Thursday, June 30, 2011


The first steps

Exactley one year ago today That Race Relations began it's journey into the contraversial and un-known. Since that last day June 2010, which began with an article entitled "U.S. immigration law and Arizona," which was and still is a very contraversial topic, which was a very big step in race relations digital life.

Now as a one year old toddler, blessed with all the curiosity of a child looking for something to get into, I will continue to bring cutting edge editorials steeped in

intrigue, wonder and fact, because fiction has never been a strong point of mine, so I wont go there and most folk go to the movies for their monthly dose of the fiction drug.
I have over the course of this past year, met and learned much from the material I've absorbed and been given by you, The People Of This world that have spared their precious time to see what I've been thinking of in my thoughtless moments of my day, and to my amazment, I've been somewhat entertaining and informative for many, the archive tell the story.
Surprize, surprize

I owe a debt of graditude the liberal left. That's right, this is what happens when two seperate but like liberal  ideologies come together and consummate, you get a stanch right leaning conservative that has lived and experience the liberal mind-set. It does not take long for the true conservative soul to rebel from it's liberal surroundings and become a clear and concise thinker.

In this first year of exsistance, I have absorbe both Quran and Hadith looking for the reason why a great race of people wont progress into the 21 century and stay locked in a time of ignorence and cruelty and express a deep desire for the rest of the world to regress and join in their suffering. Now that same region of the world is on fire with the cries of freedom from repression of their leaders.

I have closely examined illegal immigration and the damage it causes our weak employment outlook and the
snarling process of Legal immigrates. to which the liberal left say that there are no such things as "ILLEGAL IMMIGRATES". Funny how how she did that, wouldn't you say, but never mind her, this is about the sites birthday. This is Liberalism at full throttle and it cannot be maid up or spun, I suppose there's a need to have an 'ANTI-FREEDOM" element in the face of freedom, Would you agree to that question? god I hope you don't agree.
The Islamic Caliphate

During this past year we all witnessed a foreign statesman take the leader of the free world to task on boarder security and defenseability, perhaps the 1400 year old threat is close at hand and our leader is simply a facilatator of the caliphate that I pray NEVER happens.

We have also wiotnessed our executive leaders time after time baulk at giving this nation an anual budget and increase the debt limit rather than show a smigion of fiscal responsibility, or, does he dream of an America that bows before small nation leaders?

But it RR's birthday, an nothing can stop the passing of, but we can stop the policies that Will make this nation Insolvent in November 2012, and if you'd like to know what YOU can do to return an responsibily, simply let me and EVERY conservative inform you of the process.

Tomorrow Race Relations will take it's first step in it's second year of exsistance, WILL YOU BE THERE TO HOLD MY HAND AS I TEETER? KEEP ME FROM FALLING?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Is Syria Ready To Accept Reforms?

The Syrian Poeple Make Their Final Demand

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban

The Syrian government accepts it has to embrace reform and move towards democracy, a key advisor said today. Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, senior advisor to President Bashar al Assad, said he wants change because otherwise the country itself would be at risk to Muslim brotherhood’s influences.

Dr. Shaaban was spook to Jeremy Thompson, who is part of a small group of media allowed into Syria under government supervision.

She said: "Everybody now, both the opposition and the Government recognizes that the country is at stake and there is no other way except to go forward.
Jeremy Thompson

"In fact it will be very good for our country, for the people, this march towards democracy where political parties will compete and young men and women participate in political life. We look forward to a very different era in Syrian history."

The opposition claims that more than 1,400 people have been killed - many of them unarmed protesters - since pro-democracy demonstrations began in March.

But the government is blaming the deaths on a minority of religious extremists and pointed out that hundreds of military and police figures have also died.

Dr. Shaaban said "It is definitely a huge concern for us and we condemn the violence but they should condemn also the killing of our military people, our armed people, and our police. Over 500 military and police personnel have been killed by militant groups.”

She continued "Personally I feel there is an organized group, most likely religious extremists, who are conducting assassinations and killings. When you have a violent atmosphere, collateral damage happens."

She added: "We hope that by conducting and hastening the national dialogue, we will be able to isolate any militant or violent group and work together with the international community to overcome that big problem."

She also insisted: "We have no problem at all with peaceful demonstrations" and promised free access to all media outlets to all parts of Syria to cover the protests.

