Weather Channel Demonstration / Protest to Raise Awareness for Global Geo – Engineering (Atlanta Ga. Jan. 26 2015)

January 24, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured

 (UNAUTHORIZED) PRESS ADVISORY              

Weather Channel Demonstration / Protest to Raise Awareness for Global Geo – Engineering

(Atlanta Ga. Jan. 26 2015)

 

TO: ALL GEORGIA MEDIA / NATIONAL MEDIA – Coverage Access available

 

WHAT:   Geo (Earth) Engineering is a term to put a new face on Weather Modification, or weather control. Geo –  Engineering equals CLIMATE CHANGE. The debate on Climate Change is not over unless it includes man made weather, and atmospheric manipulation. There is a large historical archive of evidence to prove that Geo – Engineering is not a crazy plan for the future…. It is happening NOW. The Weather Channel is responsible for reporting this program. Our local coalition plans to draw this to their attention, thus removing any plausible deniability.  

 

WHERE:   Weather Channel HQ (and surrounding area) /  300 Interstate North Pkwy SE, Atlanta, GA

 

WHEN:  Monday  January 26th 2015 /  at 11:00am – 5:00pm

ATTRACTIONS & VISUALS:  Available on Site: Greg Pallen, former 2012 Congressional candidate in Georgia’s 4th district (Event Organizer).

 

OTHER ACTIVITIES: More than 300 citizens have RSVP’d to the event on facebook, and many more are expected. This is a great story for your media outlet. You spend countless hours per day on weather issues. A large number of your viewers, readers, or listeners are concerned about the environment; yet question the regulations they must adhere to every day . More are coming. Regarding the issue of Geo – Engineering, or aerosol spraying…. There is no left and right, or black and white…. Just truth or fiction.

 

CONTACT:  Greg Pallen (Event Sponsor and organizer) 

 

                                                                                                                                

 

 

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Expect Dirty Business as Usual Following Saudi King’s Death

January 23, 2015 by  
Filed under World

 

 

by Stephen Lendman

World headlines announced Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz’s death. At age 90. After being hospitalized on December 31. Suffering from pneumonia.

His half-brother Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud succeeds him. Aged 79. Reportedly suffering from dementia or Parkinson’s disease.

Initially Reuters headlined “New king, same oil policy.” Changed to “New Saudi king seen holding the line on OPEC policy to keep oil output high.”

The Wall Street Journal headlined “Death of King Unlikely to Alter Saudi Oil Policy.”

The Financial Times headlined “Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman bids to reassure markets.”

AP headlined “Saudi King Abdullah, a Gradual Modernizer, Dead at 90.”

BBC headlined “Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz dies.”

Saying prior to announcing his death, “Saudi television cut to Koranic verses, which often signifies the passing of a senior royal.”

He died on Thursday at 22:00 GMT (5:00 PM New York time).

The Washington Post called him “a wily king who embraced limited reform.” The New York Times said he became “a force of moderation.”

A litany of praise followed for one of the world’s most repressive rulers heading a ruthless regime.

James Petras commented earlier. Calling the Kingdom infested with “all the vices and none of the virtues of an oil rich state like Venezuela.”

“The country is governed by a family dictatorship which tolerates no opposition and severely punishes human rights advocates and political dissidents.”

It “finances the most fanatical, retrograde, misogynist version of Islam, “Wahhabi” a sect of Sunni Islam.”

Prince Bandar bin Sultan masterminds Saudi’s terror network, said Petras. Partnered with high-level “US political, military and intelligence officials.”

State terror enforces repressive policies. No opposition is tolerated. Elections when held are farcical.

Ruling family dictatorship thugs run things. Expect no meaningful change under Salman. Repressive business as usual continues.

Human Rights Watch called Abdullah’s so-called reforms “largely symbolic.” He “failed to secure the fundamental rights of Saudi citizens to free expression, association and assembly.”

Obama paid tribute to his “valued” ally. Saying “(t)he closeness and strength of the partnership between our two countries is part of King Abdullah’s legacy.”

One rogue leader praised another. Obama ludicrously claimed Abdullah “took bold steps” for regional peace.

Rogue leadership best describes him. A longstanding destabilizing influence.

Partnered with Obama’s war on Syria. Supporting extremist takfiris against Assad. Supplying them with chemical and other weapons.

