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August 12, 2011
The Inconvenient Truths Series #9: Juggernaut of Changes Underway
The haphazard process of putting together these compilations - and this one towers at 200 pages/71,000+ words! - is always quite fascinating to me as I never know when I start from scratch what it will look like and what topics will be covered. But as I gradually accrue material that feels important to pass on to you - this material being found mostly by "chance" all over the Web and also through what comes to me in my emails - it slowly comes into sharper focus and often ends up packing quite a punch. This one if no exception and, in fact, with the global roller-coaster of kinetic events and economic wobbling now underway, the alternative perspectives 'discovered' and featured here deserve more than ever our urgent attention and, hopefully, some form of support from us all to help contribute in shaping the future of this world as this Earth Rainbow Network's global community of awakening souls implicitly strives to do... or so it is envisioned!
Now it's your turn to discover what I've gathered over the past 12 days, and to do your part, as you may be inspired, in networking elements of it (or simply suggesting others to check it out online) and empowering through our collective awareness the many compelling thoughts and visionary perspectives featured in it.
As we change the way we see the world, the world reflects back to us our changed perspective. So let's make this self-actualizing loop a positive, compassionate, Love-driven one.
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
The normal and special features in this compilation are...
- THE QUOTES
- WORTH NOTING RIGHT AWAY
- NUGGETS OF SPECIAL INTEREST
- KEY INTERNATIONAL NEWS
- OTHER RECOMMENDED NEWS AND INFORMATION
- THE MAIN ARTICLES
CONTENTS OF THE MAIN ARTICLES SECTION
1. Debt Deal is a Blank Check
2. The administration's stated budget priorities
3. Super Congress: A Financial Death Panel That Will Help The Banks Loot & Rape America
4. Broke! 10 Facts About The Financial Condition Of American Families That Will Blow Your Mind
5. The US Dictatorship and its White House Servant 'President'
6. America's Economic Chaos: Don't Panic, Get Informed! - Know where to turn for the truth
7. The "Towers of Basel": The World's Biggest Central Bank Has Private Shareholders
8. US and British-Backed Bahrain Regime: the Use of "Toxic Terror" in Collective Punishment
9. Obama Employs Bush Administration Tactic, Blocks Photos of Detainee Abuse
10. Detainee Abuse Photos: Fighting for Transparency and Accountability
11. Libya War Lies Worse Than Iraq
12. NATO War Crimes in Libya
13. Washington's Response to a Failed Economy: More War
14. 5 Reasons Why American Riots Will Be The Worst In The World
15. Uncovering the Military's Secret Military: A Secret War in 120 Countries - The Pentagon's New Power Elite
16. Can non-violent struggle bring down Syria's Assad?
17. Afghanistan's Innocent Victims
This compilation is archived at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2011/InconvenientTruths9.htm
STATS for this compilation: Over 71,500 words and 411 links provided.
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Hello Jean! Just feeling a deep draw to connect. I think we all in the light world are sensing some major under currents and the feeling that some huge things will be happening in the next several months. Before the boat starts rocking, I just wanted to say how much I've valued your friendship and your service in keeping so many of us connected on this globe. I doubt you will ever realize the good that you have done and the path you have afforded to many to connect and keep the circuit alive and well. Through you and your posts I have made many friendships around the world. It has afforded me so much more than a local picture of what is happening and life lines everywhere. I intuit that we are of the same extended soul family, as are many that have been drawn to your site. We are coming together now as never before. I truly hope that all of our family out there are taking a deep breath and stepping outside their boxes, going within to "hear" what it is they are to do at this moment. Because now is the time for which we have all been trained. All those tough times, always odd man out - marching to a different drum - never quite in step with the mainstream - now we will understand why and be thankful that we were able to listen to our voices. Bless you Jean for giving this family a place to call "home". Remember we are truly in this together... and here we go.
- Eve Howard (email@example.com)
"Hi Jean! Your advice, “there is nothing to do but to BE” so reminded me of the Course in Miracles summary of everything, so I thought I would share it with you. "When peace comes at last to those who wrestle with temptation and fight against the giving in to sin; when the light comes at last to the mind given to contemplation; or when the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realisation; I NEED DO NOTHING. Here is the ultimate release which everyone will one day find in his own way, at his own time." ACIM Text 363 -- Bless you for another extraordinary compilation – seems appropriate for extraordinary times of changing to only love’s answer to every question..."
- Peter Wallace (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Commenting on the intro of this compilation
"Everyone in these articles seems to see these possible coming events as turmoil and tribulation. In actuality, it is a time of freeing us from the dark forces that took control of us. We are infinite spiritual beings, who have reached a crossroads. Do we awaken to our true selves and choose to ascend into higher dimensions; do we see the star visitors as ones who will come to save us by taking us off with them in their ships to other planets; or do we just remain in ignorance and die with the planet to be reborn in another similar situation to continue our lessons? Since in none of those does our infinite self die it is a matter of how we look at it whether it is a doomsday scenario or a time of awakening to new opportunities. Thanks for letting me express my interpretation."
- In reference to what is posted HERE, from a long-time ERN subscriber who wishes to remain anonymous
"I much enjoyed--as I always do--the latest fruits of your spiritual labor. I was particularly intrigued by Lou's insights on the notion that 'half of humanity' would ascend, when the portal opens. I too find it an optimistic conjecture, but as I am feeling unusually optimistic at the moment, I wanted--indefatigable Angel's Advocate that I aspire to be--to argue the pro perspective. (...) We have been told from many sources that all who incarnated at this time knew full well of the opportunity that would be unfolding here/now, and placed themselves here for it. I believe that, with the increasing assistance we are getting as we move ever closer to Zero Point, the Divine within everyone will be touched, contacted, affected and exposed to what they truly are. For those locked in religious paradigms, it will indeed be very challenging to break through. But challenge is precisely what we came to this troubled water orb to experience, and as more and more people witness humans awakening to this unspeakable marvel, it will affect them. In large numbers. No one will be unaffected. I am not referring simply to the 100th Monkey Effect. In this NOW the effects to the human psyche of what is imminent will be unprecedented, at both the personal and collective levels. They will be virtually immeasurable. The medium, or context of human life on Earth itself will be incomprehensibly changed simply by the element of disclosure alone, let alone Ascension. The context of our experience defines and makes experience. Makes that which seems quantumly unlikely in one context (like half of humanity ascending) entirely more... considerable. If you are familiar with David Hawkins' work, you know that he has determined that the frequencies of those who have achieved high levels of consciousness impact significantly the frequencies of those around them. This accounts for the deep devotion of people who are drawn to gurus. Their own vibratory levels are being raised just by being in proximity to their teachers. As more awakened ones on Earth feed the Love Wave sweeping over the collective, mass miracles are enabled. Many will awaken at the 11th hour, and the 12th. Yes, and even the 13th! Factor in the utter change to human DNA during all of this, and the possibilities are increased exponentially. So while I would not overtly disagree with your Soul Mate and my Beloved Spirit Sister Lou, neither am I inclined to discount any miraculous possibilities at this point. "Half" is an arbitrary conjecture. But I feel the number will be legion."
- Randy Mitchell (email@example.com) -- In reference to Lou Bognon's comment in my last compilation, in reference to Half of humanity ascends to 5th dimension on March 21, 2013 - Check also Lou Bognon : Connecting the dots and undoing the knots A recent TED conference in Antananarivo, Madagascar
"I like the response of Lou to you posted in the compilation, which fits more or less how I feel. However I did think of the Christ parable of the prodigal son and that of the labourers in the vineyard who worked all day in the heat and got the same reward as those who worked in the last cool hour. It seems to me that when we look at our journey towards what? The Divine we can see the need for effort and discipline and all that. Those who work eat as the blacks in S.A say. So we feel our efforts shouldn’t be down played or diminished by giving the rewards out freely. But viewed from the “Other Side” maybe the set of rules we have don’t seem so important. Satori is satori however it occurs and if we consider merit as the criterion it seems to pale next to Grace. As Leonard Cohen sang “there is a crack in everyone, that’s how the light gets in.” Or something like that. There are innumerable ways for us to drop our ‘burden’, techniques, therapies etc but the fact remains that one day we drop it and we don’t know what we did or why it suddenly happened so easily. But then the prodigal son has returned to general rejoicing. We don’t want to be in the group that complains it shouldn’t have happened like that!"
- David Fiske (firstname.lastname@example.org) - On the same topic as in the previous quote
"Lester Brown, venerated veteran world-watcher, says food has quickly become the hidden driver of world politics, and food crises are going to become increasingly common. “Scarcity is the new norm.” The world is facing increasing demand for food as population increases while food crops and land are being diverted to produce biofuels; in 2010, the United States alone turned 126 million tons of its 400 million tons corn harvest into ethanol. At the same time, the world’s ability to produce food is diminishing. Aquifers are running dry in the major food producing countries where half of the world population live. There is widespread soil erosion and desertification; and global warming temperatures and weather extremes are already reducing crop yields, hitting the most vulnerable people in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia the hardest. “We are now so close to the edge that a breakdown in the food system could come at any time.” Brown warns. “At issue now is whether the world can go beyond focusing on the symptoms of the deteriorating food situation and instead attack the underlying causes. If we cannot produce higher crop yields with less water and conserve fertile soils, many agricultural areas will cease to be viable… If we cannot move at wartime speed to stabilize the climate, we may not be able to avoid runaway food prices… The time to act is now — before the food crisis of 2011 becomes the new normal.”
- Taken from Sustainable Agriculture and Off-Grid Renewable Energy Small integrated farms with off-grid renewable energy may be the perfect solution to the food and financial crisis while mitigating and adapting to climate change
"Some people fear that the Illuminati will take advantage of the problems you are experiencing, to bring in World Government. That has always been their ambition, but they no longer command the power to do so, and it is the Light that will reveal the answers that will restore hope for the future. As most of you can see, all around you the unrest and anger is escalating, and will not subside until the root causes are addressed. Our plan is the only one that will restore peopleís faith and show that a quantum leap forward is possible. We ask only that you hold your vision of a new order, and paradigm that will solve the present problems. All that is happening has been foreseen for many years, as the dark Ones planned your demise and the collapse of your society. For karmic reasons it has had to run its course, but now the time has arrived for a stop to be put to the continuing destruction and inevitable demise of your civilization."
- SaLuSa through Mike Quinsey - Taken from his August 10, 2011 message
"As back-door bank bailouts continue in Europe and out-of-touch elites around the world continue to implement austerity programs to pay for the trillions of dollars worth of previous bank bailouts, major riots and protest continue in the Eurozone, and have spread to England and even Israel In Spain, anti-austerity protests continued on August 5, with thousands of Spain's "indignant youth" protesting in Madrid. London's burning, and so are Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol. This week in London, social order and the rule of law have broken down entirely. The Draconian austerity policies implemented by the current Tory government so they can pay for British bank bailouts have finally resulted in their predictable outcome. In Israel, hundreds of thousands of protestors have taken to the streets since the end of July, demanding affordable housing. "Since at least the mid-1980s, state policies have disproportionately favored the rich, causing wealth disparities, unemployment, poverty, hunger, homelessness and gradual loss of social benefits," explains Blogger and radio host Steve Lendman in a recent Blogpost on Israel.
(...) Like the Israelis, American live in a country that has been managed for decades for the benefit of the super-rich and to the detriment of everybody else. Like the Israelis, most Americans just can't afford to buy the home of their dreams anymore. In fact, many Americans can't sell the home they already own because they owe more than it's worth on today's depressed real estate market. Like the British, Greeks, Irish, Italians and Spanish, Americans live in a country that although nominally a democracy, operates more like an oligarchy, in that the aspirations, desires and preferences of the voting public are totally ignored by a political elite and corporate news media working day and night to enrich the rich and bankrupt the rest of us. But according to the mainstream media and the pundits in the blogosphere, Americans don't seem to understand what's going on, unlike the rest of the world. The news media and the pundits have got it all wrong, just as wrong as the financiers, the banksters, the feckless Washington insiders and the ratings agency insiders at Standard & Poors. "According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted in late May and released June 11, 60% of Americans correctly attribute the nation’s enormous deficit primarily to military spending, which eats up 52% of every tax dollar," reports Dave Lindorff on his blog, This Can't Be Happening. "Social Security and Medicare are entirely funded by separate payroll taxes, and not only have not contributed a single dollar to the federal deficit, but have been routinely borrowed from by the government to finance the deficit in the government’s operating budget caused by military spending. Only 24% blame the deficit on domestic spending other than military (and probably every one of those is a Republican or right-wing independent who likely believes that the earth was created 6000 years ago, and is flat, and who will never vote Democratic no matter what)." "That same poll showed that the vast majority of Americans (73%) object to proposals to cut the budget by reducing federal funding for social programs, or federal funding to the states for education, or by reducing Social Security benefits (59%), for example by raising the retirement age," Lindorff continues."
- Taken from the August 10th, 2011 Cosmic Weather Report and Global News
"It’s easy to let your thoughts and worries complicate your life. But it takes great strength to be simple."
- Taken from Strength in Simplicity
WORTH NOTING RIGHT AWAY
Syria - no blood for oil
For months, Syria's brutal President Assad has paid henchmen to wage war on his own people. Governments across the world have condemned these atrocities, but key European leaders could cut off the cash flow that finances this bloodbath. Germany, France and Italy are the three main importers of Syrian oil. If they move to impose immediate EU sanctions, Assad's slaughter funds will dry up. Assad has ignored political appeals for him to reign in his assault, and EU leaders have discussed ramping up sanctions, but only a massive global outcry will push them to act urgently. We have no time to lose -- every day dozens of Syrians are shot, tortured or disappeared simply for calling for basic democratic rights. The EU can stop funding the crackdown now. Click HERE to sign the petition to EU heads of state to immediately adopt oil sanctions on Syria - Almost all Syria’s exported oil is purchased and refined by Germany, France and Italy, but these governments have yet to use their key trade relationship with Assad as leverage to protect the Syrian people. Still, they have denounced the violence, and newspapers report that some EU leaders are already pushing for oil sanctions. Let’s demand that they ramp up the pressure and push through oil sanctions immediately and cut the engine of Assad’s murderous regime. Join in the call to cut off the cash to Syrian forces now.
CHANGE IS AFOOT IN GREAT BRITAIN...
(This first piece was included here before the start of the riots in England which are covered extensively right after it.)
Recommended by Doreen Agostino (email@example.com) who wrote: "This tract of humanity IS the bridge to a new unified world."
The Great British Lawful Rebellion Has Begun
PART ONE – OUR CELL DOOR IS CLOSING! WE KNOW YOUR GAME!
As many people reading this already know, there is a humorous Chinese curse which simply says “May you live in interesting times!” Well, 2011 is already turning out to be a very interesting year indeed…..a year that is going to change Great Britain’s destiny and direction forever….a year which will set alight a chain of events and actions that will globally expose and cast off the evil corporate yoke that has been cunningly and unlawfully imposed upon all of the free peoples of the world by that criminal and secretive global elite that is commonly known as The New World Order. As the world begins to wake up to the real truth, a cry from the people is starting to be heard in an ever increasing volume…WE WILL NOT BE THEIR SLAVES! What is seen now by the repressive authorities as merely smouldering embers of open rebellion by a tiny minority will very soon flare up to become a raging inferno for truth and justice as ordinary decent people demand an end to this global criminality and complete insanity.
To this end, Lawful Rebellion in Great Britain has now finally begun (as poor old Judge Peake in Birkenhead discovered to his surprise and embarrassment when he was suddenly confronted in his court by over 500 law abiding citizens demanding his arrest for treason) and nothing, absolutely nothing, can stop its momentum from building. Ordinary decent and peace loving people have finally had enough and are now waking up in ever increasing numbers to the unlawful harm that is actually being done to them and their families. A grassroots movement of non-compliance on a scale never before imagined is organising itself to lawfully expose and bring down this appalling system of global corporate control and enslavement……including the lawful shutting down of the debt creating financial nerve centre of the world, the so-called Square Mile that makes up the ‘City of London’ – what many analysts believe is the beating heart of this global conspiracy beast.
The bloodline criminal banking family, the House of Rothschild, the power base and ‘brains’ behind this so-called New World Order (which of course includes the proposed European Union Superstate) have simply created for themselves a House of Cards which, because of their arrogance and over-confidence, is now ready to collapse. It is certainly true that they have planned for many years now a global financial collapse designed to hasten in a ‘one world’ global currency and banking system completely controlled by them, but many researchers believe that they may have partially lost control and what is about to happen is, in fact, an incredible opportunity for the ordinary and decent people of the world to strike back with a mortal blow and so expose and defeat forever the New World Order and the Rothschilds’ psychopathic plans for the human race. In other words, the ‘Endgame’ is almost upon us…..and we must take the initiative!
We, the British people who are waking up to their appalling criminality, number in our tens of millions…….supporters of this criminal global elite here in the UK number, at best, a few tens of thousands, and many of them are simply the unwitting ‘useful idiots’ needed to maintain this unlawful corporate matrix of fear and control. And talking of ‘useful idiots’, the traitors, criminals, cowards and paedophiles who largely make up our political and judiciary elite, and who are now actively and deliberately distressing our country’s sovereignty and defences, will very soon indeed be facing lawful arrest and the full consequences of Common Law jurisdiction and natural justice.
And to all those intellectual pygmies of academia who have prostituted themselves to this global corporate greed and criminal deception; to all those highly paid media gatekeepers who wish to prevent the real truth from ever coming out in the mainstream media; and to all those know-all sceptics and cynics out there who refuse to see this New World Order ‘elephant in the room’ because of their own arrogance, stupidity and self-serving greed, the message is now very clear and very simple……join us and finally do something at last which is both meaningful and worthwhile or have your public credibility brushed aside forever along with your lucrative careers and contracts.
CLIP - Please read the missing part HERE
PART TWO – RISE LIKE LIONS!
WE HAVE REAL WORK TO DO – SO LET’S GET ON WITH IT!
Intelligence and insider tip-offs would suggest that the sudden collapse (whether planned or otherwise) of the debt-laden global economy could begin as early as September or October of this year – it is vital that we organise quickly and effectively to get this appalling truth out to the British people about the provable and massive fraud and treason being practised by the House of Rothschild and their minions, not to mention the appalling child abuse which is taking place right under our noses by people in positions of trust and authority. We’ve got our work cut out and we must all move fast!
We all know of the famous Kitchener recruiting poster of World War One – well this time our country really does need us. Each and every individual reading this article must now think very carefully about what sort of future our children are going to have because people couldn’t be bothered to lift a finger, preferring instead to continue concerning themselves about their favourite football teams, the latest celebrity gossip or the next big happening on Corrie. We know that there has been a deliberate strategy in recent decades to dumb the ‘ordinary’ people down and to get them distracted by ‘bread and circuses’ trivia and their own personal debt problems. However, there are still more than enough of us to stop this madness and criminality from achieving its final goal. Indeed, evidence is coming to light that suggests very strongly that we have many hidden friends in the police, the judiciary and the military who are now finally waking up and realising just what is being done to our country’s sovereignty, economy and people. With the right strategy and guidance, our numbers are set to explode to the point we can, with determination and courage, put an end to this evil and criminality. So how should we to proceed quickly and effectively with the Great British Lawful Rebellion?
CLIP - Please read the rest HERE
There is a context to London's riots that can't be ignored
Nina Power -- 8 August 2011
Since the coalition came to power just over a year ago, the country has seen multiple student protests, occupations of dozens of universities, several strikes, a half-a-million-strong trade union march and now unrest on the streets of the capital (preceded by clashes with Bristol police in Stokes Croft earlier in the year). Each of these events was sparked by a different cause, yet all take place against a backdrop of brutal cuts and enforced austerity measures. The government knows very well that it is taking a gamble, and that its policies run the risk of sparking mass unrest on a scale we haven't seen since the early 1980s. With people taking to the streets of Tottenham, Edmonton, Brixton and elsewhere over the past few nights, we could be about to see the government enter a sustained and serious losing streak.
The policies of the past year may have clarified the division between the entitled and the dispossessed in extreme terms, but the context for social unrest cuts much deeper. The fatal shooting of Mark Duggan last Thursday, where it appears, contrary to initial accounts, that only police bullets were fired, is another tragic event in a longer history of the Metropolitan police's treatment of ordinary Londoners, especially those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and the singling out of specific areas and individuals for monitoring, stop and search and daily harassment.
One journalist wrote that he was surprised how many people in Tottenham knew of and were critical of the IPCC, but there should be nothing surprising about this. When you look at the figures for deaths in police custody (at least 333 since 1998 and not a single conviction of any police officer for any of them), then the IPCC and the courts are seen by many, quite reasonably, to be protecting the police rather than the people.
Combine understandable suspicion of and resentment towards the police based on experience and memory with high poverty and large unemployment and the reasons why people are taking to the streets become clear. (Haringey, the borough that includes Tottenham, has the fourth highest level of child poverty in London and an unemployment rate of 8.8%, double the national average, with one vacancy for every 54 seeking work in the borough.)
Those condemning the events of the past couple of nights in north London and elsewhere would do well to take a step back and consider the bigger picture: a country in which the richest 10% are now 100 times better off than the poorest, where consumerism predicated on personal debt has been pushed for years as the solution to a faltering economy, and where, according to the OECD, social mobility is worse than any other developed country.
As Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett point out in The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, phenomena usually described as "social problems" (crime, ill-health, imprisonment rates, mental illness) are far more common in unequal societies than ones with better economic distribution and less gap between the richest and the poorest. Decades of individualism, competition and state-encouraged selfishness - combined with a systematic crushing of unions and the ever-increasing criminalisation of dissent - have made Britain one of the most unequal countries in the developed world.
Images of burning buildings, cars aflame and stripped-out shops may provide spectacular fodder for a restless media, ever hungry for new stories and fresh groups to demonise, but we will understand nothing of these events if we ignore the history and the context in which they occur.
Related videos and articles:
Police Were Ordered To Stand Down As London Burned (August 10, 2011)
Inadequate response led public to call for martial law -- Precisely as we reported yesterday on the back of numerous eyewitness reports, it has now emerged that police were ordered to stand down and let London burn during the first few nights of rioting, an action that quickly led to a frightened public to demand troops on the streets, rubber bullets, water cannons and curfews. On Tuesday we highlighted the "lackluster police response, with numerous reports from the public that police stood back and allowed looters to pillage both large department stores and private small businesses for hours on end." According to eyewitnesses to the initial riots in Tottenham, police were seen "standing back and allowing rioters to cause havoc," a trend that continued during subsequent nights before Prime Minister David Cameron ordered 10,000 extra police officers to patrol London last night. This has now been confirmed by sources within Scotland Yard who said police were ordered to "stand and observe" even as brazen acts of violent crime were committed against both people and private property, a directive which prevented them from arresting any of the troublemakers. "They had apparently been told to try and contain any violence but not to haul away offenders who would instead be identified through video footage later," reports the Daily Mail. The decision to order police to stand down is being explained as a reaction to public outcry following the death of Ian Tomlinson, a newspaper seller who was killed by riot cops during the G20 summit in 2009. However, as we have exhaustively documented, authorities routinely allow chaos to spiral out of control, even to the extent of hiring their own provocateurs, in order to manipulate the public into demanding greater police state measures that ultimately only serve to oppress legitimate dissent against the state. The police's inadequate response quickly led to calls for martial law, curfews and the use of water cannons on streets in England for the first time, a power that Prime Minister David Cameron has now authorized. Britain's most widely-read newspaper The Sun ran a poll today which found that two thirds of Brits support the use of rubber bullets to deal with rioters, while 33 per cent supported the use of live bullets. "Curfews are backed by 82 per cent, using tear gas got 78 per cent support and Tasers 72 per cent," states the report.
'Banker puppet govt + police brutality + betrayed youth = London riots' (August 9, 2011)
Officers in London have been given permission to use rubber bullets to disperse crowds. A top Metropolitan Police official said they're not afraid to use any tactic necessary. But investigative journalist Tony Gosling believes the force is in big trouble.
Yes, we are all in this together (11 November 2010)
Our book The Spirit Level was first published in March 2009, about six months after the start of the worst financial crisis since the Second World War. Much of the blame for the crisis was rightly attributed to extraordinary risks taken by people in the financial sector whose excesses were matched only by their grotesquely high salaries. Although our research pre-dates the crisis by many years, the book's generally positive reception clearly owes something to its timing. Many people who, before the crash, had assumed that huge salaries and bonuses reflected the unique contributions and brilliance of their recipients changed their minds as they learned about the lack of relationship between performance and reward.
(...) A recent report confirms empirically the impression we have formed - that the general public is averse to the high levels of inequality in very unequal countries. In a random sample of more than 5,500 Americans, researchers from Duke and Harvard Universities investigated views of the distribution of wealth (rather than income) in society. People were shown three pie charts illustrating three different distributions of wealth - one in which each fifth of the population got the same, another that showed (unlabelled) the distribution of wealth in the United States and another (also unlabelled) based on the distribution in Sweden.Ninety-two per cent said they would prefer to live in a society with the Swedish distribution - and the percentage only varied from 89 to 93 per cent depending on whether they were rich or poor, Democrats or Republicans. When asked what they thought the distribution of wealth is in the US, the average estimate was that the richest 20 per cent of Americans control 59 per cent of the wealth. In reality, they control 84 per cent. Asked what they thought the ideal distribution would be, people preferred the top 20 per cent to have 32 per cent of all wealth. (...) We also showed that there is a large and consistent body of evidence on income inequality and violence. More recent studies continue to confirm this link. One study of 33 countries, published in 2010, also showed that social cohesion - as measured by levels of trust - seemed to provide the causal link between income inequality and homicide rates, whereas public spending on health and education did not.
(...) The crashes of both 1929 and 2008 happened at the two peaks of inequality in the past hundred years after long periods of rising inequality which had led to rapid increases in debt. Their trends over time are strikingly similar. It has been estimated that growing inequality meant that, in the years before the 2008 crash, about $1.5trn per year was being siphoned from the bottom 90 per cent of the US population to the top 10 per cent.
(...) Understanding these issues is already changing attitudes to inequality among politicians. In Britain, The Spirit Level has been endorsed across the political spectrum. In a major speech at the end of 2009, David Cameron said the book showed "that among the richest countries, it's the more unequal ones that do worse according to almost every quality-of-life indicator". In September this year, in his first major speech as leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband said: "I do believe this country is too unequal and the gap between rich and poor doesn't just harm the poor, it harms us all . . ." Words are a start, but changing policies and politics, changing the way our societies organise themselves, will require the evidence to be recognised even more widely. Few tasks are more worthwhile than this: as we think The Spirit Level shows, the health of our democracies, our societies and their people, is truly dependent on greater equality.
London Riots - The BBC will never replay this. Darcus Howe On Police Brutality and Corruption (August 9, 2011)
Darcus Howe, a West Indian Writer and Broadcaster with a voice about the riots. Speaking about the mistreatment of youths by police leading to an up-roar and the ignorance of both police and the government.
Britain's Riots: A Society In Denial Of The Burning Issues by Finian Cunningham (August 9, 2011)
(...) The growing number of areas and youths involved in arson, rioting and looting do not appear to be driven merely out of solidarity for the young black victim of police violence last week, although that may be a factor for some. Many of the disturbances in London and elsewhere seem to be caused by white and black youths together and separately. But there is one common factor in all of this that the politicians and media are studiously ignoring: the massive poverty, unemployment and social deprivation that are now the lot for so many of Britain's communities. Britain's social decay has been seething over several decades, overseen by Conservative and Labour governments alike. As with other European countries and the United States, the social fabric of Britain has been torn asunder by economic policies that have deliberately widened the gap between rich and poor. The collapse of manufacturing bases, the spawning of low-paid menial jobs, unemployment and cuts in public services and facilities have all been accompanied by systematic lowering of taxation on the rich elite. Britain's national debt, as with that of the Europe and the US, can be attributed in large part to decades of pursuing neoliberal policies of prosperity for the rich and austerity for the poor - the burden of which is felt most keenly in inner-city neighbourhoods.David Cameron's Conservative-Liberal Coalition government has greatly magnified this debt burden on the poor with its swingeing austerity cuts since coming to office last year. Ironically, only days before the latest burnings and riots, British government spokesmen were congratulating themselves for "making the right decision" in driving through crippling economic austerity measures that have so far spared the United Kingdom from the overt fiscal woes seen elsewhere in Europe. But as thousands of Britain's youths now lash out at symbols of authority/austerity, breaking into shops to loot clothes and other consumer goods that they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford, the social eruption may be just a sign of even greater woes to come for the Disunited Kingdom.
These riots reflect a society run on greed and looting (10 August 2011)
David Cameron has to maintain that the unrest has no cause except criminality - or he and his friends might be held responsible -- It is essential for those in power in Britain that the riots now sweeping the country can have no cause beyond feral wickedness. This is nothing but "criminality, pure and simple", David Cameron declared after cutting short his holiday in Tuscany. The London mayor and fellow former Bullingdon Club member Boris Johnson, heckled by hostile Londoners in Clapham Junction, warned that rioters must stop hearing "economic and sociological justifications" (though who was offering them he never explained) for what they were doing.When his predecessor Ken Livingstone linked the riots to the impact of public spending cuts, it was almost as if he'd torched a building himself. The Daily Mail thundered that blaming cuts was "immoral and cynical", echoed by a string of armchair riot control enthusiasts. There was nothing to explain, they've insisted, and the only response should be plastic bullets, water cannon and troops on the streets.We'll hear a lot more of that when parliament meets - and it's not hard to see why. If these riots have no social or political causes, then clearly no one in authority can be held responsible. What's more, with many people terrified by the mayhem and angry at the failure of the police to halt its spread, it offers the government a chance to get back on the front foot and regain its seriously damaged credibility as a force for social order.
But it's also a nonsensical position. If this week's eruption is an expression of pure criminality and has nothing to do with police harassment or youth unemployment or rampant inequality or deepening economic crisis, why is it happening now and not a decade ago? The criminal classes, as the Victorians branded those at the margins of society, are always with us, after all. And if it has no connection with Britain's savage social divide and ghettoes of deprivation, why did it kick off in Haringey and not Henley?
To accuse those who make those obvious links of being apologists or "making excuses" for attacks on firefighters or robbing small shopkeepers is equally fatuous. To refuse to recognise the causes of the unrest is to make it more likely to recur - and ministers themselves certainly won't be making that mistake behind closed doors if they care about their own political futures.It was the same when riots erupted in London and Liverpool 30 years ago, also triggered by confrontation between the police and black community, when another Conservative government was driving through cuts during a recession. The people of Brixton and Toxteth were denounced as criminals and thugs, but within weeks Michael Heseltine was writing a private memo to the cabinet, beginning with "it took a riot", and setting out the urgent necessity to take action over urban deprivation.
This time, the multi-ethnic unrest has spread far further and faster. It's been less politicised and there's been far more looting, to the point where in many areas grabbing "free stuff" has been the main action. But there's no mystery as to where the upheaval came from. It was triggered by the police killing a young black man in a country where black people are 26 times more likely to be stopped and searched by police than their white counterparts. The riot that exploded in Tottenham in response at the weekend took place in an area with the highest unemployment in London, whose youth clubs have been closed to meet a 75% cut in its youth services budget.It then erupted across what is now by some measures the most unequal city in the developed world, where the wealth of the richest 10% has risen to 273 times that of the poorest, drawing in young people who have had their educational maintenance allowance axed just as official youth unemployment has reached a record high and university places are being cut back under the weight of a tripling of tuition fees.Now the unrest has gone nationwide. But it's not as if rioting was unexpected when the government embarked on its reckless programme to shrink the state. Last autumn the Police Superintendents' Association warned of the dangers of slashing police numbers at a time when they were likely to be needed to deal with "social tensions" or "widespread disorder". Less than a fortnight ago, Tottenham youths told the Guardian they expected a riot. CLIP
UK riots: society must change fundamentally if we are to move on
We must put aside petty political squabbles and find a way to give everyone a stake in the future
Deborah Orr -- 10 August 2011
These recent nights have felt like nights of the living dead, the darkness - and sometimes the daylight - grotesquely animated by people who appear to care for nothing and no one. What a lot of them there turned out to be - far too many for the police, initially, to contain. These people have discovered, during their week of misrule, that they do have power - the power to destroy. By the few accounts that people involved have actually vouchsafed, it's clear they've been having a ball.
I don't think it helps to call the looters and arsonists "disaffected". Apart from anything else, it's an understatement. But also, crucially, anything that smacks of bleeding-heart explanation or excuse alienates many other people in this country. Those people believe that this simply removes personal agency and responsibility from individuals, and is therefore part of the problem. You know what? I'm afraid they are right.
It is precisely that lack of personal agency and responsibility that has given these actions their inarticulate, apolitical character. Even this "protest" is without sentient direction. Others need to lend a hand in articulating what it is that the rioters "mean" by what they do. That in itself is a problem. Any number of interpretations can be, and already have been, applied to events.
Many people have their pet ideas about whose fault this outbreak of disorder is, or about which political policies, economic conditions, sociological developments or cultural trends have made the biggest contribution. Many of these ideas seem oppositional to each other, so much so that usually each and every one is "owned", either by the left or by the right. These are false oppositions, in the main, and they don't help. (And the problems had started before Thatcher's reign too. My generation was tapping its foot to Anarchy in the UK in 1977. No future, indeed.)
How much time has been wasted, squabbling over whether it's neo- liberalism or liberalism that has caused the problem, or whether it's too little help from the state, or too much? The list of contributing factors is far too long to make here - but pretty much everything on that list is actually part of the equation. Even the very length of the list is significant. Because it is the sheer amount of stuff that features in contemporary debate that makes answers hard to find. There are so many potentially dysfunctional fragments in an upbringing - in a complex, modern, human life - so many influences that are all right in moderation, or wonderful in some respects, but damaging in others. It is hard to balance them all, so it is easy for them to move out of whack. Maybe, when you score too many of the negatives, and not enough of the positives, some kind of retreat into an entirely disconnected state is the only kind of survival available to you.
Poverty - that's the key word that the left uses to explain how social detachment, lack of empathy, spiritual degradation, the death of hope, happens. Poverty is an awful, soul-shrinking condition. Yet many people dismiss even this, saying that there is no absolute poverty in a society that really does have a great deal of state provision. Again, they are right.
How to win the argument that explains how relative poverty amidst great material wealth is different to poverty in a society in which hardship is shared? Not by looking at the behaviour of the poorest. The poor and decent will always be held aloft as a counter-argument.
Bankers, journalists, politicians - all these wealthy groups have been recently exposed as the perpetrators of antisocial and immoral behaviour themselves, behaviour they appeared to believe was perfectly justified and only fair. Their own belief in their "relative poverty" - compared to the money they could earn in another country, the money they would be earning in the private sector, the money that the celebrities whose phones it was OK to hack were receiving - seems robust. So, the idea of relative poverty is used to justify of all sorts of selfish behaviour. Looters are just the most crude and inarticulate among such excuse-makers.
Yet bashing the rich does not help either. Sure, rich people can be selfish, and often are. But they clearly do not have a monopoly on this unattractive and antisocial quality. England's cities have been teeming with the selfish poor these past few days - and they don't much care who they hurt either. The attitude abroad appears to have been that if you lease a corner shop, or a fried-chicken franchise, then you've got what's coming to you. Envious self-justification - a moral problem in which it's always the richer guy's fault - is an unhelpful stance whether you are rich or poor. Crucially, it does not bring out the best in the richer guy, any more than it does in the poorer guy. The left flinches at the phrase "politics of envy". But that really is bad politics.
The lack of empathy shown by the rioters is terrible to see. A much distributed film features Ashraf Haziq, a bleeding young man with a broken jaw who was helped to his feet by seemingly concerned men, so that they could calmly rifle his rucksack and take those of his belongings that they wanted. Those people literally wanted to help themselves, and not others. That little film was a dark synecdoche of such attitudes, which are common throughout our society, not only among looters. Likewise, it is not only the rich who resent paying tax. In a film of the Clapham Junction disturbances, Sky News reporter Mark Stone challenged a woman who had just been looting the clothes-store TK Maxx. She was getting her taxes back, she blithely explained. Again, that is a common attitude.
Everyone needs to take responsibility. There can be no excuses for the rich, and no excuses for the poor either. Above all, it is simply practical to organise society so that everyone feels that they can attain some kind of stake in it, achieve some sense of responsible agency, however modest. The events of the past few days ought at least to bring home that it is simply dangerous, never mind unnecessary and wantonly cruel, to maintain a society that is inherently unstable, because those at its margins can so easily become petty, or not so petty, insurgents.
One thing ought to be crystal-clear now. Social and economic exclusion damages people, who want to do damage in turn. That opportunistic looters exist, in such numbers, is ghastly evidence of a host of societal flaws and ruptures - not least among them educational and parental failures. It's time to stop the petty, adversarial debates, and work at getting everyone possible on board to fix this.
CHANGE IS ALSO AFOOT IN ISRAEL - ALTHOUGH UNDER A SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT GUISE... ISRAELI PEOPLE ARE SHOWING THE WAY TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE... TAKE TO THE STREETS PEACEFULLY ACROSS THE NATION BY THE TENS OF MILLIONS AND SHOW THE WALL STREET SERVANTS IN WASHINGTON DC THAT YOU'VE HAD HAD JUST ENOUGH OF THEIR CORRUPT SELF-SERVING PANDERING TO THE BILLIONARIES WHILE EVERYONE ELSE HURTS, THE MIDDLE CLASS SHRINKS AND GROWING HORDES OF HOMELESS, DESTITUTE, JOBLESS CITIZENS HAUNT THE STREETS OF AMERICA WITH NOTHING BUT A FUTURE OF DURESS, POVERTY AND DESPAIR IN FRONT OF THEM.
Israelis stage mass protests over rising living costs (6 August 2011)
At least a quarter of a million Israelis have staged marches over the rising cost of living.The largest protest was in Tel Aviv where police said at least 200,000 people were on the streets, while another 30,000 marched in Jerusalem. In one of biggest waves of protests in decades in Israel, demonstrators are demanding government action to reduce the cost of housing and food.Some protesters have also set up camp in city centres.Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld that as well as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, an estimated 20,000 people had taken part in protests in other towns and cities. "Our numbers are more than 250,000 people across the country," he told AFP news agency. Israeli media put the number of protesters closer to 300,000. The BBC's Wyre Davies in Jerusalem says most of those taking part were middle-class professionals who say their salaries cannot cover basic expenses including housing and childcare. The protesters have been inspired by social uprisings in the Middle East but instead of seeking political change are demanding that the government take action over the soaring cost of living, he adds. (...) One of the organisers, 33-year-old Baroch Oren, said the movement was "a revolution". "There has been nothing like this for decades - all these people coming together, taking to the streets, demanding change."Israel's annual economic growth is relatively healthy, averaging 4.5% since 2004, and in the same period unemployment has fallen from about 11% to 6%. But the public say this growth has failed to benefit them and there is growing public anger over perceived social inequality, injustice and official corruption. CLIP
AND CHANGE IS DEFINITELY AFOOT IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WHERE A BRIGHT LIGHT OF HOPE IS NOW SHINING! ALL AWAKENED AMERICANS SHOULD RALLY AROUND THIS CALL, SPREAD THE WORD AND PREPARE FOR THIS... THE NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION IS ABOUT TO BEGIN!...
History is Knocking: Join the October 2011 Coalition AN ABSOLUTE MUST WATCH!!
Glen Ford: Why I Will Be There
We Stand With the Majority of Americans: Human Needs, Not Corporate Greed http://october2011.org/welcome
A large majority of the American people consistently support the following agenda:
- Tax the rich and corporations
- End the wars, bring the troops home, cut military spending
- Protect the social safety net, strengthen Social Security and improved Medicare for all
- End corporate welfare for oil companies and other big business interests
- Transition to a clean energy economy, reverse environmental degradation
- Protect worker rights including collective bargaining, create jobs and raise wages
- Get money out of politics
The government, dominated by elite economic interests, is going in the opposite direction from what the people want. The American people’s agenda is our agenda.
MUCH MUCH MORE THROUGH http://october2011.org/standwiththemajority
Pledge: October 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012 federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions. Read more.
