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Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2003, 02:04 PM
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Journal Archives

The Washington Post: Inside the Clinton Donor Network


A Washington Post investigation reveals how Bill and Hillary Clinton have methodically cultivated donors over 40 years, from Little Rock to Washington and then across the globe. Their fundraising methods have created a new blueprint for politicians and their donors. Over four decades of public life, Bill and Hillary Clinton have built an unrivaled global network of donors while pioneering fundraising techniques that have transformed modern politics and paved the way for them to potentially become the first husband and wife to win the White House.

The grand total raised for all of their political campaigns and their family’s charitable foundation reaches at least $3 billion, according to a Washington Post investigation. Their fundraising haul, which began with $178,000 that Bill Clinton raised for his long-shot 1974 congressional bid, is on track to expand substantially with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 White House run, which has already drawn $110 million in support.

The Post identified donations from roughly 336,000 individuals, corporations, unions and foreign governments in support of their political or philanthropic endeavors — a list that includes top patrons such as Steven Spielberg and George Soros, as well as lesser-known backers who have given smaller amounts dozens of times. Not included in the count are an untold number of small donors whose names are not identified in campaign finance reports but together have given millions to the Clintons over the years. The majority of the money — $2 billion — has gone to the Clinton Foundation, one of the world’s fastest-growing charities, which supports health, education and economic development initiatives around the globe. A handful of elite givers have contributed more than $25 million to the foundation, including Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra, who is among the wealthy foreign donors who have given tens of millions.


Roughly two-thirds of the money given by Clinton donors has gone to support their charitable foundation.

Separately, donors have given $1 billion to support the Clintons’ political races and legal defense fund, making capped contributions to their campaigns and writing six-figure checks to the Democratic National Committee and allied super PACs. The Post investigation found that many top Clinton patrons supported them in multiple ways, helping finance their political causes, their legal needs, their philanthropy and their personal bank accounts. In some cases, companies connected to their donors hired the Clintons as paid speakers, helping them collect more than $150 million on the lecture circuit in the past 15 years. The couple’s biggest individual political benefactors are Univision chairman Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl, who have made 39 contributions totaling $2.4 million to support the Clintons’ races since 1992. The Sabans have also donated at least $10 million to the foundation...


Candidates set for 2016 Michigan presidential primary


Fourteen Republicans and three Democrats will appear on the March 8 presidential primary ballot...All 17 names will stay on the ballot unless the candidates send the Secretary of State a letter by 4 p.m. Dec. 11 stating that they’re no longer a candidate, said SOS spokesman Fred Woodhams.

Republicans on the ballot: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, California businesswoman Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former New York Gov. George Pataki, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and New York businessman Donald Trump.

Democrats on the ballot will be: former first lady, U.S. Secretary of State and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Left off the ballot was Republican Jim Gilmore, the former governor of Virginia who has run a largely invisible campaign.

The leaders of the Michigan Republican and Democratic parties have until Nov. 17 to add the names of other candidates to the list for their party. And other potential candidates not on the SOS list or submitted by the state parties can gather enough signatures — 10,577 for Republicans and 12,823 for Democrats, which is calculated based on the number of votes in the last presidential election — to qualify for the March 8 ballot...

Dems to vote for president at statewide primary in 2016


For the first time in 24 years, Michigan Democrats will choose their pick for President at a statewide primary election next year.

The party has used caucuses, online voting and a contested primary in 2008 when not all candidates appeared on the ballot. But for this presidential cycle, the party will throw their lot in with Republicans and the state Legislature, which has already approved a presidential primary election for March 8, 2016.

The state will run and pay for the election at a cost of about $10 million.

At stake are 152 delegates and 11 alternates, who will be chosen based on the number of votes each presidential candidate receives in the election. Those delegates will go the Democratic National Convention where the party’s nominee for President will be officially chosen.

While Michiganders don’t have to declare a party preference when they register to vote, they will have to ask for a Democratic or Republican ballot for the presidential primary. Those selections are a matter of public record....

