Monthly Archives: February 2013
A monumental discovery with four years of comprehensive geo-archaeological research has failed to reach mainstream audiences for some reason. The most active pyramid site in the world dating the pyramid complex back 25,000 years has also released scientific evidence supporting the theory that the pyramids were used as an energy source. The recent study reveals energy beams transmitting electromagnetic signals unexplainable by our science in what is now documented as the largest Pyramid complex in the world. Overwhelming evidence, supported by scientific research from all over the archaeological community proves that our recorded history is wrong concerning ancient cultures, which in turn changes religion, science and academics.
Dr. Osmanagich has investigated pyramids all over the world, however his recent discovery of the Bosnian pyramids in Visoko, are nothing more than remarkable. What may be more remarkable is how he has been attacked in the media, by scientists and researchers for his incredible find.
The very first thing world powers do when their control systems are threatened (and they can’t elimate the idea) is they create a misinformation system to make people believe that powerful new or ancient technologies are a hoax. Prominent archaeologists have attempted smear campaigns on Dr. Osmanagich’s work out of fear of how the impact of his discoveries will make on their own work.
It’s more than time to rewrite our history books, however there are such vast divisions between the old paradigm thinking and the new, that conflicts between the two camps have continued to cause the regression in the understanding of ancient technology rather than its advancement.
Take note of the following facts Dr. Osmanagich details in the above video:
1) These are the first pyramids in Europe
2) They are the biggest and largest on the planet
3) The cardinal sides have the most precise orientation on the planet
4) The concrete found is better than the best available concrete today
5) They are the oldest pyramids on the planet
6) Underneath the pyramids is the most extensive, prehistorical network of tunnels and chambers ever found
7) In these tunnels they have discovered huge cermaric blocks weighing in excess of 18,000 pounds
By Andy Bellatti | Organic Connections
You’ve heard of pink slime. You know trans fats are cardiovascular atrocities. You’re well aware that store-bought orange juice is essentially a scam. But, no matter how great of a processed-food sleuth you are, chances are you’ve never set food inside a processing plant to see how many of these products are actually made.
Writer Melanie Warner, whose new exposé-on-the-world-of-processed-foods book,Pandora’s Lunchbox, is out this week, spent the past year and a half doing exactly that. In her quest to explore the murky and convoluted world of soybean oil, milk protein concentrates (a key ingredient in processed cheese), and petroleum-based artificial dyes, she spoke to food scientists, uncovered disturbing regulatory loopholes in food law, and learned just how little we know about many of the food products on supermarket shelves.
Writer Melanie Warner, whose new exposé-on-the-world-of-processed-foods book, Pandora’s Lunchbox, is out this week, spent the past year and a half doing exactly that. In her quest to explore the murky and convoluted world of soybean oil, milk protein concentrates (a key ingredient in processed cheese), and petroleum-based artificial dyes, she spoke to food scientists, uncovered disturbing regulatory loopholes in food law, and learned just how little we know about many of the food products on supermarket shelves.
Q. The term “processed food” is ubiquitous these days. The food industry has attempted to co-opt it by claiming canned beans, baby carrots, and frozen vegetables are “processed foods.” Can you help explain why a Pop-Tart is years away from a “processed food” like hummus?
A. You have to ask yourself, could I make a Pop-Tart or Hot Pocket at home, with all those same ingredients listed on the package? How would you even go about procuring distilled monoglycerides and BHT, for instance?
Yet it is possible to make your own black beans at home by soaking and then cooking them. You could even attempt a rudimentary canning operation to preserve them. You can also make hummus by grinding chickpeas with a few other ingredients like lemon juice. The “processing” these foods go through is minimal and not disfiguring.
Q. Many people are put at ease when government agencies and the food industry state that controversial substances are “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS). Why is this not as comforting as it sounds?
A. The GRAS process, as it’s known, is one of self-regulation. If a food-ingredient company wants to introduce a new additive, they—not the FDA—hire some experts or a consulting firm to make the determination about whether this new ingredient is safe. Sometimes you’ll hear that company X has been awarded “GRAS status” for its new ingredient, but the FDA doesn’t award anything. The agency merely has the option to review what companies tell them.
Except when they don’t. In a glaring regulatory loophole that dates back to 1958, the GRAS system also happens to be voluntary. It’s perfectly legal for companies to keep the FDA in the dark about new additives, and consequently there are some 1,000 ingredients the FDA has no knowledge of whatsoever, according to an estimate done by the Pew Research Center.
So although the FDA seeks to reassure us they are keeping a close watch over our food, the job of rigorously regulating thousands of food additives is simply too big for an underfunded agency. Brominated vegetable oil, for instance, the subject of a well-circulated petition by a 15-year-old in Alabama, was flagged for further study in the ’70s, testing that was never done. And BHA, a “probable carcinogen” according to the Department of Health and Human Services, is still allowed in food.