"I pledge that if any U.S. troops, contractors, or mercenaries remain in Afghanistan on Thursday, October 6, 2011, as that occupation goes into its 11th year, I will commit to being in Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., with others on that day or the days immediately following, for as long as I can, with the intention of making it our Tahrir Square, Cairo, our Madison, Wisconsin, where we will NONVIOLENTLY resist the corporate machine by occupying Freedom Plaza to demand that America's resources be invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of war and exploitation. We can do this together. We will be the beginning."
SIGN THE PLEDGE
It Can Be Done. Now is the Time. Americans Can Stop the Corporate Machine and Create a New World
By Kevin Zeese -- 23 July 2011
October2011.org seeks to Stop the Machine and Create a New World. It can be done. Indeed, it must be done and now is the time to do it. The thousands who have joined October2011.org know the challenges we face but we also know that the disastrous direction the country is going is unacceptable. We have seen that the normal tools - elections, lobbying and education - do not work. The U.S. is facing a crisis on many fronts - economic, environmental and in foreign relations - and the government does not respond or even makes things worse.
We certainly understand the despair, lost hope and discouragement that many Americans feel about the U.S. political system. The system seems designed to make change impossible. We also see the power and sophistication of the corporate propaganda media machine. But, we also see people in the United States seeing through the propaganda, understanding the truth and getting angry. In every rebellion around the world that has occurred in the last year - from Egypt to Spain - the view that it can't be done, the people will not rise up would have been the belief of 95% of the population before it happened. Predicting the future is not as easy as it looks. There is a lot of evidence that the time may be right for an American Awakening. The past is not always the future.
The organizers of October2011.org are well aware of the challenges we face and aware of the power of the U.S. police forces to stamp out dissent. We have faced them before. We are developing contingency plans to deal with those issues. And, we know if the police remove us on the first day, October 6, we will come back in the days that follow with even more people. We will not give up. Indeed, in Spain on the first day, the police cleared out a few hundred people, and then they came back two days later with thousands more and stayed for a month. They continue to pressure the government with their indignant independent movement demanding real, fundamental change starting with real democracy, not the phony two party charade they encounter in Spain as we also do in the United States.
October2011.org is a peoples led effort. The people who have signed up are doing their part: Spreading the word; Urging their friends and families to come; And, coming themselves. We all know we cannot let business as usual continue -- it is literally killing us and others, degrading the environment, destroying the middle class and creating massive transfers of wealth to the richest 1%.
One thing that stops many from doing anything is fear of failure. We don't fear failure. October2011.org will be a success. The issue is what level of success will it be? That is up to you, dear reader. If you see the misdirection of the country, do not despair, join us. Unified with confidence in our power we cannot be stopped.
CLIP - Continue reading at http://october2011.org/blogs/organizer/it-can-be-done-now-time and get involved! Check their Tool Kit at http://october2011.org/pages/toolkit and check their EXCELLENT Fifteen Core Issues The Country Must Face at http://october2011.org/issues">http://october2011.org/issues">http://october2011.org/issues
Are the American People in a Pre-Revolutionary Stage? (10 August 2011)
A new opinion poll shows that the American people by an overwhelming majority do not feel the government has their consent. Nearly 70% believe the government does not have the consent of the American people; only 17% believe it does. This is unprecedented. As we show in We Stand With the Majority of Americans: Human Needs, Not Corporate Greed, the public wants to go in the opposite direction the government is going. The corporate, market solutions advanced by both parties, the lack of a truly progressive tax structure where the extreme wealth pay more, the expansion rather than ending of war and the austerity measures being put in place are all major examples of how the two-party corporate duopoly is out of step with the American people. The people see government as corrupt, members of Congress as too partisan, member of Congress not listening to their constituents and disapprove of the debt ceiling deal. October2011.org may turn out to be exceptionally well timed. We need to keep pushing so people realize we have the power and that the people can govern better than the corporations and their lackeys in Congress and the White House. CLIP
How We Can Challenge Corporate Power: Lessons from the History of Change (7 August 2011)
Brice Levine provides us all with some very important lessons in this excellent article. Read the whole article but here are some key points:- Individual self respect and collective self confidence. We can succeed and make good decisions for ourselves. We are worthy of self-power and capable of using it wisely.- The economic elite want to keep us divided. Division is in their interests. We must trust each other, be respectful and cooperative.- Recognize we are in an abusive relationship, forgive ourselves for it and even have humor about it.- Use our energy to provide respect and create confidence in others, doing so will make us stronger, individually and collectively.- Liberate ourselves from fatalism. We can in fact change things. Those in power are more fragile than they seem. We need critical self-consciousness to realize we have limited our own power. We are taking action, learning and taking more powerful action.- Seemingly impossible change has happened over and over in history. This may be one of those moments. With persistence, confidence and our willingness to seize the moment, the impossible will become the inevitable.History is knocking. Answer the call. We can create the history we want. No Fear! CLIP
Debt Ceiling Deal Trickery: A Catalyst for an Uprising? (3 August 2011)
Kevin Gosztola of FireDogLake.com ties the Debt Ceiling deal to the uprisings being planned around the United States including October2011.org. No doubt the deal that protected the wealthy while undermining the functions of government will add to the furor. Many of us have seen this for quite some time and were already angry at the Wall Street bailout, the continuation of the Bush tax cuts, the continuation of the Patriot Act and the expansion of wars. Corporatism and militarism are running rampant and it is going to take an independendent political movement that demands an end to corporatism and militarism to stop it. We started October2011.org because deals like the one to raise the debt ceiling are the inevitably result of shifting wealth to the top and not requiring corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share as well the constant expansion of empire wars. CLIP
ANOTHER EARLIER ACTION IS ALSO BEING PLANNED AND MIGHT VERY WELL SET THE STAGE FOR THE MUCH LARGER ONGOING OCCUPATION OF THE (relative small) FREEDOM PLAZA IN WASHINGTON DC, STARTING OCTOBER 6...
Occupy Wall Street
Are you ready for a Tahrir Moment? On September 17, flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street.
A worldwide shift in revolutionary tactics is underway right now that bodes well for the future. The spirit of this fresh tactic, a fusion of Tahrir with the acampadas of Spain, is captured in this quote:
"The antiglobalization movement was the first step on the road. Back then our model was to attack the system like a pack of wolves. There was an alpha male, a wolf who led the pack, and those who followed behind. Now the model has evolved. Today we are one big swarm of people."
— Raimundo Viejo, Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona, Spain [Note from Jean: For a chronology of what happened in Spain check Barcelona, Spring 2011 - Also in Madrid, people occupy the center of the city instead)]
The beauty of this new formula, and what makes this novel tactic exciting, is its pragmatic simplicity: we talk to each other in various physical gatherings and virtual people's assemblies … we zero in on what our one demand will be, a demand that awakens the imagination and, if achieved, would propel us toward the radical democracy of the future … and then we go out and seize a square of singular symbolic significance and put our asses on the line to make it happen.
The time has come to deploy this emerging stratagem against the greatest corrupter of our democracy: Wall Street, the financial Gomorrah of America.
On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices.
Tahrir succeeded in large part because the people of Egypt made a straightforward ultimatum – that Mubarak must go – over and over again until they won. Following this model, what is our equally uncomplicated demand?
The most exciting candidate that we've heard so far is one that gets at the core of why the American political establishment is currently unworthy of being called a democracy: we demand that Barack Obama ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington. It's time for DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY, we're doomed without it.
This demand seems to capture the current national mood because cleaning up corruption in Washington is something all Americans, right and left, yearn for and can stand behind. If we hang in there, 20,000-strong, week after week against every police and National Guard effort to expel us from Wall Street, it would be impossible for Obama to ignore us. Our government would be forced to choose publicly between the will of the people and the lucre of the corporations.
This could be the beginning of a whole new social dynamic in America, a step beyond the Tea Party movement, where, instead of being caught helpless by the current power structure, we the people start getting what we want whether it be the dismantling of half the 1,000 military bases America has around the world to the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act or a three strikes and you're out law for corporate criminals. Beginning from one simple demand – a presidential commission to separate money from politics – we start setting the agenda for a new America.
Post a comment and help each other zero in on what our one demand will be. And then let's screw up our courage, pack our tents and head to Wall Street with a vengeance September 17.
for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ
The Occupation Needs YOU! Register now at: http://occupywallst.org/ and join the ranks!
Let the US Days of Rage begin...
Now let us hope similar people driven movements quickly sprout and mushroom all over the world to take back this bleeding planet from the clenching, despotic hands of the global evil cabal...
CHECK ALSO OCCUPY BAY STREET in Toronto, Canada - OCCUPY CANARY WHARF in London, UK
Various precious info for anyone planning to join the protesters - by Star Hawk
How to make a Home-Made Tear Gas Mask
Coping with Stress & Disillusionment when making a Stand
Special Comment by Keith Olbermann "We Must Protest This Deal & All The God Damn Deals To Come In The Streets!" (August 01, 2011) REALLY GOOD EXPLANATION OF THE FRAUDULOUS, HYPOCRITE NATURE OF THE DC DEAL.
A REALLY BRILLIANT IDEA WORTH SUPPORTING - and a perfect complement to the October 6, 2011 movement mentioned above ...
Americans Elect 2012 - A BRILLIANT INITIATIVE!!!
WHAT IF there were a better way to choose our president? Americans Elect is harnessing the power of the Internet to ask every single voter one simple question: who would you nominate in 2012? YOU CHOOSE THE ISSUES. YOU CHOOSE THE CANDIDATES. YOU NOMINATE THE TICKET. AND THE WINNER WILL BE ON THE 2012 BALLOT IN EVERY STATE. IS THIS really possible? Yes. In fact, we've already collected over a million signatures and are well on the way to securing ballot access in all 50 states.1,747,557 signatures and counting! When the people vote in our convention next June, they will choose America's first directly nominated presidential ticket. THE POWER TO CHOOSE your candidate in the 2012 election. Real issues. Real candidates. Real votes.
WHAT IS AMERICANS ELECT?
Americans Elect is the first-ever open nominating process. We're using the Internet to give every single voter-Democrat, Republican or independent-the power to nominate a presidential ticket in 2012. The people will choose the issues. The people will choose the candidates. And in a secure, online convention next June, the people will make history by putting their choice on the ballot in every state.
IS AMERICANS ELECT A 3rd PARTY?
Americans Elect is a better way to choose a President, not a traditional 3rd party. Our nominating process is open to any qualified candidate and any registered voter-no matter their party. We have no ties to any political group-left, right, or center. We don't promote any issues, ideology or candidates. None of our funding comes from special interests or lobbyists. Our only goal is to put a directly-nominated ticket on the ballot in 2012.
IS AMERICANS ELECT SECURE?
Yes. We're building a 21st-century nominating system with state-of-the-art security at every step. While this is a new idea, we're partnering with leading providers to combine proven technology that's already used for online banking with a rigorous voter verification process. Throughout, an independent, publicly-identified panel of computer scientists, ballot security experts and citizens will examine the system and report publicly on its transparency and security.
IS THIS FOR REAL?
Very. Americans Elect is not another advocacy group or online competition. We are well on the way to securing national ballot access. We are building a state-of-the-art, secure voting process. We will attract millions of registered voters. We will attract serious, qualified presidential candidates. And in 2012, the American people will put their ticket on the ballot in every state.
WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?
The goal of Americans Elect is to nominate a presidential ticket that answers to the people-not the political system. Like millions of American voters, we simply want leadership that will work together to tackle the challenges facing our country. And we believe a direct nominating process will prove that America is ready for a competitive, nonpartisan ticket.
CLIP - Read the whole introduction through http://www.americanselect.org/about
WHY DO WE NEED ANOTHER CANDIDATE?
The party primaries offer few choices, and leave too many Americans out of the process. In many states, voters have no real say at all about who gets nominated. Americans Elect gives all voters greater choice and an equal vote, no matter their party or where they live. And by nominating a nonpartisan ticket, Americans Elect will create a path for our leaders to start working together on the challenges facing our country.
WON'T THIS JUST SPOIL THE ELECTION FOR ONE OF THE PARTIES?
Can a presidential ticket openly-nominated by millions of voters really be a spoiler? Some people will think Americans Elect will cost the Democrats the election. Others will think the same about the Republicans. We think Americans Elects will allow voters to send a more important message: the American people want leaders that are truly committed to working together, regardless of party.
Americans Elect Chief Operating Officer, Elliot Ackerman, share the concept and the process on MSNBC's Hardball
Making History in California
As you read this, Americans Elect is submitting a record 1.6 million signatures to gain access to the Californian ballot in 2012. It's a historic day for the state and our nation. In fact, this is the largest number of signatures ever collected in California for any one initiative. More importantly, the signatures were gathered in all 58 counties, making this a truly state-wide effort.What's more, all of the signers-- all 1.6 million of them-- and all of the collectors are California residents. This effort was achieved by Californians for Californians, and we couldn't be more excited and motivated by their support. To date, Americans Elect has collected over 1.7 million signatures from voters around the country. People who are looking for a new way to participate in elections and nominate the candidate of their choice. Thanks to these individuals, and the remarkable residents of California, Americans Elect has more than half of the signatures necessary to claim 50-state ballot access. CLIP
WHETHER BY MALEVOLENT DESIGN OR BECAUSE OF ITS INHERENT FLAWS, THE UNSUSTAINABLE GLOBAL ECONOMIC SYSTEM IS IN THE PROCESS OF IMPLODING AND LIKE EVERY CRISIS, THIS IS A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY TO SHIFT EVERYTHING TO A HIGHER ORDER OF INTEGRITY, BALANCE AND FAIRNESS AS GUIDED BY TRUE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND A NEW CONSCIOUSNESS DEVOID OF ANY FEAR AND EGOTISTIC TRAITS. THE INNER FLOW OF DIVINE WILL WILL BRING US EXACTLY WHERE WE NEED TO GO... THIS IS GOING TO BE AN EXHILARATING RIDE AND THE WHOLE PLANET WILL FOLLOW OUR LEAD, AS LONG AS WE REMAIN FOCUSED IN AND IN SYNCH WITH THE CAN-BE ATTITUDE OF OUR HIGHER SOUL SELF...
World stock prices plunge amid 'general fear' of a new US recession, European debts (8/5/2011)
'The economic outlook is stressing investors to a great degree and sentiment is likely to remain extremely fragile,' analyst says -- NEW YORK - Global stock markets tumbled Friday amid fears the U.S. may be heading back into recession and Europe's debt crisis is worsening. The sell-off follows the biggest one-day points decline on Wall Street since the 2008 financial crisis. Oil extended sharp losses to fall below $84 a barrel amid expectations a slowing global economy will undermine demand for crude. In Europe, major markets fell, adding to losses Thursday. CLIP
"Europe Is On The Verge Of Collapsing" (August 8, 2011)
Europe is on the verge of collapsing and the world is again in the quagmire, the reason being Europe, rather than just Greece, is the planet's soft belly, and the impact of Europe's eventual downfall would make itself felt throughout the world, even if Germany, or France, could somehow be spared. The scale of impact is unpredictable, but potentially worse than that of the recent toxic assets crisis. The European bloc is the second largest economy, the first trade partner of China, the largest importer of Russian energy and the first buyer of high quality raw materials (it still holds the Hilton quota, the world's most expensive meat quota). All over the world European debt holders and many states maintain their reserves in euros. China, for example, has one-fourth of its reserves in such currency and holds a large amount of Greek, Portuguese and Spanish debt bonds.... Without debt restructuring involving important debt amount reductions and extended maturities, Greece will not be able to meet her commitments, just like the rest of Europe's debt-overhung Europe's periphery economies - Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and Italy, and the effects would certainly contaminate the rest of Europe including the region's strongest economies. CLIP - CHECK ALSO Fannie and Freddie Downgraded, France Will Be Downgraded, Munis Getting Hammered ... States Will Be Next
How Washington's politicians downgraded America (6 August 2011)
The downgrading of America is a humiliation for a nation constantly fretting about its potential decline. It reinforces a very common belief here, that the squabbling politicians in Washington are to blame for many of the country's ills. It was indeed a major theme of candidate Obama that "business as usual" couldn't continue and, by an effort of will, America had to come together. The decision by Standard & Poor's to push America into the second division, when it comes to trustworthiness about paying its bills, puts the USA below the UK, Germany, France, Singapore, Finland and 14 other countries. The reason it gives is what all America has been saying: Washington doesn't work. The S&P report says: "The political brinkmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America's governance and policy-making becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed."A clumsy sentence, yet it encapsulates the frustration of many Americans. They don't think too much of the plan they did eventually come up with at the last minute. CLIP
Collapse: "It Will Be Sudden and Very Painful" (August 4th, 2011)
While it's too early to tell whether or not the destruction in stock markets will continue as it did in 2008, one thing is for sure - when the bottom finally falls out of this economy it's going to come as a surprise to tens of millions of people who have been bamboozled by their trusted politicians and corporate elite. Today's Dow Jones collapse of 350 points is but an indicator of the severe volatility and unmitigated destruction we can expect as this crisis enters the next phase. Former comptroller general of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) David Walker warns that it's going to hurt:
(...) It's not a matter of if, but when. The course is mathematically unsustainable, and a few hundred billion in cuts, as ridiculous as it sounds, is simply not going to be enough. As Charlie McGrath pointed out in his August 3 video report, the US government will have to take extreme measures, like Greece is being forced to take now, to keep the system alive, albeit on life support:We are in the leagues of nations such as Greece and Italy, these other nations who their national debt far outpaces their GDP, and reality is these nations are going through austerity. And, here comes your crisis of reality.The austerity measures that are about to come our way are going to be like nothing we've ever seen or even dreamt about in this country - certainly worse than any of the politicians getting before the cameras will tell you is coming. They're telling you if you go further into debt everything's going to be OK.…… President Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke are out of bullets. They have nothing left… they've tried everything: QE1, QE2, Stimulus 1, Stimulus 2, there's just nothing left that can be done to help create jobs in this country.
Many don't believe it will happen here. But make no mistake, it's coming (in fact, it's happening right here and now!). They're going to print more money and erode your savings. They're going to borrow more money from foreign creditors, until such time that they won't lend to us anymore. Prices for essentials like food, energy and clothing are going to increase exponentially over the next few years. At the same time we will see forced cuts to programs like social security, medicaid, medicare and a host of other entitlement programs. Millions of Americans are going to feel like they've been hit with a sledgehammer. The United States of America is embroiled in the next Great Depression - and there is no way out. The economy will not, contrary to the opinion of our government and the presstitutes who promote their agendas, recover in a few months. We're in this for the long haul, as in years and decades not weeks or months, and all of us will soon learn what TEOTWAWKI means.
The collapse: Celente predicted it would happen. It's happening! (August 10, 2011)
On June 13th, Trends Journal subscribers and the global media received this Trend Alert®: "Collapse It's Coming! Are You Ready?" In that Trend AlerT, Gerald Celente accurately predicted that a global economic collapse was imminent. "The economy is on the threshold of calamity … another violent financial episode is looming," he wrote. Celente warned that the trends of the Summer of 2011 paralleled those in play during August of 2007, trends that had culminated in the "Panic of '08." He dismissed the assurances of world leaders that policies were in place to mitigate the escalating European and US debt crises.He discounted "media experts" promoting an imaginary recovery or debating the prospects of a double-dip recession.It was all bogus. Those assurances were hot air, and the "recovery" talk and "double-dip recession" debates were just red herrings.In that Trend Alert®, Celente urged readers to resist the urge to lapse into a vacation state of mind. And he warned that the coming panic was going to be distinctly different!In the Summer of 2007, before the "Panic of '08" set in, the Dow had hit a high of 14,000, the real estate and credit bubbles had not yet burst, and unemployment was a manageable 4.7 percent. People actually still felt prosperous. The "Collapse of 2011" follows four years of relentless economic decay. The combination of plummeting real estate values, intractable unemployment, and a US/European government debt crises dwarfs the banking/financial institution turmoil of 2008. Back then, Washington and the Federal Reserve treated the critically wounded economy with trillions of stimulus dollars, low interest rates, and quantitative easing. But in 2011, those fiscal and monetary band-aids are not viable options. CLIP
Dylan Ratigan's Howard Beale Moment (August 10, 2011)
MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan unleashed a rant about the U.S. debt on his Tuesday show that raised eyebrows in the blogosphere and seemed to terrify the guests of his eponymous show. Economics blogger Yves Smith called it "remarkable," Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal deemed it "epic," and Mediaite's Colby Hall swooned, saying it was "about as entertainingly unhinged as you will ever want to see." The Ratigan rant skewered both Republicans and Democrats for failing to propose long-term solutions to America's mounting debt and it's vague disaffected anger smacked of the kind of blind rage immortalized in the 1976 network news drama Network by fictional news anchor Howard Beale. Acknowledging the reference on his blog this morning, Ratigan called it his "epic 'Network' moment" noting it constituted his "most heartfelt and emotional moment on television, ever." So does the cinematic allusion ring true? The gist of his rant can be summed up in this graph: We’ve got a real problem…this is a mathematical fact. Tens of trillions of dollars are being extracted from the United States of America. Democrats aren’t doing it, Republicans aren’t doing it, an entire integrated system, banking, trade and taxation, created by both parties over a period of two decades is at work on our entire country right now. Meanwhile, the Beale speech's finest moment is in this passage. Does Ratigan pass the Beale test? Video at the URL above : I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth; banks are going bust; shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter; punks are running wild in the street, and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it.We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat. And we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be!We all know things are bad -- worse than bad -- they're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out any more. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials, and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone."Well, I'm not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad! (Taken from Network - I'm Mad as Hell)
Downgrading Our Politics (August 06 2011)
Hours after Standard & Poor's decision to strip the U.S. of its prized triple-A rating late Friday, China issued some harsh statements warning Washington lawmakers to "cure its addiction to debts" and "live within its means." (...) Financial experts from across the globe are now commenting negatively on Washington's last-minute deal to slow down the ballooning growth of America's debt and that it was obviously not enough to please the agency. For Asian governments, the downgrade is bad news especially for China, which is the largest holder of U.S. debt."The spluttering world economic recovery would be very likely to be undermined and fresh rounds of financial turmoil could come back to haunt us all," Chinese newspapers said Saturday. Any disruptions to the U.S. economy, a major market for Asian exporters, would have serious implications for Asia's economy, according to the Wall Street Journal.Jiang Xufeng with China's official Xinhua news agency wrote a harsh opinion on Saturday basically scolding U.S. lawmakers. Xufeng writes "the U.S. government has relied on borrowing to fund its operations in recent decades and has seldom carried out a serious fiscal austerity plan." "That's why its debt ceiling has been raised 78 times to 14.29 trillion dollars since 1960."Legal analysts say Beijing will probably continue to purchase United States Treasury bonds. However, Chinese officials are clearly concerned that China's substantial holdings of American debt, worth at least $1.1 trillion, is being devalued. "The U.S. government has to come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone," the commentary in the Chinese newspaper said. The only good news, analysts say, is that if China pulls back from purchasing Treasuries, the dollar would weaken and America's borrowing costs would rise sharply, but that would also hurt China's existing holdings."International supervision over the issue of U.S. dollars should be introduced and a new stable and secured global reserve currency may also be an option to avert a catastrophe caused by any single country," the commentary said. U.S. lawmakers cannot say they were not warned that its coveted rating was in danger of a downgrade. Standard & Poor's issued the sternest of warnings even during Congress' messy negotiations earlier in the week. Financial experts said the agency was "under tremendous pressure not to downgrade" even after lawmakers reached a deal.Late Friday, the company notified the Treasury that it planned to "issue a downgrade after the markets closed," and sent the department a copy of the announcement. Stephen B. Meister with the New York Post also warned lawmakers earlier this week that the rating agencies know there's simply "no way to truly implement significant spending cuts without reforming Social Security. And the tools to do it are out there: increasing the retirement age, reducing inflation adjustments, means testing and more." Meister said the credit raters will know the polls lack the will to make the cuts real. CLIP
The End of the American Empire (August 7, 2011)
(...) There are two issues to grapple with: first, with the undeniable evidence that our government has become a clusterfuck, we have become incapable of taking obvious steps–like taking the profit motive out of our health care system or taxing the wealthy that just got a giant government bailout–that we need for the well-being of the country. At this level, S&P’s downgrade makes sense.But then there’s the question of why we let a thoroughly discredited entity like the S&P be the one to dictate whether we merit our world leadership position or not. That’s not just a question of letting one of the agencies that created the bubble retain any position of authority in the world afterwards (though, again, the fact we left the rating agencies in place after the crash is another sign our governance has failed), but also why a nation-state would let a corrupted entity like S&P do so in the first place. Therein lies the paradox here: the downgrade is at once a real measure of the collapse of our governance, one of the best symptoms of it, and a key piece of evidence of why our governance is failing. So what’s going on? This column at Spiegel Online looks on this as a problem of culture. It argues the US has left “the West.” America has changed. It has drifted away from the West. The country’s social disintegration is breathtaking. Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz recently described the phenomenon. The richest 1 percent of Americans claim one-quarter of the country’s total income for themselves — 25 years ago that figure was 12 percent. It also possesses 40 percent of total wealth, up from 33 percent 25 years ago. Stiglitz claims that in many countries in the so-called Third World, the income gap between the poor and rich has been reduced. In the United States, it has grown.Economist Paul Krugman, also a Nobel laureate, has written that America’s path is leading it down the road to “banana-republic status.” The social cynicism and societal indifference once associated primarily with the Third World has now become an American hallmark. This accelerates social decay because the greater the disparity grows, the less likely the rich will be willing to contribute to the common good. When a company like Apple, which with ¤76 billion in the bank has greater reserves at its disposal than the government in Washington, a European can only shake his head over the Republican resistance to tax increases. We see it as self-destructive. CLIP
Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1% By Joseph E. Stiglitz (May 2011)
Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret. THE FAT AND THE FURIOUS The top 1 percent may have the best houses, educations, and lifestyles, says the author, but “their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live.”
(...) Economists are not sure how to fully explain the growing inequality in America. The ordinary dynamics of supply and demand have certainly played a role: laborsaving technologies have reduced the demand for many “good” middle-class, blue-collar jobs. Globalization has created a worldwide marketplace, pitting expensive unskilled workers in America against cheap unskilled workers overseas. Social changes have also played a role—for instance, the decline of unions, which once represented a third of American workers and now represent about 12 percent.
But one big part of the reason we have so much inequality is that the top 1 percent want it that way. The most obvious example involves tax policy. Lowering tax rates on capital gains, which is how the rich receive a large portion of their income, has given the wealthiest Americans close to a free ride. Monopolies and near monopolies have always been a source of economic power—from John D. Rockefeller at the beginning of the last century to Bill Gates at the end. Lax enforcement of anti-trust laws, especially during Republican administrations, has been a godsend to the top 1 percent. Much of today’s inequality is due to manipulation of the financial system, enabled by changes in the rules that have been bought and paid for by the financial industry itself—one of its best investments ever. The government lent money to financial institutions at close to 0 percent interest and provided generous bailouts on favorable terms when all else failed. Regulators turned a blind eye to a lack of transparency and to conflicts of interest.
When you look at the sheer volume of wealth controlled by the top 1 percent in this country, it’s tempting to see our growing inequality as a quintessentially American achievement—we started way behind the pack, but now we’re doing inequality on a world-class level. And it looks as if we’ll be building on this achievement for years to come, because what made it possible is self-reinforcing. Wealth begets power, which begets more wealth. During the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s—a scandal whose dimensions, by today’s standards, seem almost quaint—the banker Charles Keating was asked by a congressional committee whether the $1.5 million he had spread among a few key elected officials could actually buy influence. “I certainly hope so,” he replied. The Supreme Court, in its recent Citizens United case, has enshrined the right of corporations to buy government, by removing limitations on campaign spending. The personal and the political are today in perfect alignment. Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent. When pharmaceutical companies receive a trillion-dollar gift—through legislation prohibiting the government, the largest buyer of drugs, from bargaining over price—it should not come as cause for wonder. It should not make jaws drop that a tax bill cannot emerge from Congress unless big tax cuts are put in place for the wealthy. Given the power of the top 1 percent, this is the way you would expect the system to work.
America’s inequality distorts our society in every conceivable way. There is, for one thing, a well-documented lifestyle effect—people outside the top 1 percent increasingly live beyond their means. Trickle-down economics may be a chimera, but trickle-down behaviorism is very real. Inequality massively distorts our foreign policy. The top 1 percent rarely serve in the military—the reality is that the “all-volunteer” army does not pay enough to attract their sons and daughters, and patriotism goes only so far. Plus, the wealthiest class feels no pinch from higher taxes when the nation goes to war: borrowed money will pay for all that. Foreign policy, by definition, is about the balancing of national interests and national resources. With the top 1 percent in charge, and paying no price, the notion of balance and restraint goes out the window. There is no limit to the adventures we can undertake; corporations and contractors stand only to gain. The rules of economic globalization are likewise designed to benefit the rich: they encourage competition among countries for business, which drives down taxes on corporations, weakens health and environmental protections, and undermines what used to be viewed as the “core” labor rights, which include the right to collective bargaining. Imagine what the world might look like if the rules were designed instead to encourage competition among countries for workers. Governments would compete in providing economic security, low taxes on ordinary wage earners, good education, and a clean environment—things workers care about. But the top 1 percent don’t need to care.
Do We Need a Militant Movement to Save the Planet (and Ourselves)?
Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith and Aric McBay call for new strategy to stave off environmental catastrophe.
August 6, 2011
Environmental groups are trying to build a critical mass around issues like global warming to inspire public action and encourage legislators to get their heads out of the sand. The Sierra Club is working to block new coal burning power plants, a new coalition is organizing actions against a tar sands pipeline, and folks in West Virginia are sitting in trees in an attempt to halt destructive strip mining. It's great work, but what if it's not enough? What if it's too little, too late? What if we never get enough mass for it to ever reach that critical point?
A new book called Deep Green Resistance, by Aric McBay, Lierre Keith and Derrick Jensen, says that we likely won't have enough people interested in saving the planet before we run out of time. So, they're calling for a change in strategy. You may know Jensen from his many books, including Endgame. McBay is the author of Peak Oil Survival: Preparing for Life After Gridcrash, and Keith is the author of The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability. The three longtime activists have teamed up to offer a more radical approach to our environmental crisis.
They use words like "militant" and "resistance" a lot. And they critique the Left a lot. And they review the semantics of "violence." "I would urge the following distinctions," writes Keith, "the violence of hierarchy vs. the violence of self-defense, violence against actual people vs. violence against property, and the violence as self-actualization vs. the violence of political resistance."
And if you're firmly in the nonviolence-is-the-answer camp, don't get scared off (yet), because there is a ton of crucial information in this book. And just because they mention violence doesn't mean it's the best policy. You may not want to sign up to lead their underground army, but you should hear them out. Because the planet is being destroyed. Each day 200 species go extinct, Jensen writes in the preface. And if you can't wrap your head around that number, how about "90 percent of the large fish in the ocean are gone, there is ten times as much plastic as phytoplankton in the oceans, 97 percent of native forests are destroyed, 98 percent of native grasslands are destroyed ..." and Jensen continues with the bad news from there.
In a couple of decades, we may be looking at the end of life as we know it on this planet. "What is your personal carrying capacity for grief, rage, despair?" asks Keith in the first chapter. It's not just global warming but a confluence of catastrophes that cannot be blamed on Republicans or climate deniers or rich people with their personal jets, but on all of us, together. The culprit is industrial civilization, say the writers. "This culture destroys landbases. That's what it does," writes Jensen. "And it won't stop because we ask it nicely."
And so how do we save the world (and along with it ourselves)? Well, naturally we take down industrial civilization, they say. Yeah, no small feat. Especially when so many of us actually live quite comfortably in this civilization — roofs over our heads, running water, flushing toilets, access to medical care, decent food to eat, cars to drive, electronics to play with, vacations to take. And, of course, the most powerful people live in a penthouse, far above relative standards of comfort and have zero desire to pack up and move out.
So this taking down of civilization will not be easy, of course. But according to Jensen, Keith and McBay, it is necessary because no other response out there even comes close to matching the scale of the problem we face. And we can no longer afford to simply make personal changes to bike more and eat local. And we can no longer afford to be grieved by polluted rivers or angered by short-sighted politicians without doing everything we can to stop it. So what do we do? Their 500-plus page book attempts to map out a strategy for their vision and also provide a critique of historical resistance movements — what works, what doesn't work.
In a phone call with all three authors, I asked them more about whether or not they are advocating for militant action, what is involved in creating a culture of resistance, and what a post-industrial world would look like?
Tara Lohan: The book focuses on achieving a culture of resistance. What do you mean by that?
CLIP - To read the rest please go HERE
Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet
SYNOPSIS - For years, Derrick Jensen has asked his audiences, "Do you think this culture will undergo a voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of life?" No one ever says yes.Deep Green Resistance starts where the environmental movement leaves off: industrial civilization is incompatible with life. Technology can't fix it, and shopping — no matter how green — won't stop it. To save this planet, we need a serious resistance movement that can bring down the industrial economy. Deep Green Resistance evaluates strategic options for resistance, from nonviolence to guerrilla warfare, and the conditions required for those options to be successful. It provides an exploration of organizational structures, recruitment, security, and target selection for both above-ground and underground action. Deep Green Resistance also discusses a culture of resistance and the crucial support role that it can play.Deep Green Resistance is a plan of action for anyone determined to fight for this planet — and win. - AMONG THE COMMENTS ON THIS BOOK: "What is different about Deep Green Resistance is that it is the first book that offers a solution that is scaled to the size of our predicament. In the past, books have usually suggested answers such as getting involved in your community, making better consumer choices, writing letters to the editor, planting gardens, donating to worthy charities, and spreading awareness of the problems we're facing. These are good moral decisions to make, but as political tools for change they are not effective, and it becomes an immense problem when these sort of actions become the backbone of our movement for a saner world. Self-improvement and token actions, although they might help us to relieve guilt, are not going to cut it. If we are going to save this sickly planet, we are going to need to organize ourselves squarely against systems of power, and fight them as hard as we can. The authors of this book have clearly thought long and hard about how we need to organize, how we need to strategize, and what sort of pitfalls we need to watch out for. If you love this planet as much as I do, I hope you read this book and take what it has to say to heart. We will need all the heart and courage that we can muster."
ANOTHER IMPORTANT CAMPAIGN TO SUPPORT...
“A 15-year-old Vietnamese boy found during a police raid on a house in Doncaster [United Kingdom], along with £85,000-worth of cannabis, had been working since he was 12, trafficked via France with the promise of a factory job. Having been beaten, he was too scared to leave.” (Emily Dugan, “Think slavery is a thing of the past? Think again,” The Independent UK 17 October 2010).
This is just one of the millions of stories about human trafficking victims. Despite international attention and awareness to the problem of human trafficking over the last decade, this modern day slave trade has grown to be the second largest criminal industry in the world (after the drug trade). The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates conservatively that approximately 2.5 million people are victims of trafficking at any given time.
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of persons through force, fraud, coercion, or violence for purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labor, and other slavery-like practices. Most victims are women and children that are kidnapped or seduced through fraud to seek financial opportunities outside of their hometowns or countries; however, any person of any age and gender can be a victim. Upon arrival at their destination, they are forced into labor and/or prostitution. “Bonded labor” or “debt bondage”, when a worker is exploited to pay off a debt, like their travel costs, is one prevalent type of slavery into which people are trafficked. The trafficking and enslavement of children is often linked to war where children are used as combatants, porters, cooks, guards, servants, messengers or spies. In these situations, boys and girls are also forced to marry or have sex with male combatants. Children are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial trade although it is prohibited by legislation in countries around the world.
Human trafficking affects every country regardless of its socio-economic status or political structure as an origin, transit or destination location. Thailand, China, Nigeria, Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine are primary sources of trafficked persons, and Thailand, Japan, Israel, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Turkey and the US are common destinations for victims of human trafficking. Even without the physical presence of the victims, the trafficking of people affects every country through its impact on the global economy, its violation of human rights, and its degradation of the human spirit.
In July 2010 the UN General Assembly adopted the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. This plan urges governments to treat this problem as an abuse of human rights and to take coordinated, comprehensive, and consistent steps to stop all forms of human trafficking.
1. Write to your country’s national, city, and local leaders. Urge them to read, promote, and do everything possible to fully implement the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons that was adopted by the UN General Assembly in July 2010. Ask them to join the UN’s Blue Heart Campaign against human trafficking and to take coordinated, comprehensive, and consistent steps toward stopping all forms of human trafficking in your country and throughout the world.
2. Be a part of the United Nations’ Blue Heart Campaign against human trafficking. As part of this global campaign, you can join the Blue Heart Facebook group and “wear” the Blue Heart on your Facebook profile, put it on your website, or on your organization’s publications. Spread the word and advocate for your local, state and national government to join the campaign as well!
Visit the Blue Heart Campaign website for more information and campaign tools (factsheets, logos, brochures, etc) to get started!
If you are an individual – be a conscientious consumer! Write letters to the owners of your favorite retailers telling them you support their efforts to promote and maintain a slave-free business. Include some useful facts and information with the letter or provide links to resources where they can learn more.
If you are a business - make sure your company takes steps to investigate and eliminate human trafficking throughout its supply chain. Publish your business and products as “slave-free” on your website or storefront using the Blue Heart logo available here for download in several languages.
If you are an organization - increase awareness of the issue of human trafficking in your community. Ensure that your staff is able to identify and assist trafficked persons. Spread the word about the Blue Heart Campaign through your own networks and contacts.
The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery is a year-long multimedia project that started in February 2011. The CNN crew will fight modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors, amplify its victims’ voices, highlight success stories and help unravel the complicated tangle of criminal enterprises of trading human life.
The UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, adopted by the UN General Assembly in July 2010.
The US Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons website.
How does your country rank on the issue of human trafficking? Click here to find out how the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report ranks your country using the interactive map, then scroll down the page and find your Country Narrative to learn the details.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Free the Slaves: http://www.freetheslaves.net
End Slavery Now: http://www.endslaverynow.com
IN CASE YOU DIDN'T SEE THIS.
From: Luis Morago - Avaaz.org (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 04 Aug 2011
Subject: Somalia is Dying
More than 2000 people are dying every day in Somalia, in a famine that threatens to starve more than eleven million people to death. Conflict between Somalia's Al-Shabaab regime and world leaders has kept out aid that could end the famine. But a few key countries have the power to broker a deal to stop the suffering. Sign the urgent petition for a humanitarian truce and forward to everyone:
Right now, more than 2000 people are dying every day in Somalia, in a famine that threatens to starve eleven million people to death. Drought has brought this region to its knees, but the food crisis is really fueled by a complete breakdown in governance and international diplomacy, and we can put an end to it.
The famine-hit area is governed by Al-Shabaab, an Islamist regime that is linked to terrorist groups. The isolation and conflict between Al-Shabaab, other local leaders, and the international community has kept out much of the aid and trade that could end the famine. But a few key countries, including the United Arab Emirates, still trade with Al-Shabaab -- they have an opportunity to broker a deal with the regime and break the stalemate that threatens the survival of millions.
We cannot let the politics of the war on terror claim any more innocent lives. It's time for the international community and Al-Shabaab to come to an agreement to immediately get food to the suffering Somali people. The UN Security Council is meeting in a few days -- let's demand that they take immediate action to support key Arab nations in an effort to open talks with Al-Shabaab on cooperating to end the famine and seize this chance for a long-term political solution:
Somalia's government was destroyed in 2006 by a US-backed invasion which feared Islamic extremism. But the tactic backfired. Since then, even more radical groups like Al-Shabaab took over and brutalized most of Somalia, and the international community has propped up a corrupt government whose control is limited to parts of the capital. The policies of isolation, invasion and pressure in the war on terror have not helped anyone, and now thousands of Somalis are dying every day. It's time for a new approach.
The US has already stepped up to tackle the crisis, relaxing anti-terrorism laws that blocked aid from reaching the Somali people in Al-Shabaab's region. Meanwhile, there are growing cracks within insurgent groups, and some leaders are willing to let aid in. But it is not enough to break the wall that surrounds those hardest hit by famine. Only bold international diplomacy can engage with all key parties to ensure that relief safely reaches the hundreds of thousands of desperate families.
One of Al-Shabaab's largest sources of income comes from cutting down acacia trees for charcoal, which they illegally export primarily to the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf countries. These nations could now leverage their economic ties to Al-Shabaab to play a crucial diplomatic role and guarantee humanitarian access to famine-stricken areas.
We urgently need a new direction for Somalia -- let's appeal to the UN Security Council to support key Gulf countries to lead mediation efforts to ensure that Somalis dying behind Al-Shabaab's lines are able to access life-saving food and health care for themselves and their starving children. Sign now and forward widely:
Together, Avaaz members have ensured crucial aid was delivered in Burma, Haiti and Pakistan after natural disasters, saving thousands of lives. Now, as the world watches heartbreaking images of dying children in shock and horror, we can urge key countries to show the leadership the Somali people urgently need -- let's stand together now and help end the tragedy in Somalia.
With hope and determination,
Luis, Stephanie, Maria Paz, Emma, Ricken, Giulia, Iain and the whole Avaaz team
Somalia (New York Times)
Famine weakens and divides Al-Shabaab militants (France24)
A famine in Somalia, and a chronic political failure on humanitarian aid (Washington Post)
US urges global action on Horn of Africa famine (AFP)
Horn of Africa: From one drought to another (The Guardian)
Somalia: Focus on the Charcoal Trade (SomaliaWatch.org)
A GOOD SUMMARY OF WHAT WE ARE UP AGAINST
Twelve Triggers Driving Mankind Towards World Government by Adrian Salbuchi (August 5, 2011)
What I am about to describe in this article are not "predictions" of any kind. Rather, they are forecasts based on available data and common sense projections of where the Global Power Elite are trying to take the world, why they are doing so, and what they hope to achieve. The more they keep the general public in the dark, the higher their chances of success. Doing this kind of forecast is rather like understanding the weather. If on a hot summer day you look out your window and see dark clouds and lightning on the horizon, and suddenly a strong, damp ozone-filled gust blows your way, it's basic common sense to say that you shouldn't be forecasting "sunny and calm today," but rather "drenching rain, thunder, lightning and hail."In our efforts to better identify and understand which way the winds are blowing, back in December of 2009 - when very dark clouds were indeed increasingly hanging on the world's horizon - we placed a video on YouTube that described "Twelve Triggers the Global Power Elite are using to transition from Globalisation to World Government." You can watch it on the sidebar to the right.
(...) Just as the last major geopolitical shift was symbolised by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, so today's even vaster geopolitical shift is to some extent symbolised by the fall of another wall: Wall Street in 2008.
What was "Globalisation" really all about?
Basically, globalisation achieved four major goals on the Global Power Elite's agenda:
1. Control of People - It represented a two-decade period during which an all-pervading technological infrastructure was set up and put in place, that enables the rich and powerful to wield truly global societal electronic control: the Internet, cell phones, PC's, cable TV, RFID transponder chips, data processing, surveillance, mass-data storage, satellite communications, bar-codes, complex mass psychological warfare tactics, human genome mapping, perhaps even secret and/or clandestine technologies like HAARP, Bluebeam and others.
2. Control of Nations - Through a system of caretaker governments around the world - i.e., national "CEO-like" presidents, prime ministers and legislators conveniently screened, chosen and catapulted to top executive and legislative posts thanks to so-called "democracy" - it has promoted and achieved generalised deregulation, destructive State reforms, privatisations, and eroded sovereignty in country after country.
3. Control of Resources - This, in turn, allowed the Global Power Elite's Corporate Overworld to take over most of the remaining State-owned companies and entities in countries like Argentina, for example, rechannelling their revenue flows towards them. In country after country, this was achieved thanks to the acts of government of those very caretaker "democratic" governments they put in power that turned national legal frameworks upside down, so they would favour private corporate interests over the Common Good and the National Interest.
4. Control of Industry - Through the breakdown of national borders on the economic, financial, industrial, political and social stages, so-called "interdependence" was brought about and given very positive mainstream media coverage describing it as the best thing that could possibly happen to Mankind. What they did not tell us is that "interdependence" makes the entire global system far more vulnerable and far, far more controllable from centralised power structures. For example, cars built in Europe may carry engines built in Japan, electronic systems assembled in India, and gearboxes from the US… On top of that, in their greed to "outsource" inventory-space, maximise cash flows, and reduce staff, the "just-in-time" concept became generalised in industry after industry, bringing the parts and components time threshold dangerously close to plant stoppage: usually supplies last only 48 to 72 hours… So, when an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis hit Japan, supply crunches built into the system generated global ripples affecting industries all over the planet.
What we are experiencing today is the progressive weakening and demise of many key processes associated with Globalisation - mostly of a haphazard, horizontal, cross-border, even chaotic nature - and their rebirth in new formats, suitably retooled to support World Government goals, processes and institutions that strengthen, grow and consolidate. No doubt, Big Brother is definitely here, and he means to stay…
The most dramatic effect of this transition we are undergoing is the planned end-run eroding of all sovereign Nation-States as described in a previous article published in New Dawn magazine ('Global Elites Behind Chaos in Arab World, Revolt in North Africa & the Middle East: The Real Agenda', New Dawn 126 - May/June 2011).
In its place, we will have World Governmental institutions. This is taking place through a complex, creeping, gradual, crisis-filled and violent process that is erecting legally binding, mandatory, multi- and supra-national bureaucratic entities. CLIP
Demon Deity - an Exorcism of the Economic Demon by Jaiia Earthschild
Demon Deity I will no longer worship at your cold stone altar
You have played with me
I felt my heart close and my senses start to falter
But then the time changed and the rhythm of my walk
Returned to the rhythm that lies beneath the lands of my mother
And I could feel your sorcerers stalk me
As I started to yearn for the wisdom of something greater than a demon deity
Demon deity - I have known you for too long to be fooled by your song -
It sounds so seductive it is so deceiving.
You have a thousand choruses promising bliss
Surely five hundred million lost souls can't be wrong
But I know you better now
I think you have sung to me enough that I cannot be fooled anymore
There are a few who can't be bought nor hunted for sport
Nor chained by your credit restrictions
They will not live in fear losing ground month by year
Devoured by fiscal predictions
Come - Look me in the eye
I publicly descry
You have stolen the power of humanity
And now I call on you by name
And watch you burn in your own flame
Into the ashes and dust of history.
And in the name of the mother I shall sing your epitaph
It is enough! It is enough!
And on you vacated altar, I shall dance your epitaph
It is enough! It is enough! It is enough!
From the CD 'Sex and Violets' copyright 2000 Jaiia Earthschild
More through http://www.youtube.com/user/TheEarthschilds such as...
Blessed are the lovers
Who honor one another
For they shall create
Joyful new life
Blessed are the artists
musicians and dancers
For they bring beauty to the people.
Blessed are the nurturers,
the kind and the gentle
For they bring peace to the children
Be one once again with the earth
It is better to receive than to take
It is better to give than to throw it all away
Whatsoever you do to the least of my creatures
That you do unto me.
We envision a world free of war and domination
We envision all people sharing in neighborhoods and nations
We envision a time when every child is wanted
We envision all species protected not exploited
We envision a world where money grows trees
We envision a world of clean waters, clear seas.
We envision a world where the air, the sea and the land
Are healed by the love between woman and man.
- Jaiia -- Taken from Envision A World (Gaia's Sermon on the Mount)
NUGGETS OF SPECIAL INTEREST
UFO Sightings in May and June 2011 - Impressive numbers!
UFO MASS ORB FLEETS WORLDWIDE (JULY 2011 ) AND MASS UFO EVACUATIONS ?! (July 8, 2011)
If You Don't Believe Watch This - Recent Mass UFO Sightings 2011 (July 12, 2011)
Compilation of news report of strange sightings over the past couple years
Expert witness: U.S. covering up documented ETs & UFOs over White House, Capitol (August 7, 2011) http://www.examiner.com/exopolitics-in-seattle/expert-witness-u-s-covering-up-documented-ets-ufos-over-white-house-capitol
Wilbur “Will” Allen, a former White House employee and Air Force One engineer under U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton and an expert photographer of interdimensional UFOs in the prohibited P56-A airspace over Washington, DC, has revealed in an exclusive August 7, 2011 ExopoliticsTV interview with Alfred Lambremont Webre that U.S. government agencies are continuing a public cover-up of continuing, recent documented interdimensional extraterrestrial UFOs that are creating interdimensional wormholes and flying over the U.S. Capitol and White House. Mr. Allen indicates that some of these documented interdimensional UFO/ET events in prohibited airspace occurred as recently as July 4, 2011 over the Washington Monument, which is the center of P56-A prohibited airspace. The UFO events also include an October 13, 2010 broadcast of three spherical UFOs during a BBC TV report from the White House. Mr. Allen states that, in his opinion, U.S. government agencies are refraining from informing the public of these UFO overflights over prohibited airspace of U.S. governance venues because they fear that disclosing these continued overflights would trigger public panic along the lines of the infamous “War of the Worlds” invasion broadcast hoax by actor Orson Welles of October 30, 1938. Mr. Allen has also stated that that "Everett Bellamy (Senior Assistant Dean of Georgetown Law Center), on behalf of John Podesta, who is a full-time faculty member at Georgetown Law Center, a former White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton (1998-2001) and Co-chair of the Obama Transition Team (2008-9), told Mr. Allen that the frequent UFO and extraterrestrial over flights and landings on the U.S. Capitol that Mr. Allen is able to document photographically using state of the art high definition equipment could, if made widely public, 'destabilize society,' and urged Mr. Allen to cease his activity documenting these UFO/ET over fights and landings." CLIP - WATCH INTERVIEW AT http://youtu.be/hLjDzr21yHU - CHECK ALSO ALFRED'S PREVIOUS ARTICLE: Cowboys & Aliens movie distorts true history of UFOs and ETs in the Old West AND HIS LATEST ONE Time Travel and Political Control
NASA Martian Cities Photos - A MOTHERLODE OF FASCINATING PICTURES AND WILD CLAIMS
Un OVNI découvert dans l’océan ?
Des chasseurs de trésors marins suédois sont tombés sur les ruines d’un objet en forme de disque au fond de l’océan Baltique. Ce dernier mesure 60 pieds (~ 18 mètres) et s’accompagne de ce qui s’apparente à une piste d’impact longue de 985 pieds (300 mètres). CLIP
Jeremy Gilley: One day of peace (Originally launched in 1999)
Here's a crazy idea: Persuade the world to try living in peace for just one day, every September 21. In this energetic, honest talk, Jeremy Gilley tells the story of how this crazy idea became real -- real enough to help millions of kids in war-torn regions. MORE ON JEREMY GILLEY THROUGH http://www.ted.com/speakers/jeremy_gilley.html "On September 21, 2011, Gilley will start the 365-day-long countdown to Truce 2012, a hoped-for global day of guns-down ceasefire and worldwide action toward peace. He says: "The only logical progression is to work towards a global cessation of hostilities on Peace Day -- from violence in our homes and schools, through to armed conflict." AND THROUGH http://www.peaceoneday.org
The Love Police
Many other Love Police videos through http://www.youtube.com/user/cveitch and http://www.cveitch.org/
DAY OUT OF TIME 25-7-2011 (Watch various excerpts in HD, full screen, to get a feel of that day)
This clip features impressions of the celebration of the beginning of the new Mayan year on 25-7-2011 @ De Vlierhof, just across the German border near Nijmegen. You can see smudge/condor feather cleaning rituals, taichi, biodanza, kids playing, tipi's, tents, drums, stands and a impression of the field kitchen, having a meal together in the open, amidst lush greens and clear blue skyes.I hope my love for these kind of meetings & their people shines through....
Tokyo Tower time lapse (Watch also in HD, full screen... Most fascinating!)
FEDS concerned about Yellowstone Earthquake Swarms (July 17, 2011) TV report
Earthquake Anomalies - Past 24 Hours - 07-19-2011
(On the other hand, some days there are very few significant earthquakes as I noticed when monitoring http://www.iris.edu/seismon/ so it is not necessarily too distressing..._
Cassini Images Bizarre Hexagon on Saturn (03.27.07)
An odd, six-sided, honeycomb-shaped feature circling the entire north pole of Saturn has captured the interest of scientists with NASA's Cassini mission.
GEOMAGNETIC STORM (05 Aug 2011) Sunspot 1263 poses a continued threat for X-class solar flares.
A geomagnetic storm is in progress. It began on August 5th around 1800 UT when a CME struck Earth's magnetic field. At its peak during the hours just after impact, the storm registered 8 on the 0 to 9 "K-index" scale of geomagnetic disturbances, making it one of the strongest magnetic storms in years. The subsiding storm will likely take many more hours to peter out, so high-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras. The timing of the CME impact favored observers in Europe. "For the first time, I have seen Northern Lights from England," reports Marvin Watson of Whitehaven, who took this picture just after local midnight on Aug. 6th: "I spent one and a half hours watching and photographing the aurora across the solway firth towards Scotland," he adds. "It was a wonderful show." Other notable displays occurred in Finland, Germany and Poland. In the United States, auroras were photographed in Montana, Maine, Colorado and even Nebraska. NIGHT-TIME SOLAR RADIO BURST: The M9-class solar flare of August 4th produced a burst of shortwave static so powerful that receivers on Earth picked it up after sunset. "A RadioJove observer in Florida recorded the burst when the sun was 38 degrees below the horizon," reports amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft. Ashcraft's own radio telescope in New Mexico recorded the event 1 hour and 54 minutes after sunset: "To my knowledge, receptions like this are very rare," says Ashcraft. Indeed they are. This event brings to mind the iconic night-time solar radio burst of March 8, 1958. Five radio telescopes at the University of Florida picked up emissions from the sun while observing the planet Jupiter in the middle of the night. On the other side of the world, radio astronomers in daylight Australia confirmed that a powerful solar radio burst had taken place at that exact time. The event is described in a 1959 Nature paper by pioneering radio astronomers Alex Smith and Tom Carr. They considered the possibility that solar radio waves might have been reflected by the Moon or carried to the night side of Earth by ionospheric ducting. In the end, they could not conclusively explain what happened and to this day night-time solar radio bursts remain a puzzle.
As Sun Storms Ramp Up, Electric Grid Braces for Impact (August 3, 2011)
Storms are brewing about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) away, and if one of them reaches Earth, it could knock out communications, scramble GPS, and leave thousands without power for weeks to months. The tempest is what's known as a solar storm, a flurry of charged particles that erupts from the sun. Under the right conditions, solar storms can create extra electrical currents in Earth's magnetosphere-the region around the planet controlled by our magnetic field. The electrical power grid is particularly vulnerable to these extra currents, which can infiltrate high-voltage transmission lines, causing transformers to overheat and possibly burn out. "The concern is if the electric grid lost a number of transformers during a single storm, replacing them would be difficult and time-consuming," said Rich Lordan, senior technical executive for power delivery and utilization at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)."These power transformers are very big devices, and the lead time to get a replacement can be two months-if there's a spare one stored nearby. If a utility has to order a new one from the manufacturer, it could take six months to up to two years to deliver." The danger is becoming more critical, as the sun is approaching what's known as solar maximum-the high point in our star's roughly 11-year cycle of activity. Scientists anticipate stronger storms around solar max, in 2013. Using the latest sun-watching satellites and computer models, scientists have been trying to improve solar storm predictions. At the same time, electricity operators are developing plans for how to respond to solar storm warnings and determine what the consequences for the grid might be in a worst-case scenario.
(...) The big impacts come from coronal mass ejections (CMEs), cloud-like bundles of plasma that are sent racing off the sun's upper atmosphere, or corona, during periods of intense surface activity.That's not to say every CME is a harbinger of doom-the clouds are highly directional and can miss Earth entirely or strike only glancing blows."The sun doesn't give a hoot about us," Kunches said. "It erupts and produces lots of energy, and sometimes we get a direct hit and sometimes we don't."(Related: "Huge Solar Storm Triggers Unusual Auroras")However, said Antti Pulkkinen, a sun researcher with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, "if these clouds do move toward Earth's near-space environment . . . they can carry billions of tons of matter moving at 2,000 kilometers [1,242 miles] a second."When the cloud reaches our magnetosphere, its charged particles become electromagnetically coupled to Earth's magnetic field, generating large electrical currents millions of amperes strong, Pulkkinen said. The sprawling electrical grid on Earth's surface then acts like an antenna, allowing these currents to flow into transmission lines."These storms are by their basic nature global," Pulkkinen added. But the risks to electrical grids are greatest at higher latitudes, since the largest electric currents are funneled toward Earth around the Poles. CLIP
Solar Flares Could Hit GPS (August 6, 2011)
It might be time to review those VOR skills in light of sunspot activity that had the potential to disrupt GPS signals on Friday and Saturday. On Thursday, the sun sent a significant burst of electromagnetic energy toward earth after sunspot 1261 belched three major solar flares. The eruption was rated at three on a scale of five and that's enough to make GPS equipment lose its way. It's particularly hard on high precision units like WAAS-capable aviation gear. The worst was expected to be over by late Saturday but there could be more solar storms coming.After a prolonged period of unusual sleepiness, the sun appears to be waking up as it moves to the apex of its 11-year activity cycle. More big flares are possible, even likely, and if they get bigger than those on Thursday they can cause real problems. "In a solar cycle there are perhaps 10 or 20 events of this size," Brian J. Anderson, a research physicist at the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab told the Baltimore Sun. "This is not a once-in-a-century type of thing. I'd say it's the first really strong one we're seeing out of this solar cycle."
As Sun Storms Ramp Up, Electric Grid Braces for Impact (August 3, 2011)
Storms are brewing about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) away, and if one of them reaches Earth, it could knock out communications, scramble GPS, and leave thousands without power for weeks to months. The tempest is what's known as a solar storm, a flurry of charged particles that erupts from the sun. Under the right conditions, solar storms can create extra electrical currents in Earth's magnetosphere-the region around the planet controlled by our magnetic field. The electrical power grid is particularly vulnerable to these extra currents, which can infiltrate high-voltage transmission lines, causing transformers to overheat and possibly burn out. "The concern is if the electric grid lost a number of transformers during a single storm, replacing them would be difficult and time-consuming," said Rich Lordan, senior technical executive for power delivery and utilization at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)."These power transformers are very big devices, and the lead time to get a replacement can be two months-if there's a spare one stored nearby. If a utility has to order a new one from the manufacturer, it could take six months to up to two years to deliver." The danger is becoming more critical, as the sun is approaching what's known as solar maximum-the high point in our star's roughly 11-year cycle of activity. Scientists anticipate stronger storms around solar max, in 2013. Using the latest sun-watching satellites and computer models, scientists have been trying to improve solar storm predictions. At the same time, electricity operators are developing plans for how to respond to solar storm warnings and determine what the consequences for the grid might be in a worst-case scenario.
(...) The big impacts come from coronal mass ejections (CMEs), cloud-like bundles of plasma that are sent racing off the sun's upper atmosphere, or corona, during periods of intense surface activity.That's not to say every CME is a harbinger of doom-the clouds are highly directional and can miss Earth entirely or strike only glancing blows."The sun doesn't give a hoot about us," Kunches said. "It erupts and produces lots of energy, and sometimes we get a direct hit and sometimes we don't." (Related: "Huge Solar Storm Triggers Unusual Auroras")However, said Antti Pulkkinen, a sun researcher with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, "if these clouds do move toward Earth's near-space environment . . . they can carry billions of tons of matter moving at 2,000 kilometers [1,242 miles] a second."When the cloud reaches our magnetosphere, its charged particles become electromagnetically coupled to Earth's magnetic field, generating large electrical currents millions of amperes strong, Pulkkinen said. The sprawling electrical grid on Earth's surface then acts like an antenna, allowing these currents to flow into transmission lines."These storms are by their basic nature global," Pulkkinen added. But the risks to electrical grids are greatest at higher latitudes, since the largest electric currents are funneled toward Earth around the Poles. CLIP
Doomsday Shelter Owners Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst (August 8, 2011)
When people look back on the period of 2011 and 2012, they may remember it as a time when the world was supposed to end.That's assuming, of course, that the world doesn't actually end.Fact is, these times are rife with doomsday predictions, be it Harold Camping's failed end-times prediction this past May to his updated doomsday date of Oct. 21.You may prefer to fret about Dec. 21, 2012, when the Mayan calendar runs out, and then there are those dubious rumors that Comet Elenin could hit Earth as early as Sept. 11. Even though world is as likely to end on these dates as it was on previous end-of-the-world dates (meaning it won't), there is no reason not to prepare for the worst, right? That's the thinking of "John," a business consultant in Colorado, who has spent the last five years building a doomsday shelter just in case there is a calamity of biblical proportions.
(...) "To be honest, we consider it more of a safe room," John said. "My builder, Joe Campo, dug next to the home and created a tunnel that leads to the shelter. He covered it in dirt and basically extended our home. "The shelter, which cost around $300,000, is big enough to keep John's wife and two kids safe and snug from nuclear war, tornadoes and, hopefully, telemarketers for up to 30 days."We stocked it with food," he said. "But we rotate it. If you're going to spend 30 days inside, you better have food you like."WATCH: Not only does the home have state-of-the-art filtration systems for air and water, but John says Campo "saw into the future" and installed filters to protect against electromagnetic frequencies. According to Campo, who is also currently racing to build several of state-of-the-art floating Noah's Ark-style survival shelters by 2012 on 80 acres of property in Alamosa County, Colorado, EMFs are the unsung doomsday danger. "This is a very serious issue. NASA has recently published information warning the people that they forecast severe solar storms for 2012 and 2013," Campo said by email. "It shows a strange scenario of a gigantic solar storm or solar flare breaching our magnetic sphere, torching a satellite. It appears to be prophetic in nature and is open to interpretation." CLIP
BEAUTIFUL BIRDS YOU WILL SELDOM SEE
Sign the Petition - End Chimpanzee Experiments
More than 1,000 chimpanzees suffer in laboratories within the United States. Many of them were captured from the wild as infants and have spent decades languishing in cages the size of a kitchen table, subject to repeated invasive procedures, just as you see in this undercover video taken at the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana. This is the Real Planet of the Apes – and it ain't Hollywood. It's time for the government to stop funding experimentation on chimpanzees and shift our support to sophisticated, modern, ethical research methods that are more appropriate for protecting human health. The United States is the last country in the world that permits large-scale chimpanzee experiments. Now is the time to join the rest of the world and stop experimenting on chimpanzees. Sign this petition now and send a message to Washington, D.C.: chimpanzees belong in a sanctuary – not a laboratory! - Recommended by Elizabeth Kucinich (Elizabeth@ElizabethKucinich.com) who wrote: "Some of you may be planning to watch the new movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. When you do, remember that America is the only country in the world that still practices invasive research on Great Apes. Sign the petition to end it." she also wrote: "Are you concerned about our food supply? About our eco sysem? The unknown consequences of genetically modified foods on our health? ... Well I am, so I've teamed up with some wonderful documentary film makers and am co-producing a film which will separate the wheat from the chaff, truth from fiction. Interested and want to learn more? Visit our kickstarter campaign page. There you will find a link to our sizzle reel and a message from Director, Jeremy Seifert (Dive: Living off America's Food Waste, winner of 21 film festivals and counting!"
Part Human/Part Animal Hybrid Monsters Are Being Created By Scientists All Over The Planet (AUGUST 7, 2011)
Crazed scientists all over the globe are "playing god" with the very building blocks of life. Today, thanks to extraordinary advances in the field of genetic modification, scientists are now able to do things that were once unthinkable. Part human/part animal hybrid monsters are being created by scientists all over the planet and it is all perfectly legal. Scientists justify mixing the DNA of humans and animals by claiming that it will help them "cure diseases" and "feed the world", but the reality is that all of this genetic modification is a tremendous threat to the human race. It is only a matter of time before humans start allowing themselves to be genetically-modified in order to "fight illness" or to "enhance" their abilities. The temptation to insert the genes of animals or plants into people in order to create "super soldiers" or a "superior race" will certainly prove to be much too tempting. Unless something is done to hold all of this back, it seems almost certain that genetic hell will be unleashed on the human race. Once genetically-modified humans start breeding with normal humans there will be no putting the genie back into the bottle. Eventually, we could get to the point where there are very few "100% humans" left. Most Americans have heard about genetic modification, but most of them don't know a whole lot about it. Today, the vast majority of the corn and the vast majority of the soy that you eat have been genetically-modified. In fact, there are thousands upon thousands of food products on store shelves today that contain genetically-modified material.But modifying plants is one thing. What is even more frightening is when scientists use genetic modification to mix humans with animals.
Recently, a Daily Mail article discussed a new report in the UK that noted that over 150 "human-animal hybrid embryos" have been created in British labs. The following is a brief excerpt from that article....Scientists have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in British laboratories. The hybrids have been produced secretively over the past three years by researchers looking into possible cures for a wide range of diseases. The revelation comes just a day after a committee of scientists warned of a nightmare 'Planet of the Apes' scenario in which work on human-animal creations goes too far.So who is going to tell scientists when they have gone too far? Most countries around the globe allow scientists to do pretty much whatever they want when it comes to genetic modification.
The mixing of humans and animals is even going on inside the United States.The following is from an article posted on MSNBC a few years ago entitled "Scientists Create Animals That Are Part-Human".... On a farm about six miles outside this gambling town, Jason Chamberlain looks over a flock of about 50 smelly sheep, many of them possessing partially human livers, hearts, brains and other organs.What do you think most Americans would say if you told them that creatures that are part human/part sheep are being grown inside the United States?Do you think that they would believe you?Well, it turns out that our scientists are creating all kinds of monsters that are part human. Just check out what that same MSNBC article said is currently going on....In the past two years, scientists have created pigs with human blood, fused rabbit eggs with human DNA and injected human stem cells to make paralyzed mice walk. CLIP
Much more through http://endoftheamericandream.com/
9/11 Explosive Evidence: Experts Speak Out
This is the trailer for the expert-packed feature-length documentary by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth. The documentary premieres around the world the week prior to September 11, 2011. Help us take advantage of the lead-up to the 10th anniversary to publicize the evidence about the destruction of the 3 WTC high-rises on 9/11. See the AE911Truth Action Alert: http://ae911truth.org/news-section/41-articles/544-eso-trailer.html and share the trailer "Experts Speak Out" with family, friends, and associates.Don't forget your Facebook, Twitter, and other contacts. Order the DVD today at http://www.ae911truth.net/store while stock lasts in order to guarantee shipment by September 11, 2011. Feature-length documentary: http://www.911ExpertsSpeakOut.org http://www.AE911Truth.org Join 23-year architect Richard Gage, AIA, in this feature length documentary with cutting-edge 9/11 evidence from more than 50 top experts in their fields -- high-rise architects, structural engineers, physicists, chemical engineers, firefighters, metallurgists, explosives experts, controlled demolition technicians, and more. Each is highly qualified in his/her respective fields. Several have Ph.D's -- including National Medal of Science awardee Lynn Margulis. She, along with the other experts, exposes the fraud of NIST and discusses how the scientific method should have been applied and acknowledges the "overwhelming" evidence of high temperature incendiaries in all dust samples of the WTC. 9/11 family members and psychologists round out the professional showing and tie it all together in this milestone production: http://www.911ExplosiveEvidence.org
An Explosive New 9/11 Charge (Aug 11, 2011)
In a new documentary, former national-security aide Richard Clarke suggests the CIA tried to recruit 9/11 hijackers—then covered it up. Philip Shenon on George Tenet’s denial. With the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks only a month away, former CIA Director George Tenet and two former top aides are fighting back hard against allegations that they engaged in a massive cover-up in 2000 and 2001 to hide intelligence from the White House and the FBI that might have prevented the attacks.The source of the explosive, unproved allegations is a man who once considered Tenet a close friend: former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, who makes the charges against Tenet and the CIA in an interview for a radio documentary timed to the 10th anniversary next month. Portions of the Clarke interview were made available to The Daily Beast by the producers of the documentary.Richard A. Clarke in 2010., Markus Schreiber / AP PhotoIn the interview for the documentary, Clarke offers an incendiary theory that, if true, would rewrite the history of the 9/11 attacks, suggesting that the CIA intentionally withheld information from the White House and FBI in 2000 and 2001 that two Saudi-born terrorists were on U.S. soil—terrorists who went on to become suicide hijackers on 9/11. Clarke speculates—and readily admits he cannot prove—that the CIA withheld the information because the agency had been trying to recruit the terrorists, while they were living in Southern California under their own names, to work as CIA agents inside Al Qaeda. After the recruitment effort went sour, senior CIA officers continued to withhold the information from the White House for fear they would be accused of “malfeasance and misfeasance,” Clarke suggests. Clarke says it is fair to conclude “there was a high-level decision in the CIA ordering people not to share information.” Asked who would have made the order, Clarke replies, “I would think it would have been made by the director,” referring to Tenet.Clarke said that if his theory is correct, Tenet and others would never admit to the truth today “even if you waterboarded them.” CLIP
Britain Was Responsible for WWI, WWII & the Holocaust: Aided and Abetted by the USA and the Vatican
Key News: Iraq Whistle-Blower Wins Battle, Automobile Fuel Efficiency, Rumsfeld Torture Suit Can Proceed, More
Fukushima Radiation Highest Ever, Exceeding Capacity of Measuring Device ... Fuel Likely Leaking Out Of Containment Vessel (08/03/2011)
Things are - literally - heating up again at Fukushima: - Tepco Says Highest Radiation Yet Is Detected at Fukushima Dai-Ichi -- 10+ sieverts per hour means there is direct exposure to fuel rods or spent fuel ponds: Australia's former top radiation official -- Tepco: Ultra-high radiation levels may be from melted fuel that leaked out of containment vessel -- Paper: TEPCO needs to check if high radiation doses are "spreading elsewhere" - Two more spots appear to be above 10 sieverts per hour, but no plans to actually take measurements -- New indoor radiation dose record at Fukushima ... May be higher as it exceeded capacity of measuring device -- New York Times: Fatal Radiation Level Found at Fukushima - "Exceeded" 10 sieverts per hour, measuring device was maxed out -- Experts: Melt-through scenario means even higher radiation readings to come - Likely many more reports of deadly radiation in future -- Tokyo U. nuke expert: Radioactive substances may have "poured" into pipe during explosion - Levels could also be extremely high outside Reactors No. 3 and 4 -- Asahi: Latest detection of such high radiation levels is evidence that radioactive material spewed from Fukushima at much higher levels than previously believed.
Lethal Levels of Radiation at Fukushima - Arnie Gundersen (August 4, 2011) 6 minutes video
TEPCO has discovered locations on the Fukushima plant site with lethal levels of external gamma radiation. Fairewinds takes a close look at how this radiation might have been deposited and how similar radioactive material would have been released offsite.
Radiation Threat Rattles Japan's Food Chain (AUGUST 6, 2011)
MINAMISOMA, Japan-Within days of the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Japanese food inspectors were spot-checking meat from the region's slaughtered cattle for radioactive contamination. Officials later fanned out to farms near the crippled plant to pass Geiger counters over the animals to determine whether they were safe to sell. "We urge consumers to continue shopping as usual and retailers to do their business as usual," Agriculture Minister Michihiko Kano reassured the nation on March 31, more than two weeks after explosions at the plant first spewed radiation into the air. That advice turned out to be misguided. On July 8, government officials testing meat from a Tokyo slaughterhouse said they detected levels of radioactive cesium at nearly five times Japan's limit. The contaminated beef was traced to a farm here about 16 miles north of the damaged plant-from an animal whose hide had been checked by inspectors. The revelation has raised all kinds of questions about how much contaminated beef had already been consumed, kicking off a food scare that continues to grow as more tainted meat is discovered. A Wall Street Journal examination shows serious flaws in Japan's approach to safeguarding food in the event of a nuclear accident. Four months after the disaster, the government still is struggling to contain the contamination and to come up with an effective system for policing its food supply. Some foods, such as juices and honey, hit store shelves without any government screening. Many other foods are spot tested, but only minimally. Radioactive contamination is an elusive threat, invisible and difficult to measure. At high levels, it is unquestionably hazardous to health, sometimes even deadly. But lower-level contamination spread far from the stricken plant, and now Japanese officials are scrambling to figure out how dangerous it is and what they should do to protect the public. Low levels do damage over the long term, and scientists say it is difficult to pinpoint the precise level at which such contamination becomes unacceptably risky. CLIP
The "World's Largest" Stop Motion Animation Was Created With A Nokia N8
Using three N8s and a lot of sand, Sumo Science and Aardman land a Guinness Record for largest stop motion set, and a great looking spot -- Less than a year after making the world's smallest animation, Nokia just ticked off that large, lurking item on the to-do list: conjuring the world's largest stop motion animation.The new film, Gulp, tells the simple story of a fisherman who gets swallowed by a larger predator. It was shot entirely with the Nokia N8 phone. "Strapping the device to a 40-meter high cherry picker on a massive expanse of beach with gale force winds seemed like a good challenge for the smartphone," says David Bruno, a creative at Wieden + Kennedy London which created the spot along with directing team Sumo Science, from animation studio Aardman, and sand artist Jamie Wardley, from sand and ice sculpture specialists, Sand in Your Eye. CLIP - Watch it in the webpage above or at http://vimeo.com/26877221
KEY INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Somalia famine spreads to 3 new regions, U.N. says (August 4, 2011)
More than 12 million are facing starvation, and children are particularly vulnerable. The crisis is likely to spread across the country and into parts of Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, the U.N. says. -- With hunger in the Horn of Africa dramatically worsening, the United Nations on Wednesday added three more regions of Somalia to the list of areas it says are stricken by famine. More than 12 million people are facing starvation, with children particularly vulnerable. The U.N. last month declared that two regions of Somalia were suffering from famine, and it said Wednesday that the famine was likely to spread across most of Somalia in coming months, as well as parts of Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.Somalia is struggling with its worst drought in 60 years, and 3.7 million Somalis are in crisis, mainly in the south - creating Africa's most serious hunger crisis in two decades. Refugee camps in the capital, Mogadishu, are now affected as well, U.N. agencies said. Shocking images of those suffering have resulted in an increase in aid in the last two weeks, after donors' earlier sluggish response, but violence in the south of the country has limited humanitarian agencies' access. The U.N. is seeking to raise $1 billion to address the crisis."The current situation represents the most severe humanitarian crisis in the world today and Africa's worst food security crisis since Somalia's 1991-92 famine," said a statement Wednesday by the U.S.-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network, or FEWS NET. It called for a massive global response to prevent more deaths and social collapse. Increases in food prices are expected to exacerbate the crisis, according to U.N. humanitarian agencies and FEWS NET. About 860,000 people have trekked out of Somalia, often leaving dead children on the way, hoping to find food in neighboring countries. An additional 1.5 million people have fled drought-ridden areas of Somalia for other parts of the war-torn nation.Somalia has endured two decades without a functional government, and entrenched clan warfare. Multiple peace deals and efforts to establish a government have failed.The current crisis is exacerbated by fighting between Somalia's weak transitional government, which controls a few areas of the capital, and the extreme Islamic militia Shabab, which is allied with Al Qaeda and controls much of the south. The insecurity in the south and Shabab's policies drove out Western aid agencies last year, making it difficult to increase operations quickly to feed the hungry. The group imposed taxes on aid groups and banned female staff. The U.N. declared last month that the Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions of Somalia were suffering from famine. On Wednesday, Middle Shabelle and camps for displaced people in the Afgooye corridor and Mogadishu were added. The crisis is expected to continue until at least the end of the year.
Europe on Brink of 'Major Financial Collapse': Guggenheim CIO (2 Aug 2011)
Europe is a "train wreck" and on the "brink of a major financial crisis," Scott Minerd, CIO of the fixed-income firm Guggenheim Partners, told CNBC Tuesday. Medioimages | Photodisc | Getty Images"The way Europe is operating right now, it's what I called recently 'cognitive dissonance,'" Minerd said, or "basically doing the same thing thinking they're going to get a different outcome.""They keep throwing more and more liquidity at it thinking it's going to get better and it's not," he added. Europe fails to recognize that it has a "structural problem, not a liquidity problem."People will "flee the euro" unless they find a way to bifurcate the euro in some way where strong countries are in the euro only and the weak countries are out, Minerd explained, adding, "To be honest with you, I don't see the mechanism to do that." "As the capital is flooding out of Europe, which we're starting to see now, the first place it's going to go is to the safe havens-[U.S.] Treasurys, which [the market] perceives to be safe, and it'll chase gold," he added. CLIP
Deadly Syrian crackdown continues (1 Aug 2011)
Syrian forces have killed nearly 142 people, including at least 100 when the army stormed the flashpoint protest city of Hama to crush dissent on the eve of Ramadan, political activists say. A witness in Deir ez-Zor told Al Jazeera that government forces launched fresh attacks on the town early on Monday morning."Military forces stormed the city from the west side and 25 people are killed and more than 65 injured," the witness said."Artillery and anti-aircraft weapons are being used. The situation in the city is very bad, and medical and food supplies are low."Deir ez-Zor, Syria's main gas and oil-production hub in the east, has become a rallying point for protests along with Hama. Sunday's attack on Hama was one of the "deadliest days" since the protests erupted, Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said.Hama 'massacre'Death tolls provided by the observatory and other human rights groups showed at least 142 people were killed across Syria, most of them falling in Hama."The number of those wounded is huge and hospitals cannot cope, particularly because we lack the adequate equipment," Abdel Rahman quoted a Hama hospital source as saying. He said the crackdown on Hama came after more than 500,000 people rallied in the city on Friday following Muslim prayers during which a cleric told the congregation "the regime must go". A resident from Deir ez-Zor said fresh attacks were launched on Monday morning Western powers condemned the violence amid warnings from Berlin and Paris of fresh sanctions against the government of President Bashar al-Assad. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an end to the violence and reminded Syrian authorities that "they are accountable under international human rights law for all acts of violence perpetrated by them against the civilian population". CLIP
Libya war exposes U.S./NATO crimes against humanity (July 30, 2011)
For almost five months, the combined military forces of the United States and NATO have pounded Libyan cities, towns, villages and ports in an effort to overthrow the government of Moammar Gadhafi.These bombing operations, now numbering more than 16,000 sorties and 6,100 strikes, have been combined with a naval blockade that includes 17 warships. NATO warships in the Mediterranean have hailed 1,907 vessels, boarded 183 and diverted nine. (Reuters, July 24)Repeatedly the Pentagon and NATO have claimed that the war on the North African nation of Libya is designed to "protect" civilians from the government in Tripoli, which, in reality, is fighting to crush an imperialist-backed insurgency. Yet many reports indicate that the war, which was launched by the U.S. and several western European countries on March 19, is a systematic campaign to terrorize and subjugate the Libyan people.On July 25 NATO forces bombed a hospital in the western city of Zlitan, killing seven people, including three physicians. (Associated Press, July 25) Air assaults damaged food warehouses in that city.
(...) Amid the bombing escalations, the Pentagon and NATO have requested additional predator drones to carry out further strikes against Libya. President Barack Obama is considering the deployment of more of these weapons, which have been operational in this North African state for several months. The Los Angeles Times quoted a NATO officer who said, "It's getting more difficult to find stuff to blow up. Predators really enable you to study things and to develop a picture of what is going on." (July 21) He indicated that in order to deploy more drones in Libya it would be necessary to transfer them from existing theaters of war in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other so-called "counter-terrorism" operations around the world. An unnamed Pentagon official allegedly said, "We are looking at all the possibilities. The reason why this is hard is that everything we have is currently committed elsewhere."
(...) Journalist Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey cites violations of the Statute of The Hague International Penal Court to provide a legal rationale for charging Washington and NATO countries with war crimes in Libya. He notes that Article 3 of the Statute reads: "Attack or bombardment, by whatever means, against undefended cities, towns, villages, buildings or houses" violates international law. "NATO's continuous use of civilian targets for military purposes, a scenario which this military organization wantonly and callously calls 'collateral damage,' fits this clause exactly and would be the cornerstone of a case accusing this organization of being guilty of war crimes." The article also points to a clause on "Massive destruction of cities, towns or villages or destruction not justified by military necessity." The author stresses, "The attack on Libya's water supply network on July 22 and the attack on the factory making pipes for the supply system on July 23 in al-Brega were not covered under 'military necessity' in which case, under Article 3, this was an act of wanton destruction of civilian structures with military hardware."Other violations include use of chemical weapons in al-Brega, support for an armed insurgency against a U.N.-member state, and failure to work toward a negotiated settlement to resolve conflict within a particular country.The U.S./NATO alliance and their surrogates in Libya have rejected numerous efforts by the African Union to broker a ceasefire inside the country. The arming of TNC forces and their recognition by the NATO states further impedes these peace efforts. Anti-war opposition spreads across U.S.Despite the corporate media's virtual silence on the widespread opposition to the U.S./NATO bombing of Libya, protests have occurred throughout the country. The International Action Center's national tour has brought out hundreds of people in each of the cities to hear former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney. She visited Libya earlier this year and witnessed firsthand Pentagon and NATO destruction. CLIP - CHECK ALSO Can non-violent struggle bring down Syria's Assad? BELOW
OTHER RECOMMENDED NEWS AND INFORMATION
Immigration and Mass Incarceration in the Obama Era - The New Operation Wetback (August 4, 2011)
Last week Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) joined a demonstration in Washington D.C. to protest the refusal of President Obama to use his executive powers to halt the deportations of the undocumented. Gutierrez’ arrest came only two days after Obama had addressed a conference of the National Council of La Raza. Conveniently forgetting the history of the civil right struggles that made his Presidency a possibility, Obama reminded those attending that he was bound to “uphold the laws on the books.” With over 392,000 deportations in 2010, more than in any of the Bush years, many activists fear we are in the midst of a repeat of notorious episodes of the past such as the “Repatriation” campaign of the 1930s and the infamous Operation Wetback of 1954, both of which resulted in the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Latinos. But several things are different this time around. A crucial distinction is that we are in the era of mass incarceration. Not only are the undocumented being deported, many are going to prison for years before being delivered across the border. While the writings of Michelle Alexander and others have highlighted the widespread targeting of young African-American males by the criminal justice system, few have noted that in the last decade the complexion of new faces behind bars has been dramatically changing. Since the turn of the century, the number of blacks in prisons has declined slightly, while the ranks of Latinos incarcerated has increased by nearly 50%, reaching just over 300,000 in 2009.A second distinguishing feature of the current state of affairs is the presence of the private prison corporations. For the likes of the industry’s leading powers, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group, detaining immigrants has been the life blood for reviving their financial fortunes.Just over a decade ago their bottom lines were flagging. Freshly built prisons sat with empty beds while share values plummeted. For financial year 1999 CCA reported losses of $53.4 million and laid off 40% of its workforce. Then came the windfall - 9/11.In 2001 Steven Logan, then CEO of Cornell Industries, a private prison firm which has since merged with GEO, spelled out exactly what this meant for his sector : "I think it's clear that with the events of Sept. 11, there's a heightened focus on detention, both on the borders and within the U.S. [and] more people are gonna get caught… So that's a positive for our business. The federal business is the best business for us. It's the most consistent business for us, and the events of Sept. 11 are increasing that level of business."Logan was right. The Patriot Act and other legislation led to a new wave of immigration detentions. By linking immigrants to terrorism, aggressive roundups supplied Latinos and other undocumented people to fill those empty private prison cells. Tougher immigration laws mandated felony convictions and prison time for cases which previously merited only deportation. Suddenly, the business of detaining immigrants was booming. PBS Commentator Maria Hinojosa went so far as to call this the new “Gold Rush” for private prisons. The figures support Hinojosa’s assertion. While private prisons own or operate only 8% of general prison beds, they control 49% of the immigration detention market. CLIP
Global Warming Doomsters' Theories Wrong, Says NASA Study (July 29, 2011)
Global warming proponents can catch up on the sleep they lost worrying about the planet getting hotter with each passing day. A NASA study which analyzes satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011, published in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing, reports that Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than global warming proponents' computer models have predicted. The data also supports prior studies which suggested that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap is far lesser than what has been claimed by the global warming doomsters.The discrepancy between the model-based forecasts of rapid global warming and meteorological data showing a slower rate of warming has given rise to heated debates for more than two decades. "The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show," Dr. Roy Spencer, study co-author and principal research scientist in the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, said in a press release. "There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans."
(...) When applied to long-term climate change, the research suggests that the climate is less sensitive to warming due to increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere than climate modelers have theorized. A major underpinning of global warming theory is that the slight warming caused by enhanced greenhouse gases should change cloud cover in ways that cause additional warming, which would be a positive feedback cycle. CLIP
Obama Administration Suspends Scientist Who Warned of Threat to Polar Bears (July 31, 2011)
Five years ago wildlife biologist Charles Monnett made news with his observation of drowned polar bears in the Arctic sea, which helped fuel the debate over global warming. Today, Monnett has made headlines again, this time for being suspended from his job pending a government investigation into alleged scientific misconduct. Monnett's employer, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, has not said what the biologist is in trouble for, saying the matter has to do with "integrity issues." But a watchdog group, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), insists Monnett is being investigated because of his 2006 article in Polar Biology, "Observations of mortality associated with extended open-water swimming by polar bears in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea." The article, co-authored with researcher Jeffrey S. Gleason, suggested that "drowning-related deaths of polar bears may increase in the future if the observed trend of regression of pack ice and/or longer open water periods continues." This seemingly innocuous observation led to the authors being treated like enemies by the oil industry, which wants to drill in the Arctic region. PEER claims federal officials "have actively persecuted Dr. Monnett, acted on hearsay and rumors, gratuitously tarnished his reputation and substantially disrupted important scientific research."
Will Volcanoes Cool Our Warming Earth? (AUGUST 6, 2011)
BY THE WALL STREET JOURNAL OWNED BY RUPERT MURDOCH...
(...) Preparing to meet risks posed by nature does not exonerate human pollution. Earlier this year, after Grimsvötn erupted, a message went viral on the Internet, arguing that "the volcanic ash emitted into the Earth's atmosphere in just four days...by that volcano in Iceland has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon. "If true, this is because carbon-reduction efforts are so far largely ineffective, not because volcanoes put out a lot of carbon dioxide. Total volcanic carbon-dioxide emissions, at up to 230 million tons a year, are less than 1% of fossil-fuel emissions of 32 billion tons a year. The Australian climate skeptic Prof. Ian Plimer argues that this probably understates the contribution of undersea volcanoes, but few other geologists agree. But then the total carbon-dioxide emissions from biological sources-animals, plants, fungi and microbes-dwarf those from fossil fuels and amount to some 800 billion tons a year. So although it is a myth that volcanoes produce more carbon dioxide than fossil fuels do, the natural world far outpaces our cars and factories. Roughly 97% of the carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere each year is from nature, not human activity. Savage lurches in the global climate will happen one day, whether by manmade warming or volcanic cooling. Cutting carbon emissions might mitigate the former, but it will not help us, and may even hinder us, in adapting to the next Katla or Laki.
How do human CO2 emissions compare to natural CO2 emissions?
The skeptic argument... "Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions. The oceans contain 37,400 billion tons (GT) of suspended carbon, land biomass has 2000-3000 GT. The atmosphere contains 720 billion tons of CO2 and humans contribute only 6 GT. The oceans, land and atmosphere exchange CO2 continuously so the additional load by humans is incredibly small. A small shift in the balance between oceans and air would cause a much more severe rise than anything we could produce." -- What the science says... The natural cycle adds and removes CO2 to keep a balance; humans add extra CO2 without removing any. Before the industrial revolution, the CO2 content in the air remained quite steady for thousands of years. Natural CO2 is not static, however. It is generated by natural processes, and absorbed by others. As you can see in Figure 1, natural land and ocean carbon remains roughly in balance and have done so for a long time - and we know this because we can measure historic levels of CO2 in the atmosphere both directly (in ice cores) and indirectly (through proxies). But consider what happens when more CO2 is released from outside of the natural carbon cycle - by burning fossil fuels. Although our output of 29 gigatons of CO2 is tiny compared to the 750 gigatons moving through the carbon cycle each year, it adds up because the land and ocean cannot absorb all of the extra CO2. About 40% of this additional CO2 is absorbed. The rest remains in the atmosphere, and as a consequence, atmospheric CO2 is at its highest level in 15 to 20 million years (Tripati 2009). (A natural change of 100ppm normally takes 5,000 to 20,000 years. The recent increase of 100ppm has taken just 120 years). Human CO2 emissions upset the natural balance of the carbon cycle. Man-made CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by a third since the pre-industrial era, creating an artificial forcing of global temperatures which is warming the planet. While fossil-fuel derived CO2 is a very small component of the global carbon cycle, the extra CO2 is cumulative because the natural carbon exchange cannot absorb all the additional CO2. The level of atmospheric CO2 is building up, the additional CO2 is being produced by burning fossil fuels, and that build up is accelerating. MORE SCIENTIFIC DETAILS HERE AND HERE
Chart: US suffers record drought (August 01, 2011)
An exceptional drought is still scorching major parts of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. A new report from the National Drought Mitigation Center finds that over July, nearly 12 percent of the US saw exceptional drought conditions, the highest record since monitoring began a dozen years. Exceptional drought is the worst possible on a 5-scale drought scale. The drought has been the worst in Texas, which hoped to see rain from Tropical Storm Don, but the storm fizzled out over the state. The drought, which spurred wildfires across the state, is one of the worst in Texas history and has led to 2 million acres of cropland to be abandoned. A US report commissioned by the Bush Administration in 2007 and released in 2009 warned that the Southwest of the US would likely see warmer temperatures and worst droughts due to climate change. Much of what is currently being seen in the Southwest this summer was predicted in the report: drought would harm agriculture production, while wildfires would threaten personal property and forests. Nearly half of the US (41 percent) is currently undergoing drought or abnormal dryness.
Protected areas not enough to save life on Earth (August 03, 2011)
Since the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872 protected areas have spread across the world. Today, over 100,000 protected areas—national parks, wildlife refuges, game reserves, marine protected areas (MPAs), wildlife sanctuaries, etc.—cover some 7.3 million square miles (19 million kilometers), mostly on land, though conservation areas in the oceans are spreading. While there are a number of reasons behind the establishment of protected areas, one of the most important is the conservation of wildlife for future generations. But now a new open access study in Marine Ecology Progress Series has found that protected areas are not enough to stem the loss of global biodiversity. Even with the volume of protected areas, many scientists say we are in the midst of a mass extinction with extinction levels jumping to 100 to 10,000 times the average rate over the past 500 million years. While protected areas are important, the study argues that society must deal with the underlying problems of human population and overconsumption if we are to have any chance of preserving life on Earth—and leaving a recognizable planet for our children. "The global network of protected areas is a major achievement, and the pace at which it has been achieved is impressive," says co-author Dr. Peter F. Sale, Assistant Director of the United Nations University's Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health, in a press release. "Protected areas are very useful conservation tools, but unfortunately, the steep continuing rate of biodiversity loss signals the need to reassess our heavy reliance on this strategy." CLIP
Are We Prepared as World Population is Set to Breach 7 Billion Soon? (July 31, 2011)
The world population is expected to breach seven billion this year, which is more than twice the number of people that lived on the earth just 50 years ago, according to recent projections by the United Nations. The population is expected to exceed nine billion by 2050 and 10.1 billion by 2100. For the next forty years, an estimated 2.3 billion more people will be added: 97 percent of the growth will be in developing regions.The numbers are drastically larger than anything the earth has experienced before - and scientists are very concerned about the impact this surplus of humans will have on the world. Namely, they are unsure whether the planet can actually sustain that many people.The global population growth is expected to be highly uneven geographically. In Africa alone, the population is expected to grow 1.1 billion, or 49 percent of the global projected growth, by 2050. Population is doubling every 20 years in some parts of Africa, making it impossible for communities to keep up with the growing demand for housing, roads, schools, and health clinics. (...) Meanwhile, global life expectancy is also expected to rise from age 69 this year to 76 in 2050. Nearly a quarter of the world's population is expected to be over 60 by then, which is about double the proportion it is today. According to researchers, in 2011, nearly 135 million people will be born and 57 million will die. That's a net increase of 78 million people. The longer life spans and lower death rates play a role in explaining population growth; the variable that will make the greatest difference in how many people will live on earth in 100 years is fertility rates.For example: If every woman had two babies, the world's population would remain as it is. Yet, the global average is 2.5 births per woman. That's down from five in 1950, but the number varies drastically by geographic location.To help meet the coming global demographics shift in all parts of the world, mankind needs to "tackle some tough issues ranging from the unmet need for contraception among hundreds of millions of women and the huge knowledge-action gaps we see in the area of child survival, to the reform of retirement policy and the development of global immigration policy," said Bloom.
Skeletal Fluorosis—A Real Danger of Excessive Fluoride Consumption (8 Aug 2011)
Two new North American studies investigated the impact of low-level fluoride consumption on the strength and density of bone.While these important (yet largely overlooked) studies are not slam-dunks, they provide some of the strongest evidence to date that low-level fluoride exposure alters the quality of bone tissue, and strengthen concerns that fluoride exposure may increase the rate of bone fracture in the population. Skeletal Fluorosis - The harmful effects of chronic fluoride exposure on bone are well established. Since the 1930s it has been known that fluoride intake causes excessive bone growth, which can result in joint pain, bone pain, and stiffness. These symptoms are difficult to distinguish from arthritis. Other symptoms indicative of early clinical stage skeletal fluorosis include: - Burning, prickling, and tingling in your limbs - Muscle weakness - Chronic fatigue - Gastrointestinal disorders - Reduced appetite and weight loss. CLIP
Super WiFi 100 km : Super irradiation pour tous - UNE NOUVELLE SOURCE DE RADIATIONS NOCIVES RISQUE DE VENIR DANS NOS CAMPAGNES
EMF-Omega-News 6. August 2011
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: evidence for a novel neurological syndrome - Study links asthma to magnetic-field exposure of pregnant moms - Swiss Cell Phone Findings Troubling for Children Health - Ireland allows testing on live humans - How Smart Meters can cause autism and cancer - Insomnia and Environment - More Inconvenient Truths About Cell Phone Radiation - Let us be smarter than lab rats - European experts propose cell phone ban in schools - Phone firms face ban from tops of town historic sites - Hendon Way residents angry over mobile phone mast - Program: August 6th Vermont Forum
Debt Deal is a Blank Check
By Peter Schiff -- August 1, 2011
By supposedly compromising to raise the debt ceiling, Congress and the President have now paved the way for ever higher levels of federal spending. Although, the nation was spared the trauma of borrowing restrictions, the actual risk of default existed solely in the minds of Washington politicians. But the real crisis is not, nor has it ever been, the debt ceiling. The crisis is the debt itself. Economic Armageddon would not have resulted from failure to raise the ceiling, but it will come because we succeeded in raising it. This outcome falls along the lines that I had forecast (See my commentary, “Don’t Be Fooled by Political Posturing” from July 9th).
Both parties are now pretending that the promised cuts in spending outweigh the increase in the debt limit. But the $900 billion in identified cuts are spread over a decade and are skewed toward the end of that period. There are an additional $1.4 trillion in cuts that the plan assumes will be identified by a bi-partisan budget committee. But similarly empowered panels in the past have almost never delivered on their mandates.
More importantly, none of these “cuts” are actually binding. There is plenty of time for future Congresses to reverse what was so laboriously agreed to over the past few weeks. My guess is renewed economic weakness will be used to justify ultimate suspension of the cuts. In addition, most of the spending reductions were already scheduled to take effect before this agreement. So what did we really get?
The Congressional Budget Office currently projects that $9.5 trillion in new debt will have to be issued over the next 10 years. Even if all of the reductions proposed in the deal were to come to pass, which is highly unlikely, that would still leave $7.1 trillion in new debt accumulation by 2021. Our problems have not been solved by a long shot.
Essentially, the structure announced today allows both political parties to talk about reform without actually changing anything. To underscore that point, the deal involves less than $25 billion in immediate cuts! This is less than a rounding error in a $3.8 trillion dollar budget. This is politics as usual.
Even these estimates are based on rosy economic assumptions that have no chance of coming to fruition. For example, for the current fiscal year, Washington estimates GDP growth at 4%. But actual growth for the first half of 2011 is below 1%! If our government is over-estimating our current year’s growth by a factor of 4, how accurate could their forecasts be ten years into the future? A more honest assessment of likely economic performance would reveal future budget deficits spiraling out of control.
Some might say that the primary goal of this deal was to avoid the dreaded credit rating downgrade. Unfortunately, the deal addresses none of the ratings agencies’ stated grievances. If they fail to follow through on their downgrade warnings, the rating agencies will lose whatever credibility they have left. For political reasons, the downgrades may not come right away, but they are inevitable. But as has happened so often in the past, by the time the tardy downgrades arrive, the market will have likely already rendered its verdict.
The debt ceiling itself merely represents a self-imposed limit on US borrowing. Since Congress can vote to raise the limit, its existence has been more of a political nuisance than an actual barrier. The operative factor is not how much we allow ourselves to borrow, but how much our creditors are willing to lend. That type of ceiling can’t be raised by an Act of Congress. Once our creditors come to the conclusion that they have lent beyond our capacity to repay, they will be very reluctant to lend more. As trillions in short-term Treasuries mature, the dwindling pool of buyers will demand higher rates of return to compensate them for the risk. But our government is in no condition to afford those higher rates without gutting the rest of the budget.
Last week, it was revealed that despite Obama’s warnings that a default would immediately occur if the debt ceiling were not raised, the administration had already agreed to prioritize interest payments to avoid default. Such preferential treatment is only possible because current interest rates are so low and debt service represents only about 10% of total revenue. When the pool of willing lenders evaporates, net interest payments could quickly consume more than 50% of federal revenue. This is particularly true since rising rates will also plunge the economy into a recession that will substantially reduce revenues - even as debt payments surge.
At that point, prioritizing interest payments would mean deep sacrifices in the rest of the federal budget - including Social Security, Medicare, and the Armed Forces. The question then becomes: will US politicians really be willing to take the political heat that would emerge from prioritizing interest payments to foreign creditors over payments to American voters?
I expect that as soon as our creditors decide that they are no longer willing to lend to us at ultra-low rates of interest, we will refuse to repay what they have already lent.
Besides default or major cuts to domestic spending, inflation provides the only other means for the government to deal with this intractable crisis. Because of its political palatability, inflation is, in fact, the most likely outcome. Once we go down that path, we risk high inflation turning into hyperinflation, which would decimate the remainder of our economy. So, as our leaders congratulate themselves for saving the nation, the reality is that they may have just sold it down the river.
Former Comptroller General: “Sudden And Very Painful” Economic Collapse Is Coming (August 2, 2011)
US is just three years away from becoming Greece -- Former head of the Government Accountability Office and Comptroller General of the United States, David Walker has issued a stark warning following the compromise deal to raise the debt ceiling. “We are less than three years away from where Greece had its debt crisis as to where they were from debt to GDP,” Walker highlighted in an interview with CNBC earlier today. Greece’s ratio of debt to GDP has surpassed 100% and is heading towards 150%, a factor that has meant without bailouts from the EU and the IMF, the country would have defaulted.The US is now nearing the same 100% margin with GDP growth floundering below 1%.“We should recognize that this could be a leading indicator for us,” Walker said, adding that something must be done now to significantly restructure government spending if a major collapse is to be avoided in the future.Walker, who has long spoken out against wasteful federal spending, urged that the nation should “deal with the disease, instead of the symptoms,” adding that increasing the debt ceiling as well as federal budget deficits will inevitably lead to the same situation in the US as has been witnessed in Greece.“Here’s the bottom line. If you take the total liabilities of the United States – public debt, unfunded pensions, retiree health care, under funding with regard to social security, with regard to medicare, a range of commitments and contingencies – as of September 30 2010 we would have had to have had $61.6 trillion dollars in the bank in order to be able to defease those obligations.” Walker explained. “The fact of the matter is that government has grown too big, promised too much and waited too long to restructure. Our problem is overwhelmingly a spending problem.” Walker, now the head of the fiscal advocacy group the Comeback America Initiative, told viewers. CLIP
Don’t Get Caught Holding Dollars When The U.S. Default Arrives (July 23 2011)
Greece can’t solve a problem of too much debt by taking on even more. We will note, however, that by some measures, the United States is even more deeply in hock than Greece.Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 143%. America’s is officially 97%. But the $14.3 trillion national debt, stacked up against a $14.7 trillion economy, doesn’t tell the whole story. Look at these numbers:• $14.3 trillion: “official” national debt • $5 trillion: Amount Uncle Sam is on the hook for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac • $62 trillion: Total liabilities and unfunded obligations for Social Security and MedicareThat doesn’t count the black box of bailouts.We know how much the Federal Reserve doled out in emergency loans: $16.1 trillion between Dec. 1, 2007, and July 21, 2010. We know that because yesterday the Government Accountability Office completed its first-ever audit of the Fed, made possible largely through the persistence of Rep. Ron Paul (R.-Tex.) making that audit, however incomplete, the law. What we don’t know is how much of that has been paid back. “We have literally injected about $5.3 trillion,” said Dr. Paul earlier this month during his questioning of Fed chief Ben Bernanke, “and I don’t think we got very much for it. The national debt went up $5.1 trillion.” Bernanke did not challenge those figures. “To get our overall fiscal gap under control,” writes Boston University professor Laurence Kotlikoff in Bloomberg, “the U.S. must cut spending or raise tax revenue by $20 trillion over the next decade, far more than either the president wants or the House Republicans seek.”
Yep: The latest number we see bruited in Washington is $3 trillion. Whatever the final number — and there will be a last-minute deal; there always is — it will be substantially less than $20 trillion over 10 years. The can will be kicked as it keeps getting kicked in Greece.We note here that the total of outstanding credit default swaps on U.S. Treasuries crested $4.8 billion this week. Uncle Sam has now surpassed Greece in this category.Measured in year-over-year change, America is number one: Net notional CDS outstanding grew 109%. That means there’s double the bets out there on a U.S. default compared with a year ago.“You may not know this, but the U.S. has actually defaulted a number of times already,” writes Chris Mayer this morning. He cites five instances: • 1779: The government was unable to redeem the continental currency issued during the Revolutionary War • 1782: The colonies defaulted on the debt they took out to pay for the war • 1862: During the Civil War, the Union failed to redeem dollars for gold at terms stated by the debt contracts • 1934: FDR defaults on the debt issued to finance World War I, refusing to redeem it in gold. The dollar is devalued 40% against gold • 1979: A bureaucratic snafu results in interest going unpaid on some small bills.“With the exception of 1979,” Chris says, “which was mostly due to administrative confusion — the U.S. simply ran out of money each time. The end result was the dollar had to be devalued. Meaning it lost significant purchasing power. “My guess is that the U.S. will default again. It may not technically be called that, but the only way for the U.S. to meet its financial obligations is to print a lot of money.” What does that mean in practical terms? In Greece, professor Savas Robolis at Panteion University in Athens reckons that by 2015, the average Greek employee and pensioner’s standard of living will have fallen 40% compared with 2008. Even now, Americans are turning to their credit cards to pay for groceries and gas. According to First Data Corp., the volume of gasoline purchases put on credit cards jumped 39% over the last 12 months. You don’t want to be the average American in a default scenario, whenever it arrives. Ray Dalio, the head of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund, puts that day in “late 2012 or early 2013.”
Food Stamp Use Surges By Most In Years As Alabama Foodstamp Recipients Double In May (8/02/2011)
It appears that GDP data revisions are not the only thing that the administration enjoys fudging with in order to make the Chinese ministry of Truth seem like a real ministry of truth. After last month the data for April food stamp recipients indicated the we may, just may, be reaching an inflection point in the foodstamp participation following a mere 60 thousand jump in those receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), today's just released data confirmed that the BLS and BEA may have had a hand or two when determining this latest data series. Because the just announced jump in foodstamp usage of over 1.1 million is entirely out of the blue, and as the chart below shows, is the highest single monthly jump in Foodstamp participation since mid 2009, when eligibility requirements were adjusted. Yes, that's 45.8 million people (obviously an all time record) living on foodstamps which amount to the whopping $133.80 per person (an increase of $0.54 M/M) and $283.65 (an increase of $1.29) per household. Obviously, annualizing the latest monthly rate of 1.1 million people, it means that over 13 million Americans will live on about one third what the cheapest iPad costs in about a year. But wait, there's more. Digging into the numbers reveals something pecuiliar: virtually the entire surge in monthly SNAP participation is due to one state alone: Alabama, which saw those living on foodstamps jump from 868K to 1.762MM. That's 36% of Alabama's population. Is this merely a grand rehearsal for the Jefferson County bankruptcy? Did the state see a mass surge in foodstamp use as hundreds of thousands are trying to game the system in advance of what will be an apic Chapter 9? And if yes, what does that mean for all the other states which will promptly follow in the footsteps of Jefferson County, and for US foodstamp participation? Which begs the question: will Obama be the first president under whose rule total foodstamp usage hit 100 million? Surely, by then there will be a Nobel price for destroying one's middle class better and faster than any communist in the history of the world, so at least there will be something to memorialize it with.
Poverty and Income inequality: The Devastating Social Conditions of American Children (August 3, 2011)
The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) has released a report detailing the significant deterioration in the social conditions of children in the US since the onset of the recession. Focusing primarily on the years 2008-2010, "The State of America's Children: 2011," examines in depth the social calamity facing the youngest segment of society in all aspects of life. These conditions are the result of a tremendous growth of social inequality, combined with a governmental assault on social programs in recent decades by politicians of both big-business parties. For society's youngest members, this finds expression in the growth of poverty and hunger, attacks on education and welfare programs, and an increase in violence and abuse. The CDF report presents stark indices in various areas of social life. To cite one example: infant mortality rates for minority children in the United States rank behind the overall infant mortality rates in countries such as Costa Rica and Thailand; low infant birth weight occurrences happen more often in the US than in Nigeria and Kazakhstan. The report draws the conclusion that families "have become more fragile as jobs are lost, unemployment compensation has been reduced, public assistance and public health programs restrict access, housing foreclosures continue and affordable housing becomes scarcer." Poverty, income inequality, unemployment The CDF report notes the tremendous growth of social inequality in America. Since the late 1970s, the incomes of the bottom 90 percent of the population have stagnated or declined, while the incomes of the top one percent in particular-the ultra-rich-have soared. In 2008, the average income for the bottom 90 percent of US households was at its lowest level in more than a decade. In the face of this growth of poverty, however, income assistance programs have been slashed and are ill-equipped to deal with the serious rise in social need. One in five children-or 15.5 million-officially lived in poverty in 2009. Almost half of these children, 6.9 million, live in conditions of extreme poverty, described as an annual income of less than half of the poverty level ($11,025 for a family of four).
(...) Among the 30 most industrially advanced countries, the United States finished second to last in terms of infant mortality rates, as well as in occurrences of low birth weight. Out of every 1,000 child births, an estimated 7 children die, a figure that places the US in the company of states in Eastern Europe with virtually collapsed economies. Hunger and poor nutrition are cited as the leading causes of low birth weight and infant mortality. The effect this has on the quality of life for children is extensive, leading to mental defects and poor education performance, among other problems. The unavailability of nutritious foods and/or the inability to purchase them have also led to record levels of overweight and obese children. Nearly a third of all US children are considered either overweight or obese. Black and Hispanic children ages 6 to 19 are nearly 26 percent more likely to be either overweight or obese than children overall. The study shows that American Indian and Hispanic children are the most likely to be uninsured medically: 18.3 percent for American Indians, 17.5 for Hispanics. The concentration of these populations in Southwestern states like California and Texas cause these states to have the highest ratios of uninsured children. Hunger and nutritional support One in seven Americans receives food stamp benefits (SNAP). Three-quarters of these recipients are families with children. In 2009, an estimated 15.6 million children received food stamps each month, an increase of 65 percent in only a decade. CLIP
Gerald Celente: "Economic Martial Law Will Be Declared" (August 1st, 2011)
In his latest quarterly Trends Journal (Summer 2011), Gerald Celente provides us another "history of the future," in which he discusses global economic, monetary, and political events as they happen and what their consequences will be for months, years and decades to come. As he has said before, it is only a matter of time before a major terror attack is executed in a major Western nation. And once it happens it will send shock waves throughout the world, leading to mass global panic and a further tightening of the noose around the necks of the populace: What will another major terror strike mean? Should an attack hit one of the major NATO nations, the effects, this time, will go global. Bank holidays will be called, the US and other fragile economies will crumble, gold and silver will soar, and already-troubled currencies will crash. Economic martial law will be declared. Introduced as a temporary measure, once in place it will remain in place (like the curfews and draconian security precautions installed by despots and dictators everywhere). Civil rights will be suspended and, particularly in America, Homeland Security, already intolerably intrusive, will achieve an Orwellian omnipresence. With banks closed and economic martial law inplace, restrictions will be set on the amounts, times and frequency of withdrawals. As we have cautioned before, it will be essential to have a stash of cash on hand. Even though governments will devalue their currencies, it will happen in stages. Speaking only for ourselves, we at The Trends Research Institute will not be storing precious metals in bank safe deposit boxes. Since "terrorism" is now a term we can use to describe just about any action deemed a threat to the public and government infrastructure, the possibilities for what the next "terror attack" will look like are endless. It can come in the form of suicide bombers at your local shopping mall, a cyber attack on financial markets launched via the internet, or any number of other potential threats that have been recently highlighted by our Department of Homeland Security. There need be only a single event that occurs at an opportune time and is pushed by the mainstream media and all hell will break loose.Imagine, for a minute, what America would look like if nationwide curfews were implemented, civil rights were suspended (including confiscation of guns), the US dollar crashed, ATM's and credit card transactions were restricted, and food and gas purchases were limited.The Presidential executive orders are in place, Fusion Centers and FEMA detention camps are operational, and 20,000 US troops have been trained to deal specifically with economic collapse and civil unrest and are ready to be deployed immediately.
ONCE AGAIN THIS PRESIDENT SHOWS HIS TRUE ALLEGIANCE... TO THE MILITARY CORPORATE COMPLEX THAT PROTECTS THE INTERESTS OF THE EVIL GLOBAL CABAL... AMERICA IS DROWNING IN A BLOODY POOL OF PROFLIGATE MILITARY SPENDINGS THAT ARE BLEEDING DRY THIS ONCE GREAT LAND OF FREEDOM AND OPPORTUNITY.
The administration's stated budget priorities
BY GLENN GREENWALD -- AUG 5, 2011
The theory of Round II of the debt deal is that both parties will be motivated to reach an agreement in the "Super-Committee" on how to reduce the debt by another $1.5 trillion because, if they fail to agree, there will be automatic cuts that are horrendous to each party: draconian domestic cuts will scare Democrats into compromising, while supposedly substantial reductions in military spending will frighten the GOP. But a serious and quite predictable deviation from that scheme has already emerged: Republicans (at least its Tea Party faction) don't seem bothered at all by the prospects of military cuts, while Democrats -- specifically the Obama administration -- are acting as if such cuts, literally, would be nation-threatening.
Yesterday, President Obama's Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, donned his Dr. Strangelove hat and decried these prospective cuts as a "doomsday mechanism" -- doomsday! -- warning that these would be "very dangerous cuts" that "would do real damage to our security, our troops and their families, and our military's ability to protect the nation." Then, this morning, we have this from The Washington Post:
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Thursday of dire consequences if the Pentagon is forced to make cuts to its budget beyond the $400 billion in savings planned for the next decade.
Senior Pentagon officials have launched an offensive over the past two days to convince lawmakers that further reductions in Pentagon spending would imperil the country's security. Instead of slashing defense, Panetta said, the bipartisan panel should rely on tax increases and cuts to nondiscretionary spending, such as Medicare and Social Security, to provide the necessary savings.
Just think about that for a minute. We have a Democratic administration installed in power after millions of liberals donated large amounts of their time and money to help elect them. Yet here we have a top official in the President's cabinet demanding cuts to Medicare and Social Security in order to protect the military budget from further reductions. That's the position of the Democratic administration. While it's true that Pentagon officials reflexively protect the Pentagon budget, there is zero question that Panetta -- the career-long supremely loyal Democratic Party functionary -- is speaking here on behalf of and with the authorization of the White House; indeed, he said exactly that in the written message he sent about these cuts to the Pentagon's staff ("this outcome would be completely unacceptable to me as Secretary of Defense, the President, and to our nation's leaders").
For all the boastful claims from Panetta and others about how much the Pentagon budget was just cut by the first round of the debt deal, the reality, as McClatchy detailed yesterday, is much different: "The new deficit-cutting law appears to reduce defense spending by $350 billion up front and perhaps by as much as $850 billion over 10 years, but in fact that's highly unlikely to happen." That's because defense hawks ensured that these initial cuts would be applied not only to "defense" but also "security" spending, which encompasses programs "such as homeland security, border enforcement, foreign aid and even veterans' benefits as potential targets." Moreover, as Foreign Policy's Josh Rogin explained on Tuesday night on Rachel Maddow's program, the magnitude of this first round of cuts as well as the potential series of automatic cuts in the second round is wildly overstated by administration officials given budgetary gimmicks in how these numbers are derived.
President Obama yesterday instructed his supporters on how to advocate for his re-election, and told them that when they go forth to evangelize about his accomplishments -- as Steve Benen did yesterday with his celebration of Obama as "the most effective politician since Reagan, and depending on the day, perhaps even the most effective politician since LBJ" -- that they should "not to get too bogged down in detail" but instead should emphasize broad themes and values. As one example of how this avoid-the-details advocacy should work, Obama instructed: "If somebody asks about the war, whether it's Iraq or Afghanistan - if it's Iraq, you have a pretty simple answer, which is all our folks are going to be out of there by the end of the year." Except that appears to be completely untrue, as his administration appears on the verge of succeeding in its many months of efforts to pressure the Iraqi Government to allow U.S. troops to remain in that country well past the 2011 withdrawal deadline Obama repeatedly vowed to enforce (and that's beyond the oversight-free private army which the State Department has long planned to keep in Iraq).
As the U.S. continues to spend almost more than the rest of the world combined on its military while it wages and escalates war in multiple Muslim countries around the world -- to say nothing of the dozens of nations in which it continuously engages in lower-level covert military action -- the very idea that American security would be gravely jeopardized by these cuts is absurd on its face. If anything, American security is far more endangered by continuing on this path of unbridled militarism and aggression. Yet here we have the bizarre spectacle of a Democratic administration demanding cuts to Social Security and Medicare in order to protect the defense industry from cuts that are, in any event, far less meaningful than are being depicted. Given how public they're being with these statements, does anyone have any remaining doubt about the constituencies to which they're actually loyal?
There are reports this morning that a NATO airstrike killed (another) one of Gadaffi's sons in Libya, so we'll be able to have some collective celebration to keep our minds off little things like the collapsing economy. It is telling indeed how virtually all political good news -- all national celebrations -- now involve America's ability to kill the latest Bad Guy. One benefit of Endless War is that it distracts the citizens' attention away from what is being done to them at home and makes them cheer for the leaders who are doing it to them.
UPDATE: Last week, Joe Lieberman said we must cut entitlement programs in order to "have the national defense we need to protect us in a dangerous world while we're at war with Islamist extremists who attacked us on 9/11 and will be for a long time to come." About that, Joan McCarter wrote: "since the Super Congress has been created specifically to pit defense and safety net programs against each other, don't be surprised if you see this one getting traction." That is exactly the purpose of the "triggers" and the Super Committee; it is not hard to guess who will prevail in the war between entitlement programs and military spending; and Panetta's statements are little more than a push to ensure the right outcome.
UPDATE II: The New York Times reported the same thing as the Post. From the first sentence of that paper's article on Panetta's comments: "Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta effectively told Congress on Thursday to raise taxes and cut Social Security and Medicare before taking another swipe at the Pentagon budget beyond defense cuts."Even Bill Kristol seems more rhetorically restrained than Panetta about these cuts.
"National security spending still seems to be on an upward trajectory. At $526 billion (without the costs of the Afghan and Iraq wars added in), the 2011 Pentagon budget is, as Lawrence Korb, former assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan, has written, "in real or inflation adjusted dollars… higher than at any time since World War II, including the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the height of the Reagan buildup." The 2012 Pentagon budget is presently slated to go even higher."
- Tom Engelhardt -- Taken from Lowering America's War Ceiling?
The Debt Crisis and the War Economy: Pentagon Purchases $23 Billion Worth Of Global Hawk Drones (August 4, 2011)
US buys most expensive drones ever -- With $14 trillion in the hole and a slew of wars seemingly no one wants America to be in, what better way for the United States to spend their money by putting $23 billion into spy planes?The US will drop billions on defense spending with the purchasing of 55 Global Hawk drone planes over the next few years. Each of the four dozen-plus spy crafts comes at a price tag of $218 million apiece - ten times the price of the largest armed attack drone.Global Hawk drones are capable of flying twice as high as commercial aircraft and can spot insurgents up to 100 miles away. Once identified, the robotic crafts that are controlled from 24-hour command stations can then send images to intelligence centers or directly to troops. The Global Hawk drones will replace the U-2 spy planes that the States currently deploys, which the US has relied on since the dawn of the Cold War. Sending unmanned aircrafts into warzones, while grossly expensive, comes as an attempt to limit fatalities by avoiding putting extra troops into danger. Though relying on on-board navigation, those U-2 flyers have proved effective over the last half-century, recently assisting in operations in Afghanistan. A team of 50 engineers will slave over the construction of the Global Hawk drones in a Palmdale, California warehouse. The US Air Force will invest $12 billion towards the initiative, with the Navy offering almost as much to have their own versions of the Global Hawks. And, in case you didn't hear, lawmakers just spent months trying to figure out how to keep the country from defaulting. The town of Central Falls, Rhode Island (the entire town) is currently in bankruptcy court, and the most populous county in Alabama is expected to join them in the coming weeks.
Entire U.S. Stealth Fighter Fleet Grounded (August 9, 2011) NEARLY HALF A TRILLION US DOLLARS GONE TO WASTE FOR A RIDICULOUSLY HYPED-UP, HYPER-EXPENSIVE, USELESS WAR MACHINE !
In past few decades, the U.S. Air Force has spent untold billions researching and developing a family of stealth fighter jets that are supposed to be generations ahead of any dogfighters in the sky.But after building more than 170 F-22 Raptors and a handful of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, not a single one is available for service. The Air Force currently has zero flyable stealth fighters. None.The vaunted F-22 has been grounded with a possible faulty oxygen system since May. Production of the last few Raptors is even on hold, because the jets can't fly from the factory. Last week, test flights for the newer F-35 were suspended, too, because of a valve problem in the plane's integrated power package. It's the third time this year that JSFs have been grounded. Tests may resume as early as next week. Then again, they may not.Yesterday, the U.S. military committed to spending another $535 million to buy 38 more Joint Strike Fighters - a family of stealth jets that are supposed to become the multipurpose, affordable workhorses of tomorrow's fleet. Ninety percent of America's combat aviation power is eventually supposed to come from the jets' three variants. But the jets have been anything but cheap. The current cost for the JSF program is $382 billion and rising for more than 2,400 aircraft. No wonder just about every major deficit reduction plan scales back the JSF effort in some way.And, at the moment, they're not producing any combat power, either. Back in 2002, the plan was to have more than 90 JSFs flying by next year. As things currently stand, the Air Force and Navy might not get their variants until 2016. The Marines - who knows? For now, every available penny in the JSF program is tied up in getting the jets back into the air and their programs on track. "The so-called 'fifth-generation' fighters have certainly revolutionized U.S. air power," Ares' Bill Sweetman noted, "if not quite in the way anyone had in mind."
The Moral Legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 8, 2010)
When U.S. President Harry S. Truman decided on his own to use the atom bomb, a barbarous weapon of mass destruction, against the Japanese civilian populations of the cities of Hiroshima and of Nagasaki on August 6 and on August 9, 1945, the United States sided officially on the wrong side of history. General Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe and 34th U.S. President from 1952 to 1960, said it in so many words: "...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing." (Newsweek, November 11, 1963). Between 90,000 and 120,000 people died in Hiroshima and between 60,000 and 80,000 died in Nagasaki, for a grand total of between 150,000 and 200,000 most cruel deaths.It seems that military man Eisenhower was more ethical than Freemason small-town politician Harry S. Truman regarding the fateful decision.In being the first country to use nuclear weapons against civilian populations, the United States was then in direct violation of internationally accepted principles of war with respect to the wholesale and indiscriminate destruction of populations. Thus, August 1945 is a most dangerous and ominous precedent that marked a new dismal beginning in the history of humanity, a big moral step backward.In future generations, it most certainly will be considered that the use of the atom bomb against the Japanese civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a historic crime against humanity that will stain the reputation of the United States for centuries to come. It can also be said that President Harry S. Truman, besides lying to the American people about the whole sordid affair (see official quotes above), has left behind him a terrible moral legacy of incalculable consequences to future generations of Americans. CLIP
Dangerous Crossroads: Is America Considering the Use of Nuclear Weapons against Libya?PART IIby Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Shortly after the commencement of the Libya bombing campaign on March 19, the Pentagon ordered the testing of the B61-11 nuclear bomb. These tests announced in an April 4 press release, pertained to the installed equipment and weapon's components. The objective was to verify the functionality of the nuclear bomb..... The B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber is the "chosen carrier" of the B61 -11 nuclear bombs. The B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber out of Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri was not only sent on a mission to bomb Libya at the very outset of the air campaign, it was subsequently used in the testing of the B61 Mod 11 nuclear bomb. The B61-11 has a yield of two thirds of a Hiroshima bomb. Why were these tests of the equipment and functionality of a tactical nuclear weapon scheduled shortly after the onset of the Libya bombing campaign?Why now?Is the timing of these tests coincidental or are they in any way related to the chronology of the Libya bombing campaign?U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command, which is responsible for the coordination of US bombing operations directed against Libya was also involved in the testing of the B61-11 nuclear bombs. Both the bombing of Libya by the B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber (see image above) on March 19-20, as well as the testing of the functionality of the B61-11 nuclar bomb (announced April 4) were implemented out of the same US Air Force base in Missouri. An earlier article entitled America's Planned Nuclear Attack on Libya, (PART I) provided details of the Pentagon's plan under the Clinton administration to wage a nuclear attack on Libya. CLIP
Super Congress: A Financial Death Panel That Will Help The Banks Loot & Rape America
By Saman Mohammadi -- August 7, 2011
"When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain."
"The government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the government and the buying power of consumers. The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of government, but it is the government's greatest creative opportunity.
The financing of all public enterprise, and the conduct of the treasury will become matters of practical administration. Money will cease to be master and will then become servant of humanity."
- Abraham Lincoln
"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered."
- Thomas Jefferson
The power of life and death over what's left of the American economy and the millions of people who depend on Social Security checks now rests in the hands of twelve bought off officials who will make up the new Super Congress.
According to NPR, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Harry Reid, and Mitch Mcconnell could be tapped to serve as the top destroyers of America, taking direct orders from the criminal bankers on Wall Street.
The Super Congress will use dictatorial powers to bypass constitutional checks and balances and ram through a fascist agenda through the Congress under the flawed premise that they are bringing the fiscal house in order.
What is not mentioned is that America's fiscal house was destroyed when Congress was bullied into handing over trillions of dollars to banks that committed fraud in September 2008. That act of high treason was preceded by another act of high treason seven years earlier, when the Bush administration staged the false flag 9/11 attacks.
The attacks were used to justify a manufactured war on terrorism that has channelled trillions of dollars from the American people into a tiny oligarchy that controls the financial-military-industrial complex.
But that history is missing in the corporate media. Instead of informing the American people about the robbery and treason that has taken place, news anchors and reporters are spreading lies and disinformation that Social Security is an unfunded liability and needs to be cut in order for America to have a sound economic future.
The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is behind a billion dollar propaganda campaign that is injecting these lies into the media to control the political discourse and help the financial parasites and oligarchs to loot Social Security and Medicare.
Back in April 2010, economist Dean Baker exposed Peterson's trickery and corruption, writing:
The media should be jumping on deficit hawks like Peterson, asking him why anyone should take him seriously now when he was so incredibly and disastrously wrong about the economy just a few years ago. Unfortunately, Peterson doesn't get questions like that; he just gets praise for his willingness to try to take Social Security and Medicare away from retired workers.
The problem is that Peterson has billions of dollars. To the national media and other actors in national policy debates, Peterson's wealth matters much more than whether or not what he is saying makes sense.
Who is Pete Peterson and why does he want to kill Social Security?
Peterson is a connected insider and a surrogate for the financial parasites that have occupied and looted America since the creation of the private Federal Reserve Bank in 1913. Peterson served as the Chairman of the corrupt Council on Foreign Relations from 1985 to 2007, following the chairmanship of David Rockefeller.
He was also Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2000 to 2004, the most important of the Federal Reserve banks.
Peterson's aims are the aims of the global private banking cartel that wants to get rid of the social safety net, destroy the American middle class, abolish nation states, and establish a new world authoritarian government that they will control.
On May 25, 2010, Jane Hamsher wrote an article that focused on the political foundations that are funded by Peterson to deliver the false message to the American people that the Social Security System is broken. Hamsher said:
Many of the efforts Peterson funds focus on teaching young people. The message that social security is in trouble, and will not be there for you when you get old unless it is "fixed," has been a key tenet of Peterson's campaign.
The 990 indicates that in addition to financing the propaganda film I.O.U.S.A., he spent $1,124,987 on MTV advertising. I've been told that this is a very compelling message to young staffers in the White House, who support the concept of cutting benefits in order to "save" Social Security.
If Pete Peterson, David Rockefeller, and other criminal financiers have their way, the American people's pensions will be looted along with America's national infrastructure as soon as they are privatized and handed over to politically connected banks and corporations. The crooks in the Super Congress will try to sell the massive rip-off to the American people as "fiscal sanity."
Once the riots begin and martial law is declared, the Super Congress will take over and run Washington while the rest of the Congress will be told to go home for their own safety.
The media propaganda machine might say something like: "Congressmen and Senators are being threatened with assassination as protests increase in Washington, so for their own safety they have been sent back to their districts with security guards assigned to them.
Meanwhile, the Super Congress that was created back in August will stay behind to carry out their congressional duties."
Can you see the bigger picture? It may not be evident now, but in six months or a year from now we will see the real reasons why the Super Congress was created.
Can you see the death and destruction that awaits America because of the treason that has been committed against the American people and U.S. Constitution?
The reason this new power grab by the Super Congress is so dangerous is because it represents the official end of constitutional government in the United States. Combine the power of the Super Congress with the power of dictatorial executive orders that have been used by Bush and Obama, and what you get is the absolute destruction of freedom, the American Constitution, and the rule of law.
The Super overlords in the new imperial Congress and President Obama will force austerity cuts on the American people, just like the paid-off politicians are doing in Greece. America will go through what Greece is going through right now, and what Argentina went through in the beginning of the last decade except it will be ten times worse in America.
And who is responsible for the collapse of nations and the destruction of national economies? The traitorous and criminal parasites who control the private Federal Reserve Bank, IMF, WTO, and World Bank.
They are not capitalists and representatives of the free-market, they are corporate fascists and oligarchical monopolists. So don't blame capitalism for America's destruction. Blame plutocracy. Blame stupidity. Blame media brainwashing. Blame treason.
Investigative journalist Greg Palast covered the IMF rape of Argentina. On August 12, 2001, Palast wrote in an article called, Who Shot Argentina? The Finger Prints On the Smoking Gun Read 'I.M.F.':
Next to the still warm corpse of Argentina's economy, the killer had left a smoking gun with his fingerprints all over it.
The murder weapon is called, "Technical Memorandum of Understanding," dated September 5, 2000. It signed by Pedro Pou, President of the Central Bank of Argentina for transmission to Horst Kohler, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.
The IMF vultures have gobbled numerous third-world nations in the last few decades and left millions of human beings to rot and die like animals. But America is different. You can not gobble up a nation where the people have more guns than the government.
Plus, there is a massive political awakening happening in America. The American people are waking up to the fact that America has been financially and spiritually occupied since 1913 by the same parasitic financial system that was defeated by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and the revolutionary American colonists.
There was a counter revolution in the late 19th and early 20th century. America, like most other nations, was turned into a colony of a global financial empire that treats nations in the same way that prisons are treated.
The people are worked to death and their wealth is stolen from them through an income tax that goes directly to the managers of the global financial cartel who contribute nothing of value to society.
The money that global financiers lend to national governments through their private central banks is made out of thin air. And when they stop lending, the economy stops and people die.
On May 4, 2010, Palast said on the Alex Jones show that there is an economic crisis and an unemployment crisis because there is no credit in the economy:
Obama made a claim that he saved the financial system. No he didn't. He saved the financiers, and he doesn't seem to understand there is a difference between financiers who were bailed out and the financial system. Try to get a loan today. Try to get a mortgage today. You can't. If you're a small business you can't borrow money today. It's impossible. No one will give you money. There is no credit in the system. That's why we're on our knees.
The financiers at the Federal Reserve who are holding America hostage and destroying the American economy can be classified as financial terrorists and war criminals.
They are engaging in economic warfare against the American people. Other nations that are ruled by the IMF and private global central banks are also being financially conquered.
"The people of Greece need to stand up to financial terrorism because Greece goes down, Ireland goes down, Portugal goes down, Spain goes down, and they're going to come to the U.S. And the U.S. is going down by the same financial terrorists," said financial analyst Max Keiser in June.
The time for resistance to the financial occupation of the planet has come. This is our generation's fight. We must get rid of the IMF, World Bank, WTO, Federal Reserve Bank, and other private central banks that are looting every country they're in.
Public banking is an idea whose time has come.
II. Check Out These Important Links:
IMF and CFR Insider Recruited by Obama White House
Peter Schiff on the IMF - 'They don't help the countries'
Argentina and the IMF - Michel Chossudovsky on The Corbett Report
Alex Jones - Bankrupting Us is The Goal!!
Austerity Fascism Is Coming And It Will Be Brutal
Greg Palast Tells How The IMF Set-Up Iceland & Greece on Alex Jones Tv
Greg Palast: "Remove the Bloodsuckers"
John Perkins Lecture at the University of Iceland in April 2009
John Perkins: Economic Hitmen - Understanding NWO Mafia Corporatism Warfare
Keiser Report - 'U.S. Going Down Next After Greece'
Gerald Celente: 'IMF - International Mafia Federation'
Keiser Report: Michael Hudson: IMF Assassins to destroy Greek economy
Paul Craig Roberts - Stealing from Social Security to Pay for Wars and Bailouts
(MUST SEE!) Catherine Austin Fitts: The Looting Of America
Ellen Brown - Restoring Economic Sovereignty: The Push for State-Owned Banks
Related video and articles:
Council Of 13 To Rule America! by Alex Jones (August 1, 2011)
This evil power grab is out in the open please warn who ever you can,the enemy is moving fast!
Among the comments posted for this Youtube video: "EVEN I FELL FOR THIS FAKE DEBT CEILING DEBATE. NOW I REALIZE IT WAS TO CREATE A FALSE PANIC TO RAM MORE DICTATORIAL LEGISLATION THROUGH." Check also Super Congress Dictatorship, Red Alert! and , in the same line of thinking... The Debt Crisis Is A Trojan Horse To Cause The Fall of America AND Lyndon LaRouche: Obama to Become 'Führer', Like Hitler Did on August 2 if Debt Deal Passes!! - Note from Jean: Alex Jones' warnings may well be unfounded and this may reveal more on his real agenda than what he may want us to see... as shown in the following article below. Gun control, hiking taxes on the rich, declaring carbon dioxide a pollutant... that all sounds good to me. Yes, the check and balance thing sounds great, in theory, but in reality it often adds up to a seriously bogged down legislative system that never seems able to address important stuff without diluting them into irrelevancy (like the infamous health reform) and reacts only - and then often wrongly - when pushed up to the wall as it happened with the default threat or when it rubber-stamped the PATRIOT act after 9/11. Already there are - I believe - significant cuts to the Defense budget it the deal they've reached, something we can readily applaud. Of course, I'm no expert in the subtleties of US politics and unpalatable outcomes may indeed happen thus proving right some of Alex's warnings. We shall see...
Super Congress To Target Second Amendment (August 1, 2011)
The so-called Unconstitutional body created by debt deal to get “even greater super powers” -- “Super Congress” that is about to be created with the debt ceiling vote will have powers far beyond just controlling the nation’s purse strings – its authority will extend to target the second amendment – eviscerating normal protections that prevent unconstitutional legislation from being fast-tracked into law. As the Huffington Post reported last month, the debt deal that has already been passed by the House and faces the Senate tomorrow will create an unconstitutional “Super Congress” that will be comprised of six Republicans and six Democrats and granted “extraordinary new powers” to quickly force legislation through both chambers. Legislation decided on by the Super Congress would be immune from amendment and lawmakers would only be able to register an up or down vote, eliminating the ability to filibuster. The Speaker of the House would effectively lose the power to prevent unpopular bills from making it to the House floor. But far from just being a committee that would make recommendations concerning the debt ceiling, the body is now to be granted “even greater super powers, according to multiple news reports and congressional aides with knowledge of the plan,” writes Michael McAuliff. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pulled no punches in making it plain that the Super Congress would have supreme authority. “The joint committee — there are no constraints,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “They can look at any program we have in government, any program. … It has the ability to look at everything.”
That includes introducing laws to restrict the second amendment, states a Gun Owners of America bulletin, warning that the body would be “a super highway for gun control legislation”. “Gun owner registration … bans on semi-automatic firearms … adoption of a UN gun control treaty — all of these issues could very well be decided over the next 24 hours,” states the GOA release. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) echoed Reid’s sentiment, asserting that the Super Congress was “not a commission, this is a powerful, joint committee.” The Obama administration has already indicated that it will take the deciding vote as the de facto 13th member of the Super Congress. During his press briefing today, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the government would work with the Super Congress to hike taxes in 2012 and beyond. Barack Obama has already exercised his fetish for executive autonomy by launching the attack on Libya without Congressional approval, bypassing Congress and having the EPA declare carbon dioxide a pollutant, as well as the appointment of ten state governors directly selected by him who will work with the federal government to help advance the “synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States”. The administration’s zeal to target the second amendment “under the radar,” as Obama promised earlier this year, has also manifested itself in the form of ATF harassment of gun owners who purchase two or more firearms, despite the fact that the law to mandate such a policy failed to pass. The establishment of a “Super Congress” will completely demolish the credibility and the authority of the system of elected representatives. It represents another final nail in the coffin of the American Republic and its replacement with an executive dictatorship run by the political elite.
USA To Intentionally Default, Martial Law/Dissolution of the House and Senate Imminent! - STUNNING CLAIMS IMPOSSIBLE TO SUBSTANTIATE... BYT CHECK THIS ANYWAY AND CHECK THE COMMENTS...
The debt limit negotiations are not what they appear to be. The negotiations are being used as a diversion to cover up a devious plan to push the USA into a default. Americans are being 'played like a fiddle,' all the theater is a smokescreen for what is taking place behind the scenes. A select number of US Senators are in collusion with Barack Obama to bring about an intentional economic default, declare Martial Law, and then bring about a dissolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives. This plan has been engineered and ordered by the New World Order Financial Elite who put Obama into power. CLIP
Multiple Military Train Convoys Filmed In Oregon As Domestic Troop Movements Continue To Skyrocket Amid Super Congress Tyranny (August 2, 2011)
In the last month and a half, The Intel Hub has received hundreds of credible tips from citizens who witnessed and or photographed domestic military/foreign movements within The United States.While some of the reports can be written off as normal troop movements, the sheer amount of reports indicates something possibly more sinister. To top it off, a large majority of military vehicles that have been spotted were not painted for desert conditions, rather they were sporting digital and city camouflage. We now have reports and video evidence of multiple military convoys traveling in and around Portland Oregon. This comes just days after The Intel Hub released photos sent to them by a concerned citizen that showed a military convoy of tanks, humvees, and jeeps, in the same type of camouflage and a week after multiple sightings of black helicopters throughout The United States. (...) MANY REVEALING EMBEDDED VIDEOS!...
(...) Around the same time that the eyewitness trucker report was broadcast live on The Power Hour with Joyce Riley, The Intel Hub was flooded with tips of our own.From No Fly Zones, to military train convoys in Washington, to convoys along the Tennessee/ Kentucky border, all the way to military personal in fatigues seen in white vans in Arkansas City, reports of suspicious domestic troop movements skyrocketed. Considering the fact that 20,000 troops have been openly trained to take on the American people in the event of a large scale terror attack or economic collapse, the hundreds of extra troop movements that have been documented in the last two months could be more then simple summer time training. While 20,000 doesn't seem like much, the fact that they are admitting any amount should send a clear message as to the levels that they intend to go to stay in power. Super Congress -- At the same time that these military movements are being documented, the Congress and the corporate media have fear mongered over the supposed debt ceiling crisis to the point where they were actually able to come to a compromise that included a completely unconstitutional Super Congress!
(...) As the public sits idly by wondering if their social security checks are on the way, troop movements, both American and foreign, have considerably ramped up, possibly in anticipation of large scale public outcry over the massive power grab now being called The Council Of 13. Other possible reasons for the massive movement of military equipment throughout the U.S. are earth changes, plans for another middle east war or Libya ground invasion, normal training exercises, and anticipation of a massive terror attack.
The Disturbing "Super Congress" that is being Created as Part of the Debt Negotiations (July 25, 2011) THIS HAS BEEN OFFICIALLY ADOPTED AND SANCTIONED - A REAL COUP D'ETAT!
There is some very alarming news coming out of the debt negotiations. Hidden in any deal may be the creation of a "Super Congress" that would result in more power being placed in the hands of the super-elitists and dilute the influence of the average congressman. The left is most up in arms about this development, as it would likely mean that cuts to Medicare and Social Security would be easier to get through Congress, but it could also result in the elimination of tax credits for retirement savings plans and the elimination of the tax deduction for mortgage interest payments. The "Super Congress" would place more power in the hands of Washington D.C. power players and limit the power of the average congressman. Ryan Grimm explains how this "Super Congress" would work, a joint committee that both House Speaker Boehner and the President are in favor of (My emphasis): Debt ceiling negotiators think they've hit on a solution to address the debt ceiling impasse and the public's unwillingness to let go of benefits such as Medicare and Social Security that have been earned over a lifetime of work: Create a new Congress. This "Super Congress," composed of members of both chambers and both parties, isn't mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, but would be granted extraordinary new powers. Under a plan put forth by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his counterpart Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), legislation to lift the debt ceiling would be accompanied by the creation of a 12-member panel made up of 12 lawmakers -- six from each chamber and six from each party. Legislation approved by the Super Congress -- which some on Capitol Hill are calling the "super committee" -- would then be fast-tracked through both chambers, where it couldn't be amended by simple, regular lawmakers, who'd have the ability only to cast an up or down vote. With the weight of both leaderships behind it, a product originated by the Super Congress would have a strong chance of moving through the little Congress and quickly becoming law. A Super Congress would be less accountable than the system that exists today, and would find it easier to strip the public of popular benefits. Negotiators are currently considering cutting the mortgage deduction and tax credits for retirement savings, for instance, extremely popular policies that would be difficult to slice up using the traditional legislative process. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has made a Super Congress a central part of his last-minute proposal, multiple news reports and people familiar with his plan say...Obama has shown himself to be a fan of the commission approach to cutting social programs and entitlements .Got that? "Anti-tax" Boehner wants a Super Congress, which could eliminate popular tax credits and deductions. With "anti-tax" patriots like Boehner, who needs Democrats? Bottom line: What the entire D.C. crowd is really looking for is a way to screw the elderly and also raise taxes, while not get caught doing it.
Dennis Kucinich: How to Avoid Default and Get Out of Debt (July 29, 2011) MUCH COMMON SENSE AS USUAL FROM DENNIS
Washington D.C. (July 28, 2011) - On Thursday, July 28, 2011 Congressman Dennis Kucinich went to the House floor offering a way to avoid default and get the country out of debt."Here is what we should do to avoid default - increase the debt ceiling with no strings attached. Here is how to get out of debt. End the war; save one trillion over ten years. Repeal tax cuts to the wealthy; save another trillion. Medicare for All: end the four hundred billion yearly subsidies for the health insurance industry. Renegotiate trade agreements with workers rights, human rights, and environmental quality principles- save millions of jobs and billions of dollars. The Fed creates money out of nothing and gives it to banks. Why should our country go into debt, borrowing money from banks when we have the constitutional power to create money and invest in jobs? We can have another New Deal where we put millions to work rebuilding our bridges and transportation system. We can have a Works Green Administration where NASA is the incubator of jobs designing and engineering wind and solar micro technologies for private sector manufacturing, distribution, installation and maintenance in millions of homes, saving money and energy and protecting the environment. We are the United States of America, the greatest country on earth. We envision wealth. We don't default. We create wealth. We don't default. We build wealth. We don't default."
Republicans Seek Big Cuts in Environmental Rules (July 27, 2011)
With the nation’s attention diverted by the drama over the debt ceiling, Republicans in the House of Representatives are loading up an appropriations bill with 39 ways — and counting — to significantly curtail environmental regulation. One would prevent the Bureau of Land Management from designating new wilderness areas for preservation. Another would severely restrict the Department of Interior’s ability to police mountaintop-removal mining. And then there is the call to allow new uranium prospecting near Grand Canyon National Park. There is little chance that all the 39 proposals identified by Democrats will be approved by the Senate, which they control, or that a substantial number could elude a presidential veto. In fact, one measure — to forbid the Fish and Wildlife Service to list any new plants or animals as endangered — was so extreme that 37 Republicans broke ranks Wednesday and voted to strip it from the bill. Although inserting policy changes into appropriations bills is a common strategy when government is divided as it is now, no one can remember such an aggressive use of the tactic against natural resources. Environmental groups and their Democratic allies in Congress worry that more than a few of these so-called riders could stick when both sides negotiate and leverage budget concessions in the fall.“You have a fatal political momentum,” said David Goldston, director of government affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group. “They are going to load up this bill in an unprecedented fashion.” CLIP
The next massive debt bubble to crush the economy - 10 charts examining the upcoming implosion of the student loan market. $1 trillion in student loans and defaults sharply increasing.
In the land of predatory bubbles it looks like higher education is now fully caught up in the credit market implosion. In the same debt produced vein as housing, college used to be a relatively cheap bet with decent results in the long-term. Even if you went to public universities and picked up a degree in a field with low job prospects, at least you didn't have the cloud of student loans hanging over your head when you graduated. Today it is a very different ballgame and the mythology behind college is being used to lure people into institutions that are little more than paper mill factories. Even quality institutions are having a harder time justifying tuition and fees that cost upwards of $50,000 per year (or the median household income of an American family). Can the next major crisis come from the student loan market? There is currently close to $1 trillion in student loan debt outstanding. During this crisis most debt sectors contracted except for student loans. Let us examine 10 charts to see why a bubble in student loan debt is about to implode. CLIP
Putin says U.S. is "parasite" on global economy (Aug 1, 2011)
(Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States Monday of living beyond its means "like a parasite" on the global economy and said dollar dominance was a threat to the financial markets."They are living beyond their means and shifting a part of the weight of their problems to the world economy," Putin told the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi while touring its lakeside summer camp some five hours drive north of Moscow."They are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar," Putin said at the open-air meeting with admiring young Russians in what looked like early campaigning before parliamentary and presidential polls.US President Barack Obama earlier announced a last-ditch deal to cut about $2.4 trillion from the U.S. deficit over a decade, avoid a crushing debt default and stave off the risk that the nation's AAA credit rating would be downgraded.The deal initially soothed anxieties and led Russian stocks to jump to three-month highs, but jitters remained over the possibility of a credit downgrade."Thank god," Putin said, "that they had enough common sense and responsibility to make a balanced decision."But Putin, who has often criticized the United States' foreign exchange policy, noted that Russia holds a large amount of U.S. bonds and treasuries."If over there (in America) there is a systemic malfunction,this will affect everyone," Putin told the young Russians."Countries like Russia and China hold a significant part of their reserves in American securities ... There should be other reserve currencies." CLIP
UN wants new global currency to replace dollar (7 Sept 2009)
The dollar should be replaced with a global currency, the United Nations has said, proposing the biggest overhaul of the world's monetary system since the Second World War. -- In a radical report, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has said the system of currencies and capital rules which binds the world economy is not working properly, and was largely responsible for the financial and economic crises. It added that the present system, under which the dollar acts as the world's reserve currency, should be subject to a wholesale reconsideration. Although a number of countries, including China and Russia, have suggested replacing the dollar as the world's reserve currency, the UNCTAD report is the first time a major multinational institution has posited such a suggestion. In essence, the report calls for a new Bretton Woods-style system of managed international exchange rates, meaning central banks would be forced to intervene and either support or push down their currencies depending on how the rest of the world economy is behaving. The proposals would also imply that surplus nations such as China and Germany should stimulate their economies further in order to cut their own imbalances, rather than, as in the present system, deficit nations such as the UK and US having to take the main burden of readjustment. "Replacing the dollar with an artificial currency would solve some of the problems related to the potential of countries running large deficits and would help stability," said Detlef Kotte, one of the report's authors. "But you will also need a system of managed exchange rates. Countries should keep real exchange rates [adjusted for inflation] stable. Central banks would have to intervene and if not they would have to be told to do so by a multilateral institution such as the International Monetary Fund."The proposals, included in UNCTAD's annual Trade and Development Report , amount to the most radical suggestions for redesigning the global monetary system. Although many economists have pointed out that the economic crisis owed more to the malfunctioning of the post-Bretton Woods system, until now no major institution, including the G20 , has come up with an alternative.
REMEMBER THE NOBLE FIGHT OF ANTI-GLOBALIZATION PROTESTERS IN SEATTLE? HERE IS BELOW THE PROOF THAT THEY WERE RIGHT TO RESIST THIS ELITE-DRIVEN RUN FOR THE HIGHEST PROFITS THROUGH SHIPPING HIGH-WAGE JOBS OVERSEAS TO HAVE THEIR PRODUCTS MANUFACTURED BY EXPLOITED WORKERS PAID SLAVE LABOR WAGES. (READ How Globalism Has Destroyed Our Jobs, Businesses And National Wealth In 10 Easy Steps FOR MORE ON THIS). TIME FOR ANOTHER GLOBAL SEATTLE-INSPIRED WAVE OF RESISTANCE TO DISMANTLE THIS ORWELLIAN, ELITE-CORPORATE DOMINATION OF MOST OF THE WORLD... TIME ALSO TO START OUR OWN OUT-OF-THEIR -SYSTEM, FAIR TRADE, BARTER, LETS ECONOMY...
Broke! 10 Facts About The Financial Condition Of American Families That Will Blow Your Mind
The crumbling U.S. economy is putting an extraordinary amount of financial stress on American families. For many Americans, "flat broke" has become a permanent condition. Today, over half of all American families live paycheck to paycheck. Unemployment is rampant and those that do actually have jobs are finding that their wages are rising much more slowly than prices are. The financial condition of average American families continues to decline and this is showing up in all of the recent surveys. For example, according to a new Gallup poll, "lack of money/low wages" is the number one financial concern for American families. To make ends meet, many American families are going into even more debt and more American families than ever are turning to government assistance. Right now, more Americans than at any other point since World War II are flat broke and have lost hope. Until this changes, the frustration level in this country is going to continue to grow.
The following are 10 facts about the financial condition of American families that will blow your mind.....
#1 Only 58 percent of Americans have a job right now.
#2 Only 56 percent of Americans are currently covered by employer-provided health insurance.
#3 The median yearly wage in the United States is $26,261.
#4 The average American household is carrying $75,600 in debt.
#5 Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
#6 At this point, American families are approximately 7.7 trillion dollars poorer than they were back in early 2007.
#7 The poorest 50% of all Americans now own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.
#8 According to one study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line in 2010.
#9 Today, there are more than 44 million Americans on food stamps, and nearly half of them are children.
#10 According to Newsweek, close to 20 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 54 do not have a job at the moment.
So what is causing all of this?
Where in the world did all of the good jobs go?
Well, the truth is that millions of them have been shipped overseas.
Our politicians promised us that merging our economy with the economies of other nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages to workers would not create more unemployment inside America.
They were dead wrong.
Now we are being told that we just need to accept a lower standard of living.
For example, billionaire Howard Marks says that it is time for all of us to just accept that the standard of living of American workers is inevitably going to decline to the level of the rest of the world...
"In addition to balancing the budget and growing the economy, I think we have to accept that the coming decades are likely to see U.S. standards of living decline relative to the rest of the world. Unless our goods offer a better cost/benefit bargain, there's no reason why American workers should continue to enjoy the same lifestyle advantage over workers in other countries. I just don't expect to hear many politicians own up to this reality on the stump."
Are you willing to accept that?
Well, most Americans appear to be willing to accept this "new reality" because they keep sending most of the exact same bozos back to Washington D.C.
Meanwhile, the job losses continue to get worse. As I wrote about the other day, as the U.S. economy has started to slow down again we are starting to see another huge wave of layoffs all over America.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out where all of our jobs are going. But unfortunately, most Americans don't understand what is happening because neither the mainstream media nor our politicians are telling them the truth.
For much more on how millions of our good jobs are being shipped out of the country, please see another article I recently published entitled "How Globalism Has Destroyed Our Jobs, Businesses And National Wealth In 10 Easy Steps".
But it is not just the globalization of the economy that is destroying our jobs.
The federal government bureaucracy has become so oppressive that it is amazing that anyone is still willing to hire workers in this day and age.
Hiring workers has become so complicated and so expensive that many small business owners want to avoid it at all cost.
For example, a small business owner identified as "007" recently left the following comment on one of my recent articles....
Speaking as a small employer, I would rather have a root canal than another employee. Let's see. You first have to hire someone you trust without some labor lawyer suing you for some type of discrimination. Then you have OSHA to make sure your work place is safe. Then you have workmans compensation insurance, unemployment taxes, health insurance, liability insurance, now Obamacare. Oh be careful not to be deemed to have a "hostile work environment". Then you have to negotiate the labor laws. The Department of Labor is constantly cranking out regulation.
Then you get the pleasure of paying payroll taxes both state and federal along with the required filing of a multitude of payroll forms. Miss filing or paying these taxes and you will be crushed with interest and penalties.
Of course, you are competing with businesses that can hire at a fraction of the cost of American Labor and with very little regulations. In this economy, no one in their right mind is hiring into this unstable and declining economy.
If business turns down all you have to worry about is laying off workers. Of course your unemployment insurance tax will go up 200% for years. Then you only have to then worry about a wrongful termination law suit.
The entire system is stacked against American workers.
If you are a blue collar worker, you should give up hope that things are going to get better. The system has failed you.
You can stop waiting for the "good jobs" to come back.
They aren't coming back.
That is one reason why I try to encourage everyone to become more independent of the system.
As our economic system continues to degenerate, Americans are going to become increasingly desperate.
Sadly, desperate people do desperate things. Already we are starting to see signs that the fabric of American society is starting to be ripped to shreds.
So what is going to happen if the economy gets even worse?
There is a limit to how many people we can actually put in prison. The reality is that the number of Americans in prison has nearly tripled since 1987.
Our prisons are already dangerously overcrowded. As society falls apart, many communities will simply not be able to shove more people behind bars.
Even with our prisons stuffed to the gills, many of our largest cities continue to be transformed into absolute hellholes.
Detroit is now the 3rd most dangerous city on the entire planet and New Orleans is now the 9th most dangerous city on the entire planet.
So what are our leaders doing about all of this?
Well, they appear to be too busy fighting with each other and cheating on their wives to do much about our problems.
According to Politico, U.S. Representative David Wu is the latest member of Congress to be accused of a sex scandal....
Rep. David Wu has been accused of an "unwanted sexual encounter" with the teenage daughter of a longtime friend, the latest scandal to engulf the troubled Oregon Democrat.
This country is a complete and total mess. Tens of millions of American families are flat broke and are about to slip into poverty. Meanwhile, our politicians continue to prove that they are some of the most corrupt on the planet.
There are many out there that still believe that America has a bright future ahead.
It is getting really hard to see why anyone could possibly believe that.
American Hellholes (July 9, 2011)
The U.S. economy is dying and we are heading for the next Great Depression. The talking heads in the mainstream media love to spin the economic numbers around and around and they love to make it sound like the economy is improving, but the truth is that it doesn't take a genius to see what is happening to the U.S. economic system. All over the nation many of our greatest cities are being slowly but surely transformed into post-apocalyptic wastelands. All over the mid-Atlantic, all along the Gulf coast, all throughout the "rust belt" and all over the entire state of California cities that once had incredibly vibrant economies are being turned into rotting, post-industrial hellholes. In many U.S. cities, the "real" rate of unemployment is over 30 percent. There are some communities that will start depressing you almost the moment that you drive into them. It is almost as if all of the hope has been sucked right out of those communities. If you live in one of those American hellholes you know what I am talking about. Sadly, it is not just a few cities that are becoming hellholes. This is happening in the east, in the west, in the north and in the south. America is literally being transformed right in front of our eyes.If you still live in an area of the United States that is prosperous, do not mock the cities that you are about to read about. The cold, hard reality of the matter is that economic decline and economic despair are spreading rapidly and they will come to your area soon enough. Right now we are still talking about "American hellholes", but if the long-term economic trends that are destroying this nation are not turned around eventually we will just be talking about one gigantic "American hellhole". In the end, no area of the country will completely escape the economic hell that is coming. Let's take a closer look at what is currently happening in some of the worst areas of the country.... CLIP -
AMONG THE COMMENTS POSTED THERE: "When tax rates on the "rich" were at 50-60+% America boomed, because the rich worked hard to BE rich. Now the Repukes have pushed rates down on the "rich" and America is dying. What is with this idea that cutting taxes (giving money to) for RICH people is moral, but giving unemployment (giving money to) to WORKING CLASS people is immoral? Giving RICH people MORE of what they already HAVE (money) is GOOD, but giving POOR people what they DO NOT HAVE (money) is BAD? What COMMUNIST came up with that? Please explain to me why RICH people have to be given MORE so they will have "incentive" to work, but POOR people have to have their wages/money CUT in order to -have incentive to work? LESS then 46% of Americans have jobs!!! LESS then 46%!!!! The wealthiest 1% of all Americans now own more than a third of all the wealth in the United States. The poorest 50% of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States."
15 Examples That Show Many Americans Have Become So Desperate That They Will Do Just About Anything For Money (July 14th, 2011)
More Americans than ever are desperate for money and many of them will do just about anything to get it. The crumbling U.S. economy has pushed millions of ordinary Americans to the brink of utter desperation. When it comes time to choose between being able to survive or breaking the law, many people are choosing to break the law. These days it seems like Americans will do just about anything for money. All over the country, there are areas where just about anything that is not bolted down is being stolen. A lot of people have resorted to making money however they can - selling drugs, selling their bodies, shoplifting, invading homes, taking bribes, running credit card scams and even stealing from their own family members. You will have a hard time believing some of the things that you are about to read below. When people have their backs pushed up against the wall, often they find that they are willing to do things that they never imagined that they would do. Things are getting crazy out there on the streets of America, and as the economy continues to decline things are going to get a lot crazier. CLIP
Outcasts: Tonight Tens Of Thousands Of Formerly Middle Class Americans Will Be Sleeping In Their Cars, In Tent Cities Or On The Streets (July 13th, 2011)
Economic despair is beginning to spread rapidly in America. As you read this, there are millions of American families that are just barely hanging on by their fingernails. For a growing number of Americans, it has become an all-out battle just to be able to afford to sleep under a roof and put a little bit of food on the table. Sadly, there are more people than ever that are losing that battle. Tonight, tens of thousands of formerly middle class Americans will be sleeping in their cars, even though that is illegal in many U.S. cities. Tens of thousands of others will be sleeping in tent cities or on the streets. Meanwhile, communities all over America are passing measures that are meant to push tent cities and homeless people out of their areas. It turns out that once you lose your job and your home in this country you become something of an outcast. Sadly, the number of "outcasts" is going to continue to grow as the U.S. economy continues to collapse. Most Americans that end up living in their cars on in tent cities never thought that it would happen to them.An article in Der Spiegel profiled one American couple that is absolutely shocked at what has happened to them.... Chanelle Sabedra is already on that road. She and her husband have been sleeping in their car for almost three weeks now. "We never saw this coming, never ever," says Sabedra. She starts to cry. "I'm an adult, I can take care of myself one way or another, and same with my husband, but (my kids are) too little to go through these things." She has three children; they are nine, five and three years old. "We had a house further south, in San Bernardino," says Sabedra. Her husband lost his job building prefab houses in July 2009. The utility company turned off the gas. "We were boiling water on the barbeque to bathe our kids," she says. No longer able to pay the rent, the Sabedras were evicted from their house in August. How would you feel if you had a 3 year old kid and a 5 year old kid and you were sleeping in a car? Sadly, if child protective services finds out about that family those kids will probably be stolen away and never returned.America is becoming a very cruel place. Unfortunately, what has happened to that family is not an isolated incident. As rampant unemployment has spread across America, the number of people that have lost their homes has soared. Today, it is estimated that approximately a third of the homeless population in Seattle live in their cars. CLIP
Rampant Unemployment = The Death Of The Middle Class - 40 Facts That Prove The Working Class Is Being Systematically Wiped Out (July 9th, 2011)
Without an abundance of good jobs, the middle class in the United States is going to shrivel up and die. Right now, rampant unemployment is absolutely killing communities all over America. Hopelessness and poverty are exploding and many are now wondering if we are actually witnessing the slow death of the middle class. There simply are not nearly enough "good jobs" to go around anymore, and even many in the mainstream media are referring to this as a "long-term structural problem" with the economy. The only thing that most working class Americans have to offer in the marketplace is their labor. If nobody will hire them they do not have any other ways to provide for their families. Well, there is a problem. Today wealth has become incredibly centralized. The big corporations and the big banks dominate everything. Thanks to incredible advances in technology and thanks to the globalization of our economic system, the people with all the money don't have to hire as many ordinary Americans anymore. They can hire all the labor they want on the other side of the globe for a fraction of the cost. So the rich don't really have that much use for the working class in America anymore. The only thing of value that the working class had to offer has now been tremendously devalued. The wealthy don't have to pay a lot for physical labor anymore. Thousands of our factories and millions of our jobs have been shipped overseas and they aren't coming back. The big corporations are thriving while tens of millions of ordinary Americans are deeply suffering. Almost all of the wealth being produced by our economy is going to a very centralized group of people at the very top of the food chain. The rich are getting richer and the working class is being systematically wiped out. CLIP
The Coming Economic Hell For American Families (June 8th, 2011)
Tens of millions of American families are about to go through economic hell and most of them don't even realize it. Most Americans don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about things like "monetary policy" or "economic cycles". The vast majority of people just want to be able to get up in the morning, go to work and provide for their families. Most Americans realize that things seem "harder" these days, but most of them also have faith that things will eventually get better. Unfortunately, things aren't going to get any better. The number of good jobs continues to decline, the number of Americans losing their homes continues to go up, people are having a much more difficult time paying their bills and our federal government is drowning in debt. Sadly, this is only just the beginning. CLIP - AMONG THE 147 COMMENTS POSTED THERE: "In other countries, the people direct their anger where it belongs - at the government and big banks. But Americans direct it at each other.Polls show that Americans don't like big banks or politicians. Yet, they are too lazy to withdraw their money from these banks and go with local banks or credit unions. And they keep voting for the same politicians that don't give a damn about the public. Truly sad."
The US Dictatorship and its White House Servant 'President'
by Finian Cunningham -- August 1, 2011
If there is one thing that the office of President Barack Obama demonstrates it is that democracy does not exist in the United States. This may seem a rather outlandish statement. For many people, the fact that the 44th president is the first black man to preside over the White House - with its American colonial-style architecture - is a tribute to the triumph of US democracy.
But many other more telling facts indicate that Obama is but a figurehead of an unelected government in the US. This unelected power of corporate elites - commercial, financial, military - governs with the same core policies regardless of who is sitting in the White House. Whether these policies are on social, economic or foreign matters, the elected president must obey the direction ordained by the unelected elite. That kind of untrammeled power structure conforms more closely in practice to dictatorship, not democracy.
As Michael Hudson and Ellen Brown reveal in their analyses of the US budget debacle, Obama is pathetically doing the bidding of Wall Street - much like an errand boy  .
Brown writes: "The debt crisis was created, not by a social safety net bought and paid for by the taxpayers, but by a banking system taken over by Wall Street gamblers. The gamblers lost their bets and were bailed out at the expense of the taxpayers; and if anyone should be held to account, it is these gamblers.
"The debt ceiling crisis is a manufactured one, engineered to extort concessions that will lock the middle class in debt peonage for decades to come. Congress is empowered by the Constitution to issue the money it needs to pay its debts."
Obama's servile toeing of Wall Street's line is not the behavior of a free leader boldly defending the interests of the people and the greater good. Rather, his behaviour is that of one doing what he is told to do - and doing it with grateful deference.
In this way, of course, Obama is hardly different from his predecessors. But of difference is just how blatant the White House is now appearing to function as a mere tool of the rich and powerful elite.
The irony is that Obama's election was presented as a potent symbol of American democracy; the truth is that the two-party system has become a threadbare cover for immense feebleness when it comes to serving the diktat of elite power as opposed to the good of the people. "The most powerful office in the world" would be more accurately referenced as "the most feeble purveyor of elite interests".
Obama's presence in the White House indulges a superficial moral/political correctness while the masters whip us all into austere servitude.
The US "war on terror" is another illustration of America's dictatorship of the elite - and Obama's pathetic servile role of carrying out the masters' orders in defiance of the will of the people.
Recall that Obama's bid for presidential election in 2008 was avowedly based on ending the US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also denounced his incumbent rival George W Bush over the use of special powers that enabled such aberrations as the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp and a host of draconian home security policies infringing on civil rights
Obama also signaled in his inaugural speech - reiterated again soon after in Cairo - that under his watch the US was resetting foreign policy - turning away from the militarist policies of Bush to a more enlightened approach for settling conflicts with the Muslim World and Iran in particular. "If they unclench their fist, we will extend our hand," Obama declared with seemingly heartfelt eloquence.
But on every count, Obama has reneged on his supposed opposition to the US "war on terror". Indeed, under his watch, the US has expanded its militarist foreign policy - which is apparently predicated on the belief that "western democracy is threatened by Islamic extremism". Obama has done nothing to roll back draconian home security policies, indeed appears to have extended them. And he continues his predecessor's deception of conflating Iran and its alleged nuclear ambitions as part of this phony "Islamic extremists" narrative.
To perform such a disgraceful U-turn on so many election promises, the presidency of Barack Obama is clear proof that the holder of office in the White House is not the one who is setting policy - rather, he is following policy that is set by unelected others.
When news broke about the massacre in Norway where more than 70 people were killed in a twin bomb and gun attack, Obama reacted like an automaton of the unelected power system, instead of like an independent, reasonable political leader. Even though it was clear within hours of the atrocity that the perpetrator was a blond-haired Norwegian with fascist and deeply Islamophobic views, nevertheless Obama reacted immediately to present it as an act of Islamic terrorism.
Speaking from the White House, Obama said: "It's a reminder that the entire international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring, and that we have to work co-operatively together both on intelligence and in terms of prevention of these kinds of horrible attacks."
The president may not have used the words "Islamic terrorism" but it is clear that he was invoking the massacre as part of the "war on terror" which is predicated on the notion of Islamic terrorism.
In this mindset, Obama was not alone. British Prime Minister David Cameron moved into action stations, saying that British intelligence would help their Norwegian counterparts to track down the culprits - again implying that the perpetrators were part of an international organization - which in war on terror code means an Islamic organization.
The US and British news media also jumped to the conclusion that the Norwegian attacks must have something to with Al Qaeda or some other "Jihadist" group.
That such a widespread and erroneous reflex response from Western political leaders and news media - the so-called free press - can be elicited so uncritically shows how trenchantly the war on terror and its Islamophobic mindset are embedded.
The consequences of this are deeply disturbing. For a start, such a mindset of the Western political and media establishment can only lead to further Islamophobia in these societies. There were reports of hate attacks against ordinary Muslims across Europe immediately after the Norway atrocity, no doubt caused by the malign and erroneous way that politicians and the media attributed the incident to Islamists.
Even more disturbing is that the war on terror mindset fomented by Western governments and media over the past 10 years has led to the creation of lunatic fascist psychopaths like Anders Behring Breivik who carried out the Norway mass murder. Breivik and others like him think that Europe and the US must be defended from some kind of Muslim threat. This kind of logic does not conjure from thin air. It is rather the logical conclusion of the war on terror mindset that Western governments and news media have pushed down the throats of their citizens for a decade.
The sad part is that the majority of Western citizens are not convinced by the phony crusading of their governments and media, nor of the alleged threat of Islamic extremists. Most people realize that whatever Islamic extremists operate, they are either a creation of Western intelligence or a backlash against Western imperialism. That is why Obama's avowed election promises to end America's criminal wars and reset foreign policy on a more reasonable, democratic footing got him elected.
The even sadder part is that as Obama's ineffectual election shows, the US (and its Western lackeys) is being driven further and further into bankrupting, criminal wars of aggression that will cause more victims of violence and social mayhem at home and abroad. And it's all because democracy in the US (and elsewhere in the West) is non-existent. The US is a dictatorship. And Mr Obama is too ineffectual (save for the masters) and irrelevant to be even loosely called its dictator.
Barack Obama: The Bizarro FDR by David Sirota (2011-08-04) http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_bizarro_fdr_20110804/
Barack Obama is a lot of things-eloquent, dissembling, conniving, intelligent and above all, calm. But one thing he is not is weak. (...) Obama is not a flaccid Jimmy Carter, as some of his critics insist. He is instead a Franklin Delano Roosevelt-but a Bizarro FDR. He has mustered the legislative strength of his New Deal predecessor, but he has channeled that strength into propping up the very forces of "organized money" that FDR once challenged. On health care, for instance, Obama passed a Heritage Foundation-inspired bailout of the private health insurance industry, all while undermining other more progressive proposals. On foreign policy, he escalated old wars and initiated new ones. On civil liberties, he not only continued the Patriot Act and indefinite detention of terrorism suspects but also claimed the right to assassinate American citizens without charge. On financial issues, he fought off every serious proposal to re-regulate banks following the economic meltdown; he preserved ongoing bank bailouts; and he resisted pressure to prosecute Wall Street thieves. On fiscal matters, after extending the Bush tax cuts at a time of massive deficits, he has used the debt ceiling negotiations to set the stage for potentially massive cuts to Social Security and Medicare-cuts that would be far bigger than any of his proposed revenue increases.As hideous and destructive as it is, this record is anything but weak. It is, on the contrary, demonstrable proof of Obama's impressive political muscle, especially because polls show he has achieved these goals despite the large majority of Americans who oppose them. CLIP
Special Notice: Obama To Vacation On Martha's Vineyard Following A Job Well Done (August 10, 2011)
We bring you this special announcement courtesy of the White House which has informed that American plebs that following a fantastic job well done, in which the market is now back to pre-QE2 levels, unemployment is near record highs, delays for presidential press meetings compare with Newark airplane take offs, pessimism is at record highs, America's credit rating has just been downgraded, the country was nearly bankrupted, and sales of end of the world provisions are through the roof (not to mention ammunition), president Obama is taking a well-deserved vacation at Martha's Vineyard at the end of the month. From Bloomberg: "President Barack Obama will vacation with his family in Martha's Vineyard at the end of this month as he's done in years past, the White House said Wednesday, despite the weak economy and negotiations on the nation's debt problem. Press secretary Jay Carney defended Obama's plans to take a break even as he's pledged urgent action on those issues. "I don't think Americans out there would begrudge that notion that the president would spend some time with his family," Carney said." Spot on, Jay, spot on."Carney added that there's really no such thing as a presidential vacation since Obama will travel with his aides, receive regular briefings on national security and the economy and be able to return to Washington if necessary. "The presidency travels with you. He will be in constant communication," Carney said at the White House briefing. Last August, the president, Michelle Obama and their two daughters spent 10 days at a rented farm on the wealthy island retreat in Massachusetts.
America's Economic Chaos: Don't Panic, Get Informed! - Know where to turn for the truth
by Global Research - August 8, 2011
The so-called "debt ceiling debate" which took place in the US this week has been the focus of much media speculation, and has stirred up great concern not only among average Americans worried whether their Social Security checks would arrive in the mail, but is also reflected in global markets worldwide as weak economic reports have caused drastic fluctuations.
Since Obama signed off on raising the federal debt ceiling, CNN has blasted doomsday headlines such as "'Total Fear' Grips Markets" and MSNBC touts "Stocks pile on losses amid worries about the global economy". Not to be outdone, The Economist recently posted the unequivocally sinister headline, "Thursday's markets bloodbath: Shock and ugh!"
It is time to step back from the panic and understand what is happening. The mainstream media is having a heyday with sensationalized reports which at their core are masking several critical and grim truths. But you won't hear this from the amply-funded corporate media; it is truth-driven journalists writing for independent news outlets like Global Research who have been working overtime to ensure that readers get the real information behind America's ongoing economic turmoil. We can be sure that statements like the following, all posted this past week by Global Research contributors, will not make mainstream headlines:
"The stated priorities of the Obama economic package are health, education, renewable energy, investment in infrastructure and transportation. "Quality education" is at the forefront. Obama has also promised to "make health care more affordable and accessible", for every American. At first sight, the budget proposal has all the appearances of an expansionary program, a demand oriented "Second New Deal" geared towards creating employment, rebuilding shattered social programs and reviving the real economy. The realities are otherwise. Obama's promise is based on a mammoth austerity program. The entire fiscal structure is shattered, turned upside down."
Michel Chossudovsky, America's Fiscal Collapse (first published on Global Research in March 2009)
"It seems remarkable that Mr. Obama's major focus on the debt ceiling is to warn that Social Security funding must be cut back, along with that of Medicare and other social programs. He went to far as to say that despite the fact that FICA wage set-asides have been invested in Treasury securities for over half a century, the government might not send out checks this week. A radical double standard is at work for democracies. Wall Street investors certainly had no such worry. In fact, interest rates on long-term Treasury bonds actually have gone down over the past month, and especially over the last week. So institutional debt holders obviously expected to get paid. Only the Social Security savers were to be stiffed - or was Mr. Obama simply trying to threaten them, so as to depict himself as a hero coming in to save their Social Security by negotiating a Grand Bargain?"
-Michael Hudson, The Debt Ceiling Debate that Didn't Happen
"Despite being elected on the premise of hope and change, 2 years in power have shown that Obama is more than happy to fulfill the role of a mere guardian of the status quo. Contrary to the expectations of certain sectors, the Obama administration stayed on the course set by the Bush administration in key issues on foreign and economic policy... If we can learn from recent history, the most affected by cuts in public spendings will be the unemployed and poor of American society, while bankers and speculators will continue to be protected by the Obama administration. This definitely was not the change that the American people had in mind when they voted for Obama in 2008."
-Eric Toussaint and Daniel Munevar, Barack Obama: The Change that Did Not Happen
The reach of mainstream media is broad and insidious, but their ability to tell the truth is bound and gagged by the corporate interests that fund them. Therefore it is essential that truthful articles and analyses like those listed above reach the widest possible audience.
(...) Here are a few suggestion to get your started:
1. Browse the articles on the global economic crisis on Global Research
2. Check out the related videos on GlobalResearchTV (GRTV)
3. Pick up our latest book, "The Global Economic Crisis"
The "Towers of Basel": The World's Biggest Central Bank Has Private Shareholders
by Washington's Blog - July 29, 2011
As I've pointed out for years, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is owned by the world's central banks, which are in turn owned by the big banks. See this and this.
It turns out there may be a very interesting wrinkle to the private ownership issue.
By way of background, BIS is often called the "central banks' central bank", as it coordinates transactions between central banks, and which is the entity determining the level of reserves banks are required to keep worldwide.
As Spiegel reported in 2009:
The BIS is a closed organization owned by the 55 central banks. The heads of these central banks travel to the Basel headquarters once every two months, and the General Meeting, the BIS's supreme executive body, takes place once a year.
But as the New York Federal Reserve Bank currently states on its website:
As of March 2006, the BIS had 55 shareholding central banks from around the world. As of March 2006, the Bank's assets were approximately $221 billion, including $5.8 billion of its own funds.
When the BIS initially raised capital, participating banks were given the option to buy BIS shares or arrange for those shares to be bought by the public. Currently, 86 percent of the shares of the BIS are registered in the names of central banks, and 14 percent are held by private shareholders. The shares owned by private shareholders consist of part of the French and Belgian issues and all of the shares that were in the original U.S. issue in 1930.
So the private banks own the Fed (and most other central banks), and the central banks - and private shareholders - in turn own BIS, the global bank regulator.
It would obviously be very interesting to find out who these private shareholders are.
And to find out if the shareholders enjoy any special benefits. As Spiegel notes:
Formally registered as a stock corporation, it is recognized as an international organization and, therefore, is not subject to any jurisdiction other than international law.
It does not need to pay tax, and its members and employees enjoy extensive immunity. No other institution regulates the BIS, despite the fact that it manages about 4 percent of the world's total currency reserves, or ¤217 trillion ($304 trillion), as well as 120 tons of gold...
Central bankers are not elected by the people but are appointed by their governments. Nevertheless, they wield power that exceeds that of many political leaders. Their decisions affect entire economies, and a single word from their lips is capable of moving financial markets. They set interest rates, thereby determining the cost of borrowing and the speed of global financial currents.
Could that mean that the private shareholders owning 14% of the world's central bank have somehow been "grandfathered in", and are immune from taxes and other national rules? Wouldn't it be interesting to find out?
The New York Fed claims that the private BIS shareholders don't have voting rights:
All shareholders receive the Bank's dividends. However, private shareholders do not have voting rights or representation at the BIS annual meetings. Only a country's central bank or its nominee may exercise the rights of representation and voting.
This may or may not be true. It is common for powerful and wealthy people informally influence agency decisions. Just look at every captured financial regulator in the United States.
But whether or not the shareholders get special treatment or influence the decisions of the world's most powerful banking institution, it is still newsworthy that there are private parties with not insignificant ownership interests.
ONCE AGAIN THE FIENDISH HYPOCRISY OF US AND BRITISH GOVERNMENTS GOES UNEXPOSED BY THE WESTERN PROPAGANDA-MURDOCHIAN MEDIA. SUCH DESPICABLE ACTS AS THOSE DESCRIBED BELOW MUST BE VIGOROUSLY DENOUNCED AND MUST STOP.
"The regime is trying to terrorise people into not supporting the pro-democracy movement. But it is not succeeding. People are more united and more determined than ever to push for their democratic rights because they are angered and disgusted by the brutality of this regime." That anger and disgust is also being directed at Western governments and mainstream news media. While the latter have been giving extensive coverage of alleged state violations in Libya and Syria, the evident crimes of the Western-backed Bahraini regime go largely unreported. The US and British governments give unswerving political support to the Al Khalifa monarchy, talking up "reform progress" by the regime. And, in contrast to Libya where Washington and London have championed an enclave of armed rebels against the popular Gaddafi government, the peaceful pro-democracy movement in Bahrain has received no support. Indeed, the American and British governments continue to supply the Bahraini regime with military weapons, including the tear gas that is now being used to suffocate and terrorise men, women and children in their homes."
US and British-Backed Bahrain Regime: the Use of "Toxic Terror" in Collective Punishment
by Finian Cunningham -- August 5, 2011
After more than five months of popular opposition to its autocratic rule, the US and British-backed unelected monarchy in Bahrain is deploying a new tactic of repression - toxic terror.
Unable to thwart widespread calls for democratic freedom, the Western-backed Bahraini dictatorship is targeting vulnerable civilians - the young, elderly and infirmed - in a bid to crush the pro-democracy movement.
Regime forces have launched a campaign of massive, indiscriminate firing of tear gas into villages and homes - with horrific effects. With thousands of canisters dispensed in the past fortnight alone, whole villages have become shrouded in toxic fumes on a daily basis.
Five civilians, including women, physically disabled and a five-year-old boy, have died so far from suffocation resulting from regime forces firing tear gas canisters into homes. In such attacks, the dwellings quickly become thick with the acrid smoke released by these weapons. The elderly and weak cannot escape from the lethal exposure.
In the last two weeks, state military forces have stepped up attacks on family homes in mainly Shia villages, which are seen as supportive of the pro-democracy movement.
"This is a deliberate, systematic tactic of terrorising people," says Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. "This is not just a case of a few officers behaving randomly. We are seeing entire villages coming under sustained attack with thousands of gas canisters thrown into homes by uniformed riot police who ride into villages in Ministry of Interior jeeps. These deadly attacks could only be carried out on the orders of the regime's rulers."
The Persian Gulf island kingdom, where the US Navy Fifth Fleet is based, is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family headed by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. He is also the supreme commander of the Bahraini armed forces.
The unelected Sunni regime, described by Washington and London as a key ally, has been in power since Bahrain was granted independence from Britain in 1971. The prime minister, 77-year-old Shaikh Khalid bin Salman Al Khalifa (uncle of the king) is the longest unelected premier in the world. Some 80 per cent of the unelected ministerial cabinet - appointed solely by the king - are members of the royal family, as are senior officers in the military forces.
Inspired by the Arab Spring pro-democracy movements sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, Bahrain's Shia majority population took to the streets on 14 February calling for democratic rights. The Shia - who represent 70 per cent of the national population - have long suffered political and economic discrimination under the Sunni dynasty.
Both Washington and London backed a Saudi-led invasion force into Bahrain in mid-March to crush the peaceful protests. Since then, military from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have supported Bahraini forces in a brutal crackdown against pro-democracy protesters. The crackdown has resulted in some 40 civilians deaths, over 1,000 illegal detentions, torture of detainees and hundreds of show trial prosecutions held in military courts.
Among those prosecuted are doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers and journalists, who have been charged with ludicrous crimes such as "inciting hatred against the rulers" and "subversion on behalf of a foreign enemy" (implying Iran).
Some 2,500 workers, invariably from the Shia population, have also been sacked from their jobs. Sporting clubs, athletes and critical websites have been banned as part of the state crackdown.
However, the wave of repression - condemned by international human rights groups - has failed to halt the pro-democracy movement. At a recent rally in Duraz and Saar, over 100,000 people turned out maintaining their demand for "self determination" . This turn-out from a national population of only 600,000 is comparable with the heyday of massive popular mobilisations against the regime during February and March.
"This shows that the repression by the regime and its allies has failed," says Rajab. "They have not intimidated the people from demanding their democratic rights."
Rajab, who last month was awarded the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award by the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars for his human rights work, says that the inability to suppress calls for democratic change is why the Bahraini regime has now resorted to a new tactic of "collective punishment" of civilians.
"Despite extrajudicial killings, mass incarcerations and routine torture, the regime realises that these methods have failed to defeat the popular opposition. Now they have moved to collective punishment by going into villages and terrorising people with deadly use of tear gas," says Rajab.
Many amateur videos attest to the use of this terror tactic by the Bahraini pro-state forces .
In one such attack, 47-year-old mother-of-two Zainab Hasan Al Jumaa died from asphyxiation . The woman, who was disabled, could not escape from her home as it filled with tear gas.
A week after Al Jumaa's death, police forces returned to her village of Sitra on 22 July and repeated the attack on her home. In a video, adults are seen desperately trying to evacuate terrified young children from an upstairs room using ladders .
Four other people have died from similar intoxication in their homes. The most recent victim was Isa Ahmed Altaweel (59) who was buried on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that began on 1 August.
The youngest victim was five-year-old Mohammed Farhan. He already suffered from a medical condition and died after tear gas pervaded his home in Sitra. The oldest was 71-year-old Isa Mohammed who died when his home in Ma'ameer came under a barrage of poisonous gas.
Ironically, the rampant use of tear gas as a terror tactic comes more than a month after the Al Khalifa rulers declared an end of a state of emergency. This was supposedly meant to signal the scaling down of "security" measures, including the departure of Saudi and Emirati forces, to facilitate a "national dialogue" for political reforms.
The US and British governments have hailed the regime's alleged reform process as a positive step. But the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain has dismissed it as a cynical public relations exercise that has no intention of initiating meaningful democratic change.
The recent appointment by King Hamad of an international committee of inquiry into "alleged human rights abuses" also falls into the category of hollow public relations.
As one pro-democracy activist said: "How can a regime pretend to be serious about dialogue, democracy and human rights when it continues to kill and injure innocent civilians in their homes?"
Bahraini security sources and independent witnesses have told Global Research that Saudi and Emirati military personnel continue to operate clandestinely in Bahrain alongside state police. The Saudi and Emirati military wear Bahraini Ministry of Interior uniforms and are involved in the tear gassing of civilian residences.
Another sinister factor is the ongoing military occupation of hospitals by the Bahraini regime and its Gulf allies. Because of this, hundreds of people are not receiving medical treatment at hospitals, according to the humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres. Victims of state violence are afraid to seek treatment because they are at risk of being arrested and tortured.
Nabeel Rajab, whose own home has been attacked with tear gas on three occasions, says: "The regime is trying to terrorise people into not supporting the pro-democracy movement. But it is not succeeding. People are more united and more determined than ever to push for their democratic rights because they are angered and disgusted by the brutality of this regime."
That anger and disgust is also being directed at Western governments and mainstream news media. While the latter have been giving extensive coverage of alleged state violations in Libya and Syria, the evident crimes of the Western-backed Bahraini regime go largely unreported.
The US and British governments give unswerving political support to the Al Khalifa monarchy, talking up "reform progress" by the regime. And, in contrast to Libya where Washington and London have championed an enclave of armed rebels against the popular Gaddafi government, the peaceful pro-democracy movement in Bahrain has received no support.
Indeed, the American and British governments continue to supply the Bahraini regime with military weapons, including the tear gas that is now being used to suffocate and terrorise men, women and children in their homes.
Global Research has seen spent canisters retrieved from homes that bear the manufacturer's details. One such company is the oddly named Nonlethal Technologies, based in Homer City, PA, USA. When contacted, a spokesman for the company declined to make a comment on how its technology was being deployed lethally in Bahrain.
The US arms trade with Bahrain is worth $200 million every year. On a per capita basis, that exceeds the US military supplies to Israel or Egypt. The British government also describes Bahrain as "an important market" for arms. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are another huge destination for American and British weaponry.
According to the British government, export licences for weapons are granted on the basis that such arms "are not used for internal repression". Washington also indulges in similar semantics.
However, given the blatant use of tear gas by the Bahraini, Saudi and Emirati forces not just as a means of internal repression but as a weapon of full-frontal state terrorism, the US and British governments are clearly in breach of their own self-declared export licensing standards.
Which makes one wonder what is the most toxic? Bahraini state terrorism or the putrefied cynicism of American and British foreign policy?
Finian Cunningham is a Global Research Correspondent based in Belfast, Ireland. He was expelled from Bahrain for his critical journalism on 18 June 2011.
 Despite months of brutal repression, a massive protest in Duraz, Saar on Friday 29 July.
 Residents terrified after Saudi/Emirati/Bahraini forces fire teargas into a houses.
Teargas released into residential neigbourhood late at night.
Policeman in Bahraini military police uniform walks up to house front and lobs teargas into dwelling in Sitra, Bahrain, on 15 July.
One policeman kicks down front door of a house and a second one lobs teargas canister into dwelling on 15 July.
Teargas lobbed into house in Duraz on July 23.
Another such attack on 22 July; one can hear the voice of frightened girl making the video.
House spewing smoke after being attacked with teargas. Soon the house catches fire.
 Death of mother-of-two Zainab Hasan Al Jumaa after police fire teargas into home in Sitra on 15 July.
 Police repeat attack on house of Zainab Hasan Al Jumaa on 22 July, one week after her death. Terrified children being evacuated from upstairs room with a ladder.
Obama Employs Bush Administration Tactic, Blocks Photos Detainee Abuse
MAY 14, 2009
On Wednesday, Obama said he "would try to block the court-ordered release of photos showing U.S. troops abusing prisoners." The release, which was to be the result of a Freedom of Information Act request made by the ACLU, had been reasonable in the final weeks of April, but today, Obama chose to come out against the release.
According to the Associated Press, "out of concern [that] the pictures would "further inflame anti-American opinion" and endanger U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan" Obama planned to block them.
Obama intends to block the release of the photos because they may negatively impact American empire and American military adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. Gen. Ray Odierno, a prime architect of "the surge" in Iraq, and Gen. David Petraeus influenced Obama's decision after informing the administration that they were afraid the photos will "cost American lives."
Obama suggested that the "photos had already served their purpose in investigations of "a small number of individuals" and "the individuals who were involved have been identified, and appropriate actions have been taken."
Also, Obama made the argument that "these photos that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational, especially when compared to the painful images that we remember from Abu Ghraib."
When choosing to make a "mockery" out of his "promise of transparency and accountability" (as one member of the ACLU put it), Obama is fine with contending that if information requested does not show something worse than said previous atrocity or does not show that something more inhumane happened the information should not be released.
Even if the information would give further credence to the argument that the Bush Administration tortured (which many in the corporate news media are still reluctant to outright accept as they continue to cling to the "enhanced interrogation technique" euphemism when discussing "torture"), the fact that it does not top the brutality of a batch of previous photos means that the ACLU's FOIA request should not be fulfilled.
The ACLU released a response to Obama's decision, which was written by Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:
The Obama administration's adoption of the stonewalling tactics and opaque policies of the Bush administration flies in the face of the president's stated desire to restore the rule of law, to revive our moral standing in the world and to lead a transparent government. This decision is particularly disturbing given the Justice Department's failure to initiate a criminal investigation of torture crimes under the Bush administration.
"It is true that these photos would be disturbing; the day we are no longer disturbed by such repugnant acts would be a sad one. In America, every fact and document gets known - whether now or years from now. And when these photos do see the light of day, the outrage will focus not only on the commission of torture by the Bush administration but on the Obama administration's complicity in covering them up. Any outrage related to these photos should be due not to their release but to the very crimes depicted in them. Only by looking squarely in the mirror, acknowledging the crimes of the past and achieving accountability can we move forward and ensure that these atrocities are not repeated.
"If the Obama administration continues down this path, it will betray not only its promises to the American people, but its commitment to this nation's most fundamental principles. President Obama has said we should turn the page, but we cannot do that until we fully learn how this nation veered down the path of criminality and immorality, who allowed that to happen and whose lives were mutilated as a result. Releasing these photos - as painful as it might be - is a critical step toward that accounting. The American people deserve no less."
Obama said of the Freedom of Information Act in a January 21 memo, "The government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears."
But, on matters of American empire or "state secrets," the administration is as bad as Bush if not worse.
Robert Gibbs' press briefing on the reversal shows just how poor a case the administration has for keeping these photos from being released:
CLIP - To read the missing part, please go HERE
Already reluctant to have the Justice Department enforce the rule of law and hold investigations and prosecutions for torture and crimes against humanity, how do arguments that the president can decide what illuminates a situation and what doesn't, that the president didn't misjudge the national security implications of the photos, and that the press doesn't need these photos to report on treatment of detainees help the administration at all?
Of course, the press needs these photos to be released so they can cover the issue of torture and war crimes, which were part of Bush Administration policy. What else is going to motivate them to cover the issue? Ethics and morals?
This reversal is just one event in a series of events that have occurred in relation to state secrets, accountability, and transparency since Obama was inaugurated.
Obama's vow "to open government more than ever" was sharply contradicted by his Justice Department which chose to "defend Bush administration decisions to keep secret many documents about domestic wiretapping, data collection on travelers and U.S. citizens, and interrogation of suspected terrorists."
In March, the Obama administration continued a tradition of the Bush Administration and, citing state-secrets privileges, they, like the Bush Administration, continued to stall a suit brought by the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, which claimed that the government illegally wiretapped and violated the charity's right to due process and freedom of speech because the government thought the charity was funding terrorism.
The Justice Department defended torture memo author John Yoo and Attorney General Eric Holder defended the decision claiming that it was in "the best interest of the United State."
To mark Obama's 100days in office, Sen. Russ Feingold released a "report card" on "actions to restore the rule of law." Obama's actions on state secrets earned him the worst grades.
Feingold cited the fact that Obama had "invoked the state secrets privilege in three cases in the first 100 days -- Al Haramain Islamic Foundation v. Obama, Mohammed v. Jeppesen Dataplan, and Jewel v. NSA" and had not taken a position on the State Secrets Protection Act.
Obama "issued an immediate halt to the military commission proceedings for prosecuting detainees and filed a request in Federal District Court in Washington to stay habeas corpus proceedings there." But, most recently, the administration is seriously considering reviving military commissions for prosecuting Guantanamo detainees.
Even worse, Obama is considering "indefinite detention" for Guantanamo prisoners.
Now, Larisa Alexandrovna has compiled an article that suggests the "Obama Justice Department is continuing to cover up Bush-Era crimes."
The decision to hold back the photos is another blow to freedom and democracy that follows a plethora of blows which have occurred in this decade.
The logic that these photos will create terrorism is patently false. It's not the photos of torture that kill our soldiers, but the fact that the U.S. military and CIA tortures or tortured that creates or created terrorism.
We as a people must seriously consider how this decision to hide photos reflects our society's values and how it shows our unwillingness to demand accountability and the enforcement of the rule of law.
What does the Obama Administration really want? The American people and its military forces to be safe from "terrorism" or the American people to stop demanding that the Obama Administration investigate and prosecute Bush Administration officials for torture and crimes against humanity?
HERE IS A JULY 21, 2011 UPDATE TO THIS SORDID AFFAIR THAT ONCE AGAIN REVEALS THE TRUE FACE OF BARACK OBAMA WHO HAS UNDOUBTEDLY VOWED, BEFORE BEING SWORN PRESIDENT, TO PROTECT BUSH, CHENEY AND THEIR ACCOMPLICES FROM ANY LEGAL PROSECUTIONS FOR THE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY THEY HAVE COMMITTED AND FOR THE BLOOD OF THE MILLIONS OF DEATHS THEIR ILLEGAL, SHOCK AND AWE INVASIONS OF AFHANISTAN AND IRAQ HAVE CAUSED, NOT TO MENTION THE FATE OF ALL GENERATIONS TO COME BECAUSE OF THE LETHAL GLOBAL RADIOACTIVE POLLUTION RESULTING FROM THE USE OF DEPLETED URANIUM AND THESE AND EVERY OTHER WAR THEATRES EVER SINCE - LIKE IN LIBYA RIGHT NOW.
Detainee Abuse Photos: Fighting for Transparency and Accountability
Posted by Josh Bell, ACLU -- Jul 21st, 2011
Yesterday in federal district court in Manhattan, we appeared for the latest round in our long fight for the release of information about the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody in facilities throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. This time, we were arguing against the government's suppression of over 2,000 photographs depicting the abuse of detainees. In the face of the government's claim that it could withhold the photographs from the public without any judicial review, we argued that the core principles of transparency and accountability embodied in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) required the court to review the government's decision. Unfortunately, the judge ruled against us.
Earlier in the case, we prevailed on the argument that the photos, as direct evidence of government misconduct, had to be released under FOIA. But then in 2009, Congress passed an exception to the FOIA law exempting certain photographs of detainees taken during President Bush's term in office if the Secretary of Defense certified that their release would endanger Americans. The Defense Secretary did so, keeping secret over 2,000 photographs of detainee abuse. But he did not provide any descriptions of the photographs or explain how releasing them would endanger U.S. individuals. Yesterday, the court decided that the Defense Secretary's certification of harm - without any explanation - was enough.
Our democracy is not made stronger by the suppression of evidence of gross governmental misconduct. If released, the photographs would provide undeniable evidence of widespread abuse of detainees - abuse that occurred in any number of detention facilities throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. In other words, the photographs would directly contradict the narrative advanced by both the Bush and Obama administrations that the abuse of detainees was isolated and aberrational. And the photographs would raise questions about the responsibility of senior officials for the mistreatment of detainees, questions that have yet to be seriously examined by any prosecutor.
As disturbing as the contents of the images might be, it is critical that the American people know the full truth about the abuse that occurred in our name.
Coming up on August 1 in the same courtroom is the next round in this long-running FOIA fight - oral arguments on our motion to hold the CIA in contempt of court for destroying videotapes depicting the torture of two detainees. Throughout all of these proceedings, the same idea holds true: transparency and accountability are the best deterrents to future abuse and the only way to repair the damage done to America's standing in the world by these abhorrent acts.
Accountability for Torture
Although much has been revealed about the Bush administration's torture program, those in the upper echelons of the administration who conceived of, crafted, and approved the program have almost entirely escaped accountability. The graphic below diagrams the participation of these high-level officials in the torture program based upon publicly available documents. Move your mouse over a former government official below to learn more about their role in torture. CLIP
Demand a full investigation of the torture program - No One is Above the Law
Last year, the Justice Department initiated a criminal investigation into the Bush administration's torture program, but it focuses only on "rogue" interrogators who disobeyed orders. That investigation is far too narrow. Although interrogators who violated the law should be held accountable, the criminal investigation must be expanded to reach not only the interrogators but the senior officials who authorized torture. Without a comprehensive investigation, we'll never know the full story about the Bush administration's torture program, and we'll have no assurance that the abuses of the past won't be repeated in the future. Ask the Attorney General to expand the scope of the Justice Department's criminal investigation of the torture program to include not just the interrogators who used torture, but the senior Bush administration officials who authorized and facilitated it. -- We need a full investigation of the Bush torture program -- No one is above the law. It's a core principle of American justice and a fundamental test of the strength of our democracy. Information in the public domain makes clear that decisions about the torture program were made at the highest levels of the Bush administration. In order to ensure that such atrocities are not repeated, the Justice Department's criminal investigation must follow the facts and the law.While I applaud your initiation of a criminal investigation into the Bush torture program, I am calling on you to broaden the scope of that investigation to include senior government officials who authorized and facilitated torture.
DOCUMENTS OBTAINED BY ACLU TORTURE FOIA REVEALING THE SYSTEMATIC NATURE OF THE TORTURE PROGRAM
Since 2003, the ACLU filed several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for records relating to the abuse and torture of prisoners in U.S. detention centers overseas. While many documents have been released, many vital records are still being withheld.
BEST, MOST REVEALING AND YET CONCISE ARTICLE I'VE SEEN SO FAR ABOUT THE US/NATO CRIMINAL POGROM IN LIBYA... DON,T COUNT ON THE PRESSTITUTES FROM THE PROPAGANDA MEDIA TO BRING THIS FACTUAL, UNBIASED INFORMATION TO THE YET AGAIN BRAINWASHED PUBLIC...
Libya War Lies Worse Than Iraq
by Thomas C. Mountain -- July 23, 2011
The lies used to justify the NATO war against Libya have surpassed those created to justify the invasion of Iraq. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both had honest observers on the ground for months following the rebellion in eastern Libya and both have repudiated every major charge used to justify the NATO war on Libya.
According to the Amnesty observer, who is fluent in Arabic, there is not one confirmed instance of rape by the pro-Gadaffi fighters, not even a doctor who knew of one. All the Viagra mass rape stories were fabrications.
Amnesty could not verify a single “African mercenary” fighting for Gaddafi story, and the highly charged international satellite television accounts of African mercenaries raping women that were used to panic much of the eastern Libyan population into fleeing their homes were fabrications.
There were no confirmed accounts of helicopter gunships attacking civilians and no jet fighters bombing people, which completely invalidates any justification for the No-Fly Zone in the Security Council resolution used as an excuse for NATO to launch its attacks on Libya.
After three months on the ground in rebel controlled territory, the Amnesty investigator could only confirm 110 deaths in Benghazi, which included Gadaffi supporters.
Only 110 dead in Benghazi? Wait a minute, we were told thousands had died there, ten thousand even. No, only 110 lost their lives, including pro-government people.
No rapes, no African mercenaries, no helicopter gunships or bombers, and only 110 ten deaths prior to the launch of the NATO bombing campaign; every reason was based on a lie.
Today, according to the Libyan Red Crescent Society, over 1,100 civilians have been killed by NATO bombs, including over 400 women and children. Over 6,000 Libyan civilians have been injured or wounded by the bombing, many very seriously.
Compared to the war on Iraq, these numbers are tiny, but the reasons for the Libyan war have no merit in any form.
Saddam Hussein was evil; he invaded his neighbors in wars that killed up to a million. He used Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in the form of poison gas on both his neighbors and his own people, killing tens of thousands. He was brutal and corrupt and when American tanks rolled into Iraq the Iraqi people refused to fight for him, simply put their weapons down and went home.
Libya under Col. Gadaffi hasn’t invaded their neighbors. Gadaffi never used WMD on anyone, let alone his own people. As for Gadaffi being brutal, in Libya’s neighbor Algeria, the Algerian military fought a counterinsurgency for a decade in the 1990’s that witnessed the deaths of some 200,000 Algerians. Now that is brutal and nothing anywhere near this has happened in Libya.
In Egypt and Tunisia, western puppets like Mubarak and Ben Ali had almost no support amongst their people with few if anyone willing to fight and die to defend them.
The majority of the Libyan people are rallying behind the Libyan government and “the leader”, Muammar Gadaffi, with over one million people demonstrating in support on July 1 in Tripoli, the capital of Libya. Thousands of Libyan youth are on the front lines fighting the rebels and despite thousands of NATO air strikes, authentic journalists on the ground in western Libya report that their morale remains high.
In Egypt, the popular explosion that resulted in the Army seizing power from Mubarak began in the very poorest neighborhoods in Cairo and other Egyptian cities where the price of basic food items like bread, sugar, and cooking oil had skyrocketed and led to widespread hunger. In many parts of Egypt’s poor neighborhoods, gasoline/benzene is easier to find then clean drinking water. Medical care and education is only for those with the money to pay for it. Life for the people of Tunisia is not that much better.
In contrast, the Libyan people have the longest life expectancy in the Arab world. The Libyan people have the best, free public health system in the Arab world. The Libyan people have the best, free public education system in the Arab world. Most Libyan families own their own home and most Libyan families own their own automobile. Libya is so much better off than its neighbors every year tens of thousands of Egyptians and Tunisians migrated to Libya to earn money to feed their families, doing the dirty work the Libyan people refused to do.
When it comes to how Gadaffi oversaw a dramatic rise in the standard of living for the Libyan people despite decades of UN inSecurity Council sanctions against the Libyan economy, honest observers acknowledge that Gadaffi stands head and shoulders above the kings, sheiks, emirs and various dictators who rule the rest of the Arab world.
So why did NATO launch this war against Libya?
First of all, Gadaffi was on the verge of creating a new banking system in Africa that was going to put the IMF, World Bank, and assorted other western banksters out of business in Africa. No more predatory western loans used to cripple African economies; instead, a $42 billion dollar African Investment Bank would be supplying major loans at little or even zero interest rates.
Libya has funded major infrastructure projects across Africa that have begun to link up African economies and break the perpetual dependency on the western countries for imports. Here in Eritrea, the new road connecting Eritrea and Sudan is just one small example.
What seems to have finally tipped the balance in favor of direct western military intervention was the reported demand by Gadaffi that the USA oil companies who have long been major players in the Libyan petroleum industry were going to have to compensate Libya to the tune of tens of billions of dollars for the damage done to the Libyan economy by the USA instigated “Lockerbie Bombing” sanctions imposed by the UN inSecurity Council throughout the 1990’s into early 2000’s. This is based on the unearthing of evidence that the CIA paid millions of dollars to witnesses in the Lockerbie Bombing trial to change their stories to implicate Libya, which was used as the basis for the very damaging UN sanctions against Libya. The government of the USA lied and damaged Libya so the USA oil companies were going to have to pay up to cover the cost of their government’s actions. Not hard to see why Gadaffi had to go, is it?
Add the fact that Gadaffi had signaled clearly that he saw both Libya’s and Africa’s future economic development linked more to China and Russia, rather than the west, and it was just a matter of time before the CIA’s contingency plan to overthrow the Libyan government was put on the front burner.
NATO’s war against Libya has much more in common with NATO’s Kosovo war against Serbia. But one still cannot compare Gadaffi to Saddam or even the much smaller-time criminals in the Serbian leadership. The Libyan War lies are worse than Iraq.
Thomas C. Mountain is an independent western journalist based in the Horn of Africa, and has been living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. He was a member of the 1st US Peace Delegation to Libya in 1987. Read more articles by Thomas C. Mountain.
Related video and articles:
'Killing civilians part of NATO war strategy in Libya' (August 9, 2011) MUST WATCH!
The head of Libya's rebel movement has sacked the entire executive committee which functions as a cabinet. It follows the assassination of the commander of opposition forces last month. Members of the National Transitional Council, Libya's highest rebel authority, support the re-shuffle saying they hope it will stem any crisis in their ranks. Meanwhile, NATO is continues its attacks on the country. Officials in Tripoli claim 85 people have been killed in air strikes in the west of the country. Stephen Lendman, author and blogger says it's obvious there's no agreement in the rebel government, and NATO is losing the war in the country.
Libya says NATO strike kills dozens of civilians (August 9, 2011)
Libyan state media said on Tuesday dozens of civilians had been killed in a NATO strike on a village about 150 km (90 miles) east of Tripoli, and the alliance said it was looking into the reports. Libyan state television showed the charred bodies of at least three young children who, it said, were killed by a NATO strike on Monday night on the village of Majar. It also showed wounded women and children being treated in a hospital. The television station reported that a total of 85 people had been killed in Majar, but it did not say how many of these were civilians. The official Jana news agency said "20 families" had been killed, without giving a more precise figure. Reuters was not immediately able to verify the reports of casualties. The government of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi announced three days of mourning for the victims, according to state television. The village of Najar is near Zlitan, on Libya's Mediterranean coast, where NATO forces have been mounting attacks on government troops. A NATO official said the alliance hit a target in Zlitan on Monday night but he could not say if it was in the same location where Libyan state media reported casualties. CLIP
NATO denies Libyan casualty claims (August 10, 2011)
TRIPOLI, Libya (UPI) -- NATO officials denied Libyan government claims that 85 civilians died in a NATO airstrike near the city of Zlitan, saying the target was a military facility. "We do not have evidence of civilian casualties at this stage, although casualties among military personnel, including mercenaries, are very likely due to the nature of the target," NATO spokesman Col. Roland Lavoie, spokesman for Operation Unified Protector, said during a news briefing Tuesday in Naples, Italy. Lavoie said the target in the Monday night airstrike was one-time farm buildings taken over by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and converted into a "field military complex with temporary accommodation facilities used as a staging point" and being reinforced with troops, weapons and other military equipment. Libyan officials accused NATO of killing 85 citizens in the airstrike and took journalists to nearby hospitals to view people Libyan leaders said were injured in the strike Tuesday. CLIP
NATO Massacres of Civilians Aimed at "Cleansing" the Libyan People's Resistance - Photographic Evidence of NATO War Crimes (August 10, 2011)
TRIPOLI, Global Research, August 10, 2011 - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conducted intensive attacks on Libyan civilians in the night of August 8 and in the early hours of August 9, 2011 from approximately 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. EET. Civilians in Tripoli and many other cities in Libya were bombed indiscriminately by NATO. A large number of casualties occurred in the city of Zliten, in the district of Misurata. In Zliten, 85 people were killed including 33 children, 32 women, and 20 men as a result of NATO's deliberate targeting of residential areas and civilian infrastructure. Many of the injured civilian victims are in critical condition and near death. Zliten has been under constant NATO bombardment for several days. The recent NATO attacks started at about 11:30 p.m. EET on August 8, 2011. At least 7 civilian homes belonging to local farmers were destroyed, killing entire families. In all 20 families were the targets of the NATO bombings. The images below pertain to destroyed farm houses in Majer, near Zliten. Colonel Roland Lavoie, NATO's official military spokesperson for Operation Unified Protector, confirmed that NATO bombed Zliten at 11:45 p.m. on August 8, 2011 and 2:34 a.m. on August 9, 2011. In a second round of bombing, NATO targeted the same homes once more when local residents had arrived to the rescue of those who had been bombed. Dismembered bodies were recovered from the ruble throughout the day. According to a Libyan eyewitness, a pregnant woman was killed with her dead unborn child exposed out of her torn body.
Media Disinformation -- The only members of the international press that reported the damage of the bombings in detail were Russia Today (RT), TeleSUR, Chinese Central Television (CCTV), and independent journalists. CNN was present taking footage, but essentially released nothing and distorted the facts.(See photos below) Many of the journalists from NATO countries also held meetings on how to disseminate the news.NATO claims categorically that the areas bombed were "legitimate" military targets and that there is no evidence of civilian casualties. Colonel Lavoie stated that NATO had solid intelligence which confirmed that the farm houses were "military bases." This statement is false and in total contradiction with realities on the ground including photographic and film evidence (see the photographs below). Areas in Zliten and Majer (Mager) were bombed by NATO for strategic reasons. The bombing of civilian areas is tied to the planning of NATO's offensive against Tripoli. The Libyan clans in these areas have made it clear that they would fight the Transitional Council should its forces try to move westward against Tripoli from their position in Misurata. NATO deliberately bombed these areas "to clear the way" towards Tripoli. Thousands of people also came to the funerals of the victims of the NATO attacks. Jamahiraya Satellite Channel was also bombed by NATO. This was part of NATO's efforts to contain information from coming out of Libya regarding the realities of the war. NATO is running out of steam and the Transitional Council is near collapse. NATO's killing of civilians is intended to force the Libyan population into surrendering. The "Responsibility to Protect" is an utter shame. A few days earlier NATO left another boatload of migrants and refugees die in the Mediterranean Sea. HRW has sent a team to Tripoli from its head office in New York, which has pushed for a settlement between the Benghazi-based Transitional Council and the Libyan government. Although independent, Human Rights Watch (HRW) is known to liaise with the U.S. State Department. A concrete factory and a Libyan cultural centre in Al-Khams were also bombed by NATO which has also announced that it will attack civilian sites.
Casualties of the 2011 Libyan civil war http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_2011_Libyan_civil_war
Daily NATO War Crimes in Libya
By Stephen Lendman -- July 29, 2011
Among them is waging war on truth, Western managed news calling lawless imperial wars liberating ones. No wonder John Pilger says journalism is the first casualty of war, adding:
"Not only that: it has become a weapon of war, a virulent censorship (and deception) that goes unrecognised in the United States, Britain and other democracies; censorship by omission, whose power is such that, in war, it can mean the difference between life and death for people in faraway countries...."
In their book, "Guardians of Power," David Edwards and David Cromwell explained why today's media are in crisis and a free and open society at risk. It's because press prostitutes substitute fiction for fact. News is carefully filtered, dissent marginalized, and supporting wealth and power substitutes for full and accurate reporting.
It's a cancer, corrupting everything from corporate-run print and broadcast sources, as well as operations like BBC and what passes for America's hopelessly compromised public radio and TV. They put out daily managed and junk food news plus infotainment, treating consumers like mushrooms - well-watered and in the dark.
During wars, in fact, they cheerlead them, reporting agitprop and misinformation no respectable journalist would touch.
On the Progressive Radio News Hour, Middle East/Central Asia analyst Mahdi Nazemroaya, in Tripoli, said some journalists also perform fifth column duties, collecting intelligence and locating targets to supply NATO bombing coordinates, notably civilian targets called military ones.
In a July 28 email, he said tell listeners that "NATO is trying to negotiate with the government in Tripoli." More on that below. He added that they're also "planning a new stage of the war against the Libyan people through (predatory) NGOs and fake humanitarian missions." A likely UN Blue Helmet occupying force also, paramilitaries masquerading as peacekeepers Gaddafi controlled areas won't tolerate.
NATO, in fact, calls civilian targets legitimate ones, including one or more hospitals, a clinic, factories, warehouses, agricultural sites, schools, a university, one or more mosques, non-military related infrastructure, a food storage facility, and others.
Notably on July 23, a Brega water pipe factory was struck, killing six guards. It produces pipes for Libya's Great Man-Made River system (GMMR), an ocean-sized aquifer beneath its sands, making the desert bloom for productive agriculture, and supplying water to Libya's people.
The previous day, a water supply pipeline was destroyed. It will take months to restore. The factory produced vital pipes to do it, a clear war crime like daily others. Moreover, the entire GMMR is threatened by a shortage of spare parts and chemicals. As a result, it's struggling to keep reservoirs at a level able to provide a sustainable supply. Without it, a humanitarian disaster looms, very likely what NATO plans as in past wars.
On July 27, AFP said that:
"NATO warned that its warplanes will bomb civilian facilities if (Gaddafi's) forces use them to launch attacks." At the same time, a spokesman said great care is taken to minimize civilian casualties.
NATO lied. Daily, it's attacking non-military related sites to destroy Libya's ability to function in areas loyal to Gaddafi. Earlier, in fact, a spokesman claimed there was "no evidence" civilian targets were hit or noncombatants killed, except one time a major incident was too obvious to hide. Reluctantly it admitted a "mistake," covering up a willful planned attack, knowing civilians were affected.
Libya (satellite) TV calls itself "a voice for free Libya....struggling to liberate Libya from the grip of the Gaddafi regime...." In fact, it's a pro-NATO propaganda service, reporting misinformation on air and online.
On July 25, it headlined, "No evidence to support Gaddafi's allegations that civilian targets were hit," when, it fact, they're struck daily.
Nonetheless, it claimed only military sites are bombed, saying Tripoli-based journalists aren't taken to affected areas, "suggesting NATO's gunners are hitting military targets, at least in the capital."
In fact, corporate and independent journalists are regularly taken to many sites struck. Independent accounts confirm civilian casualties and non-military facilities bombed. Pro-NATO scoundrels report managed news, complicit in daily war crimes.
On July 28, Libya TV claimed "captured Gaddafi soldiers say army morale is low," when, in fact, most Libyans support Gaddafi. Millions are armed. Gaddafi gave them weapons. They could easily oust him if they wish. Instead, they rally supportively, what Western media and Libya TV won't report.
Moreover, captured soldiers say what they're told, likely threatened with death or torture if they refuse, especially in rebel paramilitary hands, under NATO orders to terrorize areas they control.
As a result, civilian casualties mount, up to 1,200 or more killed and thousands wounded in pro-Gaddafi areas, many seriously as war rages. In addition, unknown numbers of combatant casualties on both sides aren't known, nor is the civilian toll in rebel held areas.
Nonetheless, daily sorties and strikes continue. Since mid-July alone through July 27, they include:
July 14: 132 sorties and 48 strikes
July 15: 115 sorties and 46 strikes
July 16: 110 sorties and 45 strikes
July 17: 122 sorties and 46 strikes
July 18: 129 sorties and 44 strikes
July 19: 113 sorties and 40 strikes
July 20: 122 sorties and 53 strikes
July 21: 124 sorties and 45 strikes
July 22: 128 sorties and 46 strikes
July 23: 125 sorties and 56 strikes
July 24: 163 sorties and 43 strikes
July 25: 111 sorties and 54 strikes
July 26: 134 sorties and 46 strikes
July 27: 133 sorties and 54 strikes
Daily patterns are consistent. However, information on numbers and types of bombs, as well as other munitions aren't given. Instead, misinformation claims a humanitarian mission protects civilians - by terrorizing, killing, and injuring them, solely for imperial aims. It's why all US-led wars are fought, never for liberating reasons.
The entire campaign is based on lies. It's standard war time procedure, to enlist popular support for campaigns people otherwise would reject.
In fact, no humanitarian crisis existed until NATO arrived. Moreover, in paramilitary controlled areas, Amnesty International confirmed only 110 pro and anti-Gaddafi supporter deaths combined, most likely more of the former than latter as rebel cutthroats rampaged through areas they occupy. Currently, the numbers of dead and injured civilians are many times that amount, largely from NATO attacks.
NATO, in fact, is code language for the Pentagon, paying the largest share of its operating and military budgets. Except for Germany and Britain, other members pay small shares, most, in fact, miniscule amounts.
Since NATO began bombing on March 19, daily attacks inflicted lawless collective punishment against millions in Gaddafi supported areas. Affected is their ability to obtain food, medicines, fuel and other basic supplies, exposing another lie about humanitarian intervention.
On July 25, OCHA's fact-finding team said Tripoli contained "pockets of vulnerability where people need urgent humanitarian assistance." Medical supplies are running low. The last major delivery was in January, and concerns are increasing about the "unsustainable food supply chain for the public distribution systems, especially as Ramadan approaches (on or around August 1 to about August 29) and the conflict persists."
Moreover, "Libyan oil experts warned that fuel stocks could run out in two weeks." Public transportation costs have tripled. Food prices have also soared. Tripoli residents experience electricity cuts, and clean water supplies are endangered.
Before conflict erupted, Libyans had the region's highest standard of living and highest life expectancy in Africa because Gaddafi's oil wealth provided healthcare, education, housing assistance and other social benefits. Imperial war, of course, changed things. Libyans now hang on to survive.
Seeking an End Game
On July 26, UPI headlined, "NATO seeks urgent exit strategy in Libya," knowing this phase of the war is lost. Nonetheless, future strategies and campaigns will follow.
For now, however, "NATO is seeking an urgent exit strategy (to end) fighting and decide the future of (Gaddifi), even if that means letting him stay in the country though out of power, it emerged Tuesday after British and French foreign ministers met in London."
In tribal Libya, Gaddafi's power, in fact, is far less than reported, social anthropologist Ranier Fsadni saying:
"Gaddafi's feeling for tribal Libya is certainly one factor that explains how he has managed to rule the country for so many years. (However), (t)here is no tribal office giving a single man a monopoly of institutional power at the apex....Several factors account for his longevity in power," including sharing Libya's oil wealth.
UPI said diplomacy is driven by a failed military campaign. As a result, "(i)ntense mediation efforts are underway at different levels at the United Nations and Europe, in African, European and Middle Eastern capitals and Russia."
Neither side is commenting, but some observers think operations may wind down in weeks, based on an unannounced face-saving solution, despite continued destabilization and future conflict planned. It's similar to Balkan and Iraq war strategies, a combination of tactics until Washington prevailed.
Libya faces the same end game, though years could pass before it arrives. As a result, Libyans can expect continued hardships. When imperial America shows up, that strategy persists until it prevails, no matter the pain and suffering inflicted.
Related articles and videos:
Leonor Reports 15 NATO Seniors Being Held Captive in Libya (August 4, 2011)
WARNING GRAPHIC PICTURES OF MANGLED BODIES OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS - REVEALING VIDEO! COUNTLESS ATROCITIES NOW COMMITTED BY NATO WAR CRIMINALS!
Leonor conveys the degree of censorship we are under, how little we are actually being told, from NATO atrocities to NATO losses. The 15 NATO personnel abducted are talked about at 8 min 35. CHECK ALSO http://lizziesliberation.wordpress.com/
End Game for Benghazi Rebels as Libyan Tribes Prepare to Weigh In? (August 2, 2011)
(...) One Libyan government supporter who just arrived here in Tripoli, claims he spent the past two months on the ground in Benghazi “undercover” as a liaison between the rebels and NAT0. He told his rapt audience at a Tripoli hotel this week many details of what he claims is NATO’s frustration with the deterioration, the corruption and incompetence of their “team” in the east and the CIA view that “Al Qaeda will eat Mahmoud Jibril and the entire rebel leadership for Iftar during one of the Ramadan feasts during August. They are just waiting for the right opportunity to make a dramatic move.”Only the zealots of “humanitarian intervention” could seriously have contemplated the kind of protracted, bloody land war in Libya that would have been necessary to win. So, the bet on an alliance with NATO now appears to have been doomed from the start, even on its own terms. The force that is rapidly entering into this conflict is the leadership of Libya’s more than 2000 tribes. In a series of meetings in Libya, Tunisia and elsewhere, the Tribal Council is speaking out forcefully and forging a political block that is demanding an end to Libyans killing Libyans.Generally considered Libya’s largest tribe, are the Obeidis to which the Younnis family belongs. Some of the tribal leaders and members have vowed revenge against rebel leaders and as they carried the coffins of Abdul Fatah and his two companions they chanted, under the gaze of security forces, “the blood of martyrs will not go in vain."Libya’s Tribal Council has issued a manifesto which makes clear that it intends to end this conflict, help expel “the NATO crusaders”, achieve reforms while supporting the Gaddafi, Tripoli based government. Before Ramadan is over, it intends to end Libya’s crisis even if it needs to rally its hundreds of thousandsof active members to march on Benghazi.NATO, according to various academics at Al Nasser and Al Fatah University, and Libya’s Tribal leadership, appear surprisingly ignorant and even contemptuous of this country’s tribes and their historic roles during times of crises and foreign aggression and occupation. CLIP
Libya’s Great Manmade River... is this the real reason to attack?
The Great Man-Made River is a network of pipes that supplies water to the Sahara Desert in Libya, from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System fossil aquifer. It is the world’s largest irrigation project.
According to its website, it is the largest underground network of pipes and aqueducts in the world. It consists of more than 1,300 wells, most more than 500 m deep, and supplies 6,500,000 m? of fresh water per day to the cities of Tripoli, Benghazi, Sirt and elsewhere. Muammar al-Gaddafi has described it as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” MORE DETAILS HERE ON HOW IT WAS BUILT and watch this CBC news video describing it: Libya: Great Man Made River Project -- The SECRET MOTIVE: why the UN declared war on Libya. DESTABILIZATION. They did NOT attack Gaddafi, They attacked Africa’s Fresh Water Supply. “The West refuses to recognize that a small country, with a population no more than four million, can construct anything so large without borrowing a single cent from the international banks.” “The goal of the Libyan Arab people, embodied in the Great Man-Made River project, is to make Libya a source of agricultural abundance, capable of producing adequate food and water to supply its own needs and to share with neighboring countries. In short, the River is literally Libya’s ‘meal ticket’ to self-sufficiency.” “The river is a new lesson and an example in the struggle to achieve self-sufficiency, food security and true independence. No nation that depends on a foreign country to feed its people can be free. The Great River is a triumph against thirst and hunger. It is a defeat against ignorance and backwardness. It reflects the determination of Libyans to resist colonial pressure, to acquire technology, to develop, to improve their lives, and to control their own destiny in accordance with their own free will.” CHECK ALSO Zionist’s future wars will be over water resources AND THE FOLLOWING COMMENT ON THIS: "Indeed no one is aware how much water lies beneath Libya or any other North Africa / Middle East – nevertheless statistics from within Libya (so far the most reliable) suggest it could feed the whole of Africa and Middle East for another 200 years – this is massive. On this basis it naturally would be in the interest of Israel (and US/UK/Europe) to privatise this natural resource. One can understand now why Gaddafi is passionate about his nation and refuses to step down in power – his water project after him would simply be used by the West to as a tool to weaken the Middle East and Africa more into debt to the West. So yes I agree Israel will rage war to control water as it serves their interest."
Libya: NATO hit the Libyan Great Man Made River BREGA 22 July 2011
BREGA , LIBYA, July 22 2011. A date for humanity to remember. NATO hit the Libyan water supply pipeline. It will take months to repair. Then on Saturday they hit the pipeline factory producing pipes to repair it. (Yet they have PLENTY of already made pipes to repair it if they wish...)
Leader Qaddafi Sends Message to Russia, China (2011/07/23)
Mathaba has learnt that the Leader of the Revolution sent a message on Friday to members of the UN Security Council who are not taking part in the aggression against Libya, notably Russia and China, regarding the NATO European terrorists targeting of the pipe factory of the great man made river in the city of Brega, where pipes are manufactured to compensate for damaged pipes of the river, the only source of drinking waters and irrigation for the people of Libya. The Libyan symbolic leader informed members of the Security Council in his message that the alliance decided to carry out mass murder against the Libyan people by targeting their only drinking water source, where billions were invested and without it life stops in Libya. He wondered what's the relation between this factory and the protection of civilians that NATO claims it is carrying out? The African leader said that the alliance is claiming to be protecting civilians in Libya by bombs, starvation and the hindering of life in general. He said that therefore civilians in Libya are in dire need for protection against the (NATO terrorist) alliance and he urged members of the (so-called UN security) council to bear international and moral responsibility as members of the Council, and to stop the NATO aggression against Libya which exceeded all descriptions. The world is watching China and Russia, which both failed to prevent the abuse of the so-called international laws by the white racist former colonial powers of Britain, France, other European neo-colonialists and the imperialist USA.
Washington's Response to a Failed Economy: More War
By Paul Craig Roberts -- July 28, 2011
As the second decade of the 21st century began, the US economy had not recovered from the Great Recession that began in December 2007.
The economy's failure to recover was despite the largest fiscal and monetary stimulus in the country's history. There was a $700 billion bank bailout, a $700 billion stimulus program, a couple of trillion in "quantitative easing," that is, in debt monetization or the printing of money to finance the government's expenditures. In addition the Federal Reserve's balance sheet had expanded by trillions of dollars as the Fed purchased troubled mortgage bonds and derivatives in its effort to keep the financial system solvent and functioning. According to the Government Accountability Office's audit of the Federal Reserve released by Senator Bernie Sanders, the Federal Reserve provided secret loans to US and foreign banks totaling $16.1 trillion, a sum larger than US Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Despite the enormous fiscal and monetary stimulus, the economy remained dead in the water.
In 2011 the deficit in the federal government's annual expenditures was 43 percent of the budget. In other words, the US government had to borrow, or the Fed had to monetize, 43 percent of federal expenditures during fiscal year 2011. Despite this unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, the economy did not recover.
At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the economy's decline was temporarily halted by federal subsidies for car and home purchases. The $8,000 housing subsidy helped newlyweds purchase starter homes as the subsidy was a big chunk of the down payment in a depressed housing market. The car purchase subsidy moved future demand into the present. When these subsidies expired, the economy's life support was turned off.
Problems with the statistical reporting of unemployment, inflation, and GDP disguised the worsening economy. Seasonal adjustments used to smooth the data over the course of the year were not designed for prolonged recession. Neither was the "birth-death" model used by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to estimate non-reported jobs from new start-up companies and losses from companies that have gone out of business. The birth-death model was designed for a growing economy and during downturns overestimates the number of new jobs created.
The "substitution effect" used in the consumer price index (CPI) underestimates inflation by assuming that consumers substitute cheaper foods for those that rise in price. For example, if the price of New York strip steak rises, this does not show up in the CPI, because of the assumption that people shift their purchases to a less expensive cut such as round steak.
Cooking the Books
The widely used "core inflation" measure does not include food or energy. Core inflation is a useful measure for those who want to put an optimistic spin on the outlook.
By underestimating inflation, the government can overestimate real GDP growth, thus creating a fictional rosy outlook. Similarly, by using the employment measure known as U.3, the government underestimates unemployment.
The "headline" unemployment rate, the one emphasized by the media and the financial press, stood at 9.2 percent in June, 2011. But this rate does not include any discouraged workers. A discouraged worker is a person who has ceased looking for a job, because there are no jobs to be found. A discouraged worker is not considered to be in the work force and is not counted among the U.3 unemployed. The federal government knows that this is phony and has a U.6 measure of unemployment that counts the short-term discouraged. This measure, seldom reported by the media, stood at 16.2 percent in June, 2011.
Statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com) continues to count also the long-term discouraged workers according to the way it was officially done in 1980. In June, 2011, this full measure of the US unemployment rate was 22.7 percent.
In other words, by 2011 between one-fifth and one-fourth of the US work force were without jobs.
As 2011 progressed, the United States faced three simultaneous economic crises. One crisis arose from the loss of US jobs, GDP, consumer income, and tax base caused by corporations off-shoring their production for the US market. Instead of making their products at home with American labor and providing Americans with jobs and states and localities with tax revenues, US corporations provided countries such as China, India, and Indonesia with GDP, jobs, consumer income and a tax base. This practice meant that economic stimulus was unable to revive the US economy as Americans cannot be called back to work jobs that have been moved abroad.
Another crisis was the financial crisis resulting from deregulation, fraud, and greed. Securitization of mortgages meant that issuers of mortgages no longer had any incentive to ascertain the credit worthiness of the borrower, because the issuers sold the mortgages to third parties who combined the mortgages with others and sold them to investors.
As mortgages were issued for fees, the more mortgages issued, the higher the income from fees. In order to collect fee income, some issuers faked credit reports for borrowers. With the housing market booming, many people took mortgages in order to make money on the resale of the properties. With housing prices rising rapidly, down payments and credit worthiness became concerns of the past. The financial crisis was made worse by the ability of investment banks to get around capital requirements and, thereby, leverage their equity by incurring enormous debt. When all the bubbles burst, the house of cards collapsed.
The third crisis was the $1.5+ trillion annual federal budget deficits, which were too large to be financed without the Federal Reserve buying the Treasury's new debt issues. Known as monetizing debt, the Federal Reserve purchased the Treasury's bills, notes, and bonds by creating a checking account, which the Treasury would then draw upon to pay the government's bills. The outpouring of Treasury debt raised concerns about the dollar's exchange value and role as reserve currency, and it raised fears of inflation. Gold and silver prices rose as the dollar declined in foreign exchange markets.
Any one of these crises was serious. All together, they implied economic Armageddon.
There was no obvious way out, but even if one could be found, the government was focused elsewhere -- on wars.
In addition to ongoing military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, the US and NATO began military operations against Libya on March 19, 2011. As with the existing wars, the real purpose of the aggression against Libya was not acknowledged, but it became clear that the war's purpose was to evict China from its oil investments in eastern Libya. Unlike the previous Arab protests, the Libyan rebellion was an armed uprising in which some saw the CIA's hand.
The Libyan war upped the risk, because although hiding behind the veil of Arab protest, the US was actually confronting China. Similarly, in the US-supported armed rebellion in Syria, Washington's target was the Russian naval base at Tartus. Overthrowing the Assad government in Syria and installing a US friendly regime would put paid to Russia's naval presence in the Mediterranean.
By hiding its purposes behind Arab protests in Libya and Syria that it might have initiated, Washington avoided face-to-face conflicts with China and Russia, but nevertheless the two powers understood that Washington was striking at their interests. This elevated the recklessness of Washington's aggressive policies by initiating confrontation with two nuclear powers, one of which held financial power over the US as America's largest foreign creditor.
China's oil investments in Angola and Nigeria were another target. To counter China's economic penetration of Africa, the US created the American African Command in the closing years of the first decade of the 21st century. Disturbed by China's rise, the US undertook to prevent China from having independent sources of energy. The great game that in the past has always led to war is being played out once again.
September 11, 2001, provided Washington with a new "threat" to replace the Soviet threat, which had expired in 1991. Despite the absence of the Soviet threat, the military/security budget had been kept alive for a decade. September 11, 2001, injected rapid growth into the military/security budget. A decade later the budget stood at approximately $1.1 trillion annually, or approximately 70 percent of the federal deficit which was crippling the dollar and threatening the US Treasury's credit rating.
Focused on Middle Eastern wars, Washington was losing the war for the US economy.
As the expectation of economic recovery evaporated over the course of 2011, the need for war became more imperative. (See Antiwar.com, "Sen. Graham 'Very Close' to War.")
Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S.
Who Owns John Boehner? The Corporations That Love The Grim Weeper! (July 28, 2011)
When the Koch Brothers call, it has been suggested that John Boehner will rush to pick up their dry cleaning or hurry to do the dirty dishes left in their sinks! The suggestion may not be far from the truth because Boehner and the Kochs have stood together through thick and thin. John Boehner, GOP Speaker of the House, third in line for succession to the Presidency of the United States, is very financially fit! Boehner is a multi-millionaire who, according to his financial disclosure forms owns stock in BP, Conoco Philips, Occidental, Chevron, Exxon-Mobil and other familiar corporations. But he does not just wash dishes for the Kochs; it is suggested that he washes dishes for all of the wealthiest corporations nationwide! Boehner owns shares in many corporations and thinks he is his own man, but the truth is that corporations own many shares of John Boehner. Over the years, Boehner has received many millions of dollars from industry. For the next campaign, Boehner has already raised almost $8 million dollars from industry and their PACs. The average Congressman has picked up less than a million. The top 20 industries that purchased shares of Boehner during the last campaign cycle (2009-2010 campaign season) are:Insurance $609,290 (who would a thunk it?)Securities & Investment $509,520 (nice!) Retired $394,649 (they must not need Medicare or Social Security)Electric Utilities $363,372 (NOT energy companies?) Lobbyists $353,814 (No Way!)Health Professionals $332,865 (They may want to protect their financial interests?) Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $329,350 (Think Boehner and Big Pharma want less regs?) Real Estate $285,400 (protect the mortgage companies?)Lawyers/Law Firms $264,050 (The ones that work for ALEC? policy or authors of laws?) Commercial Banks $237,750 (Think they want Boehner to come through on his promise to gut regulation and Consumer Protection?) Misc Manufacturing & Distributing $210,700 (again, Boehner supports the destruction of unions!)TV/Movies/Music $192,850 (someone help me on this one- no clue!)Republican/Conservative $187,345 (No surprise here!)Misc Finance $185,890 (gut Dodd-Frank!)Oil & Gas $184,650 (energy, again? Let's keep those subsidies!) Food & Beverage $170,825 (Coca-Cola also belongs to ALEC!)Retail Sales $169,700 (outlaw minimum wage?) General Contractors $144,450 (reduce regulations)Mining $135,450 (energy interests? Enough already!) Hospitals/Nursing Homes $133,350 (save our Medicare payments from being lowered) These statistics are supplied by the Center For Responsive Politics. Items in parentheses added by this author for companies and/or lobbyists that you may be unfamiliar with. Also according to The Center For Responsive Politics, Johnny's top twenty individual shareholders during the 2009-2010 campaign year were: CLIP
Bush vs. Obama on Spending: It's No Contest (July 27, 2011)
The No. 1 Republican talking point these days seems to be this: Profligate spending by President Barack Obama is the reason we face a debt-ceiling crisis.Any rational, reasonably well informed citizen should know that is not true. But prominent GOPers still chant it like a mantra. God only knows how many otherwise sane Americans are starting to believe it. That's why a chart in Monday's New York Times should be sent to every household in the US of A. It shows, in clear, indisputable numbers, that policy decisions by Republican president George W. Bush led to spending that dwarfs financial outlays under Obama. (See the chart at the end of this post.)In fact, the cost of just the Bush tax cuts ($1.8 trillion) exceeds the costs of all spending under Obama ($1.4 trillion). The final tally--$5.07 trillion of spending under Bush, $1.44 trillion under Obama. By the way, those figures for Obama are projections from 2009 to 2017. In other words, both presidents are being judged in eight-year time frames. And Bush "wins" the spending contest in a runaway.If my math is correct, spending under Bush was more than three times greater than that under Obama. Yet we still get bilge like this from the blog of U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA): "President Obama Refuses To Acknowledge That His Out Of Control Spending Sparked A Debt Crisis." CLIP
5 Reasons Why American Riots Will Be The Worst In The World
By Silver Shield -- August 10th, 2011
I wrote an article called 5 Places NOT To Be When The Dollar Collapses. In it I wrote that societies that benefited the most from the dollar would be the worst places to be when it fell apart.
While the dollar has not even collapsed yet, the strain in these areas is becoming more apparent. England is number 3 on the list has had 4 days of violent riots as people start to lose it. Israel is number 1 on that list has had massive protests. There is revolution in the air all over the world except in the US.
America is still in deep denial which is still the first stage of the Awakening. This denial will be wiped away when the dollar collapses. For now the economy is still functioning with food and fuel available. Americans still have the illusion of wealth and normalcy.
They still are stuck in the false left right paradigm and think some other sock puppet will turn things around.
When the dollar collapses, all American illusions will collapse with it. Deep denial will turn into deep anger. The violence I expect in the other 3 areas on the list and all urban areas in the US, will make all other global riots pale in comparison. America is deeply infused with arrogance, denial, narcissism, drugs and violence.
There is no other society that I know of that has the degree of intensity and combination of these factors.
"We're Number 1! We're Number 1!"
1. Arrogance - All of our lives we have been fed the lie that somehow we are better than everyone else. We believe this so much that we feel it is morally acceptable to stick our noses in everyone's business.
We have 777+ military bases all over the world. Our currency is the world's reserve currency. We control most international organizations like the UN, IMF and World Bank. We control the world's shipping lanes. Our media is the most popular and sought after propaganda in the world.
Our corporations harvest the resources that our empire provides. This has lead to an American way of life that is not negotiable. We print debt and consume.
This way of life was only possible by the very real and hard sacrifices made by Americans long dead. America today is nothing more than a spoiled brat blowing through the last of their inheritance. The only thing the US is number 1 in is spreading debt and death.
This American arrogance will be turned on to other Americans as the dollar collapses. We will no longer be able to maintain the global empire of force without a functioning currency. All of our troops will be forced to come home and we will no longer be able to import 25% of the world's oil.
This sudden shift will turn arrogant Americans on each other as they seek to enforce their inflated sense of self worth on to others. They will think that somehow the world somehow owes them something and they believe that lesser people should make that sacrifice for them.
After all, the American way of life is not negotiable… at least that's what Dick Cheney said.
"Everything is fine today, that is our illusion." -Voltaire
2. Denial - For those that aren't arrogant, they are in denial that somehow they are okay because they are good people. They believe that the America will recover and that the American Dream is still alive.
They believe this because they either lack the ability to logically see through the lies or they believe that the people ruling them have the same morals as they do. You cannot spread freedom with war. A nation cannot enforce their will on another nation anymore than you can enforce your will upon another.
There will always be blow back. Of course that is the plan of your rulers. They do not share the same values as you do. They seek to create chaos and division so that they can garner more power and profits.
"You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of reality." Ayn Rand
The dollar collapse will end the ability of the average American to deny their active or passive participation in the dominance of the world by spreading debt and death.
When people's entire life's savings are wiped away, they will wonder what their life has been all about. All of the missed times with their family and connections with others has been stained by the pursuit of material gains.
Only when everything is taken from them, will they start to see the real importance of life. Many will not be able to come to terms with this coming reality.
Those that are aware and prepared stand a great chance of making it through this paradigm shift and thrive. (Join the Sons of Liberty Academy.)
Why am I not happy?
3. Narcissism - The amount of narcissism in America is epidemic. The fascination with celebrities and their clothes consumes so many women. Men are addicted to worshiping sports figures.
We have this fear of competition and view others as enemies. This leads to shallow and transitory relationships. Americans consume their way into debt as they try to create an outer facade to hide a void in their vapid lives.
The Baby Boomer generation is known as the "Me" generation. Their obsessive pursuit for material possessions was matched by their embrace of debt. The dollar collapse is going to hit the Baby Boomers the hardest as they are forced to come to term with the trail of pain they have left in their wake.
Broken families and debt are just the tip of the iceberg. The war and debt machine they enabled and unleashed upon the world is a much harder reality they will have to deal with. The real problem is the sad fact that many of them will be too old to have a second chance on life.
4. Drugs - Millions of Americans turn to drugs to fill the void of true purpose in their lives. Instead of dealing with a past a hurt or seeking a higher purpose in their lives by helping others and using their natural talents to make a better world, people turn to drugs.
The worst kind of drugs are the ones that people believe are making them better. The powerful psychotropic drugs like Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) or more commonly known as anti-depressants. These drugs are extremely powerful and can cause psychotic breaks that lead to violence. Go to http://ssristories.com/ to see the list of nearly 4,300 cases of crime related to these drugs.
These stories include everything from the Virginia Tech shooting to the mom that drowned her 5 kids in the bathtub. I would say that these drugs are much more dangerous than guns, because they cause the people to break from reality and cause the violence.
I don't have time to go into the mass medication of America and the real reason why Marijuana is illegal, but I do want to warn everyone of one thing. Nearly 10% of the country or 27 million Americans are on these drugs. Knowing that there is only a one month supply in the system and the kind of psychotic breaks that will happen if people come off these drugs too fast, this is definitely not a good thing.
When the dollar collapses, we not only have to worry about the 7 to 10 day supply of food and fuel in the system, we really need to worry about the 1 in 10 Americans who are not going to be medicated while their world paradigm collapses. I can see it now, humanitarian airlifts dropping Zoloft and Lexapro from the sky…
5. Violence - Violence has been apart of our American culture since the beginning of our country. We have the most armed population and the highest crime rates in the world. The violence we will see in some parts of America could become as bad as the Reign of Terror from the French Revolution. I wrote the 2 Coming American Revolutions.
One Revolution will embrace founding fathers vision of Life , Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The other Revolution will be some collectivist vision of coercion and fear. Some parts of this country will confront the new post-dollar paradigm by embracing freedom and honest money. Others will try to hold onto power by becoming more tyrannical and finding enemies within their neighbors.
We are surrounded by violence and have been desensitized anti social behavior. Our movies and video games show the killing of others but rarely the consequences of those actions. Even other anti social behavior has been normalized. I even realized my favorite show of all time Seinfeld was all about normalizing anti social behavior.
The series finale was based on a man getting mugged and all 4 main characters not only not helping the man, but actually making fun of the man as he is violently robbed. This lack of empathy is at the root of our problems. So here we now have a society that not only cares only about themselves and their materialistic needs, we also have a society that no longer cares about other's feelings.
The American riots will be the worst the word has seen because of the amount of will be of arrogance, denial, narcissism, drugs and violence in our society. These factors are systemic and infect every level of society. I do fear that our nation is sick enough to unleash a series of false flag events to spread our violence even further.
This violent Anger phase in the 5 Stages of the Awakening will not last long and not happen in every part of America. There will be a few months of violence that will shake the faith in mankind. Those that live by the sword, will die by the sword. After the most violent are either killed, brought to justice or burnt out, we will enter in a societal depression as we try to come to terms with what has happened.
This period could last for years as we struggle with the loss of wealth and life.
I am hopeful that this collapse will actually be the beginning of something really great for mankind. A new paradigm not based on debt and death is a very real outcome of this collapse. With the collapse of the dollar, those that were lured into a senseless narcissistic consumer lifestyle will be forced to come to the understanding that instant gratification is not why we are put on this earth.
Those that were ill prepared for the collapse will start to ask questions, then they will seek answers, then they will want blood. The Elite that created, perpetuated and profited off of this paradigm will be running for cover as the world wakes up to what they have done. It will be nice to have consumerism, militarism and narcissism flushed away. (Read Resonate IV)
This collapse will not result in a One World Order. The Elite that are trying desperately make this happen will no longer be able to operate in secrecy. Their minions will lack any legitimacy with the people they rule. After all who is going to trust a President who says he did not see this coming when you and I can see it coming from miles away.
The result after a very violent Anger phase is going to be massive decentralization of power not more centralization of power. Local communities, cities counties and states will assert more power over the daily activities of our lives. Some will will slip into tyranny to make order out of chaos.
Others will attract the best and brightest by embracing freedom and honest money. The end result is a life where we can reach our highest and best self. How we get there is a rough road, but one I feel is easily traveled if you are aware and prepared.
Martial Law: Corporate Media Hints At Military Plans To Take On The American People During Domestic Civil Unrest (August 10, 2011)
As the United Kingdom continues to riot many have wondered how the United States would respond to a similar outbreak of riots whether caused by an economic collapse, widespread terror attacks, or some other catalyzing event. For those that are awake to the fact that the government was long ago taken over by elitist oligarchs, this question was answered years ago.It is public knowledge that the military is planning to take on the American people by declaring martial law and taking part in widespread arrests/gun confiscations. These plans have already been activated multiple times including during Hurricane Katrina and the Seattle WHO riots.For years we have begged the corporate media to cover these startling facts yet they have instead called us conspiracy theorists and possible domestic terrorists. Boy have the times changed! John Hudson, writing for the Atlantic Wire, has published an article about Operation Garden plot and an ominous tweet from White House corespondent Marc Ambinder." According to National Journal's White House correspondent Marc Ambinder the U.S. already has a game plan in place. "If what happened in London ever happened in the US, the military has plans - CONPLAN 3501 and 3502 - to suppress the 'insurrection," wrote Hudson. CONPLAN 3501 and 3502, or Operation Garden Plot, is a long ago declassified plan that calls for the use of the military, in violation of Posse Comitatus, against the American people. Garden Plot is a sub program of the infamous Rex84 which openly set up an unnamed number of detention camps in America.
(...) Unfortunately, the indicators of potential violence outlined by the military that would cause this unconstitutional plan to be acted upon are happening as we speak. The major question that comes to mind after reading this article is why all of a sudden has the corporate media started talking about Garden Plot and the military being used against the American people? The Department of Homeland Security has taken drastic steps to convince portions of the public, law enforcement, and Congress that everyday Americans are possible terrorists. As this training continues, the police and the military will gain more and more hatred of the American people at a time when they are needed to protect and serve the people the most. Taking a look at the public information that points to the military and police literally going against the citizens of this once great country can be overwhelming. The amount of information that is available and confirmed is more than enough to show the American people what will happen if a similar event to what is happening in London occurs in America. While it would take hundreds of pages to detail all the evidence that this is already happened and openly planned, we will lay out some of the more sinister occurrences and plans, specifically highlighting the more recent ones.
Last week, Navy Seals, Army, and local police took part in an urban warfare drill in the middle of the night over the skies of Boston. This included numerous black helicopters and the use of tactics that would only be used in a major city against it's population. This came as The Intel Hub was reporting dozens of suspicious military movements and black helicopters throughout the country. After 2 months of reports, Shepard Ambellas of The Intel Hub was invited onto Ground Zero Radio with Clyde Lewis on 101.fm in Portland. This two and a half hour discussion broke down ALL the movements we had reported in the last few months.In 2008, the military announced plans for a 20,000 strong force to operate inside the United States during an economic collapse or civil disturbance. These troops were set to finish training sometime in 2011.These plans lined up directly with a Rand Corporation Study that called for an internal police force to combat civil unrest. Days before the fraudulent debt ceiling compromise was passed, Fox News ran a report that reeked of predictive programming. The House apparently passed a rule called Martial Law! In the days after Hurricane Katrina, police and military took part in the widespread gun confiscation of dozens of law abiding citizens. The chilling words of the Mayor of New Orleans started the wide spread, illegal military and police gun confiscations. "No one will be able to be armed. We will take all weapons. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns."
As the military and police trampled the constitutional rights of the citizens in New Orleans, plans and on the job training for full scale martial law and gun confiscation throughout all of America took place.This included beating up legally armed old women and stealing priceless weapons from legal citizens trying to protect their homes! This America, is what will happen in our country if the London riots occur here. That's right, with absolutely no regard for the law, large scale confiscations took place yet researchers and independent journalists are still considered conspiracy theorists for saying that this happened and will happen again.Last year Jesse Ventura's show, Conspiracy Theory, aired a stunning hour long broadcast about FEMA camps and martial law. Even though this was one of the most popular episodes of the show it only aired once which some speculated was due to government censorship. This broadcast conclusively proved the existence of FEMA Camps and martial law to a national audience. Police State 4, The Rise Of FEMA methodically documents the existence of a network of FEMA camps, Homeland Security training for the camps, and a plethora of news reports, documents, and eyewitness accounts of the gearing up for a martial law takeover of America.Private corporations are also actively involved in building these detention camps in anticipation for what some call the New World Oder's endgame. "The shadowy design firm that was behind the infamous Hardin Montana jail is pushing to build detention camps across America, with the latest proposal centering around a fifty acre, five hundred bed facility in Italy, Texas, part of a program that many Americans fear is based around a plan to intern political dissidents in the event of a national emergency," wrote Paul Joseph Watson in May 2010. Again, this America, is what will happen in our country if the London riots occur here. CLIP
A REMARKABLE ARTICLE REVEALING THE SHADOWY WORLD OF SPECIAL OPERATION FORCES DEPLOYED IN 120 COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD AND SET TO BECOME AN EVER GROWING PLANETARY CANCER KILLING, MAIMING AND DESTROYING WITH RECKLESS ABANDON OUTSIDE ANY LEGAL BOUNDARIES AND WITHOUT ANY QUESTION ASKED, USING THE LATEST MILITARY HARDWARE TO SERVE THE INTERESTS OF A TINY ELITE CABAL CONTROLLING THE PENTAGON AND MOST OTHER MILITARY ESTABLISHMENTS AROUND THE WORLD, WITH THE NOTABLE EXCEPTION OF THE RUSSIAN AND CHINESE ONES... STILL ONE HAS TO MARVEL AT THE LEVEL OF SOPHISTICATION THESE WARRIORS HAVE REACHED. IF ONLY SUCH INGENUITY AND BRAVERY WAS APPLIED TO DOING GOOD AND SAVING PEOPLE INSTEAD OF PROTECTING AND EXPANDING THE HEGEMONY OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE WHILE ENSURING AN ENDLESS SUPPLY OF NEW ENEMIES TO FIGHT THROUGH KILLING AND TORTURING COUNTLESS INNOCENTS - OR "COLLATERAL DAMAGE" AS THEY SAY. (Many embedded links at the URL below)
Tomgram: Nick Turse, Uncovering the Military's Secret Military
Posted by Nick Turse - August 3, 2011.
In "Getting bin Laden," Nicholas Schmidle's New Yorker report on the assault on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, here's the money sentence, according to Noah Shachtman of Wired Magazine's Danger Room blog: "The Abbottabad raid was not DEVGRU's maiden venture into Pakistan, either. The team had surreptitiously entered the country on ten to twelve previous occasions, according to a special-operations officer who is deeply familiar with the bin Laden raid." DEVGRU is the acronym for the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, better known as SEAL Team Six (think "SEAL-mania"), the elite special operations outfit that killed bin Laden.
His assassination -- and Schmidle's piece makes clear that his capture was never an objective -- brought on a blitz of media coverage. But without reading that single, half-buried sentence, who knew that the same SEAL team had been dropped into Pakistan to do who knows what 10 to 12 times before the bin Laden mission happened? Not most Pakistanis, nor 99.99% of Americans, myself included. Keep in mind that this was only a team of 23 elite troops (plus a translator and a dog). But there are now about 20,000 full-time special operations types, at least 13,000 of them deployed somewhere abroad at this moment. In other words, we simply don't know the half of it. We probably don't know the tenth of it -- neither the breadth or number of their missions, nor the range of their targets. According to Schmidle again, on the day of the bin Laden raid, special operations forces in nearby Afghanistan conducted 12 other "night raids." Almost 2,000 of them have been carried out in the last couple of years.
These are staggering figures. And since we didn't know that U.S. special operations forces were secretly conducting Pakistan missions in such numbers, it might be worth asking what else we don't know. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, speaking to the press in 2002 about the lack of evidence linking Saddam Hussein's Iraq to the 9/11 attacks, made a famous (or infamous) distinction among "known knowns," (things we know we know), "known unknowns" (things we know we don't know), and "unknown unknowns" (things we don't know we don't know). How apt those "unknown unknowns" turn out to be when it comes to the ever-expanding special operations forces inside the U.S. military.
Think of them, in fact, as the unknown unknowns of twenty-first century American warfare. Fortunately, thanks to TomDispatch regular Nick Turse, we now have a far better idea of the size and scope of the global war being fought in our name by tens of thousands of secret warriors fighting "in the shadows." Tom
A Secret War in 120 Countries
The Pentagon's New Power Elite
By Nick Turse
Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you're done... for the day. Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret force within the U.S. military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world's countries. This new Pentagon power elite is waging a global war whose size and scope has never been revealed, until now.
After a U.S. Navy SEAL put a bullet in Osama bin Laden's chest and another in his head, one of the most secretive black-ops units in the American military suddenly found its mission in the public spotlight. It was atypical. While it's well known that U.S. Special Operations forces are deployed in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, and it's increasingly apparent that such units operate in murkier conflict zones like Yemen and Somalia, the full extent of their worldwide war has remained deeply in the shadows.
Last year, Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post reported that U.S. Special Operations forces were deployed in 75 countries, up from 60 at the end of the Bush presidency. By the end of this year, U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told me, that number will likely reach 120. "We do a lot of traveling -- a lot more than Afghanistan or Iraq," he said recently. This global presence -- in about 60% of the world's nations and far larger than previously acknowledged -- provides striking new evidence of a rising clandestine Pentagon power elite waging a secret war in all corners of the world.
The Rise of the Military's Secret Military
Born of a failed 1980 raid to rescue American hostages in Iran, in which eight U.S. service members died, U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) was established in 1987. Having spent the post-Vietnam years distrusted and starved for money by the regular military, special operations forces suddenly had a single home, a stable budget, and a four-star commander as their advocate. Since then, SOCOM has grown into a combined force of startling proportions. Made up of units from all the service branches, including the Army's "Green Berets" and Rangers, Navy SEALs, Air Force Air Commandos, and Marine Corps Special Operations teams, in addition to specialized helicopter crews, boat teams, civil affairs personnel, para-rescuemen, and even battlefield air-traffic controllers and special operations weathermen, SOCOM carries out the United States' most specialized and secret missions. These include assassinations, counterterrorist raids, long-range reconnaissance, intelligence analysis, foreign troop training, and weapons of mass destruction counter-proliferation operations.
One of its key components is the Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC, a clandestine sub-command whose primary mission is tracking and killing suspected terrorists. Reporting to the president and acting under his authority, JSOC maintains a global hit list that includes American citizens. It has been operating an extra-legal "kill/capture" campaign that John Nagl, a past counterinsurgency adviser to four-star general and soon-to-be CIA Director David Petraeus, calls "an almost industrial-scale counterterrorism killing machine."
This assassination program has been carried out by commando units like the Navy SEALs and the Army's Delta Force as well as via drone strikes as part of covert wars in which the CIA is also involved in countries like Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen. In addition, the command operates a network of secret prisons, perhaps as many as 20 black sites in Afghanistan alone, used for interrogating high-value targets.
From a force of about 37,000 in the early 1990s, Special Operations Command personnel have grown to almost 60,000, about a third of whom are career members of SOCOM; the rest have other military occupational specialties, but periodically cycle through the command. Growth has been exponential since September 11, 2001, as SOCOM's baseline budget almost tripled from $2.3 billion to $6.3 billion. If you add in funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has actually more than quadrupled to $9.8 billion in these years. Not surprisingly, the number of its personnel deployed abroad has also jumped four-fold. Further increases, and expanded operations, are on the horizon.
Lieutenant General Dennis Hejlik, the former head of the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command -- the last of the service branches to be incorporated into SOCOM in 2006 -- indicated, for instance, that he foresees a doubling of his former unit of 2,600. "I see them as a force someday of about 5,000, like equivalent to the number of SEALs that we have on the battlefield. Between [5,000] and 6,000," he said at a June breakfast with defense reporters in Washington. Long-term plans already call for the force to increase by 1,000.
During his recent Senate confirmation hearings, Navy Vice Admiral William McRaven, the incoming SOCOM chief and outgoing head of JSOC (which he commanded during the bin Laden raid) endorsed a steady manpower growth rate of 3% to 5% a year, while also making a pitch for even more resources, including additional drones and the construction of new special operations facilities.
A former SEAL who still sometimes accompanies troops into the field, McRaven expressed a belief that, as conventional forces are drawn down in Afghanistan, special ops troops will take on an ever greater role. Iraq, he added, would benefit if elite U.S forces continued to conduct missions there past the December 2011 deadline for a total American troop withdrawal. He also assured the Senate Armed Services Committee that "as a former JSOC commander, I can tell you we were looking very hard at Yemen and at Somalia."
During a speech at the National Defense Industrial Association's annual Special Operations and Low-intensity Conflict Symposium earlier this year, Navy Admiral Eric Olson, the outgoing chief of Special Operations Command, pointed to a composite satellite image of the world at night. Before September 11, 2001, the lit portions of the planet -- mostly the industrialized nations of the global north -- were considered the key areas. "But the world changed over the last decade," he said. "Our strategic focus has shifted largely to the south... certainly within the special operations community, as we deal with the emerging threats from the places where the lights aren't."
To that end, Olson launched "Project Lawrence," an effort to increase cultural proficiencies -- like advanced language training and better knowledge of local history and customs -- for overseas operations. The program is, of course, named after the British officer, Thomas Edward Lawrence (better known as "Lawrence of Arabia"), who teamed up with Arab fighters to wage a guerrilla war in the Middle East during World War I. Mentioning Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mali, and Indonesia, Olson added that SOCOM now needed "Lawrences of Wherever."
While Olson made reference to only 51 countries of top concern to SOCOM, Col. Nye told me that on any given day, Special Operations forces are deployed in approximately 70 nations around the world. All of them, he hastened to add, at the request of the host government. According to testimony by Olson before the House Armed Services Committee earlier this year, approximately 85% of special operations troops deployed overseas are in 20 countries in the CENTCOM area of operations in the Greater Middle East: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Yemen. The others are scattered across the globe from South America to Southeast Asia, some in small numbers, others as larger contingents.
Special Operations Command won't disclose exactly which countries its forces operate in. "We're obviously going to have some places where it's not advantageous for us to list where we're at," says Nye. "Not all host nations want it known, for whatever reasons they have -- it may be internal, it may be regional."
But it's no secret (or at least a poorly kept one) that so-called black special operations troops, like the SEALs and Delta Force, are conducting kill/capture missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen, while "white" forces like the Green Berets and Rangers are training indigenous partners as part of a worldwide secret war against al-Qaeda and other militant groups. In the Philippines, for instance, the U.S. spends $50 million a year on a 600-person contingent of Army Special Operations forces, Navy Seals, Air Force special operators, and others that carries out counterterrorist operations with Filipino allies against insurgent groups like Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf.
Last year, as an analysis of SOCOM documents, open-source Pentagon information, and a database of Special Operations missions compiled by investigative journalist Tara McKelvey (for the Medill School of Journalism's National Security Journalism Initiative) reveals, America's most elite troops carried out joint-training exercises in Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Germany, Indonesia, Mali, Norway, Panama, and Poland. So far in 2011, similar training missions have been conducted in the Dominican Republic, Jordan, Romania, Senegal, South Korea, and Thailand, among other nations. In reality, Nye told me, training actually went on in almost every nation where Special Operations forces are deployed. "Of the 120 countries we visit by the end of the year, I would say the vast majority are training exercises in one fashion or another. They would be classified as training exercises."
The Pentagon's Power Elite
Once the neglected stepchildren of the military establishment, Special Operations forces have been growing exponentially not just in size and budget, but also in power and influence. Since 2002, SOCOM has been authorized to create its own Joint Task Forces -- like Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines -- a prerogative normally limited to larger combatant commands like CENTCOM. This year, without much fanfare, SOCOM also established its own Joint Acquisition Task Force, a cadre of equipment designers and acquisition specialists.
With control over budgeting, training, and equipping its force, powers usually reserved for departments (like the Department of the Army or the Department of the Navy), dedicated dollars in every Defense Department budget, and influential advocates in Congress, SOCOM is by now an exceptionally powerful player at the Pentagon. With real clout, it can win bureaucratic battles, purchase cutting-edge technology, and pursue fringe research like electronically beaming messages into people's heads or developing stealth-like cloaking technologies for ground troops. Since 2001, SOCOM's prime contracts awarded to small businesses -- those that generally produce specialty equipment and weapons -- have jumped six-fold.
Headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, but operating out of theater commands spread out around the globe, including Hawaii, Germany, and South Korea, and active in the majority of countries on the planet, Special Operations Command is now a force unto itself. As outgoing SOCOM chief Olson put it earlier this year, SOCOM "is a microcosm of the Department of Defense, with ground, air, and maritime components, a global presence, and authorities and responsibilities that mirror the Military Departments, Military Services, and Defense Agencies."
Tasked to coordinate all Pentagon planning against global terrorism networks and, as a result, closely connected to other government agencies, foreign militaries, and intelligence services, and armed with a vast inventory of stealthy helicopters, manned fixed-wing aircraft, heavily-armed drones, high-tech guns-a-go-go speedboats, specialized Humvees and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, or MRAPs, as well as other state-of-the-art gear (with more on the way), SOCOM represents something new in the military. Whereas the late scholar of militarism Chalmers Johnson used to refer to the CIA as "the president's private army," today JSOC performs that role, acting as the chief executive's private assassination squad, and its parent, SOCOM, functions as a new Pentagon power-elite, a secret military within the military possessing domestic power and global reach.
In 120 countries across the globe, troops from Special Operations Command carry out their secret war of high-profile assassinations, low-level targeted killings, capture/kidnap operations, kick-down-the-door night raids, joint operations with foreign forces, and training missions with indigenous partners as part of a shadowy conflict unknown to most Americans. Once "special" for being small, lean, outsider outfits, today they are special for their power, access, influence, and aura.
That aura now benefits from a well-honed public relations campaign which helps them project a superhuman image at home and abroad, even while many of their actual activities remain in the ever-widening shadows. Typical of the vision they are pushing was this statement from Admiral Olson: "I am convinced that the forces… are the most culturally attuned partners, the most lethal hunter-killers, and most responsive, agile, innovative, and efficiently effective advisors, trainers, problem-solvers, and warriors that any nation has to offer."
Recently at the Aspen Institute's Security Forum, Olson offered up similarly gilded comments and some misleading information, too, claiming that U.S. Special Operations forces were operating in just 65 countries and engaged in combat in only two of them. When asked about drone strikes in Pakistan, he reportedly replied, "Are you talking about unattributed explosions?"
What he did let slip, however, was telling. He noted, for instance, that black operations like the bin Laden mission, with commandos conducting heliborne night raids, were now exceptionally common. A dozen or so are conducted every night, he said. Perhaps most illuminating, however, was an offhand remark about the size of SOCOM. Right now, he emphasized, U.S. Special Operations forces were approximately as large as Canada's entire active duty military. In fact, the force is larger than the active duty militaries of many of the nations where America's elite troops now operate each year, and it's only set to grow larger.
Americans have yet to grapple with what it means to have a "special" force this large, this active, and this secret -- and they are unlikely to begin to do so until more information is available. It just won't be coming from Olson or his troops. "Our access [to foreign countries] depends on our ability to not talk about it," he said in response to questions about SOCOM's secrecy. When missions are subject to scrutiny like the bin Laden raid, he said, the elite troops object. The military's secret military, said Olson, wants "to get back into the shadows and do what they came in to do."
Nick Turse is a historian, essayist, and investigative journalist. The associate editor of TomDispatch.com and a new senior editor at Alternet.org, his latest book is The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Verso Books). This article is a collaboration between Alternet.org and TomDispatch.com.
Can non-violent struggle bring down Syria's Assad?
By Hugo Dixon -- August 1, 2011
It was 2006. A young Syrian called Ausama Monajed was on a train to London. One of his hobbies was reading e-books. On this trip, he picked Gene Sharp's From Dictatorship to Democracy, which maps out strategies for using non-violent struggle to bring down repressive regimes.
Monajed, now one of the revolution's leaders outside the country, became engrossed. "It was as if I was reading an exact description of Syria," Monajed told Reuters Breakingviews. The next thing he noticed was a conductor tapping him on the shoulder. The train had arrived at its terminus in Euston Station. "He asked me if I wanted to return where I'd come from."
Sharp, who was inspired by India's Mohandas Gandhi and who himself influenced some of the activists behind the Egyptian revolution, stresses that a dictator's power isn't monolithic. It relies on the army, police, civil service, business and, indeed, the wider society just to function. Activists should therefore analyze those pillars of support and systematically undermine them.
The best way to do this is not to fight dictators with their own weapons -- matching violence with violence in a struggle they are likely to lose - but to use non-violent tactics. It is much harder for the security forces to kill unarmed civilians than those who fire back at you. The more brutally the regime represses them, the shakier its pillars of support become. Eventually, the violence boomerangs on the regime and destroys it.
Sharp makes clear that non-violent struggles normally don't succeed through spontaneous combustion. They need planning and training. Most importantly, it is vital to maintain nonviolent discipline - which isn't easy when activists are being killed, tortured and detained.
Monajed, now 31, was smitten. An economist by training, he had hoped that Syria's president Bashar al-Assad would be a reformer when he succeeded his father Hafez Assad, who died in 2000.
Monajed worked for the United National Development Programme and then the European Commission on development programs inside Syria. But then he became disillusioned and joined the opposition. After being arrested several times, Monajed quit the country in 2005 and has never returned.
He says he has become one of the regime's most wanted people after writing an article in the Washington Post this April. This said the U.S. government had several years ago funded Barada TV, a London-based channel beaming anti-regime programming into Syria which he had helped establish.
After coming across Sharp's work, Monajed studied previous nonviolent revolutions, especially the Serbs' overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. He went to see Sharp, now an 83-year-old academic, in Boston. He also wrote a master's degree dissertation on the role of the internet and information technology in non-violent struggle with a focus on Syria.
In 2007 Monajed organized a meeting with some disaffected Syrian friends in London. He says it is too risky to reveal their names. They decided to get trained in the techniques of nonviolent struggle and use that as the basis for training others. "We brought Syrians out of the country and trained them in nonviolent techniques," Monajed says. "The idea was to train leaders and send them back to train others."
They found it hard to recruit volunteers. They were told nonviolent struggle wouldn't work in Syria because of religious and geopolitical factors. In the end, they managed to train around 100 people.
Then came the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. The whole Middle East was electrified. Syrians began to think they too might get their freedom. People contacted Monajed's group, saying that now they understood what it was advocating.
Virtual operation center
The first protest took place on March 15 in the Hamidiyeh bazaar in the heart of old Damascus. They chose Hamidiyeh because it is a covered market. There were only about 40 protesters but their chants, calling for freedom, echoed off the iron roof making it seem like there were more. Because the bazaar was crowded, it was hard to distinguish who was a protestor and who was just an onlooker -- again exaggerating their numbers.
The next protests took place spontaneously in Deraa, near the border with Jordan, after 15 school children had been arrested for scrawling anti-regime graffiti on walls. These protests were much bigger, with thousands eventually taking part. The security services fired on unarmed civilians. The killing began in earnest.
After that, protests started mushrooming around the country. Facebook pages were created; people communicated via Twitter; protesters took video clips with their mobile phones and posted them on YouTube. Everything was happening faster than Monajed and his colleagues had imagined. Most of the protests had nothing to do with them. The challenge was how to put some order into the revolution.
An early priority was to set up a "virtual operation center," staffed by dozens of volunteers outside the country, feeding what was happening on the ground to the world outside. Most foreign journalists were quickly kicked out of the country, including one Reuters journalist who was beaten up by the secret police, so it was important to get information out to the international media. Many of the most popular internet pages were coordinated through a new body, The Coalition of Syrian Pages.
On the ground, "local coordinating committees" started emerging in different neighborhoods. They organize campaigns, raise money to cover living costs of the families of those who had been killed or detained, and help communicate what is happening in their area.
Pillars of support
The Coalition of Syrian Pages has gradually taken a bigger role in coordinating activity. It consists of about 20-25 people, some inside the country and some abroad. Monajed won't reveal their names. "The authorities don't know who all the members of the Coalition are or where they are," he explains.
One of the current priorities is to have a strategic plan that includes action on the ground and international lobbying for things like an oil embargo. This has involved coordinating the work of the activists, most of whom are young, with the traditional cohort of opposition made up of politicians, lawyers and human rights campaigners, many of whom signed the anti-regime Damascus Declaration in 2005.
"Initially there wasn't a plan; just an idea of demonstrating until the regime falls," says Monajed. "Now, with the Coalition, we are trying to guide the effort in a strategic manner to knock down the [regime's] pillars of support."
A particularly sensitive issue, which didn't exist in either Egypt or Tunisia, is the potential for sectarian conflict. Assad is an Alawite, a minority Shi'ite Muslim sect. Many of the top positions in government, the military and business are also held by Alawites. But most of the population is Sunni Muslim.
Given this background, the regime's four main pillars of support in order of importance, according to Monajed, are: the security forces including secret police; the Alawites; army generals, especially those who are Alawite; and the Sunni business elite, many of whom have prospered since Assad partly liberalised the economy.
In order to knock down these pillars, it is essential to keep the campaign peaceful, says Monajed. "People don't want a Libyanisation of the situation," he says, referring to the civil war across the Mediterranean Sea.
So demonstrators give roses to the army and don't insult them in their chants. The underlying message they are trying to send to the top generals is: "We differentiate between you and the security service." Some soldiers have mutinied after being ordered to kill unarmed protesters.
The message to the Alawites is that they are being held hostage by the Assad regime -- and it can't be in their interests to engage in a war of elimination. The protesters have used chants stressing the unity between Sunni, Alawites and Christians (another minority) and called on Alawite and Christian generals to lead the transition to democracy.
Despite this, there are signs of sectarian violence. There has already been at least one case of a group of Alawites being killed - in retaliation for a Sunni elder being killed and cut into pieces, according to Monajed. That, in turn, provoked a ferocious backlash against Sunnis in the city of Homs.
Meanwhile, the message to the business community is that they won't continue to prosper under Assad. The Syrian pound has fallen on the black market, tourism is dead, consumer demand has been thwacked and the economy is shrinking.
What about the secret police? This is the toughest part of the regime to crack, according to Monajed. He doesn't have a simple message for them. Rather, he predicts that, as the revolution goes on, the regime will get tired and exhausted. The top generals may then liaise with Alawite leaders, arrest Assad and the top security chiefs, and form a transitional council with members from all parts of the community.
Tactics and counter-tactics
While strategizing is important, nothing will happen without action on the ground. Although protests have been the most visible tactic, they are not the only method being deployed.
There are low-risk tactics for those who don't want to go on protests where they could get killed. One is to release "freedom balloons" at a specific time in a particular city, to give people courage that they are not alone. Another is to open their windows at night time and play revolutionary rap songs.
Activists have drawn up "lists of shame" of businesses, actors, intellectuals, imams and priests who are considered too close to the regime. These are used to determine boycotts and strikes. Campaigners have also produced lists of government informers, according to the Financial Times. Their aim is to put pressure on them and isolate them. However, there are also reports of at least two informers being killed.
The Assad regime has been far from idle. As of last week, 1,634 civilians had been killed, according to Avaaz, the human rights group. Then on Sunday tanks were sent into the central Syrian city of Hama, in what looks like an attempt to break the protesters' morale before the holy month of Ramadan, which has now started. Demonstrations have been particularly big on Fridays after people have gathered to pray in mosques. Some protesters have been saying that Ramadan could be like a month of Fridays.
As the regime's violence ramps up, it would be natural for the protesters either to lose courage or to take up arms themselves. The challenge for Monajed's group will be to ensure that neither happens. If they succeed, they will then have a chance to witness whether a nonviolent struggle can really bring a brutal regime tumbling down.
Related videos and articles:
Syrian anger in response to government crackdown (0:54) (Aug 3, 2011)
Amateur video purports to show massive protests throughout Syria after a government crackdown left 137 people dead since Sunday.
Tanks continue assault on Hama
Tank assault on central Hama kills 45: activist (August 3, 2011)
At least 45 civilians were killed on Wednesday in a tank assault by Syrian government troops to occupy the center of Hama, an activist who managed to leave the besieged city told Reuters on Thursday. Forty people were killed by heavy machinegun fire and shelling by tanks in al-Hader district north of the Orontes river, said the activist, who gave his name as Thaer. Residents earlier said tanks advanced into central Hama on Wednesday and occupied the main square, the site of some of the largest protests against President Bashar al-Assad in a four-month uprising.
U.N. council statement condemns use of force by Syria (August 3, 2011)
In its first substantive action on Syria's five-month-old uprising, the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday overcame deep divisions and condemned Damascus' bloody crackdown on civilian protesters. The only dissenter in the council was Lebanon, where Syrian influence is strong. Beirut disassociated itself from a formal statement, agreed by the other 14 members, that backers said helped to isolate the Syrian leadership. The statement, read out to a council meeting by Indian Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, this month's president of the body, "condemns widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities." The document, agreed after three days of hard bargaining instead of a full council resolution that the West would have preferred, urged Damascus to fully respect human rights and comply with its obligations under international law.It called for "an immediate end to all violence and urges all sides to act with utmost restraint, and to refrain from reprisals, including attacks against state institutions." That phrase was a gesture to Russia and other countries that had called for a balanced statement that would apportion to blame to both sides for the violence in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. Syria says it faces opposition by armed extremists.
(...) The statement ends weeks of frustration for Western nations, which had faced a threatened veto of their resolution by Russia and China and had been unable to persuade temporary council members Brazil, India and South Africa to support it. Russia had argued that it did not want a repeat of a March 17 council resolution on Libya that was cited by Western countries as justification for air strikes on the forces of leader Muammar Gaddafi. Moscow said that was an abuse of the terms of the resolution.The bloodshed in Hama appeared to have broken the logjam in the council, diplomats said. The agreeing of the statement signaled limits to Russia's backing for Damascus as the death toll in Syria passes 1,600, according to rights activists. The statement contains no provision for sanctions or other punitive measures against Syria, nor does it call for a referral of Syrian leaders to the International Criminal Court, as some human rights groups have demanded. The only future action provided for is a request to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report back to the council within seven days on the situation in Syria. It does not specify what follow-up there might be to his report. British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, however, said the Security Council "will continue to watch the situation closely and to consider further action as necessary ... So, we expect to see a change in the approach of the Syrian regime."
NATO plans campaign in Syria, tightens noose around Iran - Rogozin (05/08/2011)
NATO is planning a military campaign against Syria to help overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad with a long-reaching goal of preparing a beachhead for an attack on Iran, Russia's envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said. The UN Security Council condemned on Wednesday ongoing violence in Syria and urged the country's authorities to stop using force against peaceful protesters, while saying the current situation in the country has not yet called for NATO interference." [This statement] means that the planning [of the military campaign] is well underway. It could be a logical conclusion of those military and propaganda operations, which have been carried out by certain Western countries against North Africa," Rogozin said in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper published on Friday. The Russian diplomat pointed out at the fact that the alliance is aiming to interfere only with the regimes "whose views do not coincide with those of the West." Rogozin agreed with the opinion expressed by some experts that Syria and later Yemen could be NATO's last steps on the way to launch an attack on Iran. "The noose around Iran is tightening. Military planning against Iran is underway. And we are certainly concerned about an escalation of a large-scale war in this huge region," Rogozin said. Having learned the Libyan lesson, Russia "will continue to oppose a forcible resolution of the situation in Syria," he said, adding that the consequences of a large-scale conflict in North Africa would be devastating for the whole world.
Afghanistan's Innocent Victims
U.S. drone strikes continue to leave a trail of devastated families and communities in their wake
By Mary Meehan -- August 4, 2011
I used to think of Vice President Joseph Biden as a nice guy. Good old Joe. Down-to-earth, nice sense of humor, great family man. But last year I read the Bob Woodward book on "Obama's Wars." His account of Mr. Biden's meeting with Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai in January 2009, was a shocker. Mr. Biden was rude and arrogant, humiliating the Afghan leader before his own cabinet ministers.
He also complained about Mr. Karzai's public protest over civilian casualties from American bombing in his country. According to Mr. Woodward, "Karzai's tone sharpened. Civilian casualties were a public matter. The Americans seemed to believe the death of, say, 30 Afghan villagers was insignificant." Mr. Biden finally suggested the U.S. "can and will do a better job on this." Then he threatened, "But if you don't want us, we're happy to leave. Just tell us."
Mr. Karzai continues to protest bombing of civilians. Mr. Biden and his boss, President Barack Obama, would do the same — and a great deal more — if an allied nation were bombing American homes in "targeted killing" efforts.
Much U.S. surveillance and bombing is done by unmanned planes, also called drones. Close study of news reports suggests that the drones' accuracy has been highly exaggerated. But the Hellfire missiles they send into civilian homes are well-named; they do make each house they strike a hell on earth. Some family members are blown to pieces; others receive severe wounds that may lead to lifetime suffering. Some adult survivors, after recovery, still cannot work. In this way, one of the poorest countries in the world becomes even poorer.
In December 2001, a Washington Post reporter described children who were severely wounded by early and mistaken U.S. bombing of just one area near Tora Bora. Casualties included Noor Mohammed, 10 years old, who "lost both eyes and both arms." An 8-year-old boy with head injuries was in a coma and had a poor prognosis. Twin toddlers, both injured, did not yet know that their father had been killed. The hospital where the children were treated had taken in 71 bombing victims of various ages. About half apparently were brought in dead or dying. (There have been many similar casualties from U.S. bombings in Iraq and Pakistan.)
Nearly 10 years later, little had changed. In February 2010, relying on highly inaccurate reporting from drone operators in the U.S., a helicopter crew fired missiles and rockets at a pickup truck and two SUVs in southern Afghanistan. The strike killed 23 civilians — men, women, and children — and wounded 12 others. According to The New York Times, a U.S. report found that drone operators, working from an Air Force base in Nevada, had "tracked the convoy for 31/2 hours, but failed to notice any of the women who were riding along." U.S. intelligence analysts, watching a video feed from the drone, had sent two warnings "that children were visible." Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, then-U.S. commander in Afghanistan, reprimanded four officers over the incident and asked Air Force leaders to investigate the drone operators. They had "reported seeing only military-age men in the truck." This raises another question, one the Times didn't address: Are all Afghan men of military age considered fair game for U.S. attacks?
U.S. attack planes, drones and gunships have killed Afghans in homes and wedding parties. They have killed civilians trying to flee dangerous areas, men collecting scrap metal for sale, and boys gathering firewood for their families. In Nangarhar province in 2008, a U.S. plane bombed a bridal procession three times, killing the bride and 46 other people. Hajj Khan, an elderly man who survived, had been holding his grandson's hand as they walked toward the groom's village. According to a British paper, the Guardian, a bomb strike threw Mr. Khan to the ground. When he opened his eyes, he said, "I was still holding my grandson's hand but the rest of him was gone. I looked around and saw pieces of bodies everywhere."
If drone surveillance were as accurate as claimed, it would pick up the large presence of women and children at weddings. Another problem is that computer operators in the U.S, running drones in Afghanistan, may assume that men collecting scrap metal, or boys gathering firewood, are actually Taliban fighters who are planting roadside bombs. But they have no right to assume that. Nor do they have a right to bomb a home — which is likely to contain women, children, and old people — because they suspect one or more insurgents are there. Such bombing is much like the terrorist tactics we claim to oppose.
The U.S. and its allies also kill innocent civilians in other countries. According to an Associated Press report in the Seattle Times, a toddler named Sirajuddin al-Sweisi was an early casualty of NATO bombing in Libya. "We took him to the hospital where they treated him for the burns and some broken bones," his uncle said last March. "But by nightfall he was dead."
Vice President Biden has been a terrific father and grandfather. President Barack Obama is also devoted to his family; his children's smiles, he once said, "fill my heart and light up my day." So I wonder: Can these powerful men put their enthusiasm for bombing on hold for a while? Long enough to think about what it does to other people's families?
AND THE CHERRY ON THE SUNDAY...
From: Larry Stell (email@example.com)
Subject: Earth Changes Bulletin Weekly Update As Of August 8, 2011
Date: 9 Aug 2011
This man always sees through the hubbub. Read some truth for a change.
From: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">Michael Mandeville
Oh what fun we will have today, rofling all the way.
I am in a very good mood today, the heat is down somewhat and my faith in the essential absurdity of the human condition has been greatly confirmed by this week's antics on, about, or on behalf of the Caballeros.
We must, we must, oh we must indeed increase the debt ceiling by August 3 or the markets will come crashing down and a great economic catastrophe will unfold. So sung all the pundits in all the various highways and byways of the mass media, especially by the rather obstinately stupid Warcasters.
And so it was the debt ceiling was increased and a Junta of 13 people have been defined into existence to control the US government and the spending allowances of its vast and various tentacles.
How grand, how grand they all exclaimed!
And then the markets promptly crashed and are still crashing as of this moment, international financial circles are in a panic and are beginning to act rather like firemen at a five alarm fire.
Did YOU miss something? No, you got it right. An amazing power grab (which the bullshitters call a Super Congress) was undertaken to avert exactly what has just been created by the invisible hand of the so-called market. Actually, we know better. It was the fairies.
Amazing!!! A non-existent crisis was crooned up in a planetwide "media event" to be a looming economic disaster, a power grab of absolute control over U.S. spending (down OR UP for purposes of national stability and security) was instituted by the Caballeros to head off the looming disaster and then profound economic reactions promptly unfolded which will fairly soon force the Oy-bummer Junta to use its powers, cloaked with full drag secrecy, to resolve the problems which the reactions are causing.
As Franklyn Delano Roosevelt frankly admitted, there are no coincidences in politics. If you are smelling a rat, you are probably smelling the same rat which pulled off the Federal Reserve Caper under the Wilson Administration from 1913 onwards. Seemingly, this latest caper is the essence of the same type of elite power grab, but this time the entire government is being monopolized by 13 selected quislings (deja vu of the Fed) who will rule by Presidential Diktats, written in hidden offices by hidden forces. Object, defacto privatization of the government by the Cabal's orcs directly under the Malefic Eye of the one who seeks the one ring which rules them all.
Surely they jest! And surely my rhetoric is grossly exaggerated. This hit and run false flag terrorist operation has about zero chance of succeeding. Which is why I laugh and I am in such a good mood. Their overreach has turned these clowns into a bunch of stumbling bumbling buffoons.
To be sure, some corruptions will occur in greater number for a little while longer, some good things will be blocked for a little while longer, some really atrocious things will be given freer reign for little while longer, but only some and not for long. The Caballeros‚ remaining time numbers less than six.
Meanwhile they're rioting in London over arrogant police stupidity and their over-the-top dominance routines. And the riots continue and spread in England, go check this out:
It is amazing how the news articles invent an endless litany of diversions about what these riots are about. The editors are working overtime to turn this into the wanton violence of uncivilized "niggers" who can't help themselves. (no, it's not racist to use this word to illustrate a point about how bigots think) Even so, buried in these articles is the essential reason: people in the hood believe a cop killed a man in cold blood and, being sick and tired of police dominance routines, lies, and other provocations, the neighborhood is spontaneously kicking ass in a rampage of emotional release.
Frankly, the world needs a lot more emotional release and you can be absolutely certain that it's coming.
Meanwhile in Libya, the truth is coming out amazingly clear. When Qaddafi described the rebels in Miserata as being CIA al Qaeda thugs, which received a wall of derisive laughter in the Western media, he was telling the truth. That's right, Qaddafi was telling the truth while the Western media, THE Warcast media of NBC, ABC, Fox, CBS, CNN, and the New York Times were all telling lies. And now the truth is plain to see. We can see it now because of their deeds: a freeforall of violence against westernized women and of piracy against westernized men. Meanwhile with the jets overhead systematically bombing Libya's infrastructure with growing numbers of civilian casualties, NATO has confirmed itself as being as fully culpable of mass atrocities as the United States. This Imperial mission took less than a month to evolve far beyond its rigorously defined goals to transmogrify into blatant acts aimed at the systematic destruction of the modern nation of Libya. After four months of progression the sordid truth is becoming another nauseating stench which arises to the heavens from Tripoli to the Khyber pass. Oy-bummer!, such a murderous White House.
Whatever, Qaddafi will continue to survive, he has already become Africa's Che Guevara, the Yiddified West has completely lost the propaganda war against him. He has the overwhelming majority support of the Libyan people. Now operating as an underground guerrilla leader, in all likelihood he will deliver the first defeat in this generation to the Anglo Yiddish Empire and its American stooges. If the Caballeros do not halt their violence against the Libyan people soon, Che Qaddafi may become instrumental in wider insurrections to come in Egypt, Yemen, the Gulf State, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia against the Evil Empire of pretender Feudal Lords who in this generation wear the clothing of banksters, plutocrats, royalty, and statesman who rise from the carefully trained ranks of public quislings.
Like Israel, these whales are beached, they have become easy to see. But most of the crowded beach hasn't quite caught on yet. Too many distractions. But the onlookers who are standing around watching the futile motions of the whales are getting what's happening and are starting to pass the word up and down the beach.
It's just a matter of time. You can't fool all the people all the time. Eventually the truth will out. And so eventually we will have to remove the carcass.
But we already know this. By the end of this decade the political and economic world will changed radically at all levels
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