Relatively few in number IS beheadings make headlines. Longstanding Saudi practice gets practically no attention.

A rare October 2014 Newsweek article headlined “When It Comes to Beheadings, ISIS Has Nothing Over Saudi Arabia.”

America’s “closest Arab ally,” said Newsweek. Kingdom “decapitations are routine.” For “crimes including political dissent.”

“(A)nd the international press hardly seems to notice.” Dozens of people have “their heads lopped off” annually.

On average, one every four days. Along with other horrendous forms of punishment. Including whippings involving hundreds of lashes. Sometimes 1,000.

Administered about 50 at a time. Too many at once assures extremely painful death.

Newsweek said beheadings occur in public. “People…gather to watch…” British author John R. Bradley calls them the “only form of public entertainment” besides football.

One Saudi executioner, Mohammed Saad al-Beshi, said he beheaded up to seven prisoners a day. Calling it “God’s work.”

Newsweek’s article is the exception proving the rule. Virtually none of this makes Western headlines. Especially in America.

Horrific Saudi crimes aren’t reported. Obama turned truth on its head calling US/Saudi ties a “force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond.”

The State Department publishes annual human rights reports on over 190 countries. Its latest in April 2014.

Discussing Kingdom “human rights problems. (I)including torture and other abuses…”

“(O)vercrowding in prisons and detention centers…”

“(H)olding political prisoners and detainees…”

“(D)enial of due process; arbitrary arrest and detention…”

“(A)rbitrary interference with privacy, home, and correspondence.”

“Violence against women, trafficking in persons, and discrimination based on gender, religion, sect, race, and ethnicity (remain) common.”

“Lack of governmental transparency and access made it difficult to assess the magnitude of many reported human rights problems.”

Known abuses include “arbitrary and unlawful deprivation of life.” State-sponsored kidnappings and disappearances.

“Torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Horrific prison and detention center treatment. Arbitrary arrests and detentions. “Denial of fair public trial(s).”

No due process or judicial fairness whatever. Thousands of political prisoners with no rights whatever.

“Arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home or correspondence.” No human or civil rights whatever allowed.

Saudi “civil law does not protect human rights, including freedom of speech and the press.”

Internet freedom is verboten. None whatever exists. Nor academic freedom. Nor free cultural expressions.

Nor free peaceful assembly and association. Nor freedom of religion. Nor freedom of internal movement, foreign travel and repatriation.

Asylum granted only “if public interest so dictates.” Refugees and asylum seekers prohibited from legally seeking work.

Or have access to education, healthcare, public housing, legal services or other social ones.

Significant numbers of Saudi residents are legally stateless. Mostly native born ones.

Saudi citizens have no right to change their government. Saud family members maintain total control.

Political parties and similar groups are forbidden. So is the right to organize politically. Collective bargaining rights are banned.

Discrimination against women excludes them from most aspects of public life. Government is rife with corruption.

Transparency is nonexistent. Internal and international human rights groups are banned.

Consensual same-sex conduct is punishable by death or flogging. Civil and human rights abuses are rampant.

Absolute monarchal rule is despotic, lawless and brutal. Police state ruthlessness writ large.

An October 2014 Amnesty International (AI) report is titled “Saudi Arabia’s ACPRA: How the Kingdom Silences its Human Rights Activists.”

It explains how Saudi officials harass, detain and abuse human rights workers. Going to “extreme lengths to hound critics into silent submission,” said AI.

ACPRA is the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association. Founded in October 2009. Dissolved in March 2013.

On March 9, 2013, a so-called Saudi court sentenced two of its leaders to 15 years in prison. For “offenses that included sedition and giving inaccurate information to foreign media.”

According to AI’s Middle East and North Africa program deputy director Said Boumedouha:

“The Saudi Arabian authorities have consolidated their iron grip on power through a systematic and ruthless campaign of persecution against peaceful activists in a bid to suppress any criticism of the state in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab uprisings.”

AI’s report focuses on 11 ACPRA activists. Saudi authorities targeted its founding members.

Three currently serve 15-year prison terms. Two are incarcerated without charge. Three others awaited trial when AI’s report was published.

Another three were tried. As of last fall they were free. All 11 were harassed. Most were detained short-term or imprisoned for months or years.

Charges besides the one listed above included one or more of the following:

“(B)reaking allegiance to and disobeying the ruler.”

