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Read or Condemn Yourself to Death by Ignorance

The newsletter for those prepared to look and see what is there.

No place for those who blindly bow

to the unholy alter of tyrannical authority.

Wednesday 2nd May 2018

G’day #Name#,

Here is a brief excerpt of what flittered through my mind or crossed my digital desk over the last week.

I hope you get something from it!


No attack, no victims, no chem weapons: Douma witnesses speak

Witnesses of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, including 11-year-old Hassan Diab and hospital staff, told reporters at The Hague that the White Helmets video used as a pretext for a US-led strike on Syria was, in fact, staged. “There were people unknown to us who were filming the emergency care, they were filming the chaos taking place inside, and were filming people being doused with water. The instruments they used to douse them with water were originally used to clean the floors actually,” Ahmad Kashoi, an administrator of the emergency ward, recalled. “That happened for about an hour, we provided help to them and sent them home. No one has died. No one suffered from chemical exposure.”

Families of the 9/11 victims have filed a petition for a new investigation citing ‘conclusive evidence’ of explosives

This month, the Lawyers’ Committee for 9-11 Inquiry, a group representing families of the 9/11 victims, filed a petition with the U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York to push for an investigation into the crimes of 9/11. The committee states that they have “conclusive” evidence that explosives were planted and detonated in the trade center buildings, and that this is the actual reason for the collapse of the towers.

According to the 52-page petition, which is accompanied by 57 exhibits, federal statute requires the U.S. Department of Justice to review the evidence with a special grand jury. The petition states:

“The Lawyers’ Committee has reviewed the relevant available evidence . . . and has reached a consensus that there is not just substantial or persuasive evidence of yet-to-be-prosecuted crimes related to the use of pre-planted explosives and/or incendiaries . . . on 9/11, but there is actually conclusive evidence that such federal crimes were committed.”

The evidence that is put forward in the petition includes the following:

Independent scientific laboratory analysis of WTC dust samples showing the presence of high-tech explosives and/or incendiaries in the form of thermite or thermate.
Expert analysis of seismic evidence that explosions occurred at the WTC towers on 9/11 prior to the airplane impacts on the WTC Towers, and prior to the building collapses.
Technical analysis of video evidence of the WTC building collapses.
Firefighter reports of explosions, and of seeing “molten iron like in a foundry.” The petition states that the presence of molten iron would require temperatures higher than jet fuel and building contents could create when burned, but consistent with the use of the high tech explosive and incendiary thermite or thermate.
The presence of previously molten iron microspheres, which have been established by electron microscope analysis of WTC dust samples, by both government and independent scientists, is another phenomenon that would be scientifically impossible based on the burning of jet fuel and office contents alone.
Video and eyewitness testimony of the ejection during the collapse of WTC 1 and 2 of heavy steel elements laterally from the buildings which would not be possible from a gravity collapse.
Scientific analysis, eyewitness testimony, and government reports confirming sulfidation and high-temperature corrosion of the steel found in the rubble after the collapse of the WTC towers and WTC 7, a phenomenon not expected in a jet fuel fire and gravity collapse but consistent with the use of thermate and high explosives.

After the petition was delivered, the Lawyers committee delivered a press conference outside of the New York District Court, along with families of the victims.

Footage from the press conference can be seen on the site.

None of the evidence put forward in the petition was presented or considered in the “9/11 commission,” which was initially appointed to investigate the collapse of the towers. In the years since the attacks, the commission has been exposed as a fraud, with many of its own members speaking out against the official story.

According to a 2006 report from the Washington Post, most of the people who oversaw this commission believed they were being lied to, and even held a secret meeting about referring the matter to the Department of Justice.

The report stated that:

“Suspicion of wrongdoing ran so deep that the 10-member commission, in a secret meeting at the end of its tenure in summer 2004, debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation, according to several commission sources. Staff members and some commissioners thought that e-mails and other evidence provided enough probable cause to believe that military and aviation officials violated the law by making false statements to Congress and to the commission, hoping to hide the bungled response to the hijackings, these sources said.”

One of the commissioners who expressed doubts about the evidence was John Farmer, who later wrote a book called “The Ground Truth,” detailing how evidence was intentionally left out of the report and how intelligence agencies lied about important aspects of the incident, including their initial response to the attack.

“I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described... ...The tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years,” Farmer said.

Thomas H. Kean, the former New Jersey governor who led the commission said that NORAD lied about their response to the attack.

“We to this day don’t know why NORAD [the North American Aerospace Command] told us what they told us. It was just so far from the truth. . . . It’s one of those loose ends that never got tied,” Kean said.

The two co-chairs of the Commission, Kean and Lee Hamilton, have said publicly that the commission was “set up to fail.” In their book, Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission, Kean and Hamilton describe how the commission was intentionally underfunded and not given ample time to sort out the evidence, and how they were lied to by intelligence agencies and politicians who seemed to have something to hide.

Hamilton said in an interview with the CBC that “We had a lot of skeptics out there, who really did not want the Commission formed. Politicians don’t like somebody looking back to see if they made a mistake.” In the interview, Hamilton also revealed that Henry Kissinger was who they actually wanted to run the commission.

There were even members of the Intelligence Community who had similar stories to tell, including Former FBI Director Louis Freeh who pointed out that there were parts of the report that he knew were false. Specifically, Freeh said that some of the terrorists suspected of carrying out the attack were known about by intelligence agencies for a long time, while the final commission report stated these agencies had no prior knowledge of the terrorists.

The commission was so flimsy that a coalition of intelligence whistleblowers was formed to dispute the official story. The coalition consisted of agents from the NSA, FBI and other agencies, who said that there was evidence that was intentionally ignored and left out of the commission report.

Considering the many problems with the commission, a new investigation is long overdue.


Plunder Down Under: the Rot in Australia’s Financial Services

by Binoy Kampmark April 27, 2018

It has all the elements of a crudely crafted if effective tale: banks and other financial services, founded, proud of their standing in society; financial service providers, with such pride, effectively charging the earth for providing elementary services; then, such entities, with self-assumed omnipotence, cheating, extorting and plundering their clients.

This is the scene in Australia, a country where the bankster and financial con artist have been enthroned for some time, worshipped as fictional job creators and wealth managers for the economy. Impunity was more or less guaranteed. All that might be expected would be the odd sacking here and there, the odd removal, the odd fine and limp slap of the wrist. But then came along something the Australian government never wanted: a Royal Commission.

While Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s Royal Commission into the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services industry initially promised to be a fizzer, one that risked being stage managed into oblivion by a conservative former High Court justice, the contrary has transpired. Even in its infancy, it has produced a string of revelations that have sent the financial establishment, and those supporting them, into apoplectic worry.

The Turnbull government, long steadfast in treating Australia’s banking and financial sector like a golden calf, has found itself encircled by misjudgement and error. Former front bencher Barnaby Joyce had to concede error in arguing against a Royal Commission into the sector. “I was wrong. What I have heard is [sic] so far is beyond disturbing.”

Ministers have been more mealy-mouthed, in particular Revenue Minister Kelly O’Dwyer who has given a string of performances featuring stellar denial and evasion. “Initially,” she told the ABC last Thursday, “the Government said that it didn’t feel that there was enough need for a royal commission. And we re-evaluated our position and we introduced one.”

Such a view ignores a strain of deep anti-banking suspicion within some conservative circles – notably of the agrarian populist persuasion. The National rebels George Christensen, Llew O’Brien and Barry O’Sullivan were repeatedly noisyon the subject. (The unregulated free market sits uneasily with them.)

The undergrowth of abuse has proven extensive and thorny. Clients, for instance, have been charged services they were never supplied; monitoring systems to ensure that such services were, in fact, being provided, have been absent. Not even the dead have been spared, with the Commonwealth Bank’s financial business wing knowinglycharging fees of the departed.

One revelatory report stretching back to 2012 from Deloitte found the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) particularly egregious on this score. According to the authors, 1,050 clients were overcharged to the hefty tune of $700,000 for advice never received, as their financial planners had left the business prior to 2012.

At times, the hearings have made for riveting viewing. Commissioner Hayne found himself in the position of reproaching Marianne Perkovic, head of the CBA’s private bank some three times for hedging responses to Michael Hodge, QC, senior counsel assisting the commission. “You will get on better if you listen to counsel’s question – if you have to stop and think about the question do it – but listen to counsel’s question and answer what you’re asked.”

Perkovic had remained oblique on the issue of the CBA’s foot dragging – some two years of it, in fact – regarding a failure to inform the Australian Services & Investment Commission (ASIC) on why it did not supply an annual review to financial advice clients of Commonwealth Financial Planning.

Scalps are being gathered; possible jail terms are being suggested; promises of share holder revolts are being made. The most notable of late has been AMP, whose board, after the resignation of chief executive Craig Meller risk a revolt from shareholders at a meeting on May 10. “At this stage,” announced Australian Council of Superannuation Investors CEO Louise Davidson, “we are thinking of voting against the re-election of the directors.”

This is not the view of Institutional Shareholder Services, a proxy firm that maintains the front that caution should be exercised in favour of the three directors in question. Stick by Holly Kramer, Vanessa Wallace and Andrew Harmos – for the moment.

“Given that the Royal Commission is in its early stages,” go the dousing words of the ISS report, “and although information presented thus far would be of concern, it is considered that shareholders may in due course review the findings of the Royal Commission, once presented, and any implications for their votes on directors at the appropriate time.”

It is precisely such attitudes of disbelief, caution and faith that have governed Australia’s financial sector during the course of a religiously praised period of uninterrupted growth. AMP’s value has been dramatically diminished, losing $4 billion from its market capitalisation. In naked terms, this constitutes a loss of 24 percent of shareholder value over the course of six weeks. But that is merely one component of this financial nightmare, which has stimulated a certain vengeful nature on the part of shareholders.

What, then, with solutions? The regulator suggests greater oversight; the legislator suggests more rigid laws of vigilance. The penologist wishes to see the prisons filled with more white collar criminals. Yet all in all, Australia’s financial service culture has been characterised by shyness and reluctance on the part of ASIC to force the issue and hold rapacity to account. Central to such a world is a remorseless drive for profit, one that resists government prying and notions of the public good.

One suggestion with merit has been floated. It lies deep within structural considerations that will require a return to more traditional operations, ones untainted by the advisory arm of the financial industry.

“Financial institutions,” suggests Allan Fels, former chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, “must be forced to sell their advisory businesses. This will remove the unmanageable conflict of interest inherent in banks creating investment products while employing advisers to give purportedly independent recommendations to consumers about their investments.” Now that would be radical.

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email:

200 Countries 200 Years 4 Minutes
200 Countries 200 Years 4 Minutes

I know I shared this some time ago but it was sent to me again this week and I thought I would pass it on again.

10 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid at all Costs

If you have a business, here are some good tips.

Oops. Wrong Picture
Oops. Wrong Picture

Do They Really Expect Me To Fall For This Again?
Do They Really Expect Me To Fall For This Again?

Play With Passion
Play With Passion

Government and banks hope royal commission storm will blow over—don’t let it

Behind their public admissions that it was a mistake to oppose the Financial Services Royal Commission, the banks and their political stooges are already strategising how to ride out the storm. Specifically, how to resist pressure to break up the banks.

Talk is cheap, so don’t be fooled by Turnbull’s, Morrison’s and O’Dwyer’s public apologies and vows to crack down on banking crimes. You will see their intent in their actions, and the real test will be how they respond to the CEC’s Australian Glass-Steagall legislation, the Banking System Reform (Separation of Banks) Bill 2018, which Bob Katter will introduce in Parliament as a private member’s bill.

The royal commission has everyone talking about breaking up the banks, as it is the only way to stop banks from “advising”—actually luring—depositors into financial investment products created by the banks themselves.

Treasurer Scott Morrison and other bank apologists, though, are already sounding a note of caution. The 20 April Sydney Morning Herald reported that Morrison said calls to break up the banks “were premature and could impact on the economy. ‘We have got to be careful as we go down this path that what we put in place does not commit economic self-harm,’ Mr Morrison said.” (Emphasis added).

By warning about the possibility of “economic self-harm”, Morrison is ignoring that that is exactly what we have been doing already, by allowing the banks to run riot. They have created a property bubble which has made housing unaffordable for all Australians, exposed the nation to an oncoming “economic Armageddon”, and left thousands of victims of mortgage fraud, bad financial advice, and dishonest insurance products in their wake.

