Anti Oligarch

"It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled." Mark Twain

By Tom Chatham via Project Chesapeake

Preppers talk about the day when paper currency becomes worthless and how they plan to barter when things fall apart. But, what will most people do when the government check they depend on stops forever more. Over 50% of the people in America now get some kind of government check every month. That is a question that I think many people have not come to grips with yet. At some point, the checks will stop.

Social security and Medicare are running dry fast and it is only a matter of time before they stop paying out in whole or in part. If someone relies on these payments then they likely do not have sufficient money stored away to survive on in the event payments stop.

Not only that, the many other entitlement payments sent out monthly that are keeping the population clothed, fed and housed will stop at some point as well. When that happens we already know what the result will be, especially in the cities. It is inevitable but many people still trust the government line and do not worry about it.

There are those that realize the threat but have not taken any action to mitigate the problems that will result when the fateful day comes. Many hope it will be forestalled for their lifetimes and some hope if they ignore it, it simply will not happen. If government checks stop it will also mean the destruction of retirement plans and savings accounts and if you do not hold it you will not have it.

One of the most vulnerable groups are the babyboomers that are now retiring at the rate of 10,000 per day. If this growing group suddenly loses their monthly check along with most or all of their savings, it is going to put a lot of pressure on society as these people suddenly try to return to the job market to survive.

With the job market shrinking on a daily basis it is now imperative to develop a backup plan to generate some type of income when you can no longer rely on past promises to be honored. If you can store away some real money or valuable items to utilize later that is great but that will not last you forever.

Anyone that survives the coming currency crisis will be someone that planned ahead and had some way to generate income after everything falls apart. If you can generate income to live on, be it money, food, medicine or some other item you need, you will be able to care for yourself for the duration.

That is going to be a critical element in any long range plan you come up with. This means you will need to have the ability to produce something of value that society will need on a daily basis. The first things people seek out are food, shelter and clothing. Having some abilities in one or more of these areas will be the closest thing to guaranteed sales potential that you can get.

Once these needs have been met by society other things will become important such as energy, security, transportation and medicine. Having some abilities in one or more of these areas will insure income for a long time to come as society rebuilds itself.

If you have abilities in a primary need and a secondary need, you will be way ahead of the majority of the people seeking to survive the chaos that follows the loss of jobs and a functional currency.

This plan could be as simple as growing a small garden to have vegetables and seeds to sell. At the same time it would be little trouble to add a few medicinal plants to your plot. You might be able to offer shelter in the form of a spare room or a cottage in your back yard. You could combine this with transportation or security services. In a breakdown of services, energy would be heavily affected. If you had the ability to produce electricity for refrigeration or ice production or the ability to power a vehicle with a wood gas system, you would have a valuable commodity. The ability to make small wood stoves for people without power would give you a large market for this type of appliance.

It is important to think about all of the systems we rely on every day that people take for granted. This will give you a large list of potential goods or services that you may be able to provide after these things become difficult to get. A few dozen chickens producing eggs in your backyard could be the difference between getting by and suffering terribly.

It is also important to think about the support systems you will need to supply the raw materials to produce your goods or services. Chickens need feed. Wood gas producers need a supply of wood. Making wood stoves requires steel. Growing a garden requires not only the knowledge but seeds, tools and fertilizer.

It is important to keep in mind that retirement is a relatively new invention that came about in the 20th century. Until then, people worked until they literally dropped dead. When the current financial system breaks permanently, people will be forced to go back to work and keep doing so until the day they die. That is the reality many people will have to face in the near future. It is a reality that many have not considered and do not want to think about. You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality. When the government checks stop and your savings are gone, what will you do?

Continue reading

The Complete Breakdown Of Every Hillary And Bill Clinton Speech, And Fee, Since 2013

So due to popular demand, we appended to the 2013 speech detail first released last week the full breakdown of Hillary’s and Bill’s 2014 and 2015 speeches which had been provided previously as part of her mandatory disclosure in May of this year.

As Politico cautions, the disclosure omits an unknown number of speeches that the Clintons delivered while directing the payment or honoraria to the Clinton Foundation, despite instructions on the and guidance from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, saying that honoraria directed to a charity should be reported.

