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It can't be emphasized enough that the global debt complex we are all trapped in is reproduced daily by sophisticated (and in many cases quite old & deteriorated) computers. There is no magic man behind the curtain, just a bunch of nasty computer systems whose authority is enforced by central banking authorities like the Troika, IMF, World Bank, Bank for International Settlements and the Federal Reserve System.
This is one of the biggest stories at this level I have seen in ages, perhaps ever. Fascinating story very worth reading: A secret lolcat team in Greece's finance ministry hacked into their own EU-controlled systems and had a parallel financial network ready to go, but it all got wound down. Apparently FM Varoufakis resigned as a result of the plan being halted - and overall it was a pretty cool plan under dire national circumstances of emergency survival vs austerity.
A secret cell at the Greek finance ministry hacked into the government computers and drew up elaborate plans for a system of parallel payments that could be switched from euros to the drachma at the "flick of a button" .
The revelations have caused a political storm in Greece and confirm just how close the country came to drastic measures before premier Alexis Tsipras gave in to demands from Europe's creditor powers, acknowledging that his own cabinet would not support such a dangerous confrontation.
Yanis Varoufakis, the former finance minister, told a group of investors in London that a five-man team under his control had been working for months on a contingency plan to create euro liquidity if the European Central Bank cut off emergency funding to the Greek financial system, as it in fact did after talks broke down and Syriza called a referendum.
On the IT front, the challenge is vastly larger due to the state of financial firm IT systems. We intend to return to this topic, because we see bank IT systems as an unrecognized source of systemic risk. They are required to run to mission critical standards: enormous transaction volumes, extremely high demands for accuracy of end output, high uptimes. Yet the code base is an agglomeration, with many important operations relying in meaningful ways on legacy systems. Thus, as our expert with relevant experience stressed, changes that seem simple are anything but.
This is precisely why it is so important to understand these systems and come up with intermediate replacements, as your local version of the ECB is always waiting to make its next move for artificial austerity & assorted lethal games all taking place inside these computers…
Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has claimed that he was authorized by Alexis Tsipras last December to look into a parallel payment system that would operate using wiretapped tax registration numbers (AFMs) and could eventually work as a parallel banking system, Kathimerini has learned.
In a teleconference call with members of international hedge funds that was allegedly coordinated by former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont, Varoufakis claimed to have been given the okay by Tsipras last December – a month before general elections that brought SYRIZA to power – to plan a payment system that could operate in euros but which could be changed into drachmas "overnight" if necessary, Kathimerini understands.
Varoufakis worked with a small team to prepare the plan, which would have required a staff of 1,000 to implement but did not get the final go-ahead from Tsipras to proceed, he said.
The call took place on July 16, more than a week after Varoufakis left his post as finance minister.
The plan would involve hijacking the AFMs of taxpayers and corporations by hacking into General Secretariat of Public Revenues website, Varoufakis told his interlocutors.This would allow the creation of a parallel system that could operate if banks were forced to close and which would allow payments to be made between third parties and the state and could eventually lead to the creation of a parallel banking system, he said.
As the general secretariat is a system that is monitored by Greece’s creditors and is therefore difficult to access, Varoufakis said he assigned a childhood friend of his, an information technology expert who became a professor at Columbia University, to hack into the system. A week after Varouakis took over the ministry, he said the friend telephoned him and said he had “control” of the hardware but not the software "which belongs to the troika."
"The prime minister before he became PM, before we won the election in January, had given me the green light to come up with a Plan B. And I assembled a very able team, a small team as it had to be because that had to be kept completely under wraps for obvious reasons. And we had been working since the end of December or beginning of January on creating one.
"What we planned to do was the following. There is the website of the tax office like there is in Britain and everywhere else, where citizens, taxpayers go into the website they use their tax file number and they transfer through web banking monies from the bank account to their tax file number so as to make payments on VAT, income tax and so on and so forth.
“We were planning to create, surreptitiously, reserve accounts attached to every tax file number, without telling anyone, just to have this system in a function under wraps. And, at the touch of a button, to allow us to give PIN numbers to tax file number holders, to taxpayers.
"That would have created a parallel banking system while the banks were shut as a result of the ECBs aggressive action to deny us some breathing space.
"This was very well developed and I think it would have made a very big difference because very soon we could have extended it, using apps on smartphones and it could become a functioning parallel system and of course this would be euro denominated but at the drop of a hat it could be converted to a new drachma.
"But let me tell you - and this is quite a fascinating story - what difficulties I faced. The General Secretary of Public Revenues within my ministry is controlled fully and directly by the troika. It was not under control of my ministry, of me as minister, it was controlled by Brussels.
Ok, so problem number one: The general secretary of information systems on the other hand was controlled by me, as minister. I appointed a good friend of mine, a childhood friend of mine who had become professor of IT at Columbia University in the States and so on. I put him in because I trusted him to develop this……
a week or so after we moved into the ministry, he calls me up and says to me: 'You know what? I control the machines, I control the hardware but I do not control the software. The software belongs to the troika controlled General Secretary of Public Revenues. What do I do?'
"So we decided to hack into my ministry’s own software program in order to be able break it up to just copy just to copy the code of the tax systems website onto a large computer in his office so that he can work out how to design and implement this parallel payment system.
"And we were ready to get the green light from the PM when the banks closed in order to move into the General Secretariat of Public Revenues, which is not controlled by us but is controlled by Brussels, and to plug this laptop in and to energize the system.
Obviously it was a disappointment to many sane people that Syriza seems to have mostly folded to the Troika but perhaps the Secret Team tactic could be used when the next big one hits the fan and an entrapped debtor nation decides to quickly assert technical sovereignty.
But how to pull this again without tipping the hand? And could it be used again by Greece, now that the word is out? What will happen to Varoufakis' rather exposed techie friend, assuming it's accurate? A fascinating and very pertinent story, I can only hope gets dramatized in some fashion.
