Why is this man missing?
Shades of Dr. David Kelly's death in the Oxfordshire woods which may be the ultimate "key to a much larger puzzle."
Solons gather at Davos? Skiing solons? And no one bought off by the NSA guys? From Alternet:
Masters of the Universe, vaguely real or totally fake, who want to play savior all flocked to Switzerland this week. In Montreux, one may "save" Syria at the very un-jazzy Geneva II charade, which I have dealt with here. In the interminable business meeting known as Davos, one has the possibility to save no less than the whole world.
In Davos, as an extra bonus, one may even play savior of Syria. A 75-minute simulation session is on offer, where global suits may experience how it feels to be a Syrian refugee. The menu includes detention, being chased by a replica gun-toting militia, and being shouted at by aid workers. Luckily for the attendees, it does not include a meeting with Bandar Bush-sponsored beheading jihadis. The insufferable Bono is rumored to be participating.
London mayor Boris Johnson, duly accredited as one of the 2,500 delegates at the World Economic Forum, alongside the "financial elite", "world leaders", corporate honchos, and sundry royalty (mostly Hollywoodish), has defined Davos as "a constellation of egos involved in massive mutual orgies of adulation".
Sessions avidly disputed by the ego constellation are routinely announced by cowbells ringing across the Congress Center. Each cowbell ringing until Saturday will be ultimately striking a tone matching the theme of the 2014 meeting; the quite modest "The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business". This "reshaping" is being brought to you by many of the people who caused (or profited from) the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
Stuck in the middle with Jesus
Pope Francis - the new Jesus? - decided not to eschew his now trendy Franciscan abandon at the Vatican for the glitzy ski slopes, but sent a cardinal, Peter Turkson, to remind the Masters of the Universe of "a new, profound, sense of responsibility", which in thesis means they should care about inequality, the poor and the unemployed. That was the gist of the "Big Francis is watching you" message.
Davos Day One opened with a session on the digital future. The Masters of the Universe were asked to name a gadget that changed their lives (credit default swaps don't qualify). Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer praised her smartphone. She also said that by the end of 2014 Yahoo! will be handling more traffic from mobile devices than from desktops; "2014 will be a tipping point ... it will change everyone's daily routines very fundamentally".
Then there's the pesky matter of the NSA-centric Orwellian/Panopticon complex. Mayer said, "What's murky about some of what is happening today is people don't necessary[sic] know what data is being collected and about what is being used." Cisco's John Chambers for his part said there must be "cooperation" between the tech universe and the NSA.
It was up to the father of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, to talk from the floor, and stress, "When you are operating at this level, you have no idea if these people are American citizens or been suspected of committing some sort of crime." He insisted on a "discussion" about what all this information is used for.
Economist Nouriel Roubini cut to the chase, preferring to identify the immediate future trend: "In the third manufacturing revolution, we will have robotics, automation, 3D printing, nanotechnologies. But only skilled jobs will be created." Including inside the NSA.
Clowns to the left, jokers to the right
As Davos was rolling, the City of London told the Financial Times that British banks are not exactly happy with the idea of Britain exiting the European Union. As Jim Cowles, Citibank's CEO for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, told the FT, there's "mounting concern" among his clients over using the UK as a regional hub. Tell that to David of Arabia Cameron.
That fits nicely with the Davos session "Is Europe Back?", which included, among others, former Bundesbank president and current chairman of UBS Axel Weber, economist Kenneth Rogoff and advertising guru Sir Martin Sorrell.
Some of these eminences had to gall to affirm that Europe is "stronger" than a year ago. Sorrell said the UK and Germany are doing well, and he's "very bullish" about Germany, Poland and Russia. Yet he's worried about France, Italy and Spain. This passes in Masters of the Universe circles for "sound analysis". Axel Weber at least admitted that Europe as a whole "still feels like a crisis", and that "the economy is too weak to sustain the kind of growth in jobs we need to get out of this crisis".
Sir Richard Branson - the Virgin godfather - who was apparently on a private meeting about the 2030 agenda for progress in the developing world, performed the customary brilliant PR move, leaking, "The war on drugs has failed". Seems like Branson has been to Portugal, which does not send people to jail for heroin possession. Oh yes, and time to start that Virgin route to Montevideo.
On Africa, the buzzword in Davos is "democratic dividend". But when someone asked the president of Nigeria, Goodluck Elebe Jonathan, what happened to all that oil that miraculously "disappears" every year from the Niger Delta, he said there was no corruption. Maybe it's an act of God; he should consult Pope Francis.
This being a predominantly Western talkfest, Russia-bashing was in order. It was duly provided by hedge fund honcho Bill Browder, who "predicted" that Vladimir Putin's government would collapse by early 2015 if the price of oil fell to $60 a barrel. Both things obviously barely qualify as wishful thinking.
Browder also joined the BRICS-bashing chorus, which has grown quite loud lately. The piece de resistance on Davos Day One was the speech by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He said, "We must restrain military expansion in Asia, which otherwise could go unchecked"; military spending "must be transparent, and able to be verified"; and "We must create a process for crisis management and lay down rules that enforce the international control of the sea."
What a lovely way to ingratiate himself with the Masters of the Universe by not so discreetly appealing for all of them to support Japan over China in the whole South China Sea islands dispute.
So his message was "bet on Japan", and "only then can we get growth and prosperity in Asia". Does "growth" and "prosperity" ring a bell to all those familiar with the background of World War II? Apparently it does, because Abe also felt obliged to admit, "Japan has sworn an oath, never again to wage a war." And then he plugged Abenomics, through which "We can create economic growth, which will result in lasting peace in the region."
So there's just a small sample of how Davos will be - unselfishly - saving the world until Saturday. Wait, there's more: Goldie Hawn expanding on the merits of meditation in a "mindfulness" panel. How come Pope Francis never thought about that? And to finally soothe all egalitarian spirits, nothing like a special Davos screening of the Mandela biopic, Long Walk to Freedom.
Some Masters of the Universe such as Warren Buffett and Apple's Tim Cook thought they had better fish to capture, fry and profit from than to hit Davos. As for "security", in case an Obama drone strayed off target in the tribal areas and hit a Swiss mountain as if it was a Pashtun wedding party, not many around the real world would be shedding a tear.
Still watching MSM for news?
From one of our best reporters, Scott Creighton at American Everyman:
What a joke the MSM "news" has become. Reddit is aghast at the fact that a former congress critter was interrupted during her interview while talking about the changes she want's to see in the NSA spying so MSNBC could flash to an update about Justin Bieber being arrested for a DUI.
It's all a show, folks. None of it's real. Don't take it so seriously.
Is it really all that important to these guys to listen to billionaire media mogul (Newsweek/Daily Beast) former Congressman Harman screech about how we NEED a new CISPA (yes, she backs a new CISPA plan) to "fix" the manufactured Snowden crisis?
When Harman left the House back in 2011 she was the richest member, worth somewhere around 3.5 billion bucks.
Her big contribution to our free and open society was the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. I wonder if our friends over at Reddit remember that little trinket she left behind. She also backed the illegal invasion of Iraq back in 2003 and Bush's Warrantless Wiretapping Program.
"Indeed, as I've noted many times, Jane Harman, in the wake of the NSA scandal, became probably the most crucial defender of the Bush warrantless eavesdropping program, using her status as "the ranking Democratic on the House intelligence committee" to repeatedly praise the NSA program as "essential to U.S. national security" and "both necessary and legal."Harman left congress in 2011 so she could run a globalist think-tank, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. They claim it's "ranked in the top 15" think-tanks in the world, whatever that means. The Wilson Center as it's called is partially funded by your tax dollars and big bucks kicked in by big business.
She even went on Meet the Press to defend the program along with GOP Sen. Pat Roberts and Rep. Pete Hoekstra, and she even strongly suggested that the whistleblowers who exposed the lawbreaking and perhaps even the New York Times (but not Bush officials) should be criminally investigated, saying she "deplored the leak," that "it is tragic that a lot of our capability is now across the pages of the newspapers," and that the whistleblowers were "despicable." And Eric
Lichtblau himself described how Harman, in 2004, attempted very aggressively to convince him not to write about the NSA program." Glenn Greenwald
It appears that she was saying Congress needs to "seriously consider discontinuing section 215...". Was she about to say they should stop the collection of this data altogether or was she about to endorse the Cass Sunstein panel's recommendation that the collection of this material continue, only privatized (which is the basis of CISPA, by the way).
Here's what she recently said about being able to identify those disgruntled "lone wolf" radicalized American terrorists:
"Lone wolves are a big part of this problem," she said. "We need to have an effective system that can spot bad guys and prevent and disrupt plots against us." LA Times Jan 18, 2014
aaaaaaand, yeah. I can't wait to hear her billionaire's opinion on how to fix the NSA spying game. I'm sure it's quite "progressive"
Oh, here it is from Jan. 15th, 2014 when she testified before congress:
"... Since 9/11, there have been almost 400 home grown terrorists indicted on terror-related charges or killed before they could be indicted. The biggest threats to the US homeland are homegrown, lone-wolf terror attacks and cyber-terror attacks...
Radicalization is an individualized process and the vulnerable come from varied backgrounds. Recent reports that Syrian extremist groups are recruiting for US attacks are extremely concerning. (See my LA Times op-ed dated January 6, 2014)... Most terror groups or lone wolves don’t have advanced technical capability yet. But they learned quickly how to use the internet to radicalize, recruit and fundraise; why wouldn’t they learn how to launch attacks that way?...
So we have an opportunity now to harden our critical infrastructure. The President’s Executive Order is a good start. But legislation is essential to compel industry to share threat data – not personal information about individuals – with the Department of Homeland Security and provide appropriate immunity when it does...
HR 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, (Rep. Mike Rogers) has passed the House. HR 756, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, (Rep. Mike McCaul) has passed the House. The Senate approach is different and progress is urgently needed." Jane Harman, Jan. 15th, 2014
Syrian extremist groups? Lone wolves radicalized by the internet? Cyber terror? And all that can be fixed by creating legislation to COMPEL big business to collect data on us to weed out those radicalized elements of society.
And need I remind anyone Harman was a leading advocate for AIPAC? As often as she spoke at AIPAC conventions, she might as well have registered as a foreign agent or lobbyist.
Remember back when her conversation with an AIPAC official was wiretapped and she had to publicly admit she was on their payroll? The FBI opened an investigation into Harman, but Alberto Gonzales "pulled the plug" on it because he wanted Jane to help him defend the controversial Domestic Warrantless Wiretapping Program which she did defend.
Frankly I find Bieber's bad-boy street-cred building PR move a little more entertaining than sitting around wondering what a billionaire globalist CISPA backer thinks we should do to "fix" our constitutional rights so they don't interfere with cleaning up the internet making it safe for American interests like her billion-dollar businesses... and Israel.
Here's the video for what it's worth..
Because your dream D.C. wild party time was over?
I've heard about the spoiled millennials . . . but this burns us a new one.
What times we live in.
You may remember that a little over a month ago, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander's chief of staff Ryan Loskarn was arrested on child pornography charges.
He died today. Reportedly by hanging himself.
Ryan Loskarn, the former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander who was charged with possessing and distributing child pornography last month, was found dead in his home in Maryland of an apparent suicide, law enforcement officials said Friday.
Words of wisdom we'd do well to obey according to Ed Snow(job)den via Elias Isquith:
“Intelligence agencies do have a role to play, and the people at the working level at the NSA, CIA, or any other member of the IC are not out to get you. They’re good people trying to do the right thing, and I can tell you from personal experience that they were worried about the same things I was.
The people you need to watch out for are the unaccountable senior officials authorizing these unconstitutional programs, and unreliable mechanisms like the secret FISA court, a rubber-stamp authority that approves 99.97% of government requests (which denied only 11 requests out of 33,900 in 33 years). They’re the ones that get us into trouble with the Constitution by letting us go too far.”
And, as expected on the Wall Street solid front:
The CEO's punishment following London Whale scandal was short-lived
JPMorgan Chase’s “punishment” was short-lived. Last year, following the egregious “London Whale” scandal — a multibillion-dollar trading loss by the bank (which led to $1 billion in regulatory fines) — Dimon’s salary was cut in half to a measly $11.5 million.
Wall Street memories are evidently as short as its pockets are deep. Dimon is getting a raise again. The New York Times reported:
JPMorgan’s board voted this week to increase Mr. Dimon’s annual compensation for 2013, hashing out the pay package after a series of meetings that turned heated at times, according to several executives briefed on the matter.
… JPMorgan’s directors may have decided that Mr. Dimon, as his peers may, should get a raise, but to ordinary Americans — and possibly to regulators — the decision to increase his compensation may seem curious given the banner penalties that federal authorities have extracted from the bank. It is not unheard-of for chief executives to lose their jobs when their companies have been battered by regulators.
Not unheard of, but not lately.
Still think those financial "mistakes" were unintentional?