Still, as readers will note, even the “modest” data that Hillary chose to share is quite stunning.

We hope it will surprise nobody that the bulk of speeches were bought and paid for by Wall Street and affiliated “financial entities” because that’s what hollow populist pandering is all about – pretending to be an “everyday American” while getting paid tens of millions by Wall Street and America’s biggest corporations.

How many millions?

Since 2013 Bill Clinton has been paid $26.6 million for 94 speeches; Hillary’s grand total is slightly less: $21.7 million for 92 private appearances.

Below we present the full breakdown of every publicly disclosed speech event by Hillary Clinton, together with the associated fee.

And likewise for Bill Clinton:

And a visual way of showing the above data.

Hillary:

Bill:

Source: Hillaryclinton.con and Politco

Bonus footage: sometime in addition to hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeking for 50 minutes, Hillary would also get a shoe as an added bonus:

11 Red Flags As We Enter The Pivotal Month Of August 2015

Red Flags - Public Domain

Are you ready for what is coming in August?  All over America, economic, political and social tensions are building, and the next 30 days could turn out to be pivotal.  In July, we saw things start to turn.  As you will read about below, a major six year trendline for the S&P 500 was finally broken this month, Chinese stocks crashed, commodities crashed, and debt problems started erupting all over the planet.  I fully expect that this next month (August) will be a month of transition as we enter an extremely chaotic time in the fall and winter. 

Things are unfolding in textbook fashion for another major global financial crisis in the months ahead, and yet most people refuse to see what is happening.  In their blind optimism, they want to believe that things will somehow be different this time.  Well, the coming months will definitely reveal who was right and who was wrong.  The following are 11 red flag events that just happened as we enter the pivotal month of August 2015…

#1 Puerto Rico is going to default on a 58 million dollar debt payment that is due on Saturday.  Even though this has serious implications for the U.S. financial system, Barack Obama has said that there will be no bailout for “America’s Greece”.

#2 As James Bailey has pointed out, the most important trendline for the S&P 500 has finally been broken after holding up for six years.  This is a critical technical signal that will likely motivate a significant number of investors to sell off their holdings in the weeks ahead.

#3 The IMF is indicating that it will not take part in the new Greek debt deal.  As a result, the whole thing may completely fall apart

Leaked minutes of the fund’s latest board meeting, which took place on Wednesday, showed staff “cannot reach agreement at this stage” on whether to take part in the new €86bn (£60bn) bailout for Greece. The document said there were doubts over the capacity of the Athens Government to implement economic reforms, as well as the over the sustainability of the country’s sovereign debt pile, which is now projected to hit 200 percent of GDP.

 

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, only sanctioned a new Greek deal earlier this month on the condition that the IMF takes part.

#4 Italy is going down the exact same path as Greece, but Italy is going to be a much larger problem for Europe because it has a far, far larger economy.  This week, we learned that youth unemployment in Italy has reached a 38-year high of 44 percent, and Italy’s debt to GDP ratio has now hit 135 percent.

#5 The Canadian economy has officially entered a new recession.  This is something that was not supposed to happen.

#6 The price of oil plummeted close to 20 percent during the month of July.  It was the worst month for the price of oil that we have seen since October 2008, which just happened to be during the height of the last financial crisis.

#7 Commodities just had their worst month in almost four years.  As I have written about previously, we witnessed a collapse in commodity prices just before the stock market crash of 2008 too.

#8 Thanks to Barack Obama, the U.S. coal industry is imploding, and some of the largest coal producers in the entire country have just announced that they are declaring bankruptcy

On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that the biggest American producer of coking coal, Alpha Natural Resources, could file for bankruptcy as soon as Monday.

 

Competitor Walter Energy filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, and several others have done the same this year.

#9 For the month of July, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 13.4 percent.  Despite unprecedented government intervention to prop up the market, it was the worst month for Chinese stocks since October 2009.

#10 A major red flag that a recession in the United States is fast approaching is the fact that Exxon Mobile just announced their worst earnings for a single quarter since 2009.  Compared to the same time period one year ago, Exxon Mobile’s earnings were down 51 percent.

