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6 votes

China and Russia Were Net Sellers of US Treasuries in October

China and Russia have been making public pronouncements about wanting to reduce their US Treasury Reserves and hold and use other currencies more, including their own.

Russia has reduced its U.S. Treasury holdings nearly 45% in 18 months.

China has been less successful in reducing its holdings but did manage to reduce them in October.

https://smaulgld.com/foreign-holdings-u-s-treasuries/

9 votes

What does Chelsea want for her birthday this week?

December 17th is heroic Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning's 27th birthday- the 5th year she'll have spent her birthday in prison.

Here are three important ways you can support Chelsea on her birthday:

1. Give the gift of a donation to the Chelsea Manning Defense Fund

Attorney Nancy Hollander and her law partner Vincent Ward have already begun the process of preparing for Chelsea's legal appeals next year. The appeals process has the potential to take decades off Chelsea's 35 year prison sentence.

Continue:
http://ymlp.com/zm0GG6

2 votes

If you torture people to death, the CIA will punish you with a $1.3 million home

Matthew Zirbel’s home in Great Falls, Virginia is filled with oriental carpets, perhaps collected from his time spent working in countries like Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. The million dollar home has “LOTS of “WOW!” You will “Oooh & Ahhh”, says this recent description on Zillow.

4 votes

Most Americans Are A-OK with Torture

While many have expressed shock and outrage on social media at the shocking revelations of the torture report, sadly none of this stuff is news to those of us who have been paying attention to this issue for some time. From Abu Ghraib to Bagram Air Base to Guantanamo, reports of torture have been surfacing for years.

9 votes

The Charmed Life of a CIA Torturer

Matthew Zirbel’s home in Great Falls, Virginia is filled with oriental carpets, perhaps collected from his time spent working in countries like Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. The million dollar home has “LOTS of “WOW!” You will “Oooh & Ahhh”, says this recent description on Zillow.

This isn’t the first time Zirbel’s surroundings have wowed someone. Over a decade ago, Zirbel, then a junior CIA officer, was in charge of the Salt Pit, a “black site” in Afghanistan referred to in the recent Senate torture report as “Cobalt,” where detainees were routinely brutalized and which one visitor described as a “dungeon.”

Continue:
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/12/15/charmed-life-c...

38 votes

Watch What Happens When a 76 yr old Is Confronted By Police for Not Displaying a Vehicle Inspection Sticker

Police in Victoria, Texas, placed an officer on administrative duty pending an investigation after an altercation with a 76-year-old man who didn’t have an inspection sticker on his car.

Victoria resident Pete Vasquez pulled over at the Adams Auto Mart, where he helps with mechanical work, when the officer, 23-year-old Nathanial Robinson, got out of his patrol car and confronted him. The 76-year-old is seen on dashcam video pointing to the dealer license plate on the back of the car.

2 votes

Gold in Dough is Bread

Combine gold and dough and make bread- a very expensive loaf!
A Spanish bakery is doing just that.

https://smaulgld.com/gold-baked-in-bread/

18 votes

Salon Exclusive: Glenn Greenwald Unloads on Torture, the CIA and Washington’s Rotten Soul

Glenn Greenwald tells Salon how the torture report exposes true evil — and a nation drowning in hypocrisy
Thursday, December 11, 2014

It took years until the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report — which shows not only that the CIA’s torture regime was larger and more vicious than understood, but that the agency repeatedly lied about it to the White House and Congress — was finally released to the public. But it only took hours before President Obama was once again urging the nation to look forward, not back. “Rather than another reason to refight old arguments,” read a White House statement, “I hope that today’s report can help us leave these techniques where they belong — in the past.” When members of the media asked whether that meant the White House considered torture to be ineffective, as the report claims, an anonymous official said Obama would not “engage” in the ongoing “debate.” On the issues of rape, waterboarding and induced hypothermia, apparently, reasonable minds can differ.

Glenn Greenwald, the Intercept’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and longtime critic of the war on terror, disagrees. “There’s no debate,” he told Salon. “Everything that we did,” he continued, “in terms of how we treated detainees, has [long] been viewed as morally vile and inexcusable and criminal.” Greenwald has little doubt, however, that Washington will turn torture into yet another partisan squabble. It’s the go-to move, he says, when America’s political and media elite decide they’d rather look the other way. “That’s just the ritual Washington engages in,” Greenwald said.

Speaking with Salon from his home in Brazil (or at least we assumed as much, given the barking in the background) Greenwald discussed what surprised him about the summary, what we still don’t know, why expressions of shock and horror from Congress are disingenuous, how President Obama is culpable, too, and why America’s leaders are “sociopathic.” Our conversation is below and has been edited for clarity and length.

30 votes

Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk 12/15/14: All I Want for Christmas is a (Real) Government Shutdown (VIDEO)

Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk 12/15/14: All I Want for Christmas is a (Real) Government Shutdown (VIDEO)

Video: http://youtu.be/lI0PA5mrIS8

Written by Ron Paul
Sunday, December 14, 2014

The political class breathed a sigh of relief Saturday when the US Senate averted a government shutdown by passing the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. This year’s omnibus resembles omnibuses of Christmas past in that it was drafted in secret, was full of special interest deals and disguised spending increases, and was voted on before most members could read it.

The debate over the omnibus may have made for entertaining political theater, but the outcome was never in doubt. Most House and Senate members are so terrified of another government shutdown that they would rather vote for a 1,774-page bill they have not read than risk even a one or two-day government shutdown.

Those who voted for the omnibus to avoid a shutdown fail to grasp that the consequences of blindly expanding government are far worse than the consequences of a temporary government shutdown. A short or even long-term government shutdown is a small price to pay to avoid an economic calamity caused by Congress’ failure to reduce spending and debt.

22 votes

Iowa Republican: "Rand Paul is asking for trouble by bringing Jesse Benton back into the fold"

Rand Paul is asking for trouble by bringing Jesse Benton back into the fold … Benton ran Rand’s 2010 senate race and was Ron Paul’s presidential campaign manager. He’s also married to Ron Paul’s granddaughter …

Benton is connected to the bribery scandal that is likely sending former Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson to jail. Benton resigned from Mitch McConnell’s campaign after Sorenson pled guilty to accepting and concealing large sums of money to switch his endorsement from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul just days before the Iowa Caucus

Rand Paul doesn’t seem to care. He’s even blaming the Obama administration for the entire episode, claiming these are “politically motivated investigations”. Pure nonsense …

8 votes

Man can't challenge $280K tax bill he probably doesn't really owe, Pa. court says

By Matt Miller |pennlive.com
December 12, 2014

With undisguised reluctance, Commonwealth Court has issued an order requiring a Philadelphia man to pay a $280,772 tax bill that he probably doesn't really owe.

In fact, city officials acknowledged in court that the tax bill they sent Nathan Lerner was a "jeopardy assessment" based on a fabrication.

The problem is that Lerner didn't follow the right procedural course in challenging it, a Commonwealth Court panel found in a ruling issued this week. And so, the state judges determined, he's stuck with that unfounded tax tab.

0 votes

IMF Press Release - Quota and Governance Reforms

“I have now been informed by the U.S. Administration that the reforms are not included in the budget legislation currently before the U.S. Congress. I have expressed my disappointment to the U.S authorities and hope that they continue to work toward speedy ratification.

http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2014/pr14568.htm

4 votes

U.S. Congress Goes to War in Ukraine

"This is momentous news: “WASHINGTON: The US Congress on Saturday (Dec 13) unanimously approved fresh economic sanctions against Russia and lethal weapons for Kiev, defying President Barack Obama and hardening American lawmakers’ response to a Kremlin-backed insurgency in Ukraine."
http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/u-s-congress-goes-to-war...

7 votes

Government Prosecutors Fear Liberty and Jury Nullification

Lyn Ulbricht, the mother of the Ross Ulbricht who is sitting in jail because the government alleges he was the operator of Silk Road, emails:

Bob,

I thought you’d be interested to know that the government has asked the judge to limit the defense by not allowing any of Ross’ political or philosophical beliefs to be introduced to the jury as they might influence the jury in his favor. The prosecution goes so far as to say that they fear that exposing the jury to his political thought could invite a jury nullification verdict.

6 votes

Military Punishes Chaplain for Referring to the Bible in Suicide-Prevention Seminar

The Army has disciplined a military chaplain for making references to the Bible during a suicide-prevention seminar last month.

A serviceman brought the Judeo-Christian religious content to the attention of a atheist group, which complained about it. Now, the chaplain is fighting back, maintaining he did nothing wrong.

The dispute has renewed a debate over the appropriate role of faith in the military.

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