Saturday, July 31, 2010

Memo Outlines Backdoor 'Amnesty' Plan



from
The Washington Times
by Stephen Dinan

With Congress gridlocked on an immigration bill, the Obama administration is considering using a back door to stop deporting many illegal immigrants - what a draft government memo said could be "a non-legislative version of amnesty."


The memo, addressed to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas and written by four agency staffers, lists tools it says the administration has to "reduce the threat of removal" for many illegal immigrants who have run afoul of immigration authorities.


"In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform, USCIS can extend benefits and/or protections to many individuals and groups by issuing new guidance and regulations, exercising discretion with regard to parole-in-place, deferred action and the issuance of Notices to Appear," the staffers wrote in the memo, which was obtained by Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican.


The memo suggests that in-depth discussions have occurred on how to keep many illegal immigrants in the country, which would be at least a temporary alternative to the proposals Democrats in Congress have made to legalize illegal immigrants.


Chris Bentley, a USCIS spokesman, said drafting the memo doesn't mean the agency has embraced the policy and "nobody should mistake deliberation and exchange of ideas for final decisions."


"As a matter of good government, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will discuss just about every issue that comes within the purview of the immigration system," he said in an e-mail statement. "We continue to maintain that comprehensive bipartisan legislation, coupled with smart, effective enforcement, is the only solution to our nation's immigration challenges."


He said the Homeland Security Department "will not grant deferred action or humanitarian parole to the nation's entire illegal immigrant population."


The memo does talk about targeting specific groups of illegal immigrants.


Mr. Grassley said it confirms his fears that the administration is trying an end-run around Congress.


READ MORE

Friday, July 30, 2010

Los Zetas Members on Trial in Guatemala

from InsideCostaRica.com

GUATEMALA - The trial of 14 alleged members of the Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas continued Thursday in the case of 11 Guatemalan drug traffickers killed in Zacapa department in 2008.


According to prosecutors, the killings were part of a fierce battle between a Guatemalan drug gang and the Mexican cartel Los Zetas for control of smuggling routes through Guatemala.


The clash between the two cartels revealed the presence in Guatemala of Mexico's powerful drug mafia, especially Los Zetas, considered to be the armed wing of the Gulf Cartel.


However, not all the defendants attended the hearing on Wednesday; two of them, a Mexican and a Guatemalan, remained in prison because authorities feared a rescue attempt, and they followed the hearing via videoconference.


Defense lawyers tried to suspend the hearing, calling it illegal, but were unsuccessful.


The prosecutor's office says it has more than 500 pieces of evidence linking defendants to the 2008 murders and other crimes, including illegal weapons possession, armed robbery and forgery.

What's In Your Food



video

Juarez King Pin Captured in Chihuahua City

El Paso Times is reporting that Rogelio Segovia "El Royser" Hernandez was arrested on Tuesday in Chihuahua City in possession of weapons and grugs. Police report that Segovia is the key cartel player in drug trafficking, kidnapping and homicides. The arrest comes on the back of the killing of top Sinaloa cartel leader Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel who was shot by Mexican military on Thursday.


READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Banking Disaster Largely Ignored by Mainstream Media

from USAwatchdog
by Geg Hunter

Last week, bank failures quietly passed the 100 milestone for the year. I say “quietly” because the bank failure story has gone largely unreported or, at least, under-reported by the mainstream media. Just to give you an idea of how fast the bank insolvency problem is accelerating, last year, at this time, 64 banks had been taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. So far, this year, 103 banks have already been taken over by the FDIC. There is no question the bank failures the FDIC will have to deal with will be greater than the 140 insolvent banks closed last year. At this point, we just don’t know how many more, but dozens more than last year for sure.


One big bank negative I see is the loss of business in the Gulf because of the oil spill catastrophe. I don’t think it is a stretch to say that the loss of revenue from fishing, deep-water oil drilling, tourism and spoiled coastal property will probably have a negative effect on the balance sheet of Gulf Coast banks. Just 2 weeks ago, a Wall Street Journal story documented tail spinning Florida banks asking for a break from federal regulators. It said, “Florida banks—already weakened by the real-estate bust and hit again by customers suffering from the BP PLC oil spill—are asking federal regulators for a reprieve from government-ordered capital raising as they struggle to stay alive.” (Click here for more on the WSJ article) There are currently 775 “problem” banks on the FDIC’s list, and I don’t think that list will be shrinking anytime soon.


