Archive for category News

The United States is different, all you need is money. If you have enough, you can do as you please.

In the past 48 hours, police in the U.K. and Germany have arrested senior bank executives for serious crimes. On Wednesday, Deutsche Bank offices were raided by 500 police because the CEO and CFO are under investigation for tax evasion.

Meanwhile in the U.S., the Justice Department signed a settlement with HSBC Bank on Tuesday, for its involvement in-

  • Money laundering

  • Drug smuggling

  • Providing support to terrorists.

HSBC Bank paid a trivial, half of one quarter’s profits and no executive will be criminally prosecuted.

Glen Greenwald does a heroic job covering the various layers of justice in America at this link.

Hell, the United States had a President, Vice President, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense all culpable of War Crimes and Eric Holder and the President looked ‘Forward’ instead of doing what should have been done.

What should we expect?


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FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski wants to end a longstanding ban on owning the major daily newspaper and radio outlets in the same market

Why is this man laughing?

Because just in time for the holidays, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering changes to media cross-ownership rules that watchdogs say could good give Rupert Murdoch’s massive conglomerate News Corporation the go-ahead to acquire more big media outlets.

American Corporate Media DO NOT WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THIS.

Read the whole story here, and here, and here, and here.

Then contact  the Presidentyour Senators, and your House Representatives.

Make some noise, tell them you do not want this to happen!

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Something to ponder…

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U.S. Oil Production Is At Highest Level Since 1997; Yet Gas Prices Remain ‘Stubbornly High’

Looking at Gasoline prices…

Then gas prices vs. oil production…

So when I hear Willard telling America he is going to increase domestic production and make America stand on her own, not importing oil, I have to laugh. Loudly and heartily. The man just doesn’t get it. Or the man knows most Americans don’t get it and he can snooker them into thinking he can do it so the morons will vote for him.

Seth Borenstein and Jack Gillum of the Associated Press explain:

That’s because oil is a global commodity and U.S. production has only a tiny influence on supply. Factors far beyond the control of a nation or a president dictate the price of gasoline.

When you put the inflation-adjusted price of gas on the same chart as U.S. oil production since 1976, the numbers sometimes go in the same direction, sometimes in opposite directions. If drilling for more oil meant lower prices, the lines on the chart would consistently go in opposite directions. A basic statistical measure of correlation found no link between the two, and outside statistical experts confirmed those calculations.

Nobody who is POTUS can do jack shit about this until they lay some nasty rules down for the oil companies, or nationalize them. Take your pick. It just isn’t going to happen otherwise.

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Because the Right Wing will do *ANYTHING* to get a white man back into the White House…

This is the 400-pound-gorilla-in-the-room that very few will dare to mention. Having a black man in the white house is rattling enough for the political right. Having a successful black man who may just well get re-elected threatens to cause them to unhinge.

No. They have no shame. They are so very well insulated by the cocoon of Washington and all that money they have. They hardly share the reality most of us are currently enduring. And yes, I think there is a definite undercurrent of race involved in a lot of their politics. Nobody on the political stage has the guts to point it out. But there it is.

And here’s another example of thinly veiled racism…

Former South Carolina Governor and Fox News contributor Mark Sanford wandered off the Appalachian Trail again Sunday morning when, in yet another completely isolated example of a Republican being totally-not-racist even though he sounds racist, said that President Obama is going to “come out and throw a lot of spears” at Tuesday’s upcoming debate.

America’s News HQ anchor Shannon Bream wasn’t in the shot, but she didn’t react audibly, and never skipped a beat in continuing to discuss expectations for Tuesday’s debate.

Gov. Sanford first praised former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney‘s performance at the first debate, then predicted that…

“You know, obviously Obama will come out in this case much more forcefully and he will throw a lot of spears.”

Completely coincidentally, and not at all related to this, the term “spearchucker” is a racial slur against black people, but what would a 52 year-old white guy from South Carolina know about that? Also, he didn’t call President Obama a “spearchucker,” he just said he would be throwing spears. That’s completely different

Bream ignored Sanford’s declaration, instead guiding the discussion around to a sort of warning about President Obama being “too aggressive” at the next debate. “We got mixed signals from the Obama campaign that the President intends to be more aggressive this time around,” she said. “We know it’s a town hall format where the candidate will be taking questions from undecided voters, but also with a moderator in place. How well does that play in an audience, and with real live average citizen voters? I mean, there has to be a balance in the tone, I would imagine, for how aggressive you can be in that kind of setting.”

Here’s the clip, from Fox News


Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s chief of staff during his time as secretary of state, decried John Sununu’s comment that Powell only endorsed Barack Obama because they are both black. “To say that Colin Powell would endorse President Obama because of his skin color is like saying Mother Teresa worked for profit,” Wilkerson told Ed Schultz.

Wilkerson said on The Ed Show that though he respects Sununu, a top Romney adviser and surrogate, “I don’t have any respect for the integrity of the position that he seemed to codify. Look at me, Ed, I’m white. I’m not black. Colin Powell picked me because of the content of my character and my competence.”

He added that he thinks Sununu’s remark was an “unfortunate slip of words,” but that it speaks to larger problem in the Republican party.

My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people, not all of them, but most of them, who are still basing their decision on race,” Wilkerson said. “Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists. And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House  has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that’s despicable.

Read the whole thing here.

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The Horror of Living Under American Drones

On the morning of March 17, 2011, Ahmed Jan joined over 40 other people at a bus station in Datta Khel, North Waziristan in Pakistan to settle a community issue in a large meeting, or jirga. The group split up into two circles, about 12 feet apart from each other, and despite the drones buzzing overhead, those present later described feeling “secure and isolated” from the drones. It was a sanctioned meeting and Pakistani authorities had been made aware of it.

Jan was sitting in one of those circles when he heard a “hissing sound.” An instant later a drone-fired missile struck the middle of his group, sending his body flying and killing everyone around him.

At least one more missile was fired, hitting the second group. Another witness, Idris Farid, said, “Everything was devastated. There were pieces – body pieces – lying around. There was lots of flesh and blood.”

At least 42 people were killed that day, many of them civilians. The Obama administration claims, to this day, that all those killed were insurgents.

Read the whole TruthOut article here. More information here.

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I Fear for the Future

America’s Vassal Acts Decisively and Illegally
I returned to the UK today to be astonished by private confirmation from within the FCO that the UK government has indeed decided – after immense pressure from the Obama administration – to enter the Ecuadorean Embassy and seize Julian Assange.

This will be, beyond any argument, a blatant breach of the Vienna Convention of 1961, to which the UK is one of the original parties and which encodes the centuries – arguably millennia – of practice which have enabled diplomatic relations to function. The Vienna Convention is the most subscribed single international treaty in the world.

The provisions of the Vienna Convention on the status of diplomatic premises are expressed in deliberately absolute terms. There is no modification or qualification elsewhere in the treaty.

Article 22

1.The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter
them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.
2.The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises
of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the
mission or impairment of its dignity.
3.The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of
transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.

Not even the Chinese government tried to enter the US Embassy to arrest the Chinese dissident Chen Guangchen. Even during the decades of the Cold War, defectors or dissidents were never seized from each other’s embassies. Murder in Samarkand relates in detail my attempts in the British Embassy to help Uzbek dissidents. This terrible breach of international law will result in British Embassies being subject to raids and harassment worldwide.

The government’s calculation is that, unlike Ecuador, Britain is a strong enough power to deter such intrusions. This is yet another symptom of the “might is right” principle in international relations, in the era of the neo-conservative abandonment of the idea of the rule of international law.

The British Government bases its argument on domestic British legislation. But the domestic legislation of a country cannot counter its obligations in international law, unless it chooses to withdraw from them. If the government does not wish to follow the obligations imposed on it by the Vienna Convention, it has the right to resile from it – which would leave British diplomats with no protection worldwide.

I hope to have more information soon on the threats used by the US administration. William Hague had been supporting the move against the concerted advice of his own officials; Ken Clarke has been opposing the move against the advice of his. I gather the decision to act has been taken in Number 10.


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We have met the enemy and he is US.

Video game murder

A US air force pilot controls a Predator drone from the command centre in Kandahar.

The US government has long maintained, reasonably enough, that a defining tactic of terrorism is to launch a follow-up attack aimed at those who go to the scene of the original attack to rescue the wounded and remove the dead. Morally, such methods have also been widely condemned by the west as a hallmark of savagery. Yet, as was demonstrated yet again this weekend in Pakistan, this has become one of the favorite tactics of the very same US government.

Read On…

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A day in the financial life of Big Oil…


Big Oil’s Big Profits, In 24 Hours

  • In 60 seconds, these five companies earned $261,000 — more than 96 percent of American households make in one year.
  • These five oil companies received $6.6 million in federal tax breaks every day.
  • In 2011, the three largest domestic public oil companies spent $100 million of their profits each day, or over 50 percent, buying back their own stock to enrich their board, senior managers, and largest share holders.
  • The entire oil and gas industry spent on average $400,000 each day lobbying senators and representatives to weaken public health safeguards and keep big oil tax breaks, totaling nearly $150 million.
  • Each CEO of the Big Five companies received an average of $60,110 in compensation per day last year. On average, their pay jumped 55 percent in 2011. Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson’s compensation came close to $100,000 per day last year.


Read On…

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HSBC exposed: Drug money banking, terror dealings

The new report comes after the UK’s largest bank revealed it would have to pay a $1 billion fine to US authorities for money laundering offenses committed between 2004 and 2010.

BFD. What is a $1 billion fine to these people? 5% of the profit for such activities? It amounts to a simple ‘cost of doing business’.

This is one of the major things wrong with the American Justice system- If your crime is huge, you simply pay a fine. So F*cking What!


International banking giant HSBC may have financed terrorist groups and funneled Mexican drug money into the US economy through its lax policies, a damning Senate report reveals. The bank’s bosses have apologized for the misconduct.

David Bagley, HSBC’s Head of Group Compliance, admitted during a Senate subcommittee hearing that the company had made a number of lapses, adding that he planned to resign.

I recognize that there have been some significant areas of failure,” Bagley told the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation. “I have said before and I will say again: despite the best efforts and intentions of many dedicated professionals, HSBC has fallen short of our own expectations and the expectations of our regulators.”

Irene Dorner, CEO and President of the bank’s American operation (HBUS), told the panel that HSBC deeply regrets the lapses in oversight, apologizing for the company’s mistakes.

Senator Carl Levin, the chairman of the subcommittee, gave details of one such intricate scheme to launder cash between 2006 and 2009.

Because our tough AML (anti-money laundering) laws in the United States have made it hard for drug cartels to find a US bank willing to accept huge unexplained deposits of cash, they now smuggle US dollars across the border into Mexico and look for a Mexican bank, or ‘casa de cambio’ to take the cash.,” Levin noted. “Some of those casas de cambio had accounts at HB Mexico, which, in turn, took all the physical dollars that it got, transported them by armored car or aircraft back across the border to HBUS for deposit in its US Banknotes account, completing the laundering cycle.

Read the whole article here.


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