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sabrina 1

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Member since: Sun Mar 30, 2008, 05:51 AM
Number of posts: 45,155

Journal Archives

'All Your Bank Records Are Belong To Us'

One of the latest defenses of the theft of the American People's personal phone data and other personal material, such as personal emails etc is this:

You don't own your records.

I don't recall this defense when Bush was caught using the telecoms to collect people's phone data. All I remember from back then was outrage at the Government intruding into people's private lives, in clear violation of the 4th Amendment.

I have been told that this includes your Bank Records, your Sales Records, Medical Records, and anything you do where someone else, a store, a phone company, a bank etc. is involved in the transaction.

I am also being told this:

It is perfectly legal

Which reminds me of this:

Martin Luther King: ' Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal'

But is it legal? Where are the laws that back up these claims that anyone can have access to your Bank Records eg? Or your SS# simply because you are required to supply it when you open an account somewhere?

If this is true, which I have some serious doubts about, then every thief and stalker and peeping tom iow, criminal, can now freely do, without consequences, what was more than likely to get them thrown in jail just before these leaks exposed the massive surveillance of the American people.

The ramifications of throwing out all the laws protecting people from such invasions of their property, such as their Bank and Medical records are enormous.

If your records don't belong to you, then anyone can access them and you have no say in who these 'third parties' choose to give them to.

So, a disgruntled employee can get his/her hands on the records of his/her boss, 'collect and store them' for future use.

A thief can get into your bank account and move your money to his/her account without too much effort simply by taking the info from wherever he/she can get it, then later claim when you whine about it: 'Your records don't belong to you'.

I was certain there were privacy laws governing Medical Records eg.

Now I am being told this is not the case, those records don't belong to you.

So what laws destroyed all the protections we used to have?

When was the 4th Amendment of the Constitution rescinded?


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Is it time to change the Oath of Office taken by all Military Personnel and by Elected Officials since they have failed so miserably to uphold it anyhow?

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

It varies a little depending on who is being sworn in, but not much, this has been deemed the most important possession we have, the US Constitution!

Not the 'Homeland' or the 'President' or 'The People', but the Constitution.

It doesn't say: 'But you're free to change it when you feel like it'.

Or 'ignore it when Corporations demand you do so'.

Nor does it say that you can ignore it when you are afraid of 'terrorists'.

There are no 'outs' in these oaths.

But clearly we have a government that has abandoned its sworn duty, so why keep up the pretense? Why not just be honest and drop the pretext of what we claim to be?

That would definitely make it easier for the defenders of what is now indefensible.

Change the law to make legal what is not legal? Well, they did it before when they added an Amendment to the FISA Bill to make Bush's illegal acts legal.

I'd rather have the fight out in the open and let's see what the American people have to say about it.

They don't have the guts to do that, they would rather spin and turn themselves into pretzels trying to defend what has no defense under our current system than face the American people with the truth.

Who is right and who is wrong?

That's easy, just read the document everyone swears to defend and protect and if you don't feel any urge to try to change it?


And if you find yourself desperately trying to avoid the message, arguing that the anti-Constitutional polices we have learned about, are LEGAL? then


It's not rocket science.

So, where do we go from here?

Timothy Geithner Owed Back Taxes, Became Treasury Secretary.

Owing back taxes has suddenly become a major crime in America, it appears. But just a few years ago, it was so inconsequential that it had no impact on a nomination for Treasury Secretary in the President's cabinet.

Here's how it works, it depends on who you are. IF you are a journalist who has published leaks that are embarrassing to the US government, smearing your reputation by digging up information such as you owed back taxes, is supposed to make the stories you published somehow less important.

That's not true of course. Those stories will continue to be important as they should.

We have 'Security Contractors' now who get contracts for this kind of work, which is then spread around by using rags like The Daily Mail and of course, internet operatives.

HB Gary's exposed emails revealed that they, a 'Security Contractor', had proposed a smear campaign against Greenwald a few years ago, then just a blogger, in order to get him to stop writing about Bank of America and The Chamber of Commerce. How many others are doing so, we don't yet know, but let's hope more Whistle Blowers step forward because knowledge is power.

More facts emerge about the leaked smear campaigns

The emails also show that it was Barr from HB Gary] who suggested pressuring Salon.com journalist Glenn Greenwald, though Palantir, another firm working with HBGary Federal, quickly accepted that suggestion and added it to the PowerPoint presentation that the group was assembling.

