The American Empire in a Changing World


Monday, April 30, 2012

''The Iron Triangle - The Carlisle Group''

"The Carlisle Group is a massive "private equity firm," which raises money from wealthy individuals and companies, and then reinvests the money into private defense companies with extremely high profit margins. It is made up of well known politicians such as George Bush, Sr. and James Baker, and it is one of the most powerful elements of the "military industrial complex," which is a business built around the defense industry being so large and powerful that it able to influence the politics of war. This video discusses the structure of the group and explains its history of many abuses."

''DECLINE of EMPIRES: The Signs of Decay''

Chalmers Johnson......from 2008

"Chalmers Johnson, author of Blowback, Sorrows of Empire and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic , talks about the similarities in the decline of the Roman and Soviet empires and the signs that the U.S. empire is exhibiting the same symptoms: overextension, corruption and the inability to reform.

Chalmers Johnson is president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, a non-profit research and public affairs organization devoted to public education concerning Japan and international relations in the Pacific."

Exporting Security: ''Israeli and U.S. Defense Chiefs Visit Colombia''

probably getting ready to go after Venezuelan oil.....
From Nacla

"U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visited Colombia on Monday as part of a regional trip that includes Brazil and Chile. Panetta’s visit came exactly one week after Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak also visited Colombia and agreed on security and military contracts. The Director of the CIA, David Petraeus; retired U.S. general Stanley McChrystal; and Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Martin Dempsey, have all also visited Colombia recently."

"In at least three previous blog posts, I have highlighted the increasing importance of Colombia’s role in the U.S. regional security regime, thanks to the impressive expansion of the Colombian military that has become the largest in the region. The $7 billion Plan Colombia alongside close to $70 billion spent by the Colombian state over the last decade on the military has made it a formidable force and potentially destabilizing to the region. This militarization of Colombia has acquired a dynamic of its own, and far exceeds the country’s needs to fight the insurgency."

read more 

''The Increasing ‘Americanization’ of the Colombian Conflict''

From Nacla

"First, U.S. generals David Petraeus and Stanley A. McChrystal played a pivotal role in designing Colombia’s new counterinsurgency strategy to target the mid-level command structures of the Revolutionary Armed Forced of Colombia (FARC). Now, U.S. Army general Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, is further increasing military ties between Colombia and the United States.

Last week Dempsey visited Colombia, which may be on the road to becoming the third theater of U.S. military operations after Afghanistan and Iraq. Dempsey revealed that Army and perhaps Marine Corps colonels that have commanded combat brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan will be arriving to Colombia in a few weeks to share their experiences with the Colombian military. The move is an effort to improve the counterinsurgency performance of the Colombian armed forces."

The increasing U.S. intervention sheds light on the growing importance of Colombia for the U.S. military strategy in the Pacific-Atlantic-Amazon triangle. The region is a key node for U.S. hemisphere security, and an important reason that the United States is not keen about the growing assertiveness of regional players such as Brazil and Venezuela. Colombia has become the most reliable satellite for the U.S. hemispheric security strategy. As Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez once said, Colombia has become the “Israel of Latin America,” with the largest military in the region, on par with Brazil.

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''Alex Jones calls for Occupy Bilderberg''


Watergate: ''What did Ben Bradlee know, and when did he know it?''

From Reuters

''This confession and other findings drawn from Ben Bradlee’s papers appear in a book excerpt that was published in New York magazine last night. The excerpt has sparked a near riot in Watergate Nation – the principals who reported the story, other journalists, history buffs, and political devotees for whom the 1972 Democratic National Committee headquarters break-in and Nixon administration cover-up remains an inexhaustible topic of fascination.

The excerpted book, Yours in Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee, which goes on sale May 8, is by former Bob Woodward researcher Jeff Himmelman. Himmelman first surveyed the Bradlee papers as part of a proposed book collaboration with Bradlee, but after the veteran editor decided against writing the book, he gave Himmelman sanction to write his own book based on the material.''

read more 

''The Obama Contradiction''

From TomDispatch
By Tom Engelhardt

"He has few constraints (except those he’s internalized).  No one can stop him or countermand his orders.  He has a bevy of lawyers at his beck and call to explain the “legality” of his actions.  And if he cares to, he can send a robot assassin to kill you, whoever you are, no matter where you may be on planet Earth.

He sounds like a typical villain from a James Bond novel.  You know, the kind who captures Bond, tells him his fiendish plan for dominating the planet, ties him up for some no less fiendish torture, and then leaves him behind to gum up the works.

As it happens, though, he’s the president of the United State, a nice guy with a charismatic wife and two lovely kids."

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'The United States is a Corporation not a Country'

''Big Brother Auto Insurance Plans Pose Privacy Concerns''

From New American

"Is saving 30 percent on your car insurance enough to justify granting Big Brother access to your vehicle? That’s the question many consumers and industry analysts are asking, as more auto insurance companies offer new options that calculate premiums based on a person’s driving habits, rather than set variables such as age, gender, and past driving records.
Progressive insurance (the company with TV commercials starring "Flo," left) for example, introduced last year its Snapshot Pay As You Drive discount program, which allows drivers to save up to 30 percent on their premiums. The catch is that all insured cars must be fitted with devices that monitor driving habits, such as how fast an individual drives, how often they apply the brakes, and how many miles they drive a week. If a driver has a long daily commute, for example, the discount might be reduced or eliminated altogether."

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''Sneaky Banks, Student Loan Corp. Keep Students in Debt, Class Claims''

From Court House News

"Citibank, Discover Bank and The Student Loan Corporation are tricking former students into believing that their monthly payments have been cut when in fact only the payment toward principal has been lowered, generating greater interest income for the banks over the longer life of the loan, according to a federal class action.

Lead plaintiff Justin Kuehn, who is paying off four student loans, claims the defendants "are engaged in a scheme to collect additional interest at the expense of borrowers of student loans."

read more 

''China ready for Putin Presidency 2.0''

From Russia & India Report
By MK Bhadrakumar

"Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s deputy premier in charge of defence and space industry, visited Beijing on Thursday. He used to be the special representative on missile defence [ABM] to NATO, but on Wednesday, he was relieved of this charge. Not many details have appeared in the media about his visit to China, but Beijing obviously appreciates Rogozin’s key role in the modernization and technological upgradation of Russia’s defence industry."