Get these computers because one way or another, they are definitely gonna getcha, getcha, getcha…
Update: worth pointing out the Federal Reserve drama over banks wanting their electronically created money kicked back from the Fed. Interesting because it unravels a 100-year-old pact between Congress and banks, as well as highlighting the bizarre secretive and lucrative bank membership in Fed regional entities. Great source of electronic "money" to put into the roads, Ace work whoever managed to slide this policy under the nose of the bank lobbyist fleet.
Industry lobbyists say they were blindsided by the inclusion of the provision, which would help policymakers cover the bill’s cost by cutting the regular dividend the Federal Reserve pays to its member banks.
One lobbyist went so far as to reread the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 after getting wind of the proposal to determine what was at stake.
“I think it took everyone by surprise,” said Paul Merski with the Independent Community Bankers of America. “There was no study of the issue, no hearings, no consultation with the Federal Reserve itself.”
“It came on very quickly,” said James Ballentine of the American Bankers Association, who said he first caught wind of the idea a little over a week ago. “It’s certainly a scramble.”
In a Congress where lawmakers are always hunting for politically palatable ways to raise revenue or cut costs to cover the expenses of additional legislation, the Fed provision was a novel, and rich, one. The proposal is estimated to raise $17 billion over the next decade, and is by far the richest “pay for” included in the bill.
Lobbyists said they were not aware of any previous time when lawmakers had attached the language to a piece of legislation, which would scrap a perk banks have come to expect for over a century.
When banks join the Federal Reserve system, they are required to buy stock in the central bank equal to 6 percent of their assets. However, that stock does not gain value and cannot be traded or sold, so to entice banks to participate, the Fed pays out a 6 percent dividend payment.
The Senate proposal says it would slash that “overly generous” payout to 1.5 percent for all banks with more than $1 billion in assets. While the summary language outlining the proposal said that change would only impact “large banks,” industry advocates argued that banks most would identify as small community shops could easily have assets in excess of that amount.
Banks are working to mobilize against the provision, even as lawmakers are pushing to pass a highway bill before program funding expires at the end of the month.
Merski said ICBA had launched a “nationwide grassroots effort,” enlisting its numerous member banks and bankers and told them to call Senate offices to oppose the provision.
And Ballentine said his group was engaged in a concerted education effort for members, outlining why the industry believes the policy change would be disruptive and has no place in highway legislation.
Five major industry groups also sent a letter to lawmakers blasting the provision, saying it “undermines a key agreement that has underpinned the United States banking system for 100 years.”
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) opposes the provision, and invited Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen to opine on it when she appeared before his panel earlier this month.
She told lawmakers that if the dividend payment is reduced, some banks may not want to buy into the Fed.
“This is a change that likely would be a significant concern to the many small banks that receive the dividend,” she said.
Donald Kohn, the former vice chair of the Fed, told House lawmakers Wednesday that the proposal would be one directly felt by banks.
“Let’s recognize that by lowering it to, say, 1.5 percent on the proposal, in effect you are placing a tax on banks,” he told the House Financial Services Committee.
A review of previous policy proposals suggests that the idea may have first been thought up by House liberals. The 2014 budget proposal from the Congressional Progressive Caucus put forward the idea to raise revenue, and a CPC aide said he believed it was the first time someone in Congress proposed the idea. But the Senate highway bill apparently marks the first time members have actually placed it in actual legislation.
Admittedly this is a little bit speculative but it looks pretty big.
lol wow I can't believe they are triggering a huge EU bank run in Cyprus by confiscating big slabs of bank accounts to satiate the European Central Bankers - it's blamed on rich Russians who 'deserve' to have their savings jacked en masse.
SEE: Cyprus: The World’s Biggest "Poker Game" | Zero Hedge. It is mind boggling, they could just isolate bad bank debt or "paper" Iceland style, but instead of course it's way more fun to traumatize everyone by stealing their money point-blank as a "stability levy". This is because when you get down to it, fractional reserve banking is a crisis-driven paper scam system, and the scamsters gotta get paid up front regardless of what insane precedent is set...
Government is the Entertainment Division of the military-industrial complex.
-- attributed to Frank Zappa
The ugly realities of modern electoral politics in America hit home this week with two body blows to self-styled anti-authoritarian political networks: The Ron Paul movement finally hit the brick wall as Rand Paul (R-KY Coal Mines) endorsed Mitt Romney (R-Rich Mormon Mafia) -- utterly shocking & depressing tons of semi-libertarian Republicans along with the entire conservative side of the "Truther" and/or "Liberty" movements.
Days earlier, the Wisconsin recall election against Gov. Scott Walker (R-Petulance) turned in uglier-than-expected numbers as likely thousands of Wisconsinites were stripped of their Constitutional right to vote through ridiculous new regulations -- and of course a bunch of shady electronic voting machines run from a company in a suburban St. Cloud strip mall. Fox News flacks and nasty Gloria Borger/Sarah Palin types cackled that the unruly, rebellious hordes had been licked for good. Now, the Paulistas and the rebellious Cheesehead hordes must ask: what's next?!
Perhaps these movements never had too much in common, though you could find some overlapping supporters. Probably the biggest difference is the Liberty types are pretty darn hostile to mainstream unions while the #OccupyCapitol (which the Dems transmuted into #WIrecall) clearly ended up with unions as its main hub. But they shared a hostility to the party hierarchies, business as usual, and to some extent the elite financial/War Machine domestic & international complexes, which has triggered the financial/austerity crisis by sucking out trillions of dollars.
The anarchist strain in Wisconsin, buttressed mainly by the IWW, complemented the non-interventionist libertarian one that's been rolling since about 2007 -- it showed that the new politics that people are actively hunting for is certainly not statist or socialist in the traditional sense.
UPDATE 5:30PM June 10: I got a response of sorts to the piece sent over twitter by @superbranch which is helpful for illustrating a number of details especially Democratic Party machinations: http://pastebin.com/vKh3tfh6 - Thanks!! I only had a view from a distance for most of this affair, so it's good stuff.
