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Footprints

Flashback Unbelievable: Indiana Court Overturns Right to Resist Illegal Entry

Remember the Revolutionary War? One of the many reasons it happened was because British soldiers, under British rule, were allowed to search and seize colonists' homes using broad warrants, and American colonists had virtually no right to resistance. When the so-called 'writs of assistance' were challenged in a 1754 court, a Boston lawyer named James Otis represented the colonists pro bono, and gave a speech that a then-25-year-old John Adams later called 'the spark in which originated the American Revolution." In 1791, the Fourth Amendment, protecting citizens against unlawful search and seizure, was added to the Constitution, but the concept of privacy in one's home actually dated back to a 1604 common law.

Which is to say the Indiana Supreme Court's new ruling is archaic by at least 400 years, and undermines one of the most important aspects of the Bill of Rights. The Chicago Tribune:

truth is no defence
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People have no right to resist if police officers illegally enter their home, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in a decision that overturns centuries of common law.

Bad Guys

World Leaders Confer on Debt Crises This Weekend

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© Reuters / Ralph OrlowskiJean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank (ECB) ponders a question during his monthly news conference at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, August 4, 2011
Global leaders on Saturday arranged a round of emergency calls to discuss the twin debt crises in Europe and the United States that are causing turmoil in financial markets.

After a week that saw $2.5 trillion wiped off global stock markets, they are under pressure to show political leadership and reassure markets that Western governments have both the will and ability to reduce their huge and growing public debt loads.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who chairs the G7/G20 group of leading economies, conferred with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of a call planned for this weekend by G7 finance ministers and central bankers.

"They discussed the euro area and the U.S. debt downgrade. Both agreed the importance of working together, monitoring the situation closely and keeping in contact over the coming days," a spokesman for Cameron said.

Standard and Poor's deepened the urgency for action late on Friday by stripping the United States of its top-tier AAA credit rating, a move that over time could ripple through markets worldwide by pushing up borrowing costs and making it more difficult to secure a lasting recovery.

Info

Ayatollah of the RAF: Academic 'university' head is Muslim convert who claims Nazi gas chambers were British propaganda and criticises Libya air strikes

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© unknownRAF role: Dr Joel Hayward teaches at the RAF's pilot training college
The head of studies at the Royal Air Force pilot training college is a convert to Islam who has criticised Nato air strikes on Libya in a Muslim magazine.

Dr Joel Hayward is dean of the college at Cranwell, the RAF's equivalent of Sandhurst, and has taught many of the pilots spearheading the military operation against Colonel Gaddafi.

But, to the dismay of defence chiefs, he has cast doubt on the widely held belief that the Nato actions averted the mass killing of civilians in Benghazi. He also warned against the RAF becoming 'the air corps of a rebel army'.

People

270,000 Attend Israel's Biggest Pocketbook Protest

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© The Associated Press / Ariel SchalitThousands of Israelis march during a protest against the rising cost of living in Israel, in central Tel Aviv , Israel, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. Angry over the ever increasing cost of living, Israelis poured en masse into the streets of major cities Saturday night in a big show of force by the protest movement that is sweeping the country and proving to be a real challenge to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government. Thousands of mostly middle class Israelis marched through the streets in central Tel Aviv waving flags, beating drums and chanting: "Social justice for the people."
At least a quarter of a million Israelis, fed up with the mounting cost of living, poured into the streets of the country's major cities Saturday night to demand that their leaders address their plight - and proving by their tremendous numbers that they will not go away.

The snowballing protest, which started out three weeks ago with a few 20-somethings pitching a tent encampment on a posh Tel Aviv street, has swiftly become a big headache for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seen by many middle class Israelis as too friendly to big business. An aide to the Israeli leader said the government would soon devise a program to break the monopolies and cartels he blames for Israel's economic ills.

Protesters appeared to have a more sweeping agenda on their minds. Traveling by car, bus, train and foot, some 230,000 Israelis, according to police estimates, descended on Tel Aviv to mount the largest social protest in the country's history. Young, old and middle-aged, they beat drums and waved flags, some chanting, "Social justice for the people" and "Revolution."

