Tag Archives: corruption

There’s No Other Game In Town: Banking Fraud (But I Repeat Myself)

2 Jul

h/t reader Kevin Moore for the following story, from presstv.ir –

Top Vatican bank officials resign after arrest of senior Italian cleric

The director and deputy director of the Vatican Bank have resigned after a senior Italian priest with close ties to the bank was arrested on suspicion of fraud and corruption.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Vatican announced that the bank’s director, Paolo Cipriani, and his deputy, Massimo Tulli, had stepped down.

On Friday, Italian authorities arrested a senior cleric known as Nunzio Scarano after an investigation of the bank, also known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), produced evidence showing it may have been involved in an international fraud scheme.

Scarano was arrested along with Giovanni Maria Zito, a former Italian intelligence agent, and Giovanni Carinzo, a financial broker.

Prosecutors say Scarano paid Zito 400,000 euros ($523,000) to transport 20 million euros in cash from Switzerland to Italy onboard Zito’s private jet

The Italian daily La Repubblica reported that Scarano is also under investigation in the city of Salerno on suspicion of money laundering.

Only priests, religious, Catholic institutions, employees of the Vatican City State, and diplomats accredited to the Holy See are allowed to have accounts at the IOR, but Italian politicians and organized crime figures allegedly also have accounts at the bank.

Over the years, the Vatican Bank has been involved in a series of scandals.

The bank’s governor in the 1980s, Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, was indicted over his involvement with the collapse of Italy’s largest private bank, Banco Ambrosiano, which was owned in part by the Vatican Bank.

In the aftermath of the scandal, the chairman of the bank, Roberto Calvi, was found hanged under Blackfriars Bridge in London in 1982. Calvi was known as God’s Banker because of his close ties to the Vatican. The death was initially ruled a suicide but later prosecuted as a murder.

The activities of the infamous P2 Masonic lodge were brought out of the shadows by the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano. Some investigative journalists suspected that some of the plundered funds went to P2 or to its members.

Propaganda Due, or P2, was a Masonic lodge operating under the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of Italy from 1945 to 1976. P2 was sometimes referred to as a “state within a state” or a “shadow government.”

And still the greatest banking fraud of all — usury — goes on.

Unchecked, and unchallenged.

With the heretical support of the Roman Catholic Church, and indeed, pretty much all of modern-day Churchianity.

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Why People Of Conscience Cannot Vote For Abbott

1 Jun
Illustration: Rocco Fazzari

Illustration: Rocco Fazzari

Doubtless some, perhaps many readers of this blog have an inclination to vote for the Liberal Party at the next election.

Your humble blogger will not be one of them.

Here is why (my emphasis added):

When two tribes go to bed

The electoral funding deal was the bad side of that rare commodity bipartisanship, as the public reaction made clear.

Tony Abbott began his public backdown on Thursday morning by saying: “Well, it is pretty clear the people have spoken and the electoral funding bill is dead.” But which people? It’s true that quite a few voters had spoken over the previous two days, phoning and emailing their MPs. “The phones were ringing off the hook,” said one.

Voters were angered to learn that there was a Liberal-Labor agreement to help themselves to nearly $60 million in taxpayer funds to pay for elections. There’s already public funding to the political parties – the taxpayer gave the parties $2.31 for each vote they received at the least election – totalling $53 million at the 2010 poll.

But the news first emerged late on Monday night, and not fully until Tuesday, that the parties had cut a deal to add a further $58.7 million over four years.

The people whose voices rang loudest in Abbott’s ear were not the voters but members of his own party, at every level. And everyone, from the public to Abbott’s own inner circle, was affronted that they’d heard nothing about it until the agreement had already been struck in secret between the national secretaries and leaders of the parties.

Abbott’s shadow ministers were upset that they had sat through a shadow ministry meeting on Monday on many matters, but no one had mentioned this. His backbench was cranky that they’d sat through a party-room meeting on Tuesday where nothing was said.

And then, in the decisive moment, he consulted the senior officers of his own party on Wednesday night.

In a phone hook-up with the Liberal national executive, Abbott met a unified chorus of opposition from the party’s state divisions. The presidents of the Liberal party in every state spoke against the deal.