Q. You investigated how soybean oil is made. Can you explain why calling it “natural” is a complete misnomer?
Read the full article at: organicconnectmag.com
Published time: March 01, 2013 00:11
Government mind control may not be as farfetched as it sounds: after 15 years of research, scientists have found a way to transmit information from one brain to another, thereby controlling the thoughts of its test subject.
Scientists have successfully captured the thoughts of a rat in Brazil and electronically transmitted them through the Internet to the brain of a rat in the US. The Brazilian rat had been energetically running around in a lab. When the American rat received the brain waves of its South American counterpart, it immediately began to mimic the behavior – despite the thousands of miles between them, Reuters reports.
Scientists refer to the technique as a “brain link”. The $26 million study of brain-machine interfaces was funded by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which ultimately hopes to have this technology available to humans.
By linking human brains together, scientists believe they can combine brainpower to solve problems that are too difficult for one person to handle alone, Duke University Medical Center neurobiologist Miguel Nicolelis told Reuters. Nicolelis refers to this link as an “organic computer”, and said scientists will first test it out on monkeys to determine its feasibility.
But not all researchers are excited about the prospect of brain manipulation.
“Having non-human primates communicate brain-to-brain raises all sorts of ethical concerns,” one neuroscientist told Reuters. “Reading about putting things in animals’ brains and changing what they do, people rightly get nervous.”
This sort of technology raises the concern about the possibility of using humans or animals as soldiers in battle, the scientist added.
While the idea may be unbelievable to some, neurobiologists claim that brain-machine interfaces have actually moved far beyond what is publicly known. Andrew Schwartz, a University of Pittsburgh neurobiologist, says that the experiment with the rats “is of limited interest” considering other advances in the field.
“It’s cool that the stimulus came from another brain” rather than an electrical device,” bioengineer Douglas Weber told Reuters.“[But] many labs have shown that animals can detect electrical stimuli delivered to the brain. This paper simply shows that the animals can detect electrical stimuli… from another rat’s brain.”
The same team of DARPA-funded researchers have also been able to send rats brain signals that caused them to press a lever a the sight of a red light, distinguish narrow openings from wide ones, and poke water a water port with their nose.
But by granting $26 million to scientists to develop this sort of technology, DARPA is likely expecting the research to be of use to the Pentagon at some point – whether it’s for problem-solving or other uses not yet defined.
UFOtv: “Beneath the pyramids of Egypt lies a lost underworld of catacombs, hewn chambers and cave tunnels that have remained unexplored for hundreds of years. They are alluded to in ancient texts and Arab legends, but have been left unexplored until today. They have now been rediscovered and investigated for the first time. What exactly does this subterranean realm tell us about the pyramids, their relationship to the stars and the mythical origins of Egyptian civilization? Discover for yourself as we explore the “Lost Caves of Giza.”
Coming to DVD from UFOTV and LOADED with Bonus Features. 83 mins. Cat# U1106. Visit us online athttp://www.UFOTV.com.
Published time: March 01, 2013 02:13
For the first time ever, scientists have been able to measure the precise spin rate of a ‘supermassive black hole’. The findings will provide some clue as to how some of the most mysterious objects in our universe began to form.
The black hole is located in the NGC 1365 galaxy, located 56 billion light years away from us, and two million times the mass of the Sun.
By its very nature, a black hole is an object so dense that its gravity is strong enough to absorb the space around it. But in the process, as the incoming objects create friction and heat up, it emits x-rays.
It is these x-rays that astronomers measured, using the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), launched by NASA last year, and the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton.
“We can trace matter as it swirls into a black hole using X-rays emitted from regions very close to the black hole,” said the co-author of the new study just published in Nature magazine, Fiona Harrison of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
“The radiation we see is warped and distorted by the motions of particles and the black hole’s incredibly strong gravity.”
It turns out the supermassive black hole is rotating at approximately 84 percent of the speed allowed by the Theory of Relativity – close to the speed of light.
But the data has thrown up even more interesting discoveries.
“The black hole’s spin is a memory, a record, of the past history of the galaxy as a whole,” said the study’s lead author, Guido Risaliti of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., and the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics.
Confirming that black holes move at such speed allows us to discover just how they were formed, from their original small size to giant status over billions of years.
If they had been produced by randomly pulling objects around them, it would not be able to develop such a fast, smooth rate of spin. So scientists are now sure that black holes expand evenly, through a process known as “ordered accretion”, as gas and stars are gradually sucked into the hole.
The data will now be applied to other black holes, whose spin had tentatively been measured, but which was previously explained by alternative theories.
And since mass and spin are the only information an outsider can make about a black hole (since objects only travel one way into it) astronomers are coming close to understanding the phenomena, and can use them to study the Theory of Relativity (of which they are a perfect example) more closely.