UPDATE 6:10PM June 10: Someone suggested that all anarchists are by definition socialists, though I think of socialism as a statist set of philosophies. In older times some labeled this "state socialism" vs. "libertarian socialism." See an Anarchist FAQ, example Kropotkin: "[s]o long as Socialism was understood in its wide, generic, and true sense -- as an effort to abolish the exploitation of Labour by Capital -- the Anarchists were marching hand-in-hands with the Socialists of that time", etc. & also see Black Flame blog. Also Article IV of the General Bylaws of the IWW Constitution specifically forbids "Political Alliances." "To the end of promoting industrial unity and of securing necessary discipline within the organisation, the IWW refuses all alliances, direct or indirect, with any political parties or anti-political sects, and disclaims responsibility for any individual opinion or act which may be at variance with the purposes herein expressed." Thus while I would say they are still anarcho-syndicalist, they are not formally set up as 'anarchist' per se. I feel I over-generalized in how I characterized the IWW, so sorry about that! (see also The League of Peace and Freedom for an org from that era)
UPDATE June 11: I mentioned prominent libertarian Lew Rockwell & forgot about his purported role in that whole Ron Paul "racist newsletter" narrative -- Rockwell is seen by many as the main ghostwriter in the 1980s newsletters. That stuff was creepy. More info here, here, here, here, here, etc. His newsletter compadre Murray Rothbard wrote "Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature" in 1973 which I think illustrates the not-cool-at-all aspect of these guys that led to the ugly views in those newsletters.
On the Wisconsin Side: Turning A Broad Popular Uprising Into An AFSCME Bargaining Rights Boxing Match
I've never seen such a staggering level of oppositional political energy squandered in this country like I did at the Capitol rally one clear day last spring. That night, as laborites fumed at the Labor Temple meeting hosted by the IWW and drifted downstairs to commence drinking, I collected Wobbly swag and later driving around Madison speculated with friends what could happen if people occupied dozens of sites like they had the Capitol. Or maybe an image of the future arrived early in my mind. Either way, real-world radicalism receded yet again once more into dull, conventional latency. [cartoon by Toles]
Perhaps the greatest achievement of the Republicans (which the Dems of course walked right into) was to narrow down and reframe the scope of the opposition from broad, radical revulsion at burning down virtually all aspects of governance in Wisconsin to a small, deeply mainstream, sore-loser election shitfit over government union bargaining rights.
As a party, the Dems just didn't want -- and probably couldn't understand -- an independent network pushing back, outside their control, a decentralized resistance to the Shock Doctrine. There was a real broad and sturdy community commencing in opposition, and the Dems demanded ideological buy-in, then splintered it into a thousand pieces and cast it to the wind. They couldn't recognize the dignity of people that didn't like either party -- people for whom a Recall and Milwaukee's Mayor Barrett didn't answer their questions.
The Democrats & the motivated Wisconsinites couldn't solve the problem of the pointless election industry. in order to fix anything at all, electoral politics needs to be a consequence of organizing for a better society, not the ultimate goal of organizing in perpetual 2-year cycles. In today's system, we have all our available cash thrown at short-lived election industry organizations that produce almost nothing of lasting value -- but they do make broadcasters richer.
How much more vast and worthy a fight it seemed last year. I was there on "Go Home Day," the day the state Democrats basically told everyone to go home and organize to recall the governor. While successful recalls of some GOP state senators did save the north country from a really bad mining project that would have destroyed an Indian tribe and much else besides, (the deciding GOP senator flipped) - and apparently the Wisconsin Senate did flip to Dem control in another recall around Racine as well, the national media, and the Star Tribune, are quite happy to buy the simple GOP narrative.
While Walker's goose still looked pretty well-and-cooked by early 2012, the Democratic Party of course knew how to biff an opportunity better than anyone. At the infamous Go Home Day, those rally-goers would have done damn near anything. If the senators had called for them to do cool actions around the state every two weeks - not just rallies but actual badass shit - everyone would have gone for it. Instead, the solution was conventional election industry operations and endless, destructive primaries.
It's fitting at least the Senate flipped after all the efforts, since the shockingly illegal abuses of power really came through that body, including violating the state's open meeting law to rail through their union-busting bill. It was classic political overreach that came with Shock Doctrine, slashing corporate taxes, trying to privatize the entire U of Wi system into the "Badger Partnership," (since of course it's one of the few old Germanic-style institutions not entirely oriented to corporatism today), Voter ID to block students and minorities from voting, etc. These sudden, broader conflicts added up to an incredibly attractive, unprecedentedly broad & open class war-type super-conflict across the state, which managed to radicalize thousands of heretofore-discreet firefighters and even police officers to protest in the streets & sleep in the Capitol!
The Democratic Party masters in Washington DC must have been appalled by this uprising. It conflicted horribly with their usual approach of throwing a couple bones to organized labor while screwing over them, the students and rank-and-file Dem activist types as much as possible, as they have year after year, to the benefit of the national security and financial industries.
Chris Cillizza put it in the Fix, probably with great accuracy, that the national Dems did not want to see a recall election: "There was considerable internal discussion and disagreement between Washington and Wisconsin Democrats (and organized labor) about whether to push for a recall election this summer or wait until 2014 for a chance to unseat Walker. (Washington Democrats broadly favored the latter option, Wisconsin Democrats and labor the former)."
More to the point they did not want to see an independent populism rising in this country without Dem political hacks steering it away from their big contributors, such as the Wall Street criminals that have been fleecing the rest of the party base for years. This same dynamic played out again when the federal government through Homeland Security and the FBI, and Democratic mayors coordinated to dismantle the Occupy encampments in late 2011, then the Feds turned to setting up informant based-stings into 2012 in order to psyop the media away from the message that our institutions and politicians have grossly failed us. These stings were synthesized for Mayday and the Chicago NATO Summit, it was no accident.
Now, at least, the problem of post-Citizens United elections financed mainly by the likes of the Koch brothers, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, and corporate treasuries have been laid bare. At the bottom of the tens of millions of dollars pumped into the state by many anonymous entities, Wisconsinites were paid $50 a pop to post yard signs, $20 to attend events, etc., and now at least the people know this is the core truth of modern electoral politics. According to one person I talked to, even Walker campaign workers were depressed by the massive constant cash flow. They knew it was an arrival at a new low. He who has the gold, rules. But who will carry the truth out of cheese country?