Even the man expected to be keenest to get more money, the official responsible for raising funds for the Liberals at the national level, the party treasurer, opposed the deal.

“I would rather treble my efforts than agree to this,” businessman Phillip Higginson told the conference call. By the time Abbott went to bed that night, he knew the funding deal was finished. The next morning he convened a meeting of his inner circle, the Liberal leadership group, and reports emerged that the group had “rolled” Abbott on the funding deal.

After news of the deal emerged, [Liberal Party federal director, Brian] Loughnane and Abbott’s office had repeatedly assured Liberal MPs that there had been discussions with Labor, but no deal.

Technically, they were protected by the fact that there could be no final, formal deal because the government had not yet shown the Liberals the final bill that it would be submitting to the parliament.

So Liberals were even more outraged when the Attorney-General, Labor’s Mark Drefyus, released to reporters a copy of a letter signed by Abbott the previous Friday that said:

“Thank you for your letter dated 16 May 2013 regarding the government’s intention to introduce and pass the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Political Donations and Other Measures) Bill 2013 in the current winter sittings.”

In the letter, Abbott said he had been briefed on the agreement Loughnane had struck with Labor and “I am satisfied with the agreement reached and indicate the Coalition’s intention to support the legislation and to deal with it, as requested, before the end of the sittings. I note that I have been provided with a near-final draft of the bill.”

One of Abbott’s shadow ministers remarked: “The mood across the party was feral. I’ve never seen the grassroots react so strongly against anything they way they reacted against this.”

Why is it that people of conscience cannot vote for Abbott?

It is a simple matter of integrity. And prudence.

When no one knew about it, Abbott supported the parties’ funding deal.

He only backed down, when folks spat the dummy.

Your humble blogger simply does not accept the rationalisation — the attempt to excuse his first action — that “at least he listened”.

That’s fine when you’re in opposition.

What about when you’re in power?

We have already seen Gillard demonstrate the corruption of power.

“There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”

I think we have now seen Abbott present us all with a vivid glimpse of his true character.

“Whatever it takes.”

Or perhaps more accurately, “Whatever I can get away with.”

And what of the Labor Party?

Needless to say, they are, with the exception of two, even worse:

Labor, on the other hand, was much more thoroughgoing in its internal consultations. Labor’s negotiator and national secretary, George Wright, had not only won the approval of his leader, the Prime Minister, but he had also put the deal to Labor’s national executive for formal approval. The executive passed it unanimously on March 13. It then went to the caucus committee on electoral matters.

And for Labor, this was where the trouble began. As soon as the detail was explained to the committee on Monday morning, two of its members objected forcefully. John Faulkner and Daryl Melham spoke against the bill, and they carried their objections into the full Labor caucus meeting on Tuesday.

Faulkner is a party elder and a long-time campaigner for transparency and integrity; Melham is former secretary of the caucus who has been a fellow campaigner.

They couldn’t believe that the party on trial in ICAC for corruption, the party of Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald, the party whose former national president Michael Williamson has been charged with fraud, the party led by a prime minister whose biggest liability is public trust, could propose a bill that would help itself to tens of millions of public funds yet preserve many of the opacities and loopholes of funding system. Melham told the caucus: “You don’t need $10 million a year to do administration work, and the punters won’t wear it.”

Faulkner won widespread media coverage for his remark: “I am no longer angry or disappointed. I am just ashamed of this bill.” They were the only voices raised against it in the caucus. It was reports of the Faulkner-Melham objections that first rang the public alarm bell, the bell that then sounded so loudly across the way in the offices of Liberal MPs.

They had broken the conspiracy of silence and it foreshadowed the end of the deal.

Neither of the major parties can be trusted with power.

That much is crystal clear.

So, do you vote for (what you hope is) the lesser of two evils?

Do you look for alternatives; perhaps Katter’s Australia Party, or Clive Palmer’s PUP?

Or do you act on principle and Conscience, recalling that your vote is a legal expression of your desire for a particular person/party to represent your wishes, and, that you are only required to attend a polling booth and have your name crossed off … and vote for none of them.

Gillard Government Praises Its Corruption

3 Apr

“Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges”

Tacitus, Annals, Book III, 27

Translation: The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government.

Variant: The more corrupt the state, the more laws.

Original Quote: And now bills were passed, not only for national objects but for individual cases, and laws were most numerous when the commonwealth was most corrupt.

Your humble blogger always finds it bemusing to hear politicians – of all stripes and colours – proudly boast that their passing more new laws is a “record of achievement.” One that somehow proves they are doing a good job.

Indeed, our present ALP government has made it something of go to slogan of self-praise … and self defense. Especially when their manifest incompetence – record debt, endless deficits, bungled “stimulus”, bungled mining tax, failed asylum-seeker policy, et al – is pointed out.

Naturally, the mainstream media parrot the politicians’ crapola without thought:

But is the Gillard government really as ”incompetent” as it seems? Despite the drama, the Parliament under Gillard has passed 485 bills since the end of 2010… Over a similar period, the Rudd government had 409 bills passed, while the Howard government passed 520 in its final three years.

Ok, maybe our politicians are not “incompetent” after all.

Just corrupt.

Who Can Take Your Money With A Twinkle In Their Eye? The Government Can!

29 Mar

Genius. Utter genius.

Sing along now children:

h/t Andy Semple.

Support For Carbon Price Means Support Killing Black People: Oxfam Report

14 Oct

See all the happy little politicians, dear reader?

And see all the happy little carbon tax / trading supporters?

What all these people are really supporting … is genocide.

Of black people.

From the New York Times (via Oxfam):

New Forests Company, grows forests in African countries with the purpose of selling credits from the carbon dioxide its trees soak up to polluters abroad. | Credit: Sven Torfinn for The New York Times

In Scramble For Arable Land, Groups Says, Company Pushed Ugandans Out

KICUCULA, Uganda — According to the [New Forests Company’s] proposal to join a United Nations clean-air program, the settlers living in this area left in a “peaceful” and “voluntary” manner.

People here remember it quite differently.

“I heard people being beaten, so I ran outside,” said Emmanuel Cyicyima, 33. “The houses were being burnt down.”

Other villagers described gun-toting soldiers and an 8-year-old child burning to death when his home was set ablaze by security officers.

“They said if we hesitated they would shoot us,” said William Bakeshisha, adding that he hid in his coffee plantation, watching his house burn down. “Smoke and fire.”

William Bakeshisha, farmer and local chief, lost his house and land and now rents a room in a neighboring village. In his briefcase, he keeps documents that provide proof that he inherited the farm from his father | Credit: Sven Torfinn for The New York Times

According to a report released by the aid group Oxfam on Wednesday, more than 20,000 people say they were evicted from their homes here in recent years to make way for a tree plantation run by a British forestry company, emblematic of a global scramble for arable land.

“Too many investments have resulted in dispossession, deception, violation of human rights and destruction of livelihoods,” Oxfam said in the report. “This interest in land is not something that will pass.” As population and urbanization soar, it added, “whatever land there is will surely be prized.”

Across Africa, some of the world’s poorest people have been thrown off land to make way for foreign investors, often uprooting local farmers so that food can be grown on a commercial scale and shipped to richer countries overseas.

But in this case, the government and the company said the settlers were illegal and evicted for a good cause: to protect the environment and help fight global warming.

The case twists around an emerging multibillion-dollar market trading carbon-credits under the Kyoto Protocol, which contains mechanisms for outsourcing environmental protection to developing nations.

The company involved, New Forests Company, grows forests in African countries with the purpose of selling credits from the carbon-dioxide its trees soak up to polluters abroad. Its investors include the World Bank, through its private investment arm, and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC.

In 2005, the Ugandan government granted New Forests a 50-year license to grow pine and eucalyptus forests in three districts, and the company has applied to the United Nations to trade under the mechanism. The company expects that it could earn up to $1.8 million a year.

But there was just one problem: people were living on the land where the company wanted to plant trees. Indeed, they had been there a while…

An evicted woman shows proof of land ownership | Credit: Sven Torfinn for The New York Times

Olivia Mukamperezida, 28, said her house was among the first in her community to be burned down. One day in late 2009, she said, her eldest son, Friday, was sick at home, so she went out to find medicine. Villagers suddenly told her to rush back. Everything was incinerated.

“I found my house when it was completely finished,” she said. “I just cried.”

Ms. Mukamperezida never found the culprits. She buried Friday’s bones in a grave, but says she does not know if it is still there.

“They are planting trees,” she said.

(Read the rest of the NYT story here.)

And then there’s this:

Armed troops acting on behalf of a British carbon trading company backed by the World Bank burned houses to the ground and killed children to evict Ugandans from their homes in the name of seizing land to protect against “global warming,” a shocking illustration of how the climate change con is a barbarian form of neo-colonialism.

The evictions were ordered by New Forests Company, an outfit that seizes land in Africa to grow trees then sells the “carbon credits” on to transnational corporations. The company is backed by the World Bank and HSBC. Its Board of Directors includes HSBC Managing Director Sajjad Sabur, as well as other former Goldman Sachs investment bankers.

The company claims residents of Kicucula left in a “peaceful” and “voluntary” manner, and yet the people tell a story of terror and bloodshed.

Villagers told of how armed “security forces” stormed their village and torched houses, burning an eight-year-child to death as they threatened to murder anyone who resisted while beating others.

“We were in church,” recalled Jean-Marie Tushabe, 26, a father of two. “I heard bullets being shot into the air.”

“Cars were coming with police,” Mr. Tushabe said, sitting among the ruins of his old home. “They headed straight to the houses. They took our plates, cups, mattresses, bed, pillows. Then we saw them getting a matchbox out of their pockets.”

An Oxfam report documents how the British outfit has worked with the Ugandan government to forcibly expel over 20,000 people from their homes using terror and violence as part of a lucrative scramble for arable land that can be used to satisfy the multi-billion dollar carbon trading ponzi scheme, which is worth $1.8 million a year to the company.

(Read the full article here.)

This is just one example of the unintended (?) consequences of the universally-ignorant support by multitudes of morally self-righteous, urban rich white people, for “pricing carbon” in the name of “saving the planet”.

But that’s ok … those are just dirt poor BLACK people, aren’t they? And the urban white self-righteous hate everything black … think black balloons coming out of air conditioners … except perhaps for their oh-so-fashionable “wicked” little black dress for an indulgent night out.

As has been demonstrated countless times on this blog – including from the government’s legislation – the “carbon tax” has never had anything whatsoever to do with climate change.

It is, and always has been, all about money. Derivatives, to be precise.

“Putting a price on carbon” is all about legally enabling the predatory financial sector to rape the world all over again, with a new derivatives-based ponzi scheme, after their Western world real estate derivatives bubble exploded (GFC1).

It is a very simple scam.

Carbon “pricing” creates in law a new artificial ‘commodity’ called “carbon ‘units’, having an artificially-created (by proclamation) monetary value.

Who benefits?

On the lower level, governments. The basic carbon “price” for selling (on threat of gaol) their “permits” to “pollute”, represents a new cashcow for politicians. For handing out to their mates, favouring special interests, and bribing the ever-more welfare-dependent electorate to vote for them (ie, keep them in power).

On the higher (unseen) level, the international shadow banking sector. “Pricing carbon” means they can (a) cream off billions in fees and commissions on the trade in those permits, but far more importantly (b) instantly create unlimited quantities of wholly unregulated carbon derivatives, to gamble on unregulated international trading markets.

Exactly like the Western real estate bubble.

If you support “putting a price on carbon”, then what you are really supporting is two outcomes.

Impoverishing the West.

And genocide of black people.

All for the benefit of … not the environment … but bankers.

Greens Protection Racket

15 May

The din of corruption grows louder and louder.

Tim Blair explains:

Conflicted Greens admit voting against themselves in order to keep their governmental host pod alive:

Senator Brown is believed to have told Ms Gillard the Greens have been voting down mischievous Coalition legislation and motions, for example, even on issues the Greens support.

‘’We have had to oppose some of our own measures that appear as Coalition bills in order to protect the government,’’ a source said.

Completing that line: “In order to protect the government from voters.” Or, as Bob Brown puts it:

The Senator said: “Tony Abbott, there will be no election. This country will go to a full term with this government. We the Greens are committed to stability.”

Beautiful.

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