“(I)nciting public opinion against the authorities.”

Equating peaceful demonstrators and dissenters with “terrorism.” According to AI’s report:

“ACPRA members spoke out repeatedly against the detention practices of the Saudi Arabian authorities and were especially critical of the Ministry of Interior and its feared security and intelligence branch, the General Directorate of Investigations (GDI) or al Mabahith, whose officers wield extensive powers and are able to arrest, detain, torture and abuse those they suspect with impunity.”

“(V)irtually all the country’s leading human rights activists are the imprisoned victims of an unrelenting official crackdown on criticism, dissent and other exercise of the right to freedom of expression.”

“Saudi Arabia has long evaded effective international scrutiny for its dire human rights record.”

It’s a longstanding US ally. One rogue state supports another. Dirty business as usual continues. Expect no meaningful change ahead.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs

Russia Responds to Obama’s Bombastic State of the Union Address

January 21, 2015 by  
Filed under Commentary

Peace Prez?

 

by Stephen Lendman

Obama consistently turns truth on its head. On Tuesday, he said America’s upholds “the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small…”

No nation bullies, pressures and bludgeons other nations to comply with its wishes more than America. At the same time wrongfully accusing Russia of aggression in Ukraine.

No evidence whatever suggests it. Plenty shows US dirty hands responsible for Ukrainian crisis conditions. Ongoing conflict. Fascism in Europe’s heartland.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is a world-class diplomat. A peace champion. Polar opposite his American counterpart.

He addressed journalists attending his annual Moscow press conference forthrightly. Explaining hard truths.

Saying “(t)he Americans have taken the course of confrontation and do not assess their own steps critically at all.”

“Yesterday’s speech by President Obama shows that at the centre of the (US) philosophy is only one thing: ‘We are number one and everyone else should recognise that.’ ”

“It shows that the United States wants all the same to dominate the world and not merely be first among equals.”

Lavrov urges “all countries to adopt the philosophy of cooperation, not diktat.”

Attempts to isolate Russia won’t work, he said. “Russia will never resort to self-isolation,” Putin stressed.

“Relations between Moscow and Washington significantly deteriorated in 2014,” said Lavrov.

“We call for resuming effective cooperation at a bilateral and international level. But dialogue is only possible if based on equality and respect for each other’s interests.”

US-dominated NATO cut ties with Russia. Choosing confrontation over cooperation.

“NATO made an absolutely politicized decision to halt civil and military cooperation,” said Lavrov.

“Almost all projects have been frozen. (Moscow) will not allow a new Cold War,” he stressed. It won’t play America’s dirty game.

It’s “aggressive (and) outdated.” Accusing Russia of aggression in Ukraine flies in the face of reality.

No proof suggests it, said Lavrov. “I say it every time. If you are so sure in stating that, confirm it with facts.”

“But no one can or wants to provide them.” Duplicitous hyperbole substitutes.

Russia wants Ukraine’s conflict resolved diplomatically. Washington wants war, not peace. So does Kiev’s stooge government.

Talking peace. Waging war. Slaughtering defenseless Donbas civilians.

Fighting continues daily. Ukrainian artillery and warplanes attack residential communities. Violating fundamental international law.

Committing grave war crimes. Russia is the world’s best hope for peace. Going all out to achieve it.

US belligerence defeats its best efforts. So does Kiev’s stooge government beholden to Western interests.

“We are very concerned over the new outbreak of violence in southeastern Ukraine,” said Lavrov.

“This was preceded by threatening statements out of Kiev. (Including) Poroshenko’s announcement of new waves of mobilization that will begin with 100,000″ recruits.

In recent weeks, “new weapons, new equipment and military contingents have moved toward” Donbas.

Full-scale war followed. Poroshenko’s peace rhetoric bought time to regroup.

Rearm with US supplied weapons. Other NATO countries providing more.

Thousands of Ukrainian forces were mobilized. Deployed east. Used against Donbas residents.

“We believe that delivering weapons to conflict zones contradicts all the codes of the European Union and the codes of the OSCE,” said Lavrov.

Russian Federation economists disagree with Obama’s claims about Russia’s isolation. Its economy in tatters.

Reality is polar opposite, they said. Unemployment is low. Agribusiness holding its own.

