Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Dillon Read And The Aristocracy Of Stock Profits

 Catherine Austin Fitts' Mapping the Real Deal
A Serialised Story - Part 1 of 20 (publishing August/September 2007)

"... With this in mind, I decided to write “Dillon Read & Co Inc. and the Aristocracy of Stock Profits” as a case study designed to help illuminate the deeper system. It details the story of two teams with two competing visions for America. The first was a vision shared by my old firm on Wall Street — Dillon Read — and the Clinton Administration with the full support of a bipartisan Congress. In this vision, America's aristocracy makes money by ensnaring our youth in a pincer movement of drugs and prisons and wins middle class support for these policies through a steady and growing stream of government funding and contracts for War on Drugs activities at federal, state and local levels. This consensus is made all the more powerful by the gush of growing debt and derivatives used to bubble the housing and mortgage markets, manipulate the stock and precious metals markets and finance trillions missing from the US government in the largest pump and dump in history — the pump and dump of the entire American economy. This is more than a process designed to wipe out the middle class. This is genocide — a much more subtle and lethal version than ever before perpetrated by the scoundrels of our history texts.

This case study provides a detailed example of the financial kickback machinery that makes the process go. It works something like this. A group of executives and investors start a company. Rather than build a business the old fashioned way, company profits are pumped up with government legislation, contracts, regulation, financing, subsidies and/or enforcement. This dramatically increases the value of the company's financial equity. The company and its initial investors then sell their stock at a profit. Such profits replenish contributions made to the kind of politicians who can arrange such government benefits. Such profits also fund philanthropy to foundations and universities that have large endowments that invest along side the investors. These tax-exempt organizations provide graduates to staff positions in the game, intellectual justification to attract popular support and photo opportunities which bestow legitimacy and social stature. Personnel cycle through the management and boards of business, government and academia, as real productivity falls and government deficits grow.

The second vision was shared by my investment bank in Washington — The Hamilton Securities Group — and a small group of excellent government civil servants and appointees who believed in the power of education, hard work and a new partnership between people, land and technology. This vision would allow us to pay down public and private debt and create new business, infrastructure and equity. We believed that new times and new technologies called for a revival that would permit decentralized efforts to go to work on the hard challenges upon us — population, environment, resource management and the rapidly growing cultural gap between the most technologically proficient and the majority of people. We believed that private and public capital should flow to that which was most economically productive rather than be mixed in a complex cocktail of insider deals designed to hollow out the American economy and culture..."

 

The Who's Your Daddy Nation

Editor’s Note: The bullying con game that passes for Establishment power in the United States appears finally to be reaching a painful end point, even though few Americans have a clear idea about what can be done to start setting matters right.

In this guest essay, poet Phil Rockstroh looks at the extraordinary challenge facing a people who have traded their birthright as citizens of a Republic for the faux security of a "who's your daddy" nation:

"In any case, I hate all Iranians."
--Debra Cagan, Deputy Assistant Secretary to Defense Secretary, Robert Gates

How many times do we, the people of the U.S., have to go around on this queasy-making merry-go-round of propaganda and militarism before we shout -- enough! -- then shutdown the whole cut-rate carnival and run the scheming carnies who operate it out of town?

It is imperative the nation's citizens begin to apprehend the patterns present in this ceaseless cycle of official deceit and collective pathology. This republic, or any other, cannot survive, inhabited by a populace with such a slow learning curve.

Over the last three decades, the authoritarian right has risen to create the nation they have been longing for since their humbling by the Watergate scandal.

After being subdued and humiliated by the mechanisms of a free republic, the Right has turned the tables -- and subdued and humiliated the republic. If the trend continues, all but unchallenged and unabated, we might as well replace the torch held aloft by Lady Liberty with a taser.

How could it come to this? How did so many U.S. citizens grow so apathetic, oblivious, if not flat-out hostile to the tenets of a free republic?

The authoritarianism inherent to the structure of multi-conglomerate corporatism is antithetical to the concept of the rights and liberties of the individual. Most individuals -- bound by a corporation's secrecy-prone, hierarchical values -- will, over time, lose the ability to display free thinking, engage in civic discourse, and even be able to envisage the notion of freedom....

[ Read on ]

FTW: 'Most Interesting Hypothesis To Date on Motives for Iraq Invasion'

Picked up by FTW's Peak Oil Blog:

Peak Oil, Missing Oil Meters and an Inactive Pipeline: The Real Reason for the Invasion of Iraq?
By Paul Cherufka
In this article I will present research that supports a rather startling hypothesis: that the USA invaded Iraq primarily to enable the secret diversion of a portion of Iraq’s oil production to Saudi Arabia. This was done in order to disguise the fact that Saudi Arabia’s oil output has peaked, and may be in permanent decline.  The evidence for this conclusion is circumstantial, but it does knit up many of the loose threads in the mystery of the American administration’s motivation for invasion.
To lay the groundwork we need to set out a couple of assumptions.
The primary assumption is that the world’s oil production has been on a plateau for the last two years, and in fact we may be teetering on the brink of the production decline predicted by the Peak Oil theory. Such a decline could be dangerous to the world economy, both directly through the loss of economic capacity and indirectly (and perhaps more importantly) through the loss of investor confidence in the global economic structure.
The second assumption is that the oil production of Saudi Arabia is key to maintaining the global oil supply.  Saudi Arabia supplies over 10% of the world’s crude oil, with over half of that coming from one enormous field named Ghawar.  There is a large and well-informed body of opinion that believes that if Saudi oil production goes into decline the world will follow because there is not the spare capacity anywhere else to make up for such a decline.  Saudi Arabia is notoriously tight-lipped about the state of their oil fields, and in fact oil production information is considered to be a state secret. The only trustworthy information the world really has about Saudi Arabia’s oil are their aggregated production figures.

The conclusion that can be drawn from these two assumptions is that if Saudi Arabia’s production began to decline and the world found out about it, there would be a significant risk of a world-wide economic panic that would destabilize markets and throw nations like the USA into a recession or depression that would be worse than the actual damage done by the loss of the oil.  We can assume that the prevention or postponement of such a crisis would be an extremely high priority for the administrations of both the USA and Saudi Arabia....

[ full article ]

Metafuture and Alternative Futures

"...Memes are like genes but focused on ideas. Memes are ideas that pass from person to person, become selected because they offer us advantages in our thinking, in our survival and thrival. Certainly, war as a meme, I would argue, has reached its limits in terms of offering longer lasting solutions to Earth's problems, I would argue.

Another world is possible! We need a field that begins the process of moving beyond the world of hawks and doves. And a world that recognizes that multiple traditions are required to transform war and peace. Within our histories are resources of peace, whether Islamic, Vedic, Christian, Buddhist or secular.

 But first we must challenge the litany of war. Unless it is contested, we will assume that because it is, it always will be. The next task is to challenge the systems that support war: the military-industrial export complex; national education systems; our historical identities. We also need to challenge the worldviews that both support and are perpetuated by war: patriarchy and survival of the fittest. Ultimately, we need a new story of what it means to be human..."

From: Alternative Futures of War: Imagining the impossible, by Sohail Inayatullah

In The Grip Of A Permanent War Economy

A necessary evil?

Vernon W. Ruttan, Is War Necessary for Economic Growth? Military Procurement and Technology
 

Reviewed for EH.NET by Robert Higgs, The Independent Institute.

Vernon W. Ruttan, Regents Professor Emeritus in the Department of Applied Economics and Adjunct Professor in the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, is a well-known contributor to the literature on the economics of technological change. In his latest book, Is War Necessary for Economic Growth?, he ostensibly seeks to establish the relationship, if any, between the U.S. government's preparation for or engagement in warfare and the creation of new general-purpose technologies that contribute to increasing the rate of economic growth.

I would like to think that the publisher's marketing department, not the author, bears responsibility for the book's foolish title. If we know anything at all about economic growth, we know that peace is among its essential conditions. No nation can expect to improve its economic well-being in the midst of a maelstrom of death and destruction. In fact, what Ruttan examines is not war at all, but government subsidies to and direct engagement in technological development and government purchases of technically-advanced goods and services. That these subsidies, engagements, and purchases occur under the rubric of "war" or "defense" is almost incidental. The military aspect matters only in the political sense that historically the U.S. government has marshaled the greatest amounts of resources for research and development in connection with military endeavors.

Seeking to "demonstrate that military and defense-related procurement has been a major source of technology development across a broad spectrum of industries that account for an important share of U.S. industrial production" (p. vii), Ruttan presents in successive chapters capsule economic histories of technological development in six areas: interchangeable parts and mass production; aircraft; electrical power generation and nuclear energy; computers; the Internet; and space-related goods, such as missiles, satellites, and related communications systems. In each chapter, he draws on a wide selection of secondary sources to describe how the government's involvement affected the course of technological change. Although these descriptive chapters are informative and clearly written, they present no new evidence or analysis. Economic historians will be familiar with the broad outlines of much of the information presented, if not with all the details.

