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agau121
agau121
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Today
agau121 replied to the topic Re: Paul Craig Roberts and "Western insanity" in the forums.
I'm just speculating and probably not in a particularly focused way. Perhaps people in general are so overwhelmed, feel so hopeless and so resigned to an unfavorable outcome in some form or another that they don't want to make the effort.

For whatever it's worth, it seems that former Minister of National Defense of Canada, Paul Hellyer, has been quite outspoken about the nature of the banking cabal. He's 91 at this point, so he probably figures he has nothing much to lose.
12:42 AM
Yesterday
agau121 wrote:
Perhaps it is more important to focus on the message rather than the background of the messenger. Nonetheless, I cannot help but to wonder what key events over the past 30 or so years have caused him to rethink his positions.


AgAu, I'll flip that observation around on you. I can't believe how FEW people have stood up to be counted, not just in the U.S., but across the West. Obviously we're not the only ones to see how rotten things are, and to see how far and how low these pseudo-democracies have sunk.

Our "leaders" (past and present) are not, and were not all fools. Then again, with that "epidemic" of bankers who suddenly all decided to kill themselves by jumping off tall buildings; maybe these past-and-present "leaders" think that the real fools are the ones who do stand up...???

11:07 PM
Jeff Nielson replied to the topic Re: Jeff Nielson, for Sprott Money: in the forums.
The JPMorgan ‘Silver Hoard’: Is There Any METAL In It?

www.sprottmoney.com/news/the-jpmorgan-si...on-sprott-money-news

A recent report from GoldCore hysterically asks the question: is “JPMorgan cornering the silver market”? The use of the word “hysterical” is necessary here, as any sober consideration of this question would result in nothing but scoffs of derision.

What is interesting in that article is that the writer actually compares his hypothesis that JPMorgan is “cornering” the silver market (today) with a real, documented attempt to do so: the infamous Hunt Brothers episode of 1980. The point here is that any comparison to that episode makes it obvious that the writer’s hypothesis is not simply false, but absurd.

First let’s review what actually happened in the silver market, when the Hunt Brothers (along with some Arab investors) attempted to buy-up all available silver, starting in 1979. Before reviewing the facts, and for readers with limited market savvy, an obvious question: why would any person/entity want to “corner” the silver market (or any other market)? Answer: to make lots and lots of money.

When the Hunt Brothers began buying-up silver in 1979; the price of silver was at roughly $5/oz (USD). At the peak of their accumulation; the Hunt Brothers had roughly 200 million ounces of silver, and the price had increased ten-fold, all the way to $50/oz. And this ten-fold increase in price came even though the Hunt Brothers’ total holdings never reached 20% of global inventories...

05:55 PM
2 days ago
Jeff Nielson replied to the topic Re: Paul Craig Roberts and "Western insanity" in the forums.
On second thought; I do have something to add: two words hard-core fascism.
06:59 PM
Jeff Nielson created a new topic Paul Craig Roberts and "Western insanity" in the forums.
Normally I have a few thoughts to add when I read (and post a piece). Not this time; PCR has encapsulated things in brutally succinct terms...




Insanity Grips The Western World

www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/04/27/insa...-paul-craig-roberts/

Just as Karl Marx claimed that History had chosen the proletariat, neoconservatives claim that History has chosen America. Just as the Nazis proclaimed “Deutschland uber alles,” neoconservatives proclaim “America uber alles.” In September 2013 President Obama actually stood before the United Nations and declared, “I believe America is exceptional.”

Germany’s political leaders and those in Great Britain, France, and throughout Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan also believe that America is exceptional, which means better than they are. That’s why these countries are Washington’s vassals. They accept their inferiority to the Exceptional Country — the USA — and follow its leadership.

It is unlikely that the Chinese think that a handful of White People are exceptional in anything except their diminutive numbers. The populations of Asia, Africa, and South America dwarf those that comprise Washington’s Empire.

Neither do the Russians believe that the US is exceptional. Putin’s response to Obama’s claim of American superiority was: “God created us equal.” Putin added: “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.”

If all countries are exceptional, the word loses its meaning. If America is exceptional, it means others are inferior for lacking this designation. Inferiors have less rights and can be bullied into submission or bombed into oblivion.

The Exceptional Country is above all the others and, therefore, doesn’t have to be concerned about how it treats them. Obviously, Americans and their vassals think America is exceptional as the millions of people murdered, maimed, and dislocated by Washington’s wars in eight countries in the 21st century has not resulted in condemnation of Washington. Merkel, Hollande, Cameron and the puppets in Canada, Australia, and Japan still suck up, holding tight to Washington...
06:57 PM
Jeff Nielson wrote:
Assassinating all of the Little Peoples' unions was one of the highest priorities of the Oligarchs in turning us all into serfs. But note the WEALTHY get to keep their unions. They just call them "associations", and pretend that this somehow makes them different. The two most-corrupt unions in our societies are the doctors' union and the lawyers' union. Again, as with "0% interest rates"; this is a simple question of fairness. Either EVERYONE gets to 'borrow' (lol) at 0%, or no one does.

Either everyone is provided with the security and collective bargaining power of the union; or no one is. The TWO-TIER societies we live in, with the worst wealth-inequality we've see in 300 YEARS will not last much longer.