"Beijing is pinning hopes on finalizing a trillion-dollar natural gas deal with Russia in the near future."

read more 

''Your Tax Dollars At War''

''Marty Kaplan on Big Money’s Effect on Big Media''

From Bill Moyers

"Big money and big media have coupled to create a ‘Disney World’ of democracy in which TV shows, televised debates, even news coverage is being dumbed down, just as the volume is being turned up. The result is a public certainly more entertained, but less informed and personally involved than they should be, says Marty Kaplan, director of USC’s Norman Lear Center and an entertainment industry veteran. Bill Moyers talks with Kaplan about how taking news out of the journalism box and placing it in the entertainment box is hurting democracy and allowing special interest groups to manipulate the system."

see the video and read more 

''Living Along the Fenceline and Standing Army: The American Empire of Bases''

From Japan Focus

"Two recent documentaries make excellent viewing for anyone interested in the history of American military bases overseas – and their ongoing ramifications. With an estimated 1,000 US military bases outside of the 50 states,1 the United States currently has the largest number of overseas military bases of any country in history. Why does the US need military bases in over 130 countries? Why do countries like Germany, Italy, Japan and South Korea still host hundreds of American military bases and thousands or tens of thousands of US soldiers, more than six decades after World War II? Why is the US still aggressively expanding into many new countries? Standing Army (72 min., 2010) is a far-reaching exploration of the ideological and geo-political answers to these questions. Living Along the Fenceline (67 min., 2011), though also international in scope, is a more narrowly focused film, answering a critical question: How do these bases affect local populations? Offering both global and personal perspectives, these two films are complementary and would work well together as tools to initiate dialogue and discussion on base issues and the role of American global military power."

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''France sees little on the horizon apart from the gloom''

From The Guardian

"French people of very different ages and backgrounds have been writing in with their views of the state of their country and what they feel these elections will – or will not – accomplish. The overriding note, I have to say, is one of pessimism; many seem to feel France's economic problems are being seriously underestimated, and are in any case not being addressed by either of the two remaining candidates in the presidential race."

read more 

''Lockheed Throws Its Weight Around (Again)''

From Foreign Policy in Focus

"Lockheed Martin and its friends at The Washington Post are still outraged that in 2010 the Council refused to pass a special law to give Lockheed Martin a unique tax advantage that would have cost the county $450,000 per year — at a time when the county was faced with draconian cuts to critical services. The county executive, at the behest of Lockheed Martin, had asked the council to change the legal definition of a hotel, specifically to exempt the patrons of Lockheed Martin’s new luxury hotel in Bethesda, MD from paying the county’s 7-percent hotel tax. The proposed law would have applied to no other facility in the county."

read more 

''State Department Reveals 21st Century NATO’s Global Priorities''

lets call it what it is.......defending the petrodollar thru war , killing and theft

From Stop NATO Blog
By Rick Rozoff 

"In a presentation titled “The Chicago Summit and U.S. Policy,” the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Tina Kaidanow, laid out what the military alliance’s main powerhouse and financial backer demands of its 27 allies and in so doing indicated many of the top geopolitical objectives of her department and the U.S. government as a whole for the upcoming years.''

..........."What the House members listening to her, if not the casual reader, would understand by the above comments is that NATO is the chief vehicle employed by the State Department, White House and Pentagon to advance American political, economic and military interests in Eurasia and increasingly the rest of the world. As such, it’s well worth the U.S.’s effort to provide the preponderance of its funding and military assets and further engineer its evolution into an expanding, ultimately global, military-political network."

read more

Chris Hedges: US political theater: ''Global oligarchic elite robs middle class''

From RT

"America sees the’ looting’ of the US Treasury, and the money given to a Wall Street ‘criminal class’, journalist Chris Hedges told RT. He adds that ordinary people are caught in the vice of unregulated corporate capitalism – with no escape."

''An estimated 196 million people were unemployed worldwide at the end of last year''

From Reuters

"In advanced countries, especially in Europe, employment is not expected to return to pre-crisis levels of 2008 until the end of 2016 -- two years later than it previously predicted -- in line with a slowdown in production.

An estimated 196 million people were unemployed worldwide at the end of last year, forecast to rise to 202 million in 2012 for a rate of 6.1 percent, according to the United Nations agency's annual flagship report, "World of Work Report 2012."

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Egypt: "The horror and the pita''

From Asia Times Online

"Egypt is in a classic pre-revolutionary situation that favors the firebrand Muslim Brotherhood and its desire to seize all the reins of power it is now grabbing from the country's disintegrating military rulers. The Brotherhood thrives on chaos that has put essential services under pressure, risks increasing the price of bread, and is giving Egyptians a foretaste of Somali-style horrors to come."

 read more

''China mulls guarantees for ships carrying Iran oil''

From Reuters via Chicago Tribune

"China is considering sovereign guarantees for its ships to enable the world's second-biggest oil consumer to continue importing Iranian crude after new EU sanctions come into effect in July, the head of China's shipowners' association said."

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''Spain Officially Double Dips, Joins 10 Other Western Countries In Recession''

From Zero Hedge

"The good news: Spanish Q1 GDP printed -0.3% on expectations of a -0.4% Q/Q decline. Unfortunately this is hardly encouraging for the nearly 25% of the labor force which is unemployed, and for consumers whose purchasing habits imploded following record plunges in retail sales as observed last week. The bad news: Spain now joins at least 10 other Western countries which have (re) entered a recession."

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Book Review: ''The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future'' by Vali Nasr

From Student Pulse

"In his book The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future Vali Nasr addresses an issue that is gaining increased importance in the contemporary coverage of global Islam: Sunni-Shia relations. Vali Nasr is a widely respected scholar who claims expertise in multiple fields that pertain to Middle Eastern and South Asian politics, particularly Sunni-Shia relations."

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''Wary of Iran, Saudis seek progress on Gulf union''

political union, then fiscal union then monetary union??

From Business Recorder

''Wary of Iran and regional protest movements, Gulf Arab states are pushing ahead with plans for a political union that would involve joint foreign and defence policies, the Saudi foreign minister said in a speech at the weekend.

The comments by Prince Saud al-Faisal come two weeks ahead of a summit of US-aligned Gulf leaders in Riyadh that will review an outline for such a union after Saudi King Abdullah first floated the idea last December.

A Gulf-based Western diplomat said the proposal was driven mainly by Saudi fears that the restive Shia Muslim majority in Bahrain could topple the island kingdom's Sunni Muslim rulers.''

read more 

''Assad's Success Could Lead to Alliance With Gulf States''

From IBTimes

"Will the Assad regime's suppression of its own version of the "Arab Spring" transform Syria into an unwavering ally of Iran and spell long-term hostility between Damascus and the Gulf Arab states now financing the Syrian rebels, as many now seem to believe? Not likely. Alliances in the Middle East are always in flux, and the Syrian case is no different. In fact, the Gulf States could find significant opportunity within their current adversity with Damascus."

read more 

''TalkingStickTV - Bruce Gagnon - Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space''

From TalkingstickTV

very interesting.........

'Alex Jones: Turning The Tide'

from Infowars....

Florida: ''Neighborhoods crumble as thousands of homes sit in legal limbo, Sun Sentinel finds''

From Sun Sentinel

"Banks that made reckless home loans have been tiptoeing away from foreclosures in a tactic designed to cut their losses. The result: Orphaned, dilapidated homes dot the landscape from Kendall to Lake Worth.

There are no owners willing to claim and care for them.

A months-long Sun Sentinel investigation of property code violations involving abandoned homes uncovered case after case in which banks launched foreclosure lawsuits but then stalled or avoided taking ownership. In effect, the banks legally sidestepped responsibility for the empty homes, causing great harm to neighborhoods.

The real estate industry calls such properties "bank walkaways." They are no longer maintained by their legal owners, whether they were investors bailing out of unwise deals or families in financial ruin who decamped.''


Australia: ''In your face'' 3000 police arrest 555 in Operation Spartan''

From SMH

"In the words of a senior officer, the best weapon NSW police have in the fight against crime is "in-your-face policing".

This, according to south-west metropolitan reigon commander Frank Mennilli, led to almost 1000 charges being laid over the weekend as police state-wide went out to "crack down on crime"

read more 

''US Imperialism and Oil Politics: Africa, Middle East, Asia''

''Location Of 63 Secret Killer Drone Bases Inside The US Revealed''

From Alexander Higgins

"The US has been forced to reveal the location of 63 secret bases used to conduct aerial drone flights for domestic spying operations.

A lawsuit has forced the FAA to reveal the location of 63 Secret Drone bases located inside the United States some of which will be the starting point for a massive deployment of airborne robots flying over the United States for spying on citizens which will eventually conduct targeted killings across the country.
While the information released shows an alarming number of bases being used for military and local law enforcement drones, perhaps the most startling revelation is that the United States is allowing Canadian Border Patrol Drones to operate across the Canadian border."

read more 

''Utilizing the Oil Weapon .... The Arab-Israeli War of 1973''

''Oil Discovery and Distribution of Wealth in Saudi Arabia and United Arab''

''Is America committing ‘superpower suicide’?''

From Spiked

"Two of America’s most prominent analysts have recently published books that address the subject of America’s role in the world, and they are gaining a hearing at the highest levels. Robert Kagan, author of The World America Made, is a so-called ‘neo-conservative’ who has the distinction of being claimed by both presidential candidates: Romney cites Kagan as one of his advisers, while Obama has reportedly praised his book. Elder statesman and Democratic Party foreign-policy guru Zbigniew Brzezinski, most well known for being ‘Jimmy Carter’s Kissinger’ in the 1970s, has written Strategic Vision, which is also said to be influential in policy circles, including the White House."

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David Halbert: ''Why U.S. led world in 19th, 20th centuries''

From Reporter News

"The reason we lead the world and had such spectacular growth in these two centuries is simple. We controlled the oil supply of the world.

The development of the petroleum industry began in the United States, because there were large reserves of oil, and the automobile and the airplane were developed in the United States. The development of the United States into a great industrial power in the 20th century was built on the exploitation of oil. When large new reserves were discovered in Texas in the 1930s, oil became so abundant, that it was cheaper than water. Six major oil corporations, all based in the United States, came to dominate the industry both at home and abroad. The only one of the so-called seven sisters not based in the United States was British Petroleum.''

read more 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

''There Is No Solution, Only Catastrophic Outcomes''

From King World News
By Robert Fitzwilson

"Since our Federal Reserve is the central bank for the world, any program that involves spending more money, over-and-above savings and taxes around the world, is quantitative easing.  This is the case, whether or not it is seen as our Fed taking the lead or Europe dealing with their own problems.  It is the same checkbook and the same printing press.  We have long since passed the nice and orderly process of easing, and are now engaged in what I would call ‘quantitative spewing.’

How long this can last is anyone’s guess.  Nobody is in favor of an economic collapse.  We have now transitioned into an economic ‘no-man’s land,’ the magnitude of which has never been seen.  There is no solution, only outcomes that have to be managed.  We must now print to infinity and hope that unexpected events will provide a positive path out of this morass."

read more 

''Google engineer told officials Street View cars were collecting personal data, FCC report says''

From Wapo

''A Google engineer knowingly created software that would collect sensitive personal information about people without their knowledge, according to an un-redacted version of a federal investigative report.

In a full version of a Federal Communications Commission report, an engineer shared e-mails with other Google officials indicating the company could collect “payload data,” including e-mail addresses and text messages through a program to collect location-based software from residential and business Wi-Fi networks. The company released the full contents of the report, which was heavily redacted by the FCC, except for the names of its employees.''

read more 

''The Cuban killer who fooled the CIA''

written by ex-cia........will take with a grain of salt
From Miami Herald

"On Nov. 22, 1963, at the exact moment President John F. Kennedy was being shot in Dallas, another assassination was being planned in Paris. There, a CIA officer was handing a poison-tipped pen to a Cuban intelligence officer named Rolando Cubela in hopes that he would use it to kill Fidel Castro. In this excerpt from his newly published book ‘Castro’s Secrets: The CIA And Cuba’s Intelligence Machine,’ former CIA Latin America analyst Brian Latell says Cubela was really a double agent working for Castro all along — which raises the chilling possibility that Kennedy’s murder was an act of retaliation for the plot against Castro." 

read more 

Read more here:

''War, Geopolitics and History: Conflict in the Middle East - A Public talk with Robert Fisk''

from 2006..

Fisk hits it out of the park..........a must see

'Andrew Gause -- The Real World of Money (1/2) - April 25, 2012'

from goldpolitics you tube page
the Interviewee is a 'currency historian'...........very interesting...

''United states of Arabia Saud petroleum UAE 1''

very interesting........dont know who made it, but worth watching....

'Shah Speech in OPEC in 1973'

"In 1973 the Shah intended to free Iran from unfair oil contracts that was supposed to end in 1979. That did not happen. Except, the brits and Jimmy Carter gave Iran a terrorist mullah called Khomeini & his ideology who not only killed Iranians but indirectly was responsible in murdering many Westerners.

January 1973—The 1973--1974 stock market crash begins, as a result of inflation pressure, the Nixon Shock and the collapsing monetary system.
August 23, 1973—In preparation for the Yom Kippur War, Saudi King Faisal and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat meet in Riyadh and secretly negotiate an accord whereby the Arabs will use the "oil weapon" as part of the upcoming military conflict.[13]
October 6 - Egypt and Syria attack Israeli occupied lands in Sinai and Golan Heights on Yom Kippur, starting the fourth Arab-Israeli War.
October 8--October 10—OPEC negotiations with major oil companies to revise the 1971 Tehran price agreement fail.
October 12— The United States initiates Operation Nickel Grass, an overt strategic airlift operation to provide replacement weapons and supplies to Israel during the Yom Kippur War. This followed similar Soviet moves to supply the Arab side.
October 16 - Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, and Qatar unilaterally raise posted prices by 17% to $3.65 per barrel and announce production cuts.[14]
October 17—OPEC oil ministers agree to use oil as a weapon to influence the West's support of Israel in the Yom Kippur war. They recommend an embargo against non-complying states and mandate a cut in exports.
October 19—US President Richard Nixon requests Congress to appropriate $2.2billion in emergency aid to Israel. This decision triggered a collective Arab response.[9] Libya proclaims an embargo on oil exports to the United States; Saudi Arabia and other Arab states follow.

October 23--October 28—The Arab oil embargo is extended to the Netherlands.
October 26—The Yom Kippur War ends.
November 5—Arab producers announce a 25% output cut. A further 5% cut is threatened.
November 23—The Arab embargo is extended to Portugal, Rhodesia, and South Africa.
November 27—U.S. President Richard Nixon signs the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act authorizing price, production, allocation and marketing controls.
December 9—Arab oil ministers agree to another five percent cut for non-friendly countries for January 1974.
December 25—Arab oil ministers cancel the five percent output cut for January. Saudi oil minister Ahmed Zaki Yamani promises a ten percent OPEC production rise.
January 7--January 9, 1974—OPEC decides to freeze prices until April 1.
January 18—Israel signs a withdrawal agreement to pull back to the east side of the Suez Canal.
February 11 - United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger unveils the Project Independence plan to make U.S. energy independent.
February 12--February 14—Progress in Arab-Israeli disengagement brings discussion of oil strategy among the heads of state of Algeria, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
March 5—Israel withdraws the last of its troops from the west side of the Suez Canal.
March 17—Arab oil ministers, with the exception of Libya, announce the end of the embargo against the United States.
May 31—Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger produces a disengagement agreement on the Syrian front.
December 1974—The 1973--1974 stock market crash ends.''

we had a deal with the saudi' why did they cut us off from oil in 1974?............

''Re-denominating Iraqi oil in U. S. dollars, instead of the euro''

this article is from 2004
From Third World Traveler

"Oil can be bought from OPEC only if you have dollars. Non-oil producing countries, such as most underdeveloped countries and Japan, first have to sell their goods to earn dollars with which they can purchase oil. If they cannot earn enough dollars, then they have to borrow dollars from the WB/IMF, which have to be paid back, with interest, in dollars. This creates a great demand for dollars outside the U.S. In contrast, the U.S. only has to print dollar bills in exchange for goods. Even for its own oil imports, the U.S. can print dollar bills without exporting or selling its goods. For instance, in 2003 the current U.S. account deficit and external debt has been running at more than $500 billion. Put in simple terms, the U.S. will receive $500 billion more in goods and services from other countries than it will provide them. The imported goods are paid by printing dollar bills, i.e., "fiat" dollars.

After September 11, 2001, Islamic financiers began to repatriate their dollar investments-amounting to billions of dollars-to Arab banks, as they were worried about the possible seizure of their assets under the USA PATRIOT Act. Also, they feared their accounts might be frozen on the suspicion that such accounts fund Islamic terrorists. Iranian sources stated that their banking colleagues felt particularly hassled as Washington heated up its war of words and threats of military intervention. This encouraged Tehran to abandon the dollar payment for oil sales and switch to the euro. Iran also moved the majority of its reserve fund to the euro. (Iran is the latest target of the U.S., which has interfered by stirring up opposition forces, and making covert threats.)"

read more 

''Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar''

from 2011 & LSE....Barry Eichengreen

''Russia, China to trade in national currencies''

From Voice of Russia

"Russia and China have started making mutual payments in trade in their national currencies, Chinese Deputy Commerce Minister told reporters in Moscow on Saturday.

“The Chinese yuan is now a hard currency in Russia,” Chong Shan said, adding that the two countries were mulling a joint investment fund.

In the past 12 months the bilateral trade figure has reached almost $80 billion, and the volume of direct investment now stands at $4 billion.''

''The Bank of England Exposed''

from Bill Still 2009...

'Spanish police hard crackdown on austerity protesters' (28Apr12)

from liar politicians &

''Petrodollar profusion''

From The Economist

"FIRST, the good news: China, the country at the centre of the debate about global imbalances, has a current-account surplus that has fallen sharply over the past few years. Now the bad: China was never really the prime culprit when it comes to imbalances at the global level. The biggest counterpart to America’s current-account deficit is the combined surplus of oil-exporting economies, which have enjoyed a huge windfall from high oil prices (see left-hand chart). This year the IMF expects them to run a record surplus of $740 billion, three-fifths of which will come from the Middle East. That will dwarf China’s expected surplus of $180 billion. Since 2000 the cumulative surpluses of oil exporters have come to over $4 trillion, twice as much as that of China.

read more 

''William Engdahl - "Americas Gone Mad" - April 19, 2012''

mentions Asia land bridge.....

''The Hidden Hand Behind Sudan's Coming Oil War''

From Pacific Free Press

"The fact remains, however, that wherever there is oil political narratives cannot possibly be so simple. Sudan is caught in a multidimensional conflict involving weapons trade, internal instabilities, multiple civil wars and the reality of outside players with their own interests. None of this is enough to excuse the readiness for war on behalf of Khartoum and Juba, but it certainly presents serious obstacles to any attempt aimed at rectifying the situation.
With a single act of aggression, a whole set of conflicts are prone to flaring up. It is the nature of proxy politics, as many armed groups seek opportunities for territorial advances and financial gains. News reports already speak of a possible involvement of Uganda should the fledging war between Khartoum and Juba cross conventional boundaries. “As the possibility of a full-fledged war became unnervingly higher, General Aronda Nyakairima, chief of Uganda’s defense forces, said that his army might be compelled to intervene if Bashir did overthrow South Sudan’s regime,” reported Alexis Okeowo in the New Yorker website (April 20).
US support of South Sudan is already well known. “The US reportedly provided $100 million-a-year in military assistance to the SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army),” according to Russia Today on April 19, citing a December 2009 diplomatic cable revealed by WikiLeaks." 

''Torrent of Portland-area foreclosures reach market at a trickle''

From Oregon Live

"With signs of a housing recovery just beginning to materialize, one thing has economists and real estate professionals looking over their shoulders: a massive backlog of foreclosed properties.
All those foreclosures hitting the market at once could send home values plummeting. Don't sell enough of them, on the other hand, and they could be a drag on the market for years to come."

''Housing bust gives agencies a tax windfall''

From SFGate

............. ''people across the United States have seen their tax bills increase due to the housing bust. On federal tax returns, claims for the mortgage interest deduction dropped by 14 percent, from 2007 to 2009, IRS data show. For 2010, preliminary data indicate that use of the write-off fell an additional 7.2 percent.

The decline saved the U.S. government $13 billion to $26 billion from 2007 to 2010, estimates Andrew Hanson, an assistant professor of economics at Georgia State University who has researched the tax break. The shift "is not surprising, given what we know happened to the housing market," Hanson says.''

''Keiser Report: Oh My Gun!''


"In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert discuss how shouting 'fire!' in a crowded economy may be the only thing left to save us from our unpayable debts and, failing that, Barack Obama's 'revolving door' could be another GDP booster. In the second half of the show Max talks to David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5000 Years, about weaponized debt and the origins of May Day."

''The Magical Decline Of Crude Oil Demand''

From Market Oracle

"People who like conspiracy theory are well served by the Oil Establishment's ceaseless quest to present world oil supply as sufficient if not 'abundant', denying the evidence of Peak Oil, and accessorily keeping a lid on oil prices. BP, like most of the downsized family of private, nonOPEC, non Emerging country national oil companies, and the energy agencies of the major oil consuming countries spins magical theories purporting to show that oil demand is "withering away". The clan of oil majors once called the Seven Sisters, but today better called the 5 Anxious Dwarfs in oil production terms because all of them are making the Gas Shift away from oil, claims that global oil demand "will shrink to nothing". To be sure, the 5 Dwarfs now control only 12% of world oil production capacity, even if their profits remain impressive, so they like to pretend they dont need Black Stuff anymore."

read more 

GoldSeek Radio


Listen Here

''Jim Rogers, Gerald Celente, Harry S. Dent Jr. & CEO Scott Drever (encore show)''

good stuff

''Russia, China agree on Syria, North Korea: Chinese minister''

From Reuters

"China and Russia agree entirely with each other's positions on the crisis in Syria and on North Korea's nuclear program, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said on Saturday in Moscow.

"The sides hold 100 percent coinciding positions on the issues of North Korea and Syria," Cheng, who was accompanying Vice Premier Li Keqiang on a visit to Russia, told reporters through an interpreter."

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India: Debate: 'Agni ICBM makes China insecure'

from India's timesnowonline.....

''Awardee discuss Indias moment of triumph as the country successfully test fired the nuclear-capable Agni-V Inter- Continental Ballistic Missile today. The surface-to-surface Agni-V was launched from a mobile platform from the Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast at 8:07 a.m. that placed India at the threshold of an elite five-member club that possesses ICBMs.''

''British military seeking missile sites for Olympics''

From Raw Story

"Britain’s military is scouting locations in the capital including residential buildings to station surface-to-air missiles during this summer’s Olympic Games, the Ministry of Defence said Saturday.

“Ground-based air defence systems could be deployed as part of a multi-layered air security plan for the Olympics, including fast jets and helicopters, which will protect the skies over London during the Games,” a spokesman for the ministry said in a statement."

''As China Rattles Sabers, U.S. Rattles Back Via Taiwan Fighter Sales Insinuations''

From Asia Security Watch

''The United States may consider selling new fighter jets to Taiwan.

Chinese pressures push most Western nations’s defense industries  into avoiding Taiwan, but the Taiwanese military is rapidly showing its age. U.S. fighter jet sales would do little to completely solve the problem of a potential Chinese invasion, but could get the ball rolling on a more serious strategic alliance between the U.S. and Taiwan'' more

''A Tale of Two Currencies''

From European Magazine

"The German idea of an exit from the Euro is gaining popular support. According to an “Emnid-Institut” poll, 56% of Germans would favor a return to the “Deutsche Mark,” the country’s old currency. The poll was ordered by “Bild,” a populist newspaper that periodically chastens (with bold headlines) politicians for helping out other EU countries in dire straits – hence, some may suspect the poll to be biased. But other prominent voices have also started to come out of the closet and now speak against the Euro. Among them is Wolfgang Reitzle, head of the gas and engineering company Linde, who expressed his worries about staying within the monetary union and about attempts to fix it."

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

''Ron Paul supporters dominate Louisiana's Republican presidential caucuses''

word is that he won........


"Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, dominated the Louisiana Republican caucuses held Saturday. The results guarantee he will have a strong presence in the state's delegation to the Republican National Convention in August, even if he has little hope of winning the party's presidential nomination."

read more 

''So Long, US Dollar''

From GoldSeek
By Martin Katusa (Casey Research)

"It's ironic. The United States fashioned its Iranian sanctions assuming that oil trades occur in US dollars. That assumption – an echo of the more general assumption that the US dollar will continue to dominate international trade – has given countries unfriendly to the US a great reason to continue their moves away from the dollar: if they don't trade in dollars, America's dollar-centric policies carry no weight! It's a classic backfire: sanctions intended in part to illustrate the US's continued world supremacy are in fact encouraging countries disillusioned with that very notion to continue their moves away from the US currency, a slow but steady trend that will eat away at its economic power until there is little left.

Let's delve into both situations – the demise of the dollar's dominance and the Iranian sanction shortcuts – in more detail.

Signs the Dollar Is Going the Way of the Dodo
The biggest oil-trading partners in the world, China and Saudi Arabia, are still using the petrodollar in their transactions. How long this will persist is a very important question. China imported 1.4 million barrels of oil a day from Saudi Arabia in February, a 39% increase from a year earlier, and the two countries have teamed up to build a massive oil refinery in Saudi Arabia. As the nations continue to pursue increased bilateral trade, at some point they will decide that involving US dollars in every transaction is unnecessary and expensive, and they will ditch the dollar."

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''The United States is Run by Sociopaths, Economics and Evil''

From Casey Research via Market Oracle

"There is no truly capitalist state in the world today; perhaps Hong Kong comes closest (although not very close). The early US came quite close in some regards. In fact, the West as a whole was quite free in the century from the fall of Napoleon in 1815 to the start of World War 1 in 1914. Almost everywhere taxes were low and regulations few; there was no inflation because gold was currency everywhere; there were almost no serious wars and passports hardly existed, which enabled most anyone to travel almost anywhere without permission. It's no accident that, in percentage terms, the 19th century saw far greater and wider advances in prosperity than any time before or since. Capitalism is both natural and ideal – but, oddly, it doesn't exist anywhere."

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''Middle East money flows into Russian power group''

From Al Arabiya

"Middle East investors are pumping $175 million into Russian power generator Enel OGK-5 in what is thought to be the largest injection by a Gulf investor into the country so far, members of the investment consortium said.

Russia has been trying to attract investment from around the world for various projects and the Middle East’s oil wealth is a key area to tap. Investment so far from the region has been minimal, according to figures from London-based research firm Preqin."

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''Ben Bernanke’s Paper Dollar Embodies Systemic Risk''

a must read...........From Daily Reckoning Australia

"The paper dollar is now the single most important source of systemic risk to the financial system, the world economy, and the security of the American people.

That is the lesson of the past 100 years that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke did not teach during his four lectures at George Washington University's Graduate School of Business. Instead, he celebrated the importance of the extraordinary powers he and his fellow governors have to manipulate interest rates and the value of the dollar in the name of economic growth and stability.

In so doing, he ignored completely that the ever-growing need for heroic interventions by the Fed is itself being created by the paper dollar system he celebrates."

"Under the post-World War II gold standard, there were no financial crises that presented a systemic risk to the US economy. Since 1971, we have experienced the:"
  • 1973 Oil shock and international monetary crisis
  • 1979 Oil shock and dollar crisis
  • 1982 Latin American debt crisis
  • 1984 Banking crisis and effective nationalization of Continental Illinois Bank
  • 1987 Stock market crash
  • 1989-91 S&L crisis and bailout
  • 1990 Japanese bubble collapse and banking crisis
  • 1994 Mexican peso crisis
  • 1998 Asian currency crisis
  • 2001 Dot com crash
  • 2007-09 Housing collapse and international financial crisis
  • 2010-2012 European sovereign debt crisis

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F William Engdahl: "Confessions of an “ex” Peak Oil Believer''

this article is from 2007

"The Peak Oil school rests its theory on conventional Western geology textbooks, most by American or British geologists, which claim oil is a ‘fossil fuel,’ a biological residue or detritus of either fossilized dinosaur remains or perhaps algae, hence a product in finite supply. Biological origin is central to Peak Oil theory, used to explain why oil is only found in certain parts of the world where it was geologically trapped millions of years ago. That would mean that, say, dead dinosaur remains became compressed and over tens of millions of years fossilized and trapped in underground reservoirs perhaps 4-6,000 feet below the surface of the earth. In rare cases, so goes the theory, huge amounts of biological matter should have been trapped in rock formations in the shallower ocean offshore as in the Gulf of Mexico or North Sea or Gulf of Guinea. Geology should be only about figuring out where these pockets in the layers of the earth , called reservoirs, lie within certain sedimentary basins.

An entirely alternative theory of oil formation has existed since the early 1950’s in Russia, almost unknown to the West. It claims conventional American biological origins theory is an unscientific absurdity that is un-provable. They point to the fact that western geologists have repeatedly predicted finite oil over the past century, only to then find more, lots more.

Not only has this alternative explanation of the origins of oil and gas existed in theory. The emergence of Russia and prior of the USSR as the world’s largest oil producer and natural gas producer has been based on the application of the theory in practice. This has geopolitical consequences of staggering magnitude."

F William Engdahl: ''Why Iran's oil bourse can't break the buck"

this article is from 2006.......6yrs ago!!

From Asia Times Online

Some background considerations
"That argument fails to convince for a number of reasons. First, in the case of at least one of the oil-bourse theorists, the argument is based on a misunderstanding of the process I described in my book, A Century of War, regarding the creation in 1974 of "petrodollar recycling", a process with which then-US secretary of state Henry Kissinger was deeply involved, in the wake of the 400% oil-price hike orchestrated by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The US dollar then did not become a "petrodollar", although Kissinger spoke about the process of "recycling petrodollars". What he was referring to was the initiation of a new phase of US global hegemony in which the petrodollar export earnings of OPEC oil lands would be recycled into the hands of the major New York and London banks and re-lent in the form of US dollar loans to oil-deficit countries such as Brazil and Argentina, creating what soon came to be known as the Latin American debt crisis."

read more 

London: ''The secret Olympics?"

From Big Brother Watch

"In a remarkable – if not bizarre – twist to the Olympic Story, Amateur Photographer reports that it will be against Olympic rules to tweet, share on Facebook or in any way share your photos of the event.

Quite how this will be policed is beyond comprehension and one would hope police officers are not going to be expected to pursue anyone seen posting photos on Instagram."

read more 

''Suicides have Greeks on edge before election''

From Reuters

"On Monday, a 38-year-old geology lecturer hanged himself from a lamp post in Athens and on the same day a 35-year-old priest jumped to his death off his balcony in northern Greece. On Wednesday, a 23-year-old student shot himself in the head.

In a country that has had one of the lowest suicide rates in the world, a surge in the number of suicides in the wake of an economic crisis has shocked and gripped the Mediterranean nation - and its media - before a May 6 election."

read more 

Prison Labor: "Locking down an American workforce"

From LeMonde

"Sweatshop labor is back with a vengeance. It can be found across broad stretches of the American economy and around the world. Penitentiaries have become a niche market for such work. The privatization of prisons in recent years has meant the creation of a small army of workers too coerced and right-less to complain.

Prisoners, whose ranks increasingly consist of those for whom the legitimate economy has found no use, now make up a virtual brigade within the reserve army of the unemployed whose ranks have ballooned along with the U.S. incarceration rate. The Corrections Corporation of America and GEO, two prison privatizers, along with a third smaller operator, G4S (formerly Wackenhut), sell inmate labor at subminimum wages to Fortune 500 corporations like Chevron, Bank of America, AT&T, and IBM."

read more 

''Oil Without End? Revisionists say oil isn't a fossil fuel. That could mean there's lots more of it''

this article is from 2003

follow the money, because we may never know the whole truth..............From CNN/Fortune

"The increase in reserve estimates is fueling the offbeat theories of maverick scientists who believe that the expression "fossil fuels" is a misnomer and that the earth contains a virtually endless supply of oil. Their ideas fly in the face of the conventional wisdom that oil and natural gas come from the remains of animals and plants buried millions of years ago. Subterranean heat and pressure, mainstream science says, transformed this organic dreck into coal and oil. Though their theories vary, the upstarts believe instead that wellsprings of oil and gas lie deep within the earth, deeper than most oil companies drill, and that supplies are constantly replenished. "With the White Tiger Field in Vietnam, 90% of the production is coming from basement rock, where there were never any fossils," argues C. Warren Hunt, a geologist in Calgary. "What they've been teaching us in school about oil coming from fossils is wrong."

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''Madness Has No Boundaries: The Irrationality of The West, Israel, and Islam''

From The Excavator

"The CIA and MI6 created Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Mossad created Hamas---all to their great benefit. But the countries they claim to serve and protect are suffering and collapsing.

America has gone mad and bankrupt fighting off imaginary Islamic terrorists. It is consuming its own shadows, and self-destructing. Israel has the excuse of being in the Middle East, but America can make no such excuses. The sick leaders in Washington have turned the land of the free into a giant island filled with mentally incarcerated, brain-dead zombies.

But the West and Israel are not the only ones that are mad and crazy. Islam, which has taken hold of the political structures of the East thanks in large part to the clandestine work of Western intelligence agencies, is a mad religion." 

read more

Study: "Credit Default Swaps Made European Debt Crisis Worse''

From HuffPo

"In a paper published in the April edition of the Journal of International Money and Finance, three French researchers say they have found evidence that derivatives, namely credit default swaps, have actually made the European debt crisis worse, driving up interest rates for shaky sovereign borrowers such as Greece and Italy."

read more 

''What in the World Are They Spraying?''

80,000 protest in Malaysia

anti-government protests...........From The Sun Daily

"As of 8.10pm, Dataran Merdeka and the surrounding areas have been cleared of the crowds of Bersih 3.0 protesters.

The place, however, remain guarded by thousands of police personnel.

About 7,000 police personnel were brought in from all over the country to handle the protests today.

Meanwhile, lawyers are claiming that they have been denied access by the police to those arrested during the rally and are being held at Pulapol.

About 388 people have been arrested throughout the city after police fired teargas and water cannons in their attempts to disperse the crowds numbering to more than 80,000."

''The road to hyperinflation is via hyperdeflation''

From Barons
Interview with Hugh Hendry 

"To lay the seeds of hyperinflation, you need really, really bad things to happen. I thought the U.S. housing market having a massive crash would be hyperdeflationary. But then my Chinese friends pumped $1 trillion of credit into their $5 trillion economy, and created a global recovery, which has just come to an end. I'm speculating that hyperdeflation happens before hyperinflation. What's the worst that could happen? But the sum of all my fears would be China having a real hard landing of minus 5% or minus 10% GDP growth. If we had that—and Europe—the Fed would be printing $20 trillion, and I would have gold at $5,000. You can have a modest amount of gold, but you can't have all your assets in real assets, in case we get that hyperdeflation event."

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India: ''Tightrope walk on Tehran''

From India Today
By MK Bhadrakumar

"The Iran nuclear issue is moving onto a new phase. Talks have resumed after a break of some two years during which the West tried out coercive diplomacy, including military threats, but failed to stop Iran's nuclear programme. Both sides are in a chastened mood after peering into the abyss and not liking what they saw. As for the West, the realisation has finally dawned that Iran will not surrender its right to pursue a nuclear programme, while Iran senses that over and above its solemn assurances, it needs to do something extra to convince the West of the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme. Essentially, it becomes a matter of mutual trust.

This may sound simple but the journey ahead is difficult not only because it is an untrodden path in the saga of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty but extraneous 'non-nuclear' factors also come into play such as Iran's rise as a regional power and its integration in the international community, the winds of change sweeping across West Asia, oil, political Islam, Arab-Israeli problem and the Palestine question and, of course, Israel's security."

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''Bankers, Arab history and the petrodollar bazaar''

this article is from 2006
From Khaleej Times

"IN THE 1970s, the petrodollar became the symbol of a seismic power shift in global finance, the arrival of the Arabs as the new priesthood of money in the Third World. Of course, vast wealth existed in the Middle East centuries before a handful of geologists found subterranean lakes of black gold under a Dhahran salt dome and changed the history of Arabia forever."

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''China Spooking Allies with the See-Saw Between Soft and Hard Power''

From Diplomatic Courier

"Chinese leaders spend considerable time and energy in assuring the international community that they have no reason to be afraid of China’s “peaceful rise” and rapid emergence as one of the most important economic and diplomatic players on the international stage. Many countries, however, equate China’s growing economic might with greater political influence and are less accepting of the benign image that Beijing now wants to portray to the world. Although China’s current policy may appear at first impression to be a rather soft variety of imperialism, it is still perceived by many as “hard” imperialism.

There are now mounting signs that other countries, especially China’s neighbors, are not totally convinced of Beijing’s proclaimed benevolent intent. Those countries are presently taking measures to protect themselves in case China’s “soft” imperialism eventually turns out to be more aggressive or of the “hard power” variety.''

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''THE TRUTH BEHIND JAPAN-U.S. TIES: Numbers inflated in Marine relocation plan to increase political impact''

From Asahi Shimbun

"Due to political considerations, the plan to relocate thousands of U.S. Marines from Okinawa Prefecture to Guam under a 2006 agreement included doctored figures related to Japan's financial burden and troop levels.

Such manipulation, uncovered in an Asahi Shimbun analysis of about 7,000 Japan-related diplomatic cables obtained from WikiLeaks, could affect the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. The move of Marines to Guam is supposed to be conducted in conjunction with the Futenma relocation."

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''Interview: Glenn Williams IVs Paul Buchanan on the War on Terror's Shift of Theatre''

From 36th Parallel

"'s Paul Buchanan talks to Glenn Williams about how the War on Terror's theatre has shifted from Central Asia to Sub-Saharan Africa.

There are two aspects to this evolution. First, the central front in the war on terrorism has moved from Central Asia to Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa. The reason is not only that anti-terrorism efforts have largely been successful in Central Asia (the Taliban are an indigenous political movement rather than an international jihadist branch), especially now that the Pakistanis have become more effective at eliminating al-Qaeda operations on its soil.

It is also due to the fact that there are a large number of failed or failing states in Africa that provide jihadists with ease of movement and better cover than in Central Asia. Somalia, Yemen and the Sudan are obvious examples, but Mali, Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania have also seen an upsurge in Islamic militancy (recall the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania over a decade ago and the ongoing conflict between Islamicists in Northern Nigeria with the southern-based central government)."

''China’s property boom has peaked, forever''

From The Telegraph

"Here is some food for thought, if you are a China "take-over-the-world" bull.

I have just been listening to a talk on the Chinese housing market by Xianfang Ren, Beijing analyst for IHS Global Insight.

Land sales make up 30pc of total tax revenue for the central government and 70pc for local government. (For those of us who watched the Irish state balloon on the back of property taxes – when they had a fat budget surplus – this has a familiar ring.)."

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''Shadow Government - John Wilson's Story''

"SHADOW GOVERNMENT provides up-to-the minute analysis of the ever changing technological landscape and new evidence that an ultra-secret global elite controls technology, finance, international law, world trade, political power and vast military capabilities.

John Wilson wakes up, gets ready for his day and heads to work. He has no idea that he's being watched, tracked and studied. Is he a threat to national security? Is he a terrorist or a criminal? No, he's an ordinary American citizen. Like everyone else, John's rights and freedoms have been systematically destroyed â all in the name of security and convenience. Is it about peace and unity? Or is it about ultimate global power?

What if there were hidden forces with no ties to democracy or constitutional rights in power? What if new laws, media propaganda and Secret Societies labeled John a danger to society? And what if all this set the stage for a Bibically prophesied global government run by the Antichrist?

Leading researchers, authors and minds like Grant Jeffrey, Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Edward G. Griffin, Daniel Estulin, Gary Kah, Chuck Missler, Joan Veon, Brad OâLeary and many others take you through the incredible and hidden world of Surveillance, Rights and Freedoms, Global Government and Bible Prophecy."

Friday, April 27, 2012

''Operation ‘Easter Egg’: 200 Arab Billionaires Conspire To “Kill” The Dollar''

From ETF Daily News

''Secret talks between 200 Arab billionaires in Abu Dhabi, UAE took place during Easter weekend in April 2010 to discuss the death of the petrodollar and the realignment of military protection of Middle East oil fields, according to a source close to Jim Willie of the Hat Trick Letter. In an exclusive interview with TruNews on

Apr. 24 (full audio interview), investigative reporter and newsletter writer Jim Willie told host Rick Wiles that the oil-rich nations of the Middle East plan for an eventual ditching of the U.S. dollar as payment for oil exports from the region.''

read more 

''Anti-austerity movements gaining momentum across Europe''

From The Guardian

"From the anti-austerity firebrands of Greece's imminent elections to the corruption crusaders in Prague, from the Pirates of Berlin to the populists who scored well in France's presidential election, a new wave of anti-establishment parties are on the rise across Europe, posing a threat to the political elite.

Their causes vary – some are from the left, some from the right. But in many cases austerity is their bete noire, and this week governments in Netherlands and Romania were toppled because of opposition to programmes of budget cuts. They may not be the last."

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''Robert Wenzel's 'David' Speech Crushes Federal Reserve's 'Goliath' Dream''

the speech is priceless.............From ZeroHedge

''In perhaps the most courageous (and likely must-read for future economists) speech ever given inside the New York Fed's shallowed hallowed walls, Economic Policy Journal's Robert Wenzel delivered the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to the monetary priesthood. Gracious from the start, Wenzel takes the Keynesian clap-trappers to task on almost every nonsensical and oblivious decision they have made in recent years.''

"Thank you very much for inviting me to speak here at the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Intellectual discourse is, of course, extraordinarily valuable in reaching truth. In this sense, I welcome the opportunity to discuss my views on the economy and monetary policy and how they may differ with those of you here at the Fed.

That said, I suspect my views are so different from those of you here today that my comments will be a complete failure in convincing you to do what I believe should be done, which is to close down the entire Federal Reserve System."

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''The Afghan Endgame Mirage''

From ISN Blog
By Carl Bildt

"On a recent visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan, I could not fail to notice the increasingly frequent international calls for an “endgame” in Afghanistan. But an endgame for that country is a dangerous illusion: the game will not end, and neither will history. The only thing that could come to an end is the world’s attention and engagement in Afghanistan, which could well lead to catastrophic consequences."

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''Washington Bets on the Gulf Royals''

From CounterPunch

"The GCC is the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arab NATO, whose members include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Each of these is a monarchy, with the UAE disguising the royals behind a federation and with the Saudis ecstatic to proclaim the benefits of the royal bloodline. They pretend that their great enemy is Iran, but in actual fact it is the idea of Democracy. By any means necessary, the Gulf Arab royals ensure that talk of reform is reserved for the short dramatic skits played out in the presence of visiting US politicians who are primed to preen about the far-sightedness of the benevolent monarchs."

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Nigeria: "Boko Haram, the Case of a Hijacked Revolution''

From 'There are no Sunglasses'

"Boko Haram has been blamed for most attacks in Nigeria, but the dimension and scope of the current bomb attacks have shifted the attention of experts to the possibility of external influence. The bomb attacks according to experts have become bigger and more sophisticated. The targets also have become more diversified and include both Muslims and Christians, mosques and churches: a clear departure from its original focus”, reports Danjuma Abdullahi."

read more 

''China's Big Four banks hit by slowdown, costs''

From Reuters

"China's Big Four banks' reported weaker-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Friday, with the sector facing growing pressure from a slowing economy and rising funding costs.

Regulators have also closed in on the banks' freewheeling practice of charging fees and commissions, after the volume of complaints from customers and politicians grew louder in the last year."

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''The United States Has Plenty Of Oil: 10 Facts About America's Energy Resources That Will Blow Your Mind''

From 'End of the American Dream'

"The United States is not running out of oil.  In fact, nobody on the entire globe has more energy resources than the United States does.  The truth is that we are absolutely swimming in oil and natural gas and we have so much coal that we have no idea what to do with it all.  At current consumption rates, America has enough energy resources to completely satisfy all of its needs well into the 22nd century.  If we would just access those resources, we would not have to import a single drop of foreign oil."

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''Why Nations Fail''

from RSA...

"Harvard Professor of Government, James Robinson presents a provocative new theory of political economy, explaining why the world is divided into nations with wildly differing levels of prosperity."