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Eye 1

IRS says American have "no privacy" online, can read all communications

© Getty Images
The IRS continued to insist on warrantless e-mail access, internal documents obtained by the ACLU show, even after a federal appeals court said the Fourth Amendment applied.
The Internal Revenue Service doesn't believe it needs a search warrant to read your e-mail.

Newly disclosed documents prepared by IRS lawyers say that Americans enjoy "generally no privacy" in their e-mail, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages, and similar online communications -- meaning that they can be perused without obtaining a search warrant signed by a judge.

That places the IRS at odds with a growing sentiment among many judges and legislators who believe that Americans' e-mail messages should be protected from warrantless search and seizure. They say e-mail should be protected by the same Fourth Amendment privacy standards that require search warrants for hard drives in someone's home, or a physical letter in a filing cabinet.

An IRS 2009 Search Warrant Handbook obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union argues that "emails and other transmissions generally lose their reasonable expectation of privacy and thus their Fourth Amendment protection once they have been sent from an individual's computer." The handbook was prepared by the Office of Chief Counsel for the Criminal Tax Division and obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
Star of David

Zionist lunacy taking world to hell in handbasket

© PressTV
A foreign-backed militant in Syria
Zionism. Of course, you can be forgiven for thinking it's extreme lunacy. Extreme lunacy is beyond nightmares; beyond the ravings of perverted murderers; beyond grotesque, drug-induced hallucinations; beyond that which could be conceived by a drunken Nero; beyond something thought up for Caligula's birthday party.

Or, put another way, it's what the USA, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, UK, the CIA, Mossad and a few others are up to in Syria. Yes, claiming that they are responsible and rational, these self-righteous, corrupt countries and organizations are engaged in financing, training and arming the very Wahhabis, Jihadists, Salafists and al-Qaeda rebels who wish to destroy not only Syria but them as well.

Claiming they are promoting democracy (and if Saudi Arabia is a democracy then I am Caligula's horse) they are financing, training and arming those who would destroy democracy as well as life, liberty, human rights, tolerance, decency, standard of living, female integrity - you name it. And, oh yes, the Wahhabis, Jihadists, Salafists and al-Qaeda want to kill all Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Jews and, in particular, Shia Muslims.

Of course, the West is claiming that it is only financing and arming the 'good' terrorists in Syria but the facts on the ground are that the 'bad' ones (e.g., the Jabhat al-Nusra [Victory Front] of throat-slitting, choking gas bent) are, one way or another, getting more and more weapons.
Snakes in Suits

French fiscal scandal widens: Finance Minister Moscovici feels the heat as it emerges he knew of Budget Minister Cahuzac's secret offshore accounts

© AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File
In this May 17, 2012 file photo, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici, left, and then Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac arrive for the weekly cabinet, at the Elysee Palace in Pari
He feels hounded and, like a marked man, says he changes locations every few days.

Less than a month ago, Jerome Cahuzac, France's disgraced former budget minister, was the hunter, with an eye out for any citizen who cheated tax authorities by hiding cash abroad. He was devoted to President Francois Hollande's effort to fill the government's depleted coffers as the economy sputtered.

Cahuzac's belated admission that he kept his own secret offshore accounts is now destabilizing France's Socialist government, less than a year after Hollande assumed office with pledges to replace the perceived "bling-bling" of his conservative predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, with moral rectitude.

The scent of scandal expanded this week to Cahuzac's boss, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici, with allegations by a weekly magazine that he knew of his colleague's guilt in December - a claim Moscovici denies.

And Cahuzac, 60, who was formally expelled from the Socialist Party this week and says he is on the run from paparazzi, may not be done causing havoc.
Chart Bar

Why bank bail-in and bail-out wont work: Case study Iceland and Greece

banking, government
As most of us can remember that Iceland was the first country that went down during the last Global Financial Crisis in 2008. During that time Iceland had done something remarkable and that is during the five years prior to the crisis, managed to transform its economy from a fishing industry to a mega hedge fund country. Many of its citizens left their traditional trade which is fishing to become fund managers and salesman. As a result Iceland's banking assets (physical assets + Loans + Reserves + Investment securities) grown to more than 10x its GDP of $14 billion. With such high leverage, when the financial crisis struck it is unable to defend its economy and hence its house of cards collapsed.

