Monday, September 30, 2013

It Won't Stay in Vegas: The Metro PD's Homeland Security Theater


Pro Libertate Blog
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has an acute public relations problem: Officers in its employ routinely murder and mutilate innocent people. The established review procedure for police killings is at least as predictable as a Zimbabwean presidential election.
Former Nevada District Court Judge Don Chairez, has described the Clark County Coroner’s inquest process as “a search for justification of an officer’s actions.” Since the procedure was introduced in 1969, hundreds of lethal force incidents have been reviewed by a seven-member jury. Between 1976 and 2012, only one police shooting was ruled “negligent” – and that decision was overturned on appeal.
This was the intended outcome of a process that was collaborative, rather than adversarial: The District Attorney’s office choreographs the questioning with the police department prior to the hearing, and no direct cross-examination of police officers is permitted by attorneys representing the victim.
“He made me do my job”
Andre Laomarsino, who represented the family of 21-year-old police murder victim Trevon Cole in a 2010 inquest, explained to me that “We were allowed to submit written questions, one at a time, to the prosecutor.” He wasn’t allowed to pose questions directly to Cole’s murderer, Officer Bryan Yant (a repeat offender), or even to ask follow-up questions.
Yant shot Cole in his apartment while his finance, Sequoia Pearce, was kneeling on the floor with a gun to her head. The 21-year-old man had been targeted by a narcotics enforcement team for a series of “controlled buys” that were captured by a film crew from the execrable police state propaganda program COPS.
Cole was suspected of selling 1.8 ounces of marijuana in one of Metro’s staged drug buys – a quantity that probably wouldn’t have merited even a misdemeanor prosecution. Although the undercover operatives diligently tried to entice Cole into selling larger amounts, he adamantly refused to do so.
Unable to connect Cole to a serious crime, Yant did what police officers in such circumstances always do: he lied, deliberately misidentifying Cole in a search warrant affidavit as another man with the same name who had a different birthday and weighed about 100 pounds less than his target, who was a former college football player. This permitted Yant to depict Cole as a dangerous repeat offender, which led a judge to approve an armed, night-time raid on Cole’s home.
The film crew wasn’t available on the night of the killing, which meant the officers wouldn’t be able to preen for the cameras. This probably left Yant – who had brought along his personal AR-15 – with a severe case of blue balls. So as a consolation prize he kicked in the door to Cole’s apartment, chased him into the bathroom, and killed him despite the fact that the terrified young man had his hands raised over his head.
During his inquest, Yant followed the familiar script, claiming that Cole – who was unarmed and outnumbered – “made an aggressive act toward me,” which he insisted was “enough to make me fear for my life.”
According to Yant, Cole “made me do my job” – which was to manipulate harmless people into committing prosecutable acts, perjure himself to obtain judicial permission for a home invasion, and then kill an innocent person without provocation or personal consequences.
The Erik Scott Murder
A few weeks after Bryan Yant gunned down Trevon Cole, three of his comrades – led by Officer William Mosher – “did their job” by murdering 38-year-old Erik Scott as he was leaving a Costco store.
Scott, an honorably discharged soldier and West Point graduate, was legally carrying a concealed weapon during his July 10, 2010 visit to the store. A clerk noticed the gun and told Scott, incorrectly, that the store had a policy forbidding guns on the premises. Another employee called the police and reported that an armed, irrational man was terrorizing the customers.
When the police arrived, patrons were told to leave because of an emergency. Scott, who was with his girlfriend, was leaving the store when he was confronted by Mosher.
No more than two seconds Mosher yelled, “Hands! Let me see your hands!” the panicking officer fired two shots into Scott at point-blank range. Without determining what had happened, Officer Thomas Mendiola fired three shots at the victim. A third officer, Joshua Stark, shot him twice.
The official account was that Scott had pulled his gun and pointed it at Mosher. In fact, the object in Scott’s hand was a Blackberry. His registered gun was still in its holster. When it became clear that Scott hadn’t drawn his gun, the police narrative shifted (as has been documented in detailby investigative writer Mike McDaniel). In support of that revised version, investigators pretended that after Scott had been shot by Mosher, he attempted to reach a second handgun – an unregistered Ruger — that he supposedly carried in his right front pocket.
That gun, which Scott had purchased as a gift for his mother, was actually in his apartment at the time he was murdered. The Metro Police acquired it in an illegal search – better described as a “black-bag job” – and then subjected it to a phony ballistics test intended to prove that it been damaged when Mendiola shot Scott in the right leg. This was impossible, since the injuries to Scott’s leg were several inches below his pocket.
None of this mattered in the official inquest – because facts are inconsequential in that proceeding. All that counted was a police officer’s subjective impression that his incomparably precious life – or that of a fellow member of the sanctified brotherhood of official coercion — faced some unspecified threat.
“I felt that my fellow officer was in immediate and imminent danger,” testified Mendiola, dutifully reciting from the police union’s catechism of self-exculpation. “I just fired until I felt that the suspect wasn’t a threat.”
When he was asked about the fact that Scott’s firearm never left its holster, Mendiola replied with a verbal shrug.
“It was still a threat, whether it was holstered or not,” he blithely stated. “I did what I had to do.”
On this construction, a police officer in Las Vegas would be entitled to kill any Mundane who is carrying a holstered weapon. Every officer who testified (that is, perjured) himself at the inquest emphasized the idea that by carrying an unregistered Ruger, Scott had committed a felony – even though there was no evidence that Scott had that weapon in his possession at the time he was murdered.
Significantly, by the time the Erik Scott inquest occurred, Officer Mendiola was under investigation for a firearms-related felony involving an unregistered Ruger pistol. Just days after helping to murder Erik Scott because his legally owned firearm was perceived as a “threat” to officer safety, Mendiola gave a Ruger .22-caliber handgun to a convicted felon named Robert Justice.
Originally charged with a felony, Mendiola was allowed to plead guilty to a “gross misdemeanor” charge, fined $2,000, and allowed to leave the Metro Police Force with his peace officer certification intact.
“Heroic Deeds” of official murder
The coroner’s inquest “was the most amazing travesty of justice,” Bill Scott, Erik’s father, told Pro Libertate. “It was entirely devoid of due process.”
“The side representing the victim has no input at all,” Scott continued. “It cannot question witnesses directly. Written questions are handed to a bailiff, who submits them to the judge, who decides whether or not they will be asked. We submitted 1200 questions over the course of a six-day hearing, which was the longest in the history of the inquest. The judge effectively disposed of all of them. In his final instructions to the jury, the judge reduced the mater to one question: `Did the officers who fired believe their lives were in danger?’”
All three of the officers involved in the murder of Erik Scott were exonerated by the inquest – and in what can only be construed as a deliberate gesture of contempt toward the public, the Las Vegas Police Protective Agency (PPA) nominated two of them, Mosher and Stark, for consideration as “national officer of the year” in 2011. Mendiola’s felony charge is the only reason he was snubbed for consideration.
PPA commissar Chris Collins referred to the murder of Erik Scott as one of the “top two heroic events our officers participated in” during 2010. He didn’t specify whether the other “heroic” act was Brian Yant’s murder of Devon Cole.
“I don’t see it as a controversial shooting,” Collins smugly told the Review-Journal. “It was a heroic deed and enough of a heroic deed for the judges [with the National Association of Police Organizations awards] to give them an honorable mention.”
“That’s typical of Collins,” Scott observes. “He is a monumentally arrogant individual, because his union runs the police force. Collins and the PPA will justify any fatality, any use of force, any beating – and [Sheriff Doug] Gillespie doesn’t have the guts to challenge them.”
Like Brian Yant, Bill Mosher – who has the physiognomy, but not the talent, to find honest work as a Curly Howard impersonator — is a repeat offender who has learned that he can kill with impunity.
“Bill Mosher, the cop who murdered Erik, is a former prison guard in Massachusetts who somehow wound up as a casino guard in Las Vegas,” Bill Scott points out. “He got hired in the mid-2000s at a time when Metro was hiring like crazy and were somewhat indiscriminate. His training officer refused to graduate him, saying that he was unsuitable to be a cop. Metro said, in effect, `We just need boots on the streets.’ Within a year, Moser had shot and killed someone on the streets, and four years later he shot Erik. So he had two fatal shootings in the first five years as a cop.”
Sociopaths in uniform 
Yant and Mosher are entirely representative of the dominant element within the Metro Police Force, according to Scott.
