Archive for the ‘European Union’ tag
a photo by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick on Flickr.
Now that “bail-ins” have become accepted practice all over the planet, no bank account and no pension fund will ever be 100% safe again. In fact, Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is already starting to happen all around the world. As you will read about below, private pension funds were just raided by the government in Poland, and a “bail-in” is being organized for one of the largest banks in Italy.
Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. The precedent that was set in Cyprus is being used as a template for establishing bail-in procedures in New Zealand, Canada and all over Europe. It is only a matter of time before we see this exact same type of thing happen in the United States as well. From now on, anyone that keeps a large amount of money in any single bank account or retirement fund is being incredibly foolish.
Let’s take a look at a few of the examples of how Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is now moving forward all over the globe…
For years, there have been rumors that someday the U.S. government would raid private pension funds.
Well, in Poland it just happened.
According to Reuters, private pension funds were raided in order to reduce the size of the government debt…
Poland said on Wednesday it will transfer to the state many of the assets held by private pension funds, slashing public debt but putting in doubt the future of the multi-billion-euro funds, many of them foreign-owned.
The Polish government is doing the best that it can to make this sound like some sort of complicated legal maneuver, but the truth is that what they have done is stolen private assets without giving any compensation in return…
The Polish pension funds’ organisation said the changes may be unconstitutional because the government is taking private assets away from them without offering any compensation.
Announcing the long-awaited overhaul of state-guaranteed pensions, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said private funds within the state-guaranteed system would have their bond holdings transferred to a state pension vehicle, but keep their equity holdings.
He said that what remained in citizens’ pension pots in the private funds will be gradually transferred into the state vehicle over the last 10 years before savers hit retirement age.
For years, Iceland has been applauded for how they handled the last financial crisis. But now it is being proposed that the “blanket guarantee” that currently applies to all bank accounts should be reduced to 100,000 euros. Will this open the door for “haircuts” to be applied to bank account balances above that amount?…
Following the crisis in October 2008, Iceland’s government declared all deposits in domestic financial institutions were ‘blanket’ guaranteed – an Emergency Act that was reafrmed twice since. However, according to RUV, the finance minister is proposing torestrict this guarantee to only deposits less-than-EUR100,000. While some might see the removal of an ‘emergency’ measure as a positive, it is of course sadly reminiscent of the European Union “template” to haircut large depositors. This is coincidental (threatening) timing given the current stagnation of talks between Iceland bank creditors and the government over haircuts and lifting capital controls – which have restricted the outflows of around $8 billion.
European finance ministers have agreed to a plan that would make “bail-ins” the standard procedure for rescuing “too big to fail” banks in the future. The following is how CNN described this plan…
European Union finance ministers approved a plan Thursday for dealing with future bank bailouts, forcing bondholders and shareholders to take the hit for bank rescues ahead of taxpayers.
The new framework requires bondholders, shareholders and large depositors with over 100,000 euros to be first to suffer losses when banks fail. Depositors with less than 100,000 euros will be protected. Taxpayer funds would be used only as a last resort.
What this means is that if you have over 100,000 euros in a bank account in Europe, you could lose every single bit of the unprotected amount if your bank collapses.
As Zero Hedge reported on Tuesday, a “bail-in” is now being organized for the oldest bank in Italy…
Recall that three weeks ago we warned that “Monti Paschi Faces Bail-In As Capital Needs Point To Nationalization” although we left open the question of “who will get the haircut including senior bondholders and depositors…. given the small size of sub-debt in the capital structures.” Today, as many expected on the day following the German elections, the dominos are finally starting to wobble, and as we predicted, Monte Paschi, Italy’s oldest and according to many, most insolvent bank, quietly commenced a bondholder “bail in” after it said that it suspended interest payments on three hybrid notes following demands by European authorities that bondholders contribute to the restructuring of the bailed out Italian lender. Remember what Diesel-BOOM said about Cyprus - that it is a template? He wasn’t joking.