Weekend Economists Debate: Which Came First? The Incredible, Edible Egg November 27-29, 2015

Speaking logically, the change from dinosaur to bird must have occurred in stages as the DNA recombined and different switches were triggered in each generation of eggs. I get a kick out of thinking that chickens are the descendants of dinosaurs...in fact, if one considers how much of the bush meat "tastes like chicken" then aside from mammals, fish and shellfish, everything else is dinosaur-derived.

Specifically, the chicken is traced back to Tyrannosaurus Rex, the great predator.


Researchers revealed yesterday how they analysed molecules from a fossilised T-rex bone – and found close links between the King of the Dinosaurs and the modern farmyard fowl. Experts managed to extract tissue from the 68 million-year-old bone. They then used a sophisticated technique called mass spectroscopy to compare T-rex’s collagen with dozens of bird and animal species. The study showed that at the molecular level, T-rex was much more like a chicken or ostrich than a modern alligator or lizard.

Expert Dr John Asara said: “We determined that T-rex grouped with birds – ostrich and chicken – better than any other organism that we studied.

“We also showed that it groups better with birds than modern reptiles such as alligators and lizards.”

More research will be needed to confirm the findings. But the study – carried out at America’s Harvard University and published in the journal Science – adds new weight to the theory that some dinosaurs evolved into birds. Evolutionary biologist Dr Chris Organ, who led the study, said: “We were able to establish these relationships with a relatively high degree of support.”

Dr Organ’s team also carried out a similar analysis of protein taken from the fossilised bone of a mastodon that died at least 160,000 years ago. That study showed close similarities between the extinct mastodon and modern elephants.

T. Rex Related to Chickens April 12, 2007


An adolescent female Tyrannosaurus rex died 68 million years ago, but its bones still contain intact soft tissue, including the oldest preserved proteins ever found, scientists say.

And a comparison of the protein's chemical structure to a slew of other species showed an evolutionary link between T. rex and chickens, bolstering the idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs.

The collagen proteins were found hidden inside the leg bone of the T. rex fossil, according to two studies published in the April 13 issue of the journal Science. Collagen is the main ingredient of connective tissue in animals and is found in cartilage, ligaments, tendons, hooves, bones and teeth. It yields gelatin and glue when boiled in water.

"I mean can you imagine pulling a bone out the ground after 68 million years and then getting intact protein sequences?" said John Asara of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, lead author of one of the studies. "That's just mind boggling how much preservation there is in these bones."

The previous record holder for the oldest protein tissue belonged to collagen found in a 100,000- to 300,000-year-old mammoth bone.

The new finding will be viewed skeptically, admitted one of the researchers involved in the two studies. "It's very, very, very controversial because most people have gone on record saying there's an absolute time limit to anything that's protein or DNA," said Mary Schweitzer, a molecular paleontologist at North Carolina State University

Matthew Carrano, a dinosaur curator at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in either study, said the protein findings are robust. "Here are the pieces of the protein. If you're going to refute this you have to explain how these pieces got in there," Carrano said in a telephone interview.

"It's not another molecule mimicking the protein and giving off a similar signal. This is the actual sequence."

Bone basics

The T. rex leg bone, which looks like a giant drumstick, was unearthed by Jack Horner of the Museum of the Rockies in 2003 in the Hell Creek Formation, a fossil-packed area that spans Montana, Wyoming and North and South Dakota.

In 2005, Schweitzer and her colleagues reported they had found evidence for soft, stretchy tissue sealed inside the dinosaur's fossilized femur. The finding made headlines, but was also questioned by some experts.

The hard stuff of bones is all that usually remains when a dead organism is buried beneath layers of earth. Usually, microbes devour all the easy-to-access soft tissue. So finding relatively intact soft tissue was a major claim.

"For centuries it was believed that the process of fossilization destroyed any original material, consequently no one looked carefully at really old bones," Schweitzer said.

To gather her evidence, Schweitzer ran chemical analyses, finding the tissue reacted with antibodies from collagen taken from chicken and other avian tissues. Also, images from high-powered microscopes revealed a repeating series of thin stripes characteristic of collagen fibers.

