Lecture at McGill University
Friday, October 31, 2008
Lecture at McGill University
World war or world peace is the blunt choice that will face either Barack Obama or John McCain when one of them is elected president of the United States on Tuesday, November 4, 2008.
For a major eruption of violence to be averted, the new president must deal positively with the reappearance of Russia on the world stage, the emergence of China as an economic force, and the aspirations of all the nations on earth for a decent and secure way of life.
Making matters much more dangerous are the ongoing financial crisis, along with what appears to be the start of a worldwide economic recession of as yet undetermined depth and duration.
It is Europe, not the U.S., from which proposals are emerging for a transformative approach to the most compelling issues. But will it be enough?
THE DISASTROUS PRESIDENCY OF GEORGE W. BUSH
In December 2000, at the time the U.S. Supreme Court was intervening in the disputed vote count in Florida to name Republican George W. Bush president over Democrat Al Gore, the stock market began to crash. The "dot.com" bubble, based largely on foreign investment in internet companies and technology stocks, deflated. By the time Bush was inaugurated in January 2001, signs of a recession were appearing.
This did not prevent the Bush administration from initiating a $450 billion tax cut for the upper income brackets that Congress approved in March 2001. A similar cut was subsequently enacted in May 2003.
On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York City were attacked by airplanes flying into them, followed that morning by an air attack on the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
Terrorists from Al Qaeda, an organization of Islamic extremists associated with the Afghan mujaheddin, and a Saudi figure, Osama bin Laden, alleged to be their leader, were blamed. The wealthy bin Laden family had close ties to the U.S. and the Bush family.
Within a few weeks, the Bush administration pulled a battle plan from the shelves of the Pentagon and invaded Afghanistan. The object was to wrest control of that nation from the Taliban, supposedly Al Qaeda collaborators. A new U.S. Asian land war had begun.
In March 2003, the Bush administration added to the Afghan action the second invasion of Iraq in the past thirteen years, following the "Shock and Awe" aerial attack. The assaults on Afghanistan and Iraq, with torture of prisoners, use of depleted uranium weapons, and killing of civilians, was methodical and brutal.
Americans who had opposed the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 70s were appalled at how history was repeating itself. The public was subjected to a relentless barrage of pro-war propaganda by square-jawed military talking heads
Behind the scenes were the international financial and oil interests who stood to benefit from the removal of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein as an independent actor in the Middle East. Financiers like David Rockefeller, who had founded the Trilateral Commission and was one of the "internationalist" leaders of what had come to be called the "New World Order," tended to remain in the shadows, but their presence was palpable.
Rockefeller had reportedly expressed his world view in a statement at a 1991 meeting of the Bilderberg Group:
"The supra-national sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries."
With respect to most of the U.S. military actions after World War II, especially the ones after Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, an argument could be made that the internationalists were using the U.S. military as their personal global police force.
Even so, the Neocons—"new conservatives"—who had rushed to the forefront after September 11, 2001, working chiefly through Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice-President Richard Cheney, seemed to be a more radical element than the officials who had been in charge during the Clinton years, when the U.S. and NATO went to war against Serbia. Many of the Neocons were Jewish, with strong ties to Israel.
In 1997 the Neocons had created the Project for a New American Century, which advocated a new invasion of Iraq, and published a statement that positive change might result from a "catalyzing event—a new Pearl Harbor." Later this was interpreted as possibly having foreshadowed the 9/11 attacks.
President George W. Bush justified the Iraq invasion by claiming that the regime of Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. Later this claim proved to be a lie.
To many the attack was a simple act of aggression. Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the U.N. said of the invasion on September 16, 2004, "I have indicated it was not in conformity with the U.N. charter. From our point of view, from the charter point of view, it was illegal." The U.S. paid no attention to Annan's misgivings.
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Americans are addicted to spectacle, especially those involving absurdity, sex, violence and the icons of violence. Which makes America's tiny "Nazi Party" fringe a magnet for TV cameras anywhere it shows up in public. We like our bad guys so blatantly labeled a four-year-old can read them.
The formal name of the largest Nazi organization in America is the American National Socialist Workers Party (ANSWP). Of course having the word "socialist" in its name plays so neatly into the corporate government of America's hands, one wonders just who is funding ANSWP's glossy magazine, or National Commander Bill White's dozens of radio broadcasts and appearances around the country. Then too, ANSWP marchers carrying signs reading "What Would Hitler Do?" almost too conveniently fit the bill in a nation where anti-hate is a big and hyperbolic business.
For instance, according to the famous Morris Dees, whose Southern Poverty Law Center pulls in some $40 million a year mainly from the hate crime industry, my home state of Virginia has 31 organized hate groups. Now as much as I have criticized Republican Virginia in print as one of the stupidest and cruelest damned places in America, and though the ANSWP commander Bill White lives in Roanoke, Virginia, even I don't believe there are anywhere near 31 organized hate groups here, and certainly none that are beating people in some unseen alley. Hell, ANSWP by its own count, presently has 227 members nationwide, and picks up maybe 30 more virtual members monthly via the Internet. Not too many people get beaten up in alleys by Internet Nazi wannabes who think Swastika bling is cool looking stuff.
But when it comes to beating folks up, this country has nearly a million people legally authorized to beat, kidnap at gunpoint (arrest) and kill if deemed necessary, a large portion of which exercise the first two of these rights thousands of times daily. At last count in 2002 America had 14,254 law enforcement agencies employing 675,734 sworn officers and 294,854 civilians.
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The next president is likely to face a major international crisis within his first nine months in office, according to a senior group of business advisers to the defense secretary.
Accordingly, the Defense Business Board says the new administration should set a goal to win Senate confirmation of key Pentagon posts in the first 30 days of the inauguration, in order to have a full team in place to deal with such a contingency.
Michael Bayer, chairman of the Defense Business Board and veteran Pentagon consultant, this week called for the next administration to move quickly to avoid encountering civilian leadership vacuums that often accompany political transitions.
"Prepare for a likely first 270 days crisis," Bayer warns in an Oct. 23 briefing. "Too many presidents were ill prepared for this."
Joe Biden, the Democratic ticket's vice presidential nominee, drew criticism earlier this week for suggesting that should he and Barack Obama prevail in the Nov. 4 election, U.S. adversaries will mount an attack of some kind to test the new president.
Bayer's briefing, presented yesterday to a public meeting of the Defense Business Board, recommends the future president elect and his advisers "set aside time in transition to identify the planning, gravitas and interagency process necessary to respond to a likely first-270-day crisis."