“Here’s the breakdown of the police composition, as described to us by some good cops – most retired, some still active,” Scott explains. “About twenty-five percent of Metro cops are what could be characterized as rogue or bad cops. Another 25 percent are simply trying to keep their jobs, their paychecks, and their pensions. Roughly half are conscientious people who became police for the right reasons – but they are frustrated by the system. As one of them told me, `It’s difficult to do the right thing when you’re working for a vindictive tyrant.’ For this reason the good cops don’t step up and confront the bad ones.”
If “good cops” are intimidated by fellow Metro officers, the public has every right to be terrified of them. Public outrage over the Metro PD’s reign of terror prompted the Las VegasReview-Journal, which otherwise faithfully carries out its duties as a local government-aligned newspaper, to commit an act of journalism. The paper ran a lengthy series exposing the entrenched corruption of the coroner’s inquest process.  This led to intervention by the US Justice Department, which took official notice of the impunity enjoyed by the department’s hired killers and urged a handful of trivial “reforms” upon the Metro Police.
Last year, Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie announced the creation of an enhanced Force Review process in which shootings would be examined by a panel composed of three officers and four Mundanes. Gillespie promised that the panel would be representative of the “community,” that it would have unfettered access to information, and that its deliberations would be transparent. However, that body has no authority to fire or discipline officers who engage in criminal violence against innocent people. Those decisions would be made by Sheriff Gillespie – as dictated by the PPA.
In late July and early August, six members of the Use of Force Board resigned in disgust after Gillespie refused to fire Officer Jacquar Rostson, who shot and seriously wounded an innocent man the previous November. In his appearance before the Board last April, Roston displayed the contemptuous arrogance one would expect from a member of the punitive caste, insisting that his actions were entirely appropriate, and defiantly promising that he would commit the same crime again under similar circumstances. The board unanimously recommended that Roston be fired.
When Roston attended a pre-termination hearing a month later, he made a ritualistic and patently insincere gesture of affected contrition. In an act of cheap grace, Gillespie said that Roston had suffered enough and imposed a week-long suspension.
This, in turn, led to the resignation of Board co-chairman Robert Martinez and five other members of the panel, including Assistant Sheriff Ted Moody.
“Why are we here?” asked former Board member Robert Le Piere, a retired police officer from New Jersey, describing Gillespie’s act in overturning their decision as “offensive.”
Running up the false flag 
The mass resignations from the Force Review Board presented another potentially huge PR problem for the Metro Police. Fortunately, its federally funded Counter-Terrorism Center had put a contingency plan into action at the same time the Roston controversy began last April – a false-flag operation involving the Regime’s preferred domestic enemy, the “Sovereign Citizens” movement.
For about a year, the Metro Police had been conducting surveillance on an ex-convict from California named David Allen Brutsche, a registered sex offender with six felonies on his record. In several traffic stops, Brutsche expressed hostility toward the police in language influenced by “Sovereign” ideology.
If there is a central casting agency for Homeland Security Theater operations – and, for all I know, there is one – Brutsche is someone who could have been built to its specifications. Last April, as the inquest into the Roston shooting got underway, Metro officers arrested him while he was selling water on the Strip. They then deposited him in a cell with a disreputable-looking specimen who played on Brutsche’s animosity toward the department.
Brutsche’s cellmate was Detective Scott R. Majewski, a fellow who is paid nearly $120,000 a year to keep political dissidents under surveillance and orchestrate what he has brazenly described as “theater” operations targeting them. Majewski’s LinkedIn profile boasts that he has “provided training nationally” in such areas as “domestic terrorism” and the use of “Confidential Informants.” It also prominently mentions his connections with the so-called Southern Poverty Law Center, a quasi-private political police and propaganda agency that indoctrinates law enforcement agencies about the supposed threat posed by political non-conformists.
When Brutsche was released from jail, Majewski offered to introduce him to others who shared “Sovereign” views – all of whom were police operatives as well. At some point, the group was expanded to include a 67-year-old woman named Devon Campbell Newman, whose role in this affair was to provide a “co-conspirator” who had no connection to the police force.
Over the next several months, Majewski and his comrades met with Brutsche and Newman thirty times, inflaming Brutsche’s already passionate resentment toward the Metro Police Force and manipulating him into participating in a police-orchestrated “plot” to kidnap officers, put them on trial, execute them, and dump their bodies in the desert.
This was a local adaptation of a familiar script used by the FBI in Homeland Security Theater operations targeting Muslims. Every element of the supposed plot to kidnap and murder police was devised by Majewski and his cohorts. Brutsche was reportedly receptive to the plan devised by the undercover operatives. Newman – an elderly lady who had never been in trouble with the police – would later claim that she wanted to extricate herself, but was afraid that either Brutsche or one of the others might kill her.
Shortly after the Roston inquest ended and the board resignations began, Majewski and a still-unidentified undercover operative decided to escalate the scripted “plot” to an operational phase.
On August 20, they summoned Brutsche and Newman to a meeting in abandoned warehouse that had been rented by the department. In a performance that merited Oscar consideration, the unnamed police operative denounced a recent police shooting and claimed that the victim was a fellow Sovereign. Playing a supporting role as a shill, Majewski insisted that there was no more time to wait – the kidnap-and-murder plan had to be put into effect.
Brutsche, significantly, came down with a case of cold feet. Newman, who was already terrified about her own welfare, was brow-beaten into saying that she would participate. That was enough to overcome Brutsche’s reluctance. As the two patsies left the warehouse, a SWAT team descended on them. A few hours later their grim and sullen mugshots were ubiquitous in media accounts describing how the Metro Police had infiltrated and disrupted a devious plot by “anti-government extremists” to abduct and murder police.
A typical news account drawing on Metro’s press releases following the arrest claimed that “Undercover Metro officers infiltrated the group … [and learned] of their detailed plans to `snatch and grab’ random police officers, try them for treason in a `sovereign’ court and execute them….”
All of this is a lie, of course: There was no “group” before Metro arrested Brutsche on a pretext and stuck him in a cell with Majewski, who was also the one who created the “detailed plans” as part of the false-flag op.
But such details mattered as little in the Metro-orchestrated homeland security theater production as they do in the department’s Potemkin police shooting reviews. The objective was to trigger an avalanche of melodramatic headlines – supplemented with appropriately alarming courtroom photos – describing a deadly plot against the heroic Metro Police,  and to associate criticism of the agency with a convicted child molester.
It won’t stay in Vegas
In every homeland security theater operation, the initial headlines about the foiled “plot” are stentorian, and subsequent corrections are issued sotto voce. The purported Las Vegas police murder conspiracy follows the standard formula: On September 25, the Clark County DA dropped all murder conspiracy charges against Brutsche and Newman, who now face a single count of conspiracy to commit kidnaping
This is a prelude to a plea agreement that will probably dispose of the case without the inconvenience of a trial that would expose the methods used by Majewski and his local troupe of Homeland Security Theater Players.
Here’s the murderous irony at the heart of this matter:
Las Vegas, like every other city, does face a lethal threat from people who consider themselves emancipated from the law and entitled to kill without accountability. Like the Sovereigns, those people speak in a specialized language that supposedly legitimizes their lawlessness, and that makes no obvious sense to rational people who don’t belong to their clique. The Las Vegas branch of this domestic terrorist movement maintains a fraudulent “court” where criminal actions, up to and including murder, are ratified. However, the crimes committed by that state-sanctioned terrorist syndicate are neither hypothetical, nor uncommon.
Speaking with reporters from the Clark County Jail, Brutsche observed, correctly, that police in Las Vegas are “terrorizing” people and warned that “if this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.” One objective of the Metro Police Department’s Soviet-grade psy-op was to put those words in the mouth of a convicted sex offender, in the expectation that people would revile the messenger, rather than examining the message on its merits. As long as Vegas residents are focusing on David Brutsche, they won’t remember the murderous crimes committed by Brian Yant, Bill Mosher, or other Metro Cops.
This cynical Homeland Security Theater production has played very well in Vegas, and there’s every reason to believe that the people responsible for it will soon take it on the road.

How to Make Mark Levin's Vision of Constitutional Reform a Reality

by Jeffrey Barrett

Mark Levin, the well-known constitutionalist talk show commentator, has written still another very good book.  This book, called the Liberty Amendments, is essentially an operator's manual on how constitutionalists in America might restore constitutional government while bypassing the entrenched federal interests in Washington DC. 

Levin's strategy lies in taking advantage of Article 5 of the US Constitution that gives the power to the states to call a convention, propose amendments, send the amendments out to the state legislatures for passage and all the while, the states can completely ignore the powers in Washington DC.  (See Thomas Lifson's book review.) Levin provides a list of suggested amendments which, if passed, would force the federal government to reverse its century old expansion of federal power and gradually restore a more balanced form of constitutionalist government that the Founders originally intended. 

But there is a serious risk in Levin's strategy that lies in the phrase "Article 5 convention."  Never in American history have the states invoked their Article 5 powers --and for good reason.  State legislators have always been afraid that such a national convention might slip from their control and become a "rogue convention."  Constitutionalists in particular conjure up the nightmare image of statist progressive convention delegates pushing through an agenda that would shred what is left of the protections of the original Constitution.  If you bring up the subject of an Article 5 convention to most state officials, you can see their minds close faster than they can blink.  If you don't believe me try it yourself on your own state assemblyman and witness for yourself the reflexive pavlovian reaction. 

In the real world of flesh and blood humans, I fear that Levin will not gather enough support even from his own constitutionalist allies who admire him greatly.  Levin himself should understand this, for he also once opposed an Article 5 convention, and I suspect the only reason he has changed his mind is that he is desperate for a solution that is not dependent on the cooperation of the status quo contented Republicans residing in their plush neighborhoods in Washington DC. 

But fortunately for Levin (and us all), there is a solution to the runaway convention problem, and his "natural allies" could find reason to hop on his Article 5 bandwagon.  There is a group based in Washington DC of highly influential constitutionalists who call themselves the Madison Coalition and who have found a workable solution to afford states the right to propose single Constitutional amendments while avoiding the dangers of a runaway convention.  The first article in the nation to report on the Madison Coalition was published on these pages.  Very briefly, the Coalition's strategy is to first have the states draft carefully crafted legislation that would eliminate the possibility of the delegates in an Article 5 convention from "going rogue."

Levin's hopes and dreams expressed in his latest book fit seamlessly with the Coalition's objectives.  With the publication of the book and the description of the book on his radio show, Levin has provoked constitutionalist activists across the country to consider turning their firepower away from the national Congress and onto the state legislatures. 

The Coalition provides the structure to direct those energies.  Since the publication of the original article in the American Thinker, the state of Indiana has enshrined the Coalition's plan of action into state law.  Other states are in the pipeline and are sure to follow.  The Coalition is now in a phase where it is ready to ramp up its efforts with the help of grassroots activist support.  The Coalition can identify the key legislators in the key committees in the most promising states across the country.  Madison Laws like the legislation passed in Indiana have already been written and proposed in many state assemblies and require concentrated activist support to force them out of committee and through their respective legislatures. 

In short, Mark Levin with his massive reach to the activist community could not have written a more timely book.  Levin's brilliant strategy of using Article 5 of the Constitution combined with the Coalition's strategy to neutralize the fear of a runaway convention is, perhaps, America's best hope of inching back toward the kind of constitutional government that once was the hallmark of that country's greatness. 

Jeffrey W. Barrett can be reached at

Saturday, September 28, 2013

What Do You Do When Conspiracy Theories Are True?

We've all heard the phrase, usually uttered with a sneer of disdain or condescension, "Conspiracy Theorist."  Think again. 

Andrew Kreig — a seasoned and respected attorney-journalist — has written in his new book Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters exactly what those in the conspiracy movement have so long sought. The book is a well-documented, fact-hardened compendium of events connecting the dots for conspiracy theories enthusiasts. He draws authoritative evidence drawn from right, left, and mainstream sources to create a must-read.
He documents, for example, that all recent U.S. presidents after Jimmy Carter had secret CIA or FBI ties before entering politics. Also, he shows how those agencies and other high-ranking officials reaching into the White House are controlled by elite figures in the private sector. Kreig’s portrayal of President Obama expands upon previous research by author and former Navy intelligence officer Wayne Madsen, and is especially timely given public confusion over the supposed reformer Obama’s enthusiasm for surveillance and prosecuting whistleblowers on spy charges.
At the concluding keynote for the recent DC 9/11 Truth conference, the activist-entertainer Dick Gregory held up a copy of Puppetry. Gregory urged everyone to read the book, and asked the author and Madsen to stand. Madsen later commented for this review, “You’ve got to read this book if you want to know who controls the leadership of our country.”
Earlier in his hour long talk Gregory , who has ten children, told the audience also he hesitated to be with them because his actions could impact their careers. But, he said, people need the truth.
From the right, the conservative author and political commentator Ron Winter, an acclaimed investigative reporter based in Connecticut, wrote a favorable review entitled, “What if conspiracy theories are true?”
Progressive Review Publisher Sam Smith, a DC-based journalist for more than half a century until his move to Maine, describes how the JFK Assassination in 1963 prompted the establishment to cerate a way to silence independent investigations.
Smith’s column “A thinker's guide to conspiracy theories stated” The term 'conspiracy theory' was invented by elite media and politicians to denigrate questions or critical presumptions about events about which important facts remain unrevealed.” Smith cautions journalists to be like homicide detectives and “remain agnostic, skeptical, and curious” about evidence.
In that spirit, this book has some 350 pages of narrative spanning a century and more than 1,100 endnotes that confirm the necessarily brief mentions in the narrative itself.
As you read, acts that seem like isolated events suddenly spring to life providing the “MacGuffin” plot-line for the larger story. Freed from the distorting effect of two-party politics, we see that some seemingly wild ideas are true whereas others are concoctions created by propagandists operating under the cover of routine-seeming jobs in foundations, business, academia, and the media. The corrupt process has skewed public dialog over decades, and appears to be getting much worse.
Kreig, based in DC also, brings to life how CIA and other secret affiliations of the presidents and intimately related to the public policies dominating the news. By contrast, the popular focus on Obama’s birth certificate pales in significance
Similarly, the full biographies of current presidential appointees and the apparent motive for their hiring comes like a slap in the face.  It hurts at times, but it is the medicine we all need.  
What you thought you knew is suddenly open to revision. The mind’s eye must recalibrate to accommodate new information. As you turn the pages 'wag the dog moments' and those who orchestrated them, clarify your mind. They are guaranteed to delivered shocks to both the Right and Left equally.
If you are serious about change, this is the book you need to read.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Financial Armageddon is Building in the Shadows, And You Bear the Risk

From:  AlterNet 

by Ellen Brown, Web of Debt

Banking policies are perversely pushing self-destruction in the financial sector.

Increased regulation and low interest rates are driving lending from the regulated commercial banking system into the unregulated shadow banking system. The shadow banks, although free of government regulation, are propped up by a hidden government guarantee in the form of safe harbor status under the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Act pushed through by Wall Street. The result is to create perverse incentives for the financial system to self-destruct. 