Asara then ran the tiny samples through a mass spectrometer, a machine that measures mass and charge of individual molecules, finding the relic tissue was indeed collagen.

Dinosaur-bird link

A comparison by Asara's team of the amino-acid sequence from the T. rex collagen to a database of existing sequences from modern species showed it shared a remarkable similarity to that of chickens. Amino acids are the molecular building blocks of proteins; there are 20 of them used by organisms to build proteins, and their precise order is determined by instructions found in DNA.

"I'm grateful that he was able to get the [amino acid] sequences out. That's the Holy Grail," Schweitzer told LiveScience.

This finding supports the idea that chickens and T. rex share an evolutionary link and bolsters previous research showing that birds evolved from dinosaurs and that birds are living dinosaurs.

"Here we have a real molecule from a real dinosaur, and it's much more similar to a bird than it is to anything else," Carrano said.

The discovery will open the door for a suite of studies once thought off limits in the field of paleontology. For instance, proteins could supply more direct evidence about evolutionary links between living and extinct organisms.

"Protein sequences often reflect little bits of the evolutionary history of animals, how they are different or similar among groups," Carrano said. "This can provide information for extinct animals on how they are related through evolution to living groups of animals if we could pull out these kinds of molecules."

Plus, the process of fossilization remains somewhat of a mystery. "This is a really valuable window into [fossilization] because here you have some of the original material preserved," Carrano said.

"We would never have asked a question that required this information in the past and that shut the whole door on those avenues of research. And now they are potentially open to us," Carrano said.

Scientists being the kind of people who do not leave well enough alone, it was only a matter of time...

The Jurassic Park scientist who plans to turn a chicken into T Rex 25 Oct 2011


In a lab in the Montana Rockies, the palaeontologist who advised Spielberg on the making of 'Jurassic Park' tells Nick Collins how he is using genetics to create a modern-day dinosaur.

... The discovery that birds are descended from dinosaurs means it should be possible to reverse the changes made by evolution and return them, bit by bit, to a more dinosaur-like state. "For a long time I wanted to have a pet dinosaur, or something like it," Horner tells me when I visit his lab at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana. "Jurassic Park was about trying to create a dinosaur, to bring it back. We have learnt that birds are dinosaurs, so I don't have to really do that. But if you look at a bird, it doesn't look like a dinosaur, so we have to modify them. The 'Dino Chicken' project is really a project to modify a bird by some simple genetic engineering to make it look more like a dinosaur."


Hunting for DNA in Doggerland, an Ancient Land Beneath the North Sea


...Archaeologists began looking at remote sensing data that these companies had gathered while seeking oil and gas. They had a 3D seismic dataset that shows distinct layers. “Imagine just cutting a nice big cake,” Gaffney says. “You can see the layers of sponge and cream—and of course on the bottom there’s oil in there somewhere.” The energy companies only care about the very bottom of the cake, but Gaffney and his colleagues focused on a layer closer to the frosting. Based on studies that had dated the sediment, they knew that between 30 and 50 meters under the sea floor lay the former surface of Doggerland.

Tracing this layer of sediment, the team mapped about 17,000 square miles of the drowned and buried country—an area, Gaffney says, “slightly larger than Holland.” In its topography they’ve found hills, coastlines, lakes and rivers. “But it’s a map without people at the moment, or animals or plants,” Gaffney says. That’s where the project’s next phase comes in.

The European Research Council recently awarded a team led by Gaffney a €2.5 million grant—about $2.6 million. Soon the scientists will head to sea. But they plan to do a lot more than just make maps. They’ll follow two of the country’s sunken river beds, taking core samples in search of pollen, fossils, insect remains, and other signs of life.

They’ll also hunt for ancient DNA. This technique is still new and somewhat controversial. In a paper in the journal Science last February, members of the same team described DNA they’d dug up at Bouldnor Cliff, a submerged site off the Isle of Wight. They found evidence of wheat from 8,000 years ago—about 2,000 years before farming arrived in mainland Britain. Other researchers argued that the wheat DNA must have been modern contamination. In the Doggerland samples, the team will look for DNA from crops or even domestic animals like sheep and goats. Gaffney says the findings might help identify the best spots to search for human archaeology—evidence of cleared areas, burning, or environments that would have made ideal settlements.

The samples will cover about 5,000 years of Doggerland’s history, from around 10,000 BC until the sea swallowed it...

Mathew D. Rose: The Ordeal of Angela Merkel

By Mathew D. Rose, a freelance journalist in Berlin


...During the financial crisis, Ms Merkel did what big business asked of her: bailed out the banks, letting the taxpayer foot the bill, and the state pumped further billions into the automobile industry. This seemed to have done the trick and seemed to have restored her fortunes.

Then in 2009 Merkel committed her first cardinal error, appointing Wolfgang Schäuble as finance minister. Schäuble is a man characterised by spiteful hate, belief in German superiority and fervent loyalty to Germany’s wealthy. He was instrumental to the introduction of austerity in Germany and Europe, which encompassed all these qualities. While China, the United States, Britain to name a few, spent vast amounts to stimulate their economies, Germany abstained, enjoying the free ride. When in 2009 many European banks, including those in Germany, fell into a financial abyss, it was the high priest of austerity, Schäuble, and his acolytes who transubstantiated this into a sovereign debt crisis driving nations like Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy to the financial brink, replacing democratically elected governments by decree and attacking one of Europe’s great achievements, its social welfare system.

Schäuble saved German, French, British and other banks from collapse and provided a discredited neo-liberalism with a fillip, but he also drove millions of Europeans into penury, many to an early death for lack of adequate medical attention, not to mention suicide. The crisis however was great stuff for Germany, which enjoyed the trade advantages of a weak Euro, inexpensive labour from Europe’s newly created army of unemployed and cheap borrowing on the bond markets. Add to this the sinking real incomes of the previous ten years in Germany and you have a recipe for financial success at the cost of everyone else: destructively high current account surpluses.

While the question of austerity and Europe’s and Germany’s anaemic economic recovery was reduced to an academic war of words, Merkel committed her first major error: Ukraine. One does not need to be a foreign affairs expert to know that peace and stability in Europe depends on the integration of Russia. The two sides had made great progress in the previous quarter century. Ukraine could have been a further stepping stone in this process as a trade hub between the EU and Russia. German hubris, having been declared the “leader of Europe” due to its financial predominance, and historic German racism with regard to Slavs, led Merkel to inanely join the US attack upon Russia by prying Ukraine loose from its traditional bond with its eastern neighbour, instead of doing what Europe traditionally does so well in such situations: mediating a compromise to its own advantage.

One should also not forget that what oil was to the intervention in Iraq, fertile agricultural land is to Ukraine. The German media went into war propaganda mode. The result was a botched affair: a new war in Europe, a failed state, a loss of Russian trade and the need to subsidise a corrupt oligarchy for many years to come. Still, it was “mission accomplished”. Most Germans once again had the feeling of having an existential threat on its eastern frontier and with Vladimir Putin possessed a devil incarnate. Life was once again “in Ordnung” as the Germans would say...


Meet The Man Who Funds ISIS: Bilal Erdogan, The Son Of Turkey's President


Russia's Sergey Lavrov is not one foreign minister known to mince his words. Just earlier today, 24 hours after a Russian plane was brought down by the country whose president three years ago said "a short-term border violation can never be a pretext for an attack", had this to say: "We have serious doubts this was an unintended incident and believe this is a planned provocation" by Turkey. But even that was tame compared to what Lavrov said to his Turkish counterparty Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier today during a phone call between the two (Lavrov, who was supposed to travel to Turkey, has since canceled such plans). As Sputnik transcribes, according to a press release from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lavrov pointed out that, "by shooting down a Russian plane on a counter-terrorist mission of the Russian Aerospace Force in Syria, and one that did not violate Turkey’s airspace, the Turkish government has in effect sided with ISIS." It was in this context when Lavrov added that "Turkey’s actions appear premeditated, planned, and undertaken with a specific objective." More importantly, Lavrov pointed to Turkey’s role in the propping up the terror network through the oil trade. Per the Russian statement:

"The Russian Minister reminded his counterpart about Turkey’s involvement in the ISIS’ illegal trade in oil, which is transported via the area where the Russian plane was shot down, and about the terrorist infrastructure, arms and munitions depots and control centers that are also located there."

Others reaffirmed Lavrov's stance, such as retired French General Dominique Trinquand, who said that "Turkey is either not fighting ISIL at all or very little, and does not interfere with different types of smuggling that takes place on its border, be it oil, phosphate, cotton or people," he said.

The reason we find this line of questioning fascinating is that just last week in the aftermath of the French terror attack but long before the Turkish downing of the Russian jet, we wrote about "The Most Important Question About ISIS That Nobody Is Asking" in which we asked who is the one "breaching every known law of funding terrorism when buying ISIS crude, almost certainly with the tacit approval by various "western alliance" governments, and why is it that these governments have allowed said middleman to continue funding ISIS for as long as it has?" Precisely one week later, in even more tragic circumstances, suddenly everyone is asking this question. And while we patiently dig to find who the on and offshore "commodity trading" middleman are, who cart away ISIS oil to European and other international markets in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars, one name keeps popping up as the primary culprit of regional demand for the Islamic State's "terrorist oil" - that of Turkish president Recep Erdogan's son: Bilal Erdogan.

His very brief bio:

Necmettin Bilal Erdogan, commonly known as Bilal Erdogan (born 23 April 1980) is the third child of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the current President of Turkey.

After graduating from Kartal Imam Hatip High School in 1999, Bilal Erdogan moved to the US for undergraduate education. He also earned a Masters Degree in John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2004. After graduation, he served in the World Bank as intern for a while. He returned Turkey in 2006 and started to his business life. Bilal Erdogan is one of the three equal shareholders of "BMZ Group Denizcilik ", a marine transportation corporation.


In the next few days, we will present a full breakdown of Bilal's various business ventures, starting with his BMZ Group which is the name implicated most often in the smuggling of illegal Iraqi and Islamic State through to the western supply chain, but for now here is a brief, if very disturbing snapshot, of both father and son Erdogan by F. William Engdahl, one which should make everyone ask whether the son of Turkey's president (and thus, the father) is the silent mastermind who has been responsible for converting millions of barrels of Syrian Oil into hundreds of millions of dollars of Islamic State revenue.

By F. William Engdahl, posted originally in New Eastern Outlook:

Erdogan's Dirth Dangerous ISIS Games

More and more details are coming to light revealing that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, variously known as ISIS, IS or Daesh, is being fed and kept alive by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish President and by his Turkish intelligence service, including MIT, the Turkish CIA. Turkey, as a result of Erdogan’s pursuit of what some call a Neo-Ottoman Empire fantasies that stretch all the way to China, Syria and Iraq, threatens not only to destroy Turkey but much of the Middle East if he continues on his present path.

In October 2014 US Vice President Joe Biden told a Harvard gathering that Erdogan’s regime was backing ISIS with “hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons…” Biden later apologized clearly for tactical reasons to get Erdogan’s permission to use Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base for airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, but the dimensions of Erdogan’s backing for ISIS since revealed is far, far more than Biden hinted.

ISIS militants were trained by US, Israeli and now it emerges, by Turkish special forces at secret bases in Konya Province inside the Turkish border to Syria, over the past three years. Erdogan’s involvement in ISIS goes much deeper. At a time when Washington, Saudi Arabia and even Qatar appear to have cut off their support for ISIS, they remaining amazingly durable. The reason appears to be the scale of the backing from Erdogan and his fellow neo-Ottoman Sunni Islam Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu.

Nice Family Business

The prime source of money feeding ISIS these days is sale of Iraqi oil from the Mosul region oilfields where they maintain a stronghold. The son of Erdogan it seems is the man who makes the export sales of ISIS-controlled oil possible.

Bilal Erdogan owns several maritime companies. He has allegedly signed contracts with European operating companies to carry Iraqi stolen oil to different Asian countries. The Turkish government buys Iraqi plundered oil which is being produced from the Iraqi seized oil wells. Bilal Erdogan’s maritime companies own special wharfs in Beirut and Ceyhan ports that are transporting ISIS’ smuggled crude oil in Japan-bound oil tankers.

Gürsel Tekin vice-president of the Turkish Republican Peoples’ Party, CHP, declared in a recent Turkish media interview, “President Erdogan claims that according to international transportation conventions there is no legal infraction concerning Bilal’s illicit activities and his son is doing an ordinary business with the registered Japanese companies, but in fact Bilal Erdogan is up to his neck in complicity with terrorism, but as long as his father holds office he will be immune from any judicial prosecution.” Tekin adds that Bilal’s maritime company doing the oil trades for ISIS, BMZ Ltd, is “a family business and president Erdogan’s close relatives hold shares in BMZ and they misused public funds and took illicit loans from Turkish banks.”

In addition to son Bilal’s illegal and lucrative oil trading for ISIS, Sümeyye Erdogan, the daughter of the Turkish President apparently runs a secret hospital camp inside Turkey just over the Syrian border where Turkish army trucks daily being in scores of wounded ISIS Jihadists to be patched up and sent back to wage the bloody Jihad in Syria, according to the testimony of a nurse who was recruited to work there until it was discovered she was a member of the Alawite branch of Islam, the same as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who Erdogan seems hell-bent on toppling.

Turkish citizen Ramazan Bagol, captured this month by Kurdish People’s Defence Units,YPG, as he attempted to join ISIS from Konya province, told his captors that said he was sent to ISIS by the ‘Ismailia Sect,’ a strict Turkish Islam sect reported to be tied to Recep Erdogan. Baol said the sect recruits members and provides logistic support to the radical Islamist organization. He added that the Sect gives jihad training in neighborhoods of Konya and sends those trained here to join ISIS gangs in Syria.

According to French geopolitical analyst, Thierry Meyssan, Recep Erdogan “organised the pillage of Syria, dismantled all the factories in Aleppo, the economic capital, and stole the machine-tools. Similarly, he organised the theft of archeological treasures and set up an international market in Antioch…with the help of General Benoît Puga, Chief of Staff for the Elysée, he organised a false-flag operation intended to provoke the launching of a war by the Atlantic Alliance – the chemical bombing of la Ghoutta in Damascus, in August 2013. “

Meyssan claims that the Syria strategy of Erdogan was initially secretly developed in coordination with former French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé and Erdogan’s then Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in 2011, after Juppe won a hesitant Erdogan to the idea of supporting the attack on traditional Turkish ally Syria in return for a promise of French support for Turkish membership in the EU. France later backed out, leaving Erdogan to continue the Syrian bloodbath largely on his own using ISIS.

Gen. John R. Allen, an opponent of Obama’s Iran peace strategy, now US diplomatic envoy coordinating the coalition against the Islamic State, exceeded his authorized role after meeting with Erdogan and “promised to create a "no-fly zone" ninety miles wide, over Syrian territory, along the whole border with Turkey, supposedly intended to help Syrian refugees fleeing from their government, but in reality to apply the "Juppé-Wright plan". The Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, revealed US support for the project on the TV channel A Haber by launching a bombing raid against the PKK.” Meyssan adds.

There are never winners in war and Erdogan’s war against Syria’s Assad demonstrates that in bold. Turkey and the world deserve better. Ahmet Davutoglu’s famous “Zero Problems With Neighbors” foreign policy has been turned into massive problems with all neighbors due to the foolish ambitions of Erdogan and his gang.