Basic industries functioning well. Business and commerce making headway seeking new markets.

Dmitry Kamnev is Higher School of Economics deputy public finance chairman.

“It is the people and natural resources, such as oil and gas, that constitute the nation’s main potential,” he said.

“Russia is exploring new markets for its products in Asia. Contracts with China have been concluded. There are tangible financial reserves.”

Presidential academy RENAPA Macroeconomic Studies Center senior fellow Olga Izryadnova called Obama’s comments far-fetched.

Saying “reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated…Although the oil price slump and sanctions have had a painful effect on the economy Russia still has a (significant) growth potential.”

Russian presidential academy senior lecturer Olga Malikova called Obama’s comments fantasies. Polar opposite reality.

Current problems won’t last, she said.. Russia’s prospects are bright.

RENAPA Associate Professor Vasily Yakimkin called Obama’s claims gibberish.

“Even though our economy is not in a very good condition: growth rates are falling, the risk of recession is looming on the horizon, we will go on developing no matter what,” he said.

Higher School of Economics senior lecturer Igor Nikolayev denies Russian isolation. Its “current level of involvement in the world economy” can’t be reversed, he explained.

Russian upper house Federation Council International Affairs Committee chairman Konstantin Kosachev said:

“We survived the 1990s, when everything was far worse. We have grown stronger. Without outside assistance.”

“We shall survive and get stronger again. But only those who support Russia at such a dramatic moment, and not hamstring it, will eventually stand to gain.”

Kosachev believes US anti-Russian policy may become its worst strategic error since the end of the Cold War.

“Bombastic rhetoric by the ‘world policeman’ about Russia’s isolation and so on may be good for internal use, but it certainly does not work in the real world,” Kosachyov stressed.

“The worst risk is not that of losing the Russian market, which is still large and will certainly recover some day. It is about the loss of credibility and integration perspective.”

“The expectations that power in Moscow will change hands and everything will get different are erroneous.”

“Russians’ consolidation around their leader indicates that the people regard the current sanctions and other measures towards Russia as targeted against them personally.”

“It is not a result of propaganda, but a direct effect of sanctions.” Washington, not Putin, is blamed.

Russia’s star is rising. America’s place in the sun is fading. Arrogance and hubris its undoing. It’s just a matter of time.

 

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs

Central bank prophet fears QE warfare pushing world financial system out of control

January 21, 2015 by  
Filed under Economy

Former BIS chief economist warns that QE in Europe is doomed to failure and may draw the region into deeper difficulties

London Telegraph

The economic prophet who foresaw the Lehman crisis with uncanny accuracy is even more worried about the world’s financial system going into 2015.

Beggar-thy-neighbour devaluations are spreading to every region. All the major central banks are stoking asset bubbles deliberately to put off the day of reckoning. This time emerging markets have been drawn into the quagmire as well, corrupted by the leakage from quantitative easing (QE) in the West.

“We are in a world that is dangerously unanchored,” said William White, the Swiss-based chairman of the OECD’s Review Committee. “We’re seeing true currency wars and everybody is doing it, and I have no idea where this is going to end.”

Mr White is a former chief economist to the Bank for International Settlements – the bank of central banks – and currently an advisor to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He said the global elastic has been stretched even further than it was in 2008 on the eve of the Great Recession. The excesses have reached almost every corner of the globe, and combined public/private debt is 20pc of GDP higher today. “We are holding a tiger by the tail,” he said.

“QE is not going to help at all. Europe has far greater reliance than the US on small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) and they get their money from banks, not from the bond market,” he said.

“Even after the stress tests the banks are still in ‘hunkering down mode’. They are not lending to small firms for a variety of reasons. The interest rate differential is still going up,” he said.

The warnings come just as the European Central Bank prepares a blitz of bond purchases at a crucial meeting on Thursday. Most ECB-watchers expect QE of around €500bn now that the eurozone is already in deflation. Even the Bundesbank is struggling to come with fresh reasons to oppose it.

The psychological potency of this largesse will depend on whether the ECB opts for shock-and-awe concentration or trickles out the stimulus slowly. It also depends on the exact mechanism used to conduct QE, a loose term at best.

ECB president Mario Draghi hopes that bond purchases will push money out into the broader economy through a “wealth effect”, but critics fear this will be worse than useless if it leads to an asset bubble without gaining traction on the real economy. Classic moneratists say the ECB may end up spinning its wheels should it merely try to expand the money base.

