June 2011 |







28
Jun 11

Five Biggest Threats To The US Economy

(Richard Blackden)  Inflation  The petrol station is as reliable a place as any to take America’s economic pulse. The sharp rise in gasoline prices in the first few months of the year knocked the confidence of consumers, who still account for about 70pc of the country’s gross domestic product.

That squeeze has been all the more painful because the majority of Americans have not enjoyed pay rises since the crisis. Indeed, inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings fell 1.6pc in the past 12 months. Like Sir Mervyn King at the Bank of England, Fed chief Ben Bernanke insists that inflation will prove short-lived.

The good news for the bulls is that gasoline prices have dropped by almost 10pc since reaching a three-year high at the start of May. While the news is improving, the Fed and The White House know their control over such a key variable is very limited.

House prices

Alongside their wages, house prices are the yardstick most Americans use to measure their financial well-being. Prices have already dropped a third from the peak they reached in 2006, according to the S&P/Shiller Index.

But the declines aren’t, for now at least, over. Almost three years on and the housing market is still grappling with the excess supply of homes left over by the boom. That’s meant more than a third of the homes currently being sold are classified as distressed sales.

The introduction in 2009 of a tax incentive to buy a home briefly spurred the market, but the volume of sales has retreated since it expired. While further declines in prices don’t pose the threat to America’s financial stability in the way they in 2008, the troubled state of the market remains a ball and chain around the economy.

 

Unemployment

It’s been the recovery’s Achilles heel. About 8m jobs were lost to the recession. Just over 1m have been created since.

After a disappointing 2010, the labour market gained momentum in the first four months of this year, helping push the unemployment below 9pc for the first time since the crisis. Importantly, signs of a turn in the market helped consumers battling higher gas prices.

Last month saw that momentum stall, with just 54,000 jobs created. Few now expect a quick turnaround. The Fed last week forecast that unemployment will stay above 8pc throughout 2012.

The more pressing question is whether May’s disappointment is the start of a worrying trend. The release this Friday’s release of June’s figure will begin to offer an answer.

 

The deficit

As with unemployment, there’s no quick fix to America’s deficit. A combination of costly, state-funded retirement programmes, high defence spending and the financial crisis have sent America’s share of debt to GDP ballooning to 62pc last year from 40pc before the recession.

Without an agreement to cut spending on programmes such as medicare, as well as tax increases, that ratio will worsen. Any accord before next year’s presidential election would be a major surprise.

But there’s a far more urgent deadline. If Congress fails to lift the country’s legal borrowing limit by August 2, the US could potentially default on its debt. Focused on Europe’s debt crisis, bond investors have so far paid little attention. But Republicans last week walked out of negotiations that have become increasingly fraught.

Though a failure to lift the limit remains remote, the prospect of negotiations going right to the wire and fraying investors’ nerves during a difficult summer is highly likely.

 

Europe’s debt crisis

Europe’s debt crisis has been lapping against US shores for more than a year now. And the failure of European leaders to find an answer is an increasing source of concern in Washington.

Mr Bernanke said last week that US banks have little direct exposure to Greek government debt. But there’s no doubt a disorderly default by Greece would cause convulsions across financial markets.

Perhaps the biggest impact of the current episode has been to drain some confidence from financial markets as well as businesses. The US economy can ill afford for more to seep away over the next few months.

Source-http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/8601623/Five-biggest-threats-to-the-US-economy.html


28
Jun 11

Nuke Lab Fire Danger

(Reuters) – New Mexico fire managers scrambled on Tuesday to reinforce crews battling a third day against an out-of-control blaze at the edge of one of the nation’s top nuclear weapons production centers.

The fire’s leading edge burned to within a few miles (kilometres) of a dump site where some 20,000 barrels of plutonium-contaminated waste is stored at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, fire officials said.

Officials for the government-run lab said the stored waste is considered low-level radioactive material and remains a safe distance from the fire in an area cleared of trees and other vegetation.

Carl Beard, director of operations for the lab, said there has been no release of radioactive or hazardous materials into the environment and there was no immediate threat to public safety, “even in these extreme conditions.”

The fire, believed to have been ignited Sunday by a fallen power line, has consumed nearly 61,000 acres (24,580 hectares) of thick, pine woodlands in the Santa Fe National Forest, which surrounds the lab complex and adjacent town of Los Alamos on three sides.

Tucker said he feared the so-called Las Conchas Fire, whipped by high, rapidly shifting winds, could soon double or triple in size.

“I seriously believe it could go to 100,000 acres (40,470 hectares),” he said at a news briefing. “We have fire all around the lab. It’s a road away.”

A small offshoot of the blaze jumped State Highway 4 onto the lab grounds on Monday, burning about an acre of property before it was extinguished about two hours later.

MONITORING AIR QUALITY

More than 300 firefighters, backed up by a fleet of seven water-dropping helicopters, battled the blaze, as fire managers scurried to bring in additional ground crews.

Lab officials also called in teams late Monday to monitor air quality, with high-volume air samplers ready to deploy. Hundreds of National Guard troops have been dispatched to back up law enforcement in the area.

Both the town of Los Alamos, home to about 10,000 residents, and the laboratory, with a work force of about 12,000 people, were evacuated on Monday, and the lab will remain closed at least through Wednesday, officials said.

Situated on a hilltop 35 miles (56 km) northwest of Santa Fe, the lab covers 36 square miles and includes about 2,000 buildings, none of which has yet burned.

Established during World War Two as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb, it remains one of the leading nuclear arms manufacturing facilities in the United States.

Nuclear Watch New Mexico said on its website its greatest concern was for the 20,000 55-gallon sealed drums of plutonium-tainted waste stored at one corner of the complex, some stacked in the open on asphalt, some in tents, some buried underground.

Fire officials say if the blaze did manage to reach the area, they would use fire-retardant foam to douse the flames. (Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Jerry Norton)

Source-http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/28/usa-wildfires-nuclear-idUSN1E75R1KH20110628


28
Jun 11

Martial Law Provision Secretly Passed In Congress

(examiner)  A noted human rights group spokesperson has stated that the mandatory military detention provision that the Senate Armed Services Committee secretly discussed and passed this week, is what martial-law states, not democracies do.

The Senate Armed Services Committee’s vote this week redefined rules for detaining terrorism suspects, including giving power to military judges to review cases of prisoners in Afghanistan and mandating military detention for important Qaeda suspects even captured on United States soil according to The New York Times.

The Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program senior counsel for Human Rights Watch, Andrea Prasow said “mandatory military detention is what martial-law states do, not democracies” reported The Times.

Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights.

The Times reported Friday that “the vote took place in a closed session and the text of the legislation has not been made public.”

The secretly discussed and approved package passed with a 25 to 1 vote as part of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Only a brief summary of the act as a whole has been released.

The mandatory detention provision was drafted by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the committee chairman, and Republicans John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

The Committee on Armed Services is the United States Senate committee that is empowered with legislative oversight of the United States military, including: the Department of Defense, military research and developmentnuclear energy (related to national security), members of the military benefits, the Selective Service System and other defense policy matters.

The Senate now decides whether to pass the bill.

Human rights defender Andrea Prasow called mandatory detention provision an “outrageous” undermining of prosecutorial discretion.

Before joining Human Rights Watch, Prasow was a defense attorney with the Office of Military Commissions. She served as assistant counsel for Salim Hamdan in the only contested military commission trial to date.

As an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York, Prasow served as habeas counsel for ten Saudi detainees at Guantanamo that took her to Bahrain, Yemen and Afghanistan.

She is a leading advocate for urging Washington executive branch and congress to implement counterterrorism policies that respect internationally recognized human rights.

Having recently returned from Kabul, today, from the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York where she will be on panels after films screened Sunday at 4:00 and 6:30pm, Prasow wrote the following message on Twitter:

“Lots of great questions at [Human Rights Watch] film fest tonight re why Obama terrorism prosecutions as bad as under Bush. Wish I had great answers.”

Continue reading on Examiner.com Martial law provision secretly passed in Congress Committee – National Human Rights | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/human-rights-in-national/martial-law-provision-secretly-passed-congress#ixzz1QcZHZhad


24
Jun 11

Italian Bank Stocks Plunge, Trading Suspended

(Mishs)  Italy, the big elephant in the room that the EU does not even see yet, may be waking up. Please consider, Italian Banks Plunge on Debt Concern

Italian banks slumped in Milan trading amid concern the European debt crisis may spread just as lenders face scrutiny from regulators over capital levels.

UniCredit SpA (UCG), Italy’s biggest bank, and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP), the second-largest, led lenders lower, tumbling as much as 8.9 percent and 7.2 percent respectively. Both stocks were briefly suspended after breaching limits on intraday swings. Italian 10-year bonds fell, increasing the additional yield investors demand to hold the securities instead of benchmark German bunds to the most since the euro was introduced in 1999.

“Contagion fears keep re-emerging as long as credible, lasting solutions in Greece are pending,” said Christian Weber, a Munich-based strategist at UniCredit.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said today the country’s banks are “well capitalized.” Speaking at a summit of European leaders in Brussels, Berlusconi said he wasn’t worried about Moody’s comments about the country’s banks.

The European Banking Authority yesterday updated its stress tests to take into account extra trading losses that banks may face on their holdings of sovereign debt from crisis-hit European Union countries including Greece.

Italian banks are also seeking to raise money from investors to bolster capital. Unione di Banche Italiane ScpA (UBI), Italy’s fourth-biggest bank, fell as much as 5 percent to 3.628 euros. The lender may struggle to lure buyers to its 1 billion- euro ($1.4 billion) rights offering, which closes today. The bank is offering investors eight new shares at 3.808 euros for every 21 held.

Juncker Principle in Action

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi appears to be following the “Juncker Principle”.

Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg PM and Head Euro-Zone Finance Minister says “When it becomes serious, you have to lie”.

Italian banks are in a scramble to raise capital even though the prime minister assures us that its banks are “well capitalized.”

Actions speak louder than lies.

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com


24
Jun 11

US Venture Capitalists Oppose Rogue Website Bill

(AFP) – A group of top US venture capitalists has written a letter to the US Congress opposing a bill aimed at cracking down on websites selling pirated and counterfeit goods.

Some of the top names in Silicon Valley were among the signatories to the letter expressing concern about the Theft of Intellectual Property Act, known as the Protect IP Act or PIPA.

The bill, which has the backing of Hollywood and the music industry, would give the US authorities more tools to shutter so-called “rogue websites” selling pirated movies, television shows and music and counterfeit goods.

In their letter to Congress, the venture capitalists said that as investors in technology companies they “agree with the goal of fostering a thriving digital content market online.

“Unfortunately, the current bill will not only fail to achieve that goal, it will stifle investment in Internet services, throttle innovation, and hurt American competitiveness,” they said.