“This is hugely important to the field of black hole science,” summed up Lou Kaluzienski, a NuSTAR program scientist at NASA Headquarters.
By Victoria N. Alexander | Digital Journal
In an act of civil disobedience, Tony Rooke refused to pay a £130 TV license fee, alleging that the BBC intentionally misrepresented facts about the 9/11 attacks. Facing a judge Monday, Rooke was ’not convicted’ and did not have to pay the fine.
Rooke, a documentary maker who made his protest against the BBC in Horsham Magistrates’ Court in West Sussex, claims the BBC reported that World Trade Center 7 collapsed
“due to an office fire, which, even the NIST report says, fell at free-fall speed for eight floors in 2.5 seconds. That is absolutely impossible without a controlled demolition being involved.”
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is the US government agency charged with investigating the collapses.
Rooke is now encouraging other activists to follow his example and refuse to support the BBC. Although technically Rooke is guilty of not paying the license fee, he pleaded “not guilty” to not having an “appropriate” license. As he explained in the above video clip,
“the license is not appropriate … because I know the BBC has covered up the true events of the day.”
Rooke further explained that supporting the BBC cover up would be tantamount to supporting the terrorists responsible for the controlled demolition. He further argued that anyone supporting terrorists is in violation of the Terrorism Act, Section 15, which states that
“it is an offence for someone to invite another to provide money, intending that it should be used, or having reasonable cause to suspect that it may be used, for terrorism purposes.”
In this Rooke employed a standard tactic of civil disobedience, claiming to be in a position where he must break one law, a local law, in order to respect a higher law. If defendants are successful in such cases, they are said to occupy “the moral high ground” and are generally given light sentences or have their cases dismissed.
Prior to the court date, Rooke had provided the court with evidence that both World Trade Center towers, as well as a third building, WTC7, were destroyed, not as a direct result of plane-impact and subsequent fires, but by controlled demolition.
Read the full article at: digitaljournal.com
Bradley Manning, the US Army intelligence officer accused of passing sensitive military documents to whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, has pleaded guilty to ten separate charges. The army, however, will pursue the grave charge of aiding the enemy.
Although the army judge has accepted Manning’s guilty pleas on ten counts, the remaining 12 charges are still to be reviewed. The army accuses Manning, 25, of aiding the enemy. If convicted, he could face a life sentence.
Private First Manning told a military court that he was responsible for uploading a trove of material to the website and pleaded guilty to 10 counts, RT’s Andrew Blake reported from the courtroom.
After his plea was read to the court, Pfc Manning for the first time formally admitted guilt in the court, more than 1,000 days after being arrested. Reading a 35-page statement from his seat before Col. Denise Lind, Manning explained why exactly he risked his life to publish state-secrets.
Pfc. Manning pleaded not guilty to aiding the enemy and a number of other lesser charges, but told the court he’d like to take the blame for a series of other counts — charges that were not presented by the government but introduced by the soldier himself. In lieu of a laundry list of charges that could put Manning away in prison for life, he hopes the court will convict him of only ten lesser offenses that come with only a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Manning pleaded guilty to unauthorized possession and willful communication of sensitive material, including the hundreds of thousands of State Department cables and other materials provided to WikiLeaks. By pleading guilty, he waves the right to appeal a decision made earlier in the week in which the court ruled that Manning’s right to a speedy trial was not violated.
In explaining himself, Manning told the court that he communicated with unidentified persons he believed to be working for WikiLeaks, and assumed he was speaking with founder Julian Assange. Manning says he only sent the anti-secrecy website material after being rejected by other outlets, however.
While on break from the Army, Manning says he called up the Washington Post and claimed to have materials with “enormous value to the American public.” Manning told the judge that he “spoke for 5 minutes about the general nature” of the documents but said, “I do not believe she took me seriously.”
Rejected, Pfc. Manning approached The New York Times, an outlet he described as “the largest and most popular newspaper” in the world. “I left a message saying I had access to information about Iraq and Afghanistan that I thought was very important,”he said.
“I never received a reply from the New York Times,” claimed Manning, even though he left the paper with multiple ways to be reached, including his Skype name.
Believing there were few appropriate conduits for the materials he collected as an intelligence officer, he said WikiLeaks “seemed to be the best medium for publishing this information.”
In an interview with British public television, Assange referred to Manning as “America’s foremost political prisoner,” adding that “the only safe way to get these cowards to publish anything is to get WikiLeaks to do it first.”
“All those involved in the persecution of Bradley Manning will find cause to reflect on their actions,” Assange asserted.
During pre-trial motion hearings earlier in the case, prosecutors admitted that they would have charged the Times with releasing the information had they published them before WikiLeaks. In January, prosecuting attorney Capt. Angel Overgaard, said, “publishing information in a newspaper [can] indirectly convey information to the enemy.” When Col. Lind asked if that would apply to WikiLeaks, Capt. Overgaard said, “‘Yes, ma’am.”