Mr White said QE is a disguised form of competitive devaluation. “The Japanese are now doing it as well but nobody can complain because the US started it,” he said.

“There is a significant risk that this is going to end badly because the Bank of Japan is funding 40pc of all government spending. This could end in high inflation, perhaps even hyperinflation.

“The emerging markets got on the bandwagon by resisting upward pressure on their currencies and building up enormous foreign exchange reserves. The wrinkle this time is that corporations in these countries – especially in Asia and Latin America – have borrowed $6 trillion in US dollars, often through offshore centres. That is going to create a huge currency mismatch problem as US rates rise and the dollar goes back up.”

Mr White’s warnings are ominous. He acquired great authority in his long years at the BIS arguing that global central banks were falling into a trap by holding real rates too low in the 1990s, effectively stealing growth from the future through “intertemporal” effects.

He argues that this created a treacherous dynamic. The authorities kept having to push rates lower with the trough of each cycle, building up ever greater imbalances, in an ineluctable descent to the “zero bound”, where monetary levers stop working properly.

Under his guidance, the BIS annual reports over the three years before the Lehman crisis were a rising crescendo of alarm calls at a time when other global watchdogs were asleep. His legendary report in June 2008 openly discussed whether the world was on the cusp of events that might prove as dangerous and intractable as the Great Depression, as it indeed it was.

Mr White said central banks have been put in an invidious position, compelled to respond to a deep economic disorder that is beyond their power. The latest victim is the Swiss National Bank, which was effectively crushed last week by greater global forces as it tried to repel safe-haven flows into the franc. The SNB was damned whatever it tried to do. “The only choice they had was to take a blow to the left cheek, or to the right cheek,” he said.

He deplores the rush to QE as an “unthinking fashion”. Those who argue that the US and the UK are growing faster than Europe because they carried out QE early are confusing “correlation with causality”. The Anglo-Saxon pioneers have yet to pay the price. “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings. There are serious side-effects building up and we don’t know what will happen when they try to reverse what they have done.”

The painful irony is that central banks may have brought about exactly what they most feared by trying to keep growth buoyant at all costs, he argues, and not allowing productivity gains to drive down prices gently as occurred in episodes of the 19th century. “They have created so much debt that they may have turned a good deflation into a bad deflation after all.”

 

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German anti-Islam leader steps down after posing like Hitler

January 21, 2015 by  
Filed under World

BERLIN (AP) — The leader of a German organization against the perceived “Islamization” of Europe stepped down Wednesday after a picture surfaced showing him with a Hitler mustache and hair combed over like the Fuehrer.

Lutz Bachmann, co-founder of the Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, announced his departure in a statement on Facebook after top-selling tabloid Bild published the photo.

Bachmann didn’t comment directly on the picture, but apologized for online comments that have surfaced where he called refugees “cattle” and “filthy.”

He called them “ill-considered comments that I wouldn’t make in this way today” and apologized for harming the movement, which has taken pains to distance itself from neo-Nazi groups.

The group has staged weekly demonstrations in the eastern city of Dresden that reached their peak last week, drawing 25,000 people. This week’s planned rally was canceled after police said authorities had monitored a Tweet calling for one of the organizers to be killed.

FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2014 file photo the chairman of Pegida, Lutz Bachmann, delivers a speech during a rally of the 'Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West' (PEGIDA) in Dresden, eastern Germany. The leader of a German organization against the perceived “Islamization” of Europe, which has taken pains to distance itself from neo-Nazi groups, provoked a firestorm Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 after a picture surfaced showing him with a Hitler mustache and hair combed over like the Fuehrer.

 

© AP Photo/Jens Meyer FILE – In this Dec. 15, 2014 file photo the chairman of Pegida, Lutz Bachmann, delivers a speech during a rally of the ‘Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West’ (PEGIDA) in Dresden,…

PEGIDA’s spokeswoman, Kathrin Oertel said the Hitler picture had been satire, but Bachmann’s comments about refugees and German politicians hadn’t “contributed to the trustworthiness” of the group.

Bild quoted Bachmann as saying he had posted the Hitler picture on his Facebook page, apparently some time ago, as a joke.

“One has to be able sometimes to make fun of oneself,” he said.

If it was a joke, nobody was laughing.

“Anyone in politics who poses as Hitler is either a total idiot or a Nazi,” Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel told Bild, taking the opportunity to reiterate the government’s call for people to stay away from PEGIDA’s weekly demonstrations in Dresden.

PEGIDA organizer Rene Jahn earlier Wednesday said the “incident must have consequences.”

“That’s unacceptable. I won’t have anything to do with such a thing,” Jahn said.

MSM: Yes, the Federal Reserve has enormous power over who is president

January 20, 2015 by  
Filed under Economy

 

(editorial Comment / Jack Blood) : We could add to this obviously…. But – just the fact that the MSM is coming with this… Means we have been successful. PS: The Federal Reserve is NOT FEDERAL – nor does it have “Reserves” . It is a private Cartel originated by JP Morgan, and John Rockefeller (JP Morgan Chase, Citi) etc…

 

Washington (Bilderberg) Post

The arc of the political universe is long, but it bends towards monetary policy.

That’s the boring truth that nobody wants to hear. Forget about the gaffes, the horserace, and even the personalities. Elections are about the economy, stupid, and the economy is mostly controlled by monetary policy. That’s why every big ideological turning point—1896, 1920, 1932, 1980, and maybe 2008—has come after a big monetary shock.

Think about it this way: Bad monetary policy means a bad economy, which gives power back to the party that didn’t have it before. And so long as the monetary problem gets fixed, the economy will too, and the new government’s policies will, whatever their merits, get the credit. That’s how ideology changes.

In 1896, for example, Republicans completed their transformation from being the anti-slavery party to the anti-inflation one. Back then, the U.S. was on the gold standard, but there wasn’t enough gold. Miners had found so little of it that overall prices were falling, which was particularly bad news for anyone who’d borrowed money. That’s because wages fall if prices do, so debts that don’t become harder to pay back. The result was two decades of slower-than-it-should-have-been growth where the economy was in recession more often than not.

Democrats, for their part, finally came up with a solution: stop crucifying mankind on a cross of gold, and use silver as money, too. They were four years too late, though. Gold discoveries in South Africa in 1896 and the Yukon in 1898 made the gold standard sustainable just in time for the Republicans, who had become the party of the financial elite that stood to lose a lot of money from inflation, to rally to its defense. Wall Street threw more money, as a percent of gross domestic product, into defeating the pro-silver Democrats than has been spent in any presidential election before or since. And it worked. Republicans won, the gold standard survived, and a new old era of conservative politics, of balanced budgets and low inflation, was ushered in.

Well, at least until World War I. That’s because Republicans agreed on fiscal and financial policy, but not on regulation. That split let Woodrow Wilson win a three-way race in 1912, and, despite getting reelected on the slogan that “he kept us out of war,” he didn’t in 1917. Now, gold had already been pouring into the U.S., fueling inflation, as people moved it out of Europe, but once we joined the Allies, we also partially suspended the gold standard by banning gold exports.

That left us with higher prices and a big pile of shiny rocks after the war ended. So, in 1920, the Fed raised rates so much that prices not only stopped rising, but actually started falling. A deep recession followed, right before the presidential election. That, together with general war weariness, was enough for an extreme mediocrity like Warren G. Harding to win the biggest popular vote victory, by percentage points, on record just on the strength of three word: return to normalcy. A year later, the Fed lowered rates, the Roaring Twenties were born, and the conservative orthodoxy of low taxes and low spending once again seemed to be vindicated.

It wouldn’t for long. Households, you see, went on a borrowing binge in the 1920s. They borrowed money to buy cars. They borrowed money to buy homes. And, yes, they borrowed money to buy stocks. So once the market crashed, this pyramid of debt did too. Even zero interest rates weren’t enough to stop the economy’s free fall. This only got worse when people panicked, sometimes justifiably so, that all these bad debts would make their banks go bust. That became a self-fulfilling prophecy as people rushed to pull their money out before everyone else, and the Fed, which was more concerned about propping up the gold standard than propping up the financial system, let everything collapse.

