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Bank closures now total 76 in 2011
(AP) WASHINGTON - Regulators on Friday closed a small bank in Minnesota and one in Missouri, increasing to 76 the number of U.S. bank failures this year.
The number of closures has fallen sharply this year as banks have worked their way through the bad debt accumulated in the recession. By this time last year, regulators had shuttered 129 banks.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized Riverbank, based in Wyoming, Minn., with $417.4 million in assets and $379.3 million in deposits; and Sun Security Bank of Ellington, Mo., with $355.9 million in assets and $290.4 million in deposits.
It's the money supply stupid,
what some investors still don't get about gold and silver
Having just read another article by an able job-smithing hack in The National newspaper purporting to explain the gold and silver market to readers my toes curled up at the lack of understanding about the most crucial factor that investors in these precious metals need to grasp.
It’s the money supply stupid! The focus is always on demand for gold jewelry or the industrial uses of silver. But really the rising price of gold and silvet is all about money and the devaluation of paper money against the one money that nobody has ever succeeded in manufacturing.
Gold and Silver Prices Rise on Week,
Bullion Silver Eagles Top 35 Million
U.S. gold and silver prices closed lower Friday but previous daily pick-ups combined to snap four-week losing streaks as gold advanced 0.8 percent and silver gained 3.0 percent.
Gold was pressured Friday, said analysts, as investors sold the yellow metal to meet margin calls. Gold prices declined $17.40, or 1.1 percent, to settle at $1,635.80 an ounce in the December futures contract on the Comex in New York. Prices ranged from an intraday low of $1,627.60 to a high of $1,668.00.
How To Hide Your Gold: A Bloomberg Primer
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
A world insolvency crisis, a Thermidorian reaction in Egypt, a hard landing in China, the first non-PIIGS nationalized bank... The world is on fire yet despite all of the above (or rather due to) what is the topic of one of the most commented articles on Bloomberg over the past week? Why how to hide one's gold. Bloomberg's Ben Steverman writes: "If you’re looking for a safe place to put your investments, Chad Venzke has a suggestion: Dig a hole in the ground four feet deep, pack gold and silver in a piece of plastic PVC pipe, seal it, and bury it. Venzke is hardly the only investor who wants his precious metals nearby at all times. A pound of gold worth about $24,000 can easily fit in a pocket; how to protect it is a decision that carries expensive consequences. Do-it-yourself investors who don't trust banks must find creative storage options, whether burying gold in the yard, submerging it in a koi pond, stashing it behind air-conditioning ducts, or placing it under carpets." Indeed, as Venezuela is about to reclaim possession of its tons of gold from UK vaults, even as the Dutch central bank proudly admit to hiding its own gold in precisely the same venues that are no longer good enough even for Chavez, the topic of where one should hide their physical is rapidly becoming a very incendiary. One thing is certain: among the hard core "physical" community, the idea of storing it in the same banking system that would be insolvent once the fiat status quo collapses, is verboten anathema. So what are the options?
Physical silver running out
because its spot price does not reflect true investment demand
Several readers of ArabianMoney have written to us over the past two weeks to express their astonishment at the current price of silver because demand where they live is so high that stocks have run out.
Consider this comment: 'I used to buy silver from a shop in Kobar in Saudi. From the last four weeks they said they ran out of silver. I cannot find anyone who sells silver in Saudi now. I asked them from where do they get their silver. They said the UAE. The problem is they only have 1kg bars…and I still cannot find any supplier.'
Silver’s 2nd Most Oversold Reading in a Decade
But Parallels of 2008 Still Suggest Caution
BY CHRIS PUPLAVA - FinancialSense.com
But Parallels of 2008 Still Suggest Caution
Silver (SLV) just completed its second major correction this year after its parabolic rise and peak in April. The second decline that occurred over the last month has led silver to shedding nearly half its value. The decline over the last six months has pushed our silver indicator to the second most oversold value in a decade. Is this a major buying opportunity or are investors now catching a falling knife? The answer to that question hinges on what the dollar (UUP) does over the next several weeks.
Missteps to Mayhem
Inside the Doomsday Machine with the outsider who predicted and profited from America’s financial Armageddon.
