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1  Economy / Digital goods / [SELL] High Quality High End Bitcointalk Accounts! FULL ESCROW ++ DT ACCOUNT! on: December 23, 2015, 12:22:55 PM
I am selling a few "high end" bitcointalk accounts. Below are the accounts and it's ROUGH Specs. I will not reveal any detail too specific to the public to protect the identity of the accounts.

ESCROW is 100% mandatory. I recommend to use master-p for his discreet escrow service for account trades. But we can use one that is up to you.

Statistisc listed below are VERY VAGUE and OBSCURE, but are the MINIMUMS! The actual activity and post count and trust score may  be much higher than being stated below! This is to protect the accounts and you as the buyer!

Account 1:
Min. Activity: 800
Rank: Hero
Post Count: 1200
Registration Year: Q2/2013
Trust: over 50 points (DARK green trust), no negative ratings
Signed message: Yes, signed message uses address posted in 2013
On Default Trust: NO
No ban/loan/scams
Asking Price: 1 BTC

Account 2:
Min. Activity: 1000
Rank: Legendary
Post Count: 1500
Registration Year: Q1/2013
Trust: over 30 points (DARK green trust), no negative ratings
Signed message: Yes, signed message uses address posted in 2014
On Default Trust: NO
No ban/loan/scams
Asking Price: 1.3

Account 3:
Min. Activity: 200
Post Count: 200
Registration Year: 2013
Trust: over 20 points (green trust), no negative ratings
Signed message: Yes, signed message uses address posted in 2013
On Default Trust: YES
No ban/loan/scams
Asking Price: 2 BTC

Account 4:
Min. Activity: 700
Rank: Hero
Post Count: 1200
Registration Year: 2014
Trust: over 60 points (DARK green trust), no negative ratings
Signed message: Yes, signed message uses address posted in 2013
On Default Trust: YES
No ban/loan/scams
Asking Price: 1 BTC

Account 5:
Min. Activity: 650
Rank: Hero
Post Count: 3100+
Registration Year: 2014
Trust: NEUTRAL TRUST, no negative ratings
Signed message: Yes, signed message uses address posted in early-mid 2014
On Default Trust: YES
No ban/loan/scams
Asking Price: 0.65 BTC

*because this account is on default trust the specs listed in the above listing is very rough to hide the identity of the account. i wish to have all account sales here 100% discreet so the new owner is not punished in any way*

If you want to purchase an account form me please send me a PM. We will get escrow, i suggest and recommend master-p as ive did account trades using his escrow many times previously.


I will provide the escrow all of the account details which he will go and inspect first to verify that all the account details I claim are valid. Signed message will also be validated by him before he sends account to buyer.

You may request the escrow to hold the BTC funds for up to 60 days to ensure security of your newly bought account.

I already contacted master-P in advance for his escrow service. he agreed to help me escrow if we agree to use him for any deals. I will ask him to post a confirmation post in this thread, please wait for he.
2  Economy / Services / Hiring Front-end coder to integrate Faucetbox sites into bootstrap themes on: November 16, 2015, 02:01:47 AM
Hi im looking for a front-end coder who is experiences with bootstrap, css, xhtml, and such to be able to help me integrate the simple faucetbox script into these pre-made bootstrap themes.

will pay $40 per job in BTC (we can negotiate if u think my price is low)

escrow is up to you but you pay fee if you wanna use it

thanks please pm me
3  Economy / Services / Hiring Dev for creating similar game on: November 10, 2015, 10:09:08 PM
Im hiring someone to help me create or clone the bitcoin mining game script.

budget for this job is fixed at 2 bitcoins

if you are a dev who has this experience and can do it properly pm me

I will put my funding in trusted third party escrow

scammers and newbies go away
4  Other / Politics & Society / 60 years ago today, Emmett Till whistled at a white woman — and he was executed on: August 24, 2015, 05:28:21 PM

Sixty years ago Monday, Emmett Till flirted with a white woman to impress his friends — setting in motion his brutal murder that propelled the civil rights movement into action.

The 14-year-old was visiting relatives in Mississippi when he and some other boys, finished picking cotton, stopped Aug. 24, 1955, outside a country store in Money.

The teen, whose mother called him “Bo,” bragged to the other boys that he had a white girlfriend back home in Chicago — and his friends dared him to speak to the woman working behind the counter.

A 12-year-old cousin briefly went inside but left Emmett alone with the woman — the wife of the store’s owner — for about a minute.

Carolyn Bryant, then 21, claimed Emmett had grabbed her, made lewd comments and wolf-whistled at her as he left the store, but cousin Simeon Wright recalled decades later that couldn’t have been possible.

“I don’t know what he said, but when I was in there, he said nothing to her,” said Wright, now 72. “He didn’t have time, she was behind the counter, so he didn’t put his arms around her or anything like that. While I was in there he said nothing, but after we left the store, we both walked out together, she came outside going to her car. As she was going to her car, he did whistle at her. That’s what scared her so bad. The only thing that I saw him do was that he did whistle.”

The boy, whose mother had warned him about the “Jim Crow” South, understood what he had done after he saw how terrified the other boys were and he begged them not to tell his uncle, Wright said.

Bryant told her husband about the incident when he returned home from a business trip a couple of days later, and Roy Bryant and his brother-in-law, J.W. Milam, went early on Aug. 28, 1955, to the home of Emmett’s great-uncle and kidnapped the boy.

“My mother came in there pleading with them not to take Emmett,” said Wright, who had been sleeping alongside his cousin. “At that point, she offered them money. One of the men, Roy Bryant, he kind of hesitated at the idea, but J.W. Milam — he was a mean guy. He was the guy with the gun and the flashlight, (and) he wouldn’t hear of it. He continued to have Emmett put his clothes on. Then, after Emmett was dressed, they marched him out of the house into a truck that was waiting outside. When they got out to the truck, they asked the person inside the truck, ‘Was this the right boy.’ A lady’s voice responded that it was.”

The pair pistol-whipped Emmett in a tool shed and then forced him to carry a 75-pound cotton-gin fan to the back of the Tallahatchie River, where they ordered him to strip off his clothes.

The men continued beating Emmett, gouged out one of his eyes, shot him in the head and dumped his body — tied to the cotton-gin fan with barbed wire — into the river.

His mutilated body was recovered three days later, and his great-uncle was able to identify his remains only by spotting an initialed ring the boy had worn.

Local authorities tried to quickly bury his body, but Emmett’s mother, Mamie Bradley, requested her son’s remains be sent home to Chicago — where she held an open-casket funeral to show the world what had happened to her son.

“She wanted to world to see what those men had done to her son because no one would have believed it if they didn’t the picture or didn’t see the casket,” Wright recalled. “No one would have believed it — and when they saw what happened, this motivated a lot of people that were standing, what we call ‘on the fence,’ against racism. It encouraged them to get in the fight and do something about it. That’s why many say that that was the beginning of the civil rights era.”

The black weekly Jet magazine published a photo of the boy’s disfigured remains, and other publications picked up the story and reported the murder and the brief trial just two weeks later.

Milam and Bryant were acquitted on murder charges Sept. 23, 1955, after jurors deliberated for less than an hour, explaining that the state had failed to prove the identity of the remains, and the state never indicted them on kidnapping charges.

Look magazine paid Bryant and Milam more than $3,600 for an interview about the case, and the men proudly admitted to killing the boy — who they said deserved death for lascivious behavior toward a white woman.

“What else could we do? He was hopeless,” Milam explained in the interview. “I’m no bully; I never hurt a n****r in my life. I like n****rs — in their place — I know how to work ’em. But I just decided it was time a few people got put on notice. As long as I live and can do anything about it, n****rs are gonna stay in their place.”

“N****rs ain’t gonna vote where I live,” Milam added. “If they did, they’d control the government. They ain’t gonna go to school with my kids. And when a n****r gets close to mentioning sex with a white woman, he’s tired o’ livin’. I’m likely to kill him. Me and my folks fought for this country, and we got some rights. I stood there in that shed and listened to that n****r throw that poison at me, and I just made up my mind. ‘Chicago boy,’ I said, ‘I’m tired of ’em sending your kind down here to stir up trouble. Goddam you, I’m going to make an example of you — just so everybody can know how me and my folks stand.'”

Milam described how he and his brother-in-law had driven Emmett, who was badly beaten but still defiant, to a steep riverbank — and that’s where the racist white man first felt fear.

“When we got to that (cotton) gin, it was daylight — and I was worried for the first time,” Milam recalled. “Somebody might see us and accuse us of stealing the fan.”

He asked Emmett one more time whether he believed he was as good as a white man, and he said he was, and he asked if he had ever been with a white woman, and he again said he had.

The World War II veteran shot the boy once behind the ear with the .45 he had brought home from the U.S. Army.

Milam and Bryant became pariahs after the interview was published, and each man faced financial trouble for the rest of their lives due to their notoriety.

The boy’s murder came one year after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down “separate but equal” laws as unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education — and the acquittal of his killers motivated Rosa Parks to remain seated at the front of a Montgomery, Alabama, bus.

“You know, it’s amazing that he is still relevant,” said Wright in a 2009 interview. “Like I said at the beginning, the reason is because of the jury’s verdict. If the jury’s verdict had come in guilty, Emmett would have been forgotten about. But (Emmett’s story) shows people that if we allow lawlessness to go on, if we do nothing to punish those who break the law, then it’s going to get worse.”

“It’s going to get worse, and we can look back and say, look what happened to Emmett,” Wright continued. “He was murdered for no reason, and those in charge did nothing about it. Wherever you have that, whatever city you have that in, it could be in Washington, it could be in New York, where you have murder and crime going on and the people do nothing about it, it’s going to increase and destroy your society.”

5  Other / Politics & Society / NSA conducting widespread economic and industrial espionage against France on: June 30, 2015, 06:28:38 PM

The American National Security Agency has been engaged in widespread economic and industrial espionage against France through eavesdropping and spying on economy ministers, senior civil servants and a range of French businesses, Mediapart can reveal. Five secret reports of eavesdropped telephone conversations obtained by WikiLeaks, who are working in cooperation with Mediapart and Libération, show that the conversations of two formers ministers of the economy in the French government, François Baroin and Pierre Moscovici were listened to by American spies in 2012.

A senior figure in the French treasury also had his phone calls listened to, as did a socialist Parliamentarian. Another report obtained by WikiLeaks also makes clear that all the available resources of the American secret services have been used to spy on any negotiations relating to “impending French contract proposals or feasibility studies” for exports. The sectors targeted range from information technology and telecommunication to power generation, oil and gas, transport infrastructure, environmental technologies, biotechnology and healthcare. This means that a wide range of large French companies are potential or actual targets of Washington, which effectively uses its huge espionage capability in the service of private American interests.

The economic arm of NSA's spying is less publicised and discussed than its diplomatic and military espionage, but it is arguably the most important work it does. It is this snooping on foreign businesses that justifies the vast resources put at the NSA's disposal. Since Mediapart's revelations last week on American snooping on France, including on the last three French presidents, a number of French officials have spoken off the record. They have told Mediapart that while they may not be surprised by the diplomatic spying, they are worried about the scale of US economic intelligence gathering and its impact on the ability of French companies to win contracts abroad.

