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The American Empire in a Changing World



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Saturday, June 30, 2012

''Mexican Spring: coming soon?''

From RT.com

''Hearing June 28 2012 Fractional Reserve Banking''

From Rep. Ron Paul's You Tube Page



''This hearing, entitled "Fractional Reserve Banking and the Federal Reserve: The Economic Consequences of High-Powered Money," will be held on Thursday, June 28, at 2:00 p.m. in room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Witnesses scheduled to testify:
Dr. John Cochran, Emeritus Professor of Economics and Emeritus Dean, School of Business, Metropolitan State College of Denver Dr. Joseph Salerno, Professor of Economics, Lubin School of Business, Pace University Dr. Lawrence H. White, Professors of Economics, George Mason University

"Fractional reserve banking underpins the entire banking system, yet its effects on society are completely ignored. Our financial system consists of vast amounts of credit pyramided on top of very small amounts of real savings-- all backstopped by explicit and implicit government guarantees. This poses significant risks to the stability of the economy and monetary system, which ought to give pause to any serious observer of financial markets. Hopefully this hearing will create a greater understanding among the American people about the nature of the banking system, and begin the movement towards serious systematic reform. The American people deserve a financial system that is stable and efficient; one that operates without taxpayer subsidies and bailouts." - Congressman Ron Paul''

''The Gold Must Flow''

From FOFOA via 24hGold

''The bottom line is that private gold needs to flow as a fertile member of the balance of trade. There will be no advantage for the USG to confiscate or tax above-ground gold this time. Gold may be utterly "useless" to the present debt-based economy, but it will be absolutely vital in the Freegold economy. (Here's a comment I wrote last April about the importance of privately held gold.) This seems incomprehensible when viewed from within the current paradigm which is why you must try to put yourself in the next one to see what I'm talking about. I can try to help you see what I see. It's not easy to explain, but I'll certainly give it a valiant effort once again.''

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''The why and how of gold price suppression''

From GATA via 24hGold

"Gold is so important that Western central banks -- particularly the U.S. Treasury and its Exchange Stabilization Fund, the Federal Reserve, and allied central banks -- rig the gold market every day, even hour by hour. Why do they do this?

 
It's because gold is a powerful competitive currency that, if allowed to function in a free market, determines the value of other currencies and influences interest rates and the value of government bonds."

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''Can the World Survive Washington’s Hubris?''

From Lew Rockwell
By Paul Craig Roberts

''The evidence is simply overwhelming that Washington–both parties–have Russia and China targeted. Whether the purpose is to destroy both countries or merely to render them unable to oppose Washington’s world hegemony is unclear at this time. Regardless of the purpose, nuclear war is the likely outcome.

The presstitute American press pretends that an evil Syrian government is murdering innocent citizens who only want democracy and that if the UN won’t intervene militarily, the US must in order to save human rights. Russia and China are vilified by US functionaries for opposing any pretext for a NATO invasion of Syria.''

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''High Court Ruling Will Provoke States to Nullify ObamaCare''

From The New American

"Despite Thursday’s controversial Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare, states retain the right and authority to nullify the healthcare law, and the state of Missouri, among many others, is undertaking efforts to do just that. According to Missouri legislators, regardless of the High Court's ruling, Missouri voters will maintain the opportunity to vote for or against the so-called Affordable Healthcare Act in November. And Missouri is not the only state seeking to circumvent ObamaCare."

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''US waging war on Latin America?''

From RT.com

''US grants ‘Iran waiver’ to China''

a view from India..............From IndianPunchline
MK Bhadrakumar


''The point is, Washington is slithering away from a showdown with Beijing. Life can be very simple at times: You just don’t bite the hand that feeds you.  A trade war with China is the last thing the US wants. 

The US made repeated demarches with China over Iran sanctions. Top US officials including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner travelled to Beijing to plead the case. But China ignored them and kept insisting it will only comply with the UN sanctions. The Chinese foreign ministry insisted last week that its purchases of Iranian oil are “legitimate”.   

What are the facts? True, there was a reduction in China’s oil imports in the first months of the year due to a pricing dispute (which has since been resolved). The facts are that China’s oil imports from Iran have actually jumped by 39% from April to more than half a million barrels per day. Experts predict that Chinese imports are likely to further rise in June and July.  

The fact that a former US secretary of state has been camping in Delhi to plead Wal Mart’s case shows which way the wind is blowing. Where else other than India can Wal Mart hope to tap into a $430 billion market in the remaining part of the 21st century?'' 

Friday, June 29, 2012

''Sprott - We’re Being Lied To, Even The 1% Is Having Problems''

From King World News

''Today billionaire Eric Sprott gave King World News an extraordinary interview, and it’s not the kind of thing you are going to see in the mainstream media.  Sprott told KWN, “...as much as we knew the 99% was having a problem, I can guarantee you the 1% is having a big problem today.”  Sprott, who is Chairman of Sprott Asset Management, also said, “the markets go up because the central planners want the markets to go up ... The system is imploding on itself, but the central planners want everyone to think it’s fine.  They just lie to us.''

''He also stated, “...there is no plan, no formalized plan, no agreed to plan.  It’s all just vaporware.” Here is what Billionaire Sprott had to say about what is happening:  “Today’s rally (end of quarter window dressing), even though there is no agreement by the way, but the markets go up because the central planners want the markets to go up.''  

''Karimov Takes Uzbekistan Out of CSTO, Clearing Path for US Base''

From 'There are no Sunglasses'

''Russian experts are not surprised at the suspension of Uzbekistan’s CSTO membership. And still, Tashkent has made a very risky step, an expert with the Institute of the CIS States, Andrei Grozin says. “Tashkent’s foreign policy is zigzagging. It undergoes changes only once in 2 or 3 years. Tashkent wants to win the love of NATO that is interested in solving tasks concerning the cuts of the Uzbek contingent in Afghanistan. Tashkent wants to become the key link in the future troop withdrawal and play the role of the main spring board through which the transshipment of cargoes to today’s Afghanistan’s western border will be carried out”, Grozin stressed.''

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Charles Hugh Smith: ''Why The Debt-Dependent Status Quo Is Doomed In One Chart''

just about sums it up.................From ZeroHedge

''The global economy is now addicted to debt. Once debt stops expanding, the economy shrivels. But expanding debt forever is unsustainable. Welcome to the endgame.

Regardless of whether you call it debt saturation or diminishing return on new debt, the notion that taking on more debt will magically enable us to "grow our way out of debt" is not supported by data.''

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''Barclays faces fresh scandal over interest rate swaps''

From The Independent


''Barclays is set to be dragged into a fresh banking scandal this morning as the City watchdog prepares to reveal the results of an inquiry into mis-selling of loans to small businesses.

