Tuesday, October 02, 2007

[army anubis] tut and the boys are here

A giant statue of the ancient Egyptian god of the dead floated down the Thames on Monday, turning heads as it crossed under London's Tower Bridge. King Tut is here too and Rachel Weiss is vindicated. The Mummy is about to arise and Burnam Wood will come to Dunsinane.

Signs and wonders and the oracle is to be consulted.

[blackwater] prince erik in deep water

I'm in the wrong game:

"To the extent there was loss of innocent life, let me be clear that I consider that tragic. Every life, whether American or Iraqi, is precious," Prince says in his statement. But he adds that "based on everything we currently know, the Blackwater team acted appropriately while operating in a very complex war zone on Sept. 16."

Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL officer, founded Blackwater in 1997. Its business skyrocketed after al Qaeda's 2001 attacks on New York and Washington and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan, where the U.S. government hired it to provide security in hostile areas.

Now why can't I get into something like this? Stir up some trouble and finance a terrorist gang, then secure the contract to pursue them and wipe them out? Ah defence contracts - I'm dreaming of you. Blackwater, Whitewater, who cares? It's all money.

Just in case you didn't quite get that:

Aмериканская охранная компания не обеспечила своим работникам надлежащей защиты и поддержки. В частности, Blackwater отправила их в Ирак до того, как вступил в силу их контракт, и проигнорировала предупрежения об опасности пребывания в Фаллудже, которая была центром иракского сопротивления. Кроме того, погибших не снабдили необходимым оружием и бронированным транспортным средством, а в группе было меньше человек, чем положено.

[lonely planet] you've a friend at the bbc

You saw this? So now you need never be anywhere in the world without the BBC world view right beside you.

[banking 101] the role of the fed in and out of the u.s.a.

David Farrer sent me an article from Liberty, October 2004, Volume 18, Number 10 - Bill Woolsey, teacher of economics at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C.

It is designed to debunk "conspiracy theories" about the Fed. Here is what the article says and note that any brackets or …s are grammatical - they do not exclude any information:

"Isn't it true that the Federal Reserve is privately owned?" I agreed that it was, "kind of."

According to the Atlanta Federal Reserve bank, "They were to be quasi-private bankers' banks, owned by the member banks, which would buy all the stock of the Reserve Banks and receive dividends for it."

Mishkin explains, "Each of the Federal Reserve banks is a quasi-public (part private, part government) institution owned by the private commercial banks in the district that are members of the Federal Reserve system."

In the 1982 case, Lewis v. United States (see "The Lewis Decision"), the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals opined, "Federal reserve banks are not federal instrumentalities for purposes of a Federal Torts Claims Act, but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations."

On the other hand, the opinion notes, "The Reserve Banks have properly been held to be federal instrumentalities for some purposes."

My note: Those purposes are, of course, to fulfil their charters by the the govenment of the United States.

All member banks are U.S. chartered banks — chartered by the federal government as national banks, or by one of the states. However, the stockholders of the various banks can be U.S. citizens or foreigners. So, private investors, including foreigners, own the member banks which in turn seem to own Federal Reserve banks.

Aside from the transactions with their Federal Reserve banks to maintain the 3% ratio to capital, the member banks cannot buy additional shares or sell off their shares. They cannot pledge the shares as collateral for loans. Most investors purchase stock to earn capital gains, in the hope that it will increase in value.

The Federal Reserve Act fixes dividends at 6% per year. That is $6 per year per $100 share. Any additional earnings go to the U.S. Treasury.

Each member bank … gets just one vote [for the Board of Directors] regardless of the number of shares it owns in its Federal Reserve bank.

The Class A directors can be involved in the banking industry and usually are. Class B directors are elected in much the same way, except that none of them can be bank employees or stockholders. Class C directors cannot be involved in the banking industry either [and they] are … appointed by the Board of Governors in Washington D.C.

There are seven members of the Board of Governors and they are appointed by the president of the United States with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate. The Board of Governors dominates the twelve Federal Reserve banks. Not only does it appoint one-third of their boards of directors, it has an effective veto power over the selection of the twelve Federal Reserve bank presidents.

In 2003, the Fed changed its lending policy. Today, any financially sound bank (member or not) can obtain loans from its district Federal Reserve bank at the primary credit rate. It is set at 1% above the Federal Funds rate. While the Federal Reserve Act implies that lending at the discount rate would be the key element of monetary policy, that approach was long ago superseded by open market operations.