As Bloomberg reports, Monte Paschi “said in a statement that it won’t pay interest on about 481 million euros ($650 million) of outstanding hybrid notes issued through MPS Capital Trust II and Antonveneta Capital Trusts I and II.” Why these notes? Because hybrid bondholders have zero protections and zero recourse. “Under the terms of the undated notes, the Siena, Italy-based lender is allowed to suspend interest without defaulting and doesn’t have to make up the missed coupons when payments resume.” Then again hybrids, to quote the Dutchman, are just the template for the balance of the bank’s balance sheet.
Why is this happening now? Simple: the Merkel reelection is in the bag, and the EURUSD is too high (recall Adidas’ laments from last week). Furthermore, if the ECB proceeds with another LTRO as many believe it will, it will force the EURUSD even higher, surging from even more unwanted liquidity. So what to do? Why stage a small, contained crisis of course. Such as a bail in by a major Italian bank. The good news for now is that depositors are untouched. Unfortunately, with depositor cash on the wrong end of the (un)secured liability continuum it is only a matter of time before those with uninsured deposits share some of the Cypriot pain. After all, in the brave New Normal insolvent world, “it is only fair.”
Fortunately, it does not appear that this particular bail-in will hit private bank accounts (at least for now), but it does show that European officials are very serious about applying bail-in procedures when a major bank fails.
The New Zealand government has been discussing implementing a “bail-in” system to deal with any future major bank failures. The following comes from a New Zealand news source…
The National Government are pushing a Cyprus-style solution to bank failure in New Zealand which will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts, the Green Party said today.
Open Bank Resolution (OBR) is Finance Minister Bill English’s favoured option dealing with a major bank failure. If a bank fails under OBR, all depositors will have their savings reduced overnight to fund the bank’s bail out.
“Bill English is proposing a Cyprus-style solution for managing bank failure here in New Zealand – a solution that will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
“The Reserve Bank is in the final stages of implementing a system of managing bank failure called Open Bank Resolution. The scheme will put all bank depositors on the hook for bailing out their bank.
“Depositors will overnight have their savings shaved by the amount needed to keep the bank afloat.”
Incredibly, even Canada is moving toward adopting these “bank bail-ins”. In a previous article, I explained that “bail-ins” were even part of the new Canadian government budget…
Cyprus-style “bail-ins” are actually proposed in the new Canadian government budget. When I first heard about this I was quite skeptical, so I went and looked it up for myself. And guess what? It is right there in black and white on pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013″ which the Harper government has already submitted to the House of Commons. This new budget actually proposes “to implement a ‘bail-in’ regime for systemically important banks” in Canada. “Economic Action Plan 2013″ was submitted on March 21st, which means that this “bail-in regime” was likely being planned long before the crisis in Cyprus ever erupted.
So what does all of this mean for us?
It means that the governments of the world are eyeing our money as part of the solution to any future failures of major banks.
As a result, there is no longer any truly “safe” place to put your money.
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to spread your money around. In other words, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
If you have your money a bunch of different places, it is going to be much harder for the government to grab it all.
But if you don’t listen to the warnings and you continue to keep all of your wealth in one giant pile somewhere, don’t be surprised when you get wiped out in a single moment someday.
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Joseph P. Farrell comments about the Connecticut school shooting and the analysis of John Rappaport, and then moves on to comment about the latest gold-backed bonds idea being floated (pun intended) in the European Dystopic Union; Operation Chaos News Criminal Network Wanted To Use These $US 1 billon dollar bills To acquire Plutonium.
David L. Smith of GenevaBusinessInsider.blogspot.com (YouTube: genevabusinessinside) joins us for a conversation on the Eurozone, including the latest from Italy with Berlusconi running for office once again. We also discuss the Greek bailout and its implications for the Eurozone generally, the FOMC’s decision to up the QE ante to $85 billion a month, and the ultimate futility of trying to meld the European countries together.
For the millions of Europeans now protesting against brutal austerity measures, awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union must seem no less unthinkable had the Committee of Five handed their tarnished trophy to Anders Breivik, the nationalist who indiscriminately killed 77 people last year in a madman’s attempt to save Norway “from the menace of multiculturalism.”