With the bank already reeling from the impact of £290m in fines over its attempts to fix Libor interest rates, the Financial Services Authority's findings could not come at a worse time for the business and its increasingly embattled chief executive, Bob Diamond.

The inquiry covers sales of interest rate swaps to small business customers taking out loans.''

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''A Russia House on the Indian Ocean''

From Asia Times Online
MK Bhadrakumar

"The building blocks of the historic visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Pakistan in September have begun arriving in Islamabad. It is a poignant moment in the region's history and politics. This will be the first time a Russian president visits Pakistan since its birth in 1947.

The Russians are fabricating some hardy bricks for the mansion they hope to build in the region which forms a beachhead on the Indian Ocean - a mansion large enough for their friends in Pakistan and in the neighboring countries of India, Iran and Afghanistan to consort with them."

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Pepe Escobar: ''Let's party like it's …1997''

From Asia Times Online

"I have always been a Silk Road fanatic. The "Silk Road" is not only the great, open highway of Eurasia - from lethal deserts such as the Taklamakan to snowy mountain peaks - but also waves and waves of cultural history connecting Asia to Europe. It's about forgotten empires such as the Sogdians, fabulous cities like Merv, Bukhara and Samarkand, fabled oasis like Kashgar. It's not "a" road but a maze of "roads" - extensions branching out to Afghanistan and Tibet.''

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''Pakistan submits details of gas projects to Russia''

From Daily Times

''Russian financing for two mega gas import projects including Iran-Pakistan (IP) and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) having accumulated cost of $9.2 billion entered in the second phase as energy managers on Thursday submitted complete details of the design and specification of both gas import projects to Russian authorities.''

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''China's Growing Economic Importance to Central Asia''

From Strategic Culture

''The June summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) highlighted China's swelling economic presence in Central Asia. Chinese premier Hu Jintao unveiled an ambitious agenda for the region, with $10b in loans to be infused into the corresponding projects. At the moment, the Chinese investments in Central Asian republics estimatedly total $20b, and Beijing evidently aims at the role of the main economic partner of the entire Central Asia, especially in the spheres of energy and transit. ''


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''Saudi readies oil line to counter Iran's Hormuz threat''

not a good sign...............From Arabian Business

''Saudi Arabia has reopened an old oil pipeline built by Iraq to bypass Gulf shipping lanes, giving Riyadh scope to export more of its crude from Red Sea terminals should Iran try to block the Strait of Hormuz, industry sources say.

The Iraqi Pipeline in Saudi Arabia (IPSA), laid across the kingdom in the 1980s after oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf by both sides during the Iran-Iraq war, has not carried Iraqi crude since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990.

Saudi Arabia confiscated the pipeline in 2001 to compensate for debts owed by Baghdad and has used it to transport gas to power plants in the west of the country in the last few years.''

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''Legal challenges to U.S. healthcare overhaul far from over''

From Thomson Reuters

''While the Supreme Court was considering whether Congress could require individuals to purchase health insurance, critics of the law were mounting legal challenges on other grounds.

These cases could stretch out for years, said Jonathan Adler, a professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. "As with any new big statute, there will be lots of litigation about the nitty-gritty details."

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''Awareness of the Impending War On Pakistan Is Increasing''

From 'There are no Sunglasses'

''Is the United States starting a low-intensity war against Pakistan? The signs look ominous. The relentless drone attacks through the recent months are destabilizing Pakistan’s tribal areas, especially the areas adjacent to the border with Afghanistan. The US’ excuse is that the drones are hunting down the militants belonging to the so-called Haqqani group. But they are causing a lot of civilian casualties so much so that the United Nations officials begin to wonder if these wanton killings would constitute ‘war crimes’.''

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''Gold, Silver and the Black Hole of Deflation''

From Market Oracle
By Julian DW Phillips

''A look back over the past five years shows that we have seen central banks and governments use quantitative easing in an attempt to stimulate economies while ameliorating the loss of asset value that started with the housing bubble bursting in the States, then mortgage linked securities losing huge value, dragging down the owners of those now-toxic debt assets, including banks, into bankruptcy.''

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''Keiser Report: Zombie Bank Apocalypse (E307)'' w/Steve Keen

From RT.com

''Turkey: For Ankara, Will Drones Be a Military Blessing or Curse?''

From Eurasia Net

''Are armed drones the answer to Turkey's continuing fight against the militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)? That certainly seems to be the signal coming out of Ankara, which has been pushing Washington to provide it with American-made Predator unmanned aerial vehicles, which can be armed with air-to-ground missiles.''

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''Libya in Chaos''

From National Interest

''The mosaic of militias is but one of Libya’s problems. Another is the East-West divide between Cyrenaica (Libya east of Sirte) and Tripolitania, regions with a troubled past. During the reign of King Idris al-Sanussi, whom Qaddafi ousted in 1969, Cyrenaica was a privileged place. It was the seat of the monarchy and the beneficiary of privileged access to investments and political power. The region was associated with the iconic Omar Mukhtar, who was born in a village near the eastern city of Tobruk and led the resistance to Italian colonization from 1912 until he was hanged in 1931. And between 1951–1963, it enjoyed substantial autonomy.''

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''Chinese corruption and looting on a vast scale: industry, government, and military''

From Boing Boing

''Here's a well-cited and pretty scary article describing the vast scale of corruption at the highest levels in China, and the extent to which "the success of 300m Chinese who live in western level prosperity depends on the continued exploitation and good nature of one billion people who live on an average of $5000 per annum." The author, Steve Keen (Professor of Economics & Finance at the University of Western Sydney) ranges widely over Chinese industry, government, and the military.''

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''Ron Paul continues fight to audit the Fed with Lew Rockell''

From RT.com

Thursday, June 28, 2012

''RBS and Lloyds drawn into rate-rigging scandal''

From The Telegraph
 
''Bob Diamond, the chief executive of Barclays, is under pressure to resign after the bank admitted it had conspired to fix global interest rates with David Cameron, the Prime Minister, saying he should take responsibility.

The scandal now threatens to engulf taxpayer-funded Lloyds and RBS, which according to court documents obtained by The Daily Telegraph have also been accused of routinely distorting basic financial data used to set interest rates.''

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''U.S. banks face criminal probe into global interest rate-fixing scheme as Barclays blows the whistle on America's financial giants''

From Daily Mail

''Some of America's top banks are set to be dragged into a major criminal investigation of a global interest rate-fixing scandal about to engulf some of Wall Street's biggest institutions.

The worldwide probe centres on claims traders at Barclays colluded with rival banks to keep interest rates at levels to their benefit.

Barclays agreed to pay a whopping $453million in fines to the U.S. Justice Department and the UK's Financial Services Authority.

