The Kyiv Rising of 2014
Searching for Yanukovich? ‘Try the route to Varennes’
The Kyiv Commune was not crushed; although plans were being made by the Presidency to send in 22,000 troops to Maidan.
What Is Happening In Ukraine Is Far More Important Than Most People Realize
Michael Snyder The Economic Collapse February 25th, 2014 Reader Views: 1,244
What the people of Ukraine are being put through is absolutely horrible. They are caught in the middle of a massive tug of war between the East and the West, and they are paying a great price for it. Ultimately, Ukraine will end up either being dominated by Russia (a bad outcome) or by the EU and the United States (another bad outcome). Most Ukrainians just want to be free and want to be able to build a better future for themselves and their families, but it is extremely unlikely that they will be able to escape the specter of foreign domination. Meanwhile, the violence in Ukraine is planting the seeds for a potentially much larger conflict down the road. The days of “friendly relations” between the United States and Russia are now gone. Russia is absolutely furious that the U.S. has fueled a violent revolution on its own border, and it is something that Russian officials will not forget for a very long time. In return, U.S. officials are taking an increasingly harsh stance toward Russia. In the end, the seeds that are being planted right now could ultimately blossom into a full-blown conflict between the superpowers in the years to come.
Let there be no mistake – the United States is heavily involved in what is going on in Ukraine. Even the New York Times admits this. And the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine and the Assistant Secretary of State have been caught on tape discussing their next moves in getting a new government installed in Ukraine.
In addition, a number of non-governmental organizations inside the United States have allegedly been assisting and organizing the revolution in Ukraine for a long time. At least a few of these organizations have ties to George Soros. This is something that I discussed in a previous article.
Some of the “progressive” NGOs that have been accused of fueling the violent revolution in Ukraine include the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, and the Open Society Foundations (formerly known as the Open Society Institute).
Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not taking sides. I am just pointing out that both sides in Ukraine are controlled. If I was living in Ukraine, I would want both Russia and the United States to go away and leave Ukraine alone.
Instead, Ukraine is being used as a battleground to fight a proxy war between the East and the West. Now that the opposition has gained the upper hand, it does not appear that Russian officials are in any mood to recognize the new “government”…
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday said Russiahad grave doubts about the legitimacy of those in power in Ukraine following President Viktor Yanukovich’s ouster, saying their recognition by some states was an “aberration”.
Medvedev also stated that he has “big doubts about the legitimacy of a whole series of organs of power that are now functioning there.”
Last Friday, an agreement was signed by the two sides in Ukraine that was supposed to bring about a peaceful resolution to all of this. But the revolutionaries reneged on the deal and toppled the government instead. Needless to say, Russia was quite horrified by this…
The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the West for turning a blind eye to what Moscow described as the opposition reneging on its agreement signed Friday to form a unity government and aiming to “suppress dissent in various regions of Ukraine with dictatorial and, sometimes, even terrorist methods.”
So what does Russia plan to do?
That is the big question that everyone is asking.
They are not doing much of anything just yet. But there have been rumors that we could potentially see some economic blowback…
Russia and the Customs Union could temporarily limit increased-risk food imports from Ukraine, given fears of loose safety control, said Sergei Dankvert, head of the Russian veterinary and phytosanitary oversight service Rosselkhoznadzor.
“My Belarusian colleague and I are extremely concerned about the situation in Ukraine. We do not rule out that curbs could be introduced on the imports of products of high veterinary and phytosanitary risks from Ukraine,” Dankvert told Interfax after talks with his Belarusian counterpart Yury Pivovarchik in Bryansk, and telephone talks with Ukraine’s Deputy Agrarian Policy Minister Ivan Bisyuk.
Of course what the U.S. government is most concerned about is any military action that Russia might take.
National Security Adviser Susan Rice says that what has happened in Ukraine reflects “the will of the Ukrainian people and the interests of the United States and Europe” and that it would be a “grave mistake” for Russia to get militarily involved.
But whatever happens over the next few days, nobody should think that the Russians are simply going to abandon their interests in Ukraine. Russia has a very important military base down in the Crimea, and the eastern half of the country is very pro-Russian.
So the struggle between East and West in Ukraine is likely to continue for quite some time to come. The following is an excerpt from a recent WND article…
The issue with Ukraine is whether it will join the E.U. or Putin’s Eurasian Union. The country is roughly divided on this issue between eastern and western Ukraine. The eastern portion wants to remain with Russia while the western side wants to move closer with the West.
