Thursday, 25 October 2012

Daily Reading Material Compilation 8.0

From within you will find
News, politics and financial crimes

Absorb what you read
And take what you need

In these rapidly changing times 


Sex Life Was ‘Out of Step,’ Strauss-Kahn Says, but Not Illegal
Ahh, the world in which the elites live. Nude sex parties. The scary thing is that this doesn't only happen between consenting adults. The shady underworld of perversion in which the elite of the world live is shocking. These types of things are all too common. It's one thing when it involves consenting adults - which is fine in my opinion, albeit questionable practice for someone of a political position in which such a thing can be used for blackmail or extortionate purposes.

What is really despicable and perverted is when these types of things come up involving people in positions of power abuse the power and violate children. We saw it in the middle and upper levels of the catholic church for the past 30+ years, and we've also heard whisperings of the ongoings on the island of Jersey - thanks to Leah McGrath Goodman, it was brought into a somewhat more public arena. You can read a bit about the abuse, torture and murder committed against children of the orphanage Haut de la Garenne in Goodman's article #FreeJersey: A Small Island Fights For Its Democracy

Cutting deep: Thousands of angry students take to the streets across Spain
Thousands of Spanish students took to the streets all across the country. Thousands were out in Madrid, as well as Barcelona, Valencia, and many other cities across the country. The hardships of the people are becoming more evident as protests are an almost daily occurrence by now. These people have nothing left, and we're one more round of austerity away from full-blown riots and revolution. I personally hope it comes not so the people will suffer more, but rather so this can come to an end - as this won't stop until it boils over

Police protection or citizen censorship? Spain to ban photos and videos of cops
In other news, Spanish politicians are drafting legislation to make it illegal to post videos and images of police officers - violating basic freedoms in the process. It will be punishable to disseminate any form of images of police officers via social media or other ways on the internet.

Yet another step towards bloody revolt. Now people can't even film the abuses of the authoritarian/technocratic regime that runs the country and their police lackeys without fear of being persecuted. Time ticks on...

Thousands of Spanish students march for third day against cuts
Students in Spain took to the streets for a third day in a row to protest massive cuts - so far to the tune of $6.5 billion (€4.9 billion), since 2010 - to education. In addition to cutting funding pretty much across the entire educational spectrum, from scholarships to food allowances, the Spanish government has also sharply raised tuition rates, making it virtually impossible for students to stand any chance of continuing to pay for their education, or even enter University in the first place. The woes of the Spanish continue... My heart goes out to those suffering in Europe right now, and indeed around the rest of the world.

Spain’s Unfinished Transition From Dictatorship To Democracy
Great article, and very eye opening as to what is really going on behind the scenes in Spain - and in particular in regards to the political system. It would seem the judicial system has been co-opted by the political parties. The author beautifully explains the problems stemming from an incomplete transition from the times of the 1970s when Spain was still run by dictator Francisco Franco. The "Corporate Administration" has seemingly infiltrated the "Democratic Administration" (read article for definitions) and taken a stranglehold over the country, rendering the courts useless, and consequently using it to their advantage in thieving money from the public.

Petrol bombs vs teargas: Thousands across Greece protest austerity measure
Greek erupted into violence yesterday as 40,000 people took to the streets of Athens to protest austerity. Police were bombarded with molotov cocktails, and police and protesters clashed on a few occasions. This is what happens when you take everything from the people - they start to fight back. They tried it civilly through protest, but obviously that failed. Now they're resorting to violence. While I don't necessarily agree with the tactic, I can see the need for it in this particular instance - and I most certainly don't expect the majority of people to remain peaceful when they lose their livelihood. I don't blame them for the violence, although I do wish there was a different way to achieve their goals.

It would seem to me that the problem is the division of the people within the country itself as to how to go about change. If hundreds of thousands - or millions - were to unite and demand ousting of the current government and all opposition parties as well it would be far more effective than scattered protests of tens of thousands. Let's hope they realize this, as any freedom achieved through violent means is destined not to last forever.

