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OrangeCandle
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xx The Obama Deception
« Thread started on: Mar 18th, 2009, 6:55pm »

Misdirected “Bailout Rage” Sets Pretext For New Financial World Order


Greedy Wall St Execs are flotsam jetsam compared to global banking elites

Steve Watson

Tuesday, March 17, 2009



A so called “bailout backlash”, a huge rise in public antagonism toward banks and Wall Street, is set to provide the Obama administration and the governments of the G20 nations a pretext to usher in a new era of international centralization and control over financial practices and institutions.

The backlash or “bailout rage” as others have dubbed it, has been further heightened by revelations regarding AIG’s squandering of almost $100 billion in taxpayer rescue funding - which it siphoned off to Goldman Sachs and a number of European banks - in addition to the company’s plan to continue issuing massive bonuses to the people in the very division that were responsible for it’s spiraling derivative-driven downturn.

The intention to use such practices to push for increased authoritative regulation is clear.

“Mr. Obama’s advisers argued that to at least some extent, this was a sentiment they could tap to push through his measures in Congress,” reported The New York Times yesterday.

However, the Times article also highlights the fine line that Obama and other heads of state must tread in utilizing such backlash for their own gain.

“The danger, aides said, is that if he were to become identified as an advocate for the banks and Wall Street, people could take out their anger on him.”

This is the stumbling block that must be overcome in order to uncover the real solutions to the induced global financial collapse.

While the practices of those at AIG, Goldman Sachs and their ilk are abhorrent, they represent a mere drop in the ocean compared to the actions of our governments and their central bank bedfellows, who have provided for such circumstances in the first instance anyway.

The Federal Reserve still refuses to answer specific questions about where $2 trillion in bailout funds has gone, a subject that Bloomberg News sued the Fed simply to try and discover.

Staggering scenes unfolded two weeks ago at a Senate budget Committee meeting when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke arrogantly refused to state where any of the bailout money had gone despite repeated questioning by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

The economic “stimulus” is the latest phase of an overarching effort to foment another Great Depression, or rather a Greater Depression. It is a debt and inflation tool designed to pump up another bubble in the economy. It is a built-in demolition of an already stressed economy. It is how the global elite and the banksters will take control and create a world banking empire and one-world government that is accountable to no one.

It is blatantly apparent that Obama is merely one of the select frontmen for this, an agenda which is truly global in scale.
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xx Re: The Obama Deception
« Reply #1 on: Mar 18th, 2009, 6:56pm »

The elite have exploited the problem that they created to push for increased regulation of the world economic system in the pursuit of a de-facto global financial dictatorship.

The swift and ruthless exploitation of the economic meltdown on behalf of globalists and central banks revolves around their drive to move towards a one world currency system and an unprecedented centralization of global financial power, a fact that financial analysts are finally beginning to realise.

Last week Ben Bernanke told an elite gathering at the Council on Foreign Relations that a new overarching financial authority should be created and empowered with sweeping new regulatory responsibilities.

Such a suggestion echoes that of über elitist Paul Volcker, an Obama adviser and former Fed chairman, who has consistently called for regulatory crackdowns, along with other members of the elite Group of Thirty and the Trilateral Commission.

During Volcker’s address at the Columbia University’s Center for Capitalism and Society last month, he said only new forms of international financial regulation will save us from the yawning catastrophe. “All banks must be supervised and regulated, but those of systemic significance around the world, which, almost inevitably… are international, they’re not just national, will be subject to a particular layer of supervision,” said Volcker.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, EU heads such as Joaquin Almunia and establishment media outlets like the Wall Street Journal amongst many others have all continually used the economic crisis as an excuse to argue for greater financial power, a “new world economic order” in which control is concentrated into fewer hands - with the IMF and the World Bank enjoying the spoils.

UK Business Secretary and top Bilderberg member Peter Mandelson has also pushed for a “Bretton Woods for this century,” to help build the “machinery of global economic governance”.

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy all made the same appeal at a conference in Paris on the future of capitalism earlier this year.

Merkel called for the creation of a new global economic body under the UN, similar to the Security Council, to judge government policy.

Sarkozy called for a “new world, new capitalism” during his speech, as he commented “In capitalism of the 21st century, there is room for the state.”

Meanwhile, Blair called for a new financial order which he said should be constructed upon “values other than the maximum short-term profit.”

