Wednesday, June 30, 2010
- CNBC -
U.S. private employers added just 13,000 jobs in June, according to a report published Wednesday that suggested expectations of a big drop in the government's upcoming nonfarm payrolls report were on target.
The ADP Employer Services report also said May's gain was revised marginally higher to 57,000 from the original estimate of 55,000.
That revision was basically the only good news, however, in a report that under-shot expectations of a rise of 60,000 private-sector jobs in June.
It also supported fears that the short and tepid recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s was fizzling.
"There is really no way to characterize this number other than disappointing," said Macroeconomic Advisers LLC chairman Joel Prakken, whose firm jointly developed the ADP report. "The overall number tells you that the recovery in the jobs market is very, very sluggish at this point."
- Raw Story -
The 76-year-old general denied taking payments from Colombian drug lords in the 1980s and told a Paris courtroom that cash deposits transferred to French banks came from his legitimate businesses and the CIA.
"I say with much humility and respect that this is an imaginary banking scheme," Noriega told the court in Spanish through his interpreter on the second day of his trial.
"I will have the opportunity to produce documents that show that I was a victim of a conspiracy mounted by the United States against me," he said.
I accept this award on behalf of all the fine teachers I've known over the years who've struggled to make their transactions with children honorable ones, men and women who are never complacent, always questioning, always wrestling to define and redefine endlessly what the word "education" should mean. A Teacher of the Year is not the best teacher around, those people are too quiet to be easily uncovered, but he is a standard-bearer, symbolic of these private people who spend their lives gladly in the service of children. This is their award as well as mine.
We live in a time of great school crisis. Our children rank at the bottom of nineteen industrial nations in reading, writing and arithmetic. At the very bottom. The world's narcotic economy is based upon our own consumption of the commodity, if we didn't buy so many powdered dreams the business would collapse – and schools are an important sales outlet. Our teenage suicide rate is the highest in the world and suicidal kids are rich kids for the most part, not the poor. In Manhattan fifty per cent of all new marriages last less than five years. So something is wrong for sure.
Our school crisis is a reflection of this greater social crisis. We seem to have lost our identity. Children and old people are penned up and locked away from the business of the world to a degree without precedent – nobody talks to them anymore and without children and old people mixing in daily life a community has no future and no past, only a continuous present. In fact, the name "community" hardly applies to the way we interact with each other. We live in networks, not communities, and everyone I know is lonely because of that. In some strange way school is a major actor in this tragedy just as it is a major actor in the widening guilt among social classes. Using school as a sorting mechanism we appear to be on the way to creating a caste system, complete with untouchables who wander through subway trains begging and sleep on the streets.
NATO forces issued another of their usual “successful raid” reports last night, saying that a pre-dawn raid on Monday left eight insurgents, including “a Taliban commander” killed in an attack on two compounds in Kandahar City.
The deputy provincial police chief, Mohammad Shah Farooqi, tells a far different story, however, saying that NATO forces raided a pair of homes in the major southern city and that there was no evidence at all that any of the eight slain were involved in any “anti-government activities.”
Unconfirmed reports are that there have been some small protests in Kabul and Kandahar related to the killings, though as with so many other stories the two very different versions will likely leave it unclear exactly what happened.
The death toll across Afghanistan has been soaring over the past several months, and a record number of NATO soldiers have been killed in June. The civilian toll is less readily available, but it appears that it too is on the rise.
If they were trying to save the planet they'd be capping the damn oil leak. Instead they allow it to get worse. And they spray toxic dispersants all over the place that poisons our water supply and kills our crops; nobody bats an eyelash. If they cared about the environment, they'd stop the mass pollution of our drinking water with sodium fluoride. They'd stop factory farming. They do something about the Texas-sized trash islands in the Pacific ocean. I could go on. The point is, it's not about global warming, it's about global government. It's about putting a price on life. It's about taxing you for breathing. And, ultimately, killing you.
- Steven Goddard
“Steepest slope ever.”
We have been hearing a lot about how the decline in Arctic ice is following the “steepest slope ever.” The point is largely meaningless, but we can have some fun with it. The Bremen Arctic/Antarctic maps are superimposed above, showing that ice in the Antarctic is at a record high and growing at the “steepest slope ever.” You will also note that most of the world’s sea ice is located in the Antarctic. But those are inconvenient truths when trying to frighten people into believing that “the polar ice caps are melting.”
There are several favorite lines of defense when trying to rationalize away the record Antarctic ice.
1. It is the Ozone Hole – which is also the fault of evil, American SUV drivers. That is a nice guilt trip, but sadly the Ozone Hole doesn’t form until August and is gone by December. Strike one.
- Psychiatrists target infants as mental patients
A new study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and headed by psychiatrist John H. Gilmore, professor of psychiatry and Director of the UNC Schizophrenia Research, claims to be able to detect “brain abnormalities associated with schizophrenia risk” in infants just a few weeks old. We would like to point out the obvious flaw in this bogus study; there is no medical/scientific test in existence that schizophrenia is a physical disease or brain abnormality to start with. There is not one chemical imbalance test, X-ray, MRI or any other test for schizophrenia, not one. So with no evidence of medical abnormality to start with, the “associated with schizophrenia risk” amounts to what George Orwell called Doublespeak (language that deliberately disguises, distorts, misleads)—it means nothing.
For decades, psychiatrists and Pharma have spouted lines to the press and public amounting to, “researchers now believe” they have medical evidence of schizophrenia as a physical/biological abnormality, or “new evidence suggests” evidence of schizophrenia as a real disease. But despite millions of dollars in research funds and countless tales of “belief” —no evidence to support the theory. One of the most common tricks employed by the Psycho/Pharmaceutical industry to mislead the public, legislators and the press, is to take X-rays or brain images of people who have been long-term users of antipsychotic drugs (known to cause brain atrophy/shrinkage) and then claim people with schizophrenia have smaller brains. They’ve spouted similar studies on kids with ADHD having smaller brains, but the bottom line to that study was that the kids with smaller brains, were…smaller kids. These are just a few of the many PR spins employed by Psycho/Pharma to try and maintain the “belief” in psychiatry, in their credibility as a science. As evidenced by the recent statement of psychiatrist Allen Frances, former DSM- IV Task Force Chairman, this belief is falling apart even within their own ranks, “There are no objective tests in psychiatry-no X-ray, laboratory, or exam finding that says definitively that someone does or does not have a mental disorder.” —Allen Frances (And Frances isn’t the only psychiatrist exposing the fraud of the biological brain disease model; click here for more.)
The logical question the press should be asking is what are the American Journal of Psychiatry and “the Director of UNC Schizophrenic Research” really after? What is their goal?
Read it all.
UK Daily Mail -
Full body scanners at airports could increase your risk of skin cancer, experts warn.
The X-ray machines have been brought in at Manchester, Gatwick and Heathrow.
But scientists say radiation from the scanners has been underestimated and could be particularly risky for children.
They say that the low level beam does deliver a small dose of radiation to the body but because the beam concentrates on the skin - one of the most radiation-sensitive organs of the human body - that dose may be up to 20 times higher than first estimated.
An airport staff member demonstrates a full body scan at Manchester
Airport. Now a U.S expert has said the X-Ray may deliver a higher
radiation dose to the skin than first thought
Dr David Brenner, head of Columbia University's centre for radiological research, said although the danger posed to the individual passenger is 'very low', he is urging researchers to carry out more tests on the device to look at the way it affects specific groups who could be more sensitive to radiation.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Here's something that could make for some awkward exchanges at the cash register this summer.
Americans for Tax Reform, which rarely met a tax it likes, has put out an "Obama Tax Hike Exemption Card," which (in theory) exempts "Americans making less than $250,000 from any form of tax increase signed into law by President Barack Obama."
"This card a tangible reminder that Obama has deliberately broken his central campaign promise not to raise any form of taxes on Americans earning less than $250,000," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, in a release. "The last President to break his tax pledge - Bush 41 - served only one term."
If you'd like to give one of these cards a test run, here's how it works: If you make under $250,000 and find yourself facing any of the new taxes highlighted by ATR ("Tax on Indoor Tanning Services," "Medicine Cabinet Tax," "Special Needs Kids Tax," etc.), you present the card and, if challenged "politely ask, 'Excuse me, but are you calling President Obama a liar?'"
No guarantees, of course.
Associated Press -
Stocks and interest rates tumbled Tuesday after signs of slowing economies around the world spooked traders.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell about 235 points in afternoon trading to drop below 10,000 for the first time since June 10. The Dow and other major indexes each lost more than 2 percent.
Stocks began the day by following Asian and European markets lower. Asian markets fell after an index that forecasts economic activity for China was revised lower. And then European indexes fell sharply after Greek workers walked off the job to protest steep budget cuts.
Then, shortly after U.S. trading began, the market was hit with news that consumer confidence fell sharply this month because of worries about jobs and the overall economy. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell to 52.9 from a revised 62.7 in May. It was the steepest drop since February and economists polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast only a modest dip.
- CIA.gov -
As an organization that plays a key role in America’s defense, the CIA is a frequent subject of books, motion pictures, documentaries, and other creative ventures. For years, artists from across the entertainment industry — actors, authors, directors, producers, screenwriters, and others — have been in touch with the CIA to gain a better understanding of our intelligence mission. Our goal is an accurate portrayal of the men and women of the CIA, and the skill, innovation, daring, and commitment to public service that defines them.
If you are part of the entertainment industry, and are working on a project that deals with the CIA, the Agency may be able to help you. We are in a position to give greater authenticity to scripts, stories, and other products in development. That can mean answering questions, debunking myths, or arranging visits to the CIA to meet the people who know intelligence — its past, present, and future. In some cases, we permit filming on our headquarters compound. (Please visit our Headquarters Virtual Tour.) We can also provide stock footage of locations within and around our main building.
Intelligence is challenging, exciting, and essential. To better convey that reality, the CIA is ready for a constructive dialogue with a broad range of creative talents.
For further information, please contact our.
- Washington Post -
CIA Director Leon Panetta said Sunday that U.S. officials have not seen "any firm intelligence" that insurgent groups in Afghanistan are interested in reconciliation, and he dismissed reports that a top militant leader is open to a Pakistan-brokered agreement.
"We have seen no evidence that they are truly interested in reconciliation where they would surrender their arms, where they would denounce al-Qaeda, where they would really try to become part of that society," Panetta said on ABC's "This Week." "My view is that . . . unless they're convinced the United States is going to win and that they are going to be defeated, I think it is very difficult to proceed with a reconciliation that is going to be meaningful."
CS Monitor -
Ron Greve expects the worst is yet to come in the oil spill drama that is haranguing beach towns all along the US Gulf Coast. So, like a growing number of residents, the Pensacola Beach solar-cell salesman took a hazardous materials class and received a “hazmat card” upon graduation.
Those cards, says Mr. Greve, could become critical in coming weeks and months. In the case of a hurricane hitting the 250-mile wide slick and pushing it over sand dunes and into beach towns, residents fear they’ll face not only mass evacuations, but potential permanent relocation.
Storm-wizened locals know that it can take days, even weeks, for roads to open and authorities to allow residents to return to inspect the damage and start to rebuild after a hurricane moves through.
- Fox "News" -
World energy needs will spike by more than 50 percent by 2030 but adequate oil reserves, conservation and new methods of recovery mean supply will keep pace with demand, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Thursday.
Still, OPEC's secretary general acknowledged that dangers to steady supply exist. Addressing one — the threat of a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran because of its nuclear defiance — he warned that his organization was unprepared — and unable — to make up for resulting oil shortfalls.
"It is impossible to replace the production of Iran," OPEC's No. 2 producer, Abdalla Salem El-Badri told reporters at the presentation of the organization's long term oil market outlook. “The prices would go unlimited ... I can’t give you a number.”
- Der Spiegel -
An aquarium fish -- a convict cichlid, also known as the zebra cichlid -- that has been transgenically modified to glow in the dark. A whole school of the glow-in-the-dark fish, which were modified using genes from a deep water jellyfish, were presented by Taiwan's Council of Agriculture at a press conference on Friday in Taipei. Taiwan exports ornamental fish to more than 20 countries worldwide and in the past, scientists there have also bred glowing pigs.
- Mike Adams
In its never-ending attempt to fabricate "mental disorders" out of every human activity, the psychiatric industry is now pushing the most ridiculous disease they've invented yet: Healthy eating disorder.
This is no joke: If you focus on eating healthy foods, you're "mentally diseased" and probably need some sort of chemical treatment involving powerful psychotropic drugs. The Guardian newspaper reports, "Fixation with healthy eating can be sign of serious psychological disorder" and goes on to claim this "disease" is called orthorexia nervosa -- which is basically just Latin for "nervous about correct eating."
But they can't just called it "nervous healthy eating disorder" because that doesn't sound like they know what they're talking about. So they translate it into Latin where it sounds smart (even though it isn't). That's where most disease names come from: Doctors just describe the symptoms they see with a name like osteoporosis (which means "bones with holes in them").
Getting back to this fabricated "orthorexia" disease, the Guardian goes on to report, "Orthorexics commonly have rigid rules around eating. Refusing to touch sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soya, corn and dairy foods is just the start of their diet restrictions. Any foods that have come into contact with pesticides, herbicides or contain artificial additives are also out."
Wait a second. So attempting to avoid chemicals, dairy, soy and sugar now makes you a mental health patient? Yep. According to these experts. If you actually take special care to avoid pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified ingredients like soy and sugar, there's something wrong with you.
But did you notice that eating junk food is assumed to be "normal?" If you eat processed junk foods laced with synthetic chemicals, that's okay with them. The mental patients are the ones who choose organic, natural foods, apparently.
Despite the apparent deficit-cutting solidarity that emerged from this weekend's G-20 meeting in Toronto, it is clear that the great powers of the industrialized world have not been this philosophically estranged since the end of the Cold War. Ironically, in this new contest, the former belligerents have switched sides – the capitalists are now the socialists, and vice versa.
We now are witnessing a struggle between two camps that I playfully call the "Stimulators" and the "Austrians." Both warn that a worldwide depression will ensue if governments now make the wrong choices: the Stimulators say the danger lies in spending too little and the Austereians from spending too much. Each side also has their own economic champion: the Stimulators follow the banner of Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, while the Austereians are forming up behind the recently reformed former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan. (It is cold comfort to witness "The Maestro" belatedly returning to the hard-money positions that characterized his earlier years.)
In a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, Greenspan argued that the best economic stimulus would be for the world's leading debtors (the United States, UK, Japan, Italy, et al.) to rein in their budget deficits, a strategy dubbed "austerity" by the press. Greenspan explains that because lower deficits will restore confidence, diminish the threat of inflation, and allow savings to flow to private-sector investment rather than public-sector consumption, the short-term pain will lead to gains both in the mid- and long-term. Rather than redistributing a shrinking pie, this approach allows the pie to grow. Greenspan's Austereian view has been echoed loudly in the highest policy circles of Berlin, Ottawa, Moscow, Beijing, and Canberra.
Meanwhile, in several articles for his New York Times column, including one yesterday, Krugman has argued that those who push for austerity in the face of recession are either doing so for political expediency or out of a "crazy" fealty to archaic economic views. Krugman has apparently judged inadequate the trillions of dollars worth of deficit spending unleashed by the United States and European governments in the last 24 months. He believes our only remedy is to spend more – no matter how much debt results. Absent this, he claims, millions of workers "will never work again." Unfortunately, Washington has clearly aligned itself with Krugman and the Stimulators.
- Financial Times -
Henry Kissinger, the former US secretary of state, has warned that Washington’s plan to begin handing over responsibility to national forces in Afghanistan in July next year “provides a mechanism for failure”.
In an interview with the Financial Times after President Barack Obama’s decision to remove General Stanley McChrystal as commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, Mr Kissinger said the public “must be prepared for a long struggle” in what is already the US’s longest war.
- PressTV -
The US, the self-proclaimed protector of human rights, has failed to vote in favor of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Speaking to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) at the UN, Kenneth Deer, the representative of US and Canada Mohawk Indians, said that Washington had refrained from recognizing the UN declaration on indigenous rights.
Deer described the conditions of the Indians living in the US and Canada as catastrophic, saying that they enjoy the minimum life requirements.
He reiterated that despite living in a wealthy country, the Canadian Indians challenge unemployment, poverty and lack of healthcare and shelter.
Deer, who was speaking to IRNA on the sidelines of the Ninth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, added that now Canada is mulling to reconsider its vote on indigenous rights. But, he said, Washington has not moved to review its decision.
On Sept. 13, 2007 the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to protect their lands and resources, and to maintain their unique cultures and traditions.
About 370 million indigenous people live in the world. The US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand that are home to the world's major indigenous population have so far rejected to vote in favor of the UN rights declaration.
Of course, governor Crist told them it was safe to swim in, and, you know, why would he lie?
Florida Governor Charlie Crist is apparently more worried about the state’s economy than the health of vacationers and residents. Crist told CBS on Saturday the water is safe and people shouldn’t worry. “It is safe,” Crist declared, “there isn’t a toxic nature to it that is detrimental to anybody. It is much more of a nuisance than anything else at this point.”
Crist is asking ill-informed beachgoers to endanger their health so the state’s tourism industry can be saved. “The Escambia County Health Department lifted a health advisory on Pensacola Beach on Friday on the advice of a beach official and against the advice of a federal environmental official,” reports PNJ.com. Officials want to leave the decision to swim in the Gulf of Mexico up to the discretion of individual beachgoers.
Signs would be posted from the Florida-Alabama line to just west of Portofino Beach warning people about the toxic danger. The Environmental Protection Agency plans to put decontamination stations along the beach.
By the way, prior to the Great Depression, there was no such thing as a "recession". Any periods of economic retraction were depressions. It's all Newspeak to confuse and distract you. Odd that he doesn't list the depression of 1921 as a "depression". Probably because he doesn't want you to know that it was bad, but short-lived, because the government did little to interfere with it.
- Paul Krugman
New York Times -
Recessions are common; depressions are rare. As far as I can tell, there were only two eras in economic history that were widely described as “depressions” at the time: the years of deflation and instability that followed the Panic of 1873 and the years of mass unemployment that followed the financial crisis of 1929-31.
Neither the Long Depression of the 19th century nor the Great Depression of the 20th was an era of nonstop decline — on the contrary, both included periods when the economy grew. But these episodes of improvement were never enough to undo the damage from the initial slump, and were followed by relapses.
We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost — to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs — will nonetheless be immense.
This article was published to Infowars.com. Thanks, guys.
No one should know better than libertarians that in this fascist dictatorship we currently live under, there is no such thing as the free market. And yet in the wake of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, many are insisting that we halt the hysteria and allow the market to punish BP accordingly.
There is also a strong desire in libertarian circles to emphasize the natural properties of petroleum. Mercury is also natural. So are noxious gases, which comprise of 40% of what's gushing from the well, but you wouldn't want to go breathe the air on Uranus. Today's Lew Rockwell website features an article claiming oozing oil is as natural as sunshine. If old Lew is smart, he's disconnected his television from cable, but one has to wonder if he may have caught a glimpse of the oil being blasted out of the well at a rate of tens of thousands of barrels a day. This is no "leak". It's not "oozing". It's exploding.
In a "free market", none of this would be happening in the first place, because BP would never have drilled under such explosive conditions. As Andrew Napolitano points out, the government-imposed cap on BP's liabilities ($75M) means that it essentially has no insurance policy; without such a cap, no insurance company would allow BP to drill in the Gulf. It's just too dangerous. And, even if somehow BP managed to get approval to drill in the Gulf, in a free market you could be assured that this leak would've been capped and the beaches would've be cleaned immediately. Instead it is obvious to anyone paying attention that the event was known in advance, allowed to happen, and is now being purposefully magnified. They're not cleaning it up, they're covering it up. For what purpose?
In what semblance of a free market we actually have, BP is getting hammered by consumers and investors. It's stocks have plummeted, and station owners are asking the corporation for assistance as drivers avoid gassing up at their pumps. This is positive, but it ignores the larger underlying agenda. Wealth and profit are no longer an end, they are a means to an end, and the end is power. The shareholders at BP are being destroyed, but they're not part of the club. BP could stop this leak if they wanted to. BP could've prevented the leak from happening in the first place. Why are they deliberately sabotaging their bottom line?
The religion of the global power elite for over a century has been eugenics. This master race of elites, many from the same bloodline, do not want the plebs sordida dirtying up their playground, which is the planet Earth. Everything they do in terms of the environment and health revolves around massive reductions in population between 80%-90%, depending on who's talking. This isn't some far-reaching conspiracy theory; listen to what they're saying. Compare it to what they're doing. Obama supposedly has "warned" G20 leaders that the oil spill could kill 20 million people. Not a significant percentage of the amount they intend to cull, but it's a start.
According to some worst-case scenarios, 20 million could be conservative. For it's not just the oil, killing fish and smothering fragile ecosystems; yes, the oil will wash away. It will dissipate. It will evaporate. That of course assumes that the leak has been stopped sometime in the near future, and not the years some are predicting. But then there is the dispersants, this "corexit" that BP illegally sprayed by the millions of gallons to push the oil underwater where no one could see it (until it washes ashore). These dispersants, banned by the EU, contain 2-butoxyethanol , known to have caused lingering health problems to clean-up workers of the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989, and propylene glycol, a neurotoxin, as well as other ingredients its manufacturers refuse to disclose.
As much of a danger to human health is the danger to crops and livestock. As the toxins evaporate into our atmosphere, who knows how far away they'll be raining down? We know that states in the Gulf region are experiencing disease in their crops linked to the dispersants. I'm not sure what that region's contribution to our national and global food supply is, but what if it starts raining dispersants in Iowa, Nebraska, etc? There is already a global hunger epidemic spurred on in large part by large portions of our corn production switched over to ethanol. What would happen with a similar decline in wheat? Soy?
This all of course is highly speculative. While we can all plainly see things are bad, are going to stay bad for a long time and will likely get much worse, nobody really knows what's going to happen, what the effects will be or how long they'll endure. The point is, do not dismiss BP as some corporation only looking out for its bottom line. Its incompetence and malfeasance are on full display, manifested in large part by its obvious and aggressive attempts, aided by the government, to black the event out and cover it all up.
- The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. - J Edgar Hoover
The global power elite, also known as the New World Order, intends to and is succeeding in destroying the global economy as a segue to global government with one global currency. We should not be surprised, or unwilling to consider, that BP has fallen on its sword in this endeavor, its top echelon promised a seat at the round table when the spoils are divided. This is a conspiracy that's been metastasizing for hundreds or even thousands of years. The welfare of one insignificant corporation will not deter them. They are committed. They've waited a very long time, slaughtered a lot of people, and destroyed entire nations. Do not put anything past them.
Monday, June 28, 2010
- As recovery starts to stall in the US and Europe with echoes of mid-1931, bond experts are once again dusting off a speech by Ben Bernanke given eight years ago as a freshman governor at the Federal Reserve
London Telegraph -
Entitled "Deflation: Making Sure It Doesn’t Happen Here", it is a warfare manual for defeating economic slumps by use of extreme monetary stimulus once interest rates have dropped to zero, and implicitly once governments have spent themselves to near bankruptcy.
The speech is best known for its irreverent one-liner: "The US government has a technology, called a printing press, that allows it to produce as many US dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost."
Most of the world's Muslims are not Arab. But most Muslims do not view their identities in terms of race or nationality. They are all one nation, one ummah. And even though many Shia's and Sunnis hate each other, I find it difficult to believe they hate each other enough not to fly off the handle if the Kingdom allows Jews to slaughter Muslims from a base located on holy Muslim soil. Just absolutely cuckoo f'ing insanity.
- MSNBC -
An Iranian allegation that Saudi Arabia is allowing Israel to use its terroritory in preparation for attacking Iran nuclear sites has stirred a flurry of reports in the Israeli media.
The allegation could not be independently confirmed, and the Saudis deny cooperating with the Israeli military.
The Jerusalem Post website on Sunday said reports that the Israeli military had established a base in Saudi Arabia originated with Iranian and Israeli news outlets. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Ha'aretz were among Israeli media carrying the reports credited to Fars, the semi-official Iranian news agency. The Fars report was also picked up buy international outlets such as UPI.
The reports said the Israeli base is about five miles from Tabuk in northwest Saudi Arabia.
The Islam Times said Israeli airplanes landed at an international airport and Israeli soldiers unloaded military equipment on June 18 and 19. Saudi officials canceled commercial air traffic and, one traveler told the Islam Times, paid to put up passengers in nearby four-star hotels to prevent them from expressing anger.
Tabuk, the closest Saudi city to Israel, is just south of Jordan, the Post said.
Speaking today in the wake of the G20 Summit, President Barack Obama criticized what he called “a lot of obsession” about ending the war in Afghanistan and withdrawing some 100,000 American troops from the nation.
Obama insisted that instead of considering if and how the war will ever come to some sort of end, his “focus right now is how do we make sure that what we’re doing there is successful, given the incredible sacrifices.”
The US initially invaded Afghanistan in late 2001. The number of troops in the nation has rising precipitously since President Obama took office in 2009, inheriting a war with 30,000 troops and turning it into a war with 100,000 troops.
Obama’s comments reflect those he made earlier this week, disavowing his pledge to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in July of 2011. Now President Obama says that date is just the “beginning of a transition phase” and there is no particular timeline for leaving Afghanistan.
Of course, if we'd stop funding them and supplying them with our own weapons, this might be easier to achieve.
- Americans approve of Gen. David Petraeus as the new US commander in Afghanistan. But after nine years and with mounting US casualties, support for the war itself is waning
CS Monitor -
Until recently, the nine-year conflict in Afghanistan had become “the forgotten war” for many Americans – a complaint increasingly heard among US troops there.
But this week’s sacking of Gen. Stanley McChrystal as US commander puts Afghanistan – and especially how the fight against the Taliban is going – squarely back into public thought and concern.
Most Americans agree with Obama that McChrystal had to go, polls show. But they’re far less supportive of the conflict itself, weary of what’s become the longest war in US history.
A recent Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters finds that just 41 percent “now believe it is possible for the United States to win the nearly nine-year-old war in Afghanistan.” More to the point, a plurality of 48 percent now say ending the war in Afghanistan is a more important goal than winning it.
- Ryan W McMaken
LRC Blog -
Your tax dollars at work yet again. From the Denver Post:
When Amy Shroff’s ex-boyfriend violated a restraining order by blocking her exit from a police station parking lot with his pickup, the Denver woman thought officers would come to her defense.
Instead, Officer Frank Spellman mistakenly arrested Shroff for violating the restraining order. She ended up spending a night in jail despite pleas that her 4-month-old needed breast milk due to a medical condition that prevented the baby from drinking formula.
Now Denver police are offering up a mea culpa, admitting the officer had no cause to arrest Shroff. And the city of Denver is poised to pay $175,000 [of the taxpayers' money] to settle a federal wrongful arrest lawsuit.
Here’s more detail on the court’s decision. Officer Spellman, who arrested Ms. Shroff, insulted her, forced her to disrobe in order to pump breast milk, and mocked her when she noted that her child would become ill if forced to drink formula, is, as far as I can tell, still with the Denver Police Department. So Spellman, who is apparently functionally illiterate, but no doubt makes at least $70,000 per year as a cop in addition to a huge pension upon retirement at age 50, will continue to inflict his incompetence upon the population that pays his generous salary.
In the details linked above, you can read about how Ms. Shroff said:
“Please don’t do this. I don’t have any way of feeding my child. She’s nursing. She really can’t tolerate formula. We’ve already had her in the pediatrician’s office for these issues in the past . . . [t]here’s something in her digestive system that she just can’t digest it and it would make her sick.”
Officer Spellman replied: “She better start liking formula.”
The baby did in fact become ill thanks to Spellman’s cruelty.
LRC Blog -
Last week, the Los Angeles Times ran an article about the new government initiative on food which is the same as the old government initiative, except this time they mean it. From the LA Times article:
“The basic advice is the same. The new twist is that they’re recognizing the fact that it’s very hard for people to follow that advice,” said Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director of the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest.
The initiative is to get people to follow the special interest-influenced government food pyramid, which puts fat in the same ‘evil’ category as sugar and salt. As we know, the low-fat campaign, for 2+ decades, has created a generation of obese, unhealthy, nutritionally deficient, tax-feeding Americans who live on fast food and processed food, and make carbohydrates the bulk of their diets while they substitute barely edible, chemical-loaded Lean Cuisine frozen entrees for real, whole foods with healthy fats. (Make sure you eat those healthy, healthy cereals, hamburger buns, and saltine crackers, along with hydrogenated oils, as the pyramid spells out.)
Therefore, the USDA Guidelines Advisory Committee — a panel of 13 experts(!) handpicked by government and special interests — is rolling out some plans for making America collectively trim and healthy.
The panel called for improvements in nutrition literacy and cooking skills to encourage preparation of healthy foods at home; increased emphasis on health, nutrition and physical education in schools; and increased availability of fresh produce for consumers.
Although few Americans may be familiar with details of the guidelines beyond the government’s widely publicized food pyramid, the document influences decisions in school breakfast and lunch programs, Meals on Wheels, food labeling and in discussions on regulatory issues such as food marketing to children.
This is all in response to the ramp-up of the salt wars. The War on Salt will become the War on Everything (that special interests and corporatist interests deem target worthy). Thank New Yorkers for starting the ball rolling on the Salt War. New York City is always a central point for Lifestyle Nazi inanity. Thanks to the Bloomberg & Co. busybodies, we have the National Salt Reduction Initiative, which aims to regulate salt via federal laws.
If you look at the website of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (there is such a thing!), note what they deem important: that everyone get an HIV test (that’s an equality tactic so we don’t discriminate against those people who lead lives that put themselves at risk); color-coding cigarette packs according to their risk level; pushing the “health benefits” of government rent seeking on sugar-laden beverages; giving local restaurants letter “grades” based on their conformity to food “safety” rules; and the importance using the digital age to shatter medical privacy. And now New York and its empowered Health Nazis want to regulate our bodies and eating habits.
And then we find out, via the Rasmussen Reports, that 48% of the masses (yes, even the dumbed-down sheeple) think government is a threat to their individual rights.
America will soon be celebrating Independence Day, a reminder of how the American Founders became independent from British rule and unshackled their serfdom. But given the U.S. government’s growth in its size and intrusiveness, just how independent are Americans now?
When Friedrich Hayek wrote The Road to Serfdom, I don’t think that Hayek considered that government’s monopolies could lead a citizenry into serfdom. But it may be that the government’s monopolies of territorial protection and monetary production have been paving that road to serfdom, as they have been also causing widespread economic turmoil and less security.
Whether the government-monopolized production of money is constitutionally mandated or not, the assumption that only the State should control the commodity of money – a universal means of trade and commerce – needs to be questioned. And so far, I have not heard a reasonable explanation of why Americans must be forced to be dependent on only the government’s provision of security without competition.
The original intent of the American Founders was for the federal government to be limited in its size, scope and power. Except for Alexander Hamilton most notably, most of the Founders opposed the use of paper money and government monopolized central banks. And the Founders by and large opposed "foreign entanglements" and imperialistic expansion of the U.S. government on foreign lands.
By default, governmental actions will have the reverse effect of what their proponents intend, in domestic and foreign affairs. This is because of the government’s legally protected monopoly that restricts participation of competitive agents. Monopolists lack incentive and market prices to make sound long-term decisions. In modern America’s immediate gratification culture, government bureaucrats’ decisions are guided by short-sightedness.
By default, when there are problems as a result of intrusive governmental actions, rather than recognizing the real causes of the problems, the typical solutions have been to do more of what has caused the problems.
And, of course, it will all be totally unexpected.
- Financial Times -
Investors will this week be bracing themselves for signs that the US recovery is slowing, as a slew of economic data on the world’s largest economy is expected to paint a downbeat picture.
However, they face a challenge disentangling the effects of the removal of government stimulus programmes from the scale of the private sector recovery.
This week sees the release of the monthly US non-farm payrolls report, the most closely watched statistic in global markets.
The headline figure is expected to show a sharp drop in non-farm employment – but that is largely the effect of temporary workers hired to carry out the US census coming to the end of their contracts.
There was a decline of about 250,000 in the number of people working on the census this month from May, leading to consensus expectations of a drop of 75,000 in the headline non-farm payrolls figure.
That could push the US unemployment rate above its current level of 9.7 per cent, leading to fears that the recovery might stall.
Keep in mind that, the costs of maintaining order and cohesion haven't increased. What has increased is thievery, corruption, and waste. And, incapable of rolling back on their own criminality and malfeasance, they'll just shut down your local fire department, and lay off some cops and teachers. They're better than you, and they know it.
- Financial Times -
The small southern California city of Maywood has hit on a unique solution to its budget crisis. Crushed by the recession and falling tax revenues, the city is disbanding its police force and firing all public sector employees.
Maywood has opted for an extreme solution, by contracting out all public services, including the most basic, to save cash. But it is not alone.
States around the US are cutting costs wherever possible as they prepare budgets for the fiscal year that starts this week for most of them. Their combined deficit is projected to reach $112bn by June 2011.
Local government activities, such as funding police, school buildings, fire departments, parks and social programmes, are in the line of fire.
“We are where the rubber meets the road,” said Sam Olivito of the California Contract Cities Association, which represents cities that outsource public services. “Local government is the fabric of our nation – it’s what keeps everything working properly.”
President Obama on controlling the debt: "Somehow people say, why are you doing that, I'm not sure that's good politics. I'm doing it because I said I was going to do it and I think it's the right thing to do. People should learn that lesson about me because next year when I start presenting some very difficult choices to the country, I hope some of these folks who are hollering about deficits and debt step-up because I'm calling their bluff. We'll see how much of that, how much of the political arguments that they're making right now are real and how much of it was just politics."
USS Carrier Harry Truman Now Officially Just Off Iran, As Israel Allegedly Plotting An Imminent Tehran Raid
- Tyler Durden
As we first reported last week, in an article that was met with much original skepticism, the Pentagon has now confirmed that a fleet of 12 warships has passed the Suez Canal, and is now likely awaiting orders to support the escalation in the Persian Gulf. The attached image from Stratfor shows the latest positioning of US aircraft carrier groups as of June 23: the USS Harry Truman (CVN-75) is now right next to USS Eisenhower (CVN 69), both of which are waiting patiently just off Iran.
As for the catalyst the two carriers may be anticipating, we provide the following update from the Gulf Daily News where we read that Israel may be on the verge of an attack of Iran, with an incursion originating from military bases in Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Phony left-right paradigm destroyed as Obama deploys more troops than at any time under George W. Bush
Paul Joseph Watson
Judge Andrew Napolitano’s new Saturday show on the Fox Business Network is set to send shock waves through the political establishment this weekend when his guest – Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher – reveals that almost all House Republicans now believe that the invasion of Iraq was not only a mistake, but also illegal and immoral.
“This morning when we taped our show for this weekend, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a right down the middle conservative Republican from southern California, former speech writer for Ronald Reagan, looked at me and said ‘almost all Republicans in the House of Representatives now believe that the war in Iraq was a mistake, that it was unlawful, that it was immoral, that it wasn’t worth the lives lost or the trillions that will be spent’,” Napolitano told The Alex Jones Show.
“That is newsworthy that he would say it, it is newsworthy that so many Republicans would change their mind,” added Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court Judge.
Foreign Ministry reports circulating in the Kremlin today are warning that an already explosive situation in the United States is about to get a whole lot worse as a new law put forth by President Obama is said capable of seeing up to 500,000 American citizens jailed for the crime of opposing their government.
Sparking the concern of Russian diplomats over the growing totalitarian bent of the Obama government is the planned reintroduction of what these reports call one of the most draconian laws ever introduced in a free society that is titled “The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act”.
First introduced in the US Congress in 2007 by Democratic Representative Jane Harmon, this new law passed the US House of Representatives by a secretive voice vote, but failed to pass the US Senate, after which it was believed dead until this past week when it was embraced by Obama who became the first American President to name his own citizens as a threat to his Nations security.
In what is called the National Security Strategy document, that is required of US Presidents by their Congress, that embraces the dictatorial ideals of the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act”, Obama has ordered his Federal police and intelligence forces to begin targeting Americans opposed to him and his radical socialist polices.
Obama’s top counter-terrorism advisor, John Brennan, in speaking to reporters about this new “strategy” says it makes the problem of home-grown terrorists a top priority because an increasing number of individuals in the US have become “captivated by extremist ideology or causes.”
A sobering report circulating in the Kremlin today from President Medvedev’s meeting with other World leaders at the G8 summit in Muskoka, Ontario states that President Obama has warned his counterparts that the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster “will most likely kill millions, perhaps tens of millions” of people during the coming year.
Fueling Obama’s dire assessment of this “Gulf Apocalypse”, this report says, are the oil and toxic rains now being reported to be falling throughout the US Gulf Coast region due to the fracturing of the Gulf of Mexico seafloor allowing untold millions of gallons of oil and millions of cubic feet of methane gas to escape unchecked into our World’s seventh largest body of water, not to mention the millions of gallons of dangerous disbursements being used that is poisoning everything in its path.
So dangerous has the Gulf Coast environment become to human beings the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning that, in part, says: “People, including pregnant women, can be exposed to these chemicals by breathing them (air), by swallowing them (water, food), or by touching them (skin). If possible, everyone, including pregnant women, should avoid the oil and spill-affected areas.”
Take notice that, when Panetta says the sanctions could weaken the regime by creating serious economic problems, he's talking about starving the Iranian people, who, even after their children die by the thousands, will still simply hate us because we're free.
- Associated Press -
CIA Director Leon Panetta says Iran probably has enough low-enriched uranium for two nuclear weapons, but that it likely would take two years to build the bombs.
Panetta also says he is doubtful that recent U.N. penalties will put an end to Iran's nuclear ambitions.
He says the penalties could help to weaken Tehran's government by creating serious economic problems. But he adds, "Will it deter them from their ambitions with regards to nuclear capability? Probably not."
Panetta tells ABC's "This Week" that there is "some debate" as to whether Iran will proceed with the bomb.
Asked about a potential Israeli military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, Panetta said he thinks Israel is giving the U.S. room on the diplomatic and political fronts.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Andrew Gavin Marshall
There is a new and unique development in human history that is taking place around the world; it is unprecedented in reach and volume, and it is also the greatest threat to all global power structures: the ‘global political awakening.’ The term was coined by Zbigniew Brzezinski, and refers to the fact that, as Brzezinski wrote:
For the first time in history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive. Global activism is generating a surge in the quest for cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world scarred by memories of colonial or imperial domination.
It is, in essence, this massive ‘global political awakening’ which presents the gravest and greatest challenge to the organized powers of globalization and the global political economy: nation-states, multinational corporations and banks, central banks, international organizations, military, intelligence, media and academic institutions. The Transnational Capitalist Class (TCC), or ‘Superclass’ as David Rothkopf refers to them, are globalized like never before. For the first time in history, we have a truly global and heavily integrated elite. As elites have globalized their power, seeking to construct a ‘new world order’ of global governance and ultimately global government, they have simultaneously globalized populations.
The ‘Technological Revolution’ (or ‘Technetronic’ Revolution, as Brzezinski termed it in 1970) involves two major geopolitical developments. The first is that as technology advances, systems of mass communication rapidly accelerate, and the world’s people are able to engage in instant communication with one another and gain access to information from around the world. In it, lies the potential – and ultimately a central source – of a massive global political awakening.
Simultaneously, the Technological Revolution has allowed elites to redirect and control society in ways never before imagined, ultimately culminating in a global scientific dictatorship, as many have warned of since the early decades of the 20th century. The potential for controlling the masses has never been so great, as science unleashes the power of genetics, biometrics, surveillance, and new forms of modern eugenics; implemented by a scientific elite equipped with systems of psycho-social control (the use of psychology in controlling the masses).
- Associated Press -
The parents of a New Jersey man accused of trying to join a terrorist group say they believe the FBI fueled the behavior that led to his arrest.
Mahmood and Nadia Alessa told The Record newspaper their 20-year-old son, Mohamed, had been monitored by the FBI since age 16 and was encouraged by an undercover agent to act like a terrorist.
Mohamed Alessa and 24-year-old Carlos Almonte were arrested June 5 as they prepared to board planes to Egypt. Authorities say they planned to travel to Somalia to seek terror training.
Alessa's parents say their son was traveling to Egypt to meet a 19-year-old Swedish Muslim he planned to marry.
Both are charged with conspiracy to kill, harm and kidnap people outside the United States.
When The Washington Post's Dana Priest first revealed (in passing) back in January that the Obama administration had compiled a hit list of American citizens targeted for assassination, she wrote that "as of several months ago, the CIA list included three U.S. citizens." In April, both the Post and the NYT confirmed that the administration had specifically authorized the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki. Today, The Washington Times' Eli Lake has an interview
with Obama's top Terrorism adviser John Brennan in which Brennan strongly suggests that the number of U.S. citizens targeted for assassination could actually be "dozens":
Dozens of Americans have joined terrorist groups and are posing a threat to the United States and its interests abroad, the president's most senior adviser on counterterrorism and homeland security said Thursday. . . . "There are, in my mind, dozens of U.S. persons who are in different parts of the world, and they are very concerning to us," said John O. Brennan, deputy White House national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism. . . .
"If a person is a U.S. citizen, and he is on the battlefield in Afghanistan or Iraq trying to attack our troops, he will face the full brunt of the U.S. military response," Mr. Brennan said. "If an American person or citizen is in a Yemen or in a Pakistan or in Somalia or another place, and they are trying to carry out attacks against U.S. interests, they also will face the full brunt of a U.S. response. And it can take many forms."
Nobody -- or at least not me -- disputes the right of the U.S. or any other country to kill someone on an actual battlefield during war without due process. That's just obvious, but that's not remotely what Brennan is talking about, and it's not remotely what this assassination program is about. Indeed, Brennan explicitly identified two indistinguishable groups of American citizens who "will face the full brunt of a U.S. response": (1) those "on the battlefield in Afghanistan or Iraq"; and (2) those "in a Yemen or in a Pakistan or in Somalia or another place." In other words, the entire world is a "battlefield" -- countries where there is a war and countries where there isn't -- and the President's "battlefield" powers, which are unlimited, extend everywhere. That theory -- the whole world is a battlefield, even the U.S. -- was the core premise that spawned 8 years of Bush/Cheney radicalism, and it has been adopted in full by the Obama administration (indeed, it was that "whole-world-is-a-battlefield" theory which Elena Kagan explicitly endorsed during her confirmation hearing for Solicitor General).