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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The 16 Most Powerful Members Of 'Skull And Bones'

Photo by Susan Watts-Pool/Getty Images

George W. Bush, the last in a long line of Bonesman in his family, gives a speech as president.

In 1832, five Yale students — including future President William Howard Taft's father — founded one of America's most famous secret societies: Skull and Bones.

Since then, the group has come to signify all that both mesmerizes and repulses the public about the elite.

Each year, only 15 seniors are "tapped," or chosen, for lifetime membership in the club.

A windowless building on 64 High St., the "Tomb," serves as the club's headquarters. The roof is a landing pad for a private helicopter, according to Alexandra Robbins' book, "Secrets of the Tomb." For that perk and others, Bonesmen must swear total allegiance to the club.

New members divulge intimate personal details, including their full sexual histories, before they're inducted. They also agree to give part of their estates to the club. But, in return, they receive the promise of lifelong financial stability so they won't feel tempted to sell the club's secrets, Robbins writes.

Until 1971, the organization published annual rosters, kept on file at the university's library. While most recent members of the society remain tight-lipped about those secrets, we at least know the identities of some of most powerful Bonesmen.

Among those business titans, poets, politicians, and three U.S. Presidents, we picked the honor roll.

Thornton McEnery contributed research to this article.

William Howard Taft — Class of 1878

Yale University Archives

As the only person to serve as both president and Supreme Court chief justice, Taftearned his spot on our list. The portly 27th president went by "Old Bill" during his Yale days but later earned the nickname "Big Lub."

Taft also allegedly received the honorary title of "magog," meaning he had the most sexual experience, while in the secret club. (MAGOG VERY BIBLICAL>>>>)

Young Taft probably found entrance into the club rather easily. His father, former Attorney General Alphonso Taft, co-founded Skull and Bones as a Yale student in 1832.

Walter Camp — Class of 1880

Wikimedia Commons

Known as the "father of American football," Camp, with other classmates, developed the game from the Brits' version of rugby. He played in the first rugby game at Yale against Harvard in 1876.

Camp created many of modern football's rules, such as assessment of points and limiting the field-team to 11 men per side. But most importantly, he brought organization and esteem to the game, serving on the rules committee until his death.

Camp also established the National College Athlete Association, still operating today. During World War I, most of the armed forces conditioned using his tactics.

Amos Alonzo Stagg — Class of 1888

Yale University Archives

Yale's greatest football player of all time (sorry, Calvin Hill), Stagg also contributed to popularizing the game. He remains the only man elected into both the Basketball Hall of Fame andCollege Football Hall of Fame, also the only person to enter the latter as both a player and coach. While he didn't invent basketball, he contributed to the game's spread, especially at the college level.

Stagg coached various collegiate teams for 71 years — the longest run of any coach.

In other sports accomplishments, he also invented the batting cage for baseball and the overflow trough built into swimming pools.

W. Averell Harriman — Class of 1913

Yale University Archives

The future governor of New York and almost presidential candidate clearly enjoyed his time at Yale.

Immediately after graduation, Harrimaninherited one of the largest fortunes in the country from his railroad-baron father. Harriman, however, took a job as Yale's crew coach and stuck around New Haven.

"Thor," as his fellow Bonesmen referred to him, continued to enjoy himself around town as a Yale celebrity before moving on to his many future successes like secretary of commerce and ambassador to the Soviet Union.

Robert Lovett — Class of 1918

Yale University Archives

As Harry Truman's secretary of war, many have called Lovett "the architect of the Cold War." But he took an even more prominent role heading the Korean War.

He felt the U.S. not only disarmed after World War II but disintegrated. He raised the military budget $49 billion to meet the growing threat in Korea, invigorating anti-communist sentiments that permeated the Cold War.

"[Lovett] has truly been the eyes, ears and hands of the Secretary of War in respect to the growth of that enormous American airpower which has astonished the world and played such a large part in bringing the war to a speedy and successful conclusion," President Truman wrote when Lovett received the Distinguished Service Medal in 1945.