And as always, national and local media walk away from shady election practices -- irregularities are nothing but sour grapes and jags in the already agreed-upon narrative everyone's sticking with, kid. Only weirdos like BradBlog care about the hundreds of complaints -- of citizens being stripped of the one available gesture which underpins the entire legitimacy of the system. Maybe those people, lacking a voice in their own governance, will take things to a more direct level. At this point, why shouldn't they rebel against the apparatus? Freedom's just another word for no votes left to lose....
The Dems have a decent shot at keeping the state politically divided, even with the GOP's advantageous redistricting, which for example will add conservative exurban Chicagoans to the Racine district that flipped D last week. The national GOP and the state press probably won't admit it, but the enthusiasm for scorched-earth politics has long worn off and glorious gridlock will return.
I saw on Twitter speculation about a General Strike for Milwaukee -- and a lot of activists apparently haven't enjoyed their tenure working in electoral politics with the Democrats. We could see more direct action - and with a relatively militant street protest in Milwaukee along with an Quebec sympathy march by Occupy Chicago getting beaten down by CPD last week, more radical politics along Lake Michigan is probably in the cards. People signed those recalls for a reason and they're going to want to do something different, to keep organizing against the tidal force of big money.
Et Tu, Rand Paul! Truthers & Liberty Movements lose their vanguard & screech to a halt?
A decidedly different arc of the spectrum finally got the letdown they've been staving off for months this week, and now they too need to put their pieces back together and move along. Antiwar.com's Justin Raimondo had Rand pegged way back in September 2010: he was playing footsie with the neocons but the Paul network people didn't want to believe it. (and mapped the wind-down in February) Today they're reeling -- it seals what they've avoided facing for a couple months, that the GOP nomination is finally out of reach. Here's the man enthusiastically endorsing Mittens:
Seriously, he looks more depressed than anyone I've ever seen touting Republicans on Fox News. But I think the back conversation is also illustrative: Rand Paul has always been clear that Kentucky coal mines are awesome and SOPA was evil & worth opposing. This is the awesome package you get with the Liberty movement.
It is the system itself that is broken, corrupt and defunct. This is the very point of Lew Rockwell, who explained in a recent interview with RT that the government itself is always the problem, and that no government can rescue the People from the problems of government:http://www.prisonplanet.com/lew-rockwell-ron-paul-and-rand-paul-are-d... [.....]Personally, I completely agree with Alex in saying there is no compromise allowed. No doing deals with the devil. If we support liberty, we must deny our support for those who oppose it. We must never allow ourselves to become part of the very system that is destroying our economy, our liberties and our future. It is widely acknowledged now -- even on the political left -- that Obama is a traitor to America, but there is no indication that Romney wouldn't be even worse. He's practically a white version of Obama, with much the same platform: Government-run socialized medicine, high taxes, War on Drugs, secret military prisons, banker bailouts, gun confiscation and so on. Having Romney runs things in Washington will produce no better results than we've already seen over the last four years. It may even be worse, if you can imagine that.
[.....] I am not yet denouncing Sen. Rand Paul, as I still hope there is a double agent aspect to his actions and that somehow he will emerge as a defender of liberty. In my view, his track record has at least earned our patience in observing this situation a little longer. However, if Rand Paul continues down this path without explanation, it is all but clear he will destroy his political career and lose virtually his entire support base -- the very people who put him in the U.S. Senate in the first place.
As with all lovers of liberty, my patience is running out, and I'm beginning to think Lew Rockwell was right all along:All government is inherently evil and destructive, and that we are all foolish to think government can ever be changed through elections.
[bold emphasis his] I'm not exactly an enthusiastic statist, but this isn't really the nation's most productive perspective. Lew Rockwell is probably best described as a hard-core Libertarian, maybe even a Voluntaryist and/or "Market Anarchist" (see the Center for a Stateless Society) which is a set of views most Anarchists vehemently disagree with. Capitalism without the collection of memes and buildings we call a government would really suck even more than it does now. If we can envision a way to somehow finally move out of capitalism and leave capitalism's main organizer, the government, behind with it, that would be a little more balanced.
But this perspective isn't coming out of left field altogether - there's in a reason that Voluntaryist type thinking is more attractive than ever on the American Right and capital-A Anarchism is way more popular than a year ago, mostly thanks to the Occupy Wall Street project that blew up way beyond anyone's expectations.
While there's an escapist quality to libertarianism and anarchism, everyone wants to escape for a reason. There's a tangible sense - backed up with countless examples - that these structures held over us through violence, coercion and endless ranks of nasty little helpers - are utterly indifferent if not outright hostile to our chances of survival, let alone defending our dwindling freedoms. Shocked anyone would feel that way? Without much effort, we can feel a prison state closing in around us, seemingly poisoning everything from our pores to our skies to our souls.
Embitterment with the corporatist two-party system and its agenda of perpetual resource wars under loathsome, almost occult, entities like the IMF and NATO, along with a collapse in the standard of living for tens if not hundreds of millions of Americans, has brought plenty of anger towards government institutions that seem to exist solely to protect corrupt corporate cartels at the expense of smaller players (see the Gibson guitar drama, or FDA's love affair with big pharma), along with running protection for a rapacious and insane financial industry which has defrauded the American people of countless trillions of dollars in assets & hard-won dollars.
But the people feeling most burned this week outside of Wisconsin might be the Truthers who believed in Ron Paul. No one's done more to tie the people who refused to buy the government narrative on the Sept 11 2011 terrorist attacks to the Ron Paul network than Texas radio host Alex Jones.
It's not Ron Paul's fault or Alex Jones' fault that the rest of DC is basically composed of feckless war chickenhawks who are totally hostile to resisting false flags, the war on drugs and other scams of the military-industrial-intelligence-congressional complex. We all know modern COINTELPRO keeps the political discussion locked in a certain box. But was Alex Jones "duped" by Ron Paul? Check this out...
