CHILDREN OF DARKNESS

04/30/2012

OLDDOGS INTRODUCTION

Coming from a man who has, and continues to read the works of thousands of authors per year, most of whose feet I am not worthy of washing, this man is so far above the average linguistic wordsmith, he is in a separate and unique category. You are about to read an exquisite elixir for the Christian mind.

 Praying HANDS have to be joined with Active FEET.


“In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

George Orwell

By Sheriff Jim R. Schwiesow, Ret. (46 Years of Law Enforcement)

jimr@orangecitycomm.net

 I doubt that many understand that this nation stands solely by the will and grace of the Sovereign God, each day is a gift and the seconds, minutes, and hours of every day come by His divine determination. We have not earned His grace, and neither are we intrinsically entitled to His blessings for a continued existence.

The truth is that the population of this nation is entirely bereft of any semblance of an obeisant relationship with Almighty God. A near total lack of an ethical spiritual persuasion that enables one to discern or distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong, or between socially righteous and execrably putrid personal conduct.

Our society has descended into the stygian depths of demonic doctrine. This disconnect from the God of creation has delivered the people unto a beastly nature; they are devoid of the constituents of human sensibility and rife with the stinking elements of a hellish nature. It is not difficult to discern that a sizeable majority of the people who inhabit the far-flung environs of this nation are children of darkness and possessed of the mind of Satan, the god of this world.

The stink of this nation has reached the heavens and God is about to pull a curtain of blackness over this land that will release the elements of destruction that are harbored in the immoral minds of a near totally perverted people.

Presently we are witnessing rapidly developing hostilities between ethnic groups divided on the basis of racial group or skin color. The present Faustian despot who now rules and reigns over the destiny of the peoples of this commonwealth is using the powers of the office of president to set aflame the smoldering prejudice of malleable anarchists in order to ignite roiling race wars that will collapse social order and bring this nation to its knees. This is his goal; to destroy national sovereignty and re-make the nation as a totalitarian socialist element of a centrally controlled one-world homogeny; in other words a modern version of the Tower of Babel.

The established and unarguable fact is that both Barack Obama and his wife hate the United States and have never made a secret of their disdain of its history, its valor, or its constitutional values. They have stated their antipathy for the nation and all that it stands for on a number of occasions in a number of venues. The astonishing aspect of this is that the majority of the people of this nation voted for such a perverse foreign born nit having full knowledge of his contempt for their land and its historical values. This fact highlights two things; the sheer stupidity of the American electorate and the in your face audacity of the Obama clan.

NO CHANGE FORESEEN

This nation has been stood on its head for so long in regard to its system of principles and beliefs that the people have not the foggiest notion of the Biblical standards that the Almighty has set forth to establish human behavior. Gods laws are not taught in the churches or in the homes, and the nations systems of laws are predicated upon the myriad whims and caprices of unjust and unholy men rather than upon the divine and binding absolutes of the Holy God.

Righteous acts are punished and criminal behaves are justified and rewarded, the innocent are imprisoned while the guilty are exonerated and set free to continue their plundering and murderous ways. Millions of guiltless human babies are butchered in the name of personal choice and their remains are either cast off as garbage or mined for experimentation by a depraved scientific and ethically challenged biological community. I suspect that if one knew the extent of the experimentation with the bits and pieces of these poor little creatures it would turn the stomach.

Iniquitous acts and perversions are excused and socially instituted by a nationally embraced exculpation known as political correctness.  It has become the tool used to sanction prurient practices and lifestyles and to remove the stigma from Biblically identified abominable perversions.

Just recently the progressive community has attempted to sanitize the filthy practice of sodomy by intimating that those in opposition to this aberrational and pestilential behavior are in fact closet sodomites who use their opposition as a form of concealment. It is an inauthentic psychological stretch by these imbeciles, and the real psychology is the reverse of their progressive mythology.

Since sodomites are so inwardly ashamed of their perversion and have no adequate way to justify or vindicate their filthy behavior they must resort to a conjuration of the delusionary and fictional twaddle that others are as nasty as they. To make it simple they must attempt to smear healthy heterosexuals with their own excrement in order to assuage their feelings of guilt and self-loathing. You want psychology; there it is – the real truth!

A CORRUPT MILITARY

George Patton is one of my hero’s he was an iconic politically incorrect, courageous, loquacious, outspoken, and perceptive son of a gun, and the most effective U.S. military commander to ever come down the pike. I respect him above most other historical figures and think of him as the Old Hickory of modern times; he and Andrew Jackson were much alike in deed and in spirit. This country would never have come to its former glory without men such as these.

There is not a single military high commander today (NONE) who could come close to Patton in principle or true integrity, they are all politically correct, butt kissing pukes who couldn’t stand in Patton’s shadow. He was a manâs man and one can imagine that he must be turning in his grave given queers in the military, women in combat, and the sundry other politically correct crap that the ignorant politico and dimwitted military brass have instituted into the armed services…one wonders why anyone would volunteer for any branch of the armed services in the current degraded environment.

POLITICAL BUFFOONERY

I can’t imagine that anyone could be as sick and disgusted as I am with the current totally ignorant political scene and the seeming interminable political blather that assails the ears and eyes of a captive people every minute of every day. I can only liken it to an ache from a festering tooth; it will be a wonderful relief when it is over.

The arrogant Republicans who control the party apparatus have dictatorially secured the nomination for semi progressive George Romney. He will be the nominee as these arrogant political kingmakers have structured the process to eliminate all others despite their popularity or constitutional expertise.

I hear the establishment Republicans complain that Ron Paul supporters are combative, rude and unsportsmanlike in regard to Romney’s candidacy; I believe that most do not really care about Romney one way or another. He harbors a non-scrupulous core and is a capital investor who places money above principle. To make it worse he supports failed inherited political patterns over a retrieval of constitutional ensures. Scripture has a name for such; they are called moneychangers.

That he is a moneychanger cannot be denied, as he rolls in 27 million dollars each day from investments alone. He is of inherited wealth and in all probability hasn’t done an earnest days work in his entire life. His past political services have established him as a milk toast and a lickspittle who exhibits not one whit of a believable fighting spirit. He kisses progressive behinds in the name of compromise, and willingly barters away the essential non-negotiable constituents of constitutional governance.

In November these Republican dimwits and the media that aided them (I am thinking of Fox) are going to be stunned when Obama wins handily due to the huge number of voters who will spurn these Republican moguls, and their hand-picked candidate, and write in Ron Paul or others on their ballot. By their highhanded tactics these nitwits have pissed into the wind the margin needed for a win.

This is no big deal as the country is treading the margins of collapse and destruction, and might as well go down with the present interloping idiot that the ignorant masses have clutched to their bosom.

One last thing in regard to George Romney before I move along to other issues, he recently opined that God employed evolution to create mankind. By doing so he ignored Gods inspired word of Genesis 1:1-2:3 and thereby called God a liar. There is no room for evolutionists in my camp – this was again another cowardly double-sided attempt to appease believers while ingratiating himself with the secular evolutionists.

I AM NOT A JEREMIAH

“Do not I hate them, O LORD that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?” (Psalm 139:21)

Periodically I receive letters suggesting that I must grieve in regard to the onrushing wrath of the Holy One upon the people of this nation. The cold hard fact is that unlike Jeremiah I do not weep when the iniquitous receive a just due. I have never shed a tear when a murderer is executed, I never agonize when a terrorist of any stripe, domestic or otherwise, is dropped in his tracks by a well placed bullet, and I never wring my hands when evil people reap the just results of their crimes.

Like Elijah, who shed no tears over the slain four hundred fifty false prophets of Baal, I am angered by those who deny, ridicule, slander, and blaspheme the Lord Jesus Christ.

In such an ungodly society as we presently live, my compassion is reserved for the unfortunate victims of the conscious less, and of the world’s oppressors and the criminally malfeasant.

I am a believer in Christ and a servant of the Most High Holy God. I am not in love with this country, nor do I worship or esteem any earthly entity whose governing authority has demonstrated that it is a proxy of the evil one. My home is not of this world…

This nation and this world is a temporary dwelling place. By all indications we are presently in the time of the terminal generation; those who love Christ will not be saddened, but overjoyed by such news. But, those who love this fallen world above the Lord will be irritated, offended, and possibly even outraged by my words; just as they are – in these critical days – offended by the Messiah and His ministry.

© 2012 Jim R. Schwiesow – All Rights Reserved

Those of you who recognize a real Christian American may find more of his articles here. http://www.newswithviews.com/Schwiesow/jimA.htm


The 9/11 Attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC): Unspoken Financial Bonanza

04/28/2012

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=30554

Author’s note

This article was first published by Global Research on 12 March 2004 under the title “Financial Bonanza behind the 9/11 Tragedy: Who are the Financial Actors behind the WTC?”

The original URL was  http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO403B.html.

The article focussed on “verifiable facts” without further analysis. The Article presented a timeline of major financial transactions pertaining to the WTC implemented in the months preceding the September 11, 2001 attacks.


Michel Chossudovsky, April 26, 2011


On October 17, 2000, eleven months before 9/11,

Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, of The Blackstone Group, L.P, purchased, from Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, the participating mortgage secured by World Trade Center, Building Seven.1

April 26, 2001

The Port Authority leased the WTC for 99 years to Silverstein Properties and Westfield America Inc,

The transaction was authorised by Port Authority Chairman Lewis M. Eisenberg.

This transfer from the New York and New Jersey Port Authority was tantamount to the privatisation of the WTC Complex. The official press release described it as “the richest real estate prize in New York City history”. The retail space underneath the complex was leased to Westfield America Inc.2

On 24 July 2001, 6 weeks prior to 9/11

Silverstein took control of the lease of the WTC following the Port Authority decision on April 26.

Silverstein and Frank Lowy, CEO of Westefield Inc. took control of the 10.6 million-square-foot WTC complex. “Lowy leased the shopping concourse called the Mall at the WTC, which comprised about 427,000 square feet of retail space.”3

Explicitly included in the agreement was that Silverstein and Westfield “were given the right to rebuild the structures if they were destroyed”. 4

In this transaction, Silverstein signed a rental contract for the WTC over 99 years amounting to 3,2 billion dollars in installments to be made to the Port Authority: 800 million covered fees including a down payment of the order of 100 million dollars. Of this amount, Silverstein put in 14 million dollars of his own money. The annual payment on the lease was of the order of 115 million dollars.5

In the wake of the WTC attacks, Silverstein [was] suing for some $7.1 billion in insurance money, more than double the amount of the value of the 99 year lease.6


Silverstein Properties Inc. is a Manhattan-based real estate development and investment firm that owns, manages, and has developed more than 20 million square feet of office, residential and retail space.

Westfield America, Inc. is controlled by the Australian based Lowy family with major interests in shopping centres. The CEO of Westfield is Australian businessman Frank Lowy.

The Blackstone Group, a private investment bank with offices in New York and London, was founded in 1985 by its Chairman, Peter G. Peterson, and its President and CEO, Stephen A. Schwarzman.

In addition to its Real Estate activities, the Blackstone Group’s core businesses include Mergers and Acquisitions Advisory, Restructuring and Reorganization Advisory, Private Equity Investing, Private Mezzanine Investing, and Liquid Alternative Asset Investing.7

Blackstone chairman Peter G. Petersen is also Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Chairman of the board of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). His partner Stephen A. Schwarzman is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Peter G. Petersen is also named in widow Ellen Mariani’s widow civil RICO suit filed against. George W. Bush, et al.

Kissinger McLarty Associates, which is Henry Kissinger’s consulting firm has a “strategic alliance” with the Blackstone Group “which is designed to help provide financial advisory services to corporations seeking high-level strategic advice.” (www.blackstone.com) .

For details on the insurance claims pertaining to the WTC, see Centre for Research on Globalization, The WTC Towers Collapse: an Enormous Insurance Scam (selected articles), http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/WTC312A.html, 19 December 2003

The WTC Towers Collapse: an Enormous Insurance Scam

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/WTC312A.html

Alberta Independent Media Centre,

 

On the 23rd July, 2001, just seven weeks previous to the World Trade Center demolitions, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey signed a deal with a consortium (Larry Silverstein, Westfield America Inc and Lloyd Goldman) led by Larry Silverstein for a 99 year lease of the World Trade Center complex. The leased buildings included WTCs One, Two, Four, Five and 400,000 square feet of retail space. The Marriott Hotel (WTC 3), U.S. Customs building (WTC 6) and Silverstein’s own 47-story office building (WTC 7) were already under lease. Silverstein is seeking $7.2 billion from insurers for the destruction of the center. Here are few articles concerning the World Trade Center deal and consequent legal wrangle.

 

Insurers Debate: One Accident or Two?

Bloomberg News

NEW YORK – Larry Silverstein, who acquired the lease to operate the World Trade Center in July, is seeking $7.2 billion from insurers for the destruction of the center – twice the amount insurers say he can claim.

The two hijacked airliners that struck the 110-story twin towers Sept. 11 were separate “occurrences” for insurance purposes, entitling him to collect twice on $3.6 billion of policies, a spokesman for Mr. Silverstein said.

Companies that insured the building, including Chubb Corp., Swiss Reinsurance Co., Allianz AG, Ace Ltd. and XL Capital Ltd., said that because the attack was coordinated it counts as only a single occurrence.

“This is something that’s going to be debated for a very long time,” said Julie Rochman of the American Insurance Association, a trade group representing Chubb and the other insurers.

Mr. Silverstein, who has vowed to rebuild the complex, is liable for more than $100 million a year in lease payments to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the 16-acre (6.5-hectare) site, the spokesman for the property company said.

About 13.4 million squre feet (1.2 million square meters) of office space was destroyed in the attacks and an additional 15 million square feet in nearby buildings was damaged, according to Insignia/ESG, the largest New York real-estate brokerage firm. The collapse of the towers caused the destruction of buildings 4, 5, 6 and 7 at the World Trade Center. The office complex was the largest in the United States.

As an industry, insurers have decided to treat the attacks as a single occurrence, said Keith Buckley of ratings group Fitch Inc., an organization that grades the financial health of insurers.

Nicholas Jones, a spokesman for Willis Group Holdings, which brokered the insurance on the trade center, said, “We are of course aware of Silverstein Properties’ position in this matter, and we are working with Silverstein and the insurers and underwriters to bring this matter to an amicable solution as quickly as possible.”

Executives of the insurance market Lloyd’s of London, Swiss Re and other insurers of the buildings either declined to comment or were not available. “We don’t talk about individual situations,” said Glenn Montgomery, a spokesman for Chubb, based in Warren, New Jersey.

This article appeared in the International Herald Tribune, 2001-10-10, page 16.


Link to article.

Twin Tower Insurers Win Discovery Fight

Mark Hamblett

New York Law Journal 06-20-2002

The attorney-client privilege does not shield conversations between the insurance broker for World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein and Silverstein’s lawyers, a federal judge in the Southern District of New York has ruled.

In a victory for insurance companies in their multibillion-dollar fight against Silverstein’s claim that the Sept. 11 attacks amounted to two occurrences for insurance purposes, U.S. District Judge John S. Martin ordered brokers from Willis of New York Inc. to answer questions in a deposition about their understanding of the scope of coverage following the terrorist assault.

The conversations were between the brokers and Silverstein attorneys Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Insurance company attorneys claim the conversations will include evidence that Willis employees considered the destruction of the twin towers a single event. Silverstein has argued from the outset that the attacks were two occurrences, a claim that, if successful, would double the amount of insurance payments he receives, to $7.1 billion.

The ruling in SR International Business Insurance Co. Ltd. v. World Trade Center Properties andWorld Trade Center Properties v. Allianze Insurance Co., 01 Civ. 929, also marks the second setback to the Silverstein team this month. On June 3, Martin refused to grant Silverstein summary judgment on whether the attacks amounted to two occurrences, ruling that extrinsic evidence must be considered before deciding how much Silverstein should be compensated for the destruction.

The motion to compel discovery of the conversations between Willis and Wachtell Lipton lawyers was sought by Travelers Insurance Co., one of several defendant counterclaimant’s in the Allianze case. Travelers’ assertion that it is obligated to pay Silverstein only $210 million, instead of double that amount, has been used as the test case for pretrial motions and discovery in more than 20 suits concerning World Trade Center insurance coverage.

Herbert M. Wachtell’s grounds for resisting the motion were that Willis was acting as an agent for the Silverstein parties and was therefore protected by the privilege, that Willis and the Silverstein parties shared a “common interest privilege,” and that the conversations were protected by the attorney work product privilege.

Harvey Kurzweil and Saul Morgenstern of New York’s Dewey Ballantine, who represent Travelers, are the lawyers seeking to question the Willis employees. Kurzweil and Morgenstern go into depositions armed with already-discovered documents: notes taken by a Willis employee in London during a conversation with another Willis employee who was stranded in Nashville, Tenn., following Sept. 11. The employee in Nashville allegedly implied that the understanding of the parties to the still-unsigned insurance agreement was that the attacks were one occurrence.

AGENCY ISSUE

As to agency, Judge Martin said: “a limited number of cases have held that the corporate attorney-client privilege can extend to communications between the corporation’s attorney and outside agents or consultants to the corporation whose role is the functional equivalent to that of a corporate employee.”

But Martin said the facts in this case are substantially different because the conversations were “between Willis, a multi-national corporation with its own retained counsel, and the lawyers for one of its many clients.”

While competent lawyers need to be fully informed of all the facts of a case for a client, Martin said, “that interest does not extend the attorney-client privilege to all those who may have relevant information. The privilege is much more limited.”

Addressing the common interest privilege, Martin said it is a “limited exception to the general rule that the attorney-client privilege is waived when a protected communication is disclosed to a third party.” He said the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has warned that courts should be cautious about extending the attorney-client privilege through the exception.

But Martin said further that “Sharing a desire to succeed in an action does not create a ‘common interest.'”

“There has been no showing that Willis and the Silverstein Parties have an identical legal interest, as required by the cases,” he said. “Willis is not a party to this litigation, and its legal position will be unaffected by the outcome of this case.”

Finally, Martin found that the conversations were not protected by the attorney work-product privilege.

“It must be remembered that, at least as codified in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the work product doctrine applies only to tangible things — not testimony,” he said. “Clearly, much more can be learned about a lawyer’s strategy and tactics from documents that the lawyer prepares than can be gained from general questioning concerning a witness’s recollection of conversations with an attorney concerning the events about which the witness is expected to testify.”

The judge said that the work product privilege would apply only to the extent that questions are “specifically designed” to discover Wachtell Lipton’s work product.

So the judge allowed insurance company attorneys to question Willis witnesses about conversations that occurred before the sessions at which the witnesses were being prepared for depositions, and during the preparation sessions.

Stuart Green of Epstein, Becker & Green in New York represented Willis.


Link to article.

World Trade Center’s Mortgage Holder Loses Discovery Fight

Tom Perrott

New York Law Journal 07-08-2002

Insurance companies Wednesday won another battle in a multibillion-dollar dispute over the World Trade Center, as a federal judge in the Southern District of New York said he would compel the building’s mortgage holder to testify and disclose an array of documents.

U.S. District Judge John S. Martin ruled that employees of GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp., which holds the mortgage on the World Trade Center, and its insurance advisors, Harbor Group Ltd., could not use the attorney-client privilege to shield communications made after the Sept. 11 attacks.

SR International Business Insurance Co. Ltd. (Swiss Re) is seeking the communications and testimony from agents in an attempt to bolster their claim that the destruction of the World Trade Center was the result of one terrorist attack rather than two.

Larry Silverstein, the leaseholder of the towers, has argued that the attacks were two separate events, meaning insurance companies would have to reimburse him a total of $7.1 billion rather than half of that amount.

But the insurance companies have said that conversations between Silverstein’s lawyers and insurance brokers would reveal that initially there was an understanding that the attacks constituted one event, not two.

The ruling from Martin comes a few weeks after he came to a similar conclusion on a motion brought by Travelers Insurance Co., one of the defendant counterclaimants in SR International Business Insurance Co. Ltd. v. World Trade Center Properties and World Trade Center Properties v. Allianz Insurance Company, 01 Civ. 9291.

In that ruling, the judge said conversations between Silverstein’s attorneys at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and insurance brokers at Willis of New York Inc. were not subject to the attorney-client privilege.

On Wednesday, the judge applied similar reasoning to a request by Swiss Re to examine documents drafted by employees at GMAC and Harbor Group after Sept. 11 as they attempted to address investor concerns.

Martin ruled that the actions of the employees, supervised by GMAC’s in-house counsel, constituted information gathering in the normal course of business, not in anticipation of litigation.

“No privilege attaches to an attorney’s communications when the attorney is hired to give business or personal advice, or to do the work of a nonlawyer,” Martin wrote.

GMAC had argued that all post Sept. 11 communications were protected by the attorney-client or the work product privilege because of the in-house counsel’s supervision.

Martin did say, however, that any communications involving the in-house counsel that contained or sought legal advice would be privileged.

The judge said that the parties could submit documents to the court for in camera inspection to determine whether they were privileged.

Barry R. Ostrager of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, who represented Swiss Re, said an important aspect of the ruling involves a Sept. 14 meeting at Silverstein’s office between Silverstein, his lawyers, Willis of New York, GMAC, Harbor and other investors.

Martin ruled that documents related to the meeting were not privileged and said employees of GMAC and Harbor can be questioned about what was said.

He also said Swiss Re could review notes taken by Beth Ann Herrmann, a vice president at GMAC, and Peter Lefkowitz, of Harbor, at the meeting. The two had taken notes at the request of GMAC’s in-house counsel, but Martin ruled the notes were not privileged because they “merely set forth the facts that were reported to the attorney.”

Ostrager said the deadline for discovery in the case is Sept. 30.

John C. Ulin of Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe in Los Angeles, who represented GMAC, was not available for comment.

Marc Wolinsky of Wachtell Lipton who was not involved with this motion, said the ruling was “of no real consequence.”

Chet A. Kronenberg of Simpson Thacher’s Los Angeles office also represented Swiss Re.


Link to article.

WTC Insurer Has Right to Appraisal, Federal Judge Rules

Mark Hamblett

New York Law Journal 08-21-2002

One of many insurance companies locked in a dispute with World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein has the right to an independent appraisal of the loss incurred in the Sept. 11 attacks, Southern District of New York Judge John S. Martin has ruled.

Pursuant to its contract with Silverstein, Allianz Insurance Co. had sought to have disinterested appraisers selected by both sides, with any discrepancy to be resolved by an umpire.

Silverstein has opposed the motion, arguing that the appraisal mechanism in the insurance agreements was pre-empted by the Air Transportation and System Stabilization Act, which granted exclusive jurisdiction to the Southern District of New York for claims flowing from the Sept. 11 jet crashes.

But Judge Martin agreed with Allianz, saying that “at the outset it should be noted that to construe the grant of jurisdiction to deny Allianz a contractual right that it has under New York law would raise serious constitutional issues.

“But even if there were no constitutional issue presented, there is no basis for finding that when Congress conferred jurisdiction on this Court for all actions relating to the events of Sept. 11, it meant to deprive parties of their contractual right to appraisal or arbitration,” he said. “Indeed, there is a serious question whether the grant of jurisdiction in the Act applies to this case.”

Meanwhile, at a court hearing Tuesday, Martin expressed skepticism about keeping an upcoming Nov. 4 trial date in the case, because discovery is far from complete. (No decision was made on whether to push back the trial date, but another hearing will be held today.)

In his ruling on the appraisal, Martin said the original purpose of the Air Transportation and System Stabilization Act, passed in the wake of the tragedy last September, was to “limit the liability of the airlines … and to provide an alternative method of compensating the victims of the attacks.”

But there is nothing in the legislative history of the act, nor in the provision vesting exclusive jurisdiction in the Southern District, he said, that indicates Congress intended to affect parties with a property interest in the World Trade Center and their insurance companies.

The decision in Allianz Insurance Co. v. World Trade Center Properties, 02 Civ. 0017, was the latest in a series of rulings in the multibillion-dollar fight over insurance payments for the World Trade Center attacks.

Travelers Indemnity Co. and a host of other insurers contend that New York law requires the two terror attacks on the World Trade Center be considered a single occurrence for insurance purposes. Silverstein argues the attacks were two occurrences, and he is entitled to double the insurance proceeds: roughly $7.1 billion for reconstruction and lost revenues.

Last month, Martin urged the parties to consider settling the case, and asked fellow Southern District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan to oversee settlement talks.

JURY PREFERRED BY SOME

In his opinion on the Allianz motion, Martin noted that some other insurers have indicated they might seek an appraisal, but others have told the court they preferred to have a jury decide the issue.

Silverstein had argued that Allianz was both too late in asserting its appraisal rights, because it had already engaged in litigation, and too early, because both parties are required to first hire experts and evaluate the loss and then engage in good-faith negotiations before invoking the appraisal process.

On the claim that Allianz was too late, Judge Martin said Allianz specifically “reserved its right to demand appraisal in its reply to the Silverstein Parties’ counterclaim” and spent a lot of time trying to negotiate an agreement on the appraisal process before it filed the motion.

On Silverstein’s claim that Allianz sought appraisal too early, Martin said, “It makes no sense to suggest that the parties must bear the expense of hiring experts to evaluate a loss before they retain the services of an ‘impartial appraiser.'”

The judge did express one concern he said “might militate against the full enforcement of the appraisal provision.” With only some insurers seeking appraisal, he said, enforcement of those rights “may unfairly multiply the proceedings in which the Silverstein Parties are forced to litigate the valuation issue.”

One remedy, he said, might be to substitute himself for the neutral umpire if the appraisers cannot agree. But for the time being, the judge said he was reserving decision on whether the parties would choose the umpire.

Silverstein was represented by Herbert M. Wachtell of New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Allianz was represented by John B. Massopust of Zelle, Hofmann, Voelbel, Mason & Gette.


Link to article.

Trial Date Set for WTC Insurance Issue

Mark Hamblett

New York Law Journal 08-23-2002

Jury selection in the trial to decide the multibillion-dollar question of whether the attacks on the World Trade Center were one or two occurrences for insurance purposes will begin on Nov. 4.

Southern District of New York Judge John S. Martin late Thursday rebuffed an attempt by insurance companies that claimed massive amounts of pretrial discovery and trial preparation made it impossible to conduct the trial efficiently.

But Martin also said the trial would be split into two phases, with the first dealing with issues of contract formation — the parties had only signed insurance binders and not final agreements in the weeks leading up to Sept. 11 — and the occurrence question.

The second phase will concern the amount of damages.

Although most of the 22 insurance companies or syndicates had asked for trial to begin next year (three companies were willing to go to trial sooner if their cases were severed from rest), World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein, the Port Authority, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. had all pressed for an earlier date, arguing that the future of the Trade Center depended on a quick resolution of the insurance conflict.

Silverstein claims that the separate crashing of two planes into the North and South towers on Sept. 11 amounted to two occurrences, and that he is entitled to more than $7 billion in insurance proceeds. Should a jury disagree, the insurance companies would be obligated to pay only half that amount.

From the outset of the case, Silverstein’s lawyer Herbert Wachtell of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, has insisted that time is of the essence, and the future of downtown Manhattan and the economic health of the city require an immediate answer to this question.

“We definitely need to know how much money is going to be needed for rebuilding at the very earliest time,” Wachtell told Judge Martin at a hearing Tuesday. “This is not some phantom, this is the harsh reality of getting New York City rebuilt.”

But Harvey Kurzweil of Dewey Ballantine, the attorney for Travelers Indemnity Co., said Tuesday there was no need to “hustle” to trial in the belief that “more money for Mr. Silverstein means more money for New York.

“The only result to be determined by this trial is who pays,” he said, and he reiterated that argument Thursday to no avail.

Judge Martin, who has been hashing out discovery disputes with the lawyers, has become increasingly skeptical of the need to rush forward and try the case, largely because the planning and design process for the site is proceeding slower than expected.

At this point, submissions for a design competition for a memorial at the site are not due until June 2003. And the first wave of submissions for an overall rebuilding plan that would include a memorial and millions of square feet of retail and commercial space have been criticized by officials and the public as inadequate and uninspiring.

But in the end, Martin set aside his concerns over the uncertainty of the plans for the site and focused on what he said was “one of Parkinson’s Laws — that the work will expand to the time allotted it.”

The Port Authority, which gave a 99-year lease to Silverstein last year — so close to the attacks that some contract issues were still being negotiated when the planes hit the buildings — also wants a quick answer from the court.

“You can’t plan a building without knowing how much money you have to build in the first place,” Port Authority lawyer Timothy Reynolds of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom said Tuesday.

Thursday, Reynolds said the Port Authority and Silverstein “are facing a hole in the ground and the insurance companies are sitting on that money earning interest.”

At a minimum, Reynolds argued, Silverstein should receive, as quickly as the amount can be determined, the actual cash value of property, even before the occurrence issue and the replacement cost of the property can be determined.

“That money is clearly due to us now,” he said.

BIFURCATED TRIAL

During brief arguments Thursday, Wachtell said the insurance companies “had their tongues hanging out” for a bifurcated trial “because they were better off tactically not having a single jury deciding contract issues and valuation.”

As the parties are now faced with racing to complete more than 130 depositions in advance of trial, Martin is scheduled to hear summary judgment motions, and also arguments on whether the binders signed by the parties constituted, in essence, a final agreement, or whether there were critical issues remaining to be negotiated when the attacks occurred.


Link to article.
http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1030343783307

Double Indemnity

Alison Frankel

The American Lawyer 09-03-2002

Barry Ostrager, the Simpson Thacher & Bartlett litigation chief, is a big admirer of Herbert Wachtell. Really, he is. Big, big fan.

Never mind the adjectives he uses to describe the co-founder of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz — “obstreperous, obstructive and unreasonable.” Forget the nasty accusations of witness manipulation that Ostrager has tossed at Wachtell Lipton partners in the World Trade Center insurance coverage litigation. Disregard Ostrager’s amusement at what he calls the “feigned indignation” with which Wachtell has greeted the Simpson Thacher lawyer’s tactics.

Put all that aside, Ostrager says. Focus instead on his great compliment to Herb Wachtell and his partners: But for Wachtell’s ingenuity and persuasiveness, Ostrager says, there would be no World Trade Center insurance litigation. There would be no $3.55 billion dispute over the money owed to Wachtell’s client, New York real estate developer Larry Silverstein, who signed a 99-year lease on the World Trade Center just two months before the attack on the towers. As Ostrager tells it, only a mind as brilliant as Wachtell’s could have crafted a plausible argument that Silverstein is owed $7.1 billion, twice his ostensible policy limit, because the World Trade Center catastrophe constituted two discrete, insurable events, not one.

Of course, Ostrager’s salute to Wachtell is just a tiny bit mitigated by his own role in the litigation. He is counsel to the Swiss Reinsurance Co., the carrier that underwrote about 22 percent — $780 million — of the Trade Center’s insurance coverage. Swiss Re, like the rest of the 21 insurance companies battling Silverstein, is determined to prove that the Trade Center collapse constituted one occurrence under Silverstein’s insurance coverage, not the two Silverstein claims.

The story of the Silverstein insurance program, assembled in the summer of 2001, is so far-fetched that any law professor who dreamed it up as a hypothetical would be laughed out of the classroom. Silverstein hired a well-known broker, Willis Group Holdings Ltd., to find enough coverage to satisfy his lenders. Willis scrambled mightily to place $3.55 billion in insurance, ultimately dealing pieces to 25 carriers. Negotiations were frenetic — so frenetic that when Silverstein took over the lease of the Trade Center on July 24, 2001, he had in hand only temporary contracts from his insurers. Most of those had been executed on the basis of a sample form that Willis had circulated, a form that included a broad definition of what constituted an occurrence for insurance purposes. (The encompassing definition was designed by Willis to favor policyholders; the more damage that could be lumped into one occurrence, the fewer deductibles policyholders would have to pay.)

One key carrier, however, had refused to base negotiations on the Willis form. Travelers Indemnity Co. insisted on using its own form, which did not specifically define “occurrence,” as the foundation of discussions about a final policy. Willis needed Travelers to stay in the deal, so Willis brokers spent August 2001 deep in negotiations with Travelers underwriters about changes proposed to the Travelers form. (These negotiations, interestingly, did not include discussion of the definition of “occurrence.”) As of Sept. 11, Willis had not circulated final policies to any of the 25 carriers. Silverstein and Willis now say that all of the insurance companies should be held to the terms of the Travelers policy, which, in their lawyers’ interpretation of New York state insurance law, leads to the conclusion that the Trade Center collapse constituted two occurrences. The insurers — no surprise here — say that the Willis form prevails.

What’s more, asserts Ostrager, the Willis brokers who now support the Travelers scenario didn’t always. Only after Wachtell Lipton lawyers got involved, Ostrager has said repeatedly in this litigation, did Willis witnesses convert to the story that favors Silverstein. Silverstein himself said as much, Ostrager argues, in a speech he delivered in December 2001 to the “CEO Summit” on Rebuilding Confidence in the U.S. Economy. “I had to find myself the best minds that I could find,” Silverstein said, “to get me two events, to provide $7 billion.” Those minds, in Ostrager’s telling, belong to the Wachtell Lipton lawyers.

Ostrager is a slight 55-year-old with wavy, reddish hair and an insatiable appetite for competition; in his scant spare time he breeds racehorses. He graduated from New York University Law School 18 years after Herb Wachtell, and seems to be fairly frothing for confrontation with him. Ostrager has gone so far as to fling such phrases as “corruption of the discovery process” and “unconscionable interference by Wachtell” into a brief that accuses Wachtell Lipton lawyers of “exerting fantastic pressure” on Willis witnesses and “manipulating” their testimony.

Wachtell, who says that the evidence disproves the very thesis of Ostrager’s accusations, responds to the Simpson Thacher lawyer with characteristic irascibility. When his partner Meyer Koplow calls Ostrager’s attack “laughable,” Wachtell cuts in. “It’s not laughable,” he says.

Wachtell, 70, is not a physically intimidating man. He has long, slicked-back gray hair, a thin, red face and piercing eyes. He wears half-frame glasses low on his nose. Yet somehow he is fearsome. “I don’t like to see my partners accused of suborning perjury,” he fumes. Ostrager, he says, is litigating this case with reckless aggressiveness. “He likes to distort facts,” says Wachtell. “I am mightily pissed.”

So far Ostrager is winning. The insurers have beaten Silverstein on almost every significant pretrial motion in the case, including a summary judgment motion by Wachtell that was denied. That’s all just prelude, however. The judge in the case, John Martin Jr. of Manhattan federal district court, has appointed another federal judge, Lewis Kaplan, to oversee settlement talks this fall. If they fail, Ostrager and Wachtell will meet in court in November to try this case. Barry Ostrager will be looking to topple Wachtell. Herb Wachtell will be trying to put the Simpson Thacher lawyer in his place. And one of their clients will walk away hundreds of millions of dollars richer.

Larry Silverstein is Herb Wachtell’s oldest friend. They met as teen-agers, at New York City’s High School of Music & Art, where they both played piano. At New York University, both played in the band, Silverstein on drums and Wachtell on clarinet. They stayed close enough over the years that Silverstein had dinner at Wachtell’s house the Friday before Sept. 11. Silverstein didn’t use Wachtell Lipton as his regular lawyers — Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan routinely represented him — but when he split from his business partner (and brother-in-law), Wachtell and his partners negotiated the breakup.

On Sept. 13, two days after the towers fell, Silverstein called Martin Lipton, also a close friend and a fellow NYU trustee, to ask if Lipton thought he’d need legal advice. “Marty said, ‘And how,'” says Wachtell. ” hadn’t thought through the scope of all the legal problems he could be facing. They’d lost four people from a small office. They were all traumatized.” Silverstein arranged to come to Wachtell Lipton’s offices later that afternoon.

Before he arrived, though, Wachtell had to figure out whether the firm could represent Silverstein beyond this emergency counseling session. “This would be a mammoth drain on firm resources,” says Wachtell, who heads a litigation department of 53 lawyers, almost half of whom have become involved in the World Trade Center litigation. “It was a firm issue — could we afford to take this on?” Wachtell Lipton’s midtown Manhattan offices were in turmoil on Sept. 13. Some investment bankers from Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc., which had its offices in the World Trade Center, had been at a meeting at Wachtell Lipton when the planes hit the towers; the law firm volunteered to provide the Keefe Bruyette survivors (as well as some other lower Manhattan refugees) with a temporary headquarters. People were walking around carrying computers and phones for the guests. Wachtell Lipton lawyers were still in shock; collectively, they knew dozens of Trade Center victims. Many lawyers weren’t even in the office. Herb Wachtell rounded up all of the partners who were around for an impromptu firm meeting. “We decided to do it for two reasons,” he says. “Larry is my closest and oldest friend. And this was a civic thing — we felt an obligation to be involved in the rebuilding of the city.”

Silverstein, according to Wachtell Lipton partner Eric Roth, didn’t stay long at Wachtell Lipton’s offices on Sept. 13. Wachtell recalls talking briefly with Silverstein about several potential issues, including insurance. As it happened, Wachtell Lipton had argued an insurance coverage case in the New York Court of Appeals a week earlier (Simpson Thacher partner Mary Kay Vyskocil argued against him; Wachtell Lipton eventually won). He told Silverstein that, in his opinion, unless the insurance policy clearly stated otherwise, New York’s laws would define the terrorist attacks as two occurrences, two insurable events.

But at that point, Silverstein’s lawyers didn’t know what the insurance policy said. Silverstein had already been in touch with John Gross, a partner at Proskauer Rose who specializes in insurance coverage. On Saturday the 15th, Gross and the Wachtell Lipton lawyers talked for the first time. “We had no idea what had happened,” says Gross. “We were new counsel, we had not participated in the placement. I suggested we go meet with the Willis people and find out what was going on.” Roth agreed: “We had to go meet with Willis.”

Willis Group Holdings Limited is a giant insurance broker, specializing in coverage for big commercial properties. Even by Willis standards, though, the World Trade Center insurance program was huge. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which finished building the complex in 1972, carried only $1.5 billion (per occurrence) in coverage on all of its buildings, which, in addition to the Trade Center, included the three New York City area airports. Silverstein’s lenders insisted on more coverage, first demanding $2.3 billion, then $3.2 billion, and then, right before the lease deal closed, $3.55 billion. The lead Willis broker on the insurance placement, Timothy Boyd, and his team hustled in June and July to satisfy the lenders, contacting carriers in the United States, Europe and Bermuda to place coverage. Willis distributed to many, but not all, of the carriers underwriting packets that featured not only the risk analysis documentation on the World Trade Center, but also a 37-page sample property insurance policy that Willis had developed, a form called the WilProp 2000. The WilProp form included a specific definition of occurrence, one designed to minimize deductibles for policyholders: “all losses or damage that are attributable directly or indirectly to one cause or to one series of similar causes.”

The goal in multicarrier property insurance deals is to get all of the insurers to agree to issue the same final policy, so that there are no gaps in coverage. Carriers with smaller shares of the coverage frequently defer to the policy demands of bigger insurers, however, so brokers don’t expect to negotiate final policy language with all (or even most) carriers. In the World Trade Center program, for instance, no negotiations took place with the London insurance syndicates, which actually, at the time they agreed to provide coverage, waived the right to sign off on final policy wording. Moreover, insurers typically issue temporary contracts binding them to provide coverage before they finish negotiating final policy language. Usually there’s plenty of time to reconcile policies after the binders come in.

Distilling facts from the frenzied discussions that took place between Willis brokers and insurance company underwriters in July 2001 is no easy task, especially now. Willis broker Boyd testified that he didn’t expect carriers simply to accept the WilProp sample form, but considered it a starting point for negotiations. Swiss Re seems to have regarded it the same way. Underwriter Daniel Bollier agreed on July 9 to carry about 22 percent of all layers of coverage beyond the first $10 million, but he told Willis broker Paul Blackmore that he wanted changes in the sublimit language in the WilProp form. (Bollier was satisfied with the WilProp occurrence definition and did not attempt to negotiate changes to it.) Other carriers also seemed to expect negotiations of final policy language; only two Bermudan insurers, ACE Ltd. and XL Capital Ltd., specifically referred to the WilProp form in their binders.

Before the lease deal closing, Willis issued certificates of insurance to Silverstein, confirming to his lenders and to The Port Authority that he had sufficient coverage. His 99-year lease, for which Silverstein put up only $14 million of his own money, closed on July 24. Willis broker Boyd, however, still had work to do. One carrier, Travelers, had informed Boyd that if Travelers was to participate in the primary layer of coverage, it would have to be on the basis of its form, not the WilProp form. Boyd had tried to find a substitute carrier with as high a rating as Travelers, but the market for World Trade Center insurance was saturated.

So in late July, Boyd began serious discussions with Travelers underwriter James Coyle III about what the final Travelers policy would say.

There is no dispute that Coyle first sent Boyd the Travelers sample policy on July 11. But what did Boyd and the rest of the Willis brokers tell the other carriers about the Travelers form? On this critical question, the accounts of the Willis brokers and insurance company underwriters diverge drastically.

