Monday, May 30, 2011


Adam Kokesh body slammed, choked, police brutality at Jefferson Memorial


Uploaded by AdamKokesh on May 28, 2011

Come dance with me! Please share this invitation!

On May28, 2011 Television host Adam Kokesh and several other activists participating in a flash-mob were arrested at the publicly-funded Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Their crime? Silently dancing, in celebration of the first amendment's champion; a clear violation of their right to free-expression. In an excessive use of force, video was captured of Adam being body slammed and placed in a choke for his non-crime.

Arizona’s Historic Recall Campaign Reaches Final Lap: Will Senate President Pearce Step Down?

In one of the most surprising and inspiring grassroots campaigns this year, the Citizens for a Better Arizona will make history next Tuesday, May 31st, when they present Secretary of State Ken Bennett with more than twice as many signatures needed to recall notorious state Senate President Russell Pearce (R-Mesa).

Defying all expectations, the once powerful Pearce will become the first Senate president to be recalled in American history, according to campaign supporters, if 7,756 valid signatures from Pearce’s District 18 in Phoenix-area Mesa are verified over a rigorous 90-day period.

Take note: The other Arizona — the real Arizona, for a rapidly growing statewide movement — has re-emerged to reclaim its state from one of the nation’s most controversial and embarrassing right-wing hardliners.

Appearing in Tucson yesterday, Phoenix-based campaign organizer Randy Parraz and a crowd of bipartisan supporters urged volunteers to turn out this holiday weekend for the final canvassing of signatures in the Mesa-area district. The symbolic number: 17,553 signatures — one more than the total Pearce received in his low turnout victory in 2010.

Hundreds of supporters in Pearce’s district and around the state have taken part in an extensive door-to-door campaign that many had doubts would ever succeed.

Randy Parraz and former Sen. Luis Gonzales at news conference, photo by Jeff Biggers

Stating Pearce’s “indefensible” actions are out of step with the values and interests of Arizona voters, the bipartisan Citizens for a Better Arizona have listed four major reasons for their historic recall:
1. Voted to terminate health care for seniors, struggling families and people with a disability.

2. Opposes the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

3. Voted to require American citizens show a Government ID for emergency care.

4. Opposes access to public education for all Arizona children.
Most recently, Pearce has been at the center of a scandal over improper Fiesta Bowl gifts and favors. As the architect of the controversial SB 1070 immigration law, Pearce has attracted national attention for his calls for punitive crackdowns on the state’s immigrant communities. Last fall he accused President Obama of “waging jihad” on America. Earlier this week, FOX News Phoenix explored Pearce’s widely denounced connections to neo-Nazi hate groups:

At the press conference, retired Tucson businessman Ed Booth criticized Pearce’s dominant role in the state as an “extreme negative distraction” that has derailed legislative efforts for economic development and education. As Pearce and the state legislature passed draconian cuts in education this spring, Booth reminded participants, former Intel CEO Craig Barrett warned the state that major businesses were overlooking Arizona due to its poor education commitment.

Declaring that Pearce’s national role on immigration and other issues transcended his district in Mesa and Arizona state politics, Parraz told participants in Tucson to prepare for a national campaign.

“Pearce and his machine are going to do anything they can to stall and stop this recall,” Parraz said.

He clarified recent reports that an error in the recall timetable by the Elections Directors might delay any subsequent election until next spring. Parraz explained the 90-day process of signature verification by the Secretary of State’s office, the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, and the governor’s final 15-day period to call for new elections. Citizens for a Better Arizona has hired the Perkins Cole law firm to monitor the verification process.

“We can’t sit idly by,” warned former state senator Luis Gonzales, calling on all Arizonans to save the state’s reputation, and revamp its commitment to education and the economy.

.                                                                                                                                                                      .

Jeff Biggers is the American Book Award-winning author of Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland (Nation/Basic Books), among other books.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Global financial crisis-On the Edge with Max Keiser-05-20-2011-(Part1)


Uploaded by PressTVGlobalNews on May 21, 2011

In this edition of On the Edge, Max Keiser interviews Dr, Paul Craig Roberts from Georgia who is an American economist, columnist for Creators Syndicate, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in Reagan Administration and an editor of the Wall Street Journal.

Global financial crisis-On the Edge with Max Keiser-05-20-2011-(Part2)


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Will the NY Attorney General Bring Doomsday Charges Against Wall Street? If So, How Long Will He Survive?

Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times just published one of the few feel good stories in months following the 2008 financial crisis. She describes a possible day of reckoning for the perpetrators of the 2008 crisis and much of the pain that has followed.

The newly elected New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman (D), wants information from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley. Among other things, the information concerns mortgage pooling and bundling. This may well include information on collateralized debt obligations (CDO's) and mortgage backed securities (MBS). New York state officials told Morgenson:

"The New York attorney general has requested information and documents in recent weeks from three major Wall Street banks about their mortgage securities operations during the credit boom, indicating the existence of a new investigation into practices that contributed to billions in mortgage losses." New York Investigates Banks’ Role in Financial Crisis New York Times, May 16

Morgenson indicated where the attorney general might be heading - securitization fraud:

"Some litigants have contended, for example, that the banks dumped loans they knew to be troubled into securities and then misled investors about the quality of those underlying mortgages when selling the investments."

"The possibility has also been raised that the banks did not disclose to mortgage insurers the risks in the instruments they were agreeing to insure against default." New York Times, May 16

In addition to the leaked investigation, Morgenson makes a critical point about ongoing federal and state attorneys general efforts for settlement order on mortgage fraud, fictional mortgage agreements, and matters related to ForeclosureGate.

"By opening a new inquiry into bank practices, Mr. Schneiderman has indicated his unwillingness to accept one of the settlement’s terms proposed by financial institutions …" New York Times, May 16

Matt Tiabbi explained what this means:

"If the AGs were to sign off on a friendly global settlement for mortgage abuses prematurely, it would be like a DA offering a millionaire murderer a 2-year plea bargain before the cops even had a chance to interview all the eyewitnesses. It would be a blatantly political arrangement." Matt Tiabbi, May 17

The settlements (consent orders that avoid a trial) by the Obama Department of Justice and the state attorneys general would cost the big banks and Wall Street a few billion dollars in legal fees but free them from civil suits that could stretch into the trillions and jail time for criminal fraud.