Here's just a classic recent moment worth watching between Jones and the closest thing he has to a mainstream left counterpart, the bookish conspiracy wonk Webster Tarpley. In this video, Alex Jones' years-long campaign to advocate Ron Paul's election shop finally comes to a sputtering end as Tarpley points out a lot of deliciously salient yet in retrospect quite obvious political points from the campaign. For great lulz he says Paul & Romney represent the amiable merger of southern Scottish Rite Freemasonry (a la Secret Sun) and the crypto-Freemasonic beliefs of Mormonism.
Tarpley, who has a quasi-FDR style political outlook has done a lot of nice pieces and books [Synthetic Terror PDF] over the years, and as a former associate of Lyndon LaRouche (also FDR-like in a weird way) he never saw a Anglo-Dutch conspiracy he didn't like to flush out.
Tarpley points out that Ron Paul declined to really attack Romney at all in the GOP debates, generally firing on Romney's leading opponents and also deflecting their anger. With Romney's cousin Huntsman as the opposite left/centrist flank, the good doctor was able to absorb basically all the anti-establishment votes against Romney. When Jones is holding the mic, you can just hear Tarpley saying that Paul ran interference for Romney and Jones ran interference for Paul. OUCH.
Obviously I felt it was beneficial to the country to have Paul challenging the warmongers and exposing their bloodthirsty insanity, the disturbingly unvarnished Id in some of those crowds, and it would have been better to have a Paul vs Obama campaign to force the war & big brother state issues to the fore. But this was never really in the cards, even if Paul would have been a better general election candidate for the GOP than Romney (which he probably would have been).
This, after all, is American electoral politics. Frank Zappa characterized it as the entertainment wing of the military-industrial complex and of course he was right. The intelligence structures are never going to let anyone advance into office who would undo the National Security Act of 1947 and the cultish secret state it initiated to be undone.
They are perfectly happy to keep everything managed under two-party dialectics with tons of corporate money swaying all the big issues. Since we don't have a parliamentary system anywhere in this country, with party lists that would permit minority viewpoints a legislative voice, every interesting electoral project, from Howard Dean or Ralph Nader to Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, become exercises in futility, white knights to rally the less-brainwashed masses & follow off to electoral oblivion with great fanfare. And if things get too close, a few Nixonian dirty tricks and buffer overflows in the voting machines can clean it up in no time.
In the GOP process this year, the anti-Paul people made sure to lock out & dirty-trick as many Paulistas as they could, leading to memorably weird chaos at normally-staid GOP conventions across America. The Romney 'network' is about an inch deep (apart from Bain operatives making trouble China & stuff), while seemingly endless weird networks of lolcats affiliated with the Ron Paul campaign.
In the 2008 cycle, it was insightfully put that the Paul campaign was very deliberately a narrative void or a cipher, so that the Truther groups could happily write themselves into the narrative and identify with it, along with IT nerds, the post-Perot types, and at the darker end, much more creepy prejudiced nativist types & etc. (and this varied heavily state-to-state, with Michigan less creepy than Arizona, etc.).
Unfortunately, because the Truther movement just didn't have a good broad nature in the political spectrum (well it does, but it doesn't operate that way), working with the anti-militarist Paul campaign to recruit and hang onto all those rebelliously-minded people effectively diverted them from possibly amplifying other efforts. He'd talk about false flags and ideals of liberty, but did Paul ever make it clear people needed to get out of their political comfort zone to take on adversaries we all share?
The ideological buy-in needed to become a true believer in electoral politics made rivals of people that could have and should have been allies -- in their own best interests. For example, it drove a wedge between Ron Paul fans who became Rand Paul fans, who liked his deregulatory push on coal mines, against the mountaintop removal activists. That wedge is perhaps the tragedy -- could it be undone?
What if everyone had instead agitated -- in a non-partisan style -- at their state legislatures against the corrupt operations of the federal government, the false flags, the constant stings and setups targeting both left and right, not to mention Muslims? What if they'd done direct actions together in the field against minions of the police state? There was a real biffed opportunity to build a good, multi-level resistance network outside of the traps and pitfalls of electoral politics.
Hopefully the remainders of the 2012 Paul network can pick themselves up and pivot more to more broad social issues, as well as the Big Brother system which is rapidly expanding -- if they can get a handle on how the Federal Reserve, while a keystone, is in many ways just the trade association or front-plate for the politically engaged big banks (with an infinite money printer).
The Big Brother system isn't exclusively government-based either, despite what Lew Rockwell and Mike Adams believe. It's really getting implemented by less than 25 military-industrial contractors with about 300 below that, and another several hundred below them. I can only expect these people to redouble their scrutiny and fierce public resistance, sending many would-be technocratic control freaks running for cover. The gains they made in the formal GOP system will add more wrinkles to what looked like an easy rollout for the prison state.
So now, between Wisconsin and the Truthers and the Ron Paul cats, here we sit, at the long dark teatime of the soul, as Douglas Adams put it. All our shared problems mount and continue to deteriorate -- the usual foibles of humanity, greed, idolatry, the search for white knights to preserve that which never existed in the first place, the hunt for strange new threats from within and without -- all of these are still with us. Ancient Greek historians would chuckle that twenty-some centuries later, we fall for the same damn tricks every time.
Perhaps as they say there is nothing new in the universe, but I've seen a lot of synchronicity. I've seen a lot more pieces fall into place and weirdly line up than I think my traditional atheist mundane-universe perspective could explain. After all, today's militant Dawkins type atheists can't explain too well why evil -- and its handmaiden, war -- impose such a powerful force of their own. Nor can they explain what summons people to such resistance, or on occasion such luck and grace.
Even when dealt those staggering blows -- even when your political projects seemingly turn to dust overnight yet again -- besides the fond memories of fighting the good fight with your comrades, you made new friends, you built new skills, you showed the novices a thing or two. You didn't live on your knees, you threatened the despicable & illegitimate flows of authority. From time to time, you really wigged them out. And yes, you won a victory, two, or three, and inspired a few more.
The challenge, of course, is for all these people to reach outside their comfort zone, to abandon the elections-first perspective and turn to the more difficult project of politics in real time, not the deferred imaginary future image produced by the operatives of election industry, the illusionary catharsis they pitch as tomorrow's ballot box.
