Saturday, December 31, 2011

Russia: Nuclear Sub Fire Finally Out

(MOSCOW) — Firefighters extinguished a massive fire aboard a docked Russian nuclear submarine Friday as some crew members remained inside, officials said, assuring that there was no radiation leak and that the vessel's nuclear-tipped missiles were not on board. Military prosecutors have launched an investigation into whether safety regulations were breached, and President Dmitry Medvedev summoned top Cabinet officials to report on the situation and demanded punishment for anyone found responsible. The fire broke out Thursday at an Arctic shipyard outside the northwestern Russian city of Murmansk where the submarine Yekaterinburg was in dry-dock. The blaze, which shot orange flames high into the air through the night, was put out Friday afternoon and firefighters continued to spray the vessel with water to cool it down, Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu said. (Read "Remembering the Kursk in Murmansk.") Russian state television earlier showed the rubber-coated hull of the submarine still smoldering, with firefighters gathering around it and some standing on top to douse it with water. Seven members of the submarine crew were hospitalized after inhaling poisonous carbon monoxide fumes from the fire, Shoigu said. An unspecified number of crew remained inside the submarine during the fire, Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Igor Konashenkov said in a statement. He insisted there never was any danger of it spreading inside the sub and said the crew reported that the conditions on board remained normal. Konashenkov's statement left it unclear whether the crew were trapped there or ordered to stay inside. There has been no radiation leak from the fire, the Defense Ministry and Foreign Ministry said, and Norway's Radiation Protection Authority across the border reported it has not measured any increased radioactivity. However, the governor in Finnmark, Norway's northeastern province that borders Russia's Murmansk Oblast, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that he was disappointed with Russia's response. (See photos of Russia's 2008 military parade.) "There have been problems to get clear information from the Russian side," Gunnar Kjoennoey was quoted as saying. "We have an agreement to exchange information in such cases, but there has been no information from the Russian side so far." Russia's military says the blaze started on wooden scaffolding and then engulfed the sub's outer hull. The vessel's nuclear reactor had been shut down and its nuclear-tipped missiles and other weapons had been unloaded before dryadic repairs, it said. Toxic fumes from the blaze had spread to the town of Roslyakovo where the shipyard is located, but officials said there was no need to evacuate local residents. Per Strand of the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority said they had received information about the fire through the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, after which they contacted the Russians themselves. "We have a warning agreement but we're working on also getting warnings for small incidents which the Russians do not believe will not cross the border. But we're not there yet," Strand told the Norwegian news agency NTB. The Yekaterinburg is a Delta-IV-class nuclear-powered submarine that normally carries 16 nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles. It was commissioned by the navy in 1985. Most modern submarines' outer hulls are covered with rubber to make them less noisy and more difficult for an enemy to detect. The chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, Gen. Nikolai Makarov, led a team of senior military officials to Roslyakovo to oversee the emergency response. The damage from the fire could be so massive that the submarine would need to be scrapped, the Interfax news agency reported Friday. But Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is in charge of the nation's military industries, said after the meeting that the submarine will rejoin the navy after repairs. The Russian navy suffered its worst accident in August 2000, when the Kursk nuclear submarine exploded and sank during naval maneuvers, killing all 118 crew members aboard. A 2008 accident at the Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine killed 20 Russian seamen and injured 21 others when its fire-extinguishing system activated in error and spewed suffocating Freon gas. Jan M. Olsen contributed to this report from Copenhagen. Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2103376,00.html#ixzz1iFXT4ukz

