Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
The Spotlight May 4, 1998
Bank Mergers Help Plutocrats, Hurt You. Internationalists Call For Elimination Of The F.D.I.C.
With the mergers between Banc One and First Chicago, Bank America and Nations-Bank and Citicorp and Travelers Group, America's banks have moved are moving overseas.
By Andrew Arnold
In just one week in April the U.S. banking industry was turned upside down.
The question is, exactly what do three mergers, worth more that $1 trillion in assets mean to you? No one seems to know. With the introduction of the global marketplace, some including folds at the Minneapolis federal Reserve bank, say it may be time to eliminate the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
The Minneapolis Fed has floated a trial balloon suggesting Congress cut back on de facto government guarantees for uninsured American depositors and creditors.
"With the safety net starting to extend beyond banking, the potential exposure has grown," says Arthur Rolnick, research director at the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis.
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan also favors the idea, according to published reports.
"It might be time to ask the question, 'What about federal deposit insurance: How essential is it in the modern financial system?" says James Barth, a finance professor at Auburn University in a published report.
Fritz Elmendorf, a vice president at Consumers Banking Association, told The SPOTLIGHT Congress has no plans to kill FDIC -- yet. "Congress likes deposit insurance," he added. "There's always someone talking about changing it. Right now it's a non-starter."
Banking analysts say you can expect to see a further drop in customer service, higher service fees for using automated teller machines, bouncing a check or not using preprinted deposit or withdrawal slips.
On the other hand, consultants say bigger banks tend to pay higher interest and offer lower cost loans.
Congress has permitted nationwide banking since 1994. The merger between San Francisco-based Bank America and NationsBank of North Carolina, announced April 13, is the first actual coast-to-coast bank. It was a $60 billion deal. It has assets of $570 billion.
A week earlier, Citicorp and Travelers Groups announced they wanted to merge in a $80 billion deal. The bank and insurance giant would control $700 billion in assets. Expected to be titled Citigroup, the organization says it will reinvent banking as it is known today. Citigroup hopes to create a global, one- stop financial service station for corporations and consumers.
There is one big problem standing in the way of the banking and insurance company merger. Federal law. During the Great Depression, Congress passed the 1933 Banking Act. Better known as the Glass-Steagall At, under terms of this law, commercial banks were separated from investment affiliates.
In the 1980s, the Fed allowed banks to affiliate with securities dealers, so long as the firms were not "principally: engaged in underwriting and selling stocks, municipal bonds and the like. But investment firms cannot own banks.
However, for the international financiers who created Citigroup, federal law is no problem. Travelers will seek Federal Reserve Board approval to become a bank holding company, so it can buy Citicorp. Citigroup would then have two years to divest itself of its insurance underwriting. After the two year period, Citicorp would be eligible for up to three consecutive one-year extensions.
That gives Citigroup lobbyist five years to rewrite the law. That's what the big money boys are expecting to do, according to published reports.
"This is the end of the national game. We're just beginning to go global," said consultant Lowell Bryan. "We are creating the financial services firms in the U.S. that will be the platform to be the true leaders globally."
"You're combining difficult, cyclical, volatile businesses -- commercial banking, investment banking, speculative trading and insurance under one roof," says Newsweek's Wall Street Editor Allan Sloan. "Why does piling risk on risk make things better?"
Good question, but the mainstream media has jumped on the international financial bandwagon. "Some lowering of barriers, within the financial industry, makes sense," opined the Washington Post in commenting about the Citicorp Travelers Group merger.
"... Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said last month that 'it is important for Congress to lead the way.' But Congress has failed a dozen times since 1979 to update Depression-era laws in this field...as a result, Citicorp, Travelers Group and other companies are leading the way while Congress fumbles," opined the Post.
Congress passed the 1933 Banking Act in response to a run on banks, the Great Depression and fearful masses. The FDIC was signed to claim the public. It is not designed to insure non-bank functions.
Given the Savings & Loan (S&L) scandal of the 1980s -- in which S&Ls moved beyond their traditional mortgage business into riskier ventures -- Congress should Think before acting. Taxpayers are still bailing out S&L investors. It will cost you at least $150 billion.
By the early 1990s, Citicorp -- yes the same bank involved in the merger -- was on the verge of going belly up. Federal regulators had deemed it too big to fail, so the Federal Reserve and government regulators stepped in.
Some fear it could happen again, if not with Citicorp, then some other megabank.
"There are dangers," says Washington columnist James Glassman. "The mergers make more institutions 'too big to fail." Knowing that regulators won't close them down in a crisis, bank managers may get reckless in lending."
"Convergence of banks, insurance and equities mixes all kinds of assets -- stocks, insurance, consumer loans, corporate finance, mortgages -- into one stew," business week pointed out in a recent editorial. "Record-high stocks, the 'cheap' money of the '90s, make bank mergers appear relatively painless. They aren't. Problems are inevitable, and Washington should begin to protect taxpayers from a replay of the 1980s savings and loan crisis"
Problems For D.C.
The sheer size of these new megabanks create problems for Washington. First, the FDIC doesn't have enough money to bail out anyone of the banks. The taxpayer-backed insurance fund has $30 billion. Second the federal government doesn't have enough bank managers to oversee these banks in an emergency.
