that there was corporate pressure to justify a company's investment in social media. Twitter followers and Facebook ''likes'' offer some of the few seemingly hard metrics in an otherwise squishy realm of social media.

''Many brands struggle to measure the top line value of social media,'' Ms. Etlinger said. ''So there is a thirst to show momentum in different ways, one of which is to show that the brand has a bigger audience today than it did yesterday.''

Some major brands have expressed skepticism about the impact of social media fans and followers. Last month, Coca-Cola, whose flagship brand has over 700,000 Twitter followers and more than 60 million Facebook fans '-- more than any other brand on Facebook '-- said a corporate study found that online buzz had no quantifiable impact on short-term sales.

Social media fans and followers tend to be volatile, brand experts say. They may start following a brand for a specific contest or sweepstakes, then drop off when the campaign ends. But Mr. Stroppa and Mr. De Micheli said the follower changes they charted were drastic enough to warrant suspicion that they were purchased.

For example, Mr. Polis, a Democrat from Colorado with 22,140 Twitter followers on his personal @jaredpolis Twitter account, gained, on average, 15 new followers a day for two years. Then, last July, he added 19,705 new Twitter followers. A few months later, he lost 13,332 Twitter followers in one day.

A representative for Mr. Polis denied he had purchased fake followers and said one explanation for the sudden gains and subsequent losses was a ''follow-back'' campaign. Last July, Mr. Polis said he followed a large number of new people from his personal account and asked them to follow him back. In March, he said he stopped following those accounts because he was becoming frustrated by the lack of relevant content in his Twitter feed. He now follows only 2,200 people. He surmised that a large number of followers may have stopped following him, too.

But Mr. De Micheli said that reasoning does not justify the sudden 19,705 jump in Mr. Polis's followers in one day. Twitter's own policy prevents users from following over 1,000 new people a day: ''Every Twitter account is technically unable to follow more than 1,000 users per day,'' Twitter says on its Web site. ''Please note that this is just a technical limit to prevent egregious abuse from spam accounts.''

As for the sudden drop, Mr. De Micheli said it would be extremely rare for 13,332 followers to stop following the congressman on the same day. To have them stop following his account, Mr. Polis would have had to block 13,332 people manually, since the only way to stop an account from following you is to manually block it.

''Nearly the exact amount of followers 'magically appeared,' then disappeared,'' Mr. De Micheli said. He suggested that the losses was more likely due to Twitter, which routinely deactivates accounts it deems fake. He said Mr. Polis's follower drop matched ''what the typical 'low quality' fake followers acquisition-drop graph looks like'' when Twitter deletes those accounts.

The researchers also call out Diddy, whose verified @iamdiddy account gained 185,399 Twitter followers one day last June '-- a 3,063 percent increase from the account's average daily gain '-- and then inexplicably lost 393,665 followers one day last month, 6,504 percent more that his average daily follower loss. A representative for Mr. Combs did not return a request for comment.

Likewise, 50 Cent lost more than 190,342 Twitter followers over the course of one day last January, a 5,370 percent jump from his average daily follower loss. A representative for 50 Cent did not respond to a request for comment.

Mercedes added 28,283 followers one day in October 2012 '-- a 20,992 percent jump from the brand's average daily follower gain. A spokesman for Mercedes did not respond to a request for comment.

Likewise, Pepsi added 71,686 Twitter followers one day in November 2011 and has not added that number of Twitter followers in one day since. Before the bump, Pepsi followers trailed the number of people who followed Coca-Cola, which had more linear growth. After the bump, Pepsi's followers surpassed Coca-Cola's.

Jeff Dahncke, a spokesman for PepsiCo, said that the bump was because of promotional campaigns. ''The spikes correlate with paid activations with Twitter '-- such as promoted Tweets '-- that were designed to boost our following around key brand activations,'' Mr. Dahncke said, citing a Pepsi summer concert series and ''X Factor'' and N.F.L. promotions that year. ''The followers are validated as real followers and are not fake accounts or bots.''

But the researchers note that a one-day gain of more than 70,000 followers because of a promotional campaign is unlikely. ''The peaks are very high even through traditional advertising, and the shapes of the curves don't really convince us,'' Mr. De Micheli said, that the peaks are due to ''traditional Web advertising.''

Mr. Stroppa said that a major Pepsi partnership with Twitter last year did not result in the same bump. Pepsi's followers looked particularly suspicious when compared to those of Starbucks, one of the longest-running major brands on Twitter. Starbucks regularly advertises on the service and pays to promote its posts. Starbucks' biggest daily follower gain is 17,562, compared to Pepsi's 71,700. (Sixty-six percent of Pepsi's followers are legitimate, according to Status People, an online service that claims to decipher real followers from fake and inactive accounts.)

There are now more than two dozen online services willing to sell fake followers. Based on the number of fake accounts offered through those services '-- excluding overlapping accounts '-- Mr. Stroppa and Mr. De Micheli estimate that there are now more than 20 million fake accounts on Twitter. Those accounts can be sold to multiple buyers. At quoted rates, the two said a conservative estimate is that fake Twitter followers offer potential for a $40 million to $360 million business.

Twitter said discerning real accounts from spam accounts can be difficult. ''Spam is a problem that faces the entire Web,'' said Jim Prosser, a Twitter spokesman. ''We have a variety of manual and automated methods that evolve over time for dealing with spam, and have even sued many of the most prominent spam organizations to keep them off our service. Users can also flag potential spam accounts for our review.''

Ms. Etlinger of Altimeter cautioned brands from dealing in fake followers. ''There will always be people who try to game the system in every nook and cranny of business,'' she said. ''But brands should know that Twitter and Facebook are getting very good at weeding out fake fans and followers. So any gains would just be temporary.''


Cyber War$

Dutch Man Said to Be Arrested in Powerful Internet Attack

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Source: NYT > Home Page

Fri, 26 Apr 2013 16:44

Dutch authorities say they have arrested a man in connection with an online attack on a spam-fighting site that ensnarled the Internet last month, causing widespread congestion and jamming crucial infrastructure around the world.

While the authorities did not give the full name of the man in a statement published on a government Web site, they identified him as ''S.K.'' A source close to the investigation, who was not authorized to speak publicly, confirmed that the arrested man was Sven Olaf Kamphuis, a 35-year-old Dutch man who has been the spokesman of a group that was protesting a European antispam group's tactics.

Spanish police arrested the man on Thursday at his home in Barcelona, at the request of the Dutch police, and seized his computers and mobile phones. He is expected to be sent to the Netherlands. Wim de Bruin, a spokesman for Dutch national prosecutor's office, said "S.K.'' was suspected of playing a role in a wave of attacks that took place last month.

His arrest followed an investigation by authorities in the Netherlands and other European countries into Mr. Kamphuis's involvement in one of the largest attacks on the Internet. Mr. Kamphuis has been suspected of starting a distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attack against Spamhaus, the antispam group. Such attacks are a criminal offense under Dutch law.

Mr. Kamphuis calls himself the ''minister of telecommunications and foreign affairs for the Republic of CyberBunker.'' But many consider him to be the Prince of Spam. He runs CB3ROB, an Internet service provider, and CyberBunker, a Web hosting company that in the past has hosted sites like WikiLeaks and the Pirate Bay, a site accused of abetting digital content piracy.

Antispam groups say they believe CyberBunker acts as a conduit for vast amounts of spam. Last month, Spamhaus, an antispam group based in Geneva, added CyberBunker to its blacklist, which is used by major e-mail providers to block spam.

In the days and weeks that followed the blacklisting, Spamhaus was targeted with an DDOS attack, its site flooded with traffic until it fell offline. After Spamhaus hired a Silicon Valley Internet security firm, CloudFlare, to defend against the attack, the attackers turned their ire on CloudFlare. When attempts to bring down CloudFlare were unsuccessful, the attackers hit back with a far more powerful strike that exploited the Internet's core infrastructure, called the Domain Name System, or D.N.S.

Their attack quickly reached previously unknown magnitudes, growing to a data stream of 300 billion bits per second, which resulted in slowing Internet traffic for millions of Internet users around the world.

Mr. Kamphuis has denied his role in the attack and said he was only a spokesman for Stophaus, a loose organization set up to take down Spamhaus. Asked about his involvement in the attacks last month, Mr. Kamphuis told The New York Times, ''We are aware that this is one of the largest DDOS attacks the world has (publicly) seen so far, yes.''

But through his Facebook page, Mr. Kamphuis has actively called on hackers to take Spamhaus offline.

''Yo anons, we could use a little help in shutting down illegal slander and blackmail censorship project ',' which thinks it can dictate its views on what should and should not be on the Internet,'' he said on Facebook on March 23.

Dutch prosecutors singled out Mr. Kamphuis because of his vocal role. Greenhost, a Dutch Internet hosting service, said in a blog post that it had found CB3ROB's digital fingerprints while studying the attack traffic directed at Spamhaus.

Mr. Kamphuis's arrest in Barcelona was made through the European Union's judicial collaboration unit, Eurojust.

Eric Pfanner contributed reporting.


Kinderporno aangetroffen bij adjunct-directeur van kinderkrant

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Source: VK: Home

Fri, 26 Apr 2013 16:41

26/04/13, 22:53 '' bron: ANP

(C) ANP.

De adjunct-hoofdredacteur van kinderkrant KidsWeek, Maarten H. (34), wordt ervan verdacht kinderporno te hebben gedownload. Ook zijn vriend is aangeklaagd. Op hun computer zijn 41 foto's en 61 filmpjes met kinderporno gevonden. Komende woensdag moeten ze voor de rechter komen. KidsWeek heeft H. op non-actief gezet.

Justitie kwam de twee op het spoor na een tip van de internationale politieorganisatie Interpol. Hun computer bleek te zijn gebruikt om sites met kinderporno te bezoeken. De computer, cd-roms en dvd's zijn in beslag genomen en onderzocht. Daarbij is geen enkel bewijs gevonden dat de beide mannen zelf kinderporno hebben gemaakt, benadrukt het Openbaar Ministerie (OM).

Volgens het OM ontkennen de twee verdachten de beschuldigingen. Hun advocaten waren vrijdagavond niet bereikbaar voor commentaar.

KidsWeek is geschokt door de verdenking, laat directeur Mark Termeer van de uitgeverij weten. 'We hadden absoluut geen vermoeden. Hij werkt hier al 10 jaar en heeft een onberispelijke staat van dienst. Dit ligt natuurlijk heel gevoelig.'

Termeer kreeg pas vrijdagmiddag te horen dat H. komende woensdag moet voorkomen. 'We hebben H. vervolgens gesproken. Hij bevestigde dat er een proces kwam. Daarop hebben we hem op non-actief gesteld. Zijn advocaat zei dat de kinderporno in 2009 is meegekomen bij het downloaden van andere films op een duister netwerk.'

Of er nog een toekomst is voor H. bij KidsWeek, ook na vrijspraak, weet Termeer nog niet. 'Het vertrouwen is duidelijk geschonden. Je kunt je voorstellen dat we onaangenaam verrast zijn wanneer we pas de week ervoor horen van de zitting, terwijl dit al langer speelt.'

Terror Inc

NYPD to Study Airborne Chemical Attacks - WNYC

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Fri, 26 Apr 2013 11:52

The NYPD and a national laboratory will be studying how chemical weapons could spread in the air and throughout the subway system this summer in what is the first study of its kind in such a large urban environment.

Researchers with the Brookhaven National Laboratory will release non-toxic, odorless gas in that mimics how chemical, biological and radiological weapons would disperse. About 200 sampling devices will be used to detect to the gas.

"We want to be able to determine how toxic material can flow through the transit system, it's one of the concerns that we've had for a while and how it flows on the streets of our city," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement.

The tests will begin in July in all five boroughs in 21 subway stations. It is not expected to have an impact on commuting or other activity, police say.

Boston and Washington have conducted similar tests, but this will be the largest.


Nazi Secret: Report Reveals 'Derrick' Actor Was SS Member - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

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Fri, 26 Apr 2013 14:39


A 1993 archive photo of actor Horst Tappert playing the role of Stephan Derrick

He was known far beyond Germany's borders for his portrayal of Detective Chief Inspector Stephan Derrick on television. On Friday, information emerged suggesting actor Horst Tappert served as a member of the notorious Waffen-SS and hid the fact for years.