In southern Ukraine, where the Crimea is located, Russian influence remains strong.
Because demonstrators who want to see Ukraine lean westward have become emboldened with their immediate success of ousting Yanukovich, it could make it more difficult for them to come to terms with any settlement agreement to reunify the country.
Moscow has a large naval military facility in Sevastopol in the Crimea and recently received a 25-year lease extension to 2042, with another five-year renewal option until 2047. In exchange, Ukraine received a multiyear discounted contract for much-needed natural gas.
And the pro-Russian eastern half of the country is actually the stronger of the two halves economically. So this will likely complicate matters for the EU and the U.S. as they try to bring Ukraine into their sphere of influence…
Seven of Ukraine’s 10 largest private companies by revenue are either headquartered or maintain the majority of their operations in eastern Ukraine. These firms are owned by some of Ukraine’s wealthiest and most influential individuals. Three of these 10 corporations — mining and steel company Metinvest, energy firm DTEK and its subsidiary Donetskstal — are based in the eastern industrial city of Donetsk and are owned by Ukraine’s wealthiest man, Rinat Akhmetov. Interpipe, the company that controls 10 percent of the world market share of railway wheels and more than 11 percent of the world market share of manganese ferroalloys, is based in Dnipropetrovsk and belongs to businessman and politician Victor Pinchuk.
The country’s most important businessmen are embedded in the east, where their businesses make disproportionately high contributions to the Ukrainian economy and national budget.
In the end, this proxy war between the East and the West has left Ukraine with a collapsed economy and on the brink of civil war.
And what has happened in Ukraine has caused permanent damage in the relationship between the United States and Russia.
It won’t happen this month or even this year, but someday the U.S. may end up bitterly regretting antagonizing the Russian Bear.
At least that is what I think.
So what do you think?
Delivered by The Daily Sheeple
Contributed by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse.
‘Are we at all surpised’? Ever since the British Government began selling off the country through PFI (Private Finance Initiatives) in the late 1980s we have seen far less responsibility. Instead of preported superior efficiency and lower costs to the regular person we have witnessed the opposite. This same game of handing over formerly public assets to private companies has been played through P3s (Public-Private Enterprises) throughout the West. The first western country to see ‘full application’ of P3 experimentation was New Zealand beginning in 1990.
Security Giant G4S hit by allegations of fraud and insider trading
PUBLISHED:22:30 GMT, 24 February 2014| UPDATED:22:30 GMT, 24 February 2014
G4S was yesterday rocked by allegations of fraud and insider dealing, writes Peter Campbell.
An ex-employee of the scandal-hit private security giant has claimed in court papers that former chief executive Nick Buckles sold a tranche of shares straight after telling divisional bosses to ‘post the best possible results’.
Former financial director Malcolm Batki, in papers alleging unfair dismissal in 2011, also said the group shifted profits between divisions to bolster its case when negotiating taxpayer-funded contracts.
Scandal-hit: G4S is accused of concealing its true profitability when negotiating contracts with the MoJ
He claimed the group incurred a £4million charge with its prisons unit to conceal its true profitability when negotiating contracts with the Ministry of Justice.
Saying it was less profitable than it was would have allowed the company to demand higher fees for a contract. This is now being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office, which is already looking into the company over two other matters.
G4S said: ‘Regrettably, Mr Bakti has been pursuing G4S unsuccessfully in legal proceedings since his role was made redundant in January 2011.
‘As for the share dealing in question, we can confirm that, in this particular case, the trading was authorised in accordance with the G4S share dealing code.’
Canada on way to brave new world of surveillance
OTTAWA — Emil Petriu is in full oratorical flight, defending his controversial research in a Transylvanian accent that lapses in and out of penetrability.
OTTAWA — Emil Petriu is in full oratorical flight, defending his controversial research in a Transylvanian accent that lapses in and out of penetrability.
“I’m crazy. I’m paranoid,” Petriu smilingly tells a visitor to his office in the University of Ottawa’s School of Information Technology and Engineering.
He’s not really, of course.
At 60, he’s a pioneer in the development of wireless sensor-based “information appliances,” such as intelligent homes and cars, and worked on tactile sensors for the space station program.
Since arriving from his native Romania in 1985, he has taught at the University of Ottawa where, in 2004, he was named a university research chair. Now, he’s on the cutting edge of an emerging brave new world.
