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The Money Masters Live in Fear

February 9, 2012 10 comments



“Whoever controls the volume of money in our country is absolute master of all industry and commerce…and when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.” – President James Garfield, 2 weeks before his assassination.

Most people in the United States have long suspected that a “shadow government” exists and that the real power in the country resides in that dark location, not in our elected government. The citizens instinctively know that our elected officials are really nothing more than the hired servants of the money masters and are beholden to them if they wish to retain their positions of power.

International Swaps & Derivatives Association ISDA

A quick look at the curtain which they hide behind reveals one shadowy organization that represents the interests of these money masters, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association also known as ISDA. The officers and directors of this organization include some of the largest hedge funds and most of the major banks in the world including the largest banks in the United States. One of the purposes of the ISDA is determine if a “credit event” is actually a default. If a “credit event” is declared to be a default, then Credit Default Swap (CDS) contracts come into play.

Most people have heard of Credit Default Swaps and derivatives, but are not quite sure of what they really are. Before I can continue with this article, I will present a short description of these two financial instruments. Please bear with me on this as things will get interesting shortly.

Credit Default Swaps (CDS) can be generally considered to be insurance policies issued by banks (sellers) and taken out by investors (buyers) to protect against failure among their investments. The problem with them is that while insurance companies are regulated to make sure that the companies have the ability to pay their claims, the CDS issued by the bankers are largely unregulated.

Derivatives are financial instrument whose value is based on the value of another financial instrument. If one looked at a football team: it owns the stadium, has contracts with players, has advertising rights, has television contracts etc. Each one of these is an economic entity capable of generating income. Derivatives could be considered the bets that people place on these teams. (Credit Default Swaps are a form of derivatives).

So what do derivatives and Credit Default Swaps have to do with all this, how do they affect people on the street, and why are the money masters so concerned about them?

Take a look at the ,following table in a report created by the Bank of International Settlements.

Derivatives keep growing

Source: Bank for International Settlements

If you look at the highlighted area, you will see that the total value of Credit Default Swaps for 2011 is a staggering $32,409 BILLION dollars! That is $32 TRILLION, with a “T”! To put this into perspective the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States in 2010 — the total value of all the goods and services generated in the entire country that year — was $14.6 trillion. The amount of credit default swaps held by the banks dwarfs the entire economic output of the United States. There is no way in hell that these banks could ever pay even a small fraction of these claims. The TOTAL amounts of derivatives is a staggering $707 TRILLION plus a measly few hundred billion more. This entire system is a house of cards just waiting for a single card to fall. There is not enough money on this planet to cover these contracts.

A report by the Comptroller of the Currency has the nation’s five largest banks — JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, HSBC, and Goldman Sachs — holding nearly 95 percent of the industry’s total exposure to derivatives contracts. This means the 5 largest banks are on the hook for over $30,000 billion for just the CDS they issued.

This is where it starts to get interesting.

Remember earlier in this article I stated that one of the purposes of the ISDA is to determine if a “credit event” is actually a default? If a “credit event” is declared to be a default, then Credit Default Swap (CDS) contracts come into play. Think about this, the very same banks that would have to pay the claims by those who bought these contracts, are in the position of determining if a “credit event” is really a default. All the banks have to do is to NOT declare any default and they do not have to pay! If they did have to pay, and then the house of cards would collapse. The big banks would immediately be insolvent and the money masters live in fear of this.

This lack of a declared default by the ISDA is exactly what brought down MF Global which was speculating heavily on European bonds. What ultimately happened was that an agreement was reached in Europe that that investors would have to take a write-down of 50% on Greek Bond debt. Now MF Global was leveraged anywhere from 40 to 1, to 80 to 1 depending on whose figures you believe. Let’s assume that MF Global was leveraged 40 to 1, this means that they could not even absorb a small 3% loss, so when the “haircut” of 50% was agreed to, MF Global was finished. It tried to stem its losses by criminally dipping into segregated client accounts, and we all know how that ended with clients losing their money.


MF Global may well be just the tip of the iceberg on what still awaits us.

However, MF Global thought that they had risk-free speculation because they had bought these CDS from these big banks to protect themselves in case their bets on European Debt went bad. MF Global should have been protected by its CDS, but since the ISDA would not declare the Greek “credit event” to be a default, MF Global could not cover its losses, causing its collapse.

Think about this for a minute, if you or I paid 50% of our mortgage payment, this would certainly be declared a default. However, in the Greek bond write-down the ISDA did not declare it a default. What you essentially have here is a situation where the banks controlling the ISDA and are essentially determining their own fate.

Now with the talk in Europe being that investors may have to take a write down of 70% on some European debt, will that be declared a default? I doubt it, again because that would drive the 5 biggest banks in the United States into insolvency. The problem becomes, at what point does the ISDA declare a default? At 70%, at 80% , or at 100% if Greece or another country just walk away from their debt? Once a default is declared by the ISDA, the banks are done, and the money masters know this! The conflict of interest in this situation is clear. These banks got to write the insurance , get paid the premiums and yet they have total control over whether they will have to pay.

The money made by selling these derivatives is directly responsible for the huge profits and bonuses we now see on Wall Street. The money masters have reaped obscene profits from this scheme, but now they live in fear that it will all unravel and the gravy train will end. What these banks have done is to leverage the system to such an extreme, that the entire house of cards is threatened by a small country of only 11 million people. Greece could bring the entire world economy down. If a default was declared, the resulting payouts would start a chain reaction that would cause widespread worldwide bank failures making the Lehman collapse look small by comparison.


The ability of these large banks to not pay on the Credit Default Swaps that they wrote, sold and profited from is a travesty. What will happen once other countries like Italy, Spain, and France have bond write downs? This criminal abrogation of contracts exposes something much bigger, the unregulated shadow banking system of derivatives. The Dodd-Frank bill that people thought would regulate the finance industry does little to address the problems of derivatives, largely due to the money masters’ lobbyists that influenced the bought politicians to not put limits on the gravy train. We have a system where: laws are written by the servants of the money masters, the regulators are appointed by these same servants, CDS policies were written by the money masters, premiums were paid to the money masters, fees were taken by the money masters , but no payouts will be permitted by the money masters. Do not expect the paid politicians or regulators to do anything about this.

These titans of Wall Street do not answer to any government or to the public. They have set us all up for a second financial crisis far worse than in 2008. These money masters are humanity’s worst enemy. This is another example of a paper game they have created to enrich themselves, but puts the entire world at risk.


Well, these Masters of the World will be having a themselves a get-together to plan the future of their world.

*The ISDA 27th Annual General Meeting will be held on April 30-May 2, 2012 in Chicago.

*This will be followed by the G8 summit meeting in Chicago on May 19 and May 20.

*Then this will be followed by the NATO summit in Chicago on May 20 and May 21.

During 9-11, it was said that our security services failed to connect the dots. However, here we have a situation where if you analyze this carefully, it is easy to connect the dots.

There is a reason that the ISDA meetings are held first. The G8 and NATO events are the window dressing for public consumption. The real decisions will be made by the money masters so their meeting needed to be held first. At this meeting, the money masters will develop their marching orders for their puppets, the paid servants who are the political leaders who will be in attendance at the G8 conference.


These puppets at the G8 Conference will then create the marching orders for the militaries that they control. However, all the “big picture” planning will have been developed at the ISDA meetings. The money masters live in fear of an economic collapse that they have brought about and they may have need of a military adventure to distract the masses from their crimes. Of course the paid servants will go along with this plan because they do not want to do anything that would change their positions of power. Watch for signs of a bogeyman country orchestrated by the mass media to whip up frenzy in support of war, or possibly even a false flag attack. This media campaign will be another symptom of the fear of the money masters.

The militaries will do what they always do and will blindly follow their orders. The NATO meeting will be used to develop the planning for the execution of the orders developed by the money masters.

With the continued austerity being imposed on the world by these bankers and their agencies such as the IMF, World Bank, and their hired servants our political leaders, a meeting of so many tools in one location is a natural magnet for protestors who are tired of the corruption and greed in the system. The demonstrators will be targeting the puppeteers, not just the puppets.


It is not difficult to imagine that the money masters do not want any of these meetings to be disrupted and that plans have already been made for an overwhelming police presence. There have already been reports of joint military exercises between the Los Angeles police and the military. You can count on the fact that the 1st Amendment will sustain “collateral damage”.

Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer prize winning journalist, has speculated that since the NDAA was opposed by the agencies in the national security establishment including the FBI, NSA, that what might be driving these military exercises is the fear that the bankers do not trust the police to protect them if things turn south.

