- “Breathtaking” Corruption In Europe (Acting Man, Feb 10, 2014):
A recent article at the BBC discusses the findings of a report by EU Home Affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem on corruption in the EU. According to the report, the cost of corruption in the EU amounts to €120 billion annually. We would submit that it is likely far more than that (in fact, even Ms. Malmstroem herself concurs with this assessment). This is of course what one gets when one installs vast, byzantine bureaucracies and issues a veritable flood of rules and regulations every year. More and more people are needed to administer this unwieldy nightmare of red tape, and naturally the quality of the hires declines over time due to the sheer numbers required. Continue reading »
- Mexican Citizens Topple Cartels And Are Rewarded With Government Retaliation (Alt-Market, Jan 22, 2014):
There is one rule to citizen defiance that, in my opinion, surpasses all others in strategic importance; and it is a rule that I have tried to drive home for many years. I would call it the “non-participation principle” and would summarize it as follows: Continue reading »
- Insane Photos Show Mexican Vigilantes Battling A Drug Cartel For Control Of A City (Business Insider, Jan 11, 2014):
Mexico has long suffered blistering violence and crime at the hands of its homegrown drug cartels.
Though the Mexican government has waged war on the cartels, the effort has struggled to go anywhere. More than 90,000 people have died in the ongoing conflict.
Fed up with a corrupt police force that is often in bed with the cartels and a military that has to this point been ineffective, some Mexicans have taken it upon themselves to fight the cartels and protect their families — with an incredible conflict happening this week in the city of Paracuaro.
Below are some pictures from what’s happening south of the border:
Over the last year, vigilante groups, known as fuerzas autodefensas have sprung up all over Mexico, particularly in the southwestern state of Michoacan, an area plagued by the Knights Templar cartel.
On Monday, hundreds of vigilantes stormed Paracuaro, Michoacan, where the Knights Templar had set up their headquarters, in order to seize the town back from the cartel. Below is the entrance, where vigilantes erected a checkpoint.
- Turkish Stocks, Bonds, Lira Collapse As Erdogan Fires Prosecutor, Asks “Who He Works For?” (ZeroHedge, Dec 27, 2013):
Muammer Akkas, the prosecutor who complained his government corruotion investigation efforts were being blocked by the government – has been removed from the investigation. Prime Minister Erdogan’s efforts to rein in “the final attack” on “new Turkey” are failing even after his cabinet reshuffle but this morning’s rhetoric has sent asset prices tumbling once more:
- *’THE NEW TURKEY IS UNDER SERIOUS ATTACK’: ERDOGAN
- *IN NEW TURKEY, SOVEREIGNTY CAN’T LIE WITH JUDICIARY: ERDOGAN
- *LAWMAKERS SHOULD AVOID REMARKS HURTING ERDOGAN: ARINC
- *ERDOGAN SAYS HE’S ISSUING LEGAL COMPLAINT AGAINST MEDIA LEAKS
As one analyst noted, “Erdogan continues to present the developments as a conspiracy despite having to shuffle his cabinet, which indicates that there may be some serious findings behind the probe.“
YouTube Added: Dec 4, 2013
Abby Martin calls out the International Atomic Energy Agency for their endorsement of the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s response to the nuclear disaster, despite the company’s gross mismanagement of disaster.
- 53% Of Bankers Say Ethics Inhibit Career Progression – Here’s Why (ZeroHedge, Nov 26, 2013):
The Economist found, rather sadly, despite all the glad-handing and happy-talk, that 53% of financial services executives believed that strict adherence to ethical conduct would make career progression difficult. As this former Wall Street trader told The Guardian, “a precedent needs to be set, to slow down Wall Street’s wild behavior. A reminder that rules are there to be followed, not exploited.” The reason, among others, is summed up by the following, “if a customer wants a red suit, you sell them a red suit. If that customer is Japanese, you charge him twice what it costs.”
My first year on Wall Street, 1993, I was paid 14 times more than I earned the prior year and three times more than my father’s best year. For that money, I helped my company create financial products that were disguised to look simple, but which required complex math to properly understand. That first year I was roundly applauded by my bosses, who told me I was clever, and to my surprise they gave me $20,000 bonus beyond my salary.