Turkey’s Shootdown of Russian Jet: What You Need to Know


A U.S. official told Reuters that the Russian jet was inside of Syria when it was shot down:

The United States believes that the Russian jet shot down by Turkey on Tuesday was hit inside Syrian airspace after a brief incursion into Turkish airspace, a U.S. official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

  • Russia denies that the Russian fighter jet – which was bombing ISIS – ever entered Turkish air space, and has put out its own map purporting to prove that claim.

  • The Russian jet pilots who parachutted free of their burning plane were then purportedly killed by Turkish rebels inside Syria. If true, this is a war crime.

  • Then – when a Russian helicopter tried to save the pilots – it was shot down by American-backed Syrian rebels – using weapons provided to them by the United States – and a Russian marine was killed.

    Russia is deploying a warship off the Syrian coast to “destroy any threats to Russian planes”. Many believe this is the start of World War III. While the U.S. and NATO tried to blame Russia, German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel slammed Turkey:

    “This incident shows for the first time that we are to dealing with an actor who is unpredictable according to statements from various parts of the region – that is not Russia, that is Turkey,” Gabriel said, as cited by DPA news agency. He added that Turkey was playing “a complicated role” in the Syrian conflict.

    Indeed, NATO-member Turkey is MASSIVELY supporting ISIS, provided chemical weapons used in the jihadi’s massacre of civilians, and has been bombing ISIS’ main on-the-ground enemy – Kurdish soldiers – using its air force. And some of the Turkish people are also unsympathetic to the victims of ISIS terrorism.Turkey was also instrumental in the creation of ISIS. An internal Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document produced recently shows, the U.S. knew that the actions of “the West, Gulf countries and Turkey” in Syria might create a terrorist group like ISIS and an Islamic CALIPHATE.

    As the former DIA head explained:

    It was a willful decision [by Turkey, the West and Gulf countries] to … support an insurgency that had salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood ….
  • WEE Gather Together in Thanksgiving for November 26,2015

    Markets are closed today, Thursday, and trade on a shortened schedule Friday (only to 1 PM).

    I haven't talked to Tansy about Friday, but this thread will be active both days; The weekend will feature a theme yet to be determined....

    If our native Americans can forgive it, I'd like to be thankful on this designated day for all the blessings which have come my way this year:

    A small dinner for our small family came off very well Wednesday (in spite of suddenly realizing there was no sugar in the apple pies in the oven...the pies look like they were prepared by Dr. Frankenstein, but they smell good. We ate the pumpkin pie for dinner, since it was done first: farmer's market pumpkins peeled, steamed and pureed, then prepared in classic Fanny Farmer recipe. This year's pie pumpkins were rather short on flesh and long on seeds; 3 pie pumpkins only made 4 pies. Since I used a recipe, everything needed went in the first time....and it was good.

    I have new tires and oil, and will get the alignment 7am Friday....the poor guys have been ordered by the owner of the franchise to work starting 7 AM instead of the normal 8 AM, for Friday and Saturday, to make up for Thursday's close.

    Everyone is offering coupons and special deals like crazy: I have never seen such intensity of marketing efforts. But everything is fine...no deflation, no inflation, and unemployment is a new low, just peachy keen.

    The rose on the LittleTree is blooming and quite perfect. The Big Tree has another bud! I must put the fertilizer in the pots. Last weekend's snow is nearly gone, given the sunny days we've been having, but not quite. It was 8 inches, after all.

    We are all in reasonably good shape, and hope you all are too, or will be shortly. As for the greater world, we can only deal with our little part of it, and hope that everyone else is doing their part to defeat the bad guys. Now more than ever, it's a group effort, keeping the world on balance. Let's hope we figure out how, and convince everybody to help.

    I hope you enjoy your feast with your loved ones! Don't eat too much!

    Why this governor just restored voting rights to most felons KY


    Convicted felons had been permanently barred from voting in Kentucky. Until today.
    Gov. Steve Beshear (D) signed an executive order Tuesday that will automatically restore the right to vote and hold public office for the majority of the state’s nonviolent felony offenders. Under the order, voting rights won’t be restored to those who have been convicted of violent crimes, sex crimes, bribery or treason. But about 170,000 people with nonviolent convictions could get the right to vote, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which estimates 220,000 Kentuckians out of prison have been convicted of felonies.