"Bureaucrats trained to monitor banks loan-by-loan may be unable to get their arms around new behemoths like Citigroup and the BankAmerica Corp.- NationsBank Corp. Combo," says William M. Isaac, former chairman of the FDIC. "Federal regulatory systems are 10 years out of touch."
Guess who gets stuck with the tab? That's right, you will.
Pressure will mount on the United States to prop up these international financial houses "by reimbursing accounts that aren't even covered by FDIC guarantees," says the Christian Science Monitor. "Washington might be loathe to stand by and watch the collapse of banks whose failure could affect all areas of the U.S."
There are some other factors which must be addressed. First, the internationalization of financial services could throw state laws out the window, according to Elmendorf.
Also, bankers are famous for their egos.
"Very large banks soon dissipate into warring factions." said Andrew Gray, a retired banker. "Bankers live in a paper world, they are committed to a world of vanity."
Consequently, "megbanks are not manageable from within," he added.
Finally, what happens to America when a few banking institutions own a monopoly?
"The logical conclusion is that we'll have six major financial institutions in the U.S.," says William Benedetto, head of an investment banking boutique. "To have such a concentrated, national allocation of capital is dangerous."
The SPOTLIGHT May 4, 1998
Finance Finaglers Owe Much to Fed Chief
Although you saved Citicorp several years ago, don't expect to see a rofit from the $80 billion merger with Travelers Group.
By Martin Mann
By engaging iin a number of covert, duplicitous and corrupt financial maneuvers that cost American taxpayers and "prudent savers" hundreds of billions of dollars, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan rescued and built up Wall Street's tottering megabanks in the 1990s, to the point where they are now merging into global economic empires.
This populist newspaper reported these fact as early as 1993. No other news organization would address, much less expose, the issue of Greenspan's essentially criminal manipulation of public funds.
"Did Alan Greenspan get the finder's fee? Asked Alan Abelson, the dean of Wall Street commentators, in his jocular column that has led every issue of Barron's Financial Weekly for decades.
A finder's fee for the Fed boss? "For the Citicorp-Travelers merger deal, of course," explained Abelson, tongue-in-cheek. "If he doesn't get a payoff -- boy, has he ever got a suit. Pure and simple: except for Mr Greenspan there would be no Citicorp today."
When giant Citicorp was at death's door in the early '90s, " brought low by its own venal sins," along with many of its fellow commercial banks, they were rescued by Greenspan's manipulation of interest rates, Treasury bond yields and other factors, Abelson revealed.
By doing so, Greenspan made prudent American savers and provident taxpayers bear the full burden of bailing out the "improvident" megabanks such as Citicorp -- "a design of pure genius," Abelson wrote mockingly.
But the bitter joke was not on the Wall Street financiers, John Reed and Sanford Weill, the two bank presidents who engineered the recent merger of their huge financial service conglomerates, Citicorp and the Travelers Group, made a fortune on the deal.
"The proposed merger of Citicorp and Travelers has already enriched Mr. Reed's holdings by $67 million, and Mr. Weill by $248 million,' Abelson revealed.
The bitter joke was on American wage-earners, small savers and taxpayers, who could not even protest while hundreds of billions of their hard-earned assets were illegally squandered on saving some of Wall Street's greediest and most reckless speculators from well-earned bankruptcy. No one except this populist newspaper told them the truth about what Greenspan was doing until now, when it's far to late, say a veteran New York money manager.
"Yes, a timely expose of all this Fed graft may have made a difference but neither the Wall Street Journal nor the New York Times had the guts to investigate the flim-flam loans and offshore wheeling-dealing of the big banks," confirmed retired mutual fund executive Don Somerville.
Greenspan covered up his bailout scheme by lying about it to Congress in a succession of committee hearings -- the sort of falsehood that go Oliver North and some of his Iran-Contra scandal cohorts indicted and convicted on Criminal charges (later reversed on technical grounds).
Does the Fed head really rate a big bonus from the bankers, as Barron's lead columnist sarcastically suggested? "Frankly, we haven't figured out just how much of a fee Mr. Greenspan had coming. But we've every confidence that Mr. Reed and Mr. Weill will be generous," Abelson joked.
Greenspan's rumored payoffs from the bank bosses, whom he has made into billionaires, are no laughing matter -- no more so that the Fed's plunder of small savers and taxpayers -- knowledgeable Wall Street sources say.
The SPOTLIGHT May 4, 1998
Bio-Weapons Research Funded By U.S.
When it's Iraq, biological weapons are terrible, but does that stance apply to everyone?
By Mike Blair
It probably seems inconceivable -- perhaps even suicidal -- but the U.S. government has been quietly funding the continued operation of Russian research facilities that have been engaged in developing some of the world's most awesome biological warfare weapons.
The program, which has been kept extremely quiet, is being run by a joint committee of the U.S. department of Defense and the National Academy of Sciences and is funded by both the U.S. Department of Energy and the State Department.
The endeavor is said to be intended to keep the Russian scientists busy in Russia, Thus keeping them from taking their talents, and developments, to potential U.S. enemies.
According to U.S. sources, the Russians for 25 years have been "testing the limits of such formidable biological threats as ebola, anthrax and shigella."
50 Lab Sites
The one-time Soviet biological weapons program, known as Biopreparat, has involved work at laboratories at some 50 sites located throughout the former Soviet Union, Including a giant laboratory know as Vector and located in a remote region of Siberia.
Jane's Weekly, the highly authoritative British defense publication, has reported that Russian scientists in the Biopreparat program have developed "a genetically modified strain of the deadly bacteria anthrax, a strain that can resist all available vaccines and antibiotics."
The long Island, New York daily, Newsday, has reported that U.S. intelligence sources have conceded that the British publication is correct.
The intention of the U.S. funding of the bio-weapons effort in Russia is to prevent its spread to such potentially volatile nations as Iran and Iraq.
However, U.S. intelligence assets have continually reported that the deadly strain of anthrax, as one example, has already been passed on to Iraq and probably Iran as well, in exchange for hard currency, which the Russians are lacking.
Last September, The SPOTLIGHT has learned, in addition to helping to finance the Russian labs, the first steps were taken in a multi-million dollar collaborative effort that includes allowing Russian scientist to work at America's top secret biohazards laboratory located at Fort Detrick, Maryland, Maryland.
U.S. Experts 'overwhelmed'
U.S. experts who have visited Russian Biopreparat facilities, report that "the magnitude overwhelmed us, in terms of both the scale of the Russian bio- weapons program and the size of individual facilities, such as Vector, which has more that 100 lab and administrative buildings at one Siberian site." Are the Russians to be trusted?
Apparently, President Bill Clinton thinks they are. He was assured by Russian President Boris Yeltsin in a June 1992 meeting that all bio-weapons research would cease immediately. It was that assurance that ultimately led to U.S. funding of the Russian labs.
However, how good are Russian assurances? Are they any better than Soviet assurances? Will they be good assurances if the Russian Monolith returns to a communist mega-state?
Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that many of the 50 Russian bio-weapons complexes were developed in 1973, just months after the signing of the bio- weapons treaty between President Richard Nixon and then Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev, a treaty to ban all research on bio-weapons.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon is continuing with a program to vaccinate al members of the U.S. military with a new, close to experimental, vaccine that is to keep them from getting anthrax, knowing full well that this vaccine will have no effect on preventing the super anthrax strain developed in the Biopreparat laboratories -- the strain that U.S. intelligence agents have repeatedly reported is in the hands of the Iraqi military under Saddam Hussein.
Former President Ronald Reagan once said it is fine to trust, "but verify."
Within the Clinton administration, "verify" appears to have been removed from the dictionary, just another unnecessary antique of the Cold War.
The SPOTLIGHT May 11,1998
Clinton Funds U.N. Standing Army; Sidestepts Congress
Bill Clinton, without congressional approval, is backing a UN "standby" army with your money.
By James P. Tucker Jr.
Quietly, with no public notice whatsoever, President Clinton gave the UN $200,000 in taxpayer money for the establishment of a permanent United Nations army last September.
Thus, Clinton has kept a ling-standing promise to his Bilderberg and Trilateral Commission Colleagues. He belongs to both secret groups, which have interlocking leadership, and both have long called for a permanent UN army to enforce the emerging world government.
Pending in the Senate is legislation to prohibit U.S. support for a standing UN army. It's part of an omnibus foreign aid bill that would pay $817 million in "arrears" to the UN.
Knowing such a ban on support for a standing world army was likely, the Clinton administration is calling the proposed new UN military operation, the Rapidly Deployable Mission Headquarters (RDMHQ), a "standby army."
"That's just semantic gymnastics," said a high State Department official and veteran observer of the world shadow government. "All armies are 'standby ' until they go into combat. But they will be training, preparing for action of all sorts. There is no difference in being a "standing army' or 'standby army' in this case."
The SPOTLIGHT has reported for years on efforts by the international elitists groups to establish a standing world army. The establishment press, which is controlled by the Bilderberg-Trilateralists, have maintained an obedient silence. The Washington Times first reported the world army effort on April 23, 1998.
Field commanders of the "standby army" will report to an eight-man command unit at UN headquarters in New York, with political authority to go to war (also known irrationally as "peacekeeping") resting with the Security Council.
There has been a major effort by globalists to condition the American public to accept a world army -- unfortunately, with some success. There was little outcry when American soldiers served under a foreign commander -- who reported to the UN Security Council, not Congress or the president -- in Bosnia.
The first major mission of the world army is likely to come in Africa, where Clinton recently traveled on a propaganda tour to establish "vital interests" while apologizing for the flag he had also scorned as a young, anti-war hippie.
UN sources said they hope to have the new force ready to enter the Center African Republic when France withdraws troops it has left there for years. The Security Council hs authorized 1,350 UN troops and $38 million for the first six months of the operation. The United States would be expected to pay 25 percent, or $9,5 million, of these costs.
Last month, congressional committees refused a State Department request to pay the initial $9.5 million for the African military mission. Nevertheless, the United States voted in the Security Council to support the mission.
"That's a measure of the arrogance of State Department bureaucrats who already hold a higher loyalty to the UN than the U.S." The official said. Congress specifically refused to provide the money but they committed us to it anyway. They're betting that Congress will cave in."
The SPOTLIGHT May 11, 1998
Senate Education Bill Favors States
On April 23, the Senate passed the A+ Education Accounts Bill, H.R. 2646, which expands tax-free education savings accounts to K-12 expenses, including private -- and parochial-school tuition. The bill also raised the amount a parent, grandparent, or other sponsor could contribute from $500 to 2,000 a year, includes amendments to block national testing on math and reading and takes $0.3 billion from the Goals 2000 program. The Senate voted to give the money directly to states so they could decide how to use the funds. A vote of "Yes" is for the bill; "No" is against.
The SPOTLIGHT May 11, 1998
Citizens Terrorized by New York City Police
Oops! Police break down door, conduct SWAT-type raid on wrong apartment.
By Bob Herbert
The police invaded Shaunsia Patterson's apartment about 4:30 pm on Friday, February 27. Ms. Patterson, who is eight months pregnant, and her two children, a boy, 3, and a girl, 2, were napping in the bedroom at the rear of the small second-floor apartment on Hull Avenue in the Bronx.
Also in the apartment was Ms. Patterson's 15-year-old sister, Misty Patterson, who had just come in from school.
"First we heard a boom," said Shaunsia Patterson. "Then there was a louder boom and the whole door was coming down."
The cops seemed to come in waves -- some in plainclothes and some in uniform. There were about a dozen in all. They came in with their guns drawn and they grabbed Misty first.
"They threw me face down in the floor and handcuffed me behind my back," she said. "Then one of the cops stepped on the side of my face and pressed my face to the floor."
Crying and nearly overwhelmed with fear, she tried to ask the cops what was going on. The reply: "Shut the [expletive] up!"
"I thought my life was going to end," Misty said.
Shaunsia was sitting on the side of the bed by the time the cops reached her. One of the officers pushed her onto her back and dove on top of her.
"I'm screaming, 'I'm eight months pregnant. Please!'" she said.
The cop rolled her over and handcuffed her hands behind her. She was wearing only panties and a top. She was so terrified she urinated.
"I couldn't help it," she sobbed as she recalled the scene during an interview. "I was so scared. I kept saying, 'What is going on?'"
With both of the women handcuffed, the cops, screaming obscenities and other forms of verbal abuse, began searching the apartment for drugs.
"They were tearing up the house," Shaunsia said. "They broke my furniture, broke the refrigerator, ripped up part of the floor, and I'm saying, 'There's nothing in the house.'"
The women were kept handcuffed for more than two hours. Shaunsia spent the entire time sitting or lying in her soiled underwear on her soaked bed. She asked to see a warrant but the request was ignored. She asked if she could put on dry clothing and was told no. She wept as she listened to her possessions being smashed in the next room.
"How can you do this?" she asked.
It turns out the raid was a mistake. And the mistake happened on the same day that another contingent of dops, also looking for drugs, mistakenly raided the Bronx apartment of an innocent man named Ellis Elliott. Mr. Elliott was dragged handcuffed and naked from his apartment and was later forced to wear his girl friend's clothes. He was arrested and taken to jail before the mistake was discovered.
Neither Shaunsia nor Misty Patterson was arrested. Some two hours after the police smashed down their door, an officer announced: "We got the wrong apartment."
Shaunsia, still handcuffed said: "That's what we've been trying to tell you from the beginning."
It is not clear how the foul-up occurred. The cops who raided the apartment had a valid no-knock warrant. When no drugs were found in the Paterson apartment, a warrant was obtained for a third-floor apartment in the adjacent building. A Police Department spokesman said a raid on that apartment yielded several arrests and 83 pounds of marijuana.
Police sources who would speak only if they were guaranteed confidentiality said they did not believe such mistakes occurred frequently. "This is bad," said a high=ranking department official. "Two in one day -- that's bad. But I'll tell you what I honestly believe -- I don't think this happens that often. When you tell this story, try not to smear the 38,000 people in the department."
Joseph Kelner, a lawyer who is representing the Pattersons and Mr. Elliott, said none of them had previously been in trouble with the law. He said, "The close proximity in time of the two incidents seems to indicate a pattern of misconduct by a tiny minority of police officers who have a 'don't care' attitude about the rights of individuals."
It is difficult to overstate the terror that is provoked by these inherently dangerous commando-like raids on the premisses of innocent people. It is the sort of thing you would expect from a totalitarian state, not the municipal government of a city like New York.
The SPOTLIGHT May 18, 1998
Bilderberg Tracked to Scotland
The world's most elite club is getting together for its annual decision- making meeting. Once again we're an uninvited guest.
By James P. Tucker Jr.
TURNBERRY, Scotland -- World leaders in politics and finance are stepping off helicopters at this exclusive luxury resort 55 miles from Glasgow in preparation for the annual secret meeting of Bilderberg.
Bilderberg will meet here -- Turnberry is not a town, but a sprawling resort -- May 14-18 to decide such things as whether the world should have wars, prosperity or recession -- whatever best serves its foals of imposing a global government (the "Global Plantation") on all mankind.
Most are arriving by helicopter from the Glasgow Airport; some are landing in small planes at Turnberry's private airport.
The Bilderberg agenda is much the same as that of its brother group, the Trilateral Commission, which has just completed its annual closed-door session, this time in Berlin.
The two groups have an interlocking leadership and a common vision of the world. David Rockefeller founded the Trilaterals but shares power in the older Bilderberg group with the Rothschilds of Britain and Europe. Such luminaries as Henry Kissinger serve on the executive committees of both.
Although Bilderberg has much to celebrate this year, there is also tension n the air. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, a Bilderberg member who did its bidding in moving Europe toward a common currency -- the euro -- may be swept out of office in September because of a "rising nationalism" that opposes surrendering sovereignty to a European superstate.
Problems with the U.S. Congress are another Bilderberg concern. The are accustomed to Congress approving new funds for the International Monetary Fund every few years with only symbolic opposition. This Congress has balked for nearly an year.
And many in Congress continue to reject the notion that America "owes the United Nations $900 million, noting that this quarter of the UN's operating costs and the same for its far-flung "peacekeeping" military missions.
But the international political leaders and financiers gathering here -- including high officials of the White House, defense and treasury departments and European heads of state -- have some cause to celebrate.
Recent disclosures that President Clinton -- himself an obedient member of both the Trilaterals and Bilderberg -- had secretly sent State Department money to the UN to establish a "standby army" failed to generate the public firestorm Bilderberg feared. Establishing a permanent army to patrol the world under control of the UN, as it grows into a global government, is high on the Bilderberg agenda.
So, too, is completing Europe's transition into a superstate. The commitment to introduce the common currency next January 1 -- eliminating the last symbol of national sovereignty -- is being accepted in Europe except for the protests of the dreaded "nationalists" -- the ones who may drive Kohl from power in Germany.
High officials of the White House have attended every Bilderberg meeting since President Dwight Eisenhower's years. It is difficult for an American president to attend without accounting for his time, but a year ago Hillary Clinton become the only first lady to ever attend.
The mainstream media outdid itself in covering Hillary's foreign agenda barely writing or uttering the word "Bilderberg."
The SPOTLIGHT May 18, 1998
Christian Leaders Bow to Enemies
So-called "leaders" of the Christian evangelical movement evangelical movement have agreed to give up spreading the Gospel of Christ in the Holy Land in order to avoid being jailed under a proposed Israeli law aimed at stamping out Christian missionary work in Israel.
By Michael Collins Piper
Anti-Christian forces -- led by a wide-ranging group of high-ranking Israeli officials -- won a major victory on March 30. Representatives of 50 different international Christian evangelical groups entered into what was described as an unprecedented" joint statement promising not to carry out Christian missionary work in Israel.
In return, Israeli lawmaker Nissim Zvili said that he would drop his sponsorship of a proposed measure before the Israeli parliament (widely supported among various political factions in Israel) that would outlaw any effort to "teach or propagate Christian doctrine" in Israel. Under Zvili's highly popular proposal, any Christian missionary found guilty of violating the law would be sent to prison for one year. Zvili hailed the Christian surrender, saying "This is better than a law. This is a very big accomplishment."
The Christian groups that surrendered to Israeli pressure -- and thereby abandoned their long-standing practice of proselytizing the Christian faith -- issued a statement saying that they "rejoice in the presence of the Jewish people in this country of their ancestors" and agreed to avoid "activities which ... alienate Jews in Israel from their tradition and community."
In response to the surrender by the Christian groups in the face of the anti-Christian legislation, in American Christian evangelist, Rev. Dale Crowley Jr., expressed great shock and dismay. Crowley told The SPOTLIGHT that those groups that endorsed the agreement have, IN Crowley'S direct terms, betrayed our Lord." Crowley says that purveying the Gospel of Christ to non-believers is integral to the Christian faith and stems from the biblical great commission directing Christian to share their faith.
Crowley notes that two newspapers with prominent circulation in the pro- Israel community -- Washington Jewish Week and the New York City-based Foward -- have "quite notably," in his words, not reported on this Israeli victory over Christian evangelism. Crowley said that he has been prodding Washington jewish Week to publish the story but that, thus far, the influential publication has not done so.
"The Israelis want to keep this information under wraps," Crowley told The SPOTLIGHT, "and the Christian groups that entered into this outrageous betrayal of their faith are ashamed of themselves as they certainly should be."
According to Crowley, the complete joint statement issued by the Christian groups has been virtually impossible to obtain, despite the fact that some 50 different groups have affixed their names to the statement. Also, says Crowley, the actual names of the 50 different groups that are signatories to the agreement are also out of reach. When the names of those groups are finally made public says Crowley, Christians should cease supporting those groups since they have effectively betrayed their Biblical commission to spread the gospel by abandoning their missionary work in the land where Christ lived and carried out his work.
Very Real Problems
At the time the anti-Christian bill was first introduced in the Israeli parliament, even Rev. David Allen Lewis, president of the pro-Israel group. Christians United for Israel, admitted that there were some very real problems with the legislation. "This bill means great hardship for Zionist evangelicals like myself," said Lewis, who worried that the action would revive the argument of those who question Christian support for Israel, saying, 'How can you support the Jewish nation when they are against Christianity?'"
When The SPOTLIGHT contacted the offices of Christian evangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, both of whom are loud advocates of Pro-Israel policy (despite the anti-Christian stance of the Israeli leadership), neither would comment on the anti-Christian legislation. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) -- another vocal supporter of Israel (and ally of the so-called "Christian Right" in the United States -- likewise refused to provide The SPOTLIGHT any comment on the anti-Christian offensive in Israel.
Although Israel tody is torn asunder by vast feuding among various political and religious factions even within the Jewish community as a whole, the anti- Christian proposal by Israeli lawmaker Zvili had wide-ranging support throughout the Israeli population.
Longtime Republican Party and conservative movement leader John Lofton, previously a pro-Israel zealot but now an unabashed Christian who is not afraid to criticize Israeli excesses, has been watching the anti-Christian offensive in Israel.
Lofton recently reported in his Lofton Report that Clarence Wagner, director of the evangelical foundation Bridges for Peace, was the architect of this agreement, which, in Lofton's words, "denies our Lord." Lofton says that "Wagner and his cowardly crew have chosen to obey men rather than God" and that "they have chosen to be ashamed of the Gospel even though," says Lofton, quoting Romans 1:6 'it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.'"
John Alpher of the American Jewish Committee's Israel/Middle East Office has hailed the sell-out as "a dynamic Christian Commitment to the vitality of Israel and Judaism." His colleague, Rabbi A. James Rudin the AJC's "director of interreligious affairs," said that the agreement is "a strong refutation of those Christians who sadly still target Jews as possible converts to Christianity." Rudin says that he hopes the statement will be "a model for others to emulate throughout the world.
Lofton has strong words in response to the AJC's comments: "For openers, no Christian would ever agree not to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, apart from Christ, there is no 'vitality' for anybody, including Israel and Judaism. As for those Christian who 'sadly' target Jews for conversion to Christianity, will, the lord Himself was one of those 'Christians.'" Lofton concluded: "God forbid that this Christ-hating agreement should ever be emulated, or become a model, for anybody."
Virtually the only national news publication in America to report on the Israeli war on Christianity was The SPOTLIGHT on March 17, 1997. Later, The SPOTLIGHT published a special eight-page report entitled Israel Declares War on Christianity and told the story of the anti-Christian legislation. The special report featured a ground-breaking essay by the aforementioned Christian evangelist, Dale Crowley, Jr., in which Crowley refuted the popular political theory that the present day geographic entity known as Israel is not the "Israel" that is referred to in the bible.
Another essay by Crowley, appearing in the same report, concluded that America's heritage is, in fact, based on Christian teachings and that the term "Judeo-Christian" has no rational or actual applicability to the reality of American history or tradition.
The SPOTLIGHT May 18, 1998
N.A.T.O. Expansion Gets Senate Nod
On April 30, the Senate approved NATO expansion in a 80-19 vote. Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic received the green light to join NATO. A vote of "Yes" was for approval; "No" was against. [...]
The SPOTLIGHT May18, 1998
The E.C.U. -- A '78 Spotlight Scoop
"What's an ecu?
That's the question SPOTLIGHT readers were asked almost 20 years ago in the lead story in the issue of July 31, 1978. The SPOTLIGHT was the first newspaper in the U.S. to report on the proposed new money for Europe. Today, the ecu poses the greatest threat ever to the supremacy of the U.S. dollar. Driving the engine of the ecu is a $6 trillion economy. That America will get a run for the money is an understatement.
ECU is an acronym standing for European Currency Unit. In is latest incarnation it is called the "euro." Nevertheless, the ecu or euro is the new single currency that 11 countries of the European Union (EU) will launch under the auspices of their European Monetary Union (EMU) on January 1, 1999.
These EU countries are Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
Britain, Denmark and Sweden have chosen not to join. Greece has failed to meet economic conditions for membership.
An average of only 47 percent of the people in the 14 EU countries support a single currency for member countries. Support ranges from a high of 74 percent in Italy to 32 percent in Germany and 26 percent in Britain. "Democracy" in action. British Prime minister Tony Blair chaired the meeting that brought agreement for the establishment of the euro.
Leaders In Trouble
France and Germany are at odds over the leadership of the new European central Bank. Both French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl are in political trouble in their respective countries. Their ability to govern is waning daily.
Populists in Germany, under the leadership of Dr. Gerhard Frey, publisher of the National Zeitung, have been making inroads with the voters at the expense of the establishment parties, especially Kohl's CDU (German Democrats), which lost 13 percent of its voters in Saxony-Anhalt to Frey's Deutsche Volks Union (German People's Union or DVU). Populism is alive and well in the former East German state.
Frey and his populists do not support the new euro currency that Kohl so firmly advocates. The populist leader's call for a Germany for Germans resonates to the voters.
With the new single currency in Europe will come a blurring of national borders. Nationalities will lose their identity and will be at the sufferance of the stateless plutocrats who call the shots.
Plans for the euro foresee member countries gradually adjusting prices to meet the demand, to the lowest common denominator. Wages will soon have a fall in countries like Germany to compete with the lower demand of the labor market.
The new European Union will be not unlike what the plutocrats and so-called free traders have planned for the United States. They foresee a NAFTA 'free trade" zone from Canada to the tip of South America. Chile is the first Southern Hemisphere country the ruling elite want to bring into the grand Union.
No doubt a single currency will be developed for the Western Hemisphere. With the blurring of national boundaries and citizenship, the cry will go out for "one currency."
Presently, the Europeans do not want the United States to participate in their European Monetary Union. As The SPOTLIGHT pointed out in its July 31, 1978 issue, Europeans regard the U.S. president as an errand boy for the Rockefeller interest.
As SPOTLIGHT readers have learned over the last 22 years, and Liberty Lobby Board of Policy members long before that the Rockefeller-dominated Council on Foreign Relations places its people in the highest levels of government, business, education and labor. The president and top cabinet offers always come from its ranks or ard subservient to the CFR.
What bothers the European people, especially the British, about the free flow of commerce and a single currency is that disease-bearing products and animals will enter their respective countries.
Here in the United States we have already experienced the easy flow of contaminated meat, fruits, vegetables and drugs under the NAFTA agreement.
The American farmer is losing out to the big conglomerates that control international commerce. The tax base in the U.S. is eroding because of the loss of high paying jobs. In fact, the only winners are the internationalists who have no respect for the wishes of the American majority.
Our balance of trade continues to tilt in favor of foreign-based businesses that have manufacturing sites in the low-wage countries of Latin America and the Far East.
The so-called conservatives in the United States are not doing anything to stop the free trade movement. In fact, institutions like the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute (both based in Washington; both well-financed), promote the internationalist agenda.
Who's On First?
Leading members of Congress have long ago dropped any pretense of being for America first. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) And his latest infatuation with the UN and the UN regional organization, comes immediately to mind.
The SPOTLIGHT has been warning about the change in the thinking and actions of official America for 22 years, usually well in advance of the rest of the media. Liberty Lobby has been fighting for America first since 1955.
The SPOTLIGHT May 25, 1998
Globalists Talk Of World Domination
International luminaries see world government as inevitable, regardless of who is in charge.
By James P. Tucker Jr.
TURNBERRY, Scotland -- A glimpse into the mind-set of the Bilderberg participants meeting in secret at this remote, luxurious resort can be found in their utterances just days prior to crossing the Atlantic.
Samuel Berger, White House national security adviser and not a Bilderberg regular, was speaking to the Brookings Institution, itself and arm of the world shadow government:
"Globalization -- the process of accelerating economic, technological, cultural and political integration -- is not a choice. It is a growing fact. It is a fact that will proceed inexorable, with or without our approval. It is a fact that we ignore at our peril."
"For those in denial, Berger could not have more clearly said this is a world government they are building," said a high State Department official and veteran Bilderberg watcher. "There is no such thing as 'political integration' without merging nations and abandoning nationhood, surrendering America's sovereignty."
Berger was also bemoaning Congress for balking at throwing another $18 billion of taxpayer money at the International Monetary Fund so poor, uncreditworthy nations could make huge interest payments to international bankers, who take huge risks that could be immensely profitable with the assurance taxpayers will guarantee their loans.
House members killed, for the moment, the IMF funding by linking it to a ban on funds for groups that lobby for eased abortion laws overseas.
At almost the same time, the chairman of chase Manhattan Corp. was demanding the IMF bailout at a meeting of the Business council in Williamsburg, Va. The council is made up of rich executives of multinational corporations.
"Everyone in this country pretty well accepts you need a Federal Reserve that from time to time steps in to save the banking system," said Chase Manhattan's Walter E. Shipley. Shipley's boss, David Rockefeller, is a long- time power within Bilderberg. He also founded the brother group, the Trilateral commission, which has interlocking leadership with Bilderberg.
"The same thing is true on the international front," Shipley said. "The world clearly needs the global equivalent of the Federal Reserve. That's what the role of the IMF is."
Also at virtually the same time, and acting on orders of President Clinton, himself a member of Bilderberg and the Trilateral commission, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations pushed for a permanent world court that would be superior to the U.S. Supreme Court and the courts of all nations.
The Clinton administration sought a "war crimes" tribunal for Cambodia that would not only try Khmer Rouge leaders but also shore up its argument for a permanent world court with enforcement powers.
Immediately following the Bilderberg session in Scotland, an international "G8" economic summit will be held in Birmingham, England which Bill Clinton will attend -- and where he'll get his marching orders.
The SPOTLIGHT May 25, 1998
We Win Organic Reversal; U.S.D.A. To Practice Honest Labeling
Liberty Lobby Board of Policy Chairman Vince Ryan is fond of saying. "Your influence counts. Use it!" Vince was proven correct recently when thousands of you joined a chorus of protesters who contacted their representatives who contacted their representatives and demanded a change to USDA regulations allowing organic food to contain sewage sludge or bio-engineered material.
SPOTLIGHT Health Editor Tom Valentine focused on irradiated food in the January/February health supplement. The supplement included an interview taken from Valentine's Radio Free America, encouraging you to write Congress with your opinions.
You did and it worked. Here's what the Reuters Wire Service had to say about your victory:
"After being deluged with a record 200,000 angry letters, the Agriculture Department will roll back from proposals that now allow organic food to contain sewage sludge or bio-engineered material, congressional and industry sources say...
"The USDA is going t say that they have decided to fundamentally revise the organic program rules," said one organic industry official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "They plan to re-propose the organic rules for another round of public comment."
"The department was expected to indicate that while it considers irradiation, genetically modified material and sewage sludge to be safe, they are not appropriate for foods labeled as "organic," the source said.
"The outpouring of letters and e-mail from the public -- a record for any USDA policy issue -- had overwhelmingly opposed permitting irradiation, sewage sludge, or bio-engineered plants to be used in producing organic products.
One congressional aide said his office had received 10,000 letters from Americans who wanted to know they are getting organic food when they are pay for organic food.
The use of genetically modified organisms has been a political hot potato for the USDA for years. Sewage sludge, collected by municipal sewage plants, is used by some large agribusiness firms as a cheap and convenient fertilizer. Meat companies are showing an increasing interest in irradiation, the use of tiny doses of gamma rays or X-rays to kill food borne bacteria.
The SPOTLIGHT May 25, 1998
Law And Bureaucrats Collide Over Veterans
When the government refuses to respond to a simple question with a simple answer, what are we to think?
By The SPOTLIGHT Staff
After The SPOTLIGHT reported (March 23, 1998) that veterans are in danger of losing health care benefits if they do not enroll with their local veterans hospital by October 1, 1998 the VA tried to "set the record straight."
Information from its web site at www.va.gov as of May 11, "misinformation has led some veterans to wonder whether they will lose their eligibility for VA health-care services if they are not enrolled at VA by October 1, 1998. The answer is NO, (emphasis theirs) they will not lose their eligibility, but in most cases, they do need to apply for enrollment by contacting their nearest VA medical center."
Notice that one answer is capitalized, while an answer that is almost the direct opposite is downplayed. "In most cases" is not further described: neither is it explained why vets "need to so enroll".
The "record straightening" continues by saying, "Veterans can apply for enrollment AT ANY TIME that they come to a VA medical facility for care, even AFTER the trial enrolment period, which ends on October 1, 1998." (Emphasis in the original.) This insert does not address the issue that the law passed by Congress specifies the date and does not call it a trial enrollment. A key section of the law is photographically reproduced with this story.
The whole law (PL 104-262) may be found at Federal Depository libraries. (Many university libraries are federal depositories and are open to the public.)
The SPOTLIGHT followed up by mailing a letter to Veterans Administration Secretary Togo West asking if the VA would comply with the law as passed by Congress, a copy of which was enclosed. A simple, straightforward yes or no answer was all that was required.
No answer was forthcoming, at which point The SPOTLIGHT called to inquire -- several times, and faxed the letter and enclosure twice more. None of the officials contacted would address the question of the law.
At length a public relations staffer called to say he was interpreting the "may not" in the law to mean the VA had the choice of whether to follow it or not, as opposed to meaning "is not allowed." He could not verify how VA attorneys or members of Congress will interpret those words.
A congressional staffer who worked on the legislation said that congress did not intend the date to be optional, and that it was added (by the Senate) to give the law some teeth.
Before writing the original article, The SPOTLIGHT had called the general counsel's office of the Veterans Administration and was told by phone that the law would be complied with.
Nothing is simple in a bureaucracy. Veterans who consider that they may want to some day use VA hospital benefits, may want to not only enroll at their nearest VA hospital but keep a photocopy of their enrollment form and either mail it registered so they have a return receipt, or hand deliver it and get the signature of the person accepting the form. Also, if a letter acknowledging the enrollment is not received, follow up.
This is not to say veterans are required to enroll by October 1, but is also not to say they are not so required. No one in the government seems to know -- or is saying.
The SPOTLIGHT May 25, 1998
Who Says What You Watch on TV
There's more to those TV ratings than advertisers and networks would have you believe.
By The SPOTLIGHT STAFF
A 1997 TV Guide poll found that over 50 percent of viewers want more moral and religious themes on television. This was a big surprise to the media, since this vast market had gone totally undetected by the widely used Nielsen's ratings system.
Nielsen Media Research (the 1997 rebirth of the A.C. Nielsen Company), reportedly spends five times its nearest competitor in the field of TV ratings and is the acknowledged leader in this field. It provides the audience estimates and demographics on which most advertising agencies say they have based their decisions for decades.
Critics, however, say all ratings research information is biased and distorted. Some of their criticism are:
Are Reports Accurate?
Like all other research groups, the widely used Nielsen ratings depend on reports from a few cooperating viewers to establish preferences for the whole market. In such a system everything depends on who is chosen to give their views, the integrity and personal bias of viewers, how the researcher's questions are phrased, and how the results are interpreted by the company.
The "peoplemeter," which Nielsen has used for decades, is a device the viewer turns on and codes with a record of who is "in the room." It beeps every 15 minutes and, unless a button is pressed, will turn itself off. Panel members receive a one time compensation of $50 for having it installed and agree to be monitored for two years.
Obviously a family could have other televisions that are not fitted with a microchip and "peoplemeter" on which to watch other programs.
In the early days Nielsen used a panel of only 1,200 viewers to decide the programs that were offered to almost 200 million. Though their current panel is 5,000, the TV Guide poll proves Nielsen's methods do not accurately reflect the market. Both its list of panelists and the formula it uses to determine ratings are secret.
Even if panel members truly were picked randomly, there could easily be a built-in bias. It could be argued, for instance, that intellectual, community consciousness, religious or self-sufficient individualists might be less likely to volunteer to participate in such an invasion of privacy than people who have nothing better to do than watch television, want to make a political statement with their vote or in some direct or indirect way are associated with the rating service. This factor alone would skew an accounting.
How advertisers interpret ratings information and what they do with them also is a subjective rather than a scientific decision. There is no law that says they have to place ads according to ratings, they could place ads based on their political bias. There is evidence, for example, that programs have been dropped based on three week rating trends or weekly rating differences that were statistically insignificant. Nevertheless, as long as ratings information can be easily distorted it gives them a handy screen behind which to hide to defend their selective decisions.