BY MICHAEL BURRY - Vanderbilt.edu
In predicting when and how America’s financial collapse would occur, my focus was on the growing importance of the housing sector, the actions of our government, and the response of the private sector. This was not simply a case in which a few early adopters made a lot of money or a few venture capitalists acted badly. The entire economy — consumer spending, jobs, securities market — all depended on home price appreciation.
The amount and types of leverage, the generations-old assumption that housing prices always went up, and broad societal participation in home ownership (with greater than 60 percent of Americans owning a home) all called out to me. Soon I would see financial Armageddon with housing as its trigger point.
Financial crisis and stimulus: Could this time be different?
By Ezra Klein - WashingtonPost.com
Christina Romer had been asked to scare her new boss. It was six weeks after the 2008 election, and the incoming administration had gathered in Chicago. David Axelrod, Barack Obama’s top political adviser, couldn’t have been more clear in his instructions to Romer: The president-elect needed to know how bad the economy was going to get. No pulling punches, no softening the news.
So Romer, the preternaturally cheerful economist whose expertise on the Great Depression made her a natural choice to head the incoming president’s Council of Economic Advisers, worked up some numbers to show how quickly the economy was deteriorating and what would happen if the federal government wasn't able to mount an effective response.
Major Economic Indicator Still in Freefall
BY DOUG SHORT - FinancialSense.com
Last week, September 30th, the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) publicly announced that the U.S. is tipping into a recession, a call the Institute had announced to its private clients on September 21st.
Early last week, ECRI notified clients that the U.S. economy is indeed tipping into a new recession. And there's nothing that policy makers can do to head it off.
ECRI's recession call isn't based on just one or two leading indexes, but on dozens of specialized leading indexes, including the U.S. Long Leading Index, which was the first to turn down — before the Arab Spring and Japanese earthquake — to be followed by downturns in the Weekly Leading Index and other shorter-leading indexes. In fact, the most reliable forward-looking indicators are now collectively behaving as they did on the cusp of full-blown recessions, not "soft landings."
Can Global Stimulus Stop Deflation?
BY CLIF DROKE - FinancialSense.com
The year 2011 has been a strange and unusual one on many counts. If anything, 2011 can be characterized as the first year since the credit crisis started in which deflation wasn’t actively opposed by central bankers and financial regulators.
In some cases, fiscal policy has been designed seemingly to assist the deflationary trend. In just the past few months, for instance, we’ve seen the abrupt end of the Federal Reserve’s attempt at bolstering asset prices, the dramatic increase in margin requirements for several key commodities, talk of increasing taxes and regulatory burdens on businesses and other pro-deflationary measures. It’s enough to make you wonder if perhaps the regulators actually want to introduce a certain level of deflation into the economy and financial markets.
Stocks hinge on Europe
Earnings and Europe come knocking
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Stocks kicked off the fourth quarter with gains last week, but the week ahead could be more challenging as the quarterly earnings season gets underway and Europe's debt crisis remains in the spotlight.
Dow components Alcoa and JPMorgan Chase report quarterly financial results, as well Pepsico and Google. All four heavyweights are among the S&P 500 companies.
S&P 500 company earnings are expected to have climbed almost 13% in the third quarter of 2011, according to earnings tracker Thomson Reuters. Revenues of the companies in the benchmark index are expected to have risen 10%.
Europe on the Brink
By Megan McArdle - TheAtlantic.com
I haven't been blogging much about Europe because I felt like I was mostly repeating myself. Europe is not an optimal currency zone. It opted for monetary union without the fiscal or labor market integration that make America's sprawling currency zone work. So far, the various governments have failed to mount a really credible coordinated response. I don't see how the thing can hold together, except that Jesus, it will be hell if it all falls apart.
But it's probably worth interrupting your regularly scheduled unemployment-and-kitchen-blogging to point out that it all really seems to be coming to a head:
Trichet Reminds U.S. Euro Built to Last
By Simon Kennedy - Bloomberg.com
Jean-Claude Trichet stood on a stage at Washington's Willard Hotel, leafed through his prepared speech, and cast it aside.
The reason for the European Central Bank president’s Sept. 23 ad-libbing: a desire to rebut what he called the "particularly gloomy" economic outlook of the previous panel featuring former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and Pacific Investment Management Co. chief executive officer Mohamed El-Erian.
"The overall picture when you look at the euro area as a whole is very, very different from the perception," Trichet said in his Washington speech to a conference organized by the Bretton Woods Committee.
