Thursday, June 5, 2014

33 U.S. Cities Ban Sharing Food With the Homeless

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Homelessness is hardly an invisible problem in the United States, but some cities wish that it were — and as a result, are moving to ban feeding the homeless.

Thirty-three cities have already implemented these policies according to the National Coalition for the Homeless, and at least four municipalities — Daytona Beach, Florida; Raleigh, N.C.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Birmingham, Alabama — have recently fined, removed, or threatened prison time against individuals and private groups that have fed the homeless.

Director of community organizing for the National Coalition for the Homeless, Michael Stoops, said that he wished cities would stop trying to ban the charitable acts:

“Homeless people are visible in downtown America. And cities think by cutting off the food source it will make the homeless go away. It doesn’t, of course,” Stoops said, “We want to get cities to quit doing this. We support the right of all people to share food.”

NBC News recently reported on one such story, that of Debbie and Chico Jimenez, who were fined $2,000 by the police because they were feeding the homeless weekly in Daytona Beach Park. The couple and four others working with them refused to pay the ticket and the ticket itself was eventually dismissed by the police, but it highlights the growing problem of cities criminalizing the homeless and punishing those who would help them. Daytona Beach and the case of the Jimenezes displays a clear cut, black-and-white conflict:
Daytona Beach offers a clear view of this muddy issue – two sides, two distinct arguments. Jimenez asserts citizens have the authority, if not an obligation, to provide an occasional, nutritious meal to folks in need, and that everyone should share the parks. Daytona Beach leaders argue that the couple’s work worsens homelessness by coaxing impoverished people away from centralized, city-run programs, and they complain that during the couple’s feedings some homeless people mistreated the park and frightened other patrons.

The issue is more complicated than “let the government do it and run out the private groups” or “let private groups do it because it’s not the government’s responsibility.” The best approach, as determined by Robert Marbut, seems to be bridged by combining both approaches.

In January, Volusia County (home of Daytona Beach) contracted with Robert Marbut, a national homeless consultant, to assess that city’s problems and suggest solutions – as he’s done in some 60 other towns, including St. Petersburg, Fla., Fresno, Calif., and Fort Smith, Ark. He bills each community about $5,900 for his analysis and ideas, he said.

Marbut advised the Volusia County Council that centralized, 24/7 programs that treat the three root causes of homelessness – a lack of jobs, mental illnesses and chronic substance abuse – have been shown to reduce local homeless populations by 80 percent.

But Marbut does not favor any ordinances that criminalize helping the homelesses, he said. (Daytona Beach passed its anti-feeding law before the Jimenezes were fined).

“I prefer changing a community’s culture through a dialogue,” said Marbut, who is based in San Antonio, Texas. “You’re never going to get anywhere arresting priests, pastors and imams in the street.”

But he also cringes at the notion of lone ministries independently launching food-sharing programs without coordinating with other churches or with local charity agencies, he said.

“Give me a name of one person who got a job because they were fed. Feeding alone, or giving out clothing or camping equipment, does not address the core issues of being homeless,” Marbut said. “You don’t graduate from the street because you ate a Big Mac tonight.”

Some areas are attempting to combine both approaches to get the best part of both worlds; sensible regulation and independent public service:
In the Bay Area city of Hayward, Calif., officials enacted a homeless-feeding ordinance in February that carries some of those gentle nuances – a nod that this is hardly a black-and-white problem.

People or groups seeking to feed the homeless in Hayward first must obtain a health department permit to show their fare is safely prepared and served. After that, they can apply for a food-sharing permit. But those individuals still are restricted as to the number of times in a week or a month that they can provide free food at the same location on a public property.
 The proper government response is needed, not blanket bans on private actions. Once again, smart government, not small government, is the key to success here. A recent study showed that some cities could save over $350 million if they housed homeless and offered other services to help get them off the street. Private groups can’t manage free-housing without some sort of subsidization from the government, and it’s easier to cut out the middle man and let cities manage the housing themselves with federal, state, and local money. At the same time, muscling out private groups and individuals who want to help isn’t solving the problem — it’s costing the municipality that much more in paper work for tickets that will likely be dismissed.

US Supreme Court rejects appeal by New York Times reporter James Risen

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The US Supreme Court on Monday decided not to intervene in the case of James Risen, an author and reporter who is facing imprisonment for refusing to reveal the identity of one of his sources to the government. The court, in line with the recommendation of the Obama Justice Department, rejected Risen’s petition, upholding a ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Risen is a leading investigative journalist who has exposed various illegal activities carried out by the US government. His recent work includes a piece for Sunday’s New York Times, based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, in which he documents the National Security Agency’s use of facial recognition technologies to compile facial images of hundreds of millions of people in the US and around the world.

In his book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration, Risen cites information from an unnamed intelligence agent about a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operation, codenamed Operation Merlin, which sought to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

Responding to the publication of Risen’s book, the Justice Department filed ten criminal counts against Jeffrey Sterling, believing him to be the source of the leaks. Risen was listed as an intervener in the ensuing case, United States v. Jeffery Sterling.

In July 2013, the appeals court in Richmond, Virginia ruled 2-1 that Risen could be ordered to testify in the case, claiming that Sterling’s disclosures constituted “criminal conduct.” The court wrote, “There is no First Amendment testimonial privilege, absolute or qualified, that protects a reporter from being compelled to testify by the prosecution or the defense in criminal proceedings about criminal conduct.”

In his petition to the Supreme Court challenging the ruling, Risen argued that investigative reporting on security issues would become impossible if reporters were forced to reveal the identity of their sources. Risen has categorically refused to testify about Sterling and insisted that he will accept imprisonment before violating the confidentiality of his source.