More of the same appeals are set to be made this weekend at the meeting of the G20 in England.

The globalists created the problem of wildly irresponsible fractional reserve banking, the debt bubble and the credit crunch by ceaselessly inflating the money supply and now they are offering their solution to the crisis by posing as the saviors and promising to fix the crisis, but only if complete control of the global financial system be signed over to them.

As Ron Paul, Peter Schiff and their ilk have tirelessly argued, the only way to solve the financial crisis is to allow incompetent banks and companies to fail, not to reward their misdeeds by giving them billions in taxpayer money. The only way to re-capitalize the world is to provide incentives for people to work hard and save money, not by creating more credit out of thin air, which is what caused the problem in the first place.

The globalists’ call for a centralized global economic order has nothing to do with providing solutions to the crisis but everything to do with providing themselves with more power and control over the world’s financial system.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/misdirected-bailout-rage-sets-pretext-for-new-financial-world-order.html
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xx Re: The Obama Deception
« Reply #2 on: Mar 18th, 2009, 6:56pm »

The Obama Deception:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exNgRqGa1k4&feature=related (1)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-sxq-YbTsg&feature=related (2)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThjSREO3DrM&feature=related (3)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1B-2cbWtbjw&feature=related (4)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlo0gUkQFTo&feature=related (5)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahM4VC93iWA&feature=related (6)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_p5NVvXQdU&feature=related (7)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvpAwnKZtD8&feature=related (8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IRq7y5q6BM&feature=related (9)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qQ-epj0pXc&feature=related (10)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJM-gNIHAr0&feature=related (11)
« Last Edit: Mar 18th, 2009, 6:56pm by OrangeCandle » User IP Logged

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xx Re: The Obama Deception
« Reply #3 on: Mar 18th, 2009, 6:57pm »

Deception

Deception (also called beguilement, deceit, bluff, or subterfuge) is the act of convincing another to believe information that is not true, or not the whole truth as in certain types of half-truths.

Deception involves concepts like propaganda, distraction and/or concealment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deception
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xx Re: The Obama Deception
« Reply #4 on: Mar 18th, 2009, 6:58pm »

Should we blame AIG for throwing the money away or should we blame the people in the treasury department who are constantly seeking to reward them for it?

Our treasury department is corrupt. Just a thought. There is something bigger going on here than AIG. Much bigger.

As of this moment, the treasury department is free to make whatever decisions it wants to regarding the American citizen's money. And there is not a d**n thing we the people can do about it. If congress does not go along with what the treasury department wishes, they are bombarded by the media for not doing so, and are threatened with the possibility of both physical and psychological harm.

If you want to see how much power the American people have in stopping this process of giving our money away without our permission, try banding together in a majority all over the United States and demand that not a single dollar be given out again on failing corporations and banks and watch what happens. What do you think your current government would do? Do you think they would listen to you? Fat chance.

It's YOUR money. It's money that could have gone to help the homeless, to help secure social security, to help the sick, to help the animals, to help the planet, to help eachother.

And who does it go to instead? Failing banks and corporations. Well guess what folks, the American people are failing. We are losing our jobs left and right, we are losing our houses, we are losing our cars, our ability to receive education, our ability to pay for food, and what are we getting for it? Next to nothing (as compared to the billions and billions and billions that are being given to the failing banks and corporations). And then the CEOs of the banks and corporations (who are already rich and doing very well) are being given Millions of dollars for free! As gifts! For doing nothing! For being the "captains" of ships that are burning and sinking! Meanwhile we can barely hang onto our lives as we know them! The banks and corporations get billions of dollars. BILLIONS! And we get a few hundred dollars a week for unemployment. Hmmmm...billions to hundreds....something seem a little wrong with that ratio? And who has been working our asses off our entire lives to pay into the system? We have! Not the banks, and not the corporations. And what do we get for doing that? High-way Robbery.

The treasury department is the problem folks. Until we stop the children who are running it from spending all of our money, we will see more and more companies abuse their "handouts" like AIG. It is only the tip of the iceberg. The problem starts with the treasury department of the United States Government. Turn your attention towards them. They are the ones who create the policies of giving away our money. They are the ones who are to blame. Not AIG. AIG is just ONE of the many consequences of the treasury departments decisions. The very same desicions that will continue to be made everyday without the American people's permission. Decisions that will end up destroying our country and our way of life until the day we finally draw the line and put an end to it.
« Last Edit: Mar 18th, 2009, 11:01pm by OrangeCandle » User IP Logged

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« Reply #5 on: Apr 5th, 2009, 11:10pm »

Financial Rescue Nears GDP as Pledges Top $12.8 Trillion


Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry

Bloomberg

Wednesday, April 1, 2009



The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion, an amount that approaches the value of everything produced in the country last year, to stem the longest recession since the 1930s.