The New York AG's actions stop any settlement in its tracks since, according to Tiabbi; it takes all 50 states to generate a consent order. Should it become official, Schneiderman's investigation would also set a high bar for any other settlements. It could also simulate demands for serious prosecutions around the country.

Serious charges by Schneiderman would also make a federal settlement like the one leaked to American Banker look simply awful to the public.

Nexus between Cuomo 2009 Charges against Bank of America, Schneiderman's Investigation, and the Senate Report on "Wall Street and the Financial Crisis"

On February 4, 2009, then New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed a complaint against the Bank of America, Kenneth D. Lewis, and Joseph L. Price.

"The bank and the two named executives are charged with failing to inform the bank's board of directors and shareholders of the major red ink on Merrill Lynch's books prior to the merger. CEO Lewis, CFO Price, and other BofA officers and professionals chose to hide $16 billion of Merrill Lynch known pre tax losses prior to board approval. That's fraud, plain and simple." Michael Collins, Economic Populist, February 8, 2009

The complaint also, "charges that the same parties with strong arming the federal government for $20 billion to cover Merrill's debt by threatening to back out of the merger if the money wasn't forthcoming." Economic Populist

We don't know the exact direction that Schneiderman's investigation and charges will take (if they are any). However, Morgenson notes that Schneiderman may be looking at current civil charges claiming, "that the banks dumped loans they knew to be troubled into securities and then misled investors about the quality of those underlying mortgages when selling the investments." New York Times, May 16

There is a tight fit between the illegal acts and the subject matter of those acts in both Cuomo's case and the attorney general's direction, according to the Morgenson article.

Selling troubled securities without disclosure is precisely the type of fraud that Cuomo charged against Bank of America - defrauding investors on a deal by withholding vital information.

The information withheld in the Bank of America case concerned the huge losses Merrill had incurred in the collateralized debt obligation (CDO) and mortgage backed securities (MBS) market.

The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations April hearings and report dealt with a broad range of appalling Wall Street behavior leading to the financial crisis. In a memo from Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) and ranking member Tom Coburn (R-OK), the behavior that Schneiderman is reportedly investigating is described in clear terms:

Steering Borrowers to High Risk Loans. WaMu and Long Beach [as examples] too often steered borrowers into home loans they could not afford…

Polluting the Financial system. WaMu and Long Beach securitized $77 billion in subprime loans…, used Wall Street firms to sell … worldwide, and polluted the financial system with mortgage backed securities. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, April 13, 2010

Schneiderman's focus benefits from the groundwork laid by Cuomo's 2009 action. That's a considerable benefit given the depth of interviews and analysis in Cuomo's New York complaint.

The attorney general can also call on the contributions of former Special Inspector General for TARP, Niel Barofsky. The former SIGTARP collaborated wiht Cuomo in the Bank of America complaint. Schneiderman also has the benefit of exhaustive evidence developed by the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Should he file a complaint, the attorney general of New Your will have a solid foundation preceding his efforts. Using these resources provides the opportunity for broad based civil and criminal actions .

The Martin Act

Cuomo's charge against Bank of America, Lewis and Price were brought using the Martin Act, a 1921 New York law designed to promote investigations of fraudulent stock market schemes. The law has some unique provisions:

"The purpose of the Martin Act is to arm the New York attorney general to combat financial fraud. It empowers him to subpoena any document he wants from anyone doing business in the state; to keep an investigation totally secret or to make it totally public; and to choose between filing civil or criminal charges whenever he wants. People called in for questioning during Martin Act investigations do not have a right to counsel or a right against self-incrimination. Combined, the act's powers exceed those given any regulator in any other state." Nicholas Thompson, Legal Affairs, May/June 2004

The infrequently used law was the centerpiece of Elliot Spitzer's investigations into Wall Street fraud as New York AG, prior to his election as governor. Had Spitzer survived, it would have produced an array of fraud cases prior to the financial crisis.

If wishes were horses …

If wishes were horses, we'd all take a ride. Spitzer's investigations blew up after a personal scandal. Cuomo's gubernatorial campaign interrupted his Bank of America case of 2009.

We now have the new attorney general, Schneiderman, and the leaked investigation. Robert Scheer praised the effort but expressed this jaded (and probably accurate) caution:

"Eric Schneiderman will probably fail, as did his predecessors in that job; the honest sheriff doesn't last long in a town that houses the Wall Street casino. But decent folks should be cheering him on. Despite a mountain of evidence of robo-signed mortgage contracts, deceitful mortgage-based securities and fraudulent foreclosures, the banks were going to be able to cut their potential losses to what was, for them, a minuscule amount [by the state and federal consent order proposals]." Robert Sheer, Truth Dig, May 17

Sheer has been around long enough to know the odds against the good guys winning, at least for long enough to make a difference. But you never know. Success is often a matter of timing. This attorney general is certainly attacking Wall Street and the big banks at the right time.

The support for serious legal action would be overwhelming. There isn't be a venue in the country that would miss the opportunity to sock it to these and other institutions and put a some of their officials behind bars. Of note, the Martin Act can be used for civil and criminal prosecutions. But let's not get carried away. Trillions lost, a nation in economic distress, 150,000 foreclosures a month…and how many prosecutions have we seen? The only time these guys will do is in a Timex commercial.

This article may be reproduced entirely with attribution of authorship and a link to this article.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Texas - Go to


Uploaded by iching64 on May 25, 2011

For 100s of uncensored videos go to:



May 25, 2011

Family Farmers Worse Off Despite High Prices

Tim A. Wise: Family farmers caught in the middle between corporate monopolies

More at The Real News
Original w/ transcript here.


