US Struggles to Keep Asia in Dark Age

US-funded newspapers promote US-funded NGOs in their efforts to halt infrastructure projects that would reduce flooding, produce clean, renewable energy, and provide jobs and development for millions.
‘The Irrawaddy,’ which claims to be ‘a leading source of reliable news, information, and analysis on Burma/Myanmar and the Southeast Asian region,’ has doggedly covered efforts by so-called ‘activists’ to prevent the construction of dams all across Southeast Asia – from Myanmar (still called by its British imperial nomenclature ‘Burma’ by the Western media), across Thailand, and in Laos.
Its most recent article, ‘Thai Power Firm’s Business Tactics ‘Use Burma’s Weak Laws’,’ is a typical representation of these efforts. It reports that:
One of the chief financiers of hydroelectric dams planned on Burma’s Salween River is accused of investing in countries where there is ‘oppression and limited transparency’ in order to achieve its objectives.
Having been restricted in its activities at home, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) wants to use Burma and Laos as proxy suppliers of electricity via environmentally damaging river dams, the US-based NGO International Rivers told The Irrawaddy.
Dams are undoubtedly disruptive to the surrounding, existing environment and surely governments and special interests regularly sidestep their responsibility to ensure dam construction results in equitable outcomes for surrounding human populations as well as wildlife. However, to oppose their construction entirely is a regressive, politically motivated agenda peddled by some of the most sociopolitically and environmentally destructive special interests on Earth.
To understand this, one must understand what both The Irrawaddy and International Rivers have in common, and specifically why their agenda has become entwined in the battle against real development across all of Southeast Asia.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on New Eastern Outlook / November 5th, 2014.

More Executive Orders on the Way: Republicans Take Control of the Senate

The American people showed their discontent at the polls yesterday by voting for the Republicans to take control of the Senate. The GOP also strengthened their hold on the House of Representatives and will be in control of both chambers of Congress for the first time since 2006.
Obama now has two choices during the final two years of his leadership:
Issue Executive orders that require no approval from Congress. Seek bipartisan support for his plans. Many people have no doubt of which choice he will make.
What you have to ask yourself is will it make a difference? The vast majority of those that seek to rule us are from white collar backgrounds and most of them worked in for-profit organizations prior to going into politics. Over half of these people are millionaires. (source)
We are deluded if we think that these men and women will not vote with their/their cronies business interests in mind and therein lies the problem. The gap between rich and poor, the haves and have-nots widens year on year. The rich get richer and the rest of us get squeezed more and more.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on November 5th, 2014.

1000s Of Veterans Busted For Massive Benefits Fraud

When work is punished and grift is not, is it any surprise that, as The Washington Times reports, nearly60,000 triple dipping Veterans picked up $3.5 billion in benefits (collecting their military retirement pay; and disability benefits from both the Veterans Administration and Social Security too). The arrangement is legal, but since everyone else is abusing the system, from crony banks to deadbeat dads to squatting slummers, it was only a matter of time before even veterans decided to dip, then dip again and dip some more. Sen. Tom Coburn, noted it was “hard to understand,” but perhaps the hardest thing to understand is why it took veterans so long to realize we live in a world without consequences.
As The Washington Times reports, tens of thousands of veterans collect their military retirement pay and disability benefits from the Veterans Administration and disability checks from Social Security too, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. All told, nearly 60,000 triple dippers collected $3.5 billion in benefits.
The arrangement is legal, but it raises questions about the generosity of the American safety net system at a time when disability programs are already under severe financial stress. “This report shows that, like other government programs, there is little coordination between these overlapping benefits, which increase cost[s] to taxpayers,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, the Oklahoma Republican who requested the GAO report. “We should fulfill our promises to the men and women who serve, but we need to streamline these duplicative programs.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/01/2014.

Pepe Escobar: The Caliph fit to join OPEC

Islamic State leader Caliph Ibrahim – aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – never ceases to amaze us – and most of all his powerful petrodollar-stuffed backers. The Caliph is for all practical purposes now an oil major worth of membership of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). His takfiri/mercenary goons – in theory – have for some time been extracting, refining, shipping and/or smuggling and clinching juicy deals involving vast quantities of oil, reaping profits of roughly US$2 million a day.
The Caliph's oil prices are to die (be beheaded?) for; after all, he's implementing the same low-price strategy concocted by the people he wants to dethrone in Mecca, the House of Saud. The caliphate's GDP across "Syraq" has only one way to go: up.
And oh, the irony Top customers for The Caliph's cheap oil happen to be "Sultan" Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Earthly paradise, aka Turkey – a North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally – and that King "Playstation" Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein's domain impersonating a country, aka Jordan.
Meanwhile, the awesome, immensely sophisticated military apparatus/intel agency acronym fest deployed by "free" U.S./NATO somehow is simply unable to register/intercept this racket.