Last week, a team he heads received $2 million from Ontario to develop and commercialize new surveillance technologies for such public spaces as airports, school campuses and shopping malls.
Within five years, Petriu expects to be able to provide software for a smart system that will, in real time, analyze data from a range of sensors and monitoring devices — including video, audio, infrared, biological and radiation — to help police zero in on people bent on doing harm.
Petriu dismisses the privacy and civil liberties concerns his research raises. “Unfortunately, too much unchecked liberty is abused by other persons,” he says.
When it comes to protecting civil liberties, Petriu has more faith in machines than humans. “A machine has no race, no colour, no bias — only the biases that you put there, but you can correct them,” he says.
But David Lyon, a Queen’s University sociologist and surveillance expert, says using technology to discern the intentions of people walking through airports and malls in order to pre-empt future acts raises serious issues.
“This is high-risk stuff from a civil liberties point of view,” he says.
Petriu responds we’re already heavily monitored in public spaces by cameras and other sensors that provide information to police and security officials.
But there aren’t nearly enough humans to evaluate, let alone act upon, the reams of information that come streaming in. As a result, says Petriu, police “can’t take, in real time, pre-emptive action.”
The system he and his colleagues, including seven from the University of Ottawa, are developing aims to change that.
Using state-of-the-art technology that can interpret facial expressions and hand gestures and even put them in their proper cultural context, the program will identify suspicious behaviours and alert authorities.
He believes his system would have helped police respond more appropriately to Robert Dziekanski, the Polish immigrant who died after being Tasered by police at the Vancouver airport last October.
“If they had seen how much he’d been through, that he arrived eight hours ago, that he’s lost, they would not have Tasered him,” he says.
A system like his could eliminate the need for random searches at airports and spare innocent travellers like Petriu “dumb questions by a bored young guy who doesn’t understand my English, doesn’t understand culture and other things.”
China Buying Billions in U.S. Real Estate
History Repeating Itself. It was done before:
After the Opium War: Treaty Ports and Compradors
By the mid-1840s, the tightly controlled authority China had administered over its trade began to diminish. After the end of the First Opium War in 1842 and subsequent Treaty of Nanking, additional ports were open including the newly formed British colony of hong Kong. By 1843, the Canton trade system was fading
out, and a new era of trade emerged in the recently opened treaty ports.
“Canton had been bombarded by the English and French forces . . . and the old factories, the scene of so much interest and happiness, were destroyed forever,” John Heard remembered of the aftermath of the Opium War. Of course, this settled the questions as to where we were to live in future. Hong-Kong had the call.23 Augustine Heard & Co. moved its main office to Hong Kong in 1857 and continued to expand its operations with branches in Foochow and Shanghai, agencies in Amoy and Ningbo, and later offices in Japan at Yokohama, Nagasaki, and Hyogo.
The period also signaled the end of the hong monopolies. The Chinese comprador, who served as a trading house employee and manager and sometimes as an independent merchant, became the essential go-between for American traders. Although neither party possessed complete control, the relationship proved mutually advantageous. “Acting as a middleman between two worlds, [the comprador] played a strategically important role in modern China’s economic growth, social change, and general acculturation,” historian Yen- P’ing Hao writes.24 Over time compradors also became investors in the foreign firms with which they did business and later founded their own enterprises.25
Augustine Heard retired from his role as active head of the company in 1844. He would never return to China. In June 1844, the firm announced its new partners: John Heard, George Basil Dixwell, and Joseph Roberts. Augustine Heard II arrived in 1847 and became a partner in 1850. Albert Heard came to China after graduating from Yale and became a partner in 1856, the same time that Augustine II went home and John returned to China to take his place. By 1857, John Heard reported that the company was turning profits of $180,000 to $200,000 a year.
The partners found that they could increasingly count on credit as a way of doing business, enabling them to acquire goods for American clients with far more capital than the company had. By 1860 the Heard & Co. purchases came to $1.5 million; 25 percent was funded through the firm’s money and the rest through credit.26 London merchant banks such as Baring Brothers & Co. provided Heard & Co. with credit, and the China trade in turn brought a significant increase in banking profits.27 “With the sophistication of credit instruments, it became more convenient for coastal merchants to obtain credit,” Yen-P’ing Hao maintains.28 The trading houses also heavily borrowed from compradors and traditional Chinese banking houses well into 1870s.