Truth trickles out a little bit at a time. People have to dig around diligently for stuff like this... then nasty patterns emerge. Here are two really nifty ones I spotted just recently. Nosh on this as you will...
Back in the Depression, the US Treasury Department got a mysterious office called the Exchange Stabilization Fund, which actually kickstarted the International Monetary Fund. It was funded initially with all the gold they jacked from the American public in the Gold Reserve Act of 1934, and specifically has just about zero oversight in law.
The case is made pretty clearly by Eric deCarbonnel / MarketSkeptics, rapidly tracing the history of a very overlooked, and very important player. The ESF has no oversight, it's the place the CIA has kept the credit card rolling all these years. The slush fund for National Security America's most corrupt endeavors? Maybe this comes back around to Leo Wanta and covert Treasury operations of the 1980s.
Look at all that American gold vanish :-P Now the ESF is full of billions of dollars of those damn IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).
First saw this on Cryptogon: U.S. Treasury Exchange Stabilization Fund - Part 1 of 3. Even includes financial clues in the classic CIA covert domestic propaganda program, financing of the Voice of America / other assorted CIA wurlitzer media networks. Makes sense that something like the ESF is churning through everything... what's amazing is that as soon as the ESF started rolling, the value of the dollar. Really interesting.
Also: Hidden OKC evidence, Boiling Frogs Post goes into video: James Corbett is a pretty good guy for videos on various weird subjects, and does a good turn here with Coleen Rowley and Jesse Trentadue! The EyeOpener: Secret FBI Storage Drive to Shield Evidence from FOIA? Corbett thus is teaming up with Sibel Edmonds & Peter B Collins, we can expect a lot of interesting stuff from that crew wrkign together :)
Trentadue flushed out that they are probably using remote volumes on Oracle or something -- called the 'S Drive' like any horrible corporation would -- to hide data from discovery for defendants and plaintiffs (Trentadue's brother was killed in the OKC coverup). From Boiling Frogs:
A recent court case in Utah has uncovered yet more evidence that the FBI is hiding key documents from the public by placing them in a separate, hitherto unknown electronic storage medium known as an “S-drive.” The fact that this drive was previously unknown has raised the specter that the FBI is using it as a place to hide requests for sensitive documents through the Freedom of Information Act. Now, a federal judge has given the FBI until the end of the month to explain what the S-drive is, how it is being used, and whether it contains key documents related to the case in question.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI is not required to say if a document exists, only that they searched their database and found no records responsive to the request. If these documents are placed in an external or disconnected storage drive, however, the agency can insure that they will never show up in any FOIA request. In fact, the FBI has been known to have used this very technique in the past. Going under such names as “June files,” “zero files” and “I-drive,” the agency has a long and documented history of placing key evidence in special, compartmentalized files that are reviewed by senior officials before the information is placed into the bureau’s official files.
Joining James Corbett this week to discuss the history and significance of the FBI’s secret storage drives are attorney Jesse Trentadue and the former privacy act coordinator at the Minneapolis FBI field office and noted FBI whistleblower, Coleen Rowley.
We have been watching out for more Trentadue/OKC developments for a while, as well as Sibel's case of course. see :
A couple final points: With pockets of secrecy at various levels like the FBI S Drive and the Treasury Department's 1934-present office of Cloak and Dagger Global Covert Finance - The Exchange Stabilization Fund -- both really drop into a key spots in the landscape!
I really think that looking at the post-1934 ESF in terms of covert ops, the Cold War, Bretton Woods and the OSS/CIA/IMF/Federal Reserve complex would really form a more complete sense of what really happened – and how the power's flowing now.
I'm a bit surprised to consider this idea that the 1934 Gold Reserve Act in some ways gutted the Federal Reserve, making its operations subordinate entirely to the executive branch, without checks.
Linkdump O Quick Hitz! Way too many links going on-have fun! Sorry for lack of pics, you gotta clix em to see :-|
"Where is My Mind" came on TheCurrent as I posted this, really appropriate for the ZeroHedge Durden posts. Total Waveform Synchronicity and it ain't even 11/11 yet.... Onwards.
Much like Frederick Hitz, there are a few oldskewl opponents o' graft still around. Bill Black has been on a lot of stuff lately, good for him, he earned it because he knew how to put criminal financiers into Jail - a skill entirely lost on the whole federal government nowadays.
A call for A Debt Jubilee - I saw it proposed on Zerohedge. All the ancient civilizations cancelled debts because otherwise they spiraled - compounded - out of control. Jubilee (Biblical) - and also don't miss the new documentary - Watch Inside Job - The Movie | zero hedge. Mishkin and some other goons get proven ridiculous. Now that's some interviewing!
If you’re going to ask Zecharia Sitchin, be ready for a “Planet of the Apes” scenario: spaceships and hieroglyphics, genetic mutations and mutinous space aliens in gold mines.
It sounds like science fiction, but Mr. Sitchin is sure this is how it all went down hundreds of thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia. Humans were genetically engineered by extraterrestrials, he said, pointing to ancient texts to prove it.
From the shadier side of Switzerland comes the bank where the Nazis put plenty of dental gold they pillaged... Now with another gold-related operation for the 21st Century!
One of the shadiest institutions in the world, the obscure Bank of International Settlements, was initially set up in 1930 to handle Germany's reparation payments after World War I, and like so many other geopolitical disasters it got rolling in the Treaty of Versailles.
As the Nazis began to operate, they used it to launder gold, under the leadership of Nazi Ministers of Economics Hjalmar Schacht and Walther Funk. Soon enough the national gold treasury of Czechoslovakia got thrown into a BIS-controlled vault. Your IG Farbens, Harriman Brothers, etc., major Allied and Axis industrialists and financiers crossed financial operations here -- and it was always partially owned by the Federal Reserve Bank.
In a complex scheme involving Keynes and the other players of the time, tragically BIS wasn't dissolved after World War II, and instead became a central venue for central bankers to meet and operate, kind of a banker counterpart to the G7, G10 or G20.
Since then, many German globalist schemes have unfolded. From the geopolitics of the German-centered EU to the new European Central Bank (ECB), these institutions have grown a lot since World War II.
The BIS has cruised along in a unique geopolitical track. At some point the BI somehow "sold itself" to other major central banks, and more recently acquired a very large amount of gold. Generally not in the news, the BIS discreetly announced recently it was trading for 346 tons of gold from some mysterious buyer, perhaps from the sad government of Portugal.
The BIS operated in tandem with the International Monetary Fund (founded 1947), which itself is developing a new meta-currency called Special Drawing Rights or SDRs. IMF FactSheet on SDRs:
The SDR is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries' official reserves. Its value is based on a basket of four key international currencies, and SDRs can be exchanged for freely usable currencies. With a general SDR allocation that took effect on August 28 and a special allocation on September 9, 2009, the amount of SDRs increased from SDR 21.4 billion to SDR 204.1 billion (equivalent to about $ 321 billion).
The role of the SDR
The SDR was created by the IMF in 1969 to support the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system. A country participating in this system needed official reserves—government or central bank holdings of gold and widely accepted foreign currencies—that could be used to purchase the domestic currency in foreign exchange markets, as required to maintain its exchange rate. But the international supply of two key reserve assets—gold and the U.S. dollar—proved inadequate for supporting the expansion of world trade and financial development that was taking place. Therefore, the international community decided to create a new international reserve asset under the auspices of the IMF.
However, only a few years later, the Bretton Woods system collapsed and the major currencies shifted to a floating exchange rate regime. In addition, the growth in international capital markets facilitated borrowing by creditworthy governments. Both of these developments lessened the need for SDRs.
The SDR is neither a currency, nor a claim on the IMF. Rather, it is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members. Holders of SDRs can obtain these currencies in exchange for their SDRs in two ways: first, through the arrangement of voluntary exchanges between members; and second, by the IMF designating members with strong external positions to purchase SDRs from members with weak external positions. In addition to its role as a supplementary reserve asset, the SDR, serves as the unit of account of the IMF and some other international organizations.
Basket of currencies determines the value of the SDR
The value of the SDR was initially defined as equivalent to 0.888671 grams of fine gold—which, at the time, was also equivalent to one U.S. dollar. After the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in 1973, however, the SDR was redefined as a basket of currencies, today consisting of the euro, Japanese yen, pound sterling, and U.S. dollar. The U.S. dollar-value of the SDR is posted daily on the IMF's website. It is calculated as the sum of specific amounts of the four currencies valued in U.S. dollars, on the basis of exchange rates quoted at noon each day in the London market.
The IMF is trying to extend the use of SDRs as a base for new credit instruments. However what does the IMF have backing it up, compared to states (and their capturable revenue/taxation streams?)
If the BIS and the IMF made a mishmash of SDR and gold loans, or perhaps issue partially gold-backed SDRs, then they can create a global fractional reserve currency. Since this currency would be based on both gold and the major currencies, perhaps China and Russia would be happy with it.
The Federal Reserve System, in its role as the apocalyptic doom bringer, is of course helping make sure that everyone will easily be able to dump their dollars for quasi-gold SDRs. Global trade will leave America behind with a finally shattered currency, Fed as the final executioner, finally ending the dollar's role as the global "reserve currency".
Then the Bank of International Settlements reigns supreme as the lodestone of a whole new reich of geopolitik, able to centrally tweak the availability of credit in order to whipsaw the general public out of all their wealth.
But that's just a riff on some funny story I read on the notable anti-corruption & smack talkin site Zero Hedge...
What we are seeing is the emergence of another funding structure based on the SDR - SDR’s that have a degree of gold backing.
The BIS now has a total of 12.4% of its deposits (32B SDR) in the form gold deposits. Note #11 to the BIS financial statements states: “Gold deposits placed with the Bank originate entirely from Central Banks. They are all designated as financial liabilities measured as amortized cost”.
ARE WE SETTING THE PINS UP FOR AN ALTERNATIVE RESERVE CURRENCY?
Are we moving towards the BIS and IMF being fractional reserve banks that will create money & credit - a reserve currency that will satisfy Russia and China with an element of Gold backing? A bank such as the BIS could easily assume this role (if it hasn’t already) as could the IMF with possible banking charter adjustments.
The chances are high that this is the roadmap we will find ourselves taking. Like all banking that started as Gold backed you could expect that in this case the little gold backing that starts the process is quickly diminished so a limitless money machine could begin functioning. The gold backing would likely be an initial requirement by Russia and China. The partial gold backing would lend credibility to the acceptance and a possible reserve currency alternative and eventual establishment as the global reserve currency.
Ben Davies the CEO of Hinde Capital in London and a player in the gold market suspects (12:40) we may have a modified form of swap emerging. There is the possibility that the commercial bank is in fact a major gold bullion bank. Some of the bullion banks have major short positions on gold that far outstrip the annual physical production of gold. The disconnect between physical and paper gold along with rising gold prices is likely causing serious strains on their balance sheet. As Davies points out the gold may be transacted from a central bank to the BIS through a bullion bank while the gold physically remains with the originating central bank; is classified as ‘unallocated’ at the BIS but in fact remains on the books of the bullion bank. It effectively is double accounted for. The increase in gold would allow gold prices to be pushed lower, which in fact is what has been happening. A careful reading of the BIS financial statements shows more clearly the accounting for such a transaction.
There can be little doubt that the Gold Swap is with a central bank where the physical gold remains. The transaction isconsidered a deposit at the BIS (liability) but has been lent to a commercial bank (likely a bullion bank) as a loan (asset). The question is only why a bullion bank needs to borrow this quantity of gold, remembering it never gets the physical gold because it remains at the originating central bank. The reader is encouraged to read the Financial Policy notes #4,5, 6, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 19 within the BIS Financial Statement for a clearer understanding along with Notes to the Financial Statements #4 and #11.
The BIS is known as the central bank to the central bankers.
The BIS may equally be referred to as the Central Gold Bullion Bank to the Gold Bullion Banks.