Greenberg is referring to this series of emails, first from HBGary’s Barr — addressed to Palantir’s Matthew Steckman and Eli Bingham along with Berico’s Sam Kremin (click image to enlarge):

Yes, they were planning a smear campaign against Glenn Greenwald to 'pressure him' to stop telling the truth about Bank of America and The Chamber of Commerce, for money!

Anonymous was responsible for the HB Gary exposures.

But, what happens if you are a member of the top 1% and you 'forget' to pay taxes on your housekeeper for several years? Will people dismiss you once it's been exposed?

Hardly, you apologize, pay your back taxes, and Congress will nominate you to the position of Treasury Secretary:

Timothy Geithner says he regrets tax mistakes

Geithner, who as Treasury secretary would be in charge of the IRS, paid back taxes for 2003 and 2004 after an IRS audit in 2006. Geithner paid further back taxes and interest after similar problems for his 2001 and 2002 returns were discovered during vetting by the Obama team.

In total, Geithner paid $34,023 in back taxes and $8,679 in interest.

Well, we should all be glad that in the end the taxes got paid.

HB Gary had to forget about their 'contract proposal' to BOA and The Chamber of Commerce because Americans on the whole, are nice people. They don't like to see these kinds of dirty tricks being played to try to silence a journalist. Sometimes they have the opposite effect. See Clinton eg. And BOA and The Chamber weren't happy to have these things see the light of day, the way they deal with people who tell the truth about them.

But just because HB Gary didn't get the Contract to smear Greenwald, doesn't mean someone else didn't get one. Apparently there is money in smearing Greenwald. For being a real journalist. It looks like someone else did get that contract.

Is this the kind of country we want? Because if it is, then once it is exposed, as it has been, it won't be just one side doing it. I personally think it is despicable and will not be distracted from the main issue which they are attempting to cover up.

Watch out Journalists, if you are even thinking of publishing the facts. Watch what is happening to journalists who do and then decide if your country is worth the risk.

Give them hell Glenn. You are one hell of a reporter and the more they do this the more we know you are telling the truth!

Conyers, Nadler, and Scott: NSA-Phone Tracking is Overbroad; Call for Immediate Hearings

Apparently there is some effort to discredit even Jerry Nadler now, in favor of Mueller. From what I have read, the only argument appears to the source from which the story came.

Jerry Nadler is one of the foremost experts on Constitutional issues in Congress and has always stood up for the rights of the people granted in the Constitution.

The claim that he 'might have misunderstood' the bumbling excuses being offered so far by the likes of Mueller, Clapper, Cheney, King, Fleischer et al strains credulity.

Here are his concerns about what is going on in his own words.

You can decide whether you trust him or Mueller. I trust Democrats like Nadler, Wyden, Conyers, Grayson with my rights and security. I do not trust Republican war criminals and their supporters

Conyers, Nadler, and Scott: NSA-Phone Tracking is Overbroad; Call for Immediate Hearings

(WASHINGTON) – Following the public revelation concerning the collection of phone records, Ranking Member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) issued the following statement:

“The recent revelation that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has approved the blanket and ongoing collection of telephone records -- including those of everyday Americans with absolutely no ties to terrorism – – is highly problematic and reveals serious flaws in the scope and application of the USA PATRIOT Act. We believe this type of program is far too broad and is inconsistent with our Nation’s founding principles. We cannot defeat terrorism by compromising our commitment to our civil rights and liberties.

“As senior members of the Committee, we have long fought against Congress’s grant of such overbroad surveillance authority to the executive branch. The intended goal of Section 215, was to ensure that our law enforcement and intelligence agencies have the ability to investigate foreign-based terrorist activities. But we have long voiced our concerns that, as drafted and interpreted, Section 215 does not require a sufficient connection to terrorist activity before allowing for the potentially overbroad collection of information.

“And while the recent revelations confirm our fears – that the law would be distorted to allow for ongoing, indiscriminate collection of data – this problem unquestionably predates the current Administration. Indeed, once the National Security Agency’s vast over-collection of metadata like that at issue here was publicized during the Bush Administration, we fought for meaningful Congressional review and amendment of the PATRIOT Act’s surveillance authorities – introducing legislation, offering amendments, and ultimately voting against blanket reauthorization of the very provision at issue here.

“We strongly disagree with those who would assert that because this type of program appears to be long standing and Members of Congress may have been briefed, that it is acceptable to us or the Congress. A classified briefing which does not permit any public discussion does not imply approval or acceptance. We believe the House Judiciary Committee should conduct oversight hearings about this situation and promptly consider legislation to help correct this matter.”

We need more Jerry Nadlers and Ron Wydens in Congress. They actually take their oaths of office seriously.

Why Snowden's Resume Actually Is Important!