Timothy A. Wise is the Research Director of the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), Tufts University, and leads its Globalization and Sustainable Development Program. With a background in international development, he specializes in agricultural policy and rural development. He is involved in ongoing research in the areas of: Sustainable Rural Development, Beyond Agricultural Subsidies, Mexico Under NAFTA, WTO and Global Trade. He is the co-author of the book (in English and Spanish), Confronting Globalization: Economic Integration and Popular Resistance in Mexico, and The Promise and the Perils of Agricultural Trade Liberalization: Lessons from Latin America. He is the former executive director of Grassroots International, a Boston-based international aid organization. He holds a Masters in Public Policy from Tufts' Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Department.


MONDAY, MAY 23, 2011
Original here.

50 consecutive ballots for Prosser in a city where Kloppenburg had 75%. If true, it is absolute MATHEMATICAL proof of fraud!/home.php?sk=group_

Posted on Election Integrity by | Richard Charnin

Who is Richard Charnin? Richard Charnin Facebook Page
Has worked at Aerospace/defense; Wall Street Investment Banking; Analytical software developer (consulting) Studied MS Operations Research (Applied Mathematics) at Polytechnic Institute of New York University. Lives in Delray Beach, Florida. Married to Maia Charnin From New York, New York FROM FACEBOOK INFO PAGE

Rachel this morning asked her fans what we are seeing today. This is what I told her: I see the WI Supreme Court Vote/Recount proven fraudulent. I see 50 consecutive ballots for Prosser in a city where Kloppenburg had 75%. If true, it is absolute MATHEMATICAL proof of fraud using a simple probability calculation: Prob = 0.25 ^ 50 or 1 chance in 1,267,650,600,228,230,000,000,000,000,000 !!! THAT'S WHAT I SEE

"Like" Richard Charnin's post on Maddow's Page.... "like" others related to Wisconsin Supreme Court election fraud (and of course add your own)... Post!/therachelmaddowshow/posts/222602094419454

Here is another comment you can "LIKE" on the Maddow link from | Sue Trace | Election Fraud in WI. The GAB will certify the results and we have no idea if Kloppenburg will push for an investigation. There is incredible pressure for her to sweep it under the rug, because noone is covering the sloppiness and poor security. This is the day the democracy truly will have died in WI. There are several other posts related to Wisconsin...liking them would help draw attention to them....Use your Social Media Vote to bring these issues out into the open.

Join this group today for very detailed discussions about the Wisconsin Supreme Court election. These discussions are between committed Wisconsin citizens and national individuals who have been concerned about these issues for years. Get your information directly from those in the trenches, decide for yourself and encourage others to the same, join the group (remember it is easy to unjoin). Become a part of the election integretity "ground-swell" and MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND.

Blogger's Suggestion: See also this photographic record of "anomalies" in the Wisconsin Attorney General recount:
Then demand secure hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) for future elections and thereby prevent these kinds of "anomalies" from happening.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Blogger's Note: As is well known to those who have been following stolen elections in the U.S., Ron Paul was the winner of the GOP 2008 Iowa straw poll, according to a professionally run exit poll. In fact, the pollsters predicted the vote shares 8 of the 11 candidates on the ticket to within 3% of the TOTAL OFFICIAL COUNT. But when the official count was finally released after an many-hours-long delay (due to "a computer glitch"), it appeared that the pollsters had "underrated" Sam Brownback and Mitt Romney by 8 and 23% of the TOTAL VOTES CAST, respectively, and had "overrated" Ron Paul's popularity by 28%! Any statistician would tell you that discrepancies of these magnitudes are NOT statistical errors.

Restore America, Paul vs Obama


Monday, May 23, 2011


Blogger's Note: This is a 20-minute lecture with minimal visuals, but well worth listening to ...particularly if you're thinking about investing in green technologies and/or ever finding affordable health insurance.

TEDxPhilly - Jay Coen Gilbert - On better businesses


Uploaded by on Dec 1, 2010

Jay Coen Gilbert shares his vision to harness the power of business to solve society's problems through B Corporations -- a new standard labeling socially and environmentally responsible companies. B Corps will help corporations be profitable while solving society's problems.

Coen Gilbert co-founded B Lab, an organization trying to solve social and environmental problems by relying on the power of B Corporations, businesses certified to have sustainable values.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Blogger's Note. Back in February, I was one of 175 concerned friends of Bernie Ellis to write to President Obama a letter supporting Bernie's request for a pardon of his "crime" of growing about 100 cannabis plants for his own use and to treat four terminally ill neighbors. He is presently free after serving a sentence of two years in a halfway house, but despite being one of the top epidemiologists in the the state of Tennessee, he can no no longer work in this field due to his felony conviction. Consequently, he has lost over $1 million in lost income, legal fees, and the confiscation of part of his farm ...while those in need of an epidemiologist are denied the services of one of the best. Enough said!

Rense & Dr Chris Fichtner - Time To Put Marijuana In Every Home


Uploaded by JRense on May 16, 2011


Dr Christopher Fichtner MD is a psychiatrist and the former mental health director for the state of Illinois. In his new book, Cannabinomics: The Marijuana Policy Tipping Point, Fichtner predicts that marijuana policy is about to change radically.
Dr Fichtner points out three public policy trajectories converging; The medical marijuana movement is gaining momentum. People are increasingly waking up to the fact that drug prohibition creates more public health problems than it solves. And, in the same way that the Great Depression caused people to reprioritize how we spend our public dollars, the current economic crisis has got people thinking that bringing the biggest cash crop in the US back into the open might not be such a bad idea.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Regime Change at the IMF: The Frame-Up of Dominique Strauss-Kahn?

Global Research, May 19, 2011

The arrest of IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn has all the appearances of a frame-up ordered by powerful members of the financial establishment, in liaison with France's Nicolas Sarkozy, whose presidency has served the interests of the US at the expense of those of France and the European Union. While there is for the moment no proof of a plot, the unusual circumstances of his arrest and imprisonment require careful examination.

