Saturday, June 22, 2013

NSA links

In Depth Review: New NSA Documents Expose How Americans Can Be Spied on Without A Warrant EFF (Lambert)
GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world’s communications Guardian. The NSA does legal arbitrage.
Mysterious privacy board touted by Obama has deep government ties Guardian. Shorter: the NSA investigation will be led by part of the problem.
U.S. charges Snowden with espionage Washington Post
NSA Whistleblowers For Dummies, Part One and Part Two, Mark Ames, NSFW

Thursday, June 20, 2013

NSA links

How Edward Snowden could sidestep extradition USA Today
Snowden versus the dragons Reuters
The Terror Con Indeed papicek Firedoglake
Fisa court oversight: a look inside a secret and empty process Glenn Greenwald. Neglected to include this yesterday

Fractional reserve banking, conjuring what they claim is 'money,' but that which is really debt (since there is nothing of inherent value backing it), from thin air, leveraging it up by many multitudes, getting a nation to endorse it as monopolistic fiat (and enforce the monopolistic recognition of it as such), is the problem.
If 95% of loans go bad (or more), the fractional reserve bankers lose nothing. They created this fiat money from nothing and received the protection of the nation in distributing fiat monopoly currency. Not only do they lose nothing, they actually gain any real assets that were pledged as collateral to securitize most of the loans that went 'bad' - Harvest.
Repeat this process of Harvest by first inflating the money supply, getting people deeply indebted (many of whom weren't indebted before), and soon enough, with enough cycles of harvest, what belonged to many will be concentrated in the hands of a few, all via the sham that is fractional reserve banking.
It's the biggest scam in the history of mankind.
Once a person grasps this basic concept, they'll understand why events have taken place as they have (Bretton Woods*; Plaza Accord; Federal Reserve Act of 1913; closing of the gold standard in 1971*, etc.), and they'll finally grasp how a select few have rigged the game to be able to harvest assets continually, and concentrate wealth and power, by doing nothing other than maintaining Deep Capture of a nation's legislative and judiciary branches (and executive, in the case of the U.S.) of government.
*On August 15, 1971, the United States unilaterally terminated convertibility of the dollar to gold. As a result, "[t]he Bretton Woods system officially ended and the dollar became fully fiat currency, backed by nothing but the promise of the federal government." This action, referred to as the Nixon shock, created the situation in which the United States dollar became the sole backing of currencies and a reserve currency for the member states. At the same time, many fixed currencies also became free floating.
If you could print a currency at no cost, that had no instrinsic value, and get the legal system to recognize it as the only legally permissibly 'tender' to satisfy all debt, public and private, would you print as much as you could, loan it out to as many entities and people as you could, and sit back, not caring whether 90% or 9% of the loans were repaid, since it cost you nothing to produce the loan, meaning that you can only gain assets (securitized) and indebt institutions (create indebted parties that you can then garnish), and literally lose not one atom of anything of inherent value?
Further, if you had access to an entity that could do the above, and you could borrow that currency at absurdly low interest rates, and moreover, you had an express or at least implicit taxpayer guarantee against losses (too big to fail), would you also not do exactly the same?
If you're the former entity, you literally can lose nothing, no matter how reckless your actions or lending standards.
If you're the latter party, your risk of loss is inconsequential, since you're backed by the taxpayers (involuntarily), and even if you weren't, if you're a very large entity able to tap absurdly low interest loans from the former, unless you are galactically idiotic on a level that equals Lehman or beyond (where derivatives did them in, along with a non-bailout), you'd be hard pressed to lose money if even - completely hypothetical and arbitrary % - 20% of the cheap interest money you borrowed and then re-loaned out wasn't paid back to you.
If you're the former, you have not only no risk, but you can't possibly lose anything, since your investment is nothing.
If you're the latter, your risk is incredibly small.
This is why our economy, under fractional reserve banking practices, using currency created from thin air, tied to absolutely nothing of inherent value, and bestowed monopoly status as legal tender, is a factual, literal Ponzi Scheme.
This is why we had to close the gold standard, lest we couldn't show "growth" (even though it was merely nominal, credit/debt based transactions) in our official GDP going forward.
You don't even have to tie the fiat to gold in order to force the economy to produce honest numbers and detect the real level of economic growth or contraction: tie the currency to anything that has inherent value, and that can be stored, and that isn't infinite in quantity.
The mind bender part for the newly initiated (as I was at one time) to the Matrix is that there's no real 'debt' from the perspective of the fractional reserve central bank; it's hard for those steeped in conventional economics to rip out the notion from their brain that the fractional reserve central bank can't lose anything (they didn't lend anything of value or that cost them anything - they have ZERO skin in the game), and that their favored entities that are TBTF have only slightly less risk (because they will always be able to socialize their losses via taxpayer bailouts in the wake of busts, while they retain their ill-gotten gains during the booms), and that what most refer to as debt in this system is only a liability for the debtor. If the debtor doesn't repay what was they borrowed (a monopoly currency that cost the lender nothing to produce), they can lose their farm, construction equipment, home, machinery, infrastructure, vehicle, etc. that was used to securitize or collateralize the loan, or even if the loan was unsecuritized, they can at least see their revenue or wages garnished, be sent into involuntary bankruptcy (where their general pool of assets will be seized upon by creditors, including lenders), and squeezed in other ways.
The only way to avoid this is to not play the game. During crack up booms, you miss out on fiat-based gains, if you don't play the game, and the incentive for playing that game is that if your timing is correct, you can get rid of all debt and convert the excess fiat gains into hard assets having inherent value or other things of inherent value, before the fractional reserve alchemists induce another inflationary-deflationary (or vice-versa) harvest.
If one were fortuitous enough to play the game, and have the skill and/or luck to convert fiat gains into real wealth before the boom turns to bust, they'd probably be idiotic to repledge their real wealth assets as collateral for loans ever again (I say probably, because there are exceptions to every general rule, but these people would have to be extremely smart, competent and or connected to the alchemists in such a way that they'd be assured a bailout in the event of another bust whereby their real assets are pledged as collateral for fiat loans).
The Harvest is the end game for the fractional reserve bankers and their minions. As just one example of the rape that is harvest, even generations of families that were land rich (let's say a family that has owned two square miles of prime farmland yielding high value crops for three generations, carrying no debt) can find that an economic downturn suddenly forces them to take the step of obtaining a loan, pledging their farm and equipment as collateral, in the belief that the loan will allow them to survive the downturn and become more profitable at some future point - they're now 'harvestable.'
By pledging real assets to secure a loan of fiat money (conjured from thin air at no cost), one is playing right into the hands of The Money Masters.