If the case ever goes to trial, one of the key issues will be the exchanges between London broker Blackmore and Swiss Re underwriter Daniel Bollier. Blackmore testified that sometime between July 17 and 23, he told Swiss Re underwriter Bollier that WilProp had been replaced by Travelers; on July 23 his assistant e-mailed the Travelers form to Swiss Re. But Bollier swore he remembered no conversation with Blackmore about the Travelers form. He said he paid little attention to the e-mail attachment, which arrived without a note advising that Travelers was replacing WilProp. Timothy Boyd of Willis testified that he specifically informed underwriters at eight other insurance companies that Travelers would be the primary form; notes in the files of at least three carriers indicate that their underwriters had been told. But most of the carriers deny that anyone from Willis ever told them Travelers was replacing WilProp.

At the end of August, Coyle of Travelers sent Willis’ Boyd a draft policy that included the changes they’d discussed. The Travelers policy did not define occurrence, leaving the interpretation to state law. Boyd, who did negotiate the wording of Travelers’ deductibles clause, never attempted to add Willis’ occurrence definition to the Travelers form. On that point, he deferred to Travelers. Boyd looked over what Coyle had sent him at the end of August, but didn’t respond. Labor Day weekend arrived, and there didn’t seem to be any rush.

Sept. 11 found most of the brokers on the Willis World Trade Center team in Nashville, at a previously scheduled meeting of Willis’ property insurance group. Like the rest of the country, they watched the television in horror. With planes grounded, the brokers were marooned in Nashville, without their paperwork. Inevitably, they began the debate: Was the attack one occurrence or two?

Willis’ counsel, Stuart Gerson of New York’s Epstein Becker & Green, insists that these conversations were informal and purely hypothetical. Nevertheless, when Timothy Boyd, the lead broker on the World Trade Center program, called Willis’ London office as he tried to reassemble the Silverstein documents, he told London staffers, according to the notes of one, “In their opinion this is one occurrence.” (Both Boyd and the London staffer testified that they did not recall the conversation.) Another broker said something similar to Swiss Re’s Daniel Bollier, according to Bollier’s testimony. Silverstein’s own risk manager hurriedly faxed a copy of portions of the WilProp form to a lawyer for The Port Authority with a cover note: “FYI the ‘occurrence’ definition and the insuring agreement and the exclusions in the Willis policy that we are working with.” Several hours later he sent the same materials to one of Silverstein’s lenders.

At the same time, however, Boyd was working with Jim Coyle of Travelers to get a final policy issued. Coyle agreed to send Boyd a policy that reflected the state of their negotiations as of Sept. 10. On Friday, Sept. 14, Travelers faxed a final policy — which included no definition of “occurrence” — to Willis’ temporary headquarters in New Jersey. From there, Willis faxed it to Wachtell’s offices.

“We were told two things,” says Wachtell, “that the Travelers form was the governing form; and that they wanted to disseminate the policy to the marketplace. We said, ‘No! You may not send it out until we can confirm the facts.'” Silverstein’s lawyers pressed the Willis team for interviews with the brokers. Willis senior executives agreed that John Gross of Proskauer and Eric Roth and Marc Wolinsky of Wachtell Lipton could come to New Jersey on Monday, Sept. 17, to talk to the brokers.

Over the weekend, Gross and the Wachtell Lipton lawyers studied the documents Willis had sent them. Gross is as emphatic as Wachtell about the implications of the Travelers policy. Since it didn’t specifically define “occurrence,” the definition was left to state law. And under New York state law, Gross asserts, the attack on the twin towers constituted two occurrences. “I knew it without even going to the books,” he says. But did the Travelers policy govern the World Trade Center insurance coverage? Gross and the Wachtell Lipton lawyers say that they got their answer in their interview with the Willis broker Timothy Boyd on Monday, Sept. 17.

If Barry Ostrager’s theory — that Wachtell concocted the Travelers policy scenario — was correct, the “fantastic pressure” that Wachtell supposedly exerted on the Willis witnesses would have had to have begun during those Sept. 17 meetings, as the lawyers and brokers figured out what to tell the insurance market about the governing policy. Willis is a sophisticated company, so, naturally, its brokers were represented by their own lawyer at these initial interviews with Silverstein’s counsel. Sitting at the head of the table as Roth, Gross and Wolinsky questioned Willis witnesses was a lawyer named Andrew Amer, from the firm that is Willis’ longtime outside counsel: Simpson Thacher. Amer is a partner in the department headed by Barry Ostrager.

Amer, who declined to comment, presumably heard the Willis witnesses tell Silverstein’s lawyers that the Travelers policy governed the World Trade Center coverage. He said as much in a Sept. 20 e-mail to Eric Roth, confirming that Willis believed that coverage was based on the Travelers form. “We await your approval to distribute the policy to the market,” Amer wrote.

So how could Ostrager later assert that Wachtell was pushing to get the Travelers policy out, that Wachtell Lipton lawyers were manipulating Willis witnesses to tell a story that favored Silverstein? Ostrager says he never talked to Amer about those meetings. To protect Willis’ attorney-client privilege, he says, Simpson Thacher — which had informed Willis from the start that it would be representing a carrier in the litigation — erected a wall between Amer and the lawyers representing Swiss Re. When Ostrager wrote the brief accusing Wachtell of “unconscionable interference” and “corruption of the discovery process,” he based his accusation on notes Travelers underwriter Coyle took during a post-Sept. 11 conversation with Willis broker Boyd in which Boyd complained about feeling so much pressure from the lawyers that he was thinking of quitting. The comment later turned out, however, to have been a reference to Willis in-house lawyers, pressing Boyd to produce documents.

Epstein Becker’s Gerson, the lawyer who replaced Amer soon after those initial meetings, also rejects any suggestion that Willis witnesses were coerced, in the Sept. 17 meeting with Wachtell Lipton lawyers or in any meeting after that. “I have been at every single prep session,” Gerson says. “There has been no pressure of any kind put on any Willis witness by anyone at Wachtell. I wouldn’t let that happen. I am not a potted plant.”

Ostrager says he never meant to suggest that Wachtell Lipton lawyers had suborned perjury, merely that in hours of preparing Willis witnesses for deposition, Wachtell Lipton partners had subtly shaped their recollections and perspectives. (Willis, insurance lawyers have noted in court, may be concerned about the possibility of Silverstein suing the brokerage for malpractice.) Immediately after Boyd’s deposition testimony about pressure from lawyers, Ostrager did notify Judge Martin that Boyd had been referring to in-house lawyers, not Wachtell; and he did tell the judge in a letter and in court that he wasn’t accusing Wachtell of impropriety. But he didn’t withdraw his brief. And he doesn’t believe that Wachtell is as indignant about his tactics as Wachtell says he is. In a deposition of Blackmore, Ostrager told Wachtell that he was going to call the judge if Wachtell didn’t stop interrupting his questions. “If you want to be a litigator,” Wachtell retorted, “don’t be so thin-skinned every time you get an objection.” Says Ostrager: “That applies in spades to him. want to be aggressive, but, like any bully, they don’t want to be punched back.”

Ostrager came into the World Trade Center insurance case at around the same time Wachtell did, within two days of the collapse of the towers. Swiss Re wasn’t necessarily expecting litigation, Ostrager says, but retained him “as a matter of prudence.” As Willis circulated the Sept. 14 Travelers policy to the other insurance companies, Swiss Re’s prudence proved justified. Swiss Re, as well as a host of other carriers, notified Willis that they’d bound coverage on the basis of the WilProp form, and had never agreed to substitute the Travelers form at all. The Travelers policy, they said, wasn’t their policy; many said that the Willis notice was the first they’d heard of it.

For a few weeks, Ostrager and his second-in-command, Mary Kay Vyskocil, let Silverstein set the course of the case. The real estate developer badly wanted to begin collecting the business interruption portion of his insurance, so that he could continue making payments to his lenders and his landlord, The Port Authority. Wachtell urged a meeting between Silverstein and the insurers. Willis executives organized a session on Oct. 2 at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Club. “I thought it would be helpful if Larry could talk to them, let them see him in the flesh, show them he was not trying to get a windfall,” Wachtell says. “We told them we understood there was a difference of opinion on occurrence, but we had to get the business interruption insurance going. Larry said, ‘We ought to be sitting down and talking.’ He was met with dead silence.”

Ostrager regarded the meeting as a turning point. “I knew what was going on in that Oct. 2 meeting,” Ostrager says. Silverstein wanted the business interruption cash, Ostrager says, to fund his two-occurrence litigation. “It was transparent and self-evident,” Ostrager says. “I knew to a moral certainty that Silverstein was going to initiate a declaratory judgment action against the insurers.” So Ostrager and Vyskocil grabbed control of the litigation. On Oct. 22 they filed, on behalf of Swiss Re, a complaint for a declaratory judgment against Silverstein, asking the court to hold that the Trade Center disaster was, for insurance purposes, one occurrence. Ostrager admits that not all of the other insurers were happy about his suit. “There was a band of reactions ranging from ‘We would have wanted to participate’ to ‘We would have appreciated it if you had consulted us,'” he says.

The Silverstein side portrays Ostrager as a litigation outlaw, infuriating the other insurers with overly aggressive tactics, starting with that declaratory judgment action. Lawyers for most of the other major insurers declined to comment publicly but insist privately that all of the insurers are working together. “There’s a high level of cooperation,” says Travelers counsel Harvey Kurzweil of New York’s Dewey Ballantine, who, along with his partner Saul Morgenstern, has become a spokesman for the other insurers. “We’ve put on a remarkably cohesive, coordinated .” And a successful one, so far. Though Ostrager has sometimes been alone at the extremes of the case, the insurance lawyers have united on major motions. As Ostrager had predicted, in January, Silverstein did file suit against all of the insurers, seeking a summary judgment against Travelers. Gross and the Wachtell Lipton team asked Judge Martin for a ruling that, as a matter of law, the World Trade Center disaster constituted two occurrences under the Travelers policy. Martin denied Wachtell’s summary judgment motion, and, on another heavily litigated pre-trial issue, granted the insurers’ motion to compel testimony from the Willis witnesses about their meetings with Wachtell.

Judge Martin seems eager for the case to settle, and has appointed federal Judge Lewis Kaplan to oversee talks, the first since a few utterly fruitless sessions late last fall. (Silverstein did settle with the two Bermudan insurance companies that explicitly mentioned the WilProp form in their binders. Those insurers agreed to pay, in cash, their policy limits for one occurrence, a total of about $350 million.) Proskauer’s John Gross is still hoping for a deal; after all, if Silverstein can get anything more than his $3.55 billion one-occurrence limit, he’s won. (Silverstein has stated repeatedly that he intends to use the insurance money to rebuild lower Manhattan.) Harvey Kurzweil says that Travelers and the other insurers would participate in talks; he is one of four insurance lawyers who was scheduled to meet with Wachtell Lipton partner Meyer Koplow in late August. Ostrager was also supposed to participate. One senses his heart wouldn’t be in it, though. There’s only one place Ostrager wants to be on Nov. 4: in Judge Martin’s courtroom, picking a jury of New Yorkers whose votes he and Herb Wachtell can fight for.


South Carolina Moves to Implement Agenda 21 Guidelines

04/27/2012

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/04/south-carolina-moves-to-implement.html

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

In an example of just how deep the roots of Agenda 21 can reach, it is now obvious that the UN-generated guidelines are making their way through state legislatures as well as the federal branch. Not only that, but such legislation has expanded from inside the boundaries of the usual suspects like California and New York, and is now even reaching into southern states like South Carolina, which have traditionally been opposed to such policies.

For those who are unaware, Agenda 21 (short for United Nations Agenda For The 21st Century) is a road map of guidelines and procedures dictated from the United Nations and implemented by the member states. In the case of the United States, the plans are implemented at the state and local level when Federal support is not adequate to meet the demands set forth by the United Nations and its affiliate NGOs. As Democrats Against Agenda 21 state on their website,

In a nutshell, the plan calls for governments to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decision making in the hands of private property owners.  It is assumed that people are not good stewards of their land and the government will do a better job if they are in control.  Individual rights in general are to give way to the needs of communities as determined by the governing body.  Moreover, people should be rounded up off the land and packed into human settlements, or islands of human habitation, close to employment centers and transportation.  Another program, called the Wildlands Project spells out how most of the land is to be set aside for non-humans.

This definition seems to fit a new resolution in the South Carolina State Congress, entitled theCommercial Center Retrofit Act, or. H.3604. Indeed, much of the bill reads as almost a direct translation of the mission of Agenda 21.
The Commercial Center Retrofit Act, now in Congressional subcommittee, has been introduced under the cover of merely encouraging the South Carolina Council of Governments to adopt ordinances and guidelines that will “enable the retrofitting of shopping malls and shopping centers into dense, walkable, mixed-use town centers.”
Now, let me first say that this idea, in and of itself, is not such a bad thing. Allowing andencouraging the retrofitting of buildings so that they use less energy, have less impact on the environment, and blend in with the rest of the community is actually something that should be encouraged. However, the Commercial Center Retrofit Act is not about encouraging such “green” improvements and environmentally-conscious building. This new resolution is solely dedicated to the implementation of Agenda 21.

It also bears noting that the South Carolina Council of Governments is an unelected body made up of regional “local” governments. Each sub-council within the larger council is made up of a grouping of local governments belonging to a specific region of the state. This body is not accountable to the people of South Carolina, yet they are clearly involved in making very important decisions.

With this in mind, it is not surprising that the Commercial Center Retrofit Act contains language right out of the Agenda 21 playbook. For instance, the preamble to the bill reads:

To encourage the South Carolina Council of Governments to adopt ordinances intended to enable the retrofitting of shopping malls and shopping centers into dense, walkable, mixed-use town centers, and to encourage other measures to promote a human habitat that is hospitable and accessible to more South Carolinians while lessening environmental impacts on the state.

Immediately, it is obvious that the scope of the bill extends far beyond simple ordinances for shopping centers. Now the bill includes “other measures,” which are cleverly undefined, that will be used to determine what type of “human habitat” will be allowed in the state. The end goal, at first, appears to be the development of a “human habitat” that lessens the “environmental impact” the future tenants allegedly have.

Yet, compared to the rest of the bill, the preamble is really no big deal.

Of course, to an individual unfamiliar with Agenda 21, theCommercial Center Retrofit Act might not sound so bad. However, when one is able to decipher the language of “sustainable development” and other such terms, the new resolution sounds much more sinister. Indeed, this piece of legislation represents a threat to both businesses and individuals alike, particularly private property owners.

Essentially, this resolution communicates a directive to the South Carolina Council of Governments to begin plans for drafting and administering a society that excludes rural areas, creates centralized and compact “human habitat” areas, and discourages use of vehicles and other equipment that allegedly produce “greenhouse gases.”

For instance, the resolution states that “the State of South Carolina aspires to retrofit its inventory of automobile dependent settlement patterns into compact, walkable, diverse, and transit ready communities that are more socially equitable, consume less petroleum, and generate fewer greenhouse gases.”

The resolution’s bias against automobiles and citizen independence is then justified by the claim that “the public servicing of automobile dependent settlement patterns disproportionately consumes the tax base of South Carolina municipalities.”

This is the blueprint, at first, to evacuate rural areas into the urban districts due to claims of lack of available services, accessibility, and higher taxes. Coercion and force, as evidenced by current actions in Africa, will eventually replace “encouragement” and the gradual approach witnessed at the beginning of plans like the Commercial Center Retrofit Act.

Laughably, the resolution pretends it is responding to social demand when it says that “the Millennial Generation, the second largest group and the most important to the future workforce of South Carolina, has show a preference to urban areas” and that “the Baby Boom Generation, the largest demographic group among South Carolina residents, will not be well served by being able to live only in automobile dependent suburban areas.”

Of course, young people are streaming into cities in droves not necessarily because they like city life, but because American jobs, particularly those once located in South Carolina, have been shipped overseas by design. Young Americans, if they have any desire to hold a job, have little choice but to relocate to larger cities.

As for the Baby Boom Generation, one might ask exactly why they can’t be well-served by living in rural areas? Considering the rate of crime and state of disrepair in most major American cities, one can scarcely see a benefit to living in an urban area at all, particularly for the aged.  Plus, they have been well-served in these areas for many years so one wonders just what kind of services the resolution is referring to?

The resolution continues in regard to rural areas by saying, “the existing investment in automobile dependent settlement patterns must not be allowed to become uncompetitive and thereby lose value.” While sounding overly broad and murky at first reading, the fact that this statement is left open to the imagination is no accident. This is because, when it is read through the interpretive lens of Agenda 21, the picture comes into much clearer focus.

Because hard definitions are not provided, one must ask what “existing investment” actually means in this context.  Also, who does this investment belong to? The taxpayer? The Government? The NGO’s representing the United Nations and Agenda 21? In addition, why must these areas be kept “competitive” in the first place? Why is it necessary for a rural area, which is only a designation based on demographics, to compete at all? If it is necessary for the area to compete, with whom is the area to engage in competition? What are the goals and what are the signs of winning or losing?

Most importantly, however, is the question surrounding just what is to be done regarding these alleged problems. How does the resolution and the plans resulting from it intend to prevent these areas from becoming insolvent investments if they fail to compete? If one is to take a traditional business strategy as a model, then there are only two options for the manager – invest in upgrades or sell off the asset.

For all the talk about sustainability and earth-friendly living, one can easily see that Agenda 21-style legislation such as this resolution is not about protecting the environment. For instance, in its attempt to recreate and retrofit shopping malls into “town centers,” the resolution touts a possible benefit to the change by saying that they “may revitalize the housing subdivisions around them that might otherwise become obsolete.”

This is ironic considering that subdivisions, aside from major apartment complexes, are one of the most environmentally destructive and unnatural living setups in the United States. Ironic, that is, if the environment were really what this resolution is concerned with. Obviously, subdivisions are, if nothing else, excellent ways of forcing humans to live in neat cookie-cutter housing units where they will grouped according to functional status.

As I stated earlier in this article, shopping malls are not the only areas that fall under this resolution; and neither are subdivisions. Indeed, the entire local area – urban and rural alike – falls prey to the locally-introduced Agenda 21-based legislation. This can be seen in the five-point plan which the South Carolina Council of Governments is urged to enact. It is as follows:

  1. Draft policy and corresponding model ordinances intended to enable the retrofitting of shopping malls and shopping centers into dense, walkable, mixed-use town centers;
  2. Establish protocols that encourage the incorporation of the model policy and ordinances into municipal zoning codes and subdivision regulations;
  3.  Incorporate the associated policies into the updates or amendments of local comprehensive plans;
  4. Develop urban complete streets in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Transportation to serve these centers with a balanced, diverse set of travel modes; and 
  5. Develop a set of legal incentives including, but not limited to, permitting by rights, replacing traffic impact exactions, and other state mandated assessments with a fair mobility fee, creating special state taxing districts for public improvements to sites, and funding for design and construction of the parking and transit infrastructure.

As one can see from the sections in bold, this plan is clearly designed to use the power of government to implement Agenda 21. Thus, the plan manifests itself in the form of local zoning regulations, laws, and taxation, unbeknownst to the victims at the bottom. Even the language of the resolution with terms like “human habitat” and “human settlements” directly reflects the nature and semantics of the United Nations.

Agenda 21 has long been creeping up on the American people by stealth via organizations like theInternational Council on Local Environmental Initiatives. The ICLEI, also known as Local Governments For Sustainability, is an organization that is made up of over a thousand local governments (the majority being from the United States) who have bypassed Federal and State law as well as the Constitution in order to implement Agenda 21 policies.

South Carolina has four major cities on the ICLEI list – Charleston, Columbia, Spartanburg, and Greenville. In addition, Councils of Governments, like the South Carolina Council of Governments, are established worldwide and work with each other through unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats outside of Constitutional process and law.

I urge all South Carolinians to contact their State Senators and Representatives and demand that they oppose this bill. States such as Texas and Tennessee have taken recent action to expose the real meaning of Agenda 21 and preserve their local sovereignty.  South Carolina certainly can do the same.

You can find your legislator by using this helpful search engine provided by the South Carolina State House.

Read other articles by Brandon Turbeville here

You can support this information by voting on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/su1d1/south_carolina_moves_to_implement_agenda_21/
Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Mullins, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of three books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real Conspiracies, and Five Sense Solutions. Turbeville has published over one hundred articles dealing with a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville is available for podcast, radio, and TV interviews. Please contact us at activistpost (at) gmail.com. 


THE PROJECT TO RESTORE AMERICA

04/26/2012

A non-partisan way to restructure America’s governance

By Porter Stansberry

I founded The Project to Restore America as an effort to fix the underlying causes of our national financial problems. The system we have today has delivered us to the doorstep of national bankruptcy. I believe that unless we reform the way we govern our country, we will lose the liberty that is our birthright as Americans.

But… this isn’t a political call to action. In fact, I believe the solutions to our problems aren’t rooted in politics at all. 

What is this all about then?…

To put it plainly, if we continue to see our financial problems as merely a political issue – Democrats versus Republicans – we have no chance at avoiding a complete collapse of our currency and our economy. If you only see these problems through the lens of politics, you won’t ever understand how to solve these problems. This isn’t about who wins the presidency or who controls the House of Representatives; these are economic problems. This is a financial crisis. We must use what we know about finance and economics to solve these problems.

We are spending way beyond our means – both publicly and privately. Worse, much of our government spending has warped the incentives in our economy, resulting in not only debts we can’t afford, but outcomes we don’t seek.

When you get beyond the politics, you can see that not many citizens have real equity in our political process. Far too many government programs provide incentives for undesirable behavior. The result is a democracy that’s lost its foundation.

Here’s an example of bad incentives – unemployment insurance. Most people want to help someone who has lost his job to get back on his feet. That’s a rational social goal. Unfortunately, economic study after economic study shows the longer you extend unemployment benefits, the more chronic unemployment occurs. In fact, before the Great Depression, when the U.S. began government unemployment benefits, there was virtually zero long-term unemployment.

Again, I’m not arguing government spending is the primary cause of any of these problems. But I am saying you’d have to be a fool to believe incentives don’t play a big role in human action.

My question to you is, do you think there’s a way to improve this process so that people are more likely to make better, more rational decisions, when they vote?

 Here’s my suggestion…

 We have to stop giving our citizens improper incentives. We have to increase the “skin” voters have in the game by spreading the burden of government more equally. And we have to ensure the government doesn’t have the power to destroy our currency.
Americans now owe $56 trillion in total debt, much of it held by foreign investors. We must spend $3.5 trillion each year on interest. That is already more than the federal government spends, in total.

We will never be able to repay these debts – already equal to roughly four times our country’s GDP. The largest components of the debts we owe are government debts… and they are growing rapidly and show no signs of stopping.

Do you think it’s more likely we’ll find a way to actually pay down these debts… or simply choose to print more money to pay these debts? That’s what we’re doing right now. So far, the Federal Reserve has printed more than $2 trillion of new money and used it to finance our government’s borrowing binge.

So the question is, what can we do to change the direction in which we are headed?

We have to fundamentally restructure our system. There must be more balance between rights and responsibilities. There must be some fundamental limit on spending and on taxes. And we need sound money to prohibit the government from taxing us silently via inflation and from devaluing our savings.

To accomplish this reform, I believe we need three simple amendments to our Constitution:

First, we should have a balanced budget amendment.

It’s hard to imagine why anyone would object to this, regardless of his politics. Politicians ought not to have the right to burden future Americans with debt. It’s disgusting that we would leave a burden like this for our children and grandchildren.

Next, we need a constitutional amendment that ensures sound money.

If you tell the politicians they’re not allowed to borrow, they’ll inflate instead. There is no reason Americans shouldn’t enjoy the stability and safety of sound money. Every argument you’ll hear against backing our currency with gold comes from bankers and swindlers who need the ability to be bailed out so they can make risky bets with huge amounts of borrowed money. Let’s put a stop to this, once and for all. The American government is the world’s largest holder of gold. Let’s put it to work for us, right away, in the form of sound money.

Finally… we need a logical way to put a stop to the narrowing of the tax base.

Everyone who votes should share in the burdens of government – otherwise the incentive will always exist to vote for more government spending, no matter how high taxes (and debts) rise.

I suggest a constitutional amendment that limits state and federal taxation to 20% of income (from whatever the source) and abolishes all other forms of taxation at the state and local level. Give each household a $24,000 annual exemption. That’s roughly the poverty line for a family of four. Above that, everyone pays. No other deductions. You could do your taxes on a postcard. We could eliminate the IRS. How much did you make? Send the government 20% of it.

And… we should word the constitutional amendment to make clear our intentions: Every U.S. citizen has the right to keep 80% of his income.

Why not abolish income taxes and use some other form of taxation, like the so-called “fair tax,” which is a national sales tax? Because sales taxes don’t accomplish the real goal. They raise revenues, but don’t help share the burden of government more equally, so each citizen has equity in the government’s decisions.

Sooner or later, we have to learn to live within our means. Sooner or later, a preference for sound money will appear because inflation will have destroyed our currency. And sooner or later, the idea that you can live at the expense of your neighbor (through progressive taxation) will lead to a collapse because the government will inevitably grow too large to be financed.

My preference would be to learn these lessons sooner, so the pain of this transition can be minimized.

We are beginning to plan a conference about these ideas. I don’t know where to hold the meeting yet… but I know when – November, 2011. My goal will be to get as many well-known people as I can to endorse these ideas and speak about them in public at the conference. I’ll try to lure my friends in the media (I have a few) to join with us… plus business leaders… plus regular folks across America.

If we want the government to listen to us… we have to start talking with one, unified and loud voice. I’ve got a pretty loud microphone here with my publishing company, but I can’t do it alone. I need your help.
If you’re interested in these ideas and want to keep up with my efforts, click Join Now to sign up for a dedicated e-mail list. I have hired Wendy Bidwell to head this initiative and keep you up-to-date on what’s happening with The Project. Wendy will start sending you daily emails and weekly essays in the middle of June. During these initial stages, please email her at wendy@theprojecttorestoreamerica.com if you have any questions, concerns, or want to be an active supporter. We cannot guarantee a response, but we will read your email and consider your concerns.

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No Way To Fight Back

04/25/2012

Influential Senator Warned in 1975 The National Security Agencys Capability At Any Time Could Be Turned Around On The American People And No American Would Have Any Privacy Left …There Would Be No Place To Hide. [If A Dictator Ever Took Over, The N.S.A.] Could Enable It To Impose Total Tyranny, And There Would Be No Way To Fight Back”

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/04/influential-senator-warned-in-1975-the-national-security-agencys-capability-at-any-time-could-be-turned-around-on-the-american-people-and-no-american-would-have-any-privacy-left.html

by WashingtonsBlog

Senator Church’s Prophetic Warning

Senator Frank Church – who chaired the famous “Church Committee” into the unlawful FBI Cointel program, and who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – said in 1975:

“Th[e National Security Agency’s]  capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.  [If a dictator ever took over, the N.S.A.] could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.

Now, the NSA is building a $2 billion dollar facility in Utah which will use the world’s most powerful supercomputer to monitor virtually all phone calls, emails, internet usage, purchases and rentals, break all encryption, and then store everyone’s data permanently.

The former head of the program for the NSA recently held his thumb and forefinger close together, andsaid:

We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state

So Senator Church’s warning was prophetic.

Spying Began Before 9/11

While you might assume that the NSA’s spying on Americans is a response to 9/11, the government’s illegal spying on Americans actually began before 9/11.

Bloomberg reported in 2006:

The U.S. National Security Agency asked AT&T Inc. to help it set up a domestic call monitoring site seven months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, lawyers claimed June 23 in court papers filed in New York federal court.

“The Bush Administration asserted this became necessary after 9/11,” plaintiff’s lawyer Carl Mayer said in a telephone interview. “This undermines that assertion.”

“The U.S. Department of Justice has stated that AT&T may neither confirm nor deny AT&T’s participation in the alleged NSA program because doing so would cause `exceptionally grave harm to national security’ and would violate both civil and criminal statutes,” AT&T spokesman Dave Pacholczyk said in an e-mail.

U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Charles Miller and NSA spokesman Don Weber declined to comment.

And see this and this.

In other words, the NSA’s trashing of the constitutional rights of American citizens had nothing to do with 9/11.

NSA Heard the 9/11 Hijackers’ Plans from Their Own Mouths … But Didn’t Stop Them

Indeed, the NSA was listening in on the 9/11 hijackers’ phone calls before 9/11, but didn’t do a whole lot to stop them:

  • The National Security Agency and the FBI were each independently listening in on the phone calls between the supposed mastermind of the attacks and the lead hijacker. Indeed, the FBI built its own antenna in Madagascar specifically to listen in on the  mastermind’s phone calls
  • According to various sources, on the day before 9/11, the mastermind told the lead hijacker “tomorrow is zero hour” and gave final approval for the attacks. The NSA intercepted the message that day and the FBI was likely also monitoring the mastermind’s phone calls
  • According to the Sunday Herald, two days before 9/11, Bin Laden called his stepmother and told her “In two days, you’re going to hear big news and you’re not going to hear from me for a while.” U.S. officials later told CNN that “in recent years they’ve been able to monitor some of Bin Laden’s telephone communications with his [step]mother. Bin Laden at the time was using a satellite telephone, and the signals were intercepted and sometimes recorded.” Indeed, before 9/11, to impress important visitors, NSA analysts would occasionally play audio tapes of bin Laden talking to his stepmother.
  • And according to CBS News, at 9:53 a.m on 9/11, just 15 minutes after the hijacked plane had hit the Pentagon, “the National Security Agency, which monitors communications worldwide, intercepted a phone call from one of Osama bin Laden’s operatives in Afghanistan to a phone number in the former
    Soviet Republic of Georgia”, and secretary of Defense Rumsfeld learned about the intercepted phone call in real-time (if the NSA monitored and transcribed phone calls in real-time on 9/11, that implies that it probably did so in the months leading up to 9/11 as well)

As we reported in 2008, the NSA even monitored the hijackers within the United States:

We’ve previously pointed out that the U.S. government heard the 9/11 plans from the hijackers’ own mouth. Most of what we wrote about involved the NSA and other intelligence services tapping top Al Qaeda operatives’ phone calls outside the U.S.

However, as leading NSA expert James Bamford – the Washington  Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings for almost a decade, winner of a number of journalism awards for coverage national security issues, whose articles have appeared in dozens of publications, including cover stories for the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and the only author to write any books (he wrote 3) on the NSA – reports, the NSA was also tapping the hijackers’ phone calls inside the U.S.

Specifically, hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi lived in San Diego, California, for 2 years before 9/11. Numerous phone calls between al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi in San Diego and a high-level Al Qaeda operations base in Yemen were made in those 2 years.

The NSA had been tapping and eavesdropping on all calls made from that Yemen phone for years. So NSA recorded all of these phone calls.

Indeed, the CIA knew as far back as 1999 that al-Mihdhar was coming to the U.S. Specifically, in 1999, CIA operatives tailing al-Mihdha in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, obtained a copy of his passport. It contained visas for both Malaysia and the U.S., so they knew it was likely he would go from Kuala Lumpur to America.

ABC News reported in 2002:

Shortly before Sept. 11, NSA intercepts detected multiple phone calls from Abu Zubaida, bin Laden’s chief of  operations, to the United States. The intercepts were never passed on.

And Raw Story wrote in 2008:

Author James Bamford looked into the performance of the NSA … and found that it had been closely monitoring the 9/11 hijackers as they moved freely around the United States and communicated with Osama bin Laden’s operations centerin Yemen. The NSA had even tapped bin Laden’s satellite phone, starting in 1996.

“The NSA never alerted any other agency that the terrorists were in the United States and moving across the country towards Washington,”  Bamford told PBS.

PBS also found that “the 9/11 Commission never looked closely into NSA’s role in the broad intelligence breakdown behind the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. If they had, they would have understood the full extent to which the agency had major pieces of the puzzle but never put them together or disclosed their entire body of knowledge to the CIA and the FBI.”

In a review of Bamford’s book, former senator and 9/11 Commission member Bob Kerrey wrote, “As the 9/11 Commission later established, U.S. intelligence officials knew that al-Qaeda had held a  planning meeting in Malaysia, found out the names of two recruits who had been present — Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi — and suspected that one and maybe both of them had flown to Los Angeles. Bamford reveals that the NSA had been eavesdropping for months on their calls to Yemen, yet the agency ‘never made the effort’ to trace where the calls originated. ‘At any time, had the FBI been notified, they could have found Hazmi in a matter of seconds.’”

Former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer told PBS, “None of this information that we’re speaking about this evening’s in the 9/11 Commission report. They simply ignored all of it.”

Spying Unrelated to Keeping Us Safe

As we’ve previously documented, the spying isn’t being done to keep us safe … but to crush dissent …

and to help the too big to fail businesses compete against smaller businesses (and here).

Indeed, the NSA monitoring efforts will not focus on spying on potential terrorists – or even criminal activity – but in recording every phone call, email, internet search or other communication in the country.

Not Just the NSA: Other Agencies and Shady Foreign Groups Spying on Americans As Well

It’s not just the NSA.

As Nat Hentoff writes:

Thirty years after Church’s principled stand, the Washington Post reported that the NSA had already been  enlisting other intelligence
agencies
 to assist its surveillance of “people inside the country suspected of having terrorist connections” (“Bush Authorized Domestic Spying,” Dan Eggen, Dec. 16, 2005).

On what basis? That’s classified.

And Bamford reports that shady companies with ties to Israel are wiretapping Americans for the NSA:

One of the [National Security] agency’s biggest secrets is just how careless it is with that ocean of very private and very personal communications, much of it to and from Americans. Increasingly, obscure and questionable contractors — not government employees — install the taps, run the agency’s eavesdropping infrastructure, and do the listening and analysis.

And with some of the key companies building the U.S.’s surveillance infrastructure for the digital age employing unstable employees, crooked executives, and having troubling ties to foreign intelligence services, it’s not clear that Americans should trust the secretive agency ….

***

Secretive contractors with questionable histories and little oversight were also used to do the actual bugging of the entire U.S. telecommunications network.

According to a former Verizon employee briefed on the program, Verint, owned by Comverse Technology, taps the communication lines at Verizon, which I first reported in my book The Shadow Factory in 2008. Verint did not return a call seeking comment, while Verizon said it does not comment on such matters.

At AT&T the wiretapping rooms are powered by software and hardware from Narus, now owned by Boeing, a discovery made by AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein in 2004. Narus did not return a call seeking comment.

What is especially troubling is that both companies have had extensive ties to Israel, as well as links to that country’s intelligence service, a country with a long and aggressive history of spying on the U.S.

In fact, according to Binney, the advanced analytical and data mining software the NSA had developed for both its worldwide and international eavesdropping operations was secretly passed to Israel by a mid-level employee, apparently with close connections to the country. The employee, a technical director in the Operations Directorate, “who was a very strong supporter of Israel,” said Binney, “gave, unbeknownst to us, he gave the software that we had, doing these fast rates, to the Israelis.”

Because of his position, it was something Binney should have been alerted to, but wasn’t.

“In addition to being the technical director,” he said, “I was the chair of the TAP, it’s the Technical Advisory Panel, the foreign relations council. We’re supposed to know what all these foreign countries, technically what they’re doing…. They didn’t do this that way, it was under the table.” After discovering the secret transfer of the technology, Binney argued that the agency simply pass it to them officially, and in that way get something in return, such as access to communications terminals. “So we gave it to them for switches,” he said.

“For access.”

But Binney now suspects that Israeli intelligence in turn passed the technology on to Israeli companies who operate in countries around the world, including the U.S. In return, the companies could act as extensions of Israeli intelligence and pass critical military, economic and diplomatic information back to them. “And then five years later, four or five years later, you see a Narus device,” he said. “I think there’s a connection there, we don’t know for sure.”

Narus was formed in Israel in November 1997 by six Israelis with much of its money coming from Walden Israel, an Israeli venture capital company. Its founder and
former chairman, Ori Cohen, once told Israel’s 
Fortune Magazine that his partners havedone technology work for Israeli intelligence. And among the five founders was Stanislav Khirman, a husky, bearded Russian who had previously worked for Elta Systems, Inc. A division of Israel Aerospace Industries, Ltd., Elta specializes in developing advanced eavesdropping systems for Israeli defense and intelligence organizations. At Narus, Khirman became the chief technology officer.

A few years ago, Narus boasted that it is “known for its ability to capture and collect data from the largest networks around the world.”

The company says its equipment is capable of “providing unparalleled monitoring and intercept capabilities to service providers and government organizations around the world” and that “Anything that comes through [an Internet protocol network], we can  record. We can reconstruct all of their e-mails, along with attachments, see what Web pages they clicked on, we can reconstruct their [Voice over Internet Protocol] calls.”

Like Narus, Verint was founded by in Israel by Israelis, including Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, a former Israeli intelligence officer. Some 800 employees work for Verint, including 350 who are based in Israel, primarily working in research and development and operations,according to the Jerusalem Post. Among its products is STAR-GATE, which according to the company’s sales literature, lets “service providers … access communications on virtually any type of network, retain  communication data for as long as required, and query and deliver content and data …” and was  “[d]esigned to manage vast numbers of targets, concurrent sessions, call data records, and communications.”

In a rare and candid admission to Forbes, Retired Brig. Gen. Hanan Gefen, a former commander of the highly secret Unit 8200, Israel’s NSA, noted his former organization’s influence on Comverse, which owns Verint, as well as other Israeli companies that dominate the U.S. eavesdropping and surveillance market. “Take NICE, Comverse and Check Point for example, three of the largest high-tech companies, which were all directly influenced by 8200 technology,” said Gefen. “Check Point was founded by Unit alumni.  Comverse’s main product, the Logger, is based on the Unit’s technology.”

According to a former chief of Unit 8200, both the veterans of the group and much of the high-tech intelligence equipment they developed are now employed in high-tech firms around the world. “Cautious estimates indicate that in the past few years,” he told a reporter for the Israeli newspaper Ha’artez  in 2000, “Unit 8200 veterans have set up some 30 to 40 high-tech companies, including 5 to 10 that were floated on Wall Street.” Referred to only as “Brigadier General B,” he added, “This correlation between serving in the intelligence Unit 8200 and starting successful high-tech companies is not coincidental: Many of the technologies in use around the world and developed in Israel were originally military technologies and were developed and improved by Unit veterans.”

Equally troubling is the issue of corruption. Kobi Alexander, the founder and former chairman of Verint, is now a fugitive, wanted by the FBI on nearly three dozen charges of fraud, theft, lying, bribery, money laundering and other crimes. And two of his top associates at Comverse, Chief Financial Officer David Kreinberg and former General Counsel William F. Sorin, were also indicted in the scheme and later pleaded guilty, with both serving time in prison and paying millions of dollars in fines and penalties.


How Liberty Was Lost

04/24/2012

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/04/23/how-liberty-was-lost/

 By Paul Craig Roberts

 When did things begin going wrong in America?

“From the beginning,” answer some. English colonists, themselves under the thumb of a king, exterminated American Indians and stole their lands, as did late 18th and 19th century Americans. Over the course of three centuries the native inhabitants of America were dispossessed, just as Israelis have been driving Palestinians off their lands since 1948.

Demonization always plays a role. The Indians were savages and the Palestinians are terrorists. Any country that can control the explanation can get away with evil.

I agree that there is a lot of evil in every country and civilization. In the struggle between good and evil, religion has at times been on the side of evil. However, the notion of moral progress cannot so easily be thrown out.

Consider, for example, slavery. In the 1800s, slavery still existed in countries that proclaimed equal rights. Even free women did not have equal rights. Today no Western country would openly tolerate the ownership of humans or the transfer of a woman’s property upon her marriage to her husband.

It is true that Western governments have ownership rights in the labor of their citizens through the income tax. This remains as a mitigated form of serfdom. So far, however, no government has claimed the right of ownership over the person himself.

Sometimes I hear from readers that my efforts are pointless, that elites are always dominant and that the only solution is to find one’s way into the small, connected clique of elites either through marriage or service to their interests.

This might sound like cynical advice, but it is not devoid of some truth. Indeed, it is the way Washington and New York work, and increasingly the way the entire country operates.

Washington serves powerful private interests, not the public interest. University faculties in their research increasingly serve private interests and decreasingly serve truth. In the US the media is no longer a voice and protection for the people. It is becoming increasingly impossible in America to get a good job without being connected to the system that serves the elites.

The problem I have with this “give up” attitude is that over the course of my life, and more broadly over the course of the 20th century, many positive changes occurred through reforms. It is impossible to have reforms without good will, so even the elites who accepted reforms that limited their powers were part of the moral progress.

Labor unions became a countervailing power to corporate management and Wall Street.

Working conditions were reformed. Civil rights were extended. People excluded by the system were brought into it. Anyone who grew up in the 20th century can add his own examples.

Progress was slow–unduly so from a reformer’s standpoint–and mistakes were made. Nevertheless, whether done properly or improperly there was a commitment to the expansion of civil liberty.

This commitment ended suddenly on September 11, 2001. In eleven years the Bush/Obama Regime repealed 800 years of human achievements that established law as a shield of the people and, instead, converted law into a weapon in the hands of the government. Today Americans and citizens of other countries can, on the will of the US executive branch alone, be confined to torture dungeons for the duration of their lives with no due process or evidence presented to any court, or they can be shot down in the streets or exterminated by drone missiles.