In order for the FDIC to close the banks, it has to spend cash to make depositors whole. It is also entering into what are called “loss share” agreements. It is a way to keep problem loans and foreclosed property in a banking environment and not become the full responsibility of the government. It also caps the loss for the buying institution. Here’s how the “loss share” basically works. The FDIC writes down the assets to an estimated value. Then, the FDIC covers any potential losses in an 80/20 split, with the FDIC covering 80% of any potential loss. These loss share agreements were used in the S&L crisis in the early 90’s. Since this crisis began, there have been $173.5 billion of loss share agreements through May of 2010. (The total now stands at more than $178 billion.) According to FDIC spokesman David Barr, if loss share agreements were not used, the failed bank assets might sell for “pennies on the dollar.” The idea is to wait and sell the assets in the future when they might be worth more. Barr told me just last week, “As the FDIC turns those losses into real losses when we sell those, then the loss at the failed bank is adjusted accordingly, some go up and some go down.”


If the economy continues to tank, make no mistake, there will be some liability to the FDIC. We just will not know how much until the assets are sold. There might be no future liability at all, but I don’t think that’s likely given the serious and prolonged problems facing the economy. This is probably a multi-billion dollar future write down, but who knows?

The bank closings are also taking a toll on the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund, or DIF. In May, it was reported to be $20.7 billion in the red. Back then, I wrote a post called, "FDIC Insurance Fund still $20 billion in Hole." I said, “I talked with FDIC spokesman David Barr yesterday about the shortfall in the DIF. He said, “The FDIC is not broke.” It has an additional “$63 billion in cash.” He told me there is about $46 billion in three years of prepaid deposit insurance premiums and an additional $17 billion in cash for a grand total of $63 billion in “liquid resources” to close insolvent banks.”


If you subtract the $20.7 billion deficit of the DIF from the roughly $63 billion in “liquid resources,” you end up with a little more than $42 billion. FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair was quoted, around the same time, saying the FDIC expects to spend “$40 billion” closing banks in the next year. (Remember, this was before anyone knew how big the Gulf oil spill calamity was going to be.) My math says that would leave a little more than $2 billion in “liquid resources.” According to an email from David Barr yesterday, after that $2 billion is used, there is a “. . . 100 billion line of credit (from the Treasury). The FDIC also has some $35 billion in assets from failed banks that we must sell.”


That means in about a year, the FDIC will be closing banks with borrowed money and what it can get from selling the assets of failed banks. If that doesn’t paint a dire picture of bank insolvency in this country, I don’t know what does. It is amazing to me how little time the mainstream media is spending on this unfolding financial disaster and how much time it is devoting to things like Mel Gibson’s rants.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ARCHIVE: Forced Adoption is a Truly Dreadful Scandal

from Telegraph UK Jul. 3, 2010
by Christopher Booker

[SWClarion note: Some alarming news items have come to light in the UK claiming that Social Services are operating in a quota system for taking new born babies directly from their parents. In the US we are getting closer to the point where poverty itself will be enough to criminalize parents.]


In recent months, I have been reporting on what is one of the most alarming scandals in Britain today – the secretive system that allows social workers to remove children from loving families without any proper justification, and to send them for adoption or fostering with no apparent concern for their interests.


Four more examples have come to light in the past week. The first came to my attention via Lynn Boleyn, a former councillor from Dudley, who first became concerned about "forced adoption" when she sat on various committees concerned with child care. Last week, she was in court with a mother of five girls, whose family tragedy began when her partner was sentenced to 14 years for abusing the eldest girl, who was sent to live with a relative. Although there was no evidence of their mother harming them in any way, the other four girls were seized by Dudley social services and placed in foster care. Three were kept together, separated from their two-year-old sister whom the council now wants to put out for adoption.


The three girls, aged 11, 10 and 7, are desperately unhappy, constantly asking to be reunited with their mother. But on Friday, a judge said he had no power to stop social services summarily withdrawing them from their local school to be sent to a new home. The 11-year-old was looking forward to being in the school play and the end of term Leavers' Service. She has now been torn away from friends she has known since she was four, the nearest thing to stability left in her life. The children's wishes were not taken into account.


A second case concerns another woman, for 20 years an NHS nurse who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps in the first Gulf War. Until recently, she was a semi-professional dog breeder, living happily at home with her eight-year-old son (his father having walked out when she was pregnant).

In March, their home was raided by two RSPCA officials and five policemen, complaining she had too many dogs in the house. Her home was untidy because she was clearing an attic, but the seizing of the dogs (breaking the leg of one of them) left it a befouled mess.


Acting on a tip-off from the RSPCA, Leeds social workers then intervened, and expressed surprise that the house was tidier than they expected. Nevertheless, they told the mother to bring her son's clothes to school, from where he was taken into foster care.