The products were sold to many investors, many who didn’t fully understand what they were buying, most of them what we called “clueless Japanese.” The profits to my company were huge – hundreds of millions of dollars huge. The main product that made my firm great money for close to five years was was called, in typically dense finance jargon, a YIF, or a Yield Indexed Forward. Continue reading »
YouTube Added: Nov 21, 2013
JPMorgan Chase has made many headlines recently. There’s a new investigation underway regarding the bank’s practice of giving lots of money to the kids of rich people abroad in order to gain influence illegally. They just topped the Financial Stability Board’s “Too big to fail” list. They just reached an agreement with the Justice Department to pay a record $13 billion for its fraudulent mortgage products. It’s facing an investigation as Bernie Madoff’s primary bank. And an ex-employee stands accused of hiding hundreds of millions of dollars worth of trading losses.
- How JP Morgan Bribed the Chinese Prime Minister’s Daughter Using a Fake Name (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Nov 14, 2013):
Allegations of JP Morgan’s use of clever tactics to bribe Chinese officials recently received mainstream attention when Salon journalist Alex Pareene mentioned it in a comical and classic interview on CNBC (you need to watch the video before reading this) with presstitute Maria Bartiromo. When Mr.Pareene mentioned these claims against the TBTF bank, CNBC mocked him for the fact that his information had come from the New York Times. Well it appears the paper has now given CNBC a taste of its own medicine; with some actual real reporting, something the clownish financial-tv channel drowning in a zero ratings death spiral doesn’t seem all that interested in doing.
This article from the New York Times details how JP Morgan paid $75,000 a month to an obscure consulting firm called Fullmark Consultants, which had only two employees. The firm was run by a woman named Lily Chang, which in reality was the alias used by Wen Jiabao’s only daughter Wen Ruchun. Wen Jiabao was the Prime Minister of China at the time.
Unsurprisingly, many lucrative deals followed for the JP Morgan in China. How about we #AskJPM about that.
More from the NY Times:
To promote its standing in China, JPMorgan Chase turned to a seemingly obscure consulting firm run by a 32-year-old executive named Lily Chang.
Ms. Chang’s firm, which received a $75,000-a-month contract from JPMorgan, appeared to have only two employees. And on the surface, Ms. Chang lacked the influence and public name recognition needed to unlock business for the bank.
But what was known to JPMorgan executives in Hong Kong, and some executives at other major companies, was that “Lily Chang” was not her real name. It was an alias for Wen Ruchun, the only daughter of Wen Jiabao, who at the time was China’s prime minister, with oversight of the economy and its financial institutions.
- More CRIMINAL fraud: ‘Obamacare’ transfers $100-$300 billion/year from 99% to 1% (Examiner, Nov 10, 2013):
I wrote in 2010 that so-called “Obamacare” is economic fascism because it dictatorially transfers $100 billion to $300 billion every year from the 99% to 1% so-called “health care” oligarchs, according to every cost-benefit analysis compared to single-payer universal health care that I could find. “Obamacare” is also criminal fraud by US government so-called “leaders” because they have legal fiduciary responsibility to fully communicate options in trust of public money.
OBVIOUSLY, failure to communicate annual savings of $100 billion to $300 billion while transferring this to 1% oligarchs points to massive crime.
Moreover, stories that point to tragic-comic cost increases and cancellations strengthen the case for criminal investigation of financial gains from government insiders at the expense of the public they’re sworn to serve.
- British taxpayers liable for £800m of misspent EU funds (Telegraph, Nov 5, 2013):
British taxpayers are liable for over £800 million of misspent EU funds as Brussels error rate increases by 23 per cent
The European Union wasted almost £6 billion last year – including £800 million from British taxpayers – on fraudulent, illegal or ineligible spending projects, official auditors have found.
At a time of unprecedented European-wide austerity, the EU mis-spent almost 5 per cent of its budget in 2012 on projects that should never have received any of its money.
- New York is Drowning in Bribes and Corruption by Pam Martens (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Oct 19, 2013):
“Public corruption, based on all the evidence, appears rampant. And the ranks of those convicted in office have swelled to absolutely unacceptable levels. State Senators as well as State Assemblymen; elected officials as well as party leaders; city council members as well as town mayors; Democrats as well as Republicans.”
- Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (the district that has failed to rein in the serial crimes by Wall Street’s biggest firms)
It’s no surprise to me that New York is exceedingly corrupt. It’s a huge city, with a ton of wealth and massive income inequality. That’s basically the primary breeding ground for wide-scale corruption. However, it also comes as no surprise to me that the situation has gotten a lot worse in recent years. After all, NYC is the headquarters of some of the largest financial institutions in the world. As such, some of the worst actors in the recent financial collapse call the city home. The whole world watched as these criminals and shysters not only evaded criminal charges, but were also rewarded trillions of dollars of public support for their efforts.
The example was set. Crime pays, and now the entire city seems to be following their lead. Continue reading »
- Greece Considering Confiscation Of Private Assets (ZeroHedge, Oct 6, 2013):
The last time we opined on the possibility of a Cyprus-style “bail-in” in Greece, which is essentially a legally-mandated confiscation of private sector assets held hostage by the local financial system, until such time as the balance sheet of said financial system is viable, we were joking. Well, not really joking.
But not even we thought that a banking sector “bail in”, in which unsecured bank liabilities, which include bonds and of course deposits, are used as a matched source of extinguishment of non-performing bad debt “assets” could spread to the broader economy, and specifically to unencumbered private sector assets. Alas, this is precisely what Greece, which is desperately to delay the inevitable and announce it needs not only a third but fourth bailout, appears keen on doing.
As Kathimerini reports, the Greek Labor and Social Insurance Ministry is “seriously considering drastic measures in order to obtain the social security contributions owed by enterprises and to avoid having to slash pensions and benefits.” What drastic measures? “The ministry is planning to force companies to pay up or face having their assets seized, so that the 14 billion euros of contributions due can be recouped.”
After all, it’s only “fair.”
Kathimerini is kind enough to layout the clear-cut problems with this plan which will further crush any potential rebound in the Greek economy: Continue reading »
- Greece On The Verge? Military Special Forces Have 15 Demands… Or Else (ZeroHedge, Sep 26, 2013):
Greek government authorities are on alert after a union of Greek army reservists of Special Forces issued a statement urging the Greek administration to step down and make way for a national unity government. As Keep Talking Greece notes, the statement on the union’ website included 15 demands – including the resignation of the Greek President – and urged people to gather at the infamous Syntagma Square on Saturday. The statement was interpreted by some as a call to a “coup d’etat” – denied by the union – but prompted Greece’s Supreme Court to meet to discuss it.
The 15 Demands…
- How Dianne Feinstein’s Husband Sells Post Office Real Estate to His Friends on the Cheap (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Sep 25, 2013):
The county records allow for comparing the assessed value of the postal properties before they were sold to the final sales prices negotiated by CBRE on behalf of the Postal Service: And the comparisons reveal that CBRE has sold the bulk of this public real estate at prices under their assessed values — and apparently at far below fair market values.
CBRE is also charged with appraising the fair market value of these properties and listing a reasonable sales price. It is important to point out that real estate appraisals are not customarily performed by the agent marketing the property. To avoid conflicts of interest, property appraisals are normally performed by professionals not involved in negotiating the sale.
- Peter Byrne from his book Going Postal
We’ve all heard about how the Russian oligarchs amassed their tremendous fortunes in the wake of the collapse of the former Soviet Union by purchasing valuable assets for pennies on the dollar using shady insider deals. The oligarchs in the USA have learned their lessons in crony capitalism well, and unsurprisingly, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in this case. Dianne Feinstein is one of the most shameless, authoritarian, undemocratic Senators we have, so it is no surprise that the Princess of Darkness’ husband would be involved in schemes to rip-off public assets to benefit friends and his commercial real estate firm C.B. Richard Ellis.
The following excerpts are from an article published in the East Bay Express and consists of passages from the introductory chapter of a new e-book, Going Postal, by investigative journalist Peter Byrne. There is some epic fraud going on here: Continue reading »
From the article:
The government’s bailout plan destroyed capitalism. In a capitalist system, those who stood to gain–and already made off with large gains—would have to bear the risk. The bailouts represented a corruption of capitalism. Crony capitalism violates the spirit of democracy established by the Founding Fathers of the republic known as the United States. I expressed these sentiments in a letter to the Financial Times on September 29, 2008.