But it emerged tonight the bank had struck a deal of 'extraordinary co-operation' with regulators in Washington and London - potentially exposing collusion on interest rates among banks across the globe.''

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2166198/Interest-rate-scandal-Will-Barclays-turn-banks-involved-massive-scheme.html#ixzz1z91ebvwr

''Nigel Farage on the Failings of the EU Summit and an Antidemocratic Europe''

From RT.com

''The $289 Trillion Problem''

From GoldSeek
By  David Chapman

''Monetizing debt is just another way of defaulting. China understands this and that is why China is cutting back on its holdings of US Treasury debt and is now in the process of challenging the US$ as the world’s reserve currency. China has questioned why the US$ is still the world’s reserve currency when the US runs budget deficits of over $1 trillion every year and also runs trade deficits of over $500 billion every year.

There is a long history of reserve currencies changing. The world has moved from the Greek silver drachma to the Roman silver denarius to the Roman gold solidus to the Byzantine gold solidus and the Islamic gold dinar to the Florentine gold Fiorina and the Venetian gold ducat to the Dutch silver gulden to the Spanish silver dollar to the British gold pound and finally to a gold-backed US$ and then to a fiat US$ -- the only fiat currency to be a reserve currency in all of history.

Yet all of the previous ones in both gold and silver eventually disappeared. What chance does a paper currency stand?''

''Inside Story - Is closer European integration inevitable?''

From Aljazerra

''David Marsh on Who's to Blame for the End of the Euro?''


''In The Euro -- The Politics of the New Global Currency, David Marsh delivered a comprehensive political and economic account of the birth and development of the Euro. Drawing on more than 100 interviews with leading figures associated with EMU, he told the story of the rivalries, intrigues, and deal making that brought about a currency for Europe, and analysed the achievements and shortcomings of its first decade of existence.

However, as he notes in the introduction to the revised edition of his book (The Euro -- The Battle for the New Global Currency, published in 2011 through Yale University Press), "Monetary union threw a veil of comfort and well-being over the fortunes of the continent. In 2009-10, the veil was ripped away". At this event, Marsh argued that the Euro as we have known it has come to an end, and offered his prognosis for what he now calls 'Europe's Melancholy Union'.''

''China Embraces Ponzi-Bonds''

From CounterPunch


''China is preparing to launch a program that will create the same complex debt-instruments that triggered the global financial crisis in 2008. The pilot program will allow banks to convert pools of loans into securities via off-balance sheet securities firms called Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) or Structured Investment Vehicles (SIV). The process, which is called securitization, helps banks to circumvent capital requirements by hiding debt on off their books, thus, allowing them to increase leverage by many orders of magnitude. Securitization turbo-charges credit expansion while concealing the risks from shareholders, investors and depositors.''

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Greyerz - ''Greatest Financial Collapse The World Has Ever Seen''

From King World News


''Almost every single major country in the world is bankrupt, and no one has the tools or a plan to get these countries out of this crisis.  So countries will go bankrupt by default or by printing excessive money.  This situation will continue to get worse and ultimately lead to a hyperinflationary depression.

Then you have the banking crisis.  The banks are insolvent and they are also in a liquidity crisis.  And this is, again, worldwide.  There is no way the banks will be able to survive this without massive assistance.  This is a banking crisis of the magnitude which will amount to trillions of dollars, and if we take the whole of the derivative positions, it could be hundreds of trillions of dollars because of the counterparty risks.''

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''The Story of Your Enslavement''

''Britain's recession deeper than feared''

From The Telegraph

''The figures mean the current recession - defined as two or more quarters of declining GDP in a row - is more severe than first thought and highlight the weakness in the economy, which has struggled to recover from the financial crisis.

Declines in construction and industrial output outweighed the biggest rise in government spending in almost seven years, which was driven higher by expenditure on public administration, health and defence.''

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''U.S. Military Expansion In Africa Aimed At China''

From 'Stop NATO Blog'

''General Ham also made special reference to Libya where “Al Qaeda and other terror groups want to establish a foothold”, and where “the U.S. is seeking a partnership – not a large military presence.” He also briefly mentioned Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa, where the U.S. has a military base stationing about 2,000 U.S. troops, and “small, temporary” troop presences in other nations, like Liberia, Morocco and Cameroon.

Altogether, Ham said, the U.S. has trained as many as 200,000 peacekeepers and enforcement personnel from about 25 different African nations.''

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''UK banks rigging interest rates''


From Liar Politicians You Tube
http://www.youtube.com/user/liarpoliticians?feature=watch
BBC Newsnite

Dana Priest: "Top Secret America"


''Dana Priest visits Google's San Francisco office to present her book ''Top Secret America''. This event took place on September 15, 2011, as part of the Authors@Google series.''

''Another Tenet of the «Obama Doctrine» – Constitutional «Soft» Coups''

From Strategic Culture
By Wayne Madsen

''Latin American nations now recognize the core of the Obama doctrine for putting one of its loyalists in power and ousting a leader not favorable to Washington’s policies – if the legislative and judicial branches of a government can be used to «constitutionally» eject an executive from power, the United States will recognize the change as constitutional and in keeping with the «democratic process.»

Honduras, and, now, Paraguay serve as stark examples of the Obama doctrine in practice.''

''Egypt’s Brothers and New Middle East''

From Strategic Culture
By MK Bhadrakumar

''To be sure, Morsi’s election profoundly impacts the geopolitics of the Middle East. Principally, there are four vectors that merit close attention. First, Egypt has been an anchor sheet of the US’ Middle East strategy and how far would things change with the rise of the Brothers? Second, related to the above, where does Egypt stand in the new situation vis-√†-vis the core Middle Eastern question – Palestinian problem and the Arab-Israeli relations? Third, what is the impact, if any, that the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt would have on the future trajectory of the Arab Spring? Finally, what regional policies can be expected of Egypt as a democracy led by an Islamist government toward its Arab neighbors?''

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''China to set up new military base in south China sea''

From The Hindustan

''China's move to set up a city and then have a military base there could be seen as a response to Vietnam introducing a new law last week claiming sovereignty
over the Spratly and Paracel islands.

It was also announced Thursday that China had begun combat-ready patrols in the waters around the disputed islands in the region..

Asked about what China would do in response to Vietnamese air patrols over the Spratly islands, Geng said Beijing would "resolutely oppose any militarily provocative behavior."

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''Wealthy siphoned trillions from Middle Class''

From Examiner
By James George

''When the needs of society have become out of balance or out of alignment, one must consider the question, have corporations and free enterprise paid their fair share for the privilege to operate in our free society? Have they invested and produced sufficient opportunity to ensure optimal return on national resources?
Has government spent too much money, depriving free enterprise of needed capital?''

