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Are you ready for the House Bill titled 'HR 45, Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record Act of 2009'
It will make it illegal to own a firearm unless it is registered with the database in Washington D.C. As a gun owner you will have to be finger printed, you will be required to provide your DL#, SS#, you must maintain a valid address at all times, submit to mental and physical health records being put on file. You will also be required to file any address changes and you must report any ownership changes even if private sale. Each update will cost $25 and if you fail to comply you will lose your right to own firearms and be subject to criminal penalties. This bill and its language mirror almost completely one defeated last year in the House of Representatives by soon to be Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Will we the citizenry be as lucky this time?
When assuming power and creating a fascist state, Hitler was a proponent of strong gun laws because a disarmed populace was much easier to control than an armed one. The kings of old also outlawed weapons of any kind in any region that they conquered to quell the ability of the citizens to uprise against them.
The Founding Fathers of this nation understood all of the above, and because of this they included the second amendment in the constitution. In fact, they knew that at some point in every countries life span that the need for the population to arise comes about. To this end they made the right to keep and bear arms against a tyrannical state an absolute right that could not be revoked. They did this because the first thing tyrants and despots do is to remove a populations right to defend themselves. When this is done the tyrants have no problem with the destruction of society as we know it.
Send this on to all true patriots! Protect your Second Amendment!
Bubble Economy 2.0: The Financial Recovery Plan from Hell
by Michael Hudson
Global Research, February 11, 2009
Martin Wolf started off his Financial Times column today (February 11) with the bold question: “Has Barack Obama’s presidency already failed?” The stock market had a similar opinion, plunging 382 points. Having promised “change,” Mr. Obama is giving us more Clinton-Bush via Robert Rubin’s protégé, Tim Geithner. Tuesday’s $2.5 trillion Financial Stabilization Plan to re-inflate the Bubble Economy is basically an extension of the Bush-Paulson giveaway – yet more Rubinomics for financial insiders in the emerging Wall Street trusts. The financial system is to be concentrated into a cartel of just a few giant conglomerates to act as the economy’s central planners and resource allocators. This makes banks the big winners in the game of “chicken” they’ve been playing with Washington, a shakedown holding the economy hostage. “Give us what we want or we’ll plunge the economy into financial crisis.” Washington has given them $9 trillion so far, with promises now of another $2 trillion– and still counting.
A true reform – one designed to undo the systemic market distortions that led to the real estate bubble – would have set out to reverse the Clinton-Rubin repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act so as to prevent the corrupting conflicts of interest that have resulted in vertical trusts such as Citibank and Bank of America/Countrywide/Merrill Lynch. By unleashing these conglomerate grupos (to use the term popularized under Pinochet with Chicago Boy direction – a dress rehearsal of the mass financial bankruptcies they caused in Chile by the end of the 1970s) The Clinton administration enabled banks to merge with junk mortgage companies, junk-money managers, fictitious property appraisal companies, and law-evasion firms all designed to package debts to investors who trusted them enough to let them rake off enough commissions and capital gains to make their managers the world’s highest-paid economic planners.
Today’s economic collapse is the direct result of their planning philosophy. It actually was taught as “wealth creation” and still is, as supposedly more productive than the public regulation and oversight so detested by Wall Street and its Chicago School aficionados. The financial powerhouses created by this “free market” philosophy span the entire FIRE sector – finance, insurance and real estate, “financializing” housing and commercial property markets in ways guaranteed to make money by creating and selling debt. Mr. Obama’s advisors are precisely those of the Clinton Administration who supported trustification of the FIRE sector. This is the broad deregulatory medium in which today’s bad-debt disaster has been able to spread so much more rapidly than at any time since the 1920s.
The commercial banks have used their credit-creating power not to expand the production of goods and services or raise living standards but simply to inflate prices for real estate (making fortunes for their brokerage, property appraisal and insurance affiliates), stocks and bonds (making more fortunes for their investment bank subsidiaries), fine arts (whose demand is now essentially for trophies, degrading the idea of art accordingly) and other assets already in place.
The resulting dot.com and real estate bubbles were not inevitable, not economically necessary. They were financially engineered by the political deregulatory power acquired by banks corrupting Congress through campaign contributions and public relations “think tanks” (more in the character of Orwellian doublethink tanks) to promote the perverse fiction that Wall Street can be and indeed is automatically self-regulating. This is a travesty of Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand.” This hand is better thought of as covert. The myth of “free markets” is now supposed to consist of governments withdrawing from planning and taxing wealth, so as to leave resource allocation and the economic surplus to bankers rather than elected public representatives. This is what classically is called oligarchy, not democracy.
This centralization of planning, debt creation and revenue-extracting power is defended as the alternative to Hayek’s road to serfdom. But it is itself the road to debt peonage, a.k.a. the post-industrial economy or “Information Economy.” The latter term is another euphemistic travesty in view of the kind of information the banking system has promoted in the junk accounting crafted by their accounting firms and tax lawyers (off-balance-sheet entities registered on offshore tax-avoidance islands), the AAA applause provided as “information” to investors by the bond-rating cartel, and indeed the national income and product accounts that depict the FIRE sector as being part of the “real” economy, not as an institutional wrapping of special interests and government-sanctioned privilege acting in an extractive rather than a productive way.
“Thanks for the bonuses,” bankers in the United States and England testified this week before Congress and Parliament. “We’ll keep the money, but rest assured that we are truly sorry for having to ask you for another few trillion dollars. At least you should remember our theme song: We are still better managers than the government, and the bulwark against government bureaucratic resource allocation.” This is the ideological Big Lie sold by the Chicago School “free market” celebration of dismantling government power over finance, all defended by complex math rivaling that of nuclear physics that the financial sector is part of the “real” economy automatically producing a fair and equitable equilibrium.