- Why Obama Allowed Bailouts Without Indictments (Tavacoli Structured Finance, Sep 10, 2013):
By Janet Tavacoli
In November 2008, President Obama was elected, and he was sworn in January 2009. The country was promised change and reform. Recently two democrats close to the top of President Obama’s administration made excuses to me for the lack of financial reform in the United States. Their separately related versions were remarkably similar, so similar they seemed scripted:
The administration made a bargain, and I’m not sure it was the right decision. The world was teetering on the edge of collapse. There was a crisis of confidence. There would have been unimaginable consequences. So bad even your imagination can’t handle the truth?
- Big Oil’s Central Asian Mafia (Veterans Today, Aug 6, 2013)
(Excerpted from Big Oil & Their Bankers: Chapter 17: Caspian Sea Oil Grab)
According to Kurt Wulff of the oil investment firm McDep Associates, the Four Horsemen, romping in their new Far East pastures, saw asset increases from 1988-1994 as follows: Exxon Mobil- 54%, Chevron Texaco- 74%, Royal Dutch/Shell- 52% and BP Amoco- 54%. Big Oil had more than doubled its collective assets in six short years.
This quantum leap in global power had everything to do withthe takeover of the old Soviet oil patch and the subsequent impoverishment of its birthright owners.
While the Four Horsemen gorged on Russian and Central Asian oil, Wall Street investment bankers were facilitating the oil grab and ripping off the Russian Treasury.
Salomon Smith Barney’s Phibro Energy oil trading subsidiary set up shop in Moscow. Goldman Sachs was hired by Yeltsin to lure foreign capital to Russia. Heading the Russian Goldman Sachs team was Robert Rubin, later Clinton Secretary of Treasury & Citigroup CEO. CS First Boston took a 20% stake in Lukoil, in partnership with BP Amoco. Continue reading »
Tags: 9/11, Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaida, Banking, Bilderberg, Bill Clinton, BP, Bush administration, CFR, Chechnya, Chevron, China, CIA, Citigroup, cocaine, Columbia, Corruption, Dagestan, Dick Cheney, Drugs, Economy, Exxon, FBI, FSB, George Bush, Georgia, Global News, Goldman Sachs, Government, Halliburton, Harvard, Heroin, India, Kashmir, Kellogg Brown & Root, Kosovo, Lukoil, Manuel Salgado, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Mikhail Saakashvili, Mossad, NATO, Opium, Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan, Politics, Prostitution, Robert Rubin, Russia, SEC, Shell, Tajikistan, Taliban, Terrorism, U.S., Uzbekistan, Wall Street, World Bank, Yugoslavia, Yukos Oil, Zbigniew Brzezinski
- The U.S. Military Has Awarded Contracts to Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 31, 2013):
I suppose it just wasn’t enough that our allies, “the rebels” in Syria, have significant Al-Qaeda elements to them. No, we are the USA! USA! Best country ever. Defender of human rights. City on a hill. We must do far more than that. So we did.
This story below from Bloomberg, highlights a 236-page report by the U.S. Army Suspension and Debarment Office, which shows that military contracts have been granted to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Yep, this is exactly what happens when an empire gets too big, too corrupt, and ends up in the hands of a bunch of sociopaths.
Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.
“I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract,” Sopko said.
- Big Pharma’s Lurid Tactics Under Fire In China – And In The US (Testosterone Pit, July 16, 2013):
At first it was just GlaxoSmithKline, the multinational mega drugmaker headquartered in the UK, that has been on the hot seat in China for a month. Four of its Chinese executives were arrested: China VP and operations manager Liang Hong, human resources director Zhang Guowei, legal affairs director Zhao Hongyan, and business development manager Huang Hong. GSK’s general manager in China, a Brit named Mark Reilly, absconded to London in June.
The company allegedly paid bribes, including “sexual bribes,” to “government officials, medical associations, hospitals and doctors,” by using travel agencies as conduit, explained Gao Feng, head of the economic crimes investigations unit at China’s Public Security Ministry. Apparently, these ingenious travel agencies invented conferences that never took place, but on paper required staff attendance. The resulting fake travel and meeting expenses – in total 3 billion yuan ($489 million) – were then rechanneled to bribe doctors into prescribing certain drugs. But the “sexual bribes” were not quantified in monetary units.