“And I think, without question, the corporate elites understand that things, certainly economically, are about to get much worse. I think they’re worried about the Occupy movement expanding. And I think that, in the end—and this is a supposition—they don’t trust the police to protect them, and they want to be able to call in the Army.” – Chris Hedges

It is no mistake that Chicago was chosen for the site of these meetings. The powers that be know that the police will meet the protests with violence, but in Illinois, it is illegal to record the police. So the documentation of violence perpetrated in the protection of the interests of the money masters will be significantly reduced. The choice of Chicago for the site of these meetings is another example of the fear of the money masters.


The number and behavior of law enforcement as well as the myriad of other security agencies that will be present during these Chicago meetings will certainly be an indicator of the level of fear that the money masters are feeling as the world they have created on a foundation of theft, fraud, leverage and debt crumbles around them.

The Occupy Movement has been shining a light into the dark recesses that these money masters inhabit. The movement represents a real threat to their privileged positions as the public becomes more and more aware of the fraud and greed perpetrated by them, as they continue to extract even more money from the public. The money masters had their paid servants, the politicians evict the Occupiers from their parks in most cities across the United States. Another example of the fear the money masters have.

But…..

These money masters know now that all they accomplished was to scatter the movement which ultimately only strengthened it even more. The message is now quietly spreading to college campuses and to communities where foreclosures are being fought (further threatening the bottom lines of these same bankers). Every time that the hired politicians send their enforcers, the police to violently repress the movement, the movement grows in strength.

The money masters live in fear that they will not escape the blame for creating the next economic crisis as conditions continue to worsen. The money masters know that nothing has changed since the 2008 collapse and that the number of derivatives has actually grown since then (see chart). You would think that the bankers would have learned their lesson, instead with their myopic focus on their own wealth and greed the derivatives grew to significantly higher levels. These money masters now live in fear of the repercussions of these actions.

Eventually even the police will realize that their pensions are being raided by these money masters. The money masters have been manipulating their politician puppets to enact “pension reforms” that hide their theft in the name of “necessary cutbacks”. The money masters live in fear that ultimately even the police will refuse to protect their interests.

The money masters live in fear that the Occupy Movement will awaken the country from its deep sleep, and that the wrath of the people will turn against these sociopaths who have so manipulated the system in order to enrich themselves with no regard for anyone else. They may have their psychological and physical bunkers to hide in, but the very fact that they need these bunkers, shows their fear.

For more articles by many authors on economic, social, justice, media, and community issues:
http://www.endtheillusion.org

Protecting the interests of the money changers, then and now!

January 3, 2012 1 comment

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“When will they ever learn?”
Peter, Paul and Mary

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Protecting the money changers

Occupy Evictions: Did the Money Masters Win?

December 14, 2011 2 comments

Has anyone asked themselves this question: where would our country’s economy be right now, if they had enforced banking regulations as vigorously as they enforce park rules?

It is ironic that so many in this country have fallen for the corporate media propaganda that seeks to divide the masses and have us fight each other. They wish to accomplish this so that we do not focus on those who pillaged the economy and Treasury and left the devastation of millions without jobs, millions of families foreclosed upon and left in the streets to fend for themselves, the 50 million without health insurance, and the record nearly 46 million now on food stamps . This is a standard divide and conquer tactic so that we are focused on each other, rather than on the perpetrators. The corporate media drivel tells us that these victims are lazy, and need to work harder to find jobs. The corporate media where the rich pay other rich people to tell the middle class to blame poor people.

Does anyone else find it odd how so many millions became so lazy and shiftless after the financial overlords trashed our economy in 2008?

The millionaire talking heads on the media propaganda networks will have the masses blame it on the victims, rather than the perpetrators.

Riot police surround seated demonstratorsAll this is happening while those who committed the fraud continue to pay themselves huge salaries, stock options, and bonuses. Thanks to the Citizens United ruling, these financial overlords now contribute unlimited money ANONYMOUSLY to their paid servants of both political parties in Washington DC. This allows these money masters to get legislation passed favorable to them and to shield themselves from prosecution for their fraud. The hired politicians are not our leaders, they are the puppets of their financial masters.
Where is the outrage of the masses, that there have been no prosecutions of those who stole from the taxpayers? Where is the outrage for all of the fraudulent paperwork being used in foreclosures taking place across the nation? Where is the outrage when our president pressures the NY State Attorney General to drop his opposition to a “settlement” that leaves the amount of the fraud unknown and is favorable to those who committed it? Where is the outrage to the total failure of the regulators to do their jobs?

(Oh yeah, they did convict Bernie Madoff. However, his mistake was that he stole from the rich, not the taxpayers, and THAT is why he is in jail. )

raising weapons against protestorsInstead, we have the financial overlords turn their enforcers, the police, on the Occupy Movement, who accuse the money masters of this fraud. The media which these financial overlords also control, chimes in and tries to ridicule the protestors: they are dirty, they have no message, they are lazy, etc, etc. Sadly, so many among the masses cannot see this propaganda for what it is and they parrot what they hear. The puppet mayors have conference calls to coordinate police action against these accusers since they are threatening the very core of the financial elites’ power structure in the country, and of course the funding that keeps the politicians in power.

These are just some of the spectacles we have witnessed recently:
• Police in full riot gear surrounding peaceful protestors sitting in parks

• Police pointing weapons at peaceful protestors while enforcing park rules

• Oakland streets turned into a war zone in order to enforce park ordinances

• Colleges calling in police with full riot gear, rubber bullets, and batons beating students protesting rising tuition costs

• Seated students at UC Davis who presented no imminent threat to anyone being assaulted with MILITARY GRADE pepper spray by a calm police officer under no apparent duress. The video of this atrocity went viral on the Internet with millions of viewers within days.

• A complete press blackout during the eviction of the protestors in Zuccotti Park where the reporters were roughed up and not allowed within 3 blocks of the park, and the CBS helicopter filming the scene was chased out by NYPD helicopters. Residents in the area were ordered to stay indoors so that no one could record police activities.

• A police lieutenant in the New York Police Department (NYPD) pepper spraying protesters trapped in a net, calmly walking away, and then this criminal had to suffer the unbearable consequence of losing 10 vacation days for a criminal physical assault that would have landed anyone else a prison term. He was left in a position of authority and commands many officers below him. So much for the police investigating themselves.

If the crime and damage to the nation because of park rule violations, or curfew violations deserves such a violent reaction, what would be a proportionate response to those who trashed our economy and left so many jobless, without healthcare, and without their homes? We need riot police in corporate offices arresting these perpetrators. Instead, those who committed these crimes shield themselves from prosecution because of their “contributions” to those in political and judicial offices and so nothing happens to them. The masses in the country continue to follow the media pied piper and turn their anger on the accusers, rather than the perpetrators.

harmless rubber bulletsThere are those who still think that we live in a free country. If you are one of them, try going to Wall Street with a sign and see just how free you are to express your opinion.

Those who do not think, simply parrot what the propaganda they hear on the corporate media. You hear them say that the movement has no message. No message? The very name Occupy Wall Street tells the message. Then the parrots say that they should be protesting in Washington DC, not Wall Street. Well, since the politicians are the puppets of the money powers, if you want change you do not confront the puppets, you confront the puppeteers. The movement is EXACTLY where it needs to be.

The irony is that Occupy Wall Street was never allowed to even get near Wall Street. Any marches in that direction were met with a forceful and often violent response by the police. The enforcers of the power structure defended the “Temple of Greed” on Wall Street with extraordinary vigor. The protestors had to settle for a park blocks from their intended target.

One of the Citadels of Greed, JP Morgan Chase was so grateful for the loyalty that the enforcers exhibited in protecting their interests. They donated $6.5 million in computer laptops to the NYPD. These will presumably be used with facial recognition software to determine the identities of the all the protestors so they can then share this data with Homeland Security. An empire in decline often turns on its own citizens as the end game approaches.

police attack studentsNot all cities jumped on the violent confrontation bandwagon. Albany, NY police refused to arrest protestors despite pressure from the puppet governor and mayor. Washington DC and Philadelphia PA are other cities took the constitutional right to Freedom of Speech and Assembly not as obstacles, but as the bedrock of our nation’s soul. These cities did not have the violent clashes as did so many others. They did not need to field thousands of police in full riot gear and thus saved their cities $millions in overtime pay that the confrontational cities imposed on their taxpayers. The more violent and confrontational cities will inevitably also have to face numerous criminal and civil lawsuits that will also potentially cost $millions. All this to protect the bankers?