This is not bad news for stockholders of more local and relatively healthy banks (healthy in the sense of avoiding negative equity). Their stocks soared and were by far the major gainers on Tuesday’s stock market, while Wall Street’s large Bad Banks plunged to new lows. Solvent local banks are the sort that were normal prior to repeal of Glass Steagall. They are to be bought by the large “troubled” banks, whose “toxic loans” reflect a basically toxic operating philosophy. In other words, small banks who have made loans carefully will be sucked into Citibank, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo – the Big Four or Five where the junk mortgages, junk CDOs and junk derivatives are concentrated, and have used Treasury money from the past bailout to buy out smaller banks that were not infected with such reckless financial opportunism. Even the Wall Street Journal editorialized regarding the Obama Treasury’s new “Public-Private Investment Fund” to pump a trillion dollars into this mess: “Mr. Geithner would be wise to put someone strong land independent in charge of this fund – someone who can say no to Congress and has no ties to Citigroup, Robert Rubin or Wall Street.”
None of this can solve today’s financial problem. The debt overhead far exceeds the economy’s ability to pay. If the banks would indeed do what Pres. Obama’s appointees are begging them to do and lend more, the debt burden would become even heavier and buying access to housing even more costly. When the banks look back fondly on what Alan Greenspan called “wealth creation,” we can see today that the less euphemistic terminology would be “debt creation.” This is the objective of the new bank giveaway. It threatens to spread the distortions that the large banks have introduced until the entire system presumably looks like Citibank, long the number-one offender of “stretching the envelope,” its euphemism for breaking the law bit by bit and daring government regulators and prosecutors to try and stop it and thereby plunging the U.S. financial system into crisis. This is the shakedown that is being played out this week. And the Obama administration blinked – as these same regulators did when they were in charge of the Clinton administration’s bank policy. So much for the promised change!
The three-pronged Treasury program seems to be only Stage One of a two-stage “dream recovery plan” for Wall Street. Enough hints have trickled out for the past three months in Wall Street Journal op-eds to tip the hand for what may be in store. Watch for the magic phrase “equity kicker,” first heard in the S&L mortgage crisis of the 1980s. It refers to the banker’s share of capital gains, that is, asset price inflation in Bubble #2 that the Recovery Program hopes to sponsor.
The first question to ask about any Recovery Program is, “Recovery for whom?” The answer given on Tuesday is, “For the people who design the Program and their constituency” – in this case, the bank lobby. The second question is, “Just what is it they want to ‘recover’?” The answer is, the Bubble Economy. For the financial sector it was a golden age. Having enjoyed the Greenspan Bubble that made them so rich, its managers would love to create yet more wealth for themselves by indebting the “real” economy yet further while inflating prices all over again to make new capital gains.
The problem for today’s financial elites is that it is not possible to inflate another bubble from today’s debt levels, widespread negative equity, and still-high level of real estate, stock and bond prices. No amount of new capital will induce banks to provide credit to real estate already over-mortgaged or to individuals and corporations already over-indebted. Moody’s and other leading professional observers have forecast property prices to keep on plunging for at least the next year, which is as far as the eye can see in today’s unstable conditions. So the smartest money is still waiting like vultures in the wings – waiting for government guarantees that toxic loans will pay off. Another no-risk private profit to be subsidized by public-sector losses.
While the Obama administration’s financial planners wring their hands in public and say “We feel your pain” to debtors at large, they know that the past ten years have been a golden age for the banking system and the rest of Wall Street. Like feudal lord claiming the economic surplus for themselves while administering austerity for the population at large, the wealthiest 1% of the population has raised their appropriation of the nationwide returns to wealth – dividends, interest, rent and capital gains – from 37% of the total ten years ago to 57% five years ago and it seems nearly 70% today. This is the highest proportion since records have been kept. We are approaching Russian kleptocratic levels.
The officials drawn from Wall Street who now control of the Treasury and Federal Reserve repeat the right-wing Big Lie: Poor “subprime families” have brought the system down, exploiting the rich by trying to ape their betters and live beyond their means. Taking out subprime loans and not revealing their actual ability to pay, the NINJA poor (no income, no job, no audit) signed up to obtain “liars’ loans” as no-documentation Alt-A loans are called in the financial junk-paper trade.
I learned the reality a few years ago in London, talking to a commercial banker. “We’ve had an intellectual breakthrough,” he said. “It’s changed our credit philosophy.”
“What is it?” I asked, imagining that he was about to come out with yet a new magical mathematics formula?
“The poor are honest,” he said, accompanying his words with his jaw dropping open as if to say, “Who would have guessed?”
The meaning was clear enough. The poor pay their debts as a matter of honor, even at great personal sacrifice and what today’s neoliberal Chicago School language would call uneconomic behavior. Unlike Donald Trump, they are less likely to walk away from their homes when market prices sink below the mortgage level. This sociological gullibility does not make economic sense, but reflects a group morality that has made them rich pickings for predatory lenders such as Countrywide, Wachovia and Citibank. So it’s not the “lying poor.” It’s the banksters’ fault after all!
For this elite the Bubble Economy was a deliberate policy they would love to recover. The problem is how to start a new bubble to make yet another fortune? The alternative is not so bad – to keep the bonuses, capital gains and golden parachutes they have given themselves, and run. But perhaps they can improve in Bubble Economy #2.
The Treasury’s newest Financial Stability Plan (Bailout 2.0) is only the first step. It aims at putting in place enough new bank-lending capacity to start inflating prices on credit all over again. But a new bubble can’t be started from today’s asset-price levels. How can the $10 to $20 trillion capital-gain run-up of the Greenspan years been repeated in an economy that is “all loaned up”?
One thing Wall Street knows is that in order to make money, asset prices not only need to rise, they have to go down again. Without going down, after all, how can they rise up? Without a crucifixion for the economy, how can there be a resurrection? The more frenetic the price fibrillation, the easier it is for computerized buy-and-sell programs to make money on options and derivatives.
So here’s the situation as I see it. The first objective is to preserve the wealth of the creditor class – Wall Street, the banks and the other financial vehicles that enrich the wealthiest 1% and, to be fair within America’s emerging new financial oligarchy, the richest 10% of the population. Stage One involves buying out their bad loans at a price that saves them from taking a loss. The money will be depicted to voters as a “loan,” to be repaid by banks extracting enough new debt charges in the new rigged game the Treasury is setting up. The current loss will be shifted the onto “taxpayers” and made up by new debtors – in both cases labor, onto whose shoulders the tax burden has been shifted steadily, step by step since 1980.
An “aggregator” bank (sounds like “alligator,” from the swamps of toxic waste) will buy the bad debts and put them in a public agency. The government calls this the “bad” bank. (This is Geithner’s first point.) But it does good for Wall Street – by buying loans that have gone bad, along with loans and derivative guarantees and swaps that never were good in the first place. If the private sector refuses to buy these bad loans at prices the banks are asking for, why should the government pretend that these debt claims are worth more. Vulture funds are said to be offering about what they were when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt: about 22 cents on the dollar. The banks are asking for 75 cents on the dollar. What will the government offer?
Perhaps the worst alternative is that is now being promoted by the banks and vulture investors in tandem: the government will guarantee the price at which private investors buy toxic financial waste from the banks. A vulture fund would be happy enough to pay 75 cents on the dollar for worthless junk if the government were to provide a guarantee. The Treasury and Federal Reserve pretend that they simply would be “providing liquidity” to “frozen markets.” But the problem is not liquidity and it is not subjective “market psychology.” It is “solvency,” that is, a realistic awareness that toxic waste and bad derivatives gambles are junk. Mr. Geithner has not been able to come to terms with how to value this – without bringing the Obama administration down in a wave of populist protest – any more than Mr. Paulson was able to carry out his original Tarp proposal along these lines.
The hardest task for today’s banksters is to revive opportunities for creditors to make a new killing. (It’s the economy that’s being killed, of course.) This seems to be the aim of the Public/Private investment company that Mr. Geithner is establishing as the second element in his plan. The easiest free lunch is to ride the wave of a new bubble – a fresh wave of asset-price inflation to be introduced to “cure” the problem of debt deflation.
Here’s how I imagine the ploy might work. Suppose a hapless family has bought a home for $500,000, with a full 100% $500,000 adjustable-rate mortgage scheduled to reset this year at 8%. Suppose too that the current market price will fall to $250,000, a loss of 50% by yearend 2009. Sometime in mid 2010 would seem to be long enough for prices to decline by enough to make “recovery” possible – Bubble Economy 2.0. Without such a plunge, there will be no economy to “rescue,” no opportunity for Tim Geithner and Laurence Summers to “feel your pain” and pull out of their pocket the following package – a variant on the “cash for trash” swap, a public agency to acquire the $500,000 mortgage that is going bad, heading toward only a $250,000 market price.
The “bad bank” was not quite ready to be created this week, but the embryo is there. It will take the form of a public/private partnership (PPP) of the sort that Tony Blair made so notorious in Britain. And speaking of Mr. Blair, I am writing this from England, where almost every America-watcher I talk to has expressed amazement at Obama’s performance last week idealizing England’s counterpart to George Bush when it comes to unpopularity contests. Blair’s tenure in office was a horror story, not something to be congratulated for. He privatized the railroads and entering into the disastrous public/private partnership that doubled, tripled or quadrupled the cost of public projects by adding on a heavy financial overhead If Obama does not realize how he shocked Britain and much of Europe with his praise, then he is in danger of foisting a similar public/private financialized “partnership” on the United States
The new public/private institution will be financed with private funds – in fact, with the money now being given to re-capitalize America’s banks (headed by the Wall St. bank’s that have done so bad). Banks will use the Treasury money they have received by “borrowing” against their junk mortgages at or near par to buy shares in a new $5 trillion institution created along the lines of the unfortunate Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac. Its bonds will be guaranteed. (That’s the “public” part – “socializing” the risk.) The PPP institution will have the power to buy and renegotiate the mortgages that have passed into the hands of the government and other holders. This “Homeowner Rescue Trust” will use its private funding for the “socially responsible” purpose of “saving the taxpayer” and middle class homeowners by renegotiating the mortgage down from its original $500,000 to the new $250,000 market price.
Here’s the patter talk you can expect, with the usual Orwellian euphemisms. The Homeowners Rescue PPP will appear as a veritable Savior Bank resurrected from the wreckage of Bubble #1. Its clients will be families strapped by their mortgage debt and feeling more and more desperate as the price of their major asset plummets more deeply into Negative Equity territory. To them, the new PPP will say: “We’ve got a deal to save you. We’ll renegotiate your mortgage down to the current market price, $250,000, and we’ll also lower your interest rate to just 5.50%, the new rate. This will cut your monthly debt charges by nearly two thirds. Not only can you afford to stay in your home, you will escape from your negative equity.”
The family probably will say, “Great.” But they will have to make a concession. That’s where the new public/private partnership makes its killing. Funded with private money that will take the “risk” (and also reap the rewards), the Savior Bank will say to the family that agrees to renegotiate its mortgage: “Now that the government has absorbed a loss (in today’s travesty of “socializing” the financial system) while letting let you stay in your home, we need to recover the money that’s been lost. If we make you whole, we want to be made whole too. So when the time comes for you to sell your home or renegotiate your mortgage, our Homeowners Rescue PPP will receive the capital gain up to the original amount written off.”
In other words, if the homeowner sells the property for $400,000, the Homeowners Rescue PPP will get $150,000 of the capital gain. If the home sells for $500,000, the bank will get $250,000. And if it sells for more, thanks to some new clone of Alan Greenspan acting as bubblemeister, the capital gain will be split in some way. If the split is 50/50 and the home sells for $600,000, the owner will split the $100,000 further capital gain with the Homeowners Rescue PPP. It thus will make much more through its appropriation of capital gains (the new debt-fueled asset-price inflation being put in place) than it extracts in interest!
This would make Bubble 2.0 even richer for Wall Street than the Greenspan bubble! Last time around, it was the middle class that got the gains – even if new buyers had to enter a lifetime of debt peonage to buy higher-priced homes. It really was the bank that got the gains, of course, because mortgage interest charges absorbed the entire rental value and even the hoped-for price gain. But homeowners at least had a chance at the free ride, if they didn’t squander their money in refinancing their mortgages to “cash out” on their equity to support their living standards in a generation whose wage levels had stagnated since 1979. As Mr. Greenspan observed in testimony before Congress, a major reason why wages have not risen is that workers are afraid to strike or even to complain about being worked harder and harder for longer and longer hours (“raising productivity”), because they are one paycheck away from missing their mortgage payment – or, if renters, one paycheck or two away from homelessness.
This is the happy condition of normalcy that Wall Street’s financial planners would like to recover. This time around, they may not be obliged to make their gains in a way that also makes middle class homeowners rich. In the wake of Bubble Economy #1, today’s debt-strapped homeowners are willing to settle merely for a plan that leaves them in their homes! The Homeowners Rescue PPP can appropriate for its stockholder banks and other large investors the capital gains that have been the driving force of U.S. “wealth creation,” bubble-style. That is what the term “equity kicker” means.
This situation confronts the economy with a dilemma. The only policies deemed politically correct these days are those that make the situation worse: yet more government money in the hope that banks will create yet more credit/debt to raise house prices and make them even more unaffordable; credit/debt to inflate a new Bubble Economy #2.
Lobbyists for Wall Street’s enormous Bad Bank conglomerates are screaming that all real solutions to today’s debt problem and tax shift onto labor are politically incorrect, above all the time-honored debt write-downs to bring the debt burden within the ability to pay. That is what the market is supposed to do, after all, by bankruptcy in an anarchic collapse if not by more deliberate and targeted government policy. The Bad Banks, having demanded “free markets” all these years, fear a really free market when it threatens their bonuses and other takings. For Wall Street, free markets are “free” of public regulation against predatory lending; “free” of taxing the wealthy so as to shift the burden onto labor; “free” for the financial sector to wrap itself around the “real” economy like parasitic ivy around a tree to extract the surplus.
This is a travesty of freedom. As the putative neoliberal Adam Smith explained, “The government of an exclusive company of merchants, is, perhaps, the worst of all governments.” But worst of all is the “freedom” of today’s economic discussion from the wisdom of classical political economy and from historical experience regarding how societies through the ages have coped with the debt overhead.
How to save the economy from Wall Street
There is an alternative to ward all this off, and it is the classic definition of freedom from debt peonage and predatory credit. The only real solution to today’s debt overhang is a debt write-down. Until this occurs, debt service will crowd out spending on goods and services and there will be no recovery. Debt deflation will drag the economy down while assets are transferred further into the hands of the wealthiest 10 percent of the population, operating via the financial sector.
If Obama means what he says, he would use his office as a bully pulpit to urge repeal the present harsh creditor-oriented bankruptcy law sponsored by the banks and credit-card companies. He would campaign to restore the long-term trend of laws favoring debtors rather than creditors, and introduce legislation to restore the practice of writing down debts to reflect the debtor’s ability to pay, imposing market reality to debts that are far in excess of realistic valuations.
A second policy would be to restore the power of state attorneys general to bring financial fraud charges against the most egregious mortgage lenders – the prosecutions that the Bush Administration got thrown out of court by claiming that under an 1864 National Bank Act clause, the federal government had the right to override state prosecutions of national banks – and then appointing a non-prosecutor to this enforcement position.
On the basis of reinstated fraud charges, the government might claw back the bank bonuses, salaries and bank earnings that represented the profits from America’s greatest financial and real estate fraud in history. And to prevent repetition of the past decade’s experience, the Obama Administration might help popularize a new psychology of debt. The government could encourage “the poor” to act as “economically” as Donald Trumps or Angelo Mozilo’s would do, making it clear that debt write-downs are a right.
Also to ward off repetition of the Bubble Economy, the Treasury could impose the “Tobin tax” of 1% on purchases and options for stocks, bonds and foreign currency. Critics of this tax point out that it can be evaded by speculators trading offshore in the rights to securities held in U.S. accounts. But the government could simply refuse to provide deposit insurance and other support to institutions trading offshore, or simply could announce that trades in such “deposit receipts” for shares would not have legal standing. As for trades in derivatives, depository institutions – including conglomerates owning such banks – can simply be banned as inherently unsafe. If foreigners wish to speculate on financial horse races, let them.
Financial policy ultimately rests on tax policy. It is the ability to levy taxes, after all, that gives value to Treasury money (just as it is the inability to collect on debts that has depreciated the value of commercial bank deposits). It is easy enough for fiscal policy to prevent a new real estate bubble. Simply shift the tax system back to where it originally was, on the land’s site-rental value. The “free lunch” (what John Stuart Mill called the “unearned increment” of rising land prices, a gain that landlords made “in their sleep”) would serve as the tax base instead of burdening labor and industry with income taxes and sales taxes. This would achieve the kind of free market that Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and Alfred Marshall described, and which the Progressive Era aimed to achieve with America’s first income tax in 1913. It would be a market free of the free lunch that Chicago Boys insist does not exist. But the recent Bubble Economy and today’s Bailout Sequel have been all about getting a free lunch.
A land tax would prevent housing prices from rising again. It is the most hated tax in America today, largely because of the disinformation campaign that has been mounted by the real estate interests and amplified by the banks that stand behind them. The reality is that taxing land appreciation rather than wages or corporate profits would save homeowners from having to take on so much debt in order to obtain housing. It would save the economy from seeing “wealth creation” take the form of the “unearned increment” being capitalized into higher bank loans with their associated carrying charges (interest and amortization).
The wealth tax originally fell mainly on real estate. The most immediate and politically feasible priority of the Obama Administration thus should be to repeal the Bush Administration’s drastic tax cuts for the top brackets and its moratorium on the estate tax. The aim should be to bring down the polarization between creditors and debtors that has concentrated over two-thirds of the returns to wealth in the richest 1% of the population.
If alternatives to the Bubble Economy such as these are not promoted, we will know that promises of change were mere rhetoric, Tony Blair style.
Super Bug Beware !
Thanks to Ben for this info.
Acinetobacter baumannii from Iraq
The Coalition of the contaminated
Cases of Completely Drug Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii were reported by hospital workers
as early as 2005.
Rehab Centers, Nursing Homes and other long term care facilities are rapidly becoming infected.
Often patients with Completely Drug Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii are sent to nursing
homes to die because there is nothing left to do for them.
Acinetobacter baumannii has successfully spread throughout our country and outbreaks are
occurring all around the world.
A relatively benign bug becomes a highly lethal pathogen,
known to U.S. soldiers as Iraqibacter.
Watch the segment done by Nova Science aired on PBS July 9, 2008 here
For the source web site and more info visit the link below
Monsanto and Hillary Clinton's redemptive first act as Secretary of State
by Linn Cohen-Cole
For those who hope Obama will bring something different to the world, we must first see clearly what is happening, and make demands of him that are profound, not show.
Liberals are pleased he may appoint a White House farmer to plant an organic garden. That is empty show.
Meanwhile corporations like Monsanto are moving rapidly to take control of food supplies ... and democracies, including ours. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/2/1/192127/2714/736/691835
Obama chose Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State. We cannot know what deals were struck to make her stop her destructive campaigning long after it was apparent she had lost. But we do know that Mark Penn, CEO for Burson-Marsteller, one of the world's large PR firms representing Monsanto http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk/?lid=392 advised her for years and ran her campaign. And when she showed up again, by Obama's side, suddenly so did a man named Michael Taylor ... also again.
MIchael Taylor is a Monsanto lawyer Bill Clinton once put in charge of the FDA where he approved Monsanto's rBGH. Hillary was back, and Obama was putting Taylor on his transition team. http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_15710.cfm
Using the transition team's advice, Obama appointed Tom Vilsack to head the USDA, overriding 20,000 opposing "grassroots" emails. The objection to Vilsack? His deep Monsanto connections.
Hillary Clinton's connections to Monsanto go way back the Rose Law Firm where she worked. Rose represents Monsanto, Tyson, and Walmart - the world leaders in genetic engineering, animal production and industrialized food. She received favors there, as did Bill. In office, Bill's USDA immediately and significantly weakened chicken waste and contamination standards, easing Tyson's poultry-factory expansion, http://www.financialsense.com/ editorials/engdahl/2006/0828.html
, and his USDA head, Espy, was indicted for bribes, money laundering, and much more, with Tyson was the largest corporate offender.
What happened specifically with Monsanto?
Bill appointed Michael Taylor head of the FDA and put other Monsanto employees in as US Agricultural Trade Representatives, onto International Biotechnology Consultive Forums, and more ... http://www.commondreams.org/headlines/072600-03.htm or http://www.monitor.net/monitor/9904b/monsantofda.html
Bill's Monsanto FDA gave Monsanto permission to market rBGH - the first GMO product every approved.
Despite bovine illness and deaths, and despite medical warnings of increased breast cancer risk in humans,
Bill's Monsanto FDA did not recall it or put warnings on it, http://www.wafreepress.org/14/Envirowatch.html
or even require a label. http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Environment/Gag_Reflex.html
When activists protested the blatant conflict of interest of Michael Taylor, a Monsanto lawyer running FDA and approving Monsanto's own product, rBGH, Bill Clinton gave him a new job ... as Under-Secretary at the USDA. http://www.organicconsumers.org/miketaylor.html
What did the Clinton connection to Monsanto bring to us all?
Three profoundly disturbing things predominate:
1. Monsanto's control over our food supply through genetic engineering and its patents.
Bill Clinton not only helped unleash genetic engineering into the world, he pushed it as hard as he could, including sabotaging the international Biosafety Protocol treaty, and more. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=ENG20060827&articleId=3082
Genetic engineering has brought Monsanto immense and destructive control over farmers. http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/pubs/CFSMOnsantovsFarmerReport1.13.05.pdf
2. Infinite and immeasurable public health consequences from genetic engineering (a very limited list).
Mae-Wan Ho, designated expert of the International Cartagena Biosafety Protocol and representing more than 578 scientists around the world said "At the end of the Cold War and as we approach the new millennium the greatest threat to mankind is not nuclear war but genetic engineering." http://www.heureka.clara.net/books/ho.htm
(The harrowing change to the world from nuclear fission and fusion is the closest parallel, but genetic engineering does not weaken eventually, it grows and spreads and leaks out into nature in infinite and unpredictable but multiplying ways.)
Over 30 scientific publications have shown that increased levels of IGF-1 in milk with rBGH increases risks of breast cancer by up to seven-fold, also increasing colon and prostate cancers risks. Canada, 29 European nations, Norway, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa ban U.S. rBGH dairy products. http://www.sustdev.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2127&Itemid=35
A French study which Monsanto tried to suppress shows a link between Bt-corn and diabetes. http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_776.cfm
There is an epidemic of type 2 diabetes in children, a disease not known in children before. Across the country, diabetes is up 90% in ten years. http://www.healthfreedom.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=582&Itemid=
There is a solid link between high fructose (Bt-) corn syrup and diabetes. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823094819.htm
60% of our corn is GMO, with nearly 100% Monsanto "owned" traits).
3. Anti-democratic control over language and bizarre use of language to hide genetic engineering's presence. Clinton helped close off people's awareness and thus escape from genetic engineering through FDA non-labeling.
Clinton attempted to hide genetic engineering under false "organic labeling," proposing including genetically engineered products within "organic" standards. Massive public protest followed. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DEED91E31F933A1575AC0A96E958260 Had this gone through, Monsanto could have labeled rBGH milk ... "organic."
Dairy farmers attempting to label their milk "rBGH-free" were threatened that all their dairy products could be confiscated from stores.
Monsanto continues to push laws to stop all labeling of GMOs (this is true at the international level as well). http://nonais.org/index.php/2008/02/15/monstersanto-in-kansas/
Since Clinton to today, the FDA insists that those who label milk rBGH-free state there is no evidence that milk is different from regular milk though independent studies show it is http://www.awionline.org/farm/rbgh.htm
And as late as January 2008, Governor Rendell of Pennsylvania, a very close Clinton friend, tried to banned labeling of rBGH. The document deserves an Orwell award. http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/agriculture/lib/agriculture/foodsafetyfiles/labeling/milk_labeling_standards_new.pdf
Today's FDA, also under Monsanto influence, allows a bizarre and profoundly anti-democratic (to the degree democracy is about freedom of speech) commercial by the Corn Refiners which sells nothing but promotes mockery of anyone questioning the safety of high fructose corn syrup at the same time it is strongly associated with diabetes and we have an epidemic of diabetes occurring.