After three months, during which he has only been allowed short supervised "contact" with his mother, the boy is miserable, constantly asking when he can return home. His mother has repeatedly had to draw the social workers' attention to various conditions, such as head lice and threadworm, which indicated that he was not being properly cared for. Last week they announced that they were moving him to another foster home.

Although there was no evidence that she was anything other than an admirable mother, apart from the temporary mess made of the house in March, the social workers say her son cannot be allowed home until they have both undergone "psychiatric assessments". These cannot be arranged until October. Nor has the boy yet been given a guardian to represent him, as the law lays down.


My other two cases come from Ian Josephs, the former county councillor and businessman who runs the Forced Adoption website and has helped hundreds of families in a similar plight. When, in January, a couple brought their newborn son to hospital with a fractured arm, Coventry social services were called in on suspicion that the child might have been injured by his parents. After the mother had been arrested, handcuffed and held by the police for nine hours, the couple were terrified that their baby would be taken from them. Although not charged with any offence, they are on police bail, which prevents them from leaving the country.


The child's Irish grandmother took the baby to Ireland, where he is now surrounded by a large, supportive family. Social services are attempting to get an order through the courts for the grandmother to return to England with the baby.


My last case is so shocking that I will return to it in more detail at a later date. It centres on a London couple who, earlier this year, had their six children seized by social workers on what appears to be flimsy hearsay evidence (I have seen the court papers).

The mother was pregnant again. Last month, after the boy was born, three social workers and five policemen entered the hospital ward where she was breastfeeding at 3am, wresting the baby from her by force. They then discovered that they had nowhere to keep him. The boy was put into intensive care, where his mother was taken to breastfeed him for four days, until she was fit to leave the hospital. She saw her baby for the last time two weeks ago.


I will return to this story when I have had some explanation from the council responsible.

Monday, July 26, 2010

ARCHIVE: Marvin Bryer Follows the Money Trail Through the LA Superior Court

from Insight on the News Dec. 6, 1999
by Kelly Patricia O'Meara

Insight has more details on an alleged slush fund for the L.A. Superior Court Judges Association and the possible extortion of civil litigants by some officers of the court.


As the old Neil Diamond song has it, "L.A.'s fine, the sun shines most the time and the feeling is laid back." Sunny L.A. is so laid back that alleged corruption within the Superior Court of Los Angeles goes unchecked and nary a thought is given to investigate possible connections of ongoing criminal indictments to schemes and players already exposed (see "Is Justice for Sale in L.A.?" May 3).


But Marvin Bryer of La Crescenta, Calif., is anything but laid back. A retired computer analyst, Bryer spent years collecting court and bank documents concerning suspicious financial relationships between attorneys, court professionals and judges of the Superior Court. After Insight exposed the secret "coffee-and-flowers" bank account of the Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association, or LASCJA, Bryer filed a lawsuit against the Family Court Services Special Fund, one of the names used by the LASCJA.


Bryer contends in his lawsuit that, among other things, the LASCJA was using a "bogus" name to mute money to its own bank account gained from minimum continuing legal education, or MCLE, classes and other lawyer-supported ventures associated with the Superior Court. Because the LASCJA illegally was using the County of Los Angeles employer identification number, or EIN, it still is unclear whether the money deposited into the judges' account belonged to the taxpayers of Los Angeles or to the judges -- a question Bryer hopes to have answered by his lawsuit.


Bryer's lawsuit also names Alf Schonbach, manager of the Finance, Accounting and Internal Audits Section of the Superior Court, in an attempt to determine why Schonbach's statements to Insight that the funds collected from lawyers for the MCLE classes and deposited into the LASCJA account contradict his previous declarations that they came from "donations."


"I want the truth about the accounts," says Bryer, "and the money illegally collected by the judges' association returned to the taxpayers of the County of Los Angeles."


Bryer thinks he sees an intricate financial connection in ongoing criminal cases he believes may be related to his investigation into the LASCJA and the county personnel who handled the judges' bank accounts.


For instance, Bryer has included in his lawsuit Gregory Pentoney, an auditor in the Los Angeles Superior Court finance office. A subordinate to Schonbach, Pentoney was arrested in August 1998 on multiple counts, including grand theft, receiving and offering a bribe and preparing false documentary evidence. Pentoney, along with Encino attorney Robert Fenton, is accused of participating in stealing more than $1.4 million from the Los Angeles County by recovering money that the county owed to various municipalities and kept it in condemnation trust accounts.


Condemnation funds are monies deposited into trust accounts that are equal to what is offered by the municipality for property condemned under eminent domain. Pentoney is accused of providing a list of condemnation cases to Fenton, who then submitted requests for disbursements of more than $5 million from the trust accounts on behalf of various municipalities. Fenton allegedly collected $1.4 million in finder's fees from the municipalities and kicked back $463,000 to Pentoney.