For months, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the service chiefs and the Joint Staff have been preparing for the first wartime transfer of Pentagon political authority in four decades. In addition to identifying defense policy issues for an incoming to understand, the military is also on high operational alert, according to a Joint Staff official.
A key goal for the next administration, according to Bayer, must be to fill civilian posts requiring Senate confirmation as soon as possible.
The incoming administration "must not wait until June" to get assistant secretaries confirmed and October for deputy assistant secretaries to be Senate confirmed, his briefing states.
"Need a very concerted, well-defined process to have top 3 tiers ready to go to Senate confirmation in first 30 days," Bayer recommends.
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But along came 2004…when Chomsky said stuff like this: "Anyone who says 'I don't care if Bush gets elected' is basically telling poor and working people in the country, 'I don't care if your lives are destroyed'." And like this: "Despite the limited differences [between Bush and Kerry] both domestically and internationally, there are differences. In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes."
Standing alongside Chomsky was Howard Zinn, saying stuff like this: "Kerry, if he will stop being cautious, can create an excitement that will carry him into the White House and, more important, change the course of the nation."
Fast forward to 2008 and Chomsky sez: "I would suggest voting against McCain, which means voting for Obama without illusions." And once again, Howard Zinn is in agreement: "Even though Obama does not represent any fundamental change, he creates an opening for a possibility of change." (Two word rejoinder: Bill Clinton)
This strategy of choosing an alleged "lesser evil" because he/she might be influenced by some mythical "popular movement" would be naïve if put forth by a high school student. Professors Chomsky and Zinn know better. If it's incremental change they want, why not encourage their many readers to vote for Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney? The classic (read: absurd) reply to that question is: "Because Nader or McKinney can't win."
Of course they can't win if everyone who claims to agree with them inexplicably votes for Obama instead. Paging Alice: You're wanted down the goddamned rabbit hole.
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Today in history is another black day in the Palestinian history.
1. On October 29, 1948, when Israeli brigades captured the village of Safsaf. The known details of the massacre come to us via several contemporary second-hand Zionist reports and via Arab oral history. Yosef Nachmani, a senior officer in the Haganah (and later the director of the Jewish National Fund in Eastern Galilee), recorded in his diary what he was told by Immanuel Friedman, a representative of the Minority Affairs ministry:
In Safsaf, after … the inhabitants had raised a white flag, the [soldiers] collected and separated the men and women, tied the hands of fifty-sixty fellahin [peasants] and shot and killed them and buried them in a pit. Also, they raped several women… (quoted in Zertal, 2005, p. 171; see also Morris, 2005, p. 500).
Moshe Erem reported on the massacre to a meeting of the Mapam Political Committee but his words were censored from the minutes. According to the notes taken by another person present, Erem spoke of:
Safsaf 52 men tied together with a rope. Pushed down a well and shot. 10 killed. Women pleaded for mercy. 3 cases of rape . . . . A girl of 14 raped. Another four killed (Morris, 2004, p. 500).
These accounts in broad detail are supported by Palestinian witnesses who told their stories to historians.
An unnamed Israeli soldier told this version: "The first wave of conquerors killed about 80 to 100 Arabs, women and children. The children they killed by breaking their heads with sticks. There was not a house without dead."
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There was no mention of loyalty and friendship last Monday. Merkel stood in the glass-roofed entrance hall of one of the German parliament's office buildings in Berlin and prepared her audience of roughly 1,000 businesspeople from all across Germany for the foreseeable consequences of the financial crisis. It was a speech filled with concealed accusations and dark warnings.
Merkel talked about a "distribution of risk at everyone's expense" and the consequences for the "economic situation in the coming months and possibly even years." Most of all, she made it clear who she considers the true culprit behind the current plight. "The German government pointed out the problems early on," said the chancellor, whose proposals to impose tighter international market controls failed repeatedly because of US opposition. "Some things can be done at the national level," she said, "but most things have to be handled internationally."
Merkel had never publicly criticized the United States this harshly and unapologetically. In this regard, she enjoys the wholehearted support of her coalition government partner, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD). In a speech before Germany's parliament, the Bundestag, Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück of the SPD spoke of the end of the United States as a "superpower of the global financial system."
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Thursday, October 30, 2008
The seemingly mundane insurance business is, in fact, one of the primary weapons of intelligence gathering around the world. And the founder of AIG, Cornelius Starr, was an architect of its use in World War II. Consider these
quotes from a September 22, 2000 story by Los Angeles Times reporter Mark Fritz entitled, "The Secret (Insurance) Agent Men."
"COLLEGE PARK, Md.ÑThey knew which factories to burn, which bridges to blow up, which cargo ships could be sunk in good conscience. They had pothole counts for roads used for invasion and head counts for city blocks marked for incineration.
"They werenÕt just secret agents. They were secret insurance agents. These undercover underwriters gave their World War II spymasters access to a global industry that both bankrolled and, ultimately, helped bring down Adolf HitlerÕs Third Reich.
"Newly declassified U.S. intelligence files tell the remarkable story of the ultra-secret Insurance Intelligence Unit, a component of the Office of Strategic Services, a forerunner of the CIA, and its elite counterintelligence branch X-2.
"Though rarely numbering more than a half dozen agents, the unit gathered intelligence on the enemyÕs insurance industry, Nazi insurance titans and suspected collaborators in the insurance business. But, more significantly, the unit mined standard insurance records for blueprints of bomb plants, timetables of tide changes and thousands of other details about targets, from a brewery in Bangkok to a candy company in Bergedorf. 'They used insurance information as a weapon of war,' said Greg Bradsher, a historian and National Archives expert on the declassified records. That insurance information was critical to Allied strategists, who were seeking to cripple the enemyÕs industrial base and batter morale by burning citiesÉ
"Germany had 45% of the worldwide wholesale insurance industry before the war began and managed to actually expand its business as it conquered continental Europe. As wholesalers, or 'reinsurers,' these companies covered other insurers against a catastrophic loss that could wipe out a single company. In the process, the wholesaler learned everything about the lives and property they were reinsuring [emphasis, mine]É
"The men behind the insurance unit were OSS head William "Wild Bill" Donovan and California-born insurance magnate Cornelius V. Starr. Starr had started out selling insurance to Chinese in Shanghai in 1919 and, over the next 50 years, would build what is now American International Group, one of the biggest insurance companies in the world. He was forced to move his operation to New York in 1939, when Japan invaded China. In the early years of the war, the German insurance industry expanded its business as it conquered continental Europe. Nazi insurance brokers who traveled with combat troops during invasions also scoured local insurance files for strategic dataÉ"
On the special value of reinsurance as a vehicle for intelligence gathering Fritz wrote:
"Such convoluted business dealings were traced largely through the work of Ernest Stiefel, a member of the intelligence unit who diagrammed the way insurance companies pooled their risks, invested in and insured each other and, as a result, willfully or witlessly shared data about nations at war. 'Stiefel mapped the entire system, said [Timothy] Naftali, a historian at the University of VirginiaÕs Miller Center of Public Affairs. "Each time I take a piece of your risk, youÕve got to give me information. I am not going to reinsure your company unless you give me all the documents. ThatÕs great intelligence informationÉ"
Later in the story Fritz confirmed the value of reinsurance as a vehicle for money laundering:
"With the Axis defeat imminent, U.S. intelligence officials focused greater attention on ways the Nazis would try to use insurance to hide and launder their assets so they could be used to rebuild the war machine..."