The Secret of Oz - Winner, Best Documentary of 2010

Money As Debt-Full Length Documentary

The Money Masters - Full Version

Money, Banking and the Federal Reserve

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

More NSA links, David Stockman, Krugman 2003, Ron Paul, Syria, Detroit pension funds & misc

Edward Snowden Live Chat Guardian. The big story Monday, in case you missed it. Lots of harrumphing from detractors, see here for an example. Wonder if there is a generation or culture gap, that people who are more heavy internet users would be read the tone differently.
Mike Gravel, Senator Who Disclosed Pentagon Papers, Backs Edward Snowden Huffington Post (Lambert)
Make privacy part of the transatlantic trade talks Yochai Benkler, Financial Times
Police Commissioner of Largest U.S. City: “NSA Should Come Clean About Domestic Spying” George Washington
The Truth: The NSA Has Been Working on Domestic Spying for Ten-Plus Years Rayne, emptywheel
T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless Shielded from NSA Sweep Wall Street Journal. Neglected to include this last week. Less helpful than you might think since they can work back from call recipients.
‘Tis of thee Steve Waldman. Read this.

Krugman, from 2003

Leaks database?

Monday, June 17, 2013

adam curtis documentary

More NSA stuff - misc links

Big Brother Is Watching Watch
3 NSA veterans speak out on whistle-blower: We told you so USA Today
The Snowden Principle John Cusack, HuffPo
GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians’ communications at G20 summits Guardian. I’m sure G8 is pleased to know this.
Here’s (Possibly) the Whole Truth About How PRISM Works The Atlantic. This is the current version of the official story. So far, Team Obama has managed their surveillance scandal far better than Bush did.
US spy agencies say they checked under 300 phone accounts in 2012 FT
Obama does not feel Americans’ privacy violated: chief of staff Reuters. But secret law? Jake with the angels!
The Big Money Atrios. Secret laws, huge budget, no oversight, body shops galore. What could go wrong?
Investigate Booz Allen Hamilton, not Edward Snowden Guardian
Private Spy Agency Booz Allen Hurting Following Snowden Leaks Gawker
Coups, Corporations, and Classified Information NBER (MS). Oldie but goodie. Note front running possibilities.
How the NSA Kept Us From Knowing About a Previous, Illegal Domestic Spy Program in 2006 Green Is The New Red
China army newspaper hits out at PRISM The Age
U.S. Operating Massive Online Spying Program The Onion

Opt out of PRISM, the NSA’s global data surveillance program (also; and also; hmm). Geeks, thoughts?

 From the Guardian interview, which can be read here;


Kimberly Dozier @KimberlyDozier
US officials say terrorists already altering TTPs because of your leaks, & calling you traitor. Respond? 

US officials say this every time there's a public discussion that could limit their authority. US officials also provide misleading or directly false assertions about the value of these programs, as they did just recently with the Zazi case, which court documents clearly show was not unveiled by PRISM.

Journalists should ask a specific question: since these programs began operation shortly after September 11th, how many terrorist attacks were prevented SOLELY by information derived from this suspicionless surveillance that could not be gained via any other source? Then ask how many individual communications were ingested to acheive that, and ask yourself if it was worth it. Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it.

Further, it's important to bear in mind I'm being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney. This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead. Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.