'Time short' for eurozone, says Cameron
By George Parker and Lionel Barber - FT.com
David Cameron has urged European leaders to take a “big bazooka” approach to resolving the eurozone crisis, warning they have just a matter of weeks to avert economic disaster.
The UK prime minister wants France and Germany to bury their differences and to adopt before the end of the year what he claims would be a decisive five-point plan to end the uncertainty, which was having a "chilling effect" on the world economy.
On the Edge with Max Keiser - Oct. 7
Euro Maintains Declines as Sarkozy,
Merkel Fail to Reassure on Debt Crisis
By Masaki Kondo and Kristine Aquino - Bloomberg.com
The yen fell against the majority of its most-traded counterparts as optimism Europe can contain its debt crisis spurred a climb in U.S. equity futures, damping demand for haven currencies.
The euro strengthened versus most of its 16 peers after French and German leaders pledged to deliver a plan in three weeks to recapitalize banks and reiterated their intention to keep Greece in the euro. The Australian dollar gained for a fifth day against the U.S. currency before a report this week that may show employment in the South Pacific nation increased.
"People are cautiously optimistic," said Adam Carr, a senior economist in Sydney at ICAP Australia Ltd., a unit of the world’s largest interdealer broker. "The European economy is probably going to strengthen over the third quarter. The yen will probably weaken a little bit as funds maybe start to trickle out of Japan into risk assets."
And So It Begins – The First Major European Bank
Has Been Bailed Out And More Bailouts Are Coming
And so it begins. The first major European bank bailout of 2011 has now happened. French/Belgian banking giant Dexia has failed and both governments have pledged to participate in a rescue plan. But Dexia will not be the last major European bank to fail. Even now, governments all over Europe are feverishly developing plans to bail out major national banks in the event that the current financial crisis goes from bad to worse. Instead of learning the lessons of 2008, most major European banks have continued to pile up huge mountains of debt, leverage and risk. Now the bill for that stupidity is about to be passed on to the taxpayers of those nations. But with most nations in Europe already drowning in debt, are bank bailouts really the right course of action? What is it going to happen to Europe if dozens of major banks start failing and trillions of euros are needed to bail them all out?
Dexia Board Meets as France,
Belgium Tussle Over Troubled Assets
By Fabio Benedetti-Valentini - Bloomberg.com
Dexia SA (DEXB)'s board meets today to study options to dismantle the French-Belgian bank that has brought Europe’s sovereign debt crisis to the heart of the region's financial system.
While France and Belgium have rushed to protect their local units, hurdles to an agreement remain as they wrestle over responsibility for assets hit by the crisis that has caused the bank’s short-term funding to evaporate. Dexia's troubled assets are being folded into a "bad bank" and could amount to as much as 190 billion euros ($254 billion).
Agreement Is Reached to Nationalize Belgian Bank
By LIZ ALDERMAN and JUDY DEMPSEY - NYTimes.com
PARIS — Europe’s debt crisis hit another milestone on Sunday when the French and Belgian governments agreed to nationalize Dexia, Belgium’s biggest bank, infusing it with billions in taxpayer money after it became the first casualty of the Greek sovereign debt crisis.
The move came as Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France acknowledged that Europe’s banks still needed billions of euros more to cushion against a possible Greek default. In meetings Sunday in Berlin, they announced that they would have a "comprehensive solution" by the time leaders of the G-20 group of nations meets in early November in Cannes, France.
"We are determined to do what is necessary to guarantee the recapitalization of our banks," Mrs. Merkel said.
Merkel, Sarkozy reach agreement on banking sector
By Michael Birnbaum - WashingtonPost.com
BERLIN — France and Germany’s leaders promised far-reaching changes to the euro zone's economic governance Sunday, as a separate agreement was reached to nationalize a troubled Franco-Belgian bank, marking the first victim of Greece's debt crisis.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after a meeting in Berlin that they were ready to recapitalize banks that have been shaken by the debt crisis, and said they would announce more fundamental reforms to the euro zone's common economic governance by the end of the month.
China Companies Evading Rules Stump Regulators
By Dune Lawrence - Bloomberg.com
A common corporate structure that has allowed dozens of Chinese companies to get listed on U.S. exchanges is drawing increased scrutiny from American audit regulators.
