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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Unanswered questions...

Benghazi Backfire: Was Obama Arming Jihadists?

Written by William F. Jasper


Was U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens engaged in arming militant Islamic jihadists when the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked on September 11? Ambassador Stevens was one of four Americans killed in the September 11 terrorist attack, along with embassy information officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty.

The deadly attack, and the Obama administration’s handling of the hours-long event, have left a multitude of burning, unanswered questions, among which are: Did Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama ignore Ambassador Stevens' pleas for additional security in the ultra-dangerous Benghazi environment? Did Obama watch the attack in “real time” video feeds from drones circling the area? Were former Navy SEALs Woods and Doherty ordered to “stand down” and not assist the besieged compound, as claimed by Woods’ father and others? If so, who gave the orders? Woods and Doherty reportedly disobeyed those orders and put their careers and their lives on the line to rescue Americans and other nationals trapped in the attack. Did the Obama administration repeatedly deny aid to Woods and Doherty over the course of nearly seven hours while they were under attack, as critics have charged? If not, then why was aid never sent, since many military experts (including retired Adm. James A. Lyons, former commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet) have pointed out that adequate military assets were available and within striking distance, including our Special Forces units in Sigonella, Sicily.

Perhaps one of the most important questions that President Obama should be required to answer is, “What was Ambassador Stevens doing in Benghazi when our 'consulate' was attacked?” And a follow-up question: “Was Ambassador Stevens helping to arm militant anti-American jihadists, including Syrian and Libyan al-Qaeda elements?” Investigative reporter/bestselling author/radio talk-show host Aaron Klein has reported (see here and here) that according to his Middle East sources, that is precisely what Ambassador Stevens was doing.

This reporter interviewed Aaron Klein, (see video below) Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily, in Appleton, Wisconsin, on October 22, where he appeared at a joint speaking engagement with New Zealand author/researcher Trevor Loudon, author of Barack Obama and the Enemies Within.

Mr. Klein emphatically took issue with the numerous media reports that referred to the U.S. compound that was attacked on September 11, as a “U.S. consulate,” and explained why that distinction is important.

“It was not a consulate,” Aaron Klein told The New American. “According to Middle East security officials I talked to, this was a major meeting point — I would say the central meeting point — for the American diplomats, including Christopher Stevens, the U.S. Ambassador who was killed, to meet with officials of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, about supplying the opposition in Syria and Libya. Well, who is the opposition? In Libya, the opposition openly included jihadists, included Al Qaeda elements. In Syria, right now, thspoke to, what we have here is a U.S. policy of arming rebels, knowing or not knowing — but I can’t understand how they would not know — that many of these rebels are jihadists.”


Link:
http://thenewamerican.com/usnews/foreign-policy/item/13455-benghazi-backfire-was-obama-arming-jihadists?

Getting closer to bombing time???

Is It Time to Bomb Iraq Again?
by Jacob G. Hornberger


Uh, oh! The time might be approaching when the U.S. government will need to invade and bomb Iraq again, with the intent of, once again, achieving regime change and installing a regime that is obedient, submissive, and loyal to the U.S. Empire.

The grounds for this possibility are set forth in an op-ed in today’s New York Times entitled, “Time to Get Tough on Iraq,” authored by Nussaibah Younis, an International Security Program Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center.

One thing comes across loud and clear from reading this op-ed: The author is hopping mad. Why? Because Iraq has turned out to be a disaster, and Yousef is upset that the U.S. government isn’t doing something about it. He wants the U.S. government to get tough with the Maliki regime and force it to get its act together.

What does that mean? It means that Iraq must take the necessary steps to align itself with the U.S. government’s “interests” in the region.

In fact, Younis’ op-ed provides an absolutely fascinating and candid insight into the Iraq disaster.

For example, Younis is angry over the fact that Maliki’s government is permitting Iran to use Iraqi airspace to ferry weaponry to the Assad regime in Syria. He says that the continuation of the Assad regime is contrary to U.S. interests and, therefore, must be ended. That Maliki is facilitating Iran’s support of Assad is outrageous, says Younis.

But wait a minute. I thought that U.S. officials claim that their goal in invading Iraq was to create a free, independent, and sovereign country. Well, okay, they made the claim after their initial invasion rationale — an imminent WMD attack by Saddam Hussein on some American cities — proved to be fake and bogus. Nonetheless, the secondary rationale was trotted out and used to justify the invasion and a 10-year occupation of the country that ended up killing and maiming countless people.

Of course, libertarians never fell for such noble public pronouncements. We understand that the goal of U.S. foreign policy has always been to install pro-U.S. regimes into power — that is, regimes that will do the bidding of the U.S. Empire. The last thing the Empire intends to do is invade countries, initiate coups, assassinate foreign leaders, or incite domestic chaos in foreign countries for the purpose of installing independent regimes or, even worse, anti-U.S. regimes.

Since it was the Empire’s invasion that was responsible for installing the Maliki regime, then Maliki belongs to the Empire. He owes us. He needs to get his head straight. He needs to do what the Empire tells him to do. He needs to understand his duty.

What if the U.S. Empire was supporting the Assad regime? Well, in that case, Maliki’s duty would be clear. He would be expected to get on board and also support the Assad regime.

But of course it might be said that the Empire would never support a brutal dictatorship like the Assad regime. Oh, but it did. In fact, the Empire entered into one of its infamous rendition-torture partnerships with the Assad regime. Just ask Canadian citizen Mahar Arar, one of that partnership’s torture victims.

We also could point to Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia for other instances of U.S. support of brutal dictatorships. Or we could look toward Latin America for even more evidence of U.S. support of brutal dictatorships.

The fact is that Iraq is expected to support the dictators that are aligned with the Empire’s dictators and to oppose those who are not on the Empire’s approved list of dictators.

Younis has another fascinating insight. He says that Iraq is descending into authoritarianism. Additionally, he writes, “Maliki’s government is plagued by incompetence, corruption and a contempt for human rights.” But wait a minute! I thought that democracy was supposed to cure all these things. Isn’t that what U.S. officials always tell us when justifying their democracy-spreading campaigns? During the 10 years of occupation, violence, and mayhem in Iraq, didn’t they constantly tell us that U.S. troops were heroes for bringing democracy to Iraq? Indeed, aren’t Americans expected to thanks the troops for their “service” in Iraq?

But the reality, as Younis makes clear, is that democracy is not freedom and it’s not stability and prosperity. It’s simply a means by which people can change public officials without a violent revolution. But oftentimes democracies produce brutal dictatorships, as we see with Iraq. Our American ancestors understood this, which is why the Constitution and the Bill of Rights protect us from the threats to freedom posed by democracy.

While it was clearly not their intention, Younis and the Times have provided an excellent analysis of what U.S. troops accomplished in Iraq with their invasion and occupation. They achieved a horror story. And the troops who died there died for that horror story. And that’s what countless Iraqis died for also.

What should be done about Iraq’s independence and recalcitrance? Younis says that the U.S. government should threaten to cut off $1.7 billion in U.S. foreign aid to Iraq. He also wants to bring “an end to arms dealing with the United States.” But Younis, of course, is being na├»ve. There is no possibility that U.S. arms dealers would ever permit that to happen.

Younis also recommends that the U.S. government humiliate Iraq on the world stage until it straightens itself out. How realistic is that?

Younis raises the possibility of imposing sanctions on Iraq, and he’s hoping that the next president will consider the idea. Let’s see: the last set of sanctions on Iraq contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children and still failed to oust Saddam Hussein from power. It took a brutal invasion, based on a bogus rationale, to finally achieve that end.

So, how about another regime-change invasion of Iraq, followed by another 10-year brutal occupation?

Alas, Younis doesn’t address that one. I can’t help but wonder why.


Link:
http://www.fff.org/blog/index.asp

"The massive increase in prisoners has given rise to what some call the Prison Industrial Complex. Like its cousin, the Military Industrial Complex, government policy and spending continues to make private involvement in the prison system very lucrative. Taxpayer money is transferred to corporations to satisfy the increasing number of prisoners as a result of the drug war."

The Prison System Expands at Frightening Pace Following Declaration of War on Drugs

Sean Kerrigan, Contributor
Activist Post


In the early 1970s, the prison population in the United States was small and was steadily falling relative to the size of the population. Experts imagined that in a few decades, the prison system as we know it could be successfully dismantled, but that began to change after President Nixon began the War on Drugs in 1971, resulting in a huge influx of convicts.

The massive increase in prisoners has given rise to what some call the Prison Industrial Complex. Like its cousin, the Military Industrial Complex, government policy and spending continues to make private involvement in the prison system very lucrative. Taxpayer money is transferred to corporations to satisfy the increasing number of prisoners as a result of the drug war...



The massive increase in prisoners has given rise to what some call the Prison Industrial Complex. Like its cousin, the Military Industrial Complex, government policy and spending continues to make private involvement in the prison system very lucrative. Taxpayer money is transferred to corporations to satisfy the increasing number of prisoners as a result of the drug war.

As these corporations become bigger and more powerful, they can lobby for policies that will increase their business. Their business is to see you behind bars. More prisoners means more profit, which means more influence. It’s a continuing cycle that has reached a tipping point.

Like all big businesses, private prisons invest heavily in government lobbying to ensure an ever increasing supply of new customers, in this case prisoners. Currently, private prison companies are negotiating with states to buy and manage public prisons, if in exchange the state can promise occupancy rates remain above 90 percent for at least 20 years. This of course only adds to incentivize the states to prosecute more citizens for more crimes.

The Corrections Corporation of America’s annual filing even admits this is their goal:

The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws…For instance, any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.

In some cases, the private prison industry has even assisted in writing the laws designed to increase the prison population, as was the case with the controversial Arizona law SB 1070, which would inevitably jail foreign nationals suspected of being in the country illegally.

The US has 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. It’s incarceration rate is the highest in the world and has increased by 10 percent since 2000. The US incarceration rate is only slightly lower than in the Soviet Union at the height of the gulag system just before World War II. At current rates, the US will surpass the gulag system by 2018!

Financial writer Jeff Neilson has recently noted that while US new home inventory has been “plummeting straight down,” other reports indicate that construction of homes are up significantly, producing “50 to 100 percent more units than they sell.” Neilson’s conclusion?

Either the official U.S. housing numbers were total fabrications; or, more than half of these ‘housing starts’ were units which did not require a ‘sale’ to an individual owner in order for the builder to be paid (since no builder can stay in business building twice as many units as they sell).

In attempting to come up with an answer to the question ‘how could millions of new U.S. housing units not require sale to an owner?,’ I could only formulate one possibility. All of these phantom housing starts were in fact prison cells.
Slave Labor

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution specifically outlaws slavery “except as a punishment for crime,” meaning that convicted prisoners can be used as a source of forced servitude. During times of economic stress, demand for cheap prison labor increases.

With the expansion of the private prison system, we’re seeing new interest in the practice that goes way beyond making license plates.

While cheap sweatshop labor is becoming increasingly common across the country, no one takes better advantage of the system than prisons.

Alternet reports that almost 1 million prisoners are doing simple unskilled labor including “making office furniture, working in call centers, fabricating body armor, taking hotel reservations, working in slaughterhouses, or manufacturing textiles, shoes, and clothing, while getting paid somewhere between 93 cents and $4.73 per day.” They continue:

Rarely can you find workers so pliable, easy to control, stripped of political rights, and subject to martial discipline at the first sign of recalcitrance — unless, that is, you traveled back to the nineteenth century when convict labor was commonplace nationwide…It was one vital way the United States became a modern industrial capitalist economy — at a moment, eerily like our own, when the mechanisms of capital accumulation were in crisis.

Compare the cost of less than $5 a day with the cost of a minimum wage worker at $58 a day and you begin to see the perverse influence on the entire labor market.

CNN Money reports that prison inmates are now directly competing for jobs in the rest of the economy, and employers are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up. Lost jobs are the result. They cite one company, American Apparel Inc., which makes military uniforms. They write:

‘We pay employees $9 on average,’ [a company executive] said. ‘They get full medical insurance, 401(k) plans and paid vacation. Yet we’re competing against a federal program that doesn’t pay any of that.’
[The private prison] is not required to pay its workers minimum wage and instead pays inmates 23 cents to $1.15 an hour. It doesn’t have health insurance costs. It also doesn’t shell out federal, state or local taxes.
The new influx of cheap, domestic labor will inevitably drive down wages for both skilled and unskilled jobs.

Perverse Incentives

The profitability of privately run prison system has led to an increase in abuse within government positions. In 2009, two judges were convicted of fraud for accepting kickbacks from private prisons for sending juveniles to prison, even for minor offenses. In one instance, a 17-year-old student was sentenced to three months in prison for creating a fake MySpace page mocking an assistant principal.

The expansion of the American-style gulag will require the subversion of the jury trial (and jury nullification) or replaced all together with a system that provides fewer checks to protect the innocent. Misdemeanors will be reclassified as felonious. Decriminalization efforts that have succeeded will be reversed. People will be imprisoned for offenses not even considered crimes, or held without trial.

The financial justification for private prisons is in question as well. The New York Times, The Arizona Republic, and the Associated Press, have noted that governments save little if any money by privatizing the prison system. The Times notes that statistics are often manipulated since private prisons are more than willing to take healthy inmates, but tend to reject inmates with expensive health conditions, making the operation appear more cost effective than it is.

Link:
http://www.activistpost.com/2012/10/the-prison-system-runs-amok-expands-at.html

Jesse Ventura Breaks His Silence: TruTV Kills "Conspiracy Theory" Episode Critical of TSA...

Who Rules America: Part 1...

Chart of the day...


"In the case of Hurricane Sandy, it is true that money will be exchanged in the process of cleaning up the mess, but that doesn’t mean that true economic growth is taking place."

Keynesian Economics Professor Tells Hurricane Victims “It’s Good For The Economy”

By JG Vibes
theintelhub.com


In the midst of a storm that has the whole east coast torn apart, a mainstream economics professor and Columnist took the opportunity to provide the world with a perfect example of “the broken window fallacy”.

In his new article “The Economic Impact of Hurricane Sandy … Not All Bad News“, Professor Peter Morici puts forward the idea that the clean up following Hurricane Sandy will stimulate economic growth, and thus be good for the economy.

Unfortunately, it seems that the the broken window fallacy is missing from Mr. Morici’s mainstream economics curriculum.

“The broken window fallacy” is used to debunk the popular but false argument that the destruction of property stimulates economic growth by creating messes that people will eventually be paid to clean up.

This is one of the arguments that we typically hear to defend war. People say that war is good for the economy because it creates jobs.

However, the fatal flaw in this logic is that it fails to consider that a better outcome could have been possible, had war resources been used for creation instead of destruction.

In the case of Hurricane Sandy, it is true that money will be exchanged in the process of cleaning up the mess, but that doesn’t mean that true economic growth is taking place.

If the hurricane never came in the first place, that money would be exchanged elsewhere, and it would probobly be spent on far more constructive projects.

In his article Mr. Morici says that:

“rebuilding after Sandy, especially in an economy with high unemployment and underused resources in the construction industry, will unleash at least $15-$20 billion in new direct private spending — likely more as many folks rebuild larger than before, and the capital stock that emerges will prove more economically useful and productive.

Regarding the latter, consider a restaurant with inadequate patronage — its owner invests the insurance settlement in a new more attractive business.

On the shore, older smaller homes on large plots are replaced by larger dwellings that can accommodate more families during the summer tourist season.

The outer banks of North Carolina saw such gains several decades ago after rebuilding from a storm of similar scale.”

Not to discount the drive of the human spirit to rebuild bigger and better than before, this perspective overlooks the people who have a tree fall on a car that they don’t have insurance on, or the people who loose property that they are heavily invested in.

There are an infinite number of counter examples to the claims that Mr. Morici puts forward, because of the many lives that are impacted negatively by these events.

The trade that takes place following a disaster may be a good thing, and a beautiful example of human resilience, but that doesn’t mean that the disaster contributed to a better end result.

The only way to know that for sure is to have the ability to tell the future, and know exactly what events would have taken place had the disaster never happened to begin with.

The broken window fallacy was coined by French economist Frederic Bastiat in the 19th century in his essay “That which is seen, and that which is not seen”.

He used a parable about a broken window to describe the situation that we are talking about here.

In his story the witnesses of the destruction assume that the broken window is good for the economy because they are only thinking about the profit of the window maker, but overlooking the potential loss incurred by unseen third parties, primarily the owner of the window and the businesses he would have invested in otherwise.

War is the most obvious example of this fallacy, but it can also be seen in the recent financial bailouts or in the example that we used today.



Link:
http://theintelhub.com/2012/10/30/keynesian-economics-professor-tells-hurricane-victims-its-good-for-the-economy/

"Take the lesson from these elitists, be prepared on your own for emergencies, government will only be on the scene much too late, if at all."

The Real Lesson of Hurricane Sandy: NYC Is Ill Prepared for a Real Disaster

by Robert Wenzel

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most severe, Hurricane Sandy can be ranked somewhere between a 2 and 3 as far as an emergency for New York City. There were very few deaths or injuries as a result of the hurricane, though property damage will be in the billions of dollars.

What is important to recognize, however, is that the low level emergency revealed just how unprepared the city is for a major catastrophe that includes the loss of power.

It's clear now that while the Mayor of NYC holds press conferences on the size of cups that should be allowed for sugary drinks, no one has been checking on the capabilities of NYC hospitals to survive a power outage during an emergency.

NYU Hospital had to be evacuated because of generator failures, after ConEd power went out, and Bellevue Hospital was within an hour of being evacuated, before a human chain snaked to the hospitals 13th floor to deliver 5 gallon containers of fuel the hospital did not have on hand for an emergency. The hospital also ran out of oxygen containers.

Thus, while Mayor Bloomberg will do all kinds of posing on television today, the fact of the matter is government did not provide basic checks to determine if hospitals could provide services in a power outage related emergency. Hurricane Sandy has revealed the true state of affairs, government as protector is a myth. It's pretty much all show – all talk and no generator checks.

If you really want to protect yourself during a crisis make sure you have your own stockpile of food, clothing, weapons and an electric generator. Government officials and elitists will pooh, pooh the necessity of doing this as wild west, right wing thinking, but watch what the elitists do not what they say.

Here's what Goldman Sachs did before the storm hit.

They certainly weren't depending on the government to protect them. And reports indicated that, through out the night, lights remained on in the Goldman Sachs building, while the rest of Wall Street was dark. Which means GS had their own functional power generator(s), better than those at NYU Hospital or Bellevue.

Also, the leftist Paul Krugman reported that he had his own private generator operating to keep his residence with power, after power went out in Princeton.

Take the lesson from these elitists, be prepared on your own for emergencies, government will only be on the scene much too late, if at all.


Link:
http://lewrockwell.com/wenzel/wenzel200.html

"If each of the estimated 16.8 million households with income below the poverty level were to have received an equal share of the total welfare spending for fiscal year 2011, they each would have received $59,523..."

Report: Enough Spent on Welfare Programs in 2011 to Write Every Poor Household a $59,523 Check

Matt Cover

The federal government spent enough money on federal means-tested welfare programs to have sent each impoverished household a check for nearly $60,000, according to figures from the Census Bureau and the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

According to a report from the CRS produced for Sen. Jeff Sessions(R-Ala.), $1 trillion was spent on federal welfare programs during fiscal year 2011 – with $746 billion in federal funds and $254 in state matching funds.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that there were approximately 16.8 million households living below the federal poverty level of $23,000 per year for a family of four in 2011. ( See: 2011 Households Below Poverty 2011.pdf)

If each of the estimated 16.8 million households with income below the poverty level were to have received an equal share of the total welfare spending for fiscal year 2011, they each would have received $59,523...

Read more here:
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/report-enough-spent-welfare-programs-2011-write-every-poor-household-59523-check

End Manipulation, Let the Markets Clear!

"Perhaps the healthiest soda is no soda at all."

Aspartame is linked to leukemia and lymphoma in new landmark study on humans

Ethan Evers


As few as one diet soda daily may increase the risk for leukemia in men and women, and for multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in men, according to new results from the longest-ever running study on aspartame as a carcinogen in humans. Importantly, this is the most comprehensive, long-term study ever completed on this topic, so it holds more weight than other past studies which appeared to show no risk. And disturbingly, it may also open the door for further similar findings on other cancers in future studies.

The most thorough study yet on aspartame – Over two million person-years

For this study, researchers prospectively analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study for a 22-year period. A total of 77,218 women and 47,810 men were included in the analysis, for a total of 2,278,396 person-years of data. Apart from sheer size, what makes this study superior to other past studies is the thoroughness with which aspartame intake was assessed. Every two years, participants were given a detailed dietary questionnaire, and their diets were reassessed every four years. Previous studies which found no link to cancer only ever assessed participants’ aspartame intake at one point in time, which could be a major weakness affecting their accuracy.

One diet soda a day increases leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphomas

The combined results of this new study showed that just one 12-fl oz. can (355 ml) of diet soda daily leads to:

- 42 percent higher leukemia risk in men and women (pooled analysis)
- 102 percent higher multiple myeloma risk (in men only)
- 31 percent higher non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk (in men only)

These results were based on multi-variable relative risk models, all in comparison to participants who drank no diet soda. It is unknown why only men drinking higher amounts of diet soda showed increased risk for multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Note that diet soda is the largest dietary source of aspartame (by far) in the U.S. Every year, Americans consume about 5,250 tons of aspartame in total, of which about 86 percent (4,500 tons) is found in diet sodas.

Confirmation of previous high quality research on animals

This new study shows the importance of the quality of research. Most of the past studies showing no link between aspartame and cancer have been criticized for being too short in duration and too inaccurate in assessing long-term aspartame intake. This new study solves both of those issues. The fact that it also shows a positive link to cancer should come as no surprise, because a previous best-in-class research study done on animals (900 rats over their entire natural lifetimes) showed strikingly similar results back in 2006: aspartame significantly increased the risk for lymphomas and leukemia in both males and females. More worrying is the follow on mega-study, which started aspartame exposure of the rats at the fetal stage. Increased lymphoma and leukemia risks were confirmed, and this time the female rats also showed significantly increased breast (mammary) cancer rates. This raises a critical question: will future, high-quality studies uncover links to the other cancers in which aspartame has been implicated (brain, breast, prostate, etc.)?

There is now more reason than ever to completely avoid aspartame in our daily diet. For those who are tempted to go back to sugary sodas as a “healthy” alternative, this study had a surprise finding: men consuming one or more sugar-sweetened sodas daily saw a 66 percent increase in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (even worse than for diet soda). Perhaps the healthiest soda is no soda at all.

Link:
http://www.naturalnews.com/037772_aspartame_leukemia_lymphoma.html

“There are boats in the street five blocks from the ocean”

18 Startling Quotes About The Incredible Destruction Caused By Hurricane Sandy

Michael Snyder


It is hard to put into words the absolute devastation that we are seeing along many areas of the east coast right now. Boats have been washed ashore, homes have been razed, some coastal roads have been essentially destroyed, and large numbers of people are still trapped in their homes by flood waters. It is being reported that more than 50 people are dead and more than 8 million people along the east coast have lost power. Those without power might not get it back for a week or more. In New York City, an all-time record storm surge of almost 14 feet caused incredible destruction. It is going to take months for New York City to recover, and along the Jersey coast things are even worse. Hurricane Sandy really did turn out to be “the worst case scenario” for much of the eastern seaboard. At this point more than 15,000 flights have been cancelled, and nobody knows when subway service in New York City is going to be restored. More than 4 million people a day use that subway system, and right now many of the most important tunnels are absolutely flooded with water. Sadly, this crisis is far from over. The storm formerly known as Hurricane Sandy has moved inland over Pennsylvania where it continues to do a tremendous amount of damage. The full extent of the destruction caused by this storm will probably not be known for weeks.

We have truly seen some unprecedented things during this storm. For example, a 168 foot long tanker was driven ashore on Staten Island. Right now the tanker is sitting on Front Street.

In the beachfront Queens neighborhood of Breezy Point, a massive fire broke out and burned just about everything that was not already flooded. The blaze destroyed close to 100 homes, and by the end of the fire more than 190 firefighters were battling it.

Some areas in the West Virginia mountains have already had up to 3 feet of snow, and yet it just continues to fall. When all of that snow starts to melt in a few days, tremendous flooding is anticipated.

The northeast has never seen a storm quite like this, and the ripple effects are going to be felt for years to come.

The following are 18 startling quotes about the incredible destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy…

#1 New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

“The devastation on the Jersey Shore is some of the worst we’ve ever seen. The cost of the storm is incalculable at this point.”

#2 MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota

“The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region. It has brought down trees, ripped out power and inundated tunnels, rail yards and bus depots. As of last night, seven subway tunnels under the East River flooded. Metro-North Railroad lost power from 59th Street to Croton-Harmon on the Hudson Line and to New Haven on the New Haven Line. The Long Island Rail Road evacuated its West Side Yards and suffered flooding in one East River tunnel. The Hugh L. Carey Tunnel is flooded from end to end and the Queens Midtown Tunnel also took on water and was closed. Six bus garages were disabled by high water. We are assessing the extent of the damage and beginning the process of recovery. Our employees have shown remarkable dedication over the past few days, and I thank them on behalf of every New Yorker. In 108 years, our employees have never faced a challenge like the one that confronts us now. All of us at the MTA are committed to restoring the system as quickly as we can to help bring New York back to normal.”

#3 Hoboken, New Jersey Mayor Dawn Zimmer

“The Hudson River came in and filled half of Hoboken like a bathtub”

#4 Little Ferry resident Leo Quigley

“I looked out and the next thing you know, the water just came up through the grates. It came up so quickly you couldn’t do anything about it. If you wanted to move your car to higher ground you didn’t have enough time”

#5 New Jersey resident Montgomery Dahm

“I mean, there’s cars that are just completely underwater in some of the places I would never believe that there would be water.”

#6 Mobile home park resident Juan Allen

“I watched a tree crush a guy’s house like a wet sponge.”

#7 Angela Valenta, mother of 9-year-old Angelo Valenta

“He kept saying, ‘Am I going to die?’”

#8 U.S. Representative Bob Turner

“I, along with many other Breezy Point residents, lost our homes last night and I am grateful that my family and I are safe after this destructive storm. I hope you will join me in lending a hand to those who were less fortunate and keep everyone impacted by this storm in your thoughts and prayers.”

#9 Long Branch, New Jersey resident David Arnold

“The ocean is in the road, there are trees down everywhere. I’ve never seen it this bad.”

#10 New York resident William Yaeck

“I am looking outside of my sixth-floor apartment, and I see that a new lake has formed in the parking lot adjacent (to) my building”

#11 Motel owner Peter Sandomeno

“There are boats in the street five blocks from the ocean”

#12 West Virginia meteorologist Reed Timmer

“It’s 3 feet of heavy snow. It’s like concrete”

#13 Maryland State Police dispatcher Bill Wiltson

“It’s like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs up here”

#14 Con Edison spokeswoman Sara Banda

“This is the largest storm-related outage in history”

#15 John Miksad, senior vice president for electric operations at Con Edison

“This will be one for the record books”

#16 New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

“Clearly the challenges our city faces in the coming days are enormous”

#17 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

“You want to talk about a situation that gets old very quickly. You are sitting in a house with no power and you can’t open the refrigerator”

#18 National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Pollina

“It was an extremely devastating and destructive storm, hopefully one that people will only see once in their lifetime”

So what will this storm ultimately cost the U.S. economy? Well, Fox News is reporting that the total cost could reach45 billion dollars. Others estimate that the economic toll may be even higher than that.

But one thing is for certain – at a time when layoffs are already surging, this is definitely not going to help. The U.S. economy is showing lots of signs of slowing down again, and this storm may have just nudged us even farther in that direction.

Hopefully we will have some time to recover before the next major crisis strikes, but with the election coming up early next week that does not seem too likely.

Link:
http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/18-startling-quotes-about-the-incredible-destruction-caused-by-hurricane-sandy

Monday, October 29, 2012

History stuff...

The National Security State Is to Blame for the Cuban Missile Crisis
by Jacob G. Hornberger


To understand the statist mindset when it comes to the U.S. national-security state, all one has to do is read an article published last week in the New York Times entitled “How Castro Held the World Hostage” by James G. Blight and Janet M. Lang.

The article focuses on the Cuban Missile Crisis and blames Cuban President Fidel Castro for bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war. While President Kennedy and Soviet Premier Khrushchev were working diligently to arrive at a mutually satisfactory resolution of the crisis, the authors say that Castro was behaving like a madman by insisting that the Soviet Union fire its nuclear weapons at the United States in the event of a U.S. invasion of the island.

Unfortunately, in their haste to put the blame on Castro, the authors fail to recognize the real cause of the Cuban Missile Crisis: the U.S. national-security state, specifically the vast and permanent U.S. military establishment and the CIA, which had been grafted on our constitutional order in 1947, ostensibly in order to protect America from “communism” and from America’s World War II partner and ally, the Soviet Union.

After all, what was the reason for Castro’s desire to have the Soviet Union place nuclear weapons in Cuba? Did he intend to attack the United States with them? Did he plan to invade Florida with the Cuban army? Did he intend to invade and conquer the United States?

The answer is “No” to all those questions. Castro never had any desire or intent to attack, invade, or occupy the United States.

It has always been the other way around. It is the United States, specifically the U.S. national-security state, thathas always been the aggressor power in the conflict between Cuba and the United States. It is the national-security state that invaded Cuba, repeatedly attempted to assassinate Fidel Castro, enforced the economic embargo on Cuba, and committed acts of terrorism against Cuba.

What has been the reason for the U.S. aggression against Cuba?

Regime change.The aim has always been to oust Fidel Castro from power and install a loyal and subservient pro-U.S. dictator in his stead.

After his assumption of power, Castro proved early on that he did not intend to be a lackey of the U.S. government, as his predecessor Fulgencio Batista had been. Castro declared that for the first time since the Spanish American War in 1898, Cuba would be an independent nation rather than a colony of the United States.

That didn’t sit well with the national-security state. The Pentagon and the CIA went to work, doing whatever was necessary to oust Castro from power and install in his stead a pro-U.S. dictator.

The national-security state justified its regime-change aggression by pointing out that Castro was a communist who was turning Cuba into a totally socialist nation.

But so what? What business was that of the U.S. national-security state? That was the business of the Cuban people, not the U.S. government.

Anyway, what was Castro’s socialism if not just a logical extension of the socialism that American statists (i.e., conservatives and liberals) were foisting upon America with their beloved welfare state? How was Castro’s nationalization of businesses different in principle from FDR’s nationalization of gold? In principle, how was Castro’s fierce commitment to such socialist programs as old-age retirement pensions, free health care, free education, and coercive redistribution of wealthdifferent in principle from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schooling, and income taxation that American statists were foisting on our land?

Blight and Lang intimate that Castro was being paranoid over the possibility that the United States would invade and conquer Cuba.

Really?

Let’s see. There was the actual invasion of the island at the Bay of Pigs, an operation secretly orchestrated by the CIA. Why was it secret? So that the American people wouldn’t find out that their government was attacking countries that hadn’t attacked the United States.

There was the brutal embargo, which continues to be enforced even today, notwithstanding trade relations with the communist regimes in Vietnam and China.

There were the numerous assassination attempts by the CIA against Castro.

There were the CIA’s acts of terrorism within Cuba.

And there was the infamous Operation Northwoods, a plan that was unanimously approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and presented to Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs invasion and before the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was an operation that, not surprisingly, Blight and Lang don’t even mention. That was the plan by which the U.S. military and the CIA would initiate fake and false terrorist attacks, which involved the taking of innocent life, on American soil and proclaim, falsely, that Cuba was behind them, thereby providing a fake and false justification for the invasion of the island.

In fact, while Blight and Lang observe that Kennedy’s “hawkish advisers and critics ... continued clamoring for an invasion of the island,” they fail to mention that the leading proponents for attacking and invading Cuba were the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA, who remained fully committed to regime change in Cuba and were eager to risk nuclear war to achieve it.

Don’t forget, after all, that the pressure by the military and the CIA for invading Cuba were so immense that Kennedy, echoing President Eisenhower’s warning of the dangers posed to our democracy by the military-industrial complex, actually feared a military coup right here in the United States. Maybe Blight and Lang considered Kennedy and Eisenhower to be paranoid too.

In fact, what Blight and Lang also fail to mention is that some members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff actually desired a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, arguing that since it was bound to happen anyway, better that it happen then rather than later, when the Soviet Union would have more nuclear weapons at its disposal. They were furious with Kennedy for negotiating with the communists. They wanted him to attack Cuba and achieve the regime change that the invasion at the Bay of Pigs had failed to achieve. If the United States ended up in a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, so be it. Their position was that the United States would win such war because it would lose “only” 40 million people while the Soviets would lose everyone.

In focusing their blame on Castro for the Cuban Missile Crisis, Blight and Lang ignore the critically important point: Castro’s actions were entirely defensive in nature. The crisis was caused by the U.S. national-security state’s insistence on regime change in Cuba. If the U.S. government had not been committed to regime change, the crisis would never have occurred.

Castro’s strategy worked. By having the Soviet Union come to Cuba’s defense with nuclear missiles to defend the island, Kennedy was deterred from attacking Cuba, much to the anger and chagrin of the U.S. military establishment and the CIA, both of which believed that Kennedy, who had previously refused to provide air support at the Bay of Pigs, had once again betrayed his country,the Cuban people, and the cause of freedom.

In fact, while Kennedy believed that the United States had prevailed in the crisis, the Pentagon and the CIA were of the opposite opinion. Their conclusion was that Kennedy had capitulated to the Soviets, given his pledge to never invade Cuba and also to remove U.S. nuclear missiles from Turkey. By providing the communists with a permanent outpost only 90 miles from American shores, the Pentagon and the CIA were convinced that that it was just a matter of time before the communists conquered America.

This is what American statists simply cannot confront — that notwithstanding the violations of liberty within Cuba at the hands of Castro’s dictatorship, their very own U.S. government has been in the wrong when it comes to American relations with Cuba. Having been inculcated from the first grade with deep love, respect, and reverence for the U.S. national-security state, the statist mindsets will not permit statists to question or challenge the existence of the vast military establishment or the CIA or their policies and programs. Their minds will only permit them to look upon the national-security state as an exceptional establishment — a peace-loving institution — a force for good in the world — one keeps us safe.

Under what moral or legal authority does the United States attack and invade another country simply because that country is going communist or socialist? Under what moral or legal authority does the United States assassinate foreign leaders (and enter in assassination partnerships with the Mafia) owing to the particular political or economic philosophy of such leaders? Under what moral or legal authority does the United States inflict a cruel and brutal economic embargo on the Cuban people, in the hopes of squeezing them to death until they oust Castro from power and install a pro-U.S. dictator in his stead? Under what moral and legal authority does the United States engage in acts of terrorism against the people of a foreign country, in the hopes of achieving regime change through chaos, crisis, and fear?

In a weird twist, Blight and Lang conclude their article by comparing the situation in Cuba to Iran, intimating that the Iranians are a bit paranoid themselves over the possibility of a U.S. attack on their country.

Not surprisingly, the authors fail to point out that it was the U.S. national-security state, specifically the CIA, that in 1953 destroyed Iran’s experiment with democracy by ousting the democratically elected prime minister of the country from power with a coup and installing the brutal dictatorship of the shah into power.

The authors also fail to point out that today Iran is surrounded by U.S. troops, who will loyally and faithfully obey whatever orders the president gives them, including attacking and invading a country that has never attacked the United States — and without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war.

Finally, there are the brutal sanctions that the U.S. national security state has leveled against Iran, which are no different in principle that the brutal embargo that the national security state has inflicted against the Cuban people for some 60 years.

Santayana sure had it right. Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.


Link:
http://www.fff.org/blog/index.asp

“The danger of dispensing with due process is obvious because without it, we cannot be assured that the people in the government’s death database truly present a concrete, imminent threat to the country.”

America’s Permanent War Agenda: Secret Kill Lists, Global Drone Wars, Special Forces
"The Disposition Matrix"


By Stephen Lendman

Call it elevating Murder, Inc. to a higher level. A Washington Post Special Report discussed America’s permanent war agenda.

It includes targeted killings, Obama’s secret kill list, global drone wars, and White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan’s new rules for war playbook.

Established in 2003, Washington’s National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) provides terrorist related information for America’s intelligence community. Brennan initially ran the agency. It devised Washington’s so-called “disposition matrix.”

If America had a motto it would be war is good, the more wars the better. How else can generals add stars and profiteers cash in big?

Human lives don’t matter. Inviolable rule of law principles are trashed. Wealth, power and dominance alone matter. Imagine national policy wanting to destroy humanity to control it.

Democrat Obama has that in mind and more. Imagine what Romney’s planning. Think about it November 6. Voting either major party ticket assures permanent wars, destroying social America, and cracking down hard on resisters.

On October 23, the Washington Post headlined “Plan for hunting terrorists signals US intends to keep adding names to kill lists,” saying:

Information came from “dozens of current and former national security officials, intelligence analysts and others….” Evolving US counterintelligence policies are examined. Two follow-up articles are planned.

US special forces death squads operate in 120 or more countries. CIA agents kill globally. US citizens may be targeted at home or abroad. No one anywhere is safe.

Summary judgment means rule of law principles don’t apply. Last spring, Obama appointed himself judge, jury and executioner. Extrajudicial authority is official administration policy. Diktats decide who lives or dies.

Anyone can be targeted anywhere in the world for any reason or none at all. Obama usurped the power of life and death. He’s got final kill list authority.

Policy prioritizes killing by drones, death squads, or other means. Only eliminating America’s enemies matter. Whether real or imagined makes no difference.

Targeted victims are people who want to live free from America’s imperium. Washington calls them terrorists. Names go on kill lists.

Those around him say killing comes easy to Obama. Waging war on Islam is policy. So is take no prisoners. Counterterrorism is cover for wholesale or retail slaughter. Collateral deaths don’t matter.

Post writer Greg Smith said for “the past two years, the Obama administration has been secretly developing a new blueprint for pursuing terrorists, a next-generation targeting list called the ‘disposition matrix.’ ”

It contains names of terrorist suspects, covert plans to eliminate them, and in some cases sealed indictments. Officials interviewed said a “database (being compiled) is designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the ‘disposition’ of suspects beyond the reach of American drones.”

Regardless of whether US wars continue or end, killing America’s enemies remains policy. Suspects are guilty by accusation. Due process and judicial fairness are off the table. One unnamed official said:

“We can’t possibly kill everyone who wants to harm us. It’s a necessary part of what we do….We’re not going to wind up in 10 years in a world of everybody holding hands and saying, ‘We love America.’ ”

Smith didn’t say plans are to make sure they don’t. Peace and stability defeat America’s imperium. Violence and instability are essential to advance it.

He also didn’t expose Washington’s bogus war on terror. At issue is inventing global enemies, waging wars against them, and destroying democratic freedoms in the process. At stake is unchallenged dominance no matter how many corpses it takes to achieve it.

Other omissions including failing to explain coverup is policy. So is aggressive killing in multiple theaters. Mostly civilians are killed. Populations are terrorized.

At most, only 2% of victims are high-level combatants. Drone attacks are the recruiting tool of choice for militants, and targeted killings violate fundamental international law.

Like his predecessor, Obama claims success. It’s always in the eye of the beholder. Bin Laden’s alleged killing is cited. No matter that he died naturally in December 2001. Even modern technology can’t kill a dead man. Claiming it was staged hokum.

Big plans are being made. “White House counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan is seeking to codify the administration’s approach to generating capture/kill lists, part of a broader effort to guide future administrations through the counterterrorism processes that Obama has embraced.”

Strategies to eliminate America’s enemies include “extradition requests, capture operations and drone patrols.” Summary executions are the method of choice. Why bother with protocol or other procedures when spy in the sky drones kill easily and quickly.

Operators in distant command centers work multiple monitors. They’re far from targeted victims. They kill with precision at low cost. For them, remote control killing is like sport. No muss. No fuss. No bloodshed or shredded bodies to view. When work days end, they go home to dinner and relax. Imagine going to work each day for more killing.

The CIA wants many more drones in its fleet. The more available, the more theaters of operations for more targeted killings. Business is better than ever. No shortage of targets exist.

At the same time, counterterrorism experts say relying on them is “self-perpetuating.” Short-term gains obscure longer-term costs. According to former CIA analyst Bruce Riedel:

“The problem with the drone is it’s like your lawn mower. You’ve got to mow the lawn all the time. The minute you stop mowing, the grass is going to grow back.”

In fact, the more enemies eliminated, the greater the number created. Nonetheless, Washington operates multiple drone programs. They include Pentagon and CIA ones. They’re used for surveillance and killings. Expanded operations lie ahead.

Database information includes biographies of targeted subjects, their locations, known associates and affiliated organizations, as well as other relevant information.

Targeted victims, of course, are a closely kept secret. They can be anyone anywhere in the world. They can be ordinary people, distinguished ones, or officials. Their crime is opposing US imperialism.

Smith said “the creation of the matrix and the institutionalization of kill/capture lists reflect a shift that is as psychological as it is strategic.” He omitted explaining its lawlessness. He didn’t say that no one can self-appoint themselves judge, jury, and executioner.

What’s most important, media scoundrels suppress. Nonetheless, he covered a lot of important ground. It’s up to readers to connect the dots. Few take the trouble to do it.

His article was five online pages long. Few seeing it go beyond page one. They’d have missed page four saying:

Kill list “names are submitted to a panel of National Security Council officials that is chaired by Brennan and includes the deputy directors of the CIA and the FBI, as well as top officials from the State Department, the Pentagon and the NCTC.”

Page five added:

“Obama approves the criteria for lists and signs off on drone strikes outside Pakistan, where decisions on when to fire are made by the director of the CIA.”

By presidential diktat, he can order anyone killed anywhere, including US citizens.

“For an administration that is the first to embrace targeted killing on a wide scale, officials seem confident that they have devised an approach that is so bureaucratically, legally and morally sound that future administrations will follow suit.”

It’s shocking that officials anywhere feel this way. It’s worse in one calling itself a democracy.

A Final Comment

On October 24, ACLU‘s National Security Project director Hina Shamsi said:

“Anyone who thought US targeted killing outside of armed conflict was a narrow, emergency-based exception to the requirement of due process before a death sentence is being proven conclusively wrong.”

“The danger of dispensing with due process is obvious because without it, we cannot be assured that the people in the government’s death database truly present a concrete, imminent threat to the country.”

“What we do know is that tragic mistakes have been made, hundreds of civilian bystanders have died, and our government has even killed a 16-year-old U.S. citizen without acknowledging let alone explaining his death.”

“A bureaucratized paramilitary killing program that targets people far from any battlefield is not just unlawful, it will create more enemies than it kills.”

ACLU has two outstanding lawsuits to enforce FOIA requests for targeted killing information. Another filed jointly with the Center for Constitutional Rights challenges its constitutionality.

ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer said:

“It has become the norm for government officials to disclose cherry-picked information about ostensibly classified programs while insisting to the courts that the programs are too secret to be discussed or defended in court.”

“This practice deprives the public of complete and accurate information about important government policies, compromises the integrity of the classification system and suggests a disturbing contempt for the judicial process. The courts should reject the government’s effort to transform FOIA into a dead letter.”

Washington proves itself morally and politically bankrupt multiple ways. Perhaps enough Americans one day will decide they’ll no longer let policies this monstrous persist. They’ll have to for anything to change. They better or their futures are grim.


Link:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/americas-permanent-war-agenda-secret-kill-lists-global-drone-wars-special-forces/5309991

Hurricane Sandy vs. Hurricane Irene...

Irene...


Sandy...


Source:
http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2012/10/hurricane-sandy-vs-hurricane-irene.html

Photos of Sandy hitting the beach in Milford, CT. October 29, 2012...

Here area few shots of the Connecticut coast taken around 1 PM today by my son Mike as we cruised the shore as Hurricane Sandy hits the beaches of Milford, CT. So far, not as bad as Irene but I guess it is still early in this event.

Here's a shot from Anchor Beach looking into the cove...


Looking out at the flagpole at Anchor Beach...


Crashing wave along the sidewalk at Anchor Beach...


Getting a little wet at Anchor Beach...


In between drenchings...


Looking down Melba Street toward my son's house which is on the left about half way down the street...


Another look down Melba Street...


Ant's house being rebuilt from the aftermath of Irene. So far so good...


Ant's house from another angle...

Song of the day:BLACKBERRY SMOKE | Ain't Got the Blues - In The Backyard Sessions...

Some people are waking up to the hoax...

On Us vs. Them

By eric


The movie, The Matrix, explains a great deal.

Most people are brought up from birth within the system – “the matrix” – and psychologically and socially and culturally conditioned to accept it as their world. And more, the world as it is supposed to be. What separates people like those here from everyone else? Somehow, for whatever reason, we questioned. And we saw a flaw in the pattern (the green screen with zeros and ones, if you like, as in the movie). Something clicked – and we knew. The curtain fell away. We began to realize how thoroughly we’d been lied to about almost everything. Saw the fundamental violence of the system. The lie behind the facade of “democracy” and “consent of the governed.” Once you see, you cannot unsee. The pattern becomes obvious, transparant. And all of sudden, things make sense. A bleak sort of sense, to be sure. But for the first time, you truly understand.

But the downside is you are now an outlier, more or less alienated from the society in which you live. Other people are like zombies – because in a way they are. Just as in the movie. As in real life.

I have noticed two qualities that separate the people like us here from the Clovers out there: First, the habit of conceptual thought. Of reasoning from (and accepting the necessary consequences of) principles. Thus, we understand why it is so profoundly dangerous to countenance such things as “safety” checkpoints in order to (ostensibly) “get dangerous drunks” off the road. Because it follows that if the state arrogates unto itself the power to detain (that is, to arrest) people and search/interrogate them (no matter how cursorily) for no specific reason, without actual probable cause, then a principle has been accepted – ceded – and much more and worse will inevitably follow. Clovers cannot grasp this. They only see “safety” – and “getting dangerous drunks off the road.” The same point can be applied almost universally. For instance, “taxes.” A Clover will turn up his nose at a person who stuffs a Snickers bar in his pants at a 7-11 and walks out the door with it. He sees this as theft, which it is. But he does not see that it is also theft when he (and others like him) band together at the ballot box and vote to take much more than merely someone else’s Snicker’s bar. The Clover mind is unable to make the conceptual connection. Theft is somehow transformed into not-theft when it is done under the auspices of the state.

Second, Clovers have an under-developed (or crippled) sense of empathy. Though superficially, they often posture as the caring benefactors of their fellow men, in truth they have more in common with sociopaths who, like them, view other people as cardboard cutouts to be manipulated and controlled. The proof that they do in fact think this way is revealed by the fact that they will not or cannot confront the violence that is always at the end of their professed benefactions. The gun pointed at someone else’s head. The rough men in costumes who will come. Even the most petty-seeming failure to Submit and Obey will inevitably result in violence – possibly, lethal violence – being applied. What sort of human being countenances that? A human being who has lost – or never developed – the capacity for empathy. True empathy. Not the faux empathy of “helping” by controlling – and threatening. An empathetic man sees a fellow human being having difficulty and offers to help – himself. A Clover points a gun at someone else (or has men in costumes do it on his behalf) and forces that someone else to “help” – in the manner the Clover deems appropriate. In this way, the Clover satisfies his urge to control and direct – to apply force – and do to so under the guise of the humanitarian, even as his victims feel the boot on their throat, hear the handcuffs being locked.

They are asleep – or evil. There is no middle ground.

Empathetic humans see others suffering and feel terrible about it. But they feel even more terrible about the idea of official, state-sanctioned predation – violence codified and legitimized. The utter perversion of the concept of “help” which flows from the barrel of a gun. The utter perversion of humanity thereby. The warping of natural instinct – of goodwill – into something corrosive and yes, evil. Because what else can be said o people who pit man against man, group against group?

It is either – or.

Either you take the position that no person has the right to use violence against another except in self-defense – and all that follows from that principle. Or, you take the position that it is acceptable to use violence against other people for reasons you deem appropriate. The trouble with that, of course, is that your fellow Clovers will have their own ideas as to what constitutes “appropriate” reasons for restraining and controlling other people – you included – with violence or its threat. And the result of that is what we have - a hell on earth in which mutual parasatism is the essence of our politics. In which no one is secure, either in their persons or their effects (let alone their property) because all these things are subject to “the will of the majority” – as expressed by the vote of Clovers, the representatives of Clovers or the duly constituted agencies and bureaucracies of Clovers.

That is our Matrix.

A few can see it. Most cannot.

But some can be awakened. And that is where our efforts should be concentrated. Because if enough of them can be awakened, the Matrix will lose its power. And then it will lose its control. And that day, when it finally arrives, will be the day of humanity’s liberation.

It’s a goal worth working for – even if none of us now alive will live to see it.


Link:
http://ericpetersautos.com/2012/10/28/on-us-vs-them/

History stuff...

World War Two: The Good War?

Bionic Mosquito


I have commented previously that I believe (at least given my current understanding) the main purpose for U.S. entry into the war was two-fold: 1) to take the place of an increasingly ailing Britain as the primary tool for the elite to expand global control, and 2) to ensure a new, long term enemy can be made out of the Soviet Union and communism. I will add a third to this list – actually it is a subset of the first: to bring the productive populations of Germany and Japan under the control of the elite.

Before I expand on this further, I would like to revisit some of the factors regarding the war and why it is not just improper, but inconceivable to refer to this was as a good war.

1) Roosevelt lied to the country regarding his intentions of entering the war.

2) Roosevelt took great strides to get first Germany, and after failing this, Japan, to strike the first blow.

3) Roosevelt ignored and otherwise did not take advantage of the many proposals by Japan that, if acted upon, could have avoided the upcoming armed conflict.

4) Roosevelt entered the war well before any declaration by Congress.

5) Roosevelt encouraged Britain and France to provide a guarantee to Poland, a guarantee known to the Western powers to have no teeth.

6) Roosevelt chose to side with Stalin, who at the beginning of the war had more blood on his hands than all the other leaders of belligerent countries combined.

7) Roosevelt did not extend U.S. support for Jews attempting to emigrate from Central Europe and immigrate into the United States until 1944.

8) Roosevelt knew of the impending attack by Japan somewhere in the Pacific, and very likely specifically that it would come at Pearl Harbor.

9) Roosevelt avoided taking action to properly alert and otherwise protect the troops.

10) Roosevelt made unconditional surrender a requirement of the axis combatants, prolonging the war in both Europe and the Pacific.

11) Roosevelt cut Poland loose to the communists after the war.

12) Truman had many opportunities to end the war in the Pacific in the Spring of 1945, instead choosing to delay the end in order to give time for development of the bomb.

13) Truman continued Roosevelt’s policy of demanding unconditional surrender, despite protests from many military and other advisors.

14) Truman chose to drop two bombs on Japan after months of Japan signaling its willingness to meeting all terms of the allies with the exception of removal of the Emperor (an exception also desired by allied commanders, and an exception granted immediately after the surrender in any case).

15) Truman afforded many diplomatic victories to Russia in Asia, despite the lack of contribution or need of the Russian forces in this victory.

16) Truman backed away from the Chinese Nationalists in favor of the Communists – this despite one purported reason for U.S. animosity toward Japan being U.S. support for the Nationalists.

17) The allies both acquiesced and aided in the forced transfer of up to 14 million Germans to Germany from various locations in Central Europe.

18) The allies both acquiesced and aided in the forced transfer of perhaps several million captured Russian soldiers and other refugees fleeing the communists to Russia against their will, resulting in their imprisonment or execution upon return.

Lies, deception, treachery, genocide, and potentially treason. Can anything associated with such actions be called “good”? Can a government be called representative if it acts with deception towards its citizens? Can a democracy (or a republic) be considered acting based on the will of the people when such actions are taken via lies? Except for the fact of winning the war, can these actions be distinguished from many of the crimes on the side of the axis – for which countless were tried, imprisoned, or executed?

There is nothing “good” about this track record.

Now, as to the purpose and reasons for the U.S. entry into the war, let me first summarize again the outcomes of the war: first, the United States replaced Britain as the global presence and power of the West. Second, the Soviet Union specifically, and communism generally, gained significant footing as a world power. Finally, the populations of Germany and Japan both came under the domination of western elite power.

Now, just because these were outcomes does not necessarily mean that these were objectives from the beginning, or that these were reasons for U.S. entry. However, I can find no other reasonable explanation for many of the actions taken by the U.S. in the period before, during, and after the war – many of which are identified in my list at the beginning of this post.

I do not accept that these were just blunders or mistakes of Roosevelt (and later, Truman) and his advisors – they were far too experienced to make this many disastrous and “wrong” decisions. I do not accept that Hitler was prepared to take over the world and had to be stopped. He had neither the military for it nor the economy. Mostly, he did not have the intent. Conversely, supporters of communism were quite transparent in describing their goals for world conquest – why not fight against the communists, as Germany and Japan both seemed intent on doing?

When I try to find a rational explanation for these decisions and actions – and I follow the thread backwards from the outcome – the decisions make perfect sense only if these outcomes were the objectives all along.

First, I suggest that the U.S. entered the war in order to replace the ailing British Empire as the primary tool of the elite looking to expand global domination. For those who believe politicians serve their people and the national interest, and are not serving individuals and entities with even higher power, you may feel free to skip this section. For the rest of you….

Historically, Britain proved to be a good tool for extending global control. However, a far better tool was on the western horizon, that of the United States. The United States had almost unlimited potential in terms of geography, resources, and people – certainly as compared to Britain. The United States still had much to exploit; as was becoming more and more obvious in the first years of the 20th century, Britain had likely reached its limits.

Britain was losing on all fronts – it could not fight a war in Europe without U.S. support. It lost much of the Middle East shortly after the end of the Second War, as it also lost India. These weaknesses, especially when compared to the obvious superiority of the U.S. as the primary tool for control, were certainly obvious to the elite well before the actual events.

I should clarify – this transition did not occur only in the immediate build-up and aftermath of World War Two. The establishment of central banking in 1913 was the key to ensuring the United States would be in position to take over this role – without this, there is little possibility that enough resources could have been taken from the private sector to the degree necessary for establishment of a global military power.

While imperialism was present in the U.S. from the beginning, overseas expansion began at the end of the 19th century. Even with this, much of the population had to be dragged into fighting in a European War in the second decade of the 20th century – the people had no appetite for fighting overseas, yet Wilson found a way to maneuver the country into the battle.

This desire to keep out of European troubles was still in the population in the 1930s. The people wanted to stay out – all the time their president was secretly working to get in. If the objective was to avoid war, Roosevelt had countless opportunities to do so. If the objective was to get into the war despite a people and Congress that desired to stay out, Roosevelt’s actions make perfect sense.

Roosevelt served with purpose toward this end – clearly against the will of the people he purportedly served. Why would he do this? I suggest it was because he was serving a different master – a master who knew that riding the British horse was now turning into a loser’s proposition. That horse had been ridden hard, and had nothing left to give. A new horse needed to be found, and no other horse fit the bill better than the United States.

The elite needed the United States to take center stage, and they found political leaders willing to lead the nation toward that end.

The second reason for U.S. entry into the war was to set the stage for the Cold War. War is the health of the state, and perpetual war offers perpetual health. Today, the United States continues this perpetual war by conjuring an enemy out of a tactic – terrorism. One purpose of U.S. entry into World War Two was to make an enemy out of an idea – communism. In order for the enemy to seem real, it had to be (or at least seem to be) powerful.

Had the U.S. stayed out of the war, Hitler and Stalin likely would have crippled each other significantly, such that neither would be a menace to anyone outside of the forsaken ground between them (the poor residents of Central Europe were doomed once trapped between these two tyrants, almost regardless of any decisions taken in the West). Japan hated the communists in China as much as Germany hated the communists in Russia. Japan and Germany would have at least kept in check any ideas of communist expansion, minimizing the possibility of healthy, perpetual war for the west.

Had the U.S. stayed out of the war, communism would never have grown into the “threat” needed for perpetual war. There would be no long-term, believable enemy – it certainly would not have been National Socialism, a very un-exportable ideology. While wealth extraction can occur absent war, nothing moves the needle toward government and the elite and away from freedom like war does. What better than a Cold War, one that that offers long term fighting without intense casualties?

Now to the third reason: for wealth extraction, which populations would offer a better harvest, Germany / Japan, or Russia / China? The former offered two of the most productive economies on earth. The latter were still quite agrarian and relatively undeveloped. The former occupied a limited, manageable territory, the latter – large, and in many cases relatively unreachable regions.

The U.S. did not have to choose Russia over Germany – at the beginning of the war Stalin was known to have far more blood on his hands than did Hitler. Certainly from the perspective of the United States, if the desire was simply to get into the fight (to distract from depression, to enhance the state, whatever), fighting the Russians through German territory would have been much easier than fighting the Germans directly. Stalin could have been made the devil just as easily as Hitler was.

Once these two productive peoples were subdued, wealth extraction became much easier. And these were the two non-Anglo populations that offered the most capacity for wealth to extract. What was likely not possible through peace, trade, and negotiation was certainly possible once these lands were conquered.

The U.S. replaced Britain as the tool for the elite to work through for continued global domination; the communists were strengthened, creating a credible enemy for perpetual war; the wealth of two productive nations was made accessible to the elite. These three outcomes were realized. If these were the objectives, the actions taken by Roosevelt and Truman seem quite rational towards these ends.

I conclude these were the objectives from the beginning.


Link:
http://lewrockwell.com/rep3/was-ww2-good-war.html

"The result of the US government’s economic deception is the same as the deception Washington has used to start wars all over the Middle East. The government propaganda produces a make-believe virtual reality that bears no relationship to real reality."

The Virtual Recovery

Paul Craig Roberts


Since mid-2009 the US has been enjoying a virtual recovery courtesy of a rigged inflation measure that understates inflation. The financial Presstitutes spoon out the government’s propaganda that prices are rising less than 2%. But anyone who purchases food, fuel, medical care or anything else knows that low inflation is no more real that Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction or Gadhafi’s alleged attacks on Libyan protesters or Iran’s nuclear weapons. Everything is a lie to serve the power-brokers.

During the Clinton administration, Republican economists pushed through a change in the way the CPI is measured in order to save money by depriving Social Security retirees of their cost-of-living adjustment. Previously, the CPI measured the change in the cost of a constant standard of living. The new measure assumes that consumers adjust to price increases by lowering their standard of living by substituting lower quality, lower priced items. If the price, for example, of New York strip steak goes up, consumers are assumed to substitute the lower quality round steak. In other words, the new measure of inflation keeps inflation down by reflecting a lowered standard of living.

Statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com), who closely follows the collecting and reporting of official US economic statistics, reports that consumer inflation, as measured by the 1990 official government methodology has been running at about 5%. If the 1980 official methodology for measuring the CPI is used, John Williams reports that the current rate of US inflation is about 9%.

The 9% figure is more consistent with people’s experience in grocery stores.

Officially the recession that began in 2007 ended in June 2009 after 18 months, making the Bush Recession the longest recession since World War II. However, John Williams says that the recession has not ended. He says that only the GDP reporting, distorted by an erroneous measurement of inflation, shows a recovery. Other, more reliable measures of economic activity, show no recovery.

Williams reports that the economy began turning down in 2006, falling lower in 2008 and 2009, and bottom-bouncing ever since. Not only is there no sign of any recovery, but “the economic downturn now is intensifying once again.” The absence of an economic recovery “is evident in the [official] reporting of nearly all major economic series. Not one of these series shows a pattern of activity that confirms the recovery [shown] in the GDP series.”

Williams concludes that “the official recovery simply is a statistical illusion created by the government’s use of understated inflation in deflating the GDP.” In other words, the reported gains in GDP are accounted for by price increases, not increases in real output.

The result of the US government’s economic deception is the same as the deception Washington has used to start wars all over the Middle East. The government propaganda produces a make-believe virtual reality that bears no relationship to real reality. In history there have been many governments who have prevailed by deceiving the people, but Washington has moved this success to a new peak. As long as Americans believe anything Washington says, they are doomed.

It is easy to see why there is no economic recovery and cannot be an economic recovery. Look at the chart below (courtesy of John Williams, shadowstats.com).


Real median household income at the end of 2011 is back where it was in 1967-68. Moreover, Williams has deflated household income to get its real value by using the official inflation measure, which substantially understates inflation. If Williams had used the 1990 or 1980 official government methodology for calculating the consumer price index, the real median incomes of households would show a larger decline.

Moreover, the low 2011 real median household income is the summation, in most cases, of two household earners, whereas in 1967-68 one earner could produce the same real income. As Nobel economist Gary Becker, my former colleague as Business Week columnist, pointed out, when both husband and wife have to work in order to maintain the same purchasing power, household income from the wife’s in-kind household services is eliminated. Therefore, the monetary measure of the dual household income overstates income, because it is not adjusted for the lost benefits formerly provided by the wife who at home managed the household.

Americans are far more oppressed by the power brokers in Washington than statistics display. Moreover, the young are born into the oppressive, exploitative American system and do not know any different. They are fed by the Presstitute media with endless propaganda about how fortunate they are and how indispensable their wonderful country is. Americans are kept in a constant state of amusement, and many never grasp the loss of their civil liberties, job and career opportunities, and respect that the US won during the decades-long cold war with Soviet Communism.

On September 13, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben “Helicopter” Bernanke announced Quantitative Easing 3. Bernanke said that the recovery is weak and needs more Fed stimulus. He said the Fed will purchase $40 billion of mortgage bonds per month in order to drive interest rates further below the rate of inflation and help to sell more houses.

But how do you sell houses to households who are getting by with 1967-68 levels of real income and who have absolutely no job security? Their company can be taken over and offshored tomorrow or they can be replaced by foreign workers on H-1B visas. Housing prices have dropped, but not to 1967-68 levels.

Bernanke’s announcement that the Fed’s purchase of mortgage bonds is to spur housing and the economy is disinformation. Bernanke is purchasing the bonds in order to boost the values of the derivatives and debt instruments in the banks’ portfolios. Lower interest rates raise the value of the debt instruments on the banks’ balance sheets. By depriving American savers of a real interest rate on their savings, Bernanke makes the busted banks look solvent.

This is what is happening in “freedom and democracy” America. The vast majority of Americans, especially the retired, are forced to consume their savings and draw down their capital because they can get no real interest on their savings. The beneficiaries are the banksters, who can borrow at near zero interest rates, charge consumers 16% on their credit cards, and use the Federal Reserve’s largess to speculate on interest rate swaps and credit default swaps. The American taxpayers hold the bag for the banksters’ uncovered gambles.

Would you not gamble if the American taxpayers had to cover your bets, but your winnings were yours alone?

The future of the American political order is in doubt. The Bush and Obama regimes have so badly abused the Constitution and statutory law, that the America that Ronald Reagan left to us no longer exists. America is on the path to collapse or tyranny.

Suppose that a miracle produces an economic recovery. What becomes of the enormous excess bank reserves that the Federal Reserve has provided the banks?

If these bank reserves are used for expanding loans, the money supply will outstrip the production of goods and services, and inflation will rise.

If the Fed tries to take the excess reserves out of the banking system by selling bonds, interest rates will rise, thus destroying the wealth of bond holders and draining liquidity from the stock market. In other words, another depression that wipes out the remaining American wealth.

The Federal Reserve’s announcement of QE3 shows that the Fed will continue to create new money in order to protect the values of the insolvent banks’ questionable assets. The Federal Reserve represents the banksters, not the American public. Like every other American government institution, the Federal Reserve is far removed from concerns about American citizens.

In my opinion, the Federal Reserve’s purchase of bonds in order to drive down interest rates has produced a bond market bubble that is larger than the real estate and derivative bubbles. Economically, it is nonsensical for a bond to carry a negative real interest rate, especially when the government issuing the bond is running large budget deficits that it seems unable to reduce and when the central bank is monetizing the debt.

The bubble has been protected by the euro “crisis,” which possibly is more of a virtual crisis than a real one. The euro crisis has caused money to seek refuge in dollars, thus supporting the dollar’s value even while the Federal Reserve prints money with which to purchase the never-ending flow of the governments’ bonds to finance trillion dollar plus annual budget deficits–about 5 times the “Reagan deficits” that Wall Street alleged would wreck the US economy.

Indeed, the US dollar’s exchange value is itself a bubble waiting to pop. The sharp rise in the dollar price of gold and silver since 2003 indicates a flight from the US dollar. (The chart is courtesy of John Williams, shadowstats.com.)

The bond market bubble will pop if the dollar bubble pops. The Federal Reserve can sustain the bond market bubble by purchasing bonds, and there are no limits on the Federal Reserve’s ability to purchase bonds. However, the endless monetization of debt, even if the new money is stuck in the banks and does not find its way into the economy, can spook foreign holders of dollar-denominated assets.

Foreign central banks can decide that they want to hold fewer dollars and more precious metals as their reserves. Other countries, sensing the US dollar’s demise,



are organizing to conduct their trade without the use of the world’s reserve currency. Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa intend to conduct their trade with one another in their own currencies. China and Japan have also negotiated to settle their trade balances with one another in their own currencies.

These agreements substantially reduce the use of the US dollar in international trade and, thus, the demand for dollars. When demand falls, so does price, unless the supply shrinks. But the Federal Reserve has announced, essentially, unlimited supply of US dollars. So we are faced with a paradox. The US dollar is supposed to remain valuable despite its enormous increase in supply.

In addition, China, America’s largest creditor and in the past a reliable purchaser of US Treasury bonds, holds some two trillion in dollar-denominated assets, primarily Treasury bonds. How is Washington treating its largest foreign creditor? Not with appreciation or deference. Washington is surrounding China with naval and air bases, interfering in China’s disputes with other countries, and bringing contrived actions against China in the World Trade Organization. Washington claims that US corporations are deserting the US not because of the lower cost of labor in China, but because of Chinese “subsidies” to the relocated US firms.

In my April 30 column, “Brewing a Conflict with China,” I wrote that Washington would like to substitute a cold war with China for the hot wars in the Middle East. The problem with the hot wars is the loss of superpower face from Washington’s inability to prevail after eleven years, and although the hot wars are profitable for the military/security complex, the wars don’t generate the level of profits that would flow from a high-tech arms race with China. Moreover, Washington believes that diverting Chinese investment from the economy into a military buildup would slow the rate at which the Chinese economy is overtaking the US economy.

What if instead of taking the bait from Washington, China targets Washington’s Archilles heel–the dollar’s role as reserve currency–and decides it is cheaper to dump one trillion dollars of US Treasury debt on the bond market than to commit to a 30 year arms race? To keep the price of Treasuries from collapsing, the Federal Reserve could print the money to buy the bonds. But if China then dumps the printed one trillion dollars in the foreign exchange markets, Washington cannot print euros, British pounds, Russian rubles, Swiss francs, and other currencies in order to buy up the dollars.

Frantic, Washington would try to arrange currency swaps with foreign countries in order to acquire the foreign exchange with which to buy up the dollars that, otherwise, will drive down the dollar exchange rate and destroy the Federal Reserve’s control over interest rates.

But if the Chinese don’t want the dollars, will other countries want to swap their currencies for the abandoned US dollar?

Some of Washington’s puppet states will comply, but the wider world will rejoice in the termination of Washington’s financial hegemony and refuse the offer.

Sooner or later the dollar will collapse from Washington’s abuse of the dollar’s role as reserve currency, and the dollar will lose its “safe haven” status. US inflation will rise, and US political stability, along with America’s hegemonic power, will wane.

The rest of the world will sigh with relief. And China will have defeated the superpower without an arms race or firing a shot.


Link:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-virtual-recovery.html