These cities need to take a look at the professional manner in which the Washington DC police and city officials handled their protests. These cities then need to send their police chiefs for some workshops in Washington DC on effective methods of policing. It is obvious that they certainly need the training!

These confrontational cities on behalf of the money powers, have acted as though these protestors were some sort of “contagion” that needed to be disinfected. The irony was that every time they were excessive in their responses, the movement only grew in strength. It was after the mass arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge that the movement started spreading to over a thousand cities across the globe. The money powers are growing more and more nervous as the conversation in the nation shifted from shredding the social safety net to the excessive wealth disparities that are visible to all, but those who choose not to see. So the money powers redoubled their efforts and coordinated the evictions with their paid servants, the politicians, to try to stop this “contagion”.

Leave your big bankWith the full backing of the police, the treasury, all branches of government, and even the military if needed, the money powers now have successfully “evicted” the peaceful protestors from many of the parks and they think they have “won”.

Arrogant fools, you cannot evict an idea. The Occupy Movement is now moving to Occupy homes going into foreclosure. This will make it much more difficult for the banks to evict homeowners from their homes by making every eviction another possible confrontation. Some will block access to ports. These new tactics will threaten the unprecedented levels of wealth accumulation by the financial overlord parasites who place themselves in close proximity to working peoples’ money and find more and more ways to skim more for themselves. This will also serve to unite the millions of people in danger of foreclosure with the Occupy Movement. This will unite people in the neighborhoods affected by foreclosure and homelessness with the Occupy Movement. This was a WIN-WIN-WIN for the movement. So here we have ANOTHER example of where the movement was met with a forceful response, and instead it grew in strength. Many other protestors will go to their hometowns and organize even more people to the movement increasing its strength even more. The “contagion” spreads. Brilliant strategy Mayor Bloomberg!

Many of the protestors moved back to their college campuses. At UC Davis, there were approximately 150 students protesting tuition hikes when the police pepper sprayed some seated protestors. The video was viewed by millions across the world. The outrage caused a 3 block line of students to silently shame the Chancellor as she walked out of a Regents Meeting the evening of the incident. The next day thousands of students showed up at an assembly to call for her resignation. Another example of how a violent reaction to a small demonstration grew the movement from a small number to thousands. The “contagion” spreads even more.

Oakland's port shut down

Mayor Bloomberg, Mayor Quan, Mayor Hancock, to name just a few, do you really think that now that these demonstrators are no longer in your parks, they will just go home and stay silent? Do you really think that your batons, rubber bullets, riot police, and pepper spray will make the anger of the injustices go away?

No, they will take the skills they learned and contacts they made at these parks and they will be very busy. They will be organizing at their colleges and universities, they will be organizing in their home towns, they will be spreading the word, they will be occupying homes in foreclosure, and the “contagion” will spread beyond your money masters’ wildest fears. These financial elites will long for the days where the only thing they had to deal with was park gatherings and signs.

Unfortunately, none of the structural problems that the Occupy Movement have been shining a light on have been addressed by the puppet politicians. This GUARANTEES that the economic, social and political systems will continue to deteriorate. This fact alone will add more frustrated people, many of which will join the movement. And the “contagion” spreads even more.

None of the perpetrators of the financial fraud have been prosecuted. It doesn’t take a Phd in economics to know that this means the financial crimes will not stop. The parasitic money masters are continuing the same behaviors that got us into this mess to begin with. The level of derivatives is now even greater than it was in 2008. This guarantees that we will face another devastating econmic collapse, probably significantly greater than in 2008. This will result in even more unemployment, foreclosures, lost health benefits, gigantic bank bailouts, government guarantees, and social safety net cuts with the resulting social unrest inherent under such conditions. What’s in YOUR wallet? The “contagion” will now spread across the wider society.

Using an insect lifecycle as a metaphor, the movement will go into the pupa stage where it will appear that it has become dormant. Imagine the tens-of-thousands of people occupying parks, plazas, colleges, homes in foreclosure, and other places around the country. They will spend the winter organizing.

Then in Spring, movement will metamorphose and emerge more powerful than ever. More and more frustrated people who sitting on the fence will start to support the changes called for. Now the money powers will be getting even more nervous. Their divide and conquer tactics, as well as the use of redirection will not work like it used to.

police brutality
Watch for more violence by the enforcers as the money masters and their hired politicians vainly try to cling to their positions of privilege and power. Watch how shrill the media attacks will become. Maybe they will start a war to distract the public from their crimes. Maybe they will infiltrate more provocateurs into the movement as they have already tried. Learn to recognize these tactics and do not allow yourself to fall for them.

It is time to let the “too big to fail” banks know that they do not have the final say. They can buy our politicians, they can generate fraudulent mortgage documents, they can buy protection against prosecution, but they have no defense against the combined economic might of the people!

So, what can YOU do? VOTE WITH YOUR POCKET BOOK!

The big banks have been draining our economy, placing their profits in off shore accounts, not paying their fair share in taxes, financing the shipping of our jobs overseas, getting government bailouts, and paying their executives HUGE bonuses. They take the money they make in your community and ship it out impoverishing your community. Move your money to a local bank or credit union. With the banks using fractional reserve lending, it means that they are leveraged 10 to 1. This means that if only 10% of all deposits from a “too big to fail” bank are withdrawn, they will be insolvent. We, the People can bring these giants down! A local bank or credit union will invest in your communities, pay taxes in your communities and make it a better to place to live. Move your money to a local bank or credit union!

Time to send these Wall Street criminals a message!

Stop paying a 3% bank tax on all credit card transactions.

Stop shopping at the big chain stores. They take their profits and ship them out of your communities impoverishing them. Many of them “hide” their profits by moving them to off-shore tax havens. Patronize your local merchants. They are paying their taxes, they are keeping the money in your community, they are part of your community.

Since money in politics is at the root of the government corruption, we need to repeal the Citizens United ruling that allows the money powers to drown out the voices of the people with unlimited money donated ANONYMOUSLY to our corrupt politicians of both parties. Some organizations that are working towards this end include:

http://www.followthemoney.org
http://www.opensecrets.org
http://www.campaignmoney.com
http://www.citizen.org
http://www.commoncause.org

Take the time to educate yourself on these issues. It is time to take our country back from the criminals who have hijacked our democratic republic and raided the national treasury for their own self-serving ends, thrown millions of families into the streets using fraudulent documents. It is time to return this nation to its people! These criminals need to “occupy” prison cells.

http://www.endtheillusion.org

Move your bank

November 20, 2011 1 comment
let's do as they wish

Get your cash back -- Move your bank

It is time to let the “too big to fail” banks know that they do not have the final say. They can buy our politicians, they can generate fraudulent mortgage documents, they can buy legal protection against prosecution, but they have no defense against the combined economic might of the people!

VOTE WITH YOUR POCKET BOOK!

The big banks have been draining our economy, placing their profits in off shore accounts, not paying their fair share in taxes, financing the shipping of our jobs overseas, getting government bailouts, and paying their executive HUGE bonuses. They take the money they make in your community and ship it out impoverishing your community.

A local bank or credit union will invest in your communities, pay taxes in your communities and make it a better to place to live.

Time to send these Wall Street criminals a message!

Stop paying a 3% bank tax on all credit card transactions.

Stop shopping at the big chain stores. Patronize your local merchants.

Is the US becoming a Police State?

October 27, 2011 1 comment

Is this sort of intimidation and police force really necessary against peaceful protestors? The Phoenix Arizona police clearly outnumber the protestors and they have the badges and the guns. Who are they “protecting”?
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This footage shows police lobbing a flash grenade into a group a people who were trying to help a critically injured person. This injured person was an Iraq War veteran who served 2 tours of duty as a marine and survived. Now he is gunned down by a rubber bullet to the face by those sworn "to protect and serve". He was diagnosed with a skull fracture by the hospital. Who was this cop “protecting”? Do you think he will face any charges?

Looks like our streets are more dangerous than an Iraq war zone. The Oakland Police Dept actually used tear gas, rubber bullets, and a SONIC CANNON on the protestors. Their offense was a “curfew violation”. Sounds like a reasonable response to such a serious crime to me.
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The video above shows Office Anthony Bologna pepperspraying several young women without provocation. Later in the day he indiscriminately peppersprayed again and that was also caught on video and went viral. Who was (yes, I had to laught as well) Tony Baloney “protecting”?

