Monday, September 7, 2009

Crooks, Computers, and the Coming Crash

As stocks continued to rally into September, one has to ask one’s self, “just who’s buying this rally?”

The answer?

Computers and no one else.

I’ve written extensively about the computer trading programs that are dominating this market. All told, High Frequency Trading Programs HFTPs control 70% of trading volume on the NYSE.

However, at this point, five stocks (yes only five) account for 40% of the trading volume on the market. Those five stocks: Citigroup, CIT Group, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG. Think about that, five stocks out of several thousand, are accounting for 40% of ALL trading.

And which five are they?

Five that are virtually guaranteed to be propped up by the government in one way or another (CIT indirectly through Goldman and other government-aligned groups). This summates today’s market like nothing else: folks are ONLY trading the investments that they know are on life support from the government.

That metaphor extends to the entire economy. Nearly 20% of incomes come from the government. More than 34 million Americans are on food stamps. This will continue. The government will extend unemployment and every other short-term “fix” it can. But it won’t do ANYTHING to create real job growth.

The life support metaphor extends to the financial system as well. The Fed has extended TRILLIONS to support virtually everything out there. Here’s a brief list of some of the more major items:

* The Federal Reserve cutting interest rates from 5.25-0.25% (Sept ’07-today)
* Bear Stearns / the Fed taking on $30 billion in junk mortgages (March ’08)
* The Fed opens up various lending windows to investment banks (March ’08)
* The SEC proposes banning short-selling on financial stocks (July ’08)
* Hank Paulson uses the blank check with Fannie/ Freddie spending $400 billion in the process (Sept ’08).
* The Fed takes over insurance company AIG (Sept ’08) for $85 billion.
* The Fed doles out $25 billion for the auto makers (Sept ’08)
* The Feds kick off the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) with the Government taking stakes in private banks (Oct ’08)
* The Fed offers to buy commercial paper (non-bank debt) from non-financial firms (Oct ’08)
* The Fed offers $540 billion to backstop money market funds (Oct ’08)
* The Feds agree to back up to $280 billion of Citigroup’s liabilities (Oct ’08).
* $40 billion more to AIG (Nov ’08)
* Feds agree to back up $140 billion of Bank of America’s liabilities (Jan ’09)
* Obama’s $787 Billion Stimulus (Jan ’09)
* Fed announces its plans to buy $300 billion of Treasuries (Mar ’09)

Most if not ALL major banks, the stock market, the debt market, and more are on Fed life support right now in one form or another. Take this life support away, and you have a full-scale collapse. I’m talking about 300 on the S&P 500 and 3,000 on the Dow.

And what a life support it is:

The above chart is what you get when you throw trillions (literal trillions) at the financial system. But does throwing money around create sustained recovery? NOPE. I’ve often railed that the market is discounting an economic recovery that does not exist. However, I may have been wrong… at least in terms of what the market is discounting.

Today, I would argue that the market is discounting Ben Bernanke’s “juicing” of the system. The rise from 666 to 1,033 was the market announcing “this guy is going to throw as much money as he can at the crisis and it’s going to flow into the market.” This is a liquidity rally driven by non-thinking computer programs, not a rally based on fundamentals.

Speaking of which…

I’ve watched with first amusement, then disgust, and ultimately outrage as various pundits proclaimed Bernanke’s efforts “saved the financial system” or helped the US “weather the storm.” Bernanke did NO such thing. You could train a chimpanzee to hit the “print money” button at the Fed every-time the Fed phone rings with a Wall Street number and get the same results. To date, Bernanke has spent or put the taxpayer on the hook for some $24 TRILLION in bailouts, lending windows, and off balance sheet arrangements.


Banks remain insolvent (if you marked their assets at market value, they’d all wipe out equity in a second), mortgages remain underwater, hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to lose their jobs every month, foreign investors grow increasingly distrustful of the dollar, and the financial system continues to have multiple black swans… all of which could bring about another CRASH.

Indeed, anyone looking to proclaim Bernanke as a savior should review the below video which shows that the guy DIDN’T HAVE A CLUE about the financial system/ economy from 2005-2007. Just click on the below image to watch (video should load in your Internet Browser). Prepare to see an Ivy-league educated guy who’s in charge of our monetary system NOT see the biggest housing bubble in US history OR the worst financial crisis since the ‘30s (an era on which he is an alleged expert).

Video of Bernanke’s mistakes:


However, to focus on Bernanke’s incompetence is to overlook his culpability in destroying Americans’ wealth. In the last 12 months alone, the man has committed perjury (he lied under oath about no longer monetizing debt), embezzlement ($24 trillion gone to banks at least $9 trillion of which no one, not even the head of oversight at the Fed, kept track of), fraud (any proclamation of green shoots or recovery is fraud), corruption (forcing Bank of America to buy Merrill Lynch), and more.

It would, in fact, be no exaggeration to say that Ben Bernanke is a financial criminal on a scale that makes Bernie Madoff look like Mr. Rogers. Madoff ripped off $50 billion. Bernanke is currently destroying the middle class in the US, trashing our currency, worsening EVERY Americans’ quality of life, and erasing any hopes of retirement for millions of Boomers.

In simple terms, Bailout Ben, in a mere year and a half, has overseen the destruction of 30% of US household wealth (from a housing and stock bubble he FAILED to see coming while working under Greenspan). He has yet to do a single thing to protect the average American or the dollar, but instead has opted to funnel trillions of taxpayer dollars over to Wall Street so that Goldman Sachs and friends could claim they’re not insolvent and pay themselves RECORD bonuses.

Indeed, Bernanke has re-created late 2007: the time when stocks went up day after day after day on lower volume and no fundamentals. Indeed, if I had to summate the entire market rally since July in one sentence it would be: insane euphoria and discounting of Fed pumping. The 2007 reference is not mere whimsy either.

Insider selling is at its highest ratio to insider buying since October 2007. The Relative Strength Index for the market recently hit levels we haven’t seen since October 2007. Corporate debt issuance is at October 2007 levels (companies issue as much debt as they can when stocks are up). 36% of investors are bullish and 24% bearish: a gap we haven’t seen since… October 2007.

Bernanke has literally re-created the sentiment of late 2007: a time when fundamentals didn’t mean a thing.

And that didn’t end well.

Folks, the US stock market is an enormous house of cards propped up by the biggest bubble-blower in history. Fundamentals have NOT improved, the economy continues to collapse (regardless of the GDP accounting gimmicks they use to claim we’re out of the recession), and stocks are at least 20-30% overvalued.

By Graham Summers

The second crash is on its way. Its just a matter of timing....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wish you weren't here: The devastating effects of the new colonialists

A new breed of colonialism is rampaging across the world, with rich nations buying up the natural resources of developing countries that can ill afford to sell. Some staggering deals have already been done, says Paul Vallely, but angry locals are now trying to stop the landgrabs

Sunday, 9 August 2009 - Paul Vallely - The Independent

Thousand of protesters took to the streets, waving the orange flags of the opposition. Before long, looting began. Buildings were set on fire. But the turning point came when a crowd moved from the main square towards the presidential palace. Amid the confusion, someone panicked and gave the order to the troops guarding the palace to open fire. Scores died. The leaders of the army decided they'd had enough and stormed the palace, causing the president to flee.

A typical African coup d'état? Not quite. Certainly there were allegations of corruption in high places. The president had bought a private jet – from a member of the Disney family – for his own personal use. He was accused of unnecessary extravagance, of mismanaging public funds and confusing the interests of the state with his own. But something else had whipped up the protesters in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, earlier this year, when the government of Marc Ravalomanana was overthrown in the former French colony.

