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Sat, 29 Jan 2022
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Syria still expects explanation from the US

Syria's foreign minister on Sunday said his country may resort to more "painful" measures if the United States does not give an official explanation for last Sunday's deadly cross-border raid. Syria retaliated to the attack that it says killed eight people by ordering the closure of an American school and cultural center in Damascus.

But Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem conveyed those measures were "introductory." He warned Syria could escalate its response in the future.

Al-Moallem spoke Sunday in a TV interview with the Lebanese ANB satellite station.

Black Cat

Jesus and Witches

The video clip is from 2005, and Sarah Palin, who is running for governor, stands on the dais of a small church; three pastors surround her in a huddle. They are touching her shoulders, her forehead, her back. The would-be governor is stone still, eyes cast down, palms up toward heaven. The man on her left, the one touching her forehead, bends occasionally to whisper in her ear.

This is Ed Kalnins, senior pastor of Wasilla Assembly of God, the church Palin attended from the time she was 4-years-old until 2002. The man behind her is praying loudly, relentlessly and with an intensity rarely seen in America's mainstream churches. This is the Kenyan pastor Thomas Muthee, a Pentecostal powerhouse who has a reputation for being able to cast out demons and witches through prayer.

Comment: For an in depth look into Palin's true religious views read The Most Dangerous Cult in the World: Sarah Palin's links to the Christian Right.


Bad Guys

Down the Rabbit Hole towards a New Economic World Order

This week Alan Greenspan saw the error of his ways amid dire, and no doubt accurate, predictions that hundreds if not thousands of hedge funds will collapse in the next few months, unleashing a global financial firestorm.

Just one week after bailing out the banking sector to the tune of $4 trillion, leaders in the U.S., Europe and Japan sought to assuage their citizens anger by announcing a raft of proposals to 'stimulate the economy', cut income and business taxes and fund schools. Sarkozy even announced a sovereign wealth fund that will hold stakes in French companies to prevent them being taken over by foreigners.

Brasil has stumped up $50 billion to defend the Real. Imagine what that sort of money could do inside Brasil for schools, infrastructure, medical facilities or policing. The Venezuelan Bolivar is also under pressure.

In a sign that the real economy is being hit very hard, shipping rates for commodities have dropped 90% since May, exposing the very real fact that as Thomas Kositgen put it:-
The emerging markets rely on the strength of the bigger economic powers to grow, [...]

And here is the sad end game of the ripple effect: it takes food out of the mouths of children, it shuts the water taps and it sends hordes of people into lives of despair.....a matter of life and death.
It is already taking the food out of the mouths of people in the West, although the Western media is strangely silent about that aspect. We can expect the situation to get much worse.

Bomb

US special forces launch rare attack inside Syria

Damascus, Syria - U.S. military helicopters launched an extremely rare attack Sunday on Syrian territory close to the border with Iraq, killing eight people in a strike the government in Damascus condemned as "serious aggression."

A U.S. military official said the raid by special forces targeted the network of al-Qaida-linked foreign fighters moving through Syria into Iraq. The Americans have been unable to shut the network down in the area struck because Syria was out of the military's reach.

"We are taking matters into our own hands," the official told The Associated Press in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of cross-border raids.

Cowboy Hat

US Air strike kills nine Afghan soldiers

Nine Afghan soldiers have been killed and four others hurt in an air strike by international forces in the eastern part of the country, officials say.

Helicopter gunships reportedly fired on an Afghan army post in Khost province.

The US said Afghan soldiers had been killed and injured in a possible case of "mistaken identity".

Sherlock

Perception Management and the Economic Spider's Web

Summary: A battle for global economic hegemony is under way. The banking bailouts have moved from the original US proposal of simply buying bad assets to substantial recapitalisation and even nationalisation of banks that just months ago were considered strong and healthy. Bank deposits are rapidly being guaranteed around the world and government guarantees for short and medium term bank debt are freely available. Just who is running these bailouts, and for who's benefit?

Behind much of the apparent debacle lie derivatives and structured assets so, as Tuesday October 21st saw the settlement of many of these instruments effected by the Lehman bankruptcy, we take a look at Credit Default Swaps and some of the myths behind them.

Fundamental changes are being affected to the way banks are required to account for their assets with the hasty dropping or limiting of "mark-to-market" or fair value accounting - what is behind these changes and who benefits?

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"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." Thomas Jefferson 3rd president of the US (1743-1826), Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802)

Thomas Jefferson was right; he was right when in 1863/64 US agricultural loans were called in at the behest of the Rothschild bankers in London, he was right in the panic of 1906, he was right in the agricultural crisis of 1920/21, he was right in the Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of the early 1930's and he's right today. However, not even he could foresee that it is not just the people of the US that are slaves to private banking interests but all the peoples of the world.

Chess

China extends influence into Central Asia

China has begun a multi-billion-pound scheme in the far-Western province of Xinjiang to build roads and railways that will open up Central Asia. By the end of this year, nine railway lines will be under construction, including a railway from China to Pakistan and a rail link through Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, at a total cost of over £50 billion.

MIB

Is Israel's booming high-tech industry a branch of the Mossad?

In 2006 the Check Point Software Technologies company, which specializes in protecting computer systems from hackers and data theft, wanted to acquire an American company called Sourcefire, which works in the same field. The great advantage of Sourcefire was that its clients include the American Defense Department and the National Security Agency. The U.S. administration, however, by means of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, did not approve the acquisition.

MIB

Mossad spied on far-right Austrian

The Israeli secret service spied on Jörg Haider, the right-wing Austrian populist, using one of his closest aides to gather information on his contacts with Arab dictators. Peter Sichrovsky said that he had been a Mossad informant for five years until retiring from politics in 2002.

"I wanted to help Israel and certainly did not do anything wrong," said Herr Sichrovsky who was secretary-general of Herr Haider's Freedom party and a member of the European Parliament. The Austrian state prosecutor said yesterday that he would open an investigation to determine whether Herr Sichrovsky should be prosecuted. Spying for a foreign power carries a jail sentence of up to three years in Austria.

Life Preserver

Wonderland Economics: Bailouts balloon, markets crash, the dollar strengthens and gold does nothing

Summary: In a week defined by unprecedented government bailouts and collapsing stock markets all financial logic flew out of the window as the US dollar strengthened and gold hardly budged leading many to speculate as to the extent of the rigging of the global gold market in the face of its purported safe haven status.

The announcement, Monday 13th October, that the British government is to take substantial stakes in 2 major UK banks, HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland and the proposal in the US that the Fed is to take similar stakes in US banks while providing guarantees of bank's senior debt, caused the markets to rally. This despite the fact that it should be clear to anybody that the US is going way beyond bailing banks out and is in fact transferring the future wealth, in the form of future labour and taxation, of ordinary American's into the hands of a tiny financial elite.

Additionally, following the G7 meeting at the weekend it was announced that central banks around the world would provide unlimited US dollar funding to the markets in order to ensure sufficient liquidity is available at all times.

Amid this turmoil the auction of Lehman Brothers bonds at just 8.825 cents on the dollar, resulting in Credit Default Swap payout this coming week of 91.375 cents on the dollar by all sellers of Lehman CDS's, a devastating payout for the sellers, passed almost silently.