This coward who hides behind his badge and gun, had the audacity to pepperspray someone's daughter. After an "investigation", he was docked 10 vacation days. He remains in a position of leadership in the NYPD. What do you think would happen if you or I peppersprayed one of his daughters?

This criminal needs to be brought to trial for aggravated assault. Do you think that will happen?

For a well written article by a Canadian observer on this subject:
http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article31176.html

A Tale of 3 Cities

October 24, 2011 2 comments

Washington DC
Early in the month of October, I visited the October 2011 occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC. In this plaza I found thousands of people who had gathered for many different reasons, but I could distill the reasons to the following: wealth inequality and its associated greed, corruption of money in the political process, and the endless wars being fought by our nation. The levels of frustration among the American people have been growing and this event was taking place at approximately the same time as the Occupy Wall Street movement.

During this time, I attended several mass marches to various destinations within Washington DC. One thing that impressed me was the professionalism and cooperation that the Washington DC police provided during these marches. The DC police were extremely effective in making the marches move efficiently. They would temporarily block side streets to let the marchers pass and then quickly reopen them. The marchers were directed to stay on one side of the road and the DC police made sure that traffic flowed smoothly on the other side. The relationship between the protestors and the police was one of cordiality and politeness. The numbers of arrests were extremely small, and order was maintained efficiently.

New York
Later in the month, I visited Zucotti Park where the epicenter of the Occupy Wall St movement is camped out. Here I found a totally different environment. The authorities seemed to want an adversarial relationship with the protestors and had ordered the police to place barricades everywhere so that protestors were always trapped in large numbers in very small areas. The overriding priority seemed to be to keep all streets open at any cost. This meant the NYPD needed large numbers of police to man the barricades, in fact many times police were lined up man to man next to each other the entire length of the barricades which could be blocks in length.

Due to the trapping effect of these barricades, it was often impossible to move because there were so many people in front or behind you. I personally witnessed people being arrested because they physically could not move. This trapping effect also created congestion on the sidewalks that often spilled out into the streets. While many of the police acted professionally, the general demeanor of some was very confrontational. The results are that there have been thousands of arrests and thousands of police needed to maintain an extremely inefficient barricading system. Another result is that the confrontational attitude exhibited by some of the police made sustaining order much more difficult. The countless videos available for viewing on the Internet have established a pattern of peaceful protestors facing aggressive police, reminiscent of the Arab regime police responses to their protestors. The level of order in NYC was significantly lower than that of Washington DC. This large use of manpower certainly added to the costs of maintaining that order.

Philadelphia
Since Philadelphia is very close to my residence, I also made a brief visit to the Occupy Philly site. My time at this site was the shortest of the 3 cities. In Philadelphia, the city officials have taken a more enlightened approach and allowed the protestors to camp next to City Hall. The protestors were warned not to block traffic, keep the area clean, and to not break any laws. This enlightened approach has resulted in a minimal number of arrests and the efficient use of police manpower. The numbers of police required to keep order in Philadelphia, is a very small fraction of what New York is utilizing. I did not attend any marches, so I cannot speak to how they went.

In Summary
Washington DC and Philadelphia have taken a cooperative approach with the protestors. This has resulted in low arrest numbers and significantly smaller manpower requirements. In Washington DC, the marches flowed much more smoothly with less interference with traffic flow, and a higher level of order.

NYPD Response to Occupy Wall St from Illusionist on Vimeo.

In contrast, New York has taken a confrontational approach with the protestors and this has reduced the level of order, interfered with traffic flow, and required huge numbers of police to maintain a very inefficient control system. It has also resulted in large numbers of arrests, and NYPD inefficent use of manpowersubsequent clogging of the court system. The number of civil cases that will inevitably result from this confrontational approach will also burden the court system in the future. This confrontational approach has also encouraged rogue members of the NYPD to act outside of the law and in unprofessional ways, which leaves the city open to potential costly lawsuits. Many of these acts have been video recorded and will make defending the rogue actions problematic. This confrontational approach also removes large numbers of police from doing real investigative and police work. It is difficult to determine whether these poorly thought out decisions were made by city officials or the police leadership. However, the end result has been significant costs to the taxpayers in NYC and a reduced level of order. The NYPD is has also taken a public relations hit worldwide. This is unfortunate after the positive perceptions that were developed after 9-11. It is small wonder that the city requires a Civilian Review Board to handle complaints against the police.

I would strongly suggest that the police leadership in the NYPD attend some workshops on crowd control presented by the Washington DC police. The contrasts between these two police forces is enormous and NYPD leadership certainly needs some basic training in this area.

A Night with Occupy Wall Street

October 17, 2011 3 comments

A call went out over the Internet stating that the city of New York was preparing to “clean” the park where the Occupy Wall St protests were taking place and that the protestors would have to leave the park during this cleaning. The occupiers were cognizant that this was a thinly veiled attempt to evict them from the park. They asked for people to converge on the park to defend it from the NYPD who would be charged with clearing it.

Night before Having watched this movement from its inception, their message of eliminating the influence of money on our government resonated deeply with me. Their message of corporate and Wall St greed also resonated with me. I remember the horror I felt at the spraying of the penned in protestors, I recall the anger I felt when I viewed the videos where the police entrapped the demonstrators on the bridge and then arrested hundreds of them. The time had come for me personally to take action.

I quickly gathered together a folding chair, a tarp, (the weather called for heavy rain), and my video camera and hopped on the last bus leaving Chinatown. I arrived at the park close to midnight and witnessed several hundred occupiers. I found an empty spot to “camp out” and setup my small site. The next hour was spent in discussion with many of the people in the park. They were very welcoming and friendly. I thought of the many videos I had seen that showed the fringe element of the occupiers in their attempts to try to discredit the movement. While I did see a few fringe types, they were a very small minority. Instead what I discovered was that these mostly young people were both articulate and committed. They clearly outlined the problems within our system as they perceived them.

Jefferson warningAt approximately 1:00 AM, a light rain started falling and I decided to sit on my chair, using the tarp for shelter. I watched as the crowd quickly adapted and almost instantly everyone seemed to wearing ponchos or utilizing umbrellas. Then I received the first real surprise of the visit. The skies opened up and almost instantly started pouring heavily. Immediately a great cheer went out among the crowd that reverberated between the large buildings that surround the park. This sent a chill down my spine. These people were so used to being wet that they actually welcomed the rain.

At this time I noticed my tarp which was only 1 season old and had been sitting in the sun for the summer, was not water tight. Some of the lining had deteriorated and water was entering. It was not long before I was sitting in the chair fully soaked. I looked around and saw how these young people adapted to the rain and to not being allowed to have tents in the park. Many of them covered their sleeping bags with tarps and the openings to the bags with umbrellas. I knew that this was not completely watertight and that they were sleeping in wet conditions. Here I was wet and uncomfortable for one single night and these amazing people put up with this discomfort for weeks in order to protest what they believed in. I felt anger at those who would not allow them to post tents. The arrogance of these people subjecting someone’s child to have to endure this sort of indignity. Would they do the same if their sons or daughters were here?

After a while the rain let up, and normal activity returned to the park. It was now around 2:00AM and I would estimate that less that ¼ of the people were sleeping. There was an electricity in the air and a great concern about the pending confrontation with the NYPD, the enforcers and protectors of the money powers. During this time I explored the park and found that the levels organization were truly impressive. This park had: an information booth, a kitchen, a media center, a first aid station, a general assembly area, and a lost and found. So much for all the media propaganda on how these people are disorganized anarchists. They actually have their own newspaper!

Zucotti Park GreetingDuring this time a member of their community gave me a small flyer and I was impressed with what I saw. Please excuse the poor quality of the scan, but this flyer got soaked during the rains.

On the back was a map with all the information people would need to navigate the park.
On the front, the flyer stated that being intoxicated in the park was not acceptable behavior, that everyone needed to respect others and property rights, and that it was important to keep the park clean and to protect the flowers and other plants.

After the rains, crews were immediately dispatched to start sweeping the areas to both clean them and to eliminate puddles that had gathered in low lying areas. This park was clean. There was absolutely no reason to have to have outside crews come in and “clean” the park. During the rest of my night there, the sound of sweeping could always be heard in the background.

Around 3:00AM it started to rain again and even though my tarp was not totally watertight, it still kept most of the water off of me. Again a sudden deluge came down and again a great cheer went out among the crowd. A huge clap of thunder was heard and then another cheer rang out and echoed throughout the park. It truly obvious to me that these people really did not care about being wet. I had also reached that point, once you are soaked, it doesn’t matter how much more you get wet. If the authorities thought that by making these people uncomfortable by denying them tents they would break their spirit, they badly miscalculated. This had the exact opposite effect and made them stronger. I could feel it. I again felt anger at the authorities for their arrogance in this. I thought about all the ignorant people who posted comments on the Internet about the “dirty hippies, “flea bags” and “smelly” people at these protests. These ill informed people have no idea of what is happening here beyond the propaganda they are hearing. When was the last time any of them suffered this sort of discomfort and indignity to protest something they believed in? These ignorant rants were coming from people who are empty shells who simply parrot what they have heard on the corporate media.

SoakedThese protestors were forced into these degrading conditions by our elected leaders, the paid servants of the money powers. The city did not even provide toilet facilities. Don’t most cities provide them when they know large crowds will be in a public place? This was another one of the sad attempts to try and suppress this protest. The city resourcefully dug up a law that was over 160 years old about not wearing masks in public as an excuse to arrest protestors. Another one of the sad and shameful attempts to try and suppress this protest. Each obstacle thrown in front of these people ultimately only strengthens their resolve. There were so many of these attempts.

The irony of the situation is that the corporate controlled media had been ignoring this protest for weeks until the video of the indiscriminate pepper spraying of the penned in women went viral on the Internet. Then the NYPD tried to go after people with cameras, but there were so many of them, their efforts also went viral on the Internet and even the corporate media started broadcasting some of the clips. The movement grew in strength every time the authorities responded with force. Then came the mass arrests on the bridge and the movement grew even stronger with more and more people coming to the park and with protests spreading to hundreds of other cities across the nation and even the world. The resolve of these occupiers was strengthening and they had lost their fear of arrest. This was being compared to Egypt’s Tahrir Square. Violence against the demonstrators was backfiring and having the opposite effect the authorities desired. Donations of food, supplies, and support were pouring in from around the world. Worldwide news coverage had turned negative against the authorities.

The time was now around 5:00 AM in the park and I had slept little during this night. The vast majority of demonstrators were also awake awaiting the General Assembly meeting to determine what the collective response to the NYPD would be. All decisions are made democratically in this community. (All the people who call this anarchy, please take note.) All night more and more people were entering the park and it was soon obvious that the number of people in the park was increasing rapidly.

Trapped behing barriersAt approximately 6:00AM the park was so full that you could hardly fit another person into it. Why did the police not open up the barriers that were trapping so many people into such a small area? They could easily have closed the 2 minor small streets on either side of the park to accommodate the swelling numbers. This would have kept traffic flowing smoothly on Broadway and Church Streets while having a minimal amount of officers to control traffic flow. Instead the authorities have directed the NYPD to use large numbers of manpower to enforce the ever tightening barricades. This is another example of the arrogant and poor decision making on the part of the authorities, another sad and ineffective attempt to dispirit this movement.

During the General Assembly meeting, I witnessed their system of spreading the speakers’ words throughout the crowd by having everyone repeat what they heard. All announcements were proceeded with “mic check” and this would be repeated throughout the park. The sound of the repetition reverberating throughout the park provided an empowering feeling. You could feel the energy in the air. This is another example of how the decision to prohibit amplified loudspeakers backfired on the authorities. It seemed that every obstacle that was thrown in the way of these protestors, only seemed to make them stronger and more resolved. My admiration for them just kept growing. Then a large group of additional protestors entered the park and a great cheer went up and resonated throughout the park. You could feel the energy levels were climbing.

It was decided that those who had been assigned specific tasks within the community would stay at the core of the park, with supporters on the perimeter and they would all lock arms together. A vote was asked on how many were willing to get arrested and a sea of hands went up into the air by both the occupiers and their supporters. The speaker warned that anyone remaining inside the park was at risk of arrest and if they were not prepared for that they should leave the park. Anyone willing to stay in the park was asked to find a “buddy” so that there was always someone else who would look out for them when the showdown came. A cry of “solidarity” rand out among the crowd. I was impressed by the concern the Occupy Wall St protestors had for each other and for those who came in support. I was again impressed with the concern they had for those who could not risk arrest.

Then you heard “mic check” being repeated across the park. An announcement from the deputy mayor was read stating that the “clean up” of the park had been cancelled. A great crescendo of cheers from the thousands in the park rang out and echoed between the buildings. The protestors had faced down the authorities.

As I am writing this article, I believe that the authorities had made a wise decision in not confronting this movement’s epicenter. Every single time they moved with force, the movement only got stronger. Breaking up thousands of the supporters with arms locked, and then going after the protestors themselves would have been a total public relations nightmare. The mainstream media was out in force, anticipating the showdown. The independent media was out in force. The entire world was watching. The authorities surely did have the power to accomplish an eviction: they have the combined might of the entire NYPD, state police, national guard and US military at their disposal, all to be used against people committed to peaceful protest. But there would have been a very high cost to such an action.

Should such an eviction have taken place, the international condemnation of the United States would have been strong and broad, similar to the condemnation of the Arab regimes’ repression. There is the probability that the outrage could have fueled hundreds of thousands to converge on NY in anger. At such a point the movement would have reached a critical mass and would have been unstoppable short of total police and/or military suppression. So the showdown was averted, however the movement continues to grow.

Lech Walesa, Nobel Peace Prize winner from the Polish Solidarity Movement, has announced that he will be visiting with Occupy Wall St. They have stated that he will be warmly welcomed. The movement continues to gain support.

There are those who would criticize the tactics of this movement, but what these protestors have been very successful in is to shine a light on many of the problems in this country. Finally now these problems are being discussed and a national conversation is starting to take place. To all those who are reading this article and/or are following the events on the Internet or even just corporate news, I ask you the following questions:

The bankers on Wall St gambled with other peoples’ money and brought our economy to its knees.
Are you OK with that?

These same bankers then received a taxpayer bailout.
Are you OK with that?

These same bankers then paid themselves huge bonuses for job well done.
Are you OK with that?

We have self serving special interests giving unlimited money ANONYMOUSLY to our corrupt politicians.
Are you OK with that?

If not, what are YOU doing about it?
At least these protestors care enough to do something about it.

This is not a liberal cause, this is not a conservative cause, this is a common cause.

Addendum to this article:
The Oakland Police tried to violently supress the occupation in their city and the numbers of demonstrators grew significantly the next day. The city leadership is under attack by its own people with over 70% of the residents disapproving the mayor’s handling of the situation. (CBS poll)

“More”, is never enough!

September 26, 2011 6 comments

For over a week now, citizens have been gathering in Liberty Plaza in New York City to protest the greed and corruption of Wall Street and its corrosive effects on our nation’s economy and well being.

This last week we witnessed the spectacle of police guarding the bronze bull statue located on Wall Street. This sight is almost biblical in its significance, where the powers that be order their enforcers, the police, to guard the Golden Calf in front of the Temple of Greed where the elites worship their great gods: money, power, greed, envy, and lust.

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs and one of the many high priests in this Temple of Greed, once stated that he “was doing God’s work”. It is likely that much of this selfless and charitable work takes place at this Temple of Greed. It is easy to envision the rituals of this Temple, where with hands in the air, the high priests and their followers chant “more, more”, but “more”, is never enough.

Understanding the significance of this Temple and the Golden Calf makes it very easy to comprehend why the elites and their high priests ordered their enforcers to protect the Golden Calf. Should anything happen to it, the people outside the Temple would lose the grace and love of their gods resulting in an abyss of plague and famine. Those inside the Temple would be protected from this plague and famine because of their devotion to the gods, but those outside the Temple would be devastated.

As those outside the Temple, we should be grateful to these High Priests for their concern and for recognizing the importance of guarding the Temple and Golden Calf. They demonstrated bravery and wisdom by calling out the enforcers restrain those who would challenge the Temple and its values. We applaud those among the police who responded with additional vigor and without question to protect the values of the Temple. While many of the enforcers practiced restraint, it is so comforting to know that there were those who showed their devotion and loyalty to the Temple and Golden Calf by ignoring the rights our nation’s founding fathers fought so hard to provide us. These enforcers who showed this initiative and loyalty to the High priests understand that when it comes to matters of the Temple, that civil liberties and other rights are irrelevant.

We should be grateful to those among the enforcers who prevented the protestors from assembling in front of the Temple.

We should be thankful for those among the enforcers who took away the protective tarps that sheltered the protestors from the rain.

We should admire those among the enforcers who were resourceful enough to dig up a law that is over 150 years old that forbids masks in public and to use this obscure law as a reason to arrest some of the protestors.

We should appreciate that there were those among the enforcers who had the courage and integrity to ignore the First Amendment rights of the independent press and prevented as many as they could from reporting on this protest.

We should be comforted that the corporate controlled media obediently follow the commandments of the high priests and largely suppressed this story.

The audacity of these protestors thinking that they have the right to petition for jobs so they can support their families! The nerve of these protestors thinking they have the right to call for prosecution of the High Priests of the Temple!

These demonstrators who are so ignorantly challenging the morality of these High Priests need to be taught the lesson that it is unwise to challenge the Temple and its High Priests. Hundreds have been arrested, but more arrests are needed. A lesson on blind obedience to the overlords with bowed head needs to be reinforced. Again we are truly indebted to those among the enforcers who had the courage to educate them.

Only by blind devotion and faithful obedience to the commandments of the High Priests can we as people be brought out of the wilderness.

Website for Occupy Wall St: https://occupywallst.org

New Jersey Betrayal

August 6, 2011 1 comment

Once upon a time in the State of New Jersey, we had a situation where the public workers (of the state) such as teachers, nurses, police, and others were blatantly violating the laws of NJ by not contributing into their pension funds. In fact for 11 of the last 15 years, these irresponsible public employees paid ZERO DOLLARS into the funds. During this time the State of New Jersey has been paying its full share amount into each pension fund all along. Now the pension system is severely underfunded and it is time for those who have not been paying into the system to pay up. Why should the State/taxpayers have to make up the difference when these public employees were so irresponsible? Those who have been paying their fair share should not be made to bear the burden for the irresponsibility of those who did not.

In an admirable bipartisan spirit, Governor Chris Christie (Republican) has worked closely with Senate President Stephen Sweeney (Democrat) and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (Democrat) to forge a Pension-Benefits Reduction Bill that will restore solvency to the pension system. This bill will hold those who have not paid their fair share responsible for restoring solvency to the system through additional deductions, reduced health care benefits, no cost of living increases for pensioners, the establishment of a board that would offer plans with fewer benefits as well as increased co-pays and prescriptions and most importantly the stripping of the unions’ right to negotiate their health-care insurance coverage and contribution levels.

THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH THE ABOVE PARAGRAPHS IS THAT THE ROLES ARE EXACTLY REVERSED AND IT WAS THE STATE THAT WAS PAYING ZERO FOR 11 OUT OF THE LAST 15 YEARS. THE WORKERS WERE PAYING THEIR FAIR SHARE DURING THIS ENTIRE TIME! Unfortunately it is the workers who have been responsible all along that are now the victims of this bill.

So again, why should those who have been paying their fair share be made to bear the burden of the irresponsibility of those who did not? The pensioners will no longer receive cost-of-living increases until the system is “determined to be solvent”. These are people who paid faithfully into the system their entire professional lives. While this might sound like a reasonable concession on the surface, if you look deeper, it will devastate this group. According to a well respected data site, shadowstats.org, the current annual inflation rate is 12% and is climbing. This means that pensioners will lose half their buying power in 4 years. In 8 to 12 years they will be living in poverty!

During the courtship of Governor Christie, Senator Sweeney and Sheila Oliver failed to strong arm their Democratic Caucuses to support the bill and were not successful at getting a majority to do so. However, in North Jersey (Essex area) and in Southern New Jersey, the very powerful party bosses were able to order enough Democrats to betray their principles, so that when combined with the Republican minority in both houses, the Pension-Benefits Reduction Bill was able to pass.

In a cynical move, to protect themselves from the inevitable backlash for their betrayal, the vote on this Pension-Benefits Reduction Bill was purposely withheld until after the primary elections had been completed and the deadline had passed for adding names to the coming election ballot.

This betrayal of organized labor by the South Jersey Democrats has ignited a firestorm among this core constituent group as well as others who recognize the injustice of making some pay for the irresponsibility of others. Meetings were called and the NJ Progressive Democrats of America (no affiliation to the Democratic Party) charted a strategy. During these meetings the Democratic legislators who betrayed their constituents were renamed “Christiecrats”.

These Christiecrats claim that they are looking to make the fund solvent, but where were they during all the years the Democrats controlled the Senate and Assembly and the state was not making its contributions into the fund? Their silence was deafening.

On Monday, August 8, at the War Memorial in Trenton, the NJ Progressive Democrats of America will be starting a petition drive for the removal of Stephen Sweeney from the Senate Presidency and Sheila Oliver from the Assembly Speakership. The petition will be presented to NJ State Democratic Committee chair John Wisniewski.

In these times when public workers are under increasing attack by the corporate controlled media, it is important to remember that:

1. it was not the public workers who instigated multi $trillion bond fraud on Wall Street
2. it was not the public workers who lobbied for financial deregulation
3. it was not the public workers who gambled in derivatives with other peoples’ money
4. it was not the public workers who accepted $billions in bailouts
5. it was not the public workers who paid themselves huge bonuses
6. it was not the public workers who brought the economy to its knees

Remember, the media will try to redirect your anger away from the Wall Street aristocracy. In a classic case of divide and conquer they will try to turn you against other middle class workers, and then place the question in your mind, “why does the bus mechanic who works for the state have full benefits?” WRONG QUESTION! You should be asking why you do not have them.

Categories: Politics, Social

New Jersey throws pensioners under the bus

The state of NJ has thrown its pensioners under the bus. The recent “agreement” reached between Governor Christie and the “leaders” of the Senate and Assembly have decided to forgo cost of living increases for those retirees receiving NJ pensions. While on the surface this may seem a reasonable and “acceptable” compromise, closer scrutiny reveals that this is an insidious plan that will leave pensioners who had worked their entire lives and paid their agreed to amounts into the system faithfully, (unlike the state of NJ) with a rapidly decreasing standard of living or potentially totally broke.

www.ShadowStats.com

Courtesy of shadowstats.com

Let’s analyze what will happen. We all know that inflation is increasing and will continue to accelerate as the Federal Resereve continues to print more dollars to protect the interests of Wall Street and the “too big to fail” banks. The official government figures for inflation stand at approximately 2.5% to 3%, but everyone who has to support a family knows that these highly manipulated figures do not represent the real rate of inflation. Shadowstats.com, a highly regarded website that calculates the real rates has determined that the current inflation rate is at 12%, not the much lower government figure.

Now consider this: if the true rate of inflation is 12%, IN 4 SHORT YEARS PENSIONERS WILL LOSE HALF OF THEIR BUYING POWER! Consider how much buying power will be lost over 8 years, or 12 years. These pensioners will have close to NOTHING!

Governor Christie talks about “shared sacrifice”, but in reality he gave tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires while cutting programs for those who need it the most and now the pensioners. This is Robin Hood in reverse, he is taking from the poor to finance tax cuts for the rich. Where is the shared sacrifice here? Will the millionaire bankers, hedge fund managers, and corporate executives suffer a 50% cut in their income in 4 years? You can bet you would hear howls of protest from them if he tried to do that.

Billions for banks, poverty for the restThis “pension” reform needs to be exposed for what it really is. This is nothing less than a total reneging on their social contract with the people who worked their entire lives in service to the public. Let’s not forget that it was not the police, public nurses, teachers, and firefighters who caused the state’s economic problems. The problem was caused by a percipitous drop in revenue and the ones responsible for that are the Wall Street types, the big bankers, and the speculators. These people paid themselves $millions in bonuses for a job well done and they still get tax cuts from the governor while the pensioners will be left with nothing?

Wake up America, what happens here affects everyone. Think Social Security and don’t think that YOU will not be the next target of the financial elites and their hired politicians.

The Corporate States of America

money in politicsAmericans have long had a sneaking suspicion that there was a “hidden hand” directing our government in Washington and the states, and they were right. The “hidden hand” was actually the corporations, unions, and other special interests that contribute literally $billions to our politicians in order to influence legislation that will favor them. This has happened even with the limits that have been placed on these groups that prevented them from directly contributing to campaigns.

Thursday January 21 2010, will go down in history as a dark day. This is the day that a divided Supreme Court, in a case of unbelievable overreach removed all limits on corporate political campaign spending. If you thought our politicians were corrupt and beholden to corporations before, things are about to get a LOT WORSE now that all limits have been removed. Justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy swept aside decades of legislative restrictions on the money from corporations in political campaigns and ruled that companies can use corporate funds to support or oppose candidates. These 5 justices have just opened the floodgates and the strangle hold the banks have over the nation’s wealth will now be amplified by this Supreme Court ruling that has totally removed all limits on campaign financing by corporations. This black day will go ultimately go down in history where the Supreme Court officially validated the takeover of the government by the corporations. The amounts of money spent on the 2010 midterm elections was a record, and the amounts that will be spent on the 2012 presidential elections are projected to total $BILLIONS!

money = freedom

In its impartial majesty the Supreme Court rules that the poor as well as the rich can spend unlimited money to influence elections


The flawed logic they used was that this was a freedom of speech issue. These 5 justices have just declared corporations now have 1st amendment rights, the same as individuals. It is ironic that it is the conservative wing of the court, the same wing that consistently calls for “judicial restraint” and rails against anything not specifically mentioned in the constitution, was the one that overturned decades of precedent. Where in the constitution did our founding fathers give corporations the right to freedom of speech? Where were corporations even mentioned in the constitution?

We all know too well what happened when our nation deregulated the financial industry and told us that “the market” will regulate itself. These 5 men have now totally deregulated money in politics and have left it to the “market” to regulate itself. We have already seen what deregulation of the financial industry did to our economy. These deregulators said the market could regulate itself.It does not take much forward thinking to envision the consequences of this disastrous decision. The special interest groups were handed a late Christmas present and are already gearing up to flood the political campaigns with money from their profits. The corporations will move quickly to complete their stranglehold on the media and then leverage this to their advantage. Fred Werthheimer, president of Democracy 21, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to making democracy work for all Americans stated: "With a stroke of the pen, five justices wiped out a century of American history devoted to preventing corporate corruption of our democracy"

If the nation does somehow survive this handing of the government to the corporations, this decision will go down in history as even worse than the Dred Scott v. Sandford and Plessy v. Ferguson monumental errors of the past. The 5 justices that recklessly voted for removing all limits to corporate campaign spending: Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia, Kennedy will rightly be held in the same regard as those who voted for these other two decisions.

In the 2008 election cycle, nearly $6 billion was spent on all federal campaigns, including more than $1 billion from corporate political action committees, trade associations, executives and lobbyists. This $6 billion figure does not include state and local races. Now consider how much money we will be talking about here, now that the labor unions and corporations can spend unlimited amounts in both Federal and State elections. We will now have wholesale buying of elections by corporations with their vast financial resources. The door has also been opened for foreign corporations to have a say in our elections now. You can now also expect these corporations to move quickly to attempt to finalize their control of the media and use the media along with their money to “inform” the citizenry of the issues. While the electorate was distracted by the staged left vs right, Democrat vs Republican, conservative vs liberal fights, we have actually just had a coup take place where the corporations have taken over the country. This ruling does not really favor any party because in the end it will not matter what party the candidate is from, they will have been bought. Have you noticed that the corporate media did not give this huge event much coverage?

Corruption of our electoral process
Monica Youn, who directs the campaign finance reform/money in politics project at New York University’s Brennan Center for Law and Justice, said that with this decision the Supreme Court has essentially armed the corporations with a potent weapon, these corporations may not even have to spend that much money. What could easily happen is that the corporations will now have the THREAT of a massive media campaign against politicans that may not do their bidding. This mere potential of a massive campaign of negative ads will probably be enough to make the majority of politicans reconsider their positions. This is like having a negotiation between 2 parties in a room where one of the parties has a weapon and the other does not. The party with the weapon does not need to actually need to wield it to get the desired results, just knowing that it is there is enough. So much for politicians doing the right thing. The corporations will now have even more clout in the legislatures than before and this is without even spending any additional money.

With the broad language that the Supreme Court opinion was written, it may well be almost impossible to draft new legislation to overcome this ruling. Of course, do you really believe that our politicians will even be willing to do pass effective reform legislation now that this new ruling is in place and it favors incumbents even more strongly than before? Our politicians are like drug addicts that are totally dependent on these large sums of special interest money to maintain themselves in power. They will do almost anything to maintain their power.

As if this Supreme Court decision was not bad enough, the nation suffers from a lack of transparency when it comes to trying to follow the money. Deliberate attempts are made to hide and obfuscate the information so that the electorate remains uninformed.

  • Did you know that the Senate deliberately exempted itself from filing campaign finance reports electronically? This slows down the process of determining who is actually making contributions and expenditures by making research a very arduous process of having to read thousands of pages by hand, or having to retype them into a form that can be indexed and readily searched.
  • Did you know that the government’s new “open government” site http://www.data.gov, doesn’t even contain data on campaign contributions, lobbyist filings, statistics on warrantless searches or even committee assignments?
  • Did you know that here is no indexing of the thousands of hours of House and Senate recordings? You would have to listen for days before you could find what you are searching for.
  • Years after the problems with electronic ballots not having a voter verifiable paper audit trail were made public, we still allow these machines to count votes without verifiable paper trails despite the fact that it has been proven that they are easily manipulated. Regardless of your political beliefs, it is crucial for our democracy that the integrity of election results be considered fair and impartial.

It may well be that we have now lost our democracy, but there may still be some hope. Since we can no longer place limits on corporate campaign funding, we need to do the following:

  1. We need to demand TOTAL TRANSPARENCY. We need legislation passed immediately before the next election cycle goes into full swing, where all campaign funding is placed on the Internet and this data must be completely indexed. It is vital that these databases be directly searchable by each and every sort of variable contained in the original documentation. This will make it easy to cross reference the information and find out exactly who is receiving what and from whom. By creating this standard the American people will be able to make informed decisions about the candidates running for office and whose interests these politicans are really representing.
  2. We need passage of the “Fair Election Now Act” immediately. This legislation has been cosponsored by 120 members in the House, however its companion bill in the Senate has a pitiful 5 cosponsors. It has also been supported by many business leaders who sent a letter to the House Speaker and to the Senate Majority Leader. They understand the need for this reform and are getting tired of politicians constantly calling them for money. This bill would create a voluntary system of public funding of campaigns by supplementing small donations of $100 or less. During an election cycle the voters would be able to determine if a candidate was going to serve the people by using the public system or serve the special interests by not participating in it. Check here to see if your congressional representative is a cosponsor. Check here to see if your Senator is a cosponsor. If they are not, call them and ask them why not.
  3. It is time to pass legislating that any corporate money used for political spending be approved by a majority of the shareholders. This will give the shareholders the ability to control corporate political expenditures. (While we are at it, let’s include language in the legislation about shareholder approval of all compensation and bonus payments as well.)

While passage of the above legislation would not stop all of the corruption of money in politics, it would go a long way to limiting its influence and making it apparent to the voters who is trying to influence their candidates. To make the passage of these legislative bills more likely, it is now incumbent on us to actively support organizations that have been fighting for campaign finance reform and government transparency. The time to mobilize is now, while the issue is hot. If we wait too long, the entrenched interests will put additional barriers in place making harder and harder to enact meaningful reforms. There are many organizations working for political finance reform and government transparency, some of these organizations would include:
Common Cause
Public Citizen
Democracy 21
Follow the Money
Open Secrets
Fair Elections Now

These organizations now need your efforts and financial support more than ever. Plato, an ancient Greek philosopher once said, “the price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." If we do not lift ourselves up from our collective apathy, Plato’s words will most certainly become a reality.

Private Corporate Court System

There is a country where Big Business can completely bypass the court system and have cases brought by employees, customers, and individuals heard by a private court system that is overwhelmingly funded by the corporations themselves. In this country they can even totally prevent the bringing of any class action suits for any damage, fraud, or other illegal practice they may engaged in. These suits can only be brought individually and must be heard by this private court system. So what country is this in? Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Myanmar? No, this country is the United States!

Our “independent” Supreme Court has AGAIN sided with the huge corporations and just delivered the working people of the United States another body blow. In this new ruling, AT&T v. Concepcion, the Supreme Court has overturned lower federal Court decisions and given Big Business the ability to deprive you of your most potent weapon to fight back if you have been cheated or harmed by a corporation. In this ruling you will now no longer be able to use class action suits for redress against a corporation. This new ruling comes on top of the Citizens United v. FEC case where the Supreme Court declared that corporations have the same rights as individuals and were entitled to free speech where they were free to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections. In fairness to the impartiality of the Supreme Court, the poor as well as the rich both have the right to spend unlimited amounts of money for political purposes.

Consider this: If your phone company illegally charges you $10 on your bill and also does this to another million customers, the Supreme Court’s ruling allows companies to force consumers or employees into arbitration agreements that prevent them (you) from joining with the others to hold the company accountable. Big Business with its myopic focus on profits often cross the line into fraud, discrimination, and other illegal practices.

How many people have the money and time to take on the task if suing a corporation for $10 or even $1000? The only way this was possible was through the use of class action suits where the customers would join together and take on the wrongs of the corporations. This ruling will now make it nearly impossible to fight against Big Business’ malevolent behavior, and leaves consumers powerless to stop them if they do. This Supreme Court decision, basically allows the major corporations to ignore the law and because of the Citizens United case, to create corporate-made law for the rest of us as they use their economic might to hire the politicians to write laws that favor them.

The use of arbitration agreements on the surface sounds like a reasonable solution because no one wants to go through the turmoil of a lawsuit, and it does streamline any grievance process. However, in reality this amounts to a private corporate controlled court system. The largest arbitration firms are heavily biased in favor of Big Business and against consumers. Since an arbitration company must keep future possible cases in mind, it is in its interests to rule for Big Business and against consumers, and this fact is a blatant violation of any stated impartiality that they may profess.

The Citizens United v. FEC and the AT&T v. Concepcion cases, our Supreme Court has tilted the playing field heavily in favor of the corporations and against working people. The impliciations of such a radical tilt will certainly be felt as time goes by. Think of this, if AT&T decided to “make a mistake” of $10 on 1 million customers bills, it would make $10 million because of this mistake with probably only a small handful of people challenging it, and they would have to challenge it in the private corporate arbitration courts. What do you think are the odds that practices such as this will become common in the future as the nation marches closer and closer to a corporatocracy?

Citizens Close Tax Evader Bank

April 27, 2011 3 comments

tax evaderThis video by EndTheIllusion shows how about 50 determined citizens successfully shut down a Bank Of America branch in Philadelphia on April 18, 2011, TAX DAY for most American citizens.

Bank of America is one of many very large corporations that make $billions in profits, and then use tax loopholes and off shore tax havens to avoid paying taxes on their profits. In fact according to the Government Accountability Office, 2 out 3 corporations pay no taxes. Then the politicians who are bought by these same corporations and the uber wealthy get themselves even more tax loopholes and tax cuts. All this while our government debates throwing veterans into homelessness, cutting heating aid for the elderly, and benefits for mothers with children.

So this group of determined citizens decided to do something about this moral crisis on our society.

Click here to view this video directly on YouTube.

Sounds of Resistance

April 20, 2011 4 comments

2 out of 3 corporations pay no federal taxes. Some of the biggest tax evaders include Exxon, Verizon, Bank of America, Boeing, CitiGroup, among others. These corporate executives sit there with their “patriotic” flags on their lapels, while they scheme how to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, cut deals to ship American jobs overseas, and setup tax havens in the Caribbean. Is it any wonder that the rest of the country is mired in this economic misery while they prosper?

We don’t have a budget crisis in Washington. We have a MORAL CRISIS. When Congress can seriously debate forcing veterans into homelessness, cutting early childhood education, Pell grants for our students, heating assistance for the elderly, and cutting food aid to pregnant women and children, while giving tax breaks to billionaires and large corporations, something is very, very wrong.

If these corporations paid their share, we would not need to be cutting these programs. So on Friday April 15, 2011 hundreds of people met at Union Square Park in New York to protest this fact. This event was called the Sounds of Resistance and the target was Bank of America. While this bank received $billions in taxpayer funds, it made $billions in profits, it was busy foreclosing on millions of homeowners, all while working very hard to create over a hundred foreign tax havens to avoid paying taxes on their profits.

This video by EndTheIllusion highlights this event.

Successful parasites do not kill their hosts

April 13, 2011 9 comments

parasitesIn biology there are life forms known as parasites. Parasites are organisms that live off the “life energy” of other host organisms feeding on these hosts to sustain their own existence. These parasites cannot live without the “life energy” they take from the host and are therefore totally dependent on them. A host is an organism that is capable of surviving on its own and therefore represents a food or energy source for the parasite. Generally if the host dies, the parasite will also die making it not in the interest of the parasite to kill its host. Even if the death of the host does not cause the death of the parasite, it will keep them from being able to further exploit the host.

So why are we mentioning biology in reference to economics? It is because there are parallels between economic and biological systems that can help to illuminate what is presently happening on our economy. In our economy we have 2 classes of people, the PRODUCERS and the PARASITES. The producers are people or business entities that create things that can be sold or exported. These people create wealth. These people can be likened to the hosts in biology. They create wealth (life energy) and are capable of surviving on their own. Examples of the jobs or sectors that have these people include manufacturing, mining, software, movies, timber, agriculture and others. Again what these people have in common is that they produce goods or wealth for the economy.

Parasites on the economyThen we have the parasites in our economy. These are people that cannot survive without the producers. Not all parasites are bad, many do provide useful services such the delivery of goods to markets, and as well as other services needed by the producers, however they still require producers for their sustenance. However there is one class of parasites that include bankers, financial analysts, stock brokers, pit traders and others. These financial people are parasitic because they survive by manipulating the hard earned money of producers and skimming a percentage for themselves, much as a mosquito does to its host. THESE PEOPLE PRODUCE NOTHING AND CREATE NO WEALTH. They cannot survive without the money or “life energy” of producers. If there are no producers, then there is no need for a financial sector since there is nothing to finance. Some of these financial parasites have siphoned billions of dollars in bonuses by creating fraudulent financial statements, packaging trillions of dollars of bad loans into securities, and selling these securities to other parasites. These fraudulent activities gave the nation the illusion of wealth, however we now know the truth and we need to end this illusion and take back our nation. They also lied about these securities and sold them to hosts who were wisely putting money away in retirement accounts for the future or a rainy day. Of course not all parasites have engaged in fraudulent activities, however they still cannot survive without the energy (wealth) they take from the hosts or producers. They cannot exist without producers.

In the end, by placing themselves so close to such large amounts of producer saved money, some of these financial sector parasites have enormously enriched themselves and exhibited greed to the point that it threatens to kill their hosts. The worst part of this is that not only will these parasites walk away unscathed, they will end up even wealthier than before. They will have the means to buy up resources such as homes, property, and other goods at firesale prices as the economic downturn continues. They will hunker down in their mansions and yachts to ride out the economic storm, while the producers will be left to twist in the wind. As if this is not bad enough, these parasites resent having to give even a small part of their bonuses to their neighbors to help their hosts recover from the massive number of foreclosures that lie at the very heart of this economic crisis. Many of these foreclosures were not the result of bad decisions, but the result of circumstances beyond their control such as health problems, loss of jobs, falling home prices, divorce, or other factors.

According to Countrywide, based on information from its servicing portfolio — when “cause of foreclosure” is known (80.3%), the breakdown is as follows:

•Curtailment of income: 58.3%
•Illness/Medical: 13.2%
•Divorce: 8.4%
•Investment Prop./Unable to sell: 6.1%
•Low regard for property ownership: 5.5%
•Death: 3.6%
•Payment adjustment: 1.4%
•Other: 3.5%

Rick Santelli greedOf course there is some irresponsibility involved, but as you can see, most of the causes are related to the economic downturn and other factors outside of the control of the home owner. Yet the parasites continue to use the corporate controlled media to feed the myth of the “irresponsible homeowner”. For an example of how some parasites manipulate the media for their own ends, take a look at this video from CNBC and listen to these parasites as they bemoan having to take a small share of their exorbitant compensation and do their share to bring our economy back from the brink they helped to bring it to. Take a look at the speaker in this video and all those around him, what wealth do these parasites produce? Could they survive without the producers? They even have the audacity to believe that they should continue getting their lavish bonuses despite the fact that they have utterly failed the nation and contribute nothing to its wealth.

parasitesThese financial parasites are not finished with you yet. They believe that they are worth more than a base $500,000 salary and that financial companies would not be able to attract their talents for that paltry figure and would suffer because of this unreasonable earnings ceiling. They are busy devising new ways to separate the hosts from their money and collect more bonuses so that they can have more for themselves. (Like they do not enough already?) They know that very few of them will ever be prosecuted for their crimes and will again attempt to create financial instruments to further enrich themselves since they have nothing to lose. They are busy either supporting or soliciting additional government support where even more producer money is used to subsidize their mistakes. The damage that these parasites have done to the nation and this world cannot be calculated. Foreign investors will certainly be far more reluctant to again invest in securities and other instruments that have been created in the United States. This will hurt our nation for decades to come.

There is a difference between bailouts and stimulus.

•Bailouts of the financial system provide producer earned money to the parasites who created this economic mess.
•Economic stimulus however will have at least some of the benefits going to the producers.

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