If the stories are correct about Snowden's resume, we should be even more concerned about our 'Intelligence' community and the standards required of those entrusted with our Rights and Security.

Do they really hire people and give them access to such sensitive information without knowing anything about their backgrounds?

Us Fears Snowden Will Defect to China

When Edward Snowden revealed himself to be the source of the NSA leaks in an interview with The Guardian Sunday, he briefly described how he went from a high school dropout to a man entrusted with some of the nation's most closely guarded secrets. An investigation by ABC News pieced together the many parts that he left out.

After Snowden quit high school, he earned his GED and then undertook a self-designed college education through a patchwork of classes at community, for-profit and online schools.

To those who are using his resume to discredit HIM, they need to ask themselves who hired him?

Jeremy Bash, former CIA and Pentagon Chief of Staff, told ABC News today that the possibility of Snowden defecting to China, or even cooperating with Chinese officials, is a top concern for U.S. officials.

"He could do tremendous damage," Bash said during an interview for the ABC News/Yahoo Power Players series. "I think if a foreign government learned everything that was in Edward Snowden's brain, they would have a good window into the way we collect signals intelligence… He had access to highly classified information."

Really? I am sure those who are raising the issue of his resume must now be very concerned about this massive surveillance program we are supposed to 'trust' our government with.

It certainly isn't his fault if they didn't care about his resume, is it? 'Everything that is in Snowden's brain' could give people a window into all our secrets'. Really?

How many other twenty somethings are running around with our personal data 'in their brains' and how many of them are likely to use it on a personal level to satisfy a personal grudge of some kind?

And yet, those outraged over his resume, are totally trusting with placing the protection of our Rights and Security in the hands of THOSE WHO HIRED HIM??

Does that make any sense?

I don't care much about his resume, I oppose Bush's policies period. There would be no Snowden without Bush's policies.

But if his resume is your concern, have you even asked yourself why he was hired with such a resume and how many others there are that our leaders know so little about but are trusting with your personal information and security?

It is dangerous to allow any Government to have this kind of power.

Let's hope Snowden isn't petty and vindictive as they gave him access to all that personal information.

Editing to include the Rude Pundit's take on Snowden's Detractors:

See, if Snowden is a misfit toy crossed with Rain Man, how the fuck did he get such a high security clearance? If he was such a loose cannon-in-waiting, why didn't the intelligence apparatus see that in him and not give him the ability to deal with Top Secret material? How good is an intelligence organization that can't successfully vet its workers? And if we can't trust them to read the tea leaves on the people who are being asked to read the tea leaves, how the fuck can we trust them to sift through our metadata or web histories?

Lol, he beat me to it!

H/T to DU's Meegbear. You can read the rest of the Rude One's opinion here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3016093

Are The American People Being Spied On Or Not?

I see there are attempts to distract from this question. And we should expect more, lots more.

However the President confirmed for me this week, that my telephone company has been spying on me.

That is the issue for the American People.

Wrong doing on the part of Snowden is the business of our judicial system.

That has zero to do with the question 'Is our government spying on us'.

For anyone who has doubts that their phone companies have any right to spy on them without their knowledge, I am posting the 4th Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Pay particular attention to the part that requires 'probable cause'.

And here is the oath of office taken by our elected officials:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Note, there is no requirement to protect Corporations, or secret courts or elected officials who betray this country. Just the US Constitution. If anyone doesn't think this is how it should be, then they need to work to change it. But for now, the most important duty of an elected official is to protect and defend the US Constitution.

If Snowden is guilty of some crime, then he should be prosecuted and tried, in public, with no 'redacted' material hidden from the public.

His guilt or innocence however has nothing to do with what we have learned over the past week and will not distract from the even more important issue for the American people. Is our government spying on us without probable cause?

I fully expect that if he is a traitor, he like all other traitors, (Bush, Cheney, Rummy and all the rest of those who failed to defend and protect the US Constitution, come to mind), will be indicted, prosecuted and tried for those crimes.

Just wanted to add, that last part re the War Criminals was wishful thinking on my part. If he IS treated like those traitors, he has nothing to fear. But he won't be, the laws are different for the 1%.

'No one is above the law'!

Or are they?

We will not be distracted from the most important issue, which is our Rights under the US Constitution however.

Democratic Strategy for the 2014 election. Is it working?

President Obama offered Republicans Chained CPI as a compromise in his budget proposal.

A majority of Democrats AND Independents oppose any bargaining with Social Security and always have.

We have been given a dozen different reasons as to why Obama, a Democrat, introduced SS into these discussions in the first place. Most of them make little sense to Democrats.

