August 22, 2012
If all of the votes have been counted in Florida and if all of the African American had the opportunity to cast a vote, George Bush would have never been President of the United States. We wouldn’t be involved in a war in Iraq and the make up of the Supreme Court would be different.
Many have heard of the alleged voting irregularities that occurred during the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004. Until now, these incidents have gone under- reported and are commonly written-off as insignificant rumors or unintentional mishaps resulting from an overburdened election system.
American Blackout chronicles the recurring patterns of voter disenfranchisement from Florida 2000 to Ohio 2004 while following the story of Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Mckinney not only took an active role investigating these election debacles, but has found herself in the middle of her own after publicly questioning the Bush Administration about the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
August 22, 2012
The Miami model is a term used by political activists to describe the tactics employed by law enforcement agencies during demonstrations relating to the negotiations for the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) trade agreement. The meeting related protests took place in Miami, Florida in November 2003. The Miami Model is also the title of a documentary film, produced by Indymedia, about the FTAA, the police action in Miami, and political organizing led by people of color in the Miami area.
This term refers to the distinctive features of crowd control technique used in Miami, which included large scale pre-emptive arrests, heavily armed sometimes unidentifiable law enforcement, the collection of intelligence from protesters, and the “embedding” of corporate media with the police.
Miami Activist Defense and National Lawyers Guild filed a federal lawsuit against the City, the Mayor, Police Chief Timoney, Homeland Defense Secretary Ridge, and Attorney General Ashcroft for rampant abuse of the constitution.
Among the groups which organized against the FTAA were the Green Bloc, United for Peace and Justice, Root Cause, several AFL-CIO affiliated unions, Midwest Unrest, Pittsburgh Organizing Group, Food Not Bombs and many others. (Excerpt from en.wikipedia.org)
August 22, 2012
Years before the US went after Saddam Hussein, the White House had Manuel Noriega, another former ally, in its sights.
In their Oscar-winning documentary, director Barbara Trent and writer/editor David Kasper (Cover Up: Behind the Iran Contra Affair) contrast media coverage of the 1989 invasion with expert testimony.
The filmmakers backtrack to America’s turn-of-the-century takeover of the Panama Canal–and volatile aftermath–before flashing forward to the reform-minded Carter era. When the CIA-supported Noriega comes to power, reform gives way to repression, and Reagan calls for the dictator’s ouster.
His successor, Bush, brings in the troops. It would be one thing if they only targeted military facilities, but witnesses claim soldiers also fired on civilians and residential property (a Pentagon spokesman denies the accusation).
Depending on the source, casualties ranged from 250 to 4,000. Narrated by Elizabeth Montgomery, Panama Deception was shot on video–and looks it–but content is king.
November 24, 2009
On the Nature & Philosophy of Financial Instability and Application to the Current Financial Crisis Part V
Hard Asset vs Soft Asset Manager
By Julian Sanchez, PhD
The Hard Asset Manager:
What approach will be taken by the Hard Asset Manager will vary from market to market according to the needs of the local market. In any case the deflationary spiral must be stopped; otherwise no matter how much capital is put into the bank, banks will continue having capital deficiencies requiring more investment from the government. A deflationary spiral inhibits lending and mortgage insurance, since it would be foolish for banks to lend with asset prices continuing downward. It is critical the government stop the deflationary spiral anyway it can, including pulling the supply of homes off the market. Once the market is stabilized, its inventory of homes can be put back into the market, in a controlled manner, for a profit.
Soft Assets Manager:
A. MBS, CMO, SIV, CDO, ABS, CDX – The Taxpayer Bank should consider marking these assets to zero if they are not performing, since they are very difficult to unwind. The Taxpayer Bank should purchase these assets (and any other NPA) from a given financial institution, providing capital for the original value of the asset and receiving all equity in return (asset marked down to zero). This will fix the financial institutions earnings, raise its PE ratio and increase its stock value.
The Soft Asset Manager has several choices with soft assets:
1. Sell them cheaply to the public, thus earning a profit.
2. Hold on to them, waiting for the third party servicer to unwind the asset and obtain the hard asset underneath.
3. Assemble all the bonds associated with a given financial instrument and unwind them. The asset can then be turned over to the Hard Asset Manager for sale. Since the financial institution has been repaired at the time the government purchased these assets, the government has time to unwind these instruments.
4. Trade the government owned mortgages (written down to aid the homeowner and perform) with non-performing mortgages for a given security pool. Since the government’s mortgages are at lower interest rates, they will have to be overcollaterized to ensure the security pool’s bonds perform. Most securitized mortgage pools allow modifications to the portfolio when a loan is in or near default, if it’s in the best interest of those who hold the security. This allows the government to get access to non-performing or near default loans and turn them over to the Hard Asset Manager.
The option used depends on circumstances, availability of mortgages, interests of the taxpayer, and the economic stability desired.
B. Credit Card Debt – Since no collateral was given for this debt and the government received all equity (assets written-down to zero), the Soft Assets Manager should write these loans to zero and clean up the credit scores for stressed credit card holders, provided they take several financial classes and demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts of personal finance. Most credit card holders have had no financial training and most credit card companies were aggressive in approaching these customers. Their current strained experience and the knowledge received from financial planning classes may incline many such debt holders to be more cautious when it comes to credit card debt. With such debt removed, this portion of the public can then start contributing to the economy.
C. Other Debt – can be structured in the same manner, provided the firm which owns the debt can issue equity and has a depressed stock price with respect to historical measures.
D. CDX, CDS, and Derivatives – Since a number of variables affect how they should be treated, these instruments are more difficult to evaluate. Considerations on pricing should not only include the original pricing of the contract but also the liability associated with the insurance aspect of the instrument. Many of these contracts did not capture the risk involved and are under-priced; therefore, the capital to equity exchange may need to be altered. One also needs to assess the viability of these contracts with respect to the probability for future failure. One needs to use probabilistic estimations of risk, which include counter-party risk, financial risk, systemic risk etc., as well as disposition methodologies for handling these products. The discussion of this class of financial instruments is complex and will not be covered in this paper.
October 15, 2008
If the United States is to remain a great nation, Free Speech must be held high. It is the light by which democracy finds its way. This profound contribution to the success of our nation and an enlightenment of the human condition, coming only through centuries of struggle, is one of the crowning achievements of civilization and surest supports.
As long as the small and narrow remains a common denominator in human society, it will remain under threat. It is appreciation of the ability that free speech has to ennoble that is itself, the evidence of greatness and means by which we are conducted to the wide vistas that are the human heritage.
October 1, 2008
From my reading of counter terrorism experts and former CIA agents, I see little reason to doubt Pulitzer Prize winning author, Ron Suskind, and his report that sources within the Central Intelligence Agency believe Osama bin Laden successfully sought to manipulate the otherwise close ’04 Presidential race to George W. Bush’s favor:http://www.consortiumnews.com/2006/070306.html
September 21, 2008
Bush’s spending have been undermining a lot of America’s immediate economic future.
Let’s reflect for a moment on the profound developments in human consciousness that formed the liberal context in which, not very long ago, our nation was conceived.
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” — Thomas Jefferson
If it is impossible to be both ignorant and an American patriot, it is essential to consider seriously the thesis of economic historian Paul Kennedy, whose book, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, is considered the most comprehensive overview of Great Power history.