The power that the US government asserts over its subjects and also over the citizens of other countries is unlimited. Lenin described unlimited power as power “resting directly on force, not limited by anything, not restricted by any laws, nor any absolute rules.”

Washington claims that it is the indispensable government representing the exceptional people and thereby has the right to impose its will and “justice” on the rest of the world and that resistance to Washington constitutes terrorism to be exterminated by any possible means.

Thus, the American neoconservatives speak of nuking Iran for insisting on its independence from American hegemony and exercising its rights to nuclear energy under the non-proliferation treaty to which Iran is a signatory.

In other words, Washington’s will prevails over international treaties that have the force of law, treaties which Washington itself imposed on the world. According to the neoconservatives and Washington, Iran is not protected by the legal contract that Iran made with Washington when Iran signed the non-proliferation treaty.

Iran finds itself as just another 17th or 18th century American Indian tribe to be deprived of its rights and to be exterminated by the forces of evil that dominate Washington, D.C.

The vast majority of “superpower” americans plugged into the Matrix, where they are happy with the disinformation pumped into their brains by Washington and its presstitute media, would demur rather than face my facts.

This raises the question: how does one become unplugged and unplug others from the Matrix? Readers have asked, and I do not have a complete answer.

It seems to happen in a number of ways. Being fired and forced to train your H-1B foreign replacement who works for lower pay, being convicted of a crime that you did not commit, having your children stolen from you by Child Protective Services because bruises from sports activities were alleged to be signs of child abuse, your home stolen from you because a mortgage based on fraud was given the force of law, laid off by “free market capitalism” as your age advanced and the premium of your employer-provided medical insurance increased, being harassed by Homeland Security on your re-entry to the US because you are a non-embedded journalist who reports truthfully on US behavior abroad. There are many instances of Americans being jolted into reality by the “freedom and democracy” scales falling away from their eyes.

It is possible that becoming unplugged from the Matrix is a gradual lifelong experience for the few who pay attention. The longer they live, the more they notice that reality contradicts the government’s and media’s explanations. The few who can remember important stuff after watching reality shows and their favorite sports teams and fantasy movies gradually realize that there is no “new economy” to take the place of the manufacturing economy that was given away to foreign countries. Once unemployed from their “dirty fingernail jobs,” they learn that there is no “new economy” to employ them.

Still seething from the loss of the Vietnam War and anger at war protesters, some flag-waving patriots are slowly realizing the consequences of criminalizing dissent and the exercise of First Amendment rights. “You are with us or against us” is taking on threatening instead of reassuring connotations, implying that anyone who opens his or her mouth in any dissent is thereby transformed into an “enemy of the state.”

More Americans, but far from enough, are coming to the realization that the extermination of the Branch Davidians at Waco in 1993 was a test run to confirm that the public and Congress would accept the murder of civilians who had been demonized with false charges of child abuse and gun-running.

The next test was the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995. Whose explanation would prevail: the government’s or that of experts? Air Force General Partin, a top expert on explosives, proved conclusively in a heavily documented report given to every member of Congress that the Murruh Federal Office Building blew up from the inside out, not from the outside in from the fertilizer car bomb. But General Partin’s facts lost out to the government’s propaganda and to Congress’ avoidance of cognitive dissonance.

Once the “national security” government learned that its pronouncements and those of the presstitute media carried more weight than the facts presented by experts, conspiracies such as Operation Northwoods could be put into play. A 9/11 became possible.

The Pentagon, CIA, and military/security complex were desperate for a new enemy to replace the “Soviet threat,” which had ceased to exist. The military/security complex and its servants in Congress were determined to replace the profits made from the cold war and to preserve and increase the powers accumulated in the Pentagon and CIA. The only possible replacement for the Soviet threat was “Muslim terrorists.” Thus, the creation of the “al Qaeda threat” and the conflation of this new threat with secular Arab governments, such as Iraq’s and Syria’s, which were the real targets of Islamists.

Despite the evidence provided by experts that secular Arab governments, such as Saddam Hussein’s, were allies against Islamic extremism, the US government used propaganda to link the secular Iraq government with Iraq’s enemies among Islamic revolutionaries.

Once Washington confirmed that the American public was both too ignorant and too inattentive to pay any attention to events that would alter their lives and jeopardize their existence, every thing else followed: the PATRIOT Act, the suspension of the Constitution and destruction of civil liberty, Homeland Security which has quickly extended its gestapo reach from airports to train stations, bus terminals and highway road blocks, the criminalization of dissent, the equating of critics of the government with supporters of terrorism, the home invasions of antiwar protesters and their arraignment before a grand jury, the prosecution of whistleblowers who reveal government crimes, the equating of journalism organizations such as WikiLeaks with spies. The list goes on.

The collapse of truth in the US and in its puppet states is a major challenge to my view that truth and good will are powers that can prevail over evil. It is possible that my perception that moral progress has occurred in various periods of Western civilization reflects a progressive unplugging from the Matrix. What I remember as reforms might be events experienced through the rose colored glasses of the Matrix.

But I think not. Reason is an important part of human existence. Some are capable of it. Imagination and creativity can escape chains. Good can withstand evil. The extraordinary film, The Matrix, affirmed that people could be unplugged. I believe that even americans can be unplugged. If I give up this belief, I will cease writing.

About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.


UPSIDE DOWN LAND

04/23/2012

http://www.findmall.com/read.php?13,1680958,1682035

You know you live in anUpside-downLand if…

A Muslim officer crying “Allah Akbar” while shooting up an army base is considered to have committed “Workplace Violence” while an American citizen boasting a Ron Paul bumper sticker is classified as a “Domestic Terrorist”.

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

You can get arrested for expired tags on your car but not for being in the country illegally.

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if…

Your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more of our money.


You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

A seven year old boy can be thrown out of school for calling his teacher“cute” but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable.

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if…..

The Supreme Court of the United States can rule that lower courts cannot display the 10 Commandments in their courtroom, while sitting in front of a display of the 10 Commandments.

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

Children are forcibly removed from parents who appropriately discipline them while children of “underprivileged” drug addicts are left to rot in filth infested cesspools.

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

Working class Americans pay for their own health care (and the health care of everyone else) while unmarried women are free to have child after child on the “State’s” dime while never being held responsible for their own choices.

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

Hard work and success are rewarded with higher taxes and government intrusion, while slothful, lazy behavior is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid and subsidized housing.

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

The government’s plan for getting people back to work is to provide 99 weeks of unemployment checks (to not work).

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

Being self-sufficient is considered a threat to the government.

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

Politicians think that stripping away the amendments to the constitution is really protecting the rights of the people.

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

The rights of the Government come before the rights of the individual.

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

Parents believe the State is responsible for providing for their children.

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

You can write a post like this just by reading the news headlines.


You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

You pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big screen TV while your neighbor defaults on his mortgage (while buying iphones, TV’s and new cars) and the government forgives his debt and reduces his mortgage (with your tax dollars).

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

Your government can add anything they want to your kid’s water (fluoride, chlorine, etc.) but you are not allowed to give them raw milk.

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

Being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you “safe”.

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

You have to have your parents signature to go on a school field trip but not to get an abortion.

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

An 80 year old woman can be stripped searched by the TSA but a Muslim woman in a burqa is only subject to having her neck and head searched.

You know you live in an Upside-down Land if….

Using the “N” word is considered “hate speech” but writing and signing songs about raping women and killing cops is considered “art”.

America is on the verge of destruction.

There is no insanity greater than electing a pathological narcissist as president.

 

KEEP YOUR TRUST IN GOD. YOUR GOVERNMENT HAS FAILED YOU MISERABLY.

 

Unfortunately, this list could go on and on. We are in distress. Where do we go from here?

“COWARDICE asks the question – is it Safe?” “EXPEDIENCY asks the question – is it Politically Correct?” “VANITY asks the question – is it Popular?” “But the CONSCIENCE asks the question – is it Right?” “And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither, Safe, nor Politically Correct, nor Popular, but one must take it, because its RIGHT!!” Vote incumbents out! I don’t think the country would be any worse off.

 

“He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.” 

Samuel Adams


Chinas Rise Americas Fall

04/22/2012

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/chinas-rise-americas-fall/

 Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?

By Ron Unz

The rise of China surely ranks among the most important world developments of the last 100 years. With America still trapped in its fifth year of economic hardship, and the Chinese economy poised to surpass our own before the end of this decade, China looms very large on the horizon. We are living in the early years of what journalists once dubbed “The Pacific Century,” yet there are worrisome signs it may instead become known as “The Chinese Century.”

But does the Chinese giant have feet of clay? In a recently published book,Why Nations Fail, economists Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson characterize China’s ruling elites as “extractive”—parasitic and corrupt—and predict that Chinese economic growth will soon falter and decline, while America’s “inclusive” governing institutions have taken us from strength to strength. They argue that a country governed as a one-party state, without the free media or checks and balances of our own democratic system, cannot long prosper in the modern world. The glowing tributes this book has received from a vast array of America’s most prominent public intellectuals, including six Nobel laureates in economics, testifies to the widespread popularity of this optimistic message.

Yet do the facts about China and America really warrant this conclusion?

China Shakes the World

By the late 1970s, three decades of Communist central planning had managed to increase China’s production at a respectable rate, but with tremendous fits and starts, and often at a terrible cost: 35 million or more Chinese had starved to death during the disastrous 1959–1961 famine caused by Mao’s forced industrialization policy of the Great Leap Forward.

China’s population had also grown very rapidly during this period, so the typical standard of living had improved only slightly, perhaps 2 percent per year between 1958 and 1978, and this from an extremely low base. Adjusted for purchasing power, most Chinese in 1980 had an income 60–70 percent below that of the citizens in other major Third World countries such as Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Kenya, none of which were considered great economic success stories. In those days, even Haitians were far wealthier than Chinese.

All this began to change very rapidly once Deng Xiaoping initiated his free-market reforms in 1978, first throughout the countryside and eventually in the smaller industrial enterprises of the coastal provinces. By 1985, The Economist ran a cover story praising China’s 700,000,000 peasants for having doubled their agricultural production in just seven years, an achievement almost unprecedented in world history. Meanwhile, China’s newly adopted one-child policy, despite its considerable unpopularity, had sharply reduced population growth rates in a country possessing relatively little arable land.

A combination of slowing population growth and rapidly accelerating economic output has obvious implications for national prosperity. During the three decades to 2010, China achieved perhaps the most rapid sustained rate of economic development in the history of the human species, with its real economy growing almost 40-fold between 1978 and 2010. In 1978, America’s economy was 15 times larger, but according to most international estimates, China is now set to surpass America’s total economic output within just another few years.

Furthermore, the vast majority of China’s newly created economic wealth has flowed to ordinary Chinese workers, who have moved from oxen and bicycles to the verge of automobiles in just a single generation. While median American incomes have been stagnant for almost forty years, those in China have nearly doubled every decade, with the real wages of workers outside the farm-sector rising about 150 percent over the last ten years alone. The Chinese of 1980 were desperately poor compared to Pakistanis, Nigerians, or Kenyans; but today, they are several times wealthier, representing more than a tenfold shift in relative income.

A World Bank report recently highlighted the huge drop in global poverty rates from 1980 to 2008, but critics noted that over 100 percent of that decline came from China alone: the number of Chinese living in dire poverty fell by a remarkable 662 million, while the impoverished population in the rest of the world actually rose by 13 million. And although India is often paired with China in the Western media, a large fraction of Indians have actually grown poorer over time. The bottom half of India’s still rapidly growing population has seen its daily caloric intake steadily decline for the last 30 years, with half of all children under five now being malnourished.

China’s economic progress is especially impressive when matched against historical parallels. Between 1870 and 1900, America enjoyed unprecedented industrial expansion, such that even Karl Marx and his followers began to doubt that a Communist revolution would be necessary or even possible in a country whose people were achieving such widely shared prosperity through capitalistic expansion. During those 30 years America’s real per capita income grew by 100 percent. But over the last 30 years, real per capita income in China has grown by more than 1,300 percent.

Over the last decade alone, China quadrupled its industrial output, which is now comparable to that of the U.S. In the crucial sector of automobiles, China raised its production ninefold, from 2 million cars in 2000 to 18 million in 2010, a figure now greater than the combined totals for America and Japan. China accounted for fully 85 percent of the total world increase in auto manufacturing during that decade.

It is true that many of China’s highest-tech exports are more apparent than real. Nearly all Apple’s iPhones and iPads come from China, but this is largely due to the use of cheap Chinese labor for final assembly, with just 4 percent of the value added in those world-leading items being Chinese. This distorts Chinese trade statistics, leading to unnecessary friction. However, some high-tech China exports are indeed fully Chinese, notably those of Huawei, which now ranks alongside Sweden’s Ericsson as one of the world’s two leading telecommunications manufacturers, while once powerful North American competitors such Lucent-Alcatel and Nortel have fallen into steep decline or even bankruptcy. And although America originally pioneered the Human Genome Project, the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) today probably stands as the world leader in that enormously important emerging scientific field.

China’s recent rise should hardly surprise us. For most of the last 3,000 years, China together with the Mediterranean world and its adjoining European peninsula have constituted the two greatest world centers of technological and economic progress. During the 13th century, Marco Polo traveled from his native Venice to the Chinese Empire and described the latter as vastly wealthier and more advanced than any European country. As late as the 18th century, many leading European philosophers such as Voltaire often looked to Chinese society as an intellectual exemplar, while both the British and the Prussians used the Chinese mandarinate as their model for establishing a meritocratic civil service based on competitive examinations.

Even a century ago, near the nadir of China’s later weakness and decay, some of America’s foremost public intellectuals, such as Edward A. Ross and Lothrop Stoddard, boldly predicted the forthcoming restoration of the Chinese nation to global influence, the former with equanimity and the latter with serious concern. Indeed, Stoddard argued that only three major inventions effectively separated the world of classical antiquity from that of 18th-century Europe—gunpowder, the mariner’s compass, and the printing press. All three seem to have first appeared in China, though for various social, political, and ideological reasons, none were properly implemented.

Does China’s rise necessarily imply America’s decline? Not at all: human economic progress is not a zero-sum game. Under the right circumstances, the rapid development of one large country should tend to improve living standards for the rest of the world.

This is most obvious for those nations whose economic strengths directly complement those of a growing China. Massive industrial expansion clearly requires a similar increase in raw-material consumption, and China is now the world’s largest producer and user of electricity, concrete, steel, and many other basic materials, with its iron-ore imports surging by a factor of ten between 2000 and 2011. This has driven huge increases in the costs of most commodities; for example, copper’s world price rose more than eightfold during the last decade. As a direct consequence, these years have generally been very good ones for the economies of countries that heavily rely upon the export of natural resources—Australia, Russia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and parts of Africa.

Meanwhile, as China’s growth gradually doubles total world industrial production, the resulting “China price” reduces the cost of manufactured goods, making them much more easily affordable to everyone, and thereby greatly increases the global standard of living. While this process may negatively impact those particular industries and countries directly competing with China, it provides enormous opportunities as well, not merely to the aforementioned raw-material suppliers but also to countries like Germany, whose advanced equipment and machine tools have found a huge Chinese market, thereby helping to reduce German unemployment to the lowest level in 20 years.

And as ordinary Chinese grow wealthier, they provide a larger market as well for the goods and services of leading Western companies, ranging from fast-food chains to consumer products to luxury goods. Chinese workers not only assemble Apple’s iPhones and iPads, but are also very eager to purchase them, and China has now become that company’s second largest market, with nearly all of the extravagant profit margins flowing back to its American owners and employees. In 2011 General Motors sold more cars in China than in the U.S., and that rapidly growing market became a crucial factor in the survival of an iconic American corporation. China has become the third largest market in the world for McDonald’s, and the main driver of global profits for the American parent company of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC.

Social Costs of a Rapid Rise

Transforming a country in little more than a single generation from a land of nearly a billion peasants to one of nearly a billion city-dwellers is no easy task, and such a breakneck pace of industrial and economic development inevitably leads to substantial social costs. Chinese urban pollution is among the worst in the world, and traffic is rapidly heading toward that same point. China now contains the second largest number of billionaires after America, together with more than a million dollar-millionaires, and although many of these individuals came by their fortunes honestly, many others did not. Official corruption is a leading source of popular resentment against the various levels of Chinese government, ranging from local village councils to the highest officials in Beijing.

But we must maintain a proper sense of proportion. As someone who grew up in Los Angeles when it still had the most notorious smog in America, I recognize that such trends can be reversed with time and money, and indeed the Chinese government has expressed intense interest in the emerging technology of non-polluting electric cars. Rapidly growing national wealth can be deployed to solve many problems.

Similarly, plutocrats who grow rich through friends in high places or even outright corruption are easier to tolerate when a rising tide is rapidly lifting all boats. Ordinary Chinese workers have increased their real income by well over 1,000 percent in recent decades, while the corresponding figure for most American workers has been close to zero. If typical American wages were doubling every decade, there would be far less anger in our own society directed against the “One Percent.” Indeed, under the standard GINI index used to measure wealth inequality, China’s score is not particularly high, being roughly the same as that of the United States, though certainly indicating greater inequality than most of the social democracies of Western Europe.

Many American pundits and politicians still focus their attention on the tragic Tiananmen Square incident of 1989, during which hundreds of determined Chinese protesters were massacred by government troops. But although that event loomed very large at the time, in hindsight it generated merely a blip in the upward trajectory of China’s development and today seems virtually forgotten among ordinary Chinese, whose real incomes have increased several-fold in the quarter century since then.

Much of the Tiananmen protest had been driven by popular outrage at government corruption, and certainly there have been additional major scandals in recent years, often heavily splashed across the pages of America’s leading newspapers. But a closer examination paints a more nuanced picture, especially when contrasted with America’s own situation.

For example, over the last few years one of the most ambitious Chinese projects has been a plan to create the world’s largest and most advanced network of high-speed rail transport, an effort that absorbed a remarkable $200 billion of government investment. The result was the construction of over 6,000 miles of track, a total probably now greater than that of all the world’s other nations combined. Unfortunately, this project also involved considerable corruption, as was widely reported in the world media, which estimated that hundreds of millions of dollars had been misappropriated through bribery and graft. This scandal eventually led to the arrest or removal of numerous government officials, notably including China’s powerful Railways Minister.

Obviously such serious corruption would seem horrifying in a country with the pristine standards of a Sweden or a Norway. But based on the published accounts, it appears that the funds diverted amounted to perhaps as little as 0.2 percent of the total, with the remaining 99.8 percent generally spent as intended. So serious corruption notwithstanding, the project succeeded and China does indeed now possess the world’s largest and most advanced network of high-speed rail, constructed almost entirely in the last five or six years.

Meanwhile, America has no high-speed rail whatsoever, despite decades of debate and vast amounts of time and money spent on lobbying, hearings, political campaigns, planning efforts, and environmental-impact reports. China’s high-speed rail system may be far from perfect, but it actually exists, while America’s does not. Annual Chinese ridership now totals over 25 million trips per year, and although an occasional disaster—such as the 2011 crash in Weizhou, which killed 40 passengers—is tragic, it is hardly unexpected. After all, America’s aging low-speed trains are not exempt from similar calamities, as we saw in the 2008 Chatsworth crash that killed 25 in California.

For many years Western journalists regularly reported that the dismantling of China’s old Maoist system of government-guaranteed healthcare had led to serious social stresses, forcing ordinary workers to save an unreasonable fraction of their salaries to pay for medical treatment if they or their families became ill. But over the last couple of years, the government has taken major steps to reduce this problem by establishing a national healthcare insurance system whose coverage now extends to 95 percent or so of the total population, a far better ratio than is found in wealthy America and at a tiny fraction of the cost. Once again, competent leaders with access to growing national wealth can effectively solve these sorts of major social problems.

Although Chinese cities have negligible crime and are almost entirely free of the horrible slums found in many rapidly urbanizing Third World countries, housing for ordinary workers is often quite inadequate. But national concerns over rising unemployment due to the global recession gave the government a perfect opportunity late last year to announce a bold plan to construct over 35 million modern new government apartments, which would then be provided to ordinary workers on a subsidized basis.

All of this follows the pattern of Lee Kwan Yew’s mixed-development model, combining state socialism and free enterprise, which raised Singapore’s people from the desperate, abject poverty of 1945 to a standard of living now considerably higher than that of most Europeans or Americans, including a per capita GDP almost $12,000 above that of the United States. Obviously, implementing such a program for the world’s largest population and on a continental scale is far more challenging than doing so in a tiny city-state with a population of a few million and inherited British colonial institutions, but so far China has done very well in confounding its skeptics.

America’s Economic Decline

These facts do not provide much evidence for the thesis in Why Nations Fail that China’s leaders constitute a self-serving and venal “extractive” elite. Unfortunately, such indications seem far more apparent when we direct our gaze inward, toward the recent economic and social trajectory of our own country

Against the backdrop of remarkable Chinese progress, America mostly presents a very gloomy picture. Certainly America’s top engineers and entrepreneurs have created many of the world’s most important technologies, sometimes becoming enormously wealthy in the process. But these economic successes are not typical nor have their benefits been widely distributed. Over the last 40 years, a large majority of American workers have seen their real incomes stagnate or decline.

Meanwhile, the rapid concentration of American wealth continues apace: the richest 1 percent of America’s population now holds as much net wealth as the bottom 90–95 percent, and these trend may even be accelerating. A recent study revealed that during our supposed recovery of the last couple of years, 93 percent of the total increase in national income went to the top 1 percent, with an astonishing 37 percent being captured by just the wealthiest 0.01 percent of the population, 15,000 households in a nation of well over 300 million people.

Evidence for the long-term decline in our economic circumstances is most apparent when we consider the situation of younger Americans. The national media endlessly trumpets the tiny number of youthful Facebook millionaires, but the prospects for most of their contemporaries are actually quite grim. According to research from the Pew Center, barely half of 18- to 24-year-old Americans are currently employed, the lowest level since 1948, a time long before most women had joined the labor force. Nearly one-fifth of young men age 25–34 are still living with their parents, while the wealth of all households headed by those younger than 35 is 68 percent lower today than it was in 1984.

The total outstanding amount of non-dischargeable student-loan debt has crossed the trillion-dollar mark, now surpassing the combined total of credit-card and auto-loan debt—and with a quarter of all student-loan payers now delinquent, there are worrisome indicators that much of it will remain a permanent burden, reducing many millions to long-term debt peonage. A huge swath of America’s younger generation seems completely impoverished, and likely to remain so.

International trade statistics, meanwhile, demonstrate that although Apple and Google are doing quite well, our overall economy is not. For many years now our largest goods export has been government IOUs, whose dollar value has sometimes been greater than that of the next ten categories combined. At some point, perhaps sooner than we think, the rest of the world will lose its appetite for this non-functional product, and our currency will collapse, together with our standard of living. Similar Cassandra-like warnings were issued for years about the housing bubble or the profligacy of the Greek government, and were proven false year after year until one day they suddenly became true.

Ironically enough, there is actually one major category in which American expansion still easily tops that of China, both today and for the indefinite future: population growth. The rate of America’s demographic increase passed that of China over 20 years ago and has been greater every year since, sometimes by as much as a factor of two. According to standard projections, China’s population in 2050 will be almost exactly what it was in 2000, with the country having achieved the population stability typical of advanced, prosperous societies. But during that same half-century, the number of America’s inhabitants will have grown by almost 50 percent, a rate totally unprecedented in the developed world and actually greater than that found in numerous Third World countries such as Colombia, Algeria, Thailand, Mexico, or Indonesia. A combination of very rapid population growth and doubtful prospects for equally rapid economic growth does not bode well for the likely quality of the 2050 American Dream.

China rises while America falls, but are there major causal connections between these two concurrent trends now reshaping the future of our world? Not that I can see. American politicians and pundits are naturally fearful of taking on the fierce special interest groups that dominate their political universe, so they often seek an external scapegoat to explicate the misery of their constituents, sometimes choosing to focus on China. But this is merely political theater for the ignorant and the gullible.

Various studies have suggested that China’s currency may be substantially undervalued, but even if the frequent demands of Paul Krugman and others were met and the yuan rapidly appreciated another 15 or 20 percent, few industrial jobs would return to American shores, while working-class Americans might pay much more for their basic necessities. And if China opened wide its borders to more American movies or financial services, the multimillionaires of Hollywood and Wall Street might grow even richer, but ordinary Americans would see little benefit. It is always easier for a nation to point an accusing finger at foreigners rather than honestly admit that almost all its terrible problems are essentially self-inflicted.

Decay of Constitutional Democracy

The central theme of Why Nations Fail is that political institutions and the behavior of ruling elites largely determine the economic success or failure of countries. If most Americans have experienced virtually no economic gains for decades, perhaps we should cast our gaze at these factors in our own society.

Our elites boast about the greatness of our constitutional democracy, the wondrous human rights we enjoy, the freedom and rule of law that have long made America a light unto the nations of the world and a spiritual draw for oppressed peoples everywhere, including China itself. But are these claims actually correct? They often stack up very strangely when they appear in the opinion pages of our major newspapers, coming just after the news reporting, whose facts tell a very different story.

Just last year, the Obama administration initiated a massive months-long bombing campaign against the duly recognized government of Libya on “humanitarian” grounds, then argued with a straight face that a military effort comprising hundreds of bombing sorties and over a billion dollars in combat costs did not actually constitute “warfare,” and hence was completely exempt from the established provisions of the Congressional War Powers Act. A few months later, Congress overwhelmingly passed and President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, granting the president power to permanently imprison without trial or charges any American whom he classifies as a national-security threat based on his own judgment and secret evidence. When we consider that American society has experienced virtually no domestic terrorism during the past decade, we must wonder how long our remaining constitutional liberties would survive if we were facing frequent real-life attacks by an actual terrorist underground, such as had been the case for many years with the IRA in Britain, ETA in Spain, or the Red Brigades in Italy.

Most recently, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have claimed the inherent right of an American president to summarily execute anyone anywhere in the world, American citizen or not, whom White House advisors have privately decided was a “bad person.” While it is certainly true that major world governments have occasionally assassinated their political enemies abroad, I have never before heard these dark deeds publicly proclaimed as legitimate and aboveboard. Certainly if the governments of Russia or China, let alone Iran, declared their inherent right to kill anyone anywhere in the world whom they didn’t like, our media pundits would immediately blast these statements as proof of their total criminal insanity.

These are very strange notions of the “rule of law” for the administration of a president who had once served as top editor of the Harvard Law Review and who was routinely flattered in his political campaigns by being described as a “constitutional scholar.”

Many of these negative ideological trends have been absorbed and accepted by the popular culture and much of the American public. Over the last decade one of the highest-rated shows on American television was “24”, created by Joel Surnow and chronicling Kiefer Sutherland as a patriotic but ruthless Secret Service agent, with each episode constituting a single hour of his desperate efforts to thwart terrorist plots and safeguard our national security. Numerous episodes featured our hero torturing suspected evildoers in order to extract the information necessary to save innocent lives, with the entire series representing a popular weekly glorification of graphic government torture on behalf of the greater good.

Now soft-headed protestations to the contrary, most governments around the world have at least occasionally practiced torture, especially when combating popular insurgencies, and some of the more brutal regimes, including Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany, even professionalized the process. But such dark deeds done in secret were always vigorously denied in public, and the popular films and other media of Stalin’s Soviet Union invariably featured pure-hearted workers and peasants bravely doing their honorable and patriotic duty for the Motherland, rather than the terrible torments being daily inflicted in the cellars of the Lubyanka prison. Throughout all of modern history, I am not aware of a single even semi-civilized country that publicly celebrated the activities of its professional government torturers in the popular media. Certainly such sentiments would have been totally abhorrent and unthinkable in the “conservative Hollywood” of the Cold War 1950s.

And since we live in a entertainment-dominated society, sentiments affirmed on the screen often have direct real-world consequences. At one point, senior American military and counter-terrorism officials felt the need to travel to Hollywood and urge its screenwriters to stop glorifying American torture, since their shows were encouraging U.S. soldiers to torture Muslim captives even when their commanding officers repeatedly ordered them not to do so.

Given these facts, we should hardly be surprised that international surveys over the past decade have regularly ranked America as the world’s most hated major nation, a remarkable achievement given the dominant global role of American media and entertainment and also the enormous international sympathy that initially flowed to our country following the 9/11 attacks.

An Emerging One-Party State

So far at least, these extra-constitutional and often brutal methods have not been directed toward controlling America’s own political system; we remain a democracy rather than a dictatorship. But does our current system actually possess the central feature of a true democracy, namely a high degree of popular influence over major government policies? Here the evidence seems more ambiguous.

Consider the pattern of the last decade. With two ruinous wars and a financial collapse to his record, George W. Bush was widely regarded as one of the most disastrous presidents in American history, and at times his public approval numbers sank to the lowest levels ever measured. The sweeping victory of his successor, Barack Obama, represented more a repudiation of Bush and his policies than anything else, and leading political activists, left and right alike, characterized Obama as Bush’s absolute antithesis, both in background and in ideology. This sentiment was certainly shared abroad, with Obama being selected for the Nobel Peace Prize just months after entering office, based on the widespread assumption that he was certain to reverse most of the policies of his detested predecessor and restore America to sanity.

Yet almost none of these reversals took place. Instead, the continuity of administration policy has been so complete and so obvious that many critics now routinely speak of the Bush/Obama administration.

The harsh violations of constitutional principles and civil liberties which Bush pioneered following the 9/11 attacks have only further intensified under Obama, the heralded Harvard constitutional scholar and ardent civil libertarian, and this has occurred without the excuse of any major new terrorist attacks. During his Democratic primary campaign, Obama promised that he would move to end Bush’s futile Iraq War immediately upon taking office, but instead large American forces remained in place for years until heavy pressure from the Iraqi government finally forced their removal; meanwhile, America’s occupation army in Afghanistan actually tripled in size. The government bailout of the hated financial manipulators of Wall Street, begun under Bush, continued apace under Obama, with no serious attempts at either government prosecution or drastic reform. Americans are still mostly suffering through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, but Wall Street profits and multimillion-dollar bonuses soon returned to record levels.

In particular, the continuity of top officials has been remarkable. As Bush’s second defense secretary, Robert Gates had been responsible for the ongoing management of America’s foreign wars and military occupations since 2006; Obama kept him on, and he continued to play the same role in the new administration. Similarly, Timothy Geithner had been one of Bush’s most senior financial appointments, playing a crucial role in the widely unpopular financial bailout of Wall Street; Obama promoted him to Treasury secretary and authorized continuation of those same policies. Ben Bernanke had been appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve by Bush and was reappointed by Obama. Bush wars and bailouts became Obama wars and bailouts. The American public voted for an anti-Bush, but got Bush’s third term instead.

During the Cold War, Soviet propagandists routinely characterized our democracy as a sham, with the American public merely selecting which of the two intertwined branches of their single political party should alternate in office, while the actual underlying policies remained essentially unchanged, being decided and implemented by the same corrupt ruling class. This accusation may have been mostly false at the time it was made but seems disturbingly accurate today.

When times are hard and government policies are widely unpopular, but voters are only offered a choice between the rival slick marketing campaigns of Coke and Pepsi, cynicism can reach extreme proportions. Over the last year, surveys have shown that the public non-approval of Congress—representing Washington’s political establishment—has ranged as high as 90–95 percent, which is completely unprecedented.

But if our government policies are so broadly unpopular, why are we unable to change them through the sacred power of the vote? The answer is that America’s system of government has increasingly morphed from being a representative democracy to becoming something closer to a mixture of plutocracy and mediacracy, with elections almost entirely determined by money and media, not necessarily in that order. Political leaders are made or broken depending on whether they receive the cash and visibility needed to win office.

National campaigns increasingly seem sordid reality shows for second-rate political celebrities, while our country continues along its path toward multiple looming calamities. Candidates who depart from the script or deviate from the elite D.C. consensus regarding wars or bailouts—notably a principled ideologue such as Ron Paul—are routinely stigmatized in the media as dangerous extremists or even entirely airbrushed out of campaign news coverage, as has been humorously highlighted by comedian Jon Stewart.

We know from the collapsed communist states of Eastern Europe that control over the media may determine public perceptions of reality, but it does not change the underlying reality itself, and reality usually has the last laugh. Economics Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and his colleagues have conservatively estimated the total long-term cost of our disastrous Iraq War at $3 trillion, representing over one-fifth of our entire accumulated national debt, or almost $30,000 per American household. And even now the direct ongoing costs of our Afghanistan War still run $120 billion per year, many times the size of Afghanistan’s total GDP. Meanwhile, during these same years the international price of oil has risen from $25 to $125 per barrel—partly as a consequence of these past military disruptions and growing fears of future ones—thereby imposing gigantic economic costs upon our society.

And we suffer other costs as well. A recent New York Times story described the morale-building visit of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to our forces in Afghanistan and noted that all American troops had been required to surrender their weapons before attending his speech and none were allowed to remain armed in his vicinity. Such a command decision seems almost unprecedented in American history and does not reflect well upon the perceived state of our military morale.

Future historians may eventually regard these two failed wars, fought for entirely irrational reasons, as the proximate cause of America’s financial and political collapse, representing the historical bookend to our World War II victory, which originally established American global dominance.

Our Extractive Elites 

When parasitic elites govern a society along “extractive” lines, a central feature is the massive upward flow of extracted wealth, regardless of any contrary laws or regulations. Certainly America has experienced an enormous growth of officially tolerated corruption as our political system has increasingly consolidated into a one-party state controlled by a unified media-plutocracy.

Consider the late 2011 collapse of MF Global, a midsize but highly reputable brokerage firm. Although this debacle was far smaller than the Lehman bankruptcy or the Enron fraud, it effectively illustrates the incestuous activities of America’s overlapping elites. Just a year earlier, Jon Corzine had been installed as CEO, following his terms as Democratic governor and U.S. senator from New Jersey and his previous career as CEO of Goldman Sachs. Perhaps no other American had such a combination of stellar political and financial credentials on his resume. Soon after taking the reins, Corzine decided to boost his company’s profits by betting its entire capital and more against the possibility that any European countries might default on their national debts. When he lost that bet, his multi-billion-dollar firm tumbled into bankruptcy.

At this point, the story moves from a commonplace tale of Wall Street arrogance and greed into something out of the Twilight Zone, or perhaps Monty Python. The major newspapers began reporting that customer funds, eventually said to total $1.6 billion, had mysteriously disappeared during the collapse, and no one could determine what had become of them, a very strange claim in our age of massively computerized financial records. Weeks and eventually months passed, tens of millions of dollars were spent on armies of investigators and forensic accountants, but all those customer funds stayed “missing,” while the elite media covered this bizarre situation in the most gingerly possible fashion. As an example, a front page Wall Street Journal story on February 23, 2012 suggested that after so many months, there seemed little likelihood that the disappeared customer funds might ever reappear, but also emphasized that absolutely no one was being accused of any wrongdoing. Presumably the journalists were suggesting that the $1.6 billion dollars of customer money had simply walked out the door on its own two feet.

Stories like this give the lie to the endless boasts of our politicians and business pundits that America’s financial system is the most transparent and least corrupt in today’s world. Certainly America is not unique in the existence of long-term corporate fraud, as was recently shown in the fall of Japan’s Olympus Corporation following the discovery of more than a billion dollars in long-hidden investment losses. But when we consider the largest corporate collapses of the last decade that were substantially due to fraud, nearly all the names are American: WorldCom, Enron, Tyco, Global Crossing, and Adelphia. And this list leaves out all the American financial institutions destroyed by the financial meltdown—such as Lehman, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Washington Mutual, and Wachovia—and the many trillions of dollars in American homeowner equity and top-rated MBS securities which evaporated during that process. Meanwhile, the largest and longest Ponzi Scheme in world history, that of Bernie Madoff, had survived for decades under the very nose of the SEC, despite a long series of detailed warnings and complaints. The second largest such fraud, that of Allen R. Stanford, also bears the label “Made in the USA.”

Some of the sources of Chinese success and American decay are not entirely mysterious. As it happens, the typical professional background of a member of China’s political elite is engineering; they were taught to build things. Meanwhile, a remarkable fraction of America’s political leadership class attended law school, where they were trained to argue effectively and to manipulate. Thus, we should not be greatly surprised that while China’s leaders tend to build, America’s leaders seem to prefer endless manipulation, whether of words, money, or people.

How corrupt is the American society fashioned by our current ruling elites? That question is perhaps more ambiguous than it might seem. According to the standard world rankings produced by Transparency International, the United States is a reasonably clean country, with corruption being considerably higher than in the nations of Northern Europe or elsewhere in the Anglosphere, but much lower than in most of the rest of the world, including China.

But I suspect that this one-dimensional metric fails to capture some of the central anomalies of America’s current social dilemma. Unlike the situation in many Third World countries, American teachers and tax inspectors very rarely solicit bribes, and there is little overlap in personnel between our local police and the criminals whom they pursue. Most ordinary Americans are generally honest. So by these basic measures of day-to-day corruption, America is quite clean, not too different from Germany or Japan.

By contrast, local village authorities in China have a notorious tendency to seize public land and sell it to real estate developers for huge personal profits. This sort of daily misbehavior has produced an annual Chinese total of up to 90,000 so-called “mass incidents”—public strikes, protests, or riots—usually directed against corrupt local officials or businessmen.

However, although American micro-corruption is rare, we seem to suffer from appalling levels of macro-corruption, situations in which our various ruling elites squander or misappropriate tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars of our national wealth, sometimes doing so just barely on one side of technical legality and sometimes on the other.

Sweden is among the cleanest societies in Europe, while Sicily is perhaps the most corrupt. But suppose a large clan of ruthless Sicilian Mafiosi moved to Sweden and somehow managed to gain control of its government. On a day-to-day basis, little would change, with Swedish traffic policemen and building inspectors performing their duties with the same sort of incorruptible efficiency as before, and I suspect that Sweden’s Transparency International rankings would scarcely decline. But meanwhile, a large fraction of Sweden’s accumulated national wealth might gradually be stolen and transferred to secret Cayman Islands bank accounts, or invested in Latin American drug cartels, and eventually the entire plundered economy would collapse.

Ordinary Americans who work hard and seek to earn an honest living for themselves and their families appear to be suffering the ill effects of exactly this same sort of elite-driven economic pillage. The roots of our national decline will be found at the very top of our society, among the One Percent, or more likely the 0.1 percent.

Thus, the ideas presented in Why Nations Fail seem both true and false. The claim that harmful political institutions and corrupt elites can inflict huge economic damage upon a society seems absolutely correct. But while the authors turn a harsh eye toward elite misbehavior across time and space—from ancient Rome to Czarist Russia to rising China—their vision seems to turn rosy-tinted when they consider present-day America, the society in which they themselves live and whose ruling elites lavishly fund the academic institutions with which they are affiliated. Given the American realities of the last dozen years, it is quite remarkable that the scholars who wrote a book entitledWhy Nations Fail never glanced outside their own office windows.

SIDEBAR

Chinese Melamine and American Vioxx: A Comparison

A similar dangerous reticence may afflict most of our media, which appears much more eager to focus on self-inflicted disasters in foreign countries than on those here at home. Presented below is a companion case-study, “Chinese Melamine and American Vioxx: A Comparison,” in which I point out that while the American media a few years ago joined its Chinese counterparts in devoting enormous coverage to the deaths of a few Chinese children from tainted infant formula, it paid relatively little attention to a somewhat similar domestic public-health disaster that killed many tens or even hundreds of thousands of Americans.

A society’s media and academic organs constitute the sensory apparatus and central nervous system of its body politic, and if the information these provide is seriously misleading, looming dangers may fester and grow. A media and academy that are highly corrupt or dishonest constitute a deadly national peril. And although the political leadership of undemocratic China might dearly wish to hide all its major mistakes, its crude propaganda machinery often fails at this self-destructive task. But America’s own societal information system is vastly more skilled and experienced in shaping reality to meet the needs of business and government leaders, and this very success does tremendous damage to our country.

Perhaps Americans really do prefer that their broadcasters provide Happy News and that their political campaigns constitute amusing reality shows. Certainly the cheering coliseum crowds of the Roman Empire favored their bread and circuses over the difficult and dangerous tasks that their ancestors had undertaken during Rome’s rise to world greatness. And so long as we can continue to trade bits of printed paper carrying presidential portraits for flat-screen TVs from Chinese factories, perhaps all is well and no one need be too concerned about the apparent course of our national trajectory, least of all our political leadership class.

But if so, then we must admit that Richard Lynn, a prominent British scholar, has been correct in predicting for a decade or longer that the global dominance of the European-derived peoples is rapidly drawing to its end and within the foreseeable future the torch of human progress and world leadership will inevitably pass into Chinese hands.

Ron Unz is publisher of The American Conservative and founder of Unz.org.


NEW E-MAIL PROCEDURE IN OPERATION FOR A NATION BEGUILED

04/21/2012

Greetings from OldDog

http://anationbeguiled.com  AND  https://anationbeguiled.wordpress.com

After my site host informed me I had too much traffic, things got kind of hairy, but now thanks to Mail Chimp, and Barbara Peterson from Farm Wars, things are back under control.

Lately I have managed to standardize the appearance of the daily post announcement and a supplemental newsletters that is versatile enough to accommodate just about any article, with the exception of graphics, which I will address later, as it raises the cost.

