Friday, September 10, 2010

Obama Administration Reverses Course, Forbids Sale of 850,000 Antique Rifles

By Maxim Lott

A photo of M1 Garands (National Park Service)

Published September 01, 2010

The South Korean government, in an effort to raise money for its military, wants to sell nearly a million antique M1 rifles that were used by U.S. soldiers in the Korean War to gun collectors in America.

The Obama administration approved the sale of the American-made rifles last year. But it reversed course and banned the sale in March – a decision that went largely unnoticed at the time but that is now sparking opposition from gun rights advocates.

A State Department spokesman said the administration's decision was based on concerns that the guns could fall into the wrong hands.

"The transfer of such a large number of weapons -- 87,310 M1 Garands and 770,160 M1 Carbines -- could potentially be exploited by individuals seeking firearms for illicit purposes," the spokesman told

"We are working closely with our Korean allies and the U.S. Army in exploring alternative options to dispose of these firearms."

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hillary Clinton Pushes U.N. Global Regime at Council on Foreign Relations Meeting

Mark Matheny

Hillary Clinton discussed the U.N.'s Role as a World Governing Entity at a Council on Foreign Relations meeting on September 8, 2010. Among the topics discussed were Nuclear non-proliferation, or simply put - total Global enslavement!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tea Party Express Black Conservatives Press meeting at the National Press Club in DC

Two reporters engage in a heated exchange with black conservative leaders at a press conference at the National Press Club on August 4, 2010 challenging the NAACP on its charges of racism within the tea party.

For more info and more commentary and video got here:

CEOs: Cut more jobs, make more money

A study reveals an unsettling trend from the Great Recession: Not only did many CEOs get raises while laying off workers, those who cut more got bigger pay packages.

By Michael Brush
MSN Money

Across America, the Great Recession and its aftermath have hit the haves and the have-nots in very different ways.

Turns out that while legions of workers got pink slips, the CEOs at some of the companies making the steepest job cuts earned some of the biggest salaries. And the issue isn't the much-discussed pay gap between executives and average workers; these CEOs earned pay packages that were often two or three times the average pay for other CEOs.

Meanwhile, the layoffs cost us all -- because of a weaker economic recovery due to a dwindling consumer class and the cost to the government of supporting an army of unemployed.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Impact of Fiat Money as the World’s Reserve Currency

David Redick

Activist Post
September 7, 2010

The creation of fiat official government money has had a profound effect in history and on our nation and the world today. “Fiat” means it is worth whatever the government says it is (its face value), although the material of which it is made may have more or less intrinsic market value. Examples would include both valuable silver dollars and worthless paper, each declared to be worth $1; and today’s American Eagle bullion coin with a face value of $50 for one ounce of gold.

Normally, when a country creates too much fake money, sellers avoid it for payment, or stop buying its bonds due to its falling value, and the party is soon over. However, the U.S. is in a unique position never seen in the history of the world. Our fiat paper money is the primary de facto world’s “reserve currency” (anyone will accept it for payment and keep it as cash, or as a dollar-denominated asset; banks keep it as their reserves, like gold). We can create new money out of thin-air, and sellers of goods and services worldwide will accept it. We can also pay our debts with it, even as the federal government spends to excess.

We have abused the privileged status of the U.S. dollar in many immoral and counterproductive ways. It is the underlying cause of our major problems, such as jobs being exported due to excess imports of goods (other countries would run out of money; the U.S. can create more as needed!), strange banking and securities deals based on loose money, excess personal spending and debt, and wars.

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Why TIME Doesn't Care About Israel

Time cover story claims decadent Israelis no longer care about peace.
As Israel launches a new round of peace talks with the Palestinians, media outlets are bending over backwards to find a new angle on the peace process. One of the most shocking comes from Time magazine, whose cover story "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace" suggests that Israelis no longer see peace as a priority because the economy is strong and the country has largely been free of terror inside the green line.

(An excerpt from the story can be read online here. The whole story appears in the print edition and on the magazine's iPad application.)

Polls repeatedly show that Israelis strongly support a two-state solution to the conflict. But it may, indeed, be true that Israelis have grown skeptical of any breakthroughs with the Palestinian leadership now divided between Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in control of Gaza. Israelis have seen that new peace talks are usually accompanied by new terror attacks.

The Time article, written by Karl Vick, however, glosses over any legitimate reasons why Israelis may have lost interest in the details of the peace process, instead presenting Israelis as callous, insensitive, and decadently more concerned with beaches, water sports, and Tel Aviv's cafe culture than with matters of real substance.

Vick writes:

In the week that three Presidents, a King and their own Prime Minister gather at the White House to begin a fresh round of talks on peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the truth is, Israelis are no longer preoccupied with the matter. They're otherwise engaged; they're making money; they're enjoying the rays of late summer. A watching world may still define their country by the blood feud with the Arabs whose families used to live on this land and whether that conflict can be negotiated away, but Israelis say they have moved on.

The reference to the "blood feud with the Arabs whose families used to live on this land" is particularly telling. Vick appears to subtly reject Israel's historic claims to the land and to imply that Israelis are at fault in the conflict, since the land really belongs to the Arabs.

Read the entire article

Europe's Sets Up New Banking Police

By LEO CENDROWICZ / BRUSSELS Leo Cendrowicz / Brussels 

When the financial crisis erupted two years ago, toppling banks and triggering eye-watering bailouts, European policy-makers at times seemed too stunned by the scale of the situation to think of how to prevent it from happening again. Recently, however, they seem to have recovered their composure and have devised a body of legislation designed to anticipate future financial turmoil. Two months after U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law the most sweeping reform of America's financial sector since the 1930s, the European Union is set to follow suit by creating a trio of new financial sheriffs to monitor banks, insurance companies and trading on markets.

The European Banking Authority will be based in London; Paris will host the European Securities and Markets Authority; the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority will be in Frankfurt. E.U. finance ministers on Tuesday confirmed the plans for the watchdogs; the European Parliament will vote on them later this month, and the three agencies should come into force on January 1 next year. (See pictures of the global financial crisis.)

E.U. Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier says the agencies will give Europe "the control tower and the radar screens needed to identify risks, the tools to better control financial players and the means to act quickly, in a coordinated way, in a timely fashion." Barnier said last week that the financial crisis revealed woeful communication gaps between Europe's national regulators. "The fact is that we did not see the crisis coming," he said. "We did not have the monitoring tools to detect the risk which was accumulating across the system. And when the crisis hit, we did not have effective tools to act."

The new agencies will have the power to temporarily ban certain high-risk financial products - such as "naked short selling," which Germany acted against earlier this year - instruct banks and other financial actors in crisis situations, draw up standards for national regulators, and settle disagreements between them.

They will be complemented by a group attached to the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank called the European Systemic Risk Board, which will monitor the risk of major threats to the economy, like problems at major banks or asset bubbles. Further initiatives are also in the works: speaking at a conference in Italy at the weekend, Barnier said the E.U. could agree in the next few weeks on a law to regulate speculative hedge funds and private equity operators, blamed by some for financial excesses. (See the worst business deals of 2009.)

The wave of regulation is a far cry from the heady days just a few years ago, when banks and investors were the toast of European governments for their seeming alchemic powers of money generation. But the financial crisis has changed the debate, says Fabian Zuleeg, chief economist at the European Policy Center, a Brussels-based think tank. "Given the deep distrust of much of the financial sector, there is no longer a debate over whether or not to introduce stronger regulation," he says.

When the watchdogs were first proposed last year, the only real resistance came from the City of London, Europe's biggest financial center, where some banks raised fears that too much red tape could prompt leading firms to move out of the E.U. altogether. But even among some of "the City's" supporters, there is a growing recognition that the crisis exposed the fault lines in the Anglo-Saxon model, and left the wider economy distorted by the size and power of the banks. Angela Knight, CEO of the British Bankers' Association (BBA) says the financial sector welcomes the measures. "We need better regulatory coordination and a common rulebook," she says. "Although, of course, we do need to watch carefully to see that this does not lead to overregulation." (See 10 things to do in London.)

She is echoed by Guido Ravoet, Secretary General of the European Banking Federation. "We do need more banking supervision. We recognize that we need oversight. We accept that there were gaps in the regulation," he says, pointing out that the large banks - like HSBC, BNP Paribas Fortis and Deutsche Bank - had long asked for a single rulebook for cross-border operations. "The new measures might not prevent future crises, but they will predict them earlier and mitigate risks in the future," he says.

Initially, the watchdogs will not be as powerful as, say, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. They are expected to be manned by no more than 60 people each by next year, compared with over 3,000 people at the U.K.'s Financial Services Authority, and will depend on help from national supervisory agencies. But it is a major step, nonetheless, says Karel Lannoo of the Brussels' Center for European Policy Studies. "This is a very important, historic move. It was long overdue to have some sort of European supervision, and we now have federal bodies with powers above the national authorities," Lannoo says. "We will never abolish a financial crisis, but we can avoid the confusion we had two years ago." That may seem a modest ambition, but with Europe struggling to recover from the last crisis, a little local policing could do a world of good.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Despite formal combat end, US joins Baghdad battle

By BARBARA SURK, Associated Press Writer Barbara Surk, Associated Press Writer – Sun Sep 5, 4:52 pm ET
AP Photo

BAGHDAD – Days after the U.S. officially ended combat operations and touted Iraq's ability to defend itself, American troops found themselves battling heavily armed militants assaulting an Iraqi military headquarters in the center of Baghdad on Sunday. The fighting killed 12 people and wounded dozens.

It was the first exchange of fire involving U.S. troops in Baghdad since the Aug. 31 deadline for formally ending the combat mission, and it showed that American troops remaining in the country are still being drawn into the fighting.

The attack also made plain the kind of lapses in security that have left Iraqis wary of the U.S. drawdown and distrustful of the ability of Iraqi forces now taking up ultimate responsibility for protecting the country.

Sunday's hour-long assault was the second in as many weeks on the facility, the headquarters for the Iraqi Army's 11th Division, pointing to the failure of Iraqi forces to plug even the most obvious holes in their security.

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