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee directs open market operations. It is made up of the seven members of the Board of Governors and five Federal Reserve Bank presidents. The president of the New York Federal Reserve always serves and the other four slots rotate among the other eleven Federal Reserve bank presidents.

The committee sets a target for the Federal Funds rate. When the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee sets its target for the Federal Funds rate, it is also determining the primary and secondary credit rates for loans by the Federal Reserve banks. Today, monetary policy is controlled entirely by the Open Market Committee.

Because of the 14-year terms for the members of the Board of Governors, today's monetary policy mostly depends on the appointments made by politicians in the past. Short of rewriting the Federal Reserve Act, appointments by today's politicians will only gradually effect future monetary policy.

My note: Therefore the power of the Fed is vested in the Board and the consituent presidents.

When the Fed was formed, the United States was on a gold standard and the Fed was obligated to pay off Federal Reserve notes on demand with lawful U.S. money — mostly gold coins and gold certificates. While the Fed no longer pays off Federal Reserve notes with anything, it continues to account for them as liabilities.

The Federal Reserve doesn't directly lend currency to banks. When a bank gets an "advance" from the Fed, the Fed just makes an entry into its computer and credits the bank's deposit account.

[T]he Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air through open market operations — purchasing government bonds.

My note: Therefore, you hold a dollar in your wallet and in troubled times, wish to redeem it for its true value. You can't. It is worth only the paper it's printed on. It is non-redeemable. This is fiat money and all western economies run on this. Therefore, any dealings in dollars are book entries in a ledger, unbacked by anything hard.

This was one of the disputes between Adam Smithites and the Mercantilists, the latter who demanded the dollar was backed up by hard bullion.

Do shady international bankers control the Federal Reserve? Perhaps, but not because they "own" the Federal Reserve system.

My note: Ownership is a largely meaningless term - control is a better term and control is very much by the FOMC on monetary policy, i.e. the supply of currency and credit.

More importantly, by taking away the right of banks to issue redeemable, dollar-denominated banknotes, the Fed's compulsory monopoly on currency issue reduces bank earnings by tens of billions of dollars.

My note: And there it is. Not only does the Fed control monetary policy in the nation but it restricts lesser banks's operates through regulation. It is a fixed market. On the other hand, the FOMC is concerned primarily with open markets and therefore global markets as well. The next topic to look at is how far the three key Central Banks in the U.S., Europe and Britain operate in unison in response to global conditions.

Monday, October 01, 2007

[nationhood] like trying to define love

Take six terms at random: England, Britain, the British Isles, Ireland Great Britain, the United Kingdom, and you'll get as many points of view.

Simplistically, I see a whole lot of islands called the British Isles, including two big ones - Britain and Ireland. Within Britain are three nations - England, Scotland and Wales. Within the other are two disputed political entities. The last two on the list above are political expressions of differing conjunctions of nations throughout history.

The main problem is with the terms Britain [a geographical term for the big island] and British. Yes - what on earth does British mean? It would be churlish not to recognize the contribution of the member nations to the British Empire of Victorian times and churlish not to recognize the present Commonwealth nations as part of that empire. But these latter are also late entries to the family.

Even here, surely, there is a distinction between Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians and South Africans and all the other nations, not least in the manner in which they were set up in the first place.

Even within the home countries, there is a mess. Ireland is divided, the Scots are Highland, Lowland and Islanders; the Welsh are North and South, as is England. Even in the North, a Lancastrian is not a Yorkshireman.

Prodicus noted:

A town is too small. A continent is too big and lacks tribal or quasi-familial bonds strong enough to hold it together - an empire likewise.

What he doesn't touch on is the large county which was formerly a state - that can be a difficult entity to define. However, running through all this are "common values" and was there ever a vaguer term than that?

And yet it binds disparate elements. Also, every town which has a Boots or Tescos and drab architecture is part of the whole, from Brighton to Aberdeen, a whole which cannot be adequately defined. But say "Scottish" and it's readily defined. Say "Wales" and it's fairly clear, give or take a few miles. Say "England" and it is a variable distance out from London, bound by a single language.

Gordon Brown believes that 'sharing British values' makes one British. Prodicus comments:

I find it hard to distinguish between these allegedly British values and the values of most people of conscience living in the world's (more or less) liberal democracies …

Brown is a Scot and the two leaders in waiting, Cameron* and Fox are Scots, so therefore the politicians need to talk up Britishness to justify their intrusion into matters English in Westminster. But beyond that is an agenda, a Marxist agenda which has never gone away and has an EU face.

Prodicus again:

Abolition of the nation is necessary for Marxism because allegiance to one's own nation is inimical to Marxism's unfocused allegiance to an amorphous grouping such as 'everybody on the planet except the bourgeois'.

So the customs and closely allied - values - need to be diluted or abandoned and one of the ways to do that is to resort to the vague sense of "Britishness" which at once is all-inclusive, multi-cultural, EU friendly and lays the foundations for rule from overseas, through local faces.

This is precisely what the Christie quote here was all about. Prodicus notes again:

Customs are a core element in a nation's identity. They are vital to the group cohesion. Destroy them and you have damaged the nation's sense of itself, jeopardising its inhabitants' inclination to defend themselves as a group - as a nation.

But what if some bastardized, jingoistic vestige of customs which do not threaten the uber-state are left in palce to placate the people and only real customs and values are quietly eradicated?

Sackerson noted about Brown's appeal to values:

[O]ur new Prime Minister's latest proposal: a motto for the country, to show our "values". He is pretending that it has escaped his notice that we have one: Dieu Et Mon Droit. All part of airbrushing out the Monarchy, I assume.

Two concepts which have become well-nigh anathema over the last few decades and as Prodicus adds:

This … is a central aim of Marxist theory, and it has been dreadfully successful in England in the 20th century, more so than in any other nation I can think of.

In his view there is still hope:

Nations are essentially tribal - and they will not be suppressed. One cannot make a nation - or remake it - by artifice.

I'd like to believe this but it's probably going to mean a tenacious hold on Englishness [one reason I like Boris, born in New York] and Scottishness and Irishness and Welshness but the former is the least easily defined and therefore more easily put upon by Britishness but still, it must be done.

Creeping humanistic socialism believes it has already killed off G-d but the belief in nation is still clung to in both England [and France] and hasn't yet been wholly smothered.

* David Cameron - His father was born at Blairmore House near Huntly, Aberdeenshire. The Cameron family were originally from the Inverness area of the Scottish Highlands.

[boris] don't forget the name, folks

"I want to be a Mayor for all Londoners, from Zone 6 to Zone 1. A Mayor that will listen, will learn and will lead."

"King Newt's days are numbered".

He has pledged to scrap "cyclist-killing" bendy buses and return the iconic Routemaster to the capital's roads if he topples Mr Livingstone, as well as eradicating the culture of "casual theft and incivility''.

Also included are developing a plan for 24-hour policing, securing a firm commitment to Crossrail and making the congestion charge "fairer and more flexible".

I think taking on Ken would be the kind of 'big beast' challenge that would be very attractive to Boris

- Ed Vaizey, Tory MP

If you can't have characters standing who are willing to speak their mind, then it would be a sadder place

- Simon Hughes, Ex-Lib Dem candidate

Boris Johnson is going to run for Mayor of London! I for one have already pledged my support. Despite my mildly left-leaning inclinations, I have always been fond of Boris, with his boyish good looks and his mop of Teutonic blond hair (although his ancestry is anything but Teutonic). I think he would make a jolly good Mayor of London.

And here's a lovely post on the frazzle-haired breath of fresh air himself.

[common purpose] rhetoric of the quisling

You are the Chosen, the voice of the New Age, the Leader of the Future. The Rules are not for such as you...

Though not directly concerning our North American and Antipodaean friends, this actually does concern them very much because they are very much part of the thrust for:

Common Purpose

And what exactly is this common purpose? They state it themselves:

Leading beyond Authority

As Ian Parker-Joseph says:

It began in the UK in 1988, where it has some 45 offices, but has now taken its sun symbol logo into many countries as Common Purpose International.

The real issue is the craziness coming out of Bavaria, Zurich, Paris and New York, not to mention London.

Very easy to spot - diffuse light blues blending into diffuse yellows in their headers, sun symbols, meaningless drivel as taglines, e.g. securing the future today and other balderdash like that. Their pages are slick and businesslike and they use feelgood terminology about "bringing people together" and so on. Second Life, the U.N. and Common Purpose are examples.

On the surface, it's all about management, leadership and the new technological revolution but the rhetoric behind it is exactly the same which Agatha Christie wrote of in N or M [Dodd, Mead & Co., 1941]. It's the same old story - pinpointing likely people in positions of authority or who are likely to be, tweaking their egos by associating them with snippets of the elite which controls the government of the nations, how they'll be part of the crack leadership group sweeping away mismanagement and inefficiency and so on and so on.

An example of one of these Brave New Worlders:

Common Purpose graduate Cressida Dick issued the 'shoot-to-kill' order to police officers that led to an innocent Brazilian electrician, Jean Charles de Menezes [being shot].

It is eugenics and Nietzsche and Zarathustra and things the average pub drinker knows next to nothing of. But I know of it because I was once a possible bright light in the firmament until I showed myself to be "unfit" for purpose and I'm proud of it. But my ego's still there for all to see.

Do read the whole post and follow the links if you were still in any doubt of the common purpose for which this group is simply one small tentacle.

That's the end of this post but there is the text from N or M, by Agatha Christie, Chapter 14:

Do believe me when I say I really admire both you and your husband immensely. You've got grit and pluck. It's people like you who will be needed in the new State — the State that will arise in this country when your present imbecile Government is vanquished. We want to turn some of our enemies into friends — those that are worth while.

Let me impress upon you what so few people in this country seem to understand. Our Leader does not intend to conquer this country in the sense that you all think. He aims at creating a new Britain — a Britain strong in its own power — ruled over, not by Germans, but by Englishmen. And the best type of Englishmen — Englishmen with brains and breeding and courage. A brave new world, as Shakespeare puts it.

We want to do away with muddle and inefficiency. With bribery and corruption. With self-seeking and money-grubbing — and in this new state we want people like you and your husband — brave and resourceful — enemies that that have been, friends to be. You would be surprised if you knew how many there are in this country, as in others, who have sympathy with and belief in our aims.

Among us all we will create a new Europe — a Europe of peace and progress. Try and see it that way — because, I assure you — it is that way...

His voice was compelling, magnetic.

Later, in Chapter 15, the investigating officer concludes:

Amongst them were two chief Constables, an Air Vice-Marshal, two Generals, the Head of an Armaments Works, a Cabinet Minister, many Police Superintendents, Commanders of Local Volunteer Defense Organizations, and various military and naval lesser fry, as well as members of our own Intelligence Force."

Tommy and Tuppence stared. "Incredible!" said the former.

Grant shook his head. "You do not know the force of the ... propaganda. It appeals to something in man, some desire or lust for power. These people were ready to betray their country not for money, but in a kind of megalomaniacal pride in what they, they themselves, were going to achieve for that country. In every land it has been the same. It is the Cult of Lucifer — Lucifer, Son of the Morning. Pride and a desire for personal glory!"

Anyone with any knowledge of the 5th Column in WWII would understand that the leopard might have changed its spots but the snarl is still the same.

Good material on Common Purpose

UK Column
CP Exposed
Stop CP
Ken Craggs

Some of my own, based on material supplied

Common Purpose - more evidence
Common Purpose dishonesty
An oppressor by any other name
CP - the cancer spreads
OFSTED - the fish rots at the head
Common Purpose at work and play
More than corrupt
Groupthink spreads like a cancer through the UK
Is this how to run a country?
One ring to rule them all
Paradiso and the future of the internet
Demos, Common Purpose, Labour, Tories, security companies
Common Purpose - the disease spreads to the Netherlands
Common Purpose - meanwhile, in America
Groupthink - gentle art of persuasion
Citizens' juries and Common Purpose
Common Purpose - initially to have a coffee
Common Purpose - just the facts, ma'am
Common Purpose - rhetoric of the quisling
References to Common Purpose appear in many other posts.

[iain dale banner] would you like one

My first customer - PJC Journal

I don't know if Iain would kill me for this and I plan to write to him and then update this post accordingly but if you're somewhere on one of the lists and would like this banner to display in your sidebar, I'd be happy to personalize it for you [gratis naturally].

Matt Wardman has done some far better ones but I thought I'd go with this because of the neutral colours I need in my sidebar. The black and white is businesslike but could be seen as a little dull. Your choice.


If you would like, I can't do many all at once but I'd need to know these things:
a. how you'd like your name displayed;
b. if you'd like "Top 100 UK Blogs Right of Centre" [or whatever the category happened to be] above or below the pic;
c. if you'd like left, right or centre weighted [depending on your sidebar];
d. you to understand that the url embedded is to this site.
I need no link back to me - I'm happy to see it displayed as I travel round the sphere.

[than schwe] man behind the myanmar madness

It just takes one man such as this ...

General Than Shwe, 74, is the main force behind the bloodshed, forced labour, rapes and all the rest of it.

Like virtually all dictators, he's a sick man with impaired judgement, given to grandiose titles and lavish wealth, fearing his own people, escape routes in place for his spoilt family.

Let me put it another way - he is mad. Or yet another way - he is possessed and can't backtrack. Same thing.

...to produce a situation like this ...

How many times must we see the warring madness come into men's minds like this, consuming them? Why does this happen to leaders? The all-consuming desire for power and then, with it, the descent to madness and evil?

From where does this force for monumental indifference to humanity emanate? This blogger suspects he knows from whence it comes.

... which finally results in this.

[currency] and the system of credit

Paul Warburg, the European brought in to rewrite the current system of credit issuance - America, Britain and the Finance owe him a lot.

You might just possibly imagine Gordon Brown, George Bush or the Lizard Queen making this as a campaign speech but could you imagine them actively and genuinely pursuing these policies?

… We see that in many things … life … is incomparably great in its material aspects, in its body of wealth, in the diversity and sweep of its energy, in the industries which have been conceived and built up by the genius of individual men and the limitless enterprise of groups of men.

But the evil has come with the good, and much fine gold has been corroded. With riches has come inexcusable waste. We have squandered a great part of what we might have used, and have not stopped to conserve the exceeding bounty of nature, without which our genius for enterprise would have been worthless and impotent, scorning to be careful, shamefully prodigal as well as admirably efficient.

We have been proud of our industrial achievements, but we have not hitherto stopped thoughtfully enough to count the human cost, the cost of lives snuffed out, of energies overtaxed and broken, the fearful physical and spiritual cost to the men and women and children upon whom the dead weight and burden of it all has fallen pitilessly the years through.

With the great Government went many deep secret things which we too long delayed to look into and scrutinize with candid, fearless eyes. The great Government we loved has too often been made use of for private and selfish purposes, and those who used it had forgotten the people.

There has been something crude and heartless and unfeeling in our haste to succeed and be great. Our thought has been 'Let every man look out for himself, let every generation look out for itself,' while we reared giant machinery which made it impossible that any but those who stood at the levers of control should have a chance to look out for themselves.

We have itemized the things that ought to be altered and here are some of the chief items:

A tariff which cuts us off from our proper part in the commerce of the world, violates the just principles of taxation, and makes the Government a facile instrument in the hands of private interests; a banking and currency system … perfectly adapted to concentrating cash and restricting credits; an industrial system which, take it on all its sides … limits the opportunities of labor, and exploits without renewing or conserving the natural resources of the country … watercourses undeveloped, waste places unreclaimed, forests untended, fast disappearing without plan or prospect of renewal, unregarded waste heaps at every mine.

This was Woodrow Wilson at his inauguration on March 4th, 1913 and a fascinating aspect, now secretly hidden from the public eye was that in those days it was nakedly open for all to see and presidents concerned themselves with these issues - a time long past.

He went further, in his 2nd Address to Congress, June 23, 1913:

Our banking laws must mobilize reserves … And the control of the system of banking of issue … must be vested in the Government itself, so that the banks may be the instruments, not the masters, of business and of individual enterprise and initiative.

Wilson was naïve. Elected on a platform of breaking big business [continuing the Roosevelt thrust] but in favour of expanding small businesses, he didn't think on further that small businesses would need finance and so, in terms of the total credits issued, the situation hardly altered.

The banking interests were more than happy to cajole him into signing the legislation setting up the Fed - a series of 12 banking houses who, far from being the "instruments", established the machinery for becoming the "masters".

It hardly mattered, for the ultimate goal was war and the profits that that entailed - not unlike the years 1929-45 and 2007-18.

One of today's exponents of the Warburg art