All of this has also opened up a legal requirement that involves all of my recipients who have signed up on the web sites or mailed in a request to receive the email newsletters. This is due to me having three separate companies involved, and each have a legal requirement to administer their own standards. In short, they demand a double opt in for each operation. Example: Some people have signed up on one or both sites, and they keep their own list of people who have done so without providing me with the legal permission to contact them. GOVERNMENT CAN SCREW UP A SOUP SANDWICH!

So here is what needs be done.

If you have not subscribed on one or both sites please do so, and also on one of the daily post, at the bottom of the page, click on update subscription preferences and fill out the form. Otherwise, sooner or later, all who are not on record with Mail Chimp as having filled out their form will be removed or my account suspended. It matters not to the stupid government if we have been communicating for twenty years, if you have not signed up to receive emails from me at Mail Chimp, things are going to fall apart again sooner or later. I apologize for our stupid politicians and interrupting your time, but they have us all by the short hairs. You can likewise unsubscribe at any time, and be automatically removed from the Mail Chimp recipient list, but you will have to mail me personally if you want me to remove your name from my personal email list. You will receive a new post notification from wordpress, one from google, and one from me at Mail Chimp. Once everyone is signed up on Mail Chimp, I will stop the notices coming from wordpress and google.

Many of you communicate with me through my domain name email address’s such as wethepeople@anationbeguiled.com and olddog@anationbeguiled.com this one on one emailing will not be interrupted or changed, and I truly appreciate the many letters I receive from you, however, anytime I must send out something to more than fifty people at once, I will have to use Mail Chimp to keep my web host happy, so you may have a group secession going on with me by each of you using one of my domain addresses, but I may be responding using Mail Chimp. Is this not the perfect example of how government can muck up something that works great if left alone?

Conclusion: Words cannot express my appreciation to all of you, and especially to those who have guided me through the hiccups I have experienced with web protocol. But, never forget, your responsibility to your freedom is to learn, then go off on your own and teach, and it begins by forwarding articles to your personal email recipients.

Blessings to all,

OldDog


We are All Branch Davidians Now

04/20/2012

by Anthony Gregory

Recently by Anthony Gregory: Noninterventionism: Cornerstone of a Free Society

Nineteen years ago, just outside Waco, Texas, the FBI demonstrated once again that the state at its core is a killing machine. Monarchy, democracy, or republic – any government as conventionally defined is a legal monopoly on violence. The state is always inclined toward oppression, division, conquest, and bloodshed, because these are its tools of trade.

Matters are no different here. The myth of a free America was always seen with bitter irony by those not blessed by such freedom. In the founding generation, as half a million labored in slavery, many who fought in the Revolution genuinely believed in liberty, but for the ruling elite who chided them on, liberty was hardly more than a slogan. This has always been true of our political leaders. The Father of the Country was a centralizing slaveowner. Old Hickory talked up freedom as he threatened war on South Carolina and forced the Cherokee to flee from their ancestral land on a barbarously murderous walk of shame. The Great Emancipator turned America into a military dictatorship and abolished the revolutionary right of secession. Wilson’s New Freedom was cover for a Prussianized war machine generating revenue for his profiteering buddies on Wall Street. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms failed to include the freedom not to be drafted or interned in a concentration camp. Ronald Reagan threw the word freedom around as he trained Latin American torturers and raped the Bill of Rights in the name of fighting drugs. The United States has never lived up to its rhetoric.

But the events from February 28 through April 19, 1993, still stand out in my mind as a watershed. It was the post-Cold War regime’s coming of age, signifying a major event in cultural history.

Everything about Operation Showtime was brazen, and it seemed like an overreach even by some of the government’s establishment defenders. Yet today Washington’s fixers must look back at these embarrassments as a hiccup at most, as growing pains on the way to establishing a militarized law-and-order apparatus of nearly unlimited power. That this stepping stone was reached on the eve of the Internet era, right before the old media began its decline in influence, was most convenient for the police state and its solidification.

The propaganda against the Branch Davidians was perfectly tuned to appeal to the masses, each adjustment in frequency coming just in time to keep the people listening. Religious fanatics with a meth lab, armed and dangerous, abusing their children – few wanted to stand up for these people during the siege. Even fewer wished to identify the Davidian response to the original raid for what it was: self-defense. The Davidians fired on the ATF so long as the ATF fired upon the Davidians, and when the ATF ran out of ammo, the Davidians held their fire. The government’s officials were the aggressors. What followed were fifty-one days of psychological warfare designed to isolate the Davidians – from water, from food, from the press, their lawyers and family – and break them down like any wartime enemy.

So preposterous was the standoff that eventually even the mainstream media began asking questions. A New York Times exposé on March 28 raised all sorts of troubling issues, which only multiplied in the days that followed. Federal agents said that supervisors had known they had lost the element of surprise, but decided to go ahead with the February 28 raid anyway. Agents were reportedly unhappy with their equipment and communication methods. The poor planning and lack of contingency options were exposed. No medical assistance had been prepared for the ATF’s raid. Reports emerged that some of the ATF agents had injured or killed one another in friendly fire. There were hints that other agents might have even been captured and let go by the Davidians. The ATF intelligence chief stopped holding press conferences as the heat continued to mount.

On April 19, tired from the boredom and bad publicity of just standing around outside the “compound,” the FBI drove a tank through the Davidians’ home, pumped it full of CS gas, launched incendiary devices at the building, and watched it go up in flames. As soon as the stakes became higher, as soon as questioning the feds meant implying they had committed mass murder, the media stopped barking defiantly and jumped back to the government’s lap.

The Democrats, home of America’s center-left, oversaw this exceedingly important event in the development of the police state. Unsurprisingly, every respectable liberal defended the government and believed Clinton’s people when they demonized the Davidians. The entire respectable right went along with the bloodletting, too. Why wouldn’t they? It was a raid planned by George H.W. Bush’s ATF, carried out by the Clintonistas, and ultimately rubberstamped by the Republicans in Congress, and so everyone could get behind it. Some libertarians wavered, including Randians and other proponents of violent national secularism, and much of the radical left went limp too.

The Oklahoma City incident two years later was spun by the media as an example of anti-government extremism somehow being a greater threat than the government itself. It became increasingly un-PC to bring up what had happened in Texas. The election of Dubya and 9/11 washed away the paranoid anti-statist instincts of much of the Clinton-hating right.

Waco, from the raid’s planning to the cover-up and show trials, taught the U.S. government what it could get away with – which is to say, practically anything. It can gas innocent children with internationally banned chemicals. It can hoist a federal flag atop a torched American home, claim victory, and see its public image improve. It can throw grenades at people trying to escape a building and claim they are being held hostage. In the name of protecting these “hostages” and children, it can watch as they burn and keep the firefighters away. And the massacre will be tolerated, even applauded.

Dozens of people of color died at the hands of the federal government, and the official Civil Rights movement hardly spoke up. Dozens of people were targeted for their religion, and it hardly bothered many of the very conservatives who allege a war on religion waged by DC. The largest federal-military killing of civilians on U.S. soil in a century has now become one more notch on the progressive left’s timeline of major events in anti-government extremism, as opposed to a principal example of government extremism where a tiny minority community was virtually exterminated.

Indeed, in 1993 the Davidians were only the most conspicuous and recent example in America’s long history of the demonized Other, the marginalized underclass in the official hierarchy of human worth. Slaves, Indians, Mexicans, Southerners, Catholics, Irish and German-Americans, Chinese immigrants, Japanese-Americans, Mormons, homosexuals, alleged Communists, rightwing extremists, and many others have played the role, often for their imagined association with the wartime enemy, but always for being out of step with the government’s accepted definition of legitimate humanity. Many look back at incidents of intolerance with disbelief that Americans could be so blind to oppression. Yet when the topic of Waco comes up, they will think only of those nutcases who, according to the government and media, attacked federal agents and then killed themselves.

In the nineteen years since Waco, we have seen the police state explode in every direction and now we are all ensnared. Some groups are always more threatened than others, but no one is truly safe. The prisons have swollen to the largest detention system since Stalin’s gulags. The police conduct three thousand SWAT raids a month. The war on terror has made a total mockery of what remained of the Fourth Amendment. Torture has lost its taboo. So has indefinite detention. The feds irradiate and molest airline passengers by the millions. People are jailed for taking medicine, buying Sudafed, sharing songs, and selling milk. The Kafkaesque regulatory state threatens people of all economic classes with crushing fines and a fate in a cage. The public schools, always authoritarian institutions, have become explicit adjuncts of the criminal justice system and military recruitment offices. Every major police department has tanks and battle rifles and drones are being used for surveillance and God knows what else. Each federal department has enough firepower to conquer a small third-world country. DHS alone has ordered enough ammo to shoot every American man, woman, and child. The president claims the right to kill American citizens anywhere on the planet on his say-so alone. And he exercises that power.

Why do some of us continue to fixate on Waco? If for no other reason, because April 19, 1993 was a squandered opportunity if ever there was one. The people could have risen up and said, “Enough!” They could have demanded the military occupation retreat from their own neighborhoods – both the federal presence and its satellite jackboots in the city police. They could have demanded an end to the gun laws, drug war, and federal war on crime, each of which was instrumental in ending the lives of more than twenty children at Waco. They could have turned against the media whose elites stood and applauded the White House as it announced and defended its latest killing spree. They could have seen the federal government for the clear and present danger it obviously poses – the only government that had militarily mass murdered American civilians on American soil since the collateral damage at Pearl Harbor. They could have turned their backs on the killers in DC, refusing ever to believe in their lies again, saving the lives of uncountable Americans, Serbians, Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, Yemenis, Palestinians, and so many others who would bear the wrath of an unhampered imperial executive in the nineteen years to come, sparing the priceless liberties we have seen shredded on the altar of state power.

Instead, they looked the other way, they yawned, even cheered. There might still be time to turn things around. But the tanks are closing in.

April 19, 2011

Anthony Gregory [send him mail] is research editor at the Independent Institute. He lives in Oakland, California. See his webpage for more articles and personal information.

Copyright © 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

The Best of Anthony Gregory


Ditching the Dollar

04/19/2012

Casey Daily Dispatch

By Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment Strategist

There’s a major shift under way, one the US mainstream media has left largely untouched even though it will send the United States into an economic maelstrom and dramatically reduce the country’s importance in the world: the demise of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

For decades the US dollar has been absolutely dominant in international trade, especially in the oil markets. This role has created immense demand for US dollars, and that international demand constitutes a huge part of the dollar’s valuation. Not only did the global-currency role add massive value to the dollar, it also created an almost endless pool of demand for US Treasuries as countries around the world sought to maintain stores of petrodollars. The availability of all this credit, denominated in a dollar supported by nothing less than the entirety of global trade, enabled the American federal government to borrow without limit and spend with abandon.

The dominance of the dollar gave the United States incredible power and influence around the world… but the times they are a-changing. As the world’s emerging economies gain ever more prominence, the US is losing hold of its position as the world’s superpower. Many on the long list of nations that dislike America are pondering ways to reduce American influence in their affairs. Ditching the dollar is a very good start.

In fact, they are doing more than pondering. Over the past few years China and other emerging powers such as Russia have been quietly making agreements to move away from the US dollar in international trade. Several major oil-producing nations have begun selling oil in currencies other than the dollar, and both the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have issued reports arguing for the need to create a new global reserve currency independent of the dollar.

The supremacy of the dollar is not nearly as solid as most Americans believe it to be. More generally, the United States is not the global superpower it once was. These trends are very much connected, as demonstrated by the world’s response to US sanctions against Iran.

US allies, including much of Europe and parts of Asia, fell into line quickly, reducing imports of Iranian oil. But a good number of Iran’s clients do not feel the need to toe America’s party line, and Iran certainly doesn’t feel any need to take orders from the US. Some countries have objected to America’s sanctions on Iran vocally, adamantly refusing to be ordered around. Others are being more discreet, choosing instead to simply trade with Iran through avenues that get around the sanctions.

It’s ironic. The United States fashioned its Iranian sanctions assuming that oil trades occur in US dollars. That assumption – an echo of the more general assumption that the US dollar will continue to dominate international trade – has given countries unfriendly to the US a great reason to continue their moves away from the dollar: if they don’t trade in dollars, America’s dollar-centric policies carry no weight! It’s a classic backfire: sanctions intended in part to illustrate the US’s continued world supremacy are in fact encouraging countries disillusioned with that very notion to continue their moves away from the US currency, a slow but steady trend that will eat away at its economic power until there is little left.

Let’s delve into both situations – the demise of the dollar’s dominance and the Iranian sanction shortcuts – in more detail.

(The continual erosion of the dollar could well be the tipping point that causes oil prices to skyrocket. But investors who get positioned before that happens could make life-changing gains.)

Signs the Dollar Is Going the Way of the Dodo

The biggest oil-trading partners in the world, China and Saudi Arabia, are still using the petrodollar in their transactions. How long this will persist is a very important question. China imported 1.4 million barrels of oil a day from Saudi Arabia in February, a 39% increase from a year earlier, and the two countries have teamed up to build a massive oil refinery in Saudi Arabia. As the nations continue to pursue increased bilateral trade, at some point they will decide that involving US dollars in every transaction is unnecessary and expensive, and they will ditch the dollar.

When that happens, the tide will have truly turned against the dollar, as it was an agreement between President Nixon and King Faisal of Saudi Arabia in 1973 that originally created the petrodollar system. Nixon asked Faisal to accept only US dollars as payment for oil and to invest any excess profits in US Treasury bonds, notes, and bills. In exchange, Nixon pledged to protect Saudi oilfields from the Soviet Union and other potential aggressors, such as Iran and Iraq.

That agreement created the foundation for an incredibly strong US dollar. All of the world’s oil money started to flow through the US Federal Reserve, creating ever-growing demand for both US dollars and US debt. Every oil-importing nation in the world started converting its surplus funds into US dollars to be able to buy oil. Oil-exporting countries started spending their cash on Treasury securities. And slowly but surely the petrodollar system spread beyond oil to encompass almost every facet of global trade.

The value of the US dollar is based on this role as the conduit for global trade. If that role vanishes, much of the value in the dollar will evaporate. Massive inflation, high interest rates, and substantial increases in the cost of food, clothing, and gasoline will make the 2008 recession look like nothing more than a bump in the road. This will be a crater. The government will be unable to finance its debts. The house of cards, built on the assumption that the world would rely on US dollars forever, will come tumbling down.

It is a scary proposition, but don’t bury your head in the sand because countries around the world are already starting to ditch the dollar.

Russia and China are leading the charge. More than a year ago, the two nations made good on talks to move away from the dollar and have been using rubles and renminbi to trade with each other since. A few months ago the second-largest economy on earth – China – and the third-largest economy on the planet – Japan – followed suit, striking a deal to promote the use of their own currencies when trading with each other. The deal will allow firms to convert Chinese and Japanese currencies into each other directly, instead of using US dollars as the intermediary as has been the requirement for years. China is now discussing a similar plan with South Korea.

Similarly, a new agreement among the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) promotes the use of their national currencies when trading, instead of using the US dollar. China is also pursuing bilateral trades with Malaysia using the renminbi and ringgit. And Russia and Iran have agreed to use rubles as a means of currency in their trades.

Then there’s the entire continent of Africa. In 2009 China became Africa’s largest trading partner, eclipsing the United States, and now China is working to expand the use of Chinese currency in Africa instead of US dollars. Standard Bank, Africa’s largest financial institution, predicts that $100 billion worth of trade between China and Africa will be settled in renminbi by 2015. That’s more than the total bilateral trade between China and Africa in 2010.

The idea of moving away from the dollar is also finding support from major international agencies. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has stated that “the current system of currencies and capital rules that binds the world economy is not working properly and was largely responsible for the financial and economic crises.” The statement continued, saying “the dollar should be replaced with a global currency.” The International Monetary Fund agrees, recently arguing that the dollar should cede its role as global reserve currency to an international currency, which is in effect a basket of national currencies.

There is also a host of countries that have started using their own currencies to complete oil trades, a move that strikes right at the heart of US-dollar dominance. China and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to ditch the dollar and use their own currencies in oil transactions. The Chinese National Bank says this agreement is worth roughly $5.5 billion annually. India is buying oil from Iran with gold and rupees. China and Iran are working on a barter system to exchange Iranian oil for Chinese imported products.

Speaking of Bartering for Oil… How about Those Iranian Sanctions?

The United States and the European Union based their Iran sanctions on the financial system behind Iran’s oil trade. The country uses its central bank to run its oil business – the bank settles trades through the Belgium company Swift (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) and the trades are always in US dollars. Once they take full effect in July, US and EU sanctions against Iran will make transactions with the Iranian central bank illegal. When that occurs, this official avenue of trade will shut down. In fact, Iran was shut out of Swift a few weeks ago, so that road is already blockaded.

But the arrogance in the sanctions is the assumption that Iran can only use this one, dollar-based avenue. In reality, the Islamic Republic is considerably more agile than that; removing its ability to trade in the official manner is only encouraging the country to find imaginative new methods to sell its oil.

Since the sanctions were announced, Tehran’s official oil sales have certainly declined. Iran actually preemptively halted oil shipments to Germany, Spain, Greece, Britain, and France, which together had bought some 18% of Iran’s oil. But covert sales have curbed or perhaps even reversed the reduction in shipments. It is impossible to know the details, as buyers and sellers involved in skirting the sanctions are being very discreet, but the transactions are undoubtedly happening.

As mentioned above, Iran is selling oil to India for gold and rupees. China and Iran are working on a barter system to exchange Iranian oil for Chinese imported products. China and South Korea are also quietly buying Iranian oil with their own currencies.

The evidence? Millions of barrels of Iranian oil that were in storage in Iranian tankers a few weeks ago now seem to have disappeared. Officially, no one knows where the oil went. Was it rerouted? Has production been shut in? Is the oil being stored elsewhere?

Oil is fungible, which means one barrel of crude is interchangeable with another. Once it leaves its home country, it can be nearly impossible to know where a barrel of oil originated, if its handlers so desire. And it’s not just barrels that are hard to track – even though oil is carried on ships so large they are dubbed “supertankers” it is surprisingly difficult to keep tabs on every tanker full of Iranian oil.

And the Iranians are using every trick in the book to move their oil undetected. In the last week it became apparent that Tehran has ordered the captains of its oil tankers to switch off the black-box transponders used in the shipping industry to monitor vessel movements and oil transactions. As such, most of Iran’s 39-strong fleet of tankers is “off radar.” According to Reuters, only seven of Iran’s Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) are still operating their onboard transponders, while only two of the country’s nine smaller Suezmax tankers are trackable.

Under international law ships are required to have a satellite tracking device on board when travelling at sea, but a ship’s master has the discretion to turn the device off on safety grounds, if he has permission from the ship’s home state. Some tankers turned off their trackers to avoid detection last year during the Libyan civil war in order to trade with the Gaddafi government.

And Iran is about to gain even greater flexibility in disguising the locations of oil sales, as the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) is about to take delivery of the first of 12 new supertankers on order from China. The new tankers will add much-needed capacity to NITC’s fleet at a time when the number of maritime firms willing to transport Iranian crude has dwindled significantly, forcing Iran’s remaining buyers to rely on NITC tankers. Thankfully for NITC, the 12 new VLCCs – each capable of transporting two million barrels of crude – will significantly expand the company’s current fleet of 39 ships.

Sanctions or no sanctions, Iran is moving its oil. But even having your own, off-radar ships to transport oil bought in renminbi or rupees or won doesn’t mean all these tricks and maneuvers don’t have a cost.

Freight costs for each voyage add up to nearly $5 million, a sizeable hit for Tehran. Iran is often also shelling out millions of dollars in insurance for each oil shipment, because the majority of international shipments are insured through a European insurance consortium that is backing away from Iranian vessels because the EU sanctions will make such transactions illegal.

And since business is business, buyers are also demanding much better credit terms from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) than normal. Traders are reporting agreements giving the buyer as much as six months to pay for each two-million-barrel cargo, a grace period that would cost Tehran as much as $10 million per shipment.

For Tehran to cover freight costs, insurance, and the cost of generous credit terms wipes out as much as 10 percent of the value of each supertanker load. Beyond that, customers are also negotiating better prices. For example, the flow of Iranian oil to China did slow in the first quarter of the year, but not because China endorsed the sanctions. Rather, Chinese refiner Sinopec reduced purchases to negotiate better prices with the National Iranian Oil Company. The country’s imports from Iran are expected to climb back to the 560,000 barrel-per-day level in April.

That trade, along with non-dollar-denominated deals with India, Turkey, Syria, and a long list of other friendly nations, will keep Iran’s finances afloat for a long time. The sanctions may be preventing Tehran from banking full value for each tanker of oil, but there is still a lot of Iranian oil money flowing.

The mainstream media is avoiding all discussion of the demise of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Even fewer people are talking about how sanctions based on Iran’s supposed need to use the US dollar to sell its oil leave loopholes wide enough for VLCCs to sail right through.

Without acknowledging the elephant in the room, articles about Iranian tankers turning off their transponders or India using gold to buy Iranian oil invariably sound like plot developments in a spy thriller. Much more useful would be to convey the real message: The world doesn’t need to revolve around US dollars anymore and the longer the US tries to pretend that the dollar is still and will remain dominant, the more often its international actions will backfire.


Additional Links and Reads

How Mexico’s National Price Hinders Goal of Tapping its Oil (The Globe and Mail)

March 18 is a national holiday in Mexico, in remembrance of the day in 1938 that its president kicked foreign oil companies out of the country. Today, however, that 72-year-old achievement has left Mexico in a straitjacket. As the article explains, Mexican oil production is sagging so rapidly that the country, long one of the world’s top oil-exporting countries, could begin importing oil within the decade. Mexico still has plenty of oil, but state oil company Pemex lacks the technology to produce from the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico or the complex geology of the Chicontepec field. To develop these new fields, the country needs to open its oil sector up to foreign investment, but that is a very touchy subject in Mexico. In 2008 federal reform opened up the sector to more private contracting, but further liberalization will require constitutional reforms. Mexico’s presidential front-runner is not shying away from the issue, arguing that Brazil’s Petrobras is a good example for Pemex. Enrique Pena Nieto of the centrist opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party wants to help Pemex grow and thinks Brazil’s Petrobras provides a good example of how to do so.

Australian Shipment to Mark LNG Milestone (Financial Times)

The first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) will leave the new Pluto facility in Western Australia later this month, marking a major milestone for both Woodstone, Australia’s largest oil and gas company, and for the country’s gas industry. Australia is poised to surpass Qatar as the world’s biggest LNG exporter by the end of the decade, adding a third leg to the country’s resources boom, which until now has been all about coal and iron ore. There are currently only two active LNG projects in the country, with a combined capacity of about 20 million tonnes per year. By 2018 that figure should rise to 80 million tonnes, as no fewer than eight huge projects come online. However, not all of those projects are guaranteed – given continued cost inflation, potential changes to the tax system, and increased competition, it is uncertain whether the biggest green-field projects will materialize.

MPs in Khartoum Brand South Sudan “Enemy” State (BBC)

The members of Sudan’s parliament voted unanimously to brand South Sudan an enemy, and the speaker of parliament called for his country to overthrow the South Sudanese government, bringing the countries essentially to war after several weeks of escalating violence. Last week South Sudan pushed 40 miles into Sudanese territory to seize the Heglig oilfield, which accounts for 55% of Sudan’s oil production. In response, Sudan sent several bombing raids into South Sudan, killing at least 15 people and hitting a UN peacekeepers’ camp. When Sudan was one nation, the Arab Muslim north and the black African south fought the continent’s longest and bloodiest civil war, which ended in 2005 with a settlement that allowed the south to secede. However, the neighbors never agreed on the exact position of the border nor on the division of oilfields, many of which lie along the disputed frontier.

US Company Plans Billion-Dollar Expansion of Trans Mountain Pipeline (The Globe and Mail)

The Canadian government’s desire to increase oil exports to Asia got a big boost from news that Kinder Morgan Energy Partners is embarking on the official regulatory review process to almost triple the capacity of its Trans Mountain oil pipeline, but the plan will almost certainly run into significant opposition from Vancouverites worried about increased tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet. Trans Mountain runs from Edmonton to an oil-loading facility in Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver, and currently carries 300,000 barrels of oil a day. Kinder Morgan confirmed its intent to expand the pipe after receiving enough commitments from customers to fill the proposed new volume of 850,000 daily barrels. Current volumes require one tanker to pass through Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet about every four days; the expanded pipe would increase that to a tanker every day.

Japan Nuclear Restart Set to Lift Uranium (Financial Times)

Uncertainty over the future of Japanese demand for nuclear energy has overhung the uranium sector since the Fukushima disaster more than a year ago, but now Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says units at two reactors in western Japan should be turned on after they pass computerized stress tests. Even though no one expects a rapid rollout of nuclear power station reopenings in Japan, restarting two reactors is a good start to what will likely be a gradual resumption of nuclear-power generation in the country. Erasing the uncertainty over Japan’s nuclear future could act as a catalyst for uranium stocks.

Shale Gas Unlikely to Reignite US Economy (Financial Times)

Last week the price of natural gas tumbled below US$2 per MMBtu for the first time in a decade, depressed by a flood of production. As this article explains, academics, analysts, and journalists are celebrating America’s newfound gas riches and the clear benefits: lower heating bills, cheaper electricity, and reduced US gas imports. But perspective is important. The natural gas boom will create jobs and stimulate the economy in certain areas, but it is no magic elixir. The US economy has become much less energy intensive than in the past decade, meaning that energy cost savings have less impact than they once did… and those savings could easily evaporate if the US becomes a natural gas exporter.


THE ROTHSCHILD OCTOPUS

04/18/2012

04 18 12 The Rothschild Octopus

Vatic Note:  This is a  MUST read.  It is from the perspective of someone living right there in Rothschilds backyard and knows it all.  This is the most extensive and revealing expose and even includes Soros, and others that Rothschild uses to claim his dominance over the globe and by golly its working.  Just read about Bosnia and eastern Europe where Rothschild has already taken over industry, land, and now made slaves of the people and their children for both labor and sex trade.  The man has no limits to his inhumanity.  The whole family is like that, but then they are Khazars and have a thousand year history of being kicked out of everywhere starting with Mongolia for doing exactly what they are doing now…. their inhumanity has been rejected everywhere. THIS IS WHY THE WORLD MUST GO TO WAR AGAINST THE INTERNATIONAL BANKING KHAZAR ROTHSCHILD REGIME.  THEY HAVE DECLARED WAR ON US.  Fine, its time we started fighting back.  They want a world war, well, this is the only one we should be fighting. MEMORIZE THESE FACES AND NEVER FORGET THEM.

THE ROTHSCHILD OCTOPUS

Written by: Vlada Sindjelic

Marxism, globalism, the new world order, liberalism…All these are euphemisms for a phenomenon embodied in the invisible empire of the Rothschild family.

The Rothschilds do not die, they simply depart into history, and their place is inconspicuously taken by their sons and grandsons. Word goes that the old master Jacob has left the scene, and that his place has been occupied by his son Nathan (Nathaniel Philip Rothschild, who bears the name of the founder of the English Rothschilds). The heavy burden has fallen on the frail shoulders of the young heir. But Nathan is not alone. In the running of the empire he will be aided by his uncles Evelyn and Edmund and the other members of the English branch of the family (Catherine, Emma, Leopold), but also his French cousins (David, Eduard…).

The Rothschild family has produced governors, prime ministers, ministers, supervisors who are making sure that everything goes according to the big plan.

The European Union was created by the Rothschilds (Schumann, a Khazar). The EU is an exploiter of Russia, which should be freed from the Siberian burden. With the aim of completing this job the Rothschilds have employed Soros, Berezovski, Hodorkovski, Kasparov, the Mitals…   

If we wish to unveil the background and causes of these events, we must delve into the dark history of the Khazar dynasty Rothschild, identify the agents, the grey eminences, the greedy politicians, as well as the mechanisms of their actions.
Let us start with the Rothschilds, the main characters. They are the ones sitting at the head of the table. 

  

WHO ARE TODAY’S ROTHSCHILDS?
Although ever since World War II the Rothschild departments for the creation of public opinion have been assuring people that the power of the Rothschilds today is insignificant and that they will be remembered by their vineries in France or gardens and philanthropy in Great Britain, reality projects a completely different picture. Building upon the foundations laid by their fathers and grandfathers, the present-day descendants are completing a mission that has lasted for several centuries. Today, the Rothschilds are the steam engine of a Khazar train heading for Russia and the vast expanses of Siberia. This train, which runs through the Balkans, is to be boarded with armies of the newly recruited members of NATO, which will then fight for the Rothschild empire.

THE RED SHIELD FROM FRANKFURT
In order to be better acquainted with the new sovereign and his dukes, let us look at the lineage and the chronology of this dynasty. It all began towards the end of 18th century with Amshel (or Moses Bauer) Rothschild.
The Rothschilds (Rothschild translates as “the red shield”) are descended from Frankfurt. It is no coincidence that this is the greatest financial centre in the EU. It is very indicative that Frankfurt is the seat of the Central European Bank and all the major European and American banks, which are mainly controlled by the dynasty. The Frankfurt Stock Market (one of the most important stock markets in the world) is aligned to the “Deutsche Borse” owned by the Rothschilds via their “Children’s Investment Trust” and “Atticus Capital” on the one hand, and their branches “Merrill Lynch” and “Fidelity Investments” on the other. Beside that, the coat of arms of the city of Frankfurt is a red shield! This symbol dates back to the period of the Khazar empire.
The writer Dejan Lucic says of Khazars:

90% of  present-day Jews are Khazars by origin. They are a Turkish-Mongol tribe, which was converted to Judaism in the middle of 8th century. When their empire fell apart in 10th century they settled down across Russia and Europe, and later on the American continent as well. They are converts and have no Semitic origins at all. The Semite Jews come from Palestine and number between 7 and 10%.
Amshel had five sons, whom he positioned all across Europe. Salomon went to Vienna, Carl to Naples, Nathan to London, James to Paris and the fifth son Amshel stayed in Frankfurt. In less than two hundred years the sons and their descendants completely subjugated the west. Thus the foundations of a “Pax Judaica” were laid. The head of the family is the Anglo-French Rothschild team led by Nathan, son of Jacob Rothschild. The English team is led by the aged Edmund and Evelyn and the young Nathan, and the French team by David and Eduard.

THE ENGLISH ROTHSCHILDS
The English branch of the Rothschilds was founded by Nathan Meyer, the third Amshel’s son. During 19th and 20th centuries an alliance was established between the British crown and this family, so that the modern history of Britain is inseparably tied to the Khazar dynasty. Today, the Khazar triumvirate is made up of the abovementioned Evelyn, Edmund and Nathan.

He built his career by pushing the British-Khazar interests in the post-war Japan. In cooperation with Winston Churchill he founded the BRINCO Corporation (British Newfoundland Development Corporation) in Canada. Edmund’s daughter Catherine is married to Marcus Egius, the president of “Barclay’s” global financial group (after the acquisition of ABN-AMRO, a Dutch banking group, these two Rothschild groups have become one). Marcus is also at the head of the BBC corporation.


After the union of the English and French Rothschild financial and banking groups, and his stepping down from the leading positions in them, he remained head of the enormous N M Rothschild & Sons, an investment bank from London.

Evelyn also has control of the press (the Economist, the Daliy Telegraph…).

He set up the Association for Studies of the History of Banking and Finances, which has a seat in Frankfurt.
He owns the international corporation De Biers, one of the leaders in the area of the exploitation, refinement and distribution of diamonds.

Together with his wife Lynn Forester, he controls the “FirstMark Communications International LLC” and “FieldFresh Foods” with the Indian family Mital, which, in fact, acts as a representative of Rothschild interests and capital (the great “Bharti” group).


Evelyn’s main agents in the area of politics are Soros, Norman Lamont, Peter Mandelson (a Khazar), Oliver Letwin (a Khazar) and Vernon Jordan. Lamont has influence over the Conservative Party and the potential prime minister Michael Howard (a Khazar). Howard was a minister of the Treasury when Margaret Thatcher was in office. He took part in regional conferences together with Stjepan Mesic (Croatia) and Boris Tadic (Serbia). Peter Mandelson is the present commissary of Great Britain in the EU and is close to Labour Party and Tony Blaire.

On the other hand, Vernon Jordan (Lazard Bank) is very influential in the Democrat Party in the USA (he was an advisor to Bill Clinton and led the campaign for John Carrey in 2004). Evelyn’s wife Lynn financed Bill Clinton’s presidential election campaigns and is also a close friend of Hillary Clinton.

Evelyn is also very close to Duke of York, Prince Edward (son of Queen Elizabeth), which reveals only a part of a long-standing connection between the British royal dynasty and the Rothschild family.

Young Nathan is the son of Jacob Rothschild, from whom he inherited innumerable managers, agents, and an influence over the vital political, economic, media and military institutions all over the world, including even the Butrint archaeological site in Albania…


The companies and corporations “RIT Capital”, “Atticus Capital”, “JNR Limited”, “NM Rothschild”, “Vanco”, “Trigranit”, “British Petroleum”, Rio Tinto, are only a part of the resources which are at the disposal of the new king in his crusade for the east. To achieve this he has at his service not only the western nomenclature in the EU, NATO, Great Britain, but also numerous financial and political operatives all over Europe and Asia (Soros, Berezovski, Djukanovic, the Mitals…).

   

THE FRENCH ROTHSCHILDS


The French dynasty of Rothschild, which was founded by James Meyer, is a flank guard of the British triumvirate. The French Rothschilds are represented by David Rene and Eduard Rothschild, sons of Guy Rothschild(1909-2007).


David is head of the NM Rothschild group, which is divided between the English and the French Rothschilds. He is also head of “Rothschild & Cie Banque”, an influential investment bank in West Europe.


David’s half-brother Eduard is also a member of the investment bank. In addition to this, he controls the renowned French newspaper “Liberation”. He is at the head of the “Imerys” metallurgy company, which has been owned by the Rothschilds since 1880.

The Rothschilds in Serbia

In Serbia, the new king progresses in several lanes, thus trying to take over mining basins, energy production, the food industry, the media… The first lane has, for some time now, been occupied by George Soros who represents the crucial lever for the expansion of the Rothschilds towards the east and the first emissary of Nathan Rothschild in Serbia.

George Soros and his connection to the Rothschilds
Soros is a Hungarian Jew (a Khazar), born in Budapest in 1930 as György Schwartz (in 1936 his parents changed their surname to Sorosz).He was educated in London and in 1950s he went to the USA. An important role in his development was played by the famous Khazar Carl Popper, who approved Soros’s projects and was his guru. 
Throughout the world, this grey eminence is represented as the “Robin Hood of the computer age”, because he seemingly takes the money from the rich countries and via his foundations generously gives it to East Europe and Russia.
In this way he installs “democracy” and “civil society” in countries which suffered and were exhausted during communism, the very communism that was forced onto these countries by those very Rothschilds.

He built his career upon financial speculations all over the world, mostly thanks to his family of investment funds “Quantum Fund”, whose managers, and at the same time his agents, are Italian and Swiss financiers. 

The connection between Soros and the Rothschilds is achieved through a network of confidential people who sit in administrative committees of funds, trusts, companies, banks… One of those people was a certain Richard Katz (also a Khazar), a member of the “Quantum Fund” committee. At the same time he was head of “Rothschild Italia S.p.A.” and a member of the committee of the commercial bank “N.M. Rothschild & Sons” in London. Another important player is Nils O. Taube, also a member of Quantum and a partner of the investment group “St .James Place Capital”, which now belongs to Nathaniel Rothschild.

The connection is also realized via Societe Generale Bank and its manager Michael Cicurel, who is chairman of Edmund Rothschild’s management and a member of the Rothschild & Cie Banque board. Another frequent partner of Soros’s was James Goldsmith (a Khazar), related to Rothschild dynasty.

Soros’s Network in Serbia

In Serbia, this grey eminence is preparing the ground for Nathaniel Rothschild and is an important creator of the political, legal, economic, cultural and media image of Serbian society. On his way to the achievement of his goals he is seeking to drive out the Serbian Orthodox church, the Serbian language, the Cyrillic alphabet, Serbian history, nationalism… He spun the network of his influence way back in 1990s through the “Open Society Fund”, :Humanitarian Rights Fund”, “Helsinki Committee”, “Belgrade Circle”, “European Movement”, “Centre for Anti-War Action”, “NUNS”, “ANEM”, “OTPOR”…

Today, all the leading NGOs are branch offices of the Rothschilds and are entrusted with not only attaining the greatest political influence possible, but also with the psychological shaping of the nation. By constantly pinning on the Serbian people accusations for genocide, criminal mentality and collective guilt, these phantom organizations aim at creating the feelings of fear and guilt in people. These feelings are supposed to materialize as indifference to a piece of land, to driving Serbs out of their land or, in other words, to colonization. This is also done in the form of liberalism which is supposed to reach metastasis in state institutions, in the family, the nation, tradition, culture, and thus ensure a clear passage for Rothschild empire.

In addition to the abovementioned organizations, very active participants in this offensive are “Yucom”, the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, the Civil Initiative, the Centre for Cultural Decontamination, Women in Black, the Youth Initiative… Advocates of this anti-Serb hysteria are Sonja Biserko, Natasa Kandic, Vuco, Borka Pavicevic (the wife of the lawyer Nikola Barovic), Miljenko Dereta, Vojin Dimitrijevic, Srdja Popovic, Mirko Djordjevic, Biljana Srbljanovic, Zoran Ostojic, and the journalists Petar Lukovic, Teofil Pancic, as well as all the other infamous vedettas of Soros’s. Soros also pushes anti-Semitism, which is then ascribed to the “xenophobic Serbian society”. Those in charge of this are Filip David, Jovan Byford, Laszlo Sekel… Various “incidents”, threatening letters, desecrating of monuments, graffiti are all parts of this plan. We should not disregard the fact that the Open Society Fund supports (both financially and ideologically) the organizations advocating gay rights (Labris, Queeria, Gay Serbia…).

Marketing and the media and logistic support to this subversive project are ensured through “independent” media, such as B92, Studio B, TV Pink, TV Panonija, ANEM (the TV stations Devic, RTV Globus, RTV M+, RTV Kraljevo, RTV Nisava, RTV Pancevo, RTV Spektar, RTV Trstenik, the radio stations Radio 021, Bum 93, Radio Sombor, Radio Index, Radio Subotica, Radio Pirot, Radio Ozon…), the “Free Europe” radio… The cable TV network SBB and the satellite television TOTAL TV which are expanding, are also owned by Soros. The production companies VIN and PG Network contribute to the information unity. The Media Centre provides additional publicity to the so-called NGO sector

In addition to the electronic media, Soros’s list includes the newspapers and magazines Danas, Vreme, Evropa, Republika, the association of independent local media “Local Press” (the newspapers Pancevac, Kikindske, Vranjske novine, Nasa rec…), the publishing houses Samizdat, Dan graf, Stubovi culture, Fabrika knjiga, Klio, Aleksandrija pres; the book distributors Bookbridge, Beopolis… He also controls the information agency Sense and the two leading information agencies in Serbia – Beta and Fonet. At the same time these agencies are branch offices of AP (Associated Press) and Reuters, which have been owned by the Rothshilds ever since 19th century. Sorosz has also infiltrated cultural and educational institutions, theatres, the National Library, the Historical Archives, SANU (Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences)…He has gathered around himself a large group of actors, directors, playwrights, musicians, writers, scientists, analysts, former diplomats, who assist him in animating more and more followers.
We should also mention the following educational organizations of Soros’s: the Union University, the Alternative Academic Education Network (AAOM), the Belgrade Open School, the Centre for Women Studies (which sprung out of the feminist group “Woman and Society”)… They recruit future Sorosz’s mercenaries. The centre for the improvement of legal studies – Human Rights Watch (HRW) is also present. CESID and all the other polling organizations are in the same camp.

A political acquisition of the Rothschilds’         

In addition to the “non-governmental” sector, Soros has laid his hands on the finances as well, controlling them via various “experts” (G17+) who are financed by the “Open Society”.
Beside this, we should point out that Soros has stocks at Societe Generale bank, which takes up an important part of the financial market. The Hague Tribunal is also financed from Soros’s funds.
The most active of Soros’s exponents in the political life in Serbia (of course, apart from the “non-governmental” system and G17+) is the coalition gathered around LDP and Cedomir Jovanovic, which was the most expensive of Rothshild’s investments in the latest parliament elections. Together with the guests of the radio show Pescanik (B92 Radio), this anti-Serb group articulates the ideas of Nathaniel Rothshild most brutally and loudly. The Spiritus agens of this virulent group is Latinka Perovic, the founder of modern liberalism in Serbia.    We should say that Soros spreads his influence through the Democratic Party as well. The best example of this is the election of Oliver Dulic, one of Sonja Liht’s personnel, as president of Serbian Parliament.

What are Rothshilds’ interests in Kosmet and Vojvodina?

Important Rothshild companies in this region are Carlyle Group and the International Crisis Group which, led by Soros, has been campaigning for independent Kosovo for years. In addition to Sorosz, the group is finaced by Rupert Murdoch (Sky), Goldman Sacks, JP Morgan… Members of this group are or were Marti Ahtisari, James Lion, Morton Abramovich, Louise Arbour, Bzezinski, Wesley Clark, Mihail Hodorkovski, Thorvald Stoltenberg… The staff have changed, but not the anti-Serb policy. 
Independent Kosovo is also in the interest of the Rothshilds, because it is the “Serbian Kuwait” with enormous reserves of lead, zinc, gold, coal…Since the occupation of Kosovo and Metohija (Kosmet) Soros has invested a lot of money and effort in getting hold of Trepca for the Rothshilds. An important link in the chain is Agron Dida, deputy minister of energy and mining in Kosovo government, who was elected to this office after being a member of KFOS (one of Soros’s organizations). Independence is crucial to the interests of Rothshilds’ mining and metallurgical companies, since it would provide them with a clear passage for snatching mineral wealth and energy resources which are in low supply in the world.

In the meantime the Alferon company has bought over the metallurgical plant Feronikl, which owns several open-pit mines. Alferon is owned by three businessmen from Kazakhstan (i.e. Rothshilds’ tycoons, one of them being Alexander Mashkevic, also a Khazar) and is part of the ENRC (Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation)


Head of ENRC and Alferon is Johannes Sittard, one of Rothschilds’ agents, and until recently the right hand of Lakshmi Mital (also one of Rothshilds’ investors). Mital invested 100 million dollars in the company’s development. Apart from Alferon, the Global Steel corporation (owned by Pramod Mital) is also present in Kosovo, via its Bulgarian branch Kremikovici, which it acquired in 2005. This company bought the Lamkos plant (for zinc-coated steel) in Vucitrn. We should mention that this company also bought over the Lemind foundry in Leskovac and Zastava Smithy in Kragujevac.

At the same time, Soros has been expanding his influence through the Kosovo Fund for Open Society (KFOS) and other affiliates, by financing the media (Koha ditore), politicians (Veton Suroi)… Part of the same chain is Ekrem Luka, who has taken hold of the brewery in Pec. He coordinates the work of the other non-governmental branches through Balkan Human Rights Network.

He has also secured privileges for Alcatel, the mobile phone company in Kosovo, which he indirectly controls via Globalstar L.P.

In addition to his devoted work on the stealing of Kosovo and Metohija, Soros and the International Crisis Group are beginning to turn their attention to Vojvodina. In cooperation with the government of this province, they are trying to make Vojvodina sit at the same table with Croatia, Hungaria and Romania, all of which are Rothschild proxies. With this aim they are creating the “Danube project”, backed by Germany and Austria. According to this idea, Vojvodina should be pushed into a confederation of countries in the Danube Basin as a “European region”. Not long ago German ambassador Zobel(a Khazar) drew attention to this, no doubt deliberately. The project is carried out through the acquisition of agricultural combines, sugar refineries, dairies, oil refineries, banks… Agricultural estates are increasingly being purchased by Croats, who have already bought several important food companies. Agrokor has taken over Dijamant from Zrenjanin, Frikom… Nekse Group has bought Polet IGK, Strazilovo, and has stocks in Toza Markovic company for the production of construction materials (it also owns the Jelen Do plant for the manufacturing of lime and stone). Somboled has also been purchased.

On the other hand, both Austria and Germany are positioning their companies in the province. The German company Nordzucker has bought over sugar refineries all across Vojvodina. With MG Commerce it has set up the Sunoko company and in this way it has come into possession of tens of thousands of acres of land. Stada has bought Hemofarm. VAC has purchased Dnevnik from Novi Sad. The Austrian Erste Bank chose Novi Sad as it seat. OTC banking group and Metals bank have done the same. These things coincide with a more and more intensive penetration of Hungarian companies into Serbia and the region, as well as an increased influence of the Hungarian government. Both of these are supported by Nathaniel Rothschild.

We should mention that Serbs in Austria have also been granted the status of a national minority. Hence, this would be the status of Serbs in the future confederation which would represent a realization of the Alpe-Adria project – an incarnation of the Habsburg state.

Investment Funds

The second lane of Nathaniel Rothschild’s progress in Serbia is occupied by investment funds from Virgin and other exotic islands, which are seemingly owned by “Russian Jews” (in fact, Khazars). The most important one is Salford, from Virgin Islands, behind which stand Boris Berezovski (a Khazar) and Rothschild capital. The fund was set up in London in 2001 and today it owns almost the entire dairy industry in Serbia (Imlek, Novi Sad Dairy, Subotica Dairy, Impaz, Zemun), the Bambi concern, Knjaz Milos…

The founder of the fund is Eugene Geffy, a Khazar from Russia, who made his career in Russian Alfa bank, which is connected to Boris Berezovski and Friedman

One of the members in Salford committee is Lord Tim Bell, a former advisor to Margaret Thatcher, who is very close to Berezovski, Rupert Murdoch, Viktor Yuschenko, and was in good relations with Yeltsin. The president of this fund is Klaus Mangel, who was Boris Berezovski’s partner in selling Mercedes cars in Russia.

In addition to Salford, the Ashmore investment fund is also strengthening its positions. It has recently taken over Carnex from Midland Resources. Ashmore is controlled by Rothschilds’ Atticus. Namely, Ashmore is owned by Michael Benson, a former member of Amvescap, the company where the capital of Atticus is placed.

Midland Resources is a third important investment fund run by Alexander Schneider and Eduard Sifrin (both of whom are Khazars!). The Midland group owns the hotels Park and Kasina (the oldest hotel in Belgrade) and Pancevo Port.


The third lane of colonization is occupied by companies from the fields of construction, mining, metal industry, finances, banking and publishing, most of which are directly related to the young Rothschild. One of them and, at the same time, the most active company in the region is Trigranit, which has a seat in Budapest, and which has over the past few years grown into a regional giant and a leader in big investment projects.

It constructed a number of business and financial centres in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria…In Croatia it is about to build a sports hall with 20,000 seats and office space. In Serbia Trigranit should construct the railways station “Prokop” (it has not been started yet).

The Riotinto branch (one of the largest mining companies in the world) has been granted the concession to exploit the boron ore (which can still be found only in China and Turkey) in the surroundings of Baljevac near the river Ibar. Other mining companies are present too – Glenkor, which Rothschild controls through his agent Mark Rich (a Khazar) and Phelps Dodge, where Atticus capital is placed (Atticus is Rothschild’s investment fund). These two companies are placing bids for the remaining mining basins. The Magnohrom company from Kraljevo was bought through the Indian company Mital. Incidentally, the Mital family has been a representative of the Rothshild dynasty for a long time. Wilbur Ross, a Rothschild banker for many years, occupies a managerial position in Mital. In addition to Mital company, the Rothschilds and Mitals are in control of FieldFresh Foods company, which produces and exports food from India. 

The banking and financial sectors are also dominated by the dynasty. The leading banks, such as Banca Intesa, Credit  Agricole, Unicredit group, Societe General are controlled by the Rothshilds. 
The lever which provides control is Antoine Bernheim (a Khazar), head of the Delta Generali group. The Greek banks Piraeus and Laiki are under the control of Marfin financial group, in which Rothshild’s capital is placed. The Khazar Shandor Chanyi, one of the co-owners of Trigranit, enables Rothshild to expand his operations in the field of banking via his OTP group. OTP bought over three banks in Serbia: Kula, Nis and Zepter bank. Metals Bank from Novi Sad was bought by Rothshild’s JNR Limited (Jacob and Nathaniel Rothschild) investment fund. The young Rothshild also controls the Hungarian oil company MOL, also through Chanyi.

MOL has been present in the Serbian market since 2005 and is a serious candidate for participation in the privatization of the oil industry.

We should also mention that NM Rothschild is the financial advisor to NLB Continental, a banking group from Slovenia.

The Rothschilds participated in the privatization of Mobtel as well. They have been present in the publishing industry through the Slovene “Mladinska knjiga”, which is part of “Reader’s digest”, an American company whose part has recently been bought by the Rothschilds.

The Rothshilds in Montenegro, the Republic of Srpska, Bosnian Federation, Croatia and Macedonia 

The arrival of Rothschilds’ delegation soon after the referendum (which was carried out by those very Rothschilds), meant the branding of one of the oldest Serb countries with “colonized”. Jacob and Nathaniel Rothshild thus obtained another colony. Today, Montenegro is completely owned by Khazar companies run by the Rothshilds. The pattern is the same. As elsewhere in the region, colonization is carried out by the Rothschilds. Next to them are “Russian” businessmen, Soros…

There are ports to be appropriated, and natural resources, metallurgical plants, tourist capacities… 
  
Just like in Serbia and the other coutries in the region, Soros had previously spun a network of NGOs. CEDEM, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Human Rights Action and Hominem querum are only some of them. To this we can add the controlled media (ANEM), through which he carried out – successfully, it turns out – an anti-Serb campaign. In cooperation with European organizations and the Venice commission (one of whose members is Vojin Dimitrijevic as well) he actively supported the project of independence.


Peter Munk (one of Nathaniel’s managers, a Khazar) has taken over (through OTP) the overhaul company Arsenal in Tivat, where Trigranit is to construct a large marina. The same company is planning the construction of a business-financial centres in Podgorica, Ulcinj, Budva…

The head manager, Chanyi (OTP banking group), occupied the field of banking by purchasing Montenegrin Commercial Bank, which covers more than a half of the market in Montenegro. Its ally is Rothshilds’ Societe Generale, which took over Podgorica Bank. NLV group bought the Montenegro Bank.

In addition to this, Rothschild and Chanyi’s MOL is soon to become a strategic partner of the state oil company Montenegro Bonus. Milo Djukanovic, who gave the Rothshilds a blank check, was rewarded with a managerial position in Tigranit, which speaks volumes of the part he played in the process of colonization.

Monet, the mobile phone company which is part of Deutsche Telekom, is indirectly controlled by the Rothschilds!


An important role in the colonization of Montenegro was played by Oleg Deripaska, a Khazar multimillionaire from Russia. Nathaniel Rothschild himself has boasted of having excellent relations with him. As one of Rothschild branches, Deripaska’s company Rusal bought KAP (The Alluminium Plant Podgorica). Through its affiliate Salamon, it took over the bauxite mine in Niksic. It should be mentioned that Rusal and Glenkor often act together. The Austrian company Strabag, in which Deripaska has a lare part, has bought over the Crnagoraput company. Tourist premises are being purchased as well as attractive pieces of seaside land, building land…

In order to secure his position in this colony, Rothschild has set up an organization for long-term granting of scholarships to students from Montenegro.

The Republic of Srpska

The Republic of Srpska, which is under constant pressure aiming at its complete annihilation, was penetrated by the Rothschilds via Soros’s foundations, Mital Steel corporation, Salford. This

In accordance with his long-established custom, Soros founded a number of NGOs with the same goal as in Serbia (the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Lex International…). Soros’s media are gathered around the international organization Press Now and the Soros media centre in Sarajevo. Among those media are Nezavisne novine, the Alternative Television Banja Luka, Net novinar…

In the area of industry, Salford bought over the Banja Luka dairy, the largest one in the Republic of Srpska. The company Stabag (Deripaska) was granted concession to construct a network of motorways.

 

The company Mittal Steel Zenica bought over the RZR Ljubija, a complex of mines with great reserves of iron ore. We should mention that the Russian state companies Juzuralzoloto and Zarubeznjev are also present. The former has become a strategic partner of the mining plant Sase in Srebrenica and the latter has bought over the oil refineries (Modrica, Petrol). Thus, any further penetration of MOL and Mittal has been prevented.

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina   

In the Muslim-Croatian part of Bosnia, Mittal group is the leader in the area of mining and metallurgy. This group has taken hold of the steel plant in Zenica, one of the largest steel plants in the Balkans. The mining complex Ljubija in the Republic of Srpska has also become a part of Mittal.

The field of energy is reserved for MOL, which has bought over the state oil company Energopetrol. The investment fund of Boris Berezovski, Salford, has taken over the dairy industry (Mlekoprodukt – K.Dubica, Campomil – Sarajevo). It is expected that Ljubljana dairy plants will also be taken over. These plants include the dairy plant in Tuzla as well.

The sector of banking and finances is being dominated by Rothschild banks Unicredit, Intesa…

Ever since 1993 Soros has been present in the Federation through his network of NGOs. The same as in the other countries, this network is exceedingly    anti-Serb oriented. Some of the more renowned members of Soros’s Open Society have been Jacob Finci and Ivan Straus (Khazars). In addition to the Open Society, we can mention „Obrazovanje gradi”, Media Centre Sarajevo, the Helsinki Committee, the Women of Bosnia and other NGO’s. He also controls the following media – the newspaper Oslobodjenje, the Start magazine, the HTV Hajat television, the news agency ONASA…

Croatia

Unlike the other Balkan states, Croatia was occupied by the Rothschilds mainly from Hungary, which is a basis for the expansion of the Khazar dynasty.

In Croatia Soros is less present than in the other countries. The trump card from the non-governmental sector is Zarko Puhovski.

In addition to MOL which took over the oil company INA, another important Rothschild company in Croatian industry is Trigranit. A consortium Ingra-Trigranit has been founded (at the head of Ingra is Igor Openheim, a Khazar). The consortium is to build the sports arena in Zagreb, with a capacity of 20,000 seats. Trigranit also has ambitions plans regarding the Croatian seaside.

T-Mobile is present in the area of telecommunications.

Macedonia

After the break-up of Yugoslavia, this former republic has shared the fate of the other colonies in the region. In other words, the sovereignty and independence refer to the territory, whereas the economy and resources are undergoing quiet occupation and the people are being promised a “better future” in the EU. At the same time a pro-Albanian element is being promoted, with the aim of completing the project of the Greater Albania.

A central part in Macedonia is occupied by Mittal Steel Skopje, a part of Mittal corporation, which has bought over the metallurgy plant in Skopje, thus ensuring domination in the region. In the area of banking, Societe Generale has taken over Ohrid Bank.

On the other hand, Soros openly supports Albanian interests. For this purpose he uses numerous organizations – the Helsinki Committee, the Centre for Multicultural Understanding, the Association for Democratic Initiatives, all dominated by Albanians. The same goes for the media. Soros controls the “Shutel” television, the Vati and Life radio stations…

Soros also credited the Macedonian government in 1994 with 25 million dollars. During this same period he attained great influence on the then prime minister and the current president of Macedonia, Branko Crvenkovski. Branko Crvenkovski openly supported Marti Ahtisaari’s plan for Kosovo.

Soros is involved in the Macedonian mobile phone company MT via “Stonebridge Communications” company, in which he has stocks. Incidentally, MT is indirectly controlled by the Rothschilds through “Blackstone Group”, a major financial-investment group which was founded in 1985 by their agents Peter George Peterson and Stefan Schwartzman (a Khazar). Both of them had previously made careers in Rothschild branch offices “Lehman Brothers” and “Kuhn Loeb Inc.”. Blackstone group is the leading stockholder of “Deutsche Telekom” (T-Mobile), which also incorporates the Hungarian mobile phone company Matav – the owner of the Macedonian mobile phone company MT. “T-Mobile” is the second largest mobile phone company in Macedonia.

On the way to their goal the Rothschilds bring into play reforms, transitions, shock therapies, elections, referendums, secessions, revolutions, civil wars, military interventions…
Nations are offered “freedom”, “democracy” and voluntary enslavement in return for their independence and resources!

The alternative is sanctions, isolation and bombing!

Former Yugoslavia was a phase in the crusade of Rothschild empire towards the east. The geopolitical combinations were not a Serbian ally yet again.

Unfortunately, Serbia stood in the way of this beast with a kind face.




CHRIST, THE ULTIMATE REBEL, DROVE PHARISEES MONEYCHANGERS OUT DURING PASSOVER, NOW NEO-PHARISEES OWN MORTGAGE ON THE TEMPLE and ITS NUKES

04/17/2012

There is much confusion about what the word “Jew” means, e.g. is it a race, a bloodline, a religious cult, a cult disguising itself as a religion, somebody of any race or religion who lived in Judea 2000 years ago or 3,000 years ago or 4,000 years ago or…., is Judaism is race-based cult or a cult-based race, or just a cult, etc. Let’s say that there are two ways a person can be a Jew;

  1. racially, which means a cross between the descendants of Esau and True Israelites (Esau is called Edom in Genesis 36:8. and Edom is ‘Modern Jewry’ as per Jewish Encyclopedia, 1925 edition, Vol. 5, p. 41) or
  2. religiously by adopting the cult of the Pharisees known as Babylonian Talmudism.

These two definitions are themselves contradictory and the hoax starts here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89GlA5temPA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDSDhtCffa4&feature=related

As further explained in the links below, Mary was not Jewish either by genealogy or by religious belief. She was an Israelite Judahite (Yahudite). Please see attached chart the one further down the email.

Jesus was an Israelite Judahite living in Galilee and sometimes in Judea (thus a part-time Judean). People living in Judea, i.e. Judeans, were of many religions and lineage, just like people living in Texas are of many religions and lineage. Israelites did not practice Judaism (= Babylonian Talmudism), they practiced Monotheism aka True Torahism (Hebrewism).

Jesus was not an Edomite Jew. Jesus was neither Jew by genealogy or by religious belief. Jesus condemned the Pharisees (Jews) and compared them to vipers, liars, sons of Satan, and their traditions of the elders and their “teaching for doctrines the  commandments of men.” (Matt.15:9) Babylonian Talmudism= Judaism = the Synagogue of Satan. (note the edited and scrubbed Babylonian Talmud version is called the Jerusalem Talmud)

“The Talmud is, then, the written form of that which in the time of Jesus, was called the Traditions of the Elders.” — Rabbi Michael L. Rodkinson, and “The Jewish religion as it is today traces its descent, without a break, through all the centuries, from the Pharisees.” — Universal Jewish Encyclopedia

Herod was an Edomite Jew (Arab Jew).

5% of Jews are racial Edomites Middle-Eastern Arabs and 95% are converted European Khazarites/Ashkenites/Yaphites/Gog/Magog tribes who converted to Babylonian Talmudism (Cult of the Pharisees) in the 8th century AC.

The non-Israelite Sephardim or Arab Jews/ Edomites are indigenous to Palestine. They are descendants of Jacob’s twin Esau or Edom. Like the other Arabs, they are descendant from Shem, and these Jews are different from the Ashkenazi in appearance as they have darker skin and look more like the darker Arab population of the “Middle East”. But it would appear that this small segment “Children of Shem” (NOT ISRAELITES) lineage is cleverly used, along with “Judaism” to imply the hoax of “Shemitic” origin of all Jews.

  • “….. the fact that the large majority of surviving Jews in the world is of Eastern European—and thus perhaps mainly of Khazar—origin. If so, this would mean that their ancestors came not from the Jordan but from the Volga, not from Canaan but from the Caucasus, once believed to be the cradle of the Aryan race; and that genetically they are more closely related to the Hun, Uigur and Magyar tribes than to the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Should this turn out to be the case, then the term “anti-Semitism” would become void of meaning, based on a misapprehension shared by both the killers and their victims. The story of the Khazar Empire, as it slowly emerges from the past, begins to look like the most cruel hoax which [zionized] history has ever perpetrated. “– Arthur Koestler, The Thirteenth Tribe, p. 17, 1976; (Mr. Koestler and his wife were eventually murdered).
  • “It is highly probable that the bulk of the Jews’ ancestors never lived in Palestine at all, which witnesses the power of historical assertion over fact.”   – Outline of History, by H.G. Wells.
  • 1980 Jewish Almanac
    “Strictly speaking it is incorrect to call an ancient Israelite a ‘Jew’ or to call a contemporary Jew an Israelite or a Hebrew.”
    (1980 Jewish Almanac, p. 3)
  • The Jewish Encyclopedia:
    “Khazars, a non-Semitic, Asiatic, Mongolian tribal nation who emigrated into Eastern Europe about the first century, who were converted as an entire nation to Judaism in the seventh century by the expanding Russian nation which absorbed the entire Khazar population, and who account for the presence in Eastern Europe of the great numbers of Yiddish-speaking Jews in Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Galatia, Besserabia and Rumania.”
  • The American Peoples Encyclopedia
    for 1954 at 15-292 records the following in reference to the Khazars: “In the year 740 A.D. the Khazars were officially converted to Judaism. A century later they were crushed by the incoming Slavic-speaking people and were scattered over central Europe where they were known as Jews.
  • The so-called Star of David is a Satanic symbol. Satanists and occult practitioners use it for calling Satan and demons!
    Former Satanist, Bill Schnoebelen (now born again Christian)
    “A hexagram must be present to call forth a demon” and ” it is a very powerful tool to invoke Satan”.

    “To the sorcerer, the hexagram is a powerful tool to invoke Satan.” In fact, the word “hex” — as to put a “hex” or “curse” on people — comes from this word. If you examine the erroneously called “Star of David,” or hexagram, you will discover something astonishing. It has six points, forms six equilateral triangles, and in its interior forms a six sided hexagon — thus it reveals the number of Satan’ antichrist beast, — 6 points, 6 triangles, and the 6 sides of the hexagram — 666 !!!

In around 1,000 BC, King David fought wars against the Edomite Jews. There had also been civil wars between Israelite tribes as well.

After the Assyrian captivity (under King Shalmaneser V, in 745‑721 BC), those Israelites who remained to re-establish another Judah were a mixed lot. We find in Isaiah 36:1, that “Esau is Edom”…what this alludes to is the co-mingling of the “residue” that remained in the un-conquered city of Jerusalem and two small towns nearby. Edomites eventually prevailed, after Hyrcannus forced them to convert to the modified Torahism, i.e. Babylonian Talmudism = Judaism before being taken into the Babylonian captivity. Hence this comingled residue lost much of its genetic association with Judah, and thus with Israel. Here is where the Pharisees made their money…advising local Edomite captives as to how to circumvent the Law. These decisions, these Pharisaical conclusions became the basis for the Oral Talmud that remained oral until around 500 A.C. when the Babylonian captivity ended. Hence Jesus’s definition of the Talmud as being the traditions of the elders….which made the Law of non-effect.  For the purpose of the Talmudic decisions were so intended, and yet offer the perpetrator a measure of freedom of conscience. These practices continued for centuries and remained Oral in being for centuries—memorized by the Rabbis and scribes.

In II kings 18:13 and in Isaiah 36:1 we find out that most of original Judah also went into the Assyrian captivity. II Kings 18:13 says: “Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyrian come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them.”  This event is confirmed in Isaiah 36:1…Other sources reveal that 54 of original Judah’s cities or towns were taken, confirmed as well by a clay prism of Sennacherib’s found in the late 1800’s and now in the British Museum.  This Prism relates to how many men women and animals were taken captive of this original Judah, separate from those in Jerusalem.

Thus we can understand why the apostle James would open his epistle with a salutation addressed to “the twelve tribes scattered abroad.”   And Peter, addressing “ the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithnia”…All were locations where Israelite Hebrews had relocated and were the targets of the activities of the disciples as well as Paul…who always called them, brethren”…meaning, “from the same womb”, Sarah’s.

Note that when only 5500 or so captives returned to Jerusalem, the Bible identifies them as being both Good Figs and Bad Figs. (The Fig tree being symbolic of Judah) The Pharisees brought the Talmud back with them as well and it became the Bible of many of those who followed along with its guidance and the Pharisees.  These were the Bad Figs…Rabbi Stephen Wise, an important Rabbi of the 30’s and 40’s, made the statement that “Hebrewism died in Babylon and Judaism rose from its ashes.” The details of the Babylonian Talmud was addressed by Jesus as “teaching for doctrines the  commandments of men.” (Matt.15:9)  Yet despite these words, today’s’ Christian Zionists, the Fundamentalists and Futurists ignore these words and promote their worst enemies as being His chosen…when they themselves qualify genetically for such designation.

There were at least three kinds of Judeans in the days of John Hyrcanus and the first Herod (the “Great”): the original, native Judahites and the recently naturalized Idumeans, who were allowed to become citizens of Judea, via a treaty signed by King John Hyrcanus with the nation of Idumea, circa 125 BC. Then, there were the Babylonian Pharisees.

The fact is that a perpetual series of Talmudic changes in doctrine arose with the Pharisees, the false priests who were empowered by Herod, the “Great.”  Herod was the Idumean usurper who, around 40 BC, murdered Hyrcanus II, the last True Judahite ruler to reign in Judaea, and took his place.  This background history is absolutely crucial to a proper understanding of why there was a MUTUAL HATRED between the Messiah and most of the Pharisees.  Jesus told these Pharisees that their ancestors were the murderers of many of the Judahite priests and prophets and that they are guilty of these crimes.  Here are his exact words:
Thou blind Pharisees, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. – Matt. 23:26-31.

As the Bible repeatedly asserts, these Pharisees perverted the Law of Moses while deceptively claiming to preserve it in their tradition.  This is like a bunch of Hindu priests pretending to be Buddhists, in order to fool the Buddhists.

Modern Jew‑dah‑ism, is a cultic (ritual‑istic) religion which originated approximately 1000 CE, and is traced to Rabbenu Gershon of Mainz Germany through the publishing of his ‘halachic creativity’ (interpretation of Old Covenant laws); he thereby established the beginning of the modern cultic religion of Jew‑dah‑ism. Today the religion is also greatly influenced by the Babylonian Talmud, an ancient Pagan ritual‑listic system of various extreme opinions, interpretations, codes, rules, and regulations.

The first time Jews are mentioned in the Bible, is in II Kings 16:6 (and then only in translations revised in the eighteenth century) where we find Israel was at war with the Jews and drave the Jews from Elath. Jesus Christ tells John in Revelation 2:9 “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Judahites and are not, but are the SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN”. We know that God changed the name of Abram to Abraham in Genesis 17:5, and that He changed the name of Jacob to Israel in Genesis 32:28, but nowhere in the Bible do we find where God changed the name of Israel to Jew! There is therefore no authority by which those who say they are Jews can claim to be Israel!

By the time of Jesus the word Edom or Edomite had been translated by Greek and Latin into Ioudaios and Iudaeus meaning a Judean or person living in Judea, just like we would call a person living in Texas a Texan. The original King James version of the Bible, 1611, translated Idumaean-Judean into Iewes. It wasn’t until the revised editions of the King James Bible, that the word Jew appeared. The word Jew does not mean Israel or Israelite! We must conclude therefore that the first “Jews” were Canaanite-Edomite-Hittite. It is certain, according to the Bible, that Jews are not Israel.

Judea and Galilee were two separate states and political entities, as illustrated on the map of Palestine in the time of Jesus. Jesus Himself was not a Jew (neither Edomite nor follower of Pharisees). He was originally a Galilean or resident of Galilee (Matthew 26:69; John 7:41). He was a Judahite or descendent of the Tribe of Judah. The Judeans of prominence were not of the Tribe of Judah, but of Edomites. Pilate was being ironic when he wrote the sign “Jesus of Nazareth, Leader of the Judeans” for the Cross (John 19:19). That is, “the Galilean who was Leader of the Judeans,” as in “Queen Victoria of England, Empress of India.” Jesus grew up in Nazareth in Galilee. His disciples were fishermen from the Sea of Galilee. And although He visited Jerusalem, he spent most of His life in his home country of Galilee. John 7:1, “After this Jesus stayed in Galilee; for He could not walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.” His followers were constrained “for fear of the Jews [Edomites living in Judea]” (John 7:13, 19:38, 20:19).

Why was this?

Psalm 83:3 says God’s elect are “hidden” or protected ones, and that they are under attack from a coalition of evil groups led by Edom. Who was Edom?

Esau, the brother of the patriarch Jacob, became the ancestor of the people called Edom, or Idumea. The Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus, XIII ix 1; XV vii 9 instructs us: John Hyrcanus forcibly assimilated the Edomites as a national group and they became whom we call “Jews” in about 120BC. The Judean historian Josephus, who lived just after the time of Christ, wrote, “They [Edom] were hereafter no other than Jews’. The Jewish scholar Cecil Roth in his Concise Jewish Encyclopedia (1980) says on page 154, “John Hyrcanus forcibly converted [Edom] to Judaism, i.e. the Babylonian Talmudism religion cult of the Pharisees. From then on they were part of the Middle-Eastern Jewish people. In the Talmud the name of Edom was applied to Christian Rome, and was then used for Christianity in general”.

Terrible judgments against Edom are made in most of the prophecies of the Old Testament. For instance, Isaiah 34, 63, Jeremiah 49, and the entire book of Obadiah.

The Edomite, Antipater, became the Procurator of Judea in 47BC. Ten years later his son Herod actually became “king of the Jews,” initiating the Edomite dynasty which ruled Palestine under Roman authority for over a hundred years. The Edomite assimilation opened the way for the virtual takeover along the lines predicted by Ezekiel and stimulus for an influx of population from the arid country of Edom into the more hospitable environment of Judea, an influx obviously encouraged for political reasons by the ruling Herodian dynasty. Edomites would have been appointed to the most influential positions, in order to extend and consolidate Edomite authority over the land and its people. Herod became notorious for his massacre of infant boys two years old and under,” a supernaturally inspired attempt on the life of Christ (Matthew 2:16). Herod’s son Herod Antipas, continuing the work, and was responsible for the gruesome murder of John the Baptist (Matthew 14:6-12).

Christ demonstrated a very real antipathy towards the people called Edomite Jews, in Bibles published after about 1776, but who would be more accurately described as Judeans, or residents of the Edomite-dominated territory of Judea. Jesus said to the Jews “You do not believe because you are not of My sheep” (John 10:24-27). “I was only sent to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). In fact, Christ referred to “those Jews (or residents of Judea regardless of religion, race or color) as “of their father the devil” for although they were children of Abraham, they were not children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and heirs of the blessing of Abraham, nor did they have the faith of Abraham, and were in all probability descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Esau (John 8: 31,44). In contrast, Jesus instructed His disciples – who were from Galilee of the Gentiles, not Judea (Acts 1:11; 2:7) – to pray and in Revelation 2:9 and 3:9, Jesus speaks of “those who say they are Judahites and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan”.

The Edomite Jews shouted “Crucify Him!” (John 19:15); “His blood be on us and on our children” (Matthew 27:25). In an appropriate turn about, when Jesus returns, their blood will stain His own garments. The spiritual leaders of the Jews were the Pharisees, who not surprisingly were associated with the (Edomite) Herodians (Matthew 22:15-16; Mark 3:6; 12:13). Jesus repeatedly condemned the Pharisees as “hypocrites” (Matthew 15:7; 22:18; 23:13,15,23,25,27-27). He also called them “serpents, the offspring of vipers” (Matthew 3:7; 12:34; 23:33).

“Jesus spoke to the crowds only in parables” (Matthew 13:10-17). Why was this? Many nominal churches and Sunday schools teach that Jesus used parables to make His teachings clearer. But all four Gospels say the opposite. When Jesus was asked why He spoke to them in parables, He replied “Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given” (Matthew 13:10-11; Mark 4:11-12; Luke 8:9-10; John 12:37-44). Brother Branham simply said, Jesus spoke in parables to thin down the crowds.

Jesus told “those Jews who believed in him . . . You are of your father the devil, and lust for what is forbidden. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him . . . as he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:31-44).

Who are the true Judahites today?  A number of commentaries lean towards identifying them as being Germanic in status. A study by Alan Campbell of North Ireland is one of the best that speaks to this association.

Now after the destruction of Jerusalem in AC 70 by the Romans, some of these comingled Edomite Jews escaped and returned to Babylon where many had remained. There, in a town called Jamnia they had established a center of Talmudic Judaism and promoted the doctrines of their version of Judaism…It was from this source that Rabbi’s were sent to central Russia to convert the Khazars who, as animists, were being pressured from Christianity, Islam and Judaism to adopt another religion…The Rabbi’s through trickery convinced the king or Kagan to convert to Judaism and within a decade the entire nation of Khazars had converted.

It is this event with the Ashkenazic Khazars (Gog/Magog tribes, Yaphites)  that formed the basis for who most of the Jews are today…Despite the false identification made that ashkenaz means “German”. Judahites are in reality, the real Germans, over 20 million of them massacred during WWI and WWII by the Zionists and their Allies (while pretended that 6 million Jews were holocausted). It is but another bit of trickery for which these people are so well known…They needed a white European nation on whom to attach themselves and thus avoid being associated with Noah’s son, Japheth, in lieu of Shem, or being Semetic….which the also falsely claim.

In the year 450 A.C. one of Europe’s barbaric tribes was beginning to show signs of restlessness. This tribe was called the KHAZARS (Chazars). Within the next two hundred years, the KHAZARS would form Eastern Europe’s largest and most powerful kingdom. They would rule supreme for about 200 years, ranking in power with the Muslim Caliphate and the Byzantine Empire. Their kingdom, of approximately one million square miles, bordered the Aral sea on the east; Kiev and the Ukrainian Steppes on the west: the Caucasus mountain and the Black Sea on the south: and the Ural mountain on the north.

Now let’s look at the genealogy of the KHAZARS. Since this matter is so important, we shall allow the Kagan or King of the KHAZARS to inform us. A Khazar King named Joseph corresponded with a Spanish Israelite named Hasdai Ibn Sharprut sometime between 954 and 961 C.E. (Manuscripts of this correspondence may be seen in the Library of Christ Church at Oxford, England and in the Leningrad Public Library in Leningrad, Russia) Hasdai was the chief minister of the Caliph of Cordoba Abd – al – Rahman III.

At that time Cordoba was the splendor of Moorish Spain (a mixture of black skinned Muslims and Israelites ), and was the main center of European Culture. In his letter to Hasdai, King Joseph stated that he was from the line of JAPHETH, FROM THE SEED OF TOGARMAH, Japheth’s grandson. He further stated that Togarmah, who was the brother of ASHKENAZ, had ten sons and the KHAZARS represented the seventh son. With his own lips, this King had given the root of his being and the lineage of his offspring which was from the sons of Japheth .

Let us now see what the scriptures have to say about Japheth and Togarmah. In the book of Genesis 10: 2 – 5. “The sons of Japheth: Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. and the sons of Gomer: ASHKENAZ, AND Riphath, and Togarmah. And the sons of Javan: Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. By these were THE ISLES OF THE GENTILE divided in their lands everyone after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

According to the King of the KHAZARS, his people descended from the family of Magog. Like all European nations at the time, the KHAZARS were pagans. However, ca. 740 C.E. King Bulan initiated the conversion of his kingdom to a new and different philosophy. Before the conversion, the Kagan invited representatives of Christianity, Islam and the Israelites to discuss the three doctrines. It was unanimously agreed, in response to the Kagan’s question, that the doctrine of the Israelites was closest to the truth, he came to this conclusion because both the Christians (Byzantine) and Muslims both respected the Hebrew scriptures.

And also in order for the KHAZARS to remain independent they chose the faith that neither the Christian or Muslims was part of but both respected. After the conversion the Khazar King changed his name to become King Obadiah. They displayed much hope but very little understanding, especially of spiritual matters. Eventually, they had to invent their own brand of the law which later they named Judaism. The word “Judaism” cannot be found in the writings of the Prophets of old, neither is it found anywhere in the Holy Scriptures. Judaism, (The Talmud) is a misunderstanding or perversion of the customs of the ancient Israelites, as practiced by the KHAZARS and the Edomites.

Arthur Koestler in his very noteworthy book “THE THIRTEENTH TRIBE gives further detailed information about the KHAZARS and their conversion to the faith of the Babylonian Talmudists and how the majority of today’s European Jews are direct descendants of them. The information contained in his book is backed up by scripture that show’s the Jews are Gentiles, not natural -born Israelites.

According to Microsoft Encarta, “Today, about 85% of all Jews are Ashkenazim“. The Ashkenazi are not descendants of Israel, Ashkenaz was the grandson of Japheth and brother of Togarmah. Arthur Koestler further explains why today’s Jews call themselves Ashkenazi even though they are the Physical seed of Togarmah. He shows that the KHAZARS took on the name of Ashkenaz because it was prophesied in Jeremiah 51:27 that Ashkenaz and their allies would conquer Babylon.

After reading all the historical and biblical information about who are and who are not the true Israelites according to the flesh, should make us have an full understanding of Revelation 12:9. which states : And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the devil and Satan, which deceive the whole world.

Paul also warns us to beware of Jewish deceit: “Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables, and the commandments of men, that turn from the truth…They profess to know God, but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”  –  Titus, 1:14-16.

The whole world is deceived not only about the right way to worship YHWH, but they are deceived about who are the true Israelites a people near and dear unto YHWH (psalms 148:14).

Either way, Jews are not Israelites. European Jews have usurped the Israelite identity as part of their hoax to colonize the Middle-East, i.e. identity theft by Zionists, a deception much bigger than their 9/11 inside job and other false flag operations.

Revelation 2:9 – …. and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Judahites and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

Please do take the time to read the information at these links as the deception is simple but requires effort to understand, just like their banksters’ deception is simple but requires effort to understand, i.e. create money from nothing which is legalized counterfeiting and a model for expropriating the entire World’s wealth.

  1. Edomites, Phoenicians, Canaanites, Jews

http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/edomites.htmCached – Similar

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The Jewish Encyclopedia tells us that “Edom is in Modern Jewry“. This witness from the 1905 edition records the connection between modern day Jews and the

 

  1. Who is Esau-Edom?

www.scribd.comResearchHistoryCached

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Jan 9, 2011 – The EdomiteKhazar Deception. by totalise in History, Research, and deception. and asserted that the kingdom should fall “on one of the royal family. …… 6 In another crrrleavor to appease the Zionists, ”tlre British Colonial

 

http://www.apfn.org/thewinds/library/khazars.html

www.jesuswasnotajew.com

http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/jesusjew.htm

 

http://overlordsofchaos.com/html/jesus_was_not_a_jew.html

 

http://anglo-saxonisrael.com/site/jesuswasnotajew

 

http://www.israelect.com/reference/willie-martin/ChristNotJew.html.

 

http://www.tribesusa.com/history.htm

http://www.henrymakow.com/jesus_was_not_a_jew_–benjamin.html

http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/factindx.htm

http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/facts.htm

http://www.jesuswasnotajew.com/

http://www.hebrewisraelites.org/edomandkhazars.htm

http://socioecohistory.wordpress.com/2009/01/24/khazar-empire-illuminati-and-new-world-order/

http://www.reformation.org/khazaria.html

http://www.meguiar.addr.com/Freedman.htm

http://anglo-saxonisrael.com/site/jesuswasnotajew

“Jews” are not “Judeans” in the literal sense of the word. The generally accepted meaning of the word “Jew” today is (1) a person who today professes the form of religious worship known as “Judaism” aka Babylonian Talmudism of the Pharisees, teachings of men denounced by Yashua-Jesus-Isa, (2) a person who claims to belong to a racial group associated with the ancient Edomites. Jesus was none of these. He was an Israelite, Judahite, a Judean resident of Judea and also a Gallilean resident of Gallilee.

“Judaism” today and “Pharisaism” at the time of Jesus are the same. Jesus abhorred and denounced “Pharisaism”; hence the Biblical words, “Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites, Ye Serpents, Ye Generation of Vipers”, etc.

The Pharisees and their mob of zealots were incensed when Pontius Pilate, who had reluctantly acceded to their demands to crucify Jesus, had a sign erected on his cross, the true English translation of which reads: “Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Judeans.” They were incensed not because Jesus’ nationality was mislabeled but because it was true; a truth that flew in the face of their arrogance.

They were incensed not because Jesus’ nationality was mislabeled but because it was true; a truth that flew in the face of their arrogance.

We find a passage in the Old Testament, in the wonderful book of Esther, that reinforces the conclusion that Jews are Jews by faith (and unfortunately also by works).

Esther 8:17

And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.

Christian Zionists think that God has ordained this Terrorist Occupation, when, in reality, this occupation is totally Satanic in origin.  It is all based on lies, intrigue and ethnic cleansing.  While Jews pose as “examples of tolerance” here in America, the Palestinian people have had to endure the most extreme brutality in the name of “Israel.”  Jews refer to Palestinians as “goyim,” by which they really mean sub-human creatures.  This type of hypocrisy was spoken of the Jews at Luke 12:1:  “Beware the leaven of the Pharisees, which is HYPOCRISY.”  Has your minister ever quoted this passage to you?  If not, WHY NOT?
Paul also prophesied that the world would be taken in by the Anti-Christ, when he said, “Satan himself appears as an angel of light.” (II Cor. 11:14.)  Paul repeats this warning to the Christian world in his second Epistle to the Thessalonians:  “And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie…”- II Thess. 2:8-11.
What lie is it that has deceived and deluded the Christian world in these last days? Simple!  The Lie that the Jews are Israel!
Jesus told us how to recognize these impostors, when He said, “By their fruits shall ye know them.”  (Matt. 7:20.)  Jewish words are always spoken with an air of piety and peace, but their actions, when power is in their hands, belie their words.  The duplicity of these master deceivers must always be borne in mind.  Indeed, the fruit of Zionism is nothing but theft, violence, intrigue, sabotage and genocide against innocent people.  It is indisputable, historical fact that the Zionist State was founded upon Jewish terrorism, a wanton barrage of barbaric butchery against the virtually UNARMED citizens of Palestine, none of whom had ever harmed a single Jew in all of their lives. If you think that God approves of these tactics, you are just as much a barbarian as the Zionists.  The Zionist occupation of Palestine is nothing but imperialism in the name of the Jewish God.  Anyone who believes otherwise is seriously deluded.  Menachem Begin and Itzhak Shamir even performed terrorist attacks against the British, in order to get the British to abandon Palestine to the Zionists, which they did when King George VI gave up the British Mandate in 1948.
During the ought years (’01 – ’09) of our new millennium, the Neo-Cons (the Neo-Conservatives, the phony, pro-Zionist “Conservatives,” who came out of Leo Strauss’s Jewish communist school of tactical deception at the University of Chicago) have completed the Jewish takeover of our government, just as the Jewish/Edomite Herodians displaced the Judahites in ancient Judea.  History repeats itself.  It was these Neo-Con Artists (internationalist Jews of the New World Order) who got George W. Bush elected, staged 9/11 and used it as an excuse to attack Iraq and Afghanistan, thus exploiting the American military, causing our people to lose life and limb to make the world safe for Jewry, while these same Jewish warmongers profit from these international conflicts.   Truly, Paul was a prophet when he said, “Satan himself appears as an angel of light,” by pretending to be “God’s chosen.”

“I know your affliction and your poverty, but you have heavenly riches, and I know the blasphemy of them who say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan . . . Take note, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews, but are impostors who lie, to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you” Christ speaking to His elect Church (Rev. 2:9; 3:9).

“You serpents, offspring of vipers, how can you escape being sentenced to hell fire? Therefore take notice, I will send you prophets, and wise men, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify; and some of whom you will flog in your synagogues, and persecute from town to town, that upon you may come all the righteous blood that has been shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zachariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I assure you, all these things shall come upon this race” Christ speaking to the so-called “Jews” who were of the sect of the Pharisees, which today is manifest as Judaism (Matt. 23:33-36).

“Some anthropologists are inclined to associate the racial origins of the Jews, not with the Semites, whose language they adopted, but with the Armenians and Hittites [Edomites] of Mesopotamia, whose broad skulls and curved noses they appear to have inherited.” The Jewish Encyclopedia (1905)

“The term Israelite is purely Biblical. An Israeli is a citizen of Israel, regardless of religion. A Jew is a person anywhere in the world born to a Jewish mother, or converted to Judaism, who is thus identified as a member of the Jewish people and religion.” Information Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem; February, 1998.

“Strictly speaking, it is incorrect to call an ancient Israelite a “Jew.” Or to call a contemporary Jew [an] “Israelite,” or a “Hebrew.” The first Hebrews may not have been Jews at all.” The Jewish Almanac (October, 1980)

That it is understood that in order to be considered ‘legally’ Jewish [conversions are not encouraged] one MUST be born of a Jewish Mother. Mary was Jewish- Jesus never quit being Jewish.

The Bible was NOT FAXED in but are stories the ancients told as they struggled with God, so THANKS for the LEAD to my next article- What We Need is a New Body for Christ!

On Thu, Apr 5, 2012 at 10:26 AM, Alex James <alexjamesinfo@gmail.com> wrote:

Jesus was not a Jew. He was a Judahite living in both Galilee and Judea.

5% of Jews are Edomites Middle-Eastern Arabs and 95% are European Khazarites/Ashkenites/Yaphites/Gog/Magog tribes.

www.jesuswasnotajew.com

http://www.henrymakow.com/jesus_was_not_a_jew_–benjamin.html

 

“Christ drove the Money Changers out of the Temple. But today nobody dares to drive the Money Lenders out of the Temple because the Money Lenders have taken a mortgage on the Temple.”– Peter Maurin+

The narrative of Jesus and the moneychangers/AKA the cleansing of the Temple is told in the four gospels [good news] about Jesus and his disciples who arrive at the Temple in Jerusalem during Passover.

Jesus vents his righteous rage over the desecration of a faith in the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, for it had become big business perpetuated by “the den of thieves” among the upper echelon in the hierarchy of High Priests.

The priests made their living by convincing the ancients that the only way to be OK with God was to pay their way out of their ‘sins’. These men with minds that believed the earth was flat wrought rituals such as baths and sacrificing livestock that only the Temple priests could perform upon a sinner seeking repentance for whatever they had done or had not done unto God and neighbor.

The root of all ‘sin’ is selfishness-meaning putting one’s self interests and desires foremost without even a thought of another’s and ‘sin’ is enabled by ignoring one’s conscience.

The ancient Hebrews ascribed to 613 mitzvahs [commands] of Judaism [Babylonian Talmudism denounced by Yashua-Jesus]. Jesus did not seek to create a new religion but to bring in a deeper connection with the Ultimate Mystery of the Universe-God, for lack of a better word. Jesus taught one must forgive to be forgiven, one must Love God first, “love your neighbor as yourself” and “Love your enemies.”

Too few who claim to be Christian have actually done what Jesus commanded; but Clifford Stanley, Episcopal Priest and Professor of Theology noted, “Any god who can be killed ought to be killed” and as John Lennon sang, “when it comes to destruction you can count me out. In.”

The last words Jesus/AKA The Prince of Peace commanded his community of followers before being hauled away to his trial and torture was “To put down the sword.”

His last prayer before he died on the cross was, “Father, forgive them; they know not what they are doing.”

Jesus also said that he came so that we would have life to the full; abundant life [John 10:10] and that takes deep thought and then taking action.

Two thousand years ago, there was lively debate about whom the Christ-the very first WIDE AWAKE man was; and until the Church got in bed with Emperor Constantine, churches were diverse hot beds of individuality and not the institutions that have become big business today.

In 1994, Bishop Shelly Spong wrote, “Resurrection: Myth or Reality?”

Spong faced the fact that viewing the resurrection of Jesus as PHYSICAL was a late developing tradition in early Christianity, which until the third decade had been called The Way-meaning the way Jesus taught one must be-Nonviolent, forgiving and loving.

St. Paul as well as the gospel writers of Mark and Matthew made NO claim that the burst of life, light and energy that accompanied the birth of Christianity was dependent on any orthodox theology or dogma.

In 1996, Spong wrote, “Liberating the Gospels” and contended that the writers of the synoptic gospels-Luke, Matthew and Mark- were NOT eyewitnesses to the life and death of The Prince of Peace and these gospels/good news were not even based on eyewitness memories.

Instead, they were liturgical works organized around the Jewish liturgical year and were NOT to be taken literally, but probed within the Jewish context…

Israeli Nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu was born into a Moroccan Jewish Orthodox Zionist family on 13 October 1954. When Vanunu was 9, his family resettled in the ethnically cleansed Palestinian village of Beersheva and by his mid teens Vanunu had became an atheist. After leaving Israel in 1986, Vanunu wandered into a social justice Anglican church in Australia and was baptized a Christian just a few weeks before being kidnapped by Mossad, enduring 18 years in jail and 8 more under 24/7 surveillance and still denied the right to leave Israel:

Vanunu Mordechai asking ,CANCEL,Revoking my Citizenship-MAY 5-2011.

During my 2005 interviews with Vanunu, he told me that he quit being a Jew even before he knew about Jesus.

Vanunu did not respond but when I asked him, “How was it being crucified for telling the truth?”

He readily replied, “My human rights have been denied me because I am a Christian. When I was on trial I was treated just like a Palestinian; no human rights at all and cruel and unusual punishment, all because I told the truth. The government spread slander about me, that I was a homosexual, that I hated Jews, that I wanted fame and money.

“What I did was sacrifice my life for the truth. In prison I really began to feel like Jesus and Paul. When Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the temple, it was like me in Dimona exposing the Israelis dirty secrets. I felt like Paul being thrown in prison for speaking the truth.

“The only real way to worship is in loving one’s enemies. It was not easy to love my tormentors, it was only because I felt so much like Jesus crucified on the cross, and me crucified in prison, that I could do it. It was not ever easy.

“In Israel, a life sentence is 25 years. Even murderers go free after 17. They imposed the same restrictions on me that Palestinians receive; no human rights at all. No phone, no visitors except family and only through an iron grill. No vacation, no holidays, no gifts. Even murderers get out for vacations! I was locked up for 18 years and still cannot go on vacation, I cannot leave and that is all I am asking, just to leave here.++

“The USA needs to wake up and see the truth that Israel is not a democracy unless you are a Jew. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where America can right now find nuclear weapons. America can also find where basic human rights have been denied Christians, right here in Israel.” [1]

Vanunu’s Message to US Re: The REAL Wailing Wall

A recent study published by The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, Jerusalem Inter-Church Centre and the World Council of Churches exposes “the grim realities of life under Israeli military occupation, and the impacts that it has on the Palestinian people in general [and sheds] some light on the fact that Palestinian Christians are indigenous to the Holy Land.” [2]

The report nails Israeli and Christian Zionist propaganda that blames the Christians Exodus from the Holy Land on Muslim fundamentalism and shines the light of truth on Christians who do not even know their own faith for they support Israel’s brutal military occupation-the greatest threat to the existence of the indigenous Christians of the Holy Land.

“As long as Christians all over the world can freely visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem but Palestinian Christians are denied their right to freely worship there, because they need a special permit to enter Arab East Jerusalem, regularly denied by the Israeli occupation forces, there is something fundamentally wrong within the Western value system.

“Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Christian population of Palestine had greatly diminished. Their proportion in the population decreased from more than 18 per cent in 1948 to 2 percent today. Once, Christians in Bethlehem comprised more than 90 percent of the population. Today Christians make up only 15 per cent in the city. The main focus of this study is built around a case study about the impacts of Israel’s military occupation of Palestine and how Christians are affected.” [IBID]

The report also presents excerpts from the “Kairos Palestine ‘Moment of Truth’ document” of 2009 that declared “that the military occupation of our land is a sin against God and humanity, and that any theology that legitimizes the occupation is far from Christian teachings because the true Christian theology is a theology of love and solidarity with the oppressed”.

The study concludes that Palestinian Christians are “disproportionately affected by the occupation” and “further Christian emigration not only from Palestine but also from other Middle Eastern countries could transform a political conflict into a religious one between Islam and Judaism. The West bears heavy responsibility for the exodus of the Palestinian and Arab Christians because its one-sided alignment with Israel’s occupation and its attacks on Iraq has led to a mass flight of Christians. If the West keeps trying together with its Arab allies to topple the regime of Bashar al-Assad, the consequences for Christian and other minorities will be catastrophic…The root of Palestinian sufferings is founded in Israeli military occupation of their homeland and the occupation of Arab land by Western occupation forces.” [IBID]

Living in the past has got no soul and the future of Christianity will not be found in antiquity, but in our ability to re-IMAGINE the ancient stories, symbols and concepts with modern eyes.

The ancients believed the Universe consisted of three tiers; the earth at the center was flat, and the judging, all knowing deity was up in the sky and hell was the place below.

The ancients ascribed to a tribal, male supernatural being who validated warfare as a noble and divine enterprise and his foreign policy was pro-Hebrew.

The Christian god “evolved’ from tribal roots and the power of the Church to control knowledge and public opinion in an invasive deity dominated civilization for 1,600 years until a new concept dawned.

Copernicus and his disciple Galileo concluded that the sun did not rotate around the earth but that the earth rotated around the sun. This revolutionary evolution in consciousness began the shift from a god who was not so involved in the daily affairs of humans.

Galileo was condemned a heretic and not until December 28, 1991, did the Vatican officially admit he was right and the Church and Bible had been wrong about the universe and humankind’s place in it.

Carl Jung offered a bridge of reconciliation when he recognized the historic process necessary in the development of Consciousness; which is the quality or state of being aware of something within oneself.

Albert Einstein introduced relativity as present in all things including “eternal and unchanging truth.”

Astrophysicists raised awareness of the emptiness in the heavens above and that hit at the heart of human loneliness.

“We are all born and someday we’ll all die…to some degree alone. What if our aloneness isn’t a tragedy? What if our aloneness is what allows us to speak the truth without being afraid? What if our aloneness is what allows us to adventure – to experience the world as a dynamic presence – as a changeable, interactive thing?”-Rachel Corrie, January 2003.

Only we can free ourselves from “gods that can be killed” and perhaps that is the first step to resurrect the Divine within our own heart, and wouldn’t that be revolutionary?

— On Tue, 4/3/12, Veterans Today Network <gm@veteranstodaynetwork.com> wrote:


The Full Court Press on Iran, John Hagee, Franklin Graham, Press TV Bans, and the Hispan TV Affair.

04/16/2012

http://ppjg.me/2012/04/16/the-full-court-press-on-iran-john-hagee-franklin-graham-press-tv-bans-and-the-hispan-tv-affair/

April 16, 2012 by ppjg

 Mark Dankof’s America

“Time, numbers, and space are with the colored world, with the Muslim nationalists and against Israel. What the colored world lacked has been unity and dynamism. Well, Israel is contributing to the unification and activation of the colored world for war against the outsiders. The white powers and the Israelis can never achieve ultimate and decisive force superiority over the colored world and the vast areas it populates.

“However, the western world–if guided by operational rationalism and calculation instead of mystical legalism, moralism, and traditionalism–could easily formulate propositions with the colored world mutually advantageous to all concerned. Only a return to [American] neutrality could ensure against our government fighting a third world war against overwhelming numerical odds. The more natives Americans kill, the better for the interests of native nationalisms. The pressure will be only on the American taxpayers and conscripts for the wars of perpetual intervention.”

Lawrence Dennis, American Nationalist, the 1950s

______________________________________________________

The Full Court Press on Iran continues unabated. The ongoing escalation in economic sanctions targeting Iranian oil, banking, and trade are accompanied by Zionist inspired terror within that country, using the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK/PMOI/MKO), PJAK, and Jundallah in the carrying out of premeditated murder in Tehran, Iranian Azerbaijan, Diyala, Khuzestan, and Balochistan provinces. The Washington Post concedes that there has been a five-fold “unexplained” increase in explosions in the last two years at Iranian nuclear sites and military installations, oil and gas facilities and pipelines, and electrical plants. This is supplemented by American, British, and Israeli financial support for various activities of political insurrection against the IRI regime, American violations of Iranian airspace with drones, and the deployment of three United States aircraft carrier task forces and two Marine amphibious assault units near the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. The winds of a totally immoral and unjustifiable war of aggression continue to blow with greater force and speed.

I have a reiteration of a prediction with my own subsequent addendum. Lawrence Dennis, the great American Nationalist theoretician, is certainly correct in his assessment of the present crisis uttered over half a century ago.

Yes, this war will happen as Dennis predicted. But it is also a war that will irrevocably destroy what little remains of the United States and the Western World from the immediate post-World War II configuration of powers and cultures. The good news is that Israel will also collapse over time, along with Zionist fiat banking; fractional reserve banking; usury; Jewish cultural subversion of Christian and Islamic influence; and every other corresponding cancer of the New World Order. Out of short-term tragedy will emerge an aftermath in this present world with renewed reason for hope and life once more, or the Eschaton itself.

Yet the chief beneficiaries and apologists for The Beast will not go down without a fight. There are three (3) prime examples of this currently manifesting their poison-for-pay agenda in the interest of igniting a Zionist inspired Holocaust in Iran.

The first example comes from the Rotund Reaper of Deception himself, John Hagee, whose Christians United for Israel sponsored a March 28 airing of the agitation-propaganda film Iranium at the University of Texas in San Antonio about the alleged threat to the West posed by a weaponized Iranian nuclear program. The claims of the film are a repudiation of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the subject produced by America’s 16 intelligence agencies, and what has emerged from the International Atomic Energy Agency as well. One of the film’s chief spokespersons is Clair Lopez of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Iran Policy Committee (IPC), the chief PR arm of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq(MEK) in Washington. Ms. Lopez and IPC chief Dr. Raymond Tanter of Georgetown University are key links in a spider web of American intelligence front organizations with symbiotic links to the Israeli Mossad and a Jewish-driven Neo-Conservative movement which has hijacked the American Right and much of the national security apparatus of the United States as well.

The second example has emerged this week, with the April 2012 Special Issue of Decision magazine, the flagship publication of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. It is entitled “Radical Islam’s Global War on Christians.”

A number of observations about this issue and the organization that produced it are in order. It is a matter of well buried but public record, that Billy Graham’s success for 60 years as America’s leading Christian Right evangelist is inextricably linked to his effective recruitment and deployment over the decades by the William Randolph Hearst media conglomerate, which in turn was effectively serving the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the emerging American corporate power structure during the Cold War and the anti-Communist crusade which accompanied it. Billy Graham was the pivotal figure in the enlistment of millions of American Protestant Evangelicals in this endeavor for forces not understood by the faithful. The outcome of this crusade was the end of the Soviet Union in 1989 as it had been previously constituted. That achievement was laudable.

But the crowd enamored of Graham was never informed that Soviet Bolshevism and its exportation abroad were largely empowered by Jewish recruits and international financiers like Jacob Schiff and the House of Rothschild. Concurrently, these American Protestant Evangelicals were never filled in by the Graham Empire or its Decision magazine of the disproportionate Jewish role in pursing a targeted strategy of destroying Christian culture in the United States via the abortion industry; the homosexual rights movement; the radical feminist movement; and the importation of Freud’s Vienna and the Frankfurt School for their subsequent infiltration of the highest echelons of American government, media, legal, and educational matrixes. Why? Clearly part of the answer is the influence of the Christian Zionist heresy fed by John Nelson Darby and the Scofield Reference Bible, and politically driven by Chicago businessman and Dispensationalist William E. Blackstone in the 19th and 20th centuries. Additionally, Billy and Franklin Graham presumably understood the necessity of cooperation with the Synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2:9) as a prerequisite to their own survival and promotion in an America increasingly co-opted as the driving surrogate force for Globalism, International Central Banking, and the New World Order. The success of this endgame necessitates carefully recruited front men in both secular and ecclesiastical realms. Understood in this context, Billy and Franklin Graham and John Hagee are the religious flipside of Fox News and CNN, singing the same tune in total concert with the latter regarding the necessity for war. Onward Christian Soldiers?

Analyzing the contents of Decision’s “Radical Islam’s Global War on Christians” reveals other unpleasant truths. Decision cites Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy and ex-CIA chief R. James Woolsey as sources for its presentation. Gaffney’s long standing membership as a friendly source for the Israeli Lobby and as part of the larger Neo-Conservative Constellation for World Zionism is not mentioned. Neither is the sordid role of R. James Woolsey in receiving thousands of dollars for his public role in attempting to have the Communist Mujahedeen-e-Khalq cult delisted from the list of Terrorist Organizations compiled by the State Department. Franklin Graham apparently has no problem with complete Zionist cooperation with such an organization, infamous for its warped ideological synthesis of Communism and Islam, its murder of Americans in Pahlavi Iran several generations ago, its murder of Kurds at the behest of Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, its long history of terror and murder of Iranians since the Revolution of 1979, and the cultic leadership of Miryam and Massoud Rajavi in the brainwashing and terror applied to the organization’s own members when necessary. Graham, like Rick Santorum and Company, apparently also approves of the premeditated murders of Iranian scientists in recent years, along with all of the other aforementioned acts of war directed at that country. All in the name of a loving Jesus, of course.

The Mossad and the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK/PMOI): Pals of Franklin Graham’s friends, including R. James Woolsey of the CIA.

Former CIA Station Chief Philip Giraldi of the Council for the National Interest, provides the context for understanding the nonsense promoted by Franklin Graham and Decision magazine in the former’s essay entitled, “The Islamophobia Excuse.” Christians might also enjoy comparing the Koran’s evaluation of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary with that proferred by the Jewish Talmud, or reading Tarif Khalidi’s The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature. Or asking why Christian Right sock puppets like Franklin Graham and John Hagee are siding with the enemies of Christianity in the American Culture Wars, even as the Islamic world stands against these trends in the United Nations and their promotion and financing internationally by Hillary Clinton’s State Department in the world body.

And finally, someone needs to ask Franklin Graham what the Bible has to say about the reasons for the national Jewish disenfranchisement at the hands of Babylon (B. C. 586) and Rome (A. D. 70). Why did the Jewish-inspired mob demand Pilate’s release of Barabbas, the Menachem Begin of his time (Matthew 27)? Was it because that mob, working in conjunction with the Jewish Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees of Jerusalem, wanted the death of a Messiah who had repudiated both Jewish racial supremacism and a kingdom based in this world and not the next? If so, why affirm that ideology now in the 21st century as the chief foundational reason for the establishment of the modern Zionist State of Israel? And risk the survivability of the United States in the process? Franklin Graham and Decision magazine are stone cold silent. This is one stone that will not be rolled away from the Tomb serving as the Repository of the Secrets of Subterranean Masters.

And given the ersatz American patriotism of John Hagee, Franklin Graham, and Company, why is their absolute silence on the nature of Jesus Christ’s teachings about the Kingdom of God in the New Testament accompanied by their identical AWOL status on Deir Yassin, the Meyer Lansky crime syndicate’s relationship to the Zionist State, the Lavon Affair, the Kennedy Assassination, the USS Liberty attack, and the laundry list of Israeli espionage operations against the United States since 1948 including the Pollard spy case and the PROMIS affair? Will following the money trail provide the answers?

The third example of the Full Court Press on Iran does not involve promoting and financing Israel’s friends. It has every thing to do with its logical counterpart: silencing Iran’s opportunity to make its own direct public case to the world, and to an American public presently at the mercy of Zionist Corporate Media.

Only a fool could fail to see the implications of the Ofcom case made against Press TV in the UK, or the more recent ban on that network in Germany courtesy of the Munich regulatory agency that ordered Press TV removed from SES Astra. These bans will likely be accompanied in the future by regulatory actions against Hispan TV, the media outreach being developed by the national Iranian news agency for the airing of issues in South America. Adam Housley of InterAmerican Security Watch sounds the Neo-Conservative alarm at such a prospect in “Iran Moving in on Latin American Television Market“. The United States Congress joins in Mr. Housley’s chorus by adding the ”Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act” which will eventually pass both the House and Senate in some final version. These alarms have nothing to do with the canards of “Anti-Semitism” and “Terrorism.” They have everything to do with both North and South Americans having the chance to see patriotic and academically respectable Americans like Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Dr. Philip Giraldi, Dr. Paul Sheldon Foote, Dr. E. Michael Jones, and Mark Glenn, making the case not simply for avoiding war with Iran, but providing an honest analysis of who and what has shoplifted the American political process, the economy, the media, and the culture.

The First Amendment and Jeffersonianism will triumph. The descendants of Lawrence Dennis, like Michael Collins Piper, Mark Glenn, Mark Dankof, and E. Michael Jones will emerge victorious.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the domestic American Jewish Lobby, and their Pit Puppies in the American Establishment understand this. If Press TV, Hispan TV, Russia Today, and other international media outlets capable of reaching American and European audiences from abroad ever succeed in facilitating the connection of the real dots in this Internet age for masses of people in the Western world, these jokers are finished. The game will be over.

But the Beast will not go out without a fight. It will begin with a False Flag Incident which mirrors Fort Sumter or the Kuwaiti Baby Incubator Fraud of 1990. And as Billy Graham’s handler, William Randolph Hearst once put it, “You give me the pictures, I’ll give you the war.”

Only this time, the Good Guys will win the war the Bad Guys begin. And Franklin Graham will join John Hagee, Kenneth R. Timmerman, and Howard Phillips in going on oxygen.

 


I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC

04/15/2012

Hold your hat! We are going to be barraged by the lame stream media with stories about Obama’s strength and Romney‘s weakness.

Don’t believe it.

The goal is to prop up Obama, but it is also to demoralize you and
discourage you from pouring yourself into the upcoming campaign.

The recent ABC News/Washington Post poll has Obama leading Romney by 8 points — 51%-to-43%. That’s depressing, and the media hopes our reaction will be “why bother”.

Gary Bauer puts the poll into perspective, reminding us: First “When it comes to polling.. they are only snapshots in time. The election isn’t tomorrow — it’s 209 days from now and a lot can happen to change the political landscape. Remember, statistics do not lie, but liars make statistics..

Second, most Americans aren’t fully tuned in yet and
they usually don’t tune in until after Labor Day… Third, polling samples — or who is polled — make a big difference.

“Adults” — some of whom may not even be registered to vote — poll more liberally than registered voters. And registered voters poll more liberally than likely voters.”

In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, the sample was just over 1,100 adults and heavily favored Democrats who were over sampled by 11 points! The two most recent polls of likely voters – have the race tied at 47% and 45% each. Much better numbers.

<http://media.bloomberg.com/bb/avfile/rT0NzjIhpqSE Bloomberg and
<http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll Rasmussen –

Obama can be and must be defeated. You can help by sharing the statistics below with everyone in your address book. Some of this data precedes Barack Obama, but it is hard to imagine anyone understanding these facts and voting for four more years of the same. But if these 35 points are not sufficiently motivating, these three words should be.

“The Supreme Court”!

NOW HERE ARE 35 Shocking Statistics That Prove That Things Have Gotten Worse In America since Obama initiated his policy of “CHANGE”….

MARCH 8, 2012

<http://www.ijreview.com/submit-your-article/ Submit Y
http://www.ijreview.com/2012/03/2799-35-shocking-statistics-that-prove-that-things-have-gotten-worse-in-america/3/ our Article

Most Americans know that things used to be much better in the United States, but they don’t have the facts and the figures to back that belief up. Well, after reading the shocking statistics in this article nobody should be left with any doubt that things have gotten worse in America. There are less jobs, incomes are down, home values have plummeted, poverty is up, consumer debt is way up, dependence of the government has skyrocketed and government debt is totally out of control. Sadly, it hasn’t really mattered which political party has had control over the White House. Things have gotten worse under Obama, they got worse under Bush, and they got worse under
Clinton. We are in the midst of a horrific long-term economic decline and the American people desperately need to wake up.

The following are 35 shocking statistics that prove that things have gotten worse in America since Obama introduced his policy of change……….

#1 Median household income in the United States is down 7.8 percent since December 2007 after adjusting for inflation.

<http://economy.money.cnn.com/2012/03/06/economy– oves-incomes-dont/

#2 There are 5.6 million less jobs than there were when the last recession began back in late 2007.

#3 The U.S. government says that the number of Americans “not in the labor force” rose by 17.9 million between 2000 and 2011. During the entire decade of the 1980s, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” rose by only 1.7 million.

<http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/employment/story/2012-02-11/longterm-unemployed/53048070/1

<http://www.theburningplatform.com/?p=28887

<http://www.theburningplatform.com/?p=28887

#4 In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 age bracket was about 6.5 percent. Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent

<http://www.clevelandfed.org/research/trends/2012/0312/01labmar.cf

#5 In 2007, 73.2 percent of all young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 that were not enrolled in school had jobs. Today, that number has declined to approximately 65%….

<http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/09/news/economy/jobs_young_adults/index.htm

#6 Back in the year 2000, more than 50 percent of all Americans teens had a job. This past summer, only 29.6% of all American teens had a job.

<http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2011-09-05/Summer-ends-on-sour-note-for-jobless-teens/50247060/1

#7 When Barack Obama entered the White House, the number of “long-term unemployed workers” in the United States was approximately 2.6 million. Today, that number is sitting at shocking 5.6 million.

<http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

#8 The average duration of unemployment in the United States is nearly three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.

<http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMPMEAN

#9 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs. Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

<http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/LNS12300001
<http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/LNS12300001

#10 According to the Obama administration, about 20 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs back in the year 2000. Today, about 5 percent of all jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

<http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/investing_in_america_report_f inal.pdf

#11 Sadly, more than 56,000 manufacturing
facilities in the United States have been shut down since 2001.

<http://www.politifact.com/ohio/statements/2011/nov/07/betty-sutton/betty-sutton-says-average-15-us-factories-close-ea/

#12 Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the
United States were low income jobs. Today, 40% of all jobs in the
United States are now low income jobs.

<http://growth.newamerica.net/sites/newamerica.net/files/policydocs/26-04-11%20Middle%20Class%20Under%20Stress.pdf

<http://growth.newamerica.net/sites/newamerica.net/files/policydocs/26-04-11 Middle Class Under Stress.pdf more than

#13 The U.S. trade deficit with China during 2011 was larger
than it was back in 1990.

<http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html 28 times

#14 About twice as many new homes were sold in the United States
in 1965 as are being sold today.

<http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/HSN1FNSA

#15 Home prices in the 4th quarter of 2011 were four percent lower than they were during the 4th quarter of 2010. Overall, U.S. home prices are 34 percent lower than they were back at the peak of the housing bubble.

<http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/story/2012-02-28/case-shiller-home-prices-december/53281620/1

<http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/story/2012-02-28/case-shiller-home-prices-december/53281620/1

#16 The total value of household real estate in America has declined from $22.7 trillion in 2006 to $16.2 trillion today.

<http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article31784.html

#17 At the end of 2011, 22.8 percent of all homes in the United States with a mortgage were in negative equity. That would have been unthinkable a decade or two ago.

<http://www.cnbc.com/id/46593271

#18 Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.

<http://www.businessinsider.com/30-charts-you-must-see-before-buying-a-home-2011-4#-8

#19 Total consumer debt in the United States has increased by a whopping 1700% since 1971….

<http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article31784.html

#20 Since the beginning of 2009, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States has increased by more than 90 percent.

<http://republican.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/our-view?ID=e33a7a58-66d2-449 1-91f6-aae703cdb370

#21 The number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased Millions-More-California-Children-Slip -into-Poverty- by 30 percent since 2007.

<http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/ 134842133.html

#22 Back in the year 2000, 11.3% of all Americans were living in poverty. Today, 15.1% of all Americans are living in poverty.

<http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/13/news/economy/poverty_rate_income/index.htm?hpt=hp_t1

<http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/13/news/economy/poverty_rate_income/index.htm?hpt=hp_t1

#23 In November 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps. Today, 46.5 million Americans are on food stamps.

<http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/34snapmonthly.htm

#24 The U.S. dollar has lost 38-cents or 96.2 percent of its value since 1900. You can thank the Federal Reserve system printing all those extra dollars for that.

<http://www.businessinsider.com/how-your-dollar-got-to-be-worth– s-2012-2

<http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/is-the-federal-reserve-doing-a-good-job

#25 In 1950, the United States was #1 in Gross Domestic Product per capita. Today, the United States is #13 in GDP per capita. This is not good…

<http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_gdp_per_cap_in_195-economy-gdp-per-capita-1950

<http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_gdp_percap-economy-gdp-nominal-per-capita.

#26 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that receives direct monetary benefits from the federal government. Back 1983 in less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.

<http://news.investors.com/Article/598993/201201260805/entitlements-soar-under-president-obama.htm

<http://news.investors.com/Article/598993/201201260805/entitlements-soar-und er-president-obama.htm

#27 In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7% of all income. Today, government transfer payments account for more than 18 percent of all income.

<http://www.businessinsider.com/america-middle-class-in-decline-2011-4#-9

<http://www.businessinsider.com/america-middle-class-in-decline-2011-4#-9

#28 Federal housing assistance increased by a whopping 42 percent between 2006 and 2010.

<http://www.businessinsider.com/18-staggering-charts-on-the-rise-of-government-dependence-2012-2#-3

#29 Medicare spending increased by 138 percent between 1999 and 2010.

<http://www.businessinsider.com/18-staggering-charts-on-the-rise-of-government-dependence-2012-2#-4

#30 Back in 1990, the federal government accounted for 32 percent
of all health care spending in America. Today, that figure is up to 50 percent and it is projected to surpass that soon…..

<http://news.investors.com/Article.aspx?id=598993&ibdbot=1&p=2

<http://news.investors.com/Article.aspx?id=598993&ibdbot=1&p=2 45 percent

<http://swampland.time.com/2010/02/04/the-unsustainable-u-s-health-care-syst em/.

#31 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid, and things are about to get a whole lot worse. It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

<http://www.businessinsider.com/mary-meeker-usa-inc-february-24-2011-2

<http://news.investors.com/Article.aspx?id=598993&ibdbot=1&p=2

#32 Right now, spending by the federal government accounts for about 24 percent of GDP. Back in 2001, it accounted for just 18 percent.

<http://www.zerohedge.com/news/10-essential-fiscal-charts-demonstrating-americas-disastrous-condition

#33 In 2004, the U.S. government had a budget deficit of a little over
412 billion dollars. This year, the U.S. government will run a budget deficit of over 1.3 trillion dollars

<http://www.businessinsider.com/a-whole-bunch-of-charts-that-will-make-you-freak-out-about-the-debt-2012-2#-7.

#34 In 2001, the U.S. national debt was less than 6 trillion dollars.
Today, it is 15 trillion dollars and it is increasing by about 150 million dollars every single hour. Stealing 150 million Dollars-an-hour-from-our-children every hour…..

<http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo 5.htm
<http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/barack-obama-lets

#35 The U.S. national debt is now more than 22 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.

<http://www.treasurydirect.go/ v/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo4.htm

In summation Barak Obama, all by himself, brought about a negative change in the fortunes of Americans…destroying pensions, investments, home values, savings, hopes, dreams……

THANKS FOR THE CHANGE MR. PRESIDENT…………

Ellen Sauerbrey
4122 Sweet Air Road
Baldwin Maryland
410-592-2200

 


Why the future doesn’t need us.

04/14/2012

Why the future doesn’t need us.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy_pr.html

Our most powerful 21st-century technologies – robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotech – are threatening to make humans an endangered species.

By Bill Joy

From the moment I became involved in the creation of new technologies, their ethical dimensions have concerned me, but it was only in the autumn of 1998 that I became anxiously aware of how great are the dangers facing us in the 21st century. I can date the onset of my unease to the day I met Ray Kurzweil, the deservedly famous inventor of the first reading machine for the blind and many other amazing things.

Ray and I were both speakers at George Gilder‘s Telecosm conference, and I encountered him by chance in the bar of the hotel after both our sessions were over. I was sitting with John Searle, a Berkeley philosopher who studies consciousness. While we were talking, Ray approached and a conversation began, the subject of which haunts me to this day.

I had missed Ray’s talk and the subsequent panel that Ray and John had been on, and they now picked right up where they’d left off, with Ray saying that the rate of improvement of technology was going to accelerate and that we were going to become robots or fuse with robots or something like that, and John countering that this couldn’t happen, because the robots couldn’t be conscious.

While I had heard such talk before, I had always felt sentient robots were in the realm of science fiction. But now, from someone I respected, I was hearing a strong argument that they were a near-term possibility. I was taken aback, especially given Ray’s proven ability to imagine and create the future. I already knew that new technologies like genetic engineering and nanotechnology were giving us the power to remake the world, but a realistic and imminent scenario for intelligent robots surprised me.

It’s easy to get jaded about such breakthroughs. We hear in the news almost every day of some kind of technological or scientific advance. Yet this was no ordinary prediction. In the hotel bar, Ray gave me a partial preprint of his then-forthcoming bookThe Age of Spiritual Machines, which outlined a utopia he foresaw – one in which humans gained near immortality by becoming one with robotic technology. On reading it, my sense of unease only intensified; I felt sure he had to be understating the dangers, understating the probability of a bad outcome along this path.

I found myself most troubled by a passage detailing adystopian scenario:

THE NEW LUDDITE CHALLENGE

First let us postulate that the computer scientists succeed in developing intelligent machines that can do all things better than human beings can do them. In that case presumably all work will be done by vast, highly organized systems of machines and no human effort will be necessary. Either of two cases might occur. The machines might be permitted to make all of their own decisions without human oversight, or else human control over the machines might be retained.

If the machines are permitted to make all their own decisions, we can’t make any conjectures as to the results, because it is impossible to guess how such machines might behave. We only point out that the fate of the human race would be at the mercy of the machines. It might be argued that the human race would never be foolish enough to hand over all the power to the machines. But we are suggesting neither that the human race would voluntarily turn power over to the machines nor that the machines would willfully seize power. What we do suggest is that the human race might easily permit itself to drift into a position of such dependence on the machines that it would have no practical choice but to accept all of the machines’ decisions. As society and the problems that face it become more and more complex and machines become more and more intelligent, people will let machines make more of their decisions for them, simply because machine-made decisions will bring better results than man-made ones. Eventually a stage may be reached at which the decisions necessary to keep the system running will be so complex that human beings will be incapable of making them intelligently. At that stage the machines will be in effective control. People won’t be able to just turn the machines off, because they will be so dependent on them that turning them off would amount to suicide.

On the other hand it is possible that human control over the machines may be retained. In that case the average man may have control over certain private machines of his own, such as his car or his personal computer, but control over large systems of machines will be in the hands of a tiny elite – just as it is today, but with two differences. Due to improved techniques the elite will have greater control over the masses; and because human work will no longer be necessary the masses will be superfluous, a useless burden on the system. If the elite is ruthless they may simply decide to exterminate the mass of humanity. If they are humane they may use propaganda or other psychological or biological techniques to reduce the birth rate until the mass of humanity becomes extinct, leaving the world to the elite. Or, if the elite consists of soft-hearted liberals, they may decide to play the role of good shepherds to the rest of the human race. They will see to it that everyone’s physical needs are satisfied, that all children are raised under psychologically hygienic conditions, that everyone has a wholesome hobby to keep him busy, and that anyone who may become dissatisfied undergoes “treatment” to cure his “problem.” Of course, life will be so purposeless that people will have to be biologically or psychologically engineered either to remove their need for the power process or make them “sublimate” their drive for power into some harmless hobby. These engineered human beings may be happy in such a society, but they will most certainly not be free. They will have been reduced to the status of domestic animals.1

In the book, you don’t discover until you turn the page that the author of this passage is Theodore Kaczynski – the Unabomber. I am no apologist for Kaczynski. His bombs killed three people during a 17-year terror campaign and wounded many others. One of his bombs gravely injured my friend David Gelernter, one of the most brilliant and visionary computer scientists of our time. Like many of my colleagues, I felt that I could easily have been the Unabomber’s next target.

Kaczynski’s actions were murderous and, in my view, criminally insane. He is clearly a Luddite, but simply saying this does not dismiss his argument; as difficult as it is for me to acknowledge, I saw some merit in the reasoning in this single passage. I felt compelled to confront it.

Kaczynski’s dystopian vision describes unintended consequences, a well-known problem with the design and use of technology, and one that is clearly related to Murphy’s law – “Anything that can go wrong, will.” (Actually, this is Finagle’s law, which in itself shows that Finagle was right.) Our overuse of antibiotics has led to what may be the biggest such problem so far: the emergence of antibiotic-resistant and much more dangerous bacteria. Similar things happened when attempts to eliminate malarial mosquitoes using DDT caused them to acquire DDT resistance; malarial parasites likewise acquired multi-drug-resistant genes.2

The cause of many such surprises seems clear: The systems involved are complex, involving interaction among and feedback between many parts. Any changes to such a system will cascade in ways that are difficult to predict; this is especially true when human actions are involved.

I started showing friends the Kaczynski quote fromThe Age of Spiritual Machines; I would hand them Kurzweil’s book, let them read the quote, and then watch their reaction as they discovered who had written it. At around the same time, I found Hans Moravec’s bookRobot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind. Moravec is one of the leaders in robotics research, and was a founder of the world’s largest robotics research program, at Carnegie Mellon University.Robot gave me more material to try out on my friends – material surprisingly supportive of Kaczynski’s argument. For example:

The Short Run (Early 2000s)

Biological species almost never survive encounters with superior competitors. Ten million years ago, South and North America were separated by a sunken Panama isthmus. South America, like Australia today, was populated by marsupial mammals, including pouched equivalents of rats, deers, and tigers. When the isthmus connecting North and South America rose, it took only a few thousand years for the northern placental species, with slightly more effective metabolisms and reproductive and nervous systems, to displace and eliminate almost all the southern marsupials.

In a completely free marketplace, superior robots would surely affect humans as North American placentals affected South American marsupials (and as humans have affected countless species). Robotic industries would compete vigorously among themselves for matter, energy, and space, incidentally driving their price beyond human reach. Unable to afford the necessities of life, biological humans would be squeezed out of existence.

There is probably some breathing room, because we do not live in a completely free marketplace. Government coerces nonmarket behavior, especially by collecting taxes. Judiciously applied, governmental coercion could support human populations in high style on the fruits of robot labor, perhaps for a long while.

A textbook dystopia – and Moravec is just getting wound up. He goes on to discuss how our main job in the 21st century will be “ensuring continued cooperation from the robot industries” by passing laws decreeing that they be “nice,”3 and to describe how seriously dangerous a human can be “once transformed into an unbounded superintelligent robot.” Moravec’s view is that the robots will eventually succeed us – that humans clearly face extinction.

I decided it was time to talk to my friend Danny Hillis. Danny became famous as the cofounder of Thinking Machines Corporation, which built a very powerful parallel supercomputer. Despite my current job title of Chief Scientist at Sun Microsystems, I am more a computer architect than a scientist, and I respect Danny’s knowledge of the information and physical sciences more than that of any other single person I know. Danny is also a highly regarded futurist who thinks long-term – four years ago he started the Long Now Foundation, which is building a clock designed to last 10,000 years, in an attempt to draw attention to the pitifully short attention span of our society. (See “Test of Time,”Wired 8.03, page 78.)

So I flew to Los Angeles for the express purpose of having dinner with Danny and his wife, Pati. I went through my now-familiar routine, trotting out the ideas and passages that I found so disturbing. Danny’s answer – directed specifically at Kurzweil’s scenario of humans merging with robots – came swiftly, and quite surprised me. He said, simply, that the changes would come gradually, and that we would get used to them.