Many of India’s Poor Turn to Private Schools

HYDERABAD, India — For more than two decades, M. A. Hakeem has arguably done the job of the Indian government. His private Holy Town High School has educated thousands of poor students, squeezing them into cramped classrooms where, when the electricity goes out, the children simply learn in the dark. India’s Way Articles in this series explore the messy and maddening road to progress in India, which has built one of the world's fastest-growing economies in spite of a government that often fails to keep up. Previous Articles in the Series » For news and musings from New York Times reporters in India, follow @nytindia Related India's Way: In One Slum, Misery, Work, Politics and Hope (December 29, 2011) India's Way: Scaling Caste Walls With Capitalism’s Ladders in India (December 22, 2011) India's Way: Outsourcing Giant Finds It Must Be Client, Too (December 1, 2011) Connect With Us on Twitter Follow @nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines. Enlarge This Image Kuni Takahashi for The New York Times A NETWORK OF ALTERNATIVES M. A. Hakeem with some of his students at Holy Town High School in Hyderabad, India. Given the poor record of public schools in his country, he said, "The responsibility that the government should shoulder, we are shouldering it." Parents in Holy Town’s low-income, predominantly Muslim neighborhood do not mind the bare-bones conditions. They like the modest tuition (as low as $2 per month), the English-language curriculum and the success rate on standardized tests. Indeed, low-cost schools like Holy Town are part of an ad hoc network that now dominates education in this south Indian city, where an estimated two-thirds of all students attend private institutions. “The responsibility that the government should shoulder,” Mr. Hakeem said with both pride and contempt, “we are shouldering it.” In India, the choice to live outside the faltering grid of government services is usually reserved for the rich or middle class, who can afford private housing compounds, private hospitals and private schools. But as India’s economy has expanded during the past two decades, an increasing number of India’s poor parents are now scraping together money to send their children to low-cost private schools in hopes of helping them escape poverty. Nationally, a large majority of students still attend government schools, but the expansion of private institutions has created parallel educational systems — systems that are now colliding. Faced with sharp criticism of the woeful state of government schools, Indian policy makers have enacted a sweeping law intended to reverse their decline. But skeptics say the litany of new requirements could also wipe out many of the private schools now educating millions of students. “It’s impossible to fulfill all these things,” said Mohammed Anwar, who runs a chain of private schools in Hyderabad and is trying to organize a nationwide lobbying campaign to alter the requirements. Referring to the law, he said, “If you follow the Right to Education, nobody can run a school.” Education is one of India’s most pressing challenges. Half of India’s 1.2 billion people are 25 or younger, and literacy levels, while improving, could cripple the country’s long-term prospects. In many states, government education is in severe disarray, with teachers often failing to show up. Rote drilling still predominates. English, considered a prerequisite for most white-collar employment in India, is usually not the medium of instruction. When it took effect in April 2010, the Right to Education Act enshrined, for the first time, a constitutional right to schooling, promising that every child from 6 to 14 would be provided with it. For a nation that had never properly financed education for the masses, the law was a major milestone. “If we nurture our children and young people with the right education,” said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, commemorating the act with a televised address, “India’s future as a strong and prosperous country is secure.” Few disagree with the law’s broad, egalitarian goals or that government schools need a fundamental overhaul. But the law also enacted new regulations on teacher-student ratios, classroom size and parental involvement in school administration that are being applied to government and private schools. The result is a clash between an ideal and the reality on the ground, with a deadline: Any school that fails to comply by 2013 could be closed. Kapil Sibal, the government minister overseeing Indian education, has scoffed at claims that the law will cause mass closings of private schools. Yet in Hyderabad, education officials are preparing for exactly that outcome. They are constructing new buildings and expanding old ones, partly to comply with the new regulations, partly anticipating that students will be forced to return from closing private institutions. “Fifty percent will be closed down as per the Right to Education Act,” predicted E. Bala Kasaiah, a top education official in Hyderabad. As a boy, M. A. Hakeem listened as his father bemoaned the slow progress of his fellow Muslims in India. “Son,” he recalls his father’s saying, “when you grow up, you should provide education to our community.” A few months after Mr. Hakeem completed the 10th grade, his father died. A year later, in 1986, Mr. Hakeem opened a small preparatory school with nursery classes. He was 15 years old. Not yet old enough to vote, Mr. Hakeem held classes in his family’s home and enlisted his two sisters to handle administrative tasks. By the mid-1990s, Mr. Hakeem had opened Holy Town. The school has since produced students who have gone into engineering, commerce and other fields. “I’m fulfilling my father’s dream,” Mr. Hakeem said. When Holy Town opened, Mr. Hakeem’s neighborhood at the edge of the old quarter of Hyderabad had one private school, a Catholic one. Today, there are seven private schools within a half-mile of Holy Town, each charging a few dollars a month and catering to Muslim students with a largely secular education in English. Their emergence roughly coincided with the economic liberalization that began in 1991. For decades, government officials had blamed rural apathy for India’s high illiteracy rates, saying that families preferred sending their children into the fields, not the classroom. But as the economy started taking off, public aspirations changed, especially among low-income families. “In India today, demand is not really a constraint for education — it’s the supply,” said Karthik Muralidharan, an assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego, who has studied Indian education. “Parents are seeing education as the passport out of poverty.” The rising demand created a new market for private schools, and entrepreneurs big and small have jumped at the chance to profit from it. Corporate educational chains opened schools tailored to higher-income families, especially in the expanding cities. Low-cost schools like Holy Town proliferated in poorer neighborhoods, a trend evident in most major cities and spreading into rural India. Estimating the precise enrollment of private schools is tricky. Government officials say more than 90 percent of all primary schools are run by or financed by the government. Yet one government survey found that 30 percent of the 187 million students in grades 1 through 8 now attend private schools. Some academic studies have suggested that more than half of all urban students now attend private academies. In Mumbai, so many parents have pulled their children out of government schools that officials have started renting empty classrooms to charities and labor unions — and even to private schools. In recent years, Indian officials have increased spending on government education, dedicating far more money for new schools, hiring teachers and providing free lunches to students. Still, more and more parents are choosing to go private. “What does it say about the quality of your product that you can’t even give it away for free?” Mr. Muralidharan said. Most low-cost private schools also follow rote-teaching methods because their students have to take standardized tests approved by the government. But some studies suggest that teachers in government schools are absent up to 25 percent of the time. Poor children who attended private schools scored higher on reading and math tests, according to a study by Sonalde Desai, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, and other scholars. “There is not much teaching that happens in the government schools,” said Raju Bhosla, 32, whose children attend one of Hyderabad’s low-cost private schools. “I never even thought about putting my kids in government schools.” Across Hyderabad, work crews in 58 locations are expanding government schools or constructing new ones. To education officials, the building spree signals a rebirth of the government system, part of an $800 million statewide program to bring government schools into compliance with the new law. For Mr. Sibal, the national education minister, government schools had atrophied because of a lack of money. Under Right to Education, states can qualify for more than $2 billion to improve facilities, hire new teachers and improve curriculums, he said. “All these changes are going to transform the schools system in the next five years,” Mr. Sibal predicted. As for the tens of thousands of private schools opened during the past 15 years to satisfy the public’s growing hunger for education, Mr. Sibal said, “We’ve given them three years time,” referring to the 2013 compliance deadline. “We hope that is enough.” Skepticism abounds. Elite private schools, already struggling with requirements that they reserve slots for poor and minority students, have filed lawsuits. But the bigger question is what will happen to the tens of thousands of low-cost private schools already serving the poor. James Tooley, a British scholar who has studied private education in India, said government statistics grossly underestimate private schooling — partly because so many private institutions are not formally registered. In a recent survey of the eastern city of Patna, Mr. Tooley found 1,224 private schools, even though government records listed only about 40. In Hyderabad, principals at several private schools said inspectors regularly threatened them with closings unless they paid bribes. Now, the principals say, the inspectors are wielding the threat of the Right to Education requirements and seeking even bigger bribes. Mr. Anwar, the private school entrepreneur trying to organize a lobbying campaign, estimated that roughly 5,000 private schools operated in Hyderabad. “Can the government close 5,000 schools?” he asked. “If they close, how can the government accommodate all these students?” N Y Time