Manning is slated to go before a military court-martial this June, and faces life imprisonment if convicted of aiding the enemy, the most serious of the charges against him. On Thursday, however, the Kansas-born pleaded guilty to lesser charges in hopes of a more lenient sentence. Earlier, during this week’s pre-trial hearing, those in the Ft. Meade, Maryland, courtroom were told that Manning hoped releasing intelligence to WikiLeaks would “spark a domestic debate on the role of our military and foreign policy in general.” Last year, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange credited the materials attributed to Manning with helping end the US war in Iraq.
“If Bradley Manning did as he is accused, he is a hero and invaluable to all of us,” Assange said during a December address penned from London’s Ecuadorian Embassy. “It was WikiLeaks’ revelations — not the actions of President Obama — that forced the US administration out of the Iraq War… By exposing the killing of Iraqi children, WikiLeaks directly motivated the Iraqi government to strip the US military of legal immunity, which in turn forced the US withdrawal.”
Among the materials Manning said he handed over were State Dept. cables, Pentagon logs referred to today as the ‘Iraq and Afghan War Diaries,’ as well as video published by WikiLeaks under the title ‘Collateral Murder.’ With that release, WikiLeaks showed US soldiers onboard an Apache helicopter opening fire on Iraqi civilians, including a Reuters photographer.
“For me, this seemed similar to a child torturing ants with a magnifying glass,” Manning said Thursday of the footage. In regards to the war logs, he said his opinion remains that the releases consisted of “two of the most significant documents of our time.” The cables, he added, “documented backdoor deals and seemingly criminal activity that didn’t seem” to fit with the public’s perception of an ethically-sound America.
“I thought these cables were the perfect example of a need for more open state diplomacy,” he said.
Previously, Col. Lind expressed concern over having Manning read a sworn statement, instead perfering for him only to answer questions while on the stand. “He can try to read it, but I am going to stop him” if the contents are not relevant to being guilty of committing the lesser offenses of entered in the plea, she said.
“He understands his statement and he understands the elements he needs to plead guilty,” Manning’s attorney David Coombs told the judge.
Manning has been detained for over 1,000 days without a formal military trial, and will see the start of his fourth year behind bars this May. The only other time he has spoken publically on the stand was in December 2012, when he testified about the conditions he endured while detained at a military brig in Northern Virginia.
Lind agreed to take 122 days off any eventual sentence for Manning due to the poor treatment. Earlier this week, she dismissed an attempt by the defense to have all charges against Manning dropped over an alleged violation of the ‘speedy trial’ statute.
Our Citizen Jurors will speak to the World This Saturday – Their Common Law Court evidence is broadcast to millions on American Television – and Plans to Arrest the Guilty Move Forward
Latest News, Reflections and an Important Leaflet from The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State and Kevin Annett
In this Update:
1. Fifteen countries are now part of our movement! Meanwhile, more Cardinals desert the sinking Papal ship, and The Court Order is served on the Guilty Cowards – Reports from the front line
2. This Saturday, the ITCCS global online radio program will feature some of the Citizen Jurors who found the Pope, Queen Elizabeth and Canada guilty of Genocide – On March 2 at 4 pm EST, 9 pm GMT on www.blogtalkradio.com/wethejury
3. What will happen next Monday, March 4 – and Beyond … and What You can Do
4. This Friday, California Public Television will broadcast the complete Proceedings, Evidence and Verdict of our Common Law Court of Justice, to a viewership of millions of people
5. Our French activists launch a new ITCCS blogsite, and
6. A a leaflet for you to distribute at churches this Sunday.
From Slovenia to Fiji to the Vatican itself, the Momentum Grows
It isn’t only the half million hits on our websites that show that the world is aflame from the spark we’ve ignited.
Over the past few days, hundreds of people in fifteen countries have pledged their support to our Tribunal to occupy churches and help perform Citizens’ Arrests of criminal heads of church and state in Rome, London and across Canada.
“This is the answer to a life time of hoping” commented an elderly aboriginal survivor of a Saskatchewan Christian internment camp – read, “residential school” – who contacted our Tribunal after he heard our Court’s verdict.
“Count me in. I may be eighty two but nobody will keep me from occupying the local catholic church. Those priests killed my brother in there and now they’re going to answer for him”
People from as far away as the Pacific islands, South Africa, China and a dozen European countries, as well as across North America, are being recruited to launch public actions against their local Catholic churches after March 4, when International Citizens Arrest Warrants will be issued by the Common Law Court in Brussels.
In Canada, more than twenty United and Anglican churches have also been targeted for picketing or occupation that week, along with Catholic cathedrals. Protestors even plan to strike at the Archbishop of Canterbury’s church and Buckingham Palace.
These church occupations will grow and culminate in a Global Week of Reclamation during Easter, March 24 -31.