Critics of the authoritarian regime met in Damascus on Monday to call for a peaceful transition to democracy and an end al-Baath rule in Syria. 
President al-Assad's

The public summit was the first since the uprising against President al-Assad's rule started and was conducted with the consent of the government.

The regime appeared to be feeling the pressure of the protest movement and was anxious to show it was prepared to make concessions.

A final communiqué agreed at the meeting called for an immediate end to the crackdown, the withdrawal of the army from towns and villages and a peaceful move to democracy.

The government announced a national political dialogue would start on July 10 with all "factions, intellectual personalities, politicians" invited to take part.

Syria's state-run news agency said the agenda would include constitutional amendments, including access for other political parties as well as the ruling Baath Party.

The US welcomed the meeting but said it would not be a significant step forward unless the violent crackdown on civilians was brought to an end.

Police brutality against Black Men On The Rise

Scenes From My Younth

We have to get the message out there, and get it out there constantly, that police brutality is alive and well in America,” and we will fight against the injustice of police misconduct in the courts and on the streets.”

“Why did they have to shoot this dead man behind the wheele memorial day weekend 2011 on South Beach? Was he after getting shot dead by police a threat?

Do you think the dead man behind the wheele of this car is still dangerous to police? Dangerous to the point of getting shot an additional 114 more times? Even the person that took this horriffic video was threaten by armed police, cellphone confiscated and destroyed. You're seeing this video because he removed the SD card just as the officer took his property.

The eyes of Black America are focused sternly on our cities' police forces as report after report of police brutality continues to surface.

14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson
Bay County, Florida Medical Examiner Dr. Charles Siebert's characterization of Martin Lee Anderson's death as the end result of a "cascade of events," implies inadvertency. It paints a vague, non-judgmental picture of events that no one could have foreseen or halted once the process started, and now we must accept this unfortunate accident with a tear and a sigh, and move on.

Accident or no accident?

If you see 6 or 7 vultures gathered in one place, at one time, doing one thing, you can be fairly certain that their activity and its outcome aren't accidental. I offer this imperfect analogy with my sincere apology to vultures, who, after all, perform a useful and necessary function in the scheme of things. The same can't be said for teen boot camps.

This video above provides a rare candid view of standard boot camp activity: the goading, taunting, being marshaled about, and more. Those push-ups and track work aren't fitness training by any stretch of the definition. What happens at boot camp has a very different purpose. And if you're a newly-arrived, lanky black kid who plays high school basketball and wears a fancy hairdo, you'd better watch your step. The vultures began making plans for you the moment you came through the gate. Get prepared to run until you drop, or they just might drop you. They know exactly how to handle kids who are "being uncooperative," "unruly," "willfully disobedient," "resisting authority," "malingering" and "faking it." Toward the end of the video, we see it happen. We see a desperate, exhausted 14-year-old's last conscious moments in this life.
Abner Louima

Abner Louima is a Haitian who was assaulted, brutalized and forcibly sodomized with the handle of a bathroom plunger by New York City police officers after being arrested outside a Brooklyn nightclub in 1997.

NYPD officer Justin Volpe initially pleaded not guilty to several counts of violating Louima's civil rights, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to police. Midway through the trial, Volpe changed his plea to guilty, confessing to having sodomized Louima. Despite the fact that Louima had several broken teeth, Volpe denied that he ever struck Louima in the mouth with the stick and claimed that he only put it very close to Louima's mouth. Volpe also admitted that he had threatened Louima's life. On December 13, 1999, Volpe was sentenced to 30 years in prison without the possibility of parole, a $525 fine and restitution in the amount of $277,495. 

Tyisha Miller 19

Several Blacks have made national headlines after they were gunned down by police: Tyisha Miller of Riverside, CA, a young black woman, who had dozed off in the front seat of her car.When she didn't awake in response to the police knocking on the window,the police officers smashed her window and opened fire, killing her.The police officers said, "They thought she had a weapon in the car". 
Amadou Diallo, 23

Amadou Diallo of New York was a 23-year-old Guinean immigrant in New York City who was shot and killed on February 4, 1999 by four New York City Police Department plain-clothed officers: Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon and Kenneth Boss. The four officers fired a total of 41 rounds. The shooting took place at 1157 Wheeler Avenue in the Soundview section of The Bronx. The four were part of the now-defunct Street Crimes Unit. All four officers were acquitted at trial in Albany, New York.