Immediately following Strauss Kahn's arrest, pressures were exerted by Washington to speed up his replacement as Managing Director of the IMF preferably by a non-European, an American or a handpicked candidate from an "emerging market economy" or a developing country.

Since the founding of the Bretton Woods institutions in 1945, the World Bank has been headed by an American whereas the IMF has been under the helm of a (Western) European.

Strauss-Kahn is a member of elite groups who meet behind closed doors. He belongs to the Bildeberger. Categorized as one of the world's most influential persons, he is an academic and politician rather than a banker. In contrast to his predecessors at the IMF, he has no direct affiliation to a banking or financial institution.

But at the same time he is the fall guy. His "gaffe" was to confront the Washington-Wall Street Consensus and push for reforms within the IMF, which challenged America's overriding role within the organization.

The demise of Strauss-Kahn potentially serves to strengthen the hegemony of the US and its control over the IMF at the expense of what former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called "Old Europe".

Blocking Strauss-Kahn, the Presidential Candidate

In recent years, a major shift has occurred in Europe's political landscape. Pro-American governments have been elected in both France and Germany. Social Democracy has been weakened.

Franco-American relations have been redefined, with Washington playing a significant role in grooming a new generation of European politicians.

The presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy has, in many regards, become a de facto US "client regime", broadly supportive of US corporate interests in the EU and closely aligned with US foreign policy.

There are two overlapping and interrelated issues in the DSK frame-up hypothesis.

The first pertains to regime change at the IMF, the second to Strauss-Kahn as a candidate in France's forthcoming presidential elections.

Both these processes are tied into the clash between competing US and European economic interests.

Strauss-Khan as a favorite of the Socialist Party, would have won the presidential elections leading to the demise of "Our Man in Paris" Nicolas Sarkozy.

As documented by Thierry Meyssan, the CIA played a central undercover role in destabilizing the Gaullist party and supporting the election of Nicolas Sarkozy (See Operation Sarkozy: How the CIA placed one of its agents at the presidency of the French Republic, Reseau Voltaire, September 4, 2008)

A Strauss-Kahn presidency and a "Socialist" government would have been a serious setback for Washington, contributing to a major shift in Franco-American relations. It would also have contributed to weakening America's role on the European political chessboard. It would also have changed the balance of power between America and "Old Europe" (namely the Franco-German alliance). It would have had repercussions on the internal structure of the Atlantic Alliance and the hegemonic role of the US within NATO.

The Frame-Up?

Fifty-seven percent of France's population, according to a May 17 poll, believe that Strauss-Kahn was framed, victim of a set-up. He was detained on alleged sexual assault and rape charges based on scanty evidence. He was detained based on a complaint filed by the Sofitel hotel where he was staying, on behalf of the alleged victim, an unnamed hotel chamber-maid:

The 32-year-old maid told authorities that she entered his suite early Saturday afternoon and he attacked her, New York Police Department spokesman Paul J. Browne. She said she had been told to clean the spacious $3,000-a-night suite, which she thought was empty.

According to an account the woman provided to police, Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down a hallway and pulled her into a bedroom, where he began to sexually assault her. She said she fought him off, then he dragged her into the bathroom, where he forced her to perform oral sex on him and tried to remove her underwear. The woman was able to break free again and escaped the room and told hotel staff what had happened, authorities said. They called police.

Challenging the Washington Consensus

What is at stake in the immediate wake of Strauss Kahn's demise is "regime change" at the IMF.

The Obama administration has demanded his replacement by a more compliant individual. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, former CEO of the New York Federal Reserve Bank is pushing for the replacement of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, "suggesting he can no longer perform his duties" as IMF Managing director.

"Geithner called for greater formal recognition by the IMF board that John Lipsky, the fund's second-in-command, will continue serving as temporary managing director for an interim period. Although Strauss-Kahn has yet to resign, sources say the IMF is in touch with his legal counsel to discuss his future at the organization."

What lies behind the frame-up scenario? What powerful interests are involved? Geithner had a close personal relationship with Strauss-Kahn.

On the floor of the US Senate (May 18), Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois, called for the resignation of DSK while calling upon the IMF's deputy managing director John Lipsky to "assume full responsibility of the IMF" as interim managing director. The process of "permanent replacement should "commence at once," he said. John Lipsky is a well connected Wall Street banker, a former Vice Chairman at JPMorgan Investment Bank.

While the IMF is in theory an intergovernmental organization, it has historically been controlled by Wall Street and the US Treasury. The IMF's "bitter economic medicine", the so-called Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), imposed on countless developing countries, essentially serves the interests of creditor banks and multinational corporations.

The IMF is not the main architect of these devastating economic reforms which have served to impoverish millions of people, while creating a "favorable environment" for foreign investors in Third World low wage economies.

The creditor banks call the shots. The IMF is a bureaucratic entity. Its role is to implement and enforce those economic policies on behalf of dominant economic interests.

Strauss Kahn's proposed reforms while providing a "human face" to the IMF did not constitute a shift in direction. They were formulated within the realm of neoliberalism. They modified but they did not undermine the central role of IMF "economic medicine". The socially devastating impacts of IMF "shock treatment" under Strauss-Kahn's leadership have largely prevailed.

Dominique Strauss Kahn arrived at the helm of the IMF in November 2007, less than a year prior to September-October 2008 financial meltdown on Wall Street. The structural adjustment program (SAP) was not modified. Under DSK, IMF "shock treatment" which historically had been limited to developing countries was imposed on Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Under the helm of DSK as Managing Director, the IMF demanded that developing countries remove food and fuel subsidies at a time of rising commodity prices on the New York and Chicago Mercantile exchanges.

The hikes in food and fuel prices, which preceded the September-October 2008 Wall Street crash, were in large part the result of market manipulation. Grain prices were boosted artificially by large scale speculative operations. Instead of taming the speculators and containing the rise in food and fuel prices, the IMF's role was to ensure that the governments of indebted developing countries would not in any way interfere in the "free market", by preventing these prices from going up.