The German television show "Derrick" was one of the most successful crime show exports in the country's history, with broadcasters in 102 countries running it in syndication over the years. It emerged on Friday that the actor who played the enormously popular television detective, Horst Tappert, had a secret. He served as a member of the SS during World War II.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Friday that Tappert was a member of an SS anti-aircraft group (SS-Flakabteilung), in Arolsen, Germany, that was under the command of the notorious Waffen-SS.

Sociologist J¶rg Becker uncovered a document showing Tappert had been a member of the SS while conducting research at the German agency WASt -- which maintains records of members of the former Wehrmacht, the German military under the Nazis -- for a memoir he is writing about another person. Becker told the newspaper the document shows that Tappert became a member of the Waffen-SS as a low-level grenadier by March 1943 at the latest, at the age of 19.

Prominent Dresden-based historian Jan Erik Schulte, an expert on the history of the SS, told SPIEGEL ONLINE that the circumstances of Tappert's membership in the SS and the question of whether he was pressured or coerced to join remains unclear.

Tappert played the role of Detective Chief Inspector Stephan Derrick from 1974 to 1998. A total of 281 episodes were filmed by German public broadcaster ZDF.

Tappert's affable portrayal of Inspector Derrick, an elegant, serious and empathetic official, embodied the character of an upstanding, postwar citizen in West Germany. It also helped to make the series popular abroad and Tappert one of the country's best-known actors internationally. He died in 2008 at the age of 85. In his comments about the war period and in his later memoir, Tappert never revealed any role in the SS.

dsl -- with wires

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FBI Raids

Drone Nation

Privacy is 'off the table' in a 'post-9/11 world,' says New York City police chief | The Verge

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Sat, 27 Apr 2013 14:07

The rhetoric in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings is starting to recall the heightened fear that took hold after the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. That's especially true in New York City, where the suspected bombers were allegedly planning a second attack.

In a press conference yesterday, both Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police commissioner Ray Kelly used the suspects' alleged plot to make the case for more surveillance cameras. "You're never going to know where all of our cameras are," Bloomberg said. "And that's one of the ways you deter people; they just don't know whether the person sitting next to you is just somebody sitting there or a detective watching."

"You're never going to know where all of our cameras are."

Kelly promised that the New York City Police Department (NYPD) is expanding its already massive network of cameras. The number of public sector surveillance cameras in New York City is reportedly between 3,500 and 6,000. In an interview earlier this week, Kelly praised the network of "smart cameras" that allow police to remotely read licenses and recognize suspicious packages.

The cameras are part of the NYPD's elite surveillance system, developed by Microsoft over a three year period. It's known as The Domain Awareness System or simply "the dashboard," with the total costs reportedly between $30 million and $40 million.

The dashboard aggregates data from cameras, mapped crime patterns, 911 alerts, arrest records, parking tickets, and radiation detectors, and it's getting smarter all the time. The cameras can detect when a bag or package is abandoned in a public place, Kelly told MSNBC earlier this week, and he hopes to expand this capability, which he refers to as "video analytics."

It's known as The Domain Awareness System or simply "the dashboard"

The NYPD is almost certainly the most advanced police department in the country, even expanding to include overseas bureaus in the years since the terrorist attacks on September 11th. However, other cities and even other countries have taken note of the Domain Awareness System. Police departments in other cities, as well as law enforcement and large events outside the US, have approached Microsoft about licensing the software.

There are questions as to whether surveillance cameras actually prevent attacks: Boston's relatively extensive network of cameras still failed to catch the bombers in the act or dissuade them from their crime. The extensiveness and sophistication of the NYPD's surveillance network also has the American Civil Liberties Union and other public rights advocates worried, but Kelly believes standards of privacy are changing. "The privacy issue has really been taken off the table," he said. "I don't think people are concerned about it. I think people accept it in a post-9/11 world."

Kelly's sense of conviction is reminiscent of Mayor Bloomberg's statement on the use of drones to monitor civilians: "get used to it."

More cameras = drones

Ryan Seacrestation

Senate Passes Bill To Provide FAA With Sequester Flexibility | Aero-News Network

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Archived Version

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 08:51

Senate Commerce Committee chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (pictured, left), Ranking Member John Thune (R-SD) (pictured, right), and Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced and passed legislation (S. 853) late Thursday that would provide the FAA the authority to utilize unspent Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds and additional flexibility to transfer other funding within the FAA, up to $253 million, to prevent reduced operations and staffing during fiscal year 2013. This legislative solution will ensure a safe and efficient air transportation system. The legislation does not increase the FAA's budget authority or exceed the 2011 Budget Control Act limits. On Sunday, the FAA began furloughs of 47,000 employees '' due to the sequester '' that have led to significant flight delays across the aviation system.

''Tonight we worked together in the Senate to avoid total gridlock in our aviation system and avert the real harm that rampant delays would cause to our economy and jobs,'' said Rockefeller. ''By plugging a hole in the budget and providing the FAA with crucial funds to operate the air traffic control system, we will eliminate flight delays due to inadequate staffing and keep America moving. This does not fix all of the problems the FAA faces because of budget cuts, especially for contract towers in rural communities. And it does nothing for other essential government operations and employees that also desperately need relief. But it's a start, and I'm committed to keep working on more solutions.''

''I want to thank my colleagues for working together to resolve this issue for air travelers,'' said Thune. ''While I would have preferred the Secretary of Transportation and the FAA Administrator had planned and better managed its resources to avoid flight delays that the American public suffered this week, our bipartisan legislation returns air traffic controllers to the towers which best serves air travelers, aviation safety, and the economy.''

''The challenges the FAA faces this fiscal year are daunting; not only is the agency operating under a continuing resolution but sequestration compounds the problem. It's unfortunate that these irresponsible cuts led to widespread delays to the air transportation system,'' said Collins. ''I met with Transportation Secretary LaHood and FAA Administrator Huerta this morning to discuss a possible solution. I am delighted that the Senate has passed our bipartisan bill to restore funding for essential programs at the FAA and avoid the unnecessary furloughs of air traffic controllers. This agreement will help avoid onerous delays for the traveling public and keep people working.''

''Automatic budget cuts known as sequestration have left many of our businesses and travelers languishing in long lines at our nation's airports,'' said Udall. This is an unacceptable and avoidable drag on our resurgent economy. That's why I am proud to stand with Senators Collins, Rockefeller and Thune to announce a bipartisan solution to unchain our airports and restore common sense to the FAA. We need to reduce the federal budget deficit and cut federal spending, but we should not allow the blunt cuts of sequestration to cripple travel, tourism, business and commerce '-- all critical parts of our ongoing economic recovery. This deal is good news for Colorado, the West and our nation.''

Other cosponsors included: Senators Risch (R-ID), Hagan (D-NC), Roberts (R-KS), Isakson (R-GA), Toomey (R-PA), McCaskill (D-MO), Murkowski (R-AK), Warner (D-VA), Chambliss (R-GA), Nelson (D-FL), Begich (D-AK).

The legislation now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives for their consideration.



Listening to 4/25. Youve probably already received this email from another producer.

Tower Freq's at larger airports (sfo,lax, but also OAK where you've flown). Tower, ground, clearance (north tower set of 3, south tower set of three). Sequester is like late night. First ATIS tells you to contact ground for clearance. Then later, one controller handles all 3.

It's just delay in clearance granting, or movement. In larger airports, it can kill simultaneous approaches if they're short on approach control or a tower is closed (eg North tower v South tower at OAK).

Really only bad when it's bad weather as you know. And of course, it's completely unnecessary based on fuel taxes and seat taxes which fully fund the FAA.


$5/mo producer since '08, cargo check airman


It's Time to Worry About the New Chinese Bird Flu - At the Edge (

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Sun, 28 Apr 2013 09:04

A vender holds a chicken at a chicken market on Tuesday April 2, 2013 in Shanghai, China, where two men have died from a lesser-known strain of bird flu.

It's time for the world's public health officials to pay very close attention to the new bird flu outbreak in China first detected in March. To put it bluntly, there are now some seriously dangerous developments occurring around the new disease outbreak in China that infectious disease specialists and international public health specialists need to track closely.

[PHOTOS: Bird Flu Cases Increase in China]

Let's start with three new developments reported on earlier this week by Jason Koebler, U.S. News & World Report's science and technology correspondent: the first reported case of the new bird flu strain outside China; the fact that any potential vaccine tests in animals (not humans) may be up to six weeks out; and, more ominously, that Chinese officials suspect that there may be cases of human-to-human transmission in the 100-plus reported cases (which includes 22 deaths).

"The situation remains complex and difficult and evolving. When we look at influenza viruses, this is an unusually dangerous virus for humans," Keiji Fukuda, the World Health Organization's assistant director-general for health security, said Wednesday at a briefing.

Chinese officials '' and public health officials around the world '' had hoped that this potentially virulent and deadly bird flu strain (H7N9) could be contained inside China and that it would not progress or mutate to the point where humans could transmit the strain to other humans. But, of the patients analyzed so far, half appear to have had no contact whatsoever with poultry

Now, we have the first reported case outside China appearing in Taiwan this week. A 53-year-old male, Taiwanese citizen who worked in the Jiangsu Province in China, developed symptoms three days after returning home, according to Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center. And because Chinese officials are also publicly saying at least some of the existing cases may have involved human-to-human transmission, this new bird flu strain could spread '' and fast.

[READ: H7N9 Vaccine At Least 6 Weeks Away]

None of this is good.

Right now, 18 percent of the cases in China have ended in death. While this is still less deadly than the previous avian flu outbreak in China six years ago '' the H5N1 bird flu virus eventually killed more than 300 people after spreading from China to other countries in 2006 '' the death rate for this new Chinese bird flu epidemic is more than triple the mortality rate of tuberculosis in China today.

Despite widespread fears among public health officials that the earlier bird flu strain years ago might become a human-to-human pandemic, that didn't occur. Nearly all reported cases of the earlier bird flu strain, while deadly, seemed to jump from poultry to humans who were handling them or in contact with them. For this reason, despite dozens of outbreaks, it was easier to contain the spread.

But if this new bird flu strain does, in fact, become capable of human-to-human transmission, and it takes awhile for a suitable vaccine to be developed, then international public health officials are going to start sweating. And the public, rightly so, will be worried.

One flu virology expert, John Oxford from Queen Mary University in London, told Reuters this week that the emergence of this completely new strain of bird flu infection in humans was "very, very unsettling." This new strain is, in fact, a mixture of three different types of bird flu variants and "seems to have been quietly spreading in chickens without anyone knowing about it," he said. This has likely been going on for at least two years.

[READ: China Slaughters Chickens as H7N9 Bird Flu Strain Spreads]

Public health officials, in general, have been worried about bird flu viruses for years. Research several years ago showed the virus could be transmitted from an expectant mother to a fetus, and that the virus isn't just contained in the lungs '' it can also migrate throughout the body. This new strain is likely to have similar capabilities.

What's more, it could re-ignite fears about the possibility of deadly global pandemics. A decade ago, several well-known virologists and public health experts warned in published papers that the world was at risk for of pandemics that could kill tens of millions of people '' or even more '' without adequate infectious disease monitoring and medical research. The 2006 Chinese bird flu outbreak came on the heels of those global pandemic warnings.

The good news is that China is more transparent about disease epidemics now than it was a decade ago, and the number of reported cases with the new bird flu strain has not jumped dramatically so far. And China learned a lot about how to limit the spread of bird flu during previous outbreaks, simply by closing down poultry markets that appear to be a likely starting point.

But the fact the new H7N9 strain has now moved outside China '' and that Chinese officials are taking a close look at human-to-human transmission possibilities '' should send up more than a few red flags. Just because the previous bird flu outbreak in China didn't spread quickly and prove as deadly as some had feared does not mean that this new outbreak will follow a similar course.

If the suspicions of human-to-human transmission potential are confirmed, that alone makes the threat of a pandemic '' as opposed to a series of local outbreaks that can be contained with efforts to close down poultry markets or the sale of infected birds '' more likely. Chinese media have said in recent days that officials believe some of the cases to be likely human-to-human transmissions. WHO officials have said that this new strain transmits to humans more easily than the previous strain.

In the case of a pandemic, a vaccine would need to be developed and distributed quickly. A California company (Inovio) is in the early stage of developing a potential vaccine, with plans to get access to the virus in a highly protected lab environment for its initial tests. In a worst-case scenario, a vaccine could skip animal tests and be administered to humans.