More info:

Meanwhile in the US:
6  Other / Politics & Society / Fox News is ‘self-brainwashing’ Republicans into a radical fringe party on: May 25, 2015, 05:20:54 PM
That's according to ex-Reagan / Bush Sr advisor Bruce Bartlett:

“Many conservatives live in a bubble where they watch only Fox News on television, they listen only to conservative talk radio — Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, many of the same people,” Bartlett told CNN’s Brian Stelter on Sunday. “When they go onto the Internet, they look at conservative websites like National Review, Newsmax, World Net Daily.”

“And so, they are completely in a universe in which they are hearing the same exact ideas, the same arguments, the same limited amount of data repeated over and over and over again. And that’s brainwashing.”

"Bartlett asserted that it was a bigger problem for conservatives than liberals because they did not have their own network for a long time, and then they "drank very heavily from the Fox waters.""
7  Other / Politics & Society / Bin Laden's porn stash will not be released on: May 21, 2015, 09:21:07 PM

The stash of pornography reportedly found in the hideout of Osama Bin Laden by US commandos will not be declassified released "due to the nature of their contents", an official has said.

Among the thousands of documents was what Reuters described in 2011 as a "fairly extensive porn stash".

Brian Hale, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), told The Telegraph that the pornography would remain classified even as details of Bin Laden’s other personal files were released.


The digital volume are said to have included works by Noam Chomsky and conspiracy texts about 9/11.

Really hope he wasn't fapping over Chomsky Sad

8  Other / Politics & Society / David Cameron plans to allow police to vet anyone's internet communications on: May 13, 2015, 01:46:44 PM

Didn't take dodgy Dave long to reveal his true colours Smiley

The plans would allow the police to ask the higher court to order extremists to be banned from broadcasting and send every tweet, Facebook post or other web communication to the police for approval. That would include posts from users telling friends and followers that their communications were now being vetted, or ones denying the extremism claims that led to them being charged under such measures.

As well as the online bans, the plans would see groups being banned from using hate speech in public spaces, even if their behaviour does not mean that they should be banned altogether.

The plans have already received criticism from civil liberties groups who claim that the ban on “extremists” could be used to cover anyone, including protestors that the government disagrees with.
9  Other / Politics & Society / Clintons' Cozy Relationship With the Big Banks on: May 07, 2015, 07:21:38 PM
Extract from Nomi Prins "All the President’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power"

The past, especially the political past, doesn’t just provide clues to the present. In the realm of the presidency and Wall Street, it provides an ongoing pathway for political-financial relationships and policies that remain a threat to the American economy going forward.

When Hillary Clinton video-announced her bid for the Oval Office, she claimed she wanted to be a “champion” for the American people. Since then, she has attempted to recast herself as a populist and distance herself from some of the policies of her husband. But Bill Clinton did not become president without sharing the friendships, associations, and ideologies of the elite banking sect, nor will Hillary Clinton.  Such relationships run too deep and are too longstanding.

To grasp the dangers that the Big Six banks (JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley) presently pose to the financial stability of our nation and the world, you need to understand their history in Washington, starting with the Clinton years of the 1990s. Alliances established then (not exclusively with Democrats, since bankers are bipartisan by nature) enabled these firms to become as politically powerful as they are today and to exert that power over an unprecedented amount of capital. Rest assured of one thing: their past and present CEOs will prove as critical in backing a Hillary Clinton presidency as they were in enabling her husband’s years in office.

In return, today’s titans of finance and their hordes of lobbyists, more than half of whom held prior positions in the government, exact certain requirements from Washington. They need to know that a safety net or bailout will always be available in times of emergency and that the regulatory road will be open to whatever practices they deem most profitable.

Whatever her populist pitch may be in the 2016 campaign -- and she will have one -- note that, in all these years, Hillary Clinton has not publicly condemned Wall Street or any individual Wall Street leader.  Though she may, in the heat of that campaign, raise the bad-apples or bad-situation explanation for Wall Street’s role in the financial crisis of 2007-2008, rest assured that she will not point fingers at her friends. She will not chastise the people that pay her hundreds of thousands of dollars a pop to speak or the ones that have long shared the social circles in which she and her husband move. She is an undeniable component of the Clinton political-financial legacy that came to national fruition more than 23 years ago, which is why looking back at the history of the first Clinton presidency is likely to tell you so much about the shape and character of the possible second one.

The 1992 Election and the Rise of Bill Clinton

Challenging President George H.W. Bush, who was seeking a second term, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton announced he would seek the 1992 Democratic nomination for the presidency on October 2, 1991. The upcoming presidential election would not, however, turn out to alter the path of mergers or White House support for deregulation that was already in play one iota.

First, though, Clinton needed money. A consummate fundraiser in his home state, he cleverly amassed backing and established early alliances with Wall Street. One of his key supporters would later change American banking forever. As Clinton put it, he received “invaluable early support” from Ken Brody, a Goldman Sachs executive seeking to delve into Democratic politics. Brody took Clinton “to a dinner with high-powered New York businesspeople, including Bob Rubin, whose tightly reasoned arguments for a new economic policy,” Clinton later wrote, “made a lasting impression on me.”

The battle for the White House kicked into high gear the following fall. William Schreyer, chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch, showed his support for Bush by giving the maximum personal contribution to his campaign committee permitted by law: $1,000. But he wanted to do more. So when one of Bush’s fundraisers solicited him to contribute to the Republican National Committee’s nonfederal, or “soft money,” account, Schreyer made a $100,000 donation.

The bankers’ alliances remained divided among the candidates at first, as they considered which man would be best for their own power trajectories, but their donations were plentiful: mortgage and broker company contributions were $1.2 million; 46% to the GOP and 54% to the Democrats. Commercial banks poured in $14.8 million to the 1992 campaigns at a near 50-50 split.

Clinton, like every good Democrat, campaigned publicly against the bankers: “It’s time to end the greed that consumed Wall Street and ruined our S&Ls [Savings and Loans] in the last decade,” he said. But equally, he had no qualms about taking money from the financial sector. In the early months of his campaign, BusinessWeek estimated that he received $2 million of his initial $8.5 million in contributions from New York, under the care of Ken Brody.

“If I had a Ken Brody working for me in every state, I’d be like the Maytag man with nothing to do,” said Rahm Emanuel, who ran Clinton’s nationwide fundraising committee and later became Barack Obama’s chief of staff. Wealthy donors and prospective fundraisers were invited to a select series of intimate meetings with Clinton at the plush Manhattan office of the prestigious private equity firm Blackstone.

Robert Rubin Comes to Washington

Clinton knew that embracing the bankers would help him get things done in Washington, and what he wanted to get done dovetailed nicely with their desires anyway. To facilitate his policies and maintain ties to Wall Street, he selected a man who had been instrumental to his campaign, Robert Rubin, as his economic adviser.

In 1980, Rubin had landed on Goldman Sachs' management committee alongside fellow Democrat Jon Corzine. A decade later, Rubin and Stephen Friedman were appointed cochairmen of Goldman Sachs. Rubin’s political aspirations met an appropriate opportunity when Clinton captured the White House.

On January 25, 1993, Clinton appointed him as assistant to the president for economic policy. Shortly thereafter, the president created a unique role for his comrade, head of the newly created National Economic Council. “I asked Bob Rubin to take on a new job,” Clinton later wrote, “coordinating economic policy in the White House as Chairman of the National Economic Council, which would operate in much the same way the National Security Council did, bringing all the relevant agencies together to formulate and implement policy... f he could balance all of [Goldman Sachs’] egos and interests, he had a good chance to succeed with the job.” (Ten years later, President George W. Bush gave the same position to Rubin’s old partner, Friedman.)

Back at Goldman, Jon Corzine, co-head of fixed income, and Henry Paulson, co-head of investment banking, were ascending through the ranks. They became co-CEOs when Friedman retired at the end of 1994.

Those two men were the perfect bipartisan duo. Corzine was a staunch Democrat serving on the International Capital Markets Advisory Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (from 1989 to 1999). He would co-chair a presidential commission for Clinton on capital budgeting between 1997 and 1999, while serving in a key role on the Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Treasury Department. Paulson was a well connected Republican and Harvard graduate who had served on the White House Domestic Council as staff assistant to the president in the Nixon administration.

Bankers Forge Ahead

By May 1995, Rubin was impatiently warning Congress that the Glass-Steagall Act could “conceivably impede safety and soundness by limiting revenue diversification.” Banking deregulation was then inching through Congress. As they had during the previous Bush administration, both the House and Senate Banking Committees had approved separate versions of legislation to repeal Glass-Steagall, the 1933 Act passed by the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that had separated deposit-taking and lending or “commercial” bank activities from speculative or “investment bank” activities, such as securities creation and trading. Conference negotiations had fallen apart, though, and the effort was stalled.

By 1996, however, other industries, representing core clients of the banking sector, were already being deregulated. On February 8, 1996, Clinton signed the Telecom Act, which killed many independent and smaller broadcasting companies by opening a national market for “cross-ownership.” The result was mass mergers in that sector advised by banks.

Deregulation of companies that could transport energy across state lines came next. Before such deregulation, state commissions had regulated companies that owned power plants and transmission lines, which worked together to distribute power. Afterward, these could be divided and effectively traded without uniform regulation or responsibility to regional customers. This would lead to blackouts in California and a slew of energy derivatives, as well as trades at firms such as Enron that used the energy business as a front for fraudulent deals.

The number of mergers and stock and debt issuances ballooned on the back of all the deregulation that eliminated barriers that had kept companies separated. As industries consolidated, they also ramped up their complex transactions and special purpose vehicles (off-balance-sheet, offshore constructions tailored by the banking community to hide the true nature of their debts and shield their profits from taxes). Bankers kicked into overdrive to generate fees and create related deals. Many of these blew up in the early 2000s in a spate of scandals and bankruptcies, causing an earlier millennium recession.

Meanwhile, though, bankers plowed ahead with their advisory services, speculative enterprises, and deregulation pursuits. President Clinton and his team would soon provide them an epic gift, all in the name of U.S. global power and competitiveness. Robert Rubin would steer the White House ship to that goal.

On February 12, 1999, Rubin found a fresh angle to argue on behalf of banking deregulation. He addressed the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services, claiming that, “the problem U.S. financial services firms face abroad is more one of access than lack of competitiveness.”

He was referring to the European banks’ increasing control of distribution channels into the European institutional and retail client base. Unlike U.S. commercial banks, European banks had no restrictions keeping them from buying and teaming up with U.S. or other securities firms and investment banks to create or distribute their products. He did not appear concerned about the destruction caused by sizeable financial bets throughout Europe. The international competitiveness argument allowed him to focus the committee on what needed to be done domestically in the banking sector to remain competitive.

Rubin stressed the necessity of HR 665, the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, or the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, that was officially introduced on February 10, 1999. He said it took “fundamental actions to modernize our financial system by repealing the Glass-Steagall Act prohibitions on banks affiliating with securities firms and repealing the Bank Holding Company Act prohibitions on insurance underwriting.”

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Marches Forward

On February 24, 1999, in more testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, Rubin pushed for fewer prohibitions on bank affiliates that wanted to perform the same functions as their larger bank holding company, once the different types of financial firms could legally merge. That minor distinction would enable subsidiaries to place all sorts of bets and house all sorts of junk under the false premise that they had the same capital beneath them as their parent. The idea that a subsidiary’s problems can’t taint or destroy the host, or bank holding company, or create “catastrophic” risk, is a myth perpetuated by bankers and political enablers that continues to this day.

Rubin had no qualms with mega-consolidations across multiple service lines. His real problems were those of his banker friends, which lay with the financial modernization bill’s “prohibition on the use of subsidiaries by larger banks.”  The bankers wanted the right to establish off-book subsidiaries where they could hide risks, and profits, as needed.

Again, Rubin decided to use the notion of remaining competitive with foreign banks to make his point. This technicality was “unacceptable to the administration,” he said, not least because “foreign banks underwrite and deal in securities through subsidiaries in the United States, and U.S. banks [already] conduct securities and merchant banking activities abroad through so-called Edge subsidiaries.” Rubin got his way. These off-book, risky, and barely regulated subsidiaries would be at the forefront of the 2008 financial crisis.

On March 1, 1999, Senator Phil Gramm released a final draft of the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and scheduled committee consideration for March 4th. A bevy of excited financial titans who were close to Clinton, including Travelers CEO Sandy Weill, Bank of America CEO, Hugh McColl, and American Express CEO Harvey Golub, called for “swift congressional action.”

The Quintessential Revolving-Door Man

The stock market continued its meteoric rise in anticipation of a banker-friendly conclusion to the legislation that would deregulate their industry. Rising consumer confidence reflected the nation’s fondness for the markets and lack of empathy with the rest of the world’s economic plight. On March 29, 1999, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 10,000 for the first time. Six weeks later, on May 6th,  the Financial Services Modernization Act passed the Senate. It legalized, after the fact, the merger that created the nation’s biggest bank.  Citigroup, the marriage of Citibank and Travelers, had been finalized the previous October.

It was not until that point that one of Glass-Steagall’s main assassins decided to leave Washington. Six days after the bill passed the Senate, on May 12, 1999, Robert Rubin abruptly announced his resignation. As Clinton wrote, “I believed he had been the best and most important treasury secretary since Alexander Hamilton... He had played a decisive role in our efforts to restore economic growth and spread its benefits to more Americans.”

Clinton named Larry Summers to succeed Rubin. Two weeks later, BusinessWeek reported signs of trouble in merger paradise -- in the form of a growing rift between John Reed, the former Chairman of Citibank, and Sandy Weill at the new Citigroup. As Reed said, “Co-CEOs are hard.” Perhaps to patch their rift, or simply to take advantage of a political opportunity, the two men enlisted a third person to join their relationship -- none other than Robert Rubin.

Rubin’s resignation from Treasury became effective on July 2nd. At that time, he announced, “This almost six and a half years has been all-consuming, and I think it is time for me to go home to New York and to do whatever I’m going to do next.” Rubin became chairman of Citigroup’s executive committee and a member of the newly created “office of the chairman.” His initial annual compensation package was worth around $40 million.  It was more than worth the “hit” he took when he left Goldman for the Treasury post.

Three days after the conference committee endorsed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley bill, Rubin assumed his Citigroup position, joining the institution destined to dominate the financial industry. That very same day, Reed and Weill issued a joint statement praising Washington for “liberating our financial companies from an antiquated regulatory structure,” stating that “this legislation will unleash the creativity of our industry and ensure our global competitiveness.”

On November 4th, the Senate approved the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act by a vote of 90 to 8.  (The House voted 362–57 in favor.) Critics famously referred to it as the Citigroup Authorization Act.

Mirth abounded in Clinton’s White House. “Today Congress voted to update the rules that have governed financial services since the Great Depression and replace them with a system for the twenty-first century,” Summers said. “This historic legislation will better enable American companies to compete in the new economy.”

But the happiness was misguided. Deregulating the banking industry might have helped the titans of Wall Street but not people on Main Street. The Clinton era epitomized the vast difference between appearance and reality, spin and actuality. As the decade drew to a close, Clinton basked in the glow of a lofty stock market, a budget surplus, and the passage of this key banking “modernization.” It would be revealed in the 2000s that many corporate profits of the 1990s were based on inflated evaluations, manipulation, and fraud. When Clinton left office, the gap between rich and poor was greater than it had been in 1992, and yet the Democrats heralded him as some sort of prosperity hero.

When he resigned in 1997, Robert Reich, Clinton’s labor secretary, said, “America is prospering, but the prosperity is not being widely shared, certainly not as widely shared as it once was... We have made progress in growing the economy. But growing together again must be our central goal in the future.”  Instead, the growth of wealth inequality in the United States accelerated, as the men yielding the most financial power wielded it with increasingly less culpability or restriction. By 2015, that wealth or prosperity gap would stand near historic highs.

The power of the bankers increased dramatically in the wake of the repeal of Glass-Steagall. The Clinton administration had rendered twenty-first-century banking practices similar to those of the pre-1929 crash. But worse. “Modernizing” meant utilizing government-backed depositors’ funds as collateral for the creation and distribution of all types of complex securities and derivatives whose proliferation would be increasingly quick and dangerous.

Eviscerating Glass-Steagall allowed big banks to compete against Europe and also enabled them to go on a rampage: more acquisitions, greater speculation, and more risky products. The big banks used their bloated balance sheets to engage in more complex activity, while counting on customer deposits and loans as capital chips on the global betting table. Bankers used hefty trading profits and wealth to increase lobbying funds and campaign donations, creating an endless circle of influence and mutual reinforcement of boundary-less speculation, endorsed by the White House.

Deposits could be used to garner larger windfalls, just as cheap labor and commodities in developing countries were used to formulate more expensive goods for profit in the upper echelons of the global financial hierarchy. Energy and telecoms proved especially fertile ground for the investment banking fee business (and later for fraud, extensive lawsuits, and bankruptcies). Deregulation greased the wheels of complex financial instruments such as collateralized debt obligations, junk bonds, toxic assets, and unregulated derivatives.

The Glass-Steagall repeal led to unfettered derivatives growth and unstable balance sheets at commercial banks that merged with investment banks and at investment banks that preferred to remain solo but engaged in dodgier practices to remain “competitive.” In conjunction with the tight political-financial alignment and associated collaboration that began with Bush and increased under Clinton, bankers channeled the 1920s, only with more power over an immense and growing pile of global financial assets and increasingly "open” markets. In the process, accountability would evaporate.

Every bank accelerated its hunt for acquisitions and deposits to amass global influence while creating, trading, and distributing increasingly convoluted securities and derivatives. These practices would foster the kind of shaky, interconnected, and opaque financial environment that provided the backdrop and conditions leading up to the financial meltdown of 2008.

The Realities of 2016

Hillary Clinton is, of course, not her husband. But her access to his past banker alliances, amplified by the ones that she has formed herself, makes her more of a friend than an adversary to the banking industry.  In her brief 2008 candidacy, all four of the New York-based Big Six banks ranked among her top 10 corporate donors. They have also contributed to the Clinton Foundation. She needs them to win, just as both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton did.

No matter what spin is used for campaigning purposes, the idea that a critical distance can be maintained between the White House and Wall Street is naïve given the multiple channels of money and favors that flow between the two.  It is even more improbable, given the history of connections that Hillary Clinton has established through her associations with key bank leaders in the early 1990s, during her time as a senator from New York, and given their contributions to the Clinton foundation while she was secretary of state. At some level, the situation couldn’t be less complicated: her path aligns with that of the country’s most powerful bankers. If she becomes president, that will remain the case.
10  Other / Politics & Society / Careful with your DNA, is sharing data with the police on: May 06, 2015, 12:47:18 PM

According to The Electronic Frontier Foundation:

The cops chose to use a lab linked to a private collection of genetic genealogical data called the Sorenson Database (now owned by, which claims it’s “the foremost collection of genetic genealogy data in the world.” The reason the Sorenson Database can make such an audacious claim is because it has obtained its more than 100,000 DNA samples and documented multi-generational family histories from “volunteers in more than 100 countries around the world.” Some of these volunteers were encouraged by the Mormon Church—well-known for its interest in genealogy—to provide their genetic material to the database. Sorenson promised volunteers their genetic data would only be used for “genealogical services, including the determination of family migration patterns and geographic origins” and would not be shared outside Sorenson.
11  Other / Politics & Society / CEO cuts his own salary by 90% to increase pay of every worker on: April 15, 2015, 11:27:27 AM

A chief executive has announced plans to raise the salary of every single employee at his company to at least $70,000 (£47,000) – and will fund it by cutting his own salary by 90 per cent.

Dan Price, the CEO of Seattle-based tech company Gravity Payments, gathered together his 120-strong workforce on Monday to tell them the news, which for some will mean a doubling of their salary.

Seattle was already at the heart of the US debate on the gulf in pay between CEOs and ordinary workers, after the city made the ground-breaking decision to raise the minimum wage to $15 (£10.16) an hour in June.

But Mr Price, 30, has gone one step further, after telling ABC News he thought CEO pay was “way out of whack”.

To facilitate the change, Mr Price will reduce his own wage from about $1 million to the new minimum of $70,000.

In order not to bankrupt the business, those on less than $70,000 now will receive a $5,000-per-year pay increase or an immediate minimum of $50,000, whichever is greater.

The target is for everyone to be on $70,000 by December 2017, while Mr Price has pledged not to increase his own pay until Gravity’s profits return to or exceed last year’s $2.2 million.

The New York Times, which was there for the Wolf of Wall Street-esque announcement, reported that Mr Price shouted: “Is anyone else freaking out right now?” after the cheering died down. “I’m kind of freaking out,” he added.

Mr Price told ABC News: “My salary wasn't $1 million because I need that much to live, but that's what it would cost to replace me as a CEO.

“It ended up impacting me, because I want the company to be sustainable even if something happens to me.”

As much as I’m a capitalist, there is nothing in the market that is making me do it.

Fair play to him, can't see many other CEO's adopting the same payment structure Wink
12  Other / Politics & Society / Cop with dead body fetish caught tickling corpse on: April 13, 2015, 10:37:22 AM
A bit freaky to say the least, even weirder that it was deemed legal....

The Bakersfield District Attorney’s Office has declined to prosecute a California police officer after an investigation found that he manipulated the body of a dead man who was shot by police last year.

The Bakersfield Californian reported that Senior Officer Aaron Stringer arrived on the scene of a Nov. 13 shooting after police open fired and killed 22-year-old Ramiro James Villegas, who had led them on a chase and then reportedly reached for his waistband. However, no gun was ever found on the suspect.

After the body was moved to Kern Medical Center, multiple officers said that they witnessed Stringer touch the corpse in an unprofessional way.

Trainee Lindy DeGeare told Bakersfield Police Department investigators that Stringer touched the bottom of Villegas’ feet and said, “tickle, tickle.”

She said that he also turned Villegas’ head several times, and watched as it returned to it’s original position because rigor mortis had already set in.

Stringer laughed and told her that he “loves playing with dead bodies,” DeGeare recalled.

The veteran officer later advised her to “just say no” if detectives asked if she had seen the body. A second officer who was at the hospital said that he also observed Stringer manipulating the body.

“I just knew it was wrong, what was going on, and I should have said something at the time,” DeGeare explained to investigators, according to a report obtained by The Bakersfield Californian.

Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman said that he had reviewed the report and declined to press charges because the law states that a body “shall not be disturbed or moved from the position or place of death” without the permission of the coroner. And because the body had already been moved to the hospital, the law did not apply to this case.

But Villegas’ family feels that Stringer should be prosecuted or fired at the very least.

“It’s disturbing,” Sarina Gonzalez, who was Villegas’ sister, told KBAK. “It’s sickening. It’s hurtful. It’s not okay. It’s not okay.”

Stringer has been in trouble with the department before. He was arrested in 2010 for driving under the influence of Ambien prescription sleep medication, and for a hit-and-run. And he was involved in at least two other shootings.

“We don’t need cops that are acting unprofessional,” Villegas’ brother, Joe Arambulo, insisted. “Thank God that somebody stepped up and said something.”

Although the district attorney declined to press charges, Stringer had hired an attorney and an investigation by the Bakersfield Police Department was ongoing, The Bakersfield Californian reported. Attorney Mark Geragos filed a claim against the city, and indicated that he would move forward with plans to pursue a lawsuit.

Can always rely on the boys in blue to act in a professional manner, that's when they're not shooting unarmed people dead.
13  Other / Politics & Society / Jewish extremists torch Christian church on: February 26, 2015, 07:37:36 PM

Suspected Jewish extremists set fire to a Greek Orthodox seminary building in Jerusalem early Thursday, police said, 24 hours after a mosque was torched in the West Bank.

The vandals torched an annexe of the seminary near the walls of the Old City and scrawled “graffiti insulting Jesus”, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said, describing it as a “nationalist” attack.

Police said the assailants set fire to the toilet and shower block at the seminary, causing damage but no injuries.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin condemned the attack.

“It is inconceivable that an act like this could happen in a house of prayer. This is a heinous crime, there must be an investigation and those responsible must be brought to justice,” his office quoted him as saying in a phone call to Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III.

“Such criminals not only threaten to set fire to places of worship holy to all of us, but ignite the regional powder keg upon which we all sit,” he added.

Israel’s foreign ministry said it expected the police to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“We condemn any action of religious intolerance of any kind,” it said in a statement.

“The government of Israel is committed to protecting the rights and freedoms of all its citizens, regardless of race, creed, or beliefs.”

The attack took place just outside the Old City walls on Mount Zion, close to Dormition Abbey, a Roman Catholic institution which was targeted by an arson attack during a visit by Pope Francis last May.

Following a police request, a gag order has been imposed on all details of the investigation which will remain in force until March 4.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat condemned the attack as “deplorable” and pledged to bring the perpetrators to justice.

On Wednesday, a mosque near Bethlehem in the southern West Bank was set alight and anti-Arab slogans in Hebrew sprayed on a nearby wall.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat denounced the perpetrators of both incidents as “terrorists”, blaming Israel’s government for inciting the attacks by continuing its “illegal occupation and colonisation based on distorted religious claims.”

The United Nations has warned such incidents could “inflame an already volatile environment.”

Both incidents bore the hallmarks of so-called “price tag” attacks — a euphemism for nationalist-motivated hate crimes by Jewish extremists, which generally target Palestinians or Arab Israelis but have increasingly also hit Christian and Muslim places of worship.

- - - -

Goes to show there's intolerence everywhere, regardless of religion - nationality.
14  Other / Politics & Society / Chicago police exposed operating secret interrogation facility on: February 25, 2015, 10:37:11 AM

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

    • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
    • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
    • Shackling for prolonged periods.
    • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
    • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.

At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.

- - - -

Looks like the war on terror is coming home.
15  Other / Politics & Society / Norwegian Muslims form human shield to protect Jewish Synagogue on: February 22, 2015, 02:56:18 PM

"Hundreds of Norwegian Muslims have formed a human shield around a Synagogue in the country’s capital as a symbol of solidarity with the city’s Jewish community.

Over 1,000 Muslims chanted “No to anti-Semitism, no to Islamophobia” as they formed what they called a “ring of peace” around the Jewish place of worship".


Nice to see muslims and jews supporting each together.
16  Other / Politics & Society / 9 US industries profiting from the prison-industrial complex. on: February 20, 2015, 03:28:38 PM

"It's no coincidence that the United States now imprisons more of its people than any other country in the world: mass incarceration has become a giant industry in the U.S., resulting in huge profits not only for private prison companies, but also, for everything from food companies and telecoms to all the businesses that are using prison labor to cut their manufacturing costs. The prison-industrial complex even has its own lobbyists: according to a 2011 report from the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), the U.S.’ largest private prison company, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), and their competitor the GEO Group have both spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying forlonger prison sentences. And the American Bail Coalition has been lobbying for the bail bond industry for 23 years.

"One of the main reasons so many people are imprisoned in the U.S. (which now has 25% of the world’s prisoners even though it comprises only 5% of the world’s population) is the war on drugs, which has brought with it draconian sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. In a 2013 report on Americans serving life without parole for nonviolent offenses, the American Civil Liberties Union found that 79% were incarcerated for drug-related convictions. Three-strikes laws, which mandate life without the possibility of parole after a third felony conviction, have also done a lot to expand the prison-industrial complex.

Reform is at odds with the agenda of many powerful industries. It's well-known that private prison companies draw their profits from mass incarceration, but they’re not the only ones. Here are nine industries that are profiting quite handsomely from the prison-industrial complex and mass incarceration in the U.S".

1. Food supply companies.
2. Telecommunications
3. Healthcare companies
4. Call centers
5. Clothing manufacturers
6. Technology sector
7. Bail industry
8. Food Processing and Packaging
9. Agriculture


Plain to see the 'war on drugs' was just a mechanism for creating a slave labor workforce, no need to send jobs offshore when you can employ you own citizens with zero pay nor workers rights.
17  Other / Off-topic / Dinosaurs may have tripped their balls off on: February 12, 2015, 12:43:00 PM

"The discovery of a 100 million-year-old fossilised fungus which had 'poisonous and mind-altering' effects has revealed the possibility that high.

A preserved piece of ergot, a psychedelic fungus which grew on top of a grass spikelet, has been found in a hunk of amber in Burma – and researchers say that it may well have been nibbled by the prehistoric animals".
18  Other / Off-topic / Man Challenges Cop to a Booze vs. Weed Contest on: November 14, 2014, 01:55:44 PM

"....Boyer has challenged the police chief to a "hit for shot" duel -- for every shot of alcohol Googins takes, Boyer would take a toke of marijuana, and the public would be able to see who is in worse physical condition in the end..."

19  Other / Politics & Society / Iran claims successful test flight of hacked US drone replica on: November 10, 2014, 08:16:44 PM

Iran said Monday that a copy of an American drone downed over its territory in 2011 had successfully completed its first test flight, promising to release footage of the experiment.

Tehran captured the US RQ-170 Sentinel in December 2011 while it was in its airspace, apparently on a mission to spy on the country’s nuclear sites, media in the United States reported.

Iran said it had taken control of the ultra hi-tech drone and forced it down in the desert where it was recovered nearly intact.

Washington says the drone crashed after experiencing a technical glitch.

In May, a military official said Iranian engineers had successfully built a replica of the American drone and that it would soon take a test flight.

Images broadcast by state television at the time appeared to show two near-identical drones.

“As promised, we have conducted the flight and a film of it will be broadcast shortly,” General Amir-Ali Hadjizadeh, commander of the Revolutionary Guards air wing, was quoted as saying by the corps’ own website.

Apart from a fast-moving ballistic weapons programme, Iran has been producing drones since 2010 which the defence ministry says are capable of firing missiles with a range of 1,000 kilometres (more than 600 miles).

Tehran says its weapons programmes are purely for defensive purposes, but the United States whose Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain across the Gulf has often voiced concerns.
20  Other / Politics & Society / The real winners of the war on Isis? The US arms giants supplying the bombs on: October 20, 2014, 05:03:08 PM

Last month American warships fired $65.8m worth of Tomahawk missiles within just 24 hours of each other

So who is winning the war? Isis? Us? The Kurds (remember them?) The Syrians? The Iraqis? Do we even remember the war? Not at all. We must tell the truth. So let us now praise famous weapons and the manufacturers that begat them.

Share prices are soaring in America for those who produce the coalition bombs and missiles and drones and aircraft participating in this latest war which – for all who are involved (except for the recipients of the bombs and missiles and those they are fighting) – is Hollywood from start to finish.

Shares in Lockheed Martin – maker of the “All for One and One for All” Hellfire missiles – are up 9.3 per cent in the past three months. Raytheon – which has a big Israeli arm – has gone up 3.8 per cent. Northrop Grumman shares swooped up the same 3.8 per cent. And General Dynamics shares have risen 4.3 per cent. Lockheed Martin – which really does steal Alexandre Dumas’ Three Musketeers quotation on its publicity material – makes the rockets carried by the Reaper drones, famous for destroying wedding parties over Afghanistan and Pakistan, and by Iraqi aircraft.

And don’t be downhearted. The profits go on soaring. When the Americans decided to extend their bombing into Syria in September – to attack President Assad’s enemies scarcely a year after they first proposed to bomb President Assad himself – Raytheon was awarded a $251m (£156m) contract to supply the US navy with more Tomahawk cruise missiles. Agence France-Presse, which does the job that Reuters used to do when it was a real news agency, informed us that on 23 September, American warships fired 47 Tomahawk missiles. Each one costs about $1.4m. And if we spent as promiscuously on Ebola cures, believe me, there would be no more Ebola. Let us leave out here the political cost of this conflict. After all, the war against Isis is breeding Isis. For every dead Isis member, we are creating three of four more. And if Isis really is the “apocalyptic”, “evil”, “end-of-the-world” institution we have been told it is – my words come from the Pentagon and our politicians, of course – then every increase in profits for Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics is creating yet more Isis fighters. So every drone or F/A-18 fighter-bomber we send is the carrier of a virus, every missile an Ebola germ for the future of the world. Think about that.

Let me give you a real-time quotation from reporter Dan De Luce’s dispatch on arms sales for the French news agency. “The war promises to generate more business not just from US government contracts but other countries in a growing coalition, including European and Arab states… Apart from fighter jets, the air campaign [sic] is expected to boost the appetite for aerial refuelling tankers, surveillance aircraft such as the U-2 and P-8 spy planes, and robotic [sic again, folks] drones… Private security contractors, which profited heavily from the US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, also are optimistic the conflict will produce new contracts to advise Iraqi troops.”

This is obviously outrageous. The same murderous bunch of gunmen we sent to Iraq are going to be let loose to teach our “allies” in Syria – “moderate” secular militias, of course – the same vicious tactics they used against civilians in Iraq. And the same missiles are going to be used – at huge profit, naturally – on the peoples of the Middle East,  Isis or not. Which is why De Luce’s report is perhaps the most important of the whole war in the region.

I’ve always argued that the civilian victims of these weapons manufacturers should sue these conglomerate giants every time their niece or grandfather is killed. In Gaza and the West Bank, the Palestinians used to keep the bits and fragments of US-made missiles that killed their innocent relatives, with the idea that one day they might be able to take the companies to court. Lebanese civilians did the same. But they were given “compensation” – with whose blessing, I wonder? – and persuaded not to pursue the idea, and so the armaments manufacturers, made so palpable in George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara, got away with it. There are many lawyers in New York ready to take up these cases – I’ve met a few of them in the US – on a pay-if-you-win basis. But so far, no takers. It’s time there were. Why should the merchants of death get away with it?

In the meanwhile, the Pentagon can keep pushing the bills through. “It’s awfully hard to say no when you’re at war,” a guy with “links” to the weapons industry said last week. You bet it is. He says, by the way, that BAE Systems is doing pretty well out of the current crisis. Think about that. And pray, of course, for the 200,000 dead in the Syrian war.
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