This post was published at Asia Times

Unchained: You Need To Watch This Video: ‘Who Are The Real Oppressors In Our Community?’

A new video from the Rebel Pundit shows several black Americans standing up against the Democrat machine that has for so long stolen their wealth, made them dependent on a corrupt system, and indentured them to a life of servitude.
It’s an amazing video that should be watched and shared by every American, but not because it shows African Americans attacking President Obama or their state and city legislators. Rather, it speaks volumes about the plight of all Americans, be they White, Hispanic, Asian, Native American or Black.
Our system of governance is corrupt, and despite calls from both parties for equal justice under the law, the only people who ever seem to benefit are the politicians and their cronies in business.
Some issues cross political parties and racial divides.


This post was published at shtfplan on October 28th, 2014.

The Schizomedia Does It Again

With QE3 about to wind down, some are declaring that the age of Quantitative Easing is finally over. These probably forgot they said the same thing when QE1, QE2 and Operation Twist ended. Clueless “expertise” aside, who can really blame them: by now it has become all too clear that the Fed itself has absolutely no idea what it is doing and has bet (all in) not only the (taxpayer) farm but all of (crony) capitalism, that it can solve every problem just by printing free wealth for 1% of the population while at the same time impoverishing the rest, leading to precisely the record inequality… that the Fed itself rails against.
A script worthy of a soap opera, one that Kim Jong Un would shoot you just for watching it.
But at least one entity has got the Fed all figured out and knows exactly what is going to happen next. The Media.
Actually, scratch that.
Here is Reuters from a few hours ago…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 10/29/2014.

Chris Hedges: The Myth of a Free Press

The bias in the US media towards corporate and special interests is apparent in some sources more easily and readily than in others, especially if one has access and bothers to look at a broad base of international news sources.
The great change was institutionalized with the overturn of the Fairness Doctrine under Reagan in 1985 and the revoking of media ownership restrictions from 1934 and 1975 under the Clinton administration’s Telecommunications Act of 1996.
What has changed perhaps is the extreme marginalization of independent sources. For the most part media outlets declare themselves for one group or another. The bias of the financial media in policy issues has become so obvious and servile to its corporate interests that it is almost embarrassing. What is even more surprising is the reach of this sort of continuous advocacy journalism into ‘mainstream’ channels such as Fox and MSNBC that actively re-interpret reality to suit a class of viewers.
This balkanization of the issues attracts large classes of listeners into group think, and precludes any meaningful debate of the issues, even to the very framing of the questions and the issues, and ultimately their very perception of reality.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 27 OCTOBER 2014.

Pensions and Private Equity – A Letter to the New York Times Editor

The ongoing racket between private equity firms and public pension funds in which they work together to earn billions of dollars in excessive fees at the expense of retirees across the country has been a key theme at Liberty Blitzkrieg this year. My most recent piece on the topic was published last week and titled, Another Pension Scandal – The Crony Love Affair Between North Carolina, Credit Suisse and Erskine Bowles.
Here’s an excerpt:
When it comes to how the U. S. economy of fraud functions in 2014, the following article has it all. A government official, a global investment bank and a businessman/politician, all working together to enrich themselves at the public’s expense. It demonstrates how big bucks are really earned by insiders in the new American Dream, characterized by extreme cronyism and corruption.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Oct 26, 2014.

Back To The Future Was Right: Hoverboards Are Just Around The Corner (video)

We are now less than a year away from the day when Robert Zemeckis and Michael J. Fox inspired an entire generation to expect nothing less from 2015 than flying cars. Sadly, as a result of the past 6 years of human “progress” being redirected to finding creative ways of preserving crony capitalism, the failed way of Keynesian life and masking insolvent banks as lipsticked pigs, the only automotive question we have of 2015 is whether there are any GM cars that haven’t been recalled; cars which one hopes will neverbe airborne. And yet, there is one aspect of 2015 that the Back to the Future trilogy may have gotten correct: that “other” thing which every 80’s kid wants to have more than anything: hoverboards.
As a recent Kickstarter campaign by Los Gatos, CA company Hendo claims, a campaign which has already raised well over $100,000 more than its goal of $250,000, the company is preparing to introduce “the world’s first REAL hoverboard and hover developer kit.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 10/25/2014.