Diallo was unarmed at the time of the shooting, and a firestorm of controversy erupted subsequent to the event as the circumstances of the shooting prompted outrage both within and outside New York City. Issues such as police brutality, racial profiling, and contagious shooting were central to the ensuing controversy.
Rodney King

Aftewr the beating
  Rodney G. King is best known for his involvement in a police brutality case involving the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on March 3, 1991. A bystander, George Holliday, videotaped much of the incident from a distance.

The footage showed LAPD officers repeatedly striking King with their batons while other officers stood by watching, without taking any action to stop the beating. A portion of this footage was aired by news agencies around the world, causing public outrage that raised tensions between the black community and the LAPD and increased anger over police brutality and social inequalities in Los Angeles.

Four LAPD officers were later tried in a state court for the beating; three were acquitted and the jury failed to reach a verdict for the fourth. The announcement of the acquittals sparked the 1992 Los Angeles riots. A later federal trial for civil rights violations ended with two of the officers found guilty and sent to prison and the other two officers acquitted.

 Robert Russ and La Tanya Haggerty, both of Chicago. All were unarmed. A homeless woman was killed by a Los Angeles police officer who feared she would kill him with her screwdriver.

And after several incidents, New Jersey has finally admitted that it uses racial profiling, an issue that also has caught the attention of the nation.

These dismal tales and countless others have left Black America in an uproar over police brutality.

"We just want justice to prevail in these cases," said Rainbow/PUSH founder and president the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. "In all cases the victims were young, Black, full of potential, in cars and or unarmed. In all cases police approached the victims with their weapons drawn. It seems in all of these cases of police shootings across the country, there is a rush to judgment by law enforcement officials who fire first and ask questions later. Bobby and La Tanya should be alive today but as fate would have it, are not, again, dead at the hands of OUR PROTECTORS?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Islamic Inbreeding: Call For Concern

Genetic Effects Of Inbreeding

One of Britain’s most eminent scientists, Prof Steve Jones has warned that the level of inbreeding among the nation’s Muslims is endangering the health of future generations.

The geneticist said that it was common in the Islamic world for men to marry their nieces and cousins.

He said that Bradford has a particular problem and warned that it could affect the health of children born into these marriages.

Prof Jones, who lectures at University College London, is likely to find himself at the centre of controversy in the wake of the comments.

Similar remarks made by Phil Woolas, a Labor environment minister, in 2008 resulted in calls for him to be sacked from the government.

Prof Jones, who writes for the Telegraph’s science pages, told an audience at the Hay Festival: “There may be some evidence that cousins marrying one another can be harmful.

“It is common in the Islamic world to marry your brother’s daughter, which is actually closer than marrying your cousin.

Identifyinga damaged genes

“We should be concerned about that as there can be a lot of hidden genetic damage. Children are much more likely to get two copies of a damaged gene.”

He added: “Bradford is very inbred. There is a huge amount of cousins marrying each other there.” Research in Bradford has found that babies born to Pakistani women are twice as likely to die in their first year as babies born to white mothers, with genetic problems linked to inbreeding identified as a “significant” cause.

Studies have found that within the city, more than 70 per cent of marriages are between relations, with more than half involving first cousins.


Separate studies have found that while British Pakistanis make up three per cent of all births, they account for one in three British children born with genetic illnesses. Prof Jones also said that incest was more common than is often realized in every part of society, adding that it had been particular prevalent among royalty and suggested it is still ­continuing.

“Royal families are the human equivalent of fruit flies because they do all the sexual experiments you can think of and there are some examples of inbreeding.

Racial Gerrymandiering: How both parties view Blacks

Racial Gerrymandering

During Reconstruction, Mississippi created a "shoestring" congressional district, sweeping so many blacks into a narrow district along the river that other districts had comfortably large white majorities. This was racial gerrymandering deplored by liberal democrats.

After the 1990 census determined that North Carolina was 22 percent black, the state's redistricting created a black-majority congressional district. President George H.W. Bush's Justice Department deemed this insufficient under the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Hence the creation of North Carolina's 12th District, which slithers 160 miles down Interstate 85.

