Friday, February 29, 2008

Hey Homeowners, Bush Blames You--Not Iraq--for Our Tanking..

Five years into Iraq, Bush denies any link between Americans' economic pain and war spending.

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Oil Surpasses $103 for First Time...

...Euro Keeps on Climbing Against Dollar

Gold Fresh Record...

Bush finds out about $4 gas forecasts: - President Bush, saying he was unaware of predictions of $4-a-gallon gasoline in the coming months, told reporters Thursday that the best way to help Americans fend off high prices is for Congress to make his first-term tax cuts permanent.

Housing bill will 'bail out lenders' - Bush: President reiterates his objection to a proposed change to help homeowners in bankruptcy and the creation of a $4 billion fund to let agencies buy foreclosed homes.

U.S. home sales hit 13 year low: : Sales of new U.S. single-family homes slumped to a 13-year low in January and demand for long-lasting goods declined more than expected, government data showed on Wednesday, fueling fears of a recession.

Economy Slows to Near Crawl: The economy skidded to a near halt in the final quarter of last year, clobbered by dual slumps in housing and credit that caused people and businesses to spend and invest more sparingly.

Merrill Lynch Folds Subprime Mtge Lending Unit

Vallejo CA Close To Bankruptcy Filing

Gold At New High, Silver 27 Yr High On Dollar's Fall

Thursday, February 28, 2008

More Dollar problems


Abu Dhabi investment fund shifting balance of power in financial world...


Gas Prices On Rise Again; May Pass $4 Gallon...

Oil Record: $102...

Greenspan Tells Gulf To Drop Dollar

By al Jazeera

Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the US central bank, or Fed, has said that inflation rates in Gulf states, which are reaching near record levels, would fall "significantly" if oil producers dropped their US dollar pegs. Continue

Oil hits new peak at $102 a barrel as commodities boom: Oil powered to a new record above $102 a barrel on Wednesday, closing in on its inflation-adjusted peak, as a slumping dollar on lacklustre U.S. economic data triggered a surge across commodities markets.

Dollar sinks to low ($1.50) against euro: The dollar sank to a new low against the euro after the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank said Wednesday that the U.S. would encounter more sluggish economic activity in the coming weeks and months.

Manufacturing data fuel US recession fears: US manufacturing orders on Wednesday recorded their biggest decline in five months and new home sales slumped to a 13-year low, compounding fears that the US economy may be sliding into recession.

U.S. Economy: Confidence Falls, Producer Prices Rise: U.S. consumer confidence fell to the lowest level in five years and wholesale inflation picked up, limiting the Federal Reserve's room to maneuver as it tries to avert a recession.

U.S. new-home sales for January fall 2.8%: The decline marked a 13-year low and constituted the latest sign of prolonged weakness in the U.S. housing market. January's sales pace was down 33.9% compared with January 2007.

U.S. Home Foreclosures Jump 90% as Mortgages Reset : Bank seizures of U.S. homes almost doubled in January as property owners failed to make higher payments on adjustable-rate mortgages.

US mortgage finance firm Fannie Mae posts 2.1 bln loss: Fannie Mae, a leading US financing provider for mortgages, said Wednesday it swung into a loss of 2.1 billion dollars in 2007 amid a deepening housing downturn and warned of "another tough year."

Key home price index shows record decline: U.S. home prices dropped 8.9 percent in the final quarter of 2007 compared with a year ago, Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday, the steepest decline in the 20-year history of its housing index.

Bush: US in 'slowdown' not recession : US President George W. Bush denied Tuesday that the US economy was in recession or would go into one despite a spate of downcast reports and gloomy indicators.

Gold Price Hit Record $964.99 In London

Housing Drop Crumbles Home Depot

Bernanke Signals More Fed Rate Cuts

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dollar Continues Plunge as Bernanke Proposes More Rate Cuts

The dollar fell to a record low of $1.50 per euro on speculation Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke today will indicate the U.S. central bank is prepared to keep lowering interest rates.

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Gas Prices On Rise Again; May Pass $4 Gallon...

Oil Record: $102...

Euro surpasses $1.50 mark for first time...

Gold Nears $1,000 ounce...

Food shortages loom as wheat crop shrinks and prices rise: THE world is only ten weeks away from running out of wheat supplies after stocks fell to their lowest levels for 50 years.

World Grain Demand Straining U.S. Supply : Consumers usually reduce their purchases of goods and services if prices become too high. Buyers of United States corn, soybeans and wheat seem to be ignoring that economic principle, however, as the nation‘s grain stocks reach critically low levels

Why are wheat prices rising? : Wheat prices have hit record highs and tight supplies of the staple crop have ignited concern about rising food costs.

Foreclosures up 57 percent in the past year: The number of homes facing foreclosure jumped 57 percent in January compared to a year ago, with lenders increasingly forced to take possession of homes they couldn’t unload at auctions, a mortgage research firm said Monday.

One in 10 Home Loans Under Water : One-tenth of U.S. homeowners hold mortgages that are larger than the worth of their homes, Moody's said Friday.

Oil Passes $101 On Weaker Dollar

Greenspan Tells Gulf To Drop Dollar

Get Your Money Out Of The Bank

Foreclosures Fail Because No Loan Ownership Proved!

FDIC To Add Staff As Bank Failures Loom

US Foreclosures Jump 90% As ARMS Reset

Major US Banks - Fundamentals Rapidly Deteriorating

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dong continues to strengthen against dollar

Vietnam’s dong gained for a fourth day. The currency gained 0.03% to 15,940 against the dollar Monday, the highest level since May 3, 2006.

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Oil Prices Approach $100 a Barrel...

Existing Home Sales Hit 9-Year Low...

The Subprime Hangover

Here Comes The $739 Billion Taxpayer Bailout

By Mike Whitney

The biggest economic scandal in the last half century, the subprime fiasco, and the “business friendly” stooges at the SEC are still sitting on their hands reciting passages from Milton Friedman instead of dragging crooked banksters off to the hoosegow in leg-irons.

Bank of America Asks Congress for a $739 Billion Bank Bailout: If lawmakers and the Bush administration agreed to this step, it could be on a scale similar to the government’s $200 billion bailout of the savings and loan industry in the 1990s. The arguments against a bailout are powerful. It would mostly benefit banks and Wall Street firms that earned huge fees by packaging trillions of dollars in risky mortgages

Current account balance: Rank Order By Country - : Ranked number 163? USA

Deep recession feared in U.S.: Economists are no longer talking about a U.S. recession but a deep recession after figures yesterday showed business sentiment continued to plummet in early February

Major US Banks - Fundamentals Rapidly Deteriorating

Lenders Fighting Mortgage Rewrite

Moneychangers Destroying US - Christians Blind

IMF Manipulating Gold Market

Wheat Hits Record High On Low US Inventory

10 Weeks From NO Wheat - Lowest Level In 50 Yrs

$739B In Mortgages At 'Moderate To High Risk'

Monday, February 25, 2008

Deep recession feared in U.S.

Economists are no longer talking about a U.S. recession but a deep recession after figures yesterday showed business sentiment continued to plummet in early February.