The purpose of this article is a post-event analysis of the performance of the Icelandic economy that refuses a bailout as compared to Greece which went for a bailout with the injection of funds from Troika. To simplify matters, we shall coin the bail-in and bail-out as (BIBO) for short. Of course in the short term it helped stabilized the Greek economy for a while but we want to know to what extent it had transformed the Greek economy in the long run with the accompanying terms and conditions and austerity measures. In this article we shall compare the performance of both the economies of Iceland and Greece with the economic indicators or metrics below from the year 2002 to the present. We believed we have been fed with too much toxics by the mainstream medias which are also own by them that capitalized on the age old investment axiom of good-to-good.

Does Government do what's right for us?

We have led to believed or should we say brought up with the perception that when someone does well then he/she will be blessed in return. Hence it gave rise to an old age investment axiom of good-to-good and bad-to-bad reaction which can be translate to good action leads to good reaction. So we always believed that whatever our Government does it will be for the better of us. So when they bailed out the banks, we believed that they are doing the right thing and we should leave everything in their good hands and expect good reaction. Right? WRONG ! We shall show you on our analysis below that whatever our Government does is not necessary the right thing to do. We have based our analysis on the following indicators or metrics.
  1. GDP per Capita
  2. Inflation rate
  3. Balance of Trade
  4. Government Debt to GDP
  5. Government 10Y bond
  6. Government Spending
  7. Consumer Spending
The following is a review of the Icelandic economy which not only refuses a bailout of its banks but instead bankrupting them. They are taking a big risk to take things into their own hands instead of letting the bankers running their country. They are going off the beaten path and from our analysis we reckoned that they have done the right thing. Below we compare the economies of two different countries that have taken different paths - one that receive bailouts (Greece) and the other (Iceland) refuses bailouts. The first metric we are using is the GDP per Capita.
Stock Down

Are people losing faith in the world banking system?

Stephen Harper
The politicians of the western world are coming after your bank accounts. In fact, Cyprus-style "bail-ins" are actually proposed in the new Canadian government budget. When I first heard about this I was quite skeptical, so I went and looked it up for myself. And guess what? It is right there in black and white on pages 144 and 145 of "Economic Action Plan 2013″ which the Harper government has already submitted to the House of Commons. This new budget actually proposes "to implement a 'bail-in' regime for systemically important banks" in Canada. "Economic Action Plan 2013″ was submitted on March 21st, which means that this "bail-in regime" was likely being planned long before the crisis in Cyprus ever erupted. So exactly what in the world is going on here? In addition, as you will see below, it is being reported that the European Parliament will soon be voting on a law which would require that large banks be "bailed in" when they fail. In other words, that new law would make Cyprus-style bank account confiscation the law of the land for the entire EU. I can't even begin to describe how serious all of this is. From now on, when major banks fail they are going to bail them out by grabbing the money that is in your bank accounts. This is going to absolutely shatter faith in the banking system and it is actually going to make it far more likely that we will see major bank failures all over the western world.

What you are about to see absolutely amazed me when I first saw it. The Canadian government is actually proposing that what just happened in Cyprus should be used as a blueprint for future bank failures up in Canada.

The following comes from pages 144 and 145 of "Economic Action Plan 2013″ which you can find right here. Apparently the goal is to find a way to rescue "systemically important banks" without the use of taxpayer funds...
Whistle

Monsanto's next target: Democracy

© pogonici/ Shutterstock.com

The battle for food sovereignty is a battle we cannot afford to lose.

Big Food's greatest fear is materializing. A critical mass of educated consumers, food and natural health activists are organizing a powerful movement that could well overthrow North America's trillion-dollar junk food empire. Savvy and more determined than ever, activists are zeroing in on the Achilles heel of Food Inc. - labeling.

But as consumers demand truth and greater transparency in labeling, it isn't just Big Food whose empire is vulnerable. The biotech industry, which makes billions supplying junk food manufacturers with cheap, genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, has even more to lose. Monsanto knows that if food producers are forced to label the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their food products, they'll reformulate those products to meet consumer demand for GMO-free alternatives. That's why companies like Monsanto, DuPont and Dow, along with Coca-Cola and Pepsi, last year spent more than $46 million to defeat Proposition 37, California's GMO labeling initiative.
Gold Bar

Cyprus may sell some gold reserves to help fund bailout

gold bars
Cyprus may sell off some of its gold reserves to help finance part of its bailout, according to reports.

An assessment by the European Commission says Cyprus must sell about 400m euros (£341m) worth of gold.

The country has already been forced to wind down one of its largest banks in order to qualify for a 10bn euro lifeline from international lenders.

Even with that bailout, it is predicted that the Cypriot economy will shrink by 8.7% this year.

Cyprus's total bullion reserves stood at 13.9 tonnes at the end of February, according to data from the World Gold Council.

At current prices, 400m euros' worth of gold amounts to about 10.36 tonnes of metal.
Colosseum

Iraq: Ten Years On...

April 9, 2013 marks ten years since the fall of Baghdad. Ten years since the invasion. Since the lives of millions of Iraqis changed forever. It's difficult to believe. It feels like only yesterday I was sharing day to day activities with the world. I feel obliged today to put my thoughts down on the blog once again, probably for the last time.

In 2003, we were counting our lives in days and weeks. Would we make it to next month? Would we make it through the summer? Some of us did and many of us didn't.

Back in 2003, one year seemed like a lifetime ahead. The idiots said, "Things will improve immediately." The optimists were giving our occupiers a year, or two... The realists said, "Things won't improve for at least five years." And the pessimists? The pessimists said, "It will take ten years. It will take a decade."

Looking back at the last ten years, what have our occupiers and their Iraqi governments given us in ten years? What have our puppets achieved in this last decade? What have we learned?

We learned a lot.
Snakes in Suits

Surprise! Fresh leaks reveal outrageous corruption, tax evasion, among political leaders

Tax evasion
© Press TV - file photo
An unprecedented leak of documents has disclosed outrageous financial corruption among prominent political figures and billionaires across the world.

A collection of 2.5 million records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) -- a global network of journalists from more than 60 countries -- has unmasked high ranking politicians, arms dealers and other famous individuals from 170 countries operating under the cover of private trusts and businesses in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and other offshore locations.

The list includes famous names such as Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and his family, the daughter of Philippines' former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, who is one of the most prominent art collectors in the world.

The ICIJ, in collaboration with 86 journalists from 46 countries, obtained the information from the contents of emails and accounting records accumulated over a period of 30 years.
Stormtrooper

Police State: Activists challenge P6 anti-protest law with civil disobedience, Anarchopanda caught in yet another police kettle in Montreal.

Anarchopanda
© Aaron Lakoff
Anarchopanda caught in yet another police kettle. April 5, 2013.
In Montreal, Canada, tensions are rising between police and activists. This week, authorities arrested a 20-year-old woman who's active in the student movement at her home after she posted a photo on Instagram of graffiti depicting the Montreal police spokesperson with a bullet in his head. The arrest comes as protest groups prepare for a mass civil disobedience tonight. They're opposing a municipal bylaw which they say is giving the police a tool to repress social movements and violates basic constitutional freedoms. FSRN's Aaron Lakoff has more.

Click to download or listen to this report.

[Note: I was arrested along with 278 people at the CLAC (Anti-Capitalist Convergence) demo against the P6 bylaw on Friday, April 5th, in yet another police kettle.]
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