Home · News · News Dec 2013
Monday December 23, 2013
News Articles

The Taper, The Inflation, And The American People's Matrix Of Lies
ZeroHedge | Howard Kunstler | 12/23/13

Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke pulls one last dead rabbit out of his hat -- it suffocated while the head-fake taper percolated in Ben's brain lo these many months of jive talkin'. As the year turns, the central bank will supposedly monetize $10 billion less debt per month -- $75 billion down from $85 billion -- with $5 billion each deducted from the US Treasury stream and the rotten mortgage barrel. Was there a catch?

John H. Makin saying that the Fed's actual purchase of debt paper amounted to an average $94 billion a month through the year 2013, not $85 billion? I have averred often in this space to the Fed's ability to conduct back-door buying operations of all kinds of janky financial crapola -- and in a world where claims on promises to pay hugely exceed anyone's ability to pay or re-pay, there's as much of it out there as there are plastic grocery bags floating in the horse latitudes of the Pacific Ocean. The Fed can hose up bad paper all the live-long day and apparently get away with mis-reporting what it is doing, and is the country any the worse for it? ... Read more

How Goldman Quickly Found The Volcker Rule Loopholes
ZeroHedge | author | 12/23/13

The ink on the final Volcker Rule has not dried yet, and already the TBTF armies of lawyers have found all the loopholes in the rule they need to continue prop trading as if nothing has changed. Enter Goldman Sachs which as the WSJ reported, is raising a new fund, to which it will contribute 20% in capital, which will make investments in commercial real estate-backed loans including office buildings, hotels, and shopping centers. "Goldman has raised more than $1 billion for the new fund, according to people briefed on the matter. The fund aims to boost that total to $2 billion, and Goldman expects to invest "up to 20% of total equity commitments," according to September marketing documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal." Just how did Goldman get the green light to allocated up to $400 million for what is clearly a prop trading bet: "because regulators excluded many real-estate loans from the tough restrictions on investment funds, allowing Wall Street firms to continue making concentrated bets--sometimes risky ones--with their own capital." In other words, when it comes to reflating the precious real estate bubble, anything goes. ... Read more

Do We Have the NSA on the Run, or Is a Much Worse Surveillance State in the Making?
AlterNet | Zaid Jilani | 12/20/13

While it may look like the NSA and surveillance state are on the run -- it's too soon to break out the applause. The White House panel's recomendations also included the suggestion that data collected on individuals should be held by telecommunications providers or a private third party. There is a threat that this surveillance state may simply reconstitute itself into an increasingly privatized apparatus that the government can access through fees and subpoenas.

VICE's Megan Neal reports that so-called "data brokers" -- firms that spy on Americans' behavior and then sell that information to businesses looking to profit off of it -- have become a $156 billion industry. Neal notes that the Senate Commerce Committee recently published a report looking into how these data marketers spy on Americans -- the report shows how these firms label Americans under various categories depending on their financial security and other demographic categories, including "Ethnic Second-City Strugglers" and "X-tra Needy." ... Read more

I have highlighted three separate people today, Ralph Nader, John Perkins, and James Corbett. I have used videos of theirs for years, especially John Perkins since it was his book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" that got me interested in creating my websites. Today, I stumbled across James Corbett's short videos: "The Last Word on Terrorism", "The Last Word on Overpopulation" and "The Last Word on Osama Bin Laden", they are short but full of great information. Ralph Nader... what can I say. He always makes for good interviews and has thoughtful solutions on how to fix our society.
Ralph Nader
TalkingStickTV | Ralph Nader | Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! (05/08/10) [1:14:16]
Ralph Nader | "The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas For Our American Future" (10/21/12) [1:18:55]
Thom Hartmann | Ralph Nader | "The Seventeen Solutions" (11/01/12) [58:02]
DN | Ralph Nader | American Fascism: How Big Business Has Taken Control of the U.S. Government (06/24/13) [20:56]
Ralph Nader | The Road to Corporate Fascism (02/03/12) [54:16]
DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Monday, December 23 [14:27]
More News
*David Suzuki speaks about overpopulation () [3:26]
CNN | Glenn Greenwald "Dick Cheney Engaged In Some Of The Most Radical & Criminal Conduct In The U.S." (12/23/13) [7:09]
TRNN | Bill Black: Federal judge Jed Rakoff criticized the Justice Department?s failure to prosecute Wall Street executives for the financial crash (12/23/13) [4:18]
TRNN | Nuclear expert and researcher Joseph Mangano explains his research in connecting the increase of hyperthyroidism in newborns on the West coast to the Fukushima nuclear disaster (12/23/13) [12:10]
Ring of Fire Radiocast
*Ring Of Fire | Global Elites Terrified By Income Inequality (12/19/13) [12:26]
Bill Moyers
Bill Moyers | Michelle Alexander: Locked Out of the American Dream, tells Bill about an emerging movement that aims to end mass incarceration and its impact on America. (12/20/13) [35:25]
After civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander published her book The New Jim Crow in 2010 on our dehumanizing system of incarceration, she ignited a national conversation about justice in America and sparked a movement. In her book, Alexander explores how the war on drugs, "get-tough" sentencing policies and racism has created a caste system similar to that of our segregationist past.

Since then, Alexander has traveled the country to meet advocates and everyday Americans working to end mass incarceration in America -- home to 25 percent of the world's prisoners, despite representing only five percent of the world's population.
John Perkins - Economic Hitman
*TalkingStickTV | John Perkins | Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (12/18/09) [53:35]
John Perkins | The Secret History of the American Empire (12/18/09) [1:24:23]
James Corbett
corbettreport.com | The Last Word on Overpopulation (02/15/11) [10:10]
*corbettreport.com | The Last Word on Terrorism (02/22/11) [10:44]
corbettreport.com | The Last Word on Osama Bin Laden (05/24/11) [14:12]
60 Minutes
60 Minutes | Susan Rice on contending with crisis (12/22/13) [14:12]
From her first day on the job as President Obama's national security advisor, Susan Rice has had to contend with one crisis on top of the other: the Edward Snowden leaks, the chemical weapons attack in Syria, Egypt, Iran, China, Russia…you name it.

During her four years as the U.S. ambassador to the UN, she had a reputation, as one magazine put it, for being "whip-smart, energetic, abrasive, charming, funny, combative, and frequently undiplomatic."   And yet the president wanted to name her to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. But then she walked into the Benghazi buzzsaw. ...
*60 Minutes | Medical marijuana: Will Colorado's "green rush" last? (12/22/13) [12:55]
Other Videos and Documentaries I Ran Across
Note: I don't endorse any of the videos in this section.
As I construct My News Pages I constantly run across a lot of NEW videos, and since I find YouTube frustrating trying to re-find videos, I save the links in this section so I can find them again.

12.23.2013. 13:56

Friday December 20, 2013
News Articles

Fukushima Aftermath? 98 Percent Of Parts Of The Pacific Ocean Floor Covered By Dead Sea Creatures
thetruthwins.com |Michael Snyder | 12/15/13

National Geographic recently published a very interesting article about this study of the Pacific Ocean floor. The scientists running the study cannot really explain the very strange changes that they have observed since 2011… In March 2012, less than one percent of the seafloor beneath Station M was covered in dead sea salps. By July 1, more than 98 percent of it was covered in the decomposing organisms, according to the study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. ...

... "In the 24 years of this study, the past 2 years have been the biggest amounts of this detritus by far," said study leader Christine Huffard, a marine biologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California. ...

... Could this phenomenon possibly be related to what has been going on at Fukushima? ... Read more

You Should Never, Ever Leave Your Webcam Uncovered When You Aren't Using It
Slate | Tyler Lopez | 12/19/13

Is your webcam recording you right now? If that little green light is off, you'd probably think the camera is, too. But think again. Wednesday, the Washington Post highlighted an unnerving study published at Johns Hopkins University which found that a laptop webcam can function in relative secrecy -- a slightly subtler Eye of Sauron. ...