#11 Chevron is another oil giant that has seen earnings plunge.  In the second quarter of this year, Chevron’s earnings were down an eye-popping 90 percent from a year ago.

And in this list I didn’t even mention the economic chaos that is happening down in South America.  For full coverage of that, please see my previous article entitled “The South American Financial Crisis Of 2015“.

To a certain extent, I can understand why most Americans are not alarmed about the months ahead.  The relative stability of the past several years has lulled most of us into a false sense of security, and the mainstream media is assuring everyone that everything is going to be just fine and that brighter days are ahead.  At this point, many believe that it is patently absurd to suggest that we could see an economic collapse in 2015.  But of course even though the signs were glaringly apparent, very few of us anticipated the financial crisis of 2008 either.

A few weeks ago, I authored a piece entitled “The Last Days Of ‘Normal Life’ In America“, and I stand by every single word of that article.  I truly believe that the era of debt-fueled prosperity that we have been enjoying for so long is coming to an end, and our standard of living will never again get back to this level.

Just yesterday, I had the chance to go over and stock up on some emergency supplies at a dollar store.  It always astounds me what you can still buy for a dollar.  The combined cost of raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, shipping and retailing most of these items shouldn’t be less than a dollar, but thanks to having the reserve currency of the world we are still able to go to these big box stores and fill up our carts with lots and lots of extremely inexpensive merchandise.

Unfortunately, this massively inflated standard of living is going to come crashing to a halt.  This next financial crisis is going to destroy the system that is currently producing such comfortable lifestyles for the vast majority of us, and that will be an extremely painful experience.

So enjoy this summer for as long as it lasts.  Even though August threatens to be pivotal, it is going to be nothing compared to what will follow.

Fall and winter are coming.

Prepare while there is still time to do so.

Source: ZeroHedge.com

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Continue reading

Zoe Konstantopoulou’s speech in the Greek Parliament on 22 July 2015: The complete subordination of a democratic country to the will and demands of other governments is not an agreement

Admittedly the politically and personally painful moments which we have experienced in parliament during this term are multiplying.

In my capacity as Speaker of the House, I sent a letter to the President of the Republic, Mr. Prokopis Pavlopoulos and to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (see in French :http://cadtm.org/Lettre-de-Zoe-Konstantopoulou-Le), noting that it is my institutional responsibility to emphasize and underline that the conditions this bill is being introduced under allow no guarantees of compliance with the constitution, no protection of the democratic process or the exercise of legislative power of parliament, nor a conscientious vote by members of parliament (see post-scriptum in http://cadtm.org/Greece-The-Consequences-of-the). Those conditions are blatant blackmail by foreign governments of European Union member States on this government and on the members of parliament. The legal measures are introduced without any possibility of amendment by the parliament as was acknowledged by the Justice Minister, whom I honor and respect deeply, as he knows; their implementation would result in a major intervention in the functioning of justice and the exercise of the fundamental rights of the citizens, tearing down both the functioning of Greek democracy as a social state under the rule of law in which there is a separation of powers according to the Constitution, as well as the preservation of the principle of fair trial.

Ministers are being coerced into introducing legal measures whose contents they do not agree with, but which they are directly opposed to, in this respect the statement by the Justice Minister was telling, and members of parliament are being coerced into voting them, while they too are opposed to their contents, and in this respect every statement by members of parliament in the two parliamentary groups which make up the parliamentary majority was also telling.

All this is happening under the direct threat of a disorderly default and reveal that, in truth, this bill which foreign governments and not the Greek government have chosen as a prerequisite, is an attempt at the completion of a dissolution, since this bill contains a major intervention into the third independent function, which is justice. This bill attempts to undermine the functioning of justice and is lifting basic guarantees to a fair trial and basic and fundamental rights of citizens.

I consider it my institutional duty to react as Speaker of the House as well and to ask my counterparts in all the parliaments of the member States of the European Union, as I have done in the past and as I did in my letter to the President of the European Parliament (see http://cadtm.org/Letter-Addressed-to-President-of ), to react and to take a stand against this dissolution.

Likewise in my letter to the President and the Prime Minister, which I am going to enter in the minutes, I have asked them to formally inform their counterparts of the coercive and forceful conditions under which this vote has occurred.