At the time Pentoney allegedly was working with Fenton to convert money from the condemnation funds, he also was sparring with Bryer over the LASCJA's bank account. In response to a 1996 lawsuit filed by Bryer, Pentoney claimed in a deposition that while in the finance office he had no knowledge of the Family Court Services Special Fund, which now is known to be one of the names used by the LASCJA for its accounts. Perhaps, but Pentoney's legal representation was provided not by his employer, the County of Los Angeles, but by Robert Traver of Collins, Collins, Muir & Traver in Pasadena -- the law firm that represents the judges. Bryer suspects a cover-up.


Today, Pentoney is being sued in a civil action in the Van Nuys Superior Court and criminally charged in Los Angeles Superior Court for his alleged participation in the condemnation trust-fund scheme. Also, as a defendant in the civil lawsuit filed by Bryer concerning checks processed by the finance office for the Family Court Services Special Fund, Pentoney is being represented by Michael Bergfeld -- another attorney with Collins, Collins Muir & Traver.


Bergfeld says in court documents that he was hired by the County of Los Angeles to represent Pentoney. "This is weird," says Bryer, "because this guy is being both represented and prosecuted by Los Angeles County. How can this be?" Pentoney's supervisor tells Insight he, too, is receiving similar assistance from the county through Collins, Collins, Muir & Traver. Schonbach also is a defendant in Bryer's lawsuit and is a witness in Pentoney's criminal case.

Although some see representation of Pentoney and Schonbach by the judges' law firm as a conflict of interest, Superior Court Presiding Judge Victor Chavez doesn't have a problem with it. "If he was working for the judges' association at the time I don't see a problem. I don't see an ethical issue," says Chavez. In fact, Schonbach was working for the judges' association -- but he was being paid by the County of Los Angeles.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

UPDATE ON RICHARD FINE: Judge Yaffe admits to fraudulent filing

Richard Fine has now been incarcerated in the LA Men's Central Jail for 529 days

Former attorney Richard Fine filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus one day after his incarceration on March 6, 2009. That motion has been denied from the state through the federal courts. One reason that has been cited by the various courts for denial is that on March 18, 2008 Judge Yaffe (the judge residing over Marina Strand Colony II vs County of Los Angeles) ordered that Richard Fine had no standing in petitioning that Judge Yaffe disqualify himself on grounds that Judge Yaffe received benefit payments from LA County because Richard Fine was no longer an attorney. It has come to light that Judge Yaffe filed a Minute Order with the US District Court on July 13, 2010 in which he states that The March 18, 2008 order does not exist. Richard Fine insists that this fact should nullify later orders and should nullify US Courts decisions to deny his Writ of Habeas Corpus. Read more about Richard Fine on the Full Disclosure Network.

Read my related article.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Massive Austerity is Coming to the USA

austerity: (n) 1: the quality or state of being austere

2a: an austere act, manner, or attitude b : an ascetic

practice

3: enforced or extreme economy

Merriam-Webster


Let us not forget that President Obama forewarned America during the presidential election by speaking of the 'sacrifice' that all Americans were going to have to endure. What did he mean by this? Shortly after Greece's sovereign debt bonds were downgraded by the three headed monster(Standard & Poors, Moody's and Fitch) the banking cabal came up with a gross acronym to describe Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain, PIIGS. This shows the mentality of the kind of people who have no compunction about compelling sovereign nations to cut jobs, cut spending and slash citizen's way of life by massively cutting pensions and benefits that greatly effect the old and the young. To bankers like the IMF and their GoldmanSachs alumni these people are PIIGS, nothing but dirty swine to be herded into massive pens of austerity.


PIIGS and beyond


Massive austerity did not end with the PIIGS. Shortly after Greece broke out in violent protests against the austerity, economic rumblings began in Spain and Portugal. And just when the white anglo-saxon community thought that it was immune to the sovereign debt crisis, the IMF went after England telling them to cut their debt, thus causing the British Pound to go into near freefall. Just last month Finance Minister George Osborne presented a budget that would cut over a million jobs in the next five years. Ireland is poised to take to the streets over their impending austerity measures. So who will be the next little 'PIIGy'? Could it be the steward of the world's reserve currency? Never!