- European Political Crisis Spreads – Leaked Texts Prove Rajoy Link To Illegal Party Funding (ZeroHedge, July 14, 2013):
Amid the turmoil in Portugal, the Barcenas-Affair in Spain had dropped to the back-pages of the European press… until now. The illegal party-funding that ex-Treasurer Barcenas is now whistle-blowing on has been linked directly to Spanish prime-minister – despite Rajoy’s ongoing denial of everything – via text messages uncovered by Spain’s El Mundo newspaper. The opposition leadership is demanding Rajoy’s “immediate resignation,” noting he “is incapacitated,” amid the damage that the texts – which prove an ongoing and direct link to the man at the hub of the funding debacle for at least the last two years (when Rajoy has expressly denied any relationship). “You cannot govern well,” another congressman noted, when there is “very clear data” linking Barcenas with the PP (Rajoy’s party) and the alleged illegal funding. Only a few screen shots have been released of the dozens of texts that the paper has apparently received…
Mariano Rajoy maintained a direct and permanent contact (at least May 2011 to March 2013) with the former treasurer and asked him to deny the B accounts and bonuses . This is demonstrated by SMS were exchanged and numerous conversations, telephone or face to face. Continue reading »
- Vatican Bank facilitated money laundering, report says (PressTV, July 8, 2013):
Italian investigators have said the Vatican Bank operated in a way that facilitated money laundering, according to a leaked inquiry.
The disclosed report followed a three-year inquiry into the bank, officially known as the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), and was recently quoted by two Italian newspapers, Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica.
According to the report, IOR did not carry out enough checks on its clients and the bank allowed account holders to transfer large sums on behalf of others.
“There is a high risk that the way the IOR operates, without specifying its real clients, can be used as a screen to hide illegal operations,” the report read.
00:06 GMT: At least 28 people have been injured in clashes with police in Rio de Janeiro. Most of the wounded were hit by rubber bullets, pepper spray and stones, officials at the Souza Aguiar hospital said.
Friday, June 21
23:47 GMT: In the city of Porto Alegre military police used a helicopter and tear gas to disperse protesters that approached the headquarters of RBS Group, a media conglomerate that publishes numerous newspapers along with radio and television stations.
23:13 GMT: Riot police in the capital Brasilia have prevented a group of protesters from breaking through the police cordon towards the Congress.
More than 20,000 are rallying in front of the Congress in the capital, Brasilia. Some 3,500 police officers were deployed to the area to respond, with clashes erupting after a group of protesters reportedly started throwing Molotov cocktails and attempted to break through the police cordon. Officers responded with tear gas.
22:45 GMT: Police fired large rounds of tear gas against protesters in the city of Campinas in Sao Paulo state in a confrontation adjacent to government buildings.
22:03 GMT: Police in Rio de Janeiro have already resorted to tear gas early Thursday evening to disperse a crowd making its way to city hall. Plumes of smoke could be seen on video broadcast by local TV.
Authorities in Brazil’s cultural capital expect as many as a million protesters to converge on the city, despite recent announcements by state governments to scrap plans to increase public transportation costs. Protesters intended to march on Maracana Stadium just as a Confederations cup football game was to kick off.
21:32 GMT: A huge demonstration is currently taking place in the Candelaria neighborhood of downtown Rio de Janeiro. At least 300,000 people have marched towards town hall, according to estimates by the police, who expect as many as a million protesters to gather later in the day.
- Brazil hit by largest protests yet as hundreds of thousands march (Reuters, June 20, 2013):
Brazil’s biggest protests in two decades intensified on Thursday despite government concessions meant to quell the demonstrations, as 300,000 people took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro and hundreds of thousands more flooded other cities.
Undeterred by the reversal of transport fare hikes that sparked the protests, and promises of better public services, marchers demonstrated around two international soccer matches and in locales as diverse as the Amazon capital of Manaus and the prosperous southern city of Florianopolis.
“Twenty cents was just the start,” read signs held by many converging along the Avenida Paulista, the broad avenue in central Sao Paulo, referring to the bus fare reductions.
In the capital, Brasilia, tens of thousands of protesters by early evening marched around the landmark modernist buildings that house Congress, the Supreme Court and presidential offices.
