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Sam1

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: fly over country
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2005, 08:23 AM
Number of posts: 333

Journal Archives

AG Holder: “Thank you, Richard Bowen”

Found this over at "New Economic Perspectives" The Blogger William Black is the author of "The best way to rob a bank is to own it" and a well recognized expert in white collar crime and Bankster frauds.

Those should have been the first four words of Attorney General Eric Holder at the press conference announcing the settlement with Citicorp.

This article is the first in a series of pieces discussing the critical omissions in Holder’s statement at that press conference. These omissions explain why elite banksters now routinely control our largest banks and use their power to become wealthy through leading fraud epidemics, with impunity from the law, that cause the our financial crises.



Richard M. Bowen, III

Richard M. Bowen, III was Citi’s top underwriter for purchased mortgage product. Tellingly, Citi did not use its own experts to underwrite loans prior to purchasing the loans. Bowen’s staff was only allowed to underwrite a sample of the loans after they were purchased. He found that Citi was purchasing loans – for the purpose of selling them overwhelmingly to Fannie and Freddie – that were poor credit quality and lacked essential documentation. He also discovered that Citi was making false “reps and warranties” about these vital loan characteristics in order to deceive Fannie and Freddie.



http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2014/07/ag-holder-thank-richard-bowen.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+neweconomicperspectives%2FyMfv+%28New+Economic+Perspectives%29

Why Don’t Americans Take More Vacations? Blame It on Independence Day

Posted on June 27, 2012 by Yves Smith



An article in the Boston Review by professor of sociology Claude Fischer falls prey to a pattern that is all too common: attributing social/political outcomes to American attitudes without bothering to examine why those attitudes came to be.

Let me give you a bit of useful background before I turn to the Fischer article as an illustration of a lack of curiosity, or worse, among soi disant intellectuals in America, and how it keeps Americans ignorant as to how many of our supposed cultural values have been cultivated to inhibit disruptive thought and action.

Since I have managed to come in on the last act of Gotterdammerung and am still trying to find the libretto, I’ve been in what little spare time I have reading history, particularly on propaganda. One must read book is by Alex Carey, Taking the Risk Out of Democracy. Carey taught psychology in Australia, and he depicts the US as the breeding ground for the modern art of what is sometimes more politely called the engineering of consent. The first large scale campaigns took place before World War I, when the National Association of Manufacturers began its decades-long campaign against organized labor. Carey stresses that propaganda depends on cultivating Manichean perspectives, the sacred versus the Satanic, and identifying the cause to be promoted with symbols that have emotional power. For many people, Americans in particular, patriotism is a rallying point.


http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/06/why-dont-americans-take-more-vacations-blame-it-on-independence-day.html

Self Evident Truths

I found this on Jim Wright's Stonekettle Station:


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…

Life. Liberty. Happiness.

We hold these truths to be self evident.

Great words, great ideals, especially when you’re telling a king to stick it up his ass.

We hold these truths to be self evident.

Except for that that part, of course, where those truths weren’t self evident.

Not at all.


http://www.stonekettle.com/2014/06/self-evident-truths.html

We Don't Need Patent Monopolies to Finance Vaccine Research

It is amazing that a lengthy piece in the NYT discussing the high cost of new vaccines and the efforts of companies to promote them never discussed the possibility of alternatives to patent monopolies as a way to finance the research. Until recent years, most vaccines actually were developed with public funding, so obviously it is possible.

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/we-dont-need-patent-monopolies-to-finance-vaccine-research?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+beat_the_press+%28Beat+the+Press%29

The Rise of the DIY Abortion in Texas

The Alamo flea market sits right off South Texas’s lengthy Highway 83; a sprawling, dusty, labyrinth of a place. Under canopies in the converted parking lot, vendors in dark sunglasses stand behind tables heaped with piles of clothing, barking in Spanish and hawking their wares. The air is hot and muggy, thick with the scent of grilled corn and chili.

Customers browse simple items—miracle-diet teas, Barbie dolls or turquoise jeans stretched over curvy mannequins—but there are also shoppers scanning the market for goods that aren't displayed in the stalls. Tables lined with bottles of medicine like Tylenol and NyQuil have double-meanings to those in the know: The over-the-counter drugs on top provide cover for the prescription drugs smuggled over the border from nearby cities in Mexico. Those, the dealer keeps out of sight.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/the-rise-of-the-diy-abortion-in-texas/373240/

The First Iraq War Was Also Sold to the Public Based on a Pack of Lies by Joshua Holland

Polls suggest that Americans tend to differentiate between our “good war” in Iraq — “Operation Desert Storm,” launched by George HW Bush in 1990 — and the “mistake” his son made in 2003.

Across the ideological spectrum, there’s broad agreement that the first Gulf War was “worth fighting.” The opposite is true of the 2003 invasion, and a big reason for those divergent views was captured in a 2013 CNN poll that found that “a majority of Americans (54%) say that prior to the start of the war the administration of George W. Bush deliberately misled the U.S. public about whether Baghdad had weapons of mass destruction.”

But as the usual suspects come out of the woodwork to urge the US to once again commit troops to Iraq, it’s important to recall that the first Gulf War was sold to the public on a pack of lies that were just as egregious as those told by the second Bush administration 12 years later.


http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/06/27-7

The Broken Thread of Culture

There are times when the de-industrial future seems to whisper in the night like a wind blowing through the trees, sending the easy certainties of the present spinning like dead leaves. I had one of those moments recently, courtesy of a news story from 1997 (http://www.miaminewtimes.com/1997-06-05/news/myths-over-miami/) that a reader forwarded me, about the spread of secret stories among homeless children in Florida’s Dade County. These aren’t your ordinary children’s stories: they’re myths in the making, a bricolage of images from popular religion and folklore torn from their original contexts and pressed into the service of a harsh new vision of reality.


God, according to Dade County’s homeless children, is missing in action; demons stormed Heaven a while back and God hasn’t been seen since.

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-broken-thread-of-culture.html

Military Effectiveness: ISIS, Taliban, Hezbollah

By Ian Welsh

I think it’s worth emphasizing that what we’ve seen over the past 30 years is a revolution in military affairs. New model militaries have arisen which are capable of fighting Western armies to a draw in irregular warfare, or even defeating them on the battlefield (Hezbollah v. Israel.) It’s not that guerrilla warfare wasn’t effective before (ask the Americans in Vietnam), it’s how stunningly cheap it has become and how brutally effective at area denial and attrition warfare.

People completely underestimate the importance of the IED. With IEDs the cost for occupation soars, and entire areas of a country can be made no-go zones except for large groups of troops.

But just as bad is the cost-effectiveness.


http://www.ianwelsh.net/military-effectiveness-isis-taliban-hezbollah/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IanWelsh+%28Ian+Welsh%29

I really like this observation: 'A strong ideology, and strong doctrine means that leaders are replaceable. Western leaders don’t believe that because as a class they are narcissists, who think that leaders are something super-special."

Beware of structural explanations of cyclical events

One of the things you can always bet on with surety is that the conservatives will always try to convince the public that a cyclical event is, in fact, a ‘structural’ event. This has two, linked purposes. First, they can downplay any hint that aggregate fiscal policy interventions, which work at the macroeconomic level are necessary no matter how bad the problem is. Second, they can then wheel out their favourite ‘structural’ remedies, all of which just happen to result in national income being distributed to profits or high income earners, less capacity for low-wage workers to enjoy real wage rises or reasonably share in national productivity growth, and lower government income support payments to the disadvantaged. A double-whammy strategy. Here is an example of that sort of lie. The US Employment-Population ratio has fallen dramatically since the onset of the crisis and remains stuck at low levels. The reason is clear – there was a huge collapse in employment in 2008 and 2009 and, in the recovery, the rate of job creation has not been sufficiently strong to reverse that decline. Total employment growth has been around or just above the underlying growth in the civilian population (above 16 years), which is why the ratio is stuck. There needs to be much faster employment growth for the US to make back the ground that was lost in the downturn. While the US civilian population is growing older and that is having an impact on the calculated Employment-Population ratio, the impact is small and doesn’t alter the fact that a huge negative cyclical event occurred in the US and the fiscal intervention was not large enough to fix the problem.


http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=28067

Beware of structural explanations of cyclical events

One of the things you can always bet on with surety is that the conservatives will always try to convince the public that a cyclical event is, in fact, a ‘structural’ event. This has two, linked purposes. First, they can downplay any hint that aggregate fiscal policy interventions, which work at the macroeconomic level are necessary no matter how bad the problem is. Second, they can then wheel out their favourite ‘structural’ remedies, all of which just happen to result in national income being distributed to profits or high income earners, less capacity for low-wage workers to enjoy real wage rises or reasonably share in national productivity growth, and lower government income support payments to the disadvantaged. A double-whammy strategy. Here is an example of that sort of lie. The US Employment-Population ratio has fallen dramatically since the onset of the crisis and remains stuck at low levels. The reason is clear – there was a huge collapse in employment in 2008 and 2009 and, in the recovery, the rate of job creation has not been sufficiently strong to reverse that decline. Total employment growth has been around or just above the underlying growth in the civilian population (above 16 years), which is why the ratio is stuck. There needs to be much faster employment growth for the US to make back the ground that was lost in the downturn. While the US civilian population is growing older and that is having an impact on the calculated Employment-Population ratio, the impact is small and doesn’t alter the fact that a huge negative cyclical event occurred in the US and the fiscal intervention was not large enough to fix the problem.

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=28067
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