Not coincidentally, the top Catholic official in England, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, suddenly resigned this week and announced he would not vote at the Vatican Conclave on March 15 to elect a new Pope. This unprecedented defiance may indicate a collapse in the disciplinary chain of command within the church, since Cardinals’ attendance at the Papal Conclave is normally mandatory.
Meanwhile, Common Law Court officers have begun to serve the Order of Compliance to the thirty officials found guilty of Crimes against Humanity last Monday, including Joseph Ratzinger, Elizabeth Windsor, top Roman Cardinals and Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada. All of the accused parties seem to be in hiding.
Continue Reading at ….. http://itccs.org/2013/02/28/celebrating-a-pope-free-world/
A time when altered states will rule this world;
Their boundaries broached, then breached, by penetrating insight,
Making Earth pregnant with boundless, bondless bounty,
Whose towering tides upon the lands of Earth will sweep away their titles,
To leave the Nameless One, and those who consciously comprise It, their sole possessor;
When the triumphant prophecies of the Marian Magnificat will be fulfilled with many more,
By the Sun of Man coming in clouds of great glory to the earth.
Now is the time of the breaking of empires seen and unseen:
Built on the backs of time-managed, mind-managed slaves taught to fear death
so much that they never know life –
Those who for eons have needlessly, endlessly borne cruel, crushing burdens
building and gilding the pyramidal palaces of merciless, murderous masters –
Those who continually conspire to take for themselves all that the people of Earth
should by their rights retain,
Ensuring they will never go within to find
That corruscating core within themselves, remembering
the majesty of all they truly are.
When royal resolutions repeatedly railroaded through
the grandly domed but ramshackle roundhouses of Earth’s overripe banana republics
are finally turntabled
From sinister, sinuous sidetracks laid down by traitors,
On which their lockscars would haul us in cattle culls
to terminal locations;
Their centuries-long train of abuses will be decisively derailed
By switches engineered by the common people of this planet,
Aided by visiting volunteer fire crews already onboard – our heavenly hosts,
hailing from the furthest reaches of creation.
When voices seldom heard or heeded in human history
Will prominently proclaim throughout the world their freedom through truth;
When horrors heretofore hidden in the darkest depths of the earth and of ourselves
now surely shall be shown for what they are,
Then radically regenerated or removed;
When many muted, muzzled mouths will open, talking in lost languages with tongues of fire,
Alighting on the heads of many millions in long-predicted planetary pentacost.
when this most ravishing and yet most ravaged orb of all within this universe
Will whirl full circle through the spinning spirals of infinity,
restoring with a sudden quantum leap of faith her former radiant raiment;
When this prodigious planetary prodigal processes as is prophesied upon the Milky Way,
aligning with the vertex of its vortices,
she shall have reached the point of all return – the cosmic turning point for all eternity:
While fully centered on the burnished burning glass within the sacred heart,
Earth will reclaim with fiercely focused fire her rightful and resplendent crown of stars.
by Aaron Copeland, 20th Century American Composer
Contemporary American Classical Performance Poet
the folk hero who in 1381 led the Peasant’s Rebellion against the British Crown.
Bob Woodward says he got email from WH saying, “you will regret doing this.”
February 27th, 2013
07:50 PM ET
1 hour ago
Video: Senior White House official emailed ‘you will regret doing this,’ Woodward says
(CNN) – Veteran journalist Bob Woodward of The Washington Post said Wednesday on CNN’s “The Situation Room” that a White House official told him “very clearly, you will regret doing this” after publishing a piece rebutting part of the Obama administration’s argument on the sequester.
The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward said on Wednesday that a “very senior” White House official threatened him over his continued public disagreements with the Obama administration.
Woodward has repeatedly accused the White House of “moving the goal posts” in the fight over the looming budget sequester. He has been challenged on the facts of his assertions many times, but has not strayed from them.
Speaking to Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, Woodward described a tense series of exchanges he had with the White House.
“Well, they’re not happy at all, and some people kind of, you know, said, look, we don’t see eye to eye on this,” Woodward said. “They’ve said that this is factually wrong, and it was said to me in an e-mail by a top –”
“What was said?” Blitzer prodded. “It was said very clearly, you will regret doing this,” Woodward said.
“Who sent that e-mail to you?” Blitzer asked. “Well, I’m not going to say,” Woodward said.
“Was it a senior person at the White House?” Blitzer asked.
“A very senior person,” Woodward said. “It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, you’re going to regret doing something that you believe in.”
A Texas Republican on Monday said President Obama’s gun control campaign is a fraud based on fake messages over Twitter.
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) accused Obama of trying to make support for his position look stronger than it really is by flooding Twitter with messages from people who don’t exist.
“Obama’s anti-gun campaign is a fraud,” Stockman said. “Obama’s supporters are panicking and willing to do anything to create the appearance of popular support, even if it means trying to defraud Congress,” he added. “I call upon the president to denounce this phony spam campaign.”