... The FBI has also publicly acknowledged its ability to employ such techniques when investigating criminal activity: Last year, a federal magistrate rejected the agency's request to secretly monitor a suspected criminal through his webcam. The Chinese government used a program called Ghostnet -- which involved remote access to webcams -- to spy directly on the Dalai Lama, though it is not known whether or not they first disabled the indicator light. But it isn't just governments who are co-opting webcams to do their surveillance work. ... Read more

Ron Paul Blasts "After 100 Years Of Failure, It's Time To End The Fed"
ZeroHedge | author | 12/20/13

A century ago, politicians failed to understand that the financial panics of the 19th century were caused by collusion between government and the banking sector. Today, however, we do know better. We know that the Federal Reserve continues to strengthen the collusion between banks and politicians. We know that the Fed's inflationary monetary policy continues to reap profits for Wall Street while impoverishing Main Street. And we know that the current monetary regime is teetering on a precipice. One hundred years is long enough. End the Fed. ... Read more

Meet Wall Street: Your New Landlord
Click to zoom
ZeroHedge | author | 12/20/13

Blackstone Group appears to be trying to oligopolize the business of renting single-family homes in the U.S.. As Bloomberg reports, after the housing crash left more than 7 million foreclosed homes in its wake, the investment firm has spent more than $7.8 billion purchasing about 41,000 single-family homes for rental conversion. The world's largest private equity firm has quickly become the largest landlord (of rental homes) in the U.S. and in October, Blackstone offered the first-ever "rental-home-backed" security on Wall Street. One has to wonder if this was the plan all along?

How Bad is the Corporate and Conservative Media?
AlterNet | author | 12/20/13

Actually both corporate and right-wing press are getting much worse. There are dozens of examples of journalistic failure every week. The right-wing media is often insane as we report on AlterNet in our super popular weekly series on Right-wing wackos. And, increasingly, mainstream media is about protecting the 1% and the media owner's financial interests. They too often miss the real story or mislead the reader.

It is no accident that the world's richest man -- Mexico's Carlos Slim, worth $73 billion -- is the second largest stockholder of the New York Times. Or that The Washington Post is now owned totally by one super rich person -- Jeff Bezos, the emperor of Amazon.   Bezos recently landed a $600 million contract with the CIA. But, the Post's articles about the CIA are not disclosing that the newspaper's sole owner is the main owner of CIA business partner Amazon. ... Read more

Earth Shelter
Grand Designs - Earthship - Brittany Groundhouse (10/31/12) [47:00]
DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Friday, December 20 [10:37]
*DN | Arctic 30 Members Welcome Russian Amnesty, But Refuse to Apologize For Trying to Stop Oil Drilling (12/20/13) [18:30]
DN | Indigenous Groups Win Right to Seize Chevron's Canadian Assets over $18 Billion in Amazon Pollution (12/20/13) [14:59]
*TRNN | Ralph Nader's: decision to stay in the Florida race and what an electoral strategy could be now, Part 3 (12/20/13) [19:15]
TRNN | Michael Ratner: White House review panel report doesn't go far enough and potentially undercuts the more serious reform of the NSA proposed by the U.S.A. Freedom Act (12/20/13) [11:26]
TYT News
*TYT | Is Your Webcam Off? Not If The FBI Is Watching (12/19/13) [5:54]
TYT | The Media Leans Left, Say Coddled Establishment Reporters (12/19/13) [11:00]
*TYT | How The Senate Is Bad For Peace (And Good For War) (12/19/13) [5:25]
TYT | Snowden Compared To Mass Murderer By CNN Guest (12/18/13) [6:17]
Arnie Gunderson | What the Japanese Government Isn't Saying About Fukushima (12/16/13) [5:19]
PBS Frontline - National Security
PBS NOVA | Rise of the Drones () [53:54]
PBS Frontline | Top Secret America (09/06/11 older, but still really good) [53:41]
PBS Frontline | Are We Safer?; Flying Cheaper; The Spy Who Quit (01/18/11) [53:40]
Click to zoom
Fusion Centers
PBS Frontline | Nation wide Fusion Centers website

Spying on the US People
Fusion centers -- places for state, local and federal officials to share and analyze information -- sprang up at the local level in the wake of the post-9/11 complaints about the failure to "connect the dots." In 2003, the federal government began contributing funding; to date, the Department of Homeland Security has provided more than $420 million in funding to 72 fusion centers across the country, but some localities have funded additional centers.

Fusion centers are built upon the idea of cops on a beat -- local authorities will recognize potential threats to their communities and feed the system with intelligence about possible terrorists. But critics charge that the imperative to gather as much information as possible can lead to abuses and misinformation that can get into national databases.
Michigan Fusion Center website
Homeland Security website
The ACLU Campaign to Stop Illegal Spying website
The Center for Investigative Reporting website
*Diane Rehms Show
Diane Rehm Domestic News - Friday (12/20/13) [1hr]
International News - Friday (12/20/13) [1hr]
Jon Stewart - Daily Show
*Jon Stewart | Former E.P.A. official John Beale admits to lying about his C.I.A. ties, contracting malaria and serving in Vietnam (12/18/13) [5:00], Part 2 [5:50]
Jon Stewart | Fox News defends a "Duck Dynasty" star's right to say ignorant s**t on television (12/19/13) [4:33]
Other Videos and Documentaries I Ran Across
Note: I don't endorse any of the videos in this section.
As I construct My News Pages I constantly run across a lot of NEW videos, and since I find YouTube frustrating trying to re-find videos, I save the links in this section so I can find them again.
Military Movies
The Pentagon Wars (1998) [1:43:49]
Air Force Lt. Col. John Burton was assigned to evaluate the usefulness of the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, an Army troop carrier/scout vehicle that, in its final redesign, was effectively a deathtrap for its occupants. Burton keeps trying to execute a proper live-fire armor test on it but is constantly subverted by his temporary commanding officer, Army Maj. Gen. Partridge, in order to get it under construction and in the field.
Conspiracy (2001) [1:35:51]
Conspiracy is a television film which dramatizes the 1942 Wannsee Conference. The film delves into the psychology of Nazi officials involved in the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" during World War II. It is an English-language adaptation of the German film The Wannsee Conference (1984) which is a must see for anyone who appreciates WW2, Holocaust historical films.
Nuclear War
Thirteen Days (1997) [1:19:38]
The film is set during the two-week Cuban missile crisis in October of 1962, and it centers on how President John F. Kennedy, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and others handled the explosive situation.
Fail Safe (2000) World Nuclear Holocaust [1:24:23]
Fail Safe (2000) The World on The Brink of Accidental War! Cold War tensions climb to a fever pitch when a U.S. bomber is accidentally ordered to drop a nuclear warhead on Moscow.
Hostile Waters (1997) [1:32:53]
The True story of how an antiquated Russian Project 667 a "Yankee" Class Submarine, K-219 collides with a Hunter Killer "Los Angeles" Class American submarine causing a leakage in the K-219's missile bays, almost leading to nuclear meltdown in it's reactors off the shores of Bermuda.
WWII Movie
Ghostboat [2:12:51]
Ghostboat is a 2006 British television film based on a novel by George E. Simpson and Neal R. Burger starring David Jason -- a fantasy tale of His Majesty's Submarine Scorpion reappearing 38 years after it vanished. The crew has disappeared, but the vessel is otherwise unchanged and has not aged in the intervening years. In the Cold War year 1981, a Royal Navy crew along with the sole survivor of the original voyage is given the mission of retracing the last days of the boat prior to its 1943 disappearance. A supernatural influence takes hold of vessel and most of the crew, and they find themselves fighting World War II enemies.
Fortress () [1:32:53]

12.20.2013. 12:29

Thursday December 19, 2013
News Articles

Let Them Hear the Rumble! Invest in People, Not War
HP | Ralph Nader | 12/18/13

Earlier this month, a delegation of activists took to Capitol Hill to demand a decrease in the massive, out-of-control military budget. As millions of Americans struggle with inadequate health care, low wages, deteriorating public services and uncertainty about their futures as the wage gap between the wealthy elite and the working poor widens, billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars are pouring into the coffers of the Department of Defense every year. The Pentagon budget currently makes up half of the U.S. government's entire operating budget. Estimated to be around $716 billion in 2013, the U.S. defense budget is greater than the defense budgets of the next ten highest spending nations combined. ... Read more

*How Secret Currency Traders' Club Devised Biggest Market's Rates
Bloomberg | Liam Vaughan | 12/18/13

It's 20 minutes before 4 p.m. in London and currency traders' screens are blinking red and green. Some dealers have as many as 50 chat rooms crowded onto four monitors arrayed in front of them like shields. Messages from salespeople and clients appear, get pushed up by new ones and vanish from view. Orders are barked through squawk boxes.

This is the closing "fix," the thin slice of the day when foreign-exchange traders buy and sell billions of dollars of currency in the largely unregulated $5.3-trillion-a-day foreign-exchange market, the biggest in the world by volume, according to the Bank for International Settlements. Their trades help set the benchmark WM/Reuters rates used to value more than $3.6 trillion of index funds held by pension holders, savers and money managers around the world.

Now regulators from Bern to Washington are examining evidence first reported by Bloomberg News in June that a small group of senior traders at big banks had something else on their screens: details of each other's client orders. Sharing that information may have helped dealers at firms, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Citigroup Inc. (C), UBS AG (UBSN) and Barclays Plc (BARC), manipulate prices to maximize their own profits, according to five people with knowledge of the probes. ... Read more

What is $55 trillion between friends? Very little according to the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commision). Oh that's ok then, after all what's a little eletronic $55,000,000,000,000 shuttling back and forth between insolvent counterpa.... oh hey look, over there everyone, the Fed just tapered!

CFTC Announces It Is Undercounting Size Of Swaps Market By As Much As $55 Trillion
ZeroHedge | author | 12/19/13

What is $55 trillion between friends? Very little according to the CFTC. In perhaps the biggest under the radar news of the day - to be expected with every watercooler occupied by taper experts - the WSJ reports that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Wednesday that technical errors at two so-called swaps data repositories, which collect and supply regulators with transaction data, have led the CFTC to misreport the overall size of the swaps market by undercounting its size. Isn't it curious how all these "glitches" always work out in the favor of preserving market calm and confidence and away from spooking investors and speculators? Either way, a better question is how big was the so called undercounting? The answer: as large as $55 trillion! ... Read more

10 PHOTOS: 2013's Most Terrifying Weather Disasters
MotherJones | Chris Mooney | 12/19/13

The year 2013 has seen no less than 39 weather-related disasters costing $1 billion or more in damage. That's far more than last year, when there were only 27, according to an analysis of disaster statistics by the Weather Underground's Jeff Masters--and very near the all time high of 40, in 2010.

After starting in late August, the enormous Yosemite Rim fire eventually grew to encompass more than 250,000 acres, gaining it a ranking of the third largest in California history. To put that in perspective, the Rim Fire grew almost as large as all the other 2013 California fires combined (thus far). ... Read more

Lurid Subprime Scams Unveiled in Long-Running Fraud Trial
RollingStone | Matt Taibbi | 12/12/13

... The evidence uncovered in the Household suit should put to lie once and for all the oft-repeated myth -- spread by many of America's most notable dumb people, from Rush Limbaugh to New York City Mayor-unelect Mike Bloomberg -- that the financial crisis was caused by the government "forcing" banks to lend to poor people.

In reality, of course, the subprime bubble exploded because financial companies and banks were in a mad rush to get as many iffy borrowers into loans as quickly as possible -- and not because they were forced to, but because they made assloads of money doing so. ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Thursday, December 19 [12:14]
*DN | Vindication for Snowden? Obama Panel Backs Major Curbs on NSA Surveillance, Phone Record Data Mining (12/19/13) [10:51]
DN | Morsi Charged With Terrorism As Egyptian Military Widens Crackdown on Journalists, Activists (12/19/13) [7:00]
TRNN | David Cay Johnston: Private Federal Contractors Cost Taxpayers Twice as Much as Civil Servants (12/19/13) [11:34]
*TRNN | Ralph Nader says the reforms of the 1960's and 70's are no longer possible as Congress is bought and sold by a small number of very rich people and commercial interests, Part 2 (12/19/13) [25:03]
Diane Rehms Show
Diane Rehm New Efforts To Extend Jobless Benefits (12/18/13) [1hr]
Jobless benefits for 1.3 million Americans will expire after Christmas. Democrats have a new strategy they hope will pressure Republican lawmakers to extend those benefits. Diane and her guests discuss the battle over unemployment insurance.
Readers' Review: "The Casual Vacancy" By J.K. Rowling (12/18/13) [1hr]
After the colossal success of her "Harry Potter" series, J.K. Rowling could have enjoyed an early retirement. But after years of creating a world of wizards and "muggles" for young readers, she felt compelled to try something different for a new audience. Her first novel for adults takes place in the fictional English village of Pagford. It centers around town council member Barry Fairbrother and chronicles the personal and political fallout from his sudden death. And while the book's setting is far from Hogwarts, its characters grapple with problems familiar to Harry, Ron and Hermione -- mortality and the burdens that come with adulthood. Join Diane and her guests for a Readers' Review of J.K. Rowling's "The Casual Vacancy."
Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader Determined To Screw Up '2 Party Tyranny' in 2016 Elections [7:28]
An Unreasonable Man - Ralph Nader () [2:02:21]
Ralph Nader: The Corporatization of Your Dreams [33:33], Part 2 [34:59]
Ralph Nader, "The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas For Our American Future" [1:18:55]
Yellowstone Supervolcano 2.5 Times Bigger Than Thought (12/18/13) [1:10]
CNN | Yellowstone's Supervolcano To Blow (12/17/13) [4:09]
HC | Yellowstone National Park & the Caldera Super Volcano (12/12/13) [44:49]
Jon Stewart - Daily Show
Jon Stewart | John Boehner & The Budget Deal: John Boehner pushes back against conservative critics of the bipartisan budget agreemen (12/17/13) [3:34], Part 2 [4:01]
*Jon Stewart | Erik Prince Exclusive Interview: Blackwater founder Erik Prince tells his side of the Iraq War story (12/17/13) [7:47], Part 2 [5:23], Part 3 [3:14]
Blackwater | Private Armies | Mercenary | JSOC
Scahill - Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army (04/24/11) [1:29:44]
*Jeromy Scahill - Dirty Wars (2013) [1:29:44] (third video down in the left column)
Erik Prince & Blackwater
Erik Dean Prince (born June 6, 1969) is an American businessman and former U.S. Navy SEAL, best known for founding the world's largest private military company, Blackwater USA, in 1997. He served as its CEO until 2009 and later as chairman until Blackwater Worldwide was sold in 2010 to a group of investors. Prince currently lives in the United Arab Emirates.

Prince ended his U.S. Navy service prematurely in 1995 when his father died. Prince's mother sold the Prince Corporation for $1.3 billion in cash to Johnson Controls. Prince moved to Virginia Beach and personally financed the formation of Blackwater Worldwide in 1997. He bought 6,000 acres (24 km2) of the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina and set up a school for special operations. The name "Blackwater" comes from the peat-colored bogs in which the school is located.

From 1997 to 2010, Blackwater was awarded $2 billion in government security contracts, more than $1.6 billion of which were unclassified federal contracts and an unknown amount of classified work. From 2001 to 2010, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) awarded up to $600 million in classified contracts to Blackwater and its affiliates. It became the largest of the State Department's three private security companies, providing 987 guards for embassies and bases abroad.

Blackwater came under increasing criticism after the Nisour Square shooting of 17 Iraqis in September 2007, and after Barack Obama took office in 2008, but Prince believes that much of this criticism stems from politics. "I put myself and my company at the CIA's disposal for some very risky missions," Prince told Vanity Fair for its January 2010 issue. "But when it became politically expedient to do so, someone threw me under the bus."

After Blackwater faced mounting legal problems in the United States, Prince was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and moved to Abu Dhabi in 2010. His task was to assemble an 800-member troupe of foreign troops for the U.A.E.

Prince resigned as CEO of Blackwater on March 2, 2009, and remained chairman of the board until he sold the company in late 2010 to a group of investors, i.e. Monsanto

As of 2013 Prince heads a private equity firm called Frontier Resource Group, operating in more than a dozen African countries serving as an adviser to Chinese investors in Africa. He created an investment fund of $100 million for this purpose.
Other Videos and Documentaries I Ran Across
Note: I don't endorse any of the videos in this section.
As I construct My News Pages I constantly run across a lot of NEW videos, and since I find YouTube frustrating trying to re-find videos, I save the links in this section so I can find them again.

12.19.2013. 10:45

Wednesday December 18, 2013
News Articles
Click to zoom

Land of the Free? America Has 25 Percent of the World's Prisoners
Bill Moyers | Joshua Holland | 12/16/13

The United States has about five percent of the world's population and houses around 25 percent of its prisoners. In large part, that's the result of the "war on drugs" and long mandatory minimum sentences, but it also reflects America's tendency to criminalize acts that other countries view as civil violations.

In 2010, The Economist highlighted a case in which four Americans were arrested for importing lobster tails in plastic bags rather than in cardboard boxes. That violated a Honduran law which that country no longer enforces, but because it's still on the books there its enforced here. "The lobstermen had no idea they were breaking the law. Yet three of them got eight years apiece." When the article was published 10 years later, two of them were still behind bars. ... Read more

Forgotten Soldiers (WWII)
WSJ | author | date

Roman Tritz's memories of the past six decades are blurred by age and delusion. But one thing he remembers clearly is the fight he put up the day the orderlies came for him.   "They got the notion they were going to come to give me a lobotomy," says Mr. Tritz, a World War II bomber pilot. "To hell with them."

The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans -- and likely hundreds more -- during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal. Besieged by psychologically damaged troops returning from the battlefields of North Africa, Europe and the Pacific, the Veterans Administration performed the brain-altering operation on former servicemen it diagnosed as depressives, psychotics and schizophrenics, and occasionally on people identified as homosexuals. ... Read more

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
Wikipedia.org | author | on-going

The TPP is intended to be a "high-standard" agreement aimed at emerging trade issues in the 21st century.

On November 13, 2013, a complete draft of the treaty's Intellectual Property Rights chapter was published by WikiLeaks. This and other leaks have drawn increased criticism and protest of the negotiations from global health experts, internet freedom activists, environmentalists, organized labor, advocacy groups and elected officials, in large part due to the secrecy of the negotiations, the expansive scope of the agreement, and controversial clauses in the drafts leaked to the public. ... Read more

WikiLeaks | Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) (11/13/13) (article & pdf)
WikiLeaks | Second release of secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement documents (12/09/13) [pdf]
DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Wednesday, December 18 [11:57]
DN | Geneva Talks "Already Dead" as Syria Faces Unprecedented Humanitarian Crisis, Imploding Opposition (12/18/13) [8:25]
*DN | Patrick Cockburn: U.S. Turns Blind Eye As Saudis Fund Jihadists in Syrian Conflict (12/18/13) [5:42], Part 2 [16:17]
*DN | As Judge Rules NSA Surveillance "Almost Orwellian," Obama Prepares to Leave Spying Program Intact (12/17/13) [16:37]
Forgotten Soldiers (WWII)
WSJ | The Lobotomy Files: Inside the Mind of Roman Tritz (12/12/13) [8:14]
Bill Moyers
*Bill Moyers | Richard Slotkin on Guns and Violence (12/13/13) [49:19]
Ahead of the one year anniversary of the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in which Adam Lanza took the lives of 20 school children and six educators, Bill speaks with cultural historian and scholar Richard Slotkin about the role of guns in America's national psyche.

Slotkin has spent his life studying and writing about the violence that has swirled through American history and taken root deep in our culture. In his works of history and fiction, Slotkin tracks how everything from literature, movies and television to society and politics has been influenced by this violent past including the gun culture that continues to dominate, wound and kill.
*TRNN | Ralph Nader: McCarthyism Made Us Veer Away From a Systemic Doctrine for Change, Part 1 (12/18/13) [24:40]
Together, the TPP and TTIP will cover more than 60 per cent of global GDP.
*TRNN | Kevin Zeese: Wikileaks: TPP Revelations Prove US in "Left Field" With Trade Deal (12/15/13) [10:07]
*TRNN | Kevin Zeese: Wikileaks: Exposes the TPP as a Capitulation to Corporate Interests (11/15/13) [9:06]
TYT News
TYT | Better To Be White (And Rich) If You Kill Four People? | Affluenza Up (12/13/13) [11:37]
TYT | Battle over Snowden on CNN between Greenwald and Toobin (12/17/13) [7:37]
TYT | GOP 'Civil War' Pushing US To The Right (12/17/13) [6:19]
How the US Economy Works
*Davidmcw | How the US Economy Works: (12/18/13) [5:00]
The rich continue to grow richer, and as David McWilliams (of Punk Economics) so eloquently explains in this brief clip, this has pushed the Fed into a corner. As the Federal Reserve gets a new chair and decides what to do next, whether to print $85 billion a month more or not, McWilliams examines the heist that is the new normal financialized economy - who gets all the loot and why today's kidnappers wear Prada. "Wake up," he blasts, explaining the uncomfortable reality of what happens when financial kidnappers dress up as loyal patriots and extort money in the name of the common good.
ZeroHedge | author | 12/18/13

12.18.2013. 12:39

Tuesday December 17, 2013
News Articles

Mansfield, Ohio, air base's fate reflects a larger battle between active duty, Guard
Washington Post | Rajiv Chandrasekaran | 12/16/13

After spending almost $600 million to buy a tiny fleet of the planes over the past six years, stationing them in Mansfield, Ohio and at two other National Guard bases, the Air Force flew all of them to a junkyard earlier this year. Five more planes, which the Pentagon already has paid for, will be mothballed as soon as they are built. ... Read more

This graph goes with the video to the right -->

Land of the Free? America Has 25 Percent of the World's Prisoners
AlterNet | Joshua Holland | 12/17/13

The United States has about five percent of the world's population and houses around 25 percent of its prisoners. In large part, that's the result of the "war on drugs" and long mandatory minimum sentences, but it also reflects America's tendency to criminalize acts that other countries view as civil violations.

In 2010, The Economist highlighted a case in which four Americans were arrested for importing lobster tails in plastic bags rather than in cardboard boxes. That violated a Honduran law which that country no longer enforces, but because it's still on the books there its enforced here. "The lobstermen had no idea they were breaking the law. Yet three of them got eight years apiece." When the article was published 10 years later, two of them were still behind bars. ... Read more

Judge: NSA's collecting of phone records is probably unconstitutional
WashingtonPost | Ellen Nakashima | 12/16/13

A federal judge ruled Monday that the National Security Agency's daily collection of virtually all Americans' phone records is almost certainly unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon found that a lawsuit by Larry Klayman, a conservative legal activist, has "demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success" on the basis of Fourth Amendment privacy protections against unreasonable searches. ... Read more

Before and After: A Remarkable Year of Recovery from Hurricane Sandy
Time Magazine | author | 10/27/13

Hurricane Sandy made landfall on October 29, 2012, near Brigantine, New Jersey, cutting a vicious path through one of the most densely populated areas in the U.S. A year and $65 billion in damages later, the most hard-hit areas look nothing like they did in the aftermath of the storm. ... Read more
Click to zoom
Recovery from Superstorm Sandy

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Tuesday, December 17 [12:30]
*DN | As Judge Rules NSA Surveillance "Almost Orwellian," Obama Prepares to Leave Spying Program Intact (12/17/13) [16:37]
DN | The Selling of ADHD: Diagnoses, Prescriptions Soar After 20-Year Marketing Effort by Big Pharma (12/17/13) [23:06], Part 2 [6:02]
More News
cnbc | Jim Grant Slams Steve Liesman "The Fed Can Change How Things Look, But Not What They Are" (12/17/13) [2:27]
MotherJones | Fast Food Kids' Meals Smackdown (12/16/13) [2:59], article
*TRNN | David Swanson: Are There Just Wars? Part 3 (12/17/13) [17:31]
TRNN | Yves Engler: Canada and Russia are investing in military infrastructure in order to protect economic interests in Arctic (12/17/13) [6:45]
TYT News
60 Minutes
*60 Minutes | Inside the NSA (12/16/13) [13:56]
The longer the NSA is allowed to collect all our data, the creepier it feels.
60 Minutes | The Snowden Affair (12/16/13) [12:45]
60 Minutes | China's rover lands on moon: Is it the start of a new space race? (12/16/13) [3:04]
Diane Rehms Show
Diane Rehm Debate Over Proposed Global Trade Agreements (12/17/13) [1hr]
U.S. negotiators are pushing to reach agreement on a major trade pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and a new deal with the European Union. But many unions, environmentalists and consumers are skeptical. Diane and her guests talk pros and cons over new trade agreements.

  1. Simon Johnson professor of entrepreneurship at MIT's Sloan School of Management, senior fellow of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, and author of "White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters To You."
  2. Lori Wallach director, Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch.
  3. Howard Schneider reporter, The Washington Post.
Jon Stewart - Daily Show
Jon Stewart | The media focuses on a sensational, possibly made up violent trend rather than a definitely real and more widespread one (12/16/13) [5:37]
Jon Stewart | Megyn Kelly responds to critics challenging her assertion that both Jesus and Santa Claus were white men (12/16/13) [3:23]

12.17.2013. 13:47

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