Some held signs reading "People before profits," "Rent is not a luxury," and "Working class heroes." In Jerusalem, more than 30,000 protesters gathered outside Netanyahu's residence after streaming past some of the most expensive real estate in the city. Other protests took place in further flung cities in Israel's north and south, drawing about 10,000 people.

Dollar

The Case for Moving Your Money

handful of money
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Hey I think the time is right for a palace revolution
but where I live the game to play is compromise solution

-The Rolling Stones.


Most of us have an idea of what a small-town banker should be like. It's George Bailey, the character Jimmy Stewart played in It's a Wonderful Life.

We also have an idea of what a Wall Street "too big to fail" banker might look like. It's Gordon Gekko, the character Michael Douglas played in Wall Street and the sequel, Money Never Sleeps.

Although everyone wants to bank with George and no one wants to bank with Gordon, people keep winding up at Wall Street banks.

According to FDIC data from 2009, 57 percent of bank assets are with the top twenty banks. Thirty-eight percent of bank deposits went to the five largest banks, up dramatically from 1994 when only 13 percent of deposits went to the big five.

Why?

Big banks spend big money on advertising. The website Business Insider War Room combed through the annual reports of publicly traded companies and found that JP Morgan Chase spent $2.4 billion on advertising in 2010. Bank of America spent $1.9 billion, and Citigroup spent $1.6 billion.

The billions being spent in advertising would seem to casual observers to be the overwhelming factor in attracting customers, but that doesn't appear to the case.

My friend, New York Times opinion columnist Joe Nocera, wrote an award-winning book, A Piece of the Action. Joe tracked the evolution of personal finance in America, including the credit card and banking industries. He cited research that said people picked their bank primarily because of its convenience to where they live or work. No other feature mattered. Very few consumers shopped for better interest rates, lower fees, or better services.

Little has changed since Nocera wrote his book in 1994. A 2008 Compete.com survey asked 1,600 people who banked online about online and offline activities. The survey found that 52.6 percent gave "convenient location or ATM" as the reason they chose their bank. Less than 20 percent gave bank fees as the reason. And, despite the billions being pumped into advertising, only 6.3 percent said they chose their bank based on that factor. Since Bank of America has 18,000 ATMs and 6,233 branches, more than any other bank, it would make sense that it attracts the most deposits.

Based on the data and history, getting people to move their money from a Wall Street bank to a possibly less-convenient local bank would seem like an uphill challenge. But, at the beginning of 2010, Arianna Huffington and some of her friends decided to take on that challenge by creating the "Move Your Money" project.

According to a December 29, 2009, article that Huffington and economist Rob Johnson wrote for the Huffington Post, the idea arose at a pre-Christmas dinner they attended with political strategist Alexis McGill, filmmaker Eugene Jarecki, and Nick Penniman of the Huffington Post Investigative Fund. The group discussed "what concrete steps individuals could take to help create a better financial system."

They started with a website and a video. It has grown from there. According to Sara Ackerman, coordinator for the Move Your Money project, more than 4 million people moved their money away from Wall Street banks in 2010. Michael Moebs, CEO of the economic research firm Moebs Services, said that between 13 million and 17 million people will move their money from Wall Street to a community bank or credit union by the end of the project's third year (2012).

There are some practical reasons for consumers to move their money. Moebs Services research shows that overdraft fees in 2009 averaged $35 for large banks compared to $25 for small banks. A similar gap existed with bounced check fees and stop-payment orders.

Personal service is another point in favor of small banks. According to J.D. Power and Associates (and quoted on the Move Your Money website), "small banks have consistently rated higher in overall customer satisfaction than their Wall Street counterparts and that gap has only widened in the last few years."

Supporting small business is another benefit that Move Your Money touts. According to FDIC data, 57 percent of bank assets are with the twenty largest banks, but only 28 percent of small-business lending comes from that top twenty. Small banks (defined as under $1 billion in assets) provide 34 percent of the loans, and mid-size banks (assets between $1 billion and $10 billion) provide 20 percent of the loans.