But I guess I wasn’t totally surprised. I had seen a quote from Danny in Kurzweil’s book in which he said, “I’m as fond of my body as anyone, but if I can be 200 with a body of silicon, I’ll take it.” It seemed that he was at peace with this process and its attendant risks, while I was not.

While talking and thinking about Kurzweil, Kaczynski, and Moravec, I suddenly remembered a novel I had read almost 20 years ago –The White Plague, by Frank Herbert – in which a molecular biologist is driven insane by the senseless murder of his family. To seek revenge he constructs and disseminates a new and highly contagious plague that kills widely but selectively. (We’re lucky Kaczynski was a mathematician, not a molecular biologist.) I was also reminded of the Borg ofStar Trek, a hive of partly biological, partly robotic creatures with a strong destructive streak. Borg-like disasters are a staple of science fiction, so why hadn’t I been more concerned about such robotic dystopias earlier? Why weren’t other people more concerned about these nightmarish scenarios?

Part of the answer certainly lies in our attitude toward the new – in our bias toward instant familiarity and unquestioning acceptance. Accustomed to living with almost routine scientific breakthroughs, we have yet to come to terms with the fact that the most compelling 21st-century technologies – robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotechnology – pose a different threat than the technologies that have come before. Specifically, robots, engineered organisms, and nanobots share a dangerous amplifying factor: They can self-replicate. A bomb is blown up only once – but one bot can become many, and quickly get out of control.

Much of my work over the past 25 years has been on computer networking, where the sending and receiving of messages creates the opportunity for out-of-control replication. But while replication in a computer or a computer network can be a nuisance, at worst it disables a machine or takes down a network or network service. Uncontrolled self-replication in these newer technologies runs a much greater risk: a risk of substantial damage in the physical world.

Each of these technologies also offers untold promise: The vision of near immortality that Kurzweil sees in his robot dreams drives us forward; genetic engineering may soon provide treatments, if not outright cures, for most diseases; and nanotechnology and nanomedicine can address yet more ills. Together they could significantly extend our average life span and improve the quality of our lives. Yet, with each of these technologies, a sequence of small, individually sensible advances leads to an accumulation of great power and, concomitantly, great danger.

What was different in the 20th century? Certainly, the technologies underlying the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) – nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) – were powerful, and the weapons an enormous threat. But building nuclear weapons required, at least for a time, access to both rare – indeed, effectively unavailable – raw materials and highly protected information; biological and chemical weapons programs also tended to require large-scale activities.

The 21st-century technologies – genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics (GNR) – are so powerful that they can spawn whole new classes of accidents and abuses. Most dangerously, for the first time, these accidents and abuses are widely within the reach of individuals or small groups. They will not require large facilities or rare raw materials. Knowledge alone will enable the use of them.

Thus we have the possibility not just of weapons of mass destruction but of knowledge-enabled mass destruction (KMD), this destructiveness hugely amplified by the power of self-replication.

I think it is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of extreme evil, an evil whose possibility spreads well beyond that which weapons of mass destruction bequeathed to the nation-states, on to a surprising and terrible empowerment of extreme individuals.

Nothing about the way I got involved with computers suggested to me that I was going to be facing these kinds of issues.

My life has been driven by a deep need to ask questions and find answers. When I was 3, I was already reading, so my father took me to the elementary school, where I sat on the principal’s lap and read him a story. I started school early, later skipped a grade, and escaped into books – I was incredibly motivated to learn. I asked lots of questions, often driving adults to distraction.

As a teenager I was very interested in science and technology. I wanted to be a ham radio operator but didn’t have the money to buy the equipment. Ham radio was the Internet of its time: very addictive, and quite solitary. Money issues aside, my mother put her foot down – I was not to be a ham; I was antisocial enough already.

I may not have had many close friends, but I was awash in ideas. By high school, I had discovered the great science fiction writers. I remember especially Heinlein’sHave Spacesuit Will Travel and Asimov’s I, Robot, with its Three Laws of Robotics. I was enchanted by the descriptions of space travel, and wanted to have a telescope to look at the stars; since I had no money to buy or make one, I checked books on telescope-making out of the library and read about making them instead. I soared in my imagination.

Thursday nights my parents went bowling, and we kids stayed home alone. It was the night of Gene Roddenberry’s originalStar Trek, and the program made a big impression on me. I came to accept its notion that humans had a future in space, Western-style, with big heroes and adventures. Roddenberry’s vision of the centuries to come was one with strong moral values, embodied in codes like the Prime Directive: to not interfere in the development of less technologically advanced civilizations. This had an incredible appeal to me; ethical humans, not robots, dominated this future, and I took Roddenberry’s dream as part of my own.

I excelled in mathematics in high school, and when I went to the University of Michigan as an undergraduate engineering student I took the advanced curriculum of the mathematics majors. Solving math problems was an exciting challenge, but when I discovered computers I found something much more interesting: a machine into which you could put a program that attempted to solve a problem, after which the machine quickly checked the solution. The computer had a clear notion of correct and incorrect, true and false. Were my ideas correct? The machine could tell me. This was very seductive.

I was lucky enough to get a job programming early supercomputers and discovered the amazing power of large machines to numerically simulate advanced designs. When I went to graduate school at UC Berkeley in the mid-1970s, I started staying up late, often all night, inventing new worlds inside the machines. Solving problems. Writing the code that argued so strongly to be written.

InThe Agony and the Ecstasy, Irving Stone’s biographical novel of Michelangelo, Stone described vividly how Michelangelo released the statues from the stone, “breaking the marble spell,” carving from the images in his mind.4 In my most ecstatic moments, the software in the computer emerged in the same way. Once I had imagined it in my mind I felt that it was already there in the machine, waiting to be released. Staying up all night seemed a small price to pay to free it – to give the ideas concrete form.

After a few years at Berkeley I started to send out some of the software I had written – an instructional Pascal system, Unix utilities, and a text editor called vi (which is still, to my surprise, widely used more than 20 years later) – to others who had similar small PDP-11 and VAX minicomputers. These adventures in software eventually turned into the Berkeley version of the Unix operating system, which became a personal “success disaster” – so many people wanted it that I never finished my PhD. Instead I got a job working for Darpa putting Berkeley Unix on the Internet and fixing it to be reliable and to run large research applications well. This was all great fun and very rewarding. And, frankly, I saw no robots here, or anywhere near.

Still, by the early 1980s, I was drowning. The Unix releases were very successful, and my little project of one soon had money and some staff, but the problem at Berkeley was always office space rather than money – there wasn’t room for the help the project needed, so when the other founders of Sun Microsystems showed up I jumped at the chance to join them. At Sun, the long hours continued into the early days of workstations and personal computers, and I have enjoyed participating in the creation of advanced microprocessor technologies and Internet technologies such as Java and Jini.

From all this, I trust it is clear that I am not a Luddite. I have always, rather, had a strong belief in the value of the scientific search for truth and in the ability of great engineering to bring material progress. The Industrial Revolution has immeasurably improved everyone’s life over the last couple hundred years, and I always expected my career to involve the building of worthwhile solutions to real problems, one problem at a time.

I have not been disappointed. My work has had more impact than I had ever hoped for and has been more widely used than I could have reasonably expected. I have spent the last 20 years still trying to figure out how to make computers as reliable as I want them to be (they are not nearly there yet) and how to make them simple to use (a goal that has met with even less relative success). Despite some progress, the problems that remain seem even more daunting.

But while I was aware of the moral dilemmas surrounding technology’s consequences in fields like weapons research, I did not expect that I would confront such issues in my own field, or at least not so soon.

Perhaps it is always hard to see the bigger impact while you are in the vortex of a change. Failing to understand the consequences of our inventions while we are in the rapture of discovery and innovation seems to be a common fault of scientists and technologists; we have long been driven by the overarching desire to know that is the nature of science’s quest, not stopping to notice that the progress to newer and more powerful technologies can take on a life of its own.

I have long realized that the big advances in information technology come not from the work of computer scientists, computer architects, or electrical engineers, but from that of physical scientists. The physicists Stephen Wolfram and Brosl Hasslacher introduced me, in the early 1980s, to chaos theory and nonlinear systems. In the 1990s, I learned about complex systems from conversations with Danny Hillis, the biologist Stuart Kauffman, the Nobel-laureate physicist Murray Gell-Mann, and others. Most recently, Hasslacher and the electrical engineer and device physicist Mark Reed have been giving me insight into the incredible possibilities of molecular electronics.

In my own work, as codesigner of three microprocessor architectures – SPARC, picoJava, and MAJC – and as the designer of several implementations thereof, I’ve been afforded a deep and firsthand acquaintance with Moore’s law. For decades, Moore’s law has correctly predicted the exponential rate of improvement of semiconductor technology. Until last year I believed that the rate of advances predicted by Moore’s law might continue only until roughly 2010, when some physical limits would begin to be reached. It was not obvious to me that a new technology would arrive in time to keep performance advancing smoothly.

But because of the recent rapid and radical progress in molecular electronics – where individual atoms and molecules replace lithographically drawn transistors – and related nanoscale technologies, we should be able to meet or exceed the Moore’s law rate of progress for another 30 years. By 2030, we are likely to be able to build machines, in quantity, a million times as powerful as the personal computers of today – sufficient to implement the dreams of Kurzweil and Moravec.

As this enormous computing power is combined with the manipulative advances of the physical sciences and the new, deep understandings in genetics, enormous transformative power is being unleashed. These combinations open up the opportunity to completely redesign the world, for better or worse: The replicating and evolving processes that have been confined to the natural world are about to become realms of human endeavor.

In designing software and microprocessors, I have never had the feeling that I was designing an intelligent machine. The software and hardware is so fragile and the capabilities of the machine to “think” so clearly absent that, even as a possibility, this has always seemed very far in the future.

But now, with the prospect of human-level computing power in about 30 years, a new idea suggests itself: that I may be working to create tools which will enable the construction of the technology that may replace our species. How do I feel about this? Very uncomfortable. Having struggled my entire career to build reliable software systems, it seems to me more than likely that this future will not work out as well as some people may imagine. My personal experience suggests we tend to overestimate our design abilities.

Given the incredible power of these new technologies, shouldn’t we be asking how we can best coexist with them? And if our own extinction is a likely, or even possible, outcome of our technological development, shouldn’t we proceed with great caution?

The dream of robotics is, first, that intelligent machines can do our work for us, allowing us lives of leisure, restoring us to Eden. Yet in his history of such ideas,Darwin Among the Machines, George Dyson warns: “In the game of life and evolution there are three players at the table: human beings, nature, and machines. I am firmly on the side of nature. But nature, I suspect, is on the side of the machines.” As we have seen, Moravec agrees, believing we may well not survive the encounter with the superior robot species.

How soon could such an intelligent robot be built? The coming advances in computing power seem to make it possible by 2030. And once an intelligent robot exists, it is only a small step to a robot species – to an intelligent robot that can make evolved copies of itself.

A second dream of robotics is that we will gradually replace ourselves with our robotic technology, achieving near immortality by downloading our consciousnesses; it is this process that Danny Hillis thinks we will gradually get used to and that Ray Kurzweil elegantly details inThe Age of Spiritual Machines. (We are beginning to see intimations of this in the implantation of computer devices into the human body, as illustrated on thecover ofWired 8.02.)

But if we are downloaded into our technology, what are the chances that we will thereafter be ourselves or even human? It seems to me far more likely that a robotic existence would not be like a human one in any sense that we understand, that the robots would in no sense be our children, that on this path our humanity may well be lost.

Genetic engineering promises to revolutionize agriculture by increasing crop yields while reducing the use of pesticides; to create tens of thousands of novel species of bacteria, plants, viruses, and animals; to replace reproduction, or supplement it, with cloning; to create cures for many diseases, increasing our life span and our quality of life; and much, much more. We now know with certainty that these profound changes in the biological sciences are imminent and will challenge all our notions of what life is.

Technologies such as human cloning have in particular raised our awareness of the profound ethical and moral issues we face. If, for example, we were to reengineer ourselves into several separate and unequal species using the power of genetic engineering, then we would threaten the notion of equality that is the very cornerstone of our democracy.

Given the incredible power of genetic engineering, it’s no surprise that there are significant safety issues in its use. My friend Amory Lovins recently cowrote, along with Hunter Lovins, an editorial that provides an ecological view of some of these dangers. Among their concerns: that “the new botany aligns the development of plants with their economic, not evolutionary, success.” (See “A Tale of Two Botanies,” page 247.) Amory’s long career has been focused on energy and resource efficiency by taking a whole-system view of human-made systems; such a whole-system view often finds simple, smart solutions to otherwise seemingly difficult problems, and is usefully applied here as well.

After reading the Lovins’ editorial, I saw an op-ed by Gregg Easterbrook inThe New York Times (November 19, 1999) about genetically engineered crops, under the headline: “Food for the Future: Someday, rice will have built-in vitamin A. Unless the Luddites win.”

Are Amory and Hunter Lovins Luddites? Certainly not. I believe we all would agree that golden rice, with its built-in vitamin A, is probably a good thing, if developed with proper care and respect for the likely dangers in moving genes across species boundaries.

Awareness of the dangers inherent in genetic engineering is beginning to grow, as reflected in the Lovins’ editorial. The general public is aware of, and uneasy about, genetically modified foods, and seems to be rejecting the notion that such foods should be permitted to be unlabeled.

But genetic engineering technology is already very far along. As the Lovins note, the USDA has already approved about 50 genetically engineered crops for unlimited release; more than half of the world’s soybeans and a third of its corn now contain genes spliced in from other forms of life.

While there are many important issues here, my own major concern with genetic engineering is narrower: that it gives the power – whether militarily, accidentally, or in a deliberate terrorist act – to create a White Plague.

The many wonders of nanotechnology were first imagined by the Nobel-laureate physicist Richard Feynman in a speech he gave in 1959, subsequently published under the title “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom.” The book that made a big impression on me, in the mid-’80s, was Eric Drexler’sEngines of Creation, in which he described beautifully how manipulation of matter at the atomic level could create a utopian future of abundance, where just about everything could be made cheaply, and almost any imaginable disease or physical problem could be solved using nanotechnology and artificial intelligences.

A subsequent book,Unbounding the Future: The Nanotechnology Revolution, which Drexler cowrote, imagines some of the changes that might take place in a world where we had molecular-level “assemblers.” Assemblers could make possible incredibly low-cost solar power, cures for cancer and the common cold by augmentation of the human immune system, essentially complete cleanup of the environment, incredibly inexpensive pocket supercomputers – in fact, any product would be manufacturable by assemblers at a cost no greater than that of wood – spaceflight more accessible than transoceanic travel today, and restoration of extinct species.

I remember feeling good about nanotechnology after readingEngines of Creation. As a technologist, it gave me a sense of calm – that is, nanotechnology showed us that incredible progress was possible, and indeed perhaps inevitable. If nanotechnology was our future, then I didn’t feel pressed to solve so many problems in the present. I would get to Drexler’s utopian future in due time; I might as well enjoy life more in the here and now. It didn’t make sense, given his vision, to stay up all night, all the time.

Drexler’s vision also led to a lot of good fun. I would occasionally get to describe the wonders of nanotechnology to others who had not heard of it. After teasing them with all the things Drexler described I would give a homework assignment of my own: “Use nanotechnology to create a vampire; for extra credit create an antidote.”

With these wonders came clear dangers, of which I was acutely aware. As I said at a nanotechnology conference in 1989, “We can’t simply do our science and not worry about these ethical issues.”5 But my subsequent conversations with physicists convinced me that nanotechnology might not even work – or, at least, it wouldn’t work anytime soon. Shortly thereafter I moved to Colorado, to a skunk works I had set up, and the focus of my work shifted to software for the Internet, specifically on ideas that became Java and Jini.

Then, last summer, Brosl Hasslacher told me that nanoscale molecular electronics was now practical. This wasnew news, at least to me, and I think to many people – and it radically changed my opinion about nanotechnology. It sent me back toEngines of Creation. Rereading Drexler’s work after more than 10 years, I was dismayed to realize how little I had remembered of its lengthy section called “Dangers and Hopes,” including a discussion of how nanotechnologies can become “engines of destruction.” Indeed, in my rereading of this cautionary material today, I am struck by how naive some of Drexler’s safeguard proposals seem, and how much greater I judge the dangers to be now than even he seemed to then. (Having anticipated and described many technical and political problems with nanotechnology, Drexler started the Foresight Institute in the late 1980s “to help prepare society for anticipated advanced technologies” – most important, nanotechnology.)

The enabling breakthrough to assemblers seems quite likely within the next 20 years. Molecular electronics – the new subfield of nanotechnology where individual molecules are circuit elements – should mature quickly and become enormously lucrative within this decade, causing a large incremental investment in all nanotechnologies.

Unfortunately, as with nuclear technology, it is far easier to create destructive uses for nanotechnology than constructive ones. Nanotechnology has clear military and terrorist uses, and you need not be suicidal to release a massively destructive nanotechnological device – such devices can be built to be selectively destructive, affecting, for example, only a certain geographical area or a group of people who are genetically distinct.

An immediate consequence of the Faustian bargain in obtaining the great power of nanotechnology is that we run a grave risk – the risk that we might destroy the biosphere on which all life depends.

As Drexler explained:

“Plants” with “leaves” no more efficient than today’s solar cells could out-compete real plants, crowding the biosphere with an inedible foliage. Tough omnivorous “bacteria” could out-compete real bacteria: They could spread like blowing pollen, replicate swiftly, and reduce the biosphere to dust in a matter of days. Dangerous replicators could easily be too tough, small, and rapidly spreading to stop – at least if we make no preparation. We have trouble enough controlling viruses and fruit flies.

Among the cognoscenti of nanotechnology, this threat has become known as the “gray goo problem.” Though masses of uncontrolled replicators need not be gray or gooey, the term “gray goo” emphasizes that replicators able to obliterate life might be less inspiring than a single species of crabgrass. They might be superior in an evolutionary sense, but this need not make them valuable.

The gray goo threat makes one thing perfectly clear: We cannot afford certain kinds of accidents with replicating assemblers.

Gray goo would surely be a depressing ending to our human adventure on Earth, far worse than mere fire or ice, and one that could stem from a simple laboratory accident.6 Oops.

It is most of all the power of destructive self-replication in genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics (GNR) that should give us pause. Self-replication is the modus operandi of genetic engineering, which uses the machinery of the cell to replicate its designs, and the prime danger underlying gray goo in nanotechnology. Stories of run-amok robots like the Borg, replicating or mutating to escape from the ethical constraints imposed on them by their creators, are well established in our science fiction books and movies. It is even possible that self-replication may be more fundamental than we thought, and hence harder – or even impossible – to control. A recent article by Stuart Kauffman inNature titled “Self-Replication: Even Peptides Do It” discusses the discovery that a 32-amino-acid peptide can “autocatalyse its own synthesis.” We don’t know how widespread this ability is, but Kauffman notes that it may hint at “a route to self-reproducing molecular systems on a basis far wider than Watson-Crick base-pairing.”7

In truth, we have had in hand for years clear warnings of the dangers inherent in widespread knowledge of GNR technologies – of the possibility of knowledge alone enabling mass destruction. But these warnings haven’t been widely publicized; the public discussions have been clearly inadequate. There is no profit in publicizing the dangers.

The nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) technologies used in 20th-century weapons of mass destruction were and are largely military, developed in government laboratories. In sharp contrast, the 21st-century GNR technologies have clear commercial uses and are being developed almost exclusively by corporate enterprises. In this age of triumphant commercialism, technology – with science as its handmaiden – is delivering a series of almost magical inventions that are the most phenomenally lucrative ever seen. We are aggressively pursuing the promises of these new technologies within the now-unchallenged system of global capitalism and its manifold financial incentives and competitive pressures.

This is the first moment in the history of our planet when any species, by its own voluntary actions, has become a danger to itself – as well as to vast numbers of others.

It might be a familiar progression, transpiring on many worlds – a planet, newly formed, placidly revolves around its star; life slowly forms; a kaleidoscopic procession of creatures evolves; intelligence emerges which, at least up to a point, confers enormous survival value; and then technology is invented. It dawns on them that there are such things as laws of Nature, that these laws can be revealed by experiment, and that knowledge of these laws can be made both to save and to take lives, both on unprecedented scales. Science, they recognize, grants immense powers. In a flash, they create world-altering contrivances. Some planetary civilizations see their way through, place limits on what may and what must not be done, and safely pass through the time of perils. Others, not so lucky or so prudent, perish.

That is Carl Sagan, writing in 1994, inPale Blue Dot, a book describing his vision of the human future in space. I am only now realizing how deep his insight was, and how sorely I miss, and will miss, his voice. For all its eloquence, Sagan’s contribution was not least that of simple common sense – an attribute that, along with humility, many of the leading advocates of the 21st-century technologies seem to lack.

I remember from my childhood that my grandmother was strongly against the overuse of antibiotics. She had worked since before the first World War as a nurse and had a commonsense attitude that taking antibiotics, unless they were absolutely necessary, was bad for you.

It is not that she was an enemy of progress. She saw much progress in an almost 70-year nursing career; my grandfather, a diabetic, benefited greatly from the improved treatments that became available in his lifetime. But she, like many levelheaded people, would probably think it greatly arrogant for us, now, to be designing a robotic “replacement species,” when we obviously have so much trouble making relatively simple things work, and so much trouble managing – or even understanding – ourselves.

I realize now that she had an awareness of the nature of the order of life, and of the necessity of living with and respecting that order. With this respect comes a necessary humility that we, with our early-21st-century chutzpah, lack at our peril. The commonsense view, grounded in this respect, is often right, in advance of the scientific evidence. The clear fragility and inefficiencies of the human-made systems we have built should give us all pause; the fragility of the systems I have worked on certainly humbles me.

We should have learned a lesson from the making of the first atomic bomb and the resulting arms race. We didn’t do well then, and the parallels to our current situation are troubling.

The effort to build the first atomic bomb was led by the brilliant physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer was not naturally interested in politics but became painfully aware of what he perceived as the grave threat to Western civilization from the Third Reich, a threat surely grave because of the possibility that Hitler might obtain nuclear weapons. Energized by this concern, he brought his strong intellect, passion for physics, and charismatic leadership skills to Los Alamos and led a rapid and successful effort by an incredible collection of great minds to quickly invent the bomb.

What is striking is how this effort continued so naturally after the initial impetus was removed. In a meeting shortly after V-E Day with some physicists who felt that perhaps the effort should stop, Oppenheimer argued to continue. His stated reason seems a bit strange: not because of the fear of large casualties from an invasion of Japan, but because the United Nations, which was soon to be formed, should have foreknowledge of atomic weapons. A more likely reason the project continued is the momentum that had built up – the first atomic test, Trinity, was nearly at hand.

We know that in preparing this first atomic test the physicists proceeded despite a large number of possible dangers. They were initially worried, based on a calculation by Edward Teller, that an atomic explosion might set fire to the atmosphere. A revised calculation reduced the danger of destroying the world to a three-in-a-million chance. (Teller says he was later able to dismiss the prospect of atmospheric ignition entirely.) Oppenheimer, though, was sufficiently concerned about the result of Trinity that he arranged for a possible evacuation of the southwest part of the state of New Mexico. And, of course, there was the clear danger of starting a nuclear arms race.

Within a month of that first, successful test, two atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some scientists had suggested that the bomb simply be demonstrated, rather than dropped on Japanese cities – saying that this would greatly improve the chances for arms control after the war – but to no avail. With the tragedy of Pearl Harbor still fresh in Americans’ minds, it would have been very difficult for President Truman to order a demonstration of the weapons rather than use them as he did – the desire to quickly end the war and save the lives that would have been lost in any invasion of Japan was very strong. Yet the overriding truth was probably very simple: As the physicist Freeman Dyson later said, “The reason that it was dropped was just that nobody had the courage or the foresight to say no.”

It’s important to realize how shocked the physicists were in the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945. They describe a series of waves of emotion: first, a sense of fulfillment that the bomb worked, then horror at all the people that had been killed, and then a convincing feeling that on no account should another bomb be dropped. Yet of course another bomb was dropped, on Nagasaki, only three days after the bombing of Hiroshima.

In November 1945, three months after the atomic bombings, Oppenheimer stood firmly behind the scientific attitude, saying, “It is not possible to be a scientist unless you believe that the knowledge of the world, and the power which this gives, is a thing which is of intrinsic value to humanity, and that you are using it to help in the spread of knowledge and are willing to take the consequences.”

Oppenheimer went on to work, with others, on the Acheson-Lilienthal report, which, as Richard Rhodes says in his recent bookVisions of Technology, “found a way to prevent a clandestine nuclear arms race without resorting to armed world government”; their suggestion was a form of relinquishment of nuclear weapons work by nation-states to an international agency.

This proposal led to the Baruch Plan, which was submitted to the United Nations in June 1946 but never adopted (perhaps because, as Rhodes suggests, Bernard Baruch had “insisted on burdening the plan with conventional sanctions,” thereby inevitably dooming it, even though it would “almost certainly have been rejected by Stalinist Russia anyway”). Other efforts to promote sensible steps toward internationalizing nuclear power to prevent an arms race ran afoul either of US politics and internal distrust, or distrust by the Soviets. The opportunity to avoid the arms race was lost, and very quickly.

Two years later, in 1948, Oppenheimer seemed to have reached another stage in his thinking, saying, “In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge they cannot lose.”

In 1949, the Soviets exploded an atom bomb. By 1955, both the US and the Soviet Union had tested hydrogen bombs suitable for delivery by aircraft. And so the nuclear arms race began.

Nearly 20 years ago, in the documentaryThe Day After Trinity, Freeman Dyson summarized the scientific attitudes that brought us to the nuclear precipice:

“I have felt it myself. The glitter of nuclear weapons. It is irresistible if you come to them as a scientist. To feel it’s there in your hands, to release this energy that fuels the stars, to let it do your bidding. To perform these miracles, to lift a million tons of rock into the sky. It is something that gives people an illusion of illimitable power, and it is, in some ways, responsible for all our troubles – this, what you might call technical arrogance, that overcomes people when they see what they can do with their minds.”8

Now, as then, we are creators of new technologies and stars of the imagined future, driven – this time by great financial rewards and global competition – despite the clear dangers, hardly evaluating what it may be like to try to live in a world that is the realistic outcome of what we are creating and imagining.

In 1947,The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists began putting a Doomsday Clock on its cover. For more than 50 years, it has shown an estimate of the relative nuclear danger we have faced, reflecting the changing international conditions. The hands on the clock have moved 15 times and today, standing at nine minutes to midnight, reflect continuing and real danger from nuclear weapons. The recent addition of India and Pakistan to the list of nuclear powers has increased the threat of failure of the nonproliferation goal, and this danger was reflected by moving the hands closer to midnight in 1998.

In our time, how much danger do we face, not just from nuclear weapons, but from all of these technologies? How high are the extinction risks?

The philosopher John Leslie has studied this question and concluded that the risk of human extinction is at least 30 percent,9while Ray Kurzweil believes we have “a better than even chance of making it through,” with the caveat that he has “always been accused of being an optimist.” Not only are these estimates not encouraging, but they do not include the probability of many horrid outcomes that lie short of extinction.

Faced with such assessments, some serious people are already suggesting that we simply move beyond Earth as quickly as possible. We would colonize the galaxy using von Neumann probes, which hop from star system to star system, replicating as they go. This step will almost certainly be necessary 5 billion years from now (or sooner if our solar system is disastrously impacted by the impending collision of our galaxy with the Andromeda galaxy within the next 3 billion years), but if we take Kurzweil and Moravec at their word it might be necessary by the middle of this century.

What are the moral implications here? If we must move beyond Earth this quickly in order for the species to survive, who accepts the responsibility for the fate of those (most of us, after all) who are left behind? And even if we scatter to the stars, isn’t it likely that we may take our problems with us or find, later, that they have followed us? The fate of our species on Earth and our fate in the galaxy seem inextricably linked.

Another idea is to erect a series of shields to defend against each of the dangerous technologies. The Strategic Defense Initiative, proposed by the Reagan administration, was an attempt to design such a shield against the threat of a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union. But as Arthur C. Clarke, who was privy to discussions about the project, observed: “Though it might be possible, at vast expense, to construct local defense systems that would ‘only’ let through a few percent of ballistic missiles, the much touted idea of a national umbrella was nonsense. Luis Alvarez, perhaps the greatest experimental physicist of this century, remarked to me that the advocates of such schemes were ‘very bright guys with no common sense.'”

Clarke continued: “Looking into my often cloudy crystal ball, I suspect that a total defense might indeed be possible in a century or so. But the technology involved would produce, as a by-product, weapons so terrible that no one would bother with anything as primitive as ballistic missiles.” 10

InEngines of Creation, Eric Drexler proposed that we build an active nanotechnological shield – a form of immune system for the biosphere – to defend against dangerous replicators of all kinds that might escape from laboratories or otherwise be maliciously created. But the shield he proposed would itself be extremely dangerous – nothing could prevent it from developing autoimmune problems and attacking the biosphere itself. 11

Similar difficulties apply to the construction of shields against robotics and genetic engineering. These technologies are too powerful to be shielded against in the time frame of interest; even if it were possible to implement defensive shields, the side effects of their development would be at least as dangerous as the technologies we are trying to protect against.

These possibilities are all thus either undesirable or unachievable or both. The only realistic alternative I see is relinquishment: to limit development of the technologies that are too dangerous, by limiting our pursuit of certain kinds of knowledge.

Yes, I know, knowledge is good, as is the search for new truths. We have been seeking knowledge since ancient times. Aristotle opened his Metaphysics with the simple statement: “All men by nature desire to know.” We have, as a bedrock value in our society, long agreed on the value of open access to information, and recognize the problems that arise with attempts to restrict access to and development of knowledge. In recent times, we have come to revere scientific knowledge.

But despite the strong historical precedents, if open access to and unlimited development of knowledge henceforth puts us all in clear danger of extinction, then common sense demands that we reexamine even these basic, long-held beliefs.

It was Nietzsche who warned us, at the end of the 19th century, not only that God is dead but that “faith in science, which after all exists undeniably, cannot owe its origin to a calculus of utility; it must have originated in spite of the fact that the disutility and dangerousness of the ‘will to truth,’ of ‘truth at any price’ is proved to it constantly.” It is this further danger that we now fully face – the consequences of our truth-seeking. The truth that science seeks can certainly be considered a dangerous substitute for God if it is likely to lead to our extinction.

If we could agree, as a species, what we wanted, where we were headed, and why, then we would make our future much less dangerous – then we might understand what we can and should relinquish. Otherwise, we can easily imagine an arms race developing over GNR technologies, as it did with the NBC technologies in the 20th century. This is perhaps the greatest risk, for once such a race begins, it’s very hard to end it. This time – unlike during the Manhattan Project – we aren’t in a war, facing an implacable enemy that is threatening our civilization; we are driven, instead, by our habits, our desires, our economic system, and our competitive need to know.

I believe that we all wish our course could be determined by our collective values, ethics, and morals. If we had gained more collective wisdom over the past few thousand years, then a dialogue to this end would be more practical, and the incredible powers we are about to unleash would not be nearly so troubling.

One would think we might be driven to such a dialogue by our instinct for self-preservation. Individuals clearly have this desire, yet as a species our behavior seems to be not in our favor. In dealing with the nuclear threat, we often spoke dishonestly to ourselves and to each other, thereby greatly increasing the risks. Whether this was politically motivated, or because we chose not to think ahead, or because when faced with such grave threats we acted irrationally out of fear, I do not know, but it does not bode well.

The new Pandora’s boxes of genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics are almost open, yet we seem hardly to have noticed. Ideas can’t be put back in a box; unlike uranium or plutonium, they don’t need to be mined and refined, and they can be freely copied. Once they are out, they are out. Churchill remarked, in a famous left-handed compliment, that the American people and their leaders “invariably do the right thing, after they have examined every other alternative.” In this case, however, we must act more presciently, as to do the right thing only at last may be to lose the chance to do it at all.

As Thoreau said, “We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us”; and this is what we must fight, in our time. The question is, indeed, Which is to be master? Will we survive our technologies?

We are being propelled into this new century with no plan, no control, no brakes. Have we already gone too far down the path to alter course? I don’t believe so, but we aren’t trying yet, and the last chance to assert control – the fail-safe point – is rapidly approaching. We have our first pet robots, as well as commercially available genetic engineering techniques, and our nanoscale techniques are advancing rapidly. While the development of these technologies proceeds through a number of steps, it isn’t necessarily the case – as happened in the Manhattan Project and the Trinity test – that the last step in proving a technology is large and hard. The breakthrough to wild self-replication in robotics, genetic engineering, or nanotechnology could come suddenly, reprising the surprise we felt when we learned of the cloning of a mammal.

And yet I believe we do have a strong and solid basis for hope. Our attempts to deal with weapons of mass destruction in the last century provide a shining example of relinquishment for us to consider: the unilateral US abandonment, without preconditions, of the development of biological weapons. This relinquishment stemmed from the realization that while it would take an enormous effort to create these terrible weapons, they could from then on easily be duplicated and fall into the hands of rogue nations or terrorist groups.

The clear conclusion was that we would create additional threats to ourselves by pursuing these weapons, and that we would be more secure if we did not pursue them. We have embodied our relinquishment of biological and chemical weapons in the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).12

As for the continuing sizable threat from nuclear weapons, which we have lived with now for more than 50 years, the US Senate’s recent rejection of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty makes it clear relinquishing nuclear weapons will not be politically easy. But we have a unique opportunity, with the end of the Cold War, to avert a multipolar arms race. Building on the BWC and CWC relinquishments, successful abolition of nuclear weapons could help us build toward a habit of relinquishing dangerous technologies. (Actually, by getting rid of all but 100 nuclear weapons worldwide – roughly the total destructive power of World War II and a considerably easier task – we could eliminate this extinction threat. 13)

Verifying relinquishment will be a difficult problem, but not an unsolvable one. We are fortunate to have already done a lot of relevant work in the context of the BWC and other treaties. Our major task will be to apply this to technologies that are naturally much more commercial than military. The substantial need here is for transparency, as difficulty of verification is directly proportional to the difficulty of distinguishing relinquished from legitimate activities.

I frankly believe that the situation in 1945 was simpler than the one we now face: The nuclear technologies were reasonably separable into commercial and military uses, and monitoring was aided by the nature of atomic tests and the ease with which radioactivity could be measured. Research on military applications could be performed at national laboratories such as Los Alamos, with the results kept secret as long as possible.

The GNR technologies do not divide clearly into commercial and military uses; given their potential in the market, it’s hard to imagine pursuing them only in national laboratories. With their widespread commercial pursuit, enforcing relinquishment will require a verification regime similar to that for biological weapons, but on an unprecedented scale. This, inevitably, will raise tensions between our individual privacy and desire for proprietary information, and the need for verification to protect us all. We will undoubtedly encounter strong resistance to this loss of privacy and freedom of action.

Verifying the relinquishment of certain GNR technologies will have to occur in cyberspace as well as at physical facilities. The critical issue will be to make the necessary transparency acceptable in a world of proprietary information, presumably by providing new forms of protection for intellectual property.

Verifying compliance will also require that scientists and engineers adopt a strong code of ethical conduct, resembling the Hippocratic oath, and that they have the courage to whistleblow as necessary, even at high personal cost. This would answer the call – 50 years after Hiroshima – by the Nobel laureate Hans Bethe, one of the most senior of the surviving members of the Manhattan Project, that all scientists “cease and desist from work creating, developing, improving, and manufacturing nuclear weapons and other weapons of potential mass destruction.”14 In the 21st century, this requires vigilance and personal responsibility by those who would work on both NBC and GNR technologies to avoid implementing weapons of mass destruction and knowledge-enabled mass destruction.

Thoreau also said that we will be “rich in proportion to the number of things which we can afford to let alone.” We each seek to be happy, but it would seem worthwhile to question whether we need to take such a high risk of total destruction to gain yet more knowledge and yet more things; common sense says that there is a limit to our material needs – and that certain knowledge is too dangerous and is best forgone.

Neither should we pursue near immortality without considering the costs, without considering the commensurate increase in the risk of extinction. Immortality, while perhaps the original, is certainly not the only possible utopian dream.

I recently had the good fortune to meet the distinguished author and scholar Jacques Attali, whose bookLignes d’horizons(Millennium, in the English translation) helped inspire the Java and Jini approach to the coming age of pervasive computing, as previously described in this magazine. In his new bookFraternités, Attali describes how our dreams of utopia have changed over time:

“At the dawn of societies, men saw their passage on Earth as nothing more than a labyrinth of pain, at the end of which stood a door leading, via their death, to the company of gods and toEternity. With the Hebrews and then the Greeks, some men dared free themselves from theological demands and dream of an ideal City whereLiberty would flourish. Others, noting the evolution of the market society, understood that the liberty of some would entail the alienation of others, and they soughtEquality.”

Jacques helped me understand how these three different utopian goals exist in tension in our society today. He goes on to describe a fourth utopia,Fraternity, whose foundation is altruism. Fraternity alone associates individual happiness with the happiness of others, affording the promise of self-sustainment.

This crystallized for me my problem with Kurzweil’s dream. A technological approach to Eternity – near immortality through robotics – may not be the most desirable utopia, and its pursuit brings clear dangers. Maybe we should rethink our utopian choices.

Where can we look for a new ethical basis to set our course? I have found the ideas in the book Ethics for the New Millennium, by the Dalai Lama, to be very helpful. As is perhaps well known but little heeded, the Dalai Lama argues that the most important thing is for us to conduct our lives with love and compassion for others, and that our societies need to develop a stronger notion of universal responsibility and of our interdependency; he proposes a standard of positive ethical conduct for individuals and societies that seems consonant with Attali’s Fraternity utopia.

The Dalai Lama further argues that we must understand what it is that makes people happy, and acknowledge the strong evidence that neither material progress nor the pursuit of the power of knowledge is the key – that there are limits to what science and the scientific pursuit alone can do.

Our Western notion of happiness seems to come from the Greeks, who defined it as “the exercise of vital powers along lines of excellence in a life affording them scope.” 15

Clearly, we need to find meaningful challenges and sufficient scope in our lives if we are to be happy in whatever is to come. But I believe we must find alternative outlets for our creative forces, beyond the culture of perpetual economic growth; this growth has largely been a blessing for several hundred years, but it has not brought us unalloyed happiness, and we must now choose between the pursuit of unrestricted and undirected growth through science and technology and the clear accompanying dangers.

It is now more than a year since my first encounter with Ray Kurzweil and John Searle. I see around me cause for hope in the voices for caution and relinquishment and in those people I have discovered who are as concerned as I am about our current predicament. I feel, too, a deepened sense of personal responsibility – not for the work I have already done, but for the work that I might yet do, at the confluence of the sciences.

But many other people who know about the dangers still seem strangely silent. When pressed, they trot out the “this is nothing new” riposte – as if awareness of what could happen is response enough. They tell me, There are universities filled with bioethicists who study this stuff all day long. They say, All this has been written about before, and by experts. They complain, Your worries and your arguments are already old hat.

I don’t know where these people hide their fear. As an architect of complex systems I enter this arena as a generalist. But should this diminish my concerns? I am aware of how much has been written about, talked about, and lectured about so authoritatively. But does this mean it has reached people? Does this mean we can discount the dangers before us?

Knowing is not a rationale for not acting. Can we doubt that knowledge has become a weapon we wield against ourselves?

The experiences of the atomic scientists clearly show the need to take personal responsibility, the danger that things will move too fast, and the way in which a process can take on a life of its own. We can, as they did, create insurmountable problems in almost no time flat. We must do more thinking up front if we are not to be similarly surprised and shocked by the consequences of our inventions.

My continuing professional work is on improving the reliability of software. Software is a tool, and as a toolbuilder I must struggle with the uses to which the tools I make are put. I have always believed that making software more reliable, given its many uses, will make the world a safer and better place; if I were to come to believe the opposite, then I would be morally obligated to stop this work. I can now imagine such a day may come.

This all leaves me not angry but at least a bit melancholic. Henceforth, for me, progress will be somewhat bittersweet.

Do you remember the beautiful penultimate scene in Manhattan where Woody Allen is lying on his couch and talking into a tape recorder? He is writing a short story about people who are creating unnecessary, neurotic problems for themselves, because it keeps them from dealing with more unsolvable, terrifying problems about the universe.

He leads himself to the question, “Why is life worth living?” and to consider what makes it worthwhile for him: Groucho Marx, Willie Mays, the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony, Louis Armstrong’s recording of “Potato Head Blues,” Swedish movies, Flaubert’s Sentimental Education, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, the apples and pears by Cézanne, the crabs at Sam Wo’s, and, finally, the showstopper: his love Tracy’s face.

Each of us has our precious things, and as we care for them we locate the essence of our humanity. In the end, it is because of our great capacity for caring that I remain optimistic we will confront the dangerous issues now before us.

My immediate hope is to participate in a much larger discussion of the issues raised here, with people from many different backgrounds, in settings not predisposed to fear or favor technology for its own sake.

As a start, I have twice raised many of these issues at events sponsored by the Aspen Institute and have separately proposed that the American Academy of Arts and Sciences take them up as an extension of its work with the Pugwash Conferences. (These have been held since 1957 to discuss arms control, especially of nuclear weapons, and to formulate workable policies.)

It’s unfortunate that the Pugwash meetings started only well after the nuclear genie was out of the bottle – roughly 15 years too late. We are also getting a belated start on seriously addressing the issues around 21st-century technologies – the prevention of knowledge-enabled mass destruction – and further delay seems unacceptable.

So I’m still searching; there are many more things to learn. Whether we are to succeed or fail, to survive or fall victim to these technologies, is not yet decided. I’m up late again – it’s almost 6 am. I’m trying to imagine some better answers, to break the spell and free them from the stone.


1 The passage Kurzweil quotes is from Kaczynski’s Unabomber Manifesto, which was published jointly, under duress, byThe New York Times and The Washington Post to attempt to bring his campaign of terror to an end. I agree with David Gelernter, who said about their decision:

“It was a tough call for the newspapers. To say yes would be giving in to terrorism, and for all they knew he was lying anyway. On the other hand, to say yes might stop the killing. There was also a chance that someone would read the tract and get a hunch about the author; and that is exactly what happened. The suspect’s brother read it, and it rang a bell.

“I would have told them not to publish. I’m glad they didn’t ask me. I guess.”

(Drawing Life: Surviving the Unabomber. Free Press, 1997: 120.)

2 Garrett, Laurie.The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance. Penguin, 1994: 47-52, 414, 419, 452.

3 Isaac Asimov described what became the most famous view of ethical rules for robot behavior in his bookI, Robot in 1950, in his Three Laws of Robotics: 1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3. A robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

4 Michelangelo wrote a sonnet that begins:

Non ha l’ ottimo artista alcun concetto
Ch’ un marmo solo in sè non circonscriva
Col suo soverchio; e solo a quello arriva
La man che ubbidisce all’ intelleto.

Stone translates this as:

The best of artists hath no thought to show
which the rough stone in its superfluous shell
doth not include; to break the marble spell
is all the hand that serves the brain can do.

Stone describes the process: “He was not working from his drawings or clay models; they had all been put away. He was carving from the images in his mind. His eyes and hands knew where every line, curve, mass must emerge, and at what depth in the heart of the stone to create the low relief.”

(The Agony and the Ecstasy. Doubleday, 1961: 6, 144.)

5 First Foresight Conference on Nanotechnology in October 1989, a talk titled “The Future of Computation.” Published in Crandall, B. C. and James Lewis, editors.Nanotechnology: Research and Perspectives. MIT Press, 1992: 269. See alsowww.foresight.org/Conferences/MNT01/Nano1.html.

6 In his 1963 novelCat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut imagined a gray-goo-like accident where a form of ice called ice-nine, which becomes solid at a much higher temperature, freezes the oceans.

7 Kauffman, Stuart. “Self-replication: Even Peptides Do It.” Nature, 382, August 8, 1996: 496. Seewww.santafe.edu/sfi/People/kauffman/sak-peptides.html.

8 Else, Jon.The Day After Trinity: J. Robert Oppenheimer and The Atomic Bomb (available at www.pyramiddirect.com).

9 This estimate is in Leslie’s bookThe End of the World: The Science and Ethics of Human Extinction, where he notes that the probability of extinction is substantially higher if we accept Brandon Carter’s Doomsday Argument, which is, briefly, that “we ought to have some reluctance to believe that we are very exceptionally early, for instance in the earliest 0.001 percent, among all humans who will ever have lived. This would be some reason for thinking that humankind will not survive for many more centuries, let alone colonize the galaxy. Carter’s doomsday argument doesn’t generate any risk estimates just by itself. It is an argument forrevising the estimates which we generate when we consider various possible dangers.” (Routledge, 1996: 1, 3, 145.)

10 Clarke, Arthur C. “Presidents, Experts, and Asteroids.”Science, June 5, 1998. Reprinted as “Science and Society” inGreetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds! Collected Essays, 1934-1998. St. Martin’s Press, 1999: 526.

11 And, as David Forrest suggests in his paper “Regulating Nanotechnology Development,” available atwww.foresight.org/NanoRev/Forrest1989.html, “If we used strict liability as an alternative to regulation it would be impossible for any developer to internalize the cost of the risk (destruction of the biosphere), so theoretically the activity of developing nanotechnology should never be undertaken.” Forrest’s analysis leaves us with only government regulation to protect us – not a comforting thought.

12 Meselson, Matthew. “The Problem of Biological Weapons.” Presentation to the 1,818th Stated Meeting of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, January 13, 1999. (minerva.amacad.org/archive/bulletin4.htm)

13 Doty, Paul. “The Forgotten Menace: Nuclear Weapons Stockpiles Still Represent the Biggest Threat to Civilization.”Nature, 402, December 9, 1999: 583.

14 See also Hans Bethe’s 1997 letter to President Clinton, at www.fas.org/bethecr.htm.

15 Hamilton, Edith.The Greek Way. W. W. Norton & Co., 1942: 35.


Bill Joy, cofounder and Chief Scientist of Sun Microsystems, was cochair of the presidential commission on the future of IT research, and is coauthor ofThe Java Language Specification. His work on theJini pervasive computing technology was featured inWired 6.08.

Copyright © 1993-2004 The Condé Nast Publications Inc. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 1994-2003 Wired Digital, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Ring Of Fire Is Roaring To Life

04/13/2012

http://www.pakalertpress.com/2012/04/13/the-ring

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 Posted by truther

Does it seem to you like there has been an unusual amount of seismic activity around the world lately?  Well, it isn’t just your imagination.  The Ring of Fire is roaring to life and that is really bad news for the west coast of the United States.  Approximately 90 percent of all earthquakes and approximately 75 percent of all volcanic eruptions occur along the Ring of Fire.  Considering the fact that the entire west coast of the United States lies along the Ring of Fire, we should be very concerned that the Ring of Fire is becoming more active.  On Wednesday, the most powerful strike-slip earthquake ever recorded happened along the Ring of Fire.  If that earthquake had happened in a major U.S. city along the west coast, the city would have been entirely destroyed. Scientists tell us that there is nearly a 100% certainty that the “Big One” will hit California at some point.  In recent years we have seen Japan, Chile, Indonesia and New Zealand all get hit by historic earthquakes.  It is inevitable that there will be earthquakes of historic importance on the west coast of the United States as well.  So far we have been very fortunate, but that good fortune will not last indefinitely.

In a previous article, I showed that earthquakes are becoming more frequent around the globe.  In 2001, there were137 earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 or greater and in 2011 there were 205.  The charts and data that I presented in that previous article show a clear upward trend in large global earthquakes over the past decade, and that is why what happened this week is so alarming.

On Wednesday, a magnitude 8.6 earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia and that was rapidly followed by amagnitude 8.2 earthquake off the coast of Indonesia.  Fortunately those gigantic earthquakes did not produce a devastating tsunami, but that doesn’t mean that those earthquakes were not immensely powerful.

Normally we only see about one earthquake of magnitude 8.0 or greater per year.  The magnitude 8.6 earthquake was the most powerful strike-slip earthquake in recorded history.  If that earthquake had happened in the United States, it would have probably been the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.  The following is from an article posted on The Extinction Protocol….

I’ve never heard of a strike-slip lateral earthquake of this great a magnitude; especially under water. Preliminary assessment of the Indonesian quakes by U.S. geologists suggests one plate lurched past each other as much as 70 feet. San Andreas is a strike-slip, lateral- can we even imagine two sections of ground moving 70 feet near San Francisco? Had the force of the Sumatra quakes been unleashed upon San Andreas, the city would have been completely destroyed.

And earthquake activity along the west coast has definitely been heating up in recent days.

On Wednesday, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck approximately 160 miles off of the coast of Oregon.

Early on Thursday, there were two major earthquakes (magnitude 6.9 and magnitude 6.2) in the Gulf of California.

It is only a matter of time before the “Big One” hits California.

Sadly, most Americans (especially young Americans) can’t even tell you what the Ring of Fire is.  The following is howWikipedia defines the “Ring of Fire”….

The Pacific Ring of Fire (or sometimes just the Ring of Fire) is an area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In a 40,000 km (25,000 mi) horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements.

The entire west coast of the United States falls along the Ring of Fire and a massive network of faults runs underneath California, Oregon and Washington.

At this point, scientists tell us that the west coast is long overdue for a major earthquake.  An article in Time Magazine a few years ago stated the following….

California has more than 300 faults running beneath its surface, including the massive San Andreas Fault, yet the quake to end all quakes has yet to occur. In 1980, a federal report declared the likelihood of a major earthquake striking California within the next 30 years to be “well in excess of 50%.”

Unfortunately, the truth is that is a very, very conservative estimate.  The west coast has always been extremely unstable and it always will be.  At some point there is going to be a tragedy of unimaginable proportions on the west coast.

Just hope that you are not there when it happens.

But it isn’t just California, Oregon andWashington that should be concerned.

According to the Arizona Geological Survey, there were 131 earthquakes in the state of Arizona in 2011.  That was a huge increase from just 53 in 2010.

And of course an absolutely nightmarish earthquake could occur along the New Madrid fault at any time, but that is a topic for another article.

As far as the Ring of Fire is concerned, another major threat is volcanic activity.

One of these days, one or more of the major volcanoes on the west coast is going to experience a major eruption again.  There have been signs that Mt. Rainier has been becoming more active, and a major eruption of Mt. Rainier could potentially be absolutely devastating for much of the northwest United States.

Of even greater concern along the Ring of Fire is Mt. Fuji.  As I wrote about the other day, Mt. Fuji has been dormant for about 300 years but is now rapidly roaring to life.  New craters have appeared and these new craters are venting gas.  There has been a swarm of earthquakes under Mt. Fuji this year, including a magnitude 6.4 earthquake on March 15th.

If Mt. Fuji were to experience a full-blown eruption, the consequences could be absolutely catastrophic.  Mt. Fuji is not too far from Tokyo – one of the most densely populated cities on the entire planet.  The loss of life resulting from a full-blown eruption of Mt. Fuji would be almost unimaginable.

But it is not just along the Ring of Fire that we are seeing a rise in volcanic activity.  The truth is that we are seeing a rise in volcanic activity all over the globe.  The following are just a couple of recent examples which have been in the news….

*The volcanoes in Iceland that caused such huge problems a few years ago are becoming very active once again.

*Authorities in Colombia have declared a “red alert” and believe that an eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano is imminent.

*Ash is venting at the world famous Anak Krakatau volcano in Indonesia.

Something really strange is going on.

Most scientists will deny it or will attempt to downplay it until they are blue in the face, but the truth is that the trembling of our planet is getting worse.

If this shaking continues to get worse, there are going to be some absolutely horrific tragedies in the years ahead.

Try this link for up to date info on all quakes. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/usc00091it.php


The Jewish Monopoly of Opium Still Fuels Chinese Hatreds Today

04/12/2012

http://www.thephora.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-66548.html

By Arbeit Mit Fries

The 99 year British lease on Hong Kong expired in July, 1997, allowing the Red Chinese to take over. Hundreds of newspaper stories and TV reports have covered this event but not one revealed how England first gained control of Hong Kong! The truth lies buried in the family line of David Sassoon, “The Rothschilds of The Far East,” and their monopoly over the opium trade. Britain won Hong Kong by launching the opium Wars to give the Sassoons exclusive rights to drug an entire nation!

A lot of Chinese moved to Hong Kong over the years, so many that by 1898 The English had to turn to the Chinese Emperor for water. He offered Hong Kong a lease on mainland China for 99 years. It was that land that had to be returned in 1997, but since The East Indian Company did not have a way to get enough sweet water for all inhabitants they agreed to give the island back to China. Some secret agreements were signed? Sadly the world will not learn what these documents say before China is willing to publish them.

David Sassoon was born in Baghdad, Iran in 1792. His father, Saleh Sassoon, was a wealthy banker and the treasurer to Ahmet Pasha, the governor of Baghdad. (Thus making him the “court Jew” – a highly influential position.) In 1829 Ahmet was overthrown due to corruption and the Sassoon family fled to Bombay, India. This was the strategic trade route to interior India and the gateway to the Far East. In a brief time the British government granted Sassoon “monopoly rights” to all manufacture of cotton goods, silk and most important of all – Opium – then the most addictive drug in the world!

In the beginning David Sasson wanted to trade with cotton cloth with China to buy tea. But the Chinese did not want the cotton that the Jews wanted to trade. They were however willing to trade tea for silver. Sasson learned that many Chinese were interested in buying opium. With this knowledge Sassions ship sailed back to India and then England to sell what little tea they had.

In Order to boost the trade David Sasson forced the farmers in Bengali to stop farming food and turn to farming opium. The opium growing in Bengali was very good opium and Sasson’s business was made. He became a member of East India Company, a company owned and run by Jews out of the City of London. So successful was the opium business that the tax East Indian Company paid to England paid for all English wars between 1831 and 1905.

The Jewish Encyclopedia of 1905, states that Sassoon expanded his opium trade into China and Japan. He placed his eight sons in charge of the various major opium exchanges in China. According to the 1944 Jewish Encyclopedia: “He employed only Jews in his business, and wherever he sent them he built synagogues and schools for them. He imported whole families of fellow Jews. . . and put them to work.” Opium was strictly a Jewish monopoly. But these Jews were working under British passports.

Sassoon’s sons were busy pushing this mind-destroying drug in Canton, China. Between 1830 – 1831 they trafficked 18,956 chests of opium earning millions of dollars. Part of the profits went to Queen Victoria and the British government. In the year 1836 the trade increased to over 30,000 chests and drug addiction in coastal cities became endemic. Opium addiction does not just destroy individuals but entire families, as addicted fathers sell their daughters to whore houses and waste the entire family’s wealth on their opium addiciton.

In 1839, the Manchu Emperor ordered that it be stopped. He named the Commissioner of Canton, Lin Tse-hsu, to lead a campaign against opium. Lin seized 2,000 chests of Sassoon opium and threw it into the river. An outraged David Sassoon demanded that Great Britain retaliate. And because the Sasson family had married into the Rothschild family who controlled the English economy, this demand had powerful Jewish backers in England. Thus, the Opium Wars began with the British Army fighting as mercenaries of the Sassoons. They attacked cities and blockaded ports. The Chinese Army, decimated by 10 years of rampant opium addiction, proved no match for the British Army. The war ended in 1839 with the signing of “The Treaty of Nanking.”

This included provisions especially designed to guarantee the Sassoons the right to enslave an entire population with opium. The “peace treaty” included these provisions:
1) Full legalization of the opium trade in China,
2) compensation from the opium stockpiles confiscated by Lin of 2 million pounds,
3) territorial sovereignty for the British Crown over several designated offshore islands.

The Sassoon’s Use the British Army to Drug An Entire Nation
British Prime Minister Palmerston wrote Crown Commissioner Captain Charles Elliot that the treaty didn’t go far enough. He said it should have been rejected out of hand because: “After all, our naval power is so strong that we can tell the Emperor what we mean to hold rather than what he would cede. We must demand the admission of opium into interior China as an article of lawful commerce and increase the indemnity payments and British access to several additional Chinese ports.” Thus, China not only had to pay Sassoon the cost of his dumped opium but reimburse England an unheard sum of 21 million pounds for the cost of the war!

This gave the Sassoon’s monopoly rights to distribute opium in port cities. However, even this was not good enough and Sassoon demanded the right to sell opium throughout the nation. The Manchus resisted and the British Army again attacked in the Second Opium War fought 1858 – 1860. Palmerston declared that all of interior China must be open for uninterrupted opium traffic. The British suffered a defeat at the Taku Forts in June 1859 when sailors, ordered to seize the forts, were run aground in the mud-choked harbor. Several hundred were killed or captured. An enraged Palmerston said: “We shall teach such a lesson to these perfidious hordes that the name of Europe will here after be a passport of fear.”

In October, the British besieged Peking. When the city fell, British commander Lord Elgin, ordered the temples and other sacred shrines in the city sacked and burned to the ground as a show of Britain’s absolute comtempt for the Chinese. In the new “Peace Treaty” of Oct.25, 1860, the British were assigned rights to vastly expanded opium trade covering seven-eights of China, which brought in over 20 million pounds in 1864 alone. In that year, the Sassoons imported 58,681 chests of opium and by 1880 it had skyrocketed to 105,508 chests making the Sassoons the richest Jews in the world next to the Rothschilds. England was given the Hong Kong peninsula as a colony and large sections of Amoy, Canton, Foochow, Ningpo and Shanghai. The Sassoons were now licensing opium dens in each British occupied area with large fees being collected by their Jewish agents. And many of these Jewish agents were the Chinese Jews of Kaifeng. These Jews had immigarted to China along the Silk Road hundreds of years ago and had so intermarried with the Chinese that they looked entirely Chinese. But they still were practicing Jews and were thus the perfect Chinese agents for the Sassoons.

Sassoon would not allow any other race to engage in “the Jews’ business” of opium importing and selling. However, the British government would not allow any opium to be imported into Europe!

Sassoon “Monopoly Rights” Wrecked Lancashire – England’s Textile Industry – Made Roosevelt Wealthy

Money for a Jew is only a tool for making more money, no matter the disasters that he brings upon non-Jews. Sir Albert Sassoon, the eldest of David Sassoon’s sons took over the family “business” empire. He constructed huge textile mills in Bombay to pay slave labor wages. This early example of the “off-shoring of industries” continued after World War One and ended up putting mills in Lancashire, England out of business with thousands losing their jobs to the cheap labor of India. This did not stop Queen Victoria from having Albert knighted in 1872. After all, the Jews can only prosper when they have subverted the leaders of a country whereby the leaders empower the Jews to wreck and impoverish the People.

Solomon Sassoon moved to Hong Kong and ran the family business there until his death in 1894. Later, the entire family moved to England because with modern communications they could operate their financial empire from their luxurious estates in London. They socialized with royalty and Edward Albert. Sassoon married Aline Caroline de Rothschild in 1887 which linked their fortune with that of the Rothschilds. The Queen also had Edward knighted. All 14 of the grandsons of David Sassoon were made officers during World War One and thus most were able to avoid combat, which is a Jewish method for staying alive while the non-Jews are killed in war. Oy, such a miracle!

Warren Delano moved to Newburgh, N.Y. In 1851 his daughter Sara married a well born neighbor, James Roosevelt – the father of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Franklin always knew the origin of the family fortune but refused to discuss it. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fortune was inherited from his maternal grandfather Warren Delano. In 1830 he was a senior partner of Russell & Company. This company also traded in opium to China. The only reason why Russell & Company was allowed to trade in opium around Canton was the company was owned by Jews and they did not interfere with the business of East India Company. These market was large enough for both companies. Russell & Company got their opium from Afghanistan through a harbor in Turkey.

The Sassoon opium trade brought death and destruction to millions and still plagues Asia to this day. Their company was totally operated by Jews ONLY! The corrupt British monarchy honored them with privilege and knighthood – to the disgrace of the Crown!

To this day the Sassoons are in the history books as “great developers” of India but the source of their vast wealth is never mentioned! Once again, the wealth of the Jews is based upon the destruction and impoverishment of the non-Jews. The Jews do not have a single penny that has not been stolen from the Gentiles of the world. And, using their magical technique of putting all of the blame and all of their sins upon a scapegoat, to this very day the Jews claim that the Opium Trade of China is all the fault of the British East India Company simply because these monopolistic Jews all had British passports. And to this very day, the Chinese believe them! Thus, all of the hatred and malice that the Chinese show toward the British even in modern times, is misdirected. If the Chinese hate anyone for addicting their ancestors to opium, then they should be hating the Jews.

 ADDENDUM

http://www.bearcanada.com/china/jewishmonopoly.html  

The Protocols of the Ruffle Crested Kikes of Zion

“How the Jews Betrayed Mankind”: Volume One, “The Sumerian Swindle”

Swindling the Goyim: The Basic Swindle

Swindling the Goyim:Episode Two

Forever True: The Historical Speeches of Glenn Miller

OLDDOGS COMMENTS

Whatever the reason for the author’s hatred of Jews, he is in error when implying that all Jews are intertwined with the Rothschild’s. In fact, the Rothschild’s are not real Jews. If anything is consistent with history, it is the fact that a large portion of Jews have an extraordinary intellect, and many people are just plain jealous of their success. Perhaps, faulty theology has helped feed that fire.


What Is ObamaCare?

04/11/2012

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/04/10/what-is-obamacare/

Paul Craig Roberts,

Growing up in the post-war era (after the Second World War), I never expected to live in the strange Kafkaesque world that exists today. The US government can assassinate any US citizen that the executive branch thinks could possibly be a “threat” to the US government, or throw the hapless citizen into a dungeon for the rest of his or her life without presenting any evidence to a court or obtaining a conviction of any crime, or send the “threat” to a puppet foreign state to be tortured until the “threat” confesses to a crime that never occurred or dies at the hands of “freedom and democracy” while professing innocence.

It has never been revealed how a single citizen, or any number thereof, could possibly comprise a threat to a government that has a trillion plus dollars to spend each year on security and weapons, the world’s largest navy and air force, 700 plus military bases across the world, large numbers of nuclear weapons, 16 intelligence agencies plus the intelligence agencies of its NATO puppet states and the intelligence service of Israel.

Nevertheless, air travelers are subjected to porno-scanning and sexual groping. Cars traveling on Interstate highways can expect to be stopped, with traffic backed up for miles, while Homeland Security and the federalized state or local police conduct searches.

I witnessed one such warrantless search on Easter Sunday. The south bound lanes of I-185 heading into Columbus, Georgia, were at a standstill while black SUV and police car lights flashed. US citizens were treated by “security” forces that they finance as if they were “terrorists” or “domestic extremists,” another undefined class of Americans devoid of constitutional protections.
These events are Kafkaesque in themselves, but they are ever more so when one considers that these extraordinary violations of the US Constitution fail to be overturned in the Supreme Court. Apparently, American citizens lack standing to defend their civil liberties.

Yet, ObamaCare is before the US Supreme Court. The conservative majority might now utilize the “judicial activism” for which conservatives have criticized liberals. Hypocrisy should no longer surprise us. However, the fight over ObamaCare is not worth five cents.

It is extraordinary that “liberals,” “progressives,” “Democrats,” whatever they are, are defending a “health program” that uses public monies to pay private insurance companies and that raises the cost of health care.

Americans have been brainwashed that “a single-payer system is unaffordable” because it is “socialized medicine.” Despite this propaganda, accepted by many Americans, European countries manage to afford single-payer systems. Health care is not a stress, a trauma, an unaffordable expense for European populations. Among the Western Civilized Nations, only the richest, the US, has no universal health care.

The American health care system is the most expensive of all on earth. The reason for the extraordinary expense is the multiple of entities that must make profits. The private doctors must make profits. The private testing centers must make profits.The private specialists who receive the referrals from general practitioners must make profits. The private hospitals must make profits. The private insurance companies must make profits. The profits are a huge cost of health care.

On top of these profits come the costs of preventing and combatting fraud. Because private insurance companies resist paying and Medicare pays a small fraction of the medical charges, private health care providers charge as much as they possibly can, knowing that the payments will be cut to the bone. But a billing mistake of even $300 can bankrupt a health care provider from legal expenses defending him/her self from fraud accusations.

The beauty of a single-payer system is that it takes the profits out of the system. No one has to make profits. Wall Street cannot threaten insurance companies and private health care companies with being taken over because their profits are too low. No health-provider in a single-payer system has to worry about being displaced in a takeover organized by Wall Street because the profits are too low.

Because a single-payer system eliminates the profits that drive up the costs, Wall Street, Insurance companies, and “free market economists” hate a “socialized” medical care system. They prefer a socialized “private” health care system in which public monies flow into private insurance companies.

To make the costs as high as possible, conservatives and the private insurance companies devised ObamaCare. The bill was written by conservative think tanks and the private insurance companies. What the “socialistic” ObamaCare bill does is to take income taxes paid by citizens and use the taxes to subsidize the private medical premiums charges by private health care providers in order to provide “private” health care to US citizens who cannot afford it.

The extremely high costs of ObamaCare is not “socialistic medicine.” ObamaCare is high-cost privatized medicine that guarantees billions of dollars in profits to private insurance companies.

It remains to be seen whether such a ridiculous health care scheme, nowhere extant on earth except in Romney’s Massachusetts, will provide health care or just private profits.

This article first appeared at Paul Craig Roberts’ new website Institute For Political Economy.  Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His Internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.

 


The Summit Process

04/10/2012

http://www.summit-americas.org/eng/summitprocess.htm

UPDATED FROM 02 17 12

I. Introduction

The Summit of the Americas process (“Summit process”) is an institutionalized set of meetings at the highest level of government decision-making in the Western Hemisphere.  The purpose of the meetings (“Summits”) is to discuss common issues and seek solutions to problems shared by all the countries in the Americas, be they economic, social or political in nature.

The process has both political principles and institutional elements.  The political principles of the process dictate that the process shall include the 34 democratic nations of the Americas, who operate with free market economies, conduct multilateral international negotiations and who reach decisions by consensus.  The institutional elements are the mechanisms and bodies in charge of the process, decision-making, implementation and follow-up.

This section outlines the events of the Summit process from 1994 to 2002, from the preparations for the First (Miami) Summit of the Americas to the Third Summit of the Americas, held in Quebec City, Canada.  It also provides an overview of the various institutional bodies and briefly describes the role of the OAS in the Summit process.

II. Brief History of the Modern Summit Process

Early Summits

Two Presidential Summits were held in the years prior to Miami.   The first, in July of 1956, brought the leaders of 19 countries together under the auspices of the Organization of American States at Panama City, Panama.  It was hoped the Summit would invigorate the OAS as a driving force for economic and social development in the Americas.  The representatives meeting in Panama undertook the following action:

The second Summit, held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in April of 1967, also brought together 19 Hemispheric leaders, plus a representative from Haiti.

Their aim was to strengthen the Alliance for Process, President Kennedy’s initiative to promote development and peaceful relations in the Americas.  The leaders were motivated by the desperate social and economic conditions which threatened to create instability in many parts of the Hemisphere.   Although the United States held meetings to develop the agenda of the Summit, the OAS guided the consultative process and co-hosted the event with Uruguay.

The Conference produced the Declaration of the Presidents of America, which was signed by 19 of the 20 countries attending.  The Declaration set numerous goals, including: the creation of a Latin American Common Market, not to involve the United States, by 1980, and multilateral cooperation in infrastructure development, agriculture, arms control, and education.

Unfortunately, the 1967 vision for hemispheric free trade south of the United States was not achieved, and the development plan was never fully implemented.

Twenty seven years later, in Miami, auspicious historic conditions existed for the Governments of the Americas to once again meet.  The end of the Cold War brought forth a new era of consensus and understanding at a time when important problems, now less ideological and more concrete, continued to confront the peoples of the continent.

The Modern Summit Process

Reorganizing Inter-American relations, by adapting debates and procedures to the new political, economic and social conditions of the world and the region, was one of the fundamental objectives of the modern hemispheric Summit process initiated in Miami in 1994.

The existence of new players, points of reference as well as a common understanding on political and economic principles based on the tenets of democracy and market economy made possible unprecedented political cooperation and economic integration in the Hemisphere, from Canada to Argentina.

The Heads of State and Government of the Americas, the architects of this new system, decided to meet on a regular basis in order to define the fundamental precepts of the new Hemispheric agenda. This decision to institutionalize the meetings led to the notion of a “Summit process”, where experiences are accumulated, a common language is forged and mandates for collective action are programmed, systematizing the new theoretical and practical references in hemispheric relations.  This institutionalization had been lacking during the cold war summits which were organized on an ad hoc basis.

The new era in hemispheric relations is characterized by the revitalization of multilateralism which acts as a catalyst for the modernization of the various institutions of the Inter-American system, including the principal political forum, the Organization of American States.

Preparatory Stage of the Summit of the Americas (1994):

In January of 1994President Clinton proposed to organize a Presidential Summit in the United States, in order to discuss the following matters:

  • Democratic principles and values; strengthening of institutions.
  • Common strategies in the consolidation of democracy, expansion of commerce and increased integration.
  • Mechanisms that ensure the benefits of democracy and economic reform.
  • New relationships to overcome obstacles to development.
  • Integration and reinforcement of existing hemispheric institutions.

In March of the same year,  US Vice-President Al Gore, on a visit to Mexico, announced President Clinton’s desire to host a Summit in Miami in December of 1994.  The following issues were placed on the table for discussion at Miami:

  • Consolidation of democracy, efficient procedures and related matters such as the fight against drug trafficking.
  • Growth and prosperity – growth of trade, mutual benefits, better labor conditions and protection of the environment.
  • Social matters: poverty, health, education, and the creation of jobs.

During the first semester of 1994, the United States undertook bilateral consultations in order to develop a Declaration and a Plan of Action for the Summit.  During the following months, inter-governmental meetings were held and many international organizations contributed documents and suggestions that were considered by the organizers and participants of the Summit.  In the case of the OAS, the Permanent Council, jointly with the Secretary General, prepared a paper outlining possible contributions of the OAS to the Summit of the Americas.

While inter-governmental consultations in preparation for the Summit continued, the Rio Group met in October of 1994.  The Group’s members agreed to present a multilateral proposal, achieved by consensus, for the Miami Plan of Action.  This led  the coordinators of the 34 OAS member States to meet, in late November at Airlie House, Virginia, in order to agree upon the final documents.  It is important to highlight the significance of this meeting as it was the first time in the Summit preparations that representatives of the 34 countries sat at the same table in order to discuss and negotiate, under equal conditions, the commitments of the Plan of Action that would be approved by all the participant Summit countries. 

First Summit of the Americas, Miami

The Summit of the Americas took place in Miami, December 9 to 11, 1994.  The meeting produced a Declaration of Principles and a Plan of Action signed by all 34 Heads of State and Government in attendance.  It is important to note that it was the first Summit were all of the leaders were democratically elected, and the first Summit to include Canada, and the island States of the Caribbean.

The Declaration of Principles established a pact for development and prosperity based on the preservation and strengthening of the community of democracies of the Americas. The document sought to expand prosperity through economic integration and free trade; to eradicate poverty and discrimination in the Hemisphere; and to guarantee sustainable development while protecting the environment.

The Miami Plan of Action contained the following initiatives, presented in the table below with the corresponding countries responsible (“Responsible Coordinators”) for the mandates’ implementation:

INITIATIVES

COORDINATORS

1. Strengthening Democracy Brazil, Canada, Peru
2. Human Rights Brazil, Canada, Peru
3. Strengthening Society Jamaica, Uruguay
4. Cultural Values Costa Rica
5. Corruption Venezuela, Honduras
6. Terrorism United States of America, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia
7. Drug Trafficking Argentina, Peru
8. Mutual Confidence Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica
9. Free Trade Ministries Responsible for Trade
10. Capital Markets United States of America, Barbados
11. Hemispheric Infrastructure IADB, Argentina
12. Energy Cooperation United States of America, Venezuela
13. Telecommunications Chile
14. Science and Technology Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay.
15. Tourism Uruguay, Brazil
16. Education Mexico, Argentina, Chile
17. Health PAHO, Argentina, Chile
18. Women Nicaragua, Argentina, Chile
19. Micro Enterprises IADB, Argentina, Chile
20. White Helmets Argentina
21. Sustainable energy use United States of America, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Peru, and Ecuador.
22. Biodiversity Nicaragua, Ecuador, Peru
23. Pollution Prevention Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru

Negotiations for the FTAA

One of the most important initiatives to emerge from the Miami Summit was the agreement to work towards creating a Free Trade Area of the Americas (“FTAA”).  The FTAA was to provide free market access for goods and services to the entire continent.  It was decided that negotiations for an FTAA should conclude no later than the year 2005.  In order to realize this ambitious trade area, a Tripartite Committee, composed of the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States, and the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, was created in order to provide technical support and help prepare background documents required for the negotiation process.

Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development:

Another important initiative from the Miami Summit was the inclusion of a proposal from the President of Bolivia, Gonzálo Sánchez de Lozada, to call a specialized Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia in 1996. The objectives of the specialized Summit were to establish a common vision for the future according to the concepts of sustainable development and to ratify the principles subscribed to at the 1992 Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The long and complex multilateral negotiations included input from an important contingent of Civil Society organizations.  These, under the leadership of a Technical Committee, produced a proposal for sustainable development which was presented to the OAS member States for consideration and discussion.  The proposal was the fruit of a series of broad national and subregional consultations.  It is important to highlight both the participation of the OAS and Civil Society in the preparatory work for the Bolivian Summit. The OAS Working Group in charge of preparing the documents for the Summit, held, for the first time in the Organization, a working session where civil society organizations were invited to participate Summit’s preparatory process.

The negotiations over the eventual Declaration and Plan of Action of Santa Cruz were complex due to the very different positions held concerning the concept of Sustainable Development.  On one hand, some countries insisted on the importance of the environment as an independent issue.  Other countries suggested incorporating the environmental dimension within a vision for integral development.   Reconciliation of these two points of view through consensus produced the Declaration and the Plan of Action of Santa Cruz on December 7 and 8, 1996.  The Plan of Action included initiatives in the following areas: Health and Education; Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Water Resources and Coastal Areas; and Energy and Minerals.

The general consensus on the concept of including economic, social and environmental elements within an understanding of sustainable development was perhaps the most important achievement of the Bolivian Summit.  Consensus was also reached on other issues such as a financial resources, technology transfers, division of responsibilities, cooperation and Biodiversity among others.

Second Summit of the Americas:

Unlike the First (Miami) Summit of the Americas, which was convoked by President Clinton to engage with the countries of Latin America over the many issues of the Hemisphere, the decision to hold a second Summit of the Americas was jointly made by all the Heads of State of the Americas. The Santiago Summit was jointly prepared, discussed and approved by all the countries.  It is important to emphasize the active participation of sub-regional organizations such as that of the Caribbean and the Rio Group.

The negotiations for a Declaration and a Plan of Action were carried out in the Summit Implementation Review Group (“SIRG” – see below for explanation) meetings with the support of the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.  More emphasis was given to social policies and essential matters of the Inter-American agenda, such as how to consolidate and improve the quality of democracy, respect for human rights and the path to a Free Trade Area of the Americas, were also discussed.  The result of these deliberations produced aDeclaration and Plan of Action of Santiago which contained 27 initiatives, each reflecting the concerns of the different countries.  The initiatives were grouped into the following subjects:

  • Education, the principal matter of the Summit
  • Preserving and Strengthening Democracy, Justice and Human Rights.
  • Economic Integration and Free Trade
  • Eradication of Poverty and discrimination

One of the initiatives in the “Summit of the Americas Follow-Up” section of the Plan of Action assigned the OAS responsibility to keep the “institutional memory of the [Summit] process” and for providing technical support to the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG)

III.  Summit of the Americas Follow-Up Mechanisms:

One of the most significant achievements of the Second Summit of the Americas, is that it laid the groundwork for the institutionalization of the Summit as a process. Among other things, the follow-up section of the Santiago Plan of Action committed the Heads of State and Government to continue to meet periodically to “deepen cooperation and understanding among the countries of the Americas”.  Between these Summit meetings, follow-up work is done by the Summit Implementation Review Group.

  1. The Summit Implementation Review Group (“SIRG”):

In March 1995, the United States Government created the Summit Implementation Review Group, with the purpose of coordinating and implementing the mandates of the Miami Plan of Action.  Initially, the SIRG was composed of members representing the various sub-regions of the Hemisphere.  Subsequently, the Group was composed of representatives from all of the countries of the Hemisphere.  From its conception until March of 1997, the Group was Chaired  by the United States of America because it had been the host of the Miami Summit.  After March of 1997, Chile assumed the healm for hosting the Second Summit of the Americas; Canada, in turn, will become the Chair when it hosts the Third Summit of the Americas in the year 2000 or 2001.  These three countries form what is commonly known as the SIRG “troika”, and are responsible for  coordinating the agenda and activities of the Group.

The Summit Implementation Review Group, meets on a periodic basis; holding approximately 4 regular meetings, plus one ministerial-level meeting each year.  Representatives to the SIRG are known as National Coordinators (the current list of National Coordinators is available here).   A list of the SIRG meeting, along with the documentation presented at those meetings is available here.

The SIRG is responsible for reporting annually on the progress achieved in the fulfillment of the Plan of Action to the Foreign Ministers.  These in turn review the information on the occasion of the Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly.   Under the guidance of the Foreign Ministers, the SIRG is responsible for making preparations for subsequent Summits, bearing in mind the contributions of the pertinent organs of the OAS, the IDB, ECLAC and PAHO, as well as other international organizations involved.

Senior representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and the World Bank are be invited to support the Governments in the SIRG in order to follow up on the commitments of the Summit and to achieve greater coordination and effectiveness of these institutions in performing this task.

  1. The Special Committee on Inter-American Summits Management:

In addition to the SIRG meetings, there is a parallel multilateral Summit follow-up mechanism within the political structure of the Organization of American States: the Special Committee on Inter-American Summits Management (“CEGCI”, for the Spanish Comisión Especial de Gestión de Cumbres Interamericanas“).  This Committee of the Permanent Council, hears reports from the various Units, and Offices of the Organization charged with implementing specific Summit items.  It occasionally requests on the activities of other international organizations. The Committee has a reporting responsibility to the OAS General Assembly, through the Permanent Council.   The CEGCI also serves as a forum for civil society participation in the Summit process.  Documents of the Special Commission are available here.

The picture below illustrates the two track multilateral follow-up mechanism of the Summit process.

c.   National Follow-up Mechanisms:

Implementation of the various Summit mandates from Miami to Quebec City, implies work both at the international-multilateral level as well as at the national level.  As outlined above, multilateral action is reviewed both by the SIRG and the CEGCI.  National programs are undertaken and reviewed individually by each country; information is provided to the SIRG.

Government ministries or departments throughout the hemisphere with their own Internet homepages are listed here.

d.   International Organizations:

The Santiago Plan of Action states that international organizations, in accordance with Summit decisions, will have responsibilities in implementing the Summit process and the mandates of the process, as appropriate.  In addition to the OAS, there are four principal multilateral organizations involved in implementing specific Summit issues.  The organizations in question are the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Pan American health Organization and the World Bank.  Other international organizations, from the family of United Nations organizations, such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Maritime Organization, the International Labour Organization, the International Telecommunications Union, and the World Trade Organization play smaller supporting roles in summit implementation.  The list of Responsible Coordinators also indicates which international organization is responsible, or jointly responsible, for the implementation of a specific Summit mandate.

IV. The OAS in the Summit Process:

The OAS did not participate in the preparation of the Miami Summit documents.  On the occasion of the official visit of US Vice President, Al Gore, to the Organization on November 17, 1994, Secretary General César Gaviria, highlighted the importance of strengthening the Inter-American System and multilateralism.  Mr. Gaviria congratulated President Clinton for his initiative convoking all the countries of the Hemisphere and offered the offices of the OAS to implement mandates from the Summit.

The Secretary General attended the (Miami) Summit of the Americas and spoke about the importance of the Summit for Inter-American relations and for building confidence among the countries and institutions of the Inter-American System.  The Secretary General explained his vision for the OAS, where is would be reformed in order to adapt itself to the “new agenda and to the priorities set ” by the dignitaries in the Summit of the Americas Declaration and Plan of Action, in order to be able to fulfill the tasks assigned. Speech

At the Miami Summit, the Heads of State and Government assigned mandates to the OAS in areas where very different positions existed among the participants.  These mandates included drugs, corruption, terrorism, hemispheric security, and sustainable development and environment.  The OAS accepted these mandates and incorporated them into its agenda on a priority basis.

The Organization has taken part in the implementation of 13 of the 23 initiatives agreed upon at Miami.  A detailed description of the actions of the OAS in the implementation of the Plan of Action can be found in the Report of the President of the Special Committee on Inter-American Summit Management on the actions of the OAS regarding the implementation and support of the the mandates of the Summit of the Americas” of December 1997.  The Secretary General of the OAS presented a detailed report on the progress made in the implementation of the Santa Cruz Plan of Action to the Heads of State and Government meeting at the Second Summit of the Americas.   Finally, The OAS participated actively in the preparatory work for the Second Summit, providing technical support and organizing preparatory meetings in different fields such as education, science and technology, public participation, and drugs among others.

The Office of Summit Follow-Up

As mentioned above, aside from important mandates in such varied fields as drugs, human rights, and telecommunications, the OAS General Secretariat has been given responsibility for operating as a record-keeping mechanism, “the institutional memory of the [Summit] process and for providing technical support to the SIRG”.  This responsibility is fulfilled by the Office of Summit Follow-Up, created in July of 1998, shortly after the Second Summit of the Americas.  This Internet homepage is the repository of this information and is intended for both official use, by the member States of the OAS and the Summit Process, and by the public at-large.


*  The 34 Summit of the Americas nations are the same as the 34 member States of the Organization of American States (the 35th OAS member State, Cuba, has been suspended since 1962).  The countries are: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

(Note:  The photographs and paragraphs on the 1959 and 1967 Summits are from “Building a Partnership for Prosperity“, the White House Report on the Summit of the Americas.)