And how did Starr benefit from his service? Fritz writes:
"Starr sent insurance agents into Asia and Europe even before the bombs stopped falling and built what eventually became AIG, which today has its world headquarters in the same downtown New York building where the tiny OSS unit toiled in the deepest secrecy.
Starr died in 1968, but his empire endures. AIG is the biggest foreign insurance company in Japan. More than a third of its $40 billion in revenue last year came from the Far East theater that Starr helped carpet bomb and liberate.
"In The Shadow Warriors: OSS and the Origins of the CIA (Basic Books, 1983) author Bradley F. Smith shed more light on Cornelius Starr and the OSS.
"It [a secret intelligence operation in China] was formed in April 1942, when [Bill] Donovan persuaded British insurance magnate C.V. Starr to let C.O.I. (Covert Operations Intelligence) use his commercial and insurance connections in occupied China and Formosa to create a deep cover intelligence network. Although the State Department was nervous about the operation, Donovan went ahead and, with the cooperation of the U.S. Army, bypassed the diplomats in operating the communications system. Starr's people handled their own internal communication, then turned over their intelligence findings to [General Richard] Stillwell's headquarters for dispatch to the U.S. Starr, who was residing in the U.S. at the time, provided these services to the Allied cause. Later Starr became disgusted with what he considered Donovan's inefficiency and transferred his services to the British S.I.S. But the Starr-Donovan connection worked in China at least until the winter of 1943-44.
"The establishment of the Starr intelligence network, an operation so secret that it even escaped the attention of Chiang's [Kai Shek] security police (and of historians heretofore), was a major accomplishment for an intelligence operation barely six months old" [p.133]
The War Conspiracy (Bobbs-Merrill, 1972) by Peter Dale Scott, Ph.D. of UC Berkeley is a book few Americans have seen. The compelling and meticulously documented history of the creation of the Vietnam War was rushed from bookstores and shelves almost as soon as it was published. Scott, author of Deep Politics and the Assassination of JFK, The Iran-Contra Connection and Cocaine Politics is an expert on the interface between covert operations and the international drug trade. In Chapter Six of The War Conspiracy, entitled "Opium, the China Lobby, and the CIA," Scott traces the connections between drug trafficking in Southeast Asia and American intelligence operations. There are detailed references to C.V. Starr and connections with some figures, like CIA veteran Paul Helliwell, who have been irrevocably and blatantly tied to the drug trade. Those connections also lead directly into the so-called "China Lobby" and firms identified as either CIA proprietaries or "affiliates" such as Sea Supply, Inc. (run by Helliwell), Civil Air Transport (CAT), a CIA proprietary, Civil Air Transport Co., Ltd. (CATCL) -- a separate firm not owned by but affiliated with the CIA through CAT-- and Air America, an evolution of Civil Air Transport. In 1957 the Airdale Corporation which owned 100 per cent of Air America changed its name to Pacific Corp. In 1976 CIA General Counsel Lawrence Houston testified before the Senate's Church Committee looking into intelligence abuses about CIA Air operations. When asked what the one single holding company, above all others, was at the top of CIA proprietary and contract air operations, he identified Pacific Corporation. According to published reports, Houston also testified that the CIA also had interests in investment and insurance companies.
Pacific Corp -- which one source has told me is currently insured by AIG -- and the CIA have, in the 1990s, been connected with the "laundering" of some 28 C-130 military transport aircraft into the hands of private, forest fire, air tanker contractors in the U.S. Subsequently, many of those C-130s turned up all over the world. Some were directly involved in drug trafficking and one in particular, operated by Aero-Postale de Mexico, was seized with a billion dollars in cocaine aboard in Mexico City in 1996. [See FTW, Vol I, No 10 - Dec, 1998]
A key figure in the post-war operations was lawyer Tommy Corcoran, a legendary "fixer" in the Roosevelt Administration, who went on to represent Nationalist Chinese financial interests after the Communists took power in 1949. Corcoran and Helliwell worked closely together in Asia. One of the critical and well-documented U.S. responses to the Communist takeover was to fund remnants of the Chinese Nationalist army -- who had fled into Burma, Thailand and Laos -- with opium. Much of that money, along with the drugs, found its way into the U.S. As noted by writers like the late Jonathan Kwitny of The Wall Street Journal in The Crimes of Patriots (Penguin, 1987) and by Professor Alfred McCoy of the University of Wisconsin in The Politics of Heroin (1972, 1991, Lawrence Hill Books), Helliwell paid the troops using five-pound "sticky" bars of heroin. Helliwell later went on to head Castle Bank and Trust in Florida and the Bahamas and then was heavily involved with The Nugan Hand Bank in Australia and the U.S. Both banks have been heavily linked in official investigations to both drug trafficking and money laundering while also moving money for the CIA.
