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Desperate In Land Of Opportunity: Is “The American Dream” Over?

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November 2, 2010: Der Spiegel Staff Editors / Spiegel Online – November 1, 2010

America has long been a country of limitless possibility. But the dream has now become a nightmare for many.

The US is now realizing just how fragile its success has become — and how bitter its reality.

Should the superpower not find a way out of crisis, it could spell trouble ahead for the global economy…

It was to be the kind of place where dozens of American dreams would be fulfilled — here on Apple Blossom Drive, a cul-de-sac under the azure-blue skies of southwest Florida, where the climate is mild and therapeutic for people with arthritis and rheumatism. Everything is ready. The driveways lined with cast-iron lanterns are finished, the artificial streams and ponds are filled with water, and all the underground cables have been installed. This street in Florida was to be just one small part of America’s greater identity — a place where individual dreams were to become part of the great American story.

But a few things are missing. People, for one. And houses, too. The drawings are all ready, but the foundations for the houses haven’t even been poured yet.

Apple Blossom Drive, on the outskirts of Fort Myers, Florida, is a road to nowhere. The retirees, all the dreamers who wanted to claim their slice of the American dream in return for all the years they had worked in a Michigan factory or a New York City office, won’t be coming. Not to Apple Blossom Drive and not to any of the other deserted streets which, with their pretty names and neat landscaping, were supposed to herald freedom and prosperity as the ultimate destination of the American journey, and now exude the same feeling of sadness as the industrial ruins of Detroit.

Florida was the finale of the American dream, a promise, a symbol, an American heaven on earth, because Florida held out the prospect of spending 10, perhaps 20 and hopefully 30 years living in one’s own house. For decades, anywhere from 200,000 to 400,000 people moved to the state each year. The population grew and grew — and so too did real estate prices and the assets of those who were already there and wanted bigger houses and even bigger dreams. Florida was a seemingly never-ending boom machine.

Could The Dream Be Over?

Until it all ended. Now people are leaving the state. Florida’s population decreased by 58,000 in 2009. Some members of the same American middle class who had once planned to spend their golden years lying under palm trees are now lined up in front of soup kitchens. In Lee County on Florida’s southwest coast, 80,000 people need government food stamps to make ends meet — four times as many as in 2006. Unemployment figures are sharply on the rise in the state, which has now come to symbolize the decline of the American Dream, or perhaps even its total failure, its naïveté. Could the dream, in fact, be over?

Americans have lived beyond their means for decades. It was a culture long defined by a mantra of entitlement, one that promised opportunities for all while ignoring the risks. Relentless and seemingly unstoppable upward mobility was the secular religion of the United States. Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, established the so-called ownership society, while Congress and the White House helped free it of the constraints of laws and regulations.

The dream was the country’s driving force. It made Florida, Hollywood and the riches of Goldman Sachs possible, and it attracted millions of immigrants. Now, however, Americans are discovering that there are many directions that life can take, and at least one of them points downward. The conviction that stocks have always made everyone richer has become as much of a chimera in the United States as the belief that everyone has the right to own his own home, and then a bigger home, a second car and maybe even a yacht. But at some point, everything comes to an end.

The United States is a confused and fearful country in 2010. American companies are still world-class, but today Apple and Coca-Cola, Google and Microsoft are investing in Asia, where labor is cheap and markets are growing, and hardly at all in the United States. Some 47 percent of Americans don’t believe that the American Dream is still realistic… Read the 6-part Full Report

George Carlin: The American Dream

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Living the American Dream was doomed to this inevitable fate back in 1913 by the nefarious passing of The Federal Reserve Act… End the Fed! – SJH

Link to original article below…

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,726447,00.html

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Founding Fathers’ Vision For Prosperity In US Has Been Destroyed!

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October 29, 2010: Washington’s Blog Editors / Washington’s Blog – October 29, 2010

The Founding Fathers not only fought for liberty and justice, they also fought for a sound economy and freedom from the tyranny of big banks:

“[It was] the poverty caused by the bad influence of the English bankers on the Parliament which has caused in the colonies hatred of the English and…the Revolutionary War.” – Benjamin Franklin

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” – John Adams

“If the American people ever allow the banks to control issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied”. — Thomas Jefferson

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies…The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the Government, to whom it properly belongs.” – Thomas Jefferson

“The Founding Fathers of this great land had no difficulty whatsoever understanding the agenda of bankers, and they frequently referred to them and their kind as, quote, ‘friends of paper money. They hated the Bank of England, in particular, and felt that even were we successful in winning our independence from England and King George, we could never truly be a nation of freemen, unless we had an honest money system. ” – Peter Kershaw, author of the 1994 booklet “Economic Solutions”

As I noted last year: Everyone knows that the American colonists revolted largely because of taxation without representation and related forms of oppression by the British. See this and this. But – according to Benjamin Franklin and others in the thick of the action – a little-known factor was actually the main reason for the revolution. To give some background on the issue, when Benjamin Franklin went to London in 1764, this is what he observed:

When he arrived, he was surprised to find rampant unemployment and poverty among the British working classes… Franklin was then asked how the American colonies managed to collect enough money to support their poor houses. He reportedly replied: “We have no poor houses in the Colonies; and if we had some, there would be nobody to put in them, since there is, in the Colonies, not a single unemployed person, neither beggars nor tramps.”