The swelling tide of protests prompted President Dilma Rousseff to cancel a trip next week to Japan, her office said.
The targets of the protests, now in their second week, have broadened to include high taxes, inflation, corruption and poor public services ranging from hospitals and schools to roads and police forces.
With an international soccer tournament as a backdrop, demonstrators are also denouncing the more than $26 billion of public money that will be spent on the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, two events meant to showcase a modern, developed Brazil.
- IMF Demands $18 For Hard Copy Admission That It Is An Idiot (ZeroHedge, June 5, 2013)
Pennsylvania judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. has been sentenced to almost three decades in jail after conspiring with private prisons to trade kids for cash.
- Pennsylvania Judge Sentenced For 28 Years For Selling Kids to the Prison System (IntelliHub, May 22, 2013):
In the private prison industry, longer sentences earn more money from the state.
Since 2003, Ciavarella received millions of dollars in bribes for condemning minors to maximum prison sentences. In one case, Ciavarella sentenced a 10-year-old to two years in a detention facility for accidentally bottoming out his mother’s car.
According to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, over 5,000 young men and women were unjustly sentenced to prison and denied their constitutional rights. Many of them have now been released and cleared of their charges.
YouTube Added: 23.05.2013
The world’s leading Scientists, Physicians, Attorneys, Politicians and Environmental Activists expose the corruption and dangers surrounding the widespread use of Genetically Modified Organisms in the new feature length documentary, “Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs”.
Senior Executive Producer / Writer / Director: Gary Null PhD
Executive Producer/Writer/Co-Director: Richard Polonetsky
Producers: Paola Bossola, Richard Gale, James Spruill, Patrick Thompson, Valerie Van Cleve
Editors: James Spruill, Patrick Thompson, Richie Williamson, Nick Palm
Music: Kevin MacLeod (Incompetech.com), Armando Guarnera
Graphics: Jay Graygor
Tags: Agriculture, Cancer, Corruption, Documentary, Environment, Gary Null, Genetically Modified Organisms, Global News, Glyphosate, GMO, Government, Health, Law, Medicine, Monsanto, Percy Schmeiser, Pioneer, Politics, Roundup, Roundup Ready, Science, Seeds, Society, Syngenta, U.S., Vandana Shiva
- How the C.I.A. Enriches Warlords, Drug Dealers and the Taliban in Afghanistan (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 30, 2013):
This article from the New York Times further solidifies the notion that we clearly have no idea what we are doing anywhere, whether it relates to the domestic economy or foreign policy. While the American citizenry remains unemployed and increasingly on food stamps, we are paying tens of millions of dollars to Afghan warlords and drug dealers so that they can build their “dream homes.” My favorite line is: “the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan.” Makes sense. We are simply exporting our domestic economic model abroad.
From the New York Times:
KABUL, Afghanistan — For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency.
“We called it ‘ghost money,’ ” said Khalil Roman, who served as Mr. Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005. “It came in secret, and it left in secret.”
Kind of like Corzine at MF Global!
Moreover, there is little evidence that the payments bought the influence the C.I.A. sought. Instead, some American officials said, the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan.
- How Hospitals Profit from Making Mistakes (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 18, 2013):
One of the many things holding the nation back at the moment is the complete lack of incentive to be a creative, productive and honest member of society versus the tremendous incentive to be a corrupt, thieving, lackey for the establishment. In a free market system, with a strict set of rules governing the game that is applied to everyone equally, market signals and incentives exist for companies to create a great product and to meet customer needs with great service. In contrast, within a crony capitalist system, the primary incentive is to get as close as possible to political and corporate power in order to financially benefit from their oligarchical ownership of the controlled economy.
It is only within a completely disconnected from reality, crony, fraudulent economy where you could have a situation in which hospitals actually earn much larger profit margins from making mistakes and harming their patients, than from providing excellent care. We learn from the New York Times that:
Hospitals make money from their own mistakes because insurers pay them for the longer stays and extra care that patients need to treat surgical complications that could have been prevented, a new study finds.
Changing the payment system, to stop rewarding poor care, may help to bring down surgical complication rates, the researchers say. If the system does not change, hospitals have little incentive to improve: in fact, some will wind up losing money if they take better care of patients.