What Happens When The Core Starts To Rot
Another beautifully-composed piece by the infamous Ilgari. This encapsulates the sentiment behind all the other things posted in this little section on Europe I've put together for today, and is the perfect way to cap off this section. Read, and enjoy.


The Latest Bubble?
Are we really going to repeat the mistakes of the past? Haven't we learned enough from the first time these garbage mortgage-backed securities blew up and tanked the economy? Apparently not - the MBS market is nearing all-time highs with the Fed pumping billions into these particular "assets" on a monthly (and endless) basis.

Cyberwar speeds up: US blames Iran for renewed attacks on American banks
Cyberwars have been going on for a few years now - and, indeed, one can assume that cyber espionage has been happening since the internet became a staple of our society. The US is claiming they are victims who are going to be forced to retaliate for the purposes of "national security" - the same old rhetoric the US uses to justify force when none is truly justified.

Who started the cyberwars? Who began upping the ante? Why, wouldn't you know it... the United States! Gasp! Awe! Shock!
I'm personally pretty thrilled to see these banks being attacked by foreign entities. I sincerely hope it continues, and they manage to disrupt the systems on a regular enough basis to create mayhem. It could very well prove to be a catalyst to imminent (and necessary) systemic collapse.

US more of a killer than hijackers - accused 9/11 plotter
The judge in the trial refused to allow any talk in regards to the regular torture that is perpetrated by the US government on its detainees. Human rights violations fall by the wayside, and the despicable US government acts with complete impunity - at least for now. It's only a matter of time before someone stands up to them in a far more significant way than 9/11.

Of course it sucks that 3000 people lost their lives - but it was used to justify the murder of over 1,000,000 innocent Iraqis and Afghanis. They (the US government) make me sick.

What Is The Real Inflation Rate?
I'm going to be brutally honest and say that I didn't even realize that inflation didn't take into account food prices or energy prices until I saw a preview of Max Keiser's latest Keiser Report. I assumed that something so significant would automatically be included in the "core" CPI numbers. Alas, this isn't the case. While the BLS includes food and energy costs in various CPI calculations, it doesn't include food and energy in its "core" CPI calculations - which means that the numbers economists and the Fed use for inflation aren't actually representative of true inflation rates you achieve when you include food (roughly 10% of income on average) and energy (roughly 10-15% of income on average).

Now that I know I'd just like to say: THIS IS ABSOLUTELY ABSURD (and a complete diversion tactic on the part of the powers that be - yet again). These are the two factors that most heavily influence everyday life of pretty much everyone. I guess we know what they say about assuming...

For those interested, here is a chart of the old (accurate) methods used to calculate CPI, versus the new methods. Alternatively, you can look at the BLS All Items CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) numbers to determine the cost of inflation when accounting for food and energy. Mind boggling.

Gallup Goes To Town On BLS Massagery
Fantastic proposition for alternative data to use as a true indicator of employment - Payroll to Population. Not that the BLS will listen or change their methods, mind you. Gallup presents some staggering numbers and highlights the enormous bias and distortion that results from the BLS' current methods of calculating unemployment.

Fear Mongering And Hysteria About The Fiscal Cliff
Yet another sound article with astute observations from Wolf Richter. The fiscal cliff will cause a recession - but continuing the same way the US is going will cause an even bigger recession and depression anyways, not to mention metaphorically (and at times literally) blowing up the system.

It would probably be better to let the fiscal cliff hit, take the short-term pain and look towards a brighter future and new way of thinking - similar to what Greece should have done from the beginning with their Euro debt.


Canada wins Dodo Award
Canada wins the Dodo Award for allowing - the government may or may not have been aware of what was happening - dumping of massive quantities (100 tonnes) of iron-rich materials into the waters of the coast of British Columbia. This happened in spite of a moratorium on ocean fertilization and geo-engineering.