21st Century Eugenics: Population Reduction Done Through Vaccine Poisons

Attitudes toward medical ailments and treatment vary widely, usually based upon the degree of trust in the type of health care practice that a patient believes to be the best healing method.
The American Medical Association (AMA) is an advocacy association that promotes the validity of medical therapy, but it’s heavily based upon manufactured designer drugs.
The establishment corporatist scientists have a tendency to claim a corner on proof. However, they often expound on their accepted view using selective memory. Facts can stand in the way of implementing the master plan when the ‘so called’ humanitarian benefits remain elusive or worse, detrimental.
Primum non nocere as stated in The Hippocratic Oath is the original casualty in the practice of NWO health care.
To shareholders of the Big Pharma cartels, whether a vaccine is truly needed is beside the point. Although the throw away soundbite, ‘Saving lives’, is used to market the endless list of vaccines, it’s not really the goal…
The profits involved with the introduction of any new vaccine are immense. The high priestess of orthodox medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes on their site, Possible Side-effects from Vaccines, and provides the obligatory disclaimer.
‘Remember, vaccines are continually monitored for safety, and like any medication, vaccines can cause side effects. However, a decision not to immunize a child also involves risk and could put the child and others who come into contact with him or her at risk of contracting a potentially deadly disease.’


This post was published at 21st Century Wire on OCTOBER 21, 2014.

Another Pension Scandal – The Crony Love Affair Between North Carolina, Credit Suisse and Erskine Bowles

In North Carolina, managing the retirement savings of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public employees is big business. As the sole fiduciary of the state’s $90 billion pension fund, Treasurer Cowell, a Democrat, was recently named the world’s 18th most important institutional investor by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. The State Employees Association of North Carolina (Seanc) estimates that North Carolina is on track to spend a billion dollars a year of retirees’ pension money on fees to private financial firms. Roughly half of all North Carolina pension deals involve placement agents, and Seanc estimates that has generated roughly $180 million in placement agent fees – costs that are effectively paid by the pension fund, according to critics.
Credit Suisse’s own internal regulations say the company aims to ‘establish a management organization that avoids the creation or appearance of conflicts of interests.’ But the North Carolina agreement (the provisions of which were secret until Seanc’s open records request earlier this year) explicitly allows Credit Suisse to engage in ‘actual and potential conflicts of interest.’ The agreement noted Credit Suisse could receive ‘placement fees’ from the firms in which it invests North Carolina pension money.
– From David Sirota’s excellent piece in Investors Business Daily: Pension Deal Spotlights ‘Placement Agent’ Business, Raises Conflict-Of-Interest Questions
When it comes to how the U. S. economy of fraud functions in 2014, the following article has it all. A government official, a global investment bank and a businessman/politician, all working together to enrich themselves at the public’s expense. It demonstrates how big bucks are really earned by insiders in the new American Dream, characterized by extreme cronyism and corruption. As might be expected, this post highlights another excellent piece by David Sirota, who has been doing the best investigative journalism on the topic of public pension corruption. In this article, he zeros in on what’s known as ‘placement agents,’ which are often large financial firms with connections across the political spectrum, and are often money managers themselves, such as private equity giant Blackstone. However, they don’t need to have any expertise in financial matters, they simply need to be connected. As such, placement agents are sometime even former NFL stars.
These agents are paid by money managers to recommend their funds to huge pools of capital, such as public pension funds. In this article, global investment bank Credit Suisse plays the role of placement agent. The investment pool is played by the North Carolina state pension fund, led by Janet Cowell, while the asset manager looking to earn pension fund fees is played by Carousel Capital, a firm run by Erskine Bowles.
As a refresher, Janet Cowell is no stranger to this site. I covered her cronyism back in June in the post, Meet Janet Cowell – The North Carolina Treasurer Desperately Pushing to Keep Criminal Public Pension Fees Secret. Here’s an excerpt:

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Oct 22, 2014.

The Misguided Push for STEM

The higher education system is a mess, and it seems the more we try to fix it, the worse it becomes. With a parade of unflattering test score comparisons constantly being trotted out, widespread unemployment, and a mismatch of skills between workers and producers, the public intelligentsia is ever more concerned about the future of our children and what can be done to improve their prospects.
The current trendy solution is to relentlessly push students into pursuing degrees falling under the unappealing acronym: STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Policymakers like these fields because they tend to be high paying and they ‘sound’ both prestigious and practically worthwhile. Why produce students who know about history or literature, when you can train them to do useful things like research new medicines or design bridges?
It sounds reasonable enough on the surface, but it is important to remember that students do not emerge from university into a vacuum, but rather into a complex system of markets that may or may not demand whatever skills they have to offer. In most markets, we (more or less) let prices freely fluctuate in order to manage the relative supply and demand of the good in question. If too much of the good is produced, the price drops, if too little is produced, it rises. This continues until the market clears, or rather, it is an ongoing process that continually pushes the price towards the market clearing level.

