Friday, August 30, 2013

Have a Happy Labor Day Weekend

August 29, 2013

MOSCOW - While global economy remains at risk, (click here) Moscow intends to ensure sustainable, inclusive growth as a common goal for the Group of Twenty (G20), President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.
"Russian G20 Presidency is on the verge of entering its most important stage, which is the leaders' summit to be convened on September 5-6 in St. Petersburg," Putin said in his address published on the Kremlin website.
Putin expressed his hope that G20 could find a joint solution for capital markets' development on global and national levels, strengthen multilateral trade and energy markets stability, as well as fight corruption.
According to Putin, during this year the G20 made progress in implementing the framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth, job creation, the international financial system reform, and strengthening of the multilateral trade.
"The G20-drafted joint Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting can be by all means considered the most prominent step towards modernization and coordination of our countries'tax policies in 100 years," Putin said....

Why is J P Morgan moving to London? One guess. It doesn't want to comply with USA Regulations. That is not a new decision. "Libor" (BBA Libor - British Bankers Association London Interbank Offered Rates) is there, too. The Libor was manipulated for the benefit of the banks in recent years.

Regulators agree on GLOBAL SWAP Rules ahead of G20 Summit (click here)

Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:32pm EDT
(Reuters) - Finance watchdogs on Friday laid out joint rules for the $630 trillion derivatives industry that was at the core of the 2007-09 credit meltdown, in a report to the G20 most powerful economies of the world.

The high-level agreement comes ahead of a G20 summit next week in St Petersburg, Russia, where world leaders will discuss progress they have made to tighten the rules for banks and prevent a repeat of the devastating crisis.
While much progress toward the global reform agenda had been made, other points still needed to be sorted out, regulators from around the world said in a statement.
"The resolution of the unresolved issues is important," the group of supervisory agencies said in a report that was disseminated by the (CFTC) U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the country's top derivatives regulator.
Diverging views on how to rein in the banks that dominate derivatives trading caused a trans-Atlantic rift last year between Gary Gensler, head of the CFTC, and politicians and regulators in Europe and elsewhere.
But in July, the CFTC reached an agreement with the European Union that allowed foreign branches of banks to comply with local rules, as long as they are compatible with the rules their parent organizations must obey at home....


These are legal issues that need to be settled according to treaties. I suppose the Phillipines might feel threatened, but, there won't be any wars to undo what treaties have already established.

The China Daily
August 30, 2013
The United States has accelerated expansion (click here) of its military presence in the Asia-Pacific, as its defense chief on Friday reaffirmed the progress Washington and Manila have made to allow a bigger US military footprint in the Philippines.  
Chuck Hagel held talks on increasing rotational presence by US troops in the Southeast Asian country with President Benigno Aquino III amid Manila's tensions with Beijing over the South China Sea, AFP reported.  
Analysts warned, however, that the Philippines risks losing part of its sovereignty by agreeing to expand the US military presence in the country, while Washington is sending a dangerous signal to the region that it supports the Philippines' claims on the South China Sea disputes.
It may be "a strategic mistake by Manila to invite the US troops back to the country," said Wu Shicun, director of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies....

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (click here)

THE HAGUE, Aug. 29 -- "The arbitration (click here) request initiated by the Philippines concerning the dispute of the South China sea has no legal ground", Huang Huikang, a senior Chinese diplomat, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Thursday.

Huang, director-general of the Treaty and Law Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, who is now visiting The Hague for the centennial anniversary of Peace Palace, attended as the special representative of the Chinese Foreign Minister the Ministerial Conference of "Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes".

Huang stated that China's refusal of the arbitration request by the Philippines is well founded on and strictly in accordance with international law....

..."The core issue of the South China Sea dispute between China and the Philippines is the illegal occupation by the Philippines of some islands and reefs of the China's Nansha islands", Huang emphasized....
There is a greater evil. It is invisible and has yet to make it's way into warfare, again.

The overlord of the moment is the return of chemical warfare.

I suppose. Is there the option of NOT RATIFYING a Peace Convention? It would think any country that once ratified the Convention would have to move within it's own government in a significant capacity to leave the Convention.

Example: Would the Neocons of the Right Wing consider returning the use of chemical weapons? They probably would. If that plays to measure the willingness of other nations to do the same is to realize if the USA reversed it's position the remainder of the Convention may deteriorate. 

If the USA enforces the Convention by eliminating Assad's capacity will that enforce it? Yes. If the USA recognizes the use of chemical weapons as a reason to destroy missiles and other capacity to deploy, then it would continue to uphold the Convention. 

Just my notes

1426 with over 400 children

hospital personnel were struggling for their lives - they are suppose to be exempt from any weapons - Geneva Conventions

shelled neighborhoods to destroy evidence

un access was restricted and controlled = snipers

The dangers of looking the other way

Choice today has great consequences...??????????

WWI started a clear red line for the international community

"A stiff breeze" - True. Sarin gas can travel over a distance.

Kelly Kennedy
USA TODAY 3:49 a.m. EST 
December 14, 2012

WASHINGTON -- U.S. bombings of Iraqi munitions factories (click here) in January 1991 released a plume of sarin gas that traveled more than 300 miles to affect American troops in Saudi Arabia, although military officials claimed at the time that chemical alarms triggered by the gas were false, a study released today shows....

Ah, credibility is on the line for the USA - I don't buy that. This opinion swings both ways. No matter what President Obama does he will be ridiculed for political gains by USA politicians and other nations. I think he is fully able to discern the problem, the military capacity of the USA and act within his CONSTITUTIONAL role as Commander and Chief. Imagine what Congress would have done with the capture of bin Laden?

Everyone is watching. Twitter probably.

What is the risk of doing nothing? No risk. The capacity of the USA to know what is being conduct by Assad is significant. The only sincere risk the USA has to realize is the risk to allies and their wishes for their nation and that of their people.

Will they remember the world stood aside and allowed Assad complete impunity? No cares? There is no impunity here at all. Where does anyone get that idea? Assad is under attack by his own people. He is at war to remain as leader of his nation. What impunity exists for him? He is now known to act desperately against his people while killing the innocent. There is no impunity here. He has committed human rights violations. He has killed children, where in the Geneva Conventions does that allow impunity?

What is difficult for the USA at this point is to realize they can't stop Assad within the legal limits presented to it. The people of the USA are used to power mongers like Cheney. The USA TAKES it's victories without question to "The Victory" itself. That is Old World.

Our choices will effect our role in the world. Really? No it won't. The SPENDING and "The Sequester" will effect our role in the world. Does anyone actually believe the USA will lose status if there is NO KILLING by the USA? No rocket launches? That is not a realistic statement and only enforces an unrealistic view the American people hold of their nation.

Crime against conscience and humanity and it matters to us. Not so much. It really depends on whether the USA can add to the survival of the people of Syria. I am not convinced of that. If the USA were ever to enter the borders of Syria to fight a war, many more people would die than Assad can kill alone. Blunting his ability to kill can be helpful, but, for the USA to enter the war would only cause greater numbers of dead, including children.

Here come the allies. Arab Nations, ..., Turkey is stating emphatically this is Assad's problem. Fine.

The UN investigation will acknowledge the weapons were used and not pointing a finger at the evil doer. 

The USA makes it's own decisions. Americans are tired of war. Not so much. We are tired of the lies and the deceptions and the NATIONAL DEBT of military obligations while we are UNEMPLOYED and UNDERPAID!

The negotiating table. It would be good, but, we are not going to fight a civil war.

There is no doubt there are human rights abuses. The problem is what ends them and how best to bring that about. The danger to other nations cannot be denied. They are our allies. They have been willing to go above their ability to assist with human refugees. They are incredible countries. 

I don't see why the diplomatic efforts can't go forward. I need to hear from others. I think Turkey has made it's views known. 

The percentage of the dead is not that of genocide. The numbers don't reflect that, so there is no sense in making that argument. 

The reporting is very precise. There are estimates of dead numbering 80,000 to over 106,000. That is not genocide, so I refuse to participate in that deception. 

The chemical weapons attack happened and are in full view of the world. Assad is not regarded as a leader of his people regardless of his position in control of his military's capacity to some extent. Assad is about in the same place as Saddam at this point. He is alone. He is not part of an Arab League and as a matter of fact he has been disdained for his treatment of the people of his nation.

Syria's current civil war is a result of a larger picture, including that of the rise of the Shi'ites that have traditionally manifested only in radicalized groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Jihad and all the famous clubs of death. There is a problem. The Shi'ites are seeking a stable existence in the world and compared to other nations, their secure hold on their status is very new, since the Iranian Revolution where our diplomatic mission fell to kidnapping.

Assad is a Shi'ite.

Will the USA's rockets stop the killing? No. It will hopefully destroy the missile capacity that threaten allies. That needs to be a clear ability and not the US military's best guess to the direction of the assault.

It is up to President Obama. I am confident he will seek the truth, make a decision and act to end danger to other nations. It will not end the civil war and it still won't secure the chemical weapon plants of Syria, but, it will end the capacity to deliver them to other nations. 