- The New “Nazis” of Spain (Testosterone Pit, April 16, 2013):
On Saturday, Popular Party Secretary-General María Dolores de Cospedal, number two of the governing party in Spain, said that she knew she was going to get criticized, “but this is pure Nazism.” On Sunday, rather than resigning, she repeated it. For more precision, she added that going to someone’s house to “harass” him “is a totalitarian attitude comparable to what occurred in the thirties in a European country.” A reference to Nazis marking the homes of Jews.
But these “Nazis” are folks who are standing up to the banks and draconian mortgage laws that the government is hell-bent on protecting. And they have a special word for their action: escrache. It had become popular in Argentina in 1995 after President Carlos Menem pardoned collaborators of the Junta. Activists with banners would gather in front of the home or office of a pardoned perpetrator. They’d chant and play music to let neighbors know. While Junta members were beyond the law, they could still be publicly humiliated.
- Berlusconi: “Bribes Are Necessary – They Are Not Crimes” (ZeroHedge, Feb 15, 2013):
With a week to go until the Italian elections, things are getting a little odd to say the least. The somewhat scandal prone Berlusconi, who self-declared himself leading in the polls just recently, has come out swinging in defense of his fellow business leaders’ ethical egressions. The Bunga party banner-man defends bribery, “These are not crimes,” he notes, as The FT reports, “bribes are a phenomenon that exists and it’s useless to deny the existence of these necessary situations…” This apparently on the heels of the Finmeccanica CEO’s Indian helicopter deal bribes and Monte Paschi’s derivative debacle. It would appear his argument lies somewhere betweeen, ‘if everyone’s doing it – then it’s ok’, and ‘everyone’s been doing it forever so why stop now?’ One Italian paper, though, disgusted at the state of their nation, describes the entire political and elite establishment of ‘guilty inertia’ - calling for an end to what Berlusconi appears to be saying is corrupt business-as-usual. And yet we are to trust these technocrats when they say ‘crisis over’, all is well, recovery is here? Continue reading »
- Christopher Dorner Manhunt: Police Hunt for Suspected Cop Killer With Door-to-Door Search (ABC News, Feb 8, 2013):
More than 100 police officers were going door-to-door and searching for new tracks in the snow in hopes of catching suspected cop-killer Christopher Dorner overnight in Big Bear Lake, Calif., before he strikes again, as laid out in his rambling online manifesto.
Police late Thursday night alerted the residents near Big Bear Lake that Dorner was still on the loose after finding his truck burning earlier in the day.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said authorities can’t say for certain that he’s not in the area. More than half of the 400 homes in the area had been searched by police as of late Thursday. Police traveled in two-man teams.
Bachman urged people in the area not to answer the door, unless they know the person or see a law enforcement officer in uniform.
- Christopher Dorner Manhunt: Search For Ex-Cop Suspected Of Killing 3 Covers California (Huffington Post, Feb 8, 2013):
BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. — A police officer and a pair of soon-to-be newlyweds were dead.
Another officer, riddled with bullets, was in intensive care.
Two more police were shot at but got away, one of them grazed by gunfire. Two innocent and uninvolved women were shot by police who feared a dangerous suspect.
And despite a massive manhunt that touched three states and Mexico, the heavily armed ex-Los Angeles police officer believed behind the rampage, who promised in his rambling writings to bring “warfare” to police and their families, remained free.
- Los Angeles Manhunt: Who Is Christopher Dorner? (ABC News)
- Christopher Dorner Manifesto Posted Online (ABC News)
From: Christopher Jordan Dorner /7648
Subj: Last resort
Regarding CF# 07-004281
Christopher Dorner w/ Chief William Bratton
Christopher Dorner w/ Chief William Bratton
I know most of you who personally know me are in disbelief to hear from media reports that I am suspected of committing such horrendous murders and have taken drastic and shocking actions in the last couple of days. You are saying to yourself that this is completely out of character of the man you knew who always wore a smile wherever he was seen. I know I will be villified by the LAPD and the media.
Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name. The department has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days. It has gotten worse. The consent decree should never have been lifted. The only thing that has evolved from the consent decree is those officers involved in the Rampart scandal and Rodney King incidents have since promoted to supervisor, commanders, and command staff, and executive positions. Continue reading »