China and the IMF onslaught


But it's true. Earlier this month the International Monetary Fund(IMF) began urging the US to cut its budget deficit. Then, true to form, the advice proceeded what seems to be inevitable these days to those unfortunate enough to come under the scrutiny of the IMF. Downgrading. Like a German blitzkrieg the dollar is coming under attack from all sides. Recently China's Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. downgraded the US' sovereign debt bonds from AAA to AA status. On June 29 the UN released a report calling for an end to the US dollar as the main global reserve currency, citing its inability to safeguard value. A recent CNN Money article declared, "Central banks start to abandon the US dollar". In the article the author references some names that are the very architects of the financial crisis:


"There are those who would argue that the financial crisis was caused by over-enthusiastic worship of the Almighty Dollar. Call it brutal financial karma, but that church is looking pretty empty these days.


A new report from Morgan Stanley analyst Emma Lawson confirms what many had suspected: the dollar is firmly on its way to losing its status as the reserve currency of the world. We already knew that central banks have preferred gold to dollars, and that they're even selling their gold for cash; now, according to Lawson's data, it seems that those central banks prefer almost anything to dollars."


Financial Karma? Morgan Stanley is one of the major players behind the bank bailouts and the trillions of printed Stimulus dollars that are the basis of driving the value of the dollar into the abyss. This is like a bank loaning an unemployed man money to buy a car, and then turning around and calling the dealership to tell them that the man has no job!


Austerity ghouls


The end result of the tanking of the US dollar is clear. First a major downgrading of US sovereign debt, and then massive austerity measures for the American people. Public and private pension funds and retirement trusts in the US alone are worth multi-trillions of dollars. The hedge fund hyenas and bankster criminals want that money. When austerity comes the money that people collect for their pensions will at the very least be cut in half, some people will lose their pensions outright and future employees will simply have no pensions, all in the name of cutting the budget. Most of the money that will have been accumulated thus far will go to the people at the top. Don't think that this can happen? Just ask the people of Greece.


I recently pondered with a family member, Can the banks really just take your money? I then had to consider the facts:


Dateline 2001 Argentina defaults. When people go to the bank they can't get their money. When they finally do access their money it is only a fraction of what it was.


Dateline 2008 The US economy goes into freefall. This has a drastic impact on the three main banks of the tiny nation of Iceland. The banks completely default. Depositors get their money back but when all is said and done Iceland's stock market falls by 90% and their currency becomes greatly devalued. As of this date their are over 28,000 claims against Kaupthing Bank trying to recover over 40 billion euros


Dateline 2010 Germany's parliament passes a bill that will give 66% of it's annual income tax to banks in the form of interest payments


Dateline 2010 British Prime Minister David Cameron unveils a scheme to pay for public sector expenses. The government will draw from a new bank called, wait for it, the Big Society Bank. Where will the Big Society Bank get its money? The government plans to seize money from private bank accounts that they describe as 'dormant'. The British government wants the Big Society Bank to spend about 400 million pounds, but thus far there is only about 60 million pounds available from 'dormant' accounts. Where will the rest of the money come from?


So there you have it. Big whigs taking money directly from private bank accounts. I wonder what the families of these 'dormant' bank account holders have to say about this. By the way, the British government has told its citizens that if it takes their money accidentally that all they have to do is call them up and get it back. Good luck with that.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Competing Currency Being Accepted Across Mid-Michigan

from ConnectMidMichigan
by Dan Armstrong

New types of money are popping up across Mid-Michigan and supporters say, it's not counterfeit, but rather a competing currency.


Right now, you can buy a meal or visit a chiropractor without using actual U.S. legal tender.


They sound like real money and look like real money. But you can't take them to the bank because they're not made at a government mint. They're made at private mints.


"I sell three or four every single day and then I get one or two back a week," said Dave Gillie, owner of Gillies Coney Island Restaurant in Genesee Township.

Gillie also accepts silver, gold, copper and other precious metals to pay for food.

He says, if he wanted to, he could accept marbles.


"Do people have to accept dollars or money? No, they don't," Gillie said. "They can accept anything they want or they can refuse to accept anything."

He's absolutely right.


The U.S. Treasury Department says the Coinage Act of 1965 says "private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash, unless there is a state law which says otherwise."


That allows gas stations to say they don't accept 50- or $100 bills after a certain time of day in hopes of not getting robbed.


A chiropractic office in Lapeer County's Deerfield Township allows creativity when it comes to payment.


"This establishment accepts any form of silver, gold, chicken, apple pie, if someone works it out with me," said Jeff Kotchounian of Deerfield Chiropractic. "I've taken many things."


Jeff Kotchounian says he's used this Ron Paul half troy ounce of silver to get $25 worth of gas from a local station.


While the government and banks don't accept them, many others do.

So why is there interest in these competing currencies?


Is it just novelty or is there something deeper?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sniper Opens Fire on Oakland Police Officer

from San Francisco Chronicle
by Henry K. Lee

A routine police stop in West Oakland erupted into gunfire when someone with a rifle opened fire from a high-rise building, police said Monday.


No one was struck by the gunfire, and a search of the area failed to turn up the shooter, said Officer Jeff Thomason, a police spokesman.


Read Entire Article

In Oakland, 911 Calls Now for Crimes in Progress

from San Jose Mercury News
by Cecily Burt and Harry Harris

OAKLAND — Call 911 when someone is breaking into your home and an officer will come. Call 911 after the burglar has gone, and you'd better hope the thief didn't steal your computer.


Oakland residents are waking up to the reality of the new, post-layoff Oakland Police Department, and it's not pleasant. Eighty police officers lost their jobs Tuesday after the city and the police union failed to agree on how to save them within the confines of the city's ongoing budget crisis.


Read Entire Article

BP PhotoShops Fake Photo of Crisis Command Center


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Experts: Car Bomb in Juarez Mimics Middle East Terrorist Tactics

from El Paso Times
by Ramon Bracamontes

[SWClarion Intro: C-5 plastic explosives are military grade explosives. They must be obtained from the military or intelligence services. Whoever obtains them must be trained in how to use and detonate them. But wait, we already know that the US trained members of Los Zetas in just these kinds of operations. The Merida Initiative has earmarked $1.4 billion to battle the Drug Cartels, but some Mexican officials admit that they have no idea where all the money is actually going to. Knowingly or unknowingly, is the US funding narcoterrorists?]

EL PASO -- The car bombing in Juárez on Thursday in which three people were killed signifies an escalation of brutality and sophistication in the city's 2-year-old drug war, officials said.


Juárez officials on Friday confirmed a car bomb with C-4 plastic explosives was detonated from a remote location.


Local experts said the Juárez and Sinaloa drug cartels apparently have adopted terrorists' tactics that use suicide bombers and car bombs to kill foes or to make a point.


"It certainly seems like they've taken a page out of the Middle East," said Richard Schwein, the former FBI special agent in charge of the El Paso office.


"The cartels read the news and they hear about what is happening in the Middle East with the use of car bombs and suicide bombers. I don't think they will ever use suicide bombers here, but car bombs are easy to make and to use."


This is the first time a car bomb has been used in the Juárez drug war, which has claimed the lives of nearly 5,800 people since in began in 2008.


Experts agree that the use of a car bomb with a sophisticated detonation system and C-4 is a new tactic, one that requires planning and deliberation.


"It is what it is," Schwein said.C-4 is an explosive that is used by military and in demolition and mining. To set it off, a blasting cap or a detonator has to be inserted into the explosive and then an electrical charge is sent to start the explosion, according to several websites.

According to Juárez officials, officers responded to a call that a police officer had been killed. As an officer and a paramedic approached the car, a bomb exploded. The officer and the paramedic were killed. The third man killed is believed to have been the decoy.


El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles said the use of a car bomb is of major concern, and something law-enforcement officials on this side of the Rio Grande should pay attention to."As the cartels change their tactics over there, we need to be aware of their methods because if they ever wanted to assassinate someone over here, they may use those same tactics," he said.


Wiles said a greater concern is that car bombs tend to injure innocent victims."The car bombs damage an area, not just a targeted person," he said. "They can be powerful and can do some damage.


While the use of car bombs and bombs in El Paso and Juárez is rare, Thursday's attack was not the first time a bomb was used to target law enforcement.Former El Paso police Chief Carlos Leon said that in the mid-1970s, the East Valley police substation on San Paulo Drive was bombed. "It certainly didn't injure anyone or kill anyone," Leon said. "But the building's foundation was cracked, and the substation was the target."


Leon said that it was an isolated case and that no other incidents occurred after that.


Related:

US Trained Death Squads?

Mexico Drug Gang Hits Cops with Car Bomb

from CBS

(AP) Members of a northern Mexico drug gang rammed a car that may have been packed with explosives or inflammable material into two police patrol trucks in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, killing two officers and a medical technician and wounding nine people.


Federal police said Thursday's attack — which may be one of the first uses of an explosive-packed car in Mexico — was in retaliation for the arrest of a top leader of the La Linea drug gang, Jesus Acosta Guerrero, earlier in the day.


Read Entire Article

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bank of America, Citi Fall as Loan Books, Interest Shrink

from Bloomberg
by David Mildenberg and Bradley Keoun

Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. fell in New York trading after profit reports showed their loan books shrinking, a sign volatile markets and a stalling U.S. economy may be keeping borrowers away.


Bank of America, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, declined 8.3 percent, the most in more than a year, in New York Stock Exchange composite trading at 11:33 a.m. New York-based Citigroup fell 3.7 percent.

Read Entire Article

West Texas town bolsters security as Mexican deaths continue


from El Paso Times

by Brandi Grissom


FORT HANCOCK - They can't keep burying the bodies here. Not just because the small cemetery in this remote desert town can't handle the volume - because somebody could get killed.


On a still, sunny spring morning in Fort Hancock, about 60 miles east of El Paso, two elderly Hispanic men sit on the tailgate of a pickup, surrounded by graves.


Francisco Estrada and Alberto Rosales munch on pieces of fruit, legs dangling above the dusty earth where many former residents of this rural outpost make their final repose. As caretakers for the Fort Hancock Cemetery, they put in about 20 hours a week. It's mostly quiet work, meant to occupy their aging minds and bodies.


Read Entire Article

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cap-and-Trade Will Be Part of Senate Climate Change Bill

from Politics Daily
by Patricia Murphy

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid confirmed Tuesday that the Senate will soon debate a bill to reduce pollution and that the legislation will include a scaled back version House-passed language to reduce carbon output by charging some polluters for emissions above a certain threshold.


Reid said that the bill is still in "rough draft form," but he gave an outline of what he plans to introduce in the Senate two weeks from now.

Specifically, he said the bill will address four issues key to reforming the energy sector in the United States: responding to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; promoting clean energy and job creation; limiting consumer prices for energy; and reducing energy consumption.


Read Entire Article

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama visits Panama City beach to spread the word that the beaches are oil-free; "Everyone should come here!"

from WJHG.com
by Meredith TerHaar

[SWClarion Note: Isn't this something. First we have BP commercials on the major news networks saying they are doing everything to keep beaches open. A lie. Citizens and journalists around the Gulf are getting turned away and arrested on a daily basis. Then we have the Governor of Florida saying the beaches are fine as the EPA sets up decontamination sites on Florida beaches, and now this inane article from WJHG.]

Panama City Beach- Monday was an historic day for Bay County. Michelle Obama became the first sitting First Lady to visit Bay County when she arrived for a briefing on the oil-spill, then made remarks at an invitation only event on Panama City Beach.


First Lady Michelle Obama arrived at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport around 2:30 Monday afternoon. "Well it's a great opportunity to welcome the First Lady to our community and we're very excited at the airport here to have choose us as her arrival and departure point," said Randy Curtis, Airport Executive Director.


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Arizona: Life, Liberty and Closed Property


from Slate.com
by William Norman Grigg

Which is the more serious threat to life, liberty and property: The illicit violence practiced by a handful of furtive armed drug smugglers in the Arizona desert, or the increasingly brazen militarization of U.S. law enforcement – across the entire country – in the "war on drugs"?


According to some hyperventilating commentators, drug smugglers – with the guilty acquiescence of Barack Obama – have seized control of a huge swath of Arizona, thereby asserting alien sovereignty over what was once American soil. If this were true, points out libertarian journalist (and Arizona resident) J.D. Tuccille, the narcotics lords would preside over a kingdom "populated by rattlesnakes and cholla."


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Monday, July 12, 2010

BP and Carbon Tax: Follow the Money Trail

The home page for the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) website exhibits a list of global corporate sponsors who would seem more likely to fight against legislation that purports to cut air pollution, not fund it. But that is exactly what they are doing. Names such as AES, Alcoa, Chrysler, Dow, General Electric, PG&E and Siemans are but a few of the over 25 corporate giants who are USCAP members. USCAP is the largest lobby for legislation to combat global warming. On their list of members, however, there is one conspicuous absence. That is BP who was a member of USCAP until earlier this year when they opted out of the lobby. Their official reason was the lack of carbon allowances that would be afforded to oil companies through the legislation. But this seems suspect considering that Shell Corp. is still a member. So one might ask the obvious question, What are oil companies, some of the biggest polluters on the planet, doing fighting against global warming and air pollution. The short answer. Carbon tax and trading.


First, a quick rundown of some key figures surrounding the BP oil spill, an event that may be the biggest environmental disaster in history. Tony Hayward has been the CEO of BP plc since 2007, but before that he filled a number of roles in the company including Group Treasurer since 2000 where he was in charge global treasury operations and corporate finance. From 2000 to 2003 he served as a member of the Advisory Board of Citibank, the world's largest bank. Halliburton has had a black eye since the beginning of the Iraq war. Their official task in the Deep Water Horizon endeavor was to pour concrete into the deep oil well. In an amazing coincidence, though, just weeks before the oil spill Halliburton purchased Boots and Coots, the worlds largest company for cleaning up oil spills. BP is the largest corporation in Britain and the Royal Family are major shareholders. Although it used to be called British Petroleum for many years, since 2001 it has simply been known as BP because its holdings go far beyond the shores of Britain. In fact, the largest shareholder of BP stock is JP Morgan Chase. JP Morgan Chase and Citibank are intrinsically connected to the Federal Reserve system. The Federal Reserve is where your tax dollars go to. But more on that later.


Carbon Tax


Their is a great perception that the so called "carbon tax" will be placed on big polluting companies, thus reducing carbon emissions and harmful air pollutants. This is a fallacy. Big polluting companies will not have to pay a tax if they receive carbon allowances or buy so called "carbon credits". Discover's Howstuffworks.com website describes the carbon tax as a tax on electricity, natural gas and oil. The website seems enthusiastic about the prospects of a carbon tax:


"And don't forget about all the money raised by the tax. It can help subsidize environmental programs or be issued as a rebate. Many fans of carbon tax believe in progressive tax-shifting. This would mean that some of the tax burden would shift away from federal income tax and state sales tax."


This is an admission that the carbon tax will be so significant as to merit a comparison to federal income tax and state tax. Indeed, major studies have concluded that the economic impact on the average american household will be the equivalent of two income taxes or more.


Carbon trading scheme


A Washington Examiner article from May, 2009 illustrates how big energy companies can pollute the environment and profit from trading so called 'offsets' to greenhouse emissions. The article reveals that AES Corp. was getting together with GE to start selling carbon credits, a scheme that was invented by none other than Enron who in the 1990's was the chief instigator for the Kyoto Treaty by funneling in multi-millions of dollars to environmental lobbying groups in hopes of capitalizing on what are essentially CO2 derivatives. What did this lobbying get them? The fates of Enron and Kyoto are well known to history.


The money trail


Make no mistake. The carbon tax is yet another direct tax that goes to the big banks. Carbon trading is yet another form of derivatives. The $600 trillion derivatives market has not proven to produce anything thus far except a huge black hole for the global economy. Are we really to believe that these derivatives will produce significant sources of alternative energy? This is banking, plain and simple.


Devvy Kidd of World Net Daily investigated where our taxes actually go since the money that goes to pay for the public sector and the government is loaned to us by the Federal Reserve. She found out through significant sources(1) that all taxes collected by the IRS go directly to the Federal Reserve banking system. So, to follow the money trail, BP spills oil, carbon taxes are passed, the IRS collects and the big banks behind the Federal Reserve loan it back to us with interest. (Oh, and let's not forget that big bond that the US government must put up to insure that the loan will be paid back).


The media is spinning the Gulf oil spill as a gross act of negligence. Major publications such as Atlantic Monthly and Mother Jones, however, have revealed that BP and some of their engineers knew before hand that drilling into such great pressure was more than they were equipped to handle. Add to this the suspicious purchase of Boots and Coots by Halliburton only weeks before the spill. And the very suspicious fact that Goldman Sachs and Tony Hayward sold millions of dollars worth of BP stock only weeks before the spill. President Obama is hyping cap and trade and carbon taxing like never before. Is this some gross coincidence? Probably not, according to Senator Mitch McConnell: He had this to say on the Senate floor:


"The problem for Democrats is that debating the Democrat cap-and-trade bill might not fit neatly into the White House messaging plan, since it’s been widely reported that a major part of the Kerry-Lieberman bill was essentially written by BP. This is clearly an inconvenient fact: an administration that seems to spend most of its time coming up with new ways to show how angry it is with BP is pushing a proposal that BP helped write."



Source:


1. "President's Private Sector Survey On Cost Control: A Report to the President" [Reagan] Jan. 15,1984

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Christie Looks to Privatize Motor Vehicle Inspections, Other Services

from Northjersey.com

by Claire Heininger


[SWClarion note: There has also been talk about privatizing toll roads and postal service throughout the country. What people must remember is that private companies in a stagnant economy(the reason for privatizing in the first place) have no incentive to pay higher wages and salaries. But I guess this bodes well with the new model of a massive lowering of the standard of living.]


"New Jersey would close its centralized car inspection lanes and motorists would pay for their own emissions tests under a sweeping set of recommendations set to be released by the Christie administration today.


State parks, psychiatric hospitals and even turnpike toll booths could also be run by private operators, according to the 57-page report on privatization obtained by The Star-Ledger. Preschool classrooms would no longer be built at public expense, state employees would pay for parking and private vendors would dish out food, deliver health care and run education programs behind prison walls......"


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