Monsanto claimed it would not use terminator genes which make seeds go dead after one season. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=ENG20060827&articleId=3082
These pictures from India tell another story: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6063387598655207801
and http:// video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1482107411279204352&hl=en
Bill Clinton sided with Monsanto ... and anti-democratically and corruptly against farmers, against the right to know and freedom of speech, against public health and safety, against American's control of their own food supply.
What does this have to do with Hillary Clinton now?
Hillary Clinton pushed for a centralized food safety department when she ran for president, which would bring together a deeply Monsanto-corrupted USDA and Monsanto-corrupted FDA, giving Monsanto immensely more power over our food supply. She appears to have passed this plan on Vilsack who has now raised the same specter, while making it appear that "critics" were suggesting it. http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE50P4TX20090126?rpc=64
Hillary Clinton, identified as concerned for food safety and for women and children, has never once spoken out to demand labeling of dairy products associated with a greatly increased risk breast cancer and other cancers, or against GMOs now proven a threat to fertility http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/releases/ge-threat-to-fertility-11112008 , or against GMOs linked to diabetes, http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_776.cfm
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_3329.cfm or against GMOs linked to cancers. http://www.ethicalinvesting.com/monsanto/bgh.shtml
She is Secretary of State now.
So, it is important to see how US foreign/trade policy have been at Monsanto's service and to see through a "show" of compassion.
Vilsack spoke on January 30, 2009 of "investing in programs that alleviate hunger and suffering overseas and support long-term agriculture development."
India: 180,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide over the last 10 years following Bill Clinton opening India to our Big Ag corporations, Monsanto leader among them. The suicides continue at the rate on one every half hour. http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/16367
Vilsack spoke on January 30, 2009 of "investing in programs that alleviate hunger and suffering overseas and support long-term agriculture development."
Africa: In Kenyan (where Obama is from) farmers, voice a view held by small farmers across the continent, put out the Thika Declaration.
We believe that God created life, and no one can own it, not even Monsanto, Syngenta or other multinational companies. We therefore reject all GMOs in agriculture, and call upon the Kenyan government to respect our indigenous expertise. Therefore to be able to fully understand the effects of GMOs on our livelihoods, health and environment, we demand a twenty-year moratorium on GMOs in Kenya.
The newly-registered Kenya Small-Scale Farmers Forum yesterday claimed that the Government was being arm-twisted by multinationals to accept genetically modified food whose consumers become infertile as recently proved by German sheepkeepers. http://allafrica.com/stories/200408230733.html
Vilsack spoke on January 30, 2009 of "investing in programs that alleviate hunger and suffering overseas and support long-term agriculture development."
Iraq: Most Americans have no idea of the "freedom" we inflicted on farmers in Iraq, using Bremer's Order No. 81. http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/62273/?page=entire
"As part of sweeping "economic restructuring" implemented by the Bush Administration in Iraq, Iraqi farmers will no longer be permitted to save their seeds. Instead, they will be forced to buy seeds from US corporations -- which can include seeds the Iraqis themselves developed over hundreds of years. That is because in recent years, transnational corporations have patented and now own many seed varieties originated or developed by indigenous peoples. In a short time, Iraq will be living under the new American credo: Pay Monsanto, or starve." http://au.messages.yahoo.com/news/localnews-vic/2527?p=last
Yet Vilsack spoke on January 30, 2009 of "investing in programs that alleviate hunger and suffering overseas and support long-term agriculture development."
Kissinger said control food, control people.
Hillary Clinton is Secretary of State. Monsanto is taking over food supplies around the world, using our government to do so. This is more than "agriculture" - this is Monsanto as US foreign policy.
I began this article with material on what Clinton had done through a corrupt connection to Monsanto, forcing genetic engineering on the world against its will and even knowledge and impacting health and democratic control over food. Domestically, Hillary Clinton, closely connected to Monsanto, remained silent about the risks of genetic engineering, its undemocratic non-labeling and its strong links to increased risk of cancers and diabetes.
As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton needs to get away from power and see the real people whose lives have been destroyed by Monsanto.
She needs to go to India and spend time with the widows and children and see what happened because Bill opened India to Monsanto. She needs to go to Africa and hear farmers angry that the US and their own corrupt governments are forcing Monsanto's GMOs and patents on them even though a huge UN studied proved organic farming can feed Africa easily and bring democratic and health benefits. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/organic-farming-could-feed-africa-968641.html
And most of all, since Hillary Clinton needs to go to Iraq and see that farmers and all future generations of Iraqis were robbed of thousands of years of their biologic inheritance by the US, working for Monsanto.
The American people were "sold" the Iraqi war with lies. They were told it was to help innocent people being crushed by tyranny and they wanted to help. Instead, Americans must now carry the moral burden of inflicting on Iraqis one of the most severe totalitarian controls ever devised in human history.
Monsanto is considered the most evil corporation on the face of the earth. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/07/08/tthe-most-evil-company-on-the-planet-monsanto.aspx?source=nl
Hillary Clinton needs to redeem herself and Bill for what he did and she remained silent about, for Monsanto's benefit, and at the expense of all human beings.
Hilary Clinton's first act as Secretary of State, must be a redemptive act - for herself, for the United States Government, and for badly misled American who only wanted to offer freedom - the removal of the sadistic and fully fascist seed laws in Iraq.
Hillary Clinton must order that the genetic inheritance of Iraq stolen by Monsanto and the US be returned in full and that Iraqi farmers' freedom (something Sadam Hussein never took from them) be restored in whole so the Iraqis can exist and survive as free people, not as what the US and Monsanto have been reduced them to by stealing their seeds - dependent, easily starved slaves.
Vilsack spoke on January 30, 2009 of "investing in programs that alleviate hunger and suffering overseas and support long-term agriculture development."
It is time to see past symbolic shows of "the White House farmer" or empty compassionate words, to the immense threat coming at all of us through Monsanto influence over the USDA and the FDA. Our food supply and those of other countries are being taken over - in Africa as "charity," in India as "knowing better how to farm," in Iraq with all pretense put aside.
Here, Monsanto and other corporations use "food safety" or "public health" or "food security." But away from the show, they have written massively controlling and destructive regulations, http://www.opednews.com/articles/FOOD-SAFETY-REGULATIONS--by-Linn-Cohen-Cole-090108-947.html are planning to gain more power through a centralization of already corrupted food agencies, and have orchestrated Homeland Security regulations to be handy for military force, warrantless, seizures and destruction of non-corporate farmers' animals and crops, using "diseases" or "bioterrorism" as the excuse.
Hillary Clinton has a profound moral obligation to make up for what happened when she and Bill were at the White House. Acting as Secretary of State she must restoring stolen seeds to the Iraqi people's full and unlimited control - thus restoring democracy we took and which human ownership of seeds depends upon.
Millions of people around the world marched to try to stop Bush's war in Iraq. Bush did not listen. After the catastrophe that has happened there, the world must now ensure the United States stand up for the freedom it promised.
We would all applaud Hillary Clinton's moral courage in making her first act as Secretary of State the full restoration to Iraqis of what is theirs by birthright - the most basic of democratic freedoms and most profound of human rights for all people - the right to own their own seeds and control their own food supply.
This would not be "a show of freedom," with an entire nation stripped of survival necessities and left with servitude to Monsanto and US control as the reality. It would be democratic freedom at its most fundamental, what US citizens believe in and so many have died to bring to Iraq.
This much we owe Iraq, morally. For the Iraqi people and the restoration of their most profound human right to survive, people around the world would march again. It is where we must begin.
A great Secretary of State, working on behalf of a great President, must end the "show" of democracy in Iraq and deliver back to them what is essential for a true one.
Global Television for Our Future Global Leader
By Cliff Kincaid
Surprise and even shock were among the reactions to my recent column about how elite members of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland, were considering a proposal for a new global television network to usher in a state of "global governance." It sounded authoritarian, even totalitarian, to some.
Here are more of the troubling details.
The media proposal, which was included in "The Global Agenda 2009"
report, is to create "a new global network" with "the capacity to connect the world, bridging cultures and peoples, and telling us who we are and what we mean to each other." Several prominent U.S. media figures signed on to the alarming and controversial proposal.
Isn't it nice that we might have a TV network telling us "who we are?" And "what we mean to each other?" Perhaps we will learn that we are global citizens. Perhaps a global leader of some sort will tell us that. Who might that be?
This outlandish and frightening proposal doesn't come from a fringe organization. The WEF is an exclusive club of very rich and powerful people from around the world. It describes itself as "an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas."
This year's conference featured speeches by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Chinese Premier We Jiabao. Many U.S. corporations, including some getting Wall Street bailout money, were sponsors. News Corporation, the parent of Fox News, was a "strategic partner" of the event.
Valerie Jarrett, Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison, represented the Obama Administration at this year's event and called leaders from all nations to "seize gladly" the duties of collaborating and boldly embrace "a new era of global financial responsibility."
But the WEF also envisions cooperation and collaboration in global media ventures. It asks, "How can we save journalism to help it save the world?" Clearly, this is advocacy journalism on a global scale.
Indeed, the list of "Recommendations" says it is imperative to start "Communicating a global agenda, and motivating and mobilizing people to support it..."
Is this journalism? Or is it brainwashing and propaganda?
It says that "a genuine, global voice" is needed that shares a "fundamental commitment" to being an international media voice, and makes mention of "the media voices we think of as international" coming from London (the BBC), Qatar (Al-Jazeera) or Atlanta (CNN).
BBC is known for its anti-American programming, Al-Jazeera for its pro-terrorist slant, and CNN for its left-wing and pro-Democratic bias.
It will take "innovative public-private funding" to bring this new network into being, apparently meaning that the taxpayers in the U.S. will have to be soaked in order to help bring this about. But no price tag is put on the venture and no objection was apparently raised to government funding of such a network on a global basis. An "overview" statement does, however, decry "censorship and self-censorship."
Elsewhere in the report (page 31) the idea of "international taxation" is proposed for "global action" of various kinds. Perhaps this is a vehicle for raising revenue for the new "global voice."
The media proposal was developed by one of several "Global Agenda Councils" under the auspices of the WEF. The new TV network proposal was issued under the supervision of Pat Mitchell, the president of the Paley Center for Media and former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Public Broadcasting Service. She was the chair of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Media.
Other members of the Council on the Future of Media were Betsy Morgan of the left-wing Huffington Post (former general manager of CBSNews.com); Rui Chenggang of China Central Television, an official political propaganda arm of the communist regime; and Zafar Siddiqi of CNBC Arabiya, a subsidiary of General Electric which is described as a 24-hour Arabic language financial and business information channel.
There is no indication in the published report that the Huffington Post executive raised any objection to working hand-in-glove with the communist propaganda channel. Is the Chinese media model a precedent for the new "global network?"
The conference was covered by media organizations such as CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Forbes and Fox, but no coverage that we could find was devoted to the proposal for a government-financed global media network. Talk about self-censorship!
John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University and the "Rapporteur of the Global Agenda Councils focusing on Society and Values," summarized the work of Mitchell's panel. He says (page 46) that, "We believe that this new moment also calls for a new media platform, across all media channels, a global non-profit ‘CNN' providing a new form of independent journalism to inform, illuminate and deepen knowledge about issues that improve the state of the world."
According to DeGioia's biography, he walks the walk and is dedicated to helping "prepare young people for leadership roles in the global community." His bio adds, "He is a member of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO and Chair of its Education Committee and he represents Georgetown at the World Economic Forum and on the Council on Foreign Relations."
The media council took advantage of what a description
of its work said was an "enormous opportunity" to "redefine the media and its roles in a global, interconnected society."
Under the title of "Recommendations" (page 182), the Council on the Future of Media declares that "The Council is championing a new global, independent news and information service whose role is to inform, educate and improve the state of the world-one that would take advantage of all platforms of content delivery from mobile to satellite and online to create a new global network."