These hikes in food prices, which are the result of outright manipulation (rather than scarcity) have served to impoverish people Worldwide. The surge in food prices constitutes a new phase of the process of global impoverishment.

DSK was complicit in this process of market manipulation. The removal of food and fuel subsidies in Tunisia and Egypt had been demanded by the IMF. Food and fuel prices skyrocketed, people were impoverished, paving the way towards the January 2011 social protest movement:
Fiscal prudence remains an overarching priority for the [Tunisian] authorities, who also see the need for maintaining a supportive fiscal policy in 2010 in the current international environment. Efforts in the last decade to bring down the public debt ratio significantly should not be jeopardized by a too lax fiscal policy. The authorities are committed to firmly control current expenditure, including subsidies,... (IMF Tunisia: 2010 Article IV Consultation - Staff Report; Public Information Notice on the Executive Board Discussion; and Statement by the Executive Director for Tunisia)

"[The IMF] encouraged the [Egyptian] authorities to press further with food and fuel subsidy reforms, and welcomed their intention to improve the efficiency and targeting of food subsidy programs. [meaning the selective elimination of food subsidies].
"Consideration should be given to introducing automatic adjustment mechanisms for domestic fuel prices to minimize distortions [meaning dramatic increases in fuel prices without State interference], while strengthening cash-based social programs to protect vulnerable groups. (IMF Executive Board Concludes 2008 Article IV Consultation with the Arab Republic of Egypt Public Information Notice, PIN  No. 09/04, January 15, 2009)
Under the helm of DSK, the IMF also imposed sweeping austerity measures on Egypt in 2008, while supporting Hosni Mubarak's "efforts to broaden the privatization program".(Ibid)

The Frank G. Wisner Nicolas Sarkozy Connection

Strauss-Kahn was refused bail by Judge Melissa Jackson, an appointee and protégé of Michael Bloomberg, who in addition to his role as Mayor is a powerful figure on Wall Street.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. charged (using scanty evidence) Strauss-Kahn "with seven crimes, including attempted rape, sexual abuse, forcible touching and unlawful imprisonment".

Who is Cyrus Vance Jr.?

He is the son of the late Cyrus Vance who served as Secretary of State in the Carter administration.

But there is more than meets the eye. Nicolas Sarkozy's step father Frank G. Wisner II, a prominent CIA official who married his step mother Christine de Ganay in 1977 served as Deputy Executive Secretary of State under the helm of Cyrus Vance Senior, father of District Attorney Cyrus Vance Junior.

Is it relevant?

The Vance and Wisner families had close personal ties. In turn Nicolas Sarkozy had close family ties with his step father Frank Wisner (and his half brothers and sisters in the US and one member of the Wisner family was involved in Sarkozy's election campaign).

It is also worth noting that Frank G. Wisner II was the son of one of America's most notorious spies, the late Frank Gardiner Wisner (1909- 1965), the mastermind behind the CIA sponsored coup which toppled the government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran in 1953. Wisner Jr. is also trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Trust.

While these various personal ties do not prove that Strauss-Kahn was the object of a set-up, the matter of Sarkozy's ties to the CIA via his step father, not to mention the ties of Frank G. Wisner II to the Cyrus Vance family are certainly worth investigating. Frank G, Wisner also played a key role as Obama's special intelligence envoy to Egypt at the height of the January 2011 protest movement.

Did the CIA play a role?

Was Strauss-Kahn framed by people in his immediate political entourage including President Obama and Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner?

District Attorney Cyrus Vance Junior, son of the late Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State in the Carter administration
Sarkozy's Step Father Frank G Wisner II, Deputy Executive Secretary of State (1976-79) 
under Cyrus Vance Senior during the Carter administration

In this courtroom drawing, Dominique Strauss-Khan, next to his lawyer Benjamin Brafman, 
in front of Criminal Court Judge Melissa Jackson during his arraignment at the 
Manhattan Criminal Court (AP)

DSK and Timothy Geithner

DSK and Timothy Geithner

Fair Trial?

Innocent before proven guilty? The US media has already cast its verdict. Will the court procedures be manipulated?

One would expect that Strauss-Kahn be granted a fair trial, namely the same treatment as that granted to thousands of arrests on alleged sexual aggression charges in New York City.

How many similar or comparable alleged sexual aggressions occur on a monthly basis in New York City? What is the underlying pattern? How many of these are reported to the police? How many are the object of police follow-up once a complaint has been filed?

What is the percent of complaints submitted to police which are the object of police arrest? How many of these arrests lead to a judicial procedure? What are the delays in court procedures?

How many of these arrests lead to release without a judicial procedure?

How many of the cases submitted to a judicial procedure are dismissed by the presiding judge?

How many of the cases which are not dismissed are refused bail outright by the presiding judge? What is the basis for refusing bail?

How many are granted bail? What is the average amount of bail?

How many are imprisoned without bail based on scanty and incomplete evidence?

How many of those who are refused bail are sent to an infamous maximum security prison on Rikers Island on the orders of Michael Bloomberg.

Diplomatic Immunity

Press reports state that full diplomatic immunity does not apply to officials of the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions, namely that the US did not ratify the protocol.

"U.N. convention on privileges and immunities for international agencies that most countries have ratified. It gives the heads of U.N. agencies broad immunity in the countries where they are based. But the U.S. government never became a party to that treaty. Employees of international agencies are covered by a U.S. statute that gives only limited immunity."

The relevant question is how has this limited immunity provision been applied in practice? Namely how many people with limited immunity (UN officials, officials of the Bretton Woods institutions) have been arrested and sent to a high security prison?

Has Strauss Kahn been given the same treatment as those arrested under the provisions of "limited immunity"?

Does the Strauss Kahn arrest fit the pattern? Or is Strauss Kahn being treated in a way which does not correspond to the normal (average) pattern of police and judicial procedures applied in the numerous cases of persons arrested on alleged sexual assault charges?

Without a frame-up instrumented by very powerful people acting in the background, the head of the IMF would have been treated in an entirely different way. The mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg and Timothy Geithner would have come to his rescue. The matter would have been hushed up with a view to protecting the reputation of a powerful public figure. But that did not happen.

Rikers Island Prison where DSK was imprisoned.

 Global Research Articles by Michel Chossudovsky


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Thursday, May 19, 2011



May 19, 2011

Social networks used to call thousands to protest in Spain

EuroNews: Hoping to repeat the success of Egyptian people power, various groups in Spain have occupied Madrid's main square of "Puerta del Sol"

More at The Real News


AlterNet / By Nomi Prins

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Sits in Prison While the IMF Keeps Ravaging Entire Economies Every Day

The IMF can do far more damage trashing global economic well-being than the man behind the sex abuse scandal.

May 18, 2011  |  The sex scandal surrounding the head of the International Monetary Fund has thrust the organization into the media's glare. Yet, the man behind the scandal is far less relevant to trashing global economic well-being than is the institution itself.

Regardless of who takes over for the IMF's disgraced leader, Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK), it’s unlikely he or she will bring about a philosophical shift in the IMF’s MO. For the IMF doesn’t care what caused devastating financial hardship to its current "focus" countries like Ireland, Greece and Portugal, nor what deal is struck in return for its aid. Saving the superpower notion of Europe and the euro as a pan-European currency by bailing out (read: lending money in return for "austerity measures" and holding fire sales of national companies) is a goal bigger than DSK.

This ideal is more important to the IMF than the financial security of ordinary citizens. Thus, the IMF will remain the validating and financing arm of the European Union (EU) and maintain the euro’s cohesiveness, no matter the cost to ordinary people. By doing so, it will continue to create debt to pay for bank screw-ups and extract repayment from innocent local populations.

Indeed, any concerns about the IMF altering its method of swapping loans for austerity measures just because its chief is facing felony charges, were alleviated the day he was denied bail. On Monday, Portugal, the third European country in the past year to get a bailout, was approved for a 78-billion-euro rescue package. The price? Public spending cuts. The benefactors? The private Portuguese banks that turned around to raise cash backed by bailout-guarantees a moment later.

In Ireland, where a swish of hot money entered the country during the years leading up to the 2008 crisis, the $113 billion IMF/EU bailout did nothing to bring down the 14.7 percent unemployment rate, even as $23 billion of pension money was requested as a condition of the loan.

It’s the same story in Greece. There, the IMF has backed the EU in exacting austerity measures running the gamut from pension and wage cuts to privatization demands. To comply with its bailout agreement, Greece must continue to sell off its functioning and solvent national companies, such as its electric companies, to the highest international bidder. You know, the bidder that will care about what happens to the local cost of power. (Think Enron and California power plants a decade ago.)

But that’s what the IMF has always done. It provides loans at cheaper rates than countries would receive any other way during times of economic distress, in return for forcing them to open their economies to hot money looking for a good deal. This is based on the premise that public infrastructure and social safety nets are the cause of financial woes, and not the over-leveraged banks that funneled in the hot money to begin with.

As Andy Robinson, a journalist stationed in Athens, who writes for the Spanish paper, La Vanguardia, put it, “The IMF wants the country to sell off its grandmother’s silver to make room for more luxury beachfront hotels.”

Unfortunately for Greece, what the IMF wants more of, is exactly what caused its debt crisis -- hot money that turned cold. External investment banks and funds extracted profits from the country and then headed for the hills.

Three years ago, in May 2008, Bear Stearns was handed to JPM Chase on a Fed-backed platter in Phase I of the great US bank bailout and subsidization strategy. Meanwhile, the Greek finance ministry proudly proclaimed US investment interest (i.e. hot money from banks, hedge funds or private equity funds) was strengthening.

At the time, Greek Economic and Finance minister, George Alogoskoufis further noted, “international financial organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund, also acknowledged the significant progress made by the Greek economy.” At the time, he said “an international credit crisis has not affected the Greek banking system” and “that economic conditions would return to normality in 2009.”

It didn’t work out that way. Five months later, in October, 2008, the global banking crisis arrived in Greece. The Bank of Greece had to pony up 28 billion Euros to bail out its banks (for starters). Blindly optimistic, a month later, the Greek embassy promised that the country's economic growth would exceed the EU average for 2009-2010.

Then, things collapsed. By May, 2010, the EU and IMF pushed a $141 billion euro rescue package on Greece, with strings attached, but on the people of Greece, not the banks whose behavior trashed its economy. The result was widespread street protests.

Now, a year later, with the looming possibility of a default on it debt, and talk of more bailouts in the works, the Greek people are again taking to the streets.

The fact that public austerity measures don’t secure an economy remains lost on the IMF and EU. Instead, they want countries to sell whatever they can at rock bottom "crisis" prices, and extract the rest of the money to repay loans from citizens. The IMF and EU have just asked Italy and Spain to do more of this antiquated policy.

In retaliation, Spain’s population took to the streets in 50 cities last Sunday, protesting national austerity measures. Their chants made it clear they knew that the banks and enabling politicians caused their pain. Spanish banks are sitting on 113 billion euros of bad loans, an overhang from an international housing speculation boom gone wrong. The population faces a 21.3 percent unemployment rate, 40 percent among its youth. Austerity measures don’t create jobs.

This IMF notion of opening a countries’ doors to hot money to demonstrate economic worthiness is completely misguided. The flow of fast money does not, by any measure, help the well-being of a country's population at large. The recent uprising in Egypt, a country given gold stars by the IMF for opening its boundaries to unrestricted, irresponsible hot money to erect luxury condos and beachfront homes, is another obvious sign of this tactic’s failure.

And, yet, again and again, the IMF instills surefire economic destabilization through unaltered money-interested policies, sucking the financial life out of unarmed citizens. The IMF will soon choose a new leader to take the reigns from acting head and former JPM Chase chief economist, John Lipsky. There is talk that for the first time since its inception, this leader may come from outside the core European fold. Chances of that are remote. But, unfortunately, no matter who leads the IMF next, its legacy will continue to impart pain on the people of the countries it vows to assist. And that means more uprisings to come.

Nomi Prins is a senior fellow at the public policy center Demos and author of It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bailouts, Bonuses, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Getting Wise to Breitbart’s Lies": Missouri Professors Survive Right-Wing Smear Campaign by Andrew Breitbart

May 17, 2011

Two Missouri labor professors have been vindicated after a right-wing smear campaign almost cost them their jobs. Last month, the website—run by right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart—posted footage of a labor relations class taught by University of Missouri professors Judy Ancel and Don Giljum. In the video, the professors appeared to make a number of statements backing the use of violence in the struggle for labor rights. But it turned out the video was edited in a way to distort their words—similar to recent video campaigns against ACORN, Planned Parenthood, NPR and former FDA official, Shirley Sherrod. "I was just appalled, because I knew it was me speaking, but it wasn’t saying what I had said in class," said Judy Ancel, director of the Institute for Labor Studies, University of Missouri-Kansas City. [original includes transcript]

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


May 17, 2011 at 19:08:36

The Amerikan Police State Strides Forward

by paul craig roberts (about the author)

Dominique Strauss-Kahn
The International Monetary Fund's director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested last Sunday in New York City on the allegation of an immigrant hotel maid that he attempted to rape her in his hotel room. A New York judge has denied Strauss-Kahn bail on the grounds that he might flee to France.  

President Bill Clinton survived his sexual escapades, because he was a servant to the system, not a threat. But Strauss-Kahn, like former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, was a threat to the system, and, like Eliot Spitzer, Strass-Kahn has been deleted from the power ranks.

Strauss-Kahn was the first IMF director in my lifetime, if memory serves, who disavowed the traditional IMF policy of imposing on the poor and ordinary people the cost of bailing out Wall Street and the Western banks. Strauss-Kahn said that regulation had to be reimposed on the greed-driven, fraud-prone financial sector, which, unregulated, destroyed the lives of ordinary people.  Strauss-Kahn listened to Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz, one of a handful of economists who has a social conscience.

Perhaps the most dangerous black mark in Strauss-Kahn's book is that he was far ahead of America's French puppet, President Sarkozy, in the upcoming French elections.  Strauss-Kahn simply had to be eliminated. 

It is possible that Strauss-Kahn eliminated himself and saved Washington the trouble. However, as a well-travelled person who has often stayed in New York hotels and in hotels in cities around the world, I have never experienced a maid entering unannounced into my room, much less when I was in the shower.  

In the spun story, Strauss-Kahn is portrayed as so deprived of sex that he attempted to rape a hotel maid. Anyone who ever served on the staff of a powerful public figure knows that this is unlikely. On a senator's staff on which I served, there were two aides whose job was to make certain that no woman, with the exception of his wife, was ever alone with the senator. This was done to protect the senator both from female power groupies, who lust after celebrities and powerful men, and from women sent by a rival on missions to compromise an opponent. A powerful man such as Strauss-Kahn would not have been starved for women, and as a multi-millionaire he could certainly afford to make his own discreet arrangements.

As Henry Kissinger said, "power is the ultimate aphrodisiac." In politics, sex is handed out as favors and payoffs, and it is used as a honey trap. Some Americans will remember that Senator Packwood's long career (1969-1995) was destroyed by a female lobbyist, suspected, according to rumors, of sexual conquests of Senators, who charged that Packwood propositioned her in his office. Perhaps what inspired the charge was that Packwood was in the way of her employer's legislative agenda.

Even those who exercise care can be framed by allegations of an event to which there are no witnesses. On May 16 the British Daily Mail reported that prior to Strauss-Kahn's fateful departure for New York, the French newspaper, Liberation, published comments he made while discussing his plans to challenge Sarkozy for the presidency of France. Strauss-Kahn said that as he was the clear favorite to beat Sarkozy, he would be subjected to a smear campaign by Sarkozy and his interior minister, Glaude Gueant. Strauss-Kahn predicted that a woman would be offered between 500,000 and 1,000,000 euros (more than $1,000,000) to make up a story that he raped her.

The Daily Mail reports that ...
"Strauss-Kahn's suspicions are supported by the fact that the first person to break the news of Strauss-Kahn's arrest was an activist in Mr Sarkozy's UMP party -- who apparently knew about the scandal before it happened. Jonathan Pinet, a politics student, tweeted the news just before the New York Police Department made it public, although he said that he simply had a 'friend' working at the Sofitel where the attack was said to have happened.

"The first person to re-tweet Mr Pinet was Arnaud Dassier, a spin doctor who had previously publicized details of multi-millionaire Strauss-Kahn's luxurious lifestyle in a bid to dent his left wing credentials.
"Strauss-Kahn could just as easily been set up by rivals inside the IMF, as well as by rivals within the French political establishment. Michelle Sabban, a senior councillor for the greater Paris region and a Strauss-Kahn loyalist said: "I am convinced it is an international conspiracy.' She added: "It's the IMF they wanted to decapitate, not so much the Socialist primary candidate. It's not like him. Everyone knows that his weakness is seduction, women. That's how they got him.'
"Even some of Strauss-Kahn's rivals said they could not believe the news. "It is totally hallucinatory,' said centrist Dominique Paille. If it is true, this would be a historic moment, but in the negative sense, for French political life. I hope that everyone respects the presumption of innocence. I cannot manage to believe this affair.'
"And Henri de Raincourt, minister for overseas co-operation in President Nicolas Sarkozy's government, added: "We cannot rule out the thought of a trap.'"
Michelle Sabban is on to something when she says the IMF was the target. Strauss-Kahn is the first IMF director who is not lined up on the side of the rich against the poor. Strauss-Kahn's suspicions were of Sarkozy, but Wall Street and the US government also had strong reasons to eliminate him. Wall Street is terrified by the prospect of regulation, and Washington was embarrassed by the recent IMF report that China's economy would surpass the US economy within five years. An international conspiracy is not out of the question.

Indeed, the plot is unfolding as a conspiracy. Authorities have produced a French woman who claims she was a near rape victim of Strauss-Kahn a decade ago. It would be interesting to know whether this allegation is the result of a threat or a bribe. As in the case of Julian Assange, there are now two women to accuse Strauss-Kahn. Once the prosecutors get the odds of two females against one male, they win in the media.

It has not been revealed how the authorities knew Strauss-Kahn was on a flight to France. However, by arresting him aboard his scheduled flight just as it was to depart, the authorities created the image of a man fleeing from a crime.

The way Amerikan justice (sic) works is that prosecutors in about 96 percent of the cases get a plea bargain. US prosecutors are permitted by judges and the public to pay for testimony against the defendant and to put sufficient pressure on innocent defendants to coerce them into making a guilty plea in exchange for lesser charges and a lighter sentence. Unless the hotel maid has a spell of bad conscience and admits she was paid to lie, or gets cold feet about perjuring herself, Strauss-Kahn is likely to find that Amerikan criminal justice (sic) is organized to produce conviction regardless of innocence or guilt.

On May 16, the day following Strauss-Kahn's arrest, the US Supreme Court threw its weight behind the Amerikan police state by destroying the remains of the Fourth Amendment with an 8-1 ruling that, the U.S. Constitution notwithstanding, Amerika's  police do not need warrants to invade homes and search persons. 

This ruling is more evidence that every American is regarded as a potential enemy of the state, not only by Airport Security but also by the high muckety-mucks in Washington. The conservatives' "war on crime" has created a police state, and conservatives, who originally stood for limited government and civil liberty, are euphoric over the expanded and unaccountable powers that a conservative Supreme Court has handed to the police. 

On the same day, the federal government reached the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, which forced the Treasury to "borrow" money from federal employee pensions in order to continue funding Amerika's illegal wars and crimes against humanity. The breached debt ceiling serves as an appropriate marker for a country that has squandered its constitutional heritage and has arrived at moral as well as fiscal bankruptcy.

May 17, 2011

Anti-Austerity Rallies in Spain

EuroNews: Police in Madrid made several arrests after a peaceful protest against government austerity measures ended in violent clashes.

More at The Real News


Original here.

If bin Laden beat all odds and managed to live another decade to await, unarmed and undefended, the arrival of the Navy SEALs last week, how it is possible that the "terror mastermind," who defeated not merely the CIA and FBI, but all 16 US intelligence agencies along with those of America's European allies and Israel, the National Security Council, the Pentagon, NORAD, Air Traffic Control, airport security four times on the same morning, etc. etc., never enjoyed another success, not even a little, very minor one? What was the "terror mastermind" doing for a decade after 9/11?  

Think about it.
May 13, 2011 at 21:37:41

Creating the bin Laden Reality

by paul craig roberts (about the author)

I have heard one dozen times today (May 13) from media that the US killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. I heard it three times from National Public Radio, twice from the BBC, and from every TV and radio station I encountered, even those stations that play the rock and roll music of the 1950s and 1960s. The killing of bin Laden has now entered the legends of our time and, no doubt, the history books.  

The US government that told us that Saddam Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction" and "al Qaeda connections" and that Iran has nuclear missiles that require the US to ring Russia with anti-ballistic missile systems, finally told us the truth for once. Obama found Osama and had him murdered, apparently unarmed in his underwear, defended not by al Qaeda, "the best trained, most dangerous vicious killers on the planet," but by two unarmed women.

As I offered previously, if you believe this, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I can let you have for a cheap price.

The government has created another reality for us proles. We won again. Us white hats got the black hat, just like in the western movie. Fantasy is better than fact, and us good guys are on a roll. It makes everybody happy, even those who have lost their jobs, their houses, their pensions.   

So, who's the next black hat? The military/security complex cannot do without a bad guy, or the budget could be cut and billions of dollars in profits would go missing. Without someone for Americans to hate, the show can't go on.

Homeland Security says the next black hat will be "domestic extremists." The CIA says it will be the next al Qaeda leader, bin Laden's replacement, who will terrorize us white hats for killing bin Laden. The neocon brownshirts say it is Pakistan, who hid bin Laden from us, thus protecting him from justice being done. Hillary says it is China, and as the US economy continues its collapse, more and more fingers will point at China.  

Airport Security will pat down more babies, feel more genitals, and radiate more air travelers. 

But without bin Laden, we will feel safer and more secure, which is counter-productive for the military/security complex. Obama has made a fundamental mistake. He has killed Emanuel Goldstein (bin Laden), the hate figure who justified the trillions of dollars we have blown trying to get him.  

Once Homeland Security, the CIA, and the White House decide who the new hate figure is to be, we will be off and running again.  

It took 10 years to get bin Laden. This proves that all those security experts who say that the war will last for 30 years might be underestimating the necessary commitment. If it takes 10 years each to find and murder the next two leaders, we are faced with conflict that lasts across generations.  

As I wrote previously, bin Laden's killing serves so many different agendas that even those who don't believe the story have hooked their wagon to it. Al Qaeda itself can no longer take credit for acts of terrorism without declaring that it was to avenge bin Laden.

The bin Laden story is now set in stone, immune from fact. Global Research has provided us with bin Laden's last known interview, which appeared in a Pakistan newspaper on September 28, 2001, and was translated and made available to the West by the BBC World Monitoring Service on September 29, 2001.
In the interview, bin Laden says:
"I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. . . . Whoever committed the act of 11 September are not the friends of the American people. I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks the common American people have been killed. . . . The Western media is unleashing such a baseless propaganda, which makes us surprised, but it reflects on what is in their hearts and gradually they themselves become captive of this propaganda. . . . Terror is the most dreaded weapon in the modern age and the Western media is mercilessly using it against its own people."
But who would believe a demonized bin Laden, when to do so requires them to disbelieve George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and the Western media?

We all know, don't we, that in America the government always has the best interests of ordinary people at heart and always tells them the truth. If you don't believe this, you are anti-American.