Ruttan does not claim that the six areas he discusses constitute a random sample of all industries or even of industries in which the government has actively engaged in stimulating technological development. Indeed, he appears to have chosen these six areas because he knew beforehand that the government played an especially important role in each of them. Given this aspect of the evidence Ruttan considers, the reader must hesitate to place great weight on the book's findings. Yes, interchangeable parts, aircraft, computers, and so forth have been important areas in which the government contributed to hastening certain technological developments, but these areas are far from composing the whole economy. Areas such as nuclear power generation and space-related activities have even less significance for the overall economy.

Ruttan's discussions in this book are strictly tertiary. Indeed, in several regards, the book resembles a textbook. Various topics are discussed in boxes set apart from the main text (for example, "postal subsidies for airline development," "the national energy laboratories," and "origins of the global positioning system"). All of the tables and figures are borrowed from secondary sources or from well-known published collections of data. Each chapter includes an extensive set of references. The indexes occupy about ten percent of the book's total pages.

In the final chapter, Ruttan draws some more general conclusions, in the form of informed personal judgments, about the government's engagement in the various areas considered in the descriptive chapters. These conclusions take the form, for example: "In the absence of military support for R&D during World War II and military procurement during the Korean War, the transition to jet commercial aircraft propulsion would have occurred much more slowly" (p. 164). Well, yes, of course. Such conclusions say little more than that the government generated some spillover effect on the rate and direction of technological change in commercial areas related to the military projects for which the government spent lavishly. When Ruttan tries to go further, however -- when he opines, for example, that between 1900 and 1950, "productivity growth in the electric power industry was the major driver of productivity growth in the entire U.S. economy," and "[d]uring the last several decades of the twentieth century the computer and microprocessor emerged as the major drivers of productivity growth in the U.S. economy" (p. 166) -- his judgments may well be questioned. What he means by "major driver" is neither obvious nor explicated

In a box called "Military R&D: The Productivity Puzzle" (pp. 169-71), Ruttan raises critical questions for his analysis that he does not answer adequately. Again, he gives only his considered judgment. At one point, however, that judgment seems damaging for his own ultimate conclusions, when he states: "My own view is that we do not yet have, and perhaps cannot have, a body of rigorous econometric evidence against which to evaluate the economic impact of defense and defense-related R&D and procurement" (p. 170). He avers that "careful narrative analysis of individual cases is at present a more effective method of capturing the effects of complementarity than econometric analysis" (p. 170). This judgment is problematic because although careful narratives may reveal many things that econometric analysis does not, they still cannot answer the ultimately crucial, intrinsically quantitative question: what was the overall net payoff to the government's expenditures, considering military and commercial results together? Moreover, because the military aspects of the matter take place within an essentially nonmarket context, as Ruttan explicitly recognizes at one point (pp. 169-70), only the commercial (that is, private market) part of the return on the government's subsidies, direct engagement, and procurement can be computed in a meaningful way, and computation of even that part of the net return raises difficult analytical challenges.

Ruttan accepts too readily the conclusion derived from neoclassical blackboard economics that private actions give rise to "market failure" because of "suboptimal" amounts of investment in technological change. He laments that the United States "has not yet designed a coherent set of institutional arrangements for public support of R&D for civil purposes" (p. 182). Here one is tempted to remark, thank God. If the government were to get even more deeply involved in making big financial bets (with the taxpayers' money) about technological development, the most probable result would be a massive waste of resources arising from the inherently political nature of any likely government program. If you want a template, just think of ethanol.

Finally, Ruttan anticipates that because of changes in the nature of military technology and the diminished prospects for a great military mobilization such as World War II or the Cold War, the government will not make efforts comparable to those it made in the past, and hence the rate of economic growth will be diminished. He asks: "Will it take a major war or threat of war to induce the mobilization of the scientific, technical, and financial resources necessary to develop major new general-purpose technologies? My answer to this question, based on historical experience, is that it may" (p. 185). Although this flaccid conclusion leaves Ruttan looking forward to "incremental rather than ... revolutionary changes in both military and commercial technology" during the next half century (p. 185), we need not fret. In truth, Ruttan does not know what the technological future holds in store; indeed, no one does.