The comparison is not as far-fetched as it may first seem. After the IMF is finished cleaning European clocks with its bloody mop, millions of Europeans will be feeling economic pain from Spain all the way to the Greek isles. Suicides are already an everyday occurrence on the continent. The EU is just one bounced check away from becoming another American banker colony slavishly devoted to US-style laissez-fair-let-them-flip-burgers-at-McDonald’s form of public welfare.
Europe’s economy got decimated in 2008 thanks to the deregulated US financial sector, which since the days of Ronald Reagan had been enjoying an all-expense paid trip to Vegas where all of their bets were covered. After all, according to the dictates of these corporate times, the only reason a government should go anywhere near a bank or corporation is when those institutions need a massive, taxpayer-paid cash infusion – Christmas bonuses included, thank-you-very-much.
The Oslo-based Fraternity of Octogenarians could not have chosen a worse time to heap praise on the European Union for its “commitment to peace over the last sixty years.” The Nobel Committee even had the audacity to mention the three countries whose people are suffering the most from IMF-prescribed austerity measures.
“In the 1980s, Greece, Spain and Portugal joined the EU,” declared the Nobel Committee. “The introduction of democracy was a condition for their membership.” Hold on, did somebody actually utter that hijacked word “democracy?” At a time when IMF demands are being smuggled into the sleepy EU village inside of the German Trojan Horse, how can this organization dare mention democracy? Today, the European peoples’ only recourse to democracy is to take to the streets and hope they are not smacked down by riot sticks while expressing themselves. Today, this is what we call democracy in action.
Personally, the only way to explain the Nobel Committee awarding the EU the Peace Prize at this sensitive juncture in history is to say that it is a smokescreen; a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from the crimes of the central bankers and their political henchmen. All of this is reminiscent of the uproar that followed last year’s Nobel announcement that Barack Obama was the Peace Prize winner despite the fact that the US military was hunkered down on two fronts and the Guantanamo Bay detention facility was still in the torture business. Considering the international wave of enthusiasm that greeted Obama’s presidency, however, most people were ready to forgive the Nobel Committee for its choice. It was as if the Nobel Committee was saying “Please, President Obama, we believe you will choose a different foreign policy course than your predecessor.” It was something like a down payment on a hefty bribe in the name of peace.
Nothing, however, can justify this year’s Nobel Prize announcement, which proves that this institution has become a cynical tool of the global elite to keep the money flowing in one direction: to the bankers and corporations. Although many European countries have suffered under dictatorships, none of them are prepared for the dictatorship of massive debt and indentured servitude that awaits them. These once-proud nations have been transformed into hyper-dependent appendages of Brussels, who will probably not hesitate to send NATO forces to collect its monthly rent check.
But the most laughable thing about this year’s Peace Prize recipient is that Norway, which apparently has so much respect for European democracy and institutions, soundly rejected membership in the European Union in referendums in 1972 and 1994. The overwhelming majority of Norwegians are opposed to joining the EU.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg congratulated the European Union on its Nobel Peace Prize win, but stressed his oil-rich nation had no plans to join the 27-nation bloc.
“It is possible to congratulate the EU for this year’s peace prize, to acknowledge the EU for its peace-creating role, and separate it from the question about Norway’s relationship to the EU,” Stoltenberg told reporters following the award announcement.
by James Howard Kunstler
A lot can happen in two weeks, which is what remains before the glorious orgy of gifts, sugar plums, and roast goose. Imagine what a global bank run would do for that ole holiday spirit – not to mention the GDPs of the world. Oh, weeping celestial choirs! I suppose we generally assume that God Almighty himself would move heaven and Earth to prevent such a dire convergence of Christmas and a banking collapse, but perhaps the Old Diety is asleep at the switch like the US Department of Justice, the SEC, and a whole alphabet load of other watchful regulators in this, our only known universe.
Reality is a harsh mistress. She insists that you pay attention and then, having done so, take care of business. Politics, on the other hand, is more like stage magic. The man in the tuxedo is always trying to divert your attention. The world has run out of money, that is credible money of the type that represents real wealth, and yet is up to its ears in paper representations of putative wealth-like stuff: mortgages, credit default swaps, Gold ETFs, synthetic CDOs, naked shorts, bonds of all sorts. And now, alas, at Christmas time, the world has gotten a margin call and needs to fork over a whole lot of collateral in order to demonstrate that the global system of financial obligations is legit. Only the collateral turns out to be all this dubious paper, really just a bouquet of promises to pay in distant future Tuesdays for trillions of hamburgers today.