LIBERATION WAR 1971 AND OUR INDEPENDENCE

Zaker Party Press Release 2

Zaker Party Press release

Friday, December 30, 2011

Yunus moves SC for review

Muhammad Yunus has moved the Supreme Court for a review of the Appellate Division order that threw out his appeal against a High Court ruling upholding the Nobel laureate's sacking as Grameen Bank managing director. The full bench of the Appellate Division, headed by then chief justice A B M Khairul Haque, had dismissed his appeal on Apr 5. Yunus's lawyer Sara Hossain told bdnews24.com that they appealed to review the order. The Supreme Court is on vacation now. The appeal, filed on Dec 15, would be heard after the vacation ends. On Mar 8, the High Court had rejected Yunus's claim that his sudden sacking on Mar 2 by the central bank and financial sector regulator was arbitrary and illegal. In its decision, the High Court had found that Yunus, 70, had no legal authority to act as the micro-lender's managing director, since its board had not obtained the Bangladesh Bank's sanction to re-appoint him beyond the bank's official retirement age of 60. Yunus had argued that Grameen Bank had been given special status and it was exempt from the rule. After the Apr 5 hearing, attorney general Mahbubey Alam had said there is a possibility of filing a petition to review the verdict. "Let's see whether they file any review petition," he had said. Prime Minister Skeikh Hasina had accused Yunus, who briefly set up his own political party in 2007 during the military-run caretaker government, of using 'tricks' to avoid taxes and 'sucking blood of the poor' with his bank's loans. Her comments were made after a Norwegian television documentary "Caught in Micro Debt" by Danish filmmaker Tom Heinemann aired on Dec 1 last year. He claimed Yunus and his associates wrongly diverted nearly $100m of grant money in 1996 to another company - Grameen Kalyan - which was not involved in micro-credit operations, without respecting procedures laid down by the donors. Heinemann's report alleged that after the Norwegian authorities raised objections to the alleged transfer of funds, Grameen bank returned about $30m. The aid money was from Norway, Sweden and Germany.

PRESS RELEASE FROM LATIF BAWANI SROMIK PARSHAD

Procession Towards Energy Ministry by Oil Gas Protection National Committee Police Attack on Activist of Tel Gas Jatiyo Komitee, Oil-Gas Committee’s rally, baton-charged: 35 injured http://www.banglanews24.com/English/detailsnews.php?nssl=8c4b0479f20772cb9b68cf5f161d1e6f&nttl=2011122929807 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6UGKigot2c&feature=youtu.be https://twitter.com/ http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=270225759702151&saved http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.270164109708316.65058.100001441878306&type=1 http://www.banglanews24.com/detailsnews.php?nssl=feb419199c0ef41acaf52287c4cb54a0&nttl=2912201177556 ইউটিউবে)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6UGKigot2c&feature=youtu.be https://twitter.com/ http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=270225759702151&saved http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.270164109708316.65058.100001441878306&type=1 http://www.banglanews24.com/detailsnews.php?nssl=feb419199c0ef41acaf52287c4cb54a0&nttl=2912201177556 লাঠি, গুলি, টিয়ার গ্যাস, - জবাব দেবে বাংলাদেশ। জাতীয় কমিটির জ্বালানি মন্ত্রনালয় ঘেরাও কর্মসূচি অনুষ্ঠিত সম্পদ রক্ষা কমিটির মিছিলে লাঠিচার্জ-টিয়ারসেল, আহত ৩৫ # ঢাকা: তেল-গ্যাস-খনিজ-সম্পদ ও বিদ্যুৎ-বন্দর রক্ষা জাতীয় কমিটির বিক্ষোভ মিছিলেপুলিশ লাঠিচার্জ ও টিয়ারসেল নিক্ষেপ করেছে। এতে ৩০-৩৫ জন নেতাকর্মী আহত হয়েছেন বলে কমিটির পক্ষ থেকে দাবি করা হয়েছে। আহতদের মধ্যে কমিটির আহ্বায়ক প্রকৌশলী শহীদুল্লাহ ও অধ্যাপক রেহনুমা খানমও আছেন। মিছিলে পুলিশের বাধা, লাঠিচার্জ ও টিয়ারসেল নিক্ষেপের প্রতিবাদে আগামী ২ জানুয়ারি সারাদেশে বিক্ষোভ কর্মসূচি পালন করার ঘোষণা দিয়েছেন কমিটির সদস্য সচিব আনু মুহাম্মদ। গণসংহতি আন্দোলনের প্রধান সমন্বয়কারী জোনায়েদ সাকী বাংলানিউজকে বলেন, আমাদের পাঁচ কর্মীকে আহত অবস্থায় ঢাকা মেডিক্যাল কলেজ হাসপাতালে ভর্তি করা হয়েছে। এরা হলেন— হ‍াসান, সুমনা, মাসুদ, আপন এবং আরিফা। সকালে জাতীয় প্রেস ক্লাবের সামনে থেকে কমিটির বিক্ষোভ মিছিলটি জ্বাল‍ানি মন্ত্রণালয় অভিমুখে যাওয়ার কথা ছিল। সেখানে জ্বালানি মন্ত্রণালয় ঘেরাওয়ের কর্মসূচি দিয়েছিল কমিটি। কিন্তু তোপখানা রোডে ঢোকার মুখে পুলিশ মিছিলের গতি রোধ করে। এ সময় মিছিলটি ছত্রভঙ্গ করতে পুলিশ লাঠিচার্জ করে ও টিয়ার সেল নিক্ষেপ করে। এর আগে মিছিল পূর্ব সমাবেশে আনু মুহাম্মদ বলেন, আবারো ফুলবাড়ীতে উন্মুক্ত খনি করার পাঁয়তারা করছে সরকার। কিন্তু সেখানে যে ডাকাতরাই যাক না কেন, তারা জীবিত ফিরতে পারবে না। জ্বালানি মন্ত্রণালয় ঘেরাও কর্মসূচিকে মুক্তিযুদ্ধের দ্বিতীয় পর্ব উল্লেখ করে তিনি বলেন, ‘এর মাধ্যমে বাঙালি জাতিকে একটি আত্মনির্ভরশীল জাতি হিসেবে গড়ে তোলা হবে।’ এ আন্দোলনে জনগণকে শরিক হওয়ার আহ্বান জানিয়ে তিনি আরো বলেন, ‘জ্বালানি মন্ত্রণালয়ে দেশি-বিদেশি দুর্ব‍ৃত্তদের রুখতে না পারলে এই দেশেদারিদ্র্য ক্রমান্বয়ে বাড়তে থাকবে। জ্বালানি মন্ত্রণালয়ের দুর্নীতির কারণে জনগণের পরিবহন ব্যয় ৫০ শতাংশ বেড়েছে উল্লেখ করে আনু মুহাম্মদ বলেন, ‘একের পর এক কুইক রেন্টাল বিদ্যুৎ কেন্দ্র দিয়ে সরকার দেশের সামগ্রিক অর্থনীতিকে ধ্বংসের মুখে ঠেলে দিয়েছে। জ্বালানি মন্ত্রণালয়ের অপকর্মেরবিরুদ্ধে কেউ যেন আদালতে যেতে না পারে সে জন্য ২০১০ সালে দায়মুক্তির আইন করে দিয়েছে। এ ‍আইনের কারণে দেশের খনিজ সম্পদের ওপর দেশের জনগণের মালিকানা হাতছাড়া হয়ে যাচ্ছে। তিনি বিদ্যুৎ খাতকে লুটেরাদের হাত থেকে রক্ষার আহ্বান জানিয়ে বলেন, ‘জাতীয় কমিটির এ আন্দোলনের মাধ্যমে লুটেরা ও দুর্বৃত্তদের রুখে দিতে হবে। অপ্রীতিকর ঘটনা এড়াতে মুক্তাঙ্গণ ও তোপখানা রোডে ব্যাপক পুলিশ ও র্যাব সদস্য মোতায়েন করা হয়। সকাল ১১টার দিকে তোপখানা রোডে দুইস্তর বিশিষ্টি কাঁটা তারের বেড়া দিয়ে সব ধরণের যান চলাচল বন্ধ করে দেয় পুলিশ। পুলিশের বাধা পেয়ে কমিটির মিছিল আবার প্রেস ক্লাবের সামনে ফিরে আসে এবং সেখানে বিক্ষোভ সমাবেশ করে। লাঠি. গুলি. টিয়ার গ্যাস-জবাব দেবে বাংলাদেশ। জাতীয় কমিটির জ্বালানি মন্ত্রনালয় ঘেরাও কর্মসূচি অনুষ্ঠিত। ছবি, ভিডিও, নিউজ গুলো নিচের লিন্কগুলো পাওয়া যাবে (ট্যুইটার, ফেসবুক

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Daily Amardesh -ঢাকা, বৃহস্পতিবার ২৯ ডিসেম্বর ২০১১, ১৫ পৌষ ১৪১৮, ৩ সফর ১৪৩৩ হিজরী

Daily Amardesh -ঢাকা, বৃহস্পতিবার ২৯ ডিসেম্বর ২০১১, ১৫ পৌষ ১৪১৮, ৩ সফর ১৪৩৩ হিজরী

Daily Amardesh -ঢাকা, বৃহস্পতিবার ২৯ ডিসেম্বর ২০১১, ১৫ পৌষ ১৪১৮, ৩ সফর ১৪৩৩ হিজরী

Daily Amardesh -ঢাকা, বৃহস্পতিবার ২৯ ডিসেম্বর ২০১১, ১৫ পৌষ ১৪১৮, ৩ সফর ১৪৩৩ হিজরী

RUSSIAN COURT REFUSES TO BAN TRANSLATION OF BHAGAVAT GEETA

WE REMEMBER LATE MONAZATUDDIN

JADE MOUNTAIN OFFERS NEW SAINT LUCIA EXCURSION

Award-winning Caribbean resort debuts "Whisk Her Away" encounter with luxury SOUFRIERE, Saint Lucia (December 27, 2011) - One of the top resorts in the world, Saint Lucia's multiple award-winning Jade Mountain, is offering cruise ship couples arriving on the island a daytime excursion like no other. The resort's "Whisk Her Away to Jade Mountain" promotion entices shipboard couples to grab an opportunity to escape the hordes of fellow passengers to an exquisite luxury daytime encounter. The cruise couple will be taken to the enchanting former French colonial capital of Soufrière to experience the unique Jade Mountain resort hideaway with its world class cuisine and breathtaking views of the iconic twin peak Pitons mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Often listed among the top three resorts in the Caribbean, Jade Mountain is an architectural marvel created to celebrate Saint Lucia's magnificent scenic beauty. Cruise ship guests will be whisked by private helicopter from Castries and met 20 minutes later on the property's helicopter pad and the Jade Mountain Club for a refreshing glass of champagne. The helicopter ride treats passengers to stunning views of the island's beautiful west coast before descending onto Jade which is regally perched in the rugged hillside above the sea. Guests enjoy delectable cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Jonathan Dearden at Jade Mountain. Photograph available at: www.tinyurl.com/whiskheraway2 With the Pitons as the backdrop, guests will enjoy a specially designed four-course lunch with a choice of wines created by Executive Chef Jonathan Dearden. Jade Mountain's menu features fresh seasonal ingredients, including organic produce grown on the resort's Emerald Estate farm. The excursion costs US $2,799 per couple (two passengers) or US $3,099 for four persons in total. Alternatively, tours can also be booked via private speedboat for US $1,999 per couple (two passengers) or US $2,499 for four passengers. Tours are commissionable for travel agents. For more information, visit www.stluciaviptours.com, email viptours@ansechastanet.com or call + 1 800 223-1108.

Wall Street Mulls Suicide by Tactical Allocation

Not Going Tactical Could Pose Real Business Risks, Advisors Fear ... Following the twin market implosions of the past decade—first tech, then real estate—many retail financial advisors are looking for more tactical, meaning active, asset allocation solutions for client portfolios to dampen volatility, improve total returns and avoid market catastrophes. At least some of them fear that if they don't dramatically change the way they allocate client portfolios, moving away from traditional buy-and-hold investing strategies, they could lose clients. So say a handful of advisors and an investing expert. Things could get especially bad if another bear market hits, says Ron Carson, founder and CEO of Carson Wealth Management Group. "[Investors] are hanging on by a thread right now, and I don't think they're going to forgive." – Registered Rep Dominant Social Theme: We need to show you new ways of investing, though we don't want to. Free-Market Analysis: Is it time for Wall Street to fall on the ceremonial sword of tactical asset allocation? In the long-term, this is the only strategy that works, but for the last ten years – as for much of the rest of last century – Wall Street has proven impervious to its blandishments and even conspired to withhold the strategy from investors. The reason is simple. To suggest tactical asset allocation (and to explain it properly) one actually has to grapple with some of the fundamental issues of the modern, Western monetary economy. The big firms that most Wall Street and "independent" brokers work for would rather chew their own (figurative) arms off than engage in these discussions. Yes, the idea of explaining that modern central banks are a kind of Ponzi scheme that collapse every 15 or 20 years and that gold and silver are historically valid money metals is not the kind of palaver that Wall Street's bosses want to engage in. Of course, they should engage in it because every couple of decades millions of people who have bought into the Wall Street investment paradigm are stripped of their hard-earned assets – assets that are not going to return to people in their 60s or 70s. Of course, the defenders of the Wall Street paradigm will explain that brokers are not wedded to stocks but when the stock market is sputtering, fixed income instruments are recommended. There is only trouble with this sort of strategy – in a REAL money metals bull such as what we have today, bonds likely don't perform much better than stocks. Corporate bonds aren't apt to perform well because companies generally are in the doldrums. As far as Treasuries go, well ... savvy Wall Streeters know darn well that central banks will keep interest low during a bad "bear" market. Thus money becomes cheap, devaluing the bonds that people are holding if they want to sell them. (And many may have to sell because of hard times.) In looking over the wreckage of the modern financial industry, one must almost inescapably come to a conclusion that a kind of crime has been committed. For a decade now, US stock markets have moved down, sideways and occasionally up. But the carnage is much worse than has been reported. Stock market averages are summaries of overall performance and not representative of individual stocks. Mutual funds and other formally regulated entities have been savaged by the bull market in money metals – just as they were degraded back in the 1970s. To argue that Wall Street's collective memory does not extend back some 40 years is a non-starter, in our view. The collective brain-trust that inhabits Wall Street knows exactly how the modern economy works. It's their business to know. "They" knew back in the early 2000s what was going to happen. If a bunch of disorganized bloggers could predict it, so could Wall Street's top brains. In fact, knowing what was going on, Wall Street collectively made the decision to HIDE it. How did they do this? The way they always do. They kept talking up the regular investments – stocks, bonds and even real estate. They kept referring to Modern Portfolio Theory and to the benefits of "buy and hold." The persuasiveness of Wall Street's money salesmen collectively cost American consumers trillions. People listened to their brokers and held down, down, down ... Down until many of them were wiped out. And still they held! They were told that if they held on long enough the market would "come back." This was just a lie, and continues to be a lie. Consumer-driven stock markets are probably NOT coming back, or not for many more years, because the business cycle won't allow it. This is another kind of crime committed by Wall Street. The determination not to provide consumers with the valid essentials of Austrian economics leaves people defenseless. The additional layers of regulatory supervision give people the idea that investing is essentially riskless. Maybe a few percentage points may be lost but they'll make it up in the long run. But as we have pointed out in the past, US consumers in particular have been subject to a kind of "Dreamtime." Central banking itself producers this Dreamtime because the over-printing of money-from-nothing creates euphorias that can last for years, even decades (on and off). People get the idea that the good times will never end, and that they financial geniuses because their decisions are working out. In reality, in our humble view (and we know this is not a mainstream perception) it is all a cold-blooded hustle. A vicious deception. The gray-suited technocratic thugs that push this sort of financial, money-from-nothing crack are ruining households and bankrupting families with the same malicious efficiency as that wielded by a bloody shooting war. The carnage in terms of broken lives is similar – and death from financial dislocation may come more slowly, but perhaps in some sense even more agonizingly. Ask someone who has lost his job, house and family if he is enjoying life – or wishes to die – and the answer may well tend toward the latter. And make no mistake. The Dreamtime myth that one could "save" for retirement is just that. It is a kind of obscene joke for many middle and even upper middle class people who have been eviscerated by this decade-long bear bull-metals business cycle. Here's some more from the article: A Natixis Investor Insights Study found that 63 percent of investors are now paying more attention to risk than ever before. If the market nose-dives, advisors are going to want to have a different story to tell. They can't just tell clients to hang on and wait it out like many of them did in 2008. Meanwhile, clients are expressing specific interest in tactical solutions. "Clients have a very hard time [increasing their equity exposure] because of the experiences that they've been through the last few years, and if you can find something that's a little more tactical, then it's little more palatable to a client today," said Don Phillips, managing director of Morningstar. "You can have the greatest paper results in the world, but if your clients don't stay on board, it's all for naught." According to a survey by Cerulli Associates, the number of FAs using either a pure tactical allocation or strategic allocation with a tactical overlay is now at 61 percent, up 8.3 percent from 2010. A Jefferson National survey from September 2011 found that 75.5 percent of advisors believe that active portfolio managers can outperform an index over the long term. In Jefferson National's 2010 survey, 66 percent of advisors said clients were more confident with a tactical asset management strategy, while only 34 percent said clients were more confident with a traditional buy- and-hold strategy. Cerulli defines pure tactical allocation as the advisor's ability to alter a client allocation without any preset bounds based on forward-looking market expectations. Under a strategic allocation with a tactical overlay, the advisor starts with a long-term client allocation, but makes short-term deviations from the long-term strategic weights to capture alpha or move away from risk, Cerulli says ... "I think that the fact that we had these two big blowups in short sequence, I do think it poses a challenge where we really do have one more shot at this," said Lee Munson, chief investment officer of Portfolio, an RIA, and author of Rigged Money: Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game. "And we are, in a sense, fighting for the soul of the U.S. investor." Darn right, Wall Street is fighting for the "soul" of the US investor! And likely Wall Street is going to lose just as it did back in the 1930s and 1940s. People don't know anything about the history of Wall Street because it's been hidden – on purpose, in our view. But that's what happened – not that they like to talk about it. But here at the Daily Bell, our elves spent about a decade investigating the "money business" and we know full well how it was set up. Things were so bad in the 1950s that the NYSE organized "road shows" to convince people to invest in stocks. It wasn't an act of charity, either. Wall Street is merely one arm of the massively tentacled Money Power that resides in the City of London with outposts in Washington, the Vatican and Tel Aviv. The factions may fight among each other but at the end of the day they have the same goals and use the same facility to realize their goal of world government – run by them. The facility, of course, is central banking. It is a central banking Dreamtime that has infected the world, especially the Western world, especially America, which has been a target of Money Power for 300 years. People have been tricked into believing that government can provide social services, that political "leaders" can "create" jobs, that a massive military is necessary to keep them "safe." None of it is true. The Anglosphere power elite seems to have spun this fantasy based on access apparently to hundreds of trillions of central-banking paper dollars. This allowed them to reshape the world with such massive trickery that not until recently – thanks to what we call the Internet Reformation – has the truth gradually been revealed. And now, like an alcoholic facing the next day's horrible hangover, Wall Street faces the unappetizing task of explaining to investors that "tactical" asset allocation is preferable to bankruptcy. The only trouble is that to explain it – to REALLy explain it – is to participate in an educative process that will eventually fuel additional dislike (hatred, more likely) for the "money business," especially in America where the nonsense is most advanced. To explain tactical asset allocation properly, Wall Street brokers will have to explain the essential destructive nature of central banking. They will have to clue in their hapless clients to the idea that stocks are basically a manipulated monetary medium – and that the modern "stock" would likely not exist without central banking. They will have to explain that government bonds are not really much more trustworthy in the long run than corporate ones. They will have to explain that for huge chunks of time – up to several decades − the idea of buying and holdings stocks, even blue chip stocks, is a recipe for slow bankruptcy. And finally, the real "topper" – if they are any good, they will likely have to explain that at some point in the future (perhaps the near future) buying horrible, little gold and silver mining juniors may be the surest way to wealth. That's because as the business cycle turns the money mania continually commences. First physical gold and silver are bid up and then paper metals and finally mining stocks and junior miners. It has nothing to do with the VALUE of junior mining stocks, only with the mania of the incipient blow off. Now, the chances of your average broker explaining to his clients WHY they should consider buying junior mining stocks is probably fairly low. And if they DO explain, the chances are they won't really come clean. Two reasons: One, they likely don't fully understand themselves, and two, they certainly don't want to admit that the entire business is a racket and that they work for facility of that racketeering element. Conclusion: We will end with the point we made in this article's title. For Wall Street's intrepid money men to tell the truth about the money business and the advantages of tailoring one's portfolio to the business cycle, one has to ADMIT there is a business cycle and that, as the Austrians have explained, it is a FUNCTION of central banking. And then when the inevitable questions come − Why do we need a money business that facilitates this rotten system and its ruinous central banks? − the answer will be ...

URGING TO SUPPORT FOR THE WAR AGAINST DRUG

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the war on drugs and we're closer than ever to bringing it to an end. Can you help us continue the fight? If you make a tax-deductible donation today your gift will be doubled by an anonymous donor who will match your gift dollar-for-dollar through the end of the year until we reach $100,000. With your help, we've pushed drug policy reform into the mainstream debate and achieved many exciting victories: • We worked with Congress on a historic bill that would end federal marijuana prohibition by allowing states to decide their own marijuana laws. • DPA played a pivotal role in the Global Commission on Drug Policy and events commemorating the 40th anniversary of the war on drugs, generating unprecedented media coverage about the need for fundamental reforms of the global prohibition regime. • After a public campaign led by DPA and our allies, all NYPD officers were ordered to stop wrongful marijuana charges based on improper searches -- which could lead to the reduction of tens of thousands of marijuana arrests every year in NYC. • We spearheaded the effort to keep New Jersey's medical marijuana law moving forward, resulting in the governor's implementation of the state's medical marijuana law. • After generating a huge response from our supporters, we blocked legislation that would have repealed New Mexico's medical marijuana program. We won many reforms and won't give up the fight -- but our opposition certainly isn't giving up either. That's why I need your support more than ever to protect our successes. We can do the work but we'll need the resources to do it. Please donate today, and your tax-deductible gift will be matched. Sincerely, Ethan Nadelmann Executive Director Drug Policy Alliance