Archive for the ‘Call to Action’ Category

On the 12th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks…

September 11, 2013

Dear Readers,

Today is the twelfth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  I hope you will do me the favor of re-visiting my personal account of that day by reading this post I first published some years ago:

“I Remember 911″

Next, for those of you that doubt the accuracy of my analysis;  who choose to belittle the depth of my research or the reluctance I had to overcome in order to face the horrible truth…..Please read this article.   *ALL* the links you see embedded in this very well-researched piece completely back-up the author’s statements.  I suggest, for the 50% of you out there that still choose to believe the official mythology regarding 9/11 that you spend some time clicking and reading these links.

You can start by viewing this compilation of the free-fall collapse of building 7 and checking out the related info from  http://buildingwhat.org/

According to the Government’s own report, that 47 story,  reinforced building that you just saw from different angles collapse perfectly into it’s own foot-print at free-fall speed……collapsed due to FIRE.

Makes you wonder why they bother using explosives at all?  Why not just set old buildings on fire?

I hope on this anniversary of the terror-attacks, you remember all the innocent lives lost here and abroad, and the ever-increasing destruction of our bill of rights…..all for a LIE.

I don’t talk about 9/11 much anymore.  Those that know…know.  Those that don’t…well, maybe when “Homeland Security” starts conducting random searches in their homes they will wake-up.  But I doubt it.

God Bless us all….we need it.

Regards,

FoundingFather1776

***********************

Washington’s Blog
September 10, 2010

Don’t want to hear this?

Tough. Grow up.

9/11 Commissioners:

• The 9/11 Commission’s co-chairs said that the 9/11 Commissioners knew that military officials misrepresented the facts to the Commission, and the Commission considered recommending criminal charges for such false statements

• 9/11 Commission co-chair Lee Hamilton says “I don’t believe for a minute we got everything right”, that the Commission was set up to fail, that people should keep asking questions about 9/11, and that the 9/11 debate should continue

• 9/11 Commissioner Timothy Roemer said “We were extremely frustrated with the false statements we were getting”

• 9/11 Commissioner Max Cleland resigned from the Commission, stating: “It is a national scandal”; “This investigation is now compromised”; and “One of these days we will have to get the full story because the 9-11 issue is so important to America. But this White House wants to cover it up”

• 9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey said that “There are ample reasons to suspect that there may be some alternative to what we outlined in our version . . . We didn’t have access . . . .” He also said that the investigation depended too heavily on the accounts of Al Qaeda detainees who were physically coerced into talking

• And the Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission (John Farmer) – who led the 9/11 staff’s inquiry – recently said “At some level of the government, at some point in time…there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened”. He also said “I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described …. The tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years…. This is not spin. This is not true.” And he said: “It’s almost a culture of concealment, for lack of a better word. There were interviews made at the FAA’s New York center the night of 9/11 and those tapes were destroyed. The CIA tapes of the interrogations were destroyed. The story of 9/11 itself, to put it mildly, was distorted and was completely different from the way things happened”

If even the 9/11 Commissioners don’t buy the official story, why do you?

Senior intelligence officers:

• Former military analyst and famed whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg said that the case of a certain 9/11 whistleblower is “far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers”. He also said that the government is ordering the media to cover up her allegations about 9/11. And he said that some of the claims concerning government involvement in 9/11 are credible, that “very serious questions have been raised about what they [U.S. government officials] knew beforehand and how much involvement there might have been”, that engineering 9/11 would not be humanly or psychologically beyond the scope of the current administration, and that there’s enough evidence to justify a new, “hard-hitting” investigation into 9/11 with subpoenas and testimony taken under oath (see this and this)

• A 27-year CIA veteran, who chaired National Intelligence Estimates and personally delivered intelligence briefings to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, their Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many other senior government officials (Raymond McGovern) said “I think at simplest terms, there’s a cover-up. The 9/11 Report is a joke”

• A 29-year CIA veteran, former National Intelligence Officer (NIO) and former Director of the CIA’s Office of Regional and Political Analysis (William Bill Christison) said “I now think there is persuasive evidence that the events of September did not unfold as the Bush administration and the 9/11 Commission would have us believe (and see this)

• A number of intelligence officials, including a CIA Operations Officer who co-chaired a CIA multi-agency task force coordinating intelligence efforts among many intelligence and law enforcement agencies (Lynne Larkin) sent a joint letter to Congress expressing their concerns about “serious shortcomings,” “omissions,” and “major flaws” in the 9/11 Commission Report and offering their services for a new investigation (they were ignored)

• A decorated 20-year CIA veteran, who Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh called “perhaps the best on-the-ground field officer in the Middle East”, and whose astounding career formed the script for the Academy Award winning motion picture Syriana (Robert Baer) said that “the evidence points at” 9/11 having had aspects of being an inside job

• The Division Chief of the CIA’s Office of Soviet Affairs, who served as Senior Analyst from 1966 – 1990. He also served as Professor of International Security at the National War College from 1986 – 2004 (Melvin Goodman) said “The final [9/11 Commission] report is ultimately a coverup”

If even our country’s top intelligence officers don’t buy the official story, why do you?

Congressmen:

• According to the Co-Chair of the Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 and former Head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Bob Graham, an FBI informant had hosted and rented a room to two hijackers in 2000 and that, when the Inquiry sought to interview the informant, the FBI refused outright, and then hid him in an unknown location, and that a high-level FBI official stated these blocking maneuvers were undertaken under orders from the White House (confirmed here)

• Current Democratic U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy said “The two questions that the congress will not ask . . . is why did 9/11 happen on George Bush’s watch when he had clear warnings that it was going to happen? Why did they allow it to happen?”

• Current Republican Congressman Ron Paul calls for a new 9/11 investigation and states that “we see the [9/11] investigations that have been done so far as more or less cover-up and no real explanation of what went on”

• Current Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich hints that we aren’t being told the truth about 9/11

• Current Republican Congressman Jason Chafetz says that we need to be vigilant and continue to investigate 9/11

• Former Democratic Senator Mike Gravel states that he supports a new 9/11 investigation and that we don’t know the truth about 9/11

• Former Republican Senator Lincoln Chaffee endorses a new 9/11 investigation

• Former U.S. Democratic Congressman Dan Hamburg doesn’t believe the official version of events

• Former U.S. Republican Congressman and senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, and who served six years as the Chairman of the Military Research and Development Subcommittee Curt Weldon has shown that the U.S. tracked hijackers before 9/11, is open to hearing information about explosives in the Twin Towers, and is open to the possibility that 9/11 was an inside job

If there is bipartisan questioning of the official story, why aren’t you questioning it?