Nobody who observed the proceedings in last week’s European Union talks came away from that spectacle feeling reassured. Brussels is like a ventriloquist’s dummy sitting on Germany’s knee. Germany cannot just step up and act like the Boss of Europe. Too many bad memories of an earlier instance, when a gang of maniacs wearing uniforms studded with grinning totenkopf insignia turned the whole region into a charnel house. So, Germany has to pretend to speak through Brussels. The message was: listen up all y’all nations of the Eurozone!Prepare to live on a whole lot less than you’re used to! Do not exceed your borrowing and spending! Or else!
Yes, the lingering question: or else…what?
It is safe to say that nobody believed this mummery. Anyway, Great Britain (a.k.a. Old Blighty) simply checked out. The sceptered isle is now Europe’s dog-house. They stayed out of the Euro currency for a reason: so that their equivalent of Wall Street, the City of London, could short the shit out of it when the time came, a strategy that begins to look absolutely brilliant – except considering what Old Blighty is otherwise left with as an economy: Scotch whiskey, mints, and a whole lot of Hallel grocery shops, with the Royals as window dressing. (I’d sooner invest in Argentina, with its amber waves of grain.)
The old animosities are leaking out of Pandora’s History Box. Stolid Angela Merkel is stepping on Nikolas Sarkozy’s size 14 ½neck – how long before he starts to buck and holler? The astrologasters cannot come up with any math that shows Italy can meet its forthcoming debt payments. But they are only the leaders of a deadbeat posse that includes virtually everybody else in EuroClub, except perhaps Holland, Germany, and Finland. Could they really start beating up on each other with armies again? It would appear unthinkable. But that is exactly why the First World War destroyed the morale of Western Civ in 1914, too, after the Long Peace that followed the Napoleonic Wars. You’re standing there on a lovely street corner in Verdun and the unthinkable whaps you upside the head. So much for the quality of advanced thinking in the Modern Age. Maybe its Poland’s turns to rule the world?
In any case, the storyline is as much about the banks as the nations they are in. The banks are at the point where they can conduct business with each other only by pretending that exchanges of value are taking place. Nobody sees any lines of depositors forming on the sidewalks outside their branch offices, but then again nobody can see the digital zeros and ones streaming through the fiber-optic cable, either, and that’s certainly where the action is. For the moment that action has a direct line into the perceived greater safety of Wall Street. Oh, yeah, follow Jim Cramer’s advice and buy buy buy. Invest in a nation of lawless slobs with a two-second attention span oscillating between Nascar and the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Did you catch President Obama on 60 Minutes last night. Charming fellow. Sincere and even purposeful, too. But displaying a big patch of cluelessness, like virtually everybody else in a position of authority in this benighted land. The President intimates that we will surely return to the turbo economy of a fast-receding yore. He is missing something big there. We are not going back to that. The fiesta is over. And his job is not to try to go back there, because it is impossible. His job was to lead an epochal re-set of the economy to a very different disposition of things, smaller, finer, more local. It is so far outside the box he’s in that light-years cannot even begin to describe the distances involved. And I completely dismiss his claim that the reason no prosecution of Wall Street misconduct happened was because, however odious their schemes and scams were, they were technically legal.
Anyway, I’m already looking forward to the nominating conventions of next summer, when angry mobs of the swindled and desperate descend on Charlotte and Tampa like ravaging locusts. Won’t that be a wake up call!
And now to bake all my Christmas Cookies.
Protecting America From Terrorists – Foreign and Domestic
Bob Chapman On The National Intel Report with John Stadtmiller – November 29, 2011
They created a monster in Europe and the bottom line is that six countries are bankrupt and nobody has any money to bail them out, they are all in debt to their eyes balls, the game is over it is just a matter of time, and it is a good thing that the entire world financial system is collapsing this is the best thing that could happen why? because the seed of power the key to what the illuminus are doing behind the scenes is very simple they own the entire world banking structure and if it collapses we can take it away from them says Bob Chapman of The International Forecaster.
by James Howard Kunstler
That sound you hear out there is spaghetti hitting the wall. Everybody wonders: will it stick? The European Union lobbed a wad of kartoffelkloesse at a Greek wall last week. The thud was impressive, but then the darn thing started sliding down the greasy wall to where a gang of CDS counterparty wolves waited, snapping and slavering for it. And then there was a crowd of curious Germans in the alley, wondering who stole their precious kartoffelkloesse and lobbed it at the Greek wall, anyway. Grumbles were heard but, as yet, no mob action against the flingers of the purloined kartoffelkloesse.
Here in the pitiful tweet-sphere that contains the atomized remnants of USA governance, there is no such clarity. We don’t know if that’s spaghetti hitting a wall or the shit hitting the fan. But due to the amazing obduracy of the parties involved, the next sound you hear may just be the wall itself tumbling down, perhaps even the famous wall with the famous street attached.
All I know is that I dumped a largish bundle of 13-week US treasuries on Friday, a tad shy of the August 4 rollover and moved the hypothetical cash into less freaky hypothetical foreign sovereign instruments. I found a great bid for the T-bills, too. The whole transaction cost me a buck. I wondered: what were these people thinking who bought this crap at just the moment in history when everything is flying into walls and fans?
Whatever other conclusions can be drawn from the great debt ceiling debate of 2011, the main one seems to be that this country can no longer govern itself. Our reverence for the constitution appears to be inflated along with everything else in the USA these days: gas prices, waistlines, cable TV bills. Even congresspersons themselves seem to hold it in low regard, since proposals for a “super-congress” were floated last week. A lot of sentient folk who follow national affairs actually wondered out loud, “what the fuck is that supposed to mean?”
I took it to mean that our faith in the apparatus of governing has evaporated at the same rate as faith in our promises to pay back stuff-of-value denominated in certificates called dollars, our faith in which also melts into air. One thing for sure everybody knows: this is not a good time of year for financial shenanigans and chicanery. The rough beast called Reality comes back from its vacation in foul and turbulent spirits. Things shake loose when it roars.
There is widespread and growing agreement that the two major political parties have reached the end of their useful lives. No other serious faction is waiting in the wings to replace them, except the one led by a claque of overfed radio clowns and know-nothing Jesus Jokers with an axe to grind against the wicked hosts of birth control. Seek no further for the answer as to why our political leaders are not serious: there is nothing they can do at this point. In order to conceal the reality of epochal economic contraction, they have run our money affairs off a cliff – and so the next sound you will hear may not be of things hitting walls and fans, but of a sickening crash, as the overloaded carriage of government (drawn by a scrawny coyote) spirals down into the Canyon of Lost Causes.
We need a financial convulsion to sweep away the accumulated debris of poor choices, false hopes, squandered resources, frauds, swindles, and lies. Such an event can’t help but set off a true political convulsion. Let the banks eat their own tails and strangle to death. I hope somebody catches a photo of Lloyd Blankfein paddling a surfboard due south off Georgica Beach, destination: Fortaleza. I hope he brings a few Red Bulls with him for the trip, and perhaps a whiffle bat to hold off the sharks – if there are any left in overfished deep blue sea.
I post a few seconds before the markets’ openings this ominous Monday. Gold is already riding high. The rest is largely up to the robots in Lower Manhattan and the zombies in Washington.
Between 1962 and 1983, the United States Navy, the U.S. Weather Bureau and the National Science Foundation carried out an experimental research program that was yielding some success in moderating hurricanes. Project Stormfury was suspended, however, and eventually terminated for specious reasons. Commenting on an overview of The Stormfury Era by the Hurricane Research Division of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Dick Eastman, MS, MA, noted that the privatization of weather-related government agencies was a factor in the termination of this project:
“Project Stormfury was discontinued just as new planes for doing the interventions were made available.
It seems that we had a deliberate effort to stifle success at the very time that the national weather bureau and other weather-related government agencies were being privatized (the National Weather Service, like the Federal Reserve Bank, the Atomic Energy Commission and the National Science Foundation are privately owned and controlled organizations — each operating in their respective fields in totally unregulated and largely unsupervised environments, with the public thinking that each is part of the government…
“Storm Fury demonstrated — regardless of the sophistry — that hurricane winds can be reduced from 130 mph to 75 or 80 mph — a difference that means the a difference of billions in damages and of doubtless many lives.
“But we are not only seeing the deliberate decision to let disaster happen when it could be prevented — we are seeing something much worse — the deliberate use of this technology developed by minds that sought to help mankind as a means of destroying our homes and killing our people for the sake of ’disaster-industry’ profit and ‘national-emergency’ power.”
Gordon J. F. MacDonald (1929-2002) was an associate director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at UCLA, a member of President Lyndon Johnson’s Science Advisory Committee and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In his 1968 book, Unless Peace Comes: A Scientific Forecast Of New Weapons, MacDonald wrote a chapter titled “How to Wreck the Environment” (read below) in which he revealed that weather modification was in the experimental stages. MacDonald predicted that it would only be a matter of time before man would be able to manipulate the weather for use as a weapon:
“Among future means of obtaining national objectives by force, one possibility hinges on man’s ability to control and manipulate the environment of his planet. When achieved, this power over his environment will provide man with a new force capable of doing great and indiscriminate damage. Our present primitive understanding of deliberate environmental change makes it difficult to imagine a world in which geophysical warfare is practised. Such a world might be one in which nuclear weapons were effectively banned and the weapons of mass destruction were those of environmental catastrophe. As I will argue, these weapons are peculiarly suited for covert or secret wars…
“As economic competition among many advanced nations heightens, it may be to a country’s advantage to ensure a peaceful natural environment for itself and adisturbed environment for its competitors. Operations producing such conditions might be carried out covertly, since nature’s great irregularity permits storms, ﬂoods, droughts, earthquakes and tidal waves to be viewed as unusual but not unexpected. Such a ‘secret war’ need never be declared or even known by the affected populations. It could go on for years with only the security forces involved being aware of it. The years of drought and storm would be attributed to unkindly nature and only after a nation were thoroughly drained would an armed take-over be attempted.
“In addition to their covert nature, a feature common to several modiﬁcation schemes is their ability to affect the Earth as a whole. The environment knows no political boundaries; it is independent of the institutions based on geography and the effects of modiﬁcation can be projected from any one point to any other on the Earth. Because environmental modiﬁcation may be a dominant feature of future world decades, there is concern that this incipient technology is in total conﬂict with many of the traditional geographical and political units and concepts.
“Political, legal, economic and sociological consequences of deliberate environmental modiﬁcation, even for peaceful purposes, will be of such complexity that perhaps all our present involvements in nuclear affairs will seem simple.”
In his 1970 book, Between Two Ages, former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brezezinski (CFR/TC/B) mentioned “weather control” as a “new weapon” for the U.S. military and a “key element of strategy.”
“Technology will make available, to the leaders of major nations, techniques for conducting secret warfare, of which only a bare minimum of the security forces need be appraised… Techniques of weather modification could be employed to produce prolonged periods of drought or storm.”
Also in 1970, the U.S. Weather Bureau was renamed the National Weather Service and the privatization of the weather-related government agencies began, a process that was expedited under President Bill Clinton.
“In accordance with the Administration’s FY 1996 Proposed Budget and the Administration’s Reinventing Government initiatives issued in early 1995, the National Weather Service (NWS) initiated a transition program to transfer NWS Agricultural Weather Services and non-federal non-wildfire weather support to private meteorological firms willing to assume these responsibilities…
“The transition of agricultural weather services to the private sector is dynamic. Both the NWS and the private meteorological sector will need to continue to work together to provide maximum service to the nation’s growers. Privatization efforts are not new to the NWS. Over the years, the NWS has transferred services such as direct commercial radio and television broadcasts, newspaper weather page preparation, and weather by phone successfully to the private sector.” (National Weather Service)
In 1977, the Geneva Convention proposed an international treaty prohibiting the military or other hostile use of environmental modification techniques. The Convention opened for signature on May 18, 1977 in Geneva and the treaty was enforced on October 5, 1978. Eighty-seven (87) nations signed this treaty:
CONVENTION ON THE PROHIBITION OF MILITARY OR ANY OTHER HOSTILE USE
OF ENVIRONMENTAL MODIFICATION TECHNIQUES
Signed in Geneva May 18, 1977
Entered into force October 5, 1978
Ratification by U.S. President December 13, 1979
U.S. ratification deposited at New York January 17, 1980
The States Parties to this Convention,
Guided by the interest of consolidating peace, and wishing to contribute to the cause of halting the arms race, and of bringing about general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control, and of saving mankind from the danger of using new means of warfare,
Determined to continue negotiations with a view to achieving effective progress towards further measures in the field of disarmament,
Recognizing that scientific and technical advances may open new possibilities with respect to modification of the environment,
Recalling the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment adopted at Stockholm on 16 June 1972,
Realizing that the use of environmental modification techniques for peaceful purposes could improve the interrelationship of man and nature and contribute to the preservation and improvement of the environment for the benefit of present and future generations,
Recognizing, however, that military or any other hostile use of such techniques could have effects extremely harmful to human welfare,
Desiring to prohibit effectively military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques in order to eliminate the dangers to mankind from such use, and affirming their willingness to work towards the achievement of this objective,
Desiring also to contribute to the strengthening of trust among nations and to the further improvement of the international situation in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,
Have agreed as follows:
Article I1. Each State Party to this Convention undertakes not to engage in military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects as the means of destruction, damage or injury to any other State Party.
2. Each State Party to this Convention undertakes not to assist, encourage or induce any State, group of States or international organization to engage in activities contrary to the provisions of paragraph 1 of this article. (continued)
In 1996, the U.S. Air Force published a research paper produced in the Department of Defense titled, “Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025.” Disregarding the Geneva Convention Treaty on Weather Modification, the stated purpose of the paper was “to outline a strategy for the use of a future weather-modification system to achieve military objectives…”
“2025 is a study designed to comply with a directive from the chief of staff of the Air Force to examine the concepts, capabilities, and technologies the United States will require to remain the dominant air and space force in the future. Presented on 17 June 1996, this report was produced in the Department of Defense school environment of academic freedom and in the interest of advancing concepts related to national defense. The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Air Force, Department of Defense, or the United States government…
“In 2025, US aerospace forces can ‘own the weather’ by capitalizing on emerging technologies and focusing development of those technologies to war-fighting applications. Such a capability offers the war fighter tools to shape the battlespace in ways never before possible. It provides opportunities to impact operations across the full spectrum of conflict and is pertinent to all possible futures. The purpose of this paper is to outline a strategy for the use of a future weather-modification system to achieve military objectives rather than to provide a detailed technical road map.
“A high-risk, high-reward endeavor, weather-modification offers a dilemma not unlike the splitting of the atom. While some segments of society will always be reluctant to examine controversial issues such as weather-modification, the tremendous military capabilities that could result from this field are ignored at our own peril. From enhancing friendly operations or disrupting those of the enemy via small-scale tailoring of natural weather patterns to complete dominance of global communications and counterspace control, weather-modification offers the war fighter a wide-range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary…”
Another piece of evidence to support the existence of the these weapon systems.
by Wayne Madsen
The history of Europe is one of successive collapsed empires. Some, such as the Roman, Holy Roman, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian empires, simply overextended themselves and collapsed due to nationalist uprisings coupled with domestic political and economic inertia. Others, like the German Nazi, Soviet, Italian fascist, Napoleonic French, Spanish, and Portuguese empires collapsed as a result of their military aggression and incessant subterfuge from external forces.
The European Union appears to be suffering from the same symptoms as those experienced by the first category of failed European empires: over-extension, a stagnant and bloated bureaucracy, and economic collapse. As Europe strives to become a more unified and federal union, there has been a backlash from across its member states, with a North-South divide and economic turmoil now threatening to bring down the whole house of cards.
The rise of nationalist political parties in some of the EU’s heretofore staunchest pro-EU member nations and the collapse of some EU national economies due to predatory banking policies and America’s flooding of the global financial system with cheap dollars – a central bankers’ contrivance known as “quantitative easing” — has created fault lines in Europe that not only threaten to bring down the euro and drive the European Central Bank into extinction but prompt some members to leave the EU altogether.
Although there have always been degrees of Euro-skepticism throughout Europe since the coming into force of the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993, which transformed the European Economic Community into the European Union and created the euro, anti-EU feelings now run the full gamut from right to left. Anti-EU fervor has not only increased in the traditionally Euro-skeptic nations of Denmark, the United Kingdom, and France but has gained a strong foothold in the earliest supporters of European integration, including Ireland, the Netherlands, Finland, Greece, and most importantly, Germany…
Denmark originally failed to ratify Maastricht and a referendum on the treaty in France narrowly passed. Denmark, upon ratification, insisted on four exceptions to the treaty. In 1985, Maastricht was preceded by the Schengen Agreement, which dropped border controls between the member nations, including non-EU members Switzerland and Norway. However, the UK and Ireland never agreed to the Schengen Agreement.
(NaturalNews) Live in Europe? Get your herbs while they last. New rules put forth by the European Union (EU) will ban the sale of certain herbal remedies that have been used for centuries.
Traditional herbs such a St. John’s Wort or Echinacea must now meet strict licensing guidelines in order to be sold, while other lesser-known herbs that haven’t been “traditionally” used in the last 30 years won’t even make the cut to reach consumer shelves. Only those products that have been “assessed” by the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will be available for purchase. The real kicker? Even approved products will only be recommended for minor ailments such as the common cold, which means that product labeling may no longer be allowed to convey the potent health benefits of widely-used herbal remedies.
According the the EU, the laws were put in place to protect consumers from the “damaging” effects of traditional herbal remedies. The subtext of that statement, of course, is that herbal remedies can sometimes have dangerous interactions when taken with prescription drugs. Used alone, however, herbal supplements rarely pose a problem. With so many people taking prescription drugs, it’s clear that the EU’s move to ban herbal products is a monopolistic attack on the alternative health movement. While they can’t admit the dangerous and deadly side effects of manufactured drugs, they can shift the blame to herbs.
Richard Woodfield, MHRA head of herbal medicine policy, claims that the new regulations empower the consumer: “The current signs are that the [herbal remedy] market will be lively and competitive. The key difference for consumers is that in the future they will be in the driving seat and able to make an informed choice when they wish to use these medicines.”
Banning widely-used natural substances that may help cure or prevent illness promotes “informed” choices?
Paul Gimson, director of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales, also claims that herbal remedies may not be safe because they have not been put through clinical trials in the same way drugs are tested. Isn’t this a tad obvious, however, since drug companies would never even consider testing or promoting a natural herb as a medicinal cure? Clearly, herbal remedies are not widely used because doctors or health care professionals recommend them. They are used because people know they work.
The most disturbing part? These regulations point to a movement toward complete restriction of herbal products and the idea that pharmaceutical companies may someday have patents on herbal remedies. Consider a possible scenario: A woman who has been taking Chasteberry supplements to regulate a gynecological condition may now need a prescription for it. She goes to her doctor and, instead of giving her the herb, he recommends a drug. She can no longer buy Chasteberry supplements unless she scours the Internet in search of a reputable company that sells safe herbal products. As we all know, these companies can be hard to find.
Not only do these laws threaten the livelihood of nutritionists, herbalists and holistic healthcare providers across Europe, but they put consumers in a lose-lose situation: go without herbal remedies or run the risk of purchasing them online.
Vicky Perks, clinical nutritionist at The Health Diva and health food store, Beanfreaks, notes that the regulations are “poorly thought out” and are driven by money: “Licensing is just a way of generating extra money for the government. It costs �50,000 to license one product.”
Herbal products still on shelves will be for sale until their expiration dates. Stock up while you can.
Sources for this article include: