Tag Archives: United States

The Power brokers influencing US Foreign Policy

In 1997, Abdelnour founded the U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon (USCFL), which had as one of its initial aims ending the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. As part of his work with USCFL, Abdelnour recruited a number of high profile neoconservatives figures, including Michael Ledeen, Elliott Abrams, Douglas Feith, and Frank Gaffney, all of whom were listed as supporters of USCFL. By 2006, Abdelnour had begun to describe himself as a neoconservative, according to the New York Times.

 

After the election of President Barack Obama, USCFL appeared to distance itself from its association with neoconservatism. A statement posted on the group’s “About” page said, “Bad rumors say that the USCFL is the front of some ‘shady’ force plotting with some organizations out there against Lebanon’s interests. Just to set the record straight, we are NOT a front of any foreign entity; whether Syrian, Israeli or whatever and we are fully funded by our members, supporters and other constituents….

 

For More: http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Abdelnour_Ziad

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Breaking Down the Political Messages

There is a lot of hidden messaging and programming coming from the left and right of the political spectrum.  We are living in “Spin City” where the message is easier to swallow and minds harder to change and influence than ever.  With upcoming elections in the United States having such a huge potential impact to American and global futures we all need to pay attention to what we say and quickly discern the true intent of what we hear.  The reason I say “quickly” is that we are bombarded by information from a variety of sources, typically by ones that we “trust”.

 

Trust can mean that the source passes by our cognitive “filters” that normally detect lies and allow truth to pass in.  Without detection of non-truth we can find ourselves bathed in information that feels right but does not pass the scratch test if and when logical examination is applied.  Such is the messaging and political positioning of our day.  Over the past fifty years the science of psychology has gradually progressed to the point where specialists can craft language and messaging that is designed to keep us on the straight and narrow and reinforce our beliefs.

 

For More: http://www.financialpolicycouncil.org/fpcnew/articledetails.aspx?id=33/Breaking-Down-the-Political-Messages—Five-Fairness-Fallacies

 

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How effective has US foreign policy in the Middle East

My short answer – with the sole exception of the Camp David accords – is somewhere between “completely ineffective” and “making a bad situation worse”.

 

Unfortunately, it seems that all of the US’s current problems in the Middle East are of our own making… and the cynically minded would even say that this is by design.

 

Very possible indeed as it seems all we care about – judging by our actions – is selling the Gulf nations and their neighbors more arms while keeping our access to cheap oil wide open.  Anyone challenging our positions there is either bombed into oblivion or put out of business….No smart way neither to grow influence nor to make friends.

 

It is a fact that since the 1950s we have been very successful at keeping the region unstable, and that has served our geopolitical and economic interests much more than stability would have.

 

Let’s take a close look at our history in the region since the 1950s – after the creation of the State of Israel – along with our track record as Americans there.

 

For More: http://ziadabdelnour.org/how-effective-has-us-foreign-policy-in-the-middle-east-been-over-the-last-50-years/

Thank You.

Legal Extraterritoriality As An Assault on Capitalism

Is the federal government trying to subvert American capitalism by pushing for extraterritorial application of American criminal law as a way to induce the flight of capital, and the capital classes, from the United States?

 

Is this theory so radical? Little else explains why federal government lawyers are making certain arguments to defend the fraud convictions of two Wall Street financiers – Ross Mandell and Adam Harrington of Sky Capital — against their appeal. Our government now argues that “criminal statutes have extraterritorial reach so long as the nature of the crime does not turn on where the defendant acts and where restricting the statute to domestic acts would undermine the statute’s purpose.” Appellate Brief For The United States of America, Mandell v. U.S., Docket Nos. 12-1967 and 12-2090, at 34 (emphasis added).

 

You read that right; where the crime occurs is irrelevant, because if our federal government declares the “purpose” of an American law reaches beyond our borders, you can be prosecuted for something you are accused of doing abroad, even if that act is not a crime offshore! Unless American courts reaffirm a recent Supreme Court decision, our Justice Department can stretch the reach of America’s metastasizing criminal law and equally byzantine civil law anywhere on the planet. Extraterrestrials, beware.

For More: http://www.financialpolicycouncil.org/FPCNEW/articledetails.aspx?id=43/Legal-Extraterritoriality-As-An-Assault-on-Capitalism

 

Thank you,

Cronies: Flying The Friendly Skies And Revealing Insider Secrets To The Rest Of Us

Crony capitalism — the skewed playing field and sometimes the “hidden” second set of rules — is alive and well. Best of all, it’s not even hidden. Thanks to government “sunshine” laws and a lot of other laws mandating public disclosure, a wealth of information is legally required to be disclosed, and you can find it if you know (or hire someone who knows) where to look.

 

As first reported in the website www.snopes.com, a major commercial real estate broker, CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), on whose board sits Richard Blum, has landed the contract to find buyers for up to 56 properties held by the United States Postal Service.

 

Now, if you’re a competitor, maybe you’re wondering how CBRE got that business. Particularly since the seller is a government entity.

 

Maybe…just maybe…here are some facts that will get you to ask some questions.

For More: Crony capitalism

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Business v/s Military Models – Who wins?

I always believed that “Business is War”. In fact, this is one of our key mantras in here at Blackhawk Partners. Yet I see so many businesses out there who are so shallow in the way they operate that it doesn’t really surprise me anymore how much waste and lost resources are being plundered for the sake of growth.

 

Look at our military and be the judge.

 

It is a fact that the United States military today has to work, obviously, one of the most difficult jobs in the world. They have worldwide responsibility over trillions of dollars worth of equipment and oversee what amounts to the world’s largest logistical support network. Every one of them is a master in their specified field by year two and are responsible for some of the most advanced technological systems on the planet. And management? By the time many are twenty three years of age they have already been promoted to a leadership role, responsible for a team of trade veterans. Also, their average age is 20. And you know what? Almost none of them are degreed.

 

For More: Business v/s Military Models – Who wins?

Ziad K Abdelnour Economic Warfare “A great number of the richest never finished high school.”

In Economic Warfare, Abdelnour lays out a plan for restoring economic freedom in the United States and around the world. Along the way, he reveals the true nature of the enemy that threatens to destroy the free market capitalist system that has made this nation great.
America was created to be a land of opportunity, where the individual could take an idea, develop it, and create wealth in the process. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with this notion. An enemy has arisen in our midst, one who has single-mindedly worked to subvert and even destroy this opportunity.

Page by page, Economic Warfare:

  • Strips away the veneer to reveal the true agenda behind our expanding central government
  • Describes the damage that has been inflicted upon the American economy in the last few years, making the case for the indisputable charge that we are involved in an economic war for survival
  • Details Abdelnour’s personal strategies and vehicles for wealth creation, and outlines tools that can be used on a global scale
  • Gives a rundown of areas in which we, the people, can and must demand accountability and fundamental change from the next administration that moves into the White House
  • And much more
  • Continue Reading: Economic Warfare

When Banks Settle – Everyone Else Loses

The independent economic think tank Financial Policy Council (FPC) fears that the business and investing community (not to mention, bank depositors and shareholders) are potential big losers from the Justice Department’s much-trumpeted settlement of civil and criminal charges with J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. in connection with its activities involving Bernard L. Madoff’s legendary fraud.

We wish we did not have to emphasize the criminality of J.P. Morgan Chase — and we wish it had never occurred — except that the bank itself admitted to this fact.  Others can speculate on whether there was arm-twisting or the use of leverage, and even on whether or why other Too Big To Fail banks might be “untouchable.”

We restrain our focus on the hard fact: J.P. Morgan has admitted to criminal wrongdoing, and in so doing has agreed to a massive $1.7 billion penalty and to reform its anti-money laundering funds in order to get a two-year deferred prosecution agreement.  The particularized admissions are formidable, as contained in the criminal information filed in Manhattan Federal Court (Southern District of New York) by the United States Attorney’s Office.

Criminal wrongdoing needs to be emphasized here, because a criminal act involves criminal intent, that is, willfulness.  Here, the bank is charged with having “willfully fail[ed] to establish an adequate money-laundering program” and further having “willfully fail[ed] to report suspicious transactions.”

Read More: When Banks Settle

 

Crime Does Pay – The Danger of Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Jail

Americans who play by the rules just got coal in their stockings, courtesy of the United States Government.

The most damaging and dispiriting government action this month is not its treatment of the Fiscal Cliff, but its enforcement decision showing that the rule of law is deliberately uneven. That is the message conveyed by the Department of Justice with its announcement earlier this month that neither HSBC nor any executives at the international bank would be criminally prosecuted for activities involving the money laundering of funds for terrorists and drug cartels (among other bad actors) for which the company itself has agreed to an unprecedented $1.92 billion fine, out of concern that such criminal charges could “destabilize the global financial system.”(1)

The message of a two-tiered justice system is actually amplified by the slap-on-the-wrist criminal plea on December 19th by a subsidiary of the equally too-big-to-fail UBS to one felony count of wire fraud in an emerging interest-rate manipulation scandal, providing for about $1.5 billion in fines and accompanied by criminal indictments of two hapless traders whom the bank decided to throw under the bus in a show sacrifice.(2) One need not be a cynic to view the institutional criminal plea, and the financial settlement which amounts to little more than a rounding error, a cost of doing business, as a transparent attempt to uphold the image — if not the rule — of equality under the law, precisely when they are being broken with impunity and the unofficial imprimatur of the government.

Lands where justice can be bought, where the application of the law depends upon whom it is to be applied, are typically found in Third World countries ruled by despots and the law of the jungle, where might makes right. In such countries, any purported rule of law is best referred to as crony justice. (Note: One cannot define it as “crony justice,” since the definition of justice involves equal application of uniform rules, hence, a two-tiered system involving arbitrary applications or “special treatment” ceases to be justice and that term cannot properly be modified by the word “crony,” or any other adjective, for that matter.)

Continuous Reading: Crime Does Pay

The Perils of Inattention – Financial Policy Council

In many sports, players are advised always to “keep your eye on the ball.” In 2008, we took our eye off the ball; as a result, we chose a president, and an administration, that did the same.

In the 2008 election cycle, voters were fed up with George W. Bush – and certainly not without some justification. They were ready to vote “not Bush” and “not Republican.” However, in a time fraught with enormous economic difficulty and peril, we elected a president whose background showed no particular familiarity with or interest in economics, and whose record revealed that he was likely to pursue, and to prioritize, the very sorts of policies he has in fact pursued.

For a man who has been president of the United States for nearly a full term, there is much that is not known about Barack Obama. What we do know, however, and can say with some certainty, is that Obama sees himself as a transformative figure in American history. His deepest and most abiding
concerns are with his perception that the economic system is unfair and demands reform, particularly in the form of more social benefits to those he sees as in some way underprivileged, a larger government role in the regulation of business, and higher tax rates for high earners.

Viewed from this perspective, it is easy to see how Obama and his administration lost their way. At a time when the American economy cried out for attention and a skilled hand on the rudder, Obama’s focus was always elsewhere and his best skills lay in other areas. During his first term, with nearly veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress, Obama concentrated on passing a health care reform act that was never widely popular, expending enormous political capital to pass it.

Moreover, the economic efforts he has made were often ideologically driven: enormous sums were invested in “green” energy goondoggles, for example. Likewise, the GM and Chrysler bailouts were shaped by the administration’s desire to please the UAW – at the expense of bondholders.1 A scintilla of business experience would have suggested that inducing unpredictable risk into the bond market during a recession was not a policy designed to encourage investment; but despite his frequent statements about how important the economy was, Obama’s actions belie his statements.

Read more:  The Perils of Inattention