Being as I was close to sleepy last night and could not be entirely certain I was thinking clearly, I almost did not post my thoughts last night, but I'm very glad I did because it had SIMPLY NEVER OCCURRED TO ME to think of "associations" as being tantamount to labor unions, but no that it has been pointed out, it makes perfect sense. I'm glad Earl started this thread, and I'm glad I took the time to participate even though it meant getting further behind on work during a weekend in which I'm engaged in full tilt marathon to get caught up. Thanks BBC friends.
12:41 PM
Jeff Nielson created a new topic Germans helped NSA spy on Germans in the forums.
Most readers will recall that when Germany (supposedly) discovered that its U.S. 'ally' had been engaging in regular spying of that government that it created enormous outrage in Germany, and (supposedly) "strained relations" between the two governments.

Now, we find out that Germany's intelligence agency (BND) was helping the NSA to spy on "officials and firms in Europe". Now we can fully understand the perspective of the (corrupt) Merkel government when it comes to spying. It's OK to spy on anyone, any time...except for Merkel and her own political cronies.

Once upon a time; the femininists told us that having women in politics would improve our governments. What have we seen? Women like Margaret Thatcher, Kim Campbell, and Angela Merkel. And what have they proved? That just because a politician doesn't have a penus doesn't mean that she won't be just as corrupt and/or incompetent as those who do.




German prosecutors launch investigation of spying charges

www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/03/us-ge...dUSKBN0NO0G820150503

Germany's top public prosecutor will look into accusations that the country's BND foreign intelligence agency violated laws by helping the United States spy on officials and firms in Europe, including Airbus group, the federal prosecutors office said.

A spokesman for the prosecutors office confirmed weekend media reports that an investigation had been launched as opposition politicians demanded more information about the unfolding scandal from Chancellor Angela Merkel's government.

"A preliminary investigation has been started," the spokesman said. In a related development, federal prosecutor Harald Range himself will be questioned by a parliamentary committee looking into the affair in Berlin on Wednesday.

Der Spiegel magazine said the BND helped the U.S. National Security Agency over at least 10 years, embarrassing Germany and upsetting many in a country where surveillance is a sensitive topic due to abuses by the Nazis and the East German Stasi...
11:18 AM
Jeff Nielson replied to the topic Re: Climate Change conference in 2015 in the forums.
Dylan wrote:
I am personally convinced that there is a complete correlation between chemtrails and global warming.
A single chemtrail will often spread out to form a vast artificial cirrus cloud formation that covers thousands of square kilometres and can last for over a day.
Cirrus clouds unlike the lower cumulus clouds have a net warming effect. Water vapour and these cirrus clouds have greater impact on warming than CO2.


To show that this is not implausible, here are some excerpts from a paper written by a scientist J.O. Fletcher in 1969...



Interesting stuff Dylan.

The material you presented certainly seems to show that cloud-seeding was an intentional contributing factor to global warming. But it raises an even more interesting question.

If chem-trails/cloud-seeding can be done to cause a warming effect; can it be used to produce an opposite effect? Living near one of North America's most highly-regarded ski resorts; I've wondered in the past (past winters) whether chem-trails were being used to INCREASE the amount of snow in the mountains -- so that rich skiers wouldn't be disappointed when they arrived to play.
10:00 AM
3 days ago
Jeff Nielson replied to the topic Re: Climate Change conference in 2015 in the forums.
Debsyl, I'm fully convinced of the reality (and threat) of "chem-trails", and cloud-seeding with toxic heavy metals. But I don't see any either/or proposition here. In other words; whether or not "chem-trails" exist (and the evidence is conclusive that they do exist), this does not strengthen or weaken the position of those warning about global warming.

Both could exist. Neither could exist. There is now causality between these two phenomena, and likely very little correlation, other than both are becoming increasing threats/problems.

I'm personally convinced that the evidence is conclusive with respect to global warming and chem-trails, meaning we have TWO planet-threatening problems to deal with -- not one.
12:18 PM
Rory, I'm with Eric Dubin here. In fact; I'm much more strident on this issue. All of the "New World Order" dogma is MYTHOLOGY created by the Old World Order (i.e. the One Bank) to distract people from and/or cover-up its own existence.

The Old World Order

My reasoning is similar to that of Mr. Dubin. The banksters (and their political puppets) have NOT been "play-acting" as they attempted to politically isolate, and then economically (or militarily?) destroy Russia. These are real "enemies", not like the farce of the U.S. Two-Party Dicatatorship, where the two political parties pretend to be on "opposite sides".

Economic Terrorism Against Russia Intensifies

And obviously all of the gold-buying by Russia and China is (at least) a long-term threat to the West's bankster empire, and that would NOT be a part of any play-acting if all these nations were secretly controlled by the same puppet master. This doesn't necessarily mean that the banksters are incapable of exerting INFLUENCE over the governments of China and/or Russia. But I don't see any evidence of control.
12:11 PM
Rory, I'm really surprised that more analysts don't reference the work of Chris Martenson in this area -- including Chris Martenson (lol).



Nearly a decade ago; Chris Martenson produced what I still consider to be the definitive analysis on "peak oil", and oil production in general. He discussed a concept which I have not seen any other analyst deal with in explicit terms, what he calls the "energy surplus" from oil production.

To put this concept to numbers, back in the early days of the oil industry when there were plenty of large oil fields, with cheap/easy extraction; the oil industry could extract 100 barrels of oil for every barrel they used producing that oil, thus the energy surplus was 100:1.

As the cheap/easy oil fields dried up, this ratio has plummeted steadily lower, to the point where (if I remember Martenson's numbers correctly), the AVERAGE energy surplus in global oil production today is 3:1. In other words, despite improvements in technology; oil extraction is more than 30 times less efficient (or 30 times more energy-intensive) than it used to be.

But that's just the average. When it comes to the really difficult/energy-intensive oil production (like Canada's tar sands, like the U.S.'s shale oil) that ratio drops steadily further. The ratio Martenson asserted was 1.1:1. In other words, for every barrel of oil used in this oil production, that barrel only yields 1.1 barrels of output. Making the numbers a little easier to understand; they USE 10 barrels of oil to PRODUCE 11 barrels of oil.



Now as I mentioned; this analysis is nearly a decade old. It's certainly possible that shale oil and/or tar-sands oil is a little more efficient than the pathetic ratio from Martenson's analysis. But the bottom-line is the same: the VAST majority of oil produced by shale oil, and tar sands oil is USED in the production of that oil. Very little is left over to actually be utilized by the global economy.

Big Oil is drilling for oil, just to get enough oil to drill for more oil. It is a near-useless waste of resources AND it's destroying the environment in much of North America. This was NEVER an economically efficient/economically rational form of energy production, and if it wasn't for the fact that Stephen Harper is GIVING AWAY our oil (to the U.S.) at a discount of 30% from benchmark prices; the U.S. shale oil industry would have NEVER been profitable -- even with the price of oil at/near $100 per barrel.

11:59 AM
Hey Rory, are there any "big names" in the Alternative Media whom you have not managed to interview? John Embry is another personal favorite and a strong influence on me as I went from precious metals investor to "precious metals analyst".

I haven't had time to listen to the clip yet, but did read your transcript/summary. Definitely a lot of heavy/serious issues in this one...

11:05 AM
Jeff Nielson replied to the topic Re: Site problems -- update in the forums.
I'm STILL waiting for our web-host to recover the lost data (i.e. posts and a commentary) which were lost when our domain was transferred last week. I've been advised to PUBLISH nothing new until this data is reloaded into our archives.

I suspect this might mean that the most-recent Forum posts could disappear when the old data is recovered. In other words, what I'm afraid will happen is this. When the web-host reloads the data that has been lost (Forum posts from April 22 - 28) that this will cause NEWER posts to disappear (those posted after April 28).

If this happens, I apologize for that aggravation. However, I want to assure all readers, and especially Forum users that this is not going to become a regular problem. Once this current snafu is dealt with (and however this plays out), there should be no future problems in posting on the Forum (nor with my own commentaries).

Please bear with us as we work out these kinks.

10:57 AM
4 days ago
There was an hilarious piece of gibberish published by GoldCore, claiming that JPMorgan (over a short period of time) has accumulated a silver hoard of 350 million ounces of "physical silver", as part of an effort to "corner the market" (lol!). I'm going to do a Sprott Money piece on this nonsense, so I don't want to steal my own thunder. So I'll just review what's in the article itself.

GoldCore actually compares JPMorgan's supposed hoard of "silver", and its supposed attempt to "corner the market" to a REAL hoard of silver, and a REAL attempt to corner the silver market -- the Hunt Brothers' episode of 1979 - 80. Note that the Hunt Brothers were charged and convicted of "cornering" the silver market, even though their own hoard (only 200 million ounces) was less than 20% of total global inventories at that time. Even so; the price of silver increased by a factor of ten, as a result of all that silver-buying.

Conversely, today we're supposed to believe that JPMorgan has "accumulated" 350 million ounces of silver, even though that's likely more than TOTAL (real) inventories; AND JPMorgan has supposedly 'squeezed' the silver market this tightly while prices have actually gone down.



Have a good laugh for the weekend...


JP Morgan Cornering Silver Bullion Market?


www.goldcore.com/us/gold-blog/jp-morgan-...lver-bullion-market/

- Why is JP Morgan accumulating the biggest stockpile of physical silver in history?
- Legendary silver analyst Ted Butler believes JP Morgan are in a position to corner silver market
- JP Morgan may be holding as much as 350 million ounces of physical silver
- JP Morgan realises the value of owning physical silver bullion today
- Silver at $16 today – Set to soar to over $50 again

JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank, one the largest providers of financial services in the world and one of the most powerful banks in the world has accumulated one of the largest stockpiles of silver the world has ever seen.

The total JP Morgan silver stockpile has increased dramatically in the last four years. In 2011, JP Morgan has little or no physical silver. By 2012, they had acquired 5 million ounces of silver bullion.

Incredibly, in the last 3 years their COMEX silver stockpile has increased tenfold and is now over 55 million ounces (see chart below)...
02:53 PM
agau121 wrote:


Democracy Now recently aired a segment that I thought did a good job of outlining the TPP. Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida was featured in the segment. I found these two quotes from Congressman Grayson in connection to the TPP particularly chilling:

"Now, I’m the first member of Congress to actually see any part of the TPP, even though 600 corporate lobbyists are, quote, "advisers" to the trade representative and they get to see everything. And I insisted they take that information to my office, and in return they told me I couldn’t take it with me, I couldn’t take it home, I couldn’t make notes on it, I couldn’t have my staff present. And here’s the kicker: They didn’t want me to discuss it with the media, the public or even other members of Congress. So it’s a farce. And it’s meant specifically to keep the information away from the American people, because if the American people knew what was going on, they’d recognize that it’s a punch to the face of the middle class in America."

Later in the segment, he goes on to say:

"Well, one of the sad and disturbing elements of this whole process has been the artificial secrecy that’s been imposed by the administration and by the trade representative on these dealings. I can’t think of any other occasion, when I’ve served in Congress, when I’ve seen the element of deception loom so large here. The public is better informed of Iraqi attacks on ISIS, which you’d think would be classified, than it is informed on a trade deal that’s going to determine our economic future for the next 20 years. What’s happened is that, right at the beginning, the trade representative took the absurd position that everything that was being negotiated was classified, even though it was directly in the hands of the foreign governments with whom he was negotiating. Remember, normally, we have a classified system to keep information away from our enemies, or at least other governments. In this case, it was the other governments that had the information, and it was Congress and the American people who were being denied the information. And they took that position for five years, even though 100 members of Congress wrote a letter to the trade representative saying, "Cut this out."



Alan Grayson is one of the few, honest politicians remaining in Washington, and what he's describing is very similar to the utter perversion of democracy (and political due process) which took place during the passage of "The Patriot Act" -- which put "the U.S. Constitution" through a paper-shredder.

None of these trade deals is anything but more more anti-capitalism, and more fascism. The euphemism of "free trade" which is attached to these fascist deals is not even a remotely accurate label. The only thing "free" here are all the Western jobs -- being given away for nothing by our Traitor Governments.

02:33 PM
5 days ago
Jeff Nielson replied to the topic Re: Police Culture in Baltimore in the forums.
Earl, it's too bad that one of the posts which has "disappeared" from the Forum (temporarily?) was the post I did on an article by Chris Martenson on the SYSTEMIC BRUTALITY of U.S. police.

Where do systemic problems always start? At the TOP. So why isn't anyone pointing the finger at the POLICE CHIEFS and POLITICIANS who are responsible for systemic brutality by U.S. police?

As Chris Martenson pointed out; U.S. police are TRAINED to be highly-confrontational, in virtually any/every context. And then they are TRAINED to over-react to all confrontations. So first the U.S. police create confrontations, in situations where it was totally unnecessary to do so, and THEN they "over-react" -- i.e. beat their "suspect" to a pulp, or simply murder him.

As Martenson points out; this is merely one reason (of many) why the United States can no longer be regarded as a civilized nation.

08:21 PM
Thanks for the post Earl.

"De-regulation" is one of the most-facile aspects of conservative dogma. De-regulation was supposed to fix everything. What actually happened?

The global airline industry was "de-regulated". The global airline industry was destroyed. The trucking industry was de-regulated. The trucking industry was destroyed. Our entire economies were "de-regulated" (i.e. "globalization) and our entire economies have been destroyed.

It's the same way these mentally-deficient neanderthals insist that "tax cuts" are always good. You can NEVER "cut taxes" enough (let alone too much), despite the fact that the tax-base has been cut across the Western world (by NOT taxing the wealth of the wealthy) to the point where NONE of these economies is financially sustainable.

What is the response of the right-wing neanderthals? We need MORE tax-cuts.

Flash back to when (in the eyes of the conservatives) our economies were "over-regulated", and taxes were "too high". That was when we had prosperous economies, a strong Middle Class, and SOLVENT nations.

If you want to destroy an economy; put a "conservative" in charge.

08:07 PM
Jeff Nielson replied to the topic Re: China: The Key To The New World Order in the forums.
Thomas Aquinas wrote:
alt-market.com/articles/2580-china-the-k...-the-new-world-order


T/A, I still see absolutely nothing to persuade me here. There's nothing but innuendo. And it was positively facile to cite a remark from a Chinese official that the AIIB is intended to "compliment" Western banking machinery. What did he think they were going to say?

Frankly, I'm disappointed that Sean as SGT Report chose to be a cheerleader for this interview. If I had conducted the interview; I would have had a few questions for Corbett, such as these:

1) IF China is part of "the New World Order" (which doesn't exist), and partners with Western banksters; why did it ride to Russia's rescue when the SAME Western banksters were trying to destroy its economy? Why didn't it just stand back and do nothing?

2) Why is China AGGRESSIVELY accumulating gold, if it plans on being part of the SAME anti-gold economic system? (Compare that with Western puppet governments)

3) Why is China encouraging its CITIZENS to aggressively accumulate gold? If you want your citizens to be serfs, you would NEVER encourage them to accumulate the metals of economic liberty?

I could go on and on and on; but you get the picture. Find me someone with rational answers to questions like this, and then I'll begin to seriously consider such perspectives.

All the WESTERN "teammates" behave exactly the same way. So when I see the (supposed) "teammate" in the East behaving in a totally different manner; I don't see a teammate.
07:09 PM
Jeff Nielson replied to the topic Re: Site problems in the forums.
Bignoga wrote:
I don't know if it's just me or for everyone but the latest commentary as well as some forum post are missing since the change over.


You are quite correct, BigNoga.



One full week of content "disappeared". Apparently everything that was posted after our "server" was transferred, but BEFORE our "domain" was transferred has fallen into limbo -- but should be retrievable.

That ate up most of today for me, and I'm just trying to determine if it's safe to publish my newest commentary (already written) prior to the older content being restored. I'm really hoping to have things back to normal tomorrow.
06:35 PM
I made my congressional calls this morning to lobby against the secretive "fast track" authority to ram the TPP through congress. The TPP is clearly a major step towards strengthening the military-industrial-banking-petroleum complex's control of the world's resources, including labor. I believe that likely Jeff would use the term the One Bank in here somewhere.

The "trade deal" itself is despicable, but in addition, in functional terms, it is a classified project, the details of which are shrouded in secrecy. Think about that. A so called trade deal, something that is about public commerce, is classified as if it were a military project. That should make any thinking person suspicious. When congress finally votes on it, it will be sprung on them with no time for them to read it or hear from their constituencies, thus "fast track authority" is being advocated by the President to get it passed as quickly and easily as possible -- before anyone has time to think or object and before they even know to what they might be objecting. I am not a right winger by any means, but this, on the surface at least, looks like a major step towards what might be described as "one world government," although it seems to me that the governing entity in this case would actually be what Jeff terms the One Bank, a very private entity, not public or democratically governed at all.

If I look at this situation through a distortion filter in my mind, I find it amusing in a twisted sort of way. I think, "Really? In a democracy, full disclosure of the details of what congress is being asked to vote on is in some way a radical act? Secrecy and "fast track authority" are acceptable? Seriously? The fact that governance in the United States and perhaps other parts of the world have come to this is a reflection of how degraded and corrupt our governments, particularly those governments being used as agents by corporate robber barons to do their bidding in the formation and execution of the TPP, have become. An expectation of transparency is a radical demand, something for which I have to lobby my congressperson and Senators, and a set of policies designed to enrich corporate entities even further at the expense of actual people (as opposed to corporate paper "people") is presented by the so called "leader of the free world" as being somehow good for them, something that will raise their standard of living.

Democracy Now recently aired a segment that I thought did a good job of outlining the TPP. Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida was featured in the segment. I found these two quotes from Congressman Grayson in connection to the TPP particularly chilling:

"Now, I’m the first member of Congress to actually see any part of the TPP, even though 600 corporate lobbyists are, quote, "advisers" to the trade representative and they get to see everything. And I insisted they take that information to my office, and in return they told me I couldn’t take it with me, I couldn’t take it home, I couldn’t make notes on it, I couldn’t have my staff present. And here’s the kicker: They didn’t want me to discuss it with the media, the public or even other members of Congress. So it’s a farce. And it’s meant specifically to keep the information away from the American people, because if the American people knew what was going on, they’d recognize that it’s a punch to the face of the middle class in America."

Later in the segment, he goes on to say:

"Well, one of the sad and disturbing elements of this whole process has been the artificial secrecy that’s been imposed by the administration and by the trade representative on these dealings. I can’t think of any other occasion, when I’ve served in Congress, when I’ve seen the element of deception loom so large here. The public is better informed of Iraqi attacks on ISIS, which you’d think would be classified, than it is informed on a trade deal that’s going to determine our economic future for the next 20 years. What’s happened is that, right at the beginning, the trade representative took the absurd position that everything that was being negotiated was classified, even though it was directly in the hands of the foreign governments with whom he was negotiating. Remember, normally, we have a classified system to keep information away from our enemies, or at least other governments. In this case, it was the other governments that had the information, and it was Congress and the American people who were being denied the information. And they took that position for five years, even though 100 members of Congress wrote a letter to the trade representative saying, "Cut this out."

From the 04/16/2015 broadcast of Democracy Now:

www.democracynow.org/2015/4/16/a_corpora..._horse_critics_decry

www.democracynow.org/2015/4/16/grayson_on_money_politics_if_we
01:05 AM
6 days ago
Earl created a new topic Lured by low wages and trade deals (NAFTA/TPP ?) in the forums.
To the Community,

This was a article I read in our daily "big" city paper. I thought of the big NAFTA presidential debates (Ross Perot, Bill Clinton and Bush Sr).

Then, I thought of the looming TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) and how that "debate" hasn't really seen the light of day like NAFTA did.

I was just open to some observations and views on the subject.

I appreciate any and all feedback-

Thank You
Earl


Lured by low wages and trade deals, automakers accelerate factory investments, jobs in Mexico

www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/20...s-and-jobs-to-mexico

By TOM KRISHER and CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN, Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — Mexico has become the most attractive place in North America to build new automobile factories, a shift that has siphoned jobs from the U.S. and Canada, yet helped keep car and truck prices in check for consumers.

In the past two years, eight automakers have opened or announced new plants or expansions in Mexico. Just last week, Toyota announced a new plant in Guanajuato to build the popular Corolla, work now done in Canada, while Ford unveiled plans for Mexican engine and transmission factories.

Low labor costs and fewer tariffs are the swing factors. A worker in Mexico costs car companies an average of $8 an hour, including wages and benefits. That compares with $58 in the U.S. for General Motors and $38 at Volkswagen's factory in Tennessee, the lowest hourly cost in the U.S., according to the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think tank in Ann Arbor, Michigan. German auto workers cost about $52 an hour.

Mexico also trumps the U.S. on free trade. It has agreements with 45 countries, meaning low tariffs for exporting globally. That, along with low labor costs, convinced Audi to build an SUV factory in the state of Puebla. The German automaker will save $6,000 per vehicle in tariffs when it ships a Q5 to Europe, compared with building the same vehicle in the U.S., says Sean McAlinden, chief economist at CAR.

Audi also sells the Q5 in the U.S., where tariffs on cars built in Mexico were dropped under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The cost savings also should allow automakers to add expensive fuel-saving features to meet stricter U.S. government gas mileage requirements without raising car prices. Two-thirds of cars made in Mexico are shipped to the U.S.

While Mexico's auto industry booms and workers welcome the above-average wages, they are speaking out more loudly about working conditions.

Mexican auto production more than doubled in the past 10 years. The consulting firm IHS Automotive expects it to rise another 50 percent to just under 5 million by 2022. U.S. production is expected to increase only 3 percent, to 12.2 million vehicles, in the next 7 years.

Automakers now have 18 factories in Mexico, many built in the past 10 years. In four years, five more will be built, moving the country from the world's seventh-biggest auto producer to fifth.

The shift means jobs that could have gone to the U.S. or Canada went south. The number of auto-making jobs in Mexico has risen almost 40 percent since 2008, from 490,000 to 675,000 last year, according to government and industry statistics. During the same period, U.S. auto manufacturing employment grew 15 percent to nearly 903,000.

Toyota's new plant will create 2,000 new jobs, while Ford's $2.5 billion investment will add 3,800 jobs.

For Mexican workers, the plants "originally appear like marvelous places because you can earn a salary in exchange for good work," says Huberto Juarez, a professor at the Center for the Study of Economic and Social Development at the Autonomous University of Puebla.

Some Japanese automaker plants start workers at 90 to 150 pesos per day, or $6 to $10, Juarez says. Others, such as Volkswagen, have paid more than double that. Juarez says Mexico's auto-making wages are now below China, but better than Mexico's minimum wage of $4.50 per day.

There is pressure to improve working conditions at Mexican factories. Last week, three former Mazda factory workers publicly complained of injuries and of being worked longer than legally allowed. A union official announced protests in support.

Even so, Juarez says workers probably will stay put. "The big threat is always going to be unemployment. That's why they stay. Because you leave there and where are you going to go?"

Initially, automakers with Mexican factories faced quality problems due to an unskilled work force. But companies with longtime factories in Mexico, such as Ford and Nissan, have resolved those issues, according to McAlinden.

Note under PHOTO (not transferred over)-

FILE - In this July 31, 2012, file photo, an employee works on a Passat sedan at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. Lured by low wages and tax-saving free trade agreements, auto companies from the U.S. and overseas are accelerating plans to build new factories and add jobs in Mexico. The moves, part of a decade-long trend, are luring investments and work that could have gone to the U.S. and Canada, according to experts. But they also are likely to keep car and truck prices in check even as automakers add expensive fuel-saving features to meet U.S. gas mileage requirements. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, File)
06:17 PM
Earl created a new topic Police Culture in Baltimore in the forums.

A look at recent history of Baltimore police in-custody deaths


www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/balti...-20150422-story.html

Before the recent death of Freddie Gray garnered national attention, other in-custody deaths raised concerns over police use of force by the community.

•In February, Trayvon Scott, 30, died after showing distress while in a holding cell at the Northern District police station in February 14, 2015. Police said no force was used in Scott's death.

•George V. King, 19, died in May 2014 a week after he struggled with two city police officers who repeatedly struck him with a Taser while he was a patient at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. The officers were not criminally charged.

•George V. King, 19, died in May 2014 a week after he struggled with two city police officers who repeatedly struck him with a Taser while he was a patient at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. The officers were not criminally charged.

•The death of Tyrone West, who was killed in 2013 after a traffic stop lead to protests. Police say he struggled during an arrest. An autopsy showed that he died of a heart condition exacerbated by the struggle and warm weather. Officers were cleared of any wrongdoing.

•In September 2012, Anthony Anderson, 46, died of internal injuries when Baltimore police officers tackled him after they say they witnessed a drug deal. The state medical examiner's office said the death was a homicide caused by blunt force trauma. But the state's attorney declined to bring charges, ruling that the officers did not use excessive force and followed police guidelines.

Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union reported that 109 people died after encounters with police in Maryland between 2010 and 2014. Baltimore had the highest number, with 31 people who died after encounters with police.

The ACLU report also found that statewide, nearly 70 percent of were black, and more than 40 percent of the people were unarmed.


An investigation by The Baltimore Sun found that the city has paid $5.7 million in court judgments and settlements in 102 civil suits alleging police misconduct since 2011.

Baltimore police have created a "Force Investigation Team," which replaced the homicide unit as the primary investigators of high-profile cases that involve use of force by officers. The department has posted a log of its investigations online

The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a wide-ranging review of the department, including allegations of brutality. On Tuesday, officials with the Justice Department's announced that it would open a criminal investigation into Gray's death.



The Brutality of Police Culture in Baltimore

www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/201...in-baltimore/391158/

In Baltimore, where 25-year-old Freddie Gray died shortly after being taken into police custody, an investigation may uncover homicidal misconduct by law enforcement, as happened in the North Charleston, South Carolina, killing of Walter Scott. Or the facts may confound the darkest suspicions of protestors, as when the Department of Justice released its report on the killing of Michael Brown.

What's crucial to understand, as Baltimore residents take to the streets in long-simmering frustration, is that their general grievances are valid regardless of how this case plays out. For as in Ferguson, where residents suffered through years of misconduct so egregious that most Americans could scarcely conceive of what was going on, the people of Baltimore are policed by an entity that perpetrates stunning abuses. The difference is that this time we needn't wait for a DOJ report to tell us so. Harrowing evidence has been presented. Yet America hasn't looked.

I include myself.

Despite actively reading and commenting on police misconduct for many years, I was unaware until yesterday that the Baltimore Sun published a searing 2014 article documenting recent abuses that are national scandals in their own rights.

A grandmother's bones were broken. A pregnant woman was violently thrown to the ground. Millions of dollars were paid out to numerous victims of police brutality.

And almost none of us noticed!

So I join all who say that protests in Baltimore should remain peaceful, and I will continue to withhold judgment about Gray's death until more facts are known.

But I also insist that Baltimore protests are appropriate regardless of what happened to Freddie Gray, as is more federal scrutiny and intervention. Although much was rightly made of Ferguson's racially unrepresentative local leadership, the presence of a black mayor and a diverse city council has not solved Baltimore's police problem, partly because the DOJ responded to revelations of epidemic brutality with less than the full-scale civil rights probe that some residents requested and because Maryland pols have thwarted reform bills urged by city leaders.

There are so many good reasons for locals to be outraged.

The Baltimore Sun's article shows why in detail. And a few choice excerpts are the best beginning in this attempt to contextualize the ongoing protests within recent history.

Let's start with the money.

$5.7 million is the amount the city paid to victims of brutality between 2011 and 2014. And as huge as that figure is, the more staggering number in the article is this one: "Over the past four years, more than 100 people have won court judgments or settlements related to allegations of brutality and civil-rights violations." What tiny percentage of the unjustly beaten win formal legal judgments?

If you're imagining that they were all men in their twenties, think again:

Victims include a 15-year-old boy riding a dirt bike, a 26-year-old pregnant accountant who had witnessed a beating, a 50-year-old woman selling church raffle tickets, a 65-year-old church deacon rolling a cigarette and an 87-year-old grandmother aiding her wounded grandson. Those cases detail a frightful human toll. Officers have battered dozens of residents who suffered broken bones — jaws, noses, arms, legs, ankles — head trauma, organ failure, and even death, coming during questionable arrests. Some residents were beaten while handcuffed; others were thrown to the pavement.

The 87-year-old grandmother was named Venus Green. A former teacher with two college degrees, she spent her retirement years as a foster parent for needy children. She was on her porch one day when her grandson ran up crying for an ambulance.

He'd been shot.

The article goes on to tell her story from a legal document in her successful lawsuit:

Paramedics and police responded to the emergency call, but the white officer became hostile. “What happened? Who shot you?” Green recalled the officer saying to her grandson, according to an 11-page letter in which she detailed the incident for her lawyer. Excerpts from the letter were included in her lawsuit. “You’re lying. You know you were shot inside that house. We ain’t going to help you because you are lying.”

“Mister, he isn’t lying,” replied Green, who had no criminal record. “He came from down that way running, calling me to call the ambulance.”

The officer, who is not identified in the lawsuit, wanted to go into the basement, but Green demanded a warrant. Her grandson kept two dogs downstairs and she feared they would attack. The officer unhooked the lock, but Green latched it. He shoved Green against the wall.

She hit the wooden floor. “Bitch, you ain’t no better than any of the other old black bitches I have locked up,” Green recalled the officer saying as he stood over her. “He pulled me up, pushed me in the dining room over the couch, put his knees in my back, twisted my arms and wrist and put handcuffs on my hands and threw me face down on the couch.”

After pulling Green to her feet, the officer told her she was under arrest. Green complained of pain. “My neck and shoulder are hurting,” Green told him. “Please take these handcuffs off.” An African-American officer then walked in the house, saw her sobbing and asked that the handcuffs be removed since Green wasn’t violent. The cuffs came off, and Green didn’t face any charges. But a broken shoulder tormented her for months.


When pondering the fact that Baltimore paid out $5.7 million in brutality settlements over four years, consider that the payout in this case was just $95,000. (For the story of the pregnant woman and many others, the full article is here.)

Lest anyone imagine that this investigation was the only tipoff of egregious misconduct among Baltimore police, more context is useful. The period covered in the brutality investigation came immediately after the FBI caught 51 Baltimore police officers in a scheme that resulted in at least 12 extortion convictions.

Shortly after the investigation was published this happened on a Baltimore street:



This year a detective who retired from the police force last year demonstrated a violent streak—he allegedly took part in a motorcycle-club brawl that left a man hospitalized. Also in 2014, "a city police officer was charged with felony assault after he stormed into a home in full uniform Monday and threatened to kill his wife with his service weapon." And Baltimore police tased a hospitalized meningitis patient 5 times in the course of ten minutes. He died soon after. Prosecutors did not file charges.

Another cop was charged with an assault on a 14-year-old boy.

Even animals couldn't escape the brutality of the Baltimore police last year. In July, "Officer Thomas Schmidt, a 24-year veteran assigned to the Emergency Services unit, was placed on paid administrative leave after police say he held down a Shar-Pei while a fellow officer, Jeffrey Bolger, slit the dog's throat." A month later, a Baltimore police officer plead guilty "to a felony animal cruelty charge after he fatally beat and choked his girlfriend's Jack Russell terrier," an August 5 article noted. The very same year, even one of Baltimore's good cops couldn't escape the horror show of dead animals: "Four investigators from agencies outside Baltimore are working to determine who left a dead rat on the car windshield of an officer who was cooperating with prosecutors on a police brutality case."

What about the prior year?

There was a murder-suicide, with a policeman killing a firefighter, his girlfriend, and himself. There was a different officer who killed himself in jail after being charged with killing his fiancée. In yet another case, "Abdul Salaam, 36, says he was beaten in July 2013 after a traffic stop by officers Nicholas Chapman and Jorge Bernardez-Ruiz and that he never got a response to his complaint filed with internal affairs," The Sun reported. "Those officers would be implicated less than three weeks later in the death of 44-year-old Tyrone West while he was in police custody." Also in 2013, a jury acquitted an off-duty police officer on manslaughter charges after he chased down and killed a 17-year-old boy who may or may not have thrown a rock that thumped harmlessly into his front door. And that's not even getting into serious corruption that wasn't brutality.

I could go on, but I've long since started to skim past stories like "Baltimore police officer pimps out his own wife" and thinking, meh, I've seen worse from cops there. The cop who shot himself and lied about it to get worker's comp benefits? Meh, at least he didn't shoot someone else and then lie about what happened. There is just a staggering level of dysfunction in the department, and residents of Baltimore, a city that could use a professional crime-fighting force if ever there was one, have suffered under it year after year after year. Pick one. (Take 2008! A Baltimore cop shot a man twice in the back. He was acquitted, too.)

