Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ron Paul on Proponents of Raising Debt Ceiling: 'I Think They're Misled'

TSA starting to backtrack US air agency introduces scanners to guard privacy

The Associated Press: US air agency introduces scanners to guard privacy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Transportation Security Administration says it is installing technology in some U.S. airports to allow travelers to go through checkpoint security and have a generic outline of the body to be shown instead of an image of a naked body.

The agency says the change is intended to protect privacy rights while securing commercial air travel. It will be used in 40 airports, including in Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; Miami, Florida; and Newark, New Jersey.

The new software is designed to recognize items with the passenger that could pose a security threat.

The agency plans eventually to use the technology at more airports.

The whole body imaging machines have sparked outrage among some passengers and privacy advocates because the explicit images they display.

No Room for 9/11 Survivors at 10th Anniversary Ceremony, City Says

No Room for 9/11 Survivors at 10th Anniversary Ceremony, City Says -

LOWER MANHATTAN — Survivors who fled the flaming World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 will not be allowed to attend the city's annual commemoration ceremony at Ground Zero this year, DNAinfo has learned.

The mayor's office, which runs the ceremony, informed the World Trade Center Survivors' Network last week that there will be no room for them at this year's 10th anniversary ceremony, which will be held for the first time at the newly built 9/11 memorial, the city said.

"In years past, members of this survivors' group were permitted to attend once it was clear that attendance numbers of victims’ family members would allow it," said Andrew Brent, spokesman for the mayor's office.

"The commemoration ceremony is for victims' family members, and this year – on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 – the expectation is there will be no opportunity for members of the group to attend."

September 11th will again be an emotional day for victims’ family members, survivors, responders, millions of New Yorkers and people from all over the country and the world, but obvious space constraints on the Memorial plaza will limit the attendees to victims’ families," Brent added.

Survivors of the 9/11 attacks had called the mayor's office in the runup to the anniversary to ask for permission to attend again this year. Survivors were initially not allowed to attend the name-reading ceremony in the years immediately following the terrorist attacks, but were later granted access, the group said.

Leaders of the WTC Survivors' Network emailed to alert its members Tuesday night.

"We were recently informed by the mayor's office that attendance at this year's September 11th name reading ceremony will be reserved for family members only and if an exception is made for us we won't know until just a few days beforehand," wrote organizers Richard Zimbler and Brendan Chellis.

"I'm sure we speak for everyone in saying that this is particularly disappointing because we have attended the ceremony every year since the mayor's office first allowed us to go."

Survivors still plan to go to the memorial, either by attending on Sept. 12 or by finding out at the last minute that there is room for them on the anniversary, they said.

"We do intend to be there one way or another...," they wrote. "Even when they could barely get a thousand people there, or when the weather was horrible, survivors were there to remember those who were lost and show our thanks for being the lucky ones to get out."

Staff at National September 11 Memorial & Museum have previously said they expect record attendance from victims' family members on the 10th anniversary of the attack, and the new 9/11 memorial has a limited capacity because it is surrounded by construction.

But for those who almost lost their lives that day, the exclusion is too much.

"It's a real slap in the face on top of everything else we've already had to go through," said Shannon Loy, who escaped the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 after going to the building on business. "It makes me really sad."

Loy, 38, who lives in North Kansas City, MO, started an online petition asking the city to reconsider its decision. The petition has already gathered more than 500 signatures, many accompanied by emotional pleas.

"There is a scar inside us that needs to heal," wrote one person who signed the petition.

Unlike some of the other survivors, Loy has not returned to New York City since the Twin Towers crumbled around her.

Read more:

» Thank You for Your Service?

» Thank You for Your Service? Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!

Laurence M. Vance
July 19, 2011

It is without question that Americans are in love with the military. Even worse, though, is that their love is unqualified, unconditional, unrelenting, and unending.

I have seen signs praising the troops in front of all manner of businesses, including self-storage units, bike shops, and dog grooming.

Many businesses offer discounts to military personnel not available to doctors, nurses, and others who save lives instead of destroy them.

Special preference is usually given to veterans seeking employment, and not just for government jobs.

Many churches not only recognize veterans and active-duty military on the Sunday before holidays, they have special military appreciation days as well.

Even many of those who oppose an interventionist U.S. foreign policy and do not support foreign wars hold the military in high esteem.

All of these things are true no matter which country the military bombs, invades, or occupies. They are true no matter why the military does these things. They are true no matter what happens while the military does these things. They are true no matter which political party is in power.

The love affair that Americans have with the military – the reverence, the idolatry, the adoration, yea, the worship – was never on display like it was at the post office the other day.

While at the counter shipping some packages, a U.S. soldier, clearly of Vietnamese origin in name and appearance, dressed in his fatigues, was shipping something at the counter next to me. The postal clerk was beaming when he told the soldier how his daughter had been an MP in Iraq. Three times in as many minutes I heard the clerk tell the soldier – with a gleam in his eye and a solemn look on his face – “Thank you for your service.” The clerk even shook the soldier’s hand before he left.

I could not believe what I was seeing and hearing, and I am no stranger to accounts of military fetishes in action.

Aside from me not thanking that soldier for his service – verbally or otherwise – I immediately thought of four things.

  • A D V E R T I S E M E N T

One, what service did this soldier actually render to the United States? If merely drawing a paycheck from the government is rendering service, then we ought to thank every government bureaucrat for his service, including TSA goons. Did this soldier actually do anything to defend the United States, secure its borders, guard its shores, patrol its coasts, or enforce a no-fly zone over U.S. skies? How can someone blindly say “thank you for your service” when he doesn’t know what service was rendered?

Two, is there anything that U.S. soldiers could do to bring the military into disfavor? I can’t think of anything. Atrocities are dismissed as collateral damage in a moment of passion in the heat of battle by just a few bad apples. Unjust wars, we are told, are solely the fault of politicians not the soldiers that do the actual fighting. Paul Tibbets and his crew are seen as heroes for dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Before he died, Tibbets even said that he had no second thoughts and would do it again. I suspect that if the United States dropped an atomic bomb tomorrow on Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing everyone and everything, and declaring the war on terror over and won, a majority of Americans would applaud the Air Force crew that dropped the bomb and give them a ticker-tape parade.

Three, why is it that Americans only thank American military personnel for their service? Shouldn’t foreign military personnel be thanked for service to their country? What American military worshippers really believe is that foreign military personnel should only be thanked for service to their government when their government acts in the interests of the United States. Foreign soldiers are looked upon as heroic if they refuse to obey a military order to shoot or kill at the behest of their government as long as such an order is seen as not in the interests of the United States. U.S. soldiers, however, are always expected to obey orders, even if it means going to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, or Libya under false pretenses.

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And four, what is a Vietnamese man – who most certainly has relatives, or friends or neighbors of relatives, that were killed or injured by U.S. bombs and bullets during the Vietnam War – doing joining the U.S. military where he can be sent to shoot and bomb foreigners like the U.S. military did to his people?

And aside from these four things, I’m afraid I must also say: Sorry, soldiers, I don’t thank you for your service.

- I don’t thank you for your service in fighting foreign wars.
- I don’t thank you for your service in fighting without a congressional declaration of war.
- I don’t thank you for your service in bombing and destroying Iraq and Afghanistan.
- I don’t thank you for your service in killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans.
- I don’t thank you for your service in expanding the war on terror to Pakistan and Yemen.
- I don’t thank you for your service in occupying over 150 countries around the world.
- I don’t thank you for your service in garrisoning the planet with over 1,000 military bases.
- I don’t thank you for your service in defending our freedoms when you do nothing of the kind.
- I don’t thank you for your service as part of the president’s personal attack force to bomb, invade, occupy, and otherwise bring death and destruction to any country he deems necessary.

Thank you for your service? I don’t think so.

Obama to add 20,000 troops to US streets in the event of Civil unrest


Police accountability activists and their supporters celebrate court victory

Police accountability activists and their supporters celebrate court victory |


GREENFIELD -- It took a Greenfield District Court jury about two hours on Tuesday to acquit a pair of New Hampshire men accused of illegally filming at the Franklin County Jail last summer.

"We can put this behind us and move on with our other projects," said defendant Pete Eyre, who along with Adam Mueller had been charged with unlawfully filming law enforcement officials at the Greenfield jail last July.

Eyre, 31, and Mueller, 28, both of Keene, are subscribers ofvoluntaryism, an anti-government movement that favors the concept of natural law or voluntary adherence to rules and regulations over a state-sanctioned system of laws.

World Plantation 9AM Eastern Commoncents Radio Today

Pro-Choicers Go Ballistic Over Picture Of Aborted Baby!

'Spain will recognize Palestinian state on 1969 lines

'Spain will recognize Palestinian state on... JPost - Middle East

UN security council to consider climate change peacekeeping green helmets

UN security council to consider climate change peacekeeping | Environment |

Special meeting to discuss 'green helmets' force to intervene in conflicts caused by rising seas levels and shrinking resources
Small island states, which could disappear as sea levels rise, want the UN security council to intervene. Photograph: Matthieu Paley/ Matthieu Paley/Corbis
A special meeting of the United Nations security council is due to consider whether to expand its mission to keep the peace in an era ofclimate change.
Small island states, which could disappear beneath rising seas, are pushing the security council to intervene to combat the threat to their existence.
There has been talk, meanwhile, of a new environmental peacekeeping force – green helmets – which could step into conflicts caused by shrinking resources.
The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, is expected to address the meeting on Wednesday.
But Germany, which called the meeting, has warned it is premature to expect the council to take the plunge into green peacemaking or even adopt climate change as one of its key areas of concern

The Never-Ending Depression

The Never-Ending Depression

Economics Professor: "[We’ll Have] a Never-Ending Depression Unless We Repudiate the Debt, Which Never Should Have Been Extended In The First Place"

Economists: The Economy Can Only Recover If We Repudiate the Debt

Leading Austrian-school economist Murray Rothbard - an American - wrote in 1992:

I propose ... out-right debt repudiation. Consider this question: why should the poor, battered citizens of Russia or Poland or the other ex-Communist countries be bound by the debts contracted by their former Communist masters? In the Communist situation, the injustice is clear: that citizens struggling for freedom and for a free-market economy should be taxed to pay for debts contracted by the monstrous former ruling class. But this injustice only differs by degree from "normal" public debt. For, conversely, why should the Communist government of the Soviet Union have been bound by debts contracted by the Czarist government they hated and overthrew? And why should we, struggling American citizens of today, be bound by debts created by a ... ruling elite who contracted these debts at our expense?


Although largely forgotten by historians and by the public, repudiation of public debt is a solid part of the American tradition. The first wave of repudiation of state debt came during the 1840's, after the panics of 1837 and 1839. Those panics were the consequence of a massive inflationary boom fueled by the Whig-run Second Bank of the United States. Riding the wave of inflationary credit, numerous state governments, largely those run by the Whigs, floated an enormous amount of debt, most of which went into wasteful public works (euphemistically called "internal improvements"), and into the creation of inflationary banks. Outstanding public debt by state governments rose from $26 million to $170 million during the decade of the 1830's. Most of these securities were financed by British and Dutch investors.

During the deflationary 1840's succeeding the panics, state governments faced repayment of their debt in dollars that were now more valuable than the ones they had borrowed. Many states, now largely in Democratic hands, met the crisis by repudiating these debts, either totally or partially by scaling down the amount in "readjustments." Specifically, of the 28 American states in the 1840's, nine were in the glorious position of having no public debt, and one (Missouri's) was negligible; of the 18 remaining, nine paid the interest on their public debt without interruption, while another nine (Maryland, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida) repudiated part or all of their liabilities. Of these states, four defaulted for several years in their interest payments, whereas the other five (Michigan, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Florida) totally and permanently repudiated their entire outstanding public debt. As in every debt repudiation, the result was to lift a great burden from the backs of the taxpayers in the defaulting and repudiating states.


The next great wave of state debt repudiation came in the South after the blight of Northern occupation and Reconstruction had been lifted from them. Eight Southern states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia) proceeded, during the late 1870's and early 1880's under Democratic regimes, to repudiate the debt foisted upon their taxpayers by the corrupt and wasteful carpetbag Radical Republican governments under Reconstruction.

Economics professor Steve Keen is also calling for a debt jubilee, stating:

We should write the debt off, bankrupt the banks, nationalize the financial system, and start all over again.

We need a twenty-first century jubilee.

[We’re going into] a never-ending depression unless we repudiate the debt, which never should have been extended in the first place.

If we keep the parasitic banking sector alive, the economy dies. We have to kill the parasites and give a chance to the real economy to thrive once more and stop the financial [crooks] doing what they did this time around ever again.

Economics professor Michael Hudson - who also calls for a debt jubiliee - writes:

The only way to resolve the [European debt crisis] is to negotiate a debt write-off.

As I've noted for years, the entire strategy of the Bush and Obama economics teams have been to prevent the big banks, bondholders and other creditors from having to take haircuts by writing down the bad loans, phony instruments and bad debt. They have suspended any objective accounting requirements, allowed endless shell games to hide the debt and pretend all of the insolvent creditors are solvent, done everything under the sun to artificially prop up asset prices, turned a blind eye to the underlying fraud which caused the bubble, the toxic investment instruments and false representations, and then helped cover up the mess. See this, this, this and this.

I noted last month:

America - like most nations around the world - decided to bail out their big banks instead of taking the necessary steps to stabilize their economies (see this, this and this). As such, they all transferred massive debts (from fraudulent and stupid gambling activities) from the balance sheets of the banks to the balance sheets of the country.

Failing to acknowledge the bad debt is dooming the world economy. As leading independent banking analyst Chris Whalen points out:

The invidious cowards who inhabit Washington are unwilling to restructure the largest banks and GSEs [government sponsored enterprises, like Fannie and Freddie]. The reluctance comes partly from what truths restructuring will reveal. As a result, these same large zombie banks and the U.S. economy will continue to shrink under the weight of bad debt, public and private. Remember that the Dodd-Frank legislation was not so much about financial reform as protecting the housing GSEs.

Because President Barack Obama and the leaders of both political parties are unwilling to address the housing crisis and the wasting effects on the largest banks, there will be no growth and no net job creation in the U.S. for the next several years. And because the Obama White House is content to ignore the crisis facing millions of American homeowners, who are deep underwater and will eventually default on their loans, the efforts by the Fed to reflate the U.S. economy and particularly consumer spending will be futile. As Alan Meltzer noted to Tom Keene on Bloomberg Radio earlier this year: "This is not a monetary problem."

The policy of the Fed and Treasury with respect to the large banks is state socialism writ large, without even the pretense of a greater public good.

The fraud and obfuscation now underway in Washington to protect the TBTF banks and GSEs totals into the trillions of dollars and rises to the level of treason.

And in the case of the zombie banks, the GSEs and the MIs, the fraud is being actively concealed by Congress, the White House and agencies of the U.S. government led by the Federal Reserve Board. Is this not tyranny?

And Paul Mason - economics editor for BBC Newsnight - told Democracy Now on July 1:

[Interviewer]: Is there a qualitative difference in our era where you have essentially financial institutions that are far more powerful than any governments? Where you had a situation where during the 2008 crisis the United States government was bailing out banks in Europe that had been involved in investments here as well as its own banks, that this concept of too-big-to-fail for banks, but not for countries, or not for populations that end up having to suffer?


[Paul Mason]: You’re absolutely right that the situation we are in is unprecedented..... And we are entering a situation where the entire system seems incapable of recognizing bad debt. The bad debt has been flowing around the system since Lehman.

Repudiating Debt is MORAL

Religions were founded on the concept of debt forgiveness.

For example, Matthew 6:12 says:

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

As I've previously noted, periodic times of debt forgiveness - or debt "jubilees" - were a normal part ancient Jewish and Christian religions.

David Graeber, author of "Debt: The First 5,000 Years" told Democracy Now recently:

Most revolutions, more revolts in human history have been about debt. It’s the most perennial tool that’s been used by people who are powerful to make the victims of structural inequalities feel that it’s somehow their fault. So I wanted to unveil that and show that we’re actually part of a very very long history. There’s also a lot of hope in it. Because the other thing I realized is that much of the world religions grew out of social movements, which were exactly about “problematizing” debt. Basically saying, who owes what to who?

That made me think that we’re actually at a very strange historical moment because they’ve managed to convince people around the world that debt is somehow something sacred. I mean, a debt is just a promise, right? It has no greater moral standard than any other promise that you would make. Yet, here we have people accepting that it’s perfectly reasonable to say well, we can’t possibly keep our promise to the public, politicians say, to give you health care because it’s absolutely unthinkable we could break our sacred promises to bankers to give them a certain percentage of interest every year. How did that become a convincing argument? It’s utterly odd if you think about in terms of any kind of principle of democracy. As I say, if you look at the history of world religions, of social movements what you find is for much of world history what is sacred is not debt, but the ability to make debt disappear to forgive it and that’s where concepts of redemption originally come from.


[Interviewer] David Graeber in this long history is there a qualitative difference in our era where you have essentially financial institutions that are far more powerful than any governments? Where you had a situation where during the 2008 crisis the United States government was bailing out banks in Europe that had been involved in investments here as well as its own banks, that this concept of too-big-to-fail for banks, but not for countries, or not for populations that end up having to suffer?

[Graeber]:I think that marks a significant break in world history. I think when we look back at this, we’re gonna think of 2008. 1972 when the U.S. went off the gold standard was the first moment we sort of moved toward a system of virtual money where we realize that money is not a thing, it’s an arrangement between people. In 2008, where it became clear that the old global financial system is something that’s created politically and has to be periodically recreated, it doesn’t maintain itself, like they want us to believe. I mean, that really marks a break. The question is now that we understand that money is a political construct, that they really do just print it, it is a promise that people make to each other. Well who has control over that process of making promises? Who gets to make them and to whom?

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote in 2009:

In the end, the only way out of all this global debt may prove to be a Biblical debt Jubilee.

Repudiating Debt is "Odious" Debt LEGAL

Former Managing Director and board member of Wall Street investment bank Dillon Read, president of Hamilton Securities Group, Inc., an investment bank, and former government servant Catherine Austin Fitts wrote:

Look up “fraudulent inducement.” My position as the former Assistant Secretary of Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner and then as lead financial advisor to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is that the majority of the mortgages originated in the United States after 1996 were fraudulently induced.

The way to deal with criminals is to treat our contracts with them in a manner reciprocal to how they have treated their contracts with us.

Congresswoman Kaptur advises her constituents facing foreclosure to demand that the original mortgage papers be produced. She says that - if the bank can't produce the mortgage papers - then the homeowner can stay in the house.

As I pointed out last year:

There is an established legal principle that people should not have to repay their government's debt to the extent that it is incurred to launch aggressive wars or to oppress the people.

These "odious debts" are considered to be the personal debts of the tyrants who incurred them, rather than the country's debt.

Wikipedia gives a good overview of the principle:

In international law, odious debt is a legal theory which holds that the national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation, such as wars of aggression, should not be enforceable. Such debts are thus considered by this doctrine to be personal debts of the regime that incurred them and not debts of the state. In some respects, the concept is analogous to the invalidity of contracts signed under coercion.

The doctrine was formalized in a 1927 treatise by Alexander Nahum Sack, a Russian émigré legal theorist, based upon 19th Century precedents including Mexico's repudiation of debts incurred by Emperor Maximilian's regime, and the denial by the United States of Cuban liability for debts incurred by the Spanish colonial regime. According to Sack:

When a despotic regime contracts a debt, not for the needs or in the interests of the state, but rather to strengthen itself, to suppress a popular insurrection, etc, this debt is odious for the people of the entire state. This debt does not bind the nation; it is a debt of the regime, a personal debt contracted by the ruler, and consequently it falls with the demise of the regime. The reason why these odious debts cannot attach to the territory of the state is that they do not fulfil one of the conditions determining the lawfulness of State debts, namely that State debts must be incurred, and the proceeds used, for the needs and in the interests of the State. Odious debts, contracted and utilised for purposes which, to the lenders' knowledge, are contrary to the needs and the interests of the nation, are not binding on the nation – when it succeeds in overthrowing the government that contracted them – unless the debt is within the limits of real advantages that these debts might have afforded. The lenders have committed a hostile act against the people, they cannot expect a nation which has freed itself of a despotic regime to assume these odious debts, which are the personal debts of the ruler.

Patricia Adams, executive director of Probe International (an environmental and public policy advocacy organisation in Canada), and author of Odious Debts: Loose Lending, Corruption, and the Third World's Environmental Legacy, has stated that:

by giving creditors an incentive to lend only for purposes that are transparent and of public benefit, future tyrants will lose their ability to finance their armies, and thus the war on terror and the cause of world peace will be better served.

A recent article by economists Seema Jayachandran and Michael Kremer has renewed interest in this topic. They propose that the idea can be used to create a new type of economic sanction to block further borrowing by dictators.

Jubilee USA notes that creditors may lose their rights to repayment of odious debts:

Odious debt is an established legal principle. Legally, debt is to be considered odious if the government used the money for personal purposes or to oppress the people. Moreover, in cases where borrowed money was used in ways contrary to the people’s interest, with the knowledge of the creditors, the creditors may be said to have committed a hostile act against the people. Creditors cannot legitimately expect repayment of such debts.

The United States set the first precedent of odious debt when it seized control of Cuba from Spain. Spain insisted that Cuba repay the loans made to them by Spain. The U.S. repudiated (refused to pay) that debt, arguing that the debt was imposed on Cuba by force of arms and served Spain’s interest rather than Cuba’s, and that the debt therefore ought not be repaid. This precedent was upheld by international law in Great Britain v. Costa Rica (1923) when money was put to use for illegitimate purposes with full knowledge of the lending institution; the resulting debt was annulled.

The launch of the Iraq war was an unlawful war of aggression. It was based on false premises (weapons of mass destruction and aconnection between Iraq and 9/11; see [this], this, this, this, this, this and this). Therefore, the trillions in debts incurred in fighting that war are odious debts which the people might lawfully refuse to pay for.

The Bush and Obama administrations have also oppressed the American people through spying on us - even before 9/11 (confirmed hereand here) - harassment of innocent grandmothers and other patriotic Americans criticizing government action, and other assaults on liberty and the rule of law. See this. The monies borrowed to finance these oppressive activities are also odious debts.

The government has also given trillions in bailouts, loans, guarantees and other perks to the too big to fails. These funds have not helped the American people. For example, the giant banks are still not loaning. They have solely gone into speculative investments and to line the pockets of the muckety-mucks in the form of bonuses. PhD economist Dean Baker said that the true purpose of the bank rescues is "a massive redistribution of wealth to the bank shareholders and their top executives". Two leading IMF officials, the former Vice President of the Dallas Federal Reserve, and the the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City have all said that the United States is controlled by an oligarchy. PhD economist Michael Hudson says that the financial “parasites” have killed the American economy, and they are "sucking as much money out" as they can before "jumping ship". These are odious debts.

[Bush and Obama officials] who ordered that these debts be incurred must be held personally liable for them. We the American people are not responsible to creditors - such as China, Saudi Arabia - who have knowingly financed these illegal and oppressive activities which have not benefited the American people, but solely the handful of corrupt politicians who authorized them.

Repudiating Debt Is Politically EMPOWERING

Matt Taibbi wrote last year:

As powerful as these Wall Street banks may seem, they are also exquisitely vulnerable. Right now virtually all of them are dependent upon the government keeping accounting standards lax enough for all of them to claim to be functional businesses. It is generally accepted that if the major banks on Wall Street were forced to mark all of their assets to market tomorrow, they would all be either insolvent or close to it.

Thus their “healthy” financial status is already illusory. So imagine what would happen if large numbers of those dubious loans on their balance sheets that they have marked down as “performing” were suddenly pushed ahead of time into the default column. What if Greece, and the Pennsylvania school system, and Jefferson County, Alabama, and the countless other municipalities and states that are wrapped up in these corrupt deals just decided to declare their debts illegitimate and back out?

I think it’s an interesting question and would like to hear what knowledgeable people in the field have to say about it. But the big picture, to me, is that these companies are almost totally dependent not only upon the continued good faith of aggrieved debtors, but upon the government recognizing the (sometimes fraudulent) loans made to those debtors as fully performing.

Similarly, Gregor MacDonald argued in February 2009:

The private sector debt in the United States exerts the same power over the banking system as the public debt of the United States exerts over our international creditors. Collectively, the debtors are in control. Not the creditors. This is why the the Creditors, not the Debtors, will be making most of the concessions in the years ahead. Whether the US public debt is inflated away, rescheduled, or repudiated–or some combination of all three–it doesn’t matter much. The process is already underway.

The most cynical (but not necessarily inaccurate) view of debt I've seen is that banks loan out imaginary money they don't really have, which money is "collateralized" by capital they do not really have, which is, in turn, based upon central bank printing presses which create money out of thin air which the central banks don't really have. But then when debtors have trouble repaying onerous loans, the bankers seize real assets. See this, this and this.

In other words, according to the most cynical view, the entire debt-money system is a scam ... and should be repudiated.

Repudiating Debt is POPULAR

Walking away from home mortgages has actually become mainstream, being trumpeted by:

  • Even popular personal finance advisor Suze Orman is highlighting the debtors revolt phenomenon on her national tv show

And Max Keiser predicts that the revolts in Greece, Spain and elsewhere will play out in the U.S. in the form of mass defaults on mortgages later this year.

'Anti-terror powers overuse erode trust'

PressTV - 'Anti-terror powers overuse erode trust'
Britain's counter-terrorism powers that have led to more than 85,000 travelers being stopped and searched at ports and airports at random in 2009-2011 should be reviewed, watchdog warns.

David Anderson QC who is currently the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation said special branch officers questioned 2,687 people who were detained at random for more than an hour in 2009-2010 with detention of 466 people taking up to nine hours.

Anderson said the number of the detainees under the schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 for 2010-2011 is yet to be published but added his research shows whatever the number, the powers are leaving Muslims with the “negative experience” that the regulations are targeted at them.

This comes as the Federation of Student Islamic Societies earlier said that ethnic or religious minorities especially those from Asia are up to 42 times more likely to be stopped and searched compared with the white people.

The concerns among several minority groups has led the Home Office to pledge an investigation into the concerns that minorities “are disproportionately affected” by the schedule 7 powers.