Americans Live In A Fascist Society

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See? Check (American flag pins); Check (Guantanamo Bay/drones); Check (Muslims/Hispanics/Homosexuals); Check (spending more than the next 10 countries combined/”Global Force for Good”); Check (constant assault on Women’s reproductive rights/no equal pay); Check (corporate-controlled media); check (NSA spying/”Department of Homeland Security”); check (Republicans); check (Congress owned by the 1%); check (anti-Union assaults by Republicans); check (anti-intellectualism in the Republican Party and the South); check, check, check (2000; 2004 – both stolen by Bush).

BBC News – Four sentenced to death over $2.6bn Iran bank fraud

Four people have been sentenced to death for their roles in Iran’s biggest-ever bank fraud scandal.

Two other defendants received life sentences, while 33 more will spend up to 25 years in jail, the chief prosecutor was quoted as saying.

The scandal involved forged documents reportedly used by an investment company to secure loans worth $2.6bn.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last year denied allegations that his government was involved.

The identities of the defendants have not been made public.

via BBC News – Four sentenced to death over $2.6bn Iran bank fraud.

Libor scandal explained and what rate-rigging means to you – USATODAY.com

A new scandal in the banking industry is undermining its image, already tarnished by rogue trading at JPMorgan Chase and the 2008 subprime mortgage collapse. At the heart of the scandal: manipulation of Libor, the most widely used interest rate in the world. In congressional testimony Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he thought the Libor system was “structurally flawed.” USA TODAY reporter John Waggoner explains the Libor scandal and what it means to you.

via Libor scandal explained and what rate-rigging means to you – USATODAY.com.

Very important read. Please share as well.

Matthew 19:24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

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New International Version (©1984)

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

New Living Translation (©2007)

I’ll say it again–it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

English Standard Version (©2001)

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

New American Standard Bible (©1995)

“Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

International Standard Version (©2008)

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God.”

Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)

“And again I say to you that it is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)

I can guarantee again that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

King James 2000 Bible (©2003)

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

American King James Version

And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

American Standard Version

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Douay-Rheims Bible

And again I say to you: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Darby Bible Translation

and again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to enter a needle’s eye than a rich man into the kingdom of God.

English Revised Version

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Webster’s Bible Translation

And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Weymouth New Testament

Yes, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”

World English Bible

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.”

Young’s Literal Translation

and again I say to you, it is easier for a camel through the eye of a needle to go, than for a rich man to enter into the reign of God.’

via Matthew 19:24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.".

Greek leftist leader Alexis Tsipras: ‘It’s a war between people and capitalism’ | World news | The Guardian

“I don’t believe in heroes or saviours,” says Alexis Tsipras, “but I do believe in fighting for rights … no one has the right to reduce a proud people to such a state of wretchedness and indignity.”

The man who holds the fate of the euro in his hands – as the leader of the Greek party willing to tear up the country’s €130bn (£100bn) bailout agreement – says Greece is on the frontline of a war that is engulfing Europe.

A long bombardment of “neo-liberal shock” – draconian tax rises and remorseless spending cuts – has left immense collateral damage. “We have never been in such a bad place,” he says, sleeves rolled up, staring hard into the middle distance, from behind the desk that he shares in his small parliamentary office. “After two and a half years of catastrophe, Greeks are on their knees. The social state has collapsed, one in two youngsters is out of work, there are people leaving en masse, the climate psychologically is one of pessimism, depression, mass suicides.”

But while exhausted and battle weary, the nation at the forefront of Europe’s escalating debt crisis and teetering on the edge of bankruptcy is also hardened. And, increasingly, they are looking towards Tsipras to lead their fight.

via Greek leftist leader Alexis Tsipras: 'It's a war between people and capitalism' | World news | The Guardian.

It’s So God Damned Simple

You should all read “The Communist Manifesto.” Karl Marx got a lot right in his interpretation of what’s happened under (relatively) unregulated capitalism (and lax enforcement). Wealth became concentrated, and the people with nothing are blamed for economic woes. This is obviously ridiculous and a trick by the ruling class. They cut taxes for the wealthy, which robbed the government of revenue, which lead to deep cuts in social safety net programs, which meant less people had disposable income, so they couldn’t afford to buy anything which put people out of work. Add to that the Wall Street criminals (and not one has gone to jail) destroying the financial system, and here we are. It really is that simple.

The 50s were the “best” according to everyone — the same decade when the New Deal was in full place (with some minor changes) and unions were strong and businesses were better regulated (in some respects). The New Deal made the 50s the 50s. We stripped it away and arrived back at the 1920s. How sad and shortsighted we were. We should all be ashamed of ourselves.

This Hits the Nail on the Head

From Americans Against the Tea Party.

This encapsulates the “larger” version of what I have been trying to articulate for a while now, but never managed to express it in this very direct way. I agree with this quote down to the core.

Dallas Fed: Top five U.S. banks hold over half of industry’s assets | The Raw Story

In its annual report for 2011, issued on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released a startling report revealing that 52 percent of all the assets held by the entire banking industry have now become aggregated into the hands of just five companies, and the top 10 institutions have swollen so large that they possess wealth that equates to roughly half of America’s annual gross domestic product (GDP).

It is for those reasons that Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher, who’s otherwise known as a conservative budget hawk, has embraced the radical cause of breaking up the nation’s largest banks and forever ending “too big to fail.” In a letter introducing the 2011 report, he cautions that Congress may not have gone far enough with prior attempts at financial reforms, and that those bills may even be working against the struggling economic recovery underway.

Alarming as that sounds, it’s the Dallas Fed’s chart of U.S. banking assets that’s most startling.

via Dallas Fed: Top five U.S. banks hold over half of industry’s assets | The Raw Story.

Greece on the breadline: cashless currency takes off | World news | The Guardian

In recent weeks, Theodoros Mavridis has bought fresh eggs, tsipourou (the local brandy: beware), fruit, olives, olive oil, jam, and soap. He has also had some legal advice, and enjoyed the services of an accountant to help fill in his tax return.

None of it has cost him a euro, because he had previously done a spot of electrical work – repairing a TV, sorting out a dodgy light – for some of the 800-odd members of a fast-growing exchange network in the port town of Volos, midway between Athens and Thessaloniki.

In return for his expert labour, Mavridis received a number of Local Alternative Units (known as tems in Greek) in his online network account. In return for the eggs, olive oil, tax advice and the rest, he transferred tems into other people’s accounts.

“It’s an easier, more direct way of exchanging goods and services,” said Bernhardt Koppold, a German-born homeopathist and acupuncturist in Volos who is an active member of the network. “It’s also a way of showing practical solidarity – of building relationships.”

He had just treated Maria McCarthy, an English teacher who has lived and worked in the town for 20 years. The consultation was her first tem transaction, and she used one of the vouchers available for people who haven’t yet, or can’t, set up an online account.

“I already exchange directly with a couple of families, mainly English teaching for babysitting, and this is a great way to extend that,” said McCarthy. “This is still young, but it’s growing very quickly. Plainly, the more you use it the more useful to you it gets.”

via Greece on the breadline: cashless currency takes off | World news | The Guardian.

Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail | Politics News | Rolling Stone

At least Bank of America got its name right. The ultimate Too Big to Fail bank really is America, a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we’ll all be paying for until the end of time. Did you hear about the plot to rig global interest rates? The $137 million fine for bilking needy schools and cities? The ingenious plan to suck multiple fees out of the unemployment checks of jobless workers? Take your eyes off them for 10 seconds and guaranteed, they’ll be into some shit again: This bank is like the world’s worst-behaved teenager, taking your car and running over kittens and fire hydrants on the way to Vegas for the weekend, maxing out your credit cards in the three days you spend at your aunt’s funeral. They’re out of control, yet they’ll never do time or go out of business, because the government remains creepily committed to their survival, like overindulgent parents who refuse to believe their 40-year-old live-at-home son could possibly be responsible for those dead hookers in the backyard.

It’s been four years since the government, in the name of preventing a depression, saved this megabank from ruin by pumping $45 billion of taxpayer money into its arm. Since then, the Obama administration has looked the other way as the bank committed an astonishing variety of crimes – some elaborate and brilliant in their conception, some so crude that they’d be beneath your average street thug. Bank of America has systematically ripped off almost everyone with whom it has a significant business relationship, cheating investors, insurers, depositors, homeowners, shareholders, pensioners and taxpayers. It brought tens of thousands of Americans to foreclosure court using bogus, “robo-signed” evidence – a type of mass perjury that it helped pioneer. It hawked worthless mortgages to dozens of unions and state pension funds, draining them of hundreds of millions in value. And when it wasn’t ripping off workers and pensioners, it was helping to push insurance giants like AMBAC into bankruptcy by fraudulently inducing them to spend hundreds of millions insuring those same worthless mortgages.

But despite being the very definition of an unaccountable corporate villain, Bank of America is now bigger and more dangerous than ever. It controls more than 12 percent of America’s bank deposits (skirting a federal law designed to prohibit any firm from controlling more than 10 percent), as well as 17 percent of all American home mortgages. By looking the other way and rewarding the bank’s bad behavior with a massive government bailout, we actually allowed a huge financial company to not just grow so big that its collapse would imperil the whole economy, but to get away with any and all crimes it might commit. Too Big to Fail is one thing; it’s also far too corrupt to survive.

via Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail | Politics News | Rolling Stone.

Be sure to read this entire article. It just so happens that only 1/2 hour before I read this, BoA charged me $6 to cash a check (drawn on them) because I didn’t have an account with them. Wasn’t my $700 billion enough?! I wish President Obama would nationalize all the banks.