“The bill is ripe for abuse, as it allows rights-holders to require third-parties to block access to and take away revenues sources for online services, with limited oversight and due process,” they said.

The US authorities have shut down dozens of websites selling counterfeit goods in recent months by seizing their Internet domain names, and the venture capitalists expressed concern about the approach.

“By requiring access to sites to be blocked by Domain Name System providers, it endangers the security and integrity of the Internet,” they said.

“While we understand PIPA was originally intended to deal with ‘rogue’ foreign sites, we think PIPA will ultimately put American innovators and investors at a clear disadvantage in the global economy,” they said.

“For one, services dedicated to infringement will simply make their sites easy to find and access in other ways, and determined users who want to find blocked content will simply shift to services outside the reach of US law.

“Second, PIPA creates a dangerous precedent and a convenient excuse for countries to engage in protectionism and censorship against US services,” they said. “These countries will point to PIPA as precedent for taking action against US technology and Internet companies.”

The 54 signatories to the letter include Netscape founder Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz, John Borthwick of Betaworks, angel investor Ron Conway, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures, David Sze of Greylock Partners and Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures.

A similar bill to the Protect IP Act, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 19-0 vote in November but never made it to the Senate floor.

In addition to the venture capitalists, the bill, which was reintroduced in the Senate last month, has also come under fire from digital rights and free speech groups.

Source-http://www.activistpost.com/2011/06/us-venture-capitalists-oppose-rogue.html


24
Jun 11

Al Gore, Agenda 21 And Population Control

(American Dream)  Imagine going to sleep one night and waking up many years later in a totally different world.  In this futuristic world, literally everything you do is tightly monitored and controlled by control freak bureaucrats in the name of “sustainable development” and with the goal of promoting “the green agenda”.  An international ruling body has centralized global control over all human activity.  What you eat, what you drink, where you live, how warm or cold your home can be and how much fuel you can use is determined by them.  Anyone that dissents or that tries to rebel against the system is sent off for “re-education”.  The human population is 90 percent lower than it is today in this futuristic society, and all remaining humans have been herded into tightly constricted cities which are run much like prisons.  Does all of that sound good to you?  Well, this is what Agenda 21 is all about.

Yes, I know all this sounds like a plot from a science fiction novel.  But it is actually real.  178 nations have signed on to Agenda 21.  “Eco-prophets” such as Al Gore travel all over the world teaching us how wonderful “sustainable development” will be.  This agenda is being pushed in our schools, at our universities, on our televisions and in our movies.

So exactly what is Agenda 21?  The following is how the United Nations defines Agenda 21….

Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.

When you start doing deep research into Agenda 21, you will find that describing it as a “comprehensive plan” is an understatement.  Virtually all forms of human activity impact the environment.  The rabid “environmentalists” behind the green agenda intend to take all human activity and put it into a box called “sustainable development”.

One of the key elements of “sustainable development” is population control.  The United Nations (along with radical “environmental” leaders such as Al Gore) actually believes that there are far too many people on earth.

So what is the solution?

Sadly, they actually believe that we need to start reducing the population.

Just this week, Al Gore made the following statement regarding population control….

“One of the things we could do about it is to change the technologies, to put out less of this pollution, to stabilize the population, and one of the principle ways of doing that is to empower and educate girls and women. You have to have ubiquitous availability of fertility management so women can choose how many children have, the spacing of the children.

You have to lift child survival rates so that parents feel comfortable having small families and most important — you have to educate girls and empower women. And that’s the most powerful leveraging factor, and when that happens, then the population begins to stabilize and societies begin to make better choices and more balanced choices.”

Do you notice how whenever global leaders talk about “empowering” women these days it always ends up with them having less children?

This population control agenda is also reflected in official UN documents.

The following is language from a UN resolution that was adopted by the UN General Assembly that was designed to further the implementation of Agenda 21….

“….population growth rates have been declining globally, largely as a result of expanded basic education and health care. That trend is projected to lead to a stable world population in the middle of the twenty-first century… The current decline in population growth rates must be further promoted through national and international policies that promote economic development, social development, environmental protection, and poverty eradication, particularly the further expansion of basic education, with full and equal access for girls and women, and health care, including reproductive health care, including both family planning and sexual health, consistent with the report of the International Conference on Population and Development.”

Most Americans don’t grasp it yet, but the truth is that the global elite are absolutely obsessed with population control.  In fact, there is a growing consensus among the global elite that they need to get rid of 80 to 90 percent of us.

The number one commandment of the infamous Georgia Guidestones is this: “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.”

Unfortunately, a very high percentage of our global leaders actually believe in this stuff.

Sadly, this philosophy is now regularly being reflected in official UN documents.  For example, the March 2009 U.N. Population Division policy brief begins with the following shocking statement….

What would it take to accelerate fertility decline in the least developed countries?

Apparently the poorest nations are the primary target for the population control freaks over at the UN.

This agenda showed up again when the United Nations Population Fund released its annual State of the World Population Report for 2009 entitled “Facing a Changing World: Women, Population and Climate“.

The following are three quotes that were pulled right out of that document….

1) “Each birth results not only in the emissions attributable to that person in his or her lifetime, but also the emissions of all his or her descendants. Hence, the emissions savings from intended or planned births multiply with time.”

2) “No human is genuinely “carbon neutral,” especially when all greenhouse gases are figured into the equation. Therefore, everyone is part of the problem, so everyone must be part of the solution in some way.”

3) “Strong family planning programmes are in the interests of all countries for greenhouse-gas concerns as well as for broader welfare concerns.”

If no human is “carbon neutral”, then what is the solution?

To those that are obsessed with Agenda 21 and “sustainable development”, the fact that you and I are alive and breathing air is a huge problem.

The population control agenda is also regularly showing up in our newspapers now.

In a recent editorial for the New York Times entitled “The Earth Is Full“, Thomas L. Friedman made the following statement….

You really do have to wonder whether a few years from now we’ll look back at the first decade of the 21st century — when food prices spiked, energy prices soared, world population surged, tornados plowed through cities, floods and droughts set records, populations were displaced and governments were threatened by the confluence of it all — and ask ourselves: What were we thinking? How did we not panic when the evidence was so obvious that we’d crossed some growth/climate/natural resource/population redlines all at once?

But Friedman is quite moderate compared to many of the “eco-prophets” that are running around out there today.

For example, James Lovelock, the creator of the Gaia hypothesis, stated in an interview with the Guardian earlier this year that “democracy must be put on hold” if the fight against global warming is going to be successful and that only “a few people with authority” should be permitted to rule the planet until the crisis is solved.

A Finnish environmentalist named Pentti Linkola has gone even farther than that.  Linkola is openly calling for climate change deniers to be “re-educated”, for an eco-fascist world government to be established, for humans to be forcibly sterilized and for the majority of humans to be killed.

That doesn’t sound pleasant, now does it?

This agenda is even being taught by professors at our top universities.

The truth is that academia is brimming with nutjobs who want to see the vast majority of humans wiped out.

For example, Professor of Biology at the University of Texas at Austin Eric R. Pianka is a very prominent advocate of radical human population control.

In an article entitled “What nobody wants to hear, but everyone needs to know”, Pianka made the following shocking statements….

*First, and foremost, we must get out of denial and recognize that Earth simply cannot support many billions of people.

*This planet might be able to support perhaps as many as half a billion people who could live a sustainable life in relative comfort. Human populations must be greatly diminished, and as quickly as possible to limit further environmental damage.

*I do not bear any ill will toward humanity. However, I am convinced that the world WOULD clearly be much better off without so many of us.

Now keep in mind that this is a university professor that is teaching our kids.  People actually pay a lot of money to get educated by this guy.

If those pushing Agenda 21, “sustainable development” and population control get their way, the world is going to be a much different place in the future.

Just watch the video posted below.  It was originally produced by the Forum for the Future, a major NGO funded by big corporations such as Time Warner and Royal Dutch Shell.  In this video, the Forum for the Future presents their chilling version of the future.  Are you ready to live in a “Planned-opolis”?  Are you ready to use a “calorie card” and to have what you eat determined by a “global food council”?  This is the kind of tyrannical future that these radical environmental organizations want to impose on you and I….

Yes, the video is almost comical, but this is the kind of world that the global elite want to push us towards.

In fact, we see radical steps being taken all over the globe even now.

In Europe, the European Commission has unveiled a plan to ban all cars from major European cities by the year 2050.

In Europe, the mantra “carbon dioxide is causing global warming” has become gospel.  This banning of cars from city centers is all part of a draconian master plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Europe by 60 percent over the next 40 years.

Hopefully this plan will never come to fruition, but the fact that the European Commission is seriously pushing it just shows how far things have progressed.

But we don’t have to peer into the future to see how this agenda is going to affect us.

Today, the U.S. government and governments all over the industrialized world have become so obsessed with reducing carbon emissions that now they even tell us what kinds of light bulbs we are allowed to buy.

There are millions of Americans that love the old light bulbs.  But soon we will not have the choice to buy them anymore.

What kind of freedom is that?

In some areas of the United States, government snoopers actually sort through the trash of residents to ensure that environmental rules are being followed.  For example, in the city of Cleveland, Ohio authorities have announced plans to have “trash supervisors” go snooping through trash cans to ensure that people are actually recycling according to city guidelines.

How would you feel if government officials went snooping around in your trash cans?

The world is changing.  The global elite have immense amounts of wealth and power and they are intent on imposing a radical environmental agenda on all the rest of us.

The reality is that many of the wealthiest and most prominent people in the world are absolutely obsessed with the green agenda and with population control.  Just consider the following quotes….

David Rockefeller: “The negative impact of population growth on all of our planetary ecosystems is becoming appallingly evident.”

CNN Founder Ted Turner: “A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”

Dave Foreman, Earth First Co-Founder: “My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species, returning throughout the world.”

Maurice Strong: “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”

Michael Oppenheimer: “The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the US. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are.”

This radical agenda is even represented in the White House.

John P. Holdren, Barack Obama’s top science advisor, co-authored a textbook entitled “Ecoscience” back in 1977 in which he actually advocated mass sterilization, compulsory abortion, a one world government and a global police force to enforce population control.

On page 837 of Ecoscience, a claim is made that compulsory abortion would be perfectly legal under the U.S. Constitution….

“Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.”

On pages 942 and 943, a call is made for the creation of a “planetary regime” that would control the global economy and enforce population control measures….

“Perhaps those agencies, combined with UNEP and the United Nations population agencies, might eventually be developed into a Planetary Regime—sort of an international superagency for population, resources, and environment. Such a comprehensive Planetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable, at least insofar as international implications exist. Thus the Regime could have the power to control pollution not only in the atmosphere and oceans, but also in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes that cross international boundaries or that discharge into the oceans. The Regime might also be a logical central agency for regulating all international trade, perhaps including assistance from DCs to LDCs, and including all food on the international market.”

“The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits. Control of population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.”

On page 917, the surrender of U.S. national sovereignty to an international organization is advocated….

“If this could be accomplished, security might be provided by an armed international organization, a global analogue of a police force. Many people have recognized this as a goal, but the way to reach it remains obscure in a world where factionalism seems, if anything, to be increasing. The first step necessarily involves partial surrender of sovereignty to an international organization.”

As mentioned earlier, Holdren is the number one science advisor to Barack Obama, and the truth is that the top levels of the U.S. government are packed with people that believe this stuff.

Yes, a lot of what you have read in this article sounds crazy.  But the global elite really do believe in population control and they really are seeking to implement a radical environmental agenda across the entire planet.

They want total control of everyone and everything so that they can impose the measures that they believe are necessary to “fix” the planet.

I have actually written quite extensively in the past about the radical green agenda of the global elite.  If you are interested in learning more, I would recommend the following articles….

Source-http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/al-gore-agenda-21-and-population-control

*The Green Police

*Governments Around The World Are Eagerly Adopting The Strict Population Control Agenda Of The United Nations

*Yes, They Really Do Want To Reduce The Population – 22 Shocking Population Control Quotes From The Global Elite That Will Make You Want To Lose Your Lunch

*The Dangerous Myth Of Overpopulation

*One Less Child? Environmental Extremists Warn That Overpopulation Is Causing Climate Change And Will Ultimately Destroy The Earth

*Hillary Clinton: Population Control Will Now Become The Centerpiece Of U.S. Foreign Policy

*New U.N. Report: We Must Reduce The Population To Fight Climate Change

*The Population Control Agenda Behind The Global Warming Movement: For The Environmental Extremists At Copenhagen Population Reduction Is The “Cheapest” Way To Reduce Carbon Emissions

*To The Global Elite The Math Is Simple: Human Overpopulation Is Causing Climate Change So The Solution To Climate Change Is Population Control

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


24
Jun 11

The Plan to Destabilize Syria

( Thierry Meyssan)  The efforts to overthrow the Syrian government have a lot in common with what has been undertaken in Libya. However, the results are substantially different owing to each country’s social and political background. The project to break up these two States simultaneously was initially brought up by John Bolton on 6 May 2002 when he was serving as Undersecretary of State in the Bush administration. It’s implementation by the Obama administration nine years down the line – in the context of the Arab Awakening – is not without problems.

Like in Libya, the original plan intended to bring about a military coup, but it soon proved impossible owing to the lack of willing Syrian military officers. According to our sources, an analogous plan had also been envisaged for Lebanon. In Libya, the plot was leaked and Colonel Gaddafi proceeded to have Colonel Abdallah Gehani arrested [1]. In any case, the initial plan had to be revised in light of the unexpected “Arab Spring” scenario.

Military action

The central idea was to foment unrest in a well circumscribed area and to proclaim the establishment of an Islamic emirate that would serve as a platform for the dismemberment of the country. The choice of the Daraa district can be explained by its proximity to the Jordanian border and the Israeli occupied Golan Heights. This layout would make it easy to funnel supplies to the secessionists.

An incident was contrived involving students who engaged in provocations. It succeeded beyond all expectations given the brutality and stupidity of the local governor and police chief. When the demonstrations started, snipers were positioned on the roofs to shoot at random into the crowd and against the police forces. A similar script had been used in Benghazi to fuel the revolt.

Other clashes were planned, invariably in a border area to secure a support base, first in Northern Lebanon, then on the border with Turkey.

The skirmishes were led by small commandos, mostly made up of some forty men, combining individuals recruited on the spot with foreign mercenary overseers belonging to Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan’s network. Bandar travelled to Jordan where he supervised the kick off of operations, together with CIA and Mossad officials.

But Syria is not Libya and the outcome was reversed. Indeed, whereas Libya is a state that was created by the colonial powers which united Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan by force, Syria is a historical country which was reduced to its simplest form by those same powers. Therefore, while Libya is spontaneously at the mercy of centrifugal forces, Syria attracts centripetal forces bent on reconstructing Greater Syria (comprising Jordan, occupied Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and part of Iraq). Syria’s population today cannot but repudiate any plan to partition the country.

Also, a parallel can be made between Colonel Gaddafi’s authority and that of Hafez al-Assad (Bashar’s father). They rose to power during the same period and both made use of their intelligence and brutality to hold sway. Bashar al-Assad, on the contrary, did not seize power nor did he expect to inherit it. He accepted to fill the office of president when his father died because his older brother had perished in an accident and because only his family heritage could have prevented a power struggle among his father’s generals.

Although it was the army who went to look for him in London, where he was quietly practicing his profession as an ophthalmologist, it is his people who be-knighted him. He is undeniably the most popular political leader in the Middle East. Up to two months ago, he was also the only one who moved around without armed guards, and felt comfortable in a crowd.

The military operation to destabilize Syria and the propaganda campaign that came with it have been orchestrated by a coalition of states under US coordination, in exactly the same way that NATO coordinates its member and non-member states to bombard and stigmatize Libya. As indicated above, the mercenary forces have been provided with the compliments of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was forced to knock on several doors, including in Pakistan and Malaysia, seeking to boost his personal army deployed in Manama and Tripoli. As an example, we can cite the installation of an ad hoc telecommunications center on the premises of the Ministry of Telecommunications in Lebanon.

Far from arousing the population against the “regime“, this blood bath triggered a national outpouring for President Bashar al-Assad. Aware that they are being drawn into a civil war by design, the Syrians are standing shoulder to shoulder. The overall number of anti-government protest rallies garnered between 150 000 and 200 000 people out of a population of 22 million inhabitants. By contrast, the pro-government drew crowds the likes of which the country had never seen before.

The authorities reacted with calm in the face of such events. The President finally enacted the reforms that had been on his agenda for a long time, but which the majority of the population had resisted for fear they might westernize their society. Anxious not to fall into archaism, the Ba’ath Party has embraced a multiparty system. The army did not crackdown on the demonstrators – contrary to what the Western and Saudi media have reported – but reined in the armed groups. Unfortunately, the high-ranking military officers, most of whom were trained in the USSR, failed to practice any restraint towards the civilians who were caught in the middle.

The economic war

At that point, the Western-Saudi strategy needed to be revised. Realizing that military action would fall short of plunging the country into chaos in the near term, Washington decided to undermine Syrian society in the middle term. The rationale is that the policies of the Al-Assad government have been forging a middle class (the true mainstay of a democracy) and that it would be feasible to turn this class against him. In that case, an economic collapse of the country would have to be engineered.

Now, Syria’s main resource is oil, even if its production cannot compare in volume with that of its rich neighbors. To market the oil, Syria must have assets deposited in Western banks to serve as guarantee during the transactions. It would be enough to freeze them in order to pull the country down. Hence, the expediency of tarnishing its image to mold western public opinion into accepting the “sanctions against the regime.”

In principle, an asset freeze requires a resolution by the UN Security Council, which appears problematic. China, for one, may not be in a position to oppose it since it has already been blackmailed to renounce its veto power in the Libyan context under threat of losing access to Saudi oil. But Russia could do it, without which it would lose its naval base in the Mediterranean would have to keep its Black Sea cooped up behind the Dardanelles. The Pentagon has already attempted to intimidate Russia by deploying its guided-missile cruiser, the USS Monterrey, in the Black Sea to underscore the futility of Russia’s naval ambitions.

Be that as it may, the Obama administration may decide to revive the 2003 Syrian Accountability Act allowing it to freeze Syrian assets independently of a UN resolution or Congress approval. Recent history has shown, especially as regards Cuba and Iran, that Washington can easily convince its European partners to endorse sanctions that it applies unilaterally.

Thus, the stakes have currently shifted from the battle field towards the media. Public opinion will allow the wool to be pulled over its eyes all the more given its ignorance of Syria and its blind faith in the new technologies.

The media war

At first, the propaganda campaign focused the public’s attention on the crimes allegedly committed by the “regime” so as to avert any questions regarding the nature of the new opposition. In fact, these armed groups have little in common with the intellectual dissidents that drafted the Damascus Declaration. They emerge from Sunni religious extremist circles. These fanatics repudiate the religious pluralism of the Levant and long for a state to their image and likeness. They don’t challenge President Bashar Al-Assad because they deem he is too authoritarian, but because he is an Alawi, that is a heretic in their eyes.

Ever since, the anti-Bashar propaganda has been based on a reality reversal.

An amusing example is the case of the blog “Gay Girl in Damascus“, created on 21 February 2011. Edited in English by 25 year-old Amina, the website became a source of reference for Western media. Therein the author described the plight of a young lesbian under Bashar’s dictatorship and the day-to-day unfolding of the terrible repression unleashed against the revolution. As a gay woman, she garnered the protective empathy of Western web surfers who mobilized as soon as her arrest by the secret services of the “regime” was announced.

However, as it happened, Amina was a fiction. Betrayed by his IP address, a US 40 year-old “student” was discovered to be the real author of this masquerade. This propagandist, who was allegedly preparing a PhD in Scotland, recently participated in a pro-Western opposition conference held in Turkey, urging for a NATO intervention. He quite obviously did not attend in his capacity as a student [2].

What is particularly surprising is not so much the gullibility of the internet surfers who swallowed the lies about the fake Amina, but the outpouring of the defenders of freedom in support of those who trample those same freedoms. In secular Syria, private life is sacrosanct and homosexuality, though prohibited by the texts, is not curbed. It may cause malaise within the family, but not in society. On the other hand, those who are upheld by the media as revolutionaries, and that we consider instead to be counter-revolutionaries, are vehemently homophobic. They are even contemplating the introduction of corporal punishment or, in some cases, the death penalty to punish that “vice.”

Reality reversal is a principle being applied on a large scale. We may recall the United Nations reports on the humanitarian crisis in Libya alleging that tens of thousands of immigrant workers were fleeing the country to escape from violence. The conclusion drawn and spewed by the Western media was that the Gaddafi “regime” had to be toppled in favor of the Benghazi rebels. And yet, it was not the government of Tripoli who was responsible for this tragedy, but the so-called revolutionaries in Cyrenaica who were hunting down black Africans. Stirred by a racist ideology, they accused them of being at the service of Colonel Gaddafi and lynched whoever they could get their hands on.

In Syria, the images of armed groups perched on the rooftops and firing at random into the crowd or on police forces were broadcast on national television networks. Yet, these same images were relayed and used by Western and Saudi television channels to attribute these crimes to the government of Damascus.

At the end of the day, the plan to destabilize Syria is not working all that well. It succeeded in persuading public opinion that the country is in the grips of a brutal dictatorship, but it also welded the vast majority of the Syrian population firmly behind its government. Ultimately, the plan could backfire on those who masterminded it, notably Tel Aviv. In January-February 2011 we witnessed a revolutionary wave in the Arab world, followed in April-May by a counter-revolutionary wave. The swing of the pendulum is still in motion.

Source-http://www.voltairenet.org/The-plan-to-destabilize-Syria


24
Jun 11

5 Places Not To Be When Dollar Collapses

(Silver Shield)  The dollar collapse will be the single largest event in human history. This will be the first event that will touch every single living person in the world. All human activity is controlled by money. Our wealth,our work,our food,our government,even our relationships are affected by money. No money in human history has had as much reach in both breadth and depth as the dollar. It is the de facto world currency. All other currency collapses will pale in comparison to this big one. All other currency crises have been regional and there were other currencies for people to grasp on to. This collapse will be global and it will bring down not only the dollar but all other fiat currencies,as they are fundamentally no different. The collapse of currencies will lead to the collapse of ALL paper assets. The repercussions to this will have incredible results worldwide. (Read the Silver Bullet and the Silver Shield to protect yourself from this collapse.)

Thanks to the globalization and the giant vampire squids of the Anglo-American Empire,the dollar is the world’s reserve currency. It supports the global economy in settling foreign trade,most importantly the Petro Dollar trade. This money is recycled through the City of London (not to be confused with London) and New York. This fuels our corporate vampires that acquires and harvests the wealth of the world. The corporate powers suppress REAL assets like natural resources and labor to provide themselves massive profits. This Fascist,Statist,Collectivist model provides the money into the economy to fund an ever increasing federal  government. That government then grows larger and larger enriching its minions with jobs to control their fellow citizens. Finally,to come full circle,the government then controls other nations through the Military Industrial Complex.

This cycle will be cut when the mathematically and inevitable collapse of the dollar occurs. In order for our debt based money to function we MUST increase the debt every year in excess of the debt AND interest accrued the year before or we will enter a deflationary death spiral. When debt is created,money is created. When debt is paid off,money is destroyed. There is never enough to pay off the debt,because there would be not one dollar in existence.

We are at a point where we either default on the debt,willingly or unwillingly,or create more money/debt to keep the cycle moving. The problem is if you understand anything about compounding interest,we are reaching the hockey stick moment where the more debt that is incurred,the less effective it is and this leads us to hyper inflation. There are only two actors needed for this hyper inflation,the Lender of Last Resort,the Fed,and the Spender of Last Resort,the government. These two can,and will,blow up the system. I believe they will wait until the next crisis and the whiff of deflationary depression before they fire up the printing presses. That crisis is coming very soon at the end of this summer or fall. The money and emergency measures are worn out. The fact that NONE of the underlying problems that caused the 2008 crisis have been resolved. The only thing that has happened is that instead of corporate problems,we now have nation problems. In this movie Greece will play the role of Lehman Brothers and the United States will play the role of AIG. The problem is there is nowhere to kick the can down the road and there is no world government to absorb the debt,yet…(Problem,Reaction,Solution.)

So this leads me to the Top 5 Places Not To Be When the Dollar Collapses.

1. Israel- This Anglo-American beach head into the Middle East was first conceived by the most powerful family in the world,the Rothschilds,in 1917. The Balfour Declaration said that there will be a Zionist Israel years before World War two and the eventual establishment of Israel. Israel has not been a good neighbor to its Muslim nations and has always had the two biggest bullies on the block at it’s back. When the dollar collapses,the United States will have much to much on its plate both domestically and internationally to worry about such a non-strategic piece of land. This will leave Israel very weak at a time when tensions will be high. This very thin strip of desert land will not be able to with stand the economic reality of importing its food and fuel or the political reality of being surrounded by Muslims.

2. Southern California- The land of Fruits and Nuts turns into Battlefield Los Angeles. 20 million people packed into an area that has no water and thus food is not good to say the least. Throw on top of the huge wealth disparities and the proximity to a narco state and this does not bode well. We have seen riots for Rodney King,what will happen when the dollar is destroyed and food an fuel stop coming into this area. People will get desperate and do crazy things,especially when a huge proportion of its citizens are on anti depressants. If food and fuel cannot get in,what about Zolfot? At a time when people’s world are falling apart they lack the ability to deal with this new paradigm. If people come off of these drugs too fast they suffer psychotic breaks and you will have thousands of shootings or suicides.

3. England- The Land of the Big Brother and former Empire of world wide slave and drug trade will suffer heavily. The stiff upper lip that their the British Elite ingrained into their sheeple will not work anymore as the British population explodes. The human character will sacrifice and unite for a foreign enemy,but not if the enemy has always been the Elite. The Anglo-American Empire may pull off another false flag to distract it’s population on another Emmanuel Goldstein like in 1984,but I feel this collapse will happen before they pull it off. This will make all eyes point at the British Elite as solely responsible for this catastrophe. We have seen massive riots for soccer matches with hooligans. What will happen when this island with very little food and fuel gets cut off?

4. New York City- Another large urban area living too high on the dollar hog. NYC is the area I moved out of in 2008. There is little doubt that all of the wealth in New York,New Jersey and Connecticut is derivative off of Wall Street wealth. The savings and investments of the whole nation and much of the world flows through this financial capital. As the world wakes up to the massive financial fraud,this will lead to the destruction of capital like we have never seen before. This will have tremendous effects on the regional economy as people driving in Mercedes suddenly wonder where their next meal is coming from.

5. Washington D.C.- The political collapse of the Federal Government will wreck havoc on the hugely inflated local economy. As more and more states find it necessary to assert their natural control,the Federal Government will suddenly loose power and importance as the whole world suffers from a Global Hurricane Katrina. The money that they create and spend,will become worthless and the government minions pensions will evaporate. Millions that once relied on the ability to force others to send their money to them,will learn that the real power has always been at the most local level. Massive decentralization will be the answer to globalization gone mad. Local families and communities will forgo sending money and power out of their community,as they will care about their next meal and keeping warm.

“You can ignore reality,but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.” -Ayn Rand

To sum up,those areas that have lived highest on the hog in the dollar paradigm will most likely be the worst places to live when the dollar collapses. Many of you will find this article with passing interest,but rest assured this dollar collapse is coming. It is a mathematical inevitability. We will not be as fortunate to muddle through this collapse like we did in 2008 when it was a corporate problem. This time around,it is a national and global problem. The global Ponzi scheme has run out of gas as the demographics decline,as cheap abundant oil declines,as hegemonic power declines. This comes at a time when we reach the exponential or collapse phase of our money. The Irresistible Force Paradox says,“”What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?”We are about to find out!

Source-http://beforeitsnews.com/story/746/579/5_Places_Not_To_Be_When_Dollar_Collapses.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


21
Jun 11

Government Surplus Stores Now Selling Personal Items TSA Steals From Passengers

(NaturalNews) If you have ever wondered what happens to the countless barrels of personal items that the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) confiscates (steals) from air travelers every single day, you might be surprised to know that state governments are now reselling these supposedly “dangerous” items in government surplus stores for extra revenue.

According to a recent article in theAustin American-Statesman, Texas state surplus stores are reaping hundreds of thousands of dollars in new revenue every year for the state by selling travelers’ “legally” stolen goods.

Formerly reserved for legitimate surplus items, state surplusstoresin Texas are making a killing on the thousands of new “securitythreat” items being stolen bythe TSA, which is, of course, the result of artificially-generatedgovernmentparanoia. So harmless personal items like snow globes, for instance, are now in great supply at the surplus stores because they contain more than the three ounces of liquid permitted by the TSA.

Mosttravelers, of course, would never in their wildest imaginations think that a snow globe is a securitythreat, which is why many are shocked in the security line to discover that their simple souvenir is considered a terrorist threat by theTSA. But apparently that threat magically diminishes once the government decides to resell that same snow globe for cash to fill its coffers — because surely the thousands of snow globes the shops receive are not inspected for the mythical explosives they could contain, prior to hitting surplus shelves.

Humorously, both the TSA and the agencies that are selling the stolen items refuse to admit that they are even confiscating them in the first place. According to theStatesman, a worker at aTexassurplus shop said, concerning how the items were obtained, “We say willfully surrendered.” Using this same logic, of course, a man who holds up a woman and steals her purse did not actually steal — the woman merely “willfully surrendered” her purse upon having a gun pointed in her face.

In reality, this fictitious robbery scenario, as absurd as it sounds, is exactly what the TSA is doing toair travelersevery single day in the US. It is also what the illegal IRS does to American taxpayers with its “voluntary” incometax.

When presented with options that include inability to fly, arrest, imprisonment, or even being killed, most people will likely “willfully surrender” whatever is demanded of them, whether it is something as large as half their income, or something as miniscule as a plastic snow globe.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.statesman.com/life/where…

Learn more:http://www.naturalnews.com/032757_TSA_surplus.html#ixzz1Puz6GefW


21
Jun 11

12 Things That The Mainstream Media Is Being Strangely Quiet About Right Now

(American Dream)  As the mainstream media continues to be obsessed with Anthony Weiner and his bizarre adventures on Twitter, much more serious events are happening around the world that are getting very little attention.  In America today, if the mainstream media does not cover something it is almost as if it never happened. Right now, the worst nuclear disaster in human history continues to unfold in Japan , U.S. nuclear facilities are being threatened by flood waters, the U.S. military is bombing Yemen, gigantic cracks in the earth are appearing all over the globe and the largest wildfire in Arizona history is causing immense devastation.  But Anthony Weiner, Bristol Palin and Miss USA are what the mainstream media want to tell us about and most Americans are buying it.

In times like these, it is more important than ever to think for ourselves.  The corporate-owned mainstream media is not interested in looking out for us.  Rather, they are going to tell us whatever fits with the agenda that their owners are pushing.

That is why more Americans than ever are turning to the alternative media.  Americans are hungry for the truth, and they know that the amount of truth that they get from the mainstream media continues to decline.

The following are 12 things that the mainstream media is being strangely quiet about right now….

#1 The crisis at the Fort Calhoun nuclear facility in Nebraska has received almost no attention in the national mainstream media.

Back on June 7th, there was a fire at Fort Calhoun.  The official story is that the fire was in an electrical switchgear room at the plant.  The facility lost power to a pump that cools the spent fuel pool for approximately 90 minutes.  According to the Omaha Public Power District, the fire was quickly extinguished and no radioactive material was released.

The following sequence of events is directly from the Omaha Public Power District website….

  • There was no such imminent danger with the Fort Calhoun Station spent-fuel pool.
  • Due to a fire in an electrical switchgear room at FCS on the morning of June 7, the plant temporarily lost power to a pump that cools the spent-fuel pool.
  • The fire-suppression system in that switchgear room operated as designed, extinguishing the fire quickly.
  • FCS plant operators switched the spent-fuel pool cooling system to an installed backup pump about 90 minutes after the loss of power.
  • During the interruption of cooling, temperature of the pool increased a few degrees, but the pool was never in danger of boiling.
  • Due to this situation, FCS declared an Alert at about 9:40 a.m. on June 7.
  • An alert is the second-least-serious of four emergency classifications established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
  • At about 1:15 p.m. on June 7, FCS operators declared they had taken all appropriate measures to safely return to the previously declared Notification of Unusual Event emergency classification. (See first item above.)

But the crisis at Fort Calhoun is not over.  Right now, the nuclear facility at Fort Calhoun is essentially an island. It is surrounded by rising flood waters from the Missouri River.

Officials claim that there is no danger and that they are prepared for the river to rise another ten feet.

The Cooper Nuclear Station in Brownville, Nebraska is also being threatened by rising flood waters.  A “Notification of Unusual Event” was declared at Cooper Nuclear Station this morning at 4:02.  This notification was issued because the Missouri River’s water level reached 42.5 feet.

Right now the facility is operating normally and officials don’t expect a crisis.

But considering what has been going on at Fukushima, it would be nice if we could have gotten a lot more coverage of these events by the mainstream media.

#2 Most Americans are aware that the U.S. is involved in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.  However, the truth is that the U.S. military is also regularly bombing Yemen and parts of Pakistan.  If you count the countries where the U.S. has special forces and/or covert operatives on the ground, the U.S. is probably “active” in more countries in the Middle East than it is not.  Now there are even persistent rumors that U.S. ground units are being prepared to go into Libya.  Are we watching the early stages of World War 3 unfold before our eyes in slow motion?

#3 The crisis at Fukushima continues to get worse.  Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, recently made the following statement about the Fukushima disaster….

“Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind”

TEPCO has finally admitted that this disaster has released more radioactive material into the environment than Chernobyl did.  That makes Fukushima the worst nuclear disaster of all time, and it is far from over.

Massive amounts of water is being poured into the spent fuel pools in order to keep them cool.  This is creating “hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive sea water” that has got to go somewhere.  Inevitably much of it will get into the ground and into the sea.

Arnold Gundersen says that the scope of this problem is almost unimaginable….

“TEPCO announced they had a melt through. A melt down is when the fuel collapses to the bottom of the reactor, and a melt through means it has melted through some layers. That blob is incredibly radioactive, and now you have water on top of it. The water picks up enormous amounts of radiation, so you add more water and you are generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive water.”

The mainstream media is not paying as much attention to Fukushima these days, but that doesn’t mean that it is not a major league nightmare.

Elevated levels of radiation are being reported by Japanese bloggers all over eastern Japan.  There are reports of sick children all over the region.  One adviser to the government of Japan says that an area approximately 17 times the size of Manhattan is probably going to be uninhabitable.

Of course the mainstream media has been telling us all along that Fukushima is nothing to be too concerned about and that authorities in Japan have everything under control.

If the mainstream media is not going to tell us the truth, how are they going to continue to have credibility?

#4 Members of Congress continue to mention Christians as a threat to national security.  For example, during a recent Congressional hearing U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee warned that “Christian militants” might try to “bring down the country” and that such groups need to be investigated.

#5 China’s eastern province of Zhejiang has experienced that worst flooding that it has seen in 55 years.  2 million people have already been forced to leave their homes.  China has already been having huge problems with their crops over the past few years and this is only going to make things worse.

#6 Thanks to the Dodd-Frank Act, over the counter trading of gold and silver is going to be illegal starting on July 15th.  Or at least that is what some companies apparently now believe.  The following is an excerpt from an email that Forex.com recently sent out to their customers….

Important Account Notice Re: Metals Trading

We wanted to make you aware of some upcoming changes to FOREX.com’s product offering. As a result of the Dodd-Frank Act enacted by US Congress, a new regulation prohibiting US residents from trading over the counter precious metals, including gold and silver, will go into effect on Friday, July 15, 2011.

In conjunction with this new regulation, FOREX.com must discontinue metals trading for US residents on Friday, July 15, 2011 at the close of trading at 5pm ET. As a result, all open metals positions must be closed by July 15, 2011 at 5pm ET.

We encourage you to wind down your trading activity in these products over the next month in anticipation of the new rule, as any open XAU or XAG positions that remain open prior to July 15, 2011 at approximately 5:00 pm ET will be automatically liquidated.

We sincerely regret any inconvenience complying with the new U.S. regulation may cause you. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact our customer service team.

Sincerely,
The Team at FOREX.com

 

Apparently, Section 742(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act prohibits anyone “from entering into, or offering to enter into, a transaction in any commodity with a person that is not an eligible contract participant or an eligible commercial entity, on a leveraged or margined basis.”

So what impact is this going to have on the gold and silver markets?

Nobody is quite sure yet.

#7 All over the world, huge cracks are appearing for no discernible reason.  For example, a massive crack that is approximately 3 kilometers long recent appeared in southern Peru.  Also, a 500 foot long crack suddenly appeared recently in the state of Michigan.  When you also throw in all of the gigantic sinkholes that have been opening all over the world, it is easy to conclude that the planet is becoming very unstable.

#8 According to U.S. Forest Service officials, the largest wildfire in Arizona state history has now covered more than 500,000 acres.  But based on the coverage it is being given by the mainstream media you would think that it is a non-event.

#9 There are reports that North Korea has tested a “super EMP weapon” which would be capable of taking out most of the U.S. power grid in a single shot.  The North Koreans are apparently about to conduct another nuclear test and that has some Obama administration officials very concerned.

#10 All over the United States, “active shooter drills” are being conducted in our public schools.  Often, most of the students are not told that these drills are fake.  Instead, students often go through hours of terror as they think a hostage situation or a shooting spree is really taking place.

#11 NASA has just launched a “major” preparedness initiative for all NASA personnel.  The following is an excerpt about this plan from NASA’s own website….

A major initiative has been placed on Family/Personal Preparedness for all NASA personnel. The NASA Family/Personal Preparedness Program is designed to provide awareness, resources, and tools to the NASA Family (civil servants and contractors) to prepare for an emergency situation. The most important assets in the successful completion of NASA’s mission are our employees’ and their families. We are taking the steps to prepare our workforce, but it is your personal obligation to prepare yourself and your families for emergencies.

#12 Over the past week over 40 temporary “no fly zones” have been declared by the FAA.  This is very highly unusual.  Nobody seems to know exactly why this is happening.

So what do all of these things mean?

It would be nice if the mainstream media would examine some of these important issues more closely and do some honest reporting on them.

Source-http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/12-things-that-the-mainstream-media-is-being-strangely-quiet-about-right-now


20
Jun 11

NBC Dumps Under God From Pledge At U.S. Open

(WND)  The program commenced with children standing in a classroom setting, as they recited the “abbreviated” version of the Pledge, saying: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, with liberty and justice for all.”

The real version of the pledge has the phrase “under God, indivisible” following “one nation.”

NBC’s version of the Pledge got even more abbreviated moments later during the same opening, as the children stated, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, with liberty and justice for all.”

The omission did not go unnoticed by viewers.

“These scumbags purposely left out ‘one nation, under God’ in the delivery of this montage by flashing away to another scene, in both cases the military,” wrote WND reader Keith Hendrick. “There is no question these executives at NBC who hate God, and at the same time, hate America, pushed this message through. I presume this message will be taken as legitimate enough to call NBC out on this injustice, in NBC’s never-ending objective of destroying America’s principles.”

Another viewer, Mark Sass, told WND, “I changed the channel, despite really wishing to watch history possibly being made, and am going to begin boycotting NBC and their advertisers, both nationally and locally.”

NBC was apparently flooded with complaints, because later in the broadcast, announcer Dan Hicks apologized on behalf of the network, claiming the omission had no malicious intent.

Ironically, Hicks never specified that it was the words “under God” that were omitted, as he stated: “We began our coverage of this final round just about three hours ago. When we did, it was our intent to begin our coverage of this U.S. Open championship with a feature that captured the patriotism of our national championship, held in our nation’s capital for the third time. Regrettably, a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance that was in that feature was edited out. It was not done to upset anyone, and we’d like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it.”

Read more:NBC dumps ‘under God’ from Pledge at U.S. Openhttp://www.wnd.com/?pageId=313189#ixzz1Pp1ucqJD


20
Jun 11

Coins With QR Codes Will Start Circulating In The Netherlands Next Week

(Rebecca Boyle)(Determined to keep physical currency relevant in an age of bitcoins and NFC-equipped phones, the Dutch are turning their coins into little high-tech toys. These are purportedly the world’s first coins with QR codes, which currently link to the national mint, but after June 22 will link to a “surprise.”

The coins will be available starting June 22, in both silver (5€ ) and gold (10€). Right now the code resolves as www.q5g.nl, which takes you to a Dutch Ministry of Finance page (in Dutch).

There’s no explanation of what the surprise might be — maybe a contest, maybe a historical link, perhaps a video tour of the place where Dutch money gets made.

The U.S. produces some pretty high-tech cash, but the bills are designed to thwart counterfeiters, not necessarily to edify collectors or engage smartphone users. As far as we know this is the first currency to be embedded with a link to the Internet.

They likely won’t be replacing Dutch euros anytime soon, however — only a limited number of coins were produced, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the national mint in Utrecht.

Source-http://beforeitsnews.com/story/730/949/Worlds_First_Coins_With_QR_Codes_Will_Start_Circulating_in_the_Netherlands_Next_Week.html


20
Jun 11

Military Developing Spy Drones Size Of Insects And Birds

(New York Times)  Two miles from the cow pasture where the Wright Brothers learned to fly the first airplanes, military researchers are at work on another revolution in the air: shrinking unmanned drones, the kind that fire missiles into Pakistan and spy on insurgents in Afghanistan, to the size of insects and birds.

The base’s indoor flight lab is called the “microaviary,” and for good reason. The drones in development here are designed to replicate the flight mechanics of moths, hawks and other inhabitants of the natural world. “We’re looking at how you hide in plain sight,” said Greg Parker, an aerospace engineer, as he held up a prototype of a mechanical hawk that in the future might carry out espionage or kill.

Half a world away in Afghanistan, Marines marvel at one of the new blimplike spy balloons that float from a tether 15,000 feet above one of the bloodiest outposts of the war, Sangin in Helmand Province. The balloon, called an aerostat, can transmit live video — from as far as 20 miles away — of insurgents planting homemade bombs. “It’s been a game-changer for me,” Capt. Nickoli Johnson said in Sangin this spring. “I want a bunch more put in.”

From blimps to bugs, an explosion in aerial drones is transforming the way America fights and thinks about its wars. Predator drones, the Cessna-sized workhorses that have dominated unmanned flight since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, are by now a brand name, known and feared around the world. But far less widely known are the sheer size, variety and audaciousness of a rapidly expanding drone universe, along with the dilemmas that come with it.

The Pentagon now has some 7,000 aerial drones, compared with fewer than 50 a decade ago. Within the next decade the Air Force anticipates a decrease in manned aircraft but expects its number of “multirole” aerial drones like the Reaper — the ones that spy as well as strike — to nearly quadruple, to 536. Already the Air Force is training more remote pilots, 350 this year alone, than fighter and bomber pilots combined.

“It’s a growth market,” said Ashton B. Carter, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.

The Pentagon has asked Congress for nearly $5 billion for drones next year, and by 2030 envisions ever more stuff of science fiction: “spy flies” equipped with sensors and microcameras to detect enemies, nuclear weapons or victims in rubble. Peter W. Singer, a scholar at the Brookings Institution and the author of “Wired for War,” a book about military robotics, calls them “bugs with bugs.”

In recent months drones have been more crucial than ever in fighting wars and terrorism. The Central Intelligence Agency spied on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan by video transmitted from a new bat-winged stealth drone, the RQ-170 Sentinel, otherwise known as the “Beast of Kandahar,” named after it was first spotted on a runway in Afghanistan. One of Pakistan’s most wanted militants, Ilyas Kashmiri, was reported dead this month in a C.I.A. drone strike, part of an aggressive drone campaign that administration officials say has helped paralyze Al Qaeda in the region — and has become a possible rationale for an accelerated withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan. More than 1,900 insurgents in Pakistan’s tribal areas have been killed by American drones since 2006, according to the Web site www.longwarjournal.com.

In April the United States began using armed Predator drones against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces in Libya. Last month a C.I.A.-armed Predator aimed a missile at Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric believed to be hiding in Yemen. The Predator missed, but American drones continue to patrol Yemen’s skies.

Large or small, drones raise questions about the growing disconnect between the American public and its wars. Military ethicists concede that drones can turn war into a video game, inflict civilian casualties and, with no Americans directly at risk, more easily draw the United States into conflicts. Drones have also created a crisis of information for analysts on the end of a daily video deluge. Not least, the Federal Aviation Administration has qualms about expanding their test flights at home, as the Pentagon would like. Last summer, fighter jets were almost scrambled after a rogue Fire Scout drone, the size of a small helicopter, wandered into Washington’s restricted airspace.

Within the military, no one disputes that drones save American lives. Many see them as advanced versions of “stand-off weapons systems,” like tanks or bombs dropped from aircraft, that the United States has used for decades. “There’s a kind of nostalgia for the way wars used to be,” said Deane-Peter Baker, an ethics professor at the United States Naval Academy, referring to noble notions of knight-on-knight conflict. Drones are part of a post-heroic age, he said, and in his view it is not always a problem if they lower the threshold for war. “It is a bad thing if we didn’t have a just cause in the first place,” Mr. Baker said. “But if we did have a just cause, we should celebrate anything that allows us to pursue that just cause.”

Source-http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/20/world/20drones.html?_r=2


19
Jun 11

Trading Of Over The Counter Gold And Silver To Be Illegal Beginning July 15

 

(Tyler Durden)  One small step toward Executive Order 6102 part 2, and one giant leap for corruptcongressmankind.
 From: FOREX.com
<[email protected]>Date: Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 6:11 PMSubject: Important Account Notice Re: Metals TradingTo: xxx
Important Account Notice Re: Metals Trading   
 We wanted to make you aware of some upcoming changes to FOREX.com’s product offering. As a result of the Dodd-Frank Act enacted by US Congress, a new regulation prohibiting US residents from trading over the counter precious metals, including gold and silver, will go into effect on Friday, July 15, 2011.

In conjunction with this new regulation, FOREX.com must discontinue metals trading for US residents on Friday, July 15, 2011 at the close of trading at 5pm ET. As a result, all open metals positions must be closed by July 15, 2011 at 5pm ET. 

We encourage you to wind down your trading activity in these products over the next month in anticipation of the new rule, as any open XAU or XAG positions that remain open prior to July 15, 2011 at approximately 5:00 pm ET will be automatically liquidated.

We sincerely regret any inconvenience complying with the new U.S. regulation may cause you. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact our customer service team.

Sincerely,
The Team at FOREX.com

So far we have only received this warning from Forex.com. We are waiting to see which other dealers inform their customers that trading gold and silver over the counter will soon be illegal.

It appears that Forex.com’s interpretation of the law stems primarily from Section 742(a) of the Dodd-Frank act which “prohibits any person [which again includes companies]from entering into, or offering to enter into, a transaction in any commodity with a person that is not an eligible contract participant or an eligible commercial entity, on a leveraged or margined basis.”

Some prehistory from Hedge Fund Law Blog:

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Act”) has changed a number of laws in all of the securities acts including the Commodity Exchange Act.  Two specific changes deal with certain transactions in commodities on the spot market.  Specifically, Section 742 of the Act deals with retail commodity transactions.  In this section, the text of the Commodity Exchange Act is amended to include new Section 2(c)(2)(D) (dealing with retail commodity transactions) and new Section 2(c)(2)(E) (prohibiting trading in spot forex with retail investors unless the trader is subject to regulations by a Federal regulatory agency, i.e. CFTC, SEC, etc.).  According to acongressional rulemaking spreadsheet, these are effective 180 days from the date of enactment.
We provide an overview of the new sections and have reprinted them in full below.
New CEA Section 2(c)(2)(D) – Concerning Spot Commodities (Metals)
The central import of new CEA Section 2(c)(2)(D) is to broaden the CFTC’s power with respect to retail commodity transactions.  Essentially any spot commodities transaction (i.e. spot metals) will be subject to CFTC jurisdiction and rulemaking authority.  There is an exemption for commodities which are actually delivered within 28 days.  While the CFTC wanted an exemption in which commodities would need to be delivered within 2 days, various coin collectors were able to lobby congress for a longer delivery period (see here).
It is likely we will see the CFTC propose regulations under this new section and we will keep you updated on any regulatory pronouncements with respect to this new section.
New CEA Section 2(c)(2)(E) – Concerning Spot Forex
The central import of new CEA Section 2(c)(2)(E) is to regulate the spot forex markets.  While the section requires the CFTC to finalize regulations with respect to spot forex (which were proposed earlier in January), it also, interestingly, provides  oversight of the markets to other federal regulatory agencies such as the CFTC.  This means that in the future, different market participants may be subject to different regulatory regimes with respect to trading in same underlying instruments.  A Wall Street Journal article discusses the impact of this with respect to firms which engage in other activities in addition to retail forex transactions.  The CFTC’s proposed rules establish certain compliance parameters for retail forex transactions, requires registration of retail forex managers and requires such managers to pass a new regulatory exam called the Series 34 exam.  We do not yet know whether the other regulatory agencies will adopt rules similar to the CFTC or if they will write rules from scratch.

Next, from Henderson & Lyman:

The prohibition of Section 742(a) does not apply, however, if such a transaction results in actual delivery within 28 days, or creates an enforceable obligation to deliver between a seller and a buyer that have the ability to deliver, and accept delivery of, the commodity in connection with their lines of business. This may be problematic as in most spot metals trading virtually all contracts fail to meet these requirements. As a result, although the courts’ interpretation of Section 742(a) is unknown, Section 742(a) is likely to have a significantly negative impact on the OTC cash precious metals industry. Here too, it is essential that those who offer to be a counterparty to OTC metals transactions seek professional help to discuss possible operational and regulatory contingency plans.

The actual rule language exempts a transaction if it “results in actual delivery within 28 days or such otherlonger period as the Commission may determine by rule or regulation based upon the typical commercial practice in cash or spot markets for the commodity involved;” Alas, the commission has decided not to intervene and keep the exemption status window so small as to affect virtually all exchanges which transact in the gold and silver spot market.

More here:

Elimination of OTC Forex

Effective 90 days from its inception, the Dodd-Frank Act bans most retail OTC forex transactions. Section 742(c) of the Act states as follows:

…A person [which includes companies] shall not offer to, or enter into with, a person that is not an eligible contract participant, any agreement, contract, or transaction in foreign currency except pursuant to a rule or regulation of a Federal regulatory agency allowing the agreement, contract, or transaction under such terms and conditions as the Federal regulatory agency shall prescribe…

This provision will not come into effect, however, if the CFTC or another eligible federal body issues guidelines relating to the regulation of foreign currency within 90 days of its enactment. Registrants and the public are currently being encouraged by the CFTC to provide insight into how the Act should be enforced. See CFTC Rulemakings regarding OTC Derivatives located at the following website address, under Section XX – Foreign Currency (Retail Off Exchange). It is essential that OTC forex participants seek professional help to discuss possible operational and regulatory contingency plans.

Elimination of OTC Metals

As for OTC precious metals such as gold or silver, Section 742(a) of the Act prohibits any person [which again includes companies]from entering into, or offering to enter into, a transaction in any commodity with a person that is not an eligible contract participant or an eligible commercial entity, on a leveraged or margined basis. This provision intends to expand the narrow so called “Zelener fix” in the Farm Bill previously ratified by congress in 2008. The Farm Bill empowered the CFTC to pursue anti-fraud actions involving rolling spot transactions and/or other leveraged forex transactions without the need to prove that they are futures contracts. The Dodd-Frank Act now expands this authority to include virtually all retail cash commodity market products that involve leverage or margin – in other words OTC precious metals.

The prohibition of Section 742(a) does not apply, however, if such a transaction results in actual delivery within 28 days, or creates an enforceable obligation to deliver between a seller and a buyer that have the ability to deliver, and accept delivery of, the commodity in connection with their lines of business. This may be problematic as in most spot metals trading virtually all contracts fail to meet these requirements. As a result, although the courts’ interpretation of Section 742(a) is unknown, Section 742(a) is likely to have a significantly negative impact on the OTC cash precious metals industry. Here too, it is essential that those who offer to be a counterparty to OTC metals transactions seek professional help to discuss possible operational and regulatory contingency plans.

Small Pool Exemption Eliminated

Pursuant to Section 403 of Act, the “privateadviser” exemption, namelySection 203(b)(3) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”), will be eliminated within one year of the Act’s effective date (July 21, 2011). Historically, many unregistered U.S. fund managers had relied on this exemption to avoid registration where they:

(1) had fewer than 15 clients in the past 12 months;

(2) do not hold themselves out generally to the public as investment advisers; and

(3) do not act as investment advisers to a registered investment company or business development company.

At present, advisers can treat the unregistered funds that they advise, rather than the investors in those funds, as their clients for purposes of this exemption. A common practice has thus evolved whereby certain advisers manage up to 14 unregistered funds without having to register under the Advisers Act. Accordingly, the removal of this exemption represents a significant shift in the regulatory landscape, as this practice will no longer be allowable in approximately one year.

Also an important consideration, the Dodd-Frank Act mandates new federal registration and regulation thresholds based on the amount of assets a manager has under management (“AUM”). Although not yet underway, it is possible that various states may enact legislation designed to create a similar registration framework for managers whose AUM fall beneath the new federal levels.

Accredited Investor Qualifications

Section 413(a) of the Act alters the financial qualifications of who can be considered an accredited investor, and thus a qualified as eligible participant (“QEP”). Specifically, the revised accredited investor standard includes only the following types of individuals:

1) A natural person whose individual net worth, or joint net worth with spouse, is at least $1,000,000,excluding the value of such investor’s primary residence;

2) A natural person who had individual income in excess of $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or joint income with spouse in excess of $300,000 in each of those years and a reasonable expectation of reaching the same income level in the current year; or

3) A director, executive officer, or general partner of the issuer of the securities being offered or sold, or a director, executive officer, or general partner of a general partner of that issuer.

Based on this language, it is important to note that the revised accredited investor standard only applies to new investors and does not cover existing investors. However, additional subscriptions from existing investors are generally treated as requiring confirmation of continuing investor eligibility.

On July 27th, 2010, the SEC provided additional clarity regarding the valuation of an individual’s primary residence when calculating net worth. In particular, the SEC has interpreted this provision as follows:

Section 413(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act does not define the term “value,” nor does it address the treatment of mortgage and other indebtedness secured by the residence for purposes of the net worth calculation…Pending implementation of the changes to the Commission’s rules required by the Act, the related amount of indebtedness secured by the primary residence up to its fair market value may also be excluded. Indebtedness secured by the residence in excess of the value of the home should be considered a liability and deducted from the investor’s net worth.

Source-http://www.zerohedge.com/article/trading-over-counter-gold-and-silver-be-illegal-beginning-july-15?page=1


17
Jun 11

Misery Index Highest In 28 Years

(Jeff  Cox)  When it comes to measuring the combination of unemployment and inflation, it doesn’t get much more miserable than this.

In fact, misery, as measured in the unofficial Misery Index that simply totals the unemployment and inflation rates, is at a 28-year high, reflective of how weak the economic recovery has been and how far there is to go.

The index, first compiled during the soaring inflation days of the 1970s by economist Arthur Okun, is registering a nausea-inducing 12.7—9.1 percent for unemployment and 3.6 percent for annualized inflation—a number not seen since 1983. The index has been above 10 since November 2009 and had been under double-digits from June 1993 through May 2008.

The good news, of course, is that the Fed-led Paul Volcker embarked on a highly successful inflation-slaying campaign that brought the level of misery down sharply through the rest of the ’80s recovery decade.

The bad news, of course, is all the bad news.

Put another way, by Paul Dales at Capital Economics:

“The good news is that other measures suggest conditions aren’t quite that bad and over the next 18 months the gloom should lift a little,” the firm’s chief US economist wrote in a Misery analysis. “The bad news is that households won’t be in the mood to boost their spending significantly for several more years.”

Dales says all the misery may not be as bad as it appears. An alternative measure, put forth in 1999 by Robert Barro, encompasses a wider swath of misery, measuring employment against the so-called “natural rate” and compares inflation against the previous 10 years. The Barro measure also looks at whether gross domestic product is below its “potential” and compares yields on the 10-year Treasury note against the yields of the previous 10 years.

With all that rolled in, Dales says the Barro index is indicating that while things aren’t expected to get dramatically better, the level of misery is probably at a peak and should roll back over the next 18 months.

“The upshot is that Americans might not be quite as miserable as the Okun misery index appears to suggest,” Dales said. “And as inflation falls back, some of the gloom will lift.”

Still, the level of misery, whatever the measure, is high, with many unconvinced that inflation is, as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke suggests, transitory, or that the economy is in a mere soft patch that will fade.

Investor sentiment continues to fall. The latest Investors Intelligence survey, a weekly poll of newsletter authors, points to bulls outnumbering bears by just a 37 percent to 26 percent margin. Yes, it does indicate more people believing the market is heading higher than lower, but the bullishness is around financial crisis levels.

The survey includes a smattering of comments from participants.

One of the more common that represents the bearish perspective looks at how much optimism there had been in the market prior to the May 2 highs.

“Frankly, we have been stunned by the disconnect that we see between these optimistic calls over the past six to nine months and the reality of what is occurring in the global economy,” wrote Boston-based Hans P. Black in the Interinvest Review & Outlook.

Conversely, misery is not universal, with Elliott F. Gue’s Personal Finance Newsletter making the case for the optimists that one should not “fall prey to the panic fanned by the usual fear-mongering doomsayers,” a group that presumably includes those unemployed or bewildered by inflation and, thus, in misery.

Source-http://www.cnbc.com/id/43441924


16
Jun 11

Washington Post Covers Bohemian Grove





(Elizabeth Flock)  Every July, some of the richest and most powerful men in the world gather at a 2,700 acre campground in Monte Rio, Calif., for two weeks of heavy drinking, super-secret talks, druid worship (the group insists they are simply “revering the Redwoods”), and other rituals.

Their purpose: to escape the “frontier culture” of common men.

The people that gather at Bohemian Grove — who have included prominent business leaders, former U.S. presidents, musicians, and oil barons — are told that “Weaving Spiders Come Not Here,” meaning business deals are to be left outside. One exception was in 1942, when a planning for the Manhattan Project took place at the grove, leading to the creation of the atom bomb.

A spokesperson for Bohemian Grove say the people that gather there “share a passion for the outdoors, music, and theater.”

The club is so hush-hush that little can be definitively said about it, but much of what we know today is from those who have infiltrated the camp, including Texas-based filmmaker Alex Jones. In 2000, Jones and his cameraman entered the camp with a hidden camera and were able to film a Bohemian Grove ceremony, Cremation of the Care. During the ceremony, members wear costumes and cremate a coffin effigy called “Care” before a 40-foot-owl, in deference to the surrounding Redwood trees.

Bohemian Grove’s spokesperson calls the ceremony “a traditional musical drama celebrating nature and summertime.” The spokesperson also said that while Jones’ comments are inaccurate, the footage is real.

Watch the controversial footage of the ceremony below:

Another infiltrator, Spy magazine writer Philip Weiss, posed as a guest for seven days in 1989, when the waiting list was 33 years long and the grove had several thousand members. Weiss published the article “Inside Bohemian Grove,” writing: “You know you are inside the Bohemian Grove when you come down a trail in the woods and hear piano music from amid a group of tents and then round a bend to see a man with a beer in one hand … urinating into the bushes. This is the most gloried-in ritual of the encampment, the freedom of powerful men to pee wherever they like, a right the club has invoked when trying to fight government anti-sex discrimination efforts and one curtailed only when it comes to a few popular redwoods just outside the Dining Circle.”

Former President Bill Clinton once told a heckler, “The Bohemian club! Did you say Bohemian club? That’s where all those rich Republicans go up and stand naked against redwood trees right? I’ve never been to the Bohemian club but you oughta go. It’d be good for you. You’d get some fresh air.”

The Sonoma County Free Press, which has published investigative stories on the grove since at least the 1980s, says activities include plays and comedy shows in which women are portrayed by male actors, and Lakeside Talks, in which high-ranking officials speak about information not available to the public. The group calls them “public interest talks.”

Protests take place at the Bohemian Grove nearly ever year. This year’s protest is organized by the California State Greens and endorsed by other social activist groups.

Bohemian Grove’s 2011 retreat begins in mid-July. We don’t suggest any infiltrators try to make their way through the entrance, guarded by camp valets and redwoods some 200 feet in height. It didn’t end too well for the last Vanity Fair editor who tried it.

 

 


16
Jun 11

Kids Lemonade Stand Fined $500 And Shut Down

(Bruce Leshan)  You can make a fortuneselling parking spots outside the US Open, but don’t even dream of setting up a lemonade stand.

A county inspector ordered the Marriott and Augustine kids to shut down the stand they set up on Persimmon Tree Rd, right next to Congressional. And after they allegedly ignored a couple of warnings, the inspector fined their parents $500.

“This gentleman from the county is now telling us because we don’t have a vendors license, the kids won’t be allowed to sell their lemonade,” Carrie Marriott told us, her voice trembling.

The kids can’t seem to understand it. “I don’t agree, I think the county is wrong.” “We’re sending the money to charity.”

Jennifer Hughes, the director of permitting for the county, says it’s technically illegal to run even the smallest lemonade stand in the county, but inspectors usually don’t go looking for them. She said this one was unusually large. Hughes also says they’ve warned all kinds of other vendors they couldn’t operate near the US Open because of concerns about traffic and safety.

But that did little to console Carrie Marriott. “Does every kid who sells lemonade now have to register with the county?” she asked the inspector.

“Cute little kids making five or ten dollars is a little bit different than making hundreds. You’ve got coolers and coolers here,” the inspector responded. “To raise money for pediatric cancer,” Marriott replied.

What’s funny is that the county has given scores of other neighbors permits to let golf fans park on their front lawns. The permits cost almost $300, but prices per car run as much as $60 a day. And some neighbors are reportedly raking in tens of thousands of dollars.

“I’m a little upset with the rip off that’s going on,” said Ron Simpson, who was getting ready to pay $50. One cop says a neighbor told him he’d made enough charging for parking at big golf events at Congressional that it had paid one of his kid’s college tuition.

Carrie Marriott is having a hard time reconciling the two different perspectives on entrepreneurship at the US Open. “The message to kids is, there’s no American dream.”

Source-http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/155167/158/County-Shuts-Down-Kids-Lemonade-Stand-500-Fine


16
Jun 11

Major Internet Service Providers Cooperating With NSA On Monitoring Traffic

)  

Three of the nation’s largest Internet service providers are cooperating with a new National Security Agency program to sift through the traffic of major defense contractors with the goal of blocking cyberattacks by foreign adversaries, senior defense and industry officials say.

The novel program, which began last month on a voluntary, trial basis, relies on sophisticated NSA data sets to identify malicious programs slipped into the vast stream of Internet data flowing to the nation’s largest defense firms. Such attacks, including one last month against Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin, are nearly constant as rival nations and terrorist groups seek access to U.S. military secrets.

“We hope the . . . cyberpilot can be the beginning of something bigger,” Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said at a global security conference in Paris on Thursday. “It could serve as a model that can be transported to other critical infrastructure sectors, under the leadership of the Department of Homeland Security.”

The prospect of an NSA role in the monitoring of Internet traffic already had raised concerns among privacy activists, and Lynn’s suggestion that the program might be extended beyond the work of defense contractors threatened to raise the stakes further.

James X. Dempsey, the Center for Democracy & Technology’s vice president for public policy, said that any version of the program must have protections against government access to private Internet traffic.

“We wouldn’t want this to become a backdoor form of surveillance,” Dempsey said.

The pilot program works by using NSA-developed “signatures,” or fingerprints of malicious code, as well as sequences of anomalous network behavior, to filter the Internet traffic flowing to major defense contractors. That allows the Internet providers to disable the threats before an attack can penetrate a contractor’s servers.

The Internet providers participating in the pilot are AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink. Together they are seeking to filter the traffic of 15 defense contractors.

Partnering with the major Internet carriers “is probably the technically quickest way to go and the best way to go” to defend dot-com networks, said Gen. Keith Alexander, who heads the NSA and the affiliated U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade, testifying to Congress in March.

The premise behind this strategy is that combining the carriers’ ability to filter massive volumes of traffic — a large carrier can monitor up to 100 gigabits of traffic per second — – with the NSA’s expertise will provide a greater level of protection without violating privacy laws.

But the initiative was stalled for months by numerous concerns, including Justice Department worries that it would run afoul of privacy laws that forbid government surveillance of private Internet traffic. Officials have, at least for now, allayed that concern by saying that the government will not directly filter the traffic or receive the malicious code captured by the providers. The Department of Homeland Security is a partner in the pilot.

“The U.S. government will not be monitoring, intercepting or storing any private-sector communications,” Lynn said. “Rather, threat intelligence provided by the government is helping the companies themselves, or the Internet service providers working on their behalf, to identify and stop malicious activity within their networks.”

But civil liberties advocates are worried that a provision in the White House’s recent legislative proposal on cybersecurity could open the way to government surveillance through public-private partnerships such as this one. They are concerned that the proposal would authorize companies to share vast amounts of communications data with the federal government.

“The government needs to make up its mind about whether it wants to protect networks or collect intelligence,” Dempsey said.

Though this NSA technology is more sophisticated than traditional anti-virus programs, it still can screen only for known threats. Developing detection and mitigation strategies for emerging new threats is far more difficult, said Bob Giesler, senior vice president for cyberprograms at SAIC, one of the region’s largest defense and intelligence contractors.

The program also does not protect against insider threats — employees who deliberately leak material. Nor will it protect a network against penetration by, for instance, hackers who have compromised security software enabling them to log in as if they were legitimate users. That is what happened recently when security firm RSA’s SecurID tokens were compromised, enabling hackers to penetrate Lockheed Martin’s computers. Lockheed said no customer, program or employee personal data were compromised.

The pilot program has been at least a year in the making. Carriers and companies were concerned they would be vulnerable to lawsuits or other sanctions if they allowed the government to filter the traffic or shared network data with the government. The NSA, meanwhile, was concerned about the classified data getting into the hands of adversaries.

The Internet carriers are not being paid to prepare their systems for the pilot, an effort that industry officials said costs millions of dollars. The carriers will work with the companies they already serve, and in some cases already provide a similar service of filtering for malicious traffic, using their own threat data.

Lynn’s speech also appeared to outline key elements of the Pentagon’s cyberstrategy, an unclassified version of which is due out soon. The strategy, said experts and analysts who have been briefed on it, focuses on building defenses and a framework for deterrence. It also makes clear the military’s prerogative to use cyber and other traditional military means if the United States is attacked or engaged in hostilities with an adversary.

“First, we must raise the level of protection in government and military networks,” Lynn said Thursday. “We must ready our defense institution to confront cyberthreats, because it is clear any future conflict will have a cyberdimension.”

Source-http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/major-internet-service-providers-cooperating-with-nsa-on-monitoring-traffic/2011/06/07/AG2dukXH_story_1.html


16
Jun 11

Obama,What War In Libya?

(Charlie Savage)  The White House, pushing hard against criticism in Congress over the deepening air war in Libya, asserted Wednesday that President Obama had the authority to continue the military campaign without Congressional approval because American involvement fell short of full-blown hostilities.

In a 38-page report sent to lawmakers describing and defending the NATO-led operation, the White House said the mission was prying loose Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s grip on power.

In contending that the limited American role did not oblige the administration to ask for authorization under the War Powers Resolution, the report asserted that “U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve U.S. ground troops.” Still, the White House acknowledged, the operation has cost the Pentagon $716 million in its first two months and will have cost $1.1 billion by September at the current scale of operations.

The report came one day after the House Speaker, John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, had sent a letter to Mr. Obama warning him that he appeared to be out of time under the Vietnam-era law that says presidents must terminate a mission 60 or 90 days after notifying Congress that troops have been deployed into hostilities, unless lawmakers authorize the operation to continue.

Mr. Boehner had demanded that Mr. Obama explain his legal justification for passing the deadline. On Wednesday, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Mr. Boehner, said he was still reviewing the documents, adding that “the creative arguments made by the White House raise a number of questions that must be further explored.”

The escalating confrontation with Congress reflects the radically altered political landscape in Washington: a Democratic president asserting sweeping executive powers to deploy American forces overseas, while Republicans call for stricter oversight and voice fears about executive-branch power getting the United States bogged down in a foreign war.

“We are acting lawfully,” said Harold H. Koh, the State Department legal adviser, who expanded on the administration’s reasoning in a joint interview with the White House counsel, Robert Bauer.

The two senior administration lawyers contended that American forces had not been in “hostilities” at least since early April, when NATO took over the responsibility for the no-fly zone and the United States shifted to primarily a supporting role — providing refueling and surveillance to allied warplanes, although remotely piloted drones operated by the United States periodically fire missiles, too.

They argued that United States forces are at little risk because there are no troops on the ground and Libyan forces are unable to exchange fire with them meaningfully. And they said the military mission was constrained by a United Nations Security Council resolution, which authorized air power for the purpose of defending civilians.

“We are not saying the president can take the country into war on his own,” said Mr. Koh, a former Yale Law School dean and outspoken critic of the Bush administration’s expansive theories of executive power. “We are not saying the War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional or should be scrapped or that we can refuse to consult Congress. We are saying the limited nature of this particular mission is not the kind of ‘hostilities’ envisioned by the War Powers Resolution.”

Jack L. Goldsmith, who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration, said the Obama theory would set a precedent expanding future presidents’ unauthorized war-making powers, especially given the rise of remote-controlled combat technology.

“The administration’s theory implies that the president can wage war with drones and all manner of offshore missiles without having to bother with the War Powers Resolution’s time limits,” Mr. Goldsmith said.

It remains to be seen whether majorities in Congress will acquiesce to the administration’s argument, defusing the confrontation, or if the theory will fuel greater criticism. Either way, because the statute does not define hostilities and the Supreme Court has never ruled on the issue, the debate is likely to be resolved politically, said Richard H. Pildes, a New York University law professor.

Also on Wednesday, 10 lawmakers — led by Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, and Representative Walter B. Jones, Republican of North Carolina — filed a lawsuit asking a judge to order Mr. Obama to pull out of the Libya operation because Congress did not authorize it. That lawsuit faces steep challenges, however, because courts in the past have dismissed similar cases on technical grounds.

The administration had earlier argued that Mr. Obama could initiate the intervention on his own authority as commander in chief because its anticipated nature, scope and duration fell short of a “war” in the constitutional sense. Since then, the conflict has dragged on for longer than expected, and the goal of the NATO allies has all but openly shifted from merely defending civilians to forcing the Libyan leader, Colonel Qaddafi, from power. But Mr. Koh and Mr. Bauer said that while regime change in Libya might be a diplomatic goal, the military’s mission was separate and remained limited to protecting civilians.

While many presidents have challenged the constitutionality of other aspects of the War Powers Resolution — which Congress enacted over President Richard M. Nixon’s veto — no administration has declared that the section imposing the 60-day clock is unconstitutional, and in 1980, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded that it was within Congress’s power to enact such a limit.

Mr. Bauer and Mr. Koh said that the 1980 memorandum remained in force, but that their legal argument was not invoking any constitutional challenge to bolster their interpretation of hostilities.

It was not clear whether the Justice Department had endorsed the White House’s interpretation of hostilities. Mr. Bauer declined to say whether it had signed off on the theory, saying he would not discuss interagency deliberations. In his letter on Tuesday, Mr. Boehner demanded to know whether there was internal dissent about the administration’s legal stance.

Mr. Koh noted that there had been disputes about whether the 60-day clock of the War Powers Resolution (a deadline that can be extended for 30 days under some circumstances) applied to deployments in which — unlike in Libya — there were troops on the ground and American casualties.

Still, such previous cases involved peacekeeping missions in which the United States had been invited in, and there were only infrequent outbreaks of violence — as in Lebanon, Somalia and Bosnia. The Libyan operation, by contrast, is an offensive mission involving sustained bombardments of a government’s forces.

Source-http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/16/us/politics/16powers.html?_r=2


14
Jun 11

Gold To Reach $5,000 Due To Supply Shortage

(John Melloy)  An exhaustive report by Standard Chartered predicts that gold [GCCV1  1526.20   1.80  (+0.12%)   ] will more than triple to $5,000 an ounce because of a lack of supply, not just because of a surge in demand that most bullion bugs cite in their bullish calls.

“There are very few large gold mines set to commence operation in the next five years,” said Standard’s analyst Yan Chen in a report Monday. “The limited new supply comes at a time when central banks have turned from being net sellers to significant net buyers of gold. The result, in our view, will be a gold market in deficit, even assuming flat growth in demand. With the supply-demand balance so out of kilter, we see the gold price potentially going to US$5,000/oz.”

The London-based firm is among the first to focus on the supply-side of the gold equation amid the many bullish forecasts out there on the metal. After analyzing 345 gold mines and 30 copper/base metal gold mines around the globe, the team estimates annual gold production will be just 3.6 percent over the next five years.

 

100 OZ GOLD AUG1

(GCCV1)

1526.20     1.80  (+0.12%%)
CEC:Commodities Exchange Centre

 

“They make a pretty compelling argument, especially when it comes to mine supply,” said Brian Kelly, head of Brian Kelly Capital and a ‘Fast Money’ trader. “Most analysis focuses on demand from China and India, which of course can disappear as quickly as it materialized.”

But that’s unlikely to happen over the next five years as central banks look to further diversify their holdings of U.S. dollars and as emerging countries buy more gold in the aftermath of the global paper currency crisis.

Currently, only 1.8 percent of China’s foreign exchange reserves is in gold,” wrote Chen and the Standard team in the 68-page report. “If the country were to bring this proportion in line with the global average of 11 percent, it would have to buy 6,000 more tonnes of gold, equivalent to more than 2 years of gold production.”

The bold call is among the most bullish out there. In a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch survey of global money managers released Tuesday, just about a third of money managers felt gold was overvalued. However, that is the highest reading in that survey in more than a year.

Standard Chartered recommends that clients buy shares of smaller gold miners to get the most upside from its prediction but also said clients could buy physical gold and gold exchange-traded funds.

Source-http://www.cnbc.com/id/43396080