The ‘Upper Floor (the Super Banks / Big Insurance / Mega-Corporations/ EU/ IMF/etc…)’ and their dis-assembling & vacuuming game is revisited here.
A few years have past since this EASP advice was followed or ignored by several countries. Let us learn from the article below what was asked of them and where we’ve come to since then.
Europe’s small, debt-strapped countries could follow the lead of Argentina and simply walk away from their debts. That would shift the burden to the creditor countries, which could solve the problem merely by a change in accounting rules.
Total financial collapse, once a problem only for developing countries, has now come to Europe. The International Monetary Fund is imposing its “austerity measures” on the outer circle of the European Union, with Greece, Iceland and Latvia the hardest hit. But these are not your ordinary third world debtor supplicants. Historically, the Vikings of Iceland successfully invaded Britain; Latvian tribes repulsed the Vikings; and the Greeks conquered the whole Persian empire. If anyone can stand up to the IMF, these stalwart European warriors can.
Dozens of countries have defaulted on their debts in recent decades, the most recent being Dubai, which declared a debt moratorium on November 26, 2009. If the once lavishly-rich Arab emirate can default, more desperate countries can; and when the alternative is to destroy the local economy, it is hard to argue that they shouldn’t. That is particularly true when the creditors are largely responsible for the debtor’s troubles, and there are good grounds for arguing the debts are not owed. Greece’s troubles originated when low interest rates that were inappropriate for Greece were maintained to rescue Germany from an economic slump. And Iceland and Latvia have been saddled with responsibility for private obligations to which they were not parties. Economist Michael Hudson writes:
- “The European Union and International Monetary Fund have told them to replace private debts with public obligations, and to pay by raising taxes, slashing public spending and obliging citizens to deplete their savings. Resentment is growing not only toward those who ran up these debts . . . but also toward the neoliberal foreign advisors and creditors who pressured these governments to sell off the banks and public infrastructure to insiders.”
The Dysfunctional EU: Where a Common Currency Fails
Greece may be the first in the EU outer circle to revolt. According to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Sunday’s Daily Telegraph, “Greece has become the first country on the distressed fringes of Europe’s monetary union to defy Brussels and reject the Dark Age leech-cure of wage deflation.” Prime Minister George Papandreou said on Friday:
- “Salaried workers will not pay for this situation: we will not proceed with wage freezes or cuts. We did not come to power to tear down the social state.”
- “Mr Papandreou has good reason to throw the gauntlet at Europe’s feet. Greece is being told to adopt an IMF-style austerity package, without the devaluation so central to IMF plans. The prescription is ruinous and patently self-defeating.”
The currency cannot be devalued because the same Euro is used by all. That means that while the country’s ability to repay is being crippled by austerity measures, there is no way to lower the cost of the debt. Evans-Pritchard concludes:
- “The deeper truth that few in Euroland are willing to discuss is that EMU is inherently dysfunctional – for Greece, for Germany, for everybody.”
Which is all the more reason that Iceland, which is not yet a member of the EU, might want to reconsider its position. As a condition of membership, Iceland is being required to endorse an agreement in which it would reimburse Dutch and British depositors who lost money in the collapse of IceSave, an offshore division of Iceland’s leading private bank. Eva Joly, a Norwegian-French magistrate hired to investigate the Icelandic bank collapse, calls it blackmail. She warns that succumbing to the EU’s demands will drain Iceland of its resources and its people, who are being forced to emigrate to find work.
Latvia is a member of the EU and is expected to adopt the Euro, but it has not yet reached that stage. Meanwhile, the EU and IMF have told the government to borrow foreign currency to stabilize the exchange rate of the local currency, in order to help borrowers pay mortgages taken out in foreign currencies from foreign banks. As a condition of IMF funding, the usual government cutbacks are also being required. Nils Muiznieks, head of the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute in Riga, Latvia, complained:
- “The rest of the world is implementing stimulus packages ranging from anywhere between one percent and ten percent of GDP but at the same time, Latvia has been asked to make deep cuts in spending – a total of about 38 percent this year in the public sector – and raise taxes to meet budget shortfalls.”
In November, the Latvian government adopted its harshest budget of recent years, with cuts of nearly 11%. The government had already raised taxes, slashed public spending and government wages, and shut dozens of schools and hospitals. As a result, the national bank forecasts a 17.5% decline in the economy this year, just when it needs a productive economy to get back on its feet. In Iceland, the economy contracted by 7.2% during the third quarter, the biggest fall on record. As in other countries squeezed by neo-liberal tourniquets on productivity, employment and output are being crippled, bringing these economies to their knees.
