Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Primer On Fractional Reserve Banking

First published in the British humour magazine “Punch” on April 3, 1957:

>

Q: What are banks for?

A: To make money.

Q: For the customers?

A: For the banks.

Q: Why doesn't bank advertising mention this?

A: It would not be in good taste. But it is mentioned by implication in references to
reserves of $249,000,000,000 or thereabouts. That is the money they have made.

Q: Out of the customers?

A: I suppose so.

Q: They also mention Assets of $500,000,000,000 or thereabouts. Have they made that
too?

A: Not exactly. That is the money they use to make money.

Q: I see. And they keep it in a safe somewhere?

A: Not at all. They lend it to customers.

Q: Then they haven't got it?

A: No.

Q: Then how is it Assets?

A: They maintain that it would be if they got it back.

~ more... ~

Poll reveals Americans and Europeans are brain-washed by government and corporate media

From Most Americans and Europeans Support Impending Attack on Iran:

“Majorities in many Western and some Muslim countries are willing to consider military action against Iran to prevent the Islamic republic from obtaining nuclear weapons, a global poll showed on Thursday,” reports the Sydney Morning Herald today. “The Pew Research Center's poll conducted in 22 countries found majorities or pluralities in 16 countries endorsing the possibility of military intervention.”

Naturally Americans are more susceptible to neocon propaganda than other people around the world. In America, a sucker is born every minute, as P. T. Barnum said (actually it was “Paper Collar Joe” Bessimer who made the cynical comment).

“Americans are among the most supportive of a military option to deal with Iran with 66 per cent of those who oppose a nuclear-armed Iran saying they would consider the use of force, a figure second only to Nigeria's 71 per cent.”

No explanation why Nigerians are more brain-dead than Americans who spend large periods of time sucking up fallacious and absurd propaganda disseminated by a corporate media that works hand-in-glove with transnational corporations and the military-industrial complex, or maybe that should be military-industrial-media complex.

The death merchants have burrowed deep inside the corporate media — the Carlyle Group at the New York Times (the “liberal” newspaper instrumental in propagating neocon murder disinfo prior the invasion of Iraq), Bechtel at NBC (owned by mega-death merchant General Electric), Boeing and Halliburton at ABC, and Lockheed-Martin at Gannett.

~ more... ~

ACLU launches "Spyfiles" to track domestic surveillance

The American Civil Liberties Union launched a new website Tuesday to track incidents of domestic political surveillance by the government along with a report claiming such incidents have increased steadily since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

According to the report there have been 111 incidents of illegal domestic political surveillance since 9/11 in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The website, Spyfiles, will serve as the ACLU's online home for all news and reports of domestic spying.

“In our country, under our Constitution, the authorities aren't allowed to spy on you unless they have specific and individual suspicion that you are doing something illegal,” said Michael German, ACLU Policy Counsel and a former FBI Special Agent. “Unfortunately, law enforcement in our country seems to be reverting to certain old, bad behaviors when it comes to political surveillance."

German told Hillicon Valley the report shows that law enforcement and federal officials are working closely to monitor the political activity of individuals deemed suspicious, an activity that was previously common during the Cold War. That includes protests, religious activities and other rights protected by the first amendment, German said.

~ more... ~

'Paranoia is great for crowd control'

From The Dead Cow Policy by Belacqua Jones:

During the war, we had made an exciting discovery. Paranoia is great for crowd control. That great statesman, Arthur Vandenberg nailed it when he told Truman the key to governance in the new world order was to, “scare the hell out of the American people.” Thus, paranoia became part and parcel of the American character. If we weren't scared of Commies, we were scared of germs and body odor. It was great: everybody conformed; everybody kept their mouths shut.

[...]

The only thing the Boomers have ever known is the presence of a constant threat. Their greatest fear is a freedom that tolerates diversity. This is the source of their silence.

~ more... ~

The Jimi Hendrix Political Harassment, Kidnap and Murder Experience

From The Covert War Against Rock (Feral House, 2000)

By Alex Constantine


    "I don't believe for one minute that he killed himself. That was out of the question."

— Chas Chandler, Hendrix Producer

    "I believe the circumstances surrounding his death are suspicious and I think he was murdered."
— Ed Chalpin, Proprietor of Studio 76

    "I feel he was murdered, frankly. Somebody gave him something. Somebody gave him something they shouldn't have."
— John McLaughlin, Guitarist, Mahavishnu Orchestra


THE MURDER OF JIMI HENDRIX

He didn't die from a drug overdose. He was not an out-of-control dope fiend. Jimi Hendrix was not a junkie. And anyone who would use his death as a warning to stay away from drugs should warn people against the other things that killed Jimi—the stresses of dealing with the music industry, the craziness of being on the road, and especially, the dangers of involving oneself in a radical, or even unpopular, political movements.
COINTELPRO was out to do more than prevent a Communist menace from overtaking the United States, or keep the Black Power movement from burning down cities. COINTELPRO was out to obliterate its opposition and ruin the reputations of the people involved in the antiwar movement, the civil rights movement, and the rock revolution. Whenever Jimi Hendrix's death is blamed on drugs, it accomplishes the goals of the FBI's program. It not only slanders Jimi's personal and professional reputation, but the entire rock revolution in the 60's.

— John Holmstrom. "Who Killed Jimi?"(1)


As the music of youth and resistance fell under the cross-hairs of the CIA's CHAOS war, it was probable that Jimi Hendrix—the tripping, peacenik "Black Elvis" of the '60s—should find himself a target.

Agents of the pathologically nationalistic FBI opened a file on Hendrix in 1969 after his appearance at several benefits for "subversive" causes. His most cutting insult to the state was participation in a concert for Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Tom Hayden, Bobby Seale and the other defendants of the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial.(2)

"Get [the] Black Panthers," he told a reporter for a teen magazine, "not to kill anybody, but to scare [federal officials]....I know it sounds like war, but that's what's gonna have to happen. It has to be a war....You come back to reality and there are some evil folks around and they want you to be passive and weak and peaceful so that they can just overtake you like jelly on bread. ... You have to fight fire with fire."(3)

On tour in Liesburg, Sweden, Hendrix was interviewed by Tommy Rander, a reporter for the Gotesborgs-Tidningen." In the USA, you have to decide which side you're on," Hendrix explained. "You are either a rebel or like Frank Sinatra."(4)

In 1979, college students at the campus newspaper of Santa Barbara University (USB) filed for release of FBI files on Hendrix. Six heavily inked-out pages were released to the student reporters. (The deletions nixed information "currently and properly classified pursuant to Executive Order 11652, in the interest of national defense of foreign policy.") On appeal, seven more pages were reluctantly turned over to the UCSB students. The file revealed that Hendrix had been placed on the federal Security Index, a list of "subversives" to be rounded up and placed in detainment camps in the event of a national emergency.

If the intelligence agencies had their reasons to keep tabs on Hendrix, they couldn't have picked a better man for the job than Hendrix's manager, Mike Jeffrey. Jeffrey, by his own admission an intelligence agent,(5) was born in South London in 1933, the sole child of postal workers. He completed his education in 1949, took a job as a clerk for Mobil Oil, was drafted to the National Service two years later. Jeffrey's scores in science took him to the Educational Corps. He signed on as a professional soldier, joined the Intelligence Corps and at this point his career enters an obscure phase.

~ more... ~

EU: This Big Brother Is in the U.S.

Private information on innocent citizens will be handed over to U.S. law enforcement authorities under an agreement slated for approval by the European Parliament this week.

In February, members of the Parliament (MEPs) rejected a plan to allow data on everyday bank transactions be given to the U.S., citing concerns over fundamental civil rights. Four months later, however, MEPs are expected to endorse the same plan Jul. 8, having been granted a small number of concessions.

This has its roots in a U.S. move to snoop on data held by Swift, a Belgian- based company that facilitates exchanges between banks, following the Sep. 11 atrocities. Under the pretext of tracking the "money trail" of terrorists, the Washington authorities used subpoenas to gain access to Swift's data. Yet even though personal details on millions of individuals were transferred across the Atlantic, the public was not informed that such transfers were taking place until a report appeared in The New York Times in 2006.

Eager to allow the transfers to continue, the European Union's governments accepted an accord designed to give Washington the necessary legal cover in November last year. This accord drew angry response from civil liberties watchdogs, who pointed out that people whose data was abused would have no means of seeking redress. The new privacy legislation in the U.S. only offers protection against unlawful data processing to U.S. citizens and residents, not to outsiders under scrutiny by the U.S. authorities.

The Parliament's revolt against that accord was prompted in large measure by how MEPs felt they had been excluded from talks over the accord's content, and by their desire to exercise new powers under the EU's Lisbon treaty, which gives them a greater say in many policy areas. As a result, the Union's governments and Barack Obama's administration in the U.S. sought to address some of their concerns. A few modifications to the agreement have been made, including a provision for stationing an EU official in Washington to monitor the accord's implementation.

But privacy campaigners say that the core deficiencies in the agreement have not been remedied.

"The fundamental points that were rejected by the Parliament the first time are in the text again," Joe McNamee from European Digital Rights told IPS. "It seems that what the Parliament has been searching for is a way of backing down. The amount of data involved remains pretty much the same."

The data held by Swift includes the names of bank account holders and the numbers of those accounts. Because the volume of information concerned is so vast, the EU's own Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx has protested that the measures envisaged in the November accord "interfere with the private life of all Europeans." There are no guarantees that data will no longer be stored after a certain length of time or after it has been proven to be of no benefit in an investigation, he has said.

~ more... ~

The Kebra Nagast by E.A.W. Budge [1922]

This is a translation of the Kebra Nagast, a tremendous collection of Ethiopian Biblical folklore. The Kebra Nagast tells the legend of the Queen of Sheba's son by King Solomon, Menyelek (also known herein as Bayna-Lehkem and David II). Menyelek engineers a plot to take the Tabernacle of the Law of God (i.e., the Ark of the Covenant) to Ethiopia. This is done at the behest of an Angel of God who predicts the downfall of the kingdom of Solomon.

Comitted to writing in the fourteenth century, the Kebra Nagast was derived from Ethiopian oral traditions of the Queen of Sheba and her state marriage with Solomon. The Kebra Nagast has been cited as one of the sources of the Rastafarian movement because of its support of Ethiopian theocracy.

~ Full text ~

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