Henry Luce — Class of 1920

Yale University Archives

Considered a magazine magnate even today, Luce launched multiple publications: Time, Time Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, among smaller side projects.

During his time at Yale, he met Briton Hadden who would become his lifelong business partner. Hadden and he served as chairman and managing editor at the Yale Daily News, respectively.

Luce's fellow Bonesmen also referred to him as "Baal," referencing a mythological, ancient, Aramaic demon.

Lyman Spitzer — Class of 1935


A noted astrophysicist, Spitzerdreamed up the idea behind the Hubble Space Telescope — the first method to observe space uninhibited by the Earth's atmosphere. He also lobbied NASA and Congress for the funds and oversaw production of the actual machine.

After 44 years, NASA launched the Hubble into space. The Hubble remains there today, providing stunning images of the universe and making new discoveries.

Although we don't know much about Spitzer's time as a Bonesman, NASA did name the Spitzer Space Telescope in his honor.

Potter Stewart — Class of 1937

Yale University Archives

The son of a Midwestern congressman, Stewart became the editor of The Yale Law Review during his time at Yale.

As a Supreme Court justice, Potter sat firmly in the middle of an ideological war on the bench. Notably, he wrote a dissent inGriswold v. Connecticut in 1965, invalidating a Connecticut law which banned contraceptives, as a violation of the right to marital privacy. His opinions in various cases also helped solidify Fourth Amendment protections.

Stewart also became famous for this quote about hardcore pornography: "I know it when I see it."

McGeorge Bundy — Class of 1940

Yale University Archives

Before becoming one of JFK's "Wise Men," Bundy may have relied on his big brother to help him get into Skull and Bones. William Bundy, who graduated a class earlier, went on to serve as State Department liaison official, notably during the Bay of Pigs invasion.

"Odin," as fellow Bonesmen called him, however, left his own mark on the world, though potentially not all positive.

One of the Kennedy's advisors, for whom a journalist coined the term "best and brightest," Bundy heavily impacted the evolution of the Vietnam War. After his death, fellow officials used his notes to express regret about many policies enacted during the era.

George Herbert Walker Bush — Class of 1948

Skull and Bones Yearbook, 1948

Before Bush became the second Bonesman to occupy the Oval Office, he also piloted in WWII and served as ambassador to Red China, director of the CIA, and of course, VP to Ronald Reagan.

President during the end of the Cold War, Bush obviously supported space exploration. The American people have also criticized and exalted his involvement in the Gulf War, notably Operation Desert Storm.

One of Bush's little-known contributions, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, was one of the most pro-civil-rights legislation in decades. But he also vetoed the Civil Rights Act of 1990.

William F. Buckley Jr. — Class 0f 1950


Known for his outspokenness and transatlantic accent,Buckley symbolized the most conservative brand of politics.

At Yale, he acted as chairman of the Yale Daily News and was a member of the debate team. Buckley later founded the political magazine the National Review, still in production today. He also wrote many spy novels throughout his life.

John F. Kerry — Class of 1966

Yale University Archives

The current secretary of state and former senator from Massachusetts, Kerryspent a childhood abroad with his diplomat father before attending Yale and gaining membership into Skull and Bones.

While at Yale, he served as the (liberal) president of the Yale Political Union, although his candidacy in the 2004 presidential race didn't end quite as well.

Kerry's period as an on-campus Bonesman just missed — by two years — intersecting with the man he would come to challenge in that messy political head-to-head.

Frederick Wallace Smith — Class of 1966

AP Photo

Smith, an often forgotten Bonesman, founded FedEx, the first and largest express delivery company in the world. He currently serves as president, chairman, and CEO of the multibillion-dollar company.

He earned his degree in economics, and many speculated he might land a role in John McCain's potential presidential cabinet or even be his VP pick.

Defying ideological borders, Smith was close friends with both Bush and Kerry during his days at Yale.

