Sunday, February 19, 2012

Brick TeeVee and The Next Oil Bourse!

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The Next Oil Bourse "There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword.. The other is by debt." -John Adams 1826
Greece: they must not pass by talos @ European Tribune (h/t jen) ... How is Greece taking the new loan deal that accompanies the PSI? Most compare it to a dictatorship, a foreign occupation, the kind of terms a victor imposes on a defeated country. No wonder: Two years of the most grinding austerity, has caused a destruction of the Greek economy that has no precedent, in peacetime, as official nominal wages dropped 15%, unemployment passed the 20% mark and, according to polling company VPRC, the bottom 90% of Greek households, suffered in 2011 alone loss of income on average ~45% of their incomes. Greece is already a "labor wasteland" where jobs are near impossible to find and when they materialize they are more likely to be "black", uninsured, well below the poverty threshold.Yet the new loan deals mandate among other things: [....] And much, much more: 650 pages of it that Greek MPs were required to read in 24 hours since they received the package, Saturday, to vote on it on Sunday. The process is illegitimate, and constitutionally questionable yet the two government coalition partners (socialists and conservatives - the far right LAOS rightly figured that this will destroy it electorally and removed its ministers from the government), are extorting their MPs: "pain or destruction" they warned, along with the PM. Everything will be rationed, Greece will leave the euro and remain a third world country for ever. Sane people disagree. But they are not in government. ... What seeps through the media from EU and especially establishment opinion on how this is all the Greeks fault and they should suck it up because they are overpaid, lazy etc. has already caused the first instance of German flag-burning and has resulted in the first time ever that the EU as an institution has a negative reception according to a latest poll. And so Greece strikes and fights back: The Law school in Athens under occupation by students, the health ministry by mental health doctors who protest the near-total defunding of mental care, the ministry of Labor by workers belonging to the communist union, the electric grid authority in the ministry of environment and energy by the power company workers' union (a couple of days ago they held the minister hostage for a few hours, until he was released by riot police)... also occupied: the Holargos(a suburb of Athens) City Hall, in Larissa, Chania, Veria, Ermoupolis and Corfu the Regional Governor's building, in Rethymnon the City Hall, in Chania and Trikala the prefecture offices. I'm not sure how many of these occupations are still in effect, and it is likely that they have multiplied. They will serve as a launch pad all over Greece for what promises to be the largest protests ever (despite the weather) outside the parliament building in Athens and in major squares all over Greece. People are angry, no longer "indignant" but "outraged". If this government proceeds to pass this memorandum, all hell will break loose, on a social and a political level....
Greece's new prime minister, the former European Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos who is NOT a member of parliament said of the protests, "Vandalisms, violence and destruction have no place in a democratic country and won't be tolerated," not seeing the irony in his remarks that leaders are ELECTED in a democracy, NOT APPOINTED as Papdemos was installed essentially by a coup of the Troika of the EU, IMF and ECB. BBC reports last Sunday Buildings ablaze as Greek MPs vote on austerity plan ... Earlier, tens of thousands of people voiced their anger over the proposed bill in what was the second consecutive day of mass protests. Some reports say as many as 80,000 people joined the demonstration in Athens, with another 20,000 protesting in Thessaloniki.
On Monday Dave Neal noted Anonymous sets its sights on Greece HACKTIVIST GROUP Anonymous has turned its attentions to Greece's political dysfunction. The online protests follow mass popular protests that began when the country announced severe austerity measures demanded by the European financial cabal. The group is attacking the country's government under its Antisec banner and is posting up successful hits with regularity. "Looks like TANGO DOWN #Anonymous via @AnonymousPress #Greece is on fire after yes vote on banker bailout. #Athens" says one message from the anarchic hacker collective. People protested in response to the austerity cuts, riots happened, the riot police came out, and Anonymous reacted. A number of web sites have already fallen at its hands and the attacks show no sign of abating. So far the hackers have taken down police and government web sites as well as the Greek prime minister's web site, and more are likely to follow.... (Source: The Inquirer
Greek police union wants to arrest EU/IMF officials Fri Feb 10 (Reuters) - Greece's largest police union has threatened to issue arrest warrants for officials from the country's European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders for demanding deeply unpopular austerity measures. In a letter obtained by Reuters Friday, the Federation of Greek Police accused the officials of "...blackmail, covertly abolishing or eroding democracy and national sovereignty" and said one target of its warrants would be the IMF's top official for Greece, Poul Thomsen. The threat is largely symbolic since legal experts say a judge must first authorize such warrants, but it shows the depth of anger against foreign lenders who have demanded drastic wage and pension cuts in exchange for funds to keep Greece afloat. "Since you are continuing this destructive policy, we warn you that you cannot make us fight against our brothers. We refuse to stand against our parents, our brothers, our children or any citizen who protests and demands a change of policy," said the union, which represents more than two-thirds of Greek policemen. "We warn you that as legal representatives of Greek policemen, we will issue arrest warrants for a series of legal violations ... such as blackmail, covertly abolishing or eroding democracy and national sovereignty."
Getting ahead of the curve in Portugal Over 100,000 rally in Lisbon against austerity Organisers claim 300,000 took part; More protests against bailout austerity on Feb. 29; EU/IMF inspectors arrive on Wednesday - LISBON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - More than 100,000 people packed Lisbon's vast Palace Square on Saturday in the largest rally against austerity and economic hardships since the country resorted to an EU/IMF bailout last May, and organisers vowed to step up protests and labour action. The mass rally occurred just four days before Portugal's international lenders were due to start the quarterly evaluation of the bailout implementation on Wednesday in the finance ministry building which overlooks the square by the river Tagus. They come amid concerns Portugal may need more bailout funds, if not a debt restructuring like Greece. "We take this opportunity here to make our own evaluation on behalf of those who suffer daily," Armenio Carlos, head of the country's largest union, CGTP, told supporters as the crowd chanted: "IMF doesn't call the shots here!" ... "The country needs to remove the rope from around its neck," he said, saying that Portugal should try to renegotiate its debt rather than impose more austerity, an argument he has made consistently. ... "The bailout is good for the creditors who get billions in interest and commissions, good for the banks ... But the measures are really bad for the workers, youths, pensioners, for 2.7 million Portuguese on the verge of poverty and those already below the poverty line," he said.
Then 24/ reports Greek Bailout Closer–Maybe Not. Whoops!
Moody's just can't keep their fingers off the scale reports the CNN Money Team who wrote Tuesday On one hand, Moody's downgraded six eurozone countries -- Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain -- late Monday, and the credit rating agency also warned that it may also cut the outlooks for Aaa-rated Austria, France and the United Kingdom to "negative." On the other hand, investors may be heartened by the fact that Moody's didn't downgrade the eurozone's bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Fund. Also on the bright side, investors showed strong demand for Italian debt in the latest round of auctions. German investor confidence also continued to rebound for a third straight month, rising to a 10-month high in February. ... Meanwhile, investors remain on edge ahead of a meeting of eurozone finance ministers, who will consider the latest bailout for Greece when they meet Wednesday. The Greek Parliament voted early Monday to approve a package of austerity measures aimed at securing the bailout, worth €130 billion, from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Stocks rose on the news Monday, but the gains were modest as worries about Greece's fate continue to dominate. Go there to watch "George Soros: Deregulation led to collapse". Jeez, George, ya think? Then Tyler Durden at zerohedge says (with tongue firmly in cheek) "Spain is Fine Think that "Spain is fine"? Look at the chart below and think again. And don't even get us started on Portugal. How long before the residents of Portugal and Spain pull a Greece and withdraw 20% of statutory bank deposits in a year, in the process starting the terminal unwind of these two countries financial cores and putting them on day to day ECB life support? Oh wait, they already have. The chart below, showing Spanish bank borrowings from the ECB, is self-explanatory, even when factored in for "seasonal adjustments." Whoops! Also at zerohedge Unadjusted January Retail Sales Post Biggest Sequential Plunge In History ... However, we were rather surprised to note that the Census Bureau may have also ramped up its seasonal adjustment "fudge factoring" because when looking at the January headline retail sales data, which naturally was a smoothly continuous line on a Seasonally Adjusted basis, rising from $399.9 billion in December to $401.4 billion in January, something rather odd happened in the Unadjusted data set : the plunge from $459.8 billion in December to $361.4 billion in January, or -$98.5 billion in one month, was the biggest one month drop in retail sales in history. ... Which reminds us: Zero Hedge will offer $10,000 to the first BLS employee to share with us the full and complete excel model set, including assumptions, data tables, and comprehensive output parameters that the agency uses to go from input A to output X. We hope that by spending that money we will finally do society a service and open up to everyone just how it is that the BLS adjusts its Non-Farm Payrolls data.
Our own msgeaux provides this update on MF Global via Jesse's Crossroads Cafe. Thieves all around... Chris Whalen: JPM and the Banks Have the MF Global Money And the Status Quo Is Protecting Them
And Yves Smith exclaims Quelle Surprise! Taxpayers Will Be Paying for Part of Mortgage Settlement ...So not only is the settlement designed to shift the costs of the banks’ misdeeds onto already victimized investors, but taxpayers will also be picking up some of the widely touted $25 billion tab. Shahien Nasiripour tells us in the Financial Times that banks will be able to count future mods made under HAMP towards the total: [...] Although, as we all know, there is no final agreement, this appears to be the section of a January 19 term sheet published by the Wall Street Journal that sets forth how HAMP mods were to have been handled as of that date: Read on!
OCCUPY INFILTRATION UPDATE: by danps - A discussion about Non Violent Activism (NVAs) vs. the Black Bloc Violent Activism (VAs) Concerning violence advocates and the Black Bloc in Occupy
This was published with considerable feedback from DCblogger, affinis, lambert and okanogen. My sincere thanks to all of them for their help. The issue of violence at Occupy flared up last week when Chris Hedges used violent rhetoric to make the case for nonviolence. It was not the first time, either; he’d approvingly written of Greeks rioting - his protests to the contrary notwithstanding. (Lambert has the “own goal” metaphor to describe Hedges’ clumsier efforts.) This is a big problem because of his prominence. When he writes something, people notice. Someone like David Graeber is movedDavid Graeber is moved to respond, spending a good deal of time on the theme of “whatever your intentions, it is very hard to read your statement as anything but an appeal to violence.” If violence advocates (VAs) feel the need to answer language like that (or are simply clever enough debaters to seize that rhetorical opening), it crowds out discussion of other issues, and there’s plenty else to discuss. Please read this a few times, including the endnotes, including #6. In a way, getting bogged down in VA arguments is counterproductive because it distracts us from looking at what kind of actions are inclusive and inviting. This is an extension of the “insurgency vs. mass movement” dichotomy in footnote 1. Via email, activist Joseph Anderson:
Occupy Oakland, and the Occupy movement, cannot both have a diversity of people and a “diversity of tactics” at this time — and the movement can’t shortcut the process of attaining, and retaining, the first by jumping to the second.
Via email, lambert: The object IMNSHO should be to get as many people as possible supporting Occupations with their physical presence. This is what the Egyptians did. “All walks of life” must participate. One can also think of this as “safety in numbers.” Only NV can do that....

For the 1st Anniversary of the Wisconsin protests John Nichols at The Nation lists Twenty-Five Faces of an American Uprising ... This was a people-powered uprising, But even the most spontaneous of revolts requires information, messaging and calls to arms. The movement had some national allies. Union leaders such as Jerry McEntee of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (who declared Wisconsin to be “ground zero in the struggle for labor rights”) and Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers came early, as did the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Rocker Tom Morello played Woody Guthrie songs for the crowds, and wrote a great song of his own: “Union Town.” Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman and MSNBC’s Ed Schultz broadcast live from Madison, as did GRITtv’s Laura Flanders. But the mass movement that made “Wisconsin” not just the name of a state but a new name for resistance would not have been possible without visionary groups and individuals who stepped up at critical stages in the struggle. Here are a few that ought never be forgotten: ... See interviews with John Nichols at DN! below and on The Big Picture from Thursday Uprising...from Madison to Wall Street on TheBigPictureRT's YouTube Channel. And get his book UPRISING! from Perseus Academic! And support Kathleen Falk for Wisconsin Governor!
And don't miss Bill Quigley's Radical Revolution! 10 Steps Toward Radical Revolution in the USA at! "Finally, if those in government and those in power do not help the people do what is right, people seeking change must together exercise our human rights and bring about these changes directly."
And here's some updates on Monsanto Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning AND Farmers advance in their suit against Monsanto. If you want to support America's family farmers, sign the letter to say, "I Stand with Farmers vs. Monsanto!" Visit Food Democracy Now to sign!
Head On Radio chatter lottirj reports Thirty members of a religious group called Faithful America on Tuesday walked into New York City’s Rockefeller Center and met with MSNBC representatives, handing them over 20,000 signed petitions demanding the progressive cable news network stop hosting Tony Perkins, the leader of a certified anti-gay hate group called the Family Research Council. You can add your signature to Faithful America’s petition here. We need more actions like that! From Glenn Greenwald UPDATE [Sun.]: In The New York Times today, Adam Liptak has an excellent article on how Obama’s unprecedented war on whistleblowers is impeding American journalism; I highly recommend this article be read in its entirety.
STOP NOW. WATCH THIS. Jill Greenfield writes for the Harvard Law School Ralph Nader at HLS: The constitutional crimes of Bush and Obama (video) Ralph Nader ’58 and Bruce Fein ’72 visited Harvard Law School for a talk sponsored by the HLS Forum and the Harvard Law Record. At the event, “America's Lawless Empire: The Constitutional Crimes of Bush and Obama,” both men discussed what they called lawless, violent practices by the White House and its agencies that have become institutionalized by both political parties.. Spend an hour and come back.
We'll wait.... _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . ... ... ... .... .. _
Welcome back! Now before you read ANYTHING ELSE about Iran we need you study THIS MAP.
Gareth Porter writes at Al Jazeera Can Obama avert war with Iran? ... The Obama administration's warning signal on the danger of an Israeli attack began flashing red after Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta came back empty-handed from a trip to Israel in September. US officials then came up with a new strategy for pulling Israel back from the precipice of war by letting Netanyahu know that, if the US were denied a full role in coordinating military policy toward Iran, it would not come to Israel's aid in such a war. The first step in the strategy came when Panetta was answering questions after a talk at the Saban Centre of Brookings Institution on December 2. He not only expressed clear disapproval of an Israeli attack as counter-productive - something the administration had avoided in 2009 and 2010 - but went on to indicate that the US was concerned that it "could possibly be the target of retaliation from Iran, striking our ships, striking our military bases". Without saying so directly, that remark hinted that the US would take steps to avoid that situation, if necessary. It was evidently aimed at planting the seed of doubt in Netanyahu's mind that Obama would be willing to respond to Iranian retaliation against Israel in the event of an Israeli strike. The next move came five weeks later, when Panetta, on CBS news "Face the Nation", made the initial hint even clearer. Panetta was then asked what the US would do if Israel were to strike Iran, despite the refusal to consult the US in advance. Panetta said, "If the Israelis made that decision, we would have to be prepared to protect our forces in that situation. And that's what we'd be concerned about." ..... But Netanyahu had already put into effect his own counter-strategy, which is to use the influence of the Israeli lobby in Congress help the Republicans against Obama in the presidential election and to maximise the pressure on Obama to support an Israeli attack on Iran.... Porter concludes There is still time for Obama to repair the damage and to return to the policy he had begun developing in December. But unless Obama warns Netanyahu publicly that an attack against US wishes would indeed mean he is on his own, the chances of deterring him and avoiding war with Iran will be sharply reduced. Gareth Porter writes for Inter Press Service (via A Dangerous Game on IranWhen Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Washington Post columnist David Ignatius this week that he believes Israel was likely to attack Iran between April and June, it was ostensibly yet another expression of alarm at the Israeli government’s threats of military action. But even though the administration is undoubtedly concerned about that Israeli threat, the Panetta leak had a different objective. The White House was taking advantage of the current crisis atmosphere over that Israeli threat and even seeking to make it more urgent in order to put pressure on Iran to make diplomatic concessions to the United States and its allies on its nuclear program in the coming months. The Panetta leak makes it less likely that either Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Iranian strategists will take seriously Obama’s effort to keep the United States out of a war initiated by an Israeli attack. It seriously undercut the message carried to the Israelis by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, last month that the United States would not come to Israel’s defense if it launched a unilateral attack on Iran, as IPS reported on Feb. 1. A tell-tale indication of Panetta’s real intention was his very specific mention of the period from April through June as the likely time frame for an Israeli attack. ..... That six-month delay in the termination of all existing EU oil contracts with Iran was announced by the EU on Jan. 23, but it was reported as early as Jan. 14 that the six-month delay had already been adopted informally as a compromise between the three-month delay favored by Britain, France and Germany and the one-year delay being demanded by other member countries. The Obama administration had also delayed its own sanctions on Iranian oil for six months, after having been forced to accept such sanctions by the U.S. Congress at the urging of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee..... However Our Man in Pipelineistan Pepe Escobar writes in his "Roving Eye" column at Asia Times US wants SWIFT war on Iran What was the parade of European poodles thinking - that Tehran would just roll over and absorb the European Union's oil embargo, scheduled to start on July 1? No wonder Brussels was caught as a Gucci deer in the headlights when the news started to flow that Tehran would pre-empt the move and immediately slap its own embargo of crude oil exports to six European Union countries - deeply in crisis Club Med members Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain plus recession-hit France and the Netherlands. It took virtually no time for Iran's Oil Ministry and then the Foreign Ministry to deny it; such a decision, technically, would have to be officially announced by the Supreme National Security Council, which also deals with the nuclear negotiations. But only the deaf, dumb and blind wouldn't understand the message; blowback for the ridiculously counter-productive European sanctions/oil embargo package will only plunge vast swathes of Europe further into deep economic pain. ... Yet the vultures, jackals and hyenas of regime change/war can never be appeased in their sanction lust. The US is now forcing the EU to cut off Iran from Brussels-based SWIFT - the independent telecom mechanism/clearinghouse used by every bank in the world to exchange financial data (its official name is Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications). Iran's Central Bank itself may become a victim. In a nutshell, SWIFT is the wheel that moves global financial transactions and trade. So if this is not an extended, remixed declaration of hardcore economic war against one country - nothing else is. Will it work? Hardly. It will certainly represent more devastation unleashed over "the Iranian people" - the vague entity of choice against which the US has "no quarrel". More than 40 Iranian banks use SWIFT to process financial transactions, and Iranians use it like everybody else in a globalized economy. It will drag SWIFT's carefully maintained reputation for trust and neutrality through the mud; imagine other member countries' reaction to the fact they can also be totally marginalized according to the US's whims. Not to mention that Washington cannot tell SWIFT what to do; thus it is not so subtly applying "pressure", Mafia-style, on the Europeans. The "message" was delivered in person by David Cohen, the US Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. And all this for what? According to the relentless, suffocating barrage of spin in Western corporate media, to "perhaps" buy some time so the Obama administration can "persuade" the warmongering, nuclear-armed Likud government in Israel not to attack Iran this coming spring. .... If and when Tehran decides to target Israeli interests, it may be able to do it closer to home, and it has the competent operatives to do it without a trace. The notion that Tehran would send Iranian agents to friendly Asian countries such as India and Thailand - and in the case of the Three Stooges in Bangkok openly displaying their passports and even rials - is ludicrous beyond belief. These are patsies; the question is to find out who's manipulating them. If the Washington/Tel Aviv-promoted hysteria is already at fever pitch, wait for March 20, when the Iranian oil bourse will start trading oil in other currencies apart from the US dollar, heralding the arrival of a new oil marker to be denominated in euro, yen, yuan, rupee or a basket of currencies. That would suit Asian clients - from BRICS members India and China to US allies Japan and South Korea, not to mention NATO member Turkey. But that would also suit European clients, to pay for oil in their own currency. Tehran - as well as many key players in the developing world - does want to sink the petrodollar. That may be the straw to break the American camel's back. RUH ROH! Some of you may recall Z Magazine from February 2004 The Invasion of Iraq: Dollar vs Euro -- Re-denominating Iraqi oil in U. S. dollars, instead of the euro (via KEY 'GRAPH The unprovoked "shock and awe" attack on Iraq was to serve several economic purposes: (1) Safeguard the U.S. economy by re-denominating Iraqi oil in U.S. dollars, instead of the euro, to try to lock the world back into dollar oil trading so the U.S. would remain the dominant world power-militarily and economically. (2) Send a clear message to other oil producers as to what will happen to them if they abandon the dollar matrix. (3) Place the second largest oil reserve under direct U.S. control. (4) Create a subject state where the U.S. can maintain a huge force to dominate the Middle East and its oil. (5) Create a severe setback to the European Union and its euro, the only trading block and currency strong enough to attack U.S. dominance of the world through trade. (6) Free its forces (ultimately) so that it can begin operations against those countries that are trying to disengage themselves from U.S. dollar imperialism-such as Venezuela, where the U.S. has supported the attempted overthrow of a democratic government by a junta more friendly to U. S. business/oil interests. And there's this one by William Clark at from October 2004 The Real Reasons Why Iran is the Next Target:The Emerging Euro-denominated International Oil Marker The Iranians are about to commit an "offense" far greater than Saddam Hussein's conversion to the euro of Iraq’s oil exports in the fall of 2000. Numerous articles have revealed Pentagon planning for operations against Iran as early as 2005. While the publicly stated reasons will be over Iran's nuclear ambitions, there are unspoken macroeconomic drivers explaining the Real Reasons regarding the 2nd stage of petrodollar warfare - Iran's upcoming euro-based oil Bourse. See his book Petrodollar Warfare - Oil, Iraq and the Future of the Dollar "The author warns that without changing course, the American Experiment will end the way all empires end with military over-extension and subsequent economic decline." So here we are eight years later. REMEMBER how the U.S. rejected the Iranian uranium swap deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil nearly two years ago? See US and partners react quickly to Iran's uranium deal with new sanctions at and THE BRAZIL-TURKEY DEAL, NEW SANCTIONS, AND WHAT THE MEDIA ARE MISSING at May 25, 2010 with this: Now that Tehran has accepted the main elements of the Baradei proposal—the transfer of 1,200 kilos of low-enriched uranium out of Iran in exchange for new fuel for the TRR—the United States has unilaterally changed the game. Most of the Western media bought into Secretary Clinton’s narrative before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday—that Washington has regained the diplomatic upper hand, and the P-5 are ready to go forward with new sanctions. We believe that the situation is much more complicated—and much riskier for the United States—than conventional wisdom currently allows. In a related matter (now up at The Nation) Jeremy Scahill writes a detailed piece
Washington's War in Yemen Backfires. Here's a small snip: Rather than fighting AQAP, these US-backed units—created and funded with the explicit intent to be used only for counterterrorism operations—redeployed to Sanaa to protect the collapsing regime from its own people. The US-supported units exist “mostly for the defense of the regime,” says Iryani. “In the fighting in Abyan, the counterterrorism forces have not been deployed in any effective way. They are still here in the palace [in Sanaa], protecting the palace. That’s how it is.” President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, acknowledged late last year that the “political tumult” has caused the US-trained units “to be focused on their positioning for internal political purposes as opposed to doing all they can against AQAP.” The Obama administration was very slow to agitate for Saleh’s departure from power, in large part because of counterterrorism concerns. On January 28, Saleh arrived in New York, ostensibly for medical treatment, eliciting charges from his opponents that the United States was protecting him from the wrath of his people. For years, Saleh allowed the United States to regularly strike against AQAP in Yemen, and US Special Operations forces built up the specialized units, run by Saleh’s family members, that were widely seen as US surrogates. Saleh’s government actively conspired with US officials to cover up the US role in Yemen, at times publicly taking credit for US bombings. Even as demonstrations grew against the Saleh regime, US officials praised his government’s cooperation. “I can say today the counterterrorism cooperation with Yemen is better than it’s been during my whole tenure,” Brennan declared in September.... Watch Scahill on Democracy Now below! Of course none of this will be beamed to your teevees by the U.S. Corporate Controlled Conservative Press (CCCP) on the Sunday Talkies! George Snufagupolis goes with GOPher stand-by JOHN "Bomb Iran" MCCAIN while Face the Bob gets resurgent Theocrat SICK SANITARIUM. Over at Meet the David is a House Budget Committee CAGE MATCH with CHRIS VAN HOLLEN and PAUL "I write stinky budgets" RYAN and State of the Candy discusses a possible brokered GOPher convention with Indiana Guv MITCH "Right to work" DANIELS and losing presidential candidate MICHELE BACHMANN (KWAZY-MN) plus former gynecologist RON PAUL and former CIA chief MICHAEL HAYDEN. Save some bricks for carpetbagger NEWT "Contract ON America" GINGRICH on FAKE SNOOZE. The Brick TeeVee Crew is getting pretty tired of Winter by now and is looking forward to Spring by starting peppers, broccoli and cauliflower indoors for early Spring planting. Of course Daytona is next Sunday and there's only 39 days until Opening Day 2012! So we got THAT going for us! Stay warm, throw bricks and OCCUPY SOMEWHERE! If it's too cold outside there's plenty to read, watch and listen to below! Click anywhere and be instantly smarter!

Democracy NOW!
»»» Oscar Hernández, founder of the Grammy Award-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra, and Roberto Lovato, co-founder of @ Democracy NOW! Latin Jazz Musicians Lead Protest Against Grammy’s for Cutting 31 Musical Categories from Awards Show Feb 13, 2012
»»» Huwaida Arraf and Radhika Sainath @ Democracy NOW! U.S.-Backed Bahraini Forces Arrest and Deport Two American Peace Activists Acting as Human Rights Observers Feb 13, 2012
»»» Maria Margaronis, London correspondent for The Nation magazine @ Democracy NOW! "Real Despair" Sweeps Through Greece as Severe Austerity Measures Demanded by E.U.-IMF Cripple Nation Feb 14, 2012
»»» Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone @ Democracy NOW! Army Whistleblower Lt. Col. Daniel Davis Says Pentagon Deceiving Public on Afghan War Feb 15, 2012
»»» The Nation's John Nichols @ Democracy NOW! He is currently in an undisclosed location as he fears his own arrest. On First Anniversary of Wisconsin Uprising, Gov. Walker Fights Recall Effort by Energized Movement Feb 15, 2012
»»» Journalist Jeremy Scahill @ Democracy NOW! Jeremy Scahill: U.S. Has Ignited Islamist Uprising in Impoverished, Divided Yemen Feb 16, 2012
»»» Reza Marashi, research director at the National Iranian American Council & constitutional law attorney Glenn Greenwald @ Democracy NOW! Iran Tensions Rise with Diplomat Bombings, Scientist Killings, Nuke Claims and Media Warmongering Feb 16, 2012
»»» Sandra Fluke, third-year law student at Georgetown University Law Center & Eleanor Holmes Norton, delegate to Congress representing the District of Columbia @ Democracy NOW! "Where Are the Women?": Lawmakers Walk Out on Contraception Rule Hearing After Female Witness Barred Feb 17, 2012
»»» ANTHONY SHADID @ Democracy NOW! Anthony Shadid (1968-2012): Pulitzer-Winning NY Times Middle East Correspondent Dies in Syria Shadid has been a guest on Democracy Now! several times over the past decade reporting on Libya, Tunisia, Iraq and Lebanon. We air excerpts from our last interview with Shadid in April 2011, just after he returned home following his six-day capture in Libya by Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s forces. Feb 17, 2012
»»» State Senator Mike Fasano, Florida Republican & Mike Brickner, communications and public policy director at ACLU of Ohio @ Democracy NOW! Florida Lawmakers Defeat Prison Privatization amid National Push for For-Profit Jails The Florida State Senate has defeated a measure to privatize at least 27 prisons, which would have created the largest corporate-run prison system in the country. Despite the vote, Republican Gov. Rick Scott could still privatize the prisons through executive authority. Feb 17, 2012

»»» GRITtv @ with Laura Flanders
»»» FEATURED SHOW SUPPORT YOUR MEDIA DAY February 15th is Support Your Media Day! Laura Flanders and GRITtv are joining with independent media groups from all over the country in a one-day-only collaborative fundraiser. Join the fun by donating HERE.

»»» PBA on ESPN It's the WSOB SCORPION OPEN! Coverage begins at 3 pm et
»»» NASCAR on SPEED & FOX Daytona week is here! Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is at 1 pm et on FOX with practices all week on SPEED!
»»» NBA on TNT! Double-header Thursday! Knicks @ Heat 8 pm et then Lakers @ Thunder 10:30 pm et

The 1st Amendment is Our Permit Our permit to occupy is The First Amendment. Quickly sign the following statement which will be delivered to mayors, police chiefs and major media across the country:
    Our permit to occupy public squares and parks is in The First Amendment, which affirms “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” When people across the Middle East occupied public squares, leaders in Washington mostly cheered those protesters and warned Middle Eastern governments not to use force to clear them. Those other societies don’t have a First Amendment. Yet Washington affirmed the universal right to assembly and protest. We do have a First Amendment. The force being used to clear nonviolent protesters from public squares in our country is unacceptable. It must stop. Sign the Petition to Get the 99% Deficit Proposal Heard in Congress
    Please SIGN THE PETITION in support of the "99%'s Deficit Proposal" and plan direct actions to tell the Super Committee that the 99% have better solutions to our nation's crises. You can plan your own action at your Congressmember's office or join us in Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC for marches to Capitol Hill. Check our calendar for announcements.

NET NEUTRALITY! A Push for Privacy in the Wake of the Carrier IQ Controversy Remember Carrier IQ, the company that makes the secret spying software that’s installed on more than 140 million phones? You know, the software that can record our most sensitive personal data? ... Thanks in part to the 22,000 people who joined Free Press’ call for a congressional investigation, some of those questions are closer to being answered and mobile users are closer to being protected. The protection comes in the form of a bill from Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey. Markey released a draft of a bill called the “Mobile Device Privacy Act” that would require phone companies to disclose to users just what is being done with all of their data. If the bill passes, an opt-out provision would go into effect a year later and would require companies to allow users to opt out of data-collection schemes like the one developed by Carrier IQ........

CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA'S FUTURE American Majority Rejects Washington Austerity Consensus – And We Demand Media Coverage by Roger Hickey, President, Campaign for America's Future: No more silent majority. The Campaign for America’s Future is joining with the Center for Economic and Policy Research (whose Co-Director, Dean Baker blogs regularly about economic bias in the media) and with FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) to monitor the media’s coverage and representation of the American Majority views as they go into covering the big deficit fight. But we want to enlist YOU too. Send us accounts of unbalanced coverage in the national media and in your local newspapers and television. Call up reporters, editors, assignment people and tell them when they are under-representing the views of the American Majority. We should have at least half the experts, pundits, quotes and real people represented in their coverage. In a debate as important as the one we are going into, we can’t allow the media to ignore the American Majority. Much more at

MOVE TO AMEND! SIGN HERE NOW! Also visit Rep Alan Grayson's site And Alan Grayson is running again in FL-8! Help out at

SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT See UPDATE! Manning-Lamo Chat Logs Revealed at plus The Deeply Personal Details in New Bradley Manning Chat Logs and Bradley Manning Support Network Much more at link.

UPDATE! ANTIWAR RADIO with Scott Horton Emma Cape February 18, 2012: Emma Cape, Campaign Organizer for the Bradley Manning Support Network, discusses whistleblower Manning’s arraignment (open to the public) on February 23rd at Fort Meade, Maryland, beginning his court-martial; the evidence and witnesses withheld from Bradley’s defense team; the 2008 Obama voters who are demanding the president support Manning – or else lose their votes in 2012; and the “aiding the enemy through indirect means” charge that, combined with other charges, could give Manning a life sentence.

DONATE YOUR OLD CELL PHONES TO T.J. MARTELL FOUNDATION Help save lives. Donate your old & used iPhone, Blackberries, Droid and other phones to help the T.J. Martell Foundations fund life-saving cancer & AIDS research. For more information, go to

image ©2006 arkysue
THEY report. YOU throw bricks. ©
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The essential guide for watching government propaganda

IRAQ: 4,485 US Military Dead as of Feb 17, 2011
AFGHANISTAN: 1,896 US Military Dead as of Feb 17, 2012
The Obameter: Tracking Obama's Campaign Promises
Considering Democracy: 8 Things to ask your Representative

  • This Week (ABC) anchor George Stephanopoulos
    Fact Checking ABC's "This Week" at NPR "On the Media" - Jake Tapper, interim host of ABC's "This Week," liked the idea of fact-checking his guests' comments, so he set up a partnership with Politifact, a non-partisan fact-checking organization. See Politifact Statements ABC News 'This Week'
    • Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
    • Obama campaign senior advisor and former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs
    • ROUNDTABLE: George Will, ABC News senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl, FOX Business Network host Lou Dobbs, Vanity Fair contributing editor and former Clinton White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers, and Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page.

  • Face The Nation (CBS) Host Bob Schiefer this Sunday: Live from Miami
    • Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum
    • ROUNDTABLE: Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post, Todd Spangler of The Detroit Free Press, CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Norah O'Donnell and CBS News Political Director John Dickerson.

  • 60 Minutes (CBS)
    • Trapped in Unemployment - As the number of Americans without work for a year or two rises into the millions, Scott Pelley reports on a program designed to help the long term unemployed back into the workplace. Henry Schuster and Rachael Kun are the producers.
    • Treating Depression -A Harvard psychologist says drugs used to treat depression do work, but for the most part, it's not the chemical that's making people feel better, it's the placebo effect. Lesley Stahl reports. Richard Bonin is the producer.

  • Meet the Press (NBC) Host David Gregory
    Meet the Facts at NPR "On the Media" - Last December, NYU professor Jay Rosen proposed something simple yet revolutionary: why don't the Sunday morning chat shows fact check their guests? After "Meet the Press" host David Gregory declined, two college students launched a website to do it for him. One of them, Chas Danner, explains what they're trying to accomplish. See their website updating soon!
    • House Budget Committee: Ranking member Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
    • House Budget Committee: Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
    • ROUNDTABLE: GOP strategist Ed Gillespie, Bloomberg’s Al Hunt, The NY Times’ Helene Cooper, and NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

  • State of the Union With Candy Crowley (CNN) At 9 AM ET, Candy talks to the power players: politicians, business leaders and international newsmakers who will make Monday morning's headlines. At NOON ET, Candy wraps it all up with fresh interviews and the best of the earlier hours.
    • Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, and
    • Former Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann
    • Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX)
    • former CIA director Michael Hayden
    • former ambassador to Egypt and Israel, Ed Walker
    • Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

  • HEAD ON RADIO with Bob Kincaid
    Headon Radio with Bob Kincaid 6 PM Eastern, 3 PM Pacific, 2300 GMT. Duration: 3 hrs. To be part of the conversation on Head-on Radio, call toll-free (877) 443-2366, or use our Liberal community line at 304-658-3333. Email: bob [at] headonradio [dot] com.
    • MORAN MONDAY!!!!! Bob exposes the spelling-challenged Tea Baggers every Monday. And of course the rest of the H.O.R.N. family chimes in! Listen HERE (mp3) NOW
    • PRAYER MEETIN' WEDNESDAY!!!!! Super Pope/Rabbi/Imam Bob whacks some moles! Listen HERE (mp3)NOW
    Amen to the White Rose Society! Donate to Head On HERE! And join Coal River Mountain Watch at!

    The Green News Report with Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen: 6 minutes of green news, politics, analysis & snarky comment! BOOKMARK NOW!
    'Green News Report' - February 16, 2012 IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: EXPOSED: Right-wing Heartland Institute's plot to undermine US science education; REVEALED: Climate change deniers recommend super-rich sugar daddies to buy the media; BUSTED: Monsanto convicted of poisoning; FIGHTING BACK: 'Pitchfork Rebellion' in OR; PLUS: Mysterious exploding pig foam --- No, it's not 'santorum', but it's close! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
    IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see link): 166 wolves killed as hunting season ends; State Dept. agreement on short-term climate pollutants; Arctic drilling blowout on Alaska's North Slope; Federal funds flow to clean-energy firms with administration ties; Sierra Club backlash on taking industry cash; Climate change to increased risk of storm surges ... PLUS: Air pollution linked to heart disease: Five deadly air pollutants on five continents ... and much, MUCH more! ...
    BRADBLOG UPDATE: [UPDATED] Maine GOP Posts New Results Tonight, Shows Romney's 'Win' Over Paul Slightly Increased
    Visit to see who counts yer votes! Reference yer background/research at Who's Counting? too.

  • The Peter B. Collins Show PODCAST!
    pbc show
    Listen at!
    The Peter B. Collins Show covers American news and politics from the Left Coast. Veteran talk radio personality Peter B. Collins, based in San Francisco, delivers fresh interviews, commentary and analysis on a range of important topics, with views and voices you don’t often find in the corporate media.

    Holiday Break and Website Changes
      To my valued listeners: We are making some changes to the website and our terms, effective in January. We will continue to offer free podcasts–my new daily news and commentary. Our in-depth interviews will be available for $1 per episode, or to subscribers who pay $5 per month or more. Loyal listeners who simply can’t afford it should send an email to, as we will be offering a limited number of scholarships to our friends who are hurting during these tough times. More information will be posted as we complete the revisions. I’m grateful to each of you for listening and supporting this work, and hope that the new model will enable us to keep it going well into the future. All the best, -pbc
    • PBC Standard Podcast Huwaida Arraf Gives First-Person Account of Bahrain Crackdown; Prof Brandon Garrett on His New Book, “Convicting the Innocent” Huwaida Arraf, an American lawyer/activist, reports on the repression in Bahrain, her deportation, and America’s double standard; Prof. Garrett defines the causes of wrongful convictions, and suggests reforms.
    • PBC Standard Podcast Boiling Frogs: Retired FBI Agent Coleen Rowley on the New American Police State Coleen Rowley, 24-year FBI veteran, talks about the makings of the American police state in this Boiling Frogs interview, co-hosted with Sibel Edmonds.

  • Ring of Fire Radio
    Find us at and hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder
    Ring of Fire Radio - GoLeft TV - Robert F. Kennedy, Mike Papantonio, Sam Seder - Politics, Commentary, and News.
    This Week on Ring of Fire! February 17, 2012
    • Congressman Chris Van Hollen will be joining us to talk about the two-year anniversary of the Citizens United decision, and what unlimited corporate cash is doing to our elections.
    • Alternet senior writer Josh Holland will be here to tell us why the GOP is so unhappy with their presidential picks.
    • Nation correspondent and author John Nichols will be here to tell us how Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans accidentally sparked a global uprising that has them fighting for their political lives.
    • And author and Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig will join us to talk about his new book “One Way Forward.”
    • VIDEO! Papantonio: Over-Medicated In America There is an epidemic in American society today – but it isn’t an illness that’s grasping us, its treatments for made up diseases that are affecting our culture. Doctors across the country are quick to diagnose a child as having ADD just because they are a little too much for parents to handle – even if those children are under 2 years old. As a result, we’re seeing children dying from bad drugs at the age of 4. Mike Papantonio talks about our over-medicating society with psychologist and author Bruce Levine.
    • VIDEO! Papantonio: Turning America Into “Pottersville” It’s becoming harder and harder for the GOP to hide their hatred of anyone who isn’t a member of the 1% wealthy elite in America. They’ve made it clear that not only do they not want the 1% to pay any taxes, but that the middle and lower classes should have to pay more taxes to make up the difference. They are indifferent to home foreclosures, unions, and American workers – and they aren’t even pretending to hide their indifference anymore. Mike Papantonio talks about the GOP’s ultimate goal for America with award winning investigative journalist and author Robert Parry.
    Support Those Who Support Progressive Media! 2011 has certainly been a great year for Ring of Fire, and we’ve had some great sponsors that have helped support the show throughout the year. We wanted to take the time to personally thank each and every one of them, and we encourage all of our listeners to take the time to support those who have support us.
    • Join our blog at You can now SUBSCRIBE TO OUR PODCAST by clicking on the “Podcast” tab at the top of the Ring of Fire blog. Please help support progressive radio by signing up!
    Ring of Fire Radio Ring of Fire, hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder: Saturdays at 3 o’clock Eastern, rebroadcasts 8-11 et Sunday evenings on Chicago's Progressive Talk WCPT AM & FM and 4 pm et on Sirius/XM 167 featuring The PAP Attack! "We’ll bring you the stories that the mainstream media didn’t feel like reporting this week."

  • Majority Report with Sam Seder Streaming LIVE weekdays 11:30 am et @!

    Civil Rights Lawyer & Author Michelle Alexander on the Myth of Desegregation [02•13•12]
    David Dayen of firedoglake on the Auto Bailout and Detroit [02•16•12]
    Jeff Smith of the Occupy Wall Street Press Team on Black Bloc & the future of Occupy [02•16•12]
    Cliff Schecter and Sam Seder discuss the Contraception Debate, Romney & more! [02•17•12]
    MORE Podcast Interviews at!

  • On the Edge with Max Keiser Podcasts and more @!
    "HI Y'ALL! Tell the people! Tell the people!"
    WHO IS MAX KEISER? Max Keiser is a financial expert, Prediction Markets analyst, inventor and filmmaker. He is the creator of the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX) the first Prediction Market. Max Keiser co-hosts “The Truth About Markets” on ResonanceFM 104.4 in London. He also produces and presents documentary films covering markets and finance for Al Jazeera’s “People & Power” series. Max Keiser started his career on Wall Street in 1983. He is the creator of KarmaBanque a site that enables activists to challenge corporate power.
    • VISIT!!! Crowd Funding for Pirates!
    • NEW! MaxKeiserTV on YouTube! MaxKeiserTV PLUS here is Max Keiser’s official Facebook page And here is the official Keiser Report page
    Gold/Silver Vigilante No. 1 Throws Down! See Eric King interviews Eric Sprott – Extremely important interview and listen to the mp3
    • KEISER REPORT [KR249] Keiser Report: Tombstone Austerity & the John Brown Moment We discuss tear gas and deja vu for financial crimes and tombstone austerity. In the second half of the show, Max talks to James Howard Kunstler of about the John Brown moment in America and the control fraud of media.
    • KEISER REPORT [KR250] Keiser Report: German Empire vs Greek Carthage We discuss a ‘Grexit’ after the Carthaginian peace deal and also safety net critics and collateralized hemlock futures. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Chris Whalen of Tangent Capital about Greek deals, gold and raising interest rates to save the economy. Chris Whalen: MF Global: Where’s the Cash — Part II
    • KEISER REPORT [KR251] Keiser Report: Rich guys totally observe you We discuss the riches made monitoring the population and the pittance paid for agreeing to be monitored. The also discuss the Serious Organised Crime Agency threatening to monitor Stacy for following a link while Max envisions a future in which granny gets it. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Charles Hugh Smith of about social fractals, tanking energy consumption and a citizenship futures market.
    • ON THE EDGE On the Edge with Michael Hudson Posted on January 29, 2012 by stacyherbert
    • THE TRUTH ABOUT MARKETS [TaM-353] The Truth About Max Keiser’s Self-Immolation Download show HERE (mp3)
    • Donate to ResonanceFM here!

  • ANTIWAR RADIO with Scott Horton
    antiwarradio.jpg LIVE (9-11am Pacific, 12pm - 2pm Eastern) Plenty of archives too!
    Listen at
    Grant F. Smith February 18, 2012: Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C., discusses his article “AIPAC Obtained Missile Secrets ;” newly-declassified State Department documents about maverick estate-planning author Norman F. Dacey’s attempt to hold AIPAC accountable for leveraging classified information to scuttle an arms deal with Jordan in the 1970s; how these documents could help Steven J. Rosen’s defamation lawsuit against AIPAC; and why many of AIPAC’s functions should be conducted by a foreign embassy, rather than a domestic lobby.
    Jason Ditz February 18, 2012: Jason Ditz, managing news editor at, discusses Iraq’s dysfunctional central government, where the vice president is under threat of arrest and may have fled the country; why Iraqi Sunnis, who have almost no political representation, might return to violence and the brutal sectarian strife of 2006-2007; Egypt’s crackdown on US government-funded “pro-democracy” NGOs; and how a cutoff of US foreign aid to Egypt could scuttle the 1979 Camp David Accords.
    David Bromwich February 18, 2012: David Bromwich, professor of literature at Yale University, discusses his article “Obama’s Drift Toward War With Iran ;” the propaganda portraying Iran as an imminent threat to Israel and the US; Obama’s evolving Iran policy, from campaign promises of diplomacy to a doomed-to-fail “Single Roll of the Dice;” interventionist fantasies including non-invasion regime change and a Six-Day War repeat, where Iran’s nuclear program is bombed and set back years with no blowback; Dennis Ross’s surprising “Iran is Ready to Talk” op-ed in the NY Times; and why the momentum of pre-election warmongering in the US and Israel is hard to slow down.
    Emma Cape February 18, 2012: Emma Cape, Campaign Organizer for the Bradley Manning Support Network , discusses whistleblower Manning’s arraignment (open to the public) on February 23rd at Fort Meade, Maryland, beginning his court-martial; the evidence and witnesses withheld from Bradley’s defense team; the 2008 Obama voters who are demanding the president support Manning – or else lose their votes in 2012; and the “aiding the enemy through indirect means” charge that, combined with other charges, could give Manning a life sentence.
    • Many more interviews at Antiwar Radio!

  • fauxnews
    • Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich
    • the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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