The craziest part was that the U.S., along with France, had so much gold that they could have created inflation and still stayed on the gold standard if they wanted to. But they didn’t. They were so pathologically afraid of anything even resembling inflation that they chose depressions that forced them off gold instead. Hoover tried to run balanced budgets in the face of 25 percent unemployment, and the Fed raised rates in the face of bank runs, all to try to maintain the gold standard that, to them, was synonymous with civilization. This wasn’t exactly popular. FDR came in and immediately did everything Hoover hadn’t been willing to: going off gold, stress testing the banks, and spending money even if it meant running deficits. Recovery followed, and, in the process, discredited laissez-faire government for more than a generation.

By the 1970s, though, the Fed had made the opposite mistake of the one it made in the 1930s. This time, instead of saying there was nothing it could do about falling prices, it said there was nothing it could do about rising prices. Part of it was because Richard Nixon pressured it not to raise rates before his reelection. Another part was that the oil shocks pulled it in opposite directions—higher oil prices hurt the economy, but also increased inflation—and it didn’t know what to do. And the final part was that widespread cost-of-living-adjustment contracts turned price shocks into wage shocks that then made the price shocks even worse. Now, even though this didn’t have anything to do with actual Keynesianism, which, remember, is when the government runs deficits to fight recessions, “Keynesianism” became the bête noire of stagflation.

It was more than enough to undo Jimmy Carter, who had the misfortune of appointing the right Fed Chair at the wrong time, at least for him. Paul Volcker, you see, tried raising rates in 1980, just enough to create a small recession, before really raising them in 1981 and whipping inflation for good at the cost of a much deeper recession. This was perfectly timed, though, for Ronald Reagan, who got to run against Carter during a slump, and then watch Volcker engineer an inflation-killing slump that ended just in time for his own reelection. You know the rest of the story: it looked like government really was the problem, not the solution, and now it was Morning in America, etc., etc.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that politics can change without ideology also changing. Richard Nixon’s Southern strategy, for example, created a new conservative coalition, but it didn’t create new conservative policies. Instead, Nixon tried to co-opt Democrats by using price controls to fight inflation, setting up the Environmental Protection Agency to fight pollution, and offering a healthcare reform bill to bring down the uninsured rate. Bill Clinton similarly showed Democrats how to win in the post-Reagan world, peeling off professionals and soccer moms, without really challenging the prevailing “era of big government is over,” deregulating ethos.

So will 2008 be an ideological inflection point? Well, like the French Revolution, it’s too early to say. Turning points come when the old policies aren’t working, and the old policies don’t work when there’s a big monetary shock. That doesn’t mean everything else is irrelevant—some policies are good ideas and others aren’t—but rather that politics is a status quo business, and as long as the Fed is keeping the economy growing, people tend to be reasonably happy with what they have.

But there’s something a little false about any “turning point.” It’s something we half-invent in retrospect. FDR’s New Deal took Hoover’s half-measures and made them full-measures. Reagan deregulated business like Carter had already started to. And Obama, well, he used the same healthcare plan as Mitt Romney. But if politics is the art of the possible, then these stories we tell matter because they change what we think is possible.

And that only changes when the Fed thinks something isn’t.

Former FBI Special Agent Says CIA Kept Him From Helping to Stop 9/11 Terror Attacks

January 20, 2015 by  
Filed under Americas

Former FBI Special Agent Says CIA Kept Him From Helping to Stop 9/11 Terror Attacks | 18 Jan 2015 | An FBI special agent who lost his job in 2008 told Newsweek his story about how the 9/11 hijackers slipped through the cracks at the FBI and CIA more than a decade ago. Mark Rossini said the CIA prevented him from going to FBI headquarters with the information that two known terrorists, who later went on to carry out the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, had entered the US. Government reports on 9/11 blame a vague “intelligence failure” for the terrorist attack that killed about 3,000 people in 2001 and provide little clarity on why the CIA didn’t communicate crucial information about the hijackers to the FBI.

This is fertile false flag ground: UK and US to Stage Cyber War Games to Test Banks | 16 Jan 2015 | Britain and the US will stage cyber “war games” together to boost both countries’ resistance to cyberattacks. During talks in Washington David Cameron and President Barack Obama also agreed to set up of a joint “cyber cell” to defeat execute cyberattacks, the White House said in a statement. The unprecedented amount of intelligence co-operation and information sharing between the two nations topped the agenda of the talks. Plans to force social media companies to share secret information were also expected to be discussed.