A brief filed by Risen with the Supreme Court argued that the Richmond court’s decision overturns well established rights of journalists to protect their sources. “Spurning the definitive holdings of no less than six other circuit courts and six state courts of last resort, the Fourth Circuit is now the first court of appeals to hold that no qualified First Amendment privilege exists for journalists subpoenaed to testify regarding confidential information in a criminal trial,” said the brief, filed last month.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Risen’s case amounts to a stamp of approval for US government prosecutions that flagrantly violate the First Amendment. Unlike lower appeals courts, which are required to hear the cases that come before them, Supreme Court procedures allow the court to refuse to review cases without offering any explanation or details about the positions of the various justices. (A decision to hear an appeal requires agreement from at least four of the nine members of the court). In this way, decisions made by lower courts can be tacitly upheld by the Supreme Court without the court directly intervening in the case.

Numerous reactionary rulings have been approved over the past decade through this method, which enables the justices on the high court to avoid issuing opinions and exposing themselves to criticism. Indefinite detention of prisoners without trial at the US military base in Guantanamo Bay, for instance, has been upheld by the Supreme Court using such one line denials of judicial review.

The Risen case is only the latest in a series of attacks on democratic rights launched by the Obama Justice Department, which has brought more cases against so-called “leakers” and whistle-blowers than all previous administrations combined. As was revealed in May of 2013, the Justice Department secretly subpoenaed telephone records of Associated Press editors and journalists and tracked calls placed on at least 20 AP telephone lines. Just months earlier, in January, the Justice Department successfully prosecuted former CIA agent John Kiriakou for admitting in televised interviews that the US government used torture against alleged terrorists.

Is The Fed's Gold Ponzi Scheme About To Pop?

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The US Dollar could crash at a finger snap under at least one circumstance: if the gold holdings at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (NY Fed) are revealed to be missing. An event last week made that circumstance edge a bit closer. Austria wants to audit the 150 tons of gold it stores in the UK (some sources say 280 tons.) According to Austrian Trend magazine, “there is a rising disbelief among Austrians about the existence of the gold."

If the bullion is not there, then a flood of audit demands could reveal empty vaults around the world. But particularly in one place. A disproportionate percentage of the world's gold reserve is in the vault of the NY Fed. Or, at least, the physical gold is said to be there. A recent delivery of repatriated gold to Germany is reason for skepticism.

THE BACKDROP OF MIXED AND MISSING GOLD

The Federal Reserve website states, “All bars brought into the vault for deposit are carefully weighed, and the...markings on the bars are inspected to ensure they agree with the depositor instructions and recorded in the New York Fed’s records. This step is vital because the New York Fed returns the exact bars deposited by the account holder upon withdrawal—gold deposits are not considered fungible.” [Emphasis added]

Or, rather, the website used to offer that assurance. A few months ago, the Fed returned melted and recast bars to Germany, not the original ones that had been stored. The link to the former message now leads to "page unavailable.” The page may have been eliminated due to unwanted attention created by a blogger who noted the discrepancy in the Fed's policy and what it delivered.

A 1968 memo discovered and published by the financial iconoclast Zero Hedge in 2012 explains the need to return the originally deposited metal. The memo exposed a conspiracy between the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve to provide the Bundesbank [German central bank] with what both knew was 'bad delivery' gold...amounting to 172 bars.” The 'bad delivery' consisted of returning gold to Germany that was below the standard of the gold deposited.

Now alarm bells are ringing over the possible absence of gold. In 2003, confidence was shaken by an announcement from the Bank of Portugal. 433 metric tons of gold -- approximately 70 percent of its gold reserve – had been lent out or swapped into the market. International banking analyst James Turk commented in the Free Gold Money Report, “[I]n either case...this gold is no longer stored in this central bank's vault and...no longer available as a monetary reserve.” Yet the policy of the International Monetary Fund is to count loans and swaps as reserves. Turk asked, “How can that be?

How can the IMF allow gold no longer in the vault to be reported as a reserve asset?”

How? Gold reserves are not audited by objective sources ... when they are audited at all. Moreover, the IMF needs to prop up confidence in a shaky web of central banks. To the banks and the IMF, the bookkeeping is all that really matters. Even the Bundesbank seemed content to enter numbers into forms and never check on the physical gold in the NY Fed. That is, the Bundesbank was content until a German federal court ruled that it must conduct annual audits and inspections of Germany's gold reserves worldwide.

The paperwork-fetish of central banks raises another “how?” How many have assumed the Portuguese position?

THE US POSITION

Also in October 2012, Germany announced an intention to repatriate 300 tons of gold held by the NY Fed by 2020. The deposit has not been audited since 1979. The German public was clearly worried about whether there is allocated gold at the NY Fed or whether Germany is just one of many creditors on a metal statement. The German people lack confidence in the US. They are skeptical about the US government and the Federal Reserve's ability to protect the value of its own dollar, they look askance at its poor track record in fiscal and monetary policy, and they doubt that the Fed has kept proper track of the gold it lends out.

The investment advisor site The Day Trading Academy described what happened when German accountability met the NY Fed. “The Federal Reserve Bank of New York...had excuses why representatives from the Bundesbank would be unable to see German gold. The response from Germany was not flattering. Accusations of corruption and dishonesty soon followed. After a rash of negative international reactions, the Federal Reserve finally agreed to give back over 600 tons of gold, but insist [sic] it will take until 2020 to be able to achieve this task.” Two other German delegations were each shown “one representative gold bar” and were not allowed to enter the rooms in which the rest was said to be stored.

By January 2014, a year after the original Bundesbank demand, the NY Fed had returned only 5 tons of the German government's gold. Again, the bars were not the original ones. German media ran wild with the allegations that the Fed took so long to return so little because it has insufficient gold in its vault.

WHERE IS THE GOLD?

An 2012 audit conducted by the US Inspector General of the Treasury established that 99.98% of the gold held by the US is housed at the NY Fed. Germany deposited 1,500 tons of gold there, yet the audit shows the NY Fed contains 419 tons in total, and that includes coins.

Now Austria is sending a delegation to audit its gold reserve at the Bank of England. The metal website The Silver Doctors asked, “We wonder how soon the central banks of Switzerland, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and countless other Western nations whose gold reserves have been leased, swapped, and hypothecated to the East over the past decade will realize that the music is finally ending, and there is more than one chair missing from this deadly game being played by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England.”

There is almost certainly a dearth of physical gold in the vaults of either America, the UK or both. If so, then a run becomes likely because first-comers stand the best chance of repatriating wealth. Not all will succeed. The Italian government is the world's third largest holder of gold, after the US and Germany. The Banca d’Italia recently revealed that approximately half of its reserves is at the NY Fed ... or allegedly so. The losses will be huge and not paper ones.

What happens to the US dollar when America's vaults are seen to be as empty as its promises and moral fiber? It will crash and the suffering of average people will be terrible. The good news: privately held gold will soar. And it will be ever more important for such gold to be just that...held with privacy.

US economy contracts as tens of thousands are laid off

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In recent days, several reports have surfaced that paint a grim picture of the United States economy. They provide details on how US gross domestic product (GDP), wage growth and consumer spending either stagnated or declined during the first quarter of 2014. This economic downturn corresponds with an increasing number of layoffs, which exceeded 14,000 in May alone.

The 1 percent decline in GDP during the first quarter of 2014 marks the first contraction of the US economy in three years. Wall Street had initially estimated growth of 0.1 percent during this period and blames an “unusually harsh winter” for the recent decline. The contraction came as a surprise to Federal Reserve policymakers.

Similarly, wage and salary income growth also stagnated during the first few months of 2014, growing a mere 2 percent over the previous year after adjusting for inflation. The lack of significant income growth also led to a decline in consumption. During the month of April, consumer spending fell for the first time in a year even as inflation continued to rise.

These indices have begun to manifest themselves in mass layoffs in recent weeks. During April and May, approximately 17,000 US workers were laid off, with several thousands losing their jobs during the last week alone. Many large corporations have begun laying off hundreds and in some cases thousands of workers at a time in order to keep their investments profitable.

On May 23, customer support agency Stream, in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, announced that it would be cutting 150 jobs by the end of July. Stream’s parent company Convergys employs 125,000 worldwide. This decision came after a client decided to move a program away from Sergeant Bluff, which had a population of 4,269 in 2012. Employees have the option of relocating to other regions to compete for jobs at other Stream facilities.

Marshfield Clinic, which operates 50 medical centers in Wisconsin, announced May 24 that it would be cutting 80 to 120 management positions, roughly 1 or 2 percent of its workforce. Marshfield laid off 100 workers in 2012 and earlier this year announced massive budget cuts, resulting in pay cuts for several of its doctors and other employees.

On May 27, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) announced that it plans on cutting as many as 400 jobs in the US. The London-based bank is looking to shrink its US mortgage trading business by two thirds due to the impending implementation of stricter regulations being imposed by the Federal Reserve in 2014. Foreign operated banks will now be held to the same regulations already imposed on domestic banks. The RBS employs about 2,400 workers in the US.

On May 28, Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa Valley, California announced it would be shedding about 10 percent of its workforce in the coming months. The announcement came just a month after the organization began creating a “comprehensive improvement plan” to create greater financial stability, mainly through service reductions and employee layoffs.

The most devastating announcement came May 29, when Source Interlink Distribution, a Florida-based magazine distribution company, announced it was immediately and permanently shutting its doors, effectively laying off its entire national workforce of over 6,000.

Source Interlink Companies had moved its world headquarters to Bonita Springs, Lee County, in southwest Florida in 2002 to take advantage of tax incentives totaling $1 million. Lee County had already made $250,000 in incentive payments to the company after Source demonstrated that it had invested $600,000 in buildings and equipment in this Florida community of approximately 40,000. The payments came with the stipulation that Source maintain the existing 238 employees on staff locally for 48 months, while creating an additional 50 local jobs during the same period.

On April 22, Source notified county officials that its local employee roster had dropped to 222 people, after which a meeting was scheduled for June 4 between the county and the company to discuss the default on the agreement. Lee County officials have stated that they still expect to hold this meeting, although it seems the local operation is finished.

County Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass told reporters that the county would continue to pursue the incentives already paid. “We have to make sure we have checks and balances for these companies that are using Lee County tax dollars,” he explained. “They have to be held accountable.”

In addition to announcing the closing of the company prior to the June 4 meeting with county officials, it has also been discovered that Source Interlink Distribution did not file a state notification of mass layoffs on Friday. Such a notification would make resources available to dislocated workers who need help finding new jobs. A spokesman for CareerSource Southwest Florida told reporters that such assistance can only be provided once the employer has taken such an initiative.

Despite the sustained decline of the largest economy in the world, US financial leaders continue to spout predictions that the situation will improve as the year continues. Charles Plosser, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, believes that the remainder of 2014 will bring a 3 percent growth in economic output in the US, with the GDP growing nearly 3.5 percent during the second quarter alone. He, like other officials, blames the “terrible winter” that included a polar vortex and frequent delays of product deliveries.

Such optimistic declarations have been inadequately buttressed by dubious employment reports that show the number of jobs increasing and unemployment falling. However, the jobs actually being created have proved inadequate to increase wages and thus consumer spending.

In a recent statement, Sterne Agee’s chief economist Lindsey Piegza reported, “We are not seeing job gains translate into wage pressures. It’s a question not just of quantity but also of quality.” She explained that the majority of new jobs being created in the United States are either temporary or part-time jobs coming in low-paying industries.

Although the 6.3 percent unemployment rate recorded in April is the lowest number in six years, this decline in jobless statistics has largely resulted from the exit of enormous numbers of workers from the workforce. A report released in April showed that the labor force participation rate had plunged to 62.8 percent, a percentage not seen since the 1970s.

The Contraction of the U.S. Economy - No, it wasn't the Harsh Winter

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Trying to predict the market is going to do is like attempting to predict the weather (though meteorologists arguably have a better track record than economists). It doesn't help when the numbers are cooked beyond recognition.

According to some, 2014 was supposed to be the year that the U.S. economy finally pulled shakes off the last remnants of the recession. A boost in new home construction was going to send a ripple of goodness throughout the economy and inflation was going to remain stable.

So far those predictions have not panned out. Rather than growing, the U.S. economy actually contracted 1% in the first quarter, inflation is rising across the board (to such a degree that even mainstream pundits are forced to acknowledge it), wages are stagnant, and a record number of Americans have completely exited the workforce, yet somehow the stock market keeps hitting new highs, and of course a rebound is just around the corner.

The official explanation for the contraction: an unusually harsh winter. This is just a temporary bump in the road. From here on out we're going up, up, up. No one in the mainstream media dares ask the obvious question: might this have something to do with the fact that the Federal Reserve began to taper down QE3 in that same period?

Of course they won't ask that question. The implications of an honest answer would be far too damaging.

Since 2009 the Federal Reserve has engaged in an unprecedented streak of money creation, which they have affectionately dubbed quantitative easing (or QE). QE3, which began in 2012, differed from previous bailouts or stimulus programs in that it had no defined end date. QE3 would continue until the Federal Reserve saw fit. So for the past two years they have injected roughly 85 billion dollars into the banking system every month.

Early this year the Fed announced that they were going to begin 'tapering' down QE3, and at this point they are only pumping around 40 billion dollars into the system each month. Eventually they say this program will be wound down completely, and interest rates will be allowed to rise. Interest rates have been held artificially at around zero since 2008.

The idea that this massive influx of money can be withdrawn, and interest rates normalized without having any effect on the economy is nonsense. That's like saying that you could remove the sun without having any effect on the earth's temperatures. Of course the effects may take a while to show themselves. The amount of sunlight hitting earth peaks in mid June in the northern hemisphere, but temperatures continue to rise well into August across most of the United States. Likewise, money that was printed months ago is still running its course, that's why we're seeing prices rise across the board, and record highs in the stock market. However for the average Joe, this hasn't translated into an improved standard of living.

By the official numbers, unemployment is down, sitting around 6%, however no one likes to mention the fact that the government arrives at this figure only by omitting those who have given up and are no longer looking for a job. As of May, 2014, 92 million working age Americans have completely left the labor force. That's almost 1/3 of the U.S. population, and they are not being counted! Just by itself, this is an astounding figure, but it is completely in line with several other real world indicators. For example, according to a study by Pew research, more than 1 in 3 millennials (people between the age of 18 and 31) are living with their parents, and the USDA estimates that roughly 101 million Americans are currently receiving food assistance from the federal government. Taken as a whole, the message is clear, at least one third of America's population is struggling financially to some degree.

But don't worry, we're in a recovery. Hey just look at the S&P 500.

This disconnect between the performance of the stock market and the reality on the ground has been growing, and the cause should be obvious to any honest observer. QE3 is just a new spin on trickle down economics, and trickle down economics doesn't work.

If you inject billions of dollars into the banking system, it will boost the stock market, but though most mainstream economist consider this and GDP to be the primary measures of economic health, it's not going to help those who actually work for a living. That should be obvious at this point. Furthermore, this disconnect can't continue forever. The stock market may ride a wave of irrational exuberance to a new set of highs for a while (or the Fed may pull back from the taper), but what goes up, must come down. When it does, they'll have a new excuse ready.

The Theft of Your Retirement Accounts Will Accompany the Seizure of Bank Accounts

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A couple of readers recently wrote to me and asked me when will the collective theft of our bank accounts commence? I answered, 1913, as that is when the Federal Reserve was created. Today, a dollar purchases 3% of what it did just over a century ago. The 97% went into the pockets of the banksters. The banksters have been working diligently for quite some time to separate you from your money.

As I have detailed in the past two articles, there are very ominous signs that a bank holiday is on the horizon and is rapidly approaching. The good news would be that if that were all the banksters were after, we would be fortunate. There are now clear and definitive signs that the banksters are going to take every financial aspect of our collective lives. In this article, we move beyond the intended and coming theft of our bank accounts and first review the beta tests that have been performed by the banksters with regard to the bailouts ,MF Global, printing money to buy $40 billion dollars in mortgage backed securities every month and the latest ruse, the intended seizure of retirement accounts. I will also mix in a “Putin” surprise as well.

The Bail Outs: Beta Test #1

I am still haunted by the image of former head of the Goldman Sachs crime syndicate and former Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, telling a closed session of Congress that if they did not grant Wall Street “bailouts” there will be martial law in the streets as a result of the economy collapsing. Ask yourself, if almost six years later and three bailouts later, are Americans better off having sacrificed the bailout money in lieu of maintaining roads, improving schools as well as running the national debt through the ceiling and destroying the financial heritage of our children? The Federal Reserve and their bankster allies can steal as much money as they need from the American people, on an ongoing process, and not so much as a whimper was recorded by our fellow sheep.

Beta Test #2: MF Global

The theft of the secured investment accounts at MF Global sets up the coming seizure of our bank accounts. Public reaction was measured and noted by the banksters at Corzine robbed his investors blind.

Who could ever forget, John “the Don” Corzine and his former company, MF Global? MF Global, a shell corporation beholding to Goldman Sachs, was led to the slaughter by the former Goldman Sachs executive and former New Jersey Governor and senator, John Corzine. Corzine’s criminal actions have directly victimized 150,000 Americans by stealing an estimated $900 million dollars of his clients’ money from their supposedly secure private account. There is also another $600 million missing dollars from MF Global. Meanwhile, Corzine avoids sharing a prison cell with Bernie Madoff by purchasing a “get-out-of-jail card” through the sponsorship of a $35,000 per plate fundraiser for that great Wall Street puppet and “Commander-In-Chief”, Barack Hussein Obama.

Beta Test #3: Cronyism and the Lack of Federal Oversight

What are the government watch dogs doing to protect our money from this new generation of robber barons? The short answer is that the feds are partners with Goldman Sachs in this monumental violation of the public trust. In fact, Goldman Sachs and friends have taken over the government.

Take Gary Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs executive partner, who like so many other Goldman Sachs gangsters, have been placed into key governmental oversight positions in order to protect the Goldman Sachs co-conspirators, from prosecution, as they continue their reign of terror upon the global economy. Gary “the gangster” Gensler is the former Undersecretary of the Treasury (1999-2001) and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (1997-1999) and the current director of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. In his present position, Gensler had the authority to go after Corzine for his role in the MF Global debacle and order restitution. However, Gensler has decided to protect a fellow member of the Goldman Sachs Mafia by not looking into the massive fraud and theft by Corzine and his cronies. Your tax dollars, paying the salary of federal officials who are overseeing the most massive illegal private transfer of wealth, in the history of the planet, payable to Goldman Sachs and their criminal enterprise partners on Wall Street.

You may not be one of the 150,000 Goldman Sachs/MF Global victims. However, this Robin Hood-in-reverse-scenario, in which the criminal super rich are plundering what’s left of the middle class, will soon be visited upon your bank account , your home mortgages and your pensions. These criminal banksters are in the process of stealing it all and what are you going to do about it? Our nation of entrenched sheeple will do nothing as most have not even heard about it. And the fun is just beginning and we haven’t even mentioned the ongoing MERS mortgage fraud and the theft of millions of legitimate mortgages.

Short Term Memory Loss

I was roundly criticized when I said the Cyprus scenario is coming here. I was told there would be a revolution if this happened and the government would be to afraid to try such a thing. I marvel at people who hold to such naive beliefs. The American people have been through several beta tests related to our private wealth being confiscated and no resistance was offered.

Listening to these sheep is like listening to a country song played backwards. You know the wife does not leave, the truck still runs and the guy stops drinking. Maybe it is all the fluoride in the water that is causing such widespread ignorance and apathy.

First of all, our government is not the main enemy. This is not the government we are dealing with. We are battling organized crime in the form of corporations like Goldman Sachs who have hijacked our government. They are lining up for the last great garage sale before they collapse the economy and roll out martial law. There are forces lining up to steal everything that you and I own. It has already begun but this country is so dumbed down, we do not see that it has already started.

The Latest In Stealing From the American People

The Treasury Department once again is taking federal retirement programs to buy the government more time to increase the nation’s debt ceiling. And why does the government need to raise the debt ceiling? The debt ceiling must be raised for two reasons, (1) in order to fund the banker-inspired wars of occupation and, (2) to continue to fund the largest wealth transfer in history, the bailouts. And just who is behind this nonsense? The Banksters from Basel are pulling the strings and Goldman Sachs is executing the plan. Also, the very close friends of Goldman Sachs over at Citigroup and they have their henchman in charge of the continuing rape of America by Wall Street, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. Let me be clear, and Lew you can sue me if this not true, that it is a fact that Obama appointed one of the criminals who had a major hand in bringing down the economy to run the country’s finances.

While at Citigroup, Lew oversaw 113 tax evading accounts in Cayman Island banks. Based upon Lew’s resume, hedge funds for Citigroup where he lost almost 600 million dollars, one can only assume that is why Obama has appointed Lew to finish the job which will leave you and I with nothing.

Oh, I know there would be a revolution if the government ever dared take our retirements. At least the citizens of Greece rioted because they understand what happened. Our sheeple still hide behind the security blanket belief that “they would never do that.”

Jack’s Criminal Background

Jack Lew, from Citigroup, as I stated, was an overseer of hedge funds. You know, the hedge funds originating from the actual criminals that collapsed the economy in 2008. This is who Obama selected to run the economy. So, why does this bear repeating?

Last year, Lew announced that the government was taking the unprecedented action of avoiding governmental default through this summer by including tapping into and suspending investments into the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and halting the daily reinvestment of the government securities (G) fund, the most stable offering in the Thrift Savings Plan‘s portfolio.

We have long heard that bankers that have hijacked the government would commence stealing our private wealth through the pension funds and this is exactly what the chief bankster, Jack Lew, is implementing. The next step will be to seize bank accounts, like they did in Cyprus and then step up the MERS mortgage fraud as the Federal Reserve continues to purchase $40 billion dollars in Mortgage Backed Securities every month. And the seizure of bank account will occur incrementally as is has in other countries. Certainly, George Soros recent money movements away from the American megabanks signals a major reason for concern by American account holders.

The G Fund is invested in interest-bearing Treasury securities (i.e. bonds) that make up the public debt. The Civil Service Retirement Fund finances benefit payments under the Civil Service Retirement System and the basic retirement annuity of the Federal Employees’ Retirement System, and those investments are made up of securities also considered part of the public debt. In other words, for you people who have cushy federal government jobs, Lew is telling you that the government controls your retirement.

They own it and they own you. And you people who thought serving the New World Order was a such a good idea, are you reconsidering your loyalties now?

Military and law enforcement personnel should take note on how you will be treated for your subjugation of the American people, followed by the total obliteration of the Constitution.

Grand Theft Russia

I laugh at those who think that Putin is somehow independent of the Banksters. Putin is as controlled by the banksters as is President Obama and his intended theft of Russian retirement accounts is living proof of this statement.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told his finance ministers that the Russian government is “temporarily” seizing $7.6 billion in savings from non-state pension funds while it carries out inspections to insure that the money Russians channel to private pension funds, is safe. To do this, it will seize 244 billion rubles (i.e. $7.6 billion) from private, non-governmental pension funds and forcibly, but only “temporarily” place them into the Russian government state pension fund.

Russian authorities claim that they will only hold the retirement money for one year while they check to see that banking institutions are sound. We are coming up on a year and the Putin still have the money. It is hard not believe that this money will not be applied to invading and occupying Ukraine.

The Russian government explanation of why they need to seize retirement funds does not even constitute a good cover story. Many analysts state that the “temporary” borrowing of Russian pension funds by the government looks more like a case of government“ confiscation” of these private funds in anticipation of a coming crash.

Former Russian finance minister, Alexei Kudrin, recently stated that if the government is not intent on spending these retirement funds, then why are they booking the money?

Government controlled companies have expressed a negative reaction to the “borrowing” of Russian retirement funds. Most experts agree that the Russian government is making Russia a very unattractive place to invest given this new development. This apparent reckless action by the Russian government makes no sense unless the Russians, like the American bankers are attempting to acquire as many hard assets as possible.

Conclusion

The banksters in Russia and America are engaged in the exact same strategy. I am sure the coincidence theorists will have a field day explaining away these coincidences. Ask yourself, once a government gets their hands on a new source of revenue, such as a new tax, when have you ever gotten your money back, or has the tax been withdrawn?

How much of the bailout money has been paid back by the banks? Is MERS still stealing home mortgages and are they still in existence? Does MF Global thief, John “the Don” Corzine, occupy a cell next to Bernie Madoff? And do not forget that last year, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in Illinois, announced that once you deposit your money into the bank, the bank owns your deposit. These central banking thieves are in the midst of stealing every hard asset that they can. And they think can seize much more and that will be the topic of the part of this series

Footnote: For you people who thought serving the New World Order was such a good idea, are you reconsidering your loyalties now? You NSA guys who are spying on us right at precisely this minute, do you think your pensions are safe? To you potbellied perverts from the TSA, do you think your retirement will be there when you are done groping our wives and children on behalf of the globalists who seek to dehumanize the traveling public? How’s that Kool-Aid tasting about now?

Unless You Want to Go to Prison, Read This Before Taking Money Out of Your Bank

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George Soros won’t go to prison for taking his money out of the bank, but you could, if you are not very careful.

In response to yesterday’s article which detailed how it is a good idea to monitor George Soros’ money movements, because they are predictive of future economic collapses as they have been so many times before. We should all be more a little more than nervous when Soros, in the first quarter of 2014, removed his money from three megabanks.

“Rick” wrote to me following the publication of yesterday’s article with some very pointed concerns and questions. Here is his response:

“Ok, the idea of removing your money from the bank for me is a joke! I have a substantial amount in 3 different accounts. It’s VERY difficult to remove more than $8,000 or $9,000 at a time without extreme scrutiny from the IRS and the DEA. Plus, the banks will tell you that frequently they don’t have enough on hand to give you even $8,000. If you close your account, guess what? They give you a check, NOT cash! So you have to go to another bank WITH A CHECK once more!

So, how does one remove their money from the bank without causing major transaction reports to be filed with the government about your banking activities????

Dave, thus, please give us tips on how to remove substantial amounts of cash without incurring the wrath of the government, and how to take out large amounts of cash to begin with, as the banks discourage taking out more than $1,000 to $3,000 dollars in any given transaction.”


At first glance, Rick appears to be correct. The odds are stacked against all average depositors. With all that is available to read on this topic, it is mind boggling regarding how few people are preparing to act to preserve what assets they have remaining by not removing their money from the bank. Because you have put your money in the bank, you no longer own your money.

The courts have ruled that once you deposit your money in the bank, the bank owns your money. You virtually are paid no interest for the hard earned money that you place in the bank. And if inflation is only at a modest 5% rate, your hundred thousand dollars is worth only $95,000 after one year. In a decade, your real buying power is reduced by about 50%. And where did the other 50% go? Because of fractional reserve banking, the biggest money scam in history, the banks can take $10,000 and turn it into at least $90,000 by doing absolutely nothing but adding some zeroes after your name, on a computer scree, and then loaning out the money, at interest, while you are paid a minuscule interest rate. This practice adds to the inflation rate and further erodes your savings.

All of the above, dictates that we should all take our money out of the bank. Why do I risk starting a run on my former and biggest holder of my money, Bank of America, by withdrawing my money and presuming that many fellow depositors will read this and rush to withdraw their money too? The very biggest reason to is because they pay me near zero interest. Also, even if there is an infinitesimal chance Bank of America will not repay me in full, whenever I ask, switches the cost-benefit conclusion from stay to flee.

The biggest reason to take your money out of the bank is because it has absolutely no protection. The FDIC has only about $25 billion in its deposit insurance fund, which is mandated by law to keep a balance equivalent to only 1.15% of insured deposits. If a banking collapse were to be on the near horizon, the banksters are not going to notify you because they would not want to incite a bank run. With only 1.15% of all deposits being insured by the FDIC, your money would be left vulnerable and only the elite would be warned as they quietly transfer their money to a safer haven. How do I know this? Because this is exactly what my research discovered on the money movements preceding the Gulf oil spill, as it was revealed that on the morning of the explosion, Goldman Sachs issued a “put option for preferred insiders” in Transocean (the owner of the Deep Water Horizon oil rig) and the elite had their stock profit margin guaranteed while everyone else took a financial bath! This is the undeniable pattern of the global elite.

Additionally, your bank account has been collateralized against the derivatives debt.

The bankruptcy reform laws stemming from the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005, derivatives counter-parties are given preference over all other creditors and customers of the bankrupt financial institution, including FDIC insured depositors. This gives what the experts call “super priority” in terms of the line of succession from which to collect bankruptcy monies. Bank of America has conspicuously co-mingled their derivatives debt with your savings account and as such they have every legal right use your money to cover their debt. Oh, they would never do that you say? I have bad news for the uninformed, they already have done that very thing. In the MF Global debacle, the reason that MF Global customers lost their segregated account funds was because the MF Global debt load was caused primarily because of their derivatives debt which, under bankruptcy laws, gave derivatives claimants super-priority in the bankruptcy proceedings. In short, you do not matter.