Other government officials:

• U.S. General, Commanding General of U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, decorated with the Bronze Star, Silver Star, and Purple Heart (General Wesley Clark) said “We’ve never finished the investigation of 9/11 and whether the administration actually misused the intelligence information it had. The evidence seems pretty clear to me. I’ve seen that for a long time”

• Former Deputy Secretary for Intelligence and Warning under Nixon, Ford, and Carter (Morton Goulder), former Deputy Director to the White House Task Force on Terrorism (Edward L. Peck), and former US Department of State Foreign Service Officer (J. Michael Springmann), as well as a who’s who of liberals and independents) jointly call for a new investigation into 9/11

• Former Federal Prosecutor, Office of Special Investigations, U.S. Department of Justice under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan; former U.S. Army Intelligence officer, and currently a widely-sought media commentator on terrorism and intelligence services (John Loftus) says “The information provided by European intelligence services prior to 9/11 was so extensive that it is no longer possible for either the CIA or FBI to assert a defense of incompetence”

• The Group Director on matters of national security in the U.S. Government Accountability Office said that President Bush did not respond to unprecedented warnings of the 9/11 disaster and conducted a massive cover-up instead of accepting responsibility

• Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan (Col. Ronald D. Ray) said that the official story of 9/11 is “the dog that doesn’t hunt”

• The former director of the FBI (Louis Freeh) says there was a cover up by the 9/11 Commission

If top government officials are skeptical, why aren’t you?

Numerous other politicians, judges, legal scholars, and attorneys also question at least some aspects of the government’s version of 9/11.

What the hell are they spraying on us? PART 8

October 1, 2011

An earlier version of this report was published at Global Research. Below is the revised version.

A review of “CASE ORANGE: Contrail Science, Its Impact on Climate and Weather Manipulation Programs Conducted by the United States and Its Allies”

By Rady Ananda

At an international symposium held in Ghent, Belgium May 28-30, 2010, scientists asserted that “manipulation of climate through modification of Cirrus clouds is neither a hoax nor a conspiracy theory.” It is “fully operational” with a solid sixty-year history. Though “hostile” environmental modification was banned by UN Convention in 1978, its “friendly” use today is being hailed as the new savior to climate change and to water and food shortages. Military forces stand poised to capitalize on controlling the world’s weather.

“In recent years there has been a decline in the support for weather modification research, and a tendency to move directly into operational projects.”

~World Meteorological Organization, 2007

The only conspiracy surrounding geoengineering is that most governments and industry refuse to publicly admit what anyone with eyes can see. Peer-reviewed research is available to anyone willing and able to maneuver the labyrinth of scientific journals. So, while there is some disclosure on the topic, full public explanation is lacking. A brief list of confirmed cloud seeding events is produced at bottom, starting in 1915.

Going under a variety of names – atmospheric geoengineering, weather modification, solar radiation management, chemical buffering, cloud seeding, weather force multiplication – toxic aerial spraying is popularly known as chemtrails. However, this is merely one technique employed to modify weather. The practice of environmental modification is vast and well funded.

Hosted by the Belfort Group, which has been working for the last seven years to raise public awareness of toxic aerial spraying, the Symposium included chemtrail awareness groups from Greece, Germany, Holland, France and the U.S.  Belfort published five videos covering only May 29,[1] when filmmaker Michael Murphy (Environmental Deception and What in the world are they spraying)[2] and aerospace engineer Dr. Coen Vermeeren [3] gave the most dramatic presentations.

Dr Vermeeren, of the Delft University of Technology, presented [4] a 300-page scientific report entitled, “CASE ORANGE: Contrail Science, Its Impact on Climate and Weather Manipulation Programs Conducted by the United States and Its Allies.” [5]

Case Orange notes it was prepared for the Belfort Group by a team of scientists but presented anonymously. It was sent to embassies, news organizations and interested groups around the world “to force public debate.”

The report spends some time on HAARP, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, [6] which is a military endeavor focused on manipulation of the ionosphere, magnetosphere and atmosphere, and on other exotic weapon systems that manipulate the environment. While related, they go beyond this discussion of chemtrails.

In the interest of brevity, the health and environmental implications of cloud seeding is not discussed in any depth herein. Case Orange does go into it, as did most of the speakers at the Belfort Symposium. Cursory research reveals a debate among researchers as to chemtrail toxicity, but whether that’s a 50-50 or 99-1 argument is unknown.

Contrails Are Chemtrails

Case Orange rejects use of the term ‘chemtrails’ because it is associated with amateur conspiracy theorists. The only credible document it could find that uses it is the Space Preservation Act of 2001 introduced by U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). [7]  H.R. 2977 sought to ban the use of exotic weapon systems that would damage climate, weather, tectonic and biological systems. “Chemtrails” are specifically listed. Though later removed, no version of the bill ever became law.

Instead, the writers prefer the term ‘persistent contrails’ to describe the phenomenon since all contrails are chemtrails. ‘Persistent contrails’ distinguishes those that contain weather-altering additives from those that represent normal aircraft exhaust that dissipates after a few seconds or minutes.

Case Orange also rejects misanthropic intentions behind persistent contrails on the assumptions that 1) public health agencies have the public interest at heart; and 2) the economy is consumer driven. The authors indicate no awareness of numerous reports of collusion between the pharmaceutical industry and government health agencies. This year, a significant conflict-of-interest report appeared in the prestigious British Medical Journal, which further heightened suspicions that the H1N1 flu and its vaccines were a scam.[8]  Nor do the authors consider that sick people will spur economic growth in a capitalist (for profit) health system.

Dr. Vermeeren gave his own introductory remarks and conclusions, but spent the bulk of the hour presenting information from Case Orange. He frankly admitted the existence of persistent contrails.

“We also know that chemtrails do exist because we do spraying; for crops, for example, and we know that they have been spraying for military purposes. So, chemtrails is nothing new. We know about it.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
LISTEN TO Dr Coen Vermeeren Symposium speech, Afternoon Part 1 video, (starting at about 35 mins.)  http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/7299427

DOWNLOAD the “CASE ORANGE” Report (PDF without appendices)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Weather manipulation through contrail formation … is in place and fully operational.”

Case Orange cites publicly available material that shows geoengineering has been ongoing for “at least 60 years.” Used as a weapon of war in Hamburg by the UK during World War II, it was also used in the Vietnam Conflict by the US.  Controversy over its use, revealed by investigative reporter Jack Anderson, spurred Senate hearings in 1972. During those hearings, military officials denied the use of cloud seeding technology. Later, a private letter from Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird surfaced, admitting that his testimony was false. He, again unbelievably, claimed he didn’t know what was happening. [9]

Environmental modification (EnMod) weaponry was finally banned by treaty in 1978. The UN Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques forced the end of such programs, overtly anyway.[10]  (Case Orange authors seem unaware of this international ban, as it is one of their recommendations.)

However, with widespread reporting of rising global temperatures, increasing population, and degradation of water supplies, renewed interest in EnMod is now becoming broadly supported. (See, e.g., Top economists recommend climate engineering, 4 Sep 2009 [11] and similarly, Top science body calls for geoengineering ‘plan B’, 1 Sep 2009.[12])

Building a case for old technology finding a new market, Case Orange discusses several U.S. patents. For example, authors describe a 1975 patent, “Powder Contrail Generation,” [13] for the invention of a:

“specific contrail generation apparatus for producing a powder contrail having maximum radiation scattering ability for a given weight [of] material. The seeding material … consists of 85% metallic particles and 15% colloidal Silica and Silica gel in order to produce a stable contrail that has a residence period of 1 up to 2 weeks.”

In 2009, researchers published “Modification of Cirrus clouds to reduce global warming,” which proposed two methods of delivery for this same proportion of metallics to silica and the same staying power of one to two weeks.[14]

Case Orange also reveals a 1991 patent held by Hughes Aircraft Company [15] that:

“contains 18 claims to reduce global warming through stratospheric seeding with aluminum oxide… thorium oxide … and refractory Welsbach material ….”

The report notes that “the proposed scenario by the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] in 2001 is identical to the claims” in Hughes Aircraft’s 1991 patent. Hughes was acquired by Raytheon, a private defense contractor, in 1997, “the same company that acquired E-systems and the HAARP contract.”

Case Orange presents evidence that Raytheon stands to control all weather, which the authors find repugnant given that it is a private corporation. The authors recommend suing private corporations instead of governments. But subcontracting is quite common for governments and agencies, especially the US military. The distinction between large, powerful corporations and governments is a fine line obscure to common folk. And, the effect is the same whether governments are spraying us with nano-sized metals, chemicals or biologicals, or whether corporations do. The authors’ protective posture toward governments is nonsensical.

Case Orange suggests that geoengineering found new life in the global warming scare. Old patents are being dusted off and private interests stand to make substantial sums now that Cap and Trade has been exposed as ineffective in reducing greenhouse gases. (Although, lawmakers are still considering it since much can be earned on the scheme, to wit: Al Gore reportedly achieved billionaire status from it.)

Since 2007, billionaire Bill Gates has spent at least $4.5 million on geoengineering research. [16]  Since reducing emissions is not popular with industry, ‘Plan B’ – geoengineering – is being touted as the answer to climate change and water shortage.  A longer description of Plan B is: Add more pollution to the sky and water to offset the deleterious effects of  industrial pollution, without reducing industrial pollution.

Human rights and environmental watchdog, ETC Group, describes the momentum [17]:

“The roll-out of geoengineering as Plan B is being skillfully executed: prominent high-level panels sponsored by prestigious groups, a spate of peer-reviewed articles this January in science journals, and a line-up of panicked politicians in northern countries, nodding nervously in agreement as scientists testify about the ‘need to research Plan B.’”

ETC reports that Gates’ top geoengineering advisor unveiled a plan to grow solar radiation management research “one-hundred-fold, from $10 million to $1 billion over ten years.”

Indeed, several watchdog groups recently ramped up calls to address clean water shortage. “At the end of July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly will vote on an important resolution, initiated by the Bolivian government, which would make clean water and sanitation a human right,” reports Food and Water Watch.[18]  This year, National Geographic and Yes! Magazine dedicated entire issues to water.

~~~

Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025

Case Orange ties a 1996 report by top military personnel in the U.S., “Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025” [19] to evidentiary details (like governmental spraying schedules, chemical orders, correct nomenclature used in airline operating manuals, and calls for geoengineering by economists) to support its notion of “heavy involvement of governments at top level in climate control projects.”

Owning the Weather in 2025 provides a specific timeline for the use of EnMod technologies in cooperation with the Weather Modification Association (WMA), a business-government group promoting the beneficial uses of environmental modification [20]:  (Here is a link to a downloadable full version pdf of the declassified report:)  http://csat.au.af.mil/2025/volume3/vol3ch15.pdf  

2000 Introduce ionic mirrors, with a sharp increase from 2008;

2000-2025 Use chemicals for atmospheric seeding by civilian (as well as military) aviation;

2004 Create smart clouds thru nanotechnology, with exponential increase after 2010;

2005 Introduce ‘carbon black dust’.

Though Case Orange decries the paucity of research into EnMod, in 2009 Weather Modification Assn. published its position statement on the safety of seeding clouds with silver-iodide, citing three dozen research papers from 1970 through 2006. [21]

In 2007, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) published its position statement that included “Guidelines for the Planning of Weather Modification Activities.” Acknowledging that the modern technology of weather modification began in the 1940s, WMO asserts it is still “an emerging technology” today. [22] WMO indicated disappointment that research is being abandoned for operations.

Case Orange contains no reference to the WMA position statement citing all that research, although it cites the group. Nor does it mention the World Meteorological Organization, an agency of the United Nations, which has a link to its Weather Modification portal on its Index page.

At the end of the section, The bare necessity of geoengineering through cloud generation for survival of the planet (5.2.7), Case Orange states:

“[O]ur investigation team comes to the conclusion that climate control programs, controlled by the military but approved by governments, are silently implemented in order to avoid the worst case scenarios they obviously do not want. The two basic instruments are temperature control through generation of artificial clouds and manipulation of the ionosphere through ionosphere heaters.

“Both remain basically military combat systems with the option to go into the offensive if deemed necessary. However since several ionosphere heaters are installed on various places around the globe one can assume that there is wide cooperation between governments in order to reach the climate targets by 2025: controlling the weather and thus the planet.”

The report published the following images provided by a former meteorologist at the Ontario Weather Service, showing spraying schemes for Europe. For December 6, 2008:

In the next series of images covering January 3-5, 2010, the authors assert that “The spraying schemes seem to be organized in a logical pattern so that the whole of Europe is covered in a 3-day period”:

Case Orange agrees that climate change needs to be addressed. Regarding Climate-Gate, the authors suggest that the University of East Anglia deliberately manipulated the climate data to gradually prepare the global population for its future on a hotter planet.

They also cite research that supports the notion that climate change is real. During the three-day grounding of most aircraft after 9/11, scientists noticed an increase in temperature of 1.1 °C (2 °F). [23] This is an astounding increase in such a short time frame. The incidence of cloud seeding reports by the public increases exponentially after this.

The 1996 military piece, Owning the Weather in 2025, gives climate change skeptics “an insight in what to expect in the 21st century:

‘Current demographic, economic and environmental trends will create global stresses that provide the impetus necessary for many countries or groups to turn weather modfication ability into capability. In the United States weather modification will likely become part of national security policy with both domestic and international applications. Our government will pursue such a policy, depending on its interests, at various levels.’”

~~~

Recommendations

“Persistent contrails,” however, “have a devastating impact on eco-systems on this planet and quality of life in general.” Case Orange joins the call of Bill Gates’ geoengineering advisor and the WMO for new research measuring the impact on human health and the environment from EnMod programs.

Case Orange also recommends an immediate and full disclosure of current EnMod activities to the public; and that all civil aviation laws be abided.

Of note, in response to policy interest in geoengineering as a means to control climate change and enhance water supplies, on May 14, 2010, the science subcommittee of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity proposed a geoengineering moratorium. [24] This proposed ban on “friendly” EnMod programs will be heard at the Tenth Conference of Parties to UN Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan this October.

Case Orange reports that China and Russia openly admit to cloud-seeding, while the U.S. denies such activities. The U.S. does permit open air testing of chemical and biological weapons but not under the law the authors cited, which they paraphrased:

The secretary of defense may conduct tests and experiments involving the use of chemical and biological agents on civilian populations.

Public law of the United States, Law 95-79, Title VIII, Sec. 808, July 30, 1977.

Codified as 50 USC 1520, under Chapter 32 Chemical and Biological Warfare Program, Public Law 95-79 was repealed in 1997 by Public Law 105-85. In its place, 15 USC 1520a provides restrictions (such as informed consent). 50 USC 1512, however, allows open air testing of chemicals and biologicals and allows presidential override of notices and of public health considerations for national security reasons. [25] Case Orange authors are thus correct, it seems, in asserting that such programs are legal, if reprehensible, in the U.S.

Conclusion

For centuries, military leaders have recognized that it rains after a heavy battle. But harnessing that power in a way that doesn’t cause a deluge like in San Diego in 1915 has been a task. (See Brief History, below.) The historical record has many such stories: misdirected hurricanes, farm wars, massive flooding and mudslides. Eventually, though, science met the challenge.

If its birth can be marked by Britain’s successful use of chaff in 1943 to jam enemy radar, the modern environmental modification program is 67 years old. We saw its military use in Vietnam in the 1960s. China openly used it in 2008 to clear the skies for the Olympics.

In 1978, world leaders addressed the moral and ecological issues of using such technologies as a weapon of war by banning their use.  Almost thirty years later, in 2007, the World Meteorological Organization complained that EnMod funds were moving from research into operations. Three years later, in May of this year, the United Nations proposed the ban of EnMod operations, calling for further research.

Even with a couple obvious holes in research, the Case Orange report is essentially correct: officials are spraying the skies, and they’re not fully disclosing these activities. Corporate media is colluding with officials in keeping these operations secret from the public.

But, the public has a right to know and governments have a duty to fully disclose all environmental modification operations. The impacts on our health and environment need to be fully understood, and informed consent from the populace needs to be a part of any EnMod operation.

~~~

A Brief History of Cloud Seeding

Cloud seeding, as a US military research project, began as early as the 1830s, according to Colby College professor, James R. Fleming. [26]  Verifiably successful rainmaking attempts did not occur until 1915.

1915 To end a prolonged drought, San Diego hired reputed rainmaker Charles Hatfield, who claimed that the evaporation of his secret chemical brew atop wooden towers could attract clouds.  San Diego was rewarded with a 17-day deluge that totaled 28 inches. The deadly downpour washed out more than 100 bridges, made roads impassable over a huge area, destroyed communications lines, and left thousands homeless. [27]

1943 “The first operational use of chaff (aluminium strips which are precisely cut to a quarter of the radar’s wavelength) took place in July 1943, when [the British Royal Air Force subjected Hamburg] to a devastating bombing raid. The radar screens were cluttered with reflections from the chaff and the air defence was, in effect, completely blinded.” [28]

1946 General Electric’s Vincent Schaefer dropped six pounds of dry ice into a cold cloud over Greylock Peak in the Berkshires, causing an “explosive” growth of three miles in the cloud. [29]

1947 Australian meteorologists successfully repeated the process. [30]

1949 Project Cirrus: From a desert near Albuquerque, Nobel Laureate Irving Langmuir and General Electric researcher Vincent Schaefer fed ten ounces of silver iodide into a blowtorch apparatus and brought down 320 billion gallons of rain across half of New Mexico. [31]

1950 Harvard meteorologist Wallace Howell seeded New York City skies with dry ice and silver iodide smoke, filling the city’s reservoirs to near capacity. [32]

1952 The UK’s Operation Cumulus resulted in 250 times the normal amount of rainfall, killing dozens and destroying landscapes. [33]

1962-1983 Operation Stormfury, a hurricane modification program, had some success in reducing winds by up to 30%. [34]

1966-1972 Project Intermediary Compatriot (later called Pop Eye) successfully seeded clouds in Laos. The technique became part of military actions in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos from 1967 to 1972. Initially revealed by Jack Anderson in the Washington Post, 18 Mar 1971. [35]

1986 The Soviet air force diverted Chernobyl fallout from reaching Moscow by seeding clouds. Belarus, instead, was hit with the toxic fallout. [36]

2008 Chinese government used 1,104 cloud seeding missiles to remove the threat of rain ahead of the Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing. [37]

2009 Moscow Halo. Case Orange cites this as evidence of cloud seeding, but others suspect it is electromagnetic in origin. Russian authorities said it was an optical illusion. [38]

This is by no means a comprehensive list; indeed, volumes are dedicated to the subject.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Notes:

[1] Belfort Group videos of International Symposium on Chemtrails, May 29, 2010 proceedings. http://www.ustream.tv/channel/belfort-test

[2] Michael Murphy website: http://truthmediaproductions.blogspot.com/

[3] Dr Coen Vermeeren, Delft University of Technology bio, n.d. (Translated from Dutch to English by Google): http://snipurl.com/10oirj

[4] Dr Coen Vermeeren Symposium speech, Afternoon Part 1 video, (starting at about 35 mins..) (29 May 2010) http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/7299427

[5] Anonymous, “CASE ORANGE: Contrail Science, Its Impact on Climate and Weather Manipulation Programs Conducted by the United States and Its Allies,” 10 May 2010. PDF without appendices: http://coto2.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/case_orange-5-10-2010-belfort-chemtrails.pdf

[6] High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, Fact Sheet, 15 Jun 2007. http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/factSheet.html

[7] Space Preservation Act of 2001, H.R.2977, 107th Congress, 1st Session. Introduced by U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich.

[8] Deborah Cohen and Philip Carter, “Conflicts of Interest: WHO and the pandemic ‘flu conspiracies,’” British Medical Journal 2010;340:c2912, 3 Jun 2010. http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/340/jun03_4/c2912

[9] The Sunshine Project, “The Limits of Inside Pressure: The US Congress Role in ENMOD,” n.d. Accessed July 2010. http://www.sunshine-project.org/enmod/US_Congr.html

[10] United Nations, “Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques,” Resolution 31/72, 10 Dec 1976, effective 1978. Geneva. http://www.un-documents.net/enmod.htm

[11] Copenhagen Consensus Center, “Top economists recommend climate engineering,” 4 Sep 2009. Press release [pdf] http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/Admin/Public/DWSDownload.aspx?File=%2fFiles%2fFiler%2fPress+Releases+2010%2fCC_PRESS_STATEMENT__4september2010_.pdf

[12] Catherine Brahic, “Top science body calls for geoengineering ‘plan B’,” New Scientist, 1 Sep 2009. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17716-top-science-body-calls-for-geoengineering-plan-b.html

[13] Donald K. Werle, et al., “Powder contrail generation,” U.S. Patent 3,899,144, 12 Aug 1975. Assignee: U.S. Secretary of the Navy. http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=3,899,144.PN.&OS=PN/3,899,144&RS=PN/3,899,144

[14] David L Mitchell and William Finnegan, “Modification of Cirrus clouds to reduce global warming,” Environmental Research Letters Vol. 4 No. 4, 30 Oct 2009. Available by subscription: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/4/4/045102

[15] David B. Chang and I-Fu Shih, “Stratospheric Welsbach seeding for reduction of global warming,” U.S. Patent 5,003,186, 26 Mar 1991. Assignee: Hughes Aircraft Company. http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=5,003,186.PN.&OS=PN/5,003,186&RS=PN/5,003,186

[16] Eli Kintisch, “Bill Gates Funding Geoengineering Research,” Science Insider, 26 Jan 2010. http://blogs.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2010/01/bill-gates-fund.html.

[17] ETC Group, “Top-down Planet Hackers Call for Bottom-up Governance: Geoengineers’ Bid to Establish Voluntary Testing Regime Must Be Opposed,” 11 Feb 2010. http://www.etcgroup.org/en/node/5073

[18] Food and Water Watch: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/world-water/right/

[19] Col Tamzy J. House, et al. “Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025,” Department of Defense U.S. Air Force, 17 Jun 1996. Publicly released August 1996. Reproduced at Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/spp/military/docops/usaf/2025/v3c15/v3c15-1.htm

[20] Weather Modicaton Association website: http://www.weathermodification.org/

[21] Weather Modification Association, “Position Statement on the Environmental Impact of Using Silver Iodides as a Cloud Seeding Agent,” July 2009. http://www.weathermodification.org/AGI_toxicity.pdf

[22] World Meteorological Organization, “WMO Statement on Weather Modification,” UN Commission for Atmospheric Sciences Management Group, 26 Sep 2007. http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/arep/wwrp/new/documents/WM_statement_guidelines_approved.pdf

[23] Donald J. Travis, et al. “Contrails reduce daily temperature range,” Nature 418, 601, 8 Aug 2002. Reproduced by University of Washington, Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences: http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~rennert/etc/courses/pcc587/ref/Travis-etal2002_Nature.pdf

[24] Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, “In-depth Review of the Work on Biodiversity and Climate Change, Draft Recommendation,” Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP/CBD/SBTTA/14/L.9, 15 May 2010. http://www.cbd.int/doc/meetings/sbstta/sbstta-14/in-session/sbstta-14-L-09-en.pdf

[25] United States Code, Title 50, Chapter 32, “Chemical and Biological Warfare Program.” http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/50C32.txt

[26] James Rodger Fleming, “The pathological history of weather and climate modification: Three cycles of promise and hype,” Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2006. Available at http://www.colby.edu/sts/06_fleming_pathological.pdf

[27] Stephen Cole, “Weather on Demand,” American Heritage, 2005. http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/it/2005/2/2005_2_48.shtml

[28] Monsignore Pizzafunghi Bosselese, “The History of Radar,” BBC, 14 Jul 2003. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A591545

[29] Fleming, citing New York Times, 15 Nov 1946, 24.

[30] Squires, P. & Smith, E. J., “The Artificial Stimulation of Precipitation by Means of Dry Ice,” Australian Journal of Scientific Research, Series A: Physical Sciences, vol. 2, p.232, 1949AuSRA…2..232S, 1949. Republished at Harvard University: http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu//full/1949AuSRA…2..232S/0000244.000.html

Also see: Stephen Cole, “Weather on Demand,” American Heritage, 2005. http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/it/2005/2/2005_2_48.shtml

[31]  Life Magazine, “Solution to Water Shortage: Rain makers’ success shows how New York could fill its reservoirs,” p. 113, 20 Feb 1950. http://snipurl.com/10oir8

[32] Life Magazine, “U.S. Water: We can supplement our outgrown sources at a price,” 21 Aug 1950, p. 52. http://snipurl.com/10oirc

[33] John Vidal and Helen Weinstein, “RAF rainmakers ’caused 1952 flood’: Unearthed documents suggest experiment triggered torrent that killed 35 in Devon disaster,” The Guardian, 30 Aug 2001. http://www.guardian.co.uk/silly/story/0,10821,544259,00.html

Also see: BBC News, “Rain-making link to killer floods,” 30 Aug 2001. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1516880.stm

[34] Jerry E. Smith, “Weather Warfare: The Military’s Plan to Draft Mother Nature,” Adventures Unlimited Press, 2006. pp. 47-54. http://snipurl.com/10oiqw

[35] ibid. pp. 54-60.

[36] Richard Gray, “How we made the Chernobyl rain,” Daily Telegraph, 22 Apr 2007. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1549366/How-we-made-the-Chernobyl-rain.html

[37] Ian O’Neill, “The Chinese ‘Weather Manipulation Missile’ Olympics,” Universe Today, 12 Aug 2008. http://www.universetoday.com/2008/08/12/the-chinese-weather-manipulation-missile-olympics/

[38] Anonymous, “Moscow Halo,” cell phone video uploaded to YouTube, 7 Oct 2009. reposted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXF9HSB627U

 

Edward Steves and his Million Dollar Gold Arbitrage

June 23, 2011

(FoundingFather1776 Notes:  We live in historic times.  The story below is a PERFECT illustration of how real money (i.e. gold & silver) can protect your wealth in turbulent times of great change.  Please read it carefully and absorb the lesson.  I feel strongly that America is on the precipice of dramatic change, and it is not for the better.  If you have money in the stock market or bonds, GET-OUT NOW!  Withdraw the money from your 401k (while you still can), pay the tax penalties and buy storable food, commodity items, and precious metals.  That is the only way to weather the coming storm and hopefully emerge with some wealth intact.  And don’t forget Boys and Girls, precious metals are not just silver and gold.  “Brass & Lead” are precious metals too….if you catch my meaning.

 The type of changes we as a nation will witness in the next five to ten years will be much greater than the changes that occurred during the Civil War.  America is turning into something wholly unrecognizable to the ideals of our Founding Fathers.  If a functional economy ever emerges from the other side of this mess, do you want to be like your neighbors?  Desperate and bankrupt from following the conventional wisdom?  Or do you want to be like Edward Steves, who was smart enough to see where things were headed and who planned accordingly, creating a vast fortune for himself and his heirs.  The choice is yours. FoundingFather1776)

Article by Jason Kaspar

During the Civil War, an independent thinker from San Antonio named Edward Steves made a savvy business move that would forever change his fortune and that of his family for generations. He made a bet against a dying currency in favor of the only currency that has never failed.

In Texas, truth and myth are often blurred as stories of what the human spirit accomplishes are stretched into tall tales for open camp fires and star filled nights. Perhaps the story of Mr. Steves borders on exaggeration. Perhaps not. In either case, the moral offers a profound lesson in wealth preservation and accumulation.

Steves immigrated to the United States in 1849 from Barmen, Elberfeld, Germany. He ventured into the Texas hill country as a farmer with mediocre success as he battled unpredictable weather, threat of local Indians, and rocky soil.  He scraped every penny, and in early 1861, with an entrepreneurial spirit as big as Texas, he spent his entire savings on a newly invented machine – the first mechanical combine to make it to the South Central Texas region. As fate would have it, this machine arrived on the last ship to make it into Galveston, Texas before the Union blockaded the port in July 1861.  After his mechanical contraption arrived in San Antonio, Steves had a monopoly over the local farmers surrounding the area.

The farmers wanted to pay Steves for the use of his mechanical combine in the local currency, Confederate dollars. He refused. He negotiated to take his payment in kind – a percentage of what his combine would process. Steves then bundled up his portion and regularly set off for Mexico, where he would sell it for gold and silver. This occurred for several years until finally the Civil War ended. The Confederacy collapsed along with the monetary system.  Confederate dollars and Confederate bonds became worthless, sending many individuals into financial ruin.

The end of the Gavelston blockade marked the death of his monopoly, but by that time he had amassed a fortune in gold and silver.  With this fortune, he bought Union dollars and effectively bought back into a working economic system.  In 1866 he launched a lumber company that by 1916 had become the largest millwork operation in the Southwest.  It exists today as Steves & Sons, offering more than 300,000 variations of doors throughout the United States.

In today’s world, most individuals, including investment professionals, have very little understanding of the history and purpose of precious metals as a monetary asset.  Monetary systems have come and gone for thousands of years, but our lives are so cloistered that the probability of living through two entirely different monetary systems seems highly unlikely. As the Steves story illustrates, even in the United States monetary systems collapse and evolve.

The impetuous drive towards globalism and a “world currency” may impact our monetary system more than even the national debt. Initially, the evolution of a system brings chaos.  People cling to staples … land, guns, and food production. As a new system emerges, individuals who have precious metals maintain the capacity to buy back into the new system – buying a home, starting new businesses, regaining the quality of life of the previous system.  After 5,000 years, this continues to remain the ultimate benefit of precious metals. The irony is that a true global currency has always existed in the form of gold and silver.

Unless an investor trades precious metals effectively, which very few can do over a long period of time, precious metals do not generate wealth in a functioning economic system. Gold is a store of wealth not a generator of wealth.  It is much better to own thriving companies that produce a superior return over their cost of capital.  Owning businesses that generate a superior return on invested capital is the way to move up the social status in a functioning capitalist system.  Unfortunately, American capitalism has been compromised and is now sputtering.

Ten years ago I would have argued that the probability of an American monetary collapse over the following decade was zero. The next ten years present far less certainty.  One may disagree whether the probability of a collapse over the next ten years is 2%, 25%, or 60%. But the probability is no longer zero. The criticality of gold and silver as an asset class has reemerged.  The Edward Steves story is an illustrative parable of how to build and preserve wealth when economic systems are in flux.

 

Dark Lords of Student Loan Debt

February 7, 2011

 (FoundingFather1776 Notes: I am a firm believer in education.  Indeed, I think everyone should strive to continue learning until the day they die! 

However, I do NOT support the current trend of leveraging the student and family finances so deeply into debt that you will end up paying for it till the day you die!  This is yet another trick of the banksters – and it has been wildly successful.

I urge everyone that has college bound children to read these two articles carefully.  In lieu of a lifetime of debt servitude, why not suggest your child go to a cheaper school, work for a scholarship and get a job to pay for their education?

They will end up thanking you for helping them escape the bonds of modern “educational serfdom.”

Regards,

FoundingFather1776)

Article by Vox Day

voxday.blogspot.com

Last May, I wrote a column titled “Declining value of college.” While the conclusions it contained are still correct, they were much less forceful than they should have been, thanks to my ignorance of the corrupt federal-university complex that has erected a legal wall of debt slavery around young Americans today.

This is because the value of a college education has not only declined significantly due to the vastly increased supply of college graduates and the reduced quality of degrees provided by the academic institutions that sell them, it has also been slashed by the construction of a methodical system of financial rapine by which the future wages of American college graduates are inexorably, and in most cases, unknowingly, committed to the federal government and a few giant corporate leeches. It is a cynical system in which the university, the college professor, the government and the financial institution all profit at the expense of the young and clueless.

CollegeScholarships.org has provided a detailed infograph that explains how the system methodically grinds up the ambitions of high-school graduates and their parents and converts the graduates into helpless debt-slaves with less recourse or hope of escape from the system than had Victorian debt-prisoners of the 19th century. The dark secret of the college-loan system is that it is not designed to help students pay for college and generate a reasonable interest-profit for the loan provider that will be paid off within a short period of time after the student begins working and receives a degree-enhanced salary. It is specifically designed to keep the graduate on a treadmill of debt that will ideally never be repaid.

This should be readily apparent upon considering the fact that there is presently $850 billion in outstanding student-loan debt in the United States. Since there is a total undergraduate enrollment of 14,473,884 students paying an average of $10,871 to attend college, the total annual cost of all college education is $157.3 billion. This means that past and present students are burdened with 5.4 times more debt than it costs to educate every single current college student enrolled in higher education. Since 44 percent of college students don’t graduate within six years, (and notice how the metric has climbed from four years to six years to artificially raise the graduation rate), the debt is 10 times the cost of educating a single national graduating class.

Thirteen years ago, the college system entered into a death spiral when Congress barred the ability to discharge student-loan debt when filing for bankruptcy. This allowed universities to engage in the same foolish and risky profit-maximizing behavior that the mortgage banks did, secure in the knowledge that the underlying funds that paid for their products were completely guaranteed by the government.

I highly recommend reading the complete document titled “The Student Loan Scheme.” In abbreviated terms, the system is designed to work like this:

1) The private SLM corporation provides a student loan.

2) The student defaults on the loan.

3) The federal government pays the balance of the loan and its interest to SLM.

4) The government sends the debt to a collection agency which adds a collection fee and a commission totaling more than 50 percent to the total. The agency is owned by SLM.

5) The collection agency garnishes wages, income and even Social Security checks. The former student, now a debt-slave, will literally be paying until he dies.

High-school students must learn that no degree, not even one from a top Ivy League university, is worth the gamble of being caught up in this infernal system. And parents must learn that they must deny their children the dubious honor of being sacrificed to the illegitimate gods of educational debt, no matter how desperately their children might plead for the privilege, like innocent Aztec maidens bedazzled by the sun.

 

The Student Loan Swindle… An Interview with Alan Nasser
Mike Whitney

Alan Nasser is professor emeritus of Political Economy at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He co-authored “The Student Loan Debt Bubble” along with Kelly Norman, which appeared in CounterPunch.)

MW: Is it possible to “walk away” from a student loan and declare bankruptcy?

Alan Nasser: No, it’s not possible for student debtors to escape financial devastation by declaring bankruptcy. This most fundamental of consumer protections would have been available to student debtors were it not for legislation explicitly designed to withhold a whole range of basic protections from student borrowers. I’m not talking only about bankruptcy protection, but also truth in lending requirements, statutes of limitations, refinancing rights and even state usury laws – Congress has rendered all these protections inapplicable to federally guaranteed student loans. The same legislation also gave collection agencies hitherto unimaginable powers, for example to garnish wages, tax returns, Social Security benefits and -believe it or not- Disability income. Twisting the knife, legislators made the suspension of state-issued professional licenses, termination of public employment and denial of security clearances legitimate measures to enable collection companies to wring financial blood from bankrupt student-loan borrowers. Student loan debt is the most punishable of all forms of debt – most of those draconian measures are unavailable to credit card companies. (Maybe I’m being too harsh. Sallie Mae recently announced that it will after all forgive a debt under either of two conditions: in case the borrower dies or becomes totally disabled.)

MW: Is it fair to say that the student loan industry is a scam that targets borrowers who will never be able to repay their debts? Are these students like the people who were seduced into taking out subprime loans? How much money is involved and how much of that money is either presently in default or headed for default?

Alan Nasser: It’s as fair as fair can be. First, the student loan industry is huge – a large majority of students from every type of school are in debt. Debt is held by 62 percent of students enrolled at public colleges and universities, 72 percent at private non-profit schools and 96 percent at private, for-profit (“proprietary”) schools. It was announced last summer that total student loan debt, at $830 billion, now exceeds total US credit card debt, which is itself bloated to the bubble level of $827 billion. And student loan debt is growing at the rate of $90 billion a year. So we’re not talking small change.

How many of these students are subprime borrowers? That is, how closely do student loans resemble junk mortgages? The answer hinges on three factors: how these loans are rated, how likely the borrower is to repay, and the default rate on student loans.

The ratings of student loans are supposed to reflect the “health” of those loans, defined as the likelihood that the borrowers will default. This is officially measured by what is called the “cohort-default rate”, a very poor instrument because it measures only defaults during the first two years of repayment. What we want is data on lifetime defaults. The Department of Education collects the relevant data, but has misrepresented the facts in its public statements.

In September 2008, then-Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced in a news release that default rates on federal loans were “historically low”: only 5.2 percent of recent grads were in trouble. Spellings used the cohort-default rate to arrive at this figure. But the Department’s Inspector General Office employed a more realistic method in its 2003 audit, which calculated lifetime risk. It estimated that over their lifetime between 19 and 31 percent of college freshmen and sophomores would default on their loans (depending on the type of loan and when it was taken on). For community college students, the prospects were grimmer still: between 30 and 42 percent were expected to default. And the future was most discouraging for students at for-profits: between 38 and 51 percent were anticipated to default.

You can see that the default rate among student borrowers is expected to be higher than that for subprime home mortgages.

You might think that these alarming figures would motivate the feds to conduct checks to better assess the creditworthiness of would-be borrowers. But federal loans are doled out with no assessment of whether the borrower will be able to repay. Private lenders do no better. In recent years they have taken to “direct-to-consumer” loans. Loans marketed directly to students typically have higher interest rates and are of course not overseen by the college’s financial aid office. These loans are enormously profitable. In 2007 alone, one company reported making more than $1 million in such loans to Seattle University students. The financial security of the borrowers was of no interest to the lender.

That student borrowers will in fact be in a position similar to subprime mortgage debtors is also indicated in the Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2009 projection of job growth over the next ten years. Most of these jobs will be low paying and will not require a bachelor’s degree.

And don’t think that predatory lenders market loans only to actual students. Potential students are targeted as well. A major mantra nowadays is that the best protection against unemployment is a college education, which has led some private lenders to recruit borrowers……at the unemployment office!

There are a whole lot of subprime student loans out there hanging like a sword of Damocles over the heads of very many college students and grads.

Since the original article appeared, I’ve received an avalanche of comments and stories from former and current students relating their often tragic stories. Here is a representative letter, whose author gave permission to use his name:

“My name is Luther Callahan and I am one of the many many students who believed in the dream of being highly educated in order to provide a good life for my family. Well…my wife and I believed believed in this. I can not find gainful employment. My wife has been furloughed on her job and has not received a raise in five years.

We don’t expect anyone to give us anything this is why we went out and got educated. However, everyone is more than willing to take what we do not have (money). Student loans are due and we can not pay them all. We are receiving the standard threats and are at our wits end as to what to do. Where are the solutions? What is in the works that will alleviate student stress?

Some of the heartless employees of these banks ask outlandish questions like “what was your plan for paying the money back?” I would tell them I did not plan for there to be a global financial meltdown. I had no idea that this would occur. I did not plan for there to be employment freezes and massive layoffs and cuts within my state. We are at a loss and these banks are poised to take everything.”

MW: How is the government assisting this scam?

Alan Nasser: We’ve just seen one way that government aids and abets the lenders, by fudging default rates. But government’s participation in this rip-off goes deeper than that. The Department of Education has its own loan program and, accordingly, a positive interest in defaults. It makes a financial killing on its recovery of defaulted Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans.

In a revealing Wall Street Journal Report (“US Gets Tough on Failure to Repay Student Loans – Education Department Wields Heavy Hand in Some Hard-Luck Cases – No Breaks in Bankruptcy Court”, Jan. 6, 2004) John Hechinger reveals that for every dollar the Education Department pays out in default claims, it is able to rake back the entire principal, plus almost 20 percent in interest, penalties and fees. And keep in mind that the value of the default portfolio includes not merely principal plus interest at time of default, but also the interest that continues to accrue after default. Let’s bring this up to date with a glance at Table 4 in the Supplement to president Obama’s 2010 budget. We find that the most recent recovery rate -the amount recovered compared to the amount of the defaulted loan- for defaulted FFELP loans is 122 percent. This is the highest recovery rate for all types of federal loan, and more than twice the rate for the next highest loan category. You get a sense of the relative enormity of Uncle Sam’s looting binge when you look at the recovery rate for credit card defaults – about 25 cents on the dollar.

Alan Collinge of StudentLoanJustice.org has shown that the Department of Education makes more on defaulted loans than it does on loans in good stead. Washington has just as much an interest in encouraging student loan defaults as do, for example, collection companies, which obviously live off defaults. This is exactly what the first president Bush meant when he declared his intention to “run government like a business.” Government itself has become a predatory lender. It has the same incentive to benefit from default as do private lenders.

MW: How do private loan companies benefit from defaults?

Alan Nasser: Here, briefly, is what gives private companies a more than casual interest in default. It was Congressional legislation that screwed students to the benefit of holders of defaulted loans. Legislators put in place a new fee system which permitted holders of defaulted loans to appropriate 20 percent of of all payments from debtors before any of those payments are applied to principal and interest. Because Congress chose to withhold key consumer protections from student borrowers (for details, see below, question 4), the latter are virtually forced to enroll in “loan rehabilitation” programs. The borrower is subject to a form of extortion, whereby (s)he essentially buys her way out of allegedly more severe penalties with payments that are rarely applied to principal or interest on the defaulted loan. These outlays are in effect the price of access to a substitute loan, accompanied of course by additional fees. The new loan is typically larger than the defaulted one. Much as the limp “regulations” on the financial sector deliberately leave room for the kind of risky trading that is likely to bring about a repeat of the September 2008 debacle, the “rehabilitation” process makes it more likely that the debtor will default again.

The fee system is at the heart of the private lenders’ affection for default. It gives to loan guarantors the same kind of interest in default that is so obvious in the case of collection companies. Collinge has analyzed IRS filings of guarantors of federal student loans. It turns out that guaranty agencies average about 60 percent of their income from fees alone. If the default rate declines, so do the fees and income of the guarantors.

The biggest private lenders, like SLM Corporation (Sallie Mae) and Citigroup, have interests comparable to the guarantors’. This is because the latter, as well as some of the biggest collection agencies, are themselves often owned by the lenders. The lender, guarantor and collector thus form a system of interwoven interests: a lender defaults a loan, which then becomes bloated with collection fees, which then generates a flow of revenues to the guarantor and the collector. If the latter two are owned by the lender, we have income continuously flowing to all three – provided that borrowers continue to default, which is made more likely by the process I just described.

Sallie Mae’s 2003 annual report draws a vivid picture of the vast profits made on defaulted loans. The company set an earnings record that year, and the report is explicit that collections on defaulted loans were the golden goose. The company’s 2005 annual report shows that its managed loan portfolio grew by 87 percent between 2000 and 2005. In that same period its fee income grew by 228 percent.

MW: Are former and active-duty members of the military being targeted?

Alan Nasser: I mentioned earlier that 96 percent of students at for-profit schools have taken student loans and that these students are, according to Department of Education studies, most likely to default. These schools target the military market with an aggressive and highly successful recruitment campaign. High numbers of active duty and recently discharged military personnel attend for-profits. 29 percent of military enrollments are in the for-profit sector, and 40 percent of annual tuition assistance to veterans winds up going to proprietary schools. Data from the US Army and Defense Department show that the University of Phoenix, the largest university in North America, is the third largest receiver of education funding from the US Army.

Military personnel are often targeted while still enlisted. They are attracted to the relative ease with which they can attend school, often at night, on the weekends, or for active-duty military, even while deployed. With the recent reduction of troops in Iraq, more service members are returning to the United States. Waiting for them are generous G.I. Bill benefits that allow them to pursue vocational or baccalaureate degrees at accredited colleges. The for-profit sector is poised to corner that market as public institutions squeeze their enrollments, raise tuition and watch public support of higher education dwindle in the current resurrection of pre-Keynesian economic policy.

The job prospects for military personnel at for-profits are predictably poor, which of course contributes to the unmanageability of the substantial debt that many of them incur. A Bloomberg report quotes a retired Marine Corps Colonel who now directs human resources for U.S. Fields Operations at Schindler Elevator Corp., as saying “we don’t even consider” online for-profit degree-holding candidates for the company’s management development program.

MW: Why haven’t the victims of these toxic loans used social networking and campus organizing to fight back against this ripoff? Are there grounds for a class action suit? What about organizing a collective action to withhold loan payment for one month to send a message to the banks?

Alan Nasser: There have been isolated instances of efforts to educate and mobilize. My and Kelly Norman’s original article has been made into a booklet by an Indiana University faculty member, for distribution to the student body. And many readers have forwarded the article to their circle. But the key to effective resistance is organization, and the most likely initiators of organization, the left-of-liberal Left, remains dormant. We can’t even get it together to mobilize an antiwar movement in this age of official permanent war.

During the period of widespread student opposition to the Vietnam war there were intercampus communications networks that helped to bring about nationally coordinated demonstrations and draft resistance. A comparable network, organized around the student debt crisis, could be formed if a few campuses got the ball rolling by developing student and faculty organizations dedicated to informing and mobilizing students and those in solidarity with them to resist debt predation. Your suggestion of a payment moratorium is a good one. One of its chief benefits in my opinion would be to draw attention to the issue as a catalyst for the ultimate development of a broader resistance to the entire regime of austerity and debt peonage that the vested interests are imposing on working people.

Alan Nasser is professor emeritus of Political Economy at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He can be reached at nassera@evergreen.edu.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He blogs at graspingatstraws.blogspot.com

counterpunch.org

Hitler Responds to the Tucson Shooting

January 25, 2011

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 57 other followers