In The War Conspiracy Scott writes:
"For it is a striking fact that the law firm of Tommy Corcoran, the Washington lawyer for CATCL and [China Lobbyist] T.V. Soong, had its own links to the interlocking worlds of the China Lobby and of organized crime. His partner W.S. Youngman joined the board of U.S. Life and other insurance companies, controlled by C.V. Starr (OSS China) with the help of Philippine and other Asian capital. Youngman's fellow-directors of Starr's companies have included John S. Woodbridge of Pan Am, Francis F. Randolph of J. and W. Seligman, W. Palmer Dixon of Loeb Rhoades, Charles Edison of the postwar China Lobby, and Alfred B. Jones of the Nationalist Chinese government's registered agency, the Universal Trading Corporation. The [Senate] McClellan Committee heard that in 1950 U.S. Life [later part of AIG] (with Edison as a director) and a much smaller company (Union Casualty of New York) were allotted a major Teamsters insurance contract, after a lower bid from a larger and safer company had been rejected, [Jimmy] Hoffa was accused by a fellow trustee, testifying under oath before another committee, of intervening on behalf of US Life and Union Casualty, whose agents were Hoffa's close business associates Paul and Allen DorfmanÉ
"We find the same network linking CIA proprietaries, war lobbies, and organized crime, when we turn our attention from CAT to the other identified supporter of opium activities, Sea Supply, Inc. Sea Supply, Inc. was organized in Miami, Florida, where its counsel, Paul E. Helliwell, doubled after 1951 as the counsel for C.V. Starr insurance interests, and also as the Thai consul in Miami..."
The historical connections to CIA covert or proprietary air operations are interesting in light of the fact that AIG proudly announces in its 2000 annual report that with 494 full-sized jets -- 89 of which it manages itself -- it owns "the world's most modern fleet of aircraft." AIG customers include major airlines and a number of air transport companies. AIG also reported that in 2000 it leased additional aircraft "to a number of established customers" in South America.
CIA proprietary ownership or interest in companies is very difficult to detect. But, it has been proven by writers like Scott and many other researchers who combed through the paperwork that surfaced during the Iran-Contra scandals of the 1980s, where Air America assets were laundered into companies like Southern Air Transport and Evergreen Air. The single largest stockholder in AIG, the Starr International Company (SICO), holds 13.62% of AIG stock. Aside from knowing that Maurice Greenberg owns 21.86% of SICO (source, SEC) we may never be able to find out who, or what, owns the rest.
AIG, CIA, 9 11, DRUGS
Jack Blood on AIG
"AIG, in league with Warren Buffett, were key participants in the 9/11 covert operation." (Alex Constantine's Anti-Fascist Research Bin: COMAIR CRASH..)
"Maurice 'Hank' Greenburg, the CEO of AIG insurance... was floated as a possible CIA Director in 1995." (SUPPRESSED DETAILS OF CRIMINAL INSIDER TRADING.)
"From The Wilderness exposed Greenberg's and AIG's long connection to CIA drug trafficking and covert operations in a two-part series that was interrupted just prior to the attacks of September 11." http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ciadrugs/part_2.html.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The Gandalf Program is classified Secret/NOFORN, meaning only American firms whose personnel hold coveted U.S. Department of Defense "secret clearances or higher" need apply. The October 28, 2008 Industry Day will be held at the Rosslyn, Virginia headquarters of the Scitor Corporation. An appropriate venue if ever there were one.
Deriving its name from a Latin word meaning "to seek to know," Scitor's website has little in the way of useful information for the researcher, aside that is, from the usual banalities about "excellence" and "solving customer needs."
However, a profile on Yahoo! Finance reveals that Scitor "hopes to aid you in your search for technological knowledge and harmony." (!) There we also learn that the firm "offers a wide range of professional and technological services, including consulting work, risk management, software development and systems engineering." Unsurprisingly, "Scitor works primarily for U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Defense."
Founded in 1979, the company was acquired in 2007 by the private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LLP. With $421.9 million in revenue in 2007, the company employs some 1,100 people with top secret and above security clearances. Their main competitors according to Yahoo's profile are Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services, Northrop Grumman Information Technology and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).
But as investigative journalist Tim Shorrock revealed in his essential book Spies For Hire,
...Scitor, a CIA and defense contractor company...has become a $300 million company without creating a single ripple in the media. "It's the biggest company you never heard of," said a former NSA officer who knows the company well.
Scitor is a technology company that does extensive work for the U.S. Air Force in aerospace communications and satellite support services. The privately held company is also an important contractor for the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology... Within that directorate, two sources said, it is used primarily by the Office of Technical Services, the secretive unit that develops the gadgets, weapons and disguises used by spies. ...
A Scitor contract with the General Services Administration posted on the GSA's Web site lists the CIA among the company's clients. It states that Scitor helps government agencies manage "major acquisitions and cradle-to-grave programs that are vital to national defense." Those agencies include the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Security Agency, the NGA [National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency], the CIA and the Pentagon. (Tim Shorrock, Spies For Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008, pp. 141, 142)
Clearly, DARPA's cell phone tracking proposal falls well within the parameters of Scitor's spooky brief.
While the "specific goals and performance objectives associated with RF geolocation and SEI for the Gandalf system are classified," it doesn't take a rocket scientist--or securocrat--to realize there's real money to be made here.
Former Royal Navy officer Lew Page who unearthed the project for the U.K. online tech publication The Register, reports that "Project Gandalf" will supplement work "already done by surveillance aircrafts and/or drones." The "new wrinkle" according to Page, "is being able to do it using handheld devices" at close quarters. Page writes,
So it would appear that a group of undercover operatives or special-forces troops dispersed near a target (perhaps a specific cell or satellite phone) might carry portable gadgets, presumably networked. The netted devices would be able to pick out the phone, radio or whatever they were after and track it. ...
As far as the technology goes, the idea sounds feasible. Commercial pico/microcell gear, for instance--with all the capabilities needed to ID and locate cell phones--is already easily down to briefcase size. Satellite phones would be harder, of course. (Lew Page, "DARPA to Begin Mysterious 'Project Gandalf'," The Register, October 8, 2008)
As I wrote in "Niche Telecom Providers Assisting NSA Spy Operations," enterprising capitalist grifters in the telecom industry are already "providing security agencies with real-time cell phone tracking capabilities." What makes this research so insidious are the workarounds supplied--at a premium price--by under-the-radar companies to NSA or the U.K.'s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) not covered by any law.
Project Gandalf clearly travels along the same repressive continuum but with a twist. If the program pans out it will give security agents an "up close and personal" capacity, let's just call it for the sake of argument, that real-world intel touch required to disrupt meetings or smash an organizing drive even as they're taking place. Now that's real progress!
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From: Wikipedia entry
Madhubala (Hindi: मधुबाला, Urdu: مدھو بالا) (February 14, 1933 - February 23, 1969), born Mumtaz Begum Jehan Dehlavi, was a popular Hindi film actress who starred in several successful films in the 1950s and early 1960s, many of which have achieved classic and cult status today. With her contemporaries, Nargis and Meena Kumari, she is widely regarded as one of the most talented and influential actresses to have appeared on the screens of Hindi Cinema.
