Saturday, July 6, 2013
MADRID (AP) — Spain on Friday said it had been warned along with other European countries that former U.S. intelligence worker Edward Snowden was aboard the Bolivian presidential plane this week, an acknowledgement that the manhunt for the fugitive leaker had something to do with the plane's unexpected diversion to Austria.
It is unclear whether the United States, which has told its European allies that it wants Snowden back, warned Madrid about the Bolivian president's plane. U.S. officials will not detail their conversations with European countries, except to say that they have stated the U.S.'s general position that it wants Snowden back.
President Barack Obama has publicly displayed a relaxed attitude toward Snowden's movements, saying last month that he wouldn't be "scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker."
But the drama surrounding the flight of Bolivian President Evo Morales, whose plane was abruptly rerouted to Vienna after apparently being denied permission to fly over France, suggests that pressure is being applied behind the scenes.
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told Spanish National Television that "they told us that the information was clear, that he was inside."
He did not identify who "they" were and declined to say whether he had been in contact with the U.S. But he said that European countries' decisions were based on the tip. France has since sent a letter of apology to the Bolivian government.
Meanwhile, secret-spilling website WikiLeaks said that Snowden, who is still believed to be stuck in a Moscow airport's transit area, had put in asylum applications to six new countries.
The organization said in a message posted to Twitter on Friday that it wouldn't be identifying the countries involved "due to attempted U.S. interference."
A number of countries have already rejected asylum applications from Snowden
Friday, July 5, 2013
The End of Obama's Brotherhood CrushJonathan S. Tobin - Commentary Magazine, July 3rd, 2013
Egypt is exploding. The pro-Morsi forces are saying they will blow up Egypt. This could get very bad quickly. Now we can add Egypt to the countries in turmoil in the Middle East. So much for the Arab Spring!
‘FRIDAY OF RAGE’: FURIOUS EGYPTIAN ISLAMISTS MAKE TERRIFYING THREATS AFTER MORSI’S REMOVAL
This article might be a little stale, however, the conditions to which the author speaks are still very real and maybe more pressing today than when the article was published in February. Could something like this occur?
We believe there is a possibility. At present the government is monitoring everything in your life from your mail to your Facebook account. It knows your shopping habits and with whom you do business. You cannot transfer large amounts (over $10,000) without filling out reams of paperwork. All of your income is followed and even if you are a small handyman, the people with whom you do business must give you a 1099.
The government already knows how much you have in your 401(k) and other investments as those numbers are reported to the government annually. How hard would it be to create an agency to "manage" your investments for you. It would be in your best interest, right? And who could manage your money better than the government as they have done such a stellar job of handling their own money!
For those who think that it would not happen, you would be wrong. As there have already been hearings in Washington to do this very subject. Yes, it was a few years ago, but ideas (even horrendous, outrageous ones) in the nation's capital never die.
The author does present a potential rationale for the confiscation, that being China. If their economy continues to slow as it has been, this could be the rationale the US government would use to grab your savings as a way to pay off Peking.
We will keep monitoring developments, however, we expect that it will take a fiscal "crisis" to have your 401(k) grabbed. When that time is, is anyone's guess but we feel it will be sooner rather than later.
Is your 401K about to be nationalized?
WASHINGTON, February 3, 2013 ― The $19.4 trillion sitting in personal retirement accounts like the 401K may be too tempting an apple for a government that is quite broke, both monetarily and morally. The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray recently mentioned these accounts in a recent interview, stating “That’s one of the things we’ve been exploring and are interested in, in terms of whether and what authority we have.”
This agency, created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank-Act, is very concerned about how safe your retirement savings are. They are apparently concerned that retiring baby boomers may become victims of financial scams.
If the government takes control of retirement accounts, it will not be called “nationalization.” There will most likely be an indecipherable document that provides an opt-out option (initially), but why would you want to do that? The US government only wants to ensure the safety of your retirement funds; they did after all create a new bureaucracy for that specific purpose. And what could be a safer investment than US bonds?
China’s premier Wen Jiabao recently made a very polite, but very pointed statement to the US concerning its continued policy of debt monetization (printing money to pay the bills).
“We have made a huge amount of loans to the United States. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I’m a little bit worried. I would like to call on the United States to honor its words, stay a credible nation and ensure the safety of Chinese assets.”
It is estimated that of the roughly $2 trillion China holds in currency reserves, about half is in U.S. Treasuries. While that may not seem significant, you would not want to know what would happen should they put even half of those treasuries on the open market. While that is certainly not expected, an escalation of Japan-China tensions in their ongoing (and worsening) argument over East and South China Sea islands, with the U.S. firmly behind Japan, means anything is possible.
Assuming that the island dispute does not turn into open warfare, there is still the matter of addressing the very serious concerns that China has voiced, and many other countries echo: We are devaluing our currency, which they are heavily invested in, at a rapid pace and with no indication of ever stopping.
This brings us back to that juicy apple hanging from the tree of our life’s work. Nationalizing the personal retirement accounts would allow our government to borrow even more from its largest debtor (U.S. citizens) without further devaluing the currency. While this may seem far-fetched, as international pressure mounts to maintain the value of the dollar, you will hear more about this.
If at some date we find ourselves at a tipping point in international relations, it may very well come down to nationalizing our 401K’s or going to war. Many Americans are choosing to take their penalties and withdraw their 401K funds while they still can.
Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/politics-blue-collar/2013/feb/3/your-401k-about-be-nationalized/#ixzz2YBl3X3in
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