Category Archives: Corruption

EU’s billion-euro influence to Egypt

The EU allows Europeans politicians to behave more like their US counterparts. From today’s Open Europe news summary:

The European Court of Auditors has concluded that the €1bn of EU aid to Egypt over the last seven years under the European Neighbourhood Policy has been “well-intentioned, but ineffective” in terms of improving human rights and democracy.
ECA press release Le Figaro FT

Bankster shortsale of 400 tons of (paper) gold drives down price

open quoteThe price of bullion is not set in the physical market where individuals take delivery of bullion purchases. It is set in the paper futures market where short selling can drive down the price even if the demand for physical possession is rising. The paper gold market is also the market in which people speculate and leverage their positions, place stop-loss orders, and are subject to margin calls.

When the enormous naked shorts hit the COMEX, stop-loss orders were triggered adding to the sales, and margin calls forced more sales.close quote (Read more)

Study Finds Most Haiti Aid Went to US Groups

open quote A new report on American aid to Haiti in the wake of that country’s devastating earthquake finds most of the money went to U.S.-based operations.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research analyzed the $1.15 billion pledged after the January 2010 quake. The group says a lack of transparency makes it hard to track all the money. It found the “vast majority” of the money it could follow went to U.S. companies and organizations, more than half in the Washington area alone.

Just 1 percent went to Haitian companies.close quote (Read more)

Alameda County rewards boss: $400k…for life

California will be the first state to declare bankruptcy.

open quoteAlameda County supervisors have really taken to heart the adage that government should run like a business — rewarding County Administrator Susan Muranishi with the Wall Street-like wage of $423,664 a year.

For the rest of her life.

According to county pay records, in addition to her $301,000 base salary, Muranishi receives:

– $24,000, plus change, in “equity pay’’ to guarantee that she makes at least 10 percent more than anyone else in the county.

– About $54,000 a year in “longevity” pay for having stayed with the county for more than 30 years.

– An annual performance bonus of $24,000.

– And another $9,000 a year for serving on the county’s three-member Surplus Property Authority, an ad hoc committee of the Board of Supervisors that oversees the sale of excess land.

Like other county executives, Muranishi also gets an $8,292-a-year car allowance.

Muranishi has been with the county for 38 years, and she’s 63. When retirement day comes, she’ll be getting a lot more than a gold watch.

That’s because, according to the county auditor’s office, Muranishi’s annual pension will be equal to the dollar total of her entire yearly package — $413,000. She also has a separate executive private pension plan, for which the county chips in $46,500 a year.close quote

Leaked: USDA ‘cultural sensitivity’ training is a brainwashing ritual for federal immigration ‘recalibration’

Some bombastic idiot got paid $200,000 to make USDA employees repeat mantras about diversity and multiculturalism. The videos are rapidly vanishing from the internet, but you can follow the links.

open quote– USDA sensitivity training video excerpt 1 – “If you take a look at all of you here and you think about your salaries and your benefits and what you have left undone – plus my fee – plus the expense of the team that putting the video together, this is a huge expense.”

– USDA sensitivity training video excerpt 2 – “I want you to say that American was founded by outsiders – say that – who are today’s insiders, who are very nervous about today’s outsiders. I want you to say, ‘The pilgrims were illegal aliens.’ Say, ‘The pilgrims never gave their passports to the Indians.’” Betances also asked the audience, “Give me a bam,” after these statements, to which the audience replied in unison.

– USDA sensitivity training video excerpt 3 – “By the way, I don’t like the word ‘minorities.’ How about ‘emerging majorities?’”close quote

http://www.prisonplanet.com/leaked-usda-cultural-sensitivity-training-is-a-brainwashing-ritual-for-federal-immigration-recalibration.html

http://www.wnd.com/2013/02/usda-preaches-pilgrims-were-illegal-aliens/#ooid=15ZGFlOToGeyFAgGU7-l4OBSnXxmCvBv

F35 fleet grounded by engine crack

open quoteTHE Pentagon says it has grounded its entire fleet of F-35 fighter jets after discovering a cracked engine blade.

The problem was discovered during what the Pentagon called a routine inspection at Edwards Air Force Base, California, of an Air Force version of the F-35. Other versions of the F-35 are flown by the Navy and the Marine Corps.

All versions were grounded on Friday.close quote (Read more)

The F35 Is Too Heavy and Slow, So the Pentagon Made Its Performance Tests Easier

Military procurement is the most holy, and therefore the most corrupt government procurement.

open quoteThe Pentagon’s pursuit of the Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jet has been a heartbreaking one. If you’re a tax payer, the program’s estimated $1 trillion price tag probably breaks your heart a little bit. If you’re an aviation enthusiast, the constant whittling away of the do-it-all aircraft’s features, which in many cases actually amounts to adding weight and taking away maneuverability, must hurt a little bit, too.

. . . .

To put it bluntly, the Pentagon’s new trillion-dollar fighter jet doesn’t go a fast as it should, doesn’t turn as sharp as it should and doesn’t handle as nimbly as it should. This is bad news, explains Wired’s David Axe. For the pilots who will eventually take the F-35 into combat, the JSF’s reduced performance means they might not be able to outfly and outfight the latest Russian- and Chinese-made fighters,” writes Axe. “Even before the downgrades, some analysts questioned the F-35′s ability to defeat newer Sukhoi and Shenyang jets.” That all sounds like bad news, doesn’t it? If our expensive new jets can’t beat the Russians or the Chinese, who can we fight? I’m pretty sure al Qaeda doesn’t have an air force.close quote (Read more)

Holder Begs Court to Stop Document Release on Fast and Furious

open quoteAttorney General Eric Holder and his Department of Justice have asked a federal court to indefinitely delay a lawsuit brought by watchdog group Judicial Watch. The lawsuit seeks the enforcement of open records requests relating to Operation Fast and Furious, as required by law.

Judicial Watch had filed, on June 22, 2012, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking all documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious and “specifically [a]ll records subject to the claim of executive privilege invoked by President Barack Obama on or about June 20, 2012.”

The administration has refused to comply with Judicial Watch’s FOIA request, and in mid-September the group filed a lawsuit challenging Holder’s denial.close quote (Read more)

An Investation of Generals

open quoteThe reality, however, is that there are nearly 1,000 generals and admirals in the U.S. armed forces, and each has an entourage that would make a Hollywood star jealous.

According to 2010 Pentagon reports, there are 963 generals and admirals in the U.S. armed forces.close quote

open quoteFormer Defense Secretary Robert Gates appointed Arnold Punaro, a retired major general in the Marines, to head an independent review of the Pentagon’s budget. Here’s the caution he came up with: “We don’t want the Department of Defense to become a benefits agency that occasionally kills a terrorist.” [emphasis added]

So, just how good are these benefits? For the top brass, not bad at all. According to a Washington Post investigation, each top commander has his own C-40 jet, complete with beds on board. Many have chefs who deserve their own four-star restaurants. The generals’ personal staff include drivers, security guards, secretaries and people to shine their shoes and iron their uniforms. When traveling, they can be accompanied by police motorcades that stretch for blocks. When entertaining, string quartets are available at a snap of the fingers.

A New York Times analysis showed that simply the staff provided to top generals and admirals can top $1 million — per general. That’s not even including their own salaries — which are relatively modest due to congressional legislation — and the free housing, which has been described as “palatial.”close quote

open quoteU.S. ambassador to Nicaragua, wrote an Op-Ed in the Chicago Tribune explaining how the generals’ perks allow them to exist on a plain removed from ordinary people:

“Those with a star are military nobility, no doubt, and those with four are royalty. Flying in luxurious private jets, surrounded by a phalanx of fawning aides who do everything from preparing their meals to pressing their uniform trousers, they are among America’s most pampered professionals. Their orders are executed without challenge, their word is fiat. They live in a reality different from the rest of us.”

Frank Wuco, a retired U.S. Naval intelligence chief, agrees.

“With the senior guys and the flag officers, this is like the new royalty,” he said on his weekly radio show. “We treat them like kings and princes. These general officers in the military, at a certain point, become untouchable… In many cases, they get their own airplanes, their own helicopters. When they walk into a room, everybody comes to attention. In the case of some of them, people are very afraid to speak up or to disagree. Being separated from real life all the time in that way probably leaves them vulnerable (to lapses in moral judgement).”

close quote

open quoteThe Pentagon, for example, runs a staggering 234 golf courses around the world, at a cost that is undisclosed.close quote

open quoteAccording to a Washington Post investigation, the DoD also spends $500 million annually on marching bands.close quote

open quoteSince they’re so used to the luxurious lifestyle, the vast majority of pension-reaping high-ranking officers head into the private defense industry.

According to William Hartung, a defense analyst at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., about 70 percent of recently retired three- and four-star generals went straight to work for industry giants like Lockheed Martin.close quote (Read more)