The March 31 2010 Financial Statement of the BIS shows 43.0B SDR’s of gold or 16.6% of total assets. According to note #4 to the BIS Financial Statements: “ Included in ’Gold bars held at central banks” is SDR 8,160.1 million (346 tonnes) (2009: nil) of gold, which the Bank held in connection with gold swap operations, under which the Bank exchanges currencies for physical gold. The Bank has an obligation to return the gold at the end of the contract.” It is very important to appreciate this note is pertaining specifically to BIS ‘assets’ which in the case of banks are what the reader would consider ‘loans’. Under Financial Policy notes #5 to the Financial Statement the BIS is clear that under banking portfolios “all gold financial assets in these portfolios are designated as loans and receivables”. Separately, but very interestingly the BIS additionally states “ the remainder of the Banks equity is held in gold. The Bank’s own gold holdings are designated as available for sale”.
SPECIAL DRAWING RIGHT (SDR)
If problems get worse for Portugal, as possibly the global economic climate worsens, then the gold may never legally belong to Portugal. The contracted swap terms at some point may simply reclassify it a net zero sale, if Portugal fails to return the cash portion of the swap. The BIS would have 346 tonnes of gold and Portugal the $14B of Euros it has long since spent to solve a 2010 problem. By then Portugal likely would need even more loans in whatever currency would replace a crumpling or possibly extinct Euro.
Up until 2004 the BIS denominated its financial statements in Gold Francs. It now has made a major shift to denominating itself into Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). The calculation is exactly the same as used for the IMF. The SDR is operating as a defacto currency.
HOW MUCH LEVERAGE WILL THE CENTRAL BANKER CHOOSE TO COMPOUND? => “x” times “y”
The advantage of this approach is:
Leverage: Compounding money creation between banks
Partial gold backing: Present BIS levels of 12.4%
SDR: Offers a basket of currencies approach versus a single currency dependency.
Former Communist bloc regime backing: China and Russia would likely support this approach for a number of reasons, which they have already expressed as short comings to the current global reserve situation.
Reserve Currency: The SDR approach offers a migration path from today’s US$ reserve currency to an alternative bank reserve currency to a future global reserve currency.
Well that's pretty serious, eh comrades? We paid Ben Bernanke a salary (sort of) as someone who's supposed to steward America's economy, not give the Germans and others a "migration path" away from the US as global reserve currency. What the hell are these people doing?! And when did this BIS emerge as a Key Component of the plan?
Someone warned us a solid 44 years ago. What did that grizzled chronicler of Anglo-American power relations, Carroll Quigley, a firm believer in Cecil Rhodes & the Roundtable Group, describe in 1966 with Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time?
Pg. 324: the powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.
This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences.The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations.
Each central bank, in the hands of men like Montagu Norman of the Bank of England, Benjamin Strong of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Charles Rist of the Bank of France, and Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank, sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.
..... This book is too good. Wandering off from BIS, for a moment, Quigley's giving us a clear view of Wall Street's Control of the American Left via Gatekeepers & Foundations, it also makes fun of The New Republic later on as well so let's include :)
The significant influence of "Wall Street" (meaning Morgan) both in the Ivy League and in Washington, in the period of sixty or more years following 1880, explains the constant interchange between the Ivy League and the Federal government, an interchange which undoubtedly aroused a good deal of resentment in less-favored circles, who were more than satiated with the accents, tweeds, and High Episcopal Anglophilia of these peoples
Pg. 938: Because of its dominant position in Wall Street, the Morgan firm came also to dominate other Wal1 Street powers, such as Carnegie, Whitney, Vanderbilt, Brown-Harriman, or Dillon-Reed. Close alliances were made with Rockefeller, Mellon, and Duke interests but not nearly so intimate ones with the great industrial powers like du Pont and Ford. [Because] ... of the great influence of this "Wall Street" alignment, an influence great enough to merit the name of the "American Establishment," this group could ... control the Federal government and, in consequence, had to adjust to a good many government actions ... [which they had secretly supported ]. The chief of these were in taxation law, beginning with the graduated income tax in 1913, but culminating, above all else, in the inheritance tax. These tax laws drove the great private fortunes dominated by Wall Street into tax-exempt foundations, which became a major link in the Establishment network between Wall Street, the Ivy League, and the Federal government.
More than fifty years ago the Morgan firm decided to infiltrate the Left-wing political movements in the United States. This was relatively easy to do, since these groups were starved for funds and eager for a voice to reach the people. Wall Street supplied both. The purpose was not to destroy ... or take over but was really threefold: (1) to keep informed about the thinking of Left-wing or liberal groups; (2) to provide them with a mouthpiece so that they could "blow off steam," and (3) to have a final veto on their publicity and possibly on their actions, if they ever went "radical." There was nothing really new about this decision, since other financiers had talked about it and even attempted it earlier.
Pg. 939: The New Republic was founded by Willard and Dorothy Straight, using her money, in 1914, and continued to be supported by her financial contributions until March 23, 1953. The original purpose for establishing the paper was to provide an outlet for the progressive Left and to guide it quietly in an Anglophile direction. This latter task was entrusted to a young man, only four years out of Harvard, but already a member of the mysterious Round Table group, which has played a major role in directing England's foreign policy since its formal establishment in 1909. This new recruit, Walter Lippmann, has been, from 1914 to the present, the authentic spokesman in American journalism for the Establishments on both sides of the Atlantic in international affairs.
Pg. 950: There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the ... Right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups, and frequently does so. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960's, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies (notably to its belief that England was an Atlantic rather than a European Power and must be allied, or even federated, with the United States and must remain isolated from Europe), but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.
Lately I've found this site to be fairly awesome: Institute for the Study of Globalization and Covert Politics includes the post-1960s permutations of the Anglo establishment, including the Pilgrims Society, the truly amusing World Wildlife Fund 1001 Nature Trust / Club, and Le Cercle, all of which feature similar styles of operation to BIS type globalist schemerz....
Anyway as usual getting drawn far afield. There are any number of other sources about BIS, IMF and SDRs, but people in general have never heard of SDRs. Better get wise before these children of Schacht develop their fractional global gold SDR and use the Federal Reserve to wipe out America's wealth. Don't say Quigley and I didn't warn ya!