Been doing some reading. Visited Petes blog at Drug WarRant. A guy that goes by malcolmkyle left a comment about stirring the hornet’s nest. It’s over at NewsBusters about Arianna Huffington: Drug War a ‘War on Our Own People’
Heres a snippet of the comments going on there:
Submitted by malcolmkyle on Wed, 02/15/2012 – 8:04am.
* Colombia, Peru, Mexico or Afghanistan with their coca leaves, marijuana buds or poppy sap are not igniting temptation in the minds of our weak, innocent citizens. These countries are duly responding to the enormous demand that comes from within our own borders. Invading or destroying these countries, thus creating more hate, violence, instability, injustice and corruption, will not fix our problem.
* A rather large majority of people will always feel the need to use drugs such as heroin, opium, nicotine, amphetamines, alcohol, sugar, or caffeine.
* The massive majority of adults who use drugs do so recreationally – getting high at the weekend then up for work on a Monday morning.
* Apart from the huge percentage of people addicted to both sugar and caffeine, a small minority of adults (nearly 5%) will always experience the use of drugs as problematic. – approx. 3% are dependent on alcohol and approx. 1.5% are dependent on other drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroine etc.
* Just as it was impossible to prevent alcohol from being produced and used in the U.S. in the 1920s, so too, it is equally impossible to prevent any of the aforementioned drugs from being produced, distributed and widely used by those who desire to do so.
* Prohibition kills more people and ruins more lives than the drugs it prohibits.
* Prescription drugs kill over 200,000 Americans every year– even when taken as directed and not abused.
* Due to Prohibition (historically proven to be an utter failure at every level), the availability of most of these mood-altering drugs has become so universal and unfettered that in any city of the civilized world, any one of us would be able to procure practically any drug we wish within an hour.
* Throughout history, the prohibition of any mind-altering substance has always exploded usage rates, overcrowded jails, fueled organized crime, created rampant corruption of law-enforcement – even whole governments, while inducing an incalculable amount of suffering and death.
* Apart from the fact that the DEA is the de facto enforcement wing of the pharmaceutical industry, the involvement of the CIA in running Heroin from Vietnam, Southeast Asia and Afghanistan and Cocaine from Central America has been well documented by the 1989 Kerry Committee report, academic researchers Alfred McCoy and Peter Dale Scott, and the late journalist Gary Webb.
* It’s not even possible to keep drugs out of prisons, but prohibitionists wish to waste trillions of dollars in an utterly futile attempt to keep them off our streets.
* The United States jails a larger percentage of its own citizens than any other country in the world, including those run by the worst totalitarian regimes, yet it has far higher use/addiction rates than most other countries.
* Prohibition is the “Goose that laid the golden egg” and the lifeblood of terrorists as well as drug cartels. Both the Taliban and the terrorists of al Qaeda derive their main income from the prohibition-inflated value of the opium poppy. An estimated 44 % of the heroin produced in Afghanistan, with an estimated annual destination value of US $ 27 Billion, transits through Pakistan. Prohibition has essentially destroyed Pakistan’s legal economy and social fabric. – We may be about to witness the planet’s first civil war in a nation with nuclear capabilities. – Kindly Google: ‘A GLOBAL OVERVIEW OF NARCOTICS-FUNDED TERRORIST GROUPS’ Only those opposed, or willing to ignore these facts, want things the way they are.
* The future depends on whether or not enough of us are willing to take a long look at the tragic results of prohibition. If we continue to skirt the primary issue while refusing to address the root problem then we can expect no other result than a worsening of the current dire situation. – Good intentions, wishful thinking and pseudoscience are no match for the immutable realities of human nature.
Never have so many been endangered and impoverished by so few so quickly!
* The urge to save humanity is almost always a false-face for the urge to rule it. – H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) American editor, essayist and philologist.
Submitted by Cool Arrow on Mon, 02/13/2012 – 4:45pm.
On the contrary, Arianna, Whitney seems to have lived exactly the life of legalized drugs.
Submitted by robert108 on Mon, 02/13/2012 – 5:22pm.
Exactly. Essentially, drugs are as if they were legal in the entertainment industry and the music business. If you want to see what would happen to the general population under drug legalization, just look at those two industries.
Submitted by malcolmkyle on Wed, 02/15/2012 – 8:11am.
You Prohibitionists dance hand in hand with every possible type of criminal one can imagine.
An unholy alliance of ignorance, greed and hate which works to destroy all our hard fought freedoms, wealth and security.
We will always have adults who are too immature to responsibly deal with tobacco alcohol, heroin amphetamines, cocaine, various prescription drugs and even food. Our answer to them should always be: “Get a Nanny, and stop turning the government into one for the rest of us!”
Nobody wants to see an end to prohibition because they want to use drugs. They wish to see proper legalized regulation because they are witnessing, on a daily basis, the dangers and futility of prohibition. ‘Legalized Regulation’ won’t be the complete answer to all our drug problems, but it’ll greatly ameliorate the crime and violence on our streets, and only then can we provide effective education and treatment.
The whole nonsense of ‘a disaster will happen if we end prohibition’ sentiment sums up the delusional ‘chicken little’ stance of those who foolishly insist on continuing down this blind alley. As if a disaster isn’t already happening. As if prohibition has ever worked.
To support prohibition is such a strange mind-set. In fact, It’s outrageous insanity! –Literally not one prohibitionist argument survives scrutiny. Not one!
The only people that believe prohibition is working are the ones making a living by enforcing laws in it’s name, and those amassing huge fortunes on the black market profits. This situation is wholly unsustainable, and as history has shown us, conditions will continue to deteriorate until we finally, just like our forefathers, see sense and revert back to tried and tested methods of regulation. None of these substances, legal or illegal, are ever going to go away, but we CAN decide to implement policies that do far more good than harm.
During alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, all profits went to enrich thugs and criminals. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on treatment. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?
So should the safety and freedom of the rest of us be compromised because of the few who cannot control themselves?
Many of us no longer think it should!
If a vast majority of the public were aware of these facts, the drug war( and much more) would be over in a hurry. Thats the reason it’s not. TPTB depend on ignorance and poor information to continue their little Empire games.
Time to put an end to it all. Get the information out there, inform your self, inform those around you.
I was listening to a radio show out of Indianapolis this morning. They were having a short discussion about Medical Cannabis.
The conversation was centered around how this industry is still for the most part a black-market deal. Those running dispensaries run on a cash only basis because banks won’t touch that money. That is because even though med pot may be legal by state laws, it is STILL illegal by federal law, Therefore these banks could end up with a lot of problems on the federal level.
Well aint that a load of crap!
If the little guy tries making a go of it where pot money is concerned…it means jail time. If a the big guys do this…its over looked by the feds.
What do I mean? This is what I mean:
This is but ONE story that we know about. What else goes on that the public is unaware of? And no one went to jail. If you or I tried this..we would be rotting in prison til we DIE!…..
The thing is, the drug cartels DO NOT want prohibition to end! It would mean the end of most of the money and power it gives them.
What a load of crap this drug war is !
The walls will come tumbling down.When they do, I hope it buries everyone supporting the drug war.
WAKE UP AMERICA !! OUR GOVERNMENT IS SCREWED UP !
Have any of you been following what is happening with the “fast and furious” gun running deal? Have you read about all of the other things OUR government has been into…such as the contra afair…on and on it goes folks! They are criminals!
If we don’t take control, these bastards we call leaders are going to RUIN all of our lives ! Not to mention our country.
Been doing a lot of poking around the drug war blogs. What I’m seeing isn’t good. Its happening just as I told folks it would back when the med pot question ramped up.I kept tell folks.”Ya, start you dispensaries. Put your names on lists as med patients. Down the road when things are ripe, the Feds WILL come down on everyone getting involved. They will have your names and numbers.” well…here we are….they are cracking down. But they don’t care about people like Korn Likker or my family members and friends. The facts are out there that show our government has lied and continues to lie about cannabis. It doesn’t matter. McCarthyism and Jim Crow are standing tall these days.
