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July 22 2012


Global banks are the financial services wing of the drug cartels | World news | The Observer

As HSBC executives apologise to the US Senate for laundering drugs money, the fact is that nothing changes

July 07 2012

0165 d0a7

Richest households and businesses to take brunt of €7.2bn tax rises this year with more to come in 2013

What a remarkably intelligent thing to do.

Via François Hollande keeps election promise of raising taxes for wealthiest | World news |

Sponsored post
Reposted byLegendaryy Legendaryy

July 03 2012


June 05 2012


Call for inquiry into use of unpaid jobseekers as jubilee stewards | UK news |

Security firm issues ‘sincere apologies’ for treatment of stewards but insists it did not exploit workers

The former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott has written to the home secretary to complain about a security firm that used unpaid jobseekers to steward the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations in London.

He said he was “deeply concerned” by the revelations, published in the Guardian on Tuesday, that up to 30 unpaid jobseekers on the government’s work programme were asked to sleep under London Bridge before the river pageant on Sunday.

He is calling for Theresa May to investigate whether the company has broken the security industry’s own employment standards and is urging the government to review the company’s contract for the Olympics.

The firm, Close Protection UK (CPUK), has issued “sincere apologies” for what it called the “London Bridge incident”, but insisted that it had not been exploiting individuals but providing work experience.

Up to 30 jobseekers and another 50 people on apprentice wages were taken to London by coach from Bristol, Bath and Plymouth on Saturday before the pageant on Sunday as part of the government’s work programme.

Two jobseekers, who did not want to be identified in case they lost their benefits, later told the Guardian that they had to camp under London Bridge overnight, to change into security gear in public, had no access to toilets for 24 hours, and were taken to a swampy campsite outside London after working a 14-hour shift in the pouring rain on the banks of the Thames on Sunday.

In the letter, Prescott said the situation raised “very serious questions” about the “suitability of using private security contractors to do frontline policing instead of trained police officers” and that the company had shown a “blatant disregard for the care of its workers”.

He wrote: “It is totally unacceptable that young unemployed people were bussed in to London from Bristol, Bath and Plymouth and forced to sleep out in the cold overnight before stewarding a major event with no payment.

“I am deeply concerned that a private security firm is not only providing policing on the cheap but failing to show a duty of care to its staff and threatening to withdraw an opportunity to work at the Olympics as a means to coerce them to work unpaid.” …

June 02 2012


Western banks 'reaping billions from Colombian cocaine trade' | World news | The Observer

…”The whole system operated by authorities in the consuming nations is based around going after the small guy, the weakest link in the chain, and never the big business or financial systems where the big money is.”

The work, by the two economists at University of the Andes in Bogotá, is part of an initiative by the Colombian government to overhaul global drugs policy and focus on money laundering by the big banks in America and Europe, as well as social prevention of drug taking and consideration of options for de-criminalising some or all drugs.

The economists surveyed an entire range of economic, social and political facets of the drug wars that have ravaged Colombia. The conflict has now shifted, with deadly consequences, to Mexico and it is feared will spread imminently to central America. But the most shocking conclusion relates to what the authors call “the microeconomics of cocaine production” in their country.

Gaviria and Mejía estimate that the lowest possible street value (at $100 per gram, about £65) of “net cocaine, after interdiction” produced in Colombia during the year studied (2008) amounts to $300bn. But of that only $7.8bn remained in the country.

“It is a minuscule proportion of GDP,” said Mejía, “which can impact disastrously on society and political life, but not on the Colombian economy. The economy for Colombian cocaine is outside Colombia.”

Mejía told the Observer: “The way I try to put it is this: prohibition is a transfer of the cost of the drug problem from the consuming to the producing countries.”

“If countries like Colombia benefitted economically from the drug trade, there would be a certain sense in it all,” said Gaviria. “Instead, we have paid the highest price for someone else’s profits – Colombia until recently, and now Mexico.

“I put it to Americans like this – suppose all cocaine consumption in the US disappeared and went to Canada. Would Americans be happy to see the homicide rates in Seattle skyrocket in order to prevent the cocaine and the money going to Canada? That way they start to understand for a moment the cost to Colombia and Mexico.” …

Reposted bydrugssoberNoodletompaket

May 14 2012


March 20 2012

2171 286e



If you have or will have student loans, you need to read this.

Something potentially life-changing for millions of people has happened.

On March 8, 2012, Rep. Hansen Clarke introduced H.R. 4170, the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012. This act proposes that people with federal student loan debt pay 10% of their discretionary income for a period of 10 years, and then the rest of the debt would be forgiven. I’m not clear on the details, but I’m also hearing that somehow it proposes to roll private debt into federal debt so it would apply, too.

Student loan debt is financially crippling millions of people and having negative effects on the economic recovery efforts.

Suze Ormond gives a very good explanation here of why student loan debt is contributing to the economic crisis in America. Not to mention the personal cost for young people trying to start out in life with the double whammy of a poor economy and serious loan debt. What’s even less certain is how this will affect Americans for generations to come, with some calling young Americans “The New Lost Generation.”

When you can barely afford to pay your loans, you aren’t buying cars. You aren’t buying houses. You aren’t spending a lot of money on consumer items or vacations. You’re trying to scrape up enough money to pay that bill so Sallie Mae will stop sending you threatening letters.

Think what would happen if suddenly, all of the people sending most of their paychecks to student loan companies had hundreds of dollars more to spend on other things.

  • Think how many people would move out of their family home and get a place of their own.
  • Think how many people would buy a car.
  • Think how many couples would decide to get married.
  • Think how many people would be able to start saving for retirement, or be able to afford health insurance.
  • Think how many people would buy clothes, shoes, electronics, or better-quality food.
  • Think how many people would stop considering suicide as the only way out of an apparently impossible financial crisis. 
  • And now think how all that money flooding into the economy would improve things in America.
This is one economic problem that is not going to get better over time without action. It’s actually getting worse. It’s not only students themselves suffering. With nowhere else to go, many have moved back in with families and are relying on family support. That’s making it very hard for their parents to retire.

To date, the government has done little to nothing to help out people with existing student debt, despite economists screaming from the rooftops that student loans are a bubble about to burst and when it does, it could tip the country right back into another full-blown recession or even depression. At the very least, it’s likely hampering efforts to get the economy back on track.

It’s telling when you consider where the government chooses to help. The government bailed out the banks. It bailed out the auto industry. It put in place measures to help people facing foreclosure. It’s looking at addressing credit card rules. But what has it done to help people with student loans, which – again – is now a larger problem than credit card debt?

This is a groundbreaking measure and it needs people to get behind it immediately and show their support, to let Congress know what such a relief could mean to a generation of young people struggling under a mountain of debt unlike anything our country has seen before.

I fully support The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 as a way to help stimulate the economy, remove a financial and emotional burden from millions of people, and help pull the country out of the sinkhole it entered nearly four years ago.

The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 will stop the bleeding. We need other things to happen, too.

  • We need representatives to call for student loan reforms to stop the problem for future generations.
  • We need representatives to call for colleges and universities to bring down tuition for current and future students.
  • We need representatives to support community and technical colleges.
  • We need to change the tenor of conversation about higher education in America.
  • We need media to start asking the hard questions about why this happened in the first place.

But first, we have to put a tourniquet on the debt that is bleeding Americans dry.

If you support this bill, contact your representatives and senators and tell them so immediately. Call them. Email them. Write letters. 

For more information, check out

You can track the bill through GovTrack here.

Sign the petition here!


I need to read up on this more. (I mean how do you determine 10% of my discretionary income. Who determines what is and isn’t discretionary, how much I pay for groceries, the fact I make more money in my household and therefore pay more expenses…etc.)

March 30 2011

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