    “The right to vote is one of the most intrinsically American privileges, and thousands of Kentuckians are living, working and paying taxes in the state but are denied this basic right,” Beshear said in a statement. “Once an individual has served his or her time and paid all restitution, society expects them to reintegrate into their communities and become law-abiding and productive citizens. A key part of that transition is the right to vote.”

    Those currently incarcerated or under probation or parole will automatically have their voting rights restored, so long as they have no pending criminal cases, charges, arrests or outstanding court-ordered restitution. People already out of the criminal justice system have to fill out forms to have their voting rights restored, according to the governor’s office. Kentucky has one of the strictest voting laws regarding felons, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Along with three other states, Kentucky doesn’t automatically restore voting rights to felons after they’ve completed their sentence.

    “The old system is unfair,” Beshear said Tuesday, Reuters reported. “We need to be smarter in our criminal justice system. Research shows that ex-felons who vote are less likely to commit new crime and return to prison. That’s because if you vote, you tend to be more engaged in society.”

    ...The order is one of the last salvos for Beshear, who leaves office next month, and it could be rolled back in the future. Governor-Elect Matt Bevin (R) has previously signaled support for restoring voting rights for some felons.


    Hang On to Your Wallet: Negative Interest, the War on Cash and the $10 Trillion Bail-In

    By Ellen Brown / Web of Debt


    In uncertain times, “cash is king,” but central bankers are systematically moving to eliminate that fact. Is it really about stimulating the economy? Or is some deeper, darker threat afoot?

    ...if you’re an ordinary saver with your money in the bank, you may soon be paying the bank to hold your funds rather than the reverse. Four European central banks – the European Central Bank, the Swiss National Bank, Sweden’s Riksbank, and Denmark’s Nationalbank – have now imposed negative interest rates on the reserves they hold for commercial banks; and discussion has turned to whether it’s time to pass those costs on to consumers. The Bank of Japan and the Federal Reserve are still at ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy), but several Fed officials have also begun calling for NIRP (negative rates).

    The stated justification for this move is to stimulate “demand” by forcing consumers to withdraw their money and go shopping with it. When an economy is struggling, it is standard practice for a central bank to cut interest rates, making saving less attractive. This is supposed to boost spending and kick-start an economic recovery. That is the theory, but central banks have already pushed the prime rate to zero, and still their economies are languishing. To the uninitiated observer, that means the theory is wrong and needs to be scrapped. But not to our intrepid central bankers, who are now experimenting with pushing rates below zero.

    Locking the Door to Bank Runs: The Cashless Society

    The problem with imposing negative interest on savers, as explained in the UK Telegraph, is that “there’s a limit, what economists called the ‘zero lower bound’. Cut rates too deeply, and savers would end up facing negative returns. In that case, this could encourage people to take their savings out of the bank and hoard them in cash. This could slow, rather than boost, the economy.”


    Again, to the ordinary observer, this would seem to signal that negative interest rates won’t work and the approach needs to be abandoned. But not to our undaunted central bankers, who have chosen instead to plug this hole in their leaky theory by moving to eliminate cash as an option. If your only choice is to keep your money in a digital account in a bank and spend it with a bank card or credit card or checks, negative interest can be imposed with impunity. This is already happening in Sweden
    , and other countries are close behind. As reported on Wolfstreet.com:

    The War on Cash is advancing on all fronts. One region that has hogged the headlines with its war against physical currency is Scandinavia. Sweden became the first country to enlist its own citizens as largely willing guinea pigs in a dystopian economic experiment: negative interest rates in a cashless society. As Credit Suisse reports, no matter where you go or what you want to purchase, you will find a small ubiquitous sign saying “Vi hanterar ej kontanter” (“We don’t accept cash”) . . . .



    Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt. Her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her 300+ blog articles are at EllenBrown.com. Listen to “It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown” on PRN.FM.

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