NORAD conducting exercises this week in Washington D.C. area | 18 Jan 2015 | The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will conduct a series of training flights over Washington this week in order to test its response capability to possible air threats. NORAD and its geographical component, the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), will conduct the regional exercise, called Falcon Virgo, Tuesday night through Friday morning between midnight and 5:30 a.m. each day, CONR said in a press release.

‘CIA killed prisoners, made it look like suicide’ – Guantanamo guard

January 20, 2015 by  
Filed under World

But they wouldn’t do that to Us… right?

‘CIA killed prisoners, made it look like suicide’ – Guantanamo guard | 15 Jan 2015 |A former Guantanamo Bay prison guard and Marine explained in details what makes him believe three problematic detainees were killed at CIA black site in Guantanamo and their death was covered up as a triple suicide. Army Staff Sergeant Joseph Hickman was on duty at the notorious prison camp when the three men died, and insists the official version of events is “impossible,” he told Vice News. The three men were Salah Ahmed Al-Salami, 37, from Yemen, Mani Shaman Al-Utaybi, 30, from Saudi Arabia, and Yasser Talal Al-Zahrani, 22, also from Saudi Arabia. None of them had been charged with any crime.

N.S.A. Tapped Into North Korean Networks Before Sony Attack / Defector Lied About His Story of Captivity

January 20, 2015 by  
Filed under Sci-Tech

N.S.A. Tapped Into North Korean Networks Before Sony Attack, Officials Say | 18 Jan 2015 |The trail that led American officials to blame North Korea for the destructive cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November winds back to 2010, when the National Security Agency scrambled to break into the computer systems of North Korea. The American spy agency [in violation of international law] drilled into the Chinese networks that connect North Korea to the outside world, picked through connections in Malaysia favored by North Korean hackers and penetrated directly into the North with the help of South Korea and other American allies, according to former United States and foreign officials, computer experts later briefed on the operations and a newly disclosed N.S.A. document.

 

Prominent North Korean Defector Lied About His Story of Captivity, Said to Be ‘Still Lying’ | 18 Jan 2015 | He was the [CIA] poster boy for human rights atrocities in North Korea; a soft-spoken survivor of the North’s cruel gulags who eventually met such dignitaries as John Kerry in his campaign to focus attention on the North’s abuses. Now, that survivor fabulist, Shin Dong-hyuk, is retracting central facts of his widely reported life story, memorialized in a 2012 book, “Escape from Camp 14,” by a former Washington Post reporter that has been published in 27 languages. Mr. Shin’s latest account has raised its own questions. “He is still lying,” said a North Korean defector who said he was in Camp 18 from 1967 to 1988 and would speak to journalists only on condition of anonymity because he still had family members in the North.

Obama has worst State of the Union record since Ford, study shows

January 20, 2015 by  
Filed under Americas

Guess his remaining supporters will Blame Republicans or “racists” – but for the record…..

Judging by his recent history, it doesn’t really matter what President Obama says in Tuesday’s State of the Union address — Congress is going to ignore him anyway.

Mr. Obama has the second-worst record of getting his State of the Union policy requests enacted into law of any president in the last five decades, according to an analysis by two scholars that puts him only above the unelected two-year presidency of Gerald Ford.

From 2009 through 2014, Mr. Obama issued 209 different calls for action from Congress in his speeches, but only saw lawmakers follow through on 64 of them — good for just 30 percent. That’s only slightly better than Mr. Ford’s 28 percent success rate, and is well below the likes of President Clinton, the previous Democratic president, who won 44 percent of his policies even though he faced a Congress more Republican than Mr. Obama has.

Indeed, Mr. Obama set a single-year record for futility in 2013, just after his re-election, getting Congress to pass just two of the 41 policies he asked them to consider. That’s the worst in the last 50 years, according to the data from Professors Donna R. Hoffman and Alison D. Howard, two political scientists who have tracked State of the Unions going back to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1965 speech.

In 1997, the year after his re-election, Mr. Clinton got Congress to pass 33 of his 57 proposals.

According to the two scholars, Mr. Obama’s best year came in 2010, when he had huge Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate, made 45 proposals, and won full or partial passage of 25 of them.

His rate began to steadily decline to 2013’s disastrous year of just two successful proposals, before rebounding last year, when Congress — still divided between Democrats controlling the Senate and the GOP controlling the House — passed five of his 29 proposals.

Washington Times

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