The urban poor were angry at the price of food, which had been high since the massive rise in global prices of wheat and rice the year before. Food-price rises hit the poor worse than the rest of us because they spend up to two-thirds of their income on food. But what whipped them into action was news of a deal the government had recently signed with a giant Korean multinational, Daewoo, leasing 1.3 million hectares of farmland – an area almost half the size of Belgium and about half of all arable land on the island – to the foreign company for 99 years. Daewoo had announced plans to grow maize and palm oil there – and send all the harvests back to South Korea.

Terms of the deal had not originally been made public. But then the news leaked, via the Financial Times in London, that the firm had paid nothing for the lease. Daewoo had promised to improve the island's infrastructure in support of its investment. "We will provide jobs for them by farming it, which is good for Madagascar," a Daewoo spokesman said. But the direct cash benefit to Madagascar would be zero – in a country which can barely produce enough food to feed itself: nearly half of the island's children under the age of five are malnourished.

The government of President Ravalomanana became the first in the world to be toppled because of what the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization recently described as "landgrabbing". The Daewoo deal is only one of more than 100 land deals which have, over the past 12 months, seen massive tracts of cultivable farmland across the globe bought up by wealthy countries and international corporations. The phenomenon is accelerating at an alarming rate, with an area half the size of Europe's farmland targeted in just the past six months.

To understand the impotent fury that provokes in impoverished farmers, consider the reaction if something similar happened in Britain. The international development policy consultant Mark Weston has a vivid image to help: "Imagine if China, following a brief negotiation with a British government desperate for foreign cash after the collapse of the economy, bought up the whole of Wales, replaced most of its inhabitants with Chinese workers, turned the entire country into an enormous rice field, and sent all the rice produced there for the next 99 years back to China," he suggests.

"Imagine that neither the evicted Welsh nor the rest of the British public knew what they were getting in return for this, having to content themselves with vague promises that the new landlords would upgrade a few ports and roads and create jobs for local people.

"Then, imagine that, after a few years – and bearing in mind that recession and the plummeting pound have already made it difficult for Britain to buy food from abroad – an oil-price spike or an environmental disaster in one of the world's big grain-producing nations drives global food prices sharply upwards, and beyond the reach of many Britons. While the Chinese next door in Wales continue sending rice back to China, the starving British look helplessly on, ruing the day their government sold off half their arable land. Some of them plot the violent recapture of the Welsh valleys."

Change the place names to Africa and the scenario is much less far-fetched. It is happening already, which is why many, including Jacques Diouf, head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, has warned that the world may be slipping into a "neo-colonial" system. Even that great champion of the free market, the FT, described the Daewoo deal as "rapacious" and warned it is but the most "brazen example of a wider phenomenon" as rich nations seek to buy up the natural resources of poor countries.

The extent of this new colonialism is vast. The buyers are wealthy countries that are unable to grow their own food. The Gulf states are at the forefront of new investments. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar – which between them control nearly 45 per cent of the world's oil – are snapping up agricultural land in fertile countries such as Brazil, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Egypt. But they are ' also targeting the world's poorest countries, such as Ethiopia, Cameroon, Uganda, Zambia and Cambodia.

The amounts of land involved are staggering. South Korean companies have bought 690,000 hectares in Sudan, where at least six other countries are known to have secured large land-holdings – and where food supplies for the local population are among the least secure anywhere in the world. The Saudis are negotiating 500,000 hectares in Tanzania. Firms from the United Arab Emirates have landed 324,000 hectares in Pakistan.

But they are not the only buyers. Countries with large populations such as China, South Korea and even India are acquiring swathes of African farmland to produce food for export. The Indian government has lent money to 80 companies to buy 350,000 hectares in Africa and recently lowered the tariffs under which Ethiopian agri-products can enter India. One of the biggest holdings of agriculture land in the world is a Bangalore-based company, Karuturi Global, which has recently bought huge areas in Ethiopia and Kenya.

Food is not all the new colonialists are after. About a fifth of the massive new deals are for land on which to grow biofuels. British, US and German companies with names such as Flora Ecopower have bought land in Tanzania and Ethiopia. The country whose name became a byword for famine at the time of the Live Aid concerts has had more than 50 investors sign deals or register an interest in the cultivation of biofuel crops on its soil.

From Ethiopia's point of view, the economic logic is straightforward: the country is an importer of oil and is therefore vulnerable to price fluctuations on the world market; if it can produce biofuels it will lessen that dependency. But at a cost. To keep the foreign biofuel investors happy, the government doesn't force any companies to carry out environmental impact assessments. Local activists claim that 75 per cent of the land allocated to foreign biofuel firms are covered in forests that will be cut down.

More worrying is the plan by a Norwegian biofuel company to create "the largest jatropha plantation in the world" by deforesting large tracts of land in northern Ghana. Jatropha, which can be cultivated in poor soil, produces oily seeds that can produce biodiesel. A local activist, Bakari Nyari, of the African Biodiversity Network, has accused the company of "using methods that hark back to the darkest days of colonialism... by deceiving an illiterate chief to sign away 38,000 hectares with his thumbprint". The company claims the scheme will bring jobs, but the extensive deforestation which would result would deprive local people of their traditional income from gathering forest products such as shea nuts.

The failed Daewoo land deal in Madagascar may have been intended to be the biggest landgrab planned to date, but it is far from the only one.

So what is the cause of this sudden explosion of land acquisition across the globe? It has its roots in the food crisis of 2007/8, when prices of rice, wheat and other cereals skyrocketed across the world, triggering riots from Haiti to Senegal. The price spike also led food-growing countries to slap export tariffs on staple crops to minimise the amounts that left their countries. That tightened the supply still further, meaning food prices were driven up more by a situation of policy-created scarcity than by supply and demand.

This situation also made many rich countries that are reliant on massive food imports question one of the fundamentals of the global economy: the idea that every country should concentrate on its best products and then trade. Suddenly having unimaginable quantities of cash from oil was not enough to guarantee you all the food you needed. The oil sheikhs of the Gulf states found that food imports had doubled in cost over less than five years. In the future it might get even worse. You could no longer rely on regional and global markets, they concluded. The rush to grab land began.

The logic was clear. The highly populous South Korea is the world's fourth-biggest importer of maize; the Madagascar deal would replace about half of Korea's maize imports, a Daewoo spokesman boasted. The Gulf states were equally open: control of foreign farmland would not only secure food supplies, it would eliminate the cut taken by middlemen and reduce its food-import bills by more than 20 per cent.

And the benefits could only increase. The fundamental conditions that had led to the global food crisis were unchanged, and might easily worsen. The UN predicts that by 2050, the world population will have grown by 50 per cent. Growing the food to feed nine billion people will place enormous pressure on the Earth, eroding soils, denuding forests and draining rivers. Climate change will make all that worse. Oil prices will continue to rise, and with them the cost of fertiliser and tractor fuel. Demand for biofuels would further cut land available for food crops. The 2007/8 price crunch might just be a foretaste of something worse. The times of plenty are already over. Next, there might not be enough food to go round, even for those with lots of money.

We have not really noticed it here, because the UK, like the US, still instinctively seems to place unlimited faith in the ability of the market to provide. But other countries have begun to devise a long-term strategic response.

The clearest public sign of that came in June when, just before the meeting of world leaders at the G8 in Italy, the Japanese prime minister, Taro Aso, asked: "Is the current food crisis just another market vagary?" He replied to his own question: "Evidence suggests not; we are undergoing a transition to a new equilibrium, reflecting a new economic, climatic, demographic and ecological reality."

But the market is having its say, too: the cost of land is rising. Prices have jumped 16 per cent in Brazil, 31 per cent in Poland, and 15 per cent in the midwestern United States. Veteran speculators such as George Soros, Jim Rogers and Lord Jacob Rothschild are snapping up farmland right now. Rogers – who between 1970 and 1980 increased the value of his equities portfolio by 4,200 per cent, and who made another fortune predicting the commodities rally in 1999 – last month said: "I'm convinced that farmland is going to be one of the best investments of our time."