New pledges from the Fed, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. include $1 trillion for the Public-Private Investment Program, designed to help investors buy distressed loans and other assets from U.S. banks. The money works out to $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. and 14 times the $899.8 billion of currency in circulation. The nation’s gross domestic product was $14.2 trillion in 2008.

President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met with the chief executives of the nation’s 12 biggest banks on March 27 at the White House to enlist their support to thaw a 20-month freeze in bank lending.

“The president and Treasury Secretary Geithner have said they will do what it takes,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein said after the meeting. “If it is enough, that will be great. If it is not enough, they will have to do more.”

Commitments include a $500 billion line of credit to the FDIC from the government’s coffers that will enable the agency to guarantee as much as $2 trillion worth of debt for participants in the Term Asset-Backed Lending Facility and the Public-Private Investment Program. FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair warned that the insurance fund to protect customer deposits at U.S. banks could dry up because of bank failures.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=armOzfkwtCA4&refer=worldwide
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xx Re: The Obama Deception
« Reply #6 on: Apr 5th, 2009, 11:13pm »

World Bank President Admits Agenda For Global Government


Paul Joseph Watson

Wednesday, April 1, 2009



World Bank President and Bilderberg elitist Robert Zoellick openly admitted the plan to eliminate national sovereignty and impose a global government during a speech on the eve of the G20 summit.

Speaking about the agenda to increase not just funding but power for international organizations on the back of the financial crisis, Zoellick stated, “If leaders are serious about creating new global responsibilities or governance, let them start by modernising multilateralism to empower the WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank Group to monitor national policies.”

In other words, give global institutions the power to regulate national policy as part of the creation of global government.

What Zoellick is outlining is essentially the end of national sovereignty and the reclassification of national governments as mere subordinates to a global authority that is completely unaccountable to the voting public of any country.

The more cynical amongst us would call this a global dictatorship. Zoellick couches the plan in flowery rhetoric of helping the poor and alleviating poverty, but as we have documented for years, the global elite’s goal of world government has little to do with saving the planet and everything to do with creating a global fascist state.

Zoellick, former Executive Vice President of Fannie Mae and advisor to Goldman Sachs, is a top elitist who was intimately involved in the Enron scandal and the 2000 presidential election debacle. He was also a signatory to the Project For A New American century document that called for invading Iraq as part of implementing a brutal world empire in 1998. He was later a foreign policy advisor to George W. Bush.

As to be expected, Zoellick is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. He also attended the annual invitation-only conferences of the Bilderberg Group in 1991, 2003, 2006 and 2007.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will use the G20 summit in London to extend an olive branch to China, offering them a central role in the construction of a new world order and a global government, according to reports.

“Brown will hold talks with Hu Jintao, China’s president, following discussions with Barack Obama, amid signs that developing countries see the G20 summit as a chance to impose a new world order and end the era of Anglo-European dominance,” reports the Guardian.

Under the proposal, China will vastly increase its IMF funding in return for more voting rights.

A central focus of the G20 summit will be the proposal to supplant the dollar with a new global currency. Both the IMF and the United Nations threw their weight behind the implementation of a new global reserve currency system to replace the dollar, in the same week that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told CFR globalists that he was “open” to the idea.

China and Russia brought the issue to the forefront of this week’s G20 when they jointly called for a new global reserve currency a week ago.

Brown has consistently called for global regulation of the financial system as a means towards global governance. In a speech at St Paul’s Cathedral in London yesterday he again called for a new “global society”.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/world-bank-president-admits-agenda-for-global-government.html
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« Reply #7 on: Apr 5th, 2009, 11:16pm »

UN & IMF Back Agenda For Global Financial Dictatorship


Paul Joseph Watson

Friday, March 27, 2009



Both the IMF and the United Nations have thrown their weight behind proposals to implement a new world reserve currency system to replace the dollar as part of the acceleration towards a global financial dictatorship, in the same week that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told CFR globalists that he was “open” to the idea.

As we reported yesterday, Timothy Geithner initially renounced a Chinese and Russian proposal to supplant the dollar with a new global currency, but he later told CFR elitists, who have consistently lobbied for a global currency as part of a wider agenda for global government, that he was “open” to the idea. Indeed, before Geithner was appointed by Obama when he was still president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, he argued for a new global central banking system shortly after attending the 2008 Bilderberg meeting.

Now the U.N. and the IMF have thrown their weight behind the move and reports indicate that the matter will be a major point of discussion at the upcoming G20 conference, with officials having initially dismissed speculation that a global currency would be on the agenda.

“A UN panel of expert economists pressed Thursday for a new global currency reserve scheme to replace the volatile, dollar-based system and for coordinated steps by rich countries to stimulate their economies,” reports AFP.

“A new Global Reserve System — what may be viewed as a greatly expanded SDR (Special Drawing Rights), with regular or cyclically adjusted emissions calibrated to the size of reserve accumulations, could contribute to global stability, economic strength and global equity,” the panel said.

In addition, “IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said that talks on a new global reserve currency to replace the US dollar were “legitimate” and could take place “in the coming months,” according to the report.

As we have repeatedly warned, the introduction of a new global currency system is a key cornerstone in the move towards global government, centralized control and more power being concentrated into fewer hands.

The swift and ruthless exploitation of the economic meltdown on behalf of globalists and central banks who caused the problem in the first place revolves around their drive for a global monetary union, which is a directive coming from the very inner core of the CFR and the Bilderberg Group.

The Federal Reserve is already is a private organization and as such unaccountable to the American people. A global central bank, which is effectively what a new global reserve currency system will create, will establish a de facto financial dictatorship which will wield power over the economies of every country on the planet with no accountability whatsoever.

The ruling elite resolved long ago to force a global currency down our throats. In fact, a global currency is at the very core of their plan to dominate the world. Control money and you control the destiny of states, you eliminate national sovereignty. “The control of money and credit strikes at the very heart of national sovereignty,” A.W. Clausen, president of Bank of America once observed.

As Georgetown professor and CFR historian Carroll Quigley noted, the goal of the banking families and their minions consists of “nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole… controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences.”

In 2007, Robert Mundell, “the father of the euro,” noted that “international monetary reform usually becomes possible only in response to a felt need and the threat of a global crisis.”

That very crisis arrived shortly after, providing the elite with the perfect opportunity to ram through a massive program of financial centralization by posing as the saviors - when they created the problem in the first place.

The very actions of the elite will continue to worsen the financial crisis, providing the necessary political capital for them to institute what they had planned all along - a new global currency for the global government that they plan to implement thereafter.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/un-imf-back-agenda-for-global-financial-dictatorship.html
« Last Edit: Apr 5th, 2009, 11:17pm by OrangeCandle » User IP Logged

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« Reply #8 on: Apr 5th, 2009, 11:19pm »

Ron Paul on the Budget and the G20

Friday, April 3, 2009


On Thursday, Dr. Paul sat down with legislative assistant Paul-Martin Foss to give his thoughts on the budget, global economic regulation, and the gold standard.

Here is the video of the interview:

http://www.prisonplanet.com/ron-paul-on-the-budget-and-the-g20.html
« Last Edit: Apr 5th, 2009, 11:21pm by OrangeCandle » User IP Logged

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« Reply #9 on: Apr 5th, 2009, 11:23pm »

The term “New World Order” was mentioned in connection with the G20 this week hundreds of times by both global leaders and in news reports.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown himself yesterday announced that the G20 heralded the creation of a “New World Order” which would involve increased global regulation of economic markets:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbU_Po4sfnw
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« Reply #10 on: Apr 5th, 2009, 11:24pm »

A Google News search provides well over a thousand results of reports including the term “New World Order” over the past couple of weeks.

Despite the fact that world leaders have been talking about a “New World Order” for decades, in the context of the political agenda to diminish the power of sovereign states in favor of a move towards global governance, it was still regarded as a delusion of paranoid conspiracy theorists by the establishment media until relatively recently.

Now even Fox News and Sean Hannity are throwing their arms in the air and admitting that the “conspiracy theorists were right” as the agenda for global government is openly announced.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTcJbDg3HbE
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« Reply #11 on: Apr 5th, 2009, 11:26pm »

The new world order has nothing to do with saving the world and everything to do with centralizing power and control into the hands of a gaggle of criminal globalists who are concerned about nothing other than increasing their domination over the planet - at the expense of the rest of the population.

The new world order is totalitarian by its very nature - shifting power away from sovereign countries to global institutions which have no accountability to the general public whatsoever, and through which the public has no voice or influence. That cannot be defined as anything else but undemocratic. There is no such thing as a “benign” new world order.

This very agenda was again enunciated this week by World Bank President and and Bilderberg elitist Robert Zoellick, who openly admitted the plan to eliminate national sovereignty and impose a global government during a speech on the eve of the G20 summit.

Speaking about the agenda to increase not just funding but power for international organizations on the back of the financial crisis, Zoellick stated, “If leaders are serious about creating new global responsibilities or governance, let them start by modernising multilateralism to empower the WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank Group to monitor national policies.”

Proponents of a new world order have always disguised their rhetoric with flowery notions of achieving some kind of global utopia, but behind the scenes the real agenda has always been sinister, nepotistic and anathema to any reasonable notion of democratic freedom.

It’s about time the establishment media stopped parroting the words of globalists and blithely repeating the term “new world order” like it was going out of fashion, and actually started asking real questions about what it really means.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/new-world-order-still-a-conspiracy-theory.html
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« Reply #12 on: Apr 5th, 2009, 11:30pm »

Economist: US collapse driven by ‘fraud,’ Geithner covering up bank insolvency


Stephen C. Webster
Raw Story
Sunday, April 5, 2009



In an explosive interview on PBS’ Bill Moyers Journal, William K. Black, a professor of economics and law with the University of Missouri, alleged that American banks and credit agencies conspired to create a system in which so-called “liars loans” could receive AAA ratings and zero oversight, amounting to a massive “fraud” at the epicenter of US finance.

But worse still, said Black, Timothy Geithner, President Barack Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury, is currently engaged in a cover-up to keep the truth of America’s financial insolvency from its citizens.

The interview, which aired Friday night, is carried on the Bill Moyers Journal Web site.

Black’s most recent published work, “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One,” released in 2005, was hailed by Nobel-winning economist George A. Akerlof as “extraordinary.”

“There is no one else in the whole world who understands so well exactly how these lootings occurred in all their details and how the changes in government regulations and in statutes in the early 1980s caused this spate of looting,” he wrote. “This book will be a classic.”

But that book only covers the fallout from the 1980s Savings & Loan crisis; Black’s later first-hand involvement in that scandal being the ensuing liquidation of bad banks.

“A single bank, IndyMac, lost more money than the entire Savings and Loan Crisis,” reported PBS. “The difference between now and then, explains Black, is a drastic reduction in regulation and oversight, ‘We now know what happens when you destroy regulation. You get the biggest financial calamity of anybody under the age of 80.’”

That financial calamity, he explained, was brought about not by mishap or accident, but only after a concerted effort to undermine and remove all regulations, allowing a creditor free-for-all that hinged on fraudulent risk ratings for bad loans.

“[T]he way that you do it is to make really bad loans, because they pay better,” he told Moyers. “Then you grow extremely rapidly, in other words, you’re a Ponzi-like scheme. And the third thing you do is we call it leverage. That just means borrowing a lot of money, and the combination creates a situation where you have guaranteed record profits in the early years. That makes you rich, through the bonuses that modern executive compensation has produced. It also makes it inevitable that there’s going to be a disaster down the road.

“…This stuff, the exotic stuff that you’re talking about was created out of things like liars’ loans, that were known to be extraordinarily bad,” he continued. “And now it was getting triple-A ratings. Now a triple-A rating is supposed to mean there is zero credit risk. So you take something that not only has significant, it has crushing risk. That’s why it’s toxic. And you create this fiction that it has zero risk. That itself, of course, is a fraudulent exercise. And again, there was nobody looking, during the Bush years. So finally, only a year ago, we started to have a Congressional investigation of some of these rating agencies, and it’s scandalous what came out. What we know now is that the rating agencies never looked at a single loan file. When they finally did look, after the markets had completely collapsed, they found, and I’m quoting Fitch, the smallest of the rating agencies, “the results were disconcerting, in that there was the appearance of fraud in nearly every file we examined.”

He equated the entire US financial system to a giant “ponzi scheme” and charged Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, like Secretary Henry Paulson before him, of “covering up” the truth.

“Are you saying that Timothy Geithner, the Secretary of the Treasury, and others in the administration, with the banks, are engaged in a cover up to keep us from knowing what went wrong?” asked Moyers.

“Absolutely, because they are scared to death,” he said. “All right? They’re scared to death of a collapse. They’re afraid that if they admit the truth, that many of the large banks are insolvent. They think Americans are a bunch of cowards, and that we’ll run screaming to the exits. And we won’t rely on deposit insurance. And, by the way, you can rely on deposit insurance. And it’s foolishness. All right? Now, it may be worse than that. You can impute more cynical motives. But I think they are sincerely just panicked about, ‘We just can’t let the big banks fail.’ That’s wrong.”

Ultimately, said Black, the financial downfall of the United States in the wake of the Bush years is due to “the most elite institutions in America engaging in or facilitating fraud.”

“When will Americans wake up and hold the real criminals - Banksters - accountable for their actions, and pressure the government to enact systemic changes to prevent future abuses?” asked Huffington Post blogger Mike Garibaldi-Frick.


http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04032009/profile.html

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04032009/watch.html

http://www.prisonplanet.com/economist-us-collapse-driven-by-fraud-geithner-covering-up-bank-insolvency.html
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xx Re: The Obama Deception
« Reply #13 on: May 7th, 2009, 03:40am »

Peter Schiff On Glenn Beck: Inflation Nation?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB9fuIvksLw&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.prisonplanet.com%2Fglenn-beck-highlights-threat-of-martial-law-following-economic-crisis.html&feature=player_embedded

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xx Re: The Obama Deception
« Reply #14 on: May 7th, 2009, 03:43am »

Should Obama Control the Internet?


A new bill would give the President emergency authority to halt web traffic and access private data.

—By Steve Aquino



Should President Obama have the power to shut down domestic Internet traffic during a state of emergency?

Senators John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) think so. On Wednesday they introduced a bill to establish the Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor—an arm of the executive branch that would have vast power to monitor and control Internet traffic to protect against threats to critical cyber infrastructure. That broad power is rattling some civil libertarians.

The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (PDF) gives the president the ability to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" and shut down or limit Internet traffic in any "critical" information network "in the interest of national security." The bill does not define a critical information network or a cybersecurity emergency. That definition would be left to the president.

The bill does not only add to the power of the president. It also grants the Secretary of Commerce "access to all relevant data concerning [critical] networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access." This means he or she can monitor or access any data on private or public networks without regard to privacy laws.

Rockefeller made cybersecurity one of his key issues as a member of the Senate intelligence committee, which he chaired until last year. He now heads the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which will take up this bill.

"We must protect our critical infrastructure at all costs—from our water to our electricity, to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records—the list goes on," Rockefeller said in a statement. Snowe echoed her colleague, saying, "if we fail to take swift action, we, regrettably, risk a cyber-Katrina."

But the wide powers outlined in the Rockefeller-Snowe legislation has at least one Internet advocacy group worried. "The cybersecurity threat is real," says Leslie Harris, head of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), "but such a drastic federal intervention in private communications technology and networks could harm both security and privacy."

The bill could undermine the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), says CDT senior counsel Greg Nojeim. That law, enacted in the mid '80s, requires law enforcement seek a warrant before tapping in to data transmissions between computers.

"It's an incredibly broad authority," Nojeim says, pointing out that existing privacy laws "could fall to this authority."

Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says that granting such power to the Commerce secretary could actually cause networks to be less safe. When one person can access all information on a network, "it makes it more vulnerable to intruders," Granick says. "You've basically established a path for the bad guys to skip down."

The bill's scope, she says, is "contrary to what the Constitution promises us." That's because of the impact it could have on Internet users' privacy rights: If the Commerce Department uncovers evidence of illegal activity when accessing "critical" networks, that information could be used against a potential defendant, even if the department never had the intent to find incriminating evidence. And this might violate the Constitutional protection against searches without cause.

"Once information is accessed, it can be used for whatever purpose, no matter the original reason for accessing something," Granick says. "Who's interested in this [bill]? Law enforcement and people in the security industry who want to ensure more government dollars go to them."

Nojeim, though, thinks it's possible the bill's powers could be trimmed as it moves through Congress. "We will be working with them to clarify just what is needed and how to accomplish that," he says. "We're hopeful that some of the very broad powers that the bill would confer won't be included."

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/04/should-obama-control-internet
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