In 1764, the Bank of England used its influence on Parliament to get a Currency Act passed that made it illegal for any of the colonies to print their own money. The colonists were forced to pay all future taxes to Britain in silver or gold. Anyone lacking in those precious metals had to borrow them at interest from the banks.

Only a year later, Franklin said, the streets of the colonies were filled with unemployed beggars, just as they were in England. The money supply had suddenly been reduced by half, leaving insufficient funds to pay for the goods and services these workers could have provided. He maintained that it was “the poverty caused by the bad influence of the English bankers on the Parliament which has caused in the colonies hatred of the English and…the Revolutionary War.”

This, he said, was the real reason for the Revolution: “the colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters had it not been that England took away from the colonies their money, which created unemployment and dissatisfaction.” (for more on the Currency Act, see this.)

Alexander Hamilton echoed similar sentiments: Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first treasury secretary, said that paper money had composed three-fourths of the total money supply before the American Revolution. When the colonists could not issue their own currency, the money supply had suddenly shrunk, leaving widespread unemployment, hunger and poverty in its wake. Unlike the Great Depression of the 1930s, people in the 1770s were keenly aware of who was responsible for their distress.

As historian Alexander Del Mar wrote in 1895: [T]he creation and circulation of bills of credit by revolutionary assemblies…coming as they did upon the heels of the strenuous efforts made by the Crown to suppress paper money in America [were] acts of defiance so contemptuous and insulting to the Crown that forgiveness was thereafter impossible…

[T]here was but one course for the crown to pursue and that was to suppress and punish these acts of rebellion…Thus the Bills of Credit of this era, which ignorance and prejudice have attempted to belittle into the mere instruments of a reckless financial policy were really the standards of the Revolution. They were more than this: they were the Revolution itself!

And British historian John Twells said the same thing: The British Parliament took away from America its representative money, forbade any further issue of bills of credit, these bills ceasing to be legal tender, and ordered that all taxes should be paid in coins…Ruin took place in these once flourishing Colonies…discontent became desperation, and reached a point…when human nature rises up and asserts itself.

In fact, the Americans ignored the British ban on American currency, and: “Succeeded in financing a war against a major power, with virtually no ‘hard’ currency of their own, without taxing the people.”

Indeed, the first act of the New Continental Congress was to issue its own paper scrip, popularly called the Continental. Franklin and Thomas Paine later praised the local currency as a “corner stone” of the Revolution. And Franklin consistently wrote that the American ability to create its own credit led to prosperity, as it allowed the creation of ample credit, with low interest rates to borrowers, and no interest to pay to private or foreign bankers .

Is this just ancient history? No. The ability for America and the 50 states to create its own credit has largely been lost to private bankers. The lion’s share of new credit creation is done by private banks, so – instead of being able to itself create money without owing interest – the government owes unfathomable trillions in interest to private banks.

America may have won the Revolutionary War, but it has since lost one of the main things it fought for: the freedom to create its own credit instead of having to beg for credit from private banks at a usurious cost.

As economic writer and attorney Ellen Brown has tried to teach to Obama, Schwarzenegger, and anyone else who will listen, the way out of the economic crisis is to stop paying interest to private banks for the creation of credit, and to return to the system of government-issued credit used by the Founding Fathers to create prosperity for the people and to gain independence from their oppressors. (And see this).

As I wrote in July: The U.S. has become a a kleptocracy, an oligarchy, a banana republic, a socialist or fascist state … which acts without the consent of the governed. This essay focuses on economics, but – obviously – the other ideals of the Founding Fathers have been abandoned as well. See this and this, for example. Note: If we can’t implement public banking, let’s at least return to a gold standard.

Meltup

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: For more on this subject, read the excellent article in Yes Magazine.org written by Ellen Brown at the link below– SJH

Time For A New Theory Of Money

http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/time-for-a-new-theory-of-money

Link to original article below…

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/10/founding-fathers-vision-of-prosperity.html

Chicago Sheriff ‘Will Not Enforce Foreclosure Evictions’ By Bankers

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October 21, 2010: Reuters Editors / Reuters via CNBC Chicago – October 19, 2010

CHICAGO – Two of the largest U.S. mortgage servicers have said they will resume home foreclosures, but a big-city sheriff has news for them: he won’t enforce their foreclosure evictions.

The sheriff for Cook County, Illinois, which includes the city of Chicago, said on Tuesday he will not enforce foreclosure evictions for Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase and Co. and GMAC Mortgage/Ally Financial until they prove those foreclosures were handled “properly and legally.” Bank of America, the largest U.S. mortgage servicer, and GMAC, on Monday both announced rollbacks from their foreclosure moratoriums.

The announcement by Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart comes after weeks of damaging accusations of shoddy paperwork that may have caused some people to be illegally evicted from their homes. “I can’t possibly be expected to evict people from their homes when the banks themselves can’t say for sure everything was done properly,” Dart said in the statement.

“I need some kind of assurance that we aren’t evicting families based on fraudulent behavior by the banks. Until that happens, I can’t in good conscience keep carrying out evictions involving these banks,” he added. Bank of America, GMAC and JPMorgan Chase along with their subsidiaries, make up around a third of the roughly 3,700 eviction orders filed at the Cook County sheriff’s office, the statement said.

The foreclosure controversy, which has drawn public outrage and sparked government probes, has threatened bank earnings and the health of the fragile housing market. Two years ago Dart refused to carry out foreclosure evictions in cases where renters apparently had not been informed that they were about to be evicted from buildings in which their landlords had fallen into foreclosure. Some 20 Cook County sheriff’s deputies execute around 14,000 foreclosure and rental eviction notices every year.

The Producers: Part 3/14

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: This video was posted by Michael Rivero of What Really Happened.com with the following commentary in response after this article was posted on his website. I defer to Mike

That may deal with the symptoms, but not the disease. There would not be a firestorm of foreclosures at all had the bankers not engaged in a scheme to over-sell mortgage backed securities for billions, then crashed the housing market to cover their tracks! All the poverty, debt, homelessness, and starvation Americans are dealing with every day was caused by the criminal bankers. Stopping the foreclosures does not even begin to redress the wrongs done to the nation by the bankers!

This is the scene in the show “The Producers” in which the accountant tells the producer that it might be possible to make more money by over-subscribing a show designed to fail then by actually working to produce a hit. All very funny in the stage play and the film until you realize that this is exactly what the nation’s financial corporations have done to us all! They over-subscribed the mortgage backed securities, making billions by re-selling the same mortgages over and over again up to 20 times, then foreclosed on the properties to cover the over-subscription!

And Congress, themselves invested in the firms that owned those mortgage backed securities, went along with the scam!

The housing market is being intentionally crashed by the banks and the US Government! – Mike Rivero

Albeit I agree with Mike, I think he understates the importance of a County Sheriff making this statement. Your County Sheriff is the most powerful elected official that trumps even your city Mayor… This is huge! – SJH

Link to original article below…

http://www.cnbc.com/id/39745284

Homeowner Rebellion: 62 Million US Mortgages Foreclosure-Proof

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August 20, 2010: Ellen Brown / Yes! Magazine via The Huffington Post – August 19, 2010

Over 62 million US mortgages are now held in the name of MERS, an electronic recording system devised by and for the convenience of the mortgage industry. A California bankruptcy court, following landmark cases in other jurisdictions, recently held that this electronic shortcut makes it impossible for banks to establish their ownership of property titles–and therefore to foreclose on mortgaged properties.

The Logical Result Could Be 62 Million American Homes That Are Foreclosure-Proof!

Mortgages bundled into securities were a favorite investment of speculators at the height of the financial bubble leading up to the crash of 2008. The securities changed hands frequently, and the companies profiting from mortgage payments were often not the same parties that negotiated the loans. At the heart of this disconnect was the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, or MERS, a company that serves as the mortgagee of record for lenders, allowing properties to change hands without the necessity of recording each transfer.

MERS was convenient for the mortgage industry, but courts are now questioning the impact of all of this financial juggling when it comes to mortgage ownership. To foreclose on real property, the plaintiff must be able to establish the chain of title entitling it to relief. But MERS has acknowledged, and recent cases have held, that MERS is a mere “nominee”–an entity appointed by the true owner simply for the purpose of holding property in order to facilitate transactions. Recent court opinions stress that this defect is not just a procedural but is a substantive failure, one that is fatal to the plaintiff’s legal ability to foreclose.

That means hordes of victims of predatory lending could end up owning their homes free and clear — while the financial industry could end up skewered on its own sword.

California Precedent

The latest of these court decisions came down in California on May 20, 2010, in a bankruptcy case called In re Walker, Case no. 10-21656-E-11. The court held that MERS could not foreclose because it was a mere nominee; and that as a result, plaintiff Citibank could not collect on its claim. The judge opined:

“Since no evidence of MERS’ ownership of the underlying note has been offered, and other courts have concluded that MERS does not own the underlying notes, this court is convinced that MERS had no interest it could transfer to Citibank. Since MERS did not own the underlying note, it could not transfer the beneficial interest of the Deed of Trust to another.Any attempt to transfer the beneficial interest of a trust deed without ownership of the underlying note is void under California law.”

In support, the judge cited In Re Vargas (California Bankruptcy Court); Landmark v. Kesler (Kansas Supreme Court); LaSalle Bank v. Lamy (a New York case); and In Re Foreclosure Cases (the “Boyko” decision from Ohio Federal Court). (For more on these earlier cases, see here, here and here.) The court concluded:

“Since the claimant, Citibank, has not established that it is the owner of the promissory note secured by the trust deed, Citibank is unable to assert a claim for payment in this case.”

The broad impact the case could have on California foreclosures is suggested by attorney Jeff Barnes, who writes:

“This opinion . . . serves as a legal basis to challenge any foreclosure in California based on a MERS assignment; to seek to void any MERS assignment of the Deed of Trust or the note to a third party for purposes of foreclosure; and should be sufficient for a borrower to not only obtain a TRO [temporary restraining order] against a Trustee’s Sale, but also a Preliminary Injunction barring any sale pending any litigation filed by the borrower challenging a foreclosure based on a MERS assignment. While not binding on courts in other jurisdictions, the ruling could serve as persuasive precedent there as well, because the court cited non-bankruptcy cases related to the lack of authority of MERS, and because the opinion is consistent with prior rulings in Idaho and Nevada Bankruptcy courts on the same issue.”

What Could This Mean For Homeowners?

Earlier cases focused on the inability of MERS to produce a promissory note or assignment establishing that it was entitled to relief, but most courts have considered this a mere procedural defect and continue to look the other way on MERS’ technical lack of standing to sue. The more recent cases, however, are looking at something more serious. If MERS is not the title holder of properties held in its name, the chain of title has been broken, and no one may have standing to sue. In MERS v. Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance, MERS insisted that it had no actionable interest in title, and the court agreed.

An August 2010 article in Mother Jones titled “Fannie and Freddie’s Foreclosure Barons” exposes a widespread practice of “foreclosure mills” in backdating assignments after foreclosures have been filed. Not only is this perjury, a prosecutable offense, but if MERS was never the title holder, there is nothing to assign. The defaulting homeowners could wind up with free and clear title.

In Jacksonville, Florida, legal aid attorney April Charney has been using the missing-note argument ever since she first identified that weakness in the lenders’ case in 2004. Five years later, she says, some of the homeowners she’s helped are still in their homes. According to a Huffington Post article titled “‘Produce the Note’ Movement Helps Stall Foreclosures”:

“Because of the missing ownership documentation, Charney is now starting to file quiet title actions, hoping to get her homeowner clients full title to their homes (a quiet title action ‘quiets’ all other claims). Charney says she’s helped thousands of homeowners delay or prevent foreclosure, and trained thousands of lawyers across the country on how to protect homeowners and battle in court.”

Criminal Charges?

Other suits go beyond merely challenging title to alleging criminal activity. On July 26, 2010, a class action was filed in Florida seeking relief against MERS and an associated legal firm for racketeering and mail fraud. It alleges that the defendants used “the artifice of MERS to sabotage the judicial process to the detriment of borrowers;” that “to perpetuate the scheme, MERS was and is used in a way so that the average consumer, or even legal professional, can never determine who or what was or is ultimately receiving the benefits of any mortgage payments;” that the scheme depended on “the MERS artifice and the ability to generate any necessary ‘assignment’ which flowed from it;” and that “by engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity, specifically ‘mail or wire fraud,’ the Defendants . . . participated in a criminal enterprise affecting interstate commerce.”

Local governments deprived of filing fees may also be getting into the act, at least through representatives suing on their behalf. Qui tam actions allow for a private party or “whistle blower” to bring suit on behalf of the government for a past or present fraud on it. In State of California ex rel. Barrett R. Bates, filed May 10, 2010, the plaintiff qui tam sued on behalf of a long list of local governments in California against MERS and a number of lenders, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, for “wrongfully bypass[ing] the counties’ recording requirements; divest[ing] the borrowers of the right to know who owned the promissory note . . .; and record[ing] false documents to initiate and pursue non-judicial foreclosures, and to otherwise decrease or avoid payment of fees to the Counties and the Cities where the real estate is located.” The complaint notes that “MERS claims to have ‘saved’ at least $2.4 billion dollars in recording costs,” meaning it has helped avoid billions of dollars in fees otherwise accruing to local governments. The plaintiff sues for treble damages for all recording fees not paid during the past ten years, and for civil penalties of between $5,000 and $10,000 for each unpaid or underpaid recording fee and each false document recorded during that period, potentially a hefty sum. Similar suits have been filed by the same plaintiff qui tam in Nevada and Tennessee.

By Their Own Sword: MERS’ Role In The Financial Crisis

MERS is, according to its website, “an innovative process that simplifies the way mortgage ownership and servicing rights are originated, sold and tracked. Created by the real estate finance industry, MERS eliminates the need to prepare and record assignments when trading residential and commercial mortgage loans.” Or as Karl Denninger puts it, “MERS’ own website claims that it exists for the purpose of circumventing assignments and documenting ownership!”

MERS was developed in the early 1990s by a number of financial entities, including Bank of America, Countrywide, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, allegedly to allow consumers to pay less for mortgage loans. That did not actually happen, but what MERS did allow was the securitization and shuffling around of mortgages behind a veil of anonymity. The result was not only to cheat local governments out of their recording fees but to defeat the purpose of the recording laws, which was to guarantee purchasers clean title. Worse, MERS facilitated an explosion of predatory lending in which lenders could not be held to account because they could not be identified, either by the preyed-upon borrowers or by the investors seduced into buying bundles of worthless mortgages. As alleged in a Nevada class action called Lopez vs. Executive Trustee Services, et al.:

“Before MERS, it would not have been possible for mortgages with no market value . . . to be sold at a profit or collateralized and sold as mortgage-backed securities. Before MERS, it would not have been possible for the Defendant banks and AIG to conceal from government regulators the extent of risk of financial losses those entities faced from the predatory origination of residential loans and the fraudulent re-sale and securitization of those otherwise non-marketable loans. Before MERS, the actual beneficiary of every Deed of Trust on every parcel in the United States and the State of Nevada could be readily ascertained by merely reviewing the public records at the local recorder’s office where documents reflecting any ownership interest in real property are kept…

“After MERS, … the servicing rights were transferred after the origination of the loan to an entity so large that communication with the servicer became difficult if not impossible … The servicer was interested in only one thing – making a profit from the foreclosure of the borrower’s residence – so that the entire predatory cycle of fraudulent origination, resale, and securitization of yet another predatory loan could occur again. This is the legacy of MERS, and the entire scheme was predicated upon the fraudulent designation of MERS as the ‘beneficiary’ under millions of deeds of trust in Nevada and other states.”

Axing The Bankers’ Money Tree

If courts overwhelmed with foreclosures decide to take up the cause, the result could be millions of struggling homeowners with the banks off their backs, and millions of homes no longer on the books of some too-big-to-fail banks. Without those assets, the banks could again be looking at bankruptcy. As was pointed out in a San Francisco Chronicle article by attorney Sean Olender following the October 2007 Boyko [pdf] decision:

“The ticking time bomb in the U.S. banking system is not resetting subprime mortgage rates. The real problem is the contractual ability of investors in mortgage bonds to require banks to buy back the loans at face value if there was fraud in the origination process … The loans at issue dwarf the capital available at the largest U.S. banks combined, and investor lawsuits would raise stunning liability sufficient to cause even the largest U.S. banks to fail…”

Nationalization of these giant banks might be the next logical step–a step that some commentators said should have been taken in the first place. When the banking system of Sweden collapsed following a housing bubble in the 1990s, nationalization of the banks worked out very well for that country.

The Swedish banks were largely privatized again when they got back on their feet, but it might be a good idea to keep some banks as publicly-owned entities, on the model of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. For most of the 20th century it served as a “people’s bank,” making low interest loans to consumers and businesses through branches all over the country.

With the strengthened position of Wall Street following the 2008 bailout and the tepid 2010 banking reform bill, the U.S. is far from nationalizing its mega-banks now. But a committed homeowner movement to tear off the predatory mask called MERS could yet turn the tide. While courts are not likely to let 62 million homeowners off scot-free, the defect in title created by MERS could give them significant new leverage at the bargaining table.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Send this article out to every homeowner you know. Stop the theft! – SJH

Link to original article below…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-brown/homeowners-rebellion-coul_b_686921.html

Is An International Financial Conspiracy Driving Our World Events?

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August 15, 2010: Richard_C_Cook / The Market Oracle – April 11, 2008

“They make a desolation and call it peace.” – Tacitus

Was Alan Greenspan really as dumb as he looks in creating the late housing bubble that threatens to bring the entire Western debt-based economy crashing down?

Was something as easy to foresee as this really the trigger for a meltdown that could destroy the world’s financial system? Or was it done, perhaps, “accidentally on purpose”? And if so, why?

Let’s turn to the U.S. personage that conspiracy theorists most often mention as being at the epicenter of whatever elite plan is reputed to exist. This would be David Rockefeller, the 92-year-old multibillionaire godfather of the world’s financial elite. The lengthy Wikipedia article on Rockefeller provides the following version of a celebrated statement he allegedly made in an opening speech at the Bilderberg conference in Baden-Baden, Germany, in June 1991:

“We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine, and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during these years. But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government which will never again know war, but only peace and prosperity for the whole of humanity. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in the past centuries.”

This speech was made 17 years ago [Note this article was written in 2008]. It came at the beginning in the U.S. of the Bill Clinton administration. Rockefeller speaks of an “us.” This “us,” he says, has been having meetings for almost 40 years. If you add the 17 years since he gave the speech it was 57 years ago—two full generations.

Not only has “us” developed a “plan for the world,” but the attempt to “develop” the plan has evidently been successful, at least in Rockefeller’s mind. The ultimate goal of “us” is to create “the supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers.” This will lead, he says, toward a “world government which will never again know war.”

