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News: "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." John 5:39 (KJB)
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August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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1  General Category / War On Family / Re: Global push for same-sex marriage on: December 06, 2013, 05:00:59 am

What is being pawned off on our children and grandchildren in public schools is the story that to be homosexual or lesbian is just another normal alternative lifestyle.

Any of you, who have children in public schools, it would behoove you to print out the following and mail it to the principal of your child's school, with a little note stating:

I don't know if the students at (name of school) are being indoctrinated that homosexuality is just another normal alternative lifestyle. If you have been, then you should print out the following and have it passed out to your students, as the truth must be told in order to preserve their health and avoid cutting off about 15-20 years of their life span.

If the authorities give you a hard time, I would take my child out of that school and put him/her in a private school, and if you cannot afford it, I would homeschool him/her. And you can tell that to the principal.

Or, you can wait until one day, your child comes home and says, "Mom, I think I'm homosexual."

I just heard that in the Los Angeles school district that the enrollments are considerably down (20-30,000) and has caused much grief to the school hierarchy, as the amount of money received is based on the number of students. Probably because more parents are homeschooling.

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The statistics on homosexuality and its effects
Some statistics about the homosexual lifestyle:

    One study reports 70% of homosexuals admitting to having sex only one time with over 50% of their partners (3).

    One study reports that the average homosexual has between 20 and 106 partners per year (6). The average heterosexual has 8 partners in a lifetime.

    Many homosexual sexual encounters occur while drunk, high on drugs, or in an **** setting (7).

    Many homosexuals don't pay heed to warnings of their lifestyles: "Knowledge of health guidelines was quite high, but this knowledge had no relation to sexual behavior" (16).

    Homosexuals got homosexuality removed from the list of mental illnesses in the early 70s by storming the annual American Psychiatric Association (APA) conference on successive years. "Guerrilla theater tactics and more straight-forward shouting matches characterized their presence" (2). Since homosexuality has been removed from the APA list of mental illnesses, so has pedophilia (except when the adult feels "subjective distress") (27).

    Homosexuals account for 3-4% of all gonorrhea cases, 60% of all syphilis cases, and 17% of all hospital admissions (other than for STDs) in the United States (5). They make up only 1-2% of the population.

    Homosexuals live unhealthy lifestyles, and have historically accounted for the bulk of syphilis, gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, the "gay bowel syndrome" (which attacks the intestinal tract), tuberculosis and cytomegalovirus (27).

    73% of psychiatrists say homosexuals are less happy than the average person, and of those psychiatrists, 70% say that the unhappiness is NOT due to social stigmatization (13).

    25-33% of homosexuals and lesbians are alcoholics (11).

    Of homosexuals questioned in one study reports that 43% admit to 500 or more partners in a lifetime, 28% admit to 1000 or more in a lifetime, and of these people, 79% say that half of those partners are total strangers, and 70% of those sexual contacts are one night stands (or, as one homosexual admits in the film "The Castro", one minute stands) (3). Also, it is a favorite past-time of many homosexuals to go to "cruisy areas" and have anonymous sex.

    78% of homosexuals are affected by STDs (20).

    Judge John Martaugh, chief magistrate of the New York City Criminal Court has said, "Homosexuals account for half the murders in large cities" (10).

    Captain William Riddle of the Los Angeles Police says, "30,000 sexually abused children in Los Angeles were victims of homosexuals" (10).

    50% of suicides can be attributed to homosexuals (10).

    Dr. Daniel Capron, a practicing psychiatrist, says, "Homosexuality by definition is not healthy and wholesome. The homosexual person, at best, will be unhappier and more unfulfilled than the sexually normal person" (10). For other psychiatrists who believe that homosexuality is wrong, please see National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.

    It takes approximately $300,000 to take care of each AIDS victim, so thanks to the promiscuous lifestyle of homosexuals, medical insurance rates have been skyrocketing for all of us(10).

New York gGay parade

Close-up of one of the New York "Gay Parades"

    Homosexuals were responsible for spreading AIDS in the United States, and then raised up violent groups like Act Up and Ground Zero to complain about it. Even today, homosexuals account for well over 50% of the AIDS cases in the United States, which is quite a large number considering that they account for only 1-2% of the population.

    Homosexuals account for a disproportionate number of hepatitis cases: 70-80% in San Francisco, 29% in Denver, 66% in New York City, 56% in Toronto, 42% in Montreal, and 26% in Melbourne (8).

    37% of homosexuals engage in sadomasochism, which accounts for many accidental deaths. In San Francisco, classes were held to teach homosexuals how to not kill their partners during sadomasochism (8).

    41% of homosexuals say they have had sex with strangers in public restrooms, 60% say they have had sex with strangers in bathhouses, and 64% of these encounters have involved the use of illegal drugs (8).

    Depending on the city, 39-59% of homosexuals are infected with intestinal parasites like worms, flukes and amoebae, which is common in filthy third world countries (8).

    The median age of death of homosexuals is 42 (only 9% live past age 65). This drops to 39 if the cause of death is AIDS. The median age of death of a married heterosexual man is 75 (8).

    The median age of death of lesbians is 45 (only 24% live past age 65). The median age of death of a married heterosexual woman is 79 (8).

    Homosexuals are 100 times more likely to be murdered (usually by another homosexual) than the average person, 25 times more likely to commit suicide, and 19 times more likely to die in a traffic accident (8).

    21% of lesbians die of murder, suicide or traffic accident, which is at a rate of 534 times higher than the number of white heterosexual females aged 25-44 who die of these things(8).

    50% of the calls to a hotline to report "queer bashing" involved domestic violence (i.e., homosexuals beating up other homosexuals) (18).

    About 50% of the women on death row are lesbians (12). Homosexuals prey on children.

    33% of homosexuals ADMIT to minor/adult sex (7).

    There is a notable homosexual group, consisting of thousands of members, known as the North American Man and Boy Love Association ( NAMBLA). This is a child molesting homosexual group whose cry is "SEX BEFORE 8 BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE." This group can be seen marching in most major homosexual parades across the United States.

    Homosexuals commit more than 33% of all reported child molestations in the United States, which, assuming homosexuals make up 2% of the population, means that 1 in 20 homosexuals is a child molestor, while 1 in 490 heterosexuals is a child molestor (19).

    73% of all homosexuals have had sex with boys under 19 years of age (9).

    Many homosexuals admit that they are ****s: "The love between men and boys is at the foundation of homosexuality" (22).

    Because homosexuals can't reproduce naturally, they resort to recruiting children. Homosexuals can be heard chanting "TEN PERCENT IS NOT ENOUGH, RECRUIT, RECRUIT, RECRUIT" in their homosexual parades. A group called the "Lesbian Avengers" prides itself on trying to recruit young girls. They print "WE RECRUIT" on their literature. Some other homosexuals aren't as overt about this, but rather try to infiltrate society and get into positions where they will have access to the malleable minds of young children (e.g., the clergy, teachers, Boy Scout leaders, etc.) (8). See the DC Lesbian Avengers web page, and DC Lesbian Avengers Press Release, where they threaten to recruit little boys and girls. Also, see AFA Action Alert.

The homosexual agenda

    The homosexual agenda includes desensitizing the public: "The first order of business is desensitization of the American public concerning gays and gay rights.....To desensitize the public is to help it view homosexuality with indifference instead of with keen emotion. Ideally, we would have straights register differences in sexual preferences the way they register different tastes for ice cream or sports games....At least in the beginning, we are seeking public desensitization and nothing more. We do not need and cannot expect a full 'appreciation' or 'understanding' of homosexuality from the average American. You can forget about trying to persuade the masses that homosexuality is a good thing. But if only you can get them to think that it is just another thing...then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won" (25).

    Part of the homosexual agenda is to get the public to affirm their filthy lifestyle, as one homosexual admitted in the October 1987 homosexual rally on Washington: "We are no longer seeking just a right to privacy and a protection from wrong. We also have a right -- as heterosexual Americans already have -- to see government and society affirm our lives" (27).

    Part of the homosexual agenda is to turn people from Christianity: "The teaching that only male-female sexual activity within the bounds and constraints of marriage is the only acceptable form should be reason enough for any homosexual to denounce the Christian religion" (1).

    Homosexuals knowingly lied (and still lie) about the 10% figure (i.e., homosexuals make up 10% of the population). As Tom Stoddard (formerly of the Lambda Legal Defense Fund) said, "We used that figure when most gay people were entirely hidden to try to create an impression of our numerousness" (17).

The true number of homosexuals

    The Kinsey study of 1948, which homosexuals often cite to say that 10% of the population is homosexual, actually says that only 4% of the population is exclusively homosexual. This study involved a disproportionate number of people who had been in jail for sex crimes (hardly a random sample of the population). Kinsey also did perverse studies involving young boys and ****s.

gays playing in public

"Gays" at a public manifestation in New York

    Current research shows that the true percentage of homosexuals is in the 1-2% range. Consider how small this number is when compared to most of the numbers above.

Homosexuals aren't discriminated against in employment, so why should they be a protected class?

    The average yearly income of a homosexual is $55,430.00 (most of which is disposable because no children to take care of!). The average of the general population is $32,144.00. The average of blacks is $12,166.00 (24).

    59.6% of homosexuals are college graduates. 18.0% of the general population are college graduates (24). Too bad they aren't smart enough to listen to God. "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:22).

    49.0% of homosexuals hold professional/managerial positions. 15.9% of the general population hold such positions (24).

Where's the job discrimination?


    (1) Advocate, 1985.
    (2) Bayer, R. Homosexuality and American Psychiatry.
    (3) Bell, A. and Weinberg, M. Homosexualities: a Study of Diversity Among Men and Women. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1978.
    (4) Cameron et. al. ISIS National Random Sexuality Survey. Nebraska Med. Journal, 1985, 70, pp. 292-299.
    (5) "Changes in Sexual Behavior and Incidence of Gonorrhea." Lancet, April 25, 1987.
    (6) Corey, L. and Holmes, K. "Sexual Transmission of Hepatitis A in Homosexual Men." New England J. Med., 1980, pp. 435-38.
    (7) Family Research Institute, Lincoln, NE.
    (8) Fields, Dr. E. "Is Homosexual Activity Normal?" Marietta, GA.
    (9) Jay and Young. The Gay Report. Summit Books, 1979, p. 275.
    (10) Kaifetz, J. "Homosexual Rights Are Concern for Some," Post-Tribune, 18 December 1992.
    (11) Kus, R. "Alcoholics Anonymous and Gay America." Medical Journal of Homosexuality, 1987, 14(2), p. 254.
    (12) Lesbian News, January 1994.
    (13) Lief, H. Sexual Survey Number 4: Current Thinking on Homosexuality, Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, 1977, pp. 110-11.
    (14) Manlight, G. et. al. "Chronic Immune Stimulation By Sperm Alloantigens." J. American Med. Assn., 1984, 251(2), pp. 237-438.
    (15) Morton-Hunt Study for Playboy
    (16) MsKusick, L. et. al. "AIDS and Sexual Behavior Reported By Gay Men in San Francisco." Am. J. Pub. Health, 1985, 75, pp. 493-96.
    (17) Newsweek, February 1993.
    (18) Newsweek, 4 October 1993.
    (19) Psychological Reports, 1986, 58, pp. 327-37.
    (20) Rueda, E. The Homosexual Network. Old Greenwich, Conn., The Devin Adair Company, 1982, p. 53.
    (21) San Francisco AIDS Foundation, "Can We Talk."
    (22) San Francisco Sentinel, 27 March 1992.
    (23) Science Magazine, 18 July 1993, p. 322.
    (24) Statistical Abstract of the U.S., 1990.
    (25) "The Overhauling of Straight America." Guide Magazine. November, 1987.
    (26) United States Census Bureau
    (27) United States Congressional Record, June 29, 1989.
    (28) University of Chicago's Nation Research Corp.
    (29) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition, American Psychiatric Association, 1994.
2  General Category / Health / Re: Mark Halperin: Obamacare Contains "Death Panels" on: December 06, 2013, 04:48:34 am
I'd be doing better without hearing news like that. Peace be unto you and your family and friends.

35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:35-39 (KJB)

Personally, I'm doing better than I was a couple months ago. Had double by-pass surgery back in August after my third heart attack. Thank you Jesus! For more details, check out the thread...


Thank you for the kind thoughts. I'm sorry that you had to go through that experience and it's good to hear you are feeling well and getting better.
3  General Category / Weather/Earthquakes/Global Science Hoax's / Re: Dr. Helen Caldicott On the Dangers of Fukushima and Radiation - Planet Killer. on: December 06, 2013, 04:43:55 am
Based on prophecy, we know Fukushima won't kill the planet, but I do think it's playing a part in the end times "beginnings of sorrows".

True - It's also one more thing that shows man can't rule over man or rules man to his own injury.
4  General Category / Weather/Earthquakes/Global Science Hoax's / Dr. Helen Caldicott On the Dangers of Fukushima and Radiation - Planet Killer. on: December 03, 2013, 08:55:30 pm

5  General Category / Health / Re: Mark Halperin: Obamacare Contains "Death Panels" on: December 03, 2013, 08:38:10 pm
Wow, been a long time Charrington.

Hey Kilika,

My wife passed away with Cancer Feb of this year.. been kind hard on us all, really didn't think of anything but saving her. How are you?
6  General Category / Health / Mark Halperin: Obamacare Contains "Death Panels" on: November 27, 2013, 10:39:43 pm
7  General Category / Jehovah Witness / Re: Split From: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:" - The JW Pitch on: June 06, 2012, 04:26:13 pm
It's funny Dok that you blame PPF of doing the exact same things you do personally - Good luck with that Wink
8  General Category / Fellowship / Re: Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible on: June 06, 2012, 04:24:38 pm
I don't see any contradiction, so it means what it says.

In Mark, Jesus dies the day after--the actual day of Passover after eating the Passover meal and spending the night in jail. In John, in chapter 19, it was the day of preparation. Both at different times of day.
9  General Category / Jehovah Witness / Split From: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:" - The JW Pitch on: June 06, 2012, 03:52:07 pm
[Moderator's Note: This thread was split from the original due to it's off topic false doctrine being promoted, rather than delete it, it has been moved to a more appropriate board.]


Really? Who said this?

Jas 1:1 Iames a seruant of God, and of the Lorde Iesus Christ, to the twelue Tribes, which are scattered abroade, salutation.


uhm, your believing and posting false doctrine.

Oh Mark is Dok - that explains it Smiley

This is typical of the worldly religions and shows neither understanding, spirituality or respect for others. I think it's quite possible for a real Christian to have a discourse without acting like were still in pre-school don't you? So why don't we approach it from an adult Christian's point of view. If you make a mistake about someones religious beliefs you don't have to attack them when you are told you are wrong and change the subject.

Where are they today? Can you point them out for us? No, you can't, they don't exist. Why is that? Because that's "spiritual" (for lack of a better description) Israel not physical Israel that is being talked about and I'm really glad you bring that particular scripture up.

I don't think you really understand it's intent but I do think you can understand this: Matthew 21:43 -  Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

The Jews are no longer the chosen people that was taken from them, haven't been for a long time, it's hard to miss that particular scripture. The curtain rent and the ark removed in 70AD God no longer stood by Israel and out of a Gentile nation - From all nations a people would be chosen for his name. It's in revelations among others, but you should know this right?
And Romans 9:6-8 -  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:...

Revelation 21:1-4 - And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  Where does it say "New Jerusalem" is coming from? All over? Israel? Earth? No, heaven. It's a spiritual place now not a physical location.  

Romans 9:24-25 - Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

The Jehovah's Witness organization teaches that not all members of their group can take communion. Only the 144,000 members called the "anointed class" have the right to take Communion and they are the only ones who go to heaven.1 In fact, the 144,000 "anointed class" within the Jehovah's Witnesses are the only ones who are "born again."
The Watchtower, Feb. 15th, 1985, p. 13

I've actually seen a few partake in the memorial - it's not a "communion" (that's a catholic invention) nor does it use that word in the WT, I'm looking right at it. Personally I only know that they THINK they are one of the 144k. Are they really? I don't know however we personally feel about it we respect their thoughts on it. I have personal opinions about those yet I give them the same respect I'd give you with your personal beliefs even if I don't agree. Technically as a matter of Biblical principal the 144k are the only ones that should be partaking.

Nowhere in the article does it say as you have stated "organization teaches that not all members of their group can take communion."

What they teach is not everyone is of that class and if you are not you SHOULD not partake of those emblems - So what you are saying, again isn't taught as a JW and is NOT in the WT as you are stating. I've seen partake and I can't say I would think they are of that class, but who am I to judge and that is how ALL JW's handle that particular issue. All of us bar none.

Just for the record here Dok - that article says nothing about being "born again" nor does it use the words "born again". That's you adding that to the conversation incorrectly probably just a misunderstanding I'm sure...  I know you wouldn't deliberately lie. I'm pretty sure this comment stems from your personal belief in what born again means (we don't agree on that subject either). What church do you attend again?

144k are the only ones to go to heaven yes, they are the ones that rule as kings and priests with Jesus for 1000 years. Who do they rule over? The earthly great crowd.

Let me share that article with everyone so they can see also.

Jesus said, “This means my body.” In saying these words, Jesus put a special meaning on the loaf—it was a symbol of his own sinless fleshly body that he gave “in behalf of the life of the world.” (John 6:51) Similarly, when he said respecting the cup of wine, “This means my ‘blood of the covenant,’ . . . poured out . . . for forgiveness of sins,” he was using the fermented wine in the cup as a symbol of his own blood. This blood was to be the basis for putting into operation “a new covenant.” His shed blood was also going to be a means of providing “forgiveness of sins.”—Matthew 26:28; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Hebrews 9:22.

What, then, is implied on the part of those who partake of the bread and the wine during the Memorial celebration? The act itself demonstrates to the partakers, and to onlookers, that they have already benefited from the ransom sacrifice of Christ Jesus, but in a special way and for a special purpose. How does this work out? On the basis of their faith in Christ’s sacrifice and their dedication to Jehovah, God credits them with the merit of Jesus’ human sacrifice. For what purpose? So that they can have imputed to them human perfection and thus have a righteous standing before God. Jehovah then begets these by his holy spirit and they become his spiritual sons. They are now in a position to sacrifice their right to live on earth in return for a heavenly inheritance. All of this has taken place before they share in the Lord’s Supper.—Romans 5:1, 2, 8; 8:15-17; James 1:18.

Consider now what else is implied by drinking the wine. Although Jehovah has imputed righteousness to his spiritual sons and has adopted them as sons, they are still in the imperfect flesh. They are yet prone to sin and they recognize this. In drinking the wine, they thereby acknowledge their daily dependence on the blood of Christ Jesus, which has been “poured out in behalf of many for forgiveness of sins.”—1 John 1:9, 10; 2:1.

There is still something else, however, that is implied by drinking the wine. The partakers testify that they have been brought into the “new covenant” that Jehovah long ago foretold through the prophet Jeremiah. This covenant was made operational by the blood of Jesus. The parties to that covenant are Jehovah God and his spiritual sons, who collectively make up spiritual Israel. Each member is chosen by God. Jesus is the Mediator of the covenant, by which he assists those 144,000 covenant members to become part of the seed of Abraham. (Jeremiah 31:31-34; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 8:10, 12; 12:22-24; Galatians 3:29) These are also the ones that Jesus takes into a ‘covenant for a kingdom.’ As a result, they will eventually be used along with their King Jesus Christ to channel Jehovah’s blessings of life to all the families of the earth.—Luke 22:28-30; John 6:53; Revelation 5:9, 10; Genesis 22:15-18.

- The Watchtower, Feb. 15th, 1985, p. 13

It's funny I've know you for a while and I see you post against the Mosaic law being valid yet you are still following it here by saying the Jews are still God's chosen people. That covenant was replaced and gentiles were allowed in. God no longer had a plan for physical Israel under the New Covenant, Galatians 3:26-29, Jeremiah 31:31

What Church do you attend Dok and what ideology is it that you subscribe to and don't be afraid I don't intend to use it to criticize you or your beliefs like other spiritual illiterates do.
10  General Category / Gospel of Jesus Christ / Re: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:" on: June 06, 2012, 11:19:23 am
uhm, the text states that. no way around it sorry. 12,000 from each tribe, each tribe of Israel. so, uhm, unless your changing the Word of God, than it is a false teaching.

Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: [and there were] sealed an hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of them, which were sealed, and there were sealed an hundreth and foure and fourtie thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

I am a JW my Friend and I can tell you first hand what they believe and don't believe. If you ask me I will gladly tell you and I love sharing with you guys.

JW's believe there are 144,000 of the anointed that are going to be saved. they also believe there are many more that will be saved called "the great crowd" as brought out in Revelation and as it says .. it can't be numbered. I'm sure that scripture is also tempered by the fact that Jesus said that not all would enter into is kingdom. So, JW's do believe there will be more (a lot more) then just 144k saved.

The tribes of Israel don't exist anymore - are you suggesting they will be recreated at some point in time? I know JW's don't feel that way.
11  General Category / Gospel of Jesus Christ / Re: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:" on: June 06, 2012, 11:07:35 am
Its actually not, as there are way more than 144,000 people that will be saved and JW only believe that they are the 144,000 JEWS.  Cheesy funny how there are more than 144000 JW and very few of them are actually Jewish. So sorry but it isnt scriptual at all.

I'm glad I'm here to dispel misconceptions for you in that case. What you are saying above is clearly extremely wrong.

As you put it way more then 144,000 people will be saved. (all JW's believe this to be true also) - they do not believe that all of the 144,000 are Jews. And this is actually what I was commenting on above

So as you can see you have a lot to learn about JW's as what you have said is completely wrong and inaccurate. Pretty funny indeed. To me it's really sad that people perpetuate such erroneous information without ever really looking in to it.

A. it's just spreading false rumors which I'm sure no Christian want's to do.
B. A person learns nothing and looks foolish.
 But now you don't have to because I can answer directly to any question about them and you can get it first hand.
12  General Category / Gospel of Jesus Christ / Re: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:" on: June 06, 2012, 10:51:33 am
That is JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES teaching. Are you a Jehovah's Witness?

Yes Mark, I thought everyone knew that and it's actually scriptural teaching not one that just JW's have.
13  General Category / Health / FDA Proposes Up to 30,000 Nutritional Supplements Be Removed From the Marketplac on: June 06, 2012, 10:47:03 am
FDA Proposes Up to 30,000 Nutritional Supplements Be Removed From the Marketplace With the NDI Draft.

ANAHEIM, Calif., March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Alliance for Natural Health USA (ANH-USA), a national grassroots advocacy group based in Washington, DC committed to natural and sustainable healthcare, estimates that between 15,000 and 30,000 nutritional supplements will be permanently removed from the marketplace if FDA is able to implement its New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) Draft Guidance for the supplement industry. "The Natural Products Expo West is an outstanding opportunity for ANH-USA to connect with the 58,0000 attendees of world's largest natural and organic products trade show and ask them to help protect access to vitamin supplements," said Gretchen DuBeau, executive and legal director of ANH-USA.

At issue is the NDI draft guidance, which if implemented, would have disastrous effects on the entire natural health community. A report commissioned by ANH-USA estimates that the proposed FDA regulation would cost nutritional supplement manufacturers and distributors up to $6.1 billion just to meet the onerous new requirements. The report also found that if the new rules are implemented, 52.5% of nutritional supplements currently on the market would be banned from sale, at an annual loss of up to $14.7 billion. "One thing is certain," DuBeau stated. "If the FDA adopts its NDI draft guidance, the disastrous impacts will be felt throughout the entire community--manufacturers, retailers, health practitioners, and consumers will have far fewer choices and far higher costs."

DuBeau noted that many natural health consumers, practitioners, and industry representatives have already voiced their concern. Since the NDI draft guidance was introduced last year, 400,000 messages were sent to Congress and FDA through ANH-USA's efforts. "But we're only just ramping up our efforts. We look forward to the support, the insights, and most important of all, the assistance of the world's largest natural and organic products trade show and its 58,000 attendees," stated DuBeau.

Visit the Alliance for Natural Health USA at the Natural Product Expo West Booth #5914 to learn more about how you can help protect our access to nutritional supplements.

About the Alliance for Natural Health USA (ANH-USA) www.anh-usa.org

The Alliance for Natural Health USA is part of an international organization dedicated to promoting natural, sustainable healthcare through good science and good law. We protect the right of natural health practitioners to practice, and the right of consumers to choose the healthcare options and treatment modalities they prefer, including complementary and alternative medicine. As a membership-based organization, we unite consumers, practitioners, and industry to speak with a common voice and have worked since 1992 to shift the medical paradigm from an exclusive focus on surgery, drugs and other conventional techniques to an "integrative" approach incorporating food, dietary supplements and lifestyle changes.

Company: Alliance for Natural Health USAAddress: 1350 Connecticut Ave NW, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20036Email: office@anh-usa.orgTelephone: 202-467-1986 Fax: 202.315.5837Website: http://www.anh-usa.org/

14  General Category / Bible Study / Re: THE WESTCOTT AND HORT ONLY CONTROVERSY on: June 06, 2012, 12:36:18 am
Texas Megachurch Quits Using NIV Over 'Accuracy Concerns'

The leader of a large Baptist church in Texas has announced that his congregation will no longer be using the NIV due to “accuracy concerns.”

Pastor Gregg Matte of Houston’s First Baptist Church recently made the announcement, deciding that the church would use the Holman Christian Standard Bible instead.

“Upon review of the changes made to the NIV, Pastor Gregg believes that it is no longer as accurate in terms of reflecting the meaning of the original biblical texts,” reads the church’s website.

“Members and guests are welcome to use any translation of their choice – during the worship services, in Life Bible Studies, or for personal study of God's Word.”

As the debate over the effectiveness of the translation continues, some Texas pastors have drawn similar conclusions about the latest NIV translation as Matte.

Andrew Werley, lead pastor for Jersey Village Baptist Church, also located in Houston, told CP that he has also felt that the NIV 2011 has “drifted.”

“I believe the TNIV or the NIV 2011 revision has drifted from what I would consider a true literal translation,” said Werley.

“As a communicator of God’s Word I want the bible I use to be as accurate as possible to the literal intent of the authors.”

Werley, whose church prefers the English Standard Version 2001, felt that pastors must “be sensitive to the Bible translation we use and promote.”

“I believe FBC Houston has incredible pastoral leadership and I know their decision was made in the best interest of their city, congregation and convictions,” said Werley.

“As a partner with them in trying to reach our city for Christ, I am happy to stand with them in their conviction to do what they believe is best for their church and their mission.”

The latest translation of the New International Version was released last year by the Committee for Bible Translation. It sparked controversy over allegations of being too gender neutral, with the Southern Baptist Convention in particular voicing opposition.

CBT claimed that it left 95 percent of the NIV (1984) alone in its changes and also revised many of the initial gender neutral phrases in certain verses.

The NIV 2011 also changed the wording of verses pertaining to homosexuality, with the CBT saying that it was done to clarify certain passages regarding the matter.


Some of this is so very interesting because the NIV follows what they call "350 years of king James tradition" and they differ when others call them on it publicly refer back to the KJV - it's really kind of a circlejerk.
15  General Category / Fellowship / Re: How do I respond to this? on: June 06, 2012, 12:31:09 am
So, did Jesus go below or not?  Did He not go to bring with Him all the dead from Abraham's Bosom?  This is getting really confusing for me.

I share Marks opinion in part on the subject - there is a difference in the translations of the word Hell - really if someone is trying to defend hellfire doctrine, it's not going to work out very well.

Hell is the common grave of man. The Hebrew she’ohl′ and its Greek equivalent hai′des, refer to a grave or pit, that is the literal translation. Compendious Hebrew Lexicon and Greek lexicons also point this out.

Jesus died and as such he was in Hell as defined by the literal translation "grave" - so yes Jesus was in the grave (hell). There's a lot more to discuss on the subject but I'm sure you'd want to keep within your own teachings and understandings regardless of the translated meanings, so I'll just point out they are probably using a precise understandings of those words less any external doctrines.

16  General Category / Fellowship / Re: Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible on: June 05, 2012, 11:42:18 pm
I've read many such books and had public debates on them. - I would say it's more of "The Reliability of Biblical History(ies)" then really discrepancies. I believe their are none.

I have one for you - see if you know the correct answer.

In Mark , chapters 11-16 - In this rendition Jesus dies on passover day the morning after the passover meal and it says he was put to the stake at 9 O'clock in the morning. Jesus then dies on the day of passover, the morning after the passover meal was eaten.

In John's account - Pontius Pilate sentences Jesus to death at about noon , the day of preparation of the passover. (John 19:14)

These two scriptures seem to be at odds with each other as to the actually time and day.

To many Apostates and atheists alike this has Jesus dying on two different days and times - however, there is an answer that is correct that disproves this.
17  General Category / Gospel of Jesus Christ / Re: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:" on: June 05, 2012, 11:27:01 pm
He was talking to which fold at the time? The anointed - he was telling them they were not the only sheep he had.

Couple of things:

The covenant that God made with Abraham sets out the, long-range purpose of God to bless people out of all nations through the seed of Abraham. The sheepfolds that Jesus spoke of in John the 10th chapter are features within the outworking of God’s purpose revealed in the Abrahamic covenant.

In Revelation 14:1-3:

And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.

2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

These are referred to as the "Little flock" who gain the heavenly Kingdom. (Luke 12:32) So then he also said: “ And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:16)

The “other sheep” are persons who, during these last days, are being gathered within God’s provision for eternal life on earth on the basis of their faith in the sacrificial value of Jesus’ blood. They are the same as the “great crowd” of Revelation 7:9, 10, 14, and so they have the prospect of surviving the coming great tribulation.

Rev 7:

9  After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

They come out of all nations etc... world wide (ALL NATIONS).

14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

They make it through the Great Tribulation. They are the earthly survivors.

18  General Category / The Economic Collapse / Re: International Forecaster Bob Chapman dead on: June 05, 2012, 10:46:57 pm
I had no idea he had cancer.
19  General Category / Police State/NWO / Utah police forced a catheter into a man to obtain a urine sample. on: June 05, 2012, 10:44:13 pm
The police applied for a warrant and it was granted–so this is not a case of rogue police acting on their own.  I was aware that the police can forcibly remove blood from DUI suspects but I had not heard of this outrageous procedure.  Will have more on this later.

Video: www.policemisconduct.net/forced-catheterization/
20  General Category / GMO/Monsanto / Meet the Corporate Front Groups Fighting to Make Sure You Can't Know What's Food on: June 02, 2012, 10:46:50 pm
Here's a partial lineup of hired guns and organizations behind the anti-labeling advertising blitz soon to hit the California airwaves.


What do a former mouthpiece for tobacco and big oil, a corporate-interest PR flack, and the regional director of a Monsanto-funded tort reform group have in common?

They’re all part of the anti-labeling PR team that will soon unleash a massive advertising and PR campaign in California, designed to scare voters into rejecting the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.

In November, California voters will vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on a law to require mandatory labeling of all GMO ingredients in processed foods, and ban the routine industry practice of mislabeling foods containing GMO ingredients as ‘natural.’

Polls show that nearly 90% of the state’s voters plan to vote ‘yes.’  But when November rolls around, will voter support still be strong? Not if the biotech, agribusiness, and food manufacturers industries can help it.

It’s estimated that the opposition will spend $60 million - $100 million to convince voters that GMOs are perfectly safe. They’ll try to scare voters into believing that labeling will make food more expensive, that it will spark hundreds of lawsuits against small farmers and small businesses, and that it will contribute to world hunger.  None of this is true. On the contrary, studies suggest just the opposite.

Here’s what is true: The opposition has lined up some heavy-hitters and industry-funded front groups -- masquerading as “grassroots” organizations -- to help spin their anti-labeling propaganda machine.

You have the right to know what’s in your food. You also have the right to know who is working tirelessly to prevent you from ever having that right – and who is signing their paychecks.  Here’s a partial lineup of hired guns and organizations behind the anti-labeling advertising blitz soon to hit the California airwaves:

Tom Hiltachk: Monsanto’s Man in California

Tom Hiltachk is the PR gunslinger behind the Coalition Against the Costly Food Labeling Proposition (CACFLP), an anti-labeling front group. A partner at the Sacramento-based lobbying firm Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, Hiltachk is no stranger to front groups. With a little help from his friends at Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds, he helped organize the Californians for Smokers’ Rights group to fight anti-smoking initiatives in the 1980s and 1990s. He also helped form the Californians for Fair Business Policy – a so-called “grassroots” organization, but actually a front group to mobilize business opposition to anti-smoking initiatives. That organization was funded by an “academic” front group – the Claremont Institute – which was in turn funded by tobacco companies.

Hitachk also has ties to Big Oil, including a colorful history with California’s Proposition 23, a conservative-backed ballot initiative launched – and defeated – in 2010. The initiative, supported by Big Oil, would have repealed California’s clean energy and climate laws. Hiltachk was initially an ally of Ted Costa, a veteran right-wing activist behind many conservative initiatives, including Prop 23, and head of the group People’s Advocate. But that relationship soured, according to ThinkProgress.org, when Costa realized that Hiltachk’s main motivation was to funnel the $50 million that he hoped would be raised from oil companies and the Chamber of Commerce to himself and his friends.

Coalition Against Costly Food Labeling Proposition: Looking out for consumers’ financial well being?

The Coalition Against Costly Food Labeling Proposition (CACFLP) runs a website called stopcostlyfoodlabeling.com, giving the impression that this is a group concerned about protecting consumers’ wallets. But the website lists only one consumer group in its coalition – Consumers Coalition of California. A search of the IRS.gov site turns up nothing on this group. According to the coalitions’ 2009 990-Form published on Guidestar.org, this Torrance, Calif.-based coalition describes itself as “Research and oriented community education studies and info for residential and small businesses advocating on issues affecting major legislation.” The group has no website. No other national or California-based consumer groups are listed on the CACFLP site.

CACFLP’s website does list some powerhouse coalition members, however, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), whose members also include Monsanto, BASF, Bayer, Dow and Syngenta as well as many large food processors and supermarket chains, and the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) , whose members include Monsanto, BASF, Bayer, Dow and Syngenta. Both groups are based in Washington DC. As of March, the GMA and the CBI had contributed a combined $625,000 to the CACFLP – presumably to “protect” consumers from GMO labeling. Both groups have publicly opposed this initiative.

Monsanto recently made the following statement in support of CACFLP:

    Monsanto is part of a growing coalition of California farmers, food producers, grocers, retailers, and others which has been formed to oppose the California measure. As a member of both GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) and BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization), we support the organizations' involvement in the California campaign to oppose the costly and extreme measure.

Kathy Fairbanks: Voice of the people?

Kathy Fairbanks wants consumers to believe she’s on their side when she warns them that requiring labels on GMO foods will raise their grocery bills. Yet since when has she fought for the little guy? A glance at her resume reveals a long list of pro-corporate gigs, including some involving illegal donations and questionable practices.

In 2010, Fairbanks worked for the Californians for Fair Auto Insurance Rates - C-FAIR - an insurance industry front group set up by billionaire Mercury Insurance executive George Joseph. C-FAIR launched a California ballot initiative, Prop 17, to raise rates on consumers who had been without coverage - despite a voter-approved law banning the practice. Fairbanks' work on the 2010 ballot initiative was investigated in a San Francisco Bay Guardian piece called "Buying Power: How PG&E and Mercury Insurance Are Spending Millions to Try to Trick Californians into Voting for Corporate Interests," and a San Diego Union Tribune article, "Insurer Veils Its Funding of Measure: Literature for Prop. 17 Omits Mercury's Millions."

During the initiative battle, the state Department of Insurance accused Mercury of illegal practices, including unfairly denying coverage and charging discriminatory rates to motorists who were not at fault in accidents, were members of the armed forces or worked in certain professions.  It found Mercury had a "lengthy history of serious misconduct" and an attitude of "contempt toward and/or abuse of its customers, the [insurance] commissioner, its competition and the Superior Court." Mercury paid $300,000 to settle the allegations.

Fairbanks also worked on the wrong side of consumers on the following pro-big business campaigns:

    In 2008: spokesperson for the opposition to Prop 7, a California ballot measure to require half the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025.
    In 2006: helped defeat Proposition 82 which would have provided credentialed teachers to 150,000 4-year-olds living in the city, funded through tax increases on individuals earning more than $400,000 a year, and on couples making more than $800,000 a year.
    In 2005: spokesperson for Steve Poizner's Campaign for State Insurance Commissioner , whose funding was controlled by Poizner, a wealthy Silicon Valley Republican. The fund was required to return $1.75 million in illegal donations made by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his campaign committee.

Fairbanks also worked for the California Chamber of Commerce, in 1999, when the Chamber was spending $2.4 million per legislative session on lobbying.  The list of bills she urged Gov. Davis to veto included a bill that would have increased workers compensation benefits, and one that would have allowed employees to use up to half of their annual sick leave to stay home and care for sick family members. She also opposed limiting the expansion of Big Box stores and barring businesses from using revenues from state contracts for anti-union activities.

Maryann Marino and the California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA): Defending small farmers?

Maryann Marino is the Southern California regional director of California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA), which according to Public Citizen is one of many so-called "lawsuit abuse" groups throughout the country that are part of a national, corporate-backed network of front groups that receive substantial financial and strategic assistance from the tobacco industry and some of America's biggest corporations.

According to Public Citizen, “These groups masquerade as grassroots citizens groups spontaneously manifesting citizen anger against so-called ‘lawsuit abuse.’ The groups aim to incite public scorn for the civil justice system, juries and judges, and to pave the way for enactment of laws immunizing corporations from liability for actions that harm consumers.”

Sure enough, Marino recently told KABC-TV, Los Angeles, the GMO labeling initiative is “not really about the right to know, but rather the right to sue.”

In 2000, the Center for Justice and Democracy issued a report on CALA which unmasked "funding by self-serving mega-corporations that secretly spawned a national network of fake citizens’ organizations," said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook. "These so-called citizens groups are doing the bidding of the corporate funders and are pushing at all levels to deny Americans access to the courtroom and to create a legal environment that shields corporate wrongdoers from accountability."

American Tort Reform Association (ATRA): Champion of food safety?

Maryann Marino’s organization, CALA,  is a state chapter of the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) – which receives substantial financial and strategic assistance from the tobacco industry and America's biggest corporations, including Philip Morris, Dow Chemical (currently seeking approval for Agent Orange Corn), Exxon, General Electric, Aetna, Geico and Nationwide.

ATRA now keeps its membership secret, but according to a 1993 American University Law Review article by P.R. Sugarman, Monsanto Chemical Company, RJR/Nabisco, E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company were among just a few of the companies and industry trade association members.  According to "Justice For Sale: Shortchanging the Public Interest for Private Gain," a 1993 report by the Alliance for Justice, "The ATRA is made up of corporation trade groups such as the National Association of Manufacturers, the Chemical Manufacturers Association, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association -- thus giving corporations a decoy and accomplice group two full steps removed from their board rooms."

In 2008, the last time they made the names of any of their members public, a list of "sample members" included Kraft Foods Inc., the 3rd largest packaged food company in the U.S. Kraft opposes GMO labels, but defends its use of GMOs.

In return for Monsanto's support, ATRA has been a relentless cheerleader for the company's lawlessness.

ATRA applauded Monsanto for skirting plaintiffs' claims for medical monitoring after Monsanto was found to have been knowingly polluting the small town of Anniston, Alabama, with dangerous levels of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). (The residents surrounding the Monsanto plant were predominantly minorities. The first lawsuit, brought in state court, went to trial and the jury found Monsanto guilty of a variety of torts, including negligence, nuisance and trespass. This case was eventually folded into a similar federal case, concluding in a global settlement fining Monsanto $700 million for its egregious behavior toward the Anniston residents.)

ATRA's publication, Judicial Hellholes, in a post titled, "Food Eaters 1, Uncompetitive Organics Industry 0," calls atrazine, the infamous endocrine-disrupting pesticide, "a safe and widely used weed killer."

Neither CALA nor ATRA have voiced concern about Monsanto suing farmers in 143 different patent infringement lawsuits when their crops were unintentionally contaminated with Monsanto's GMOs.  Marino does, however, have a problem with farmers getting together to bring one lawsuit against Monsanto to stop the harassment.

Find our Common Ground: Advocating for moms and regular folks?

The newly launched website, Find Our Common Ground, may not fit in the heavy-hitter category, but it’s another example of a thinly veiled attempt by a group to look as if it’s working for small farmers, gardeners, and health-conscious folks.  The group also has a facebook page, to help spread its folksy message.

The message? Direct from the group’s website:

    Consumers aren’t getting the real story about American agriculture and all that goes into growing and raising their food. We’re a group of volunteer farm women and we plan to change that by doing something extraordinary. Our program is called CommonGround and it’s all about starting a conversation between women who grow food, and the women who buy it. It’s a conversation based on our personal experience as farmers, but also on science and research. Our first goal is to help consumers understand that their food is not grown by a factory. It’s grown by people and it’s important to us that you understand and trust the process. We hope you’ll join in the conversation.

The message maker? A quick search on Wois.com reveals that Osborn Barr Communications, a PR company with ties to - who else? - Monsanto – owns the domain name. Osborn Barr specializes in agriculture and rural communities and is used to create front groups for their clients.  In 2006, Monsanto hired Osborn Barr to work on the controversial recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone issue, so Osborn Barr set up American Farmers for Advancement and Conservation of Technology (AFACT), a pro-rbGH farmer front group.

There will be no lack of creativity and certainly no lack of money spent to defeat the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. There should also be no lack of scrutiny when it comes to who is spreading the anti-GMO labeling message.

Alexis Baden-Mayer is Political Director of the Organic Consumers Association.

Ronnie Cummins is founder and director of the Organic Consumers Association. Cummins is author of numerous articles and books, including "Genetically

21  General Category / Police State/NWO / Israeli MP Calls for Sending All Human Rights Activists to Work Camps on: June 01, 2012, 09:56:15 pm
“All human rights activists should be imprisoned and transported to camps we are building.”

It’s a stark quote made all the starker by coming during an immigration committee meeting in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. The quote is from MP Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich, a member of the ruling coalition with the Kadima Party.

Israel has been caught up in the latest of its myriad imagined “existential threats” lately, this time centering around illegal immigration. Black migrants are the targets, and in Tel Aviv MPs whipped up a riot that had ralliers beating Africans in the streets.

Since then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for the mass arrest of the black “infiltrators,” saying that they could “cause the negotiation of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state,” even though their numbers are estimated at less than 1 percent of Israel’s overall population. Israel started building prison-work-camps based on a 2009 proposal, that would have them trading manual labor for food and “shelter” inside the prison.

And this is where Shamalov-Berkovich enters into things, as a member of the “Lobby for Citizens Affected by Illegal Infiltrators.” She blasted human rights groups today on the floor of the Knesset who have been criticizing both the camps and the riots, terming them “hypocrites” and insisting that given half a chance they’d create a massive work camp system of their own to imprison the Ultra-Orthodox. “I would imprison them all for incitement and for pitting Jews against Jews,” she added.

Shamalov-Berkovich insisted that Israel’s illegal blacks “are living like animals” and that they are “compromising the security of the state and its citizens.” Even given the Israeli government’s extremely far-right positions, it would be politically difficult (and diplomatically costly) for them to mass arrest every single human rights activist and force them into work camps.

22  General Category / Police State/NWO / The White House Unveils New Cyber-Security Strategy on: June 01, 2012, 12:04:01 pm
In the article “World War 3.0” in this months Vanity Fair magazine, Michael Joseph Gross lays out the stakes in what he describes as “ a new global conflict that could split the virtual world as we know it.” The spectacular piece tells of a decades old battle over who should have the power to control the Internet. Essentially, World War 3 has begun, and it’s not a conventional war, it’s a cyberwar. It’s a war for the future of the Internet and everything that touches it.

Gross describes the war for the Internet as “inevitable—a time bomb built into its creation. A war grown out of tensions that came to a head as the Internet grew to serve populations far beyond those for which it was designed. Originally built to supplement the analog interactions among American soldiers and scientists who knew one another off­-line, the Internet was established on a bedrock of trust: trust that people were who they said they were, and trust that information would be handled according to existing social and legal norms. That foundation of trust crumbled as the Internet expanded. The system is now approaching a state of crisis on four main fronts.”

The timing of the article could not have been better. Earlier this week a massive distributed data harvesting virus known, as “Flame” was uncovered. The software was said to “dwarf Stuxnet in size and sophistication.”  Stuxnet was the malware believed to be behind the cyber-attacks on Iran’s nuclear program in 2009 and 2010. Stuxnet was said to have been written through a partnership between Israel and the United States.

Adding to the cyber-security concerns was an announcement by researchers at Cambridge University who reported the discovery that a Chinese produced microprocessor used extensively by the US military is equipped with a backdoor – allowing the chip to be reprogrammed.

Sergei Skorobogatov of Quo Vadis Labs at Cambridge University describes the flaw. ”If you use this key you can disable the chip or reprogram it at will, even if locked by the user with their own key. This particular chip is prevalent in many systems from weapons, nuclear power plants to public transport. In other words, this backdoor access could be turned into an advanced Stuxnet weapon to attack potentially millions of systems. The scale and range of possible attacks has huge implications for National Security and public infrastructure.”

This morning, at a Washington D.C. summit lead by Howard Schmidt, cyber-security coordinator at the White House, and Janet Napolitano, United States Secretary of Homeland Security, jointly announced a voluntary set of Internet-industry principles designed to prevent and detect botnets as well as a consumer-education campaign about the computer viruses to help combat the threat. Schmidt, in announcing the initiative, said that “the pervasive presence of malware is not the price of doing business.”

Wikipedia describes a botnet as “a collection of compromised computers, each of which is known as a ‘bot’, connected to the Internet. When a computer is compromised by an attacker, there is often code within the malware that commands it to become part of a botnet.”

Schmidt was also joined by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski at the  summit this morning. The Internet-industry principles initiative is being launched in coordination with an FCC/industry partnership on voluntary guidelines already announced by the FCC last March. Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, and other major ISPs have already agreed to participate.

A post on The White House Blog by Schmidt outlines the strategy. In it he writes, “Earlier this month, we gave the green light to two long-awaited Defense Industrial Base (DIB) efforts designed to help companies protect critical information related to Department of Defense programs and missions. The DIB Cybersecurity/Information Assurance (CS/IA) program allows eligible DIB companies and the Government to share cybersecurity information. The Government shares cyber security threat and mitigation information with DIB companies to incorporate into their security practices, and, in turn, DIB companies report known intrusion events that may compromise DOD information to the Government and participates in damage assessments as needed. In addition, DIB enhanced Cyber security Services — a joint DOD-DHS activity and based on lessons learned from the 2011 DIB Pilot — is available as an optional part of the DIB CS/IA program in which the Government will furnish classified information that enables DIB companies or participating commercial service providers to counter additional types of known malicious activity for participating DIB companies. “

I should also note that at the end of the month, Schmidt leaves his post, ending a two and a half year stint during which he was successful in bringing much-needed attention to the federal government’s cybersecurity efforts.

The summit is part of a broader plan by the administration to address a significant recent increase in cyber-warfare / crime activities by a variety of advisories, both government and non-government alike. Today’s summit intends to add further support to a bill sponsored by Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), which would see the Department of Homeland Security in charge of regulating cybersecurity of the nation’s vital systems such as power grids and transportation networks.

Not everybody is happy about the proposed cybersecurity Bill. One of the most vocal opponents is Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) who said on Monday that the Senate’s cybersecurity legislation that is being pushed by Lieberman and Collins is an overreaction to cyber threats and would undermine the privacy rights of American citizens. Wyden said that both the House and Senate bills “subordinate all existing privacy rules and constitutional principles to the poorly defined interest of ‘cybersecurity.’”

Wyden went on to say that there is a false narrative related to this bill, which puts forth the idea that you have to sacrifice one thing to achieve the other. ”There is no sound policy reason to sacrifice the privacy rights of law abiding American citizens in the name of cyber-security, and I will fight any legislation that asks this Senate to make that choice.”

Earlier this week, the Center for Democracy & Technology sent a letter to the Senate expressing its “grave concerns” over the cybersecurity bill calling the bill “as deeply flawed and dangerous to Internet freedom, individual liberty, and privacy.” Twenty one organizations and individuals including American Civil Liberties Union, Reporters Without Borders and Electronic Frontier Foundation have signed the letter.

The various groups have a number of issues with the Bill, mainly what they call “an exemption from all existing privacy and tort laws to allow companies to share communications and records with the government, including those of undefined “malicious cyber actors” even if those personal records are not necessary to describe a cybersecurity threat.”

Regardless of your stance, one thing is for certain. There has never been a worse time for security on the Internet. With battles raging on many fronts, it is an interesting time to be in technology.

23  General Category / General News / Obama ordered wave of cyberattacks against Iran, including Stuxnet on: June 01, 2012, 11:39:12 am
From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program.

Mr. Obama decided to accelerate the attacks — begun in the Bush administration and code-named Olympic Games — even after an element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran’s Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet. Computer security experts who began studying the worm, which had been developed by the United States and Israel, gave it a name: Stuxnet.

At a tense meeting in the White House Situation Room within days of the worm’s “escape,” Mr. Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency at the time, Leon E. Panetta, considered whether America’s most ambitious attempt to slow the progress of Iran’s nuclear efforts had been fatally compromised.

“Should we shut this thing down?” Mr. Obama asked, according to members of the president’s national security team who were in the room.

Told it was unclear how much the Iranians knew about the code, and offered evidence that it was still causing havoc, Mr. Obama decided that the cyberattacks should proceed. In the following weeks, the Natanz plant was hit by a newer version of the computer worm, and then another after that. The last of that series of attacks, a few weeks after Stuxnet was detected around the world, temporarily took out nearly 1,000 of the 5,000 centrifuges Iran had spinning at the time to purify uranium.

This account of the American and Israeli effort to undermine the Iranian nuclear program is based on interviews over the past 18 months with current and former American, European and Israeli officials involved in the program, as well as a range of outside experts. None would allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified, and parts of it continue to this day.

These officials gave differing assessments of how successful the sabotage program was in slowing Iran’s progress toward developing the ability to build nuclear weapons. Internal Obama administration estimates say the effort was set back by 18 months to two years, but some experts inside and outside the government are more skeptical, noting that Iran’s enrichment levels have steadily recovered, giving the country enough fuel today for five or more weapons, with additional enrichment.

Whether Iran is still trying to design and build a weapon is in dispute. The most recent United States intelligence estimate concludes that Iran suspended major parts of its weaponization effort after 2003, though there is evidence that some remnants of it continue.

Iran initially denied that its enrichment facilities had been hit by Stuxnet, then said it had found the worm and contained it. Last year, the nation announced that it had begun its own military cyberunit, and Brig. Gen. Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran’s Passive Defense Organization, said that the Iranian military was prepared “to fight our enemies” in “cyberspace and Internet warfare.” But there has been scant evidence that it has begun to strike back.

The United States government only recently acknowledged developing cyberweapons, and it has never admitted using them. There have been reports of one-time attacks against personal computers used by members of Al Qaeda, and of contemplated attacks against the computers that run air defense systems, including during the NATO-led air attack on Libya last year. But Olympic Games was of an entirely different type and sophistication.

It appears to be the first time the United States has repeatedly used cyberweapons to cripple another country’s infrastructure, achieving, with computer code, what until then could be accomplished only by bombing a country or sending in agents to plant explosives. The code itself is 50 times as big as the typical computer worm, Carey Nachenberg, a vice president of Symantec, one of the many groups that have dissected the code, said at a symposium at Stanford University in April. Those forensic investigations into the inner workings of the code, while picking apart how it worked, came to no conclusions about who was responsible.

A similar process is now under way to figure out the origins of another cyberweapon called Flame that was recently discovered to have attacked the computers of Iranian officials, sweeping up information from those machines. But the computer code appears to be at least five years old, and American officials say that it was not part of Olympic Games. They have declined to say whether the United States was responsible for the Flame attack.

Mr. Obama, according to participants in the many Situation Room meetings on Olympic Games, was acutely aware that with every attack he was pushing the United States into new territory, much as his predecessors had with the first use of atomic weapons in the 1940s, of intercontinental missiles in the 1950s and of drones in the past decade. He repeatedly expressed concerns that any American acknowledgment that it was using cyberweapons — even under the most careful and limited circumstances — could enable other countries, terrorists or hackers to justify their own attacks.

“We discussed the irony, more than once,” one of his aides said. Another said that the administration was resistant to developing a “grand theory for a weapon whose possibilities they were still discovering.” Yet Mr. Obama concluded that when it came to stopping Iran, the United States had no other choice.

If Olympic Games failed, he told aides, there would be no time for sanctions and diplomacy with Iran to work. Israel could carry out a conventional military attack, prompting a conflict that could spread throughout the region.

A Bush Initiative

The impetus for Olympic Games dates from 2006, when President George W. Bush saw few good options in dealing with Iran. At the time, America’s European allies were divided about the cost that imposing sanctions on Iran would have on their own economies. Having falsely accused Saddam Hussein of reconstituting his nuclear program in Iraq, Mr. Bush had little credibility in publicly discussing another nation’s nuclear ambitions. The Iranians seemed to sense his vulnerability, and, frustrated by negotiations, they resumed enriching uranium at an underground site at Natanz, one whose existence had been exposed just three years before.

Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, took reporters on a tour of the plant and described grand ambitions to install upward of 50,000 centrifuges. For a country with only one nuclear power reactor — whose fuel comes from Russia — to say that it needed fuel for its civilian nuclear program seemed dubious to Bush administration officials. They feared that the fuel could be used in another way besides providing power: to create a stockpile that could later be enriched to bomb-grade material if the Iranians made a political decision to do so.

Hawks in the Bush administration like Vice President Dick Cheney urged Mr. Bush to consider a military strike against the Iranian nuclear facilities before they could produce fuel suitable for a weapon. Several times, the administration reviewed military options and concluded that they would only further inflame a region already at war, and would have uncertain results.

For years the C.I.A. had introduced faulty parts and designs into Iran’s systems — even tinkering with imported power supplies so that they would blow up — but the sabotage had had relatively little effect. General James E. Cartwright, who had established a small cyberoperation inside the United States Strategic Command, which is responsible for many of America’s nuclear forces, joined intelligence officials in presenting a radical new idea to Mr. Bush and his national security team. It involved a far more sophisticated cyberweapon than the United States had designed before.

The goal was to gain access to the Natanz plant’s industrial computer controls. That required leaping the electronic moat that cut the Natanz plant off from the Internet — called the air gap, because it physically separates the facility from the outside world. The computer code would invade the specialized computers that command the centrifuges.

The first stage in the effort was to develop a bit of computer code called a beacon that could be inserted into the computers, which were made by the German company Siemens and an Iranian manufacturer, to map their operations. The idea was to draw the equivalent of an electrical blueprint of the Natanz plant, to understand how the computers control the giant silvery centrifuges that spin at tremendous speeds. The connections were complex, and unless every circuit was understood, efforts to seize control of the centrifuges could fail.

Eventually the beacon would have to “phone home” — literally send a message back to the headquarters of the National Security Agency that would describe the structure and daily rhythms of the enrichment plant. Expectations for the plan were low; one participant said the goal was simply to “throw a little sand in the gears” and buy some time. Mr. Bush was skeptical, but lacking other options, he authorized the effort.

It took months for the beacons to do their work and report home, complete with maps of the electronic directories of the controllers and what amounted to blueprints of how they were connected to the centrifuges deep underground.

Then the N.S.A. and a secret Israeli unit respected by American intelligence officials for its cyberskills set to work developing the enormously complex computer worm that would become the attacker from within.

The unusually tight collaboration with Israel was driven by two imperatives. Israel’s Unit 8200, a part of its military, had technical expertise that rivaled the N.S.A.’s, and the Israelis had deep intelligence about operations at Natanz that would be vital to making the cyberattack a success. But American officials had another interest, to dissuade the Israelis from carrying out their own pre-emptive strike against the Iranian nuclear facilities. To do that, the Israelis would have to be convinced that the new line of attack was working. The only way to convince them, several officials said in interviews, was to have them deeply involved in every aspect of the program.

Soon the two countries had developed a complex worm that the Americans called “the bug.” But the bug needed to be tested. So, under enormous secrecy, the United States began building replicas of Iran’s P-1 centrifuges, an aging, unreliable design that Iran purchased from Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani nuclear chief who had begun selling fuel-making technology on the black market. Fortunately for the United States, it already owned some P-1s, thanks to the Libyan dictator, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

When Colonel Qaddafi gave up his nuclear weapons program in 2003, he turned over the centrifuges he had bought from the Pakistani nuclear ring, and they were placed in storage at a weapons laboratory in Tennessee. The military and intelligence officials overseeing Olympic Games borrowed some for what they termed “destructive testing,” essentially building a virtual replica of Natanz, but spreading the test over several of the Energy Department’s national laboratories to keep even the most trusted nuclear workers from figuring out what was afoot.

Those first small-scale tests were surprisingly successful: the bug invaded the computers, lurking for days or weeks, before sending instructions to speed them up or slow them down so suddenly that their delicate parts, spinning at supersonic speeds, self-destructed. After several false starts, it worked. One day, toward the end of Mr. Bush’s term, the rubble of a centrifuge was spread out on the conference table in the Situation Room, proof of the potential power of a cyberweapon. The worm was declared ready to test against the real target: Iran’s underground enrichment plant.

“Previous cyberattacks had effects limited to other computers,” Michael V. Hayden, the former chief of the C.I.A., said, declining to describe what he knew of these attacks when he was in office. “This is the first attack of a major nature in which a cyberattack was used to effect physical destruction,” rather than just slow another computer, or hack into it to steal data.

“Somebody crossed the Rubicon,” he said.

Getting the worm into Natanz, however, was no easy trick. The United States and Israel would have to rely on engineers, maintenance workers and others — both spies and unwitting accomplices — with physical access to the plant. “That was our holy grail,” one of the architects of the plan said. “It turns out there is always an idiot around who doesn’t think much about the thumb drive in their hand.”

In fact, thumb drives turned out to be critical in spreading the first variants of the computer worm; later, more sophisticated methods were developed to deliver the malicious code.

The first attacks were small, and when the centrifuges began spinning out of control in 2008, the Iranians were mystified about the cause, according to intercepts that the United States later picked up. “The thinking was that the Iranians would blame bad parts, or bad engineering, or just incompetence,” one of the architects of the early attack said.

The Iranians were confused partly because no two attacks were exactly alike. Moreover, the code would lurk inside the plant for weeks, recording normal operations; when it attacked, it sent signals to the Natanz control room indicating that everything downstairs was operating normally. “This may have been the most brilliant part of the code,” one American official said.

Later, word circulated through the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Vienna-based nuclear watchdog, that the Iranians had grown so distrustful of their own instruments that they had assigned people to sit in the plant and radio back what they saw.

“The intent was that the failures should make them feel they were stupid, which is what happened,” the participant in the attacks said. When a few centrifuges failed, the Iranians would close down whole “stands” that linked 164 machines, looking for signs of sabotage in all of them. “They overreacted,” one official said. “We soon discovered they fired people.”

Imagery recovered by nuclear inspectors from cameras at Natanz — which the nuclear agency uses to keep track of what happens between visits — showed the results. There was some evidence of wreckage, but it was clear that the Iranians had also carted away centrifuges that had previously appeared to be working well.

But by the time Mr. Bush left office, no wholesale destruction had been accomplished. Meeting with Mr. Obama in the White House days before his inauguration, Mr. Bush urged him to preserve two classified programs, Olympic Games and the drone program in Pakistan. Mr. Obama took Mr. Bush’s advice.

The Stuxnet Surprise

Mr. Obama came to office with an interest in cyberissues, but he had discussed them during the campaign mostly in terms of threats to personal privacy and the risks to infrastructure like the electrical grid and the air traffic control system. He commissioned a major study on how to improve America’s defenses and announced it with great fanfare in the East Room.

What he did not say then was that he was also learning the arts of cyberwar. The architects of Olympic Games would meet him in the Situation Room, often with what they called the “horse blanket,” a giant foldout schematic diagram of Iran’s nuclear production facilities. Mr. Obama authorized the attacks to continue, and every few weeks — certainly after a major attack — he would get updates and authorize the next step. Sometimes it was a strike riskier and bolder than what had been tried previously.

“From his first days in office, he was deep into every step in slowing the Iranian program — the diplomacy, the sanctions, every major decision,” a senior administration official said. “And it’s safe to say that whatever other activity might have been under way was no exception to that rule.”

But the good luck did not last. In the summer of 2010, shortly after a new variant of the worm had been sent into Natanz, it became clear that the worm, which was never supposed to leave the Natanz machines, had broken free, like a zoo animal that found the keys to the cage. It fell to Mr. Panetta and two other crucial players in Olympic Games — General Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Michael J. Morell, the deputy director of the C.I.A. — to break the news to Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden.

An error in the code, they said, had led it to spread to an engineer’s computer when it was hooked up to the centrifuges. When the engineer left Natanz and connected the computer to the Internet, the American- and Israeli-made bug failed to recognize that its environment had changed. It began replicating itself all around the world. Suddenly, the code was exposed, though its intent would not be clear, at least to ordinary computer users.

“We think there was a modification done by the Israelis,” one of the briefers told the president, “and we don’t know if we were part of that activity.”

Mr. Obama, according to officials in the room, asked a series of questions, fearful that the code could do damage outside the plant. The answers came back in hedged terms. Mr. Biden fumed. “It’s got to be the Israelis,” he said. “They went too far.”

In fact, both the Israelis and the Americans had been aiming for a particular part of the centrifuge plant, a critical area whose loss, they had concluded, would set the Iranians back considerably. It is unclear who introduced the programming error.

The question facing Mr. Obama was whether the rest of Olympic Games was in jeopardy, now that a variant of the bug was replicating itself “in the wild,” where computer security experts can dissect it and figure out its purpose.

“I don’t think we have enough information,” Mr. Obama told the group that day, according to the officials. But in the meantime, he ordered that the cyberattacks continue. They were his best hope of disrupting the Iranian nuclear program unless economic sanctions began to bite harder and reduced Iran’s oil revenues.

Within a week, another version of the bug brought down just under 1,000 centrifuges. Olympic Games was still on.

A Weapon’s Uncertain Future

American cyberattacks are not limited to Iran, but the focus of attention, as one administration official put it, “has been overwhelmingly on one country.” There is no reason to believe that will remain the case for long. Some officials question why the same techniques have not been used more aggressively against North Korea. Others see chances to disrupt Chinese military plans, forces in Syria on the way to suppress the uprising there, and Qaeda operations around the world. “We’ve considered a lot more attacks than we have gone ahead with,” one former intelligence official said.

Mr. Obama has repeatedly told his aides that there are risks to using — and particularly to overusing — the weapon. In fact, no country’s infrastructure is more dependent on computer systems, and thus more vulnerable to attack, than that of the United States. It is only a matter of time, most experts believe, before it becomes the target of the same kind of weapon that the Americans have used, secretly, against Iran.

24  General Category / Weather/Earthquakes/Global Science Hoax's / Massive Anti-Govt Protests in Japan Over Fukushima Lies - CNN on: May 31, 2012, 11:34:47 pm
CNN reports massive protests are hitting Japan over continued lies from the government about the Fukushima nuclear meltdown and the failure to protect the public.

This video from CNN reports on the massive protests in Japan due to the people’s mistrust after being lied to over and over again by the government of Japan about the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The latest outrage is over the government’s refusal to stop burning radioactive debris to deal with problems such as massive amounts of radioactive sludge building up in Japan’s sewage systems.

The burning of radioactive debris has led to an ash cloud of nuclear radiation blanketing of Easter Japan with radiation.

But as the video shows, the outrage isn’t just about the radioactive debris but is due the “Japan people feeling they have been kept in the dark about the true extent of the damage from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown” and after a year of lie after lie.

As the report bluntly puts it the”people feel they can no longer trust their government”‘ which is really just a bunch of “bureaucrats just trying to keep a system in place just to keep the country running”


25  General Category / Europe / Spain is currently in a state of 'total emergency'. - The Telegraph on: May 31, 2012, 09:37:46 pm
Spain is currently in a state of 'total emergency'. - The Telegraph

Spain is in a state of 'total emergency', the country’s former prime minister has warned, with Madrid facing punitive borrowing costs and the prospect of needing a Greek-style bail-out.

Felipe González, the country’s elder statesman, said: “We’re in a situation of total emergency, the worst crisis we have ever lived through.”

Global financial markets lurched yesterday at the spectre of the eurozone’s fourth biggest economy being locked out of international capital markets and being unable to fund itself.

Spanish borrowing costs soared, while the Madrid stock market fell 2.6 per cent, the euro sank to a 22-month low against the dollar and the price of Brent crude dropped 2 per cent.

Meanwhile, global investors fled to “safe havens” sending UK bonds to another low. The FTSE 100, however, dropped 1.7 per cent, along with European and American stockmarkets.

The rout on global markets paused briefly around midday when the European Commission published a report calling for radical new support for “sinner states” across the eurozone.

[Related feature: What if Spain or Greece did leave the euro?]

The report said the eurozone should create a “bank union” under which all countries would stand behind stricken banks. The Commission’s top economic official also said he was “ready to consider” relaxing Spain’s deficit reduction targets.

However, stocks and bond markets lurched again when traders realised the ideas were just recommendations and were likely to be dismissed by Berlin anyway.

International confidence in Spain has drained since Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister, announced plans for a €23.5 billion (£18.8 billion) rescue of Bankia, the country’s fourth biggest lender.

Economists have warned that Spain does not have the resources to rescue the bank and Brussels has refused to help. A raft of other Spanish banks are also struggling under toxic property loans. The European Central Bank said savers withdrew €31.44 billion from Spanish banks in April alone.

On Tuesday night, Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, Spain’s central bank governor, resigned abruptly, before testifying to the senate that he had been muzzled to avoid inflaming events. Spanish tax revenues have collapsed, replicating the pattern in Greece. Fiscal revenues have fallen 4.8 per cent over the last year and VAT returns have slumped 14.6 per cent, while the cost of servicing debt has risen by 18 per cent.

Andrew Roberts, credit chief at Royal Bank of Scotland, said Spain was caught in a classic deflationary vice: a rising debt burden on a shrinking economic base. “Once you get into such a negative feedback loop, you can move beyond the point of no return quickly,” he said.

Yesterday Olli Rehn, the EU economic affairs commissioner, said he was “ready to consider” giving Madrid an extra year to cuts its budget deficit from 8.9 per cent to 3 per cent of GDP. However, Mr Rehn said Spain would first have to curb the spending of its regional governments and produce “solid” budget plans for the next two years.

26  General Category / Survival / "The End Game: 2012 And 2013 Will Usher In The End" - The Scariest Presentation on: May 31, 2012, 09:30:35 pm
If Raoul Pal was some doomsday spouting windbag, writing in all caps, arbitrarily pasting together disparate charts to create 200 page slideshows, it would be easy to ignore him. He isn't. The founder of Global Macro Investor "previously co-managed the GLG Global Macro Fund in London for GLG Partners, one of the largest hedge fund groups in the world. Raoul came to GLG from Goldman Sachs where he co-managed the hedge fund sales business in Equities and Equity Derivatives in Europe... Raoul Pal retired from managing client money in 2004 at the age of 36 and now lives on the Valencian coast of Spain, from where he writes." It is his writing we are concerned about, and specifically his latest presentation, which is, for lack of a better word, the most disturbing and scary forecast of the future of the world we have ever seen....

And we see a lot of those.

Consider this:

    We are here...

    We don’t know exactly what is to come, but we can all join the very few dots from where we are now, to the collapse of the first major bank…
    With very limited room for government bailouts, we can very easily join the next dots from the first bank closure to the collapse of the whole European banking system, and then to the bankruptcy of the governments themselves.
    There are almost no brakes in the system to stop this, and almost no one realises the seriousness of the situation.
    The problem is not Government debt per se. The real problem is that the $70 trillion in G10 debt is the collateral for $700 trillion in derivatives…
    Yes, that equates to 1200% of Global GDP and it rests on very, very weak foundations
    From an EU crisis, we only have to join one dot for a UK crisis of equal magnitude.
    And then do you think Japan and China would not be next?
    And then do you think the US would survive unscathed?
    That is the end of the fractional reserve banking system and of fiat money.

    It is the big RESET.

It continues:

    Bonds will be stuck at 1% in the US, Germany, UK and Japan (for this phase).
    The whole bond market will be dead.
    Short selling on bonds - banned
    Short selling stocks – banned
    CDS – banned
    Short futures – banned
    Put options – banned

    All that is left is the Dollar and Gold

It only gets better. We use the term loosely:

    We have around 6 months left of trading in Western markets to protect ourselves or make enough money to offset future losses.
    Spend your time looking at the risks of custody, safekeeping, counterparty etc. Assume that no one and nothing is safe.
    After that…we put on our tin helmets and hide until the new system emerges

And the punchline

    From a timing perspective, I think 2012 and 2013 will usher in the end.



27  General Category / Survival / Doomsday Prepper Sentenced To 21 Months In Federal Prison on: May 31, 2012, 05:28:13 pm
A ‘Doomsday Prepper’ preparing for economic collapse was sentenced to 21 months in prison after show footage was used to gain a warrant and prosecute him for stockpiling destructive devices.

What this report highlights is that if you talk about your preps with anyone but those who will join you at your survival retreat, you are asking for trouble. Let’s say it together… The first rule of Fight Club is…


    -Fight Club Movie 1999 (link)

OpSec, or Operational Security, is an important rule to follow for those who have chosen to prepare for emergencies by stockpiling food, self defense armaments and disaster supplies.

It’s simple, really. Don’t talk about your preparedness supplies unless it is with trusted people with whom you will be working if a worst case scenario comes to pass. Otherwise, if the world around you collapses and your neighbors and acquintances known you have supplies, guess who they will turn to for help. If you deny them help when they come asking, and they have no place else to turn, you can be relatively certain they will do everything in their power to get at your larder – and that means collaborating with those who would do you harm.

The other key reason we don’t talk about our preps, especially the sharing of critical details like what we store and where we store it, is that you are a potential domestic terror suspect with respect to newly disseminated bulletins from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.

Case in point: Alfred C. Dutton, known for his appearance on the National Geographic reality show Doomsday Preppers, was recently convicted of possession of unregistered destructive devices.

Off Grid Survival Reports:

    A number of times in the past, I have warned about how dangerous I think T.V. shows like Doomsday Preppers are to the prepping community. In my opinion, these prepping shows do nothing to help people prepare and are designed to do only one thing – To make Preppers look like complete Wackjobs!

    I hate to say I was right, but it seems the popular reality T.V. show about prepping is now being used to help obtain search warrants and convict preppers of crimes.

    The case in question, involves a man from Kansas who was prepping for an economic collapse scenario. It seems law enforcement officials in Kansas used the T.V. show and images of preppers to not only obtain a warrant for a residents arrest, but also to convict the man of crimes in court.

    Aflred Dutton, a military veteran and self described prepper from Kansas, was convicted last month of making and storing explosive devices. While what he did may have been a crime, this story should serve as a warning to other preppers. USE YOUR RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT WHEN IT COMES TO PREPPING……The fact that you prep can and will be used against you in the court of law.

    The Basis for the Search Warrants states:

        Mr. Dutton, a military veteran, has been preparing for the economic collapse of the world. In addition to gathering a large supply of non-perishable items, he also has a modest collection of firearms and ammunition. And he makes fireworks.

    During the trial, the prosecution played clips from the popular National Geographic Channel show, “Doomsday Preppers”. The prosecution used images of various “crazy ass preppers” from the T.V. show to successfully paint a picture of Mr. Dutton, as someone on the fringe of society that posed an extreme danger to his community.

Doomsday Preppers most certainly put Mr. Dutton on the radar, but his undoing came at the hands of someone he trusted but shouldn’t have:

    The only source of information for the storage unit search warrant came from Joe Scott, Mr. Dutton’s ex-wife’s boyfriend. Mr. Scott often came to Mr. Dutton’s apartment to pick up Mr. Dutton’s daughter for her visitation. During these visits, Mr. Dutton and Mr. Scott discussed firearms, fireworks, and other explosives.


    On August 23, 2011, Mr. Scott went to the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office to tell them about the conversations he had had with Mr. Dutton. Based on Mr. Scott’s information, local law enforcement officer, Captain Lumley, prepared an affidavit supporting the search warrant.

        Joe Scott came to the Greenwood county Sheriff’s Office to report that Alfred Dutton Jr. possibly had explosives. Scott said that on or about August 9th of 2011 he had gone to Dutton’s apartment to pick up a minor child per court visitation. While standing and talking with Dutton he produced a small cylindrical device about the size, Scott thought, of a triple A battery. Dutton asked if he knew what it was and when Joe said he didn’t Dutton told him it was a fuse for a hand grenade.

        During their talk Dutton had said he ordered fuses from the internet and when they arrived and found they were what he wanted he was then going to order Grenade hulls and claymore mine hulls because the fuse worked in either one. When Scott went to pick up the child on August 16th Dutton told him that he could not find the black powder he needed that [sic] to complete the devices and had to order it from Cabela’s website on the internet.

        Scott said when Dutton told him that he ordered the black powder he became concerned for safety reasons of the minor child and public safety of the residents around him in the apartment complex. Scott gave me a package of 20foot safety fuse and told me that Dutton had given it to him just after July 4th of 2010 to “blow stuff up” if he ever needed to, Scott has become concerned because Dutton told him when the government starts to round up citizens he will be one of the first because of his military background.

    Source: Dept. of Justice

Mr. Dutton was subsequently charged with with knowingly possessing destructive devices, more fully described as five incendiary bombs (Count I) and nine grenades (Count II). He was convicted under Federal Law and sentenced to serve 21 months in prison.

As Off Grid Survival points out in their report, Mr. Dutton was breaking the law and there is a likelihood that he was endangering those living in his direct vicinity.

We’re not defending Mr. Dutton’s actions, though we suspect there is many a prepper out there that possess similar incendiary devices (or parts) intended for use to protect one’s property from looters and roaming gangs in the aftermath of a collapse. Likewise, there are preppers out there stockpiling other supplies that may not be fully compliant with the law or have been obtained by circumventing existing state and federal statutes.

As such, what this report highlights is that if you talk about your preps with anyone but those who will join you at your survival retreat, you are asking for trouble.

Let’s say it together…. The first rule of Prep Club is…

28  General Category / General News / Woman Who Couldn’t Be Intimidated by Citigroup Wins $31 Million on: May 31, 2012, 04:27:39 pm
Sherry Hunt never expected to be a senior manager at a Wall Street bank. She was a country girl, raised in rural Michigan by a dad who taught her to fish and a mom who showed her how to find wild mushrooms. She listened to Marty Robbins and Buck Owens on the radio and came to believe that God has a bigger plan, that everything happens for a reason.

She got married at 16 and didn’t go to college. After she had her first child at 17, she needed a job. A friend helped her find one in 1975, processing home loans at a small bank in Alaska. Over the next 30 years, Hunt moved up the ladder to mortgage-banking positions in Indiana, Minnesota and Missouri, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its July issue.

On her days off, when she wasn’t fishing with her husband, Jonathan, she rode her horse, Cody, in Wild West shows. She sometimes dressed up as the legendary cowgirl Annie Oakley, firing blanks from a vintage rifle to entertain an audience. She liked the mortgage business, liked that she was helping people buy houses.

In November 2004, Hunt, now 55, joined Citigroup (C) Inc. as a vice president in the mortgage unit. It looked like a great career move. The housing market was booming, and the New York- based bank, the sixth-largest lender in the U.S. at the time, was responsible for 3.5 percent of all home loans. Hunt supervised 65 mortgage underwriters at CitiMortgage Inc.’s sprawling headquarters in O’Fallon, Missouri, 45 minutes west of St. Louis.
Avoiding Fraud

Hunt’s team was responsible for protecting Citigroup from fraud and bad investments. She and her colleagues inspected loans Citi wanted to buy from outside brokers and lenders to see whether they met the bank’s standards. The mortgages had to have properly signed paperwork, verifiable borrower income and realistic appraisals.

Citi would vouch for the quality of these loans when it sold them to investors or approved them for government mortgage insurance.

Investor demand was so strong for mortgages packaged into securities that Citigroup couldn’t process them fast enough. The Citi stamp of approval told investors that the bank would stand behind the mortgages if borrowers quit paying.

At the mortgage-processing factory in O’Fallon, Hunt was working on an assembly line that helped inflate a housing bubble whose implosion would shake the world. The O’Fallon mortgage machinery was moving too fast to check every loan, Hunt says.
Phony Appraisals

By 2006, the bank was buying mortgages from outside lenders with doctored tax forms, phony appraisals and missing signatures, she says. It was Hunt’s job to identify these defects, and she did, in regular reports to her bosses.

Executives buried her findings, Hunt says, before, during and after the financial crisis, and even into 2012.

In March 2011, more than two years after Citigroup took $45 billion in bailouts from the U.S. government and billions more from the Federal Reserve -- more in total than any other U.S. bank -- Jeffery Polkinghorne, an O’Fallon executive in charge of loan quality, asked Hunt and a colleague to stay in a conference room after a meeting.

The encounter with Polkinghorne was brief and tense, Hunt says. The number of loans classified as defective would have to fall, he told them, or it would be “your asses on the line.”

Hunt says it was clear what Polkinghorne was asking -- and she wanted no part of it.
‘I Wouldn’t Play Along’

“All a dishonest person had to do was change the reports to make things look better than they were,” Hunt says. “I wouldn’t play along.”

Instead, she took her employer to court -- and won. In August 2011, five months after the meeting with Polkinghorne, Hunt sued Citigroup in Manhattan federal court, accusing its home-loan division of systematically violating U.S. mortgage regulations.

The U.S. Justice Department decided to join her suit in January. Citigroup didn’t dispute any of Hunt’s facts; it didn’t mount a defense in public or in court. On Feb. 15, 2012, the bank agreed to pay $158.3 million to the U.S. government to settle the case.

Citigroup admitted approving loans for government insurance that didn’t qualify under Federal Housing Administration rules. Prosecutors kept open the possibility of bringing criminal charges, without specifying targets.
‘Pure Myth’

Citigroup behaving badly as late as 2012 shows how a big bank hasn’t yet absorbed the lessons of the credit crisis despite billions of dollars in bailouts, says Neil Barofsky, former special inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

“This case demonstrates that the notion that the bailed-out banks have somehow found God and have reformed their ways in the aftermath of the financial crisis is pure myth,” he says.

As a reward for blowing the whistle on her employer, Hunt, the country girl turned banker, got $31 million out of the settlement paid by Citigroup.

Hunt still remembers her first impressions of CitiMortgage’s O’Fallon headquarters, a complex of three concrete-and-glass buildings surrounded by manicured lawns and vast parking lots. Inside are endless rows of cubicles where 3,800 employees trade e-mails and conduct conference calls. Hunt says at first she felt like a mouse in a maze.

“You only see people’s faces when someone brings in doughnuts and the smell gets them peeking over the tops of their cubicles,” she says.
Jean Charities

Over time, she came to appreciate the camaraderie. Every month, workers conducted the so-called Jean Charities. Employees contributed $20 for the privilege of wearing jeans every day, with the money going to local nonprofit organizations. With so many workers, it added up to $25,000 a month.

“Citi is full of wonderful people, conscientious people,” Hunt says.

Those people worked on different teams to process mortgages, all of them focused on keeping home loans moving through the system. One team bought loans from brokers and other lenders. Another team, called underwriters, made sure loan paperwork was complete and the mortgages met the bank’s and the government’s guidelines.

Yet another group did spot-checks on loans already purchased. It was such a high-volume business that one group’s assignment was simply to keep loans moving on the assembly line.
Powerful Incentive

Still another unit sold loans to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, the government-controlled companies that bundled them into securities for sale to investors. Those were the types of securities that blew up in 2007, igniting a global financial crisis.

Workers had a powerful incentive to push mortgages through the process even if flaws were found: compensation. The pay of CitiMortgage employees all the way up to the division’s chief executive officer depended on a high percentage of approved loans, the government’s complaint says.

By 2006, Hunt’s team was processing $50 billion in loans that Citi-Mortgage bought from hundreds of mortgage companies. Because her unit couldn’t possibly review them all, they checked a sample.

When a mortgage wasn’t up to federal standards -- which could be any error ranging from an unsigned document to a false income statement or a hyped-up appraisal -- her team labeled the loan as defective.
Missing Documentation

In late 2007, Hunt’s group estimated that about 60 percent of the mortgages Citigroup was buying and selling were missing some form of documentation. Hunt says she took her concerns to her boss, Richard Bowen III.

Bowen, 64, is a religious man, a former Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet at Texas Tech University in Lubbock with an attention to detail that befits his background as a certified public accountant. When he saw the magnitude of the mortgage defects, Bowen says he prayed for guidance.

In a Nov. 3, 2007, e-mail, he alerted Citigroup executives, including Robert Rubin, then chairman of Citigroup’s executive committee and a former Treasury secretary; Chief Financial Officer Gary Crittenden; the bank’s senior risk officer; and its chief auditor.

Bowen put the words “URGENT -- READ IMMEDIATELY -- FINANCIAL ISSUES” in the subject line.

“The reason for this urgent e-mail concerns breakdowns of internal controls and resulting significant but possibly unrecognized financial losses existing within our organization,” Bowen wrote. “We continue to be significantly out of compliance.”
No Change

There were no noticeable changes in the mortgage machinery as a result of Bowen’s warning, Hunt says.

Just a week after Bowen sent his e-mail, Sherry and Jonathan were driving their Toyota Camry about 55 miles (89 kilometers) per hour on four-lane Providence Road in Columbia, Missouri, when a driver in a Honda Civic hit them head-on. Sherry broke a foot and her sternum. Jonathan broke an arm and his sternum.

Doctors used four bones harvested from a cadaver and titanium screws to stabilize his neck.

“You come out of an experience like that with a commitment to making the most of the time you have and making the world a better place,” Sherry says.

Three months after the accident, attorneys from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, a New York law firm representing Citigroup, interviewed Hunt. She had no idea at the time that it was related to Bowen’s complaint, she says.
Home Computer

The lawyers’ questions made her search her memory for details of loans and conversations with colleagues, she says. She decided to take notes from that time forward on a spreadsheet she kept on her home computer.

Bowen’s e-mail is now part of the archive of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a panel created by Congress in 2009. Citigroup’s response to the commission, FCIC records show, came from Brad Karp, chairman of Paul Weiss.

He said Citigroup had reviewed Bowen’s issues, fired a supervisor and changed its underwriting system, without providing specifics.

One change resulting from Bowen’s e-mail affected Bowen himself. He went from managing 220 people to overseeing two, according to the FCIC report. By January 2009, Bowen no longer worked for Citigroup, he told the FCIC.

“More people haven’t come forward because they saw what happened to me,” says Bowen, who’s now an accounting and finance professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. He says Hunt is the exception. “Sherry is an absolutely fantastic lady who knows what she’s doing. She has a conscience. I have the highest regard for her.”
One Person

Bowen declined to comment on the circumstances of his departure from Citigroup. The bank denies any retaliation against him.

After Bowen left, Hunt had only one person she could confide in: her husband. She and Jonathan, 51, met in 1998 at a Minnesota casino. He trained search-and-rescue dogs for a living. They share a love of animals, especially horses. She says she was attracted to his sense of humor. He would quote country songs to make her laugh. They were married in 1999.

When Sherry worked for U.S. Bancorp in Missouri, she and Jonathan bred and raised horses. As members of the Old West Society of Minnesota, the couple performed in re-enactments of 19th-century events, such as the shootout at the O.K. Corral.

Sometimes she dressed up as a society woman, wearing a bustle. When she played Annie Oakley, she wore a buckskin outfit with a bullwhip coiled around her shoulder. She galloped into the arena on her horse -- but never too fast, her husband says.
‘Don’t Get Along’

“Sherry and speed on a horse don’t get along,” he says with a grin.

Every workday for eight years before winning her lawsuit, Sherry Hunt left their house on its 10-acre (4-hectare) lot and drove along a dirt road where cows and horses grazed in pastures. She turned onto a two-lane county highway that passed over a river bridge barely wide enough for two cars. About 45 minutes later, she’d arrive at the office.

After Bowen went public with her findings, Hunt says she was transferred to the quality-control group on April 1, 2008. She went from supervising 65 people to managing none.

“What I saw there was 10 times worse,” she says. “Every time I turned over a rock, I found a snake.”

One place where she uncovered flaws was in the fraud prevention and investigation group. That’s where Hunt’s team shipped questionable loans, with issues such as obviously forged signatures, whited-out income lines on tax forms or misspelled bank names on borrower bank statements.
No Notification

The group was supposed to investigate the mortgages for fraud and notify the FHA within a month when it found it. In November 2009, Hunt says, she came across a list of about 1,000 loans that the quality-control team had identified for possible fraud.

The fraud prevention and investigation group had left some of the mortgages in the queue for more than two years without checking them, Hunt says. Not one notification went to the FHA before July 2011, when the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan issued a subpoena to the O’Fallon office, the government’s complaint says.

In 2009, different teams began feuding, internal e-mails made public in the Justice Department case show. That’s when CitiMortgage created yet another team whose mission was to challenge the findings of Hunt’s quality-control group and persuade her and her colleagues to change their decisions on the suitability of loans.
‘Brute Force’

In November 2010, Ross Leckie, a senior director of CitiMortgage’s retail bank mortgage unit, sent an e-mail ordering his staff to meet its goal of a maximum 5 percent defect rate on home loans. Quality-control employees had identified 10 loans with severe flaws from a pool of 138, Leckie said, for a rate of 7.25 percent.

“Drive this rate down by brute force,” he wrote. “We need three loans to be removed to get to 5.07 percent.”

CitiMortgage defect rates did plummet, according to notes Hunt kept. It wasn’t because there were fewer bad mortgages, she says.

“It’s because they were beating us up over the quality- control reports,” she says.

In late 2010, Hunt began studying the new federal whistle- blower rules that Congress had just enacted in July as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
‘You’ve Had Enough’

The stress had been mounting for Sherry and Jon. Conflicts at the office, the physical pain that lingered from the car wreck and growing anxiety over Citi’s bad mortgages were taking a toll. The Hunts say the laughter they often shared had faded.

Sherry says she drew inspiration from a country song by Rascal Flatts called “Stand.”

“Decide you’ve had enough,” it goes. “You get mad. You get strong. Wipe your hands, shake it off, then you stand.”

Hunt says she pinned the lyrics to her cubicle wall.

“It made me stronger,” she says.

Hunt needed the strength on March 22, 2011. That’s the day Polkinghorne, who was three levels above her in the chain of command, called her and a colleague aside and told them their asses were on the line if the defect rates didn’t fall.

Polkinghorne couldn’t be reached for comment, and Citigroup declined to make him available for an interview.

That night, she and Jon agreed the time had come for her to take a stand. So Hunt decided to follow the first step prescribed by Dodd-Frank: formally complaining to the company. The prospect kept her awake at night.
‘My Life Savings’

“I was ready to give up my career and my life savings to get this done,” she says.

On March 29, 2011, Hunt walked into CitiMortgage’s human resources department in O’Fallon and told them everything: how the bank had been routinely buying and selling bad mortgages for years, how the fraud unit wasn’t doing its job and how the quality-control people were being pressured to change their ratings.

Whistle-blower rules mandate that Hunt had to notify the Securities and Exchange Commission, the government regulator that oversees Citigroup’s mortgage business, within 90 days of reporting her concerns internally.

“I am afraid of what I know,” she wrote the SEC on May 24, 2011. “I do not want to know what I know. I have nothing to gain from coming forward and have no hidden agenda.”

Hunt hired a lawyer, Finley Gibbs of Rotts & Gibbs LLC in Columbia, Missouri. He had represented the Hunts after their car accident. Starting on June 27, 2011, Hunt and Gibbs shared details from her spreadsheet in four conference calls with Justice Department investigators.
Had to Do It

The officials made no promises about whether they would take action against Citigroup.

For two months, Sherry and Jon sweated over what could happen if she sued Citigroup without help from the government. They concluded she had to do it, Hunt says. On Aug. 5, 2011, Hunt filed a false-claims complaint in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

“I still had to go into work,” Hunt says. Because the complaint was sealed, no one in her office knew about it. She pinned a postcard of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa next to the Rascal Flatts lyrics. Like Mona Lisa, Sherry Hunt had a secret.

She knew her chances of winning were slim because she couldn’t match the resources of a big bank. Just 20 percent of whistle-blowers get help from government prosecutors, and without that, success is rare, according to the National Whistleblowers Center in Washington.
A Ghost

After filing the lawsuit, Hunt says, she felt like a ghost navigating the cubicles of CitiMortgage. Nobody knew, she says, yet she felt vulnerable, as if she could lose her job at any moment.

Sherry and Jon were elated on Jan. 3, 2012, when she got a call from her lawyer: U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan had decided to join her on behalf of the Justice Department in the case.

There was no testimony and no trial. Citigroup admitted wrongdoing on Feb. 15 and paid the $158.3 million to settle. In a press release the same day, Citi said it was pleased to resolve the matter.

“We take our quality-assurance processes seriously and have proactively undertaken process improvements to ensure that they are as robust as possible,” the bank wrote. The statement didn’t mention Hunt.
Bank of America

Citigroup isn’t the only bank that’s been held accountable for processing bad mortgages. In February, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America Corp. settled a false-claims case with the government for $1 billion, without admitting wrongdoing.

In May, Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank AG agreed to pay $202.3 million for endorsing unqualified mortgages for FHA insurance, and admitted wrongdoing.

What continues to set Citigroup apart is that the bank approved flawed loans well past the 2008 financial crisis. A battleground over loan quality persisted at CitiMortgage even as the settlement was signed in February, the complaint says.

Just months after Citigroup settled with the Justice Department, another big financial institution, JPMorgan Chase & Co., announced a multibillion-dollar trading loss -- helping to rekindle the debate over regulation of so-called too-big-to-fail banks.
Dodd-Frank Debate

President Barack Obama invoked the JPMorgan loss as more evidence of the need for tighter regulation of Wall Street. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has meanwhile continued to call for the repeal of Dodd-Frank, the law Sherry Hunt followed when she blew the whistle on her employer.

If Citigroup has learned anything from Sherry Hunt, it’s not clear from the comments of CitiMortgage CEO Sanjiv Das, who’s based in New York. He says his division does terrific work.

“We are focused on making sure we manufacture loans the right way,” he says. “This is a complex industry. It’s a complex process. It takes time. We’re heading down a trajectory that I’m incredibly proud of. Is there something that is systemically wrong? Absolutely not. Absolutely not.”

Citigroup CEO Vikram S. Pandit declined to comment for this story. In a video recorded in 2010 and posted by Citi on the Internet, Pandit pledged that his bank was turning over a new leaf.
‘Making Sure We’re Honest’

“We’re going to stand for the financial services company that practices responsible finance -- making sure we’re transparent, making sure we’re honest, making sure we manage our shareholders’ money prudently,” he says.

Citigroup repaid with interest the $45 billion in government bailout loans it took in 2008, as well as all of the money it borrowed from the Fed. The bank reported profits during each of the nine quarters ended in March 2012. Yet shareholders remain restive. Citi’s stock fell 92 percent from Dec. 11, 2007, when Pandit became CEO, to May 30.

Three weeks after Citigroup settled the Hunt case, the bank’s board of directors awarded Pandit $14.9 million in compensation for 2011. The pay was tied to Pandit’s push for ethical conduct, the bank said in a March 8 regulatory filing.

The filing specifically cited Pandit’s success in improving Citigroup’s U.S. mortgage unit. On April 16, in an unprecedented move, Citi shareholders voted to reject Pandit’s compensation by about 55 to 45 percent. The vote was nonbinding, and the bank’s board of directors has final say on pay.
‘There’s a Basis’

“We gave this guy a pretty substantial incentive award, and there’s a basis for it,” says Richard Parsons, who was Citigroup’s chairman and a member of its compensation committee until he retired in April. “Our view was, under Vikram’s leadership, we did a pretty good job of moving Citigroup forward in the year 2011, but there was still progress to be made.”

The amount Citigroup paid in the settlement amounts to 1.4 percent of its 2011 net income of $11.2 billion.

“It’s about more than dollars; it’s about the reputational risk of the enterprise and how we do business,” Parsons says. “Getting our arms around the problem and getting it fixed has been a top priority.”

Hunt says she hopes her victory inspires others to take a stand.

“I want people to know they can come forward,” she says. “If I can do it, they can do it. We need to change what’s wrong in our own backyards, and that’s how we end up changing the big things.”
Donating Home

After they received their share of the settlement, the Hunts decided to donate their house in Missouri to the Troy First Baptist Church and move to a warmer climate. Sitting at the kitchen counter, Jon calls Sherry over to watch a video on his tablet.

It’s the Zac Brown Band doing a song called “Knee Deep,” which is about the dream of a permanent vacation.

“Listen,” Jon tells his wife, pointing to the video. Then he sings along: “Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair.”

Sherry Hunt tips her head back and hoots.

29  General Category / General News / Re: US troops handcuffed and then shot children and elderly in Iraq on: May 31, 2012, 04:08:32 pm
Do you honestly think one guy, Assange, could even come close to running such an operation as being a whistleblower site like that?

No way on earth...

Really what I was thinking was who would benefit by leaking specific information and why. In this case above it would seem clear IF the story is authentic then it's possible that someone or someones wanting the US to inter in to the fray is behind such things.

It's possible like you say, that it's just another outlet for Psyop type info to be released by several different communities to achieve their agendas under the guise of "conspiratorial leaks" - I don't buy it either. I just wonder who and why.
30  General Category / Eugenics / Depopulation / Re: Antigovernment Conspiracy Theorists Rail Against UN’s Agenda 21 Program - SPLC on: May 31, 2012, 04:00:41 pm
wow is all I can say.
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