Minister, I am addressing you in my capacity of the previous parliamentary term. I have addressed you before in this capacity, when I congratulated you for the bills you introduced and especially for your pioneering legislation on the prison system. I am addressing you from the capacity with which I was honored by the parliamentary group of SYRIZA and the current Prime Minister, then opposition leader Mr. Alexis Tsipras, the capacity of the head of the SYRIZA parliamentary group for transparency, justice and human rights and from this capacity I tell you that it is evident that no one in the parliamentary group of SYRIZA endorses the provisions of this bill because the parliamentary group of SYRIZA during the previous period as well, had expressly objected to and strongly opposed this same law, which ironically, is being introduced in an identical form, as it had been introduced by your predecessor Mr Athanassiou, and is being accelerated in a shocking way by the creditors in order to put the nail in the coffin of one more expression of democracy.

Because just like they have attempted to turn the NO of the Greek people into a YES in both the communiqué of the Euro Summit as well as in the previous law introduced here again through emergency procedures last Wednesday, so they are attempting to convert the 93.12% NO of lawyers as recorded in a nationwide referendum for the first time in early December 2014, into a YES.

These deprecating moves against democratic expression are entirely symbolic on the level of a referendum of lawyers and on the level of a nationwide referendum of citizens so that there is no doubt that the message which is being sent by the creditors is that democratic processes are futile, that direct democracy as expressed by citizens or professionals (lawyers, in this case), is irrelevant.
This is a poisonous message for European societies, it is a message that the left and SYRIZA must not allow to be either sent or circulated.

It is clear that what is being attempted is the obliteration of both the government and the parliamentary groups that support it, through blackmail. It is clear that what is being directly questioned is democracy in our country. What is asked of us, what is asked of me, Minister, by the creditors is, in reality, to issue, if I could, a seal that would say, “Greek Parliament” and hand it over to them in order to validate their diktats.

It is not acceptable that after SYRIZA and the committee for justice, rights and transparency struggled so fiercely against the undemocratic manipulation of the 800 pages in the article that was the measures of November 2012, the government be forced by blackmail and humiliation (that is the intention) to now introduce 977 pages, in two articles, one of which contains 1008 articles of the Civil Procedure code and the other 130 articles incorporating a European directive, many of which are 2 and 3 pages long. The government of the left cannot be forced to introduce such abbreviated and condensed, urgent articles, with suffocating deadlines, articles it has consistently denounced in the past.

Minister, I know that by addressing you I am knocking on an open door, because you have consistently fought against such regulations, you have consistently expressed and thoroughly analyzed
all the reasons why this code should have been withdrawn in 2014, and indeed was withdrawn, and that was a great victory not only for the lawyers who put up a struggle in defense of citizens but it was also a huge victory for the citizens’ movements, for all those bodies which were mobilized and it certainly was a huge victory for the main opposition party of the previous period and the opposition as a whole.

This is the victory they want to turn into defeat and destruction in order to once again send the message that we must legislate through fear. Mr Juncker said it today, shamelessly: “fear,” he said, “has led to the agreement”; and is it ever possible for this to be accepted and tolerated in a European Union, which has as its statutory principle the welfare of peoples and societies, the protection of rights and the shielding of democracy?

Minister, the NO of the lawyers on the 2nd and 3d December 2014 meant and still means NO to fast-track foreclosures, NO to auctions and forced expulsions, NO to mock trials on paper to prevent the hearing from proceeding, NO to the further degradation of justice, which is a pillar of democracy, it means NO to a further undermining of the constitutional rights of citizens.

When in the summer of 2014 Mr. Hardouvelis brazenly undertook the obligation to compensate for any consequences of judicial rulings which would annul memorandum provisions, the then opposition, the justice committee and the department of justice of SYRIZA were the first to step forward and say this could not be tolerated. Yet it is that very same bill that is being forced through with blackmail. So it would be good for my colleagues and comrades, whom I honor without exception, not to forget their own commitments and speak of an agreement. Coercion is not an agreement, blackmail is not an agreement, the aim to force the complete subordination of a democratic country to the will and demands of other governments and other countries, is not an agreement.

