Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Liberals, of course, blame Cuba’s suffering on the U.S. embargo on Cuba, as do Cuban leaders. The embargo certainly has contributed to Cuba’s suffering. But the crux of the matter is socialism — the welfare state — the paternalistic society — the managed economy — central planning — state ownership over the means of production. That’s the central reason for the horrific poverty that afflicts Cuba. Without the embargo, the privation would not be as bad but it nonetheless would be horrific."

Libertarians versus Liberals on the Poor

by Jacob G. Hornberger

Wouldn’t it be great to have a national debate between liberals and libertarians over whose philosophy and policies help the poor?

For decades liberals have claimed that the welfare-state/regulated-economy way of life helps the poor. That has been the major rationale for the statist way of life under which we have all been born and raised.

Libertarians, on the other hand, hold the exact opposite. We hold that economic statism is the very worst thing for the poor. Contrary to liberals, we contend that if people truly want to help the poor, the best way to do that is do embrace the libertarian philosophy of economic liberty.

Consider Cuba, for example. That country has taken liberal principles to their logical conclusion. The government took from the rich and gave to the poor by nationalizing everything. Everyone became an employee of the government, including physicians, lawyers, and industrialists. By and large, everyone became equal in terms of income. Prices for goods and services, which were all provided by the state since the state now owned everything, were kept within reasonable limits by the state.

In other words, the Cuban revolution was a dream-come-true for genuine liberals, at least in terms of taking from the rich to give to the poor, which is the driving rationale behind the welfare state.

But look at what happened. Most everyone in Cuba is desperately poor, verging on starvation. That’s not a coincidence. When the state took everything from the rich by nationalizing their businesses and placing them under ownership and control of the state, the government killed the means by which wealth is created. Once that happened, it was just a matter of time that the government would fritter away the wealth that it had confiscated. That was why the Cuban government ultimately had to turn to Soviet foreign aid to help out. The government lacked the resources to maintain all its employees.

By the way, it’s also not a coincidence that civil liberties are non-existent in Cuba. When the state owns and controls everything and when people’s survival depends on receiving a check from the state, the state will end up controlling every aspect of people’s lives.

Liberals, of course, blame Cuba’s suffering on the U.S. embargo on Cuba, as do Cuban leaders. The embargo certainly has contributed to Cuba’s suffering. But the crux of the matter is socialism — the welfare state — the paternalistic society — the managed economy — central planning — state ownership over the means of production. That’s the central reason for the horrific poverty that afflicts Cuba. Without the embargo, the privation would not be as bad but it nonetheless would be horrific.

The critical question is one that liberals never ask: What causes wealth in a society? The Cuban authorities saw that there was already lots of wealth in Cuban society and thought, “All we have to do is confiscate it for the good of the people and the poor will benefit.” In the short term, some of the poor did benefit in that they had more money or better housing than before. But as the pool of wealth that has been confiscated begins to dissipate over time, most everyone ends up becoming desperately poor.

How is wealth created in society? That’s the critical question. Wealth is created through the efforts of private individuals to produce goods and services that other people want and then trade with other people for the goods and services they’re offering. Most people naturally want a better way of life for themselves and their families. They put their talents and abilities to use and go to work in some enterprise.

As people enter into trades with others, their individual wealth begins to increase, especially as they save a portion of their income. They might risk their pool of savings to start a business, one that employs other people. That obviously helps the people who are being employed, who now have a stream of income, a portion of which they are able to save.

Others may simply prefer to work for people who establish businesses rather than start businesses themselves. They prefer the security of a wage as compared to the risk of starting a business. They benefit from people who start businesses because people who start businesses create employment for people who would rather work for a wage rather than start a business.

As individuals begin accumulating savings, they place that money into banks. That pool of savings becomes capital that is available to lend out to businessmen. An owner of an enterprise goes to the bank and borrows the money to purchase tools and equipment that will make his employees more productive. The increase in productivity benefits consumers, especially in terms of decreased prices owing to increased supply. It also benefits the employees of a firm, which now has more money to pay higher wages.

In fact, that’s the way that real wages rise — through increased levels of capital in society. There is no other way. For example, printing paper money in an attempt to increase wages only ends up debasing the currency, which is a surreptitious way for the government to plunder and loot the citizenry. The only way to increase real wages (as compared to inflationary wage increases) is by making workers more productive, which can only happen with increases in capital, which are brought about by increases in savings.

Therefore, there is a mutual harmony of interests between the rich, the middle class, and the poor. The rich invest in businesses that hire the poor. The poor earn wages. They save a portion of their income. The savings go into banks. The business owners borrow the savings to purchase equipment that makes the workers more productive. The consumers, who largely consist of the workers, benefit with lower prices. Moreover, with increased production, the employees are able to earn higher wages. The employees might continue to work for the firm, with real wages continuing to rise. Or they might go out and start businesses with their pool of savings.

That’s the way a society gets wealthier. That’s the way poor people get wealthy or at least move into the ranks of the middle class. An unhampered market economy — one that is unhampered by government — is the key to alleviating poverty.

The problem, of course, is that as the amount of wealth in society increases, statists become over-consumed with envy and covetousness. They can’t stand the thought that there are people who are much richer than they or richer than others. They want everyone to be equal. In the name of helping the poor, they end up taxing the rich and then the middle class and then the poor. They use the state to confiscate the wealth that has been accumulated, beginning the downward spiral that retards the wealth-producing process and ultimately reverses it.

If the poor were ever to discover the truth about what the welfare state/managed-economy way of life has done to them and were to realize that the libertarian philosophy of economic liberty is the key to alleviating poverty, we would stand a good chance at achieving economic liberty. After all, can you imagine how difficult it would be for liberals to attack the poor for wanting the jettison the cause of their poverty?


Anonymous - Fed Reserve Caught Red Handed...

A Potential False Flag Operation heading towards the Persian Gulf...

Former Bush administration member testifies that indefinite detetion should be used against "domestic terrorists"...

Torture Architect Argues For Indefinite Detention of Americans

ACLU: “Nothing short of chilling”

Paul Joseph Watson

In the aftermath of Barack Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive which forbids controversial provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act from being used against lawful residents, a former architect of the infamous Bush torture program today testified in favor of indefinite detention for US citizens.

Following the release of a White House “fact sheet” which announced that “Section 1022 does not apply to U.S. citizens, and the President has decided to waive its application to lawful permanent residents arrested in the United States,” Steven G. Bradbury, former head of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in the United States Department of Justice under the Bush administration, testified today that the law should be applied to American citizens in order to deal with “homegrown terrorists”.

In his position as OLC head, Bradbury is widely acknowledged as one of the primary architects of the Bush torture program, having provided legal opinions that justified the kind of abuse that came to light in the aftermath of the Abu Ghraib scandal, which included torture by hanging, beating prisoners to death, raping women, and sodomizing detainees with batons and phosphorescent tubes.

Bradbury told a Senate Judiciary Committee that legislation which would limit the arbitrary application of indefinite detention provisions, the Due Process Guarantee Act, was dangerous because it would prevent US citizens labeled “enemy combatants,” from being interrogated by the military.

“If we capture on our soil a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who is such an enemy recruit and has been actively involved in carrying out or otherwise aware of an unfolding plot by a foreign power against the United States, this proposed legislation could seriously impede our ability to gather critical intelligence from that combatant through military questioning,” Bradbury told the committee. “By requiring that criminal charges be brought against the detainee as a condition of this continued detention, the [Due Process Guarantee Act] would threaten to disrupt the practical opportunity to conduct such intelligence gathering.”

In response, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who voted against the NDAA, requested that Bradbury’s involvement with the Bush torture scandal be included in the record.

“It’s nothing short of chilling that the Senate Judiciary Committee would have as a witness one of the architects of the torture program,” American Civil Liberties Union legislative counsel Chris Anders told Raw Story. “This is a person who wrote several memos that provide legal justification for the torture program during the Bush administration, and wrote memos on how to try to circumvent legal protections that Congress had put in place to block the use of torture and abuse of detainees.”

“For Congress to be relying on someone who has shown so little disregard for the law that he would say that it’s legally okay to waterboard people and use other torture tactics against them is remarkable. It’s remarkable and it’s wrong.”

However, Sen. Lindsey Graham supported Bradbury’s position, arguing that “The homeland is part of the battlefield,” and that so-called enemy combatants, even if they are American citizens, should be treated as terrorists.

As we explained in our previous article, although Obama’s PPD on exempting Americans from being subject to indefinite detention represents a worthy victory for civil libertarians, it comes after the administration itself demanded such provisions be applied to US citizens in the first place.

It also provides no guarantee that a future administration, which could be in office in less than a year, will not use the ‘kidnapping provisions’ against US citizens. This is all the more reason to support efforts by states such as Virginia and Utah to repudiate the NDAA altogether.


Ron Paul gives it to Bernanke on inflation...

Ron Paul Confronts Bernanke: “Do You Buy Your Own Groceries?”

Tense stand off as Congressman notes Fed is destroying dollar purchasing power

Steve Watson

GOP presidential candidate Ron paul took a break from campaigning today and diverted his attention back to his role on the House Financial Services Committee with the semiannual visit of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

In a scathing opening statement, Paul went on the offensive against the Fed:

“What we are witnessing today is the end stages of a grand experiment,” Paul said, adding that the Fed’s control over the nation’s money supply has directly caused economic bubbles and all but destroyed the purchasing power of the dollar.

Noting that the Fed will soon end because it is facilitating too much debt, the Congressman added “I’m anxiously waiting for this day… Reform has to come.”

Turning his attention to Bernanke, Paul asked the Fed chairman whether he did his own grocery shopping. A somewhat bemused Bernanke replied in the affirmative, to which Paul hit back “OK. So you’re aware of the prices,” before commenting on government denial of real levels of inflation.

“This argument of prices going up two percent, nobody believes it.” Paul said. “The old CPI says prices are going up at nine percent.”

“People on fixed incomes, they are really hurting. The middle class is really hurting. Because their inflation rate is very much higher than the government tries to tell them, and that’s why they lose trust in government.”

“You say inflation is about 2%, I say 9%, let’s just call it 5%,” Paul told Bernanke. “That inflation is taking money away from the people….Someone is stealing wealth and this is very upsetting”

The Congressman then pulled out a silver eagle, explaining that it has retained it’s real worth and that hard assets should be used as currency as outlined in the Constitution.

Telling Bernanke that in 2006, when he took over at the Fed, an ounce of silver bought about 4 gallons of gas, where as today it will buy 11 gallons. “That’s preservation of value,” said Paul.

Paul called for a competing currency to the dollar, stating that the laws should be changed to allow precious metals to settle contract disputes and other legal obligations.

Bernanke addressed Paul by jokingly saying “good to see you again, Congressman”, before somewhat derisively saying he would be happy to consider the Congressman’s ideas and help him work out what currencies to hold.

Paul hit back by saying the government goes after those who attempt to use gold and silver as alternatives to depreciating Federal Reserve notes as if they are criminals, telling Bernanke “the record of what you’ve done is destroy the currency,”


"There’s no doubt that this represents a victory for civil libertarians on both sides of the political spectrum, but skeptics will be keen to stress that just because the Obama administration, which could be out of office by this time next year, has indicated it will not indefinitely detain Americans under the NDAA, doesn’t necessarily mean that future administrations will also refrain from doing so."

Obama Issues ‘Policy Directive’ Exempting American Citizens From Indefinite Detention

Skeptics fear future administration could still incarcerate US citizens under NDAA

Paul Joseph Watson

Despite the fact that it was his administration that specifically demanded the controversial ‘indefinite detention’ provisions of the NDAA be applied to Americans, President Obama has issued a ‘Presidential Policy Directive’ that forbids the law from being used against US citizens.

A “fact sheet” released by the White House last night contains details of a “Presidential Policy Directive” which explains that the administration will not seek to use the so-called ‘kidnapping provision’ of the National Defense Authorization Act to incarcerate American citizens without trial.

“Section 1022 does not apply to U.S. citizens, and the President has decided to waive its application to lawful permanent residents arrested in the United States,” states the White House fact sheet (PDF).

Obama’s PDD contains a number of other circumstances in which people would be exempt from indefinite detention, but the language concerning American citizens states that to be exempt, a US citizen must be “arrested in this country or arrested by a federal agency on the basis of conduct taking place in this country,” meaning Americans arrested abroad could still be kidnapped and held without trial.

The NDAA bill, which was signed into law by President Obama under the radar on New Years Eve while he was on vacation in Kailua, hands the federal government the power to “allow the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens arrested in the United States, without charge.”

There’s no doubt that this represents a victory for civil libertarians on both sides of the political spectrum, but skeptics will be keen to stress that just because the Obama administration, which could be out of office by this time next year, has indicated it will not indefinitely detain Americans under the NDAA, doesn’t necessarily mean that future administrations will also refrain from doing so.

Indeed, if the administration was so concerned about the indefinite detention provisions, why did it specifically lobby for them to be applied to American citizens in the first place?

As we documented at the time, shortly before the bill was signed into law, Senator Carl Levin revealed that it was the administration which demanded the removal of language that would have protected Americans from the ‘kidnapping’ provisions of the NDAA.

“The language which precluded the application of Section 1031 to American citizens was in the bill that we originally approved…and the administration asked us to remove the language which says that U.S. citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section,” said Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

Don’t expect Obama’s PDD to be the end of the matter. Senators John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) have already indicated that they will argue against exempting American citizens from indefinite detention.

“Although we have not been able to fully examine all the details of these new regulations, they raise significant concerns that will require a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee,” they said in a joint statement. “We are particularly concerned that some of these regulations may contradict the intent of the detainee provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress last year.”

In issuing the policy directive, Obama is attempting to head off a potential states’ rights rebellion against the federal government. With Virginia already having passed a bill in the House and Senate that nullifies the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA, Utah has introduced a resolution with the ultimate intention of doing the same, along with several other states.


New bill before Congress to restrict our right to protest...

Goodbye, First Amendment: “Trespass Bill” will make protest illegal


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Just when you thought the government couldn’t ruin the First Amendment any further: The House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday that outlaws protests in instances where some government officials are nearby, whether or not you even know it.

The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 late Monday, a bill which is being dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. In the bill, Congress officially makes it illegal to trespass on the grounds of the White House, which, on the surface, seems not just harmless and necessary, but somewhat shocking that such a rule isn’t already on the books. The wording in the bill, however, extends to allow the government to go after much more than tourists that transverse the wrought iron White House fence.

Under the act, the government is also given the power to bring charges against Americans engaged in political protest anywhere in the country.

Under current law, White House trespassers are prosecuted under a local ordinance, a Washington, DC legislation that can bring misdemeanor charges for anyone trying to get close to the president without authorization. Under H.R. 347, a federal law will formally be applied to such instances, but will also allow the government to bring charges to protesters, demonstrators and activists at political events and other outings across America.

The new legislation allows prosecutors to charge anyone who enters a building without permission or with the intent to disrupt a government function with a federal offense if Secret Service is on the scene, but the law stretches to include not just the president’s palatial Pennsylvania Avenue home. Under the law, any building or grounds where the president is visiting — even temporarily — is covered, as is any building or grounds “restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance.”

It’s not just the president who would be spared from protesters, either.

Covered under the bill is any person protected by the Secret Service. Although such protection isn’t extended to just everybody, making it a federal offense to even accidently disrupt an event attended by a person with such status essentially crushes whatever currently remains of the right to assemble and peacefully protest.

Hours after the act passed, presidential candidate Rick Santorum was granted Secret Service protection. For the American protester, this indeed means that glitter-bombing the former Pennsylvania senator is officially a very big no-no, but it doesn’t stop with just him. Santorum’s coverage under the Secret Service began on Tuesday, but fellow GOP hopeful Mitt Romney has already been receiving such security. A campaign aide who asked not to be identified confirmed last week to CBS News that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has sought Secret Service protection as well. Even former contender Herman Cain received the armed protection treatment when he was still in the running for the Republican Party nod.

In the text of the act, the law is allowed to be used against anyone who knowingly enters or remains in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so, but those grounds are considered any area where someone — rather it’s President Obama, Senator Santorum or Governor Romney — will be temporarily visiting, whether or not the public is even made aware. Entering such a facility is thus outlawed, as is disrupting the orderly conduct of “official functions,” engaging in disorderly conduct “within such proximity to” the event or acting violent to anyone, anywhere near the premises. Under that verbiage, that means a peaceful protest outside a candidate’s concession speech would be a federal offense, but those occurrences covered as special event of national significance don’t just stop there, either. And neither does the list of covered persons that receive protection.

Outside of the current presidential race, the Secret Service is responsible for guarding an array of politicians, even those from outside America. George W Bush is granted protection until ten years after his administration ended, or 2019, and every living president before him is eligible for life-time, federally funded coverage. Visiting heads of state are extended an offer too, and the events sanctioned as those of national significance — a decision that is left up to the US Department of Homeland Security — extends to more than the obvious. While presidential inaugurations and meeting of foreign dignitaries are awarded the title, nearly three dozen events in all have been considered a National Special Security Event (NSSE) since the term was created under President Clinton. Among past events on the DHS-sanctioned NSSE list are Super Bowl XXXVI, the funerals of Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, most State of the Union addresses and the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

With Secret Service protection awarded to visiting dignitaries, this also means, for instance, that the federal government could consider a demonstration against any foreign president on American soil as a violation of federal law, as long as it could be considered disruptive to whatever function is occurring.

When thousands of protesters are expected to descend on Chicago this spring for the 2012 G8 and NATO summits, they will also be approaching the grounds of a National Special Security Event. That means disruptive activity, to whichever court has to consider it, will be a federal offense under the act.

And don’t forget if you intend on fighting such charges, you might not be able to rely on evidence of your own. In the state of Illinois, videotaping the police, under current law, brings criminals charges. Don’t fret. It’s not like the country will really try to enforce it — right?

On the bright side, does this mean that the law could apply to law enforcement officers reprimanded for using excessive force on protesters at political events? Probably. Of course, some fear that the act is being created just to keep those demonstrations from ever occuring, and given the vague language on par with the loose definition of a “terrorist” under the NDAA, if passed this act is expected to do a lot more harm to the First Amendment than good.

United States Representative Justin Amash (MI-03) was one of only three lawmakers to vote against the act when it appeared in the House late Monday. Explaining his take on the act through his official Facebook account on Tuesday, Rep. Amash writes, “The bill expands current law to make it a crime to enter or remain in an area where an official is visiting even if the person does not know it’s illegal to be in that area and has no reason to suspect it’s illegal.”

“Some government officials may need extraordinary protection to ensure their safety. But criminalizing legitimate First Amendment activity — even if that activity is annoying to those government officials — violates our rights,” adds the representative.

Now that the act has overwhelmingly made it through the House, the next set of hands to sift through its pages could very well be President Barack Obama; the US Senate had already passed the bill back on February 6. Less than two months ago, the president approved the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, essentially suspending habeas corpus from American citizens. Could the next order out of the Executive Branch be revoking some of the Bill of Rights? Only if you consider the part about being able to assemble a staple of the First Amendment, really. Don’t worry, though. Obama was, after all, a constitutional law professor. When he signed the NDAA on December 31, he accompanied his signature with a signing statement that let Americans know that, just because he authorized the indefinite detention of Americans didn’t mean he thought it was right.

Should President Obama suspend the right to assemble, Americans might expect another apology to accompany it in which the commander-in-chief condemns the very act he authorizes. If you disagree with such a decision, however, don’t take it to the White House. Sixteen-hundred Pennsylvania Avenue and the vicinity is, of course, covered under this act.


State of the (European Fiscal) Union...

Anyone’s a Terrorist: Fear-mongering machine takes over US...

Segment from Ron Paul 20/20 Banned ABC News Interview...

"Our politicians are convinced that they are “making life better” by piling gigantic mountains of laws on to our backs, and law enforcement authorities are convinced that they are helping society by “cracking down on crime”, but the reality is that our liberties and our freedoms are being strangled by all of this government oppression. This is not the way that America is supposed to work."

19 Signs That America Has Become A Crazy Control Freak Nation Where Almost Everything Is Illegal

Do you think that you are free? Most Americans would still probably answer “yes” to that question, but is that really the case? In the film Edge of Darkness, Mel Gibson stated that “everything is illegal in Massachusetts”. Well, the same could pretty much be said for the United States as a whole. Our lives are governed by millions of laws, rules and regulations and more are being piled on all the time. In fact,40,000 new laws just went into effect in January. Every single new law restricts your freedom just a little bit more. The truth is that America has become a crazy control freak nation where virtually everything that we do is highly regulated. You have probably broken multiple laws today that you don’t even know exist. We have all become criminals and lawbreakers because almost everything is illegal at this point. Our politicians are convinced that they are “making life better” by piling gigantic mountains of laws on to our backs, and law enforcement authorities are convinced that they are helping society by “cracking down on crime”, but the reality is that our liberties and our freedoms are being strangled by all of this government oppression. This is not the way that America is supposed to work.

Yes, every society needs laws. But the laws should be short enough and simple enough that everybody can read them and understand them.

In America today, there is no possible way that any of us could ever read all of the laws that apply to us. Most of us just live our daily lives and try to do the “right” thing. But there is no guarantee that men with guns will not show up at your door one evening because of some obscure regulation that you have broken.

The following are 19 signs that America has become a crazy control freak nation where almost everything is illegal….

#1 One California town is actually considering making it illegal to smoke in your own backyard.

#2 In Louisiana, a church was recently ordered to stop giving out water because it did not have a permit to do so.

#3 In the United States it is illegal to operate a train that does not have an “F” painted on the front. Apparently without that “F” we all might not know where the front of the train is.

#4 In many U.S. states is it now illegal to collect rain that falls from the sky on to your own property.

#5 In America today it is illegal to milk your cow and sell the milk to your neighbor. If you do this, there is a good chance that federal agents will raid your home at the crack of dawn.

#6 In Washington D.C. it is illegal not to recycle cat litter.

#7 It is illegal to give a tour of the monuments in Washington D.C. without a license.

#8 In the United States it is illegal to sell natural cures for cancer – even if they work.

#9 In the state of Massachusetts it is illegal to deface a milk carton.

#10 In the state of Alabama, bear wrestling is completely illegal.

#11 In Fairbanks, Alaska it is illegal to give alcoholic beverages to a moose.

#12 In Lake Elmo, Minnesota it is illegal to sell pumpkins or Christmas trees that are grown outside city limits.

#13 There is a federal law that makes it illegal to be “annoying” on the Internet.

#14 If you register with a false name on MySpace or Facebook you could potentially “spend five years in federal prison“.

#15 In Hazelwood, Missouri it is illegal for little girls to sell girl scout cookies in the front yards of their own homes.

#16 All over the United States lemonade stands run by children are being shut down because they do not have the proper permits.

#17 In Florida, it is illegal to bring a plastic butter knife to school.

#18 In San Juan Capistrano, California it is illegal to hold a home Bible study without a “conditional use permit“.

#19 In the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania it is illegal to make even a single dollar from a blog unless you buy a $300 business license.

Sadly, this list of crazy laws and ridiculous regulations could be thousands long.

We are a nation run by a bunch of control freaks that do not care about our liberties and our freedoms.

So why do we have so many laws and regulations?

Well, those that run things actually believe that we cannot be trusted with liberty and freedom.

They honestly are convinced that society will be better if they regulate our lives as much as possible.

This kind of “Big Brother” thinking is very dangerous. A lot of other horrible totalitarian societies started out with “good intentions” as well.

Yes, having millions of laws, rules and regulations does make society more “predictable” but it also makes it more like a giant prison.

This is not what our founding fathers intended, and this is not what America is supposed to be about.


#1 The United States has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain.

20 Economic Statistics To Use To Wake Sheeple Up From Their Entertainment-Induced Comas

The Dow has closed above 13,000 for the first time since 2008, and the mainstream media is declaring that a strong economic recovery is underway. Barack Obama is telling anyone who will listen that his economic policies are a huge success, and U.S. consumers are piling up astounding amounts of new debt. Unfortunately, this euphoria about the economy will be short-lived. None of the long-term problems that are destroying the U.S. economy have been solved. In fact, there are dozens of statistics that can be quoted that prove that the U.S. economy is in far worse shape than it was when the recession supposedly ended. If dramatic changes are not made very rapidly, our nation is going to smash directly into an economic brick wall. Sadly, most Americans are so addicted to entertainment that they have no idea what is about to happen. Most of them are "sheeple" that are content to trust that the "experts" know exactly how to fix our problems as they continue to enjoy their entertainment-induced comas. After all, it is much easier to turn on "American Idol" or "Dancing With The Stars" than it is to think about debt ratios and monetary policy. But that doesn't mean that we should not try to wake the sheeple up. It just means that it will not be easy.

If you went to the doctor tomorrow and he told you to take some little blue pills without telling you anything else, would you take them?

Of course not.

You would want to know what the little blue pills are for.

But if your doctor told you that you have a deadly incurable disease that is about to kill you, and that the little blue pills are the only cure, then you would definitely be interested in taking them.

Well, it is the same way with the American people. Until they understand just how sick the economy is, they will not be interested in fighting for a solution.

We need to show all the sheeple out there that the U.S. economy has terminal cancer and is headed for death.

We need to show them that the future of our children and our grandchildren is literally being destroyed.

Way too many Americans are sitting around waiting for the government to save them.

It isn't going to happen.

It is up to those of us that are awake to wake up those that are asleep.

And there are many out there that think that they are awake that are only partially awake.

One very famous author once wrote that "people are destroyed for lack of knowledge", and that is exactly what is happening in America today. Most Americans simply don't understand what is happening economically, politically, socially, morally or financially in this nation.

Please help me wake the sheeple up.

The following are 20 economic statistics to use to wake sheeple up from their entertainment-induced comas....

#1 The United States has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain.

#2 The European Commission has formally declared that Europe has now entered another recession. German banks are leveraged 32 to 1 and the European financial system is rapidly approaching a nightmare. Lehman Brothers was only leveraged 30 to 1 when it finally collapsed.

#3 There are clear signs that economic activity is also significantly slowing down in the United States. For example, new orders for goods manufactured in the United States experienced the biggest drop in three years in January.

#4 U.S. consumers are busy racking up staggering amounts of debt once again. Total consumer debt rose at an annual rate of 9.3 percent in December. It is now sitting at a grand total of 2.498 trillion dollars.

#5 The U.S. Postal Service has announced plans to eliminate 35,000 more jobs.

#6 There are more unemployed Americans than there are people living in the entire nation of Greece.

#7 The percentage of American men that have jobs is near an all-time record low.

#8 Right now, there are 88 million working age Americans that do not have jobs and that the government says are not looking for jobs.

#9 The average duration of unemployment in the United States is nearly three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.

#10 In January 2009, there were 2.6 million "long-term unemployed workers" according to the federal government. Today, there are 5.6 million.

#11 The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States has risen by 14 cents in just the past week, and the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the state of California is now an astounding $4.29. Sadly, the price of gas is expected to continue rising over the next few months.

#12 The U.S. housing market continues to struggle deeply. Home prices in the 4th quarter of 2011 were four percent lower than they were during the 4th quarter of 2010. Overall, U.S. home prices are 34 percent lower than they were back at the peak of the housing bubble.

#13 Large numbers of Americans are putting off basic health procedures due to the declining economy. Just consider the following example from a recent Huffington Post article....

Americans between the ages of 50 to 64 got 500,000 fewer colonoscopies, or screenings aimed at detecting colon cancer, during the recession, compared to the two years before, according to a recent study from researchers at the University of North Carolina's medical school.

#14 The number of Americans on food stamps has increased by almost 50 percent since Barack Obama first took office.

#15 Right now, 48 percent of all Americans are considered to be either "low income" or "living in poverty".

#16 The U.S. government is stealing about 150 million dollars from our children and our grandchildren every single hour of every single day.

#17 If Bill Gates gave all of his money to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.

#18 Since the Federal Reserve was created, the U.S. dollar has declined in value by more than 95 percent and the U.S. national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.

#19 Approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents. Most of them are doing it for economic reasons.

#20 According to a new Politico poll, only 30 percent of all Americans believe that the next generation will be "better off economically" than the previous generation.

For many more current statistics about the U.S. economy, check out the interesting facts which I documented in this previous article.

Thankfully, there are others out there such as trends researcher Gerald Celente that are tirelessly working to sound the alarm. Celente is convinced that the U.S. financial system is rapidly heading for a disaster. Just consider the following quotes from Celente in a recent USA Today article....

"2012 is when many of the long-simmering socioeconomic and political trends that we have been forecasting and tracking will climax," Celente noted in his Top 12 Trends 2012 newsletter. In an interview he added: "When money stops flowing to the man on the street, blood starts flowing in the street."
Even some politicians on the state level are deeply concerned about the possibility of a massive financial meltdown.

For example, a bill has been introduced in Wyoming that would set up "a state-run government continuity task force" which would develop plans for how Wyoming would deal with potential disasters such as a "complete meltdown of the federal government", an economic collapse or a major disruption in food and energy supplies....

State Rep. David Miller, R-Riverton, has seen the national debt rise above $15 trillion and protest movements grow around the country. Wealthy Americans are fleeing the country, he says, and confidence in the dollar has taken a hit around the world.

If America’s economic and social problems continue to escalate and spiral out of control, Miller said, Wyoming needs to be ready. So, he’s introduced legislation to create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government.

It would even look at the feasibility of quickly providing an alternative currency in Wyoming should the U.S. dollar collapse entirely.
But for many Americans, the "meltdown" has already happened on a personal level.

Many are going to extreme lengths in an attempt to survive in this economy.

For example, one ex-police officer in Ohio got so desperate that he decided that it would be better to get arrested for bank robbery and be thrown in prison than to be homeless and living in the streets....

Former Columbus police officer Edward Pascucci had been jobless for more than a year and was facing homelessness last summer when he decided to rob a local bank. Making off with stacks of cash, however, never was his intention.

Pascucci told a federal judge on Thursday he’d run out of options, was facing “severe health problems” and opted to avail himself of the services offered by the federal penal system rather than live on the street.
Can you imagine that?

Can you imagine getting arrested just so that you could get free health care and wouldn't have to sleep in the streets?

Meanwhile, the Obamas are living the high life and seem to have developed a "let them eat cake" mentality. The following is from a recent article in The Daily Mail....

The Obama family just finished a luxury ski vacation in Aspen, Colorado. This comes on the heels of a Hawaiian Christmas vacation for the family that lasted a few weeks. The 2011 Hawaiian vacation cost the American taxpayers $4 million and a big increase from the 2010 bill sent to the American people for $2.5 million, according to the Huffington Post.

Over the past three summers, the Obama's have vacationed in the exclusive Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. President Obama has a reputation for hitting every golf course on this island vacation spot for the rich and famous.

There is nothing wrong with a President taking a modest vacation, but there is a problem when the political leader of America is taking frequent swanky vacations when average Americans are experiencing economic pain.
Shouldn't the Obamas be setting an example for the rest of us during these hard economic times?

Unfortunately, Barack Obama seems to believe that the worst of our economic troubles is now behind us.

If only that were true.

During this short-lived bubble of false hope, we should all be working hard to prepare for what is ahead.

A menacing storm is on the horizon and it will be here way too soon.

Let us wake up as many of the sheeple as we can while there is still time.


Ron Paul "I Run Against All 3 Because They Are Very Similar... They All Endorse Preemptive War"

"Since Ronald Reagan went home, the United States has attacked or invaded Panama, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq again, and Libya."

For What, All These Wars?

by Patrick J. Buchanan

"I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident. ... I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies."

As President Obama sent this letter of apology to Hamid Karzai for the burning by U.S. troops of Qurans that were used to smuggle notes between Afghan prisoners, two U.S. soldiers were murdered in reprisal.

Saturday, a U.S. colonel and a major working in the Interior Ministry were shot dead by an Afghan protesting the desecration of the Islamic holy book. All U.S. officers have been pulled out of the ministries in Kabul.

Sunday, seven U.S. troops on base were wounded by a grenade.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. John Allen, commander in Afghanistan, have also offered their apologies.

Remarkable. After fighting for 10 years, investing $500 billion, and losing nearly 2,000 dead and many more wounded and maimed to save Afghanistan from a Taliban future, America is issuing apologies to the regime and people we are fighting and dying to defend?

And how has Obama's apology been received?

Abdul Sattar Khawasi, a member of Parliament, stood with 20 other members to declare, "Americans are invaders, and jihad against Americans is an obligation." He urged mullahs to "urge the people ... to wage war against Americans."

In what other war would we have tolerated this from an elected leader of a government we had sent an army of 100,000 to protect?

Undeniably, the soldiers who burned the Qurans blundered. Yet there is no evidence that it was malicious. If vandals desecrate a Bible in America, burning and replacing the holy book would not be regarded a valid excuse for mayhem and murder.

If Afghans cannot understand this mistake and have no other way to express their rage than rioting and ranting, "Death to America!" what kind of raw material are we working with in building a Western-style democracy in any foreseeable century?

Two pertinent questions needs to be put.

While keeping Afghanistan free of the Taliban is a desirable goal, what vital U.S. interest would be imperiled should the Taliban take over again, now that al-Qaida is largely gone?

What price in blood and billions should we expend on what appears a dubious enterprise at best – creating a pro-American democracy in a country that seems mired in some distant century?

It is time we took inventory of all of these wars we have fought since the Army of Desert Storm restored the emir of Kuwait to his throne.

That 1991 war was seen as a triumph of American arms and a model of the global cooperation to come in establishing the New World Order of George H.W. Bush.

But the savage sanctions we imposed on a defeated Iraq and the planting of U.S. bases on Saudi soil that is home to Mecca was a casus belli for Osama bin Laden. Ten years after the triumph of Bush I, he brought down the twin towers.

This atrocity caused us to plunge into Afghanistan to dump over the Taliban and eradicate or expel al-Qaida. We succeeded, then decided to stay on and build a nation. After 10 years, what have we accomplished to justify the immense price we have paid?

In 2003, George W. Bush, seeking to complete the work begun by his father, invaded Iraq. But Saddam had no role in 9/11 and was no threat to America. Iraq did not even have weapons of mass destruction.

Today, after eight years of war, 4,500 dead, 35,000 wounded and a trillion dollars sunk, the 15,000 Americans we left behind are largely holed up in the Green Zone, as Iraq descends into sectarian, civil and ethnic war.

What did it all profit us?

How goes Libya after the U.S.-NATO intervention to dethrone Moammar Gadhafi?

Here is the Rand Corp.'s Frederic Wehrey:

"A weak transitional government confronts armed militias. ... Defiant young men with heavy weapons control Libya's airports, harbors and oil installations. Tribes and smugglers rule desert areas south of the capital. Clashes among various militias for turf and political power rage. ...

"Libya teeters dangerously on the brink."

Now we see a push for intervention in Syria from Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman. That would make us allies of al-Qaida, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, all of which also seek the fall of Bashar al-Assad and the rise of a Sunni regime in Damascus.

But it is the clamor for a U.S. war on Iran that grows loudest.

But why, when the U.S. intelligence community still claims to have no hard evidence Iran has even decided to build a bomb?

Since Ronald Reagan went home, the United States has attacked or invaded Panama, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq again, and Libya.

How have Americans benefited from all this war? How have the Chinese suffered these 20 years by not having been in on the action?


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Will 5 Rich Donors Choose The Next President?

"A vote for (Ron Paul) is a vote for my liberties and principles," Breece said. "To vote for someone who is 'electable' but is the lesser of two evils is against everything I believe."

Ron Paul speaks to packed auditorium in Dearborn

By Frank Donnelly, Kim Kozlowski and Chad Livengood

Ron Paul's strident opposition to war and the Patriot Act found a receptive audience Monday night in this community with a large Arab and Muslim population.

A rambunctious crowd of 1,500 chanted and held signs during the Republican presidential candidate's appearance at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. Several hundred others couldn't get into the auditorium.

As he did during other Michigan appearances earlier in the day, the folksy grandfather also railed against the Federal Reserve, government entitlements and the government's growing role in the lives of citizens.

"Our freedom has steadily eroded," he said to loud cheers. "Our liberties weren't washed away overnight."

While volunteers at the event were uniformly young, mostly college age, the overflowing crowd ranged from young to old. Among them was Bob Stark, 34, a medical supply salesman from Dearborn who said Paul was the only candidate, Democrat or Republican, talking about making real changes to society.

"The two parties are the same," he said. "Nothing is going to get better unless we're serious about it."

The crowd frequently cheered Paul's positions on issues and booed mention of his rivals.

"Murderer," one cried when Paul mentioned President Obama approving the assassination of a terrorist. "Impeach him," cried another.

Paul said America would never have true liberty until it got government out of the lives of residents, whether it was their medical care, monetary policy or sending them to war.

While he hasn't received as much support as other Republican candidates, he said a large group wasn't necessary to effect real change in America.

The American Revolution was orchestrated by a small group, he said. So was communism, he said.

"The right ideas will prevail and they (opponents) will not silence us," he said.

Earlier in the day, Paul was greeted in almost rock-star fashion by a cheering crowd of more than 3,400 at Michigan State University.

"It sounds like the revolution has arrived in Michigan," the Texas congressman told the crowd of mostly college students packed into the school's Concert Auditorium on Monday afternoon.

Paul's vows to get rid of the Federal Reserve, the Transportation Security Agency, Patriot Act, the federal income tax and only declare war with the consent of Congress got standing ovations from the crowd, which interrupted with cheers of "President Paul" and "end the Fed."

Since his last run for president in 2008, Paul's "revolution" has relied upon the enthusiasm and generally untapped voting power of young people to propel his continued quest for the White House.

Charles Breece, 23, of Saginaw, acknowledges Paul's chances of victory in Michigan's primary Tuesday are slim against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

"A vote for (Ron Paul) is a vote for my liberties and principles," Breece said. "To vote for someone who is 'electable' but is the lesser of two evils is against everything I believe."

Paul's rally at MSU was his fourth stop in Michigan since he began campaigning here Saturday. Paul did not directly mention Romney or Santorum in his nearly hour-long MSU speech, sticking to his stump speech about out-of-control entitlement and military spending.

Paul also had a prepared answer for his critics who say his ideas about the role of the U.S. government in world affairs, the economy and people's lives are something out of the 19th century.

"I'll tell you what's Dark Ages — that's tyranny," Paul said, gathering cheers. "We don't want to go back to tyranny."

Earlier, Paul held a town hall meeting in Detroit, where residents in one of the poorest ZIP codes in Michigan showed up searching for someone to lead the city and the rest of the nation out of the economic doldrums.

Jackie Hemphill wasn't sure if it could be Paul, but she went to Little Rock Baptist Church Education and Performing Arts Center to hear what he had to say.

"We need someone stronger than (President Barack) Obama," said Hemphill, 56, of Detroit. "We've been in the storm too long."

Asked by Riverside Preparatory Academy student Jazarae Abram how she might be able to find employment in the inner city where jobs are limited, Paul pointed to personal responsibility but also said changing many issues he's lobbying for would help.

"People who want to assume responsibility for themselves could do it a lot better if they had a job," Paul said. "You have to have a prosperous economy. You have to reward people for working and being frugal."

But if people save money, they get taxed on the interest earned and the government destroys money, Paul argued, so that's why there's no incentive to save and that's why there is no economic growth.

"Unless you look at the business cycle and deal with the Federal Reserve, deregulate and change the tax code and get people to bring their money back home because they can make more money overseas and deal with some of the problems of labor costs, if you don't do that, you can't have jobs," he said.

Paul went to Detroit to speak about how his platform could lift up Detroit, but the event was also organized, those who attended said, partly to divert votes away from the other Republican candidates and get Obama re-elected in November.

Detroiters and others are being encouraged to vote for Paul because they want him to win the delegates in Michigan's 13th and 14th districts, which are mostly in Detroit and the surrounding area, community organizer Ernest Johnson said.

"We want to give six delegates to Ron Paul," Johnson said, so that GOP candidate and Michigan native Mitt Romney loses Michigan.

"The ultimate goal is to defeat Romney," Johnson said. "He told Detroit to go bankrupt. We know Romney is going to be the (Republican) nominee. We want him wounded, we want him to lose his native town so people can say, 'He can't even win his home state.' That will go a long way (in getting Obama re-elected).

"We are looking way further than tomorrow."

Johnson was referring to Romney's opposition to the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler.

About 300 people showed up to hear Paul speak, but it wasn't a diverse crowd despite its location.

But that was OK with Wayne Bradley, a conservative online radio host.

"I give him credit for showing up in the inner city, not at the Detroit Economic Club or at Ford Field," Bradley said, referencing appearances made by other candidates. "He's bringing his message to the heart of the city. He gets kudos for that."

Paul took the stage and briefly addressed the issue of getting people out of poverty.

"It is not easy," he said. "I wish I could come in and wave a magic wand and correct all the problems whether they are local or national."

He then talked of doing his training nearby at Henry Ford Hospital, and spoke for 30 minutes about limited government, ending wars overseas, cutting government spending, eliminating deficits and restoring freedom and liberty.

He said the federal government is too involved in people's lives and thinks responsibilities first start with individuals, then extend to families, then to communities, then churches, then states.

"Things should be done at the local level," Paul said.

At the end of his speech, he took questions by students, including two who asked how he would address urban schools, especially Detroit Public Schools, and urban America in general.

Paul responded by saying the federal government has not helped by consuming wealth, putting on regulations and requirements and not allowing local officials to vary their education according to local needs.

"The government, federal and state governments, have caused most of these problems, but there's some people who do get around it," Paul said. "So there is a burden also placed on we as individuals to escape it by working harder and studying harder. So often children go home and don't get much encouragement at home, and that's difficult."

He continued: "As soon as you are adult enough to realize what's going on in the world, there's an individual responsibility, there's a family responsibility, there's a local responsibility, there's a church responsibility. For the most part, I want to get the government out of the way and get the economy can get healthy and you can get a job."


They must know something we don't know...




(1) 9/01/11 (USA NY) Bank of New York Mellon Chief Resigns in a Shake-UP

(2) 09/20/12 (SCOTLAND) SCOTTISH WIDOWS (RETIREMENT INVESTMENT SAVINGS FUND) There could be no Scottish representative on the board of Lloyds Banking Group, owner of Bank of Scotland, in future after it announced the departure of Lord Sandy Leitch, the chairman of Scottish Widows and group deputy chairman.

(3) 9/25/11 (SWITZERLAND) Bank chief resigns over £1.5bn rogue trader crisis

(4) 9/28/11 (SWITZERLAND) SNB Bank Council: Fritz Studer resigns as per end-April 2012

(5) 10/29/11 (CHINA) Resignations Suggest Shift for China's Banks

(6) 11/01/12 (INDIA) More directors of the Beed district bank resign

(7) 11/02/12 (UNITED KINGDOM) Lloyds Banking Group chief executive, António Horta-Osório, is to take leave of absence on health grounds for six to eight weeks, the BBC has reported. (STILL OUT AS OF 2/24/12 - DEFACTO RESIGNATION)

(8) 11/21/11 (JAPAN) UBS’s Japan Investment Banking Chairman Matsui to Resign

(9) 11/29/11 (Iran) Iran's Bank Melli CEO Resigns Over Loan Scam

(10) 12/15/11 (UNITED KINGDOM) Senior private banker resigns from Coutts [a very exclusive private bank]

(11) 12/22/11 (FRANCE) Societe Generale’s Investment Banking Chief Steps Down

(12) 12/23/11 (USA VA) Bank feud: Chairman Giles quits VNB with other directors

(13) 1/01/12 (NIGERIA) The Board of United Bank for Africa Plc, the pan African financial services Group with presence in 19 countries across Africa, has accepted the resignation of Mr. Victor Osadolor, from the board with effect from January 9, 2012.

(14) 1/01/12 (ISRAEL) Israel's Bank Leumi CEO Maor steps down after 16 years

(15) 1/03/12 (USA VA) Suffolk Bancorp president and CEO steps down

(16) 1/03/12 (UNITED KINGDOM) Departures from Board at Arbuthnot Banking Group: Neil Kirton
Shortly before the market closed at 12.30 p.m. on Friday the company disclosed that Neil Kirton had resigned from the Board the previous day.

(17) 1/03/12 (UNITED KINGDOM) Departures from Board at Arbuthnot Banking Group: Atholl Turrell
It has today stated that Atholl Turrell has left the Board.

(18) 1/05/12 (UNITED KINGDOM) Chief executive of Saunderson House [Private Bank] steps down

(19)1/09/12 (SWITZERLAND) Switzerland's central bank chief resigns

(20) 1/12/12 (United Kingdom) Lloyds’ head of wholesale quits

See the whole list:

History stuff...

Goodbye Columbus...

New evidence suggests Stone Age hunters from Europe discovered America

David Keys

New archaeological evidence suggests that America was first discovered by Stone Age people from Europe – 10,000 years before the Siberian-originating ancestors of the American Indians set foot in the New World.

A remarkable series of several dozen European-style stone tools, dating back between 19,000 and 26,000 years, have been discovered at six locations along the US east coast. Three of the sites are on the Delmarva Peninsular in Maryland, discovered by archaeologist Dr Darrin Lowery of the University of Delaware. One is in Pennsylvania and another in Virginia. A sixth was discovered by scallop-dredging fishermen on the seabed 60 miles from the Virginian coast on what, in prehistoric times, would have been dry land.

The new discoveries are among the most important archaeological breakthroughs for several decades - and are set to add substantially to our understanding of humanity's spread around the globe.

The similarity between other later east coast US and European Stone Age stone tool technologies has been noted before. But all the US European-style tools, unearthed before the discovery or dating of the recently found or dated US east coast sites, were from around 15,000 years ago - long after Stone Age Europeans (the Solutrean cultures of France and Iberia) had ceased making such artefacts. Most archaeologists had therefore rejected any possibility of a connection. But the newly-discovered and recently-dated early Maryland and other US east coast Stone Age tools are from between 26,000 and 19,000 years ago - and are therefore contemporary with the virtually identical western European material.

What’s more, chemical analysis carried out last year on a European-style stone knife found in Virginia back in 1971 revealed that it was made of French-originating flint.

Professor Dennis Stanford, of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, and Professor Bruce Bradley of the University of Exeter, the two leading archaeologists who have analysed all the evidence, are proposing that Stone Age people from Western Europe migrated to North America at the height of the Ice Age by travelling (over the ice surface and/or by boat) along the edge of the frozen northern part of the Atlantic. They are presenting their detailed evidence in a new book - Across Atlantic Ice – published this month.

At the peak of the Ice Age, around three million square miles of the North Atlantic was covered in thick ice for all or part of the year.

However, the seasonally shifting zone where the ice ended and the open ocean began would have been extremely rich in food resources – migrating seals, sea birds, fish and the now-extinct northern hemisphere penguin-like species, the great auk.

Stanford and Bradley have long argued that Stone Age humans were quite capable of making the 1500 mile journey across the Atlantic ice - but till now there was comparatively little evidence to support their thinking.

But the new Maryland, Virginia and other US east coast material, and the chemical tests on the Virginian flint knife, have begun to transform the situation. Now archaeologists are starting to investigate half a dozen new sites in Tennessee, Maryland and even Texas – and these locations are expected to produce more evidence.

Another key argument for Stanford and Bradley’s proposal is the complete absence of any human activity in north-east Siberia and Alaska prior to around 15,500 years ago. If the Maryland and other east coast people of 26,000 to 19,000 years ago had come from Asia, not Europe, early material, dating from before 19,000 years ago, should have turned up in those two northern areas, but none have been found.

Although Solutrean Europeans may well have been the first Americans, they had a major disadvantage compared to the Asian-originating Indians who entered the New World via the Bering Straits or along the Aleutian Islands chain after 15,500 years ago.

Whereas the Solutreans had only had a 4500 year long ‘Ice Age’ window to carry out their migratory activity, the Asian-originating Indians had some 15,000 years to do it. What’s more, the latter two-thirds of that 15 millennia long period was climatologically much more favourable and substantially larger numbers of Asians were therefore able to migrate.

As a result of these factors the Solutrean (European originating) Native Americans were either partly absorbed by the newcomers or were substantially obliterated by them either physically or through competition for resources.

Some genetic markers for Stone Age western Europeans simply don’t exist in north- east Asia – but they do in tiny quantities among some north American Indian groups. Scientific tests on ancient DNA extracted from 8000 year old skeletons from Florida have revealed a high level of a key probable European-originating genetic marker. There are also a tiny number of isolated Native American groups whose languages appear not to be related in any way to Asian-originating American Indian peoples.

But the greatest amount of evidence is likely to come from under the ocean – for most of the areas where the Solutreans would have stepped off the Ice onto dry land are now up to 100 miles out to sea.

The one underwater site that has been identified - thanks to the scallop dredgers – is set to be examined in greater detail this summer – either by extreme-depth divers or by remotely operated mini submarines equipped with cameras and grab arms.


Don't make any plans for February 5th 2040...

Armageddon 2040: Nasa identifies new asteroid threat which 'could hit Earth' in 30 years' time - and UN teams are working out how to divert it

Asteroid has 1 in 625 chance of hitting Earth

UN team debating options including nuclear weapons and 'steering' it away with a probe

Scientists will measure rock further in 2013

By Rob Waugh

It is 460ft wide and soaring through space - on a possible collision course with Earth.

Nasa has identified a new asteroid threat to our planet and calculated that it could potentially impact on February 5th 2040.

The 2011 AG5 has already attracted the concern of the UN Action Team on near-Earth objects, which has begun discussing ways to divert it.

The asteroid 2011 AG5 will pass near to Earth in 2040, with a one in 625 chance of hitting our planet, according to scientists...

Read more:

The cover-up is almost complete...

Bin Laden Death Coverup Continues: Compound Demolished

Brit Dee

The compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, which authorities claim was Osama Bin Laden’s home for several years before his supposed killing by a US special forces team last May, has this weekend been totally demolished. Pakistani authorities began tearing down the house on Saturday night, working under floodlights, with the local population subject to a strict curfew and Pakistan Army soldiers and police personnel reportedly deployed in large numbers.

The high security surrounding the building since last May, coupled with its sudden and secretive demolition, have naturally led to suspicions that this weekend marked the successful completion of a brazen coverup — journalists have never been allowed to enter the building, and were banned from going anywhere near it very soon after Bin Laden’s supposed killing.

The total destruction of the death scene makes it much less likely independent verification of the official narrative will ever be established, though considering that no evidence proving Bin Laden was actually killed in the compound has ever been provided by the authorities, this weekend’s events are hardly surprising.

The official account stretched credulity from the outset and changed significantly in the days and weeks following the Navy SEALS’ attack. At first we were told that Bin Laden had offered resistance by firing a weapon at the SEALS, but it was soon admitted that the person shot had not in fact been armed. If the unarmed individual shot dead posed no threat, then it is hard to view his death as anything other than a cold-blooded execution. The claim that Bin Laden cowered behind his wife, who was initially reported to have been killed whilst her husband used her as a human shield, also had to be retracted.

The most notoriously suspicious aspect of the official narrative was the prompt whisking away from Abbottabad of Bin Laden’s corpse, and its burial at sea — an event US officials absurdly tried to claim was carried out so as to be in accordance with Islamic tradition. Islam does permit burial at sea in certain circumstances — usually when someone has died at sea — but as the man killed was firmly on dry land and a significant distance from the North Arabian sea in which his body was dumped, such a claim is highly questionable.

Equally dubious were official US protestations of concern for respecting the Islamic tradition of swiftly washing, shrouding and burying the deceased. Not only had this tradition been ignored in other similar killings, such as those of Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay, Bin Laden was the world’s most wanted man — possession of his body, and evidence of such possession, would surely have been of greater importance to the US than the possible offence taken by a minority of devout Muslims.

US authorities similarly refused to release photographs of Bin Laden’s corpse, claiming that Muslims might be offended and Bin Laden’s supporters provoked into committing terrorist attacks on the West. That previously non-violent Muslims would become so enraged by a photo of Bin Laden’s corpse so as to join Al-Qaeda and commit terror attacks is unbelievable, and, again, inconsistent with the earlier publication of gruesome images of Muslims killed by the US military.

A video was released by US authorities, said to have been recovered from the compound and claiming to show a living, aged Bin Laden, but it was widely ridiculed by locals — one identifying the man in the video as his neighbour, who he named as “Akbar Khan”. Only one local spoken to by the BBC thought that the man in the video was Bin Laden, and many claimed they did not believe Bin Laden had been killed there, or indeed ever lived there.

With the body safely out of the way, and no evidence presented to confirm that the man killed was really Osama Bin Laden — beyond a claim, impossible to independently verify, that DNA samples taken from the body matched Bin Laden’s — many skeptics quite reasonably and rationally expressed doubt at the official narrative. Those who did question the official account quickly found themselves painted as “conspiracy theorists” by the establishment and the mainstream media, however – despite the lack of evidence of Bin Laden’s death, and the substantial counter-evidence suggesting that he had died of natural causes many years previously.

It is difficult not to view the destruction of evidence at the compound in Abbottabad as the culmination of a brazen coverup stretching back over a decade to the September 11th attacks. Steel from the collapsed WTC towers was quickly cut up and shipped as scrap to China with such flagrant disregard for standard procedure that Fire Engineering magazine published an article detailing how the author had “combed through our national standard for fire investigation, NFPA 921, but nowhere in it does one find an exemption allowing the destruction of evidence for buildings over 10 stories tall”.

The author concluded by demanding that the “destruction and removal of evidence must stop immediately.” With the mainstream media faithfully parroting the official narrative about both 9/11 and Bin Laden’s death, it will evidently be down to independent researchers and the alternative media to try, if possible, to get to the truth of both events.


Ron Paul rocks Michigan State...

Ron Paul speech draws thousands at MSU

It seemed like a fair trade for an 11th-hour campaign stop in another state where polls indicate Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul likely will finish out of the money in today’s Michigan primary.

For almost an hour Monday afternoon, the Texas congressman showed the people his familiar, libertarian-flavored way of the wilderness. In exchange, the overflow crowd at the 3,700-seat Michigan State University Auditorium showed him the love.

Paul walked onto the stage to a 40-second standing ovation. His standard-stump-speech call for dismantling federal government as it has been known for at least two generations drew applause, cheers and chants — “President Paul, President Paul” primarily.

References to government programs and policies in disfavor with Paul and with the crowd — the Patriot Act, for example — generated rounds of on-cue booing.

“Enough is enough,” Paul said about the loss of civil liberties, drawing another prolonged standing ovation.

Throughout the afternoon, Paul emphasized:
Federal government has grown too large to work.

The principles of the nation’s founders have been ignored or trampled.
Personal freedoms are under siege.

Federal economic and monetary policies and foreign wars are ruinous.
The remedies lie in citizen involvement, Paul said. Congress will listen when the people speak — especially when they utilize the Internet to express themselves.

“Those in charge are afraid of the Internet,” Paul said in a broad reference to Congress and successive presidential administrations.
Paul characterized the War on Drugs as more dangerous and costly than the drugs themselves.

Paul described the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as having been used by government “to do the things they wanted to do all along” — a reference to the war launched by the Bush administration against Iraq.

“The Taliban just want to be left alone,” he said of the Islamic fundamentalists fighting the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.

“I believe in a lot of the things he’s for, including getting our soldiers out of other countries,” said Mary Champagne, 44, of Williamston, who attended the rally with her husband and son.


2012 Election RIGGED...

"Those who understand the underpinnings of the dollar and how the Federal Reserve works have known for some time that we are on an unsustainable course, that major chaos is in store if nothing is done quickly to reform things."

Economy Squeezed As Debt Accelerates

Ron Paul

Senator Jeff Sessions, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee has pointed out that our per capita government debt is already larger than Greece’s. Per person, our government owes over $49,000 compared to $38,937 per Greek citizen. Our debt has just reached 101% of our Gross Domestic Product. Our creditors see this and have quietly slowed down or stopped their lending to us. As a result, the Federal Reserve has been outright monetizing debt as a way to patch things together and keep the economy on life support a little longer. There is rapidly shrinking demand for our debt, and confidence in the dollar is falling. This phenomenon is hidden only by the fact that confidence in all other fiat currencies is falling faster.

None of this seems to really alarm the administration, obviously, as they have just released a budget that accelerates spending and borrowing. The reason the debt and deficits plague the economy, according to this administration, is that the American economy is not taxed enough. Therefore, hidden in the fine print of the budget is a provision that ramps up the corporate dividends tax rate from its current 15% to 39.6%. In addition, certain deductions and exemptions will be phased out; an additional 3.8% Obamacare investment tax surcharge will be tacked on, bringing the effective dividend tax rate to 44.8% in 2013. Keep in mind, this is not just a tax on big business, this is a tax on anyone who depends on dividend income to live – retirees will be hit hard by these changes and dividend yielding stock prices will adjust downward rapidly to reflect their decreased value.

Not only this, but the Obama administration is worsening the uniquely American policy of taxing income of US based companies earned overseas. No other country presumes to tax globally in this manner, so it amounts to a huge penalty for basing a company in the US. Companies have been able to manage this penalty by deferring taxation until it is repatriated or by paying dividends. What will happen to US based businesses with strong international ties if these allowances are abolished as the Obama administration proposes? A massive wave of permanent capital flight will undoubtedly cause the already high levels of unemployment to rise.

Businesses are struggling and failing in this economy. The government ultimately depends on a healthy business climate to provide jobs and a tax base. It is penny wise and pound foolish to add to business tax burden in a misguided attempt to close the colossal gap between our government’s revenue and spending. Rather than crippling and absorbing more of our shrinking economy, government needs to be drastically cut – not in 10 years, but immediately.

Those who understand the underpinnings of the dollar and how the Federal Reserve works have known for some time that we are on an unsustainable course, that major chaos is in store if nothing is done quickly to reform things. Politicians pay lip-service to reforms that never materialize or turn out to be at best small and meaningless, or at worst actively harmful. It seems more and more inevitable that because the necessary changes would be too inconvenient for the elites to enact now, we will get them later Greek-style, through collapse and chaos.


"The idea that Israel would use U.S. bases or that we would consider allowing the Israelis to do so seems wild and far-fetched. But if true, it indicates just how far and how harebrained we’ve grown in latching on to something, anything to stop the Israelis."

Obama Promises Israel Use Of Bases For Iran Attack If It Will Wait

Richard Silverstein

There have been endless recent visits to Israel from high-ranking U.S. officials regarding the Iran issue, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and most recently National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. The AP reports that during the last set of meetings the Israelis defiantly told the U.S. that if they attacked Iran, they would leave the U.S. in the dark. Here’s how Mike Rogers, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee put it:

Rogers told CNN on Monday: “I got the sense that Israel is incredibly serious about a strike on their nuclear weapons program. It’s their calculus that the administration … is not serious about a real military consequence to Iran moving forward.

“They believe they’re going to have to make a decision on their own, given the current posture of the United States,” he added.

Now, Israel’s two top leaders head to Washington for separate sets of talks in the coming days. Bibi comes for his annual triumphal curtain call before the Aipac national conference. There he will certainly repeat his baleful predictions of what a world with Iranian nukes would be like. It could be his last speech in this country before an Israeli attack.

It’s uncertain what he will discuss with Pres. Obama, with whom he will meet. The president seems more the supplicant than the officiant in this relationship. He doesn’t want Israel to attack. But both he and Bibi know that he doesn’t have the will to stop him. It feels to me like possibly the final stop on the way to war.

Obama is so desperate, if this account is to be believed, that he’s offered Israel use of our Middle East bases from which to launch its attack at a later date:

U.S. intelligence and special operations officials have tried to keep a dialogue going with Israel despite the high-level impasse, offering options such as allowing Israel to use U.S. bases in the region to launch such a strike, as a way to make sure the Israelis give the Americans a heads-up, according to the U.S. official and a former U.S. official with knowledge of the communications.

The idea that Israel would use U.S. bases or that we would consider allowing the Israelis to do so seems wild and far-fetched. But if true, it indicates just how far and how harebrained we’ve grown in latching on to something, anything to stop the Israelis.

From the tone of this Wall Street Journal article, it appears that Bibi is coming to Washington seeking a virtual guarantee that the U.S. will attack Iran if Israel does not do so. Israel’s chief Congressional water carriers (in this case Sen. Lindsay Graham) also appear to think that such a promise is the least Obama can offer our ever faithful ally:

“The president needs to be reassuring to the Israelis that the policy of the United States is etched in stone: we will do everything, including military action, to stop a nuclear-armed Iran. I hope the administration when they talk about ‘all options’ will better define what those options are. We’re getting too far into the game to be overly nuanced now.”

I’m beginning to feel like a character in a movie watching a train barreling down the track. He knows there will be a crash, and a disaster to follow. There’s nothing he can do to stop it. He can only watch and wait for the crunch of steel and the screeching of brakes that cannot stop it in time.

In a related matter, an Israeli publication, Inyan Merkazi, writes (based on a Russian media report) that Avigdor Lieberman, who is known to have an exceedingly close relationship with the Kremlin, was told by Vladimir Putin to oppose an Israeli attack on Iran. There are those within Israel who believe the current foreign minister is a Russian intelligence asset, not just a close Russian political ally, though these are so far rumors rather than proven fact.

One way to test the theory is to watch which way Lieberman votes in the ministerial meeting at which an Israeli attack must be approved. If Lieberman votes No, you’ll have a pretty decent indication of where his bread is buttered. If he votes Yes, then at least according to this report, he’ll be biting the Russian hand that feeds him, indicating he is much more of an independent figure than many believe.


Special ops mania...

Uncle Sam, Global Gangster

by Tom Engelhardt and Andrew Bacevich

If all goes as planned, it will be the happiest of wartimes in the U.S.A. Only the best of news, the killing of the baddest of the evildoers, will ever filter back to our world.

After all, American war is heading for the "shadows" in a big way. As news articles have recently made clear, the tip of the Obama administration's global spear will increasingly be shaped from the ever-growing ranks of U.S. special operations forces. They are so secretive that they don't like their operatives to be named, so covert that they instruct their members, as Spencer Ackerman of Wired's Danger Room blog notes, "not to write down important information, lest it be vulnerable to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act." By now, they are also a force that, in any meaningful sense, is unaccountable for its actions.

Although the special ops crew (66,000 people in all) exist on our tax dollars, we're really not supposed to know anything about what they're doing – unless, of course, they choose the publicity venue themselves, whether in Pakistan knocking off Osama bin Laden or parachuting onto Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard to promote Act of Valor. In case you somehow missed the ads, that's the new film about "real terrorist threats based on true stories starring actual Navy SEALs." (No names in the credits please!)

Of course, those elite SEAL teams are johnnies-come-lately when compared to their no less secretive "teammates" in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia – our ever increasing armada of drones. Those robotic warriors of the air (or at least their fantasy doppelgangers) were, of course, pre-celebrated – after a fashion – in the Terminator movies. In Washington's global battle zones, what's called our "traditional combat role" – think big invasions, occupations, counterinsurgency – is going, going, gone with the wind, even evidently in Afghanistan by 2013. War American-style is instead being inherited by secretive teams of men and machines, both hunter-killers who specialize in assassination operations, and both of whom, as presented to Americans, just couldn't be sexier.

And we'll all be just so happy – as a recent poll indicates we are – with our robotic warriors and their shadowy special ops teammates, if with nothing else in our fraying world. They present such an alluring image of the no-pain, all-gain battlefield and are undoubtedly a relief for many Americans, distinctly tired – so the polls also tell us – of wars that aren't covert and don't work. So who even notices that, as Andrew Bacevich, bestselling author and (most recently) editor of The Short American Century: A Postmortem, points out, we're being plunged into a real-life war novel that has no plot and no end. How post-modern! How disastrous, if only we have the patience to wait!