After the disastrous involvement of financial speculators in housing – the global recession had its roots in the development of mortgage-based derivatives – it is hardly reassuring that the same financial whiz-kids are turning to land as a new source of profit. "The food and financial crises combined," says the Philippines-based food lobby group Grain, "have turned agricultural land into a new strategic asset."

In one way, that ought to be a good thing for poor countries. Land is what they have in plenty. And the agricultural sector in developing countries is in urgent need of capital. Aid once provided this, but the share of that which goes to farming fell from $20bn a year in the 1980s to just $5bn a year in 2007, according to Oxfam. A mere 5 per cent of aid now goes to rural-development agriculture, even though in the poorest places such as Africa, more than 70 per cent of the population rely on farming for their income. Decades of low investment have meant stagnating production and productivity.

Landgrab deals ought, at least, to rectify that by injecting much-needed investment into agriculture in these countries. That ought to bring new jobs and a steady income to the rural poor. It should bring new technology and know-how to local farmers. It should develop rural infrastructure, such as roads and grain-storage systems, to the good of the entire community. It should build new schools and health posts that will benefit all. It should give African governments much-needed taxes to invest in developing their countries. All of which should lessen dependency of food aid. Landgrabs should produce a win-win situation.

That was the kind of big billing which the government in Kenya gave to the deal it did recently with the state of Qatar. Just one per cent of land in the Arab emirate is cultivable, so Qatar is heavily reliant on food imports. The deal was that Qatar would get 40,000 hectares of land to grow food in return for building a $2.5bn deep-water port at Lamu in Kenya.

Unfortunately, even as the negotiations with Qatar proceeded, the Kenyan government was forced to announce a state of emergency because a third of Kenya's population of 34 million was facing food shortages. President Mwai Kibaki declared the situation a national disaster and appealed for international food relief. Hungry voters often fail to understand the long-term attractions of the economic advantages which could be brought to Kenya by creating what would be only its second deep-water port and opening up a third of the country – in the arid and neglected north-east – to development. This is a country, after all, where people kill for land, as was shown after the botched elections in 2007.

If the world food crisis tightens, as everyone seems to predict, it will become ever more unpalatable politically for a government such as Kenya's to countenance the massive export of food at a time of shortage. That is even more true in a continent as politically unstable as Africa.

There is, in any case, already fierce opposition from many to projects like this. The land offered to Qatar is in the Tana River delta. It is fertile with abundant fresh water but it is home to 150,000 farming and pastoralist families who regard the land as communal and graze 60,000 cattle there. They have threatened armed resistance. They are supported by opposition activists, who object less to the land being developed, but want it to grow food for hungry Kenyans. Then there are the environmentalists, who say a pristine ecosystem of mangrove swamps, savannah and forests will be destroyed.

The environment is another major worry in many of the great rash of land deals. Growing food crops in huge plantations is dominated by large-scale intensive monoculture production using large quantities of fertiliser and pesticides. The results are spectacular at first – which might satisfy the yen of the outside investors for short-term profit. But it risks damaging the long-term sustainability of tropical soils unsuited for intensive cultivation and can do serious damage to the local water table. It reduces the diversity of plants, animals and insect life and threatens the long-term fertility of the land through soil erosion, waterlogging or increased salinity. The intensive use of agrochemicals could lead to water-quality problems, and irrigating the land-holdings of foreign investors may take water away from other users.

Water is a key issue. In a sense, these aren't landgrabs so much as water grabs, suggests the chief executive of Nestlé, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe. With the land comes the right to draw the water beneath it, which could be the most valuable part of the deal. "Water withdrawals for agriculture continue to increase rapidly. In some of the most fertile regions of the world (America, southern Europe, northern India, north-eastern China), over-use of water, mainly for agriculture, is leading to sinking water tables. Groundwater is being withdrawn, no longer as a buffer over the year, but in a structural way, mainly because water is seen as a free good."

The world needs to begin to think more urgently about water. The average person in the world uses between 3,000 and 6,000 litres a day. Barely a tenth of that is used for hygiene or manufacturing. The rest is used in farming. And the world's lifestyle, with factors such as increased meat-eating, is exacerbating the problem. Meat requires 10 times more water per calorie than plants. Biofuels are one of the most thirsty products on the planet; it takes up to 9,100 litres of water to grow the soya for one litre of biodiesel, and up to 4,000 litres for the corn to be transformed into bioethanol. "Under present conditions, and with the way water is being managed," the Nestlé chief says, "we will run out of water long before we run out of fuel".

Indeed, in many places underground, aquifers are falling; in some regions by several metres a year. Rivers are running dry due to over-use. And the worst problems are in some of the world's most important agricultural areas. If current trends hold, Frank Rijsberman of the International Water Management Institute has warned, soon "we could be facing annual losses equivalent to the entire grain crops of India and the US combined". Between them, they produce a third of all the world's cereals.

Is there a way forward? The Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute believes so. It has recently produced a report containing recommendations for a binding code of conduct to promote what Japan, the world's largest food importer, called for at the G8 in Italy – responsible foreign investment in agriculture in the face of the current pandemic of landgrabs.

It wants a code "with teeth" to ensure that smallholders being displaced from their land can negotiate mutually beneficial terms with foreign governments and multinationals. It wants measures to enforce any agreement, if promised jobs, wage levels or local facilities fail to materialise. It wants transparency, and it wants legal action in their home countries against firms that use bribes, rather than relying on prosecutions in the Third World. It wants respect for existing land rights – not just those which are written, but those which exist through custom and practice. It wants compulsory sharing of benefits, so that schools and hospitals get built and those living in areas around landgrabs get properly fed. It suggests shorter-term leases to provide a regular income to farmers whose land is taken away for other uses. Or, better still, it would like to see contract farming that leaves smallholders in control of their land but under contract to provide to the outside investor. It demands proper environmental impact assessments. And it says foreign investors should not have a right to export during an acute national food crisis.

No one is fooled that this will be easy. The local elites in developing countries have a vested interest in the lucrative deals on offer. The government in Cambodia has massively promoted landgrabbing, taking advantage of the fact that many land titles were destroyed under the terror of the Khmer Rouge. Mozambique has signed a $2bn deal that will involve 10,000 Chinese "settlers" on its land in return for $3m in military aid from Beijing. The strategic considerations are clear. "Food can be a weapon in this world," as Hong Jong-wan, a manager at Daewoo, put it.

But things are ratcheting up on the other side, too. Landgrabs are "a grave violation of the human right to food", in the words of Constanze von Oppeln of the big German development agency Welthungerhilfe, one of the most prominent campaigners in the field. She speaks for many who have no voice internationally – although they are making their presence felt well enough in their own countries. A huge public outcry erupted in Uganda when its government began talking to Egypt's ministry of agriculture about leasing nearly a million hectares to Egyptian firms for the production of wheat and maize destined for Cairo. Mozambicans have similarly resisted the settlement of the thousands of Chinese agricultural workers on its leased lands. Earlier this year, angry Filipinos successfully blocked a deal by the Philippines government with China which involved an astounding 1,240,000 hectares. And last month the same activists exposed what they call a "secret agricultural pact" between their government and Bahrain. With 80 per cent of the 90 million population landless, the deal is "unlawful and immoral", activists there say.

Food touches something very deep in the human psyche. Do not expect either side to give up without a fight.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Signs that an attack on Iran has been postponed indefinitely...

For the past 5 years, Iran has been lambasted as the bastion of evil. A nation full of radicals, zealots bent on developing nuclear weapons so they can wipe out Israel. An enemy of good, seeking to destabilize Iraq through their proxy fighters. The rhetoric has been intense, the propaganda convincing. Support for an attack grew. If it weren't for such dire situations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a world economy skating on thin thin ice, I believe an emboldened Israel and US would have already attacked.

Now, a few recent press releases indicate that an attack, for now at least, has been postponed.

1) A truce has been agreed between Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and a Shi’a resistance group called the "League of the Righteous" (Asa'ib al-Haq), formerly framed as Iran's proxy army bent on destabilizing Iraq. With this truce in place, the argument that Iran is the source of continued calamity in Iraq, will not hold much water.

2) According to a U.S. government intelligence estimate made public Thursday, Iran will not be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium until 2013, setting a notably later date than any recent intelligence estimates thus far. This runs completely counter to the claims of the hawks in US and Israel claiming we have no time to waste in dealing with Iran's nuclear weapon producing capability.

Monday, July 20, 2009

California sprouts marijuana 'green rush'

(AP) -- A drug deal plays out, California-style: A conservatively dressed courier drives a company-leased Smart Car to an apartment on a weekday afternoon. Erick Alvaro hands over a white paper bag to his 58-year-old customer, who inspects the bag to ensure that everything he ordered over the phone is there.

An eighth-ounce of organic marijuana buds for treating his seasonal allergies? Check. An eighth of a different pot strain for insomnia? Check. THC-infused lozenges and tea bags? Check and check, with a free herb-laced cookie thrown in as a thank-you gift.

It's a $102 credit card transaction carried out with the practiced efficiency of a home-delivered pizza - and with just about as much legal scrutiny.

More and more, having premium pot delivered to your door in California is not a crime. It is a legitimate business.

Marijuana has transformed California. Since the state became the first to legalize the drug for medicinal use, the weed the federal government puts in the same category as heroin and cocaine has become a major economic force.

No longer relegated to the underground, pot in California these days props up local economies, mints millionaires and feeds a thriving industry of startups designed to grow, market and distribute the drug.

Based on the quantity of marijuana authorities seized last year, the crop was worth an estimated $17 billion or more, dwarfing any other sector of the state's agricultural economy.

Experts say most of that marijuana is still sold as a recreational drug on the black market. But more recently the plant has put down deep financial roots in highly visible, taxpaying businesses:

Stores that sell high-tech marijuana growing equipment. Pot clubs that pay rent and hire workers. Marijuana themed magazines and food products. Chains of for-profit clinics with doctors who specialize in medical marijuana recommendations.

The plant's prominence does not come without costs, say some critics. Marijuana plantations in remote forests cause severe environmental damage. Indoor grow houses in some towns put rentals beyond the reach of students and young families. Rural counties with declining economies cannot attract new businesses because the available work force is caught up in the pot industry. Authorities link the drug to violent crime in otherwise quiet small towns.

"For those of us who are on the front lines. It's not about pot is bad in itself or drugs are bad," said Meredith Lintott, district attorney in Mendocino County, one of the country's top marijuana-producing regions.

"It's about the negative consequences on children. It's about the negative consequences on the environment."

Still, the sheer scale of the overall pot economy has some lawmakers pushing for broader legalization as a way to shore up the finances of a state that has teetered on the edge of bankruptcy. The state's top tax collector estimates that taxing pot like liquor could bring in more than $1.3 billion annually.

On Tuesday, Oakland will consider a measure to tax the city's four marijuana dispensaries, which the controller projects will ring up $17.5 million in sales in 2010. The city faces an $83 million budget shortfall, and expects the marijuana tax to raise $300,000.

Advocates point out that making pot legal would create millions if not billions of dollars more in indirect sales - the ingredients used to make edible pot products, advertising, tourism and smoking paraphernalia.

With a recent poll showing more than half of Californians supporting legalization, pot advocates believe they will prevail. And they say other states will follow.

Tim Blake is the proprietor of a 145-acre spiritual retreat center which holds an annual marijuana bud-growing contest in the heart of Northern California's pot-growing country.

Politicians, he says, are "going to see the economic benefits, they're going to see the health benefits and they're going to jump on the bandwagon."


On a property flanked by vineyards, Mendocino County farmer Jim Hill grows marijuana for up to 20 patients, including himself and his wife. He believes passionately in marijuana's purported ability to treat the symptoms of diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimer's; he says his wife suffers from a serotonin imbalance, and he uses the drug to treat digestive problems and intestinal cramping.

Hill's plants enjoy careful nurturing in a temperature-controlled greenhouse. On a recent spring day, his college-age son spread bat guano to fertilize two dozen 6-foot-tall plants.

Hill is 45 years old; he says he spent $10,000 to set up the garden. Patients receive their drugs free in exchange for helping with his crop.

"It's kind of like living on an apple orchard," Hill said. "You don't pay for an apple."

Though marijuana is cultivated throughout California, the most prized crops come from the forested mountains and hidden valleys of Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties - the Emerald Triangle.

The economic impact of so much pot is difficult to gauge. Authorities say the largest grows are run by Mexican drug cartels that simply funnel money from forest-raised crops back into their own bank accounts.

Still, marijuana money from outdoor and indoor plots inevitably flows into local coffers. Marijuana increases residents' retail buying power by about $58 million countywide, according to a Mendocino County report. The county ranks 48th out of 58 counties in median income but, by counting pot proceeds, could jump as high as 18th.

Businesses benefit from mom-and-pop growers who cultivate pot to supplement their incomes and from marijuana plantation workers who descend on the Emerald Triangle from all over the country for the fall harvest. Pot "trimmers" can earn more than $40 per hour.

In Ukiah, the county's largest city, business owners say the extra cash is crucial. "I really don't think we would exist without it," says Nicole Martensen, 37, whose wine and garden shop is stocked with bottles from county vintners.

The skunk-like smell of marijuana hangs over the town of about 11,000 during the October harvest, when cash registers brim with $100 bills. Sometimes the wads of cash spent in Martensen's shop come dusted with pot.

But Ukiah banker Marty Lombardi says existing businesses cannot compete with pot industry wages for workers. Lombardi's bank does not make loans to anyone suspected of trying to fund a pot operation, but he said most growers do not need them.

"I don't think you or I have any sense for how much money is generated," he said.

Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman says medical marijuana operations that follow state and county laws will face no hassles from his department. His deputies left intact 154 marijuana grows they visited last year, he said

"If you're living in the boundaries, I'm not going to mess with you," Allman said.

Which is not to say that there is no legal risk to growing, selling or buying marijuana. Federal laws still apply, and pot dealings not deemed medicinal are considered criminal by the state.

Local, state and federal authorities pulled up 364,000 plants across Mendocino last year. And the state Department of Justice reported more than 16,000 felony arrests and nearly 58,000 misdemeanor arrests for marijuana offenses in 2007 - the highest numbers in a decade.

Sparky Rose sits in the federal prison in Lompoc, serving a 37-month term. Law enforcement officials insist he is one of many sellers who have used the medical marijuana law as a guise for old-time drug dealing. Rose does not disagree, although he would like to think he helped some legitimate pot patients in the process.

A one-time Web designer, he started out in 2001 making $15 an hour as a "bud tender" working the counter at an Oakland club. Four years later, he was overseeing a dispensary chain with stores in seven cities, 283 employees and sales reaching $5 million a month.

That's not as much as it seems, he says. Much of the money went to pay salaries, to purchase equipment and to buy 200 pounds of marijuana each week.

Rose says he was making $500,000 a year before his 2006 arrest, a sum he considers fair given the chain's volume and the risk he assumed as the company's public face. Before opening a new location, he would meet with local officials and police to get their implicit OK.

"We operated out in the open, and the feds knew who we were and they let us do it for four years, so as time goes on you get this comfortable feeling," he says.

"While I was still in the business, a lot people would ask me, 'I'm thinking about starting a club, what advice do you have?' "And I'd say, 'The biggest warning is sooner or later, you will start to think it's legal.'"


Even people accustomed to buying marijuana over the counter are impressed when they visit the Farmacy, a dispensary-cum-New Age apothecary with three locations in Los Angeles. Decorated in soft beige and staffed by workers in lab coats, the Venice store sells organic toiletries, essential oils and incense along with 25 types of pot stored in glass jars, including strains such as Beverly Bubba and Third Eye.

Anyone can shop there, but to buy the cannabis-infused gelato, olive oil, soft drinks and other "edibles," customers must show a doctor's recommendation, have the information verified by the doctor's office and obtain a patient identification number for future visits.

During a two-hour span, the dozen or so customers who made a purchase all bought pot products and paid the 9.25 percent state sales tax on top of their purchases. The clubs, which are not supposed to turn a profit, call their transactions "donations."

Allen Siegel is 74; he is dying of cancer and wants to try smoking marijuana to ease his pain without knocking him out like prescription drugs do. So his wife Ina brought him to the Farmacy for his first visit as a legal pot patient.

"You go in there and they have so many choices," she says.

California's "green rush" was spurred by a voter-approved law 13 years ago that authorized patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use. Although a dozen other states have adopted similar laws, California is the only one where privately owned pot shops have flourished.

Los Angeles County alone has at least 400 pot dispensaries and delivery services, nearly twice as many outlets as Amsterdam, the Netherlands capital whose coffee shops have for decades been synonymous with free-market marijuana.

Promoted as a way to shield people with AIDS, cancer and anorexia who use marijuana from prosecution, the 1996 Compassionate Use Act also permitted limited possession for "any other illness for which marijuana provides relief."

The broad language opened the door to doctors willing to recommend pot for nearly any ailment. In a survey of nearly 2,500 patients, longtime Berkeley medical marijuana advocate Dr. Tod Mikuriya found that more than three-quarters of the patients used the drug for pain relief or mental health issues.

Dispensaries began selling marijuana, although they were risking federal charges. Some operators have become less fearful since U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said this year that the Justice Department would not target pot operations following state laws, reducing the risk of random federal raids that existed under the Bush administration.

California's pot dispensaries now have more in common with a corner grocery than a speakeasy. They advertise freely, offering discount coupons and daily specials.

Justin Hartfield, a 25-year-old Web designer and business student, founded, where pot clubs and doctors who write medi-pot recommendations list their services and users post reviews. Hartfield says the site has brought in nearly $250,000 in its first year.

Hartfield exhibited at THC Expo, a two-day trade show at the Los Angeles Convention Center that attracted an estimated 35,000 attendees in June. There was hydroponic gardening equipment and bong vendors and bikini-clad models wearing leis made of fake marijuana leaves.

Like just about everyone else connected to the cannabis trade, Hartfield has a letter from a doctor that entitles him to buy medical marijuana from a dispensary. But he sees no point in pretending he is treating anything more than his taste for smoking weed.

"It is a joke. It's a legal way for me to get what I used to get on the street," he said.

He recalls telling the doctor who provided the referral that he suffered from insomnia and anxiety, though neither was true. As he signed the paperwork, the doctor "congratulated me like I was getting my degree from Harvard."


What would happen if marijuana was legal - not just for medical uses, but for all uses?

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, wants to tax and regulate all pot as it does alcohol. State Board of Equalization chairwoman Betty Yee, a supporter, projects the law would generate $990 million annually through a $50-per-ounce fee for retailers and $349 million in sales taxes. (The state now collects $18 million each year in taxes on medical marijuana.)

The state would not start collecting taxes on marijuana under Ammiano's bill until the federal government lifts its restrictions on the drug.

That's not enough for pro-pot activists who want Californians to vote next year on a proposal that would allow adults to legally possess up to one ounce of pot and allow cities to sell and tax the drug.

"Local governments are malnourished and in need of revenue badly," said Aaron Smith, state policy director for the Marijuana Policy Project, which advocates legalization. "There's this multibillion-dollar industry that's the elephant in the room that they're not able to tap into."

Lintott, the Mendocino prosecutor, is not convinced that legalization would put an end to the underworld's marijuana operations. She argues that big-time growers would never bother filing tax returns. "Legalizing it isn't going to touch the big money," she says.

But others predict the black-market business model would fall apart.

Large-scale agri-businesses in California's Central Valley would dominate legal marijuana production as they already do bulk wine grapes, advocates argue. Pot prices would fall dramatically, forcing growers to abandon costly clandestine operations that authorities say trash the land and steal scarce water.

And legalization, supporters insist, would save state and local governments billions on police, court and prison costs.

But others survey California in 2009 and say the cannabis future is now. Richard Lee has parlayed a pair of Oakland dispensaries into a mini-empire that includes a marijuana lifestyle magazine and a three-campus marijuana trade school. Oaksterdam University's main campus is a prominent fixture in revitalized downtown Oakland.

All without legalization.

"It's like here's reality, and here's the law," Lee says. "The culture has gone so far beyond the law, people have gotten used to being able to get quality product. They are not going to go back."ű

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Audit the Fed" bill shot down in the senate...

Not as if it had a chance of passing anyways... this bill is good for nothing else than to raise attention to matter.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

unanswered questions from different points of view

If the Pentagon was hit by a cruise missile, then what happened to American Airlines Flight 77? Where did all the real, documented people on it go? Assassinated? Relocated? What about eyewitnesses who saw a plane, not a missile? And what are the chances that an operation of such size--it would surely have involved hundreds of military and civilian personnel--could be carried out without a single leak? Without leaving behind a single piece of evidence hard enough to stand up to scrutiny in a court?

If Bush needed 9/11 to attack Iraq, why didn't he put an Iraqi on the plane or say there was an Iraqi on the plane so he could make his case easier.

If Bush was in control and had the power to plant explosives in the towers, why didn't he have the power to plant WMD's in Iraq and capture Bin Laden to look like a hero?

If the government controls the media, why was the media so anti Bush, and pro Obama? Why don't they silence people like Glen Beck and Lou Dobbs when they try to educate us about the federal reserve, and silence all of the actors that voice their anti-government opinions?

Is Bin Laden a made up character? Why do some people (like Immortal Technique) say that Bin Laden was a CIA tactician, and others say he was just some guy living in a cave that couldn't have possibly pulled off an attack like 9/11?

If Bin Laden wasn't able to set up explosives in the tower without help from the US, then why were terrorists able to do it in 1993?

If, say, the US government is running a global conspiracy, why haven't the Iranian, Russian, or Chinese intelligence agencies revealed it, to cause a major scandal in the United States? If there are thousands of conspirators, and the conspiracy has gone on for decades, why have none of them defected? Why have none of them leaked the story? If many conspirators are dead, why have none of them told the truth on their deathbeds, or in their wills?

To those who believe that the WTC towers (1, 2 and 7) were destroyed by controlled demolitions: this programme, broadcast last July, shows how complicated and time consuming the process of a controlled demolition is (see 27:24 minutes in to 32:11). An empty building marked for destruction by specialists takes weeks if not months of preparation, during which the entire structure is gutted while the explosives are placed. How exactly were the WTC towers rigged for demolition in such a manner that no one working in the offices within these buildings noticed anything unusual?

To those who believe that the WTC towers (1, 2 and 7) were destroyed by controlled demolitions: this programme, broadcast last July, shows how complicated and time consuming the process of a controlled demolition is (see 27:24 minutes in to 32:11). An empty building marked for destruction by specialists takes weeks if not months of preparation, during which the entire structure is gutted while the explosives are placed. How exactly were the WTC towers rigged for demolition in such a manner that no one working in the offices within these buildings noticed anything unusual?
As a follow-up question, if these calls were fake, what happened to the passengers? Were they complicit in the 9/11 cover-up? Are they still alive?

to those who say there no hijackers: what’s your explanation for this?

On 9th September 2001 Ahmed Shah Massoud, the most effective military commander of the anti-Taliban coalition (the Northern Alliance, or NA) was killed by two Arab suicide bombers posing as journalists. The assassination of Massoud had taken months to plan, and the latter had received the bogus request for an ‘interview’ in May 2001 (See Steve Coll, Ghost Wars, pp.574-576; Jason Burke, Al Qaeda, p.197; Daniel Byman, Deadly Connections, p.210. Two days before 9/11, Al Qaeda killed the Taliban’s main enemy, who had also played a pivotal role in keeping the NA factions together, and who would have been the obvious figure to liase with if the Americans had decided to effect regime change in Afghanistan. If Al Qaeda were not responsible for 9/11, then why was Ahmed Shah Massoud’s assassination so well co-ordinated with the attacks on New York and Washington?

Conversely, prior to 9/11, the US government had minimal contacts with Massoud and other Northern Alliance figures, much to the latter’s frustration (See Coll, passim). If 9/11 was a “false flag” operation intended to justify a pre-determined plan to invade Afghanistan, then why didn’t the CIA and other US government agencies do more to facilitate ties with the NA?

Just before 9/11, Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and other key Al Qaeda personnel left their quarters in Kandahar to hide in Tora Bora (Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower, pp.356-358). Why did bin Laden and al-Zawahiri suddenly leave their known locations and go to ground, if they were not anticipating imminent military action by the USA?

In the days following 9/11, the Bush administration asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff for a plan to invade Afghanistan. The JCS had to admit that they had no contingency plan for such an invasion, and in the weeks preceding Operation Enduring Freedom the CIA and the Department of Defense were obliged to improvise a plan of attack against the Taliban and its Al Qaeda allies (Benjamin Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror; Bob Woodward, Bush At War). If 9/11 had been an inside job, and if there was a long-standing intention by Bush and his advisors to invade Afghanistan and overthrow the Taliban, then why did they have to scrabble around for a workable plan? Why was one not prepared beforehand?

We are being asked by the truthers to believe that the 19 hijackers were “patsies”, or non-existent. If that was the case, and if the intention of the real plotters in the US government was to justify military interventions to overthrow hostile regimes in the Middle East, why were 15 out of the 19 ‘bogus’ Al Qaeda terrorists given Saudi nationality? The other four hijackers consisted of an Egyptian, a Lebanese and two citizens of the UAE. We are being asked to believe that the conspirators behind 9/11 decided that they would make the hijackers citizens of allies of the USA, not enemies. Why were they not given Iraqi, Iranian or Syrian identity? Why were they not given forged links with terrorist groups (such as the Abu Nidal Organisation, the PLFP-GC or Hizbollah) with closer links to Tehran, Damascus and above all Baghdad? If we are supposed to believe that the Israelis had a hand in 9/11, then why were none of the patsies Palestinians linked to Fatah or Hamas? What kind of conspirator sets up a plot to frame an innocent party without forging the evidence to implicate the latter?

Following on from this point, if the identities and the nationalities of the hijackers were faked, then why did the Saudi, Egyptian, Lebanese and UAE governments accept that citizens from their own countries were involved? What incentive did Saudi Arabia have for accepting that 15 of its own people had committed mass murder on US soil? Why would the Saudis co-operate in a plot which would blacken their country’s name, benefit Israeli interests in the Middle East, provide the pretext for the overthrow of one fundamentalist Sunni regime in Afghanistan, and contribute to the destruction of a Sunni Arab dictatorship in Iraq long seen by the Saudi royal family as a bulwark against Iran?

Afghanistan is a landlocked country (truthers may need to be reminded of this fact), and any invasion is logistically impossible without the support of its neighbours. Prior to 9/11, Pakistan was a staunch ally of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan (see Ahmed Rashid, Taliban, passim). The former Soviet Central Asian states of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan backed the NA, but were also wary of antagonising their former imperial master, Russia. Pre-September 2001 these states would not have contemplated admitting any US or Western military presence on their soil. Although Russian President Vladimir Putin backed the USA’s invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, it took the Americans considerable effort to persuade him to permit the US and NATO forces to use bases on Uzbek and Tajik territory as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. It also took time and considerable pressure to force General Pervez Musharraf to abandon the Taliban - despite resistance from the military and ISI. Given the geo-political realities of Central Asia in mid-2001, there were no guarantees of any host nation support for any attack on Afghanistan. Assuming againt that 9/11 was an inside job, how could the US government realistically presume that the Russians and Pakistanis would actually permit the USA to effect regime change against the Taliban?

Assuming that claims of Mossad complicity in 9/11 (”dancing Israelis”, etc.) are correct, can the truthers suggest a feasible motive for the Israeli government conniving in an act of mass murder on US soil? Since 1967, the mainstay of Israel’s security and survival has been its alignment with the USA, and the military assistance it has received as a result. This relationship is based on a bipartisan political consensus (both the Republican and Democratic parties are predominantly pro-Israeli) and considerable public support in the USA. Why engage in a “false flag” attack against the civilian population of an ally, when you have so little to gain and so much to lose if your responsibility is ever disclosed?

Following on from this, assuming that the “five dancing Israelis” story isn’t a complete fabrication, what kind of secret service recruits undercover agents who compromise themselves by acting so ostentatiously in public? And if the five arrested Israelis were part of a conspiracy organised with the US government, then why did the FBI hold them in custody for over two months, instead of releasing them on the quiet a matter of hours and days after their apprehension?

If the WTC towers in New York City were destroyed by controlled demolitions rigged by US government agencies, then why were the fake terrorist attacks used to cover up these controlled demolitions so insanely convoluted? Why concoct a scenario involving the hijacking of planes which are then crashed into tower blocks (involving complicated planning involving remote controlled flights timed with explosives detonated in the towers, which allow plenty of opportunities for gliches and technical errors)? Why not use a more simple means, such as a truck bomb?

Assuming that Niaz Naik’s account of his alleged meeting with retired US officials in July 2001 is true, then where were the 17,000 Russian troops who were supposedly ready to invade Afghanistan when it came to the commencement of military operations in October 2001? And if the main motive behind the invasion was to build a natural gas pipe-line which would be under US control, then why was no attempt ever made to build one once the Taliban were overthrown?

We are being asked by the conspiracy theorists to assume that NORAD was stood down on the morning of 11th September 2001 so as to enable the success of the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. NORAD is a combined command, not a purely American one - it has a binational staff drawn from the US military and the Canadian Forces (CF). We are either supposed to believe that the CF personnel assigned to NORAD were too stupid to notice anything amiss in their headquarters - and query it - or that the Canadian government and the CF were complicit in 9/11. Which of these scenarios is true?

If Al Qaeda were set-up for the 11th September attacks, then why have its leaders and spokesmen repeatedly affirmed their responsibility for - and pride in - these attacks (see here, here, here and here for examples)? Why are we supposed to believe that repeated video pronouncements by bin Laden and Zawahiri are fake, while just one written statement allegedly from bin Laden denying responsibility - which was handed by courier to al-Jazeera without any confirmation of its origins - was genuine?

If the hijacking and crashing of four passenger planes was engineered by the US government, then why did UA93 crash into an empty field in Pennsylvania? Why not crash it into a target which would add to the death toll on 9/11, and further inflame US public attitudes and popular demands for revenge against the supposed perpetrators?

Finally, if the US government is institutionally ruthless enough to organise the massacre of thousands of its own citizens in a series of “false flag” attacks, then why is it too squeamish to arrange for the deaths of the supposed “truth-seekers” (David Griffin, Kevin Barrett, Steven Jones, Richard Gage, the Loose Change team, Alex Jones, etc.) who have exposed their complicity in one of the most heinous crimes a government can commit against its own people? Why are these people still alive and well, and in a position to publicise their “theories” on radio, television, in print and online?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Does Anyone Still Question 9/11 Was An Inside Job?

Our old buddy Albert Einstein said


So let's investigate shall we?

Too many people people gobble up the government's story, don't research anything about it and are quick to attack someone who challenges it with an arsenal of information.

I know I'll get a lot of backlash for this, but there seems to be way too much ignorance still about 9/11 and you know I have to speak on it. I typed this up in 10 minutes, real quick like and it's jam packed with, a lot of questions I think everyone has and a few you probably haven't even thought of yet, as well as substantiated evidence backed by numerous sources, to give credence to my point. I don't claim to know everything about what happened, not by any means. I've always thought the whole thing was bogus.

I've been curious about the details since it happened and I've read enough to know we've been lied to, big time!

I'm not trying to start a new conspiracy theory. I'm rejecting the official conspiracy theory given to us by the government.

Let me start with this

If you believe the official fable the government handed out, according to these polls you are part of the minority.

In a 2004 CNN poll on Anderson Cooper, 89% of the people believe there was a government cover up.

In an MSNBC poll, 67% of the people believe the government was involved

In a New York Times and CBS poll, only 16% of the people believe Bush was telling the truth

In a 2004 Zogby poll, half of New Yorkers believe US leaders had forehand knowledge

Radio Poll: 85% Of Canadians Believe 9/11 Inside Job

Too many people simply do not know what happened because they just haven't been exposed to the information. Too many people also think they already know everything and have a set belief system, that when challenged they have a tendency to say things like "Ohhh that can't be, our government would never do that!", "That only happens in third world countries!", "That's impossible, I would of heard it by now!" Bla blabiddy bla bla. The biggest personal disservice one can do is not keeping an open mind. I know for some it's difficult to imagine our government played a hand in this, but false flag operations and government sponsored terror are not new concepts and have been done in the past. False flag operations have been used to get us into every major war since our country's inception. This is no different! For those of you who do not know what a false flag operation is...

False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities.

Some examples

The planned, but never executed, 1962 Operation Northwoods plot by the U.S. Department of Defense for a war with Cuba involved scenarios such as hijacking a passenger plane, sinking a U.S. ship, burning crops and blaming such actions on Cuba. It was authored by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, nixed by John F. Kennedy, came to light through the Freedom of Information Act and was publicized by James Bamford.

This document, titled "Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba" was provided by the JCS to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on March 13, 1962, as the key component of Northwoods. Written in response to a request from the Chief of the Cuba Project, Col. Edward Lansdale, the Top Secret memorandum describes U.S. plans to covertly engineer various pretexts that would justify a U.S. invasion of Cuba. These proposals - part of a secret anti-Castro program known as Operation Mongoose - included staging the assassinations of Cubans living in the United States, developing a fake "Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington," including "sink[ing] a boatload of Cuban refugees (real or simulated)," faking a Cuban airforce attack on a civilian jetliner, and concocting a "Remember the Maine" incident by blowing up a U.S. ship in Cuban waters and then blaming the incident on Cuban sabotage.


This can't be any clearer. If our government was going to go through with this, why is it so damn hard for people to imagine that 9/11 is any different?

More excellent examples:

Hitler and the Nazi's were involved in burning down the German parliament, The Reichstag. Hitler in turn immediately blamed the Communists while The Reichstag was still burning. Shortly thereafter he went to war. We blamed Osama and Al Qaeda, shortly thereafter we went to war. A decree entitled, "For the Protection of the People and the State." Justified as a "defensive measure against Communist acts of violence endangering the state," the decree suspended the constitutional guarantees pertaining to civil liberties in Germany and enabled the government to spy on its people and take away their rights. It stated:

"Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed." Looks kinda like the Patriot Act, huh?

Two weeks after the Reichstag fire, Hitler requested the Reichstag to temporarily delegate its powers to him so that he could adequately deal with the crisis. Then "Enabling Act" made Hitler dictator of Germany, freed of all legislative and constitutional constraints.

The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, signed on May 9, 2007 declares that in the event of a "catastrophic event", George Bush (now Obama) can become what is best described as "a dictator": "The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government." This directive, completely unnoticed by the media, and given no scrutiny by Congress, literally gives the White House unprecedented dictatorial power over the government and the country, bypassing the US Congress and obliterating the separation of powers. The directive also placed the Secretary of Homeland Security in charge of domestic "security".

Why would Hitler and his associates turn a blind eye to an impending terrorist attack on their national congressional building or actually assist with such a horrific deed? Because they knew what government officials have known throughout history - that during extreme national emergencies, people are most scared and thus much more willing to surrender their liberties in return for "security." The government and special interests then have a green light to carry out their agendas. And that's exactly what happened during the Reichstag terrorist crisis and our terrorist crisis 9/11. Consider the similarities.

Have we forgotten about the Gulf of Tonkin incident?

The NSA deliberately distorted the intelligence reports to make it look like we got attacked, so we could start the war in Vietnam. This is now declassified and it is a known fact.

What about WWII?

Well we all know by now that Pearl Harbor was provoked and known well in advance. Roosevelt's policy toward Japan was one of systematic pressure to force the Japanese imperialists to commit the overt act which would touch off a war explosion. Roosevelt was obliged to pursue this strategy in order to be able to brand Japan as the aggressor and stampede the people of the United States into a war to which a majority of the nation had been steadfastly opposed. The peace-loving President had assured the American people that their sons would not be sent to fight in foreign wars. This made it necessary that the United States should be attacked so that the drive of American imperialism for mastery of the Pacific could be presented in the guise of a war of national defense and survival.

Admiral Robert Theobald, the Commander of all destroyers at Pearl Harbor, wrote a book entitled 'The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor', in which he detailed his conclusions about the "surprise attack." He wrote:
1.President Roosevelt forced Japan to war and enticed them to initiate hostilities by holding the
Pacific fleet in Hawaiian waters as an invitation to that attack;
2.The plans to use Pearl Harbor as the bait started in June, 1940;
3.War with Japan meant war with Germany; and
4.Roosevelt, Marshall and Stark knew about Pearl Harbor 21 hours before the attack.

What about WWI?

International bankers wanted in on WWI for profit and the Lucitainia was deliberately sent into German waters. Robert Lansing, the Assistant Secretary of State, is on record as stating:
"We must educate the public gradually - draw it along to the point where it will be willing to go into the war."

Even though Wilson proclaimed America's neutrality in the European War, in accordance with the prior admonitions of George Washington, his government was secretly plotting to involve the American people by having the Lusitania sunk. This was made public in the book 'The Intimate Papers of Colonel House', written by a supporter of the Colonel, who recorded a conversation between Colonel House and Sir Edward Grey of England, the Foreign Secretary of England:

Grey: What will America do if the Germans sink an ocean liner with American passengers on board?

House: I believe that a flame of indignation would sweep the United States and that by itself would be sufficient to carry us into the war.

Colonel House convinced President Wilson that the United States should enter World War I.,&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=g3knM-8p4g&sig=qIH0o1gogwuHlw2zgYcWq4z4_ac&hl=en&ei=ENdKSpvEFIrZlAeM0-DfDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4

Now comes the fun part



What are the odds of that happening?

Here are some examples of high-rise fires that were far more severe than those in the WTC buildings. In these precedents, the fires consumed multiple floors, produced extensive window breakage, exhibited large areas of emergent flames, and went on for several hours. The fires in the WTC towers did none of these things.


Manager of WTC Construction & Project Management, Frank DeMartini


It didn't get hit with any planes at and it is not even mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report.
Larry Silverstein (then owner) admitted having the building "pulled" or demolished.

John Kerry confirmed that

The thing is he said they did it because it posed a danger. It takes weeks to wire a building like's the light bulb moment!

Why did Larry Silverstein take out a lease for 99 years in July of 2001 on the WTC, two months before the attack? Larry upped the insurance at that time to $3.5 billion and (presciently) to cover potential hits by airliners flown by "terrorist hijackers"


That is highly unusual. I've worked for over 20 insurance companies and I've never seen a policy with specific coverage for this.


The transmission conveniently gets cut moments before the building does "collapse". This video demonstrates that there were people in the know about the controlled demolition that was to take place and the story was leaked early.

The question whether explosives were used or not has already been answered. We now know that planes did not bring down the towers. It's not a question anymore. Nano-thermite explosives were discovered in the dust. 8 scientists from premier universities around the world wrote a paper on it, here:


How about over 700 architects and structural engineers giving you the latest evidence of controlled demolition with the use of explosives? No conspiracy theories here, just pure physics for all you scientists out there.


How about over 700 architects and structural engineers giving you the latest evidence of controlled demolition with the use of explosives? No conspiracy theories here, just pure physics for all you scientists out there.

So now we now explosives were used and we were lied to by our government. What's the next step? Logically, we need to find out who planted them. I doubt crazy terrorists with long beards, wearing robes and turbines, just waltzed in there and dropped them off. That kind of logic would suite some people, but not me. Even if they were undercover, they would have had to enter the building and plant the explosives strategically many times, over and over again throughout the building, to demolish it. It takes weeks maybe months, as commercial architect Richard Gage founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth) said in his documentary.
The people who planted them had to have access to every area of the building that is required for controlled demolition. If they needed access, they needed to get by security. Who was in charge of security?


Well wooptie-do, what a coinkidink!

Bush served on the board of Securacom (since renamed Stratesec). The chairman of the board of Stratesec is Wirt D. Walker III, a cousin of Marvin and George W. Bush. Securacom had contracts to provide security for Dulles International Airport (the airport from which American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon, originated) and the World Trade Center in New York. Securacom's backers include a number of Kuwaitis through a company called KuwAm Corp (Kuwaiti-American Corp.). Stratesec also has Saudi investors.


"Of course without power there were no security cameras, no security locks on doors and many, many 'engineers' coming in and out of the tower."

Isn't that convenient?


Instead of being taken to the FBI-controlled dump on Staten Island where all the material is being stored and sifted, it was driven directly to the independently-owned scrapyards and then sold and shipped to China.


On the Chicago Board Options Exchange during the week before September 11th, put options were purchased on American and United Airlines, the two airlines involved in the attacks. The investors who placed these orders were gambling that in the short term the stock prices of both Airlines would plummet. Never before on the Chicago Exchange were such large amounts of United and American Airlines options traded. These investors netted a profit of at least $5 million after the September 11th attacks.
Interestingly, the names of the investors remain undisclosed and the $5 million remains unclaimed in the Chicago Exchange account.

Tthe Chicago Board Options Exchange saw purchases of 4,744 put options on United Airlines, but only 396 call options? Assuming that 4,000 of the options were bought by people with advance knowledge of the imminent attacks, these "insiders" would have profited by almost $5 million. On September 10, 4,516 put options on American Airlines were bought on the Chicago exchange, compared to only 748 calls. Again, there was no news at that point to justify this imbalance;? Again, assuming that 4,000 of these options trades represent "insiders," they would represent a gain of about $4 million.


For the first time in US history a President or Vice President took charge of this military agency. Generals were always in charge and had the authority to shoot down hijacked aircraft. They were able to police the skies, like the police does our streets.

NORAD Stand down order



We have the most advanced radar and defense system known to man?


These sophisticated military systems were designed to detect missiles fired from unknown locations at over 13,000 mph and shoot them down in mere minutes, why on 9/11 could they not detect any one of the four large airliners traveling at a mere 600 mph, especially when two of them were known to be lost for over 40 minutes before they crashed?


Any plane flying toward the Pentagon would have been detected and intercepted long before it got close.

By the way
The former head of the Star Wars missile defense program, Dr. Robert M. Bowman, says that the official version of 9/11 is a conspiracy theory and his main suspect for the architect of the attack is Vice President Dick Cheney. He said that at the bare minimum if Osama bin Laden and

Al-Qaeda were involved in 9/11 then the government stood down and allowed the attacks to happen. Bowman outlined how the drills on the morning of 9/11.

Simulated planes crashing into buildings on the east coast were used as a cover to dupe unwitting air defense personnel into not responding quickly enough to stop the attack.

"The exercises that went on that morning simulating the exact kind of thing that was happening so confused the people in the FAA and NORAD....that they didn't they didn't know what was real and what was part of the exercise," said Bowman

"I think the people who planned and carried out those exercises, they're the ones that should be the object of investigation."

Asked if he could name a prime suspect who was the likely architect behind the attacks,
Bowman stated, "If I had to narrow it down to one person....I think my prime suspect would be Dick Cheney."

Bowman said that privately his military fighter pilot peers and colleagues did not disagree with his sentiments about the real story behind 9/11. He agreed that the US was in danger of slipping into a dictatorship and stated, "I think there's been nothing closer to fascism than what we've seen lately from this government."

Bowman slammed the Patriot Act as having, "Done more to destroy the rights of Americans than all of our enemies combined."

He trashed the 9/11 Commission as a politically motivated cover-up with abounding conflicts of interest, charging, "The 9/11 Commission omitted anything that might be the least bit suspicious or embarrassing or in any way detract from the official conspiracy so it was a total whitewash."

"There needs to be a true investigation, not the kind of sham investigations we have had with the 9/11 omission and all the rest of that junk," said Bowman.


Americas Air Force can scramble jets to intercept anything unusual within about 10 minutes. It took over a half an hour to scramble jets from the FURTHEST airports! 4 commercial jets were supposedly hijacked and cruising all over the map for over 1 1/2 hours, and we're supposed to believe they couldn't get even one jet out??

The senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission - John Farmer - says that the government agreed to lie. HE'S ADMITTING THEY LIED!

He's writing a book on it now where he's going to expose the whole shebang.

Why is Osama Bin Laden not officially charged for 9/11? He's not even wanted on the FBI list for 9/11. He's wanted for an embassy bombing, but not 9/11. The FBI's response to that was, "We could find enough evidence to convict him." AND WE WENT TO WAR?

Here's what Jesse Ventura, former Navy Seal, Mayor and Governor says about it, as he speaks at a Ron Paul Rally (9/2/08)

Why did the Bush administrations neo-con think-tank, Project for a New American Century's (PNAC) 2000 document, "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century", call for a New Pearl Harbor.

"Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event-like a new Pearl Harbor."

It reads in their Statement of Principles
1) Increase an already enormous military budget at the expense of domestic social programs
2) Toppling of regimes resistant to our corporate interests
3) Forcing democracy at the barrel of a gun in regions that have no history of the democratic process
4) Replacing the UN's role of preserving and extending international order

There is now evidence that what the world is witnessing is a cold and calculated war plan - at least four years in the making - and that, from reading Zbigniew Brzezinski's own words about Pearl Harbor, the World Trade Center attacks were just the trigger needed to set the final conquest in motion.

"The attitude of the American public toward the external projection of American power has been much more ambivalent. The public supported America's engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor."

On September 10th, President George W. Bush recorded in his diary that

"the Pearl Harbor of the 21st century took place today".


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Here's your light bulb moment!

For more info

Loose Change Final Cut is the definitive 9/11 documentary

Fabled Enemies is another gret 9/11 movie with a different edge

Terrorstorm is full of documented facts about government sponsored terrorism.

Zeitgeist will put everything into perspective

War Made Easy is another documentary on wars and private interests

Endgame is a great documentary on who's really in charge of your global enslavement

Zeitgeist Addendum gives a solution

And there's so much more...just research damn it wake the hell up!

What's gonna happen next?