Although data shows that moving money from a Wall Street bank has benefits for the consumer and for Main Street, a primary motivation for the Move Your Money movement is to decrease the power of Wall Street banks and their role in the financial markets.

MIB

Mossad's murder machine kills another Iranian scientist

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© Unknown
The two assassins arrived from nowhere as their victim was driving home with his wife. Trapped inside his car, he was hopelessly vulnerable as their motorcycles pulled alongside.

He would just have had time to notice their blacked-out visors before they opened fire, emptying round after round into his chest.

Nuclear scientist Darioush Rezaei died immediately. His wife was critically wounded and still in hospital days after the attack in north eastern Iran. The hitmen? They vanished into the traffic fumes of the night.

Wolf

Associated Press sources: Crash Kills 20 Members of Seal Team 6 same unit that killed Osama

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Washington -- The Associated Press has learned that more than 20 Navy SEALs from the unit that killed Osama bin Laden were among those lost in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

The operators from SEAL Team Six were flown by a crew of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. That's according to one current and one former U.S. official. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because families are still being notified of the loss of their loved ones.

One source says the team was thought to include 22 SEALs, three Air Force air controllers, seven Afghan Army troops, a dog and his handler, and a civilian interpreter, plus the helicopter crew.

Dollar

Europe, Free Speech, and the sinister repression of the Rating Agencies

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Before we all join the chorus of abuse against the robber agencies, let us not lose sight of what is happening in the eurozone. The EU authorities are attempting to muzzle free opinion, first by threatening Fitch, Moody's, and S&P with vague retribution, and then by drafting restrictive laws to prevent them from publishing unwelcome messages.

It is financial repression, pure and simple. The same will be done to the press in due course. Then to you, dear reader.

"We must break the oligopoly of the rating agencies," says German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble. By "we", of course, he means the EU apparatus of coercion.

Vader

On the Sixty-Sixth Anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima

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Today is the 66th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Though most Americans are unaware of the fact, increasing numbers of historians now recognize the United States did not need to use the atomic bomb to end the war against Japan in 1945. Moreover, this essential judgment was expressed by the vast majority of top American military leaders in all three services in the years after the war ended: Army, Navy and Army Air Force. Nor was this the judgment of "liberals," as is sometimes thought today. In fact, leading conservatives were far more outspoken in challenging the decision as unjustified and immoral than American liberals in the years following World War II.

By the summer of 1945 Japan was essentially defeated, its navy at the bottom of the ocean; its air force limited by fuel, equipment, and other shortages; its army facing defeat on all fronts; and its cities subjected to bombing that was all but impossible to challenge. With Germany out of the war, the United States and Britain were about to bring their full power to bear on what was left of the Japanese military. Moreover, the Soviet Union - at this point in time still neutral - was getting ready to attack on the Asian mainland: the Red Army, fresh from victory over Hitler, was poised to strike across the Manchurian border.

Long before the bombings occurred in August 1945 - indeed, as early as late April 1945, more than three months before Hiroshima - U.S. intelligence advised that the Japanese were likely to surrender when the Soviet Union entered the war if they were assured that it did not imply national annihilation. An April 29 Joint Intelligence Staff document put it this way: "If at any time the U.S.S.R. should enter the war, all Japanese will realize that absolute defeat is inevitable."

Dollar

US: Fannie Mae seeks $5.1 billion more from taxpayers

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Washington- Mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae said it would ask for an additional $5.1 billion from taxpayers as it continues to suffer losses on loans made prior to 2009.

The largest U.S. residential mortgage funds provider on Friday also reported a second-quarter net loss attributable to common shareholders of $5.2 billion, or 90 cents per share.

Including the latest funding request, Fannie Mae has needed $104 billion in government capital injections since the U.S. Treasury seized control of it in 2008 during the financial crisis. Fannie Mae has paid back $14.7 billion in dividends.