Will Syria be more willing to settle in diplomatic circles should their missile capacity be destroyed? Quite possibly. As a matter of fact there would be more reason for Assad to end his reign of terror. I don't envy the President. No matter his decision, the close scrutiny by him has saved lives. That is a fact.


Other global headlines. The USA attack on Syria is nowhere.

NEW YORK (AP) A U.S. appeals court (click here) has upheld the conviction of a Cuban-born philanthropist convicted of a multimillion-dollar fraud.

Alberto Vilar has been wearing an electronic bracelet since the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered him freed on bail last year pending appeal.

The appeals court on Friday upheld his conviction. But it ordered a resentencing so the judge can reconsider how much money was lost. The amount lost affects how much time Vilar and his co-defendant Gary Alan Tanaka must spend in prison.

Vilar was convicted in November 2008 and sentenced to nine years in prison. Tanaka was sentenced to five years in prison.

The opera-loving Vilar was estimated to be worth nearly a billion dollars at one time and gave generously to music companies.

Sounds like fun to me. These are the concerns of the USA allies in the Southern Hemisphere.

Tribute to nights of hedonism brings the past back to life (click here)
August 31, 2013
It became known as Sydney's party to end all parties. Newspaper reports called it an ''orgy of drunkenness'', breathlessly reporting shocking scenes of canoodling couples, all-in brawls and wanton vandalism.
''Once a howling mob found a ladder and tried to climb up to the windows,'' a scandalised Martin Carrick, from the lord mayor's office, told reporters.
''But we caught them,'' he added, grimly....

Rudd was the last Prime Minister to be effected by the Wall Street Global Economic Collapse. He was elected in 2007 which was the beginnings of the obvious.

Gillard carried the worst of it.

Australia's military is about 1.7% of its GDP. It is ranked 13th out of 15th in spending only to be followed by Canada and Turkey.

Of course, the USA ranks first in spending at $682 billion and 4.4% of GDP. The only other nation that has 4.4% GDP from the military is Russia, but, spends only 90.7 billion. That is a complete embarassment to the USA. Seven and a half time the spending of Russia. But, alas we only spend four times more than China which derives about 2 percent of its GDP from the military. The USA spending on it's military is the total of all of the countries in the top fifteen besides itself except for Australia, Canada and Turkey.

It takes 12 other countries spending to match that of the USA. I do believe it creates a monster and not that of a benevolent country.

August 31, 2013
Tom Allard

The Gillard government (click here) oversaw the smallest increase in cost of living of any Australian government for at least 25 years despite the introduction of the carbon tax, a new study has found.
Moreover, Australian households have seen real incomes - disposable income minus cost of living increases - rise 15 per cent since just after Labor took office, giving the average household a $5324 a year boost, or $102 a week.
The results of the survey by the University of Canberra's national centre for social and economic modelling go much of the way to answering the question Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has asked repeatedly throughout the election campaign: ''Are we better off than we were six years ago?''...

Why is the media going through this exercise? Why is Speaker Boner and his Right Wing likely to oppose this measure by the President?

Because low Presidential Approval Ratings lead to better outcomes for the GOP in off year elections? 

Anytime there are more GOP in Congress the better the play ground for Wall Street, everyone knows that.

Sunday, 11 Aug 2013 05:26 PM
By Greg Richter 

Facing a series of scandals (click here) involving everything from the IRS to the NSA – in addition to the growing unpopularity of his signature healthcare law -- President Barack Obama's job approval ratings are at near record lows, sinking to levels last seen more than a year and a half ago.
Gallup's daily tracking survey on Saturday showed the president at 41 percent approval, a 7-point drop from just a day earlier. His disapproval rating was at 50 percent on Saturday. His approval rating rose 1 percent on Sunday to 42 percent.
Real Clear Politics' average of recent polls put Obama's approval at 43.6 percent and his disapproval at 51.1....

President Obama needs to decide what is decisive action in Syria. He needs to find his footing with facts and a clear understanding from the international community this is best course for the Syrian people and the region. He needs to decide that based on allies and stability of nations. 

I trust him to do the right thing. But, this media hype it is all about the politics and what impact the President's decision will have on 2014. 

I wish the FCC really should do something about this mess. I mean Nationalism?  

29% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction (click here)

I forget where I am sometimes, too. 

56% Say Their Family Displays Flag on Most National Holidays (click here) 

Most polls have President Obama's Job Approval rating somewhere between 44% and 46%. The only other Presidents with worse were that of George H. W. Bush and Richard M. Nixon. Go figure. 

Given Bush was about the same as Obama's low end of 44%, it is safe to say any resemblance will guarantee this approval rating will at least remain there.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a "Timeline of Chemical Weapons Attacks" (click here)

50% of Americans say no to war. If only it was 49% there would be clear political success enabled by national media. Cheers for Wall Street.

So why not circumvent the American people?

Poll: Americans want Obama to get Congress OK on Syria (click here)

Of course, real power to the American people is laying their faith at the feet of the Congress with an approval rating of 15% at best.

So, what does the Paid for Congress think?

They should not worry, the American Press has their act down to a science, play up the domestic programs that benefit the lazy poor in a way that makes them less lazy, bring on the reality on the ground to reinforce the belief things are as terrible as it can be to insure spending and bring in the iconic military, preferably the wounded warriors to display nationalism and heroic intent in sending our most brave to kill others in the name of democracy and The American Way to insure the USA is never weak or dictated to. That of course is the message the United Nations simply can't seem to get right. There is no dictating to the USA in proving it is the strongest, most powerful nation on Earth!!!!!!

And from FOX the Warriors of all Warriors, George H. W. Bush. No fan of Assad and reminding the forgetful Obama he has the best military in the world behind him. I was waiting for him to reminisce about the good ole days and the war that brought down Saddam, the man that threatened his father. If only there were bookends.

Not that the war was illegal or anything while killing more innocent people than Assad could dream of.

The Neocon Journalist

That is an aspect of the USA media rarely noticed in a real way. The 'back up' for the GOP rant. It is considered to be a fairly benign entity of the War Correspondents Lineup with dignity and the threat of death at every turn. They know, you know. These are the journalists 'on the ground' risking life and limb to bring the truth to the American people.

Now, according to their great wisdom and dedicated knowledge the USA is suppose to be a mind reader. The USA has omnipotent knowledge that the Arab League SECRETLY desires the USA to come in and take over at every turn.

These journalists far exceed the power and knowledge of the CIA and are often thought to be spies by the governments of sovereign nations. 

Well, that omnipotent USA no longer exists. There is no 'making up the story' based on past behavior of a country abusive of it's power, it's wealth and it's people. The people of the USA have rights and they have a right to THE TRUTH. They have a right to base their votes on FACT and not fiction and they have the right to actually vote for a President that GIVES A DAMN ABOUT THEM! 

There is such a thing as a United Nations where nations gather to bring pressure to bear through sovereign measures to bring about peace in the world. The majority of the American people rather have a decision process in place that actually upholds international treaties and conventions. Believe that? Incredible to think the USA can actually sit at a table with all these other nations of varying types of government to come to a concensus on peace. 

Oddly enough, the American people are MORE interested in that dynamic than the power play of corporate news agencies to satisfy the thirst and hunger of Wall Street.


You have to hand it to Presidential Wannabee Mike Pence. He knows how to rob from the Poor to give to the Poor.

His "Power Accounts" are completely dependent on participant contributions. The State matches the fund as if a 401K. The "Power Accounts of Pence" wouldn't exist unless of Poor contributed to it. It bothers me a bit because the State's contribution is facilitated by a federal settlement with the tobacco industry. Leave it to a Republican Governor to find a way to scoff up monies derived from suffering and death to steal from the Poor. And not to ignore the Democrat in all this, Kathleen Sebelius whom provided a waiver for it.

The eligibility requirements dictate the program be available to those at the 200% of the FEDERAL POVERTY standard under The Affordable Care Act.

So, the health care savings accounts established by Pence asks those the least able to pay to do exactly that, to the tune of 5% of their gross income. You've got to be joking. Do I have to explain how completely draconian a plan this is without regret to the imposition it places on adults and families least able to afford it? 

Is it popular? Among the participants, which are limited by their need for medical treatment over what is available at the emergency room; sure it is popular. It is life over death. But, is there another choice? Hell, no. So, how popular is this? Who wants to live?

Eligibility Requirements: 

Individuals must earn less than 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL). A single adult earning no more than $21,660 a year, or families of four earning approximately $44,000 likely meet the basic financial requirements.

The Plan provides: (click here)

  • A POWER Account valued at $1,100 per adult to pay for medical costs. Contributions to the account are made by the state and each participant (on a sliding scale based on ability to pay). No participant will pay more than 5% of his/her gross family income on the plan.
  • A basic commercial benefits package once annual medical costs exceed $1,100.
  • Coverage for free preventive services including annual exams, smoking cessation, and mammograms.