Times Have Changed

Taking what was your money out of the bank is no longer a matter of walking up to your friendly teller with a withdrawal slip and the teller cheerfully honors your request and you calmly exit the bank with your money in tow. In fact, your teller is trained to look for certain indicators in any cash withdrawal of any significance.

As you move to withdraw the bulk of your money, there are three federal banking laws that you should be cognizant of, namely, Cash Transaction Report (CTR), a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) and structuring. Before proceeding with the planed withdrawal of your money, I would strongly suggest that you read the following federal guidelines as it relates to CTR’s as produced by the The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). All the federal regulations contained in this article are elucidated in this series of federal reports.

Before withdrawing your money, there are three regulations to be concerned with.

CTR

Federal law requires that the bank file a report based upon any withdrawal or deposit of $10,000 or more on any single given day.The law was designed to put a damper on money laundering, sophisticated counterfeiting and other federal crimes.

To remain in compliance with the law, financial institutions must obtain personal identification, information about the transaction and the social security number of the person conducting the transaction.

Technically, there is no federal law prohibiting the use of large amounts of cash. However, a CTR must be filed in ALL cases of cash transaction regardless of the reason underlying the transaction. This means your cash transaction will be on the radar.

Structuring and SAR

There will undoubtedly be some geniuses whose math ability will tell them that all they have to do is to withdraw $9,999.99 and the bank and its protector, the federal government will be none the wiser. It is not quite that simple. Here are a few examples of structuring violations that one should be aware of:



1. Barry S. has obtained $15,000 in cash he obtained from selling his truck. He knows that if he deposits $15,000 in cash, his financial institution will be required to file a CTR. Instead he deposits $7,500 in cash in the morning with one financial institution employee and comes back to the financial institution later in the day to another employee to deposit the remaining $7,500, hoping to evade the CTR reporting requirement. Barry should have used multiple accounts to conduct this transaction.

2. Hillary C. needs $16,000 in cash to pay for supplies for her arts and crafts business. Hillary cashes an $8,000 personal check at a financial institution on a Monday. She subsequently cashes another $8,000 personal check at the bank the following day. Hillary is careful to have cashed the two checks on different days and structured the transactions in an attempt to evade the CTR reporting requirement. Hillary should have made irregular deposits on staggered days.

3. A married couple, Bill and Hillary, sell a vehicle for $12,000 in cash. To evade the CTR reporting requirement, Bill and Hillary structure their transactions using different accounts. Bill deposits $8,000 of that money into his and Hillary’s joint account in the morning. Later that day, Hillary deposits $1,500 into the joint account, then $2,500 into her sister’s account, which is later transferred to Bill and Hillary’s joint account at the same bank. Again, Bill and Hillary should have used multiple banks.

The aggregate total of the three transactions totals more than the $10,000 threshold, therefore, a SAR would be filed by the bank and you would be the subject of a federal investigation as all three of the above cases clearly violate the federal banking laws related to structuring. It is a federal crime to break up transactions into smaller amounts for the purpose of evading the CTR reporting requirement. In these instances, the bank is required to file a SAR which serves to notify the federal government of an individual’s attempt to structure deposits or withdrawals by circumventing the $10,000 reporting requirement.

Structuring transactions to prevent a CTR from being reported can result in imprisonment for not more than five years and/or a fine of up to $250,000. If structuring involves more than $100,000 in a twelve month period or is performed while violating another law of the federal government, the penalty is doubled.

Enforcement

Much like the enforcement of our tax laws, the federal government’s enforcement of its banking laws as it relates to CTR’s, SAR’s and subsequent structuring is quite draconian. Civilian asset forfeiture laws come into play. The government can seize your bank accounts while it determines if a crime has been committed. The government can literally seize your assets in perpetuity without an order of the court. Of course, you could try and sue but you will be up against the deep pockets of the federal government and the case could take years. By the time your case is decided, the financial banking crisis that you are so desperately trying to avoid by withdrawing your money, could be over. So, proceed with caution.

If you ever become the target of a federal investigation, do not, under any circumstances, allow yourself to be interviewed by federal officials without an attorney present. In many cases, people go to jail and pay huge fines, not because they have committed a federal crime, but because federal officials state that they have lied or misled them. And if you do not have an attorney present, it is your word versus the federal government. This is how the federal government sent Martha Stewart to prison.

What to Do

The best way to avoid getting your money caught in the bank in the midst of a bank run would be to not let the lion’s share of your money ever cross the bank. Do not allow your employer to direct deposit your check to the bank. Keep some cash at home by taking out a large portion of the money you receive from your employer. Don’t put cash in a safety box because the courts have also ruled that the banks own your safety boxes.

Use electronic transfers to buy into a mutual funds and also use checks to buy silver coins from several different companies

Open multiple banking accounts ranging from the big five megabanks to your local credit unions. You could withdraw much smaller amounts until the sum total of your accounts is greatly diminished and is in your possession. To open the accounts, simply write a personal check from your home bank. Of course, in these cases, the bank could hold the check for 15-30 days.

Use checks and case to pay all of your debts.

Prepay your taxes and some other obligations with checks. Make sure you only pay safe entities. Your local government is not going to disappear, even in a depression. Therefore, you can prepay property taxes.

Find a safer bank than the mega banks. Use credit unions as they are one level removed from the Federal Reserve. .

Please add to the list with your comments.

Conclusion

I predict the Federal Reserve will steal your money by faking a cyber attack In fact, last year, FEMA and DHS actually practiced for this event on October 23rd and 24th of last year.

To people like “Rick” you probably will not be able to save everything, but rest assured, you can still save something to live on. The time to have acted was yesterday.

I can anticipate what some of you are now thinking, because I have thought the same thing! If all of us attempt to take even just a portion out of the bank, the Federal Reserve and their servant, the federal government, will move to stop all cash withdrawals. Won’t that kind of move serve to expose the criminality of the Federal Reserve and the federal government for all to see? Awareness is the first step to action and we have the ability to force several issues out in the open at this time.