Theres a good discussion over at alternet:
Either this powderkeg we call a melting pot is going to explode or I’m going to lose all faith in humanity.
Oh ..by the way… we may be headed into a ‘war’ in..you guessed it..Syria.
This could of course lead to a war in Iran.
What a wonderful world we live in.
I have to share this video.
Stefan feels Ron Paul can change things….something I doubt , something I doubt about any one running…but everything else he said moved me.(Sorry B’man, I think your words and math would be lost here.)
After watching it, I wanted to stand on my street and scream ” WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ALL OF YOU !? NO MORE FUCKING GUNS TO MY HEAD! NO MORE FUCKING CAGES ! NO MORE FUCKING FORCE !”
Of course I didn’t or I would be in a cage right now.
I’m sick of being FORCED to pay for things I DO NOT agree with because people think government is good, government is right , government is NESSESARY!
I want to STOP being punished for wanting to do what is RIGHT ! For acting in defiance and following my CONCEINCE !
So lets learn to tell people what is wrong with this world. Lets teach people how to fight these Statist!
Read and just scroll down to my comment.
Interesting story there.
So, government did this test to see if smoking cannabis caused lung disease. Researchers did test on people who smoked one joint a day for 7 years(bet they smoked more than one). They found no decreased lung function nor any disease. Researchers even said smoking 3 joints a day had no effect on lungs. Of course chronic smoking isn’t good. Too much of ANYTHING is bad for you.
Negative effects of marijuana?
We know weed makes you happy , hungry , sleepy.
Don’t smoke so much or you will be lazy all the time.
Don’t smoke so much or you will get fat because your hungry all the time.
Well being happy isn’t so bad , but eventually you’ll run out . No more happy. Means you gotta get up off your fat, lazy ass .Leave the house and get more! Bummer Dude.
As with anything…moderation.
I remember in the 80′s, when D.A.R.E. was a big deal , they would tell you that marijuana RIPPED your lungs out! Guess what…not so fast asshats!
They would tell you it KILLED brain cells.
Not so fast G man!
Could cannabis have other uses, medically speaking?
Possibly, but I wouldn’t go giving your kid weed just yet. Maybe your intake of fluoride during pregnancy might have something to do with this…being Dr.s recommend fluoride intake during pregnancy(just my theory,(and yes that’s what a local Dr. said to a young woman I know. He told here she needed to drink more water to increase her fluroide intake due to the fact she was pregnant!)).
What about cancer?
We will all be having or seeing problems with cancer rise due to the disaster in Japan. Shouldn’t we be doing everything we can to come up with weapons to kill cancer?
So government holds all the rights to cannabis…why? Why would they do that? Why would they want the rights to something that they themselves deem worthless? Why would they keep us from doing studies?
Why would they run people out of the country and put a price on their heads for trying to help people?
Seems to me they know something we don’t…that and they get lots of money to keep it illegal.
What we need is FACTS presented to the American public. NOT reefermadness , NOT government propaganda.
Who else to deliver those FACTS than people who have been fighting in the Drug War. People like this.
Best Marijuana Argument Ever: Given By Superior Court Judge James P. Gray
More of this needs to happen in congress. Mr. Cohen hands Mr.Mueller his ass and all he could do was stammer.He knew what he was saying was BULLSHIT!
Making weed illegal doesn’t keep people from using it…it just ruins the lives of those who get caught using it.
I can go out and smoke weed everyday . Being illegal is meaningless in those terms. So don’t sit there and say I just want it legal so I can smoke it.
My reasons are for the cancer cure. WE NEED TO KNOW…YES IT CAN OR NO IT CANT!
I lost my father to cancer(which is how I got on the path I am on now). I lost my grandmother two weeks later to cancer. My grandfather now has cancer. My aunt has been fighting cancer for sometime now. There are others in my family who have it or have died from it.
So , here we are. Another day like many lately, yet unlike a few days ago. Temps are in the 50′s right now, clear blue sky…beautiful day out. I seen jets in the sky…normal CONTRAILs , the kind that dissipate as the jet moves forward. I seen a number of them acctually…..no CHEMTRAILS….the kind that just hang there and spread out over time turning the sky hazy or milky looking.
I don’t know what to make of it. Like many things these days.
Heres something I also don’t know what to make of. Maybe some of you computer wizards can explain.In your browser type the word “illuminati” backwards the put ‘ .com ‘ behind it and hit enter.For those of you who don’t already know about this….it should freak you out. It takes you directly to the NSA’s web site.Now why would it do that?
How about this. The national debt today is 15.216 TRILLION dollars . GDP is 15.112 TRILLION dollars. Humm…..we owe more than we make, yet our government is asking for another 1.2 TRILLION raise on the debt ceiling. Something Obama railed against when Bush was president. That would increase the debt to 16.39 TRILLION dollars. Weren’t they not long ago making ‘CUTS’?
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
Yet here, this article, July 11,2011, shows Obama saying it would be irresponsible to NOT raise the debt ceiling. Like many of the clowns we see on the stage today…..lie, lie, lie til your elected ,then, lie, lie, lie some more once you are in. Is everyone stuck in a reality T.V. vision of the world? I mean that’s what this election and our government does….put on a show. Most gobble it down with enthusiasm.
How bout this. I asked a few people yesterday how many nuclear weapons have been detonated on our planet. The answer was generally “A couple hundred”. Now I’m guilty of not knowing there were 2053 between 1945 and 1998 until just the other day. I was shocked. I was even more shocked that they answered kind of like it was no big deal. I don’t get it.
Is America this dumb? Why haven’t we seen more protesting….protests involving millions? I just don’t know what to make of it anymore.
Things are so backwards and confusing.
I was informed that the web browser going to the NSA’s web site may be just some kind of redirect thing that can be done. I don’t really understand how that works. But there it is. Any of you computer wizards care to weight in on this and clarify this?
Crazy internet junkies lol. Anything to get people going.
No really! Who needs a nuclear war when we have been having a nuclear war with out a war since 1945?
Have a look:
So, does that little accident in Japan last year really matter? Well yes it does, but not so much when you look at the video.
…And we are supposed to believe cancer is caused by everything but these nuclear explosions? From 1945 to 1998 our planet , our atmosphere has been bombarded with nuclear radiation. Is it any wonder we have so many health problem? All of this to make us safer?
“As soon as man decides that all means are permitted to fight an evil ,then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil they set out to destroy!” ~Christopher Dawson~
Havent we reached that point long ago?
In light of my recent post and the video B’man added there in his comment, wouldn’t any of you agree there is an evil in this world beyond measure?
Message to governments of the world: YOU ARE EVIL, THOSE BEHIND YOU ARE EVIL.YOU THEREFORE ARE THE ENEMY OF HUMANITY..
They can take their peace, their safety, their better world and shove it up their arse !
Well here we are, 2012. I started my year weird by reading up on the Nephilim. They are spoken of in the Bible and are , by many ,tied to myths of old. There are those saying they will return , that they are the aliens everyone talks of.”There were giants in the earth in those days….men of reknown.”Some say they are the ones who are responsible for the ancient temples around the world. Got into stuff about revelations and the end times…..”..And the Angles blew their trumpets…”. Then I ran into this on you tube.
There are lots of this type of thing on you tube. There are lots things in the world that bring questions of the past and scriptures of the bible. Indeed the world is full of unexplained things. The universe is huge beyond imagination, and for us tiny little specks, we humans, to think we are so smart is arrogant.Existance is very,very,very weird indeed.
Was there Nephilim? Maybe. Were they giants? Possible. Dinosaurs were very big. There are those who have a theory that the Nephilim created the dinosaurs through genetic engineering and that man did walk with dinosaurs. Who knows.
If in 2012 , the Nephilim-Aliens return…well…we’ll know for certain that we are very ignorant of the cosmos.
After watching the video above , I ran into this video:
Very strange sound indeed. It would scare the crap out of me too…except I think I’ve heard this sound before…maybe. I will explain shortly.
I ran into this video also:
Oh the Angels are blowing their trumpets! Or are they?
I found a post for this over at “American Everyman“.
My post there gives my views of these noises from these two videos.
This is not my America, on January 7, 2012 at 11:57 am said:
If this is from the tunnel construction, underground mind you, wouldn’t the high-pitched part of these sounds be muffled? I could understand the lower frequency sounds coming through. Any one have any idea if the tunnel opening was near by where this was recorded?
I can imagine the tunnel acting as a trumpet of sorts,amplifying the sound as it travels down the length of it toward the opening. If the opening was nearby ,then the high frequency sounds could escape..
As for the Florida video. I used Google to find where they are. Spring Hill Rd and Walnut Grove Lane. They aren’t far from Tallahassee Regional Airport.
Using Google maps I looked at the airport. From what I can see the airport doesnt have any “testing” facilities for jet engines.I lived on Patrick’s AirForce Base on the east coast of Florida. I heard jets a VLA (very low altitude) every day. I can’t say this sounded like and engine on a commercial jet, yet one thing comes to mind.
Were there any drag races near by? I live several miles from a drag strip. They have had jet cars over there from time to time. They are LOUD ! And the flash at the end makes me think of the flash of the engine being cut off.
Now this sound does seem different from a jet car, and I can’t imagine why they would run a jet car engine for 20 mins.
There is however “SS performance group” (a performance car shop) just northeast of the airport. Maybe checking with those guys would provide and answer. They could possibly been playing around with a jet car.
I’ll try doing some investigation there , just maybe…..
Ya I know, I’m taking all the fun out of this. Trumpets of the Angles and HAARP and all lol.
Heres a compilation of many of these “Strange Sounds” videos:
Heres one from Mexico. I think some are taking this sound and making fakes. Its possible that much of these are fakes. As for the one in Kiev , The comments said the buildings shook. I can’t guess how someone could physically ‘Fake” these sounds to spook people in a city. To make a sound that loud and to “shake” buildings? Humm. There are many videos on youtube with this peticular sound…the ‘Godzilla” sound. The one in Florida, as with Kiev,listen to the resonance in the video. They sound like real sounds, not edited in. Also the woman in Florida was scared.
Here’s the Mexico video:
Here is one from Bucharest. It’s very weird. If it’s faked , it’s a good one. I can’t come up with and idea of what could make this sound . Maybe it is otherworldly, who knows.
Anyone have any ideas on that one?
The thing is folks…there is much we don’t know . Now with 2012 here and the end of the world game playing out for people , lets not lose our heads this year. A good dose of skepticism will be a good thing. We will have all kinds of weirdo’s crawling out of the wood work.
As for me , I’m gonna just sit back with my note-book and see what happens.
Peace ya all.
I have in the past beat the anti-drug war drum . I put that drum away for a time. Time to beat it again.
We all here at the revolt talk of the new world order and the roll money plays in world domination here all the time. The drug war is no different in terms of control it puts on people of the world. It’s just another tool the elitist use . The drug war is just that 10 % of the iceberg that you can see. When we remove this 10 % by ending the drug war , another 10% (some other government policy or lie) will float to the top for all to see, Eventually chipping this dangerous behemoth down to something much more controllable .
So I start again with this video.
The folks at L.E.A.P. have done a great deal to end this lie we call a drug war.
There is another group that is making strides also.
They have been working to end the wasted money on anti-drug ads. They did it.
The following is an email I got:
I wanted you to be the first to know that President Obama is about to sign a law that removes all funding for the federal government’s National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign! You know the ads. They say that if a young person uses marijuana, his girlfriend will run off with a space alien. Or he’ll accidentally eat his fist.
Wiping out this ad campaign wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless efforts of SSDPers like Aditya, Katharine, and Tim. They travelled from Columbia University to Washington, D.C. for SSDP’s lobby day in March 2011. Their message: stop waging this wasteful campaign in our names.
Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to so that we can empower more students like Aditya, Katharine, and Tim!
This is the first time since the start of the ad campaign in 1998 that funding was totally wiped out. And not only does the new law remove all funding for the anti-drug campaign next year, it actually requires the drug czar’s office to return all $6 million they have left from last year.
I don’t need to tell you that it’s not everyday that the drug war industrial complex takes this kind of hit. Sometimes living in Washington, D.C. can be depressing, given how little progress is made. But seeing students in action is truly inspiring — especially when we win.
Please support our work so that we can continue to rack up the victories!
Yours In Struggle,
Executive Director, Students for Sensible Drug Policy
P.S. Will we see you in Denver for SSDP2012? Register today to take advantage of early bird discounts before January 1st!
Nothing like a video telling kids that if they smoke cannabis they will get their fist stuck in their mouth. I think shows like Jackass has more influence into stupidity in teens than cannabis ever could.
Then you see spankings from a member of congress like this. It makes you smile.
How many have been kill by marijuana? None.
Many have been killed in raids for little more than a pipe and residue or due to S.W.A.T. botching their raids.
Its time to end these lies and corruption. It’s time to end the elitists control of the masses around the world.
One day I would like to say ‘Merry Christmas” and mean it.
No matter what your view of Ron Paul , as we get closer to election time, these are questions that should be remembered. Remembered as you watch the circus on the T.V. The circus that they bring us every 4 years. The clowns come out one by one and say what you want to hear so they can get elected.
It don’t matter if you vote for Paul or not ,what is important is recognition of the questions that need asked . Recognition of truth in the face of lie and deception.
Questions to consider. For asking these kind of questions, we are put down, called dirty hippies, traitors,un-American. Well if that’s what it takes to get this country off the road to ruin, then I’m happy to be those things.
Questions to consider.
Now because I ask these questions, I am/can be considered a terrorists by my government and held indefinitely without trial because of the NDAA bill.
….Is torture now an acceptable tool for making us safe.Unfortunaley the answer according to our leaders is yes…
Now we are told that assassination of foreigners as well as American citizens is legitimate and necessary to provide security for our people.
As soon as men decide that ALL means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy.
Questions. We’re not allowed answers.
Just their solutions.
No , seriously America. Do you think things will get better?
This idea that things will get better is …well …crazy. Unless you have been living under a rock , you should know by now that the Fed isn’t part of this country nor this government. It is in the same bed as the IMF and others of international banker control. They will not stop the process they have started, that of collapsing the world economy.
The Fed has stated it will not help Europe with any more bailouts here.
Now come on, do you really believe that?
The United States has committed to increase its credit line by up to an additional $100 billion to the IMF.Source here.
Guess who is aiming at bailing out our European Euro…YES! The IMF ! Read here .
Now seriously people, where do they get that money? Congress borrows it from the Fed . Guess who pays for it? YOU DO MY FRIENDS! With interest !
So , come on …REALLY ! You don’t get the idea were all screwed yet?
These bailouts just keep adding to the debt ! Guess who we are in debt to?
WAKE UP AMERICA !
Why does the Fed say in public they wont help Europe ? Well here is the reason. They do it in private ,to the tune of 29 Trillion, behind closed doors. Like that should shock anyone.
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I had made the comment that government is the master of word manipulation in my post a couple things you might not know .
President Clinton debated the definition of the word ‘is’.
Well, here we go again………..
Why is it that we regular folk get stuck with the common sense definition of words , yet those in government are allowed to twist words to their benefit ?
Holder is either a liar or just can’t do his job , I vote liar. From what I’m hearing from this ‘Fast and furious ‘ story , there are rumblings of the D.E.A. being accused of laundering drug money for or from the cartels. If this keeps up , I my have to dig out my “end the drug war ” drum.
I have for the most part given up on the W.O.D. ending. This may change that , along with the coming economic collapse.
So, the word ‘lying’. Here it is ….. Lying,liar,lie .
So ,what do ya all think. Is the definition clear?
I got some info I thought worth passing on.
Some of you may already know of who got what in the loans from the Federal reserve, for those of you who don’t…here it is.
Read it and weep.
This is just the body of an email I got , I don’t feel the source of the email is important…just the message…we’re all being screwed!
This is the first independent audit of the Federal Reserve in the Fed’s 99-year history.
Feel free to take a look at it yourself, it’s right here. It documents Wall Street bailouts by the Fed that dwarf the $700 billion TARP, and everything else you’ve heard about.
I wouldn’t want anyone to think that I’m dramatizing or amplifying what this GAO report says, so I’m just going to list some of my favorite parts, by page number.
Page 131 – The total lending for the Fed’s “broad-based emergency programs” was $16,115,000,000,000. That’s right, more than $16 trillion. The four largest recipients, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, received more than a trillion dollars each. The 5th largest recipient was Barclays PLC. The 8th was the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, PLC. The 9th was Deutsche Bank AG. The 10th was UBS AG. These four institutions each got between a quarter of a trillion and a trillion dollars. None of them is an American bank.
Pages 133 & 137 – Some of these “broad-based emergency program” loans were long-term, and some were short-term. But the “term-adjusted borrowing” was equivalent to a total of $1,139,000,000,000 more than one year. That’s more than $1 trillion out the door. Lending for these programs in fact peaked at more than $1 trillion.
Pages 135 & 196 – Sixty percent of the $738 billion “Commercial Paper Funding Facility” went to the subsidiaries of foreign banks. 36% of the $71 billion Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility also went to subsidiaries of foreign banks.
Page 205 – Separate and apart from these “broad-based emergency program” loans were another $10,057,000,000,000 in “currency swaps.” In the “currency swaps,” the Fed handed dollars to foreign central banks, no strings attached, to fund bailouts in other countries. The Fed’s only “collateral” was a corresponding amount of foreign currency, which never left the Fed’s books (even to be deposited to earn interest), plus a promise to repay. But the Fed agreed to give back the foreign currency at the original exchange rate, even if the foreign currency appreciated in value during the period of the swap. These currency swaps and the “broad-based emergency program” loans, together, totaled more than $26 trillion. That’s almost $100,000 for every man, woman, and child in America. That’s an amount equal to more than seven years of federal spending — on the military, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, interest on the debt, and everything else. And around twice American’s total GNP.
Page 201 – Here again, these “swaps” were of varying length, but on Dec. 4, 2008, there were $588,000,000,000 outstanding. That’s almost $2,000 for every American. All sent to foreign countries. That’s more than twenty times as much as our foreign aid budget.
Page 129 – In October 2008, the Fed gave $60,000,000,000 to the Swiss National Bank with the specific understanding that the money would be used to bail out UBS, a Swiss bank. Not an American bank. A Swiss bank.
Pages 3 & 4 – In addition to the “broad-based programs,” and in addition to the “currency swaps,” there have been hundreds of billions of dollars in Fed loans called “assistance to individual institutions.” This has included Bear Stearns, AIG, Citigroup, Bank of America, and “some primary dealers.” The Fed decided unilaterally who received this “assistance,” and who didn’t.
Pages 101 & 173 – You may have heard somewhere that these were riskless transactions, where the Fed always had enough collateral to avoid losses. Not true. The “Maiden Lane I” bailout fund was in the hole for almost two years.
Page 4 – You also may have heard somewhere that all this money was paid back. Not true. The GAO lists five Fed bailout programs that still have amounts outstanding, including $909,000,000,000 (just under a trillion dollars) for the Fed’s Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities Purchase Program alone. That’s almost $3,000 for every American.
Page 126 – In contemporaneous documents, the Fed apparently did not even take a stab at explaining why it helped some banks (like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley) and not others. After the fact, the Fed referred vaguely to “strains in the financial markets,” “transitional credit,” and the Fed’s all-time favorite rationale for everything it does, “increasing liquidity.”
81 different places in the GAO report – The Fed applied nothing even resembling a consistent policy toward valuing the assets that it acquired. Sometimes it asked its counterparty to take a “haircut” (discount), sometimes it didn’t. Having read the whole report, I see no rhyme or reason to those decisions, with billions upon billions of dollars at stake.
Page 2 – As massive as these enumerated Fed bailouts were, there were yet more. The GAO did not even endeavor to analyze the Fed’s discount window lending, or its single-tranche term repurchase agreements.
Pages 13 & 14 – And the Fed wasn’t the only one bailing out Wall Street, of course. On top of what the Fed did, there was the $700,000,000,000 TARP program authorized by Congress. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) also provided a federal guarantee for $600,000,000,000 in bonds issued by Wall Street.
There is one thing that I’d like to add to this, which isn’t in the GAO’s report. All this is something new, very new. For the first 96 years of the Fed’s existence, the Fed’s primary market activities were to buy or sell U.S. Treasury bonds (to change the money supply), and to lend at the “discount window.” Neither of these activities permitted the Fed to play favorites. But the programs that the GAO audited are fundamentally different. They allowed the Fed to choose winners and losers.
So what does all this mean? Here are some short observations:
(1) In the case of TARP, at least The People’s representatives got a vote. In the case of the Fed’s bailouts, which were roughly 20 times as substantial, there was never any vote. Unelected functionaries, with all sorts of ties to Wall Street, handed out trillions of dollars to Wall Street. That’s now how a democracy should function, or even can function.
(2) The notion that this was all without risk, just because the Fed can keep printing money, is both laughable and cryable (if that were a word). Leaving aside the example of Germany’s hyperinflation in 1923, we have the more recent examples of Iceland (75% of GNP gone when the central bank took over three failed banks) and Ireland (100% of GNP gone when the central bank tried to rescue property firms).
(3) In the same way that American troops cannot act as police officers for the world, our central bank cannot act as piggy bank for the world. If the European Central Bank wants to bail out UBS, fine. But there is no reason why our money should be involved in that.
(4) For the Fed to pick and choose among aid recipients, and then pick and choose who takes a “haircut” and who doesn’t, is both corporate welfare and socialism. The Fed is a central bank, not a barber shop.
(5) The main, if not the sole, qualification for getting help from the Fed was to have lost huge amounts of money. The Fed bailouts rewarded failure, and penalized success. (If you don’t believe me, ask Jamie Dimon at JP Morgan.) The Fed helped the losers to squander and destroy even more capital.
(6) During all the time that the Fed was stuffing money into the pockets of failed banks, many Americans couldn’t borrow a dime for a home, a car, or anything else. If the Fed had extended $26 trillion in credit to the American people instead of Wall Street, would there be 24 million Americans today who can’t find a full-time job?
And here’s what bothers me most about all this: it can happen again. I’ve called the GAO report a bailout autopsy. But it’s an autopsy of the undead.
So, if this doesn’t convince those of you not in the know that we’re being screwed…what will? What will get you into the street
protesting (with OWS or not)? What will get you pissed off enough to demand things in this country change?
Or do you not mind being a good lil’ sheep?
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Well, here we are, well on our way down the road to Greece. We now are at 100.1 % of GDP and the EU is in a hurry to ‘fix’ their problems.
…and no race to stop this by our “SUPER-CONGRESS“!
But in the E.U. , they are racing to end the problem by….wait for it…….Give us your freedom and we will save you!
One proposal gaining prominence would have countries cede some control over their budgets[ and sovereinty (my words)] to a central European authority. In a measure of how rapidly the peril has grown, that idea would have been unthinkable even three months ago.
Now, back at home.
Give up your freedom for safety! It seems theres a bill going through congress tomorrow that allows civilians to be swept up by military .
Senators need to hear from you, on whether you think your front yard is part of a “battlefield” and if any president can send the military anywhere in the world to imprison civilians without charge or trial.
It seems this bill is attached to a defence spending bill deemed necessary. Imagine that, another secret ,behind closed doors bill aimed at stealing your freedoms right out from under you.
I wanted to add this to this post. It is relavent to the bill just passed.