It goes on, "In a world where there are calls for global governance as a response to a global financial crisis, where scientific research, capital flows and production chains are globalized, the media and the communities in which we imagine ourselves remain fiercely localized." Hence, a global network will work against "localized" or national-based systems and convince people to go "global" with their outlook and solutions. In other words, the new network will help undermine old-fashioned notions of national sovereignty and patriotism.
There are 22 members (page 183) of the Council on the Future of Media. In addition to Mitchell and Morgan, American members include:
Alex S. Jones, former media reporter for the New York Times and now Director, Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Susan King, former Washington correspondent for ABC News and now Director, Journalism Initiative, Special Initiatives and Strategy, Carnegie Corporation of New York.
John Lavine, Dean, Medill School of Journalism Northwestern University.
Nicholas Lemann, former Washington Post reporter and now Dean, School of Journalism, Columbia University.
David Nordfors, Director, Innovation Journalism and Senior Research Scholar, Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning, Stanford University.
Monroe Price, Director, Centre for Global Communications Studies, Annenberg School for Communication, the University of Pennsylvania.
Orville H. Schell, Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society.
There doesn't appear to be one identifiable conservative member on the list. Of course, this is probably the way it was designed.
Do you want to understand the seriousness of our situation watch this video!
The Money Masters - How International Bankers Gained Control of America - 3:35:19 - Mar 27, 2007
Israel ready to launch a military offensive against Iran
In the wake of Gaza, can the world afford to live with a nuclear Israel?
By Lech Biegalski
Global Research, February 14, 2009
On February 14, Australian News Agency “The Age” reported:
A SENIOR Israeli diplomat has warned that Israel is ready to launch a military offensive against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.
In an interview with The Age, Dan Gillerman, who was Israel's permanent representative at the United Nations from 2003 until last September, said time for diplomatic efforts to stop Iran acquiring a nuclear capability might have already expired.
“The world cannot afford to live with a nuclear Iran,” Mr Gillerman said.
The truth is that, after witnessing Israeli war crimes in Lebanon and in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories, the world cannot afford to live with nuclear Israel. As opposed to Iran, Israel has secretly developed hundreds of nuclear warheads and delivery weapons outside of any supervision by international community. Iran continues to run its nuclear program in cooperation with the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
According to thePress TV report of February 13,
The new chief of US intelligence has confirmed the findings of a 2007 intelligence report that Iran has no nuclear weapons program.
Dennis Blair told the Senate Intelligence Committee that his organization has assessed that Tehran does not have nuclear weapons design and weaponization work.
A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), issued in November 2007 by the sixteen US intelligence agencies, clarified that Iran was not pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
The 2007 intelligence report was widely seen as a setback for Bush administration efforts to pressure Iran and halt its nuclear program.
The UN nuclear watchdog, which has carried out the highest number of inspections in its history on Iranian nuclear sites, has also found nothing to indicate that the program has diverted toward weaponization.
In the meantime, both US and Israeli governments continue to press the issue of suspected development of military nuclear technology in Iran, slapping three rounds of sanctions against Tehran. Israel openly threatens to attack Iran in order to destroy its nuclear and scientific facilities.
The real problem, as we all know by now, is this:
Unlike the US and Israel, Iran has not attacked other countries in recent history. There is enough documented evidence indicating that the US planned the oil wars long ago and that Iran was one of the targets. Strong Iran is also an obstacle for Israeli territorial expansion in Arab countries. In this situation, EVEN IF Iran was trying to develop an effective nuclear deterrence capability IN SELF-DEFENCE, it would be perfectly understandable and perfectly justifiable.
If the US and Israel want other countries to give up their nuclear programs, they should give an example by doing same first. This, however, will not happen because these two “partners” believe that they can unilaterally bully other nations into submission. The clear pattern here is: disarm, so that we can take over your resources and your territories, or else we will attack you!
By the way, nobody has yet explained why “the world cannot live with a nuclear Iran”. The world lives with nuclear America, with nuclear Russia, nuclear China, and India, and Pakistan, and nuclear France, and United Kingdom, with nuclear Israel, and probably a host of other nuclear countries - and nobody threatens a war against them for this reason. Somehow, the world is safer, when countries have nuclear deterrence capabilities. Nobody questions their rights to develop nuclear programs for peaceful or military purposes. So why Iran? I think I have already answered that naive question.
Interestingly, Russia is not using their veto power in the UN Security Council to block the sanctions against Iran. Maybe Russia wants us to step into this mess and stretch ourselves flat? I wouldn't be surprised. Russia is extremely good at diplomacy and at long-term chess games.
US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, stated late Tuesday that the Obama administration might reconsider plans for a missile defense system in Europe, if Iran stops what U.S. officials believe is a drive for nuclear weapons. (Source)
This was a direct ultimatum addressed to Russia. “Help us bully Iran, or we will set up our rockets on your border”. Again, the real question is, “If the European missile defence system is to prevent Iranian nuclear warheads from reaching America, why are they being placed in Poland instead of Germany, the UK or France? Or in Iceland? Or, in Canada?” Obviously, the European missile defence system in Poland threatens Russia and this is why it became a bargaining chip in the geopolitical game for the Middle East and Caucasus. Hillary (who allegedly has an extensive experience in politics) has finally admitted it.
Surely, Mr. Lavrov is working on an appropriate move in response to this “invitation”. Perhaps, the answer should be, “In the spirit of cooperation and pending the UN investigation into Israel's war crimes in Gaza, if the US helps us force Israel to eliminate its nuclear weapons and to accept international inspections of its nuclear facilities, we will help you deal with Iran.”
Below is an article I wrote back in June of 2007, as stated in the Global Research article above..."Maybe Russia wants us to step into this mess and stretch ourselves flat? I wouldn't be surprised. Russia is extremely good at diplomacy and at long-term chess games. Recently".
And I will add so is China.
I would hope that Americans are not so naive to believe that Russia and China just as the United States have their own forms of contingency plans, Think Tanks, Pentagons, CIA and so on. An American would have to be a complete idiot not to know they have their own plans in the wake of recent history.
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