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Economy, Markets and Finance - December 9th

The markets last week reacted in a deflationary mode, spurred by the stunning loss of a half million jobs in the United States in November. Commodities were down, stocks were down, and US bonds were up (driving yields down) while Japanese bonds dropped on fears of increased government borrowing next year. Oil dropped sharply (23%), gold fell 7.5% and interest rates are falling closer and closer to zero. How close? The yield on the 3-month U.S. Treasury Notes, for example, is now 0.01%. In other words, if prices are going down, you are better off having money rather than things.

It's not looking out in the real economy but it's all roses for the banks as the EU began approving the various European bank bailouts. Hedge Fund news is dire with many, including the once mighty Fortress, stopping or severely limiting investor withdrawals while being reported to be "crumbling".

With the crisis in the auto sector, Ford is looking to sell Volvo the Swedish carmaker it bought ten years ago in a bid to raise cash.

Comment: We have decided to separate the market and financial news section of our analysis from our broader analysis and commentary. This week's continuation of State Sanctioned Theft, State Repression and the Establishment of Capitalism can be found here.

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SOTT Podcast: Toxic World, Toxic Bodies

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In this SOTT.net podcast, we touch on a topic that hasn't received anywhere near the attention that it deserves: improving our health through a program of detoxification. We're joined by Mark Givert of Get Fitt™ Ltd, a UK-based company that provides far infrared saunas and other products to detoxify the body and improve overall health. We discuss the benefits of far infrared, the surprising effects of heavy metal toxicity and candida, and several other illnesses and health-related topics. Mark and Laura also share their personal stories of how the far infrared saunas were a key tool in helping to restore their health and battle toxicity. Even if you have never had any serious illnesses or health issues, this is one podcast you can't afford to miss!

Running Time: 01:10:48

Download: MP3


War Whore

Connecting the Dots: The War of Terror and Zionism take the Lead

Denver Airport Mural
© Cassiopaea.org
Denver Airport Mural

As the world falls asleep under the spell of Obama's supposed change, the Zionists sneak onto his staff roster and take the opportunity to siege Gaza. With astoundingly accurate timing, India gets its own shocking 9/11 and the fingers are pointed at Pakistan.

More blood is expected to run, as we keep seeing signs of war and hearing predictions of catastrophic terrorism.

As this happens, Mother Nature takes notice of the human madness and gives the world a very cold shoulder. As above, so below: the cosmic weather responds with fireballs and other mysteries.

Coffee

State Sanctioned Theft - When Immorality is Law and Resistance is Crime

World stock indexes rebounded strongly last week. The Dow and the Hang Seng were up nearly 10%, the FTSE and DAX were up 13% and the Brazilian Bovespa was up a whopping 17%. Gold pushed passed $800.

In the U.S. retailers reported a better than feared "Black Friday," with sales rising 3% compared to the previous year, although discounts were deep and profit margins low. Black Friday refers to the Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday. It is both the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season and the day that retailers start to make their profits for the year. In recent years it has become a bigger and bigger thing, with families waiting in line outside big box stores and malls the night before waiting to get let in at five in the morning, lured by steep discounts on a few big ticket items. This year with the bad economy it got completely out of hand as a Walmart employee was trampled to death in Long Island when the crowds were let in.

Sheeple

Sleepwalking our way to hell

slave to money
© unknown
We are at present working discreetly with all our might to wrest this mysterious force called sovereignty out of the clutches of the local nation states of the world. - Professor Arnold Toynbee, 1931 Institute for the Study of International Affairs.

What a week; world stock indexes took another serious beating while J P Morgan fired 3,000 amid speculation that total Wall Street job losses will reach 225,000 and Citibank was bailed out to the tune of $27 billion of new equity and in excess of $300 billion blanket guarantee of some of its toxic assets.

Vader

From Occupation to Invasion: The Siege of Gaza

Remember back in 2005 when Ariel Sharon decided to make a "historical sacrifice" by withdrawing some 9,000 illegal Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip? Remember the drama whipped up by the world's media and the tears on the faces of those who were leaving behind their ill begotten houses and farms? Remember the debates about civil and human rights - the rights of the settlers, that is because as we all know, the Palestinians have no rights. Remember as well how Sharon - the same man who years before was responsible for the massacre of the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in southern Lebanon - was applauded for his restraint and sensibility.

Well, all of that was nothing but the theatrics that came with a calculated step in a long-term war strategy and which is now reaching a climax with the siege of Gaza.

Vader

The Lesson of Jonestown

The events of November 18, 1978 in Jonestown, Guyana were a tragedy that few can come to grips with even today, 30 years later. But that was not a singular event. As a sign posted at Jonestown read, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
Image
I'm Warren Olney in Los Angeles. Ninety minutes ago came word from Guyana, making this bizarre story more bizarre than ever. Troops from Guyana have found between three and four hundred bodies at the People's Temple commune at Jonestown. No marks of violence on any of the bodies. No marks of anyone alive, despite reports that as many as 1,200 people lived in Jonestown. There had been predictions that a mass suicide would occur from several defectors. We don't know that that's what happened. We don't know what happened to the rest of the people who lived at the commune. We don't know what's happened to attorneys Mark Lane or Charles Garry, or to the Reverend Jim Jones. And we don't know how much longer this awful story will take to unfold. For Edwin Newman and for all of us at NBC, I'm Warren Olney in Los Angeles.

Bizarro Earth

Money Supply, Debt Slavery and other Manipulations

"The few who can understand the System (Cheque Money and Credits) will either be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favours, that there will be no opposition from that class. While on the other hand, the great body of people mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical* to their interests." - Extract from a letter written by Rothschild Bros of London to a New York firm of bankers on 25 June 1863

* (hostile, hurtful)
********

Magnify

On the Nature of Psychopathy: A Thought Experiment

Andriod

Almost human.
I've lately been thinking about the "continuous vs categorical" debate in relation to psychopathy. I just started reading a book called Thinking about Psychopaths and Psychopathy edited by Harvard professor Ellsworth Lapham Fersch. It's a collection of questions and answers from seminars he's given on psychopathy, with contributions by various academics. Based on Fersch's introduction, it looks promising and insightful.

However, I wonder if Fersch really "gets it". While he talks about the importance of psychopathy quite eloquently and identifies the problems inherent in the conflation of psychopathy with antisocial personality disorder, there is a question and answer in the first chapter that is puzzling. (It is possible one of his colleagues answered this question, as the individual author is not listed for each section.)

In this question on the debate between psychopathy as either categorical (i.e. you either have it or you don't, like Turner's syndrome) or continuous (the extreme end of traits shared by everyone, as in someone with very high intelligence), he firmly takes the "continuous" side. However, I get the impression that he does so without understanding the crux of the matter, or the implications of such a position.

Heart - Black

The Road to Hell is paved with Free Market Capitalism, Imperialism and Psychopaths

Last week, Barack Obama was (we presume) elected president of the United States as the country fell deeper into recession. Nearly 300,000 jobs were lost in October in the United States as the official unemployment rate rose almost a half percent since September to 6.5%. The Dow fell 4% last week despite all the good feelings. When he takes office in January 2009 the new president will surely face an economic situation as dire as Franklin Roosevelt faced in 1933 Not only the United States, but the rest of the world, is looking to him to find a way out of economic disaster. Will he deliver?