And we must not forget our commitments because at some point we might forget everything and we might begin referring to the content of this bill as if it was our own. It is not our own, it is not the wish and the will of the government. This is also made evident, Minister, by the fact that you have set up a special committee to examine another draft code of Civil Procedure.

And it is not even the wish of members of parliament, who will vote in favor and belong to parliamentary groups supporting the government. It is not their wish to apply these inhumane measures, which leave citizens (borrowers especially) completely defenceless in front of the banks (see post-scriptum in http://cadtm.org/Greece-The-Consequences-of-the ).

Minister, you know it, but perhaps citizens do not know this well, that the head of the committee that drafted this code was Mr Chamilothoris, who was responsible for the monstrous memorandum law 4055 of 2012, which has been collectively denounced not only by bodies but also by lawyers and representatives of the judiciary and which SYRIZA has pledged to repeal but also, that members of the drafting committee of this legislation which is now being accelerated are legal advisors of the banks. That is who the members of the legislative drafting committee that was formed by the memorandum governments are and there should be no doubt that the objective served is precisely, once more, to hand over of the property of the citizens to the banks, that is the servicing of the banks and the bankers at the expense of citizens.

We must not open the door to allow this objective to be implemented, an objective promoted by the adoption today of this Code of Civil Procedure and here I would ask you specifically and my colleagues who are lawyers, to speak frankly; passing legislation is not a trivial thing, it is not a temporary thing and not a joke. This framework is becoming State law for the first time and indeed, in the form of a code. It is becoming State law that the Greek State is giving way to the banks and ranks after the banks in auction procedures. It is becoming State law that workers give way to the banks and rank after the banks at auctions. It is not enough to say that we vote now and will make sure they will not be applied. When we attempt to stop them from being applied, they will tell us, “but you voted for it”; moreover we know that we ourselves will not be in office permanently, whatever our present position.

This is a piece of legislation that goes into force on 01/01/2016. That proves both that there is no urgency and that it can be discussed under normal conditions but also it raises major concerns in relation to the future aspirations and achievements of those who seek to overthrow this government and to humiliate the political forces that support it, and to prevent them (us) from standing tall in the minds of citizens and of society.

Colleagues, as a member of parliament for SYRIZA I could never vote for this bill; as one formerly in charge of the committee for the control of parliamentary work in issues of justice, transparency and human rights of the Parliamentary Group of SYRIZA, from which position I fought for three years to stop the memoranda attack on justice and civil rights but also the memoranda orgy of corruption and vested interests, I could never vote for this bill; as a lawyer, I could never vote for this bill and as Speaker of the House, I could never legalize procedures which will make Parliament merely decorative, which waive the guarantee function of Parliament, circumventing the conscience of parliamentarians and ultimately discarding democracy. Thank you.

Translated by Zoe Mavroudi and CADTM.

Source: Cadtm.org
25 July by Zoe Konstantopoulou

Author

Zoe Konstantopoulou Greek human rights lawyer and politician of the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza). On 27 January 2015 she was nominated Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament. She was elected to the post on 6 February 2015 with the record number of 235 out of 300 votes

Other articles in English by Zoe Konstantopoulou (6)

Continue reading

Greek debt audit – Definition of terms

Cephas Lumina

The mandate of the Truth Committee on Public Debt is to examine the nature and extent of the country’s public debt, as well as the processes relating to the contracting and/or accumulation of the debt and the impact of the cuts or changes in the provision of public services, programmes and benefits by the Government on the human rights and well-being of all people living in Greece, in order to identify what share of the debt can be considered as illegitimate, illegal, odious or unsustainable and thus unpayable. In this context, it was important that the Committee should have a shared understanding of these terms. To this end, the Committee created a small working group to propose definitions of the terms which would inform its work.

The working group reviewed the various definitions of the terms as used by various scholars, debt relief campaigners and others and proposed some definitions which were subsequently discussed and adopted by the Committee. These definitions, which provided the framework for the assessment of the debt undertaken by the Committee over the last month or so, are the following:

“Illegitimate debt”

Debt that the borrower cannot be required to repay because the loan, security or guarantee, or the terms and conditions attached to that loan, security or guarantee infringed the law (both national and international) or public policy, or because such terms or conditions were grossly unfair, unreasonable, unconscionable or otherwise objectionable, or because the conditions attached to the loan, security or guarantee included policy prescriptions that violate national laws or human rights standards, or because the loan, security or guarantee was not used for the benefit of the population or the debt was converted from private (commercial) to public debt under pressure to bailout creditors.

“Illegal debt”

Debt in respect of which proper legal procedures (including those relating to authority to sign loans or approval of loans, securities or guarantees by the representative branch or branches of Government of the borrower State) were not followed, or which involved clear misconduct by the lender (including bribery, coercion and undue influence), as well as debt contracted in violation of domestic and international law or had conditions attached thereto that contravened the law or public policy..

“Odious debt”

Debt, which the lender knew or ought to have known, was incurred in violation of democratic principles (including consent, participation, transparency and accountability), and used against the best interests of the population of the borrower State, or is unconscionable and whose effect is to deny people their fundamental civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

“Unsustainable debt”

Debt that cannot be serviced without seriously impairing the ability or capacity of the Government of the borrower State to fulfil its basic human rights obligations, such as those relating to healthcare, education, water and sanitation and adequate housing, or to invest in public infrastructure and programmes necessary for economic and social development, or without harmful consequences for the population of the borrower State (including a deterioration in the living standards). Such debt is payable but its payment ought to be suspended in order to allow the state to fulfil its human rights commitments.


In closing, I would like to underscore three points:

First, there are historical precedents for invocation of one or more of these principles to relieve a country of the burden of repaying debts incurred in questionable circumstances. For example, after the Spanish-American War of 1898, the United States contended that neither Cuba nor the United States should be held responsible for the debt incurred by the Spanish colonial government in Cuba if it had been contracted without the consent of the Cuban people and had been not been used for their benefit. Although Spain never accepted this argument, it assumed responsibility for the Cuban debt under the Treaty of Paris signed between the United States and Spain on 10 December 1898. In the Tinoco Arbitration of 1923, the arbitrator (United States Supreme Court Chief Justice William Taft) ruled that credits knowingly extended to a country for a dictator who used the money for his personal purposes should not be recoverable. More recently, the odious debt doctrine has been invoked to support calls for debt cancellation in Rwanda, Iraq and Nigeria.


Second, the need to uphold social and economic justice is central
to all of these definitions. In this regard, it should be recalled that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that “[e]veryone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment … or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control” (Article 25) and that “[e]veryone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in (the) Declaration can be fully realized” (Article 28). In my view, the lack of transparency and accountability in lending and borrowing decisions makes it difficult for States to establish the conditions within which these ideals can be fully realized.


Third, the definitions employed by the Committee should be seen as an essential element of the quest for an equitable and enduring solution to the debt problem
that is consistent with the broadly accepted principle of the shared responsibility of creditors and debtors for preventing and resolving unsustainable debt situations.

Continue reading

Tragedy and absurdity. The current situation leads to the extinction of the Greek people.

 David Knight explains why forced loans will result in the destruction of Greece.

Junker’s ‘black-book’: Tanks on the streets of Athens, if Grexit happens says EU source

Turkish Tanks

Greek newspaper ‘Kathimerini’ reveals that the dreaded Grexit plan is sealed in a vault in the European Commission building in an special safety room, near President Jean-Claude Juncker’s office.

According to the Greek newspaper, the Grexit plan was drafted within a month by a 15-member European Commission task force and it outlines all possible outcomes and implications of a Grexit, including Greece leaving the European Union and the Schengen common border Treaty.

One of the members that worked on authoring the plan was devastated at the details it involved and he reportedly said that if the plan was to be implemented after Greece left the Eurozone “tanks would be heard on the streets of Athens”.

The article says the writing up of the plan started at the end of June, when the 2nd Greek bailout program ended, but the procedure was expedited after the referendum was announced by Greek PM Alexis Tsipras. Sources say this was the plan presented to Alexis Tsipras before the EU-19 Summit by an infuriated Juncker.

Read more: ProtoThema

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 146 other followers

%d bloggers like this: