Accidentally Released – and Incredibly Embarrassing – Documents Show How Goldman et al Engaged in ‘Naked Short Selling’


Whoa, talk about the veils coming down!! What a great piece to share with family and friends on the continuing collapse of the Wall Street giants, all of it brought on by their own greed and arrogance. As always Matt Taibbi delivers a great read, enjoy!

Matt Taibbi
Rolling Stone
Tue, 15 May 2012 16:39 CDT
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SOTT psychopaths rule our world

© SOTT.net

It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes God smiles on us. Last week, he smiled on investigative reporters everywhere, when the lawyers for Goldman, Sachs slipped on one whopper of a legal banana peel, inadvertently delivering some of the bank’s darker secrets into the hands of the public.

The lawyers for Goldman and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch have been involved in a legal battle for some time – primarily with the retail giant Overstock.com, but also with Rolling Stone, the Economist, Bloomberg, and the New York Times. The banks have been fighting us to keep sealed certain documents that surfaced in the discovery process of an ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit filed by Overstock against the banks.

Last week, in response to an Overstock.com motion to unseal certain documents, the banks’ lawyers, apparently accidentally, filed an unredacted version of Overstock’s motion as an exhibit in their declaration of opposition to that motion. In doing so, they inadvertently entered into the public record a sort of greatest-hits selection of the very material they’ve been fighting for years to keep sealed.

I contacted Morgan Lewis, the firm that represents Goldman in this matter, earlier today, but they haven’t commented as of yet. I wonder if the poor lawyer who FUBARred this thing has already had his organs harvested; his panic is almost palpable in the air. It is both terrible and hilarious to contemplate. The bank has spent a fortune in legal fees trying to keep this material out of the public eye, and here one of their own lawyers goes and dumps it out on the street.

The lawsuit between Overstock and the banks concerned a phenomenon called naked short-selling, a kind of high-finance counterfeiting that, especially prior to the introduction of new regulations in 2008, short-sellers could use to artificially depress the value of the stocks they’ve bet against. The subject of naked short-selling is a) highly technical, and b) very controversial on Wall Street, with many pundits in the financial press for years treating the phenomenon as the stuff of myths and conspiracy theories.

Now, however, through the magic of this unredacted document, the public will be able to see for itself what the banks’ attitudes are not just toward the “mythical” practice of naked short selling (hint: they volubly confess to the activity, in writing), but toward regulations and laws in general.

“Fuck the compliance area – procedures, schmecedures,” chirps Peter Melz, former president of Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp. (a.k.a. Merrill Pro), when a subordinate worries about the company failing to comply with the rules governing short sales.

We also find out here how Wall Street professionals manipulated public opinion by buying off and/or intimidating experts in their respective fields. In one email made public in this document, a lobbyist for SIFMA, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, tells a Goldman executive how to engage an expert who otherwise would go work for “our more powerful enemies,” i.e. would work with Overstock on the company’s lawsuit.

“He should be someone we can work with, especially if he sees that cooperation results in resources, both data and funding,” the lobbyist writes, “while resistance results in isolation.”

There are even more troubling passages, some of which should raise a few eyebrows, in light of former Goldman executive Greg Smith’s recent public resignation, in which he complained that the firm routinely screwed its own clients and denigrated them (by calling them “Muppets,” among other things).

Here, the plaintiff’s motion refers to an “exhibit 96,” which refers to “an email from [Goldman executive] John Masterson that sends nonpublic data concerning customer short positions in Overstock and four other hard-to-borrow stocks to Maverick Capital, a large hedge fund that sells stocks short.”

Was Goldman really disclosing “nonpublic data concerning customer short positions” to its big hedge fund clients? That would be something its smaller, “Muppet” customers would probably want to hear about.

When I contacted Goldman and asked if it was true that Masterson had shared nonpublic customer information with a big hedge fund client, their spokesperson Michael Duvally offered this explanation:

Among other services it provides, Securities Lending at Goldman provides market color information to clients regarding various activity in the securities lending marketplace on a security specific or sector specific basis. In accordance with the group’s guidelines concerning the provision of market color, Mr. Masterson provided a client with certain aggregate information regarding short balances in certain securities. The information did not contain reference to any particular clients’ short positions.

You can draw your own conclusions from that answer, but it’s safe to say we’d like to hear more about these practices.

Anyway, the document is full of other interesting disclosures. Among the more compelling is the specter of executives from numerous companies admitting openly to engaging in naked short selling, a practice that, again, was often dismissed as mythical or unimportant.

A quick primer on what naked short selling is. First of all, short selling, which is a completely legal and even beneficial activity, is when an investor bets that the value of a stock will decline. You do this by first borrowing and then selling the stock at its current price, then returning the stock to your original lender after the price has gone down. You then earn a profit on the difference between the original price and the new, lower price.

What matters here is the technical issue of how you borrow the stock. Typically, if you’re a hedge fund and you want to short a company, you go to some big-shot investment bank like Goldman or Morgan Stanley and place the order. They then go out into the world, find the shares of the stock you want to short, borrow them for you, then physically settle the trade later.

But sometimes it’s not easy to find those shares to borrow. Sometimes the shares are controlled by investors who might have no interest in lending them out. Sometimes there’s such scarcity of borrowable shares that banks/brokers like Goldman have to pay a fee just to borrow the stock.

These hard-to-borrow stocks, stocks that cost money to borrow, are called negative rebate stocks. In some cases, these negative rebate stocks cost so much just to borrow that a short-seller would need to see a real price drop of 35 percent in the stock just to break even. So how do you short a stock when you can’t find shares to borrow? Well, one solution is, you don’t even bother to borrow them. And then, when the trade is done, you don’t bother to deliver them. You just do the trade anyway without physically locating the stock.

Thus in this document we have another former Merrill Pro president, Thomas Tranfaglia, saying in a 2005 email: “We are NOT borrowing negatives… I have made that clear from the beginning. Why would we want to borrow them? We want to fail them.”

Trafaglia, in other words, didn’t want to bother paying the high cost of borrowing “negative rebate” stocks. Instead, he preferred to just sell stock he didn’t actually possess. That is what is meant by, “We want to fail them.” Trafaglia was talking about creating “fails” or “failed trades,” which is what happens when you don’t actually locate and borrow the stock within the time the law allows for trades to be settled.

If this sounds complicated, just focus on this: naked short selling, in essence, is selling stock you do not have. If you don’t have to actually locate and borrow stock before you short it, you’re creating an artificial supply of stock shares.

In this case, that resulted in absurdities like the following disclosure in this document, in which a Goldman executive admits in a 2006 email that just a little bit too much trading in Overstock was going on: “Two months ago 107% of the floating was short!”

In other words, 107% of all Overstock shares available for trade were short – a physical impossibility, unless someone was somehow creating artificial supply in the stock.

Goldman clearly knew there was a discrepancy between what it was telling regulators, and what it was actually doing. “We have to be careful not to link locates to fails [because] we have told the regulators we can’t,” one executive is quoted as saying, in the document.

One of the companies Goldman used to facilitate these trades was called SBA Trading, whose chief, Scott Arenstein, was fined $3.6 million in 2007 by the former American Stock Exchange for naked short selling.

The process of how banks circumvented federal clearing regulations is highly technical and incredibly difficult to follow. These companies were using obscure loopholes in regulations that allowed them to short companies by trading in shadows, or echoes, of real shares in their stock. They manipulated rules to avoid having to disclose these “failed” trades to regulators.

How they did this is ingenious, elaborate, and complex, and we’ll get into it more at a later date. In the meantime, this document all by itself shows numerous executives from companies like Goldman Sachs Execution and Clearing (GSEC) and Merrill Pro talking about a conscious strategy of “failing” trades – in other words, not bothering to locate, borrow, and deliver stock within the time alotted for legal settlement. For instance, in one email, GSEC tells a client, Wolverine Trading, “We will let you fail.”

More damning is an email from a Goldman, Sachs hedge fund client, who remarked that when wanting to “short an impossible name and fully expecting not to receive it” he would then be “shocked to learn that [Goldman's representative] could get it for us.”

Meaning: when an experienced hedge funder wanted to trade a very hard-to-find stock, he was continually surprised to find that Goldman, magically, could locate the stock. Obviously, it is not hard to locate a stock if you’re just saying you located it, without really doing it.

As a hilarious side-note: when I contacted Goldman about this story, they couldn’t resist using their usual P.R. playbook. In this case, Goldman hastened to point out that Overstock lost this lawsuit (it was dismissed because of a jurisdictional issue), and then had this to say about Overstock:

Overstock pursued the lawsuit as part of its longstanding self-described “Jihad” designed to distract attention from its own failure to meet its projected growth and profitability goals and the resulting sharp drop in its stock price during the 2005-2006 period.

Good old Goldman — they can’t answer any criticism without describing their critics as losers, conspiracy theorists, or, most frequently, both.

Anyway, this galactic screwup by usually-slick banker lawyers gives us a rare peek into the internal mindset of these companies, and their attitude toward regulations, the markets, even their own clients. The fact that they wanted to keep all of this information sealed is not surprising, since it’s incredibly embarrassing stuff, if you understand the context.

More to come: until then, here’s the motion, and pay particular attention to pages 14-19.

Latin American High Weirdness: The UFOs


Recluse
VISUP
Fri, 23 Dec 2011 07:40 CST

In previous installments (which can be found here, here, and here) I put forth the notion that Latin America has served as a kind of playground for the Cryptocracy. In those installments I mainly focused on the role cults (especially those founded by expat Americans and Europeans) have played in the latter half of the 20th century amongst various Latin American nations. Most notably several of these sects had links to various intelligence agencies with a special emphasis on brainwashing.

In this installment we shall focus on the legacy of UFOs in Latin America, especially Brazil. Latin American UFO sightings and encounters are badly neglected amongst US ufologists and for good reason – they are hard to reconcile with the extraterrestrial hypothesis that dominates the American UFO field. Latin American UFO encounters are even more surreal and mystical and occult connections are even more overt. Let us consider the case of Jose Antonio, a Brazilian soldier in the military police, which I’ve already chronicled in the context of entheogens. Antonio’s abduction experience began ‘typically’ enough with a burst of light hitting him while he was out fishing. Two masked figures in dull aluminium suits seized him a brought him on board a craft that looked like an upright cylinder. It was when Antonio was brought inside the craft that things started to get weird.

“After a period of travel that seemed ‘interminable,’ the machine landed with a jarring sensation, and the little men unfastened Jose Antonio. They put a bandage over the eyeholes in his helmet and carried him with his knees dragging on the ground. He heard footsteps and the sound of many people talking. Finally he was placed on a backless seat and the bandage was removed.

“Jose Antonio found himself in a large quadrangular room, thirty by forty feet, about fifteen feet away from a robust dwarf who stared at him ‘with apparent satisfaction…’

“Other beings of similar appearance began arriving until about fifteen dwarfs were in the room. The soldier assumed there was a door in the back beyond his field of vision. The three walls he could see had no window and no door. To his left was a low shelf with the corpses of four men, one of them a Negro. He thought they had been killed by the homunculi. The whole room seemed to be made of stone, and at one point Jose Antonio was given something to drink out of a cubical stone glass, and the cavity containing a dark green liquid was in the shape of an inverted pyramid…

The leader of the dwarfs began a strange conversation with the soldier. It was conducted entirely through gestures and drawings and revolved around the concept of weapons. (Jose Antonio thinks that they must have perceived that he was in the military and illustrated this by their actions.) At one time, a little man shot a beam of light against the stone wall. The communication seemed to be a request that Jose Antonio help the little beings in their relations with earth. Was he to be their guide among men? This is what Jose Antonio understood. He gestured his refusal and began praying, fingering the rosary he always carried with him.

The leader stepped towards him and, displaying irritation for the first time, seized the crucifix and snatched it from him. One of the beads rolled onto the floor and was picked up by one of the little men, who showed it to the others. The crucifix was passed around in the same way, arousing the curiosity of all of them.

While this discussion took place among the homunculi Jose Antonio had a vision of a Christ-like entity, ‘his eyes clear and serene,’ barefoot and wearing a dark robe. The figure made some revelations to Jose Antonio, who now refuses to disclose them. The apparition vanished, the irritated dwarfs blindfolded him again, and he was transported back. As the machine landed, he felt that he was being dragged and he lost consciousness. He woke up alone near the town of Vitoria in the state of Espirito Santo, two hundred miles away from the spot where he had been fishing. He had been way for four and a half days.

(Dimensions, Jacques Vallee, pgs. 189-190)

Various aspects of Antonio’s abduction experience resemble the initiation rites of various secret societies. This is hardly the only instance in which the occult appears in connection with UFOs in Latin America. Let us consider the curious deaths of Miguel Jose and Manuel Pereira da Cruz, both of whom were electronics technicians. One day in 1966 their bodies were found atop a steep hill across the bay from Rio de Jeneiro dressed in neat suits and new rain coats, laying on their backs.

“The investigators found no blood, no signs of any violence at the site. The two corpses were lying peacefully side by side. Next to them were crude metal masks as well as slips of paper covered with notes. One of these notes contained elementary electrical formulas. Also found was a crushed piece of aluminized blue and white paper, some cellophane soaked in a chemical substance, and a handkerchief with the initials AMS.

“The skin of the corpses had a pinkish color and showed possible burns, but decomposition had progressed to the point where such a finding was not significant. Indeed, the coroner, Astor de Melo, soon concluded that death was by natural causes (cardiac arrest) and closed the file. His examination of the bowels had revealed no poison. The men had died sometime between Tuesday, August 16, and Saturday, August 20…

“Unhappy with the stated cause of death, the man in charge of security for the state of Rio, Col. Eduardo de Cento Pfeil, held a review meeting with police delegate Jose Venancio Bettencourt and an electronics technician. The next day he contacted Toledo Pizza, director of the Coroners Institute. Dr. Alberto Farah was asked to conduct a second autopsy. The viscera were removed and analyzed. The pathologist also looked for possible injection sites in the bodies, but the second autopsy revealed nothing new.

“On the basis of these facts the police examined a number of hypotheses. Could robbery have been a motive for the crime? A large sum of money seemed to have disappeared between the time Miguel and Manuel left Campos with nearly 3 million cruzeiros and the time they were found dead. But this hypothesis did not explain the manner of death and the absence of a struggle.

“Were the men spies? The Morro do Vintem is a strategic spot from which the entire area can be surveyed. More prosaically, it would also be an idea location for a TV repeater, the type of electronic installation in which the two men specialized. The absence of any violence, again, seemed to exclude espionage and foul play.”

(Confrontations, Jacques Vallee, pgs. 6-8)

Even more curious were reports called into the police of a UFO flying above the hill on which the bodies of Manuel and Miguel were found near the time of their deaths as well as the obsession both men had with spiritualism.

“One of the first callers was a society matron, Gracinda Barbosa Couninho de Souza. She told Officer Bettencourt that as she was driving along Alameda Sao Boaventura in Fonseca with three of her children on Wednesday evening, her daughter Denise, then seven, told her to look up in the sky over the Morro do Vintem. She saw an oval object, orange in color, with a line of fire around its edges, ‘sending out rays in all directions,’ while it hovered over the hill. She had time to stop the car and to observe it carefully as it rose and fell vertically for three or four minutes, giving off a well-defined ‘blue ray…’

“This observation was soon confirmed by a large number of witnesses who called police independently to report they had seen an orange-colored, egg-shaped object giving off blue rays over the Morro do Vintem, adding that they had not reported it at the time for fear of ridicule that attaches to UFO cases. All reports placed the object in the vicinity of the victims near the estimated time of death…

“Also interrogated was Manuel Pereira da Cruz’s widow. Her testimony indicated that the two victims were members of s ‘spiritualist’ group, an occult society with unknown objectives. It was rumored that the group attempted to communicate with other planets. A civilian pilot named Elcio Correa das Silva was also a member of the group.

“Elcio disclosed to the investigators that he had, indeed, conducted a number of ‘experiments’ with the two victims, one in Manuel’s garden in Campos, and another time on the beach at Atafona. In that experiment Elcio and another man named Valdir had witnessed a huge blast. This had taken place on June 13, 1966, two months before the tragedy in Neteroi. There was an explosion, a luminous object in the sky, a blinding flash. Local fishermen stated they had seen a flying saucer fall into the sea. The explosion was so powerful that it was heard in Campos. But speculation was dampened when the families of the victims testified at the inquest: the devices used at Atafona and in Campos were only homemade bombs, they said, manufactured with pipes and wires.

“The police started digging deeper into the victims’ backgrounds: they had attended courses in Sao Paulo organized by Philips Electronics and other firms; they had purchased sophisticated equipment, yet they were not thought to be qualified to conduct scientific experiments. There were allegations that the victims maintained an illegal radio station in Glicerio, in the Macae district. And again, witnesses spoke of their interests in the paranormal. A few days before his death, Manuel is supposed to have said that he was going to attend a ‘final test,’ after which he would say whether or not he was a ‘believer.’

“Another curious element in the case was one of the notes found next to the corpses. It read:

Meet at the designated spot at 4:30 P.M. At 6:30 P.M. ingest the capsules. After the effect is produced, protect half of the face with lead masks. Wait for prearranged signal.

the lead masks found with the bodies

“Were the two men expecting to be contacted by a UFO? Or were they, more prosaically, taking part in a spiritualist experiment that went wrong?..

“A group of Brazilian spiritualists claimed to be in contact with Jupiterian beings through psychic channeling. According to these messages, the deaths of the victims were an accident that resulted when ‘they started running forward [toward the saucer that was supposed to pick them up] before they were instructed to do so.’ The channel also disclosed that the Jupiterians were female, one foot taller than the average humans, with vertical mouths and four fingers on their hands. Nobody took the revelations seriously, since there was no evidence the men had died while running…

“…the channeled revelations from Jupiter had explained the specific details of the murder. A lengthy discussion we had at the home of Professor Silvio Lago, a medical doctor who had been called by the court as an expert witness on parapsychology, threw some light on the spiritualist aspects. According to Professor Lago, the victims may have been engaged in a series of seances during which a paranormal entity was supposed to manifest itself. After the experiment in Campos, and again after the explosion on Atafona Beach, Manuel had found powder at the site. He may have suspected that others, possibly including Elcio, had designed a hoax to convince him of the reality of the ‘entity.’ Yet… they were willing to make a third attempt at contact with the entity in question: there must have been a higher-level person who remained in the background and whose instructions they trusted -possibly the person who gave them the orders written on the note.”

(ibid, pgs. 8-12)

Both of these encounters occurred in the framework of the occult. In the case of Jose Antonio his abduction resembles the initiation process used by secret societies such as the Freemasons as do various symbols present within the flying saucer. As for the deaths of Manuel and Miguel, they seem to have been engaged in some kind of magical working leading up to their final hours. In both cases the victims consumed some form of a sacrament. In the case of Antonio, he was given a dark green liquid out of a cubicle stone glass sporting an inverted pyramid. In the mysterious case of Manuel and Miguel, they were told to ingest a mysterious capsule before the presumed working began.

the letter telling Manuel and Miguel to ingest the mysterious capsules

Were these substances entheogens? I speculated as much in the case of Antonio in a prior installment. In the case of Manuel and Miguel I have found no evidence of entheogens, but their deaths occurred in the mid-1960s in Brazil, so possibly something was missed or covered up. Brazil was something of a hot spot for the black opts in the 1960s as we shall discuss in a future installment.

Vallee briefly speculates that Manuel and Miguel were spies before dismissing the notion. I don’t think its as far-fetched, however. In a prior post I’ve chronicled how the US Intelligence community has used cults as guinea pigs in various experiments centered around mind control. In my prior pieces on modern Latin American cults (which can be read here, here and here) we found ample evidence of this. Perhaps Manuel and Miguel were not spies themselves, but assets being manipulated by a handler for some kind of experiment. Jose Antonio was a soldier in Brazil’s elite Guard’s Battalion and would make a fine test subject.

The presence of UFOs and possibly entheogens could point to an intelligence link. Certainly UFOs have been used heavily in PSYOPs (as I’ve chronicled before here, here, here and here) by the US Intelligence community to both cover up the use of experimental aircrafts in addition to manipulating the public. Entheogens, as noted before here, were heavily used in various mind control experiments by the CIA and the like. Both Colonia Dignidad and Jonestown used drugs as tools of behavior modifications, as I noted before here and here. Both institutions may have had ties to various intelligence services as well.

Colonia Dignidad, an ‘agricultural’ experiment accused of using drugs for brainwashing purposes.

So, perhaps there’s more to the spy angle than Vallee believes. The infamous UFO experience of Antonio Villas Boas may shed further light on the spy angle. First, let us consider a conventional account of Villas Boas’ experience.

“On the night of 15 October 1957, twenty-three-year-old Antonio Villas Boas was out on his tractor plowing a field at his farm in Sao Francisco de Salles, which is in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, near the border with Sao Paulo. At about 1 a.m. he saw a large red ‘star’ approaching. It was similar to a red ball of light that both he and his brother had seen the previous night, and which he chased up and down the field but failed to catch. This second light, however,turned out to be an egg-shaped object so bright that the tractor’s headlights could not be seen. It landed some ten to fifteen meters in front of him, on three metallic legs. Since his tractor would not start, Antonio jumped down and began to run away, but he was grabbed by three figures who dragged him into their machine.

Read more here:

www.sott.net/articles/show/244761-Latin-American-High-Weirdness-The-UFOs

Review: Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry


 

A most excellent read from the authors of Sott.net!!

22 May 2011

Harrison Koehli Sott.net

“I’ve always believed society to be a fundamentally rational thing, but what if it isn’t? What if it is built on insanity?”

So asks Jon Ronson in his latest book, The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry. Ronson is probably best known for his book, The Men Who Stare at Goats, which was adapted for the big screen and starred George Clooney. It documented a slightly loony group of American Army men who were convinced they could walk through walls and kill goats by simply glaring at them menacingly (apparently they took the phrase “looking daggers” a tad too literally). He also wrote a book on fundamentalists, extremists and radicals, even tailing David Icke for a spell. For research, of course. Having already spent much of his career peering into the fringe boundaries of normality, The Psychopath Test pushes him further into the sphere of madness and the science that attempts to explain it. The result is entertaining, sometimes informative, yet a mixed-bag that never really answers the questions he set out to tackle.

I’m going to avoid giving a chapter-by-chapter rundown of the book. As I said above, it’s an entertaining, and easy, read. I’m not a particularly fast reader but wolfed this one down in three sittings over two days. So if you’ve the time, cash, and/or inclination, check it out. Rather, I want to focus on what I’ll call the good, the bad, and the so-so. Ronson gets a lot of things right. First of all, he’s a great writer. The book is peppered with entertaining, funny, and somewhat disturbing accounts of his interviews with people he comes to believe are genuine psychopaths. Pitting a self-described neurotic, over-anxious journalist against some of the world’s most dangerous criminals and manipulators is a recipe for a good story, and in this regard, Ronson delivers.

Like Martha Stout (whom Ronson quotes in the book), author of The Sociopath Next Door, Ronson does a great job introducing the concept of psychopathy to readers who otherwise wouldn’t be interested in scouring dry textbooks on the subject. He treks across the world interviewing potential candidates: from a convicted UK man who tried to fake madness in order to avoid prison, only to be placed in an institution for the criminally insane; an ex-death squad leader from Haiti who was supported and protected by the CIA; to ex-CEO of Sunbeam, Al “I believe in predators” Dunlap, who gleefully fired thousands before being charged with corporate fraud. Finding them, he confronts his interviewees about their own psychopathy, with surprising results. Many deny it, of course, while not-so-subtly revealing the opposite in their answers to Ronson, who dutifully jots down his diagnoses on his notepad. Dunlap, on the other hand, managed to turn each item of the Psychopathy Checklist into a “Leadership Positive”. To Dunlap, hey, being a psychopath ain’t that bad at all! More on that below.

Then there was the failed experiment at Oak Ridge, in Canada, where psychopathic offenders were treated with LSD and encouraged to “share their feelings”, engaging in group therapy where they acted as each other’s psychotherapists. The inmates showed remarkable improvement and were released into the world, reformed beings eager to start life anew. At least, that’s what the doctors thought. But the therapy had simply taught them to be better manipulators, and it seemed to have gone to their heads. Their recidivism rates ended up being even higher than ordinary psychopaths. It’s good to see this kind of anecdotal knowledge about psychopathy reach the mainstream. As psychopathy expert and author of the Psychopathy Checklist, Bob Hare, says, psychopaths are born psychopaths. You can’t treat them. This is one of the highlights of the book: the scattered airport-hotel conversations Ronson had with Hare over the course of his research for the book. For example:

Bob said it’s always a nice surprise when a psychopath speaks openly about their inability to feel emotions. Most of them pretend to feel. When they see us non-psychopaths crying or scared or moved by human suffering, or whatever, they think it’s fascinating. They study us and learn how to ape us, like space creatures trying to blend in, but if we keep our eyes open, we can spot the fakery. (p. 100-101)

“I should never have done all my research in prisons. I should have spent my time inside the Stock Exchange as well.”

I looked at Bob. “Really?” I said.

He nodded.

“But surely stock-market psychopaths can’t be as bad as serial-killer psychopaths,” I said.

“Serial killers ruin families.” Bob shrugged. “Corporate and political and religious psychopaths ruin economies. They ruin societies.”

This–Bob was saying–was the straightforward solution to the greatest mystery of all: Why is the world so unfair? Why all that savage economic injustice, those brutal wars, the everyday corporate cruelty? The answer: psychopaths. That part of the brain that doesn’t function right. You’re standing on an escalator and you watch the people going past on the opposite escalator. If you could climb inside their brains, you would see we aren’t all the same. We aren’t all good people just trying to do good. Some of us are psychopaths. And psychopaths are to blame for this brutal, misshapen society. They’re the jagged rocks thrown into the still pond. (p. 112)

“If some political or business leader had a psychopathically hoodlum childhood, wouldn’t it come out in the press and ruin them?” I said.

“They find ways to bury it,” Bob replied. “Anyway, Early Behavior Problems don’t necessarily mean ending up in Juvenile Hall. It could mean, say, secretly torturing animals.” He paused. “But getting access to people like that can be difficult. Prisoners are easy. They like meeting researchers. It breaks up the monotony of their day. But CEOs, politicians …” Bob looked at me. “It’s a really big story,” he said. “It’s a story that could change forever the way people see the world.” (p. 118)

Continued here:

ponerology.blogspot.com

US – Fearsome Friday Forecast: Colorado Blizzard & Tornado Threats


Brett Israel
OurAmazingPlanet
Fri, 03 Feb 2012 10:59 CST
Snow in Denver

© Stephanie Pappas
Snow day in Denver! A plow works in De Boer Park to clear snow from today’s blizzard.
Six more weeks of winter, eh? The bizarre weather outside is more like spring, with a blizzard in Denver and tornado warnings and watches elsewhere all in the same day.

One day after the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil “forecasted” six more weeks of winter, a potentially record-breaking blizzard is socking Denver today (Feb. 3). By the time the storm passes on Sunday, it could set a February snowfall record in the city. This storm is odd because big snowstorms in Denver are actually more common in spring than winter.

And more springlike weather is sweeping across the southern United States as well, with tornado watches and warnings under way from Oklahoma to Louisiana.

Rare winter storm

In the Denver, a foot (0.3 meters) of snow has fallen this morning, forcing schools to cancel classes and grounding more than 400 flights at Denver International Airport, according to AccuWeather. With temperatures around 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 12 degrees Celsius), winds of 40 mph (64 kph), and whiteout conditions due to snow falling at rates of up to 2 inches (5 cm) an hour, the weather in Denver is downright nasty.

Adding insult to injury, the snow is falling east of the Continental Divide, where many ski resorts are, so they will get little benefit from the blizzard.

A winter storm warning is in effect for Denver until 5 a.m. Mountain Time (7 a.m. EST) tomorrow (Feb. 4). Close to 2 feet (0.6 m) of snow could fall by then.

This blizzard is unusual for Denver because big storms typically hit here in the fall and spring, not the winter, according to the Weather Channel’s Eric Fisher (A wild snowstorm hit Denver this past October).

Southern ‘spring’

Springlike conditions are also sweeping the South, with a tornado watch in effect this morning for parts of central Oklahoma and the southeastern Texas panhandle.

“We have a fairly warm and somewhat unstable air mass over the area right now and that’s partly contributing to the rounds of severe weather,” said meteorologist Andy Patrick with the National Weather Service office in Lake Charles, La.

Earlier this morning, tornado warnings were issued for parts of the Texas-Louisiana border, but no tornadoes were reported to the nation’s Storm Prediction Center. This springlike weather will continue to move east throughout the weekend, and “could make it somewhat favorable for some tornadoes,” Patrick told OurAmazingPlanet.

A “tornado watch” is issued by the NWS when conditions in the atmosphere are favorable for tornadoes. A “tornado warning” is issued when a tornado has been spotted or after radar suggests that a tornado has formed. A “tornado emergency” is the highest level of warning, and is issued when a large, violent tornado could cause widespread damage.

While winter in much of the United States has been wimpy with little cold or snow, January saw above-average tornado action. January tornadoes are not as common as spring tornadoes, but severe weather can strike any time of the year.

Central Alabama, where tornadoes took a deadly toll in 2011, is braving the twisters again in 2012. Alabama had 10 tornadoes on Jan. 23 and another one on Jan. 26. The tornadoes included an EF-3 on the tornado damage scale, and three people were killed during the outbreak.

Connecting the Dots: Earth Changes Are Upon Us


For those who are paying strict attention left and right, 2010 will be remembered as the year in which a major threshold was crossed and the door closed behind it. It is the humble opinion of the editors that the dice have been thrown and the destiny of the planet sealed.

The signs were there:

    • The absolute disregard of governments for the rights of air travelers and citizens and the open arrogance of the imposition of Orwellian measures
    • The continuation of ever more absurd fake-terror tricks to scare the people into compliance
    • The increasingly violent anger of the masses on the streets as a result of the economic pressure and other forms of abuse from the top
    • The great ease with which the global media took over, diluted and distorted the aspirations of political truth seekers via the Wikileaks show, and the obvious omission of Israel from such ‘leaks’
    • The all too timid opposition of the world to such crimes against humanity as the genocide aboard the Mavi Marmara
  • And the ongoing imperial campaigns of western powers in the Middle East and Asia

Particularly disastrous was the chain reaction ignited by BP’s ecocide in the Gulf of Mexico – courtesy of corporate psychopathy and the complicity of our governments – this festering wound might yet contribute significantly to tipping the global climate into an Ice Age by disrupting ocean currents and, in turn, wind currents. The Gulf Loop current is reportedly already broken, disrupting the northern Jet Stream and bringing yet another harsh winter to most of the northern hemisphere.

It is admittedly speculative to blame the meters of snowfall in the US and Europe this winter on the Gulf oil spill, but if you’re looking for concrete in-your-face evidence of the unprecedented scale of the disaster, just ask the thousands of local residents and oil spill workers living along the coast of the Gulf from Texas to Florida.

lighthouse ice

© Unknown
A lighthouse turns into ice. Symbolic?

But the oil in the Gulf of Mexico is only one factor. We believe we are witnessing the beginning of a dramatic episode of human history linked to climate change within the solar system. We see it in signs ignored by most: comets, fireballs and changes in the atmosphere.

© REUTERS/KYODO
A massive tsunami hits the coastal areas of Iwanuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, March 11, 2011.

Meanwhile, somewhat symbolically, the Ring of Fire around the Pacific Ocean is trembling violently, setting off so many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes that we’ve lost count. The potential for disaster is horrific, as events in Japan have recently shown. Human infrastructure is fragile and a direct hit on a key facility – like the Fukushima nuclear power plant – can effectively erase all prospects of normal human life across whole areas. Indeed, Fukushima is turning out to be 2011′s ‘oil spill’, one which at this point looks even darker than the one in the Gulf of Mexico.

© Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters
Officials in protective gear check for signs of radiation on children who are from the evacuation area near the Fukushima Dai-ni nuclear plant in Koriyama

But as we ponder the present and what remains of our future, let’s back up and recapitulate 2010… Connecting the Dots has been dormant for a while and there’s much to catch up on!

Global Climate Year Zero

More than a quarter of a million people were killed by natural disasters in 2010. Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts claimed the lives of more people than those murdered in all terrorist acts in the last 40 years combined – a little known fact that makes a mockery out of the War on Terror propaganda.

This was the deadliest year in terms of natural catastrophes in a generation, and no, we are not followers of the nonsensical global warming religion. This past winter’s extreme snowfalls and record cold temperatures tell a very different story to the ‘Go Green’ false flag revolution led by Al Gore and Company.

Clearly the rise in both the intensity and frequency of earthquakes tells us that we need to expand our understanding beyond the usual anthropogenic and mainstream limits. Some insiders do appear to be smelling the coffee; a UK government report authored by Paddy Ashdown, a member of the House of Lords, warns that major disasters like the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, as well as last year’s unprecedented flooding in Pakistan, are likely to become more frequent, urging governments to prepare for an “uncertain future”.

He added that scientists believe recent natural disasters were not an aberration, but “the beginnings of a new kind of future in which mega-disasters are going to be more frequent”. Unsurprisingly, Lord Ashdown’s reportis rather vague when it comes to providing reasons for this sharp upward trend in natural catastrophes:

The reasons for this are many. Rapid population growth, especially in disaster prone areas, is a key factor, especially when combined with continued mass urbanization, much of it unplanned and unsafe. So too are the changes already underway in sea levels, and in global rainfall and storm patterns – changes that will contribute to significant additional pressure for food and water in the years ahead.

© Mario Tama/Getty Images
A car is buried in snow as people attempt to shovel out in Manhattan’s East Village December 27, 2010 in New York City. A blizzard pounded the East Coast of the United States delivering 20 inches of snow to New York City while snarling post-Christmas travel.

While the report makes passing references to global warming – “changes in sea levels” – it doesn’t explain why earthquakes and tsunamis should be more frequent. This omission is so glaring, the reader might wonder if anything was edited out. It is also interesting that a keyword search for ‘global warming’ within the report will not find the words together even once.

Authorities are clearly avoiding the concept now that people have had a foretaste of glacial rebound.

While winter 2009-2010 was harsh, 2010-2011 turned out to be colder and snowier. Among the places that suffered record or near record cold temperatures we find Siberia, Australia, Ireland, Great Britain, California, Las Vegas, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cuba, New Zealand and Edmonton. Looking at these statistics, it’s quite laughable that 2010 was announced as “the warmest year ever”.

Central to the less-than-scientific methodology supporting the dying, man-made global warming theory is the elimination of temperature reports from weather stations located in cooler, non-urban and northerly places. The Warmists take pleasure in reminding us of this or that shrinking glacier, all the while ignoring those which are actually growing, such as the Mount Shasta glaciers, and fail to report on the 70 trillion cubic feet increase in Arctic Sea ice.

Our North American readers need no convincing as to the reality of global cooling: they had front row seats for a succession of record-breaking blizzards.

Article continues here with videos, photos etc…

http://www.sott.net/articles/show/227366-Connecting-the-Dots-Earth-Changes-Are-Upon-Us