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Why will US Dollar collapse?

Is it really going to happen? How can that a currency which for decades was THE currency of the world can fail?

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EAT UP: Shoppers warned bigger food bills on way...

US poll rates China as top economy : More Americans believe China, rather than the United States, is the world's top economic power, a poll has found.

Wall Street Bank Run: It doesn't look like an old-fashioned bank run because it involves the biggest financial institutions trading paper assets so complicated that even top executives don't fully understand the transactions. But that's what it is -- a spreading fear among financial institutions that their brethren can't be trusted to honor their obligations.

Friday, February 22, 2008

More Dollar problems

It's Time to Dump the Federal Reserve

By Mike Whitney

Many of the banks are technically insolvent already, hopelessly mired in their own red ink. Public confidence in the nations' financial institutions has never been lower. Monetary policy and deregulation have failed. The system is self-destructing. Continue

Oil, gold prices strike historic highs : The price of oil touched an all-time peak of 101.32 dollars a barrel on Thursday, lifted by fears of supply disruptions according to traders.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Dollar problems

Oil $101...

Gold Hits Record...

America's economy risks the mother of all meltdowns: He first predicted a US recession in July 2006. At that time, his view was extremely controversial. It is so no longer. Now he states that there is "a rising probability of a 'catastrophic' financial and economic outcome"

Wall St. Banks Confront a String of Write-Downs : Wall Street banks are bracing for another wave of multibillion-dollar losses as the crisis that began with subprime mortgages spreads through the credit markets.

Consumer prices post another big gain : Consumers paid more to fill up their gas tanks, buy groceries and go to the hospital in January as prices on a wide range of items pushed higher.

1984? : Credit checks create uproar : Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools created an uproar among its 18,000-plus employees Tuesday by abruptly requiring them to sign forms authorizing credit checks and research into their "character, general reputation, personal characteristics and mode of living.":

Platinum Goes Ballistic - Gold Next?

Oil Tips Over $100 Mark

US Economy Of Edge Of Total Meltdown

Bernanke & Paulson - What They Needed To Say

IMF Selling 400 Tons Mex/Brazil Gold As Its Own

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Oil At Record of a $100 Barrel, Platinum Record at $2,174 oz

Yet more bad news! " After flying high from the opening bell, stocks fizzled by midafternoon and nose-dived into the red as oil closed above $100 a barrel for the first time and the credit crunch crunched some more."Gold shot up 3%, closing above $929 an ounce, while platinum set another record high — $2,174 an ounce"

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Banks borrowing billions from Federal Reserve

U.S. banks have quietly been borrowing massive amounts of cash to ease the credit crunch.

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Oil breaks $100, hits new all-time high

Oil prices hit new record highs Tuesday as a Texas refinery fire and fears of an OPEC production cut pushed crude to settle at over $100 a barrel for the first time ever.

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Oil Profits and War: Just Coincidence?: Whenever the oil companies’ profits wane, an “energy conflict” emerges on cue to restore them to giddy heights:

UK: Northern Rock deal could cost us each £3,500: The cost of the Northern Rock crisis has reached the equivalent of £3,500 for every taxpayer as experts warned that the nationalisation rescue of the bank was bound to fail.

US banks borrow $50bn via new Fed facility: US banks have been quietly borrowing massive amounts of money from the Federal Reserve in recent weeks by using a new measure the Fed introduced two months ago to help ease the credit crunch.

Consumers may not be able to avoid cloned food: Groups are urging consumers to press their supermarkets and restaurants to refuse food from clones.

No Crisis For Rich As Banks Rake In Billions

Credit Suisse Plunges On $2.85B Loss

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

VIDEO - Bush: Iraq War Has 'Nothing To Do With' Bad Economy

CURRY: You don’t agree with that? It has nothing do with the economy, the war -- spending on the war?BUSH: I don’t think so. I think actually the spending in the war might help with jobs…because we’re buying equipment, and people are working.

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Now Official: Iran Opened Its 1st Oil Products Bourse

ran established its first oil products bourse Sunday in a free trade zone on the Persian Gulf Island of Kish, the country's oil ministry said.Iran has already registered for another oil bourse, in which it has said it hopes to trade oil in Euros instead of dollars, to reduce any American influence over the Islamic Republic's economy.

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More Dollar problems

Wall Street banks bracing for another wave of multibillion-dollar losses...

Banks borrow $50bn via new Fed facility; Unease over indirect government support...

U.S. Credit Markets Collapsing! : The U.S. credit markets, the giant growth engine that powers the American economy, are collapsing ... with few credit sectors spared from damage, few investors escaping losses, and little hope of federal action that's quick or strong enough to make a major difference.

Two hedge funds operated by Citigroup face financial troubles Citigroup Inc has barred investors in one of its hedge funds from withdrawing their money, and a new leveraged fund lost 52 per cent in its first three months, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Unemployment Rate Hides Rise In Longterm Jobless

US Credit Markets Collapsing!

How Not To Release A Bear

US Banks Borrow $50B Via New Fed Facility

Does Ben Bernanke Have To Go?

Northern Rock Nationalised - Shares Frozen

Monday, February 18, 2008

Fed Will Worsen The Economy Worse With Rate Cuts

Countries recovered from the 1997 Asian Fiscal Crisis by reducing government deficits, allowing ailing banks to die, and aggressively raising interest rates to strengthen domestic currency despite pissing their people off. America is doing the OPPOSITE.

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Hydrogen not the answer.

We have all heard that hydrogen is the fuel of the future. It's clean and its only exhaust is water. But could that be another climate problem in the making? What would happen if every car on earth was changed to run on hydrogen? What would the impact on the climate be? Would it impact the climate? Would it be a good impact or a bad impact?
Just think about it? This would raise the amount of water vapor in the air significantly. More humidity in the air. Would that be good or bad for the climate? In some places it might be good, and others it might be bad. We really don't know.

The Fascist Regime, the Oligarchy & the Iranian Oil Bourse

The realization by the oligarchy, which the fascist Bush regime serves, that any further interference with the Iranian oil bourse is not worth the cost may very well result the acceptance among the oligarchy that the American empire is in immediate and drastic decline.

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Bernanke: "There's No Housing Bubble to Go Bust" -2005

I know its an old story but ..... Ben S. Bernanke does not think the national housing boom is a bubble that is about to burst, he indicated to Congress last week, just a few days before President Bush nominated him to become the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.

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The Dumbing Of America

There is no quick cure for the epidemic of arrogant anti-rationalism and anti-intellectualism that has infected America. Her people are in serious intellectual trouble--in danger of losing our hard-won cultural capital to the virulent mixture of these two social laggards along with low expectations which are a result of our idolatry infotainment

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Bush Ignores Torture Law in Gitmo Trials

The federal government is working overtime to try and clean up the legal mess made by the use of illegal interrogation methods. That's one reason Attorney General Michael Mukasey refuses to admit waterboarding is torture. The other is Cheney. . . .