This was racial gerrymandering applauded by liberal democrats. And by cynical Republicans. While preening about their civil rights sensitivity, Republicans could concentrate black voters into electoral ghettos, thereby making contiguous districts more Republican.

Two days after the 44th anniversary of the Selma march that helped pass the 1965 act, the Supreme Court took a timid step toward limiting the perverse use of that act to create political set-asides -- elective offices to which certain preferred minorities are entitled.

This ruling revisits the strange career of racial gerrymandering -- how that practice went from execrable to virtuous to mandatory, and became yet another manifestation of the entitlement mentality.

In 1965, the VRA was enacted to combat racial discrimination that denied equal access to voting. Because of judicial interpretations and legislative amendments, it now requires racial discrimination in the name of guaranteeing effective voting by certain preferred minorities (ie; blacks and Hispanics). Effectiveness is understood as successful racial or ethnic bloc voting, with success understood as electing members of those blocs. Such results -- minorities electing minority candidates -- have come to be regarded as necessary and sufficient proof of real voting rights.

In 1982, the act was amended (Section 2) to say that a violation occurs if nominating and electing processes "are not equally open to participation" by minority voters in that they "have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice." Note that there is no mention of "vote dilution."

But the amended VRA has been construed as follows: Equal "participation" of an "opportunity" for minorities means their ability to elect candidates of their choice, and that must mean minority candidates. Otherwise there has been illegal dilution of the minority vote.

Such repellant reasoning expresses two tenets of liberalism's racial fatalism:  (1) Identity politics (your political identity is your race, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation) and (2) categorical representation (members of an identity cohort can only be understood, empathized with and represented by members of that cohort).

Racial gerrymandering having thus become a moral imperative, North Carolina's Legislature created a "majority-minority" (a voting-age population 56 percent black) state legislative district after the 1990 census. But the 2000 census revealed that demographic changes had made that district just 35 percent black. So the Legislature tinkered with the district's shape to make it 39 percent minority. But it did so by again dividing two counties, which North Carolina's Constitution forbids.

This time Pender County sued. A state court said the VRA's Section 2 required splitting Pender, but North Carolina's Supreme Court held that Section 2 only protects against vote dilution in drawing district lines when a minority group is a majority.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed -- even though Section 2 says nothing whatever about a bright numerical line like this "50 percent rule."

In an opinion joined only by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito, Justice Anthony Kennedy lamented that "racially polarized voting" is "not ancient history." Well, yes. It is federal policy: By codifying the assumption that people of a particular race will and should think and vote alike, the VRA now encourages such voting by treating it as normal, and hence sort of admirable.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Antonin Scalia, endorsed only Kennedy's conclusion. Thomas rejected Kennedy's argument, noting the glaring fact that Section 2's text provides no basis -- none -- for "any vote dilution claim, regardless of the size of the minority population in a given district." The VRA, properly read, concerns only "access to the ballot."

But it has been improperly read by result-oriented lawyers skillful at creative construing, and by judges legislating their own notions of racial rectitude. The VRA was written to protect each individual's right to vote. Having been twisted to serve group rights --certain groups' entitlements to win quotas of offices -- the VRA has become emblematic of both the noble flourishing and the ignoble decline of the civil rights movement.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Is Israel easing restrictions on the Gaza Floatilla

The Gaza Floatilla 2

Activists are engaged in a harsh confrontation with Israeli authorities days before the international ‘Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human’ sets sail towards the Gaza strip in an attempt to break the naval blockade Israel has imposed since 2007.

The flotilla will include 10 ships that have already reached Athens. Two are cargo boats carrying medical aid and construction material. The rest are passenger ships carrying hundreds of people, among them politicians, writers, religious leaders, people from the fields of art and culture, as well as ten members of the European Parliament and ten MPs from France, Norway, Sweden and Spain.

Vaggelis Pissias

"There is enormous pressure exerted on the Greek government by Israel and the United States. It is by now certain that they are going to use all technical and administrative means to discourage us. Their plan will not work, we are ready and we will begin in a few days," Vaggelis Pissias, a member of the co- ordinating committee who was physically abused during the previous trip by Israeli authorities but prepares to sail again told IPS.

