Firstly, they’re going to receive new Greek bonds, maturing in 2042. It doesn’t matter whether the bonds you’re holding mature on March 20, or whether they mature in 30 years’ time – everybody gets the same new long-dated bonds, according to the face value of what they now own. In other words, the value of Greek bonds right now is wholly a function of what their face value is, and has nothing to do with their coupon or their maturity date.
The new Greek bonds have a step-up coupon: 2% through 2015, then 3% through 2020, then 3.65% in 2021, and then 4.3% from 2022 through 2042. Bondholders will receive new bonds with a face value of €315 for every €1,000 of old bonds they hold. (Again, remember that it’s face value which matters here, not market price.) What’s the market price of the new bonds going to be? Not very much; my guess is that they’ll trade at roughly 40% of face value. Which means that the “NPV haircut”, as far as the new Greek obligations are concerned, is somewhere on the order of 87%.
It has been known since last Summer that the New York City Police Department has has an intelligence unit coached by, and in conjunction with, the CIA which focuses on the Muslim community. This is being done even tough the CIA is prohibited from spying domestically on Americans. It was revealed in an Associated Press report that besides targeting Muslim communities, mosques and businesses inside the five boroughs, the surveillance has extended to Newark, New Jersey] (pdf) and Long Island (pdf).
The NYPD has been dispatching undercover officers called “rakers,” into minority neighborhoods to monitor daily life in bookstores, bars and other local common places, reported The Associated Press, citing a “months-long” investigation. Informants called “mosque crawlers,” monitored sermons and imams. Intelligence officers reportedly also gathered information on cab drivers and food cart vendors. [..]
The AP also reported that the NYPD operates far outside its borders in New Jersey and surrounding regions and targets ethnic communities, mainly Muslims, in specific ways that no federal agency could without violating civil liberty laws.
In October the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) filed a motion challenging the partnership in court to determine whether the spying operations violates an existing court order from 1971, revised in 2003, that restricted the NYPD’s ability to conduct surveillance targeting political and religious activity.
“The NYPD’s reported surveillance of local Muslim communities raises serious questions concerning whether the Police Department has violated court-ordered restrictions on its ability to spy on and keep dossiers on individuals,” said NYCLU Legal Director Arthur Eisenberg. “In order to know whether the NYPD is violating the court order, we need a more complete explanation of the NYPD’s surveillance practices.”
In 2010 alone, the NYPD engaged in more than 600,000 stop-and-frisks searches; 84% of those stopped were of black or Latino. Time and again, police officers have used force when stopping blacks or Latinos. Half of these stops have been cited as “furtive movements”, a label that portrays black and brown people as clandestine. The stop-and-frisk widespread problem that is racially discriminatory under the ostensible excuse that the practice is necessary in fighting crime. Sadly, this procedure has not proved to reduce crime or make the city any safer.
The NYPD monitors everyone in the city who changes his or her name, according to internal police documents and interviews. For those whose names sound Arabic or might be from Muslim countries, police run comprehensive background checks that include reviewing travel records, criminal histories, business licenses and immigration documents. All this is recorded in police databases for supervisors, who review the names and select a handful of people for police to visit.
The program was conceived as a tripwire for police in the difficult hunt for homegrown terrorists, where there are no widely agreed upon warning signs. Like other NYPD intelligence programs created in the past decade, this one involved monitoring behavior protected by the First Amendment.
One autumn morning in Buffalo, N.Y., a college student named Adeela Khan logged into her email and found a message announcing an upcoming Islamic conference in Toronto.
Khan clicked “forward,” sent it to a group of fellow Muslims at the University at Buffalo, and promptly forgot about it.
But that simple act on Nov. 9, 2006, was enough to arouse the suspicion of an intelligence analyst at the New York Police Department, 300 miles away, who combed through her post and put her name in an official report. Marked “SECRET” in large red letters, the document went all the way to Commissioner Raymond Kelly’s office. [..]
Police trawled daily through student websites run by Muslim student groups at Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers and 13 other colleges in the Northeast. They talked with local authorities about professors in Buffalo and even sent an undercover agent on a whitewater rafting trip, where he recorded students’ names and noted in police intelligence files how many times they prayed. [..]
Though the NYPD says it follows the same rules as the FBI, some of the NYPD’s activities go beyond what the FBI is allowed to do.
Kelly and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg repeatedly have said that the police only follow legitimate leads about suspected criminal activity.
But the latest documents mention no wrongdoing by any students.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long claimed – preposterously – that the NYPD does not target communities for survillence based on their religion, but as AP notes: “In one section of the report, police wrote that the largest immigrant groups in Newark were from Portugal and Brazil. But they did not photograph businesses or churches for those groups.” That’s because “‘No Muslim component within these communities was identified,‘ police wrote.” In the wake of this latest evidence, Bloomberg seemed to abandon that denial, shifting instead to justification: “The police department goes where there are allegations. And they look to see whether those allegations are true,” said the Mayor. “That’s what you’d expect them to do. That’s what you’d want them to do. Remind yourself when you turn out the light tonight.”
No, Mr. Bloomberg, you do not make us safer by violating our rights and the laws of this country. This is not the sign of a healthy society, as Glenn concludes:
the essential expression of the American Surveillance State: we can and will know everything about what you do, and you will know virtually nothing about what we do. In a healthy society, that formula would be reversed: the citizenry (with rare exceptions) would know most everything about what their government does, while the government would know nothing about what citizens do in the absence of well-grounded suspicion that they have done something wrong. Yet here we have the NYPD wandering outside of its jurisdiction in order to spy on the innocuous activities of a community of a religious minority (not even the Newark Mayor was informed about this), and the most disturbing part of it all is how common it now is.
Somebody needs to rein in Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD.
This case resulted from a petition to the Supreme Court by William Marbury, who had been appointed by President John Adams as Justice of the Peace in the District of Columbia but whose commission was not subsequently delivered. Marbury petitioned the Supreme Court to force Secretary of State James Madison to deliver the documents, but the court, with John Marshall as Chief Justice, denied Marbury’s petition, holding that the part of the statute upon which he based his claim, the Judiciary Act of 1789, was unconstitutional.
Marbury v. Madison was the first time the Supreme Court declared something “unconstitutional,” and established the concept of judicial review in the U.S. (the idea that courts may oversee and nullify the actions of another branch of government). The landmark decision helped define the “checks and balances” of the American form of government.
There are three ways a case can be heard in the Supreme Court: (1) filing directly in the Supreme Court; (2) filing in a lower federal court, such as a district court, and appealing all the way up to the Supreme Court; (3) filing in a state court, appealing all the way up through the state’s highest courts, and then appealing to the Supreme Court on an issue of federal law. The first is an exercise of the Court’s original jurisdiction; the second and third are exercises of the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction.
Because Marbury filed his petition for the writ of mandamus directly in the Supreme Court, the Court needed to be able to exercise original jurisdiction over the case in order to have the power to hear it.
Marbury’s argument is that in the Judiciary Act of 1789, Congress granted the Supreme Court original jurisdiction over petitions for writs of mandamus. This raises several issues that the Supreme Court had to address:
Does Article III of the Constitution create a “floor” for original jurisdiction, which Congress can add to, or does it create an exhaustive list that Congress can’t modify at all?
If Article III’s original jurisdiction is an exhaustive list, but Congress tries to modify it anyway, who wins that conflict, Congress or the Constitution?
And, more importantly, who is supposed to decide who wins?
In its answer to this last question, the Supreme Court formalizes the notion of judicial review. In short, the constitutional issue on which Marbury v. Madison was decided was whether Congress could expand the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
Listen to Cindy Sheehan and Diane Gee live on WWL Radio Friday, February 24th at 6pm ET!
Listen live by clicking the link icon below:
Tonight I am thrilled and honored to speak with Cindy Sheehan. We will be discussing her new book, “Revolution, A Love Story” which chronicles her time spent in Venezuela, and her meetings with Hugo Chavez! She has seen first hand, there is indeed a better way, than the predatory capitalism we suffer here, the World suffers under the US’s actions.
Cindy is a force of nature. I have long admired her tenacity, her bravery and her honesty. I imagine that when 2 middle aged, pissed off Moms – turned Revolutionaries sit down for a conversation; this shall be an amazing show!
The call in number is 646-929-1264 to join the conversation!
Tip: In order to comment in the show’s companion chat, you must create a BTR account, its free and only takes seconds. Chat is monitored during the show, so make yourself heard.
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Last week, there was no This Week In The Dream Antilles. And no explanation for that. Your Bloguero spent the week in hospital with his Dad, and then on Friday, February 17, his Dad passed away. He would have been 93 on March 10. He did not suffer, and he was not in pain. He had a remarkable, productive life. And your Bloguero, who is filled with gratitude for having such a wonderful father and teacher and friend, deeply grieves his departure.
So there was no This Week last week. And there’s not going to be much of a This Week this week either. Your Bloguero finds himself feeling untethered, inarticulate. Unable to write an honest sentence. Much less a paragraph. And he’s not sure what might be next.
There are just two things quickly to tell. First, your Bloguero’s dad was a life long pianist and music lover. He’d forgotten more classical music than your Bloguero ever learned. Just before his passing, your Bloguero asked his current top 10 in classical music. His answer: Borodin, firmly in first place for the string quartets; Sibelius in second for his symphonies; and all of Rachmaninoff in third. After that, your Bloguero learned, it gets complicated. Very complicated. Supposedly great composers get dissed for all kinds of failings. Never mind what.
Your Bloguero suggests that you listen to Borodin, and see whether you can discern how Borodin, rather than the many others whose names start with the same letter, got into first place. Here you go, just a taste of the Second String Quartet:
Failing to find words to describe precisely what about the Borodin String Quartets makes them so extremely great, for which your Bloguero craves your forgiveness, your Bloguero can offer you only this remarkable poem by Charles Bukowski (1920-1994), “the life of Borodin”:
the next time you listen to Borodin
remember he was just a chemist
who wrote music to relax;
his house was jammed with people:
students, artists, drunkards, bums,
and he never knew how to say: no.
the next time you listen to Borodin
remember his wife used his compositions
to line the cat boxes with
or to cover jars of sour milk;
she had asthma and insomnia
and fed him soft-boiled eggs
and when he wanted to cover his head
to shut out the sounds of the house
she only allowed him to use the sheet;
besides there was usually somebody
in his bed
(they slept separately when they slept
and since all the chairs
were usually taken
he often slept on the stairway
wrapped in an old shawl;
she told him when to cut his nails,
not to sing or whistle
or put too much lemon in his tea
or press it with a spoon;
Symphony #2, in B Minor
On the Steppes of Central Asia
he could sleep only by putting a piece
of dark cloth over his eyes
in 1887 he attended a dance
at the Medical Academy
dressed in a merrymaking national costume;
at last he seemed exceptionally gay
and when he fell to the floor,
they thought he was clowning.
the next time you listen to Borodin,
This seems oddly fitting for This Week this week.
This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest of essays in The Dream Antilles. Usually it appears on Friday. Sometimes, like now, it’s something else entirely. To see what essays were in The Dream Antilles in the past two week you have visit The Dream Antilles.