Mumtaz Begum Jehan Dehlavi, famously known as Madhubala, was born in Delhi, India on February 14, 1933. She was Muslim and an ethnic Pathan, the fifth child of a conservative family of eleven children.
After Madhubala's father, Ataullah Khan lost his job at the Imperial Tobacco Company, the family endured many hardships including the deaths of four of Madhubala's sisters and her two brothers. Madhubala and four other sisters remained. In search of a better life for his impoverished family, her father relocated them to Bombay. There they struggled for over a year and often frequented the Bombay film studios in search of work. Young Mumtaz entered films at the age of nine.
In the early 1950s as Madhubala became one of the most sought-after actresses in India, she also attracted interest from Hollywood. She appeared in many American magazines such as Theatre Arts. In their August 1952 issue, Madhubala was featured in an extensive article with a full page photo. The piece was entitled: The Biggest Star in the World (And She's Not in Beverly Hills). It presented the actress as a mysterious and ethereal woman of mythical beauty with a legion of fans.
During this period, on a trip to Bombay and its film studios, the American filmmaker Frank Capra was pampered and hosted by the elite of the Hindi movie industry. However the one star he really wanted to meet was conspicuous by her absence, Madhubala. A meeting to discuss an opening for Madhubala in Hollywood was proposed by Capra. Madhubala's father declined and put an emphatic end to her potential Hollywood film career.
In 2008 a commemorative postage stamp featuring Madhubala was issued. The stamp was produced by India Post in a limited edition presentation pack which featured images of the actress. It was launched by veteran actor Manoj Kumar in a glittering ceremony attended by friends and surviving members of Madhubala's family. The only other Indian film actress to be honoured in this manner is Nargis Dutt.
Madhubala was an unforgettable Anarkali. And her portrayal of Radha in "mohe panghat pe nandala chhed gayo re" continues to mesmerise movie-goers. Surprisingly, the song was almost edited out. "It's bakwas.. it'll ruin the film," thundered noted director Vijay Bhatt after the recording. "Why show Akbar celebrating Lord Krishna's birth?"
Music director Naushad argued that with Jodhabai present in the Mughal court, it wasn't all that illogical. After discussions with the panel of script writers, a line was incorporated in Anarkali's introduction scene to Prince Salim. A courtier was made to say "Aaj Krishna janmashtami hai aur Radha ke liye Anarkali theek rahegi." The song went on to become piece-de-resistance.
K. Asif wanted the best choreographer for the song. Naushad suggested Lachchu Maharaj. And the great Kathak exponent burst into tears the minute he heard the song. Asif was baffled. "Why is he crying," he asked Naushad. "Tell him to start dancing."
Naushad took the dancer aside and asked him why he was weeping. Lachchu Maharaj confided that his father, Alkaji Bindadin, had been Nawab Wajid Ali Shah's darbari dancer. And "mohe panghat pe nandalal" with nawab playing Krishna, was his favourite composition. "Hearing the number after all these years, I was overwhelmed. It reminded me of baba".
It took Lachchu Maharaj five days to choreograph the number. His Radha was lovely... but she was no classical dancer. So the camera would zoom in on Madhubala for the close-ups. And one of Lachhu Maharaj's boys doubled for the actress in the long shots. On every one of those five days, there was an important visitor from across the border on the sets - Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He would drive down from Worli to Mohan Studio and spend the day there raptly watching the song being picturised.
In 1950s, Bhutto used to visit the sets of Mughal-e-Azam in Mumbai studios just to see Madhubala. Especially, on the sets when the song Mohe Panghat Pe Nandlal Ched Gayo Re was being picturized, Bhutto was present and he was completely mesmerizedby the song composition and the picturization. Maestro Music Director Naushad was also present at the time of this picturization and Bhutto complimented Naushad Saab for composing such a melodious song based on RagaPilu. Bhutto was considered a special guest of Madhubala.
Sen. John McCain has repeatedly called for building 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030, with the ultimate goal of 100 new plants. The plan would be extremely costly to taxpayers, presents significant risk for the economy and the public, and does little to solve America's energy problems.
McCain's radical expansion of nuclear power would have major consequences for America that his campaign has either not disclosed or not considered, even though nuclear power is constantly referenced as one of the centerpieces of the McCain energy policy.
A $280 billion cost to taxpayers: Nuclear plants are enormously expensive. The cost of 45 reactors is likely to be at least $315 billion, while 100 reactors would cost at least $700 billion. Under Sen. McCain's plan, taxpayers are estimated to be on the hook for $126 billion to $280 billion in failed nuclear loans.
A job creation fantasy: New nuclear power plants would create, at best, one- fourth as many jobs as Sen. McCain claimed during the second presidential debate, costing taxpayers as much as $19 million for each job created.
Fails to take advantage of cleaner, cheaper alternatives: Clean energy technologies such as energy-efficient products and wind and solar power can deliver more energy much sooner than building new nuclear power plants, and create more jobs at a lower cost to taxpayers—without the risks. John McCain has consistently failed to support those lower cost alternatives, and his costly nuclear plan would continue to keep better alternatives underfunded and at the back of the line.
It's clear that Sen. McCain's nuclear proposal would be an economic disaster. It would also risk environmental disaster by creating enough waste to fill a second Yucca Mountain-sized dump and dramatically increasing the amount of nuclear waste transported on our roads and rails. Finally, Sen. McCain's plan would do nothing to deal with our current energy crisis because no new power would be generated until at least 2019.
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The United States has plundered global wealth by exploiting the dollar's dominance, and the world urgently needs other currencies to take its place, a leading Chinese state newspaper said on Friday.
The front-page commentary in the overseas edition of the People's Daily said that Asian and European countries should banish the U.S. dollar from their direct trade relations for a start, relying only on their own currencies.
A meeting between Asian and European leaders, starting on Friday in Beijing, presented the perfect opportunity to begin building a new international financial order, the newspaper said.
The People's Daily is the official newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party. The Chinese-language overseas edition is a small circulation offshoot of the main paper.
Its pronouncements do not necessarily directly voice leadership views. But the commentary, as well as recent comments, amount to a growing chorus of Chinese disdain for Washington's economic policies and global financial dominance in the wake of the credit crisis.
"The grim reality has led people, amidst the panic, to realize that the United States has used the U.S. dollar's hegemony to plunder the world's wealth," said the commentator, Shi Jianxun, a professor at Shanghai's Tongji University.
Shi, who has before been strident in his criticism of the U.S., said other countries had lost vast amounts of wealth because of the financial crisis, while Washington's sole concern had been protecting its own interests.
"The U.S. dollar is losing people's confidence. The world, acting democratically and lawfully through a global financial organization, urgently needs to change the international monetary system based on U.S. global economic leadership and U.S. dollar dominance," he wrote.
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ZERO: An Investigation into 9/11, has one central thesis - that the official version of the events surrounding the attacks on 9/11 can not be true. This brand new feature documentary from Italian production company Telemaco explores the latest scientific evidence and reveals dramatic new witness testimony, which directly conflicts with the US Government's account.
Featuring presentations from intellectual heavy weights; Gore Vidal, and Noble Prize winner Dario Fo, the film challenges assumptions surrounding the attacks. In the words of the Italian daily newspaper, Il Corriere de da Sera, "What results is a sequence of contradictions, gaps, and omissions of stunning gravity."
The importance of this film can not be overstated. If its thesis is correct, the justification for going to war in Iraq is built on a series of outrageous lies.
In an essay especially pertinent to contemporary American society, L'Exil d'Hélene, Albert Camus noted, "Greek thought always restrained itself behind the idea of limits. It never exceeded limits, neither the sacred, nor reason, because it denied nothing, neither the sacred, nor reason. It made allowance for everything, balancing shadow and light. Instead, our Europe, launched toward the conquest of totality, is the very daughter of excess (writing in the immediate aftermath of World War II, I'm certain Camus would note here not only Europe but especially the America of our times.) …. In its folly it extends the eternal limits, and immediately obscure Erinys fall on it and tear it apart."
Reading Camus' essay in the midst of the bedlam of the ongoing collapse of Capitalism falling to pieces around us helped me pinpoint the idea for this concluding essay of the Definitions series: Definitions: The Proletariat; Definitions: The Intelligentsia; Definitions: The Bourgeoisie. Mammon is the God of Excess and the very personification of the capitalist god (or rather its demon), even though now a fallen god.
The natural subject for this essay is Capitalism itself, in fact, the underlying subject of the whole essay quartet. However, since Capitalism is too vast to treat here, the god-devil image of Mammon is more accessible. For the very basis of Western society is the personification of a Weltanschauung, a view of life, which is the illusion of the possibility of a life without limits. Many readers have recognized the hubris of our economic-financial world this 2008 as the direct result of our attempt to exceed universal limits. For the worship of Mammon, the Golden Calf, the love of wealth, marks our times.
In the Bible, "Mammon" is not a demon but simply the Aramaic word meaning "wealth" or "property." Sometimes it is translated as "money." In the Middle Ages, in religious writings, in the fiery sermons of the fanatical Dominican monk in Florence, Girolamo Savonarola, and in literature, Mammon is personified as the demon of avarice and wealth.
For modern men as for medieval men Mammon is the personification of the excessive love of money and wealth. By extension then Mammon is the god of excess. Mammon demands that its worshippers strive toward excess, that they exceed the eternal limits of the Greeks. America has obeyed the abominable god's commandments.
Excess! Surplus. Extravagance. Intemperance. Exceptionalism. Outrageous expectations. Exaggerated presumptions. Too much. Too big. Too fast. Too much of everything. Too, too, too….
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Psychologists have struggled for decades to explain why ordinary people participate in atrocities such as the Nazi Holocaust or the Stalinist purges.
Now experiments carried out in Britain reveal that most people obey authority unquestioningly and would also walk past an injured stranger who did not come from their own ethnic or social group.
The findings will shake the long-held British belief that this country is immune from the kinds of tyranny found in other parts of the world.
Research carried out at Lancaster University on football supporters found that they failed consistently to come to the aid of an injured supporter from a rival team. Secret cameras filmed individual Manchester United fans as they ignored a Liverpool fan played by an actor while he writhed in pain on the floor. When the actor wore a Manchester United shirt, the supporters helped him in 80 per cent of cases. When he switched to a Liverpool shirt, all but a handful walked straight past. The results of the research will be revealed in a BBC programme, Five Steps to Tyranny , on the nature of evil to be presented by Sheena McDonald this week.
A separate experiment - again filmed with secret cameras - shows the majority of people on a train complying with a stranger's order to give up their seat. When the stranger is accompanied by a man in a uniform, not a single person chooses to disobey.
McDonald said she was shocked by what the experiments showed: 'The majority of people have a psychological tendency to obey and conform. All of us involved in the programme found ourselves looking at our own lives and examining whether we were beginning on the first step to tyranny.'
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Monday, October 27, 2008
As much of the world grapples with the credit crisis, Iraq's government has an unusual money problem -- it can't spend its oil riches fast enough.
The United States is trying to change that by training Iraqi bureaucrats struggling to emerge from a centralized system in which nearly all decisions -- from where to build a water treatment plant to which workers would do the job -- came from the top.
With the greatly improved security climate, Iraq's oil wells are pumping liquid gold at a steady rate. That oil wealth came to the fore this summer when the U.S. Government Accountability Office predicted Iraq could finish the year with as much as a $79 billion cumulative surplus.
The August report drew anger in Congress, where members asked why the Iraqis haven't spent more of their own money on reconstruction efforts while U.S. taxpayers shell out $12 billion a month for military operations.
U.S. and Iraqi officials dispute the GAO figures, arguing they are inflated and do not reflect Iraqi accounting procedures. They also say Iraqi spending on reconstruction is expected to increase by 50 percent from 2007 to 2008.
The U.S. Agency for International Development's Tatweer project is designed to train Iraqi civil servants in basic decision-making skills to help them allocate funds and effectively deliver government services such as electricity, water and security.
~ Star Tribune ~
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The facts are not in dispute: thousands of black Australians never reach the age of 40; an entirely preventable disease, trachoma, blinds black children as epidemics of rheumatic fever ravage their communities; suicide among the despairing young is common. No other developed country has such a record. A pervasive white myth, that Aborigines leech off the state, serves to conceal the disgrace that money the federal government says it spends on indigenous affairs actually goes towards opposing native land rights. In 2006, some A$3bn was underspent "or the result of creative accounting", reported the Sydney Morning Herald. Like the children of apartheid, the Aboriginal children of Thamarrurr in the Northern Territory receive less than half the educational resources allotted to white children.
In 2005, the UN committee on the elimination of racial discrimination described the racism of the Australian state, a distinction afforded no other developed country. This was in the decade-long rule of the conservative coalition of John Howard, whose coterie of white supremacist academics and journalists assaulted the truth of recorded genocide in Australia, especially the horrific separations of Aboriginal children from their families. They deployed arguments not dissimilar to those David Irving used to promote Holocaust denial.
Smear by media as a precursor to the latest round of repression is long familiar to black Australians. In 2006, the flagship current affairs programme of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Lateline, broadcast lurid allegations of "sex slavery" among the Mutitjulu people in the Northern Territory. The programme's source, described as an "anonymous youth worker", was later exposed as a federal government official whose "evidence" was discredited by the Northern Territory chief minister and the police.
[ ... ]
Foreign governments, especially the US, want the Northern Territory as a toxic dump. The Adelaide to Darwin railway that runs adjacent to Olympic Dam, the world's largest uranium mine, was built with the help of Kellogg, Brown & Root - a subsidiary of American giant Halliburton, the alma mater of Dick Cheney, Howard's "mate". "The land grab of Aboriginal tribal land has nothing to do with child sexual abuse," says the Australian scientist Helen Caldicott, "but all to do with open slather uranium mining and converting the Northern Territory to a global nuclear dump."
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Friday, October 24, 2008
No one is more surprised than Shlomo Sand that his latest academic work has spent 19 weeks on Israel's bestseller list – and that success has come to the history professor despite his book challenging Israel's biggest taboo.
Dr. Sand argues that the idea of a Jewish nation – whose need for a safe haven was originally used to justify the founding of the state of Israel – is a myth invented little more than a century ago.
An expert on European history at Tel Aviv University, Dr. Sand drew on extensive historical and archaeological research to support not only this claim but several more – all equally controversial.
In addition, he argues that the Jews were never exiled from the Holy Land, that most of today's Jews have no historical connection to the land called Israel and that the only political solution to the country's conflict with the Palestinians is to abolish the Jewish state.
The success of When and How Was the Jewish People Invented? looks likely to be repeated around the world. A French edition, launched last month, is selling so fast that it has already had three print runs.
Translations are under way into a dozen languages, including Arabic and English. But he predicted a rough ride from the pro-Israel lobby when the book is launched by his English publisher, Verso, in the United States next year.
In contrast, he said Israelis had been, if not exactly supportive, at least curious about his argument. Tom Segev, one of the country's leading journalists, has called the book "fascinating and challenging."
Surprisingly, Dr. Sand said, most of his academic colleagues in Israel have shied away from tackling his arguments. One exception is Israel Bartal, a professor of Jewish history at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Writing in Haaretz, the Israeli daily newspaper, Dr. Bartal made little effort to rebut Dr. Sand's claims. He dedicated much of his article instead to defending his profession, suggesting that Israeli historians were not as ignorant about the invented nature of Jewish history as Dr. Sand contends.
The idea for the book came to him many years ago, Dr. Sand said, but he waited until recently to start working on it. "I cannot claim to be particularly courageous in publishing the book now," he said. "I waited until I was a full professor. There is a price to be paid in Israeli academia for expressing views of this sort."
Dr. Sand's main argument is that until little more than a century ago, Jews thought of themselves as Jews only because they shared a common religion. At the turn of the 20th century, he said, Zionist Jews challenged this idea and started creating a national history by inventing the idea that Jews existed as a people separate from their religion.
Equally, the modern Zionist idea of Jews being obligated to return from exile to the Promised Land was entirely alien to Judaism, he added.
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Key, verifiable information reveal secrets of the bankers
Many are asking what is going on with the major banking bailouts in the U.S. and around the world. According to a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, only 31% of Americans supported the bailout. Why did politicians around the world ignore the will of the majority of citizens who were against what they felt was a form of corporate welfare? Why are the major media selling this bailout as good and necessary medicine for all of us? Why are so few questioning a bailout which costs $2,500 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S. (assuming that the costs don't eventually far exceed the $700 billion already authorized)? To answer these questions, it is best first to be informed about some very basic, yet little known knowledge regarding money and how banking works.
How much do you know about the banking system and who prints the money you carry in your pocket? Considering the vital role money plays both in our individual lives and in the world, our educational system teaches us amazingly little about how money is created, how banks operate, and what causes the huge banking scandals and bankruptcies that have occurred. After reading the information below, you will understand why this information is kept quiet and why we feel it is important to reveal these major banking cover-ups. The world's wealthiest bankers guard their secrets very closely.
WantToKnow.info specializes in using only the most reliable information available to reveal what is going on behind the scenes in a number of key areas. Because of the lack of quality information, we have previously published very little on banking and financial cover-ups. However, as this key topic is essential to understanding the big picture, we present here the best information we have found on the secrets of the banking world. The sources are not up to our normal high standards, yet we believe you will find the information highly useful. By using the links provided for verification, you can find strong evidence in support of all that is presented here.
First, we recommend these revealing free documentaries on the banking cover-up:
http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=%22monopoly+men%22 - Monopoly Men (47 minutes)
http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=moneymasters - Money Masters (209 minutes)
For another version of the first documentary, click here. Both of these fact-filled documentaries have been given a very rare rating of five out of five stars by Google Video viewers. These films, though they have some weaknesses, do an excellent job of introducing and educating viewers to key, little-known facts which impact our global economy and politics. We encourage you to have a healthy skepticism of what is presented, yet also to have an open mind to the possibility that much of what is presented is based on verifiable evidence.
The Federal Reserve: Neither truly federal nor a full reserve
Do you know who prints the money in your wallet or purse? Take a look at the top of any U.S. bills and you will find "Federal Reserve Note" printed along the top. In a small black circle on the left side of these notes, you will read "United States Federal Reserve System." It is the Federal Reserve which prints all bank notes in the United States. Yet who owns the Federal Reserve?
Though the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve is categorized as an independent government agency, "The Fed" is not owned by the government. In Lewis v. United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit stated that "the Reserve Banks are not federal instrumentalities for purposes of the FTCA [the Federal Tort Claims Act], but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations." To verify this fact, please see the Ninth Circuit's decision 680 F.2d 1239 at the end of paragraph five. The same decision in paragraph 13 states, "Reserve Banks, as privately owned entities, receive no appropriated funds from Congress."
It's quite revealing that though the official website of the Federal Reserve contains a detailed description of the Federal Reserve that is over 20 pages in length, ownership of the Federal Reserve Banks is never even mentioned. Could it be that this information is conveniently withheld to keep the public from understanding who owns the banks which issue all U.S. dollars?
Though Federal Reserve Board members are appointed by the U.S. President and confirmed by the Senate, the Federal Reserve is a privately owned institution controlled mainly by large private banks. Once board members are appointed, the U.S. government has no control over their decisions other than the president's ability to remove a board member. Yet a study of the history and functions of the Federal Reserve reveals that powerful bankers such as J.P. Morgan have had inordinate power and control over the formation and management of the monetary policy of the United States through their power over the Fed. Congress has virtually no influence over this incredibly powerful institution.
Neither does the Fed have reserves to back all of the credit it issues. None of the money in circulation is backed by anything of real value such as gold or silver. The backing of U.S. currency by a gold standard was removed under President Nixon in 1971. In fact, the Fed, like all banks, at any one time has only 3 to 10% of all credit issued held in reserve as bank notes. So the Federal Reserve is neither truly federal, nor a full reserve. It is not owned or directly controlled by the United States government. The fact that the words "United States Federal Reserve System" are printed on every U.S. bank note thus raises serious questions.
The foundation for the Federal Reserve system was crafted in the utmost secrecy in 1910 at the Jekyll Island resort by several powerful men with very close ties to the Rockefellers, the J.P. Morgan family, and the Rothschilds — the richest and most powerful families in the world at that time. A version of the legislation crafted eventually passed in 1913 over the objections of many who feared that turning over control of the nation's money supply to a consortium of private bankers would inevitably only produce more riches for the ultra rich at the expense of the general public.
Virtually everyone agrees that the Fed is highly secretive. Wikipedia lists other criticisms of the Federal Reserve in the below two paragraphs:
"A large and varied group of criticisms have been directed against the Federal Reserve System. One group of criticisms, typified by the Austrian School, criticize the Federal Reserve as unnecessary and counterproductive interference in the economy. Other arguments include arguments in favor of the gold standard and criticisms of an alleged lack of accountability or culture of secrecy within the Reserve. Finally, a group of conspiracy theories make various charges against the Federal Reserve, generally claiming the Federal Reserve System is actually a scheme to enrich a few wealthy bankers at the expense of the public."
"Economists of the Austrian School such as Ludwig von Mises contend that the Federal Reserve's artificial manipulation of the money supply leads to the boom/bust business cycle that has occurred over the last century. Many economic libertarians ... believe that the Federal Reserve's manipulation of the money supply to stop "gold flight" from England caused, or was instrumental in causing, the Great Depression.
"Nobel Economist Milton Friedman said he 'prefer[s] to abolish the federal reserve system altogether.' . Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Board of Governors of Federal Reserve, stated: 'I would like to say to Milton [Friedman] and Anna [J. Schwartz]: Regarding the Great Depression. You're right, we did it. We're very sorry. But thanks to you, we won't do it again.'  "
The Fractional Reserve System: Creating money out of thin air
Another aspect of banking about which most people know little to nothing is the fractional reserve system. Fractional-reserve banking refers to the common banking practice of issuing more money than the bank holds as reserves. Banks in modern economies typically loan their customers many times the sum of the cash reserves that they hold." Did you know that for every dollar in your checking or savings account, the bank can legally loan out $10 or more?
Here's a description of the origins of fraction reserve banking from a standard university macroeconomics text :
"When the ancients began to use gold in making transactions, it became apparent that it was both unsafe and inconvenient for consumers and merchants to carry gold and have it weighed and assessed for purity every time a transaction was negotiated. It therefore became commonplace to deposit one's gold with goldsmiths whose vaults or strongrooms could be used for a fee. Upon receiving a gold deposit, the goldsmith issued a receipt to the depositor. Soon goods were traded for the goldsmiths' receipts and the receipts became the first kind of paper money.
"At this point the goldsmiths – embryonic bankers – used a 100% reserve system; their circulating paper money receipts were fully backed by gold. But, given the public's acceptance of the goldsmiths' receipts as paper money, the goldsmiths became aware that the gold they stored was rarely redeemed. Then some adroit banker hit on the idea that paper money could be issued in excess of the amount of gold held. Goldsmiths [then began to issue] additional 'receipts' ... into circulation by making interest-earning loans in the form of gold receipts. This was the beginning of the fractional reserve system of banking."
The college text from which the above quote is taken does not question the propriety of goldsmiths creating these new "receipts" or money without any gold backing, without any authority, and indeed without any real reason to do so other than to enrich themselves. In fact, the text even praises the questionable behavior of the one who began this hidden form of corruption as "adroit."
The unsuspecting public had no idea that goldsmiths were issuing paper receipts accepted as money which were backed by no gold deposits at all for ten times or more the amount of gold that had been entrusted to them. The goldsmiths were secretly creating money out of thin air. They thus made themselves fantastically wealthy without anyone noticing what was going on. In order to better hide this deceit and divert people's attention, the goldsmiths stopped their old practice of charging for storing gold and instead began to pay customers a small interest on their gold deposits to keep them happy. Thus it was that modern day bankers were born.
Amazingly, the system has changed little today. Macroeconomics professors, college texts, and all involved with banking almost never question the ethics or morality of this fractional reserve system. No one even questions in any meaningful way the ethics and corruption involved in creating money out of thin air. In fact, the fractional reserve system was formalized into law centuries ago and continues to be both legal and the accepted common practice around the world today.
Have you ever wondered how banks can afford to own those massive buildings downtown if they are only charging 15% or so on loans and paying 5% in interest on deposits? If bankers were not allowed to create money out of thin air, they would be making only 10% or so a year on every loan they issued, far from enough to build the towering skyscrapers owned by banks in practically every major city. But by creating credit (money) using the fractional reserve system, bankers can legally claim credit to 10 times or more the amount of any loan. Now you can understand the foundation upon which global banking empires are built.
As this system has been used for centuries by every country in the world, it clearly works to maintain a relatively stable economic order. We are not advocating a dramatic change of this system. We do, however, feel that suppressing and otherwise hiding this key information is a massive deception which does not serve the public and only serves to allow the bankers to easily become excessively powerful and corrupt. You can help to inform others of what is going on by educating yourself with the above videos and spreading the word on the banking and financial cover-up. Thanks for caring.
Important Related Topic: For a highly decorated U.S. General's essay revealing huge manipulations and profiteering by major banks in wartime, click here. For a more thorough history of the development of banking and more, click here. For a top professor's 10-page summary of the powerful role of bankers throughout history, click here. For excellent further information on this vital issue with realistic proposals for empowering change, see the American Monetary Institute's website at http://www.monetary.org.
 McConnell, Campbell R. & Brue, Stanley L., Macroeconomics: Principles, Problems, and Policies, Thirteen Edition, McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1996, p. 277
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