There is so much I haven't included (example), and I've just trawled through the archives of The Baltimore Sun for a two-year period. They cover most police-involved deaths, but no newspaper covers more than a minuscule subset of use-of-force incidents.

So no wonder protestors are out in Baltimore after this latest death.

No wonder that a meeting on police brutality this week had to be moved to a bigger venue because so many Baltimore residents are concerned enough to come out in person. "Dozens of residents—most of them black—inundated federal officials with their assertions that city police have been brutalizing residents with impunity," a just-published Baltimore Sun article reports. It includes a quote from a 35-year-old who asked the feds, "When are you all going to help us?"
05:51 PM
Jeff Nielson created a new topic Site problems in the forums.
My apologies!

We had some more "transferring" to do, this time involving our domain, and that turned into another multi-day mess. However, I think it's now safe to say that all of the "transferring" is done, and there should NOT be any more major snafu's like these last two.

There may still be occasional problems in the future (just like we had occasional problems in the past), but such "issues" should be a question of hours -- not days.

03:49 PM
2 weeks ago
Earl created a new topic EPA to Allow Consumption of Fracking Wastewater in the forums.
To the Community,

There's always a cry for less regulation, less government interference. To end the "alphabet soup of agencies", end the EPA.

IF one could get "Civil" justice.

I use to be on that Libertarian wagon of "less is best" when it came to Government regulations. But either way, it just never works. There's no "civil" justice in Fascism. Whether it's rigged interest rates that rob every city, county, state, of taxpayers money financing public schools, nursing homes and hospitals. To the billions of dollars tax payers pay to clean up after big sugar in the Florida Everglades, to the Big Oil "disaster" in the Gulf of Mexico.

The penalty never fits the crime. Simple "cost of doing business" and the crime is done over and over again. Pollution, fraud, bribes, lobbyist, etc.

California water restrictions don't apply to "Big Oil".

California Drought: LOTS of water for 'fracking'


Jeff stated-
As some readers already know; California is in the midst of one of the worst droughts on record, and has now begun SEVERE water rationing, for everyone except the farmers and the frackers. Supposedly, Big Agriculture has already taken a hit in terms of its water allowance, and that's why it was spared any further cuts. But for Big Oil (and its environmentally-destructive "fracking"); it's simply "take all you want".

bullionbullscanada.com/bulletin-boards/1...f-water-for-fracking

Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Tea Party doesn't matter. It hasn't mattered for a long time.

Gold bug, Silvertard, Tree hugger...let me quote there exact description of me " the typical knee-jerk, anti-capitalism, tree-worshipping environmentalist."

There will be no civil penalties, no civil justice and no civil respect.

So drink and be merry.

Thank You
Earl

EPA to Allow Consumption of Toxic Fracking Wastewater by Wildlife and Livestock


www.nationofchange.org/epa-allow-consump...livestock-1373811581

Millions of gallons of water laced with toxic chemicals from oil and gas drilling rigs are pumped for consumption by wildlife and livestock with the formal approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to public comments filed yesterday by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Contrary to its own regulations, EPA is issuing permits for surface application of drilling wastewater without even identifying the chemicals in fluids used for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, let alone setting effluent limits for the contaminants contained within them.

The EPA has just posted proposed new water discharge permits for the nearly dozen oil fields on or abutting the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming as the EPA has Clean Water Act jurisdiction on tribal lands. Besides not even listing the array of toxic chemicals being discharged, the proposed permits have monitoring requirements so weak that water can be tested long after fracking events or maintenance flushing. In addition, the permits lack any provisions to protect the health of wildlife or livestock.

“Under the less than watchful eye of the EPA, fracking flowback is dumped into rivers, lakes and reservoirs,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, pointing out that in both the current and the new proposed permits the EPA ignores its own rules requiring that it list “the type and quantity of wastes, fluids or pollutants which are proposed to be or are being treated, stored, disposed of, injected, emitted or discharged.”

“Gushers of putrid, grayish water encrusted with chemical crystals flood through Wind River into nearby streams,” he added.

Surface disposal of water produced by oil and gas drilling is forbidden in the Eastern U.S. but allowed in the arid West for purposes of “agricultural or wildlife propagation,” in the words of the governing federal regulation. Thus, the “produced water,” as it is called, must be “of good enough quality to be used for wildlife or livestock watering or other agricultural uses.”

In the last decade, fracking fluids often consisting of powerfully toxic chemicals have been included in this surface discharge. The exact mixture used by individual operators is treated as a trade secret. But one recent analysis identified 632 chemicals now used in shale-gas production. More than 75 percent of them affect the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems; 40-50 percent impact the kidneys and the nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems; 37 percent act on the hormone system; and 25 percent are linked with cancer or mutations.

“Amid all the controversy on this topic, there is one point of agreement: Drinking fracking fluids is not a good idea,” added Ruch, pointing to cases where cattle drinking creek water contaminated with fracking fluids died or failed to produce calves the following year. “The more than 30-year old ‘produced water’ exception was intended for naturally occurring fluids and muds from within the geologic formations, not this new generation of powerful chemicals introduced downhole.”

PEER is asking the EPA to rewrite the permits to regulate all the chemicals being discharged and to determine whether the “produced water” is potable for wildlife and livestock. The public comments period on the proposed Wind Reservation permits closes on July 26.

----------------------------------------

Josh Fox (born 1972) is an American film director and environmental activist, best known for his Oscar-nominated 2010 documentary, Gasland.

An emergency short film from Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated director of GASLAND addressing the urgent crisis of drilling and fracking in New York state.

For more info/links on "Fracking"-
vimeo.com/44367635



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