Millions of Democrats and Independents signed a petition asking the President not to include Chained CPI in the budget.

Republicans have, as expected, turned it down. Several Prominent Republicans have called it 'trying to reduce the deficit on the backs of Seniors'.

A majority of Democrats are outraged. Certainly the Republicans are lying by claiming they are now the party of the people who will protect SS benefits from Democrats. It is laughable to anyone who is has been paying attention over the past several decades.

But this is politics. A chess game we are told. So, it was all predictable. First that Republicans would refuse the offer and then that they would turn it against Democrats, which they have.

The WH spokesperson stated, when asked why the president put CCPI in the budget, that it was because 'Republicans asked for it'.

A few people, like James Carville wondered if it was because the Presidents 'likes getting The Left angry'.

Howard Dean tweeted that if this was true, he might have to become an Independent. And the list goes on.

So the end result of this 'strategy', if that's what it was, is that the President is now viewed by most Democrats as someone who is willing to compromise anything in order to 'get a deal' and, if making them angry was the goal as Carville suggested, then that goal was accomplished.

He is being portrayed by Republicans as someone who is willing to get what he wants, a budget deal, 'on the backs of seniors'.

Since this occurred we are getting more and more excuses/reasons for it. Not many are buying them.

So, if this is Democratic strategy, in my opinion, we are guaranteed to lose the next election. If I accept it as strategy and not what the president believes, then my advice is 'fire the strategists, this is a disaster'.

Does anyone else think we can win with this kind of strategy?

To be honest, I don't see 'strategy' here at all. Am I just not politically savvy or something?

My opinion is that the President supports the idea of a CCPI. From all I have read I see nothing that tells me he does not. I could not disagree with him more.

Others think he doesn't, but 'had to compromise' to make a deal and it was better strategy to get a deal than to protect SS.

Still others just trust him and claim he got the result he wanted, Republicans turned it down.

That last one makes zero sense at all. If that is the case, he should have typed up a Progressive Wish List which is what people would be talking about right now. THAT would have been good strategy for 2014, getting attention for OUR issues.

But I'm not a political strategist, just someone who wants an end to Republican ideas being passed into law here. They are a disaster for this and other countries.

Do YOU think the President offering the Chained CPI was a good or bad idea? What WAS his strategy in your opinion?

I Love Social Security

There are literally millions of reasons to love this program but I'll start with this one:

I am a Democrat. The SS Program makes me proud to be a Democrat. FDR called it 'the cornerstone of my administration'. And it has become the cornerstone, the crown jewel of the Democratic Party.

I tried to think of any piece of Republican Legislation over the past 60 years that could compare to the brilliance, morality, ethics and incredible success of this program and I can't think of one.

This Democratic program has helped to drastically lower the poverty rate of seniors.

Texas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson says Social Security slashed poverty among the elderly

"In 1935, more than 50% of the elderly population lived in poverty. Today that poverty rate stands officially at 9.4%."

The linked article is a fact check piece. It concludes that the poverty rate among elders in 1935 may have been way higher than the Congresswoman stated. However, as they said, her point stands.

Whenever I am talking to a Republican who is ranting about Democrats and 'Commies' and 'Socialists' I always ask them if they or anyone they know has ever benefited from Social Security. It is amazing how most of them too love SS. Equally amazing is how few of them know that it was a Democratic President who initiated it. I get such a thrill out of telling them that. .

Some of them deny it and call me a liar! Lol, well, you know how they are!

But even after being shocked to find out that they are benefiting from a Socialist Democratic Program, most of them reluctantly admit that at least 'Democrats did something worthwhile decades ago'.

Here is another reason I love it:

Francis Perkins, the woman behind Social Security. She was a witness to the Shirtwaist Fire and was so affected by it that she worked tirelessly for the rest of her life to establish workers' rights and to provide for the working class in their older years.

Social Security Pioneers

She had powers of persuasion obviously, not ever compromising her ideals even with those who were difficult to convince, as this excerpt shows:

Prior to going to Washington, Perkins held positions in State government in New York, first as an aid to governor Al Smith and then to Franklin Roosevelt when he became governor. Smith, a machine politician from the old school, was an early social reformer with whom Frances Perkins made many a common-cause. At Smith's funeral in 1944 two of his former Tammany Hall political cronies were overheard to speculate on why Smith had become a social crusader. One of them summed the matter up this way: "I'll tell you. Al Smith read a book. That book was a person, and her name was Frances Perkins. She told him all these things and he believed her."

She stated that:

"I came to Washington to work for God, FDR, and the millions of forgotten, plain common workingmen."

Who could not be proud to be a member of the same party as this brilliant, compassionate, . ethical, moral woman? She is the epitome of what I always think of when I think of a Democratic Woman.

The closest woman to her today imo is Elizabeth Warren.

And FDR, he had the foresight and courage to appoint a woman as Secretary of Labor. He so respected her opinions, he didn't go to Wall St Bankers for advice on the matter of how to help the working class, he listened to this truly Progressive woman and fought to implement her ideas into legislation.

Republicans always claim that privatizing SS would make it a more 'independent program' lying of course, that SS is some kind of 'welfare' program or misusing deliberately the word 'entitlement to create the image of people who have a 'sense of entitlement' about something they did not earn.

However, because FDR thought this through, another thing I love about SS is that he went to great lengths to prevent the program from taking away any dignity from its beneficiaries by using Insurance policies as a model for it.

Life Before Social Security; 'A Great Calamity Has Come Upon Us'

Roosevelt insisted that the new program not look like a dole, his aides later explained; rather, it should resemble a private insurance plan, tied to an individual's contributions in their working years. ''You want to make it simple, very simple,'' Roosevelt told his aides, Perkins later wrote in a memoir. ''Just simple and natural nothing elaborate or alarming about it.''

The Chained CPI would allow Republicans to refer to SS Beneficiaries as 'welfare/dole cases. A shame to undo the work done by FDR to make sure SS was never viewed that way.

But the right was busy back then also as Frances Perkins illustrates in this amusing anecdote:

Perkins wrote that when she went before Congress to present the plan, Senator Thomas Pryor Gore of Oklahoma had a pointed question.

'''Isn't this socialism?' he asked me. My reply was, 'Oh, no.' Then, smiling, leaning forward and talking to me as though I were a child, he said, 'Isn't this a teeny-weeny bit of socialism?'''

David M. Kennedy, the Stanford historian and author of ''Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War,'' said that he found it paradoxical that the current debate over Social Security ''is being couched in terms of individual ownership and privatization of the system, when those kinds of ideas deeply informed the way the original Social Security system was put together.''

SS has expanded since then to the disabled and to dependent children.

I love Social Security because it demonstrates what De Togueville said about the American people. He noted that the American people had a generosity of spirit that allowed them to want to help each other. I believe that most Americans do want a society where we take care of those most in need. That they are generous, compassionate and kind for the most part.

Roosevelt sent his Social Security plan, which included unemployment insurance, to Congress in January 1935, and by August he was able to sign it into law. Some New Dealers chafed at its limits, but the law was widely seen as a moderate alternative to the more radical proposals -- like a guaranteed minimum income for the elderly -- that were stirring then from the grassroots.

''We can never insure 100 percent of the population against 100 percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life,'' Roosevelt declared. ''But we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.''

I think part of the reason Social Security is still one of the most popular programs is because the American people really are the generous, compassionate people described by De Toqueville. That in general, they do want a society that takes care of its own.

I also think they understand the need for a permanent safety net. They may not remember the Great Depression out of which SS was born, but we have read about it.

I don't love politicians. I don't think you can love someone you don't know. I do want them to understand that the majority of Americans love and support the few safety nets we have in this country. I would love it if they represented a majority of the American people rather than the minority that will always be there trying to take away those safety nets.

I don't understand why they don't listen to the people.

Hands OFF Social Security!

OWS Journal, July 2012: Monsanto's Rider Ready For 2013 Bill.

If you've been reading about the Monsanto Rider attached to the 2013 Agricultural Bill you have been told that they sneaked it into the Bill and that you should just stfu about it because nothing could be done without shutting down the government, or something to that effect.

But in fact, there has been almost a full year when Democrats COULD have done something about it since it was no secret to them what Monsanto was up to.

Remember that this article was written in July of 2012! So the rider was hardly a 'surprise' to our elected officials as we are being led to believe:

Is Monsanto About to Gain Immunity From Federal Law?

A so-called “Monsanto rider,” quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill, would require – not just allow, but require - the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed. All the farmer or the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops could be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate conventional or organic crops and, ultimately, the nation’s food supply.

Unless the Senate or a citizen’s army of farmers and consumers can stop them, the House of Representatives is likely to ram this dangerous rider through any day now.

Hope springs eternal, but unfortunately the people's Representatives are powerless, or so we are told. The bill has already passed with the rider attached, as we all know now.

You have to admire them, however grudgingly, because they fight for what they want and they generally get it. We the people are obviously doing something wrong.

There were a few Democrats who tried to stop it and we owe them a thank you for their efforts, but without much support from their own party, they failed:

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) has sponsored an amendment to kill the rider, whose official name is “the farmers assurance” provision. But even if DeFazio’s amendment makes it through the House vote, it still has to survive the Senate. Meanwhile, organizations like the Organic Consumers Association, Center for Food Safety, FoodDemocracyNow!, the Alliance for Natural Health USA and many others are gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures in protest of the rider, and in support of DeFazio’s amendment.

Thank you Rep. DeFazio. It must be frustrating to do the right thing but not have the support you need to defend the people against Corporate Power. Nevertheless, we thank you for your efforts.

Sen. Tester tried also, but his efforts too were in vain.

So it was not a surprise that our poor, powerless Reps just found out about when it was too late to do anything about after all. They had a year to join Tester and DeFazio to fight the inclusion of this rider in the bill.

And who do we have to thank for doing the actual dirty work of putting it there in the first place? Well, of course it was Republicans, we can't have Democrats working for Monsanto, at least not so blatantly.

The article reveals the actual culprits, so relax, you CAN 'blame the Republicans' and excuse our own party, or at least that is what you are expected to do.

It was 'legislator of the year, the agricultural sub-committee chair Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) who got the job done.

And then we see the revolving door between elected office and the rewards they receive as they enter the Corporate world, after leaving office, at work. if they work hard to pass legislation beneficial to Corporate America.

Kingston was aided and abetted, according to the article, by 'former' Pennsylvania Congressman, John C. Greenwood, currently president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

Who loses now that the Corporations won again?

There are many losers, we've already seen what happens when bad legislation like this ends up causing food contamination that has to be recalled, causing huge losses to farmers, not to mention the harm done to consumers.

Among the biggest losers if Congress ignores the DeFazio amendment and passes the “farmers assurance provision” are thousands of farmers of conventional and organic crops, including those who rely on the export market for their livelihoods. An increasing number of global markets are requiring GMO-free agricultural products or, at the very least, enforcing strict GMO labeling laws. If this provision passes, it will allow unrestricted planting of potentially dangerous crops, exposing other safe and non-GMO crops to risk of contamination.

Why should you be outraged about this provision? For all these reasons:

The Monsanto Rider is an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers. Judicial review is an essential element of U.S. law, providing a critical and impartial check on government decisions that may negatively impact human health, the environment or livelihoods. Maintaining the clear-cut boundary of a Constitutionally-guaranteed separation of powers is essential to our government. This provision will blur that line.

· Judicial review is a gateway, not a roadblock. Congress should be fully supportive of our nation’s independent judiciary. The ability of courts to review, evaluate and judge an issue that impacts public and environmental health is a strength, not a weakness, of our system. The loss of this fundamental safeguard could leave public health, the environment and livelihoods at risk.

The Democratic Controlled Senate passed the bill and a bi-partisan effort in Congress got it moved forward.

There is a lot more in this excellent article which is well worth reading, unless of course you are with those who think this is all a 'waste of everyone's time'.

I wonder how much it helps get something like this horrible legislation passed to have former Monsanto CEOs appointed to positions of power in our Government?

Michael Taylor, former Monsanto Vice President, is now the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods.

I can't find anything to prove that someone like a former VP of Monsanto might not be working in the best interests of consumers, but applying logic to the situation, I have a feeling he at least was not trying to prevent that rider from being attached to the bill.

But please do not blame our elected officials for this. They were 'taken by surprise'! Except for the few who weren't. More importantly they would have been 'wasting everyone's time' if they had even tried to stop it we are told.

And we would never want to do that, would we?

'Jamie Dimon Agrees With Occupy Wall Street: 'Too Much Inequality'

Or so he says NOW:

Jamie Dimon Agrees With Occupy Wall Street: 'Too Much Inequality'

According to Chris Otts of The Courier-Journal, Dimon told his audience that the United States has "too much inequality." This isn't a novel insight -- the Occupy Wall Street protests were predicated on this idea, expressed through the slogan "we are the 99 percent" -- but it's striking to hear it coming from Wall Street's most outspoken defender of financial elites.

"It doesn't mean we blame the successful," Dimon continued, sounding more characteristic, "but it's true. You want to have problems in society? Have inequality." Dimon mentioned "struggling inner-city public schools" in particular, Otts reports.

The statements represent a slight rhetorical softening for Dimon, who has in the past rejected the anti-banker sentiment that arose after the financial crisis of 2008. "Acting like everyone who's been successful is bad and because you're rich you're bad, I don't understand it," he said in late 2011 at an investors' conference in New York. Since then, a lot has changed for JPMorgan: the bank, seen as the most successful of the financial behemoths during the crisis, was recently the subject of a "riveting and devastating" Senate panel report that accused Dimon and other executives of hiding trading losses from investors and regulators.

According to The New York Times, a criminal investigation of this affair -- known popularly, after the trader who caused the losses, as "the London Whale" -- is "at an advanced stage."

Emphasis mine. 'Acting like everyone who has been successful is bad and because you're rich you're bad, I don't understand it'.

Well, not EVERYONE Jamie. But it sure looks like JPM was 'bad' and maybe even Jamie Dimon himself. We can't say that definitively yet I suppose, because despite all the evidence already revealed about the practices of Wall St Banks, such as his own JPM, we have yet to see any prosecutions in the courts where the evidence can be presented and people are under oath.


Out Of Control: New Report Exposes JPMorgan Chase As Mostly Criminal Enterprise

"Exposes JPMorgan Chase As A Mostly Criminal Organization"

I don't know Jamie, but that sounds 'bad' to me and having read the report I find it difficult to understand why there have not yet been any criminal investigations! s

I urge you to read an astonishing new report, which I’ve embedded below, from analyst Josh Rosner of Graham-Fisher and Co. The best way to describe the report, “JPM – Out of Control,” is that it reads like a rap sheet. Notably, Rosner takes mortgage abuses almost entirely out of the equation, and yet still manages to fill a 45-page report with documented case after documented case of serious fraud and abuse, most of which JPM has already admitted to (at least in the sense of reaching a settlement; given out captured regulatory structure the end result is invariably a settlement with the “neither admit nor deny wrongdoing” boilerplate appended). Rosner writes, “we could not find another ‘systemically important’ domestic bank that has recently been subject to as many public, non-mortgage related, regulatory actions or consent orders.”

The author continues, after reading the report, to try to list the illegal activities of JPM, a daunting task as it turns out:

It’s hard to summarize all of the documented instances in this report of JPM has been breaking the law, but here’s my best shot. I try to keep up on these matters, and yet some of these I’m learning about for the first time:

Bank Secrecy Act violations;

Money laundering for drug cartels;

Violations of sanction orders against Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and former Liberian strongman Charles Taylor;

Violations related to the Vatican Bank scandal (get on this, Pope Francis!);

Violations of the Commodities Exchange Act;

Failure to segregate customer funds (including one CFTC case where the bank failed to segregate $725 million of its own money from a $9.6 billion account) in the US and UK;

Knowingly executing fictitious trades where the customer, with full knowledge of the bank, was on both sides of the deal;

Various SEC enforcement actions for misrepresentations of CDOs and mortgage-backed securities;

The AG settlement on foreclosure fraud;

The OCC settlement on foreclosure fraud;

Violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act;

Illegal flood insurance commissions;

Fraudulent sale of unregistered securities;

Auto-finance ripoffs;

Illegal increases of overdraft penalties;

Violations of federal ERISA laws as well as those of the state of New York;

Municipal bond market manipulations and acts of bid-rigging, including violations of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act;

Filing of unverified affidavits for credit card debt collections (“as a result of internal control failures that sound eerily similar to the industry’s mortgage servicing failures and foreclosure abuses”);

Energy market manipulation that triggered FERC lawsuits;

“Artificial market making” at Japanese affiliates;

Shifting trading losses on a currency trade to a customer account;

Fraudulent sales of derivatives to the city of Milan, Italy;

Obstruction of justice (including refusing the release of documents in the Bernie Madoff case as well as the case of Peregrine Financial).

And, exhale.

The sheer litany of illegal activities just overwhelms you. And these are only the ones where the company has entered into settlements or been sanctioned; it doesn’t even include ongoing investigations into things like Libor, illegally concealing inclusions of mortgage-backed securities in employer funds (another ERISA violation), the Fail Whale trades, and especially putback suits for mortgages, where a recent ruling by Judge Jed Rakoff has seriously increased exposure. While the risks are still very much alive and will continue to weigh on the firm, ultimately shareholders will pay, certainly not executives as long as the no-prosecutions standard holds.

You can read this devastating report here if you are interested:


A Whale’s Tale – a Whitewash Report

When compared to the report the Board of Freddie Mac undertook, JPM’s “Task Force” was a whitewash.

Freddie initiated a truly independent investigation by anunaffiliated firm and directed

all employees of the Company to fully cooperate with theinvestigation. There were no limitations proscribed on the scope of the review and as theinvestigators or the Firm’s independent auditors discovered additional matters they werealso looked into


In contrast, JPMorgan’s “Task Force” issued a report of questionable independence andlimited in scope. Michael Cavanagh, co-Chairman of JPMorgan’s investment bank, ledthe “Task Force”. Cavanagh reports directly to Jamie Dimon and is both a longtime“lieutenant” and his possible successor


.For Michael Cavanagh to be tasked with investigating another executive that reporteddirectly to Jamie Dimon


about losses in a unit that he knew, as early as 2010, appearedto have inadequate controls


is more troubling.

As former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt said, "It's incomprehensible to me that they did these reports internally,

it's like asking Joe Paterno to do the Penn State investigation instead of Louis Freeh…

having picked Cavanagh to do this strikes me as potentially foolish in the extreme, the only reason you do a review this way is because you don't want to find anything unduly damaging

All this and more, and STILL no criminal charges filed.

Just one of the above infractions would result in prosecutions for any member of the 99%.

So again, to Jamie, no one said ALL rich people are 'bad'.

But just what is the definition of 'bad' to Jaimie Dimon I would like to know?

Maybe those laws are only meant for the 99% and he genuinely doesn't see anything wrong with a member of the 1% paying no attention to them after all.

It's nice, though that he does feel there needs to be 'more equality'.

I wonder if they are beginning to worry that maybe they have gone just a little too far this time and that the people might start reacting, finally?

It's happened before!

Ask the French!

Not just Cyprus! Who Else Has Plans To Grab Small Depositor Savings To Bail Out Failing Big Banks?

Maybe it is time for people to take any money they still have out of savings accounts in any of the Big Banks, especially since there is virtually nothing to gain from lending them your money anymore in terms of interest. And now, after the outrageous attempt to set up yet another scheme to make ordinary people pay for any failures of the Big Banks, it seems to me that it is very risky to trust even ten dollars to these Banks.

This article explains the 'old order' of protection for depositors where people were protected UP TO a certain amount of money.


Plunderball – The new Euro banking game

It used to be that below the guarentee limit your money was safe. It was only any amount above the guarantee, that you could lose in a restructuring. When a bank went under the normal bankruptcy rules swung into action (I’m leaving aside the TBTF gorilla in the room. Let’s not poke him just yet).TBTF aside – the collapsed banks’ assets would collected in into a pile and all the bank’s creditors (those who bought its debt, lent it money, put their money into it) would be put on a list in order of seniority, with share holders at the bottom, unsecured and Junior bond holders next with Senior insured bond holders at the top. Depositors were always ranked up there with Senior bond holders. Those at top would get most if not all of their money back and not take a loss, those at the bottom would lose everything.

The article goes on to explain how that system worked and then claims that the system has now been completely 'torn up' using Cyprus as an example.

So what now? What happens in this new disorder?

Well it turns out other countries have been preparing to enforce this same – ‘force losses on all depositors’ – idea. New Zealand, as reported in an article by interest.co.nz has been working on what it calls its new Open Bank Resolution Policy (OBR). If put in place – and that is the NZ government’s intention,

The implementation of OBR would see all unsecured liabilities that rank equally among themselves, including deposits, having a portion frozen

Link to the story of NZ's Open Bank Resolution (OBR) here:

Risk To Savings If Bank Fails

The article links to Zero Hedge's story on how Spain is also considering this kind of scheme to help bail out the banks if they fail again. And it goes on to show that Italy may also have similar plans.

And what about the UK and the US? Well, if Europe and NZ are in on the scheme is there any doubt that Britain and the US are not planning on forcing the people to once again bail out Wall Street Failures? This author thinks so:

And that is what I think is being planned in the UK and USA.

Will the UK and USA also go for the automatic seizure of money from accounts? My guess is they have been quietly planning on it but will now think twice about admitting to it. Preferring to keep it quiet until the next collapse when ‘circumstances call for desperate measures’ etc etc.

The reality is the banks are still bust – even the ones making huge profits – and when – not if – when the next bubble bursts and one bank starts to bring down another – they will all come for your money and we will all be collectively punished in order to make sure the wealthy and the powerful stay that way.

Emphasis mine.

It's not as if they have not done this already, just in a different way. As pointed out in these articles, there is never going to be an end to these bailouts or to the people footing the bill.

So when, as Occupy has asked, are we going to start seeing them being allowed to fail, and then begin the process of prosecuting the criminals?

The world never needed a movement like Ocuupy Wall Street than it does right now. Because it is obvious that most Governments are not on the side of the people. And that is why Wall St hates Occupy. They bought governments and thought they were clear to keep robbing the people, but then OWS appeared on the scene and to them, it was not just a big threat, it appears to have been the only threat to their criminal activities.
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