Monday, May 31, 2010
- Steve Goddard and Anthony Watts
Watts Up With That? -
The Navy requires accurate sea ice information for their operations, and has spent a lot of effort over the years studying, measuring, and operating in Arctic ice both above and below, such as they did in the ICEX 2009 exercise.
The US Navy attack submarine USS Annapolis (SSN 760) rests in the Arctic Ocean after surfacing through three feet of ice during Ice Exercise 2009 on March 21, 2009. The two-week training exercise, which is used to test submarine operability and war-fighting capability in Arctic conditions, also involved the USS Helena (SSN 725), the University of Washington and personnel from the Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory.
So, if you are planning on bringing a $900 million Los Angeles class submarine through the ice, as the captain might say to the analyst after receiving an ice report: “you’d better be damn sure of the ice thickness before I risk the boat and the crew”.
Below is a blink comparator of U.S. Navy PIPS sea ice forecast data, zoomed to show the primary Arctic ice zone.
The blink map above shows the change in ice thickness from May 27, 2008 to May 27, 2010. As you can see, there has been a large increase in the area of ice more than two metres thick – turquoise, green, yellow and red. Much of the thin (blue and purple) ice has been replaced by thicker ice.
Read all of it.
Sunday’s New York Times, gearing up for Memorial Day, carries a leading front-page story direct from the Afghan front, complete with photos. Does it tell of the 1,000 Americans who have perished there in America’s longest war, or the unknown number of innocent Afghans to fall, or the many more on both sides gruesomely injured, or the devastation visited on the poor and backward regions of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan by the firepower of the mightiest war machine the world has yet to produce? Absolutely not.
Instead, readers are treated to a feel-good story about female Marines “bonding” with their Afghan sisters, under the headline “In Camouflage or Veil, a Fragile Bond.” Did a Times writer dream up that sappy headline, or did it come from a basement office in the Pentagon or Langley where pro-war psyops against the U.S. citizenry are concocted? Or can such a distinction even be drawn, with journalistic ambition and careerism run wild? In my edition of the paper of record the story is adorned with a photo of a young Marine woman holding an Afghan toddler. How nice these warriors are. No killing for them. Just handing out ibuprofen, “giggling” (sic) with Afghan women, and playing with kids.
Moreover, the women have done this in the face of skepticism from some of the male commanding officers! Not only are the Marines’ fearless females helping the benighted Afghan women and providing fine examples of women imperial warriors, they are striking a blow against male chauvinism in the imperial forces. These humanitarian wars are almost too good to be true. No wonder Medea Benjamin disclosed a soft spot in her very Democratic heart for Obama’s wars.
The New York Times is not alone. Not to be outdone, the Washington Post has a piece under the title “Life Lessons the Afghanistan War Taught Me,” full of the usual clichés about war’s pinup girls, rough weather, and Army food. But the writer reminds us forcefully that “American soldiers are here by choice. They want to make a difference for Afghans and provide security for the folks back home.” How lucky that the Post did not find one of the many soldiers who hate the wars and got trapped into them with multiple tours of duty. Just the luck of the draw, one might guess.
Read all of it.
- Raw Story -
In what could be a serious blow to Israel's narrative on the killing of at least nine humanitarian activists making their way to Gaza through international waters, raw video by an Al Jazeera producer, who was filming during the raid, appears to provide evidence that the IDF opened fire on the flotilla even before boarding it.
Israeli forces assert they came under attack by the pro-Palestine civilian group, and video released by the IDF appears to show one soldier being tossed overboard amid a scuffle with unidentified individuals wielding melee weapons, like clubs and chairs.
However, in raw video captured by an Al Jazeera producer and published to YouTube late Monday, two journalists provide a play-by-play of the harrowing event as pops and cracks echo in the background. Even before the Israeli forces were aboard, one says, they were pelting the boat with tear gas and stun grenades, injuring numerous people.
Then he confirms the first death, saying the individual was killed by "munitions," but not specifying whether it was a bullet or something else. Then he confirms that Israeli forces were boarding the ship.
Read all of it.
- Fox News -
A Michigan lawmaker wants to license reporters to ensure they’re credible and vet them for “good moral character.”
Senator Bruce Patterson is introducing legislation that will regulate reporters much like the state does with hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers. Patterson, who also practices constitutional law, says that the general public is being overwhelmed by an increasing number of media outlets--traditional, online and citizen generated--and an even greater amount misinformation.
“Legitimate media sources are critically important to our government,” he said.
He told FoxNews.com that some reporters covering state politics don’t know what they’re talking about and they’re working for publications he’s never heard of, so he wants to install a process that’ll help him and the general public figure out which reporters to trust.
“We have to be able to get good information,” he said. “We have to be able to rely on the source and to understand the credentials of the source.”
Read all of it.
It was a time of great exulting and excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest depths of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast doubt upon its righteousness straight way got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.
Sunday morning came – next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams – visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! – then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation:
"God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!"
Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory – An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there, waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"
The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside – which the startled minister did – and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:
"I come from the Throne – bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import – that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of – except he pause and think.
"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two – one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this – keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.
"You have heard your servant's prayer – the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it – that part which the pastor – and also you in your hearts – fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory – must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!
"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them – in spirit – we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."
[After a pause.] "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits."
It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.
- Mike Adams
Today, I spent my time interviewing people on the Gulf Coast from Mississippi to Louisiana. Several of those interviews were conducted on camera, and you'll be seeing those videos as early as tomorrow here on NaturalNews.
Interestingly, it turns out that a lot of the people living on the Gulf Coast have a history of working with oil companies -- and even on oil rigs. I spoke to several people who have a work history with BP, and two of them told me they are certain that British Petroleum is NOT trying to stop the oil coming out of the well. What they are trying to do, I was told, is SAVE the oil well so that they can capture the oil and sell it.
This claim stands in direct contradiction to what BP says. The company insists it's trying to stop the flow of oil from the well. But if you look at BP's actions, what they're really trying to do is siphon off the gushing oil where it can be pumped to a tanker ship and sold as crude. It is a simple matter, by the way, for oil companies to separate water from oil. They do it all the time in oil fields all across America. So if they can siphon off the oil from the Deepwater Horizon well -- even if it's mixed with water -- they can sell it for potentially billions of dollars.
It raises the question: Is the economic promise of captured oil causing BP to avoid using its best effort to cap the well?
Read it all.
Blood of Patriots and Tyrants -
There is an old adage that tells us perception is reality. In a certain metaphysical sense, this is true, usually, but not always. Sometimes a lie is so great that no matter how many believe in it, no matter how deeply they believe in it, it still cannot be made true.
One of the biggest, most grotesque fallacies perpetuated on the American masses is the lie that our soldiers fight to protect our freedoms. The more I reprogram myself, the more I filter through the garbage my head's been filled with most of my life, the more I realize what a lie this is, and the more repulsed I am every time I hear it. I cannot, will not sit quietly. A friend of mine mentioned to me that, even though it may be a lie that they are fighting for our freedom, they believe they are fighting for our freedom, and we should thank them for this anyway. Perhaps I could grit my teeth and bear it if what they actually were fighting for were not so incredibly evil.
- I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority ... I am truly not that concerned about him. - George W. Bush
Examining the "enemy" that supposedly threatens the freedom our soldiers are fighting to preserve, one cannot possibly justify the notion. Even if you buy the official narrative on 9-11, the attack was planned in apartment buildings in Germany and Spain, not in terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Fifteen of the nineteen hijackers were Saudis - none of them were Afghans or Iraqis. Osama bin Laden denied his involvement while he was still alive - he's been dead since December 2001 - and any videos purported to be bin Laden admitting his involvement were such obvious fakes it's an insult to the intelligence to say he confessed. And to top it all off, the FBI most wanted website for Osama bin Laden doesn't even mention 9-11 as one of the crimes he's wanted for. Irregardless, whatever "al Qaeda" was, it has been nearly wiped out of existence in the area.
The Taliban are not terrorists. They are not a threat to the West. In fact, up until May of 2001, the Taliban were allies of America and received aid from our government. In the aftermath of 9-11, the Taliban asked the American government for proof that bin Laden was behind 9-11, after which they would gladly turn him over. Not only did our government tell the Taliban to go pound sand, because we wanted war, but our government has to this day refused to provide what it claims is "overwhelming evidence" of bin Laden's involvement to the American people. That's because Americans have been so indoctrinated to fear al-Bogeyman that the second the second plane hit the tower, our brains shut off and all we were capable of thinking was al Qaeda bin Laden al Qaeda bin Laden... We didn't need evidence.
And yet consider the fruits of our invasion of Afghanistan. In a country where opium farming was banned by the Taliban, so successfully that it was lauded by the UN, 8 years later Afghanistan has the global opium market cornered at over 95%. Afghanistan is now also the world's top hashish and marijuana exporter. Black market narcotics are an extraordinary lucrative trade - at least half a trillion dollars a year in opium, which, when leveraged through fractional reserve banking, becomes many trillions of dollars. It is no coincidence that a similar "anomaly" occured in Vietnam. Finally, I realize that you've been programmed to think that whenever a country besides America does something evil, it's only because they are deranged lunatics, but, considering black market narcotics are pretty much the only commodity of value to be found in Afghanistan, why do you think the Soviets invaded in the early 80's?
Meanwhile, the wanton slaughtering of civilians continues at such a rate that it cannot be anything other than policy, assuring that more and more Afghans, seeking to avenge their murdered friends and relatives, become "terrorists" or "insurgents" that uhhhh would come to America and cut your head off and rape and murder your children if our troops were not over there stopping them. Are the Taliban bad people, by Western standards? Well, ignoring the fact that they banned opium farming, yes, they were some pretty unsavory people. That doesn't mean they had the intent, much less the capabilities, of threatening American liberties.
And then there is Iraq. What can be said about Iraq? Sure, Saddam was a bad guy. In power courtesy of the CIA. Armed, in large part, by the American government. Sure, okay, we made a mistake, and we should be able to uhhh liberate the Iraqi people
of their lives in order to correct that mistake. Except - whoops! - Saddam had already disarmed before we invaded, and we knew it. There's not a lot of drugs coming out of Iraq, but they do have the second largest oil reserves in the world. And of course, Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11. The fact that Rumsfeld proposed an invasion of Iraq the day after 9-11 should tell you all you need to know.
- A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny. -Alexander Solzhenitsyn
And so we return to the original idea which led to this diatribe, the ludicrous assertion that our troops are out there protecting our freedoms. There's not a person alive today who lived through or even fought in a war that was fought to protect American liberties, and that's a fact. Our country has the most powerful military in the history of human kind. And yet according to our government, the biggest threat in our history to the existence of this nation - bigger than the Soviet Union - is a bunch of cavemen and goat herders who, if they have any modern, up-to-date weaponry, it's because we gave it to them. They have no air force. They have no navy. And so there is only one possible way they could come to this country and do anyone any harm: our government lets them in.
With the advent of the Federal Reserve, which creates our own money out of thin air and loans it to us at interest, and its devil spawn, the military industrial complex, war has become not a means of national self preservation but a method of securing massive profits for banks and military contractors. The amount of money involved with preparing for and waging war means there can literally never be peace so long as these two institutions survive. And so, in order to prop up these entities, which enslave all of us, a perpetual fear is engineered, of external (and now internal) threats that we must be ever fearful and vigilant against; any suggestion to the contrary is un-American, un-patriotic.
This is what war has become; this is what our troops are fighting for. Not for freedom; for empire. For profit. I am sorry if the notion offends yours or their delicate "patriotic" sensibilities, but the truth is rarely comforting; it often stings. This endless cycle of enslavement, murder, and mass destruction will never end so long as we lie to our soldiers and thank them for protecting our liberties. I will thank them for protecting our liberties when they lay down their arms and refuse to obey the unconstitutional orders of their "superiors".
Sunday, May 30, 2010
- Raw Story -
At the St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson, Nevada this past Monday, a very unusual and terrifying scene took place that left nearly all its participants in shock -- both out of fear and genuine bewilderment as to how safety planners could be so stupid.
That's because last Monday, an off-duty police officer stormed into the hospital's Sienna campus, where the most sick patients are cared for, and pointed a gun at staff. He then ordered as many as 10 nurses down a hallway and into a room, according to a local report.
It all turned out to be a "safety" drill gone horribly wrong.
"Just last year, Henderson police shot and killed an armed, hostile man in the emergency room," The Las Vegas Sun noted. "So it would make sense that security and emergency preparedness have been a focus at the hospital.
"But in Monday’s incident, which occurred in a unit that houses the hospital’s sickest patients, nurses, patients and their families did not know it was a drill, said Renee Ruiz, organizer of the California Nurses Association, which represents staff at the hospital."
Read all of it.
- Raw Story -
The Los Angeles Police Department has launched an internal investigation after one of its officers was caught on camera apparently kicking a cyclist during a protest against oil giant BP on Friday.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the incident took place on Hollywood Boulevard during a "Critical Mass" cycling event. Critical Masses -- which involve cyclists riding through the streets to call for cyclists' rights -- typically take place on the last Friday of every month. This particular event targeted BP for its role in the Gulf oil spill.
Video of the incident, which was posted to YouTube, shows what appears to be a police officer stepping out and kicking at a passing bicycle.
"Whoa, what the f*** was that for?" the unidentified cameraman can be heard saying. Moments later, the video shows two officers converge on the cameraman and take him down to the ground.
"Get up," one officer can be heard saying, as another says "Stay down."
Read it all, and watch:
- Associated Press -
The economy trudges ahead yet debt dogs many Americans, stressing them out even as they firm up their own financial foundations.
There are new jobs produced but old worries persisting for people despite belt-tightening and boosted savings, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.
About 46 percent of those surveyed say they're suffering from debt-related stress, and half of that group described their stress as "great deal" or "quite a bit." On the other hand, about 53 percent say they feel little or no stress at all.
That's in line with findings from last year, even though times seem better today: The economy is growing and generating jobs, and households have made progress in repairing their financial footing, trimming debt, watching spending and saving more.
It's a big turnaround from a year ago - a shrinking economy, jobs jettisoned as businesses struggled to survive the deepest recession since the 1930s.
So why aren't the stressed - and the not-so-stressed - feeling better?
For starters, it just doesn't feel much like a recovery to many people.
Read all of it.
- Bloomberg -
North Korea warned the UN to be wary of evidence that it said falsely accuses the country of torpedoing the warship, likening the case to the claims of weapons of mass destruction that the U.S. used to justify its war against Iraq in 2003.
The Security Council risks being “misused” by the U.S., the country’s foreign ministry said last night in a statement carried by KCNA. “The U.S. is seriously mistaken if it thinks it can occupy the Korean Peninsula just as it did Iraq with sheer lies,” the statement said.
Read all of it.
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation -
The United States military has acknowledged killing 23 civilians and wounding 12 others earlier this year after mistaking them for a convoy of Taliban insurgents.
The incident on February 21 sparked widespread anger at the presence of international troops in Afghanistan, and an apology from the commander of NATO forces in the country, US General Stanley McChrystal.
General McChrystal has made it a tenet of his counter-insurgency strategy in fighting a Taliban insurgency that civilian casualties be kept to a minimum.
The report said the crew of a remote-controlled drone aircraft had "provided inaccurate reporting" ahead of the incident and local command posts "failed to properly analyse the situation".
"Information that the convoy was anything other than an attacking force was ignored or downplayed by UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) personal," it said.
Read all of it.
Having said that, this is an extremely disturbing development. We hear talk of WWIII all the time, and the elite's seeming obsession with starting it (if it hasn't already begun). But my god, are they really going to do it?
- London Times -
Three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline.
The first has been sent in response to Israeli fears that ballistic missiles developed by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, a political and military organisation in Lebanon, could hit sites in Israel, including air bases and missile launchers.
The submarines of Flotilla 7 — Dolphin, Tekuma and Leviathan — have visited the Gulf before. But the decision has now been taken to ensure a permanent presence of at least one of the vessels.
The flotilla’s commander, identified only as “Colonel O”, told an Israeli newspaper: “We are an underwater assault force. We’re operating deep and far, very far, from our borders.”
Each of the submarines has a crew of 35 to 50, commanded by a colonel capable of launching a nuclear cruise missile.
The vessels can remain at sea for about 50 days and stay submerged up to 1,150ft below the surface for at least a week. Some of the cruise missiles are equipped with the most advanced nuclear warheads in the Israeli arsenal.
The deployment is designed to act as a deterrent, gather intelligence and potentially to land Mossad agents. “We’re a solid base for collecting sensitive information, as we can stay for a long time in one place,” said a flotilla officer.
The submarines could be used if Iran continues its programme to produce a nuclear bomb. “The 1,500km range of the submarines’ cruise missiles can reach any target in Iran,” said a navy officer.
Apparently responding to the Israeli activity, an Iranian admiral said: “Anyone who wishes to do an evil act in the Persian Gulf will receive a forceful response from us.”
Read all of it.
- Washington Post -
A biting U.S. military report released Saturday criticized "inaccurate and unprofessional" reporting by operators of unmanned drones for contributing to a mistaken February airstrike that killed and injured dozens of civilians in southern Afghanistan.
As many as 23 people were killed in the attack in Uruzgan province, where a strike intended for what military officials believed was an insurgent force hit a civilian convoy. The incident was condemned by the Afghan cabinet as "unacceptable," and it prompted Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, to apologize to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The U.S. military said in a statement that four senior officers were reprimanded and two junior officers were admonished in connection with the strike -- disciplinary actions that could damage their careers. In a memo accompanying the military report, McChrystal announced bolstered training to prevent similar incidents in the future, and he asked the U.S. Air Force to investigate the Predator team.
McChrystal has made it a top priority to reduce civilian casualties as the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan has shifted from killing Taliban members to protecting the Afghan populace. He has restricted the use of airstrikes, night raids and home searches, all in a bid to quell public hostility.
"Inadvertently killing or injuring civilians is heartbreaking and undermines their trust and confidence in our mission," McChrystal said in a statement.
The Feb. 21 incident in Uruzgan occurred when a U.S. helicopter fired Hellfire missiles and rockets on a three-vehicle convoy approaching the village of Khod, where U.S. Special Forces and Afghan troops were battling Taliban fighters. A Special Forces ground commander had determined the convoy was carrying militants arriving to provide backup to the fighters, according to the report, written by Maj. Gen. Timothy P. McHale.
But the four-page report said that judgment was based on flawed information from "poorly functioning" ground command posts and faulty reports from Predator drone operators, who were tracking the convoy from their stations at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. Those operators, the report said, "deprived the ground force commander of vital information" as they tracked the convoy for 3 1/2 hours.
Those observing the convoy reported adult men "moving tactically and appearing to provide security during stops." But Predator operators failed to notice women in the convoy, the report said, and though they did spot two children nearby, the information they provided led the ground crew to believe the vehicles carried only "armed military-aged" men.
The report said the aircraft crew stopped firing when its members spotted brightly colored clothing, leading them to believe women might be at the site. By then, 23 men had been killed and 12 had been wounded, including one woman and three children, the report said.
In a statement, Karzai said he was satisfied with the investigation and measures taken to prevent similar incidents, which he called "deeply regrettable."
- Washington Post -
The U.S. military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country's tribal areas, according to senior military officials.
Ties between the alleged Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, and elements of the Pakistani Taliban have sharpened the Obama administration's need for retaliatory options, the officials said. They stressed that a U.S. reprisal would be contemplated only under extreme circumstances, such as a catastrophic attack that leaves President Obama convinced that the ongoing campaign of CIA drone strikes is insufficient.
"Planning has been reinvigorated in the wake of Times Square," one of the officials said.
At the same time, the administration is trying to deepen ties to Pakistan's intelligence officials in a bid to head off any attack by militant groups. The United States and Pakistan have recently established a joint military intelligence center on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, and are in negotiations to set up another one near Quetta, the Pakistani city where the Afghan Taliban is based, according to the U.S. military officials. They and other officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity surrounding U.S. military and intelligence activities in Pakistan.
Read all of it.
Christian Science Monitor -
Hey, is this a great recovery…or what?
Stocks fell again. The Dow went down 69 points Wednesday, closing below 10,000. Gold rose $15…closing above $1,200.
The two are still $8,800 apart. But give them time. They’ve been working their way closer for the last ten years. They’ll get there…
Single family house prices fell for the 6th month in a row, reports The Washington Post.
And get this: “Private pay shrinks to historic lows as government payouts rise,” says USA Today.
The story as told by USA Today:
“Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in US history during the first quarter of this year, a USA Today analysis of government data finds.
“At the same time, government-provided benefits – from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs – rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.
“Those records reflect a long-term trend accelerated by the recession and the federal stimulus program to counteract the downturn. The result is a major shift in the source of personal income from private wages to government programs.
“The trend is not sustainable, says University of Michigan economist Donald Grimes. Reason: The federal government depends on private wages to generate income taxes to pay for its ever-more-expensive programs. Government-generated income is taxed at lower rates or not at all, he says. ‘This is really important,’ Grimes says. “
That’s the trouble, isn’t it? The feds don’t really have any money. They don’t make anything. They don’t create any wealth. So they can only send us checks by taking the money from us – one way or another.
And that, dear reader, is the story of the most important trend of our time. The feds are taking a bigger and bigger share of the economy. And the bigger the share they get, the less the rest of it is worth. Because an economy run by politicians and bureaucrats is not a healthy economy. It’s a sick economy…it limps along. It wheezes and coughs. And if the trend towards more and more federal control continues…the economy finally dies.
Read it all.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
- Mercola.com -
- They believe you have no absolute right to any raw unprocessed food, unless the FDA says it’s okay
- They believe you have no right to good health, except as approved by the FDA
- They believe that there is no right for citizens to contract privately for their food
The Complete Patient reports:
“More Americans appear to be getting the message ... Over the past six months, we’ve had the popular push in Wisconsin, a state where the regulators have gone bonkers to eliminate raw milk, to pressure legislators to approve making it available from the farm ... [and] a firestorm building in Massachusetts over a ... decision by a regulator to restrict consumer access to milk.”
Sources:The Complete Patient April 30, 2010
Read it all.
- Daniel Pinchbeck
The established forces that want to control consciousness and manage perception face the new challenges of outsider perspectives that the internet makes available
The Internet is ground zero in the global consciousness war, between those entrenched forces that want to control consciousness and manage perception, to maintain their power and market share, and those other constituencies who represent a range of outsider perspectives. We are in a new kind of Renaissance - a creative entrepreneurial gold rush.
Over the last few months, I've been working on the release strategy for 2012 Time for Change, our documentary, with director Joao Amorim, producer Giancarlo Canavesio and the staff at Mangusta Films. This has been a great learning process for us, and it is still underway. The transformation of media that began with the launch of 'Web2.0' a number of years ago has continued, and is accelerating. At the same time, the old mechanisms for distributing and marketing independent films have broken down. The model of a new independent film debuting at a festival like Sundance or Toronto, then getting a decent deal with a distribution company that takes the film off the filmmakers' hands and brings them success and some financial reward has become a distant fantasy. Nowadays, very few films get such deals, and even when they do, the movies rarely pay back their investors, reward the creators, or make much of an impact in the mainstream.
In the new model that is still emerging, the creative energy of the filmmakers no longer ends with the completion of the film, but continues to be drawn upon for the entire life cycle of the project. The distribution and marketing of the film become a direct extension of the process of making it, and the creativity extends to every aspect of promoting, marketing, packaging, distributing, and showing it. On one side, this means that the artist can no longer be naive about business, or distanced from it, and hope to survive.
Read all of it.
How artificial intelligence and robotrading pose a growing threat to the global marketplace
"We have found no evidence that these events were triggered by 'fat finger' errors, computer hacking, or terrorist activity, although we cannot completely rule out these possibilities," a recent Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) report on the so-called May 6 "Flash Crash" that wiped out a cool trillion in a mere half-hour weakly admitted. "Much work is needed to determine all of the causes of the market disruption."
That's another way of saying that it remains only the market makers that caused the largest single-day point decline in Dow Jones history who actually know where the bodies are buried. The rest of us, including the SEC, have a Sisyphean task of sifting through mountains of dense data. But regardless of who ends up on the end of possible criminal proceedings, the SEC is sure that the whole clusterstock was seriously exacerbated by the robotraders executing light-speed electronic transactions via supercomputers, while exposing our hyperreal economy as an Internetworked casino. If anything, the Flash Crash proved that market makers like Goldman Sachs and plenty more playing both sides of securities could be capable -- with the high-priced help of math and computer science Ph.Ds crafting up proprietary, recursive algorithms -- of wiping out any corporation's stock, perhaps any nation's economy, in a comparative instant with just the press of a button.
"It was actually amazing watching it all happen," Gina Sanchez, Director of Equity and Asset Allocation Strategy for Roubini Global Economics, told AlterNet by phone. "We went from risk-aversion to risk-seeking in the matter of an hour. But it doesn't bother me so much that the algorithms went after the bids. They were doing what they're supposed to do, which is seek out arbitrage opportunities. What concerned me was how the bids got out there in the first place."
Read all of it.
- ThinkProgress -
Oliver Stone’s new documentary South of the Border, which interviews several left-wing leaders of Latin American countries, has unearthed a startling new allegation from Argentina’s former president Néstor Kirchner. During his interview with Stone, Kirchner said he once discussed global economic problems with former President George W. Bush. The former Argentine president says that when he suggested a new Marshall Plan, referring to the WW II-era European reconstruction plan, Bush “got angry” and suggested that “the Marshall Plan is a crazy idea of the Democrats.” Instead, Kirchner says, Bush suggested that “the best way to revitalize the economy is war”:
KIRCHNER: I said that a solution for the problems right now, I told Bush, is a Marshall Plan. And he got angry. He said the Marshall Plan is a crazy idea of the Democrats. He said the best way to revitalize the economy is war. And that the United States has grown stronger with war.
STONE: War, he said that?
KIRCHNER: He said that. Those were his exact words.
STONE: Is he suggesting that South America go to war?
KIRCHNER: Well, he was talking about the United States: ‘The Democrats had been wrong. All of the economic growth of the United States has been encouraged by wars.’ He said it very clearly.
It is worth noting that despite the prosecution of two major wars, there was very minimal net job growth during Bush’s tenure as president. And of course, he bequeathed an economy that suffered massive job losses in his wake.
- Washington Post -
About 10 percent of the 240 detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, when President Obama took office were "leaders, operatives and facilitators involved in plots against the United States," but the majority were low-level fighters, according to a previously undisclosed government report. About 5 percent of the detainees could not be categorized at all.
The final report by the Guantanamo Review Task Force recommends that 126 of the detainees be transferred either to their homes or to a third country; that 36 be prosecuted in either federal court or a military commission; and that 48 be held indefinitely under the laws of war. A group of 30 Yemenis was approved for release if security conditions in their home country improve.
The report was completed in January but sent to select committees on Capitol Hill just this week. The administration sat on the report in the wake of the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day because there was little public or congressional appetite for further discussion of its plan to close the military detention center.
Read all of it.
- Associated Press -
The use of drones by U.S. intelligence agencies to target suspected militants in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere lacks the accountability required under international law, a U.N. human rights expert said Friday.
Philip Alston, a New York University law professor, will call next week for new international rules to govern the use of drones to ensure they are deployed in line with the laws of war.
The CIA's program of drone strikes against suspected al-Qaida and Taliban insurgents has never been publicly acknowledged by U.S. administration officials, even though it has been written about extensively in the media.
A CIA spokesman said last month that the intelligence agency's counterterror operations are conducted in strict accord with the law.
"In my view there is no legal prohibition on CIA agents, or you and me, deciding to take a 'direct part in hostilities,' which is not to say that it is desirable," Alston told The Associated Press in an e-mail Friday.
Read all of it.
- Raw Story -
When three detainees at Guantanamo Bay were found hanged in their cells on June 9, 2006, the official explanation was suicide. Human rights attorney Scott Horton, however, believes that "clearly these were homicides."
Horton has been speaking out about the incident since last winter, apparently motivated by a concern that the Obama administration may be participating in a cover-up. A Justice Department investigation was closed last fall without challenging the official version of the men's deaths.
In an appearance Thursday on Fox News' Freedom Watch, Horton stated that the only real question in his mind is whether the men's deaths were deliberate murders or were "negligent homicides" resulting from "some sort of procedure that was performed on them." He suggested, for example, that they might have suffocated as a result of being gagged while undergoing torture.
"The father of one of the deceased," Horton noted, "who himself was a general in the Saudi Arabian police, said he examined the body and he saw evidence of torture. He's convinced of that."
The show's host, Judge Andrew Napolitano, appeared clearly skeptical of the government account, and the segment was bannered, "Are the 'suicides' really torture interrogations gone wrong?"
Read all of it, and watch:
- Because ultimately, if nations do not believe that what the United States is trying to ask them to do or making the case for them to do is in their interest, that’s a nonstarter. Some nations have expanded the definition of what’s in their interest. - Hillary Clinton
Spokesman 'Unclear' on Why US Deployed Missiles Along Russian Border
Russian officials spoke with a combination of consternation and befuddlement as American missiles arrived in Poland and were deployed less than 50 miles from the border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.
“It’s not clear why they need this,” said a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, “this is an anti-aircraft system. There’s an element of anti- missile defense, but not very big.”
Officially, the Obama Administration claims the missiles are to defend Europe from an Iranian attack, but Iran has no missiles with a maximum range of the US battery, and it is unimaginable that Iran would launch an attack against Eastern Poland at any rate.
Ultimately the missiles seem to be there for political and not strategic reasons. Poland’s voters have expressed opposition to the missiles but their government was furious when the Obama Administration anandoned a previous missile battery plan, and has cheered the latest deployment as a symbol of growing US influence in the region.
Likewise the missiles don’t appear to be any serious threat to Russia’s security plans for the region, but the deployment so close to their border seems designed specifically to spite the Medvedev government, which feels obliged to respond.
Money and Markets -
Heads up people. Something very big is happening in the global credit markets — something you darn well better pay attention to.
The very same “Credit Crisis” indicators that were flashing red before the stock market meltdown of 2007-2008 — the ones Martin and I used to get our subscribers out of almost all stocks, and “short” the market via inverse ETFs — are flashing red again.
Pay attention and you might save your portfolio. Ignore them and you could get slaughtered.
What the heck is happening? Why is the market in so much peril? Because governments worldwide did exactly what we warned them not to do!
By bailing out, backstopping, and propping up countless lousy institutions and assets during the private credit crisis … rather than allowing a quicker, more painful, but ultimately cleansing collapse … they turned a Wall Street debt crisis into a sovereign debt crisis.
They temporarily postponed the day of reckoning, while failing to solve the underlying problems.
Read all of it.
I started out just writing one or two posts per day on average, to now being in my estimation one of the most active blogs on the internet, approaching on most months upwards of 300 posts per month. I have over a dozen news sources I scour each day looking for what I feel are important stories and try to filter through the distractions, like Obama's birth certificate. You may find Barry Soetoro's origin of birth engaging, but, considering we're in the midst of the biggest economic collapse since the fall of the Roman Empire, I find it about as important as Brittany's BMI.
Anyway, out of the last thousand posts, I penned about twenty essays myself. I've been published on Infowars, PrisonPlanet, and Op Ed News. Still trying for that first LewRockwell.com pick-up...maybe between now and 3,000. If you're a regular reader, be sure to click the "follow" tab in the upper left corner of the page, and if you have any stories or comments, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading. Hopefully we're all still here for my 3,000th post.
- One Thousand
- David Rockefeller's Eugenics Agenda
- Mother Nature Spanks Algore
- Another False Flag Terror Attack as Justification for War and Trampling on Our Freedoms
- Benign Negligence?
- Vitamins: Establishment Shills on the Attack Again
- A Global Climate Assault (of extreme cold)
- Triple-Dose of Stupidity
- The American Mafia Wife Syndrome
- Intelligence chiefs: Another false flag, staged terror attack is 'certain'
- Vaccines: 18th Century Medical Quackery
- Global Warming Hacks Can't Get Their Stories Straight
- Neocons Continue to Revel In Ignorance
- Our Fake Lives in the Fake Economy
- Suicidal Nihilism
- The Leaderless Resistance
- Survival Prep
- No One Rules if No One Obeys
- 'Severe consequences' for Pakistan over terror plots: US
- Economic Apocalypse
- Hillary: 'The rich are not paying their fair share'
- Can you predict the future?
NEVERTrust the Government
There is nothing new in a government lying to their people to start a war. Indeed because most people prefer living in peace to bloody and horrific death in war, any government that desires to initiate a war usually lies to their people to create the illusion that support for the war is the only possible choice they can make.
It is inescapable historical reality that leaders of nations will lie to their people to trick them into wars they otherwise would have refused. It is not "conspiracy theory" to suggest that leaders of nations lie to trick their people into wars. It is undeniable fact.
This brings us to the present case.
Read all of it. See also The American Mafia Wife Syndrome.
- Tyler Durden
- The issue of the ‘international reserve currency’ and the possible role of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) has moved from obscurity to the centre of discussions about the future.
- Given China’s importance in terms of its share of world trade, the CNY should now be part of the SDR. The case for including it can only become more obvious as this decade progresses.
- However, actually including the CNY as a constituent of the SDR is likely to remain a challenge without the CNY becoming more widely used internationally, including as a reserve asset.
- The case for including other BRIC currencies in the SDR, especially the RUB, is also likely to become stronger over the coming decade.
- Although the Dollar will probably not be as dominant in 2020 as it is today, it is far from clear that it needs to be replaced by the SDR—or by anything else—as the main reserve currency.
- For the SDR to be attractive to private users, it will need to include the CNY and possibly other BRIC currencies. However, this alone would not guarantee that the SDR would be more attractive to private investors.
Jim O'Neill, who did not make any friends within the bear community earlier today, has written an interesting paper on the IMF's Special Drawing Rights, and whether this hypernational currency can ever become a reserve currency as is, and/or with the CNY as a constituent member. While O'Neill as usual focuses on the angle of the "next paradigm" BRICs, and how they will increasingly dominate global economics, he does pose an important question: with the dollar likely to suffer the side effects of either hyperdeflation, hyperinflation, or hyperstagflation, will the next reserve currency be a diluted melange of other flawed fiat constructs (i.e., the SDR), or the currency of the one country, which for all its flaws, still has the cleanest balance sheet backing its own fiat construct. On the other hand, the question of whether this analysis is moot to begin with, and the world will revert to the gold standard as the ongoing crisis of confidence in all paper money flares up, is not raised even once... We wonder (not really) what Jim O'Neill would have to say on that particular issue.
Here are the main bullets:
The paper is a critical follow up to anyone who found Albert Edward's earlier analysis of collapsing global FX reserves relevant.
- Bloomberg -
U.S. stocks slid, capping the worst May for the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1940, while the euro slumped and Treasuries rose as a downgrade of Spain’s debt rating and escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula triggered a flight from riskier assets.
The Dow tumbled 122.36 points, or 1.2 percent, to 10,136.63 at 4 p.m. in New York and lost 7.9 percent this month. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index sank 1.2 percent to 1,089.41, led by financial shares on the Spanish downgrade and energy companies after U.S. President Barack Obama extended a moratorium on new deep-water drilling. Oil erased gains after rallying as much as 1.6 percent to more than $75 a barrel. Ten-year Treasury yields decreased 7 basis points to 3.3 percent. The euro slipped 0.7 percent to $1.2273.
Equities and commodities extended losses after Fitch Ratings stripped Spain of the AAA rating it’s held since 2003, saying the nation’s economic growth will slow as it attempts to cut its debts. Earlier losses followed disappointing U.S. economic data and a North Korean general’s warning of “all-out war” if any accidental clashes with South Korea break out.
“Spain’s downgrade just adds to more uncertainty,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist for Newark, New Jersey- based Prudential Financial Inc., which oversees about $667 billion. “There are too many geopolitical events. We have a three-day weekend in the U.S., and traders will definitely want to lighten their books.”
Read all of it.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Blood of Patriots and Tyrants
Recently revealed on an obscure website is a former New York Times editor, Pulitzer Price-winning journalist's account of how the United States government, with the aid of a certain supposed war hero-turned United States senator and presidential candidate, left hundreds of American POW's to die in the hands of the vicious, torturous North Vietnamese government. The story was buried by the establishment media, even though its author, Sydney Schanberg, was a, if not the, premier Vietnam War investigative journalist, whose Pulitzer winning reporting and subsequent book became the basis for the Oscar-winning movie The Killing Fields. And every subsequent administration, from Nixon to Obama, has helped cover this up.
Obviously I am not a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist; I'm just a guy, usually in his boxers (they're comfortable), sitting at his computer, yelling into the void known as the internets, hoping someone might be listening. I would hardly consider the half an hour I once spent in Canada as visiting a foreign country, and I have no exclusive sources. I can only provide my own insight to the work others are doing. Having said this, I recommend you read Sydney Schanberg's story here, including a separate piece he wrote about the media cover-up of this story here, as well as Ron Unz's reporting on the story here.
You can decide for yourself whether Schanberg's story is credible; needless to say I find his allegations incontrovertible and it is of the underlying issue of the trustworthiness of the government I wish to speak. Unfortunately, as you know, this story will never truly see the light of day. The average chemically lobotomized yuppie doing his best Frito Pendejo impersonation won't hear a peep about this, because he thinks if it were significant, BeckHannityO'Reilly would've waxed hysterical about it. And of the enlightened few, who already know 99% of the so-called conspiracy theories are actually true, it won't provide any additional insight into how evil and corrupt and rogue
our all government is, because we already know that if they'd fake a military confrontation in order to start a war in which tens of thousands of Americans died; if they'd murder 3,000 people in one day to use as justification for wars that would kill thousands more Americans and hundreds of thousands more other people; if they'd murder a sitting US President, there's pretty much no depth to which they won't sink. They are truly evil, truly and utterly heartless, without conscience.
I would like to say that the McCain/POW scandal is different, because it was a heinous government conspiracy uncovered by one of the establishment's own. This isn't college kids at their computer uncovering the 9-11 conspiracy, or Alex Jones talking about chemtrails. This is a New York Times, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, providing incontrovertible evidence that hundreds of US troops were left to die in the scumhole of North Vietnam. But post it on your blog; throw a link up on your Facebook...perhaps some in the "anti-war" left, because the scandal originated under a Republican president, will listen. But most Americans will see the words "New York Times" and immediately dismiss it out of hand, and, unfortunately, the New York Times themselves cannot be held blameless in this. But then again, it was the New York Times who, as much as anyone, covered this story up for the regime, and kept it buried for many years - why would The Times, America haters that they are, bury a story that would do so much damage to the country they are accused of hating? You can't expect rationality out of people whose third eye is plastered shut.
When politicians and neocons talk about supporting the troops; when they talk about America being a force for good in the world, you can tell them about the Gulf of Tonkin. You can talk about Operation Ajax. Operation Northwoods. Gladio. You can tell them your supposed war heroes are just as likely to sell their souls, and the lives of their comrades, for a vote and a buck.
Another of Klein’s shortcomings is that she doesn’t dare mention the possibility that, not only are these “radical capitalists”, these Friedmanites, just waiting in the wings for disasters, like Katrina or a tsunami, to strike; they also create the disasters themselves, so that they can exploit the aftermath to their benefit.
There are so many terms to describe what they're doing: Hegelian Dialectic...problem>reaction>solution...disaster capitalism...Ordo ab Chao - order out of chaos, as the Masons refer to it...etc. They have an agenda that, under normal circumstances they could never move forward with, so they engineer the circumstances that make the agenda seem necessary, and then present it as a solution to the crisis they themselves created. And so it has been in the current economic crisis: it is of their making; conscious, awake, purposefully.
Knowing this, you know where this is all headed. If you know economics, you know the solutions necessary to stem and reverse the tide of destruction this has wrought, and you know that what they are doing is the exact opposite. So you are the sage, you are the seer, you are the psychic that predicts the future. Not because you have a paranormal interface with time and space, but because they are telling you their plans. You only need be aware enough to hear them.
Even if you believe in a system where your wealth and wages are taken from you by force, to say that the
upper-middle class rich need to pay more is just suicidal. They are the small business owners, the ones who employ most of the people in this country. If you suck the capital from them, you rob them of their ability to sustain, much less grow and expand. Not only do they pay taxes, but the people they employ pay taxes. If they can't hire people, or if they're forced, because of higher taxes, to downsize, then the government has essentially cut off its own nose to spite its face. Not only do they blatantly deny themselves revenue, for which they will use as justification to raise taxes even more, but they've taken a huge chunk out of the economy, only perpetuating the cycle further.
Again, this is so elemental that there is absolutely no way Mrs Clinton or anyone else "believing" in this is not aware. Never is the clear, obvious, and economically tried, tested and true solution mentioned: drastically reducing the size and scope of government, and ceasing and desisting its intervention in the market. In fact the opposite is the policy, which anyone with two neurons to rub together knows is what got us in this crisis in the first place. The real agenda here is to wipe out the middle ground between the truly wealthy elite and the truly poor, so that there are no one left except the few who have everything, and the multitude who have nothing and are totally dependent on, beholden and enslaved to the elite few.
Isn't it funny how a single, simple sentence can say so much?
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is gaining a reputation for funding technologies designed to roll out mass sterilization and vaccination programs around the world. One of the programs recently funded by the foundation is a sterilization program that would use sharp blasts of ultrasound directed against a man's scrotum to render him infertile for six months. It might accurately be called a "temporary castration" technology. Read more about it here: http://www.naturalnews.com/028853_u...
Now, the foundation has funded a new "sweat-triggered vaccine delivery" program based on nanoparticles penetrating human skin. The technology is describes as a way to "...develop nanoparticles that penetrate the skin through hair follicles and burst upon contact with human sweat to release vaccines."
The research grant money is going to Carlos Alberto Guzman of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Germany and Claus-Michael Lehr and Steffi Hansen of the Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research.
These are both part of the Gates Foundation's involvement in the "Grand Challenges Explorations" program which claims to be working to "achieve major breakthroughs in global health."
...breakthroughs like mass sterilization and nanoparticle vaccines that could be covertly administered even without your knowledge, it turns out. These nanoparticles could be used in a spray mist that's sprayed on to every person who walks through an airport security checkpoint, for example. Or it could be unleashed through the ventilation systems of corporate office buildings or public schools to vaccinate the masses. You wouldn't even know you were being vaccinated.
This technology is potentially very dangerous to your health freedom. Using it, governments or drug companies (which are all the same thing these days) could create a vaccine skin cream that's handed out and described as "sunscreen." But when you put it on, you're actually vaccinating yourself as the nanoparticles burrow underneath your skin and burst, releasing foreign DNA inside your body.