Stockman said that in response to Obama’s call for people to tweet their congressman in support of gun control legislation, he received just 16 tweets. But he said all of these messages were identical, and that a closer look at them revealed that only six were from real people.
“The other 10 are fake, computer-generated spambots,” his office said in a press release. As evidence, he said these 10 tweets use default graphics and names, and have not engaged in any interaction with other people. Two of the tweets were sent at nearly the same time, and both follow just one person: Brad Schenck, Obama’s former digital strategist.
Feb 27, 2013
Is the financial collapse of Italy going to be the final blow that breaks the back of Europe financially? Most people don’t realize this, but Italy is actually the third largest debtor in the entire world after the United States and Japan. Italy currently has a debt to GDP ratio of more than 120 percent, and Italy has a bigger national debt than anyone else in Europe does. That is why it is such a big deal that Italian voters have just overwhelmingly rejected austerity. The political parties led by anti-austerity candidates Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo did far better than anticipated. When you combine their totals, they got more than 50 percent of the vote. Italian voters have seen what austerity has done to Greece and Spain and they want no part of it. Unfortunately for Italian voters, it has been the promise of austerity that has kept the Italian financial system stable in recent months. Now that Italian voters have clearly rejected austerity, investors are fearing that austerity programs all over Europe may start falling apart. This is creating quite a bit of panic in European financial markets right now. On Tuesday, Italian stocks had their worst day in 10 months, Italian bond yields rose by the most that we have seen in 19 months, and the stocks of the two largest banks in Italy both fell by more than 8 percent. Italy is already experiencing its fourth recession since 2001, and unemployment has been steadily rising. If Italy is now “ungovernable”, as many are saying, then what does that mean for the future of Italy? Will Italy be the spark that sets off financial armageddon in Europe?
All of Europe was totally shocked by the election results in Italy. As you can see from the following excerpt from a Bloomberg article, the vote was very divided and the anti-austerity parties did much better than had been projected…
The results showed pre-election favorite Pier Luigi Bersani won the lower house with 29.5 percent, less than a half a percentage point ahead of Silvio Berlusconi, the ex-premier fighting a tax-fraud conviction. Beppe Grillo, a former comedian, got 25.6 percent, while Monti scored 10.6 percent. Bersani and his allies got 31.6 percent of votes in the Senate, compared with 30.7 percent for Berlusconi and 23.79 percent for Grillo, according to final figures from the Interior Ministry.
So what do those election results mean for Italy and for the rest of Europe?
Right now, there is a lot of panic about those results. There is fear that what just happened in Italy could result in a rejection of austerity all over Europe…
“I think the election results (or lack thereof) are a negative for the euro, which will likely keep the currency pressured for some time,” Omer Esiner, chief market analyst for Commonwealth Foreign Exchange, told me. But it’s not just the political uncertainty in Italy, he adds. “The shocking gains made by anti-establishment parties in Italy signal a broad-based frustration with austerity among voters and a decisive rejection of the policies pushed by Germany in nations across the euro zone’s periphery. That theme revives unresolved debt crisis issues andcould threaten the continuity of reforms across other countries in the euro zone.”
And the financial markets have clearly interpreted the election results in Europe as a very bad sign. Zero Hedge summarized some of the bad news out of Europe that we saw on Tuesday…
Swiss 2Y rates turned negative once again for the first time in a month; EURUSD relatively flatlined around 1.3050 (250 pips lower than pre-Italy);Europe’s VIX exploded to almost 26% (from under 19% yesterday); and 3-month EUR-USD basis swaps plunged to their most liquidity-demanding level since 12/28. Spain and Italy (and Portugal) were the most hurt in bonds today as 2Y Italian spreads broke back above 200bps (surging over 50bps casting doubt on OMT support) and 3Y Spain yields broke above 3% once again. The Italian equity market suffered its equal biggest drop in 6 months falling back to 10 week lows (and down 14% from its end-Jan highs). Italian bond yields (and spreads) smashed higher – the biggest jump in 19 months as BTP futures volume exploded in the last two days.
Not that things in Europe were going well before all this.
In fact, the UK was just stripped of its prized AAA credit rating. That was huge news.
And check out some of the other things that have been going on in the rest of Europe…
In Spain, a major real estate company, Reyal Urbis, collapsed last week, leaving already battered banks on the hook for millions of euros in losses. Meanwhile, the government faces a corruption scandal and a steady stream of anti-austerity demonstrations. Thousands of people took to the streets again on Saturday, protesting deep cuts to health and other services, as well as hefty bank bailouts.
Life is no better in a large swath of the broader EU. In Britain, Moody’s cited the continuing economic weakness and the resulting risks to the government’s tight fiscal policy for its rating cut. In Bulgaria, where the government fell last week and the economy is in a shambles, rightists who joined mass demonstrations across the country burned a European Union flag and waved anti-EU banners. Other austerity-minded governments in the EU face similar murky political futures.
At this point, Europe is a complete and total economic mess and things are rapidly getting worse.
And that is really bad news because Europe is already in the midst of a recession. In fact, according to the BBC, the recession in the eurozone got even deeper during the fourth quarter of 2012…
The eurozone recession deepened in the final three months of 2012, official figures show.
The economy of the 17 nations in the euro shrank by 0.6% in the fourth quarter, which was worse than forecast.
It is the sharpest contraction since the beginning of 2009 and marks the first time the region failed to grow in any quarter during a calendar year.
But this is just the beginning.
The truth is that government debt is not even the greatest danger that Europe is facing. In reality, a collapse of the European banking system is of much greater concern.
Why is that?
Well, how would you feel if you woke up someday and every penny that you had in the bank was gone?
In the U.S. we don’t have to worry about that so much because all deposits are insured by the FDIC, but in many European countries things work much differently.
For example, just check out what Graham Summers recently had to say about the banking system in Spain…
It’s a little known fact about the Spanish crisis is that when the Spanish Government merges troubled banks, it typically swaps out depositors’ savings forshares in the new bank.
So… when the newly formed bank goes bust, “poof” your savings are GONE. Not gone as in some Spanish version of the FDIC will eventually get you your money, but gone as in gone forever (see the above article for proof).
This is why Bankia’s collapse is so significant: in one move, former depositors at seven banks just lost virtually everything.
And this in a nutshell is Europe’s financial system today: a totally insolvent sewer of garbage debt, run by corrupt career politicians who have no clue how to fix it or their economies… and which results in a big fat ZERO for those who are nuts enough to invest in it.
Be warned. There are many many more Bankias coming to light in the coming months. So if you have not already taken steps to prepare for systemic failure, you NEED to do so NOW. We’re literally at most a few months, and very likely just a few weeks from Europe’s banks imploding, potentially taking down the financial system with them. Think I’m joking? The Fed is pumping hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars into EU banks right now trying to stop this from happening.
Like Graham Summers, I am extremely concerned about the European banking system. Europe actually has a much larger banking system than the U.S. does, and if the European banking system implodes that is going to send huge shockwaves to the farthest corners of the globe.
But if you want to believe that the “experts” in Europe and in the United States have “everything under control”, then you might as well stop reading now.
After all, they are very highly educated and they know what they are doing, right?
But if you want to listen to some common sense, you might want to check out this very ominous warning from Karl Denninger…
I hope you’re ready.
Congress has wasted the time it was given by the Europeans getting things “temporarily” under control. But they didn’t actually get anything under control, as the Italian elections just showed.
Now, with the budget over there at risk of being abandoned, and fiscal restraint being abandoned (note: exactly what the US has been doing) the markets are recognizing exactly the risk that never in fact went away over the last couple of years.
It was hidden by lies, just as it has been hidden by lies here.
Bernanke’s machinations and other games “gave” the Congress four years to do the right thing. They didn’t, because that same “gift” also destroyed all market signals of urgency.
As such you have people like Krugman and others claiming that it’s all ok and that we can spend with wild abandon, taking our fiscal medicine never.
They were wrong. Congress was wrong. The Republicans were wrong, the Democrats were wrong, and the Administration was wrong.
Congress is out of time; as I noted the deficit spending must stop now, irrespective of the fact that it will cause significant economic damage.
For the past couple of years, authorities in the U.S. and in Europe have been trying to delay the coming crisis by kicking the can down the road.
By doing so, they have been making the eventual collapse even worse.
And now time is running out.
I hope that you are ready.
New bank head has ‘nothing to do’ with arms trade, Vatican says
John L. Allen Jr. | Feb. 15, 2013 NCR Today
An appointment intended to nail down Benedict XVI’s legacy as a financial reformer today threatened to stir controversy on another front, as a German lawyer and businessman with ties to a company that makes military warships was named the new president of the Vatican Bank.
The Vatican announced today that Ernst von Freyberg would become the new head of the embattled bank, which in recent months has faced charges of failure to comply with anti-money laundering standards and a lack of regulatory oversight.
In a statement released today, the Vatican hailed the “professional and moral excellence” of the 55-year-old von Freyberg, noting that he not only sits on the boards of multi-billion dollar global firms, but is also a member of the Knights of Malta and organizes pilgrimages to Lourdes on behalf of the Berlin archdiocese.
Yet during a briefing this morning to present the appointment, a journalist asked about his ties to the Hamburg-based Blohm + Voss Group, a shipbuilding and engineering firm where von Freyberg has served as chairman since 2012.
According to its web site, Blohm + Voss makes a wide range of commercial vessels, but it also includes warships among its product line. The site lists frigates, destroyers and patrol boats designed in the past for the navies of Nigeria, Argentina, Portugal and Germany.
The Vatican has said that von Freyberg will remain the chairman of Blohm + Voss. In that light, the journalist asked, is it appropriate for him to be spending part of the week making weapons and the rest working for the church?
This afternoon, the Vatican clarified that von Freyberg is chairman of a “white business” component of Blohm + Voss. At the moment, a statement said, his division is constructing four frigates for the German navy, after which it will be “100 percent non-military.”
“The military part of Blohm + Voss is part of the Thyssen Krupp and trades under Blohm + Voss Naval,” the statement said. “Ernst von Freyberg has nothing to do with it.”
Over the years the Vatican has repeatedly called for limits on the arms trade, and as recently as this past July strongly supported a new United Nations treaty to control the flow of arms.
Assuming this indirect connection to the arms trade doesn’t build into a PR problem, attention will turn to the challenges awaiting von Freyberg at the Institute for the Works of Religion, popularly known as the “Vatican Bank.”
Of late, the bank has once again found itself struggling with an image problem.
Both the president and the director, Italian layman Paolo Cipriani, were placed under investigation by Italian authorities in 2010 and $30 million in assets seized for allegedly failing to follow European anti-money laundering protocols. The money was released in May 2011, and no criminal charges were filed.
Last May, renowned Italian economist Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was ousted as the bank’s president following an internal power struggle. He had been appointed in 2009 with the profile of a reformer, but a council of supervisors led by American Carl Anderson, head of the Knights of Columbus, faulted him for erratic behavior and poor job performance.
Most recently, the Deutsche Bank Italy announced on Dec. 31 that it was suspending electronic payment services for the Vatican because it lacked an adequate banking regulatory authority to control money laundering. That meant that the Vatican became a “cash only” business for weeks, unable to accept credit cards at its museums and post office. Those services were set to be restored this week after the Vatican worked out a deal with the Swiss cashless payment firm Aduno SA.
Defenders insist that Benedict has initiated a serious transparency campaign with regard to Vatican finances, creating a new watchdog unit, presently led by a Swiss anti-money laundering expert, and for the first time opened up the Vatican to outside secular inspection by the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering agency.
On background, some officials charge that the investigations and punitive measures imposed by Italy in recent months have more to do with political and commercial factors, including the desire to cajole some depositors to abandon the Vatican Bank in favor of rival Italian banks, than with any substantive problems.
Part of the reason it’s taken nine months to name a new president at the Vatican Bank, according to Lombardi, is because the five cardinals who make up its oversight commission, and the five lay professionals who compose its supervisory council, wanted the process to be “exemplary for its seriousness and its credibility.”
Lombardi said the supervisory council had used the London-based headhunting firm of Spencer Stewart to help with the initial search, which turned up 40 candidates. That list was pared down to six brought in for personal interviews, then three, finally arriving at the choice of von Freyberg yesterday.
Though the Vatican Bank president is appointed by the cardinals, Lombardi said Benedict XVI had been informed and offered his “full consent” to the move. Although the German pope does not know von Freyberg personally, Lombardi said, he’s familiar with the family.
On background, Vatican officials had been saying for weeks that the new president would likely be a non-Italian, partly in order to ensure that he didn’t carry any baggage from internal Italian squabbles, and in order to globalize the vision and operations of the bank.
Lombardi also announced that the five lay members of the bank’s supervisory council will remain in place. Anderson is the the secretary of that body, and he played a lead role in the push to fire Gotti Tedeschi.
Finally, Lombardi also said that changes to the oversight commission of cardinals could also be announced soon. At present, that body is composed of:
- Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State
- Italian Cardinal Attilio Nicora, retired president of the Apostolic Patrimony of the Holy See
- French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and a veteran Vatican diplomat
- Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer of São Paulo, Brazil
- Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi, India
Gov’t Requesting Record Amount of Google Email Data: Judge Napolitano Explains Why You Should Be ‘Aggravated About This’
Google says it received a record 13,753 requests for email data from federal, state and local government agencies in 2012. Most of the requests for information contained in Gmail or other Google services were made without a search warrant, Google reported.
Fox and Friends asked Judge Andrew Napolitano whether this is constitutional. He explained that “gradually the government has worn away at the constitutional protection,” which requires criminal investigators to obtain a search warrant by showing a judge sworn evidence of probable cause.
Napolitano said that currently, “federal agents can write their own search warrants to get your emails,” meaning messages that are stored on an outside server, like Google’s, not on your hard drive or computer. The government is allowed to see the sender and the recipient, but not the body of the email.
“If the government wants the wording of the email itself, it has to go to a judge and get a warrant,” Napolitano said, going on to explain why he’s “aggravated” about this situation and why you should be too.
Watch the discussion:Video
The true power of music – it connects us to who we were and who we are, our deepest memories, and our truest self: