Monday, April 30, 2012

Economy Face Off: Ron Paul vs Paul Krugman...

Steve Forbes: Ron Paul Should Be Chairman of the Fed...

The brutality of US sanctions on Iraq...

Joy Gordon’s Lecture at George Washington University

by Jacob G. Hornberger

Last Thursday I attended a great lecture by Joy Gordon, professor of philosophy at Fairfield University in Connecticut. The talk was based on her book Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions. It was sponsored by The Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Gordon described the horrifying sanctions that the United Nations imposed and enforced on the Iraqi people at the direction of the U.S. government, beginning during the Persian Gulf War in 1990 and continuing for the next 11 years. It is impossible to accurately measure exactly how many Iraqis were killed as a result but there is no doubt that the sanctions killed lots of people and absolutely devastated the Iraqi economy. In fact, according to Gordon, the sanctions wiped out virtually the entire middle class of Iraqi society.

It would be difficult to find a better modern-day example than the Iraq sanctions of Hannah Arendt’s phrase “the banality of evil” U.S. officials first intentionally destroyed Iraq’s water and sewage facilities, knowing what the likely adverse effects on health conditions were going to be. And then the U.S. representatives on the UN sanctions committee continuously vetoed, year after year, the importation of anything that would assist the Iraqis to repair such facilities. U.S. officials also refused to permit Iraqi officials to import anything that could be also used by the Iraqi military, which, of course, was almost everything.

Meanwhile Iraqi children were dying and economic conditions were plunging, neither of which motivated U.S. officials to cease and desist their horrifyingly indifferent conduct. The prime objective was regime change — i.e., the ouster of Saddam Hussein from office and his replacement with a U.S.-approved stooge.

When asked by “Sixty Minutes” whether the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the sanctions were worth it, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright responded that yes, they were worth it. Her sentiments reflected the official view of the U.S. government. Nothing could be permitted to stand in the way of regime change.

Like I say, the banality of evil.

What I personally have always found fascinating is how so many Americans have bought into the official U.S. government line of how much the U.S. government loves the Iraqi people. You’ll recall that when they failed to find those infamous WMDs, including those that the United States delivered to Iraq when the U.S. government and the Saddam Hussein regime were partnering to kill Iranians, the U.S. government shifted to an alternative line that said that it invaded Iraq to bring democracy to the Iraqi people.

What a crock. Throughout the 1990s, U.S. officials and most of the conservative movement pined for the ouster of Saddam Hussein, lamenting that President George H.W. Bush had failed to “complete the job” during the Persian Gulf War. The purpose of the sanctions was the squeeze the lifeblood out of the Iraqi people in the hopes that the Iraqi citizenry would revolt and oust Saddam from power or, even better from the standpoint of U.S. officials, in the hope that a military coup would take place in which Saddam would be replaced by a U.S.-approved military general.

That’s what Albright meant when she said that the deaths of those children had been worth it — worth the attempt at regime change.

The WMD scare was just a ruse that U.S. officials used to garner support from the American people for their invasion of Iraq, given that the sanctions had failed to achieve the U.S. goal of regime change. U.S. officials knew the effect it would have on the American people when they conjured up images of “mushroom clouds” over American cities. Thus, many Americans were ready and willing to support the undeclared war of aggression against a nation that had never attacked the United States and, even worse, many of them embraced the ridiculous U.S. government alternative rationale for invading Iraq—that the invasion was done for the benefit of the Iraqi people (not including, I assume, all the people who were now dead as a result of the invasion).

A couple of years ago, we published a review of Gordon’s book in our monthly FFF journal. It’s entitled “America’s Peacetime Crimes against Iraq” by Anthony Gregory. I highly recommend her excellent book, Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions. If you’d like to get a taste of it before purchasing it, I recommend reading Gordon’s article entitled “Cool War: Economic Sanctions as a Weapon of Mass Destruction,” which appeared in 2002 in Harper’s Magazine.

Link to article and hyperlinks:

"Since the FBI itself has originated most of the major terror plots in the United States, why should a how-to list on spotting terrorists put out by the FBI be given any credibility at all?"

CBS Runs Defense For ‘Everyone’s a Terrorist’ FBI Flyers

Report fails to mention numerous banal activities characterized as suspicious behavior

Paul Joseph Watson

Despite being the subject of online ridicule for months, flyers put out by the FBI under the ‘Communities Against Terrorism’ program, which frame behavior including using cash to pay for a cup of coffee as a suspicious activity, have been characterized as reasonable by the mainstream media, even as the New York Times admits that the FBI has originated most of the recent terror plots in the United States.

In a bizarrely headlined story entitled Are You a Terrorist?, CBS 12 lends the flyers credence by completely failing to mention the fact that they include a list of mundane behaviors that have nothing to do with terrorism or any relation to “suspicious activity” whatsoever.

As we highlighted earlier this year, one of the flyers sent out to Internet cafes instructs businesses to report people who regularly use cash to pay for their coffee as potential terrorists.

Other examples of suspicious behavior include anyone expressing concern about privacy while surfing online in public, which far from being a ‘suspicious activity’ is almost a prerequisite for using the web these days.

In a flyer issued to Military Surplus stores, the purchase of storable food supplies in bulk, an increasingly popular trend amongst “preppers,” is also defined as a potential indication of terrorism.

Despite the fact that the flyers are virtually useless in identifying real terrorists because they place activities performed by millions of Americans in the context of ‘suspicious behavior’, only serving to create an atmosphere of fear and distrust, the CBS 12 report includes none of the ludicrous examples listed above and instead quotes business owners who think the whole thing is a good idea.

“I think it’s a good list,” said Bernard Greenberg, who owns a hobby shop in Lake Worth, Florida, despite admitting that some of the ‘terrorist traits’ listed in the flyer would be shared by “A lot of people that walk into the store for the first time.”

In other words, treating everyone as ‘terrorist until proven innocent’ is necessary, even down to fathers who are looking to buy their kid a model aircraft as a birthday gift.

“Some of it seems a little bit over the top, but I am sure they have their reasons for what they are doing,” said Scuba Adventures owner Jim Abernathy, again framing the issue as reasonable and rational.

Except that is for the fact that the FBI don’t really have a good reason for what they are doing given that, as even the New York Times reported this past weekend, it’s the FBI itself which steers and provocateurs almost every terror plot from the very beginning.

After listing a number of major terror plots that have made the headlines in recent years, sounding more like Alex Jones than the Old Gray Lady, the report concedes that, “All these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested.”

Since the FBI itself has originated most of the major terror plots in the United States, why should a how-to list on spotting terrorists put out by the FBI be given any credibility at all?

The CBS 12 report also fails to mention the plethora of examples from other federal agencies where normal behavior is classified as potential terrorism, including a recent DHS document which lists yawning and getting goose bumps as two primary examples of suspicious activity.

A separate FBI report also reveals that the feds are now treating those who “believe the United States went bankrupt by going off the gold standard” as extremists who are a potential violent threat to law enforcement.

While the deluge of such examples clearly illustrates the trend of federal agencies engaging in fearmongering by brainwashing the public into thinking there’s a terrorist around every corner, the establishment media covers up the fact that the war on terror is being turned against the American people by blithely claiming it’s all normal and reasonable – when it clearly isn’t.


This is amazing. What do we eat in pictures?

Amazing Photos Show What the World Really Eats

Anthony Gucciardi

What do you and your family eat each week? You may be shocked to see the significant variation even between relatively ‘similar’ nations when it comes to diet. While many families within the United States and Mexico include fast food and soda into the core of their nutritional program, families from nations like Bhutan survive off of traditional base food items like vegetables and grains. It is easy to see why disease rates are skyrocketing in many developed countries, where nutrition is not held to a very high regard.

Amazingly, the United States also spends more on healthcare than any nation in the world. Despite spending $7,960 per capita, the United States has been ranked dead last when it comes to the quality of care. The fact of the matter is that when food intake is ignored — along with the subsequent toxic ingredients that go along with the processed food addiction — disease will arise. In the telling pictures below, taken from the book ‘Hungry Planet: What the World Eats’, you can see what the average family from each nation eats over the period of one week.

This family from North Carolina eats a diet almost entirely of processed and pre-prepared foods with heavy amounts of junk and fast food. Consuming mostly sugar-laden ‘fruit’ drinks and mega-sized sodas from Burger King and McDonald’s, this average American diet will ultimately lead to chronic disease and rampant sickness. Some favorite foods include pizza and fast food.

Families in mexico also tend to consume sugary sodas and processed foods, though their fruit and vegetable intake is higher than the United States families observed. The family lists their favorite food items as pizza, pasta, and chicken.

This family resides in the developing nation of Chad and spends only the equivalent of $1.23 per week on food to feed the entire family. Their favorite food is soup with fresh sheep meat.

Read more:

What is going on in Chicago?

Authorities Refuse to Disclose Details of Chicago Evacuation Plan

Information lockdown by Secret Service and city officials

Paul Joseph Watson

City and federal authorities have reacted bizarrely to the revelation that the Red Cross has been ordered to prepare for the possible evacuation of Chicago during next month’s NATO summit by refusing to acknowledge that the directive came from them.

As we reported last week, Red Cross volunteers in the Milwaukee area were sent an email instructing them that, “The American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin has been asked to place a number of shelters on standby in the event of evacuation of Chicago.”

According to a chapter Red Cross spokesperson, “Our direction has come from the City of Chicago and the Secret Service.”

However, according to a CBS 2 report, the Secret Service has refused to even acknowledge the issue and “Chicago officials say the plan didn’t come from them.”

Chicago area tenants were also informed by management agencies that they should get ready to leave their homes in preparation for major rioting.

Despite the fact that the plan for evacuating citizens has stoked paranoia and confusion amongst residents, information about the procedure has seemingly been placed on lockdown.

Chicago NATO host committee officials also responded to reports that heavily armed security teams would be making themselves visible in federal buildings from this week onwards with ignorance, claiming they were “completely in the dark.”

It appears highly probable that many of the policing methods and emergency planning provisions are so over the top that authorities are loathe to disclose details for fear of a backlash before the event.

This reminds us of the previous administration’s continuity of government plans for the aftermath of a catastrophic event that were deemed so secret that even Congressman Peter DeFazio, who sat on the Homeland Security Committee with clearance to see classified material, was barred from viewing the details.

“Maybe the people who think there’s a conspiracy out there are right,” DeFazio said at the time, which is precisely the reaction the refusal to acknowledge the Chicago evacuation plan will also generate.

The effect that all this has is to create the perception that the mere act of exercising First Amendment rights is somehow dirty and criminal, and that it needs to be countered by the state using clandestine means with plans that are more suited to responding to debilitating terrorist attacks than public demonstrations.

Indeed, preparations to shut down roads and limit the size of trucks passing through certain highways mirrors “a procedure originally designed for use in an all-out emergency like a bioterrorism attack.”

The NATO summit represents a massive photo opportunity for the government to showcase how America is now a militarized police state, sending the message that any attempt to protest the new world order will be met by an army of gun-wielding goons, invasive surveillance technologies and pain-inducing torture tools.


What is America's breaking point?

What is America’s Economic Breaking Point?

Mac Slavo

If there exists a single factor that can put enough pressure on the whole of the American economy and force it to crumble under its own weight, it’s the price the average American pays for gas. Extreme up-side gas price swings have preceded seven of the last eight American recessions, most recently in the summer of 2008 when drivers were forced to pay an all time high in excess of $4.50 per gallon at the pumps. What followed this spike – caused in part by tightening supplies, rising demand, easy money and a health dose of financial propaganda – was nothing short of the most severe financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Nearly four years on the country finds itself in the midst of difficult times that havetaken their toll on millions of Americans through job losses, home foreclosures, un-servicable debt, and ever dwindling retirement savings. By all accounts, Americans are worse off today than they were ten years ago, and the state of our nation, despite what Washington’s media masters report, is fiscally, economically, and socially dire.

With an estimated national debt that will approach $20 trillion in just a couple of years, some $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities over the next twenty five years, scores of millions of Americans dependent on overburdened government safety nets to survive, and a rapidly shrinking domestic economy, the key question becomes,”what is America’s economic breaking point?”

The answer to this question becomes apparent in a recent documentary from Future Money Trends, which suggests that the breaking point for the U.S. economy comes when the cheap energy we have enjoyed for the better part of a century finally dries up.

Future Money Trends is expecting the U.S. to face the perfect storm of events that, when combined, will send gas prices past the breaking point for the average American.

There are three major catalysts that will cause gas prices to reach this breaking point.

Number one, the dollar is in a state of collapse caused by a continuous increase of the money supply by America’s central bank.

Two, instability in the middle east and a potential war with Iran would great disrupt the supply of oil.

Three, the supply of cheap, recoverable oil is dwindling along with a major increase in demand.

America is built for $50 oil and $2 a gallon gasoline. The seriousness of our situation should not be overlooked. We have multiple forces that will drive gas prices past America’s $5 per gallon breaking point… Rising gas prices caused by these three catalysts will break the backs of the American consumer, spiking prices to the point where present day normalcy is no longer the reality.


Was Breitbart’s Coroner Poisoned to Death?

This story keeps getting weirder and weirder...

Breitbart's Coroner Possibly Poisoned To Death

Michael Cormier, a respected forensic technician for the Los Angeles County Coroner, who likely worked on the autopsy of Andrew Breitbart, died under suspicious circumstances at his North Hollywood home April 20, the same day Breitbart’s cause of death was finally made public.

“There are mysterious circumstances surrounding his death,” said Elizabeth Espinosa, a news reporter for KTLA-TV. “We’re told detectives are looking into the possibility that he was poisoned by arsenic.”

Cormier, 61, had been rushed to Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank after complaining of pain and vomiting.

“He was transported there early in the morning, and passed away late at night,” Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations and Cormier’s colleague at the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, told KTLA. “It affects everybody when you lose a co-worker, but we’ll proceed and do our job and try to figure out why Michael died.”

The hospital then notified Los Angeles Police about Cormier’s death.

“At this point we haven’t ruled out foul play,” police Lt. Alan Hamilton told the Los Angeles Times. “It is one of the things being considered. We are waiting for the coroner’s results.”

Toxicology results are not expected for five to six weeks.

Prior to his death, Andrew Breitbart was preparing a "vetting" of President Obama.


Peas in a pod...

What Do California And Detroit Have In Common?

When most people think of the economic decline that is happening in America, most of them think of states like California and cities like Detroit. In both cases, unemployment is rampant, government finances are a mess, and businesses and families are both leaving in droves. So what is causing this? What do California and Detroit have in common? Well, for one thing, both the state of California and the city of Detroit have been run by anti-business socialist control freaks for decades. Once upon a time millions of young Americans that dreamed of a better life flocked to California and Detroit was one of the most vibrant manufacturing cities in the history of the world. But now both of them are in an advanced state of decline, and a lot of the blame can be placed at the feet of the politicians in both cases. Both California and Detroit have become very unfriendly places to businesses and families, so businesses and families have been leaving both California and Detroit in very large numbers. At the same time, the socialist welfare policies in both places have caused them to become magnets for those that enjoy being dependent on the government. Welfare recipients are not likely to pack up and move down to Texas because they know that their benefits would not be nearly as good down there. So both California and Detroit will continue to attract those that want to live under socialist control freaks and it will continue to drive away those that do not want to live under socialist control freaks.

It is so sad to see what has happened to Detroit.

At one point, Detroit was one of the greatest cities in the world.

But today, 53.6 percent of all children in Detroit are living in poverty and 47 percent of all people living in the city of Detroit are functionally illiterate.

How does something like that happen?

Over the past 50 years, the population of Detroit has lost more than a million people as businesses and families have left in droves. The following is from a recent Economy In Crisis article....

Once the wealthiest city in America, known as the “arsenal of democracy,” Detroit was the fourth largest city in the U.S. in the 1960s with a population of two million. Now a microcosm of everything that is wrong with the American economy, Detroit has become nothing more than a devastated landscape of urban decay with a current population of 713,000.

Visiting Detroit is the closest Americans can come to viewing what appears to be a war torn city without leaving the U.S. This former powerhouse is a barren stretch of land, devastated by looters and and full of run-down, vacant houses. Rows upon rows of dilapidated structures line the streets; empty apartment buildings and factories consume the landscape. Almost a third of Detroit has been abandoned.

Third world conditions prevail in many areas of Detroit today. There are many areas of the city that you simply would not want to ever visit at night. The following is what one enterprising British reporter found during his visit to Detroit....

Much of Detroit is horribly dangerous for its own residents, who in many cases only stay because they have nowhere else to go. Property crime is double the American average, violent crime triple. The isolated, peeling homes, the flooded roads, the clunky, rusted old cars and the neglected front yards amid trees and groin-high grassland make you think you are in rural Alabama, not in one of the greatest industrial cities that ever existed.
In Detroit today there are large numbers of three and four bedroom homes that you can buy for next to nothing. Most of them are boarded up and abandoned. Nobody wants to live in them anymore.

The graduation rate in Detroit is down to about 25 percent, and the city has become a breeding ground for crime and gangs.

The jobs that have left Detroit are not coming back. A lot of this can be blamed on the foolish "free trade" economic agenda being pushed by both major political parties. For example, auto parts exports from China have increased by more than 900 percent since the year 2000.

But not all the jobs that have left Detroit have gone overseas.

A lot of businesses have simply moved their manufacturing facilities to more business-friendly areas over the past several decades. When politicians just keep pushing the business community over and over, eventually many businesses will start to leave for greener pastures.

Today, there are hordes of formerly great cities all over the "rust belt" that have lost their economic infrastructure. But instead of changing strategies, many of them just keep on doing the same old things and hope that somehow things will turn around.

It is also very depressing to watch what is happening to the entire state of California.

Over the past 20 years, the state has experienced a net loss of approximately four million residents to other states.

As I wrote about recently, there are a whole host of good reasons to move away from California, but certainly the twisted control freak socialists running the state are one of the primary reasons why so many families are hightailing it out of there.

California just keeps implementing more ridiculous anti-business and anti-family regulations. The following is a brief excerpt from a recent Wall Street Journal article....

And things will only get worse in the coming years as Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and his green cadre implement their "smart growth" plans to cram the proletariat into high-density housing. "What I find reprehensible beyond belief is that the people pushing [high-density housing] themselves live in single-family homes and often drive very fancy cars, but want everyone else to live like my grandmother did in Brownsville in Brooklyn in the 1920s," Mr. Kotkin declares.

"The new regime"—his name for progressive apparatchiks who run California's government—"wants to destroy the essential reason why people move to California in order to protect their own lifestyles."

Housing is merely one front of what he calls the "progressive war on the middle class." Another is the cap-and-trade law AB32, which will raise the cost of energy and drive out manufacturing jobs without making even a dent in global carbon emissions. Then there are the renewable portfolio standards, which mandate that a third of the state's energy come from renewable sources like wind and the sun by 2020. California's electricity prices are already 50% higher than the national average.

The funny thing is that Barack Obama likes to point to California as an example of where he wants to take the entire nation. But a recent Daily Beast article noted how foolish it would be to follow the path that California has chosen....

Obama regularly asserts that green jobs will play a crucial role in the future of the American economy, but California, a trend-setter in the field, has yet to reap such benefits. Green jobs, broadly defined, make up only about 2 percent of jobs in the state—about the same proportion as in Texas. In Silicon Valley, the number of green jobs actually declined between 2003 and 2010. Meanwhile, California’s unemployment rate of 10.9 percent is the nation’s third highest, behind only Nevada and Rhode Island.

When Governor Jerry Brown predicted a half-million green jobs by the end of the decade, even The New York Times deemed it “a pipe dream.”

Obama’s push to nationalize many of California’s economy-stifling green policies has been slowed down, first by the Republican resurgence in 2010 and then by his reelection considerations. But California’s politicians, living in what’s become essentially a one-party state, have doubled down on green orthodoxy. As the president at least tries to cover his flank by claiming to support an “all-in” energy policy, California has simply refused to exploit much of its massive oil and gas resources.

The funny thing is that California is one of the least "green" places in America. According to a recent article by Les Christie, the five most polluted cities in America are all in California.

So perhaps that should clean up their own act before trying to export their philosophies to the rest of the nation.

As businesses and families leave California in waves, the state is finding itself in a lot of financial trouble.

Once again, the state is facing a much larger than anticipated financial hole in 2012. So far this year tax receipts are way, way down as a recent Bloomberg article noted....

California personal-income-tax collections in April are falling short of Governor Jerry Brown’s projection by more than $2 billion, data from Controller John Chiang show. The state is already facing a $9.2 billion deficit through June 2013.

With two days to be counted, the state has taken in $6.74 billion since April 1, according to a daily tally on Chiang’s website. Brown’s projection for the month was $9.13 billion.
But as mentioned above, Barack Obama wants the rest of the country to become much more like California.

With each passing day, the United States is becoming even more socialist, and both major political parties are facilitating this transition.

For example, back in the year 2000 social welfare benefits made up approximately 21 percent of all salaries and wages in the United States.

In 2012, social welfare benefits make up approximately 35 percent of all salaries and wages in the United States.

That is a mind blowing shift in just 12 years.

It would be easy to blame Obama for that, but the Republicans actually had control of the White House for most of that time period.

The truth is that both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have steadily moved America in the direction of big government and socialism.

And at the White House Correspondents' Dinner the other night, Obama joked about "the European-style socialism that he has planned" for his second term. He joked that it will include "more government handouts, a life of government dependencies, indoctrinating our children, a left wing social agenda" among other things.

Is it really a laughing matter that the entire country is going down the same path that California and Detroit have gone?

Hasn't enough damage already been done to our economy?

According to a recent Gallup poll, only 60 percent of all Americans say that they have enough money to live comfortably. That was the lowest level Gallup has ever recorded.

How much worse do things have to get before the American people decide that it is time for a fundamental change of direction?


"The nightmares that we are seeing unfold in Spain and Greece right now are just a preview of what is coming to most of the rest of the world."

22 Signs That The Collapsing Spanish Economy Is Heading Into A Great Depression

What happens when debt-fueled false prosperity disappears? Just look at Spain. The 4th largest economy in Europe was riding high during the boom years, but now the Spanish economy is collapsing with no end in sight. When a debt bubble gets interrupted, the consequences can be rather chaotic. Just like we saw in Greece, austerity is causing the economy to slow down in Spain. But when the economy slows down, tax revenues fall and that makes it even more difficult to meet budget targets. So even more austerity measures are needed to keep debt under control and the cycle just keeps going. Unfortunately, even with all of the recently implemented austerity measures the Spanish government is still not even close to a balanced budget. Meanwhile, the housing market in Spain is crashing and unemployment is already above 24 percent. The Spanish banking system is a giant, unregulated mess that is on the verge of a massive implosion, and the Spanish stock market has been declining rapidly. The Spanish government is going to need a massive bailout and so will the entire Spanish banking system. But that is going to be a huge problem, because the Spanish economy is almost 5 times as large as the Greek economy. When the Spanish financial system collapses, the entire globe is going to feel the pain and there will be no easy solution.

So just how bad are things in Spain at this point?

The following are 22 signs that the collapsing Spanish economy is heading into a great depression....

#1 The unemployment rate in Spain has reached 24.4 percent - a new all-time record high. Back in April 2007, the unemployment rate in Spain was only 7.9 percent.

#2 The unemployment rate in Spain is now higher than the U.S. unemployment rate was during any point during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

#3 According to CNBC, some analysts are projecting that the unemployment rate in Spain is going to go above 30 percent.

#4 The unemployment rate for those under the age of 25 in Spain is now a whopping 52 percent.

#5 There are more than 47 million people living in Spain today. Only about 17 million of them have jobs.

#6 Retail sales in Spain have declined for 21 months in a row.

#7 The Bank of Spain has officially confirmed that Spain has already entered another recession.

#8 Last week, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services slashed Spain's credit rating from A to BBB+.

#9 The yield on 10-year Spanish bonds is up around 6 percent again. That is considered to be very dangerous territory.

#10 Two of Spain's biggest banks have announced that they are going to stop increasing their holdings of Spanish government debt.

#11 Of all the loans held by Spanish banks, 8.15 percent are considered to be "bad loans".

#12 The total value of all bad loans in Spain is equivalent to approximately 13 percent of Spanish GDP.

#13 Of all real estate assets held by Spanish banks, more than 50 percent of them are considered to be "troubled" by the Spanish government.

#14 That total amount of money loaned out by Spanish banks is equivalent to approximately 170 percent of Spanish GDP.

#15 Home prices in Spain fell by 11.2 percent last year, and the number of property repossessions in Spain rose by a staggering 32 percent during 2011.

#16 Spanish housing prices are now down 25 percent from the peak of the housing market and Citibank's Willem Buiter expects the eventual decline to be somewhere around 60 percent.

#17 It is being projected the the economy of Spain will shrink by 1.7 percent this year, although there are some analysts that feel that projection is way too optimistic.

#18 The Spanish government has announced a ban on all cash transactions larger than 2,500 euros.

#19 One key Spanish stock index has already fallen by more than 19 percent so far this year.

#20 The Spanish government recently admitted that its 2011 budget deficit was much larger than originally projected and that it probably will not meet its budget targets for 2012 either.

#21 Spain's debt to GDP ratio is projected to rise by more than 11 percent during 2012.

#22 Worldwide exposure to Spanish debt is estimated to be well over a trillion euros.

Spain is going down the exact same road that Greece went down.

Greece is already suffering through a great depression and now Spain is joining them. The following is from a recent BBC article....

"In Spain today, a cycle similar to Greece is starting to develop," said HSBC chief economist Stephen King.

"The recession is so deep that when you take one step forward on austerity, it takes you two steps back."
In Spain right now there is a lot of fear and panic about the economy. In many areas, it seems like absolutely nobody is hiring right now. The following is from a recent USA Today article....

"The situation is very bad. There's no work," said Enrique Sebastian, a 48-year-old unemployed surgery room assistant as he left one of Madrid's unemployment offices. "The only future I see is one with wages of €400 ($530) a month for eight-hour days. And that's if you can find it."
But Spain is just at the beginning of a downward spiral. Just wait until they have been through a few years of economic depression. Once that happens, millions of people begin to lose all hope. A recent Reuters article discussed the epidemic of suicides that is happening in Greece right now....

On Monday, a 38-year-old geology lecturer hanged himself from a lamp post in Athens and on the same day a 35-year-old priest jumped to his death off his balcony in northern Greece. On Wednesday, a 23-year-old student shot himself in the head.

In a country that has had one of the lowest suicide rates in the world, a surge in the number of suicides in the wake of an economic crisis has shocked and gripped the Mediterranean nation - and its media - before a May 6 election.
And you know what?

The nightmares that we are seeing unfold in Spain and Greece right now are just a preview of what is coming to most of the rest of the world.

The next wave of the economic crisis will soon envelop the United States, Japan and the rest of Europe.

When it strikes, the pain will be immense.

But it won't be the end - it will only be just the beginning.

The global financial system is starting to crumble.

You better get ready.



Wind Farms Can Cause Climate Change, Finds New Study

by Louise Gray

Usually at night the air closer to the ground becomes colder when the sun goes down and the earth cools.

But on huge wind farms the motion of the turbines mixes the air higher in the atmosphere that is warmer, pushing up the overall temperature.

Satellite data over a large area in Texas, that is now covered by four of the world's largest wind farms, found that over a decade the local temperature went up by almost 1C as more turbines are built.

This could have long term effects on wildlife living in the immediate areas of larger wind farms.

It could also affect regional weather patterns as warmer areas affect the formation of cloud and even wind speeds.

It is reported China is now erecting 36 wind turbines every day and Texas is the largest producer of wind power in the US.

Liming Zhou, Research Associate Professor at the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University of New York, who led the study, said further research is needed into the affect of the new technology on the wider environment.

"Wind energy is among the world’s fastest growing sources of energy. The US wind industry has experienced a remarkably rapid expansion of capacity in recent years,” he said. “While converting wind’s kinetic energy into electricity, wind turbines modify surface-atmosphere exchanges and transfer of energy, momentum, mass and moisture within the atmosphere. These changes, if spatially large enough, might have noticeable impacts on local to regional weather and climate.”

The study, published in Nature, found a “significant warming trend” of up to 0.72C (1.37F) per decade, particularly at night-time, over wind farms relative to near-by non-wind-farm regions...

Read more:

"Collectivism, as a political ideology, thrives on the idea that force by the state should determine how those in the mob can benefit at the expense of others. It allows for the collective to force policy decisions that serve to dictate how each individual must live his life. It has no respect for private property. It attempts to destroy self-responsibility, self-reliance, and self-interest. It puts the mob, whether that is the community, the state, or the nation, above all else. It relies on the elimination of individualism, all for the so-called benefit of society as a whole. Collectivism is then, the epitome of immorality, of dishonesty, and of exploitation."

The Scourge of Collectivism in the Nation State of America

by Gary D. Barnett

Collectivism holds that, in human affairs, the collective – society, the community, the nation, the proletariat, the race, etc. – is the unit of reality and the standard of value. On this view, the individual has reality only as a part of the group, and value only insofar as he serves it.

~ Leonard Peikoff

The mind of the collectivist is empty and pitiful, and has not the ability to think on its own. It has no uniqueness; it has no individual personality. It does not create, nor does it possess any sense of self. The collectivist mind can’t possess these virtues because it is only a very small cog in a wheel of the group. It is but a speck in the midst of a mob. This is the story of America today, as collectivism runs rampant and individualism is shunned.

This is a rather harsh truth about the dramatic decline of individualism, of individual thought, critical thinking, and self-responsibility. It is an admission that once sane minds have all but disappeared from view, and philosophical degradation has been the result. Because of this mass escape from personal responsibility, moral, physical, political, and economic corruption has become the norm, and now this corruption is all encompassing.

When collectivism takes hold, individual rights naturally disappear, and mob rule policies take root. This policy transformation of course, is affected by the state. The progression from a system that is based on individual self rule and individual sovereignty to one of community or nation is not in the interest of freedom and liberty. When any political system is in place, this negative progression is easily achieved nonetheless. Only peaceful anarchy allows for the individual to be truly sovereign. Only when the state is absent can freedom flourish.

Ruling "elites" crave this merging of individuals into a societal tumor, because this cancer destroys the power of individual thought. The result of this diseased system can lead only to consensus and compromise. It can lead only to corruption. Consensus leads to no real decision at all, and the following compromise is nothing more than a mass combining of ignorance. When political policy is decided in this manner, it serves only to limit the individual’s ability to achieve.

While freedom is a natural right of man, it is difficult to obtain, and even more difficult to keep. It requires that the individual be self-responsible. Apparently, many if not most in this country today, have chosen to follow along with the crowd instead of listening to the beat of a different drummer. They have chosen to be dependent sheep in the collective flock. This is unfortunate, and in my opinion, it has destroyed any idea of real liberty in this country.

Why do people choose to run with the mob, to exist in a mass? They do so because it is the easiest path with the least amount of resistance. They do so thinking they are bettering their lot in life. They do so because they are afraid, and seek to gain a false safety. They do so to shirk personal responsibility. They do so to hide from the truth. They do so to hide from themselves.

In the United States today, virtually everything is decided by the few, but with the implied consent of the mob. The U.S. political system has major aspects of socialism and fascism, and is certainly an oligarchy, but most have the misguided notion that the mob is in charge. This is due to a belief by the masses in the farce of voting. Voting gives the false impression that the voters themselves are in control, but nothing could be further from the truth. In essence, those voted into office as "representatives" of the people, are fully controlled by very powerful interest groups, and these groups are the real rulers. This is a very flawed system, but it is one that gives the false impression that the majority rules. That is simply not the case, and even if it were, it would still be immoral! This system is accepted and embraced by the crowd, but in reality, why should anyone rule over anyone else, majority or not? How can freedom survive in a place where one has the power to rule over another? I can tell you, it can’t!

As Butler Shaffer pointed out in the past in his great article titled Collectivist Utopias:

"All political systems are socialistic, in that they are premised upon the subservience of individual interests to collective authority."

This truth goes unnoticed by the masses, mainly because they have been fooled into thinking that they are free, when in fact their lives are virtually void of any individual thought or authority. This is a sad state of affairs, but it is the reality in America today. Without the individual, real freedom cannot exist, so collectivist societies based upon the common or greater good of all, are destined only to end in slavery to the state. This has proven to be true throughout history.

The collective "we" has been brainwashed into believing that self-interest, self-responsibility, and self-sufficiency are not in the best interest of the group, but just the opposite of course is the case. This brainwashing has been accomplished through a long indoctrination process that is still firmly in place.

Consider the government’s "public" school system, where most every child in the country is taught the same nonsense for most of his learning years, and is indoctrinated throughout childhood to love first his community, state, and nation.

Consider the worship for a constitution that gave massive and in some cases, unlimited (not limited) power to a federal government, and lessened greatly the importance of the individual in favor of the "general welfare."

Consider the reliance on government welfare by the people via the multitude of social programs that are meant to make dependency on government almost mandatory.

Consider the mindset of the "99 per centers" that aim to force the so-called 1 per cent to be more inclusive, fair, and responsive to the group.

Consider the mob’s acceptance of a heavy and progressive income taxation used as a way to equalize outcomes by redistributing private property for the so-called benefit of all.

Consider "public" lands or "public" anything.

Consider the idiotic term, "giving back."

Consider today’s strict concentration on race, class, society as a whole, community, state, and nation, all more important than the individual.

Consider the mass acceptance of the National Anthem and the communistic Pledge of Allegiance.

Consider the constant call "for the greater good of society!"

Collectivism, as a political ideology, thrives on the idea that force by the state should determine how those in the mob can benefit at the expense of others. It allows for the collective to force policy decisions that serve to dictate how each individual must live his life. It has no respect for private property. It attempts to destroy self-responsibility, self-reliance, and self-interest. It puts the mob, whether that is the community, the state, or the nation, above all else. It relies on the elimination of individualism, all for the so-called benefit of society as a whole. Collectivism is then, the epitome of immorality, of dishonesty, and of exploitation.

Unless a man has talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden. Of what avail is freedom to choose if the self be ineffectual? We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, "to be free from freedom."

~ Eric Hoffer


A nation of zombies?

The Zombie Diet Food Plan (In Four Easy Steps)

by Todd Sepulveda

Do you know anyone who is on the Zombie Diet Food Plan? As you stop to ponder that question, let me assure you that you do. You just might not realize it at this moment. But I promise, by the end of this article, you will have that person in mind. But before I begin, we need to set the ground work.

Zombie 101 – Zombies are undead. They are not a functioning human, with mental capacity to think, talk, manipulate fine motor skills or plan. They are not dead either. They are undead; living, breathing, walking, gross motor moving with the basic need to feed. And what do Zombies like to eat? Well the answer to that would be brains! And that’s where the Zombie Diet Food Plan comes in.

No one likes to diet. Come on, yes there are health benefits. But the idea of going without is too much for many to let that diet last any real length of time. Now, this goes the same for those pesky zombies. Although zombies are undead, they still have to eat. Do you think they really want to diet? No way!

The fact is though, that there are many zombies going to have to diet during the apocalypse because there are so many people without brains!

Have you noticed that lately? What is it? Is it the mind numbing video games? The GMO food? The solar activity? The lack of good music? I run into so many people that I just want to slap some sense into them. But it wouldn’t work, because they couldn’t understand why I was slapping them!

Thinking seems to be way overrated now. Maybe it’s the Google effect? People just want the quick search engine answer and then move on. There is no true effort put into what we think, and as a result, into our actions. Don’t even get me started on taking responsibility for our actions!

No, taking responsibility for our actions is a whole other article. Now, we need a plan…a critical thinking plan!

In my second year of teaching, my district introduced a four step process in solving Math word problems (all our Math is taught in word problems). We hated it because we were supposed to grade the process and not necessarily the answers. This made Math subjective, when it is black and white.

We fought through that first year and figured out the grading portion. But what I learned outside of Math, because of the four step process, was telling. In one parent conference, I discussed having to use the four step process in Math, but how it was no different than what we should do in life to solve any problem, not only Math. One parent agreed and said that his daughter seemed to be making better decisions lately. Was it a little bit of maturing or was it using the four step process everyday to answer Math word problems that seeped into her thinking process?

If you would like to know what the process consists of…it’s simple: the main idea, details, strategy and the how. Here’s how it breaks down.

The Main Idea – What is the problem asking? What are you trying to solve for?

The Details – What are the important facts about this problem? What do you know? What is missing?

The Strategy – This is the part where you try to work out the solution by considering the Main Idea and Details. You might be adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, measuring, etc…

The How – It is important to verbalize/write down how you solved your answer. When you are able to verbalize your answer, you truly understand the problem and know that you didn’t just guess. The How should link back to the Main Idea.

Can this process be used for thinking through more complex problems? Yes! In fact, we do it everyday, when we critically think through our problems. We just need to make sure we aren’t too lazy to go through the process…. And that is exactly what happened. As a Math teacher, the students who didn’t do the four step process easily made silly mistakes. They left out important information and didn’t consider what the question really wanted. One of my responses to students when they told me they couldn’t understand a problem was to first do the Main Idea and Details before I helped them. You see, you shouldn’t go jumping in to every problem without taking the time to find out what you’re really looking for, what you know and what other pieces of information are available.

What would happen if we looked at the major issues facing our world today with a four step process? Maybe we can teach our politicians and leaders what elementary students already know how to do!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ron Paul on CNBC 4/23/12...

Where's the proof???

Selective bin Laden leaking

The WH tells a court the bin Laden raid is top secret, as it keeps leaking snippets to glorify the President

By Glenn Greenwald

Earlier this week, an Obama-appointed federal judge ruled in favor of the government in a national security case (needless to say), when he denied a FOIA request to obtain all photos and videos taken during and after the raid in Pakistan that resulted in Osama bin Laden’s death. The DOJ responded to the lawsuit by arguing (needless to say) that the requested materials “are classified and are being withheld from the public to avoid inciting violence against Americans overseas and compromising secret systems and techniques used by the CIA and the military.” Among other things, disclosure of these materials would have helped resolve the seriously conflicting statements made by White House officials about what happened during the raid and what its actual goals and operating rules were.

But while the Obama administration has insisted to the court that all such materials are classified and cannot be disclosed without compromising crucial National Security secrets, the President’s aides have been continuously leaking information about the raid in order to create politically beneficial pictures of what happened. Last August, The New Yorker published what it purported to be a comprehensive account of the raid, based on mostly anonymous White House claims, that made Barack Obama look like a mix of Superman, Rambo and Clint Eastwood; The Washington Post called it “a fascinating, cinematic-like account of the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.” This week, Time Magazine has a cover story entitled “The Last Days of Osama bin Laden” based in part on “access to top decision makers in over 100 hours of interviews.” Among other things, the article features a handwritten memo by then-CIA Director Leon Panetta noting “for the record” the President’s decision to launch the assault; the article recounts: “As U.S. Navy Seals burst into his fortress-like compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, nearly one year ago, Osama bin Laden turned to the youngest of his four wives and said his last words: ‘Don’t turn on the light’.”

This is what the Obama administration does over and over. It’s a flagrant abuse of its secrecy powers. It uses anonymous leaks to selectively boast about what it does and thus shape media narratives and public understanding of its conduct (also called “domestic propaganda”). But it then simultaneously insists that the whole matter is classified — Top Secret — when it comes time to be subjected to any form of legal accountability or have its assertions publicly tested.

We just saw this deceitful pattern this week when Obama officials — yet again — ran around anonymously boasting about all the Bad Guy Corpses the Commander-in-Chief has produced with his steely use of CIA drones, only to turn around and tell a court that it cannot possibly respond to the ACLU’s FOIA request about CIA drones because National Security prevents the U.S. Government even from confirming or denying the existence of that program. They simultaneously use secrecy as a sword and a shield: they ensure that they can make whatever claims they want about their behavior in order to glorify the President, while preventing all attempts to obtain the full and real story and, more important, to obtain adjudications about whether their conduct comports with the law.

There is one other point worth making here about all this. As part of the Obama administration’s unprecedented war against whistleblowers, Bradley Manning is currently being prosecuted not merely for leaking classified information, but also for “aiding the enemy” (Al Qaeda), which carries a term of life in prison. Yesterday, the judge presiding over his court-martial (needless to say) refused to dismiss this charge, concluding that any deliberate release of classified information that one knows will end up in Al Qaeda’s hands can constitute this crime. As the ACLU’s Ben Wizner points out, “the implications of the government’s argument are breathtaking” because it would convert any unauthorized leak into this extremely serious offense.

So the question is: will the DOJ commence an investigation to discover the identity of these Obama officials who keep leaking flattering claims about the bin Laden raid (or the CIA drone program), information which the DOJ is simultaneously telling a court is classified and any disclosures of which will seriously harm national security? Or are leaks of classified information permissible when they glorify the President and prosecuted only when they expose government wrongdoing and deceit? Yes, those are rhetorical questions.

The corpse of Osama bin Laden will be one of the most featured props used by Democrats to venerate the President as a Tough, Strong Warrior and to argue that he deserves re-election (it will probably be the second-most invoked tactic, right after progressive celebrations over how “cool” Obama is, in contrast to the nerdy and awkward Romney: courtesy of the same political faction still so angry (and rightfully so) that the 2000 election became a referendum on the candidate with whom one would prefer to have a beer). Not that many people are interested in them, but there are still lingering questions over what happened in that raid. Either all of that information is classified, in which case the President’s aides should be barred from leaking unverifiable, politically beneficial snippets about it and should be criminally investigated on equal terms with other leakers when they do; or — despite John Kerry’s decree that everyone should simply “shut up and move on” – there should be real disclosure of the relevant information, which means not only on the campaign trail but in courts and media outlets.

The issue here isn’t so much the bin Laden raid as it is the ongoing abuse of secrecy powers by The Most Transparent Administration Ever™. The only thing worse than a government which operates as a regime of widespread secrecy is one which flagrantly exploits those powers to create a one-way tunnel of selected disclosures and thus propagandizes the citizenry while glorifying itself.

The excellent Alyona Show looked at this issue last night:

UPDATE: I just received the following email from some P.R. person at NBC News:


In a first for network television, NBC News has been granted unprecedented access to the most secret and secure part of the White House, the Situation Room. In a “Rock Center with Brian Williams” exclusive airing on Wednesday, May 2 at 9p/8c, President Obama and his national security and military teams, relive the pivotal moments of the raid targeting Osama bin Laden.

The iconic photograph taken inside the Situation Room offered the world the first glimpse of a national security team at work during the Special Operations mission. Now, we will hear from many of the people in that photograph about what was taking place on that historic night. . . .

On “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” Williams interviews President Obama in the Situation Room about one of the country’s greatest military missions, which until now, has been shrouded in great secrecy. Williams also interviews Vice President Biden; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; Admiral Mike Mullen, USN, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (from 2007 to 2011); Tom Donilon, National Security Advisor; Denis McDonough, Deputy National Security Advisor; and John O. Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.

Wow: that sounds like it’s going to be some really hard-hitting investigative journalism there: they’re letting him into the Situation Room, where it all happened. So they can’t release documents in a court proceeding about the raid because it’s all just so Super Secret, but they can all sit around with Brian Williams and “relive the pivotal moments” about “one of the country’s greatest military missions.” NBC says that this mission “until now, has been shrouded in great secrecy.” Now that Election Season is upon us and it’s apparently acceptable to disclose the details, shouldn’t the court re-consider its ruling from this week: one based on the DOJ’s insistence that this mission was far too secret to allow disclosure? Also: will the national masturbatory ritual over this incident ever end?

UPDATE II [Sat.]: Here’s the first paragraph from today’s New York Times article on the Obama campaign’s use of bin Laden:

Presidents running for re-election typically boast of programs they created, people they helped or laws they signed. They talk about rising test scores or falling deficits or expanding job rolls. President Obama is increasingly taking the unusual route of bragging about how he killed a man.

They and their Democratic pundit-supporters have actually long been boasting about the many people Obama has killed, but they have escalated their focus of late on bin Laden. Now, it’s certainly true that the GOP has made a living exploiting national security fears for political gain, so they’re hardly in any position to object to any of this with a straight face, but it’s also true, as the NYT put it, that “few presidents have talked about the killing of an individual enemy in such an expansive way.” In other words, the answer to the last question I posed in the prior update is almost certainly: not until at least November.


Al Gore, barking at the moon again...

Poor Al, I guess the break up with Tipper has made him delusional...

Al Gore at Hampshire College: Global warming is real and needs to be addressed now

By Diane Lederman, The Republican

Former Vice president Al Gore on Friday refuted claims that global warning is a myth, saying that 97 to 98 percent of the worlds’ scientists attest to its veracity.

Gore was the keynote speaker at the inauguration of Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash Friday. The theme of Lash’s inauguration was “Educating for Change: critical thinking in a critical time.”

“Now there are some talk radio show hosts, they say that (global warming is) not (real)," Gore said. "It’s up to you; my point is we must respond. What the scientists tell us is going to take place if we do not is too awful to contemplate...”

Read more if you are delusional too:

Ron Paul Wins Louisiana Caucus...

Ron Paul Wins Louisiana Caucus

Wins four and a half of six congressional district caucuses, securing 111 of 150 or 74 percent of delegates elected yesterday to the state convention

Supporters of 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul won yesterday's Louisiana caucus, securing an overwhelming majority of winnable delegates to the June Republican state convention that will affect the weight of the Paul delegation to the August Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Preliminary results from the Louisiana Republican Party indicate that Ron Paul supporters won majorities in Congressional Districts 1, 2, 5, and 6, with a narrow decision having occurred in District 4. This means Ron Paul supporters won about four and a half of the six Congressional District caucus conventions held yesterday.

In each CD the top 25 delegates will go to the state convention on June 2nd in Shreveport. Yesterday, 111 out of 150 or 74 percent of delegates elected today were in fact Ron Paul delegates. The Louisiana state GOP soon will award 30 additional delegates.

A "conservative slate" ran a partially combined slate with establishment-moderate Mitt Romney in CDs 1, 2 and 4. In each of those districts Ron Paul supporters required more votes than all of their opponents combined. Remarkably, supporters of the 12-term Congressman from Texas accomplished this in CDs 1 and 2, but fell just short of this in CD 4, which is why the decision was split.

Taken together, victories across four and half CDs mean that Ron Paul supporters are likely to control the outcome of the state convention in June.

To be sure, a win on this scale gives Ron Paul supporters a majority of yesterday's elected delegates and the ability to choose most of the at-large delegates, as well as the three National Delegates from CDs 1, 2, 5, and 6.

The Ron Paul campaign's Louisiana State Director Pete Chamberlain said of the victory, "Yesterday's result shows the changing dynamic among grassroots conservative activists dedicated to promoting a Republican platform that adheres to the Constitutional values Dr. Paul represents. Back-room dealing and insider politics are no match for the grassroots enthusiasm that is the hallmark of the Ron Paul campaign. Yesterday, Ron Paul's dedicated Louisiana supporters showed what passionate, persistent activism can achieve when centered around a consistent message of freedom and prosperity."

"Ron Paul's victory shows his delegate-attainment strategy is working and demonstrates that the media and Washington pundits are underestimating his influence in the nominating process," said Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Manager John Tate.

"The Louisiana win forecasts a prominent role for Ron Paul at the RNC. It also signals that the convention will feature a spirited discussion over whether conservatism will triumph over the status quo, all in relation to the end game of defeating President Obama," added Mr. Tate.


ATTENTION MSM: Ron Paul Wins Alaska!

Ron Paul Sweeping in Massachusetts Caucus!

Ron Paul had a good day yesterday but you won't hear about it in the mainstream media...

Ron Paul Wins Louisiana, Alaska, Sweeping Massachusetts

Republican Party of Louisiana Releases 2012 Preliminary Caucus Results

Ron Paul - 111 delegates and 61 alternates

Santorum/Gingrich - 25 delegates and 11 alternates

Romney - 14 delegates and 0 alternates

“Remember when the country rallied around you in hope for a better tomorrow? That was a good one.” – Kimmel

Kimmel's best jokes from the Correspondents' Dinner

“Remember when the country rallied around you in hope for a better tomorrow? That was a good one.” – Kimmel.

“There’s a term for President Obama. Not two terms.” – Kimmel.

“I guess it wasn’t Rick’s year. Rick’s year is 1954.” – Kimmel, referring to candidate Rick Santorum.

“It’s great to see the Gingriches here. I guess that means the check cleared.” – Kimmel on candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife.

“What’s black and white and read all over? Nothing anymore.” – Kimmel.

“Everything that is wrong with America is here in this room.” – Kimmel, after listing off the politicians, members of the media and celebrities in attendance.


The Olympics are nothing but an oppurtunity for nations to ramp up fear and to control their people...

Missiles stationed on residential roof for Olympics

The Army is set to station soldiers and high velocity surface-to-air missiles on top of a block of residential flats to ward off any airborne terror threats during the Olympics.

Residents in the private, gated flats in Bow, east London, have received a leaflet warning them that a team of 10 soldiers and police will be stationed at the building - home to 700 people - for the duration of the Games.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) leaflet says the missiles will only be fired as a last resort, said resident Brian Whelan.

He said: ''They are going to have a test run next week, putting high velocity missiles on the roof just above our apartment and on the back of it they're stationing police and military in the tower of the building for two months.

''It's a private, gated community with an old watch tower which is now a lift shaft.

''We have an MoD leaflet saying the building is the only suitable place in the area. It says there will be 10 officers plus police present 24/7.

''I'm not sure if they are going to live in the building.

''We have a gym and a pool and people have seen them there so it makes you think it will be some sort of Army base - it's not ideal.

''The property management company which runs the place put posters and gave out the leaflets today.

''The general tone of it all was 'Great news, aren't we lucky', but that's not normal, it's not something people should have put on them.

''I've looked these (the missiles) up and I don't think they're the kind of thing you can fire over a highly populated area like Tower Hamlets, think of the debris.

''It says the missiles will only be used as a last resort.

''It's totally unsuitable.''

Mr Whelan said the leaflet poses a series of questions residents might ask, such as: ''Will this make me a target for terrorists?''

The 28-year-old said: ''But the answer on it is that we will be safer with it here.

''From the few people I've spoken to, and the security we have here, they're not happy about it.

''I don't think it needs to be here at all. 'I don't see how the decision was made or who made it.

''Even if it was going to be forced through you would think they would hold a meeting and get rid of people's fears.''

It was unclear who was responsible for liaising with the residents, but it is understood the MoD and the Metropolitan Police were working together with community groups over the issue.

It was also unclear if the building's owners would be paid to have the missiles stationed on the roof - or whether the decision was made under the Emergency Powers Act.

An MoD spokesman said: "As announced before Christmas, ground-based air defence systems could be deployed as part of a multi-layered air security plan for the Olympics, including fast jets and helicopters, which will protect the skies over London during the Games.

"Based on military advice we have identified a number of sites and, alongside colleagues from the Metropolitan Police, are talking to local authorities and relevant landowners to help minimise the impact of any temporary deployments.

"As part of our ongoing planning, we can confirm site evaluations have taken place.

"However, no final decision on whether or not to deploy ground-based air defence systems for the Games has been taken."


Guess what is holding back economic growth in America?

It's all part of the plan, folks...

Economy’s Biggest Drag Right Now Is Government

Jeff Cox

Government has become its own worst enemy when it comes to the economy, with public spending putting a damper on growth that otherwise continues at a steady if unspectacular pace.

Friday’s gross domestic product report confirmed what a drag government can be: While consumer spending grew at a 2.9 percent clip, state and local governments cut back spending by 1.2 percent on an annualized basis and the federal government pulled back by 5.6 percent.

As a result, the GDP number showed just a 2.2 percent improvement. The report disappointed economists, some of whom had the number as high as 3 percent and beyond, and cast an uncertain future on a stock market dependent on Federal Reserve stimulus for growth.

“None of this is all that surprising, so where is the miss?” wondered Brown Brothers Harriman global currency strategist Marc Chandler, after noting some fairly pedestrian and in-line quarterly growth results. “Contrary to what passes as conventional wisdom, the main drag is coming from the government itself.”

Before anyone starts thinking that Washington suddenly has gotten religion on spending, the bulk of the federal government cuts came from defense spending, which plunged 8.1 percent.

State and local governments, facing the necessity to balance their budgets against declining revenue (not to mention the specter of Meredith Whitney's muni bond default forecast) likely will continue to cut, though that's not as certain with their federal counterpart. Washington's drop in spending came after a 19.1 percent decrease in the fourth quarter of 2011.

"The government spending plunge is unlikely to repeat for a third quarter (in 2012 at least) and an inventory drag in 2Q only masks moderate demand gains," Citigroup economist Steven C. Wieting said. "But the 1Q GDP data should limit remaining optimism that U.S. economic growth will accelerate significantly this year."

So what does this all mean?

Investors are watching the Federal Reserve [cnbc explains] closely for signs that the U.S. central bank might step in and provide more stimulus once Operation Twist ends in June.

The Fed currently is buying long-dated bonds and selling shorter-dated notes in an effort to stimulate risk and drive down lending costs. At the same time, it is rolling over the $2.8 trillion already on its balance sheet in the form of Treasurys as well as mortgage and other debt.

Some are hoping that Chairman Ben Bernanke and Co. will be willing to step in with a third round of balance sheet expansion — quantitative easing [cnbc explains] — to keep goosing the market through the economic trudge. But the GDP progress, halting as it is, likely will forestall if not completely derail QE3 prospects.

It's all part of "Bad Goldilocks" phenomenon, in which the economy doesn't grow quickly enough to inspire confidence but moves just enough to keep the Fed at bay. Central bank critics worry that all the liquidity efforts will spur inflation, not to mention uncertainty over what happens once the Fed has to start unwinding all that debt it is holding.

Also remember: Out there not so far in the future is the "fiscal cliff" of which Bernanke has warned will appear if Congress cannot agree on deficit reduction and thus face an automatic round of steep spending cuts and tax increases at the end of 2012.

"Enthusiasm for equities is likely to be curbed by a turn in the US profit cycle, an absence of additional unconventional monetary stimulus from the Fed and a renewed flare-up of the crisis in the euro-zone," John Higgins, senior market economist at Capital Economics, said in a note.

"The latter should weigh particularly heavily on stock markets in the region, even though valuations are now low from a historical perspective and relative to the US," he added.

Indeed, there's a lot not to like about an economy that relies on government spending as its primary growth engine. Just ask anyone in Europe.

Ostensibly, the U.S. economy is consumer-driven, with private spending amounting to 70 percent of GDP. But several economists doubted that the robust 2.9 percent spending increase in the first quarter could last, raising further questions about where we go from here.

"We assumed that growth would be driven primarily by final demand, but, inventories contributed 0.6 (percentage points) to GDP, putting real final sales at a weak 1.6 percent annualized growth rate," said Neil Dutta, U.S. economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "Moreover, the strength in consumer spending and contribution from motor vehicle output look unlikely to repeat in future quarters."

Government policymakers, then, face a dicey dilemma: Continue spending and risk falling further into the fiscal abyss, or cut back and deal with a prolonged future of uninspiring GDP numbers.

"The dagger (from the GDP letdown) came from a second straight steep drop in federal government spending due to plunging defense outlays," observed Pierpont economist Stephen Stanley. "Boy, wait until these budget cuts start to kick in."


Tasered to Death: Should all be afraid of cops?

Has the NY Times had an epithany? Admits terrorism in US is nothing but the result of FBI entrapment hapless dupes...

Do you feel safer now???

Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

NY Times

THE United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years — or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts.

But dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested.

When an Oregon college student, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, thought of using a car bomb to attack a festive Christmas-tree lighting ceremony in Portland, the F.B.I. provided a van loaded with six 55-gallon drums of “inert material,” harmless blasting caps, a detonator cord and a gallon of diesel fuel to make the van smell flammable. An undercover F.B.I. agent even did the driving, with Mr. Mohamud in the passenger seat. To trigger the bomb the student punched a number into a cellphone and got no boom, only a bust.

This is legal, but is it legitimate? Without the F.B.I., would the culprits commit violence on their own? Is cultivating potential terrorists the best use of the manpower designed to find the real ones? Judging by their official answers, the F.B.I. and the Justice Department are sure of themselves — too sure, perhaps.

Carefully orchestrated sting operations usually hold up in court. Defendants invariably claim entrapment and almost always lose, because the law requires that they show no predisposition to commit the crime, even when induced by government agents. To underscore their predisposition, many suspects are “warned about the seriousness of their plots and given opportunities to back out,” said Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman. But not always, recorded conversations show. Sometimes they are coaxed to continue.

Undercover operations, long practiced by the F.B.I., have become a mainstay of counterterrorism, and they have changed in response to the post-9/11 focus on prevention. “Prior to 9/11 it would be very unusual for the F.B.I. to present a crime opportunity that wasn’t in the scope of the activities that a person was already involved in,” said Mike German of the American Civil Liberties Union, a lawyer and former F.B.I. agent who infiltrated white supremacist groups. An alleged drug dealer would be set up to sell drugs to an undercover agent, an arms trafficker to sell weapons. That still happens routinely, but less so in counterterrorism, and for good reason.

“There isn’t a business of terrorism in the United States, thank God,” a former federal prosecutor, David Raskin, explained.

“You’re not going to be able to go to a street corner and find somebody who’s already blown something up,” he said. Therefore, the usual goal is not “to find somebody who’s already engaged in terrorism but find somebody who would jump at the opportunity if a real terrorist showed up in town.”

And that’s the gray area. Who is susceptible? Anyone who plays along with the agents, apparently. Once the snare is set, law enforcement sees no choice. “Ignoring such threats is not an option,” Mr. Boyd argued, “given the possibility that the suspect could act alone at any time or find someone else willing to help him.”

Typically, the stings initially target suspects for pure speech — comments to an informer outside a mosque, angry postings on Web sites, e-mails with radicals overseas — then woo them into relationships with informers, who are often convicted felons working in exchange for leniency, or with F.B.I. agents posing as members of Al Qaeda or other groups.

Some targets have previous involvement in more than idle talk: for example, Waad Ramadan Alwan, an Iraqi in Kentucky, whose fingerprints were found on an unexploded roadside bomb near Bayji, Iraq, and Raja Khan of Chicago, who had sent funds to an Al Qaeda leader in Pakistan.

But others seem ambivalent, incompetent and adrift, like hapless wannabes looking for a cause that the informer or undercover agent skillfully helps them find. Take the Stinger missile defendant James Cromitie, a low-level drug dealer with a criminal record that included no violence or hate crime, despite his rants against Jews. “He was searching for answers within his Islamic faith,” said his lawyer, Clinton W. Calhoun III, who has appealed his conviction. “And this informant, I think, twisted that search in a really pretty awful way, sort of misdirected Cromitie in his search and turned him towards violence.”

THE informer, Shahed Hussain, had been charged with fraud, but avoided prison and deportation by working undercover in another investigation. He was being paid by the F.B.I. to pose as a wealthy Pakistani with ties to Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terrorist group that Mr. Cromitie apparently had never heard of before they met by chance in the parking lot of a mosque.

“Brother, did you ever try to do anything for the cause of Islam?” Mr. Hussain asked at one point.

“O.K., brother,” Mr. Cromitie replied warily, “where you going with this, brother?”

Two days later, the informer told him, “Allah has more work for you to do,” and added, “Revelation is going to come in your dreams that you have to do this thing, O.K.?” About 15 minutes later, Mr. Hussain proposed the idea of using missiles, saying he could get them in a container from China. Mr. Cromitie laughed.

Reading hundreds of pages of transcripts of the recorded conversations is like looking at the inkblots of a Rorschach test. Patterns of willingness and hesitation overlap and merge. “I don’t want anyone to get hurt,” Mr. Cromitie said, and then explained that he meant women and children. “I don’t care if it’s a whole synagogue of men.” It took 11 months of meandering discussion and a promise of $250,000 to lead him, with three co-conspirators he recruited, to plant fake bombs at two Riverdale synagogues.

“Only the government could have made a ‘terrorist’ out of Mr. Cromitie, whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in its scope,” said Judge Colleen McMahon, sentencing him to 25 years. She branded it a “fantasy terror operation” but called his attempt “beyond despicable” and rejected his claim of entrapment.

The judge’s statement was unusual, but Mr. Cromitie’s characteristics were not. His incompetence and ambivalence could be found among other aspiring terrorists whose grandiose plans were nurtured by law enforcement. They included men who wanted to attack fuel lines at Kennedy International Airport; destroy the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) in Chicago; carry out a suicide bombing near Tampa Bay, Fla., and bomb subways in New York and Washington. Of the 22 most frightening plans for attacks since 9/11 on American soil, 14 were developed in sting operations.

Another New York City subway plot, which recently went to trial, needed no help from government. Nor did a bombing attempt in Times Square, the abortive underwear bombing in a jetliner over Detroit, a planned attack on Fort Dix, N.J., and several smaller efforts. Some threats are real, others less so. In terrorism, it’s not easy to tell the difference.


Your chance is coming...

A Good Analogy.....

Democrats don't understand the DEBT CEILING!
Liberals don't understand the DEBT CEILING!
Many Republicans don't understand the DEBT CEILING!

NO ONE seems to understand the DEBT CEILING!
So.....Allow me to explain.....

Let's say you come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood. Your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.

What do you think you should do?

Raise the ceilings, or pump out the $hit?????

Your choice is coming in November!!!!!

Don't miss the Opportunity!!!!!

The problem with the Left...

The pie has become much bigger

In reality, Mrs. Obama, like the left in general, sees the economy as a zero-sum game: for one person to gain, someone else must give up something. However, as explained earlier on Patriot, in a market, both sides win by getting something they value more.

Thus she has wilfully overlooked the alternative free market solution: bake more pie so everyone gets more. Indeed, this is exactly what has happened in America: “poor” Americans are richer both than “average” Europeans of today, and “average” Americans of a few decades ago.

For example, thanks to cheaper computers and the Internet, even poor Americans can instantly communicate across the world at no cost, and obtain information with a few mouse clicks. 30 years ago, even the richest people on the planet couldn’t do this. Also, even back in 2005, 99.7% “poor” Americans had their own refrigerators, a luxury no one had a century ago. 97.7% have their own televisions, so they can watch movies in their own home, something only the wealthy could do. 78.8% have air conditioning, another modern luxury, whereas only kings of old could employ people to fan cool air over them. Even back in 1970, only about a third of all households had A/C. 81.4% have a microwave—it’s hard to imagine a kitchen without it, but back in 1971, fewer than 1% of all households had one.

Indeed, in so many areas, the pie has become so big that poorer Americans have almost everything that average Americans do, just about 10–15 years later. Also, while liberals look to the United Socialist States of Europe for inspiration, the average living space for all Europeans is 20% smaller than that of poor Americans. And there are only 2.6% of poor American children under five suffering from malnutrition, while this is endemic for average children in most parts of the worlds that liberals prefer.

See Bill Whittle, who knows what poverty is like, explain the above two paragraphs with the facts and figures that the Left doesn’t want you to know.
The Left only wants to punish the bakers!

The main problem with the Left is that they are envy-mongers who want to redistribute the “pie”, but have no interest in how it is baked in the first place. Somehow, the pie appears magically, and there is an evil wealth-distribution genie who distributes it unfairly. Indeed, they punish the main bakers by confiscating more of the pie they bake, and regulate them to make it harder to bake.

The Left, such as the Occupy Whatever thugs, also think that those who refuse to contribute to “baking the pie” are still entitled to slices of that pie.
Leftist tax demagoguery explained by pies

Obama has long been demagoguing that the rich should pay even more than they do. This can be refuted by another pie analogy: let a pie represent the tax revenues. So let’s imagine ten friends go out after work every Friday night to a pizza parlor, and order $100 worth of pizzas. They have widely different incomes, so the richest of them offers to pay more. He suggest that as the top 10% of taxpayers pay 70% of taxes (although they earn only 45% of the income), he will pay $70 of the cost. And as the bottom 47% pay no federal income tax, he suggests that the poorest five eat for free. Then the remainder was as follows: the second pays $15, the third pays $10, the fourth $4, and the fifth $1. This is something like the way the “rich” pay more than their fair share of the taxes.

Then let’s suppose that the pizza parlor owner decides to reward them for being regular customers. He would allow them a 20% discount, so he would need to refund the ten friends. But then he thought that there shouldn’t be a refund to the five who were eating for free. Obviously, there would be no refund for the five who ate for free. But then if he shared the $20 equally among the other five, it would be silly, because the fifth friend would be paid $3 to eat there.

So the owner refunded in roughly the proportion to the amount paid. So the richest was refunded $13. The fifth was refunded $1, so ate for free as well as the poorest five. The others were refunded as follows: the second $3, third $2, fourth $1.

So the total bill of $80 was now shared this way: the richest now paid $53, the second $12, third $8, fourth $3, and the others ate for free. They were all happy that they were paying less than before.

But when they left, the fifth richest complained, “I only received a dollar back, while the richest guy got $13 refunded.” The others also complained that the richest received much more money back than they did. The poorest five were especially indignant that they didn’t get any refund, and screamed that the owner was against the poor.

So the nine others beat the richest guy up. Then next Friday, they showed up to the pizza parlor, and thought “good riddance” that the richest was not there this time. But when they saw the bill, they were dismayed that they had far more to pay.
How this pie represents real life

That’s the problem with the Left: of course those who pay no federal income tax won’t receive tax refunds! And those who pay more tax will receive the most in refunds. Further, if they are overtaxed or persecuted, then they might just leave.

Right now, American companies have over $1 trillion overseas—including Apple’s $60 billion, and won’t bring it home because America now has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. So America is deprived of a real stimulus that wouldn’t raise the national debt.

Even domestically, “soak the rich” has been a disaster. Economic historian Burt Folsom writes in a recent column about the Senate’s rejection of Obama’s “Buffett rule” about the 73% “tax on the rich” under Democratic President Woodrow Wilson:

“Some might say, so what? They can pay it. But in fact they didn’t. The rich invested their cash in tax-exempt bonds, art collections, and foreign investments. They refused to pay three-fourths of their earnings to the government. As a result, the U.S. lapsed into a recession and faced 12% unemployment in 1921. Fortunately, Presidents Harding and Coolidge cut that top marginal rate to 25%, and so much economic investment came pouring into the U.S. during the Roaring Twenties that American unemployment dropped to a 3.3% average from 1923-1929. GNP grew substantially and revenue from the income tax had actually increased by 1929 from what it was earlier in the decade.”

Author unknown. I received this in an email. If someone knows who wrote it let me know so I can post the name of the author so he can get credit for his work.