The cynical view is that that may have been the intent. Instead of helping post-Soviet nations develop self-reliant economies, writes Marshall Auerback, “the West has viewed them as economic oysters to be broken up to indebt them in order to extract interest charges and capital gains, leaving them empty shells.”
But the people are not submitting quietly to all this. In Latvia last week, while the Parliament debated what to do about the nation’s debt, thousands of demonstrating students and teachers filled the streets, protesting the closing of a hundred schools and reductions in teacher salaries of up to 60%. Demonstrators held signs saying, “They have sold their souls to the devil” and “We are against poverty.” In the Iceland Parliament, the IceSave debate had been going on for over 140 hours at last report, a new record; and a growing portion of the population opposes underwriting a debt they believe the government does not owe.
In a December 3 article in The Daily Mail titled “What Iceland Can Teach the Tories,” Mary Ellen Synon wrote that ever since the Icelandic economy collapsed last year, “the empire builders of Brussels have been confident that the bankrupt and frightened Icelanders must finally be ready to exchange their independence for the ‘stability’ of EU membership.” But last month, an opinion poll showed that 54 percent of all Icelanders oppose membership, with just 29 percent in favor. Synon wrote:
- “The Icelanders may have been scared out of their wits last year, but they are now climbing out from under the ruins of their prosperity and have decided that the most valuable thing they have left is their independence. They are not willing to trade it, not even for the possibility of a bail-out by the European Central Bank.”
Iceland, Latvia and Greece are all in a position to call the bluff of the IMF and EU. In an October 1 article called “Latvia – the Insanity Continues,” Marshall Auerback maintained that Latvia’s debt problem could be fixed over a weekend, by a list of measures including (1) not answering the phone when foreign creditors call the government; (2) declaring the banks insolvent, converting their external debt to equity, and having them reopen with full deposit insurance guaranteed in local currency; and (3) offering “a local currency minimum wage job that includes healthcare to anyone willing and able to work as was done in Argentina after the Kirchner regime repudiated the IMF’s toxic package of debt repayment.”
Evans-Pritchard suggested a similar remedy for Greece, which he said could break out of its death loop by following the lead of Argentina. It could “restore its currency, devalue, pass a law switching internal euro debt into [the local currency], and ‘restructure’ foreign contracts.”
The Road Less Traveled: Saying No to the IMF
Standing up to the IMF is not a well-worn path, but Argentina forged the trail. In the face of dire predictions that the economy would collapse without foreign credit, in 2001 it defied its creditors and simply walked away from its debts. By the fall of 2004, three years after a record default on a debt of more than $100 billion, the country was well on the road to recovery; and it achieved this feat without foreign help. The economy grew by 8 percent for 2 consecutive years. Exports increased, the currency was stable, investors were returning, and unemployment had eased. “This is a remarkable historical event, one that challenges 25 years of failed policies,” said economist Mark Weisbrot in a 2004 interview quoted in The New York Times. “While other countries are just limping along, Argentina is experiencing very healthy growth with no sign that it is unsustainable, and they’ve done it without having to make any concessions to get foreign capital inflows.”
Weisbrot is co-director of a Washington-based think tank called the Center for Economic and Policy Research, which put out a study in October 2009 of 41 IMF debtor countries. The study found that the austere policies imposed by the IMF, including cutting spending and tightening monetary policy, were more likely to damage than help those economies.
That was also the conclusion of a study released last February by Yonca Özdemir
from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, comparing IMF assistance in Argentina and Turkey. Both emerging markets faced severe economic crises in 2001, preceded by chronic fiscal deficits, insufficient export growth, high indebtedness, political instability, and wealth inequality.
Where Argentina broke ranks with the IMF, however, Turkey followed its advice at every turn. The end result was that Argentina bounced back, while Turkey is still in financial crisis. Turkey’s reliance on foreign investment has made it highly susceptible to the global economic downturn. Argentina chose instead to direct its investment inward, developing its domestic economy.
To find the money for this development, Argentina did not need foreign investors. It issued its own money and credit through its own central bank. Earlier, when the national currency collapsed completely in 1995 and again after 2000, Argentine local governments issued local bonds that traded as currency. Provinces paid their employees with paper receipts called “Debt-Cancelling Bonds” that were in currency units equivalent to the Argentine Peso. The bonds canceled the provinces’ debts to their employees and could be spent in the community. The provinces had actually “monetized” their debts, turning their bonds into legal tender.
Argentina is a large country with more resources than Iceland, Latvia or Greece, but new technologies are now available that could make even small countries self-sufficient. See David Blume, Alcohol Can Be a Gas.
Local Currency for Local Development
Issuing and lending currency is the sovereign right of governments, and it is a right that Iceland and Latvia will lose if they join the EU, which forbids member nations to borrow from their own central banks. Latvia and Iceland both have natural resources that could be developed if they had the credit to do it; and with sovereign control over their local currencies, they could get that credit simply by creating it on the books of their own publicly-owned banks.
In fact, there is nothing extraordinary in that proposal. All private banks get the credit they lend simply by creating it on their books. Contrary to popular belief, banks do not lend their own money or their depositors’ money. As the U.S. Federal Reserve attests, banks lend new money, created by double-entry bookkeeping as a deposit of the borrower on one side of the bank’s books and as an asset of the bank on the other.
Besides thawing frozen credit pipes, credit created by governments has the advantage that it can be issued interest-free. Eliminating the cost of interest can cut production costs dramatically.
Government-issued money to fund public projects has a long and successful history, going back at least to the early eighteenth century, when the American colony of Pennsylvania issued money that was both lent and spent by the local government into the economy. The result was an unprecedented period of prosperity, achieved without producing price inflation and without taxing the people.
The island state of Guernsey, located in the Channel Islands between England and France, has funded infrastructure with government-issued money for over 200 years, without price inflation and without government debt.
During the First World War, when private banks were demanding 6 percent interest, Australia’s publicly-owned Commonwealth Bank financed the Australian government’s war effort at an interest rate of a fraction of 1 percent, saving Australians some $12 million in bank charges. After the First World War, the bank’s governor used the bank’s credit power to save Australians from the depression conditions prevailing in other countries, by financing production and home-building and lending funds to local governments for the construction of roads, tramways, harbors, gasworks, and electric power plants. The bank’s profits were paid back to the national government.
A successful infrastructure program funded with interest-free national credit was also instituted in New Zealand after it elected its first Labor government in the 1930s. Credit issued by its nationalized central bank allowed New Zealand to thrive at a time when the rest of the world was struggling with poverty and lack of productivity.
The argument against governments issuing and lending money for infrastructure is that it would be inflationary, but this need not be the case. Price inflation results when “demand” (money) increases faster than “supply” (goods and services). When the national currency is expanded to fund productive projects, supply goes up along with demand, leaving consumer prices unaffected.
In any case, as noted above, private banks themselves create the money they lend. The process by which banks create money is inherently inflationary, because they lend only the principal, not the interest necessary to pay their loans off. To come up with the interest, new loans must be taken out, continually inflating the money supply with new loan-money. And since the money is going to the creditors rather than into producing new goods and services, demand (money) increases without increasing supply, producing price inflation. If credit were extended for public infrastructure projects interest-free, inflation could actually be reduced, by reducing the need to continually take out new loans to find the elusive interest to service old loans.
The key is to use the newly-created money or credit for productive projects that increase goods and services, rather than for speculation or to pay off national debt in foreign currencies (the trap that Zimbabwe fell into). The national currency can be protected from speculators by imposing exchange controls, as Malaysia did in 1998; imposing capital controls, as Brazil and Taiwan are doing now; banning derivatives; and imposing a “Tobin tax,” a small tax on trade in financial products.
Making the Creditors Whole
If the creditors are really interested in having their debts repaid, they will see the wisdom of letting the debtor nation build up its producing economy to give it something to pay with. If the creditors are not really interested in repayment but are using the debt as a tool to exploit the debtor country and strip it of its assets, the creditors’ bluff needs to be called.
When the debtor nation refuses to pay, the burden shifts to the creditors to make themselves whole. British economist Michael Rowbotham suggests that in the modern world of electronic money, this can be accomplished by creative banking regulators simply with a change in accounting rules. “Debt” today is created with accounting entries, and it can be reversed with accounting entries. Rowbotham outlines two ways the rules might be changed to liquidate impossible-to-repay debt:
“The first option is to remove the obligation on banks to maintain parity between assets and liabilities . . . . Thus, if a commercial bank held $10 billion worth of developing country debt bonds, after cancellation it would be permitted in perpetuity to have a $10 billion dollar deficit in its assets. This is a simple matter of record-keeping.
“The second option . . . is to cancel the debt bonds, yet permit banks to retain them for purposes of accountancy. The debts would be cancelled so far as the developing nations were concerned, but still valid for the purposes of a bank’s accounts. The bonds would then be held as permanent, non-negotiable assets, at face value.”
Attention: The NSA /Snowden affair has been old news for decades.
See Video: ‘Take Back Your Power’ http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/02/smart-meters-allow-government-corporations-hackers-spy.html
Note: Colonel Oliver North also helped other administration officials at the Federal Emergency Management Administration develop contingency plans for suspending the Constitution, establishing martial law, and holding political dissidents in
concentration camps in the event of “national opposition against a U.S. military invasion abroad.”
This is known as ‘Continuity of Government’
Title Story: Government Power Being Used to Stifle Dissent … Not to Keep Us Safe
Posted Mar 1, 2012 by washingtonsblog.com
One of the nation’s leading electronic privacy groups claimed this week that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) misled members of Congress during a recent hearing on whether the Department is paying a defense contractor $11.4 million to keep tabs on protected free speech and dissent against government policies on the Internet.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), which triggered the hearing by publishing a trove of secret government documents in January, told Raw Story on Thursday that a second round of documents they’ve obtained directly contradicts testimony given on Feb. 16, showing that the DHS instructed their analysts to do exactly what the Department denied.
“There were several exchanges that they had with members of Congress in which they sort of distanced themselves from the idea — that they weren’t engaging in this monitoring of public reaction to government proposals,” McCall told Raw Story. “But that’s… Well, it’s not true, according to the documents we obtained.”
In a letter (PDF) sent Wednesday to the ranking members of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, Ginger McCall, who directs EPIC’s Open Government Project, explains that details within the document directly contradict testimony given during the hearing (PDF).
Altogether, the documents released by EPIC in January and in February reveal that the Department is paying defense contractor General Dynamics to monitor the Internet for “reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities,” including “reports that pertain to DHS and sub agencies — especially those that have a negative spin on DHS/Component preparation, planning, and response activities,” among other things.
“The DHS testimony, as well as the documents obtained by EPIC, indicate that the agency is monitoring constantly, under very broad search terms, and is not limiting that monitoring to events or activities related to natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or manmade disasters,” McCall explained to lawmakers. “The monitoring is designed to be over-broad, and sweeps in large amounts of First Amendment activity. The DHS has no legal authority to engage in this monitoring.”
Documents published by EPIC show that analysts were instructed to watch for “both positive and negative reports” about the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the strangely wide-ranging “organizations outside of DHS.” Other “items of interest” include discussions about immigration policies, drug policies, cyber security matters, and U.S. foreign policy.
About 300 pages of documents (PDF) obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and published by EPIC in January revealed that analysts were specifically told to scour the Internet and social networks like Facebook and Twitter in search of “any media reports that reflect adversely on the U.S. Government,” and to zero in on discussions criticizing government policies and proposals.
Revelations in that initial round of documents triggered a Feb. 16 Congressional hearing and sent DHS officials backpedaling, insisting that type of monitoring was only discussed, not implemented. On the same day of the hearing, EPIC published its second round of documents, revealing a DHS manual on social media monitoring dated “2011,” which carries detailed instructions on what agency analysts are supposed to look for.
“This has a profound effect on free speech online if you feel like a government law enforcement agency — particularly the Department of Homeland Security, which is supposed to look for terrorists — is monitoring your criticism, your dissent, of the government,” McCall told Raw Story.
EPIC said that its lawsuit against DHS was continuing, and that they would press members of Congress for further hearings on the matter. Meanwhile, they have proposed that Congress suspend the DHS program and investigate whether these same practices are being carried out by other agencies.
In fact, the Federal Reserve is also going to monitor social media to see if people are critical of the Fed.
And government agencies aren’t just monitoring … they are also actively manipulating social media for propaganda purposes, to crush dissent (and see this), to help the too big to fail businesses compete against smaller businesses (and here), and to promote viewpoints which have nothing to do with keeping us safe.
Statement of Position:
We are NOT calling for the overthrow of the government. In fact, we are calling for the reinstatement of our government.
We are not calling for lawlessness. We are calling for an end to lawlessness and lack of accountability and a return to the rule of law.
Rather than trying to subvert the constitution, we are calling for its enforcement.