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Guest Post: Military Rolls Tanks Onto St. Louis Streets…But Why?


Submitted by Brandon Smith from Alt-Market

Military Rolls Tanks Onto St. Louis Streets…But Why?

I have to say that this event, which is being labeled a “training exercise”, makes very little sense to me.  U.S. Army troops all the way from Maryland running open exercises in armored personnel carriers on the busy streets of St. Louis?  I know Maryland is a small state, but is there really not enough room at Ft. Detrick to accommodate a tank column and some troops?  Are there not entire fake neighborhood and town complexes built with taxpayer dollars on military bases across the country meant to facilitate a realistic urban environment for troops to train in?  And why travel hundreds of miles to Missouri?  At the very least, this is a massive waste of funds.

On the other hand, such an action on the part of the Department of Defense makes perfect sense if the goal is to acclimate citizens to the idea of seeing tanks and armed military acting in a policing capacity.  Just check out the two random idiots the local news affiliate picked to interview in St. Louis on the subject.  Both state that they think the exercise is a “great idea”, because having the military on the streets would help to “reduce crime”:

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/06/us-military-to-run-urban-exercises-in-north-st-louis-residents-hope-it-will-cut-down-on-crime/

I suspect that the news affiliate did not go out of its way to get any counter-opinions, even though they admitted to being contacted by those voicing concerns over martial law.

Even so, it’s sad and simultaneously terrifying that there are plenty of mindless dupes out there who do not understand the dangers of the Army crossing the Rubicon and acting in a civil law enforcement capacity, never mind that they are completely ignorant of the fact that it violates the Posse Comitatus Act.  One of the interviewees even points out that in some countries they don’t use police at all; only military.  This is true.  We call those countries “tyrannies”…

Add to the mix the reality that the DOD refuses to respond to any further inquiries by the press concerning details of the training, and you get yet another suspicious instance of behavior on the part of the establishment that seems preparatory for domestic action.  I believe that the high frequency at which these activity reports have been coming in over the past year is certainly cause for alarm…

As RBS’ ATM "Glitch" Enters Fifth Day, The Bailed Out Bank Issues A Statement


Over the past week, various entities controlled by bailed out UK-bank RBS, focusing primarily on NatWest, have seen clients unable to access virtually any of their funds, perform any financial transactions, or even get an accurate reading of their assets. The official reason: “system outage”… yet as the outage drags on inexplicably for the 5th consecutive day, the anger grows, as does speculation that there may be more sinister reasons involved for the cash hold up than a mere computer bug. 

The Scotsman.com reports:

BRANCHES of Royal Bank of Scotland will open on a Sunday for the first time this weekend as RBS Group struggles to deal with the aftermath of technical problems that have affected up to 12 million customers. The taxpayer-owned group took the unprecedented step of extending the hours of more than 1,000 RBS and NatWest branches that normally open on a Saturday to 6pm, and opening them again tomorrow morning, as it faces an angry backlash from people unable to access accounts, withdraw wages or pay bills and mortgage payments.

 

The difficulties, which have hit NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank users, are entering their fifth day. RBS said the backlog had been caused by a “system outage” on Tuesday, and that it was “working around the clock” to resolve it.

 

Some customers said their home purchases or holiday plans had been plunged into chaos by the glitches, while others vowed to switch banking provider. Fears have been raised that thousands could be hit with penalty charges if their regular bill payments, such as for their mortgage, are affected. Consumer groups called on the banking behemoth to provide “appropriate compensation” to those customers who suffer as a consequence of the “failure”.

 

It appears the difficulties have hit hardest at NatWest, which has more than 7.5m personal banking customers. RBS Group said it could not tell how many had been affected as it was not possible to know when they were expecting payments into their accounts.

Problems are spreading beyond just RBS:

A group spokeswoman said it was “too early to say” how many RBS or NatWest customers in Scotland had been affected, but added: “The RBS problems seem to have been solved. The backlog being dealt with now has to do with NatWest customers predominantly.”

However, the problem is not confined to RBS account holders. Some non-customers are suffering as their employers use the group, and have not received their salary payments. Customers of RBS Group’s banking transaction services include the Government Banking Service, which looks after the balances of hundreds of public sector organisations, from government departments through to executive agencies.

 

RBS Group, which has 317 RBS and six NatWest branches in Scotland, said 192 RBS branches would be open today, a number of which would stay open until 6pm. Across the UK, hundreds more branches will extend their hours tonight, as well as opening tomorrow between 9am and 12 noon.

It is only logical that after Schdoinger currency, and Schrodinger Egyptian president, we no whave Schrodinger’s Money: it’s there… and yet it isn’t.

Customers have reported a plethora of problems. Account balances have not been updated properly, meaning credit and debit payments are not showing up as quickly as they should, although RBS said the money was “in the system”. People going into their branch yesterday could not necessarily see the most up-to-date information on their balances, although staff were said to be “geared up” to help.

It is still unclear how much longer the “glitch” will persist:

Susan Allen, customer services director for RBS NatWest retail, said it was difficult to say exactly when all the problems would be resolved. She said they had been due to “an error in our system which we believe we have now fixed but we are clearing the backlog”.

The situation has gotten so dire that RBS itself has just issued a press release. The message is the usual one: keep calm, all is well.

Message to Customers from Stephen Hester RBS Group Chief Executive

 

23rd June 2012

 

The problems of the past few days have caused disruption and inconvenience for our customers as well as for many customers of other banks.

 

I am very sorry for the difficulties people are experiencing. Our customers rely on us day in and day out to get things right, and on this occasion we have let them down. This should not have happened.

 

Right now my top priority, and the priority of the entire RBS Group, is to fix these problems and put things right for our customers.

 

This is taking time, but I want to reassure people that we are working around the clock to resolve these problems as quickly as we are able.

 

I also want to be clear that where our customers are facing hardship or difficulty we can and will help them. Our staff have already helped thousands of customers to access cash and we will continue to provide this service on a 24 hour basis while we work to resolve the problems.

 

I also want to reassure customers that no one will be left permanently out of pocket as a result of this, and again, they should contact us directly about this.

 

We have double the usual number of staff in our call centres, and for the first time ever we will open 1,200 branches across the country on a Sunday from 9am to 12pm.

 

Once again I am very sorry for the inconvenience.

Luckily, Greece is (still) in the Eurozone. Or else all those trumpeted preparations for a pan-European bank run and capital controls may have been put into play.

Then again, with ATM friends such as the above, who needs Greeks bearing presents or Trojan horses?

Due to International Pressure (Or Typhoon Damage?), Tepco Agrees to Start Removing Radioactive Fuel from Fukushima a Year Early


 

Tepco was going to wait until late 2013 to even begin to start addressing the greatest threat to humanity.

There is some good news.

Specifically – due to international pressure – Tepco has agreed to speed up the timetable.  As Reuters notes:

Workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant will begin removing fuel rods from a damaged reactors a year ahead of schedule, a government minister said Thursday, a move to address concerns about the risk of a new quake that could cause a further accident and scatter more radioactive debris.

 

***

 

“We would like to start taking out undamaged fuel this year. Preparation is now under way,” Japan’s nuclear crisis minister, Goshi Hosono, told Reuters in an interview.

 

“Doing it quickly is important. But we also have to make sure those workers out there, who are struggling under harsh conditions, will not be endangered by trying to move things fast.”

Postscript:  Of course, some theorize there is a more disturbing explanation of Tepco's willingness to move up the timeframe.  For example, Fukushima Diary and What Really Happened claim that the roof of Building 4 is now GONE – perhaps due to damage from typhoon Guchol – and that the building is in real trouble.

However, videos posted at EneNews appear to show that Tepco simply removed the roof with a crane as part of its ongoing work.

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Dr. Michael "The Big Short" Burry’s "Brutal Hangover Is Inevitable" State-Of-The-World UCLA Commencement Speech


Infamous for his prediction of the great recession, Europe’s demise, and the collapse of the US financial system (as well as profiting extremely handsomely from said predictions), so well captured in Michael Lewis’ book “The Big Short”, UCLA’s Dr. Michael Burry undertakes UCLA’s Economics Department’s commencement speech with much aplomb. In this “age of infinite distraction”, the astounding truthiness of this 15 minute speech is stunning from single-sentence summation of Europe’s convulsions that “when the entitled elect themselves, the party accelerates, and the brutal hangover is inevitable” he reminds us that Californians, and indeed all Americans, should take note. A quarter-of-an-hour well spent from a self-described ‘chicken-little’ who was “just trying to figure it all out”.