If Raoul Pal was some doomsday spouting windbag, writing in all caps, arbitrarily pasting together disparate charts to create 200 page slideshows, it would be easy to ignore him. He isn't. The founder of Global Macro Investor "previously co-managed the GLG Global Macro Fund in London for GLG Partners, one of the largest hedge fund groups in the world. Raoul came to GLG from Goldman Sachs where he co-managed the hedge fund sales business in Equities and Equity Derivatives in Europe... Raoul Pal retired from managing client money in 2004 at the age of 36 and now lives on the Valencian coast of Spain, from where he writes." It is his writing we are concerned about, and specifically his latest presentation, which is, for lack of a better word, the most disturbing and scary forecast of the future of the world we have ever seen....
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Tensions are peaking in Syria, government troops have stormed the rebel northern border town of Jisr Al-Shugour with tanks and military helicopters. The army has entered the city in order to "cleanse it" from rebellious armed groups, which killed at least 120 police officers last week. Meanwhile, Britain and France are still pushing for a UN resolution, condemning the brutal crackdown against anti-government activists in Syria. Russia, which opposes any attempts to intervene in the Syrian conflict, said it won't back the move.
Ivolginsky Datsan in Eastern Siberia is one of the major Buddhist temples in Russia. It is also home to Dashi-Dorzho Itigelov Lama, the chief figure of Russian Buddhism before the October Revolution in 1917. After being buried for decades, his body was exhumed, only to find that there were no signs of decay on his body. Now he is worshipped as sacred. The monastery is not just the final resting place for the everlasting lama, but also a new home for many ordinary people. The film tells the story of two young men from European Russia who turned to Buddhism in search of their goal in life, searching for a miracle.
For 13 years Sofia Gatica has organized opposition to the aerial spraying of agrochemicals that threaten human health and the environment in Argentina -- and for almost as long, she and her children have faced physical threats from anonymous agents.
Gatica, who lives in a working-class neighborhood of 6,000 in central Argentina surrounded by soy fields, began organizing against Monsanto after she noticed a disturbingly high rate of cancer and birth defects in her community. Her own 3-day-old daughter died of kidney failure in 1999, and a neighbor had a baby die of the same uncommon birth defect.
Editor's Note: This story contains explicit language.
"I started seeing children with mouth covers, mothers with scarves wrapped around their heads to cover their baldness, due to chemotherapy," she told Grist in an interview, explaining what inspired her to co-found Mothers of Ituzaingó. The efforts of those half-dozen mothers, who began going from door to door collecting information on health problems in their community, led to the first epidemiological study that showed cancer rates in Gatica's hometown of Ituzaingó were 41 times the national average, with high rates of birth defects and infant mortality as well.
Within a few years of the study's publication, and as her advocacy work gave her a higher profile, Gatica began to receive death threats, culminating in an incident in late 2007.
"I had just come back from the corner store, and I never lock my door," she told HuffPost through a translator. "I always just come and go in our neighborhood, and I came in and he followed behind me and put the gun against my head in my kitchen and said that I needed to 'stop fucking with the soy.'"More...
A RT interview with Daniel Estulin.
The Occupy movement has united hundreds of thousands across the world to fight social and economic inequality. Julian Assange met with prominent Occupy activists who say democracy is at the core of their protest.By “exercising directly the democratic process we are posing a threat,” said Marisa Holmes from Occupy New York.
While the "national debt" has been the concern du jour of many economists, commentators and politicians, little attention is ever paid to the historical significance of debt.
For thousands of years, the struggle between rich and poor has largely taken the form of conflicts between creditors and debtors—of arguments about the rights and wrongs of interest payments, debt peonage, amnesty, repossession, restitution, the sequestering of sheep, the seizing of vineyards, and the selling of debtors' children into slavery. By the same token, for the past five thousand years, popular insurrections have begun the same way: with the ritual destruction of debt records—tablets, papyri, ledgers; whatever form they might have taken in any particular time and place.
Enter anthropologist David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years (July, ISBN 978-1-933633-86-2), which uses these struggles to show that the history of debt is also a history of morality and culture.
In the throes of the recent economic crisis, with the very defining institutions of capitalism crumbling, surveys showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans felt that the country's banks should not be rescued—whatever the economic consequences—but that ordinary citizens stuck with bad mortgages should be bailed out. The notion of morality as a matter of paying one's debts runs deeper in the United States than in almost any other country.
Beginning with a sharp critique of economics (which since Adam Smith has erroneously argued that all human economies evolved out of barter), Graeber carefully shows that everything from the ancient work of law and religion to human notions like "guilt," "sin," and "redemption," are deeply influenced by ancients debates about credit and debt.
It is no accident that debt continues to fuel political debate, from the crippling debt crises that have gripped Greece and Ireland, to our own debate over whether to raise the debt ceiling. Debt, an incredibly captivating narrative spanning 5,000 years, puts these crises into their full context and illuminates one of the thorniest subjects in all of history.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Graeber teaches anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the author of Towards an Anthropological Theory of Value, Lost People, and Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion, and Desire.
This talk was hosted by Boris Debic on behalf of the Authors@Google program.
A Brief History Of Debt
The Cuban intelligence service, under the leadership of Fidel Castro, connived in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, according to a new book by a retired CIA analyst. Coming from Brian Latell, the Agency’s former national intelligence officer for Latin America, the charge is both sensational and uncorroborated, yet still important.
Latell says flatly that Castro played a role in Kennedy’s murder in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
“Castro and a small number of Cuban intelligence officers were complicit in Kennedy’s death but … their involvement fell short of an organized assassination plot,” he writes in “Castro’s Secrets: The CIA and Cuba’s Intelligence Machine,” a well-footnoted polemic about Cuba’s General Directorate of Intelligence to be published next month. Latell says accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald told Cuban diplomats in Mexico City in September 1963 that he might kill JFK. Latell also speculates, without any direct evidence, that Oswald kept the Cubans apprised of his plans as he made his way to Dallas.
The charge is sensational because Latell is the highest-ranking former CIA official to ever accuse the Cuban leader of personal responsibility for JFK’s death. It is uncorroborated because much of the evidence Latell cites in the book is not in the public record or available to JFK scholars. Even the CIA is keeping its distance. When I asked the Agency to comment on Latell’s thesis on Wednesday, a spokesperson replied, “You can report the CIA declined comment.”
Still, Latell is a former CIA official in good standing, and his allegations signal the CIA may be changing its institutional position on the causes of JFK’s death. As the 50thanniversary of JFK’s death approaches in 2013, Latell’s book indicates the Agency defenders are moving toward “a modified limited hangout” — Washington lingo for a public relations maneuver to release previously hidden information in the service of preventing exposure of more damning detail.
For nearly four decades the CIA has kept secret the identity of a Miami agent who may have known too much too early about Lee Harvey Oswald
American "vulture" investors, including a top funder of the Republican Party, have demanded that African nations pay over half a billion dollars for old debts -- for which the investors paid only a few million. One New York vulture speculator, Peter Grossman of FG Capital Management, is demanding $100 million from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Is he collecting a legitimate debt from the Congo — or is the vulture's claim based on a stolen security? Greg Palast reports from the Congo, Bosnia and New York in the joint investigation by the BBC, the Guardian and Democracy Now!
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