Just as an intellectual exercise, let’s assume that David Rockefeller is as important and powerful a person as he seems to think he is. Let’s give the man some credit and assume that he and “us” have in fact succeeded to a degree. This would mean that the major decisions and events since Rockefeller gave the speech in 1991 have probably also been part of the plan or that they have at least represented its features and intent.

Therefore by examining these decisions and events we can determine whether in fact Rockefeller is being truthful in his assessment that the Utopia he has in mind is on its way or has at least come closer to being realized. In no particular order, some of these decisions and events are as follows:

The implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement by the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations has led to the elimination of millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs as well as the destruction of U.S. family farming in favor of global agribusiness. Similar free trade agreements, including those under the auspices of the World Trade Organization, have led to export of millions of additional manufacturing jobs to China and elsewhere.

Average family income in the U.S. has steadily eroded while the share of the nation’s wealth held by the richest income brackets has soared. Some Wall Street hedge fund managers are making $1 billion a year while the number of homeless, including war veterans, pushes a million. The housing bubble has led to a huge inflation of real estate prices in the U.S. Millions of homes are falling into the hands of the bankers through foreclosure. The cost of land and rentals has further decimated family agriculture as well as small business. Rising property taxes based on inflated land assessments have forced millions of lower-and middle-income people and elderly out of their homes.

The fact that bankers now control national monetary systems in their entirety, under laws where money is introduced only through lending at interest, has resulted in a massive debt pyramid that is teetering on collapse. This “monetarist” system was pioneered by Rockefeller-family funded economists at the University of Chicago. The rub is that when the pyramid comes down and everyone goes bankrupt the banks which have been creating money “out of thin air” will then be able to seize valuable assets for pennies on the dollar, as J.P. Morgan Chase is preparing to do with the businesses owned by Carlyle Capital. Meaningful regulation of the financial industry has been abandoned by government, and any politician that stands in the way, such as Eliot Spitzer, is destroyed.

The total tax burden on Americans from federal, state, and local governments now exceeds forty percent of income and is rising. Today, with a recession starting, the Democratic-controlled Congress, while supporting the minuscule “stimulus” rebate, is hypocritically raising taxes further, even for middle-income earners. Back taxes, along with student loans, can no longer be eliminated by bankruptcy protection.

Gasoline prices are soaring even as companies like Exxon-Mobil are recording record profits. Other commodity prices are going up steadily, including food prices, with some countries starting to experience near-famine conditions. 40 million people in America are officially classified as “food insecure.” Corporate control of water and mineral resources has removed much of what is available from the public commons, and the deregulation of energy production has led to huge increases in the costs of electricity in many areas.

The destruction of family farming in the U.S. by NAFTA (along with family farming in Mexico and Canada) has been mirrored by policies toward other nations on the part of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Around the world, due to pressure from the “Washington consensus,” local food self-sufficiency has been replaced by raising of crops primarily for export. Migration off the land has fed the population of huge slums around the cities of underdeveloped countries.

Since the 1980s the U.S. has been fighting wars throughout the world either directly or by proxy. The former Yugoslavia was dismembered by NATO. Under cover of 9/11 and by utilizing off-the-shelf plans, the U.S. is now engaged in the military conquest and permanent military occupation of the Middle East. A worldwide encirclement of Russia and China by U.S. and NATO forces is underway, and a new push to militarize space has begun. The Western powers are clearly preparing for at least the possibility of another world war.

The expansion of the U.S. military empire abroad is mirrored by the creation of a totalitarian system of surveillance at home, whereby the activities of private citizens are spied upon and tracked by technology and systems which have been put into place under the heading of the “War on Terror.” Human microchip implants for tracking purposes are starting to be used. The military-industrial complex has become the nation’s largest and most successful industry with tens of thousands of planners engaged in devising new and better ways, both overt and covert, to destroy both foreign and domestic “enemies.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. has the largest prison population of any country on earth. Plus everyday life for millions of people is a crushing burden of government, insurance, and financial fees, charges, and paperwork. And the simplest business transactions are burdened by rake-offs for legions of accountants, lawyers, bureaucrats, brokers, speculators, and middlemen.

Finally, the deteriorating conditions of everyday life have given rise to an extraordinary level of stress-related disease, as well as epidemic alcohol and drug addiction. Governments themselves around the world engage in drug trafficking. Instead of working to lower stress levels, public policy is skewed in favor of an enormous prescription drug industry that grows rich off the declining level of health through treatment of symptoms rather than causes. Many of these heavily-advertised medications themselves have devastating side-effects.

This list should at least give us enough to go on in order to ask a hard question. Assuming again that all these things are parts of the elitist plan which Mr. Rockefeller boasts to have been developing, isn’t it a little strange that the means which have been selected to achieve “peace and prosperity for the whole of humanity” involve so much violence, deception, oppression, exploitation, graft, and theft? In fact it looks to me as though “our plan for the world” is one that is based on genocide, world war, police control of populations, and seizure of the world’s resources by the financial elite and their puppet politicians and military forces.

In particular, could there be a better way to accomplish all this than what appears to be a concentrated plan to remove from people everywhere in the world the ability to raise their own food? After all, genocide by starvation may be slow, but it is very effective. Especially when it can be blamed on “market forces.”

And can it be that the “us” which is doing all these things, including the great David Rockefeller himself, are just criminals who have somehow taken over the seats of power? If so, they are criminals who have done everything they can to watch their backs and cover their tracks, including a chokehold over the educational system and the monopolistic mainstream media.

One thing is certain: The voters of America have never knowingly agreed to any of this.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Nor did the vast majority of Americans even know this was occurring while submerged in mindless Bread and Circuses as in the days of Tacitus– SJH

Link to original article below…

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article4293.html

The Iron Wall — History Of Israeli Oppression Against Palestinians

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June 5, 2010: A Film By Mohammed Alatar / Released In 2006

In 1923 Vladimir Jabotinsky, leading intellectual of the Zionist movement and father of the right wing of that movement, wrote:

“Zionist colonization must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an IRON WALL, which the native population cannot breach.”

From that day these words became the official and unspoken policy of the Zionist movement and later the state of Israel. Settlements were used from the beginning to create a Zionist foothold in Palestine.

After 1967 and the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the aim of the settlement movement became clear – create facts on the ground and make the creation of a Palestinian state impossible. Thirty nine years of occupation and the policy started showing results. There are now more than 200 settlements and outposts scattered throughout the West Bank blocking the geographic possibility of a contiguous Palestinian territory.

The Iron Wall documentary exposes this phenomenon and follows the timeline, size, population of the settlements, and its impact on the peace process. This film also touches on the latest project to make the settlements a permanent fact on the ground; the wall that Israel is building in the West Bank and its impact on the Palestinian people.

Settlements and related infrastructures are impacting every aspect of life for all Palestinians from land confiscation, theft of natural resources, confiscation of the basic human rights, creation of an apartheid-like system, to the devastating impact in regards to the future of the region and the prospect of the peace process.

Palestinians and Israelis began the peace process based on a very simple principle, land for peace. Settlements destroy that principle and create a land with no peace.

The Iron Wall – Part 1

The Iron Wall – Part 2

The Iron Wall – Part 3

The Iron Wall – Part 4

The Iron Wall – Part 5

The Iron Wall – Part 6

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: This documentary is in response to the following comment posted on the article found at the link below the aforementioned comment in question

“I don’t get it. Aren’t these the same people who danced in the streets with joy on 9/11? Why doesn’t Egypt or some other Arab country take the Palestinians in and make them citizens. A population transfer would be the easiest and most humane solution.

By the way, why is there no international outrage of the Muslim persecution of Christians. Turkey, Sudan, Iraq, and Egypt for example…….”

https://stevenjohnhibbs.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/world-wide-demonstrations-follow-israeli-assault-on-gaza-flotilla/#comment-1623

This is not a chastisement. On the contrary, in light of the current events that have been unfolding in Gaza, this is a rather apropos time to post this very important documentary in order to shed light on the Zionist agenda and their relentless human rights violations and genocide perpetrated against the Palestinians… – SJH 

Links to all parts of documentary found below…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSPatKNo-3Q&feature=related

US Cities In Free Fall: Economic Indicators Go From Bad To Worse

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April 16, 2010: Francesca Levy / Yahoo Real Estate via Forbes.com  – April 13, 2010

Economic indicators in these metros have gone from bad to worse, with no sign of recovery.

Miami boasts a popular South Beach club scene, Art Deco Architecture, and perhaps the best Cuban food in the country. But residents don’t have much else to celebrate.

More than three years after the economy started its downward slide, the Miami metro area, like a handful of Sun Belt cities, still hasn’t begun to recover. Median home prices in Miami have fallen 38% since its market peaked in the second quarter of 2007; the city’s 11% unemployment rate is above the national average and has grown more than most of the 40 cities we surveyed.

Cities in the “Sand States” of Florida, California, Arizona and Nevada, where overbuilding was rampant, are also in trouble, claiming nine of the top 10 spots in our list of cities in free fall. In Las Vegas, Riverside, Calif., and Phoenix, median home prices have fallen 50%, 44% and 37% from their respective peaks. Jobs are vanishing. Though country-wide, employers added 162,00 jobs last month, Riverside gained 13% fewer jobs in February 2010 (the latest numbers available by metro) than it did the same month three years earlier. Tampa, Fla., saw a 10% drop, and Los Angeles added 9% fewer jobs over the same time period.

These cities are also slow to absorb their glut of unsold foreclosed homes, keeping recovery at bay. “These were highly speculative housing markets,” says Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, a Manhattan-based real estate appraisal firm. “In the markets that have unloaded a lot of foreclosed housing stock there’s still a lot more coming.”

Behind the Numbers

To find the country’s cities in free fall, we rated its 40 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) on six metrics. We ranked each MSA on the percent its median home price has fallen since its individual peak, using data provided by Local Market Monitor, a housing market data tracker. To get an estimate for the number of new homes being built, we used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which tracks how many building permits are issued. Roughly 98% of these permits become new home starts. We looked at the percent change in new building permits between February 2007 and February 2010.

We also wanted to know how many people were moving in and out of these metros, since a growing population buoys a local economy. We used the Census Bureau’s most recent population estimates to rank each metro on its net population change between July 2006 and July 2009. To judge each city’s productivity we also ranked each metro on its per capita gross domestic product in 2008, the most recent year available, using data from Moody’s Economy.com. Finally, we ranked the metros on the percent change in unemployment between January 2007 and January 2010 and the number of jobs they added between February 2007 and February 2010, with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We averaged these rankings to arrive at a final score.

Sunshine State Stagnancy

Florida cities dominate our list, with Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville joining Miami. Florida’s real estate market keeps falling even as some herald the start of a rebound. The state’s comparatively sluggish foreclosure process keeps those homes from getting easily flushed out of the market. Because every foreclosure must be approved by a judge, the procedure takes a minimum of five months to complete.

“In states with complex foreclosure laws, the recovery is clearly being delayed,” says Mike Simonsen, CEO of Altos Research, a Mountain View, Calif.-based real estate research firm, who adds that lengthy foreclosures may be driving away real estate investors in these cities.

A Trouble Spot in the Northeast

Picturesque Providence, R.I., is the only New England metro on our list. Economically, it’s struggling far more than other cities in the region. Although Providence saw a slower three-year increase in unemployment than some other major metros, it still has a high unemployment rate, at 14%. The city also added 9% fewer jobs in 2010 than three years earlier. Workers are getting the message and leaving town. Providence is the only city in our top 10 to see a net loss in population.

Grim News for the Golden State

California cities are struggling too. Riverside, Los Angeles and Sacramento are suffering because of the knocks they took after their inflated housing markets began to plummet. Unemployment in the City of Angels has nearly tripled in three years, to 12%. Riverside’s unemployment has also ballooned, to 15%. Meanwhile Sacramento saw a 75% drop in new building permits. These are troubling signs for Cali metros, but not surprising. The end of the state’s home-price climb triggered more than just a housing slump.

“In California, so many jobs were concentrated in construction,” says Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research at the Mortgage Bankers Association, the professional association for real estate financiers. “Jobs building single family homes wound up not being sustainable, and there were a lot of job losses.”

The long-term consequences of the housing crash in these cities are still playing out, and new factors that complicate a recovery keep cropping up. “Places like Phoenix and Riverside may take even longer to recover because people might just pick up and leave to go to places doing better,” says Fratantoni. “It may make more sense to leave, rather than wait for jobs to return.”

Top 5 Cities in a Free Fall

1. Miami-Fort LauderdalePompano Beach, FL
Net Population Change, 2006-2009: 1.47%
Per Capita Gross Domestic Product: $42,645.52
Change in New Building Permits, February 2007-February 2010: -77.46%
Change in Unemployment, January 2007-January 2010: 202.70%
Change in New Jobs Added, February 2007 – February 2010: -9.68%
Change in Median Home Price from Market Peak: -38%

2. TampaClearwater, FL
Net Population Change, 2006-2009: 2.33%
Per Capita Gross Domestic Product: $42,562.92
Change in New Building Permits, February 2007-February 2010: -44.18%
Change in Unemployment, January 2007-January 2010: 235.90%
Change in New Jobs Added, February 2007 – February 2010: -9.87%
Change in Median Home Price from Market Peak: -32%

3. Riverside-San BernardinoOntario, Calif.
Net Population Change, 2006-2009: 4.40%
Per Capita Gross Domestic Product: $32,403.49
Change in New Building Permits, February 2007-February 2010: -65.69%
Change in Unemployment, January 2007-January 2010: 177.78%
Change in New Jobs Added, February 2007 – February 2010: -12.94%
Change in Median Home Price from Market Peak: -44%

4. Jacksonville, Fl.
Net Population Change, 2006-2009: 3.83%
Per Capita Gross Domestic Product: $16,035.65
Change in New Building Permits, February 2007-February 2010: -66.09%
Change in Unemployment, January 2007-January 2010: 227.03%
Change in New Jobs Added, February 2007 – February 2010: -7.74%
Change in Median Home Price from Market Peak: -23%

5. PhoenixMesaScottsdale, AZ
Net Population Change, 2006-2009: 7.85%
Per Capita Gross Domestic Product: $40,870.16
Change in New Building Permits, February 2007-February 2010: -83.61%
Change in Unemployment, January 2007-January 2010: 148.65%
Change in New Jobs Added, February 2007 – February 2010: -10.01%
Change in Median Home Price from Market Peak: -37%

Click here to see the full list of Ten U.S. Cities In Free Fall

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: This is a bank consolidation and land grab taking place… – SJH

Link to link to original article below…

http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/us-cities-in-free-fall