Friday, May 31, 2013

UNCHARTED TERRITORY … OR HAVE WE BEEN HERE BEFORE?

IS THE WORLD EXPERIENCING GLOBAL BIRTH PAINS IN PREPARATION OF A NEW WORLD ORDER OR ARE WE EXPERIENCING "WISHFUL THINKING BEFORE GLOBAL COLLAPSE" OF THE CONCEPT OF PRIVATIZED CENTRAL BANKING?

PERHAPS IT IS THE CASE OF TOO MANY MOVING PARTS WITHOUT COLLABORATION AND COORDINATION OR AS THE OLD FARMER FROM MAINE WOULD SAY, "CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE!

THE THREE CARD MONTY OR SHELL GAME IS FINISHED!  TIME FOR REAL "HOPE AND CHANGE" … THE HOPE THAT ONE (AN INDIVIDUAL) CAN STILL HAVE A REAL FUTURE, A FAMILY AND HAPPINESS AND HAVE SOME CHANGE LEFT OVER FOR RETIREMENT.

TIME FOR GLOBAL MONETARY CHANGE AT THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL … 

THE WORLD HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN THE THIRD WORLD WAR, A REAL LIFE AND DEATH DRAMA, WITH MANY SIDE SHOWS CHARACTERIZED AS CONFLICTS, AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ, SYRIA, OR THE ARAB SPRING OF LYBIA AND EGYPT … 

THE GLOBAL NEWS CYCLE, LIKE THE DRONING MANTRA BRINGS THE EVER SHRINKING WORLD INTO OUR OWN BACKYARD OFTEN AS AN UNWANTED TRESPASSER OR PERHAPS AN A WELCOMED GUEST WITH GLAD TIDING.

NONETHELESS, SUCH INTRUSIONS WHILE UNWELCOME IN OUR PSYCHIC CLOSET, ALREADY FILLED WITH USELESS AND UNWANTED EVENTS AND MEMORIES, IS HAPPILY ACCOMMODATED.  WE TEND TO BE CREATURES OF HABIT AND WITH OPEN ARMS GREET VISITORS, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.  

THEN, THERE ARE THE MUSING OF "LOW INFORMATION VOTERS" (the ugly) WANDERING THE LANDSCAPE OF LIFE IN SEARCH OF SOME IDENTITY AND BELONGING.  THEIR VIRTUAL IDENTITY AND BELONGING IN CYBERSPACE HAS MERELY CREATED STRESS AND TENSION IN THEIR ALREADY FRAGILE LIFE OF NEEDS AND WANTS.  YET,  LIKE POCKET LINT THEY TEND TO SHOW IN "FLASH MOB FASHION" AT THE MOST IN OPPORTUNE TIMES AND PLACES.

SO, HAVE WE AS A CULTURE AS HUMANITY BEEN HERE BEFORE … YOU BET!  WORLD WAR II WAS THE FIRST EXPERIENCE OF "MUSICAL CHAIRS" ON THE WORLD STAGE.  WHEN THE MUSIC STOPPED THERE WERE BOAT LOADS OF DISPLACED, UNHAPPY AND SULLEN BRETHREN LOCK STEPPED IN THE FOG OF HOPE AND CHANGE.  LIKE AN ERRANT WAVE CRESTING THE PRISTINE BEACH CARRYING WITH IT REFUSE AND DEBRIS; OR THE WAVE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. YEP, WE HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE.   



Record unemployment, low inflation underline Europe's pain


By Robin Emmott and Martin Santa
BRUSSELS | Fri May 31, 2013 7:18am EDT
(Reuters) - Unemployment has reached a new high in the euro zone and inflation remains well below the European Central Bank's target, underscoring just how severe a challenge EU leaders face to revive the bloc's sickly economy.
Joblessness in the 17-nation currency area rose to 12.2 percent in April, statistics agency Eurostat said on Friday, marking a new record since the data series began in 1995.

With the euro zone also in its longest recession since its creation in 1999, consumer price inflation was far below the ECB's target of just below 2 percent, coming in at 1.4 percent in May, slightly above April's 1.2 percent rate. [This is more than a story about relative comparisons of percentages … this is a story of the future and the picture is poorly lit.]

That rise may quieten concerns about deflation, but the deepening unemployment crisis is a threat to the social fabric of the euro zone, with almost two-thirds of young Greeks unable to find work exemplifying southern Europe's threat of creating a 'lost generation'.

Economists and policy makers have expressed concern that the greatest threat to the unity of the euro zone is now social breakdown from the crisis, rather than market-driven factors. [So, aren't wars really about social breakdowns?]


In France, Europe's second largest economy, the number of jobless rose to a record in April, while in Italy, the unemployment rate hit its highest level in at least 36 years, with 40 percent of young people out of work.

Some economists expect the ECB, which meets on June 6, to act to revive the economy and go beyond another interest rate cut to consider a U.S.-style money printing program known as quantitative easing. [No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. ~ Albert Einstein]

"We do not expect a strong recovery in the euro zone," said Nick Matthews, a senior economist at Nomura International in London. "It puts pressure on the ECB to deliver even more conventional and non conventional measures." [Perhaps jobs are the best delivery!]


In the past, the euro zone has needed economic growth of around 1.5 percent to create new jobs, according to Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING. With the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development forecasting this week that the euro zone economy would contract by 0.6 percent this year, unemployment is set to worsen long before it turns around.

"We do not see a stabilization in unemployment before the middle of next year," said Frederik Ducrozet, an economist at Economist at Credit Agricole in Paris. "The picture in France is still deteriorating."

5.6 MILLION YOUNG JOBLESS

ECB President Mario Draghi, whose bold decision-making helped protect the euro zone from break-up last year with a plan to buy the bonds of governments in trouble, has so far preferred to leave the onus on euro zone governments to reform.

A majority of economists polled by Reuters do not expect the ECB to cut its deposit or main refinancing rates in the coming months, although the OECD this week called for the bank to consider quantitative easing. [Was it not the economists that got us into these problems in the first place, so, what makes them believe they have the vision and ability to correct the problem now?]
The Commission, the EU's executive, told governments this week they must focus on reforms to outdated labor and pension systems to regain Europe's lost business dynamism, a move to shift focus away from debilitating budget cuts towards growth. [It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master. ~Ayn Rand]



EU leaders meeting at the end of June in Brussels are expected to put the problem of joblessness at the forefront of their summit.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, who chairs the meetings, said last week youth unemployment was one of the most pressing issues for the 27-nation European Union as a whole.

Ministers from France, Italy and Germany, meeting in Paris this week, called on their counterparts to help tackle youth unemployment, with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble describing it as a "battle for Europe's unity".

In April, 5.6 million people under 25 were unemployed in the European Union, with 3.6 million of those in the euro zone.

Even if governments take on unions and vested interests to enact reforms, they will take time to produce benefits.

The impact of the euro zone's debt and banking crises has been sapping confidence from companies and households.

Private consumption saved Germany from slipping into recession in the first three months of this year, but retail sales still fell unexpectedly in April because of the cold European winter.

Meanwhile, French consumer spending dropped again in February, falling by 0.2 percent after contracting in January. French household purchasing power contracted in 2012 for the first time since 1984.



























Thursday, May 30, 2013

FLASH: THE BARN IS EMPTY ITS BEEN OUTSOURCED … THAT HORSE LEFT YEARS AGO! GOOD LUCK GETTING IT BACK IN!!


The Pros and Cons of Killer Robots … and their relatives R2D2, and the Network, etc.

The United Nations on Thursday was dealing with a surprisingly pressing issue: killer robots.

In this image provided by the U.S. Navy an X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator is towed Monday, May 13, 2013 into the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush. The carrier is scheduled to be the first aircraft carrier to catapult-launch an unmanned aircraft from its flight deck Tuesday May 14, 2013. (Timothy Walter/US Navy via AP)

In Geneva, the U.N.'s special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Christof Heyns, called for a moratorium on the development of drones that are programmed to target and fire without human intervention. “War without reflection is mechanical slaughter,” he said. “In the same way that the taking of any human life deserves at the minimum some deliberation, a decision to allow machines to be deployed deserves a collective pause, in other words, a moratorium.”
TWO GENERATIONS OF CHILDREN FROM AROUND THE WORLD HAVE BEEN IN TRAINING IN THE LIVING ROOMS OF THEIR PARENT'S HOMES PREPARING FOR THE MOMENT … SKYNET … AND OTHER INCARNATIONS. IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE THAT THESE CLOWNS ARE JUST NOW TAKING IN A BREATH OF AIR THAT SMELLS LIKE NAPALM IN THE KITCHEN.
Such technology is not as far off as you might think. Missile defense systems like Israel’s Iron Dome and the United States’ Phalanx automatically detect, track, and shoot down incoming missiles. The U.S. Navy’s X-47B drone, launched successfully from an aircraft carrier last month, can execute its flight plan autonomously, with a human overriding it only if something goes wrong. [BUT IT'S THE GOVERNMENT, WHAT COULD POSSIBLE GO WRONG!] In South Korea, the SGR-1 sentry robot targets people who enter the demilitarized zone and shoots them if a soldier back at base gives the command. Heyns is worried that soon the soldier could be taken out of the loop. THE REAL WORRY FOR HEYNS IS THAT HE WOULD BE TAKEN OUT OF THE LOOP!
This raises some obvious questions, first among them: Why would anyone want to give robots such deadly power? Aren’t there thousands of movies where this goes horribly wrong?
What happens if the robot malfunctions and destroys a town—who’s to blame? ~ The short answer is humanity, PERHAPS OBAMACARE BECAUSE IT'S A VIRUS!
In his report, Heyns notes that the pace of warfare has increased to the point that “humans have in some respects become the weakest link in the military arsenal.” We already let computers target and shoot incoming missiles because no human has the reflexes to do it. In aerial combat, fighter jets could potentially maneuver more quickly if it weren’t for the fragile organism in the cockpit that goes unconscious at high G-forces. Even drones are limited by their human operators: The time it takes for commands to travel from the operator to the satellite to the drone makes striking fast-moving targets difficult, and the communication link itself is vulnerable to hacking and jamming. All these advantages conspire to push militaries toward designing weapons with greater autonomy, even if no one sets out with the explicit intention of creating a killer robot.
The moratorium is an attempt to pause the slide toward autonomous weapons so we can think carefully about the consequences—because they’re potentially deadly.
“Autonomous systems interacting with each other competitively can escalate quickly and unpredictably,“ says Dr. Peter Asaro, a philosopher of science at the New School and cofounder of the International Committee on Robot Arms Control. Asaro spoke with Steve Goose of Human Rights Watch before the hearing in Geneva, telling representatives about their Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, a push to impose a landmine-style ban on the technology. Asaro points to the 2010 Flash Crash, when automated high-frequency trading algorithms caused the Dow to plummet 1000 points in five minutes. Flash crashes would be far more dangerous with missiles, Asaro says.
Then there’s the tangle of humanitarian and legal problems autonomous weapons would create. Some people, like the roboticist Ronald Arkin, argue that killer robots would actually be more humane than human soldiers, because they’d never fire out of fear for their own safety and would never act out of vengeance or spite. True, robots don’t rape and torture, but they also don’t act out of compassion or grace, Heyns pointed out, nor do they operate well in situations that require a lot of context and social cues to understand. Could a robot distinguish between a soldier and a civilian, or between a combatant who is raising his rifle to fire and one who is raising it above his head to surrender? International humanitarian law requires that it do so. It also requires that harm to civilians be weighed against military advantage before an attack is launched; it’s hard to imagine a computer program sophisticated enough to make such complex value judgments.
But even if one could be programmed, sometime in the distant future, to comply with humanitarian law and military codes of conduct, what happens if the robot malfunctions and destroys a town—who’s to blame? The programmer who designed it? The military commander who ordered the operation? The subordinates who were monitoring the robot’s actions, even if the robot was making decisions too quickly for them to intervene? The correct answer, Heyns, Asaro, and others worry, is no one. No one gave the order to fire, no one pulled the trigger, so no one is responsible. [TYPICAL MYOPIC VIEW OF ASSHOLES IN CHARGE] There’s no one to reprimand or bring before a court. There’s a “responsibility vacuum,” to quote the report.
That’s not just a legal concern, it’s a moral one. Every military innovation from longbows to drones has been accused of further detaching soldiers from the people they kill, thus making violence more palatable and war more likely, but autonomous weapons threaten to make that detachment complete, delegating decisions about whether to use a weapon to the weapon itself. Someone along the chain of command should have to thuink about the decision to kill and take responsibility for it; outsourcing that decision to a machine, Heyns says, “dehumanizes armed conflict even further.” It could also result in more conflict. If no one is responsible for an autonomous weapon’s actions, even in the attenuated form of feeling a pang of conscience when pressing a button, then the bar for using them could become dangerously low—they could be used with impunity, in Heyns’ words.
Heyns wants the U.N. to convene a panel to study robotic weapons and work out an international framework to regulate them. In the meantime, he recommends states implement their own moritoria on the technology. For understandable reasons, Pakistan (the drone shooting ground) was the most vocal nation in calling for not just a moratorium, but an outright ban on the technology. The European Union was more cautious, calling the report “interesting” and signaling that they'd be open to some sort of U.N. panel on the matter. The U.S. echoed the EU's statement, saying that it was important to proceed in a “proceed in lawful, prudent, and responsible manner,” but stopping short of calling for a moratorium on the technology.
The U.S. is actually ahead of most other countries when it comes to autonomous weapons policy. Last year the Department of Defense imposed a sort of [THAT'S WHEN YOU KNOW THEY HAVE YOU BY THE SHORT HAIRS] moratorium, saying that for the next ten years, the U.S. can only develop fully autonomous weapons that use non-lethal force. [What's wrong with the previous sentence … could it be "fully autonomous weapons"!?] Though it can be overridden by high-level officials, Human Rights Watch says it’s a step in the right direction.
They would like to go further: an international ban, along the lines of the landmine treaty, prohibiting the development and use of the autonomous weapons. (Jody Williams, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work banning mines, is also backing the campaign. NOTE: Obama also won a Nobel for doing nothing at all!) Asaro wants a fundamental principle: any decision to kill needs to be made by a human. At the very least, they want an international moratorium, and soon. Otherwise, as Heyns says, the current drift of research will continue, and “the matter will, quite literally, be taken out of human hands.” Remember the heading … that horse left the barn long ago!







WARNING CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE …


The Dying Dollar and the Rise of a New Currency Order | Real Currencies

For years now, the collapse of the dollar has been in the cards. Recent developments show mounting pressure on the dollar’s reserve currency status. With a major international deflation going on, the threat of inflation through money printing is unreal. However, should the dollar’s  reserve currency status end, the repatriation of trillions of petro- and eurodollars could lead to a strongly inflationary scenario.
The roles of a reserve currency are to finance international trade and to function as a store of value for Governments. Until the second world war it used to be the British pound, but with the demise of the British Empire, the pound lost its international relevance and was overtaken by the dollar. This was formalized in the 1944 Bretton Woods system. All other currencies were fiat currencies, but pegged to the dollar, which in turn was pegged to Gold at 40 dollars an ounce and redeemable for international trading partners.
The Eurodollar
With the dollar as the reserve currency, the US had to export dollars. In the early years after the war especially for Europe, the famous Eurodollars. This sounds great: print money and buy whatever you like. But with the Gold window it was also risky: overprinting could mean excess dollars would be exchanged back to Gold, depleting US Gold reserves.
This was also a weakness that those annoyed with American Hegemony could exploit. In 1967 the leftist press mogul Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber penned a famous screed called ‘le défi Américain’ (the American challenge’), arguing Europe was being colonized economically by superior American competition.
France, at the time, was run by de Gaulle, who never was impressed with Anglo-American supremacy. He made a point of exchanging every dollar he could lay his hands on as a means to undermine it.
In the late sixties the situation got badly out of hand because of the Great Society and the Vietnam war, very costly projects that were deficit financed, leading to serious inflationary pressures. Inflation that the US tried to export, leading to an excess of dollars abroad. Especially the resurging Deutschmark’s appreciation became untenable. The Europeans started pressuring the US to fix its deficits, provoking the US Treasury Secretary John Connally famous cry ‘the dollar is our currency and your problem’.
But the situation had become unsustainable and Nixon was forced to close the Gold window to stop the depletion of US gold. This was the end of the Bretton Woods system and from then on the major currencies were floated freely in the international currency markets.
The Petrodollar
But it did not end the dollar reserve currency status, as the Empire had been found another basis for it: they reached an agreement with the House of Saud, to accept only dollars for its oil. The Sauds agreed to invest their dollar wealth on Wall Street, making the deal even more powerful for the Empire. Saudi Arabia controlled OPEC and the dollar was saved: international oil trading is financed with dollar only. Since then we have been on an informal Black Gold standard, known as the petrodollar.
This situation was better than before, because overprinting of the dollar for international trade or to finance all sorts Empire projects could no longer be punished by depleting Gold reserves and would result only in rising prices.
In the last decade the problem of over printing was solved by artificially raising oil prices through the Peak Oil hoax, and ending Iraqi oil production. It must be understood that the Empire is not looking for more oil production. There is so much oil in the world that should it be drilled for freely, it would end the Money Power’s energy monopoly. The Iraq invasion and the quest for control of the Middle-East is to keep a lid on oil production. Saddam’s suicidal decision to accept euro for his oil only hastened his demise.
Even today Iraqi oil production is not even half of what it was before 1991. With the Western Oil companies now in charge, it will most likely never fully recover.
By raising the price for oil, the oil market has mopped up  excess dollar supplies, which are now needed for the oil trade. As a result, the dollar has remained relatively stable in its value. Of course, it fits well with the agenda of decapitating the middle classes and under this agreement higher oil prices also means ever more oil profits invested in Wall Street.
Of course, the great boon of this for the Empire is that it can pay with worthless paper for real goods. It can eternally finance a major trade deficit.
Trade deficits are incorrectly understood as problematic.
From a nation’s point of view, the goal of trade is not to export, but to import. We export to give back for what we need from others. If you run the reserve currency, you don’t need to export as much as you import, because you can partially finance your imports with money printing. For all other nations this is impossible and trade deficits are lethal in the long run, as it leads to net capital outflow.
But the US Empire is in trouble. Its infrastructure is crumbling, its manufacturing base gone, it’s badly over extended. It needs ever more virulent threats to coerce the nations into dollar submission and just like Connally failed in 1971, the US is failing today. The Money Power is done with the Empire and the dollar and it is moving to the next phase. The dollar will have to step back and we are seeing a realignment.
The new currency order
China is moving towards a Gold backed yuan that will be very powerful in the international arena. Recently Australia, which is already completely dependent on China, with 30% of its exports going there, is preparing direct convertibility between the yuan and the Australian dollar, meaning they will no longer use US dollar to finance bilateral trade. This means less US dollars are needed in its reserve currency role.
In 2001 Goldman Sachs executive Jim O’Neill invented the BRIC’s. South Africa was later added, representing Africa and emphasizing its globalist agenda. Russia and China, as two powerful neighbors, obviously have long standing and important bilateral relations. But equally obviously, have little in common with Brazil, India and South Africa. India and China are actually sworn enemies. However, in 2009 they organized a first summit. Just a week ago we all of the sudden hear the BRICS are planning to open up a competitor to the IMF.  They’re still working out the details and it’s not a done deal yet, but the move looks very serious.
And there is of course the euro, which, make no mistake, is in great shape. True, Eurocrat legitimacy is suffering because of the euro crisis, even in Germany the currency is losing support. But the euro crisis is purely for internal consumption, to sucker the nations into surrendering budget responsibility to Brussels. This is the final frontier for a full blown EU federalist Super State. While the euro is deeply hated, this is not really a problem for the Money Power: it isn’t in this business to make friends and it does not mind a big fight. It only fears real alternatives and these are nowhere to be seen. There is nobody proposing anything real, people are just letting off steam. Once they get their fiscal union, the crisis will quickly end. People have a short memory.
The euro was designed to be eventually backed by Gold and the ECB has enough of the stuff to be ready for the coming transition.
Conclusion
We are seeing the advent of the new currency order. There will be a number of more or less equal blocks: a dollar zone, a Yuan/BRICS zone and the euro, with the Yen and the Pound as lesser entities. These will later be able to converge to even more ‘cooperation’, in the Money Power’s relentless march towards World Currency.
These units will be at least partially Gold backed, implying long term deflationary pressures. Central Banks are buying Gold in major quantities, creating the interesting question why Gold prices have not risen in the last 18 months.
The problem for the United States will be to manage the transition. Trillions of dollars that will no longer be needed will have to be repatriated and this will lead to very strong inflationary pressures at home. It is unclear how the Fed is going to deal with that. It probably can’t. Furthermore, the US is probably in the worst of positions to deal with a new Gold standard. They claim to have 8,000 tonnes of Gold in Fort Knox, but nobody really believes that.
The hyperinflation scare that the Austrians have been promoting because of ‘money printing’ is ridiculous: we are in a stagflationary depression and prices are rising because of speculation, not because of excess money. But when the dollar loses its current status, long term price rises will become the norm.
The Greatest Depression has only just started.
Afterthought
Here’s a highly recommended post by Roberts, the Assault on Gold. It makes a plausible case for massive Fed bullion busting. As discussed in why is Gold not Rising?, the ascent of Gold was a carefully orchestrated operation, but it probably got out of hand in 2011. Since then the Fed has been very active on COMEX again. With CB’s and market players buying massive amounts, it’s the only logical explanation for stalling bullion. The fall of COMEX and the fall of the Dollar are basically an evil twin, they will happen simultaneously and because of each other.

SIS BOOM BAH … AND OTHER UNWANTED NOISES FROM THE SHEEPLE …


Obama Approval Drops; … run this up the flag pole ~~ 76% Want Special Prosecutor for IRS Scandal 

While Mr. President Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, faces a possible perjury charge and increased calls for his resignation over the Justice Department's outrageous spying on the media -- elsewhere, another scandal is taking another kind of toll. A new Quinnpiac poll shows that the public is far from satisfied that the IRS matter is settled. A full 76% want a special prosecutor named; that includes 63% of Democrats. 







Wednesday, May 29, 2013

HARRY REID USES THE SERGEANT SCHULTZ DEFENSE …

i
I SEE NOTHING, I KNOW NOTHING!

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- A Nevada powerbroker who headed a billion-dollar real estate company and pulled the strings of state politics as a prominent lobbyist for more than a decade was convicted Wednesday of making illegal campaign contributions to U.S. Sen. Harry Reid.
Harvey Whittemore, 59, could face up to 15 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines after a federal jury returned guilty verdicts on three counts tied to nearly $150,000 illegally funneled to Reid's re-election campaign in 2007.
U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks instructed the jury to continue deliberating on another count of lying to the FBI. Jurors said they were deadlocked on that count.
Whittemore stood with his arms behind his back and shook his head slightly after the verdicts were read. He and lawyers for both sides declined comment on the verdicts pending a decision on the final count.
Whittemore was convicted of making excessive campaign contributions, making contributions in the name of another and causing a false statement to be made to the Federal Election Commission. Each count carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Reid had no comment on the verdicts, said Kristen Orthman, a spokeswoman for the senator.
Reid was not accused of any wrongdoing. He has said he was unaware of any potential problems with the money he received.
"I received $25 million. He raised $150,000," Reid previously told the Las Vegas Sun. "I had money coming in from other places."
Prosecutors said Whittemore gave money to family members and employees in 2007 to make contributions he had promised to Reid while concealing himself as the true source to skirt campaign finance laws.
I WANT TO MAKE THIS PERFECTLY CLEAR … 
Defense attorneys argued Whittemore broke no laws by giving $5,000 checks as gifts to family members and as gifts or bonuses to 29 employees and their spouses, who then each wrote checks for the maximum allowable $4,600 to the Senate majority leader's campaign fund, Friends of Harry Reid.
Prosecutors said in closing arguments Tuesday that Whittemore had been the "king of the hill" in Nevada political circles, an insider who had worked his way onto the short list of many U.S. senators and representatives as someone to call when they needed to quickly find donors.
NOT SURE IF THIS IS A VEGAS HANDSHAKE OR HARRY REID TIP
Whittemore once hosted an event for Sen. John Edwards, then a Democratic presidential hopeful, and a fundraiser at Reid's request for then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. He also helped arrange a reception attended by President Clinton during an environmental summit at Lake Tahoe.
"When he made these contributions, he was the ultimate insider," Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Olshan said during his closing argument. "He was making millions of dollars and getting personal thank-you notes from the most prominent politicians in the country."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre told jurors Whittemore was driven solely by greed - "not to get more money but greed in the sense of more power."
"It's about trying to be on the short list that senators and congressmen call when they need money," he said. "That's why he did it."
The defense acknowledged that Whittemore suggested contributions be made to Reid, but made it clear it was voluntary and - most importantly - didn't try to cover up the political fundraising he had been doing for nearly three decades.
Defense lawyer Dominic Gentile said Whittemore's motive was to help re-elect Reid and other Congress members who helped secure federal funding for a university medical research center that he and his wife helped found in 2010.
Defense witnesses testified that Whittemore, former chief of the Wingfield Nevada Group, was a man of integrity who was generous with his money and routinely gave large sums to charities.














THE POLITICAL SCUM IS STANDING 6 DEEP TO TAKE OVER ETHICS FOR HOLDER AND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION …

PHEW.  JANITORS IN NEWSROOMS ACROSS AMERICA WORKED OVERTIME IN THE HALCYON DAYS AFTER BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA AKA BARRY WON THE PRESIDENCY. IT WASN'T EASY CLEANING THE DROOL OFF LAPTOPS, MOP HANDLES AND FLOORS IN THE OFFICES OF JOURNALISTS COVERING THE GREATEST TRANSITION IN WORLD HISTORY.  --- from CULTURE OF CORRUPTION, Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies, by Miclelle Malkin

SO, WHAT HAS CHANGED?  ONLY ONE THING … THEY'RE BEING CAUGHT IN THEIR OWN LIES, ONE BY ONE.  NOTHING HAS CHANGED!  

ON THE OBAMA-BIDEN CHANGE.GOVE WEBSITE, THE ETHICS AGENDA PAGE ENSHRINES A FAMOUS QUOTE:

I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists -- and won.  They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will no drown out the voices of the American people when I am president.


WE GOT THE WORDS, JUST NEED THE MUSIC …




WHY IS THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION THROTTLING SOCIAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS …?


Scandal draws questions about IRS role in enforcing Obamacare

Rally outside IRS building in Washington, DC
Tea Party supporters rally in front of the IRS building May 21, 2013 in Washington, D.C., to protest the abuse of power from the IRS in targeting tea party and grassroots organizations for harassment. | Olivier Douliery/MCT
Social Welfare Organizations

To be tax-exempt as a social welfare organization described in Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(4), an organization must not be organized for profit and must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare. The earnings of a section 501(c)(4) organization may not inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any managers agreeing to the transaction. See Introduction to IRC 4958 for more information about this excise tax. For a more detailed discussion of the exemption requirements for section 501(c)(4) organizations, see IRC 501(c)(4) Organizations. For more information about applying for exemption, see Application for Recognition of Exemption.

To be operated exclusively to promote social welfare, an organization must operate primarily to further the common good and general welfare of the people of the community (such as by bringing about civic betterment and social improvements). For example, an organization that restricts the use of its facilities to employees of selected corporations and their guests is primarily benefiting a private group rather than the community and, therefore, does not qualify as a section 501(c)(4) organization. Similarly, an organization formed to represent member-tenants of an apartment complex does not qualify, because its activities benefit the member-tenants and not all tenants in the community, while an organization formed to promote the legal rights of all tenants in a particular community may qualify under section 501(c)(4) as a social welfare organization. An organization is not operated primarily for the promotion of social welfare if its primary activity is operating a social club for the benefit, pleasure or recreation of its members, or is carrying on a business with the general public in a manner similar to organizations operated for profit link].

Seeking legislation germane to the organization's programs is a permissible means of attaining social welfare purposes. Thus, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may further its exempt purposes through lobbying as its primary activity without jeopardizing its exempt status. An organization that has lost its section 501(c)(3) status due to substantial attempts to influence legislation may not thereafter qualify as a section 501(c)(4) organization. In addition, a section 501(c)(4) organization that engages in lobbying may be required to either provide notice to its members regarding the percentage of dues paid that are applicable to lobbying activities or pay a proxy tax. For more information, see Lobbying Issues .
The promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. However, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity. However, any expenditure it makes for political activities may be subject to tax under section 527(f). For further information regarding political and lobbying activities of section 501(c) organizations, see Election Year Issues, Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities of IRC 501(c)(4), (c)(5), and (c)(6) Organizations, and Revenue Ruling 2004-6.
Additional information


WASHINGTON — The blossoming IRS scandal over the targeting of conservative groups is provoking new scrutiny and terse questions about the agency’s role in shaping and implementing the controversial new national health care law, with the biggest changes set to begin next year.


The Internal Revenue Service is an critical aspect in the compliance (implementation) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, commonly shorthanded as Obamacare. The tax agency must act on 47 provisions of the new law, more than half of those already in effect, including the more controversial ones taking effect in 2014 such as the requirement that nearly all non-elderly adults have health care coverage.
The IRS role in Obamacare hadn’t been particularly controversial until May 10, when it was revealed that an IRS office targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status as social welfare organizations.
“The IRS is charge with compliance (of administering) throughout tax penalties in some of the most important elements of Obamacare.  [REMEMBER THE TITLE OF THE LAW: PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT OF 2010, NOW TRY AND GET YOUR ARMS AROUND THIS LAW … ITS FOR YOUR BENEFIT.]
IRS starts by probing into the personal affairs of Americans  with invasive and personal questions to determine (of course the IRS will determine) the consequences for non-compliance. The IRS, further will have broad discretion to define "exactly" what constitutes non-compliance, by the way.
THE IRS IS THE GOVERNMENT'S RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION 
The recent and continuing scandal over how the IRS granted tax-exempt status also has dented the perception that the agency operates as a neutral, nonpartisan player. The issue is "TRUST" … not to mention character if such a word can ever be used with such an organization.  Nonetheless, “Are they competent to do it? Are they trustworthy enough?” 
Many stoked fears by warning that the IRS was granted access to sensitive medical records and would peer into the private lives of citizens. [HIPPA LAWS]
The IRS received about $881 million over the last four years to implement the health care law. Some of the changes the IRS must enact include: [CAN YOU RECALL THE TITLE OF THE LAW?]
  • – Impose fines on employers with 50 workers or more that do not offer health care coverage for full-time employees, or meet other criteria.
  • – Provide refundable tax credits for companies with fewer than 25 workers that do provide health care coverage.
  • – Provide help for lower-income taxpayers who purchase health insurance from a newly created state-run exchange.
  • – Develop criteria for taxing qualified individuals who don’t purchase health insurance as required.
  • – Levy a 3.8 percent Medicare contribution tax on unearned income for wealthier seniors, starting in 2013.
  • With more than 48 million Americans without health coverage, the health care law is designed to move them into the pool of self-purchased health care coverage. The IRS next year will begin giving a subsidy through tax credits or levying tax penalties on individuals and employers, both carrot and stick. It’ll offer tax credits for some individuals and smaller employers and tax penalties for non-compliance. Adding to the complexity, it’s first year, in 2014, will be based not on the prior year’s income but rather on income earned in 2014, with an adjustment to subsidies or penalties in 2015.

“It will be a pain in the neck for the IRS because it’s figuring out what the subsidy is for your income two years ago,” Williams said.
For Americans whose health insurance coverage now comes through their or their spouse’s employer – 155.5 million individuals in 2011, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute – the IRS is already collecting health care information.
It showed up in their W-2 statement on their 2012 income, in Box 12 with the letters DD. The amount in that box marked DD represented the value of their employer-provided health coverage. In 2018, some part of high-value health plans will be subject to taxation.

WALMART, HOUSE CALLS AND THE MIDDLE MAN

 South Portland doctor stops accepting insurance, posts prices online — Portland — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

COULD THIS BE A SIGN OF INTEREST … Apache Server at www.ciampifamilypractice.com Port 80 Temporarily out of service

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THE SERVER WAS OVERWHELMED!
MCDONALD'S, BURGER KING AND WENDY'S POSTS THEIR PRICES … WHY NOT HOSPITALS AND OTHER MEDICAL FACILITIES … AFTER ALL OBAMACARE HAS CREATED THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM … SO LET'S BE EDUCATED CONSUMERS!!!
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Dr. Michael Ciampi took a step this spring that many of his fellow physicians would describe as radical.
The family physician stopped accepting all forms of health insurance. In early 2013, Ciampi sent a letter to his patients informing them that he would no longer accept any kind of health coverage, both private and government-sponsored. Given that he was now asking patients to pay for his services out of pocket, he posted his prices on the practice’s website.
The change took effect April 1.
“It’s been almost unanimous that patients have expressed understanding at why I’m doing what I’m doing, although I’ve had many people leave the practice because they want to be covered by insurance, which is understandable,” Ciampi said.
Before the switch, Ciampi had about 2,000 patients. He lost several hundred, he said. Some patients with health coverage, faced with having to seek reimbursement themselves rather than through his office, bristled at the paperwork burden.
But the decision to do away with insurance allows Ciampi to practice medicine the way he sees fit, he said. Insurance companies no longer dictate how much he charges. He can offer discounts to patients struggling with their medical bills. He can make house calls.
“I’m freed up to do what I think is right for the patients,” Ciampi said. “If I’m providing them a service that they value, they can pay me, and we cut the insurance out as the middleman and cut out a lot of the expense.”
Ciampi expects more doctors will follow suit. Some may choose to run “concierge practices” in which patients pay to keep a doctor on retainer, he said.
Gordon Smith, a spokesman for the Maine Medical Association, wasn’t so sure, saying most patients either want to use the insurance they pay for or need to rely on Medicare and Medicaid.
Even with the loss of some patients, Ciampi expects his practice to perform just as well financially, if not better, than before he ditched insurance. The new approach will likely attract new patients who are self-employed, lack insurance or have high-deductible plans, he said, because Ciampi has slashed his prices.
“I’ve been able to cut my prices in half because my overhead will be so much less,” he said.
Before, Ciampi charged $160 for an office visit with an existing patient facing one or more complicated health problems. Now, he charges $75.
Patients with an earache or strep throat can spend $300 at their local hospital emergency room, or promptly get an appointment at his office and pay $50, he said.
Ciampi collects payment at the end of the visit, freeing him of the time and costs associated with sending bills, he said.
That time is crucial to Ciampi. When his patients come to his office, they see him, not a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner, he said.
“If more doctors were able to do this, that would be real health care reform,” he said. “That’s when we’d see the cost of medicine truly go down.”













Tuesday, May 28, 2013

AS AMAZING AS IT SOUNDS … AMONDAWA TRIBE LACKS ABSTRACT IDEA OF TIME … OBAMA ADMINISTRATION LACKS ANY KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT HAPPENING


Amondawa tribe lacks abstract idea of time, study says … corollary report "Obama Administration lacks any knowledge of just what the HELL is going on …"

Amondawa villageThe Amondawa were first "discovered" by anthropologists in 1986
An Amazonian tribe has no abstract concept of time, say researchers.

The Amondawa lacks the linguistic structures that relate time and space - as in our idea of, for example, "working through the night".

The study, in Language and Cognition, shows that while the Amondawa recognise events occuring in time, it does not exist as a separate concept.

The idea is a controversial one, and further study will bear out if it is also true among other Amazon languages.

The Amondawa were first contacted by the outside world in 1986, and now researchers from the University of Portsmouth and the Federal University of Rondonia in Brazil have begun to analyse the idea of time as it appears in Amondawa language.

"We're really not saying these are a 'people without time' or 'outside time'," said Chris Sinha, a professor of psychology of language at the University of Portsmouth.

"Amondawa people, like any other people, can talk about events and sequences of events," he told BBC News.

"What we don't find is a notion of time as being independent of the events which are occuring; they don't have a notion of time which is something the events occur in."

The Amondawa language has no word for "time", or indeed of time periods such as "month" or "year".

The people do not refer to their ages, but rather assume different names in different stages of their lives or as they achieve different status within the community.

But perhaps most surprising is the team's suggestion that there is no "mapping" between concepts of time passage and movement through space.

Ideas such as an event having "passed" or being "well ahead" of another are familiar from many languages, forming the basis of what is known as the "mapping hypothesis".
The Amondawa have no words for time periods such as "month" or "year" …

But in Amondawa, no such constructs exist.

"None of this implies that such mappings are beyond the cognitive capacities of the people," Professor Sinha explained. "It's just that it doesn't happen in everyday life."

When the Amondawa learn Portuguese - which is happening more all the time - they have no problem acquiring and using these mappings from the language.

The team hypothesises that the lack of the time concept arises from the lack of "time technology" - a calendar system or clocks - and that this in turn may be related to the fact that, like many tribes, their number system is limited in detail.Absolute terms

These arguments do not convince Pierre Pica, a theoretical linguist at France's National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), who focuses on a related Amazonian language known as Mundurucu.

"To link number, time, tense, mood and space by a single causal relationship seems to me hopeless, based on the linguistic diversity that I know of," he told BBC News.

Dr Pica said the study "shows very interesting data" but argues quite simply that failing to show the space/time mapping does not refute the "mapping hypothesis".

Small societies like the Amondawa tend to use absolute terms for normal, spatial relations - for example, referring to a particular river location that everyone in the culture will know intimately rather than using generic words for river or riverbank.

These, Dr Pica argued, do not readily lend themselves to being co-opted in the description of time.

"When you have an absolute vocabulary - 'at the water', 'upstream', 'downstream' and so on, you just cannot use it for other domains, you cannot use the mapping hypothesis in this way," he said.

In other words, while the Amondawa may perceive themselves moving through time and spatial arrangements of events in time, the language may not necessarily reflect it in an obvious way.

What may resolve the conflict is further study, Professor Sinha said.

"We'd like to go back and simply verify it again before the language disappears - before the majority of the population have been brought up knowing about calendar systems."