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More Dollar problems

1st Phase of Iran Oil Bourse Inaugurated on Kish Island


The stock market was inaugurated in a video conference ceremony from the capital Tehran attended by ministers of oil, finance and economic affairs as well as chairman of Iran's Stock Exchange and a number of other officials and financial experts.

Barak Obama Fronts Wall Street's Infrastructure

Swindle - What Change Really Means

By Bruce Marshall

Since 9/11 America has certainly turned into a top-down police state, but true post-modern fascism requires a popular movement to usher it into power. Bush has created a dictatorship out of the Presidency, now the next step towards fascism is being marketed to exploit the desire for change. Continue

Congress's Betrayal of the American Worker

By Richard Backus

The public's inability or unwillingness to face up these betrayals will result in the destruction of the working class in the U.S. Continue

CIA set up 12 bogus companies mostly in Europe after 9/11: report: Following the September 11, 2001, attacks, the US Central Intelligence Agency set up 12 bogus companies in Europe and other parts of the world in the hope of penetrating Islamic organizations, The Los Angeles Times reported

Dollar Sales by Japanese Investors Reach Record High: Dollar sales by Japanese individual investors on the Tokyo Financial Exchange Inc. rose to a record high on speculation the U.S. economy will suffer a recession.

U.S. retail sales show increase because necessities cost more: U.S. consumers are being forced to scale back their purchases, but high prices of necessities are keeping their overall purchases rising at a reasonably strong rate

US subprime crisis costs global 7.7 trillion dollars: bank : The meltdown in the US subprime real-estate market has led to a global loss of 7.7 trillion dollars in stock-market value since October, a report by Bank of America showed Thursday.

Is a Collapse in the Cards? : As I write this, stocks around the world are falling, the U.S. Federal Reserve is madly cutting interest rates to try to head off a recession, and everyone is worried about a global economic slowdown

US Secretly Met Iran Banking Officials

Fed, Top Banks To Flood Markets With Cash

Friday, February 15, 2008

Oil prices approach $100 dollars per barrel

Conveniently enough, once again a crisis crops up to help propel oil prices to near $100/barrel. If it wasn't geopolitics, it would have been a refinery fire or 'unexpected maintenance' or something else.

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Myths and Facts on the Blame for US Economic Woes

The US housing bubble wasn't unique; many other countries had their own. The Fed can't be blamed for the bubble which was fueled by bad lending practices. But the stock market's punishment of bank stocks far exceeds the actual potential losses due to bad loans.

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KUCINICH: destroy the federal reserve

“Washington needs to understand how we’ve been mired in debt & are staying there with the help of this fractional reserve bank. Questions must be raised about why did we why gave up our control of being able to issue money - why did we give it to the federal reserve?”

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The Effect Of Fed Funds Rate Cuts On Mortgage Rates

As mortgage rates lurch higher this week, we have additional proof that cuts to the Fed Funds Rate do not lead to cuts in mortgage rates.

Since the Federal Reserve's surprise rate cut January 22, 2008:

  • The Fed Funds Rate is lower by 1.250%
  • The 30-year fixed rate mortgage is higher by approximately 0.750%

Mortgage rates are based on the long-term expectations of the U.S. economy. The Fed Funds Rate is based on the short-term expectation of the U.S. economy.

They are related in some respects, but certainly not directly.

Even yesterday, as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke of economic softness and left the door open for future Fed Funds Rate cuts, mortgage rates raced higher on the idea that any FFR rate cuts would lead to long-term inflation.

More Dollar problems

Bernanke Warns Economy Worsening...

Subprime crisis costs global $7.7 trillion...

Depression Risk Might Force U.S. To Buy Assets

By John Parry

Fear that a hobbled banking sector may set off another Great Depression could force the U.S. government and Federal Reserve to take the unprecedented step of buying a broad range of assets, including stocks, according to one of the most bearish market analysts. Continue

U.S. deficit running at twice last year's: Federal spending also rising at faster pace than last year

U.S. mortgage crisis spreads beyond subprime loans: As the world's largest economy grapples with the worst housing slump in two decades, people with good credit histories are falling behind on house payments, auto loans and credit cards at an accelerating pace.

Thomas Edison On Govt Created Debt-Free Money

Bernanke Says Economic Outlook Is Worse

Depression Risk May See Feds & Fed Buy America

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Depression risk might force U.S. to buy assets

Fear that a hobbled banking sector may set off another Great Depression could force the U.S. government and Federal Reserve to take the unprecedented step of buying a broad range of assets, including stocks, according to one of the most bearish market analysts.

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Meet HAARP - High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program

HAARP is a scientific endeavor aimed at studying the properties and behavior of the ionosphere, with particular emphasis on being able to understand and use it to enhance communications and surveillance systems for both civilian and defense purposes.

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Creating black holes in a laboratory

Imagine being able to peek inside a black hole and even perform experiments there. It may not be as far-fetched as it sounds, thanks to a team which claims to have simulated a black hole’s event horizon in the lab.

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Putting the president above the law: Bush is King!

Despite the head of the CIA conceding waterboarding is probably illegal, Cheney made it clear Bush would reauthorize waterboarding whenever he wanted.

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McCain Votes FOR Waterboarding Torture

When confronted today with the decision of whether to stick with his conscience or cave to the right wing, McCain chose to ditch his principles and instead vote to preserve waterboarding today.

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Bush: "The Terrorists are Coming! Give me Unlimited Power!"

Bush on terrorist surveillance: "In order to be able to discover enemy — the enemy's plans, we need the cooperation of telecommunication companies. If these companies are subjected to lawsuits that could cost them billions of dollars, they won't participate; they won't help us; they won't help protect America."

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Bush Admin Shuts Down Website Tracking U.S. Economic Data

Forbes has awarded one of its “Best of the Web” awards for compiling data across govt agencies and making it publicly accessible. But as of March 1, the Bush admin has announced that it is shutting down this site due to "budgetary constraints."

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Depression Risk Might Force U.S. To Buy Assets

By John Parry

Fear that a hobbled banking sector may set off another Great Depression could force the U.S. government and Federal Reserve to take the unprecedented step of buying a broad range of assets, including stocks, according to one of the most bearish market analysts. Continue

U.S. deficit running at twice last year's: Federal spending also rising at faster pace than last year

U.S. mortgage crisis spreads beyond subprime loans: As the world's largest economy grapples with the worst housing slump in two decades, people with good credit histories are falling behind on house payments, auto loans and credit cards at an accelerating pace.

Iran To Launch Oil, Gas Exchange Feb 27

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Senate OKs immunity for telecoms

The Senate voted Tuesday to shield from lawsuits telecommunications companies that helped the government eavesdrop on their customers without court permission after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

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The debt delusion : The US economy relies upon asset price inflation and rising indebtedness to fuel growth - and this contradiction has global implications

Third of recent buyers owe more than home's value: report : Of home buyers in 2006, 39 percent of those with a median 10 percent down payment now have negative home equity similar to 30 percent of those who purchased in 2007, said online company Zillow in its quarterly home value report.

Feds announce plan to delay foreclosures: The program was put together by six of the nation's largest financial institutions, which service almost 50 percent of the nation's mortgages.

US car maker reveals record losses : General Motors, the US car manufacturer, has reported a $38.7 billion loss for 2007, the largest ever annual loss for an automotive firm.

Less Jobs More Wars: 100 years of war -- Not a joke: While Clinton and Obama are focused on winning the nomination, we have a job to do.

Even In Crisis Greedy Sellers Won't Drop Prices

The Lies Behind 'Free Trade'

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More evidence of Pre-9/11 Inside Trading: Follow the Money?

Why was the cashing out of billions of dollars just before 9/11 never investigated?

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It Costs $134 Million To Make $80 Million In Pennies

60 Minutes went on to a field trip to the US Mint and found out that to make $80 million worth of pennies, it costs the government $134 million. The US Mint says this is because the prices for nickle, zinc, and copper have shot up a lot in the past few years. Guess it's time to start making them out of plastic. OR...get rid of them.

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The Mother of All Rip-offs

“Get Ready For A Real Hosing”

By Mike Whitney

Trillions of dollars have been lost, the financial system is reeling, and the nation is headed into recession. We want scalps---not excuses! Continue

UK Subprime Losses Could Rise To $400B

Utter Global Economic Collapse?

Monday, February 11, 2008

World Crisis Knocked on Our Door by Way of Dollar

During today's special session on the theme of the American currency by means of calculations of Tomorrow it's found out that the average rate already makes 24,59 rouble/dollars.

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The Great Bust of '08

... The implication is clear. The FDIC has begun the “death watch” on the many banks which are currently drowning in their own red ink. The problem for the FDIC is that it has never supervised a bank failure which exceeded 175,000 accounts. So the impending financial tsunami is likely to be a crash-course in crisis management.

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Many Believe US Is Already in Recession

Empty homes and for-sale signs clutter neighborhoods. You've lost your job or know someone who has. Your paycheck and nest egg are taking a hit. Could the country be in recession?

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Hugo Chavez Threatens to Cutoff Oil Sales to U.S.

President Hugo Chavez on Sunday threatened to cut off oil sales to the United States if Exxon Mobil Corp. wins court judgments to seize billions of dollars in Venezuelan assets. "If you end up freezing Venezuelan assets and it harms us, we're going to harm you. Do you know how? We aren't going to send oil to the US. Take note, Mr. Bush, Mr. Danger"

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More Dollar problems

After the applause: No Funds in Bush Budget For Troop-Benefits Plan: President Bush drew great applause during his State of the Union address last month when he called on Congress to allow U.S. troops to transfer their unused education benefits to family members. A week later, however, when Bush submitted his $3.1 trillion federal budget to Congress, he included no funding for such an initiative

U.S. economy's descent steepens: Job losses and a contraction in the business sector where more than 80 percent of Americans work show that the angle of descent for the U.S. economy is steepening.

U.S. retail results are worst in four decades: U.S. retailers delivered more evidence of a stumbling economy today as merchants reported their weakest January performance in nearly four decades, extending a malaise that has deepened since the holiday shopping season.

The Great Depression 2008 - Can It Happen?

Sovereign Wealth Funds - Last Of 'Dumb Money'

US Recession - Slowdown Spreads To Europe

G7 Approves IMF Gold Sales

Bank Crashes Will Be A Financial Katrina

Friday, February 08, 2008

Bush Goes After FOIA

The President's attack on the Freedom of Information Act is his latest attempt to preserve state secrecy.

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Veterans not entitled to mental health care, U.S. lawyers argue

Veterans have no legal right to specific types of medical care, the Bush administration argues in a lawsuit accusing the government of illegally denying mental health treatment to some troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The arguments, filed Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco, strike at the heart of a lawsuit filed on behalf of veterans that claims the health care system for returning troops provides little recourse when the government rejects their medical claims.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is making progress in increasing its staffing and screening veterans for combat-related stress, Justice Department lawyers said. But their central argument is that Congress left decisions about who should get health care, and what type of care, to the VA and not to veterans or the courts.

A federal law providing five years of care for veterans from the date of their discharge establishes "veterans' eligibility for health care, but it does not create an entitlement to any particular medical service," government lawyers said.

They said the law entitles veterans only to "medical care which the secretary (of Veterans Affairs) determines is needed, and only to the extent funds ... are available."

The argument drew a sharp retort from a lawyer for advocacy groups that sued the government in July. The suit is a proposed class action on behalf of 320,000 to 800,000 veterans or their survivors.

"Veterans need to know in this country that the government thinks all their benefits are mere gratuities," attorney Gordon Erspamer said. "They're saying it's completely discretionary, that even if Congress appropriates money for veterans' health care, we can do anything we want with it."

The issue will be joined March 7 at a hearing before U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti, who denied the administration's request last month to dismiss the suit. While the case is pending, the plaintiffs want Conti to order the government to provide immediate mental health treatment for veterans who say they are thinking of killing themselves and to spend another $60 million on health care.

The suit accuses the VA of arbitrarily denying care and benefits to wounded veterans, of forcing them to wait months for treatment and years for benefits, and of failing to provide fair procedures for appealing decisions against them.

The plaintiffs say that the department has a backlog of more than 600,000 disability claims and that 120 veterans a week commit suicide.

In his Jan. 10 ruling that allowed the suit to proceed, Conti said federal law entitles veterans to health care for a specific period after leaving the service, rejecting the government's argument that it was required to provide only as much care as the VA's budget allowed in a given year. A law that President Bush signed last week extended the period from two to five years.

In its latest filing, however, the Justice Department reiterated that Congress had intended "to authorize, but not require, medical care for veterans."

"This court should not interfere with the political branches' design, oversight and modification of VA programs," the government lawyers argued.

They also said the VA "is making great progress in addressing the mental health care needs of combat veterans." Among other things, they cited a law passed in November that required the department to establish a suicide-prevention program that includes making mental health care available around the clock.

The VA has hired nearly 3,800 mental health professionals in the last two years and has at least one specialist in post-traumatic stress disorder at each of its medical centers, the government said.

Since June, government lawyers said, the VA has had a policy that all veterans who seek or are referred for mental health care should be screened within 24 hours, that those found to be at risk of suicide should be treated immediately, and that others should be scheduled for full diagnosis and treatment planning within two weeks. A new suicide-prevention hot line has been responsible for "more than 380 rescues," the lawyers said.

Erspamer, the plaintiffs' lawyer, was unimpressed.

"Nowhere do I see any explanation of what kind of systems they have in place that deal with suicidal veterans," he said. "There's no excuse for not spending the money Congress told them to spend on mental health care and leaving $60 million on the table when people are going out and killing themselves."

More Dollar problems

Buffett: Bank woes are 'poetic justice'...

The Bush Bust of '08

“It's All Downhill From Here, Folks”

By Mike Whitney

The FDIC has begun the “death watch” on the many banks which are currently drowning in their own red ink.

The Demise of the American Middle Class

By Richard Backus

The high paying jobs created in Mexico under NAFTA, the whopping $3.50 per hour ones, are moving to China because even this princely wage level is much too generous according to U.S. businessmen.

Wal-Mart's distress signal: The world's largest retailer leads a parade of sales misses in January, indicating trouble in the U.S. economy.

"Euros Accepted" signs pop up in New York City: Trade with personal dealer service.NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the latest example that the U.S. dollar just ain't what it used to be, some shops in New York City have begun accepting euros and other foreign currency as payment for merchandise.

Coming Collapse Of Intl Credit Ratings Agencies

Pound Falls After BoE Cuts Rates To 5.25%

Thursday, February 07, 2008

MIT Prof Confirms Perpetual Motion Machine is Accelerating

College drop-out creates perpetual motion machine that has been vetted past an MIT professor that can't explain it. Thane Heins is nervous and hopeful. It's Jan. 24, a Thursday afternoon, and in four days the Ottawa-area native will travel to Boston where he'll demonstrate an invention that appears, though he doesn't dare say it, to be a perpetual

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Will Bush be the Author of the Greatest Depression Known to

"The Great Depression - - - the mere mention of this historic tragedy sends shivers through the older generation that experienced it as children."

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$170B more for Iraq war

This year’s battle over Iraq war funding officially kicked off Wednesday as Defense Secretary Robert Gates reluctantly offered a price tag for the first time: $170 billion for fiscal 2009. THIS BRINGS TOTAL TO OVER 1 TRILLION!!!

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More Dollar problems

Greenback's Days In Iran Numbered

Banks Freezing Home Equity Lines

Prime Home Equity Lines Of Credit Deteriorating

FDIC Gearing Up For Large Bank Failure?

Banks Getting Much Stricter On Loans

Manufacturing Consent For War With Iran

U.S. says Iran may be able to make nukes by 2009 : The head of American intelligence said Tuesday that it is unclear whether Tehran has returned to its production of nuclear weapons in the past six months, and warned that Iran "would be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon" by the end of next year.

Iran retains nuclear plans, says US intelligence chief: The senior US intelligence official yesterday stressed that a recent report on Iran had concluded that Tehran had halted only one part of its alleged nuclear weapons programme.

Iran General Staff fear U.S. attack while Bush in power : "While Bush is in power, that is throughout 2008, U.S. military action against the Islamic Republic is still likely," Gholamali Rashid said.

IAEA chief warns against military action to solve Iranian nuclear issue : ElBaradei, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said a military strike to settle the Iranian nuclear issue would complicate the situation and send the Middle East region into a vicious cycle of violence.

Ahmadinejad Withdrawing Nuclear Proposal: "But if others formulated it again, we would study it — under one condition: that the Iranian people's right to enrich uranium be preserved," the Iranian leader said.

S. Africa protests plan to sanction Iran: South Africa on Tuesday protested a "rush" by the five veto-wielding Security Council members to adopt new United Nations sanctions against Iran, saying it wants to wait for a report from the U.N. nuclear agency later this month.

Iran says Gulf shields its banks from U.S. pressure: U.S. allies such as Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates are helping shield Iran's banking system from Washington's "financial terrorism", the governor of Iran's central bank said on Tuesday.

Connecting The Many Undersea Cut Cable Dots : The last week has seen a spate of unexplained, cut, undersea communications cables that has severely disrupted communications in many countries in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. As I shall show, the total numbers of cut cables remain in question, but likely number as many as eight, and maybe nine or more.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

U.S. Congress Bows to WTO Mandate

An extraordinary event occurred this week in Washington during the final days of the 106th Congress, an event that did not receive comment in either the media or the halls of Congress, save for my office. This event had been termed "unthinkable" only a few months earlier. It occurred despite clear constitutional prohibitions and at the expense o

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We are Forewarned. John McCain Intends to be a War President

Ike promised to “go to Korea” and ended that war. Nixon pledged to end Vietnam with honor. McCain says we may be in Iraq a hundred years and warns, “there’s going to be other wars.” Take the man at his word. Mimicking the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann,” McCain has joked about “Bomb, bomb, bomb—bomb, bomb Iran”

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DHS Official Suggests REAL ID Mission Creep

The Register noticed that a senior US Department of Homeland Security official has floated the idea of requiring citizens to produce federally compliant identification before purchasing some over-the-counter medicines — specifically, pseudophedrine. The federal ID standard spelled out by the REAL ID act has been sold as applying only to air travel and entry to federal buildings and nuclear facilities. A blogger on the Center for Democracy and Technology site said, "[The] suggested mission creep pushes the REAL ID program farther down the slippery slope toward a true national ID card." Speaking of federal buildings, CNet has a state-by-state enumeration of what will happen on May 11, when REAL ID comes into effect, to citizens who attempt to enter, say, the Washington DC visitors bureau.

Fifth Cable Cut, Iran Loses Net Connectivity

You may have noticed a number of stories recently about undersea cables getting cut around the world. Apparently the total is now up to 5, but the scariest part of this is that Iran is now offline. You can also read Schneier's comments on this coincidence.

Looks like an attack is imminent!!!

Former CIA Analyst: "TREASON at the Highest Levels of Govt!"

Former CIA analyst and international security and counter-terrorism expert Philip Giraldi has filed some of the American media's best reports on the Sibel Edmonds case. Giraldi filed a detailed report on the latest of Edmonds' allegations on the sale of U.S. nuclear secrets, on the foreign black market, to friend and foe alike, as aided and abetted

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What an Attack on Iran Really Means: Communication Blackout before the Strike

What an Attack on Iran Really Means: Communication Blackout before the Strike

Some important events have taken place that need to be addressed.

First is the news that four major underwater Internet cables have been cut in the last few days, sending large portions of the Middle East into communication blackout. Second is the ‘coincidence’ between these Internet disruptions and the scheduled opening of the Iranian oil bourse, which will establish trade of “oil products in non-dollar currencies”, completely collapsing the US economy.

It has been said by many that truth is the first casualty of war, and the best way warring nations can make sure that truth remains hidden is to control the dissemination of information. This however has proven to be impossible since the advent of the Internet, as is evident with the latest news that weblogs are ranking higher than mainstream media news sources. If control is impossible then the only choice left is to prevent the flow of information from taking place. This is where the deliberate sabotage of these fiber optic cables comes in. As can been seen in the diagram below, these cables are very well protected, therefore it is virtually impossible for four such cables to have been severed, all in the same week, by chance.

click map to enlarge - source

The analysis so far has been that these cables were cut by the United States or Israel before the inevitable attack on Iran or another ‘hostile’ country in the Middle East. These are speculations, however one thing is certain, the cables were not cut by accident. Considering that the United States, and Israel by proxy, have everything to lose if the Iranian oil bourse becomes a reality, and that they are one of the few parties capable of conducting such an elaborate operation, then most analysts are justified in their speculations, specially if you consider that United States military bases now surround Iran.

click map to enlarge - source

Could this be the last gasp of an Empire? It could possibly well be, but we will leave the speculation of why and who cut these communication lines until further information becomes available. What we will do is consider what an attack on Iran really means, since the United States and Israel have indicated many times that their target is Iran.

A few months ago, Gwynne Dyer, one of the most respected military analysts in the world, outlined a scenario of possible events that would transpire if the United States attacked Iran in an article entitled ‘Bush's hawks size up Iran’. I can only assume that since Mr. Dyer’s commentaries are syndicated to so many newspapers around the world, he is restricted by space, and limited to a certain number of words. This allows him to describe only the minimum consequences of certain conflicts. In this article especially, he happens to describe the best case scenario that one could envision: A catastrophic global economic collapse that will force the United States to halt its bombardment of Iran. The end result of which would be that the “US would suffer a far greater humiliation than it did in Vietnam, while Iran would emerge as the undisputed arbiter of the region”.

To meet his editorial guidelines and save space, what Mr. Dyer must have left on the cutting room floor are the following:

  1. The boundaries that we see on world maps marking the territories of countries are just what we see: lines on a piece of paper. Iranians are not confined to lines drawn by European powers decades ago. Iranians live not only in Iran but also, en masse, in all the countries in the region. Certain parts of Iran’s neighbors even speak dialects of Farsi. So if the United States bombs Iran, since there is no way they have any intentions of invading, they would be declaring war on parts of every country surrounding Iran. This would mean that the United States would be at war with every country in the region since civil war would breakout in all the US installed puppet regimes. This could explain why the United States has created a a new map of the Middle East.

  2. click map to enlarge - source

  3. Not only are Iranians spread out in the region, they are also living, en masse, in the rest of the world. The Iranian Diaspora Population map shows that approximately 2.5 million live in the US alone, 700,000 in the Canada, 300,000 in the UK, and 2 million in India. If a war breakouts between the US and Iran then what transpired with the internment of Japanese Americans and Canadians during World War II will become a distant memory and a travesty that will be repeated. A question does come to mind however; will a nation of Christians and non-Muslims be able to prevent genocide during this World War? I personally doubt it, because the thread from those who are of Middle Eastern descent will be a real one that Western governments will exploit.

    click map to enlarge - source

    It also appears that the United States has already prepared for this scenario. 800 FEMA prison camps which are fully operational and ready to receive prisoners have already been built.

  4. Mr. Dyer goes on to state that Iran could stop exporting oil and/or “get tough and close down all oil-tanker traffic that comes within range of (its) missiles–which would mean little or no oil from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, or the smaller Gulf states”. This is a very likely scenario, but what exactly does this “global oil rationing, industrial shutdowns, and the end of the present economic era” mean? One way to fully understand the impact of such an event is to look at Africa. The population of Africa at the present is approximately 1 billion. According to a recent presentation at a United Nations conference, it is estimated that “nearly 75% of the continent could come to rely on some sort of food aid by 2025”. If there is “global oil rationing” then it is safe to assume that feeding Africans would become a low priority operation for the rest of the world. This would mean that 750 million people could starve to death in Africa.
  5. Just to put things into perspective, making sure that it is fully understood what the impact of an attack on Iran really means, consider this. The United States has already stated that they will use nuclear weapons in an aerial bombardment campaign against Iran. Since the creation of the atomic bomb, it has been accepted that once nuclear weapons are used again in any war, then they will continue to be used until there is no one left to kill. As the saying goes, you do not bring a knife to a gunfight, so once a nuclear weapon has been used on any country then that country and its people have a right to use unclear weapons in retaliation. Albert Einstein once said, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”. I personally hope that we will not fulfill Einstein’s prophecy.

After reading countless articles by Mr. Dyer, I now finally understand how he has been able to educate so many people over the years. He presents an optimistic point of view, making his work accessible to the majority.

Gwynne Dyer’s commentary on Iran was not meant to let us know how many people would die if the US attacked Iran, it was meant to let us know who would win. He predicts that Iran would end up being the victor. However, considering that hundreds of millions of people would actually die if the US starts a war with Iran, my conclusion is that no one would be the winner of such a conflict.

So even though Mr. Dyer’s allure appears to be his optimistic analysis of the final outcome of conflicts between warring nations, I do not believe hoping for the best case scenario will manifest the least amount of death and destruction.

Where Does Your Candidate Stand on the Real ID Act?

The FBI is preparing to unveil their plan for a comprehensive biometrics database that will store information about criminals to help the bureau to identify them. The ACLU and other groups have been hard at work, trying to find out the presidential candidates’ positions on the Real ID Act. The results may not be what you expect.

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Diebold voting machine key copied from pic on Diebold site

In another stunning blow to the security and integrity of Diebold's electronic voting machines, someone has made a copy of the key which opens ALL Diebold e-voting machines from a picture on the company's own website.

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Connecting The Many Undersea Cut Cable Dots - 9 Or More?