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''Euro Bailouts Could Cost Another $2 Trillion''

From Value Walk
By Paul Shea

''The Spanish Government’s refinancing needs add up to 564 billion euro through the end of 2014. Italy’s refinancing needs add up to around 997 billion euro for the same period. This leaves the total refinancing needs for the countries at 1,560 billion euro. At today’s rates that adds up to about $1,950 billion. That clearly dwarfs the 400 billion euro in the fire walling funds.

This remains alright as long as the countries retain power to access the markets. Spain’s access is already in doubt following its disastrous financial situation earlier in the summer. Italy looks strong right now, but additional pressure on the Euro, coupled with growth problems at home could thwart its access as well.''

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''Chevron Keeps Knocking at Turkmenistan’s Door''

looks like mother russia won.............From Eurasia Net

''Chevron, along with ExxonMobil, has had offices in Turkmenistan for years with the meager hope of finally persuading Ashgabat to give them some access to the country’s onshore gas fields, but no cigar to date.

With almost mocking insouciance, Turkmenistan continues trying to tempt its foreign suitors to bid for the licensed Caspian Sea hydrocarbon blocks up for tender.

Chevron has resisted that temptation, but it is now being linked to the pipeline project to transport gas through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India, known as TAPI.

People with historical knowledge of the Afghan pipeline will know that Chevron has some indirect experience with this project’s previous incarnation.

Unocal, which merged with Chevron in 2005, was the majority partner in a multinational consortium including Delta Oil Company of Saudi Arabia, Russia's Gazprom and Turkmenistan to build the pipeline in the 1990s. That idea was scuppered by the harsh realities of Afghan instability.

In a case of history repeating itself, the frontrunners in the proposed consortium to build TAPI reportedly include Chevron and Gazprom, as well as ExxonMobil. Other candidates cited in regional media include Indian state-owned gas processing and distribution company GAIL -- a detail just guaranteed to irk Pakistan.''

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Jesse Ventura to Military Personnel: "Remember Your Oath!"

From InfoWars

''The Story about Gold You Haven’t Heard: PART 1''

From Veterans Today
By Mike Stathis

''Shortly thereafter, I finally had enough of Wall Street. After closely monitoring the fine details of the dotcom pump-and-dump by Wall Street and corporate America, there was not one single criminal prosecution from the dotcom charade. So I left the securities industry disgusted from top to bottom after finally realizing the criminal nature of Wall Street. I no longer wanted to be part of that criminal organization. As a bonus, I was no longer held hostage to a criminal organization that treats its most of its non-Jewish employees like dog shit.

Make no mistake, this is a filthy industry from top to bottom. It’s filled with sleaze balls with no moral compass whatsoever unless those morals have to do with getting coked up and spending the money that you didn’t earn on strippers and hookers.''

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''Pakistan to award gas pipeline contracts to Russia''

i guess the CIA drone attacks didn't work...............From Express Tribune


''Pakistan has agreed to award contracts without bidding for multi-billion-dollar Iran-Pakistan (IP) and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline projects to Russia, which will also extend financial assistance.

However, in an understanding reached with Russia, Pakistan made it clear that it would award the contracts on government-to-government basis only. Private Russian firms will not be entertained.''

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''Resisting the police state: Berkeley activists demand local control''

From SFBG

''As the federal government battles presumed threats to national security in this post-9/11 world, once-important distinctions between local and national police agencies have been blurred. But as local officers get drawn into federal counterterrorism operations and immigration crackdowns, and as their departments beef up with tanks and other military hardware, citizens and civil libertarians are pushing back on the creeping police state.''

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Egypt: ''Public debt overshadows economic future''

From Daily News Egypt

''It is no secret that the job president-elect Mohamed Morsi has undertaken, reforming Egypt’s long stagnant economy into a working one, will be fraught with hardship.

Hurdles are ever-present, such as a tense relationship with the all-but-ruling military council and countless social problems.

However, one of the largest and most-overlooked problems is a sizable and steadily mounting public debt.
Just before the uprising, debt had reached around EGP 500bn, and has come to rest at EGP 600bn ($99bn).''

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''Is mainstream media dying?''

From RT.com

''IMF snub irks Zimbabwe''

From ZBC

''The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is not in a position to provide financial assistance to the economy in a move that has raised concern over its commitment to restore ties with Zimbabwe.

According to resolutions by a visiting IMF team, the Bretton Woods institution says it will restore funding after the repayment of outstanding debts of about US$200 million.

The move has however raised concern among stakeholders over the IMF’s continuous visits to the country with business experts calling on government to ignore the institution’s policies and advice.''

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

''State/Local Bond Debt Tops $3 Trillion''

From TownHall

''It turns out that state and local governments in the United States are not $2.5 trillion in debt as previously reported, but $3 trillion in debt. That’s $25,000 for every household in the nation. That debt is on top of the trillions of dollars of other liabilities that politicians have piled on us and our kids, including federal bond debt, federal “entitlement” obligations, and state/local pension and health obligations.''

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Jim Willie: ''Gold: the Last Asset Standing, & Outline on Collapse End Game''''

Jim is back with a new article, as usual, a must read....................From Silver Doctors

DEBT CONTRADICTED AS WEALTH

The Western monetary system is built upon debt. That debt is crumbling, the process having begun with mortgage bonds, and extended to sovereign bonds. Recall the nitwit USFed Chairman Bernanke’s words in 2007, that the bond contagion was contained. It was not, and it spread to an absolute bond fiasco exactly as the Jackass forecasted. Debt is not wealth. The wealth of Western nations is evaporating. The illusion easily promotes  a fantasy. Recall the 1980 decade where access to credit was perversely considered wealth. It ended in ruin and tears and bad health. The United States is on the verge of being plowed under, just like Greece, just like Spain. The dominos are lined up to fall, including Italy and England.

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''Kurds Stop Free Syrian Army from Entering Kurdish Areas''

From Rudaw


''The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is accusing members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) of hindering their movements against the regime of Bashar Assad.

But leaders of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a PKK affiliate that yields influence in the Kurdish areas of Syria, say they are determined to stop the revolution and bloodshed from reaching the Kurdish cities.''

''Key emails: how Barclays manipulated Libor''

From The Telegraph

''The report from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) highlights communications between Barclays traders and those tasked with submitting Libor estimates which it claims show an attempt to manipulate rates on "numerous occasions and sometimes on a daily basis."

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Silver: ''A Tier 1 Asset for All''

From Market Oracle
By Dr Jeff Lewis

Remonetizing Precious Metals

''Many people concerned over the global trend toward the use of uncollateralized paper currency in commerce, have called for a return to a gold or silver standard in order to provide some hard currency backing for the ever growing supply of paper money being issued by governments.

Nevertheless, in order for precious metals like silver and gold to become "re-monetized", the price would need to rise exponentially relative to paper currency like the U.S. Dollar and the Euro to back all the money printed over the last 40 years since then-U.S. President Richard Nixon shocked the world by unilaterally removing the U.S. Dollar from the gold standard by ending its convertibility.

This traumatic move lead to the eventual demise of the post-WWII Bretton Woods fixed currency exchange rate system, of which the Dollar was the lynchpin, and ushered in the current era of floating exchange rates.''

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''The Evils of Humanitarian Wars''

From CounterPunch


''In a traditional cowboy movie, we know what to do: we look for the guy wearing the white hat to be sure who to cheer, and for the one wearing the black hat to know who deserves to die, preferably gruesomely, before the credits roll. If Hollywood learnt early to play on these most tribal of emotions, do we doubt that Washington’s political script-writers are any less sophisticated?

Since 9/11, the United States and its allies in Europe have persuaded us that they are waging a series of “white hat” wars against “black hat” regimes in the Middle East. Each has been sold to us misleadingly as a “humanitarian intervention”. The cycle of such wars is still far from complete.''

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Photo Essay: "Epic" Colorado Wildfires''

From The Atlantic

''Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown described the blaze as "a fire of epic proportions," as tens of thousands of Colorado residents and tourists have been evacuated ahead of the growing, potentially disastrous Waldo Canyon fire. This fire joins several others across the state, including the High Park fire, which has consumed nearly 90,000 acres since June 9. While no reports of deaths or injuries have surfaced, hundreds of homes have been destroyed, with many more threatened. Fire crews are doing their best to contain the fires and save what homes they can, as authorities urged residents to flee affected areas. [22 photos]''

View Pics 

Idaho GOP: ''End the Fed, bring back gold''

From Daily Caller

''At the Idaho GOP convention in Twin Falls, the state GOP decided to preserve the platform of abolishing the Federal Reserve Bank and instituting dollars backed by gold and silver.

“We recognize the failure of the Federal Reserve System to maintain a sound U.S. dollar and the danger of mercantile banks controlling the issuance of our currency. We believe the Federal Reserve Bank should be abolished and the issuing power restored to the people with the stipulation that the U.S. dollar be backed by gold and silver,” reads the recently adopted 2012 platform.

The platform goes even further and encourages Idahoans to acquire precious metals.''

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''U.S. Seeks War With China To Stiff Investors Of Treasuries''

From ETF Daily News


 
''Moreover, evidence of the Hunter scanario can be gleaned by relentless U.S. rhetoric fired at Iran, proxy and ally of China in the Middle East.  Iran, a member of George Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’, has been the target of Cuba-like sanctions by the U.S. since the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, with the latest action to cut the Persian state from the international SWIFT system a sign of retaliation for Iran’s new Kish oil bourse (and Iran’s refusal to accept U.S. dollars as payment for its oil), plunged the rial by 50 percent within days of the announcement.  Oil-dependent China receives 400,000 barrels per day from Iran, according to the Rhodium Group, and has agreed to pay Iran with any currency it prefers.

Reminiscent of U.S. embargo of Japan from American oil in March 1941, today, China has replaced Japan as the target of U.S. aggression through the energy market.  The Chinese have stated publicly it supports Iran and condemns the sanctions as illegal and does not intend to comply with U.S. wishes to boycott Iranian oil shipments. China knows that in order to strengthen the yuan as a future reserve currency, it must do so by incrementally replacing the dollar with the yuan in the $3 trillion global oil market.''

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''The Paraguay Coup: Carefully Organized, Assisted by Unidentified Snipers''

From Strategic Culture

''The operation launched by the US Department of State and the CIA with the aim of displacing Paraguay's first leftist president Fernando Lugo entered the final phase on June 16, when police forces were dispatched to evict squatters from the Morumbí farm in the Curuguaty district, near the Brazilian border. The land holding is known to be owned by Paraguayan businessman and politician Blas Riquelme. Upon arriving to the site, the police unexpectedly came under professional gunfire from rifles with the caliber high enough to drill bulletproof waists. The chief of a special operations police unit (GEO) and his deputy were shot dead, and the police to which instructions had been issued to avoid using force was left with no choice but to return fire. Eleven civilians were mowed down and dozens Рwounded as a result.''

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Pepe Escobar on Egypt: "O brother, where art thou?''

From Asia Times Online

''It's always important to remember that the House of Saud and the MB are extremely competitive on what is the meaning of pure Islam. Qatar's official foreign policy is to support the MB wherever possible. From the point of view of Doha, this is immense; an Islamist is now president of the key Arab nation. Every committed Islamist from the Maghreb to Benghazi, and from Tehran to Kandahar, may also have reasons to rejoice.

In parallel, the official candidate of the US, the European Union, Israel, the House of Saud and Egypt's Ancien Regime - former Air Force general Ahmad Shafik - had lost. So, in theory, Egypt's counter-revolution had lost. Not really. Not yet.''

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''Bank for International Settlements on Big Banks''

From Veterans Today

''The BIS is taking national currency deposits from the 55 member/owner central banks and converting them to SDR’s on its own balance sheet. The SDR’s are “claims on the freely usable currencies of IMF members,” therefore, the deposits of the central banks become claims on those currencies–the deposits of the fiat central banks who can deposit as much as they feel at the BIS in whatever currency the chose–including the SDR’s allotted to their “nation,” as the central banks are the sole depositories for the national wealth/sellers of the national debt. The BIS is then paying out dividends to these same member CB’s in the form of SDR’s, which again can be used to claim currencies. By August 2009, they had just made up out of thin air almost twelve times the supposed global supply of SDR’s. They are truly acting like the “central bank of the world,” complete with printing!''

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''Unfair trade? An examination of US politicians’ share sales''

From The Bureau Investigates

''The Washington Post examined 45,000 individual congressional stock transactions that occurred between 2007 to 2010 to reveal that 130 – nearly a quarter – of the nation’s lawmakers traded between $85m and $218m in 323 companies that had registered to lobby on legislation that appeared before the House. (There is a range because members of Congress do not have to register the exact amount of each share transaction, but instead indicate that it fell in a certain monetary range).''

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''Chris Martenson on Shadow Bank Runs and how Central Banks are Missing the Boat!''


Must Watch....From RT.com

''Using the TPP to Renegotiate and Expand NAFTA''

a great blog.............From Be Your Own Leader
By Dana Gabriel

''In May, the TPP held its twelfth round of negotiations with the next set of talks scheduled to take place in San Diego, California from July 2-10. So far, there has been a real lack of transparency, but what is clear is that the TPP seeks to go beyond other trade agreements. According to a leaked text by Public Citizen, it would expand on the investor privileges found in NAFTA, granting corporations more power and further threatening the sovereign rights of member nations. In the meantime, the U.S. continues to spearhead TPP negotiations as a way of countering growing Chinese influence. The door is open for other countries to join which is why it is considered to be a stepping stone to a larger free trade area of the Asia-Pacific and an important part of the international corporate globalization agenda.''

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''JP Morgan Managers Being Told Trade Loss is $9 Billion''

From Teri Buhl

''Banking competitors are trying to lure away top talent at JP Morgan by highlighting the recent prop trading losses are likely to affect bonues and Jamie Dimon isn’t being honest about how bad the loss will be. On July 13th the banking giant will announce 2nd quarter earnings and a real-time number is expected on how many billions net income gets wacked with because the London whale trade has been wound down. Last week Mark DeCambre at the New York Post wrote his JPM sources expect the loss to be between $4-6 billion – JPM’s estimate in May was only $2bn. But I heard this week JPM managing directors are being told it’s more. To the tune of $9 billion – Ouch!''

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''Why the SEC’s Schapiro Is So Worried About Another Run on Money Market Funds''

From Wall Street On Parade

''On June 21, 2012, SEC Chair Mary Schapiro submitted 14 pages of testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, explaining why she is fingering her worry beads over a potential panic run on money market funds.  It really didn’t require 14 pages of testimony.  Schapiro had just two words in the back of her mind: European banks.''

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Iran: ''To Protest Rising Prices, Iranians Boycotting Grocery Stores''

From Eurasia Net

''The international sanctions against Iran were designed to punish the country for the continuing efforts to develop its controversial nuclear program. But it appears the sanctions are also starting to impact the daily life -- and eating habits -- of average Iranians. As the Wall Street Journal reports, rising food prices have led to a spontaneous three-day boycott of grocery stores and bakeries that a surprising number of Iranians appear to have joined.''

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''Breaking ’08 Pledge, Leaked Trade Doc Shows Obama Wants to Help Corporations Avoid Regulations''

From Democracy Now

''The Worldwide QE Quagmire''

From Testosterone Pit

''Certain central bankers are now coming out of the closet admitting that their favorite shenanigans—ultralow interest rates and printing money with utter abandon—can’t solve the very problems they were designed to solve, which has been obvious for a long time. What they’re not yet admitting massively, though some are starting to hand out hints, is just how much havoc these policies are wreaking.''

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''Turk - Capital Controls, Panic, The Great Depression & Gold''

From King World News

''Bank runs were a focal point of the Great Depression, but they were just part of a bigger 3-step process that has parallels to today.  After the 1929 stock market crash, people moved money out of investments and put it into banks.  They wanted the liquidity, and, at first, did not fear for the safety of their money on deposit.  We went though this step with the Lehman collapse.''

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''Has the Day of the Islamist Arrived?''

From Pat Buchanan

''Some 6,500 U.S. dead, 40,000 wounded, $1 to $2 trillion sunk. Tens of thousands of Afghan and 100,000 Iraqi dead, with widows and orphans numbering over 500,000. Half the Christians of Iraq have fled their homes, and half of these have fled the country in which their ancestors had lived almost since the time of Christ.

Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq can be regarded as a loyal ally or defender of U.S. interests. Pakistan, a country of 170 million with atomic weapons and an ally through 40 years of Cold War, has been converted into an embittered and even hostile nation.''

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

''Stockton official: Mediation with creditors fails''

From AP

''Officials in Stockton, Calif, say mediation with creditors has failed, meaning the city is set to become the largest American city ever to declare bankruptcy.''

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''The Julian Assange Show: Noam Chomsky & Tariq Ali'' (E10)

From RT.com

'Keiser Report: Gold vs Paper' (E306)

From RT.com

''Cyprus rescue package may equal half its economy''

From Reuters


''Cyprus, the fifth euro zone country to seek emergency funding from Europe, may need a bailout that is more than half the size of its 17.3 billion euro economy, euro zone officials said on Tuesday even though the government declined to speculate on the amount.

The Mediterranean island, with a banking sector heavily exposed to debt-crippled Greece, said on Monday it was formally applying for help from the European Union's rescue funds.''

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''The Institutions of Capitalism And Their Decay''

From Project Syndicate

''China is not capitalist. Neither are India, Brazil, Greece. It would be a stretch to call all of the OECD member countries capitalist. I doubt whether Japan or Spain really belong in the category. Even countries I call capitalist are all borderline cases.

Though many pre-capitalist countries are progressing in their transitions to capitalism, it is clear capitalism is in regression or decay in several core capitalist countries.

Understanding capitalism as an institutional system could be a step in the direction of identifying what went wrong and how to cure the crisis in advanced societies.''

''Brace For Turmoil In Global Markets As Spanish Domino Falls''

From King World News
By Robert Fitzwilson

''The bottom line here is the Federal Reserve and other central banks, in developed nations, in their attempts to keep the system afloat, are destroying the very financial system they are attempting to save.  The negative and unintended consequences of what the central planners are doing is leaving a trail of destruction that grows worse with each passing day.''


''Rumblings from the Caribbean: Island Nations’ Growing Anger with the United States and European Colonial Powers''

From Strategic Culture
By Wayne Madsen

''The Caribbean states, witnessing the economic prowess of Brazil and the nationalistic fervor of Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, see a chance to break free from decades of domination by the United States and European colonial powers intent on keeping their toeholds in the Caribbean region. Furthermore, the Caribbean states recognize the 33-member Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) as an important counterweight to the long-U.S. dominated Organization of American States (OAS), headquartered across the street from the White House in Washington, DC.''

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Photo Essay: Camden, New Jersey

but don't worry, we just opened more overseas military bases.............From Daily Mail

''These depressing images show how far an American industrial powerhouse has fallen.
Once an east coast centre credited with creating some of the nation's largest warships, Camden in New Jersey is now a sad shadow of its former self.

The shipyards where 36,000 workers would ply their trade now lie empty, surrounded by thousands of decaying and abandoned homes.''

''The Israeli endgame in Iran''

From Asia Times Online

''The international effort to limit Iran's nuclear research has no more ardent a supporter than Israel. Iran, according to some analysts in and out of Israel, is seeking to build nuclear weapons and is almost certain to use them on Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities, making pre-emptive attacks on Iran essential to national survival. The US and European Union (EU) are more skeptical regarding Iran's intentions - as are even many Israeli experts.

Only Saudi Arabia and a few other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states share Israel's alarm and hence support immediate, punishing attacks on Iran. Saudi Arabia is said to have offered overflight rights for Israeli strike aircraft and also help with refueling for their return flights. Strange bedfellows in the affairs of the world. But how enduring will this partnership be? Do the two powers have different endgames in mind? A look at Israeli foreign policy toward Iran over the past 50 years suggests different long-term objectives may be in mind. In short, Saudi Arabia almost certainly wants Iran gravely weakened. Israel does not.'' 

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ZeroHedge: ''Italy Just Bailed Out The World's Oldest Surviving Bank''

From ZeroHedge

''Some people know Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena as one of the biggest banks in Italy (lately best known for being either halted down, about 90% of the time, or up, the remainder) with 3,000 branches, 33,000 employees and 4.5 million employees. Others know it for being the world's oldest surviving bank, founded in 1472 by the magistrate of the then city-state of Siena.''

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''Bernie Sanders Eviscerates the Supreme Court for Overturning Montana Citizens United Ban''

From Politics USA

''Sen. Bernie Sanders issued a blistering criticism of the Supreme Court after they strengthened Citizens United by overturning Montana’s campaign cash ban.

In response to the Supreme Court overturning a Montana Supreme Court decision that upheld a state law against corporate campaign contributions that stated, “corporation may not make . . . an expenditure in connection with a candidate or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tore the court a new one.''

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''In a challenge to London, Asian states invited to store bullion closer to home''

From Infinite Unknown

''Hong Kong is pulling all its physical gold holdings from depositories in London, transferring them to a high-security depository newly built at the city’s airport, in a move that won praise from local traders Thursday. 
 
The facility, industry professionals said, would support Hong Kong’s emergence as a Swiss-style trading hub for bullion and would lessen London’s status as a key settlement-and-storage center.''

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''Regulators to Classify Gold as Zero-Risk Asset''

From Financial Sense

''In what might be the most underreported financial story of the year, US banking regulators recently circulated a memorandum for comment, including proposed adjustments to current regulatory capital risk-weightings for various assets. For the first time, unencumbered gold bullion is to be classified as zero risk, in line with dollar cash, US Treasuries and other explicitly government-guaranteed assets. If implemented, this will be an important step in the re-monetisation of gold and, other factors equal, should be strongly supportive of the gold price, both outright and relative to that for government bonds, the primary beneficiaries of the most recent flight to safety. Stay tuned.''

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''The CIA-MI6-Mossad Brotherhood Trick Egypt With Muslim Trojan Horse''

From The Excavator
"The West's ability to install a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, with it's substantial regional standing and influence would be a serious blow not only to Syria, but to Iran as well. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is already echoing calls by the US and Israel for "intervention" in Syria." - Tony Cartalucci, "US Struggles to Install Proxy "Brotherhood" in Egypt."

"The USA has got its candidate into power in Egypt." - Aangirfan, "USA Takes Over Egypt."
''Stuxnet and Flame are not the only viruses that have been created by the U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies. The Muslim Brotherhood is perhaps Washington's most successful and dangerous virus that it has injected into the veins of the Middle East. It is an intellectual virus that destroys critical thinking among Muslims, excites their animal passions, and makes them act against their own interests.''

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''The Dismal State of US Pakistan Relations''

From Strategic Culture

''It would not be an exaggeration to say that in the long and chequered history of America’s relations with Pakistan the state of the ties between the two countries has never been worse. On the surface the immediate problem is the American refusal to pay the demanded transit fee for the use of the Ground Line of Communications, as the American military jargon has it, or more simply the transit routes from Pakistan’s port at Karachi to Chaman and Torkham the two principally used entry points into Afghanistan. American Secretary of Defence, Panetta, has said recently that this closure was costing the USA $100 million a month extra since it forced them to use the Northern Distribution network for the 33% of supplies that were passing through Pakistan till November 24th 2011 when the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers at the border post of Salala caused the Pakistani to close the transit routes. ''


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''Government Debt: The Price We Pay''

From Financial Sense

''There is a fascinating passage in Pavel Stroilov’s book Behind the Desert Storm. It is a transcript from a discussion between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Gorbachev wants to know where Mubarak gets his country’s money from. “Is it flowing in the Nile?” he asks. Mubarak replies that, “Everyone has debts in today’s world.” He went on to say that Egypt only accepted non-repayable aid. “Nowadays,” Mubarak explained, “almost nobody repays debts. I am talking to you absolutely frankly.''

''When President Mubarak said that “almost nobody repays debts anymore” he was admitting that the international financial system is a sham. It will not be long before everyone sees the truth of this.''

''How the US Government, Banks, Prison-Industrial Complex, Corrupt Officials, Businesses, Law Enforcement, Racists and the CIA Profit From Illegal Drugs''

From TruthOut

''US Banks Love Real Dollars, and Illegal Drug Money Comes in Cash''

''A recent article in The Guardian UK offers evidence that "while cocaine production ravages countries in Central America, consumers in the US and Europe are helping developed economies grow rich from the profits."

According to The Guardian UK story, the study by two Colombian professors found that "2.6% of the total street value of cocaine produced remains within the country [Columbia], while a staggering 97.4% of profits are reaped by criminal syndicates and laundered by banks, in first-world consuming countries."

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Greece: ''Alarming rise in violence against immigrants''

From Ansamed

''Racially motivated attacks are becoming more frequent and more violent by the day in Greece but, worse still, most of the attacks go unpunished because the police does not make arrests.

The alarm has been sounded by the Kathimerini newspaper, which reports almost daily brutal attacks and bloody brawls targeting immigrants, both legal and illegal. The paper quotes a surgeon practicing at the Evangelismos hospital in Athens, who says that "during every [12-hour] shift we have to deal with six or seven cases of foreigners who have been attacked and who are suffering from cuts, bruises and often even knife wounds.''

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Monday, June 25, 2012

''EU’s Iran sanctions trouble India''

From Indian Punchline
MK Bhadrakumar

...........''Clearly, India also stands to benefit from China’s ’strategic defiance’ of the western sanctions against Iran. Not only has China refused to heed the US demarche to reduce oil imports from Iran, the figures for May show a whopping increase of imports by 35%. 
 
Don’t forget that yet another interesting deadline is coming up on July 1. That is the day Washington is called upon to punish China for flouting the US’ sanctions against Iran. China is the only country that the US has so far withheld from giving a so-called ‘waiver’. Will Washington chicken out and give the waiver? If CNN Money is to be believed, US is in no position to trigger a trade war with China and will find some alibi to give a ‘waiver’. 
 
At any rate, China is hanging tough. A commentary in the Global Times said the US demarche to China to reduce oil imports from Iran is an affront to China’s sovereignty and it would “infuriate” the public opinion if China succumbs to the US pressure. ''

''The Business As Usual Behind The Slaughter''

From GoldSeek

''In this exclusive interview for Asia Times Online, the economist Guido Preparata highlights the history of the first half of the 20th Century from a rather unusual perspective. He shows how the Anglo-American policy was designed right from the beginning to eliminate Germany as an obstacle to Western domination aspirations. The result: a division of Eurasia along a specific major fault line. Later on, Preparata also talks about critical aspects of the current state of affairs in global finance, economics, and politics. He says: “It is the quest for power that drives history, not economics.”

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''Obama Plays Lead For Jamie Dimon and the Fat Cats – Who Own and Control America''

From Veterans Today

''Forbes rates JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon as the 41st most powerful person in the world with annual earnings of almost 21 million.

JPMorgan Chase is one of the Big Four banks of the United States with Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo. According to Bloomberg, as of October 2011 JPMorgan Chase surpassed Bank Of America as the largest U.S. bank by assets.

So when Jamie Dimon waltzed into the Congressional hearings last week sporting his gift Presidential seal gold embossed cuff links from President Obama ~ it was a not so subtle in-your-face statement to congress and the American people of who not only owns but is in charge of America.''

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''The world’s central banks are running out of road''

From Reuters

''In the global economic crisis, central bankers are often portrayed as superheroes. Mario Draghi: the only man who can save the euro zone. Ben Bernanke: “please do more” for the U.S. economy. The Bank for International Settlements is unhappy with the image of omnipotence: its latest annual report laments that central bank money-printing and support for the financial sector are reaching their limits.''

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''Mancow, Ventura Interview Scrambled by Big Brother!''

From InfoWars

''US Dollar, Euro (DM before 1999), Yen and Sterling Depreciation Against Gold Since 1900''

thats some chart.............From GoldCore via ZeroHedge

''Gold may look for direction from the latest EU summit but financial markets have already toned down expectations of concrete progress and European stock markets are lower and Spanish and Italian debt is again under pressure. The EU meeting will be missed by both Greece's new prime minister and finance minister due to illness.

Speculators Sell While Long Term Store Of Value Buyers Accumulate on Dip.''

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''US shopping for lily pads in Central Asia''

From Strategic Culture
MK Bhadrakumar

''The hidden agenda of the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 lay enveloped by the fog of the war for most of the past ten-year period. The angst in Afghanistan as well as in the regional capitals – especially New Delhi – used to be that the stalemate of the war would prompt the US and its allies to “cut and run” in the near future so as to avoid an ignominious defeat in a war that was also becoming prohibitively expensive. Indeed, the US fuelled this misperception to prevail even while quietly investing hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade certain select bases in Afghanistan where the American troops would be quartered on a long-term basis. It has only been in the past year or so that the US began acknowledging publicly that it wasn’t really contemplating an exit from the Hindu Kush. And when it did acknowledge, the rhetoric took a curious turn as if the US is making a solemn commitment to the Afghan people rather than its plans to occupy Afghanistan for years or decades to come as part of a long-term geo-strategy. ''


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Pepe Escobar: "Syria and Turkey's phantom war''

From Asia Times

''Ankara will certainly ask Damascus for a formal apology and payment of reparations. Tehran - which until virtually yesterday, that is, before the Syrian uprising, was part of an Ankara-Damascus-Tehran axis - is calling for cool heads to prevail.

As much as professional warmongers are encouraging a Gulf of Tonkin remix, that remains pure folly. Still, Asia Times Online has learned from a local source about "frantic" movement at NATO's sprawling Incirlik base in Turkey for days. 

Everyone knows Washington will settle for nothing less than regime change in Syria - to the benefit of a pliable, sub-imperial puppet (certainly not an Islamist). Everyone knows every provocation advances the not so hidden agenda of an all-out NATOGCC attack on Syria without a UN Security Council resolution, bypassing both Russia and China.

If "neo-Ottomanism" persists with its regime change obsession in Syria - to a large extent tied to the Turkish dream of finding a solution to the Kurdish "problem" - it had better start evaluating how Damascus could shower the Kurdish PKK with funds and logistics so they may unleash hell in Turkish Anatolia.''

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''Nigerian Navy Impounds French Ship For Stealing 500,000 Barrels of Crude Oil Per Day''

From Information Nigeria

''A special naval team has impounded a French ship, MT Vannessa, which has allegedly been stealing 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the country since June 9.

Investigations on showed that six crew members, including two Britons; two Nigerians and two Togolese, were also arrested.

A top naval officer, who pleaded anonymity, said the arrests were made at Brass Loading Terminal, Bayelsa State.

Since June 9, when it had been loading 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day to Thursday when it was impounded, the naval team suspected that the ship might have stolen 8.5m barrels of crude oil.''

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''The Disastrous Consequences of a Euro Crash''

From Spiegel Online

''As the debt crisis worsens in Spain and Italy, financial experts are warning of the catastrophic consequences of a crash of the euro: the destruction of trillions in assets and record high unemployment levels, even in Germany.''

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''Panic in the New World Order''

this is about european bank runs.......a must read........From Market Oracle
By Gary North

''Today, the entire banking system of Europe is at risk. The banks are highly leveraged, and they have made enormous investments at low-interest rates in bonds issued by governments that are technically insolvent. There is no possibility that any of these bonds will ever be repaid. They were never designed to be repaid. They were designed to keep the taxpayers of all European countries in permanent bondage to the banking system.

Now, in a complete reversal of fortune, the banks are increasingly dependent on the governments. The governments are now the lenders of next-to-last resort to the commercial banks. The central bank, of course, is the lender of last resort. But today, the European Central Bank has moved into neutral. It does not want to take action to bail out Greece, Spain, or Italy.

The PIIGS governments that wrote the IOUs to the banks in northern Europe are technically insolvent. When Greece defaults, which it will, there will be enormous losses sustained by some northern European banks. When Spain defaults, which it will, these losses will get far worse. When Italy defaults, which it will, the entire banking system of Europe will be busted.''

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''The Great Caspian Arms Race''

From 'There are no Sunglasses'

''While the world focuses on the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran, a little-noticed arms buildup has been taking place to Iran’s north, among the ex-Soviet states bordering the Caspian. Twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union created three new states on the sea, their boundaries have still not been delineated. And with rich oil and natural gas fields in those contested waters, the new countries — Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan — are using their newfound riches to protect the source of that wealth. So they’re building new navies from scratch, while the two bigger powers, Russia and Iran, are strengthening the navies they already have. It all amounts to something that has never before been seen on the Caspian: an arms race.

The biggest reason for this buildup may be mistrust of Iran, but it’s not the only one. The smaller countries also worry about how Russia’s naval dominance allows Moscow to call the shots on their energy policies. Iran and Russia, meanwhile, fear U.S. and European involvement in the Caspian. All of this, among countries that don’t trust each other and act with little transparency, is setting the stage for a potential conflict.''

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