"Conspiracy theorists of the world.., we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The world is a rigged game." ~ Matt Taibbi
Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.
You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that's trillion, with a "t") worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history – MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it "dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets."
That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world's largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.
Obama's Big Sellout
The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway
Posted Dec 09, 2009 2:35 PM
Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich, ripped NAFTA for hurting the middle class and tore into John McCain for supporting a bankruptcy bill that sided with wealthy bankers "at the expense of hardworking Americans." Obama may not have run to the left of Samuel Gompers or Cesar Chavez, but it's not like you saw him on the campaign trail flanked by bankers from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. What inspired supporters who pushed him to his historic win was the sense that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club, that walls were being torn down, that things were, for lack of a better or more specific term, changing.
Then he got elected.
Truth or Terrorism? The Real Story Behind Five Years of High Alerts: A history of the Bush administration's most dubious terror scares — and the headlines they buried
TIM DICKINSON Posted Feb 07, 2008 8:00 AM in Rolling Stone
"Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence assessment. There were times when some people in the administration were really aggressive about raising the threat level, and we said, 'For that?!'" — Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge,
The Bush administration has never shied from playing the fear card to distract the American public from scandal or goad them into supporting a deeply flawed foreign policy. Here a history of the administration's most-dubious terror alerts — including three consecutive Memorial Day scare-a-thons — all of which proved far less terrifying than the screamer headlines they inspired.
February 12, 2002
(EDIT: See also Truth or Terrorism? The Real Story Behind Five Years of High Alerts -rep.)
The Fear Factory
The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?
by Guy Lawson - Jan 25, 2008
"So, what you wanna do?" the friend asked. "A target?" the wanna-be jihadi replied. "I want some type of city-hall-type stuff, federal courthouses."
It was late November 2006, and twenty-two-year-old Derrick Shareef and his friend Jameel were hanging out in Rockford, Illinois, dreaming about staging a terrorist attack on America. The two men weren't sure what kind of assault they could pull off. All Shareef knew was that he wanted to cause major damage, to wreak vengeance on the country he held responsible for oppressing Muslims worldwide. "Smoke a judge," Shareef said. Maybe firebomb a government building.
Matt Taibbi is at it again, and although he has apparently had his mouth washed out with soap, he's still madly trying to reconcile poll after poll after poll reflecting widespread distrust in the official story of 9/11 with his blind faith in the "Zelikow-Approved" 9/11 Commission Report.
His new piece is: THE LOW POST: Murrah Redux 9/11 Truth is a bald regurgitation of a silly tale we heard ten years ago.
Like Taibbi's earlier egregious, indefensible hit piece, he struggles with concepts that he cannot understand, and winds up with an amorphous stroll through a bunch of lazily stitched together anecdotes which suggest that he doesn't even really care about the issue, not even enough to make a half-hearted attempt at researching OKC.
Matt Taibbi - Abusing the Truth
Crisis in America
by - John Albanese
It is a singularly disturbing attribute of any journalist, whether a creature of the right wing media – or left, to inject themselves so thoroughly into a story that they themselves BECOME the story. This is the stuff of narcissism and yellow journalism.
Matt Taibbi is not alone. We have all seen the Geraldo Rivera video clips involving prurient subject matter, designed to incite his guests, resulting in flying chairs and bloody noses. This does not pass for journalism. It is the job of journalists to report on accidents – not incite them.
At its best it is purely the stuff of entertainment - and Jerry Springer. At its worst it is intentional disinformation put out by major news networks like FoxNews who regularly incite their guests with an agenda of insults and spin, designed to make their ideological opponents look bad.
All of this may be entertaining to watch, but it is surely not the stuff of legitimate objective journalism.
And while it may be impossible for any reporter to truly remain a fly on the wall, truly objective and emotionally uninvolved in their story, (since journalism is in fact a product of the human experience) we do expect that journalists will at the very least attempt to limit their involvement in any given story to the bare necessities of reporting the facts to the public, with at least a basic foundation of personal integrity and fairness, even when editorializing.