By Richard Sauder, PhD
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
The last week has seen a spate of unexplained, cut, undersea communications cables that has severely disrupted communications in many countries in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. As I shall show, the total numbers of cut cables remain in question, but likely number as many as eight, and maybe nine or more.
The trouble began on 30 January 2008 with CNN reports that two cables were cut off the Egyptian Mediterranean coast, initially severely disrupting Internet and telephone traffic from Egypt to India and many points in between. According to CNN the two cut cables "account for as much as three-quarters of the international communications between Europe and the Middle East." CNN reported that the two cut cables off the Egyptian coast were "FLAG Telecom's FLAG Europe-Asia cable and SeaMeWe-4, a cable owned by a consortium of more than a dozen telecommunications companies".(10) Other reports placed one of the cut cables, SeaMeWe-4, off the coast of France, near Marseille.(9)(12) However, many news organizations reported two cables cut off the Egyptian coast, including the SeaMeWe-4 cable connecting Europe with the Middle East. The possibilities are thus three, based on the reporting in the news media: 1) the SeaMeWe-4 cable was cut off the coast of France, and mistakenly reported as being cut off the coast of Egypt, because it runs from France to Egypt; 2) the SeaMeWe-4 cable was cut off the Egyptian coast and mistakenly reported as being cut off the coast of France, because it runs from France to Egypt; or 3) the SeaMeWe-4 cable was cut both off the Egyptian and the French coasts, nearly simultaneously, leading to confusion in the reporting. I am not sure what to think, because most reports, such as this one from the International Herald Tribune, refer to two cut cables off the Egyptian coast, one of the two being the SeaMeWe4 cable,(11) while other reports also refer to a cut cable off the coast of France.(9)(12) It thus appears that the same cable may have suffered two cuts, both off the French and the Egyptian coasts. So there were likely actually three undersea cables cut in the Mediterranean on 30 January 2008.
In the case of the cables cut off the Egyptian coast, the news media initially advanced the explanation that the cables had been cut by ships' anchors.(10)(13) But on 3 February the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said that a review of video footage of the coastal waters where the two cables passed revealed that the area had been devoid of ship traffic for the 12 hours preceding and the 12 hours following the time of the cable cuts.(5)(11) So the cable cuts cannot have been caused by ship anchors, in view of the fact that there were no ships there.
The cable cutting was just getting started. Two days later an undersea cable was reported cut in the Persian Gulf, 55 kilometers off of Dubai.(11) The cable off of Dubai was reported by CNN to be a FLAG Falcon cable.(10) And then on 3 February came reports of yet another damaged undersea cable, this time between Qatar and the UAE (United Arab Emirates).(6)(7)(11)
The confusion was compounded by another report on 1 February 2008 of a cut undersea cable running through the Suez to Sri Lanka.(19) If the report is accurate this would represent a sixth cut cable. The same article mentions the cut cable off of Dubai in the Persian Gulf, but seeing as the Suez is on the other side of the Arabian peninsula from the Persian Gulf, the article logically appears to be describing two separate cable cutting incidents.
These reports were followed on 4 February 2008 with a report of even more cut undersea cables. The Khaleej Times reported a total of five damaged undersea cables: two off of Egypt and the cable near Dubai, all of which have already been mentioned in this report. But then the Khaleej Times mentions two that have not been mentioned elsewhere, to my knowledge: 1) a cable in the Persian Gulf near Bandar Abbas, Iran, and 2) the SeaMeWe4 undersea cable near Penang, Malaysia.(3) The one near Penang, Malaysia appears to represent a new incident. The one near Bandar Abbas is reported separately from the one off Dubai and is evidently not the same incident, since the report says , "FLAG near the Dubai coast" and "FALCON near Bandar Abbas in Iran" were both cut. Bandar Abbas is on the other side of the Persian Gulf from Qatar and the UAE, and so presumably the cut cable near Bandar Abbas is not the one in that incident either. Interestingly, the report also states that, "The first cut in the undersea Internet cable occurred on January 23, in the Flag Telcoms FALCON submarine cable which was not reported.(3) This news article deals primarily with the outage in the UAE, so it raises the question as to whether this is a reference to yet a ninth cut cable that has not hit the mainstream news cycle in the United States.
By my count, we are probably dealing with as many as eight, maybe even nine, unexplained cut or damaged undersea cables within the last week, and not the mere three or four that most mainstream news media outlets in the United States are presently reporting. Given all this cable-cutting mayhem in the last several days, who knows but what there may possibly be other cut and/or damaged cables that have not made it into the news cycle, because they are lost in the general cable-cutting noise by this point. Nevertheless, let me enumerate what I can, and keep in mind, I am not pulling these out of a hat; all of the sources are referenced at the conclusion of the article; you can click through and look at all the evidence that I have. It's there if you care to read through it all.
one off of Marseille, France
two off of Alexandria, Egypt
one off of Dubai, in the Persian Gulf
one off of Bandar Abbas, Iran in the Persian Gulf
one between Qatar and the UAE, in the Persian Gulf
one in the Suez, Egypt
one near Penang, Malaysia
initially unreported cable cut on 23 January 2008 (Persian Gulf?)
Three things stand out about these incidents:
all of them, save one, have occurred in waters near predominantly Muslim nations, causing disruption in those countries;
all but two of the cut/damaged cables are in Middle Eastern waters;
so many like incidents in such a short period of time suggests that they are not accidents, but are in fact deliberate acts, i.e., sabotage.
The evidence therefore suggests that we are looking at a coordinated program of undersea cable sabotage by an actor, or actors, on the international stage with an anti-Muslim bias, as well as a proclivity for destructive violence in the Middle Eastern region.
The question then becomes: are there any actors on the international stage who exhibit a strong, anti-Muslim bias in their foreign relations, who have the technical capability to carry out clandestine sabotage operations on the sea floor, and who have exhibited a pattern of violently destructive policies towards Muslim peoples and nations, especially in the Middle East region?
The answer is yes, there are two: Israel and the United States of America.
In recent years, Israel has bombed and invaded Lebanon, bombed Syria, and placed the Palestinian Territories under a pitiless and ruthless blockade/occupation/quarantine/assault. During the same time frame the United States of America has militarily invaded and occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, and American forces remain in both countries at present, continuing to carry out aggressive military operations. Simultaneous with these Israeli and American war crimes against countries in the region, both Israel and the United States have made many thinly veiled threats of war against Iran, and the United States openly seeks to increase its military presence in Pakistan's so-called "tribal areas".(15) Israel and the United States both have a technically sophisticated military operations capability. Moreover, the United States Navy has a documented history of carrying out espionage activities on the sea floor. The U.S. Navy has long had special operations teams that can go out on submarines and deploy undersea, on the seabed itself, specifically for this sort of operation. This has all been thoroughly documented in the excellent book, Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage, by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew (New York: Public Affairs, 1998). The classic example is Operation Ivy Bells, which took place during the Cold War, in the waters off the Soviet Union. In a joint, U.S. Navy-NSA operation, U.S. Navy divers repeatedly tapped an underwater cable in the Kuril Islands, by swimming out undersea, to and from U.S. Navy submarines.(14)
This sort of activity is like something straight out of a spy novel thriller, but the U.S. Navy really does have special submarines and deep diving, special operations personnel who specialize in precisely this sort of operation. So cutting undersea cables is well within the operational capabilities of the United States Navy.
Couple this little known, but very important fact, with the reality that for years now we have seen more and more ham-handed interference with the global communications grid by the American alphabet soup agencies (NSA, CIA, FBI, HoSec) and major telecommunication companies. Would the telecommunication companies and the American military and alphabet soup agencies collude on an operation that had as its aim to sabotage the communications network across a wide region of the planet? Would they perhaps collude with Israeli military and intelligence agencies to do this? The honest answer has to be: sure, maybe so. The hard reality is that we are now living in a world of irrational and violent policies enacted against the civilian population by multinational corporations, and military and espionage agencies the world over. We see the evidence for this on every hand. Only the most myopic among us remain oblivious to that reality.
In light of the American Navy's demonstrated sea-floor capabilities and espionage activities, the heavy American Navy presence in the region, the many, thinly veiled threats against Iran by both the Americans and the Israelis, and their repeated, illegal, military aggression against other nations in the region, suspicion quite naturally falls on both Israel and the United States of America. It may be that this is what the beginning of a war against Iran looks like, or perhaps it is part of a more general, larger assault against Muslim and/or Arab interests across a very wide region. Whatever the case, this is no small operation, seeing as the cables that have been cut are among the largest communication pipes in the region, and clearly represent major strategic targets.
Very clearly, we are not looking at business as usual. On the contrary, it is obvious that we are looking at distinctly unusual business.
The explanations being put forth in the mainstream news media for these many cut, undersea communications cables absolutely do not pass the smell test. And by the way, the same operators who cut undersea cables in the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean Sea, Malaysia and possibly the Suez as well, presumably can also cut underwater cables in the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound. This could be a multipurpose operation, in part a test run for isolating a country or region from the international communications grid. The Middle East today, the USA tomorrow?
What's that you say? I don't understand how the world works? That kind of thing can't happen here?
In any event, if the cables have been intentionally cut, then that is an aggressive act of war. I'm sure everyone in the region has gotten that message. I'm looking at the same telegram as they are, and I know that it's clear as a "bell" to me.(14)
It is little known by the American people, but nevertheless true, that Iran intends to open its own Oil Bourse this month (February 2008) that will trade in "non-dollar currencies".(16) This has massive geo-political-economic implications for the United States and the American economy, since the American dollar is at present still (if not for much longer) the dominant reserve currency internationally, particularly for petroleum transactions. However, due to the mind-boggling scale of the structural weaknesses in the American economy, which have been well discussed in the financial press in recent weeks and months, the American dollar is increasingly shunned by corporate, banking and governmental actors the world over. No one wants to be stuck with vaults full of rapidly depreciating dollars as the American economy hurtles towards the basement. And so an operational Iranian Oil Bourse, actively trading supertankers full of petroleum in non-dollar currencies, poses a great threat to the American dollar's continued dominance as the international reserve currency.
The American fear and unease of this development can only be increased by the knowledge that, "Oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have set 2010 as the target date for adopting a monetary union and single currency."(2) The American government's fear must have ratcheted up another notch when Kuwait "dropped its dollar peg" in May "and adopted a basket of currencies", arousing "speculation that the UAE and Qatar would follow suit or revalue their currencies."(2) Although all the GCC members, with the exception of Kuwait, agreed at their annual meeting in December 2007 to continue to peg their currencies to the American dollar,(2) the hand writing is surely on the wall. As the dollar plummets, their American currency holdings will be worth less and less. At some point, they will likely decide to cut their losses and decouple the value of their currencies from that of the dollar. That point may be in 2010, when they establish the new GCC currency, maybe even sooner than that. If Iran succeeds in opening its own Oil Bourse it is hard to imagine that the GCC would not trade on the Iranian Oil Bourse, given the extremely close geographic proximity. And it is hard to believe that they would not trade their own oil in their own currency. Otherwise, why have a currency of their own? Clearly they intend to use it. And just as clearly, the three cut or damaged undersea communications cables in the Persian Gulf over the last week deliver a clear message. The United States may be a senescent dinosaur, and it is, but it is also a violent, heavily armed, very angry senescent dinosaur. In the end, it will do what all aged dinosaurs do: perish. But not before it first does a great deal of wild roaring and violent lashing and thrashing about.
There can be no doubt that Iran, and the other Gulf States, were intended recipients of this rather pointed cable cutting telegram, for all of the reasons mentioned here; and additionally, in the case of Iran, probably also as a waning for its perceived insults of Israel and dogged pursuit of its nuclear program in contravention of NeoCon-Zionist dogma that Iran may not have a nuclear program, though other nations in the region, Pakistan and Israel, do.
I must mention that one of my e-mail correspondents has pointed out that another possibility is that once the cables are cut, special operations divers could hypothetically come in and attach surveillance devices to the cables without being detected, because the cables are inoperable until they are repaired and start functioning again. In this way, other interests who wanted to spy on Middle Eastern communications, let's say on banking and trading data going to and from the Iranian Oil Bourse, or other nations in the Middle East, could tap into the communications network under cover of an unexplained cable "break". Who knows? -- this idea may have merit.
It is noteworthy that two of the cables that were cut lie off the Egyptian Mediterranean coast, and another passes through the Suez. During the height of the disruption, some 70 percent of the Egyptian Internet was down. (13) This is a heavy blow in a day when everything from airlines, to banks, to universities, to newspapers, to hospitals, to telephone and shipping companies, and much more, uses the Internet. So Egypt was hit very hard. An astute observer who carefully reads the international press could not fail to notice that in recent days there has been a report in the Egyptian press that "Egypt rejected an Israeli-American proposal to resettle 800,000 Palestinians in Sinai." This has evidently greatly upset the Zionist-NeoCon power block holding sway in Tel Aviv and Washington, DC with the result that Israel has reportedly threatened to have American aid to Egypt reduced if Egypt does not consent to the resettlement of the Palestinians in Egyptian territory.(17) This NeoCon-Zionist tantrum comes hard on the heels of the Israeli desire to cut ties with Gaza, as a consequence of the massive breach of the Gaza-Egypt border by hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in January 2008. (18)
What are NeoCon-Zionist tyrants to do when their diplomatic hissy fits and anti-Arab tirades no longer carry the day in Cairo? Or in Qatar and the UAE? Maybe they get out the underwater cable cutters and deploy some special operations submarines and divers in the waters off of Alexandria and in the Suez and in the Persian Gulf.
This would be completely in line with articulated American military doctrine, which frankly views the Internet as something to be fought. American Freedom Of Information researchers at George Washington University obtained a Department of Defense (Pentagon) document in 2006, entitled "Information Operation Roadmap", which says forthrightly and explicitly that "the Department must be prepared to 'fight the net'".(20) This is a direct quote. It goes on to say that, "We Must Improve Network and Electro-Magnetic Attack Capability. To prevail in an information-centric fight, it is increasingly important that our forces dominate the electromagnetic spectrum with attack capabilities." (20) It also makes reference to the importance of employing a "robust offensive suite of capabilities to include full-range electronic and computer network attack."(8)(20)
So now we can add to our list of data points the professed intent of the American military to "fight the net", using a "robust offensive suite of capabilities" in a " full-range electronic and computer network attack."
Maybe this sudden spate of cut communications cables is what it looks like when the American military uses a "robust offensive suite of capabilities" and mounts an "electronic and computer network attack" in order to "fight the net" in one region of the world. They have the means, and the opportunity, I've amply demonstrated that in this article. And now we also have the motive, in their own words, from their own policy statement. The plain translation is that the American military now regards the Internet, that means the hardware such as computers, cables, modems, servers and routers, and presumably also the content it contains, and the people who communicate that content, as an adversary, as something to be fought.
Oh yes, just a couple of more dots to connect before you fall asleep tonight:
1) The USS San Jacinto, an anti-missile AEGIS cruiser, was scheduled to dock in Haifa, Israel on 1 February 2008. The Jerusalem Post reported that this ship's anti-missile system "could be deployed in the region in the event of an Iranian missile attack against Israel."(1) Are we to expect another "false flag" attack, like the inside job on 9-11 perhaps? -- an attack that will be made to appear that it comes from Iran, and that is then used as a pretext to strike Iran, maybe with nuclear weapons? And when Iran retaliates with its own missiles, then the Americans and Israelis will unleash further hell on Iran? Is that the Zionist-NeoCon plan, or something generally along those lines?
2) I have to wonder because just this past Saturday, there was a report in the news that, "Retired senior officers told Israelis ... to prepare 'rocket rooms' as protection against a rain of missiles expected to be fired at the Jewish State in any future conflict." Retired General Udi Shani reportedly said, "The next war will see a massive use of ballistic weapons against the whole of Israeli territory."(4)
Now that we know the Israeli military establishment's thinking, and now that we have a view into the American military mindset, we ought to be looking at international events across the board with a very critical, analytical eye, especially as they relate to possible events that either are playing out right now, or may potentially play out in the relatively near future, say in the time frame of the next one month to five years. These people are violent and devious; they have forewarned us, and we should take them at their word, given their murderous record on the international stage.