Ruttan seems excessively focused on technological change per se; he does not give adequate attention to the economics of the matter. The general population does not benefit from faster technological progress, however, unless the rate of return on that development is supernormal. As Ruttan recognizes at one point, "the advances in scientific and technical knowledge and commercial technology induced by demand for defense and defense-related technology in the past imposed very heavy opportunity costs on the U.S. economy" (p. 185). Obviously, the government has specialized in pouring money into military projects decades in advance of the advent of opportunities for significant commercial applications. Moreover, the wastes associated with military R&D and military procurement of goods and services are themselves legendary, as amply documented by the contributors to a book I edited, Arms, Politics, and the Economy: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (1990). In contrast, motivated by sufficiently free markets, clever scientists, inventors, and engineers are never likely to run out of promising ideas to develop -- ideas that contribute directly to human well-being, rather than to the enlarged potential for wreaking death and destruction that military technological development seeks.

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute and editor of the Institute's scholarly quarterly The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy. His most recent books include Against Leviathan: Government Power and a Free Society (2004), Resurgence of the Warfare State: The Crisis since 9/11 (2005), and Depression, War, and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy (2006).

[ Link ]

The Seventh Seal

U.S. Labs Mishandling Deadly Germs

By LARRY MARGASAK
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- American laboratories handling the world's
deadliest germs and toxins have experienced more than 100 accidents and
missing shipments since 2003, and the number is increasing steadily as
more labs across the country are approved to do the work.

No one died, and regulators said the public was never at risk during
these incidents. But the documented cases reflect poorly on procedures
and oversight at high-security labs, some of which work with organisms
and poisons so dangerous that illnesses they cause have no cure. In
some cases, labs have failed to report accidents as required by law.

The mishaps include workers bitten or scratched by infected animals,
skin cuts, needle sticks and more, according to a review by The
Associated Press of confidential reports submitted to federal
regulators. They describe accidents involving anthrax, bird flu virus,
monkeypox and plague-causing bacteria at 44 labs in 24 states. More
than two-dozen incidents were still under investigation...
 

BBC: Burmese monks 'to be sent away'

"...Thousands of monks detained in Burma's main city of Rangoon will be
sent to prisons in the far north of the country, sources have told the
BBC.

About 4,000 monks have been rounded up in the past week as the military
government has tried to stamp out pro-democracy protests.

They are being held at a disused race course and a technical college.

Sources from a government-sponsored militia said they would soon be
moved away from Rangoon.

The monks have been disrobed and shackled, the sources told BBC radio's
Burmese service. There are reports that the monks are refusing to eat.

The country has seen almost two weeks of sustained popular unrest, in
the most serious challenge to the military leadership for more than two
decades..."
 

Alternet: Blackwater Covered Up 195 Shootings and More

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing
tomorrow on Blackwater's activities in Iraq, and by all indications,
lawmakers will have plenty to talk about.

Guards working in Iraq for Blackwater USA have shot innocent Iraqi
civilians and have sought to cover up the incidents, sometimes with
the help of the State Department, a report prepared for a
Congressional committee said today.

The report, based largely on internal Blackwater e-mail messages and
State Department documents, depicts the security contractor as being
staffed with reckless, shoot-first guards who were not always sober
and did not always stop to see who or what was hit by their bullets.

In one incident, the State Department and Blackwater agreed to pay
$15,000 to the family of a man killed by "a drunken Blackwater
contractor," the report said. As a State Department official wrote,
"We would like to help them resolve this so we can continue with our
protective mission."

And when it comes to alleged Blackwater malfeasance, that's really just
scratching the surface...
 

The dragon rises

"...The low-key ceremony that marked the launch of China Investment Corp. this weekend could reflect the cautious manner in which Beijing intends to unleash the largest fund in history onto the world's financial markets.

The much-anticipated corporation will be in charge of 200 billion dollars -- nearly one-sixth the nation's enormous forex reserves -- but it will not flaunt its wealth, observers said.

"They're going to be passive investors. They're going to take minority shares. And the most important thing is going to be safety," said Chen Xingdong, Beijing-based chief economist at BNP Paribas.

China Investment Corp. is tasked with diversifying and maximising returns on part of the country's huge forex reserves, topping 1.3 trillion dollars and growing by the second.

[ ... ]

Even so, behind the intentionally cautious attitude, there is little doubt among observers that this is a creature with the power to rock world markets.

"The company will be a formidable force on the global financial market. The fund will be the largest of its kind in the world," said He Fan, an economist with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a Beijing-based think tank.

The emergence of China Investment Corp., he said, was part of a tectonic inter-continental, inter-generational shift in the world economy.

The nations of the west are now becoming ageing societies, and have to sell out of some of the assets they have accumulated in the past..."

[ full article ]

Gulf Times: Not honouring Gandhi was mistake - Nobel Prize panel

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pays homage at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial in New Delhi yesterday

NEW DELHI: The Nobel Foundation has admitted that it was a “mistake” not to have honoured Mahatma Gandhi, whose birth anniversary yesterday was celebrated as International Day of Non-Violence.
Gandhi was nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize but the Norwegian Nobel Committee believed that he could not be selected as he was “neither a real politician nor a humanitarian relief worker.”
Talking to an Indian TV news channel, Michael Sohlman, executive director of the Nobel Foundation in Sweden, said missing out on the Mahatma was a mistake by the Norwegian Peace Committee.
“We missed a great laureate and that’s Gandhi. It’s a big regret,” Sohlman told CNN-IBN.
“I usually don’t comment on what the Nobel Committees or prize awarding institutions decide. But here, they themselves think he is the one missing,” he added.
Nobel Museum curator Anders Barany said the irony was that eminent personalities, who were guided by the Gandhi’s teachings, were awarded the Nobel in later years though the apostle of peace and non-violence himself did not figure on the list of awardees.
“Mahatma Gandhi is the one we miss the most at the Nobel museum. I think that’s a big empty space where we should have had Mahatma Gandhi. I think it was a mistake. I think they could have made up for that little difference,” Barany said.
The Nobel Committee made amends to some extent by not awarding the peace prize to anybody in 1948 - the year Gandhi was assassinated.
According to the rules in existence then, only those who were living as on February 1 in the given year could be considered for nomination, but Gandhi was killed on January 30. The committee then skipped the award, saying there was no suitable living candidate.
Meanwhile, India and the international community paid rich tributes to Gandhi, celebrating his 138th birth anniversary with peace marches, hymns and pledges, and recalling his credo of non-violence in an era of marked violence.
At the United Nations in New York, the world community leaders dedicated the day as the International Day of Non-Violence, pledging its annual observance.
In New Delhi, many solemn ceremonies were held at Gandhi’s memorial Raj Ghat and elsewhere, and President Pratibha Patil launched a nationwide campaign to save the girl-child.
People from all walks of life thronged Raj Ghat after Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid floral tributes early in the morning.
“For as long as there is temptation to resort to violence in the human mind, the Mahatma’s message of non-violence will tug at our hearts. The fact that the international community has today come to observe this day as the International Day of Non-Violence in memory of Mahatma Gandhi, should ensure that generations to come would never forget the eternal message of the Mahatma,” the prime minister said.
Several dignitaries and hundreds of common people visited Raj Ghat to offer floral tributes. The memorial was decorated with flowers and Gandhi’s favourite hymns were played in the backdrop. A large number of foreigners also turned up.
Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams, along with her father Deepak Pandya and other family members, also visited the memorial. “I respect Gandhiji. He stood for entire humanity and is eternally relevant,” Williams said as she came out of Raj Ghat along with veteran Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande, after paying floral tributes.
“Mahatma Gandhi’s message lay in some key words associated with him — tolerance, truth, transparency, non-violence and self-respect,” the prime minister said. He stressed that Gandhi was not some “lofty saint” but a great “political leader”. “He was regarded as a Mahatma because he practised what he preached. Because he cared for the poorest of the poor, the weakest of the weak,” Singh said.- IANS

[ Link ]

Censorship in the Anglosphere: the UK and Australia

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Deep Links section:

The growing global censorship of the Internet often goes unseen in the English-speaking Net, because so much of it takes place in other countries, and in other languages. But that doesn't mean that there aren't contemporary threats to Internet free speech in the English-speaking world.

In the United Kingdom, two prominent blogs went dark this week after publishing accusations regarding the Uzbek billionaire, Alisher Usmanov. Lawyers representing Usmanov contacted the blogs' webhost, Fasthosts, and after threats to sue under Britain's expansive libel laws, the blogs were removed. The sites included Tim Ireland's popular "Bloggerheads" site, and site of Craig Murray, the ex-Ambassador for Uzbekistan. Murray's hosting provider even intervened to take down individual entries and alter the text of Murray's blog to avoid further legal action. As Murray charitably noted on the now deleted site:

... One of the edits to this log my webhost made at Schillings' [Usmanov's lawyers] behest was to say that my claim was "regarded as false by many people". I have altered that edit, because there is no justification for such a claim. I have yet to see evidence of anybody, not one solitary person, arguing that I am wrong about Usmanov, other than his lawyers. Who are these "Many people", and why are they peculiarly silent?

I am very sympathetic to my webhost having to change things for Schillings, but not to the extent of altering things to become defamatory of me!!!

It's a chilling reminder that censorship doesn't just mean that entire sites can be removed from the Net, or that self-censorship will become rife. It even means that other, commercial third parties - whom you pay for service - might alter the very words credited to you online.

Few subjects of criticism have as enthusiastic lawyers as Usmanov. But in Australia this week, the government introduced a bill that would let the Australian government intervene in the Internet speech of all its citizens, on the flimsiest of pretexts.

The Communications Legislation Amendment (Crime or Terrorism Related Internet Content) Bill would, as Electronic Frontiers Australia says, give the Australian police powers to ban access to Internet content which "they have reasons to believe":

  • encourages, incites, or induces the commission of a Commonwealth offence; or
  • was published in part to facilitate the commission of such an offence; or
  • that it is likely to have the effect of facilitating the commission of such an offence.

In other words, entire sites can be banned in Australia for the merest suspicion of potentially assisting a crime. Such a low threshold for censorship, combined by the repeated calls by Australian politicians of all stripes for a centralized, federal filtering of the net, poses a real threat to speech and access to the Net in Australia. It's good to see groups like Electronic Frontiers Australia stand up to it.

[ Link ]

Who Runs The World

Another great article from Information Clearing House:

Who Runs The World

Why You Need To Know Immediately

By Carolyn Baker

10/02/07 A review of The True Story Of The Bilderberg Group, By Daniel Estulin

It is difficult to re-educate people who have been brought up on nationalism to the idea of relinquishing part of their sovereignty to a supra-national body. ~ Bilderberg Group founder, Prince Bernhard

As a rhetorical question, can someone please explain to me how it is that progressive liberals such as John Edwards and Hillary Clinton, as well as do-gooder humanitarians with multiple social projects ongoing such as the Rockefellers and every Royal House in Europe, can perennially attend Bilderberg meetings apparently knowing that the final objective of this despicable group of hoodlums is a fascist One World Empire? ~ Daniel Estulin (P.318)~

Daniel Estulin is a Madrid-based journalist and an investigative reporter who took on the daunting and dangerous task of researching the Bildeberg Group, and who offers his findings in The True Story Of The Bilderberg Group, recently published by Trine Day. Equally intriguing as his harrowing tales of being followed and nearly killed on a couple of occasions while working on the book, is the manner in which Estulin connects the dots between the Bilderberg Group, world events, notable politicians and corporate tycoons and the two other secretive monsters of the ruling elite, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Trilateral Commission (TC). The project lasted fifteen years and was motivated by Estulin's curiosity about how it is that the mainstream media has never covered in depth the meetings of the Bilderberg Group whose combined wealth exceeds the combined wealth of all U.S. citizens.

What Estulin's book makes clear is that the group, along with the CFR and TC, has become a shadow government whose top priority is to erase the sovereignty of all nation-states and supplant them with global corporate control of their economies under the surveillance of "an electronic global police state." (xv)

The author emphasizes that not all members of the group are "bad" people, and he implies that membership is structured somewhat like concentric circles in a target scheme with in inner core and various levels of relationship between that core and the outer circles of membership. Almost every famous player in politics and finance in the world is a member of one of the three organizations mentioned above, and their political affiliations range from liberal to conservative, for example, George W. Bush, George Soros, Gerald Ford, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter. Of this private club, Estulin says:

This parallel world remains unseen in the daily struggles of most of humanity, but, believe me, it is there: a cesspool of duplicity and lies and double-speak and innuendo and blackmail and bribery. It is a surreal world of double and triple agents, of changing loyalties, of professional psychotic assassins, brainwashed black ops agents, soldiers of fortune and mercenaries, whose primary sources of income are the dirtiest and most despicable government-run subversive missions-the kind that can never be exposed.(15)

This world, according to Estulin, is so perverse and evil that "it has left an indelible mark on my soul". (16) How not? Because the Bilderberg Group and its two other triplets, the CFR and the TC have set about to loot the entire planet. Their members run the central banks of the world and are poised to control discount rates, money-supply, interest rates, gold prices, and which countries receive or do not receive loans. Membership is by invitation only, many of the earliest members being handpicked, not from right-wing groups but from among none other than the Fabian Socialists who ultimately supported global government.

Another chilling quote Estulin includes is from William Shannon:

The Bilderbergers are searching for the age of post-nationalism: when we won't have countries, but rather regions of the Earth surrounded by Universal values. That is to say, a global economy; one World government (selected rather than elected) and a universal religion. To assure themselves of reaching these objectives, the Bilderbergers focus on a 'greater technical approach' and less awareness on behalf of the general public.

THE BILDERBERG BAPTISM OF BILL CLINTON

In 1991 Bill Clinton attended the Bilderberg Conference in Baden-Baden where Estulin asserts that he was "anointed" to the U.S. presidency, and shortly thereafter he took an unexpected, unannounced trip to Moscow. It appears, says Estulin, that he was sent there to get his KGB student-era, anti-Vietnam war files "buried" before he announced his candidacy for president which happened some two-and-a-half months later. Today, Clinton is a member of all three groups: Bilderberg, CFR, and TC. Hillary Clinton is a member of the Bilderberg Group.

Estulin points out that "almost all of the presidential candidates for both parties have belonged to at least one of these organizations, many of the U.S. congressmen and senators, most major policy-making positions, especially in the field of foreign relations, much of the press, most of the leadership of the CIA, FBI, IRS, and many of the remaining governmental organizations in Washington. CFR members occupy nearly all White House cabinet positions."(80) When one considers that most prominent members of mainstream media are also members of what Edith Kermit Roosevelt, granddaughter of Theodore Roosevelt called "this legitimate Mafia", how can we assert that Americans obtain their news from independent sources?

For example, The News Hour with Jim Leher is the cornerstone of PBS's programming. Leher is a CFR member, and when one examines the funding of the news hour by: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) whose chairman Dwayne Andreas was a member of the Trilateral Commission; Pepsico, whose CEO Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi is a Bilderberger and TC Executive Committee member; and Smith Barney which is interlocked with Citigroup, a global financial services company that is a member of the Bilderberg Group, the CFR, and the TC, what kind of "news" should one expect from Leher's News Hour? Consider also that many of the journalists on the News Hour: Paul Gigot, David Gergen, William Kristol, and William Safire are members of one or more of the three groups. (153)

Likewise, when we consider the membership in one or more of these groups of almost every American president since the inception of these organizations, we can no longer pretend that any Democratic or Republican presidential candidate offers the American people an alternative to ruling elite global hegemony.

In fact, Estulin's research reveals that "the Council on Foreign Relations creates and delivers psycho-political operations by manipulating people's reality through a 'tactic of deception', placing Council members on both sides of an issue. The deception is complete when the public is led to believe that its own best interests are being served while the CFR policy is being carried out."(117)

And what happens if the "anointed ones" become too autonomous? One chapter in the book, "The Watergate Con-Game", answers that question. In it Estulin suggests that Richard Nixon was set up by the Council on Foreign Relations of which he was a member because of his insubordination and unwillingness to submit to the shadow government. Presumably, Nixon's demise was carefully crafted to demonstrate to subsequent Chief Executives the price they would pay for disregarding the agenda of those who anointed them.

THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW

In the book's final pages, Estulin's research waxes increasingly relevant to the present moment in history. He asks: "Why would David Rockefeller and other U.S. Trilateralists, Bilderbergers and the CFR members want to dismantle the industrial might of the United States?" (184). He then launches into a summary of the economic history of the twentieth century and makes one of the most powerful statements of the entire book: "What we have witnessed from this 'cabal' is the gradual collapsing of the U.S. economy that began in the 1980s." (187)

In case you haven't noticed, this "gradual collapse of the U.S. economy" is no longer gradual, and what Estulin is asserting confirms a great deal of the assertions made by Catherine Austin Fitts that the current housing bubble explosion/credit crunch/mortgage meltdown has its roots in the 1980s. James Howard Kunstler has also written recently in his blog entitled "Shock and Awe" that the great American yard sale has begun. In other words, as an engineered economic meltdown drives hundreds of thousands and eventually millions of businesses and individuals into bankruptcy, key players in the Big Three ruling elite organizations can buy up the train wreck left behind for pennies on the dollar-a brilliant fast-track strategy for owning the world.

In the final months of 2007 we are witnessing the stupendous success of the Big Three's strategy for planetary economic hegemony as the cacophony of their carefully engineered global economic cataclysm reverberates across America and around the world. It was never about buyers who didn't read the fine print when taking out liar loans. It was always about silver-tongued, ruling elite politicians and central bankers, anointed by the shadow government, who ultimately and skillfully stole and continue to steal governments from people and replace them with transnational corporations.

No one could have said it better than David Rockefeller, founder of the Trilateral Commission, a Bilderberg member and board member of the Council On Foreign Relations in his Memoirs:

Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure-one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.

If you want to know who really runs the world and the lengths to which they will go to establish their globalist hegemony, you must read Estulin's well-documented The True Story of The Bilderberg Group.

October 2, 2007 By Carolyn Baker, Coming Out Of Fundamentalist Christianity: An Autobiography Affirming Sensuality, Social Justice, and The Sacred, is now available for order at Amazon. The book will also be available very soon at http://www.carolynbaker.net

[ Link ]

ICH: "But what can we do?"

I used to give thought to what historical time and place I would like to have lived in. Europe in the 1930s was usually my first choice. As the war clouds darkened, I'd be surrounded by intrigue, spies omnipresent, matters of life and death pressing down, the opportunity to be courageous and principled. I pictured myself helping desperate people escape to America. It was real Hollywood stuff; think "Casablanca". And when the Spanish Republic fell to Franco and his fascist forces, aided by the German and Italian fascists (while the United States and Britain stood aside, when not actually aiding the fascists), everything in my imaginary scenario would have heightened -- the fate of Europe hung in the balance. Then the Nazis marched into Austria, then Czechoslovakia, then Poland ... one could have devoted one's life to working against all this, trying to hold back the fascist tide; what could be more thrilling, more noble?

Miracle of miracles, miracle of time machines, I'm actually living in this imagined period, watching as the Bush fascists march into Afghanistan, bombing it into a "failed state"; then Iraq: death, destruction, and utterly ruined lives for 24 million human beings; threatening more of the same endless night of hell for the people of Iran; overthrowing Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti; bombing helpless refugees in Somalia; relentless attempts to destabilize and punish Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Gaza, and other non-believers in the empire's god-given mission. Sadly, my most common reaction to this real-life scenario, daily in fact, is less heroic and more feeling scared or depressed; not for myself personally but for our one and only world. The news every day, which I consume in large portions, slashes away at my joie de vivre; it's not just the horror stories of American military power run amok abroad and the injustices of the ever-expanding police state at home, but all the lies and stupidity which drive me up the wall. I'm constantly changing stations, turning the TV or radio off, turning the newspaper page, to escape the words of the King of Lies and the King of Stupidity -- those two twisted creatures who happen to occupy the same humanoid body -- and a hundred minions.

Nonetheless, I must tell you, comrades, that at the same time, our contemporary period also brings out in me a measure of what I imagined for my 1930s life. Our present world is in just as great peril, even more so when one considers the impending environmental catastrophe (which the King of Capitalism refuses to confront lest it harm the profits of those who lavish him with royal bribes). The Bush fascist tide must be stopped.

Usually when I'm asked "But what can we do?", my reply is something along the lines of: Inasmuch as I can not see violent revolution succeeding in the United States (something deep inside tells me that we couldn't quite match the government's firepower, not to mention their viciousness), I can offer no solution to stopping the imperial beast other than: Educate yourself and as many others as you can, increasing the number of those in the opposition until it reaches a critical mass, at which point ... I can't predict the form the explosion will take. ...

[ full article ]

London: Tens of thousands of CCTV cameras, yet 80% of crime unsolved

London has 10,000 crime-fighting CCTV cameras which cost £200 million, figures show today.

But an analysis of the publicly funded spy network, which is owned and controlled by local authorities and Transport for London, has cast doubt on its ability to help solve crime.

A comparison of the number of cameras in each London borough with the proportion of crimes solved there found that police are no more likely to catch offenders in areas with hundreds of cameras than in those with hardly any.

In fact, four out of five of the boroughs with the most cameras have a record of solving crime that is below average.

The figures were obtained by the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly using the Freedom of Information Act. ... 

[ full article ]

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