Fukushima Is Still a Disaster

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The corporate media silence on Fukushima has been deafening even though the melted-down nuclear power plant’s seaborne radiation is now washing up on American beaches.

Ever more radioactive water continues to pour into the Pacific. 

At least three extremely volatile fuel assemblies are stuck high in the air at Unit 4. Three years after the March 11, 2011, disaster, nobody knows exactly where the melted cores from Units 1, 2 and 3 might be.

Amid a dicey cleanup infiltrated by organized crime, still more massive radiation releases are a real possibility at any time.

Radioactive groundwater washing through the complex is enough of a problem that Fukushima Daiichi owner Tepco has just won approval for a highly controversial ice wall to be constructed around the crippled reactor site. No wall of this scale and type has ever been built, and this one might not be ready for two years. Widespread skepticism has erupted surrounding its potential impact on the stability of the site and on the huge amounts of energy necessary to sustain it. Critics also doubt it would effectively guard the site from flooding and worry it could cause even more damage should power fail.

Meanwhile, children nearby are dying. The rate of thyroid cancers among some 250,000 area young people is more than 40 times normal. According to health expert Joe Mangano, more than 46 percent have precancerous nodules and cysts on their thyroids. This is “just the beginning” of a tragic epidemic, he warns.

There is, however, some good news—exactly the kind the nuclear power industry does not want broadcast.

When the earthquake and consequent tsunami struck Fukushima, there were 54 commercial reactors licensed to operate in Japan, more than 12 percent of the global total.

As of today, not one has reopened. The six at Fukushima Daiichi will never operate again. Some 30 older reactors around Japan can’t meet current safety standards (a reality that could apply to 60 or more reactors that continue to operate here in the U.S.). 

As part of his desperate push to reopen these reactors, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has shuffled the country’s regulatory agencies, and removed at least one major industry critic, replacing him with a key industry supporter.

But last month a Japanese court denied a corporate demand to restart two newer reactors at the Ooi power plant in Fukui prefecture. The judges decided that uncertainty about when, where and how hard the inevitable next earthquake will hit makes it impossible to guarantee the safety of any reactor in Japan. 

In other words, no reactor can reopen in Japan without endangering the nation, which the court could not condone.

Such legal defeats are extremely rare for Japan’s nuclear industry, and this one is likely to be overturned. But it dealt a stunning blow to Abe’s pro-nuke agenda. 

In Fukushima’s wake, the Japanese public has become far more anti-nuclear. Deep-seated anger has spread over shoddy treatment and small compensation packages given downwind victims. In particular, concern has spread about small children being forced to move back into heavily contaminated areas around the plant.

Under Japanese law, local governments must approve any restart. Anti-nuclear candidates have been dividing the vote in recent elections, but the movement may be unifying and could eventually overwhelm the Abe administration.

A new comic book satirizing the Fukushima cleanup has become a nationwide best-seller. The country has also been rocked by revelations that some 700 workers fled the Fukushima Daiichi site at the peak of the accident. Just a handful of personnel were left to deal with the crisis, including the plant manager, who soon thereafter died of cancer.

In the meantime, Abe’s infamous, intensely repressive state secrets act has seriously constrained the flow of technical information. At least one nuclear opponent is being prosecuted for sending a critical tweet to an industry supporter. A professor jailed for criticizing the government’s handling of nuclear waste has come to the U.S. to speak.

The American corporate media have been dead silent or, alternatively, dismissive about the radiation now washing up on our shores, and about the extremely dangerous job of bringing intensely radioactive fuel rods down from their damaged pools.

Fukushima’s General Electric reactors feature spent fuel pools perched roughly 100 feet in the air. When the tsunami hit, thousands of rods were suspended over Units 1, 2, 3 and 4. 

According to nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen, the bring-down of the assemblies in Unit 4 may have hit a serious snag. Gundersen says that beginning in November 2013, Tokyo Electric Power removed about half of the suspended rods there. But at least three assemblies may be stuck. The more difficult half of the pile remains. And the pools at three other units remain problematic. An accident at any one of them could result in significant radiation releases, which have already far exceeded those from Chernobyl and from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

At least 300 tons of heavily contaminated Fukushima water still pour daily into the Pacific. Hundreds more tons are backed up on site, with Tepco apologists advocating they be dumped directly into the ocean without decontamination.

Despite billions of dollars in public aid, Tepco is still the principal owner of Fukushima. The “cleanup” has become a major profit center. Tepco boasted a strong return in 2013. Its fellow utilities are desperate to reopen other reactors that netted them huge annual cash flow.

Little of this has made its way into the American corporate media. 

New studies from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have underscored significant seismic threats to American commercial nuclear sites. Among those of particular concern are two reactors at Indian Point just north of New York City, which sit near the highly volatile Ramapo Fault, and two at Diablo Canyon, between Los Angeles and San Francisco, directly upwind of California’s Central Valley.

The U.S. industry has also suffered a huge blow at New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Project. Primarily a military dump, this showcase radioactive waste facility was meant to prove that the industry could handle its trash. No expense was spared in setting it up in the salt caverns of the desert southwest, officially deemed the perfect spot to dump the 70,000 tons of high-level fuel rods now backed up at American reactor sites. 

But an explosion and highly significant radiation release at the pilot project last month has contaminated local residents and cast a deep cloud over any future plans to dispose of American reactor waste. The constant industry complaint that the barriers are “political” is absurd. 

While the American reactor industry continues to suck billions of dollars from the public treasury, its allies in the corporate media seem increasingly hesitant to cover the news of post-Fukushima Japan. 

In reality, those gutted reactors are still extremely dangerous. An angry public, whose children are suffering, has thus far managed to keep all other nukes shut in Japan. If they keep them down permanently, it will be a huge blow to the global nuke industry—one you almost certainly won’t see reported in the American corporate media.