Let's hope it doesn't come to that ''and that public health officials are paying attention.

More News:

Bird flu possibly transmitting from human-to-human, officials say | Fox News

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Sun, 28 Apr 2013 09:03

SHANGHAI '' There may have been limited human-to-human transmission of the H7N9 virus, a World Health Organization official said on Monday.

There has been no sustained human-to-human transmission but the situation remains "complex and difficult," WHO assistant director general for Health Security and Environment, Dr. Keiji Fukuda, told reporters.

As of Sunday the virus had killed 20 and infected 102 in China.

"It's virtually impossible to predict how many more cases" there could be, Dr. Fukuda said.

Shanghai has seen new cases slow in the past 10 days in spite of more new cases elsewhere in the country, the city's health officials said. Shanghai has been well prepared and acted quickly and effectively, Dr Fukuda said.

In Shanghai the virus has been detected in one wholesale market and two wet markets only, according to Dr. Liu Peihong of the Shanghai Municipal Animal Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Click for more from The Wall Street Journal.

China Premier Asks to Stay on High Alert on H7N9 Bird Flu - Bloomberg

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Sun, 28 Apr 2013 09:03

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called on health officials and residents to remain vigilant against the bird flu, as the number of infections rose over the weekend.

''We need to stay on high alert as this is a new virus, and we don't have all the information,'' Li said today during a visit to the nation's disease control agency in Beijing, according to a report posted on China National Radio's website. ''It looks preventable and controllable now, and there is no evidence showing human-to-human transmission.''

China reported 10 more cases of the H7N9 avian influenza since early Friday, bringing the total number to 122 including 24 deaths, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and the official Xinhua News Agency. The central province of Hunan confirmed its first case yesterday, while eastern Jiangxi added three more for a total of five, according to Xinhua.

Li urged health officials to lower the rate of fatalities from the disease and to continue releasing information to the public, according to today's report. He spoke with officials from Zhejiang province, which has had 45 cases, as well as those from Lushan county in Sichuan province, the epicenter of the 6.6-magnitude earthquake on April 20, on epidemic prevention through video conferences, said the report.

Michael O'Leary, the World Health Organization's representative in China, visited the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention today as well, according to CNR.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Helen Sun in Shanghai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stanley James at

U.S. Halts Largest HIV Vaccine Trial on Treatment Failure

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Thu, 25 Apr 2013 19:16

The largest and most advanced study under way of a vaccine to prevent HIV infection was stopped by U.S. government researchers after an interim look at the data showed it was unlikely to help recipients.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said it will no longer give the injection, a combination of a DNA-based vaccine to prime the immune system and a booster shot with a weakened virus carrying genetic material that expressed HIV antigens. The vaccine didn't prevent HIV infection or reduce the amount of virus in those who became infected, the agency said in a statement.

The vaccine was developed by the agency's Vaccine Research Center. Volunteers who received the active vaccination unexpectedly had higher rates of HIV than those given a placebo, though the difference wasn't large enough to rule out a chance finding, the agency said. The researchers will follow those who participated in the trial, which started in 2009, to see if other differences develop.

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Scientists on brink of HIV cure

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Sun, 28 Apr 2013 05:02

In vitro studies '-- those that use human cells in a laboratory '-- of the new technique proved so successful that in January, the Danish Research Council awarded the team 12 million Danish kroner (£1.5 million) to pursue their findings in clinical trials with human subjects.

These are now under way, and according to Dr S¸gaard, the early signs are ''promising''.

Dr Ole S¸gaard, a senior researcher at the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark who is part of the research team, said: ''I am almost certain that we will be successful in releasing the reservoirs of HIV.

''The challenge will be getting the patients' immune system to recognise the virus and destroy it. This depends on the strength and sensitivity of individual immune systems.''

Fifteen patients are currently taking part in the trials, and if they are found to have successfully been cured of HIV, the ''cure'' will be tested on a wider scale.

Dr S¸gaard stressed that a cure is not the same as a preventative vaccine, and that raising awareness of unsafe behaviour, including unprotected sex and sharing needles, remains of paramount importance in combating HIV.

With modern HIV treatment, a patient can live an almost normal life, even into old age, with limited side effects.

However, if medication is stopped, HIV reservoirs become active and start to produce more of the virus, meaning that symptoms can reappear within two weeks.

Finding a cure would free a patient from the need to take continuous HIV medication, and save health services billions of pounds.

The technique is being researched in Britain, but studies have not yet moved on to the clinical trial stage. Five universities '-- Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College, London, University College, London and King's College, London '-- have jointly formed the Collaborative HIV Eradication of Reservoirs UK Biomedical Research Centre group (CHERUB), which is dedicated to finding an HIV cure.

They have applied to the Medical Research Council for funding to conduct clinical trials, which will seek to combine techniques to release the reservoirs of HIV with immunotherapy to destroy the virus.

In addition, they are focusing on patients that have only recently been infected, as they believe this will improve chances of a cure. The group hopes to receive a funding decision in May.

''When the first patient is cured in this way it will be a spectacular moment,'' says Dr John Frater, a clinical research fellow at the Nuffield School of Medicine, Oxford University, and a member of the CHERUB group.

''It will prove that we are heading in the right direction and demonstrate that a cure is possible. But I think it will be five years before we see a cure that can be offered on a large scale.''

The Danish team's research is among the most advanced and fast moving in the world, as that they have streamlined the process of putting the latest basic science discoveries into clinical testing.

This means that researchers can progress more quickly to clinical trials, accelerating the process and reaching reliable results sooner than many others.

The technique uses drugs called HDAC Inhibitors, which are more commonly used in treating cancer, to drive out the HIV from a patient's DNA. The Danish researchers are using a particularly powerful type of HDAC inhibitor called Panobinostat.

Five years ago, the general consensus was that HIV could not be cured. But then Timothy Ray Brown, an HIV sufferer '-- who has become known in the field as the Berlin Patient '-- developed leukaemia.

He had a bone marrow transplant from a donor with a rare genetic mutation that made his cells resistant to HIV. As a result, in 2007 Mr Brown became the first man to ever be fully cured of the disease.

Replicating this procedure on a mass scale is impossible. Nevertheless, the Brown case caused a sea change in research, with scientists focusing on finding a cure as well as suppressing the symptoms.

Two principal approaches are currently being pursued. The first, gene therapy, aims to make a patient's immune system resistant to HIV. This is complex and expensive, and not easily transferrable to diverse gene pools around the world.

The second approach is the one being pursued by Dr S¸gaard and his colleagues in Denmark, the CHERUB group in Britain, and by other laboratories in the United States and Europe.

Agenda 21 SCIENCE!

'Barack Obama' targets 'climate deniers' in Congress for ignoring overwhelming science

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Source: Twitchy » US Politics

Thu, 25 Apr 2013 19:18

We know that tweets are limited to 140 characters, but the email sign-up page to which Organizing for Action links isn't, so OFA is leveling a pretty serious charge there by accusing hundreds in Congress of being ''climate deniers.'' Obviously OFA is beginning to ramp up its campaign to take back the House in 2014, but if ''Barack Obama'' wants to turn his laser focus back to global warming, by all means, be our guest.

By the way, that vote to declare climate change a hoax was actually a vote on an amendment proposed in 2011 by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) that read: ''Congress accepts the scientific findings of the Environmental Protection Agency that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for public health and welfare.'' That vote revealed those 240 global warming heretics who must be purged.


Honoring a 'red line' in Syria over chemical weapons - The Washington Post

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Thu, 25 Apr 2013 21:15

THREE MAJOR U.S. allies '-- Britain, France and Israel '-- have now concluded that the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad has very likely used chemical weapons, not once but on multiple occasions. This would cross a ''red line'' drawn by President Obama. An Israeli general said Tuesday that ''the regime used lethal chemical weapons against gunmen in a series of incidents in recent months,'' including a March 19 attack near Aleppo where a ''sarin-type'' substance was employed. The British and French governments reported to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that they had corroborating evidence, including soil samples, of chemical-weapon use in three instances since December.

Though his policy on Syria has been weak and muddled, Mr. Obama has been very clear that the United States ''will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people,'' as he put it last month. He has said that such use would be a ''game-changer.''

Yet the administration now declines to join the analysis of its close allies. Perhaps it is the case, as White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday, that ''conclusive evidence'' is still lacking. Administration officials point out that the British, French and Israelis are not saying they are certain. No one wishes to repeat the mistake of intervening in Iraq on the basis of faulty intelligence.

But another danger is that the Assad regime will conclude that Mr. Obama's warnings were never serious. Many analysts believe the relatively limited use of chemical weapons until now was intended to test international reaction. If there is no response, Damascus may decide that it is free to use its chemicals on a larger scale.

Mr. Assad suggested something like that this week in a meeting with a Lebanese delegation. According to a Lebanese newspaper report, he said, ''The Americans have been pragmatic from the very beginning and never pursued any course to its logical conclusion. They would eventually side with the victor.''

In truth, Mr. Obama has been inching toward more decisive action. At a meeting of opposition supporters last weekend, Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced a doubling of U.S. aid for the opposition to $250 million, including direct funding for rebel forces.

Yet U.S. support for the rebels remains far below what would be necessary to accelerate the downfall of the Assad regime. Syrians are furious at the United States and increasingly supportive of an al-Qaeda militia that has won a string of battlefield victories. If Mr. Obama waffles or retreats on the one clear red line he drew, U.S. credibility across the region will be severely damaged.

With Syria blocking a U.N. investigation and few assets on the ground, it can be difficult to determine what happened in the reported chemical-weapons attacks. But it is important that the United States reach a conclusion, and soon.

Patriot missles in gulf to be moved to Jordan

Juan Vrijdag Images - us-major-general-retired-gary-harrell-director

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Sat, 27 Apr 2013 14:46


(C) Juan Vrijdag Juan Vrijdag


US Major General (retired) Gary Harrell Director of the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center (KASOTC) on a Segway with in the background a shooting-range.PHOTO JUAN VRIJDAG GENERAL INFO: Jordan and the United States have committed some USD200 million to training special forces for counter-insurgency operations in the Middle East with the opening on 19 May of the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center (KASOTC). The complex located Northeast of Amman, Jordan, stretching over 125 acres, will be directed by US Major General (retired) Gary Harrell. The 20 Jordanian and US trainers are expected to begin programmes in August 2009 for regional and domestic special operations and counter-terrorism forces. -the training center that is the world's largest special forces training facility of its kind, specializing in counter-terrorism and internal security missions. Users will have access to a multi-use tower; 100- and 300-meter live-fire, tactical, driving and urban ranges; and classroom facilities. The site includes 56 training buildings and a mock A300 aircraft fuselage; a centralized and integrated Range Operations Center to monitor and control all audio, video, special effects and target technology; networked day/night thermal cameras with 360-degree coverage to capture exercises for After Action Review; sound-effect speakers that project hundreds of realistic sounds, including shouts, animal noises and gunfire; integrated targetry; and special effects, such as rooftop explosion with debris, a concussion wave cannon, an automatic weapons simulator, simulated smells, a fog generator and an improvised explosive device (IED) kit.

The Syria new Chemical Weapons charade'...

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Source: gitmonationbuckfastandhaggis

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 04:09

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U.S. weighs no-fly zone, ground forces among options to topple Assad regime

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Sun, 28 Apr 2013 04:08

Japan Times

U.S. commanders have laid out a range of possible options for military involvement in Syria, but they have made it clear that any action will likely be either with NATO backing or with a coalition of nations similar to the NATO-led overthrow of Libyan dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

The White House announced Thursday that intelligence officials have concluded that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has twice used sarin gas on its own people. But even though U.S. President Barack Obama has called that a ''red line'' for taking some kind of further action to assist the rebels, administration officials said Thursday that the intelligence wasn't solid enough to warrant such a move.

On Thursday, U.S. officials said there has been no new movement of U.S. military assets to the region.

The military options could include establishing a no-fly zone over or a secured area within Syria, launching airstrikes by drones and fighter jets and sending in tens of thousands of ground forces to secure the regime's chemical weapons caches.

Setting up a no-fly zone over Syria would present a greater challenge than it did in Libya in 2011 because Syria has a more sophisticated and robust air defense system. Crippling it would require jamming its radars and taking out missile sites, or possibly even using some type of cyber-attack to interfere with the system.

According to a report by the Institute for the Study of War, Syria's largely Soviet-era air defense system includes as many as 300 mobile surface-to-air missile and defense systems, and more than 600 static missile launchers and sites.

Some U.S. senators have also pressed for the Obama administration to set up a narrow, so-called safe zone inside Syria, along its border with Turkey, where citizens can go to find safety.

>>Read More

Shut Up Slave!

PBS Drops Another Bombshell: Wall Street Is Gobbling Up Two-Thirds of Your 401(k)

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Fri, 26 Apr 2013 11:37

By Pam Martens: April 25, 2013

Frontline Chart Showing Impact of 401(k) Fees Over 50 Years of Saving for Retirement

If you work for 50 years and receive the typical long-term return of 7 percent on your 401(k) plan and your fees are 2 percent, almost two-thirds of your account will go to Wall Street. This was the bombshell dropped by Frontline's Martin Smith in this Tuesday evening's PBS program, The Retirement Gamble.

This is not so much a gamble as a certainty: under a 2 percent 401(k) fee structure, almost two-thirds of your working life will go toward paying obscene compensation to Wall Street; a little over one-third will benefit your family '' and that's before paying taxes on withdrawals to Uncle Sam.

To put it another way '' you work for Wall Street. You are their slave, their lackey and as long as their toadies dominate in Congress, nothing is going to change on the legislative front to stop the looting. Wall Street seized millions of homes through illegal foreclosures and stripped the equity from the owners. They got away with it. Some Wall Street firms further enriched themselves making bets that the housing market would collapse, using their inside knowledge of the bogus loans they had made. They got away with that also. Now Wall Street is busy asset stripping the retirement plans of the working class in America while President Obama proposes to cut Social Security benefits through a discredited calculation called Chained CPI '' conveniently causing people to save more in their 401(k) plans to make up for the potential loss. But the more you save, the more Wall Street asset strips.

The Retirement Gamble was written by the outstanding team of Martin Smith and Marcela Gaviria, who exposed in January that when it came to Wall Street, the U.S. Justice Department had ''no investigations going on. There were no subpoenas, no document reviews, no wiretaps.'' The head of the criminal division of the Justice Department, Lanny Breuer, announced he was stepping down one day after that program aired. He returned to Covington & Burling, the corporate law firm representing Wall Street firms.

The revelation of the two-thirds wealth transfer machinery was delivered by none other than John Bogle, the legendary founder of The Vanguard Group, a low-load mutual fund firm, who served as its Chairman and CEO from 1974 to 1996. Bogle is no slouch. He's one of the most highly respected men in finance and graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in Economics.

This is the relevant portion of the transcript from the program:

Bogle: Costs are a crucial part of the equation. It doesn't take a genius to know that the bigger the profit of the management company, the smaller the profit that investors get. The money managers always want more, and that's natural enough in most businesses, but it's not right for this business.

Smith: Bogle gave me an example. Assume you're invested in a fund that is earning a gross annual return of 7 percent. They charge you a 2 percent annual fee. Over 50 years, the difference between your net of 5 percent '-- the red line '-- and what you would have made without fees '-- the green line '-- is staggering. Bogle says you've lost almost two thirds of what you would have had.

Bogle: What happens in the fund business is the magic of compound returns is overwhelmed by the tyranny of compounding costs. It's a mathematical fact. There's no getting around it. The fact that we don't look at it'-- too bad for us.

Smith: What I have a hard time understanding is that 2 percent fee that I might pay to an actively managed mutual fund is going to really have a great impact on my future retirement savings.

Bogle: Well, you have to rely on somebody to get out a compound interest table and look at the impact over an investment lifetime. Do you really want to invest in a system where you put up 100 percent of the capital, you the mutual fund shareholder, you take 100 percent of the risk and you get 30 percent of the return?

Smith takes Bogle's advice and pulls up a compounding calculator on his laptop. On air, he shows the viewer the results:

Smith: Take an account with a $100,000 balance and reduce it by 2 percent a year. At the end of 50 years, that 2 percent annual charge would subtract $63,000 from your account, a loss of 63 percent, leaving you with just a little over $36,000.

There's another way to prove the point. Pull up a compounding calculator on line. Take an account with a $100,000 balance and compound it at 7 percent for 50 years. That gives you a return of $ 3,278,041.36. Now change the calculation to a 5 percent return (reduced by the 2 percent annual fee) for the same $100,000 over the same 50 years. That delivers a return of $1,211,938.32. That's a difference of $2,066,103.04 '' the same 63 percent reduction in value that Smith's example showed.

Presently, 70 percent of Americans who have any kind of retirement plan at their place of employment have a 401(k) plan. Not everyone is paying 2 percent fees. Some are paying more and others are paying less '' sometimes much less if using passively managed index funds. But, historically, Wall Street has preyed on the least informed and the least educated, which tends to be the poor and middle class.

Consider the testimony of Gail Kubiniec, a former Assistant Manager at CitiFinancial, a unit of mega Wall Street firm Citigroup, to the Federal Trade Commission in 2001 concerning the premise on which she loaded on extra charges to loans:

''I and other employees would often determine how much insurance could be sold to a borrower based on the borrower's occupation, race, age, and education level. If someone appeared uneducated, inarticulate, was a minority, or was particularly old or young, I would try to include all the coverages CitiFinancial offered. The more gullible the consumer appeared, the more coverages I would try to include in the loan'...''

The Retirement Gamble can be viewed in its entirety here.

While Wronged Homeowners Got $300 Apiece in Foreclosure Settlement, Consultants Who Helped Protect Banks Got $2 Billion

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Sat, 27 Apr 2013 14:44

The obscene greed-and-arrogance stories emanating from Wall Street are piling up so fast, it's getting hard to keep up. This one is from last week, but I missed it '' it's about the foreclosure/robo-signing settlement that was concluded earlier this year.

The upshot of this story is that in advance of that notorious settlement, the government ordered banks to hire "independent" consultants to examine their loan files to see just exactly how corrupt they were.

Now it comes out that not only were these consultants not so independent, not only did they very likely skew the numbers seriously in favor of the banks, and not only were these few consultants paid over $2 billion (over 20 percent of the entire settlement amount) while the average homeowner only received $300 in the deal '' in addition to all of that, it appears that federal regulators will not turn over the evidence of impropriety they discovered during these reviews to homeowners who may want to sue the banks.

In other words, the government not only ordered the banks to hire consultants who may have gamed the foreclosure settlement in favor of the banks, but the regulators themselves are hiding the information from the public in order to shield the banks from further lawsuits.

Secrets and Lies of the Bailout

To recap: in the foreclosure deal, 13 banks agreed to pay a total of $9.3 billion to settle their liability in a number of areas, including robo-signing, which is just a euphemism for mass-perjury '' robo-signing is the practice of having low-level bank employees sign documents attesting to full knowledge of case files in court foreclosure actions, when in fact they were signing hundreds of files per day, often having no idea whether the paperwork was correct or not.

It was done across the industry and turned housing cases across America into nightmares of jumbled and/or forged paperwork, in which even people who did not deserve to be thrown out of their homes were uprooted thanks to systematic errors by faceless bureaucrats who cut legal corners purely to save money.

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Bullying Contract

Sorry for the spelling mistakes on the email I accidentally sent it before I was done revising it, If you talk about my email PLEASE DO NOT READ MY NAME

Here is the corrected version of the email

Hello Adam and John I'm 16 and at my school we have a day silence for "victims of bulling". We are asked to sign a contract to be silent for a day.

We also have random drug testing every month and up until last every 3 months while class was going on we would have an order over the school intercom to take our book bags and put them in front of our lockers. When we arrived back at class we were told by our principal over the intercom to go into a lockdown drill. While we are hiding in the corner of our class rooms our bags were being search and sniffed by drug dogs.

In middleschool we were patted down for cellphones


F Russia

Pipeline Wars: US companies want to frack Rumania - and FREEZE out Gazprom

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Source: Dr. Jones reports

Sat, 27 Apr 2013 14:43

Mass demonstrations against the extraction of shale gas have recently been held in Romania and Bulgaria. U.S. companies actively lobby the "shale revolution" in Eastern and Central Europe. All this happens against the background of anti-Russian slogans. "Shale fever" has already struck Lithuania, Ukraine, Moldova and Poland; the U.S. is rubbing its hands.

Energy independence on Russia is currently a fashion trend in Europe's political circles. Accusing Russia's gas giant Gazprom of inflated gas prices, many European leaders rely on their own exploitation of shale deposits. We can see the supposedly positive experience in shale gas production in the U.S., which cut gas prices in the world five times, eliminated gas imports and created many jobs. The West strongly promotes this experience in the West as panacea for "Gazprom's dictatorship."

A study conducted by Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in 2011, predicted a 13-percent decline of Russia's share in the European natural gas market by 2040. "The geopolitical implications of the expansion of shale gas production in the United States will be enormous. With the arrival of liquefied natural gas to Europe - the product that was displaced from the U.S. market - the energy power of Russia, Venezuela and Iran began to weaken against the U.S. gas abundance," Amy Myers Jaffe, one of the authors of the study said two years ago. Numbers suggest that this is not the case, though. In 2009, the share of the Russian gas in Europe was 27 percent. Today, the figure has not changed much: it still remains on the level of 29-30 percent.

In the report prepared by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it was stated that the total volume of resources of Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria made up 538 billion cubic meters. For comparison, the projected capacity of the South Stream gas project makes up- 63 billion cubic meters a year). However, in a fit of strategic partnership, Romania and the United States approved an agreement with Chevron in early April on the exploration and exploitation of gas fields in eastern Romania. According to the head of the National Agency for Mineral Resources, Gheorghe Duţu, "at the present time, no company can conduct unconventional exploration of natural resources." These licenses can be issued only with the thorough assessment of consequences for the environment and profitability of gas deposits, said Dutu. However, due to the lack of expertise, the moratorium on shale gas was lifted last week.

In response, on April 4th, protest actions were held in 28 Romanian cities within the framework of the so-called "National Day Against the Exploitation of Shale Gas." "We are against corruption in the government. We fight for healthy environment, we fight for the right to live and to receive accurate information," organizers of the protest actions said. The protests were supported in the Bulgarian border town of Dobrich. The Bulgarians took to the streets under the slogan "Two countries - one water. Two peoples - one fight." They fear that the gas production in Romania will destroy natural resources in neighboring areas, including Dobruja - the region known as the "granary of Bulgaria."

The protesters also demanded prosecutors should investigate the personal interest of the Mayor of Dobrich, Detelina Nikolova, and all officers, who accompanied her on her recent trip to the U.S.. Nikolova toured Texas, Pennsylvania and Colorado, where she met with representatives of shale gas companies. She strongly denies allegations of corruption. In Bulgaria, Chevron has not settled yet. On January 17, 2012, the Bulgarian government revoked the company a license to explore shale gas deposits in northeastern Bulgaria. Officials referred to a moratorium on shale gas and to the lack of evidence of environmental safety of the method of hydraulic fracking.

What is the essence of the technology of hydraulic fracking? At first, a vertical well is drilled, which is then split into several horizontal wells up to 2-3 km in length. Afterwards, a mixture of water, sand and chemicals is pumped into these wells. As a result of the water attack (a mini earthquake), the walls of gas reservoirs are destroyed, and the entire amount of available gas is pumped up to the surface.

The process requires a lot of water for each well - from 5 to 19 million liters. The mixture of chemicals is a commercial secret of corporations. A resident of the shale gas village of Dimock (PA), Ray Campbell, shared a sample of tap water with Russia's Vesti TV channel. There were 27 dangerous chemicals found in the water: uranium 238 and 235, as well as some unknown chemicals. "Even lab specialists do not know what it is," Ray said.

Environmentalists of the world are highly concerned about the fact that the exploitation of shale gas leads to severe contamination of ground, surface waters and air. In pursuit of geopolitical influence, the Americans do not tell anyone that the current price of shale gas does not include the cost of land reclamation and water treatment, not to mention insurance in case of artificial earthquakes. The Americans do not say either that shale gas producers do not pay taxes. In other words, the production of shale gas in the U.S. is subsidized by the U.S. government. To crown it all, profitable reserves are much less than geological reserves. "Obama listens to his assistants, who work to promote shale gas. In reality, the reserves will be enough for 11-12 years, not 60," Arthur Berman, a well-known expert, a former officer at AMOCO oil company said.

In 2013, there was not one single profitable shale gas well left in the U.S. Corporate expenses in 2012 to drill more than 7,000 wells in the U.S. totaled $ 42 billion. Profits from the sale of shale gas made up 32.5 billion. BP announced net losses of $ 5 billion; BG Group of Britain lost 1.3 billion, whereas the former leader of the industry - Chesapeake Energy - stands on the verge of bankruptcy.

American analysts assert that the shale project is doomed. They see it not only as a politically motivated initiative, but also as yet another financial bubble that will grow in Europe. "The countries, where they are going to produce shale gas, will see what we saw. At first, there will be a short-lived boom, some new jobs will be created, but when the bubble bursts, there will be poor environment and devastated infrastructure left, like it happened in Dimock. This will happen to Latvia, Ireland and Ukraine," Wendy Lee, a professor at Bloomsburg University said.

The U.S. is trying to engage Eastern and Central Europe on its own resources and the resources of its partners (Norway, Saudi Arabia). America frightens everyone with Gazprom's monopoly, which actually does not exist. The "shale union" has already become a goal for Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Great Britain. However, according to European experts, the amount of possible shale gas production in the EU in 2030 will amount to only 15 billion cubic meters a year. Optimists give a different number - 40 billion. However, this is only 3-5 percent of projected natural gas imports. Obviously, such minor additions will not change the market situation.

Gazprom does not have to care much about it at all. The company's exports to Asian countries have been growing, while the Chinese have banned the development of shale gas. China thinks strategically.

Lyuba Lulko


Read the original in Russian


Enrico Letta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

'Eenzame gekken' voor 30 april in beeld gebracht | Algemeen |

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Sun, 28 Apr 2013 07:35

De politie heeft alle zogenoemde eenzame gekken die de troonswisseling dinsdag zouden kunnen verstoren in beeld gebracht.

"De politie heeft voor al die mensen individuele plannen van aanpak in de sfeer van hulp en toezicht", zei burgemeester van Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan in Eva Jinek op Zondag.

Hoeveel mensen als mogelijke eenzame gek in beeld zijn gebracht, wilde de burgemeester niet zeggen. "Het zijn er niet zo heel erg veel." Er zou niemand preventief worden opgesloten. "Maar als ze een straf hebben openstaan, is het wel mooi meegenomen als ze die op de dertigste uitzitten."

De burgemeester wees erop dat sommige mensen met psychische problemen kampen. "Hele periodes gaat alles goed, maar er zijn ook periodes dat ze psychotisch zijn en van alles de schuld aan het koningshuis geven. Dan is zo'n dag een beetje een magneet."

Afwijkend gedragOp de dag zelf wordt volgens de burgemeester gelet op 'afwijkend gedrag'. Dat is volgens hem een lastige klus. "Laten we met z'n allen veel respect hebben voor de mensen die dat moeten doen."

Er ligt volgens de burgemeester een grote stapel draaiboeken klaar, maar hij benadrukte dat nooit honderd procent veiligheid kan worden gegarandeerd. Als er iets gebeurt terwijl hij is verbonden aan een ceremonie, neemt burgemeester van Amstelveen Jan van Zanen zijn taken over. "Maar iedereen weet heel goed wat hij zelf moet doen." Als toch knopen moeten worden doorgehakt heeft Van der Laan het liefst dat hij desnoods uit de Nieuwe Kerk wordt gehaald. "Ik zeg altijd dat ik graag wil aftreden, maar dan het liefst om een beslissing die ik zelf heb genomen."

VerrassingsbezoekHet liefst zou de burgemeester willen dat de viering van Koninginnedag weer wordt zoals die in 1988 was, toen koningin Beatrix een verrassingsbezoek aan de gemeente bracht. "Maar dat kon toen ook vanwege het simpele feit dat er ook minder mensen waren. Het is een beetje te vol geworden, het trekt te veel mensen." De gemeente is al langer bezig om de drukte en de problemen in te dammen, bijvoorbeeld door de alcoholverkoop te beperken. Dat leidde er vorig jaar toe dat het aantal ambulanceritten daalde.

De troonswisseling van aanstaande dinsdag is volgens Van der Laan niet te vergelijken met die van 1980, toen rellen uitbraken uit protest tegen de grote leegstand en woningnood. "Iedereen heeft ontzettend zin in dit feest."

De burgemeester zei deze week in een interview met het blad Binnenlands Bestuur niet in de monarchie te geloven, maar gaf al aan zijn persoonlijke mening opzij te zetten. Hij is dan ook niet van plan zijn handtekening als getuige te weigeren onder de Akte van Abdicatie. "Ik ga mijn handtekening met ontzettend veel plezier zetten", zei hij zondag

Alles over de troonswisseling in ons dossier

Alles over Koninginnedag in ons dossier

Door: Novum/

Switzerland re-imposes curbs on EU workers.

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Source: WT news feed

Thu, 25 Apr 2013 21:50

BRUSSELS - Switzerland is imposing quotas on work permits for EU citizens despite objections from Brussels.

The federal government said on Wednesday (24 April) it will give just 2,180 five-year residency permits over the next 12 months to people from eight eastern European countries, such as Poland and Slovakia.

It is planning to give 53,700 permits to people from 17 remaining, wealthier EU counties. Bulgaria and Romania are covered by a separate migration regime until 2016.

Short-stay permits for up to one year will not be affected.

A government statement said it has the right to set limits under a "safeguard clause" in its 1999 EU agreement on free movement because it is seeing up to 80,000 extra arrivals each year.

It said some nice things about EU migrants.

It noted that the 1.2 million EU citizens who already live in the 8-million-strong country have "had a positive impact '... in particular in terms of consumer spending and on the construction industry."

But amid pressure for action by far-right politicians, it added that the curbs are needed to "make immigration more acceptable to society."

It also hinted that some EU migrants are welfare cheats who gobble up "affordable housing" and who overburden Swiss infrastructure.

"It is '... important to consistently combat abuses in the area of immigration law and social security," it said.

"It's a fact that there is unease among the population, and it's necessary to take this unease seriously," Swiss justice minister Simonetta Sommaruga told press.

For her part, EU foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton rebuked Bern, saying she "regrets" the move and underlining the "great benefits" of EU-Swiss work mobility.

She noted that the split in permit quotas between the EU8 and EU17 groups is illegal because the 1999 agreement does not allow it to differentiate between EU countries.

The Swiss decision is the second year in a row it has invoked the safeguard clause for the EU8.

The clause will expire once and for all in May 2014.

Unemployment in Spain passes six-million mark for the first time.

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Source: WT news feed

Thu, 25 Apr 2013 22:14

The ranks of the unemployed in Spain climbed above six million for the first time ever as the jobless rate hit an unprecedented 27 percent in the first quarter of the year, this despite an easing of the recession in the period.

According to the National Statistics Institute's Active Population Survey (EPA) for the period January-March, the number of people out of work rose by 237,400 from the previous three months to 6.202 million as the unemployment rate jumped from 26.02 percent to 27.16 percent, the highest level since the current series began to be compiled in 1976, just after the death of dictator Francisco Franco.

The deterioration in the labor market occurred despite the Bank of Spain estimating earlier this week that the contraction in output in the first quarter slowed to 0.5 percent on a quarterly basis from 0.8 percent at the end of 2012.

''The pace of the increase is surprising given that we were supposed to be in a softer phase of the recession,'' Ricardo Santos, a euro-area economist at BNP Paribas in London, told Bloomberg. ''We could now end the year at 28-percent unemployment and we may see a downward revision of first-quarter growth.''

The jobless rate has already reached the 27-percent level the IMF predicted would happen by the end of this year. The multilateral agency expects the domestic economy to contract by 1.6 percent this year after declining 1.4 percent in 2012.

The conservative Popular Party (PP) government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is due on Friday to present its revised economic scenario for the next three years, as well as a new battery of reform measures. Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said earlier this week that the measures would seek to marry reducing the public deficit while stimulating economic growth.

Youth unemployment has risen to a record 57.2 percent

Spain is in the throes of its second recession in barely four years. Since the crisis broke, the number of people out of work has climbed by four million, while the jobless rate has increased by some 20 percentage points. The jobless rate was also boosted by a fall in the active population of 85,000 from the previous three months and by 235,300 from the same period a year earlier to 22.837 million as a result of immigrants returning home and Spaniards moving abroad in search of work.

The National Statistics Institute said earlier this week that the total population at the start of this year fell by 205,788 from a year earlier to 47.1 million, the first overall decline since 1996. The number of immigrants leaving the country was 216,125. The unemployment rate for foreign workers stands at 39.21 percent, 14.1 points higher than for Spanish workers.

The number of people in work fell by 322,300 to 16.634 million, the lowest rate since 2002. The drop in the public sector was 71,400 as a result of the government's austerity drive, while the private sector shed 251,000 jobs.

The number of households with all of its members out of a job climbed 72,400 from the previous EPA quarterly survey, and 177,700 from a year earlier to 1.906 million. The number of unemployed people under 25 years rose by 30,200 in the quarter to 960,000 with the jobless rate for this segment of the labor market climbing by 0.2 points to a new record of 57.2 percent.

Unemployment fell practically across all of Spain's regions, with the biggest increases coming in Andalusia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands.

The number of people out of work in the quarter increased by 170,500 in the services sector, by 66,800 in industry, 60,900 and agriculture, and by 24,200 in construction.

Prospects for a turnaround in the situation anytime soon are dim. While the economy is forecast to return to growth in 2014, the pace of the recovery is expected to be insufficient to start creating jobs again.


Lethality of Roundup 'Weedkiller' Extends Beyond Plants To Humans, Study Suggests

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Fri, 26 Apr 2013 09:08

Sayer JiActivist PostA shocking new study finds that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, "... may be the most biologically disruptive chemical in our environment," capable of contributing to a wide range of fatal human diseases.

A new report published in the journal Entropy links the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide known as glyphosate with a wide range of fatal diseases.[i]

Glyphosate is the world's most popular herbicide and is designed to kill all but genetically modified "Roundup Ready" plants, such as GM corn, soy, beet, cottonseed and canola. Over 180 million pounds of the chemical are now applied to US soils each year,[ii] and while agrichemical manufacturers and government regulators have considered it 'relatively safe,' an expanding body of biomedical research indicates that it may cause over 30 distinct adverse health effects in exposed populations at far lower concentrations than used in agricultural applications.

The new report, authored by Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant from Arthur D. Little, Inc., brings to the forefront concerns voiced by an outspoken minority that Roundup and related glyphosate herbicide formulations are contributing to diseases as far-ranging as inflammatory bowel disease, anorexia, cystic fibrosis, cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and infertility. In fact, the authors propose that glyphosate, contrary to being essentially nontoxic, "... may be the most biologically disruptive chemical in our environment."

The researchers identified the inhibition and/or disruption of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes as a hitherto overlooked mechanism of toxicity associated with glyphosate exposure in mammals.CYP enzymes are essential for detoxifying xenobiotic chemicals from the body. Glyphosate therefore enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins.

The researchers also showed how interference with CYP enzymes acts synergistically with disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria (e.g. tryptophan), as well as impairment in serum sulfate transport, a critical biological system for cellular detoxification (e.g. transulfuration pathway which detoxifies metals).

These effect, according to the researchers, can contribute to causing or worsening "... most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer's disease."

This new report may help to explain why over 30 adverse health effects associated with Roundup herbicide exposure have been identified in the peer-reviewed and published literature so far. The full report in PDF form can be obtained here. Please help us spread this information, as well as our Roundup Toxicity Research and GMO Research pages, by sharing them with other concerned individuals and groups.

Resources:[i] Samsel A, Seneff S. Glyphosate's Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases. Entropy. 2013; 15(4):1416-1463.

[ii], Roundup, An Herbicide, Could Be Linked To Parkinson's, Cancer And Other Health Issues, Study Shows

This article first appeared at GreenMedInfo. Please visit to access their vast database of articles and the latest information in natural health.



Guest Post: Physical Gold Vs Paper Gold: Waiting For The Dam To Break

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Source: Zero Hedge

Sat, 27 Apr 2013 15:06

Submitted by Alasdair Macleod, via,

IntroductionIn this article I will argue that the recent slide in the gold price has generated substantial demand for bullion that will likely bring forward a financial and systemic disaster for both central and bullion banks that has been brewing for a long time. To understand why, we must examine their role and motivations in precious metals markets and assess current ownership of physical gold, while putting investor emotion into its proper context.

In the West (by which in this article I broadly mean North America and Europe) the financial community treats gold as an investment. However, of the global pool of gold, which GoldMoney estimates to be about 160,000 tonnes, the amount actually held by western investors in portfolios is a very small fraction of this amount. Furthermore investor behaviour, which in itself accounts for just part of the West's bullion demand, is sharply at odds with the hoarders' objectives, which is behind underlying tensions in bullion markets. To compound the problem, analysts, whose focus incorporates portfolio investment theories and assumptions, have very little understanding of the economic case for precious metals, being schooled in modern neo-classical economic theories.

These economic theories, coupled with modern investment analysis when applied to bullion pricing, have failed to understand the growing human desire for protection from monetary instability. The result has for a considerable time been the suppression of bullion prices in capital markets below their natural level of balance set by supply and demand. Furthermore, the value put on precious metals by hoarders in the West has been less than the value to hoarders in other countries, particularly the growing numbers of savers in Asia.

These tensions, if they persist, are bound to contribute to the eventual destruction of paper currencies.

The ownership of goldThe amount of gold bullion that backs investor-driven markets is not statistically recorded, but we can illustrate its significance relative to total stocks by referring back to the time of the oil crisis of the mid-1970s. In 1974 the global stock of gold was estimated to be half that of today, at about 80,000 tonnes. Monetary gold was about 37,000 tonnes, leaving 43,000 tonnes in the form of non-monetary bullion, coins and jewellery. Let us arbitrarily assume, on the basis of global wealth distribution, that two thirds of this was held by the minority population in the West, amounting to about 30,000 tonnes.

This figure probably grew somewhat before the early 1980s, spurred by the bull market and growing fear of inflation, which saw investors buy mainly coins and mining shares. Demand for gold bars was driven by the rapid accumulation of dollars in the oil-exporting nations, as well as some hoarding by wealthy investors from all over the world through Switzerland and London.

The sharp rise in global interest rates in the Volcker era, the subsequent decline of the inflation threat and the resulting bear market for gold inevitably led to a reduction of bullion holdings by wealthy investors in the West. Swiss and other private banks, employing a new generation of fund managers and investment advisors trained in modern portfolio theories, started selling their customers' bullion positions in the 1980s, leaving very little by 2000. In the latter stages of the bear market, jewellery sales in the West became a replacement source of bullion supply, but this was insufficient to compensate for massive portfolio liquidation.

So by the year 2000, Western ownership of non-monetary gold suffered the severe attrition of a twenty-year bear market and the reduction of inflation expectations. Portfolios, which routinely had 10-15% exposure to gold 40 years ago even today have virtually no exposure at all. Given that jewellery consumption in Europe and North America was only 400-750 tonnes per annum over the period, by the year 2000 overall gold ownership in the West must have declined significantly from the 1974 guesstimate of 30,000 tonnes. While the total gold stock in 2000 stood at 128,000 tonnes, the virtual elimination of portfolio holdings will have left Western holders with little more than perhaps an accumulation of jewellery, coins and not much else: bar ownership would have been at a very low ebb.

Since 2000, demand from countries such as India and more recently China is known to have increased sharply, supporting the thesis that gold has continued to accumulate at an accelerating pace in non-Western hands.

Western bullion markets have therefore been on the edge of a physical stock crisis for some time. Much of the West's physical gold ownership since 2000 has been satisfied by recycling scrap originating in the West, suggesting that total gold ownership in the West today barely rose before the banking crisis despite a tripling of prices. Meanwhile the disparity between demand for gold in the West compared with the rest of the world has continued, while the West's investment management community has been actively discouraging investment.

The result has been that nearly all new mine production and Western central bank supply has been absorbed by non-Western hoarders and their central banks. While post-banking crisis there has presumably been a pick-up in Western hoarding, as evidenced by ETF and coin sales and some institutional involvement, it is dwarfed by demand from other countries. So it is reasonable to conclude that of the total stock of non-monetary gold, very little of it is left in Western hands. And so long as the pressure for migration out of the West's ownership continues, there will come a point where there is so little gold left that futures and forwards markets cease to operate effectively. That point might have actually arrived, signalled by attempts to smash the price this month.

This admittedly broad-brush assessment has important implications for the price stability essential to bullion banks operating in paper markets as well as for central banks attempting to maintain confidence in their paper currencies.

Precious metals in capital marketsIn the West itself, the attitudes of the investment community are fundamentally different from even those of the majority of Western hoarders, who are looking for protection from systemic and currency risks as opposed to investment returns. Western investors are generally oblivious to the implications, the most fundamental of which is that falling prices actually stimulate physical demand. Before the recent dramatic slide in prices the investment community undervalued precious metals compared with Western hoarders, let alone those in Asia, encouraging physical bullion to migrate from financial markets both to firmer hands in the West as well as the bulk of it to non-West ownership. There is now irrefutable evidence that these flows have accelerated significantly on lower prices in recent weeks, as rational price theory would lead one to expect.

Pricing bullion is therefore not as simple as the investment community generally believes. It is being put about, mostly on grounds of technical analysis, that the bull markets in gold and silver have ended, and precious metals have entered a new downtrend. The evidence cited is that medium and longer-term moving averages have been violated and are now falling; furthermore important support levels have been breached.

These developments, which arise out of the futures and forward markets, have rattled Western investors who thought they were in for an easy ride. However, a close examination of futures trading shows the bearish case even on investment grounds is flawed, as the following two charts of official statistics provided by weakly Commitment of Traders data clearly show.

The Money Managers category is the clearest reflection in the official data of investor portfolio positions, representing sizeable mutual and hedge funds. In both cases, the number of long contracts is at historically low levels, and shorts, arguably the better reflection of money-manager sentiment, remain close to high extremes. On this basis, investor sentiment is clearly very bearish already, with the investment management community already committed to falling prices. Put very simplistically there are now more buyers than sellers.

Money Managers are in stark opposition to the Commercials, who seek to transfer entrepreneurial risk to Money Managers and other investor and speculator categories. The official statistics break Commercials down into two categories: Producer/Merchant/Processor/User, and Swap Dealers. Both categories include the activities of bullion banks, which in practice supply liquidity to the market. Because investors and speculators tend to run bull positions, bullion banks acting as market-makers will in aggregate always be short. A successful bullion bank trader will seek to make trading profits large enough to compensate for any losses on his net short position that arise from rising prices.

A bullion bank trader must avoid carrying large short positions if in his judgement prices are likely to rise. He will be more relaxed about maintaining a bear position in falling markets. Crucially, he must keep these opinions private, and the release of market statistics are designed to accommodate these dealers' need for secrecy.

Bullion banks' position details are disclosed at the beginning of every month in the Bank Participation Reports, again official statistics. They are broken down into two categories, based on the individual bank's self-description on the CFTC's Form 40, into US and Non-US Banks. Their positions are shown in the next two charts (note the time scale is monthly).

In both gold and silver, the bullion banks have managed to reduce their exposure from extreme net short over the last four months. The reduction of their market exposure suggests that they have been deliberately transferring this risk to other parties, and is consistent with an anticipation that bullion prices will rise. It is the other side of the high level of bearishness reflected in the Money Manager category shown in the first two charts. The bullion banks control the market; the Money Managers are merely tools of their trade.

There has been little reduction in open interest in gold and it has remained strong in silver, because risk has been transferred rather than extinguished. Daily official statistics on open interest are provided by the exchange and summarised in the next two charts (note that data is daily).

From these charts it can be seen that recent declines in the gold price are failing to reduce open interest further, and in silver open interest remains stubbornly high. Therefore, attempts by bullion banks to reduce their net short exposure by marking prices down are showing signs of failure.

We can therefore conclude that investor sentiment is at bearish extremes and the bullion banks have reduced their net short exposure to levels where it risks rising again. Therefore the downside for precious metals prices appears to be severely limited, contrary to sentiments expressed by technical analysts and in the media.

This market position is against a background of a growing shortage of physical bullion, which is our next topic.

Physical marketsCasual observers of precious metal prices are generally unaware that the headline writers focus on activity in the futures markets and generally ignore developments in physical bullion. This is consistent with the fact that market data is available in the former, while dealing in the latter is secretive. However, as with icebergs, it is not what you see above the water that matters so much as that which is out of sight below.

It is not often understood in investment circles that gold and silver are commodities for which the laws of supply and demand are not overridden by investor psychology. Therefore, if the price falls, demand increases. Indeed, the increase in demand has far outweighed selling by nervous investors; even before the price-drop, demand for both silver and gold significantly exceeded supply. Evidence ranges from readily available statistics on record demand for newly-minted gold and silver coins and the net accumulation of gold by non-Western central banks, to trade-based information such as imports and exports of non-monetary gold as well as reports from trade associations reporting demand in diverse countries such as India, China, the UK, US, Japan and even Australia.

All this evidence points in the same direction: that physical demand is increasing on every price drop. There is therefore a growing pricing conflict between futures and forward markets, which do not generally involve settlement but the rolling-over of speculative positions, and of the underlying physical metal. Furthermore, analysts make the mistake of looking at gold purely in terms of mining and scrap supply, when nearly all gold ever mined is theoretically available to the market, in the right conditions and at the right price. The other side of this larger coin is that if the price of gold is suppressed by activity in paper markets to below what it would otherwise be, the stimulus for physical demand, being based on a 160,000 tonne market, is likely to be considerably greater on a given price drop than analysts who are myopic beyond 2,750 tonnes of annual mine production might expect. The numbers that are available confirm this to have been the case, particularly over the last few weeks, with reports from all over the world of an unprecedented surge in demand.

This is at the root of a developing crisis of which few commentators are as yet aware. Demand for physical has accelerated the transfer of bullion from capital markets to hoarders everywhere and from the West's capital markets to other countries, which has been the trend since the oil crisis in the mid-Seventies. This is what's behind an acute shortage of physical gold in capital markets, explaining perhaps why bullion banks feel the need to reduce their short positions.

While we can detail their exposure in futures markets, meaningful statistics are not available in over-the-counter forward markets, particularly for London, which dominates this form of trading. Forwards are considerably more flexible than futures as a trading medium, generating trading profits, commissions, fees and collateralised banking business. The ability to run unallocated client accounts, whereby a client's gold is taken onto a bank's balance sheet, is in stable market conditions an extremely profitable activity, made more profitable by high operational gearing. The result is that paper forward positions are many multiples of the physical bullion available. The extent of this relationship between physical bullion and paper is not recorded, but judging by the daily turnover in London there is an enormous synthetic short physical position. For this reason a sharply rising price would be catastrophic and any drain on bullion supplies rapidly escalates the risk.

Overseeing this market is the Bank of England co-operating with other Western central banks and the Bank for International Settlements, whose combined interest obviously favours price stability. They have been quick to supply the market if needed, confirmed by freely-admitted leasing operations in the past, and by secretive supply into the market, which has been detected by independent supply and demand analysis over the last 15 years. Furthermore, as currency-issuing banks, central banks are unlikely to take kindly to market signals that suggest gold is a better store of value than their own paper money.

We can only speculate about day-to-day interventions by Western central banks in gold markets. In this regard it seems that the slide in prices on the 12th and 15th April was triggered by a very large seller of paper gold; if this market story and the amount mentioned are correct, it can only be central bank intervention, acting to deliberately drive prices lower. Given the market position, with Money Managers in the futures markets already short and highly vulnerable to a bear squeeze, the story seems credible. The objective would be to persuade holders of physical ETFs and allocated gold accounts to sell and supply the market, on the assumption that they would behave as investors convinced the bull market is over.

ConclusionsFor the last 40 years gold bullion ownership has been migrating from West to elsewhere, mostly the Middle East and Asia, where it is more valued. The buyers are not investors, but hoarders less complacent about the future for paper currencies than the West's banking and investment community. There was a shortage of physical metal in the major centres before the recent price fall, which has only become more acute, fully absorbing ETF and other liquidation, which is small in comparison to the demand created by lower prices. If the fall was engineered with the collusion of central banks it has backfired spectacularly.

The time when central banks will be unable to continue to manage bullion markets by intervention has probably been brought closer. They will face having to rescue the bullion banks from the crisis of rising gold and silver prices by other means, if only to maintain confidence in paper currencies. Any gold held by struggling eurozone nations, theoretically available to supply markets as a stop-gap, will not last long and may have been already sold.

This will likely develop into another financial crisis at the worst possible moment, when central banks are already being forced to flood markets with paper currency to keep interest rates down, banks solvent, and to finance governments' day-to-day spending. Its importance is that it threatens more than any other of the various crises to destabilise confidence in government-backed currencies, bringing an early end to all attempts to manage the others systemic problems.

History might judge April 2013 as the month when through precipitate action in bullion markets Western central banks and the banking community finally began to lose control over all financial markets.

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Federal Reserve Refuses to Submit to an Audit of Germany´s Gold Held i | nsnbc international

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Sat, 27 Apr 2013 14:01

Dr. Long Xinming (4M),- The German government has been storing about half of its gold supply with the US FED, apparently in the NYC FED vaults. Germany decided to bring home all its gold, but the FED has said that isn't possible to do, and it would need until 2020 to be able to accomplish the transfer.

The German government then asked to visit the FED vaults to inventory the gold and determine its actual existence, but the FED refused to permit Germany to examine its own gold. The reasons given were ''security'' and ''no room for visitors''. And nothing else.

Germany did finally send some staff to the FED, and they were permitted only into the vault's anteroom where they were shown 5 or 6 gold bars as representative of their holdings, and were permitted nothing else.

They apparently came a second time, and the FED did open only one of 9 rooms and let the Germans look at the stack of gold, but were not permitted to either enter or touch. And they returned home.

There has been speculation for a long time, that the FED doesn't actually have much gold, that it has either sold it off, lent it out, or used it as collateral for borrowings. Either case, there are many claims that the gold that is being stored on behalf of many nations, doesn't actually exist.

And nobody, other than FED staff, have actually been permitted inside the vaults to see or inventory any of the gold. There is no evidence that the gold actually exists, other than the word of the FED.

Even more, the situation is the same with the supposed gold depository at Fort Knox. Nobody has seen the gold there for a very long time.

The last audit, and the last public visit, was in 1953, just after U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower took office. No outside experts were allowed during that audit, and the audit team tested only about 5% of gold there. So, there hasn't been a comprehensive audit of Fort Knox in over 60 years.

In 1974 six Congressmen, one Senator and the press were allowed to enter Fort Knox to see for themselves if the gold was there or not. The tour showed that there was gold in Fort Knox but, all the same, it sparked even more controversies.

Only a small fraction of the gold reserves were made available for viewing, and one Congressman published a report saying that the gold bars held in the fort may have been less heavy than would have been expected.

During the past two years, several US politicians have claimed that there is a high chance that neither Fort Knox nor the FED have any gold, or perhaps only a very small amount, and have demanded a full and public inventory and testing, but the FED have resolutely refused.

I have no idea what to make of this. There was another incident last year when Goldman Sachs were proven to have been selling gold certificates to the public, ostensibly backed by real gold in their vaults, but the story leaked out that they in fact held no gold at all, and were doing ''fractional reserve'' gold banking, on the basis that few people would want to claim their gold at any one time.

Even worse, Goldman were charging customers storage fees for the gold that didn't exist. Also, do you recall the information I circulated around the middle of last year, documenting the immense gold theft the FED pulled on much of the world during WW II?

The FED came to all countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa and told them their gold holdings might not be safe because of the war, and they should permit the FED to take all of it to the US for safekeeping. Many countries obliged, receiving FED gold certificates in exchange, but when they later tried to cash in those certificates and reclaim their gold, they were told the certificates were fake, that they contained spelling and other mistakes which the FED would never have made, and that the serial numbers were wrong. And the FED still has all that gold.

They even did that to Chiang Kai-Shek, taking all of Taiwan's gold '' that had been looted from China '' and never returning it. The last I heard, Chiang's wife was still trying to recover her gold from the FED.

Apparently a few people have been successful in presenting their certificates to the FED, with documentation that was irrefutable, but even in those cases the owners were forced to settle for only 1% or 2% of the actual value. And most other people or nations who attempt to redeem these certificates are arrested by the FBI for fraud '' at the request of the FED.

Late last year, a Canadian businessman had some of these certificates and tried to use them as collateral for a loan, and the FED had him arrested, extradited to the US, and charged him with fraud. Insiders claim this is common practice to frighten every one away.

I've inserted here a graph that shows the increase in the FED's gold supply during the war. It also shows the amount decreasing heavily later, so perhaps some of the gold was returned, but it appears there was a great deal that never was.

For many years after the war, the FED denied these transactions and even denied the existence of these certificates. But a crashed US military plane was found in the Philppine jungle with heavy wooden boxes full of metal containers, all with FED markings, and all containing hundreds of billions of dollars of these same certificates. That was when the entire story finally became public, but the Western media have never cared to report on it.

I have many photos of the content of that aircraft, of the boxes and the cans and the certificates, if anybody cares to see.

Some people claimed this was a CIA counterfeiting operation supported by the US government, as an attempt to just steal the gold from many poor nations.

Via The 4th Media

Dr. Long Xinming is the founder and senior editor of He is a frequent contributor to nsnbc international and our partner media The 4th Media in Beijig.

Jamie Dimon Has Issues (or Meet The Idiot Selling Gold) | Across the Street

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Sat, 27 Apr 2013 13:13

Update:On Friday April 26, JPM customers (US government??) added a whopping 558 contracts (55,800 troy oz.) to the totals reflected in this article. The CME group daily report can be found here, but note, these daily reports go into Never-neverland when the new one comes out (so save it if you want it for future reference).

Somebody should explain to the blathering numbskulls at CNBS that when just one firm accounts for 99.3% of the physical gold sales at the COMEX in the last three months it's not what most of us on this side of the rainbow would consider ''broad-based'' selling. Of course discovering this kind of relevant information requires an internet connection, 2nd grade math and reading skills, and the desire to do a teeny-weeny bit of reporting. Sadly they've wandered so far down the rabbit hole that the concept of ''physical demand'' (i.e. people actually wanting to take possession of the stuff) is puzzling to them because the vast majority of the world's so-called ''gold-trading'' takes place in the realm of make believe (which is their natural habitat). It's all fun and games until somebody loses their metal and ''somebody'' has lost one hell of a lot of metal in the last 90 days.

This is the CME Group's COMEX metals issues and stops year-to-date report, which can be found here everyday for free. It chronicles the physical delivery notices of various metals, including gold. Let's have a look:

''I'' is for ''Idiot''That's how I remember it, anyway. ''I'' actually stands for ''issues,'' meaning the firm parted with its metal (@ 100 troy ounces a shot), and ''S'' stands for ''stops,'' meaning the firm took delivery of gold. ''C'' is for customer accounts, ''H'' is house accounts. The first thing you should notice is that most transaction net out to zero in a given month (blue boxes), meaning the firm's gold holdings didn't change. What they delivered one day they got back the next, or vice versa. The green boxes show firms who received more than they delivered and the red boxes indicate firms who coughed up gold for Bernanke bucks (aka idiots). Note that Deutsche Bank's massive take in February more than offsets its deliveries in December and April.

Notice one more thing before we move on: Despite Goldman's much ballyhooed ''Gold Sucks!'' call a few weeks ago, the squid has not parted with any yellow metal whatsoever in 2013. Hmmm.

Now for the main event:

J P Morgan has fumbled ownership of 1,966,000 Troy ounces of gold since February 1. That's 74% more gold than the US mint delivered through its American Eagle program in all of 2012. I mention this because there's little doubt in my mind that the US government is one of JPM's gold ''customers.'' So (if I am correct) the same US government who just let the Morgue dump its gold on the COMEX floor will once again be suspending gold sales to peasants.

Maybe Jamie Dimon figures he'll buy back all that gold on the cheap when the rest of the world realizes how smart he is. Or maybe he's once again displaying that his firm doesn't have the slightest idea what ''hedging'' is and is teetering on the brink of collapse. That would explain the April 11th meeting between President Obama and the Pig 5 bank CEOs, wouldn't it? And you just have to get a little misty that Lloyd Blankfein was nice enough to provide some hot-air cover for his competitor, don't you?

One thing's very clear: When it comes to selling physical gold, J P Morgan is acting alone. The 130 contracts NOT delivered by JPM in the last three months (of which 110 were fromABN AMRO) are but a footnote. If Jamie's right, he'll look like a genius in a few months, if not he should be able to recycle his quote regarding the infamous ''London Whale'' losses: ''Just because we're stupid, doesn't mean everybody else was.'' Time will tell.

100 years ago John Pierpont Morgan famously testified to Congress, ''Money is gold, and nothing else.'' (Note: That is the exact quote, the full testimony can be found here). One has to wonder what the big guy would think of his legacy's disregard for sound money, $70 Trillion derivatives book, and ''House of Cards'' ''Fortress'' balance sheet.

One more very, very important thing.Anybody who says there's been gold selling in the GLD is a freaking moron (Bob Pistrami, I'm looking in your direction). The GLD works much like a coat check. Unless you think checking your coat constitutes a real transaction of some kind you shouldn't think of changes in the GLD's gold holdings as sales. They're not. When you check your gold into the GLD you get shares (like a claim check). Where it gets wierd is you can sell these claim checks to nimrods who seem to think they've bought your coat, but aren't actually allowed to wear it.

What nobody seems to appreciate is that every share of GLD is allowed to be sold TWICE (long and short, and it's really important to understand that). If you're foolish enough to doubt me (and foolish enough to short gold), go short GLD shares and see if anyone knocks on your door demanding gold. Saying the GLD is 100% backed by gold is a bold face lie because they're can be twice as many shares in play as gold backing them, which means GLD shares may be only 50% backed by gold before any rules are broken.

When GLD (or any ETF for that matter) shares sold exceed the existing shares PLUS all the shortable (double-sold) shares, legitimate shares can not be found for settlement and that must be reported to the SEC's ''Fails to Deliver'' list, which is published twice a month with about a four-week delay (here).

April 15, 2013 was this biggest volume day ever for GLD (93.7mm) and I'll guarantee you right now that record fails to deliver will be reported on or around that date, which should have required more gold to be deposited with the GLD (but that didn't happen). So instead of the half-assed explanation Pistrami offered (here) of how he thinks the GLD works, he should have raised the question of whether or not there were enough legitimate shares of GLD to facilitate trading (I say no way in hell).

Gold continues to be pulled from the GLD (which really means people want their coats back) and still no one's concerned about the number doubled-owned shares. Worse yet, the responsibility for sorting this unholy mess out falls to SEC chief Mary Jo White who is celebrating her 16th day in office.

I can't wait to see what happens next'....

Notes for Nerds: This piece is not intended to describe the inner workings of the COMEX or GLD in detail, so don't bust my balls with minutiae, unless it is relevant to the discussion of JPM's massive gold sales or the double-ownership of ETF shares. Double-owned ETF shares are huge problem with ETFs in general, but the misrepresentation (by omission) of this fact by ETFs supposedly backed by tangible assets like gold and silver seems more egregious to me.

In addition to the YTD CME Group metals report, you can track the hilarity on a day-by-day basis here.

The February 1 to April 25 delivered gold contracts info referenced included only transactions between firms. For that reason Morgan Stanley's 307 contracts transferred from house account to customer account was excluded from the calculations.

Total Net gold deliveries Feb 1 to April 25:

Vision Financial '' 1 contractR J O'Brien '' 2ADM Investor Services INC '' 2Marex '' 5Citigroup Global Markets '' 10ABN AMRO '' 110JP Morgan '' 19,660

Update:Friday April 26 (not included in article):

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Who Got The Golden Margin Call At The European Close?

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Source: Zero Hedge

Fri, 26 Apr 2013 12:13

Gold and silver prices are plunging after the European equity markets closed. It seems someone got the tap on the shoulder and needed to fund some liquidity. Given the 'unusual' strength in high-beta European assets this week, it would suggest someone (or many someones) were short and squeezed to cover in a hurry and perhaps this post-close dump in gold and silver reflects the final end-of-week realization of losses that need to be funded.

or is it post London physical close catch down in paper from the post-GDP move?

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The gear that lands itself. 9-11 landing gear wedged beside victory mosque

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Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 04:05

MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them -- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.

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"Some Chemical Weapons Were Used BUT We Are Still Investigating Who Did It" Rep Ruppersberger

VIDEO-Chelsea Clinton Interviews The Geico Gecko And It's Weird (VIDEO)

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Sat, 27 Apr 2013 14:41

This has definitely been the most baffling thing we've seen today.

NBC News would not allow Chelsea Clinton to appear in a video advocating for marriage equality, but the network did allow her to fake interview the Geico Gecko. It was sort of weird!

Clinton asked the Geico Gecko about his life as a celebrity lizard. Clinton asked questions like, "Now Gecko, do people recognize you on the street?" and "Is there a downside to all this fame?" And they made a fake yearbook picture for the gecko, for some reason which is still unclear.

This exchange is part of a larger series about advertising that Clinton is reporting on for "Rock Center with Brian Williams" (we think). Check out the one-minute video in the clip above.

(h/t Daily Intel)

Also on HuffPost:

This has definitely been the most baffling thing we've seen today. NBC News would not allow Chelsea Clinton to appear in a video advocating for marriage equality, but the network did allow her to f...

This has definitely been the most baffling thing we've seen today. NBC News would not allow Chelsea Clinton to appear in a video advocating for marriage equality, but the network did allow her to f...

Filed by Rebecca Shapiro |

Boorish Bashir Strikes Again: Americans Prefer STD To Congress

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Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Sat, 27 Apr 2013 11:57

On Melissa Harris-Perry's MSNBC show, former New York Times columnist laughs at the notion that there is liberal media bias. He claims that "overwhelmingly, media in the United States--television, newspapers, that sort of thing--the bias shifts [...]

VIDEO-Rep. Pete King: Merchants Selling Ball Bearings, Beauty Products 'Should Notify Police' | CNS News

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Sat, 27 Apr 2013 14:03

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) (AP File Photo)

( - Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), a member of both the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, wants retailers to tell police about people who buy innocuous items that could be used to make a bomb.

This follows reports that the Boston Marathon bomber used pressure cookers packed with nails and ball bearings to kill three people and maim dozens of others at the finish line on Monday.

"Obviously there's always certain ways that security can be stepped up at an event," King told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday.

"But the fact is that if someone is a terrorist, that they can construct a bomb and put it together. If they can carry it that far, chances are they're going to make it to the event. That's why the intelligence is so important, to be aggressive, to be out front, and why it's important (for) people, if they see something, say something.

"For instance, merchants, if they're selling any components that can be used for a bomb, everywhere from ball bearings to beauty products, they can all be used to make bombs. They should notify the police."

King noted that New York City Policy Commissioner Raymond Kelly has sent his officers into the community to monitor what's happening: "I know they've been criticized for it, but that's how you can head off this type of -- hopefully, head off -- this type of attack."

King said getting "more intelligence" is something that "has to be done."

Asked if the Boston attack might lead to the installation of more surveillance cameras, King said he thinks so -- "because I think privacy involves being in a private location. Being out in the street, there's not an expectation of privacy. Anyone can look at you, can see you, can watch what you're doing. A camera just makes it more sophisticated."

King said surveillance cameras are "no different" from having a neighbor look at you from a window -- or a police officer watch you walking down the street: "So I think we do need more cameras. We have to stay ahead of the terrorists."

King called cameras "a great law enforcement method and device. And, again, it keeps us ahead of the terrorists who are constantly trying to kill us."

Jammers, too

A few hours later, speaking to Fox News, Rep. King called for the use of "jammers" to prevent the detonation of remote-controlled improvised explosive devices.

"I feel strongly that local police should have access to jammers," King said. "I believe they should have more cooperation with the military -- right now there are legal issues, as far as...military units being involved in this, but the military has expertise dealing with these IEDs."

The only way to stop IEDs with detonators is to have "more dogs, more surveillance."

King then repeated his call for retailers to go to police when they notice people buying every day items that could be used as bomb components.

"Anyone seeing anyone buying components, any type of BBs or ball bearings -- a large amount of nails, even -- report that to police," he said.

VIDEO-HELIUM-Hank Johnson 'Imagine a world without balloons' - C-SPAN Video Library

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Fri, 26 Apr 2013 11:13


VIDEO-Horse meat may be added to U.S. menus

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Fri, 26 Apr 2013 10:30

Horse meat may be added to U.S. menusPosted!A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

Sent!A link has been sent to your friend's email address.

Federal regulators are reevaluating a centuries-old American idea that horses should be pets, not on plates.

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VIDEO-Syria Has Used Chemical Weapons, Israel Says -

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Thu, 25 Apr 2013 21:16

By Channon Hodge, Pedro Rafael Rosado and Alyssa Kim

Seeking Proof on Syrian Chemical Weapons: The Times's David E. Sanger on what the Obama administration is looking for before it moves on intelligence suggesting that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria used chemical weapons.

TEL AVIV '-- Israel declared Tuesday that it had found evidence that the Syrian government repeatedly used chemical weapons last month, arguing that President Bashar al-Assad was testing how the United States and others would react and that it was time for Washington to overcome its deep reluctance to intervene in the Syrian civil war.

In making the declaration '-- which went somewhat beyond recent suspicions expressed by Britain and France '-- Israeli officials argued that President Assad had repeatedly crossed what President Obama said last summer would be a ''red line.'' But Obama administration officials pushed back, saying they would not leap into the conflict on what they viewed as inconclusive evidence, even while working with allies on plans to secure the weapons if it appeared they were about to be used or handed to Hezbollah.

The declaration from Israel's senior military intelligence analyst was immediately questioned in Washington. Officials said an investigation was necessary, but added that American intelligence agencies had yet to uncover convincing evidence that an attack on March 19, and smaller subsequent attacks, used sarin gas, a deadly agent that Syria is believed to hold in huge stockpiles.

''We are looking for conclusive evidence, if it exists, if there was use of chemical weapons,'' Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said when pressed on the Israeli assessment.

In a briefing in Tel Aviv, an Israeli military official was vague about the exact nature of the evidence, saying that it was drawn from an examination of photographs of victims and some ''direct'' findings that he would not specify.

Secretary of State John Kerry suggested there were mixed messages emerging from Israel, saying that he spoke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday morning and that the Israeli leader ''was not in a position to confirm'' the intelligence assessment. Israeli officials said they would not try to explain the apparent difference between Mr. Netanyahu's statement and that of his top military intelligence officials.

At the same time, Daniel B. Shapiro, the American ambassador to Israel, said that contingency plans to address the use of chemical weapons in Syria were ''very much part'' of the discussions between Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his Israeli counterpart here on Monday.

The Israeli intelligence analyst, Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, told participants at a security conference in Tel Aviv that the Syrian government ''has increasingly used chemical weapons.'' That echoed accusations that Britain and France made in a letter last week to the secretary general of the United Nations, calling for a deeper investigation.

''The very fact that they have used chemical weapons without any appropriate reaction,'' General Brun said, ''is a very worrying development, because it might signal that this is legitimate.''

General Brun's statements were the most definitive to date by an Israeli official regarding evidence of possible chemical weapons attacks on March 19 near Aleppo, Syria, and Damascus, the capital. Another military official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the evidence had been presented to the Obama administration but that it had not fully accepted the analysis.

None of the assertions '-- by Israel, Britain or France '-- have included physical proof. Experts say the most definitive way to prove the use of chemical weapons is to collect soil samples promptly at the site and examine suspected victims.

A senior Defense Department official noted that ''the use of chemical weapons in an environment like Syria is very difficult to confirm.'' He added: ''Given the stakes involved, low-confidence assessments by foreign governments cannot be the basis for U.S. action. The president has clearly stated that the use of chemical weapons would be a game changer. Thus, we must be absolutely confident of use before determining how to respond.''

That will not be easy. The Syrian government, which has accused insurgents of using chemical weapons and has requested that a United Nations forensics team investigate, has refused to allow that team to enter the country because of a dispute over the scope of its inquiry.

Mr. Kerry, at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels, urged that members of the alliance be ready to respond if it was determined that Syria had in fact used chemical weapons.

But after his phone call with Mr. Netanyahu he told reporters, ''I don't know yet what the facts are,'' adding, ''I don't think anybody knows what they are.''

Reporting was contributed by Thom Shanker from Amman, Jordan; Hwaida Saad from Beirut, Lebanon; Michael R. Gordon from Brussels; and Eric Schmitt and Peter Baker from Washington.

ABC Heralds End of 'Airport Armageddon,' Fails to Portray Furloughs Battle as Democratic Defeat

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Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Fri, 26 Apr 2013 16:39

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ABC stubbornly stuck to its talking points on Friday, portraying the furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration employees as "airport armageddon." Despite the fact that even liberal outlets such as Politico spun the ending of the furloughs as a loss for the Democrats, GMA's David Kerley failed to do so. A network graphic trumpeted, "Airport Armageddon Ending? Congress Acting to End Delays." Kerley adopted an everybody-is-to-blame tone, lecturing, "We say Washington is dysfunctional. But when members hear complaints and it's going to affect them, it's amazing how fast they can act." Yet, Politico announced, "Democrats blink first on aviation cuts." Writers Kathryn A. Wolfe and Burgess Everett concluded, "Democrats caved in and agreed to allow the Federal Aviation Administration to keep air traffic control towers running at close to full capacity." This type of analysis didn't make it to ABC.

Video cross-posted at NewsBusters.

Rep Peter King (R-NY) on the future plans of the Boston Bomber April 25 2013

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Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Thu, 25 Apr 2013 21:19

MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them -- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.

MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 325 South Patrick Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. For information about the MRC, please visit

Copyright (C) 2013, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.

Armed Drones Being Remotely Flown Over Afghanistan From Britain For The First Time! WHO'S NEXT?

ONLINE SELF RADICALIZATION! "The Internet Is A Place Where People Do Become Radicalized"

"Our Economy Is Growing! Our Deficits Are Shrinking! We're Creating Jobs On A Consistent Basis!"

Bombing Suspect Had NO GUN When He Was Hiding In Boat & Cops Fired Hundreds Of Bullets At Him '' Cop hit by friendly fire '' YouTube

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Source: Stuff Ain't Right » Uncategorized

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 09:34

I'm just an obscure Midwestern singer/songwriter. Sometimes I just look around for stuff that ain't right. I don't endorse or completely agree with everything I put on my blog. I just find them interesting and worth re-posting for folks that might run across them. If you disagree or agree with the views in these articles, then that's your right. You can comment, complain or whatever. I might agree with you or I might not. That's my right, I guess. Either way, there's some stuff out there that ain't right. I think we can agree on that.

Washington Lawmakers Define What Marijuana Is

Two Police Officers Shot Outside Italian Prime Minister's Office As New Government Sworn In

Girls Told To Ask For Lesbian Kiss At School

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Sun, 28 Apr 2013 08:00

Italian cabinet comes together

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Source: euronews

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 04:06

After two months of political wrangling, newly-appointed Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta has formed a new cabinet.

He brings together his own Democratic Party members and opposition members from former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom Party.

Letta was in upbeat mood about the team. Speaking at a press conference, he said:

''It's a team of ministers that is very competent, that is young, and also includes a record number of women, for me that is one of the greatest satisfactions.''

Letta was charged with bringing together a cohesive government by President Giorgio Napolitano, who himself was only inaugurated about a week ago.

In a sign that Letta is willing to build on his reputation as a bridge-builder, Angelino Alfano from People of Freedom party was appointed Deputy Prime Minister.

Fabrizio Saccomanni, the Italian Central Bank's experienced director-general will head up the powerful Economy Ministry.

And the post of Justice Minister went to Anna Maria Cancellieri, a member of the outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti's government.

Emma Bonino wins the Foreign Minister post. She's a former member of the European Parliament and and a leading member of the independent Italian Radicals Party.

But there was no room for Beppe Grillo, the popular comedian who stood in the general election under his anti-establishment Five Star Movement.

More about:Enrico Letta, Italian elections 2013, Italian politicsCopyright (C) 2013 euronews

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Landing Gear Found In New York Believed To Be Part of 9/11 Attacks HAS A ROPE ATTACHED TO IT!

"Police Say Train Terror Plot Was NOT Imminent! May Have Been More Aspirational Than Operational