#6 The National Institutes of Health spent approximately $442,340 to study the behavior of male prostitutes in Vietnam.
#7 Approximately $1 million of U.S. taxpayer money was used to create poetry for the Little Rock, New Orleans, Milwaukee and Chicago zoos. The goal of the "poetry" is to help raise awareness on environmental issues.
#8 The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs spent $175 million during 2010 to maintain hundreds of buildings that it does not even use. This includes a pink, octagonal monkey house in the city of Dayton, Ohio.
#9 $1.8 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars went for a "museum of neon signs" in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
#16 In 1816, another central bank was created. The Second Bank of the United States was established and was given a 20 year charter.
#17 Andrew Jackson, who became president in 1828, was determined to end the power of the central bankers over the United States.
#18 In fact, in 1832, Andrew Jackson's re-election slogan was "JACKSON and NO BANK!"
#19 On July 10th, 1832 President Jackson said the following about the danger of a central bank....
"It is not our own citizens only who are to receive the bounty of our government. More than eight millions of the stock of this bank are held by foreigners... is there no danger to our liberty and independence in a bank that in its nature has so little to bind it to our country? ... Controlling our currency, receiving our public moneys, and holding thousands of our citizens in dependence... would be more formidable and dangerous than a military power of the enemy."
#20 In 1835, President Jackson completely paid off the U.S. national debt. He is the only U.S. president that has ever been able to accomplish this.
#21 President Jackson vetoed the attempt to renew the charter of the Second Bank of the United States in 1836.
"...If you are skeptical about abolishing the Fed, just consider the following question: "Would those who voted for the Fed in 1913 have done so if they had known that:
1. After having a 125-year period of relatively stable money when the dollar was still close to its value in 1790, the dollar would be worth less than 5 cents at the end of the century?
2. The longest and severest depression the country had ever experienced would occur a mere 20 years after the creation of the Fed and that the Fed had a major responsibility for the disaster?
3. And the number of bank failures would increase and not decrease?
The answer clearly would have been "no." Why are we keeping a failed institution?..."
"If there is vindication here, Mr. Paul says, it is for Austrian economic theory — an anti-Keynesian model that many mainstream economists consider radical and dismiss as magical thinking.
The theory argues that markets operate properly only when they are unfettered by government regulation and intervention. It holds that the government should not have a central bank or dictate economic or monetary policy. Once the government begins any economic planning, such thinking goes, it ends up making all the economic decisions for its citizens, essentially enslaving them."
He's being let in from the cold because he's been right, and everyone else has been wrong. "Wow, a non-corrupt, principled politician! What a novelty!"
The congressman is right to make that point, as he is when he argues that:
"State secrecy is anathema to a free society. Why exactly should Americans be prevented from knowing what their government is doing in their name? In a free society we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, however, we are in big trouble. The truth is that our foreign spying, meddling and outright military intervention in the post–World War II era has made us less secure, not more, and we have lost countless lives and spent trillions of dollars for our trouble. Too often it's the official government lies that have given us endless and illegal wars resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths and casualties."
Saturday, December 11, 2010
"There's nothing funnier to 99% of America than Ben Bernanke's claim that he's not printing money.
Especially when, thanks to the Jon Stewart, you see Ben's latest 60 Minutes interview juxtaposed against another 60 Minutes interview when the Chairman said he was printing money -- the difference between now and then being that the Fed was buying corporate assets and now it's buying government bonds."
"A majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the nation’s independent central bank, saying the U.S. Federal Reserve should either be brought under tighter political control or abolished outright, a poll shows."
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Clinton aide's idea: Let Iraq shoot down U.S. plane...A new book says a cabinet member proposed letting Saddam kill an American airman as a pretext for war
At one of my very first breakfasts, while Berger and Cohen were engaged in a sidebar discussion down at one end of the table and Tenet and Richardson were preoccupied in another, one of the Cabinet members present leaned over to me and said, “Hugh, I know I shouldn’t even be asking you this, but what we really need in order to go in and take out Saddam is a precipitous event — something that would make us look good in the eyes of the world. Could you have one of our U-2s fly low enough — and slow enough — so as to guarantee that Saddam could shoot it down?”
The hair on the back of my neck bristled, my teeth clenched, and my fists tightened. I was so mad I was about to explode. I looked across the table, thinking about the pilot in the U-2 and responded, “Of course we can ...” which prompted a big smile on the official’s face.
What this cabinet member suggested to Gen. Shelton is called a "false flag" attack. It is not a conspiracy theory, it is a commonly-used tactic to emotionally move an electorate in a direction you want to move them. There is a long list of documented cases of these being used, if you want to do a Google search for "false flag." In this instance, notice the off-the-cuff suggestion to kill Americans. Notice the casual use of scheming to manipulate the American public, and the lengths he was willing to go to make it happen.
Doesn't knowledge of this change the way you read news stories and events? Understanding how these people think, and the lengths they are willing to go, aren't you forced to look through a more skeptical lens at events as they are reported?
Sunday, October 17, 2010
It’s amazing, given the attention the Tea Party allegedly is paying to
government waste and government spending, that there hasn’t been more
controversy about the now-seemingly-inevitable arrival of “QE2” – a
second massive round of money-printing cooked up by the Fed to prop up
both the government and certain sectors of the economy. A more overtly
anticapitalist and oligarchical pattern of behavior than the Fed’s
“Quantitative Easing” program could not possibly be imagined, but the
country is strangely silent on the issue. (bold and underline mine)
The Fed is the problem. Matt Taibbi sums it up perfectly.
chief economist, Hal Varian, highlights how economic data can be gathered far more rapidly using online sources. The official Consumer Price Index data are collected by hand from shops, and only published monthly with a time lag of several weeks.
Private enterprise doing something we've all been told only the government can provide.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
U.S. government medical researchers intentionally infected hundreds of people in Guatemala, including institutionalized mental patients, with gonorrhea and syphilis without their knowledge or permission more than 60 years ago.
Again, if I had suggested that the U.S. government was medically-experimenting on people, you would have called me a conspiracy theorist. Don't stories like this make you read stories about U.S. policy with more skepticism? I don't see how it wouldn't have that effect, but so many people still seem to think, "Well, they would never do something like that!"
Last week, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights released a comprehensive report detailing its findings regarding the May, 2010, Israeli attack on the six-ship flotilla attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to Israel-blockaded Gaza. The report has been largely ignored in the American media despite the fact (or, more accurately: because) it found that much of the Israeli force used "was unnecessary, disproportionate, excessive and inappropriate and resulted in the wholly avoidable killing and maiming of a large number of civilian passengers"; that "at least six of the killings can be characterized as extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions"; and that Israel violated numerous international human rights conventions, including the Fourth Geneva Conventions (see p. 38, para. 172).
Let me suggest that if this same report had come out about Iran, it would be running 24 hours a day on Fox News, and demands of an immediate trillion-dollar war would be thrust upon Washington.
"The average American doesn't realize how much of the laws are written by lobbyists" to protect incumbent interests, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told Atlantic editor James Bennet at the Washington Ideas Forum. "It's shocking how the system actually works."
The image you have in your mind of Washington politicians as dutiful servants of their electorate is a fantasy. When are you going to realize that?
CRONKITE: What we just heard. So now the question is basically right now, how will this affect the election? And I have a feeling that it could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I'm a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing.
The U.S. Army has used local television stations in the U.S. as training posts for some of its psychological-operations personnel, The Upshot has learned. Since at least 2001, both WRAL, a CBS affiliate in Raleigh, N.C., and WTOC, a CBS affiliate in Savannah, Ga., have regularly hosted active-duty soldiers from the Army's 4th Psychological Operations group as part of the Army's Training With Industry program. Training With Industry is designed to offer career soldiers a chance to pick up skills through internships and fellowships with private businesses. The PSYOPS soldiers used WRAL and WTOC to learn broadcasting and communications expertise that they could apply in their mission, as the Army describes it, of "influenc[ing] the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign audiences."
If I had suggested to you that some of American media is in collusion with spy elements of the U.S., you'd have laughed at me and called me a conspiracy theorist.
It's almost a done deal. We are about to see herbal preparations disappear, and the ability of herbalists to prescribe them will also be lost.
Big Pharma has almost reached the finish line of its decades-long battle to wipe out all competition. As of 1 April 2011—less than eight months from now—virtually all medicinal herbs will become illegal in the European Union.
Regulations, especially now with the corporate-government cronyism in full swing, are nothing more than one industry trying to hurt their competitors. How is making herbs ILLEGAL in the EU helping citizens? Come on people, wake up.
The Pentagon will not tell the public what it costs to locate, target and kill a single Taliban soldier because the price-tag is so scandalously high that it makes the Taliban appear to be Super-Soldiers. As set out in this article, the estimated cost to kill each Taliban is as high as $100 million, with a conservative estimate being $50 million. A public discussion should be taking place in the United States regarding whether the Taliban have become too expensive an enemy to defeat.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
So, you still think China gives a shit about what happens to our economy?
The US military cannot locate hundreds of sensitive nuclear missile components, according to several government officials familiar with a Pentagon report on nuclear safeguards.
The American Civil Liberties Union reported June 10 that “Anti-terrorism training materials currently being used by the Department of Defense (DoD) teach its personnel that free expression in the form of public protests should be regarded as ‘low level terrorism’.”
According to the civil liberties’ watchdog: “Among the multiple-choice questions included in its Level 1 Antiterrorism Awareness training course, the DoD asks the following: ‘Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorist activity?’ To answer correctly, the examinee must select ‘protests’.”
Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
You don't think things have gone too far, huh?
So, what are our tax dollars for the FBI really going to? Here is a man who preached and practiced non-violence. What threat did he represent? A security threat? No. His threat was to power. Is this what you want?
You could be on a secret government database or watch list for simply taking a picture on an airplane. Some federal air marshals say they're reporting your actions to meet a quota, even though some top officials deny it.
The air marshals, whose identities are being concealed, told 7NEWS that they're required to submit at least one report a month. If they don't, there's no raise, no bonus, no awards and no special assignments.
This was expected, but it still hits you in the gut. Poverty in America has hit the highest level the Census has ever recorded, according to a new report out today.
Are the Feds really protecting us? BP? Themselves? It's hard to tell, isn't it?
* Reuters noted in January:
U.S. securities regulators originally treated the New York Federal Reserve's bid to keep secret many of the details of the American International Group bailout like a request to protect matters of national security, according to emails obtained by Reuters.
* And Business Week wrote on May 23, 2006:
President George W. Bush has bestowed on his intelligence czar, John Negroponte, broad authority, in the name of national security, to excuse publicly traded companies from their usual accounting and securities-disclosure obligations
More evidence that corporations and U.S. government are too tightly allied.
City officials said that the new legislation would outlaw smoking in parks, beaches, marinas, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas throughout the American city.
That means no smoking in Central Park or on the Coney Island boardwalk.
One of the most incendiary details in the documents is that Blackwater, through Total Intelligence, sought to become the "intel arm" of Monsanto, offering to provide operatives to infiltrate activist groups organizing against the multinational biotech firm.
It could be quite some time, as Petraeus agreed that “success over the insurgency” could be another 9-10 years away.
Is "controlling an insurgency" the same as "war?"
Capt. Alex Perez, in a new set of recordings, threatened to fire less productive cops and talked openly to other supervisors about summons quotas.
Again, another example of where right-wing arguments that "government should be run like a business" are complete and utter idiocy.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hired ITRR, the Instititute of Terrorism Research and Response, a Jerusalem based company owned by the Mossad and tied directly to the Israeli Ministry of Defense to track “dissidents” and “activists.” In the process, they managed to find the most dangerous terrorist organization of all, the governor’s own non-profit organization, one supporting school funding initiatives.
This boggles the mind. Our own tax money, being paid to a foreign power, to create a database of ourselves. It's hard to fathom.
"I'm disappointed that we've only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million," says Wendy Greuel, the city's controller, while releasing an audit report.
The Los Angeles City Controller said on Thursday the city's use of its share of the $800 billion federal stimulus fund has been disappointing.
The city received $111 million in stimulus under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) approved by the Congress more than year ago.
Umm. The reason you only "created" 55 jobs with millions of dollars is GOVERNMENTS DON'T CREATE JOBS! They get in the way of those people that DO create jobs. They waste their money (case in point), and they create regulations that are unnecessary and illogical. Where do you think that money went? It went to their buddies. It went to political cronies. People, stop buying the rhetoric that government stimulus creates anything. Please, just stop. When will you have enough evidence. Just because Krugman says its so, doesn't mean it is.
Obama's BP Gulf Spill Committee Intimidating Other Scientists, Says They're Doing "Illegal" Sampling
Did you get that? There are millions of people living on the Gulf Coast. If they choose to hire scientists to check the safety of the water around their property, they are committing a crime. Why? Because the U.S. Government has a MONOPOLY on testing the whole Gulf...and they don't like having their work checked, apparently. Come on! Does it get more obvious than this that the net result of government intervention is a negative?! The corporate-government unholy alliance has gone too far. It's quite obvious, isn't it?
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak approved an order for 20 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in a deal valued at around $2.75 billion, according to Haaretz. The Israeli Air Force expects to take delivery of the first aircraft in 2015. The article quotes Barak saying the F-35 costs $96 million a copy. The entire deal will be funded by American military aid.
Gee, I can't figure out why those Muslims hate us! Hmmm...
Steve Miller of Clarkston said he plans to fight the county and has gotten his 2-acre property rezoned so that he can have his garden. But he still faces nearly $5,000 in fines, Miller told Channel 2.
Miller has been growing a variety of vegetables for 15 years, and his neighbors support him. He sells what he grows at local markets and gives some away, he said.
Government is important business. We do important things.
This is a great commentary. It very clearly points out how both side's arguments for intervention, directly counter their own arguments for intervention when the subject changes. He does a beautiful job of showing the silliness and hypocrisy of Republican and Democrat arguments.
Justice Breyer Suggests That Burning a Quran Could be Like Shouting 'Fire' in a Crowded Theatre--Thus Not Protected by 1st Amendment
Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer said on Tuesday that globalization may change the way the First Amendment applies in the United States, and he suggested that Pastor Terry Jones’ proposed Quran-burning may or may not be protected under the First Amendment.
Are you kidding me?
George W. Bush, despite all his recent bravado about being an apostle of small government and budget-slashing, is the biggest spending president since Lyndon B. Johnson. In fact, he's arguably an even bigger spender than LBJ.
If a company called Aqua Bounty Technologies has its way, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will approve its application for genetically engineered salmon eggs that will grow into full-size salmon in half the time it takes regular salmon.
That FDA...always looking out for your health, right? No, seriously, you think that. Do you really think they know what the long-term effects of something like this is? No one does.
The Pope's own astronomer (really) says that Intelligent Design is hogwash (really) and that he'd be happy to baptise extraterrestrials (really)
Intelligent aliens may be living among the stars and are likely to have souls, a senior Vatican scientist said yesterday.
Over the last year, almost two-thirds of the dollars reported as going to small business contracts actually went to larger corporations, including AT&T, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Hewlett-Packard, Office Depot, Xerox, and Dell among other household names.
Most government programs aimed at helping "the little guy," do just the opposite. It's time to admit this. The only organizations that have the giant resources to keep tabs on the labyrinth of laws and regulations are huge corporations. Is this helping the little guy? No. It's just gaming the system for the rich and well-connected. Little guys benefit from simplicity. They don't have the resources to deal with complexity and bureaucracy. Wanna help the little guy? Get rid of regulation, stimulus, and subsidies.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Russia's finance minister has urged his countrymen and women to support the country - by drinking and smoking more.
Alexei Kudrin called for increased consumption of tobacco and alcohol in a bid to boost the state's revenues, reports Metro.
It really irks me when I hear people on the right say, "just run government like a corporation." This reveals true ignorance of what government is, and what risk that would entail.
Notice what Russia is doing here. It is encouraging unhealthy things so that it can survive. This is what things do when they are created, they fight to survive. This includes governmental entities.
Now, you say, "Well, this is Russia. The U.S. would never do anything like this." Well, don't be so sure. If reading this blog hasn't convinced you of the immoral and unhealthy alliances between the U.S. government and Monsanto, Bernie Madoff, Goldman Sachs, and Northrup Grummun, then consider this...why are interest rates so low?
The reason they are so low, is that they don't want you to save your money. "But, I thought saving money is a good, healthy behavior," you say. It is...for you, not for the government. The government is encouraging you to take more risk than you probably should. It encourages the risky behavior of stock market investment. They've rigged the system so that its the only place where there is a chance of getting a return on your money.
Now I ask you, which is riskier, cigarettes and booze, or potentially going broke so that you can't pay medical bills?
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Attention Liberals: Your Federal Income Tax Goes to War...Not Roads, Not Schools, Not Food Stamps...WAR
"... the second largest and probably the largest source of revenue for the Taliban has been U.S. taxpayers. We are giving the Taliban our money instead of investing it in useful things at home or abroad....[according to] a report from the Majority Staff of the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs in the U.S. House of Representatives."
Well, according to George Bush, you're either with us, or you're with the terrorists. He wants to attack anyone supporting terrorism. Well, Georgie, I'd start killing Texans. They're close to you, and they LOVE "supportin' the troops"...which apparently means the Taliban's troops. (Oh by the way, opium is number one...something that was almost extinguished when the Taliban were in charge.)
Friday, September 10, 2010
This is it, folks. This is why concentrating too much power at the top is so dangerous. Atrocities are carried out and tolerated because we shift responsibility to authority. It's human nature. Push freedom and power down to the individual, and there are less of these things. Please watch this fascinating video.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Great video showing what Monsanto is doing to traditional farming. Watch this video and notice how angry you are afterward. Now think about how many people from Monsanto the last few presidents have appointed to the USDA and FDA.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Nine years after 9/11, can anyone doubt that Al Qaeda is simply not that deadly a threat?
No shit. More 20/20 hindsight from well-respected Washington intellect. There WERE people (ahem...Ron Paul) who suggested this beforehand, you know. Shouldn't we be giving the ideas of those people a tad more consideration? Having genius insight 7 years later doesn't do us any good. Let's consider an ideology that helps us avoid these mistakes BEFOREHAND. BEFORE we spend the money. BEFORE we get our boys and girls killed. BEFORE we risk our country's integrity and goodwill.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
In an article in Sunday's Washington Post, former Clinton-era economic adviser Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard University public policy lecturer Linda J. Bilmes say that the Iraq war forced the US to take on more debt than it had to, and caused in part the rising oil prices that resulted in large amounts of money flowing out of the US economy.
No shit. Thanks for the 20/20 hindsight...7 years too late. OK, so let's look at who called this BEFORE it happened. These dumbshit economists that seem to get so much attention only seem to be smart in retrospect. Let's ask ourselves which economists got it right BEFORE it happened. Invariably, you'll find that economists following the Austrian school, NOT the Keynesians, had it right. They had it right on the banks, they had it right on the mortgage industry, they had it right on the war, they had it right on military spending, they had it right on the efficacy of the Fed. How much more evidence to you need Let's stop listening to Stiglitz and Krugman! Don't you see it's time for a change of philosophy?
Are they really our ally?
CBS News correspondent Richard Schlesinger reports the American Society of Civil Engineers issues a report card every 4 years on the state of America's infrastructure. The last one in 2009 was not good at all. The overall grade was a "D."
Yet we're bailing out certain banks, and building infrastructure in other countries.
United Nations investigators, ordered to write a report about Israel’s atomic capabilities, said they couldn’t compile enough information to assess the extent of the country’s nuclear program.
The International Atomic Energy Agency released documents today showing a split between member countries who want more light shed on Israel’s nuclear work and others that say the Vienna-based organization doesn’t have the right to pry.
"...doesn't have the right to pry"??!!! WTF?! Can American's not see the double standard here? Are you kidding me?!
According to a team at Bloomberg News, at one point last year the U.S. had lent, spent or guaranteed as much as $12.8 trillion to rescue the economy. The Bloomberg reporters have been following that money. Alison Stewart spoke with one, Bob Ivry, to talk about the true cost to the taxpayer of the Wall Street bailout.
Let's do the math...$12.8 trillion divided by 100 million households in the U.S., that's $128,000 per household. Let's ask the average American what they would prefer, saving SOME banks, or $128k. Hmmm....I can't imagine what they'd choose.
The security company Blackwater Worldwide formed a network of 30 shell companies and subsidiaries to try to get millions of dollars in government business after the company faced strong criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq, The New York Times reported.
How nice of them to change the name, so that the government could avoid the embarrassment of continuing to give money to Blackwater after the atrocities they inflicted.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Another day, another disappointment for progressive Democrats. We learn from former auto-industry car czar Steve Rattner that Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said "Fuck the UAW" during tough takeover talks...
Having the government own GM is having an interesting effect on their perception. Liberals supported the various bailouts because they wanted to "save jobs." This is an asinine idea on many levels. First, corporations aren't U.S. citizens. They "live" in many countries, and the jobs they create are all over. They have no national allegiances. There are numerous blog posts below showing where bailed-out corporations have been "creating jobs" over the past couple years, and it's NOT in the U.S. Also, as you can see from Rahm's quote above, being an owner changes your goals. GM isn't trying to create jobs, it's trying to survive. You know what would have "created jobs?" Letting GM die, then allowing new businesses, with better products, buy-up those factories on the cheap. Then we'd be making wind turbines or electric cars or something consumers actually want, and can be run profitably.
Another revised Afghan policy: the US will tolerate "some" corruption. Just like U.S. Taxpayers do with Congress
U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan are developing a strategy that would tolerate some corruption in the country but target the most corrosive abuses by more tightly regulating U.S. contracting procedures, according to senior defense officials.
You can't make this stuff up. The Onion could have made this story. What the hell, people?! Spreading corruption around the world, is that how far our standards have lowered? You still think these wars are about spreading freedom and democracy?
Friday, September 3, 2010
As depositors thronged branches of Afghanistan's biggest bank, President Hamid Karzai told Afghans on Thursday not to panic shortly after his brother, a major shareholder in the beleaguered Kabul Bank, called for intervention by the United States to head off a financial meltdown.
Are you kidding me? How can you people not get mad at this?
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Faced with mounting debt and looming costs from the new federal health-care law, many local governments are leaving the hospital business, shedding public facilities that can be the caregiver of last resort.
Whenever I tell someone I'm a libertarian, they inevitably say, "But, government does good things like hospitals and roads..." But, look at this story closely. Look at how ridiculous this is. We're spending trillions on futile wars and bailing out gamblers on Wall Street, but we're shutting down hospitals! Liberals need to wake up. The power and money they're so readily willing to give is not being used for the purposes they think it is. The proportion of the overall money going to liberal causes is but a speck of the total. You're getting duped.
Suspicions were raised inside Pakistan’s military and intelligence organizations when American military contractors employed by Blackwater/Xe showed up on the scene immediately after the crash, seizing the black box and “other materials.” There is no confirmation that parachutes or electronic equipment had been removed when Blackwater/Xe security relinquished control of the crash scene to Pakistani investigators.
"This," a leading American supporter of President George W Bush wrote in a British newspaper back in February 2003, just before the invasion of Iraq, "is our imperial moment".
He went on to argue that the British had no right to criticise America for doing what they themselves had done so enthusiastically a century before.
CIA Making Secret Payments To Members Of Afghanistan Government
We complain about corruption in government, while we exacerbate it.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
An enormous and impassioned crowd rallied at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial this weekend, summoned by Glenn Beck, a conservative broadcaster who called for a religious rebirth in America at the site where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech exactly 47 years earlier.
Glenn Beck and other conservatives want U.S. government power used to further their holy war goals.
FOX News Tries to Demonize NYC Mosque Funders...Turns Out It's Same Guy That Owns Good Chunk of FOX News
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|The Parent Company Trap|
Why do people watch that channel? Can it be any more clear that its simply propaganda?
MUST READ: America's Top Military Chief: Debt is Main Threat to U.S. National Security ... Pentagon Must Cut Spending
The national debt is the single biggest threat to national security, according to Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Tax payers will be paying around $600 billion in interest on the national debt by 2012, the chairman told students and local leaders in Detroit.
For how long have I been preaching this now? Believe me yet, or do you need a more credible source than the head of the military saying we're spending too much on the military?
Thursday, August 26, 2010
But the situation is actually much, much worse, according to Boston University economics professor Laurence Kotlikoff.
“Forget the official debt,” he tells Aaron in this clip. The “real” deficit - including non-budgetary items like unfunded liabilities of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the defense budget - is actually $202 trillion, the professor and author calculates; or 15 times the “official" numbers.
Uhhh....do you take credit cards?
As the privacy controversy around full-body security scans begins to simmer, it’s worth noting that courthouses and airport security checkpoints aren’t the only places where backscatter x-ray vision is being deployed. The same technology, capable of seeing through clothes and walls, has also been rolling out on U.S. streets.
How about this? You feel they've crossed the line yet?
If buying a used car is among your cost-cutting measures...be prepared to pay up to 30-percent more than you did last year. It is a simple case of supply and demand. Trouble is...there are fewer used cars. The cash-for-clunkers program took a bunch off the market.
Government intervention only temporarily changes the market. It doesn't solve problems. The distortions confuse consumers and unfairly distribute benefits.
An invisible heat-beam weapon developed in secrecy by the military is set for use in a U.S. jail.
Law enforcement officials recently revealed plans to use the nonlethal device at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Pitchess Detention Center, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. The weapon, which shoots an invisible beam of energy, would be used in the prisoners' dormitory to stop an assault or break up a fight.
How about torture devices in our prisons? Does that convince you that we've gone too far? Does that get you mad enough?
Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn't violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway — and no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements.
That is the bizarre — and scary — rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants — with no need for a search warrant.
Are you mad yet? No? Seriously, what does it take for you?
Budget cuts are forcing police around the country to stop responding to fraud, burglary and theft calls as officers focus limited resources on violent crime.
...and the majority of that violent crime is drug-related. Let's let cops get back to doing their jobs. If you want to argue that people don't need guns, then you better make sure cops are going to burglary calls.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The economy goes in and out, and from time to time the US manufacturing sector booms. But this chart, put together by Paul Kedrosky, makes it pretty clear: as a share of total non-farm payrolls, manufacturing jobs are only going in one direction (down).
This just shows you that as much as you all think government can "save" jobs, and keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S., it cannot. There are other, larger forces at work (like huge hourly wage discrepancies between countries that the market naturally wants to even out) that simply are too powerful. All the power and money you give to the government, and it cannot provide what it tells you it can. Aren't you starting to feel foolish?
When I watch this, it makes me think mainstream media people don't understand the concept of freedom. They're stuck in the false left/right, Repub/Dem dynamic, and they get confused when they see Dr. Paul speak on these issues. "Whoa! A Republican that supports civil rights! What a scoop!"
Why can't Dems and Repubs see that their segmented freedom concept is silly? Why freedom here and not there? The same concepts underlie civil as well as economic freedom. How are they able to separate it in their heads?
An inquiry in the US has revealed that corrupt officials in North Carolina have deliberately withheld or distorted evidence in over two hundred judicial cases.
"Corrupt officials." What corrupted them? Were they born that way? Or was it the power given them that did it? The unnatural power to control people's lives, corrupts the soul. Want to save some souls, take that power away.
So while the “last full U.S. combat brigade” have left Iraq, just under 50,000 soldiers from specially trained heavy, infantry and Stryker brigades will stay, as well as two combat aviation brigades.
So, while the news hyped combat forces leaving Iraq, all that really happened was they changed the name of the brigades. Welcome to propaganda.
...once again confirms that not only is the Fed populated by the most intellectually incapable and corrupt people, but that anything coming out of Columbia University (and the Ivy League in general) is not worth the paper it is printed on. Watch the attached clip to see a former Fed director go from comfortable, to fidgety, to stuttering, to thoroughly discredited, to in dire need of diaper change, in under 2 minutes. Last but not least, here is the soundbite of the year: "You have faith in the central bank." No further comment necessary.
What a great video! For all of you that have great faith in the Federal Reserve because you assume they know better than the rest of us, or better than the market, or can predict or regulate with some effectiveness, please watch this clip closely. The guy has no clue. He wrote a paper months before Iceland collapsed saying it was sound! He says be based HIS opinion on "trust" of ICELAND'S central bankers!
Come on. Do you really need more proof than this that the Fed is total bullshit? A corrupt ruse to make you think they are providing a benefit to the system. Apparently, it's a clip from an upcoming documentary by Charles Ferguson, called Inside Job.
KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The Pentagon says it plans to spend $100 million on air base expansions in Afghanistan with construction efforts continuing into at least 2011.
While roads, bridges, and dams are falling apart here.
Water supplied in Gaza unfit for drinking; Israel prevents entry of materials needed to repair system
Almost 95 percent of the water pumped in the Gaza Strip is polluted and unfit for drinking. This warning was recently issued by the UN Environment Programme, the Palestinian Water Authority, the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility, and international aid organizations.
Sure, the blockade is just for protection...
Sunday, August 22, 2010
In squads of roaring dirt bikes and armed to the teeth, Taliban fighters are spreading like a brush fire into remote and defenseless villages across northern Afghanistan.
The fighters swarm into town, assemble the villagers and announce Taliban control, often at night and without any resistance.
According to Petraeus, everything is going just fine.
Now, U.S. officials, hoping to stem what they see as a huge loss of potential income and jobs for Afghans, are getting into the rug business.
The Pentagon is poised to award a one-year, no-bid contract worth about $1 million to Tremayne Consulting to expand the market for Afghan carpets, a senior defense official said, speaking anonymously under rules set by the Pentagon.
Your tax dollars setting up an Afghan carpet business. Just think about the justice of that when you're cashing your unemployment check.
The Obama administration is seeking authority from Congress that would compel internet service providers (ISPs) to turn over records of an individual's internet activity for use in secretive FBI probes.
In another instance where Americans are urged to trust their political minders, The Washington Post reported last month that "the administration wants to add just four words--'electronic communication transactional records'--to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge's approval."
Wait a second, aren't liberals supposed to be champions of privacy rights? Hmmm...So, if Dems and Repubs aren't for privacy. And if liberals nor conservatives are for those rights. Then who's left? Answer: libertarians.
In another blow to Israeli shares, the Harvard Management Company notified the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday that it had sold all its holdings in Israeli companies during the second quarter of 2010. No reason for the sale was mentioned. The Harvard Management Company manages Harvard University’s endowment.
Boycotts are an effective libertarian way to encourage change. Good for Harvard!
Still, it got NEWSWEEK all nostalgic for the glory days of the CIA and KGB, when every covert rendezvous in a faraway capital might be blown up by an exploding cigar. Even then, some of the cleverest, sneakiest, and strangest operations were undone—by small mistakes, good counterintelligence, or dumb luck. To put the current caper in context, here are some of our favorite real-life episodes of espionage (the ones we know about, anyway).
OK, so here we have:
- U.S. spying on U.N. ambassadors
- U.S. starts coup in Iran in 1952
- false-flag operation by Israel firebombing civilians to try and make it look like it was a terrorist group
- A CIA-supported coup of democratically-elected Congo prime minister
- U.S.-supported killing of Moroccan dissident
- Eight assassination attempts on Castro by CIA
So, why is it so hard for Americans to filter today's news through a skeptical filter? This stuff happens. It only seems reasonable to second-guess certain political game-changing events. But, when I do it, I'm called a conspiracy theorist. I don't think everything that happens is a CIA plot, but taking all news stories at face value seems even more foolish to me.
The U.S. government's current debt problem is perceived to be a once in a life time event by some, but governments have long been suffering from debt worries.
Take the Roman Empire which, in 55 BC, was already concerned about its public debt and the devaluing of its currency against silver. Note complaints about "public assistance" even back then.
It had a great many more years of decline before its demise, but the devaluation of the Roman currency seems to have played some part in the collapse of the period's largest empire.
Learn from history, or be forced to repeat it.
Christopher Laird explains this chart as follows:
The point of emphasizing it's from the end of WW2 is that we are not talking merely about a banking crisis, or whatever. We are talking about the deleveraging of the greatest economic/finance bubble in history. Once the level of leverage reached 60 to 1, it becomes impossible to stay ahead of the deleveraging, even for central banks. The implications are staggering. Every major economy in the world is involved. The outcomes of deleveraging this monster bubble, represented by the green oval, will be what I term Credit Crisis II. At 60 to 1 leverage, a loss of 1 to 2% wipes out the capital.
In other words, the system keeps paying for their bills with more and more credit. There is an endgame to this behavior, and eventually the debt collector will come. The worse the debt, the more the pain.
In Washington, of course, it's another story. Finance/Credit companies spent well over $30 million in lobbying in each of the last two years. If you take a look at contributions to Banking Committee members, you always find Finance and Credit companies at or near the top of the list. The credit card companies' dominance of congress was never more apparent than in the Bankruptcy Bill back in 2005, which essentially made it impossible for people with credit card debt to file for bankruptcy to keep their houses.
Do not underestimate the importance of the Bankruptcy Bill. In essence, the credit card companies convinced Congress to alter a private contract between you and them. The contract used to be that the 20% rate they charged was acceptable because when you went bankrupt, they got nothing. Now, they changed it. Now you can't. Loans like this pay a much different rate in a free market, more like 4%. But, because you wanted to give lots of power to do "good" things, they have just enslaved a whole boatload of poor people to debt enslavement for decades.
The Congressional Budget Office has released their report on the threat of a fiscal crisis in the U.S. and it makes for informative reading. Most interesting would be the CBO's two conflicting visions for where the country's debt levels are headed, and what actions will need to be taken to prevent a fiscal crisis in either outcome.
According to the CBO, if the government follows its baseline scenario for spending, there will need to be additional cuts to spending of 1% of GDP to prevent an increase in the U.S. debt to GDP ratio in the next 25 years. In the alternative scenario, the government would need to make cuts equal to 5% of GDP.
The baseline scenario is spending under current law. The alternative scenario includes changes to law that are anticipated by the CBO (this includes the extension of the Bush tax cuts and increased Medicare spending).
How do you feel about all those "necessary" spending programs now?
For some perspective on the current state of the labor market, today's chart illustrates the amount of time it took for the unemployment rate to ultimately dip below (and stay below) its recession-end level for each recession since the late 1940s. For example, at the end of the recession that ended in November 1982, the unemployment rate stood at 10.8%. As the chart illustrates, it took two months for the unemployment rate to drop below (and stay below) the recession-end level of 10.8%. It is noteworthy that, over the past two decades, it has taken significantly longer (on average) for the unemployment rate to drop below its recession-end level. The reasons for this increased time for the unemployment rate to turn around varies. However, one explanation has it that following World War II, the US found itself in a strong/dominant economic position. It took time, but eventually many of the remaining world economies began to recover and we are currently witnessing increased competition as a result of the rise of the rest.
The U.S. has more competition. The U.S. has more debt. These things mean that the assumptions you are making about the U.S.'s ability to recover may be faulty, based on backward-looking analysis.
A month after the Deepwater Horizon disaster began, scientists from the University of South Florida made a startling announcement. They had found signs that the oil spewing from the well had formed a 6-mile-wide plume snaking along in the deepest recesses of the gulf.
The reaction that USF announcement received from the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agencies that sponsored their research:
"I got lambasted by the Coast Guard and NOAA when we said there was undersea oil," USF marine sciences dean William Hogarth said. Some officials even told him to retract USF's public announcement, he said, comparing it to being "beat up" by federal officials.
So, you assume the Feds are working for YOU, huh?
In its latest investor letter, Matterhorn Asset Management warns of a hyperinflationary depression worse than Japan's, as piles and piles of worthless paper collapse in on themselves.
Who do they blame for this predicament? The Fed, of course.
In this chart, they claim to back-measure the CPI going to 1800, and the point to take away is that while there were inflationary spells in the past, what really got the ball rolling was the creation of The Federal Reserve and the dissolution of the gold standard.
You see where on the chart the Fed was created, right?
The children of Kandahar don't greet U.S. and NATO trucks with flowers. They often hurl rocks in the crumbling mud-brick neighborhoods where the U.S. aims to crush the insurgency by year's end.
Winning hearts and minds.
Personal drug use should be legalised to cut crime and improve health, a top doctor has said.
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, the outgoing president of the Royal College of Physicians, suggested that relaxing the law on possessing substances such as heroin, cocaine and cannabis would not increase the number of addicts.
This could save vast amounts of taxpayers' money, he suggests.
In a “secret ruling” by Federal Judge Henry Kennedy which was issued in July but released to the public today, the judge ordered Adnan Farhan Abd Al Latif released after ruling that not only did the government have no evidence of wrongdoing by Latif, but that he provided “a plausible alternative story to explain his travel.”
Latif was reportedly abused for years while in custody at Guantanamo
Bay, and his judge had to file an “emergency motion” to require that
prison officials provide him with a mattress and blanket. A second
motion was then made to try to get him a pillow, but this was denied.
Nine years, folks. Nine years. We tortured him with no evidence.
American officials were stunned Monday by a surprise announcement from President Hamid Karzai's spokesman calling for the dissolution within four months of the private security companies that foreign armies and aid organizations in Afghanistan rely on to do their daily work.
Interesting. Just as the U.S. media is hyping the "combat" forces exiting Iraq, leaving behind a ton of hundreds of thousands of private security people, Karzai is demanding they leave.
By the way, the "embassy" in Iraq is larger than Vatican City. Do you really think the U.S. is "leaving" Iraq?
The legendary investor's Soros Fund Management – which has approximately $25bn (£16bn) under management – reduced its equity investments by 42pc to $5.1bn by the end of June, down from $8.8bn at the end of March.
What have you got in your 401k?
The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) just announced:
For the seafood to pose a health risk, the food would have to be heavily contaminated with oil, and would therefore have a strong odor and taste of oil.
That is patently untrue.
As I pointed out in June:
Crude oil contains such powerful cancer-causing chemicals as benzene, toluene, heavy metals and arsenic.
As Bloomberg notes:
“Oil is a complex mixture containing substances like benzene, heavy metals, arsenic, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons -- all known to cause human health problems such as cancer, birth defects or miscarriages,” said Kenneth Olden, founding dean of New York’s CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, who is monitoring a panel on possible delayed effects.
Corexit breaks oil down into its constituent chemicals. So there could easily be toxic levels in the compounds that don't smell anything like oil.
For example, arsenic is odorless. So fish contaminated with arsenic will not smell or taste like oil.