Morrison is proving that his chief concern is for the banks, not the public, which Dick Bryan, emeritus professor of economics at the University of Sydney, observed in the 26 April Sydney Morning Herald is the way Australia’s financial oversight is geared. “So Australia’s regulatory framework is vigilant in ensuring that households don’t create stability problems for the financial system”, Bryan wrote, “but no regulator has a mandate to ensure that the financial system doesn’t create stability problems for households.” Bryan was writing about the fact that bank regulator APRA has long allowed the banks to assess the ability of borrowers to repay loans on the basis of the Henderson Poverty Index, i.e. borrowers are deemed able to afford loans even if they are living on bread and water, which has spread poverty to the middle class.

Another bank apologist, Graeme Samuel, the former chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), blasted the “self-anointed experts” who are calling to break up the banks. “I’m just bewildered, I really am bewildered, at people jumping to conclusions barely three weeks into a really important inquiry”, Samuel said to the 24 April SMH, adding that “some” of those conclusions were of “enormous consequence” to the financial system. It was clear Samuel was talking about the calls to break up the banks, but he didn’t want to be specific, because one of the “self-anointed experts” is his predecessor at ACCC, Professor Allan Fels, who has led the calls to end vertical integration. Another self-anointed expert is former Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser, who told the 26 April SMH he supported moves to end vertical integration. “I think there’s such momentum now that changes are going to be made”, he said.

Graeme Samuel is right that breaking up the banks is of enormous consequence to the financial sector. That is because since deregulation, the financial system has become completely oriented to speculation and looting. Even normal lending for mortgages is now a speculative gamble for the banks involving securitisation and derivatives, while they have no interest in lending for productive small businesses and farms. If people like Samuel don’t think the financial system can handle the banks being separated so that they can’t speculate and fleece their customers, that tells you what sort of financial system they are defending. Samuel has a track record of defending bad financial practices: when he was a Macquarie Bank executive in the 1980s he became notorious for advocating that insider trading should be legal.

In light of the royal commission, there are a number of actions that must be taken against the banks, including criminal charges, and forcing them to pay full compensation to their victims. Breaking them up, however, is the most serious and necessary measure, to forever change the structure of the banking system that has allowed their abuses, so they cannot continue. Hence the pre-emptive opposition from vested interests, including the media. For instance, SMH’s European correspondent Nick Miller on 29 April reported the British experience of bank separation, and the claim by UK bank inquiry commissioner Sir John Vickers that “ring-fencing”—whereby banks separate their different functions but keep them under the same roof—“was a better solution than structural separation”. Miller didn’t report, however, on the intense 2013 debate in the UK parliament over ring-fencing in which a former City of London banker warned that it won’t work, as “bankers are extremely adept at getting between the wallpaper and the wall”. Nor on the fact that 445 members of the UK’s Houses of Commons and Lords voted for an amendment to the ring-fencing law to turn it into a full Glass-Steagall separation. Nor that Sir John Vickers himself in 2017, four years after ring-fencing was legislated, warned that the banks were still vulnerable to a new crisis.

No, Glass-Steagall, which separates deposit-taking banks from all other financial activities, is the only effective way to break up the banks. This is the purpose of the Australian Glass-Steagall bill that Bob Katter will introduce. It will only be achieved by the Australian public demanding this change of their elected politicians. Join the CEC’s fight to ensure the royal commission storm doesn’t blow over, but that real change is imposed on the financial system in the form of a Glass-Steagall separation.


Until next time,
dream big dreams,
plan out how to achieve them,
be continually executing your plans,
enlist people to your causes,
travel and/or read widely, preferably both,
all the while observing what you observe
rather than thinking what you are told to think,
think well of your fellow man,
take time to help your fellow man,
he sorely needs it and it will help you too,
eat food that is good for your body,
exercise your body,
take time to destress,
and do the important things
that make a difference -
they are rarely the urgent ones!



Most of the content herein has been copied from someone else. Especially the images. My goodness some people are talented at creating aesthetics! The small bits that are of my creation are Copyright 2014-2018 © by Tom Grimshaw - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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