Over the last few days Greek authorities have raised problems for two of the Greek boats participating in the flotilla. One was declared not seaworthy because of an engine problem. Activists paid a 10,000 euro reparation sum to circumvent this problem. The second is not allowed to sail because of debts of a previous owner to the state. 
Benjamin Netanyahu

On Sunday the propeller of one of the Greek passenger boats was critically damaged while the boat still remained at the dock; the ship is likely to miss the trip to Gaza. The boat’s captain has spoken of sabotage.

Serious backstage talks between Israel and Greek authorities have been continuing, including communication between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou. The Greek government has openly expressed concern that the flotilla could compromise the strategic rapprochement of Greece and Israel that Papandreou has pursued over the last year and a half. Last week the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs publicly advised Greek citizens not to board the flotilla. 
George Papandreou

After similar talks with the Turkish government two weeks ago Israel has managed to cancel participation of the Turkish Islamic organisation, the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) in the flotilla. IHH was preparing to send back the ‘MV Marmara’ boat. During the previous flotilla in May 2010 the Israeli navy had attacked the boat, killing nine Turkish civilians.

Meanwhile Israel has been putting pressure on all fronts. An Israeli government spokesman has warned journalists that joining the flotilla will mean a ten-year ban on entering Israel.

Jane Hirschman of the U.S. delegation told IPS an anonymous complaint was filed when their boat docked in Athens. "Someone, using only a Greek first name, reported to the Greek Coastal Guard that our ship is not seaworthy, meaning that now we are expecting them to carry out an inspection on our boat. We managed to collect info and trail the source of the report and it is sure it came from the organization called "Israeli Law Center".

In a similar case Cherna Rosenberg, a 68-year-old citizen of both Canada and Israel, filed a complaint on Jun. 2 in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto against the Canadian Boat to Gaza. The complaint charges the initiative with collecting funds for and providing material support to Hamas, which governs Gaza and was declared a terrorist group by Canada in 2002.

Pissias says these are results of an Israeli propaganda campaign to distort the real aim of the flotilla by projecting it as a radical religious initiative against Israel. "People should not consume this propaganda; the flotilla is not an Islamist initiative against Israelis or Jews. It is an action fulfilled by citizens of all religions and many countries nationalities."

Manuel Tapial, a Spanish activist planning to sail to Palestine has condemned his government’s approach towards the flotilla. "Spanish government complicity with Israel is disturbing," he told IPS. "Some of the people involved have faced short term rendition by police. They were questioned and evidence of their documents was withheld because they are involved in preparations for the Freedom Flotilla II."

This pressure has not stopped activists from reaching Athens, and according to Tapial is not going to stop them sailing to Gaza. "We will go, by all possible means."

The War on Drugs and the black community

The Real Impact Of The War On Drugs
The main obstacle to getting black America past the illusion that racism is still a defining factor in America is the strained relationship between young black men and police forces. The massive number of black men in prison stands as an ongoing and graphically resonant rebuke to all calls to “get past racism,” exhibit initiative, or stress optimism. And the primary reason for this massive number of black men in jail is the War on Drugs. Therefore, if the War on Drugs were terminated, the main factor keeping race-based resentment a core element in the American social fabric would no longer exist. America would be a better place for all.

The War on Drugs destroys black families. It has become a norm for black children to grow up in single-parent homes, their fathers away in prison for long spells and barely knowing them. In poor and working-class black America, a man and a woman raising their children together is, of all things, an unusual sight. The War on Drugs plays a large part in this.

The War on Drugs discourages young black men from seeking legal employment. Because the illegality of drugs keeps the prices high, there are high salaries to be made in selling them. This makes selling drugs a standing tempting alternative to seeking lower-paying legal employment.

The result is usually spells in jail, as well as a failure to build the job skills for legal employment that serve as a foundation for a productive existence in middle and later life. The idea that the problem is an absence of job opportunities is refuted by the simple fact that immigrants, including black ones, regularly make do.

It is often said that because immigrants have a unique initiative or “pluck” in relocating to the United States in the first place, it is unfair to compare black Americans to them. However, the War on Drugs has made it impossible to see whether black Americans would exhibit such “pluck” themselves if drug selling were not a tempting alternative.

High black un-employment rates in the past gave all indication that black men are no strangers to “pluck” when circumstances require it. The War on Drugs makes spending time in prison a badge of honor.

To black men involved in the drug trade, enduring prison time, regarded as an unjust punishment for merely selling people something they want (with some justification), is seen as a badge of strength: the ex-con is a hero rather than someone who went the wrong way.

In the 1920s, before the War on Drugs, black Americans, regardless of class level, did not view black ex-cons as heroes. The War on Drugs’ effects on the black community are impervious to community calls for discipline and leadership. Young black men will not be wooed from selling drugs by black leaders calling for families to take responsibility for their children and keep them off of the streets.

There are no national black leaders today who have this kind of influence over a significant portion of black people, and there is simply no chance that the NAACP, committed to anti-discrimination activities rather than community uplift, would preach in a constructive fashion any time soon, if ever—and then, black America is too diverse today for the NAACP or the National In the 1920s, before the War on Drugs, black Americans, regardless of class level, did not view black ex-cons as heroes.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Is She The Next Anthony Weiner?, without the weiner?

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

 Weekly Standard’s John McCormack
The bad news: she didn’t realize that she was calling members of her own party ‘anti-woman’ before she started screaming to The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack about how people who voted to defund Planned Parenthood are anti-woman!

McCormack: But there were nine [correction: ten] Democrats who voted against funding for Planned Parenthood, so are those, now eleven Democrats anti-woman?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: No, they’re not, because if you, when I declare someone, when I make a broad statement like that, I look at the balance of somebody’s–where their priorities are, the balance of their record. And so one individual isolated vote here and there does not make you anti-woman.

McCormack: So what are the broader votes that make those Democrats who voted on those same issues–on Planned Parenthood on H.R. 3–what makes them not anti-woman?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I don’t think there are any Democrats.

McCormack: Eleven.

Note that Debbie Wasserman Schultz happens to be the Deputy Minority Whip; I was unaware that the position was a sinecure.  Or that it causes traumatic memory loss among those who have been burdened by the job.  Or that the Democrats simply pick lying suckweasels for the position… actually, no: I was already aware of that one.

Anyway, the good news: at least Wasserman Schultz’s bright enough* not to try to answer John McCormack by either trying to have him arrested, or by shoving him to the ground.  That never ends well.

Seriously, Debbie?  If you’re going to fulminate about Republican Presidential candidates driving foreign cars, don’t own a Nissan, OK?  Particularly since the only places where they’re made in the USA are in right-to-work states.  Guess union solidarity only goes so far, huh?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hezbollah members confess to spying for CIA: Nasrallah

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said today that members of his group had confessed to being CIA agents, and accused arch-foe Israel of turning to the US spy agency after failing to infiltrate his party.

The US embassy in Beirut immediately dismissed the accusations as "empty," saying Nasrallah seemed to be "addressing internal problems within Hezbollah."

In the first such acknowledgement of infiltration since the Iranian-backed Shiite group's founding in the 1980s, Nasrallah refused to give the identities of two party members he said were working for the Central Intelligence Agency.

But he said a third case was also under investigation, and slammed the American embassy in Beirut as a "den of spies."

"When the Israeli enemy failed to infiltrate Hezbollah, it turned to the most powerful intelligence agency," he said in a closed-circuit television speech, referring to the CIA.

"Our investigation has found that... (CIA) intelligence officers have recruited two of our members separately, whom we shall not name out of respect for the privacy of their families.

"The first confessed he was recruited five months ago... while the second confessed he had been recruited even before that," he said, adding that the recruiters were CIA agents posing as diplomats at the US embassy east of Beirut.

Nasrallah also said the group was investigating whether the third member of the militant group had been recruited by the CIA, Israel's Mossad or the intelligence service of a European country.

A US embassy spokesperson told AFP there was no substance to Nasrallah's accusations, pointing instead to internal problems within Hezbollah.

"These are the same kinds of empty accusations that we have repeatedly heard from Hezbollah," the US spokesperson said shortly after Nasrallah's speech.

"There is no substance to his accusation," he added. "It appears as if Nasrallah was addressing internal problems within Hezbollah with which we have nothing to do.

"Our position towards Hezbollah is well known and has not changed."

The United States blacklists Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation, Until Obama.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Kingdom For; Let's Say 30 Million Barrels Of Oil

The U.S. Department of Energy announced today that it would release 30 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the country’s emergency energy storage facility, over the next month. The release is being conducted in concert with other developed states of Europe and East Asia that will collectively match the American release. The SPR is stored in a series of massive underground salt domes on the U.S. Gulf Coast, immediately adjacent to several internal energy transport hubs. The oil released will be used almost exclusively in the United States.

The move raises a number of questions; the economics and the politics underlying the issue are questionable. I believes there is no pressing need for the release — at least according to the legislative guidelines that govern the reserve.

Officially, the release has been billed by the Department of Energy as a response to the disruptions in Libya’s oil supply. The ongoing conflict there has resulted in the removal from global markets of roughly 1.6 million barrels per day of light, sweet high-quality crude oil — a total of more than 150 million barrels displaced since the conflict began. Hardly any of that crude ever makes it to the United States — it is consumed mostly in Europe, specifically in Italy and France — but loss of that supply has indeed strained global sourcing. The Energy Department also noted that U.S. oil demand normally peaks in July and August, the height of American vacation season, and that the release should help alleviate the seasonal price spike somewhat. However, oil was priced at $95 a barrel just before the release was announced, well below the $115 per barrel it reached at the onset of the Libyan conflict and much less than the $140 per barrel in mid-2008. Prices quickly plunged by $5 per barrel following the announcement.

This is the first time the SPR has been tapped explicitly in response to high prices. Normally the SPR is an emergency account, only used when there are genuine, direct interruptions to U.S. energy interests. It has therefore traditionally been tapped only in the aftermath of major hurricanes or during military conflicts. There are a few exceptions, most of which are tied to domestic political developments, such as budget talks in Washington or technical shifts in the SPR’s makeup — shifting its fill to higher-grade crude, for example. We do not see this release as related to current budget talks because there are similar releases from 28 other countries. The expected proceeds from this release would only be sufficient to fund the U.S. federal government for one day.

The U.S. Congress recently altered the SPR’s regulations, empowering the administration to take a somewhat more liberal stance as to what constitutes an emergency situation, explicitly noting that high oil prices could justify releases. Currently the SPR is the fullest it has ever been, with 727 million barrels of mostly light, sweet crude in storage. The objective of the current legislation is to, in time, increase that volume to 1 billion barrels.

Oil prices are indeed uncomfortably high, but they are not straining the U.S. economy, especially compared to the price activity of the past three years. Gasoline prices are indeed at record highs, but crude oil accounts for less than half of gasoline prices — and this release is international in nature, so it is not likely tied to a U.S. domestic issue either. Any effort to modify global prices over a sustained period will most likely fail without substantial changes in the mechanics of supply and demand. As large as the SPR and other similar reserves elsewhere in the developed world are, they are necessarily finite, and they do not equate to fresh production.

The economics and the politics behind the issue do not make sense. That the entire developed world is involved suggests that this is neither a domestic American issue nor one that requires any degree of secrecy, rendering the reasons behind the move unclear.

Global Markets Everywhere

Will this Greek drama go out on a global tour?

That’s the fear as officials in Athens scramble to work out an austerity plan to avoid defaulting on the nation’s sovereign debt while some Greek voters riot in the streets.
Greek voters riot in the streets

Some market watchers worry Greece 2011 could be a replay of Lehman 2008 when it comes to market performance and economic growth. Greece defaults, markets tank, and the global economy spins into severe recession.

In the “Greece as Lehman redux” scenario, a default would force lenders, especially European banks, to write down billions in Greek loans. The losses would reduce bank capital and trigger a global credit crunch. That’s why rating agencies have put European banks under review for possible downgrade.

Certainly, there are reasons to worry that Greece’s problems could be the last straw for the recovery, especially because a default could bring the unanticipated. And recent data show the U.S. economy has throttled back significantly in the second quarter.

The biggest risk, however, isn’t Greece per se. It is the prospect of other peripheral euro members — Ireland, Spain, and Portugal — following Greece down the default path. That cascade effect has to be avoided.

The U.S. and global economies aren't in better shape than they were in 2008. If time heals all wounds, three years has done nothing in the way of healing economic excesses and the world banking system.

To be sure, sentiment can change on a dime, but, I doubt it, and the banking system seems to be taking it up the ..., well, you know.

Interbank rates remain extremely low. The three-month London interbank lending rate is creeping along below 0.25%. When the financial crisis hit in 2008, it soared above 4%.

Back then, almost all U.S. banks tightened standards on commercial loans — basically shutting off bank lending. At the same time, the commercial paper market froze, leaving businesses no access to cash to meet payrolls or maintain inventories.

Now, the latest Federal Reserve senior loan officer survey shows more bank are easing lending standards than are tightening them. And commercial paper outstanding is expanding so far this year.
Going Down in DEBT

Perhaps another key reason to expect the recovery to go belly up is the long build-up to a possible default. The global credit authorities and financial markets have been digesting this problem for more than a year, and are still where they were a year ago. Some participants think a default is inevitable; Greece should just do it.

Then the world can move on to an even bigger worry: whether the U.S. government will soon default on its debt.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Battle For Our Fiscal Survial

August 2, 2011 remains the projected day the nation's debt ceiling would be breached, attempting to set in stone a drop-dead deadline as the Obama administration and congressional Republicans continue to haggle over raising the limit.

"Secretary Geithner continues to urge Congress to avoid the catastrophic economic and market consequences of a default crisis by raising the statutory debt limit in a timely manner,” Miller said.

Her statement came as President Obama met at the White House on Wednesday morning with all the House Republicans. The debt ceiling was certain to be a major topic, particularly after the Republican-controlled House on Tuesday rejected a $2.4-trillion increase in the debt ceiling.
The measure did not include any spending cuts, which Republicans and some Democrats have insisted on. Instead, the vote was designed by House GOP leaders to send a strong message to the White House that it must compromise more on deficit reduction if it wants a debt-ceiling increase.
The date at which the U.S. would start defaulting on its obligations has been a bit of a moving target throughout this year. In January, Geithner warned congressional leaders that the debt ceiling technically could be reached as early as March 31, with the fiscal maneuvering delaying the "unthinkable" consequences for "several weeks."
Larger-than-anticipated tax revenues pushed that technical date to May 16, Geithner announced in April, when he first set a potential drop-date for the expiration of the "extraordinary measures" as July 8.
The federal government has to borrow an additional $125 billion a month to finance all of its commitments, from paying Medicare benefits to keeping American troops in Afghanistan.
 Without raising the $14.3 debt ceiling imposed by Congress the government’s borrowing binge must end with potentially devastating consequences—or easily manageable, and possibly even positive, consequences depending on who you believe.
There are some economists who are starting to argue that defaulting on loans to the U.S. government might not be that bad, after all Argentina did it back in 2002 and it helped to reduce their debt and remake their economy.
 Many Republicans in Congress are against raising the debt ceiling on the principle of deficit reduction, targeting the symbolic mechanism that allows the government to continue borrowing money and driving us deeper in debt.
 But there is an economic argument that bond markets are essentially holding the U.S. government hostage for their own gains.
A growing number of Democrats are threatening to defy the White House over the national debt, joining Republican calls for deficit cuts as a requirement for consenting to lift the country’s borrowing limit.
The tension is the latest illustration of how the tea-party-infused GOP is driving the debate in Washington over federal spending. And it shows how the debt issue is testing the Obama administration’s clout as Democrats, particularly those from politically competitive states, resist White House arguments against setting conditions on legislation to raise the debt ceiling.
Sens. Kent Conrad

The push-back has come in recent days from Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a freshman who is running for reelection next year. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) told constituents during the Easter recess that he would not vote to lift the debt limit without a “real and meaningful commitment to debt reduction.”
Even Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), generally a stalwart White House ally, is undecided on the issue and is “hopeful” that a debt-ceiling bill can be attached to a measure to cut the federal deficit, said her spokesman, Linden Zakula. Klobuchar is also up for reelection next year.
 “On the basis of careful analysis of actual and projected revenues and expenditures, the Treasury Department continues to project that the United States will exhaust its borrowing authority under the current debt limit on Aug. 2, 2011," said Mary Miller, Treasury's assistant secretary for financial markets.

The U.S. reached its $14.3-trillion debt ceiling on May 16, but Treasury officials have been doing some complex financial juggling to push off the date at which the nation would start defaulting on its obligations. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has said those "extraordinary measures" could only postpone the fiscal reckoning for several weeks.