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Friday, October 24, 2014

Blowback??? Or just part of the plan???

WMD Blowback in Iraq
by Jacob G. Hornberger


According to a New York Times article today, the Islamic State has employed WMDs against Iraqi police officers. The specific WMD used is chlorine gas. According to reports, ISIS forces set off an explosion that released the gas, causing injuries to 11 Iraqi police officers.

Alistair Baskey, a spokesman for the National Security Council, observed:

The use of chlorine as a chemical weapon is an abhorrent act. These recent allegations underscore the importance of our work to eliminate chemical weapons in this violate region.”

What planet is Baskey living on? It certainly can’t be Planet Earth. Where does he think those chemical weapons came from? Does he think they just mysteriously dropped in the laps of the Islamic State?

No, as I pointed out in my blog post of October 15, those chemical weapons came from the United States as part of the U.S. government’s partnership during the 1980s with Saddam Hussein.

That’s right — those infamous WMDs that were used as George W. Bush’s excuse for invading Iraq came from the United States. That’s why Bush was so certain that they would “find” WMDs in Iraq. He had the receipts for them.

Why did the U.S. deliver that chlorine gas and other chemical and biological weapons to Iraq?

So that Saddam could use them to kill Iranians.

Why did U.S. officials want Saddam to use chlorine gas and other WMDs to kill Iranians?

Because U.S. officials were still angry over the fact that the Iranian people have ousted from power their brutal dictator, the Shah of Iran, whom U.S. officials had installed into power with the CIA’s coup in 1953 that destroyed Iran’s experiment with democracy. In fact, they’re still angry about it to this day.

Now, let’s revisit that pointed observation by Baskey:

The use of chlorine as a chemical weapon is an abhorrent act.

Questions for Baskey: Why is the use of chlorine gas considered good when it is used by a pro-U.S. dictator against the Iranian people and considered bad when it is used by an anti-U.S. group against a U.S.-installed regime in Iraq? Why isn’t it equally bad in both instances?

As the New York Times recently disclosed in a shocking story, it turns out that from 2004-2008 President George W. Bush and his people did discover the old WMD caches that the U.S. had delivered to Saddam Hussein. The canisters containing the gases were old and rusting out.

Wouldn’t you think that Bush and Vice President Cheney, the Pentagon, and the CIA would trumpet that WMD find, using it to justify their invasion of Iraq?

Not so! They instead ordered soldiers to keep it secret, an order that was fulfilled until the New York Times revealed the truth a few days ago.

Why would they want such a find to be kept secret? There is one likely reason: They didn’t want the American people to figure out that it was the U.S. who delivered those WMDs to Saddam so that he could use them to kill Iranians.

Here at The Future of Freedom Foundation, we alluded to this in 2003 in an article entitled “Where Did Iraq Get It’s Weapons of Mass Destruction?”

Needless to say, that was during a time when many Americans didn’t want to hear discomforting things about their federal government, especially with respect to foreign policy.

And so now we have the ultimate in blowback. In fact, one might call it “The Mother of All Blowbacks.”

The U.S. government invades Iraq under a bogus WMD threat in order to garner support for a regime change against its old partner and ally, Saddam Hussein, to whom the U.S. had given WMDs so that Saddam could use them to kill Iranians.

The WMDs are ultimately found but U.S. officials keep the find secret from the American people and the rest of the world. Even worse, they fail to destroy the WMDs.

The U.S. government’s ouster of Saddam Hussein unleashes a violent civil war in which the Islamic State is trying to oust the U.S.-installed regime in Iraq.

The Islamic State finds those WMDs and uses them against the U.S.-installed Iraqi regime, while U.S. officials publicly condemn the use of the WMDs that the U.S. delivered to Saddam to kill Iranians.

Just one more big blowback success story in the history of U.S. interventionism.


Link:
http://fff.org/2014/10/24/wmd-blowback-in-iraq/

" If government is conceded a role in anything, it is in building roads, bridges, highways and airports, and in running public schools. Yet our infrastructure is crumbling, U.S. children fall lower and lower in international competition, and the racial divide in academic performances has never closed, despite an investment of trillions in education over half a century. Even Joe Biden calls LaGuardia a “Third World” airport."

Things Fall Apart

By Patrick J. Buchanan


When this writer was 3 years old, the Empire of Japan devastated Battleship Row of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.

Before I was 7, Gen. MacArthur was in an office in Tokyo overlooking the Imperial Palace, dictating to a shattered Japan.

In 1956, President Eisenhower, impressed by the autobahn he had seen in Hitler’s Reich, ordered a U.S. Interstate Highway System constructed, tying America together, one of the great public works projects in all history.

Within a decade, the system was on its way to completion.

In 1961, John F. Kennedy said the United States, beaten into space by Nikita Khrushchev’s Soviet Union, would put a man on the moon and return him to earth within the decade.

In July 1969, President Nixon, on the deck of the carrier Hornet, welcomed home Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins of Apollo 11.

What ever became of that America? What ever became of that can-do nation? What has happened to us?

This October saw the vaunted Center for Disease Control and Prevention fumbling over basic questions on how to protect Americans from an Ebola epidemic in three small countries of West Africa.

In September, an intruder with a knife climbed the White House fence, trotted across the North lawn, walked through the unlocked front door of the president’s house, barreled over a female officer, and ran around the East Room before being tackled by a Secret Service agent going off duty. The president had just departed.

Days earlier, an armed security guard in Atlanta with a violent criminal past was allowed by Secret Service to ride an elevator with Barack Obama.

Last summer came reports that 60,000 children and young people from Central America had walked across the border into the United States, overwhelming our Border Patrol.

Last spring, we learned that sick and suffering vets were deliberately made to wait months for appointments to see VA doctors, and dozens may have died during the wait.

Earlier, the rollout of Obamacare, years in preparation, became a national joke and a metaphor for government incompetence.

Under President Bush came Katrina, where 30,000 residents of New Orleans were stranded for days behind a pool of stagnant water after a hurricane. The city and state couldn’t handle it.

Yet, during five days in 1940, 350,000 British troops, besieged at Dunkirk, were rescued from across the Channel by their countrymen in boats and yachts under the guns of the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe.

Such events have contributed to a collapse of confidence among Americans in the competency of their leaders and their government.

Large majorities now believe America is heading downhill, that the future will not be as good as the past, that we are going in the wrong direction.

Malaise pervades the republic.

And there are larger reasons for these sentiments.

Our recent wars, in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, all seem to have left them and us worse off. In fighting our new war in Iraq and Syria we have neither a credible strategy nor sufficient troops to prevail against the Islamic State.

Already, Americans are asking: Why is this our war?

Since the mid-1970s, the real wages of working Americans have stagnated as we have run uninterrupted trade deficits totaling more than $10 trillion. Under Obama the national debt has surpassed the Gross Domestic Product.

Our manufacturing base has been hollowed out with Detroit as Exhibit A. We outsource our future by borrowing from China to buy from China.

We borrow from Japan and Europe to defend Japan and Europe, though World War II has been over for 70 years.

FedEx tracks with precision millions of packages a day. But the U.S. government cannot locate and send back 12 million illegal aliens.

Thirty years after a Reagan amnesty that carried a commitment to secure our borders, Obama is preparing an executive amnesty for untold millions of illegals, as soon as the election is over. And still the borders are not secure.

If government is conceded a role in anything, it is in building roads, bridges, highways and airports, and in running public schools.

Yet our infrastructure is crumbling, U.S. children fall lower and lower in international competition, and the racial divide in academic performances has never closed, despite an investment of trillions in education over half a century. Even Joe Biden calls LaGuardia a “Third World” airport.

Many private institutions are succeeding splendidly. But our public institutions, save the military, seem to be broadly failing.

Congress is gridlocked. The president is seen as a dithering incompetent. The Supreme Court is polarized irreparably.

Our political, racial and cultural clashes, traceable to conflicts created by the revolutions of the 1960s, are daily magnified and exacerbated by cable TV, the Internet and social media.

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,” wrote the poet Yeats.

Clare Luce put is another way. In this world, she said, there are two kinds of people — optimists and pessimists. “The pessimists are better informed.”


Link:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/10/patrick-j-buchanan/government-is-collapsing/

Free markets beat all...

Can’t Appreciate the Private Economy? You Don’t Deserve the Plenty It Provides
By Ilana Mercer


The voluntary free market is a sacred extension of life itself. The free market—it has not been unfettered for a very long time—is really a spontaneously synchronized order comprising trillions upon trillions of voluntary acts that individuals perform in order to make a living. Introduce government force and coercion into this rhythm and you get life-threatening arrhythmia. Under increasing state control, this marketplace—this magic, organic agora—starts to splutter, and people suffer.

While the argument against the free market presses its case with an impressive array of economic fallacies—even the Hollywood “Idiocracy” is hip to the logic of the free market.

Just for a change, the menstruation lobby is moaning about the movies and its members’ representation therein. By Variety Magazine’s telling, “[Female] characters are still significantly under-represented on the big screen. … The numbers for minority females are even lower. African-American female representation on screen [has] climbed to 14 percent, from 8 percent in 2011, but [is] down from 15 percent in 2012.”

The presence of minorities in movies often signals a two-hour long, oppressive racial lecture. Most movie-goers are no more inclined to turn to “12 Years A Slave” for fun, than they are to subject themselves to Oprah Winfrey and her M.O.P.E. (Most Oppressed Person Ever) “Butler.”

Anti-man moaning notwithstanding, the general public must be on to this, because it is quite clear that Hollywood is giving viewers what they want to see: men in lead roles. If film executives listened to the loathsome Lena Dunham, rather than to the demands of consumers—the industry would go under.

Alas, most liberals (and that includes “conservatives” aplenty) are foolish enough to lump business with government as an eternal source of disappointment to Americans. Noodles Ron Fournier of National Journal:

“Steadily, over the past four decades, the nation has lost faith in virtually every American institution: banks, schools, colleges, charities, unions, police departments, organized religion, big businesses, small businesses and, of course, politics and government.”

As I type, I consume a plate of seven different fruits topped with nuts. Many of the ingredients on my plate are organic. These used to be exorbitantly priced; out of reach. But as demand for organic produce has grown, production has increased and prices have dropped dramatically.

Each day I give thanks to the businessmen who, against all odds, bring such abundance to market and provide such plenty. There is nothing in my home that comes courtesy of the blessings of bureaucrats. I guarantee that it’s the same in your home.

If you, like Fournier, fail to distinguish the blessings of the private economy from the blight of government—you deserve none of the former and all of the latter.


Link:
http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/10/cant-appreciate-private-economy-you.html

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Inflation??? What inflation???

New Study: The Middle Class is Collapsing in the United States
By Simon Black


When I was growing up, my father was able to support his family of four on a single income. And when he was growing up, his father could do the same.

This sort of security simply doesn’t exist anymore.

These days, it typically takes two working parents just to be able to afford a comfortable standard of living. And even then, just barely.

Today people have to borrow on their credit cards just to get by. And young people are forced to indebt themselves decades into the future simply to pay for an increasingly worthless university degree.

In 1970
, general tuition at the University of Pennsylvania was $2,550 per year, roughly 33% of the median household income at the time ($7,559).

Bear in mind this was at a time when most households were still supported by a single income.

By 2012, however, general tuition at the same school had risen to $42,734—over 86% of the median household income ($49,486) at a time when many households had become dual income.

This means that the price of a piece of paper from university went from 33% of a single income to 86% of two incomes combined.

This is unbelievable cost increase that illustrates a very clear divide that’s forming in the West.

Yes—inflation exists. It’s hidden. It’s long-term. But it exists. And over a period of years… even decades… it changes the very fundamentals of civilization.

There are two primary forms of inflation. On one hand, there’s asset price inflation. This is when the value of stocks, bonds, and real estate goes up.

But if you’re a typical family that has to spend 95% of your household income just to get by, asset price inflation doesn’t really give a huge boost to the measly 5% of your income that you manage to save.

No, instead, the typical family suffers from the other inflation—retail price inflation.

This is when the cost of goods and services outpaces their wages year after year.

People easily lose track of this. But enough time passes and they find that now two parents have to work just to afford a basic lifestyle, quality food, medical care, and education that one parent used to provide.

Asset price inflation is something that primarily benefits the ultra wealthy.

When you only have to spend 5% of your income on living expenses, and 95% on investments, you stand to gain substantially when your investments increase in value.

This phenomenon has created one of the greatest transfers of wealth in history: one class of citizens getting richer at the expense of everyone else.

A new report just released by two academics at the London School of Economics and UC Berkeley shows just how rapidly the middle class is collapsing in the Land of the Free.

The top 0.1% (160,00 families with total net assets of more than $20 million in 2012) owned 7% of all wealth in late 1970s. That jumped to 22% in 2012.

The bottom 90%, on the other hand, went from a 36% share to a 23% share in the same period.

Now, this letter isn’t intended to rail against wealth inequality, or to suggest that we should be more ‘equal’.

Equality is a dangerous and impossible ideal to strive for. Every human being alive is different, and to suggest that we should all be the same or live according to the same standards is absurd.

No matter what, there are always going to be poor people and rich people. There are always going to be folks who choose to work harder, and those who choose to work less.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. Wealth is a noble ideal; it’s nothing to apologize for.

The accumulation of wealth is supposed to mean that you have done something to create value in the world—that you have created a useful product that people desire, or that you have created wealth for others.

But that path to accumulate wealth is now all but dead.

The Land of the Free used to be a place where you could work hard and build wealth for yourself, either by starting a business, taking some investment risk, or working your way up the chain.

Yet today, authorities chase away children who have the audacity to operate a lemonade stand without a permit.

The nanny state legally bars most grown adults from investing their own savings in lucrative private enterprises, forcing the masses into overheated, central bank- manipulated stocks and bonds.

And today you’re lucky to work for the same company for more than a few years. As a colleague told me a few months ago, few people have careers anymore.

Instead, human beings are ‘rented’ by companies to perform tasks. There’s no longer a career track, growth, or significant advancement.

All of the old capitalist ideals have been replaced with compliance, obedience, and subservience to the state. They’ve managed to completely hollow out the middle class.

The ultra rich, meanwhile, continue to get rich.

Central bankers print money, and it pushes up the value of assets that the rich already own, making them even richer.

In other words, if you’re born rich, you stay rich. If you’re not, it’s becoming harder to attain wealth. Talent and hard work matter less and less with each passing year.

This is dreadfully, terribly wrong.

The people in charge of this system have completely broken what capitalism is supposed to be. And they’ve replaced it with a new form of feudalism.

This is something that can’t possibly last.

All the technology and tools already exist for individuals to take the power back and divorce themselves from this reality.

You no longer have to live, work, and play in the same country where you were born.

You no longer have to hold the heavily manipulated, degraded currency that they destroy, or use the banking system that they control.

You no longer have to educate your children in the state-controlled school system, or feed your family the genetically-modified crap that the corn lobby bribes onto the store shelves.

You can break free. It’s a matter of choice.


Link:
http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/10/new-study-middle-class-is-collapsing-in.html

This doesn't sound good...

Missouri Doctor: Suspected Ebola Patient Witnessed ‘Bleeding Out of All Orifices’

Hospitals altering patient diagnoses to stave off public panic?

Adan Salazar


A Missouri medical professional disclosed on today’s episode of the Alex Jones Show that doctors he’s friends with at other hospitals have seen patients exhibiting Ebola-like symptoms, such as extreme hemorrhagic bleeding, and that those patients were promptly ushered away to “God knows where.”

While many have speculated that US hospitals are under orders to downplay the possibility that patients have Ebola, industry medical professionals have largely remained silent on the outbreak.

However, Dr. James Lawrenzi, who holds a medical degree in Medicine and Biosciences, says it’s his duty to notify the public about the information he’s garnered behind the scenes.

The physician says he’s heard from other doctors that Ebola patients have been “disappeared,” and that at least one patient has been witnessed “bleeding out of all of his orifices.”

A short transcript of Dr. Lawrenzi’s interview with Alex Jones follows:

“About four weeks ago, when Ebola started kicking off here in the US, and all of a sudden you started hearing about patients possibly having Ebola and hospitals beginning to test for it… Well a friend of mine that’s a resident at Truman Medical Center, which is where I did my residency at, called me and said, ‘Hey, we got a possible Ebola patient here and he’s bleeding out of all of his…,” Well, I’m not gonna use the language he used but, ‘He’s bleeding out of all of his orifices, he’s in septic shock, hypotensive, high fever, he was visiting Africa, or he was from Africa, and had recently been here in the Kansas City area.

“And they took care of him in the ICU [Intensive Care Unit]. Of course, there’s not a rapid test so they weren’t sure, but they ordered the test and… they moved him to the ICU and they put him in isolation, from what my friend had told me.

“The following day he called me back and, cause I told him let me know – I wanted to call your show. I wanted to let people know, ‘Hey we got a case here in Kansas City’ – Well he called me back the next day and said they ‘disappeared’ the patient.

“I said, ‘What do you mean they ‘disappeared’ him?’

“He said, ‘The patient’s gone.’

“They were told he left AMA which means ‘Against Medical Advice.’ But the guy was… he wouldn’t have been able to leave he was in that bad of a shape.

“I said I’ll look for a ‘John Doe,’ which is a name they use in hospitals in case somebody’s admitted that they don’t know who you are. And there was no ‘John Does’ in the hospital, so the patient disappeared.

“So, the following day they had a meeting with anybody that had contact with that patient and said that he did not have Ebola, he had malaria.

“All of a sudden, that’s when we heard that all these other cases in other cities… They were coming back and saying, ‘No, they didn’t have Ebola, they had malaria.’ It seemed like that’s what they were told to tell everybody.

“Well then we had a second patient at Research Medical Center that was rumored to have, because I have friends there too, and they called me and said we have a possible Ebola patient. That patient disappeared.

“There’s a patient recently a KU Medical Center, which is just across from the Kansas side, about 20 minutes from here. And that patient, I don’t know what the status of that patient is, but they came out and said that he didn’t have Ebola, he had typhoid.

“So something very, very strange is going on. And I wouldn’t have thought much about it, but this happened in other areas of the country, not only Kansas City. These patients are disappearing, they’re doing something with the patients and God knows where they’re going.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “bleeding out of every orifice,” as Dr. Lawrenzi described, is not a symptom of malaria:

“Symptoms of malaria include fever and flu-like illness, including shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur,” the CDC states.

Patients exhibiting typhoid fever symptoms, also according to the CDC, “feel weak, or have stomach pains, headache, or [experience] loss of appetite.” However, hemorrhagic bleeding does not appear to be a symptom of the bacterial disease.

Dr. Lawrenzi’s intel, which arrives straight from inside the medical industrial complex, mirrors statements made earlier this month by former Border Patrol Agent Zach Taylor and other sources, who confirmed that illegal aliens caught crossing the southern US border who were exhibiting any Ebola symptoms were being escorted away by teams of officials in Hazmat suits and vans.

“The agents are telling us that they’re seeing some people who are obviously sick, with shivering type illnesses, with possible dehydrating illnesses like diarrhea and vomiting,” said Taylor.

“Those people are disappearing, we don’t know what they have, where they’re going, where they’re taking them – surely they’re being quarantined somewhere we just don’t know where and even the agents don’t know what the diagnosis is of these illnesses,” Taylor said.

Given the preponderance of testimony disseminated from medical and government whistleblowers regarding possible Ebola cases evidently not being reported to the public, it’s entirely possible that more potential cases throughout the country exist, but are being kept under strict confidentiality – either to stave off public panic, or more nefariously, to allow the virus to spread.


Link:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/missouri-doctor-suspected-ebola-patient-witnessed-bleeding-out-of-all-orifices.html

"That’s where a constitution comes into play. Its purpose is to restrain the powers of those who are democratically elected. The U.S. Constitution, for example, called into existence a federal government whose powers were few in number and extremely limited in scope."

Democracy Is Neither Freedom Nor Prosperity
by Jacob G. Hornberger


Consider this excerpt from a New York Times article on the recent success that Tunisia has had in adopting a democratic system:

Many young Tunisians say that the new freedoms and elections have done little to improve the daily life, create jobs, or rein in a brutal police force that many here still refer to as “the ruler,” or, among ultra-conservative Islamists, “the tyrant.”

There is a very simple explanation for that phenomenon: Democracy does not produce economic prosperity and does not guarantee freedom from tyranny.

What is democracy? It’s simply a political system by which people are selected for public office. That’s all. Its primary benefit is that it enables people to change regimes peacefully — that is, without the need for a violent revolution. It guarantees neither freedom nor prosperity.

While democracy is important in the sense that it enables people to replace public officials with new people, what matters from the standpoint of individual liberty and economic prosperity is the nature of the powers that public officials wield after they are elected.

If, for example, people have the freedom to elect a president with totalitarian powers, that is as far from a free society as one can get. Latin Americans have long experienced this particular phenomenon. It’s been said that they have the freedom to elect their dictators every four or six years.

That’s where a constitution comes into play. Its purpose is to restrain the powers of those who are democratically elected.

The U.S. Constitution, for example, called into existence a federal government whose powers were few in number and extremely limited in scope.

The idea was that while federal officials would be elected to office, they didn’t mean that they were empowered to do whatever they wanted to the citizenry. The American people in the late 1700s were not interested in that type of government. They were interested in a government whose officials were democratically elected and whose powers would be limited to those few enumerated in the document.

Even the original Constitution, however, wasn’t good enough for the American people. They demanded that the Constitution be amended just as soon as it was approved. Ten amendments were adopted. They came to be known as the Bill of Rights but they really should be called a Bill of Prohibitions. That’s because the Bill of Rights didn’t give anyone any rights. Instead, it prohibits the federal government from infringing on preexisting, natural, God-given rights.

Consider the first and second amendments to the Constitution. They are express restrictions on democracy. They are an explicit acknowledgement that democracy constitutes a grave threat to people’s freedom and well-being. Our ancestors didn’t want people’s fundamental rights to be subject to majority vote. That’s why they amended the Constitution to clarify that democratically elected public officials would lack the power to punish them for speaking out against the government, forcing them to attend church, confiscating their guns, and infringing on their fundamental rights in other ways.

Consider the fourth, fifth, sixth, and eight amendments. These enumerated procedural rights and guarantees that had been carved out during centuries of resistance by British citizens to the cruel and brutal tyranny of the British government. These amendments prohibit federal officials from doing bad things to the citizens, such as incarcerating them or killing them, without first following well-established procedural processes, such as trial by jury, right to counsel, and due process of law.

The point behind those four amendments was to emphasize that America’s democratically elected federal officials lacked the constitutional authority — that is, the legal authority — to wield tyrannical powers over the citizenry.

A democracy political system also does not bring into existence an economically prosperous society. Economic prosperity depends on economic liberty, not on democracy. If Tunisians or anyone else want a prosperous society, there is but one solution: a complete separation of economy and the state and of money and the state. That is, a way of life in which people are free to engage in any occupation or business without a license or permission from the state, to freely enter into economic enterprise without governmental control or regulation, to enter into mutually beneficial economic transactions with others anywhere in the world without governmental interference, and to keep everything one earns and decide for himself what to do with it. It is a way of life in which government is prohibited from taking money from people in order to give it to another group. It is a way of life that depends on sound money–e.g., a free-market monetary system rather than the fiat paper system money of the state.

In other words, economic prosperity depends on ending the dead hand of the state in people’s everyday economic activities. It means dismantling all the socialistic and regulatory programs by which the state purports to take care of people. It also means dismantling the enormous warfare-state bureaucracies, which suck the life out of a society. It means abolishing all the taxes that fund a welfare-warfare state apparatus.

The most democratic political system in the world can also have the most tyrannical government and the impoverished society in the world. The most democracy can do is allow people to change political regimes peacefully — that is, without the need for a violent revolution. For a genuinely free and prosperous society, it is necessary for people to constitutionally protect economic liberty and civil liberties from infringement on the part of those who are elected to public office.


Link:
http://fff.org/2014/10/23/democracy-is-neither-freedom-nor-prosperity-3/

"The USA PATRIOT Act is anything but patriotic. It is anathema to liberty."

The USA PATRIOT Act is anything but patriotic
by Bob Livingston


We are fast approaching an ignominious date in American history. Sunday, Oct. 26, will mark the 13th anniversary of the signing of the USA PATRIOT Act.

The clever wordsmiths in the halls of power gave the act a high-sounding name. But like most laws passed by the psychopaths in the Washington cesspool, the law is the opposite of its name.

Ostensibly designed to combat terrorism — the name is an acronym for “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism” — the act was passed quickly and immediately signed into law just over a month after 9/11 and in reality opened the door for a growing government surveillance state and the loss of basic American liberties.

“Patriotism” throughout history has covered a multitude of mischief. We are seeing it now.

It is frightening how simple the American people are and how easily they are manipulated simply because they are intellectually lazy.

Everything that goes wrong in the state with the state whether by design or accident, whether war, depression, inflation, impoverishment or starvation, the bureaucracy and politics take the punishment and hardship out of your hide. The system manipulates your mind to make you believe that you did it, you’re to blame and you’re to pay, when all you have done is furnish the labor, the financial risk and your blood in wars and seen your wealth reserved for your posterity vaporized with fiat paper money.

George W. Bush gets the “blame” for the USA PATRIOT Act. It’s true that he proposed it and signed it into law. However, all but 66 members of the House (62 of them Democrats) and all but one in the Senate (Democrat Russ Feingold) voted for it. It has since been reauthorized three times by broad majorities and was last signed by Barack Obama in 2010.

The USA PATRIOT Act is anything but patriotic. It is anathema to liberty.


Link:
http://personalliberty.com/usa-patriot-act-anything-patriotic/

Inflation??? What inflation???

Low Inflation? The Price Of Ground Beef Has Risen 17 Percent Over The Past Year
By Michael Snyder


Thanks to the Federal Reserve, the middle class is slowly being suffocated by rising food prices. Every single dollar in your wallet is constantly becoming less valuable because of the inflation the Fed systematically creates. And if you try to build wealth by saving money and earning interest on it, you still lose because thanks to the Federal Reserve's near zero interest rate policies banks pay next to nothing on savings accounts. The Federal Reserve wants you to either spend your money or to put it in the giant casino that we call the stock market. But when Americans spend their paychecks they are finding that they don't stretch as far as they once did. The cost of living continues to rise at a much faster pace than wages are rising, and this is especially true when it comes to the price of food.

Someone that I know wrote to me today and let me know that she had to shut down the food pantry that she had been running for the poor for so many years. It isn't that she didn't want to help the poor anymore. It was that she just couldn't deal with the rising food prices any longer. Now she is just doing the best that she can to survive herself.

Perhaps you have also noticed that food prices have gotten pretty crazy lately. In particular, meat prices have become absolutely obscene. For example, the average price of ground beef has risen to a new record high of over $4.09 a pound. Over the past twelve months, that works out to a whopping 17 percent increase...

The average price for a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high–$4.096 per pound–in the United States in September, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In August, according to BLS, the average price for a pound of all types of ground beef topped $4 for the first time–hitting $4.013. In September, the average price jumped .083 cents, an increase of 2.1 percent in one month.

A year ago, in September 2013, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.502 per pound. Since then, it has climbed 59.4 cents–or about 17 percent in one year.

The "intellectuals" over at the Federal Reserve insist that "a little bit of inflation" is good for an economy, but the truth is that inflation slowly robs us of our buying power.

In a previous article, I shared a chart that showed how food inflation has risen dramatically since the year 2000. For this article, I wanted to show how food inflation has risen since the 1970s. As you can see, the rise in food prices has been absolutely relentless for more than 40 years...



If our paychecks were going up at the same rate or even faster that would be okay.

But they aren't.

In fact, CNN is reporting that our paychecks have fallen back to 1995 levels...

Americans also don't feel any better off. While more people may have jobs, they aren't bringing home fatter paychecks. Wages and income have remained stagnant for years, making it tough for folks even though inflation is low. Median household income, which stood at $51,939 last year, is back to 1995 levels.

Consumers expect a median income boost of 1.1% over the next year, Curtin said. But that won't keep up with their inflation expectations of 2.8%.

"American households, on average, are still struggling with their living standards slowly eroding," he said.

This is one of the primary reasons why the middle class is disappearing in America.

The purchasing power of our dollars is continually diminishing.

And this could be just the beginning. Right now, severe drought is affecting some of the most important agricultural areas around the globe. Most people are aware of the nightmarish drought in California, but did you know that things in Brazil are even worse? Brazil is one of the most important food exporters in the world, and so they definitely need our prayers.

In addition, a "black swan event" such as a worldwide explosion of the Ebola pandemic could quickly drive food prices into the stratosphere.

Just this week, we learned that food prices in the Ebola-stricken regions of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have already risen by an average of 24 percent...

Infection rates in the food-producing zones of Kenema and Kailahun in Sierra Leone, Lofa and Bong County in Liberia and GuDeckDedou in Guinea are among the highest in the region. Hundreds of farmers have died.

The three governments quarantined districts and restricted movements to contain the virus’ spread. But those measures also disrupted markets and led to food scarcity and panic buying, further pushing up prices, WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization have said.

"Prices have risen by an average of 24 percent," said WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs, adding an assessment of major markets showed the price of basic commodities was rising in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and in neighboring Senegal.

If you have been storing up food, I think that you will be very happy with your decision in the long run.

Without a doubt, food prices are only going to be going up from here.

But the Federal Reserve continues to insist that inflation is under control.

One of the ways that they make the "official numbers" look good is by playing accounting games. They regularly change the way that inflation is calculated in order keep everyone calm.

You don't have to take my word for it. Posted below is an excerpt from an article by Mike Bryan, a vice president and senior economist in the Atlanta Fed's research department...

The Economist retells a conversation with Stephen Roach, who in the 1970s worked for the Federal Reserve under Chairman Arthur Burns. Roach remembers that when oil prices surged around 1973, Burns asked Federal Reserve Board economists to strip those prices out of the CPI "to get a less distorted measure. When food prices then rose sharply, they stripped those out too—followed by used cars, children's toys, jewellery, housing and so on, until around half of the CPI basket was excluded because it was supposedly 'distorted'" by forces outside the control of the central bank. The story goes on to say that, at least in part because of these actions, the Fed failed to spot the breadth of the inflationary threat of the 1970s.

I have a similar story. I remember a morning in 1991 at a meeting of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's board of directors. I was welcomed to the lectern with, "Now it's time to see what Mike is going to throw out of the CPI this month." It was an uncomfortable moment for me that had a lasting influence. It was my motivation for constructing the Cleveland Fed's median CPI.

I am a reasonably skilled reader of a monthly CPI release. And since I approached each monthly report with a pretty clear idea of what the actual rate of inflation was, it was always pretty easy for me to look across the items in the CPI market basket and identify any offending—or "distorted"—price change. Stripping these items from the price statistic revealed the truth—and confirmed that I was right all along about the actual rate of inflation.

It is all a game to them.

It is all about getting to the "right number" to release to the public.

But anyone that goes to the grocery store knows what has been happening to food prices.

The next time you get to the checkout register and you feel tempted to ask the cashier what organ you should donate to pay for your groceries, please keep in mind that it is not the fault of the cashier.

Instead, there is one entity that you should blame.

Blame the Federal Reserve - their policies are slowly pushing the middle class into oblivion.


Link:
http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/low-inflation-the-price-of-ground-beef-has-risen-17-percent-over-the-past-year

OOPS!!!

Climate change PROVED to be 'nothing but a lie', claims top meteorologist

THE debate about climate change is finished - because it has been categorically proved NOT to exist, one of the world's leading meteorologists has claimed.


By: Jason Taylor

John Coleman, who co-founded the Weather Channel, shocked academics by insisting the theory of man-made climate change was no longer scientifically credible.

Instead, what 'little evidence' there is for rising global temperatures points to a 'natural phenomenon' within a developing eco-system.

In an open letter attacking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he wrote: "The ocean is not rising significantly.

"The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar Bears are increasing in number.

"Heat waves have actually diminished, not increased. There is not an uptick in the number or strength of storms (in fact storms are diminishing).

"I have studied this topic seriously for years. It has become a political and environment agenda item, but the science is not valid."


Read more:
http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/526191/Climate-change-is-a-lie-global-warming-not-real-claims-weather-channel-founder

Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it...

Minimum Wage Increase Blowback: McDonald's Plans Major Automation by the Third Quarter of Next Year

WSJ has a play-by-play:

Unions have made McDonald’s a particular target of their campaign for a $15 an hour minimum wage and have even protested at corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill. The pressure was enough to cause CEO Don Thompson this summer to capitulate and endorse President Obama’s call to raise the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour from $7.25. Many states have already enacted wage floors above the federal minimum...

The McDonald’s earnings report on Tuesday gave a hint at how the fast-food chain really plans to respond to its wage and profit pressure—automate. As many contributors to these pages have warned, forcing businesses to pay people out of proportion to the profits they generate will provide those businesses with a greater incentive to replace employees with machines.

By the third quarter of next year, McDonald’s plans to introduce new technology in some markets “to make it easier for customers to order and pay for food digitally and to give people the ability to customize their orders,” reports the Journal. Mr. Thompson, the CEO, said Tuesday that customers “want to personalize their meals” and “to enjoy eating in a contemporary, inviting atmosphere. And they want choices in how they order, choices in what they order and how they’re served.”

That is no doubt true, but it’s also a convenient way for Mr. Thompson to justify a reduction in the chain’s global workforce. It’s also a way to send a message to franchisees about the best way to reduce their costs amid slow sales growth. In any event, consumers better get used to the idea of ordering their Big Macs on a touchscreen.

Entry-level fast-food jobs have never been intended to support an entire family. So-called quick-service restaurants provide opportunities to lots of young people with few skills and limited experience. Across all industries, about two-thirds of minimum-wage workers who stay employed get a raise in the first year.

Amid a historically slow economic recovery, 1970s labor-participation rates and stagnant middle-class incomes, we understand that people are frustrated. Harder to understand is how so many of our media brethren have been persuaded that suddenly it’s the job of America’s burger joints to provide everyone with good pay and benefits. The result of their agitation will be more jobs for machines and fewer for the least skilled workers.


Link:
http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/10/minimum-wage-increase-blowback.html

"Now, rather than saying that the national debt is reaching $18 trillion, which means nothing to most people, you could say that the debt would currently take almost 400 million work-years to pay off. Wow."

How Many Years Would It Take for You to Personally Payoff the US Debt
By Simon Black


The US government’s debt is getting close to reaching another round number—$18 trillion. It currently stands at more than $17.9 trillion.

But what does that really mean? It’s such an abstract number that it’s hard to imagine it. Can you genuinely understand it beyond just being a ridiculously large number?

Just like humans find it really hard to comprehend the vastness of the universe. We know it’s huge, but what does that mean? It’s so many times greater than
anything we know or have experienced.

German astronomer and mathematician Friedrich Bessel managed to successfully measure the distance from Earth to a star other than our sun in the 19th century. But he realized that his measurements meant nothing to people as they were. They were too abstract.

So he came up with the idea of a "light-year” to help people get a better understanding of just how far it really is. And rather than using a measurement of distance, he chose to use one of time.

The idea was that since we—or at least scientists—know what the speed of light is, by representing the distance in terms of how long it would take for light to travel that distance, we might be able to comprehend that distance.

Ultimately using a metric we are familiar with to understand one with which we aren’t.

Why don't we try to do the same with another thing in the universe that’s incomprehensibly large today—the debt of the US government?

Even more incredible than the debt owed right now is what’s owed down the line from all the promises politicians have been making decade after decade. These unfunded liabilities come to an astonishing $116.2 trillion.

These numbers are so big in fact, I think we might need to follow Bessel’s lead and come up with an entire new measurement to grasp them.

Like light-years, we could try to understand these amounts in terms of how long it would take to pay them off. We can even call them “work-years”.

So let’s see—the Social Security Administration just released data for the average yearly salary in the US in fiscal year that just ended. It stands at $44,888.16.

The current debt level of over $17.9 trillion would thus take more than 398 million years of working at the average wage to pay off.

This means that even if every man, woman and child in the United States would work for one year just to help pay off the debt the government has piled on in their name, it still wouldn’t be enough.

Mind you that this means contributing everything you earn, without taking anything for your basic needs—which equates to slavery.

Now, rather than saying that the national debt is reaching $18 trillion, which means nothing to most people, you could say that the debt would currently take almost 400 million work-years to pay off. Wow.

When accounting for unfunded liabilities, the work-years necessary to pay off the debt amount to astonishing 2.38 BILLION work-years…

And the years of slavery required are only growing.

As an amount alone the debt is meaningless, but in terms of your future enslavement it can be better understood.

To put this in perspective even further—what was the situation like previously?

At the end of the year 2000, the national debt was at $5.7 trillion, while the average yearly income was $32,154. That’s 177 million work-years.

Again—wow.

So just from the turn of the century, we’ve seen the time it would take to pay off the national debt more than double. That means that more than twice as many future generations have been indebted to the system in just 14 years.

It sounds terrible, and it is. But remember, your future generations will only be indebted if you let them be.

What the US government does may affect everyone, but it’s up to you whether or not you and your children are directly enslaved and tied to the system.

Break your chains while you can and set yourself and your offspring free.


Link:
http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/10/how-many-years-would-it-take-for-you-to.html

US better at socialism than Communist China...

Shock Report: US Spends 30 Times More on Welfare Benefits Per Person Than Communist China
Posted by Jim Hoft


When Deng Xiaoping took over China in the late 1970’s, China was a very poor country. One of the first things that Deng did was to allow individuals to acquire and maintain property. This capitalistic approach started one of the greatest economic transformations in world history. More people in China have been lifted from poverty in a shorter span of time than ever before in human history. Half a billion Chinese citizens have risen out of poverty due to China’s economic swing to capitalist policies!

China still has its problems, but while the US is moving more and more towards a welfare state, China is moving more and more towards prosperity. Deng (Xiaoping) rejected any possibility of importing the welfare state into China. He insisted that the enhancement of welfare should be coordinated with the development of production. Other Chinese leaders have reiterated Deng’s approach. Today China’s welfare spending is low but it is increasing.

According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People’s Republic of China, the total amount of outflows for China’s social programs in 2011 was $287 billion USD. On the other side of the Pacific, the US spent somewhere between $1.7 and $2.1 trillion USD in 2011 on health, welfare and pension (old age) benefits.

When comparing the US numbers to China’s the results are very clear. The US spent nearly seven times as much on social programs in 2011 than China. According to the World Atlas as of 2010, China had a population of 1.3 billion people and the US had a population of 310 million. Based on these numbers, China had more than four times the number of people living within its borders than did the US in 2010. The result of this comparison is to point out that the US conservatively paid 30 times more per capita to its citizens in the form of social benefits than did the socialist country China in 2011.

When we think of an example of a socialist country we probably think of China based upon its recent history with communism and when we think of a capitalist country the US is probably the first country that comes to mind. However, if the definition of a socialist country is primarily based upon the amount of dollars spent on social programs, then the US is clearly the socialist country and China is the capitalist country. Even if you do not agree with this, it is hard not to see that the line between what is a socialist country and what is a capitalistic country has become blurred.

Today communist China is becoming more capitalistic and the US is becoming more socialist. As a result, socialist China is becoming more prosperous and the US is approaching a fiscal cliff. Poverty is being reduced in China and poverty is on the rise in the US under Barack Obama.


Link:
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/10/shock-report-us-spends-30-times-more-on-welfare-benefits-than-communist-china/

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Musician Arrested While Singing "Ohio" in NYC Subway...

Musician Arrested While Singing "Ohio" in NYC Subway



In a widely viewed YouTube video, a New York Police officer is seen assaulting and arresting a musician (while singing CSNY's "Ohio") for performing on a subway platform. This comes even after verifying that the musician had not broken any laws.

From The Free Thought Project:

In a video uploaded to YouTube on Saturday, Lawrence and Leigh musician Andrew Kalleen is seen being assaulted and arrested by NYPD- even after knowing his rights and proving to the officer that he had not broken any laws.

The video, which was filmed at the Lorimer Street/Metropolitan Avenue station around 1:30 am on Friday, begins with Kalleen already explaining to the officer that he is not breaking any laws.

Infact, he cites the exact law the officer needs to look up to prove he was well within his rights. Kalleen has become well versed with this law, as he informed us that this is at least the 6th time he has been asked to stop. He has previously only received tickets- which he is also fighting through a Civilian Complaint Review Board investigation.

The officer continues to claim that he cannot play on the platform unless he has a permit, to which Kalleen asserts that he is incorrect. The officer demands he put down his guitar or be subject to arrest.

The officer then searches for the law on his cellphone, and reads out loud just how mistaken he was.

Section 1050.6c of the MTA’s “Rules of Conduct“states:

Except as expressly permitted in this subdivision, no person shall engage in any nontransit uses upon any facility or conveyance. Nontransit uses are noncommercial activities that are not directly related to the use of a facility or conveyance for transportation. The following nontransit uses are permitted by the Authority, provided they do not impede transit activities and they are conducted in accordance with these rules: public speaking; campaigning; leafletting or distribution of written noncommercial materials; activities intended to encourage and facilitate voter registration; artistic performances, including the acceptance of donations.

Applause breaks out among the on lookers as the clearly confused cop finishes reading.

In typical NYPD fashion, this officer is not about to let some silly little thing like the law get in his way.

As Kalleen gears up to get back to performing for his adoring crowd, the officer begins yelling about how he is being kicked out of the platform, and must leave, either “by force” or on his own.

The officer begins to get more agitated, calls for backup, and walks away. Kalleen stands his ground and refuses to leave and starts to play Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here,’ to a round of applause.

The Officer comes back, slaps his hand off of the guitar and removes it, yet Kalleen keeps singing- finishing up the song to another large round of applause.

Still refusing to back down and admit he was wrong, the officer is then scolded and questioned by the witnesses of this insane harassment.

The rights-defending musician begins to play another song, causing the severely frustrated cop to call over another officer, before bashing Kalleen in the face with his guitar and handcuffing him.

“That song I start singing at the end, Ohio by Neil Young, is about the Kent State shootings. Maybe you know. That was 45 years ago now. There was a lot of momentum back then. I know this is nothing compared to that, but it is still an absolutely absurd occurrence. I want to inspire momentum.”
Kalleen told The Free Thought Project.

The crowd boo’s, and screams of “fuck the police” echoed through the platform as he is dragged away.

We spoke with Kalleen to find out what happened next.

“While we were riding in the car back to the precinct, the officer was frantically looking through his phone for something to charge me with.” he explained.

They ended up charging him under Penal law 240.35 06, loitering for the purposes of entertainment unless otherwise authorized, Kalleen argues that 1050.6c gives him authorization.

“As far as a statement I’d say not to put all the blame on the cop. This is a symptom of a much larger problem.

It is everyone’s responsibility to move our society’s values to a mindset where this sort of thing is unthinkable. We need to recognize that we have allowed ourselves to continue to live in a police state.” he told us.

We asked him if he had any recommendations for what he believes people should be doing to combat the police state.

“One thing that everyone (who’s interested) can do is to keep in conversation about the things that need to change. Practice within your circles where you feel safe, but then expand out so that your ideas can spread. And be respectful of others’ points of view. Persuade people to see your side (if your theories are sound this should work), don’t chastise them for thinking otherwise. Because essentially I think as a culture we need an entire mindset overhaul—in some areas—on what is valuable in this life, how to respect each other’s right to be, and what it means to really own the title ‘land of the free.'”

Kalleen continued on to say,

“And ‘keep in conversation’ sounds a bit platitudinous, but if you take it seriously, do it with intention, and with the goal of changing your world, it can be extremely powerful. You might find yourself in a situation like I was, and it is nice to have practiced what to say and how to say it.“

Visit BuskNY for more information on your rights or to find help if you have been arrested while performing in NYC.


Link:
http://neilyoungnews.thrasherswheat.org/2014/10/musician-arrested-while-singing-ohio-in.html

This is sad...

More Vietnam Vets Have Committed Suicide than Were Killed in the War
Laurence M. Vance


That is what Marjorie Cohn claims out in “US Government Sanitizes Vietnam War History.” Having written about military suicides several times, I have no doubt that what she says is true. What any of these Vietnam vet have committed if they had not gone to Vietnam. Perhaps a few. But not 58,000. Suicide is what fighting an unjust and immoral war leads to. I can’t imagine large numbers of men committing suicide years after actually defending the United States from attack.

Stay out of the military–you might commit suicide later. And that is no hyperbole.


Link:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/more-vietnam-vets-have-committed-suicide-than-were-killed-in-the-war/

"The only thing that inflation can do is to help governments spend. Economies do just fine with low inflation. In fact during the late 19th century, in the Great Sag, the United States experienced sustained deflation while creating much faster economic growth than we have seen in the last few generations. As recently as during the early 1960s the U.S. experienced consistently low inflation (barely 2%) and strong economic growth based on government figures. But in their call for more inflation, modern economists tend to forget or downplay those periods."

Governments Need Inflation, Economies Don't

By Peter Schiff


In an article in the UK’s Telegraph on October 10, veteran economic correspondent Ambrose Evans-Pritchard laid bare the essential truth of the nearly universal current embrace of inflation as an economic panacea. While politicians, CEOs and economists talk about demand stimulus and the avoidance of a deflationary trap, Evans-Pritchard reminds us that inflation is all, and always, about debt management.

Every year the levels of government debt as a percentage of GDP, for both emerging market and developed economies, continue to go higher and higher. As the ratios push out into uncharted territories, particularly in Europe’s southern tier, the ability to “inflate away” debt through monetization remains the only means available to postpone default. Evans-Pritchard quotes a Bank of America analyst as saying that even “low inflation” (not to mention actual deflation) is the “biggest threat to the dynamics of public debt.” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde ramped up the rhetoric further when she recently told the Washington Press Club that “deflation is the ogre that must be fought decisively.” In other words, governments need inflation to remain viable. It’s the drug they just can’t do without.

But as this simple truth is just too embarrassing to admit, politicians and central bankers (and their academic, journalistic, and financial apologists) have concocted a variety of tortured theories as to why inflation is not just good for overly indebted governments, but an essential economic good for all. In a propaganda victory that even Goebbels would envy, it is now widely accepted that purchasing power must decrease for an economy to grow.

Despite centuries of economic evidence to the contrary, they argue that if prices do not rise by at least 2% per year consumers will not spend, business will not hire, and economies will slip into an intractable deflationary death spiral. To prevent this, they recommend governments spend without raising taxes. Not only would such a move involve a direct stimulus by increased government spending, but the money printed by the central bank to finance the deficit will push up prices, which they argue is very healthy for the economy. As the Church Lady used to say, “How convenient.”

Offering voters something for nothing is the Holy Grail of politics. But as a matter of reality, voters should know that a free lunch always comes with a cost. This isn’t even economics, it’s physics.

When increased government spending is paid for with higher taxes, workers notice that their paychecks have been reduced. This provides clear evidence that government spending comes with a cost. But this bright line is much more difficult to see when the spending is paid for by inflation (printing money). But the net impact on consumers is the same.

Inflation does not reduce the nominal amount of one’s paycheck. But rising prices reduce the amount of goods and services it can buy. So when governments run deficits, workers will be stuck with the bill. Whether they pay though higher taxes or inflation, their standard of living will be diminished. The main difference is that workers know to blame government for higher taxes, which explains why politicians prefer inflation.

To give cover to this tendency, economists have come up with the bizarre concept that falling, or even stable, prices squelch demand and deter consumption. The idea is that if consumers know that something will cost less in the future (even if it’s just 2% less) they will defer their purchases indefinitely, perhaps waiting for the cost of their desired product or service to approach zero. They argue that this can push an economy into a deflationary spiral of falling prices and diminished demand which may be impossible to escape.

But this idea ignores the time value of a product or service (people will tend to pay more for something they can enjoy sooner rather than later) and the economic law that shows how demand goes up as the price falls. But common sense has absolutely nothing to do with the current practice of economics. Instead, the dominant argument is that inflation is needed to seed the economy with demand.

However, this argument is merely a smoke screen. The only thing that inflation can do is to help governments spend. Economies do just fine with low inflation. In fact during the late 19th century, in the Great Sag, the United States experienced sustained deflation while creating much faster economic growth than we have seen in the last few generations. As recently as during the early 1960s the U.S. experienced consistently low inflation (barely 2%) and strong economic growth based on government figures. But in their call for more inflation, modern economists tend to forget or downplay those periods.

But inflation is actually more economically harmful than taxation. By blurring the link between higher government spending and reduced purchasing power, the public is less likely to oppose government expansion. And therein lies the truth. Inflation is not needed to grow economies but to grow governments.

The problem is particularly acute in Europe where countries of radically different fiscal characteristics have been locked into a politically unworkable monetary union. On one side are countries like Italy, Spain, and France whose governments have been notorious for offering generous benefits for which they can’t pay. Before adopting the euro, these countries had currencies that were not known for their bankability. Germany, on the other hand, had built its reputation on balanced budgets and a strong Deutsche Mark. But given the strict monetary restrictions that were needed to grease the skids toward union, the European Central Bank has not been able to create inflation as freely as the U.S. or Japan. As a result, the debt crisis there has been placed in particularly sharp focus, as the problem is perceived to be much larger than in other developed countries that can print at will.

The calls for more inflation in Europe should be raising hackles on the streets of the Continent. But Keynesian economists have provided cover for politicians for years, and true to form, they have again risen to the occasion. While it is understandable that governments are motivated to champion inflation, it is harder to see why professional economists are similarly inspired. Perhaps they believe modern economics has the magic ability to create something from nothing. But the idea that a properly applied macroeconomic formula can somehow circumvent the laws of supply and demand is ludicrous and dangerous.

Of course, the idea that governments can hold inflation to just 2% per annum is preposterous. Once it breaches that level, governments will be powerless to contain it. The endgame will be hyperinflation. That is because escalating levels of debt will prevent them from raising interest rates high enough to break the inflationary spiral. The last time that inflation really got out of hand was back in the early 1980s when a boldly inspired Federal Reserve was able to put the genie back in the bottle by hiking interest rates all the way up to 18%. The economy not only survived that harsh medicine, but it prospered as a result. Does anyone seriously believe that we could survive even a quarter of that dosage today?

Since the central banks are now destined to forever remain behind the inflation curve, it will continue to accelerate until the real threat of hyperinflation looms much larger than did the contrived threat of deflation.


Link:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/10/peter-schiff/governments-as-parasites-feast-on-inflation/

Cliven Bundy and third party candidate Kamau Bakari...

The Constitution??? What Constitution???

Congress continues to cede its powers to the dictatorship
by Bob Livingston


President Barack Obama appointed an Ebola czar and aside from some GOP caterwauling over the fact that Ron Klain is simply a political hack with no “medical” experience, nothing else was said.

Never mind that, according to the Constitution Article II, Section 2, the president must have the “Advice and Consent of the Senate… [to] appoint… public Ministers and Consuls…” The word “czar” is of Balkan origin etymologically originating from the name “Caesar” and is, therefore, a title of nobility. Never mind that, according to Article I, Section 9, “No Title of Nobility shall be granted in the United States.”

Supposed conservatives like Senator Ted Cruz have called on Obama to formulate a policy for handling the Ebola crisis, particularly in the area of travel restrictions and border security. Never mind that Article I, Section 1 grants all legislative powers to the Congress and Article II, Section 1 only grants the president the power to execute laws passed by Congress. And never mind that it is the job of Congress under Article I, Section 8, to “regulate Commerce with foreign Nations” and “to provide for calling forth the Militia to… repel invasions” and to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.”

Calling a cabinet minister an exotic-sounding name in no way absolves the president of his constitutional requirement to gain the advice and consent of the Senate prior to the appointment. Ceding authority to the president to regulate commerce (travel) and protect the border in no way absolves Congress of its constitutional authority to regulate commerce and protect the border.

The Constitution and the rule of law no longer matter to Congress or the president. They ignore the Constitution without consequence. The result is an increasingly powerful “elected” dictatorship.


Link:
http://personalliberty.com/congress-continues-cede-powers-dictatorship/

"90 percent of digested fluoride is taken up by intestines and distributed throughout body..."

Fluoridated water calcifies your arteries: study
by: Ethan A. Huff


A major promoter of heart disease in the U.S. today could be a chemical that the government has been intentionally dumping into the water supply for decades on the premise that it prevents tooth decay. Fluoride, according to a new study published in the journal Toxicology, shows demonstrated cardiotoxic effects, which include the calcification and hardening of arteries.

Researchers from the University of Zaragoza in Spain looked at the effects of water fluoridation on the progression of vascular calcification in renal (kidney) disease. The team used real-world concentrations of fluoride as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for optimal oral health -- 1.5 milligrams per liter (mg/L) -- administering this amount to rats via water in the same way humans would receive it.

It was observed that, for five days, the rats, all of whom had experimental chronic kidney disease (CKD), experienced calcification of their aortic smooth muscle cells. The rats also experienced further declines in renal function as a result of exposure to fluoride, demonstrating the nephrotoxicity of this common water additive.

"[F]luoridation of drinking water... dramatically increased the incipient aortic calcification observed in rats with experimental chronic kidney disease," wrote the authors. "[T]he WHO's recommended concentrations in drinking water become nephrotoxic to CKD rats, thereby aggravating renal disease and making media vascular calcification significant."

90 percent of digested fluoride is taken up by intestines and distributed throughout body

Previous research, as noted in the new study, has confirmed that 90 percent or more of digested fluoride is absorbed through the intestines and distributed throughout the body to soft tissues, calcified structures and blood plasma. At WHO-recommended doses, fluoride can still get lodged throughout the body and remain there for many years.

In healthy individuals, plasma fluoride is cleared through the dual action of calcifying tissues and expelling through the kidneys. But in those with renal disease, the kidneys are not up to the task of removing fluoride from the body, greatly amplifying both the calcification process and the advancement of renal failure.

"Since atherosclerosis involves the gradual hardening and final calcification of the arteries with a form of calcium known as hydroxylapatite, fluoride's role in replacing hydroxyls within hydroxylapatite crystals to form fluorapatite can be considered enhancing the cardiotoxicity of these calcium deposits," wrote Sayer Ji for GreenMedInfo.

"[This is] due to the fact that fluorapatite is less soluble than hydroxylapatite and therefore more resistant to the body's demineralization mechanisms (or de-calcification with natural substances such as magnesium, hawthorn or vitamin K2)."

Tell your local water authority to do its homework and end water fluoridation

The time to end water fluoridation is now, as the mounting evidence couldn't be any clearer: Fluoride is extremely toxic, especially for those with pre-existing health conditions. Even at the "low" doses considered safe by the government, fluoride can have a dramatic impact on neurological function, brain chemistry and cardiovascular performance.

This is all extensively outlined in the scientific literature, and neatly put together by groups like the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) that continue to advocate for safe, fluoride-free water:
FluorideAlert.org.

Water authorities everywhere need to take note of the facts and decidedly put a stop to this outmoded and dangerous practice.

"Our findings could help to decide whether the use of fluoride to improve the dental health of the population through indiscriminate practices, such as adding it to municipal drinking water, should be reconsidered and should be replaced by a fluoridation policy based on the health status of individuals," concluded the authors.


Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/047357_water_fluoridation_calcification_cardiovascular_health.html#ixzz3Gu43Kils

#11 It sucks...

10 Things About The U.S. News Media That They Do Not Want You To Know
By Michael Snyder


Do you trust the news media? Do you believe that the information that they are giving you is true and accurate? If you answered yes to either of those questions, that places you in a steadily shrinking minority. Yes, on average Americans watch approximately 153 hours of television a month, but for their news they are increasingly turning to alternative sources of information such as this website. Big news channels such as CNN, MSNBC and Fox News are losing hordes of viewers, and they are desperately searching for answers. Things have gotten so bad at CNN that they have been forced to lay off hundreds of workers. The mainstream media is slowly dying, but they will never admit it. They are still convinced that they can find some way to turn this around and regain the trust of the American people. But it simply is not going to happen. The following are 10 things about the U.S. news media that they do not want you to know...

#1 The level of trust in the U.S. news media is at an all-time low.

According to a Gallup survey that was conducted last month, only 40 percent of all Americans have a "great deal/fair amount" of confidence in the mass media. That ties the lowest level that Gallup has ever recorded.

#2 The news media is far more liberal than the American people.

We hear much about the supposed "conservative bias" of Fox News, but the truth is that overall the U.S. public considers the news media to be extremely liberal. Gallup found that 44 percent of all Americans consider the news media to be "too liberal", and only 19 percent of all Americans consider the news media to be "too conservative".

And it is a fact that "journalists" are far more likely to give money to Democrats than to Republicans. The following comes from an MSNBC report...

MSNBC.com identified 143 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.

#3 Fox News is not nearly as "conservative" as you think that it is.

Fox News may be constantly promoting a "Republican agenda", but that does not mean that it is conservative. This is especially true when it comes to social issues. Some of their anchors are extremely socially liberal, one of the top executives at Fox News is a big Hillary Clinton supporter, and 21st Century Fox/News Corp. has given the Clintons more than 3 million dollars since 1992.

#4 MSNBC is in a death spiral.

After years of lying to the American people, the credibility of MSNBC is absolutely shot. Pretty much all MSNBC does is endlessly spew establishment propaganda. One study found that MSNBC only engages in 15 percent "factual reporting" and the other 85 percent is "commentary/opinion".

So it should be no surprise that only 6 percent of Americans consider MSNBC to be their most trusted source for news...

NBC News and sister cable network MSNBC rank at the bottom of media outlets Americans trust most for news, with Fox News leading the way, according to a new poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.

In its fifth trust poll, 35 percent said they trusted Fox news more than any other outlet, followed by PBS at 14 percent, ABC at 11 percent, CNN at 10 percent, CBS at 9 percent, 6 percent for MSNBC and Comedy Central, and just 3 percent for NBC.

#5 Americans are increasingly turning to Facebook and other Internet sources for their news.

At least that is what one recent survey discovered. It found that an astounding 48 percent of Americans got news about government and politics from Facebook within the past week. The numbers for CNN and Fox News were just 44 percent and 39 percent respectively.

#6 Over the past year or so the big three cable news networks have lost an unprecedented number of viewers.

According to a Pew Research study, the number of prime time viewers for all three networks combined declined by 11 percent in 2013...

In 2013, the cable news audience, by nearly all measures, declined. The combined median prime-time viewership of the three major news channels—CNN, Fox News and MSNBC—dropped 11% to about 3 million, the smallest it has been since 2007. The Nielsen Media Research data show that the biggest decline came at MSNBC, which lost nearly a quarter (24%) of its prime-time audience. CNN, under new management, ended its fourth year in third place, with a 13% decline in prime time. Fox, while down 6%, still drew more viewers (1.75 million) than its two competitors combined (619,500 at MSNBC and 543,000 at CNN).

The decline was even more dramatic for the critical 25 to 54-year-old demographic. From November 2012 to November 2013, CNN's ratings for that demographic plunged by a whopping 59 percent, and MSNBC's ratings for that demographic plummeted by 52 percent.

#7 The big news networks have a love affair with the Obama administration.

Yes, there are reporters that get annoyed by the petty press rules that Obama makes them follow and by their lack of access to the president, but overall there is a tremendously incestuous relationship between the Obama administration and the mainstream news media.

For example, did you know that the president of CBS and the president of ABC both have brothers that have served as top officials in the Obama administration?

And needless to say, Barack Obama does not care for the alternative media much at all. The following is an excerpt from a WND article...

NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd says President Obama was making it “clear” at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner over the weekend how he feels about the rise of Internet news sites like Politico, Buzzfeed and … well, WND.

“He hates it.”

Appearing on “Meet the Press” Sunday morning following Saturday night’s media, politics and celebrity soiree, Todd explained the president’s disdain for independent online news sources was showing during his speech.

“It did seem … I thought his pot shots, joke-wise, and then the serious stuff about the Internet, the rise of the Internet media and social media and all that stuff – he hates it, OK? He hates this part of the media,” Todd said. “He really thinks that the, sort of, the buzzification – this isn’t just about Buzzfeed or Politico and all this stuff – he thinks that sort of coverage of political media has hurt political discourse. He hates it. And I think he was just trying to make that clear last night.”

#8 Newspaper ad revenues are about a third of what they were back in the year 2000.

Yes, you read that correctly. As Americans have discarded the print versions of their newspapers, newspaper ad revenues have experienced a decline that is absolutely unprecedented...

It took a half century for annual newspaper print ad revenue to gradually increase from $20 billion in 1950 (adjusted for inflation in 2013 dollars) to $65.8 billion in 2000, and then it took only 12 years to go from $65.8 billion in ad revenues back to less than $20 billion in 2012, before falling further to $17.3 billion last year.

#9 News magazines are also experiencing a dramatic multi-year decline in ad revenues.

Once upon a time, news magazines such as Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report were must reads.

But those days are long gone.

Ad revenues are way down across the entire industry, and any magazine that can keep their yearly losses to the single digits is applauded for it...

For a third year in a row, news magazines faced a difficult print advertising environment. Combined ad pages (considered a better measure than ad revenue) for the five magazines studied in this report were down 13% in 2013, following a decline of 12.5% in 2012, and about three times the rate of decline in 2011, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Again, hardest hit was The Week, which suffered a 20% drop in ad pages. The Atlantic fell 17%, The Economist 16%, and Time about 11%, while The New Yorker managed to keep its ad pages losses in single digits (7%).

#10 Even though the mainstream media is dying, they still have an overwhelmingly dominant position.

What would you say if I told you that there are just six enormous media conglomerates that combine to produce about 90 percent of all the media that Americans consume?

If you do not believe this, please see my previous article entitled "Who Owns The Media? The 6 Monolithic Corporations That Control Almost Everything We Watch, Hear And Read"?

This is why "the news" seems to be so similar no matter what channel you watch.

But we aren't just talking about control of the news media. These giant media corporations also own movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, video game makers, music labels and even many of our favorite websites.

So we should be thankful that their media monopoly is finally crumbling.

Nobody should have that much power over what the American people see, hear and think about.

What is your perspective on all of this? Please feel free to share your thoughts on the U.S. news media by posting a comment below...


Link:
http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/10-things-about-the-u-s-news-media-that-they-do-not-want-you-to-know

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"We begin with the proposition that public schooling is government schooling. That should give you a clue as to how things are going to turn out right off the bat. But it’s worse than that. Public schooling is a socialist system...By now, we all know what socialism always produces — chaos and crises."

Hey, Newark! Time to Separate School & State!
by Jacob G. Hornberger


A fascinating insight into the statist mind, specifically in the context of public schooling, came in the form of an op-ed by Ras J. Baraka, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Baraka’s op-ed, entitled “A New Start for Newark Schools,” was published in last Sunday’s edition of the New York Times.

Baraka beseeched the state of New Jersey to relinquish control over Newark’s public schools back to the city of Newark. He says he has a plan that will finally make Newark public schools succeed.

Why are Newark’s public schools under the control of the state rather than a local school board? Because 20 years ago, the schools were such an enormous mess under local control that the New Jersey State Department of Education had to step in and take control, in the process disbanding the local school board and installing a state superintendent.

As Baraka points out in his article, the move was supposed to be temporary. Instead, the state became the permanent operator of Newark’s public schools.

So, Newark’s public schools must be an absolutely fantastic success story, right? After all, New Jersey state officials have had almost 20 years to implement their plan for educating Newark’s students. What a great opportunity to show the state, the country, and the world what state officials can do when they’re free to implement their educational plans.

Alas, not so! In fact, Baraka is now trying to save Newark’s public schools from state officials, who apparently have made an even bigger mess than what they inherited 20 years ago.

Baraka’s op-ed provides excruciating details on the horror story that Newark’s public schools have been under state control, apparently an even bigger horror story than they were under local control. He even shows how $200 million in donations by Mark Zuckerberg to the public school system were essentially frittered away.

So, Baraka wants state officials to relinquish control over the public schools back to the city of Newark, whereupon he plans to appoint his own school superintendent and establish another locally elected school board.

Do you see something wrong with this picture? If so, go the head of the class and get a gold star!

At the risk of asking an obvious question, why would the situation be any different than it was back in 1995? If the schools were a mess then under local control, why wouldn’t they be mess again under local control?

Duh!

There is an important lesson to be learned here: The reason that public schooling was a mess under local control and has been a mess under state control is that public schooling is an inherently defective system. When you’ve got a defective system, it doesn’t matter who’s in charge of it or who’s working in it. It’s still going to be a mess. That’s the nature of defective systems.

Why can’t these people see that?

We begin with the proposition that public schooling is government schooling. That should give you a clue as to how things are going to turn out right off the bat. But it’s worse than that. Public schooling is a socialist system. That’s in fact why public schooling has long been a core feature of Fidel Castro’s educational system in Cuba.

By now, we all know what socialism always produces — chaos and crises.

Whether the public school is owned and operated by a locally elected school board or by a state bureaucrat, the fact is that the system constitutes central planning, one of the variations of a socialist system. A government board, whether at a state or local level, is planning, in a top-down, command-and-control fashion, the educational decisions of thousands of students.

Funding is by taxation, which includes forcing people to pay for the system even if they don’t have any children in it.

The books and curriculum are established by the state.

Attendance is mandatory under compulsory-attendance laws.

The system is run like an army-lite. Memorization, conformity, and deference to authority are inculcated into every kid, just like in the army. Independent thinking is not welcome, especially if it calls into questions the “My government, right or wrong” concept of “patriotism” that government officials love to inculcate in young people.

Thus, why does it surprise anyone that Newark’s public schools are a mess, whether they’re run by the state board of education or a local school board?

There is only one solution to the education morass: the free market. The free market produces the best of everything. It would do the same in the field of education.

What the people of New Jersey and everywhere else need to do to achieve the best education for their children is separate school and state, just as our ancestors separated church and state. That would mean no more government involvement in education. No more compulsory-attendance laws. No more school taxes. No more government curriculum. No more army-lite. No more conformity, regimentation, and indoctrination.

In a free-market educational system, families would be in charge of the education of their children, and countless entrepreneurs would be vying for their business. Parents would be free to treat their children as unique — special — one-of-a-kind — rather than the cookie-cutter mold that the state uses in public schooling. Parents would be free to construct the educational program best suited for each of their children.

There really is no other way to save children from the educational morass in which they are mired. What better proof of that than what is happening in Newark, New Jersey?


Link:
http://fff.org/2014/10/21/hey-newark-time-to-separate-school-state/

"...the diagnostic tests for Ebola are unreliable and useless."

Ebola hoax: the feared “bleeding” symptom
by Jon Rappoport


As I’ve demonstrated in several articles, the diagnostic tests for Ebola are unreliable and useless.

What does this mean?

It means that, for any patient labeled “Ebola,” there is no verification. No confirmation. None. Zero.

Asserting the patient “has Ebola” is meaningless, because there is no concrete evidence.

Once you remove the Ebola virus from the equation, all you have left is symptoms. Symptoms in West Africans, and in those few people in the US and Europe who are labeled with “Ebola.”

Symptoms like diarrhea, fever, cough, fatigue, vomiting, bleeding.

Obviously, these symptoms can result from a number of different causes, none of which needs to be a virus.

Let’s take bleeding, for example.

This is the hyped symptom that evokes the most fear, and convinces people that these patients “must be different and unique. They could only be bleeding because the Ebola virus is causing it.”

Not true.

Consider antibiotics.

Here is a quote from a study, “Potential for bleeding with the new beta-lactam antibiotics,” Ann Intern Med December 1986; 105(6):924-31:

“Several new beta-lactam antibiotics impair normal hemostasis [body processes that stop bleeding]… These antibiotics often cause the template bleeding time to be markedly prolonged (greater than 20 minutes)… dangerous bleeding due to impaired platelet aggregation requires treatment with platelet concentrates.”

Here is a summary from MedlinePlus:

“The Clostridium difficile bacteria normally lives in the intestine. However, too much of these bacteria may grow when you take antibiotics. The bacteria give off a strong toxin that causes inflammation and bleeding in the lining of the colon… Any antibiotic can cause this condition. The drugs responsible for the problem most of the time are ampicillin, clindamycin, fluoroquinolones, and cephalosporins…”

So let’s look at the level of antibiotic use in West Africa and the Third World.

Voice of America, February 26, 2014, “…antibiotics have become the automatic choice for treating a child with a fever.”

AAPS (American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists): “For instance, in most areas of West Africa, antibiotics are commonly sold as over-the-counter medications.”

TWN (Third World Network): “…a survey carried out in 1999 showed that nearly one out of two antidiarrheal products in Third World countries contained an unnecessary antibiotic [and chronic diarrhea in the Third World is a leading cause of death, so you can be sure that these antidiarrheal drugs are consumed in great quantities].

“…75 products (including some antibiotics) which had been pulled out or banned in one or more European countries were identified in the Third World in 1991.”

Of course, banned antibiotics would be exceptionally toxic.

In West Africa, antibiotic use is sky-high…and antibiotics do cause bleeding.

Bleeding where? In the digestive tract.

In light of that, consider the following excerpt from the healthgrades.com article, “What is vomiting blood?”

“Vomiting blood indicates the presence of bleeding in the digestive tract…

“Vomiting blood may be caused by many different conditions, and the severity varies among individuals. The material vomited may be bright red or it may be dark colored like coffee grounds…”

Yes, it turns out that any source of internal bleeding in the digestive tract—such as overuse of antibiotics—can cause a person to vomit blood.

“The uniqueness” of “Ebola-blood-vomiting” is a fairy tale.

What else could cause the “Ebola” bleeding symptom in West Africa?

We have the fact that organophosphate insecticides are being widely used for indoor spraying, in West African homes and, surely, in clinics, to kill mosquitos. One study reports: “With high DDT resistance present throughout much of West Africa, carbamates and organophosphates are increasingly important alternatives to pyrethroids for indoor residual spraying (IRS).”

Among the effects, from severe exposure to organophosphates: diarrhea, tremors, staggering gait, blood disorders, death—all of which have been described in reference to Ebola.

And then there is this: “In nine patients suffering from organophosphate intoxication, platelet function and blood coagulation parameters were investigated…In five of nine patients a marked bleeding tendency was observed. The bleeding tendency in organophosphate intoxication is probably mainly caused by the defective platelet function.” (Klin Wochenschur, Sept. 3, 1984;62 (17):814-20, author: m. Zieman)


Read the rest here:
http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/ebola-hoax-the-feared-bleeding-symptom/