Smith also made a brief cameo in the movie "Cast Away." (If you'll recall, Wilson, the friendliest volleyball, arrived in a FedEx box.)

George W. Bush — Class of 1968

Media Library - Yale Whiffenpoofs

"W's" family name had become synonymous with Skull and Bones by the time the handsome chap arrived on Yale's campus. There were rumors that Bush almost missed getting tapped by the group, but he ended up becoming the third Bonesman to become President.

We don't know much about Bush's time in the club. "My senior year I joined Skull and Bones, a secret society, so secret I can't say anything more," he wrote in his 1999 autobiography, "A Charge to Keep." Bush, however, carries a certain disdain for Yale's brand of East Coast elitism, according to The Atlantic.

Reportedly, Bush was also a "magog," or the most sexually experienced member, just like Taft.

Stephen A. Schwarzman — Class of 1969

Class photo unavailable

The club tapped Schwarzman only a year behind George W. Bush and he came to prominence under the future president's administration when his hedge fund, The Blackstone Group,went public in 2007.

The SEC filings for Blackstone's IPO revealed that Schwarzman had made an average of $1 million per day for the fiscal year ending December 2006. Forbes estimates his personal fortune at around $7.7 billion.

In 2010, Schwarzman famously compared the Obama administration's plan to raise taxes to Hitler's invasion of Poland. He apologized after the media hullabaloo.

Dana Milbank — Class of 1990

YouTube/New Report

Milbank begins the newest generation of Bonesmen on the list. A controversial journalist by all political walks, he has covered both the Bush and Obama presidencies extensively, offending both at one time or another.

Milbank currently writes a column for the Washington Post called "Washington Sketch." His name has also appeared in the New Republic and Wall Street Journal.

Milbank authored "Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Teabagging of America," among other less well-known books.

Austan Goolsbee — Class of 1991

Another newbie Bonesman by usual standards, Goolsbee, 41, serves as the youngest chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors in the history of the White House as well as the youngest current member of Obama's cabinet.

The Texas-born economist was presumably tapped in 1989 while studying economics and performing with the Yale improve troupe "Just Add Water."

Read more:http://www.businessinsider.com/powerful-members-of-skull-and-bones-2014-2?op=1#ixzz2t91fEnl0

Credit to Business Insider

Where's the debt ceiling now?

chart debt ceiling increases

Lawmakers have decided to suspend the debt ceiling again -- this time, at a level that's now about $512 billion higher than it was last fall.

On Tuesday, the Treasury Department reported that the nation's borrowing limit automatically reset to roughly $17.2 trillion, after the last suspension expired on Friday.

Here's why: Suspensions have become lawmakers' favorite way of "raising" the debt ceiling. They let Treasury borrow as needed to pay the bills and avert default. And when the suspension ends, the debt limit resets to the old cap plus whatever Treasury borrowed during the suspension period.

In other words, a suspension doesn't technically raise the debt ceiling, but that's the net effect.

The beauty for Congress is that lawmakers don't have to go on record as voting for a formal increase by a specific dollar amount.

The reset to $17,211,558,177,668.77 marks the fifth effective increase in the debt ceiling since August 1, 2011, when it was $14.3 trillion.

The debt ceiling suspension approved this week by both the House and Senate will last through March 15, 2015. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimates that between now and then Treasury will have to borrow roughly $1 trillion.

Credit to CNN

JP Morgan Executive Becomes 5th Banker to Die in Last 2 Weeks

Image: JP Morgan HQ (Wikimedia Commons).

Two weeks after the suicide of a JP Morgan banker who jumped to his death from the top of a building, another of the firm’s employees has died, with 37-year-old Ryan Henry Crane becoming the 5th banker fatality in just the last few weeks alone.

Crane was an Executive Director in JPM’s Global Program Trading desk based in New York and had been with the firm for 14 years.

Few details have been released concerning the nature of his death, with reports merely stating that Crane is survived by his wife and son.

“We can only hope this disturbing chain of deaths within the financial industry – one of which involved a nail-gun induced suicide – is purely accidental,” writes Zero Hedge.

Some have speculated that the deaths could be a precursor to a major financial collapse, although no hard evidence of a connection has been forthcoming.

Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old senior manager at JP Morgan’s European headquarters, jumped 500ft from the top of the bank’s headquarters in central London on January 27, landing on an adjacent 9 story roof.

A few days later, Mike Dueker, the chief economist at Russell Investments, fell down a 50 foot embankment in what police described as a suicide. Dueker was reported missing on January 29 by friends, who said he had been “having problems at work.”

On January 26, former Deutsche Bank executive Broeksmit was found dead at his South Kensington home after police responded to reports of a man found hanging at a house. According to reports, Broeksmit had “close ties to co-chief executive Anshu Jain.”

Richard Talley, 57, founder of American Title Services in Centennial, Colorado, was also found dead last week after apparently shooting himself with a nail gun.

Tim Dickenson, a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG, also died last month, although the circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown.

Crdit to Infowars

DHS Buying "Zombie-Max" Rounds - Ohio N.G. Training to Fight Pro Gun Terrorists

Tiny motors set to motion in live human cells

For the first time tiny rocket-shaped synthetic motors have been placed inside live human cells. What has been a staple of science fiction is now a promising method to treat cancer, US scientists say.
The researchers from Penn State University have successfully embedded synthetic nanomotors into HeLa cells, an immortal line of human cervical cancer cells typically used in research studies, according to a press release published on the university’s website.

"As these nanomotors move around and bump into structures inside the cells, the live cells show internal mechanical responses that no one has seen before," said Tom Mallouk, Evan Pugh Professor of Materials Chemistry and Physics at Penn State. The findings were published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition on Monday.

Until now the researchers studied nanomotors only "in vitro” - in a laboratory apparatus, said Mallouk, adding that the experiment in human cells was performed for the first time.
Similar nanomotors were developed at Penn State University ten years ago, however they were chemically powered and could not move in cells.

"Our first-generation motors required toxic fuels and they would not move in biological fluid, so we couldn't study them in human cells," Mallouk said. "That limitation was a serious problem."

Then the research team made a breakthrough by discovering that the ‘tiny rockets’ could be powered by ultrasonic waves.

Using low ultrasonic power the nanomotors have little effect on the cells, however when the power is increased they start actively moving “bumping into organelles - structures within a cell that perform specific functions,” Mallouk explained.

“The nanometers can act as egg beaters to essentially homogenize the cell's contents, or they can act as battering rams to actually puncture the cell membrane,” according to the press release.
Credit RT

Jobs, Gold, and Janet Yellen

Iran: “We are ready for the decisive battle with America and the Zionist regime (Israel)

“We are ready for the decisive battle with America and the Zionist regime (Israel),” Fars news agency quoted Firouzabadi as saying Wednesday.

He also warned neighboring nations not to allow any attack to be launched on Iran from their soil.
“We do not have any hostility toward regional states, but if we are ever attacked from the American bases in the region we will strike that area back,” he said.

Hassan Firouzabadi, left, with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2011. (Screenshot: Youtube)

Washington has many military bases in the region, including in Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said late last month that if diplomacy with Iran fails, “the military option of the United States is ready and prepared to do what it would have to do.”

But Firouzabadi accused the US of bluffing.

“Over the past decade, they brought their forces but came to the conclusion that they can’t attack us, and left,” he said, dismissing the US military threat as nothing but a “political bluff.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that the West should not have any delusions about using a military option.

An Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force Su-24MK fighter aircraft (photo credit: CC BY-SA, Shahram Sharifi/Wikimedia)

“I say explicitly, if some have delusions of having any threats against Iran on their tables, they need to wear new glasses. There is no military option against Iran on any table in the world,” he said.

On Sunday, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy Commander Ali Fadavi said the US knows that its aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf would be sunk if it launched a military strike on Iran.

“The Americans can sense by all means how their warships will be sunk with 5,000 crews and forces in combat against Iran and how they should find its hulk in the depths of the sea,” said Fadavi, according to Fars news agency.

“They cannot hide themselves in the sea since the entire Middle East region, Western Europe, the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz are monitored by us and there is no place for them to hide.”

Also Sunday, Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan touted the Iranian military’s ability to respond to an American attack, Fars reported.

“The Iranian Armed Forces are an intertwined and coherent complex that can give a decisive response to any threat at any level and any place under the command of the commander-in-chief,” Dehqan said in a ceremony marking the 35th anniversary of the revolution that brought the current Islamic regime to power.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on parade (photo credit: YouTube image capture)

“The enemy can never assess and think of the range of the response given by the powerful and mighty Armed Forces of the Islamic Iran,” he added.

The bellicose rhetoric follows Saturday’s announcement by an Iranian admiral that Iran had dispatched warships to the North Atlantic, while Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced the Americans as liars who, while professing to be friends of Tehran, would bring down his regime if they could. He also said it was “amusing” that the US thought Iran would reduce its “defensive capabilities.”

On Friday, Iranian state TV ran a documentary featuring a computerized video of Iran’s drones and missiles bombing Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ben-Gurion Airport and the Dimona nuclear reactor in a simulated retaliation for a hypothetical Israeli or American strike on the Islamic Republic.

Iran is due to resume talks on Monday in Vienna with the P5+1 — Britain, France, the United States, Russia and China plus Germany — aimed at reaching a comprehensive nuclear accord following a landmark interim agreement struck in November.

Western nations have long suspected Iran of covertly pursuing nuclear weapons alongside its civilian program, allegations denied by Tehran, which insists its nuclear activities are entirely peaceful.

Neither the United States nor Israel has ruled out military action to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, if diplomacy fails.

Credit to Times of Israel

Read more: Iran: We're ready for 'decisive battle' with Israel, US | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-were-ready-for-decisive-battle-with-israel-us/#ixzz2t70QI3Kh

Yellen to Crash Stock Market Worse than 1929

22 Facts About The Coming Demographic Tsunami That Could Destroy Our Economy All By Itself

TsunamiToday, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will retire.  This is going to happen day after day, month after month, year after year until 2030.  It is the greatest demographic tsunami in the history of the United States, and we are woefully unprepared for it.  We have made financial promises to the Baby Boomers worth tens of trillions of dollars that we simply are not going to be able to keep.  Even if we didn't have all of the other massive economic problems that we are currently dealing with, this retirement crisis would be enough to destroy our economy all by itself.  During the first half of this century, the number of senior citizens in the United States is being projected to more than double.  As a nation, we are alreadydrowning in debt.  So where in the world are we going to get the money to take care of all of these elderly people?
The Baby Boomer generation is so massive that it has fundamentally changed America with each stage that it has gone through.  When the Baby Boomers were young, sales of diapers and toys absolutely skyrocketed.  When they became young adults, they pioneered social changes that permanently altered our society.  Much of the time, these changes were for the worse.
According to the New York Post, overall household spending peaks when we reach the age of 46.  And guess what year the peak of the Baby Boom generation reached that age?...
People tend, for instance, to buy houses at about the same age — age 31 or so. Around age 53 is when people tend to buy their luxury cars — after the kids have finished college, before old age sets in. Demographics can even tell us when your household spending on potato chips is likely to peak — when the head of it is about 42.
Ultimately the size of the US economy is simply the total of what we’re all spending. Overall household spending hits a high when we’re about 46. So the peak of the Baby Boom (1961) plus 46 suggests that a high point in the US economy should be about 2007, with a long, slow decline to follow for years to come.
And according to that same article, the Congressional Budget Office is also projecting that an aging population will lead to diminished economic growth in the years ahead...
Lost in the discussion of this week’s Congressional Budget Office report (which said 2.5 million fewer Americans would be working because of Obamacare) was its prediction that aging will be a major drag on growth: “Beyond 2017,” said the report, “CBO expects that economic growth will diminish to a pace that is well below the average seen over the past several decades [due in large part to] slower growth in the labor force because of the aging of the population.”
So we have a problem.  Our population is rapidly aging, and an immense amount of economic resources is going to be required to care for them all.
Unfortunately, this is happening at a time when our economy issteadily declining.
The following are some of the hard numbers about the demographic tsunami which is now beginning to overtake us...
1. Right now, there are somewhere around 40 million senior citizens in the United States.  By 2050 that number is projected to skyrocket to 89 million.
2. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 46 percent of all American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, and29 percent of all American workers have less than $1,000 saved for retirement.
3. One poll discovered that 26 percent of all Americans in the 46 to 64-year-old age bracket have no personal savings whatsoever.
4. According to a survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, "60 percent of American workers said the total value of their savings and investments is less than $25,000".
5. 67 percent of all American workers believe that they "are a little or a lot behind schedule on saving for retirement".
6. A study conducted by Boston College's Center for Retirement Research found that American workers are $6.6 trillion short of what they need to retire comfortably.
7. Back in 1991, half of all American workers planned to retire before they reached the age of 65.  Today, that number has declined to 23 percent.
8. According to one recent survey, 70 percent of all American workers expect to continue working once they are "retired".
9. A poll conducted by CESI Debt Solutions found that 56 percent of American retirees still had outstanding debts when they retired.
10. A study by a law professor at the University of Michigan found that Americans that are 55 years of age or older now account for 20 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States.  Back in 2001, they only accounted for 12 percent of all bankruptcies.
11. Today, only 10 percent of private companies in the U.S. provide guaranteed lifelong pensions for their employees.
12. According to Northwestern University Professor John Rauh, the total amount of unfunded pension and healthcare obligations for retirees that state and local governments across the United States have accumulated is 4.4 trillion dollars.
13. Right now, the American people spend approximately 2.8 trillion dollars on health care, and it is being projected that due to our aging population health care spending will rise to an astounding 4.5 trillion dollars in 2019.
14. Incredibly, the United States spends more on health care than China, Japan, Germany, France, the U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Australia combined.
15. If the U.S. health care system was a country, it would be the 6th largest economy on the entire planet.
16. When Medicare was first established, we were told that it would cost about $12 billion a year by the time 1990 rolled around.  Instead, the federal government ended up spending $110 billion on the program in 1990, and the federal government spent approximately$600 billion on the program in 2013.
17. It is being projected that the number of Americans on Medicare will grow from 50.7 million in 2012 to 73.2 million in 2025.
18. At this point, Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.  That comes to approximately$328,404 for every single household in the United States.
19. In 1945, there were 42 workers for every retiree receiving Social Security benefits.  Today, that number has fallen to 2.5 workers, and if you eliminate all government workers, that leaves only 1.6 private sector workers for every retiree receiving Social Security benefits.
20. Right now, there are approximately 63 million Americanscollecting Social Security benefits.  By 2035, that number is projected to soar to an astounding 91 million.
21. Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years.
22. The U.S. government is facing a total of 222 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities during the years ahead.  Social Security and Medicare make up the bulk of that.
So where are we going to get the money?
That is a very good question.
The generations following the Baby Boomers are going to have to try to figure out a way to navigate this crisis.  The bright future that they were supposed to have has been destroyed by our foolishness and our reckless accumulation of debt.
But do they actually deserve a "bright future"?  Perhaps they deserve to spend their years slaving away to support previous generations during their golden years.  Young people today tend to be extremely greedy, self-centered and lacking in compassion.  They start blogs with titles such as "Selfies With Homeless People".  Here is one example from that blog...
Selfies With Homeless People
Of course not all young people are like that.  Some are shining examples of what young Americans should be.
Unfortunately, those that are on the right path are a relatively small minority.
In the end, it is our choices that define us, and ultimately America may get exactly what it deserves.
Credit to Economic Collapse

ALERT! Now Social Security Is Also Shutting Down On February 15th-18th!