Five years after the financial collapse precipitated by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy on September 15, 2008, the risk of another full-blown financial panic is still looming large, despite the Dodd Frank legislation designed to contain it. As noted in a recent Reuters article, the risk has just moved into the shadows:
[B]anks are pulling back their balance sheets from the fringes of the credit markets, with more and more risk being driven to unregulated lenders that comprise the $60 trillion “shadow-banking” sector.
Increased regulation and low interest rates have made lending to homeowners and small businesses less attractive than before 2008. The easy subprime scams of yesteryear are no more. The void is being filled by the shadow banking system. Shadow banking comes in many forms, but the big money today is in repos and derivatives. The notional (or hypothetical) value of the derivatives market has been estimated to be as high as $1.2 quadrillion, or twenty times the GDP of all the countries of the world combined. 

According to Hervé Hannoun, Deputy General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements, investment banks as well as commercial banks may conduct much of their business in the shadow banking system (SBS), although most are not generally classed as SBS institutions themselves. At least one financial regulatory expert has said that regulated banking organizations are the largest shadow banks. 

The Hidden Government Guarantee That Props Up the Shadow Banking System

According to Dutch economist Enrico Perotti, banks are able to fund their loans much more cheaply than any other industry because they offer “liquidity on demand.” The promise that the depositor can get his money out at any time is made credible by government-backed deposit insurance and access to central bank funding.  But what guarantee underwrites the shadow banks? Why would financial institutions feel confident lending cheaply in the shadow market, when it is not protected by deposit insurance or government bailouts? 

Perotti says that liquidity-on-demand is guaranteed in the SBS through another, lesser-known form of government guarantee: “safe harbor” status in bankruptcy. Repos and derivatives, the stock in trade of shadow banks, have “superpriority” over all other claims. Perotti writes:
Security pledging grants access to cheap funding thanks to the steady expansion in the EU and US of “safe harbor status”. Also called bankruptcy privileges, this ensures lenders secured on financial collateral immediate access to their pledged securities. . . .
Safe harbor status grants the privilege of being excluded from mandatory stay, and basically all other restrictions. Safe harbor lenders, which at present include repos and derivative margins, can immediately repossess and resell pledged collateral.
This gives repos and derivatives extraordinary super-priority over all other claims, including tax and wage claims, deposits, real secured credit and insurance claims. Critically, it ensures immediacy (liquidity) for their holders. Unfortunately, it does so by undermining orderly liquidation.
When orderly liquidation is undermined, there is a rush to get the collateral, which can actually propel the debtor into bankruptcy. 

The amendment to the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 that created this favored status for repos and derivatives was pushed through by the banking lobby with few questions asked. In a December 2011 article titled “ Plan B – How to Loot Nations and Their Banks Legally,” documentary film-maker David Malone wrote:


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The State As An Attractor for Sociopaths

by Butler Shaffer

What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.
                                                                                                                            -   Tom Clancy
In the science of chaos, “attractors” are operational principles around which turbulence and apparent chaos are harmonized. What the limited nature of our prior experiences dismisses as randomness or disorder, the study of chaos and complexity is revealing as deeper patterns of regularity. Attractors help to identify the dynamics by which complex systems organize themselves. Thus, it could be said that an earthquake fault line serves as an “attractor” for geologic forces in plate tectonics, just as river systems are attractors for water engaging in its ongoing relations with the forces of gravity. At a social level, an estate sale can be seen as an attractor for antique dealers; dumpsites as attractors for abandoned property; or hospitals as attractors for diseases. In marketplace economics, the pricing system is an attractor for buyers and sellers seeking to exchange property claims.
The study of chaos is helping us understand why all political systems are disruptive and destructive of life processes. Through this new science, we are discovering – contrary to Plato’s hubristic assumptions – that complex systems produce behavior that is both determined and yet unpredictable. Left to the playing out of the forces operating within and upon it, a complex system will spontaneously generate consequences that are implicit – albeit unpredictable – within it.
But we know that many people do not like a world that is unpredictable and indifferent to their particular interests. Thus, a business owner who is unable to effectively compete for customers in a free market, may seek to disrupt the order that does not accommodate his whims. He might begin by pursuing voluntary agreements with his competitors to reduce the pace with which they pursue their respective interests, a strategy that is rarely successful. When the voluntary approach doesn’t satisfy all industry members, he and many of his business rivals turn to the state to compel, by force, results unobtainable in the marketplace. My book, In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition, 1918-1938, documents this politicization of the business system.
The state is almost universally defined as a system that enjoys a legal monopoly on the use of violence within a given territory. Despite all of the media hype, government schools conditioning, and other institutional propaganda to paint political systems as noble, morally principled agencies devoted to serving the general welfare, the state is capable of doing no more than this: compelling people – through violence and the threat of violence – to do what they do not choose to do, or to refrain from doing what they do choose to do. Like the subjugated and exploited proletariat of Animal Farm, increasing numbers of men and women read those opening words to the preamble of the Constitution – “We the People” – and discover the identity of “the people” who control and benefit from the system that was created.
If the state is defined in terms of its enjoying a monopoly on the use of violence, what is the character of people who would be attracted to the use of its violent tools and practices? What sort of people would be attracted to careers that gave them the arbitrary power to force others to their will; work premised on the imperative of obedience? It is almost amusing to see legislators conducting hearings on the problem of bullying in schools: I often wonder whether these politicians are projecting their own “dark side” forces onto others; using playground ruffians as scapegoats for the more widespread bullying that is the raison d’etre of politics. Or might these solons simply be trying to eliminate competition, in much the same way that local governments war with the street-gangs that violently dominate urban neighborhoods, a role to be monopolized by the state’s police system?
There is a continuum running between “sociopathic” and “psychopathic” behavior separating degrees of antisocial conduct. A Post Office mail clerk, or a receptionist at a DMV office, may not exhibit such traits. But what about state officials whose functions are to enforce some governmental edict or program? The man or woman who is prepared to initiate an act of punishment to compel obedience to a governmental mandate easily segues into the SWAT team member or police brute or one who tortures another. It is the appetite for ultimate power over others that drives such people. We have now reached that most vicious end-point on the continuum, the war system, where the indiscriminate killing of innocent people – many of them children – becomes justified by the psychopathic war-lovers on no more compelling ground than that they have the power to inflict death on a massive scale.
During World War II, allied forces engaged in war crimes every bit as vicious as those perpetrated by the defeated enemies. The Nazi psychopaths who ran death camps were matched by the allied officials who bombed such non-military cities as Dresden and Hamburg, and vaporized tens of thousands of civilians along with some U.S. military prisoners of war, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The nuclear bombing of these Japanese cities was done primarily to impress the Soviet Union, while erstwhile beautiful cities such as Dresden were leveled because, in the words of one RAF official, “we didn’t have any other cities left to bomb.”  The RAF Bomber Command chief, Arthur “Bomber” Harris, said, thirty years later, that he would do the same thing again if presented with the same choices. Such is the mindset of the psychopath!
If, as Randolph Bourne advised, “war is the health of the state,” those who are attracted to the exercise of violence over others can delude themselves to be health-care practitioners for a system at war with life itself.
No more than we would expect Mother Theresa to operate a brothel can we imagine advocates of peace and liberty to be welcomed into the management of the state. This is why Ron Paul was so persona non grata to members of the political elite. He wanted to reduce – perhaps even eliminate – the violent nature of the American nation-state. He was almost booed off the stage at a Republican gathering for suggesting that this country employ the “Golden Rule” as the basis for a foreign policy! He wanted to minimize that which attracts the sociopaths and psychopaths to the state: the opportunity to use ever-increasing levels of destructive violence against their fellow humans.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The New Economy, your ticket to security and freedom

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, MacPherson Investment Group, a Rebuild America Company

Never in history have a people around the entire world been faced with the potential for economic meltdown confronting us today. You will hear others say this. But what they tell you to do about securing the well being and safety of your family and community will be very different.

Here, we outline for you an approach which works, keeping you secure while at the same time providing the means for building a new economy, one which simultaneously allows you to get out, taking your capital with you, while facilitating the same effect for others. Doing so provides you with essential protection. There is strength in numbers.

Many believe they can follow the isolation strategy, given enough resources, but this conclusion stems from insufficient understanding of the facts and direction events are now taking.

This plan significantly reduces the power of those responsible for the problems we face. These investments save your capital while building an entry way into a very different future, both for Americans and people around the world.

The people who have designed the trap now confronting us have been referred to as Corporatists, Bankers, Multi-National Corporations, along with other identifiers. We call them Greedville because their absolute numbers are small, about the size of a town of 100,000. However, their impact on the world, is impossible to calculate.

These few, greedy, and conscienceless individuals, have destroyed nations, subjected millions to death through violence, starvation, and disease, brought the balance of nature to a precipice, and consumed the carefully saved earnings of generations of hard-working, decent, people.

The present Grid Economy is the business model originated by the folks of Greedville. It is designed to extract money from all of us in two ways.

How Greedville Profits

First, externalization of their costs of doing business was central to a plan which, as is true today, allows for the accumulation of vast wealth through misdirection and stealth. They do this by eliminating competition and by ensuring we pay their real costs of doing business.

What they practice is crony capitalism without a free market in sight.

As we see today, with the ugly, calloused, behavior of oil companies, it is very much in their business plan to cut their costs, externalizing the damage done to people and the environment. The same is true of the present producers of energy in any form along with multiple other industries.

Government, an extension of their corporate business model, enables these thefts.

Not only do they take no responsibility for the damage they do, they demand we subsidize them through the government for which we also pay.

Our monetary system has also become a source for predatory greed in a mind boggling number of ways. Why should government or corporations charge us for every transaction, every purchase, every exchange between people?

This began as small amounts which many of us overlooked. But greed begets more greed and they found ever more ways to increase what they take covertly.

Through our system of banking, and then moving on to every imaginable application of their business model, they enriched themselves. When new technologies approached the market which would end their ability to tap into our wallets these were opposed and sidelined.

New technologies, ones which take you and your money off the grid, becoming invested in the New Economy, are at the core of this strategy

Government has limited the options available to the rest of us, enforcing this through government fiat. This is why nuclear energy was foisted on us, instead of solar energy. How do you tap income from someone who is using the sun as their source for power? Eliminating options is another aspect of their approach to 'business.'

As your available options grow more limited, the amounts Greedville extracts rises. They know you have no choices left. Other clever cons were installed in their system as well. Tremendous effort goes into planning each of these by experts in systems analysis and economics. There were no accidents.

How This Happened

For Greedville's plan to work they needed to control what we believe.

The main stream media is an extension of public relations for Greedville. As most of us now realized, it is not a reliable and accurate source of information and news. Most of the major media have been owned by Greedville, and its governmental partners, for two generations.

Although the first successful American PR campaign was waged for the adoption of the Pledge of Allegiance in 1892 by a coalition of Nationalists, driven by ideology, managing public opinion started with Edward Bernays in the 1920s. Bernays' book, “Propaganda,” remains an early Bible for manufacturing public opinion for profit.

War is also a corporate tool. Organized, focused, violence is used both to manufacture public attitudes and acquire resources. Brave soldiers are dying for corporate profits, persuaded to risk their lives for the nation they love by people without conscience. These individuals are experts in the use of our honor, and love, to manage what we believe and what we will sacrifice for our beliefs.

In the past, men of conscience, who knew the truth, have tried to warn us.

From the blunt statements of Major General Smedley Butler, whose book, “War is a Racket,” pulled no punches, to retiring president Dwight David Eisenhower, with his eloquent final speech, January 17, 1961, on the Multi-National Corporations, and more recently with the personal narrative of John Perkins in his book, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman,” how military force supports policy is clearly illustrated. And today, Americans are learning how the militarization can be used to negate our Constitution and alter our relationship with America's law enforcement, both local and national. YouTube, and the Internet, leave no doubt.

The professions of national defense and law enforcement have become tools, used to advance the interests of Greedville, along with our courts.

Greedville has been diligent in cutting off potential escape routes, witness the 'policies' which criminalize the means used by people to avoid non-currency exchange, for instance by growing their own food, using technologies which allow them to generate their own energy, among many, reduce the small, and sometimes larger amounts, of currency which flows into the control of a relatively small number of individuals.

Traditional investments are now traps which bleed you like a roulette wheel. Big banks, the bond market, the stock market, are calibrated to take you capital and leave you broke.

Despite this, there is an opening which can take us into the light of a new, Post-Greedville, economy.

Welcome to the New Economy

Today, despite the housing meltdown, panicky investors have recognized they need to put their capital in something real. This is the source of the uptick in sales of homes in such places as California and Florida, areas which are known to have a continuing high demand.

Investors may have millions, or much less, but they are looking for something which provides potential for growth and security against the predators now looming in every market.

Today, the United States housing market is still the fifth largest market on earth, despite everything. It is large enough to provide the fulcrum for substantial shift, if those investments change the makeup of the market. These are the right investments, one made into the New Economy. These investments produce more benefits than you imagined possible.

Knowing what the right investments are is essential to more than just saving your capital. It includes saving your life and your freedom.

The New Economy and how it changes our world

There has been a steady rise in voices which challenge the assumptions most of us accepted about business. Greedville uses commerce as a weapon of war, and war to close off options for nations and individuals. The New Economy will be a tool for peaceful exchange, helping people from diverse backgrounds trust each other while lowering their absolute need to compete just for necessities.

Trust is a form of capital which changes the future interactions between people.

The New Economy provides tools which make it possible to trust each other as we move to a new way of living, one which rebuilds communities and relationships. The New Economy provides alternatives for exchange between people along with technologies which lower recurring costs for simply living. What it does not do is make it possible for a few to accumulate profits using deceit and manipulation, removing this as a human strategy.

In parallel with the proven success of microfunding and, more recently, online sites which allow people to donate funding for projects and small businesses, the shift point for the New Economy is activated by millions of people who can make choices for reasons which make good sense for them. It is not altruism, but informed self-interest for individuals who are now finding themselves in grave circumstances because of the loss of options caused by Greedville.

The best way to tell you is to use one example for choices, small choices made by one couple.

George and Kim were both retiring and decided to follow the advise of a friend and relocate back to the town where they both grew up.

Both of them were stressed, tired from long commutes to jobs which they did not enjoy. Both had medical problems and were overweight.

Located in the midwest, the town has shrunk in size and they could buy a home for 25% of what they could sell their home for in Long Beach, California. It was a tough choice, but they knew George's pension was gone in the bankruptcy of the company he had worked for and Kim's 401K was small, barely enough to pay for their move. As it turned out, they received the money not long before her fellow former employees lost their 401Ks.

After years of careful savings, they would be dependent on their social security and what they got from the sale of their home.

Determined to lower their recurring monthly costs, George and Kim decided to have a home built which was Deep Green Passive, using part of the money from the sale of their home in Long Beach. This meant no heating or cooling bills in an area where summers were hot and it snowed in the winter. They had been there for nearly a year when they realized nothing had needed fixing, either.

Kim had always wanted to garden. She found plans online while they were still in California for a geothermal system which allowed them to grow all year, even in the snow. They bought the plans online and took them with them when they moved. They included some citrus trees in their garden. George decided this made good sense and also put in an aquaponics unit from a company which encouraged customers to start teaching others how to grow their own food.

Their new neighbor raised chickens and Kim began trading with her, and then others, for eggs, chicken and other meat, using her produce and fish. The local grow community was also expanding, and many of these people became their close friends.

George and Kim joined a local time bank and began exchanging work with people in their town. No money changed hands. Folks were interested in their geothermal system and their aquaponics. George started building them for others, some through the exchange, and others for money.

Then Kim met a couple who were installing a new kind of solar system which also generated hydrogen. George and Kim exchanged time with him, allowing them to get a unit for themselves.

Another family in the exchange was modifying automobiles to run on hydrogen and hours were exchanged so George and Kim's car needed no gasoline.

Kim and George had been overweight and stressed when they left California. Now, each was thin and relaxed. Their diets had changed dramatically. Without realizing they had nearly eliminated GMO and additives from their diets.

Kim and George got active in their community, using spare time to help organize a local theater and brush up on skills which they had not used in decades. Benjamin, a rescue cat, became a fixture in their lives. Their lives had changed, and all of it for the better.

George and Kim signed petitions to change the way their local government was organized, moving along with other towns and counties to local control, but were not particularly active, spending time instead with relief work for their church.

What happened with George and Kim was a transition from grid economy to New Economy. The shift begins with people making choices which are right for them. These are not ideological choices which demand sacrifice.

Right now, people are looking for choices. Alternatives must be available. This is the window of opportunity for investors and all of us. These are, at one time, the only secure investment available and the best way to turn off the flow of funds to those who are presently eating us alive.

In this war of economies, the grid is pitting itself against the freedom of people to choose. Investing in technologies, starting businesses based on them, growing local, all of these allow us to move into the New Economy. Every time one of us does the power flowing to those who have been eating us alive is diminished.

All you have to lose is enslavement. All you have to gain is freedom.

Is The United States Going To Go To War With Syria Over A Natural Gas Pipeline?

By Michael Snyder, on September 3rd, 2013

PipelineWhy has the little nation of Qatar spent 3 billion dollars to support the rebels in Syria?  Could it be because Qatar is the largest exporter of liquid natural gas in the world and Assad won't let them build a natural gas pipeline through Syria?  Of course.  Qatar wants to install a puppet regime in Syria that will allow them to build a pipeline which will enable them to sell lots and lots of natural gas to Europe.  Why is Saudi Arabia spending huge amounts of money to help the rebels and why has Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan been "jetting from covert command centers near the Syrian front lines to the Élysée Palace in Paris and the Kremlin in Moscow, seeking to undermine the Assad regime"?  Well, it turns out that Saudi Arabia intends to install their own puppet government in Syria which will allow the Saudis to control the flow of energy through the region.  On the other side, Russia very much prefers the Assad regime for a whole bunch of reasons.  One of those reasons is that Assad is helping to block the flow of natural gas out of the Persian Gulf into Europe, thus ensuring higher profits for Gazprom.  Now the United States is getting directly involved in the conflict.  If the U.S. is successful in getting rid of the Assad regime, it will be good for either the Saudis or Qatar (and possibly for both), and it will be really bad for Russia.  This is a strategic geopolitical conflict about natural resources, religion and money, and it really has nothing to do with chemical weapons at all.
It has been common knowledge that Qatar has desperately wanted to construct a natural gas pipeline that will enable it to get natural gas to Europe for a very long time.  The following is an excerpt from an article from 2009...
Qatar has proposed a gas pipeline from the Gulf to Turkey in a sign the emirate is considering a further expansion of exports from the world's biggest gasfield after it finishes an ambitious programme to more than double its capacity to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG).
"We are eager to have a gas pipeline from Qatar to Turkey," Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the ruler of Qatar, said last week, following talks with the Turkish president Abdullah Gul and the prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the western Turkish resort town of Bodrum. "We discussed this matter in the framework of co-operation in the field of energy. In this regard, a working group will be set up that will come up with concrete results in the shortest possible time," he said, according to Turkey's Anatolia news agency.
Other reports in the Turkish press said the two states were exploring the possibility of Qatar supplying gas to the strategic Nabucco pipeline project, which would transport Central Asian and Middle Eastern gas to Europe, bypassing Russia. A Qatar-to-Turkey pipeline might hook up with Nabucco at its proposed starting point in eastern Turkey. Last month, Mr Erdogan and the prime ministers of four European countries signed a transit agreement for Nabucco, clearing the way for a final investment decision next year on the EU-backed project to reduce European dependence on Russian gas.
"For this aim, I think a gas pipeline between Turkey and Qatar would solve the issue once and for all," Mr Erdogan added, according to reports in several newspapers. The reports said two different routes for such a pipeline were possible. One would lead from Qatar through Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq to Turkey. The other would go through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey. It was not clear whether the second option would be connected to the Pan-Arab pipeline, carrying Egyptian gas through Jordan to Syria. That pipeline, which is due to be extended to Turkey, has also been proposed as a source of gas for Nabucco.
Based on production from the massive North Field in the Gulf, Qatar has established a commanding position as the world's leading LNG exporter. It is consolidating that through a construction programme aimed at increasing its annual LNG production capacity to 77 million tonnes by the end of next year, from 31 million tonnes last year. However, in 2005, the emirate placed a moratorium on plans for further development of the North Field in order to conduct a reservoir study.
As you just read, there were two proposed routes for the pipeline.  Unfortunately for Qatar, Saudi Arabia said no to the first route and Syria said no to the second route.  The following is from an absolutely outstanding article in the Guardian...  MORE

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Keeping Deposits Safe, Local, and Working for Local Economies...with Public Banks

From:  Public Banking Institute

Two months after the Public Banking 2013 Conference, awareness of Public Banking continues to increase. Folks are waking up to the fact that the Big Banks are extracting much wealth from our communities via usurious and rigged interest rates at all levels--individual, business, and government--and burdening our communities with debt. It is no longer safe even to keep our individual and local governments' deposits in the Big Banks, as "bail-outs" are being replaced by "bail-ins." Even Detroit's bankruptcy, fleecing pensioners to save the banks, is looking suspiciously like the bail-in template originated by the G20's Financial Stability Board in 2011, which exploded on the scene in Cyprus in 2013 and is now becoming the model globally.

If ever there was an argument for public banking, this is it: Keeping deposits safe, local, and working for local economies. The Public Banking Institute has released a new video stating that there is a serious threat, in the event of another derivatives debacle, that deposits are vulnerable to confiscation in Wall Street banks, making the point that government officials have a fiduciary responsibility to keep our local governments' funds safe and accessible.

 Some local governments are fighting back. Philadelphia is the latest of a number of U.S. municipalities to sue these banks for financial losses incurred due to Libor interest rate rigging, claiming that they "have cost state and local governmental entities hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, depleting treasuries, ruining budgets, and hindering the delivery of public services." The city of Richmond, CA, in an effort to stabilize the community and prevent foreclosures, has offered to buy 624 underwater mortgages at discounts to the homes' current value, concentrating on ones that are held in Wall Street instruments called private securitization trusts, and threatening to use the power of eminent domain to seize the mortgages if its offers are spurned. The idea of "eminent domain for the people" is also gaining traction with the city of El Monte. Predictably, Wall Street is fighting back by directing a lawsuit at blocking Richmond's proposed use of eminent domain to write down mortgage loans for certain residents.
Efforts toward promoting and establishing publicly-owned banks also continue at both the local and national levels. A city-owned bank in San Francisco has been given the green light, with a legal opinion that a charter city likely would not be in violation of state law if it were to form its own bank. About one quarter of California cities are charter cities. A national infrastructure bank through the post office is proposed by the president of the National Association of Letter Carriers in his July address.

Equipped with the knowledge of "The Public Bank Solution," people are realizing there's an equitable and sustainable alternative to our current system--that banking and credit should become public utilities, feeding the economy rather than feeding off it. Please continue to spread awareness of Public Banking as we work to achieve a sustainable and shared prosperity.

Ann Tulintseff, Member of Board of Directors, Public Banking Institute