The perpetrators were a private company called the Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. They say it was meant to raise nutrient levels off-shore in hopes of spurring growth in the salmon population (among others); however, the potential detrimental effects vastly outweigh the potential benefits, thus the moratorium. What they did was in complete violation of provincial and federal law, yet nothing has happened as of yet to those who committed the crime. Read more in this article here.

Spouses of ministers hold portfolios of publicly-traded securities
The cabinet of the Prime Minister is barred from being able to hold portfolios containing publicly traded securities for fear of conflict of interest - and rightly so, as who wants top government officials owning investment in the very companies they are designated to regulate?

Unfortunately, it seems a bit of an oversight that while those high-ranking government officials (the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, etc.) can't hold the investments themselves, their spouses have no regulations whatsoever in terms of what they can invest in. Essentially, the government officials are able to make investments in the name of their spouses using both their money and their spouse's money in publicly traded companies they are regulating. What a crock.

You paid for it, but weren’t invited
I found this rather humorous. This is the mayor of my home city - formerly a conservative MP for the Northern part of the city. He paid for his son's wedding using a government check for $1700, and then a subsequent payment of $18,900 to cover the remaining balance. The RCMP is currently looking into the matter.

It goes to show that it doesn't matter at what level of government you look, there is corruption and theft from the taxpayers.

CRTC denies BCE’s bid to acquire Astral
The CRTC denied a bid from media mega giant BCE (Bell) to acquire Astral Media. This would have made them essentially into having a monopoly in Canadian media. Good for the regulators - regulators who, for once, aren't asleep at the wheel.

If only financial sector regulators were so apt...

Bank Criminality

Why we should have absolutely no sympathy for bankers whatsoever, and why they should be bashed regularly.
Wow. This man, Rowan Bosworth-Davies, makes some of the most astute observations about the current banking climate in London (and the rest of the world as well) that I've ever heard. From every corner of the banking sector there is a putrid, rotting stench of corruption and criminality. This man used to be a detective with Scotland Yard and is now a financial crime consultant. He knows his stuff.

This blog entry by him is truly riveting, and details the "Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed" of the banks and those who run them - the executives, and, more importantly, the Compliance Officers and Reporting Officers who are supposed to be keeping them honest. I mused about this a while back, and I'll share it with you now:
How can you have a compliance officer on the company payroll being the one in charge of ensuring no fraud is committed? If the compliance officer's bonus comes from the same place where the fraud is being perpetrated (ie. he/she is paid by the banks) why would anyone believe the compliance officer wouldn't look the other way? THE MORE THEY BREAK THE LAW THE HIGHER HIS YEAR-END BONUS!


Hilarious! For those who don't know, this is a spoof of a real news story in which the NYPD and FBI arrested a man who was supposedly planning to bomb the NY Federal Reserve. Read more about the real story here.


This video is in regards to the corruption in the NYPD (and, indeed, endemic throughout most police forces around the globe) and their insanely controversial "stop and frisk" program.
This 17-year-old kid recorded the harassment he received from the NYPD, and the racial profiling that occurs all-too-frequently in these types of situations.

Here, RT's Abby Martin discusses how Jon Stewart's Daily Show is the main source of news for millions of Americans - and yet when Barack Obama appears (this being his 6th appearance, if I recall correctly) on the program, Stewart does nothing to actually press the issues.
I do wonder if perhaps it is a condition for Obama appearing on the show that Stewart may not press hot-button (important) issues, or call attention to the dismal record Obama has in his time in the White House. My guess is yes.

And finally, here is an interview RT did with Iceland's Foreign Minister about why Iceland did so well through the global financial crisis and after their own economic ruination, as well as how their economy and country is doing now (HINT: AMAZINGLY WELL!)

One last thing I'll add is that it is quite ridiculous that he's speaking to the nobility of the Eurozone, the EU, the IMF and the Euro. Perhaps he's just speaking this way to avoid getting whacked? Perhaps not. Either way, ridiculous to think that the Euro will do anything other than implode.

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