A leaked video appears to show Egypt’s military generals deciding how to control the country’s media.
|All we have been hearing since the overthrow of Morsi is that Egypt is on the path to democracy …. Well, controlling the media is not democratic …. The problem is that the army is able to get away with this because a large part of [the] Egyptian public is cheering on the crackdown on [the] media ….
Sharif Nashashibi, a Middle East political analyst
The footage was released by activists, and shows General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt’s army chief, addressing senior officers in the months before President Mohamed Morsi was ousted.
The recording starts with an officer urging el-Sisi to find a way of frightening journalists into not criticising the army. “We must re-establish red lines for the media. We need to find a new way of neutralising them; the media in Egypt is controlled by 20 or 25 people. We should engage with these people directly and individually – either terrorise them or win them over,” the officer is heard saying.
For his part, el-Sisi is heard saying: “I know how to win them over, but tell me how you suggest I terrorise them? … It takes a long time before you are able to affect and control the media. We are working on this.”
In another leaked broadcast, el-Sisi is heard lobbying journalists and intellectuals, arguing that he should be granted immunity from prosecution should he fail to become president: “You together with the educated elite are supposed to lead a campaign calling for an article included in the constitution granting immunity to General Sisi by virtue of his office as a defence minister allowing him to re-assume his duties in case he is not elected as a president.” …
- Egypt extends detention of Jazeera journalist: lawyer (dailystar.com.lb)
- Banning the Brotherhood (thearabistgermanist.wordpress.com)
- Al Jazeera Affiliate Ordered to Close (sutradharsmarket.wordpress.com)
- Video shows Egypt generals plotting media gag (aljazeera.com)
When countries go broke. (FULL ARTICLE)
It’s become almost cliche these days to point out how many governments are broke beyond belief.
In Japan, where the country’s debt level already exceeds 200% of GDP, the government has to finance 46% of its budget by issuing more debt.
In the United States, the governments add a trillion dollars each year to the already unsustainable debt, and fails to collect enough tax revenue to cover mandatory entitlement spending and interest payments on the debt.
The theater playing out in the US right now is irrelevant. America’s debt challenge is not a political problem. It’s an arithmetic problem. Same in Japan and most of Europe.
However, most of these ‘rich’ western nations aren’t doing anything about it. It’s business as usual, and their debts are only getting bigger.
Poorer countries don’t have this luxury of kicking the can down the road and delaying the inevitable. They must face their financial reckoning now….
- Peter Schiff On The Debt Ceiling Delusions | Zero Hedge (olduvaiblog.wordpress.com)
- U.S. Debt Fight Threatens World, Says IMF Head (hispanicbusiness.com)
- Beat the clock: Reid cites ‘tremendous progress’ in debt ceiling talks – CNN (cnn.com)
What China Thinks of the Shutdown | China Power | The Diplomat. (FULL ARTICLE)
In the midst of a domestic crisis, it is easy to forget that the rest of the world is watching. Now that the U.S. federal government has shut down for the first time since the mid 1990s, the talk of the town is the political problems of the world’s largest economy and sole superpower. In China, most media reports about the shutdown have been merely informative, but every now and then they offer a rare insight into what the Chinese have learned about America’s shortcomings.
“As far as the Chinese populace is concerned, the government shutdown is like the Arabian Nights,” writesWang Xuejing of Hong Kong Daily News. Evidently, for the citizens of a totalitarian state, the prospect of a government shutdown seems otherworldly. The newspaper Qilu Wanbao complains, “To us, far on the other side of the ocean, the information appears contradictory. Some say Americans are furious […] Some say [everyday] life remains unchanged. Have or haven’t Americans been affected by the federal shutdown?”
The notion of a government shutdown is strange for the average Chinese person because its consequences in the People’s Republic would go far beyond closed federal agencies and parks. In mainland China, and increasingly Hong Kong, every school and every agency (national and local) answers to a party minder. Banking and internet traffic are also closely monitored by Beijing. Should the party overseers be absent one day, many organizations crucial to China’s social structure would suddenly find themselves without official guidance. The effects of such an abrupt and unfamiliar decentralization are impossible to predict….
- US Army has no money to receive PLA delegation (wantchinatimes.com)
- Asia Reacts With Caution, Surprise to US Government Shutdown (voanews.com)
- China swaps pandas for uranium in trade deals (money.cnn.com)
- Analysis: China state media blasts US shutdown (behindthewall.nbcnews.com)
If one looks at various sovereign states, it seemingly doesn’t matter that their public debts continue to rise at a hefty clip. The largest ones are considered to have economies that are big and resilient enough to be able to support the growing debt load. Part of the calculus is no doubt the notion that they contain enough accumulated wealth to allow their governments to confiscate even more of their citizens property and income in order to make good on their debts.
Then there are the small and mid-sized states in the EU that are getting bailed out by their larger brethren, or rather, the tax payers of their larger brethren. However, things are different when the territories or municipalities concerned are considered too small and have no such back-up. Detroit was a recent case in point, and it seems that the US territory of Puerto Rico is the next domino to fall. Here is a recent price chart of the Puerto Rico 20 year bond maturing in 2033, which currently yields 10.6% and trades at 46 cents below par:…
- U.S. Treasury Not Planning Puerto Rico Aid, Spokeswoman Says (bloomberg.com)
- Puerto Rico Follows Detroit Into Fiscal Abyss (confoundedinterest.wordpress.com)
- Should Puerto Rico default on its sovereign debts? (priorprobability.com)
Creepily Close | KUNSTLER. (FULL ARTICLE)
Things that can’t go on, the prophet Herb Stein once observed, go on until they can’t. Criticality eventually bushwhacks credulity. The aggregation of rackets that American life has become is rolling over like a great groaning wounded leviathan and the rest of the world is starting to freak out at the spectacle. Instead of a revolution, we’re having a suicide party.
But don’t worry, a revolution would not be far behind. My guess is that it would kick off as generational rather than regional or factional, but it would eventually incorporate all three. A generation already swindled by the college loan racket must be chafing at the bureaucratic nightmare that ObamaCare instantly turned into at its roll-out, with a website that wouldn’t let anyone log in. Isn’t technology wonderful? I wonder when the “magic moment” will come when all those unemployed millennials join a Twitter injunction to just stop paying back their loans. If that particular message went out during this month’s government food fight, it would do more than just get the attention of a few politicians. It would crash the banks and snap the links in every chain of obligation holding the fiasco of globalism together….
- Kunstler: Returning to the ‘Real’ (peakoil.com)
- Paradigm Blindness | KUNSTLER (olduvaiblog.wordpress.com)
- KunstlerCast 248 – JHK visits the Farmers’ Market (businessinsider.com)
- KunstlerCast 247 – JHK Yaks with New Urbanist Andres Duany (businessinsider.com)
The political class in Washington has failed to reach a deal. They are effectively playing a game of chicken with the markets to see who blinks first. As usual, there are plenty of lies and spin swirling around this situation.
The US Treasury has stated it will run out of cash on October 17.
This in of itself is a strange claim as technically we hit the debt limit back in May and have been resorting to “extraordinary” measures since then. I don’t recall anyone in at the Treasury talking about the importance of the “debt ceiling” then, do you?
Secondly, the Government has effectively been running a Ponzi scheme with our debt for the greater part of 20 years. Over $5.7 trillion of our debt is owned by the Federal Government, ($2.1 trillion is owned by the Fed, $2.6 trillion is owned by Social Security, and over $1 trillion is owned by various Federal Retirement entities).
Indeed, the single largest owner of US debt is not in fact China, but our own Government. We’ve been running this kind of scheme for over 20 years.
Now this is not to say that a debt ceiling breach or a possible default on some payments are NOT huge issues. What I am saying is that the US Government can shuffle money around just as it has for the last 20 years to insure that we meet our debt obligations….
- Ponzi Scheme National Debt? (billlawrencedittos.com)
- Lew’s Testimony on Debt Mirrors SEC’s Definition of Ponzi Scheme (cnsnews.com)
- The Biggest Ponzi Scheme In The History Of The World (thehovistrader.wordpress.com)
Five years ago, when QE first started, we blasted the Fed’s “Plan Z” systemic rescue “policy” – which was merely a tried and true dilutive fallback plan used by every collapsing monetary regime starting with the Romans – stating it does absolutely nothing to resolve the biggest underlying threat to the economy and the western way of life, namely the epic accumulation of debt (most of it bad), courtesy of a Fed which has now unleashed a perpetual “buyer of only resort” QE (as we predicted months before QEternity was revealed), which instead only redistributes wealth from the middle class to the wealthiest 0.01%, while providing scraps to the poorest to keep them occupied and away from very violent thoughts.
We were quickly branded as conspiracy theorists, with the confused legacy media promptly resorting to ad hominem attacks: after all, that is what it really knows how to do when all else fails.
Five years, and 20 million Americans on foodstamps later, such conspiratorial thinking has permeated such bastions of the status quo as Citigroup, whose Matt King in a recent expose about the biggest debt bubble ever, showed that not only does record-er debt not fix a record debt problem, but that the “slate has not been wiped clean.” At least not yet: it will eventually, in a monetary supernova that has been only delayed, following which the Fed will, finally, be forever out of the picture. A welcome development.
So it is with great amusement that we watch how one after another vehicles of legacy, conventional thought turn, and confirm that Zero Hedge was hardly conspiratorial with our assessment back in 2009. We were just about 5 years ahead of the curve.
Enter the FT, which in an Op-Ed today titled “QE has stigmatised the well-off” says that “despite it being entirely justified as a save-the-world policy in its first round, it is still at best an unfair and at worst an evil policy. Why? Because of the way in which it redistributes wealth. Very low interest rates and the ongoing purchase of government bonds were supposed to lead to a huge investment boom as people put money into capital projects and new business that would yield a better return than they could get on cash or sovereign bonds.”
Some more amusing, if very overdue revelations:…
- A Corrupt System that Rewards Stupidity (dailyreckoning.com)
- Straight forward explanation of Monetary Policy and QE (simonedwards1915.wordpress.com)
- Janet Yellen’s Nomination Means Perpetual QE (realclearmarkets.com)
- Deepcaster: Preparing for The Big One (silverdoctors.com)
Four decades ago no one had cell phones, the Internet, or personal computers; households had landlines, only offices or research centers had any kind of computer, and wireless anything wasn’t even close on the horizon. These days, of course, there is more than 1 cell phone per person in the US, laptops are standard fare, and using dial-up or wired Ethernet is like living in the Stone Age. But each of these technological advances comes with a cost; and, more specifically, a cost a family in the 1970s didn’t have to cover. The price of a cell phone plan and wireless internet is well over $1,000 per year; more if you add in the price of a $1,500 laptop or a $200 smartphone, which most of us tend to replace after a few years of wear and tear.
With average post-tax income of $63,000, according to the latest Consumer Expenditure Survey, these bills might not seem like a lot to shell out – only about 4% of post-tax wages – but they’re costs that the families of 1973 avoided completely. How have the households of the 21st century managed to incorporate these added expenses?
Surprisingly, though, the average household in 2012 spent a bit less of its post-tax income than its counterpart from 1973: 81.2% versus 85%. Part of this is simply a matter of size: there were 2.5 people per household in 2012 and 2.9 in 1973. But regardless of family size, the way we spend on just about everything has changed – and not just because we pay for multiple smartphone plans and satellite TV. As prices (read: inflation) and necessities have evolved, so has the mode of income allocation among American families.
Read on for our list of “10 Thing You Didn’t Know About US Household Income Allocation”, derived from the self-reported CES data from the BLS:
- How Much Should We Spend? (moneylook.wordpress.com)
- 10 Reasons I’m Ditching The Cell Phone! (masterkeyabletsang.wordpress.com)
- The Myth that Growing Consumption Inequality is a Myth (economistsview.typepad.com)
You know things are really bad when the mainstream press corps trashes the Obama administration—on the record!—for its secrecy, aggressive efforts to control information and hostility towards the media when it exposes information viewed as unfavorable to the president.
This includes an unprecedented number of prosecutions of government sources, seizures of journalists’ records and even criminal investigations of reporters. As a result government sources are afraid to speak to journalists, even if it doesn’t involve sensitive national security issues but rather routine stories that help keep elected officials and government accountable. “There’s no question that sources are looking over their shoulders,” said a senior managing editor at the Associated Press, who added that “sources are more jittery and more standoffish.”
A veteran chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times, David E. Sanger says “this is the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered.” Consider the source; a journalist at a powerful mainstream newspaper well known for its favorable coverage of everything Obama. The surprising lashing by the mainstream media comes this week via a special report on the Obama administration and the press from the Committee to Protect Journalists….
- NYT’s David Sanger: Team Obama’s ‘The Most Closed, Control Freak Administration I’ve Ever Covered’ (newsbusters.org)
- New York Reporter: Obama & his administration “most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered” (gopthedailydose.com)
- Veteran NYT Reporter: Team Obama ‘Most Closed, Control-Freak Administration I’ve Ever Covered’ (mikesright.wordpress.com)