Chinese Internet companies such as Sina Corp. and Baidu Inc. have used so-called variable interest entities, or VIEs, to work around Chinese restrictions and seek foreign investors since 2000. Now, the Securities and Exchange Commission is also asking questions about the structure, said Paul Boltz, a Hong Kong-based partner at Ropes & Gray LLP, who cited comment letters the agency sent to six companies since December. Judith Burns, an SEC spokeswoman, declined to comment.
Another Round of Inflationist Measures
BY PATER TENEBRARUM - FinancialSense.com
As we have recently noted in these pages, it was our expectation that the advice of the currency debasers that rule today's economic orthodoxy would once again prevail, despite the reams of both theoretical and empirical evidence arrayed against it. This ongoing war on savers will end up doing incalculable economic damage in addition to the damage it has already wrought. The whole thing is as though physicists were suddenly abandoning Einstein's theories on a whim, arguing that they are no longer fitting for our modern age since they are a century old.
40 Signs That America Is Rotting From The Inside Out
It would be easy to know how to defend America if enemy forces were invading our shores. But how do you defend a nation that is rotting from the inside out? How do you eradicate the internal decay that is eating away at the heart and soul of this nation a little bit more every single day? Just like we saw happen with the Roman Empire, the internal rot that is eating its way to the surface threatens to bring us down as a nation. Greed, corruption, gluttony, lust and pride have become national pastimes. We are addicted to debt, food, entertainment and pleasure. We have been taught to hate those that look different from us or that believe different things than we do. Society is literally coming apart at the seams and the federal government is increasingly implementing "Big Brother" security measures in an attempt to maintain control and keep us "safe". We have far more people in prison than any other nation on the planet and yet things just keep getting worse and worse. So how can we fix America? How do we rescue a nation that is rotting from the inside?
Bob Chapman - The Sovereign Economist 05 Oct 2011
The Top 100 Statistics
About The Collapse Of The Economy
That Every American Voter Should Know
The U.S. economy is dying and most American voters have no idea why it is happening. Unfortunately, the mainstream media and most of our politicians are not telling the truth about the collapse of the economy. This generation was handed the keys to the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen, and we have completely wrecked it. Decades of incredibly foolish decisions have left us drowning in an ocean of corruption, greed and bad debt. Thousands of businesses and millions of jobs have left the country and poverty is exploding from coast to coast. We are literally becoming a joke to the rest of the world. It is absolutely imperative that we educate America about what is happening. Until the American people truly understand the problems that we are facing, they will not be willing to implement the solutions that are necessary.
Subprime Mortgage Flows into Goldman Sachs
On April 16, 2010 the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs alleging securities fraud for selling residential mortgage backed securities [RMBS] the firm knew was made up of failed sub-prime mortgages.
Using our InFlow social network analysis software we linked the failed/foreclosed mortgages from Cleveland, Ohio that ended up in investment vehicles sold by Goldman Sachs. The failed investments were made up of mortgages from all over the country. The map below shows only those failed mortgages originating from Northeast Ohio.
Inflation not a big worry, top Fed officials say
By Judy Wiley and Matthew Bigg
(Reuters) - The risk of U.S. inflation is minor compared with an ongoing morass in the jobs market, two top Federal Reserve officials said after the government reported a steady 9.1 percent jobless rate.
However, both Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher and Atlanta Fed chief Dennis Lockhart sounded skeptical of pushing for further monetary easing and unsure of how much it might help.
"The economy currently is weak, but not dramatically weakening. It is sort of bumping along at a very low level. There's a mix of data, some of it is negative but some of it is mildly positive," Lockhart said.
Fed Up and Taking to the Streets, But What are the Demands?
by ESAM AL-AMIN - CounterPunch.org
People across the globe are angry. Fed up with their corrupt and inept governments, people have taken to the streets. The furious protesters have come from all walks of life: students, workers and farmers, men and women, young and old, urban and rural, the working poor and the struggling middle class.
Undoubtedly, the Arab Spring has inspired people around the globe to take matters into their own hands. In essence, the masses have given up on their elected officials, whom they see as selling out to the multinational corporations and the super rich in their societies.
Dylan Ratigan With Author Ron Suskind:
"Tim Geithner Ran The White House,
Stopped Attorney General Eric Holder
From Prosecuting Wall Street"
Who's the White House boss?
Start watching at the 2-minute mark. This is the most important Ratigan clip since his on-air meltdown. You will hear that Geithner and Summers defied orders from Obama and took over White House policy, instructing Attorney General Eric Holder to back off Wall Street criminal prosecutions.
"Geithner developed a system to keep the existing Wall Street structure in place with no prosecutions, and billions in additional bailouts."
You got that? That's called an Executive Gag Order - Mr. President, shut your pie hole.
Don't tell anyone that a tax cheat shilling for Wall Street is actually the President of the United States of America and not the tall guy reading from the teleprompter.
How The Financial Crisis Created A 'New Third World'
Hedge fund manager Kyle Bass had made a fortune betting against the subprime mortgage market when it collapsed in 2008. And now Bass is set to make lots more — from a Greek default.
Bass' story is chronicled in Michael Lewis' latest book, Boomerang: The Meltdown Tour, which tells the stories of the fiscal recklessness in both Europe and the U.S. that led to the current debt crisis.
Lewis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that Bass realized that governments around the world weren't ending the 2008 financial crisis — they were just delaying it. So Bass decided that they would also likely fail.
Gerald Celente with Stephen Lendman - Oct. 6
Wrong Medicine for a Sick Economy
Mises Daily: by Ralph Reiland
"Middle-class families shouldn't pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires," repeatedly proclaims President Obama, arguing for his proposed $1.5 trillion tax increase over the next 10 years. "That's pretty straightforward. It's hard to argue against that."
In fact, Mr. Obama's statement is anything but straightforward.
Seeking to reverse his declining poll numbers, especially among his increasingly disillusioned base, Obama is attempting to give the impression that America's millionaires and billionaires are paying lower taxes than their secretaries.
Occupy Wall Street: All Bite, No Apple
By Debra Saunders - PatriotPOST.US
As Occupy Wall Street activists clogged New York's Zuccotti Park protesting "corporate greed" and Occupy SF hit San Francisco's Financial District on Wednesday protesting "corporate greed," the world learned that Steve Jobs, perhaps America's most beloved modern capitalist, had died at age 56.
The protesters claim to represent the working people, the 99 percent of Americans who, according to their blog, are getting kicked out of their homes, must choose between groceries and rent and "are working long hours for little pay and no rights," if they're working at all. They "are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything."
Occupy Wall Street Affiliated With
Professional Revolutionary Organization OTPOR (CIA)
.... I have been quite skeptical of the Occupy movement since it suddenly sprang up out of nowhere in the last couple of weeks. While I have been in full support of the "End the Fed" movement, I am suspicious of any "grassroots" movement that immediately gets corporate media support. I recall there being nationwide "End the Fed" rallies in 2009 that received little to no mainstream media coverage.
When I heard Van Jones along with various union bosses claim their support for the Occupy movement in recent weeks, it confirmed for me that this Occupy is essentially the Tea-Party version of the extreme progressive political agenda. Van Jones even recently discussed an "October Offensive" that would be used to counter the Tea Party.
Solyndra Bankruptcy Could Hobble
the U.S. Renewable Energy Sector
Written by Gloria Gonzalez - OilPrice.com
The controversy surrounding the collapse of solar panel manufacturer Solyndra could make it impossible to extend the US loan guarantee or cash grant programmes for renewable energy and may make supporting other clean energy programmes much more challenging, experts have said.
The case of Solyndra, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 6 September, is being used by some Republican legislators as an excuse to try to eliminate investment in clean energy, according to energy experts. The Fremont, California-based company was backed by a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy (DOE).
State Fund plans to lay off up to 1,800 workers by June
The cuts at California's largest workers' compensation insurance company represent about one-fourth of its 6,800 employees and are an effort to streamline operations and cut expenses.
By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Sacramento—
In an effort to streamline operations and cut expenses, California's largest workers' compensation insurance company plans to lay off about a fourth of its 6,800 employees.
Tom Rowe, chief executive of the government-controlled State Compensation Insurance Fund, said Thursday the company is about 30% overstaffed and will fire as many as 1,800 civil service workers by the end of June.
Recovering Financially (and Emotionally)
From Long-Term Unemployment
By Laura Rowley - DailyFinance.com
Recovering financially after a period of long-term unemployment isn't easy, but it is fairly straightforward: Pay off debts, rebuild savings, and adjust to a new (typically lower) income.
Recovering emotionally is far more complicated. Truly bouncing back from a job loss means retraining your brain and consciously shifting your perspective. And as the nation struggles to climb out of the worst jobs crisis since the Great Depression - the Labor Department reported Friday that theunemployment rate remains stubbornly highat 9.1% - millions of people are grappling with the issue.
At 64, is it too late to go back to school?
By Liz Weston - Money Talk - LATimes.com
Dear Liz: I'm 64 and have a master's degree in education but can't find a job. Is it too late to go back to school? I was thinking of majoring in occupational therapy.
Answer: It's never too late to go back to school — but it is possible to spend too much doing so.
The good news is that occupational therapy is a fast-growing field with many job opportunities. The bad news is that you typically need a master's degree to be an occupational therapist, and master's programs (as you know) aren't cheap.
Plus, your age is a factor to consider. Getting hired after 50 is tough, regardless of your field.
Startup America Looks to Washington
Ahead of his meeting with President Obama, Startup America chairman Steve Case has plenty of ideas on how to help entrepreneurs, but says they're going to need an assist from Washington.
by J.D. Harrison - Portfolio.com
If you ask Startup America chairman Steve Case for a list of what Washington can do to increase entrepreneurship to a level that it will refuel the economy and reignite job growth, he has no shortage of ideas. For starters, Case believes the federal government must rethink immigration policies, tear down barriers that keep companies from going public, and increase available seed funding.
One of AOL's cofounders and the current CEO of Revolution, Case discussed his committee's recommendations at a youth entrepreneurship competition last night ahead of his meeting with President Obama next week in Pittsburgh. He expanded on the details of those recommendations during a phone conference today.
Obama's New Populist Fakery
by MICHAEL HUDSON - CounterPunch.org
The seeds for President Obama's demagogic press conference on Thursday were planted last summer when he assigned his right-wing Committee of 13 the role of resolving the obvious and inevitable Congressional budget standoff by forging an anti-labor policy that cuts Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and uses the savings to bail out banks from even more loans that will go bad as a result of the IMF-style austerity program that Democrats and Republicans alike have agreed to back.
The problem facing Obama is obvious enough: How can he hold the support of moderates and independents (or as Fox News calls them, socialists and anti-capitalists), students and labor, minorities and others who campaigned so heavily for him in 2008? He has double-crossed them – smoothly, with a gentle smile and patronizing pattern talk, but with an iron determination to hand federal monetary and tax policy over to his largest campaign contributors: Wall Street and assorted special interests. The Democratic Party’s Rubinomics and Clintonomics core operators, plus smooth Bush Administration holdovers such as Tim Geithner, not to mention quasi-Cheney factotums in the Justice Department.
Economic Collapse, Railroad Workers to Strike
FBI to launch nationwide facial recognition service
BY ALIYA STERNSTEIN 10/07/2011
The FBI by mid-January will activate a nationwide facial recognition service in select states that will allow local police to identify unknown subjects in photos, bureau officials told Nextgov.
The federal government is embarking on a multiyear, $1 billion dollar overhaul of the FBI's existing fingerprint database to more quickly and accurately identify suspects, partly through applying other biometric markers, such as iris scans and voice recordings.
The Fascist Threat
Mises Daily: by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.
Everyone knows that the term fascist is a pejorative, often used to describe any political position a speaker doesn't like. There isn't anyone around who is willing to stand up and say, 'I'm a fascist; I think fascism is a great social and economic system."
But I submit that if they were honest, the vast majority of politicians, intellectuals, and political activists would have to say just that.
Fascism is the system of government that cartelizes the private sector, centrally plans the economy to subsidize producers, exalts the police state as the source of order, denies fundamental rights and liberties to individuals, and makes the executive state the unlimited master of society.
'They Won't Care Till They're Affected'
By Peggy Noonan PatriotPost.us
Look, we are in a remarkable moment and I'm not sure we're noticing it in the day-to-day of politics and media. Last week I wrote of the new patriotism that I see taking hold of the American establishment, if that's the right word -- business leaders, doctors, scientists, entrepreneurs, journalists and lawyers who find themselves feeling a great, deep yearning to help save their country. That public-spiritedness is waiting to be harnessed and led by good men and women who, in words I'll explain in a moment, have passion not for themselves but for America.
What's behind it is fear. The economy is tanking and can take a whole world with it. But what's interesting -- and new -- is that the fear is not finding its expression (again, among those loosely described as the establishment) in rage, or in deeper partisan antagonism.
Computer virus hits U.S. military drones
Dayton Business Journal - BizJournals.com
Computer hackers have apparently turned their sites to unmanned aerial vehicles as UAVs, or drones, operated by the U.S. military have been infected with a mysterious computer virus.
Wired.com on reports that a computer virus that logs every keystroke of pilots has infected Predator and Reaper drones flying overseas missions.
Taking Stock of the Long Wars: A Proposal
It's been 10 years since the start of the war in Afghanistan. It's time for some reflection.
By JOHN ARQUILLA , ANDREW BACEVICH,
JAMES FALLOWS, & GARY HART - TheAtlantic.com
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the Afghanistan War. This occasion should prompt Americans to consider a simple question: How's it going?
"It," of course, refers to much more than Afghanistan.
After all, the campaign launched on October 7, 2001 to destroy Al Qaeda and overthrow the Taliban soon metastasized. Beyond the unnecessary diversion into Iraq, the enterprise once known as the Global War on Terror now finds U. S. military and intelligence forces engaged in places as far afield as Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya.
Iran says Wall Street protests
are start of 'American Spring' that will topple capitalism
By Associated Press - WashingtonPost.com
TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian military commander said Sunday that the protests spreading from New York's Wall Street to other U.S. cities are the beginning of an "American Spring," likening them to the uprisings that toppled Arab autocrats in the Middle East.
Gen. Masoud Jazayeri of Iran's Revolutionary Guard said the protests against corporate greed and the gap between rich and poor are a revolution in the making that will topple what he called the Western capitalist system.
The Occupy Wall Street movement started in New York City last month and is spreading to other parts of the country. The loosely affiliated movement is peacefully protesting the power of the financial and political sectors.
Trouble in the Kingdom
by ALEXANDER COCKBURN - CounterPunch.org
Threaten the stability of Saudi Arabia, as the Shi’a upsurges are now doing in Qatif, and al-Awamiyah in the country's oil-rich Eastern Province and you’re brandishing a dagger over the very heart of long-term U.S. policy in the Middle East for over half a century.
In 1945 the chief of the State Department’s Division of Near Eastern Affairs, wrote in a memo that the oil resources of Saudi Arabia are a "stupendous source of strategic power and one of the greatest material prizes in world history." The man who steered the Saudi sheikhs towards America and away from Britain, was St.John Philby, Kim’s father, and with that one great stroke Philby Sr. wrought far more devastation on the British Empire than his son ever did. The fall of America’s ally, the Shah of Iran in 1979 only magnified the strategic importance of Saudi Arabia.
Could Congress's Anti-Palestinian Turn
Be Good News for Palestine?
One might think that the U.S. Congress would be the last place to look for a ray of hope in the long Palestinian march for freedom -- think again
By Daniel Levy - TheAtlantic.com
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is the Republican chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and when it comes to matters Israeli-Palestinian she tends not to mince her words. Here is but one choice example: "It's time for us to kick the PLO out of the U.S. once and for all, and move our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, where it belongs."
Is she an outlier extremist in the Republican caucus on this issue? Far from it. One GOP colleague, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) introduced a bill resolving to support "Israel's right to annex Judea and Samaria in the event that the Palestinian Authority continues to press for unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations," while another, Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) has lamented a situation in which, in his words "Palestinians have the Gaza Strip and they are occupying the West Bank."
Syria warns countries not to recognize opposition
By Bassem Mroue - AP - WashingtonTimes.com
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria‘s foreign minister warned the international community on Sunday not to recognize a new umbrella council formed by the opposition, threatening "tough measures" against any country that does so.
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem did not specify what measures Damascus might take but alluded later in his comments to attacks on embassies. Addressing reports that protesters had broken into Syria‘sembassy to Germany, Mr. al-Moallem said that countries that did not protect Syrian missions could find their own embassies treated in the same way.
China's Hu urges unification with Taiwan
By Gillian Wong - AP - WashingtonTimes.com
BEIJING (AP) — China’s leader on Sunday used the centennial of a revolution that ended imperial rule to make an appeal to further relations with Taiwan, saying they should move beyond the history that divides them and focus on common economic and cultural interests.
At a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, President Hu Jintao said that China and Taiwan should end antagonisms, "heal wounds of the past and work together to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation."
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