This post was published at Mises Canada on October 20th, 2014.

It’s Not Just Spying – How the NSA Has Turned Into a Giant Profit Center for Corrupt Insiders

Dear NSA Employees, You Now Have a Green Light to Loot and Pillage. It’s Time to Get Paid:
Are you just another one of those frustrated NSA employees who feels that unconstitutionally spying on your fellow citizenry under false pretenses isn’t giving you same thrill it once did? If so, have no fear.
Are you are sick and tired of having to spilt your precious working hours defending the destruction of our nation’s founding document to those pesky terroristic media dinosaurs who still think investigative journalism belongs in Amerika? If so, have I got a solution for you.
While it may sound too good to be true, trust me it’s not. You see, in recent years almost all crony-capitalist criminal activities have been deemed legal in the land of the free (to pillage). This incredible opportunity allows you to directly leverage your intelligence skill-set to earn the big bucks you know you’ve always deserved. You can now do just that by working in the private sector without having to give up that cushy government day job! I mean if we’re going to have this banana republic thing going we may as well GET PAID. Am I right?
Keep at it patriots,
Michael Krieger
If the above sounds like a joke, unfortunately it is not. Last week, two very important stories came out; one from Reuters and the other from Buzzfeed. They both zero in on how current NSA employees are using their expertise and connections to make big money in the private sector while still working at the NSA. Let’s start with the Reuters story, which covers former NSA-head Keith Alexander’s business relationship with the NSA’s current Chief Technical Officer, Patrick Dowd.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Monday Oct 20, 2014.

LOSING $1 BILLION IN A DAY

It couldn’t happen to a bigger prick. It’s actually better. Good old Warren has lost $2.1 billion in this investment since April. Poor guy. I’m sure CNBC will roll out the doddering old fool to be interviewed by his designated soft ball pitcher – Becky ‘not so’ Quick so he can pump up the stock with some gibberish. This guy is the ultimate crony capitalist sellout. They rolled him out last week to try and stop the market meltdown.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on 20th October 2014.

Because This Time Is Never Different, In 100 Year Old Cartoons

Now this really is precious. From 1912: "The official mortgage on the human race now is $39,343,079,476." #deflation pic.twitter.com/jMobJqvQBD
— Rudolf E. Havenstein (@RudyHavenstein) October 16, 2014

Any time you feel like all the endless crime, rigging and cronyism on Wall Street and its lobbied puppets in the Capitol is something new, look at these cartoons from about 100 years ago. You will feel better that this time is not different… and much worse that in 100 years absolutely nothing has changed.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 10/17/2014.

Kudos To Herr Weidmann For Uttering Three Truths In One Speech

Once in a blue moon officials commit truth in public, but the intrepid leader of Germany’s central bank has delivered a speech which let’s loose of three of them in a single go. Speaking at a conference in Riga, Latvia, Jens Weidmann put the kibosh on QE, low-flation and central bank interference in pricing of risky assets.
These days the Keynesian chorus in favor of policy activism is so boisterous that a succinct statement to the contrary rarely gets through – -especially at Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street yarn factory. But here’s what penetrated even Brian Blackstone’s filters:
‘The biggest bottleneck for growth in the euro area is not monetary policy, nor is it the lack of fiscal stimulus: it is the structural barriers that impede competition, innovation and productivity,’ he said.
Needless to say, that is not only the truth but its one that is distinctly unwelcome to the policy apparatchiks in Brussels and the politicians in virtually every European capital. Self-evidently, printing money and running up the public debt are pleasurable and profitable tasks for agents of state intervention. But reducing ‘structural barriers’ like restrictive labor laws, private cartel arrangements and inefficiency producing crony capitalist raids on the public till are a different matter altogether. In the political arena, they involve too much short-term pain to achieve the long-run gain.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on October 17, 2014.

New Book: Senator Schumer Was Regular Visitor to Madoff Offices

New York City has 8.4 million people living in its boroughs. But when it comes to defending those charged with financial crimes, it’s a very small, clubby world of people who are either related to each other or have worked together in the past. And this clubby group has one more thing in common: most of its members seem to be lavishing huge campaign contributions on U. S. Senator Charles (Chuck) Schumer of New York – a man who is in a position to recommend Federal Judge appointments and the Justice Department’s U. S. Attorney who will prosecute the financial crimes – or not.
These are the findings in a new on-line book, JPMadoff: The Unholy Alliance Between America’s Biggest Bank and America’s Biggest Crook, being offered free as a chapter a month by attorneys Helen Davis Chaitman and Lance Gotthoffer. (Chaitman is a nationally recognized litigator who was swindled by Madoff and is passionate about getting an unabridged recital of facts out to the public, including details about the extensive involvement in the fraud by the big Wall Street bank, JPMorgan Chase, and Madoff clients that the authors believe to have been co-conspirators.)
Chapter 3 is now up on the web site and delivers this nugget: ‘Senator Schumer was a frequent visitor to Madoff in his office in New York’s Lipstick Building.’ This information came to Chaitman in 2009 from Madoff employees and is confirmed by a 2014 interview with Madoff himself by Politico’s MJ Lee, indicating that Schumer paid personal visits to Madoff to collect campaign contributions.
In the March Politico article, Lee adds this: ‘Approached in a Senate hallway last week, Schumer seemed willing to talk to a reporter – until the subject of Madoff came up. ‘I’m not commenting,’ the New York Democrat said as he walked away. ‘I am not commenting.’ ‘
The web of relationships unveiled in the book include the following:
The U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, who agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement against JPMorgan Chase for their involvement in the Madoff fraud and who allowed the family of Madoff client Jeffry Picower to keep billions of dollars that very likely grew out of the fraud, was Senator Schumer’s former Chief Counsel and recommended for the prosecutor’s post in 2009 by Senator Schumer.

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on October 15, 2014.

Performance of a Number of Global Stock Exchanges Year-To-Date

Except for a few Asian countries, and special situations not pictured perhaps, it looks like a global slump from here.
There are still a select few unbroken housing bubbles out there that may find some adjustment in a future capital crisis. Canada and Australia come to mind, among others.
Despite the billions of taxpayer funds poured into them, some if not quite a few of the troubled multinational Banks are still in trouble, and a few may be teetering.
Does anyone who is well informed not recognize that the policy errors of the Central Banks and their political cronies have failed to foster a sustainable recovery after five long years of enormous bank subsidies and public misery?
And the fruits of this selfish foolishness may likely be another crisis that is even more decisive?
The Banks must be restrained, and the financial system reformed, with balance restored to the economy, before there can be any sustainable recovery.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 14 OCTOBER 2014.

297 Congress Members Have Earmarked $3.8 Billion for Organizations Tied to Them or Family Members

Remember back when Democrat Congressman Jim Moran, U. S. Representative for Virginia’s 8th congressional district gave an interview where he said that Congress is underpaid at $174,000 a year and needs a raise because Americans need to understand that Congress is ‘the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world’?
Well, check out what the ‘board of directors’ has been up to.
According to watchdog groups Legistorm and CREW – Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – a total of 297 members of Congress have earmarked $3,776,001,807 for organizations that are connected directly to them or to their family members.
For just one example of how this works, check out this research into the conflicts of interest and crony dealings of Dem. Rep. Rosa DeLauro here – and she’s just one example.
Other interesting tidbits:

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on October 11th, 2014.

Meet The World’s First “Undercover, Super-Secret Central Banker”

First a secret “Doomsday book“, and now this?
Flash back to those days in September 2008 when the financial system was on the verge of collapse and when first Lehman failed and then AIG was knocking on heaven’s door. While the story of the former has been written, it is the still incomplete history of the latter that is the reason why Hank Greenberg, the largest shareholder of AIG at the time, is suing the US government for bailing out AIG, alleging the US exorted shareholders when it provided a $182 billion bailout to the insurance company whose Joseph Cassano had seemingly sold insurance on every insolvent mortgage-related security: a strategy which worked in a rising market and led to a near systemic catastrophe when the market crashed.
We won’t debate the merits of Greenberg’s lawsuit, which is currently raging in court under STARR INTERNATIONAL COMPANY V. UNITED STATES, U. S. Court of Federal Claims 11-cv-00779 (it should be painfully clear by now that neither AIG nor crony capitalism as it exists now would have survived had Goldman and its NY Fed branch not extended several trillion in taxpayer funds to preserve the status quo), however we will note one thing: recall that when the terms of the AIG bailout first made waves in 2010 courtesy of Darrell Issa we found out something pecliar: none of the members of the Fed had any intentions on making their procedure public.
As Reuters reported back then:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 10/09/2014.